Thoughts on Motherhood

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A mother’s work is never finished. I kind of love it.

Whenever I get back from a trip away from my kids I realize how much I love making them lunches every morning. They aren’t healthy or even tasty. Half the time I throw in whatever pre-packaged fruit choice and snack I can find to go with the same sandwich I put in every single day.

They don’t seem to mind the lunches. Gavin says he prefers them to school lunch. After two years of hauling his backpack everywhere at school because there were no lockers, he ought to know. Parker will eat the frozen PB&J sandwiches if I’m too lazy to make a sandwich. So far this year Gwen is the only one willing to buy school lunch once a week. The boys claim they like my lunches better. Who could argue with that sound logic?

If the lunches aren’t that special, why not make the kids pack their own? Occasionally it has to happen. When I have an appointment I need to be showered and ready for, or I’m out of town. I have learned that I don’t want to make them do it. I like doing it for them.

On the other hand, I like watching them make their own breakfast every morning. It was a thrilling moment when I realized Gwen could pour her own cereal and milk. Now I know that if anything were to happen to their parents, they can at least survive on cold cereal or toast!

They may need therapy one day because their mother wouldn’t make them a decent breakfast. I do make breakfast for dinner anytime Heath is out of town or at a business thing. Sometimes I will make them breakfast on a day off but Parker usually pukes his guts up because he only likes scrambled eggs. Any other kind make him barf! I don’t typically make dinner. But I do feel special when I make taco soup. It’s browning meat and pouring cans into a crock pot. The boys love it and I feel like a million bucks when I make it!

Somehow I got stuck in a food train of thought. There are other aspects of mothering that I love. I love being a homemaker. I love cleaning. I don’t know why. The sister missionaries came over the other night unannounced. I was so embarrassed because I hadn’t done the dishes yet and the house was cluttered with backpacks and toys. One sister said, “This isn’t messy. It looks like people live here!” I replied with, “But I work really hard to make it look like no one does!” Of course everyone drops by during those down moments.

I love waking the kids up in the morning. All three have alarm clocks. All three wait for me to come in. Parker is first. He sleeps so soundly that I go to his bed and rub his shoulder or his back and tell him he needs to get up. Gavin is next. Because he’s downstairs I turn on his light as I walk out the door. He’s really cute though. Every morning it’s the same thing.

Me: Gavin, it’s time to wake up! Wakey wakey eggs and bakey!
Gavin bright and cheery: Okay.

I turn on the light as I walk out and head back up to the sinfully warm and snuggly comfort of my own bed to watch the news until 7:00. If Gwen hasn’t naturally woken up by the time the boys leave for school, I wake her up.

I love that they walk to and from the bus stop on their own. It’s a new freedom for them. Not necessarily Gavin. He took a city bus to school the last two years. I’ve learned I relax when all three have made it home in the afternoon. There is something about having them all under the same roof at the same time.

Being a mom is really fun. The other night Parker asked for some advice. “What should you do if you did something nice for someone and now they keep asking you to do it all the time?” We learned that his impromptu act of service had crippled his friends. He gave a fish and suddenly they couldn’t remember the fundamentals of fishing. I told him to use his natural charisma and sense of humor to tell them no. We role played.

Friend: Can you throw this away for me?
Parker: Why? Did you forget how? Lift your hand until it hovers over the trash, lower your open hand. When it touches the trash, close your fist …

Gwen was giggling like crazy. I love dinnertime. That’s when we have the best conversations. Car rides bring out the giggles too.

It’s fun talking to the kids now that they are older. It’s fun to learn how they feel about things and what their opinions are about the world around them. I like seeing how seriously Gavin takes the responsibility of having his own bathroom. And how much Parker gets upset about Gwen’s hair all over the bathroom! Welcome to life with a girl who has long hair!

They’re fun to watch TV with. They’re fun to hang out with. I loved when they were all little and I love that they are all growing up. Being a mom is really fun. I would go on but my babies are waiting for me …

The G’s Say What

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Gwen: Ewww! There’s hair in your nose?
Me: Yeah, what do you think holds the boogers in there?
Gwen: Glue?

Gavin: These mints taste like sidewalk chalk … only minty!

Gwen: I don’t like Chromebooks because it takes one million years to get on!
Gavin: All you have to do is push the power button.

Gwen: But everyone is getting books from the Book Fair!
Me: If everyone was getting their nose pierced would you want to do that too?
Gwen pouting: Stop being such a good mom!

Office with Walls

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Cubicles are nothing to brag about. They are open desk spaces with fabric covered partitions on three sides offering the only privacy you’re going to get. Sitting up normally provides a view in your peripheral vision of many other cube desk jockeys. Turning around reveals a row of desk jockeys behind. If you stand up to peer over the so called walls, you will see a maze of cubicles accompanied by a steady hum of people.

A cubicle is a sign that you work for an extrovert or are not senior enough to be given an office with walls. Four walls and a door. That is the working dream.

I was once a cube minion attached to a headset for hours at a time, robotically reciting a script hoping to find the sucker to boost my sales numbers. It wasn’t a glamorous job but it paid the bills. After all my hard work in college I walked away from cubicle life for good. My office came with four walls and a locking door. It also came with 30 some odd energetic students. I traded the hectic life of a public school teacher to write about my three feral darlings in the office with the invisible walls.

Now I have a real bona fide office with walls. Four real walls, a closet, and a non-locking door. But it can still be shut. Life could not be better right? All those times I couldn’t concentrate because the invisible walls consisted of a metal baby gate that the kids learned how to get into …  All the times the voices in my head were competing with rambunctious squealing and a loud TV in the other room … That’s all over.

Creativity has taken a hit. I have learned that maybe I work best in the middle of chaos. It’s hard to think when I have a deskmate behind me. I’m fine if he’s on the phone but when he’s got Cheers on in the background my train of thought derails constantly.

The office is at the end of two hallways. You don’t get much more tucked away than this. Or lonely. Once my deskmate leaves I get the place to myself. All I can hear are cars driving on the street and crickets chirping. I cannot hear the sound of great story ideas, much less the voices in my head.

Working in a cubicle took some patience and getting used to. The office with the invisible walls was a delicate balancing act as well. It didn’t take long for my mind to completely ignore everything going on around me. Bleeding and dying were exceptions that got through. Maybe it won’t be that bad to work in an office with walls. I hope.

Food, Family, and Baseball

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A beautiful bouquet of yellow and orange flowers smiled up at me this morning. I smiled back because those flowers meant that last night really did happen.

It was the perfect night with family. Aunt Chris was visiting from Nebraska for Grandma Holmes’ birthday. Uncle Dan was visiting from California for the same reason. We couldn’t make it to her actual birthday festivities. School and Scouts were in the way. So we planned a get together at our house the next night.

Originally we were going to have homemade In & Out style burgers. Heath makes them with his sous vide. They are delicious, make a mess of the kitchen, and take a long time. The sacrifice is worth it for a couple extra people. We learned with the Macho Chef night that these burgers are too involved for a large crowd. When we learned that Kirk and Dayleen and their kids were coming to dinner, we quickly changed our dinner plans to tri tip. Then we found out that Uncle Dan, Uncle Lindy and Terria (sorry I don’t know how to spell her name!) wanted to see our house too. They would come for dessert.

Normally a family party like that would make me nervous. I was strangely calm. All day. We had our plan for dinner. We knew we could easily accommodate 12 people for dinner. It worked out perfectly. I got mad props for suggesting that Heath sous vide the tri tip longer than he was planning. I talked him into putting the two large steaks into the bath at 7:00 am. I have never had better tri tip in my life. It was so tender and so tangy tasty from Heath’s homemade marinade. We had enough food for everyone but it was all so divine we were all wanting more. Not a lick of leftovers could be had.

Not long after dinner the rest of our guests arrived. They walked in with a big bouquet of flowers. My first thought was, “Grandma isn’t here.” The flowers were handed to me after confirming that yes, they were for me! I learned they were Dan’s idea but he made Lindy pay for them! Heath told me later that it’s customary to take a gift to a party. His uncles knew that we wouldn’t want any wine. I felt very special getting flowers.

It was fun giving a tour of our house. The first few times we have walked people through felt very awkward. The place was a mess. There were piles of stuff I didn’t yet know what to do with and still a lot of moving boxes littering the place. Now our rooms are all quite functional. I’m still trying to figure out the rest of the furniture for the front room. Heath has plans to make a custom desk in the office. The office is the dumping room right now until we figure out how we want things to go in there.

Uncle Dan and Uncle Lindy wanted to watch the Cubs vs. Indians baseball game. We had the game on in the background as we sat around talking. Heath and I were pleased that 15 people were eating dessert in our family room/eat in kitchen area. No one was crowded or uncomfortable. Heath and I stood to eat our chocolate ice cream cake but there were extra seats in the family room. We just didn’t sit down after dishing out the cake. There is no way we could have ever done that in our last house.

I hosted a baby shower for my good friend Abigail eight years ago when she was expecting her first. The party was a fun success. Mostly because we had very little furniture at the time! Our house could accommodate lots of people until it started functioning better for our family. Then we could hardly take on two extra people.

Kirk and Dayleen had to leave after dessert. Middle and high school starts early especially after a family party half an hour from home. The rest of us settled into the family room to talk and watch the game. I have never had more fun watching a game I thoroughly loathe. Barry kept saying it was because we watched together. I think he’s onto something there. I asked questions too because the more I understand about a game the more fun it is to watch. Everyone was patient and willing to teach me.

We shared laughs and stories until the commercial break before the extra innings would start. It was so much fun. Heath and I kept the game on after everyone left. I can’t believe I have personally witnessed two historic games in the last month. I saw the Cubs win the World Series and I also happened to see the end of the tied Seahawks game. Crazy! I still prefer college football any day.

The family party was really fun. It’s so great being part of such a loving family. Despite their differences, political or religious, they have one thing in common – love. I feel like I definitely hit the jackpot when I married Heath. His family is great and I’m part of a tradition of non-cooking women!

Contented Sigh

I love my house! I love where we live. I love the scenery. I love what I do at church. I love love love my house. I love that now that Halloween is over I can listen to Christmas music and watch cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies without feeling like it’s too early. True confessions: I did watch one Hallmark movie last Saturday. It was lame. And I have listened to Christmas music a couple of times before Halloween. It was fun and not lame.

It is so easy to feel overwhelmed and stressed out and forget how wonderful life is. Today is not one of those days. The skies are gray and drip almost every day. The leaves are colorful and the ground is soggy. I love it all!

Is wet candy still safe to eat?

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It did not feel like Halloween today. All month long we have enjoyed our neighbors’ decorations. Suddenly it was time for the ward Halloween Carnival. We were prepared with cool costumes. We just ran out of time.

Parker had an 11 Year Old Scout activity at the police station downtown. Apparently downtown is very far north. The party was supposed to start at 6:30. Parker and Heath got home after 6:00. I made Cracker Barrel macaroni and cheese that we ate as quickly as possible. Gwen and Parker raced into their costumes.

Heath and I were so busy getting them all situated and ready that we simply did not have time to put on our cool costumes. I was bummed but at the same time, I was stressed out. It wasn’t going to happen. We left the house late as it was. Not much time left to party but we made it. Anyone who knows me knows I hate parties and activities so I figure that everyone should have been thrilled I was even there!

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I have to say this was the best Halloween Carnival I have ever been to. It was well lit, low key, not crowded, and fun. As you can see, you could actually walk through the gym without stepping on young goblins or bumping into fully grown witches and ghouls. Breath of fresh air is all I can say!

Gwen and Parker are old enough that we turned them loose. They found their friends and went nuts running around playing games and going to the cake walk. There was a photo booth but neither one of them stopped there. They had a great time.

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The parade was fun to watch. The last time our kids participated in a church Halloween parade was back when Gwen was a princess in a stroller. Our stake carnival got too big and too crowded.

To Gwen’s dismay, there was no school parade. A note was sent home stating in very bold and no uncertain terms that Halloween would not be celebrated in any way, shape or form. In respect of different religious and cultural views, Halloween was as good as canceled. If a child was kept home to avoid Halloween, the absence would not be excused. School would not let out early. Grumble, grumble, complain.

Oh Gwen was beside herself. She became Mini Piquant Storyteller. Her outrage escalated into very loud yelling. This was so unfair! Secretly I was pleased. Halloween has gotten out of hand at the school level. The only thing that didn’t seem fair was that one culture had to step back to respect other cultures who don’t celebrate a holiday in which people dress up and beg for food. That’s kind of weird.

A couple days ago I got an email from Gwen’s teacher saying that her class would have a Harvest Party. It was not a Halloween party! Things that make you go hmmm … Maybe it was a good makeup call though. It was the only thing that wiped off the homicidal look in her eye as she left for school this morning.

Back to the carnival, the trunk or treat part was lovely as well. It sprinkled the whole time but that didn’t stop anyone. We went home with about three pieces of candy leftover from our Costco sized bag of candy. In the past we would take two Costco bags of candy and run out in five minutes. I am so not even joking. Everything about the carnival followed a less is more theme that I found refreshing. It ended up being a very fun evening. Gavin chose to stay home and rot his brain in front of the TV.

The carnival was on Thursday and today did not feel at all like Halloween. After dinner the kids jumped into their costumes again. Heath and I even donned our own. It was beginning to feel more like Halloween. I was surprised no trick or treaters had come while we were getting ready. As if by some magic memo, the neighborhood did not start until about 6:00 pm. Gavin grumpily sat outside in a camping chair ready to hand out candy. I think tonight he missed California. We never got more than five total trick or treaters in a single year and any sign of rain meant less people going out.

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Jedi Parker and Devil Gwen were excited. I was too. I have dreamed of living in a neighborhood like this! I just knew it would be fun.

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Heath dressed as the Doctor, complete with borrowing Parker’s sonic screwdriver.

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I was Clara from the snowman episode.

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One neighbor called us time travelers. I thought that was a good description. We got tons of compliments on our costumes. Thanks Dawn for your creative talents in making my Victorian outfit!

The neighbor that called us time travelers is also the candy lady neighbor who let the kids take one piece of candy from her front porch all month long. She gave Gwen a hug and then a large two handed handful of candy! Parker was not impressed. He says everyone knows Gwen but nobody cares about him. That can bring out the green eyed monster of jealousy for sure.

The kids went to the first several houses and then it started to sprinkle. Sprinkles soon turned into full on rain. Welcome to Halloween in the Northwest! We trudged along hitting every single house on our street with a porch light on. By the time we got home we were pretty well soaked. Gwen was so excited about picking a pixie stick at one house that left a bucket of candy out. Heath told her all her pixie sticks were going to be Kool-Aid by the time we got home!

I couldn’t believe it was 6:45 when we got home. The kids had plenty of candy. We didn’t need to go into the other neighborhood. It was a lot of fun despite the rain. Gavin hated us for making him pass out candy. At least he was polite and complimentary of the kids who came by. My teenage booger.

Our costumes were hung throughout the house to dry. We rounded out the night by watching Halloween themed Studio C skits. Now the kids are in bed in a candy coma. I can’t wait for Christmas!

Real Athletes Run

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All others just play games.

The final meet of the season was the multi district meet at Shoreline Stadium.

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Fourteen schools with up to fifteen of their best runners on each team. Four races all over two miles. The stands were full. The meet began with everyone standing for the Star Spangled Banner. Then the announcer reminded everyone to cheer for all the kids. Really, how could you not?

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These kids work so hard. Between the positivity of the announcer and just watching the kids leave their guts on the track, it reminded me of Coach Erika and her team. At one of the parent meetings at the beginning of the season she explained that Cross Country is a no cut sport. If you want to run you can be part of the family. Then she said that the running teams don’t have problems with bullying or cliques or any of those types of problems. “These kids don’t have time and they work too hard to have those problems.”

I thought of that statement along with all my memories of her united team. I think runners are a special breed. I watch these kids push themselves to the limits and beyond. It’s tempting to ask why. Why would anyone do that to themselves? The answer is because they can. Because they will run faster tomorrow than they did today. Because surpassing oneself is the greatest accomplishment in the world.

Gavin’s school rocked the meet. They had runners finish in the top ten of every race. The team placed third for 7th grade girls and boys. Heath and I were trying to strategically place ourselves along the course to cheer on Gavin. We didn’t hear how the school did in the 8th grade girls race. Parker enjoyed his bragging rights at school that morning when Gavin’s name was announced as finishing in the top 25 of the last race before the elite multi district meet.

Last week’s meet was hard to watch because it was so muddy and rainy. I saw many kids slip on the wet grass or slip in the mud. When you know how hard these kids are working it’s hard to keep the tears at bay when something unfair like that happens. But they all get up and keep on going.

This time I was standing near the first corner of the race. I wanted to cheer for Gavin and see where he was in the pack. I never did see him. The boys were still packed too tightly at that point in the race. Heath got a bunch of pictures but couldn’t see Gavin either. I can’t even find him in the pictures! We stood around for a minute waiting for the boys to come back through.

There was a loud scraping sound as a cone fell. The crowd gasped and many people asked if a boy was okay. We didn’t see it but apparently a kid slipped on a leaf in the middle of a hairpin turn. We found out later it was the fastest 8th grader from Gavin’s team. He finished the race but I think Gavin beat him.

One part of the course went right through the crowd in the stands. The runners came through the walkway between the upper bleachers and the lower bleachers. Everyone stood out of the way and cheered loudly for every single runner. It reminded me of my grandpa’s funeral when everyone stood in respect of the family walking into the chapel. It felt like angels filled the chapel and gym. That part of the race felt like angels cheering on God’s children.

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This was the longest race Gavin had ever competed in. I cheered him on and the grimace left his face. Heath called out, “Get three more Gavin!” as Gavin entered the track for the final lap of the race. My obedient boy passed one and a half kids right then and there! By the time he finished, he had passed three other runners.

Out of all those many cream of the crop runners, Gavin placed 49th! He finished the race in 13:46 according to Grandpa. Gavin never looks at his time and if anyone tells him he immediately forgets because his brain has been fricasseed on the track.

I’m nervous for every meet. This time I was particularly nervous. Heath kept laughing at me. This week is early release week for Parent Teacher Conferences, otherwise known as “What’s the Point Week.” The boys have been getting out at 12:15 every day while Gwen gets out at 1:00 every day. So Gavin came home on the bus with Parker and needed a ride back to school to catch the bus with his team to the meet.

 

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Gavin and the number one 8th grader on his team

 

He seemed extra quiet and distracted. When I asked what was wrong he admitted he was nervous for the meet. That only ramped up my anxiety! I didn’t want to stress him out so I tried not to say much at all when I took him back to school. As he got out I think I said something like, “Good luck, have fun, I love you!”

We both agree that nerves are good. They let you know you’re alive and they motivate you toward greatness. Obviously it worked. I was pleasantly surprised to hear he was invited to this multi district meet. To have him perform so well is just the icing on the cake. Wow I love watching him run!

Invisibility and Other Backhanded Compliments

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Gavin: We have such a fun family!
Parker: It’s a good thing Mom didn’t come up to stop us!
Gavin: Yeah …

There is nothing else to deduce from those statements other than I am the buzz kill in my family. The tickle war was great … because I wasn’t there. Speaking of not being there. Gavin sincerely believes I did not go to his last Cross Country meet.

The breakdown in communication happened when I got it in my head that I couldn’t go to the meet and be on time for my double booked evening at the church. I said out loud several times that I couldn’t go to the meet. I was also not happy that I would be missing the first half of the BYU football game.

As Thursday got closer Heath told me that I should go to the meet. It was at a middle school near our high school. He thought that I would feel better if I drove separately so I could leave the second the meet was over and make it to the church in time to set up and practice a skit at the same time.

I tried to say I didn’t care if I was late to the church. I didn’t want to drive in the rain on my own. Maybe I didn’t speak clearly enough because I picked up Gwen from school and I drove behind Heath to the meet. And neither one of us picked up Parker from the bus stop like we said we would. Parker was a little miffed.

Anyway, Gavin didn’t know I was planning on going to the meet. I thought he knew but maybe those conversations happened while he was at school. Six of us drove to the meet in three different cars. One behind the other. It was the most ridiculous parade given the circumstances.

When the boys race started Heath told me to walk with him. We walked along the course to cheer Gavin on a couple of times before heading over to the finish line. I had my hood up so as not to muss my coiffure before having to be a cow in a skit. The girl that assigned me the part prefaced her request by saying, “This in no way reflects on you as a person, but will you …” and she mumbled the rest. I had to ask her to repeat the part. “Will you be the cow?” No way reflects on me as a person. Did she just call me fat?

My hood was up but I was permanently attached to Heath’s hip as we trudged through mud and cheered on Gavin. I was just as loud and obnoxious as ever. Especially at the end. We stood at the cones marking the finish gate while I screamed to Gavin. “Come on Gavin! Come on! Come on! Sprint it out! Come on Gavin!” I couldn’t think of any other words. He seemed to be finishing so slowly.

Apparently my off white coat with the hood up resembled an apparition. To Gavin I looked like a ghost and certainly looked nothing like his mother. Either that or my coat cloaked me in invisibility because he had absolutely no knowledge I was even there.

After the meet Heath took Gavin in his car. I had Gwen and Parker in my car and Grandma and Grandpa were in their own car. Once again we traveled together in a line through the heavy rain. Gavin was concerned that he was the only one in his dad’s car. He didn’t know that we threw caution to the wind along with any care for our carbon footprint. Carpooling? Pishaw!

Gavin: Mom didn’t come?
Heath: She was here. She has Parker and Gwen with her.
Gavin: Did Grandma and Grandpa come?
Heath: Yes they were here too. We were all cheering for you. Didn’t you hear us?

Gavin hadn’t seen any of us. And I had a good 30 minutes before I had to be at the church. So I changed into a nicer outfit and hairsprayed my hair within an inch of it’s flat life.

I played the cow as best I could. Carrying extra holiday weight from a couple years ago definitely helped. The Visiting Teaching Conference was a success. I came home and fell asleep on the couch watching the game with Grandma. I should have watched upstairs with Grandpa and Heath. I could have told Heath to just put a blanket over me and leave me there for the night. Instead I woke up after BYU lost by one point and didn’t feel tired again for some time after climbing into bed.

Gavin’s final practice is today. It’s more like a party than a real practice. Only 15 kids were picked to participate in the district race tomorrow. Gavin was number 13 of 15. I am so proud of that kid! It is strange to be a mother to such talent. Stranger still that he doesn’t recognize me with my hood up and he thinks I’m no fun. But the rest of our family is fun!

Funny Kids

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The rains are coming down and the floods are coming up. By the way, the storm of the century that I mentioned was supposed to hit over the weekend, never did happen. We had rain and some wind gusts. Nothing even close to what they were forecasting. Heath and I made the executive decision to stay home and not go to the adult session of Stake Conference on Saturday night. We didn’t want to leave our kids home alone for their first storm in a new place when the power very likely could go out or their parents could be blown away to Kingdom Come in a wind gust. In hindsight we could have gone. But hindsight is 20/20. We were all snuggly together at home and I don’t regret it.

Heath drove the boys to the bus stop this morning. Parker had accidently left his weather proof jacket in his art class yesterday. He wears that jacket over a hooded sweatshirt to protect him from cold and rain. Yesterday started out cold then the sun came out. So it’s no surprise he took the jacket off and forgot about it. It does make life tricky when Noah floats by on his boat the next morning.

Gavin was moving a little too slowly this morning. I tell him over and over that he needs his weather proof jacket over his hoodie. He chooses not to listen. He had to put his BYU jersey over his sweatshirt which took some time and then he slowly grabbed his jacket to hold in his hands. Because that will keep him dry. Parker had an umbrella and Gavin had a jacket draped over his arm and time was running out. So Heath drove them. What a nice guy!

I told Gwen that I would drive her up the street and we could walk to the bus stop from there. There are barricades blocking the street from traffic, just not emergency vehicles. I could drive all the way around but I didn’t think it was necessary. Neither did Gwen. She gave me the biggest bear hug. “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! That’s all I ever wanted!” Funny girl.

I stopped in front of the candy house and let her out since she will leave school early today for Gavin’s XC meet. I’m such a nice mom! This is the house that is decorated within an inch of its life. The lady was the one who gave us the ghost as a thank you for Gwen helping her decorate. Anyway, she has a fresh stash of candy in a bowl and spilling into a skeleton’s lap on her front step. She has a sign letting the neighborhood kids know to take one piece of candy every dang day. For real! As far as I know, the kids are all honest about it and only take one piece a day.

How nice am I that I let Gwen get candy this morning? Then I drove to the corner and turned around. I turned off the car and as Gwen was getting out I asked if she wanted me to come with her. The question was only asked because she didn’t seem to be interested in waiting for me to get out and join her. She looked at me and said, “Nah. I’m okay. Bye Mom!” I asked if she was sure and she assured me she didn’t need me. So she walked into the other neighborhood toward the bus stop. I turned on the car and drove home. That’s all she ever wanted. It was weird but I knew she was happy.

I walked with her one morning this week. As soon as we got outside she found her little buddy and ignored me. We got to the bus stop and she flitted around all her friends like the social butterfly she is. The bus came and she barely acknowledged my existence. This is a girl who does not need me to take her to the bus stop. It’s lucky that things worked out that when she was in kindergarten, Gavin would drop her off at her classroom in the morning. How embarrassing would it be if her mother actually got out of the car on her carpool days to drop off Gwen! At least the teacher was cool with Gwen’s 5th grade brother dropping her off. I did have to pick her up though.

By first grade, Gwen was running ahead of me along the back path up to the school grounds. Parker would walk with me but Gwen could not be held back from her friends! It didn’t take long before I would pull up behind the school, screech to a stop, and order them in a deadpan voice to get out. I love Gwen. She is too funny.

Gavin is pretty funny too. This morning I asked if he needed to clean his glasses. He replied with a, “Perhaps.” He is so funny the way he talks. Then Heath told me a great story. Last night he went with the youth to the temple to do baptisms for the dead. Gavin had handed his glasses to someone when it was his turn. He had done one or two baptisms when Heath noticed Gavin’s zipper on his jumper was coming down.

“You’re showing too much chest hair, Gavin.”

While the zipper was being worked back up in place, the key pinned to the zipper pull came off and fell into the font. The key is to the locker where Gavin’s clothes were being stored. Our neighbor, Tom, was the one doing the baptisms. He was only wet to his hips and Gavin was of course completely soaked from the ordinance. So Tom asked Gavin to grab the key off the font floor. Gavin admitted that he couldn’t see it. The poor kid is blind as a bat without his glasses. So Tom managed to get the key between his toes and pull it out of the water that way! Funny situation.

Toothless Grin

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Parker has lost two molars in as many days. One on each side of his mouth. He wasn’t in a fight or anything. Apparently they were loose and sore and eventually came out. The second one came out this morning after he finished eating breakfast.

He went into the bathroom and came out with toilet paper in his mouth and a tooth in his hand that he held up like a prize. I was a little surprised. Mostly because everything he had said to me before suddenly made sense. I don’t always listen! I heard enough to know he was complaining that it hurt to eat. I just assumed it was because of the hole in his mouth he created when he pulled out a molar the other day. I didn’t realize he had another loose tooth.

I don’t remember losing molars. It only makes sense that people do. If they are going to lose baby teeth in the front of their mouths, then they should also lose baby molars. It just seems weird. Molars look so different from other teeth. Every time my kids lose molars I worry that maybe those things weren’t supposed to come out. Then I tell myself that even if they weren’t supposed to come out, at least they are molars. A hole in the back of the mouth is much less visible than say losing your front teeth again.

When Parker pulled out the first offending molar, he was relieved. It had been loose and hurting for days. He held up the molar for his dad to see. Which just reminds me that Parker lost his first tooth in the garage and we couldn’t find it. Recently he admitted to swallowing a tooth in those early tooth losing days. I think that’s why he shows us his bloody teeth. Proof.

Gwen was getting ready for bed and out of earshot. So Heath congratulated Parker on a bloody job well done. Then he handed Parker a dollar and told him to throw the tooth away. “The Tooth Fairy just came to visit!” Older kids really are easier than younger kids!

This morning I told Parker to show his dad his tooth. Heath checked his wallet but only had a $10. Parker said, “You could give me that. It has a one in it!” After the boys left for school I checked my wallet to see if the Tooth Fairy could visit during the day. I only had a $20. I can’t give him that. It has a two in it.