5 going on…something…older…dang…

I was going to say something like “5 going on 15″ but that didn’t fit. Well, sometimes it does, but sometimes it’s more like “5 going on 53″ and sometimes it’s “5 going on 2-1/2.” So I give up on that cutesy opening. My second born turned five and it’s hard to sum up her and where she is at. With an incredible knack for driving her brother (and me) up the wall and a screech that can make dog ears bleed, sometimes I want to put her up for sale (as I sit here typing, she is poking me through the back of the chair with her toes saying “oh it’s a big storm! run!” over and over again). Other times she just makes me laugh when I get a glimpse of what goes through her head (eaves dropping on her make-believe games is often the highlight of my day). Naomi is perfectly content to be in her head, in her own world. For awhile that worried me a bit. Now as she’s gotten older and has a great time running around with other little princesses discussing the finer points of Queen Scarf wearing (it’s a delicate art), there doesn’t seem to be a reason to worry. She will be brilliant through all life’s lonely times and she will shine when she is surrounded by people. She will negotiate even the most hard-nosed hagglers to death and then she will turn around and be super generous. I’m not worried about this one anymore.

Layna is lucky to have her, because Naomi will never let her get away with being disabled. Nay will push Layna (and pull and drag I’m sure) to the limits of her ability and they both will be better for it. Garyn has become an expert on all things “My Little Pony” and they have some riveting debates on finer points of the canon. Again, highlights of my day. He will learn to treat girls well because she demands it and he will learn to be wary because she is pure evil at times. Corra will learn to appreciate being smothered by love all day, everyday. I’m not sure why that will be useful, but maybe? Little girl has pushed me as a mother in ways my sweet son never did and, Dude! we are only 5 years in!


Luckily, she has simple and decided tastes.  This is the exact cake she wanted and I was happy to oblige.

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See these light-up Rapunzel mini-heels? They are awesome.  Not even because they light up, although that is kind of cool too…No they are awesome because Garyn picked them out on a solo trip to the toy section and paid for them all by himself. He was so proud. Also Naomi has decided to Rapunzel again for Halloween so she can be allowed to wear these shoes out of the house! Which means the dress will get even more use and I only have to make 3 costumes this year! Fingers crossed that this stays the plan.

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Because tags and packaging can’t detract from the glory of a Princess Bike helmet. Her bike’s name is “Lil Gem,” in case you were wondering. I didn’t think there was anything on the planet that could help Naomi toughen up and not scream when she even got remotely scraped up. Oh no, this bike has done it. She currently has two scabbed up knees and didn’t even tell me about either one even though they both bled. It’s a big deal.

Here’s to another year of pink (and blue because that’s her second favorite color) and screeching and huge bear hugs and her surprising me everyday with how great she is.

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The Beautiful Dance

Naomi has been wanting to write a post ever since her brother was invited to guest post a month ago. While she hasn’t earned her very own post featuring her photography, she would like to share her thoughts on our recent trip to our “School Picture” Park. I’ll be sharing my own thoughts at the end.

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I love the “Let it Go” pose (on the right) because I like Elsa. The normal “Me” pose is great because Mama loves it. My blue dress has two pockets and is my second favorite color, the color of a blueberry. What I like about my pink sandals, is that they are my most favorite color. Ever.

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I love dancing. It was really fun to dance with my little sisters and I love Corra more than anything else…Whoa! It was so fun to throw pebbles into the pond because I could practice my toss. At the park I loved playing with the toy animals and my friends. Bye! [end Naomi]

This tradition has become an interesting one I didn’t think I’d look forward to. When we joined our homeschool group it was brand new and so we have been there for all of its changes and growth spurts. I didn’t think we would get to the third such picture day…I wasn’t sure if the group would last or if we would last as a part of it. But we did, and to be with the same very cool group of families has been more rewarding than I expected. It’s really cool to watch the kids run around with a pack of similar kids who share the outlook of “Oh you’re new? Well, come on! You are part of the pack because you’re here and you’re you!” However, the big difference between this and any other park day are the gorgeous pictures of my kids that come a few weeks later. Having beautiful children is one of the most fun things ever, not going to lie. Granted, there is usually mud and little man ends up sweaty in his pictures and since Layna is Layna I worried about the lake way more than before.  Corra was toddling and flirting with everyone and Naomi came home with green duck poopy feet.

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Garyn informed me that we need to come back and stay for a few hours because he found the perfect reading spot. He was right, it is the perfect reading spot. And maybe we can also try non-arms folded poses.

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Pretty sure she is the most photogenic baby I’ve ever seen.


Corra’s photogenic-ness is probably to karmically off set this one’s current phase. The middle picture is her telling me “no” when I told her to smile. Meh. I’m just thrilled she is voicing the first consonant, finally. Yay for Down Syndrome and Speech Therapy teaching me the finer points of silver lining hunting! [note: that could be read as being sarcastic and a tad bitter. I'm totally serious. This little girl is teaching me all sorts of stuff about perspective and what is, in fact, worthy of freaking out (Not very much it turns out). These lessons are carrying over to parenting my other monkeys, being a better wife, and a better human being overall. So, Yay!]

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“All the world’s a stage” and my girls take that at face value. Naomi knows how to get her jig on.

I’m teaching a poetry class starting next week and it’s going to be epic. [Get it? Epic Poetry? what ever, it was an awesome pun.] In preparation I’ve been reading and sorting through amazing poetry and it’s changed my outlook a little bit. It’s hard to read “If –” by Rudyard Kipling or “Song of Myself” by Walt Whitman and not live a bit better. More intensely sincere in your attempts. Sigh. I love poetry. Anyways. More on the class later and Fall is on the way so I need to go get my own happy jig on…

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Right now…

in this moment, I am content. <—-My new mantra. It’s an unlikely choice of phrases to describe my current mental state given the last few days I’ve had. Also there are no pictures for this post because 1) I’ve been using “no pictures” as an excuse to not write 2) I didn’t really want to include pictures of the events I will be discussing. [launching random babble post in 3...2...1...]

Here’s a brief overview of the last few days in no particular order. Layna handed me a handful of poop before peeing in her potty (yay!) and having her feet slip out from under her on her way to put said pee in the big potty. When I got there she was screaming with pee dripping down her face and everything soaked up to the opposite wall. We went mini golfing at the Springs Preserve. When I was helping Naomi hold her real heavy metal club and showing her how to swing, she missed the part about the club staying at most 6 inches from the ground. I caught the top of her swing with my eyebrow and can’t really open my eye much. Layna demanded to do reading flash cards and sound cards and made more sounds than I’ve ever heard her make. Her speech therapist says she is doing great. Naomi did an entire math workbook because she wanted to and there was noticeable improvement in how well she is writing. She informed me that not only does she love math but she wants to be a math teacher (in addition to swimmer, ballerina, engine painter, and writer). Oh and then she started reading. All by herself, with nothing from me. Not full out independent reader, but she’s getting there. Layna continues to terrorize Corra (think horsey rides only Corra can not and does not want to be the horsey). Layna had a party with a dry erase marker and her legs and my carpet. Garyn is brilliant and he makes me laugh and want to scream when he can’t hear me because he’s reading. Also Legos…I hate them and I love them. Corra likes to bite me and giggle. She is also signing, walking, and has a serious thing for being outside (think loud demanding noises while pointing to any window and huge smiles when we go outside). There is more but the idea is that it’s been the best of times and the worst of times and quite honestly, I’m shocked that I feel so content and peaceful about life in general.

I’m steal dealing with stuff. And in the not too distant past I sent my husband off to work through tears. But I’ve made an effort to slow down and be in the present moment. It’s amazing what you find there. Here? Whatever. I’ve found my kids being very interesting little humans in miniature. I’ve found out that I’m allowed to wear my favorite skirt two days in a row for no other reason than I love it and it makes me happy. Before it was reserved for special occasions or church. Well right now is a special occasion, so there! I’ve found out that my husband makes me laugh really hard and his birthday card to me made me cry. I hear silverware being dropped on the kitchen floor, so i’m going to go now but yeah life is weird. And right now in this moment, I am content.

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No longer…

…does my beautiful fourth child look like Mr. Bates from “Downton Abby.” She did for a while and I’m a seasoned enough mother to know that all newborns look really weird for about 2 weeks.

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Well. This little snookum turned one last week and I don’t feel like the time just flew by because we had a whole lot of life lived in that year. Good: A Rapunzel party, first words, a baptism. Bad: 187 smashed eggs all over the property, poop finger-painting, screams that split the ear drums. Ugly: Post partum depression, ant invasions, this song that my husband thinks is hilarious when he gets it stuck in my head. Anyways. It’s been a unique year that I would add to my list of top 10 favorites.

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My childrens’ first birthday cakes have become a running gag in my family. I am the Queen of the Health Fad and unfortuneatly for my kids they don’t get normal cakes as a result. Little man had an all raw cheese cake, because we were eating raw. Nay had vegan cupcakes because we were vegan. Layna had homemade wheat flour cupcakes because I was between fads but still am a crunchy granola mamma and Corra got a GAPS compliant no-bake cheese cake. In my defense, my children have never complained and I thought all the cakes tasted fabulous. All the girls also had flowers so check one more for Tradition! Tradition! [you sang that like Tevye right? Good.]

Corra took a minute to sort out why everyone was staring at her and smiling. It happens a lot but without the sense of anticipation. She got a taste and gathered steam in no time.

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Presents and, yes, they have all been successfully commandeered by her older sisters.

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She got a new pair of squeaky shoes, which sound like they would be totally “chew your ears off” annoying. They grow on you, and are so stinkin cute. My mom made her that dress, thus making this my favorite outfit for her, ever.


So we’ve come along way. This face. Those eyes. These rolls of chub. I wish I had the right words to gush about her because I love her something fierce. She brings brightness to my life that I didn’t know I needed. Funny how kids fill holes you didn’t know were there. Happy sigh for babies and motherhood. (And no I didn’t paint my fridge teal. My camera just has a weird sense of humor…)

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Have you ever done nothing? No, I mean on purpose, intentionally, and deliberately done nothing? If you move through life at the same pace I generally do, I highly recommend doing nothing for an entire day.


My grandparents have a time share that needed to be used this summer and they graciously offered to let us use it. Not only that but they also offered to baby sit our four monkeys for two whole nights to make our stay-cation a true relaxing experience. My mom helped with bedtime and we were set. This meant that there was one whole day in which I didn’t have to do anything. Now let me clarify. When I say “do nothing” I mean that there were no external pressures dictating my choice of how to spend a given minute. At home I have animals that must be fed, kids that must be taken off the kitchen counter and out of eggs, and floors that demand to be vacuumed. Not so on this stay-cation. I didn’t even bring a book to read as I didn’t want to be guilted into anything, just in case I didn’t feel like reading. I napped for four hours over the course of the day. I swam (this may not seem deserving of italics, but since becoming a mother 8 years ago I never swim so much as I facilitate baby swimming. The realization hit me that I am a pathetic swimmer). My husband and I talked. A lot. Without interruption.

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For the record, selfies in a hammock totally count as doing nothing.


Basically, this break from reality was the perfect birthday-start-of-the-year-regain-my-control sort of a present. The timing couldn’t have been more welcome and with two solid nights of good sleep (sans cats and waking babies) I returned to life ready to conquer the world and the ants that have since reinvaded my kitchen.

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The Peterson Automotive Museum

[Over the Summer Little Man got to go spend a few days with my Dad in California. They got to do some pretty cool stuff, like visit a car museum that I loved when I was a kid. Garyn took our camera and had his first taste of photography. He'd like to share some pictures and his thoughts on this awesome place.]

The Peterson Automotive Museum by Garyn McGuire


This car broke the speed of sound and it was my favorite car at the museum (it was in the parking garage!). The cockpit on this car is off centered to make room for the jet engine. It was amazing that it broke the speed of sound and I wonder what it looked like when it did that. This car wasn’t the only cool looking car…


This small model was of a solar powered car. The solar panels are actually on the big curve over the top of the rear of the car. I think it would be a great car for Las Vegas because we have lots of sun to fuel it here in the desert. Driving this car would make me feel important, with all the people waving and pointing at my spaceship-looking solar car.


I was surprised to see that the museum had a model of “Herbie, the Love Bug.” I’m not sure if it was the real thing or a model, but I’m guessing a model. Herbie was the main character in a movie that I like a lot. He seemed to have a personality of his own, especially when he was racing! Here’s another race car that also got banged up in a serious crash just like Herbie…


I could tell just by glancing at this car, that it had been part of a huge chase and crash. The front of it was obliterated! As you can tell from the name, it must have been driven pretty fast. I would love to drive a car super fast…but I’d have to be careful of sudden turns! Not all the cars there went really fast though.


I was guessing from when I first looked at this car, that it’s outer housing was taken off. But then I wondered if it was meant to be this way. What I liked most about this one, was that it was skeletal and you could see it’s whole engine. IMG_8598
Here is an engine from another car. I think it’s cool and I’m guessing that the orange swirls are the spark plugs. I liked taking pictures of all the machine parts and the pictures can help me decipher how they all work.


I really like this picture because it shows license plates from all over the world. The red one on the left looks like Arabic. I’m glad my grandpa took me to see all these awesome cars!


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So we are Mormon and that means the Eighth birthday is a big one because that is the age at which a kid can decide to be baptized. Also happens to be when our Little man started cub scouts and got his first pocket knife (thanks Grandpa Todd!) so life is pretty rosy around these parts.

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Garyn is a studly little dude…even the photo-bombing, escaped puppy thinks so. His sisters think he’s pretty great and I’m glad he loves them as much as he does.

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Actually lots of people think he is great.

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But I’m pretty sure nobody loves him as much as we do. This was supposed to be one of those life moments where I’m mostly really proud but a little sad that my baby is growing up. Nope. Not even a little bit sad. I’ve worked very hard to savor each moment…even the crappy ones. There’s been lots of those, by the way. But I can look back on the past eight years and not mourn times I should have, could have and didn’t. Most every bed time story and song he’s wanted me to read and sing I’ve dragged my exhausted self off the couch and delivered (sometimes very off key) so that I could celebrate his milestones without wishing he was small again. I will not begrudge them their growing up. Sigh. [Soap box disengage]. It’s funny though that this is one of those epic life events that you remember forever and he is a highly intelligent and intellectually mature boy so I was kind of expecting some deep and profound comments on this deep and profound occasion. Nope. Not even a little bit deep. He was thrilled with the presents he got and the new batch of people to play “Rock em Sock em” with him. The fact that he is still solidly an eight year old little dude, is very comforting and strangely makes this whole growing up thing easier. I’m not sure if that makes any sense but bottom line: I’m grateful for this crazy kid who happily is my guinea pig for this whole mom adventure that I’m on. He makes my heart happy.


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Neckerchiefs!!! YES!!!


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