Thursday, July 12, 2018

Self Inflicted Sacrifices

It's 2 am. I honestly have no idea how long I have been awake. Kip woke up and in my sleep state I got up and brought him to my bed to proceed feeding him. I do this often and don't really realize I am doing it. As I was dozing and feeding him, Vince woke up. Very like Linus from Peanuts, he sleep stumbled into my room dragging his blanket after him. When he got to my side of the bed, he pushed his blanket on, and then clambered up after. Side note: I think it is the cutest thing to see him dragging around that blanket. So he and his blanket scooched in close to me on the edge of the bed while I continued to feed the baby.

I was finally conscious at this point. Running through my head were my doctor's words, "Of course he still wakes up in the night. He gets rewarded every time he does. Quit feeding him when he wakes up." Now, while I agree with him in theory, in practice, I don't ever remember getting up and feeding him. I just wake up and there he is, lying in bed with me, just finishing up a midnight snack. So I'm not sure how to end this cycle. At any rate, there I lay, sandwiched between two boys. Vince tried to roll over and ended up rolling off the bed. He was a trooper though, and didn't cry. He just got up, dusted himself off, and scrambled back up onto the bed.

It was at this point I decided there were too many boys in my bed. I carefully slid my hands beneath Kip's sleeping body and adopted him up. I liked down at him as i held him close and he was smiling in his sleep. It made me happy that he was having happy sleep comes dreams.

Little did I know, he was actually laughing at me.

Plotting his diabolical next move, the move that had great potential to finish me.

I carefully carried him to his room and gingerly laid him down. Like a ticking bomb. Because that is what a sleeping baby is. Aa I began my tiptoe out, he woke up and began crying. With a monumental sigh, I picked him up again and carried him to the living room, hoping to rock him to sleep. Except he doesn't want to go back to sleep.

Three times we have done the dance. It is not a graceful dance as we are both fighting over who gets to lead. He wants to tango and I desperately want to sleep.

As I sat on the couch rocking a giggling baby who had no intention of going back to sleep, Vince and his blanket found me. He stood watching in the hallway for some time before Tolkien me into the living room and curling up at my feet like a faithful puppy. And there he waited. When I got up to move Kip, he was up, following behind me. It was precious to watch but also made me a little sad as he should be sleeping but instead he just wants to be near me.

After several more attempts, I was finally successful. Kip is now sleeping in his bed! However, my bed is now peopled with little ones and the population of Beth and Vince's room is down to zero. As I type this, Beth is sprawling, hitting or kicking anyone who gets in her way, and Vince is sleeping horizontally, his head on my back and his feet on Beth's legs. I am hoping I can transition them both back to their beds soon. Meanwhile, I do get to enjoy the amplified stillness of a sleeping house. It is rare to have this quiet around me. It is a toss up which I prefer right now, the peace that comes knowing all my children are sleeping, or the desperate need to join them in the land of slumber.

The difficult decisions mothers make. Or, the sacrifices we chose to make for just a little peace and quiet around here! (cue What About Bob joke here: "I'll be quiet." "And I'll be peace!" *snicker snicker*

If i am tired tomorrow, it was totally worth it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Orchestrated Life and Skies


So the van is on its last leg. It has been a good 7 years with it, I have to say. We have truly been blessed with that vehicle, and so I don't feel too bad that we are nearing our inevitable good bye's. I am not enjoying, however, the process of finding a replacement. Van shopping is not for the faint of heart. I have decided that it is a shame they quit making the luxury vans. And by that I mean the vans with lazy boy equivalent seats, track lighting, and curtains on the windows. 


Those things were lush! I'm trying to convince Jeffrey we should get one but he keeps insisting he is not a mechanic so any vehicle that has lived as long as we have, or longer, is not for our family.


I keep telling him it is a great opportunity for him to learn and then he grumbles something about being stranded on the side of the road not being the right time or place to get mechanic training. Pshaw. He's too careful and picky is what I say. Adventure awaits and would always be just around the corner if we went for it with such an old (and lush) van.

Instead, my days have been spent trolling KSL Classifieds, calling my bank, my insurance company, and haggling with sellers. We have yet to actually go look at one, but I'm sure logging miles for that secretary degree I never wanted. Just to be clear, I don't have a secretary degree. I don't think such a thing exists, actually. But if it did exist, and needed hours of practical experience, I would have it in the bag!

Also, I am doing the most important step of all. I am praying about it. Praying we can find the perfect vehicle for our family and budget. I really don't have to do all the work on my own. I know Heavenly Father wants us to have a good reliable vehicle, so if we include Him in our process, how much smoother will it obviously go? 😉

Tonight there was the most spectacular lightening show.


Every 15-20 seconds the sky was illuminated. It was breath taking.


I am amazed I was even able to get some lightening shots!


Ideally I would have sat at my table in the back, my citronella candle burning, and my book open on the table, completely neglected because I was so caught up in the moment. The hot breeze on my face, but cool around my feet (I don't get it either. It was a weird layered breeze), the pungent aroma of the lake which is an acquired love. Most people hate it. They say it stinks. To me, it is the smell of childhood, and wind storms, and freedom. It is summer and wide open spaces and adventure. It is one of my favorite smells, actually.


Remember, though, all of that was ideal. What actually happened was a stomach ache for me, a crying baby who didn't want to sleep and who fought me for almost an hour. I kept putting him down when he'd squirm too much, and I'd rush over to the back door, go out on the deck, and begin taking photos. After vainly attempting to catch the illusive majesty of the concert of the sky, I would go back in and resume trying to rock the baby to sleep.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

I got Kip down around 9:45, and then it was time to start on Vince. Jeffrey had already gone to bed.

Around 10:30 Vince finally fell asleep. In my bed. I rushed out to the back porch only to find the show had finished and the lights had packed up and gone home. Play time was over. Isn't that just how it goes, though?

Monday, July 9, 2018

Mary Poppins to Miss Hannigan in 3.0 seconds

I want to record my day today.

Really I do.

But I don't think I can explain it better than that meme up there.

It all started with Kip. Isn't that how it always goes? I have great intentions and then the baby has a rough night. Or rather, I have a rough night helping the baby to have a good night. Something like that. At any rate, I didn't get much sleep last night....

..."oh to sleep, perchance to dream..."

Wait, what? Sorry, my mind wandered.

Sleep. That's right. So Kip didn't want to sleep much (he must be going through a growth spurt because all he wants to do lately is to eat), and then right after I got him down, Keith woke up and I remember having a conversation with him, but I can't for the life of me remember a single thing he or I said. And then Beth came in at some point. I vaguely remember that, too. And then Kip woke up again, and then the alarm went off for Jeffrey to get up for work. His alarm is broken right now, so we were using the one on my phone. I rolled over to nudge him (He sleeps like a stone troll) and instead discovered Keith and Beth, and Kip in my bed, but no Jeffrey. I'm not exactly sure how that happened, but I got up and gingerly carried Kip to his bed, praying the whole time that he wouldn't wake up. And then I went back to sleep. I woke up when Jeffrey came through to get ready for work, but that was it. I was t-i-r-e-d with a capital T! Except around 8:30 Beth (the informer) came in to do her work. She told me that Vince had dumped two bowls of cereal all over the carpet downstairs. I groaned and then asked her if the cereal bowls had milk in them. Of course they did! She also informed me that they had eaten an entire carton of ice cream, and raided my purse and stolen and eaten my breath mints. Okay, they were candies. Mentos, if you must know. At any rate, I was not at all happy to wake up to all of that! It may have helped to sour my day.

I got up, the kids were bickering, and I don't know why, I just decided I needed to get out of the house. I told the kids I was leaving, got the baby and Vince ready, and they hurried themselves out to the van. We went to Joanne's to get some things for Christmas gifts that we are making because I had just gotten an email about nearly everything being 70% off!! And can I just say, when we walked in, the first two aisles were full of fall decor and it just made my heart all kinds of happy?! I really needed that. Apparently it was 109* at some point today, and seeing the promise of autumn and all things related did wonders for my mood!

We went home, and I decided it was time to get started on Faye's room. We were missing a library book and I really needed to find it. Also, half of Beth's shoes seem to have gone on walk abouts, and a good chunk of clothes and other things. Since she informed me today that she hasn't cleaned her room since she moved in, and she moved in a year ago, you can imagine the cringe levels! And so we got started.

That probably wasn't a wise choice on my part.

Knowing I was already tired, and knowing that my morning had not had a great beginning, I should have held off a day or two before buckling down and working on her room. But of course, I was determined and so I decided to do it.

Her room still isn't clean. We started it at 11 this morning, and it is now nearly 10 at night.

The good news, though, is it is very nearly clean. It should... should take her no more than 10 minutes to finish up tomorrow. Knowing her, though...

The whole time, I kept getting mad. I would yell and sigh, and I was not a nice mother. As I was acting like that, I kept looking at myself and asking myself what my problem was. But I couldn't seem to shake it. I hate it when I am like that. I know what I am doing is wrong, and yet I keep doing it. We did get her room re-arranged. I never helped her when she moved in since I was ridiculously pregnant and moving heavy furniture wasn't a great idea. Jeffrey helped her set up her room. I love that he did that with her. I love that he took the initiative and did what needed to be done when it was not something I could do. It has been in dire need of some reorganizing for about a year now, though. I helped Faye do that today, and she is so excited! As her floor slowly emerged, she kept doing little jumps and squeals. When we moved the furniture, her eyes went large and she couldn't believe how big her room suddenly felt! It was cute.

It was cute and because of my bad mood, I nearly missed recognizing it, and I completely dropped the ball on savoring it. I didn't express to her how I was so glad she could appreciate a clean room. I didn't express to her that she is fully capable of keeping it clean. Sigh. There are a lot of things about today I wish I could go back and change.

I did notice, however, that my neighbor has had a toddler bed out in her front yard for a few days. I messaged her and asked her if I could buy it from her, but instead she told me I could just have it. She is so sweet! Last week (or a few weeks ago, it's hard to remember details) I had gone in and deep cleaned Vince and Beth's room. I got rid of Beth's big bed, and we moved her back to a toddler bed. At the risk of embarrassing her here, she still wets the bed sometimes. I talked to her doctor about it, but he said it isn't anything to worry about. She just sleeps really soundly and deeply and so doesn't wake up to take herself to the bathroom. And I have been trying for quite some time to break her of the bedtime drink, to no avail. But I digress. Beth needed to have a plastic mattress again, so we moved her back to a toddler bed. She is so little still, it isn't that big of a deal. Except that the toddler bed we have for her is falling apart. All of the little slats that hold the mattress up have been broken and the mattress is at a huge risk of just falling through and to the floor.It used to be Vince's bed, but Adrienne found a racecar bed at the DI and so now he is in that, and we are slowly improving our bed situation for the kids. When Katie said I could have the bed, I was overjoyed! It is also a bit larger than a typical toddler bed, so it will last Beth a bit longer as well, which will be really nice. Hopefully it will work until she has fully outgrown that bad habit.

So Faye has a clean room, and Beth has a new bed.

Except I had turned into Miss Hannigan.

"Kill, kill kill!!"

Jeffrey got home from work today, though, and I told him I needed to leave. I also asked him about any local orphanages and if they accept donations (of children). Obviously I would never ever get rid of my kids. I love them far too much. Obviously. But today was a day that I just needed to be able to express my frustration. And so, he got home and I left. I took the library books back to the library, and I was going to go to get a new phone charger and some food for Jeffrey and me. Except Adrienne called me. We met up at my library, and then she took me to the wonders of the new library a town away. Oh my goodness!! I felt like Belle in a new age library. It was gorgeous and amazing, and when I found out I could have a card, even though I live in a different county, I was overjoyed. Wow! I cannot wait to go back, and I'm not sure I will take my children as it is now a happy place for me.

When I got home, I was understandably in a better mood. Because books!!! And the library has yoga classes, and tai chi, and so much more!!! Words fail me! I sat down with Kip, and rocked him to sleep while watching a British news show and laughing until my stomach hurt. Because the British do their news shows right!

It is amazing how just a little bit of alone time can be like magic for decompression. Or time with a best friend. And books!  When I got home, Keith commented that I seemed to be much better and he was glad I was in a better mood.


 At any rate, I feel like a new person, but I am going to go to bed early so that I don't have a repeat of today, tomorrow.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Onward and Upward

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Once upon a time fireworks were my favorite thing. I used to live to go to my city park and sit near the orchestra. They would be playing patriotic songs all night long, but when they started playing the 1812 Overture, that is when i would get very excited. At the end of the song, in time with the music and cannons (because you have to have cannons with that piece) the fireworks would begin. I would sit near enough to the cannons that I could feel my bones rattle when the cannons went off and I loved it!

It's been 5 years since we went to see the fireworks now. I miss it, but I don't miss the crowds. Holy Hannah there would be a lot of people there. It always took at least an hour and a half to get home but I didn't mind. The more kids we've had though, the harder it has been to take them to the fireworks, and for that I feel a little bad.

This year, however, was not so fun. On Tuesday, as previously stated the 3 Littles were sick. Faye for it Wednesday morning and it lasted all day with her. Keith and I got it Wednesday night (and cursed the fireworks because a) we couldn't see them as we were sick in my bed, and b) they were loud and consistent and keeping us from sleep) by Thursday morning Keith was better and I was in full swing of bathroom/bed rotations. And Thursday morning Jeffrey got it. My parents are angels. They came and picked up the 4 non sick kids so Jeffrey and I could sleep and get well. Holy Hannah, it was a doozey and such a huge help to us! I'm not sure either of us would have been able to take care of the kids!

Kids always seem to recuperate so quickly from illness. They were all fine after a good sleep. Jeffrey and I are still feeling the effects. I did feel well enough to actually put some effort into my appearance today, though.

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It is a rare thing because time is such a fleeting thing. I am usually covered in little hand prints from whatever was being eaten or played in and then I was wanted. My hair typically is in a frizzy pony or pineapple on top of my head, and I don't have much time for makeup so I just skip it entirely. It felt really nice to get all dolled up! Maybe when school starts and I only have 2 kids at home (*gasp*!) I will do it more often. We'll see, though.

Keith feels cheated because the Fourth of July is his favorite holiday. I'm more of a silver linings kind of girl. I got to spend a whole day next to Jeffrey! Also, I lost 8 lbs from being sick. Which means I am finally back to pre-Kip weight! 1 down, 2 to go.

Since we've had so much going on the past few years, there are some repairs we have put on the back burner. Our rain gutters were getting a little loose being one of them. There was a lovely wind storm tonight and it blew the rain gutters and rain guard (is that what it's called?) clean off the house!

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Looks like that just became a priority. Slowly, step by step, we are lead eking more and more about what it takes to keep up a house and home. My cleaning schedule got entirely neglected last week but I'm not too worried about that. Tomorrow is the start of a new work week. Onwards and upwards!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Message in a Bottle

Dear friend,

If you have found this message and are reading it then I am going to consider you my friend. It has been 39 hours since, through no fault of my own, this weary body of mine has found rest. I had every intention of being well rested today but as they say, the best laid plans often fail.

I went to bed last night, eager to sleep and start a schedule. I had been up since 6 and was fatigued. As my head hit my pillow, though, Kip's left his. He was hungry and as we all know, baby hunger trumps mommy exhaustion. I got up to feed him. Just as he was relaxing his body into my arms, eyes closed and his breath deepening, I heard a sound that dropped my heart into my knees. Vince was in his bed vomiting. I silently prayed I would be able to get Kip transferred back to his without waking him as I rushed down the hall.

No such luck.

I gently eased Kip into his bed and tiptoed out of his room, gingerly pulling the door behind me. Flipping on the hall light, I rushed into Vince and Beth's room to discover Vince drenched in his own half digested dinner. My stomach turned and I averted my nose as I carefully helped Vince up and out of his bed.

Of course by now Kip was screaming. He could hear movement preside his door and he was angry he was being left out!

Half carrying, half pushing, Vince and I made our way into the bathroom where he was striped of his pajamas and forced into the tub, crying and still mostly asleep. I washed him off, wrapped a towel around him and plopped him into my bed next to the still sleeping Jeffrey. Wiggling Jeffrey's foot roughly I instructed him to get the baby while I ran out to grab a throw up bowl. He was still asleep. I again nudged him roughly and asked him to get the baby while I took down the bedding and pajamas to the washing machine.

And then began a very long night of jumping any time I heard any noise from Vince. Which was often. He seemed to slow down around 5:30, but as luck would have it, Kip woke up at about 6:00.

There wasn't really anything lucky about it, though. I had been praying my guts out that Kip would stay asleep while I cared for Vince. I didn't even want to imagine how difficult it would be to be nursing a baby and trying to hold Vince's head up and over his throw up bowl. That could have been disastrous! And so when I say no luck was involved, what I really mean is I was given such a sweet and tender mercy from God. Because He loves me even in my moments of sleep deprived confusion.

Jeffrey left for work and Kip, as if meticulously studying Vince last night, began performing a perfect imitation.

All overy bed.

All over me.

Not to be left out, a few hours later Beth jumped on the bandwagon.

And there I was, awash with sick children. The trenches, they call it. And then both Keith and Faye began complaining of headaches and stomach aches.

Lisa Thomas did come by and visit for a bit and helped me so much! Never underestimate the power of adult interaction!

I didn't do a darn thing on my to do list today. I don't feel a bit guilty either. Lots of snuggles and book reading, and loves.

And now, Friend, this brings me to my point. I need sleep in the worst way! It being the Third of July and all, the sky is a brilliant display of light, noise, and ash. My girls are still awake and watching Halloween movies. I just barely got Vince to sleep, and Kip... well, I gave him to Jeffrey. He's probably still awake. At any rate, and supplies! Caffeine and chocolate are appreciated. Adult interaction is also acceptable. Send as quickly as possible. Just so I can rock out these next few days while I attempt to regain my sleep.

Much appreciated and many thanks,
Amy

Monday, July 2, 2018

The weekend of "Do you know what you need?" And What Became of It.


"You have to take care of yourself."
"You can't draw from an empty well."
"See how burned out you are? That's because your aren't taking care of yourself."
"You can't be a good mom or wife of you don't take some time to replenish yourself."

...

I've heard this advice my whole mom life, but never more than in the past two years or so. And this past weekend I was bombarded with it.


The typical ideas for self care are:
take a bath
exercise
read a book
get into nature
create something
do yoga... 

...and the list goes on. Except what do you do when you've tried those things and they don't work? This weekend I had a major ah-ha moment. The things that I used to do to replenish me are no longer working. I used to go to the mountains or get out into nature for peace. But now, it’s like a mini Lord of the Flies type situation. The children come with me, of course, and they bicker, fight, and complain the whole time, it completely sucks all enjoyment I would have gotten out of it. Baths are stressful because my bathroom door doesn't lock and so the kids use it as a revolving door, passing in and out, my floor becoming a conveyor belt for problems.


After mulling much of this over, on Saturday I decided to do something about it. I told Jeffrey i needed to leave for an hour, then got into the van and drove. I went to a neighboring city, found an old park, and sat down in the grass next to an ancient tree. I breathed deeply, and grounded myself. Trees are great for helping me ground and anchor. I then pulled out my notebook and pencil, folded my arms, closed my eyes, and began to pray.

See, the way I figure it, I have no idea how decompress. But God does. He knows me better than I know myself, so who better to ask then a loving Father who wants me to be happy? And so I prayed. And then I sat and thought. I began to write what came to my mind. At first it was just a bunch of whining. "Wo is me. I can't decompress. I don't know how to care for myself, wah wah wah." And then I looked at the grass. There was a single leaf next to me. It was all dried up and out of its season, but I smiled. It is no secret that I love the autumn months the best. And then my mind began to focus on that unseasonable leaf.

In the Autumn a tree will cast off what isn't necessary. It focuses on its core strength in order to sustain life when the outside elements become too stressful for it to handle. Do you see where I am going with this? I felt impressed that I need to simplify my life. I need to cast off the unnecessary things that want my attention, and instead focus on the core values.

I deleted Facebook from my phone. It's weird. Two weeks ago I tried to do a social media fast as the prophet Russel M. Nelson invited us to do. It was really difficult! I was tempted on so many occasions to sneak back on, and ultimately, I only lasted 4 days (hangs head in shame). Now, though, I have no desire to get on Facebook. I don't feel like I am missing things. I realized today that I will have no way of checking to see which books we are reading in book club, but that isn't too big of a deal, because I can just ask one of my friends and they can keep me posted.

I decided I needed to make a cleaning schedule. I try to do everything all at once and get discouraged when I am unable to keep up with it. I am just going to let it go. I am going to surface, or "company clean" the main parts of my house that people see. I am going to focus on one room of the house every day and really get that one room clean. I forsee things getting easier and easier in the future. Today was a complete wash. I didn't even get the one room I was supposed to clean. However, I did get a lot of other things done as well, so while I feel a little bad that I didn't get the one room done, I feel quite accomplished with everything else I did. I re-arranged my kitchen cupboards. I am surprised by how much space was freed up there! I was able to move my big appliances and put thim in the cupboards and now I can move the giant bookcase out of my kitchen, thus making that tiny room appear larger! I do have things on my counters now, though. I hate having things on my counters. It makes me feel like my kitchen is clutter-y and not clean. I know that it is clean, and that is a silly conception that I have, but it is how I feel nonetheless. But, in order to make things work with the cupboards and no book case, this was the only way I could see it working out. I also moved two dressers out of Beth and Vince's room, washed some bedding, and got some rooms cleaned up, so it wasn't a complete waste of a day. I just didn't get to get the one room done. Anyway, I am not going to worry about it too much. If I have time tomorrow (time? hahahaha! Right!) I will go back and double down on the room I missed today. If not, I will just not worry about it until next week when it is time to get that room again!

I am also going to be more consistent with my probiotics and vitamins. I have really been slacking in that arena lately. I know if I am getting the vitamins my body needs I will feel a lot better, so I am going to really focus on that.

I am going to re-prioritize my gospel study. I am still not sure how to do this. I was planning on doing it this morning, but Kip doesn't always cooperate. So what I did today was listened to a few talks while I was cleaning. I really prefer to get down and dirty in the scriptures, so to speak, but at least I was able to do something instead of nothing, so that was really good.

I am going to write more. Writing has always helped me process my thoughts and emotions. It helps me compartmentalize my day, and let go of things that don't matter. It also helps to clear up space in my brain. And really, I enjoy writing. I enjoy putting words down and seeing a story emerge. It is beautiful. Which means, this little 'ol blog here is going to receive a lot of love now.

Finally, I am going to get more sleep... she says as she stays up late writing.... I know that I feel better with more sleep. This morning, after Jeffrey had gone to work, and Kip had gone down for his nap, I actually went back to bed. I let the kids break the no electronics rule, just so I could get some sleep! It was much needed, apparently. And so I am going to work extra hard on not staying up super late.



Imagine, all of that from seeing just one little leaf! I love the way Heavenly Father leads and teaches us if we are open to Him!

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Breath-catching-in-your-throat Beautiful

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Magic.

Adventure.

Lazy, hazy, crazy.

These are just some of the words that have been bashing around in my head, racing to get out. Today was all of those words and so much more!

Kip, as per usual, decided 5 am was a good enough time as any to wake up. Except he still acted sleepy. So I rocked him and sang to him, and prayed. I told Heavenly Father that I really wanted to study my scriptures and the only time I can do that is in the quiet hours of the early morning. I told Him that if I could get Kip to sleep, I would not go back to bed, like I was tempted to do, but instead, I would read my scriptures. Around 6 Kip went back to sleep. And I went out onto the deck with some toast, herbal tea, and a banana, equipped with my scriptures, a notebook, pencil, and colored pencil. And then as I read, prayed, and pondered, I got to watch the sun rise! It was beautiful and subtle and happened all at once. It was dawn, and then suddenly, it was morning and Vince was out on my lap, reading scriptures with me, and stealing my tea and banana.

The morning rushed by. The usual scramble of chores, and fighting about chores, and tricking siblings into doing your chores, etc.

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And then lunch time arrived. I don't usually like to do a play by play of my day, but trust me, this time it is worth it. My neighbor came over and told me about a bunch of bikes that were being given away for free, and to see if I was interested in any of them. As we visited in my doorway, Keith was busy in the kitchen making lunch. Macaroni and cheese. I was holding Kip. As we talked, my nose kept sniffing, and sending signals to my brain, but they kept just barely missing. Until finally, I turned around, and saw smoke billowing out of my kitchen! I handed Kip to my neighbor and rushed into the kitchen. The toaster was on the same burner that the pot of macaroni was on, and the toaster and stove were both billowing out smoke, gushing, torrenting it into the air. I quickly pushed it off the burner, turned the stove off, and opened the window. Keith turned the fan on, and I went back to talking with Kimbra. Except as we talked, I noticed that there was a smell that didn't seem right. It was a spicy, not unpleasant smell, but it was so very wrong. It hurt my eyes and my lungs. I again handed Kip to Kimbra and shooed all the kids outside. I ran inside, turned the AC off, and opened all the windows. I grabbed my shoes and my purse, and we were off. Lunch was un-salvageable. I thought about going for a pizza. $5 isn't a bad price to feed all the kids. But then I decided I didn't want any sort of reward to be associated with burning our food, and nearly our house. I called my mom, and we went there. She made us sandwiches.

When we got home, the smell had mostly left the house, and we got busy with the neglected chores. I was determined to not have the house smell bad when Jeffrey got home. We got a lot done, and despite the rough start the kids had this morning, and the unexpected (but welcome, for them) field trip, things were mostly clean when Jeffrey got home.

We had dinner, and then he went outside to work on the sprinkler system. It hasn't been working for about 2 years. Jeffrey worked some magic, and the sprinklers began to sprinkle! I can't even begin to describe the smell that accosted me. When the water hit the hot pavement, and the thirsty grass, it was like a memory, and Summer, and expectations all twisted and rolled into one glorious scent. I breathed deeply over and over again. I couldn't get enough of it! I ran inside and excitedly called the kids to come join us outside, and then Kip and I sat first on the driveway, and then in the hammock as we watched Jeffrey work and the kids play, and helped out whenever we were needed.

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The squeals of delight that emitted from my girls lips when the saw the sprinklers! They quickly ran back into the house and changed into clothes that they could get et in. Vince just didn't care. They ran through the water, around the water, and over the water, but rarely into the water. I sat on the hot pavement and laughed. I want to imprint this night into my memory forever! The sun was at it's most beautiful, the golden hour, and there was such a sweet and gentle cool breeze. I remember at one point thinking how nice it felt outside, and then checked my phone for the temperature. It was 96*. No biggie. Never in my life before have I commented on how nice 96* felt. I had to laugh.

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Finally, it was time to go in. The sun had set and the twilight hours were just beginning to wrap its arms around us and remind us of our beds. As we headed in to the house, we stopped next to the milk weed flowers. They are in full bloom and look amazing! Flitting over the tops of the pink blossoms was the most beautiful bumble bee I have ever seen!

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We went in and it was time for bed. Kip hated the water, even putting his feet in it. Regardless, he had somehow gotten very dirty so he needed a bath. I hate bath time with that boy. He hates water so much, and screams and arches his back anytime he gets near water. He is just so sweet and thinks he will melt or something. But the nice thing about forced baths is afterwards, he is just worn out, and typically falls asleep quickly. As was the case tonight.

As I was putting Kip down, Faye decided to be an absolute sweetheart and put Vince down. It didn't work, of course. He is such a little mama's boy. But it was nice that she was reading with him in his bed while I got Kip to sleep. 5 minutes Vince was also asleep.

And then Faye and I went outside to jump on the trampoline.

Well, not just that. See, tonight is a Strawberry Moon! It is huge and brilliant and breathtaking. Except it was hiding behind some trees. So we had to jump on the trampoline to try to get a glimpse of it. None of my pictures turned out though. The moon is so hard to catch! Especially with a phone camera. Faye thought it was the best thing in the world, though. Jumping on the trampoline with her mom at dusk when she was supposed to be asleep. We found the first night star (I think it was a planet) and made a wish. And then we went into the front yard to see if we could get a better view.

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Again, I tell you that words are inadequate. And my pictures are paltry. It is absolutely breath catching in your throat beautiful!

Just like my complete day was.