Finding calm in the chaos

Finding calm in the chaos

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sibling collaboration

I was always firmly in the "nurture" camp of nurture vs nature until, like all things in parenting, I actually had children. Our first boychild was into all things boy: sticks, dirt, rocks, trains and trucks. As a girl in a family of girls, I was clearly out of my element. I tried to make him well rounded by giving him dolls, which magically became guns or swords. Nineteen months later, Daughter was born into an environment of all things boy, but quickly turned our life into a world of pink and sparkles. (For those curious readers out there, 16 month old Henry already has a penchant for pick up trucks and trains).

Their play preferences rarely overlap. So, Natalie is always begging for her BFF Rilynn to come over and play while Sam longs for his cousin Noah to build Legos. 

What the heck, people? You have EACH OTHER. This is why your father and I endured so many sleepless nights when you were both babies! So you would have a built in buddy! A friend! Go play with each other!

And this is what happens:

Dollhouse with Strawberry Shortcake, Orange Blossom and Dora going camping while army men defend the homestead from invading T-Rex and Robot Frog.
Robot Cafe where all the robots, superheroes, and Strawberry Shortcake characters can sit down for a bite to eat after defending the homestead.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Sweet corn, sweet family

We took about a thousand pictures to come up with this gem. By the end, we had to stop because a) my allergies were making my eyes water, b) the kids were ready for breakfast and c) the sprinklers had come on.

Doesn't Natalie Doris look angelic?

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Co-op Kids run for Senate

Actually, Lala had the fabulous idea of including the Co-op Kids in Papa Dan's campaign literature. It seemed so easy. Buy some coordinating outfits and snap a few photos.

 Getting 7 kids and 2 grandparents to all look at the camera at the same time is no easy feat. Lala had some unrealistic expectations about going to several different locations to get some great shots.

Amy and I looked at each other and decided we had a very small window of opportunity. After breakfast but before Mass. Everyone was fed, bathed, clean, and happy. (Mass takes a lot of energy for children and both parents alike...and, of the 100 shots I stupidly and diligently took after Mass, ZERO turned out).
 We did a quick photo shoot in Team Eddy's backyard and, although I shot at least 50 pictures, it was the first ten that were the best. Let that be a lesson to all of you with large families out there. 

Get in, get out, get done.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Mount Misery Relay

My New Years Resolution was to start training for a half marathon, so I roped my favorite sister-in-law Teenie into running with me and we began to run 2-3 times weekly with Elaine, my ever faithful running buddy. Our dedication and motivation started to lag in late May sometime (my crazy schedule with moving and opening a business probably had something to do with that) and Elaine came up with the idea of registering for the Mount Misery relay as an intermediate deadline to help us along.

Billed to us as "57 miles of fun", we quickly learned from our beer runner group that it was anything but. Most groaned and said they would never, ever do it again. But a few smiled and said they'd done it a few times and wished us all the best. Dan Johnson has done it several times and gave us a few pointers--like starting 2 hours early, which was the best advice I've ever heeded.

We made plans to bring along toliet paper, shovels, first aid kits, snake bite kits, snacks, water, gatorade, and anything else we could load in the back of the pick up. Joe, our faithful driver, drove while we hopped in and out of the truck to run our legs of the relay.

(His one comment of the day: "I never knew how much your running centered around pee breaks. One of you has to pee every time we stop." My reply: "You see how long you can hold your pee after you push out a ten pound baby and then try to run 57 miles." Boo-yah.)

We started with smiles and ran the first 14 miles fairly easily.

Then, it turned into an uphill battle. Straight up. 7000 feet up. Ugh. We got passed by several of the faster teams despite our headstart. A team of beautiful topless men sprinted by us. I thought if only we weren't weighed down by our shirts, we would be just as fast.

After running for 6 hours, we finally reached the top.

I ran that first glorious mile downhill and shouted to my weary teammates, "This is awesome!" We were soon running faster than the pickup could navigate the rocks downhill.

The last half went much faster...and we finished the race in a short 10 1/2 hours, coming in dead last. But, we were all pretty proud of our accomplishments...and celebrated with a post race beer and jumping in the icy cold river.

When I got out, I could barely keep my eyes open and it was quickly apparent we all needed to go home and go straight to bed.

Not sure I need to ever tackle this particular race again. But, I think I will wear my finisher's medal every day. Out grocery shopping. While folding laundry. At Costco.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Nothing trims the waistline like hoeing

We are now sweet corn farmers. Teenie and I are planning to get rich quick off our sweet corn and sell it at the Farmers' Market in Moscow when it ripens in a few weeks. Easy money, they told us.

Somehow, I missed the part that we needed to weed the sweet corn.

The entire acre of sweet corn.

So, Steve who is knowledgeable about all things farming, told Joe and I it was time to get weeding and, instead of running last Saturday, we tackled the sweet corn in the early, cool morning. With the help of Steve and Mom Kaufman, 5 short hours later, the first half was done.

Mom Kaufman encouraged me, repeating her mother's wisdom that "nothing trims the waistline like hoeing." Sam came out to help pull some weeds, too. That kid was born to farm.

Being someone who likes repetitive exercise until she is exhausted (see my Mount Misery post), I was pleasantly happy with our work. 
Until it hurt to laugh or cough the next day.
And then we had to go back and finish the other half.

Come see us at the Moscow Farmers' Market in August and buy some of this delicious sweet corn!

Our new (to us) boat

We inherited a boat and have been making it seaworthy. Joe's not sure we can afford a free boat, but the rest of us are pretty stoked.

Meet Boatie the Seahawk. Christened by the same duo who wanted to name their baby brother Lampie.

Looking forward to some time on the water soon!