Monday, March 30, 2009

My Soft

Her name was Great Grandma Edith and although I lived in Kansas and my family was far away, she thought enough of my birth to make me My Soft. My Soft was a term I coined because the underside of this hand-sewn blanket was a flannel bottom. It was warm and soft against my skin and I loved it a lot.

The Kansas winters were often very cold and frigid. Climbing into a bed with cold sheets is nothing anyone (even at this age) wants to do, let alone being a little girl climbing into bed to be warm. So my dad would flip My Soft over to where the flannel part was up and making it not-so-cold against my skin. Again, it was an immediate comfort.

I wasn't the only one who possessed the infamous "Soft". My sister, Jenn, had one made for her as well by Great Grandma Edith, but hers had more blue to it. We were the Shindley Girls ... with our Softs.

At night before bed, we'd bring our Softs into the living room and lay them out. There were 4 of us, so each one would get on a corner. You notice the variety of different pattern blocks in the blanket. That made for a great hunt-and-find game, in fact it was The Soft Game. Dad would start it off by saying (Jenn you'll remember the pitch) "Caaaann yooooooou fiiiiinnnnnd ..........*long pause* ....... the one with the 2 red wheels and one brown wheel on it" and it would be a race as to who could find it first. Those were good times. Really good times.

My Soft was given back to me when my dad sold our childhood home to travel in their RV and work. It had been stored up in our attic along with other childhood memorabilia that I now possess like my dad's Vietnam photo album. In a way it was strange to get all these things back at such a young age. But in another way, it was comforting to know that a piece of all that was back with me. Safe.

I sit back as I watch Maysen watching cartoons with his beloved Blue Blanket (that's what he calls it). He requires such Blue Blanket on all trips and every night to "cozy-up with". Its amazing what we can form attachment to and what it means to us. I can only hope that his Blue Blanket means just as much to him in the years to come as my Soft meant to me.

Thanks for thinking of us, Grandma Edith, when you made those blankets. It's turned out to be more than just a blanket for me. Thanks to Grandma Sherrill for having M's Blue Blanket made especially for him.

Written in plain ink-pen, this states "Made By Grandma Shindley"

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Happy Birthday, Honey.

Finally, the age is catching up with the white hair on my honey. I think it's a symbol of how hard he works for his family. He works 4 ten-hour days so he can spend more time with us. But those are very long days, often resulting in only 5hrs sleep at night.

I idolize him a lot. He reminds me a lot of my dad in how hard he works to get whatever needs completion DONE. He has the patience I could only hope to possess. He has the willingness and eagerness to learn and to try anything - no matter the task. He is humble at times I would be perhaps "too" proud. He knows where he lacks and works harder at those areas to excell. No matter who or what has him down, he continues through the corridor with his head held high. He is unlikely to hold grudges. He sympathizes with those who struggle and genuinely cares for people and their feelings. He is passionate on his opinions but is also willing to look at any and all views on the matter. He never gives up. He has a very honest and boastful laugh that will immediately infect those around. I personally feel the world is a better place with him on it; in the decade that I've known him, I know I am a better woman and person with him beside me; and my kids are lucky enough to such a great role model to look up to.

Therefore, I celebrate another year of you being who you are, making it just that much more "right" to be here. We love you, honey. Happy 32nd birthday.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Only in my life

When it rains, it pours!! Why me!?! Of course .. WHY NOT!? There are a plethora of sayings that apply to you when you are having one Hellova day or two. I think mine went a tad like this, “*#^&@(@*(T^Y&*$U(T*&*#(“ Period. Let me explain:

Sunday morning seemed like a normal event. Griffin called for his bottle around 5:30am. He wakes back up at 6:30 and I thought “forget it, he just ate!” for he usually will sleep in until 8:00. True to form around 8:30am he wakes up and Nathan decides it’s his turn to get up and let me sleep. All I hear over the monitor is *door opening* “Ohhhhh. Nooooo.” My response? Shut the monitor off and turn back over. So I’ll tell the story through his eyes:

Everything’s fine. Griffin’s awake and sounds happy on the monitor, no distressed baby or anything to warrant a need for bracing when opening door. Reach for door handle, turn, and it was as if the seal of a casket had been broken open; a casket bearing a decomposing body for the last 83 days in the New Orleans summer … PFSHHHHHHHHHH. The vile smell hits his unprepared nostrils like the unassuming fly disintegrating on the 893mph windshield shrieking right for him (enter “Ohhh Noooo.”). As his eyes adjust to the cave-like darkness that surrounds, it finally reveals a beaming baby standing in his crib. He appears to resemble the drunken mother from What About Mary, smiling so big it seems unnatural. His hair is in straight-up Mohawk fashion so high and straight you’d think that 348 cans of Aqua Net was involved. But no. The true culprit is a mixture of milk curds and partially digested peaches from the day before. Yep. Vomit. And lots of it. Having been tossed previously, the creature beaming weirdly at you had rolled, danced, and fallen back asleep in the tossed salad. The day goes by fine until that evening...

10:30pm Griffin is up.
11:00pm Griffin is up again.
12:00am Maysen is up “My ear hurts”
1:30m Griffin is up again – gets Tylenol.
2:00am Maysen is up again with ear – gets Motrin. I look with my otoscope, ear appears inflamed.
6:00am Griffin is up. Check his ears. Too waxy to view ear drum. Goes back to sleep.
8:00am We’re up. Fin has piece of bread, which he throws up, along with suspicious milk curds on the floor.
10:00am Maysen complains of ear again. Otoscope now reveals infection in L ear of Maysen. Dr appts are made for both boys with our old pediatrician.

1:45pm: Griffin must get up from nap. Hand on the door. Knob turns and immediately the rotting flesh odor consumes me, but this is more of an odor of dead pig carcass roasting away in Nigeria for a week. It singes my nose hairs immediately causing a fury of watering eyes and gagging. Ahhh, diarrhea. Just what I’m prepared for considering I need to be walking out of my house RIGHT.NOW! Now, what happened next could actually be a pretty good marketing tool for Huggies, had it not been putrid. I know this won’t be pretty so I just rip the diaper off and brace for impact. I am absolutely amazed at the built-in dams Huggies has created has actually held in the cement-mixer-like diarrhea that came shooting out. I know you’re dying for visual color, so we’ll go split pea soup with hint of mustard – and that consistency as well. Got that one? Yummy. I stood there frozen – like a tight rope walker who needs to poop – wondering just what to do. Any sudden movements could end this whole ordeal badly. And then it happens. The Back Arch, then foot-plant action. Rrrrrrrrrigggght. Now he's looking like a white African baby covered in war paint. Somehow we recovered with lots of prayers to whomever would listen, running out the door as quickly as we could.

Now. “There’s more!?” you might be asking. Ohhhh yes. In my life, there’s always more. You see, we left the house in such a hurry, the bounty diaper was left folded up on Fin’s dresser. And as we returned home from the doctors and then the joyful wait at the pharmacy (both boys have ear infections), I walk in my house and I am thrown into a realm of confusion because I again smell the rotting flesh. You see, I happen to have a Beast-like animal who roams my hallways. Her name is Bailey. And as she saw me leave through the dark and dampened laundry room door and shut it with such force I would not be returning anytime soon, she immediately started salivating. She does this because she knows, to my dismay, that I have inadvertently left this … "treat" of sorts, for lack of better wording … within her grasp. And you know the rest. She took no time in devouring the contents of that poop-filled bundle of joy with savage-like agility. All. Over. My. Living Room. Floor.

I hope none of you read this while eating Split Pea Soup. Good Day.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Mr Reader

I have found one seriously good book for Maysen. Lately he's been into Curious George and while at the library a few days ago, I found a huge 352pg (mind you BIG print and many pictures) compilation of the first 6 or so Curious George stories. I found the book on so I think the Easter Bunny might stop off there this Easter. Of course, Griffin liked looking at all the pictures, too.

Loved how this book matched Fin's PJs...

Just a small portion of what we're doing to our backyard. As you can tell it's monsoon season here in the Willamette Valley and it was true-to-form here today! But ... Nate got the "pig pen" done yesterday. This is where we'll house Bay when she's outside. As much as we love her, she is destroying our grass so she'll have her own space back here under the maple tree. Nate is building her dog house next, so hopefully will be done soon after the sod gets laid down. I can't wait to get the grass here to get rid of all this mud! Then it'll be painting and planting around here! My BIL was here yesterday and did the estimate for our deck extension, so we'll have a 2 level deck which will be nicer than our piece of concrete that's falling apart!

And now we have blue sky and sun. Welcome, Spring!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ode to my Tree Pee'er

Alright. So I debated about putting this one on here, but it's nothing too horrible. Just another pic that displays just what we're into these days and that's peeing outside! One good thing about having boys and you're "far" away from a bathroom, is the simple fact that if you're in an isolated place (or not-so-isolated in my dad's case .. hehe) you don't have to fear! I just so happen to have my camera in-hand when I turned around to this view. I know when he reads this at the age of 30 he's going to kill me...I promise to not put this in the highschool yearbook when you graduate, son. Well. Maybe ... is this blackmail material or what?

Maysen is sure becoming our little Mr Independent these days. He likes to be helping with whatever is going on. Whether it's cooking, or folding laundry, or putting clothes away, or getting dressed - he wants to do it himself or help with it. We have started on our backyard this past weekend and while daddy was outside scooping up old mulch chips, I look out to see our Mr Bean with bright red cheeks, rain boots hiked to the hills carrying this huge shovel putting mulch chips into a pile. And that's what he's been doing all week this week. In the afternoons he wants to go "shobel". The other morning I wake up to him looking into the toaster. "Cooking brefass mom". Thankfully he really was - Toaster Strudel and all! Juice in his cup. Then he adds "You can go sweep more, mom. I'm just getting ready!". In a way it saddens me that he's growing up so quick he doesn't need me to do his breakfast anymore. One day, sooner than I'd like, he'll be going to school not wanting hugs or kisses anymore. I'll be one sad Momma when that day comes.

I'm so proud of you, Mase, in more ways than you'll ever know. You amaze me at how smart you've become doing your work books. You can count soundly to 14 and ABCs are a breeze. You can spell your name up until the Y (although you write it backwards) and you know your name is Maysen-David-Scovil. You know the teachers call your mom Leslie and your dad's name is Maysen, too (so you think, Nathan does sound an awful like Maysen).

You have a mind like a steel trap. Recently you recalled Papa's white church on a trip in Baker City, although they haven't been in that church since you were 1yr old. Just last night someone was sick on TV and you remembered being "...on the big plane with grandma-grandpa-motorhome-house and I coughed in that bathroom..." (recalling being in Iowa for great-nanna's funeral and you got the flu when you were 3). I am not sure the memory is a good or bad thing *wink*.

You love Griffin, however lately you are being a typical big brother. You don't like him bothering you and pull him out of your room by one arm on multiple occasions. You yell at him when he takes your toys and you've taken to putting Anti-Griffin Signs up on your door.

You have started gymnastics and so far are liking it. Your best bud is Austin from school and even play at gymnastics with him sometimes. You are smart, considerate (often getting my coat for me on my walks because you don't want me cold), strong, and overall a great little boy. I love you so much.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wanna-Go-Back-Now Vacation

I failed to mention in the below post that during our vacation we hit up the outlet malls in Lincoln City. Let me tell you moms out there 4 beautiful words: Children's Place. $2.99 STOREWIDE! Talk about a bargin blissful day!! I got complete outfits for the boys for next year. 3 huge bags later ... my total was $83.00. Thanks to Tiff and her additional 15% off!! Ok. Read on ... Most of us when returning from a vacation are ready to come home. I know I was on Sunday. But. I’m ready to go back! Our little getaway to Bella Beach was relaxing, quality, and fun. The cottage we stayed in was so inviting and warm that it was hard not to fall in love with its coziness. It was clean, bright, airy, and smelled of a mix of ocean and cinnamon. The kitchen was loaded with more amenities than was needed and I was glad I brought lots of stuff to cook with because I took full advantage of that gourmet kitchen!

The beach was a 2min stroll out our back door. We stopped and visited with neighbors and met fellow dog-friends along the way. Aside from our close-call mentioned in the post below, the kids loved the ocean. I am afraid to think that we have a 2nd dare devil on our hands … Mr Fin is a bit fearless of the water as well. Makes for Momma-Stress x2!

Our days were spent cooking and eating breakfast in our jammies, watching Fin sweep the entire houses' wood floor (which he was obsessed about!), playing Peek-a-Boo with Fin sitting inside their cabinet and flinging the door open (which he thought was hilarious!), playing "spin game" with Maysen's kite tail which was ripped off in a record-breaking 30 seconds, and relaxing by the fire watching movies.

There was also a playground on-site which was wonderful at entertaining the kids before lunch/nap time. It was a "Maysen & Dad date" that they'd walk down to the beach leaving me at home alone while Fin slept. Ahhh, serenity.

Some good friends of ours, Tim & Tiffany, were ironically also staying at the beach a few miles from us at their condo so we were able to meet up with them on our last day there. They have 2 kids as well; Austin & Karaline. Austin is in Maysen’s class and they’re best buds so that was really fun. We went golfing and to the batting cages where I think the big boys (husbands) had more fun than anyone! We went back to their condo and went swimming. Griffin, who despite the statement above has been skiddish of swimming pools, wanted in with all his might! We’ll have to remember that for next time. Maysen is getting more fearless of the water by the day, I believe. It’ll be good to get him back in swimming lessons this summer.

On our way home, we stopped in Lincoln City and visited a park near Devil’s Lake. It has an absolutely AWESOME wood play structure, that yes; even WE got lost in. Bailey was coaxed down the slide, which it was her last trip. We are thinking this would be an awesome structure to play paint ball in … ??

Poor Bay ....

On another note, we have moved passed our karate misunderstanding to gymnastics! Maysen had his first class last week and is loving it. That could change on a dime, so stay tuned ... (but I did love how good he slept that night so I'm hoping it sticks!).

While we were gone we had a shed built for us. Nathan’s plan was to build this himself, but we started to realize that the cost of having it built vs. the time it would require of him … it was worth it in the end to just have it built. NOTE: The following is a Lesson-To-Be-Learned from. We got home and to our dismay, our shed wasn’t quite what we had in mind. Lesson #1: Be around while someone new is building your project. Lesson #2: Don’t wait until you’re unsatisfied to research their “license #” only to find out their Contractors License is expired. Lesson #3: Specify EVERYTHING. Assuming contractors “know best” isn’t always true. The other half of his money we still have. Once he completes the job how we want it, with signing a Waiver (because he’s not insured), he’ll get the rest of his money. That’s set tentatively for Friday. I’m still skeptical. What a nightmare!

Ahhhhh, I want to go back. Maybe after my fund-raising garage sale, Nate will take me back ... just ME!