Thursday, August 16, 2012

Summer

Well hello there!  I feel like I should make introductions.  I'm Stephanie - wife and mother of two, currently experiencing what I lovingly refer to as "the crazy life."  I've been on what you might call a "Blogbatical," but I hope it doesn't happen again soon.  I truly miss pretending that I'm a super-funny family writer whose many, many fans are desperately checking hourly for her next post.  Too bad the reality of my life has me looking like this most days:


I know...it's pretty.  Although, in that picture I am actually at The Magic Kingdom, so that was pretty awesome.

Let's see.  The awkward part is always how to pick up where you left off.  I shall give you a rundown of what has happened in the last 4-ish months!  Get ready for awesomeness!

So.  Since my last post:

I travelled to Florida to see my baby sister graduate High School!


It was a fun week for so many reasons.  First of all, I went alone.  ALONE!  While I missed my kids something fierce, it was really, really nice not to hear, "MOMMY!" every 20 seconds of every day.  I wish Jim could have joined me for some relaxation, but alas, he is much too important at his place of employment.  Luckily, I have fantastic in-laws who came and took care of the kiddos while I was gone and Jim was working.  Win!

This was the first time since before I was married (almost 13 years!) that I have spent time with just my brother and my sister - no spouses, kids, friends, etc.  I would have much preferred to have my husband and my brother's sweet wife there, but it was fun for us to hang out as siblings for a few days - experiencing those things that never seem to change.  I always have to have at least one argument with my brother and then together we ceaselessly tease our sis.  Good times.  

Well, mostly good times.  I learned to have no trust in my sister when she posted this on Facebook:


I know.  We're quite lovely.

Moving on...

Wyatt turned THREE!


That went by fast.  This boy.  He is a constant source of laughter and a constant source of frustration.  The frustration typically lies in the reality that I have no idea how to parent him.  I have finally let myself admit that he is, in fact, STRONG WILLED.  But oh good-golly, he is so cute.  And he STILL makes me laugh out loud when he's supposed to be in trouble!  He continues to prefer me over all others and loves a good snuggle in my lap with his blankie, which I can't get enough of.  Potty training has been interesting with this one, who cares not for rewards.  If he doesn't want to do something, nothing you offer him will make him change his mind.  In the words of Piglet, "Oh d-d-d-dear."

We're gonna have to keep our eyes on this one.


We've had some great moments with both boys:


Even got some normal pics of them together!



And then.  THEN!  Henry finished Kindergarten!!!


That's just craziness. This kid has changed so much this past year.  Still more timid and shy by nature, he has become my brave boy - trying new things and finding his voice!  We couldn't be prouder of all he is accomplishing.  One of his very favorite things to do is read, which we love!  Jim and I were both avid readers so we get excited to introduce him to characters and books that we loved as kids.   His current favorites are the Flat Stanley series and the Magic Tree House series.  One of my favorite things to do is to spy on him at night, snuggled up in his bed with his nose in his book, reading as much as he can before the designated lights-out time.  Cute stuff.

Speaking of Flat Stanley, something totally hilarious happened next on our timeline.  It was Jim's birthday!  Since he works with the youth group at our church he gets to wake up to awesome birthday surprises from the high schoolers (and some of their parents):


Flat Jimbos everywhere!


HA HA HA HA HA!  Henry and Wyatt were over-the-moon into hilarity.  SO many Daddies! 

Wyatt:  Daddy over deya (there)!  Daddy over deya! *repeat

Of course, Henry counted them.  I can't remember exactly but it was something like 93.  Pure awesomeness.

We have now come to our annual 4th of July camping trip.  With allllll these kiddos:



How cute are they?  How in the world did this happen so quickly?  It seems like yesterday we were going camping with our friends and our books and magazines....  One day, I'll get to read a book again on a camping trip, but for now, our fun is made up of lots of playing.  We have some wonderful friends who plan fabulous activities for all the kids and then there's the lake and the constant bike/scooter/wagon pulling.  Sling shots, scavenger hunts, glow sticks and SMORES! 

This was the first year our family of four shared a tent with no pack n play.  It went really well!  I was the lucky one who got to share a bed with Wyatt, who could not get close enough to me.  It was heaven.  Every time I woke up, his forehead was pressed against mine.  Precious, indeed.  No to mention he makes a nice little heater.  Brrrr!  We also made some fantastic memories with Henry and Wyatt making shadow puppets in the tent.  Let me tell you, nothing gives my heart joy like hearing the pure, unabashed laughter of my children.  So thankful for those moments!

What next?

Henry turned SIX!  Again, what?!  This year, Henry decided he wanted to take a few friends to John's Incredible Pizza to celebrate.  This place is like Chuck-e-Cheese on crack.  But lot's of fun!  Not really for the younger set, but PERFECT for a few 6 year olds.

Not to mention, these 6 year olds have been buds since birth:



Cute.

Then my mom and sister came to visit!!!  Yay!  We went to the Nordstrom Sale, the beach, the movies, some restaurants...fun, fun, fun!  You might not be able to tell, but the boys had a great time, too:




Goobers.

So, as you can see, it's been a crazy summer.  Henry had three weeks of sports camps, we've had lots of hours at playgrounds, a week of VBS, doctor appointments and you know, I feel quite good about myself for putting it all together.  Hang on a sec while I pat myself on the back.

And now I shall hit "Post" and promise myself once again to post something before four months go by.  I mean, we've got our oldie starting first grade zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.  Oh geez, I just passed out there.  Anyhow, as I was saying, and our little guy is starting preschool!  That's craziness personified!  Surely there will be many posts to come with so many things to talk about.  But then again, I am me.  Also, I have no idea what that means.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

So, you're saying they're brothers...

What is it with my kids that when they hear, "SMILE!" they really hear, "Stick your tongue out and look at the camera!"



Lovely.

So glad for the reprieve of rain.  These boys need some outdoor time, for reals!  They play so  much nicer together outside.  Well, mostly.  Though, I don't think he really meant to do this:


After all, what says "I love you" more than a bunch of sand being thrown at your wet shirt? 

The only element to the sunny weather I do not enjoy is the weeds that have so joyfully popped up all throughout our landscaping.  While my children enjoy the spoils of the sunshiny days to come, I will be in the side yard speaking nicely (<--wrong!) to those cute weeds that explode with seeds as you pluck them and their roots from the ground.  It's like they are saying, "In your face, sucka!"

Anyhow, yay for sunshine!  And hopefully goodbye to the cold Wyatt has had since October!  Yay for un-snotty noses!  Yay for a fenced-in yard that keeps my children safe but out of my hair and unattached to my body!  YAY!

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Love Notes

There are parts of me that mourn the passing of time with my children.  And then there are the moments where you absolutely LOVE exactly where they are and how much they've learned.



Why did he make this for me?  Just because.  It is the first one this week?  Not by far.  FIVE has been fabulous.  Not just because (by Jove!) the kid can read and write, but because he understands what being thoughtful means.  And let's be honest...perhaps he's learned to use that to his advantage. ;)

Love my little man!


Friday, May 04, 2012

Some clever title after not blogging for awhile...

Oh dear.  It has been so long since I last blogged, that Blogger has totally changed and everything looks different.  Hmmm.

But first, I must explain.  I mean, I suppose if you who are reading this also have (or have had) children, you understand.  When it was just the one miniature human being, I felt like I had plenty of time on my hands.  Since adding the second, time is slowly seeping away from me. 

Somehow, Henry is almost finished with Kindergarten.  Somehow, since about December, his reading has TAKEN OFF and is his favorite past time.  As in, he reads more than he plays Legos!  Somehow, I manage to make it through each day not bawling at the realization that my son no longer needs my help when words pop up on his video games or on the TV or on that Entertainment Weekly magazine I left on the counter.  He's got this.  Note to self: do not leave Entertainment Weekly sitting about.

Also, somehow, Wyatt will be turning three this month.  Hmmwhat?  There is so much about him that is totally THREE already.  But then there are things that confound me about him.  I really try very  hard not to compare my two boys because Boy Howdy.  They couldn't have more different personalities.  Since I have blogged so much on that subject already, I won't go into detail but I'll share one little example.  The DAY that Henry turned TWO, I threw out all his sippie cups and he from then on drank from a big boy cup.  With much care and responsibility.

*cough*

So...Wyatt is turning three soon and there is no way in bleep! that I would give him a regular cup.  Not based on ability, because please.  He can drink just fine from a cup.  Oh no.  He thinks it is HILARIOUS to trickle it down his front, or better yet, toss the whole cup on the ground and laugh as the cup and water bounce back.  Hilarious, Wyatt.

This oh-so-funny little guy just has a way about him.  I try to disregard his major affinity for the word "no" and appreciate his desire to live life to the fullest, as they say.  Second to hearing "no" all day, is the sound of quick little feet running as fast as they can in the opposite direction of me with a trailing, "Soooorry, Mooooommy!"  Stinker.

Anyhow, so life has been busy!  Full of good things and good peeps, but busy.  I realized today, that we haven't even picked up a camera in a couple of months.  So, with a renewed spirit of keeping moments alive, I shall dust off that camera and stretch my fingers in the hopes that they will be typing more frequently.  For now, here's a picture that someone else took of us on Easter:



See?  We're still alive!  And happy!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Something to be thankful for

This post is totally random, but totally necessary.

Today, I finally began the process of sending baby pictures of Henry to Costco for printing.  No biggie.  It's just almost six years later.  :/
Anyhow.  After I chose the first batch, I couldn't help but keep looking at the thousands of pictures we took of our first child.  How can you not?  How in the world is my first baby almost SIX?  When did he lose all that chub-a-dub?  Why in the world did we take so many pictures of him doing the same thing?
How did I get so lucky that he was surrounded by little boys who would be his bestest friends from birth?  I love coming across old pictures of Henry and his buds when they were but mere babes.  They had such love even then!  Also much fighting and crying over toys, but I can hardly remember that.  *cough*
You know who else they all loved to pieces?  Aunt Becky.  No exaggeration, all our kids have always loved Becky.  Like, in a they all flock to her when she's around kind of way.  I saw these pictures and had to post them, 'cause I think it's obvious why they do.  Look at how she loves those boys!  Look how much they love her! (and her fruit!)  Nate is curiously missing, but we were at his house, so I know he is there. :)




Cute, eh?  (<---that's for you, Jenna!)  Also, fun to remember that there were 3 babies cooking in their respective ovens, getting ready to join the crew.  I love looking back at my glowing, precious friend, with her firstborn in her belly, lovin' on all our boys.  Little did she know that 5 years later, I'd be looking at these pics with tears in my eyes!

Love you, Becks!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

On Being Brothers

Oh boys.

Is it just me, or does anyone else think it is really odd how different siblings can be?

This is not a new subject for me.  No, it is a constant mystery to confound me.  How can two boys, raised in the same house by the same parents, loved and treated in the same way, turn out so very different? 

I say turn out, but let's be honest.  As surely as Henry did come into this world a shy and observant young chap, Wyatt did certainly come flying out with a boisterous and uninhibited personality.  They were who they were from the get-go. 

It is also quite interesting (entertaining?) that one child's personality is very much like Jim and the other is VERY MUCH his mother.  I'm not saying who takes after who. 

What?  I was totally quiet and shy once...ish.

..........

In any case, as polar opposite as they may be, there is no hindrance of love between them.



Henry may not always understand why his brother is perfectly happy doing is own thang (oh yeah, that is not a typo), but he is almost always willing to change what he is doing to play with Wyatt.  He loves to teach Wyatt things, to make him belly laugh and do silly things like march the Happy Dance.



And although they are very, very different, they are also very, very alike.



See?  Crazies.

As God did match the differences between Jim and me in a crazy yet perfect way, our boys are matched and balanced the same.  Wyatt is risky; Henry is careful.  Henry is shy; Wyatt yells at strangers.  Henry will eat anything you give him, or at least try new foods; Wyatt will not try anything new unless you say it is a hot dog.  Henry is obedient and compliant; Wyatt is challenging.  Wyatt is bold as all get out; Henry is timid and often unsure.

Despite all this, they are the greatest of buddies and a perfect compliment to each other.  I can't wait to see how much they love each other when they are teenagers.

*cough*


Together, they are crazy and loud and silly and sweet.  Little bro wants to be just like big bro. 

And sometimes, when I am cleaning out a closet, Wyatt will find some of Henry's old things and want to put them on, which makes Henry very upset because he cannot also wear his Dutch Boy Halloween costume from when he was two and be just like Wyatt. 


Because who doesn't want to look like a choir boy in a Star Wars shirt?

Which is what made me write this post in the first place.

Oh boys.
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Thursday, January 05, 2012

We Wish You A Merry Christmas!

Please...join me as I relive the tale of Marr Christmas 2012.

'Twas the night before Christmas...  Or a few nights before anyhow, when Henry and Wyatt got to open their first gift of the season.  It was from my parents and marked with "Open BEFORE Christmas!"  The boys had no qualms with that whatsoever, however, there were some hurt feelings (aka whining) the next evening when there weren't more presents to open.  Mwahahaha!

Anyways, my parents did one of those record-a-books so the boys could hear Grandma and Grandpa Johnson read to them.  Pretty cool, especially since we don't get to see them often at all!  Here's a glimpse of their first viewing:

video

Funny stuff.  And if you're wondering, Wyatt was a little afraid of the picture of Santa Claus putting a present under the tree.  I mean, come on.  That is scary stuff.  Also, if you're wondering, yes.  We have listened to this book approximately 287 times.  Thanks for asking!

On to the next night when Grandma and Grandpa Marr arrived!  Hurray!  We had heard of nothing else for days.  When is Friday?  When is Christmas Eve Eve?  When will Grandma and Grandpa be here?  Is it Friday yet?

Here is Wyatt in his Christmas Eve Eve pajamas, also lovingly known as Henry's old Christmas PJ's.  Does someone know he's cute or what?  Honestly, this child.


Fast forward one day.  One of Jim's favorite traditions growing up was having egg rolls on New Years Eve.  Meaning, his mom and dad stood by a deep fryer for an hour making LOADS of egg rolls for him to devour.  Lucky for him, his mother still really loves him and brought some of her kitchen with her for what was a busy but fun (and yummy) Christmas Eve.  We all went to our church's Christmas Eve service at 4:00 and then rushed home to begin working on dinner.  Or, watching Grandma and Grandpa make dinner.


Wyatt was excited but he didn't really know why.


Henry and Wyatt opened another "Before Christmas" gift from my parents, which was a plate and mug for Santa's snacks.  Henry loved this, and spent lots and lots of time thinking about which cookies and treats would make it on the plate.  Once he made his choices, we made a huge to-do about it and placed the treats and some water (because Santa might get a tummy ache from more milk) by the tree.  I might have dramatically presented the treats before Jim with much exuberance (you know, 'cause he's got to eat them and make the perfect crumbs) as he lay on the couch unable to move due to egg roll overkill.  (They're delicious, I tell you.  I know this from my previous life with gluten.) 

Then all of a sudden, it was Christmas morning!  I got up a little early to put breakfast in the oven and get ready a bit before the boys woke up around 7, like normal.  7:00 rolls around...still sleeping...7:15...are you kidding me?  So we woke them up.  Come on now!  It's Christmas!  Wake up! 

Speaking of waking up on Christmas, did you know that my parents would wake us up at 5:00 AM?  I am not kidding.  Year after year of Grumpy One and Grumpy Two (that's me and my brother) and they still thought it was a good idea to do this.  It was one of the few times that my brother and I were on the same team.  Team Our Parents Have Problems.  Love you guys!  To make matters even more awesome (not!), our baby sister was born when I was 16 (the pinnacle of my grumpiness) and from day one she was the epitome of Christmas joy at the 5 AM wake up call.  WHATEVER, JACI!

Did I also mention that one year, after I was married, we were with my family on Christmas and my adorable little sister was yammering on a mile a minute about how she had SO many more presents than everyone else (at 5 AM, may I remind you), while the rest of us sat and rolled our eyes at the ridiculousness of this preposterous 7 year old...and then my parents' ginormous tree fell on top of her?  HAHAHA!  My brother caught it before it crushed her, and I kinda got in trouble for laughing so hard even though I was a grown adult, but it was still awesome. 

And yes, I really, truly love my little sister. But she's still ridiculous!  And if you say it runs in the family, I will throw a tree on you!

Whoa.  Major tangent there.  Moving on!

And now we bring you the latest episode of Awkward Brother Photos:





I thought Henry did a great job being cute, but Wyatt could not take his eyes off the Ghost of Christmas future!  Yeesh!  Though...I wonder...

Here's the party animals of the group, ready to begin:


We started by reading from Luke 2 which Henry listened so intently to.  He had heard the Christmas story so much in Sunday School and Awana and us talking about it that month that he was very interested to hear it from Daddy's Bible.  In typical Wyatt fashion, our littlest goober cozied up to listen to a good book.  Little did he know it was THE Good Book.  I know.  Wow, Steph. 

It may seem like it's just a tradition, but I love bringing the focus first and foremost to Jesus.  That even though the excitement over presents and toys and decorations and lights is okay, we are celebrating the birth of our KING.  When our children come to that understanding, it is so special.  Christmas with Henry this year was just simply awesome.

...

I feel like it's kind of difficult to segue from that to this.  So...PEANUT BUTTER!  Now your mind's all muddled.

This is Wyatt opening a gift that Henry picked out for him.  It's really something else to see your children grow in so many different ways, including the desire to please those you love.  Henry was so excited for Wyatt to open it because he knows how much Wyatt loves playing with cars.  Cute.


Oh, my first babe.  Such a ham.  So excited.  The best part is, he was just as excited to see what other people received as he was for himself.  He was constantly reminding people, "It's your turn!  See what you got!"  Also cute.

This next picture is great, because it is pretty much what it looks like whenever Grandma Marr is here.  Wyatt knows she will happily cuddle up and read, read, read.  If you read my previous post, you would understand the magnitude of this gift.  Luckily for both of them, he got a couple new books, so she got to read them over and over and over...



That is where our Christmas pictures end.  We were enjoying the day so much that we forgot to pick the camera back up!  And what a day.  So fun, so full, so family. <--does that belong in a sermon, or what?

I even made a Christmas ham!  I don't know about you, but that makes me feel like a graduate of Christmas School. 

You might think this overlong post should end now.

But it does not!

Henry was super excited about New Years, so he decorated:
 
 
Love that boy.
Also, we are not ready to let go of Christmas just yet.  This little one has sang this song at least 10 times a day, every day since Christmas:
video

...which is okay with me.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
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