and there you have it…


July 2010

the world of sea

We took the big kids to Sea World today. It was their first of many, as we took the plunge on the year passes. I have a few observations about the day I’d like to share, and just to be different, I’m making it a list.

1) Theme park employees. Wow, I’d forgotten there was such a thing as good customer service. We had an employee approach us to ask us if we needed help, and I don’t even think we looked like we needed help. Ok maybe we did, but not that kind of help. Regardless it was a very nice start to the day.

2) I never realized how heavy the agenda was in the Shamu show. I agree with saving our animals and telling kids to believe in themselves so go agenda and all that. However I only remember the show being fun and entertaining, nothing more. But maybe I agree with the message because I never knew it was there when I was watching it as a kid and I’ve really been brain washed! It could happen.

3) Seeing the excitement of a child will never get old. It is a totally awesome experience to watch the kids spontaneously burst into applause when the killer whales would jump out of the water. They were SO EXCITED, I found myself quite thrilled as well.

4) Year passes rock. Just about the time we were all getting tired and hungry we could just leave, pick up cheap food, and go home and take naps. As opposed to buying overpriced food in the park, pushing through with cranky overtired kids because you ‘had to get your money’s worth.’ I’ve decided it’s the only way to fly.

5) Neil and I are both happily entering this new stage of family life. Where, for the most part, the kids are big enough to do and enjoy this type of stuff. It’s so much fun. We are enjoying making the memories.

three in one

Somehow I’ve gotten the hint that the family would like a recent picture of our children, one picture mind you, with all three represented. Every time I get wind of this rumor I can’t help but laugh. Not ha ha, that was funny laughing. More like lock-me-in-a-mental-ward kind of laughing.  

It’s not that I don’t want this illusive picture, I do! I have tried, and tried, and TRIED, and I will keep trying. Realistically though, we’re talking a good year or more before their’s much success. In the meantime, any time the three of them are within picture range of each other and sitting I get out the camera, and lower my standards. I’ve decided background, clothes, hair, positioning, none of it matters.  

All I want is all three physically in the picture, faces looking somewhere near my direction, eyes open, and preferably not screaming, but I may be willing to budge on that last one. 

Grant - check, Jena - check, Jacob - not so much


diaper...face...same difference


I can kinda see Jacob here...


Jacob's trying to make a break here


no worries he was appropriately tackled


ok this one just makes me laugh, I kept it for the boys, I don't know what Jena's doing here.

historic moments must be documented

Dear anyone who will listen,

I need you to suspend your disbelief for a moment before you proceed. This did actually happen, as unrealistic as it may seem.

Tonight at dinner our whole family ate the same thing, and no Neil and I were not eating chicken nuggets or pizza or peanut butter sandwhiches. It was actually big people food, we had salmon cakes and mediteranean rice and fresh green beans. It was quite delicious actually. I hadn’t gone shopping and had to get creative and that’s what our cuppoards spit out. About 30 minutes further into dinner than I ever get I realized I had nothing for the kids. There wasn’t much I could do at that point, this whole thing was already taking longer than I’d anticipated. I decided we’d just give it a shot.

Jena had 4 servings of rice, and when I asked her to take a bite of her salmon cake she just said ok, AND DID IT. Then she ate more. Grant found out it was fish, and apparently big 4 year old boys like fish, so he ate it too. Jacob devoured his, but that’s not really anything new, that kids eats anything he can shovel to his mouth, and I do mean ANYTHING.

To say I was shocked would be putting it midly. But to say I enjoyed it would be the understatement of the year. We heard no whining, no complaining and ate an adult meal as a family. I thought I was going to have to wait another decade to live that moment. It was beautiful. And the likelyhood of it happening again is slim to none. Thus my compulsive need to document. It did happen once! It wasn’t a dream.

Still in shock, 


fireworks with 2 and 4

We did fireworks with the kids this year, it was the first year we’ve tried. I know I had fun, but I’ve always loved fireworks. Neil enjoyed himself too. Both boys had fun. Jacob was practically jumping out of my arms while they were going off, he’s an easily excitable little guy anyway, and he’s too little to get scared. Grant was old enough to really get into them. Every firework was his FAVORITE ONE EVER! he’s got a streak of his daddy in him.

Jena however, well Jena’s two and I don’t think two mixes too well with fireworks. She watched them all with her hands over her ears, but she stayed. She even told me she liked them and wanted to watch another one (that’s what she’s saying in the video, you can’t really hear it). She ran away after almost everyone, but she came back. She also didn’t scream at all. I must say, despite it all, I was very proud of our little girl.

Last year Grant would have been the one scared, though I’d venture a guess that he would have screamed his head off (he didn’t have an excited big brother to follow), and Jena would have been our little brave one.

Next year Jena will probably be fine and Jacob will be the scared one.

And in a few more years we should all be able to do them and all enjoy them too. I’m looking forward to it.

happy birthday Grant

Dear Grant Neil V,

I had intentions of making this a sentimental slop fest. You are my first-born, the day you entered your new life in the outside world was the same day I enter my new life of motherhood. You were the one who made me a mother, in all its rosy glow. However, as I listened to you throw your umpteenth screaming fit tonight you have reminded me that motherhood is more than rosy glow. It’s also temper tantrums and nervous breakdowns, half of them mine.

I remember when you were born and the midwife laid you on my chest, I couldn’t believe you were finally here! I had deluded myself into thinking you would be early, like I was. You, however, gave me first lesson in the patience of motherhood before you were ever born, showing up 12 days past my due date. I expected everything to come so naturally with you, but the first time I held you I remember thinking how do I do this? this feels so weird? am I holding him right? Great first time mother emotions! It’s a wonder to me some days that you survived your first year. We really didn’t know what we were doing with you. Every time you cried someone would hand you to me and tell me you were hungry, it didn’t matter if you’d just ate 30 mins ago. I didn’t know any better and I nursed you around the clock, it’s a wonder you weren’t 100 lbs.

You were the happiest most active little baby and toddler we’d ever seen, until your sister and brother were born. You rolled over at 2 months to the day and proceed to do it again and again and again every day after. You crawled at 5 1/2 months, walked at 10 months and generally ran us into the ground every day. You were so darn happy about it though we certainly didn’t fault you for it. Most nights I just fell asleep with you at 8:30. 

I try to keep the other children out of these letters and focus on the one I’m writing too. But with you it’s harder, so much of who you are in wrapped up in your big brotherness. When you were about 8-9 months I remember rocking you to sleep at night praying to God to let me have another baby. I wanted so badly to give you a brother or a sister, for you to have a play mate and friend, someone to stick by you your whole life. Most days I think you’re happy about those prayers. You are an amazing big brother. Sure you push, bite and generally bully your sister at times. But you also spontaneously give her hugs and tell her she’s beautiful and you love her. But what amazes me is how you look out for her, always making sure she’s safe. Now with Jacob we’ve seen another side of you blossom. You’re older and more aware this time, and you’ve been so careful and sweet to your brother. I remember when we came home and told you your going to have a brother. You were so excited we were having a ‘boy like you’ and you’ve so patiently waited for him to get ‘bigger and bigger to play with you.’ 

It’s hard to sum up four years in one letter. There is so much more about your birth and your life I want to say, but there will be many more birthdays to tell your story.

Tonight all I need you to know is even when you’re screaming your head off, and getting out of your bed over and over again, I still love you. We’ve grown together, you and I. Before you were born I didn’t know I was capable of this kind of love, my heart has grown 100 times over to fit it all. 

I love you bunches.


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