Thursday, August 25, 2011

Projects are like Childbirth

I have heard people say that the reason women ever go through childbirth more than once is because your mind and body kind of forget all the pain that it went through. This is not the case for me. I remember childbirth. Very. Well. I think the reason I ever even contemplated any children beyond Brody is because I got distracted, I guess you could say, by how cute and fun and sweet he was. That distraction made me think that I could do it again. It wasn't all that bad. Then came Ryder. Things were great up until labor and once again I was telling Trevor that there was no way I could do this! Let's be honest though, at that point, you have no choice. You have to go through with the labor. You began the pregnancy process, you gotta finish it out. Then that sweet little one comes and you realize that he is your end result. He (or she I guess for people besides me) is what was worth making your body hurt in ways you didn't even think were possible. And you look at that baby and think, "I would totally do it again...SO worth it!"

I totally TOTALLY can liken my home projects to childbirth. I seriously think halfway through every project 1: I'm never doing this again 2: I cannot finish this! Its hard, I hate it, and I'm tired 3: I realize I have no choice. I started it, I have to finish it. Then just like when my boys arrived and I have that end picture I love it. I love all my completed projects and I am proud that I can say I did them, but I am always amazed at the amount of work I put into it!

In July my project 'bug' hit. I was in the mood for some change. I refinished my table and loved it (it only took me 6 years to actually do it). That led to me paint my hutch a sleek cannonball black. I think these changes turned what I would call my amish dining room look into a much more sleek and pretty dining room look.

Next came my built-in bookshelves and mantle. We've only lived in our house for nearly 2 years and I've never even put stuff onto the shelves because they were too narrow for most books and I just didn't know what to do. Finally a couple months ago I scoured my house for books and pretty things that would fit. Its a work in progress, but I think it turned out fairly well (besides the bottom two shelves staying empty because my kids yank everything off them). But that project 'bug' was making me itch, and filling the shelves just wasn't enough. Rather then wait another 4 years like I did with my table, I decided (with a gentle shove from Trevor) to re-do them as well. The mantle got stained to match the table. The shelves not only got painted a pearly white, but I backed them with that paintable wallpaper that looks like wainscoting(also known as bead board). End result? Shocking. I mean really. I have to take a few days to get over the change before I can decide if I like it. Its been a few days...I love it!

All of this was done from about mid July to now. Oh, and I might have painted my laundry room as well....and painted picture frames and put them up...and other minor things.... So I think my project 'bug' has almost left me. I only am looking to perfect my projects. Things might need touch-ups, or edges roughed up...That kind of stuff. More fun and less stress stuff. I think I am taking a much deserved break from big projects for a while.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Brody's 3rd Birthday

Last Monday, August 15th 2011, was our little Brody boy's birthday. I woke up and looked at Brody (who had crawled in the bed with me after Trevor left for work early in the morning) and just thought, "3 years ago at this exact time I was at the hospital and had been in labor for a few hours. I was on my side clinging to the rails on the bed anxiously waiting for an epidural." During the whole day I'd stop at different times and remember exactly what I was doing at that exact time three years earlier. Am I the only mom that does this? Is it as clear as yesterday for you too?

Once Brody's little eyes opened up he said, "g'morning mommy!" in his usual chipper morning manner. I replied with a big "HAPPY BIRTHDAY BROD!" He smiled so big and said happy birthday back to me and then we got up and began our birthday celebrating.
Brody's other birthdays have fallen on the weekend and we've all been home the whole day, so it was really weird just having me and the boys and no daddy, but I knew I would try to make it as special as possible. First things first: Brody woke up to balloons, streamers, and happy bday signs. For breakfast we made it a little more special than normal by having chocolate chip pancakes, and Brody's even had 3 candles in them for him to blow out.

(besides the 'oohhing' and 'aagghhhing' Ry-ry made when he saw the decorations, the pancakes were his favorite part of all the festivities)

The morning and early afternoon were spent playing with Brody's newest cousin, Aftyn. They played in the dirt, watched movies, and had an indoor picnic complete with the Cars shaped macaroni and cheese (brody's favorite).

After Aftyn had left and Trevor had come home from work it was time for the big unveiling.....


Trevor and I have been wanting to get one forever and boy were we right on the money with how much Brody would love it! We played and jumped until we were all red faced and sweating from the sun beating down on us (ry missed out on the fun because he was napping).

Once we were back inside Brody had a few more little things from us to open and with each present he would ask Trevor while he was opening it, "Dad what's in dare?" in the most excited voice! It was so fun watching him be so happy and excited.

Not long after that we had visits from Brody's Grampa and Gramma Waite, Red Gramma, and Aunt Taylor. Of course, he was more spoiled by them! And he had to show them all his trampoline out back. We tried to get a picture of us, but it seems he has been cranky on all 3 of his birthdays! I guess he takes that whole "its my party and I'll cry if I want to" thing seriously!

We wrapped the evening up with big pieces of tractor birthday cake and lots of love all around. Brody is one lucky little boy to have so many people love him so much, and we are so lucky that we have him to love.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Brody's Birthday Cake

For weeks leading up to Brody's birthday I would ask him what he wanted for his birthday. The only thing he would say was cupcakes. Cupcakes? Really? SWEET! That is SO easy. But of course, about a week after saying this he got a wild hair and decided that he wanted a tractor cake. What? Where in the world did you get the idea for a tractor cake?

I am not one of those "creative" moms. I can't just come up with cute ideas off the top of my head. I'm pretty good at copying other "creative" mom's ideas, so I turned to the internet and began scouring page after page for any ideas that I could find. I mostly could only find farm scenes with toy tractors placed on top, or tractor cakes made from tractor cake pans. I didn't want the farm scene because I don't think that's what Brody had in mind (although that would have probably been the easiest solution), and I didn't want to have to order a cake pan and pay for it plus the shipping. I also felt that if I used a cake pan I was kinda cheating. I really was hoping I could figure out how to cut up a sheet cake or something to form the tractor, but without someone else doing it and showing me EXACT instructions I didn't think my very limited skills could accomplish that alone. Then I remembered seeing a John Deere cake pan at one of our local stores about a year ago, and knew it was a long shot, but I thought I'd check there. They didn't have it. BUT they did have a different tractor cake pan! It was way cuter than the one I remembered seeing before AND because it was a discontinued item I got it cheaper than the original price!

Cake pan found and how the heck am I going to ice this baby? Once again, turned to the internet for some help. I couldn't find any iced tractor cakes made from the same pan I had, but I looked at lots of others to get a general idea. I was all prepared for a green tractor when Brody then specified he wanted a RED tractor cake. Agh! Who does he think I am? The cake boss?

I found some stuff that was supposed to turn my white icing red and not pink, and also not make it runny. I used every single drop of that dye and the icing still wasn't as red as I had hoped, but I was going to make do anyway.

Wouldn't you know that because of it being August and the weather is pretty warm, my icing was melting off the cake! I was having to put it in the fridge, take it out, ice a little bit, and put it back in to harden a little more. My "glass is half full" attitude was quickly turning into a "glass is half empty" attitude, and when I looked at my hands and saw that they were stained a bright (very bright) pink from the icing, it didn't get any better.

Finally, after a few hours of stressing and swearing I would never make a cake again (that is until 3 weeks from now when Ry turns 1) I finished! It wasn't perfect, but it still ended up pretty dang cute.

Brody was happy. He thought it was awesome and couldn't wait to have candles in it the next day so he could "bwow the fire out!"

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Letter to Brody

Dear Brody,

For 1,068 days we have loved you. For 156 weeks we have cared for you. For 3 years we have constantly talked about how blessed we are to have you a part of our lives. In just days you will be celebrating your 3rd birthday. THREE! I really CANNOT believe it.

So much has changed in these 3 years. Your dad and I will definitely admit to our lives revolving around you (and now your brother too). We can't even really remember what life was like before you.

Each day you are learning and growing SO MUCH! I have such a hard time of letting go of my baby and giving in to the little boy you are becoming. Every day you amaze me with the amount of things you seem to just soak in. Just months ago if I asked you a question you would have probably answered with a yes or no. Now you will say something like, "No, that wouldn't work." You also say things that you really shouldn't. Recently you went to the burn pit with your dad to drop off some grass clippings and you got the idea in your head that you wanted to walk home. When your dad said no and put you in the truck you threw such a fit and told him as you were driving down the road, "Stop this damn fing (thing), pick-up truck!" When your dad told me this later I didn't believe him at all, but when I asked you, you totally owned up to it! You told me "I cry wike (like) a baby and I say stop this damn fing, pick-up truck!" I told you that wasn't something nice to say, but it was SO hard not to laugh. I was even kinda impressed that you used damn correctly. Okay-but seriously--no more swearing dude!

Even though you are my big boy now, you still are as loving and sweet as ever. You can't let Ryder go to bed without making sure you give him "wuvs and kiss" and making sure we do too! When you get hurt the best medicine for anything is still a kiss from Mom or Dad.

Your memory has also grown and grown. I am so surprised by not only how much you can remember, but that you can remember things from months ago.

You love to play with trains, tractors, dirt, Ryder, Daddy, and your blocks. You also love to watch movies and quote things all the time from them.

Brody you have so much rhythm and really like to dance to music. You like to music and know the words to songs, but you really aren't much of a singing kid. If I ask you to sing you'll throw a fit, but if I sing something like A,B,C's or the itsy bitsy spider, I'll pause and you'll fill in the next words, but absolutely will not sing the whole thing with me. Kinda funny....

No matter how many other siblings you may have, you will always be our first baby. You are the one that turned Trevor and Taytum into Daddy and Mommy. You were the one that began us on the journey of fulfilling the greatest rolls we will ever probably have in this lifetime. You are our sweet, fun, handsome, and lovey-dovey boy! We love you more than we could ever even express. Happy 3rd Birthday Brody Jay Waite.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Helicopter Gazing

The Wallow Fire came to our part of Arizona and destroyed. We have gone on a couple drives to see all the damage. Some areas, despite being severely burned, still have some green. I couldn't believe all the destruction that was done, but the optimistic part of me was really surprised that it was still pretty in many places.

Even though the fire is gone, the problems are not over. We are right in the middle of monsoon season so the new worry is flooding and mudslides.

Besides people sandbagging areas or putting up barricades of hay bales, there are now big helicopters that are loaded everyday all day with straw to drop over the mountain sides. The hope is that this will help prevent the ground from eroding when the the rain is heavy.

Because Trevor drives all over this area with his job, he has been able to watch the helicopters at work. Each day he has come home saying how much he wants to take Brody to Alpine so he can see.

Brody is, after all, ALL BOY! He loves to see 'hockers' so we went on one of Trevor's days off. Brody was totally into it! Well really, all of us were. Ryder made noises and his head went back and forth between the 2 helicopters not sure of which one to watch.

The first place we stopped was along the highway and they carried the straw right over our heads. We told Brody to wave to the helicopter and as it flew over us, the pilot could see us and he stuck his hand out and waved back! On his next trip over us he did it again!

The second place we went was right up to where they were hooking up the huge bags of straw to the helicopters. With the helicopters making the air blow around us, their were bits of straw everywhere. It clung to our clothes, made our hair look like we had dandruff, and got everywhere inside the car because of one slightly cracked window.

As we left and began our journey home, we were able to see the helicopters dump the straw fairly up close. It was just a neat site to see, and although the trip was made for the sake of Brody, we all really had a good time.