Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Yesterday I took the boys shopping for swimming suits. It used to be that I could just bring something home in their size and they'd wear it. No questions asked. Now they're all "opinionated" and "have they're likes and dislikes." They want it to fit "just right" and not "be see through" (the nerve....I know).

Taking all three boys shopping at once is not something I do often. Here's an example of why not. It took a few hours. No one found what they wanted at JC Penny, only Camdon found what he wanted at Target, and only Carter found what he wanted at Old Navy (Jamon by the way just gave up and agreed to just wear Camdon's old one....bless his heart!)

Anyway. while we were standing in line to pay at Old Navy a very young, new mom who hadn’t a clue, a total stranger, a sweet young lady turned to me and said with disgust in her voice: "Uugh! Three boys....I don't know how you do it."

What is this? Is this a question? Does she really want to know how I do it? Is this a statement? Does she just want me to know how grossed out she is by my situation?

And let's pause right here to discuss my situation. As far as I'm concerned I have the PERFECT situation! Three kids isn't really a big deal. We have friends with five, six, seven kids. Quite honestly...three is for quitters. And three boys is perfectly fine by me. Yes, boys are harder when they're little, but MUCH easier when they're older.

(A.K.A. the current state of affairs at our house.)

They are relatively low maintenance and we're pretty much drama free around here. Ask my friend Susan who has four girls if she's drama free at her house. I can tell you right now the answer will be a resounding NO! And having all boys is perfect for when Jamon can't find a swimming suit he wants. He can just go shopping in Camdon's dresser. It saves us money. My friend Kayla has four boys and my friend Jennie has five boys, so I don't even remotely feel that I need unsolicited sympathy from strangers at the store about my "situation".

So, I just looked at her.......then looked over at my boys (who were modeling sunglasses for each other) and simply said: "I love them."

She grabbed all of the dresses she was buying for her perfect little baby girl, put her in her stroller, and went and stood in a different line.

Whatever, lady! Just wait until your little girl is in middle school and is crying and yelling she can't go to school because her hair isn't perfect and threatening to call the cops on you when you take her curling iron away. You'll still love her, but you'll be wishing she was a boy.

Friday, May 27, 2011

"Being cool is not trying to be cool."

First of all, I don't know these people, but I can guarantee they're not NEARLY as cool as they think they are!

Now, having said that, today is the last day of school for my boys. The middle school had an awards ceremony to honor the students of the year. Those of you that know Camdon well will not be surprised to hear he was receiving an award for outstanding history student (my mom will be SO proud). Anyway, his teacher called a few days ago to let us know about this and invited us to attend the assembly this morning. Being the amazing parents (cough, cough) that we are, we were very excited to be there.

I knew, however, that Camdon would be less than thrilled at the thought of his parents "harshing his gig"-- or whatever expression kids use these days to indicate their discomfort in the parental units showing up and sending them back to the harsh reality that they aren't really as cool as they think they are.

So, we warned Camdon that we had been invited and that we planned to attend. At first he tried to blow it off: "You guys don't have to worry about being there. It's not a big deal. We get our awards. We get made fun of by the cool kids. And we move on with our lives."

We tried to tell him there were no cool kids, but he wasn't having it.

He made it very clear he didn't want us there.

Now the difference between me and Justin (okay there are billions....but ONE of them) is that I have enough compassion to be slightly sympathetic to his plea to stay away. I've recently spent some time in a middle school and I know that image is everything to these young adults. No matter how ill-perceived it might be, it's still everything.
Justin, however, sees the plea to stay away as a complete challenge. We're talking showing up wearing a T-shirt that says "I'm Camdon's Dad!" or better yet showing up with five of his buddies each with a letter painted on their bare chest spelling out C*A*M*D*O*N.

Bottom line is you ask him not to come.......and well.....he's coming.

So, we got there early this morning and hid up in the bleachers high in a corner before most of the seventh graders came in. I'm proud to say no one ever knew we were there!

Until we were leaving and accidentally bumped into Camdon in the hall on our way out. Justin just shook his hand but I started to lecture him on the way he treated the other award winners who were sticking out there hands for him to shake but he just TOTALLY BLEW THEM OFF! Why would you.......oh wait.......I guess this would be why he didn't want us there. He stomped off in a huff.

Oops. Not cool. Sorry Camdon. And for what it's worth....your dad and I think you are the coolest kid in the seventh grade.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

You've probably noticed it's been quiet around the ol' blog. Okay....that's an understatement. It's been like three months since my last post. Frankly I'll be surprised if anyone still reads this. I think my fans have all given up on me.

I'm sorry to have been away for so long. (It's just that I've been super busy living a vibrant life full of romance and intrigue student teaching, being the mom, being the wife. Oh, and the church calling).

I was lucky to get toilets cleaned.....never mind entertaining the blogosphere with witty stories of motherhood.


Student teaching is over, I was released from my church calling, the boys are......well, the boys and the husband are still here, but they're the ones who provide the fodder for this here blog, so I keep them around.

In fact, I know Carter's birthday was three months ago, but you get to hear about it in May cuz that's when I had time to write about it y'all.

It's a pretty funny story. To me anyway.

When you're in the first grade it's "the bomb" when your mom brings a birthday treat into the class for everyone. I was able to do this for my older two boys and it was breaking my heart that I wouldn't be able to do it for Carter (one of the crappy things about being a working mom). But here's the thing.......

I married a really great guy.

He volunteered to take the day off work from home that day and bring cupcakes into Carter's school. That's right. Justin. For those of you who know him, you know he'd rather die than make small talk with anyone. He hates "being among people". I know. I know. Opposites attract.

Anyway, that's why this was such a HUGE favor to me. When Camdon started school it was like three years before Justin even knew where the school was, let alone go into it with 22 cupcakes to meet an over-zealous, way-too-happy, teacher and 22 snot nosed brats eager learners. But he didn't want to disappoint Carter anymore than I did, so what ya do?

Here's the funny part.........

Justin gets up at 5:30 three days a week to go play bball. He wears ratty t-shirts and gets sweaty and stinky. The day of the cupcake delivery was one of those days. That morning we were going over instructions (don't forget to check into the office, be on time, etc.) Carter gave his dad a quick hug as he walked out the door and quickly threw in his own set of instructions: "Uh dad? One more thing. Make sure you shower and put on better clothes before you come."

Bah ha ha ha ha! Awesome Carter....way to be subtle. And since when are first graders aware of how their parents look (or smell)? I didn't think that started happening until junior high. Our kids are always way ahead of the curve on everything!

Oh well. Justin did shower and put on "better clothes" before he went. I thought he'd drop off the cupcakes and bolt but he stuck around long enough to video tape the singing and what not. He even took this for me........
Happy late.......really late.........birthday Carter!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Therapy in the Bathroom

A warning to my readers those who humor me:

This post isn't going to be entertaining. In fact, it's not even for you. It's for me. A little therapy if you will. Okay~ so the therapy took place in the bathroom a half hour ago but nonetheless, I need to process some emotions tonight and my blog is how I'm choosing to do it so sorry. Read on if you must but consider yourself warned.

Here we go.

I had have a best friend. Well we were best friends in college but once a best friend always a best friend right? She moved away after we graduated and we made every effort to stay in touch but over the years we drifted a bit apart. Only because life is busy not because the friendship ended. About 7 months ago I stopped hearing from her. Only I didn't notice because I was so busy with my whole grad school/student teaching/mother of three/stake calling/wife/neighbor thing I have going on right now.

Then I started noticing.

Then I started panicking.

We've never in 13 years gone this long without speaking. I knew something was wrong. So earlier this week I called her and left a message. She called me and left a message. I then called her and left a message. I think you see where this is going.

She finally called me back today during my prep hour and the story she proceeded to tell me is unthinkable. It's horrible. It's not my story to tell. So for the sake of her privacy just know this......I stood there through my whole prep hour and then through lunch (thankfully they're back to back. A tender mercy from heaven which I've been grateful for since I started student teaching) in a complete trance. I was shocked beyond belief at what I was hearing and knew there wasn't anything I could do. I had to be strong for her but then I had to be strong for me because the time flew and before I knew it, fourth period was starting, and I had 23 rowdy kids just off of a lunch high filtering into my classroom.

To make matters worse they were saying things like: "Mrs. Kay we heard about what we're going to be doing today and we can't wait!"

Apparently I have a reputation to uphold and I owed it to the kids to table my emotions and process them later.

I'm not kidding here people when I say "the second" I got into my car to drive home I began to cry. I couldn't even conceive of what I had been told 3 1/2 hours earlier. I continued to cry the whole way home. I wanted to keep crying but as I pulled up I saw that Justin was home already. I don't like to cry in front of him. I always think he'll see it as a sign of weakness.

So I stopped. I faked my way through dinner (not really sure if I even ate to be honest with you) and then excused myself to go clean the boys' bathroom. Their shower was getting out of hand and I even got a new shower curtain for it because no matter how many times I wash and/or bleach it it still looks nasty. I think I even saw mold.

So I knew I'd have a good 45 minutes to myself in there. Scrubbing the shower and crying. Crying and thinking. Crying and wondering how on earth this could've happened. I knew if anyone came along I could just yell: "Don't come in here! There's cleaner fumes! Go away!"

But I hadn't been in there very long when Justin came in. He doesn't usually follow me around the house when I'm cleaning. He asked if I was okay and I remember saying: "I don't think I can talk about it right now. You'll have to ask later." But by then I was already teary eyed.

Bless his little heart. He stood there quietly hanging the new shower curtain while I talked and cried. Then when I finished saying all that I wanted needed to say he spoke.

For the record, he is my rock. He is wise and he is right. He is the calming influence in my life that keeps me grounded. He is the only one on the planet that could've come into that bathroom at that particular time and made me feel better. If you are ever unsure of the direction your life should take, ask him. If you are ever unsure how something could've happened, ask him.

If you ever need a therapy session in the bathroom, ask him.

Monday, January 3, 2011

"It's not a beard, it's an animal I've trained to sit very still." ~Bill Bailey

I'm one of those people that gets all hopped up on turkey and pumpkin pie and decides to drag out all the Christmas decorations the second we get back from our Thanksgiving holiday. I force Christmas music on my family as we drive to and from eastern Idaho every November. Sadly, this year was different.

As most of you know, I just finished a very intense seven- month graduate program at BSU. Christmas was really the last thing on my mind. I just wanted to get through finals and start preparing for student teaching.

Only once did I feel a tinge of regret about how pitiful our holiday was going to be. I was lamenting to Justin over the fact that we didn't put lights on the house, we didn't take a family picture for the Christmas cards, we didn't even send Christmas cards, and at the time of the conversation we didn't even have a tree yet. He didn't share my concern. In fact, I believe his exact words were: "Are you kidding? This has been the best year of our marriage!" In case you haven't figured this out by now, he and I are very different.

So exhausted was I that I even made the mistake of suggesting to Justin and the boys that we spend Christmas here at home in Kuna. The reaction was one of horror. You'd have thought I asked them to cut off their arms and eat liver for the rest of their lives. How could we not go to grandma's for Christmas?

In the end I lost the battle due to one argument: the beard picture.

Allow me to explain. Justin's baby brother showed up to the family reunion this summer sporting a full on beard. His three older brothers were in awe of this accomplishment and their respect grew to the highest level. In fact, they were still discussing Travis and his beard at Thanksgiving time. He lives in Seattle and only comes home twice a year. Once in the summer and again at Christmas. So, the Kay brothers decided to surprise Trav this Christmas by sporting their own full beards. The goal was to be together at Christmas (with beards) and get the "most awesome picture."

After four weeks of hard work how could I deny them their picture? I knew deep down we had to go home for Christmas.

Despite my reluctance, it was worth it. As it always is to spend time with family. Here's the hard earned picture:

Nice, right? I absolutely love these boys men. Particularly the third from the left, but the other three as well. They've always treated me more like a sister rather than just a sister-in-law. I love them for that. Anyway, I hope everyone had a merry Christmas. Here's to the men in our lives and their silly sexy beards.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"A boy is the only thing that God can use to make a man."

I'm a mom to three boys. So I say things like: "Why aren't you wearing any pants?" "Farting isn't as funny as you think it is." And "Who brought the catapult to the dinner table?"

My mudroom's always disgusting, there's never enough food in the pantry to keep them satisfied, and it's not fun unless someone gets hurt.

My kitchen currently has a fishing pole in the corner, a football on the table, and three uneaten vitamins sitting next to candy wrappers.

I would never complain though because raising boys has been the joy of my life. Little boys love their mommas in a way that little girls don't. Just the other day Carter said to me: "Mom please don't leave us alone with dad anymore. He picks us up by our skin."

I have no idea what that is referring to. But I love that he knows I'll keep him safe.

I also found this on my bed.

I'll translate.
"Mom Mom
you are the bomb.
So, so
what is wrong with your toe?
Why I am giving you the little white rose
Is because I like you so much."

I won't bother trying to figure out where he got the little white rose. Sorry neighbors.

It's no where near Mother's Day but Thanksgiving is next week and these three rugrats are at the top of my list of things to be grateful for.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Being someone's Superman

"What I do is based on powers we all have inside us; the ability to endure; the ability to love, to carry on, to make the best of what we have - and you don't have to be a ‘Superman' to do it." ~Christopher Reeve

Jamon lives in his own little fantasy world. And in his world Spiderman, Superman, Batman, and the Hulk really exist. Or at least they should as far as he's concerned. In fact, on more than one occasion he's said to me: "I just don't understand why Superman can't be real."

I've never had a good answer for that until today. And the answer is: He can. YOU can be Superman Jamon.

Today I stopped at Subway on my way out of town (yes, Kuna now has a Subway. We got a Les Schwab and a Walgreens too. It was a big month for our little town). Anyway, the Subway used to be a drive through coffee shop, so the dining room is really small. When I walked in there was only one other customer. Okay, there were three, but two boys were sharing one sandwich and the other boy brought his lunch with him. While the two sharing were waiting for their sandwich to be built, they were teasing the young man who brought his own. Now obviously they were friends so it wasn't like was just good old fashioned tease- your -friend type of stuff.
I can see why because his lunch was a dried up hamburger patty, raw broccoli and plain noodles. Of course cold. They were saying things like: "Nice lunch. Did your Mommy make it for you?" and "ooohh delicious! I'm jealous that I'm stuck here eating Subway."

The young man was taking it well and at that moment I decided something. I was planning on ordering a footlong because they're only five bucks, but I wasn't really planning on eating the whole thing. I was hungry enough for about 8 or 9 inches but not 12. So, rather than cut the footlong in half, I had the girl cut me 3/4 and wrap up the other 1/4 separately. As I walked out of the restaurant I set the 1/4 sandwich at the table in front of the boy who brought his own lunch. I simply said: "Have a nice day" and walked out of the restaurant.
Before the door shut I heard one of the boys say: "Who. WAS. that?"

I heard Jamon's voice in my head saying "Who was that masked man?" and smiled to myself.

You see Jamon- you don't have to be able to fly, spin webs, use laser vision, or save the world from enemies to be a hero. That's not what people really want anyway.
They want to be cared for when they're sick, helped when they're in trouble, and they want a friend when they're lonely. There are opportunities to be heroic all around you every day. You just have to watch for them.
Now giving this kid some of my sandwich might not be heroic, but I guarantee I made his day. I bet I made his mother's day too because he was a pretty good lookin' kid and that sandwich had onions on it. Stay away girls! You're welcome mom.