Saturday, September 29, 2012

My Marshmallow

Tomorrow is my 12 year anniversary to The Marshmallow, the name I gave to my hubby many years ago when he failed to live up to the rock hard exterior he'd always touted to be.  He's more like an M&M with marshmallow inside of it, truth be told.  He's all the gruff and grouchy until one of his girls gets hurt of she says she wants something. Then the chocolate melts and we can boing liberally on the marshmallow center.

Marshmallow people...not marshmellow.

Anyway, at this point in my life my reasons for valuing and cherishing my husband have changed since I was first married. Back then I wanted a strong provider, someone who was trustworthy, caring and a good listener. Someone who would be home each night and take me to breakfast on Sundays.  I also needed someone to support me through graduate school but that's a little truth we don't say out loud at the dinner table.

These days however, my needs are vastly different as they should be after this many years. I still need to know he'll be home every night but it's mainly so I can thrust the casserole serving spoon at him thereby transferring domestic responsibilities, tell him how horrible his children were all day, and finally feel like I'm not doing all of this alone. I exaggerate a little...I don't really "thrust", I give.

But more than a transfer of power at the end of the working day, I need him to be a good father to my kids. I need him to want to be here, to be engaged with the family and support me as the mom, the Supreme Being of All.  I need him to be "one" with me as we parent our kids. I still need him to be the provider but not in the ways I needed him to before. Now I need him provide the majority so I can do my best with our kids.

I know we all gripe about our spouses from time to time and we have our little "issues" that we deal with ongoing throughout the years.  But for the most part, what I have to gripe about is minimal and pretty inconsequential for the most part when viewed in the grandest scheme.

The Marshmallow has put forth a significant amount of effort this year in creating a safer and more fun haven for our kids.  Long has he wished for a sunken trampoline and a re-vamp of our back-back yard space.  In the spring, he dug a 12' diameter hole (4' deep) to sink the tramp, a feat which he did with a shovel, no less.  Today, he finished the little area by creating a large 12x8' sandbox next to the tramp. He hauled all of the sand by wheelbarrow down from the front to the back and if you know my yard, you know there is no access front to back besides stairs so using a wheelbarrow to transport load after load of sand isn't for the feint of heart.

Tinker loves the sandbox and she was instantly covered in sand the minute the sandbox was finished.  I happened to walk by a window a short time later and caught a glimpse of what I love about the Marshmallow summed up in one moment.  

What I love about this picture is that if you could have heard The Marshmallow talking this morning, you'd have thought the world was on his shoulders. He had "so much to do" today and it was going to take him forever.  A few minutes before this picture was taken, he was out front mowing the lawn and I assume he came 'round back to begin working on it and saw this little critter enjoying her new sandbox and he sat down to soak in her fun.  He does stuff like that...stops to "see" and experience those kids in ways I never do, or at least I don't think I do, not like I see him doing.  He genuinely experiences pleasure just in watching that kid play.  And so I love this picture because Tink is adorable in her little red glove (protecting her finger because she got a 2nd degree burn from touching the truck tailpipe earlier when we got home), as she plays in the new sandbox, Dad is enjoying his baby, and I get to look at all of his labors of love for the kids we made.

I included the below picture so you could also see the tramp better since that was the greater part of the battle.

I am so amazingly proud of this man not because he knows how to work, although for that I should be grateful also. But because he's not afraid to work hard for his family to make them safer and happier even for a short period in their lives. Sandbox lifespan: eh maybe 5 years??? Done.

I rarely tell him how awesome he is because I'm rude and horrible and he mades suggestive remarks about what we're going to do when the kids go to bed and it embarrasses me...wait, where was I?  Point is, I value him. My life would be awful without him. He is exactly who I needed when I didn't know what I needed at all.  How does that happen - we're so young and naive when we make these choices and amazingly they turn out to be the best choices we could have ever made.  It's almost like we're not making them on our own.....deep!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Post From The Past

I was reading my blog today...going back through the years. It's hard to believe I've had this blog now for 5 years. I'm so glad I've kept this blog - it is really like reading a journal and it brings back so many memories.  Over the next couple of days, I'm going to share a few of my older posts that I think are either funny, interesting or just strike me. Like this one, posted in December of 2007. I think it was a meme or something but I think it's hilarious and even a little frightening.

Things No One Knows

  • I blush when I read smut in a romance novel even though no one knows what I'm reading (I hate romance novels - many people know that though)
  • I love the painful feeling when floss bites into my tender gums, and sometimes over-do it just to feel it again and again (yeah, sick huh)
  • I wish my name wasn't Amy...maybe Pepper. You can call me Pepper if you want.
  • I love the way naked trees look against a dark makes me pensive
  • I still like the smell of paste, although I haven't sniffed it since I was a 2nd grader :)
  • Since about 2 years ago, I hate looking at myself in the mirror and avoid it when I can
  • I'm lonely most of the time, even though I enjoy spending time by myself
  • During my clepto teenaged years, I stole from a charity
  • My worst fear, it's unspeakable and makes me choke and then I can't breathe
  • I have a soft spot for homeless people and I give them the entire contents of my wallet whenever I can (usually $1 lol). I don't care what they spend it on.
  • I'm physically unable to put an ailing plant in the trash. I feel like a murderer
  • I cheated hardcore on a College Algebra final and would not have passed the class had I not done so
  • I've always ached for something big but don't know what it is

Scavenger Hunt Boredom Busters

Today I had a lot of stuff to do in my kitchen to get a bunch of apples I picked put up. True to form, my kids were at each others' throats and driving me crazy. The fact of the matter is they're just bored...bored of me, our house, each's rough right?

So in a moment of desperation I started dictating various lists to my daughters to go "find". Important stuff I need like "something rough".  Thought I'd throw them up here in case anyone else is ever desperate for a Scavenger Hunt list. I made two for the inside, and one for outside. They're not super clever - just filling the immediate need. Feel free to improvise or improve as needed!

I told them everything they found had to fit in the container provided...

Inside Scavenger Hunt #1
Something round and squishy
Something sparkly
Something you use everyday
Something warm
Something special
Something purple
Something small and squiare
Something gross
Something a baby would use
Something boring 

Inside Scavenger Hunt #2
Something the size of an apple
Something furry
Something white
Something sparkly
The tiniest blue thing you can find
Something rough
Something pointy
Something long and skinny
Something orange
Something round
Something square

Outside Scavenger Hunt
one white pebble
one red leaf
two yellow leaves
one lady bug
five sticks the size of a pencil
four round stones
three pieces of trash
two pointy leaves
a dandelion
something yellow
something black
something the size of an apple
something soft

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Organizing Kids' Clothes

If you're anything like me, organizing children's clothing that is sitting on the back burner awaiting its next foray into the closet (the hand-me-downers), is a big green monster that sits on your shoulder always chewing on the back of your brain.  In essence, it's a menace and although we should be grateful that we have this problem, (i.e. grateful that we can afford to have enough clothes to supply our growing children), the problem is still there, all over the floors of our storage rooms, piling up in mean little piles in the backs of our children's closets, under their beds and wherever else we can find room for a stack of clothes that are either grown-out of, or soon to be grown-in to. 

Like many of you folks, I went waaaaaay overboard in buying my sweet first-born girl-child ... clothing.  As in...I bought enough to clothe every girl-child born that day in Utah for a couple of years.  I've toned it down over the years as I've realized that sometimes outfits get worn once and then that was a waste of $20.  When the 2nd girl-child came along I guess I was grateful that I had so much to choose from.  She still got the shaft though because I absolutely refused to buy anything new. Ok, that's a flat lie but I didn't buy much.

Fast forward a few years later and I have successfully managed for the past 7 years to sanely manage all of those clothes that have been ceaselessly turning over.  I still have some piles here and there but I know that every few months I'll pull them all together and set them to order.  Here's what it looks like. Super easy too.

I have a couple bins in my storage room. One for clothing grown out of.  This is where all those random piles end up.  When the bin is full, I organize. There's also a bin for grown-out of shoes.

I picked up Space Bags, bless their little souls.  I pack them full, suck out the air and stack 'em up tight.  I usually need 2-3 bags per size but I label them so I know how many bags I'm looking for when I go in search of the next size up.  

The size I have just on these two shelves are 4T to 7 plus all of my baby quilts and some winter things for me and The Marshmallow. It all fits on these two shelves which is so great! I love it!  

Today, I finally was able to go through all of these clothes and I pulled everything that is too small for either of my girls  and put it in the spare room to figure out what to do with it. Most likely give it to D.I. unless someone out there could use birth to 12 months (ya, that's all that's here folks. I told you I over-did it). 
Anyway, I have loved how organized all of these clothes are and how easy it is to find what I need. It literally only takes a minute or two to find all of the clothes for a next size. And you can re-use the bags.  Nice!