Monday, June 16, 2014

Summer Adventures and Anecdotes

Three years into owning a home and we have finally figured out the art of yard work. Things we have learned: 1) It is critical to trim the shrubbery. 2) Morning Glory is a homeowner's worst nightmare. 3) Grubs exist. 4) Your kids will gladly pull weeds with you if you give them the right equipment -- a.k.a pruning shears, a bucket, and a single work glove. At least once a day Carson will request to be dressed in his work glove and then he'll announce he's off to pull weeds. I love my mini me. 
Do other people have a more effective way to wash their kids' hair besides pouring water all over their heads and allowing the screaming to ensue? Eli took matters into his own hands and has matured to washing his own hair via the near dunk.
If you've seen me walking around town with my kids, you know I tend to always accidentally dress us all in the same color, or color coordinated outfits. Maybe my subconscious picture taking self is making sure we're always ready for a family picture in case the opportunity unexpectedly arises.

Well. Jeffery is a little bit different. One Sunday after church, he was rummaging through the boys' clothes and he was so excited to discover they could all sport a white polo, grey shorts and flip flops for our traditional Sunday evening stroll. As luck would have it, they all willingly posed for a picture post walk to show off their intentional triplet-ting, which resulted in my favorite shot of my boys.
The boys LOOOOOVE to Skype with Grandma and Grandpa Excell. I freeze up and look like a goon when the camera shifts towards me, but the boys eat it up! Carson loves to check up on his favorite pal Barkley and Eli loves to show off all his latest tricks and toys to Grandma and Grandpa.
The problem with summer is the days are long and the baths are few. Every evening the boys run straight outside to play in the dirt with their tractors after dinner. They are so so so so happy outside right after dinner because they're full, the backyard is shaded, and they're sitting in a big pile of dirt. Why would I interfere with their happiness to pull them away for a bath? This means they go to bed many a night with dusty toes and brown fingernails. And when we finally do get around to a bath, I'm reminded of just how dirty a little boy can get. This shot of bath remnants was from JUST Carson.
We planned a fun little weekend retreat with our Young Women. We had so much fun, and it was nice to get away for some girl time -- especially after staring at all that dirt for the first few weeks of summer.
Sooooooooooooooo I signed Eli up for piano camp. It was four days all in one week for two hours each day. He LOVED it. He came home and told me about how quarter notes have full bellies and half notes are hungry and whole notes are fat and don't forget about the dotted half note, Mom!

He completely thrived in the preschool setting over the last couple of months, so I knew he'd love the chance to get together with a bunch of kids in the same environment for a whole week. Weeeeeellll. What I didn't realize going into it was that there would be a recital at the end of camp. I also didn't realize Eli was on the super young side of the kids who would be going. And owning a piano didn't seem critical to the whole piano camp scene until I was sitting at piano camp on the last day for his recital and realized a little practice at home would have done a lot of good. Particularly after every single one of the other kids played their songs absolutely perfectly, effortlessly and nearly memorized. Eli was the last to perform, and...well...I'll let the video do the talking:

If Carson's not napping during quiet time, he's usually sneaking around upstairs. He'll get really quiet and scurry into the bathroom across the hall. Mostly just to see if he can. And then he'll get braver and prance back to my bedroom where he'll vroom cars around on my bed for a while. My quiet time motto with Carson is I don't bug him until he bugs me, so he has learned he can get away with quite a bit if he's quiet enough.

One afternoon, I put Carson down and I got busy sewing without any screams from the kids, or scurrying of feet, or doors slamming, so I thought I was in the clear. I was sure a miracle had descended upon me and Carson had peacefully fallen asleep. To confirm my suspicions that I was experiencing a miracle, I went upstairs to make sure he was tucked away in bed. His room was empty. I scanned the surrounding areas as I went into my room, but he wasn't there either. Then I swung around to my bathroom and found him with mascara in hand, on cheek, and scribbled all over my door and cabinets. Sigh. Looks like we're saving our miracle for another day.
The Young Women are trying their hardest to keep me hip for as long as possible. They convinced me to throw myself down a slip 'n slide covered in schloppy Jello. It was as sticky as it sounds.
I went to lunch last week with my friends from high school, Kenz and Melissa. After lunch Kenz told us that an old, ratty tie would get us a dozen free doughnuts from Krispy Kreme. Um...yes please.
Eli later asked Jeff, "Dad, but why does Kenzie have a doughnut factory at her house?" So Kenz, Eli will now be expecting this every time we go to visit you.
We felt so spoiled to snatch a dozen free donuts! I had every intention of saving them all for Jeff because I was going out of town for the weekend and leaving him with the boys, but we had already eaten half of them before we ever got home. Certain foods leave me with no self control.

Kenz was wearing a necklace that had a little bicycle figurine on it at lunch. When the boys got rowdy, she -- so intuitively -- handed the boys her necklace, knowing the bicycle figurine could double as a toy. That thing kept Carson busy for a good 15 minutes before I noticed he wasn't holding it anymore. I glanced around for it and was surprised I couldn't see it anywhere. When I asked Carson where it was, he pointed to a teeny, tiny slit right between the booth and the wall. There was no getting that necklace back without tearing down the whole corner of the restaurant. So Kenz and Carson have forever left their mark on that unsuspecting Zupas.
On that note, I'd better be off for some quick internet shopping. I just remembered I'm in the market for a bicycle necklace. Happy Summer-ing!


Rebecca said...

I'm just getting caught up with your blog. Loved this post! Where to start?

Every picture was so adorable. I especially love the one of the three boys in their polos and Eli's face as he's Skyping with his grandparents. He never looks at me with such joy when we're having conversations. Now I'm offended.

Eli is such at the piano? At least when it comes to asserting his will to find the right page and deeply bowing at the end.

I laughed out loud at the "Why does Kenzie have a doughnut factory at her house?" Hilarious. Spencer and Caroline came over to see the pictures and kept asking, "Why do they have to wear those hats to eat doughnuts?" Confusion all around.

Kim said...

I like the picture of Eli's face sticking out of the bubbles in the bathtub.

I just watched his piano performance. Let's just say probably the best part of the performance was his exuberant bow at the end.

The boys are adorable in their doughnut hats. Cute post!

Kenzman said...

Oh Sarah... if only I could live in a krispie kreme. It's only my DREAM!!!!!

And don't worry about the bicycle necklace! I lose my jewelry all the time so this is nothing new to me!

Loved the girl time next time we get together lets take a photo where I look pretty. K thanks bye.

Kenzman said...

Oh Sarah... if only I could live in a krispie kreme. It's only my DREAM!!!!!

And don't worry about the bicycle necklace! I lose my jewelry all the time so this is nothing new to me!

Loved the girl time next time we get together lets take a photo where I look pretty. K thanks bye.

David and Mary said...

It looks like you are having a fun summer. I could watch Eli's piano recital 10 times in a row and LOL everytime. He is so cute and proud of his playing. I can't wait for the Christmas Tea and recital performace! I will let Carson help me in the yard anytime, he is such a cute little garden helper!