Sunday, August 3, 2014

Heard Around the House: July 2014

You know that one commercial that depicts a dad going school supply shopping with his kids.  Dad is gleefully riding the cart down the aisle while the kids mope along behind him.  As a teacher, I never could relate.  I loved summer vacation and mourned its end.  However, now as a stay at home parent with a ten week summer break,  I can. not. wait. for. the. end.

Did you know that bored kids want to eat all the time?  Did you know that boredom often incites the most obnoxious levels of sibling fighting?  Did you know that bored little girls will begin to use their regular clothes as dress up clothes and nearly double the amount of laundry a family normally produces?  Did you know that the glory of summer break for a seven and nine year old wears off around week four?  

So basically, what I'm saying, is that most of what I've "heard around the house" during the month of July is lots of "I'm bored" followed by "I'm hungry", with an obscene amount of screaming mixed in to drive me sufficiently crazy.

But.  They're cute, so let us just focus on that for a few...





Presley:  Mom come here!  My poop looks like a weiner dog without a head.




Presley:  Mom, will you love me even when I'm a grown up lady?
Mom:  Yes, of course, I will love you forever.
Presley:  Then what color purse are you going to give to me when I'm a grown up lady?


Monday, June 30, 2014

Heard Around the House: June 2014



Noah:  I had the BEST dream last night.  Grammy and Pappy were farmers and lived on an island far away from here that was an island farm.  We were flying on a private jet to visit them and jumped out with parachutes.  Then we floated down and had deluxe omelettes for breakfast.

Cousins in May... in an apple orchard... jumping

Presley to Noah and Mylie:
Did you guys know I'm allergic to ninjas and poison berries and stuff?


Mylie's first sewing lesson... she did so much better than I expected!


While looking at our wedding pictures...
Presley:  Was I invited to your wedding?
Me:  No, you weren't born yet.
Presley:  So you didn't want to invite me because I didn't have a face or skin or eyeballs or legs?

Noah's half birthday celebration at Too Talls ice cream shop

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Half Birthdays, The Talk, and a Skateboarding Drummer

Our party animal gets to celebrate his half birthday on the first day of summer, and the longest day of the year.  Lucky guy.  I'm finally understanding that parenting sweet spot that those who have parented before me have talked about.  Turns out 9.5 years old is the beginning of what I hope will be a long phase of truly enjoying my kid.  Simmer down there, it isn't that I didn't like him before, or that I don't like my girls... it's just that parenting littles is physically AND mentally exhausting.  I'm imagining the teenage years may possibly be mentally exhausting, but at least I'll be well rested.  I hope.  

Nine and half years old is a time of starting to see his talents and passions emerge.  His sense of humor, which has always been ahead of his time, is more of his own.  He surprises me sometimes with his wit.  We can have deep discussions with honesty and reasoning, and he still likes to talk to us.  Bed time, because it is uninterrupted time, is where he tends to spill his guts and we have the best heart to hearts.  Noah is honest, and I never have to doubt his word.  He seems physically incapable of lying, his conscience won't let him.  I accidentally had THE TALK with him the other day.  I wandered into that territory by accident and was completely blindsided.  One minute I was listening to his plans to start a band and the next minute he asked what "making out" meant and then blammo.  Gary and I had made the agreement that he got the boy, and I got the girls on account of matching anatomy... but alas.  Gary owes me big time.  By the end of the conversation I pretty much wanted to hide in my closet and gouge out my eardrums, but during the actual conversation, I totally faked being calm like it was totally no big deal to use the "p" and "v" words all nonchalantly like this was the most natural conversation in the history of mother/son interactions.  I guess I'm not over it because just typing that out made me squirmy.
   
Noah is really good at drawing and writing stories.  He runs really fast and keeps getting better and better at soccer.  He always tries to scam me into giving him back massages every night by playing to my emotions.  He is the least picky eater of anyone I know and actually prefers food that is healthy, bless his heart.  He isn't good at 8x9 and 8x7, for some reason these two math facts just won't stick in his brain.  He is a delightful first born gem.  Without him being as awesome as he is, he probably wouldn't have any siblings.  Mylie and Presley thank him for that. 

Our freshly shorn handsome boy

Happy Half Birthday to our one and only Noah Loyal!



Noah at age nine years and six months:

Favorite Color... purple

Favorite Food... Spinach Lasagna
What I want to be when I grow up... Lego Masterbuilder
What I like to do... skateboard, play drums, hang with Sam
Favorite Friends... Callen, Sam, Jason
What I like about being 9... having more privileges like going on bike rides


Thursday, June 12, 2014

That's a Wrap

What feels like an eternity after Arizona schools let out for the summer... today was the last day for these two yahoos.  First and Third grades, in the books.  My oh my, how they've grown!!!
 June 12, 2014
Last Day of School
Mylie, 1st Grade
Noah, 3rd Grade

 And just for comparison... here's the first day of school.  
September 3, 2013

Mylie lost her front teeth and grew in some chicklets... she also grew two inches and up a size.  Her hair grew longer and she no longer will allow me to do her hair.  Her extracurricular activity this year has been volunteering with the small animals at the Humane Society every week with her Dad.

Noah lost some random teeth too, but pretty much has the same smile.  He grew at least an inch in height, and about five inches in hair.  His extracurricular activities included basketball and soccer.  He decided soccer was his favorite.

To keep us all motivated and accountable, we created this list of things we want to do this summer.  I would hate to get to the end of August and realize we forgot to do something we really wanted and intended to do... here's a peek:

So very excited for summer in Michigan!  We are finally being rewarded for living through that wicked five month long winter.  


Friday, June 6, 2014

The Tipping Point

There is a moment, or an occasion, when the scales tip in one direction or another.  The scales tipped and dumped me right into full blown nerd-dom where, let's face it, I've been hovering near for a good decade or two.  We took our impressionable offspring to... a gem and mineral show.  That isn't a typo.  Perhaps worse yet, we enjoyed it.  I died a little typing that.


Oh sure, it was in a dilapidated strip mall, and I had to act super pumped and convince the troops how awesome educational outings are, but once we got there it was pretty cool.  For a total of $1.50 spent, each kid got to fill an egg carton with 12 different types of rocks and fossils.  We spent about an hour touching and looking at all sorts of fossils and crystals and rocks from all over the world.



So there you have it... photographic proof of what we suspected all along.  We Krulls have a bit of nerd flowing through our veins.  And we are totally okay with that.


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

My Boy

I really don't want to be that mom... the one who constantly brags about her perfect and gifted children, and how motherhood is just a breeze and fulfilling always.  So I won't, because The Crazies came by their nickname honestly, and I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that they're not totally screwed up before they fly the nest.  So with that disclaimer firmly in place, I am going to share about my talented son and the moment that I just about lost it because I was so darn proud of him that my heart was nearly bursting.

Noah.  He is just so smart and sincere.  Hidden underneath that shaggy mop, and climbs everything energy, is a very sensitive soul.  The last two years have been a challenge because of two international moves, one cross country move, three houses, a new school... a rough school, new friends... or lack of. He is so strong, but it has been hard on him.  God graciously gave him an amazing teacher this year who has been such an encouragement to him.  Back in February, Noah came home and casually mentioned that some of his artwork and writing had been entered into a contest.  He didn't know any details and thought he probably wouldn't win.  It didn't seem very important to him, so I really didn't press for details and kind of forgot about it.  A few weeks later, he started to mention every once in a while that it might be cool to win, but that it wasn't a big deal if he didn't.  Well, I'm smart enough to know that if the kid brings it up, that means he's been thinking about it.  And if he has been thinking about it, it probably is a big deal to him and it would be a big deal if he won.  At the end of March, he told me that they were going to announce the winner at his school the next day.  We talked about how cool it would be if he won, but that even if he didn't, it was still an honor to be recognized.  He came home the next day ecstatic that he had won.  We were happy that he was happy.  Awards are fun!  Again, he didn't really know any details but that we might get a letter soon.

Well, to sum it up... the letter came and we were shocked.  He won for best story, not at his school, but for the Grand Rapids Public School district.  They would have his art and story on display at the Grand Rapids Art Museum, and would have a reception where he would give a speech and read his story.  

Leading up to the event, Noah became really nervous and wasn't sure he could get up and speak in front of a large crowd.  I really believed it would be a good experience for him, and kept encouraging him.  His teacher let him practice in front of his class, we prayed for courage, and hoped for the best.  
 Noah's artwork and story displayed at the GRAM, top


The evening came, and I was probably more nervous than he was.  We got all gussied up, and headed to the GRAM.  He was given the royal treatment, and I could tell he was nervous.  He had the chance to practice with the microphone before they opened the doors.  People started filing in, a couple hundred in all.  Noah had lots of support in the crowd.  His cheering section included the four of us, Grandma, Aunt Katie and cousin Jan, Our friends the Longs, his teacher and principal, his art teacher, and the language arts specialist from his school... 15 in all.

Could they be any cuter?

Mic check before the doors opened...

He got up on that stage and nailed it.  I was totally choked up.  Looking at my boy, being honored for a talent, and his specialness being recognized by someone other than the people who love him dearly, was amazing.  He was becoming his own person, totally separate from his little family, right there in front of my eyes.  And he was doing it well.  I know I was beaming, but it wasn't until the Education coordinator from the museum, who had been working with Noah on his speech, spoke some kind words about him, that I just could not hide my quivering chin and watering eyes.  It is an amazing feeling when someone other than me (or a certain Grammy who notoriously wears "Mom Goggles"), gets up on a public platform and says what an intelligent and earnest kid your son is.   To say I was simply "proud" is a serious understatement.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

A Dozen

Today Gary and I celebrate twelve years of marriage.  I can honestly say that I not only love Gary, but I also really really like him.  I think that's a big deal.  It is a big deal that we are still married, still want to be married, and are still best friends (with benefits ;)

Look at these crazy kids in love, June 1, 2002  Tempe, Arizona

Technically, June 1st, our anniversary, started this morning at 12am.  I was peacefully asleep at 12am, but our day of celebration started with a first for both of us.  Around 3:42 am, Presley woke up crying for a drink.  Gary went in to settle her back in then went to the kitchen to get a drink.  I dozed back to sleep but was awakened with a HUGE SURGE of adrenaline when I heard what can only be described as the sound of a table overturning, chairs being pushed rapidly across the floor, a little yelling, and then sprinting feet towards our bedroom door.  I don't know how I got out of bed and turned on the light as fast as I did, but I met Gary at the door as he rounded the corner.  He slammed the door behind him and was totally freaked out.  Which, by the way, is totally out of character for him as he's generally pretty calm and awesome in an emergency situation.  I honestly had no idea what was happening and many thoughts were racing in my head... had something happened to one of the girls (whose bedroom is across from ours)?,  Did someone break in? Was Gary injured?  He began apologizing profusely and quickly blurted out that there was a bat in our house.  

A what now?

A. Freaking. Bat.

He didn't have time to explain as we had to devise a plan to trap a bat.  My hands were shaking, and Gary was also shaken.  So we decide we need to close the girls' bedroom door so it doesn't fly in there. Meanwhile, the bat is going nuts and flying in circles around our family room.  We pull the blanket off our bed to cover the doorway between the family room and hallway.  Gary holds it up so I can close the door.  I have to reassure an awake Presley to stay in her room and not to open the door no matter what.  It's about this time that I begin to get a little light headed, a little woozy.  I get those pre-passing out cold sweats so I sit down.  Clearly I am not the level-headed one in times of crisis.  Gary's arms are getting tired from holding up the quilt so I stand to help, only I am no help, I pass out.  I was only out for a bit, as I could hear Gary (still holding the quilt up by the way) asking repeatedly if I'm okay.  We can hear that crazy bat running into the blanket and whizzing around the room.  We retreat to the bedroom and google "there's a bat in my house what do I do?".  

Seriously, we can hear the thing running into our door and the hall walls.  We decide to open all the windows and doors to try to shoo the thing out.  Gary is going to climb out our bedroom window and open the doors from the outside... only we remember that our keys are in the kitchen.  I suggest we rig up a bat proof suit.  I'm going to cover Gary in the quilt and send him out there.  Sometimes it's nice being a woman with a chivalrous husband.  He is worried about his face, so I hand him some sheer unmentionable from my top drawer to put over his face so he can see.  Macho man decides to just go for it, sans DIY batsuit.  I cover him from behind the door and he runs, ducking and weaving, to the kitchen.  Presley is calling to me from her room and I just read, via google, that bats can climb in spaces a half inch wide, including under doors.  I feel scared that the bat is going to terrorize the girls so I go and retrieve Presley.  Mylie is sound asleep, so Mom of the Year just covers her entire body with her comforter and calls it good.  I bring Presley into our room and leave her there.  By this time The Bat is M.I.A., which is even less comforting than before.  Together, towels in hand (not sure what we were planning to use them for... maybe swatting?), we venture to the basement.  We need to clear Noah's room and close his door so he's safe too.  That boy was still sleeping through all the chaos. We searched the entire house to only discover that there are unending places for the bat to hunker down, have babies, and make it her forever home.  So around 5am, we retreat.  Gary sleeps in the girls' room with Mylie, while I sleep in our bed with Presley.  I spent about 45 minutes answering Presley's questions about bats and why I couldn't go to the kitchen to get her a drink of water.  

We emerged this morning full of paranoia that a rabid bat was going to swoop from the backs of kitchen cabinets and closets to bite our faces.  I can't get this image out of my head:



So we don't have a plan about how to draw the bat out from its hiding spot.  I have a hunch it is going to try to attack me tonight.

So after that thrilling start to our thirteenth year of marriage, I'd say we're off to a good start!