Sunday, March 25, 2012

Let the Hunt Begin

Be still, my beating heart. I just watched my two bigs walk down the road with their handsome daddy and their coonhound pup, Shaky. Sporting mud boots, they skipped down the road shouting about the moon and the stars and the spaceship that Calvin "sighted," blue and green glow-stick/flashlight bouncing around excitedly.

This is so poignant for so many reasons. My boys have an amazing Daddy. They're old enough to be hunting. We live out in this gorgeous place where they can just walk out the door and into the woods. But most of all, my husband is finally realizing a dream.

Ryan has been an avid coonhunter since his own grandpa took him at age five. He always pictured taking his own kids out to the woods like Grandpa Calvin did for him so many times. But, since having kids, he's slowly backed away from a hobby that used to consume him - and take him out on average five nights a week. I can't remember the last time he hunted. We used to have anywhere from five to 15 hounds. Until recently, we had one.

When an old hunting buddy called him, wanting to make good on money he owed Ryan from a way-back deal by giving him a pup, Ryan agreed and decided that this pup would be the boys'. I'll admit, I have mixed emotions about the dog. She's beautiful and the boys love her. But part of her "training" is letting her run loose until she's past the pup stage so Shaky has free reign of our yard.  She's super-affectionate, which is sweet if you're a loving boy. Not so sweet if you're a baby just learning to walk outside in shoes. Or a mom running late for work and wearing white pants. Or enjoying some "me" time by soaking up some rays in the backyard. She likes to get into the van with the boys. And into the old hardware-store bins that are a catch-all on our front porch. And the kitty food bowl, which we hide on top of the grill, but she still noses down. And the neighbor's field, where she found a dead skunk carcass to deliver to our porch. But her most annoying habit is stealing stuff we leave lying around. She runs off with toys, sippy cups, scrap buckets, ball gloves, garden tools, socks, and, especially, shoes. She will wait for the boys to get on the trampoline and then come over and sniff out shoes. No matter how high they hang them in the nearby plum tree, she finds a way to nudge them down. She even removed Max's shoe while he giggled in his stroller. She immediately runs with her finds, usually to chew on them a short distance away. She eventually stashes them back by our other dog houses. I can't count the number of times we've chased her town (or Calvin has sneak-attacked her) or had to raid her hoard for a missing shoe. But she's almost grown now which means it'll soon be time to tie her up AND it's time for her to start hitting the woods.

Ryan hunted the camera down 10 minutes before it was time to leave. This is significant for two reasons: 1) Ryan doesn't do anything until it has to be done, and 2) Ryan doesn't take pictures. But he wanted a picture of him, his boys, and their dog. I think he thought this might be the picture we look back on years from now as the night that "started it all." I hope he's right...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Perfect Day

My "twins" with the triplets

Today felt like summer! Not just weather-wise, but lifestyle-wise too. The boys ALL slept in--and by slept in, I mean 7:15.  There was a day long, long ago when I would have referred to anything before 8 as the butt-crack of dawn. Now, I feel like a lazy teenager when I get to roll out of bed any time after 7. They only ate one breakfast (as opposed to the usual 3-5 morning snacks the little hobbits beg for). Max extended his mommy leash a few more feet than normal. We had a relaxing, fun, productive morning - finished a dragon book the boys and I have been reading, got a jump-start on laundry, then off to church. Agreed to take over a  Sunday school class starting next week (yikes!) Then came home to a low-key lunch and simultaneous nappage. While the boys slept (and by "slept" I mean rolled around making battle sounds with stuffed animals for an hour, but whatevs) I laid out in my swimsuit and graded papers. Triple threat, right there: 1) alone time, 2) getting something done, 3) fighting albinism. The rest of the afternoon included working in the garden/yard, the boys playing with our new triplets (be still, my beating heart!),
haircuts for all, another low-key meal, and everyone showered, jammied, and teeth brushed with no incidents! We watched Frozen Planet on TV as a before-bed treat, and now I sit here with my baby, relaxed, slightly sunburned, and with EVERY PIECE OF LAUNDRY IN OUR HOUSE CLEAN, DRIED, FOLDED, AND PUT AWAY! I shoulda just started with that little tidbit, huh? It only happens once every 75 years, but today is the day! Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

New Toy

The bigs have found a fun, new, interactive toy. It's called a Max. They’ve played hide and seek with him for over an hour now. They’ve knocked half the clothes off the hanger in my closet and spread blankets all over the house. And yes, they may have drug Max around the house a bit. And tried to put him in the hamper. And then they may have swept him off his feet more than once trying to help him in a baby kickboxing match.  But hey -  it’s great sibling bonding time. And it’ll toughen the little guy up. But mostly, it’s all fun and games when the baby isn’t Velcroed to your leg.  
I’m hoping today is a start of a whole new Max. He has been so happy and so not all up in my bidness! Even when his bubbies were outside on the trampoline, he wandered around the house happily creating havoc. He’s usually a total Mama’s boy. His favorite place to hang out is my left calf. He’ll be happily playing one minute, then see me walk across the room and suddenly be rendered a blubbering codependent, alternately crying and saying, “Buh! Buh! Buh!” which could be “bite,” but in this situation means, “up,” I’ve learned. I’ve gotta admit, there’s been quite a few things that Max has gotten away with, simply because he wasn’t being a barnacle. Among them:
-          Taking all the books off the shelves
-          Filing various objects in random locations (deodorant under the microwave, sippy cup in the dog scrap bucket, spit-out grape skins in the mixing bowls, toys in the bathroom drawers, etc.)
-          Splashing in the toilet
-          Tearing up the boys’ masterpieces
-          Raiding the beer can collection from under our stroller (no, I don’t drink and stroll—apparently we live on a drinking road, so we pick cans up on our walks)
-          “Helping” with the dirty laundry
-          “Helping” grade papers
-          Trying to dial out on one of our cell phones
-          Eating who-knows-how-old scraps from under the table
-          Blowing into and licking the vacuum tubes and attachments
I won’t differentiate between the ones that I didn’t notice because I was sneaking around trying to not to let him see me and the ones I knew full well he was doing, but did nothing about because it bought me a few moments alone. Let your imagination run wild…