The Life and Times of Monkey, Buster, and Yessa

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Manure? February 13, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — mommie2zs @ 8:12 pm

As I was putting Yessa to bed last night, we had the following conversation:

Noa said, “Mom, Dad rubbed manure in my hair.”

“What?”  I laughed incredulously.
“Dad, rubbed manure in my hair.”
“Oh, he must have just been joking.  He didn’t rub manure in your hair.” I reassured her.
A minute passed with both of us in total silence.
“Mom, it wasn’t manure. It was that soap.”
“You mean lavender?”
“Yes, lavender!” She responded with surety.
“Yes, he rubbed lavender in my hair.”  This was said with calm assurance as she dropped off to sleep.

My Favorite Moment So Far January 31, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — mommie2zs @ 9:53 am

We’ve had many magical moments here at Disney so far, but my very favorite moment, up to Tuesday morning, anyway, has only a little to do with Disney, and a lot to do with sibling love and human ingenuity.

At Hollywood Studios, where we visited on Sunday of our trip, they have a Jedi Training Academy.  If you arrive at the park early enough, and scurry right over to the sign up building, your child/ren can be part of the Jedi show and use the force to fight Darth Vader.  But, they don’t know they are going to be fighting Darth Vader.  They just think they are learning to be Padawan Masters.  Thanks to Andrea and Buddie’s dedication and Disney pre-reading, we hustled over there, and all three eldest cousins made the cut.

You are assigned a show time by the order you sign up, and we were in line to make the 3:50 show.  (Shows start at 9:50 a.m. and run every hour.  We were in line to sign up by 9:20, so this shows how popular Jedi Training is.)  We had to have the children back at the Training Academy by 3:20.

Insert very filled day here, which you can read about in blog post:  Disney Day #2.

Buds and the big kids go streaking off from The Tower of Terror to the Jedi Academy.  The rest of us follow along at a more leisurely pace.

The children do their training, and then we all move over to the main stage to watch the show.  All twelve children, I mean Jedis In Training, are given their brown jedi robes and light sabers.  They spend some time on stage learning to arm and disarm their weapons, practice an attack sequence involving a slash to the right arm, left arm, right leg, duck, left leg, right leg, blow to the head, and their Jedi Master talks with them about using the Force.  Then, all the children are moved off to the side, huddled together in a group, they all think to prepare to have a chance for center stage individually, but is, in actuality, clearing of the main stage so that a great dramatic moment can occur.

The bay doors at the back of the stage swoosh open with smoke and drama, and there stands two storm troopers and Darth Vader.

I look away from the activity on the center stage to see how the children are reacting to this new plot development.  I can’t see Cousin O, but Z and Z are standing toward the middle of the group, with younger children in front of them, so I can see both of their heads clearly.  As I am watching, seeing Darth Vader strut and threaten on stage out of the corner of my eye, I see Zoe reach up, put her hand on the top of Zachary’s head, and slowly push his head down as she lowers her own head down, attempting to make both of them disappear into the center of the Jedis.

In other words, she was going to take cover, and she was taking her brother with her.

We learned later that the children had not been told that Darth Vader would be part of their Jedi Training, and with the imaginations that all the children have, and the excitement and nervousness and focus they were all showing on stage before Darth appeared, I think they were so caught up in this moment, it became very real.

It makes me cry with laughter to think about it because it was a perfectly timed comedic moment, but then I realize to Zoe and Zachy it was very real, and I’m so touched by the care she was showing for her brother.

Jedis for a day.  Siblings for a lifetime.


Disney Day #1 January 30, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — mommie2zs @ 2:15 am

Our vacation actually started with our arrival at Matt and April’s on Thursday late afternoon, but they deserve a post all there own.  Since we’ll be going back there after Disney, I’ll save that for a complete story about them later.  Obviously, we had a fantastic time with them.

Friday afternoon, we headed down to the Disney House in Kissimmee, Florida, arriving around 3:30.  The cleaning people were still working on the house, so we frolicked in the community pool for awhile, then returned to the house.  The children were ready to jump into the pool at the house, and since the water was toasty warm, it was perfect.

I headed to the grocery store while Buds and crew played, then we settled in for the night.  Zachy and Noa in one big bed, Zoe in a twin bed snuggled in by herself.  She has started down the Harry Potter path, thanks to Alex.  She stayed up very late to complete the Second Book, having ripped through the first one in a day and a half.

Saturday morning we headed over to Epcot at 8:50, arriving at the park, and heading right in.  We rode Spaceship Earth, which the kids loved.  The children sat in front of Buds and me in the car, Yessa holding my hand the entire time.  When you come around the corner into the huge center room with the huge Earth illuminating the sky, Noa said, “The Earth is beautiful.”  I loved that moment.

After Spaceship Earth we played some of the electronic games.  Buds laughed over the dated predictions of the computer ideas in Spaceship Earth.

Then we rode Test Track, which all the children loved.  It was fast and crazy, and got many laughs.  They would definitely do that again.

We had gotten Fast Passes for Soarin’, which everyone adored.  Well, everyone except me.  Noa had to hold my hand to reassure me.

As we were walking into Soarin’, Judy and Rick Galliher and their boys, were walking out.  It was a pleasant surprise to see them.

After Soarin’, we headed back to the house to greet and play with Cousins upon their arrival to the Disney House.  Everyone piled into the pool to splash and play, and about 3:30 we headed back over to Epcot for a couple more hours.

Took the cousins on Starship Earth, then while the cousins and Dad and Monkey went on Soarin’ again, Buster and Yessa and I did a boat ride that took us into the back area at Epcot to see the botanical garden, growing area.  It was very cool.

Zoe suggested we did the Epcot Character Spot, which meant pictures with Micky, Minnie, Donald, Pluto, and Goofy, all in one spot.

One last ride on Starship Earth.

Back home to relax, and Day One Disney was done.


So Darn Funny! January 22, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — mommie2zs @ 1:12 pm

These kids continually crack us up, and by writing down these funny memories, they’ll become family lore in the years to come.

Two things from recently:

Last night on the drive home from church, I was reminding Zachary that he would be heading back to church with me in the morning.  He has OWL class, and I have auction meetings.  With a bit of a sigh in his voice he said, “How long will we be dere?”

I started into a drawn out explanation.  “Well, you have OWL class, then I have a meeting with Ms. Marlo about the auction, then we have to do auction announcements during the services, and…”

Zoe turns to him in the back seat and says to him a deadpan voice, “You better pack a lunch.”

And, of course, there is always something funny that the Buster has said or the way he pronounces something.

He was telling me a long, elaborate story yesterday, and at one point said, “…and then after that he had to go here, dus (thus) the main character, blah, blah, blah…”  I don’t remember any more of the story because I was so focused on his use of “thus.”

Not quite as funny as “Black Ash,” but pretty darn good.


Good job, Mom. January 13, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — mommie2zs @ 7:25 pm

As I mentioned in an earlier post, part of our Christmas celebrating this year was a potluck at CrossFit.  Maggie had a huge pinata for the children to take whacks at.  She and Adrienne lined the children up by age, Tim took the rope to move the pinata up and down for the children, and Maggie helped the smaller children wield the weighted PVC pipe that was the stick of doom.

There were 10 or so children in line in front of Zoe, and the pinata had not given up anything until the boy right in front of Zoe.  He gave it a whack, and two mini-candy bars fell out.  He didn’t notice them, and ran to his place at the end of the line to await his next turn.  Zoe stepped forward, in her green velvet dress, purple winter boots, and combed copper hair, picked up the candy bars, skipped around the line up to the boy, explained to him that the candy bars were his, handed them to him, and skipped her way back up to Ms. Maggie and the whacking stick.

The “return the candy” scenario was played out with the entire room of adults watching in silence.  As our copper head skipped back to the front of the line, there was a collective, “aaawwwww” and various, “That’s so sweet.”  “That was so kind.”  Tim, the pinata rope holder, turned to me and said, “Good job, Mom.”

That gave me pause.  Did/do I deserve praise about how my children act?  Especially an entirely self-motivated, altruistic act such as Zoe displayed.

We, Buds and I, have been blessed with two extremely, exceptionally laid-back, relaxed, loving, friendly children.  The third one is all of those things, too, most of the time, but she is the spice in the chili that keeps our little family stew pot bubbling.  Sometimes exhausting and exasperating, but never boring, and I wouldn’t change her for a million…anything.  Now, this spicy one, she’s not spicy in public.  She still wants to be with at least one parent at all times, except for a few select playdate options.

My point is, the children who chose us as their parents fit into our life excessively well.  It might have worked out differently.  We certainly all know parents and children who do not mesh well.  It’s one of the side benefits that I appreciate about homeschooling:  I love being with these people.

So what about those compliments on Zoe’s behavior that night…

Compliments on her gorgeous copper hair, I’m all over that.  If someone compliments her hair, even to her, I’ll thank them.  By golly, that is all me.  I made that hair!  (Okay, Buds has a little red hair when he grows out his goatee, but vast majority is all me.)

But the kindness of their spirits, the tenderness of their hearts?  Certainly the life we have chosen to live with them has allowed them to develop and grow in that sweet-tempered direction.  I’m grateful that they aren’t growing up in a household with anger and yelling and venom.  Grateful that they don’t yet even understand that those kinds of households exist.

Still and all, they are who they are.  I’ve nurtured it, we’ve nurtured it, but we didn’t make it.  We are just allowed to bask in it.


My Kind of World January 12, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — mommie2zs @ 6:10 pm

There’s a guy at our box; a guy I consider a tough guy.  Not in the ugly sense of a sexist, mean, tough guy.  Just literally a tough guy.  Physically he’s incredibly strong, fast, and skilled.  He’s quiet, as well, except when he’s coaching, and then he’s got the gift of spirit and personality force.

I had a few minutes to visit with him the other day.  We were talking about the decision he and his wife made to not buy a new house right now.

“We’re trying to have a kid, and we decided our mortgage is just so cheap, it wasn’t worth trying to find a house we really liked.  We kept compromising as we looked at new houses:  Okay, we’ll go up $25,000; okay, we’ll look a little further out…”

Then he said the words that gave me the insight into the new world we are creating, intelligent, thoughtful, men and women together.

“This way, if one of us decides to stay home, we’ve got the option of living on one salary.”

“…if one of us decides to stay home…”

That’s the kind of world I want to be living in.


I’ve solved it!

Filed under: Uncategorized — mommie2zs @ 5:59 pm

You may begin thanking me now.  Global warming challenge, solved…by me…today!  That’s right, hell is freezing over, and I caused it.

Two things have happened in the last week that tilted things in the world’s favor.

First, a little backstory:

Jeff Tincher is this guy:  The Legend. He’s one of the co-owners of our box, and he’s amazing.  Buds views him as a physical specimen to be emulated and chased.  Every WOD is an opportunity to be as good as Jeff.  I view him as a fantastic coach, and it always causes a bit of a thrill in the box when he comes in to coach.  He’s a full-time firefighter, and he and Maggie, the other owner and head coach, are both fantastic at what they do.

Maggie, the trainer we work with the most, was in Mexico City to present some CrossFit Training, and we had Jeff as our trainer for this WOD:

AMRAP in 15 minutes of:

  • 10 calories on rower
  • 25 double unders

Core – 3 Max Effort L Holds on Pull Up Bar

Jeff had us warm up on the rowers to check our form, and once we had gotten started he said, “Everybody look at Jen.  That’s perfect.”

That’s right…an athletic, firefighting legend said I was performing an athletic ANYTHING in a perfect way.  I almost fell off my rower.  Truly, I felt a happy glow all day.

Then, just today, the second cataclysmic event occurred.

The WOD today was:

AMRAP in 10 minutes of:

  • 8 KB Swings (70#/53#)
  • 12 push presses (95#/65#)
  • 20 lateral jumps over barbell

Core – 25 Glute Ham Raises

I’ve been having some shoulder/upper right arm issue, so I didn’t do the RX’d weights, but I felt good about how I did, and I’ve definitely got more jump in my jump than I had 30 pounds ago.

I called Buds to let him know I was on the way home, and how many rounds I completed (5+9).  We hung up, and he called right back to say, with a huge smile in his voice, “Well, Ginnie, you are going to cry about this.”


“Wait until you read what Tania posted.”

“What is it?  Read it to me.”

“The title is:  Operation Be Like Jennie.”

And she went on to say, “I’ve decided that the only way to lift as heavy as Jennie — my crossfit idol — is to swallow my pride of reps/time and just go heavier. After being up all night with food poisoning/stomach bug/cholera, perhaps today was not the best day to initiate Operation BLJ. But I survived, didn’t hurl in front of Maggie, and upped my weight.
50# push press, #44 KB”

I was speechless.  Tania is a wiry, scrappy, tough as heck, amazing woman.  She does adventure races on the weekend, and can do pull ups like a fiend.  (A feat I have yet to master.)  I admire her a great deal, and have never ever thought I’d have anything to teach her…about anything.

The eighth grade me; chubby, as unathletic as humanly possible, and a consistent failure at the Presidential Physical Fitness annual test of hellish activities, was shocked.   Being picked last for teams in gym class became something of an art form for me.  I perfected the “I have to pee right now,” timing so that I would be in the bathroom as teams were being picked, then when I came out, Mr. Lindsay would just say, “Jennie, you are on that team.”  Off I’d trot.  Much less stressful.

Buds greeted me with a huge smile, and reminded me that the view we have from the inside is not what others see.  In fact, someone just meeting me now, as Tania has, would think I was a relatively competent athlete.

To top it off, two friends asked me if I wanted to join their team for this race: EX2 Greenhorn Adventure Race.  They thought I’d like to do it.

Wait, I’ve become that person.  Someone that people choose to have on their team…their athletic team?!

This changes everything.

Photo by Michael Rothgeb, a trainer at our box.  Thanks, Mike!


Stomach Pains January 9, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — mommie2zs @ 10:15 pm

As I’ve written before, The Buster is our homebody.  He loves going to play over at Cousins’ house, and he gets as excited for travel as all of the rest of us, but after a few days away from home he’s ready to be back in our safe haven.

Apparently, sometimes the timeline can be even briefer.

We had a busy weekend.   On Saturday we had XFit for the whole family in the morning, a grocery store trip, church in the afternoon, then dinner with friends at their house.  On Sunday, Buster and I headed to church for his first OWL class, then I had an auction meeting between services while he entertained himself admirably.  So, church for an hour, then 1 1/2 hours waiting while I talked with other auction leaders.  Then, home for the rest of the day.

That night, as everyone was getting ready for bed, he began to complain of a headache and upset stomach.  Concerned, I asked what he thought was going on? Was he hungry, did he need to go potty, did he need a drink?  Why was he having pains?

“It’s because I wasn’t home enough today!” He wailed.


Things To Be Grateful For…

Filed under: Uncategorized — mommie2zs @ 2:31 pm

I never want to forget the relaxation and peace that comes from the children now being old enough to play independently with each other and their friends.  We went to dinner at friends’ house after church on Saturday night.

We walked in the door, and the children disappeared.  We saw random children throughout the evening as they needed food, and then we saw them as their games of indoor tag got a little too energetic, but other than that, we adults sat down to our dinner, ate our dinner; at a table, with real plates, glasses, and silverware; chatted after our dinner was over, and we were chatting about life, visions, and plans beyond just our children; had time to digest enough to decide that, “why, yes, thank you, a piece of chocolate for dessert would be perfect,” and then it was time to close out the evening.

It was relaxing, cozy, comfortable, and enriching on so many levels.  This couple stretches our minds and our hearts, which gives me such a feeling of love.

So, thanks kids, and thanks adults.  Time well spent.


So grateful… January 6, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — mommie2zs @ 4:31 pm

This isn’t exactly the place to put this, but since only people I love and trust read my blog, it’s okay.  I just don’t want this moment to be lost to time.

Buds and I completed this WOD this morning:

AMRAP in 15 minutes of:

  • 10 calories on rower
  • 25 double unders

As we always do, we spent the 30 minutes before Buds left for work talking about the workout, who we worked out with, funny things people said or did, what we felt good or deflated about.  It’s our couple’s therapy for the morning.

Then, as I walked Buds to the door, I said, “Dropping another 10 pounds will make DU’s that much easier.”  He turned to me and said, with a catch in his throat, and a shimmer in his eyes, “I’m so proud of you.  So proud after all these years of struggling with food, and you’ve kicked its ass.”

I’m not doing any sort of justice to what he said because he was much more eloquent, kind, sincere, and just so…full of love.  Despite the amazing wonder of our relationship, the path to healthy eating often has felt like a lonely one, and today was the first day I fully understood that he felt my anxiety and fear and sorrow and despair through all those years.  It was a burden he carried alone, too.

Thank you, Buds, for noticing how hard I’ve fought, how far I’ve come, and how much it means that you were there with me every step of the way.