As a mother – I despise cheetos. Not because I think they’re slowly killing my kids – which its possible they are. But I can’t stand how much orange dye is used in the process. They are crazy messy. Even eating just one will stain your fingers to the point of conviction.
Adults have a hard time eating them without looking ridiculous. Forget about kids – they look like ragamuffins by the time they finish the bag. Yet it seems as though every variety pack ever sold has cheetos. (unless you go the sun chips route which is a good alternative.) It comes with 7 flavors and cheetos always makes its way in there.
Why?! Are there that many closet cheetos lovers out there? Are they cheap to make because they’re made of chemicals so they throw it in the box to offset the price? As I watched Cannon eat his lunch I wondered these questions. In our house, they’re always the last ones chosen. Which is why Cannon ends up with them on occasion. And then after he “washes” his face and hands I find orange stained hand towels in the bathroom and the kitchen and smears across the front of his shirt. I’m going to start anonymously dropping off little bags of cheetos to all the people who have crossed me. That will show them.
Our stake (church organization) put on the annual rodeo this last weekend and it left us exhausted. First of all, stake rodeos are not the norm and I’m not even sure there are other church rodeos out there. I grew up in Idaho and I never attended one growing up and it was Idaho. Now I live in a large city and one of our church buildings has rodeo grounds on it. No joke. This area has a lot of pride in their community and pioneer heritage and it is celebrated every year.
The rodeo is a huge production and requires a lot of man hours to run it and Steve was in the middle of it with his church calling. Months of planning, turns into an all-day preparation the day before and all day during the rodeo. Friday afternoon the oldest three went with Steve to help. Their clothing told me they must have been filling BBQ sauce containers. Some were cleaner than others. 😉
Saturday was the big day. They created kid friendly activities the kids could participate in so it really became a family event. Bennett really wanted to sign up to ride the sheep but it seemed far more advanced than his city slicker parents could coach him with. In all reality, he would’ve been fine – perhaps next year. Hallie signed up with a friend to do goat dressing. One partner wears bloomers, removes the bloomers and puts them on the goat, while the other partner tries to hold the goat still. Hallie was in charge of holding the goat in place. It was pretty funny and she got knocked around a bit!
The younger kids didn’t sign up for anything and were completely content at the horse/pony rides and the petting zoo. They get these experiences twice a year; once at Lehi days, the other when we visit Idaho. There’s no doubt we are raising city kids! We may look out of place with our shorts and tennis shoes but the kids love it.
Cannon has a fear of most animals. The petting zoo wasn’t his first choice and he made the most out of the situation by standing as far away from the animals as he could – standing on a bale of hay.
This was about as close as he got.
Briggs decided he’s not an animal fan either. I sat next to him in the hay for a little break and thought he might like to see an animal more his size. Nope. The largest goat or the smallest chicken, he wanted out of the petting zoo!
Cannon was happiest with a bag of cotton candy in his hand and in his mouth. And around his mouth. And on his shirt. And in his hair. And next to his best little buddy.
That smile right there is cotton candy mixed with bbq pork, bbq beans and two popsicles. Its no wonder he loves Lehi days.
Our friend and neighbor and fearless leader of the rodeo let the boys try out his tractor. Bennett was pretty impressed that this “really old thing actually runs”.
Steve was tucked away in the concession stand most the time and at one point we were all in there helping him. We enjoyed the rodeo for 5 hours and Steve was there twice that and then some. We left exhausted, but happy. It was a fun time and it was made better by good friends to spend the day with.
As much as Briggs loves food, I was a little surprised to find out tonight that he’s not a big fan of cake and frosting. Out of five kids – he was the least interested in his first birthday cake. We helped him a bit and he liked it just fine. He just didn’t like getting his hands in it. If I have a can of wood filler on the ground next to me, he’ll put is finger in it. If there is soap spilled on the counter, he will put his finger in it. Put a large cake in front of him and he’s not sure what to do.
The other kids were trying their hardest to convince Briggs to eat the cake. But when it was apparent that he was done – they jumped in on the fun. Although Briggs didn’t want the cake, he made it clear he didn’t want anyone else eating his cake!
After we got everyone cleaned up and the the chaos had cleared, Briggs went back to the cake. He didn’t actually touch the cake – although he got close. Instead he just stuck out his tongue as if we was going to lick the platter clean.
It was exactly one year ago tonight that Steve and I were heading to the hospital with great anticipation of our baby’s arrival (two days past our due date) – only to be sent home at midnight with contractions five minutes apart. It was a long night and we returned just a few hours later with very little time to spare. The caboose to our family had finally arrived and it felt good and complete.
One year later and the memories of those first hours and even days are crystal clear. And then it got harder juggling life and a new baby and things start to blur in my mind – memories blend together and even escape me. In some instance it’s hard to believe it’s been a year, but then again it’s been a long year with plenty of ups and downs. I hate to wish away hard days and even weeks, but we’ve all been there, we’ve all done it.
Even knowing it was my last, I took extra time to hold and snuggle and really soak it in – but I still had those moments where it was hard to “enjoy the stage” we were in as so many seasoned mothers had counseled me. Would I love to go back in time and hold him as a newborn? Absolutely. But I know all that comes with it; the late nights, the emotional roller coaster, the recovering body – it’s a tough gig. And yet, so worth it.
We made it through the first year – it’s time to celebrate! But first let me reminisce his once tiny squishy body. Happy Birthday Buddy.
This little guy loved having his grandpa in town for the week. He followed him around, insisted they sat next to each other to eat and read the same book over and over again. He skipped his nap most days because what grandpa was doing was far more exciting. And it finally caught up with him – he was tuckered out. He doesn’t fall asleep easily – and never does he fall asleep outside of his bed.
But tonight he couldn’t keep his eyes open. I asked him to grab his pajamas while I fed Briggs and put him to bed. I came out to find him snuggled up with Hallie’s blanket on the couch. He was screaming at me just an hour earlier because I took a bite of his bread. And now in a dim room with some light from the kitchen spilling over, he was quiet and still and I was filled with gratitude for this spunky kid.
Motherhood is exhausting and yet pulls through with amazingly redemptive moments!
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