Thursday, June 7, 2012

Time is a speeding bullet

The other day Connor found a hose attachment that looks like a much smaller version of a fire hose.  I have no clue where it came from, we find a lot of random things around here.  (It is an old house.)  He proceeded to stand in the backyard pointing his "firehose" to the sky and laughing hysterically.  It was the absolutely best laugh.  The sound of my little guys complete joy just made my heart skip a beat.  Those are the moments that you want to never forget.  Connor's at that age where everyday they say and do funny things.  Even the silly faces he makes convey so much.  But I don't know how to capture that in a way that I will never lose.  I know there will come a time when my children are far away and my memory is less than sharp, and I will struggle to remember those wonderful moments, instead of all the things that make old ladies cranky.  A picture just doesn't capture it perfectly enough.  Connor somehow manages to stop doing the adorable thing I never want to forget, and revert to his standby Paulitz smile (its not our best feature.)  It's like a rectangular smile. It's pretty awkward. And I'm not a good enough writer to capture it with words.  Sure I can write down the funny things he says, if I haven't forgotten them by the time I get a chance.  But I lack that skill that allows writers to capture an image so perfectly, you can see it in your head.

My favorite is his quirky facial expressions.  He does all of these silly things with his eyes that say much more than he ever does.  His mouth too.  I think that all of that time when he couldn't communicate with us led him to make up his own way.  Plus nothing gets a good laugh like Con's "that's weird or that's funny"  He'll make this great expression by lifting his eyebrows way up, bugging out his eyes, and moving his eyes around all crazy.  All this without a word.  He follows this with a completely straight faced, "that funny."

Con is all boy.  Every game he plays involves fighting, Star Wars, army guys, and of course super heroes.  He's pretty sure he has actual super powers, including flying and that Iron Man power hand thing.  Surprisingly, we haven't been to the ER in a while.  His latest incarnation is "bubble man."  He stomps around the bathtub, covered in soap singing, "I am bubble man" in his sternest voice. Every few steps he stops to do his Iron Man fire power hand thing. This is usually followed by Dave and I chiming in with a rousing rendition of Black Sabbath's "Iron Man", substituting the words "bubble man", of course.

But Connor is still a sweet mama's boy.  My boys love to snuggle up with me, Greg is big on drive-by hugs, he needs his mommy fix.  Con never goes to sleep without giving me a good-night kiss.  Every night when I kiss the boys goodnight, I know the day is fast coming that I'll be lucky to get a Paulitz butterfly hug.  Before I know it, they'll be leaving for missions and I'll finally have time for that mental breakdown.  Isn't it funny that all the times in our lives when we want time to hurry up, it waits.  And when we want it to stop, it runs so fast we can't catch it.  Kinda like my kids.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


I've been thinking about spouses lately.  Being married requires a lot of patience.  I'd say it's in one of my top five important things to a successful marriage.  Of course I usually think of this in terms of how much patience is required on my part.  I could probably make a long list of things about my husband that drive me crazy.  Whenever I find myself particularly annoyed I have this mental picture of myself as Debora from "Everybody Loves Raymond", rolling her eyes and muttering "idiot".  Now I know this makes me sound like a mean wife, and I fully acknowledge that I, as my boss so delicately put it, "have a low bulls**t tolerance."  I just see it how I see it, and feel free to share accordingly.  Somehow this has gotten me thinking me about the things I do that maybe, just maybe, cause Dave to exercise a great deal of patience.  In no particular order, this ones for you babe:

* Dave does not like to spend money.  What he spends on shoes, hair, and clothes in a year equals about 12 weeks of haircuts, coloring, and product.

* Before mentioned dislike of spending money.  When we got married, he had money for my ring in cash. He'd been saving because he knew eventually he would meet the right girl.  I spend money the second it lands in my greedy little paws.

* Dave has not had closet space since we got married.  In every place we've lived, he has had to share closet space with the kids.  We know have a rather large closet, he has part of a rod.

* I am a huge whiner.  If I don't feel well everyone around me knows it.  If I get a debilitating headache, I will not quietly retire to my room, I will sit on the couch with ice on my head demanding that everyone be silent.  (In my defense, laying down does tend to make it way worse.)

* Dave can be up and out the door in 15 minutes if need be.  I take an hour to get myself together, not to mention the time it takes me to wake up in bed, wake up on the couch, and eat.

* We are never on time to church. Or anywhere else for that matter.  Case in point: our children don't really know what happens the first 10 minutes of church.

* I view the speed limit as a suggestion.  I don't think why this bothers him needs explaining.

* I will flat out ignore him for a good book.  If he's lucky I'll nod once in awhile when he says something.

* I  will ignore everything I should be doing for a good book.  When I first read the Twilight series, I didn't do anything the whole time.  I would nurse Connor while I read, make Greg pbj's while I read.  When people wanted dinner, I would pick the farthest restaurant I could think of, and read while Dave drove us there.  Mind you I get extremely car sick, but it was totally worth it.

* I'm slightly bossy.

* And just a little opinionated.

* I am pretty much unable to finish a project.  Which means there are constantly projects in various states all over the house.  He usually just wordlessly moves them around.

* I usually load the movie que.  I like rom coms, foreign films, and weird documentaries.  If you know Dave, nuff said.

* I have tons of clothes, shoes, coats etc.  I leave them all over our room and the house (no one else is allowed to do this btw)  yet I never have anything to wear.

* I have too many shoes to fit in my shoe shelves.  He has zero shoe shelves, I have several overflowing. 

* I refuse to mow the lawn, check the oil, or change a tire.  I don't like manual labor.

* I make him run just about every purchase by me, this rule does not go both ways.

* I make a lot of random references to books or Star trek.  If he doesn't get it, I tell him the whole story, in detail.

* If I'm on the computer and need to do something that requires me plugging in a card or cord that I might have to move to get, I either don't do it, or make him do it.  I'll insist on keeping windows open until I get whatever it is printed.  This rule also applies to getting my phone or a drink, if I'm on the couch.  When he met me, my roommates called me T-Rex and he knew why.  So I don't feel too bad about this.

* I laugh at totally inappropriate situations.  Like wrecking the car or majorly over drawing the check book.

* When I hit the side of the garage with the expensive, heated mirror of our new (to us) car, I hit the gas and kept going.  Ripping the thing off in the process.  Then laughed hysterically. Dave did not.

* I make ten holes in the wall to hang one thing.  Then I hang it crooked and/or wrong, so he has to fix it.

I could probably make a much longer list if I thought harder, and took a poll.  But I'm way too lazy.  My dad always compares marrying off his daughters, to selling an old used car.  You love it, and are sad to see it go, but you're glad to not have to deal with its problems and quirks anymore.  I'm pretty sure that after 14 years of marriage Dave gets the joke now. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Aunt Tara

This past week my aunt Tara lost her 5 year battle with breast cancer.  They threw everything they had at it, but sometimes cancer is more stubborn than us.  She leaves behind a husband and 4 beautiful girls.  The two oldest are heading into their teens, and are promising to be stunners like their mother.  Tara was very gracious, accomplished, and classy.  Her husband is my dad's younger brother Kevin.  When we were kids, Kevin was the fun, bachelor uncle.   He was the epitome of cool.  He went to Harvard, he lived in an apartment near the beach, he had a cool car (which to us meant not a minivan or station wagon).  Heck he lived in California, which was pretty much the coolest thing I could think of.  Kevin would fly two of us kids down at a time for a week filled with fun and all the amusement parks a kid could want.  But Kevin was still a Paulitz.  Which means major dorkdom.  Paulitz's are not smooth, in the best of social situations.  We are nerdy, clumsy, and lack any sort of filter on what we say.  So you can imagine my shock when, my senior year of high school, Kevin married Tara.  That he had somehow landed this woman, was beyond my imagination.  Our family joke is that we are the Idaho hillbillys.  We felt even more hillbilly-ish sitting in the backyard of Kevin and Tara's townhouse at their rehersal dinner. I remember being so impressed with how beautiful and elegant she made everything.    I was fascinated by how easy and seamless she made it seem too.  She even had outdoor heaters when it cooled off in the evening.  I thought she must be some sort of genius, she had every little touch in place PLUS OUTDOOR HEATERS!  I was seriously impressed by that rehersal dinner, because it was the sort of thing I'd love to hose, but never  would.  At the time, I was getting ready to go off to college, I thought if could just end up like her...Then I realized that I don't have an elegant or classy bone in my body and gave that up.  In her last years, I think Tara did everything she could to make sure she wouldn't have any regrets.  She knew her time on this earth was limited, but she didn't let it stop her.  She is leaving her girls with many beautiful memories.  I hope that she is at peace with her Lord, and happy with the life she lived.  Kevin was lucky to have landed such a kind and classy woman, and I'm pretty sure they both know it.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Warning: Kids speed the aging process

 Tonight, while hunting through some photo albums I found this picture.  My first thought was, man I look young, this must have been taken after one of the girls.  No such luck.  I had just had Connor, after 5 days in the hospital.  Sure I look tired, but I look a lot younger than this...
 Me and my Con man at 3 years old.  It seems like I look a decade older.  I have wrinkles, ginormous bags under my eyes.  I just look, I don't know, soccer mom-ish.  Like next I'm going to stick all of my kids in hockey and run for vice president.  My hair looks better, but my face, egads, OLD.  You know how you look at your kids as newborns, then as preschoolers and kindergarteners and think, wow, look how much they've changed.  They look so much older. Yeah, I think it works that way for moms too.

Coincidentally, this would be Connor a few hours old.  Notice that nah, nah, nah, tongue sticking out at the camera like, screw you parents I'm going to do whatever I want.  That would be very much my son.  Maybe that's why I look so old.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

One for the Trekkies

Seems as how I was raised in a house of Trekkies, I think it's only fair that I give Star Trek a fair shot in this household of Star Wars fanatics.  We have watched the old Star Wars movies so many times, Dave can now recite what the characters say before they speak.  Having recently acquired the newer ones, they are now the boys main obsession.  When Greg found out he could go on a Star Wars ride, and a Mater ride in the same day at Disneyland, the kid nearly peed his pants. 
So the other day when Dave made the horrid error of calling William Shatner "Kirk Picard"  I realized that something had to be done.  Due to the fact that our local Blockbuster is sadly (tear) being closed, we are switching to Netflix.  Which means we can stream through the almighty Wii.  Which means that we can now stream Star Trek movies.  Which means we will now have forced family fun night of watching Star Trek movies.  Yeah!!  It's just a matter of time before the kids have turned to the Dark Side.  There is no reason we can't love both equally.  Besides, let's face it, my children are doomed to be nerds.  It's genetic.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The best feeling in the world

Connor has turned into Mr. Clingy.  He always wants to be carried and sit on my lap.  Of course he gets away with it because he is the baby.  He has a hard time falling asleep at night by himself.  He likes to sleep with "Gweggy", but Greg doesn't always want to share his twin bed with his brother. So I sometimes lay with him until he gets relaxed enough to fall asleep.  (the kid gets really hyper when he's tired)  Tonight as he was falling asleep, he was sucking his thumb with one hand, and rubbing my face with the other.  I'm thinking to myself how sweet this moment was.  I felt so at peace with the world for that moment with my little boy.  Those are the moments that I try to catalog in my brain in hopes that I will never forget them.  He rolled over, and scooted back to me.  He seemed very relaxed, and as he was snuggling right up to me, I figured he was on the verge of falling asleep.  Then he farts on me and rolls away laughing.  The little stinker just wanted to fart of me!  Sadly, he really enjoys farting on people.  So much for sweet moments.  Ahh boys.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Ha is 9

Hailey has always been our most challenging child.  Regardless of all the other stuff, she is a strong, determined, and interesting child.  She's the kid who will one minute infuriate you, and the next crack you up.  She has such a sweet, loving spirit.  Even when she's mad at you, she still loves you to death.  (I literally mean to death, she will squeeze you until you are gasping for breath.)

 Hailey has always had her own, distinct sense of style.  If it's sparkly, glittered, or shiny, she will wear it.  She'll probably beg me to buy it.  She got the sequined boots for Christmas, and the sequined dress and purse from my sister.  Basically, if it has sequins or sparkles, Hailey will love it.  We are talking about a kid who has pleather leggings here.
 Always in full exuberance over everything.  It might be snowing, so she should be prepared to catch snow or snowflakes full on.
 More unique Hailey stylings.  She has been referred to as Pippi Longstocking for a reason.
Hailey is a great athlete.  She obviously does not get them from me.  I think she has found her niche in life.  She has a lot of enthusiasm and energy, and she's not afraid to get hurt.  Which works in her favor on the soccer field works in her favor.  If only we could find a way to channel her extraordinary energyv 12 months of the year.
Hailey is truly a special child.  There are a lot of things about her that few people understand.  But she has a HUGE heart, and love's people to the fullest.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Connor's 4 now! (How did this happen?)

I don't know how, but Connor turned 4 in January.  It seems like just last year I had him, and we moved to Spokane.  He has turned into quite the character.  He is basically a miniature Dave.  He looks like a little Dave, he's all boy.  None of that tiny, nerdy Paulitz genes here.  Where Greg's all space and math, Con's all wrestling and sports.
Notice the unbuttoned pants: Connor prefers sweats or unbuttoned pants so that he can enjoy the luxury of waiting until the absolute last moment to use the bathroom.
 Ahh, the Superman costume.  I found it at the Value Village late this summer, thinking it would be something fun Con could dress up in from time to time.  Ha!  He wore the costume day in, day out, like it was regular clothes.  He would proudly tromp around town in that too small, well worn, Superman costume with camoflouge rain boots. It was way to small and paper thin (from wearing it every single day).  For Christmas, I made him a sad, but less ragged, bigger, Superman costume, which he has refused to ever wear.  So, for his birthday, my mom ordered the child a larger, less sad Superman costume.  Within a few days, it was well worn and now means repairing.  It doesn't get the same wear and tear as the old ( I think because it's not flannel like the toddler version) but still.  When you have a kid wearing a Superman costume like it's real clothes, you get some looks.  But as my dad says, I'm a free range parent.
Somehow, this is the only picture I could find of Con initiating a fight.  The kid always wants to fight.  If you offer to read him a story, he'll say "let's fight!"  Which pretty much consists of him trying to punch and tackle you, while you remain defenseless.  He is such a boy.  I mean, the child hums himself to sleep with the Imperial March.  Such a funny boy.  He holds such a spot in my heart, I'm pretty sure he can't ever move out.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Greg's 6th birthday

Greggers had his 6th birthday back in November.  It's hard to believe he is already 6, it seems like it was just last year that I had him.  Obviously, he had a Star Wars party since it is his new obsession.  Tonight he was like "I don't know why but I've just been really into Star Wars lately."  He was so serious about it, like it was a life changing decision.  He is such a serious, mild mannered little boy.   I am always hearing from his church and school teacher what a great kid he is.  I've come to the conclusion, Greg is just a unique boy.  He was the perfect spirit to come to me during a very difficult time.

 My sad attempt at a yoda cake.  I am forever trying to copy cakes I find online, with dismal results.
My little "dream boat."  He has become the crush of Ness Elementary kindergarten.  Funny story from a mom at school.  She was on a field trip with the class, her daughter kept hitting her on the leg trying to get her attention.  When her mom finally looked at her, she said "mom look there's Gregory, isn't he dreamy?"  I feel like this is going to be the story of Greg's school career with girls.

Monday, January 2, 2012

A Very Star Wars Christmas

 My little brother and his beautiful family came up from L.A. to spend Christmas with us.  Jonathan is my first nephew on my side of the family and he is so stinkin cute.  It was so great to see them, I never get to see them because they live so far away.

 We go for the put on every decoration you have own, in the most haphazard manner possible approach to tree decorating.  Because of our schedules, we cut a tree down from a farm instead of traipsing through the forest.  It felt a little like cheating, getting a ride on a hay ride to where the trees are.  But we got a very full tree, which means we can stuff even more decorations on it.   Connor did an especially great job with the decorating.  He managed to cover every single inch of the tree, exactly in the center, right at his height.  There  was this huge clump of ornaments right where he stood, and he was so proud.

Hailey helping me make cookies. 

 I let Greggers dip some oreos himself (don't worry he washed his hands first) and Con got his favorite job, putting on ridiculous quantities of sprinkles.
 This is what happens when you leave a 3 year old in the kitchen while you go give a nebulizer treatment.  Connor my little stinker, dumped the entire bottle of sprinkles in my dipping chocolate.  Then used the empty container to scoop water into the chocolate.  Ruining a whole pan of good chocolate and making a huge mess.
 You know how there's always those presents you just can't wait for the recipient to open because you know how much they'll love it?  I was so excited to give my brother his Christmas gift this year.  Carl is a pretty serious Pepsi lover.  (I guess the love of Pepsi products is genetic)  He also loves to whole himself up in his room, only emerging when absolutely necessary.  So my sister and I got Carl his own mini fridge for his room. I knew there was nothing he'd love more than to be able to keep his Pepsi stash right where he can reach it from his chair.

 Star Wars has officially taken over our house.  Greg now tells everyone he sees that he got a Millenium Falcon for Christmas.  Be prepared to be appropriately excited about this.   Of course the Star Wars guys need a place to hold their next battle.
 We stole the Campbell's tradition of sleeping under the Christmas tree.  Only Dave and I got smart and sleep in our own bed.  Why would grown adults voluntarily sleep on a hardwood floor?  Kids are watching Return of the Jedi for the 10th time since they got it for christmas.

 All Connor really cared about for Christmas was a bowling set.  Anytime anyone asked him what he wanted he'd say bowling.  So of course Santa brought him a bowling set.  His birthday is in a few days and he still says he wants bowling even though he already got it.
I just love Christmas with little kids.  I can't imagine what it will be like when they are slovenly teenagers and then move out.  I just don't think I will get the level of excitement over anything when they are in high school.