"Sorry it's so windy on that side. We're going to fix it soon."
- My automatic apology to anyone sitting shotgun in the van on the highway who has to endure the wind factor since having my neighbor bust it out at the start of summer when I realized Jack had locked himself in there for over 3 hours. (For visual purposes, just know that it involved an off duty cop in his boxer underwear, me in a dizy panic on the phone with 911, and a pretty impressive hammer that smashed through the passenger side on the second try about 15 seconds before Mike rolled into the driveway. With a spare key.

"We don't have toothbrushes."
- Rex, to his dentist who was trying to show him how to properly brush.

"She wants to be my girlfriend but said not to tell anyone."
- Arlo, on a new crush. Who is a grade higher than him and only exists for now in heart shaped emoji forms on the occasional text when he can actually find his ipod.

"I'm gay.  I'm going to marry a guy with a big truck and have lots of dogs and just go to skateparks everyday without any girls allowed."
 - Rex, after our conversation / explanation detailing the definition of "gay". Deciding it was for him once Arlo informed him in more simplistic terms, that gay guys also just "don't like girls."

"This kid, the mean one with the black eyes? He threw me down at lunch time, stepped on my backpack and then ate my sandwich. He also tried to bite me but I got away."
- Rex, answering "how was school today" with another far fetched tale stretched so far it has him staring in a Tarentino inspired universe where the everyday perils of elementary school always involve some kind of unjust violence that he has to thwart with meager ninja skills when no one's looking. And he didn't even have a sandwich that day. . .

"So where'd this one come from?"
- Mike, referencing another "ugly 70's chair" I brought home recently. That he isn't allowed to openly berate because of the ugly 60's car he brought home the same day. An unsaid agreement we have to not to critique each other's craigslist scores unless it involves passive aggressive sentiments that just cannot be avoided.

"No, I don't want to be in the band. I want to own the band."
 - Leon, like a boss. Just when I was feeling sorry for him being consistently left out of the whole imagined rock start band his brothers and cousins are forever assuming as part of their near future."

"Don't get any ideas"
- Mike, to me upon entering the movie Captain Fantastic. Who's plot revolves around a handsome sub culture hippie raising his 6 kids on the outskirts of society in a school bus that proved a little less inspirational to Mike than seemingly anyone else who watched it.

"I did. But everyone thought I was in the hospital."
- Leon, on whether he shared the photo of him reading (as was part of his homework assignment) in bed, shirtless, with a white sheet tucked under his arms and stark white walls giving the illusion (to 1st graders anyway) that he was reading Captain Underpants while recovering from a mystery illness.

"Who, the man from China?"
- Rex, in response to me asking Arlo who the new neighbor was. Still working on erradicating his natural tendency towards gross stereotypes. (The man, for the record, came all the way from Anaheim.)

"I mean, I'm not trying to adopt another child here, I just want my fish to have a friend." 
- Me, to the young girl at Petco who so sweetly denied my request for a second goldfish once she grilled me on what kind of tank I owned (none) and how long the other fish had been in the family (16 hours) Apparently old school glass bowls aren't up to par to raise 2$ goldfish these days. And fish need 72 hours to adjust before adding companions. Apparently. And the fact of keeping four boys alive on the daily won't grant you any bonus points either. Altogether 40 minutes I spent in the fish section debating and defending my desire for another one which, in all honesty, might very well be more than I think I gave to any of my subsequent pregnancies. But don't tell Emily (the fishelist) that.

Whoa, who ARE you? You look like my mom, but better than my mom."
- Rex's reaction to seeing me in skinny jeans, with straight hair and some makeup on heading out to Back to School night. Who also gave me an impressed thumbs up on my sunglasses choice too. The only one in the family who notices when I'm not wearing house dresses and a bun.

"I'm just not trying to see anymore babies birthed in the forest"
- Best friend, on social media earth moms delivering offspring under oak trees cycling her explore page currently.

"On the bright side, he is very confident. And he likes to tell a lot of stories."
- Rex's speech therapist. On the "bright side."

"But can't we just watch Beyonce?!" 
Boy's plea for a late night bed time extension in honor of the Queen. #granted

"Mom, can you tell dad what the friend zone is?"
- Arlo, attempting to keep his dad on the up and up. A conversation that led to him also explaining the difference between "Drake" and "Dre" because if it's not a country song written 40 years ago his dad is generally clueless.

But can you BELIEVE someone would do THAT?!"
- Arlo in utter shock learning that the boy crushing his cousin had (without any warning) decided one day that he didn't like her anymore and decided instead to ask out her friend. Unaware that such atrocities happen to the best of us. Every, single, day.

I can't. I'm suppose to help Brookie paint her room today.
- Leon, declining a neighborhood offer to play zombies in lieu of helping his cousin recolor her walls in a turquoise share they picked out together online.

"My butt."
- Still one of the only discernible sentences Hayes can manage.

"No, he's not writing anymore songs they always have penis in the title and he keeps trying to sound like Axel Rose."
- Arlo, on his reasons for firing Rex as lead singer. For the 57th time this summer.

"ok can you buy me a tech deck at target?"
 - Rex's response to me testing out three things every parent should tell their child daily, according to a random parenting site. "I love you. I see you. I am so happy you were born."

Dad said it will take him all day and night. 
- Arlo, on what his father said about the detail car guy coming over to clean my old jeep.

Yah, that's not really a perk. And where is the RV parking?"
 - Mike on a recent house hunt that included a community chicken coop.

"All my friends think Leon's nicer!"
 - Rex distraught about his friends always siding with Leon. Because, common sense.

"That's me, with a 6 pack, when I'm 12."
 - Rex, explaining the self portrait he brought home showing bold lines across his stomach while surfing with a shaka sign.

"No, Ho Ho. NO!"
- Hayes, to Jack. Every morning when he tries to steal his bacon. Jack who is named Jack but commonly called "Ho Ho" now too as a result. #Hayespeak

photo by Darcy Hemley