Wednesday, February 24, 2010

32 Minutes

Can I vent again?

1:45 Pour milk for two kids for lunch.
1:47 Child spills milk all over the table, papers and laptop.
1:48 Scream, move my laptop, get a towel and sop up the milk.
1:49 Give child half an inch of my milk and no more!
1:50 Next child knocks cup off the table spilling all her milk on the floor.
1:51 Say "Errr!", get another towel, sop up the mess and try to be grateful that I hurt too much to mop before the incident.
1:52 Give child half an inch of my milk and no more!
1:55 Look outside at the clear weather and tell the kids it's almost time to pick up Erin.
1:56 Kids cheer and run to the garage to get in the double stroller.
1:58 Look outside and see it start to rain.
1:59 Look outside again to see that you were wrong about the rain, it is now POURING, Florida style!
2:00 Take baby and put her in her crib for a nap to save at least one person from getting soaked.
2:01 Open the single stroller, put child in, and grab two umbrellas.
2:02 Try to move the stroller past the excess, ready to donate furniture in the garage and get stuck.
2:03 Say "grrr!", move the furniture around, go outside, close the garage and start walking to the school.
2:04 Try to push stroller one handed without veering into the grass while awkwardly holding umbrella in the other, realize you should have worn a poncho because the only thing the umbrella is keeping dry is your head anyway.
2:05 Get to the school and run under the awning, try to make it past the entire 3rd grade, 2nd grade, and 1st grade classes who are crunched into a 3 foot wide semi-dry area.
2:06 Realize it was easier to get past the furniture than this mayhem.
2:07 Leave the stroller wedged between some 2nd graders and walk to the kindergarten classes to retrieve child.
2:08 Make it back to the stroller with kindergartner in hand, give her a Dora umbrella that you know will do no good, and tell her we are going to make a run for it.
2:09 Make a run for it!
2:10 Realize it is pouring even harder--if that is possible, wade through two 6 inch puddles, tell your kid you can't hear what she is saying over the rain, and finally make it home.
2:11 Open the garage, see your child shaking umbrella out over something that shouldn't get wet, yell, move the furniture again, get the stroller in and realize that the cover on the stroller did absolutely nothing in this kind of rain--child and stroller are soaked!
2:12 Come inside, try to comfort the child who is crying because you yelled at her, dry off arms and legs on a towel that you find out later smells sour, sit down to look at student's semi-dry work that was semi-protected in soaked backpack.
2:13 Try to calm second child who freaks out because he didn't want you to start looking at the work until he was done changing out of his wet clothes.
2:15 Finish looking at work, have next child change her wet pants, socks and shoes; go change out of wet shorts and shirt; realize even your underwear is wet, wonder if this counts as a shower today then remember the stinky towel (Did I mention we live across the street from the school and we still got that wet?)
2:16 Finish changing clothes, look outside and see that the rain is letting up.
2:17 Look again and see that it has completely stopped! True story--welcome to Florida!

Monday, February 22, 2010


I feel very uninspired lately, which makes me wonder why I am writing anything at all.

Let's see... I'll start by saying that I had a great birthday. The highlights:

1. Breakfast in bed for the first time in my life (Jared got my hint:) complete with cards, a page of stickers arranged all over one of the cards, a balloon picked out by the kids for the kids to play with, and my favorite candy bar on the tray. Late church pays off this year!

2. I got a beautiful display of roses sent from my parents (thank you again!), some more chocolates, a new comforter set ordered by me, and a couple of coupon books from my husband--things like foot rubs (assuming I haven't been wearing my "stinky shoes"), dishes, mopping, doing a week of laundry (is it bad if I want to save that one for if we all get the stomach flu?), as well as some other personal ones that he will most likely benefit from. It was all very thoughtful.

3. I got to talk to family members and friends, got the feel good messages from my facebook friends, which always makes me feel like I have more friends than I do, and got some other nice/funny cards. Thanks!

4. The whole ward choir sang Happy, Happy Birthday to me after practice in the chapel as the congregation trickled in and my face got at least as red as the time I opened the door on my roommate's first kiss (after which I slammed the door, ran and hid under my bed). Was I only writing highlights? I actually hate it when I get that kind of attention probably because my face gets so red. And by the way, pointing it out to me doesn't lighten the shade. It's involuntary. I can feel it, thanks.

5. I got to go out with my husband the night before and since it wasn't the actual Valentine's Day on Saturday, the restaurants weren't completely full. Always a bonus, even if our romantic evening ended up at TGI Friday's. We were then too late to catch a cheesy chick-flick (my birthday, my movie choice, remember?) so we red-boxed one and I promptly fell asleep 15 minutes into it on the couch--good thing we didn't pay the big bucks for the theater.

6. I got to witness my husband's most recent embarrassing moment (see the last post) that morning and got a great laugh. I love you! and anyone else who is reading this.

7. Last, cupcakes, my favorite ice cream flavor (mint chocolate chip) and more chocolate. Yum! All in all a good day.

The loot. Yes, I realize our family pictures are at least one kid short.

Last week was the uninspiring one, for some reason. I really was enjoying everything about my life, my kids, the weather, being pregnant, feeling the baby move, etc. But then, I had one of the other kinds of weeks. Did I lower my expectations too much and now only live for my next nap on the couch? Am I let down after all the birthday excitement? Who knows? It was a week where I had no energy to do a whole lot and more than that, I felt that I had nothing interesting to say--like at book club or on my blog. I'm losing it.

I could blame it on the Olympics, so I think I will. Somehow I feel an obligation to watch them, considering I was in them 8 years ago (okay, I was an Olympic Band member--but I was there every day). I love it but it might be sucking the life out of me, with all the late nights. And what I mean by late nights is that I fall asleep on the couch every night around 10:00 and then have to peel my body off around 1:00 to plop it properly in my newly outfitted bed. It's killing me. When are they going to be over again?

I only use the Olympics as an excuse because 1- they are on now and 2- because I blame every other action, mood, pain, and overeating tendency on none other than pregnancy. While this may be a valid excuse, it's nice to have something else to fall back on every now and then.

I must be having a pregnant week. I'm starting to run out of air and feel like there's not enough blood in me for the two of us. I'm not even 6 months yet! The worst issue is still my lower right back which limits almost everything I do. I put my gym membership on hold, I don't take walks anymore, I try not to lift or carry any kids (which almost worked yesterday in nursery), and I feel like I can't do anything around the house anymore without it hurting. Frustrating! I've never felt so crippled before. I just hope it gets a little better after the baby is born, even though it's been here since before I got pregnant. Yeah, I'm complaining. Sorry. I shouldn't because besides this issue I don't have too many other problems.

The question is, should I get a housekeeper? I know the answer is yes, but at the same time, I can still do things. It just leaves me feeling worse. Hard to justify, especially since I don't do anything else. And even if I did get someone to clean my house, there's no guarantee that it would be better--there's still shopping and lifting and just living that I would have to do.

I think I'm done ranting.


See, uninteresting?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Embarassing Moment

Have you ever done something so embarrassing that you want to just make believe it didn't happen? Just go back in time, redo what went wrong and then move on with your life? I think that as I have "grown up" that I have been better able to handle these moments. When I was much younger I would get angry and insist that no one even mention bad moments that happened to me. In my old age I think I am able to manage these moments much better and even laugh at hard as that might be.

The other day I had one of these moments. I was talking on the phone to someone, and out of habit / reflex when hanging up the call said, "ok, talk to you later. I love you." Unfortunately for me this "someone" was not my wife - it was another guy. But Laura was listening and couldn't stop laughing for quite sometime. She is still laughing. I was distraught enough that I threw my phone (onto a soft couch) and turned beet red. My wife's occasional reference to the "incident" also doesn't help in my trying to move on with my life. Maybe that's why I've decided to just simply tell the world... Will that help?

I guess it is one of those things I am so used to saying to Laura that it just snuck in there. Is it a good thing that I tell my wife that I love her (which I do) or does is it mean that I use these words too casually without thinking? Should I stop saying that on the phone and reserve the "I Love You" phrase to more personal moments?

What are your most embarrassing moments?
What is your reaction when something mortifying happens to you?
What is the "best" way of dealing with these situations?

Thanks for reading...and "I Love You!"

Friday, February 12, 2010

Five Dollar Backyard

When we moved into our house 6 1/2 years ago our kids were but a twinkling in our eyes. Coming from an apartment, the place was giant. We had very little furniture, a futon here and shelf there. Our home teacher called it minimalist style. I called it a rollerskating rink. It literally echoed. We could have gone months without ever going into the third bedroom. And the yard was humongous! The only time we ever went into the backyard was to spend an hour mowing it, which at the time was mostly a big pain in the... back... yard.

Now, in a matter of years, our tune has changed completely. Our rollerskating rink now has couches, rugs, a piano, tables and chairs, and as of right now children's books, toys, backpacks, art projects, strollers, princess paraphernalia, child-sized chairs, and a tunnel (among other things). Our three bedrooms are filling up fast with kids, clothes, and toys. But one of the best parts about our changing lives is that our previously neglected backyard gets used every day.

I love Florida in the winter time; we can actually enjoy being outside. Now, I am so thankful that we bought this house because of our great backyard. One of our first purchases when Erin was a baby was a $5 slide that we got at a garage sale. Then one of our neighbors gave us an awesome castle for the backyard and some other friends gave us a swing set for free. It always amazes me that you can spend all sorts of money on certain things and yet the things that are played with the most are the least expensive.

The kids use it on a daily basis. And the phrase "Go outside and play" is probably one of my personal favorites, as far as mom phrases go. They spend hours out there playing, and most of the time I don't know what it is they are playing. But their imagination is alive. There is room for running, swinging, kicking balls, and lots of friends to come over. I usually just sit by the window and "watch" them play (as I read a magazine, fold laundry or look at the inside of my eyelids for a while). After all, isn't that what a mom is supposed to do? Send the kids outside to play while they take care of all the household duties or make dinner. It sort of makes me feel like a genuine mom, I don't know why.

Here are a couple of pages I did about the kids enjoying the backyard.

I had to post this before it gets too hot for them to go out there. Honestly, this is one of the best things about my life right now. It sounds so simple, but it really is. The kids are so happy when they are out there. We could have bought a townhouse or condo without a yard, but I am so happy about that one decision almost 7 years ago. I love our $5 yard... but only because I have sweet kids to fill it:)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

One of those days

By the title you probably think I mean one of THOSE days, but it was really one of the other kind of days. The good kind. The kind where I only left the house to take Erin to school and back. The kind where nothing special happened, but where I just enjoyed the simple things. The kind where I sat in awe at how beautiful and special each one of my children is. I looked at their little features, their cute noses and long, dark eyelashes, their little fingers and bright smiles, and wondered where all that came from. I watched them play so nicely together for hours with blocks and Legos on the floor, then sat by the window as they ran and laughed and played on their make believe train and bought treats at their make believe store before they headed to their make believe park, which was also their make believe home. I loved getting a glimpse of them carelessly swinging and smiling like there was nothing better. Is there? For me today there wasn't.

Homework was done quickly with few complaints about having to punctuate, kids didn't freak out about get the wrong seat at dinner or the other kid getting the color of plate they wanted, there were relatively few fights that I can recall and (brace yourself) no whining--amazing. Kids even willingly helped me clean the whole house before bed. What's with that? (Also, I cleaned the house? What's with that?) Then they easily went to bed with none of the usual shenanigans, 2/3 of them anyway.

It was a pretty normal day, as far as my days go. Poop got on the carpet (twice!) when I was changing shall we say "runny" diapers, and someone peed on the bathroom mat after their bath when I didn't get there in time for the diaper save. Applesauce was dumped, then smeared on the table, milk spilled all over the kitchen floor, cheesy hand prints made their way onto my clothes (among other places), a lot of water was poured deliberately onto the floor, and I found the toaster oven on fire at exactly the same moment that someone slipped on the spilled water onto their head. Looking back, all those incidents stem from Marissa, but no matter. Note to Jared: we might need a new toaster oven... and electrical outlet, but the smoke alarm works--always a comfort to know, especially since he is out of town for 8 days.

But given that fact, it's been a really good week so far, though I know by writing this I will most certainly jinx myself as that is what usually happens when I write about how well things are going. But why are things easier when Jared is gone this time? It has nothing to do with how much I miss him or need him, because I absolutely do. I would much rather have him here. It has to do with expectations. I know that no one will help me with bedtime, or mornings, or dinner or dishes or diapers or fighting, so I just do it. And somehow Heavenly Father gives me the capacity to do everything I need to do when it seemed beyond my ability before.

I also have much lower expectations of myself, as I mentioned before, and I'm sticking to it. If I fall asleep on the couch for the third time in a day, so be it. If the house gets trashed and sticky, so be it. Most of it is reversible anyway. If I don't complete any of my lofty goals, so be it. I probably only completed one or two from last year and this year may be the same, but it's something. So be it. I am happy right now for all the blessings I have; mostly the simple things that are so easy to take for granted, but are somehow the most beautiful and amazing.

One thing is for sure. I love my children! They amaze me by how smart and funny they are, and make life so worthwhile and lovely. So if I ever wonder if I did stop to enjoy my life when I end up having one of THOSE days, at least I will know that I did today!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Talking Rascal!

I love Marissa. She is really starting to talk a lot. This is the point where I feel like kids are finally becoming real people and you get to see their personality more. One of my favorite phrases of hers is "What did you SAY??" This might be better as a video clip, but it cracks me up when I ask her to do something and this is her response (with a really loud SAY?). And she knows she's being funny. Whenever you ask her what she's doing (like when she's on the table coloring on my laptop or sitting on the stove) she says, "Just, doing." So hard to get mad at that. When you tell her it's time for bed she says, "NooooooooooPE!" Other common phrases are "Open it, can you mommy?" or "Buckle me, can you mommy?" The other day she woke me up with, "Hi mommy, how are you?" as she leaned down toward my face.

If a word ends with a consonant, she has to repeat it a few times for good measure, sometimes up to 8 or 9 times. Like "read a book.. k.. k.. k.. k.." or "booster seat.. t.. t.. t.." You get the idea. Not sure why she does this, but it's funny. Most people don't pick up on it because it's so quiet, but believe you me, she finished the word.. d.. d..

She loves headbands and usually has at least one or two on, or more (but never wears them when you want her to). Here's another scrapbook page about it.
Another new obsession is swimsuits. I've kept all of them together in a drawer in the bathroom, because that's where they dry anyway, and she recently found them. Yesterday she came to me over and over again with different suits saying, "Swimming pool on, can you mommy?" And she wanted them on top of the other one she already had on. Yesterday she ended up looking a little chunky with six on at once. Silly kid! I really need to move those.

These went over the pajamas

This time she got the other kids involved too. Erin's is a little immodest because it is mine (meaning it doesn't cover her) and inside out (meaning you can see the bra). This was the only suitable blog picture of her. Poor Alex. He thinks nothing of putting on girls swimsuits for the sake of a game. Blackmail pics?

Marissa is definitely a rascal and a crazy baby, and we often make her repeat that, "I am a crazy baby." She is always on the table or counter, usually playing with the sharp knives with the toaster popped down, and she loves saying "Look at me!" as she's teeters with one foot on the window sill and the other on the bed frame. If we don't keep the bathroom door closed she will either play in the toilet (she still likes that!), empty out everything under the sink, or get in the sink while throwing all the contents of the medicine cabinet on the floor, playing with lip gloss or turning on the water with her clothes on. Rascal! She's my first child that I worry about running out the front door and straight into the street, possibly because the other kids open the door letting her out, but also just because she is a rascal!

Two of her favorite things to do: sit in the sink and complete the circuit (left thumb in mouth and right finger on belly button) She looks sooo innocent.

She is brave too. I was watching her do some crazy stunts at the park the other day. Then it dawned on me that I would have been so nervous about Erin trying those same things at that age. I think it's a combination of her being the third child, amounting to way less supervision, and being a dare devil, which Erin never was.

Speaking of less supervision, this is what happened when we told her to go get something on her own in the kitchen. Yogurt all over the wall, table, chair, face and hair. She ran to the door, sat down and said "cheese.. s.. s.. s.." when we took her picture. I sure love this child that keeps me so busy, and smiling!