Thursday, December 31, 2009
1.) Stay single.
It was unbelievably difficult, and I had to fight off a torrent of outrageously handsome men who all had their own hair, no paunch, incredible emotional maturity, and extreme masculine sensitivity...but I'm proud to report that yes, indeedy, I made it to 2010 still very much single.
2.) Expand my reportoire of "breakfasts" that can be eaten out of a ziploc bag in the car on the way to daycare.
Hmm...I didn't do so well on this one, giving up the "expanding" part in favor of "just be grateful you get something--anything--to eat," which means grab a juice box, a slice of toast, and if you're lucky, some apple slices. This applies only to the kids, as I have yet to establish a breakfast habit--any breakfast habit--for myself.
3.) At least once a month, skip the gym and the treadmill in favor of curling up with a book and polishing off a half pan of brownies.
Gosh, I made a valiant effort, but there were months that I just plain forgot about the brownies. You'd think I'd have more weight loss to show for that omission...
4.) Fine tune the art of hypocrisy and take my self-righteousness to a new level by setting aside a two-minute meditation period in church each Sunday to reflect on all the ways I'm doing better than at least half the people there.
I'm really embarrassed by how extremely well I carried out this goal. In fact, I've surpassed my original expectation. I'm pretty sure that most Sundays the two minutes was more like twenty, at least. Sigh.
5.) Use my blog to regularly insult/poke fun/otherwise torture Brain Drain.
I thought this was going to be the one goal I'd have to concede defeat on. Other than hijacking his blog for the Man-icure--enjoyable as that was--I just haven't been at the top of my game in harassing Brain-Pain like I intended. As the end of 2009 drew closer and closer, I was facing the reality that my super-perfectionistic and over-achiever nature just might have to taste bitter failure.
Then, like a special little gift from heaven just for me, several things happened.
One, Brain-Stain started a new blog, chronicling his torture sessions with a personal trainer. Thanks to Google, I get regular updates on all the shame, strain, and pain. Thanks to Brain-Drain's wife, I get text messages with updates on all the new curse words Brain-Pain uses in those sessions.
Two, in a happy accident of fate, I happened to be attending a different ward the day that Brain-Pain was the assigned HC speaker, and I got to hear the Parable of the Old, Fat Man Getting In Shape firsthand. There was some slight attempt to disguise it as being a friend of a friend, or some archetypal, mythical Old Man, but those who knew the truth couldn't stop shaking with laughter. And like the gift that doesn't stop giving, I've already retold the epic tale to several friends, guaranteeing the tale's immortality, and allowing me to relive the pleasure all over again.
Third, a few days before Christmas, the kids ran down to Brain-Drain's house to collect their favorite babysitter, BP's youngest (beautiful--she gets it from her mother--, smart, talented, and amazingly patient with my rugrats) daughter who was staying with them while I went to the gym. Eric came running back and threw a heavy, wrapped gift onto my unprotected lap (I may or may not have been still in bed, under the covers). "It's for you, from Erynn's dad," he announced. I sat up groggily, muttering, "I'm scared, very, very scared." Eric ran from the room hollering, "Yeah, Erynn's dad is SCARY, SCARY, SCARY!" Maybe I meant it in a different way than he did. On Christmas morning I discovered that Brain-Drain was trying to help me in the Jane Austen Experiment, by providing a special, thrift store copy of one of the thousands of Pride & Prejudice sequels written by JA-wannabes. It just happened that the particular bodice-ripper version he chose is, um...let's be kind and call it "racy," although Barnes and Noble's website categorizes it as "erotica," and I would probably use a word that starts with P and ends with ORN.
And then I started thinking, do I really need to use my blog to mock Brain-Pain, entertaining myself at his expense? 'Cause I'm thinking he's doing a fine job of providing that entertainment even without any commentary from me.
There you have it, the 2009 update. Stay tuned for the 2010 blog-worthy goals...
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Today I wore said shirt to church, wincing a little at just how snugly it fit, wondering if it crossed the line into "too-tight-for-modesty."
When Grace saw it her eyes lit up, which was, after all, my primary reason for wearing it.
"Hey, you're wearing the shirt I gave you!"
She began rubbing my tummy through the shirt. I sighed. "Does it show off my fat tummy, sweetie?"
Big-eyed, she looked up at me. "No! Your tummy looks smaller in this!"
Eric joined in. "And soft. You look softer. I like a soft Mommy. You're a pretty mommy."
They may be loud, obnoxious, and crazy, but they're keepers, those kids of mine.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
I want a kitty. I want a dog. I want an Ipod. I want magic. I love Santa.
2 Transformers. And Spiderman and Heroes. I like every Hero and every Transformer. The end.
I want an Ipod and magic. And um, uh, a monster truck that has a controller thing so we could do it.
I want a Barbie house and a stuffed animal.
I would like a new house, a piano, and a husband.
PS--I'll settle for two out of three.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
- Mankind would survive on mac & cheese with hot dogs, juice boxes, and candy.
- Putting away laundry, picking up toys, taking out the trash, and setting the table would earn valuable prizes and be accompanied by personal cheerleading squads EACH and EVERY time.
- Mothers would have a silencer button.
- The daily routine of every child would be equal parts playing outside/art projects/ watching Harry Potter movies.
- Mommy would wear the hairstyles created for her by her insanely creative and gifted children out in public, preferably to church or to work.
- Baths would happen once a year and consist of running through sprinklers.
- Six would be the legal age to drive.
- Hannah Montana would be our next-door neighbor.
- Mommy would be married to Santa Claus or Uncle Dan, in that order of preference.
Friday, December 18, 2009
I also noticed a nicely-fit and relatively attractive, slightly older-than-me man running laps around me. Truly--I didn't notice in a lusting way, just in a "wow-he's-in-pretty-good-shape-for-an-older-dude" kind of way. Sometimes I notice people who are further along the fitness track than I am, and I kind of use them for motivation, and that's what I was doing with Mr. Silver-Haired Buff Guy.
Then I realized he was the Cute Boys' dad. I deduced this when I overheard the following LOUD tirade from his mouth:
"Hey! What is this??? Why aren't you exercising anymore? Come on, get going, boys. You're a couple of wimps. We came to the gym to exercise--I want to see some exercise happening. You want to be a flab-o like your mom? What are you whining about? You want me to leave right now, this minute, and go get you a hamburger because your poor stomach is so hungry you can't wait 10 more minutes? You need to get to work. It's my job as your dad to push you and teach you to stay in shape. You boys are pathetic."
no. 1: I couldn't decided whether to go out to the car and cry for those poor boys or take my fingernails to Mr. Dad-of-the-Year's face. The latter was most tempting.
no. 2: I was hoping he sure as heck wasn't married, because anyone who would say something like that about his wife, to his own sons, doesn't deserve even a lousy marriage.
Number two concern was addressed a few minutes later when Jerk Daddy fell into step alongside me and did the "so, do you come here often/hey, I haven't seen you here before" routine that happens from time to time at the gym.
I don't think I've ever shot someone down so fast.
Being in good shape is nice; being nice is better.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Mia: "For Christmas I want a Hannah Montana Barbie--another one--and a camera. That's all."
Mia: "For Christmas I want Santa to bring me a Wii and an Ipod Touch and a Kindle and a camera phone and an mp3 player. And a regular camera. And a scooter that goes by itself. That's all."
My little girl is growing up.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Mom: "It means really, really pretty, like if someone is really beautiful, we say she is 'hot.' "
Mia: "Oh! Like Mama!"
Mia: "So you are hot, right?"
I love my little schmoozers.
Saturday, December 05, 2009
Mom: Uh, I'm kinda busy--what do you need?
Eric: I'm pooping, and it's SOOOO big! It's a HUGE poop! Come see!
Gee, tempting, but I think I'll pass...
Mom: I'm making breakfast--sorry, bud.
Several minutes pass.
Eric: MOM! I need some help here!
Mom: With what?
Eric: I need help wiping my butt!
Mom: You're a big boy; you know how to wipe your own butt.
Eric: But this is a BIG poop, and it's ALL OVER!
Mommy stands in the bathroom door. To observe. And guide from afar. My mantra is to teach self-sufficiency. Especially if it involves poop.
Mom: You're doing fine, Eric.
Eric: Yeah, but I really hate wiping butts. Wiping butts is so disgusting. It's so gross.
Tell me about it. Try wiping someone ELSE'S butt. Welcome to parenthood, son.
Mom: Well, it's better than NOT wiping your butt.
Silence. Eric digests this thought.
In a tone of awe suggesting that maybe, just maybe, Mommy is NOT dumber than a pile of rocks...
Eric: Yeeeaaaaaaah. That's true!
Nice to know someone out there is still awed by my brilliance.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Eric: Hey, who's Heavenly Mother?
Mommy: She's your Heavenly Mother, the mother of your spirit, just like Heavenly Father is your Heavenly Father.
Eric: Oh! Like Mary, right?
Mommy: No, Mary was Jesus' earthly mom, but she's not your Heavenly Mother.
Eric: Then what's her name?
Mommy: Um, we don't know exactly. We just know she's our Heavenly Mother.
Eric: Oh, because she and Heavenly Father are divorced, right?
Eric: Dear Heavenly Father, we grateful for playing pick-up-sticks and for surprises and for chicken nuggets and thankful that Mia could eat peanut butter and thankful for Madame Blueberry and Mommy and, and, and....
(eyes tightly closed and arms folded, Eric stands up and begins madly jigging in place)
thankful that we can dance really fast like this.
Eric: Mercie! You cannot sing "I Hope They Call Me On a Mission" with me because you are a girl!
Mercie: MOM! Eric told me that when I grow up I can't be a missionary because I'm a girl.
Mommy: That's not true. Girls can be missionaries if they want to.
Eric: Well, she's only going on a pink mission, then. Boys go on blue missions and girls go on pink missions. The end.
Mom: CHILDREN!!! It's not reverent or respectful to booty-shake during a prayer! If you want to dance, wait 'till we're done with family prayer!
(children wait out the prayer, as reverently as a 6, 5, and 4-times-2 year old can).
Children: Oh yeah, oh yeah, WE LOVE JESUS!!! WE LOVE TO DANCE FOR JESUS! JESUS LOVES US SHAKING OUR BOOTY FOR HIM!! OH YEAH! OH YEAH! DANCING, DANCING, DANCING, WAVE YOUR ARMS, SHAKE YOUR LEGS, MOVE YOUR BOOTY 'CAUSE WE LOVE JESUS!!!
Call me sacrilegeous, but I think Jesus grins every time my kiddos start workin' it in His praise.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Monday, November 02, 2009
Mommy didn't think this one out very well. Here is our Thanksgiving Day Menu:
Mac & Cheese (Grace)
Ramen Noodles (Mia)
Hot Chocolate (Mercie)
I tried to steer them toward more traditional choices, but I was reminded that I'd said they could choose. Okay-dokey.
If anyone needs more starchy carbs to round out Thanksgiving Day feasting, apparently you can just stop by our house.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
My talented friend Shanna manages three high-energy children, runs a busy house, works as a NICU nurse, writes a hilariously funny blog, and manages to make time to create darling Christmas mini-quilts for her friends--such as the sweet little Santa I discovered yesterday in my mailbox. She's a source of never-ending inspiration.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
I mean, I adore them, I treasure them, I went through h-e-double-hockey-sticks and back to get them, I schedule and prioritize nearly everything else in my life around them, and in every single, conceivable way, they are the center of my universe.
And I've noticed, over years of connecting and bonding with other parents-via-adoption, or women who have struggled with infertility, that we perhaps value our parenting experience a tad more at times, because 1.) it didn't come easily (or quickly), and 2.) we're sensitive to those who are still in the waiting-longing-praying-hoping-waiting-endlessly-waiting stage, and we remember all too well how it felt to hear parents complain about small & stupid little child things as you sit there and think how you would cut off your right arm to have that irritating moment with a child of your very own.
So I have held back as long as I could, but folks--I just can't keep it in any longer.
Yes, I love my kids. In spite of the following.
TOP TEN PET PEEVES ABOUT CHILDREN:
2.) Poopy nighttime diapers that spread far beyond the confines of the diaper and cover the jammies, sheets, blankets, pillow (what the heck?!! Were you sleeping with the pillow over the opposite end from your head?), and then get tracked across the bedroom floor, up the stairs, into the bathroom and across the front room before a sibling announces the reason our whole house now reeks of smeared poop.
3.) High-pitched screeching
5.) When you finish cleaning up the child in no. 2, along with the floor, the bedding, and scrubbing your hands raw from all the disgusting germ exposure they've just received, hearing a different child announce that he also has a 'messy poopy' and needs Mommy to clean it up.
7.) Whiny children who whine, beg, and plead for a treat, and when Mommy finally parts with cold, hard cash to obtain said treat, take one bite and decide they don't like it anymore.
8.) Ignoring Mom's command to stay out of the mud, adding to the mud by using the forbidden garden hose, soaking yourself and your brother head to toe which makes you a magnet for grass clippings, leaves, sucker sticks, and assorted other debris--not to mention dirt, which creates even more MUD--and then climbing into Mommy's clean bed when the above-cited activities make you so 'coldy.'
9.) Foregoing all the cute, well-coordinated, and moderately stylish clothes that Mommy buys for you in favor of outfits that little orphan Annie would shun, leading to such a vagabond look that a total stranger in a restaurant would say, "Are all these kids yours? Do you do foster care? Gosh, you'd think the government would at least pay for decent clothes for the poor kids." Just for the record, no--none of my kids were adopted through foster care, and yes, the state does pay for decent clothing for foster kids, and yes, all four little beastie-children are mine. Ratty clothes and all.
On days when this particular top ten list is at the forefront and becomes a little overwhelming, there is another little teeny list that saves my children more than they know.
1.) They are SOOOO stinkin' cute.
2.) They are SOOOO stinkin' smart.
3.) They are SOOOO stinkin' mine. For always. For good. And even in their most poopy, whiny, messy glory, I'll always be theirs, too. That's why I did the h-e-double-hockey-sticks stuff to get them here, and why I do the poop-cleaning and headache-surviving now, and why I'll somehow make it through teenage years and driving lessons and dating and college expenses and missions and weddings times four. At the end of the day, it's nice to have four little people who matter to me, and it's nice to matter to those four little people, too. Family = belonging. Forever.
That's even stronger than the smell wafting from the downstairs carpet.
Sunday, October 04, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Anyway, backseat discussions that involve wedding planning are semi-standard fare around here. This morning on the way to preschool Eric & Mercie were discussing how many potential mates they could have--could Eric marry two princesses or three, could Mercie marry both Jaxon and Aiden, and if so, could she still marry Eric, and how exactly would that work if they married each other and a few other people, too?
Somewhere in the conversation Eric remembered the first real love of his life, his beautiful, blond, blue-eyed babysitter Erynn, who he's had a flaming crush on pretty much since he got off the plane from China. Perking up when I heard her name, I asked Eric if he would marry Erynn when he grew up.
"No way," he asserted.
"But I thought you liked Erynn the best."
"I DO like her the best, but I can't MARRY her."
As if I'm the dumbest, most dense mommy on the planet--which from his perspective I probably am--he slowly explained, "Because I cannot marry her, because I cannot kiss her."
"Um, why can't you kiss her?"
"Because I can't REACH HER!"
Monday, September 21, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Eric: "Because I jes' love you."
Long pause. Mommy is in the other room feeling all warm & fuzzy over this rare moment of sibling affection.
Mercie: "Well, I actually don't like you much, but I guess you can sit by me."
Ah, well. I'm pretty sure I disliked a couple of my sisters rather intensely until we were in our twenties or so.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Mom: "Uh, why do you need to take off your clothes to play horsey?"
Mia: "Because I'm going to be a BROWN horsey."
Mom: "What are you going to wear to be a brown horsey?"
Mia: "My SKIN!"
Mom: "Well, you probably should at least wear underwear."
Mia: "Why? Horses don't."
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Mom: Actually, most ladies shave their legs. They they like their legs to feel smooth and soft, so they shave all the hair off. That's a pretty normal thing.
Grace looks skeptical. She runs an experimental hand over my bare leg.
Grace: Oh! And you are one of the ladies who likes to have whisker-y legs, right?
Friday, September 04, 2009
- Burt's Bees Chapstick. Especially honey, which is so yummy, and peppermint, which makes my lips so tingly!
- Aveda Hand Relief Cream, which I like so well I use it everywhere, not just hands.
- Odwalla Choco-walla Energy Bars. Tastes just like chocolate no-bake cookies, with a fraction of the sugar and far more protein & fiber.
- Talking Rain West Indies Lime Twist. Together with the above, it's breakfast.
- my new Keen hiking boots. They're lime green, even.
Other things I love right now:
- chances to connect with my inner nerdling
- kids who love school & like doing homework with Mommy :)
- reasons to remember why I like C.S. Lewis so much
- the funnest visiting teaching companion for almost two years running!
- entertaining my friends with my endless capacity for humiliating myself. You're welcome.
- having a son who is finally potty-trained. I didn't think this day would ever arrive.
- another General Conference is coming up...
Friday, August 28, 2009
"When I die I'm going to be creamed, not like putting myself in a box, but that other thing, like creamed except we're not supposed to talk about it because it makes me scared. WHY ARE WE TALKING ABOUT THIS??? AUGH!!!!" Mia, you're the one who started talking about it. "Well, why did you let me?"
"Dear Heavenly Father, thankful for this day, thankful for the food, thankful for my kindergarten, thankful for Eric could not poop in his underwear because that's so disgusting, thankful that Gracie can change him and not me, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen."
Friday, August 14, 2009
Mia: What is the name of Emma's mom?
Grace: No, what is her REAL name?
Me: Sherry, but we call her Grandma.
Mia: That's weird. Do we call her Grandma because she IS a grandma or because she just likes that?
Me: Uh, she's YOUR Grandma. You know, Grandma--my mom, your grandma. That one.
Mia: Oh. My. Gosh. This is just too weird.
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Grace: That's not a truth. I don't look like you at all.
Mommy: Why exactly do you not look like me? (gee, let's think here--is it your gorgeous brown skin compared to my splotchy pinky-whitey skin? Or your eyes that we lovingly refer to as 'chocolate,' compared with mine that you kids call 'grass eyes'? Or is it your tightly curled tresses as opposed to my limp locks? Maybe the fact that you barely hit 50 pounds and I, uh, passed that marker on the scale years ago? Which specific dissimilarity did you have in mind?)
Grace: Duh, Mom. You have big breasties; I don't.
Of course. Because other than that we'd practically be twinners.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
"When I grow up I am going to be a prince, like Prince Phillip, and have a real sword. I am not going to be like Prince Eric--he's boring [yeah, I always thought Ariel's prince was a total wuss, too]. Even though my name is Eric. I will still be Eric, but I will be like Prince Phillip. With a sword. And I will fight the naughty guys. And Adalyn will be my princess, because she is beautiful. And she will be the princess, like Princess Aurora, and wear a beautiful dress, and I will be her prince and I will save her from the naughty things, like dragons, and I will kick them and hit them with my sword, and say 'AUUUUUUHHHH,' and they will be so scared. And I will be scared, too, because dragons are scary. And witches are scary. But I will still fight them even if I am scared, because I will be the prince. Princes have to fight. With swords. Sorry, sweetie-mommy, they HAVE to. That's it. The end. And, and, and--Adalyn will be the princess and I will marry that. Okay, that's all."
Who needs Jane Austen with romance like this flying around the house?
Monday, June 22, 2009
When she was done she brought me a torn-out sheet. "This is a list of my favorite things," my future spelling bee champ informed her doting mama.
The List read as follows:
D-E-L-I-A, with M-O-M added in after, in case I missed the reference, because she's smart enough to recognize that her penchant for referring to her mother by middle name is not the norm.
I'm thinking, A.) at least God and temple made it on the list ahead of Disney's Princess of Pop, B.) at least Mom made the list, even in dead last position, and C.) should I be worried that two of her five favorite things are variations of what starts with "Hannah" and ends with "Montana?"
Monday, June 15, 2009
This Friday a few of us are going to catch the new Sandra Bullock movie. Email or call if you want the theatre/show time info.
Because of this, we'll skip the salon for June, and because I'll be out of town part of July, we'll skip July as well.
The good news is, this gives you plenty of time to prepare your list of Must-Reads for August, where we'll be sharing our favorite children's/teen/young adult books. More details to come...
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
Grace: I am going to have 21 kids and they will all be girls, and I will name them Grace and Grace and Grace and Grace and Grace and Grace and Grace and Grace and Grace...(you get the idea)
Eric: I know! I know! I have the best one! I will have one boy when I grow up and I will name him....SPARKLES!!!
I threw a few more bucks in the therapy fund since it now appears that it will serving my grandchildren, too.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
What was the pressing, of-utmost-importance issue that had these two educated (PhD, even!) men screaming into each other's red faces? Very Important Theoretical Questions? New departmental policies? You would think, but no.
The true origins of Captain Kirk's birth.
As in, Star Trek.
As in, fiction. A TV show.
As in, is your real life truly so sad and pathetic? And if it is, do you really want other people to know this? 'Cause the veins popping out in your neck while you hollered about what planet Kirk's parents were from just kinda gave it away.
This is the epitome of geek. And I don't mean that in the good way.
Three guesses which department this geek-fight took place in. What? You said the Math department? Dang. What gave it away?
I mean, the only coming-to-blows fight I ever witnessed in the theatre department was between two hot-headed professors who held differing opinions on the credibility and efficacy of Stanislavsky's methods (Haha...Methods, get it?) and Grotowski's ideas. And that's completely understandable. Plus, they had an eager audience placing bets on whether Dean would clean David's clock, or David would take out Dean (my money was all on Dean), and given the nature of the department, it's entirely possible that they were doing it ON PURPOSE. And I did I mention the fight had NOTHING to do with Star Trek? Because theatre people are not that geeky.
The funny thing is, lately I've been mellowing in my feelings toward math nerds. I work with lots of them, and they are just cute and funny little folk. That, and I finally admitted that much of my animosity is just plain jealousy and insecurity since they are capable of things that I'll never be able to do in a thousand lifetimes.
Boys, you and your spittle-throwing, pocket-protected passion just erased all my progress and officially re-stamped you & your kind as Uber- Geeks.
And I don't mean that in a good way.
I gave her that "you've-got-to-be-kidding-me" look.
Consider the evidence--
Mia: Gracie, what is something you are really good at?
Grace: Mowing the lawn.
Mom: What?! When have you ever mowed a lawn? Did you 'help' Daddy mow the lawn?
Grace: No. But when I grow up I will mow lawns and I will be VERY good at it.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
The Quickie List for April (that would be the list of things I'm especially grateful for this month, for new blog readers):
- Healthy kids & healthy Momma. Knock on wood!
- Emily! Emily! EMILY! I think she's been on my grateful list a few times. Here is just one teensy reason why: Last week she asked if I needed any help packing. I thanked her for asking. She persisted. Did I need help packing THIS WEEK, because she has a one week break from school and could help? I told her I'd call her if I needed help. Eyes twinkling, she said, "No, I'LL call YOU, because I know you won't call me, so I'll just come do it!" Sure enough, she texted me Monday night and announced that she'd be at my house first thing in the morning, so I'd better have a list ready. I love that girl! When Grace says she wants to be just like Emily when she grows up, I nod and say, "Yes, you do, baby girl. Yes, you do."
- Betsy, because I had no idea that solving car repair issues could be so silly. Probably because we don't actually SOLVE the issues, which leads to the next item on the list (and thank you, Steve, for the expert banging)...
- Jake & Lacey! You guys rock, and Lace--you married yourself quite The Man! Freezing cold, pouring rain, getting dark, down on the ground (ew--dirt!), acting like there is nothing else he'd rather be doing...wow. You can't see me, but I'm genuflecting. Really.
- Boxes, boxes, and more boxes. All the nice people who bring me boxes.
- Sandals! Weather in which one can actually wear sandals!
- Toe rings :)
- A garage. Yes, it's grand being able to park my car in one. It's also a nice place for kids to ride bikes and go crazy when it's pouring rain outside three days straight. Who knew?
- Marina, my lovely stylist who does such a good job. I'm NOT grateful that she decided to move to Texas next month. Crying buckets of tears and searching for a new stylist, sniff, sniff.
- The park.
- Tofu & veggie stir-fry. Mmm. Now I'm hungry...
And one more huge, huge, gigantic thing that is so massively important my gratitude could never be big enough or good enough, but I'll throw it out there anyway--
Ten days away from Mother's Day, I am so grateful for my kiddos' birthmoms. Without them I wouldn't have these four gorgeous, hilarious, brilliant little people in my life. I wouldn't be a Mommy. Wouldn't have nearly so much to celebrate this Mother's Day.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, for giving Grace and Mia and Mercie and Eric life, when you could have chosen to end it. Thank you for carefully and prayerfully thinking through what that baby needed, and making an unbelievably tough choice because you were thinking more of that child than anything else. Thank you for carrying that baby and loving that baby and blessing that baby for nine months. Thank you--from my purely selfish heart--for saying goodbye to that baby so I could say hello to every wonder of mothering.
I know it doesn't make the hard parts easier, but please know that every time I hold one of my children close I think of you. I pray for you. I hope good things for you. I love to see you peeking through their eyes, their faces, their mannerisms and expressions. I feel inseperably connected to you, bound together forever by the love we share for this perfect child.
I don't know how things work out in God's grand, eternal plan, but I know that somewhere there is a perfect place where we are together, and terms like "birth mother" and "adoptive mother" fall away, and love is enough to seal us--you, me, and the child we share--together in something stronger than any label or definition.
Adoption has blessed my life, not only because it brought my babies, but because it brought you.
Mom: How old is Mom? Do you remember?
Grace: Umm....about one-hundred, I think?
Mom: What about Dad?
Grace: oh! Oh! I know this one! He's like, a hundred-bajillion million!!!
No, that is not a stifled snickery-sounding laugh you hear wafting through the computer. Not at all.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Being the astute Mommy that I am, I saw an opportunity to throw in other potential peer pressure situations, involving other potentially harmful things/practices (or things that aren't kosher within our religion or just within our family). What if your friend wanted to show you her underwear? What if she wanted you to drink coffee? What if someone told you to take a toy from the store without paying? You get the idea.
I tried to bring up drugs in a way that a barely 5- and almost 6-year old could understand.
"What if your friend said, 'Hey Mia, want to try some of these cool pills I got? They're like medicine and they make you feel all weird and good.'"
Mia looked confused.
I tried again.
"Hey Mia, my older sister said they're really great. You just pretend they are medicine and swallow them. It will be fun--wanna do it?"
Mia still looked confused.
I stepped out of my role-play to be Mommy.
"Remember how we talked about not pretending anything is medicine, Mia? And only taking medicine when Mom or Dad gives it to you?"
I tried one more time.
"So, Mia, do you wanna take these pills? They're super fun."
Mia still looked confused. I decided to terminate this particular role-play for a round of more didactic teaching. Just as I opened my mouth Mia spoke up.
"I just have one question about the pills..."
I nodded encouragingly.
In total barely-5 year old earnestness she whispered in a scarcely-daring-to-hope-voice,
"Will they turn me into a princess?"
Ah, innocence is such a sweet and fleeting thing. Is there a way to wrap a little bubble around my wee ones, and keep them in this place where the only reason anyone could offer a *magic* pill would be setting their inner royalty free? Where a friend asking to see your underwear, or, heaven forbid--offering a sip of coffee--, is the worst temptation you might encounter?
Maybe that's why we guard childhood so fiercely, and enact such harsh penalties against those who destroy youthful innocence. We know how brief--and how very, very precious--these short bits of eternity are.
"Let them be little,
'Cause they're only that way for a while.
Give them hope, give 'em praise,
Give them love every day.
Let 'em cry, let 'em giggle,
Let them sleep in the middle,
Lord, let them be little."
Monday, April 27, 2009
Sunday afternoon the kiddles were playing together relatively happily, when my attention was caught by Grace's "Provo, missy! Provo, missy!"
Puzzled, I asked what she was doing. "I'm cheering for Mia, just like they did for Eden in the movie."
As I turned to hide the laughter I could feel bubbling up, Grace said, "But I think when it is Eric's turn I will say, 'Provo, mister! Provo, mister,' because he is a boy."
Of course. Adulations must be both gender-specific and geographically correct.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
- When a group of four-year old girls get together, they are completely unintelligible. They sound something like a room full of poodles and parakeets.
- Four year old girls have complex and discriminating tastes. One girl would not eat her cake because the frosting was pink and she doesn't like pink frosting. A short time later I noticed her bringing a chunk of something gummy & squishy to her mouth, and I wondered where she got the fruit snack, since we weren't serving fruit snacks. Then she repeated the motion and I remembered that four year old girls are still firmly in the "booger eating" phase. That ended my appetite for pink frosting. Or cake. Or anything else.
- Four year old girls are much smarter than older girls. I told the girls the story of the Princess who kissed a frog. I put bright red lipstick on the girls and pointed to a computer-generated picture of a frog taped to the wall at four-year old height, and told them they could try kissing the frog. S. and C. were terrified that a prince would pop out and scare them. E. was afraid she would get slimy on her lips. Mercie just wanted somebody else to go first. I finally coaxed them all into doing it, and there were neat rows of little lip prints all over the white edge of the paper around the frog. I asked the girls what they thought of that story and E. said, "It's kind of dumb." Excellent observation! We girls must get stupider as we get older, to believe that the slim possibility of getting a prince is worth kissing a blechy frog.
- A big bag of M&Ms is more than enough to decorate four birthday cakes, with plenty left over. Mia had a rainbow cake, Mercie got the tastefully simple crown and trim you see above (yes, I know pink and brown is so *last year* but four year old girls are not yet that style conscious), Eric is getting a car that will test my M&M artistic abilities, and Grace wants some kind of rockstar image--she's voting for a portrait of Hannah Montana in the medium of candy-covered chocolate--with the last birthday of the bunch she'll be lucky to get a cupcake with sprinkles.
- Four year old girls like to giggle. A lot.
- Four year old girls like to hug and kiss each other. A LOT.
- Four year old girls are just the cutest thing out there. Except Adi, because she's my favorite cutest thing. And Adam, who doesn't want to be my favorite cutest thing anymore. Still, totally adorable.
I'm not sure what Mercie thought, but Mommy had a blast :).
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
This Friday, 8:30 pm, my house, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Don't worry if you've only nibbled--I've barely started it myself, and may be relying on Wikipedia to fill in the gaps. Or rent the movie with Winona Ryder and Susan Sarandon, because I remember rather liking it. Of course, I also remember liking the book, and so far (okay, page 17), it's a bit of a snoozer.
This will be the last salon in my current home, we'll skip May, and in June we're doing a book share, swapping lists of favorite must-reads. I'm so excited! More detail to come...
Monday, April 20, 2009
Children: Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy birthday, STINKY-DIAPERHEAD, Happy Birthday to you!
Mom: That doesn't sound very nice.
Children: Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday, BOOGER BRAIN! Happy Birthday to you!
Mom (every child knows this mother-warning tone): C-h-i-i-i-l-d-r-r-r-e-e-e-e-n.....
Children: Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday, LITTLE POOPY BUTT, Happy Birthday to you!
Mom: Okay, the next person who sings something ugly is going to try the new purple soap to clean those ugly words right out of her mouth.
Silence. Whispered consultation.
Children: Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday, SKINNY MOMMY! Happy Birthday to you!
Friday, April 17, 2009
You will note that my daughter Mia has a double row of teeth.
Two of her adult bottom teeth have grown in behind her baby teeth.
The dentist assures me that this is normal, and since her baby teeth are a weensy bit loose, we're just going to wait for them to fall out. In a few years we'll know if she needs braces or not. Hoping for not.
Personally, I think it's extremely cool that Mia is a five-year old sharktooth. She's rather sensitive about it, and has been keeping her lips together ever since the first tooth broke the gums. I had to threaten and bribe to get the picture.
With one row of teeth or two, she's still the prettiest little newly-minted five year old around.
Monday, April 06, 2009
I'm making every effort to pass the craving along to the kiddos.
The rest of this post is all Megan's fault, because I borrowed her Prophet & Apostles flashcard idea, which had all sorts of interesting consequences.
On Friday I signed a contract listing our house for sale. Yikes! Scary and exhilarating and very peacefully right. I told the kids that we would start looking for a new house. Mia asked if we could please move next to President Monson.
Seeing a teaching opportunity, I told her that we didn't need to live next to the prophet, because we have a bishop who has been called by God to help us and lead us. I explained who he was in terms she could understand (Lucy's dad), and since we seemed to be on a roll I also tossed in the term 'stake president.'
Mia: I don't want Lucy's dad to be our bishop! I only want him to play with me at his house.
Grace: (frantically flipping through the flashcards) MOM! MOM! But where is Erynn's uncle in these? You forgot him! [yes, we had to go through the discussion of general authorities and stake presidents one more time].
Conference itself was the best.
Eric (re: President Uchtdorf): Hey, what the heck--where's his airplane??
Mia (upon hearing Elder Cook refer to his grandpa): WHAT??!! He has a grampa?! That's impossible. Grampas can't HAVE grampas.
Mia (re: President Eyring): Hey--he likes to paint, like me. I think that means he is a little girl.
Mercie (upon being told that Elder Bednar likes football): Oh. Did he ever kick a ball up to the ceiling and break his mom's light? [Can you tell what ELSE happened at our house Saturday morning? Sigh.]
Another awesome Conference, made even better (more fun, anyway) with the insights of the four sweet beasties (or is that 'beastly sweeties'?).
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
We have the very best home teachers, for lots and lots of reasons. See the sandbox above? It is filled with sand, with a lid to cover it, thanks to our home teacher Keith. Oh, and all the sandbox toys, too. The best part? As Grace said, "They sneaked to our house and put sand in the sandbox while we were sleeping! Home teachers are so sneaky!" The kids played in the sandbox for FOUR hours last Saturday (which gives Mommy a whole new list of reasons to be thankful...). When I called to thank Keith and Susan for not only providing the stuff, but also doing all the work, Susan said that Keith loaded the sand up after dark so the kids would be surprised the next day with their new sandbox. It worked!
A few weeks ago we went out for a Sunday afternoon walk. The kids were running far ahead when one of the girls accidentally bumped Eric and knocked him down. In what looked like something from a Three Stooges movie, their friend Adalyn couldn't stop her bike in time and ran right into Eric as he bawled on the ground. I ran for him, but our home teachers got there first. Lindsay was down on the ground, Eric in his arms, wiping his face and telling him he was a brave boy, letting Eric wipe his snotty, teary face all over his suit.
My favorite thing about official home teaching visits is watching my kids dogpile the home teachers. Once upon a time we started out with Mom and kids on the long sofa, and the home teachers sat on the loveseat. It has now become Mom alone on the long sofa, with two home teachers on the loveseat, wedged in all around and under small children. If one of my kids can't find a lap, she will drape herself across the top of the loveseat, just to be close to the home teachers.
A recent conversation with Mercie:
Mommy: Who are all the people who love you?
Mercie: Gwace and Mia and Ewic and Mommy and Daddy.
Mommy: Who else?
Mercie: Gwampa and Aunt Sue!
Mommy: Who else?
Mercie: Gwampa Bob. And Emily.
Mommy: Anyone else?
Mercie: HOME TEACHERS!
For some reason lately I've been thinking a lot about the term "ministry" and how we don't often use it to describe what we do in our family relationships and in our church responsibilities, and how maybe we should. The most important ministering seems to be the personal, one-on-one ministry that constituted so much of Jesus Christ's life.
I'm counting us lucky-- okay, blessed-- to have home teachers who follow His example.
Here's to wonderful, caring, "sneaky" home teachers!
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
March 18th, 2009 @ 9:44am
By Phil Archer, NBC Newschannel
A newborn's cries may have saved her life. The baby, who was just about an hour old, was discovered stuffed in a trash bag and left in an old dryer in southwest Houston, Texas on Tuesday. Investigators said the baby is safe, but they are worried about her mother.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Yeah, that would be a mostly-decomposed mouse corpse, surrounded by mouse feces and I-don't-want-to-know-what-else.
You bet your sweet booty I screamed. Loudly. I made it up that half-flight of stairs in one leap, and that's no small feat for a chubby, huffy, nearing-middle-age Mommy.
I won't tell you what it took to get me back down there to take the picture, but it involved ingesting pills that made me feel all floaty and nice and even able to think about mice with only a little bit of shuddering and whimpering. This is SOOO not cute.
On the other hand, these folks have the right idea. If only their aim were better.
I think my plan at this point is to lay big ol' cinder blocks across the doorway to the storage room, with thick layers of mortar between them. The mouse vault can be sealed off from the rest of the house. I'll keep food storage items in the laundry room. The rodents can rest in peace and I can give the happy pills back to B.
Monday, March 16, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
1.) Thou shalt not open the blinds in Mommy's bedroom to see if it snowed when Mommy is getting dressed. Especially during the split second that she is completely naked. And most especially if the next-door neighbor has just stepped out to let the dog out a mere four feet away from said window.
2.) Thou shalt not take it into thy little heads to go play at the park without first consulting Mommy. Same rule applies for going to Jackson's house, or Adalyn's house, or Timmy & Hallie's house, or ANYWHERE outside the boundaries of our yard.
3.) Thou shalt not yank down the window coverings in thy room and use the curtain rod as your weapon in a 'swordfight' with thy sister, especially when the sister is an unwilling participant in a one-sided swordfight. Nor shalt thou use this same curtain rod to gouge long skid marks in the wall after Mommy puts an end to the swordfight.
4.) Thou shalt not tell the babysitter--or anyone else--, "I like to tickle my privates because they are so tickly, but Mommy says there is no tickling privates until we are married. I'm going to get married when I'm very old, like fifteen."
5.) Thou shalt not strip down naked, put a bookshelf on the bed and climb on it to reach the ceiling fan, use the ceiling fan to swing out into the room and drop onto a pile of blankets and pillows in the middle of the floor. And when Mommy breaks up the party, thou shalt not threaten to move to Daddy's house, because honey--if you think Mommy didn't go for the ceiling fan gymnastics, just try it on Daddy's ceiling fan.
6.) Thou shalt not attempt going to the temple on a special date with Mom looking like the Whore of Babylon after pilfering Mommy's makeup bag to score glittery purple eyeshadow, clumpy mascara, and bright red lipstick.
7.) Thou shalt not wake up at 3 am and whine & cry to sleep in Mommy's bed. And when Mommy takes pity on you, thou DEFINITELY shalt not pee all over Mommy's brand new sheets that she just put on a few hours earlier, most especially when she was waiting until the next paycheck to get the waterproof mattress protector.
8.) Thou shalt not tell the daycare teacher that Mommy got divorced so she could marry Grandpa.
9.) Thou shalt not steal all of thy sisters' money. When Mommy catches you, thou shalt not quickly stuff said money down thy diaper in a desperate bid to keep it safe.
10.) Thou shalt not refer to thy mother as "Oldilocks," no matter how accurate or how tempting it may be.
Just another fun-filled week at our house.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Monday, March 09, 2009
Yesterday while getting ready for church--
Eric (dancing around the room naked): I have a penis! I have a penis! I ha-a-a-a-ve a penis!
Mommy: Yes, Eric you do have a penis. Now settle down and come get dressed.
Eric: Mercie has a penis, too.
Mommy: No, Mercie is a girl, so Mercie has a... (wait, let it come)...
Eric: A penis!
Mommy: No, girls don't have penises. What do girls have that boys don't have?
Only at our house.
B.) After church we went for a walk. Everyone was still in their Sunday clothes, so the girls were twirling around and pretending to be princesses.
Mommy: Wow, Mia, you look just like a princess in that twirly dress.
Eric: (pouting) I want to be a princess, too.
Mommy: How 'bout you can be a prince? A very handsome prince who fights the bad guys and saves the princesses?
Eric: No! I just want to be a princess and twirl!
Mia: Mommy, I think Eric is not exactly a boy.
Mommy: What do you mean?
Mia: I think he is like a girl-boy.
Mommy: What is a girl-boy?
Mia: It's like a boy, because he has a penis, but it's like a girl because he only wants to be a princess and stuff. So he's a girl-boy.
Seriously, with kids like these, who needs cable?
Thursday, March 05, 2009
In literate adult speak, that would be, "Gum. Mom, give us gum."
Yes, I am reinforcing a shameless lack of civility (you'll note the lack of "please" anywhere in the note), but I promptly slipped gum under the bedroom doors.
You're never too young to learn that written words are powerful things.
Monday, March 02, 2009
Friday, March 13, 8:30pm, my house. No book this month; we're talking Important Issues & Stuff.
I tried to nail it down to a specific topic, most especially because Eric had a very compelling argument for the role of media in civic involvement, and he used so many big words in persuading me that he proved himself a lifelong member of the snobby & elite salon group. But even as I typed out a blog post detailing the topic, I knew in my heart of hearts that we'd probably meander all over the universe, as usual, and so it seemed pointless to dictate a central theme.
If this sounds too dull, consider this: I thought about doing a group viewing of the Emma Thompson/Hugh Grant Sense & Sensibility, but I think even being surrounded by favorite people wouldn't make that more palatable.
For April--Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I haven't read it since I was ten or so. This should be fun.
Friday, February 27, 2009
I've never acquired much of a taste for lemons, but I'm really kinda partial to lemonade. God is so good.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
- Nyquil. And other assorted cold meds.
- Rumbi Island Grill. Mmm....
- Dove dark chocolate promises (why are my first three thankful items food? Wait, medicine isn't food, although it is ingested. Maybe I'm just hungry.)
- Living the dream--that's right, boys and girls, I get to play the organ at the temple!!! Please note that this was on my list of 102 things to do in my lifetime, and God was listening, because I have a new calling! Love it, love it, love it!
- "Broken" by Kenneth Cope. This is my current favorite song. I think I should learn to play the guitar just so I can do this song.
- Group snuggle sessions with the kids on Mommy's bed.
- Katie, who sits behind us in Sacrament Meeting and helps contain the kiddos' mess and noise and wiggles.
- Anne-with-an-E Shirley. You never grow too old for some things.
- The Goal Getters :)
- Watching Grace shake her booty to Shania Twain's "Any Man of Mine," her current favorite song. Even better, watching Eric belt out Shania Twain at the top of his lungs. That boy has no chance, growing up with three strong-willed sisters.
- Finding the kids sprawled all together on one bed when they decide to have 'slumber parties' and play themselves tired.
- Mommacita's blog!
- Valentine's Day from Betsy, who braved her cold and my cold and the stormy cold weather, to bring me candy on my first V-day as an official-once-again-single person. Now THAT'S friendship.
- And speaking of Betsy, we checked off the MAN pedicure, and are now plotting the Man Day Spa. You should be afraid--very, very afraid. It's on my thankful list because we are having far too much fun giggling ourselves silly over possible ideas.
- Holly, for understanding and appreciating my V-day text messages :)
- big, fat cinnamon rolls (here we go with the food again...)
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Saturday, February 14, 2009
" I AM A CHILD OF GOD," screeched my darlings. "AND HE HAS SENT ME HERE! HAS GIVEN ME AN EARTHLY HOME, WITH PARENTS KINDA WEIRD!"
No hint of irony in their voices.
I didn't bother to correct them. As far as I can tell, their version pretty much nails it.
I got up to check. It was unlocked. Mumbling something that could have been "Well, I thought it was locked but I guess not..." I reset the lock and went back to bed. A few minutes later I heard the same door opening and closing, this time accompanied by suspiciously giggle-like sounds. The logical assumption would be that the kids unlocked the door, but this was completely impossible. The only keys for said lock are kept in an ultra-secret, very-nearly-childproof location, and there had been no security breaches of late.
I stumbled back out of bed and followed the giggles to a very proud and slightly nervous Grace. "Did you open this door?" Huge grin and huge nod. "HOW did you unlock this door?" Grace held up a hair clip she pulled out of her newly-straightened hair. "With this." "How in the world did you know to do that?" "Um, I just thinked it with my mind and it worked. My hairclips are magic, maybe."
Maybe it was the cold/flu stupor, but I just stood there and grinned at my dimpled darling eldest daughter. I had a little flash-forward picture of all the hard knocks life will throw at Ms. Grace--all the ways she'll be held back, held down, or held aside. She'll experience being hemmed in, restrained by false expectations--her own as frequently as other people's. She'll know the frustrations of doors that seem to be chained and padlocked shut to her.
And I knew in that moment that she'll be just fine.
A couple of magic hairclips and her 'thinking mind,' and Miss Gracie will take on the world.
Poor world; my money's on Grace.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Mommy: No, she'd still be a girl even if she cut all her hair off. Do you know why?
Grace: Because Heavenly Father made her to be a girl!
Mommy: Um, yeah, so that means her body would still be a girl body even if her hair was cut off, because she'd still have--
Grace: I know! I know! Eyelashes!
Mommy: Uh, not exactly.
Grace: Shiny berry lip gloss!
Mommy: It's a part of your body that will help you have a baby when you are older...
Grace: Oh. THAT. Hey, if Eric had long, curly hair he would turn into a girl!
Thud. Thud. Thud.
Grace: Why is Mommy banging her head on the wall?
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Friday, February 06, 2009
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Casey was beautiful, smart, fun, confident, and happy. I met Casey at a point in my life when I rarely felt like any of those things; I could have hated her. But Casey’s great gift—the reason I love her, and the reason I will miss her—is that she made everyone around her feel beautiful and smart and fun, confident and happy. You couldn’t spend a minute with Casey without feeling better about yourself. If someone like Casey sees worth in you—well, you must be something pretty special.
Casey, we miss you.
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Being the coldhearted Momma that I am, I shrugged and told him to suit himself.
Mia gave me the most withering glare that a four-year old outraged older sister can give. "He's CRYING," she told me, in an accusing tone of voice usually reserved for ax murderers and terrorists. "He'll stop when he's ready," replied the Mother of the Year.
Mia glared at me again. Then she marched over to the muddy snowbank, gave me one more accusing--and slightly defiant--look, plunked her butt down right next to Eric, and began to cry with him.
Now let me digress for just a minute with another story. When I was 19 I thought I was in love, like really, really in love with the most perfect guy. Being 19 and incredibly stupid, I got mad over something dumb and dumped him. Within a week or so I realized that I'd made a foolish mistake, and I wanted him back. The only problem was, he didn't want me back. In the long run, with the hindsight of years, this was a good thing. But at the time, at age 19, it broke my heart. After we had the "I-want-to-get-back-together-but-you-don't" talk, I went back to my apartment, walked in my bedroom, threw myself face down on the bed and bawled. And I mean BAWLED. Massive, gushing sobs. This was, after all, the End of the World. Gradually I became aware that I wasn't alone. Confused, I looked up and saw, through a curtain of hair and buckets of tears, my friend Melanie. She had seen me come home looking sad and my roommates let her in to my room, and she was sitting on my bed, rubbing my back, and bawling with me. And I mean BAWLING. In typical girl fashion we ended up laughing and crying and hugging and crying some more, and then laughing some more, and then eating ice cream.
That was the first time in my life that I really started to understand the whole concept of charity, and what it means to mourn with those that mourn (Mosiah 18:9). After 30-some years on the planet I'm still learning what Mia knew instinctively--sometimes we just need somebody to sit down in the mud with us and cry. Don't get me wrong--acts of service are needed, appreciated, and most definitely part of the plan. But sometimes it's easier to keep our hands and feet clean, and our emotions safe, by signing up for a frozen dinner in Relief Society and ignoring the 'walking wounded' around us.
Which brings me to the real point of my post: I'm sad. I'm sad because my friends are sad, because they are suffering real pain right now. I have two lovely neighbors who are losing their battles with cancer, and it sucks. I love them and I love their families, and this just hurts.
Amy, Tyler, Aiden, Sam, Adi, and Mike; David, Sue, Gary, Katie, and all the others--I'm sitting the mud with you. And I'm crying.
When it's time to stop crying I'll bring the ice cream.