Monday, March 31, 2008

My third cat

Odessa is now my third cat. She has an affinity for cat food and the water dish. Yesterday after dinner I went and played the piano for a few minutes. Well, a few minutes is all it takes. By the time I got to her, I managed to dig a whole bunch of cat food out of her mouth and her pants were soaked from splashing in the water. The cats have some serious competition for their food now! After I cleaned her up and was done being grossed out, Andrew informed me that I should blog about it! Funny kid!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Watching TV 'ADD' style

That's what it's like to watch TV with Michael. He doesn't sit. He runs around in circles, does headstands, wiggles, squirms, or jumps up and down. During intense parts in movies, he can hardly contain himself. He'll sit for a minute and then be up again. He talks to the tv, he talks to us, he talks to his sibling. And still, somehow, manages to know exactly what happened in every show he ever saw. We can't figure out if he moves because he's excited or if he moves because he's sleepy and afraid he'll fall asleep if he's still too long. It's truly an amazing thing to watch TV with Michael! If only I had that much energy!!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Waxing nostalgic

I love to watch you see things for the first time. I love the look on your face, the excitement, the wonder. I don't take you places for your benefit, and I don't take you because you will rembmer it. I take you because I will remember. I will remember the look on your face the first time we went to Disneyland. How you looked at all the sights, and sounds, mesmerized by the scenery. I will remember the first time we went to your favorite restaurant, or the farm, or the cruise. I remember how you looked, how happy you were. I know that some of these memories will only be mine because you were too little to have a memory yet. But these are the memories that I will hold dear until I die. And when you are grown, you will experience things for the first time, again, through the eyes of your children. Part of me can't wait for that day. For the day when you realize that all this crazy hard work is worth a moment of pure joy in your children. Those moments are why I take you places you'll never remember. It's why I mop the floor and do the laundry. Those precious moments when you discover something I've known for a long time and want to share it with me, those are the moments I live for. Those are the moments I treasure.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Dead cats and bike riding

What an adventurous day! And no, our cats didn't die. But we had a conversation about how old our Don Juan is and how long he will likely live. He's approximately 7 years old and I think cats live around 15 years. At least, that's what I told the kids! We adopted him from the shelter a few years ago and he is the most patient cat I have ever met! So when I went to tuck Andrew in tonight, he informed me that he was sad because Don Juan is going to die. Poor kid! I told him that wouldn't happen for years to come and that seemed to placate him a bit.

And Mr. Michael learned how to ride his bike minus the training wheels. He learned really fast! He forgets to use the breaks and likes to kamakaze off the bike, but he's doing pretty well for one day. He can't get started either, but that will come.

I think I was ten before I learned to ride without training wheels. Ok, not quite, but I was old. My dad threatened to sell my bike if I didn't learn to ride it. I remember riding around our cul-de-sac and being deathly afraid of falling and hurting myself. But then after I figured it out I wondered why it took me so long to learn. (For those of you who are 'Friends' fanatics, reference the episode where Ross gives Phoebe a bike. So funny!) Yup, I'm sure I was pretty spastic! Luckily my children seem to have inherited their father's coordination skills for the most part! I'm sure Michael will be buzzing the neighborhood soon enough!

Monday, March 24, 2008

My little felon

My adorable, slightly fussy three year old became a felon today. She decided, apparently, that she needed to check other people's mail. I had sent the kids outside to play and after a while Andrew comes in and informs me that Katherine had something to give me. She comes walking in with a huge armful of mail. I had already checked our mail, so I knew it wasn't ours. I asked her where she got it and she, of course, replied, "I don't know." Luckily it was my friend's mail, but I had to send my little felon to put the mail back, with the assistance of her big brother. The funny thing is that my friend lives all the way at the other end of the street. She had to have walked all the way to our house with all that mail! So we had to have a 'don't check other people's mailbox' discussion. It's a good thing she's a cute little felon!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Ah poop!

Growing up, I thought that only adults spent four hours in the bathroom. My father (sorry Dad) had his daily ritual, which I think involved the morning paper, and I swear he was in there forever! I am more of a get in, get it done and get out, kind of pooper. Somehow, the forever pooping gene got passed down to my children. All three of my oldest children take their dear sweet time in the bathroom. I am often yelling at one of them to hurry up and get out of the bathroom. And I don't usually start hollering until they've been in there for a good twenty minutes. What I can't figure out is what in the heck they are doing for that long? I have had to banish any DS playing on the toilet. I've caught Lillie with reading material more than once. And Michael, well, I think he just forgets what he's supposed to be doing! The worst is when we are out in public and they spend twenty minutes in a public restroom. I had to send Michael in to check on Andrew once because he'd been gone for so long. Nothing like having to send your five year old son in to rescue the eight year old. I mean really! Public restrooms are nothing to boast home about either. I'm quite content to spend as little time in there as humanly possible. Oh, and don't even get me started on pooping before school. That should be banished too. Andrew missed the bus once because he took so long and I didn't realize he was in the bathroom. Now some of you might think that I just have very constipated children, but I don't think this is the case. Because often, as soon as I start hollering for them to exit the bathroom, I immediately hear toilet paper being unrolled, and much movement towards exiting. So I've just chalked it up to some genetic abnormality that got passed down from their grandfather! (You gotta blame it on someone? Right, Dad?)

Saturday morning cartoons

Both my little girls were up before the crack of dawn this morning. So I turned on the TV in hopes of snoozing while they watched some cartoons. I never did get to snooze, but it did make me think about cartoons I loved as a kid. I remember watching The Smurfs, the carebears, lots of Bugs Bunny and Tom and Jerry. I think Alvin and the Chipmunks was also a Saturday morning cartoon. Watching the smurfs as an adult makes me wonder why I loved that show so much. It's pretty stupid! The timeless ones are Bugs Bunny and Tom and Jerry, which my kids still watch. Those are the great ones! But I remember getting up early to watch a whole slew of cartoons. I'm sure my parents feel much like I do. Whatever, as long as I get to sleep in a little bit! (Not that it happens very often, but when they let me sleep. Ahhhh, heaven!)

We are big Spongebob fans and I think Fairly Oddparents is pretty funny. The kids like Jimmy Neutron. I could take it or leave it. It's not my favorite, but it's ok. There are new ones on now like Tak and the power of Juju and Barnyard the show, not the movie. There's a whole bunch more, but I'm of the opinion that if I have to be in the room, then the kids have to watch ones I can stand!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Random Friday

I ran away and married George Clooney and my husband held the baby during the wedding! Yes, we had fun in Vegas at Madame Toussad's! Do you love the wedding dress or what?
The kids are all out of school for spring break and then they are off track for three weeks. So we have been having Friday for three days now. Yesterday we watched Enchanted, which was very cute and I will most likely buy it. Then for some reason, I wanted to see The Music Man again. So we all watched it last night. Then I started to think off all the other great musicals and we may just have to rent a few more of the oldies but goodies. I think the next one I'll make them watch is Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Andrew rolled his eyes when I told them the story line and asked if it was another musical! But the other kids want to see it! Maybe he'll go read! He's to the 'cover my eyes when people kiss on TV' phase! Oh I love to torture my children!! *insert evil laugh*

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I fell in love with words in the fourth grade. I love words. I love books. I love that words can make a picture in your mind, or tell a story, or make you cry. I love reading stories of people from all over the world, to travel the world, if only in my mind. People ask how I have time to read, having five children, and I tell them that I just do. I don't scrapbook, I don't sew, I don't bake. I clean my house, play with my children and read.

Tonight, Andrew was reading his first Hardy Boys book during cartoon time because Tom and Jerry is too childish for him, and he is stuck on all of his Nintendo DS games. So he read. He kept asking me what words meant. Words like duds and reluctantly and hootenanny. And I began to wonder, how do I know what all those words mean? I don't remember asking my mother while reading a book, but maybe I did. Maybe I just eventually figured it out, or guessed. I still do some of that if I come across a word I don't fully know the meaning of. There are so many words. I felt as though I needed a thesaurus so I could explain to my eight year old what a sleuth is. It's easy to know what they mean, it's another thing to explain it to someone else.

I have hope that my children will love words like I do. My oldest two are both avid readers and read well above grade level. Michael hasn't started kindergarten yet, but is already starting to read. Words are amazing. We live in a world full of stimulations; video games, television shows, movies, computer games. It's so lovely to be able to sit, quietly, and get lost in a story. I think Andrew is starting to see that. I just hope it never becomes a chore and that he can enjoy reading!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Ready, Set, Go

You have a maximum of twenty minutes to clean, do laundry and organize your house. Go! This is my life with a non-nap-taking baby. Every once in a while she will sleep for a couple of hours, but more often than not, I have to race around as soon as I put her down and see how many things I can get done in twenty minutes. It's kind of like a game, only not fun. It makes me appreciate my other children who were all good reliable nap-takers. Well, I've learned my lesson now! So for those of you with children that take nice long naps every day, enjoy it!! Apparently all babies are not made equal. And now I'm off to see how much I can get done. I think I have about ten minutes left! Ready, set, go!!!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

St. Patrick's Day isn't a major holiday, but at our house it's just as fun as easter. My children's preschool has a tradition of setting a trap to catch a leprechaun. They never catch one, but the leprechaun always leaves treats for the children. So last year, Michael determined that he should try again at home. He and his siblings set elaborate traps in the basement in hopes of catching a leprechaun at home. And so started a tradition. I just couldn't dissappoint the kids. So I went to the store and bought gold candy and little St. Patrick's Day cups. I left the candy in place of the pennies and cups under their traps. Oh the joy!! They were so excited that they had almost caught a leprechaun. So of course, this year they had to try again. I was able to find these giant chocolate gold coins, along with Rolo's and other gold candy. I also found these cute green cups, which I filled with candy. The children were so excited they could hardly contain themselves. I made it look as though the leprechaun and barely escaped and they have spent the morning discussing the leprechaun's trickiness! Oh, and they discovered green milk for breakfast and decided that was the work of the leprechaun as well. Who am I to disuade them?

And so, with green tattoos and St. Patrick's Day pins, I send my happy, chocolate filled children off to enjoy a holiday that many people forget. My husband warned me last year that I had started something that I couldn't soon quit. But I've decided I'm ok with that! It gives me great joy to see them so happy and excited this morning! Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!

Sunday, March 16, 2008


It's amazing how quickly children grow up. If we continued learning at the rate that children do, we'd all be brilliant. Unfortunately, the older we get, the less we learn. Since Katherine was officially potty trained a couple of weeks ago, she has started acting so old and independent. She loves being big sister and she loves to do everything all by herself. One of her biggest struggles is asking for help.

Yesterday, I sat nursing the baby while the kids were upstairs doing their Saturday chores. Katherine came down with the toilet cleaner and asked me to open it. I assumed that she was asking on behalf of Lillie since she usually 'helps' Lillie with her part of cleaning the bathroom. About ten minutes later Michael comes down, looking sheepish. I asked him what was up, and after some coercing (we'd recently discussed tattling) he informs me that Katherine had poured toilet cleaner all over the tub. I said to him, "Isn't she helping Lillie?" He informs me that no, she's cleaning it all by herself. When I was finally able to get up there, Lillie was rinsing out the toilet cleaner from the tub and Katherine looked quite proud of herself. The downside was that the cleaner had a lot of bleach in it and Katherine got it all over the front of one of her spring dresses that was my favorite. We had a little discussion about waiting for help, but who can scold a child who is just trying to clean! She thinks she is quite grown up!!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Fabulous Friday

There's something about Friday that makes the day doable. It's the end of the work/school week and there's a light at the end of the tunnel. It's the day that my five year old looks forward to all week because the kids have 'early out' which means they get home at 1:30. (I wish I had early out when I was a kid!) He's always excited when I tell him it's Friday and he waits impatiently for the kids to come home. The other night, Dad was home a little earlier than usual and Michael asked him if he had 'early out' from work. It was a good chuckle for everyone! I wish Dad had more 'early out' days.

Friday is also often date night. I get to ditch the kids and enjoy my spouse. And I don't have to cook dinner. That's always a treat! Although date night for us is usually dinner out and then either Barnes and Noble or Costco. The excitement of married life! Every once in a while we do something more interesting, but often it's just wandering Costco and looking at all the fun things we would buy if we had millions of dollars. But of course you can't leave Costco for under $100 bucks. And that's just buying the boring stuff!

Enough of my rambling. Yay for Friday, yay for date night and yay for not cooking dinner! I hope your day is looking as lovely as mine!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The mommy badge

When I was growing up, I would occasionally hear my mother say that she wanted to turn in her mommy badge. I'm not sure I ever completely understood what she meant until I became a mother. And I must say that as wonderful as motherhood is, there are days when I want to turn in my mommy badge, move to Africa and change my name to anything other than mom.

Today has been one of those days when, no matter how good my intentions, I just seem to be in a fowl mood. I have the intention of being calm, patient, loving, caring and kind, but what comes out of my mouth is the exact opposite. So after snapping at my children, I take a deep breathe, count to ten, apologize and pray that bedtime comes quickly. I think I can safely blame some of my insanity on lack of sleep and the rest on hormones. Although it would help if my three year old would quit crying at the drop of a hat, and if the stupid garage would go up the first time instead of me having to make it go up and down twenty times before it finally opens. Stupid garage.

The nice thing about other jobs is that you could, if you really wanted to, quit. You can't quit motherhood. You can lock yourself in the bathroom and pray for patience, but children never go away. You can't really move to Africa and you know deep down that even if you changed your name, every time a small child called for mom, you'd probably look to see if you were the 'mom' being searched for.

So, I'm going to go suck down the rest of my Pepsi, (it's not even diet today) pray for bedtime and hope I wake up on the right side of the bed tomorrow. Oh, and today, I want to turn in my mommy badge!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Kite flying

Kite flying is one of those childhood activities that has always slightly eluded me. I try oh so hard, and yet have only gotten a kite up in the air a handful of times. It seems the conditions are never quite right. Or, more likely, the kite flyer is never quite right.

I took the children to the park and while we were there I thought it seemed like perfect kite flying conditions. So we drove home, got the kite and went back. Well, after about five minutes, Michael says, "I don't think it's gonna work mom." Now keep in mind that I am doing this by myself with a baby strapped to my front. Not the easiest thing to do. I told Michael to shush and quit being pessimistic. So I continued in my kite flying efforts, running back and forth on the field, trying not to curse every time the string got tangled and the kite came crashing down. Katherine happily ran after me, but Michael, being the realist, ditched me to go play on the equipment. I'm sure I looked quite ridiculous running around with a kite that never got more than fifteen feet up in the air. And in the end, I gave up, packed the kids up, came home and put everybody down for a nap. Katherine was quite dissappointed and I told her maybe we'll try when the big kids get home from school. Kite flying isn't really that hard, is it? There's probably some technic unbeknownst to me. Perhaps my 8 year old will shed some light on the subject this afternoon. Or maybe my neighbors will just get another good laugh at the woman running around like a crazy lady again!

Monday, March 10, 2008


What is it? I think I've been a mom so long that sleep is merely a distant memory. Last night was a night when as soon as I evicted one little person from my bed, another arrived. I evicted the baby twice and Katherine twice. I'm not sure what the deal was, but I hope it doesn't happen again tonight. So today, I will function in zombie mode. Every mother knows what zombie mode is. It's fulfilling your motherly duties in a state of intense sleep deprivation and sucking down as much caffeine (or coffee) as you can in order to function until you can flop down on your bed in complete exhaustion. Hmmm, I think I must be in zombie mode a lot!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The sabbath: A day of rest

The phrase must have been coined by someone without children. I'm not sure I remember the last time the sabbath felt like a day of rest for me. In fact, I think I'm more exhausted after Sunday than any other day of the week. It definitely prepares me for the week in the sense that I'm ready for Monday if that means I don't have to do Sunday again for another week. Merely getting out the door for church is something that requires advanced planning and coordination and must be executed with precision. We have church at 9a.m. My sister asked me what time I have to get up to get seven people to church on time. The answer is 6:30. I get up earlier on Sunday than I do the rest of the week.

Sunday consists of meetings, and entertaining children in meetings is exhausting. Keeping five children 8 and under quiet and still during Sacrament meeting is a daunting task. There's a great deal of hall wandering, shushing, and please don't kick the bench in front of us, required. Then after the three hour block, I get the opportunity to stay after to play for the choir. (Can you really call two altos, one soprano and a bass a choir?) Meanwhile, my dear husband gets to take the kids home and wrangle them through lunch. (Serves him right since I get to do it the rest of the week!) Then we either have "nap time", which is more or less a joke anymore, make dinner, or rush off to Grandma's house for dinner. Grandma's house is actually a really good thing on Sunday. It gives the kids something to do on a day when I won't let them play with their friends. I get a little break and gear up for next week.

While the sabbath isn't a day of physical rest for me, it is a day of spiritual rest. And that's what it's all about. I may only get a smidgen between the hall walking and the restless children. But it's there and it's where I'm supposed to be. So while I may complain about how hard it is, you'll find us at church every week, noisy children and all!

My teenage daughter

She sleeps as late as she can on weekends, ususally somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 a.m. She rolls her eyes and has a major attitude. She is into earrings, fingernail polish and clothes. If asked to do something, she either does it sweetly or stomps around and acts as though I've just killed her. She has quite the social life and is on the phone with her friends daily. But wait...she's only six. I have some fun years ahead of me don't I?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The perfect house

Our first home was a split level home and the only bathrooms were on the top level. It was kind of awkward when we had company because my bedrooms weren't always clean and the guest bathroom was also the kids bathroom and was located right by the bedrooms. So I thought that the perfect house would have a half bath on the main floor. Well, now that we are in a new home (which I love by the way) and we have a half bath on the main floor (which I also love), I've decided that when you have small children, the perfect house would have two half baths on the main floor. One for the children and one for guests. My bathroom is always in a state of disarray. It doesn't matter if I cleaned it ten minutes ago or a week ago. There is soap all over the counter, the towel is wadded up on the counter, Katherine's potty chair is in the middle of the floor, there is toilet paper scattered about and hand smudges on walls and light switches. Any guest at my house would be appalled. I try really hard to keep it clean, but they are faster at messing it up than I am at cleaning! So the perfect house would have two half baths on the main floor!!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The pinky promise

Somehow, the pinky promise has become a binding thing in my house. I think it was introduced by Lillie and Katherine grabbed hold of the idea. Now everything is done by pinky promises. Katherine is newly potty trained and when I made her go to the bathroom yesterday and she couldn't go I said to her, "I just don't want you to have an accident." To which she replied, "I won't. I pinky promise" and held her little pinky in the air. Later I told her to quit picking her nose and go get a tissue (I know, I'm such a mean mother) and she ignored me. So I swatted her tushie a little and told her to go get a tissue. She continued to ignore me, so I swatted a tad harder and she finally went to get a tissue. After finally blowing her nose, she walked towards me with her pinky in the air, "You not spank my bum again. Pinky promise!" I nearly died laughing! I told her I wouldn't pinky promise, but that I love her tons! Oh the power of the pinky promise!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

How to torture your children

1. Make dinner~It's inevitable that someone won't like it and will spend the next hour languishing over the disgusting dinner you have forced on them.
2. Make them clean up after themselves~This has proved successful for many parents as is evident by the crying, sighing and dragging of feet.
3. Tell children to be quiet because the baby is sleeping~This method, while unsuccessful for baby, proves to be torturous for small children who are physically unable to keep the noise level below 10 decibles.
4. Make children clean their rooms, not just shove stuff under their bed~This method may keep them busy for hours with a great deal of crying. If they put all their stuff away, it can take hours
5. Make them go brush their teeth after the cartoons have already started~Ah the sadness that ensues. And yet they still haven't learned to get completely ready for bed before coming downstairs
6. Make children fold and *gasp* put away their own laundry~What kind of parent am I? Oh, the horrors!
7. Take away favorite gaming system after bad behavior~The lamenting can be heard for miles!

There are many ways we parents can torture our children. These are just a few ideas that I have found wildly successful. I'm sure that I will think of more as they continue to grow up. I hope I have been able to share some torture methods that may be useful.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The human vacuum cleaner

Odessa has entered the babyhood phase of the human vacuum cleaner. You can put her down on the floor and guarantee that if there is anything on the floor, no matter the size, she will find it and immediately put it in her mouth. Even if it is disgusting, she'll just chew on it for a while. I'll eventually notice, dig whatever it is out of her mouth and try not to gag when I see what it is. They say that baby's learn about the world via the mouth, as well as their other senses. I have to wonder what it is they learn via the mouth. That the world tastes kinda icky? Or that if we are sneaky, we can shove all kinds of crap in there and mom might notice eventually. Who needs to start solids slowly to test for allergies when they put all kind of other things in their mouth they are more likely to be allergic to than solid foods? Ah, the joys of motherhood.