Thursday, July 30, 2009

This and that

I have been negligent in my duties as a mother! Miss Odessa turned two last week and I didn't blog about it! She comes fully equipped with temper tantrums, and EVERYTHING that EVER existed is hers. Truly. She's a handful, and I can't believe she's already two. Happy Belated Birthday, my little one!

This morning we had the opportunity to attend the Oquirrh Mountain Temple open house. It was a beautiful way to start the day and was a wonderful and memorable experience for all of us. Here's a rare picture of the whole family! (Yay for running into neighbors!)

For more information on our beliefs, please visit

Monday, July 27, 2009

Lost in translation

Foreign languages were never my thing. I suffered through two years of Spanish in Junior High and a semester of Spanish in college. I can understand Dora the explorer. My High school German teacher suffered through three years of me and I can successfully say my name in German. Oh, wait, I think that's still in English.

Much to my surprise, since becoming a mother I've learned a new language. It seems I speak the foreign language of MOM. Momspeak is a language that all children misinterpret and/or don't hear. And thus, many things get lost in translation. Here are a few from our house.

Momspeak: Get your shoes on, we have to go get your sister.
Child's translation: Don't wear shoes, mom is just kidding.
Result: Ten-year old child goes to Walmart without shoes.

Momspeak: Go do your Saturday chores.
Child's translation: Play with toys in your room, fight with siblings.
Result: A very unhappy parent who ends up repeating the original phrase ad naseum.

Momspeak: Go play downstairs or outside.
Child's translation: Beat the snot out of all siblings.
Result: Chores

Momspeak: Go to the bathroom and get in the car.
Child's translation: Dink around, eventually locate a shoe, whine about going to the bathroom or just don't go, wait until the vein in Mom's forehead bulges before going to the car.
Result: Much yelling from mom, all of which are repeatedly misinterpreted by the children. Mom should just stop talking.

Momspeak: Get off the computer.
Child's translation: Finish game, even if it takes ten more minutes.
Result: Getting banned from computer if the child takes too long to translate the following phrase, "GET OFF THE BLASTED COMPUTER...NOW!!!" That wasn't too hard, was it?

I seem to have perfected Momspeak, now if the children would just perfect the translation of said foreign language, we could all live together in peace. It feels a little Tower of Babelish at my house. I try not to get frustrated at the continuous misinterpretation of the things I say. Heaven knows my German teacher repeated the same phrases at us for three years and we never did understand her. But it seems that my children, much like their mother, aren't very gifted in the foreign language department. Such is life!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My new mailbox

I have a new mailbox. There are no bills and no junk mail. And I must admit that I actually enjoy checking it.

A few days ago as I was trying to figure out what to do with the pile of notes and pictures the kids had given me, they informed me that I needed a box to keep them in. So I now have a creatively decorated diaper box by the side of my bed that I have been instructed to keep all of their notes in. And every night when I go to bed, I have a pile of notes from my children. They are usually the same as the day before, but how can I not love it!

Lillie likes to tell me in her notes that she loves me because I make her dinner. Andrew is usually asking a question, like whether or not they can make cookies. Michael likes to tell me that I am the best Mom and Katherine has learned to write 'MOM' and that's enough for me!!

Then today, Andrew decided they should each have their own mailboxes. There's now a collection of little mailboxes for each of the children in the hallway and they have spent the day filling each other's boxes. I've taken my turn as well and written each a note and let them know all the reasons I love them too.

And I must say that when they aren't beating the snot out of each other, they are just about the best kids a mom could ask for! And oh so sweet! My nightly notes make all the trials of the day just melt away. I wish adults would learn more from kids and spend more time doing things for others and writing more love notes. Wouldn't the world be a better place?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Ahhh, Summer.

I love summer. I love the freedom. I love the spontaneity I feel in the summer. I love not having a schedule to stick to. With the exception of a few moments, this week was fabulous and freeing. The kids and I went swimming every day, just because we could.

One afternoon, I bought ice blocks and we went to the park and slid down the hill.

Katherine got frustrated quickly and ended up mostly playing on the playground. But the older kids had a great time! And Odessa kept begging someone to take her down. We had to try to convince her not to suck on the ice block though. Ew.

One evening, Emily had had too much and wiggled herself in a circle until she conked out. I'm sorry to all you other mothers out there, but she's just the cutest thing ever!

But my favorite day by far was Friday. We went with some neighbors to the lake and had a blast. The kids played in the mud to their hearts content, they rode on boats and went kneeboarding (I wish I'd gotten pictures of that!). I got to drive a jet ski and Katherine even drove the boat. I kid you not! We were all a little green upon returning to land. She drove like a four year old, funny thing!

Miss Emily was quite cooperative and slept in her bouncy seat in the shade during a lot of the day. The water was refreshing and nobody got sunburned. And although the spray kind of sunscreen is expensive, it beats having to sunscreen that many kids with the rub-in kind! This week will likely be lack luster in comparison and the kids have several weeks left of summer vacation during which they will experience boredom. But all in all, I love it!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Tooth Fairy

Michael: Mom, the tooth fairy forgot to take my tooth.

Me: Shoot. (Pause) Do you know who the tooth fairy is?

Michael: Yeah, it's you.

Me: So would it be ok if I just traded you money for the tooth.

Michael: Sure! I'll go get my tooth.

So I gave the kid 50 cents for his tooth. Of all my parental responsibilities, being the tooth fairy is not one I do well. I almost always forget and have come up with some creative excuses for the tooth fairy's lateness. But this time I decided honesty was much easier.

I'm not a very good Easter bunny either. They usually get some candy and a small toy. But there's no extravagant egg hunt or nice gifts. And this year I actually let them color eggs, but that is also a rare occurrence.

I'm a decent Santa and a great leprechaun. But for some reason the tooth fairy role evades me. I think it's because it requires thought late at night. My brain goes to bed at 9 even though my body doesn't join it till 11. Maybe the kids will grow up and be fabulous tooth fairies because their mother scarred them by being a terrible one!

Saturday, July 11, 2009


We had a fabulous trip to Yellowstone and I even survived packing. Though the verdict is still out on the unpacking. How is it that being gone for four days can create such havoc?

We began our trip by stopping at a restaurant called Big Jud's. We then proceeded to share 10 of the biggest hamburgers I have ever seen in my life. I kid you not! There were 15 adults and a gazillion kids and we couldn't finish those burgers. Each one was as big as a pie! One in our group ate and entire burger and that resulted in having his picture put up on the wall of shame. It was a fun meal which ended in a bunch of kids making a huge mess with giant ice cream cones. I don't think they know how to do things small at Big Jud's!

We then stopped at Wilford and got to hear some wonderful stories about some ancestors. The kids enjoyed this and it was great fun.

Our first day in Yellowstone we spent on the northern loop. Before we got out at the first stop, Michael informed us that he bet he could find a great big stick. I think he was successful. What do you think?

There were a bunch of Bison in the background and the kids were so excited. I think they wanted to pet them, but were deterred by the signs that said the Bison would gore you if you got too close. There was much stopping of traffic to view these big guys. They liked to wander right next to the road. I suppose I wouldn't be afraid of cars either if I was as big as they are!

We hit all the main attractions and wore everybody out. By the end of the day I was bribing the kids with gummy bears if they'd get in the car again and get seatbelts on. It worked well, but by the end of the trip, Odessa didn't know how to get in her seat without saying, "Bear, bear" repeatedly. Such a helper!

She loved running and wiggling all over the walkways as we saw the different places. She's so stinkin' cute, if I do say so myself!

Mammoth Hot Springs

Sadly, we were unable to escape illness during our trip and Lillie ended up with the stomache flu that we have been plagued with. Dad was a trooper and stayed home with Lillie the second day and let me go play with the kids. Apparently they had a wonderful Daddy-daughter day, so it wasn't a total loss. However, we still had some issues on the way home. Poor girl!

We spent our second day in the park on the southern loop and of course we made it to Old Faithful. It was a wonderful day and a great trip to Yellowstone! I definitely appreciated the beauty of the park much more as an adult, although I have many fond memories of going there as a child. I'm so glad we got the opportunity to go!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy Fourth of July!

I got all six kids to sit still for 1.2 seconds. Everyone but the baby was sporting their holiday attire which included T-shirts and hair bobs for the girls and hats for the boys. (I had a moment of creativity and actually made the girls' hair thingies. Go me!)

We swam and had hot dogs and hamburgers and the kids ran around torturing Grandma's house. It was great fun. Then, when it finally got dark, we broke out the fireworks.

Odessa was less than thrilled with the fireworks and spent her time clinging to me for dear life. Towards the end of our pyrotechnics show, put on by my pyro hubby, I had the baby in my lap, Odessa clinging to my back and Katherine huddled up next to me. Grandma came and saved the day, and Odessa promptly fell asleep in her lap. Katherine watched the fireworks with me, but was concerned the noise was bothering the baby. So she sat there with her hands over Emily's ears. She loves her sister so much! Now if I can just get her and Odessa to stop beating the snot out of one another we'll be good to go!

We then had a drive home and I determined that the day was a success! How could I tell? Maybe by the exhausted children asleep in the car!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Quiet down cobwebs

It's 4 a.m. and I'm laying on the floor in the nursery watching Emily coo and smile and wiggle and squirm. I'm so tired, but I can't help smiling at my happy little baby. Even at 4 in the morning. I keep telling her that it's time to go back to sleep, but she's oblivious to the time and to my exhaustion. She is merely happy and talking to the angels.

After Katherine was born, I went through a time when I was so sleep deprived that I would wake up standing in the hallway, confused and certain that someone was up and needing me. I would stand there listening, and ultimately go back to bed not having heard a thing. I got to the point where I hated the middle of the night wakings and feedings. I was cranky and unhappy and it made for unhappy babies in the night. I even understood how a parent could shake a baby. How awful.

I needed a change of heart, a change of attitude.

Before Odessa was born, as I was decorating the nursery, I decided to put part of a poem I'd seen before on the wall. The portion of the poem on my wall reads, "So quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep. I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep." I put it up there so that I would have a constant reminder of what is really important, especially during those times that I want to be doing other things, like sleeping.

I made up my mind before she was born that I would learn to enjoy the middle of the night feedings. I would have a good attitude and be happy to see her. I was determined to have a better experience.

And I did. Though there were still many nights I looked to my wall for a reminder, it was better. And Odessa and I shared a few wonderful middle-of-the-night moments, just the two of us, that I will never forget.

So as I lay there on the floor last night, watching Emily wiggle and squirm, I looked up to my wall and remembered that babies don't keep. They grow so quickly. And even though I'm very tired this morning, I quite enjoyed our conversation at 4 in the morning, which included many priceless smiles.

Here's the poem in it's entirety.

"Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth, Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing and butter the bread,
Sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.
Oh, I've grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren't her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
For children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep."

by Ruth Hamilton