Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Dairy Queen

Frustrated with my lack of milk flow today I got out the breast pump. Intrigued with my dairying, my older kids intently watched my boob get vaccumed by the electic pump. They asked, "Mommy what are you doing?" I explained the process and then Wendy came over and said in her high pitched munchkin voice, "Mommy, what you doing? You making ice cream?"

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A couple of this week's memories

1. Emily broke a light bulb at the grocery store on Saturday. Ok. No big deal, but it had to be the most expensive gigantic $7.99 light bulb. It made a huge loud popping noise. Emily cried. I told her not to feel too bad. It was the store's fault for stacking it precariously on the shelf and GE's fault for not making more durable packaging. Thankfully we did not have to pay for it.

2. We made homemade ice cream for our Monday night activity. The recipe called for 4 cups of heavy whipping cream. Needless to say it was super creamy and it made my lips feel greasy after eating it. Daddy commented that he did not like it, so the kids decided that they did not like it as well. Now I have a quart of lip gloss in my freezer.

Monday, April 28, 2008

More Dumb Criminals

Today when I was grabbing a load of laundry from the hamper I heard some change jingling. A little annoyed that my husband didn't empty his pockets, I began searching through the clothes. It took me about 2 seconds to discover the broken piggy bank and 9 quarters buried beneath a couple of my husband's shirts. What in the world?

"Bradley?"

"Coming, Mommy!"

As I held the broken piggy bank, he walked in and tears welled up in his eyes. I didn't give him too much of a hard time. I asked him what happened and he explained that he jumped off the bed and it broke.

"Ok. So you put it in my hamper?"

Nod.

(Seriously? The hamper? Why not put it somewhere like behind the washing machine, or under the duvet in the linen closet, or in my bottom dresser drawer, or in the bread machine? At least put it somewhere that I won't find it for another 2-6 months. I am comforted in knowing that my son will never lead a successful life in crime.)

I guess I will have to take another trip to Arizona.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Scripture Yoga

Emily came home from church with this picture.


Weird!

It's either implying that you should do yoga while reading the scriptures or that scripture reading is one of the leading causes of childhood obesity, enormous feet, and crazy hair.

Learning to Read

Teaching Sarah to read has been more difficult than the first two kids. Today I was working with Sarah using some early reader books. The first one was about a hen. Sarah asked me, "What's a hen?" I told her that a hen was a girl chicken. When we got to the page that read, "A red pet hen," I pointed to the words as Sarah attempted to read:

"A"
"red"
"pet"
"girl chicken!"

Good enough! Good job, Sarah."

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Blast to the Past

I was going through old digital photos tonight comparing Rachel with her sisters at 3 months of age. I came across this picture of Sarah drinking a Big Gulp bottle.

Picture taken May 28, 2004


(It's only fair to post old baby photos from my pre-blogging years.)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Rachel Update


Yep! She's still got that crazy tongue.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Sarah, the inventor

Sarah was building with Mega Blocks after she got ready for bed.

"Mommy, you know what this is?"
Looking at the randomly built plastic colored blocks, "No. What?"
"Guess!"
"Um...an ice cream machine?"
"No!"
"Um...a helicopter?"
"Noo!"
"A popcorn popper?"
"Nooo!"
"Can I have a hint?"
"It's for moms, dads, kids, and babies."
"Oh, a soda machine?"
"No. It's very bigger."
"Can I have another hint?"
"It has a pumper."
"A homework machine?"
"No!!! It's for moms, dads, kids, and babies."
"I don't know. I give up."
Pointing to her forehead, "Mommy, you have to think!"
Dang kid! Stop putting so much pressure on me! "I don't know. Another hint?"
"It's very bigger, it gots things, and it's not a helicopter or a soda machine."
"Oohh. Things. How about a toy picker upper?"
"Ok, Mommy. I'll tell you. You pump it," as she demonstrated the up and down motion of the 4 peg green Mega Block, "and you put it behind your bed and it makes it comfy!"
"Wow! What a great invention, Sarah. "

I was totally going to guess a comfy bed maker next.

Then we went through the whole process again with her next invention. This time it was an invention only for kids. I was guessing until Daddy yelled, "Last one to bed is a rotten egg!"
Then Sarah looked at me and said with a serious face, "Mommy, I have to go to bed now."
"Sarah, are you going to tell me what it is?"
Looking over her shoulder she said very seriously, "Mommy, I have to go to bed. I'll tell you when it's morning."

A good inventor never shares her secrets. Her mother might steal the patent while she is sleeping.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

FYI

5 year old boys like to randomly plug things in. I guess I shouldn't have left my Sterilite plastic container on the electric griddle. (That's dirt from the plants I had in the container.)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

To be a kid again.

When I got Wendy up from her nap she told me she rode a red horsey. She was very excited about it. I asked her if that was part of her dream. She nodded and told me she rode the red horsey in the park. We watched Mary Poppins this morning. I wish I dreamed about riding brightly colored horseys in the park. The only dreams I remember are the ones about losing one of my kids in public or forgetting to wear shoes to church.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Happy Eight Years

Happy Anniversary to Us!


Our First Anniversary
Back when we were fat and living next to two gay guys.


Our Eighth Anniversary
and 6 kids later

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sacrament Talk. Check!

Today our family talked in Sacrament Meeting. Our church has a lay ministry which basically means we don't have a preacher. Members of the congregation are asked to speak on Sundays. We were asked a couple of weeks ago. I totally thought that families with lots of small children were exempt from speaking because it's been 4 years and 4 kids ago that we spoke. But my theory has officially been proven wrong. Here is how it went:

Wendy
She mumbled something about families for 20 seconds with help from Emily.

Sarah
She gave a great talk about friends all by herself. It went like this:
My name is Saaarah. I'm four year ooold. And I'm going to talk about friends. My friends are niiice. My friends choose the riiight. I love my frieeends. I love Jeeesus. In name Jesus Christ, Men.

Bradley
He talked about the Sacrament. It went like this:
Good morning, Brothers and Sisters. My name is Bradley. I am almost five and a half years old and am in CTR 6. What is the sacrament? Doctrine and Covenants 20:75:

"It is expedient that the church meet together often to partake of bread and wine in the remembrance of the Lord Jesus."

The bread and water of the sacrament are for the body and blood of Jesus. The bread is for the body, and the water is for the blood. This helps us remember Jesus and keep his commandments. The Deacons pass the sacrament every Sunday. I’ll become a Deacon when I’m twelve years old. When I pass the sacrament, I’ll be clean, wear clean clothes, and wear a white shirt, and I’ll be reverent. The Deacons in our ward set a great example for me. I would like to bear my testimony. I know the Church is true. I know the Deacons pass the sacrament. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Emily
She talked about helping around the house. It went like this:
My name is Emily and I'm going to talk about helping around the house. I don't like cleaning up my toys that much, but I do like scrubbing, windexing, dusting, vacuuming, and sweeping in other places besides the kitchen. Now I'm going to say a quote by Elder Ballard from the last General Conference:

“Now, you children, please listen to me because there are some simple things you can do to help your mother.
You can pick up your toys when you are finished playing with them, and when you get a little older, you can make your bed, help with the dishes, and do other chores—without being asked.
You can say thank you more often when you finish a nice meal, when a story is read to you at bedtime, or when clean clothes are put in your drawers.
Most of all, you can put your arms around your mother often and tell her you love her.”

It's important to help our parents because it makes them happy and it brings the Spirit into the house. I would like to bear my testimony that I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true, Joseph Smith is a prophet, Jesus is the Christ, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Music
Kids sang "Keep the Commandments."

Me
I spoke about keeping a cheerful spirit in our daily lives. I referenced my June Cleaver experiment and how I learned that happiness is not going to seek us and it is our responsibility to seek out happiness. We can have a cheerful spirit by keeping the commandments, smiling (even if you have to force it), and keeping a sense of humor. Cheerfulness promotes physical and spiritual health. When we are healthy, we are fruitful in the Gospel. We should scatter sunshine everywhere we go.

David
He spoke about the father's role in the family. He made the congregation laugh when he talked about us having a large family and that we are only getting started. I think they might have thought he was kidding. The kids were getting a little antsy by the end of his talk and someone described there wandering around on the stand like little butterflies fluttering behind him.

It was a good day. I'm glad to have that over. Now we are good for another 4 years.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I'm making progress

So I was getting the photos off of my camera and unbeknowst to me the kids took pictures of their "Barbie family" yesterday. I'm not sure if they are adopted or if the parents have a highly varied gene pool. It looks like there is some mermaid ancestry and a gene that produces blonde afros (back right.)

I love the naked Kelly sitting on her naked sister's lap.

I'm making progresss. I did miss the blue mini M&M's container in the bottom of the crib. Rachel even sported a smile to express her pleasure of a clutter free resting area.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Confess to the Mess

I know I hinted at it on Monday, but I must officially confess that my house is a mess. I thought I should take the necessary step of admitting there is a problem. I think it might help me to do something about it. Could someone now please write Oprah and tell her a sad little story about a young mother with six kids that is living in squalor and to send Nate Berkus to her house for a home makover? Oh and don't forget to tell her that I need some new stainless steel appliances, but the fake stainless steel that doesn't show little kid fingerprints. Also a front loading washer, new dryer and lifetime supply of Tide would be helpful. And while you're at it, Oprah, throw in a nanny and housekeeper. Thanks!

Here is a crib that somebody gave us that has been sitting in our hall for the past six weeks because it doesn't fit through the doorways and we are missing the correct size allen wrench to take it apart. Meanwhile, it has been collecting clutter. The little black blob sitting on the floor beside it is a small Christmas tree we still need to put in the attic.

Poor baby!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Mommy, there's water on the floor.

This afternoon Emily came to tell me that it was wet in front of the toilet. Since I was aware of the fact that Bradley was the last lavatory occupant I said, "Bradley! Did you pee pee on the floor?" Taking a break from his PBS kids computer gaming he looked at me confused and then avoided eye contact and said, "I don't think so. The toilet might have overflowed a little bit." I sensed guilt and I made my way to the powder room to discover that "overflowed a little bit" was an understatement and that Emily left out the part of walking through a lake of water to get to the toilet. I was mad. Possibly more livid than on Friday night when I found muddy footprints throughout my family room. I yelled, "Stand in the corner! No, go get me some towels!" He obeyed through his tears and brought down my stash of perfectly white towels. Trying not to belittle the the 5 year old boy by screaming, "Not white towels!" (after all he did obey) I asked Emily to go get some older towels and asked Bradley to get the plunger.

Thankfully, my wood floors were saved and the toilet is functioning again. I was sure to give my sweet Bradley an increase in love after the ordeal. I think I'm beginning to accept the fact that I have a 5 year old boy. The great thing about Bradley is that he is super forgiving. The other day while he was reluctantly cleaning up his toys as I barked out orders like a drill sergeant he said, "Mommy, you know what? I love you!"


My attempt at prevention.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Word of the Day

Me: I surrender!

Bradley: Mommy, what does surrender mean?

Me: It means to give up.

Emily: Why are you giving up?

Me: I'm giving up because it's simply madness trying to keep a clean house.

Wendy: Why, Mommy?

Me: *sigh*

Wendy: Mommy, why?

Me: Oh...cause you guys are just crazy.

Wendy: Ohhh tay.



Here is hungry Jason protesting my late start at lunch.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Keep a Journal

A man spoke in church today about keeping journals and how it is important for our posterity to learn who we are. I totally classify my blog as my journal. I believe it paints a pretty good picture of my life. I'm going to print my blog out monthly and stick it in a notebook until I can publish it in a hardbound book. Sure, my blog lacks in spirituality, but I have a set of scriptures that I hope to tatter over the years to prove that I read them and thus am a spriritual person. I think I might actually write my testimony by hand and stick it in my scriptures so that when my grandchildren or perhaps great grandchildren find them they'll know that I had more to talk about than just poopy diapers.
~~~

Today Sarah drew a picture of a woman. She explained that the woman was mad because Sarah wasn't cleaning. Sarah explained that the woman was her mother.

Great! The mean mother picture again.

But then Sarah assured me that it wasn't me. It was her other mother.

"Who is this other mother?"

"Oh, she's my older mother that lives at my friend's house."

Ok. That's cool. I'm glad she's the mean one.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

A Pretty Typical Saturday

Today was a good day. The family went to the park. After the park we went to Target. As we got out of the car Bradley said, "I think I left one of my shoes at the park." I knew we weren't going to waste valuable time going back to fetch it so we put the 5 year old in the front of the cart and wheeled him inside. To save time we ate our lunch at Target. We fed the family for $14. What a deal! The only bad thing is that Target does not have the best seating arrangement for large parties. We ate at two separate tables. At the table next to us there was a little girl counting our children. She seemed quite impressed with the amount of kids. We picked out some new shoes for Bradley (the one he lost was too small anyway.) He was pushing to get the size 11, I wanted to get the size 12. I won. The sandals need to last all summer. We shopped for too long, mostly because of the 4 bathroom trips, went home, and I worked on the garden. I got it all prepped for planting. I'm so excited to be growing green bean and cucumbers. We ate pasta for dinner. David bathed the kids and put them to bed while I went to the grocery store. Now I'm exhausted and ready to go to bed. Here is my favorite part of today:


Bloggers must carry a camera at all times.

Friday, April 11, 2008

So that's why...

Now I know why June Cleaver wore shoes in the house. Today found me sewing felt monsters with the kids during toddler naptime. I was on the phone with my mom when I carried the large sewing needle from my kitchen knife magnet to the family room. As I entered the family room I clumsily dropped the needle and stepped directly onto the very pointy end with my barefoot. The immediate pain caused me to drop the the phone. It took me about 3 seconds to comprehend what just happened and shout to the phone, "Hang on, Mom! Aghhhhhh!" Still in some slight shock I grabbed a hold of the needle and pulled out the 1/2 inch of metal that was jabbed into my sole. Not much blood, but a lot of pain. I have a slight limp and I hope I don't start foaming at the mouth. The good news is that it entered right at the acupuncture point for the left ventricle, possibly left atrium and I hope it fixes my irregular heartbeat. We didn't finish the monster for lack of polyester fiberfill. Emily offered to get some from the ottoman cushion, but I politely declined and said we would get some at Walmart. Here is the monster in embryo. I think he resembles Jason Castro from American Idol.


Thursday, April 10, 2008

More Joy of Analytics

Another analyzation of keywords that brought visitors to my website. Here are my favorites:
  • melinda nip slip - It didn't actually happen
  • bigboob schoolgirl - I was never one of those.
  • bikinis falling off - I hate it when that happens!
  • dehydrated placenta - Mmm. Good food storage!
  • girl shoving pepsi can up her butt - Is that possible?
  • how big are b cups - I wouldn't know.
  • june cleaver naked - Ward!
  • mature poop - aka "manure"
  • nice butt cheeks - Why, thank you.
  • woman poops in elevator reason - I haven't a clue.
  • i drank 4 sodas and then drove for 2 hours and i had to go to the bathroom so badly i wet my pants - And what exactly were you expecting to find with that search?
I am most positive that most of those visitors were disappointed with the results of their click.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

My June Cleaver Experiment - Conclusion

Does looking and behaving like June Cleaver make me a better housewife and mother?

Yes and no.

Yes, because the whole skirt and pearls thing accentuates my femininity and makes me proud to be a woman. Why not dress up for the most mundane of days? Wearing an apron made it fun to cook.

No, because I still had the urge to yell and scream when my kids got on my nerves. It just doesn't come naturally to me to say, "Oh, Beaver!" with a smile when a child does something completely and utterly stupid that causes a mess or something to break.

In summary, the experiment made me more aware of my own behavior. I do admit that forcing a smile while doing dishes actually did make me happy to do them. I do believe that dressing up for the day made me more productive. The pearls made me look pretty. Now that my experiment is over, I realize I miss my June Cleaver days. I've become a little sloppy with the housework. I've become less attentive toward my demeanor towards my children. I do still wear the skirt and pearls though. Perhaps I should continue on as June Cleaver for a consecutive 21 days to establish a habit and forego the Rosanne Barr experiment.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Revelation

I struggled today as I tried to "live in the moment." I just wanted to ignore my kids and watch my herb garden grow, browse the Internet and talk on the phone. But then I had a revelation. I realized that I already am pretty good at living in the moment. Isn't that what bloggers do - live everyday on the lookout for a bloggable moment? Of course I don't have the patience to record every memory that happens each day, but I do take the time to look for them. In fact just two weeks ago I was mentally selecting the adjectives I would use in my post the next day as I cleaned the vomit-soaked sheets and dinosaur pajamas of a puking 17 month old child at 2:30 in the morning. I never did get around to blogging the next day because I was busy with my parents visiting me, but it was going to go something like this:

"I heard him crying and I knew. I knew it wasn't hunger. I knew it wasn't teething. I knew that I was about to find a puddle of puke. The cry just had that familiar gurgle to it. I reluctantly rolled out of bed as the TV, that I had forgotten to turn off before falling asleep, lit my way with the flickering tail end of the Carson Daly show. I walked pass the baby crib, thankful that the baby was still asleep, and made my way to the boy's room. Yep! There was the dinner remnants I had envisioned spewed on his blue gingham jersey cotton crib sheet. I placed him in the tub and washed the ebony colored beans and undigested rice from his hair and neck crevices. Then I took him to my room and sprawled an old ugly blanket on top of my bed and then instinctively held a towel in front of him for the hurl that was about to occur. Finally, after performing a surgeon scrub down, the boy and I slept uncomfortably the rest of the night. "

So, yeah, I'm living in the moment. I'm a blogger.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Living in the Moment

My "living in the moment" seemed to have failed today. The problem is that I have six little moments to try to live in simultaneously. In my moment with Emily and Bradley this morning while watching a Nat Geo program on super volcanoes, three other little moments were getting into the fridge fetching American Cheese and sucking on hard boiled eggs, complete with shell. Many of my moments find me wiping hineys, changing diapers, and sweeping up elbow macaroni. Hmmm ... This is a challenge, but I won't give up. Here is a visual of the effects of "living in the moment" today:

Is it worth it?

Here are a couple of "living in the moment" memories:

This morning Sarah drew a picture of "a princess jumping on a jumpoline."

"Do you mean trampoline, Sarah?"

"No. She doesn't like trampolines. She likes jumpolines."

~~~~

We've been doing a lot of yard work the past couple of weeks. The kids like to pretend that they are peasants and working in the fields. This evening I was holding baby Rachel and Emily noticed a booger in Rachel's nose. With an approaching finger toward the obstructed nostril Emily said, "Let me pick that for you, Rachel. I am your servant."

Now if only they could've enjoyed playing "peasant" and "servant" when I asked them to clean up the playroom.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Spiritual Comedy

I love General Conference weekend! I love having two Sunday's a year to sleep in and not worry about bathing the kids, curling hair, tying sashes, finding my church shoes, packing diaper bags. There were some good talks too - a lot of talks about strengthening the family, improving our prayers, and just improving ourselves in general. Elder Rasburn even said "Titicaca."

We sustained our new First Presidency. I have to say I really missed hearing the congregation chuckle at President Hinkley's funny remarks. But President Monson pulled through in his last talk at the end of the fourth session. He was successful at making a joke from a story about his wife being in a coma just two months ago. Ahh...such good Mormon humor. General Conference never fails to have some leader make a comment about being old followed by the congregation laughing. Getting old is hilarious.

My favorite talk was Elder Ballard's. He counseled to not watch soap operas, but no mention of Oprah. He counseled not to over schedule to avoid feeling like taxi drivers. He counseled us to "live in the moment" and not always be in a hurry. Amen! Easier said than done, but that is my goal this week. I am going to spend time with my kids this week and soak in the joy while mentally recording the details and not worrying about what I have to get done. He also counseled to abstain from any substance abuse that we might think we need to be more productive with our activities. Gasp! Is he referring to Diet Coke? Line upon line, precept upon precept. This week I'm working on spending time with my kids until I can further clarify "substance."

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Happy Birthday, Emily!

Her requested chocolate donut cake with sprinkles.



Perhaps this year she will grow into her arms.



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Thursday, April 03, 2008

I Frankensteined My Kid

Our family decided to do some work in the yard in preparation for gardening season when my husband came home from work this evening. Excited about digging out old plants and prepping for our anticipated lush garden of abundant vegetable crops, I dug up an old woody Lantana bush while Daddy was doing a science experiment with the kids of finding out what happens when you place a slug among a colony of fire ants. As I worked at the stubborn roots, I was thinking to myself how fortunate we had been that all five walking kids weren't gravitating to the perilous street and were staying very close to where we were working. That same moment Jason entered within a shovel's length from me just as I lost control of my digging, causing the blade of my shovel to hit him right between the eyes. Panicked and not knowing exactly where the shovel hit his face, I reluctantly picked him up to assess the damage. Blood was everywhere, dripping into his eyes and onto his clothes. My husband remained strong throughout the ordeal, while Jason and I cried. After cleaning him up, my husband took him to the emergency clinic with my oldest daughter, who recently told me that she definitely does not want to be a doctor that cuts people open. The trauma is over, and the good news is that he's fine and with all the commotion I didn't have to cook dinner, and instead relied on the Burger King to feed us. Jason will go down in the books as the first kid in the family to get stitches because his mom accidentally whacked him in the head with a shovel.

Oh, and fire ants don't care for slugs too much. They're too sticky.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Uncle Sam is Calling

Ok. I have to bite the bullet and do my taxes. I'll be back.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Food Storage Campaign

As the unofficial Food Storage Specialist in my ward, every Spring I launch an annual food storage campaign. This year I am hosting a sort of Dear Abby column where members of the ward can email me their food storage questions. The column is called "Dear Holy Cow." Since today's question regarding sugar is so important, I thought I would share it with the world.

Dear Holy Cow,

How much sugar should I store?

Sincerely,
High on Sweets


Dear High on Sweets,

Provident Living no longer officially recommends how much sugar to store. However, it formerly recommended 60 pounds per person per year. Sugar is not essential for survival, but it does provide enjoyment and helps to make some foods more palatable. If you take medicine on a daily basis, I recommend storing at least one spoonful per pill.

Sugars you should consider storing are white sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, honey, syrup, corn syrup, candy, and marshmallows. Recent studies show that marshmallows have a tremendously long shelf life. Also due to the current wheat shortage we can expect to see more shelf space in our grocery stores devoted to rice based cereals such as Rice Krispies and Special K, thus making marshmallows the perfect sugar to store. It is recommended to store at least 40 lbs. of marshmallows per person per year. A #10 can holds approximately 2 lbs. of marshmallows. A 6 gallon bucket holds approximately 15 lbs of marshmallows. Marshmallows can be stored in Mylar bags, however, they most likely won’t retain their fluffy shape and you should plan to use marshmallows stored in Mylar bags for recipes that require melting them such as Rice Krispie Treats.

It’s up to you whether to store the miniature or regular size marshmallows. The mini marshmallows grow better in our southern climate. Large marshmallows grow better in the northern climates in states such as New York and Pennsylvania. It is hidden knowledge that marshmallows, when planted, grow spectacular, lush trees with beautiful lavender and fragrant blooms. It is thought that these trees resemble those that were once grown in the Garden of Eden. Try planting one this spring. It usually takes 7-14 days to germinate indoors. Once the plant receives it’s second set of leaves it is ready to plant outside. It usually takes a marshmallow tree 2-3 years to produce fruit. The fruit is ready to harvest in early winter, the perfect time to put them in the hot chocolate you made from your powdered milk.

Hope this information helps!

Sincerely,
April Fool