Thursday, June 14, 2018

Unfunnished Post

There are dark forces at work here, I tell you.

While I feed the baby I like to peruse Pinterest. Lately I have been seeing a lot of pins about scripture study, and I have been pondering the counsel given by President Nelson in our last General Conference to gain and become comfortable with personal revelation. So with those two things on my mind, Pinterest has been amazing with inspiration and motivation...

...Except finding time to read and study is next to impossible. I don't know how people do it, quite honestly. I keep trying different times of the day, and I am as of yet, unsuccessful.

Tonight I had just gotten Kip down. It was 7:30 and everyone was with Jeffrey, and so the house was quiet. He was sick today so when he got home from work he just crashed. The kids piled around him on the bed and watched his birthday present which just arrived yesterday. Avatar: The Last Air Bender. It was peaceful so I decided I was going to attempt scripture study again.

Not even half way through my prayer, Vince was out trying to talk to me and wanting to play. I soldiered on and attempted to do some actual studying. I wanted to learn more about the word "heritage" from a scriptural standpoint. Except Vince wanted to play "The Floor is Lava" with me, and kept trying to climb on the table and walk around. And then Beth came out, and then it was like an avalanche of children, all spilling out of Jeffrey's vicinity. And so I put my scriptures aside, fully intending to come back to them when bedtime was finished.



I can confidently say that tonight was the most difficult bedtime I have ever had the displeasure of encountering. Vince just didn't want to go down. And Beth came up with every stall under the son. After a little while, Keith came to talk to me and opened up about some of his fears. He is terrified of death, apparently. It baffeles me where he got that because death has never bothered me. I mean, I am sort of excited for it, because then my head will finally stop hurting! Just kidding. Sort of not kidding.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Because, Science!

It's official.

Summer has begun!!!

AKA the most stressful time of year for moms.

At least this one. Last summer was an absolute disaster. I was pregnant, had a barely 1 yo, and was babysitting every day. Honestly, by the time Jeffrey got home from work, I was just done. I would leave him to make dinner and put the kids to bed. I would get Vince to bed, of course, but then I would tuck myself in as well.  The kids had free reign of the house, and no bedtime, because I don't think Jeffrey had realized at that point how important bedtime is for their health and our sanity. However, a few weeks ago, he sent me an article about the importance of sleep in kids, and how many hours they should get for which age. I was so excited because that meant he was finally on board with me! Thus far, one week in, we have kept to bedtime this summer. It makes me so happy! Not to mention how much happier the kids have been this summer.

Before school got out, we talked about goals for the summer. We talked about continual learning and exploring and summers from when Jeffrey and I were growing up. A la summer without electronics. Me more so than Jeffrey. He still had lots of video games. The heyday of Nintendo and all that. And so, we made a summertime rule: no electronics all week. Friday is Jeffrey's day off, so it will be our electronics day. I have decided I am going to teach the kids to cook this summer so they can help me out during the school year more. They are old enough that they should be learning how to cook more and more. I would love to teach Keith how to make pizza. It is his favorite food, and quite frankly, I get so sick of the pizza chains. But nothing quite beats homemade pizza! We'll see how it goes tomorrow, being our first Friday of the summer.

This week has been a blast, though! Monday Jeffrey had the day off so we just hung out at home, getting odds and ends done. Tuesday was going to be cool all day, so I decided to take the kids to the Pioneer Park (or rather the Heritage Park, but because it is about Pioneers, that is what it gets called). It was absolutely perfect! The zoo across the street was crowded and parking overflowed onto the street, but we had the park practically to ourselves! Pony rides, panning for gold, leather working, Brigham's Donuts, etc. We even got to see a bank robbing! That was really fun. Beth saw a doll house in the ZCMI store that she became completely enamored with. It was precious! 

Wednesday we just hung out at home. I cleaned while the kids played. I let Keith and Faye take my phone and go play Pokemon Go in the neighborhood. Other than that, we didn't do much. But it was a nice day to recuperate from spending the entire day before in the sun. 

Today we went to my parent's house so my kids could take care of things. Keith is earning some summer money by mowing the lawns, and Faye is helping to take care of the chickens. Responsibility, hard work, and all that. After that I took the littles to my inlaws, and Keith, Faye, and I went to the Pizza Pie Cafe. It is Keith's favorite place in the world, and they have just been wonderful so far, and have earned it. Especially Faye. I need to make sure to not over use her. She has been so helpful and non complaining and I just can't even! I would be so lost without my little sidekick.  After pizza I took them to get liquid nitrogen ice cream. Because, Science!

So, let's talk Vince. He took a long nap today and so is sitting up with me as I type this. He is my funny little buddy. Yesterday I was cutting up some watermelon, and he asked if he could have some. I told him of course he could, I just needed to finish cutting it. He leaned in close, hugged my arm, and said, "Oh Mommy, you're so sweet!" I had to laugh. He said it with such earnestness and love. The little dude just melts my heart! Tonight while I was cleaning up, I was carrying some kids books from my room to put on the book shelf in the living room. I know the way, so I was just walking in the dark. I heard a tapping sound, but assumed it was the blinds because the wind was blowing. I walked into the kitchen, turned on the light, and Vince was standing there. "Oh, hi Mommy." he said. I about dropped my books and buckled my knees. I was not expecting to see that! It scared me a bit. And then he laughed for about 10 minutes about that, telling Jeffrey that he scared me. He is so stinking cute, I just can't get enough of that little dude!

Okay, Kip is waking up. I am going to publish this tonight without the pictures because I know me, and know if I don't it won't ever happen. Hopefully I can make it back tomorrow to add photographic evidence.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Gum Myth Busted

Ah, 2:30 in the afternoon. All of the littles are asleep right now, and while I should be sleeping, or cleaning... I am thinking this little blog here is becoming a guilty pleasure. You know what else is? This weather! I am sitting outside at the patio table, the sun shining contentedly down, just the right amount of warmth. The East half of the sky a menacing blue-black of clouds. The birds are chattering back and forth to one another, and the wind is gently caressing everything in its path. Bliss! Add to that a waterbottle of ice cold water, and a mug of hot chamomile tea, and you must admit that I have the perfect little set up going on right now!

Yesterday while I was rocking Kip to sleep, Beth came running up to me carrying two packs of gum. Empty. They had been full when I began rocking Kip. Apparently Vince had decided he needed minty sweet breath, and consumed them all. And by consumed, I mean chewed and swallowed. He was so happy and excited that he had gotten to eat some gum. I don't usually let him have some because, well, I worry that he would do exactly what he just did. I groaned inwardly and worried about the inevitable tummy ache he would be having later on, but really, there wasn't anything else I could do. Fast forward to bedtime last night, and I encountered a mystery. Everywhere I went, I could smell a minty rotten smell. I couldn't figure out what it was. Sometimes it was there. Most of the time it was there. Sometimes, though, it was not. For the life of me I couldn't figure it out. While I cooked dinner I kept thinking it was the trash that needed to be taken out. I asked Keith repeatedly to take it out, but he did it the first time I asked, so it obviously wasn't that. I checked my fridge for rotting food. I couldn't find anything in there, either. And yet the smell persisted. As I was getting Vince ready for bed, however, I figured it out. I had him lay down so I could change his diaper, and the truth was there, assaulting me in the nose. The gum he had chewed had passed through his body. It was mixed with everything else in his diaper. I am happy to report, without a shadow of a doubt, the "gum stays in your stomach for 7 years" myth is absolutely debunked! It disintegrates and passes through like everything else does. Were it not for the smell, I would have had no idea that it had passed already. So there is that. Irrefutable proof that gum does NOT stay in your stomach for 7 years. And also the myth that it can't be dissolved in your stomach.

Last Thursday I got to host book club. Read and Feed is what we call it. Because we read, obviously, but also because we like to do some sort of meal with our meetings. My parents were sweet enough to let me host at their house because honestly, I doubt I would have been able to get my house ready. It was a crazy busy kind of day. But I think it went off splendidly. We read The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. It has become one of my top 5 favorite books! It is absolutely amazing! I chose this book because I had read it the month prior and couldn't get it out of my head. I needed to discuss it with someone! We had such a great discussion! And the food! I had ordered some clotted cream from Devonshire, England, and we had a regular afternoon tea. The menu consisted of cucumber sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and some of the strawberry mint jam I had put up the day before. There was sourdough bread to dip in olive oil and vinegar, and some yummy cereal peanut butter things. And the rhubarb crumble! And fairy cakes (aka cupcakes here across the pond), and some amazing cucumber mint lime drink. Can I just tell you, I want to repeat that book club exactly? The discussion and the food were both mind bending. But oh! I almost forgot the point I was trying to make. It was all very hygge. From the moment we began when Adrianne took over making the scones so I could get Kip fed, to the end where I had so many people help me quickly clean up, it was just hygge, and I loved it! Whoever said hygge was just for the cold winter months didn't know at all what hygge really is about. It is about togetherness and comraderie, being content to just sit and visit about books or life, while eating good food, laughing, cooking and cleaning together. I find the moments I like best in life are the hyggelig ones. I hope to make many more of them.

I guess you could say that right now is just such a moment. Being so content and happy with the present, taking time to stop and enjoy the little things. The birds, the wind, the color of the sky. Kip is awake now, though. I had to rush in when I heard him. He hasn't been sleeping well in his bed. I'm really not sure what to do. I have never had a baby do this before. He will be so tired. He will want to sleep, indeed, he will fall asleep in my arms. And yet, the moment I move to put him in his crib he jerks awake, screaming. I have tried everything I can think of to help with that. I have slept with his blanket so it smells like me. I have tried a noise machine with the sound of a heartbeat, ocean waves, a thunder storm, a little brook, and even white noise. I have tried placing him on his stomach. I have tried placing him on his back. I have tried leaning clear over into the crib as I lay him down so he only leaves my embrace when he is practically all the way laying down anyway. I can't figure it out!! What is going on with this little boy, and why won't he sleep in his own bed? I finally gave up today. I put him down for a nap in my bed. I have never done that before and it makes me incredibly nervous. I mean, the kid is nearly walking! I don't want him to fall off the bed. Luckily, I have lots of big pillows that I was able to position around him to hopefully impede his sudden descent. It worked, but he still didn't sleep for long. I'd say maybe half an hour? I don't know. Is this something you take a baby to the doctor for? Can the doctor really do anything? I'm in uncharted territory here. Meanwhile, I have given up on sleep. I have an app that tracks my sleep and I get roughly 3-4 hours of sleep a night. This has been going on for about 2 months. I sort of feel like a zombie, and frankly am impressed with how well I hold it together with such little amounts of sleep! Anyway, hopefully it will be figured out soon.

In other news, about 2 months ago Keith got a special award at school for "Good Ideas". His good idea was mostly just about his writing. I mean, his teacher nominated him because that kid has talent oozing from every pore and crevice on his body. Can he ever write! He is a true wordsmith and I wish I had half his talent! Today, he received yet another award! He got the "Best of The Best" award. It was for being such a stellar example of good scholarly habits throughout the year. Faye was a little jealous, but she just doesn't apply herself like she should!

Tomorrow is Field Day, and then Friday is the last day of school. The kids are super excited. Me, not so much. There seems to be so much fighting during the summer, and I just don't feel organized for it yet ...

...Time passes as I try to remember to post pictures and just don't hit publish ...

Ahem. So last Friday was the last day of school. The kids are overjoyed to be home. Jeffrey has been home every day so far because of memorial day, so it hasn't been too bad. Tomorrow will be the test!

On a happy note, Kip slept 12 hours last night , and I slept 10! I haven't had a full nights sleep in about 8 months now so this was momentous! I'm praying for a repeat of last night now. Tomorrow the real summertime battles begin!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Found and Quickly Squandered, ME Time.


The kids were put to bed and I was faced with the unusual ability to actually do something other than go to bed. This new found freedom is so new to me, and yet, I vaguely remember that once upon a time I didn't go to bed with the kids. They would go to bed and I would stay up and be me. How odd and fulfilling and exhilarating it was to have this time and to chose what to do with it! Me time! Alone time!

To be fair, my body is telling me to go to bed. Frankly, I haven't slept since that Niagara Falls vomiting incident that Kip had last month. I am ghastly tired. Also, my kitchen and bedroom could really use some cleaning. And I have about 5 books I am reading that it would be nice to get caught up on. Not to mention my weekly planning session has been put off, yet again...

But the way I see it, I am going to have to pick and chose for the next couple of years. That is the nature of a) having a large family, and b) having lots of little kids around. And so despite all else I could be doing, I have decided that my lovely little blog has been neglected long enough. It needs a good cleaning out. Cobwebs cleaned up, tumbleweeds tumbled out, and a thorough all around dusting.

I have been looking through my photo feed at all the fun things we have been up to and it makes me sad that they haven't made it to this little memory bank of mine. And so, I am going to try to do a quick catch up with a few of the highlights and my favorite pictures.

On May Day the littles and I went over to my mother's house and we went for a walk. I like to do that as it is also the anniversary of my grandparent's wedding. They are both gone now, but I remember that when we would visit them, we would go for a May Walk with them, and it is something I like to remember and do. And noticing all of the blossoms around was astounding. I don't normally pay attention like that and I was so surprised and impressed by the magnitude of color, scents, and variety in her neighborhood!

Oh, also, Kip thinks it is cool to nearly walk now.


Beth had a pirate day at school. Then she and Faye decided to be pirates for the rest of the day.
I loved hearing their pirate speak!

A few weeks ago we had sumo wrestling for Family Home Evening.


The kids loved it, but it was very nerve-wracking to see how nearly they would hit their heads or very nearly get hurt somehow. While they had a lot of fun, I don't think that is an activity we will be re-visiting.

I changed my hair from purple to highlights.



I have decided it is time to embrace the grey. I loved having purple hair, but it was far too much upkeep. And so, I went with something that would be easy to transition into not getting it colored anymore. That is the goal here.

I think for now that is good. Especially since I am now kicking myself for not sleeping when I had the chance. I am falling asleep as I type this. But I am hoping that this becomes a habit, and that I can do things again after the children have gone to bed. Here's to hoping!

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Full On Foliage

*** This post was written about a month ago, I just fell asleep before I published it, so... you're welcome. ***


Last night when I went to bed, my trees had little green buds all over them.

Last night Jeffrey and I sat down and turned on BenHur. I haven't seen that since I was tiny. Like Elementary school tiny. I was excited to see it again. Halfway through the movie we heard galloping. It was coming up the steps, getting louder and closer. We looked at each other, and knew. Our date was about to be invaded.

This is why home dates don't work, folks.

Faye came running into our room, eyes wide, cheeks flushed, and scared.

Someone had knocked on her window, she was convinced. Jeffrey didn't want to get up, because he was comfortable, so when I jumped up to go look outside, he groaned but felt compelled to join me. Because that is the manly thing to do. I laughed. He didn't want me to go out alone. Now I know how to motivate him! Anyway, we walked around and it was breathtaking. The moon was full and overflowing into the cul-de-sac. It reminded me why I named my home Moon Hollow. The ethereal light just seems to pool here and soak into the ground, plants, and homes in this spot. As we were looking around for pranksters, I was incredibly distracted by the wind which was sweet smelling and gently brushing my hair into my face, all while being just cool enough to stir memories of midnight walks and star-lit conversations when I was fresh out of my teen years and had the world figured out. The reprieve from the warm day was just the right touch. I longingly looked out of the cul de sac, wishing to just leave and go for a walk, hand in hand with Jeffrey, but knew Faye was sitting on my bed absolutely terrified, so we went in to comfort her. Anyway, Jeffrey had been comfortable and wouldn't have wanted to go walk anyway. He's a homeboy like that.

Faye was sent to bed and our date continued. But then Vince, our perpetual third wheel got up. At that point Jeffrey gave up and went downstairs. After I got Vince to sleep and to bed, I tried to finish the movie, but then I fell asleep too. I guess I will never know Ben Hur's relationship with that woman (since we missed the first half hour, and I'm not sure I have the time to sit through it again).

About an hour later, Kip woke up. I brought him into my room so I could feed him and he threw up all over me. I'm talking Niagara Falls force. Also amount. And then his diaper exploded. It was something out of a horror flick, I'm guessing. I don't watch those anymore, but this terrified me. All that clean up. Yuck! I spent the rest of the night- after changing the baby, and myself, and my bedding, and his bedding- awake, trying to comfort an uncomfortable baby who was not only sick with something, but was also teething. It made for a long night, folks.

In the morning, when the sun was rising and the baby was finally wanting to close his eyes and sleep, I happened to peek out my window. Overnight, the trees had burst into full foliage. They were dressed and ready to provide of their sweet ever loving shade, all summer long. I have to say, despite my long and dreary night, full of interruptions, things really do always look brighter in the light of the morning sun.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Wailing Human Mop. Available at a grocery store near you.

It is so easy to forget. I mean, life is so full of the little joys, the simple magnificence that gets ignored it forgotten.
Right now it is 4 am. I feel as if I've been awake all night. Again. Last night was the same. Kip is teething so he just wants to nurse and cuddle. I've tried everything I can think of to help him but he knows what he wants. And so I am sitting in my favorite chair, holding a restless sleeping baby, and remembering that it isn't bad at all
I may be tired. I may be fighting a migraine again tomorrow, but this is what I'm going to miss. In a few years time, I'm going to miss these midnight cuddles, the sweet baby smell, and the incomprehensible softness that is in my arms. I'll probably be missing sleep due to teenagers, and wish to trade back in time for worry free lack of sleep. I don't know. But the point is, rather than be sad or miserable about Kip's frustrating recent night activity, I can choose to enjoy it.
Yesterday I woke up with a migraine. And so I found what comforts me best. I dropped the kids off at school, and then found myself at Adrienne's. Due to illnesses plaguing both our families for so long, we scarce had opportunity to play during the winter. It was great getting caught up.
On the way home from a morning wonderfully wasted, I stopped at the grocery store. Beth was not having it, though. She insisted she sit in the basket next to Kip. That lasted for about 5 minutes. I caught her forcing his arms above his head, making him cry, and so promptly removed her from the basket seat.
And then it began. She has recently decided she can wail at an ear shattering pitch. It is so high, I'm shocked glass windows aren't breaking. It is also so loud, she could be used as an emergency vehicle siren. And so, when she was removed from the cart, she immediately day down on the floor, and turned on this wail. I started to walk away, and she lunged and grabbed into the bar on the bottom of the cart, and let me drag her throughout the store. Wailing, laying on her stomach in her beautiful white dress, being dragged around like a siren activated mop.
I pretended I didn't know her. Luckily, she was smart enough to stand up when we got outside into the pavement. She also stopped wailing, so that was happy.
Life is never dull, I tell you what!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Great Birthday Fiasco

Vince turned two on Sunday. And by that, I mean he suddenly is getting into everything. He is curious about the world around him, and how it works to his advantage. He is excited to push the limits and see how far he can go and get away with things. He wants to be independent, and rule the world. Oh, and he physically turned two on Sunday as well.

Vince is so sure and confident of his life and place in the world. He is precocious. The kid came up to me a few months ago and said "H. H. ha. ha." Another time he brought me a paper that had some letters on it, with B being the largest of all. He held that paper up to me and said, "Letter b! Letter b Mommy!" The kid is just brilliant! My favorite word that he is now saying is "actually." It cracks me up to hear him get that big word out of his mouth. He uses it properly and all, and it is just the cutest thing ever! It reminds me of when Bill S. Preston and Theodore Logan, Esq. use those huge words in a proper albeit comical fashion. It just sounds wrong coming out of their mouths.

Vince loves dinosaurs, trains, spaceships, and animals. He watches youtube videos of hamsters (or so he tells me) with Jeffrey, and can sing the entire alphabet and I Am a Child of God by himself. Also, he counts to 13. Not perfectly, and not completely on his own, but pretty darn close. He loves to cuddle and tease. Oh my goodness, he gives Beth a run for her money with the teasing. He usually gets up in the night and climbs into my bed. I often don't even notice, aside from waking up with his feet in my neck, that is.

As previously mentioned, his birthday was on Sunday, so we decided to celebrate as a family on Saturday. We let him chose where to go, the dinosaur park, or the Aquarium. He chose the aquarium. and pizza for dinner. Pizza is Vince's favorite food right now. He does a little dance and chant when he wants it.

Thursday night we had a fancy orange spice cake at my parent's house to celebrate Vinny with them.

Friday Vince got to blow candles out of his very own personal pumpkin pie,

and the rest of us got cookies and ice cream. So we didn't worry too much about a cake on Saturday. I had plans for an amazing one, anyway. Sunday came, we let Vince open his gifts, and he got pancakes for breakfast, and got to blow out candles from his pancake. It really made his day.

I wasn't able to get his cake made on Sunday, and so decided to just do it Monday.

Keith was sick on Monday, staying home from school and throwing up. It took all afternoon, but I was finally able to get started on my dream concoction for the birthday cake. I had it all figured out in my head. I bought a Tonka dump truck, and my plan was to fill the back with cake, and have candied rocks and gummy worms intermixed, so it would look like dirt. I found an amazing recipe. The Bruce Bogtrotter equivalent chocolate cake. The kind that would make Mrs. Trunchbull go mad with envy. This cake was going to be absolutely amazing! Complete with its butter cream cheese frosting. And the chocolate! It called for 3 cups of cocoa powder if that gives you any idea of the decadence of this cake. I spent a couple of hours on this thing, making it just perfect. I crumbled the cake, and stirred the frosting in with the crumbs, rocks, and worms. I lined the truck with saran wrap, and dumped the cake it. It looked wonderful! I took a picture. The picture was terrible. I mean, it was mid afternoon, but cloudy, and my kitchen light was just awful. I decided I would take the cake outside and get a great picture with the truck in the grass! The snow had melted enough that there was a large patch of grass, perfect for this photo op, and the light would be amazing!

So I picked up the dump truck and headed outside.

Little did I know, my whole front porch was a solid sheet of ice.

I got to do some amazing icecapade moves as my feet flew out from beneath me, the truck flying one way, my phone the other, and me landing in a very odd twisted way. Or so it seemed. I'm not quite sure how it happened, honestly. My right... top of my leg...(ahem) got hit really hard, and my left knee went all Tonya Harding on me. But the cake. That beautiful cake was spread all over my front walk and the snow. Food for the birds and wild cats and dogs. I was splayed on the concrete next to my masterpiece. Splayed. Pain searing through my knees, back, of my leg..., and skinned hands. I pushed myself up onto all fours and crawled into the house. Once I got in, I collapsed on the floor and rather dramatically called for Jeffrey. Like an actress vying for an Oscar, anguish dripping from my voice, I called for Jeffrey. Of course he came running up the stairs, panic ringing through each step. He saw me, crumpled on the floor, crying for my Oscar (yes, crying. When Jeffrey came up the stairs something in me seemed to explode, and tears and wails erupted) and was immediately by my side. I am pretty sure the tears were for the cake and it surprised me. I think the last time I cried over cake I was probably 8. Jeffrey helped me up and to the bedroom to sit on the bed. Except sitting hurt because, you know, of my leg...

I spent the rest of the day icing my knee which was swelling quite impressively. I didn't sleep well that night (I am a stomach sleeper. That doesn't quite work with an injured knee), but the next morning, I had to take Kip to the doctor as he has pink eye and apparently a mild form of RSV. And Vince has a touch of croup. Apparently. While we were at the doctor's office, I asked if there was anything more I should do for my knee other than icing it. The PA who saw us looked at it, oohed and aaahed over the amount of swelling. She told me to to take some anti-inflammatories (I told her I was taking Plexus Ease and she said that is perfect), keep icing it, and to stay off of it! Because having 5 kids and staying off of my leg with it elevated is such an easy thing to do.

And so, I lamented the fact to Lisa Thomas, who promptly offered to bring me dinner. I told her that wasn't necessary, Jeffrey could do it. She told me to plan on her bringing dinner by anyway. She brought over 2 pizzas (Vince and Keith were over the moon!), and a new birthday cake for Vince! I couldn't believe it. What an incredibly sweet thing for her to do! There was no need for her to do that as Vince had already had 3 opportunities to blow out candles. But oh my goodness, he was one happy little boy! He saw the cake, did his pizza dance, and chanted "Happy birthday! Happy birthday!"

I'm so glad that little dude had a happy birthday weekend. He certainly deserved it.