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, ...top 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, the...top 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.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Chocolate Copping Strategies

I am smitten. Head over heels, never coming back, in love. I mean, it’s been 5 months and life is forever better. Kip is now 5 months old. Can you believe it? He is the happiest, sweetest, little man I have ever met. He is all dimples, and smiles, and sparkling eyes. The giggles, and the way he peeks his head above the bassinet, eyes big and blue smiling up at me absolutely melts my heart.
Today, I woke up with a plan. I was going to get some chores done, actually exercise, and go to the store to get some jelly beans so I can start teaching Vince his colors. It is the easiest and most pain free way I have discovered in teaching the colors. Sorting first, and then saying a color and if they identify it, they get to eat it. No tears! Anyway, my plan. But first, around 9 Kip usually takes a nap. So I held him and rocked him and sang and 11 rolled around and he was still wide awake! He has never stayed awake this long.
I gave up and packed the kids in the car, fully expexting the car ride to put Kip to sleep, but he didnt fall asleep. At all.
He smiled and occasionally fusses. I figured he is teething. This is a face of my teething baby.

Can you believe that smile? This photo was taken around 5 tonight. With no nap from the baby yet. Jeffrey did take him when he got home from work. The thing is, because Kip wouldn’t sleep today, neither did Vince. And Vince was grumpy. As any 1 year old who misses his nap is grumpy.

He did finally go down at 7. As in, down for the night! Im hoping he sleeps all night! Kip, too. For some reason, I feel like I haven’t slept in days. Just emotional exhaustion, of course.
To combat the mental exhaustion, I am doing all kinds of fun things with my hair right now.
Also, I’m combating it by a sweet deal I found at the store. Of course, I had a bit of a scuffle with the cashier over the price. But I won in the end. Only because I was right. The posted price was $4 cheaper than what it rang up. And these chocolates are the ONLY assorted ones can stand. So Keith and I have been enjoying the chocolates while I struggle with the Almost Twins.

And today is my sweet mother’s birthday. We went over yesterday because I had plans today (but they fell through, thank heavens!) She made the most delectable cale ever! I dont like chocolate, and I don’t like cake, but hers was magnificent! Just look at it! Happy Birthday, Mom!

Monday, January 22, 2018

January 12th. The Best Day

Last Friday was an awesome day. It was destined to be great. Every January 12th is. It all started in 2005 when I entered the MTC on that day. Or maybe it was years before that, far away, when my best friend was born, and I just didn’t know it yet. Or, perhaps it was in 2007, when I married the best man I have ever known. Anyway you look at it, though, it is a great day.
After scheming with Adrienne’s husband, we were able to leave the kids and go spend the morning with just us. And Kip, of course. We started out getting pedicures. It was her first time ever getting one, and maybe my third? They have massage chairs, and it was just heaven! I went for sparkly red. My toes now look like the Ruby Slippers from Wizard of Oz.
We then went to a cute little costume jewlery shop and somehow 2 hours disappearsd while we were there. Keith tells me I am the Tyrant of Time. I control it and make it whiz by when he is having fun, and I turn minutes into centuries when he doesn’t want to do something. Apparently it was my fault that time went by so fast for Adrienne and me. We decided to get Korean since neither of us ever had before. It was delicious! I’m not going to attempt to remember what I got, but it had a fried egg on top and was simply scrumptious! The best part of the Korean food experience was the sweet lady who worked there. I honestly felt like I was being served from a friend’s mom from her kitchen. It was just lovely and the server was the sweetest lady ever! I really wish there had been more time to play with Adrienne, though
Unfortunately, by then it was time to go pick up kids from school,take Adrienne home, ...
... and get ready for my hot date with Jeffrey! When he got home from work we took the kids to my parent’s house, and then set off for dinner. We ended up at a local café that has the very BEST scones on the planet.

And then, because of the debacle with my only pair of pants (see the previous post), we went to the store so I could get a new pair.
We aren’t very exciting when it comes to our anniversary. But 11 years! It really doesn’t seem like it’s been that long. What a blessing it has been, though. I love that man more every day. I know it’s cliché to say, but I didn’t know it was possible to love him this much when we got married. He makes me laugh and want ro learn new things every day!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

The Walk (said with foreboding)

Beth wanted to walk to preschool thursday. So we got everyone bunded up, put Kip in the stroller and Minnie in the doll stroller, and we headed out. My plan was for Beth to push it to preschool and it would be amazing in distracting Vince on our walk home. That was my plan.
On the way there, I had to coax Vince away from every rock garden we passed. He wanted to stop and put rocks in his pockets. Because he loves rocks, and he loves his pockets.
Before we left home, I couldn’t find Vince’s coat, so we just left without it. It has been really nice out lately. I rarely wear a coat right now anyway. He was wearing a fuzzy warm sweatshirt, so i figured he’d be warm and it would be fine. Except we were blindsided by the frigid arctic wind that was attempting to freeze us in our boots. After walking a little ways, I decided it was probably too cold for Vince to not have something to help him stay warm. I took my scarf off my neck and wrapped it arouns his head. He looked so sweet and cute!

It took much longer than expected because of our many stops, but in the end we got Beth to preschool and everything was going great. Vince found a rock garden and I said goodbye to Beth with a kiss and a hug. I took the doll stroller from her and gave it to Vince.
And then I decided I wanted to take his picture.
I wanted to get down on his level, right by him and take a great picture. And so I squatted down...
I looked down and my pants had ripped. It was in the thigh area, much less conspicuous than had it been in the back. But still!

And so I snapped that photo, and tried to get Vince to hurdy along. Except he wanted to explore! It took is 45 minutes to get home because of that doll stroller and the sense of freedom Vince found with it! I was happy to let him explore, except I really needed to get home to change my pants! Except he didn’t see the need. There were rocks, and bugs, and leaves, and some people still have decorations up, including Frosty the Snowman who is real and magical, and frustrating because if he has his hat on why won’t he play with me?! Also, my neighbor has big rocks. About the size of a little boy’s torso. Vince got very excited when he saw those. He tried his hardest to lift them up and carry them home. I laughed, and finally had to forcefully carry that tenacious little dude past the house or we would never get home!
My plan did work, though. He was all kinds of tired out, and went right to sleep. And when I went to hang up his coat, it rained rocks snd pebbles down on me. So it was apparently a succesful outing for him as well.