Thursday, March 30, 2006

New day

I had a lovely post which was eaten by Blogger on Sunday. Grrr. Now I'm grasping at straws for new material. The moment seems to have passed to re-write what I'd written.

So how many times did you live in the moment today? I really am curious. My friend and accomplice in duck-poop wrangling, Wizard Woman, has been staying here with her small one who is about three weeks younger than J, until she's able to find new digs and get a couple paychecks from new jobs. I've been watching the small one and I'm finding out why I never had twins. Losing my mind over here. Hate poop. Not fond of it when it's in the diaper of someone who I carried for 9 months, but really, really struggle when it's in the diaper of someone I didn't carry around for 9 months. Hate bickering. Trying to referee the near constant toddler brawl that's going down at my house since the wee ones don't get self-control just yet, is kicking my butt. Hate feeling like I can.not. get things together and my fuse is so short I find myself going outside to chop wood and eating copious amounts of chocolate.

That's a lot of hate.

So I'm trying to find more joy. More joy in my children. More joy in service. More joy in my life.

Trying to live in the moment.

I love that J crawls all over me and has taken to kissing me when I holler "OUCH!" when she steps in the middle of my stomach or digs her elbows into the raisins that used to be my nursing buddies. She doesn't give out many kisses. I cherish every one.

I love that K is bright and cute and funny. She is sweet and her dawning sense of humor is smart and able to draw howls of indignant wailing from her brother, who has taken to picking at her all.the.time. I love that she got tired of him bugging her and punched him in the head. I know. Pass the bad mommy award, but I really am going somewhere with this: I love that she's tolerant, and at the same time, not afraid to stand up for herself, even when the odds are against her.

I love that B has gotten the concept of starting with what he knows and adding to it. Example: When learning to add, small children will use their fingers and add, say, 5 + 2. They count on their fingers, "One-two-three-four-five, six-seven!" Well, he's now able to start at five, and add "six-seven". Making me even prouder, is that he has added to this profound new discovery and will add subsequent numbers. We did adding up to four digits today.

I love that D gets up at 6 to go to seminary, goes to school all day, goes to cheer practice, then goes to track practice, THEN comes home and doesn't mind spending time with the fam, even when she's so tired she can hardly keep her eyes open. She's gonna make a great mom and wife someday. She's becoming a great friend, even now.

I love that E is driving 900 miles one way over a weekend to come see us. I suspect it has something to do with showing off his new car, but you know what? That's OK too, because I'm so proud of him for figuring out how to do things for himself at an earlier age than what we were preparing him to. He made a decision without all the facts and he punted when he had to. I'm so proud of him for being able to think on his feet.

I love that M has had his financial aid suspended. Yup. Make room for that bad mommy award, I think Kris probably has a competition on her hands for it. I feel bad for him, I really do, but I love that he is learning life's lessons the hard way, just the way I chose to do it. It gives me hope that he will land on his feet, and maybe, just maybe if I'm super lucky, he might find himself on his knees somewhere between here and there. I'm starting to think Hubster is right to think that we did teach them what they need to know and that they will most likely grab hold of it for themselves.

I love that Hubster is my husband. I could go on for days about the things I love about him. But for today, I'll try and limit myself to just a few. I love that he comes into the kitchen and helps me with the dishes. I love that he plays with his babies. I love that he has taught me so much about life.

What did you love about today?

Monday, March 27, 2006

What are we doing to the eggs, again?

This has been the question of the last two weeks since my friend Ethel told me, amid snorts of laughter, that my kids told her we were going to "fertilize the eggs, but Mom needs you to do it!".


Not fertilize.

So we started the project today. I marked the eggs with X's, and the newest ones, from the past two days, I put dates on because I fear our sucess with the ones we saved prior to that may be limited due to length of time at room temperature. Fortunately, Ethel also promised a dozen or so eggs from her own flock to up my chances of success.

See, ever since the great "Baby Chicken Scrambling Incident" of two weeks ago, I've been after Ethel to get her incubator out of deep storage so we could start our big science project of hatching some eggs out of our backyard herd. My kids have not been OK with eating chicken eggs since they found out where baby chickens come from. They've been convinced that every egg we've cracked open is nothing short of murder. Things only got worse when, after several months of telling them we'd hatch some out in the spring, we started saving eggs for the hatch-fest:

Me: "What's wrong with B?"
Dad: "I dunno, he's crying about some chicken egg or something"
Me: "That AGAIN?!"
Dad: *shrug*

Me: "B, what are you upset about?"
B: "Daddy broke the baby chicken egg!"
Me: "No, daddy just used some eggs out of the fridge!"
B: "Nu-uh!"

I go grab the blue carton off the counter, sure enough, it's the carton that's supposed to be on top of the baker's rack.

Me: "Dad, you need to listen to your kids once in a while"
Dad: "I did! But they're weird about the chicken eggs!"
Me: "Well, you better hope you don't get sick. Those eggs you put in your omlette have been stored at room temp for at least a few days."
Dad: "Oh, *those* eggs? You didn't just leave them out of the fridge?"

I seriously doubt my kids will ever eat eggs. Unless they are disguised as cake, or cookies.

But anyhow. I have almost two dozen eggs in a styrofoam box on my dresser. I'm afraid the pressure might be to much, I may crack. You see, the kids are expecting a 100% hatch rate out of the deal, the brochure says 70% hatch rate is considered a successful hatch, and I'm afraid we'll be holding funerals for every egg that doesn't live up to it's potential. So does anyone know? Tell me now, when baby chicken eggs don't hatch, does that mean they get to go live with Heavenly Father? You would think chickens would be sturdier pets than say, goldfish. But I'm here to tell you: Not so much.

Sunday, March 26, 2006


Some of my favorites, I'll keep adding to this just because I love them so much.

"All around the Merry Go Bush"
Frogs say "Yibbit, Yibbit!"
OK, those are pretty old, but I noticed she still says "hippie-toes" :P

"Mom, I want to go to college that makes you become the President"

To my husband when K threw up all over the inside of his truck and he asked why she didn't tell him she felt sick: "Tewldi not sick, she touched her WUNG!" (that was a while ago too)

"What, son?"
"Did it hurt?"
"Did what hurt, you need to be more specific, you can't ask me a question and not tell me what you're talking about!"
"When you fell from heaven?"

I think E gets the credit for teaching him that one.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Because Potato's Need Friends Too.

And why wouldn't we carry our friends around and talk to them?

Either we are raising some seriously imaginative children here, or we need to be looking into special ed. ;)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

After the parties

Comes the cleanup. Boy I thought I was smart. The Plan: Borrow BIL's bouncehouses (they're HUGE-O-NORMUS), have kids stay outside and jump in them, feed them cake, (outside, right at the end, so they can't puke on them), roll the bounce house up, voila!

*insert creepy music*

Then opened the heavens and down came THE RAIN.

We've been in a draught. Everything's been on fire. For.months. One night I need dry skies, you wouldn't think that would be too much to ask...but I digress.

So, we were sort of lucky, since the rain held off until the last little bit of the party, and with the help of my good friend, we packed the blower motors into the shed just as the rain started coming down. The bounce houses, by BIL assured me, wouldn't be harmed and would dry out when blown back up. No problem.

So it rained, and rained, and rained all weekend long. I went out Monday and blew up the bounce houses. Hmmmm. Those look dirty. Sweet mother of pearl, is that? DUCK POOP? Why, yes, I do beleive it is. Duck poop, and dirt, and grass clippings and leaves. I think BIL of the perfect hair, perfect house, perfect wife, perfect family will not be happy with duck poop on his belongings. BIL is perfect in every way, but I do beleive that I'd best not test the perfection of his patience with his SIL. So, I get the broom. I'll be danged, duck poop does not come off with a broom. So, I got the hose. Ah, duck poop removal tool secured, but remember how I told you that they are HUGE-O-NORMUS? I was wishing I had a power washer, because the combination of cruddy water pressure and a too short hose was frusterating my attempts at duck poop removal. No matter, let them dry out and surely we'll be able to broom off the rest. By this time, night has fallen, so I decide tomorrow will be soon enough. No rain until Thursday.

So today, the day broke, barely, it was cold, and overcast, and definately looking like rain. So, cursing yahoo weather, I put on my sweats, think, no problem, I'll just blow them up, make sure they're dry and roll them up. Apparantly, duck poop disappears when wet, then, MAGICALLY REAPPEARS WHEN DRY! Woo Hoo!

So, I spent my day scrubbing duck poop and mud off HUGE-O-NORMUS inflatable bounce houses with my 280 pound friend. Dear heaven I hope she never discovers my blog. Because right now, my pc-o-meter is running dry. I love you Wizard-Woman, but you are at least 280, and cleaning off HUGE-O-NORMUS inflatable bounce houses with you becomes much funnier when that fact is disclosed. Especially when you talk about becoming a human butt squeegie to get the rest of the water out and you flop on the folded up house to get that water out and the castle tourets reinflate instantly, making me think to myself, "Self, those look like giant, inflateable cones. Did she really turn into a human butt squeegie? Oh heavens, where *is* my camera". Aside from getting in my laugh for the day, I do owe the Wizard One big time for helping me restore BIL's bounce houses to their former, perfectly-non-duck-poop-covered glory. It took all day, but 2 down, one to go. Yes, you read that right, I get to do it all again TOMORROW!!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Eighteen Months

My little caboose. You are my child through and through. You may look like your dad and your siblings, but the personality, the short fuse, yeah, that came from me. For as big a surprise as you were, we can't imagine life without you. I have gotten the opportunity to slow down and enjoy your babyness. You've reminded me of all the wonderful things about babies, the way your head smells, the joy of discovery, the breath taking ache of watching your heart walk around outside your body.

You've been the touch me not baby. You love to sleep in your crib, you never did like sleeping with me beside you. You frusterate K to tears by your refusal to allow her to smother you with kisses, you hit, pinch, scratch and push everyone except your dad and your brother. (Well, you hit your brother, but only because it makes him laugh.) But lately, you've been running up to me for short snuggles, you've even taken to giving us spontaneous kisses, without trying to bite us!

You love to climb up on your daddy's adjusting table and have him adjust you. You lie with your face in the paper and you are the only baby he's ever known that will tolerate the vibrating massager. In fact, you don't just tolerate it, you adore it. You also love to bring us the lotion stick and lie on the floor on your belly with your hiney in the air and wait for us to rub it all over you. You are a finicky eater. You mostly subsist on Honey Nut Cheerios and Craisins. A day without Craisins is a day in pergatory for you. You drink out of a cup with ease and never have liked the sippy cup. On the day you turned 18 months, I took away your bottles. You just got unlucky. I didn't really have a problem with you having them, but the nipples were worn out and I just couldn't bring myself to buy you new ones. You've handled the transition well and no longer need the crutch to get yourself off to laa-laa land.

You carry on the family tradition of having a blankey, yours is called "Fuzzy Blankie". It's so heavy you can't carry it with you, but you chew on the binding when you go to sleep and you usually sleep with half of it underneath you and half over the top of you. You only go to sleep with your head covered, silly girl.

You like to go to nursery class now that you are old enough to go, but only through snack time. Once snack's over, you pitch a fit until they come grab momma out of Young Women's and then we have to get you home for a nap, or, if I'm lucky, you will occasionally sleep in the car now, instead of screaming bloody murder. You like yourself some nap time. No amount of schedule change will get you past church happening during every bit of your normal nap time. And you're only little once. I will absolutely indulge your needs on this one, and I will enjoy every moment of it.

You have stolen our hearts. Your daddy and I look forward to you and your siblings jumping in bed with us every morning, even though you don't snuggle and spend the whole time kicking us and climbing over us, and generally being a tease. Your siblings continue to fight over who gets to take a bath with you, even though you poop in the bath tub about 50% of the time. I've never had a tub pooper. I've never had a nose picker. See all the ways you've completed our familiy? D even loves having you in her room while she works on homework and listens to music. Your inability to refrain from dancing whenever you hear a catchy beat makes you great entertainment. You've also taken to singing in the last weeks. I swear you are starting to develop a sense of pitch. We'll have our family quartet yet! Your brother got a slinky for his birthday and you carried it around all night, singing to it. You play the Casio piano for hours every day. You run the thing as well as your brother and sister. You turn it on and off, change the songs, change the sounds, but try as I might, I can't get you to turn down the volume.

So, a few days late, happy 18 months my angel baby. I'm so glad you joined us.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


I can't believe we let you turn seven! What happened to that brick I put on your head to keep you from growing? My first born, I always *knew* you'd be a boy. Even as a child, I knew, my first baby would be a boy. We went through a whole lot to get you. Daddy had a "procedure" and it had to be "reversed". LOL But that's a story in and of it's self.

I was amazed by pregnancy, even though I didn't like it as much as I thought I would. Perhaps my aversion to throwing up got me off on the wrong foot for being one of those mom's that like being pregnant. We were the joke of the co-ed softball team, they placed a trash can just inside the dugout for my benefit. I could make it from the pitcher's mound to the trash in under 5 seconds. When I was about 13 weeks pregnant, I was fine tuning my old barrel racing horse for a local jackpot, when she fell in a gopher hole and sent us all three flying. Three days later, she bucked me off during warm ups, good thing I had you as an excuse, or that could have been pretty embarrasing. I swore off riding for the remainder of my pregnancy, and come to think of it, haven't ridden much since.

I was gonna be super-mom when I had you, I really was. Unfortunately, pitocin didn't do much to help us out, and after thirty hours, we had to do a c-section. Then, dear, precious first born son, I got the pleasure of *feeling* them *cut* you out of my body. Yes, that's right, mom didn't react to painkilling technology the way her doctor had hoped and You remember that when I am old and you have to take care of me. The moment they took you out, I remember thinking "He's finally here", and then...nothing. Apparantly, they gave me something that finally worked, not to ease my pain, it lowered my inhibitions and self-control, but, greatfully, rendered me with no memory from the time I heard your first cries to when I woke up in recovery. The way my doctor went crying from my room the next day finally prompted your father to fill in the blanks for me and, all I can say is, poor Doc. LOL

You were an easy baby right from the start. Loud, so loud we couldn't sleep with you in the same room, but, you slept fairly well, nursed like a champ and I was instantly in love. I loved your baby smell, your sweet baby breath, your cute baby smiles and watching you sleep could reduce me to tears. You talked at one year, and by the time you were 14 months old, you had a 30 word vocabulary, were stringing together words like a champ, and had incredible powers of observation. You said and did things to make us laugh every, single, day. Your brothers and sister's were hopelessly devoted to you, I know, they are only mean and horrid and pick on you now, but at one time, they thought you hung the moon. They'll come back around.

When K was born, she was your baby. You loved her and tried to carry her 7 day old carcass around the living room. Since you were only 17 months old yourself, it was deemed unsafe and you were required to only hold your "Tewldi" while seated, and you were really good at following the rules. Not sure what's happened since then, but, since you already screwed up, I know you have it in you! ;)

You have been my little smarty pants. You seem wise one minute, and maddeningly argumentative the next. You have the sweetest heart of any little boy, and my heart just melts when you lay your head on me and tell me how much you love me. Some days, I feel like the world's worst mother as I look back on my day and all my shortcomings. I hope you can see through all that and turn out OK and still like me when it's all over.

I love homeschooling you, and it breaks my heart everytime you tell me you want to go to "real" school next year. Daddy and I will decide, and we may not have much choice but to go ahead and send you to school, but know that I have cherished being the one who taught you to read, do math and tell you stories about the world. I loved doing Joy School with you, finger painting with pudding and putting on our Christmas Pageant for our elderly neighbors.

When your nursery teacher had a meltdown and was horrid to you, it took every fiber of my being not to punch her in the face in the hallway at church. You might be a terror, but you are MY terror, and I am the one who see's you in your future. I see you getting on a plane to leave for your mission, I see you drive away to college, I see you marrying your sweetheart, I even see you holding your firstborn. I see your potential. I know the goodness of your heart. I can feel the man you will become. Knowing all the things your future holds makes me proud, happy, and overwhelmingly heartbroken, all at the same time. I think a mother's heart is broken the moment she holds her child and realizes the injustice that babies don't stay babies. I wish I could clone each of you kids at several different ages, and keep one of each of you in those ages for ever.

I've said it before, but I really, really mean it. Your older siblings taught me how fast childhood goes, I'm so gratful for that, and I think I've done a better job soaking it in than I would have with out that lesson. But you are the one who started me down the path to realizing that children, even when they are your own, are not yours. I'm so grateful to be your mom. Happy Birthday B!

Saturday, March 18, 2006


I guess the adventure really began months ago, as my step-daughter contemplated her upcoming sixteenth birthday. Someone really should shoot the producers at MTV for their stupid show, "My Super Sweet Sixteen" . If you have a 14 or 15 year old girl in your home, you've probably been subjected to veiwing an episode or two of it. In all my high mindedness concerning my dear, sweet D, I never guessed she would take a television show to heart. Oh, how wrong I can be at times. I won't elaborate on the interim drama that ensued with her mother, at least right now, but once it was all said and done, D got to have her very own Sweet Sixteen birthday party, paid for by her mother, chaparoned by yours truely and Dad of all Trades. Oh, and I did the cake.

Yes, I know it seems like a small thing, but, really, it's not ever a small thing for me to make a cake. You see, I am somewhat of a perfectionist. After having been repeatedly accused of not wanting to have "anything to do with the party", me, being a sucker for punishment, commenced to baking and sculpting and frosting. Yes, that is a car cake, yes it is pink, and is large. Very, very large. 6 recipes, large, in fact. It's supposed to be a mini cooper. It wasn't exactly what I had in mind, but, after 20 hours of baking and frosting, it was close enough.

So the party was scheduled for the Saturday night after the big day. After a long day of feeling slightly nauseated, I gathered the three small children's belongings and paraphenalia, and dropped them off with my friend Sheryl. We drove to the appointed party place and commenced to partying. The place was rather nice, and the kids spent more time playing sand volley ball and shooting hoops than dirty dancing on the dance floor or playing tonsil hockey in the darkness, which freed up my husband and I to shoot some very bad games of pool and *gasp* DANCE.....while no one was looking. ;) I don't think the turnout was quite what Delani had hoped, but she was determined to have a good time anyway. When the designated party stopping time came, we cleaned up the balloons, assorted paper goods and chased off the party goers so they could roam the streets without the pleasure of our company.

While the party was *the* main event in D's eyes, for me, the real event was the obtaining of the driver's license. I have now accompanied all three of my step-children to take this test of all tests, in fact, I've been largely responsible for teaching them all to drive as well. If that won't turn your hair grey, I don't know what will. Our present to D was a 1991 Honda Civic, purchased (or purchasing, as the case may be) from my SIL. We gave her the car several months early to allow her to practice driving it since it's a stick shift. After lots and lots of practice, some tears, and a couple close calls, we feel reasonably confident that she can drive it without one of us in the front seat with the obligatory white knuckles, stomping at the invisible brake pedal on the passenger side of the car. The significance of this event is that after 8 years of non-stop chauferring of teenage type people, I get a break. When you have one or more small people to strap into car seats each time you leave the house, and bus service that doesn't accomodate either early morning seminary or after school practices, this becomes a very big deal indeed. The idea of not having to plan naptime around afternoon pickup, or not having to drag sleeping children out into the night to pickup kids after a dance or movie makes me positively giddy.

Of course, I am a little sad that this little girl is getting so big. She was 5 when her dad and I got married, so there's quite a lot of accumulated history between us. I've watched her grow from the little girl that was sad her dad kissed me at our wedding, into a bright, athletic young woman who doesn't seem to be in a hurry to act like a crazed and angry teenager, bent on self destruction. I keep bracing for it, but so far, we've been pretty lucky. I think that *just* maybe, she might still like us enough by the time she has her own wedding, she will be willing to laugh when I cry because her new husband kisses her.