Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sickies, soup, and silliness...

Everyone in this family is sick. Everyone except me. Because mothers don't get sick days, but that is an entirely different post...

I hate spring colds, brought on by impatient children who run outside barefoot and jacket-less the second the temperatures soar above thirty five degrees. I hate that with the whole next week off of school because of spring break, Jake missed school today. I hate that when the day was finally warm enough to let the little monsters run wild in the backyard, we were all couped up inside with low-grade fevers, coughs and running noses.

I did get to enjoy snuggling up with all my kiddos and watching a silly old movie, Thoroughly Modern Millie. I especially loved the part where the hero of the movie is climbing the outside of a building to see the girl he is in love with. Jake, my ever literal child, turned to me with a look confusion and asked, "What is he doing? Is he crazy?!" I said, "Well, men do crazy things when they fall in love."  He contemplated that for a moment, then shook his head in disgust and said with heartfelt sarcasm, "Oh great, I can't wait."

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Moving on...

I just want to say thank you to everyone who took a moment to comment on my last post. You all had such great things to say, and the support means a lot to me. I know this isn't going to be a success only journey, and I was just taking a moment to vent about my feelings. I am mostly over it now. Also, I was reduced to tears this afternoon by a pistachio that refused to open... so I am thinking that I may be a tad hormonal right now.

I think it's good to record the bad days as well as the good. I want to be able to share with my children that I wasn't perfect but that I didn't give up when things got tough. I know that Jake at least knows that I am not perfect. Tonight he told me that I only have one flaw, not spending enough time with him. I couldn't ask for a better ego booster then that kid.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A new perspective?

Sometime between my workout yesterday and today they put giant mirrors up in the gym I go to. The fact that there weren't any mirrors was one of my favorite things about this gym. (For the record, it sounds like they had them before, but they were gone before I started working out there.) I won't lie. I am having a really hard time with the mirrors. (Yes. I know it's only been one day.) It was emotionally draining.

I spend a lot of time and energy NOT looking in mirrors. I haven't for a long time. A quick glance to make sure that nothing is seriously out of place and everything that should be snapped, zipped, or buttoned is snapped, zipped and buttoned, and then move on. I haven't liked what I've seen for so long, that I stopped looking. And it turns out that is a hard habit to break. So to be "forced" to break it in front of other people... well, it was not a great morning.

I felt like I did before I started making changes. I stood there trying so hard not to compare myself to the 110 lb. toothpicks and failing miserably. It felt like everything that I have a accomplished in a relatively short time period just melted away. I couldn't see any of the positive changes anymore, just how far I still have to go.

I am enough of a grown up that I am not going to complain to management and demand they take them down. (Not that I think they would, I'm not that narcissistic.) I'm even mature enough that I won't let this emotional set back stop me from working out there. I just may be the only person in the gym determinedly facing the other direction, which means they can all watch my backside. Yeah...that won't make me feel awkward at all...

Monday, March 28, 2011

I was right... this is going to be a problem.

Here are the three skeins of yarn I dyed today.

 I bought the matching two with a clear plan in mind. I knew what color I was hoping to achieve, and I knew exactly what I want to knit out of it.

It came out even better then I had envisioned. This started as a pale pink. I was hoping for a sort of sherbet-y orange with just a hint of the pink showing through here and there. Through a series of happy accidents I have this gorgeous blend of pinks, yellows, and orange, which I think will look even better than my original idea!

And then I didn't want to stop! So I went back to the yarn store and got a skein of light purple and then we hit it with green. It turned an awful green color, sort of like over cooked spinach. Bleech. So we hit it with some blue, which livened it up. And then we added some more purple which I love! It was fun because Myra and Jeanette each ended up with a skein that is basically the same colors, but they are all slightly different because of the color the yarn was when we started and the amounts of food coloring we added.

I wish I had thought to take my camera with me, and taken a picture of all the skeins we dyed today. The colors were so gorgeous all lined up in Jeanette's window to dry. I could hardly stand waiting for them to dry (which takes a day or two). I can't wait to see how they look when they are knit up!

I am telling you, this dying my own yarn thing is going to be dangerously addictive. It's like magic seeing how the different colors combine and blend together. (I may or may not have done a little happy dance in Jeanette's kitchen...) And since we used food coloring, kool-aid, and vinegar, it is very cost effective when compared to buying a skein of hand-painted yarn. Oh yes, this is definitely going to be a problem...

 And now for something completely different:

Brian was changing Lila into her PJs,

when she decided she could not wait one more second,

for a great big hug. 

It just melts my heart when she is so loving and wants to be "nuggled".
It makes up a little for the times when she is being just so terribly two...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Tomorrow I will dye...

Some yarn that is. I am very excited to try a new aspect of fiber crafts. There is a very real concern that learning how to create any color of yarn I can imagine could lead to an even more out of control stash then I already have. I am still holding strong against learning to spin my own yarn though. I just know when that day comes I will be gone. From there it will be a short step to having some sheep in my backyard, and I'm pretty sure we're not zoned for that...

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I must remember for next year...

I've been spending the last couple of days at my dad's house. Brian went out of town on his yearly "golfing" weekend and Thursday night was the first night since we've been married that I stayed overnight with just the children. Always before I either stayed with my mom or Caitlin came and stayed with me. Um, I didn't do well. I woke up at every little noise and finally gave up any pretense at being a capable grown-up and slept with the lamps on. I even strongly considered hauling everyone out of bed and over to my dad's at 3 am, except for that would mean getting them up early to make it back in time for school...

Last night was much better, even if it meant sharing a bed with all three of my children. They of course are ecstatic at the prospect of having a "two night sleepover!" with Caite and Patrick. We've been enjoying our mini vacation to Pa Dave's by watching old movies like The Secret of Nimh and Fern Gully, and having chocolate chip pancakes with whip cream and strawberries for dinner, and playing the Kinect for hours at a time. Yup, you ask any of my children and they will tell you that Pa Dave's rates a solid four stars.

I am just grateful that Caite and Patrick are willing to let me and my little hooligans crash with them. And I am even more grateful not to have to do the church thing as a single parent tomorrow...

Friday, March 25, 2011

The difference...

Today was Kindergarten registration. We have a tradition that with the first experiences with school (registration, school shopping, first day of...) I get a babysitter for the other kid(s) so that all my attention is free for the one who is dealing with something new and sometimes a little scary.  So we dropped Lila off to play with Grandma T. and Evie and I went out to lunch first. She was so cute and excited as she always is to get to have "Special Girl Time" with her mom. It made me laugh that she could not remember the word Kindergarten, she kept calling it "senior 5 class". But by the time we got to the school I could tell that she was getting nervous.

I was reflecting as I sat in the school library how different it was from the first time we registered a child for school. The paper work is still the same, endless forms to fill out, medical signatures required, 18 different documents to prove residency in the school district. But last time I was a nervous wreck, we'd only been in our house for a month and a half so we didn't have the required bills to prove that we lived here, our licences still had the old address, and I was so worried that I was going to fill out a form wrong and it would be somehow detrimental to my child's educational opportunities until he graduated from high school. Plus I didn't  really know any of my neighbors very well, didn't have a friend I could turn to for advice. I sat through the orientation with Jacob feeling as insecure as if it was my first day of Kindergarten again.

Today was so much nicer. I've learned to relax about all of it. Getting proof of residency was as easy as pulling last months utilities and mortgage bills. My ID has the correct address. I know that even if I screw up on filling out a form, chances are they will have another copy so I can try again. And the best part, both Evie and I had friends to sit with, which makes all the difference in the world.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

It's a clue...

That I may have been spending too many nights away from my kids this week. On my way home tonight Lila called me. The conversation went like this.

Hi Mom!
Hi Sweetie.
This is Lila!
I know you're Lila.
Have you seen my binkie?
I'm on my way to get it from Grandma's.
Mom? You need to come home and stay with us.
Okay honey, I'm on my way.
You need to stay here with us.
I will. I am not going anywhere else.
Okay. I will see you the next time.
I'll see you the next time.

Good thing I have no where else to be this weekend. I think it sounds like a good time for some extra cuddles and quality time...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Things that make me happy...

A swept and mopped kitchen floor. Having a clean floor does good things for my emotional state. I won't tell you how long it's been since it's looked like this... because frankly it's too embarrassing.  It also makes me happy that I can count housework under my daily exercise since I missed my alarm this morning and have been just generally ticked off at myself ever since.

The smell of freshly washed babes snuggled in with a book. That, and the fact that they needed to be washed because it was nice enough weather to let them run themselves ragged in the back yard today.

The three bags of books my sister in law left on our front porch yesterday. You'd think it was Christmas around here the way these kids get about new (to them) books. Thanks Tracie!

The fact that I am posting before 10 pm. I can relax for the rest of the night and go to bed earlier so that I won't sleep through the alarm tomorrow. I think I'll set a back up alarm just in case...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Five minutes before...

Five minutes before I snapped this picture these two girls were snapping each other's heads off over how to make the bed...

Which resulted in my coming in and snapping at both of them for their bad behavior. (I know, nice example right?) I told them to get on their beds for a time out.

They were actually quiet so I went to check on them and found them snuggled up, sharing a book. Melted my heart.

What a difference five minutes can make.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Random Monday

Today was very random.
The children didn't have school.
I went back to the 6:30 am work out after missing a couple due to a nasty stomach bug.
You wouldn't think three days of sleeping in would throw off your rhythm that much after getting up early for almost two months... but you'd be wrong.
I was able to take a morning nap, and that helped.
It was too windy and cold to play outside.
Did I mention the children didn't have school today?
I spent the afternoon watching gritty police drama and knitting.
I am just full of delightful juxtapositions like that.
I went grocery shopping at 7 pm.
Dinner was a little late.
My brother flew into town tonight, and I got to see him for about five minutes.
I'll take it.
The hat I am knitting for him is too small.
I guess he and his son are getting matching hats.
I am going to try to stay awake through one more police show before calling it a night and getting up to do it all again tomorrow...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Kids say the darnedest things...

I love my calling. I teach a Primary class of twelve four and five year old children. It is exhausting, but rewarding.  They also keep me laughing with their innocent and matter-of-fact take on the world.  Here are some of my favorites from today:

1)  We were having a lesson on baptism. The teacher asked a little girl who baptized Jesus? She though very hard for a moment and then said, "Bob. Bob the Baptist."

2) The teacher was telling the children about what they will do to prepare for their own baptisms. She told them that when they turned eight they would have an interview with the bishop to see if they were ready to get baptized. One little boy looked confused and said, "The bishop?" and the little girl sitting next to him said, "You know...  the guy with the candy!"  (On their birthdays the children in the primary get a coupon to go see the bishop and get a handshake and a treat.)

3) During singing time one of the little boys turned to another teacher in our class and said, "You have a weird voice. Don't sing anymore."  Fortunately she has a good sense of humor.

4) The last one is actually from Lila. She loves going to her nursery class. In fact from the time we get out of the car at church she starts asking, "I go to nursery now?"  After every prayer, song and talk in Sacrament meeting she asks, "Now I go to nursery?!"  She especially loves singing time and today as I was getting her out of the car I heard her sing, "Once there was a snowman, snowman, snowman, once there was a snowman and the wise man built him on a rock!"

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Growth spurts are expensive...

Last night as we were getting ready to go out to dinner, Brian looked at Evie's outfit and said, "Evie, why are you wearing capri pants? It's cold out." I looked over to see if she had changed clothes since the last time I'd seen her. She hadn't. I said to Brian, "Those aren't capris, honey. Those are her pants. She's had a growth spurt."

That's my tall girl. Four inch floods showing off the purple socks she picked out to go with the red, white and black outfit. So she and I headed out to do a little pants shopping, thanks to Pa Dave's generosity. It just kills me, all those cute clothes we got her in September for school and six months later they don't fit. Ah well, the silver lining is there is hardly any wear on them so they will make great hand me downs for Lila. 

And just because it makes me smile...

I look at these pictures and hear, "Saturday is a special day, it's the day we get ready for Sunday..."

Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday Night = Date Night!

Dinner and a movie with my husband. How romantic, right? Yup. Especially when dinner is at Sizzler with our girls (Jake got to sleep over at Pa Dave's) and the movie is a stop at Blockbuster on the way home. I am really not complaining, there is a comfortable romance about being at this stage of life and finding the small ways to enjoy each other's company.

I also thought it was very sweet that Brian made a big deal out of the fact that he was on a date with  "all his girls"! Evie and Lila were telling everyone in line they were on a date. It was cute. The best part of the dinner had to be when a gentleman in full on Western regalia and an amazing handle bar mustache sat down at the table next to us, and Lila practically jumped out of our booth yelling at the top of her lungs, "Look! It's a cowboy! Howdy!!" to the amusement of all the diners in that part of the restaurant. The cowboy in question was fortunately a good natured cowboy and waved and smiled at her.  I honestly don't think she could have been more excited if Mickey Mouse himself had walked in.

Now I am going to snuggle on the couch with my sweetheart and try to stay awake through our movie. Hope your Friday night was as fun as mine....

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I made green blueberry muffins for breakfast, and we all wore green shirts. 
That's pretty much all we did to celebrate today.  

But I am happy to share 3 reasons why I am a pretty lucky mom.




P.S. If you were wondering if the leprechauns left us any gold, they did. Six coins for three kids. But one of my children woke up early, ate two of the coins and tried to claim that there were only four coins left by the leprechauns. They were busted by the foil wrappers left sitting six inches away from the leprechaun trap. In plain view. 
I am sad that this child decided to lie. I am glad that they are really bad at it...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The leprechauns don't stand a chance...

The trap.

The bait.

The instructions. 
Apparently Jake is on a nick name basis with the wee folk...

How the poor leprechauns are going to take away the Lucky Charms and leave some magic gold behind with out waking anyone up remains to be seen...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Holy cow.
 If you have ever done this work out, enough said. 
If you haven't, there aren't words enough to describe the experience. 
The closest I can come is I felt like a spastic monkey drenched in gallons of my own sweat, with two left feet...
I am so doing it again!

It was a blast. 
I had two reoccurring thoughts during the hour: 
1) A month ago I would have died. I would have passed out and/or my heart would have exploded. It was another indication of how far I have come since I've started.
 2) My mom would have loved Zumba! It made me miss her a lot tonight.

Two work outs in one day. I am going to bed...

Monday, March 14, 2011

6 weeks in...

Today was the last day of the strict diet part of my new life, now I have to take what I've learned and just go forward making healthy choices. Today was also my final weigh in with the diet.  To date I have lost 14.4 lbs and a total of 13.5 inches. I am thrilled. I feel strong. I feel healthy. I feel very proud. And even though I am not yet where I need and want to be, I feel empowered and confident that I will keep going the direction I want to go.  The bigger challenge right now is having to buy new pants every three weeks. Thank heavens for the D.I., other wise I couldn't afford to!

Now I need to say some thank yous. Thank you to Emilie (again and again!) for encouraging me and letting me tag along with her, I would not have done this with out her. Thank you to my dad for being willing to help me on this journey financially, I could not have done this with out him. And thank you to my sweet husband for the continuing praise, support and help (not tempting me or trying to sabotage my efforts, and kicking me out of bed some mornings...), I get to keep doing this because of him.  I also want to thank Caite for my great birthday present. She gave me a necklace with a compass medallion on it, and on the back it says "There are no short cuts to anywhere worth going."  It has helped me stay strong on days when I think that one little cookie won't hurt...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

"It's all in the timing"

All my life I've heard my dad say that about comedy and being funny;  "It's all in the timing."

This was tonight's car conversation:

Jake: Hey Dad. I'm going to tell you a joke, okay?

Brian: I'll probably regret this, but okay.

Jake: What did the carrot say to the football?

Brian: What?

Jake: I don't "root" for teams!

silence from the front seat...

Jake: Get it? 'Cause a carrot is a root vegetable?

Me: Oh we get it Jake, it's just not funny.

Then followed a ten minute conversation on how simplicity and timing are the keys to being funny, and how if you have to explain your joke then it isn't really funny. Jake told us several "jokes" and was (kindly) shot down each time. Then this happened:

Jake: Okay, let me try again.

Me: Again, son, it would be better if you just told the joke rather than announce that you are going to tell a joke...

Jake: So a man walks up to a security guard and the security guard says, "I'm going to need to measure your pocket knife." So the man hands him the pocket knife and then the security guard takes out a yard stick and measures it and then says, "I'm sorry this knife is too long." So the man throws the pocket knife in the trash, pulls out another one and says, "How about this one?"

another moment of silence...

Me: Nope. Not funny.

Brian: Not only was that not funny, it wasn't even a joke. It was more of a story.

Jake: Man. All of my jokes get killed in sub-committee...

I laughed so hard I had to pull over.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Special Invitation...

Yesterday, after our fun day at the park, bath time was in order for everyone. Jake ran down to his room to get clean pajamas and came running back upstairs shouting excitedly and waving an envelope he found tucked in one of his dresser drawers!

A special delivery by the leprechauns!

The invitation.

Evie was equally excited.

The rules of the game.

Evie is going to take the invitation for show and tell to preschool on Monday. She can't wait to share how they got mail from a "really and truly leprechaun!"

Jake is already planning out the perfect trap...

A few minutes after reading the invitation he said, "Yeah, but I'll bet you if we do get any gold it will end up being chocolate."  I looked at Caite for a moment, then smoothly explained, "Well, there is nowhere to spend magical gold in this world. That's why it turns into chocolate." Fortunately they both found that answer to be extremely plausible. Whew. 
Of course if the traps don't work I am sure I will be the one stuck with the job of "untying" all their socks...

Friday, March 11, 2011

Spring preview...

We couldn't bear to stay inside this afternoon!
We are longing for days that are warm enough for playgrounds and picnics, so when Aunt Caite came over we decided it was warm enough to go for a little walk and play for awhile.

Lila is finally big enough to just be let loose on a playground. I love that. 

Of course, some people shouldn't be let loose on a playground no matter how old they are...

Especially if they are going to get high centered upside down on a slide designed for five year olds.

Yikes! Jake is being eaten by a monster!

These girls love to slide.

Remember what I said about some people shouldn't be turned loose. Yup.

Surprise Lila!

The girls also love playing store on this side of the playground. 

Soaking up the promise of springtime warmth.

I had to take advantage of having another adult around to come out from behind the camera and snap a  picture or two with my babies! (Lila was not happy to stop playing for two seconds to pose with me...)

I love playing with these kids.

The only way we could get this picture with everyone looking at the camera was to offer a bribe of ice cream...

It worked though.

Caite got the best video of Jake while we were having our treat. I am thrilled she posted it on her blog, saves me the trouble of trying to get it to work on mine...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

She thinks she's hilarious...

Lila isn't a very good liar. 
This is not something I am complaining about. 
Mostly I just find it funny. 

Case in point; the other day during lunch she had a rather loud bodily function. I waited for a moment and then prompted her to say excuse me.  She look me straight in the eye and said, "That not me. That was Jacob."  I looked her straight in the eye and said, "That would be more believable if Jacob were actually here, instead of at school." She shrugged and went back to her lunch. 
There is just no telling that one anything she doesn't care to hear.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Missed it by that much...

Four votes. I was four votes behind the crafter who took the final spot in the contest.  I won't lie, I was sad and bummed for a little while.  But I've processed the disappointment and come away with three things.

1- I am glad I entered. It was a big step for me to put myself out there to face possible rejection. Which happened. And guess what? I survived. My family still loves me. I still have talent and abilities, and a strong drive to craft and create to express my artistic side. My life is still going pretty darn good. I learned that a rejection doesn't change the core of who I am and what I have going for me.  Whew, that's a relief...

2- While participating in the contest would have been a lot of fun, it would also have been a lot of pressure. I was a bundle of nerves last week! I don't know that I would have been very much fun to be around for the next 10 weeks if I had made it.  A good reminder that I am not really a person who enjoys that part of competition. Some people thrive on it, some not so much. Still, even knowing that, I wouldn't say no if an opportunity to participate in a different one came my way.

3- Getting my audition piece ready and thinking about projects for specific themes really got my creative juices flowing again. I have a couple of projects that I was getting ready for if I made it that I will still post a little later on. I also looked around my craft room at the sheer number of projects that are already being worked on, and decided that this would be a good time for me to do a little contest all on my own.  A while back I set myself a goal to finish one project a day for a month. This wasn't too realistic given the fact that I have three children and a husband who think they need to eat multiple times a day and have things like clean sock in the drawers and clean towels in the cupboard...  So I am going to try for a better balance by going for one sewing project and one knitting project finished each week.  And if I get a extra one or two done, then great!

3.a- I am also not going to buy any more fabric or yarn until I have done this for at least one month.  I was thinking of committing to that stipulation for the whole summer... but again, I am trying to be realistic about it.

Thanks to everyone who voted for me. I really do appreciate the support. If crafting blogs are at all your thing you should follow the contest, or check it out from time to time, so many talented people with so many fun ideas! Oh yes, mine was the rainbow dress for anyone who didn't already guess that, although I was told repeatedly that the back of Evie's head is very recognizable...

At least Evie will be able to wear her new dress on Sunday. It's been killing her that I wouldn't let her for the past two weeks.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What sisters are for...

Last night while sending the girls back to bed for the 47th time, I lost my patience and snapped at Evie.  She, of course, started to cry.  Lila, who was standing in the hallway, held out her hand and said so sweetly and gently, "Come on Evie, come with me and I'll tell you how you feel..."

Monday, March 7, 2011

Mini road trip..

We drove Tiffany half-way home last night. We met her family in Malad, just over the border into Idaho (or as my children say, Hide-a-ho).  It made for a nice Sunday drive.  And for whatever reason my children were thrilled that we were going into a different state.  Jake in particular loves watching for the "now leaving..." and "Welcome to..." signs.

As we crossed the border back into Utah we had the following conversation:

Jake: Are Utah and Idaho in a dispute?
Me: No. Why do you ask?
Jake:  There seemed to be a gap between the states, like where you leave Idaho and enter into Utah. I thought maybe it was a kind of neutral zone...
Brian (while snorting): No, if there is a gap it's just where the signs were placed.
Me: Yeah, don't worry. We aren't going to war or anything with Idaho...
Brian: But if we did we would definitely win.
Me: Unless the weapon was the potato gun. Then they would totally kick our butts.
Jake: Well, if we do go to war with Idaho we have to make sure to get Tiffany, Steven and Kaia out before the fighting starts...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Girl time!

Okay, the details of our fun day out:

I got up and went to the gym early. When I got back Tiffany was awake...

...but Caite (who had spent the night) required a little torture persuasion that it was time to get up.

This is me telling her it's time to be happy!

This is my response when she said she didn't want to.

Once she decided we weren't going to leave her in peace she got up and we all got ready. 

First stop was haircuts. I decided that I was ready for a change and tired of fighting my hair every morning.  Tiffany wanted to even out her layers (which took an amazingly long time... that girl has a ridiculous amount of hair...) and Caite just had hers washed and styled. 

Then we went for pedicures. Caite and I went with holiday colors. Mine are green and Caite's are gold.  Very St. Paddy's, don't you think? (I am kicking myself for not getting all of our toes in one picture.)

After pedicures we went shopping! Clothes shopping is so much more fun when you don't have tired children or an irritated spouse waiting around for you. I found some new shirts, a fun pair of starfish earrings that just seemed to scream "SUMMER!" to me, and a new wallet. 

Then it was time for lunch at Cafe Zupas.

Caite and Tiff enjoying their chocolate covered strawberries.

This is my "Why are you torturing me with chocolate?" face. Don't worry. I didn't eat any of it...

I did lick the smallest of crumbs off my fingers after I sat it down though.  That can't be too many calories right?

After lunch we went to see a chick flick that we knew our husbands would never want to see. Beastly, a modern day retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I wasn't sure for the first little bit, it seemed like it was going to be a really dumb, teen angst-y type of show. But it got better, and overall I enjoyed the show. It was very much a "I love love stories"  kind of moment.

Then it was on to more shopping until we were literally dropping.  We were all exhausted by the time we got home late, but oh it was so much fun.  

Happy Birthday girls! It was fun to share our celebration together.