Monday, April 29, 2013

1st grade program

We got to go see Evie in a school program today. It was a vast improvement over past years, she didn't cry or look terrified even once.

In fact, I thought you could tell that she comes from a long line of performers, she obviously understands the importance of enunciating...

Friday, April 26, 2013

A conversation between two mothers...


Hey! How's it going?

Pretty good? How about you?

Be quiet! I'm on the phone! Oh.. Not too bad.

So I'm almost done with my sewing project. Well, get a drink of water then. You know where we keep the cups!

Oh yeah? If you don't leave your brother alone I'm going to come over there and stick that toy in your ear and see how you like it! How's it turning out?

You had an accident? Again?! Go get into the bathtub and strip down! Pretty good, but I'm not sure I'm going to have enough fabric for the trim... No! In the bathtub! Not the living room!

Oh dear, I hate it when I run out if fabric! Stop poking me!

What?! You threw up where? Go get in the bathtub too!

If you guys come in this room again someone had better be bleeding or on fire!

(Both moms simultaneously)
Hey- can I call you back later? After the kids are in bed...

Just for the record we can go hours around here floating along all calm and quiet, but the second someone calls me chaos is sure to erupt. But I keep answering because it's so nice to talk to another grown-up...

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Choose your words wisely...

Jake brought home two balloons from Scouts. One was already blown up. Lila spied the flat balloon and was immediately begging to have a turn blowing up a balloon.

When no one was looking she grabbed it and started trying to blow it up. Jake didn't care, but it made Brian upset. (More for OCD reasons than that she took her brother's balloon.) "Lila! Don't put that in your mouth!"

Her lip pouted out and her eyes filled with tears, "But Daddy... I just wanted a turn blowing up a balloon."

"It's okay, honey. You can blow up the balloon... Just don't... Never mind."

I started to laugh, "You were just about to say, 'You can blow up the balloon, just don't put it in your mouth!' weren't you?"

He frowned at me and said, "No! I just didn't want her to put the whole balloon in her mouth!"

Um, yeah. She's four years old, not four months... you aren't fooling anyone, sweetie. :)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Mushy brains...

No, we didn't have to look at more anatomy specimens this week (Thank Heavens!), but after three hours on stem cell research, clinical trials, understanding medical research and how to find it on the Internet.... my brain has turned to mush!

Otherwise today has been a pretty nice day. Lila and I got along like gangbusters! Jake has been rocking at school for the past week and a half, no missing work, and things turned in on time. I'm so proud of him and I can already tell a difference in his stress levels. And Evie... she is still the sweetest, loving-est, quietest kid I know. Actually that's not entirely true. It's not that she doesn't talk, it's more like she stores them up for days at a time and then has to use them all within an hour!

Totally non-sequitur and disjointed writing tonight. I told you I had a mushy brain...

Monday, April 22, 2013

What sisters are for...

Tonight while the girls were eating and I was puttering around the kitchen, they were chattering about everything and nothing. Suddenly Evie changed the subject.

"Hey Mom? Remember when I bumped heads with that boy from my class and I had a bleeding nose and a cut under my lip that wouldn't stop bleeding?"

"Yes I do."

"Yeah.... that was was the worst day of my life!"

Lila then chimed in, "No, that was MY worst day of your life!"

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A perfect Sunday...

Today we got to go to Brian's parent's ward and hear them report on their mission. It was a great meeting for me, in no small part because I sat two row behind everyone else with Brian in the wheelchair spot, and the rest of our family kept our kids up with them. I got to sit quietly and hear every word! It was heavenly...

Afterwards we spent several hours eating and visiting with family and friends. The kids had a blast playing with their cousins, and all in all it was just a wonderful day. The kind that refreshes you and gets you ready to start the week anew.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Some angels deliver sandwiches for Jimmy Johns...

Well he did it! Brian rode 26.2 miles and finished his first marathon in 2:34:20!

It was a crazy experience for all of us. The kids and I arrived at the finish line shortly after 7 am, and then we waited... and waited... and waited. It started raining shortly after we arrived and didn't stop the entire time we were there. We were bundled up pretty well, but even with umbrellas we were quickly damp, then wet, then soaked. The kids had each grabbed a piece of bread as we walked out the door, so after two hours of standing around watching bikers and runners I had three shivering, starving, exhausted, miserable kids on my hands and nothing to give them. Just as Lila was about to completely melt down completely, Jimmy John's workers were moving through the crowds handing out little sandwiches. I could have kissed that man as he gave my kids something to eat!

The biggest bummer of the day was that the way they had the barricades set up and draped with the marathon banners we couldn't even see the hand-cycles as try crosses the finish line. After more then three hours of straining to see around the crowds and umbrellas we did't even see Brian riding at all! I don't know how I missed him, but suddenly my phone was ringing and he was calling me to say he was done and waiting at the bike trailer. So I didn't even get a single picture of him at the race, fortunately on of his team mates got a great picture of him at the starting line and said he would email to us tomorrow.

It was so cold that when I found Brian there was a nurse with the Trails program talking to a doctor and talking about taking him to the hospital! He was shivering and shaking so badly, and he couldn't seem to catch his breath. That was pretty scary! But while we walked back to get our car, they got him into another car and cranked up the heat, they also got him out of his wet shirt and wrapped up in one of those emergency tinfoil blanket things. So by the time I drove back to them he was feeling much better. (We found out later that another hand-cyclist on his team did get taken to the hospital to be treated for hypothermia! It was wicked cold!)

I am so proud of Brian. Like he said to one of the nursing students that was helping after the race, "Considering that the first time I sat my butt in one of those bikes was three weeks ago, I think the fact that I finished the race is pretty impressive." I couldn't agree more!

I'm also proud of my kids. They were such troopers through what can only be termed an absolutely miserable experience. Even though there was a point when we were all in tears, there was no tantrums or whining. In fact Lila took me by surprise as we were walking back to the car, cold and wet, she was sobbing, huge tears rolling down her cheeks. I leaned down to give her a hug and try to comfort her, but before I could even say anything she looked up with her big, brown eyes and said, "Just think of all the adventures we have had today Mom."

Yep, I have a pretty amazing family. No doubt about it.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Early to bed...

I just have to say it. If you had told me a month ago that my husband was going to give up drinking Mt. Dew and do a marathon, I would have said you were bat-crap crazy... once I was able to stop laughing, that is.

But here we are, going to bed at 9:30 on a Friday night, because tomorrow he is doing a marathon. It's a little surreal, but we are all so excited and proud of him. It's going to be awesome seeing him cross that finish line tomorrow!

P.S. I am even more impressed with him because he either has a broken or deeply bruised rib, and he hasn't let that slow him down or stop him from achieving this goal. Man, exercise does release those feel good endorphins!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


I have been trying to start a sock for two days now. Actually I have started about four different socks over the past two days. But none of my color/pattern combinations have worked. So for two days of work I have four rounds of knitting to show for it... and if this one doesn't work I'm shoving all the sock yarn back into the stash and casting on another baby hat.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Yesterday and today...

I didn't post yesterday because I was too sad and too overwhelmed by another horrible event playing out in the media. The Boston Marathon bombing. I sat all afternoon watching the news and alternately crying and praying for all those people who had their lives irrevocably changed in an instant by senseless violence.

It just seemed small and meaningless to post a cutesy story about how Jake brought home a stick that he found at recess to be his "stick to shake at the crayons... because, Mom, you're always saying we have more crayons then you could shake a stick at."

But then I started seeing post after post, and story after story about people rushing to the rescue. Acts of kindness and sacrifice and heroism, and I read a quote (that I can't find who to attribute it to now) that I know will always stick with me, "The good outnumber you, and we will always will."

So maybe it's not meaningless, to share the light and love and humor in my life. It's something I want for my children, to be able to face the world in all it's ugliness, and still find beauty and hope. Because the good outnumbers the bad, and it always will.

Now on to today.

Today I saw brains.

Real, actual brains that used to be inside of a human....

I am not a person for whom the medical field holds any fascination. I am incredibly grateful that there are people who are so inclined and become doctors and nurses, because I can barely handle the blood and vomit that is part of a Mom's job. But biology... not so much. I just about flunked out of my high school biology class because when you dissect a frog, his insides are not color coded. So it pretty much all looked like grey mushy stuff to me, I couldn't tell a heart from a kidney. I'm not even 100% my frog was a he, but I figured that at least I had a 50/50 shot at getting that one right.

But I digress...

Brian and I went to the Spinal Cord Injury Forum tonight. It is a six week lecture series put on by the U of U, and they cover all sorts of topics about spinal cord injuries, treatments, therapies, advancements in assistive technologies, and you get dinner. (Which I might not have eaten if I'd known we were going to be looking at brains later on...)

There was an hour long lecture, which this week was an overview of all the topics they'll be covering. Then we break off into smaller groups and get more specific information on a topic. Tonight's were anatomy (you know... the brains... Actually it was a whole brain, a brain cut in half, and a spinal cord... which is very cord-y), spinal fracture, and pressure ulcers, which had a ton of pictures I'd really rather not have seen... but also lots of good information. I'm pretty sure the doctors all thought I was at least half a nut job since I watched most of their presentations peeking between my fingers. I was mostly just grateful that I didn't pass out or throw up on anybody. Especially when the anatomy doctor started cutting into the spinal cord to show us different things.

I am glad we went and I plan on attending the whole six weeks with Brian. I am sincerely hoping that they got all the gore out of the way tonight though...

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Wish us luck....

Brian and I are definite night owls. If we get to bed before midnight there is an excellent chance that one of us is sick. But with this new found (re-found?) passion for cycling, Brian has to get up early so that he can get off work early enough to still have daylight to go riding. Plus the for the marathon next week he has to get up at 4 a.m.! So just like he is training his muscles to have strength and endurance, he now must train his body to sleep and get up earlier. This week we have a goal to be in bed by 10:30 at the latest. I for one am very interested to see how he reacts when I tell him it's time for bed, he may burst into tears just like our girls do...

Friday, April 12, 2013

What I want to remember...

Today I was a really good parent.

Jake and I worked together to find a solution to a problem he's having at school.

I didn't raise my voice once.

I think we both get gold stars.

Today I was a fun mom.

I ignored the piles of laundry and played video games with my kids instead.

And in that moment that was the most important thing I could have been doing.

Today I was mom who said yes.

Yes to ice cream at the grocery store.

I had my heart melt a little as I watched my kids feeding each other tastes of their ice cream and trying to decide who had picked the best flavor.

(It was a three way tie, as each person voted for their own choice....)

Today I was a patient mom.

I drove across town so my kids could enter their drawings into a contest.

I then waited in the car while Jake finished coloring his.

Today I was an awesome mom.

I am posting this mostly for my own benefit, and for my children's, so that we can all look back and remember that even though I am not a perfect mom I am trying really hard.

And somedays I am better at it than others.

Thursday, April 11, 2013


Affectionately Known As Toothless.

Miss Evie has now lost a grand total of four teeth. She is keeping us all laughing by telling us that "It'th hard to with-el" and "Now everybody ith going to thing 'All I want for Chrith-meth' at me!"

Caite's shadow...

Anyone who knew my sister when she was a little girl knows that Lila is practically a carbon copy of her. Same nose, same smile, same chocolate brown eyes... if I didn't know better I'd swear that she was Caitlin's child instead of mine. Lila also adores her Aunt Caite and the highlight of her week usually involves days when Caite comes down to spend time with us. The second she walks in the door she is bombarded with a four year old's stream-of-consciousness conversation which usually ends with "Hey Caite, can I play on your Kindle?"

Yesterday we were at my dad's and Caitlin went upstairs, followed by her little shadow chattering non-stop behind her. A few minutes later they came back down and I just had to laugh. Caite has reached the stage of pregnancy where she walks with one hand on her back and one hand supporting her belly. She was followed by Lila, who was arching her back and sticking her belly out as far as it would go, and she also had one hand on her back and one hand on her belly. They came into the library where I was still giggling helplessly, and Lila looked at me crossly and said, "Hey! Our backs hurt!"

Today Caitlin was over to our house and while we were talking she lifted her shirt slightly as she scratched her belly. Lila was playing on the floor by us and saw Caite do this. She made us both jump by yelling, "AHA! That baby is NOT just tucked under your shirt!"

Caite looked wistful and said, "Nope, I can't just take her out at night.... Wouldn't it be cool if you could though?" Soon Caite-did, very soon. And then, believe it or not, there will come a time when you wish you could put them back inside you where they were a little less demanding. ;)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Dinner conversation with Lila...

Me: Hey Lila, would you like a piece of bread?

Lila: Oh, no thank you.

Me: Are you sure? See, it's just a little piece.

Lila: I wouldn't care for it tonight... but I appreciate the offer.

This girl gets more and more like Jake every day. Heaven help me... :)

Monday, April 8, 2013

Daddy's girls...

It's times like these that make me smile and say to Brian, "It's too bad our girls don't love you more."

It melts my heart that this is the the place they feel safest in the world, wrapped in their Daddy's arms.

Sunday, April 7, 2013


Lila had a bit of a stomach bug today, which meant we had to be a little flexible in our plans. We were supposed to go to my dad's for lunch between sessions of Conference, so Brian and Jake stayed home to take care of Lila, and Evie and I went to lunch. I think Evie enjoyed having all the grown-ups attention all to herself.

When we got back Brian told me how he was doing the dishes and Lila came in asking for toast. Brian said, "Okay honey, I'll put a couple of pieces in the toaster in a few..."

Lila very worriedly said, "Dad! If you put three pieces of bread in our toaster it will explode!"

Brian repeated himself and reassured her he would only use two pieces of bread. She sighed and said, "Oh fewf- I misunderheard you!"

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Too busy having fun...

Today was a very nice day. Conference, bridal shower, and Dinee and Tay came over for our first barbecue of the season. Yes, a very nice day.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

A new twist on an old conversation...

First of all, sorry for missing a post last night. I was in a very not-happy place, so I decided that not venting my displeasure all over the interwebs was the better part of valor. And as usual, with a new day comes a better perspective and better frame of mind.

So now on to today's humorous anecdote...

At our house if you are downstairs you CANNOT hear someone upstairs yelling. Something about where the stairs are dampens the sound I think. However even someone tiptoeing across the floor upstairs sounds like a herd of elephants. This situation has made me develop a new way of communicating with my children when they are downstairs. I stomp on the floor. Two gentle stomps means "come here please" and three or more, ahem, forceful stomps means "(insert full name of child here) get your butt upstairs pronto!". I've got them so well trained that if I drop something by accident they all come running, usually in a panic because they think they're in trouble.

I was just putting the finishing touches on lunch and since Jake was standing in the kitchen watching me, I asked him to go tell the girls that lunch was ready. He stomped twice. Like every mother since the beginning of time I turned to him in exasperation and said, "I could have done that!"

He smiled sweetly at me and said, "I know you could have, but apparently you didn't want to."

I couldn't argue with his logic, so I gave up and laid my head on the counter until I could stop laughing.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A necessary life skill...

I truly believe that a prerequisite to happiness is the ability to enjoy your own company without distractions, also the ability to find entertainment without relying on another person. That being said, trying to teach that concept to three small people who expect me to feed, clean and clothe them, as well as providing entertainment, was a hard task today. Until I fell back on the time honored tradition of, "If you tell me you're bored one more time I will start giving you chores!" It works as well as it did on me and my siblings. Nothing stimulates the imagination like the threat of manual labor...

Monday, April 1, 2013


The girls and I went up hang out with Caitlin at her house today. Jake went to play with his cousin because Caite has a cat and Jake is allergic. We had planned to spend the whole day up there, but after about an hour Lila was sneezing, wheezing, and her eyes were swollen up and covered with hives. Yikes! Apparently she is also allergic to cats. Poor Caite felt so bad, although there was no way we could have predicted this outbreak. She's never had a reaction like this before. We spent the afternoon window shopping at fabric stores instead, and then came down to our house for dinner. I guess it's going to be a trip to the doctors for us soon to figure out exactly what she's allergic to and what we can do to treat them. I don't want Lila to be unable to visit Caite ever again because she has a pet.