## Friday, December 30, 2011

### Relevant Math

if A is crafting, and B is nighttime, and C is memory loss, then:

AB = C

AND,
if D is crawling, curious baby, and E is disaster, and F is cleaning (house & kid), and G is work for me, then:
D = G
E = G
F = G
OR
D = E = F = G

ALSO,
AB + D = E
and
AB + D = F

OR
C + D = G

A can be substituted with H, which is food.

B can be substituted for I, which is any time of day.
And if E occurs after F, then it is G-squared.

## Thursday, December 22, 2011

### Hyrum-ism

"Mommy, my diaper burped!"

## Thursday, December 15, 2011

### Being Mom

Tonight I gave the ultimate "Christmas is NOT about YOU!" lecture to the girls. It was classic. Starting with dragging the crying kids from the store into the car, it included finger-wagging and ended with the threat of coal and/or canceling Christmas.

Awesome.
And even though I'm fairly certain I threaten to call the Big Man and tell him to pass us by each year, this year was different. This year I had hopes -- maybe even expectations? -- of having a delightful, loving Christmas where the kids happily pick out presents for each other (new this year) and are excited to bring joy to their siblings.

This is what I pictured:

This is what I got:

Granted, any other time of the year I would never be so foolish as to attempt to go to a TOY store WITH children and expect them to NOT pick out everything on the shelves for themselves and then try to get me to swear a blood oath that I WILL purchase the item for them if not in front of them at that precise moment then at some other time THAT evening and then collapse into a fit of disappointment, despair and fury when I finally have had enough and demand we leave the store RIGHT NOW...

Ahh, don't you love the holidays?

In other news,
I found this pic and cannot stop laughing about it:

## Monday, November 14, 2011

### Lacie-ism

I know my Lacie loves me. How do I know? Because today while playing blocks together she told me this:

"Mom, even if you go to jail, I'll go with you. I'll go with you to jail because I love you."

(not sure why she thinks I'd be ending up in the slammer...)

### Hyrum doesn't like baths

Haha. I needed a laugh today. This worked.

## Saturday, November 12, 2011

### on Bullies

by Andrea

"Did you know that bullies LIKE it when you're mad? Actually they love it. They want you to be mad. 'Cause they think it's fun. And they love it. I think they even love it more than they love cake."

### Andrea

Recently (as in September 19th), our firstborn had a birthday - her 7th birthday!!

Ho-ly cow! How is it possible that this much time has flown by?!
Yet, if you were to look at her, you'd think the kid was about 9 or 10. She is tall, strong and beautiful. And she is mentally as mature (or more) as she is physically. I just had a parent-teacher conference with her 1st grade teacher yesterday. The teacher told me that she leaves Andrea in charge of running the math-time projector presentation when she has to leave the room. Uhh.... wow?
She is constantly coming up with creative ideas and projects, amazing us on a regular basis. For instance, her "UP" cards:

Of course, she had to make the accompanying tutorial:
in case you can't read it, it says:
How to make a UP balloon card
1. Get a small card and cut it in a shape of a house
2. color
3. punch out a hole at the top
4. stick 4 or less balloons in there

As luck would have it, it was Andrea's turn for her classroom spotlight the same week as her birthday. This is when the parents send in a few pics of their kid and the teacher arranges it as a display on the wall. It's such a fun thing for the kids and the timing of it made it extra special for her. On top of it all, one of the days that week was "Bring Dad to School Day." Mark spent half the day with Lacie, then the other half with Andrea. She was thrilled to be able to show him the display all about her, hanging in the classroom.
These are the pics I sent in:

ANDREA!

Loves tea parties.

Is a GREAT older sister.

Loves all things Kung-Fu!

Is a Spider-Monkey!

Self-taught Seamstress

Love her family:
Dad, Mom, 2 girls, 2 boys

***Here's something I didn't include --
it's a letter I found that she had written to Lacie, encouraging her on her recent potty-training success:

it says:
Dear Lacie,
YOU ARE ASOME!
Good job going potty.
Love Andrea
(plus an illustration labeled 'toilet')

What an amazing girl! We are so proud of her, and so so so happy to have her in our family! Yay for Andrea! We love you!

## Thursday, November 3, 2011

### Seriously? Again?!

This is the song that never ends... yes it continues on my friends.

Okay, I was going to try to think up some clever little wording for the rest of the song, but it's late and I'm spent and really I just want to vent.
This morning Lacie woke me up and let me know that she had removed all the tangles from her hair. By herself. With scissors.

AAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(I'll post pics tomorrow.)

## Wednesday, November 2, 2011

### Let's talk efficiency

I like to be efficient. I think it's cool. I'm actually a bit of a nerd about it. Groceries is a biggie - there IS a way you should bag them. Most people don't know/do it. And if the checker is going to bag for you, there is an order in how you put your groceries up on the counter that gives you the best chance of your checker bagging your groceries correctly, out of dumb luck on their part but major planning on yours. I especially love getting that little thrill that comes when I organize my shopping cart just-so at Sam's Club or Costco, and then the checker is baffled by how I got it all in. Going on a trip? Leave the packing to me - especially the trunk of the car. Organizing a closet? My specialty.

Apparently I did not pass this gene on to my kids.

I changed 8 poopy diapers today.
Eight.
From 2 kids.
And it wasn't even split evenly.

Did I mention that I like efficiency?

## Saturday, October 22, 2011

### Jacob

So after a few reminders, I realized I really haven't posted about my little angel baby much at all. What's that saying? The squeaky wheel gets the oil? Well, he is definitely not the squeaky wheel in our house. Although, I think he is starting to catch on...

Jacob truly is an angel baby.

I call him my "reward" baby :) From the get-go he has been mild-mannered and totally easy-going. Even now, I can leave him in his baby carrier for the duration of nursery (for his protection), and he is happy as a clam just watching all the activity going on.

He loves watching animated conversation. When it turns to him, he gets so excited he kicks his little legs and rewards you with all sorts of smiles and coos. He'll happily 'go' to anyone who wants to hold him - although, I think he is getting a bit more aware now when Mom isn't around. Still, though, he's amazing.

He has quite a healthy appetite. He loves sweet potatoes. He tolerates squash & other mixed veggies. Loves peaches, pears, applesauce. HATES bananas and peas. Lately his sleep (and mine) has been suffering for want of more food. I figure it's a on-going growth spurt. And with how easy he is to put to sleep, I have no complaints. He is a lot like Hyrum in that respect. He didn't like being swaddled for the first 4 or 5 months, but now he does. Wrap him up, stick a binky in his mouth and he is good to go!

He absolutely loves baths. He loves the water, and he loves to kick! Afterwards he loves getting all wrapped up and cuddling. So fun.

At 7 months he is just about ready to officially crawl. Right now he is pretty adept at scooting and rolling to his desired location. But as far as the real crawling goes, he can get on his knees and hands for only a little bit before he faceplants to the floor. It's actually pretty funny to watch. (Sorry I have no picture of it - WISH that I did!)

He is definitely not as stocky as Hyrum was, but he's sure growing like a weed. Long and lean.

(next to his second cousin, Kate South)

Mostly though, this kid is just a joy. He's happy, smiley, loves to engage, loves to be with people. He is WONDERFUL!

We love baby Jake!

## Thursday, October 20, 2011

### I Dig it, Man!

Cool! Mark just called in to the Dennis Miller show. It's a talk-radio show he loves listening to because the host is so funny. He's very intelligent, mostly leans the same way Mark does politically, but has a vocabulary that comes straight from the '60s-'70s. It's fun. And Mark loves him.

So when he (Dennis Miller) started talking about his neighbor getting a new dog and how obnoxious it is that the dog barks all night and then asked for caller suggestions... Well, Mark HAD to call in.
And maybe it's not that big of a deal, but my experience is that it's actually kinda hard to 'get in' when calling up radio shows. Maybe it's just me.
Regardless, it was exciting and fun for Mark (and therefore me). Plus he got to relay his idea of slitting open a hot dog, stuffing in 2 or 3 Tylenol PMs, and tossing it over the fence. Dog is out in under 10 minutes flat. Dennis Miller's reaction: "Ladies and Gentlemen, there is one ingenious cat. I dig it, man!"

## Tuesday, October 18, 2011

### Lame

Last week I gave a random driver a good show. I was in the Elementary school's front parking lot when Hyrum decided to bolt into the street. Of course a car had to be coming right as he did this. Naturally I reached out for him, but being on the curb and in shoes I don't normally wear, I slipped, twisted my ankle and literally fell down into the street. Think spread-eagle, but laying on my back. Oh yeah, and I pulled Hyrum down on top of me. Ouch.

To the driver's credit, he had apparently seen Hyrum heading towards the street and had moved to the other side [of the street]. Then he slowed to a stop after witnessing my dramatic spill. I waved, acknowledging to him that I was okay, and please-don't-come-over-here-to-my-further-embarrassment.
And yes, it hurt. Like crazy.

Fast forward one week:

This morning I was walking the girls up to their school for morning drop-off. We waited at the crosswalk for the crossing guard to stop traffic and signal for us to come across. Once she signaled, we walked about half-way so we were in full view of all the stopped cars, the crossing guard, the safety patrol kids and teachers at the school, and any other parent/student crossing or just having crossed. Yes, friends, I chose this perfect moment to once again twist my ankle and dramatically tumble to the ground. Or rather, road.
So, so awesome!

I think next time I go to that school I will take advantage of the Halloween season and wear a mask, just in case.

## Thursday, October 13, 2011

### Big Night!

Soooo...
cutting hair seems to be a common... problem?... in our house. The other day Andrea was getting fed up with the hair in her eyes and finally couldn't take it any more. Naturally, she cut it out of the way. Of course! She's my kid, right? [roll eyes here]
It wouldn't have been so bad if it weren't RIGHT in the front. And a part in the back.
And oh yeah, tomorrow is picture day. Yay!
In a panic, Andrea asked me to "fix" her hair so she'd look pretty tomorrow. Now, believe it or not, I have actually learned my lesson (mostly) about cutting hair and to not to. Feeling responsible, I took her to a salon to get it done.
...
It came out a bit shorter than I had anticipated.

Andrea tried to keep it together and even politely thanked the lady for the hair cut, but then outside the store told me she felt like a boy and that her stomach had 'the kind of pain that makes you feel sick and like you're going to throw-up.' Great.
KEENLY aware of how much a major haircut can devastate you, I told her we'd get her some cute headbands and clips,
AND
on impulse, that she could get her ears pierced.
Mind you, she has been BEGGING for this for a good 6 months now. I had always told her she could have it done when she turned 8. Not because I think it's that big of a deal, but I want her to be responsible for taking care of her ears on her own, and if you are old enough to decide whether or not to get baptized, I think you're plenty old enough to take care of your ears.
But it's not like she's not already mature enough now. Trust me, the kid is years beyond her age. And again, with the whole haircut thing.
So, we did it!
She picked out some cute rainbow daisy earrings and was super brave through it all. She asked the lady right before she pierced them, "I wonder if I'll scream?" :)
She didn't.
Oh. My. Goodness.
The kid is on cloud 9. When we got home we styled her hair and "practiced" her smile for tomorrow. All I had to do was say, "Show me how much you like your ears pierced."
[cue the beaming]

And really, isn't she a doll?

### Dishes

Didn't I JUST do these?

## Wednesday, October 12, 2011

### Hyrum

As I was cleaning up the milk he just spilled, I guess I moved my hand a little too close to his toy because Hyrum suddenly grabbed it away and said, "MINE!"
I looked at him and said, "Is that a nice way to talk to mommy?"
"No."
"What do you think you should say?"
[pauses to think]

## Tuesday, October 4, 2011

### Overheard

Andrea to Lacie: "If you want to help me -- if you REALLY want to help me, then just go play. I can just do this better by myself."

Uh oh. Wonder where she's heard that one?

## Sunday, October 2, 2011

### Copy-cat - and a little color crazy

In case you missed Jen's latest posts, one of them highlighted her prep for General Conference. Wow! Impressive, to say the least. Or, as Mark put it:
"Over-achievers.com."
I, of course, am once again, green with envy. Well, more like just totally in admiration of her awesome efforts (and success!). Now to be fair, this was a project she's been working on for some time. It has evolved over the last 3 conference seasons. And looking at all the work that went into it, it's easy to see why. We're talking serious time investment finding pictures, sizing, spacing, plotting, planning, coloring, laminating, cutting, gluing, cutting, more cutting, etc.
So of course I was THRILLED TO PIECES when I asked if I could copy her and she emailed me all her hard work she'd put together.
!!!
Hooray! Awesomeness without the work!
Okay, it did take some work. But I was able to hammer it out in a couple days (I finished around 4am this morning - and no, I did NOT sleep through Conference, thank you very much!). Thank you, Jen! And thanks again for posting on Thursday, so I was able to do it in time to actually use it. Yay!

Anyway, here is my finished product. It is a little modified, but I think it suits our family just perfectly.

Ta da!

I love it! And the kids have had fun posting the speakers, topics, organists, etc.
Okay, so maybe Conference today was still chaotic -- I doubt very much that the kids actually HEARD anything...
Hey, it's a goal to work towards, right?
:)

## Friday, September 23, 2011

### Jen-inspired (Beware: LONG)

So, anyone who has ever talked to me for any length about being a mom has most likely heard me reference my sis-in-law, Jen. That's because she's amazing. A-MAZing.
Seriously. I kinda hero-worship her. Without the kinda.
Yeah, yeah, I know -- everyone is human; everyone has faults; don't put people on a pedestal; blah, blah, blah. I know. I know she is human and has struggles. She tells me about them. It doesn't diminish that I still totally admire her and, not-so-secretly, want to be like her.
Her organization is ri-di-cu-lous (in a good way). Everything is laminated, labeled, cataloged, and/or put in a binder.
And it's not even just that she's organized. It's what she organizes. Okay, that's everything, but what I mean is the things/activities/projects she does are amazing. You walk into her house and just by looking around you can see that her kids are involved in music, learning about the gospel, educationally stimulated, and taught about family -- immediate, extended, ancient, etc.
It's incredible. I love it. I want it. I try to be like it.
But the thing I think I'm most impressed with is that she actually wants and does spend time doing these things/activities/projects WITH her kids. She actually holds FHE every week, scripture study & family prayer every night. She has gone all out re-inventing? the way they celebrate Easter and Christmas so that it is focused on Christ. She broke down the Family: Proclamation to the World into mini lessons, complete with visuals and activities AND THEN DID THEM. The things she comes up with are incredible, but it's her follow-through that is so impressive.
But back to the things she does...
One of her masterpieces (in my opinion) is her library. It's her room dedicated to the materials she has made, bought and collected for the education and stimulation of her kids' growing little minds. Think Montessori with lots of gospel thrown it.
And while I'm on a roll gushing about all this, I may as well admit that I am totally GREEN with envy over it. It's true. I'm so jealous. But not in the I-want-it-not-her-have-it sort of way; I just want it, too.

Switch gears a sec ~

Last week I attended the "Meet the Teacher" with Andrea & Lacie. Which, btw, is funny to me since Andrea has her same teacher that she had last year, and I met Lacie's teacher before school started, then conferenced with her on the 2nd day of school. Haha. Oh well; the girls were excited to show me the rooms.
Anyway, while sitting through the different power-point presentations of what to expect, I started realizing that I have no where in my house for the kids to come home and make a routine of doing homework, reading , etc. Mostly the kitchen table is reserved for that, but that's only if you can dig it out from under bills, junk mail, Mark's tools, last night's dinner dishes, and whatever toys Hyrum lost interest in a couple hours ago.

Sooooo...

I am happy - more than happy. More like giddy. I am giddy to announce/blab that I now have my own Jen-inspired library! Yay!!! I TOTALLY LOVE IT!
Okay, it's not as cool as Jen's, but eh. Oh well. Work with what you have, right?
Ready? Because I am so excited I can't stop freaking out...

Ta Da!

(note the "stage" that is our bow window sill, complete w/ an amp & mic for the kids' concerts)

HOORAY!
Mind you, this used to be our tv/movie room with a massive 51" wide, 3' deep, 5' tall tv in there. What happened to it? Craigslist. That's right. No more tv. (we'll see how long this lasts)
Like I said, giddy is the feeling around here. Also maybe because I keep staying up super late to get it finished???
Anyway, I LOVE it! And so do the kids. It's where we spend our days now, and it's fabulous. Although, it may have something to do with the fact that the rest of the house has gotten COMPLETELY neglected and mostly looks like this:

Oy.

But I have my library!

Now, to finish off my "Ode to Jen..."
While working on the library project, I kept singing through this song. First because it was a fun, clever idea; then because it got stuck in my head; and finally, because it really was inspiring.

"I'm Trying to Be Like Jen"

I'm trying to be like Je-n,
I'm following in her way.
Her organization gives me
the hope for a bet-ter way.

Some times I just want to watch movies all day,
but I try to remember as I once heard her say, saying,
"Teach Montessori," "Teach Joy School," and such.
"Sensory skills that use sight, smell and touch;
teach math and teach reading in all that you do,"
And some day, I'll be like her too.

Jen, you're amazing. Totally inspiring. I love you and think you're awesome. Thanks for being such a great example.
Oh, and sorry if this post totally embarrasses you. :)