Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dear Friends,
I decided recently that blogging could be a good thing for me. I decided it was something I wanted to do more often. I decided this last week, in the throws of the Christmas season. Here we are, the last week of the Christmas season. Every day this week is packed with things for me to do. SO...I made a command decision. I'm going to take a break from blogging. That's right, before I even really got started. Things will settle down after Christmas, I am confident (they better, or I'll holler.), and then I will be posting more. Until then, I'm going to enjoy my family. Christmas only comes once a year, you know.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Enjoy your families!

Friday, December 17, 2010


It has been brought to my attention that my last post may have been a tad on the negative side. I'm not a negative person (I don't think); I was simply trying to be honest. I'm better now. Going Christmas shopping does wonders to lift the spirits. Especially when it's sneaky. What other time of the year are you totally justified in lying? Honestly? (ha ha! No pun intended).

See, I take an Institute Class. (For any non-LDS friends reading, that means that I take a Scripture Study College Course) every Thursday night. It's my night off. And I love it.

At the community college where it's offered, classes ended for the semester last Thursday, but I didn't tell anyone in my family. So yesterday, when I was busy getting dinner ready, and The Hubby came in and said, "You better hurry and eat or you're going to be late for your class," A light went off over my head. In my mind I thought, "Oh, I forgot to tell you that my class is over for the semester." But the words that came out of my mouth were, "oh yeah, I'm always rushing to get out the door on time. Thanks."

I ate quickly.

I even took my scriptures with me.

But I went to the mall and did some Christmas shopping--making spirits bright. Pretty sure I was laughing all the way, too. See, I am in the Christmas spirit.

I made sure to come home at the right time, too, and no one was the wiser here.

Since The Hubby doesn't read my blog, if he finds out it will be because one of you told him.

So don't be a snitch. Santa's watching. He's making his list and checking it twice. Deck your halls, Jingle you bells. Jump in bed, cover up your head. Settle your brains for a long winter's nap. Do whatever, just don't be a snitch.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Let's put on our happy clothes

I know it's Christmastime. You don't have to tell me again. I know my blog still reflects a certain Thanksgiving-y type reflective background, and a Thanksgiving-y type reflective quote at the top. *sigh*
I can't keep up with all these holidays.
The Hubby and I planned poorly when we had three kids (count 'em, THREE!) all around the holidays. Halloween to Valentine's day is one huge round of "spend-the-money-as-wild-and-fast-as-you-can!"
Calvin's birthday is only days before Christmas. Dev's birthday is only days after Christmas. Mine is end of January, and Bogey is lucky enough to be in February (lucky because we've some distance from the holidays before his birthday comes, but also unlucky because we're out of money by the time his birthday comes.)
Every year at this time I think, "why don't I budget for Christmas and birthday all year?! Then I wouldn't be trying to scrape money from who knows where within the two months that 4 out of five of us have birthdays, and all of us have Christmas? Why? why? why? WHY?!"

I know why. It's because by the time February is over, and I am patting myself on the back for making it through, I tell myself I deserve a little break...a break that inadvertently stretches 8 months, and I realize that Christmas and birthday's are just around the corner again.
Or maybe I'm just not that organized.
Or maybe I just block the trauma every year.
And then discover the horror anew every November.

I feel a little like the Grinch this year: " For 23 years I've put up with it now. I must find some way to keep Christmas from coming! But how?"

But I'm fighting it. The Grinch is no fun. I am trying to find that ol' Christmas spirit and don it. You know, don we now our gay apparel. Translation: Let's put on our happy clothes. I don't know what happy clothes are. And I don't know if I have any.
I am starting my Christmas shopping tomorrow (yes, just starting. Go ahead, gasp, but I've been busy making gifts all month. That's done, now I can go buy stuff, too.) and I'm hoping that will vent some of that backed up stress and cause me to spew forth random Christmas lines (like Fra-gee-lay! Must be Italian!). I'm hoping. I'm really, really hoping.
Because I don't want to be the Grinch.
I want to be Cindy Lou Who.
or Ralphie...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

one last look at summer

From the beginning of October until the New Year, I am busy. It's the busiest time of year, and this year, it is even more so. No sooner have I swept the halloween costumes off my to-do list, that I turn my attention to the art of decorating for Thanksgiving, and the making of the Christmas presents. I can't go into details, since you who read are also you who will receive Christmas presents, but I will say that if I can pull it all off, these Christmas presents will break personal best records. So I'm pretty excited.
But, that's why the blog's been neglected these days. Always lots to be done. Busy, busy, busy, busy!
But in a good way that I love. In January, with the projects somewhat behind me, I may resolve to write more. But I'm not making promises yet. ( I have a novel that really itching my brain and wants out.) So I'll do my best, like I always do. And post when I can about the things I do.
And since it's the season for giving thanks, here's one last post on the bounties we've had this year from our garden. We are so blessed!

this is only about 10% of the peppers we got

some broccoli (sooooo good roasted!)

some seed from our sunflowers coming out of the dehydrator

By far, the most produce we got from any plant was our tomatoes. I'm still processing them. For awhile I would get a good two gallon bucket full every other day. So I washed them...
and stewed them and canned them

aren't they pretty?
and stored them for later use
(along with some yummy peach jam!)

Enjoy the season! We have so much to be grateful for!

Friday, October 29, 2010

3 random and totally unrelated Bogey stories

Story #1-- A few weeks ago, someone knocked the porcelain hand soap dispenser off the sink and broke it. (I'm not naming names, but I think it was Bogey). Why do they make things that are meant to be put up high on a counter breakable?! Did the porcelain hand soap dispenser factory workers never have children? Do they not comprehend that that is a disaster waiting to happen? Obviously not...crazy kooks.
so the dispenser was broken...and it was full of soap when it broke. Dev arrived on the scene who knows how many hours later, slipped in a foot wide puddle of soap, ran and changed her pants and then ran and told me. I was busy doing mommy things and told her I would get to it later.
Now let's fast forward past the boring and crazy busy week I had to today. Finally past the many events I was in charge of, I turned my attention to the housework. it was only then that I remembered the foot wide spill of handsoap, which by now had become evaporated and concentrated (read: stuck real good) onto the bathroom floor. *sigh* (and I was hoping to be done cleaning the bathrooms before lunch.)
SO I grabbed the mop, I started to scrub. In a few minutes, this is what the inside of my shower looked like (I was using the shower to rinse out the mop.)

Yes, friends, as a matter of fact, that is a 6 inch layer of soap in the shower stall. Bogey came in to "help" and wiped the walls and toilet with soap (it was his "rag"). After shooing him out, mopping for all I was worth (I was on my hands and knees mopping Cinderella-style, people!) I finally got all the soap off the floor. Then off the toilet and the walls and the shower. And while I was occupied, Bogey "watered" my plants for me with the spray bottle, and "washed" the windows, he "made" his brother's bed, and "organized" the books. What a productive day he's had.
Story #2--While I was cleaning the bathroom today (see above), Dev yelled from the living room, "Moooom! Bogey's playing in the blinds!!!" (this is a no-no. She was tattling, you see.) Immediately, Bogey yelled out, "Oh mooooom! I'm playing in the blinds!" (I think it's funny, even if you don't).

This morning while I was eating breakfast, Bogey came up to me while pushing buttons on a slender, black remote control we don't use anymore. He held it up to his ear and listened for a second, then he said, "Hey mom, I think your phone's ringing."
So I took my cell phone out of my pocket and put it to my ear. "Hello?"
"Hello, mom. Is that you?" Bogey said into the remote.
"Yes, it's me," I said. "is this Bogey?"
"Yeah. Oh hi! How're you doing?"
"I'm fine, thanks. How're you, Bogey?"
"good...[pause] so mom, can I have a bite of your toast?"
"Ok. I'll be right over. Bye!"

What more can I say? I love the boy.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

my first tutorial

My blog is all grown up. It's presenting its first tutorial to you today. *sigh* seems like only yesterday I was creating it.

How to easily make a Halloween bag (or any bag, for that matter)**

**please note that I am not an expert seamstress by any stretch of the imagination. I recognize that for you seasoned and accomplished sewers, this project will seem like a piece of cake. If this looks like baby stuff to you, I am ok with you not reading it. Really. I won't be mad.

First, decide the dimensions of your bag. I am making these bags to be goody bags for our Halloween party. I want them to be about the size of a brown paper lunch bag. Thus, I cut out two pieces of 8 by 10 fabric. Also, now is the time to pick your colors. I picked black because it's a Halloween color, and, I'm going to sew a ghost onto it. Everyone knows black is the best background color for a ghost.

Second, I cut out my ghosty shape. There is not rhyme or reason to this part. I just cut some curvy shapes out of an old lace curtain. Then I cut three semi-symmetrical black circles: two smaller and one bigger.
Then I sewed the ghosty shape onto one of the 8 by 10 black squares (on the outside of the fabric, mind you) I used a zig zag stitch right along the edge of the ghost because I think it looks better.

Then sew the black circle eyeballs and mouth onto your ghost in the same way. Put your two black squares together, outside in. (Make sure your ghost is facing up.) Cut a small square out of each bottom corner. I don't measure this (measuring is for sissies.) I just eyeball it.Now stitch your sides and the bottom together. I used a straight stitch here.

Now here's the tricky part (and also the fun part) look at the small square you created when you cut the corners off the black square. take the inner corners of the small square and pull them apart so that the corners that you just stitched meet. (Don't ask me why it made my words a link. I didn't tell it to and I don't know how to turn it off. It will just take you to a larger format of the picture below.) Pulling the corner apart will make a new line that makes the outer corners meet. Stitch that shut, so it looks like this:

hem the top, then turn it inside out and sew handles on it.
viola! a halloween bag for your ghouls!
These bags are so easy and so fun! I can make 3 or 4 in an afternoon without breaking into too much of a sweat. You can use other colors and decorations to make them for different seasons. I probably will. (I'm thinking valentines bags would be cute, too).
Have fun!

Monday, September 27, 2010

TAG!!! you're it!

My sister, Sarah, tagged me in a get to know you game chain. Bless her little heart.

I'm actually glad that she did. I never pass up any opportunity to talk about myself. (and, really, I love to read what other people write about themselves too, which is probably why the bloggy world is such a good fit for me.) So, first I will answer the questions she gave me. Then I will post 8 questions of my own and tag some of you loyal readers to answer them. Post them in your blog, make up 8 questions and tag 8 more people. We'll all be connected in a great big question asking circle (Are you singing "We are the World" in your head right now? 'cause I am.)

here goes (Sarah's questions for me):

1. What specifically has made you feel happy today?
hmm...that's a toughy. Not because there isn't anything to make me happy today, but because there are a lot of things. I am visiting my mom and dad today. That's always happy. My mom is doing a lot better (she's recovering from cancer) and that is a very happy thing.
Today, Bogey unleashed all his love on me, hugging me tight and bestowing kisses all over my face while saying, "I'm so glad you're home! You missed me!" (he means, HE missed ME...I think). I also got to watch one of my favorite old movies that I haven't seen in a long time. I got to walk outside barefoot in grass (believe me, this was heaven), and I got to eat three raspberries straight from the vine. It's been a good day.

2. Are you a morning person or a night owl?
No contest. I am a total night owl. (it's 11:30 and I'm still up.) I seriously wait for night all day. It's the one part of the day when I can sit with a bowl of ice cream and not have to get three more bowls for little people (or clean up the spills, or dissolve the fights when "he has more than me," or "she's trying to take my spoon" or whatever.) It's the part of the day when I am one with the computer, or the sewing machine, or that new book...just me and the hobbies. ooh, it's a delicious love affair. And also, if you try to talk to me in the morning, I won't be very nice to you.

3. if you have freetime, what would you spend that time doing?
First of all, I try really hard to carve out some free time for myself everyday. I really believe it's important for my mental health. So during my free time, hmmm...it varies. It depends on what I feel like doing. That, and I am such a sucker for re purposing and finding crafts that are useful that I have a looong list of things I want to do. I like to sew, although I don't know how to sew clothes. I like to sew bags, and quilts, and toys. I also really like rug making. I know a few forms of rug making that are really fun and relaxing. I love tinkering with my dehydrator, or canning food from my garden. Heck, anything that has to do with my garden is fun. I also love to write. I've kept a journal my whole life, and I still write in in regularly. I'm also spending some freetime retyping all my old hand written journals onto the computer so I can save them on a flash drive. I'm writing a piece of fiction. (it's only taken 10 years so far) I love to read. I love to teach my kids. I like to do genealogy. oh, and I like Survivor and The Biggest Loser (but don't tell me anything about the new seasons! I haven't started watching them yet!) There's more, but I'm starting to think I should be doing those things instead of this post, so I'll move on,

4. What is your favorite breakfast?
Just Breakfast is my favorite. Name some breakfast foods...I like them. Pancakes, hashbrowns, bacon, sausage, french toast, om lets, eggs (0ver easy), toast, juice, bagels, those breakfast casserole things, muffins...it's all good.
But i will add that, since I'm not a morning person (see #2), it takes me a long time to wake up enough to want food. I usually don't eat breakfast until around 9:00.

5. You are alone in the house. no one is watching. You are listening to your favorite music. What kind of music is it? Are you singing along? Are you dancing? Remember no one is watching.

ok, first of all, Miss Sarah, this is three questions. So, it breaks the rules. Second of all, I don't know how anyone can listen to their favorite music alone in a quiet house and not sing along. I sing along even when I'm not alone in the house. I can't help it. Dancing, though? I don't know that I am dancing so much as allowing myself to pretend I'm on stage, giving a magnificent performance. It's more about arm movement and facial expression for me. oh, and I don't like the "what's your favorite music" question, because I can't answer it. I love a wide spectrum of music, and what I choose to listen to depends a lot on my mood. I love classical (piano and cello music are my absolute faves) and I love whatever it is they call it these days on the radio, the ones with a beat that actually sing and not scream. Those guys, I like songs like that. I also love the hymns and other church music (love to crank up MoTab), so, yeah, it's subjective.

6. What have you never tried but really want to?
there are lots of things. Not all of them exciting. For years, I have longed to play the cello. We are just not in a financial position to fund it yet. The hubby and I also think it'd be great to homestead. I'd love to go back to school and get my Doctorate in English and Literature. I think it'd be fun to tap dance, and para sail, and hang glide and skydive, and be in a play, and have a solo, and maybe work on a movie set, and learn to sculpt, and paint. It'd be fun to go on an archaeological dig. or fly in a private jet, or touch a stingray, or a dolphin. It'd be great to fly, or draw charachatures (I know that's spelled wrong.), or juggle bowling balls. The list goes on and on, really.

7. Do you have a favorite holiday? if so, what is it and why?
I love whatever holiday is coming next. in this case, it's Halloween. Although, the whole fall season is a holiday for me, and it truly is one of my favorites. I love the warm, rich colors of fall, and the smell in the air of cooler days. I love to decorate my house with reminders of gratitude all around, and I love the projects that come with it (Halloween costumes, Thanksgiving trees, place settings, etc.) I love fall. But I also love Christmas and birthdays and Easter and Mother's day and the fourth of July and hug your pet day.

8. What is the most recent thing that someone has done for you that made a difference in your day?
I ran into a dear old friend last Saturday night and we sat and talked until we were kicked out of the building. She wasn't anything but her usual peppy, happy self, but it did my heart a lot of good to see her so happy in her life, and to see that we have enough in common to still be friends. I felt a lot lighter after talking to her. So thanks! (you know who you are!)

ok, now it's your turn. I'm going to choose some of you to answer the questions I impose on you: (If you don't want to do it, just let me know, but you'll be labeled a party pooper. Not really. Not publicly anyway.)

1. Erin @ The Hatch Family Blog
2. Mekell@ the Family Sandwich
3. Marlene @ The Murray Clan
4. Maria @ Moser Minutes? I can't remember the exact address. (you should remind me!)
5. Eleisha @that blog address of yours that's private that I don't remember (you should also remind me!)
6. Katie @ Yo Mama
7. Amber @ And this is my Joy
8. umm, I guess that's all. I'm not too popular. It keeps me modest.

and here are my questions:
1. Has anyone ever told you that you look like a celebrity? Which one?
2. If you could pick something to be famous for, what would it be? Explain.
3. Has there been a moment in your life that you feel deserves a standing ovation? what was it?
4. When you look in the mirror, what do you see first?
5. If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?
6. If you had to pick one book that shaped your thinking, what would it be?
7. what is your dream job?
8. if you could live anywhere, (regardless of career or family or financial things) where would it be?

I can't wait to read your responses!

**if you feel that you should have been tagged friend number 8, consider yourself tagged! Jump on in and answer these questions, then tag new friends and make up 8 questions for them to answer. It's fun. You'll like it. you'll see. Trust me.

Did I do it right, Sarah?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

what silly kids I have

Some days, the to-do list grows long and the motivation grows short. On days like that, the best thing to do is make silly faces at the camera.

Wouldn't you agree?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

lunch woes

It's 2:00, and I still haven't had lunch. Of all the meals in the day, I think Lunch is my least favorite. Breakfast isn't that great either. But by the time lunch comes around, I'm starving, and all I can think to make is a sandwich. I'm sick of sandwiches. I want something good, something delicious. And I don't want to have to make it. I want it to appear on my counter top the second I am ready to eat. That never happens to me.
Lunch is that meal that needs to be prepared quickly (so you can get to other things), but needs to be good (so you want to eat it.)

What do you make for lunch? because I'm fresh out of ideas.
I'm gonna go attack the chips now.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I still got it

I was out of town when The Hubby and I passed our 9-year anniversary. Nine years! Holy cow! It doesn't seem that long ago that we were dating, but anyway...
On the day of our anniversary, we texted each other at the same time (unplanned) and said our I love you's. Hardly romantic.
When I got back, we decided that we needed to do something a little more celebratory. We went out to dinner. Without the kids. I think these days that is called "a date." Or if you're with the guy you, like, totally dig, I think it's called "a hot date."
Ok, so we went on a hot date to Red Robin and got monster burgers with which to stuff our faces. (Definitely NOT a cool thing to do on "a hot date," which is why being married is so great. You can put that best foot right back in line with the ugly foot.)
So we crammed our faces full of hamburgers (I got avocado on mine, and it was delicious) and talked about the good ol' times, and the good current times, and the good times coming.
Right before we left, The Hubby excused himself and went to the bathroom.
That's when I noticed it. . .
The younger guy across the room, staring
right. at. me!
I'm not going to lie. I'm pretty cute. Or at least I was once. I remember what it felt like to be checked out, even flirted with from across the room.
I recognized the look. He was checking me out! He couldn't take his eyes off me, even to take a swig of beer.
Back in the day, I would have smiled and looked away slyly and maybe tucked a stray strand of hair behind my ear as I glanced slyly back at him.
Nine years later, the flirt channels in my brain were so rusty and dusty that I just didn't know what to do!
I think I just looked away, embarrassed at first, and then glanced back quickly...
yup, still staring.
So I became fascinated with my fries.
Yup, still staring.
Ooh, the specials for this week! Fascinating.
Still staring. Dessert menu, interesting!
Still staring.
I began to search the hallways looking for the Hubby to come back and save me from this over-starer, but he was not to be found.
I did the only thing I could think to do. I very casually put my left hand on my face and rested my elbow on the table and tried my hardest to get my wedding ring to catch the light and flash in his eyes. I drummed my fingers on my cheek, creating attention to my hand, hopefully sending the message to this guy to, like totally back off, 'cause I'm taken.

Nope still staring.
The waiter came over to Mr. Flirt's table then and blocked his view of me. I heard them talking, then the waiter also turned and looked at me! I can't take myself anywhere. I'm too cute.
Then I heard the waiter, say, "who's playing?" and Mr. Flirt gave him some names.
I turned my head to the left and saw it out of the corner of my eye.
a big screen tv
with a football game on it.
just above my left shoulder.

I felt a rush of relief. He wasn't flirting with me, he was watching a game!
But there was still a part of me that felt a little huffy. I wasn't good enough to flirt with?!
When the Hubby came back, I asked, "if you saw me from across the room, would you try to flirt with me?"
He didn't even hesitate. "yup."
And he was looking into my eyes when he said it, not watching the game behind me.
That's why I love him.
Eat that, Mr. Flirt.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The blessed life

I read recently that a blog is like a tender young plant, and in order to nurture it and help it grow you work on it, everyday. I was inspired by this, mostly, I think because I've had similar thoughts lately. I used to write everyday, and I miss it. So New Year's Resolution (I make New Year's Resolution's at the beginning of the school year, fyi. This time of year feels like a brand new start, don't you think?) I am going to try to post something everyday...or nearly everyday. For me. I want to be able to call myself a writer again.

So, the Hubby was gracious enough to take over the dinner preparations for me so that I could spend some time in my garden. Do I talk about my garden too much? Oh well, I'm not even sorry. And I'm not going to try to hide that I love that space so stinkin' much! It's like the 100% perfect child I never had. It's my place of zen and peace. It's so pretty. It's so green (a rare commodity in my neck of the woods), and I love, love, love, love to go out there and walk in and out of rows of thriving plants. There is something spiritual about being out there. While I am out there, I talk. And I work out the problems I'm having. Time slows down, and the knots come untangled. I find myself thinking of my God and His purposes for me, and I always leave feeling restored. Such was the case tonight.

It's getting colder. My corn is done. I picked the last of it today and pulled the stalks up (that was fun...think kickboxing. Bogey helped.) Our lettuce is also done, and going to seed. I'm going to level that to the ground tomorrow. Cucumbers, cantaloupe, tomatoes, broccoli, zucchini, and beans are still coming strong. In the next few weeks, we should also have some sunflowers seeds to dry.

Fall is in the air. I could feel it while I was out there. Can you smell it like I can? There's a certain smell to fall that I love. And I wore socks today. That's how I know fall is coming. I am ok with it. Summer is fun, but I am excited for fall. Fall and spring are probably my favorite seasons.
I'm in charge of our home-school group's Halloween party. Yesterday I spent my quiet time making little goody bags for the kids. They turned out SO cute. I took pictures, and originally told myself that I wouldn't post them until closer to Halloween, but I don't know if I'll be able to wait that long. Besides, you may want to copy the idea, right? right.

I've had some hard challenges this summer. Things that made me not want to count my blessings, only wallow in the frustration and sorrow, but tonight, I feel content and happy. Not because the hard things are fixed, but because I, for a moment, turned my attention to all I have going for me. I love my kids. Love my husband. Love my friends. Love my knowledge, love my garden, love the season.

It is a blessed life.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I am glad that it's almost fall. Yes, you read it right, I said almost. If you are one of the many who have tried to convince me that it already is fall, I refuse to listen to you. I R.E.F.U.S.E!

sure, it's a tad chillier at night. Sure, I have added an extra blanket to my bed and started putting the kids in warmer pj's. But I refuse to believe that fall is already upon us. The days are still warm--very warm--and my garden is still producing...a lot.

Please don't tell me it's time to start sewing halloween costumes and making the Thanksgiving day menu while I am blanching! It's too much for my tiny brain to process. I need some closure on summer.

Don't get me wrong. I LOVE fall. It's one of my four favorite seasons. The colors, the food, the chill, the sweaters, the holidays. I am itching to get out my Christmas CD's. But not yet.


Summer is not over! There is still lots to do.

When I've had ample time to finish up all the summer doin's....then, and only then, will I be ready to move on to fall. (It starts when I say it starts, see?)

p.s. check out our 10-foot plus sunflowers!! Pretty sweet, eh? My kids are serving as comparisons.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I'll give up and join the drama club

My little guy, Bogey, started a new chapter in his life about two months ago. He got a big boy bed. We are not toddler bed people. We go for the gusto and buy full out twin beds so they have plenty of room to grow. And he looks so small in it. There's only one problem.

He. Will. Not. Stay. In. BED!!!

I encountered this same problem with Dev and Calvin, and we got through relatively unscathed. The Hubby and I endorsed the Super Nanny approach and quietly, but promptly put the little miscreant back in his or her bed. Bogey has been different. He learned quickly that if he goes out to mom and dad, he just gets put back in bed. SO he's started playing with the toys, reading books, and worst of all, climbing into Dev and Calvin's beds. Argh! Nothing disturbs the kidless peace of an after bed evening like the yell through the monitor, "Bogey's in my bed!"

Of course, getting caught in another bed the first few times was no fun for Bogey, so now when the call sounds out, Bogey knows he has exactly 7.3 seconds to get back into his own bed before mom or dad comes charging in. And he times it well. Then when I say, "Did you get out of bed?" he smiles up at me and shakes his head innocently. The Hubby even went so far as to suggest that maybe Dev and Calvin were getting a kick out of seeing mom and dad run into the room and were crying wolf, so to speak.

I thought about it a long time. And I struck upon an epiphany. I set the pack n' play up next to his bed and when he got out of his bed, I wordlessly grabbed him, his pillow and his blankey, and put him down in the pack n' play. Surely being in a baby crib again would just irk him enough to stay in his own bed.


NO. This is Bogey we're talking about here.

He informed me today at nap time that he actually WANTED to sleep in the baby crib.

I said, "Don't you want to sleep in the big boy bed?"

He shook his head.

"Aren't you a big boy?"

He nodded.

"Then let's sleep in your big boy bed."

He threw his blankey and pillow in the crib and yelled (he was grumpy. it was nap time, bear in mind), "NO! Baby crib!!"

So I gave in and let him sleep there, but noted to myself that the crib was not working.

Tonight I had another epiphany. I put him to bed in his big boy bed. Then left the room. In 30 seconds I was back, totally playing up the praising. "OH! You're STILL in bed!!!! What a good boy you are! Yeah! Give me five! Thanks for staying in bed! Oh! I love it when you stay in bed!"

Then I left, blowing kisses. 30 seconds later, I went in again and did the same thing.

And then again 30 seconds after that. A minute after I left the third time, I heard the yell, "Bogey's in my bed!" ugh. So I put on my most pitiful face and schlumped into the room hanging my head and sighing heavily (honestly, it was hard not to laugh). I put Bogey back in his bed and sat at the end of it and said, "You got out of bed. That makes me soooo sad." I hung my head and sighed again. Bogey put his sweet little hand on my chin and raised it up so he could look at my face. I did a sad bottom-lip jut. When Bogey saw that I wasn't just kidding around, his little face crumpled and he threw himself on his pillow and sobbed. I left, thinking I had made my point. A few seconds later, a VERY distraught little boy came out to me and crawled into my lap, not able to contain his grief.

So I held him. Super Nanny would say that you're not supposed to. (Although I'm not sure she would approve of my theatrics either.) I held him because I knew he was hurting and so, so, so sad. And honestly, I was touched that he was so distraught because I was sad. I carried him back to his bed, and we sat on the edge of his bed cuddling until his grief was contained. I laid him down, told him I loved him, and left.

Maybe the cry-fest wore him out. Or maybe, I got my point across. Either way, he is now asleep in his big boy bed. And the crib is vacant.

Sigh. Of. Relief.

I hope that he learned tonight to stay in bed. I'm thinking though that I'll probably be running the gauntlet with this again tomorrow.

But for tonight, I am so grateful that I could hold him close, kiss him, and comfort him, know that he loves me so much, and that I love him. Glad that for tonight, he's still my little guy.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I'm back

You didn't even know I was gone, did you?

I went to visit my sisters' on the other side of the country. It was a root beer float lovin', board game playin', late night talks, hurricane simulatin' rip-snortin' good time.

When I saw my sisters, we ran to each other and fell into a big group hug and cried. There is a big part of me that is missing when I am not with them. My sisters bring out the best in me. They make me laugh until my sides hurt and I'm sure my cheeks are going to fall off. They dip into my emotions and make me figure things out about myself that I couldn't figure out alone. They make me stay up until disgraceful hours discussing the intricacies of life. I love my sisters.

It was even better that I got to go alone. Without kids. Just me. Five hours on the plane, just to myself. aaahhh! If I felt drowsy, I could just take a nap.
If I wanted to sit and do a crossword puzzle, or read a book, I didn't have to take care of anyone first. Bliss. I remember a time when that was my life, but it's a distant, hazy memory.

While I was there, kidless, discussing the intricacies of life, I had a lot of time to think. We started talking about dark secrets. Do you have any? I'm sorry to say that I'm too boring for deep, dark secrets. My worst one was that I sometimes brush my teeth in the shower (my sister then admitted to sometimes cleaning the shower while she's in the shower. That way, you get a longer shower, and the shower's clean when you get out. Genius.) But I've thought of one that I should confess. Here goes: I have a hard time staying disciplined (whew! Glad I got that off my chest). seriously, when my alarm goes off in the morning, I usually turn it off and go back to sleep. When my alarm goes off at night to tell me to go to bed (oh, don't you set your alarm to go to bed? no? huh. I guess it's just me then.) I usually just shut it off and go back to what I was doing.

I try to put up a good, perfect facade that I do so many things, but the truth is that I am tenacious at what I am doing at any given moment. I'm blogging, I don't want to do anything else. I read books in hours instead of days because I don't want to put it down until I'm done. If I have a sewing project, my house falls apart until it's done. On clean the house day, I put my blinders on and plow through until it's done.
I don't think this is all bad. I think tenacity is a good skill to have, but it does come with its pitfalls.
As a mother and homemaker, it is absolutely not good to put the blinders on and ignore everything else until what I'm doing is done. That's when Bogey washes dishes in the toilet and then cuts his own hair. As a mother, blinders aren't good. Maybe if I was a fast talkin' career gal, blinders would be good. Then I'd be an excellent employee with great benefits and a raise every year. I'm a mother. I don't get raises. (I do the raising. ha ha!)

But I think I'm doing ok, for the most part. I mean, my kids are happy and healthy, and they know that I love them. My house is clean, mostly, and I work hard to make sure there is good food on the table (with the occasional pizza thrown in). I just think that, like most of you, I have room for improvement. That's ok (I'm not talking to you, I'm talking to me now. It's ok, Erin that you are not perfect. Halt the guilt!). I'm also telling me that while I was kidless, it was nice to focus so much time on what I wanted to do. I wrote a lot more. I read those novels I've been hoping to get to. I slept in. And that's ok, too. Now If I could just figure out a way to mesh Kidless me with Homemaker me. Then I would be . . . . KidMaker Erin--wait, I'm already that. ok, then KidHome Erin? LessMaker Erin? HomeLess Erin?

When I became a mother, it was like I had to crowd to make room for a new person. No, I mean, inside me. No, I mean, another me. And the two of me have been battling for stage time every since.

Homemaker Erin demands that I bake and cook and clean and sew and can and do all things motherly. I like her. She's smart. She's kind. And she smells like homemade bread. She plans wonderfully educational activities for her children and is amazing at picking mushy ground in cheerios out of the carpet.

Kidless Erin demands that I read and write and start no less than five at home businesses. She has a perfect haircut and flawless makeup. She's put together, well-rested and confident. I like her, too. She's interesting to talk to.

Homemaker Erin and Kidless Erin don't hate each other. They just have a hard time getting along in the same body. And sadly, Kidless Erin has lost many a battle.

Bogey just told me that it was dinner time, and that he wanted Pizza Ice Cream for dinner.

So. . . .

duty calls

How to you mesh KidLess You and Homemaker You?

Monday, August 2, 2010

The obligatory slide show

I am not naive to the fact that most people don't care about pictures of other people's kids, pets, or family vacations. I happen to be one of those people that gravitates towards a picture, no matter who is in it.

If you are one of the former people, and don't care about our vacation or the cute/funny things my kids did, go ahead and read the next blog on your list. I won't be hurt. Promise. Not for long anyway.

SO...we went to Southern Cali for a week, to escape the heat of our own semi permanent state.

It was a fun trip.

Here are some pictures we took in the car when the boredom was about to break us.

Dev is happy as usual

Calvin didn't want his picture taken

Bogey was willing

for the most part

Bogey decided that he wanted to take my picture, too. I was impressed that he actually did it without breaking the camera. (not because I think I am ugly, but because he tends to crush things he's holding)

I love this picture of The Hubby and Calvin sitting in our hotel watching the cars go by

Proof of where I was. See, I don't lie. much

Bogey was fascinated with the sharks.

This is a fun bounce-house-place-thing in the Sesame Street section of the park. The kids absolutely LOVED it there. I highly recommend it for small kids. There is an awesome net/jungle gym thing that even little Calvin could go through by himself. (I went through with him about 5 times before I exited, huffing and puffing like the really out of shape person that I am. After that, he and Dev went through it over and over all by themselves.)

Holy crap...a leetle peeg

Then we spent a day at the beach.

Dev is jumping the waves with her sticky-situation-getter-out-of-er, Al. He lifted her up when the waves got too high.

This is as wet as I got (and it was fabulous)

The Hubby, Calvin, and Bogey liked playing in the sand. See our sand castle? (Calvin played in the water for a little while, and also Bogey liked to eat the sand, too.)

At Legoland, I met my new boyfriend (isn't he a dream boat?)

The Hubby's ok with it.

At Legoland, they have tons of figures made completely of Lego's. I take comfort in the fact that I would NOT have the patience to do that job.

Bogey loves "Bob da biwda"

some more crazy examples of the Legosintricity:

This concludes the presentation. This happy family vacation slide show has been brought to you today by the letter L and the letter S, and the number 3. For the benefit of future viewers, please leave feedback at the end of the column. Thank you, come again, pay us big bucks, be happy about it, and have a nice day.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Ode to family vacation

We went out of town.
to Sea World.
and just got back in last night.
My house is an utter disaster.
There is no food in the fridge.
But bags and crumbs all over the counter.
and ants.
The living room is full of bags,
and the clothes that exploded out of them.
I have no clean socks.
and it's been raining all week.
the garden doubled in size
peas are coming
and beans
and corn
and zucchini
cabbage is ripe for the picking.
Calvin had leg cramps last night.
Which he gets when he runs around too much
like he did at Sea World.
I got up with him
and warmed up the rice pack
it helped
the sun was rising as soon as I laid down again
and I had to teach Gospel Doctrine this morning.
The chairs weren't set up.
So I spent most of sacrament meeting taking care of it.
Bogey helped.
Now my brain is mush
and my muscles are tense
and my eyes keep shutting.
Tonight's my night for some good sleep.
I'm going there now.
But it was fun
and I'll post pictures tomorrow.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

make a splash

Our library had a party for the end of the summer reading program. The theme for the program was "Make a Splash" and all weekly prizes had something to do with water. But this last party--the closing party for the reading program, was the one that my kids looked forward to the most....for the sole reason that if enough people signed up for the reading program (1000 to be exact) then the librarians promised a water party out on the library lawn. AND to further sweeten the deal, the librarians told the kids that they would have the opportunity then to soak a librarian. Does it get better than that? My kids don't think so. Today was the party. Out on the lawn was a water balloon popping machine. It was like a dunking booth, except instead of a pool for the librarian to sit above, there was a water balloon basket next to a pin. Underneath the water balloon was a chair upon which the librarian sat. When the button was hit, the water balloon popped and soaked the librarian. The line to try it out was about a mile long. (And I'm kicking myself that I didn't bring my camera--go ahead, you can kick me too, I'll bend over.) Thankfully, the line moved fast, and the other librarians occupied us with free popsicles. Many a kid hurled a ball and hit nothing. Many a kid hurled a ball and hit the wall. one in 15 would hit the ball on the mark and soak the librarian. Both Dev and Calvin decided to give it a try, but missed. Calvin shrugged and decided to climb a tree instead. Dev, undaunted, ran back to the back of the line for another try. Sadly, Bogey huddled in my arms and begged me to take him back to the car (something about watching grown ups get hit with water balloons scared him apparently.) When Dev's turn came up again, she threw one ball and missed, then threw a second ball and missed again. On her third and last turn, Dev pitched a perfect curve ball that sunk right into the center of the button and sent a cascade of water down on our librarian. The crowd cheered and clapped and Dev was triumphant.
It was beautiful.

Friday, July 23, 2010

reflections on silence

This morning the Husband took off to the movie theater with all three kids. It was bliss. He left me at home alone winking and nudging me towards my sewing machine where my half finished diaper bag is sitting.
I have to admit that I didn't get to my sewing project right away. I spent some time working on my lesson for Sunday School. I took my time getting ready for the day. I laid down and took a 15 minute snoozer. It was wonderful.
I reveled in the silence. I deliberately didn't turn on the TV or the radio (or the playlist, or the ipod, or the computer). I didn't want noise. I wanted the silence. It was a welcome silence.
After an hour alone, I began work on my project. I started thinking about all the things that I've learned since I've been married and become a mother. Lots of things. Too many to list here. I concluded with the thought that, even though I don't know everything, and I am not perfect, I like me. I think I'm a pretty nice person.
After two hours alone in silence, I started remembering how I used to get to sit in silence all the time. Back in the day when I was a young English Major, I had to read an average of 300-400 pages a day to keep up with my classes. I learned to skim. For a few semesters in there, I also worked 39 1/2 hours a week, so I did all my homework for the coming week on the weekend (Friday and Saturday at least, Sunday was for worship). That meant that Friday and Saturday I spent a lot of time at the library. Like 8 hours camped at the same desk, packed a lunch and hunkered down time at the library. That was a lot of silent time. That was a lot of time with just me, inside my head, reading, learning, thinking...finding me. I didn't even know what a gem that was when I had it. What I would give to have those times back....
but then again, as hour two of my silent time today wore on, I started to think how sad it would be if I was still in that stage of life where I only need to focus on me. It sure was fulfilling and wonderful, but empty. I know so much more of myself now. (No doubt my 50 year old self will look back on me now and think the same thing) And I love the little kids in my home who fill my life with splendid craziness. I don't always love the craziness, but I love the kids. I would miss them if I didn't have them. I did miss them when I didn't have them. Another thing when I was in college studying my brains out is that I spent a lot of time dreaming about the time I would have a family. My 20 year old self looked forward to my 30 year old self, just like my 30 year old self looks back at my 20 year old self. That's the circle of life, I guess. Except, not a circle. I see it more like a ladder. I can look forward to some of the things that are hopefully coming in my life...growing kids, grandmotherhood. I can also look down and see where I've been...college, old friends, high school, those hard, hard, learning experiences. I look back for encouragement (I did it then, I can do it now) and I look forward for hope (I have so many good things coming). From where I sit, things look pretty good.
And when the family came home, and the house was once again filled with noise, I felt more grateful for it. I remember a time when I longed for it, I look forward to the day that I will miss it, and I revel in it today.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

So yesterday I left you faithful readers (all 5 of you) in a lurch when I announced that I had an idea for a blog today. I know you've been waiting with baited breath all day. No doubt you checked my blog multiple times today in anticipation of my idea (I'm just guessing...there aren't many comments to give me a real consensus *ahem*).

So, here it is, today's blessings in picture form! Yippee! (I know you're clapping your hands and shouting in delight that the long wait was totally worth it.)

I think I'll call it Collage of Blessings or Why My Life is Good:

We were twice blessed this morning at the library. First, it's prize day for completing another week in the summer reading program.
star glasses! What's cooler than that?
(not much, friends, not much)
I'm feelin' a little starry-eyed myself

Thursday's this summer is also the day for shows at the library. Today it was a puppet show. A very good, very funny puppet show ("po-po show" as Bogey says.) We laughed until our sides were in stitches and our starry eyes were teary.

"po-po show"

side story: yesterday the Husband went out into the backyard to find a family of four squirrels happily munching our greens in our garden. (ooh! And to think I spent so much time and energy trying to repel gophers...curses. *shaking fist*) So last night we closed off the garden with the remaining fencing we had (up until now, we've had the front entryway open, just a deep trench to keep the gophers out right there.). This afternoon, I looked up just in time to see the big mama squirrel burrow under the gate and hop into the garden. I ran into the yard, yelling for the Husband, but in my haste I slipped on his sandals, so my backup was slow coming. I ran out with fistfuls of stones. Good thing I am a really poor shot, or that mama would have gotten the pummeling of a lifetime. As it was, I just scared her to death, and she ran around the garden desperately looking for the getty-out thingy so she could escape the deranged psycho lady who was hitting the fence with rocks. Moments later, the Husband came out (saying, "Someone had better have died!"
"yeah, this squirrel! Death by stoning!" I raged. To which he only laughed. He knows my aim).
And he calmly stepped into the garden and corralled the squirrel to the edge of the garden where it first got in and pushed it back under the fence with a long stick. (While I shouted in the background obscenities like, "kill it! Kill it! Hit it with a rock!" until he turned to me and said [calm as ever] "I think we've scared it enough for one day.")
SO, I digress, but it was exciting, so I thought I'd share. I took this picture right after I nearly bested the squirrel.
I am SOOO proud of my garden. I've decided that gardening is pretty much one of the best things on the planet. (And the critters think so too). isn't it pretty?
The problem with me is that I have too many projects I want to work on, and not enough time to perfect them all (give me an AMEN if you sing this same song). I want to make a new diaper bag. No, you don't understand. I dream about this bag at night. It will be the Rolls Royce of bags. It will be the epitome of all diaper bags everywhere. It will make all other bags green with envy. Every bag will wish it was a bag like the bag I am imagining. I get giddy and tingly all over just thinking about it. Enter problem #1 and problem #2: Time and money.
So today, I sluffed off the things I should have been doing, let the kids do this:

So I could play a little with these:

And when all was said and done, my house looked like this:

So I got out my handy dandy magic wand, waved it over my head and said the magic words ("ala peanut butter sandwiches!") and it worked!

miracles do happen!

Happy weekend everyone!