July 30, 2009

Feeling Guilty

So I have to explain/apologize for my last post. Some of you got to read it. Others probably tried but could not. I actually felt it was one of my better entries on this blog. Apparently writing during the still quiet hours in the middle of the night, along with intense heartburn, brings out the best in me. But also the worst. Due to the subject matter (my teenaged son's love life) I had to remove it.

I had wondered if it would be upsetting so, in my not so direct way I asked (after the fact), if he would mind if I used the subject of his attentions from a girl and my reaction to it would be an okay topic to blog about. He said he'd have to see it first. I went to take it off and saw I had 3 comments already. Whoops! I wanted to delete it, but save for my husband's eyes only, but somehow when I re-read I just couldn't bring myself to hit that delete button.

Later on when Big Boy needed the computer for homework he saw my blog title and wanted to read. I hesitantly let him. He was upset to tears and I felt like a big slime bucket. I still am tempted to put it back up there, but each time the memory of his face in that moment holds me back. Here I tout myself as a keeper of verbal chastity/fidelity with my spouse but I have clearly violated it with my son. BAD MOM!! BAD BAD MOM!!!

This causes me to self evaluate. My need to be clever and inventive in story telling sometimes pulls harder than my need to be a trusted friend to my son. That is disturbing. My husband saw no harm in the entry really, and it could be that Big Boy just over-reacts. That is normal for a kid of 15 years right? So I ask for a 2nd (3rd or 4th) opinion. If you happened to be one of the few readers who read my last entry titled 'heart burn' (that's you Kristina P, Laurel, Lia, and possibly others), please tell me honestly did I go too far? I mean if I were a teenaged boy with a girl giving me that much attention I would think it a proud moment. But maybe the eye stuff was too much... You know what I am referring to I think.

I have been sleepless for the past 3 nights (for other reasons- allergies I think) so I have had time to mull it over. I'm still stumped. Being a parent is so dang hard!

July 24, 2009

A Funny Mom

I know braggie title right?  I am not the funniest person in the world, but it has been written in my yearbook before.  "You are so funny!"  plus the usual stay cutes and cools.  Today I overheard my 12 year old talking to his cell phone buddy and it only re-confirmed to me that indeed, I am kinda funny.  You be the judge. 

(An aside here:Middle Boy (age 12) has had a new hand-me-down cell phone for a week now.  His older brother had to wait until he was 14 and in high school.  Life is so unfair right?  Middle Boy is quite lucky.  My cell phone died since I chose to save the baby instead of the phone at the kiddie pool the other day.  T also got the new iphone and we did the pass down the phone thing with T, myself, Big Boy and Middle Boy.  What can I say?  Right place, right time with respect to the cell phones and the baby in the kiddie pool).  Now back to the story....  

Anyways,  he was telling about how he threw up today at his advanced math class.  We call it advanced, really it's supplemental, but it's good for his ego.  And also funny!  At least in our family circle.  He told his friend of a time when he was being greedy with his gummy worms and would not share with his brother, Big Boy.  Then later when he threw up his half chewed gummy worms that his mom said to Big Boy.  "Hey, you want some of his gummy worms now?"  Funny!  I don't even really recall saying that, but it sounds about right.

I remember when Big Boy was an infant and I was in a student ward relief society presidency.  The secretary found me hilarious.  She told me one night after a long presidency meeting where we mostly visited and laughed that my kids were so lucky because I was going to be a really fun Mom someday (due to funniness).  I wonder if they'd agree.  When I overheard the gummy worm story today, I kinda think I'd have to say, funnily enough, yes.

July 23, 2009


Okay, I'm just going to blog about my day here. Nothing fancy shmancy. But probably better than when I try too hard.

5:45 Was nudged awake by my husband to take him to work and drop off his car at the mechanic's on the way. I now have some new respect for the commute he has to do every day. Yuck!

7:30 Climbed into bed with my 10 year old and 2 year old who were watching TV in my bed together. Way to start off the day with a little boob tube right? Before I got upset at this I got some details. Baby Girl was crying for me and they needed to find a way to make her happy until I got home. Alright? S'alright!

8:30 After napping through Max and Ruby and then an episode of Diego decided to make breakfast. Surprised to find Big Boy out of bed as well when we went out there. Made him unload the dishes. Arguing through most of the meal making the start to the day with a teenager delightful. Calgon take me away! Already!

9:00 Informed everyone that we would be going on a family bike ride this morning since Mommy had to skip her workout. Hooked up the go bug to my bike and wished our neighborhood wasn't so hilly. Stopped to rest in a park. Watched my boys do some awesome downhill skateboarding. (They opted out of the biking and went for the boards). Grounded my teenager for putting family members down. Hey, he had a few warnings. Then watched as he magically transformed into Mr Nicey Nicey in order to regain his Wii privileges.

10:00 Went home and showered in time to get Big Girl to her swimming lessons. Read my book club book called the Zoo Keeper's wife. A good book but I find I am highly distracted at the pool.

The rest of the afternoon was spent running errands, doing laundry, making kids mow lawns, watching kids on the cheap slip and slide I bought at Target, taking kids to the dentist,

Side note:  A funny thing happened at the dentists.  I went to get Big Girl out of the car and she had forgotten to put on shoes.  She was so embarrassed that she didn't want to get out.  I forced her and then as we sat in the waiting room she came up with some brilliant solutions to the situation.  "Maybe because I am small they will think I am four years old.  This is something a four year old would do right?"  Her cover was blown when the dentist asked her her age.  She hesitated and said six, but looked over at me like she was trapped into honesty.  Her other big idea was that she could just pretend we were Korean because they always take their shoes off when entering the indoors.  You gotta give her props for thinking outside the box there!

Then we spent 3 hours straight in the car in traffic picking up my husband and then the dumb car from the mechanic's (to the tune of 375.00). Oh my gosh! Too much traffic! My bum is numb! I am sure you get the picture. I got a lot of my book listened to on CD though.  That was a great idea for me.  Not distracted in the car. Grilled Cheese for dinner. Boys off to Young Mens. Hear Big Girl crying. Better go. Laundry to fold. So You Think You Can Dance to watch. Not a bad day.

July 22, 2009


 Sunday we did something different to entertain the kids in the boring afternoon hours.  We watched old movies of the family.  It was entertaining, embarrassing and enlightening.

We currently don't have a VCR set up to a large screen TV in the house.  So here we were, all seven of us, huddled around the nine inch TV/VCR combo watching our past unfold. We had chosen a tape with our former selves living in an overpriced, brown shag carpeted, 600 square foot  two bedroom apartment, with no air conditioning in northern California.  Yes, those were the days.  Big Boy claims he loved that brown shag with no padding.  How that is possible I don't know.

The date was December 1996 and we were decorating the christmas tree.  Big Boy (age two) was overly delighted every time he'd try and hang up an ornament from his perch on top of the step stool.   He'd miss the limb he was going for, but by some christmas miracle on the way down the ornament hook would catch somewhere else on the tree.  It happened like 4 times and each time was more delightful.  

I watched and marveled at our little family.  Big Boy was jumping off the step ladder (way more agile than his current two year old sister), cuddling up to his mother and ignoring his  new baby brother who pretty much just sat there spitting up.  Middle Boy voiced to the group that he was just busy planning his future world conquest from right there in the baby swing.  It was a great family moment.  As I glanced at my teenager, I secretly hoped that somehow he would see himself in a way that would make him more compassionate towards his younger siblings.  I hoped he would see the love that his parents had and still have for him and that magically, he would commit to more kindness and obedience in our presence.  I'm not holding my breath or anything, but a mother can dream.

Then there was a foretelling moment from a different date, where my husband had to get the camera out and record what I had just said 'for the record.'  There I was in the early morning hour, lying in our headboardless bed with amazing wrinkle free skin, and a full thick head of short hair saying "I don't think I ever want to move back to Utah...."  Apparently a huge admission on my part and T asked me to elaborate.  "We've done it do death and there's more out there" I say.  T asks where I think we should end up moving to instead. "Somewhere back East"  I replied.  "Where we can grow."  I didn't know then that we would indeed move East.  East to the Midwest.  East to the real East.  Then east to the Far East.  Later T would go East to the Middle East.  Lots of moving east.  Lots of growth.  Doing things that are hard always end up in growth.  I am sure we would have progressed if we'd stayed in Utah.  But not in the same ways.  

If I were able to talk to my former self with some sort of Bill and Ted's magic phone booth here's what I would say:

"First of all, whoa!! You look righteous!  You should stop worrying about that tiny post-baby bulge and just enjoy the awesome body you have right now.  Also, keep reading to your kids.  That is one thing you are doing right.  Relax more and don't sweat the small stuff.  Be nicer to your husband.  Moving away will be a good thing, don't be scared.  And take good care of your feet, your arches are falling. Like, totally wear supportive shoes!"

"Oh and PS-don't try the kimchi, you will hate it!"

If my former self could give my latter-day self some advice, I wonder what she'd say:

"Wow- 5 kids are you kidding me?!  Holy stretch marks Batman.  Ahem, yeah...  you should probably read to your kids more and blog less.  What else do I have to offer?  I haven't really grown much yet.... Later Dude"

July 18, 2009

Cry Baby

Well I saw the Harry Potter movie with my boys today and I am not sure if it was hormones or what but I cried several times during the movie. Heck I think I even teared up during a trailer! My Middle Boy kept looking at me and laughing. Then we would do the universal sign for 'I'm having a moment-talk amongst yourselves' by spreading out the fingers on both hands, and fanning one's self a few times. He has no idea it comes from 'Coffee Talk' with Mike Myers. Maybe one day I will expose him to that, but not yet.

Spoiler Alert

I cried at the part where Hermoine Granger is heartbroken with jealousy over Ron Weasley kissing another girl. I cried whenever they'd mention Harry's dead mother. It was obviously meant to be a sad moment but geez, why the water works full blast all of a sudden? I looked for Kleenex in my purse without luck. My oldest was mortified. But once long ago, in a private moment, he confessed to me that when I cry at things he can feel what I am feeling and he cries a bit too. Underneath it all, he's a big softy too. I also wept hard at the end when DD dies. I didn't read this far in the series (sorry- we only made it half way into book 5 before becoming distracted by something). So I never saw that coming and I am still a bit shocked. How could JK Rowling do such a thing?! I am baffled by Dumbledoor's death! Do they bring him back in book 7? I am going to have to re-commit myself to reading up on the books here and get me some answers.

The big question I am asking myself isn't about the characters in the HP series though. It's about why am I one who wears her emotions so openly? I can almost never hide my true feelings. My sister has told me I have no filter either. But I do because when she told me that I wanted to say something really really rude back but didn't... so there!

I remind myself of the bride in the re-make movie 'Father of the Bride' with Steve Martin. You know when the daughter/bride gets all upset about the blender gift from her fiance'? Then the groom and Father have this conversation about the bride's personality being so extreme and wonderful at the same time? She's just like her Father in the movie. That's me. I feel things deeply. It's a good thing I married a steady man to keep me grounded I guess. Now I need to go and find some chocolate to drown my sorrows in.

July 16, 2009

Cousins Rock!

We had a lovely visit recently from our cousins. My brother and his family came to DC, and I am so glad that they did. I learned that my sibling and I share a passion for an organized refrigerator and a talent for puns. Oh, and I can almost beat him at ping pong when he plays left handed. These are things I never knew! We haven't lived close to them for something like 14 years. I am so glad we got to hang out long enough to figure this important stuff out.

How I wish our kids could have grown up with these cousins close by. Here's what we learned while having them around....

Cousins make the line at the amusement park go faster....

(Big Boy loves to pose, must be all that modeling experience.)

The DC memorials are more inspiring...

I compared this man (my nearly perfect brother)

To this legendary man...

The rides at Hershey Park are much more amusing....

And I do believe these babies were a bit more shiny.

Big Girl was spoiled rotten by her older boy/man cousins,
who hardly let this princess walk.

Talk about a lucky duck!

July 12, 2009

Just Dance

I am not a huge fan of country music. It always seems like some sappy story put to song. My favorite country music lyric is the one that goes "There's a tear in my beer, because I miss you dear." Now that's a classic. But seriously there is one country song that always brings a literal tear to my eye. It's embarrassing really. It's that Le Ann Womack song called I Hope You Dance. When she gets to that part of the song I turn into a blithering idiot! Maybe one day in therapy I can get to the bottom of it all. Perhaps it's because I am a mother and want my kids to fully experience life. Or possibly it's the time I was cut from the school play due to my lousy dancing. Who knows.

This past weekend my husband and I went out to dinner. We saw a familiar sight. There is a local outdoor band that plays on weekends near our dining destination. In the center of the crowd of listeners, there were a couple of dancers. How I wish I'd had my camera! We'd seen them before. They have some sweet moves. They wear matching floral shirts. They are also probably about 75 years old. But they are obviously not slowing down anytime soon, although they do bring their patriotic folding chairs to sit one out at times. My favorite move of theirs I will call the sideways choppy hands. They'd do it in sync. They don't stand all the way upright but they dance with ferver!

Part of the feeling I feel for them is embarrassment, because it's quite the silly sight. But the bigger part of me feels pride and envy towards this happy couple. I have the spirit of a performer but the guts of a scaredy cat. When the band's lead vocalist calls out for the crowd to join in on the chorus I am right there with them in full voice. However, I just can't see myself out there in 35 years with my roots dyed, my orthopedic dancing shoes on, wearing my Hawaiian girls silk shirt, and getting down with my 4 separate dance moves. Nope. And part of me feels sad for myself over that decision.

July 11, 2009

Something to try....(Not like a chain letter btw)

Copy the list. Make the things you have done bold. If so inclined, share with someone else to do the same.

Started your own blog
Slept under the stars
Played in a band
Visited Hawaii
Watched a meteor shower
Given more than you can afford to charity
Been to Disneyland
Climbed a mountain
Held a praying mantis
Sang a solo
Bungee jumped
Visited Paris
Watched a lightning storm at sea
Taught yourself an art from scratch
Adopted a child
Had food poisoning
Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
Grown your own vegetables
Seen the Mona Lisa in France
Slept on an overnight train
Had a pillow fight
Hitch hiked
Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
Built a snow fort
Held a lamb
Gone skinny dipping

Run a Marathon
Ridden in a gondola in Venice
Seen a total eclipse
Watched a sunrise or sunset

Hit a home run
Been on a cruise
Seen Niagara Falls in person
Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
Seen an Amish community
Taught yourself a new language
Had enough money to be truly satisfied

Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
Gone rock climbing
Seen Michelangelo’s David
Sung karaoke
Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
Visited Africa
Walked on a beach by moonlight
Been transported in an ambulance

Had your portrait painted
Gone deep sea fishing
Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
Kissed in the rain
Played in the mud
Gone to a drive-in theater

Been in a movie
Visited the Great Wall of China
Started a business
Taken a martial arts class
Visited Russia
Served at a soup kitchen
Sold Girl Scout Cookies

Gone whale watching
Got flowers for no reason
Donated blood, platelets or plasma
Gone sky diving
Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
Bounced a check
Flown in a helicopter
Saved a favorite childhood toy
Visited the Lincoln Memorial

Eaten Caviar
Pieced a quilt
Stood in Times Square
Toured the Everglades
Been fired from a job
Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
Broken a bone
Been a passenger on a motorcycle
Seen the Grand Canyon in person

Published a book
Visited the Redwoods
Bought a brand new car

Walked in Jerusalem
Had your picture in the newspaper
Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve
Visited the White House
Killed and prepared an animal for eating
Had chickenpox
Saved someone’s life
Sat on a jury
Met someone famous
Joined a book club

Got a tattoo
Had a baby
Seen the Alamo in person
Swam in the Great Salt Lake
Been involved in a law suit
Owned a cell phone
Been stung by a bee

Now, go forth and prove your life is more exciting than mine...

July 09, 2009

The Chaos of Summer

Ok can I just say that summer time is kicking my behind here?  I could never never in a million years be a home school parent.  I really do try and keep the activities to a minimum to keep myself sane.  I mean 5 kids is a lot of people to keep track of and when they each have stuff going on, even if it's just two things a day for each kid, that means I am running around chasing my tail all day.  Today Middle Boy had math enrichment and a play-date to be driven to and from (not sure why other mom couldn't drive one way at least), Little Boy had a dentist appointment, Big Boy and Middle Boy had a local mulching job to do together (they could walk to that one -yeah!)  Big Girl had swimming lessons.  Big Boy had young mens this evening and I went to the grocery story and did two loads of laundry.  Baby Girl had no fixed engagements.  Still it seemed like a lot.  Maybe I complain too much.  Maybe it was just a bad day.  Maybe it's the fact that T's schedule has been grueling lately.  Maybe we need a vacation.  

T has a couple days off coming up and I am too busy to even plan anything.  Do we go to the beach?  Do we just do a museum or two? Maybe Mt Vernon.  How about we just stare at each other not making a sound for 48hrs?  That is making some serious sense to me.

I feel like I have to be a cruise ship director or something.  I have to keep the act up in order to steer the kids away from TV and video games.  So far this summer I have paid for lacrosse camp, math enrichment, we've done 3 different versions of scout camp (cubs, scouts and staff to day camp), investigated violin and piano teachers, signed up one for swimming, and the two older boys got a very part time yard-work job.  

For Big Girl alone I have opened a stenciling kit, a new card game, an updated version of Kidpix, and a weaving loom to keep her happy and not watching Zach and Cody all day.  Why does Disney put these temptations in front of my young 6 year old?  Zach and Cody may not be all evil but I don't like how they are like 10 and trying to 'kiss de girls' already.  Call me a prude.  Go ahead.  I hate Hannah Montana too.  Is it just me?!

Getting Baby Girl to sleep has reached an all time high in difficulty.  Mostly because my 15 year old has the loudest voice and absolutely no ability to remember it's nap time!  ARGH!  I have to keep promising her fun activities that we will do after she naps to persuade her into slumber.  So far we have "baked cookies" (watching is helping I always say- seriously... I say that).  Painted fingernails and another time toenails, gone swimming, and made several park visits.  Yet someone has to shop for food and do laundry at some point.  Isn't the point of having lots of kids supposed to be so they can play together?  Out of my way?  Am I not enjoying this enough?  Probably not.  But today the weaving loom that is on it's way to making a new purse for Big Girl was more stress than it was worth and I ended up loosing my cool.  Hate it when that happens.  But like Scarlett O'hara says (and I have quoted her before on this blog) "Tomorrow is another day!"  Please bless it to be a better one-AMEN.

July 02, 2009

Be Good

Maybe you have heard about the Metro train crash that took several lives last month. It just so happens that I was on the redline that day visiting downtown DC with my girls. We met up with my brother and his family and did the Lincoln Memorial and several other outdoor memorials. I was riding home at 5:00pm (around the same time as the crash), on the same track that had the incident. Fortunately I was unscathed. I was on the other side of the line, away from the crash site. It was probably the 2nd or 3rd time I have ridden the Metro in a year's time. Crazy!

That day while I was getting my fare ticket I noticed a couple who were trying to figure out this crazy system. Newbies! They were a young teenaged couple on a date to the zoo. Even though I was in the middle of talking to my brother on my cell phone, I asked if they needed assistance. I helped them figure out how much it would cost, how to purchase a ticket, and what to do if they got off at the wrong exit, etc. My good deed for the day.

Weirdly enough, I (the expert), had trouble when exiting that day. My card read that there wasn't enough money left on it. I think the trouble came in that I had two cards a stroller with a baby in it and a 6 year old in tow and it's confusing sometimes when you all walk through together on one card, thus making the balance uneven on both cards (You follow? Me neither).
It's a mystery but I think it also could have been when I went through turnstile that gave me access to an elevator that didn't work and so I had to put my card through an extra time when exiting. (Still confused? Me too).

Trying to explain this to the large intimidating Metro worker with an attitude wasn't pleasant. I am no shrinking violet myself and I was not going to let this man have his bossy way with me. He didn't seem willing or able to follow my explanation. My problem was that the machine wasn't taking my cash and I didn't expect to have to do this, so putting enough money on both cards was outside the limits of cash that I had on hand (2.15). He kept sending me back to the machines saying in an irritated voice "Try the other machine!" "How much is on that card? Now what about the other one? Here's what you're gonna do..." Every time I came back his back was turned and I would have to interrupt his boredom to inconveniently ask him for assistance. We finally got it worked out by going through all together on one card.

He didn't get a thank you from me.

Why is it that some people have a hard time being considerate and nice to others? What is this chip we have on our shoulders? What gives? We're all in this together right Wildcats?

On my way out to the parking lot I ran into that same cute couple at the end of their zoo visit. What are the odds of that? As he waited for her to drive the car around (she drove- how cute is that?) he called out to me "Hey!" I asked how is date went. "Great! A good day." She drove up and yielded to me as we cross-walk crossed in front of her. Her arms waved like Kermit the Frog at me. A little kindness goes a long way.

And if I ever see that unhelpful Metro man again, the most I will give him is a small head-jerk nod of a hello. So there!

Follow Chaka

My friend Chaka has a blog that is very fun to follow.  He is a great writer with quirky perspectives on interesting topics.  At least he finds a way to make the uninteresting interesting.  

One nice thing is that his blog entries are always clean and you will feel safe letting your teenagers read over your shoulder.  Also, there will be no need to wash your eyes out with soap after stalking his blog.

Chaka has a goal to make it to 100 followers.  He is now at 73. I would like you to take a look at his blog and follow along if you decide to.  There's a prize involved for me if you mention my blog upon following in his comments.  I don't really care about the prize.  But feel free to mention me so he will know what a great service I am doing for him : )

ps: You're welcome

"It's Official"

Tonight my Little Boy told me "It's official Mom, I definitely have ADD." When I asked him how he knew, he told me that he got up to put his plate and cup in the dishwasher and walked instead, (dishes in hand), into his bedroom.  I slapped him a high five and we laughed about it for 10 minutes.  I sure do love that guy!

July 01, 2009

Saving it for Me

So our family is back together again now that the 2 older boys are back from scout camp and Big Boy just got back from pioneer trek.  Cub scout day camp ended at the same time for Little Boy.  Swimming lessons start soon for Big Girl.  Oh and how can I forget the one week of lacrosse camp that cost us an arm and a leg to get the boys equipped for?  I need to call and set up some summer time violin lessons for 2 boys and piano for the others.  I am hesitant to do so because it will involve more driving and I already log way too much time in that driver's seat.  Our car's DVD player was once to be used only during vacation-time road trips.  Now it has become a regularly used item to keep Baby Girl happy in transit.  I know I should have classical music, stimulating conversation, and uplifting books on tape going for them at all times, but sadly it's more like Slurpies, punching, and Nacho Libre back there...

But it has been nice to have everyone around the dinner table at night once again.  Everyone except my husband that is.  T has had a rough month and has sometimes not been home from work until after dark.  Such is the life of an MD I guess.  Amazing how I used to get worked up about such things and now I just shrug them off as part-of-the-deal.  At least he is coming home right?  Not like when he was in Iraq.

So when I picked up Big Boy from his trek experience I had a brief interaction with his 'Ma' (pretend mother for the weekend), and she praised my son up and down.  She told me "He was such a great kid, wonderful helper, etc"  Then she told me "He is going to make such a delightful adult to befriend when he grows up!"  I thought that was an interesting comment to make.  She seemed sincere enough. Hmm... Maybe I don't appreciate him like I should.  Or maybe she doesn't know him like I do.  Probably both.

He was helpful and in good spirits for a day.  Not letting me lift his gear as we went to load up and leave.  Then today I was left scratching my head a bit when I had to re-call him again and again to do a specific job.  I interrupted his job of doing the dishes to ask that he take some old kitchen washcloths to the laundry.  The next thing you know he was outside playing in the back yard.  When I questioned his abilities to stick to a hard job with 'Ma' but not with me (the real deal), he responded with the excuse that it was because he knew me.

"Let me get this straight, you are capable of staying on task, but because you are familiar with me you blow me off?"  What is up with that!?

"Well the door was open, I went to shut it and the outdoors called to me"

"But that would not have happened on trek?"


"Why not?"

"Because we were always outside there"

And off he went,

without finishing his job....