April 29, 2010

Tough as nails

It's time to put my kids to bed right now, but they are actually playing nicely and I just can't seem to break up the party. It's so refreshing! Big Girl is totally on a roll winning over her older brothers lately. Ever since we got her her own lacrosse stick and told her she was tough as nails she's been hanging with the big boys and they are all about teaching her their tricks. Baby Girl has always been the golden child adored by one and all so it's nice to see Big Girl Get a piece of the pie.

With the older two kids at Young Mens tonight, it changes the dynamics a bit, and Little Boy has no one to act cool for. He can just be his silly self and play with his sisters. No judgement. Gotta love it. I just called down to him and asked if he was actually enjoying himself and having fun with Big Girl and he said "YES!" I am sure she was beaming. They just ran out of ideas and said "Okay, let's wrestle!" So I am predicting a crying fit any minute. We'll see. Now they've moved on to a game called steam roller.... Use your imagination I guess.

Lately I have been reading Charlotte's Web to Big Girl. In times past when I have introduced it to her she wasn't ready and my heart would break a little when she'd ask me to stop reading please. She is SO ready now that she begs me to read it to her all the time and even reads it herself which is nice. So it showed some serious unselfishness on her part when she gave me permission to read Little Boy's book at bedtime Fablehaven. It's a new book sent from Grandma that has been snatched up by Middle Boy before Little Boy could have a chance. He confided to me tonight that he's frustrated that he can't catch up to where his brother has read to. Why do boys have such a competitive nature? So I am off to catch him up by reading aloud to him.

In other news when I finished dinner tonight I thought I would treat myself to a pastry purchased by a friend for T and I for our anniversary. She wanted to show her remorse for forgetting to be there to watch Baby Girl and going to the gym instead. I'll take that kind of apology any time! To my shock and dismay I see that someone has had the nerve to sample some while I was away at LAX practice with Middle Boy. It really chaps my hide I tell ya! Probably for the best though since I am trying to eat better.

Please enjoy these photos of our tough as nails Big Girl. They really crack me up!

My guess is you really don't want to meet up with her in a dark alley right?

April 27, 2010

Here's What Happens

When you don't make any solid plans to celebrate your 18 yrs of weddedness, here's what happens: Your babysitter (who wasn't confirmed) heads to the gym instead of sticking around to babysit your girl. So there's no need to worry about the rain that is pouring down and how the idea of touring the city museums for the day will not be the best due to the weather. Also, no need to worry about how you were running 30 minutes late to drop your 3 yr old off because your sitter will be blissfully ignorant working on the elliptical. Believe me when I say that I wasn't the slightest bit annoyed that she wasn't there when we showed up. I have forgotten to be there when I should be many times (almost daily). Besides, I was crying in the car on the way over and didn't really feel like a museum day. I won't be expounding on why.

So we did what most couples do on their anniversary. We took our baby on a fun trip to a series of hardware stores. Well, actually, we were headed in the direction of an antique place to look for new chairs for the dining room but they weren't open for another hour.

For months we've been carrying around a broken hinge from our cupboard in the car. We have mysterious cupboards that came from another planet I guess, because the hinge is irreplaceable. Our Hulkish son broke the wrong hinge my friends. I am seriously considering home-made hinges fabricated from duct tape. T has no trust in my duct tape abilities. I may just show him!

So we made it our quest to find that hinge. (We went to 4 stores-and btw don't trust the kitchen construction guy when he says the have hinges at the container store). In the process we came home with the following romantic items from Home Depot that I think really spell out our 18 yrs of ups and downs. We purchased fertilizer (cause we all know how fertile I am-5 kids YO!). Sorry I've been using 'yo' a lot lately after watching this. We bought batteries, because our love has lots of energy. Then we got hay for re-seeding the grass at the corner, and some reflector sticks so people will stop being lazy drivers and keep off our grass! The Hay is for 18yrs. You know paper for year one, cotton for year two, leather for the 3rd year. I am pretty sure it's Hay for 18. It just makes sense. Then I forced T to look at fireplace pits for the back yard. I think roasting marsh mellows in the back yard has all kinds of romantic potential. He didn't seem convinced. Then the Home Depot guy told us about a sale on fire pits going on at Patio Barn. I think he was going for employee of the month or something.

Then best part (second only to the moment where, at lunch, I found a hair in my sandwich), was when we came home and organized the entire garage. It's something that has been neglected for the past 18 months. There were still boxes from the move in there that had not been unpacked. I am so glad to have my Dixon Middle School yearbook back so I can put it next to my nightstand and read it every night! When my own middle-school boy came home, he found my journal from that same year and had a grand old time reading it.

So was it a perfect anniversary? No. But we did spend time together and that is what I told him I wanted most of all. And I still think there is chocolate in my future based on what I found under his side of the bed!


April 24, 2010


If it's not too personal for you I would like to share a text that I received from my husband on Wednesday 4-21-10 at 3:37pm (Eastern time).

It reads as follows:
I'm thinking about 4/24/92
What a great day in my life!!!
Thanks for marrying me.

Your true love,

I texted back that I loved him and asked:

"When will you be coming home to me?"

His reply was:

"Soon my sweet pea, soon"

And then a romantic:

"I saw that practice was cancelled tonight."

Not romantic you say? Well with two extra hours of time who knows what we could do with that? We could actually sit down and eat together-real food not cereal! And then who knows?

Coincidentally I had been having similar amorous thoughts that day. We must have been on the same wave-length. Being married to someone for 17yrs, 362 days will do that to a couple I guess. There has been talk of what we would do to celebrate our 18 yrs of life together this weekend. T took the day off on Monday, so there is a 3 day weekend right there. But looking seriously at our calendar there are at least 11 things listed from Friday to Sunday. So there's no getting away from the beast that is our hectic family life. But thinking about it more seriously there is no other way I would like to spend my time than living the life we have carved out together thus far. Nothing other than trying to keep up with the hussle and bussle- together as a couple. I can't imagine going this alone.

During the brief moments we see each other in passing these days we have both confessed that time has not allowed us the opportunity to shop for gifts for one another. Our checkbook balance has also not been overly high. (Darn those greedy music teachers!) So there is that obstacle as well. It is Little Boy's birthday on our anniversary. Yes, that is true. So we have shared this day for the last 10 years. He will be 11 and he's getting in line skates and a big water gun! Maybe T and I can incorporate those things into our anniversary plans. Sounds fun yes?

On The Sidelines

When you bring two young girls to a lacrosse game there's a lot going on besides watching your son play. So, after the game when he runs up and says "Mom! Did you see me assist in that goal?" You have to just smile and say "yeah- tell me more about it."

But you will be fibbing, because this is what you were really paying attention to:

"How are you today sir? Very well I thank you!
Run away, run away"

(Pseudo) talking on the phone to Grandma.

Check that out...........T is going bald on top!!!

Give me 5,

on the side,

cut the cake,


"Did you drop your gum sweetie?"

"That's okay, just blow on it some- 10 second rule!"

Yummy -Trident with a hint of grass.

April 22, 2010


Well even though the lacrosse season is putting a lot of extra pressure on me I am trying to look on the bright side. Like I get to have alone time in the car with the kids. I am trying to make a point to turn off the radio and get the kids to actually talk to me. With Little Boy it's like pulling teeth. He is the king of one word answers. I tell him that before he gets out of the van he has to share 3 things about his day with me. He loves this game! NOT.

Another positive is that I spend two hours reading in the car while they practice. It's been great for getting through the books I have been meaning to read. I am usually the one who is behind in the reading for book club. I may even make it through The Book Thief. It's super long! Sometimes I use the time to go to the grocery store. The Safeway in Damascus is very well stocked! I have also discovered a pizza place I like there where I can pick up dinner when the kids are being deserving. (Hey, it happened once!) There have been some nights where we eat cereal for dinner and the kids are getting to bed too late quite regularly. When it rains (like today-yeah!) I am so glad that practice gets cancelled. It's like mother nature's little pass card for the day.

Each boy has played a couple games so far. I am finding that LAX (lacrosse) is a much rougher sport than I had thought. I have always said that my kids would never play football because the risk of injury to my pee-wee sized kids was too great. Then I sign them up for a sport where there is less padding and they all have sticks that definitely get used as weapons. You see kids getting whacked at right and left. Especially when your kid has the ball. It's like the green light for kids to start "checking" your kid. Checking is just a word for using your stick horizontally to shove your opponent to the ground. I've seen kids come up from behind a kid while running and slam the stick repeatedly on the ball holder's back and shoulders. No whistle blown! Yet the kids love it, so I better get my opinion of checking in check. It's a boy's game with rough side effects.

So, of course, we went out and bought both the girls lax sticks. Stupid right? Maybe so. Baby Girl's was a 14.00 special (for 2!) and Big Girl got a nicer one. She is in heaven playing outdoors with her brothers who once had no time for her, learning all the rules. Thank goodness the rules for girl's LAX are more cushy. They can't hit or push. They just play civilized lacrosse- no padding or helmet, just a mouth guard and eye protection. Big Girl may not be cut out for it but who knows, with help from her older brothers she could be great!

Here are some shots of last Saturday's game. (Little Boy is number 11- my favorite number!)

Check out Little Boy's reaction (he's on the far left), when they tied up the score at the end of the 4th quarter. His team had been ahead the entire game up until this last moment. They ended up in a tie.

April 19, 2010

Clueless in Men's Wear

There are many things I know about. As I get older I find myself feeling all knowy about all sorts of things (like the word knowy for instance). I know more about cooking/baking for sure. I know about heartache. I know how to french braid. I can (but rarely do these days) sew. I know all about scraping calculus off lower incisors. I can speak a fair amount of French. I know how to blog. I am learning how to write better (I think). I still can't spell- which is why I went with the word knowy instead of knowelgable (knowelgible?- who cares... Oh yes, I do.

One area in which I have suffered from severe underexposure is men's wear. Last year when Big Boy was in need of a new suit I felt sorta out of my element so we went to a department store that had plenty of help. Wouldn't you know that he grew out of that thing after 18 months. I wish he hadn't been at his ultra skinny cross-country-stage when we bought those 70.00 pants. So I figured we could still get some use out of the coat with a pair of tan pants right? It was a dark navy suit coat with pin stripes. Good thing my husband was deployed when we made this fashion error. We'll just keep that a secret. I have since been informed by T that only plain navy coats can work well with tan pants. Why is the pin stripe a deal breaker? No idea! A plain black coat will also not work with tan pants. How about olive pants? No! Why? I am still fuzzy on the reasoning but 'it' just isn't done.' But get this... during our recent suit shopping for Big Boy, I also learned that black shoes are a-okay with a navy suit. What the?! I would have thought brown shoes or maroon penny loafers would have been a better fit with navy. All those seasons of watching project runway have not helped me in men's wear. It's good that my men's wear savvy husband is here to help me out with the outfitting of these three boys of mine!

April 13, 2010

My Elbow

So I've still got the tennis elbow. I must complain a lot about it because when you ask my 3 year old daughter to do something she'll tell you she can't because her "elbow hurts." She pulled this same prank when a friend of hers from church broke her leg. She'd hobble around the house telling us she needed to be carried up the stairs due to her 'broken leg.' We think she'll make an excellent actress one day. I hope the evils of Hollywood don't turn her against her good upbringing.

I finally went to see the hand specialist at Walter Reed today (four weeks wait for this apt btw- four weeks of suffering and complaining of elbow pain. I know, I sound wimpy even to myself). The diagnosis wasn't surprising, but I was surprised to find out that the brace he was suggesting I wear was not going to have any therapeutic effects. It's just there to remind me not to do stuff that will hurt my elbow, not allowing it to heal. You know that is brilliant! Because the pain wasn't quite reminding me enough. I am going to wear it. Next I get to go and have some "occupational therapy." I wonder what they will say when I tell them I am a stay at home mom and this occupation has given me tennis elbow. It's not like I can quit this job any time soon. I just need to learn some stretching exercises and remember not to do stuff that hurts. Check and check! I wish I could hire someone to come and do all those repetitive movements that have caused my condition. Could it be all those *spankings I've given over the years? It's a lot like swinging a tennis racket no?

*I actually am not a spanker (although I have been known to spank) I just thought it was funny.

April 08, 2010

Lacrosse Choices

So I think lacrosse season (x2 kids) is going to kill us. Either it will kill us or make us stronger. I am hoping it will be the latter. My boys took an interest in this sport, so I bought the equipment (ouch) and signed them up for a two week skills camp last summer. There is a sports club just 5 minutes from my house where you can sign up for all things sports. Little Boy played soccer and baseball with them (they managed to take the championship in baseball without him ever hitting the ball- it was not awesome. Also, I will never get permission to sign him up for baseball again). I was all set up to sign up both boys for fall lacrosse when I realized that all the games in this league are on Sundays. Soccer games take up all the Saturday playing fields. Sunday is a problem for us. Sunday is our sabbath day.

From the time we Mormons are young, kids in primary we are taught through song that "Saturday is a special day, it's the day we get ready for Sunday." We really do take our day of rest seriously. Sometimes with 3 hours of church plus leadership meetings, choir practice, occasional baptisms, fast offering collections, and youth committee meetings, it can be a pretty busy day of rest. We don't do things like birthday parties, play sports, playing video games. TV is more selectively chosen. The music we play is more serene. The meals we eat are nicer (usually). Sometimes we stay in our church clothing all day, (although relaxing in your sweats works for me too). I love Sundays. Togetherness without outside pressures. So lacrosse games on Sundays would definitely be a big no.

Now of course this would be the one sport that both boys really wanted to do. I am usually the one nagging them to get away from TV and video games and sign up for something... anything! My oldest is a major home body and it rubs off on the others. This was the sport they had seen their older cousin Josh play when we were visiting back in Utah. I am sure that he never had Sunday conflicts playing in his Orem league.

So I searched and searched and finally found a place (25 miles away), that has games on both Saturday and Sunday. I emailed the director and told her our situation. She was more than happy to take on the kids without forcing them to play on Sunday games. So we are off and running and the first game is tomorrow. I have been asked by people why we would choose to travel 30 minutes out of our way (each way!) to practice (3 times weekly!) when OBGC is so much closer. When I explain I have had mixed reactions. Sometimes I am sure they are thinking I am a religious fanatic. Sometimes I think I have piqued their curiosity a bit. One time I got the best reaction from a lady in an SUV. I pulled up next to her and we were both in our cars waiting for our kids to be released from the practice field. I was late pulling in and she commented that my timing was perfect since they were running over. She had been there for 10 minutes already. I told her I had just come from Olney. I opened the worm can and she asked why I travel so far. When I told her she said the nicest thing to me "Good for you! I wish more folks would stand up for their sabbath day around here." I was totally shocked. Turns out she also had a big family. I assumed, and asked if she was Catholic. She was. Then she assumed I home-schooled my kids too... that is where our similarities ended. Still I know who I will be looking to sit by at tomorrow's game. And who knows, maybe I will be blessed with some genius lacrosse players who, due to their sacrifice and sticking to their sabbath-day standards, will come home with gold medals one day just like Eric from Scottland. I can hear the theme music now.

April 03, 2010

On To Other Things...

Time for me to write/vent another post. It just seems that I should move along from the sad black eye thing. There's got to be more to say then 'my kids fought.' The sad lack of comments makes me think I made you all uncomfortable, or maybe it just doesn't strike a chord with many readers. Do you all just have perfect lives and are clucking your tongues at me? Let me just quote the Wicked Witch from Oz by saying "just you wait my pretty!" Time has a way of giving all of us heart heavy experiences. Maybe you all know this already but just don't put it out there for all to see. Pardon my honesty in blogging openly about them I guess.... Life also has a way of getting around to the good stuff in turn as well. So I am being patient. And hopeful.

On to other things. I think I need to make more lists. List making helps me get things done. I made a list today and here's what got done. I balanced the checkbook, paid bills, worked on scout stuff with Little Boy (we did almost two activity pins in his webelos book- for those who don't know, that is a lot), made plans to visit Mt Vernon on Monday, reserved a couple spots for my girls to do an easter egg hunt at a local nursery, and went to the movies with the kids and a friend and her kids. It was nice. Okay I will admit that I did not shower until noon, but I can be productive in my scrubs. If anyone came to the door I could always pretend I was a nurse getting home from her night shift job.

Here is the stuff I had thought about possibly getting to today, that I didn't do, but still listed: Go to the art museum with Big Girl, go to Brookside Gardens, hang a photo collage that I have been re-framing, pay the kids their allowance, take in Middle Boy's ipod for repair, find my dental instruments and fish out the irritant under Big Boy's papillae that has been there for 3 days, call about bogus Verizon bill, call Montomery Hospital about another bogus bill, color easter eggs, make a strawberry pie, invite someone over to eat it with us.

None of it got done, but as Scarlet says (and I love to quote her), "tomorrow is another day!"