Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Dose of Reality

I know, I know, my life is pretty much perfect here in blogging land. We are bedazzling and playing in the leaves and freeing little mice and on and on until you are all plain miserable at the perfectness of it all (with the one exception being that you can feel at least a little smug about my recent lack of smarts). We all like to post our happy times and cute times and so sometimes we forget that people have normal not so perfect times. To celebrate that, I thought I'd give you all a nice dose of reality for one evening.

Mike has had to work super late this week so the kids and I have been on our own. Tonight I decided to let them carve their pumpkins. All was going so well as I helped scrape their seeds and let them scoop them out. I took a few pictures and was even thinking thoughts to the tune of, "Who came up with carving pumpkins? That was only the best idea ever. And why are my kids so darn cute and good?" Goldie happily instructed me how to carve her pumpkin and was seeming pleased with the results. Penny wandered about trying to eat off of the giant spoons we were using to get rid of pumpkin seeds. Daisy carved her pumpkin quite expertly with not so much as an ounce of help from me (though I wasn't altogether certain she should have the knife). Abe worked on carving the face he had painstakingly drawn on his pumpkin. All was quite perfect.

Then . . . Abe cut off one of his pumpkin's teeth. He immediately began to despair that all was lost, but I quickly found toothpicks and promised all would be well once we stuck it back in. He then wanted me to finish the job of cutting. Unfortunately he had drawn very tightly spaced detailed little things which made cutting them out nearly impossible. Soon I had severed another tooth -- more assurances of the toothpicks sticking things back in place were followed. We made it through this just as Penny decided things were no fun anymore and began to whine. Abe insisted I cut out the "beard" on his pumpkin -- which was pretty much touching the mouth and the bottom of the pumpkin. Careful as I tried to be, in a moment or two of minute error, the pumpkin's lower jaw was completley severed! (I can't type that now with out chuckling, but at the time it was the last straw). The reattached teeth now unattached themselves and Abe began to cry and insist that he didn't even want a pumpkin. About this point Penny took up serious serious scream crying -- yanking and pulling on me. I tried to calm her (though I was getting frustrated) as I vainly told Abe we could still fix it or we could do a totally new pumpkin tomorrow -- even as he grumped off to the other room his life and any fun of the evening apparently ruined. The girls were begging for candles and Penny was now hysterical as I tried with mounting frustration to fix the disaster of a pumpkin and call hopeless reassurances (hampered by Penny's cries) to Abe.

By the end, as I forced Abe to come take a picture with his makeshift pumpkin (jaw loosely attached -- one tooth lost for good), tried to calm Penny who had really no apparent reason for her total and sudden insanity, and did my best to scoop up pumpkin pulp and newspaper (one handed due to Penny)-- dropping half of it all over the floor because the newspaper had disolved, I am not sure whether I was ready to start crying myself or simply start screaming.
Still, after a few tense moments I determined to try and salvage the miserable evening by going ahead with our planned tradition of cider and doughnuts. I warmed cider as I tried to get the furious Penny into jammies so I could just put her to bed. Abe sat gloomily by needing and not getting my attention. I set the girls' cups next to them saying, "It's very hot, wait til I get you a spoon so you can sip it. . . ." I turned my back to lift Penny from my bed where I'd left her only to hear a sputter and then cry of anguish as Goldie apparently tried to gulp her cider (oblivious to my words), spilled it everywhere in her shock and began to sob.
Anyway, it didn't get too much worse after that because I put everyone to bed post haste. But, amidst all the joy and fun there are plenty of those moments sprinkled in. It is alright. Even as I sit here now with the sound of Abe turning pages in his room (I can hear that over the baby monitor -- which means he is under his covers with a flashlight reading instead of sleeping), I think (well, partly I think, "How am I supposed to handle another baby?"), but another very real part of me thinks, "I am grateful I am a mom. My kid's are great kids. That wasn't really so bad and even almost makes me chuckle now -- more often I need to remember that I will shake my head and laugh later. Life is pretty good."

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bedazzling Postscript

So, yesterday I mentioned that my girls' bedazzler was specifically called a GeMagic. I've seen that box, sitting on top of my fridge for five days now and not once did it occur to me that GeMagic is really a clever way of saying "Gem Magic." (Thank you Aunty Juana for telling me that in yesterday's comment section). I don't like to feel alone in my ignorance, but I was certain that no one else would have realized that either (which is why I wanted to post the news -- because I knew you would all feel much more excited when you thought of buying something that works magic with gems than when you thought of buying something with a name that made no sense . . . ge-magic).

Still, just to show my new found smarts off, I said to Mike last night, "Do you have any idea what that name on the box really is saying?"

"What do you mean?" He replied.

"Do you know what that is -- 'gemagic'?"

"No," he corrected me, "It isn't 'ge-magic;' it's 'gem magic.'"

Anyway, now I am thinking that maybe everyone clearly saw that it was trying to be gem magic -- everyone but me (oh, and Shannon -- thanks Shan), and that reminds me of how I knew exactly what FAQ's stood for (oh no I didn't), and now I am banging my head on the table and my fists as well as I cry to you all, "I was SMART!! I was so smart once!! I tell you I was!!" (bang banging of fists and a few moans), "I was the one Megan liked to call braniac! I was the "Outstanding Zoology" graduate with a 4.0!! I was the high scorer on every Genetics test and a lab instructor and, I was SMAAAARRRRTTT!!" Cry cry cry . . . sniffle. And at the end of that rant you will all say gently, "But Nancy dear, . . . what is gemagic really trying to say?" Then, you will add softly, "And did you or did you not spew gasoline all over yourself at a gas station recently?" (But that will be for later -- yes Tia, it is coming). And I will just nod as I wipe my eyes and blow my nose and know that what once was can not always remain. NOOOO!! I won't give up that easilly!! I am SMART, I am!! I am pretty much a genius!!!! GeMagic -- sheesh.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Bedazzle This!!

That's right, you heard me -- BE-DAZZLE . . . as in bedazzled, as in a bedazzler!! Any time I have heard of anyone bedazzling it has made me laugh like, "what a good joke," because it brings up images of a decade long ago when my older sisters might have been adding little gems happily to shirts and jeans and what not. BUT, I am now singing a new tune, the tune of the bedazzler, and I firmly believe that any of you who have young girls will want to get them one for Christmas.

Here is how we became bedazzlers. My husband was taking Abe on a little 4-wheeling adventure this Saturday and he didn't want the girls to be sad; so, the night before, he took them to Wal-Mart and returned, much to my surprise, with a bedazzler and some plain aprons. The box tried to trick people who might be turned away by the thought of a bedazzler by calling it a GeMagic, but I wasn't fooled, it was a bedazzler.

Anyway, it basically works like a stapler -- stapling little gems into whatever you like. My girls had so much fun with it on Saturday that I plan on letting them bedazzle to their little hearts content from here on out. I love my husband. I love that he can pick out way better and cooler gifts for our kids than I could ever think of. Look at my little bedazzled girls.
P.S. I already know what I will be seeing from here on out on all of your blogs -- bedazzled curtains and towels, bedazzled onesies and hats, etc. etc. I hope you all won't get too carried away.


I was very much looking forward to being back here for Fall. For some time, however, it was seeming very unFallish. October started out with some 85 degree days, quickly switched to snow storm (huh?), and then back to pleasant weather. Still, the leaves just kept acting like they were supposed to be green (which, of course, they are not supposed to be in Oct.). Finally, this last week, enough changed and fell to make it feel like real Autumn. Hooray! Here we are in my parent's back yard enjoying the nice leafy day! (Also, cute cousin Maddie stopped by for one second wearing the cutest outfit I've ever seen, Priscilla!)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Trip to Target

I went to Target yesterday. A friend of mine once banned herself from Target for several months (or perhaps her husband banned her) because, as she said, "Target is a hundred dollar store" -- meaning that even if you think you are stopping in to buy some diapers, you end up spending $100. Yesterday I only spent $42. Still, that is the risk you run stopping at Target.

I keep wanting to buy a few cute little newborn outfits for new baby. So, I went to Target to do something I have never tried to do before -- namely, find some type of neutral boy/girl outfit. I ended up buying this little eight dollar three pack of jammies and I can't even decide if they are neutral. I keep looking at them and thinking, "Would these make a boy look girly? Would these make a girl look like a boy?" But then I calm myself by remembering that my newborns generally like to be so swaddled their first few months that no one ever sees what they are wearing anyway. Also, many is the time that I have been at the grocery store with one of my newborn girls all dressed in pink and probably even with a pink bow glued to their head only to have some well meaning person say, "What a cute little guy he is." Mind you, this doesn't offend me. I never say, "Actually, it's a girl." because that would only make them feel awkward. I just smile and thank them and hope they don't suddenly notice the bow and feel embarrassed. It is tricky to get around though when they ask, "What's his name?" and I have to respond with something like, "Daisy." Anyway, all I'm saying is, it probably doesn't really matter if these cute little jammies look girly or boy-ee enough, I just am wanting to buy a cute outfit and there are definitely cuter options for a child of known gender!

Also, I bought a blow dryer. My last one recently shook violently, spewed a few sparks out in a crazy manner and then quit . . . which, interestingly enough, is just what the Chevette I drove in high school did after a week or two of refusing to go over ten miles per hour. (I try to follow the old adage, "Use it up, wear it out, make it work, blow it up, or do with out"). I bought a super cheap new blow dryer, so we'll see how it goes. How am I supposed to know whether or not $30 is a dreamy dry compared to $9.49?

We bought a few more items which, as I mentioned, totalled $42. Unfortunately that $42 did not include the small pack of Goody elastic hair bands that had managed to hide themselves in our cart -- trying to force me into thievery. I have to say, this happened another time with some other very small item, and these are the times I have been most tempted to steal as it is really just no fun to unload and then reload the four small children you have just buckled all up. But, my husband has made an honest woman out of me and so the elastics were returned (I actually wanted to buy them, but I couldn't bare to stand in line again).

Lastly, our baby doesn't have a name. I know it should be so fun to decide, but it isn't. Nothing is really totally exciting us and I can't even bare to look at names online because you go to a name site and it has like 16 pages of "S" names alone. It is all too daunting. Poor poor little baby. You are all welcome to submit ideas. I probably won't use them, but if I did, perhaps I'd bake you a thank you treat. Still, with all of this trouble, I am not regretting our decision to keep it a surprise this time. I am very excited for delivery day to find out who this little one is, and after waiting this long, I would be so upset if it was accidentally told to me during an ultrasound!

Saving Mousekin

I just had to stop mother nature right in her tracks. I didn't want to. I prefer to turn a blind eye and let nature take her little course. We had just walked outside when Goldie said (in a strangely calm manner), "Muffin has a mouse." I walked over and sure enough, Muffin had a mouse. Muffin is my parent's cat . . . not that they have ever in their lives really wanted or ever actually purchased a cat, but their proximity to empty hollows and fields seems to mean that cats will forever be stopping by, and every now and then, one decides to stay. For days and weeks it will sit on the window sill or the deck until finally my dad gives in, names it, and buys it cat food. It is never allowed inside, yet it stays. Herman was the cat that chose to stay for all of my growing up years -- til he politely wandered off to die in the great cat death fields wherever they may be, and Muffin has been here for about the past five years. She's a nice enough cat and very gentle (though she high-tails it out of town the minute Penny sets her sights on her).

So, there was Muffin, with a mouse in her paws. She must have pounced only that very moment because the mouse was clearly still alive and well. I must admit, I paused. I was unsure how best to proceed. My instinct was to rush Goldie inside and try to forget all about Muffin and her mouse. We are sleeping in the basement at my parents and I'm not sure but what it is Muffin keeping us free from little mousy visitors. Plus, as any of you who might have read my chicken post of long ago know, I have had bad luck when intervening in the natural course of things.

My pause didn't last long though because Goldie's calm voice began to take on a bit more of an edge as she questioned, "Mom, why aren't you making him let it go?" I sighed, partly for poor Muffin who was only doing what cats do, then I shewed her away. The mouse ran happily towards the house (having so narrowly escaped certain doom) likely to show up in my bedroom ere long. I will say however, that I couldn't help but, for a minute, think of Lucifer (the cat) and the little mice of Cinderella, and the thought of that little mouse scampering off to sew buttons and snip thread as he makes me a beautiful dress is a cheery enough one to help me not regret my interference too much.
P.S. The two nice mice pictured here were compliments of: #1 -- yours truly, and #2 -- Abraham

A Good Read

My sister Shannon (who has alopecia) wrote a very inspiring article/story that is posted on womenafire (my friend Marzee's blog for inspiring thoughts from and for women). Go take a look and leave a comment. Shan is so tough and her alopecia has been far far from the only major physical obstacle she has had to deal with. I love her.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Tribute to Ashley (that went all rambly)

Bless my little niece Ashley's heart, she read my Snelgrove post and called me today to tell me where I could get my traitorous Dreyer's Swiss Orange. Plus, she told my sister Megan that she would willingly go to the cemetery with her before Halloween (something I had told Megan this very day that I was sure Ashley would be more than willing to do since Megan knows full well that I couldn't for even the slightest fraction of a moment entertain the idea), but that is the kind of thing that little niece of mine is willing to do -- buy Oreos when you need them, tell you where to get your ice cream fix (though she still didn't actually bring the ice cream, so it is not too late for one of you out there to "one up her"), and even risk her very soul by prowling in places where man should not go (let alone young mothers looking for a scare). And actually, she is not really truly that little, she is practically a full grown woman (or so she must have thought when she got herself married to Hirum and became nearly as pregnant as I am). Her sister Kristen aint half bad either, and she also thinks she's all growed up because she is having a baby soon as well, and it is her third!! My kids get so confused when I try to tell them that these girls are not really their aunties, rather, their cousins -- that I was their aunt (at about one day old) myself and that their kids are not really their cousins, but their first cousins once removed. I suppose it isn't necessary to explain these things, but that is the way it is. Anyway, it is very fun being home again and not only having my sisters around, but these fun grown up nieces (and Kristen should have been given far more credit initially in this post because she has faithfully stopped over to visit and to let our kids play and to bring BBC movies to watch -- and she could probably be talked into bringing a treat with very little effort). Kristen and Ashley aren't the only ones, there are loads more of these girls that I used to babysit who are now all grown up -- Jessica, Tessa, Ryleigh, London (and maybe even Karin will leave her parents as Ashley and Kristen wisely have done to come and live here soon). Sometimes, when enough of them are around they will stop by and play games til late at night, and it is like I have been given an entire new gaggle of sisters (I just read a book to the kids about a "gaggle" of geese, so . . .) . . . and of course, there are the older boys too who are certainly good for somethin' -- what with moving all my stuff into storage for me and what not. Anyway, I wish that all my pics weren't locked up on my "real" computer or that I would take some more, but it certainly is a fun, happy, and slightly insane thing to be a small part of this family of eleven children, eleven spouses for those children, the 55 grandchildren they have produced (I think -- if I haven't miscounted), and the spouses and great grandchildren some of them have added in! Plus the many more on the way (there are three nieces and two of us girls pregnant at present). And that is only my side of the family . . . Mike didn't come from no small family neither, but really, that is enough for one night. Obviously we don't get everyone birthday presents. Oh yah, and back to what this post was about -- a thank you shout out to you, Ashley.

More Penny

After I so wronged Penny with that last post and accompanying picture, I thought I best type what I have really been meaning to try and capture about her for the past while. Right at about 16 months my kids begin to enter my very favorite stage. It continues to just get better til they are 2 1/2 or 3 (and then it is just a different stage), but I love so much when they are waddling around so awkwardly and starting to say lots of words and really seeming to understand much of what you tell them yet still too young to really "know better" or frustrate you when they behave badly.

I will admit that this stage has its difficulties and I think might be some of my siblings least favorite child stage. They are still completely curious -- but now clever enough to satisfy much of their curiosity by opening drawers, climbing on tables, reaching everything that should not be reached. I was laughing with my sister-in-law Marnie just the other day about how both of our children love to take lids off of markers and bite off all of the tips, and how there is a standing rule that table chairs must be pushed in at all times so our little ones don't use them to get to things on the table. They can be nothing short of total havoc wreakers at this stage, BUT, they really make me so ridiculously happy. To hear them using new words and responding to things I tell them to do, etc. is so fun, and everything they do just seems so incredibly hilarious and perfect that it is almost too much. I think it is this stage that makes me want more kids and that will likely make me cry the most when my last one is leaving it behind.

So, I know this may bore some of you, but in journal fashion, I feel almost panicked about getting some of the things down in writing that I love love that she does right now before she passes them by. My sister Amy was reminiscing recently about how her oldest son Beau used to say he saw a "dhost" when he was scared. Someone nicely taught him his "G's" but it only made her sad that the "dhosts" were gone forever. That is what I feel like when I remember things my kids "used" to do, but what makes me even more sad is the things they maybe used to do that I really don't even remember!! So, write write write is what I need to do.


-- She is in love with phones. We can be anywhere and if she hears a distant phone ring (like at the bank today) she will alertly begin looking around saying (with her circled little lips) "He-Wo??" If we even pass by a phone in the home she begins reaching for it shouting "He-WO! He-WO!"
-- She calls every fruit and vegetable an "apple" with a high pitched happy accent on the second syllable.

-- She has learned "mine" and seems to use it only if she knows full well that she is about to grab an item that someone will likely try to take from her. For example, Abe and Daisy don't mind her taking their stuffed animals, but Goldie does, so it is only with Goldie's that she will pounce and shout, "Mine!" Of course she also uses it occasionally when she just wants to assert herself a little such as the other night when she threw her self onto our apartment door and shouted (with arms stretched wide across the door) "MINE!"

-- Speaking of throwing herself onto things, she does that a lot -- throws herself onto things she will claim as "mine," throws herself onto the pillows when she is crawling across the bed trying to escape a diaper change, etc.
-- Nearly every morning she asks me excitedly, "Daddy??" When I say he is at work she says "ohhhh" in a giggly embarrassed way like, "how silly of me to asked that question again."

-- She knows what it means when we tell her to "be soft" and I think she knows in her heart of hearts that this action is bad, but every now and then, when the opportunity is there, she simply can't resist pulling a giant handful of hair out of Daisy or Goldie's head. They begin screaming and she runs off screaming a scream of "I better get out of here" and it is all misery til I force her to come back and make her "be soft."
-- She has the funniest shy face and she will hold that face indefinitely if someone is holding her, talking to her, or even looking at her that isn't our own tiny family. She pulls her lips downward and into a closed O shape, then scrunches her shoulders up and stays that way.

-- She sleeps in the same room as Abe right now while we are at my parents. Because it is down the hall where I can't hear her I've had to begin using the baby monitor. It is so cute to hear her in there with him. She'll stand up in her crib and keep calling, "Abey! Abey!" When he says, "What Pen?" she'll giggle like she's accomplished something great. Sometimes he'll get out of bed and put her blankets back on her and I'll hear him whisper, "Go to sleep Pen, it's night-night Pen." She'll giggle happily a little more and then usually just obey. Once in awhile I'll hear her half wake up at night and say, "Abey? Abey?" Then she'll drift back to sleep. It is usually Abe that brings her in to me in morning. Sometimes she wakes up crying, but when she wakes up happy I love to hear her calling "Abey" and Abe telling her she's silly or asking "Is that your bear?" when she holds it up for him, or asking her if she wants to go see mommy.
-- When she points at something and asks, "That?" and I tell her just what that is, she always laughs happily like I have told her something really great -- even if it is just "That's a light switch."
-- She says "owie" in the most sad fake way when one of her siblings has bumped her or done something else that couldn't possible have hurt.

-- She makes huge messes but when I come to clean them up, she will actually usually help me. For example, if she's dumped out all the crayons and I am picking them up, she will pick up one after another and shout with great purpose, "Mommee!!" as she hands it to me, then "Mommee!!!" as she hands me another.
-- She calls her bottle a "body." We should probably get rid of it altogether, and we will soon, but I like her snuggling me in the morning with her "body" and it sounds so cute to hear her demanding her "body."
-- She says, "no no no" in the cutest giggly way when one of the kids are chasing or tickling her. She can also say "no no no" in the most upset way if they are bothering or taking something from her.

-- She dances and sings. She's done this for months and I don't know where she picked it up, but if she hears music come on -- even music I didn't notice, like the music in stores, she will put her arms out and awkwardly do a little twist. When the kids are singing she will begin "singing" as well.
Alright, I feel relieved to have some of her down. I love that she is starting to talk. I love that if I ask her, "Where is ____?" she will look for it or if I say, "Go find daddy." She will go. I love that this stage only seems to get more and more fun over the next year!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Meanest Baby

I'm sorry (mostly to you, Penny), but I had to post this picture. Have you ever seen a more terrifying baby? Would anyone dare mess with her?! I certainly don't dare.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A sure sign we have done enough school for today

Me: Daisy, do you remember Abraham Lincoln's nickname?

Daisy: Honest Abe.

Me: What else can you tell me about Abraham Lincoln?

Daisy (with a sigh): He was really REALLY honest.

A Sad Farewell to Snelgrove

When I was craving Halloween Oreos and unable to find them at Smiths, Albertsons, or Wal-Mart, family members came to my immediate rescue. My niece Ashley found me some that very night at Wangsgards (of all places), and the next day my sister Shannon brought me a package from Target. This kind of support in times of trouble is one of the things I'd nearly forgotten about (having lived the past three years away from family).

Alas, no one can help me now. I love love Rocky Road ice cream. The brands I can choose from are limited since I am allergic to all nuts saving almonds (and their legumy pal the peanut). Anyway, my very most favorite Rocky Road is Snelgrove's. Because it is not sold in WA I have only been able to enjoy Snelgrove Rocky Road once or twice a year on our visits home. Now that I live here again I was looking forward to indulging myself as often as occasion would allow. Unfortunately, when I was unable to find any Snelgrove ice cream the other day, I discovered a devastating bit of news. It is this:

Snelgrove was long ago acquired by Dreyers; however, Dreyers continued to make the Snelgrove products (marketed under the Snelgrove name) until about March of this very year! Apparently (and wholly unbeknownst to young me) Snelgrove appeals to an age gone by and just doesn't compete with the newer hipper generation -- the generation that, for what ever reasons, makes a much stronger connection with the name "Dreyers" than its dated counterpart "Snelgrove." (I read all of this in an online history of Snelgrove -- I was desperate in my search you see).

You young folks don't know what you've done (just as I didn't know that I was purchasing Snelgrove ice cream with a dying and outdated generation). In the past, I'll admit, I have been quite taken with Dreyer's Swiss Orange (orange sherbet with chocolate pieces), and while I will surely not be able to resist its chocolatey orange goodness forever, I will now eat it begrudgingly . . . or at least with a chip on my shoulder . . . alright, I'm sure I won't really resist it at all given I can get a hold of some. And actually, I haven't been able to spy any of that around anywhere either, so family . . . please, back to your rescuing efforts.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Of Pumpkins and Patches

I was thinking the other day (as it is Halloween time and these things are about) that I am really fond of the word "pumpkin" -- particularly when it is paired with "patch." There is just not much that sounds nicer than "pumpkin patch," and that is why, with these thoughts in mind, I was extra shocked and upset to see this headline (along with this picture) in the news this morning: Farmers offering reward after pumpkin patch is vandalized.

Really, things like that make me so sad with our world. Especially because I can imagine it might not have been anyone super evil, possibly just some goofy teens thinking it was funny -- taking the old pumpkin smashing (where you take pumpkins off of porches and smash them on the road) to an extreme level . . . maybe not fully realizing that they were actually destroying some poor farmers entire little Halloween season income. It made me sad and mad. And, I don't think it was just that it involved a pumpkin patch (which is such a pleasant thing) because I would have been just as upset had it been a watermelon field . . . of course I love watermelons too, so let me think honestly . . . a cabbage field? Yes, just as upsetting. Just needless and thoughtless ruin.

Well, with that big to do over the pumpkin patch, let us move on with the topic of liking words. I imagine there are lots of words I love but don't consciously realize (like pumpkin patch). I also like the word "riddled" -- sadly that always seems to go with "riddled with bullets" which, naturally, I don't like so much, but I liked the sound of it just fine when I told Mike that something I wrote was "riddled with mistakes" the other day. What are some more words to love? If I gather enough maybe I can compose an entire post about patches riddled with pumpkins and a bunch of other things that will make the entire post just sound so pleasing even though it won't actually talk about anything particularly great. (I also seem to use the word "particularly" a lot. Do I like that word? Hmmm . . .).

Thursday, October 9, 2008

FAQs and Facts

I was thinking how this blog often has loads of random nonsense coupled with only a smattering of what is actually going on in my life or the life of my family. And, I thought that perhaps some of you are looking at my blog for updates (which is why I look at so many of my friend's blogs -- particularly friends who live far away) and not getting them. So, with that in mind, I decided I would post a few quick facts about life at this moment.

Only, my rambly mind encountered a few snags. Here was my thought process and how it panned out:

"Facts. That is what I will call my post."

"Wait, why do websites always list that section as FAQs? That is ridiculous. Sure it sounds like 'facts' but it only saves you one letter and looks silly."

--Later -- as I am brushing my teeth at night--

"Maybe the FA is for 'facts' and the Q is for 'questions.' Facts and Questions -- well, that makes more sense, but FA seems a dumb abbreviation for 'facts.'"

--a little more brushing--

"Ohhh! I know, F is for facts, A is for and, and Q is for questions! It all makes sense! I am so smart to have figured this out!"
At this point I tell Mike pretty much the entire thought process I have just put down here -- shaking my head at how I could have thought that people were just spelling facts in a goofy way with a Q when it so obviously means "facts and questions." But Mike only smiled nicely at me . . . a smile that seemed to say, "My poor dear slow wife -- should I even tell you?" And then he did. It turns out that FAQs means (as I am sure all of you have known all along) "Frequently Asked Questions."

Well, at first I was not happy about this. I'd just stretched my little brain to its very edges to solve this whole thing and it was no fun to discover I had solved it incorrectly. However, my disappointment was replaced by the fact that I can now do this post as if you are all asking me some questions -- frequently -- all of you. That will be much more fun than simply listing facts!

Q: What is happening with houses, Nancy?
A: Well, as you've all asked, who knows. We have found some houses that are medium that would probably be fine and we have found some we could be pretty excited about if the seller drops their price a very very lot. But so far nothing has really caused us to jump excitedly forward.

Q: Well, when are you having that baby of yours anyway?
A: I will be 32 weeks tomorrow so eight weeks to go. That sounds soon doesn't it! Dec. 5th is the due date. My last three have all been exactly one day after their due date -- but maybe that is a fashionably late girl thing . . . and we don't know if this is a girl or boy.

Q: Speaking of boy or girl, do you have any feelings about what this baby is going to be? (A lot of you really have asked this).
A: No, I really don't. I almost think a girl because it is actually really hard for me to imagine a baby boy. Aren't babies supposed to be girls? After three in a row I sort of think that. At the same time, after three in a row I do sort of think a boy would most likely come next. If I did have a special feeling (which I don't) it would most likely be wrong as I was almost spiritually certain Abe was a girl and Goldie was a boy.

Q: How's homeschool going?
A: Really well. Much much better now that we have done a few weeks -- now that I am both familiar with the materials I have and more confident about doing the lessons with out having to follow them word for word.

Q: What is new with your kids?
A: Thank you for asking. They are great. Penny is entering my favorite of all stages -- I think I will have to do a separate post on her soon. Daisy just got a haircut. I was sad to see her length go, but it was all too uneven and really needed a healthy new start. She looks cute. Abe is doing well -- especially now that we have discovered a friend right through my mom's yard who is his same age, same calm temperament and also homeschooled. He is also surprisingly thrilled that Mike helped him make an old tire that Abe found into a tire swing. Goldie is my same very cute fun girl and she really does love to help me all of the time -- but only if it is in secret. I am never supposed to look if she does anything I have asked her to do -- only act happily and shockingly surprised when it is done. And she does think of cute things to do all on her own like carry the entire heavy laundry basket upstairs for me all by herself when she sees I plan on doing laundry.

Q: Is it nice being back near family?
A: Yes, it really is. I was so sad to be leaving my life in WA that I really sort of thought, "Yah, I love family, but what is the big deal about living near them?" But I had forgotten how fun it is to be a part of family Sunday dinners or let my kids get together with cousins or have my own fun sisters and older nieces stop by for visits or to watch Pride and Prejudicey type movies with me. Family is actually very very good. (Here are Daisy and Goldie with some of their cute girl cousins -- many of them wearing vampire teeth).

Q: Do you always give your kids healthy well balanced lunches? (Ha ha, OK, no one has ever asked me that question -- I am only thinking it because I am giving Penny lunch as we speak).
A: I will answer that question with another question. Are hotdogs healthy and well balanced when cut in small pieces? Ohhhh, I am the worst mom ever. Hotdogs. Sheesh.

Q: What was your favorite conference talk?
A: They were all so so great, but my very favorite that really spoke to me the most was President Monson's on gratitude, etc. It was so great. All I should be is the most grateful girl in the world.

Q: Lastly, do you really still think that Halloween Oreos are way better than normal Oreos even though we all know they are just "Double Stuf" Oreos with orange food coloring?
A: Yes, yes I do.

Anyway, I hope that was the fill of updates some of you were most certainly craving. If not, feel free to submit more questions for my next addition of FAQs (that's "frequently asked questions" for those of you just tuning in).

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Not bad for all its lengthyness

So, jewelry. Lately I've been noticing that a little jewelry really can make an outfit. For example, I have several plain black dresses that I'll wear with nothing but some plain black shoes. Nice enough, but compare me -- high stiff collar, tight hair bun, etc. to the girl sitting in the next isle over (I guess we are at church) who has paired her plain black dress with a red necklace and red shoes -- and well, you see what I mean. In truth, there is actually no high stiff collar or tight bun in my ensemble -- though there could be a tight ponytail. I just wanted to give a proper perspective in the difference a little jewelry can make. Speaking of buns, they are great. . . . Only, after about seven years of marriage I discovered that Mike is not and has never been particularly fond of buns in any shape or form. Now I occasionally like to tease Mike that I am going to "go change into something a little more comfortable" when I am headed off to put my hair up in a bun -- complete with a scrunchy (yes, I know that scrunchies could be a whole post of their own and no self respecting woman should admit to using one in this decade) -- and wash my face.

Anyway, so jewelry can make a big difference in your outfit. On a side note, I know there are those of you reading my post who know that a "handbag" is what really makes the outfit. The trouble is, you have to have a certain amount of cool to know and actually be a part of the "cool handbags" culture. You know, like the movie stars with their fancy little clutches and what not. I fear I am years off from being able to participate in this level of outfit completion as I must have a purse (is a purse even the same as a handbag?) with a long enough strap that it can be draped over my neck and shoulder so I won't lose it while I am carrying the various other outfit additions of my present life -- children, babies, diaper bags, bags of groceries, etc. So, even if I was carrying a cool handbag, it would be completely obscured (as pretty much my whole outfit is anyway) by the other items I am carrying. I suppose I could be hip enough to get an ultra cool diaper bag, but it just isn't the same. Besides, when it comes to diapers it is really hard for me to step outside of the practical box into the realm of exciting. Some of you manage it. I know. AND, speaking of handbags (which is not what we are speaking about -- we are speaking about jewelry, and even that isn't really what I am posting about. In the end you will all be horrifyingly shocked at how very very off topic my mind is capable of wandering. Although -- come to think of it -- you might simply be impressed at how I unwaveringly make my way through these twists and turns BACK on track). So, handbags. That makes me think of handbaskets and if any of you know anything you will immediately laugh and think (as I always think), "What exactly is a handbasket? And why on earth is anyone going to h-e-double toothpicks in one?" Then you will think of that bumper sticker that says, "Why am I in this handbasket and where am I going?" And you will chuckle some more. Perhaps one of you out there knows the origin of this statement and can fill me in.

Now, really back to jewelry (which will eventually lead me to what I was actually going to say). So, blah blah blah, jewelry makes an outfit. Now, the question is, why oh why do I so rarely ever wear jewelry? I love how it looks. I don't actually have much, but some for goodness sakes. In fact, my very very favorite thing is a locket Mike gave me because not only cute, but personal or sentimental or whatever it is you feel when putting on a necklace that contains pictures of those you love right inside it. Anyway, I generally wear some jewelry on Sundays, and lately (probably to combat the feelings of overall largeness brought on by this stage of pregnancy) I have been trying to wear some earrings and possibly a few bracelets on normal days, and by doing this, I finally discovered why I haven't been wearing jewelry all this time. No, it isn't because little hands grab at it or even because it hangs too close to my neck if I lie down and I can't bare something wrapped tightly around my neck (I can hardly even stand a turtleneck -- it's some sort of neck related claustrophobia I guess). It is really because I am lazy. It's weird, I do my hair, I put on makeup, I shower. Those all take far more time than sticking on a pair of earrings, but for some reason, deep down, it seems very tiresome and time consuming to add these little items when I am otherwise ready.

Then, after making that realization I started discovering all sorts of bizarre and ridiculous things that I don't do because they seem very hard and time consuming when actually they would take mere seconds! For example, I will walk around the house pretty much blind after removing my contacts at night -- even try to squint my way into enjoying something Mike points out to me on the TV all because it seems far too much effort to open the case that holds my glasses and put them on (unless of course I am certain I will be up for a few good hours). And what about tieing shoes? How long does that take? I really should live in CA or somewhere because I can seldom force myself into anything other than flip flops all because of how very tiring it might be to lace something or even reach down and pull something on (admittedly this is understandable when you are this pregnant, but all of the time?).

Certainly we all have things we are lazy about -- lazily not wanting to do the dishes, get ready for the day, make lunch for our kids; but these seem legitimate as they do take some amount of effort. Why would I shun the five second tasks that perhaps even make life more enjoyable (like making it so I can see)? Perhaps that is the whole real trouble behind the handbags (which once again was never what this post was about and somehow took up most of this post) -- I am probably too lazy to take the few seconds of time it would take to switch my wallet and keys from one cute bag to another so as it would compliment my outfit.

Oh well, now that I know these things I can battle them. I am totally going to put my glasses on tonight after I take out my contacts. Maybe. And, I should mention that I do actually have a really cute purse that Mike gave me for my birthday. Of course we haven't established whether or not a purse is a handbag, but I do like my purse, and I'd like it even better if I hadn't managed to leak some type of oil all over one spot making a nice gray circle. See? What good would a super fancy handbag do for me anyway?

P.S. Does anyone know whether or not the things I put in my eyes to see are indeed contacTs (as I have thus referred to them in this post) and not contacs??

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Daisy Rocks

Kids are funny. So often all I can do is shake my head and think, "But why?" Take Daisy for example. I have never seen her play with rocks necessarily, or build with rocks, or even do anything particularly interesting with rocks . . . and yet, she and rocks are very connected. The picture above is a picture of the rocks I found IN her bed last night -- they were in a nice pile under her covers. That one might have been my fault as I had told Abe and Daisy to gather a few little rocks earlier in the day when we needed to pretend we were measuring the mass of "gold nuggets" in science. I should have known better than to purposefully direct Daisy to gather rocks. She does plenty of that on her own.

When we were leaving my sister Shannon's house a week or so ago, Daisy nervously hid her hands as I went to buckle her. I knew why -- rocks. I felt a little bad that she would think she had to hide her rocks from me, but seriously; I find rocks in every (I do mean every) load of laundry I do. If you check her pockets at any given moment when she has been outside you are likely to find rocks. When Mike got back from WA he brought the girls these tiny little jewelry like fairies. When I opened the box this week to make sure her fairy was in it I found -- no fairy, but plenty of small rocks.These rocks aren't fancy rocks; they aren't shiny or colorful rocks; they are plain old gray pebbles and stones. As I mentioned, she doesn't seem to have any intention of doing anything particular with them -- like even establishing a special collection. She doesn't notice that they are missing once I have discovered them in the laundry and thrown them back to their beloved natural nature homes. She just can't resist finding them and stashing them secretly all about the house. See? "Why?"

The funny thing is, someday I know I will probably sigh sadly that she has changed her tiny little interests and I am no longer shaking my head at rocks, rocks, and more rocks found in various places through out the entire house.
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