Friday, January 23, 2009

Hands On

I bedazzled my thumb today. Not even with the Bedazzler! I just noticed a little star shaped gem on the floor. It had fallen off one of the aprons my girls bedazzled long ago (and let's not get into the whole geMagic thing again). All I did was reach down and pick it up, but next thing ya' know, one of its little prongs is stuck in my thumb and I am all bedazzled!

And one time I fell on the school playground and when I wiped off my hands I thought there was a flat metal disc stuck on one palm, but it was a thumb tack! It was pushed all the way into my hand!

But maybe worst of all is that I once sewed through my fingernail. That's right. The needle broke right off in my index finger nail and stopped the sewing machine in its tracks. I was sewing -- maybe like how Cruella Deville drives -- all crazy and fast. I don't know why. It was some really thick and long bumper pads. I was trying to sew lines right through the padding which I maybe shouldn't have been doing. I thought if I pushed the pedal 100 miles per hour and pushed it through very forcefully it would be a good plan. Well, yah, a good plan for sewing through your finger! Shudder.

Another time I was grabbing one piece of gum after another to stick on to blobs of hot glue (for some "running for office" handouts of one of my siblings) and at one point I grabbed my own finger and stuck it on a strip of gum-awaiting hot glue. Hot glue is just what it claims to be. Hot.

But, I've never broken a bone or been taken to the hospital horribly ill (only maybe horribly anaphylactic from those darned Brazil nuts).

It's just my hands are all crazy and they look like I've been holding hands with Edward Scissor Hands because they have become so cracked and crazy thanks to eczema, and I was remembering today how Mike once told me when we were dating that my hands were one of his favorite features about me. How sad. And now I have some old country song going through my head that goes, "These hands are the hands of a . . ." and that is all I can remember over and over. As we all know, one song line going through your head over and over is quite maddening. And all thanks to that cursed Bedazzler.
Anyway, off to bathe old purple mouth. Peace out.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Lookin' Good

Q: How's baby Jesse?

A: Fine . . . but . . . poor poor little fella. Tell me you don't want to just cry when you look at him! He has such a bad case of baby acne right now, and it is very rashy to boot. Then, as if that isn't enough, he has thrush. When Goldie had it I had to use some medicine for two weeks -- drops and a cream. It was miserable because I had to put it on every time she finished nursing, plus do the drops for her. I was supposed to boil any binky or bottle she used right after so she wouldn't re-infect herself. That was a long two weeks, so I almost started to cry when I discovered Jesse had it. But, John (my brother/pediatrician) swears that the old school treatment of gentian violet is the best thing for it. It only takes a few applications for about three little days. Down side . . . umm, did you notice the picture? It is called violet for a reason. Most babies would likely only have their mouth and lips totally stained purple, but poor spit-upy Jesse gets it everywhere. It makes me love him even more because he looks so very much like a baby that needs someone to love him right now! People at the store glance at him expecting to ooh and ahh and then sort of gasp all taken aback.

Q: Have any of your kids ever cut each other's hair?

A: Funny you should ask because recently one of my kids chopped off several chunks right at the front of Penny's hair. I won't say which kid because there has been a lot of repentant behaviour on that child's part, and it would upset them quite a bit to have it published but aarrggghhh! It isn't like you can just fix that mistake! Here little chopped front Penny is with Goldie.

Anyway, we are going to our new ward for the first time this coming Sunday. They are going to think we look awesome!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Telephone

If you ever need a listening ear, give me a call. I'm really really good at phone conversations because my kids never ever begin acting insanely the minute I get on the phone -- ever. Just to show what I'm talking about, I thought I'd copy and paste my sister Megan's email she sent me Saturday night.

. . . But seriously I just wanted to thank you now for that awesome conversation we had today. It totally rocked.

Me- Hello?
You- What are you up to?
Me- Im just coming home from.....
You- Hold on......OK so what are you doing?
Me- O I am just coming home from Pocetello we had to go get...
You- Hold on.............................. Ok so I have to tell you that Ashley's baby is the cutest thing in the universe! he is the most perfect baby and so cute and round, like if I tuck his legs in he fits into a cute egg shape.
Me- O I know I need to come down see him some how. If only I .......
You- HOLD ON...... OK well I will talk to you later. Love ya.
Me- Ok love you.


That just reminded me of the last time my friend Jessica called. She left me a message that went something like this, "I don't know why you won't answer your phone and talk to me. You think just because you have FIVE kids, you don't have time to answer your phone?" And then, presumably at the realization that I have five small kids, she laughed and laughed and laughed some more -- not with me, mind you, but at me.

Anyway, I think I'll go call both those girls right now -- because a simple phone conversation with me will be punishment enough for their mockery!

Less Talk, More Pics

I sure do like to use my words, but for now, feel free to view some images of what is what around here lately.

My crazy daughters

And, turns out that my Jesse is all grown up!!

My niece Ashley gave birth to her little Israel just a day before Jesse turned five weeks old. Seeing and holding him made me realize more fully what I already knew -- they don't stay newborn for very long! Israel is a dang cute baby, and you know it must be so if I could think it even while holding my own little Jesse. Nice work Ashley! (My niece Amber also had her little Ruby this week -- unfortunately they are far far away). Two more little boys will be joining Jesse in the next few months as well.

This is what you find on the counter when your son has won the "Estimation Jar" at school and it is filled with cherry cordial Kisses. They just aren't a big hit with kids (or with me either actually). Still, nice estimating Abe (he guessed 62 and there were 67).

Lastly, it is so funny to me that every time Abe tries to read, Penny feels an irresistible urge to harass him.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Enrique, Ricky and The Le Leche League

I know we shouldn't judge others, but somehow the topic of hell and just who was going there once came up between my husband and me. Here is who he thought was going:
1. The La Leche League. Oh that makes me laugh even to type it. For those of you who have no idea who they are, much less why it would make me laugh so hard that Mike thinks they will be headed straight for Hades, well, I'll tell you. They are the league that supports mothers breastfeeding their babies, and I'm sure they deserve nothing but gratitude for what they have done for mothers and their infants but for some reason whatever information we received from them in the hospital seemed to give Mike the impression that if we didn't nurse our children to their liking til they were about ten years old, we would be taken out into the street and stoned -- even if our children were adopted. This naturally made him terrified of the vengeful La Leche League.
2. Enrique Iglesias. What? I am laughing again. I know nothing about Enrique -- except I think he sings that "I can be your hero baby blah blah blah" song. I have no idea why he in particular will be fairing so poorly at the day of judgement.
Oh, now this is even better. I typed the above post a few days ago but never published it, then I told Mike about it tonight. Here was our conversation:
Mike: Enrique Iglesias? Did I say that? Why would I have said him?
Me (laughing): I don't know, that's why I thought it was so funny.
Mike: Well, I don't know if I said him or not, but if I did, I'm changing my vote to Ricky Martin.

And then I remembered that it was always Ricky Martin who was going to h-e-double toothpicks. Never poor Enrique. And now it seems even more funny to me because why is Ricky Martin any more doomed than Enrique anyway? I confess I know nothing about him either (apparently not even the difference between him and Enrique Iglesias) -- but, I trust Mike's sound judgement (well, except maybe about the sweet La Leche sisters) so Enrique, your safe . . . for now, but Ricky, well, you better watch yourself.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Slightly Unreasonable

Oh, chuckle chuckle. After reading my comment about over exaggerating on my last post, my friend Sarah reminded me of how we used to tease her for her own exaggerations, and here is why: she did not know how to exaggerate.

Sarah and I were roommates in Israel (along with our other Sarah and Jill). I never realized how much I myself exaggerated things until they began pointing it out to me. It turns out that things were always taking me ten million hours, or it was eight billion degrees outside, etc., and they called me on it. The thing is, that kind of exaggeration doesn't seem so bad . . . I mean at least you know it is that -- exaggeration. I mean when is it eight billion degrees outside? I'm not even certain if it is on the sun.

But Sarah, dear Sarah. She was just too honest for her own good. She'd attempt to stress something to us by using the useful tool of exaggeration, but it just wouldn't take. No, she just couldn't quite allow herself to say something that was obviously so far from the truth. So what Sarah became was this: slightly unreasonable. She would say things like, "I've been drinking so much today! I swear I've had like eleven glasses of water." And we'd sort of purse our lips and think, "Hmmm. Really eleven? Or not quite eleven? I mean I guess you could have had eleven." Yes, I love that about you Sar! I miss your slightly unreasonable statements and hope you still make them!

Lastly, and totally unrelated, I had just finished giving Abe and Daisy a fairly severe lecture as we were driving the other day when Penny pronounced, "A-men!!" I am not certain if she was just saying, "I am in total agreement with mom," or if my lecture sounded the same as my prayers to her.

Of Breakfasts and Lunches

I know, I know -- the cardinal rule of healthy eating (well, maybe not the cardinal, but, you know, a major rule) is: never skip breakfast. I don't know who would want to skip breakfast anyway (except truthfully sometimes stomachs just aren't quite up for any digestive work first thing in the AM), but, if you do skip breakfast, you know what will happen. Your body won't start the day right -- running on empty and all, so you will overcompensate and eat way more all day (you might not think you are, but the studies say you are, so you are) and soon you will weigh 100 pounds. Oh, for heaven's sake, sometimes in my attempts to grossly over exaggerate, I accidentally under exaggerate. No, you will not suddenly weigh 100 pounds. That is only if you eat no breakfast, lunch or dinner -- or snacks. What I meant was: you will suddenly weigh ONE MILLION pounds.

So, I know all of that (I'm sure everything I wrote above is pure science), but I have not been able to eat breakfast for nothin' lately. Really, it is just not happening. I wake up and try to quickly get five kids ready and fed -- hair done, coats, backpacks, shoes, "What? You don't want to eat school lunch today?! I have to make you one?" and all of that. And all the while I am doing this one handed as I try to nurse the youngest one to fullness because I don't want him crying miserably in the car for the entire 20 min. drive to my kid's school. Then, the three youngest and I go straight to the new house since there is no point in driving back to my parents and out again, and we (by we, I mean I) clean what we can before Penny or Jesse, or even Goldie or I can't take it anymore and we head back to my mom's. Where does breakfast come into play I ask you?

So, the point of all of this is I am pretty ready to gobble up everything in sight when we get back. I still haven't grown the third hand I am wishing for, so I just make do. And, if Mike knew what I ate for lunch today, he would maybe leave me. No, he wouldn't leave me -- too much a man who fulfills his obligations for that. But, he would definitely have a hard time ever kissing me again unless or until he had watched me wash my mouth out with bleach . . . and you know the cardinal rule of mouth hygiene: never wash your mouth out with Clorox (and of course, that may not be thee cardinal rule either -- it may not even be a rule at all, but it probably . . . no, certainly should be).

Anyway, it was just a convenient combination of most left-overs in our fridge plus a few items my kids were having for lunch and included funeral potatoes, tomatoes and some nice pork-n-beans thrown in for good measure. I know all you non-food mixers are shuddering, but it was great. I had seconds, and I didn't even care because no one was there to see what I was eating. Except now I've told everyone. Dang. But really, I have been run ragged lately so leave me be. I'll blog again soon -- when I weigh one million pounds and am swishing some bleach in my mouth.
And, lest I sound whiny with all this "I'm run ragged blah blah blah poor poor me," I do realize that I am lucky that I CAN be run ragged. Does that make sense?? I just mean as crazy as things have been since signing on a crazy foreclosed house about the day Jesse was born, I realize that I can do it (so far), and tired as I am, I know that is a blessing. What if I just broke my leg or was suffering from severe depression or even had the flu right now? I don't know. Mike has heard . . . maybe a tiny tiny bit of less than perfect attitude from me . . . maybe . . . but I am grateful that I have been able to handle all the insanity of life right now even if it means I can't fit breakfast in and must eat crazy stuff for lunch.

Friday, January 9, 2009

A Few Things Left Behind

Thank you to my sisters for coming out to my new house to help me clean yesterday. We got all the bathrooms, the kitchen and all the cupboards cleaned before we all had to go pick up kids from school. There is still much to be done before it is move-in ready -- carpets cleaned, walls washed and spots painted, etc. (I know kids like to draw where they shouldn't, but I almost wonder if the previous children of this house were openly encouraged to express themselves in this way -- never have I seen so much marker, crayon and pen on walls) but the cleaning was a nice jump start on making it feel closer to being my real home.

Anyway, the previous owners left a Dyson behind. What is a Dyson you ask? Well, I'd heard of Dyson's before (oddly enough, on other blogs) but never used one. They are pretty great vacuum cleaners. I'm surprised they left it as they were sure to take every possible appliance as well as many a light fixture in their hasty impending foreclosure departure. (Well, I shouldn't say every appliance -- only every major appliance -- they did leave a nice toaster and a few blenders -- one of which I gifted Shannon for her part in wiping down many doors yesterday).

Back to the Dyson. I stopped at the house again this morning to see if I could get a little more done before my three youngest got too whiny, grumpy, or just plain bored in an empty house, and I decided to give the Dyson a try. It is nice because you don't have to change vacuum bags, you just empty the front compartment easy as pie (well, easy as pie once you have called your sister who has one to ask her how the heck you are supposed to empty it). The only thing is, it is a little disturbing to really see just how much stuff comes up off of your floor -- even a floor that looks totally clean. A lot of it is just gray linty stuff, but I kept thinking I was watching an infomercial, "Just look at that, Bob! Did you have any idea there was that much dirt in your carpet?" "Why no Glenda! I vacuumed with my old vacuum only hours ago. I never would have thought it possible that so much was missed! This is remarkable." And I felt like I was watching the imaginary Bob and Glenda infomercial with a bit of skepticism knowing that there couldn't really be that much sucked up from one carpet . . . and yet there was no Bob. No Glenda. No infomercial. It was only me and my Dyson and that much stuff truly WAS coming out of one carpet!

I'm sure you are all eager to hear more tales of my findings in this house (one negative find today was that our nice big jetted tub has handles right where Penny can turn them off and on -- splashing water everywhere each time you turn your back on her for a minute to check out your Dyson), but the last little find for today's post was something cool I found in some cleaners they'd left behind. It was a bottle of spray called something like, "pet be gone" or "animal away" -- it probably didn't have a name quite that cool, but that was the general idea. Spray this magical stuff anywhere you don't want animals and they will disappear. I think it was meant to be used around garbage cans or things you find animals getting into to repel them, but it just seemed sort of funny to me as I pictured myself innocently spraying a little puff here and a little puff there -- erasing pets with every squirt. I could just imagine my confused family: "Honey, where did our chickens go?" "Have you seen the dog around?" "Where's my hamster?"And I'd just sweetly shrug as I quietly patted the precious little bottle of spray kept close at my side.

With all the insane busyness going on since Jesse's arrival -- holidays, family parties, baptisms, blessings, house stuff, driving my kids to and from their new school each day (which is a 45 min. round trip for me two times a day 'til we move in) you may wonder how I manage to post so much. Well, I'll tell you my secret -- get yourself a newborn that nurses around the clock and you'll soon discover you have plenty of time to sit at your computer. You'll also discover what a fantastic one handed typist you are!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Random Kid Things

Goldie occasionally prays, "Please bless that all our stuffed animals will come alive . . . and that we won't be scared of them when they do." I think that is a very wise afterthought. Sometimes people don't think through just what they are asking for.
I love toddlers learning to talk. First there seems to be a lot of object naming, but then it gets even more fun when they begin being able to pick words to let you know what they are thinking. The other day Penny grabbed a toy from poor Goldie (who had happily been minding her own business). As Penny ran frantically off with the toy (sure that Goldie would not be letting her get away with it) she shouted, "Goldie mean!!" Or even little things like seeing her throw a ball, chuckle to herself and say, "Fun." Sometimes it makes me feel bad like today when Penny was trying so hard to ask me for one of the brownies my mom had made. "Bunny?" I kept asking her back. "Do you see a bunny somewhere?" Finally, in a last attempt to get me to understand, she tried, "Cheat" -- which I have long known is "treat." "Oh!!" I exclaimed, "Treat? Brownie! You want a brownie?" She was so happy I'd finally gotten it. It must be very frustrating for these cute little ones when they work so hard to tell you something and you just don't get it. Who wants to keep being questioned about a bunny when all they want is a brownie?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Kind Construction Worker

Alright, I am on a one topic kick again, but all of this talk of helping and being kind to strangers has brought to mind one of my very favorite little things a stranger once did for us.

We were staying at a condo in GA for a month a few years back. At the time I had three kids. The oldest of whom was four. Mike was at work and the kids and I were the lone swimmers at the outdoor pool.

A very gruff looking construction worker came through the gate to the pool. I guiltily admit that I was a bit wary of him. As I mentioned, we were the only ones there. He was stocky, dirty, long haired, full bearded, covered in tattoos, and smoking a cigarette (something my kids had recently learned was not something we did!)

He walked to the vending machine and purchased himself a bottle of coke. As he left, however, he called to me, "Hey, I left money in the machine in case your kids want to get something."

Silly. Such a little thing, but my kids were giddy about it. The best thing was what a great lesson it taught them. They were clearly aware that outwardly he looked a bit unconventional and that he was even doing something we didn't condone (smoking), and they were so excited that he did something so thoughtful. To them, such an unexpected treat was about the most kind thing someone could have left us. Ever since then, when we talk about not judging others or when we discuss how not everyone that does things differently from what we expect of them is bad, they bring up that man. "Oh," they'll shout excitedly, "Like that guy in GA who was smoking and looked kind of mean, but he was SO SO nice!!"

Anyway, I loved the lesson that one construction worker taught me and my kids -- how happy it makes people when you offer even the smallest gesture of kindness and how important it is that we never judge a book by its cover.

Thanks crazy tattooed Georgian construction worker!

A Little More of the Same

Thanks for all of your nice comments on my post the other day. We were really fine
(other than my pride, of course), but after reading some of your nice comments I got wondering, "Would I have really stopped?"It seemed to me initially that certainly I would have. I've had times just out running when a big rain storm has started and multiple people have stopped to ask if I needed a ride, and this situation seemed worse -- babies and snow being involved, but it was a skinny road what with the big snow banks on either side, and there really was a line of cars dropping kids off that anyone who did stop would have had to interrupt. I'm sure people could see that I was getting up quickly and not just stuck there. Maybe I would have justified not stopping by the inconvenience to everyone and the fact that the mother and kids were probably fine.

I was talking on the phone with my friend Kelly today, and then had an email from my sister-in-law Rhonda about the same thing. They both mentioned how you just need to decide to always stop and help. Often it may seem inconvenient and by the time you think it through it seems like the right time has passed (like when you see someone with a flat tire on the freeway and you are fairly far past by the time you really have had time to think about stopping). The problem that both of them brought up is that you never know if the person wants help or if it might actually embarrass them. The solution, both said, was to simply do it. Awkwardness or uncertainty be danged.

It brought to mind a time when I was in the grocery store and saw an elderly man squinting as he searched along an isle for something. It occurred to me that I ought to offer to help him as he was clearly having a difficult time seeing the labels. Then I started thinking how it might make him feel dumb. I almost walked on. Luckily I stopped and asked if I could help him. He wanted sauerkraut -- something I have NEVER purchased or even seen at the grocery store. I said a tiny little prayer in my head and looked. The first thing I saw on the loaded shelves? The lone bottle of sauerkraut. How silly that I almost didn't do that one nice little thing for fear of it being embarrassing.

Anyway, thanks to my dumb little fall, the nice comments from all of you, and the wise words from Kelly and Rhonda, I have recommitted myself to just stopping, just asking, and just helping. I've had plenty of times in my life when people have done that for me -- brought me a cart as I unload all my kids out of a car to go in a grocery store, offered to carry something when my arms were full, etc. Sometimes it is those very tiniest little things that truly make my day and make me feel so happy about our world, and I need to do them far more often!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I Wonder . . .

Today I wondered something to myself. I wondered this: If I was dropping my kids off at school and I saw a poor mother -- let's add poor "beautiful young" mother, no scratch that, how about, poor "striking young" mother . . . or even if it was a poor young mother with a bun in her scraggly hair, wearing sweats and no make-up; if I saw that poor mother walking away from the school after taking her own kids in, and if that young mother had a newborn in a car seat in one hand and a toddler on her hip, and if that mother was trying to walk oh so carefully through all the slush and ice, but, despite her best efforts, FELL -- dropping the car seat and toddler and covering them all in brown muddy slush . . . would I stop and help that mother? Even if it would probably embarrass the mother who was probably embarrassed anyway, and even if there were cars behind me waiting to drop their own kids off, would I stop? It seems like I would. It seems like that would be a sad enough sight to make me stop . . . but who knows. Maybe I wouldn't, maybe NO ONE would. Maybe that mother would just have to get up and, with the little dignity she had left in her, ignore her soaking, muddy behind, wipe off her crying toddler, gently remove the slush that had splashed up on her startled newborns face, and continue on. Maybe she'd feel grateful that none of the many cars had so much as rolled down their window to check on her or her kids -- because that would be embarrassing. Or, she might think it a little sad that no good Samaritan expressed their concern. Who knows. I just wondered about that. That's all. Silly of me really, because something that sad would never happen.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Mike Tormenting Me

Why does my husband think it is fun to torment me? Is that what husbands do to the mother of their children? Last night I returned a little suit we'd purchased for Abe (it was too big). This morning Mike said, "You did get my wedding ring out of the pocket of that suit before you returned it didn't you?" It took me a few minutes of paniced questioning before I realized that Mike was teasing me and would have had no reason to put his ring in Abe's suit pocket.

We used to read books out loud together quite a bit, and every so often when Mike was reading, the story would suddenly veer very drastically from the direction it had been going. There would never be the slightest pause or hint of deception in Mike's calm voice so it would usually take a few minutes before I'd say, "What? Did that really happen? Does it say that?" Only then would Mike admit that the last few sentences had been of his own inventing.

There are a million more examples of me being the sucker. What is even worse is that I think I maybe like Mike even more for it all -- which means I truly am a sucker!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy Pots and Pans Day!

Actually that was yesterday . . . or maybe New Years Eve would more appropriately be "Pots and Pans Day." At least that is how Goldie referred to it when she couldn't remember the name of the holiday. "What is the next holiday after . . . Pots and Pans Day?" she'd asked Abe, and he ran to tell me because he thought "Pots and Pans Day" was so great. I think it is great too because that is what it always has been for me (and continues to be for my kids). You stay up late and ring in the new year by going outside, banging pots and pans, and yelling, "Happy New Year!" Anyway, I hope all of you had a wonderful Pots and Pans Day and more importantly a wonderful blessing filled time between this and the next Pots and Pans Day!
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