Saturday, May 31, 2008

Another Target Shopping Trip

It's been well over six months since we've had a full day of shopping with the whole family on a Saturday. Due to a lapse in judgement and an apparent bout of amnesia, the King and I decided to take all four kids and do a major shopping trip. We had not a crumb in the house and a lot of shopping to do. We also have a trip coming up soon that will involve an ocean, and decided we should have appropriate swimwear for our kiddos. Oh, and Snort has put on over nine pounds in two months and outgrown EVERY item of clothing he owns. Poor little porkchop baby.

So, we started by treating the kids to McDonald's. Somehow, even that turned into a whine fest. Number One wanted Mexican. Not to worry, though. I made clear that this is not a democracy but a dictatorship. I am the dictator. No one else gets a vote. Well, maybe the King, but even he only gets half a vote. So, I took a very happy Pretty and Beast and a sleeping Snort accompanied by a whining Number One. They all were in good spirits with a healthy serving of trans fats in them.

After that, we went to Target. WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?! Anyone who has read this blog knows that a trip with all four kids to Target leads to some completely shameful experience. Just as we pulled in, the McDonald's I'd just eaten decided to tell me it needed to come out NOW. Of course, as luck would have it, there was a line. Great. So, I have to have a stinky moment and there are people everywhere. And, since there is a line, it's painfully noticeable that I am the one in there taking a LONG time to complete my business and move on. And we won't even talk about the accoustics in public bathrooms. Suffice it to say I walked out and promptly searched for a paper bag to put over my head...and some air freshener to donate to the poor saps who came up in line behind me.

We then moved on to searching out swimwear for the kids. Since we'll be in an ocean, I figured the kids should each own two swimsuits. Number One has plenty, but the rest had none. We got the Beast his suit (and he proceded to remove every price tag so I got to sit there and figure out which one went to which). I was looking around at suits for Pretty and Snort at which point the King says loudly "Just get them one. Who cares if they crap in the ocean?" Okay, it's Saturday. The store is packed. People are now looking us over and taking a mental note that says something like "Note to self: NEVER swim with that family. They have highly questionable bathroom hygiene".

So, now the question that remains is whether it's worse to shop alone with the kids or with the King and the kids. Either way, I will invariably have some horrifying poop incident. The kicker is that Target didn't end our shopping trip. We still had to go to Wal-Mart. I won't even go into how that trip ended up.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

I've Been Tagged

My friend, A, tagged me. So, being the sweel friend that I am, I took her up on it. Here goes nothin'.

5 things I was doing 10 years ago:
1. I was wishing I could meet Mr. Right, get married, and um...make babies.
2. I was thoroughly enjoying the sites and sounds of Taiwan
3. I was wondering what I wanted to be when I grew up.
4. I was wondering where I'd be in ten years.
5. I was more than likely writing letters home so my parents would know I wasn't dead in a Taiwanese ditch somewhere.

5 things on my to do list:
1. Laundry
2. Come up with a fun summer schedule for the kids.
3. Scrub some toilets.
4. Clean the kids' rooms to be sure there are no dead bodies in there. Yikes!
5. Start packing for a fun family summer vacation.


5 favorite snacks/food:
1. Food from those little garage restaurants in Taiwan.
2. Oreo double stuff.
3. Fish tacos made by my neighbor.
4. Shepherd's pie made by me.
5. Anything that doesn't currently make my stomach turn.

5 things I would do if I was a billionaire:
1. Hire someone else to do my dishes and laundry.
2. Purchase a vehicle that could comfortably fit all my family.
3. Take my kiddos to Disney World or something like it.
4. Set aside some quality college funds.
5. Go back to school...someday.

5 bad habits:
1. Sarcasm. I am very sarcastic.
2. Avoiding chores. I have it in my head that avoiding chores will make them just go away.
3. Laziness. There could be so much more I could get done if I wouldn't be so dang lazy sometimes.
4. Screening my calls. Hey! That's what voicemail is for.
5. Snacking. I sooooo need to give up the snacks.

5 places I have lived:
1. Connecticut
2. San Diego
3. Rexburg, ID
4. Provo, UT
5. Feng Yuan, Taiwan

5 People I'm Tagging (yep! You guys gotta' go do this now).
1. MOF E~
2. Heidi T.
3. Vina
4. MOF Heidi
5. Brianna

A Meal the Missionaries Will Never Forget

I don't know if I've ever mentioned in my blog before, so now is as good a time as any. I am a devoutly faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Let me just clarify what that means for those of you who only get your news about the Mormons from strange websites, twisted news stories, or those guys who walk around Salt Lake City carrying signs announcing that we're all going to be struck by lightning. We have only one husband and one wife in each marriage. Honestly, I don't think the King could ever handle being a polygamist given that he can barely handle the wife he's already got. The poor guy would more than likely tip over dead if there was ever another one of me. And I would be more than unhappy should the King ever decide it's a good idea to take on another wife. Now, if he wanted to take on a wife that is only in charge of doing dishes and one that's in charge of scooping dog poop and maybe one more for the laundry, that would be fine. I'm pretty sure they call that slavery, though, and it was outlawed long ago. I, however, will be the one and only bedroom wife.

We don't play co-ed naked basketball in the temples. Well, maybe just on Wednesdays. Just kidding!!! Seriously, there is no nudity in the temple, or basketball for that matter. On the contrary, it's a beautiful and sacred place. As members of our faith, we hold the temple dear to our hearts and know that the things that happen there are so sacred that we never discuss them outside the temple.

We don't eat only green jell-o with carrots in it. YUCK!!! Who came up with that idea anyway? Gag! I do enjoy red jell-o with little mandarin oranges in it, but I can never seem to make the oranges suspend right. I'm a jell-o failure. I'm so ashamed.

We do believe in birth control. (I apparently just have yet to learn how to use it). While some of us do have large families, it's because it's a choice we've made, not because we were told we absolutely had to.

Most importantly, we believe that Jesus Christ is the literal son of God, and that He came to Earth to act as a Savior for us so that we can all return to our Father in Heaven. We believe that he visited His people in the Americas. We believe that there is a prophet of God on the earth today. We believe in the power of the Priesthood, the blessings of paying a full tithe, and that the family is the cornerstone of our society.

Oh, and we also have missionaries. I know you've seen them. Some of you have probably had your dogs chase them away or threatened them with your hunting rifles or, GASP!!!, actually invited them into your homes. You know they're our missionaries because they come in pairs. The women are usually wearing long skirts that are attractive, but modest. They also have name tags that show their names. The male missionaries are always in a suit and tie, even when they ride their bikes. (Though I have heard that the ones serving in the Polynesian islands wear those cool skirts that men of those cultures wear). The men also have name tags on. The women's tags say "Sister So-and-so" and the men's say "Elder So-and-so". Wanna' know a little secret? Their real first names aren't Sister or Elder. We just call them that out of respect.

Anyway, as a member of our Church, we are asked to have the missionaries in our homes now and then for a meal. These guys don't have much money and are serving for a full two years (men) or 18 months (women) using money out of their own pockets. We really enjoy having them over because they usually set a great example for my children of what they can be when they grow up. So, we try and feed them about once a month.

For some reason, I just don't know that the meal experience at our house is anything like the experiences these missionaries get anywhere else. We were on the calendar to feed them this past Friday. Being the Domestic Goddess that I am, I ordered pizza for them. Hey! Who doesn't like pizza?!?!? The only problem was that I forgot to return their confirmation call to let them know I was expecting them. So, an hour after they should have been here, I called them. They didn't think they were invited, but got here faster than a speeding bullet as soon as I said "I'm sitting here with four pizzas and no one to eat them". Apparently, they like pizza.

As soon as they pulled up, the Beast went flying out of the house and bombarded them with his usual long list of questions. "Wanna' play in my room?" "Are you my best friend?" "Can I sit by you?" "Wanna' share my plate?" "Wanna' watch me poop?" That last one should have triggered my mommy radar that this wasn't going to go well.

They finally made it through the door with The Beast all but attached to their legs, and found that Pretty was naked (well, wearing a diaper) and using her pizza as an art form. Who knew pizza could fly so far across the table?!

Number One fought for a seat by a missionary, too. I didn't think this was such a bad thing until he started telling poop and farting jokes after the blessing on the food. Honestly, I should keep a shovel nearby at all times so that I'm always ready to dig a hole and crawl in at a moment's notice. Luckily for me, Snort was being good. He sat quietly by eating his glasses. Yep, money well spent on those glasses, eh?

Then it happened. The Beast announced that he needed to use the bathroom. "Number One, you wanna' come pee with me?" "No, Beast! You know Mommy says it's not okay, and we can only do that when she's sleeping." "Oh yeah. Okay, I go poop alone now. Hey, missionary, you wanna' come watch me poop?" Surprisingly, they both shook their heads no. So, off he went on his own.

After stripping off his clothes down to complete nakedness, and giving us a full play by play, he decided it would be best if he brushed his teeth before pooping. Okay, I can handle that. He must have been very concerned about his oral hygiene because he was "brushing" for nearly ten minutes. Finally, we heard the toilet lid banging and the Beast was singing the "Poop like Superman song". In our house we don't just poop; we poop like Superman. Hey! Whatever works, right?

That's when it happened. "I trying to touch my toes. It not working. Moooooooooom!" Number One went in to "help". Number One helping The Beast is never ever a good idea. "Beast! Get that out of your butt crack!!" "I can't. It stuck!" The missionaries pretended not to hear the chaos that was happening in my bathroom, but I could tell they were dying inside and just praying for that Mormon lightning strike to hit at any second releasing them from the torture of dining with us. Before I could leave my seat, and do anything about it, The Beast came out completely naked to show me his problem. He turned around to show us his backside. There, for the whole world to see (or at least for these poor missionaries to see), was the Beast's crack FULL of toilet paper that he had wedged so far up that he couldn't get it out without it shredding to pieces leaving him to have to dig it out. Where the heck is my shovel??!?!?!?!!?

I quickly ushered him back to the bathroom while The King did all he could to change the topic to anything else. He talked about when they'd be returning home, favorite foods, college plans, really anything other than the pooping incident that was still unresolved. It was going well until he turned the conversation to the time our friend, Marlene, had used her bare hands to pick up a piece of the Beast's poop that had fallen out of his diaper onto the ground when he was just a baby. Yeah, way to go. That's going to take their attention away from the situation at hand.

As soon as dinner was over, the missionaries remembered that they had somewhere to be. Yeah, right. They were just traumatized by the lovely meal they'd enjoyed here. We apologized profusely for the dinner entertainment, but did point out that dining with us is usually birth control for missionaries who are soon to go home. Once they turned back to their regular color from the twenty shades of red they were, they whole-heartedly agreed with me.

So, that was this month's dinner with the missionaries. I just really don't think it's anything like the meals they have with other members. Really, I don't think it's anything like any meal they've had with any other humans. That said, I'm also sure it's a meal they'll never forget. Hopefully, they'll be ready for next month's dinner.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Snort's New Eyes

So, we've noticed in the past few months that Snort's eyes tend to cross. A lot. At first we thought it was just an endearing quality, you know like hiding poop in a sock drawer. Then, like the sock drawer poop, we thought we should look into it and see if there was something we could do about it.

We took him to a specialist about an hour away (because, honestly, it's a challenge to find an eye doctor for someone only five months old). Low and behold, the kid is EXTREMELY far-sighted. I mean REALLY far-sighted. The doctor said it would get better with time, but he'd need glasses so no permanent damage would be done to his eye muscles. Okay, great!

We went straight over and ordered the new glasses three weeks ago. Today they finally came. I just about skipped from the mailbox when I was bringing them in. Surely he'd be beyond THRILLED to see me and my beautiful Mommy face, right? Wrong. Dead wrong.

He thinks he's entered some twisted infant version of The Twilight Zone. They bug him, so he tries to rub his eyes. That leaves marks on them so he can't see. So, he tries to rub his eyes to see better. Anyone else seeing a pattern here?

Just like the Beast's hearing aids, it's going to take some time to get used to. Until then, though, Snort was kind enough to humor me and let me get some pics of him in his fancy new specs. He does look very smart in them, if I say so myself.





Friday, May 16, 2008

A Scene From My Sit-Com Life

It seems that my life is one constant sit-com. Really the only difference between my life and a sit-com is that I don't have the benefit of commercial breaks or re-takes. Just like a tv show, some of the things that go on in my house are perfectly predictable. For example, I can ALWAYS guarantee something embarrassing is going to happen involving poop if I take all of my children to Target together. I can also stand assured that I will get knocked up if I make fun of someone else who got pregnant unexpectedly. (That's my excuse this time, by the way).

Also like a television show, there are scenes in my daily life that are anything but predictable. The day the Beast put Pretty out in the snow because she was "buggin' me" came as a bit of surprise. Another lovely unexpected twist was the day the Beast locked me out of the house when Pretty was just days old. I'd gone to take out the trash and he saw an opportunity. I wasn't scarred for life by that incident or anything...well, that's what I keep telling myself.

The scene that I'm posting here today seems to include a little bit of surprise, and at the same time, shouldn't be surprising at all. From the laundry argument in the background to the look of innocence on Pretty's face, to Number One's big announcement in the end, all the way down to the look of confusion on Snort's face, none of this should be at all alarming. This is all a typical day in our house. It just so happened that the King found the camera on this particular day. *Sigh*. Enjoy the show.

video

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

So Much for Being Birdie Super Heros

A few weeks ago, I was doing some yard work. We had a LOT of tall weeds, and I finally learned how to use a weed wacker and edger. It was a proud moment. Anyway, while I was doing it, I noticed a dove following me around collecting my clippings and building a nest between our house and the neighbors'. She was a pretty dove, and I was excited about the prospects of seeing baby doves this summer. If nothing else, I figured a dove family would be far more interesting to watch than the mocking bird family living in our neighbors' dryer vent. I'm pretty sure those mocking birds are the same ones who lived in my bush for years and constantly dive-bombed me until I finally cut down their bush. Dumb birds.

Anwyay, this past week, we noticed one of the baby doves had fallen from the tree and was hopping around on the ground. He had most of his feathers in, but also quite a bit of baby bird fuzz. When we looked closer at him, we could see a sore spot on his neck. It wasn't bleeding, just sore. His legs looked to be just fine and he was squaking away looking for food. He was RIGHT below the nest the doves had built.

My kids and the kids next door became very worried about him. What if his mama didn't come for him? What if some mean-spirited predator came and ate him? The list of possibilities went on and on. Everyone was VERY concerned about this little guy.

Since he was hopping around, but not able to fly, I scooped him up to check on him making sure nothing seemed to be broken on him. He opened his mouth wide and waited for something to fall in. The kids next door had a great idea. They had just been fishing and had some worms left over. They figured they could just put those worms in the blender and then drip the remains into the bird's mouth using a medicine dropper. For some strange reason, their mom wouldn't allow them to use her blender to puree their worms.

The King came out and the Dr. Doolittle in him kicked in. This guy is such a sucker for animals. He even makes friends with the stray lizards that roam around here in the spring and fall. Honestly, I could do without the lizards IN the house. Anyway, I digress. The King was just as worried about the little bird as the kids were. He named him Chirpy. That seemed fitting, I guess. He held him, talked to him, chirped with him, and I think he even considered using my blender to puree the worm. Surprisingly, I said no.

We called a friend who knows a lot about birds. She gave us some tips, but told us to call someone local because each state is different. I got hold of a scout leader, who told me the mother would care for her baby if we put him back in the nest. Hooray!!!! We could save Chirpy!!! This was one baby dove who wouldn't die out in the cold lonely world. The King was going to rescue him.

The nest was waaaaaaay up there in the tree, so we borrowed a tall ladder from another neighbor. We had to position the ladder a bunch of different time in order to make it stable enough to hold the King, and allow him to balance well enough to hold Chirpy in his hand while he climbed. Can you just imagine how bad it would have been if he'd accidentally squished him to death during his moment of heroism???

Finally! After an hour of trying to help Chirpy, he was safely in his nest high up in the tree. We were proud. I immediately ran inside and downloaded the pictures I'd taken of him, and posted them for my friends to see, particularly the ones who were bird gurus. Here are the pictures I sent:

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Isn't he just the cutest little baby dove???

It didn't take long after I posted his pictures that my bird loving friends started saying things like "Hmmm...are you sure he's a dove?" or "Umm...do you also have a picture of his mom?" or "Just out of curiosity, what other kinds of birds live there?". I was almost offended. Of COURSE I was sure he was a dove. I saw his mom building the nest using my fresh weed clippings. Duh! And besides, the only other birds we have here were the stupid mocking birds in the dryer vent. The dryer vent was a good twenty feet away from the dove tree, so I knew Chirpy couldn't have come from there. He was too dang cute. Well, in an ugly baby bird sort of way.

My friends quietly continued doing their research. Then, it was undeniable. A picture of a baby mockingbird was found on Google Images. How could THAT thing be?!?!? It looked just like Chirpy!!! My baby dove was a baby mockingbird!!

Do you know what this means??? In our efforts to rescue a baby dove, we traumatized an unsuspecting baby mockingbird and shoved him into the wrong nest!!! Imagine the shock on the mother dove's face when she came home. Actually, it may not have mattered. Chirpy and all his brothers and sisters were hopping around on the ground behind a bush the next day.