Thursday, December 30, 2010
All that said, I've made some New Year's Resolutions. I'm counting on you all to remind me when I fall off the wagon and fail to do what I need to do. This year's resolutions:
1. Trading time visiting My Online Friends (sorry girls!) for time to blog. Since I don't keep a personal journal, this will be the documentation of my kids' childhood experiences. The goal is to blog 2-3 times a week per blog. Think I can do it? I do!!!
2. Reading three pages of scriptures on my own daily. In Sunday School, the teacher pointed out that reading three pages daily will result in time to read the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, and the New Testament. It's a REALLY big goal, but it's a challenge that I think will be really fun. I'm excited to at least give it a shot.
3. No more soda. It's time to say good bye to the bubbly caffeinated goodness that is soda. More specifically, I'm bidding farewell to McDonald's coke. This will be a hard, lonely choice to make, but it's for the best. And, really if a person feels lonely without their McDonald's coke, it really is best to say good-bye isn't it?
So, that's what's coming in 2011. I'm looking forward to it. What are your New Year's resolutions?
Monday, November 1, 2010
Here he is saying his first word!! Go Liam!!!
Here he is demonstrating his awesome cap. This video also shows another big step for him as it demonstrates him finally copying what we do. This is a great step toward sign and spoken language acquistion. It really is a great day for him.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
It was parent/teacher conference week this past week and our school district felt that it would be wise to have the students all have four day weekends so teachers could have enough time to meet with all the parents. Really?!?! Is there no other time to do this, like 2am or something?? Does it really seem like a great idea to ask parents to raise their own children?
At any rate, I got to have all five children home Thursday and Friday and I have to say they were remarkably well behaved. Liam's girlfriend (her job is to come twice a week and help him keep his hearing aids in), Kassidi, also happened to be off on Friday so I called to see if she'd like to come help me survive taking all the kids to the pumpkin patch. Being the amazingly sweet girl she is, she accepted the offer.
We started by taking the kids to Pizza Street for lunch. It's a pizza buffet, so the kids were delighted that they could choose whatever flavor they wanted. I was stunned to see Liam pack away plate after plate of fetuccini alfredo. Go Liam!! Things were going really well until the ice cream machine ran out of chocolate. At that point, I felt the need to curl up in the fetal position and cry. Considering the fact that we were in public, I opted to hold back and instead quietly worked on a vanilla cone. Let the record show that I was crying inside, though.
The pumpkin patch was great!! It's in the same town where Byron works, but I would never have found it without my GPS. We arrived, unloaded and headed to the entrance to pay to get in. I was pretty impressed with the fact that none of my five children were hit by oncoming traffic as we attempted to get inside the gate. Honestly, trying to take them anywhere is like herding cats except that herding cats is much less painful.
The kids headed straight for the hay bail maze. It was a cute little town thing where kids could go in and get lost. I encouraged them to get lost frequently, but they kept finding their way out. Figures. At any rate, they had a good time.
From there, we came to the petting zoo. CJ was just sure he witnessed the rooster laying an egg. I didn't have the heart to tell him that wasn't a rooster because he was so delighted to discover that "eggs come from rooster butts". Aiden spent his time trying to distract a bully horse so that a hungry donkey could dine on some most delicious corn. Rachel was working on a plot to adopt a kitten while Drezden meowed at said kitten and Liam attempted to eat anything he could find on the ground.
From there, we moved on to the play area which consisted of several John Deer tractors in kids' sizes and giant sand boxes full of corn. I think this was the area we spent the majority of our time in. Liam really liked filling bins with corn and listening to it shake. Kassidi said she liked how the corn felt between her toes. Really? I felt like it just sort of got stuck between my toes and felt downright weird. Anyway, I digress. The kids really enjoyed spending time burying each other, jumping in, and just generally playing with the corn. If I'd known corn would be so exciting, I would have saved a whole lot of money on toys over the years. I'll consider that a lesson learned.
Outside of the play area were these big crank machines could be used to pull the corn off the cobs. The kids LOVED doing this. Even Liam figured out how to do it. There were buckets and buckets full of corn everywhere. I'm guessing that's where they got the corn for those giant sandboxes. I couldn't believe how hard the kids worked at these silly machines. They had to find the ears of corn on the stalks, put them into the machine, and then crank it. There was a lot of effort involved. I've got to somehow figure out how to get them to put that much effort into things like putting dishes in the sink and flushing the toilets.
After the corn machine, we spent some time on the giant tire swings made from old tractor tires, then on slides made from irrigation tubing, and finally on the train ride. Before leaving, we chose our pumpkin. It's a lovely pumpkin, too. We're supposed to carve it with Kassidi's family and some other families from the ward tomorrow, but it's just such a pretty pumpkin that I can't bring myself to carve it. I think I'll go try to find an ugly one in the morning.
All in all, it was a great day. I'm grateful to Kassidi for helping me out. Just having another human being taller than my kneecaps there to help me made the day much more enjoyable. Maybe I'll be willing to venture out and try other fun things again in the future. I'm not saying the near future, but probably sometime before they all graduate college.
Monday, October 4, 2010
Sometimes we get caught in the rut of day to day living and schedules so much so that we forget to just enjoy the beautiful young spirits we're blessed with. I think that's what has been happening with me. Byron is busy and often traveling with work leaving me to take care of the kids on my own for a week or so at a time. The kids have school, doctors, specialists, etc. that I need to keep track of. To maintain a sense of control, I have a set schedule.
Tonight I was reminded that the schedule is meaningless unless I make room in it to just love my children. So, I'm practicing patience. This is my new goal. This is my purpose. I will take time every single day to spend quality time with each individual child listening to them share what's on their minds, play a game that interests them, giggle with them, hug them a little longer, and just remember what an amazing treasure each of them is. All this will happen without worry about some self-imposed schedule.
Patience. Forgetting one's schedule in exchange for time to enjoy the amazing blessings in life. That's what I want. It's what I'm going to work on.
Friday, September 17, 2010
One of the instructors was Liam's Sunday nursery leader. I really like her because she's so down to earth and calm with him. Nothing he does seems to ever set her off. She also seems to enjoy being with him in a genuine way. It's not like he's a job to her, but something she looks forward to doing.
The other instructor was Tracey G. She lives down the street from us and her daughters are two of our babysitters. One of them works with Liam twice a week on keeping his hearing aids in. She spoke on stress management and offered four remedies. They were scriptures, service, excercise, and laughter.
Yesterday, I decided to take the challenge and see what came of it. I feel like I manage stress well, but am always willing to try to come up with even more. It started with trading Facebook for scriptures. I am a multi-tasker so I decided to turn on the computer and listen to scriptures while I made the beds. I had Liam play in his crib while I was doing what I needed to do. In my mind, this was accomplishing the scripture part. As I was working, I got so into listening that I didn't check on Liam right away. Before long, I started to smell a very familiar odor. POOP.
I walked into Liam's room and there he was proudly playing with his poop. What the heck is it with my kids and poop? Seriously. We have crayons, play-dough, coloring books, water colors, and markers. What makes these little people think they need to do their art with freaking POOP!?!?!? Further, how are they all such little Houdinis?? Liam was wearing a onesie and an outfit over that when he managed to completely remove his diaper. Seriously?!!? I'm considering taking out stock in duct tape. Rumor has it I can now buy duct tape in fabulous colors and patterns.
The next thing I did was accomplish the service recommendation. I lovingly pulled him from his poop-filled crib and put him into the tub. I didn't even think bad words about the situation. That's service with a smile right there. I scrubbed him down really good, emptied the tub, cleaned it out, refilled it, put some toys in, and let him play in the tub with Rachel and Drezden while I scrubbed out his bed, changed the sheets, and deodorized the whole upstairs. Who knew such a little person could make poop that could be spread so far???
From there, I accomplished the excercise recommendation. I went up and down those stairs more times than I care to count. And I was lifting "weights". Okay, so it was just laundry baskets full of poopy bedding and clothes, but it weighed a lot.
Lastly, the laughter. Really, look at the situation. I've had five kids. This is the third one to find a creative means in his poop. It's hilarious really. Some parents proudly display their children's works of art. Instead, I get to scrub my kids' art...and then disinfect the house. That's funny, right? I guess I'm just glad they're not into the culinary arts. Just imagine the poopsicles we could be dining on. Yikes!
I did make sure I called Tracey to let her know the many effects I gained from her workshop. If nothing else, she got a little laughter from it.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Friday, September 3, 2010
CJ's latest fascination is with Disney's Toy Story. It just made sense to get him a bunch of Toy Story stuff for his birthday, particularly Buzz Lightyear. As I was walking through WalMart talking to Byron on the phone about what I'd choose for him, it suddenly became clear that Disney didn't really think through their decisions when they named their characters. At some point throughout the conversation, I found myself saying the following things:
"Let's get him a Buzz now and he can get a Woody for Christmas".
"Wow! If you look at that bottom of his Woody, you can see that it officially came from Andy's room".
"I can't decide if I'd rather be the one to give him his first Buzz or his first Woody".
Are we seeing where I'm going with this? Really, Disney?!?! Really?? There were NO other names you could have chosen for these two characters?? When you hear their names, it makes you wonder if they were the characters cut from deleted scenes of "Brokeback Mountain". I've named five children, and I'm here to tell you that there were so many names to choose from that it was really difficult to decide. Did the Disney writers not have access to baby naming books or websites with name generators?
Maybe it was just a really funny joke that a couple of writers at Disney thought would be caught before filming started. Since it wasn't caught, they left it. Those pranksters have got to be laughing a ton right now just imagining all the innocent conversations that quickly go straight to the gutter.
Friday, August 27, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
*evil scheming mad man
*personal chef to the stars
The list goes on and on of all the possibitlities. Then, down at the very bottom, it mentions (almost as a second thought) housewife or unemployed. Those are usually my only two choices, and neither one sounds very glamorous. It's like it's saying, "You're just a mom who stays home in your robe and fuzzy slippers and watches Oprah while eating bon bons all day. Your job isn't all that important so we just stuck it down here at the bottom of the list to make you happy. Really, though, we don't have any good use for you if that's all you do".
Allow me to clarify a few things that I do on an almost daily basis that only other people who are also "just moms" can understand. First, I clean poop. I mean a LOT of poop. Most of the time I find it nicely contained in a diaper attached to my child's rear ends. There are the occasional times, though, that I instead find it under a child's nails, in his hair, on his walls, or even between his teeth. I'll give you a moment to digest that thought (pun intended) and regain your stomach before I go on. Ready? Okay, I'll keep going now.
Then there's the laundry. Picture Mount Everest. Now picture it a few feet taller than you know it to be. That's how much laundry I do in one day. I wash, dry, fold, hang, and put it all away. I'm pretty sure my children clone themselves throughout the day so that they can wear ten times as many outfits to be sure I have plenty to do.
Playing. There is an art to playing in such a way that your kids actually learn something without knowing they're learning. Sometimes it's just putting on crazy clothes and running around like a bunch of freaks and other times it's stacking wooden blocks to make a creation that rivals the Eiffel Tower. Occasionally, it's plotting with them to take over the world. Who knew poop could also be used to conquor the world? According to my kids, it can.
There's just so many things. You think you cool dudes who have job titles with a really awesome name attached do something more important than me because I'm "just a mom"? Well, let's compare job descriptions a little. You tell me what you need to be able to do daily, and I'll tell you what I do. Ready? Okay, here's my list:
*Housekeeper (and since they're going to be famous someday, I claim to be a Celebrity housekeeper)
*Doctor and nurse
*Judge and jury
It makes me a little sad when I sit and talk with others who are "just moms" and they feel like failures because the world says their job is worthless. Ha! Those people are going to eat their words when your kid grows up to be the political leaders who decide their fates. They'll eat their words when, at the end of the day, they have tons of money but no purpose in life. I'll take my poop-filled, sticky kiss infested days over the "glamorous" life anyday. If there was a list miles long of occupations I could choose, I'd still go to the bottom of the list and proudly circle "just a mom".
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Aiden with a mouthful of very expensive zoo food. Oddly, it didn't taste expensive.
We took the kids to the zoo yesterday. Our realtor got us season passes, and we intend to make full use of them. The kids were so excited when they realized where we were taking them. The weather was mighty fine, the kids were well behaved, the animals were frisky, and the memories were there for the making.