Monday, August 31, 2009

I Needed a Laugh

I am sick. And I personally don't think it is fair to be sick when you are pregnant, because you are already kinda sick to begin with. Needless to say, I keep coughing and I haven't been able to really breathe for over a week. I think I would make a terrible cancer patient because I always hear about how stoic they are and how they don't complain. Um...that is not me at the moment. I am complaining. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. that that is out of my system. I am still doing the mom thing regardless; chasing babies, making lunches, reading stories, cleaning up messes, etc.

Tonight I was doing spelling words with June. She wrote them all down on separate pieces of paper. Then we organized them by sound, then alphabetically. Finally I have her put them in the order that she likes them (just 'cuz it is fun to see which words are her favorites). She had them all lined up and I read them down in order. The last four words put together made me laugh out loud and June burst into giggles too. These were the words:


We laughed until June peed a little. Dad came in and gave a slight frown and told me that I should not be laughing at such things, but come on...I needed a good laugh right now.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

If Suffocation Were Funny

You may have read a warning such as this before:

Warning: Keep this bag away from babies and children. Do not use in cribs, beds, carriages or playpens. The thin film may cling to nose and mouth and prevent breathing.

I'm not sure if I ever really took them seriously. Of course there are children that suffocate each year from plastic bags (I think I read on one site that there are 25 reports annually). But still, it didn't really register until Daisy found this fun new game.

Yep, she would put the bag over her head, run away, and give her biggest smile as I took the bag off her head. At first I just put the bag down, but she was thrilled with the game, so I had to eventually hide the bag. I think I may need to pay more attention to consumer warnings with this child.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Cutting More Apron Strings

Robyn started Kindergarten yesterday. This was much easier to handle. Like I said, I like Kindergarten. June picked this day to be "sick" so I went over to the school just to make the transition easier for Robyn. I don't think she really needed me though. She loved everything; the bus, the friends, the teacher, the whole day.

I didn't feel much freedom since June was still home bugging her sisters since she wasn't that ill, but today has been much quieter. Ivory, Daisy and I went to the library this morning. Look at me, running errands with only TWO kids. I might be able to get used to this whole school thing, although I still miss them. I think I need to work out some deal with the schools. How 'bout I take them during the day, and then you can have them at night when I am all tuckered out. Don't forget to read them a story and have them brush their teeth. Sounds good to me.

p.s. I love Robyn's little fake smile in that picture and the fact that the backpack is almost as tall as she is.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Deconstruction Zone — Hard Hat Required

Let's talk about why I am not blogging so much recently.

Nuf sed?

Don't be fooled by the cuteness. She is one busy sucker. Her day usually consists of...

* pulling clothing out of any drawer she can open.
*playing in the toilet if someone leaves the lid up.
*rummaging through the ribbon drawer and dragging said ribbon throughout the house.
*pulling books or videos off the shelves.
*putting random items in the garbage.
*taking random objects out of the garbage.
*pulling over furniture that is not cemented down (my floor lamp was a casualty this week).
*climbing anything and everything.
*unrolling a whole roll of toilet paper or taking out tissues one by one from the box.
*finding fun small objects to stick in her mouth.
*taking dirt out of my plants (my first child to do this).
*etc, etc.

Wow, I am having a hard time keeping up. I realize this is normal for any toddler, but I think the pregnancy or my thirties (heaven forbid) are slowing me down. There is still nap time, but I spend that either sleeping or cleaning up something.

I feel bad because this affects my time with other kids to some degree. Take for instance today, while I tried to read a book to Robyn (Sam and the Firefly—one of our favorites). It went something like this:

Read five pages, handed book to Robyn, took baby off a chair where she had climbed up and was taking crayons one by one and throwing them on the floor.

Read five pages, handed book to Robyn, took baby off the stool where she was standing, shaking the Caladryl vigorously (thank goodness it was still closed). Hid stool once again and cursed whoever got it out.

Read five pages, handed book to Robyn, took baby off the dining room table where she had managed to climb despite my best efforts to push all the chairs in and block her.

We finally resorted to putting cheerios on the ground next to us hoping to distract her long enough to finish the book.

She really is a darling good baby with a mischievous smile that makes you laugh, but I am finding out quickly enough that my house is hardly baby-proof.

Monday, August 24, 2009

It's a Love Hate Thing

There are all these things I should be posting about, but instead I saw this hat and I think it is incredible.

I want one. Kinda. You see, I think that I would have to wear it myself because I would freak out every time I saw it, if I put in on my child's head. But it is so Halloweeny/ Octobery. Just so cool. Sadly, it is probably not $43 cool. Still, I totally love it. There is definitely something wrong with me. If you can't resist yourself or want to see it from different angles, check it out here.

Friday, August 21, 2009

And the Prestigious Coveted Award Belongs to...


She gets the proud honor of being the first child in the family to need stitches. June may have needed stitches at one point but her parents thought they could just bandage her up and so she has a neato scar on her forehead.

I haven't even had stitches myself although I did have my head stapled together at one point. Tyler, well he is well acquainted with stitches, so after Ivory split her chin on the edge of the counter, I let him take her in. She only needed three little stitches. I hear she was quite the trooper.

In other Ivory news, the girls have treat boxes that house whatever candy comes their way. It tends to overflow around Halloween and Easter, but after a whole summer, Ivory finally finished the last piece in her box. Tyler didn't know this, so one evening when June asked for a treat out of her box, he asked Ivory if she wanted one as well. June piped up with, "Dad, Ivory doesn't have any treats left."
Ivory ran ahead and yelled back, "I'm going to go get my treat box and show you what's not in there." So here is a picture of what's NOT in there.

I thought about getting her some more treats for her box, but Halloween seems right around the corner.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My First is in First

I kept reading on people's blogs that school was starting. So early?? But I should not scoff because we were not far behind.

I got June up a little earlier than usual (7:30) because she would normally sleep in another half hour and I wanted to make sure she had time to get ready. Well...she ate breakfast, did a morning chore, studied scriptures with us, had a righteous bloody nose, had her hair done, got dressed, monitored Mom making lunch, packed her bag and still had twenty extra minutes before the bus came. She went out to ride her bike but came back to the door every few minutes to ask if it was time for school. I don't think she was excited at all.

I got her to relax for a minute to grab a candid shot.

I can't even believe how big she has gotten. And by big I mean grown up because it is no secret that she is still a petite thing. In most groups she still is the shortest one (at least they stopped taking class pictures by height—I was always the shortest one at the end in the front row—you can always find me though).

She was my first know, the one who gets experimented on—forever. I had so many mixed emotions today. I thought about her constantly. I missed her, a LOT. I watched the clock way too much. I went out to meet the bus ten minutes early. I wasn't excited at all.

I officially move to make all school days the length of Kindergarten. I liked Kindergarten. She played, learned, made friends, but she wasn't gone ALL DAY. Stupid First grade. I was all ready to pull her out of school entirely, but unfortunately she loved it. So I guess I will just have to get used to it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Next Week...High Heels

We have made a last few dashes to the park this week before school starts. We don't stay long; just long enough that they don't feel their mother is a complete slacker. Now that Daisy is walking, I figured it was time to get her used to shoes. This child has been barefoot almost since the day she was born. We probably put some socks on her during the winter (maybe). Other than that, she barefoots it about. I don't think we even have church shoes in her size. This may seem rather white-trash, but I just haven't seen the need until recently. Unfortunately, this means that she is still a bit ungainly when you add on half an inch on each leg.

She spent a lot of time high-stepping, but probably more time picking herself up.

She's a trooper though and I don't think it will take her long. Plus, I still leave her barefoot most of the time—old habits die hard.

Here's another new thing. Who is that child with Daisy?

You know, the one who's a bit of a show-off?

Why, it's June!! But short-haired June. She pleaded for a while and I finally gave in and we chopped the locks. It only took me a short time to get used to it, because it fits her personality so well. And whereas her hair was not done in those pictures, I busted out the flat-iron today and it took less than a minute to straighten and manage the mane. It would almost take me longer to put it in a pony tail, not to mention the lack of complaining because we didn't have to brush it out. Yep, this low maintenance mom is LOVING this haircut. I'm glad she likes it too.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Postponed—All August Holidays

Well, there is only ONE August holiday and that is Fête Day. We have been dutifully celebrating this beloved homemade holiday for four years now. However, this year, I just didn’t have it in me. I kept thinking about getting it planned, but it never seemed to come together. Such is my life right now.

So Fête Day came and went with no special color, no gifts exchanged, and no ice cream cake. My only consolation is that I know there are others who are celebrating; Fête Day has not been in vain. And you better believe that next year I will have my act together.

In other news, today I was reminded why it was okay to miss Fête Day. I went to the doctor’s and heard this little heartbeat inside me. Honestly people, I get choked up every time. There are few things more amazing.

Baby number five…you are seriously throwing off my groove, but, I forgive you and you can even come to Fête Day next year.

See, we allow babies…


2007—Blue (in CA)


And the one that started it all


Yes, the cake says Happy Fêta Day (maybe we should have kept it as Happy ‘Cheese’ Day)

Friday, August 14, 2009

We're Famous....Suckahs

Not really. But I was impressed when my September 2009 issue of Family Fun arrived and my kids were pictured on page 12. I really do love Family Fun for all the great ideas they have, although truthfully I usually look at them and decide we'll save them for a rainy day (i.e. we never do them). This time around, I got off my lazy rear (this obviously happened before the pregnancy) and we made cute little mushrooms which grace my kitchen island daily. I love them. So I even took a picture and sent it off to Family Fun to show my appreciation (and maybe slightly hope that we would make the magazine). And we did.

Here is a poor scan of the page, but the girls are pictured half way down on the right. If you click on it you can see it better.

I meant to blog about it right away when I got the magazine, but I forgot for a few days. I'm glad I did, because it was so much cooler to have someone call me when they found it. Then I didn't feel like I was tooting my own horn (which I obviously am now).

Anyway, not a big deal, really, but still very fun to see them in the magazine.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Late Birthday Pictures

I always get pictures of the kids around their birthday so that I can keep track of the way they grow. Daisy's birthday was almost a month ago, so you can see that I am lagging behind. Really, I wanted to start taking my own pictures but that would require some extra energy (of which I have none right now). And you can't beat the free birthday 8x10 at Kiddie Kandids.

Except that now you can beat that. They must have had too many people abusing the system (sorry, I was one of them), so now you have to buy at least one sheet in order to get the 8x10. A normal sheet there is $20. Ouch! So really, I got two sheets for $20 since I did get the free 8x10, but now I am really inspired to do my own photography from now on. Here's hoping I feel a little better by June's birthday. In the meantime, here is my Daisy (a year and almost a month old).

This is a pretty good improvement, since last night Tyler gave her a bath and brushed her hair back right before bed. That usually results in the rooster-do.

Stylish, but not quite right for pictures.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


My kids really like to color. I like that they like to color...most of the time. We seem to have too many crayons and they always seem to get dumped out somewhere, and the baby likes to eat them, and I find them all over the house, but besides that, it is fine.

The girls have been collecting coloring books over the years and we put them in this little cupboard on the side of June's desk. Well, June came to me the other day because she couldn't fit her coloring books inside. That's nonsense, I thought. Until I looked at how many they have. Yikes! Over forty. Clearly, they don't use them all, so I figured we could weed some out.

What I was amazed to find out was that there was a whole stack of books that were finished...full up with coloring. I don't know if I ever finished a coloring book when I was a child. Some of them were the older books with scribbled pages from their youth, but some were colored very well. Looking at these books, I contemplated the hours it must have taken. I am telling you, I am quite impressed. It may even be time to get some new crayons. And a better box to keep them in, naturally.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Saturday, August 8, 2009

What's Up Chuck? Over.

Don't you wish that life had an UNDO button sometimes? You know, stubbed your toe...UNDO. Spilled a glass of milk...UNDO. Yelled at your kids...UNDO (just kidding, I never yell at my kids). Um, anyway, enough of this fiction, let's talk about some real events; events that I could unfortunately NOT undo.

Our neighbor Brian flies planes. Just the little ones that hold four people or so.

Tyler has been flying with him many times. He keeps asking me to come along and I keep dragging my feet. I would like to say that this has nothing to do with Nienie's blog, but it might just a little. It is silly though, and I figured it was time to conquer my own hesitations. I called Brian up and scheduled to go flying today.

He said morning hours were good so I was up bright and early (Tyler mentioned that he hadn't seen me up before eight for two months—phooey) getting a sitter and then we were off to the airfield. After all initial checks, the plane wouldn't start (I figured this was a sign, but the men were not so easily deterred). Tyler and Brian found a guy who had a battery charger and about twenty minutes later, we were taking off. I can definitely say it was beautiful. We flew over Utah lake, buzzed our neighborhood, and then headed into Provo Canyon. What a breathtaking sight. We flew over Deer Creek Reservoir and then I started to feel a little queasy. This is only to be expected because I feel queasy 85% of the time anyway. I mentioned this to the gentlemen and they suggested we land at the Heber air strip. Okay, why not?

But landing usually involves circling around, and it certainly involves changes in altitude. I tried to be stoic, I really did, but somewhere in the decent, there was no longer an option and I threw up. UNDO, UNDO, UNDO. We had brought some snacks, so Tyler dumped grapes into his lap and handed me a bag which saved me the further embarrassment of soiling the cockpit or myself. And if we are trying to look for positive notes here, at least no one could hear me throwing up because the noise from the engine was too loud. But oh how I wished to go back and not have THAT happen. I asked Brian if this were a first for him, and he admitted that I was the first person to throw up while he flew the plane. Awesome.

I'll be honest, I was not feeling well at all and now my options were to get back in the plane or wait for Tyler to drive back to Heber and get me later. I figured the first option was shorter, so I sucked it up and got back on the plane, but I closed my eyes most of the way and concentrated on breathing. And we returned to the original runway with no more hiccups or other bodily ejections.

My poor little body was so sad though. I felt shaky and nauseated. Part of me wished that I could UNDO the whole morning, but I still think it was fun to go flying and Tyler had a great time. I am however convinced that nothing good comes from getting up before eight in the morning. I should just stick to the status quo.

p.s. I regretted not bringing the camera, but now I am just happy it wasn't around to absorb any vomit.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Number Five is Alive

Happy, happy news. NUMBER FIVE IS ALIVE. Every time I say that it makes me think of Short Circuit, but in this case, I am referring to the little life inside me. Yep, I'm pregnant and all that good stuff. And by good stuff, I mean that dreaded first trimester that doesn't really have that much good to redeem it.

I actually wanted to apologize. I have been off my rocker recently. I can't get my house organized or clean. I can't keep my kids under control. I haven't kept on top of blogging and commenting on others' blogs. I'm not really myself at the moment. I know that life will fall back into a regular routine when I don't feel so sick, but for now I will just take what I can get. Like, I mopped my floor for the first time in two months. Baby steps (ha ha, I didn't think that was funny until the third time I reread it).

Tyler has been the absolute best knight in shining armor. He comes at my beckon call which is sadly too often these days. He manages to not get frustrated with me when I tell him to make me some food but I have no good suggestions of what to make since nothing sounds appetizing. I am now more convinced than ever that I married the most wonderful man.

We finally told the kids last night which is why I am posting about it, because I figure that now that they know, the whole neighborhood will know in a matter of days.

Robyn was so excited and told me over and over again that she can't wait to see the baby. This made me think that perhaps we revealed the news too soon, because February is FOREVER away to a five year old. Robyn hopes it is a girl, June wishes for a boy. Ivory told me this morning that she hopes it is a boy so that Daisy will have someone to marry. I thought that was very generous of her to give up the only boy to the youngest daughter while the older three remain spinsters.

We are all very excited and I will be even more so in a few weeks, I am sure. The details include: Due February 22nd, I am currently about 11 weeks along. I regretted in my last pregnancy that I didn't post anything about the baby until a few months along, so I missed recording all my first thoughts and emotions. So this time I wrote the posts but didn't publish them, so if you are dying to read them, you can find them here, here, and here.

So there you have it. Good news and all that.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Rinse and Spit

On Sunday I was hanging out in my normal corner of the church (the nursery corner) and suddenly I was interrupted by Robyn's teacher carrying her down the hallway. Robyn's teacher is not a small man by any means. He is a large Polynesian and he had his hand firmly over Robyn's mouth. My first thought was, Heavens, Robyn was screaming in primary and Bro. Betham had to cover her mouth and bring her out to me. However, that didn't make any sense since Robyn is my quietest child. It only took a second glance to see that Robyn had blood all down the front of her and Bro. Betham was holding her hand over her nose trying to stem the gush of fluid. I'm not sure how it all started, but it was easy to tell that no one got control of it until well after the front of her was saturated. I took over quickly and whisked her to the bathroom where I had her hold her nose while I cleaned off her bloody arms (seriously, blood everywhere). After all skin was cleaned up, I took another look at her dress. There wasn't much I could do short of stripping her down and sending her back to class naked while I rinsed it out and I figure they frown on such things in primary, so I told her to take some tissue with her in case of another emergency and then I would take care of her dress when we got home.

I worried just a little about letting the blood sit that long, but there was no choice, so I made a call to a friend when I got home for extra suggestions about how to get blood out of satin. She suggested spit. Yep, you read correctly...spit. And preferably the spit of the same blood donor. She said something about your spit being able to break down the enzymes in your own blood, but since family members are related, you could try parents' spit as well. So, we all took a turn spitting on Robyn's dress (yes, I know our family is bizarre).

I then took it up to the tub and rinsed it really well in cold water. It seemed to take almost all the blood out. I sprayed it was some oxy clean and I will let it sit for good measure, but it seemed the spit and rinse did the job. Truthfully, I don't know how helpful the spit was, but I'll keep it in mind in the future.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Go Speed Racer

So, my old man's a racer—well, used to be at least. My Dad gave up a racing contract with Kawasaki Racing (motocross) to wear the black name tag for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When he returned, Kawasaki would not pick up the contract, but racing never left his blood. My Dad's a racer through and through. If it will go fast, he wants a piece of it.

He was born the same year the first Corvette rolled off the assembly line, in June 1953. Racing was and still is a part of him. He's attended Bondurant High Performance Racing School (—how cool is that? My Dad's driven a formula car, and a Mustang at top race speeds. Awesome. I think I'm qualified to say, "My Dad's faster than your Dad."

Apparently, the agreement with my Mom after kids started arriving was that he would put away the motorcycles until one of us asked about them. Then, AND ONLY THEN, could he instruct the interested child about racing—but no funny business. She didn't want her boys hitting the wall at 200 mph! Well, Kolby grew up; and never asked. I grew up; and never asked. It was my younger brother, J.R., who said this phrase, “Dad, I think we oughta get a couple trail bikes and do some riding,” and landed himself two Kawasaki trail racing bikes—the SAME day!

I was on my mission at the time, but I came back and learned to ride on a Honda 250 CR off-road bike. What a beautiful machine! Since then, we've been pushing the limits of any machine that will carry a rider faster than we can walk.

Enter Miller Motorsports Park. Ah, sigh.

Miller Motorsports Park is heaven for someone with octane in his veins. I swear, I think my Dad would live here, if Mom would let him. It happens that Miller Motorsports hosted an AMA Superbike race and SuperMoto (if you don't know what these are, they're types of races) and Dad and I went to go see the races, and we've gone to a few since. My Dad likes to spend time with his kids one on one, and we haven't been able to do that much since I moved to Utah in 1996. Now, he's found something we can do together one on one.

But that's not all Miller Motorsports does! They've also go a professional karting track. Now, when I say “professional,” I'm not talking about your little Nazcart wannabe karts, we're talking race-grade chassis, with slicks, and ungoverned 4-stage motors—they'll do 50 mph under the piloting of the right driver. After you've demonstrated your proficiency, you can upgrade to RoTax carts, which will carry you into the 65–70 mph range. If you're really insane for adrenaline, you can move up to shifter carts that use a 125 cc engine with a clutch and geared transmission from their counterpart motorcycle class. Those carts will rocket you around the track at around 120 mph. There's another upgrade from there, but your face will melt when you find out how fast it will go. Suffice it to say that when Jeff Ward did an exhibition race at an Indy race, he ran faster lap times than the Indy cars!

Anyway, any old Joe can buy his way into these karts if he wants to. It's about $300 per person for a full day of racing instruction from a national champion kart racer! This was too good to be true. Dad bought an afternoon for father and son, and we went to the races! Our national champ was none other than 15-year old Colby Yardley. That name probably doesn't ring any bells for you—I know I had no idea who he was until he blew the wheels off me at the track. (Funny aside: this kid's WON national championships, and he can't even drive himself to work—He's only 15! He's still in driver's ed. He said he chuckled every time they try to teach him how to recover from a slide or what to do if you're hydroplaning.) Anyway, Colby taught us the way to race: how to apex, when to apex, where braking areas are, when to draft, when to corner, how to curb turn, and a lot more race blah blah that will bore you more than this post already has.

Then he gave us our race gear (helmet, neck stabilizer, race suit, and gloves) and took us out on the track. The first few laps were lead-follow: i.e. he drives the proper lines and we pay attention. After that, he loosed us for our own time on the track. We burned up the track at our own pace. Now that was fun! He followed us around and then pitted us to tell us how to improve our racing strategies. Each session, I got faster. Faster and faster I flew down the track. I got to the point that I could actually race with this national champ! Of course, he won every time, but I felt pretty good that I could hold my own with him for several laps.

So that's how our day went: blazing around the track at speeds and gs that would cause normal men to invest in Depends. I noticed part-way through our training that Colby wore no race suit—indeed he only wore a helmet, gloves, and an odd black vest with vertical slats. Turns out that odd black vest with vertical slats is called a Ribtector and is designed to keep karter's guts intact, and keep their rips from bruising or cracking under the g-force in the corners. At 5:00 p.m. I knew why he wore the Ribtector, and I vowed I would never kart again without one. My ribs are bruised badly enough that I can't raise my left arm over my shoulder (there are more right-handed corners than left—hence the bruising on my left side). I'm still sore and it's been a week and a half since I raced!

Anyway, I recommend it to anybody—plenty of fun, if you can take the speed. For an old racer man and his son, it still wasn't fast enough. We're looking into the shift-kart class. Look for another post under check flags...

Bear Feet

Six (almost seven) years ago, Aunt Kathryn bought a bear and brought it to the hospital when we were having our first little girl. I even remember it sitting next to the sink by some flowers in the mother/baby room. Little did I know what a role this bear was to play in our lives.

Today was his birthday; he turned three, in stuffed animal years. June got him a present and helped him open it.

She made him a cake (with some help)

and helped him blow out the candles.

Her love for this bear has only grown in the last three (almost seven) years.

Foot, we loved you when your fur was still fluffy and you still had a bow, but now you mean so much more.

And you look pretty hip in your new kicks.