Tuesday, June 29, 2010


This has been a bit slow in getting here, but better late than never. I took Robyn out for her six year old pictures a while ago. They just haven't reached the blog. But without further ado, here she is, in her six year old splendor.

Then I had fun playing with some effects in Photo shop.

Lastly, I really enjoyed this post on a friend's blog saying that we should take more pictures with our children. Good thing I got one that day.

I'm lucky to be the mother of Robyn. She is a beautiful girl, both inside and out.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Define: Pearl Lite

Definitions range from tampons and beer to soil and legos. But our Pearl Lite is just another child who is struggling to gain weight on my short supply of milk. I took her in for her four month check-up and low and behold, she is low on the weight scale. I would like to chalk it up to my having small children (which I do), but I am no fool. She is trending exactly in Daisy's footsteps and I know where those steps lead.

And so with a heavy heart, I decided that I will supplement. I know this isn't a big deal, but I like not having to worry about bottles. I love breast feeding, in fact. If you don't count the first two weeks breast feeding June which consisted of pain, cracking, toe-curling, bleeding, crying, and more pain...then I really enjoy nursing my children. There is something calming from that little tug; knowing that you are giving your child sustenance. I think it is a very natural part of motherhood. (Although I don't judge those who choose to bottle feed.)

Now I feel like I have failed in some way. I shouldn't be surprised. My mother had a hormone deficiency that messed with her milk supply big time and bottle feeding was mandatory. I always thought I escaped, but in retrospect, I was 2 out of 4 and now that this baby is declining, I guess the score is 3 out of 5. I fail.

I haven't thought about much else today. I have snuggled my baby and teared at the thought of having to use a bottle. I don't know why this bothers me so much. After all, a bottle affords much more freedom. I started thinking of all the luxuries a bottle would offer me. I could go on a date with my husband, WITHOUT the baby. I could go to the temple and do a whole session. My kids could have a turn feeding her. (Which they are very excited about.) Tyler could get up in the middle of the night and feed the baby. (Woot!) Traveling and feeding would be so much easier.

And yet...I still wish that I didn't have to do it. Although I will, because I am slowly starving my child and that is a less savory option. I could tell that Pearl has been hungry. I have been feeding her more like every one and a half hours in hopes that she would be nice and chunky at her appointment. (Okay chunky is far fetched. I would be happy with overly slender.) No dice though.

I came home from the appointment and cracked open one of the emergency formula kits the hospital gives you. (I had a sneaking suspicion that my milk would be stupid again, so I had kept one on hand.) She hesitantly drank one ounce at first and then three more later. And then she decided that was enough. Now she just cries when I try and give her a bottle. I am secretly thrilled that there is no substitute for mom, but frustrated at the same time, because this would be easier on both of us if she would just take the bottle. I sense a rough road ahead of us, with me caving often because I would rather nurse her in the first place and she seems content to cry until I give in. She can sense my weakness.

Curse you skim milk.

Bless you baby. We can do this.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Could You, Would You, On a Train?

I have known Rita for all my life it seems. She told me that she met me when I was two, but for all intensive purposes, that is basically my whole life. Rita sews, amazingly well. She made me clothes when I was little. Some of my first memories are standing there being measured by Rita. She has made me curtains, and an apron, and when I was older, she made my temple dress. I owe her a lot.

Her husband Mike is pretty cool too, but in a boy way. He does trains. When I was little we would visit at Christmas time. The tree would be up and there would be trains galore underneath. They were cool trains that ran by themselves and some would do things like load cows, or unload wooden logs. They were just cool. I think my Dad liked them even more than we kids did. Here is the table 'o trains, without the Christmas tree of course.

So when we went to Washington, I had to take my kids to see the trains. (And Rita). I was in for a surprise as well. They have trains outside too.

I guess they don't use them as much in the winter, so I had never seen them before. They have these trains that run along through gardens and around a pond.

Oh, I forgot to mention, Rita is an excellent gardener as well. I told her it wasn't fair that she has so many talents.

The girls watched the trains and we even played Superman. (You know, faster than a speeding train.)

Eventually all the rough-housing led to the flipping.

I think Tyler was showing off for Rita. We did some balancing where Tyler holds them with one hand straight up in the air. (Don't fall Ives!)

They sure do love it. And I love the crazy hair that comes with it.

Behind Robyn is a shed where the trains live in the winter. They actually have a hole in the side where the trains drive right out. Super cool.

Pearl was content to stick with Rita.

We had such a great time and I feel blessed to know someone like Rita.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Then and Now

My fear of being behind on posts is that I will get so focused on finishing up Washington that I will neglect to mention what is happening now. So today, you get a little of both.


The first night we were in Washington, my mom took us to an art show. Featuring many LDS artists, there was plenty to look at: photography, quilting, paint, ink, live music, and what I went for...my mom's crosstitching. They ran out of time when they were setting things up and they didn't put her name next to any of her pieces (lame), but it was fun for the girls to go around and see if they could figure out which ones belonged to grandma.

I snuck off for a few moments to feed Pearl, and Ivory came with me. We were in a LDS chapel, but I couldn't find the nursing room, so I stepped into an empty classroom. Ivory spent her time building a bridge from one side of the room to the other while I fed the baby. She was so proud of her work that she brought all her sisters back to see it later. And oddly enough, with all the art there, it was the only picture I got that night. (Sorry mom, we still love your stitching.)


Back at home, I realize that my kids could probably use less art and more geography. Here are a few conversations that I have had with June recently:

I had asked June if she wanted me to paint her nails.

June: Yes, and we should do the Spanish Cross.
Me: The Spanish Cross?
June: You know, with the white stripe at the top.
Me: Do you mean a French Manicure?

Later, we trying to think of a state to name a drink. (Don't ask.)

Me: What state should we use?
June: Paris
Me: Nope, that is a city.
June: France!
Me: No, that is a country.
June: Spain!
Me: Country.
June: England!
Me: Do you know any states??

(I think she knows Idaho, Washington, California, and Utah—the states for which we've already named drinks. It's a long story. And after this conversation, she knows Texas. We will work on the rest.)


The Zoo is a must when we visit my parents. I have always loved the Point Defiance Zoo and I think my children had a good time, although I am ashamed of all the little ways they are making money. Feed the goats=50 cents, ride the carousel=$1, ride a camel=$5, pet the dog from the show=$1. (WHAT!?! A dollar to pet a dog? Needless to say, my kids did NOT get to pet the dog.) Besides the obvious scalping, the animals were still interesting to watch. The seals swam upside down for us, the walrus was amazingly graceful despite his tonnage, and the polar bear was being fed. (Quite the show.)

June found a more cuddly polar bear later on. She gave him a "bear" hug...Get it? Nod. Nod. Wink. Wink.

The day was beautiful and Tyler was smart enough to bring a hat and sunscreen for me, so we all went home happy. I think the only thing in focus here is Pearl's hair. (Man, I am being upstaged by the hair.)

This is the hat Tyler makes me wear because he's "conditioning" the children to look for the red hat with eyes on it if they ever get lost in a populous area. It is the You-Can-ALWAYS-Find-Your-Parent hat. We wear these hats to zoos, amusement parks, swimming pools—you know anywhere there are lots of people. We haven't lost one yet (a child, that is).


Speaking of animals, or creatures back here in Utah, the summer predators have arrived. Yes, the mosquitoes are back. Tyler is their favorite flavor, but they dabble in other Cazier delicacies when they have the chance. Ivory got bitten by something, although I am not ruling out spider, and she ended up with a goose egg above her eye that slowly made her eye swell half shut. I should get some tiki torches or something, because just when the weather gets lovely in the evenings, it is dangerous to stay out and enjoy it.

To answer the rumors Ivory has been spreading about how "Mommy hit me in the eye..." No, no...honest. It was the skeeter.


Daisy was/is a handful wherever she goes. My dad quickly learned to keep an eye on her, and I would find him lurking around corners watching her carefully. One afternoon, my dad walked through the room where we were playing a game and said,

"I haven't seen Daisy for a while. Does anyone know where she is? This could be a problem."

"Oh dad, she's just taking a nap."

But I don't blame him one bit for being cautious. She got into plenty while she was there. But she was a great napper and I love the day Tyler found her like this. She had found the hair straightener and must have been busy examining it when she fell asleep. (It was not on, thank goodness.)


Daisy made me laugh today. Robyn has been begging to get dog treats for Moxy. (Probably because of the trauma that dog went through when we left—another post.) I took them all to Pet Co this afternoon to restock our snacks for the hound. They have a 'treat bar' there with an assortment of treats in shapes and sizes that often appear much like people food. They have one treat in particular that looks exactly like small chocolate chip cookies. Daisy was fascinated by the treat bag and was eventually crying because I wouldn't give her one, despite my firm admonishments that she would not like them.

I finally decided to teach her the easiest way possible. I fished out a cookie-shaped dog treat and told her to go for it. She gingerly took a bite and chewed away happily. I asked her questioningly, "Does it taste good?" She nodded yes and went for another bite. This intrigued me, so I took a sniff. It certainly didn't smell bad. Daisy finished off the entire cookie. Great, now I will have to hide all the dog treats in a good spot, to keep them away from, not the dog, but Daisy.


My parents house has an awesome tub. It is huge and has bubble jets. It was so easy to throw all four kids in at once, and Tyler would take Pearl in to calm her down. (That child loves the water.) Tyler snapped a picture of the monkeys one morning.

Aren't they sweet?

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Sound You Can Touch

It seems that every time I have gone down to the Puget Sound, just minutes from my parents' home, the tide is in and there isn't much to find, let alone much beach to walk on. (And by beach, I mean rocks.) However, this time around, when we took the kids, we were in luck. The tide was very low and there was plenty of exploring to be had.

I taught June how to flip over rocks to find hidden crabs. She amazed me by catching several herself.

She is one brave girl. Tim found several.

He preferred the leg grab vs. the butt grab. Tyler being Mr. Muscles, unearthed an extremely large rock where we found this sucker.

Pearl was impressed. (Maybe, it is hard to tell.)

I was very thankful that we decided to take the kids to the Sound. The original plan was to visit Ocean Shores, but since the younger handful were less than thrilled by the expedition, I was thankful that we only had to drive five minutes instead of two hours to find that out.

Ivory was easily coaxed into a smile, although she was not sure about all the rocks.

She tends to trip a lot and every small scratch needs special attention. I can't count how many times she has told me she is bleeding to find out that it is a minuscule wound. I think she was done after finding the starfish in the first ten minutes.

Daisy also had trouble navigating the rough terrain and I do feel slightly guilty. You tell someone you are going to a beach and I am sure they imagine sparkling sand and warm waves, neither of which you will find on a beach in Washington.

Robyn was equally intrigued as June, but she went farther down the beach and I didn't catch her on film. (Um...can we really say film still?) Despite the rocks, the scenery was gorgeous.

And the weather was less gray than usual. Gotta love the Northwest.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Program...

We are back!! Which means I have a gigantic amount of posts to catch up on.

However, I think it is pertinent that I postpone those for a day so we can have a moment for Fathers. We happen to have a particularly good Dad on the premises. One who did not deride me at all for sleeping in this morning instead of making him breakfast. Everyone was really tired since we got home very late. And I am fairly impressed that we were only two minutes late to 9:00 church when there were still two children sleeping at 8:30.

Although we were not prepared with breakfast, there were other gifts to be given. See if you can figure out from these pictures what Tyler may have received.

If you guessed Label Maker, you are right. He also got a map from Robyn, a DVD from Ivory, and a Chocolate Cigar from me. I have been meaning to get him one with every baby that arrives, and although I am incredibly slow, he finally got his cigar. I barely got a picture before he devoured it. (Does he not look debonaire?)

Tyler has been a father for seven years now. I can't decide whether we are getting better or worse at parenting as the years go by. Take for instance this lovely example of our lax parenting. In the past, had our child taken off her diaper outside, we would have quickly scooped her up and re-diapered her.

Now, we just watch in amusement until said child decides to pee on the patio and then we laugh and take pictures.

(Yes, while she is peeing.) So much can change in just a few short years.

Parenting is such an adventure. There is no manual that has all the answers, although I think I could write a brilliant parenting book. This is what it would say:

Have patience...and a sense of humor.

Do you think they would pay me the big bucks for that? Best-seller list, here I come.

Anyway, another Father's Day has gone down in the books. I think it was a good one. I should give a shout out to my Father as well. He is quite the amazing man. He spent months getting ready for our family to come visit in Washington. It is due, in no small part, to him that we had such a good time.

He cleaned out the guest room so the kids would have a place to sleep. He cleaned the dining room, living room, and rec room to make them kid accessible. He also made a fabulous toy area for the kids to play in. Seriously amazing. This may not mean much to the average person, but if you have ever been to my parent's house, you would know what a feat this is. (They possibly have more stuff than the Smithsonian crammed into one house.) Thanks Dad for being so wonderful. We had a great time and we miss you already.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Little Extra Protein

If you are coming to visit my parents, there is something you must understand; you will also be visiting spiders. It is kind of a package deal. Even though I grew up constantly surrounded by them, I haven't gotten used to the feeling. It stills sends chills up my spine when I look up while I am showering and see a spider; or while I am sitting in a room and I see one race across the floor. Often they just sit in the creases between wall and ceiling, not going anywhere; but their permanent presence and imminent descent always leave me uneasy.

The other day, I was mentioning my continuing dislike of the arachnid species and Tyler said, "Oh, get used to it. Plus you have probably already swallowed two in your sleep by now." *Shudder* He was naturally referring to the myth that the average human swallows 4 spiders (or up to a pound of spiders) in their lifetime. (It really depends on which myth you are going with. They are all unfounded as one website says, but since I have visited the website, I now have many more stupid myths to worry about; like spiders drinking from your eyes while you sleep. Trust me, do not look these up.)

My father does not mind the spiders in the least. He calls them his little friends and he does not kill them unless they look 'weird.' I personally think 'weird' includes all spiders but in this instance I think he is implying the spiders that look more unfriendly. He claims that his house does not have more spiders than the average household. I wholeheartedly disagree. I walked around the other day and counted five and those were the ones that I could SEE. There is no telling how many have holed themselves up in the corners, or my pajamas, just waiting for their next hapless victim.

This is probably very disturbing for some of you to read. If so, I tell you that, first, you didn't have to grow up in this house; and second, what I am about to tell you will probably disturb you more, so stop reading if you are feint of heart...

Yesterday, my dad was after one of those unfriendly spiders. (Which makes me feel so much better that he is finding the unsavory variety while I am visiting.) He reached up to squish it, it being up on some wall, or on the ceiling. He missed his mark and dislodged the spider and it fell...

...INTO HIS MOUTH!! It was big enough that several of the legs were hanging out and he just sort of flicked it out. I am so glad this didn't happen to me. I would have been so startled, I probably would have swallowed involuntarily, and then my arachnophobia would reach irreparable damage. (Like I am so normal now.)

Isn't that one of the grossest things you have ever heard? I am creeping myself out just writing about it.

I recommended my parents get their house sprayed, but my dad is sure that the exterminators use toxic chemicals that harm people. I haven't Googled that yet, for fear I may find another myths website. But in the meantime, as for me and my house, we will skip the extra protein and deal with the fumigating anarchists.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Summer Itch

In my quest to be a good dad, I have been up for anything the girls want to do. For example, we have swimming suits, so it only makes sense that we go swimming...somewhere. To put all the facts on the table: 1) There is no swimming pool at Grandma's house. 2) We have no idea where any swimming pools are. 3) We got a hot tip from Iris, one of Tim's friends at school, where a good "splash park" is located.

Iris referred to it as "Wapato Park," which sounded wonderfully native american to me. From it's description, it must be a beautiful location—a large waterfront with lots of trees, a kids' water area with plenty of kid-safe water stuffs, tons of ducks and geese, two playgrounds, picnic tables, benches, docks, gardens, and plenty of natural plant life abounding.

Wapato Park Master Plan (click image for a printable pdf version)

With the kids all suited up and the GPS programmed, we took off for the park. It was not really a sunny day, but it didn't seem too bad. When the GPS chirped that we had arrived, I was ready for the girls to have some fun. We surveyed the park: the waterfront looked nice enough; tons of gardens as promised. I could see the docks in the distance, and there appeared to be a playground on the other side of the docks, but it was obscured by plenty of good-ol Washington-style greenery. And it was no lie about the geese and the ducks—they were EVERYWHERE!

The playground seemed a natural target for the beginning of our fun, so we went there. There were lily pads floating in the water about ten feet from the shore near the playground. I kept looking for all the kid-safe water toys, but I couldn't find them. The girls were content on the playground for about five minutes—they came to swim after all!

Quickly, the place to be was observing the lily pads from the shore. Then the shore became, a few steps in: just enough to cover the flip flops. Then, the flip flops came off, and they were in up to the ankles, then their knees...do you see a trend here? Sure enough, in just a few minutes, I was the dad sitting on the shore with flip flops and pants strewn about me gazing on, watching my girls frolic in the water and enjoying the natural beauty of Washington. It was a Kodak moment. Had I remembered my camera, it would have been a real Kodak moment. But no matter, God gave me a brain and I was straining to etch this memory in as this huddle of local moms surrounded me, looking on concerned.

"Are you just gonna let them go in the water?" one mom asked. Now, I'm no expert, but that sounded to me like the type of condescending statement that usually precedes really bad information. What could it be? I wondered. Were their sharks in the water? Was this some sort of marine rehabilitation area that my children were destroying? June had already harvested three lily pads. Maybe there was some ordinance about having children in the water? I don't know. Local customs can be strange to outsiders.

So, like a true unabashed father, confident in my parenting skills, I responded, "Yeah." (I prefer arrogant parenting to no parenting.)

"Well, don't be surprised if they itch like crazy tomorrow. Whole lake's infested with this terrible bacteria that causes ya to itch all over. They call it 'swimmer's itch,' I think. Terrible itch. Real bad for the first day or two, ya know."

I became conscious that my eyes were extremely wide, and my mouth was hanging open a little. I found my head leaning a little to the left, and I was blinking more than I usually do. When it seemed like it was my turn to defend myself from the accusation that I was neglecting my fathering responsibilities, I stuttered out that I thought they would be okay. I was trying to fathom something intelligent to lie like: "Oh no, ha! My kids have on the new G20 swimmer's itch block. As if I would allow my children to play in infested waters without protecting them." Of course such a competent lie could only be fabricated on the fly by a true professional, and sadly, I've not been practicing.

They other parents, their warning given, retreated to watch their own children; now that the newcomer had been warned. They were of course, looking over their shoulder to see what I would do with this information. And I did what any inlander father would do. I gave one of those GQ smiles as I looked over my shoulder—this is important to distract onlookers, from the phone quickly being produced from my pocket. I flipped it open and Googled, "Swimmer's Itch."

"Swimmer's itch, also called cercarial dermatitis, appears as a skin rash caused by an allergic reaction to certain parasites that infect some birds and mammals. These microscopic parasites are released from infected snails into fresh and salt water (such as lakes, ponds, and oceans). While the parasite's preferred host is the specific bird or mammal, if the parasite comes into contact with a swimmer, it burrows into the skin causing an allergic reaction and rash. Swimmer's itch is found throughout the world and is more frequent during summer months."

That was enough for me. I retrieved my children, pride aside. I escaped to a nearby public restroom and attempted to wash my children's legs in a water-restricted sink. It was one of those press-down faucet jobbies. The one's that give you water for like three seconds—you know the type. I won't go into the contorting experience of washing children's legs in a sink under that faucet.

After they were rinsed, we b-lined for the house to get into a bath. Everyone washed with lots of anti-bacterial soap, and we're currently praying they don't get any itchy symptoms. We'll see how well it goes over.

Morals of this story: 1) No more "hot tips" from unvetted sources. 2) People should post signs for things like swimmer's itch. Stupid people need to be warned! 3) Arrogant parenting is better than no parenting, but humble parenting is best.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Riddle Me This Batman

Is a vacation with children really a vacation?

I cannot tell you how many times I have counted to five already this week. (This is counting heads of kids, not trying to control my temper, although there may have been a few of those moments as well.) Even with Tyler, I am outnumbered. Children go in several different directions and I find myself yelling at the top of my lungs, "Robyn, too far!! while I chase after Daisy. And when I say chase, I mean it. That child runs. Away. Way away. At the zoo, at the airport, in the security line, at the park, in church. I have found myself saying multiple times, My kingdom for a leash. And I will get one...soon.

But, we are having a joyous time. Laughter all around. (With the usual amounts of crying.) I do miss our van. For some reason, the kids have gotten fairly good about being well-mannered in the family vehicle, but here in a borrowed car, they have lost all sense of manners. I think I have heard every cliche in the book. Are we there yet? She touched me. I have to go to the bathroom. Mom, the baby just spit up. Good times.

I wouldn't pass up on these experiences or adventures for anything. We are making family memories and building character, one bruise at a time. I just wouldn't classify it as a vacation for me or the Mr.

That will come in several years when we drop the kids off at Grandma and Grandpa's and they can spend a week counting to five.

Stay tuned for "vacation" posts and pictures.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Yesterday, June, Robyn, and Ivory were gone. The younger two were sleeping and I was just chillin. (And by chillin, I mean I was hunkered down with my tissues cursing my allergies.)

Daisy woke up shortly thereafter and it was such a nice day outside, I thought I should put her in her swimsuit and turn the sprinkler on. I got her all dressed, but she was still only half awake. I plunked her down in front of the sprinkler and she stood there for ten minutes, not doing anything.

Eventually, she took a step or two forward and tested the water with her fingers.

Next came a foot.

It was so fun to watch her slowly explore. It is not often that I have time with just one of my children and I enjoy every minute I get. (Okay, most of the minutes, because I would be lying if I said I love the 4 am feedings.)

Daisy just gazed and watched, pointing out birds when she saw them.

She played in the house for a bit

and we ended with a popsicle. What a perfect moment.