Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Some Things I Kinda Like about Being a Mom

The way Ben wriggles in delight when I pick him up.
Kate telling me she missed me "awl day wong."
Watching Josh tickle Ben.
Seeing Sophie grow into this really cool chick. She's got the hipness I always wanted...without working at it. But wait, she's only 8...she really shouldn't be so hip.
The smell of Baby Magic after Ben's bath.
Watching Kate do five 63 piece puzzles in a row with no help.
Listening to Josh practice cello.
Seeing the kidlets help each other through hard times (Sophie banged her hip yesterday and Kate and Josh held her up and walked her to me. So sweet. It almost makes up for the 80% of the time that they're bickering.)

It's not an easy job, this mother thing. I go about it all wrong most of the time, but somehow, they're turning out to be really neat people. (Remind me that I felt like that today, because tomorrow I may want to lock them in a closet for a few hours.)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Remembering Dad

Today would have been David's dad's 91st birthday. We decided to spend some time remembering him tonight, so we chose foods he liked for dinner, talked about some of the things we loved and remember about him, and spent some quiet time in the front room just hanging out. Sophie and David snuggled, Kate, Josh and Ben played around, and I played the piano. It was a really gentle and sweet evening, and I just feel grateful to have had such a loving man in my life. Here are some of the things we remembered about him:

He loved me from the moment he met me and always treated me like a special daughter.

He loved our kids from even before they were born.

He loved teaching Josh things when they'd spend time together while I taught piano in Heber (he made him a pulley system in a box, set up an old turntable to see if things would fly off more quickly on the edge or in the middle...he loved to watch Josh's mind work.) He read to the kids, enjoyed listening to them perform, and laughed at their jokes.

He always complimented David's mom on every meal she cooked him.

He supported us in everything we ever tried. He would sneak us money when we were starving college students (a 20 in our glovebox or a 10 under our dinner plates at Sunday dinner.)

He got married 3 weeks before serving a mission to Germany. He was in Germany during Hitler's reign and was even there during Kristallnacht.

He became an accountant with a degree from BYU, but was unhappy in his job. Rather than live life unhappily, he went back to school and became a surgeon. He even taught classes at Johns Hopkins Medical School. He made housecalls, delivered most of Heber City for a number of years, and as his practice dwindled (he reduced his workload, but couldn't retire until going on his mission forced him to), was sometimes paid in trout by his patients with less income.

He loved history and got up before 5 am most mornings of his adult life to study. He was writing a book ("The Firsts of Heber") when he died.

He used to own motorcycles and racing boats.

If you met Dad, he'd ask you about your life and before you knew it, he'd know your ancestry back as far as you knew it. He never met a person he didn't like.

He had a huge vocabulary.

He kept EVERYTHING. I mean EVERYTHING. Mom found a whole box full of the inserts in nylons. He liked to cut them up for bookmarks. He had boxes and boxes of paperclips. He had notepads about polio vaccines from the 50s...a shelf of them.

He was a gentleman and a Christian and we miss him.

Friday, January 25, 2008

How Life REALLY is...

So I have a dear friend who called me one day, feeling pretty low after reading some blogs. "Is her life REALLY the way her blog says it is? Can anyone's life really be that perfect? Cute and kind husband, darling children, wonderful extended family, blah blah blah..."

Now I KNOW there's no danger of anyone who knows me thinking that MY life is perfect (because we all know the truth.) But in the spirit of sisterhood, here are some of the ways my life is far from perfect...

1. The laundry

2. Have I mentioned the *&()*%#^& braces?

3. I had cake for lunch today. Not just one piece. And for afternoon snack, too. Not just one piece.

4. My kids sometimes watch TV BEFORE getting their work done (Gasp)

5. I like to watch TV more than I'd like to admit (Project Runway, anyone?)

6. I didn't shower for two days last week (I'm blaming the baby)

7. The many deep dark secrets not fit for public postings, and maybe not even for phone conversations (I do have a little pride).

8. I can't for the life of me get these last 5 pounds off my body (that's last 5 pounds of baby weight, not last 5 pounds of extra weight). What? You think the four pieces (or was it five?) of cake I ate today might have something to do with that?

9. Did I mention the laundry?

So, Malisa, this is for you. I can make a longer list, if you'd like. It could include $90 late fees at the library (that only happened once, I promise), chicken nuggets for my kids more days than I can count, not doing visiting teaching (they finally released me altogether), procrastinating most things of any importance, yelling at my children, allowing them to practice very poorly way too often, not clipping the dog's nails, keeping Ben in bed with us and letting him nurse to sleep for naps, and oh my, I had better stop now...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Update on Melody, the Imaginary Friend

So apparently Melody's pet spider died, and she's become nice. However, she still gets to play the Wii all day. (Can we all tell what Kate's deepest desire is?)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Kate's New Friend

We've been introduced to someone new: Kate's new imaginary friend, Melody.

Melody is not always nice.

Melody plays the Wii before she gets her work done.

Melody doesn't listen to her mom.

Melody calls lots and lots of people on the phone all the time.

Melody's mom and dad work and she doesn't have a babysitter and she doesn't have a brother or a baby, so she can play the Wii all day long.

Melody has a pet spider.

I really love imaginary friends, but Melody sounds like a stinker.

Friday, January 11, 2008

New Things

Kate started ballet on Jan. 3. She is loving it and her teacher is so sweet with the kids. Man, four year olds in leotards skipping around a room are fun to watch.

Sophie will also begin ballet next week. She's excited, too, but I'm sure it will be more structured than Kate's class.

And here is Ben enjoying his latest passion: Dad's RC cars. He chases them around and screams in delight. It's pretty darling. I like that Ben gets Dad time and Dave likes having a buddy. I can't stand how old Ben looks in this picture, though. I guess it's all the hair...

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Being Less Grumpy

Things I'm happy about:

David helped me get my head cleaned out and helped me plan
I like my camera
Sophie's done with her book report on time
We delivered our Christmas presents on time (mostly) this year
I have wonderful friends
Our kids are interesting people
Johnny Cash's version of The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
Kate doing puzzles
Ben clapping his hands, waving his arms around, and his hysterical inhale sound
We had a white Christmas
One day I won't have braces anymore
I have a beautiful life, overall

Happy January

Actually, it's not a happy January. I have a very bad attitude right now, so there. I had the really fantastic opportunity to have mouth surgery on Friday. There's nothing like that to let you know that you're getting old. No one in the periodontist's office was younger than 60 EXCEPT ME. Why me?

Anyway, feeling sorry for myself aside, it's been good to try to get the kids back in a routine.

Ben is Mr. Explorer. He wants to chew on everything he sees, and teeth #3 & #4 have made their appearance. It looks like he'll have fangs for a while like Josh did...his middle top teeth have NOT yet come in. He is so smiley and charming and utterly adorable. It's too bad he doesn't know how to sleep.

Kate started ballet last Thursday and has been on cloud nine. What is it about dancing that seems to make a little girl's dreams come true? She just can't believe that she's lucky enough to go to dance class. She skipped and leapt happily around the room and smiled or concentrated intensely the whole time.

Sophie and Josh have been filling our downstairs family room with box houses, using all the discarded Barnes and Noble and delivery boxes from Christmas. I love the imagination, but I'm not sure how long I can stand the clutter. Josh was told that he's ready to schedule his Book 1 Recital for cello. He's very excited. Sophie's nearly there! She's finished her last song in Book 1, and now we just have to polish. I know, however, that polishing is more than half the work...

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

I can't believe it's 2008. I'm in denial. The kids go back to school tomorrow! Yikes!

It's been a nice holiday, although too short.

Christmas Eve was here with Eric, Nina, kids, Paul, Cindee, kids, and Dave's mom. We had a pinata, the traditional clam chowder dinner, a very informal Christmas concert (all of us played drums for Little Drummer Boy. Ben even got into it with a shaker) with all the kids playing or singing a Christmas song, and the acting out of the Christmas story. Eric was a donkey, carrying Mary (Abby) to the inn (the piano bench). Baby Jesus (Ben) didn't want to stay with Mary, so the shepherd (me) ended up holding him through most of the story.

Christmas night I was only up until 3 am. Not as bad as last year...The kids were up until midnight and so we actually all slept until 8:30. We watched a DVD I'd made of David's dad reading Luke 2, then opened presents. We then had brunch here with a lot of David's family, then Christmas dinner (tamales...yummy) at Eric and Nina's. It was busy but wonderful.

Last night we rang in the new year with the neighbors and Eric and Nina and clan. It was so much fun. We played games and then had a Dance Dance Revolution showdown. Nina and I were the eventual winners. I think she finally won at 12:15, so she can claim the New Year's Eve championship. The men and big kids lit off fireworks at midnight and we all hoped for a happy and fabulous 2008.

My main goals are to memorize 10 pieces (3 of them new), run 500 miles, and do a recital with Nicole. There are more, but I'll post these three so I can be accountable. Ran 2.3 today. Not a lot, but a beginning. I've been a slug since Thanksgiving, so getting out at all was a victory.

So Happy New Year to You!