Sunday, May 30, 2010

CO-ED PARTY!!! or I Hope My Pediatrician Doesn't Read My Blog 5.15.10

Did you read the correct amount of panic in the first part of that title? Because honestly, I'm not sure how I entered this phase of my life, the one where I act as chaperone to a bunch of hormonal teenagers who aren't quite sure how to talk to each other.

In fact, the boys were setting up a lacrosse net in the front yard when the girls showed up. I swear five or more full minutes passed before the boys said a word to them. Why is it hard to talk to someone you text 50 times a day? I don't know. I finally played Interfering Mom and stealthily went over to Josh (I'm sure no one noticed) and whispered, "Say HELLO to the girls, son."

We had dinner, the boys went out to the backyard, and the girls offered to clear the table. WHAT? Is that what teenage girls do? Seriously? I didn't quite know how to respond, so I nodded wordlessly.

So they hung out outside for a while. And I felt guilty because my pediatrician had just told me we should take out our totally life-threatening trampoline, but I let them jump. (Dr. Cox, if you happen to find and read this one day, I'm sorry. I really really am. I was still in shock from the teenage girls offering to clear the table.)

And then they watched a movie. And one boy and one girl held hands. And I had to keep walking back and forth to keep an eye on the dangerous situation.

And then they all played night games. And someone tracked dog poop all through my downstairs, up the stairs, and into the main area of the front room. I found it the next day.

All in all, it was a success. No one died on the trampoline. The boy holding hands wasn't my boy. The kids were nice kids.

But I ask again, how is it possible that this is MY life? I didn't know when I was holding my brand new baby Josh that one day his friends would invade my house with their changing voices, their desire to show off on the trampoline to the innocent table-clearing girls, and that I would have to figure out my new role in their world.

I have a sneaking suspicion that I'm just supposed to offer food, treats, and popcorn, and otherwise stay in the background.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Visiting Paradise 5.14.10

Sophie was invited to her best friend Anna's birthday party at her old gym in our old neighborhood. Kate, Ben and I decided to go out to dinner together, but thought we'd make a stop at the old street. (David was in Spokane visiting his brother and Josh was on a backpacking trip, so it was just the four of us.)

I knocked on doors and soon had a gathering of screaming kids and chatting grown-ups.

Sigh. Bliss.

It was a night full of nostalgia. Also laughing. And fun. We're adapting to the new life, but the old life was pretty special.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


So I decided that this tax thing has gone on long enough. I have GOT to finish. I decided I can have no internet until after they are DONE, but I'm taking a short, miniscule, barely noticeable break from my break to let you know that I know you're worried. I know you're missing my Pictures of the Day. I know your life is not feeling complete without me.

So I will do my best to finish our tax return quickly.

Carry on.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Toys 5.13.10

I had kind of forgotten my adoration of three year olds.

I mean, they are physically darling, trying out all kinds of different actions all of the time. Ben's running gait changes within one run from the kitchen to his room. His arms flail all over, and then he changes his stride...OK. I know. It's one of those things that's way more fun to see than to explain. And when he is trying to figure out what he wants, he holds his hands out and wiggles his fingers in this crazy way. I adore it.

And then they say hysterical things. When Ben wanted to be held at two, he'd say, "Hoju me," which is still one of my favorite things. But now he says, "Mom. I wantcha. I WANTcha." Oh, and he sings all the time.

And then they adore their toys. I love watching their imaginations grow and grow and grow. Ben has found Josh's old stash of pirates and knights (passed down from some friends whose boys are now fully grown. These toys have been loved and loved and loved some more). He carries them around in a box. I love it.

This time is flying by. Just FLYING.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Wednesday 5.12.10

David and Ben read books and snuggled before David headed out to visit his brother in Spokane for a few days.

And we had another spontaneous kitchen dance party. Nothing better than dancing on the barstools.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Anne Frank 5.11.10

I was so young when I first read Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. I suppose I could figure out exactly when I read it, because afterwards I tried writing my diary to a fictional friend. It just sounded stupid, so I stopped after a while. Reading those few entries to "Dear Kitty" or "Cassandra" or whatever random name I chose still makes me cringe.

Other than the terrible journal-writing technique I gleaned from the book, I can honestly say that reading that book changed me.

Until reading about Anne's life, I didn't really understand the possibilities of man's inhumanity to man. I didn't really understand that hatred could go so far and that evil could be aided by so many seemingly decent human beings. Since my first reading of Anne Frank, I've done lots of reading of memoirs written by people who have learned these terrible lessons firsthand. Rwanda, the Chinese Cultural Revolution, Cambodia, Yugoslavia...there are so many shocking things that have taken place in this world. They've happened in THIS world, the one where I spend my time taking my children to piano lessons, watching Josh kick a ball on a lush green soccer field, where I walk into a grocery store and take my time choosing the perfect apples out of dozens of apples, and my biggest complaints are honestly miniscule when looked at with the horrors of war as a backdrop.

So when Josh had to choose a book from the timeframe of WWII, there was really no contest. I knew he had to read Anne Frank. And as a perfect addition, the Salt Lake City Library had an exhibit based on Anne's life that ended just as he was finishing the book and discussing it in class. So I packed up the kids after school and we headed downtown.

The exhibit's main section was a timeline: Anne Frank's life on the bottom and the rise of Hitler and the events of the Holocaust and the war on the top. The pictures, the life events, the knowledge that her life would be taken so early by such was all so much to take in.

Sophie knew little about WWII before the exhibit. I told her more about it before we went so that it wouldn't be as shocking. But as we walked through the panels, detailing the changes that occurred with Hitler in power, then seeing the pictures of people in concentration camps, then finding out that Anne died only a month before the Allied forces freed the prisoners from Bergen-Belsen, I saw her lose a little innocence. I wish we lived in a world where that innocence never had to be lost, but I'm grateful she can learn those lessons in a library, not hiding in an annex.

And Kate and Ben? They happily sat on a couch reading books together in a library in a country where liberty is so often taken for granted. We can go to a library and read books on any imaginable subject. We can practice our religion; any religion. We can disagree with our leaders, even in a big public gathering, without fear of recrimination. We are so so blessed to be part of this amazing nation. We are so so blessed to be a part of a democracy where disagreement is part of the big picture, where the ebb and flow of leadership is secured by peaceful processes.

I only hope we can find a way to protect those less fortunate and that our world can learn to fear less and love more.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Ironing out the Wrinkles 5.10.10

I don't much enjoy ironing.

I didn't much enjoy ironing as a teenager. (Just ask my mom who complained mightily about the state of my wrinkled clothes as I left for school each day.)

I didn't gain anymore appreciation for it as a young adult. (Just ask David who once ironed my very cool red circle skirt and white shirt so I could go on a date with another guy.)

And I certainly can't say that it's grown on me as an adult. (Just ask Frampton's Cleaners who has had my business for years and years.)

They way I see it, I can iron fewer than 3 of David's 100% cotton dress shirts an hour. Or...I can pay to have them washed and pressed for around $2 a shirt. I've always considered my time more valuable than $5 an hour.

Until now.

Suddenly we find ourselves in a penny-pinching mode. Blame it on the house. Or on our spending to furnish said house. Or me not teaching. Or the large cuts the symphony made to all of its staff salaries. Or really, blame it on all of the above.

Now really, I don't mind being frugal. Believe me, I know frugal. We lived on $13,000 our first year of marriage and $17,000 our second. We had one car for six and a half years, even though David worked in Salt Lake and I worked in Heber and Provo. In college, I once didn't grocery shop for nearly 6 months (we lived off David's parents' food storage.) And (David's mom's favorite story) I once gave David wrapped library books for Christmas.

But ironing? Sigh. It's really hard to have to be ironing again. Not only that, but I'm really not very good at it...

Looking on the bright side? We have shirts to iron. And electricity to run the iron. And I'm not having to iron shirts for other people to bring in extra income. And I can watch TV while I iron. Not so bad, after all.

But just as soon as I can, I'm giving my business back to Frampton's. I'm sure they miss me.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mother's Day 5.9.10

I think it's sad that I have no picture of myself with my offspring from the day meant to celebrate this very bond. But oh well. That's the way it goes around here. But look at this cute Sophie. She's way way way too old and I'm freaking out.

Instead of a picture, though, I did get a delicious breakfast made by said offspring: muffins, a banana smoothie, and fruit. Also, I got to sleep in, which is all I actually wanted. (Oh, also for David to put the kids to bed.) Ben ate the tops off of four muffins and stacked them like Legos.

After church, we trekked up to Heber and celebrated with David's mom. Another amazing meal. She's a remarkable cook. She's let us know lately, though, that at her funeral, we're not allowed to talk about her cooking. Or her hat-making. She's already assigned gospel topics to each of her children. They are to give a 2 minute talk on the gospel subject and not mention her much at all.

We told her that if she's dead, there's nothing she can do if they don't stick to their gospel topic and instead talk about how wonderful she is.

She said if they're naughty enough to do that, she'll haunt us.

I love David's mom.

I also love my mom, and my grandmas, and I missed my mom bunches.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Shower and Showers 5.8.10

My darling niece, Leslie, is having a baby. I taught piano to Leslie (before she decided that the flute was more her style) and have loved her since I met her oh so many years ago. It's not hard to picture her as a mother, since she used to mother my little Josh and Sophie when she came over for piano lessons or at family parties. She would let them put crowns and capes on her and pretty much make them feel like royalty. Sophie and I spent the morning first at Sophie's mother-daughter Activity Day's breakfast, and then went to celebrate Leslie.

And then home for work, work, and more work. Cleaning, mowing, and lots and lots and lots of weeding. David also turned on the sprinklers to see if all was in order (and all was in order. Well, except for all the broken pipes and sprinklers and hours of work ahead of us...poor David) and the monkeys thought that 60 degrees sounded like perfect sprinkler weather.

And looking at these pictures, I have to agree. So what if their lips turned purple and they needed a half-hour hot bath to recover...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Heating Pad 5.7.10

This is a bit of a strange picture, I know. And yes, you might guess that I forgot to take a picture until late. But I'm kind of glad, because this darned heating pad is a major part of my life around bedtime. Josh (never a good sleeper, and always a master of excuses) always needs this warmed up ("Three and a half minutes, Mom. Please???") AFTER his teeth have been brushed, he's read, and he's been read to. (We're reading Lord of the Rings together. We started last April when he had the flu for three weeks. We've got about 100 pages left.) Every night I say, "You need to remember to warm this up BEFORE you get into bed." And every night he looks at me and says, "PLEASE, Mom."

And every night I give in.

I know. I know. It's my own darned fault. I'll be firm one day. But for now, I traipse up the stairs, stick the heating pad in for three and a half minutes (unless I cheat and do three) and take care of my cute boy.

Thursday around the GreenHouse 5.6.10

Girls playing school. Love it.

Boys going running. Love it times four.

Josh has decided he doesn't have enough endurance on the soccer field, and his morning runs are getting more regular. He decided to start running with David a couple of evenings a week. So fun. I hope this is the beginning of a beautiful habit.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Me and My Cookies 5.5.10

You know what they say...Nothing tastes as good as thin feels.

I don't buy it.

Sometimes cookies taste better than thin feels.

Which is why thin and I are not getting along so well lately.

I'm thinking about giving up sugar. Can't decide. Opinions?

But could I really be without my cookies?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Super Glue is Just So Super 5.4.10

You may remember that I am good friends with Super Glue. I have terribly dry skin during Utah's seemingly unending winters and although Super Glue is not a PERFECT solution, it's the best thing I've come up with. I generally have to glue the cracks in my fingertips three or four times a week, but when I'm practicing a lot, I have to glue them nearly every day. One of the four year olds in my Primary class likes to point out how disgusting my fingertips look, but I'm getting over that. At least they don't hurt when they're covered in glue.

I'm quite a pro at the process of glueing my fingers. My friend Malisa glued her fingers together a couple of weeks ago and I thought that was pretty funny, especially when she ended up having to cut them apart. I didn't tease her as much as I wanted, because I'm nice like that. Now I'm glad that I was so nice.

As my facebook status said, "My stupid fingers hurt so much I couldn't practice, so I got out the superglue. Now my fingers are glued together so I can't practice. Just not my day."

So then I thought, oh, well, I can just gradually pull them apart.

And then I thought hot water and soap might work.

And then I tried cutting them apart with scissors.

I finally ended up holding my hand in front of the window to get the best light and then cut my fingers apart with a steak knife.

I haven't used the superglue since. But I think I'll give in tomorrow. My fingertips are hurting too badly to avoid it any longer. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Soccer 5.3.10

Soccer season for Josh has started again in earnest, usually four days a week. Games range from Bountiful to North Ogden. I enjoy being outside, letting the littles run free and enjoying the spring weather, even if I don't love driving farther than Bountiful. Also, regarding weather: Utah, I'd sure appreciate it if you could decide whether it is spring or winter. Thanks.

Josh LOVES the game. His team is less than stellar this year, and he sometimes comes home frustrated, but he still loves to play. I also think he's learning some good life lessons from this experience. The other day he came home from a game with David. When I asked how they did, he said, "Really good! We only lost by five this time!" And he meant it. Good kid. He got up at 6:00 this morning to run death squares (a jogging/sprinting exercise) in our backyard, since he's realizing that his endurance is not where he'd like it to be. His goal is to run early 3 days this week. I'm excited to see him make some personal goals and show this kind of initiative.

Oh, also, Josh has been telling me his shorts are too short. Ummmm...I guess there is now photographic proof. Poor kid. His mom had better show some initiative, too. The sports store shopping kind.

Over the River and Through the Woods 5.2.10

We brought dinner to Heber to share with David's mom and Rachelle, Bill, and Alysha. Mom made these cinnamon chips with fruit salsa. Yummy.

Also, I love cousin time, even if it revolves around a mini screen. Well, I don't really love the combination of kids and screens, but they honestly did look cute. (I'm pretty sure I forced them to turn off the DS as soon as I took the picture.)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Fiesta 5.1.10

Eric and Christina know how to throw a mad Cinco de Mayo party, and their homemade tamales are the centerpiece. Apparently this batch took at least 6 man hours of labor to make. Labor of love, I tell you. Totally divine.

We were going to start our party with a jaunt to the Spiral Jetty. I've been dying to see it for years. Unfortunately, I didn't do my research, and had no idea that it would take about 2 hours just to get there...not the perfect outing for a rainy afternoon before a party. So we headed to Sugarhouse Park instead and let the kids run.

After the park we headed back to Eric and Nina's for a feast: Pina coladas, Ashleigh's amazing guacamole (we all agree hers is the best in the world, hands down), tamales, fruit, chile rellano, and quesadillas for the kiddos. Then tres leches from Cafe Rio (thanks to Blake), tres leches cake (Ashleigh), and Mexican brownies (Eric and Christina) with cayenne pepper and cinnamon.

I don't think I will eat again until Tuesday.

We ended the night with a pinata in the pouring rain.

It was another super fun night with super wonderful people. Thanks so much, E & N. We love you guys.

Clouds and Sun 4.30.10

This view is growing on me. I really love watching storms through the kitchen window, the play of light and shadow, the different colors, the rise and fall of the sun. I pretty much love looking at any kind of weather, EXCEPT when there's an inversion. I can't even think the word inversion without my stomach hurting.

Or is my stomach hurting because I just ate like a horse at Eric and Nina's Cinco de Mayo party? (I told you it's been a party week.)

I'll bet you can guess.

(And speaking of eating...I just saw a picture Ashleigh took of my back when we were at the park tonight. Oh boy. I know I've gained a couple (a few?) pounds in the last couple of months, but it wasn't until I saw the hard evidence that I realized something's got to give around here. Me and cookies (and Tres Leches cake? and brownies? and rolls? and homemade bread?) have got to take a break. Really.)

Yet Another Sleeping Ben Picture 4.29.10

I know, you just saw Sleeping Ben in Sunday's picture. But he's just so darned cute.

And honestly, I wish I could just flop down on the floor and sleep with abandon like that.

Maybe I'll try it soon.

New Book Club 4.28.10

I tried out a new book club. Man, it's been a party week. I like party weeks. They're way more fun than normal weeks.

I loved the group of women, and it turned out that I have at one point or another taught piano to children of five of the women there.

The discussion was great. The book was good. (It's not one I recommend to readers with a distaste for gore or sex or language in books. Just saying.) And hanging out with intelligent, funny people for the third day in a row? Total plus.

Yippee. Apparently one of the secrets to a happy life is being around people other than children. Who'd have guessed?

Oh, also? Ignore the disgusting stuff that lives in the seams of my van seats. Yuck. I maybe shouldn't bring your attention to the grime? Maybe you wouldn't have noticed without this note? Oh you can go back and look more closely. Guess I need to vacuum more thoroughly. Better yet, maybe I need to ask David to work his magic on my van so that I can take pictures of books on the passenger seat and not be humiliated publicly.