Tuesday, January 30, 2007


My eldest has this uncanny ability to put my baby to sleep, or at least calm her down. I can sit and bounce, rock, pat til my wits end, but he takes her and within seconds she's settled down and resting peacefully in his arms. Now you might be saying to yourself, awww, how sweet, which it most certainly is. However, how's it going to look on his transcripts when it shows that he's been absent most of the year because I kept him home to hold the babe?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Almost useless

My oldest child asked me yesterday to help him with his math homework. I go over to the book to look at it. This is what it was:

27 divided by 3 squared is greaterthan/less than/equal to 27 divided by square root of 9

Luckily I remember square roots and ask the questions necessary for him to be able to figure out this problem.

I look at my husband with eyes of disbelief afterwards. He's almost laughing because he knows, as do I, that pretty soon I will be useless with math homework for him. What's he going to do then? Wait for Dad to come home, that's what.

When did third graders start doing square roots?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Overwhelming urge

I cannot shake it.
I need to clean. Not a pick-up-toys-before-bed kind of clean. Not even a mop-the-floors-because-people-are-coming kind of clean.
This is a bona fide wash-the-windows-and-wipe-the-baseboards-and-take-a-toothbrush-to-the-toilet kind of cleaning urge that has overcome me.
I am at neither end of the spectrum when it comes to my home. We are not slobs, but we aren't spotless either. We have always held onto middle ground. Somewhere around don't-look-in-the-closets.
But now I can't even walk into a room without starting some kind of cleaning or organizing project. Take that pile upstairs, vacuum under that, throw out those. I currently have 5 active projects that I have worked on today. And all I can think about is how long this is taking and how I want it done NOW! Spring cleaning has come early for us. I hope my enthusiasm lasts until I am finished.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


I don't remember much of what was said at church, and I have very few pictures. But I do know with a complete certainty that you were meant to be in our family.
You were perfectly asleep, unlike your brother Cannon who cried during his entire blessing.
I don't remember much of Chance and Emme's blessings. If anyone has any memories they would be willing to share, I'd appreciate it. I've been racking my brain, unable to fathom that it's been so long since they were born that I've lost those memories.
I made Emme's dress, and I remember that we forgot to take pictures of her in it and had to do so a week later. I remember Dad had something wrong with his foot and had to wear Teva's to church. My 500 square foot house was packed with people afterwards, and Chance was running around outside, filthy dirty. Mike and Liz left soon after for New York.
I remember shopping with my mom for an outfit for Chance the day before because I had forgotten to get him anything to wear. He wore the same outfit in the temple a few days later when we were sealed. He cried the whole time on the altar. He was only 4 weeks old.
I remember that Nick left for his mission a few days after we blessed Cannon. It was a great testimony meeting, almost as good as his farewell. I remember Mike and I fought over who was going to take Chance up, because he wanted to go. Mike lost.
I wish many times that I had kept a journal of some sort for the past ten years. There are so many things I have forgotten. Now I can relate to my own mother when she can't remember what happened or to whom it happened to. Apparently, the fogginess of motherhood is genetic.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Tonight we celebrate

A funny thing happened yesterday. I received a phone call from the school, which always makes me worry. It's Em's teacher. She wants to tell me that Emme is student of the month. I smile, knowing how happy Emme will be. She loves this kind of thing, as she's been student of the month before. I can't wait to tell her.
My dearest picks the kids up from school. He walks in and says "Guess what, Chance is student of the month!". I correct him, no it's Emme. No, he says, it's Chance. I, getting a little irritated that the father of my children doesn't know their teachers, insist that he's wrong. Emme's teacher called me, I say, it's for Emme. He looks at me and tells me that after school Chance told him his teacher wanted to see him. He walked into her classroom and she told him that she had chosen Chance as SOTM, and that there would be a ceremony on Tuesday evening. We looked at each other. We realize we have two SOTM and grin.
Now if you're thinking, gosh, you guys are those kind of parents, the kind that aspire to have kids that are SOTM, well then you would be wrong. I always laughed at those bumper stickers that said "My kid beat up your Student of the Month", knowing how dumb the real SOTM stickers were. Don't get me wrong, I want my children to excell, or at least do their best. But the pressure isn't on for awards and such.
However, when someone else realizes that your child is as amazing as you've always thought, well, you can't help but be extremely proud. Almost enough to find room on your bumper for the sticker. Almost.

Saturday, January 06, 2007


My running buddy, otherwise known as RB, called in sick today. It doesn't happen often, so when it d0es it leaves me in a quandry. To run or not to run. Hmmm. I am already awake, and I just fed the little bear. I better run. However, it is dark and my ipod is broken. And I hate to run by myself. It's now 2 to 3, not to run. But dang, that race is in less than a month. I fix the ipod and head out.
I used to run by myself all the time. When I first started, I didn't want anyone around when I waddled out the door for a total run of 1/8 of a mile. As I grew stronger and my runs grew longer, I started listening to music to pass the time and help keep up my speed. But I was never very consistent. Some weeks I'd be out on the pavement 4 days, others I'd miss entirely.
I found my first RB in California. She was just as inconsistent as I was when alone, but together, we hardly ever missed a day. We worked in strength training a few days a week and suddenly I was in better shape then I had been my whole life. It lasted less than a year. We moved. I was pregnant. Running went downhill.
I moved again. Looked for a new RB. Ran sometimes. Tried to train for a marathon, but injured myself because of my lack of short runs. Was out for a long time.
I went through a bout of physical therapy and finally felt ready to run again. We were moving, once again, to a new house. I would drop the kids off at school and drive to my soon-to-be neighborhood. I'd check on the house, put the little guy in a jogger, and run the streets.
It was here that she saw me. Sunday came and she asked if it was me out there running. I, embarassed, responded with apologies for her having to see me. I hate when people see me run. No, she said, she wanted to come with. I explained we hadn't moved in yet, but as soon as we did, I'd take her up on it.
We proceeded to not speak for another 4 months.
Finally my DH asked her if she would please run with me, so I would stop complaining about my lack of shape. Apparently we had both been too intimidated by the other to bring it up again. We started with barely a mile. Last year we finished a marathon.
Now some people are so self-motivated, they don't need anyone else to push them. I always have. Would I still run without a RB. Maybe, but it's just better when she's there.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Just say no

I've never been a big fan of taking all my children shopping with me. It usually ends up with children everywhere and me gritting my teeth til we get to the car and I can give them whatfor. In order to avoid this catastrophe, I leave at least some of them home while I get my errands done. Only in an emergency do I venture out with all four. Today was one.
I've put off buying a blessing dress for our littlest, thinking in the back of my mind that I would make one. Yeah, that didn't happen. So here we are two days before and with one day packed full of activities. Dad's at work. Dang. Off we go.
It didn't start off well. The kids were a little testy when we dropped by Grandma's house. Not a good sign. I leave quickly, hoping to avoid any huge meltdowns.
First store. Long line and not much selection, but there is one I would settle for if necessary. I'll come back.
Next store. I leave the kids in the car watching a movie while I run in. Too much selection and ridiculously high prices. It's not a wedding dress, people.
Kids are hungry. Back to the first store to buy the dress. Longer line. Kids come in to wait and touch everything. Please can we buy this, they ask. And this. And this. Please. I don't have the energy to fight. Okay sure. Yeah get one for your brother too. And your sister. Finally it's our turn and we buy the dress.
Now you might be thinking, what kind of parent gives in when their children whine for stuff at the store? Trust me, it's not something I usually do. But I find it hard to say no in the distribution center.
You don't need a picture of the temple in your room.
I don't care if it's 10 cents, we already have enough Jesus pictures.
What kind of good LDS family has enough Jesus pictures? Especially the 10 cent variety. Apparently not ours.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


When you are a new parent for the first time, you have absolutely no clue what you're doing. Or at least I didn't. So you buy parenting books, subscribe to parenting magazines, and watch shows that help navigate the new terrain you've found yourself engulfed in. You can no longer pass by any type of information kid related. Anything to get your baby to a. stop crying, b. sleep through the night, and c. do something that makes him better than all the other kids you know. You learn 20 different ways to sleep train, the best order of solid food introduction, milestones (otherwise known as if-your-child-isn't-doing-these-things-we-need-to-discuss-his-need-for-the-short bus), and all the toys your child needs to be valedictorian of his preschool class. After a while, the books gather dust, subscriptions aren't renewed, and you find yourself watching trashy tv shows again, confident in your now amazing skills as a parent.
Another baby arrives, and you give yourself a quick refresher course, along with buying 3 potty-training books.
Another one comes, and you remind yourself to find the books.
Suddenly you find yourself the parent of four, so caught up in life you realize you've forgotten all the at-one-time-invaluable information you learned years ago. Your baby is a terrible sleeper because you didn't train her properly, she cries unless you're holding her because you've never done floor time, you can't remember when you're supposed to start solids, and when the doctor asks about milestones, you draw a blank (She is smiling right?)
You realize that this last child will have hand-me-down parents, parents who were new and fresh for their first born, but are now like your sister's old shirt, faded and worn. But you also realize that with all the washings that shirt has been through, it's gotten softer, more comfortable, and more experience than you would care to think about.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


I would like to be one of those people who posts daily about interesting things that have happened in their fascinating lives. Alas, my life is anything but. However, I have come to accept, even reveled in, my own normal existance. I live a normal life, with somewhat normal kids, in a normal house, driving my normal minivan, to the normal Target to buy normal groceries. Nothing out of the ordinary usually happens, hence my posts.
My 2007 New Years Resolutions
1. Be on time.
2. Run well.
3. Eat better.
4. Be a better parent.
5. Stick to a budget.
6. Keep a cleaner house.
7. Serve more.
I think it would be out of character if I were to, say, resolve to learn the electric guitar (not that there's anything wrong with that). And I'm okay with it.
Because some people are electric guitars, and some are minivans.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Box folding champion

My significant other and I have had many trials in our 10 years, usually of the monetary type. We have never been poverty stricken, but we've always struggled. Even after he landed the job he had been trying to get for years, it still didn't seem like we'd ever see an end to our financial woes. (It takes a long time to fill the grand canyon with one small shovel-full of dirt at a time.) One thing that I can be fully grateful for is a husband who is not too proud to work, even at the most menial of jobs. He's done things I couldn't imagine for the sake of our family. (Don't worry, I've never pimped him out, although I bet I could make some good money) But it seemed like no matter what we did, we could never get ahead. There were always cars to fix, which he learned how to do, and doctors to visit, thank goodness for our health insurance. We seemed to be making headway recently, although slowly.
So when he came home one day last week and said he had gotten a job delivering pizzas, I was aghast. Why oh why would he want to do that?! Delivering pizzas was something he had done while we were in school. It was good money and free pizza, but he quit to go to grad school, and I thought we were done with it. It seemed like such an unlikely thing for a college professor to be doing, and I was embarassed. But he takes more of an interest in our situation than I do, and he said we needed it. Plus he's not too proud to do things like that, and I am.
So yesterday he went out in his official uniform, off to feed the masses. When he came home he told me how he was running circles around all the other guys. And how he can fold boxes better than anyone there. I was proud, but this time it was because of him.