Sunday, February 12, 2012


Just a quick update on a few of the things we've been up to lately:


Though we have had several feet of snow so far this winter, (and have enjoyed lots of skating and sledding!) none of it has been wet enough to build snowmen!  Our children received a snowman kit from out neighbor for Christmas this year and have been jumping at the chance to use it - so finally, after the third 'dry' snow in a row, we decided to just give it our best shot.  

After trying for quite awhile to get a normal sized (and then small, and then miniature...) snowman, we finally just came to terms with the fact that the snow was not snowman snow, and did the best we could - which was a little blog (about 4 inches high - even shorter than he looks in the pictures!).  We dressed him up and named him Shorty.  Quite the adventure - but at least we finally got to put that kit to use!

Note how dark it is - because we spent SO long trying to build a snowman!!

My birthday was wonderful!  The children surprised me with breakfast in bed! (Not sure why Angel looks so sad...)  Then later, the Mr. surprised me by having our wonderful neighbor come tend the children while he took me to dinner - a VERY rare treat indeed!  Our sweet neighbor Nancy helped the children make some cards for me, and helped them make me an ice cream cake which we all enjoyed together!  The children had a wonderful time with her - and the Mr. and I enjoyed ourselves too! :)

I'm only posting this horrible picture of me for the memory - it's  the only picture I have of our wonderful neighbor Nancy!

Angel the Artist:  Angel LOVES beautifying everything she can.  When she sets the table, she sets full place settings, folds the napkins in a fancy manner, and most often makes name place cards (decorated and written in cursive, of course!)  When putting her toys away, she must place them just so.  And, when making a meal, proper food presentation is a must!  We got this idea from pinterest and she did a marvelous job!

Grins loves his sword.  It is often in it's 'time out' place on top of the fridge, since it regularly gets confiscated for misuse (sword fighting with his sisters, chopping 'dragons' which results in knocking things over, etc.).  But when he earns his sword back, it is his constant companion!  He has now taken to 'wearing' it by sticking it (pointy end down) down the neck of the back side of his shirt (I guess I don't have a picture of this).  One night when I went to check on him in bed, I found it in the back neck of his pjs, with him sleeping on it!  Naturally, I removed it, because it looked so uncomfortable!  The next morning, as soon as he awoke, he reached back and, feeling it was gone, asked me, "Where's my sword?!"  I explained that I'd removed it so he could sleep comfortably, and he insisted that it wasn't bothering him, and that he had needed it last night!  That night, when I went to check on him, this is what I saw:

Hugging his sword....but look at his wrist

He had attached the sword to his wrist with a silly band!

I decided I had to leave it, since he had obviously taken precautions to keep his sword all night!  When I questioned his motive the next morning, he explained that he feels MUCH safer at night when his sword is nearby.  I tried not to laugh, but then remembered doing similar things as a child - I actually remember holding my 'walkman' (yes - I'm that old!) over my chest at night to 'protect my heart' - and even my bike helmet once or twice to 'protect my brain'!  I'm not sure what invoked such fear in my mind at the time - but I do remember feeling safe with the perceived protection.  I suppose such antics are the "security blankets" of older children.

This weekend the Mr. was actually home on a Saturday!!!  For the first time since I can remember.  So, we made crepes AND waffles for breakfast, just to celebrate.  I love these four:

Sick in bed:  A NASTY stomach bug landed these three and I in bed for several days.  We had a joyous time reading LOTS of books and magazines, playing games, doing puzzles, making cards, writing letters, writing in our journals, and creating pages for our church quiet book.  Oh, and of course, snuggling, tickling, and giggling.  I love these precious moments with my children!  Life is good!

Having Fun

Now that the older 2 are in school and I only have one child (Wiggles) at home during the day, I'm often tempted to just be super productive and get lots done (it's amazing how much easier things are with just one child!)  I've been trying really hard to spend some special time with her each day, and we do fun age-appropriate things like preschool storytime and playdates too!  But a lot of times, she 'helps' me or keeps busy while I'm working.  She's getting very good at this!

The other day, I managed to get quite a bit done, and realized that she had been very focused on something for quite a while.  I looked over to see what she was up to, and this is what I found:

Twin babies tucked in, each with their own pear.
"They're ready for lunch, Mama!" Wiggles tells me.
Then, of course, I had to take a break from my work to play, when Wiggles came out dressed like this and said "Mommy!  I'm the doctor and I need to check you up!

I don't know why she sticks her tongue out whenever I photograph her!  It's hilarious!
I sat down while she 'checked me up' with all her (as she says) 'tethoscopes', 'blood pusher arm huggers' (blood pressure cuffs), etc, and then 'shotted' me (gave me a shot, followed by a bandaid).  I said "You are a great doctor!"  And she asked (pointing to her outfit) "Are these real doctor clothes?  Is this really what doctors wear?"  To which I replied, "Yes - Daddy wears those a lot when he works at the hospital, remember?"  She said, "But Daddy's not a doctor - he just goes to work.  At the hospital.  Doctors LIVE at the DOCTOR.  Like Dr. Howe (our family doctor).  She always lives at the doctor office."  We then had a conversation about how doctors were people just like everyone, with lives of their own outside of work.  When I explained that Dr. Howe is also a mommy with children of her own, Wiggles was flabbergasted.  I love our little conversations, and seeing her mind at work!  How refreshing it is to get a glimpse of a child's view of life and the world!

How lucky am I to have this little helper around all day??!!  I love my life!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Pinterest and Priorities

(Warning: this post is just me rambling...more of a journal entry than a blog post...and is certainly not intended to demean anyone else in any way.  Just a collection of my random thoughts looking inward at myself, not out...)

Lately....OK, maybe not lately, maybe, since I can remember, I've been feeling stretched to the limit.  I'm a 'list' type of a girl, and my To-Do list is never even CLOSE to done - in fact, I add things much faster than I'm able to check them off.  Not because I waste time - just because life is very busy.  Serving in the community, in the church (as YW President and a visiting teacher), on the PTO and trying to keep politically active, in addition to exercise, personal meditation and scripture study, a part-time job, medical education and simply keeping the children clean, clothed, fed, read to, homework done, piano lessons and practice and the house in order (loosely speaking), leaves very little time for anything else.  I can't remember the last time I read a book for leisure (aside from with the children, of course), watched television or a movie, or did anything else 'unneccessary' (unless you count pinterest or blogging.  oops).  I can't go to bed later or get up earlier without paying for it throughout the day (if I don't get at least 6 hours of sleep a night, no one's happy!)

I grew up in a very busy home, and vowed I would raise a 'simpler' family.  So, with my children still young and things already feeling out of control, I know I need to scale back.  But I'm having a hard time knowing what to cut out.  I certainly can't cut out church.  I should probably continue feeding the children.  And I have already kept the children out of extracurricular activities such as dance/sports/etc.  So it's been a very difficult decision.  But, after a lot of thought and careful consideration, I have decided/discovered one - no, TWO things I can - and will - let go.  Namely, 1) a perfect and beautiful house and 2) my concern with how others (outside my family) view/perceive/think of me.

I don't think I'm overly concerned or preoccupied with number 2.  I don't obsess about what people think of me at all.  But I started realizing that many of the things that take SO much of my time do boil down to 'keeping up appearances'.  I spend a LOT of time trying to keep my house spotless. (I'm not saying it IS spotless - ever!  But that is my constant goal and I spend a LOT of time each day cleaning!  And a lot more of my energy worrying about the parts that aren't spotless.)

I truly believe that an orderly home is important in maintaining the Spirit, keeping the peace, etc.  But my children certainly don't care whether or not the windows are smudge-free or the walls and baseboards are freshly wiped down.  Actually - they DISlike it, because it means I'm more likely to nag them to keep their fingers off.  They don't care that I have the latest cute, homemade Valentine wreath on my door or a picture-perfect collage of photos on the wall or display on my bookshelf.  Again - they don't like it when I've recently arranged the bookshelf, because it's often less functional/harder for them to put away.  What they need and want from me far more than cute home decor or cleanliness is time.  Time SITTING with them reading, playing, talking, and listening.  Looking into their eyes while they speak, rather than nodding and saying "uh-huh" as I'm focused on scrubbing or cooking.

Lately, I've found myself discovering all sorts of incredible/clever/thrifty/neat ideas on pinterest and other blogs, and have seen pictures of so many immaculate and beautifully decorated homes, and I've been constantly adding things to my never-ending 'to-do' list, spending lots of time and energy thinking of ideas, and  even sacrificing precious time with my children to do so.  (for the few minutes that they'll allow me to sit at the computer, not too much time.)

Don't get me wrong - I LOVE a clean house, and I ADORE beautifully decorated homes!  And I want one.  Badly.  But this is where I realize that I'm starting to sacrifice what I want MOST for what I want now.  "Most" being a happy family, time with my precious children while they are young, strong relationships with them that will carry through the teenage years....etc. "Now" being a beautiful, perfect home.  And other people thinking my home is beautiful and perfect.

Soooooo, I guess what I am saying is this: If you happen to come over and see fingerprints on my windows / no pictures hung on my wall (even though I've lived in this house nearly 2 years) / spots in my microwave / toys on the floor / pictures on my refrigerator / etc.  it's because I'm too busy loving on my children to notice or care.  If it bothers you, feel free to pick up a sponge - or look the other way.  Because I know that in a few short years, my 'nest will be empty' and I'll be hanging pictures, making Valentine's wreaths and cleaning/decorating to my little heart's content.  But right now, I've got more important things to do.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Cracking me up...

I missed posting last night due to a horrid bout with the stomach flu...The Mr. was working all weekend and Grins and I literally could not get out of bed, so Angel cared for Wiggles the entire day.  What a little treasure she is.  Of course, I came upstairs this morning shocked at the mess the two of them managed to make...but it was certainly a blessing to have her help yesterday!

I believe I post more about my children when they are 3 than at any other age; particularly the funny things they say!  This age is such a delight!  Tonight at dinner, Wiggles looked at me with big eyes and asked, "Mommy, when I grow up, who am I going to be?"

It sounded funny and I chuckled a little, but she was very serious.  And so I answered her seriously.  "Well, you will be an adult (Wiggles).  You'll be a lady.  You will probably be a wife and a mommy.  And you can be whatever else you want to be - a doctor, a dancer, a singer, an actress, an artist, a violinist, a cook.....whatever you want to be, and whomever you want to be, you can be it!"

She thought about for a moment (I could see the 'wheels turning' through her eyes) and suddenly she gasped and said "Ahh!  If I am a mommy, then I'll have kids!"

It was adorable, seeing her put it all together.  She lit up at the prospect of having children.  She is definitely a born nurturer and is in the phase of caring for whomever/whatever she can!

It started me thinking who she really will become someday.  I know it will be someone strong, someone passionate, and someone very determined.  Those traits have already manifested themselves clearly, even at her young age!  She is a girl who knows exactly what she wants - and exactly how/where/when and why she wants it, and will settle for nothing less!  But she is also very compassionate and loving.  Hopefully these virtues will serve her well in life - and I'm sure she'll pick up some patience somewhere along the line. :)

Other funny Wiggles-isms lately:

Last week we took Angel to the doctor for her 7 year old 'check up'.  When Wiggles learned that we were going for Angel and not Wiggles herself, she exclaimed, "Well, I want the doctor to check ME up too!"

This evening, she helped me saute the asparagus for dinner.  She has never really been able to say asparagus, but tonight when the Mr. came home, she really wanted to tell him she had cooked the asparagus.  She said "Daddy!  I stirred the casmearigus all by myself!  No, the spagherigus.  No, the.....Mommy, what is that stuff in the pan called?!"

We also had (homemade) croutons on our soup this evening - probably a first, since I never buy croutons, but had some dry bread I needed to at dinner she said, "Please pass the perfumes!"