Sunday, May 30, 2010


pretty, no?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

will you miss me?

Once upon a time, Zac and I went on vacation with the kids - and didn't leave the house. I mean this quite literally. We told everyone we were going on vacation. We didn't answer the phone. We left the blinds down. We visited a different church on Sunday and found substitutes for all our various responsibilities. As far as anyone knew we were not home.

And then we stayed home and hung out for a week or so. I guess we probably went and did some things, too - I don't really remember.

But that was a pretty good vacation. Low stress. Cheap. Easy. Good times.

We are now in the home stretch of the last days of school, gearing up for summer. And for the next little while I will be "on vacation." Whether or not that really means I am actually going anywhere will remain my little secret (and if you know the truth, shhh, don't tell). ;)

But I won't be here, on my blog. I'll be lying low. Pretending to have a different life. Checking for comments, emails, and such things - but not posting anything new or responding to very much. So, sorry for those of you who will miss me. You will miss me, won't you? But don't worry, there will be plenty to post when I get back to make up for my absence! And I might pre-post some things to keep you company in the meantime. Or . . . I might not.

Monday, May 24, 2010

because I have so much to do I can't even think straight so I'm totally wasting time on the internet instead

My sister took this picture of Elisabeth yesterday.
And I just had to share. hahaha!

And now I am locking my computer away somewhere out of reach. Don't tempt me anymore, ok? I really have things I need to do. And this isn't one of them. Really. I'm serious.

see ya . . .

Abigail is 11!!

Abigail has had several days of celebrating her 11th birthday, lucky girl. First, she got a new bike about a week ago. It was going to be impossible to hide it and surprise her with it, so we gave it to her when we bought it. She's been riding my bike for the last year or so - and we are both happy to put an end to that arrangement. :)

Then she got to throw herself a "bunny" birthday party with her friends. They took Leia outside for a bit, raced her in the basement, jumped like bunnies on the trampoline,

and did the "Bunny Hop" dance (among many other silly and crazy things that only 5th grade girls can come up with).

And then we got to go up to my mom's house to celebrate with family.

So I think she had a pretty great birthday. (And I have eaten so much cake over the last few months, I'm just about sick of it.) hahaha.
It's been great, though. I love celebrating birthdays. Especially of these wonderful kids of mine. They are all so unique and it's an adventure watching them grow up and seeing them develop into their own persons. Love it.

um, yeah

Yes, I know blogging about the weather may not be that interesting to most of you. But seriously?!?

Snow on Easter? That was obnoxious.

Snow at the end of April? Kinda crazy.

Snow on May 24th??? You have got. to be. kidding me.

I couldn't get up my driveway after driving the kids to school because of the slippery slush. I really hate that.
And we haven't had a full week of nice weather where the kids are happy to be riding bikes to school everyday. And . . . since this is the last week, we won't.
Anyway - ok, I'm done complaining about the weather. For now. :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

lovin' the limelight

Abigail and her best friend have been making up a dance together at recess for the last couple months or so. They convinced their teacher to let them perform it for their class!! I just laugh because I can't even imagine being brave enough to perform in front of my 5th grade class, in a leotard no less.

But Abigail - she is fearless. So is her friend, apparently. :)

They made their skirts during recess today, too.

So cute. They did a great job and received a positive response from their class. I was very impressed in many ways.
Her friend is moving this summer. Well, she has already moved - but will be officially gone from school and everything with the end of the school year, so I am happy for anything that solidifies their bond and makes fun memories for them together. Abigail is going to be very sad next year and might be a little lost for awhile without her BFF. But I am also sure it will be a time of great growth for her.
Adolescence is such a difficult and tricky time. Holy Moly!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

quote of the day

"Tell me a story . . .

what kind of story, child?

A story with a happy ending.

There's no such thing in all the world.

As a happy ending?

As an ending."

- Jeanette Winterson

For some reason, this has been running through my head this morning.
I love the thought that our stories never end. So we don't have to worry so much about that happy ending afterall.
Continual new beginnings.
Continual chances.
Continual hope.
(photo from flickr)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

how is this possible?

Samuel's year of Kindergarten is coming to an end. They had their kindergarten program today.

They sang some cute songs and I was happy to see his mouth moving. :) We hardly ever hear him singing to songs - so I am glad to see that at least he knows the words, even if he may or may not actually be singing them, and he would never sing the songs for us.

This song was particularly cute - to the tune of "New York, New York" they sang "if I can make it there, I'll make it any-where, 1st grade, 1st grade!"

And here he is with his teacher. He refused to look at me and smile. Oh well.

Anyway - I am filled with a lot of guilt as I contemplate the end of this school year for him. I could have, should have, worked much harder with him and done a lot more with him as far as homework, chores, behavior etc. I know I shouldn't pile guilt on myself. I know I did the best I could with whatever time, energy and patience I had (severely lacking somehow in those last 2 elements). But anyway - it's hard not to be hard on myself.
I love this little boy, though. And I am so proud of all he's accomplished this year. Especially that he is beginning to read!
He's also been running out to get onto the bus by himself, which is great. He still screams at me all morning that he doesn't want to go to school - but once the bus arrives, he's happy to go. Silly kid.
I also am of the opinion that "they" should just decide on the last day of school and then surprise us by cancelling the last week. Wouldn't that be wonderful?! These last 2 weeks just feel so pointless. Especially doing homework. I'm just done with making sure it's done. I know I'm setting a bad example - but I really just don't care. End-of-school-itis is in full swing!! Let's skip school and go to Kings Dominion* instead! (little nudge-nudge, wink-wink to my high school friends) :)
Who's with me?!?
*Kings Dominion is the closest amusement park where I grew up
- here's a link because links are fun :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

happy tuesday

I don't have much to write, actually.

I'm pretty distracted.

Trying to deal with some things.

It rained today and it was wonderful. I really love rain.

And I took Duran Duran off my ipod to make room for some Crosby Stills Nash and Young. (hahaha.)

And finally, today Samuel threw an open bottle of syrup across the carpeted family room. Imagine that.
And a couple weeks ago he cut Elisabeth's hair. Snipped off a good chunk of her bangs that we were growing out. And that nice little piece sticking up on the back of her head. Lovely.
Just wanted to mention that.
8 more days left of school and counting . . .
so - more later:)

Saturday, May 15, 2010


I saw this movie last night and really loved it. It was a kind of grand finale event for our March of Dimes Walk for Babies team. I guess those that raised enough money were awarded free tickets. I paid for mine. It was worth it. :)

I'd be interested to know how someone likes it who hasn't actually had babies yet because a lot of it was funny to me as a mom just because it was all so very familiar. I laughed - a lot. It's amazing how alike babies worldwide are - despite different parenting practices, culture, and everything. It reminds me again and again that there are very very few absolutes in parenting. Almost no "right" ways to do things. Just different ways. And somehow all these babies grow up healthy and happy and most of them go on to decide to have babies of their own someday. Amazing.

It was also interesting in the fact that we are 99.99% sure we're done having babies (wow - did I just announce that? crazy). I had heard some other moms somewhere say that this movie made them feel baby hungry. Not me. These babies are achingly adorable. I loved remembering my babies in all these wonderful, tender, miraculous stages. Oh but I am still so happy not to be waking up all night to nurse, or dealing with diaper blow-outs, or spit-up, or screaming fits. They are so worth it. Of course they are. But . . . I am done with all of that, and feeling pretty good about it. :)

Oh and just for those that may want to be forewarned: this movie contains a lot of what the movie sites call "maternal nudity." Lots and lots of bare breastfeeding. And African women. You know. So maybe not first-date material. And maybe not for anyone bothered by such things.

But if you're able to overlook that, I'd highly recommend it. It may be the most entertaining documentary I have ever seen. Yay for babies. :)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

and yet they do: to be happy #2

It has recently been pointed out to me that you, my faithful blog readers, are only getting a very small view of what my children are really like. It is true. You will never really know everything. It is always a disadvantage of only getting one perspective. And not only do you only see things tinted from my perspective, you only get the fraction of our lives that I happen to feel like posting about. And that fraction often times just happens to be the part that is perhaps more negative, whiny and complaining. You could just say it's in my nature. I have a need to vent - and I crave support and sympathy. And my blog reflects those tendencies in the extreme. If you talked to me in real life, things might appear differently to you. But this is what it is. So please take everything I say with that in mind.

It has struck me lately how little we really know and understand each other anyway. We build our own reality from our perceptions, colored by our emotions and memories. It's such a tricky business - thinking we know someone, thinking we are somehow the same - and we never really are. Even my husband, whom I've been close to now for 16 years (and married for 12), he still does things sometimes that surprise me. And I'm surprised to be surprised by him. And then not only are we continually thwarted in our efforts to really know who someone is, just by the nature of how deeply our selves are rooted, then we are also constantly changing, reevaluating, remaking ourselves in big and small ways. It's amazing to me, actually, that we are able to maintain any close relationships at all - given how complicated we all are.

So, my kids. My point is just that I am getting to know them. Every day I am discovering new things about who they are and who they are becoming. It's a process.

Anyway - so my friend requested a blog post telling you about some of the strengths of my children and the things about them that give me joy. So here you go. Hopefully it gives you just another little glimpse into who they are. By no means comprehensive, of course. :)

1. Abigail - she is a graceful dancer, she writes great stories and poetry and has an incredible imagination, she remembers details from the past that amaze me. She is caring and values her friendships. She loves to perform and be in front of a crowd. She'll write a song for any occasion and even composes on her violin!

2. Isaac - draws intricate mazes and games, responsible and usually obedient, he likes to spend time pacing and "thinking," loves learning all about animals more than anything, he remembers details from things he reads and learns and he's very good at math (he's started in the 5th-6th grade math book in 3rd grade). I love seeing his excitement when he learns a new song on the piano and really enjoys it. (And he looks like a mini-Zac, which of course I love.) :)

3. Samuel - ah, this little boy. He has such energy. He loves to dance, and has great rhythm. He likes to "play" guitar and piano - and loves "rock and roll" music (which to him is anything fast and loud). He is curious about everything and investigates hands-on. He also has the most infectious laugh ever. When he thinks something is funny he'll just laugh and giggle and has a hard time stopping.

4. Elisabeth - she adores her older siblings, she feels things intensely, she loves to be tickled slowly, and she is brave and bold. She loves to sing songs and learns quickly. I love her insistent kisses and cuddles.

Anyway - those are just a few things.

Really, though, it comes down to this quote I was reminded of from The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (and that's why I've put this post under the To be Happy category),

"In many ways, the happiness of having children falls into the kind of happiness that could be called fog happiness. Fog is elusive. Fog surrounds you and transforms the atmosphere, but when you try to examine it, it vanishes. Fog happiness is the kind of happiness you get from activities that, closely examined, don't really seem to bring much happiness at all - yet somehow they do."

So I know that reading all my complaints and worries and concerns and bemoanings about my children, you may not be able to see at all how they could be bringing joy into my life. It is hard to define and explain how these little bundles of troubles bring happiness. I can't even see it sometimes when I look too closely at all the stresses of my life. These little people running around and wreaking havoc everywhere may not seem to be bringing much happiness to me, if you based your opinion on the things I talk about the most. And yet somehow they do.

They do.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sleep Study

I wish I had brought my camera. That may have made this the best post ever. As it is, you will have to be satisfied with a dry narrative of all the details of having a sleep study done for sleep apnea for a particular very cute little 4 yr old girl. Just feign interest, it's ok.

We got to the sleep lab about 8 pm, filled out about 15 pgs of paperwork and medical history, then Elisabeth watched a movie for 30 min while they attached over 30 electrodes and various monitors on her head, face, chest, feet and legs (this is where the camera would have made this post worth it. She looked craZy!! and if you're really interested, go here to read more about what they do). She was very patient and cooperative while they hooked her all up. We all thought this might turn out to be easier than we anticipated. Haha!!

She watched the movie a little longer and then decided she wanted to go to bed. It was about 9:15. She usually goes to bed at 8:30 but had fallen asleep in the car on the hr long ride to the children's hospital. I thought she actually still might go to sleep easily. Funny me.

Finally, after endless questions about the breath monitor in her nose and mouth, and moving wires around and pulling up blankets, examining the glowing red light on her foot, telling me (again and again and again) "k - g'night, I'm going to sleep now" - finally at about 10:45 she fell asleep. I had actually brought a book and a reading light thinking I might be up a bit longer than her after she went to sleep. hahaha, again, funny funny me.

The techs came in about 11:15 to adjust some of the monitors or something. I was still awake, of course. Laying there on a pull-out chair bed. And then a little later Elisabeth started snoring and making gasping sounds. This was good because that's why we were there, after all. But it made it hard for me to sleep. That and her nightlight, and the humming of the monitors and computers. And then the techs came in about 4 more times to move things around. A couple times as they were retaping things to her face, they woke her up and she cried. Or she wanted her stuffed elephant. Or she wanted the door completely shut.

Anyway - I felt like I was watching the clock all. night. long. Just waiting for morning. They told us they'd wake us at 6-6:30 to take off all the stuff. I guess I slept a little somewhere in there. But not much.

At 6:30 they woke us up and disconnected her and tried to wipe some of the electrode goop out of her hair. We left about 7 and drove an hr home. Zac had stayed home and got the kids ready for school and then went in to work late. So I took the big kids to school. Got Samuel off on the bus. Gave Elisabeth a bath and tried to get all the gunk out of her hair. And then she and I went back to bed and tried to sleep the rest of the morning.

We will hear back from her pediatrician with the results in about 2-3 weeks. And then we'll find out if she's actually stopping breathing and whether or not she'll be getting her tonsils out to fix it. Abigail had the same problem and had her tonsils taken out at age 5 - so I am pretty sure the same thing is happening. Anyway. We'll see.

And that's one more ordeal crossed off my mental list. On to the next . . .
Thanks for caring (or pretending to care). :)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

on being a mom {reposted}

(originally posted May 10, 2009)

It's the hardest thing I could ever conceive of doing . . .
and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Happy Mother's Day

(me and baby Abigail sleeping, May 1999, when I first became a mom)

(PS - this old ugly chair was given to us out of pity from our neighbor's parent's basement. We owned no furniture and we were grateful for a comfy chair - so don't knock it. :))

Friday, May 7, 2010

Hope of America

Kids from 33 local Elementary Schools, 4000 5th graders in total, spent this school year learning and practicing 13 or so original patriotic songs revolving around the basic theme "We are the Hope of America." (And actually there was double that number, totalling 8000 kids - they were doing a repeat performance with the other half of the schools the following night). They got a CD to bring home to practice (Abigail loved telling me it was her "homework" to be listening and singing to her music). They got a t-shirt. And they got to take a field trip to the stadium to rehearse. What fun!! Abigail absolutely loved everything about it.

Here is a super-duper-zoomed-in fuzzy-out-of-focus picture of Abigail on the far right (brown hair) and her best friend next to her.

And here is the 93 yr old woman who danced and did the SPLITS!! She was kind of amazing. They had a few different performers in between the songs, mostly Hispanic and Polynesian dancing, which was fun but not necessarily relevant to the purposes of this program, in my opinion.

And here is Abigail after the performance.

All in all, it was very cute. They had a lot of synchronized hand gestures and a pretty impressive flashlight show which made it all visually entertaining.
We had left our house at 4:45 to go meet Zac and pick up some dinner. We got there at 6:20 (she was supposed to be there at 6:15). Program started at 7:30 and ended about 8:30 or so. It took until after 9 to get out of the parking lot. Almost an hr to drive home. And then, as we were pulling up the driveway we realized that we had left Zac's car back where we had met him after work (to save time). UGH!! SO we had to drive another 20 min there and back to pick up his car. And we got home at almost 11.
Fun stuff. :)

Thursday, May 6, 2010


The long awaited and much dreaded placement meeting is over. I really need to do something to celebrate . . . I don't know what . . . but something.

And if you asked me how I am feeling right now I would say mostly just relieved. Zac came with me this time and it was so nice to have some moral support, even though no one had any disagreement about the placement. It feels like a huge burden has been lifted from my shoulders just in knowing the decision has been made and I agree with it.

So. Samuel will be going to the small group learning disabled class next year. It is actually a class of 1st-3rd grade, which we decided would be a good thing for him since he can still be challenged on his academic level with older kids, if appropriate, but not overwhelmed by the larger class and less individual attention of the mainstream class.

I am just relieved that all of the teachers had seen some of the things that most concerned us. Sometimes I feel like I'm just going crazy and not really sure if I'm just interpreting his behavior differently, so it is good sometimes to have my perception validated. The mainstream kindergarten teacher who had seen him in her classroom a few times had seen him shut down and not participate without help and prompting. And she saw him freak out about the wind at recess, with him whimpering and clinging to her leg - and that was very concerning to her as far as his emotional maturity and ability to handle his anxiety without a lot of help.

Anyway - we won't know until JULY exactly where or at which school this class will be held. But he will be taken by bus, so it will work out I guess. Come July, I am sure I will be freaking out again as we get to know yet another school, and principal, and everything else. I'm not really looking forward to that. But it will be good for Samuel - I feel confident about that, so that's what's most important.

I'm just so glad this is over. Now I can move on to some other things I need to deal with in my life . . . one thing at a time . . .
Have a good day, everyone.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

in the ENT's office today

. . . Samuel twisted the lamp on the chair and almost broke it, moved the attached foot support up and down up and down up and down, threw a couple books on the floor, grabbed the Dr's paper tympanogram report off the counter and crumpled it in his hand, pressed some buttons on the tympanogram machine, grabbed a couple ear spec things, opened a drawer and almost grabbed a handful of dangerous looking tiny tools, tried to turn on the light again, etc . . .

All within about a minute.
All while I was trying to talk to the Dr. and simultaneously divert him from his next attempt at disaster.

She kinda looked at me and said hesitantly "does he . . . have . . . ADHD?" and then, as she glanced at his chart (and I began to laugh somewhat maniacally, "hahaha, ohhh, ya think?") - "oh yep, here it is in his chart." Yeah.
At least I know I'm not the only one seeing it.

Anyway, this visit revealed no new news. He still has a slight conductive hearing loss in both ears. Not enough to worry too much about, I guess. He still has the eustachian tube dysfunction that he's had for about a year. Sometimes it causes his ears to hurt. But the only possible solution would be putting tubes in for the 4th time - but since it might not help at all - and he's doing ok overall (not in extreme pain, or causing significant hearing problems) she decided that doing tubes again wasn't the best thing to do, weighing the risks and inconveniences and cost against the potential benefit. So there really is nothing to do about it. Come back in a year.

She very kindly suggested that perhaps I wouldn't want him back in this office more than once a year, if we could help it. Agreed.

And that's it.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

school observation #2 and other random thoughts

- So I went to the charter school today and observed the kindergarten class. It was fairly obvious to me that it would be a really hard adjustment for Samuel to be in this class (and these are his grade-level peers). Ugh. All that really means is that I left trying to hold back tears. Again. Tomorrow he has a hearing test and follow up with the ENT. Then the placement meeting on Thurs.

- Abigail was looking at a walmart ad or other such thing the other day, looking at makeup and stuff. She turned to me and said, "you're not really one of those moms that wears makeup or really cares about fashion or tries to look good, are you." Ummm . . . I'm not really sure, but should I be offended by that?

- I mentioned awhile back on Facebook that I was having a bout of erythema nodosum - which are painful lumps under the skin on the shins. I've had 2 episodes before in my life - both times when I was pregnant with boys. Weird, I know. Most of the time the cause is unknown. When I saw the dermatologist the first time, he didn't really think it was related to pregnancy - but whatever. And this time, I am 100% positive that I am not pregnant. They typically go away on their own, but are quite painful and bothersome while they last. And it's been somewhere around 8 wks this time around that I've had the lumps. Some have gone away, some new ones have appeared. I know you don't really care. But it crosses my mind occasionally when my legs are aching and throbbing that maybe I should see a Dr. and see what is up with this. Then again I don't want to waste a $45 copay for them to tell me "yup, it's erythema nodosum and will clear on its own - eventually." The one spot of several lumps merging together on one shin is probably 3-4 inches in diameter and looks like a nasty bruise. Yuck.

- I took pictures of the Walk for Babies walk on Sat (which was freezing cold and rainy - but still fun) but took them with my least-used camera. And I can't figure out how to upload them properly onto this computer. So that post has been on hold.

- Abigail has her Hope of America performance tonight. At BYU's basketball stadium. Just imagine 4000 5th graders and their families all swarming around . . . ohhhh boy. I'll take pictures - with my good camera. And I'll try not to complain about the inevitable chaos this evening will bring. Have I mentioned how I hate crowds?

- Elisabeth has been wetting her pants nearly everyday. This child.

- School is almost over. I am having major mixed emotions about this. I'm mostly relieved it's almost over, a little panicked by un-achieved goals I had for the year, a little excited to have a break, go on vacation, etc, and a little stressed by the expectations I have for myself of things I should do to keep my kids entertained and out of trouble all summer long.

- I think I think too much.

- I've just spent all this time blogging when I should have been folding the ~5 loads of laundry gawking at me from the family room floor. Oh well.

There's probably more I could blab (complain) about but that's enough for now, don't you think?
yeah, me too.
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