Thursday, October 27, 2011


It has been a gorgeous fall here in Oregon.  We have had spectacular sunrises three days in a row.*  The beauty of the blue skies this week and the vibrant fall colors and the crunchy leaves on the sidewalk have literally taken my breath away a few times.  This is why I'm a proud Oregonian!  I don't remember fall ever being so gorgeous before, though.  Normally I'm not a huge fan of this time of year, although I love the colors of the leaves.  I usually am too torn up about the cooler weather and school starting to appreciate the beauty of the trees. But I'm changing that because obviously I've been missing out. 

My boys have been playing outside a lot this week.  I am sitting here on the couch paying bills and watching them launch large outside toys off the slide in our backyard.  I've been thinking a lot lately about letting kids be kids, and in my case:  letting boys be boys.  I can guarantee people will get hurt and toys will get broken during this adventure.  Should I stop them?  I already yelled at them 15 minutes ago for breaking most of our Halloween decorations in the front yard in their quest to re-decorate for the 100th time. I hate ruined things and messes.  You have no idea how much I hate messes!  Anyone who knows me knows I like order.  But somehow I got creative kids and they can't be themselves if they are clean, tidy, and don't touch things.

And don't get me started on their incessant climbing.  We went to the pumpkin patch this week and I had to tell Buddy (almost 8 years old) 4 times in a matter of a few minutes to GET DOWN off of different things that weren't "safe" by my standards to be climbing on.  But then I'm not sure about my standards since I'm scared of heights.  The last straw was him climbing on the TOP of the play structure's monkey bars.   I told him to get down and threatened to leave since he wasn't listening.  But then I stopped myself.  It was a play structure, after all.  I pretended like I was reading my magazine to avoid all the horrified looks I got from all the parents the rest of the time we were there.

What's a mother like me to do?  Seriously!  Give me some advice here, please!  Should I allow them to break things and climb to unsafe heights, or should I continue to harp on them so they turn out like me?!  Or is there another solution I can't see here?

*  The sun rises late this week.  Don't worry I'm still not an early riser!  Come to think of it, I think this week is the first time I've ever seen a sunrise...  In my life.  No wonder I'm so impressed!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My Day

 This picture has nothing to do with this post, but I love it.  This is at Buddy's "Fun Run" a few weeks ago.  Click on the picture to enlarge it so you can see both my boys.  Buddy ran 8 laps in 20 minutes and Sambo ran 9 laps in about 90 minutes.  It was in the 90's that day so they had an area just up the track from where they are where they could take drinks and get hosed off. 

Compared to Monday, today was a colossal FAIL.  Nothing bad happened, but all sorts of things and people bugged me.  But after evaluating what my basic problem was today, I realized something:  I forgot to pray this morning.  Things have been hectic around here with lots going on, and lots of friends in real crisis.  I've been trying to be all things to all people and mostly it's been working out OK.  Praying has been a requirement for making it through the day in one piece, though.  Take Monday for example.  It might have been one of the busiest days I've ever had (besides finals weeks at BYU of course).  I had a list of things to do so long my head started spinning four days in advance.  I got organized days in advance and starting checking things off my list.  By Sunday night I was overwhelmed by what still HAD to be done.  I prayed on Monday morning that the hours would move slowly and I'd get everything done.  I did get every single thing done besides going to the gym.  And I still had time to provide my daily service, read to Sambo, make homemade soup (which is a story in and of itself*), homemade rolls, and watch a little TV before bed.  It was one of those "loaves and fishes" (except in this case it was loaves and minutes) types of experiences.  

Today was the opposite.  I had a lot to do, but wanted to make time to spend a little time with the kids.  I budgeted my time so I could take them to the library and to the park.  Maybe it was because I only got five hours of sleep last night, but I'm pretty sure the day was long and hard and the kids were annoying, and I had no patience, and I only got three things (of 30) done on my "to-do" list -- all because I forgot to pray.  What a difference it makes!

 Squash Soup Mutiny

Here are a few of the things I did laugh or smile about today.  I have made three kinds of soup this week.  I'm not a fan (gasp!) of Fall, but soup makes it bearable.  Plus I had two different kinds of soup last night at enrichment.  So that makes FIVE soups in FOUR days.  That must be some sort of record.  *Do you want to hear more about the Monday night soup incident?  My kids are remarkable eaters.  I know Buddy was born that way (not Sambo, however).  I have zero tolerance for picky-ness and have never ever in my entire eight years of mothering served my children something special because they didn't like what I had made.  I'm a pretty decent dinner-maker and provide a huge variety of healthy meals.  My kids always eat, even if they complain a little.  I do not battle over food.  I always give them the choice of eating without drama and complaining, or sitting on their bed while the rest of us eat.  Neither has ever chosen to sit on their bed.  Well, Monday night I made butternut squash soup.  It's a recipe from my sister, that I really love and it's very similar to a zucchini soup recipe I made two weeks ago that we all really love.  Well, apparently these kids HATE squash.  I cannot even tell you the mutiny I had.  I already knew G hated the soup, but wow.  The kids were actually crying about it.  Not throwing a tantrum or complaining, but downright sobbing.  I gave them a few bites each and they both were gagging and heaving like I've never seen.  So, for the first time ever, I gave them some yogurt and some rolls and called it dinner.  I found it so incredibly funny, I am still laughing about it two days later.  And the best news, I got all the leftovers!

Here are two awesome dinner conversations from tonight:

Buddy:  These rolls are good.
Sambo:  Told you!
Buddy:  You never told me that, you're just trying to make conversation.


Buddy:  MOM!!!!!!  Sambo just told me he wants to kill me with a knife!
Sambo:  No!  Not a real knife!

And here's a story G told me about our neighbors.  Our neighbors are amazing.  Some of the best people we've ever met.  Unfortunately, their house is on the market and I think that if their house sells I'll have to go on anti-depressants.  I love them and I want my kids to be close friends with their kids.  And I want their oldest daughter to be our permanent babysitter.  She turns 12 next week!  (And if I'm being honest, I want Buddy to marry their youngest daughter.)  Anyway, one son, Tyler is in Buddy's class.  Their homework was to write sentences using their spelling words.  One of the spelling words was "when."  Tyler wrote this:  "Don't you hate it when your butt crack itches?"

No can't you see why I'm devastated they are moving?  HILARIOUS kids!

Sambo decided today he wants a princess dress to dress-up in.  He asked me several times.  Finally, I had the idea to dress him up in the sundress I wear after swimming.  He thought he looked so pretty and then asked me to put a "silly band" (but what he meant was a rubberband

Pretty Princess

I was starving after the gym and was craving Burgerville today. I resisted and started driving home, the opposite direction from Burgerville.  The craving intensified and I couldn't handle it, so I had to wheel into the drive-thru of Burger King before I got home.  It totally hit the spot! 

Sambo feels bad for his brother that he gets to make crafts at preschool and gets prizes at speech.  So he started making Buddy special little crafts and surprising him when he gets home from school.  He thinks of them all on his own.  As you can imagine, Buddy loves it.  Last week Sambo cut up a bunch of papers and glued them all together to make a robot.  Yesterday while I was in the shower he found some straws, cut them all up and glued them on a paper like "thorns."  As a person with NO creativity or artistic inclinations, I am always so impressed!  And I was particularly relieved it was only straws he cut up and not something important!


Today while at the park my kids were being really annoying.  Getting in the mud, hiding in the bushes by the road where middle school kids walk by, begging me to push them the entire time on the tire swing which is fine except Sambo wants to go slow and Buddy wants to go FAST.  Anyway, I was about to pull the plug on the outing and called to Buddy that we were leaving.  He said he wanted to do the monkey bars one more time.  As I called to him a few minutes later because he still hadn't come, I noticed him helping a slightly younger girl ease her way off the monkey bars.  She was stuck and a little afraid.  He was holding one of her feet, guiding and encouraging her.  As irritating as he can be, he impresses me so much.  He is good to the core. 

Now that I type all this out, I guess it wasn't that bad of a day after all.  (Especially now that the kids are asleep and G is finally home to do the dishes!)  The therapy of typing makes up for the fact that I should have been doing something more productive, I guess.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Normal Grind

Unfortunately, nothing exciting or 'blogworthy' has been happening around here.  Sometimes no news is good news, though, so I'm not complaining.

A few mildly interesting things:
  • Dear, dear, dear friends are getting placed with a baby through adoption this weekend, God willing. They have waited a very long time for this. Prayers go out to the birthmom that she will have strength and peace.
  • Another long-time friend just got placed with a toddler last weekend.  They adopted her through the state in a very long and heart-wrenching process.  It was a true miracle it worked out.  I am so happy for them!  They waited for her for so many years I lost track.  Their oldest daughter is 10, so it's been a loooong time.  
  • And speaking of adoption, I got sucked into watching and reading all the tributes to Steve Jobs today.  A friend on facebook said something like "all geniuses were adopted."  Amen to that!  Have you seen the commencement address he gave at Stanford?  Watch it!  A fascinating, brilliant, and wise man. 
  • We went to Coldstone tonight to celebrate our September "service challenge."  Each of us tried to do service every day and whoever did service the most days got the biggest ice cream.  Buddy won.  He took this challenge very seriously and did service almost every day.  He picked cotton candy ice cream (bright blue) with kit-kat.  I had to laugh at that combo!
  • We also took the kids to get the flu mist vaccine tonight.  This is the first time they've had it.  In the past they've always had the flu shot because they've both had "asthma" within the year.  They both have grown out of any asthma symptoms, which is really great.  No coughing/wheezing, no expensive meds, and no more flu shots!  Although Sambo is weird and actually told the nurse he wanted the shot instead of the mist.  (???)  She talked him out of it.
  • Speaking of flu shots, I got one a couple weeks ago and two days later came down with the nastiest virus I've had in awhile.  I'm still not feeling back to normal.  I carefully read the flu vaccine paperwork tonight (since I didn't read it when I got it.  does anyone?) and the paperwork says you can't get the flu from the flu shot.  However, the paperwork did say you could have all the flu "symptoms" from the shot.  I guess it's good news that I didn't in fact have the flu like I thought and wouldn't have died from my virus, considering I honestly thought I was on death's doorstep. 
  • And since I can't stop talking about the flu, I must make note that I have the world's best husband.  When I was on death's doorstep he stayed home from work to take the boys where they needed to go.  Actually, he also took Sambo into the office for a little while, which is something he swore he'd never do again (after he did it the last time).  He took the boys out one evening so I could moan in a silent house.  I never asked him to do it or expected it, but he's fabulous like that.  
  • While at the doctor tonight we weighed the boys and they both have gained 4 pounds since we had them weighed there, two months ago.  That's a lot!  Especially since the previous 8 months Sambo had only gained one pound.  I'm not really surprised, especially with Buddy because he eats like a horse.  He now officially eats more than I do, which is saying something considering I've never been a lightweight  myself.  The good news is, the boys are getting awesomely close to being big enough to be done with carseats/move to a booster seat.  Yay!  And that means if we ever get another baby we don't have to buy a mini van because everyone will fit in my Subaru.  Although we might still want one because we could never transport friends.  But that's a conversation for another day...
  • G threw a pair of underwear away tonight that he bought in 1994.  I cannot stop laughing about that.  I'm sorry if you don't think that's blogworthy because I do.
  • My favorite blogger stopped blogging last week and then changed her mind and started it up again today.  Fabulous news!
  • I am putting together a list of favorite books for a Relief Society class I'm teaching next week.  Please leave a comment with your favorites!