Saturday, December 29, 2012

Pants of Doom and Mind-reading

I love when people hear something different than what was actually said.

Me: You are a handsome dude, Preston.
Preston: No I don't! YOU wear pants of doom!

Carter: I, um, never mind. I forgot what I was going to say.
Me: No you didn't. You just decided not to say what you were about to say.
Carter: I knew it! I always thought you could read minds, and now I have proof!

Avery was holding a grapefruit this morning. Sadie, very matter-of-fact-ly, reached out her hand and demanded the "ball."

Bill programmed Sadie's new toy puppy to say her name. It also says that its favorite food is bacon, and its favorite animal is a lemur. I'm a little disappointed that ring-tailed lemur wasn't one of the choices.

A man and a woman went shopping together. The man said, "We need to get in and get out of each store as fast as we can." The woman said, "You are thinking of shopping like it's a job. Part of the fun is taking your time to enjoy the shopping experience. But do you think you could drive closer to the speed limit? It's going to take us forever to get there." The man replied, "You're looking at driving like it's a job. Just enjoy the ride...." I have funny parents. It was nice to see them, and I hope their flight back to Tennessee is great!

Friday, December 28, 2012

I am the little one

I have had this picture on my refrigerator for the last couple of months. My daughter brought it up one day from the disorganized box of pictures from the office and said, "Mommy, you were so cute when you were little. You looked just like me!"

I laughed, and my husband laughed.

A couple of days later, I was looking at the picture, and I was struck with sadness. I realized that I had spent almost thirty years telling that sweet little girl that she wasn't pretty. How could someone say such a thing to an innocent little girl? How could someone tell that little girl over and over, nearly every day, that she wasn't beautiful? Think how damaging that can be to a little girl!

As I realized that the little girl in the picture was indeed cute, I had just a fleeting feeling of how Heavenly Father must feel. He sees the beauty in his children, even when we can't see it in ourselves. He sees our individual worth.

Tell the girls in your life that they are pretty, because they are. Tell your daughters. Tell your sisters. Tell your mothers. Tell your wives. Tell your friends. Tell the little girls in the pictures. They deserve to know. (Husbands, please don't tell other people's wives...)

I hope that my daughters know that they are pretty, that they have true beauty. I don't want them wasting all their time thinking about how they look or thinking that they are better than anyone else. But they need to know that they are beautiful.

I don't want to spend any more time trying to convince that little girl in the picture that she isn't pretty. I don't want her to hear that she isn't pretty one more time, at least not from me! It wasn't true then, and I am working hard to try to believe that it's not true now.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Cakes and Lemurs

As my niece was devouring her chocolate cake, she stopped, cradled the cake in her hands, held it close and whispered, "I love you." She then resumed eating her cake.

We were holding up stuffed animals, saying, "Sadie, what does a kitty say?" She would either give the appropriate response or just stare at us. "What does a cow say? What does a puppy/horse/monkey say?" Then Carter joined in, "Sadie, what does a ring-tailed lemur say?"

After a day of fun with his new toy, Carter sighed, "The person who created the whoopie cushion was a genius."

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Gift Wrap

Carter: I couldn't find any tape to wrap Sadie's present with, so I just used sticky notes. It's wrapped very badly, but I don't think she'll notice.

Everybody: Sadie, how old are you?
Sadie: Bum! (Holds up one finger...)

Well, it was nice while it lasted, but I am guessing the next nine days will be much harder to keep the presents under the tree in one piece. Once she opens her birthday presents, I can't imagine her being content with just looking at the Christmas presents...

Thursday, December 13, 2012

It's Thursday.

I am a den leader in cub scouts. I have been teaching my kids that it's more important to be a good person than it is to be cool. So, I was surprised at how sad I felt when I realized that I am not the cool leader. We had an activity with all the boys, and I was one of the drivers. NOBODY wanted to ride with me, and the kids that had to ride in my car were visibly disappointed. But at least we got a lot of food for the food bank...

I took Sadie to Pier One yesterday. She kept pointing at things and saying, "pity." It was sooo cute!

Bill and I were trying to plan a menu the other night.

Bill: I think we should have bacon wrapped appetizers.
Me: What is it that you want to wrap in bacon?
Bill: I don't think it really matters.

Typical man...

I found Sadie licking the kitchen floor a little while ago. There was part of a smashed chocolate chip cookie stuck to the floor. Now I am wondering which of the kids got into the cookies before school...

Sometimes I regret getting Avery a desk full of art supplies. There are always little papers and other messes all over her room. (And frequently all over the rest of the house.) But it's so cute how excited she gets about all her projects and her books that she has been writing lately.

Preston said, "I don't think I really know that many twins. I think I only know two or three." Then we started counting all the ones from his old school, his new school, and church, and he knows at least twelve sets of twins!

Carter just remembered that he had an erector set. At least he isn't always asking if he can play the wii or the ipad or the computer since his discovery. But there are little parts all over our house that is supposed to be baby-proofed. Good thing I had already planned to clean the house all day...

Monday, December 10, 2012

Mostly about Sadie, because she's a baby for almost another week

Things I have found Sadie doing this week:

Sitting in the dishwasher...
Holding onto the side of her crib and jumping as high as her little almost-one-year-old legs will take her... (And this is almost every single time she wakes up in the morning and from both naps.)
Stuck in a bin she climbed into...
Jumping on the couch...
Stuck under several different chairs...
Stuck under the kitchen table with all the chairs pushed in... (No idea how she got there in the first place.)
Ripping the presents under the tree... (And they all have coordinating wrapping papers that are neatly wrapped with nearly perfect corners, so it's even more frustrating.)

Things I have found Sadie cuddling with while she drinks her bottles:

Stuffed animals
The wipes package
A diaper (clean, luckily)
Hard toys
The changing pad
Her pants or socks that she managed to take off somehow just for cuddling with
The piano bench
A rug
A Kleenex box

I am sure Bill has found her cuddling with weirder things that I have missed out on. I don't want to follow the guideline to get totally rid of her bottles in the next few weeks. I will miss this aspect of my (possibly and most likely last) baby.

I started a list of the words I can remember her saying before her birthday next week. Almost fifty words. It's adorable and sad at the same time that she is growing up. I hope she's a little slower on the walking part of growing up. I am not ready.

Who started saying, "a whole nother" instead of "a whole other" or "another whole" whatever it is you're talking about? It's weird, and it rubbed off on me, and I don't like saying it.

Things my big kids have said to me this week to boost my confidence:

Carter: You're not fat at all, Mom. You just have a really big bum.
Avery: You look fine, Mom. You don't need makeup on. It will just look like you have dots all over your face.
Preston: I don't want you to live here anymore, Mom! I want you to leave!

Preston did cry when I drove around the cul-de-sac before coming back to get my toothbrush. And he locked my door so I couldn't get my toothbrush and said I could never leave again. Make up your mind, kid.

And Avery wrote me a note, "I love you so much. I hope you are in are family forever."

Apparently, I traumatized my kids by pretending to listen to his tantrum...

Sunday, December 2, 2012

We have a photographer!

During lunch after church today, Preston shouted with glee, "This is the most unhealthy lunch EVER!" Then he asked for more fudge and caramels.

I let him have more.

Carter was covered from head to toe with hives. I Skyped my brother, who has had lots of experience dealing with hives. As he looked at Carter, who had no shirt on because it was just too itchy, he said, "Dude, you look like you're from Ethiopia."

He has always been pretty skinny, but he has been sick the last couple of weeks, with no appetite at all, so he has lost a few pounds. He kind of looks like a skeleton...

Bill told me that the kids had taken too many pictures and videos on the iPad.... SIX GIGABYTES worth! So, I had to go through and delete a bunch of them. While I was going through them, I was really worried about all the videos that they had taken that I was completely unaware of. I thought for sure that I would be yelling at the kids in every single one because it feels like that is all I do. But in about a hundred videos, I did not even yell at the kids at all. And I was even speaking kindly and calmly to my kids in most of them. It's nice to have a good surprise once in a while.

Most of the pictures were of Preston. And most of them were with his face distorted in one way or another. He thinks it is so funny when he makes his face stretched out or something. So he takes fifty pictures of the exact same funny thing. I don't know why one isn't enough. The other pictures were all taken by him as well, mostly of Sadie.

On the way to church today, Avery said, "You're weird, Mom." Preston said back to her, "You never even act like Mommy is cool or anything. You can't ALWAYS be saying mean things like that."

So, maybe he thinks I am sort of cool?

Sadie was playing with her hands today, and she kept saying, "Dingdas. Dingdas." I think that was supposed to be fingers? And when she said, "Dimdumdee," I think it was Christmas tree? She was looking and pointing that way...

And she kept grabbing a handful of my cheek with her sharp little fingernails, saying, "Deek." It hurt. It was kind of cute. It was less cute when she stuck her finger in my mouth and scratched it. Now I'm going to have a canker sore.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Supervision and Fist Fights

Bill took Sadie out of the meeting at church because she was being so loud. So when I went up to sing with the choir, the other kids were by themselves. I came back to sit with them after singing, and apparently, I had missed a big fist fight. Preston and Avery had bright red scratch marks all over their faces and arms, and they were both crying loudly.

I told Preston that he could use a screwdriver to take part of a toy off so he could change the batteries, with Bill's supervision, of course. "But Daddy doesn't have supervision. He has glasses."

Here is my reason today for being the meanest mom ever. The kids were supposed to get in the car because it was time to go to school. Carter was playing in the field next to our house, and it had rained all night, so it was all muddy. I decided that he needed a little lesson, so I just drove off. He chased after me, crying the whole way. I only went about half a block, and I let him get in the car. At least all that running on wet asphalt helped some of the mud come off his shoes.

Sadie just found some Hot Tamales. She had a love-hate relationship with them until I took them away from her.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Peanuts, Bananas, Junior Mints, Oh My!

A friend posted something on facebook about how nice it was to have the people at church be considerate of her allergies. So I have been thinking about that the last few hours. I also have been thinking about it because of a severe reaction the other day, when I had a great friend come help me out without making me feel like I was too much trouble. She was willing to drop everything, even take me to the hospital if I needed it. Luckily, my other medications ended up working, so we didn't have to do that.

When I first started having my food allergies, there were many people who did not understand how serious my reactions could be. I didn't even understand until I had several instances of barely being able to breathe, even with lots of medication. I figured out that I am so sensitive to a few foods that even the particles in the air can affect me with life-threatening reactions. It was heart-breaking for me to give up these foods. It was even more heart-breaking for me to give up friends and acquaintances that were not willing to give up those foods when I was around. I heard things like, "If you are worried about having an allergic reaction to something, then just stay home," or "I don't want to have to change what we eat just because you are a drama queen. You're not really going to die just because my kid eats a Reese's or a banana around you."

So, you might be able to imagine how I became embarrassed about having my allergies. How I was scared to go to potlucks and almost anywhere in public. How I was nervous to request that menus be safe for me. I mean, if I was really that paranoid, why didn't I stay home? It would be so much easier.

Well, then we moved to our current location. (And I am having some tears slip out just thinking about this.) There was an activity about a week after we moved here, and I really wanted to go. I didn't know anybody yet, and I wanted to meet people. There was going to be food there, so I didn't know if I could go. I had decided that I would just stay home so I didn't have to worry about anything. Somebody that I didn't really know invited me to come, and I bravely (I felt brave, at least) shared my concerns about going because of my food allergies. She called the right people and found out that the menu didn't have anything that I needed to be concerned about. It was so nice to go out in public without the fear of getting sick or worse from food that other people might have around me. Then, she told other people about my allergies. They have all tried to help me so that I can go to events and be safe. One time, I was talking about staying home from an event that might have some things I was allergic to. One of my friends said, "Let's just call ____. I'm sure that she would change the menu for you. We would much rather have you with us than eat ____." And this kind of thing has happened so many times. And because of good people who are considerate and kind, I do not feel quite as much embarrassment when I have to ask about menus or tell people about my allergies.

I am so grateful for those people who value me more than they value eating whatever they want whenever they want. It's nice to feel like I am of worth to other people.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Pumpkin Headed Weirdo Brothers

Here is Carter's latest incomplete comic book. It's a departure from his usual, The Skull Brothers.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Thank you for the compliment

I am not very gracious. I want to be, but I have not yet mastered the art of accepting a compliment. For some reason, I panic when somebody compliments me. If I just accept the compliment, that makes me seem like I am vain. Stupid. Or, if I agree with them, I must be agreeing that I am better than anyone else at whatever they have just complimented me on. Also stupid. When I compliment somebody else, I mean what I say. It doesn't always mean I think that person is the best in the world at that specific talent. It doesn't mean that nobody else has that talent as well. It means that they have a talent or attribute that benefits those around them, and I appreciate it. I should assume the same of others when they compliment me.

Here are some examples of compliments that I have received and how badly I have received them.

Friend: You play the piano nicely.
Me: Didn't you hear all my mistakes? or My brother/mom/sisters/friend is way better.
What I should say: Thank you. I really like to play the piano, even if I don't practice as much as I should. (Or just, thank you.)

Friend: You sure have lost your baby weight fast.
Me: I still have ten pounds to go. or It doesn't seem that fast to me. or I USED to be way skinnier.
What I should say: Thank you. Losing weight is hard for me.

Kid: Your bum is really big and chubby.
Me: No, it's not.
What I should say: Thank you. I didn't even get implants! That extra slice of cake every night has really paid off!

Kid: You're the meanest mom in the universe!
Me: No, I'm not. There are way meaner moms.
What I should say: Thank you. I try really hard, and I appreciate that you have noticed.

Friend: You are a good writer.
Me: I'm not as good at writing as Shari/Chris/Emily/Jane Austen/Shannon Hale/Julie Berry/Georgette Heyer/etc.
What I should say: Thank you. I really like to write.

Friend: Your house is really cute.
Me: I HATED it when we first moved in.
What I should say: Thank you.

Friend: Your kids are really smart.
Me: But they have ADHD/rage issues/social problems/etc.
What I should say: Thank you. They are smart.

Friend: You can sing well.
Me: But didn't you hear that wrong note? or But I can't sing well enough to sing solos. or Kathy/Anna/my siblings and cousins/Shari/Amy/almost anyone is way better than I am.
What I should say: Thank you. I really like to sing.

Friend: I like your hair.
Me: I hate it like this! or But don't you see all these weird hairs sticking out? or But don't you see how crooked I cut my bangs?
What I should say: Thank you.

Friend: Your house is so clean.
Me: No, it's not. or Just don't look in the bedrooms. or Don't you see the giant pile of junk on the kitchen counter?
What I should say: Thank you. It's hard to even get my house this clean with four kids.

Friend: Your kids are cute.
Me: But they are too chubby/too skinny/have a giant noggin/have weird hair/are always losing their pants and showing their bum/etc.
What I should say: Thank you. They are very cute.

Friend: You look pretty.
Me: (and this is one of my hardest ones) No, I don't. or But look at my terrible skin. or But someone else, anyone else looks better. or My hair is weird today. or But my pants are way too tight, and my belly hangs over. (This one can be solved by giving in and buying some bigger pants...)
What I should say: Thank you.

Friend: You are smart.
Me: I'm not that smart. or I used to be smarter before I had kids. or I don't feel that smart. or I'm not even all the way finished with college. 
What I should say: Thank you.

I may not be extremely talented at anything, but it doesn't mean I don't have any talents at all. Now, I just have to learn to use those talents that I do have to do more good. And if somebody notices, I shouldn't try harder to hide my candle under a bushel. Because that would start a fire. Plus, I don't really even know what a bushel is. So, maybe I'm not really that smart...

Whose jokes are better?

Carter: I woke up, and I felt weird, but I didn't know why I felt weird. But I just noticed that I felt weird because it felt like I woke up at a hotel.

That explains a lot.

My kids finally decided what they want to be for Halloween. Little Red Riding Hood Vampire, Werewolf, and Zombie Woodcutter. Sadie's going to be  a purple unicorn because my sister gave us the costume. She doesn't really fit in with the theme the other kids are going for.

Carter likes my mom's Halloween jokes:

So what is the mummy's favorite kind of music?  I think it's "wrap".
Why was the ghost arrested by the game warden?  He didn't have a haunting license.
What is Dracula's favorite place to visit in New York?  The Vampire State Building.
What is the ghost's favorite street to go down?  A dead end.
Where in the country do goblins most like to live?  In North and South Scarolina.
What does a little monster call his parents?  Mummy and deady.
What is the scariest thing that can happen after Halloween?  Obama getting re-elected!  Aaaaugh!
What's a ghost's favorite food?  Boo-berries.
Why did the doctor look at the vampire's throat?  Because of the coffin.

Here are Carter's jokes:

Knock knock.
Who's there?
Freep who?
Gross. Nobody wants your free poo.

What's an ant's favorite clothes?
Pants. That's why they always say you have ants in your pants.

What's Ferb's favorite month?

What's a ghost's favorite kind of bird?
A BOO-bird.

Why did the fly fly?
Because the spider spied her...

What's a dachshund's favorite time of year?
Halloweenie time.

What's a hot dog's least favorite food?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Root of the Word

Bill was going through Carter's spelling list, asking the kids to spell the words and seeing if they knew what the words mean. Carter is learning words with Latin and Greek roots, and this week's words include number prefixes. Bill asked, "What do you think quintessence means?" Preston answered, "Like five kids? Or if twins turned five, then they would be quins." Carter responded, "Probably a kind of toothpaste."

Later, we were reading scriptures, and we read something that said, "I am Alpha and Omega."

Bill: What do you think of when you hear the word Alpha? (He was going for alphabet so he could explain that alpha was the beginning and omega was the end of a different alphabet.)
Avery: I don't know.
Bill: What about you, Preston? What does Alpha make you think of?
Preston: A dog.
Bill: What other word does it sound like?
Preston: Maybe alfalfa. You know, hay is just dried alfalfa.
Bill: What do you think of when you hear the word Alpha?
Carter: I don't think anything. I don't even know what it means.
Bill: Well, what word does is sound like?
Carter: Alvin and the Chipmunks?

I thought of the alpha male of a wolf pack. Okay, a werewolf pack. I read too many paranormal books.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Well, it looks like nursing has come to an end. I had cut down to just a couple times at night. Last night, both times I tried to nurse, after about five minutes, Sadie pulled off, shook her head, and said, "Bobble." So it's over. She knows what she wants at ten months.

Carter is learning about rocks at school. Last week, after he had returned to school after our Moab trip, Bill asked what his teacher said when he told her about his trip and all the rocks and fossils that he saw. Carter replied that she didn't say anything. "She didn't respond when you talked to her?" I asked. "Well, she responded, but she didn't say 'That's cool' or anything like that," Carter answered.

I spent $500 at Target today. Then I came home and filled one of the bags with all the stuff I am going to return.

Whenever one of my kids says that one of the other kids "hit me as hard as they could!" it just doesn't have the effect on me that they are going for. I am pretty certain that the other kid could hit way harder if they tried.

We have a graveyard by our front door. It's pretty spooky, but nobody ever comes to our house, so my kids are the only ones who get to see it. So now YOU know that we have a cool graveyard. It's Halloween-y.

Avery is scared of school pictures tomorrow.

Preston looked through the toys-r-us magazine that came the other day. He was looking to find things that he wanted for his birthday. He told me a few things. Then he went to bed. I thought he was asleep. But about an hour later, he called out, "So, are you still thinking about what you're going to get me?"

Obviously, he was thinking about it.

My sister brought her dog to my backyard while she went shopping a few days ago. Sadie watched him the whole time. The next day, she kept watching that window saying, "Puh-puh. Oof-oof." Then she did it again today. It's kind of sad.

An update on that European chocolate that my brother brought me: It all had nuts. (He was in a hurry, so he didn't read the labels.) But everyone else liked it.

If I remember what Carter said at dinner, I'll put it on my next post. It's the whole reason I even sat down to write, but it left my mind, and it doesn't seem to want to re-enter my memory. And it was so funny, too. I walked by a mirror a little while ago and saw that my mascara had run from the tears of laughter.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Arches and Vacuums

Me: Preston, stop spanking my bum.
Preston: (giggling) I can't help it. It's so funny because it just wobbles sooo much!

We are now in the stage where we hear a loud thud or bonk followed by a cry many times a day. She just can't stand as well as she thinks she can.

Who knew my nine-year-old and seven-year-old boys would have so much fun playing vacuum tag. They giggled and squealed whenever I pretended I was going to get them with the vacuum.

Bill is on the way to the airport to pick up my brother. He is coming to the U.S. for my grandpa's funeral.

Incidentally, I am in the market for some really good waterproof mascara. Cry-proof mascara.

Bill bought the kids some Garfield comic books at a used book store the other day. They can't stop laughing when they are reading them. It seems like I thought Garfield was funny when I was a kid. Now, I have no idea what I thought was so funny.

Preston was so embarrassed to admit the name of  book that he was reading. It was There's a Boy in the Girl's Bathroom.

Sadie frequently says, "da-da" and stares at the door for several minutes, usually when she has heard a car door or other sound outside. She has been disappointed every time.

We went to Arches National Park on Saturday. The kids loved the hiking and exploring. I also noticed that there are tons of inappropriate rock formations. Am I the only one who has noticed that?

When we were about two hours into our drive down to Moab, we realized that we had forgotten to pack the portable crib. We did not go back to get it. We tried having her sleep in a closet, but a few seconds later, she was out in the family room. That happened three times. The next day, we bought a new one. And it was the ONLY one in the store, and it was on the top shelf, and when I got it down, it fell on me.

We had tiny shell pasta tonight, so I gave some to Sadie. I think she would have given me an award for the most awesome mom ever. She loved it!

I just put her to bed, and she is so mad at me right now. I guess it's back to the meanest mom in the universe for me.

The vacuum has been sitting at the bottom of the stairs for the last two hours. Every time I walk by, it freaks me out because it looks like there is a person standing there. I should put it away.

I hope my brother brings me some really good European chocolate. I would eat it all, probably in a day or two. I wouldn't want to deny Preston the joy of spanking my wobbly bum by losing any weight...

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Real Superhero

I had about a hundred things to write about. I have been laughing so much the last few days. But the last few minutes, I have had a broken heart just thinking about my cute funny grandpa that is not expected to make it much longer. He is just the kind of person who is a true inspiration. So, here is a sad, sort of funny story about him. Hopefully, I get the details right.

My parents went to visit him one day. He was living at an assisted living home about a mile from their house. His Parkinson's disease was affecting him quite a bit. He often had angels visiting him or telling him where some money was hidden or other such things. Well, this day, when they came to visit him, he had been terrified that someone was coming to kill him. He had hidden, or tried to hide, behind a couch in the front room. Quite a feat for someone who lost the use of one arm in WWII as well as being lately confined to a wheelchair. He was back in his room by the time they arrived, and he was very upset about the guys who were coming to kill him. My dad asked him why anyone would want to kill him. He answered that it was because he had killed so many people. My dad asked if he had killed these people in the war. He answered that when he was in France, he didn't shoot anyone; he just shot into the air because he didn't want to kill anyone. So, he let them shoot him instead. My dad asked, "Well, when did you kill all the people?" He said, "With my laser eyes. I look out that window, and I kill everyone who is driving by. They keep getting into wrecks. I've killed thousands of people with my laser eyes."

Funny. And sad. Nothing like the guy who came close to winning the doubles ping pong championship of 2002. They beat two other teams only to lose to my awesome husband and his wife. Nothing like the guy who used to cheat at basketball in his driveway. Nothing like the guy who taught me how to butcher meat, thus ensuring that I would never look at raw meat again. Nothing like the guy who showed me that old people can still laugh at bodily functions and potty humor. Or the guy who always took out his teeth to freak us out. (Preston did try those teeth on once, when they were sitting in a cup in the bathroom.)

Preston has some posters in his room with heroes like George Washington, Joseph of Egypt, and Captain Moroni. The posters say, "Who's your hero?" He wanted a superhero room, and I didn't just want Marvel comic superheroes. I wanted real men that he could look up to.

But my grandpa is a superhero to me and to all those who have been blessed to know him. I can imagine him having super powers, like laser eyes. So, the next time someone talks about laser eyes, I will be thinking about the thousands of people that my grandpa killed and wondering how the government hushed the whole thing up so well. Maybe Preston needs one more poster.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Just Because

Have you ever noticed the small print on the commercials for Allstate?

"Not available in all states..."

One of those commercials came on the other day. Preston said, "Oooh, this is going to be funny. They're going to suddenly talk in a low voice."

I turned on Pete's Dragon for a few minutes to show my kids a movie I had seen as a kid. Carter couldn't believe it when Elliott first became visible. "That's so weird! It's just a drawn dragon. That's funny. I can't even watch this! I'm used to computer generated things, but that dragon is just drawn! It doesn't even look real! How can they stand to make such a bad dragon? Why did they think that would even look good? It's just drawn!" (Of course, he didn't want to stop watching it when it was time for bed.)

Me: You can't pull on my arm that hard.
Avery: Why not?
Me: Sometimes that shoulder comes out of place. (I then explained how shoulders work and showed her using my hand and my fist how it can sometimes slip out.)
Avery: Ohhh, that would be bad.
Me: Yes. It hurts a lot when that happens, and it would be hard to take care of Sadie.
Avery: And it would be hard to kiss Daddy. Because if you kiss him for a long time, you have to hold on tight. And you couldn't do that if your shoulder comes out.

Well, she's right, I guess.

I tried to take a little nap before I picked up the kids from school today. Carter stayed home because he wasn't feeling very well, and he was watching a movie on the ipad in my room. I woke up a couple of minutes into the nap because he was hysterical. I thought he had gotten hurt. It turned out that he was laughing so hard that he was crying. Because the guy in the movie was tooting pixie dust. Nine year old boy....

Sadie laughed and waved at her reflection today. Because she was wearing a Hello Kitty hat. Thank you, Target.

My parents went to Europe to visit my brother. They went to a little church that we had visited five or six months ago when we went out there. We had been looking for some of our ancestors' names in the cemeteries and churches in a few tiny villages in France. We had entered one of the churches, hoping to find some new information, when I accidentally broke a vase. We tried to clean it up the best that we could, but there was no trash bin, so we gathered the pieces into the corner where people would be less likely to hurt themselves on the glass. It turns out that we got the glass out of the way enough that months later, when they returned to the church, it was still there in the corner...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Feathers and Moons

A few "good" ideas my kids have had this week:

Placing a full cup of orange juice in the freezer to "save it for later" after realizing it didn't taste that great after brushing my teeth. (Preston)

Crawling under every table, chair, bed, large toy, or furniture that exists in the house, then cry because I got stuck. Repeating exactly thirty seconds after being removed from the situation. (Sadie)

Dipping fries in syrup. (Carter)

Stealing my mom's fries. (Carter)

Admitting that my mom is actually really nice and funny and that I just tell her she's the meanest mom in the universe when I am mad. (Preston)

From our hike for scouts last week:

Leader: What should you do to protect yourself from the sun?
Carter: You could put dirt or mud all over you.
Leader: Or maybe sunscreen? And a hat?
Carter: I guess.
Leader: What could you do if it started raining?
Carter: You could cover yourself with grass.
Preston: You could put feathers all over yourself. That would work.
Leader: Or you could make a poncho from a garbage bag or something like that.
Another Boy: Where would you get a garbage bag?

My question is: Where would you get feathers to cover your whole body?

A conversation that my three-year-old nephew had with himself while I was watching him yesterday:

Q: What does (names every animal he can think of) say?
A: (Gives all the appropriate animal sounds)
Q: What do eyes say?
A: (Blinks)
Q: What do noses say?
A: (Sniffs loudly)
Q: What does the moon say?
A: Tra-la-la-la-la. I love you, my child.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Slamming Doors

With automatic doors in our van, our kids can't slam the doors when they are mad. But they can sure push those buttons hard, the buttons that close the doors.

That will teach me a lesson....

I have reached a new low. I used to be "the meanest mom in the universe!" Just yesterday I had that title. Today, I am "the meanest mom in the tri-state area!"

So I can't mistake how mean I am....

(And if you're wondering what made me so mean today, I think I said, "Preston, you can't wear your soccer socks today. They don't match your shorts.")

And I'm still laughing at the experience that inspired my post from yesterday. Doesn't anybody else think it's funny that Bill even had the opportunity to tell Preston that he wasn't supposed to be excited to see a dead cat?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Dance Parties and Dead Cats

Sadie tries to walk while we hold her hands. She takes one giant step with her right foot, and then she puts her left foot even with her right foot. She continues in this pattern.

I heard the following conversation today:

Preston: Ooh! Look at the dead cat!
Avery: Daddy said it's not okay to get excited about a dead cat.
Preston: You're a dead cat.
Avery: I'm not a dead cat.
Preston: You ARE a dead cat.
Avery: I'm alive. You're alive. Don't you get it? We're both alive.
Preston: No. You're not alive. You're a dead cat.
Avery: I'm talking to you. Of course I'm alive.
Preston: No. You're a dead cat.

I went to pick my kids up from a practice for a program at church. As I was leaving the building, I heard the radio turned on in the chapel, and several kids (ages 3-7) were having a secret dance party in the back of the chapel. I got the kids out and figured out how to turn the sound off. I did not, however, figure out how to change the setting back to microphone instead of radio. There might be a big surprise on Sunday....

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Lights Out on a Saturday Afternoon

Most people see Bill as a mild-mannered guy, a good husband and father. What they would never suspect is that he is a big time money launderer.

$13.75 in one load!

I couldn't find Carter a little while ago. I finally looked outside. He was across the street jumping on the neighbor's trampoline with no shirt on, with the sprinklers spraying him, yelling, "Oh yeah!" Classy.

Oh yeah, and the neighbors are out of town.

Just kidding. Their kid was out there, too.

At about the same time, I found Preston down in the basement. He had closed all the blinds and turned the lights off. And he had wrapped himself in a black cape and was lying on a futon pretending it was a coffin. He said he had to have all the lights off because he is a vampire. I think he was lying there for twenty minutes. How is that fun?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Additional Conversations Today

Preston: I know why we have to burp Sadie after we eat. Because if we don't burp her, she will just feel sick from all that milky air in her tummy.

Avery: Mom! I have the best idea! We should try to make water popsicles sometime!
Me: You mean ice cubes?
Avery: Oh yeah.... Well, we could put sticks in them sometime to see if they taste good that way....

Carter: (with no breaths between sentences) I want to go outside to play basketball. But I can't play basketball. Every time I try to play basketball, the bees try to sting me. But they don't try to sting other people. Why don't they try to sting other people?

Avery: Where's Daddy?
Me: Yo no se.
Avery: What does that mean?
Me: I don't know.
Avery: But what does it MEAN?
Me: I don't know.
(a few minutes later)
Avery: Oh, were you telling me that it means I don't know?

A Few Random Thoughts Today

If I don't know where Sadie is, she is usually happily cleaning my kitchen floor.

I was just looking at a fall magazine while I ate my breakfast, and I thought, "Am I the only person who doesn't like the way wreaths look?"

We saw a sign yesterday saying, "Del Taco, coming soon!" How is that place still in business, let alone opening new ones all over the place? I am not a Del Taco expert, but the two or three times I have eaten there, it has been really gross. Really REALLY gross. Maybe we just had bad luck and it's not usually that bad?

As I dropped the kids off at school today, Preston said, "Mom, can you please come inside this morning." I replied that I didn't really want to go inside in my pajamas. "But Mom, I really want to show Sadie the tarantula!"


My kids seem genuinely surprised when I don't know the answers to their questions. "Mom, what's the difference between a storm trooper and a clone?" I have no idea. "Mom, how does the microwave work?" Ask Daddy. "Mom, what does Sadie dream about?" No idea. "Mom, how does some people's hair curl?" Don't know. "Mom, how will that lady fit through that door?" Not polite, no idea. "Mom, what's a google?" Ask Daddy. "Mom, what will Sadie's first word be?" Probably mama or dada or ball or something like that. "But WHICH one will it be?" No idea.

I think she did say mama a few times. And more. And button. And wee-wee-wee. (But it's still early and hard to tell if she actually is saying words or just babbling.)

Avery has been practicing fixing hair lately. It is cute. Her hair is not quite as cute....

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Castle Toys

I can't believe how quickly I have forgotten what four-year-old kids are like. Four-year-old BOYS....

A few of the things said to me today while I was watching my friend's kids:

I have castle toys at my house.
(After I told him how big he was getting.) I'm not a big kid yet. I'm just a little kid.
Hey! You have castle toys! Do you have little kids, too?
Hey! I can see your undies! (When I bent to change Sadie's diaper.)
I can't see your undies anymore. Did you pull them up?
Let's make these cows fly!
I'm a burping monster. (Then he proves it.)
You're a toilet.
Where did you put my castle guy?
You're a poo-poo.
I'm not a burping monster. YOU'RE a burping monster. (I did not do anything to deserve the name.)
Poo. Poo is funny.
Ghost Baby is taking a nap, so you can't keep screaming. (He kept starting the swing with nothing in it except for "Ghost Baby". Also, I had just told him that Sadie was sleeping and that he couldn't scream.)
Watch me make these cows fly! (He threw them for half an hour without getting bored of his invented cow flying game. And he wanted me to watch every single time.)
Whose toy is that? (About every single toy we have... And we have four kids, and they all have lots of toys....)
Your baby doesn't know how to do anything. MY baby can walk and eat things.
Hey! Your baby said "mama". That's what my baby says, too!
Can I stay at your house and play with your castle toys?
Can I have some of your snacks?
(And when it was time to go.) Mom, can I come back to Melissa's house next week?

Well, at least I have some dealing-with-little-kid skills left...

Or castle toys...

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Lady of Quality

Preston: Mommy, what was your favorite song when you were little? Was it Mary Had a Little Lamb?
Me: No.
Preston: Oh, because it wasn't invented yet when you were little?
Avery: (laughing at the ridiculousness of what he just said) Of course it was invented! It was invented as soon as lambs were born!

As I was reading the book Lady of Quality by Georgette Heyer last night, I realized that I was at that moment a lady of quality. Because the box for my fries that Bill got me from Wendy's said they were quality fries for quality people.

My cute mom: (seeing a listless guy sitting on the side of the road) Do you think that guy needs help, or do you think he's faking?
My observant sister: Well, he has no feet....

I don't think the conjugation is correct, but my nine-year-old son keeps saying, "Scusi, natiche emettere gas." You can look it up on google translator.

I can't decide if he is annoying or funny. Maybe both.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Avery Yesterday

Me: Avery, what did you learn in your class at church today?
Avery: I don't have to tell you.
Me: Can you please tell me what your lesson was about?
Avery: I'm not going to tell you. I don't want to listen to you about that.

Her lesson was about obedience.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Sadie's Firsts

Yesterday was a day of firsts for Sadie.

First time eating chocolate.
First time eating macaroni and cheese.
First time eating cheerios.

Obviously, I need to keep up with my older kids' spills better. And I haven't taught them as well as I thought I had because there was perfectly good chocolate that had been wasted on the floor. If you're going to follow the five second rule, follow it by saving chocolate.

She also had her first blood. She cut her finger on my friend's vent, and I didn't notice it until it had been bleeding a minute or two. There was blood everywhere! She did not like her band-aid and kept trying to take it off. Then she kept trying to eat it.

Also, a good way to get free daycare for seven hours: Have your four-year-old child tell your neighbor that you went to a town two hours away and that the seven-year-old brother is in charge. It worked for my neighbor, and it can work for you, too! (I have had kids here all day, and they have eaten all my food and made a huge mess, but at least they were safe...)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Gratitude (And it's not even Thanksgiving!)

About a year ago, I was feeling very sorry for myself. My skin just kept breaking out. I said to Bill, "I would be happy if my skin was just sixty percent better." (Because I always think in exact quantities and percentages.) Well, when I went on bed rest shortly after that, my skin did clear up. It probably was about sixty percent better. A few times I think I felt grateful for the improvement, but most of the time, I still mourned the blemishes that I continued to have. Now that I am back to having acne like a teenager (while at the same time having wrinkles like someone in their thirties has), I realize that I should have been more grateful for that time, albeit brief, that I could go without makeup without being completely humiliated.

I could use that story to talk about how we should be happy with what we have because we will never have enough and always want more. But I was thinking more about gratitude tonight. So, in an effort to show (and feel) a little more gratitude for some of my blessings while I am still experiencing those blessings, here is my list of things that I was grateful for today. 

1. That person who invented Kleenex. As someone who is allergic to most of the world, what a necessary thing for me! What did people do before that invention? So nice when I needed to use almost a whole box today!
2. Kids who are funny.
Avery: Mom, I found this picture of you when you were little. You were cute. You looked just like me. Sadie: Squeal, Squeal, Squeal, Eat everything I come in contact with, Squeal, Laugh, Squeal, Half-crawl-scoot-roll to get whatever I want, Squeal until no more noise comes out but keep squealing.
Bill: I found your old white laptop...UNDER Preston's bed and on.... (that sneaky little guy....)
Bill: Carter, stop shaking your booty! (He is CONSTANTLY dancing and shaking that skinny little bum.)
Avery: Sadie, stop being inappropriate. We can be inappropriate, but you can't because you're just a baby.
3. A husband who makes dinner.
4. E-readers. I bought and read a book and never had to leave the couch. (I realize the potential for laziness here, but I'm claiming sickness for today.)
5. Books in general. Especially Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer when I am in this kind of mood. And other books inspired by these authors. Maybe I'll stop being lazy and do a post on my book blog about Georgette Heyer. I bought a lot of twenty books by her on ebay today, with only three repeats of books I already have or have read. I am so excited to get them. Somebody can have the repeat books if they want.
6. Running water and heated water. I would not have felt well enough to go fetch my own water. Plus, I really needed that shower.
7. A new couch. Eight months with only a loveseat in my upstairs family room makes me really appreciate this cute new contemporary/transitional textured gray couch with chaise lounge on one side that we got at the Fischer Furniture outlet in Logan for only $699! Especially good for setting up my sick station with Kleenex and books and phones and laptop. Comfy too.
8. Brother(s) and Sisters! I have the best, of course. (I am including in-laws here.)
9. Friends. If you are reading this, you likely fit into this category. Thanks for being awesome and for at least pretending to like me.
10. Black licorice that doesn't have corn syrup. I ate a couple of pieces today, and the bag is still right in front of me. (Not that I can't understand if you do not agree with me here. It is definitely a strong flavor.)
11. Conditioner. My hair smells nice now, and it is super soft. Funny looking because it is drying weird, but soft.
12. Pajamas that are comfy.
13. Chocolate. I didn't have any today, but in the book I read, they were eating chocolate, and I was thinking about how good it is. I could write poems about chocolate. If I had an appetite, I would go eat some right now.
14. Costco. I like their diapers that rarely leak. And their book prices, usually better than Amazon. And we usually buy Kleenex in bulk there. Just buying contacts there, for just one of us, saves us enough money each year to pay for our membership. Then we use that money we saved to buy more books...
15. A baby who slept in late so that I could also sleep in late and have weird dreams that included Chris Johnson and then driving some weird van/bike combination, maybe like a Flintstones car I had to pedal to escape the mafia.

What were you grateful for today?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

One of Us

If you have not cried over spilled milk, then you have never been a nursing mother.

Avery told me, "I think Sadie's going to have a really cute voice."

I think so, too. She started babbling for the first time the other day, and she hasn't stopped since she discovered she could do it.

Carter sat on the couch next to Sadie and me. He pointed at Sadie and said, "It's weird to think that she's one of us." I asked, "What do you mean?" He responded, "Well, she's so... small..." I asked, "Is it weird to you that she's in our family or that she's a little person?" "BOTH!"

I am not making dinner. I looked at recipe books for an hour. Nothing sounds good. Except chocolate. And cinnamon rolls. And my husband's parents are here, so I think chocolate and cinnamon rolls are out of the question.

Carter's on a roll lately. I thought that since he was nine, he wouldn't say funny things anymore. I am glad to be proven wrong. He makes me laugh all the time still.

He's not the only one.

Preston told me that I am not an old lady or a young lady. "You're a medium lady. And you're medium because you're not fat or skinny. You're just medium all the way."


Avery was on my bed playing a game today. I heard her screaming, so I ran to her to see what was wrong. She had somehow smashed her toe in the top drawer of Bill's nightstand. I don't know how she did it, and I couldn't really comfort her very well because it was so funny to me. Bill's nightstand is about a foot away from the bed.

Two good things about summer: Leverage and Warehouse 13.

What do you like about summer? (Besides the fighting kids....)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Conversations of the Day

A couple of things from our day today:

Preston: Carter and Boone are being so gross! I don't even want to be anywhere close to them.
Me: What are they doing?
Preston: They're being a weird band with gross songs. Carter is burping all the songs, and Boone is making tooting sounds. It's disgusting!

Do you really expect nine-year-old boys to be any different?

And a little later while driving home:

Bill: Look at that really cool sunset, boys.
Carter: I see it. It does look cool. It looks like a sedimentary rock.

That's just what I was thinking...

And because I can't stop laughing about this story....

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

You'll Feel Better About Yourself...

If you want to feel like a better parent, you can read about these conversations that took place at my house recently.

Me: I am so sick of nobody listening to me when I tell you to get ready for bed! It makes bedtime my least favorite part of the day because it takes an hour for everybody to bush their teeth and get their pajamas on! Please just obey the first time!
Carter: Well, bedtime is my favorite part of the day, and it makes me sad that you keep yelling at us and ruining my favorite time.

Obviously, I need to do way better about not yelling at the kids at bedtime.

My house is mostly organized and almost clean (except for my bedroom and the office and the bathrooms). Carter commented, "It feels really weird when the house is this clean."

Obviously, I need to do way better about cleaning my house.

I was telling my kids about how someone helped me move Preston's bed when I couldn't even get it to budge an inch. Carter said, "Could you even get it to move a centimeter?" I replied, "No." Avery said, "Well, Mom, you would be a lot stronger if you would exercise more."

Obviously, I need to do way better about exercising.

We cleaned out the pantry yesterday. About one-third of the food was expired. There was some food that had expired as early as 2003. Carter asked, "How many things are in this huge pile of food?" It was the food that we were throwing away. There were over 120 items that we wasted, costing at least $300! And that doesn't even count the food that we had already put into the trash!

Obviously, I need to do way better at rotating my food.

Those are probably enough examples for you to feel better about yourselves.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Few Random Things

We always pass this restaurant when we go into Brigham City. The sign always lists their special for the week. The most common are "Hot Hamburger" and "Salisbury Steak". Sound good? Well, today it's even better. "Liver and Onions".... I'll be sure to tell you how it is....

The Brigham City Temple is getting so close to completion! Come visit us when you come to the open house in August or September.

Preston: Mom! We have a serious problem! (Looking VERY worried)
Me: What is it?
Preston: You parked right in the middle of the driveway. Where will Daddy park when he gets home?

Do you ever realize that you have completely zoned out.. while you are driving? Do you wonder how you made it to where you are without being completely aware of the last quarter mile? Do you wonder if you accidentally ran a red light? Or if you are going anywhere close to the speed limit?

I'm just wondering. Of course, I wouldn't have any experience with this.

We had a miracle happen. Carter lost his glasses yesterday. He took them off when he was getting ready to go swimming. We looked everywhere in the house for them. We spent hours looking. This morning, I felt prompted to look in the garage. I was busy, so I didn't look until this afternoon. The miracle is that I found them, after driving to take the kids to summer art camp and driving to pick them up from summer art camp, ON THE BACK OF THE CAR.

So, you should listen to promptings right away because most of the time, glasses will not stay on the back of a car through two trips to the Fine Art Center. Plus, Carter had a hard time seeing at the camp.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Daddy Questions

(I stole the questions from my friend, Emily.)

1. What is something Daddy always says to you?
Carter:  Don’t do that.
Preston:  He loves me.
Avery:  Brush your teeth.
2. What makes Daddy happy?
Carter:  Naps
Preston:  When I be nice.
Avery:  When we’re all good.
3. What makes Daddy sad?
Carter:  When he’s tired.
Preston:  When I be mean.
Avery:  When we be mean to him.
4. How does Daddy make you laugh?
Carter:  When he’s silly.
Preston:  The bumblebee thing.
Avery:  When he does and says funny things.
5. What was Daddy like as a child?
Carter:  He wanted to have fun.
Preston:  He lived with Grandma.
Avery:  Can I say what his feelings were like? He was happy.
6. How old is Daddy?
Carter:  Either 37 or 38
Preston:  37
Avery:  37?
7. How tall is Daddy?
Carter:  I think he’s six feet two inches or six feet three inches.
Preston:  About six feet and two inches.
Avery:  Like four inches taller than Mommy. (5’ 10”)
8. What is his favorite thing to watch on TV?
Carter:  Sports
Preston:  Sports
Avery:  Sports
9. What does Daddy do when you're not around?
Carter:  Watch TV and play Wii
Preston:  He misses me.
Avery:  Well, while I’m at school, he does work.
10. What is Daddy really good at?
Carter:  He’s really good at building things.
Preston:  Basketball
Avery:  He’s good at taking care of us.
11. What is Daddy not very good at?
Carter:  Fixing hair.
Preston:  Fixing hair.
Avery:  He doesn’t even run that much. Now he’s just used to walking.
12. What does Daddy do for his job?
Carter:  He works at ATK.
Preston:  Design rockets
Avery:  Work at HIS work.
13. What is Daddy's favorite food?
Carter:  Tacos???
Preston:  a wrap or anything besides grapefruit
Avery:  Can I ask him?
14. What makes you proud of Daddy?
Carter:  That he’s my dad.
Preston:  when he’s nice and doesn’t yell
Avery:  That he’s my daddy.
15. If Daddy were a cartoon character, who would he be?
Carter:  He’d be that guy on Phineas and Ferb that was a superhero.
Preston:  Bugs Bunny... because he likes carrots.
Avery:  A basketball player on the Spider-Man show. They have some basketball players.
16. What do you and Daddy do together?
Carter:  Ride bikes and go to Fathers and Sons campouts.
Preston: Talk and play.
Avery:  Go to the store.
18. How are you and Daddy different?
Carter:  He has brown eyes, and I have blue eyes.
Preston:  He’s tall, and I’m not.
Avery:  I’m a girl, and he’s a boy.
19. How do you know Daddy loves you?
Carter:  He’s told me before.
Preston:  Because he is nice to me.
Avery:  Because he’s always nice to me, and he loves me.
20. What does Daddy like most about your Mommy?
Carter:  I have no idea.
Preston:  He’s married with her.
Avery:  That she’s his wife.
21. Where is Daddy's favorite place to go?
Carter:  Camping?
Preston:  His job?
Avery:  The store.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Thunder Thighs

I realize how fast the time goes by when the cuckoo clock goes off every half hour. Also, when I realize that my baby is already almost six months old. She was just born!

Sadie spit up in Bill's mouth a few minutes ago. A lot. She was laughing so cute, too. He stopped playing with her after that.

And she pooped all over me earlier. But not in my mouth.

We were sitting in Sacrament Meeting the other day. Carter sneezed a GIANT sneeze. I looked over at him. He had strings of snot hanging out. It was so disgusting. In a very serious and quiet voice, he calmly said, "Darn it." Then he got tissues out to clean it up. I started laughing until I had tears coming out of my eyes when I kept thinking about his calm "darn it" with no expression in his face or voice.

Avery made it all the way across the monkey bars at school today. Her last day of school is tomorrow.

It was embarrassing for me when I measured myself for a fitness challenge that I am about to begin. My thigh is only one inch smaller than my waist was when I got married.

Darn it.

Sadie also has chubby thighs right now. I love it... on her...

I am not kissing Bill tonight.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

It's Raining, It's Pouring, Someone is Snoring....

Well, it is raining so hard right now, and it's a little hard to sleep.

Avery asked me today, "Mom, when you were a little kid, was milk already invented?" When I said that I did drink milk when I was young, she went on, "Well, were lights already invented?" "Yes," I replied, "Lights were already invented for over a hundred years before I was born. And TV was even invented before I was born." "Whoa. I didn't know that," she said with her eyes as wide as... I don't know, really huge eyes. She had been reading some book that talked about how things used to be a long time ago, like before even pioneer times. Apparently, I am old enough that she thought I would know first hand what it was like.

Also, we got her a chapter book earlier this evening. Bill looked in on her to tuck her back into her bed after she was asleep. Her bookmark was on page seventy-six! She's only five, and she's a little (maybe a lot) hyper-active. I would have bought her books like this one a long time ago if I had known that they would hold her interest so well. What are some good little girl books?

My brother put up some pictures from our trip to visit him. Some of them are similar to our pictures, but some of them are different, so if you want to look at his blog, you can see it at He is funny, eh.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I Have (Almost) Big Kids

It's weird when you suddenly realize that the reality in your mind is no longer actual reality. For example, Preston was always so tall and a little chubby. But he's just not anymore. He's just an average height, and he's pretty skinny. If you look at him from behind, you can see that his head is wider than his bum. Granted, he does have a giant noggin. And Sadie. Well, she's not a skinny little baby anymore. She's got rolls on her thighs and dimples in her elbows. And yesterday, when Carter saw a picture of Avery as a baby, he thought it was Sadie, and Avery was CHUNKY! (Sadie doesn't have a roll line around her wrist yet, so she's not quite like Avery, but she's getting there.) And Carter. He's not a little kid anymore. His feet are almost as big as mine. They will be as big as mine by the end of this year at the latest. And Avery doesn't really play with little girl toys anymore. (She's still little enough to; she just wants to draw and read and play games.) Plus, she's as big as Preston now. I guess the good thing is that our older kids can all ride the fun roller coasters now.

But I'm not ready for that. And my blog is a lot more boring without little kids saying funny things all the time. My big kids say funny things once in a while, but it's just not the same. I guess it might pick up again soon, with Sadie being the funny star. She's talking to me right now, telling me she's bored. So, I'll go make funny/weird faces at her and talk like an old man or in a super high pitch to make her laugh. Her laughter makes my humiliation worth it.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Vacations and Opposable Thumbs

I have questions. You've got answers. I hope.

1. Sadie does not realize that she has opposable thumbs. Is this normal for a five-month-old? About fifty percent of the time she uses her thumbs just like her other fingers, facing the same way. It looks weird. Have your babies done this?

2. I love to plan trips and travel. Where would you go if money was not a concern? Where would you go with a small budget? I want ideas. And I am curious about you all since most people that read my blog are friends or family members. (Does anyone even read my blog that I don't know?)

3. Do your kids get as excited as Avery was to bring her lunch for the first time to school? She had a field trip, and she probably talked about her lunch fifty times or more leading up to that day. And the mom who was with her on the field trip said that she was super excited about each new item she pulled out of her bag. And she spent twenty minutes the day before decorating the sack with flowers and spirals. Have I previously deprived my kid for her to be so excited about something so small?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Europe Pictures

We found a park by the Eiffel Tower!

A beautiful day to walk by the Eiffel Tower.

Cute niece and nephew in a castle in the German countryside.

The castle they loved to explore.

The land of my ancestors in France.  So beautiful!

Strasbourg Cathedral, maybe the most beautiful I've seen, with the best church bells. It used to be the tallest building in the world.

Inside of Strasbourg Cathedral.

Stained glass that my ancestors may or may not have helped make.

Lauterbrunnen Valley, Switzerland. Possibly the most beautiful place on earth. (No offense, Teton Valley.)

Our hotel up on the mountain overlooking Lauterbrunnen.

Happy to be in Switzerland.

I LOVE Lucerne, Switzerland!

Liechtenstein Castle. The billionaire prince lives here.

A church in Liechtenstein. My favorite picture that Bill took.

Princess and the Frog statue at the Imperial Gardens in Innsbruck, Austria.

Cute people by a GIGANTIC tree in the Imperial Gardens.

A couple of guys, who were up to no good, started making trouble in the neighborhood...

More cute people in Innsbruck, at the castle. (My brother, his wife, and their youngest baby.)

Salzburg Castle, on the way up a super steep hike to get there.

Salzburg is so beautiful!

A view from the top.

Mozart played here!

Mirabell Gardens in Salzburg.

Mirabell Gardens

Mirabell Gardens. 

Cute people in Salzburg. Bad photographer, though.

Can you see why Indian and Asian people kept wanting pictures with these girls?

Heidelburg, Germany. A view from the castle.

Kissing Cousins

Girl Cousins, born eight days apart, all ready for church.

Levi with "Cat", the tiger Preston gave him for Christmas.

The Astronomical Clock in Prague.

Prague is so beautiful. It would be even better if it was also clean.