Sunday, September 11, 2011

Truth be told, I have not enjoyed this summer.  I am hoping it will top my list of 'Worst Summers Ever' (as if I had such a list), because I think I would rather live in a land of perpetual winter than redo this one.  I am feeling guilty for being such a downer, so I decided to write a blog post on the good things that have happened this summer, mostly to remind myself that I am so freaking lucky.  So here they are in no particular order (in fact in a pretty random order):

  1. To start off with, I have some amazing kids.  I just really love them.
  2. We are living in a wonderful house.  It is the best place we have lived, in my opinion.  We have a fenced back yard, a garden, plenty of space, our back yard goes up to the elementary school, etc.  I like it.
  3. We have a good ward and great neighbors.  We are able to trade babysitting with a great couple on our street, so we have been able to go to the temple regularly.
  4. Besides that, we have family close to babysit, as well as some nice girls in the ward.  I have never felt like we have so many options for babysitters.
  5. We weren't sure we were going to be able to stay in our current house past the summer, but the people who were going to move in backed out.
  6. Dallas has never been so helpful with the house and kids.  It is quite amazing.
  7. I have had 3 job offers, as well as other jobs wishing to interview me.  I am currently working two jobs, both of which I feel so lucky to have.
  8. Dallas didn't get a job, so we get to stay here.  I have to admit that it is nice to be able to stay in the same place for a while.
  9. Dallas hasn't had much work since I started working, so we have been able to relax a little bit, which is really so nice since it seems like he has been so busy with work and school for so long.
  10. Speaking of that, Dallas graduated.  Woohoo!!  He is now a bachelor, a master, and an artist(?).  I am proud of him.
  11. I got to spend a week with my sister, Erin and so got to know her and her kids a lot better.  I am so thankful for the support I feel from my family of origin.
  12. We met a great friend, Stephanos.
  13. We have been able to go to some great musicals and operas.  
  14. It is so great to live so close to both families, though I wish I had made it to Nampa more often.
  15. I didn't die from the horrible infection in my leg.  In fact, I didn't even get close to dying.
  16. I got a sewing machine.  
  17. I am getting some really cool photography experiences.
  18. I am learning so much about myself and my kids.  And patience for all of us.
  19. I love Dallas.
  20. My testimony in my Savior, Jesus Christ has increased 4-fold.  
Okay, so there are probably a million more things that are wonderful, but I am going to go to bed.  I do feel better.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

We call him SuperGabe!

Yeah, I know. He is so cute, you can all barely stand it. He is as funny as he is cute, too. He is my buddy. We hang out during the day together. He is way bigger than those little babies, so he gets to do cool things with me. And he can pour his own milk. Awesome.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Daphne in Spring

I know I haven't even actually posted about the babies' birthday, but I thought these pictures were so cute that I wanted to post them. Daphne is a fun little girl. She is still pretty petite, but this little kid has some spunk. A day doesn't go by that she hasn't thrown her body onto the floor in protest of not getting her way. She is more soft-spoken than Peter, but not quite as shy. I keep hoping that now that Peter can walk he will teach her, but I don't think she cares. Crawling is still getting her where she needs to be, and rather quickly, I might add. She is a little speedy! If a door is left open, she is outside in a flash. Oh, and the fridge. She really likes to get into the fridge. Her interests are pulling books off shelfs, emptying drawers, throwing food off of her high chair, snuggling, crawling through the house saying, "Aaah!" (to find Peter), looking at books, singing songs, climbing onto Gabe's bed, and giving us evil looks. The evil looks are kind of endearing, though.

Oh, and just so you know, I wanted to see if my blessing dress fit her. It was a little short, but otherwise fine. So that is why she is wearing a frilly 80's dress.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Peculiar Pets of Virginia Bradford

First, you may ask, who is Virginia Bradford? What, you don't remember Strange Madness? The Country Doctor? Okay, so I didn't know who Virginia Bradford was either. I looked her up on Wikipedia and apparently she was an actress in the 1920's. Married four times. Had two children. Pets? It didn't say. But she must have been something special because they named a street after her. Our street. And on our street live many pets.

First we have Stingy the Bee. Possibly Stingy the Bee, Jr, since I have gathered from a 'reliable' internet page (the first one I found) that bumble bees generally only live a few weeks. (Except for queens, who can live a few years!! But don't quote me on that. The site looked a little shady....) But Junior or not, every spring since we have lived on Virginia Bradford (which would be two), we have had a bee that spends all day long buzzing on our back porch doing.... well, something to other bees. Mating? Fighting? Playing? Each of us have our theory. (You come up with your own. That second picture is Stingy in action. He is in the air, and the other bee is upside down on the ground. But don't worry, it got right back up and flew far, far away.) All I know is that it must be important because it doesn't matter how much I swat at him (or maybe her??), spray bug spray, throw things, or ignore him, he just keeps doing it. So last year we decided to stop fighting Stingy and to open our porch to him and invite him to be our pet. He doesn't seem to care about us much, but by allowing him stay there -as if we even have a choice!- we pretty much lose the availability of our back porch. Just can't really feel okay about letting the kids play outside with a monster bee that won't leave.

Have you ever read the Velveteen Rabbit? You know, the bunny that went from being a well loved stuffed animal to a real wild bunny? Well, I am pretty sure that due to the love given to one WhitePuppy, one of these days we are going to come home to a very funky, very mischievous, very sick, and very REAL puppy. (Sick? Yeah, Penny is always telling us about the various ailments of WhitePuppy that require extra love and care. Might be because she has had countless birthdays....) Of all the pets, I have to say this one is my favorite. Here's hoping that she doesn't get real. (Penelope was quick to say just now that she hopes she does get real. Luckily I don't believe in fairies.

Misha, oh Misha. Mr. Mish. Marsha. RaccoonPet. About two months ago, while she was outside chasing the neighbor kids out of our yard, she was attacked by another Virginia Bradford dog. Bitten, left for dead. I didn't see it, but when I realized what had happened, she had a deep, huge, horrible bite wound. I was horrified. I cleaned it up, called Dallas' dad, who is a doctor and asked what to do. He said I could try super gluing it together, so I did. You can call me Dr. Emily, thanks. Okay, probably not, since the super glue fix only lasted one day. On to the Vet! There, they operated on it, sewed it up and put in a drainage tube. Of course, within a day of being home, even with an E-collar, all of the stitches had come out. I wasn't too keen on taking her back to the vet, since Dallas was back in school and I wasn't about to take the Gabies (Gabe and the babies) to the vet, so we did our best at home to keep it clean. Besides, she was eating well and had started acting like our pet again. Amazingly, every day it would get a little smaller. It took a good few weeks, but all that is left is a scar. The weirdness started when the hair around the wound started to grow back in BLACK!! So now we have a silver poodle with a big black spot.

But, the story doesn't end there! That dog, the one who attacked Misha, I will call her WhiteBeast, is still a Virginia Bradford pet. She is kept up on the neighbors porch (which, like ours, doesn't actually have stairs leading down to the back yard. Pointless, if you ask me.) So anyway, one day, I was out looking for FriendCat and her kittens (more about her later) with Gabe and Beni, and of course, Misha. Well, WhiteBeast is barking like the mad dog she is, but we are safely out of reach. Or so I thought. Suddenly there is a flash of white. (It happened so fast that I had to confirm what I already knew with the boys: WhiteBeast had jumped from the porch onto the ground!!) I run to find WhiteBeast trained on Misha, with a lust for her blood and a penchant to kill. I started screaming at WhiteBeast, and then kicking, pulling. grabbing when I realized she wouldn't be swayed away from her goal. This did nothing to deter her, but luckily Misha squirmed free for a moment and I was able to grab her. I ran with her inside, followed by two screaming boys (who later bragged to each other how neither had been the least bit scared by the big, white, angry dog.) Luckily this time, her bite wounds are very minor and should heal just fine. I thought WhiteBeast was going to kill her. If you visited us today you would still see evidence of my struggle with WhiteBeast. A few tufts of fur remain there on the grass as a somber reminder that some pets are mean.

The family that owns WhiteBeast has a few other pets. Strange pets, like a chicken. Actually I really like the chicken. It just wanders about the yard eating bugs and clucking happily. To be honest, I don't know how it has survived WhiteBeast, but it has. There is another small dog that is yippee, but otherwise un-noteworthy. Their last pet is a cat. GarbageCat. Never was there such a cat as GarbageCat. Actually, there are probably tons of cats like GarbageCat. Nasty thing, one eye always closed, the other one not quite right. GarbageCat may have once been white, but now is a dingy yellowish-brown. In its fur are always bits of twigs and dirt, for obviously bathing is not something that GarbageCat likes to waste energy on. Energy needs to be conserved for those mysterious tasks in the forest, digging through the garbage, or doing that evil thing that will ensure that GarbageCat will not end with the last breath of its ninth life: mating.

Okay, I don't know if GarbageCat is male or female, or even spayed or neutered for that matter. All I know is that there is one more pet I would like you to meet. Or rather pets, since FriendCat was obviously pregnant a week ago, but now is thin and heavy with milk. (Well, I guess I am assuming WhiteBeast did not get to these newpets, born of FriendCat.) The first mystery is how FriendCat became with kitten, the second is where she has hidden those kittens. Not that I care, because, obviously FriendCat is not my cat. I don't know whose cat she is. She is probably the friendliest cat I have ever met, and I guess she just assumes, since I give her a can of tuna every day, that she is my cat. I give her tuna, not because I want another pet, but because I feel sympathy for her. I know how hungry you get nursing more than one baby. But really, I don't like cats. Ignore the fact that I brought two kittens home just over a year ago from a doctor appointment. Or that I had the cutest little Siamese cat when I was little that actually, I kid you not, sucked its thumb!! I only spend a little bit each day searching for FriendCat's kittens because I am curious, you see. I want to know how many she had and make sure that they are staying dry in all this rain.

We are a one pet family. (Well, two if you include WhitePuppy.) I guess I am happy to be leaving Virginia Bradford and all her pets soon so we can go back to being a one pet family. I may or may not miss the pets we leave here, but one thing is certain, this house comes with a lot of baggage. I hope the next renters like pets.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

The Skinny on Skinny Jeans, or Do These Pants Make Me Look Fat?

To start off, really quickly, the second title is more of a rhetorical question, as in, I don't actually want you to tell me how they make me look.

Skinny Jeans, huh... What happened?! It was not that long ago that I was laughing at pictures of the people who were fashionable in the 80's with their skinny jeans and belted t-shirts and bright blue eye-liner. "I don't care how good you look, these pants do NOTHING for anyone!" I remember saying to some friends. And then a few years back, I started seeing a pair here and there, and I thought, "Weirdos. Don't they know those pants look ridiculous?" And press forward to the present and everyone, as in short, tall, fat, and thin is wearing them. And I have a pair. I officially took off the tags yesterday and wore them. Non-returnable. Mine.

But, I am not going to lie. I have my doubts. Do they really look good? And I don't just mean on me, but on anyone? After I bought my pair, I tried them on for Dallas and he said, "Those pants are in STYLE?!" And yesterday, while I was breaking in those bad boys, I asked again, thinking maybe he was getting used to them, and he said, "Not really my taste." Case closed. My husband doesn't like them. (Not that I really trust his taste in fashion, but...)

I have two issues with Skinny Jeans with me in particular. A. I think they make my hips look big. B. I think they make me look shorter than I am.

A. Maybe they make my hips look big because I have big hips, which I do, and which I am thankful for, since I have successfully and relatively easily birthed 5 babies. But do I want to wear pants that emphasize something, however beneficial it may be in childbirth, that isn't necessarily a mark of beauty? Dallas has agreed the pants would look better with some boots or something to ofset the top-heaviness.

B. I am short. Maybe all my pants make me look short. Maybe I haven't studied myself in my other pants as much as these skinny jeans, so maybe there is nothing to this. But I swear, the severity of those tapered hems seem to make me look (feel?) like a small person. As in midget. (No offense to small people. In fact, I saw the cutest little old lady pushing one of those carts meant for kids. She made me smile.)

So those are my beefs. But, I did take off the tags. (It helps that they were on clearance and ended up only being $7.) To be honest, I am keeping them because I know they are in style. Mostly I just want to fit in. Welcome back to Middle School.

In reference to the pictures: Wow, I can jump really high! And, I learned something about myself. I am sticking my thumbs out in every shot. That is just awkward.

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Can he really be 31?!

See what I say about Dallas' birthday being an appendage? (Read post below...) I have more pictures of Gabe on here than Dallas.

I sit here on the other side of the thirties, even if it is just barely, and look over at my husband, who, with every day settles more and more into that decade. And I have to say, I like what I see!

Posted by Picasa

Gabe is four and cool, too.

I should have done this update yesterday so I at least got it in the right month, but alas, I am a slacker. Good news, though! Gabe is four! He had a birthday on January 7th, and now he is pretty grown up, let me tell you. We had two parties, one with friends and one was a double birthday party. (Daddy's birthday was more of an appendage, sadly. Gabe has consistently stolen the birthday glory from Dallas from the day he was born. In our house, we are always looking forward to the next holliday or birthday. It is hard to build up anticipation for a day (January 8th, Dallas' birthday) that is immediately following the day (January 7th, Gabe's birthday) we have been looking forward to since New Years.) Gabe chose a Spiderman Cake and we invited a few friends.

Gabe is a really great kid. He is super creative, loves to build things like forts and castles, and is getting quite computer savvy. He is really smart, too. I am trying to get him into preschool so they did a speech test on him. He struggles with articulation, but his sentence construction and understanding of language are far above what is normal for his age. He can write his own name, and knows most of his letters. He is a really fun kid to have around.

Posted by Picasa


To be really honest, Christmas seems like a really long time ago, so don't expect an amazing discussion of it. I remember it being fun. Christmas is great when you are kid, but I think it gets even better when you have kids.

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I am one lucky Mommy!


I want to take a moment to let everyone who doubted me as a mother to know, I must be doing something right! Okay, okay, I am reading The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls right now (which you should read if you haven't) for book club (which is at my house on Tuesday, so you should come), which pretty much has made me realize that good kids will be good kids however crazy and neglectful their parents are. So I will now transfer credit onto my amazing children. One morning the kids came down to wake me up. The babies were still sleeping, so I told them to get some cereal and I would be up in a little bit. When the babies woke up an HOUR! later, I went upstairs to find Sophie reading to Penny and Gabe while they ate. It was so nice to sleep in, but even nicer to see such a heart-warming little sight.

Posted by Picasa

And the years they go.


I think parenting advances to a whole new level when you remember when you were the same age as your kids are. (I do have some random memories of being really little, but they are super vague and I don't think I had a real sense of being a person yet.) Shoot, I start thinking, I better be a good mom, because my kids might remember this. All the sudden you realize that you are that old lady the kids call mom. And, maybe most significantly for me, I realize how fast my kids really are going to grow up. There are not that many years for kids to be kids.

Recently, Sophie has seemed older. Maybe it is because she is reading chapter books like crazy. Maybe it is those two loose teeth (that much to her dismay, didn't fall out while she ate an apple. I don't want to damper her excitement, but they are just barely loose. I bet it is a good month before they get loose enough to fall out.) Or maybe it is because she actually is getting older. Because kids do that, you know.

Posted by Picasa

Deck the Halls!


We decorated for Christmas last year. (This is what happens when you wait so long to update your blog. The pictures are cute, but out-dated and irrelavent.)

Posted by Picasa