Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Crazy Family, Crazy Thunder

Today I am grateful...

1. ...that Anders is home finally! It was two long weeks, but late Friday night he got home from his trip to Denver. It was hard having him gone for so long, but we were both successful in our endeavors while he was away: Anders got some recognition from a partner for the project that he managed; and I, well, I didn't go nuts and the kids are still alive. And I think they still like me. So overall, I'd say it was a good experience for everyone.

The first thing the kids did Saturday morning was 'play crazy in the family room' with Dad.
It's basically another way of saying 'dogpile on Dad.'
It's a family tradition in our house.

Dancing on the ceiling is another tradition in our house.
Now you know how weird we are.

2. ...for thunderstorms. Growing up in Texas/Oklahoma, you learn really fast not to be afraid of them because they happen all the time. And I know we get thunder here in Virginia occasionally, but it's polite, dainty thunder. Not so much in Texas. There, the thunder would shake your bones. So you just had to learn to deal with it, or you'd be scared crazy.

So, last week we had a couple of thunderstorms. There were some very decent rumbles - one even made my house rattle a bit. I loved it.

My girls did not.

And so now, Natalie will not sleep in her room. Naptime hasn't happened since the first storm last Thursday. And every night, the only way she'll go to sleep is if I'm in the room with her. This was obnoxious at first, but it's been a blessing in disguise. I now use that time for reading scriptures. Ordinarily, I only find time for a few minutes of study. Now I have about 45 minutes every night on my hands to just sit and read. Makes me wonder why I don't do it anyway.

3. ...for Ethan. I just think he's cute.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Funny things

Here is an old entry I made a month ago but never posted. I thought I might as well publish it as not. It's mainly for grandparental enjoyment.

1. On the way to Red Robin the other night, Andrea requested to hear a particular song by Weezer. I know I'm a bad mom for letting my kids listen to any Weezer at all, but that's another discussion for another time. Anyway, she wanted to hear a song that she thought sounded like HSM3*, and because the song was a little raucous, I told her no (I do have some standards).

And when she asked, "Why?", Natalie promptly gave her this reply:

"Be-tuz it is too far away and be-tuz it tosts money."

Hmmm. Maybe I use those excuses too frequently.

*HSM3: For all you lame-o's out there who don't know, this refers to High School Musical 3

2. While we were at Red Robin, Andrea spotted an EXIT sign. She was excited about that and pointed it out to everyone at the table. After we sufficiently ooooh-ed and ahhhh-ed over her amazing discovery of the exit sign, I told her that it was pretty impressive that she was able to find that exit sign amid all the lights, balloons, and carousel horses that decorated the restaurant. To which she exclaimed, "I know. I have really goooooood-lookin' eyes!"

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I'm a blogging maniac!

Sorry for the recent onslaught of postings on my blog. But, you know, Anders is gone, and I ran out of West Wing DVDs to watch. What else am I supposed to do when the kids are in bed?

Today I had the most disgusting, gross, nasty, horrific experience of my life. And for me to say that...well, I won't get started on all the things I vomited while I was pregnant. Let's just say I've had experience with some pretty yucky things. I'm pretty sure I could beat any guy at a gross-out contest.

Anyway, this morning Natalie came into my room, crawled into bed, and asked to watch Sesame Street on my laptop. I willingly obliged, because this gave me a few more minutes to doze. As she sat next to me, I started playing with her hair. And there, to my horror, do you know what I found? Can you guess? It was...


I've never seen a tick up close before. And definitely not on a person. Or in a person. And there it was. On my sweet, innocent Natalie. That black, nasty, leggy thing looked so diabolical hiding there in her soft, wispy, golden curls.

My first reaction was to run out of the room screaming. But I didn't think that would go over very well with Natalie. Instead, I calmly (yeah right) got a pair of tweezers, and while she sat in blissful ignorance watching Sesame Street, I pulled that sucker out of her head. It didn't come without a fight. I thought I was going to throw up or pass out or something, being only a tweezer-length away from that thing. But I didn't, and in the end, I flushed that blood-sucking, pin-headed, parasitic loser down the toilet.

Mmmm-hmmmm! That's right. That's what you get, Mr. Tick.

My whole point of this story is that it never ceases to amaze me what I am able to do for my children - things I could never ever do otherwise. If a dear friend came up to me and said, 'Hey Emily, I've got this tick here...could you help me out?' Forget it. I'll drive you to the ER before I go near that thing. But for my daughter...it's a different story.

Natalie: tick-free, new haircut, fresh pigtails, enjoying Sesame Street. She never had a clue.

Survival Tips

In case your spouse happens to leave you alone with your three small children for twelve-and-one-half days so that he can go gallivanting around Denver - I happen to have come across some tips that may prove to be helpful for you:

1. Remember to call your local weather man to ask him if he would please avoid thunderstorms in the forecast while you are flying solo. Particularly thunderstorms around bedtime. It makes bedtime that much more of a struggle. So be sure to put in a request for clear skies.

2. Watch West Wing daily. Or some other TV series on DVD that you can watch after the kids go to bed. Anything that makes you feel like an adult...like a contributing member of society...like someone that has a life beyond wiping noses and bums. Something that makes you feel like you could be somebody.

3. Leave some lights on at night. The front porch, the back porch, and one light on every level. This is to scare away possible intruders. Or the Boogey Man. Just in case you are afraid of the dark. Which I'm not, but in case you are, it's a good idea.

4. Wear your kids out every day to the point of exhaustion.
This will help expedite bedtime, and should specifically include going on outings of many kinds - particularly during the 4 - 8 o'clock hours of the evening. Here are a few more pointers for outings:

  • Do not be discouraged when, immediately after paying the non-refundable $15 parking fee, a child has an accident in her carseat. Do not turn around and go home just because you have no change of clothes for her. Just put her in one of the baby's diapers and she'll be fine. No one will notice the wet spot on her backside.

From the air traffic control tower

  • Be careful to choose venues that do not have scary airplanes with shark faces painted on them; or that have rocket ship exhibits; or that have creepy astronaut suits randomly placed throughout. If you have little girls, they are going to freak out. Or at least mine did.

The only way I got them to even look at the big planes without being scared was by telling them that these are the kind of planes that Uncle Jonathan flies. They were sufficiently impressed.

  • If in the event that your chosen venue does have frightening displays, make sure there are a few things to look at that will appeal to and distract the afore-mentioned terrified little girls - such as little airplanes that are "so tute and so fweet!" ( This is Natalie's rendition of 'so cute and so sweet.')

The girls, standing next to the 'tute, fweet' little airplane that was 'just their size.'

  • And make sure there is a McDonald's, wherever you are going. You can't go wrong with a sundae.

1. Don't have your wisdom teeth removed the week before your spouse leaves you.
You want to be feeling your best. And no one functions at 100% when they're on Vicodin.

2. Don't go to church. Just don't do it. You may not have problems getting to church alone, and you may not have problems during Sacrament Meeting. But afterwards, you may lean over to clean up the war zone that is your pew, and sit up only to realize that your 17-month-old son is M.I.A. And it might take 15 minutes and half the ward, including one very responsible deacon, to find him. Not that this happened to me.

Okay, so maybe it did.

He just looks like he's plotting his next mischievous act. Little stinker.

To sum everything up:
Yes, it is possible to survive without your husband. You can have fun; you can function; you can enjoy your kids; you can have control of the TV remote in the evening.

But every time Anders goes out of town, it reiterates in my mind that there's a reason marriage is ordained of God; there's a reason why we are commanded to cleave to our spouse; there's a reason why Heavenly Father didn't design things so that we did all this alone. These last two weeks have been great - I think we managed pretty well while Anders has been gone. But we're not complete - I'm not complete. And we are all really excited to have Daddy come back this weekend.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Alright, I haven't been keeping track of my daily Three Positive Experiences. Here are today's:

1. It didn't rain all day today. This is the first day in...well, it's been a long time since it hasn't rained. Don't get me wrong - I love the rain. I love it. But being couped up in the house for days and days with little kids gets really old really quick.

So carpe diem!! I called up Nina (sister-in-law) and we took the kiddos to the Zoo. Unlike our recent trips to the Natural History Museum and the Air and Space Museum, this little excursion turned out to be a success (meaning they didn't get scared by any of the exhibits to the point of hysterics). The kids loved it, and they did great.

They got to see all the animals they wanted to, including: the panda, who we watched eat a "fruit salad" with great fervor; the kangaroos, who according to Natalie look like me; and the seals, who, to our great delight, sneezed. They didn't have to see any animals they didn't want to, which include but are not limited to the lions, tigers, alligators, and snakes - according to Natalie, these are the mean animals. They got to ride a total of 4 Metro trains, ride on a dozen elevators, and Aunt Nina bought them ice cream. Does it get any better than that?

2. The kids conked out as soon as they went to bed (probably resulting from the 3+ miles they walked today). On the kids' part of our bedtime routine, there were no complaints about not having enough books, or running out of water, or needing to go potty, or needing a bandaid for a finger that has a "bleeding" (but in reality does not). On my part, there was no yelling down the hall, there was no breathing of empty threats, and there was no running up and down the stairs to keep kids in bed. If ever there is something to be thankful for, this is it.

3. My last positive experience goes out to The Guy on Metro. You know who you are. You watched me wrestle my three tiny, tired kids on a crowded train, and rather than get annoyed or shake your head in disgust, as some are prone to do, you just smiled. And you made sure to wish me a happy Mothers' Day as you exited to train. Thank you, Metro Guy!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

20 Bajillion Things

This is how many things I have to write about. I can't decide if I'm going to include them all or not. I want to, because I would like to remember them for posterity's sake. But 20 bajillion is a lot of things to write about, and that's a lot of things for people to read about. I'm just going to list them off and we'll see how far we get. Really, you are under no obligation to read further.

  1. Andrea: "Why doesn't everyone have a computer in their house, Mom?"
    Me: "Ummmmm. I don't know, honey."
    Me: "Who do you know that doesn't have a computer in their house?"
    Andrea: "George Washington."
    Me: "Rrrrrrrrrrrright."

  2. I went to Costco the other day. I had Ethan and Natalie, and it was one of those trips where my cart runneth over (I had a lot of stuff). So I was in line, and I started unloading my cart. This has to be entertaining for people to watch, because it always involves me pretending to be an octopus with eight arms, so that I can unload my mountain of stuff, while holding on to Ethan to keep him from jumping out of the cart, while holding on to the cart to keep Natalie from pushing it into the person(s) in front of us, while picking up my Costco card that Ethan has thrown on the floor, while picking up the contents of my purse that fell onto the floor while picking up the Costco card, while helping Natalie "help" me unload the cart, while sorting through the coupons I have clipped to hand to the cashier, while trying to enter in my pin number, while restraining Ethan's hands from pushing the big red button on the key pad.

    So, while I was juggling all that, I heard this: "Excuse me, ma'am, but do you mind if I help you unload your cart?" I turned around, and there stood a guy who had "BYU" written all over him - he was clean cut, he was shaven, he was all smiles, he was courteous and helpful, he was with his mother, and he just had a special glow about him. Also, his t-shirt said "BYU" on it.

    He helped me, and we chatted about BYU and his fiance and his plans for the future, and then I thanked him for his help and went on with my day. Although I was so grateful for his help, I know I would have managed on my own. I do this kind of thing (pretending to be an octopus) for a living, after all . But I had to write about him, because what I appreciated even more was the gesture of kindness that he extended to me. No one does that. No one offers to help a stranger. At least, not in Northern Virginia. Everyone is too busy minding their own very important business. So thank you, BYU Boy, for looking outside of yourself and finding a way to brighten someone else's day.

  3. Can I tell you that I love to mow the lawn? Because I really do.

    Can I tell you why? I'll tell you why: Because I mow it, and I can see that I did something - that I made some sort of progress. And the best part is that no one can come and un-do in a matter of minutes what I've just done. Sure, the grass will grow back. But it will take at least a week.

Alright, I'm done for the day. We got to 3 things. I'm not sure what 20 bajillion minus 3 is, but I guess that's what we have left to cover next time.