May 29, 2009

conversation with a monkey

Buckling two year old Monkey into his carseat today:

Monkey (hand flapping = monkeyspeak for hot): "HOT!"
Me: "Yeah"
Monkey (flap): "HOT!"
Me: "A little bit"
Monkey (flap flap): "HOT! HOT!!"
Me: "I know."
Monkey (flap): "HOT!!"
Me: "Yes, HOT. I get it."
Monkey (doing baby asl for milk): "Bottle?"
Me: "No, you don't need a bottle."
Monkey (milk): "BOTTLE?"
Me: "Nope."
Monkey: "BOTTLE?!!!!"
Me: "No."
Monkey (flaying arms - which is no sign language of any kind): "BOTTLE!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!"

And then I shut the door.

What? You thought there would be a punch line?


Motherhood is enrapturing.

May 28, 2009


I did something wrong last night.

I caught a late show with my cousin. 'Fired Up' - don't waste you money or time, it was pathetic and offensive and immature and stupid. But that's not the worst part of the night.

We live in the farmland turned suburbs. The major street that leads out to our houses hasn't kept up with the growth. It doesn't have street lights or sidewalks. (At least they put in more stoplights so people would quit smashing their cars together.)

That's why we knew she was in trouble when we saw her.

Walking erratically on the side of this inadequate street was a barefoot and deeply impaired teenage girl. We were instantly worried. People speed down this street regularly, and the girl was hard to see in the dark. Not to mention this was a wednesday night at 11:30 - which seemed an odd time for someone so young to be wandering the streets in this condition (school isn't even out for summer yet.)

I was driving so I handed my cell phone to my cousin and she called 911. We weren't sure what to do. But we wanted to make sure she was safe, so I turned the car around to pass her again.

That's when we saw her stumbling into the street.

We couldn't wait for the police to help her, she was in too much danger. But we weren't sure what to do, so I pulled the car over and let her in.

I drove her about two blocks and she told me to turn into a street full of houses. She had realized that my cousin was talking to a dispatcher, and the girl wasn't too impaired to know that she didn't want police around. Even though I'm fairly certain she had no idea where she was, she practically jumped out of the car before I could stop.

We didn't know what to do.

The dispatcher was absolutely no help.

We parked the car and watched this young girl run away. Shoeless. Lost. Under the influence of alcohol and something else (who knows what.)

She swore her house was close. Did she even know?

The street she ran down ends at a very large and full canal. What if she was impaired enough to think she could cross it? What if someone else picks her up that isn't worried about her best interest? What if she climbs into some stranger's backyard and gets mauled by a dog? What if the combination of things she had put into her body react strongly enough to put her into a coma?

Awhile after my cousin and I got home the police called and said they looked, but couldn't find her.

I keep replaying the situation over in my head - except that I give it new endings. Better endings. Where I see her walk through the door of her home. With her parents coming out and asking what happened. Knowing that we left her safe.

Except it didn't end like that.

Was calling the police wrong? It scared her and made her run.

Was picking her up a mistake in the first place? I knew it was somewhat dangerous for my cousin and I, she could have been violent. But we were more worried about her. But the police could have found her easily if she had stayed on the main road. If she didn't get hit by a car first.

Tell me - what should I have done?

That was someone's daughter, and I just let her leave.

It was wrong.

May 26, 2009

slimy beans of insanity

I've decided that just the words "summer vacation" scare me. Yes, my oldest is in Kindergarten, which makes this fear of having the kids home seem somewhat premature. But let me just tell you something:

At 12:45 PM every week day, I have deposited two children on separate buses and two other children in beds, leaving me completely alone. In the quiet. For two hours (give or take.)


It's for sanity reasons mainly. But it's also my work time. And my cleaning time. And my 'catch up on the shows that I missed by watching them online' time. And my 'read everyone's blog posts that I've missed in the past 5 days' time. And sometimes it's my 'pretend to read a book, but know that I'm really going to fall asleep on the couch' time.

It's just not the same when the kids are bouncing all over the place, screaming from their lungtops, and scribbling on all the hard surfaces in the kitchen with crayons (for days in a row, thank you Monkey, and where do all these rogue crayons keep coming from?)

Summer is going to be brutal. The kids are going to expect me to actually pay attention to them. I'm planning on insanity. If I completely disappear from blogland, you'll know it's because I'm locked in a padded cell somewhere (probably taking a nap.)

My only consolation is that in a few months Two Bits will be in first grade and gone ALL DAY. Except that, aside from bossing everyone around in every waking moment, Two Bits is actually the good child.

She's so excited because tomorrow they get to eat lunch in the cafeteria. You know, try on the whole full-time student thing, without actually going all day. It's like eating in a cafeteria has been a life long goal of hers - she's that excited.

So I started thinking back to my lunchroom days. In 4th and 5th grade they had student helpers in the cafeteria. And all the kids would eagerly volunteer to go wear hair nets and wash trays.

They roped me into that gig once, and never again. Because seriously, who wants to wash slimy beans off someone else's tray? Or get to be the lucky kid who helps the unlucky kid who dropped their retainer into the trash? I don't care how old you are - those jobs are just not cool. I remember being really confused by everyone else's excitement to be a cafeteria helper (I had to have been the smartest 10 year old at that school, if for only this reason.)

Have I ever mentioned that my husband does all of our dishes? In the kitchen I cook, he cleans. Apparently I still have the same desires to stay away from washing other people's slimy beans. (Does that make me the smartest person in this household? Because I think I deserve that title - if for only this reason, of course.)

May 21, 2009

this has nothing to do with enchiladas or tambourines

I've been nominated to be in the Creative Home Arts Club. I'm pretty sure it's something prestigious because they sent me a free magnet AND 10 page notepad. And I got to scratch off one of those "let's see what prizes you've won" things, which usually accompany any mail of importance.

(Except that I'm also pretty sure this is a club for old women. The insert was covered in over sized fonts and cheesy clipart.)

Catch is: you have to pay a monthly membership fee and send reports on all the products they've given you to review. Yeah, that free magnet isn't sounding so awesome anymore, is it?

One of my pet peeves is when manufacturers put coupons and things INSIDE of food packages. (Another pet peeve is when my rugs are crooked - but I just straightened them before sitting down to blog, so we don't need to talk about that.)

I just pulled some trading cards out of a package of sliced ham. There they were, all snuggled up next to the slimy lunch meat. Of course they were in their own 'protective sleeve' but who really likes opening a couple of crappy trading cards when they're packaged in meat goo?

I used to eat a lot of Rice-a-roni when I was in high school. I would get the butter melting before adding the rice. So I was practically helpless when the naked coupon would come tumbling out of the box right into a pan full of melted butter. I did a lot of coupon fishing on those days. Good thing Rice-a-roni stopped putting coupons in their boxes, because I doubt I'd ever learn my lesson to check for the paper first.

One of my other pet peeves is when cupboards or drawers are left slightly ajar (or wide open.) It's so annoying. Just close the stupid drawer, how hard is it? And don't even think about leaving the bathroom closet door cracked, because you know I'm just going to be imagining the creepy psycho stalker killer hiding in there in an attempt to catch me off guard when I expected him to wait for me behind the shower curtain.

May 15, 2009

because a girl's gotta brag

I generally try not to get all picture postey here -I save that for the family blog; plus you know, psycho kidnappers can see this- but I have very adorable children and it would really be a shame not to show them off to the ENTIRE world (or my small number of readers, whatever.)

Except that I'm a cheap-o, and I also like to change the pictures on our wall frequently, so I do all of our photography myself. Some habits just can't be professionally supported.

We'll go oldest to youngest - because that's how life goes. And if you happen to be a middle child (like myself) you just get used to being second best....or second in line I mean. Ok, I don't really feel that way - I actually like being the middle child because then I can socially justify my need to be an obnoxious attention getting rule breaker. I just wish I could do the job more effectively...

So getting back to my kids. Here is Two Bits:

I know, she's gorgeous (even if she is the female version of her father.) She turns six this summer and she normally has curly hair, but we straightened it for the pictures. Because when you have natural curl you must straighten it for special occasions when all straight haired people do theirs curly - it's in the curly hair handbook.

Next in the family is Opie:

He is 4 1/2. I know you can't see his face in this picture, but for some reason I really love it. I think it's the door...and the lighting....and because he's wearing a fedora so there's really no way to go wrong with this.

I was thinking about getting myself a fedora, but then I tried one on at the store, and realized that fedoras are head minimizing hats, and that chipmunk cheeked people (me) should really stay away. Unless you have 4 1/2 year old chipmunk cheeks, in which case you can totally pull it off.

So then comes the Monkey. Except that 2 year olds are very hard to photograph. He wouldn't hold still, and then when we got him to stand upright and front-facing for more than 2 seconds he would pull weird faces. Or poses. Like this: With his hand up his shirt, it's not really a picture you can hand out to grandmas - you know what I mean?

And then, of course, seconds after I snapped the self-exposing picture, he ran off and we got this little gem:

Yup, that's my son. You do realize that we don't call him "Monkey" just for fun? And whatever was up with the one eye wider than the other? I don't know if that can be blamed on his past eye surgery, or if perhaps he's just crazy. Probably the latter.

Finally, we got him to sit and stare at Husband's phone while it played ringtones:
I would have preferred a smile - but you saw our options.

Lastly is our little Number Four:

She turns one in a matter of days. (That year went by fast.)

I must admit that I am in love with her baby blues. I had to take her in for allergy testing the other day because she thinks gluten is poison, and upon explaining to the allergy specialist that all of our kids develop on weird time tables he immediately said, "Yeah, I noticed that her eyes are too far apart, is that.......?" The trailing off could have been because I was glaring at him - I'm not sure.

But don't worry, I'm not taking anything that weenie had to say seriously. We've seen geneticists, pediatric developmental specialists, countless therapists, not to mention we have a really great regular pediatrician we see constantly. If anyone is going to convince me there's something wrong with the spacing of her eyes it's NOT going to be coming from a guy who studies sneezing and peanut butter.

So there you go. Now you can flood my comment section with your adoring praises, because I really do have the cutest kids the world has ever seen. (Please don't leave a comment if you are a psychotic kidnapper - just be warned, I know Kung Fu and my husband owns a baseball bat.)

May 12, 2009

one time when my ear got really wet

Another post from my past. This one's a gem - something truly embarrassing. Except that I won't have to see any of your faces while you read about my naivety, and therefore I don't feel the least bit disinclined to post it.

When I went to college I was very, wholly, extremely naive. It's a wonder I survived on my own really. I was 18, and even though I thought I knew what was going on, I was a numbskull (probably a common characteristic of 18 year olds released into freedom.)

A couple months into this new life my roommate wanted to visit a boy. I had met this boy and his roommate a few days prior, so I was invited along. We also took our quiet, well behaved roommate with us because we needed someone to drive.

Keep in mind that I did not go to a church school (ie. Ricks or BYU) and therefore had no rules to break - because, even at 18, I knew that rules and I don't go so well together. Except that up to that point my idea of rebellion was staying out an hour past curfew while playing Uno in the basements of my churchy friends. Clearly, I wasn't very wild. (Aside from the present, where I'm seriously considering wearing flipflops and a sweatshirt to Enrichment tonight, just for shock value....I've come a long way.)

We arrive at the boys' apartment and my instigating roommate immediately disappears with her guy to "do homework" in the back room. This left quiet roommate and myself in the living room with his roommate -ok he needs a name, this is getting confusing. Let's call this guy Conrad, not because that was his name, but because I cannot for any amount of thought recall what his name actually was.

It was rather late at night (remember, no rules) and my quiet roommate falls asleep on the floor. Or feigns sleep - to this day I am not sure. Conrad and I were watching tv, sitting next to each other on the floor.

I think he commented on my amount of earrings, or my hair, or something. I don't know. Because what I really remember is that suddenly his tongue was IN. MY. EAR.

Yeah, he probably thought he was a smooth one. Too bad he tried this particular trick on someone so stupidly naive as myself, because as he was making out with my lobe, I sat there thinking, "Ummmmm, his tongue is in my ear, what am I supposed to do now? Oh gosh, that's really wet. Eeeew."

But he was a persistent one and kept it up. I think he was expecting something. Not that I was aware of it at the time. Because at that time I couldn't get over the fact that my ear was dripping with saliva and I kept taking furtive glances at sleeping, well behaved, roommate to see if she was witnessing this. Because you know, she could have been feigning sleep.

I'm not really sure what happened after that. Although I do remember some more quiet tv watching until my other roommate was done with her "homework."

Looking back I'm really curious to what was going through his mind after he gave up. Because all I could think of then was if it would be rude to wipe the spit out of my ear.

May 10, 2009

to myself, on mother's day

Dear Me,

Happy stinking Mother's Day.

You thought being a mother would be so great, didn't you? That your kids would be plump cheeked and easy to please? That you would be able to handle each precious child with happiness and ease?

You were wrong.

Motherhood is kicking your butt, and you know it.

Like yesterday when Opie was about to poop in his pull up -again- so he was rushed to the toilet just in time to smear poop over multiple surfaces? Remember that? Remember screaming, "WIPE YOUR BUTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!" repeatedly until you had to give yourself a time out? Yeah, that wasn't fabulous at all.

And remember on wednesday, the 572nd time Monkey came to you crying, "Owie owie owie owie owie owie owie!!!" and you didn't even look at him and just muttered, "You're fine, stop crying." Remember? That wasn't very nurturing, was it? How damaging is that to his little psyche?

And do you recall when you found out you were pregnant with your fourth child and you wanted to smash something and scream out in angst? But instead you remained in denial all through those torturous months of bedrest until your actual child was laying in your actual arms? Don't they say that a mother's attitude can affect a child in the womb? Way to go, Number Four is probably going to need lots of future therapy.

So go ahead and go to church and hear about how mothers are amazing, and listen to all the perfect examples of selfless, level headed parenting that is going to be mentioned in all the talks and lessons. Then hang up those little finger print molds and wear your macaroni necklace with pride. Because this whole Mom thing is much harder than you expected, but maybe if you put on a good enough show you can even convince yourself that you're doing a good job.

But in the meantime, maybe you should pull out that candy bar they handed out after Sacrament Meeting. Because chocolate might be the only thing that gets you through the next couple decades of child rearing.


May 5, 2009

pokey games

A blog worthy topic is eluding me (once again.) So in an effort for inspiration I threw the first word I could think of at Husband who had to give me his first effortless response.

My word was 'pineapple.'

Husband's was 'pokey.'

To which I replied, "How am I supposed to write a blog post about the word POKEY?!"

But after playing the game, I really feel a duty to post accordingly. Plus, pokey things can be much more interesting than.....oh.......I really don't know.....something more boring? If something more boring actually exists.

So here goes:

POKEY: an essay

Growing up, we were lacking a side yard. We had the land, and I guess what you could technically call a side. But the yard part - not really.

The rest of the yard was fine. And every summer my mom would plant flowers along the front of the house. Most of the time she'd plant marigolds. They grow like crazy, you know.

They also smell horrific.

You may not agree with me - perhaps you are a fan of the marigold. But my bedroom was in the basement, and every time I wanted to open my window all I could smell was STINKING MARIGOLDS. And it turns out I'm allergic to marigolds. So it was either fry from summer heat, or open the window to a brief whiff of overpowering marigolds and then sudden, complete sinus clamping.

But that has nothing to do with anything pokey.

The pokey stuff was in the side yard. Or what is more precisely described as a patch of dirt and weeds. And rocks. Plenty of rocks.

In those days I was a bike rider. I rode my bike everywhere. For awhile I even had a bike with a banana seat and tall handlebars - it was awesome. But I never seemed to learn my lesson to NOT ride in the side yard.

It was just so convenient.

We had a shed in the backyard that housed the bikes. And I was much too impatient to ever walk my bike past the cars and along the driveway to get to and from that shed. It was much quicker to go through the side yard and be off to wherever it was I was going. (Mostly I just rode around the block and tormented the neighborhood boys.)

Except that every time I road through the side yard, puncture weeds would stick in my tires. Because those things are so darn pokey.

I did however remember not to walk through the side yard barefoot. That's a lesson you don't need to repeat.

And now, since none of this has anything to do with the pokey exterior of a pineapple, and hardly anything to do with pokey stuff at all, I shall bid you adieu. But first, I want you all to be grateful that I didn't throw out the word "fish" or I might have had to write an entire post on something slimy (which could have ended up all sorts of ugly.)

May 3, 2009

Phoebe in Wonderland

This is an excellent movie.
I just got back from watching it with my cousin who had already seen it and knew that it would be perfect for me to see.
I related to this movie in so many ways.
Every mother who has a child who does things that don't make sense, that don't fit into molds, that raise questions, that truly have extra problems to work through need to see this movie.
To know that you're not the only one who gets frustrated and angry and overwhelmed, and the thought of dealing with it makes you want to run as far and fast as you can go, and escape everything. Everything.
To know that your child isn't doing things on purpose, that they don't mean to make it so hard, that they want to do whats right, but that it's hard, and not always in their power to choose the right actions.
To know that no matter how many eyes are on you; how many people, ignorantly blind, judge something that they cannot understand, and how many comments spoken or not you receive, that you are still a good mother. Because you care beyond comprehension, and you want to help your child more than you care what anyone has said or done in ignorant judgment.
Most importantly, to know that someone understands what it's like. Even though this was just a movie, it conveys so much truth. So many honest feelings of any mother fighting to understand and to help, of any child scared and confused and hurting.
This is an awesome movie. It feels good to have something to relate to, even if it didn't solve any problems or change any circumstances. In the end a movie can only do so much. But I'm really glad I went tonight.

May 1, 2009

something free and a lovely button

In case you didn't know - today is friday. As of 51 minutes ago, according to my clock. Which also means that I'm doing my very first FREEEEEBIE FRIDAY over at Green Jello with Carrots.

You can get this, all day, for free:

If you teach a Young Women's class, you really need to have this. It's handout ideas for lessons 16-19 (manual 1.) There are two ideas per lesson, and they come as pdf files so that all you have to do is:


2. Watch the little download bar go.

3. Open file

4. See that they're all situated on a page so that you can print up to 4 at a time.


6. CUT

And did I mention that today it's all FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE? But tomorrow it's going to cost money, so get over there already.


Here is a button, for those of you who are my real friends and will advertise for me at no cost. I better see this thing everywhere!!!!! Ok, really, if you put this on your blog I will love you until the day we're all sitting around in the Celestial Kingdom tying baby quilts. (I'll love you after that too, know....eternity and all that stuff.)

I don't know how to do that little code thingy, so just steal the graphic and then link it, ok?

Link to:

Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you, and thanks.

And on a completely unrelated note - - I swear I saw a guy wearing Hammer Pants today. I was innocently looking out my front window and a man wearing super baggy, totally looks a parachute in your crotch, pants got into his car down the street.

I threw up a little.

Not that I never wore Hammer Pants myself, but that was when M.C. Hammer actually existed. But now? Really?

That's just gross.