Monday, December 18, 2006

Oh, For The Love...

This morning Gracen decided to pour pancake syrup onto the table, then get up onto the table and dance in it as well as smear it all over herself. I had only turned my back for a second to do some dishes, and she was sitting at her place at the table right behind me finishing her breakfast. The other kids were done and had gone to get dressed and she’s usually the last one at the table most mornings. Thankfully I was able to get it out of her hair and stuff, but I had to laugh at how funny she looked as she gleefully danced in the syrup in her bare feet, clapping her little hands with such joy on her naughty little face. I couldn’t even muster a firm scolding , I was laughing too hard at her little wickiness as well as her funny little syrup dance. How could I be mad when dancing in pancake syrup gives her that much happiness?

Friday, December 15, 2006

Out of the Mouths of Babes...

On the way to the Family Christmas Dinner tonight we saw three or four police cars parked at a house with all of their lights flashing, and we all wondered aloud what must be going on. Noah had it all figured out because he piped up from the back and said “Maybe they’re having a Disco Dance in the back of their police cars.” Ok, where in the heck did he pick up the phrase “disco dance” and how does he know it involves lots of flashing lights? And when Dylan was saying something about “mice carrying lots of diseases”, Noah agreed with him by saying “Yeah, they carry lots of cheese. They eat a lot!” And Mathes was very vocal the whole way there and kept saying “Mom” to try and get my attention so he could tell me about all of the Christmas lights he was seeing. Just as we were driving past the clinic, he began calling me again.
Me- “Yes Mathes, what?
“Mathes- “Chicken Butt!” and then began to giggle.
Sadly in our family it’s actually kind of another way (albeit a wierd one) of saying “I love you” but I’m not quite sure how it started. Yeah, I know, we’re so classy it’s probably killing you, right? We’re so refined.

Friday, December 8, 2006

A Night At The Symphony

I took Dylan and Ciel with me to see the USU Symphony Orchestra last night when they played at the Ellen Eccles Theater. We left a little early so we could stop off and visit with Mark, Mel and Welly who ended up going to Heidi and Gary’s, where Mammy and Pappy showed up later as well, so we got to see almost everyone. Wellington is still as cute as ever, and still looks just like Mel when you see him in real life, but just like Mark when you see him in pictures, he is such an adorable little guy. And Gray is all smiles, and loves to see EVERYTHING that is going on around him, and it won’t be long until he is running right behind the other kids. We also got to see Livy’s new room all carpeted and just about finished, which Livy was all smiles about. The two new rooms are so nice, Gary did a great job.
We got changed into our nice Sunday clothes for the concert, and left about 15 minutes before it was supposed to start. I had already bought our tickets onlince so all I had to do was pick them at at the box office as we walked in, and we were set. It was general seating so we were able to pick our own seats, and the theater was only about 3/4 full, so it wasn’t hard to find a great spot to sit. The music was beautiful, and I enjoyed it all quite a bit, but all three of us agreed our absolute favorite was the guest cellist Ann Francis. She was spectacular! It was such a treat to be able to see and hear her play. The guest violinist was pretty good, but Ann Francis blew him out of the water the first minute into her first piece, it was incredible. Afterwards we went back to Heidi’s to change back into comfier clothes, and a little bit more visiting, and then headed for home.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

And Our Baby Is A...

 So I went yesterday for my regular OB appointment and to see if we could determine the gender of our little baby with an ultrasound. I am 16 weeks along, and the Dr. assured me that we would have a 99% chance of seeing everything. So after a few minutes of measurements he took a look……and we still have no idea what we’re having. The baby refused to cooperate, was apparently in the middle of a complicated tap dance routine, and also thought it would be funny to tangle the umbilical cord and have it in just the right spot so that no matter what resolution or method the Dr. used, we couldn’t tell if it’s a boy or a girl. Maybe it’s because Craig and I decided not to find out our babies gender with three of my pregnancies, but I am not disapointed at all. I was so excited to see our little one moving and dancing around in there, I really don’t care that we didn’t get a definitive answer on gender. I’m supposed to return in another couple of weeks for a complete diagnostic ultrasound, but I may have to make some changes instead.
   While I really think my Dr. is fantastic, I am having a hard time with the long drive and then the long wait to see him. I know my Dr. is busy because he’s in high demand, it’s just not working out for me with all of the driving and waiting. I hate that I have to drive 50 minutes to his office, wait for 45 minutes or more to be seen, and then drive the whole long way back. I think once my appointments become more frequent and are every two weeks, and then weekly, it will be even worse. And I am becoming more and more unhappy with the idea of not delivering in my local hospital. I love the hospital here, it’s very patient oriented, and I get the most personalized and friendly care. I really loathe the thought of changing Dr.’s, but I think I need to do what’s best for my family as well as myself, and a change seems to be the right answer for all of those reasons. First I need to make some calls to some of my friends and get some recommendations, and then figure out if I want to do this or not.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Nutcracker

Last year, Haven somehow ended up watching a production of the Nutcracker Ballet on TV, and ever since then has loved it. So when I saw that tickets for a local production of it were on sale, I hurried and made arrangements to go. I asked my Mom to go with me and Haven, and she thought it was a great idea since we both love the music, even though we aren’t usually big ballet fans. So on Saturday, we got dressed up and headed to the theatre. I wondered if the balcony seats we had would be any good, and I have to say, they were incredible. Our view was clear, unobstructed, and still close so that you didn’t miss a thing on stage. I would sit in those seats happily anytime, for any production, the theatre is the perfect size so that any seat is really a great one.
It was so fun to see so many other little girls there, and most of them were also decked out in their best dresses. There was a lot of velvet, tulle and sparkling satin, and even a few tiaras which I thought was so much fun. Haven was transfixed as soon as the curtain went up, and my Mom and I took turns quietly whispering to her what each scene was about so that the story made more sense. I loved the dance of the sugar plum fairies with the snow, and also the part with Mother Ginger. Haven loved it when Clara was made a princess and had all of the different dancers to celebrate the occasion. My Mom and I both were surprised at how fast it seemed to go, it never felt like 2 hours to either of us.
Afterwards, my Mom and I both agreed we would be doing this every year, and we can’t wait to go with Heidi and Korby and whichever kids will want to come with us the next year. I already have it planned to make it into a whole day, and I can’t wait to do this again. It was just so wonderful to be able to take my little girl, and be with my Mom and go to such a fun event together. I even teared up twice at just that thought, being that I was so happy just to be there with the two of them. And I’m not chalking that up to pregnant hormones, my Mom later told me that she teared up too for the same reason, we were both just so happy, and it was such a wonderful time for the three of us.
Afterwards we went to the store and I let Haven pick out a little red nutcracker of her own, and she was thrilled to have one. As soon as we got home Haven wanted a nightgown just like Clara had, and luckily I had one cut out and ready to sew from my project pile. So I put on the Barbie Nutcracker, sat her down and I went to work on a ruffled nighty for her to wear to bed that night. The pattern is a fast one, so I was done as soon as the movie ended, and she happily went off to bed in her Clara nighty and pantaloons holding onto her little nutcracker prince. Don’t be too surprised if you hear about me sewing a Clara dress next, I think it would be so fun to make her one, but I need to get a few other things done first.
So here’s to next year, and all of the fun we get to plan for, and I’m sure we will have. And I am hoping to convince C to go too, I think she would love it, and I was very sorry she didn’t come with us. She hated the last ballet she saw on a school field trip, so she really didn’t want to go with us since she thought this would be really boring too. This production of the Nutcracker was so lively, colorful and fun, I think she would have enjoyed herself though, and I hope she will give it a try when we go next year.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Hey! I Felt That!

I am 14 weeks and 2 days pregnant, and today was the first day I felt the baby kick! It’s so fun to feel the little flutterings and movement and know that there really is someone in there. No matter how many times I have been pregnant, feeling the baby move is still such an exciting thing. Of course it’s way to early for anyone else to feel any of the movement going on, but my kids can’t wait until they get to feel the kicking too. That is their favorite part, feeling the baby move when it’s still in Mom’s tummy. There is nothing cuter than their little hands on my belly, eagerly waiting for any nudge, kick, punch or bump from the little one inside. It’s all so exciting for them, and for me too. So whoever you are in there, I felt that! And I am looking forward to even more!

Thursday, November 9, 2006

A Favorite Birthday Memory Of Mine, But Probably Not For My Brother

When I was growing up, sometimes I didn’t always get along with my brother Rob. Actually we rarely got along and fought a lot about really dumb stuff. He loved to tease me about anything and everything, and I of course fell for the bait every time. The older we got, the better we got along, and we don’t bicker like that anymore, but I do remember one time however where Robby had it dished out, literally, and for once he was the recipient of the teasing.
   Rob used to be really germaphobic about his food. He didn’t like anyone touching, breathing, or much less looking at his food (he’s not like this any more in case you’re wondering). We were having a family birthday dinner for me, I believe it was my 15th birhtday(?), and I felt like Rob had been pushing my buttons a little bit extra that day (whether he was or not, remember, I was his sister, and a teen, so it was all drama then). I was in the kitchen with my sisters and my cousin Kezia, and we were dishing up the cake and ice cream for everyone.
   I must have been fuming about Rob or something while I was in there with the other girls, because Kezia turned to me with a bowl of chocolate cake, gave the top of the cake a huge long lick with her tongue, plopped a scoop of ice cream into the bowl and said Happy Birthday Heather! She then walked right into the family room where my brother Rob was, and gave him the “tainted” dessert. And yes, he ate it, the saliva cake and all. To this day I still don’t know if he ever found out or not. I love my brother Rob a lot, and he and I stopped the fighting a long time ago, but I have to admit, that was one of my favorite birthday presents, ever.

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

You Put WHAT In Your Hair?!?!!

Shortly after I wrote the post below (Never Far Behind), I went about trying to pick up the house. There were stray toys strewn about, some dirty clothes to take to the laundry room, and the kids had pulled a bunch of videos off the shelf in the basement so I set about to try and get things looking neater. I wasn’t gone, I was just in and out of the rooms as I picked up, but we all know how fast our kids can get into mischief. Apparently Gracen and Mathes had baited me with the mess and used it to distract me for a few minutes because that was all it took for Mathes to get the tub of Vaseline down, take off the lid, and give it to Gracen to play with. And play she did.
When I came back in the room she had it ALL over her clothes, face, neck, hands, legs/tights, and worst of all, in her hair. And we’re not talking just a little bit. She had gobbed it into her hair and smeared it around for good measure. One side of her hair was sticking up and out to the side all crazy too, and she looked like a grease bomb. I got her into the bath, and did as the instructions I got from the internet told me, and put cornstarch in her hair and then shampooed the heck out of it. It worked fairly well, and I got the gobs out, but her hair still has a Vaseline residue, and I’m pretty sure it will be there for a few days too. (Banna, this brought back memories of our moisturizing hair treatment gone bad experience.)
I’m still mystified as to why Mathes only opened the lid and then gave it to Gracen without playing in it himself. I guess he decided to let someone else get into trouble this time. The pictures above are of little miss wicky pants in the Vaseline, then afterwards in the bath with the cornstarch in her hair to try and get the goo out. She looked pretty funny and just thought it was an extra treat to get two tubbies in one day since I had given her a bath earlier this morning. So naughty, and yet still so cute. How can you be mad at that sweet little face?

Never Far Behind

It’s so funny to see my little Gracen running as fast as she can behind the other kids, trying to keep up with them. Amazingly she does, and she is always right there in the middle of the fun, playing right along with them and being one of the “big kids”. She may be a smurf, but she doesn’t seem to be aware of it, and she hasn’t let it get in the way of whatever she sets her mind to doing. I love her determined little spirit and her funny little personality, she keeps us all entertained with her quirky antics. Gracen loves to play with Haven and Mathes the most, but sometimes Haven thinks Gracen is her own personal baby and loves to play with her as one too. Gracen will put up with it for a little while, then gets tired of it and gives Haven a piece of her mind.
Gracen also loves playing with dolls, so she and Haven can ususally be found hunkered over the doll cradle with their “babies”, pretending to be little mommies. Although lately, Gracen has become Mathes’ shadow, following him everywhere and copying EVERYTHING he does. If he drums on the table, then she has to do it too, if he climbs onto the couch and jumps off, she’s right behind him ready to take her turn. I know she’s little, but her size is deceiving. And while she’s a little sweetheart and gives kisses and hugs out like there’s no tomorrow, she’s the toughest baby of any of my kids, ever, and she loves to be in on all of the fun and excitement. So watch out world, Gracen is a force to be reckoned with, and heaven help those that stand in her way.

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

I Graduated With Honors From The Warner Bros. Academy Of Music Appreciation

After reading Holly’s post it reminded me of a similar experience I had with this same cartoon. I was 20 weeks pregnant with Ciel and was at the Hospital getting an Ultrasound done to see if I was having a boy or a girl. My mother-in-law Lesa was there with me so it was just me, Lesa, and the cranky radiologist in the small room. I was laying there on the table, feeling fairly uncomfortable with my extra full bladder and watching the screen as the technician went through all of the measurements first before getting to the baby’s gender. All of a sudden I realized the music being piped into the room was very familiar, and it only takes me a few seconds to realize it’s “Ride of the Valkyries” from the Bugs Bunny cartoon “What’s Opera Doc?”. So of course all I’m thinking is “Oh Bwoom Hiw-duh, youw so wuv-wee” and I start to laugh.
When both Lesa and the technician looked at me wondering what’s wrong with me I tell them “It’s the music from that one Bugs Bunny cartoon, you know the one with the “spear and magic helmet” and the “kill the wabbit” and stuff”. They looked at me like I was completely insane, and BOTH of them said, no, they had no idea what I was talking about. I quoted a few more lines from the episode to no avail and only drew even more quizzical stares from them. So, completely embarrassed, I shut-up, and laid back down on the table for the rest of the Ultrasound, found out I was having a girl, and then as soon as I could, I got out of that humorless room.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

I’m Not Sure, Did One Make You Sneeze?

The other day as I was driving Haven to school she asked “Mom, am I allergic to elephants?”. I love her questions, they never disappoint.

Friday, September 8, 2006

I Love You Rowsdower

My Ciel has a fantastic imagination that was evident almost immediately. She had a lot to say, and it was always fascinating to hear what it was going to be, and she never disappointed. With Dylan everything had to be “perfect and just so” but with Ciel it was always “crazy flying monkey’s” kind of stuff, and that was how she liked it. There was never a dull moment in her world and talking to her was pure entertainment. When Ciel was little she had a favorite doll that she just loved, she dragged it with her everywhere she went. She wasn’t really into dolls or Barbies that much, but for some reason there was something special about this doll, she was different and Ciel really loved her. She was never without a crazy name for any of her toys, and this one was no exception as “chumich”, but it didn’t last long.
My brothers and sisters and I had all been watching a slew of Mystery Science Theater 3K recently, and one of the episodes featured a very bad movie called “The Final Sacrifice”. There was a character called “Zapf Rowsdower” in it, and we had a lot of jokes about the guy’s name and the movie, but mostly the guy’s name, Rowsdower. While on a family trip to Canada it somehow came about (it’s a longer story than I’m willing to type) that Ciel’s doll was re-christened Rowsdower (thanks to Mark, Holly and Heidi), and the name has stuck ever since. In fact even as the jokes faded the name has never changed, and she is still Rowsdower to this day. So when Ciel outgrew her doll and she was then passed down to Haven, so was the crazy name Rowsdower, and Haven loved her just as much as Ciel did, dragging her all over the place as her “baby”.
Well, Rowsdower has once again been passed down, this time to Gracen, and she is even crazier about dolls than her two older sisters ever were. Gracen considers dolls to be her babies, and much like her cousin Estee's, she is one baby-crazy baby! She loves to kiss, hug, pet, feed, dress and undress the dolls, and brush their hair, bald or not. She is the consummate “mommy” and Rowsdower is her favorite “baby” right now. I have bought several other dolls for my girls, but none seem to get the love and attention that Rowsdower does. I’m not sure why but she has been the favorite with all of my girls, and any other dolls have been cast aside with Rowsdower always ending up as the one doll that gets loved the most, they just can’t seem to live without her. So Rowsdower is once again being passed down, and she is still the object of much love and a little bit too much affection as she is currently being dragged around by Gracen. Now if we can just get her to say Rowsdower…..

Sunday, September 3, 2006

Gracen's First Sunday in Nursey

Well, today was a big day for us since Gracen is now 18 months, and old enough for Nursery. She has been in several times with me before when I have been asked to help out since one of the nusery leaders never shows up, and she has always loved it. This Sunday wasn’t any different, and she was so excited to be able to play with other “babies”. Gracen loves babies, and most kids a little bigger than her and any smaller than her are “babies” in her world. She has three little friends in there, Ellie, Zoe, Siella and her big brother Mathes is in there too until January so she was busy playing her little heart out. She loved sitting in her own little chair next to her friend during singing time, and was thrilled when snack time rolled around and sat right up to the little table, daintily eating her cookies and crackers and didn’t even spill her drink. After the lesson she colored her picture to take home, and only tried to eat the crayons twice, so all in all it was quite a success.

Friday, August 11, 2006

A Bit Of A Germ-A-Phobe

About two years ago Korby and Heidi and I met at one of the local indoor playground/softplay at the skating rink and let the kids have a bit of fun running around. After we were done Korby had all of her kids use the hand sanitizer gel that was there in a dispenser near the entrance, and I was going to have mine do the same but ended up getting distracted (hey, it happens!) and just loaded my kids into the car and went home. The next day 3 of my kids came down with Strep throat, and so did Livy (the Dr. said it can develop in less than 24 hours time), but none of Korby’s kids had so much as the sniffles. We realized it had probably been picked up at the playland (which had been packed with kids) and Korby was the only one to use the sanitizer on her kids hands, so she was spared.
   So from that day on I have gotten a little fanatical about Germ-X and I carry small bottles on my person at all times. I also carry travel packs of antibacterial wipes, and I cannot tell you how often they have saved me. No matter what I always wipe down the front seat section and handle of a shopping cart before using it or putting children in it, any high chair in a restaurant, the table and benches in a fast food place, any handles and stuff in public bathrooms, or even my kids hands and faces if I need to, they just give me a little bit more peace of mind.
   I’m not a germ freak, I just know that in public places, especially if we’re going to be eating, germs are more likely to go from the hands to the mouth and I don’t need any extra illnesses brought home, they bring enough from school. And this year I have 4 going to school, so it will be interesting to see how much sickness I can keep at bay. So my absolute must haves for an outing are as follows:
-small bottle of Germ-X in my purse to sanitize hands before eating (at a playland when they run off to play in between eating I have my kids rub this on their hands everytime they come back to the table to eat, before they pick up their food)
-travel pack of antibacterial wipes in my purse to clean any seating or table area, shopping carts, public highchairs, or wipe hands and faces if needed
-travel pack of kleenex in my purse for runny noses, I can’t handle the booger face especially in public
-a canister of baby wipes in my car for just about any job/emergency you can name and I mean ANY, from throwing up to spilled food or drinks
   The winter of 2004 was a really bad one for us with a TON of illness at our house, and it didn’t let up until Summer. So last winter I made a few changes and we had a huge decrease in the number of visits to the Dr. and E.R. and it was a lot easier for everyone. One of the changes I made was that as soon as each child arrived home from school they removed their shoes at the back door, used Germ-X on their hands, and sometimes I had them change ther shirts and wash their faces. It really helped a lot and made for a much nicer winter season and a lot less missed school and church. So I’m ready for this next winter season, and I hope to keep everyone as healthy as possible!

Friday, August 4, 2006

So Much Sassy-Pants In That Tiny Little Body

Gracen is definitely a mama’s girl, and while she does like lots of other people she really loves her mama. It was one of her first words, “muh-muh”, and she used it all of the time, but lately it has changed and I haven’t a clue how she settled on this one. Gracen calls me mummy, but at first she pronounced it muh-MEE! Every morning I would wake up to her standing in her bed, peering over the rail and yelling muh-MEE! muh-MEE! muh-MEE! at me to come and get her out. But now she says “mummy” the regular way, and she says it ALL of the time, and it gets louder depending on her mood and the urgency of the situatiation. Her other favorite word is “mine!” and she tends to use that one a lot, especially with so many other siblings that are more than willing to take things away from her. She is quite a sassy little girl, and a lot tougher than her tiny size leads you to believe. She can take care of herself in most situations, but she’s had to since some of her brothers and sisters get in the way of what she wants sometimes and she’s not one to sit and let life go by.
She’s not a brute though, really, she is actually a little snuggler and loves to give kisses and loves to her family. It’s so funny to see her pucker up and purse her tiny little baby lips and even make the “mwah” sound with each kiss. And I can’t keep a straight face when the singing and dancing begins, especially at church. She was totally getting her boogy on during the practice hymn the other Sunday. You should have seen her little bum, it was groovin’ all over the place as she sang her little heart out. She was so put out when the hymn ended, she really loves to sing her own words. I thought Mathes was our music loving dancer in the family, but No! Gracen has completely left him in the dust with her dancing feet and singing lips. So much baby boogying to do, so much bum shakin’ dancing left undone, so many unsung songs to sing, and so little time in her little baby day.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Dylan vs. The Pavement….Guess Who Won

Today while Dylan was over at one of his friends, he tripped when he was running, apparently it was a full sprint and fell straight onto the pavement with his face, and only his face. There isn’t a scratch anywhere on him except for his poor face. The full force of the blow went to his forehead, nose, and mouth, and he fell so fast he didn’t even have time to put his arms out to soften the hit, or slow his momentum. He hit so hard he was knocked out cold for a few minutes, and he didn’t even wake up when they carried him all the way to the backyard, and only came to when they splashed some water on his face to try and see through the blood.
   As soon as he came home and I saw what had happened I took him to the Dr. to make sure he was OK, especially since he was complaining of nausea and he was really sleepy. The Dr. said he had a broken nose, some loosened teeth, a mild concussion, and that he was lucky that was all since the full force of the blow was to his face/head. So I took him home and got him set up with ice packs, a cold drink and some blankets so he could rest, and we just have to keep an eye on him and ask him what his name is and what day it is every few hours until bedtime. Funny enough, after he came to, he was telling all of his buddies the first aid tecniques they needed to do for him such as cover him for shock, elevate his feet, check his pupils for dialtion etc….his time in Scouts paid off!
   When we were on our way to the Doctor, Dylan kind of laughed (as much of a laugh as he could muster through his swollen mouth) and said “Of all of the ways I could have been injured, snowboarding, dirtbiking and stuff, I get hurt doing something I’ve done my whole life, running”. I had to laugh at the irony, but I’m so glad he’s OK. His nose, lips and forhead are all still really swollen, but he’s doing a lot better and the Dr. said he shouldn’t even have any scarring. Wow, this has been a hazardous week for our family, what with Hannah, Taft and now Dylan, and Melanie’s terrible burns weren’t that long ago either. So now Heidi’s family are the only ones left that haven’t had a scary event lately and we hope it stays that way!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Being a Parent Can Be Terrifying...

Mathes is a very sweet and loving little boy, always telling you how much he loves you and that you’re cute. He is a total monkey and into everything, barely stopping on his way from one thing to the next, doing everything at a dead run. His love for vehicles is infinite, and he can dance like a maniac, but the fact that he seems to have no fear, a penchant for exploring, and isn’t afraid of strangers is really scary to me. This last week he has really given my heart a full workout and scared me to death with his antics. A few weeks ago when Craig was outside working on his motorbike in the garage, Mathes wanted to be outside with his Daddy, so I let him go, and made sure Craig knew he was there. About 30 minutes later Craig came in to wash up for dinner, and I asked where Mathes was. He replied that Mathes had come back inside the house with Dylan, and I assured him he had not. Panicked, Craig and I split up and began to frantically search, when Craig found him down the block at a neighbors, playing in her fenced yard. Apparently he had gone with Dylan back towards the house, but didn’t actually go in, and Dylan and Craig didn’t see him slip away since he’s so quiet, so he climbed the neighbors chain link fence to get to her fun toys in her yard and had been happily playing for who knows how long. This was only the beginning.
   I have a crib tent for Mathes, it’s like a mesh tent that attaches with velcro straps to the top of your crip and has a zippered opening, so you can safely corral your little one, and keep them from trying to climb out of bed and falling or just from getting out and getting into trouble when you think they’re quietly sleeping. Mathes could already unzip it from inside his bed, so we had started tying the zipper to the side where he couldn’t reach, but he’s Houdini, and was easily able to untie anything, it just depended on how patient he was feeling that day. So a few mornings after the fence climbing incident I was awakened at about 7am by Haven running into my room yelling that Mathes was out of bed and had gone outside and was playing in the street! I threw on my clothes as fast as I could while I was running to the door, but Mathes had seen Haven at the door and knew he was in trouble so he had run back into the house before he got caught. I was so shaken up I was crying. I had no idea how long he had been outside, and was terrified at the thought that he could have gotten hurt, or worse. It seemed no matter what we did he was able to undo, untie, or unlock just about any obstacle in his way, and it was freaking me out.
   That was the last straw for me, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep knowing he had no problem getting out, and going outside to play in the street. So I finally found a small luggage lock, and by attaching it to the zipper pull on the crib tent we have finally found the solution to keeping him safe in his bed (I can undo the velcro straps in a matter of seconds in case of any emergency, luckily he can’t). We also have storm doors that lock from the inside or outside with a key, so we have begun keeping both the front and back storm doors locked all of the time since Mathes can unlock both dead bolts and open both doors anytime he wants to make a run for it. I starting to feel a little bit more peaceful at night knowing he is safe, and can’t sneak outside.
   Then on Friday while the kids played downstairs, and I had just hung up the phone with Marky from wishing him a Happy Birthday and I was getting ready to start making dinner(Craig was working on the bathroom again) when I got a knock at the front door. I opened it to see my neighbor standing there holding my son Mathes, who was supposed to be in the basement playing with his siblings. He had quietly slipped out the back door that someone had left unlocked, and run down the block to her house again, tried to climb the chain link fence again, and this time got caught on it, and was stuck for we don’t know how long. Thankfully my neighbor has kids of her own, and said she understood, but I was absolutely undone. Neither Craig nor I had any idea Mathes had gotten out, or for how long since he is so quiet when he wants to be. I swear he came with a stealth mode.
   Shorlty after that fiasco Chris showed up with Grammy Lesa to pick up the two older kids for the weekend, and I was outside with all of the kids (Craig was still working on the bathroom walls) while we waited for Dylan to finish getting some Scout info he needed before he left. Mathes and Haven had climbed into the Suburban while we were chatting (Mathes LOVES cars), and the two front doors were open while they were bouncing on the seats inside, having what I thought was harmless fun. I had just handed the baby to Lesa when all of a sudden Chris says “Oh no! Oh no! Oh no!” and starts to run towards the car. I turned around just in time to see the Suburban rolling backwards down the driveway, with Haven happily bouncing in the drivers seat ” steering” and Mathes in the passenger seat looking mildly interested that they were now moving. Chris ran and jumped into the drivers side through the open door, and shoved his hand onto the brake until he could get it back into “park”, thus saving my kids from harm, and my neighbors house from severe damage. We have no idea how the kids muscled it out of “park” because it’s nearly impossible on that car to do it without the keys, but somehow the two of them did, and I am so thankful for Chris and his quick actions.
   So I am a total nazi now about locking the doors of the house and the cars, and so far these last few days have been better, and he hasn’t been able to run out without us knowing, and there have been no incidents of underage driving either. Although we had already been keeping the cars locked since we knew with his love of vehicles he would have no problem climbing into either car, and if we were unaware of his escape it would be terrible during the heat of the summer for him to be in the car, unnattended and and without us knowing. For those of you that think I’m a terrible mother, I challenge you to come and visit with me and my little monkey boy for even 1 hour, and you will see, he’s all boy, and we’re really doing everything we can to keep him safe. (Although if I was really worried about what other people think about my parenting skills I wouldn’t have posted this.) And for those of you that have a boy or boys just like this, you are not alone, I understand your frustration!
*(Please note that I have talked to a lot of women who have all said that they went through the same things with their own sons, some young moms in the middle of it and just as frustrated as I am, and some moms that are a little older and have managed to get their little monkey boy to adulthood with no lasting scars, and my Mom was one of them with my three brothers, so I feel there’s hope for me yet.)

Friday, June 23, 2006

Birthday Earrings for Haven

It’s Mathes and Haven’s birthday today, and they’re 3 and 5 years old! For Haven’s birthday I took her to get her ears pierced (with her Daddy’s reluctant OK) since she has been asking to get it done for quite a while now. I called ahead to make sure there would be two girls there to pierce her ears simultaneously since I thought it wouldn’t go over very well if we did it one at a time. (Although, for those of you that don’t know, Livy had hers pierced and she had hers done one at a time, and she sat still for the whole thing!) Haven sat in the chair all by herself, and sat very still since she was feeling a little shy and was also a little apprehensive about it as well. Haven picked out her favorite pair of pink sparkly flower earrings, the same ones Livy has, even though her first choice was the GIANT cubic zirconia pair that looked like they were big enough to be cuff links. I explained she needed to pick a smaller pair that were more flush with her ear so they wouldn’t get caught on anything.
   She knew it would hurt a little, but she was determined to get her ears pierced, so she sat quietly and let Miss Brittany mark the dots on her ears for the earrings. Miss Brittany had Miss Kim come over to help, and the two of them on the count of three pierced Haven’s ears! Haven’s face crinkled up in a little grimace, so we told her it was all done and she looked beautiful and that was it. She didn’t even cry! I was so proud of her for being so brave, and she absolutely loves her new earrings! I’m glad we got it done at this age since she’s old enough to ask to have it done, but not old enough to really get that it’s a hole in your ear. She told me it “only hurt fast then it didn’t hurt anymore”. Afterwards we went to Orange Julius for a fun treat and I let everyone pick out their favorite smoothie. Afterwards we went to Grammy Lesa’s since she had some presents for Haven and Mathes. They had a great time there, and loved their presents! Mathes loved running all over the backyard and going in and out the dog door, with the dogs right behind him! Haven was showing everyone her new earrings, and telling them all about her experience and how brave she was.
   (You know Anne, I still have my pierced ears from you. An ice cube and a needle in your professional ear piercing hands was all it took, and here we are this many years later, and they’re still pierced! We had a lot of fun that summer!)
   After a very nice visit we went home so Daddy could see her earrings, even though he wasn’t all that thrilled to have his baby girl get holes in her ears. He was a good sport about it though, especially since he knew how excited she was to have them done, and told Haven she looked like a princess, which she did!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

The Song Police

My Noah is so funny. For those of you that don’t know him, he really likes things to be “just so” and if they stray too far from his ideals, it drives him crazy! (I have no idea who he got that from….) He is usually pretty serious about most things, and to him it’s all black and white with not much room for any gray areas. One time while we were driving home from Mammy and Pappy’s Haven was singing “Baa Baa Black Sheep, except in her own version that went “Baa baa black sheep, have you any wool? Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full. One for the Master, one for the Dame, and one for the little boy that lives down the land“.
   I don’t know if she heard it wrong, or thought the word really was “land” but I didn’t think it was a big deal and let her sing her little heart out, whatever the words. Noah however, had all he could take of Haven's mistaken lyrics, and turned to her and said in a very loud voice “No no no Haven, it’s not “land”, it’s “LAME”! So Haven duly changed the ending , and ever since then, the little boy lives down the “lame”. So remember, when you decide to correct someone when they are making a mistake, make sure you tell them “it’s LAME”!

Sympathy For The Devil

Ciel reminds me a lot of myself at that same age, but she’s still very much her own person. While she’s fairly quiet, she loves to laugh, and enjoys the funny things in life and has a great sense of humor, getting downright silly at times. She’s very much a kid, not interested in teenager stuff, and has her head in the clouds a lot, but that’s because she’s thinking about something. She’s always thinking though, and you never quite know what she’ll say or do next. She loves to draw, and she’s very good at it, no matter what her subject is.
   A few years ago, I was meeting with her first grade teacher Mrs. Bodily, for Parent/Teacher conferences, and she was explaining to me that each of the children had decorated a folder that held their school work and tests that we would be discussing in that meeting. I saw a pile of various folders, each with different drawings like rainbows, unicorns, race cars, rockets and kittens, all drawn by a child's hand. Then she pulls out Ciel's folder, and with a strained look on her face, she hands it to me. I quickly understood why when I saw Ciel’s artwork. She had decided to draw a little devil character on the front of the folder, and had colored in huge roaring flames all around the little Satan. She had even given him a lopsided smirk on his devilish face, holding a big pitchfork in his hand, looking rather pleased to be burning for all time on the front of the folder.
   Frankly it was a very good drawing, and I even caught myself thinking how much I liked the way she had brought the flames to life with her crayon and colored pencil technique. Sadly her teacher did not share my enthusiasm for Ciel’s abilities, and haltingly tried to express her concerns to me about the serious matter of Satan and First Graders. I knew Ciel was just drawing whatever had popped into her head that day, and it was totally innocent, but nevertheless it still took some explaining, and a lot of reassurances that we had a normal home life, but Mrs. Bodily never quite looked at me, nor treated me the same ever since. Ciel is still a fantastic artist, and draws what she wants, and whatever she thinks, and I love her work! What can I say except “Bwah! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!!!!”.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Thank You Granny

While talking to Granny yesterday, she told me that 63 years ago that day (June 13, 1943) she was baptized a member of the Church. We talked a lot about what great things have been brought about in this family from that decision she made all those years ago, and the great influence she has had in so many of our lives, especially mine. I then thanked her, because I feel that I owe so much of the happiness in my life to having the Gospel in it, and without Granny’s decision to become a member, things could have been very different. I am thankful that both of my Grandmothers were such strong women and recognized the truth in the Gospel and followed the promptings of the Spirit and their hearts and went forward.
   I love hearing her tell stories from her childhood, and then as she grew older, married and began having children. When she talks about being a young mother, handling different situations with each of her children, and as a wife, what it was like for her then, I often think about my own life, and being a wife and mother, and how some things are the same for me as they were for my Granny. It’s so funny to hear her talk about my Dad as a small boy and some of the trouble he got into, my Aunts and what they were like growing up as sisters, and how my Uncle was such an active baby and toddler. I find it fascinating to hear about each of her pregnancies, labor and delivery experiences, and how things were handled when you were having a baby, and how so much has changed in maternity care (for the better in my opinion). It puts so many things into a different light as I chase my own children about, and I think about how I will one day be telling my own grandchildren stories from my own life, and what it was like for me as a young mother, and what it was like in my ”day and age”.
   So often I have turned to Granny for advice and counsel, comfort and compassion, and I am so thankful for my realtionship with her, and that I am lucky enough to have her as an example in my life. I miss her terribly, and I hope that she can either visit, or come home for good, very soon.  I count myself blessed just being her granddaughter, having her in my life, and for showing me the joy each day in being a wife and mother!

Friday, June 9, 2006

The Path Of Destruction

Gracen decided she needed to thoroughly explore the house today and left a messy trail of debris as she went! She started with some magazines and stuff in the kitchen, then moved on to the lid drawer, then to the toys in the living room, ultimately ending up back in the kitchen where she started. She flung toys, books, lids, puzzles and more all over during her busy little adventure, and was quite pleased with herself when she was done. Who would have thought she was so wicky!
I really enjoy Gracen’s love of exploring, and I am constantly amazed at her fearless attempts to be just like her big bothers and sisters. The stairs weren’t even a challenge, they were just a small obstacle standing between her and her destination, so off she went, no fear! She goes up and down them without even batting an eye! And we haven’t even begun with the climbing. She is up onto chairs, the couch, tables, beds, boxes, anything! It’s funny how quiet she is about it too, it’s like one minute she’s on the floor, then you turn around and she’s smiling at you from on top of the table. Never a dull moment! With each of my children as they grew, I was always amazed at each accomplishment, and thrilled with every achievement. I know they’re doing all of their baby learning and it’s all a part of their development, but it doesn’t stop me from thinking that their a “super genius”! They’re all so incredible and so much fun, I feel guilty sometimes because I enjoy them so much! So here’s to my amazing Gracen and her love of life!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

My Little Stinker Has A Secret

Gracen is 14 months and has been crawling for a while and we have been trying to encourage her to walk for some time now. She can cruise all over the place, walking along while holding onto furniture, hands, walker toys, you name it. I just thought she liked crawling and that eventually she would decide walking was faster. Well apparently, unbeknownst to all of us, she already knows this and has decided not to share it with anyone! I have seen her on numerous occasions walking when she didn’t know she was being observed, and twice when she happened to turn and see me she immediately dropped to her knees and crawled the rest of the way, acting like nothing had happened. Another time she began to walk right in front of me, Craig and Dylan and as soon as she realized what she was doing she got a look on her face like “Whoops, they’re looking at me, better crawl!” and she immediately dropped to her knees and crawled the rest of the way.
I realized she didn’t want us to know she could walk because then we wouldn’t pick her up and carry her all of the time. She thinks Haven is her personal taxi service, and Haven LOVES to carry Gracen everywhere, but it’s probably because she thinks Gracen is a big doll and lots of fun to play with. I must admit it’s a lot faster to be carried by Haven, or anyone else for that matter, than Gracen could walk or crawl so it’s no wonder she doesn’t want us to know she can walk. I have tried telling everyone not to pick her up all of the time, but my request has fallen on deaf ears, and all Gracen needs to do is sqeak and someone swoops in, picking her up and taking her wherever she wants.
It’s funny how with each baby they all began walking a little bit later, and a little bit later until here we are and Gracen has the system all figured out. Dylan walked at 9 1/2 months, Ciel at 10 1/2 and each baby thereafter walked after their first birthday, so the more older siblings my babies have had the less need they had for walking. It’s nothing new, and our Dr. said it was the same with his children but it’s still pretty funny all the same. To think we’ve been fooled for who knows how long! Also, Gracen really loves boots. She doesn’t care what size the boots are or who they belong to, she wants them on her feet so she can admire herself and see how beautiful she looks in them. I love the way she always makes me laugh, she knows she’s funny! And how she fits the determined spirit of a giant into her tiny little baby body is beyond me. What a cute little stinker!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Seventeen Years Ago Today...

It was seventeen years ago today that my horse Dusty died and I’m amazed that much time has really passed. I was 17 years old, a junior in High School and I loved that horse more than anything. It was such an awful and unexpected loss, but I am grateful for the truly happy memories of the fun I had riding him and the many hours I got to spend with him. I especially remember the Black & White Days horse show we rode in the day before he died where we won the all-around champion ribbon, even beating my riding instructors daughter. It was so much fun and Dusty was at his absolute best, looking so elegant and easily responding to each request I made in the ring. That day definitely ended on a high note with our win and I look back on it with such happiness that I was given the opportunity to compete with him at least once.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Grandpa's Funeral

Grandpa Stevenson's funeral was today and it turned out to be quite lovely. I thought the funeral services were very nice, the flower arrangements were very well done, and I really enjoyed the poem Auntie Lorayne read, it was beautiful. It was especially touching to hear my Dad talk about his own father and some of the stories of Grandpas life, but I also love to hear my Dad speak on any occasion since he is such an outstanding speaker. It was so nice to see all of my brothers and sisters too since we haven’t been together in quite a while, and we had an especially fun time afterwards when we all got together and talked, sharing stories about Grandpa, and other stories in general, laughing and just having a good time with family. It’s so rare that we can all be together that we really enjoyed the time that we had. One of the lighter moments of the day happened just as Heidi pulled up to the funeral home and Livy asked ”Mom is Grandpa in there?” and Heidi replied ”Well just his body is.” With a look of genuine, almost panicked concern Livy asked “Well where’s his head?”. It took a little bit of explaining but we think Livy understands now how it works, also there was a little presentation during the viewing especially for the children explaining about the body and the departure of the spirit from the body at death and such which was also helpful. A favorite moment for me today was when my ex-husband (Chris) very kindly surprised me and sent me the ring that Grandpa had given him when we (Chris and I) were married. I had forgotten about it after all of this time, and was touched not only that he remembered it had been my Grandpa’s but that he would think to give it to me today. When Chris and I were married Granny gave me her wedding ring from her marriage to Grandpa and Grandpa had given Chris his wedding ring from the same and it means so much to me that I now have both rings from my Grandparents wedding. I am truly grateful he would think to give it to me to keep so that I have something so meaningful of my grandparents to pass along to my own children. All in all I felt it was a very good day, it was very peaceful and full of so many good things said and done.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Every Which Way But Walking

Gracen is 14 months old and she refuses to walk. She can pull herself up to standing just about anywhere, balance without holding on to anything, and will walk all over the place if you’re holding her hands. But it seems to be too much hassle for her to actually propel herself on her own two legs when all she has to do is make a fuss and one of her siblings or parents is suckered right into picking her little highness up! I know, I know, I’m a very bad parent. We’re trying some “tough love” to convince her that we’re not her own personal transportation service but so far she isn’t buying any of it! So for now she is content to crawl, roll, cruise, and somersault her way around the house. I think she lacks the motivation so I have to figure out a way to get her going. You’d think by baby number six I’d be a pro, but I do know that all of my babies have done things in their own time and they all learn to walk when their ready. It’s not like they’re going to be crawling in High School or that I’m carrying them to each class, but still, any suggestions because I’m all ears:)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Such a Funny Little Girl

Gracen is such a funny baby! She decided her peanut butter and jelly sandwich would be better if she smashed it on her head, so she kept rubbing it in her hair and making a big mess. She was completely unapologetic about it too, smirking and smiling and laughing out loud about the whole thing. What a little punk! She’s really sassy too, and won’t stand for anything getting in her way. For such a petite little girl she has a whole lot of attitude packed in there, and she’s not afraid to let loose with it. She scolds you for not getting things done fast enough and is VERY vocal about it, telling you in no uncertain terms you’re not meeting her high standards. All this from a little girl that like to smash her lunch on her head.