Sunday, May 29, 2011

When Life Gets in the Way of Blogging

I pulled up my blog yesterday afternoon (to see if any of you had posted something new) and noticed with some dismay that I hadn’t posted since Wednesday.  How could that have happened???

Just now I was tallying up what has happened in my world since Wednesday morning…

  • drove to the nethermost regions of North Raleigh to look at a van
  • washed sheets & blankets
  • drove back to the nethermost regions of North Raleigh to buy the van
  • had lunch with my visiting teachers
  • went to an appointment in South Durham at the wrong time
  • grocery shopped
  • bought special “lice hate it” shampoo
  • picked up Josh from school
  • had a quick nap
  • washed more sheets, blankets, and towels
  • hosted a goodbye party for good friends who are moving
  • started “Zions National Park hike training” (—took a walk with the kids)
  • went and picked strawberries
  • went and picked out new glasses
  • went and “ate lunch” (samples) at Costco
  • picked up Josh from school
  • still more laundry
  • had a quick nap
  • today’s lice treatment: cover heads completely with cetaphil cleanser, comb out, blowdry for HOURS
  • while watching Gnomeo & Juliet
  • 2 mile training walk (ouch!)
  • cleaned out VERY MESSY garage for hours and hours
  • made homemade strawberry ice cream
  • thought about planting flowers, but instead spent hours checking 2 heads for nits (we’re winning the battle!)
  • watched part of a dumb movie, turned it off and went to bed
  • went to church
  • came home and had an after church NDE (near death experience)
  • made a strawberry pie
  • played games and ate pie with friends
  • even more laundry!!!

Obviously there was not much time or mental energy for blogging anywhere in there.  Hopefully this coming week will be better!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Miscellaneous Pictures from Utah

I know I’ve been back for a week and a half now, but I still have a few pictures that I wanted to post. 


First of all, my cool brother in law Brent.

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I happen to know from personal experience that when you have multiples it really helps if you have a great husband.  I loved seeing how sweet and helpful Brent was the whole time I was there. 

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Next, in the cagetory of “How Not to Decorate Your House.”  Every time I’m in Logan and see this hairy star, it drives me crazy.  So Katie and I took a picture of it this time.  Seriously—it’s way too hairy to be a decoration!

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There are people who worry that I don’t think that Utah is beautiful enough.  So I want to go on record as saying that sometimes I find Utah very beautiful, even if I don’t love it like I do the Garden of Eden I live in.

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My weekend in Rexburg included driving by the beautiful Rexburg temple at dusk,

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and driving by this most interesting house, complete with portholes!

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Lastly, Laila and I tried a little photo shoot and now we both know why people don’t do newborn photos with 2 1/2 month old babies.  (Even if they should only have been 2 weeks old at that point!)

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Fortunate we did get a few nice pictures as well!  First Preston:

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And then Noah.  (Who was not in a cooperative mood, darn it!)

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And finally, a picture of them all together.

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Aren’t they beautiful!

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Good, the Bad, and [this would be] the Ugly

I always hope that my blog is a good slice of my life; that I record the good and wonderful moments, but also some of the inane and bizzare and even the ugly.  Well, right now we’re definitely in the middle of an ugly moment.

Sunday night I got a call from a wonderful friend who had watched my little kids on three different days while I was in Utah.  She was calling me with news that every mother dreads; her daughter has lice.

At first I was optimistic—surely my girls didn’t get lice while they were there!  But then they told me of the wonderful photo shoot they had the last day, where they curled and fixed each others’ hair…and so I started looking.



They’ve got lice.


This is a first for me in my parenting, and I cannot believe the amount of time I have spent going through their hair, literally, with a fine toothed comb.  Thank goodness for the little dvd player and an abundance of dvds.  I think I’ve seen more movies in the last 28 hours than the previous 28 months combined.

Let’s just hope it all works…


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PS—my head itches!!!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Splendid Saturday

Could the day get any better?  I started it by sleeping in much later than expected.  (After staying up late watching the movie “The Switch,” which was pretty good and amazingly clean!)  Then I showered and hurried into town to pick up Amy for a trip to the farmer’s market.  We were in search of more mandevilla plants, since last year I found both a yellow one and a white one there.  I was not lucky enough to to find a yellow one, but I did get a white one, a pink one, and a new one that is red with a white stripe.

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We did NOT buy this most interesting plant, but it sure was fun to look at.

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We drove to Raleigh and back with the top down and it was lovely, except for perhaps the messy hair part.  And I definitely have some interesting looking sunburned places now.


After I came home I had a nap while Russ took the kids to the pool.  When he got home he and I drove on sun-drenched back country roads to the greenhouse to buy flowers for the summer.  Petunias, impatiens, a few dahlias, and of course a wide variety of gerbers.  The drive was beautiful, the company was the best, and now I have lots of flowers that need to be planted next week.

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Now we’ve just finished watching our edited version of Harry Potter 7 and it was just as terrific as I remembered it from the theaters.  A great end to a great day…

Friday, May 20, 2011

My New Volunteers

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how cool is that?


(You can’t see it clearly but the rain gauge shows that there were 3.5” of rain while I was in Utah!)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Home Again, Home Again

After 16 long, fun, tiring, wonderful, baby-filled, exhausting days I am back to my wonderful family and home.  I had several naps on Tuesday so I’m not as jet-lagged as I usually am, but I’m still tired.  I’ve decided that it’s a good thing I had my kids in my 30’s, because at 44 I am way too tired for a baby/babies of my own!

Before I flew home on Monday I spent a lovely weekend in Rexburg with Cindy Lynn & Mahon.  Cindy Lynn and I went to a movie, we ate yummy food, hung out with Erin, drove around to see odd houses (pictures later, I promise) and played Ticket to Ride.  It was a delightful weekend and was over far too soon.  (Except that I was really ready to come home!)

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Monday morning we hopped into the car, drove to Utah, bought one more salad at Costa Vida (I’m still sad that Bajio disappeared!), went by Laila’s to hug the babies one last time, and then it was on to the airport.  After a few initial alarms that a delayed 1st flight was going to leave me stranded in Denver everything went well, and I even got a window seat on my long flight.

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I was greeted at the airport with lots of hugs and kisses and then at home with wonderful decorations. 

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I had a wonderful trip, but it’s SO good to be home!!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Separate Identities

I used to have the perfect hair routine for the girls.  Every summer when it was time for swim team they got cute short haircuts, which were so easy to care for during swim team and the rest of the summer.  Then they grew their hair out for the rest of the year.  By the time swim team came around every year I was ready for it to be short again—it was a great system.

Friday, September 12, 2003 (2) (not that they were on the swim team when they were 4.  But isn’t this a seriously cute picture???)


Then last year my then 9 1/2 year olds rebelled.  They didn’t want it cut short, they wanted to grow it longer.  I bit my over-controlling tongue and agreed that they could grow their hair long if they wanted. 

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with the long hair.  When it’s taken care of it’s really very pretty. 


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But most of the time it looked scraggily, like they were poor orphan children.

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I finally laid down the law a couple of months ago; in order for them to keep having their hair long it had to be fixed first thing every day.  And if they didn’t fix it I would fix it.  That was working fairly well, and I was enjoying my two girls with their beautiful hair. 


And then Jenna threw a wrench into my works.

She said that she wanted to have short hair.  And Rachel immediately said that she wanted to keep her hair long. 


I’ve known this day was coming, right?  My little girlies have to grow up and become their own people.  Complete with their separate identities.  And so I did what any self-respecting mom of multiples (who enjoys matching) would do.  I told Jenna that she could have her hair cut, just not until AFTER Easter. 

You see, I was already making the beautiful Easter dresses.  And I’d found headbands at the mall that matched the dressed perfectly.  And matching dresses and matching headbands need matching hair, at least for one day.

They sure were cute that Sunday.

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And then guess what we did the day after Easter.

Yep.  We cut the hair.

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ready to donate to locks of love

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In the end the haircut is darling, just like I knew it would be. 

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And if she needs to establish her unique identity, I guess this is better than a lot of other ways…

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Just Thought You Should Know…

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I would have hated for you to not know it was coming…


PS—if something is established out of the mouth of 2 witnesses, there were 3 of these vans.  So???

Saturday, May 14, 2011

My New Friend

Last night I took the Salt Lake Express shuttle from Bountiful up to Rexburg to visit Cindy Lynn and Mahon.

salt lake express (While the ride was comfortable, it was not the party the exterior might suggest!)

For the first 2 hours of the trip I enjoyed the quiet drive, listening to fabulous music on my mp3 player and enjoying the beauty of the snow-capped mountains. 

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After the shuttle stopped in Pocatello to let several passengers off, the young man sitting in front of me made a comment.  I took the earbud out of my ear and asked him what he had said…and that was the end of my music listening for the night.


My new friend, a 24 year old convert of two years from West Virginia, was on his way to visit his newly engaged sister in Rexburg, prior to entering the MTC next week.  He is looking forward to serving in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana mission, but is concerned that the flooding is going to crest in southern Louisiana in the next week and that he will arrive in the mission field just in time to help with a lot of cleanup.  After his mission he wants to complete his pre-med classes and go to med school, at West Virginia U or perhaps Ohio State.  He’d really like to be a neurological surgeon and do consults two days a week and surgeries one day a week.  He would never want to be a gyn, although he can see the attraction because their insurance is relatively low and their office hours predictable.  Apparently there aren’t a lot of gyn emergencies.

My friend’s family all got baptized four years ago, but he was working on Sundays at the time and the missionaries never asked him if he wanted to take the discussions.  Then the family moved and he started going to church with his parents, but it still took a while for someone to ask him if he was interested in learning more about the church.  Although he was the last person baptized, he was the first to go through the temple.  His parents are hoping to be temple ready sometime next month.

His sister is getting married on September 22nd in the Logan temple.  September 22nd is significant to their family because their parents and grandparents were both married on September 22nd, and it is her birthday and their grandmother’s birthday.  Additionally, her husband will be the 4th generation in his family to marry in the Logan temple.  His sister is studying to be a physical therapist.

His 22 year old brother is working right now as a horse trainer in Colorado.  Unfortunately he was kicked in the chest by a calf, which has pre-disposed him to pneumonia.  His brother has never been to college because of his dyslexia, but is having his first interview next week to go on a mission.  When he and his brother work together at home they don’t get along, but oddly enough when they’re working for someone else and getting paid they work together just fine.  His brother is thinking of going into nursing, which would make three medical professions in their family.  That would be interesting for their parents who both have MBAs.

My new friend lived in Germany for 8 years as a child, while his dad was in charge of all of the military schools in most of Europe.  He’s travelled to many European countries and is pretty sure he could still find his way around Rome.  Now he and his family live on a small farm in West Virginia where they have lots of animals just for the fun of it.  They have milk goats and make goat milk soap, goat cheese, and even drink the goats milk when they run out of regular milk.  His mom has drunk so much goat’s milk that she no longer reacts to poison ivy because the goats have eaten so much of it.  One of the missionaries in their ward did not believe her, and so they had a poison ivy challenge.  His mom rubbed it all over her arms and face and was unbothered.  The missionary rubbed it in one small spot on his leg and it reacted almost immediately.  Fortunately his mom had a good salve to put on the missionary’s leg to stop the itching.

They have hundreds of chickens, both laying chickens and meat chickens, which are apparently very different animals.  They have several different breeds of turkeys, only one of which reproduces independently.  Most of the turkeys fluff up their tail feathers to get attention, but they also have a turkey that does a kind of rain dance.  Their family is convinced that the indians learned their tribal dances from watching the wild turkeys.

When I told my new friend that I’d spent the last two weeks eating my sisters yummy home-grown eggs for breakfast, and that I really wanted chickens of my own, he suggested that I get the book Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens.  I should be able to get the book at any Cal Ranch store, or also on Amazon.  He said that what we really need is a chicken tractor, which will help fertilize our lawn and also keep our chickens safe from the local critters.  When I told him about my friend Katie’s chicken eggs and how hard the shells were compared to my flimsy costco eggs, he said that that is from eating a lot of bugs.  If chickens eat a lot of bugs they’re getting more calcium and the egg shells will be harder.  When you want to hatch the eggs, you have to pen the chickens so they can’t eat as many bugs.  His family had a batch of eggs that they were trying to hatch (they own their own incubator) but the shells were so tough that the chicks couldn’t do more than make a tiny hole.  They helped the chicks break out of the shells, even though that’s not a good thing for the chicks.  He also told me that if I want chicks and don’t have an incubator to hatch them myself I can order them online and get day-old chicks delivered to my post office, though it might freak out the postal workers…


Then the shuttle arrived at my stop in Rexburg. I said goodbye to my new (nameless) friend and got off to hug Cindy Lynn and Mahon.  Today I have enjoyed remembering bits and pieces of my shuttle conversation, and tonight I am thinking---

now that’s an extrovert!!!!!

Do You Know Where My Mother Is?

(These are supposed to be flower pots)

Rumors have it that our mother is house hopping somewhere in Utah and playing with another woman's babies. Mean while the caretakers she left in charge have neglected us. We hear them inside watching movies, playing games, eating pizza, and having ice cream. We are sorely in need of our mother's loving care. If you see her, please send her back.

Friday, May 13, 2011

3 Down, 5 To Go, and How Everything We Thought About Kids Was Really Wrong


I finished my third book on this trip last night.  (Which means that while I did pack a lot of books, perhaps I was not as excessive as Russ though—after all, I still have a 5 hour shuttle ride up to Idaho to visit Cindy Lynn, and a plane trip home.  Who knows how much more reading I will get done!) 


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(Cindy Lynn thinks that in the interest of honesty I should add that I just borrowed a book from my sweet friend Abigail…I’m a little worried about not having enough to read now!)


Anyway, back to this book.  It is called Nurture Shock.  I think the title comes from the shock you will feel when you learn that so much of the conventional wisdom about children is actually very very wrong. 



The authors began by researching the science of motivation in grownups, and then began to investigate how kids get self confidence.  Much to their surprise the scientific evidence they found showed pretty conclusively that the parental instinct that it was important to tell your kids how smart they are is actually dead wrong.  The article that they first published a couple of years ago which became the 1st chapter in this book) surprised and fascinated me. 

Here are some of the other topics they cover in this book:

  • sleep
  • racial issues
  • kids & lying
  • early IQ tests
  • sibling rivalry
  • teen rebellion
  • teaching self-control
  • connections between tv and social aggression
  • language development

I really enjoyed this book, and will have to re-read a few parts.  Maybe on the plane!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bulls Eye!

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It’s a good thing this baby is so darned cute…since he just turned his head and spit up down my shirt and into my cleavage! 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mother’s Day Weekend

Last Friday I temporarily abandoned my post as assistant baby tender

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to travel south.  First I spent the night at Russ’s brother’s house and had a delightful time visiting with his family.  The next morning I picked up my college boy.  We first went for a delicious breakfast (southwest eggs benedict, which we’re hoping to figure out how to replicate) followed by even more delicious chocolate pie.  When I dropped a spoonful of chocolate pie on my cell phone Jason ate it right off!

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It just so happened that we were breakfasting next door to this store, so we went in to check out the situation.  Now we know that the Chilean mission that Jason is going to is one of the most expensive to outfit for, because he will need clothes for hot and cold weather.

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After our missionary window-shopping we went to my sister Andra’s house.  I could tell that my college boy isn’t getting enough sleep—this is what happened when I had him listen to my new favorite music.  (The Rutter Requiem)

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The next morning we got up bright and early and went to church with Andra’s family.

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Where I was more entertained than I’ve been in a long time.  First, they gave all of the women huge candy bars in honor of Mother’s Day.  Yay for that!  Then all over Andra’s church people came up to me and started talking to me.  And then they got funny looks on their faces, and backed away.  And then they said (every one of them) “Wait, you’re not Andra, are you???”  Several asked if we were twins.  Sure, I said, except for the fact that I’m almost 5 years older and she’s almost 5 inches taller! 

Andra’s babies have always thought we look alike, but this was the first time I’ve had adults get us confused.  (Three years ago at the beach her little Matthew spent the whole week asking me “Are you my mudder???”)

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Sunday after lovely mother’s day naps we all drove up to my brother Jeff’s house.  Our original plan was to have a nice picnic outside, but the weather got cold, nasty, and rainy and we had to eat inside.  We still had lots of fun talking, hiding from the camera,

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talking, passing Laila’s babies around,

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kissing babies,

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holding babies (this niece is the spitting image of my mother as a child!),

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playing with cousins,

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listening to the adults,

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and just having a great time together!


At the end of the evening I took Jason back to campus and dropped him off to go to tunnel singing, where he was going to announce his mission call.  Then I drove back north (in the cold and rain, yuck!) to start my second week with these cute babies!

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