But you know, I was reminiscing about the Christmas trees of my childhood with my brother, and we only really remembered the tree that fell over the day after we'd decorated it, or the tree Dad picked out by himself (the ugliest, scrawniest, lumpiest one on the lot), or the live tree that died once we planted it in the yard. So on that note, I think I'll remember my "Invictus Tree" for a long time to come.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
We were driving and Claire started fussing. Charlotte patted Claire's carseat and said, "It's ok, baby. Don't cry, baby." over and over. When this got no response she shouted at her, "Be quiet, baby!"
Carden: without pretense
We're at a restaurant and Tyler orders a burrito without cheese. The server accidentally puts cheese on the order. Tyler repeats the "no cheese" part and the guy quickly fixes it. No problem; we move on. Carden goes back in line and tells him earnestly, "I know how it feels to make a mistake." A few days earlier we're in the parking lot at Target and he sees someone walking on crutches about 25 feet away. He shouts out, "Hey, you need some help?"
Seth: trying really hard to be happy
"Mom, I know what the three wise men brought. Frankincense, gold, and murder."
Monday, December 7, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
For those interested in stats:
7 pounds, 9 ounces
20 inches long
2.5 hours of labor (60 minutes of which the epidural didn't work)
Born October 12, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
I was making a batch last week while my nephew Isaiah was visiting. He and Seth brought in a bowl of blackberries they had picked and announced they wanted to make jam. I told them I was out of jars, so we wouldn't be able to do it. They went back outside and returned a few minutes later, not dissuaded.
"We're going to make jam by ourselves. Where's the smasher? (a small wooden tool for smashing the berries)"
I got distracted and didn't supply the requested smasher. They go back outside.
"Where's the sugar, Mom? We need sugar now."
"I thought you needed the smasher."
"No, we just used a rock." They proudly show me a bowl of smashed berries, plus a few extra bits of leaf, grass, twigs, etc.
"Oh. OK, here's the sugar." I dump a big scoop into their pot. They go back outside.
"We need some bread. Our jam is done."
Tastier than mud pies, I guess. Anyone else for jam?
Monday, September 14, 2009
This makes me wonder where I went wrong. I am in the process of:
Freezing pesto. Seth is a champion basil picker.
Refinishing the kitchen table. The varnish had completely worn off, so every spill soaked into the wood, requiring a good scraping after every meal.
Dehydrating pears. Supposedly easier than canning. Definitely tastier.
Making jam. Apricot, raspberry, blackberry, mixed berry... And the plums are ripe this week.
Canning tomatoes and applesauce. Now I know the real reason we didn't send Seth to kindergarten--he's too helpful to lose.
Helping with the enrichment activity, PTA carnival fundraiser, and soaking all Charlotte's old baby clothes in vats of Oxi-Clean. I swear that stuff was clean when I put it away two years ago.
Planting trees. The 50% off sale was too good to pass up. We added a linden, honey locust, tulip tree, and ash. A friend said perplexedly, "But I thought you already had trees in your yard. Any more and the Forest Service will be annexing your property."
I am not humming.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Seth is getting one more year at home/preschool, and he's excited about being the "old man" in the classroom. I think he'll do great with a bit more time under his belt. Now, if we could just get a few more pounds under his belt, we'd really be doing well!
And Charlotte, Angus, and I will continue to hold down the fort. I have high hopes for our free time, but I won't say what, for fear someone will actually hold me to all my lofty goals.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
Showing off his Pokemon shirt, Spiderman sunglasses, and flip-flops. I hate flip-flops--and all sandals between my toes--so I've never bought them for the kids. So these had the aura of "forbidden fruit" since he's the only one in the family who has flip-flops.
Monday, July 27, 2009
We get up late.
We clean the playroom/boys' room/family room/hallway.
We eat an Otter Pop to celebrate that one-half/one-fourth/one tiny corner of chosen room is now clean.
We change the sheets on the guest room bed. By a rough estimate, we have had house guests for 30 nights so far in 2009.
I praise the heavens for the invention of air conditioning. This is the first summer of my entire life where I have had it. I run it around the clock. I stand directly over/under the vents. Tyler can sell an internal organ to pay the bill if necessary.
We play outside.
We eat something not really resembling a balanced meal.
We play outside again. At 9:30 the sun sets and we herd kids inside. We do not generally bathe them.
We remind them (weakly) that bedtime was at 9:00 and why are they all still up?
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
You turn your back for a second...
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
The gardens were lovely, full of spring flowers and blooming trees. It seems to be a popular spot with wedding photographers and we saw many couples doing photo shoots. To appreciate this, you have to understand that Charlotte, not yet 2, is in a full-blown princess phase. Her limited vocabulary has a large chunk devoted to words like "princess," "pretty princess," "dress," "pretty dress," "shoes," "pretty shoes," etc. You get the idea. So we're wandering through the gardens, and around the bend we come across one of the brides. Charlotte stops dead in her tracks, mouth open, staring at this girl in clouds of white tulle. She doesn't move for a full minute, and even once I call her name, she takes a half-hearted step toward me, not taking her eyes off the bride until they've left. Princesses in real life! Who knew?
A few minutes later we come around another bend and spot another bride. I can hear my 5-year-old niece excitedly telling her mother, "That one had a tiara! The other one only had lace on her hair. I want a tiara."
A few minutes later we spot yet another bride. The 5-year-old girl says in a dreamy voice, "Look Mom, a bride!" To which Carden responds, "Sheesh, not another one!"
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Tiptoe back out and pretend you didn't notice?
Or wake her up, clean her up, change all the bedding, and listen to her scream during the whole process?
You do what I did--call for Dad!!
And to his everlasting credit, he did it all. Even after he'd been doing it for the two days that I was gone all day at Women's Conference at BYU and he was taking care of the kids solo. Even after the first episode was Charlotte throwing up while they were at the pool watching the boys' swimming lesson.
Hurray for dads.
Friday, April 17, 2009
We began on Palm Sunday, and using a large pad of easel paper, every day we drew pictures to illustrate what happened on that day of Holy Week. Carden and Seth really got into this, embellishing and adding to my pathetic stick figures with their own drawings, coloring, labels "Pilate = bad guy," and discussions between themselves "Seth, don't draw a smile! Jesus was SAD that day!" "Carden, that's Judas, he's not supposed to be happy." "He's not. See, I drew mean eyebrows." More amazing was how interested I got into researching what happened so that I could be prepared for the next day's drawing. Tyler teased me that I walked around the house reading Jesus the Christ like it was Harry Potter.
By Wednesday I'd found a Mormon Tabernacle CD full of Easter music: the cathedral-and-stained-glass-type I'd been craving. Pieces from the Beethoven oratorio, Dvorak, Gounod, John Rutter--all wonderful stuff made for a great iPod Easter playlist. Nowhere near my 32 hours of Christmas music, but a good start, and it filled the house with the feeling of Easter.
Thursday I thought about serving a Passover dinner, but figured the kids were not quite old enough to make it worth the work. But we did serve bread and grape juice and talked about the change from the Passover to the Sacrament, before diving into our decidedly nontraditional plates of spaghetti.
For Good Friday I made Hot Cross Buns, which didn't turn out quite so pretty as I'd hoped, but tasted good and will hopefully work better next year. Because the Gospel writers offer enough detail of what happened when during that Friday, I spent the day much more aware of the time and what was happening so many years ago in Jerusalem (7am: probably dragged between Pilate and Herod; 8am: the scourging?; 10am: the cross; sunset: hastily placing the body in the tomb).
Saturday was gloomy weather, appropriate for the day I spent thinking of the Disciples marking the Jewish Sabbath, ruminating on the previous day's event. As part of a church lesson on Easter that I had to teach, I put together a DVD slideshow of works of art depicting scenes from the last week of Christ's life. I really had a great time combing the Internet for material. And our computer even cooperated (mostly) and Tyler burned the disc without incident! True miracle.
Easter Sunday was a beautiful spring day, wonderfully perfect after the gloom inside my soul the preceeding two days. We ran out of time on Sunday, but later that week we made Resurrection Rolls (slightly goofy concept but a big hit with the kids).
By the time I packed up the box of Easter decorations, I felt like we had really celebrated Easter for what it is--a hard week of watching someone prepare for his death, paying closer attention to his last words and teachings, and appreciating the glory of Resurrection morning because we'd seen the price it took to get there. Next year I think we'll add some more activities I found online and continue to make Easter a wonderful--and major--holiday for our family.
The Easter bunny brought his usual baskets full of treats, which were eaten before/instead of breakfast. We tried unsuccessfully to pry the chocolate bunny out of Charlotte's hands and replace it with a piece of toast, but she wasn't going for that. Charlotte is not much for jelly beans, but she can smell chocolate at 50 paces.
Our indoor jelly bean hunt was another favorite activity. All the ones I hid above kid-eye-level are still there, providing me, at least, with an additional stash of jelly beans now that the kids have gobbled all the rest.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Since both sides of our family come with large numbers of aunts, uncles, and cousins, we're used to sharing grandparents among all the families. And within the family, we're used to sharing grandparents with siblings and parents. That probably contributed to Carden's enthusiasm to have some of his favorite people all to himself. It reminded me of the few times that I got to be alone with my grandparents and how special that was. I'm sure the opportunities were infrequent, again because of the numbers they had to divide themselves among, and yet they are vivid memoriesto me. Thanks to our great grandparents (and Great-Grandparents even!) for making Carden's day such a fun one.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Of course, Carden spent a year of intensive therapy learning to talk, among other behaviors, so to all you good California taxpayers of 2004-2005, you have gotten 3 for 1 out of your investment, since all the tricks that we learned from his speech team were put to use on Seth when he was slow to speak, and are now being dusted off for Charlotte's benefit. Once again we sing "Icky Sticky Bubble Gum" to learn body parts, parcel out snacks one at a time ("oh, you want another cracker?"), practice flashcards, and watch hours of Baby Bumblebee speech videos.
For all our pains we get a lot of "my dat" (everything in sight is "my that") and "no dat." Sigh. Or we'll prompt her, "you want up? Say up." To which she looks at us like the lights finally went on in our heads and emphatically say "yeah." The only bright spot is "lish" (delicious), which applies to almost everything I cook for dinner. Sadly, Carden and Seth are twice as loud with "this is the worst dinner ever." This is why people have girls, right?
Charlotte has also jumped into princess life with both feet. Here she is on the trampoline with her fairy princess skirt, which looks equally at home with pajamas and raincoats. "Doll" is another of her highly prized words, and I am chagrined to confess how her face lights up when we ask if she wants to watch Cinderella or Snow White. Sorry, Baby Bumblebee. Maybe it's time to come up with a Princess Speech video.