Thursday, February 26, 2009

What Did You Do Today?

Have you read the email that circulates every once in a while, about a husband coming home from work and upon seeing a huge mess asks his wife what she did that day? The punch line is something along these lines,

"What happened here today? asked the husband, the wife smiles and answers, 'You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me what I did all day? 'Yes,' was his incredulous reply.She answered, 'Well, today I didn't do it."

I never tire of reading it. It is so true, it is no exaggeration to the type of days mothers frequently have. My photos are proof!!!
(To enjoy the messes more clearly, click to enlarge)
To you readers and friends who have yet to have children-yes, this is the sad reality you too will one day face.

To you readers and friends who are in my same stage of life, I know you feel my pain.

And to you dear readers and friends, who are past this stage. Please don't tell me I will one day miss it.

Will I? Do you? Really? Will I miss washing messy chocolaty faces? Or miss cleaning up after a yogurt-eating turned yogurt-finger painting experience? Or possibly miss vacuming up the results of a pencil sharpener exploration? Or miss picking up pieces from a mishap with a box of Lucky Charms?

What did I do today? The answer is simple.
Look what Joshua did today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fearful, Overworked Kids and A Boring Mother!

So these photos/activities weren't deemed important enough to get their own post. But as February winds to a close, and I reviewed my photo files. I didn't want these to go without a permanent place in the Sowby Family History.

Joshua Eating Breakfast: This is Joshua's expression when he has just got in trouble, or is doing something naughty. He tries not to look at us, but then can't help but take a peek to make sure no one is looking at him! It is quite cute, but at the same time makes me feel like he's fearful of punishment.
Kids at the Treehouse Museum: On President's Day, Mike and I decided, (well I kind of insisted) that we do something 'fun' with our kids. Those that know Mike well, know one of his best qualities is being a HARD WORKER, to him days off translate to-jobs to do and work to be done. Our kids may end up with great work ethics, but I nag him (who me? nag?) that occasionally they are entitled to do something fun so they don't end up with severe parental-raising issues.
Antelope Island: Who loves Antelope Island besides my husband? In fact, have any of you even ever been to Antelope Island? My husband traveled the country and the world growing up. He is more impressed with the things to do around Utah than elsewhere in the world/country! So, we took a family pilgrimage to Antelope Island the other week. It was cold, it was windy and dare I say...
(Another of my husband's qualities is- he NEVER gets bored-he claims, if you get bored, it is a reflection of your personality!)
...I was bored!!!!!
Oh well-There you have it. I must be a boring person who over-works my kids, and causes them to have to peek at my whereabouts due to possible fear!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Boys & Their Boots

Grandpa, the Englishman, but now a Gun-Toting American bought some...COWBOY BOOTS!

Rumor has it, the news left my youngest brother speechless. As for Mike and Luke-they were thrilled. Last night, Grandpa, Mike and Luke compared comfort, size, detail and authenticity. Even Joshua got in on the action.

With Grandpa's new boot purchase, he received an additional bonus. Free advice!

They speak with experience. From Mike; what kind of socks to wear with them. From Luke; how to wear them out. From Joshua; if they are from the same pair and the correct size for your foot you might not trip so much.

If someone had told me 5 years ago my husband and son would one day own cowboy boots, I would NEVER have believed it. If someone would have told me last week my dad would own a pair, I would have believed it even LESS.

Even I own a pair.

"...'We're' a little bit country..."

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Name? Please?

I am close to having my fifth child. As has been the case with EACH ONE, Mike has NEVER and I mean NEVER given a suggestion for a name. Now, don't get me wrong, he certainly will give his opinion on ones I suggest, but he has never and I believe will never SUGGEST ONE.

In our 4 baby naming experiences, I'll tell you my favorite story.

Part 1
Since high school I had always said, my first daughter will be Megan and my first son, Joshua. I found out Megan was a girl while I was pregnant, but I wasn't sure she would be named Megan. There were a few other names I liked too. I made a chart that hung on the fridge that had the days of the week and what we would call our baby if she was born on a certain day. (The name 'Megan' was on the chart more than once.) When Megan was born, I told Mike to go out to the waiting room and tell family members she had finally arrived. (Incidentally-that is the ONLY time I will ever and have ever had people in a waiting room outside.) Before he would go out he asked, "What's her name going to be?" I replied, "I don't know yet, just go tell them she's born." These questions repeated 3-4 times each, until he said, "Is it going to be Megan?" I said firmly, "FINE-It will be Megan. NOW GO TELL THEM SHE IS BORN!"
(Megan wasn't on the 'Monday list.')

Part 2
When Megan was just a few hours old, a family member (who shall remain nameless) said, "So what are you going to name her?" Mike replied, "Megan." The family member said, "Give us some more choices to choose from."
That is not what you want to hear when you have just named your brand new first-born baby!!!!!!!

And now we are onto baby #5. A friend suggested I put a poll on my blog with a few name ideas-but I am very picky about who I will tell my ideas to, because it seems everyone will always give their honest opinion. And I can remember distinctly, what names I have suggested (and ending up using) in the past and exactly WHO doesn't like the name!! Usually, once you name the baby after arrival, people don't give their opinions quite as openly. (Unless you are from the 'remaining nameless' family.)

No one seems to give a second thought to what to name this baby except Ellie. She is obsessed with what we will name it. All I hear, all day, every day from her, are name suggestions for 'our baby.'

"What about naming it Jack Jackson?"

"I like the name Kennedy. Do you?

"Do you like the name Sister Meidell for our baby?"

"Do you like the name Reggie? There's a Reggie in my class."

"If it is a girl do you want to name it Kelsey?"

This was the conversation we had in the car the other day,
Ellie: "Do you like the name Christi?"
(No response from me. I was driving, it was snowing and I didn't want to have this conversation YET AGAIN. So, I did as most good mothers would do in this situation and I . . . . ignored her!)
Ellie: "Well Mom, do you?"
Me: "I guess."
Ellie: "Do you like the name Brady?"
Me: "Kind of"
Ellie: "Like the Brady Bunch, huh Mom?"
Ellie: "But do you like the name Bunch."
(Before I even had the chance to ignore her)
Ellie: "No, it wouldn't be good. It sounds like punch."

What am I going to name my baby?
Seems like no one in my family is much help!!??!!??

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

It's Official. I'm A Fashion Loser!

Granted-I am very pregnant. My clothes don't fit me well, I hate maternity pants (they fall down!!) so if I am staying home, I wear sweats!

But, today I saw a segment on a local television show, that made me feel like a fashion loser! It was a segment for
"Stay at home Moms who are in a fashion rut."
Don't worry! Help is on the way, they had a fashion expert to the rescue who can help you
"Pick up cheerios or change a diaper in STYLE!!"

Give me a break!

In a nutshell here are some of her musts and my verbal responses.
(No Joshua, I was talking to the TV, not to you.)

1. A boutique pair of jeans costing around $100-150
Give me a break. I have 4 kids plus a husband and myself to clothe. Does she know how many pairs of shoes and underwear that would buy? What's wrong with cheap jeans?
2. Don't sit around in just a t-shirt, wear a nice button down shirt.
Why wear a button-down shirt that probably requires ironing after each wash, if I'm staying home all day? By the end of the day, I usually have anything from snot to ketchup on what I am wearing.
3. Make sure your hair is styled each day.
I swear I saw a famous, glamorous person on the front of a magazine in the checkout line with their hair in a ponytail????
4. Sweat outfits are fine, just find some that have embellishments on them to dress them up.
Great, one more thing for my to do list; sew some sequins and diamonds on my sweatsuits!
5. Wear a skirt with leggings that way you can "still bend over to pick up those cheerios."
Who says I even pick up the cheerios on the floor??????

GIVE ME A BREAK!! It is not even noon yet today. Let me give you a run down of my day so far, and you tell me if wearing something other than black exercise pants and a white t-shirt would be more appropriate.

7:01am Wake up to my cell phone ringing from somebody asking if I am Kimberly?
7:11am Put Mike's coat in the washer that he has "hintingly" left on top of the washer.
7:15am Greeted by 2 sleepy-eyed boys, one of which does not smell good
7:17am Change a poopy diaper
7:30am Fix homemade waffles for my children
7:45am Look at the kitchen table covered with syrup and powdered sugar and think we should have had a cold cereal morning.
8:00am Pack a lunch for Luke
8:10am End the search for missing lunchbox and use a brown paper bag
8:15am Tell Ellie to please help Joshua pick up the cereal he has just scattered all over the carpet.
8:19am Yell at Megan that she is going to miss the bus and to get downstairs.
8:20am Begin task of cleaning up the kitchen table and loading and starting the dishwasher.
8:25am Switch laundry
8:30am Put Joshua & Ellie in the shower and fold laundry while they play
8:45am Get Joshua dressed. Fight with Ellie about combing her hair. She wins.
9:00am Switch laundry
9:10am Reply to an email regarding PTA
9:15am Try to read newspaper online. Ellie wants to play a game.
9:17am Play Jr Scrabble with Ellie, while trying to convince Joshua not to push his truck along the scrabble board.
9:40am Lay on the couch not feeling very well. Bribe Ellie to get Joshua a snack so he'll quit saying "nac" "nac."
10:00am Hang Mike's clean and dry coat in the coat closet.
10:00-10:35am Talk on the phone, while Joshua dumps his crackers on the floor but only after breaking them into small pieces first.
10:15am Switch some laundry
10:25am Wash snot off of living room couch
10:40am Decide to do something with the rotting bananas on the counter. Make banana bread with Ellie while Joshua pulls used paper towels out of the garbage can and wipes his face, spills water on himself, and starts the dishwasher full of clean, dry dishes.
11:00am Put bread in the oven, go and get in the shower.
11:05am Yell to Joshua to make sure he is somewhere close by and not getting into mischief.
11:10am Only 10 minutes later, emerge from the shower. Dress in above mentioned clothes, put wet hair in a ponytail.
11:12am Find Ellie just in time to tell her before she plays with play dough on her bedroom floor, that she can not only not play with the play dough she got for Valentines day from someone at school, but she will have to throw it away. Play dough is not allowed at our house.
11:14am Switch laundry
11:20am Check on-line banking, enter transactions into Quicken
11:35am Eat a slice of warm banana bread and turn on the tv, only to hear a segment that tells me I am a "Stay at home Mom who is in a fashion rut."
Stupid TV. No wonder we don't have cable, dish network or even a converter box!
12:05pm Excuse me while I go pick up the banana bread Joshua scattered on the floor, fix some lunch, fold some laundry and put a one year old down for a nap.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Maybe I Know Where Luke Gets It . . .

You know those situations you are sometimes in, that you are so happy, so excited, so exhilarated, that it is hard to erase the smile off your face?

That was me. Saturday night. Valentines Day.

The day for me to use my highly favored Christmas present, my tickets to the Monster Truck Show.

A smile never left my face. Megan thought it "smelled like celery." Ellie fell asleep. Luke was expressionless except for the occasional wave of a flag. Mike was the main photographer.

I LOVED IT. Mike had forewarned me that it wouldn't be like the commercials..."the trucks don't typically tip over." Yeah well-they showed him! TWO tipped over.

It was not a romantic Valentines Night. We all came away with ringing ears and smelling like fuel. But oh it was FUN.

As for the crowds that filled the seats...well they did all strongly represent a 'certain stereotype' of people. . .

And of course Mike and I have often wondered where Luke gets 'that part' of his personality from...

Could it possibly be from me????

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Heart Day!

(Mike and Tiffany, Sedona, AZ 2005)
We already know, that I don't like Valentine's Day. I like traditions that are more everyday than forced on a holiday. For example, I don't want flowers on Valentines Day, I want them as a surprise some other day of the year. We rarely (I don't think ever) have exchanged gifts on Valentines Day. (Unless you count the year Mike bought me the suburban and surprised me with it in the garage.)

Last year for Valentines Day, I came up with the idea to write a list of 100 reasons why we love each other. I presented mine to him on Valentines Day. He gave me mine in August! But only after repeated threats while taking care of him and his broken foot last summer, that I better have a list before he could walk again.

I decided this year in honor of Valentines Day and for our family journal. I would highlight a few random reasons from each of our lists.

Reasons Why I Love You, Tiffany (From Mike)
  • There is never a dull moment in our house
  • I always know how you feel
  • You actually enjoy cleaning up after dinner
  • You don't hide chocolate very well
  • Occasionally you share your chocolate
  • Your friends are as varied as your interests.
  • You speak your mind, even if the Stake President is within earshot.
  • Your fee structure is very reasonable
  • You are very dramatic sometimes
  • You like to sing and want to be a singer when you grow up.
  • You're quite funny you know.
  • I just want to!
Reasons Why I Love You, Mike (From Tiffany)
  • You humbly accept I have a better score record in Scrabble
  • You're never snappy
  • You mostly overlook my "damn-it" habit
  • You've never actually made me get rid of a pair of shoes even though you tell me to.
  • You'd never be a good liar because your mouth goes crooked when you try to tell one
  • You don't lose patience about my snow phobia
  • You've never told me to quit eating chocolate
  • You'll never want a pet.
  • You've never told me I am bossy or naggy.
  • You don't usually comment when I like to wear sweats most of the time
  • You were so excited to tell everyone Megan was born that you forced me to name her Megan.
  • You've come to accept that I will eventually calm down!
And these my friends, are just some of the reasons, we consider ourselves to have a very good marriage!


Thursday, February 12, 2009

One Performance Only . . .

Come enjoy some free entertainment. Tomorrow night at our City Hall - Megan will be performing with her Grandpa's Band. The band will be performing 6 numbers. Megan will be performing one of the songs. It is at 7:00pm.

If allowed, I will be a back-up singer. Oh wait--Megan kept giving me really dirty looks when I tried to sing along during practice tonight.

I guess I will just be an audience member like the rest of you.

(Maybe I'll have a video camera and a 'proud mother smile' on my face.)

She did an AWESOME job.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I've Got A Friend In You

It seems throughout my life, I have always been blessed to have good friends. Whether as a child, teenager, young adult, or now, I have always had the ability to make friends and most importantly, keep them. My friendships with others are something I treasure dearly.

So, at the risk of making other friends feel bad, because I haven't done posts on them . . .

Well, I guess I could at least list all my friends... but then people might get offended and think that it is not a random list... but an 'in order' list... and then you'd worry you weren't my friend...

(Actually, chances are if any of the above would apply to you, you probably aren't my friend, because to be my friend you probably have the quality of not being offended easily, because I usually speak my mind... and/or tell you what I think at any given time...)

Anyway, my dear friend, Kim did a post yesterday of our recent weekend together and I thought the picture was so cute, that I have to now do a long, drawn out post to explain my friendship with these three dear friends.

(So I guess if any of you out there have a really cute picture of you and me together, I'll do a post about my friendship with you too!)

Brandi, Kim, Scarlet and Me

Brandi and I met on a trip to Lake Mead a month before Mike and I got married. She and her husband Keith were friends with Mike, and I was thus introduced. We became instant friends. I knew I liked her when we discussed sweaty armpits in one of our first conversations. Come on-who admits they get sweaty armpits with someone they barely met? (Besides Brandi and me?!) Our families have been wonderful friends since. She is probably the most REAL person I know. If you think I speak my mind-meet Brandi!!!

I first met Kim at The Little Gym in Orem about 7 years ago. She was either on her phone and/or what I thought was kissing up to Max (the gym owner!) I since know Kim well enough to know she is just friendly and DISCLAIMER TO KIM: I no longer think she ever did kiss up to Max. She once 'followed' me home and realized we lived very close to each other and we began taking turns driving our daughters, Megan and Kassi to gymnastics. Our girls loved each other instantly, and became fast friends. Before long, Kim and I followed suit. And then I put a 'For Sale' sign outside of my house in American Fork, moved away and what do you know? We became even better friends!!

(Scarlet and Kim's relationship goes WAY back.)

I met Scarlet once while scrapbooking with Kim. I loved Scarlet instantly. I think it was her name. Who wouldn't LOVE to have the name Scarlet? Anyway, I thought she kind of reminded me of Brandi and so when a scrap-booking overnighter came up 4 1/2 years ago, I invited Kim and Scarlet to come with Brandi and me.

Instant friends!
We all loved each other.
And really, the rest is history.

Our times together always include some crying, laughing, snapping, eating... We have our traditions-Cafe Rio, ice cream, junk food, but what we are best at is LAUGHING. We are famous for it! We've been known to stay up until all hours of the night laughing about anything and everything. Just this last weekend, some other ladies asked us what room we were sleeping in, when we asked why, they said they could hear us laughing! (They then politely mentioned they found it amusing to listen to, but then put in their earplugs to go to sleep...)

A couple of years ago I came across this quote,

"One loyal friend is worth ten thousand relatives."

(Though I do have a lot of fabulous relatives, really, who can't relate to this quote?)

I love you all, my dear, dear, friends.

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Kind Stranger & An Honest Husband

I have a cold. The common cold. I only ever get the common cold when I am pregnant.

Saturday night I felt especially yucky. I was tired. I was ornery. I had just yelled (and I mean YELLED!), at my children. The kids were all in bed. (Wouldn't you escape to bed if you had a tired-stuffy-nosed-pregnant-lady yelling at you?)

I realized that we had no milk to get through Sunday. I bribed my husband to go with me and promised him he could just wait in the car while I ran in. Megan was awake still reading in her room and was agreeable to this.

So off to the local supermarket we went. It was 8:30pm. I was still ornery and stuffy-nosed and still tired. I was minding my own business looking at the milk selection when a kind man, standing still, talking to another man turned to me and kindly spoke,

"You are a good mother."

I like to think it was because I radiated a angelic glow of motherly kindness and tenderness, but instead he was probably only noticing my big belly, as he continued,

"I'd ask if you sleep well, but I am sure you turn over uncomfortably."
(He said it with exaggerated hand gestures and sounds no less!)

"Thank you, you are very kind," was my response.

He continued and said something I can't remember, to which I replied,
"I have four others at home."

He gently touched my arm, looked me firmly in the eyes and said with much feeling,
"I knew you were a good mother."

"Thank you," I managed to squeak out before I turned away and tears immediately fell.

I picked out the eggs and sour cream with blurry eyes, as I thought how kind that man was to not only notice me, but compliment me on an evening I certainly didn't deserve that compliment.

I was deeply touched by his kindness.

I picked out my remaining items, checked out and returned to my waiting husband in the car.

Through fresh tears, I retold the conversation to my husband.

Expecting my husband to concur with the man, and also take the opportunity to tell me what a good mother I am . . . I wait for his response.

My dear husband's response came, but it wasn't what I was expecting,

"I'm surprised you didn't say, 'You're damn right I am!'

Saturday night I was more grateful for the words of a stranger, than the words of an honest husband.

Friday, February 6, 2009

There Will Be Prizes

Every year, there is a "Grand-daughter Party" for all the grand-daughters from Mike's maternal grandparents. They are always a lot of fun and usually very well done and I thoroughly enjoy Mike's cousins. (I definitely have my favorites and you know who you are...)

Well the invitation came several weeks in advance, announcing that it would be a pajama party. Fun, cute, comfortable, etc. Well the invite also said, 'there will be prizes.' I kind of ignored it because of the competitive side of me that doesn't like to compete in large groups. (#7 on this post) AND because I don't have many pajamas that fit me well at this stage of a pregnancy.

My girls were excited to go, they were going to wear their pajamas from this last Christmas Pajama Fairy. I was just going to wear a pair of comfortable SWEATS! (Sweats/Pajamas-pretty close.)

Well, the morning arrived and that competitive side of me started to get a little anxiety.
Winning. . . Momentary Glory. . . A prize. . .

I knew in my closet were a pair of pajamas that would get a prize. They come out only on Christmas Eve. They are not flattering. They are not cute. But oh, what memories.

(Five years ago, as leaders at a YW Girl's Camp, one of the funnest ladies I've ever known got ready for bed wearing some sort of pajamas/nightgown that had all of us leaders laughing so hard we had to make treks from our tent to the nearest bathroom. She affectionately called them her, 'Not tonight, dear' pajamas. We were all mildly jealous of them. Actually, extremely jealous of them. Five months later on Christmas Eve, Kathie showed up on my doorstep with a wrapped Christmas gift. Oh what joy when I opened them and she had lovingly sewed for me, my very own, 'Not tonight, dear' pajamas.I shed tears that someone would do something so kind and personal for me. (I think Mike may also have shed tears. But for different reasons.)

And so. . . as I was putting these pajamas into a bag to take to the recent Grand-daughter Party. (Afterall, they needed a proper debut appearance, I wasn't going to just show up in them.)

. . .Poor Luke's face. He looked at me. He looked at the pajamas in my hand. And as kindly and as innocently as a seven year old can, groaned,
"Mom, You are going to really wear those? How embarrassing."

(Click to enlarge, if you wish to see the pajamas more closely)

Yes, Luke it was mildly embarrassing. Megan's face expressed her own mortification and even I couldn't help but cover my face as the cameras flashed in front of me. Which is just as well my face is covered as this is the WORLD WIDE web.
(I swear Jana, I will deny it is me if I am tagged in a photo on Facebook.)

The party was fabulous. The ladies in charge did a great job. The food was great. The activities fun and of course the company is what mattered most.

It was a wonderful evening.

P.S. I won a prize

Monday, February 2, 2009

Who? Ellie?

Would anyone believe:

That 15 minutes before this photo, she was driving Megan crazy?
That 25 minutes before this photo, she was teasing Joshua?
That 45 minutes before this photo, she was throwing an almighty temper tantrum in her bedroom?
That 60 minutes before this photo, she was being stubborn and uncooperative?

But the REAL question is:
Would anyone believe that she behaves as angelic and ladylike awake as she looks while sleeping?

Ellie falling asleep this afternoon is what I will call...
a tender mercy!


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