Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Half

**Megan 6 months old, April 1999** Drew, 6 months old, September 2009**

(In case you are wondering, no, Drew will not get a 'Half Birthday Celebration.' You aren't allowed a half birthday until you've had a real birthday.)

Though I am beginning to love a lot of ages and stages, one of my absolute favorites is the 6-12 month stage. I love it.

I remember the day Megan was exactly 6 months old. It happened to be my mom's 47th birthday. Even though it wasn't until 2003 when Luke was 1 1/2, that I decided to celebrate half birthdays, the 'half recognition' began April 12, 1999.

When Megan was a newborn I was in such a rush for her to get to 6 months. I don't know why. Of course I didn't know what a six month old would really be like, but I just didn't 'love' newborns like some people. I was thrilled when Megan turned 6 months old. The same thing happened with my next two. It wasn't until baby number four and five that I treasured the newborn stage.

And now that is all over.
My baby is 6 months old.

Though I look forward to the next few months of 'my favorite stage'.... I am a little older and wiser since the six month mark, ten and a half years ago...I have mixed feelings now...

I am continually reminded,

'The days are long but the years are short.'

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sewn with Love

Recently, I left to run some errands. I left Megan and Ellie playing 'dance class.' When I returned, Ellie was wearing this skirt over her leotard.


Somewhere during the 'dance class' Megan became distracted and started a Home Economics class instead.

Megan made this skirt in the hour I was gone. With no help at all. (Well if you count Ellie's opinion as help.)

Though the hem has been left raw, the skirt is complete with a sewed on elastic waist and ties closed with a sewn on piece of ribbon.

I was very impressed.

I was even more impressed when Thursday afternoon rolled around and it was time for Ellie's real dance class. She came downstairs dressed in the leotard and skirt. Really, how could I tell her not to wear it?

When it was time to pick Ellie up from class and drop Megan off for hers, Megan and I walked into the dance studio. Megan saw Ellie dancing and turned to me and said, in the almost-eleven-year-old-I-care-about-clothes voice (and facial expression),

"I made the skirt for dress-ups not to be worn for reals."

I simply shrugged my shoulders. And as any intuitive mother can relate, I couldn't help but see through the almost embarrassed grin on Megan's face, that really she was proud that Ellie was wearing the skirt "for reals."

Monday, September 28, 2009

Guaranteed: Difficult.

My friend, recently decided that for 30 days she is 'going vegan.' She had lots of supportive, encouraging, comments on her blog, except for me. Being the hamburger-ice cream-cheese-steak-friend that I am, I told her I think I would rather die.

I love food, all types. (But really, that could be a whole 'nother post...)

Really though, I am supportive of her in her personal challenge. I mean, supportive that I let her pick the restaurant we ate at last week. Supportive that I didn't order a juicy hamburger or steak. And supportive that when the waiter mistakenly brought a volcanic-chocolate cake-dripping-with-more-chocolate dessert to our table, instead of "accidentally pretending" it was ours and basking in the non-vegan glory, I said in unison with her, "We didn't order that." I continued eating my non-vegan meal that was more subtle in it's non-veganism.

BUT, though I would rather die than try something as drastic as going vegan. When my friend announced on her blog she was doing this she issued the following challenge to her friends and readers:

"What about you? Is there anything you have been meaning to accomplish or change? Any goal that you have been putting off? Why don't you join me in my first 30 days. Think of something you have been trying to improve, or something you want to start. Let's try it together, working towards these goals, for 30 days. We can complain together, support each other, and congratulate ourselves when we reach our goals."

I told her I would think about it. I have. Even though it has taken me two weeks, and even though she is now two weeks into her worthy goal/challenge, I've picked mine.

Warning, it will be hard... Maybe harder than not eating meat or dairy...

I'm not going to raise my voice to my children or husband for thirty days. (I'd say not raise my voice to anyone, but unfortunately, I only raise my voice at them. Yes, I only raise it at the people I love the most...)
UH-OH-I've admitted it publicly.
I have a permanent record of it now.
I have to do it now.
I will.

I issue the same challenge to you that my friend did to me. What are you going to do? What challenge are you going to live with for thirty days?

And what will the reward be after thirty days? Perhaps when we reach our goals, we can all go out and celebrate together, and while my friend eats a non-vegan meal, I will yell!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Senses

During lunch the other day, Ellie mentioned, "I had my eyes checked at school today." A brief, "Oh you did. How did it go?" was all that was replied, the request to put more ranch on her plate distracted us both.
Later in the afternoon, my friend, who serves as the Volunteer Co-Ordinator on my PTA board came over. She asked to use my phone to make some phone calls to get volunteers for the Kindergarten Eye Screening. "Oh," I replied. "I think it was today." We both turn to Ellie, a little concerned we had the date wrong.

My questioning went something like this,

"Ellie, did you get your eyes checked today?"
Ellie, went into Ellie-Mode; complete silence while maintaining direct eye contact.

Kim moved on with the phone calls. Though, I was slightly perplexed that my daughter had her eyes checked today... yet we were recruiting volunteers for the Kindergarten Eye Screening the next week...

The afternoon continued.
Evening followed.

While I was doing the dinner dishes, Ellie announced,
"When I was getting my eyes checked today, we had to raise our hand when we heard a noise."

Eye Screenings... Hearing Tests...

Aren't you supposed to know the difference between eyes and ears sometime BEFORE Kindergarten?!?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Sunny Day


Wednesday started out a not-so-good-day. (Thursday started the same way...) My mother, handed me a bouquet of sunflowers Wednesday morning and said,
"Hope this helps your day get more sunny."

A bouquet of sunflowers on my kitchen table, kind thoughts from loved ones, questioning emails from friends, phone calls with other friends, a long walk with a friend, dinner with a friend and even kind comments on my blog, all make my "days sunny."

Thank you, to you, to you and to you!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Where My Money Goes...

When I read people's blog posts on potty training. I get mild anxiety. In two weeks, I will have been changing diapers for eleven years straight. Eleven years!

It isn't eleven years changing diapers that gives me the anxiety. It is the thought of having two more children to potty train.

In my 11 years of parenting, and five children later, potty training has to be one of the most difficult tasks for me. I dread it.

So...
I will look on the bright side. I'll just love my two little diaper boys while I have them.
PS-Do I need to have anxiety over something thousands do each day?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Land of the Free

(Megan, Tiffany, Mike and Luke-BoxHill, England August, 2003)

When I was 13 years old I moved from England to Utah.

I met people who demanded my whole life story and why I was now living in America.

I had people ask me REPEATEDLY to say a particular word.

I had people laugh at my ignorance of certain things in the US culture.

I have had people tell me they can tell I'm from England because of my yellow teeth!

I can't count the times I've heard that the British drive on the 'wrong side of the road.'

I've had people laugh and try to mock me because of the 'war England lost.'

I've had people make fun of the Queen and the Royal Family to me.

I've known people to ask me if regularly I drink tea and eat crumpets.

I've had people upon hearing I am from England try to do their own version of an English accent right then and there.

I, like many of you are blessed to live in America, be it we originated from England, Ireland, Japan, Australia, Canada or Mexico. Am I offended by the comments I have heard and continue to hear about my heritage?

No, I am simply reminded I live in a land of freedom.......
One of those freedoms being freedom of speech.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Detergent Perplexity


Of course, it has been mentioned many times that I love laundry.
Years ago I used to use generic laundry detergent.
Also years ago, I switched only to liquid detergent.
After that I switched to a mid-range detergent. I couldn't quite bring myself to use the oh so expensive Tide.

Recently I went back to a powder detergent. All our clothes have a funny feel to them and the darks have, not faded, but got a weird look to them.

Last night my husband was at the store, (I know, that is a shock in itself.) I had asked him to buy Tide detergent.
The phone call went something like this,
"It is twenty dollars."
"I know, but I think it is time to switch to an expensive one before all the clothes look like yours and Joshua's shirts the other day."
"Oh well, it will do 96 loads."

I didn't tell him that the $10 one also says it does 96 loads.

Laundry detergent. I am in a little quandary about it.
Is the expensive Tide the only way to go?
And what is up with powder detergent?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friends and Foes

I wish I had a photo of Joshua's expression today when the school bus approached, bringing Ellie home from Kindergarten.

Joy. Laughter. Happiness.

With a big grin on his face and a spring in his step, "Here's da bus. Elrie's home."

Someone to play with.
Someone to fight with.
Someone to eat lunch with.
Someone to be with. . .

Besides a busy Mommy and a sleeping baby brother.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Not As I Imagined

This is what you get when a child sneaks mom's camera over to the neighbor's house, and that neighbor has just returned from hunting...

My little boy Luke, for the first (almost) two years of his life was dressed in hardly anything but Baby Gap clothes. (What happened to his clothing after that is a WHOLE 'NOTHER POST!)

As all mothers of babies, I had my thoughts and ideas of what my little baby's personality, interests and talents would be...

In a million years, my thoughts and ideas would NEVER have been that as a young boy, Luke would not only be taking photos of dead-decapitated-deer, but would hold a dead-decapitated deer in his hands!?!

Not to mention, always being dressed appropriately to engage in 'those types of behaviors'...

Luke was so excited to show me these photos.

Luke thought I would care about these photos.
Luke thought I would be happy to see these photos.
Luke thought I would want to keep them forever.

Luke was right.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tears

This morning we had tears.
Lots of tears.
The "I don't want to go to school today" tears.

As the bus approached the teary eyed child could not face getting on the bus.

Mom, two little boys and the teary eyed child returned home from the bus stop.

What to do?

Not much sympathy from Dad. Mom searching for the underlying reason... Mom knows these tears are not normal...

To make a long story short. (er)

Mom takes teary eyed child to school. Teary-eyed-turned-dry-eyed child asks to be walked to class. Dry eyes turn to tears as the entrance to class was made. Mom tries hard to not cry, and leaves the child in the hall.

Mom waits patiently in line to talk to the teacher while the teacher is helping another teary eyed child in the class, stop crying,

"Hold your breath, count to 5. Your eyes should dry," instructs the teacher.

Mom luckily overhears the advice and follows the instructions. At the same time, Mom prays she will not burst into tears as soon as the teacher talks to her.

Teacher, Mom and Teary-Eyed child discuss 'issues.' No resolution is made.

After hugging almost-dry-eyed child. Mom rushes out of the school as tears freely fall.

Mom is fully crying by the time she returns to the car. At home, Dad doesn't fully understand Mom's tears. Dad is not a mother. He will never understand a mother's tears.

Mom is blessed with the intuition that only mothers get; She's pretty sure she knows the root of the problem.

It is not a problem.

But to a grade-school child it was...

Friday, September 11, 2009

Yes, Megan

Eight years ago Megan, with her almost 3 year old faith prayed, "Please bless the broken buildings and the people that cried and died."


The days and weeks that followed, flags were flying at many places. Each time Megan would see a flag she would ask, "Do we think about the broken buildings today?"

Today we do.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Giving In

I dislike feeding babies baby food. Actually, I don't dislike it, I almost H-A-T-E it. I'm always "late" to do it. In fact, with Luke and Ellie I didn't feed them solid food until they could pick it up and eat it themselves. They are now my pickiest eaters, so whether it is related or not, I faithfully fed Joshua baby food.

People keep saying such things as,
"Why haven't you started feeding Drew?"
"He doesn't eat food yet?"
"He'd like it."
"He's probably hungry."

I've ignored most of this peer pressure...
After all, I am a seasoned mother of 5.
Right?


Except my good friend, who I thought was of the "Tiffany is a seasoned mother of 5" mindset, informed me the other day that it is probably time for Drew to eat solid food. She further stated, if she would have had some baby food at her house the other day, she would have given him some.

FINE!!

I finally have given in. This morning Drew tried cereal for the first time.

Beside the fact my older children who are at school will never forgive me, as they have been begging for me to "Open Drew's cereal and let's feed him."...

Beside the fact that the booster chair I pulled from the garage has no padded cushion, no tray (I must look for that), and I'm embarrassed to even tell you what color the straps are...

(The booster was very well used by Ellie and Joshua, and Daddy thinks it will be fine for Drew too. Note to Santa: Please bring Drew a new booster chair.)

Beside the fact that Drew stuck his hand in his mouth which is why I H-A-T-E FEEDING BABIES and that cut short our first feeding session...

It was actually a fairly pleasant experience.

And I didn't even cry.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Box

Luke's good friend Paul, gave Luke a gift.

Well, not really a gift, just something Paul was finished with and decided to pass along to Luke.

Luke needed it to be kept safe.

So Luke requested a box.

Fortunately, some good friends just moved and their garage was full of boxes.

Luke chose just the right box.

Luke decorated the box with various stickers that 71/2 year old boys have in their possession.

The box safely guards Luke's (current) favorite possession.

Luke woke up the other morning and said, "Last night I felt sick. I thought I was going to throw up, so I made sure I moved the box from the side of my bed, just in case I didn't make it to the bathroom."

Luke gets mad if someone holds it and only uses one hand. (It must be held with two, ESPECIALLY if you are Luke's little sister.)

Luke has had this possession taken away because we are sick of hearing about it, talking about it, looking at it, etc.

Luke's behavior will improve immediately if the threat of having it taken away is given.

Any guesses what is in the box?
An 800 page hardback Cabela's Catalog!!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

A Tradition Is Born

Who doesn't love a family breakfast picnic in the canyon?
Complete with dutch oven cooked food, good company and mountainous beauty?
Who doesn't love eating a s'more before noon and a family photo that doesn't turn out well because some are in the sun and some are in the shade?
Not to mention just sitting around doing nothing in the canyon on LABOR DAY...

(I'm hoping this was the first annual Labor Day Canyon Breakfast...)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Roughing It

We spent Friday-Saturday of Labor Day weekend camping at Pineview with the Tingeys.

It had been a while since we've been camping together as a family. Six 'beds' in a three-man tent...good thing Drew didn't come-there was no room for him!

(How did we wear out our six man tent when the last time we camped as a family was when I was 9 months pregnant with Ellie? Which is a whole 'nother story that I will protect Mike and not tell. Yet.)

Though I am thrilled my children do not have my severe fear of water, I'm not quite sure how I feel about them being pulled around a lake twisting and flying and jumping and splashing.
Joshua was so proud of himself when it came time to move campsites and he helped the big boys move the tent.
We had lots of fun. We (kinda) missed Drew. Thanks for babysitting him Melanie and Nana.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Hope?


What exactly made me slightly ornery at some point on Friday afternoon?

Was it when I had to turn my baby upside down because his two year-old brother decided to share his raisins?

Or was it when I got half-way to the grocery store with three kids in tow and realized I had forgotten my purse?

Was it when I grabbed the first 'car cart' in the row and found that it doesn't have two steering wheels, (one each for Ellie and Joshua) and I have to rearrange the whole cart station to find one with two?

Or was it because while standing in the check-out line with my baby crying, the lady in front of me counted out every last penny in her purse before finally handing her debit card over for the remaining $1.24.

Or could it have been when the bagger (who happened to be a manager), looked at my baby and asked, "How old is she?"

Honestly though, I really think it was when the bagger obviously trying to make up for his blunder about my 'he' being a 'she.' He tried to make a whole conversation with me about him being color blind whilst loading my bread, apples and eggs.

(Could he not already tell that between my baby crying, the lady counting out her change and my day already, that I really didn't care if he called my baby a 'she.' I didn't need to hear all about him picking out mismatched ties and his wife wondering if he is really going to wear that...)

Was it my facial expressions, or my lack of enthusiastic conversing that this same bagger after loading my groceries, looked at me and said, "I really hope you have a good day."

What does he mean 'really hope' I have a good day?

Did somehow I let my true feelings show and he thought it wasn't possible for me to have a good day?

Really. Am I that easy to read?


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Admire or Criticize?

This picture hangs on my fridge. It has for a couple of years now. People often ask me why.
My response,
"If you birth your 17th child, your hospital photo will earn a place on my fridge too."

I've known my picture was outdated, but after reading this, it is really outdated. Pregnant with her NINETEENTH child!!!! If seventeen kids makes you worthy for a spot on the side of my fridge, where in the world should I hang a picture of her after she births her nineteenth??!!??

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Random Thoughts on Random Shots

'"Watch my 'tick' Momma'"
Joshua is so proud of his new bike trick. He pedals as fast as his little feet can pedal on his pink and purple tricycle. He comes to a complete stop. He climbs up on the seat. Raises one hand in the air. And if no Otter Pop is in his mouth, sucks in both cheeks.

"I am the cutest Kindergartener"
Ellie's first full, official day of Kindergarten was Monday. She was honored with a "K-for-Kindergarten" pancake for breakfast. (Ellie may be the cutest, but maybe not the smartest... as she "forgot" to get on the bus after school on the second day of Kindergarten.)

Hooray. Hooray. The long awaited day has arrived. Drew can hold his own bottle. As Drew is my last baby, I really am trying to treasure the holding and all that stuff. But really, when dinner needs to be fixed, or someone's hair needs to be done, or homework needs to be signed, Drew holding his own bottle, really comes in handy!

Hmmm... Looks like someone was playing with Mom's camera when she was wasn't paying attention.

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