happy weekend!

 these two crack me up. they are trying to flash gang signs. 
thank you, uncle taylor.
this is my bus buddy. he watches the cars. he watches the bus. he grunts and drools a lot.
he eats grass. he also eats sidewalk chalk. 
i'm definitely thinking ivy league material.

lucy is sans picture. but she is taking off on her reading.
she finished stuart little all by herself.
and today she is almost done with charlotte's web. 
it makes me happy that we can talk and laugh about books together.

in other news we have grand plans with the Perrin family this weekend.
and it's General Conference! 
and april!
my favorite time of the year.


hide yo wife! hide yo kids!

last month i had a monday that was just like any other normal monday morning. what? what was that? you want to know what mondays are like here? well, sit a spell and i'll tell you.

everyone is cranky. the kids, the mom, the house, the yard, the cars. you name it.

bathtime turned ugly when someone tried to wash phoebe's hair by shoving her face into the water and drown her. don't ask. and the older girls and i were going to go to a concert together. and then phoebe wouldn't go to bed (i don't blame her, she had a big cut on her head and her face was all poofy and red from drowining and crying). rodney was not cooperating as he learned how to sit up in the crib. drats.

lots and lots of crying.

i finally just put phoebe in the car, with her pajamas on and took her with us. heaven help me, my standards are so low right now.

 i started going a little faster and can honestly say, as the crying really  had delayed us,  i didn't think i was going that fast.  you know where this is going. i got pulled over. that policeman spun around so fast my neck hurt from watching him in the rearview mirror. and then another cop car turned his lights on and followed suit. oh goody! i thought. i can go to jail for the night and get some peace and quiet.  thank you joshlyn.

long story short, i didn't get a ticket. but during all of the ceremony of pretending to give me a ticket and lecturing me on my life history of traffice violations {in my defense, i haven't had a ticket in 11 years!} the other cop was walking around our car and looking in at the kids in the carseat with a flashlight. which of course, while sitting there they are all complaining "we are late mom!" "what's going on mom?" and phoebe pulled out of her carseat and unsnapped repeating over and over again "we r layte! we r layte!" . oh, i really hope i am going to jail! i thought.

and this is when the police officer started to lecture me some more, but this time on not carrying my driver's license on me. (he obviously isn't a mom, because i have like 10,000 bags and the wallet gets left in the wrong one a lot, consequently i save a lot of money using this method).  "let me paint you a little scenario" he jarbled off. "oh, this is going to be good" i thought.

"let's say someone takes one of your kids."...he started to say and i interuppted, "out of my CAR?" i asked.  "yes...out of your car. off the sidewalk. while you are walking somewhere. anywhere. we wouldn't know who you were or how to help you." he continued talking trying to rid the world of this horrible injustice.

but inside i was just laughing. seriously, that is why a carry a driver's license? i thought it was a form of identification and a freaking license to drive.  i thought in case someone tries to grab my kid, wait, no one would try to grab one of my kids. and if they did, i can guarantee that child would be back on my doorstep in 3 days. i couldn't believe what he was saying. especially after NOT having a driver's license he looked into my entire life in 5 minutes on his little car laptop computer. what a joke. anyways, he finished painting me the "scenario" and oh my, my life is changed forever. because i think in the last month i grabbed my wallet once in case i was pulled over again. but guess what? i was pulled over 2 weeks later without my wallet again! can you believe it? the horror.

but it wasn't for speeding, i had peeled out of a dirt driveway taking my babysitter home in our 1970 ford pickup and the cop thought i was a joyriding teen. hilarious! he was very kind and tried not to laugh in my face when he saw it was  tired mom trying to drive her husband's truck home after a hot night of movie and popcorn at our small town theatre.

i'm grateful for the kind and normal policeman just doing his job. the other policeman? i feel badly that he likes pulling tired mother's over and lecturing them on the horrible crime they have committed by not carrying a driver's license. he was a sad little man, and probably has problems at home.*

*this was always our mother's answer when we would complain about someone being unkind to us in school. love you mom! {and guess what? it is usually true and i find myself repeating it at the dinner table}


food for thought

 i made my favorite* chocolate cookies this week for a dinner we had with ty's cousin jack. only problem is they don't last more than a day. ( i say these are my favorite- but i've honestly never tried another recipe. please share if you have a good one)
rodney's favorite new chew toy? an orange rind. something about it he is in love with. it must feel fantastic on those budding ivories or something. whatever it is, it's kind of weird.

i just read this article on katie's blog.  if you are a mother, read it.  it captures my thoughts perfectly. we have a lot of friends and family having their first kids, and/or always asking me, "how do you do 4 kids? i can't even do {one, two, three}!"  and my response? you just do it.  and would i ever want to be a first time mom again? no thank you. i have put in 7 years of negative research and would not like to go back. i have people tell me that about childbirth too, "i could never do natural childbirth!"  oh, yes you could. anyone can. you just do it, and then it's done and you ask for your grape juice.

so the theme of this post? i have no idea. but i'll leave you my recipe so you can have a happy weekend.

1 1/4 c butter (softened, not melted)
2 c sugar
2 eggs
2 t vanilla
2 cups unsifted flour
3/4 c hershey's cocoa
1 t baking soday
1/2 t salt
1 c chopped nuts (optional)

Cream butter, sugar and eggs until fluffy. Add in dry ingredients and vanilla. Drop by teaspoonfulls on cookies sheet, bake at 350* for 8-9min. (i like mine chewy, so DO not over bake. take out when still wet looking.


seen and heard

"hey rodney yook! i'm gettin my hairs dones!" - phoebe
"should we do rodney's hair?" - me
"nohohohoho!"- phoebe
"why not?" - me
"because, him's a dude!"- phoebe
phoebe and cousin megan playing king of the bike


this is not a post about my perfect life

you guys, i am still doing Weight Watchers, but i'm totally sucking at it. i wrote this post a few weeks into it but was too embarassed to post it, but alas, i caved. i think i might not be the only one who feels this way:

I’m embarking on week two of a lifestyle eating change and my mind is starting to rebel. My body, on the other hand, seems to be quite happy with the change.  It’s getting plenty of water, healthy food, a chocolate every now and then and lots of fruit and vegetables. My mind is freaking out. Too much change, too much thinking, no free reigns anymore on the eating horse. At every turn I find it looking for a way out. A first they were small, fleeting thoughts like, “oh, those green beans won’t taste half as a good as you think” and “just take a bite, it won’t even matter.” But gradually, over the last several days, they have escalated, and last night I found myself at the grocery store again (sick husband) staring at a marie calendar’s pie for only $4.98. a valentine’s special! I don’t know how long I stood in front of the freezer door looking at the pie and justifying why/how I would need/share this pie with the family. It fetl like an eternity and I gave in and went home with it.  It was ok! I was going to just eat one slice a night for a few nights to satisfy the craving!Right? Riiiggghhhht.
So I sliced a  piece, put in on a plate and added up the kcals and found out one shocking truth: this one slice of pie was  almost 1/3 of my caloric needs for the day, and I had already eating breakfast, lunch and dinner. No worries, I have extra special ones saved up and I’ll exercise more thurs/Friday and Saturday. I had everything under control.

Until I sliced the second piece. It took a lot of mental struggling to justify the second piece. There really was no valid argument. This would just be reckless abandonment of my resolve to only eat one piece a night. And my body was already saying, “whoah, slow down there missy. This sugar is tripping me out” and my mind is saying, “you are  a loser, you will never successfully change, you can’t do it. You are just like everyone else who tried and failed, so just eat it!”  I felt like my mind felt that all of the work and effort the week before was just fine and dandy, but would like to go back to normal asap, no matter what the cost. No matter if it meant tempting me to eat the entire pie that night and start over again tomorrow. Yup, I had almost justified eating the entire goshdarnit thing. And then I remembered a story from Ty’s grandpa recently.

We were talking about world war II somehow, and I mentioned hearing  how desperate the soldiers were to get out of the war. They were tired, hungry, scared and injured. Physically and mentally exhausted beyond all boundaries thought possible. And the solution? Shoot themselves and get out on medical leave. (and of course this thought was inspired from the latest downton abbey series)  “That happened once in Korea…” Grandpa started to tell me, and then  he related how a soldier in his unit shot himself in the leg. But instead of going home on medical leave, he lost his entire leg and was dishonorably discharged. Not exactly the outcome he had planned on.

Ty and I talked about this a lot last night on our valentine’s mini date. How could it get so difficult that you just couldn’t handle it anymore? While a lot of other people  can (but not the majority)?  Ty couldn’t understand it. But I thought, maybe they didn’t have the confidence that they could do it? They didn’t think they could handle one more day of it? Or maybe that they were the only one suffering that bad? And I think this was the crucial point, they felt all alone.

My brother Bill was talking with a fellow surgeon one day at break, who happens to be overweight. They were discussing weight loss and the other Dr. said something along the lines of, “yeah, but it’s different for me, I love this stuff” (he was eating a donut and diet coke for breakfast.) Bill looked at him and said, “you don’t think I love that food too? Bread is like crack to me! But I just don’t eat it.”  (Bill lost weight a few years ago on crossfit and turned himself into a majorly buff dr. dude )

 Other people are fighting the same battle everyday, But at some point, the fighting feels so difficult, the exhaustion so bone deep, the conflict too unfair that your mind finds an insane solution that makes total sense, shoot yourself and get out! Forget about how hard everyone else is fighting, or those who had fought, just get out now. You'll never win, you can't finish, just give up.

And this is where my mind wanders about 3 weeks into a diet change i'm trying. But I’m not getting out. I’m not giving up. That pie is not going to win (although in two days I did eat 5 slices). It is a good fight, and I am going to soldier on as they say.  And I know some may read this and think I’m being over dramatic,  but I would say that person has never struggled with food. Because it is a constant and daily battle for me.  The drug dealer is on every corner, and in every aisle,  and in every commercial, and  I’m trying to learn how to say no.  That doesn’t mean I won’t mess up, but it also doesn’t matter how I’ve eaten my entire life, or how I ate yesterday, because today I am not alone. There are plenty of healthy people who are choosing to do the right choice, instead of the easy and delicious choice. And I will choose for a better me, a healthier me, an addiction free me.

because even if i shot myself in the leg, i'd eventually lose it to diabetes or some other stupid disease that's brought on by crappy food choices.



vacation over

this is the only photo i took all week long of the texas cousin's visit. i'll have to steal from my family soon. it was a wonderful week of hanging out. we loved every second of it and i miss those little nieces and nephews already. they flew all the way back to Houston and will move back east in June.

i'm trying not to be too sad about how far away they will be, but it's not working. i'm having my own little pity party in my heart about it.

now we have to go back to real life. school. schedules. homework. tests. classes. laundry. groceries. bills. oh my.

*in other news, i was so tired after visiting all week i dressed rodney in phoebe's purple pj's.
we had to take a photo to document what  a cute girl he would make.


the swing

one of the selling points of our home was a 100 year old salt cedar tree in the backyard. it is, as phoebe would say, hoomungus!  it reminds of the tree house in the movie, The War. the girls love it, their friends love it, i love/hate it. they have so much fun in there but i can't not think worst case scenario when they are up there.

since rodney was born there was a lot of unsupervised swinging going on during nursing sessions. phoebe would go into the tree house and i never thought anything of it, until last monday. ty and i went up into the tree and saw what all the girls could do.
abby is the graceful swinger. smooth, soft, gentle.
phoebe grabs onto the rope and just flings herself out there. i don't think she knows the girls sit on the swing. i can't believe how high she flies up there. total horrible mom moment. she is fantastically fearless. 
lucy is the master. she can do a bunch of tricks. she can touch the wire. 
she can hog the swing really well.
after watching all the girls swing so happily, i felt better. until the next day when phoebe was swinging barefoot with just a t-shirt and a diaper. we are so white trash now.



pictures from tyson's hike yesterday

it is full on busting out spring all over our property. cottonwoods blossomed over night, willow trees are drenched with kelly green leaves. the weather is glorious.

and we are having a little family reunion this week with all of my family.  it's been great already. here's to a fabulous week.

*everytime i deep clean my house i say to myself, "i will never let it get this bad again". and then a week later i just repeat the same steps. what is wrong with me?


almost 9 months

*i'm not a fan of kissing pictures but i don't think these count.

almost army crawling- and got up onto his knees on sunday ( i hate it when they start to crawl)
top two teeth almost cut through
loves steamed carrots and any other type of food
bananas constipate
applesauce alleviates
can drink a sippy by himself (but usually just throws it)
good in the car
plays in his play pen (seen in background) 2-3 times a day for 15 minutes
loves his sisters to pieces
loves his DADDY!
loves to nurse
loves his silky blanky
loves music
loves getting his legs and arms stuck in the crib
loves finding out how things work
can say dada
and mamamamamaaamaaa
cannot sit still- always moving (yeah!...not)


birth story blurbs

i don't know why, but i've submitted two birth stories over the last few years. and both have been published.  in retrospect i think i should have edited them and stuff, but i never thought there was a chance they'd make it in.

Rodney's laughable birth story was published here: abirthstoryblog.com
i really like this collection of birth stories and promoting birth as a natural process, not an illness.

And Phoebe's was graciously published by Gabrielle at DesignMom.com
such a classy lady, classy site.

Someday soon i'll take the time to write down my first two births, so when i'm old and wrinkly my kids can read them and make fun of me.
 i love giving birth and i love newborns. and tyson loves them too. but for the first time in my life, i read about my friends having babies on their blogs and talk to them on the phone, and afterwards i think, "i am so glad that is not me right now".  momma needs a break if you know what  i mean.


we go to church

the first Sunday i took lucy to church she was 1 month old. now some people are lucky and their sabbath services are an hour long, or maybe an hour and a half. well, us lucky mormons have 3 hours of services every sunday. wahoo!

i digress, at church with brand new firstborn.  and i was so stressed out (i think i was stressed out the first 7 years of lucy's life, oh wait, i still am).  i had nursed her during sacrament meeting. i had nursed her during sunday school. she was fussy. she, just like every other baby, had this magical little monitor in her brain that went sitting! mom is sitting! aghhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!.  and then she would cry until i stood up. fantastic. so i took her out to the hallway again, right outside the door so i could try and glean a little off the lesson, and i saw my friend Jan. I say friend, but i refer to her more as my "mentor" or "life-boat". Jan has given me some of the best advice as a mother I could ever receive, other than my mother. besides she's an amazing woman and example.

crap, digress again. so Jan looks at me and sees the look, that frazzled, new mom, flustered look. and she gently asks, "how are you doing?".  and i almost started bawling, except i'm not a cryer, dang it. and i said something to the effects of, "oh, i don't even know why i am here. i've had to leave every meeting. i have no idea what any of the lessons were on.  i'm disrupting everyone else's class by getting up and down. i should have just stayed home and let her nap."

and then Jan said the best thing i have ever heard concerning worshipping with children, she gently held my shoulder and said, "You are not disrupting anyone, and besides that, you don't come for you anymore.  You come to church for her. It is just something you do, you go to church no matter what, and you do it for your children."

and those words seared my brain and heart and i took a deep breath, let out a sigh, and stood up a little taller. "ok," i thought, "i can do this."  and i continued to bounce fussy little lucy in the hallway.  and in the past 7 1/2 years i've walked a lot of hallways, and missed hundreds of lessons, and read a million bulletin boards that say, "You can still finish college!"  and "Stake Service Project!" and "Single Adult Get Together This Weekend!"  but one thing has been constant,  that unless someone has the stomach flu, or a fever and a cough and/or runny nose,

we go to Church.

and luckily we have a lot of good sundays, where the kids don't wiggle too much and i sing a hymn that helps me think about a solution to a problem, or they fall asleep in Sunday School and i listened to a lesson on Gethsemane. or ty and i get to just sit quietly together for an hour, alone! thank you nursery!

but after every good sunday is an awful one. where you are yelling at everyone to "get in the car!" and your husband is walking slower than molasses to find the car keys, and you skirt is tucked into your nylons and you argue about where to park and where to sit. where the kids have ginormous african ants in their pants and can't sit still. or the closing prayer last 15 minutes when your kids only had 5 minutes of reverence left in them, or they won't go to class, or they have a blow-out that reaches all the way to the toes of their tights, or they barf all over your sweater set or you and your husband both have to teach a class at the same time and fight over who has to take the baby and/or pick up the other  kids.

but no matter what the circumstances, or how grumpy the kids are or i am (because the last 3 sundays i have been GRUMPY, and all i wanted to do was stay home for 3 hours by myself and clean the house):

we go to church. we go for the children. we go for ourselves. we dress in our finest clothes, and do our hair as nice as possible (some days that's not so nice) and walk reverently and sit reverently (ha!) to show our Father in Heaven that we love him. that we are thankful for all that we have. that we can give him 1.78% of our time in the week to worship him.  1.78%! (and that's just for 3 hours) and of course i would like everyone to come to my church, but i'm not too picky. if you have a faith that you believe in, then go to that church on sunday. or if you are Jewish, then go to church on Saturday.  don't think about how long it has been since you have gone, or the things you have done wrong since the last time you went (hello, we are all sinners, every single one, didn't you get the memo?) or the people you don't want to see when you go. because you aren't going for other people, you aren't going for yourself, you are going for your kids. (but if you don't have kids, you go for your future children, or your grandchildren, or your nieces and nephews, and i promise you will still get something out of it for yourself.)

and that has blessed my life in so many ways that i can't even count. and i will always thank Jan for those words, "...go to church." not so other people see us. not to look good. we don't go for other people. we go for our Heavenly Father, we go for our children. we just go to church.

post church yesterday-this photo is a blessing in itself. make-up on & my hair is brushed!
*if you need any help finding a meeting to go to in your area, just click here!


my life is a wreck

i've had a lot of friends and aquaintances tell me lately, "i love you blog because you are honest!".  and why they read this thing and/or love it is beyond me. but i can say i do try to be honest. so in keeping up with that flavor, here is a picture of what the house usually looks like around 3pm. crazy huh? and how that sneaky little rupunzel got on the computer and took incriminating photos of it is beyond me.

and like it isn't bad enough that my house is a mess all the time, yesterday phoebe ran out into the road. and drew all over a library book and clothes with a permanent marker. and the day before she covered all her toys in baby powder and got into the can of paint.  super awesome mom award!!!

in other news, we are so excited for the 100TH ANNIVERSARY  of our Stake of our church here. We are celebrating by going to this on Saturday
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