not a lot to say...enjoy the silence

i feel like every minute of the day i have something good to write down on this blog. something funny phoebe says or does. or the fact that rodney is crawling! and it's really cute how he does it. or positive mother moments i have, and not so positive mothering moments. the fact that ty and i argue about how to prevent ingrown toenails. you know, a lot of just stuff.

but i've been really trying to work hard at my full time job, and the moments to sit down and write just are not there. but i'm thankful i write here, and i'm thankful people read it and i'm thankful for a lot of things. but i have to go and take all four kids to st. george for a doctors appointment. color me lucky!


ferris was right

life moves pretty fast. one second it's monday and the next it's friday. phoebe and rodney are growing and changing every day. the school year is nearing the end with concerts and performances and church stuff.
on sunday morning ty called, "mommy! phoebe has something to show you!"
i don't mind touches bugs and insects, but something about holding a lizard irks.
ty said she was giving it kisses when she had to let it go. that girl is amazing.
rodney had his first spaghetti- he loved it. that boy sure loves salty and savory.
and my last 3 kids have had a strange love affair with firmly steamed broccoli

in other news, i went to California for less than 24 hours!
zumba is starting to get some new people from our (expensive, ahem) advert in the paper
our stake's 100th Anniversary is Saturday and I have to dance with our youth in it (nervous)
i had to cut out 10 WW points because i'm not nursing anymore (what?!)



while doing my exercise video this morning i lean into child's pose and feel a crunch on my forehead.  "uh!" i thought, "a chip" only to look up and see a squished roly poly. phoebe had rounded up an entire colony while waiting for the bus this morning.

phoebe and rodney both had the runs last week. i'm pretty sure i would change 20 diapers by noon.

it's triple digits here already. i knew we wouldn't get a delicious winter without paying a price, so the swim slide is up. and the girls are all at a perfect age for it. and phoebe loves to wear her "SWIMSOUP!"

she was in the room with me while i donned on my suit. as i turned around with it on, she jumps up and down clasping her hands and oohing, "oh mommy! you so big!".  fyi- never change in front of a 2 year old.

rodney stopped nursing.  snap. just like that. i'm usually the one that pulls the plug, so i'm a little sad. ok, a lot sad. i feel like his rejection of my bosom symbolizes a rejection of me entirely, but i know that's not true. ye mugs me all the time! but bonus! i usually drop those last 10lbs when i wean (fingers really crossed here as i have 20 left not 10)

lucy is on fire with AR (accelerated reader) points in school and has her eye on the prize. we are cheering her on every day.

abigail can't stop talking about kindergarten. she is bored to tears every single day, thank goodness for Great Grandma Leavitt's sewing room. (thank you!)

ty and i went camping friday night...without the kids! we put rodney and phoebe to bed at 6 (they both sleep 12 hours- and now i'm jinxed) and hit the movies and then camped over night at red rock. the stars were amazing, and it was so nice to sleep without listening for babies. that's the best i've slept in years. (ty slept horribly. he said an owl was hotting all night- but i don't have to change their diapers do i?)

my friend natalie's birthday party was saturday night and i love her! and i love my neighbors! it was a fun time.

church was an off week. the kids had ants in their pants. phoebe's volume was stuck on high. the older kids ate all of the babies snacks. the senior citizens in front of us kept giving us the evil eye. another older couple behind us told us we had a "nice family". tender mercy indeed. i don't think i could have handled one more glance of disapproval.


life is like a DIY project

my laundry room is a hallway/storage room/walkway to the bedrooms space.
you can see it from the kitchen and family room.
it is small.
it needed help.

for any mom's of young kids you know that that entails loads of laundry. literally. LOADS.  i've been begging ty for (years now) us to finish it. he finished the one storage side in oct 2010 and it's fantastic. gorgeous goldenrod colored shelves to store everything from extra vases, canning supplies and jars of canned cherries.

but the other side? blank, patched up wall. water heater. washer, dryer. barf. not exactly fun to stand in and fold laundry. i usually just grab it out of the dryer and run for my life. but after angela's laundry inspiration (6 kids. 4 boys!) i knew i needed to have a happy place to fold the laundry. not perfect...happy.

so the grand plans of renovations were put to practice for our anniversary. and here's a little DIY secret- it never is like those stupid shows. the paint will almost always be the wrong color. the electrical wiring is always messed up. the room is not square. the kids are all underfoot. a few swear words are thrown. things are messy.

after ty finished fixing the wiring (we currently had two laundry room lights side by side?) we planned to install beadboard ceiling, because it looked so cool on pinterest. blah! what a mess. what a stress. never install beadboard ceiling for your anniversary present because it makes you want to throw each other out of a moving vehicle.

long story short- with a little help from trent, it was finished being installed. the sides are uneven. there are screws instead of small finishing nails. it looks messy. but this is not my first DIY rodeo. and i know that with a little spackle, caulking, paint and trim- the ceiling is going to look fantastic! and that's the picture you see on pinterest, the finished and meticulous project. not the hairy, fight inducing mess that it is for 90% of the time.

so the point of this story is this: nothing is like it seems on TV. and i mean, nothing. life, just like diy projects, is messy and has twists and turns you never expected.  but we forgive each other for being stupid. and with a little smile and a few laughs- it all will look beautiful in the end. and we still love each other at the end of the day. usually.


3,285 days

yesterday abby asked, "who gets the red plate tonight?" as i set it on the table. (the red plate is reserved for special people and occasions).  "daddy gets it tonight." i said. "why?" she asked.  "because..."i started to say. and she answered, "because he works so hard!".  "yes, because he works so hard. and i want you girls to all marry a man that works as hard as your daddy does."

one of the best decisions i ever made in this life was to marry that man. his love for me is deep, quiet and pure. he is loyal, honest, faithful, hardworking, respectful, kind and true. and as my favorite poet said,

I do not like the man who squanders life for fame; give me the man who living makes a name.Emily Dickinson

happy 9th anniversary to us! 


10 months

he's laughing
he's crawling
he can pull up onto his knees
he can say "dada", and he means "dada"
he can say, "eddie" (how sad is that?)
he eats big people food
he poops big people poops
he takes a bottle at bedtime and nurses during the day
he is a champion car rider
he loves toys and playing with new toys ( i have rotate more often then i did with the girls)
he is fascinated with buttons, knobs, levers, wheels, jewelry, and animals.
he rocks his little chubby body when music is on.
we is wearing 18-24month clothing (thank you tiff!)
he knows who his grandmas are (all 4 of them) and leaps out of my arms to them
he is really hard to hold and walk around with (23lbs!)

his favorite activity? squirming out of my arms. even my mother in-law said, "i think he is the hardest baby i have ever held". i told ty it's like trying to hold on to a greased little piglet. he squirms and worms because he just wants to get down and PLAY! my arms are literally aching by the time ty gets home from work. but no worries, once daddy comes home rodney wants absolutely nothing to do with me. and i'm ok with that : )


our county fair is a great county fair

every year since the 70's our little small valley has something come to town. the fair! ( i hope you just jumped for joy like my kids).  there are mixed feelings about the fair with residents here. some love it (ourselves included). some hate it. some are neutral.

for our little family it is a big deal to go to the fair. because, let's be honest here, we don't go anywhere or do anything. i'm not joking, i don't take my kids anywhere but to family and friends houses. so for 2 days we go to the fair and do everything and see everything and eat everything. and then we talk about it all and plan on what to do the next year.

i think one of the joys of the fair is the familiarity. there are always piglets and a momma. there is always the one funky looking chicken that you feel sorry for. there is always scary chinese food sold there. there is always the merlin in the wizard booth. there is always the rodeo and the funny clown. there always is a carnival with rides (although this year, no scary carnies!- i was shocked) there always are funnel cakes and deep fried snickers bars. and there is always people from school and town that you haven't seen in forever there. in my opinion, it's the perfect time to say hello. you chit chat for 2 seconds and then it's ok to walk away, because, well, it's the fair! you've got places to go and see.

with the help of my mom and mother in-law the girls faired out on thursday and friday. daddy came to the carnival with us for 5 hours. 5 hours! and ty and sarah and i went to the rodeo on friday night. fun!
first picture of the day. everyone is clean.
holding baby chicks
paul, we petted the goats just for you.
train ride with grandma curtis
the carnival!
this train moved slower then a teenager getting ready for church
face painting (1/2 price before noon, thank you pennie!)
pony rides
cougar pride!

* i could have bought around 20 pairs of pajamas for how much moolah we dropped  at the fair. (thank you zumba!) now i'm broke : (
*we are still really sad about eddie around here.

Comment #15- Vyanca you won! (via random number generator)
 send me your address to anniecleavittatgmaildotcom
and a special little package will be coming your way!


to our eddie

this is a sad post. i didn't think i would be sad when the day came when we would lose our dog, but i also thought that day would be around 10 years from now. but tonight a good friend called us to let us know that eddie was hit by a car in front of our house. blast that stupid fluffy dog!  his one weakness was cars.  he had been in the house with ty and the kids all afternoon happily eating up rodney and phoebe's wake of leftovers. when i called him, poor ty was putting the kids to bed while i was out on the town with sarah. and he had to go through the painful process of seeing eddie hurt and dying. luckily we have great neighbors who came and peacefully put eddie out of his misery (thank you thank you thank you mark). ty just couldn't do it. and i don't blame him. i'm grateful i didn't see it myself.

but enough about the sad part. eddie was the most retarded and yet endearing dog i ever knew. he loved EVERYBODY!  he was the happiest and most hyper thing in this valley. 2 acres just wasn't enough for him and he could keep up with the longest hikes and fastest runs. (i'm sad because i was just getting ready to run again with him). he was gentle with the kids and very protective of our house and property. the entire town knew that fluffy dog. my favorite story was one day ty was driving down to the hardware store, and he told eddie "stay home!". well, ty pulled up into the parking lot and started to talk with his friend in the parking lot, and he said, "hey, isn't that your dog?". and across the street there was eddie. sitting and waggin' his tail watching ty.  he was fastest than all get out. ty still doesn't know how he got there so quick.

i think we could all learn something from eddie. he was fiercely loyal and loving. no matter what. i feel badly that he was at the bottom of the totem pole as far as attention went- the kids come first. but we did love him, and we will all miss him. and i'm crying right now over that dog. and i never thought i would! he drove me crazy all the time!  but i did love him. i especially loved all the nicknames we had for him. our favorites include:

edward (in a saucy voice for edward cullen)
that stupid dog!
special ED

         puppy eddie and lucy. oh how those girls are going to cry tomorrow morning.
ty and eddie last spring
                   eddie ready for a haircut last week. he always patiently guarded my painting projects.

*ps* we just buried him in the field with his favorite chew toys, 2 tennis balls and a deer horn (he loved to carry it around).  i'm still crying, darn it.
*eddie's famous blog entry is here


the silk robe

i've been pondering a lot about pajamas lately. (actually, i ponder too much about everything, but pj's is the topic today).  i don't have cute pajamas. and the thing that bothers me, is even when i do have "cute" pajamas, i can't find the matching top and bottom. but i can't even remember the last time i had "cute" pajamas that i bought just for me, that weren't on sale or clearance or at walmart. i usually wear a large t-shirt and some pj bottoms or capri leggings. said shirts and bottoms usually have stains or paint splatters on them. i bet ty can't wait to see those rocking family reunion shirts every night!

but i've always wanted a nice silk robe. the principal dancers in the ballet company always had a beautiful silk robe they wore during make-up and warm up. and i longed, and pined, and coveted. but coveting is against the commandments, so i felt it was wrong to want one. and then remember the robe from pride and prejudice when kyra knightley longingly looks in the mirror for like, forever? i wanted one of those. but i have never felt like i could "have" one. i don't know if it was the money issue, or i honestly can't see myself as someone with nice pajamas and a nice robe.

but why not? why can't i have one nice robe? i've been coveting this night dress for over a year now.  i could save up my spending cash and skip the thrift store for a month- or cut back on buying chocolate chips (they are a fortune down here!) for a few weeks and buy something nice to sleep in. because i don't want to be mismatched pajama mom. i want to feel beautiful even at 3am when i'm scrubbing throw up off of pillow cases (yes, i was doing that last night).  am i the only one in this boat?

i've been thinking about this for awhile- and this quote today made me decide i was on to something. i'm not a scrub. repeat after me: "i am not a scrub!".  i think i might start a pajama revolution now!

You can be excellent in every way. You can be first class. There is no need for you to be a scrub. Respect yourself. Do not feel sorry for yourself. Do not dwell on unkind things others may say about you. Polish and refine whatever talents the Lord has given you. Go forward in life with a twinkle in your eye and a smile on your face, but with great and strong purpose in your heart. Love life and look for its opportunities. Gordon B. Hinckley Ensign, May 2001, 93.

*PS* thanks for all the kind comments. i love meeting all these new ladies that stop by here!
*PPS* dont' forget to enter the giveway here.
*PPPS!* the county fair is this weekend. (hooray!, i'll see you there!)


1000th Post (my red door and a giveaway!!!!)

 i finally took the plunge and painted my front door. i wasn't necessarily in love with my door to begin with (i'm trying to find a nice way to say it was not my style) so i don't know why it took me so long to do it.  i finally got the guts, drove to the hardware store and walked into the paint isle. i was planning on plain black, because we hope to sell the door in a yard sale when we, eventually, before the end of the century, buy our dream door. and black is safe. black is normal. but then the bright cherry red can was calling my name, and i did it. i bought it, and for $9.99 i painted the door, except i only used 1/4 of the can. so essentially, this awesome change cost me $3! it's fabulous, i love it, and i can live with this door a little (maybe even a lot) longer. now i just need to paint the trim and install more flashing, because i'm tired of looking like ghetto porch lady. *ps* my flowers are so happy right now!

wait, what's that? didn't i mention a giveaway? why, yes i did.
 i've never done one, so i thought the 1,000th post would be appropriate to do it.

leave your name, and a reason why you read my blog in the comment section and a randomly selected winner will be announced on Monday, April 16th!

you will receive a care package from our home to yours with a few of our favorite things inside.
 how mysterious and exciting!

*i'm just realizing that it's going to be really embarrassing if no one comments on this and i have to send a care package to my mom. ha!


999th (Easter 2012)

we have had a lovely Easter Sunday today. my favorite part was wearing my Grandma's dress to church. *note to self* still a little too tight to wear to church and wrestle monkeys in.

we hunted for eggs, pigged out on candy and chocolate, had a relaxing dinner while phoebe slept!, dropped off dinner to a dear friend. watched Megan win Cupcake Wars! and now i have a few peaceful moments while ty visits with great grandma and grandpa on the hill with the girls.


 *aunt danna swung by for 20 minutes and took great photos of us!


998th post (Good Friday)

today we are making our hot cross buns for good friday. it is the end of the spring break and we are enjoying doing absolutely nothing. seriously, nothing.  and i love it.

trying to teach the children more about our Savior, Jesus Christ, and what this weekend means to us. one of my favorite quotes was quoted in Conference about our Savior and religion:
“The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, 
that He died,
 was buried
and rose again the third day
and ascended into heaven
and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it.” - Joseph Smith

this is a great video about Easter, a little heavy, but good:


997th post (me and nienie)

i first heard of stephanie nielson during the early days of my blogging. someone, somewhere out in the world wide web linked to a home tour of her house.  and that was all i remember.

but during my 3rd pregnancy i found myself stuck in bedrest for an amount of time i don't want to remember (20 weeks) and i followed a button that said, "pray for nienie".  so i followed it, and it was one of the best things that happened to me during that summer of 2009. i read her entire blog...twice. i was captivated with her optimism and sense of style. her children were cute, she loved being a mother, her recipes were surprisingly simple and tasty.  but really pulled me in were how she was surviving her trials. when i found her she was just coming back to her blog after a near fatal plane crash and could barely walk, and couldn't even button her daughter's jacket. she wouldn't show pictures quite yet of her burned face. and i followed her every post from that summer onward.

still pregnant, a few of us were talking in Young Women's at church (a church assignment where you teach girls from ages 12-18) and stephanie nielson popped up. apparently she had lived in our ward when she was first married, and they all were talking about her accident and how she lives in the neighbrohood again. i was totally and completely such a stalker that i got Wendy to tell me where she lives. creepy mccreepypants! so i started to drive by there after my doctor appointments. it was still a way home to my house, so i didn't consider it "stalking", it was just a little longer of a way home. bwahahahaha. *i drove by CJane's house everyday to take lucy to preschool.

and then phoebe was born, and i sent her an email. i don't know if she ever recieved it, but i had to thank her for her blog. it had saved me during bedrest. just at my lowest point, i caught up to her crash and oh, what a heartbreaking story. i knew if she could do what she was doing, i could get through this. besides, i got a new baby in the end! what kind of a trial is that? In hindsight, not a very difficult one.

after the email, i became even more brave, and dropped off some cookies for their family. my favorite oatmeal chocolate chip recipe. thank you Betty Tidd! and she mentioned it on her blog the next day, (i was shocked! and excited!).  well that just fueled the fire, and i got the guts up to just go and meet her. luckily my friend megan (the sweettooth fairy) told me she was pretty chill and would love to meet me. i'm pretty sure she didn't say, "love", haha. probably more along the lines of, "she wouldn't mind."

so a few days before ty's graduation, i went over to her house with just abigail. knocked on the door. and her little ollie opened the door in his transformer pj's. "mom!" he called out. and there she came to the door, nienie. "hello!" she bubbled out. and then i completely embarassed myself, "i dropped off cookies the other day, but you weren't home, but, but, but, i had to meet you before we moved back to Nevada. i have to thank you for your blog, it saved me during such a hard time (insert tears here on both her and my parts)." blah blah blah, i just was a complete bumbling idiot hormonal stalker lady.

nienie though? she was kind. oh so kind, and easy to talk to. her eyes are piercing and i found that her face wasn't anything to bring stares at all. you could feel her happiness. we chit chatted about school and where we were moving to. she made me promise to give our house a name. and to get bees. i was so glad i stopped by, i was so happy to meet her, to tell her thank you. to give her a hug (i think i squished her too hard) and to talk about her gardne gnomes that still had the price tag on them.  she was so kind about the cookies, and asked for the recipe.  i never gave her the recipe, i never sent the thank you card. i wrote it! but never sent it after the move.

and then once we moved, something happened. and i am going to be 100% honest.  her posts changed, or i changed, and i wasn't interested in her blog anymore. i think it boils down to just plain human pride, avarice, and petty greed, but i really couldn't swallow all of the "stuff" that was happening to her. a new basement! vacations! sailing! anthropologie galore! perfect clothing! perfect friends!  it really was just too hard to swallow. i started to become less enchanted, and stopped reading. every once in awhile i'll stop in. but i find the jealousy starting to creep up onto me again and i have to log off.

but when her book was coming out, i first didn't have an interest in it. and then i thought, "you know, she, her, herself, was really very kind and honest, i'm going to give it a try."  and i am very, very glad i did. i loved her book. i couldn't put it down. and i was reminded of what a wonderful person she is. i'm going to admit that i think her blog is not really "her" anymore. she does it to just keep it up for her reader's but i don't think she is in it. i know she doesn't realize that 90% of us in america and 99.9% of the rest of the world don't have the kind of money she does. a yacht! plans to build a new house on new property! travel! those are so out of the picture for us for our entire life. we work hard to pay the utility bills and registration fees for music lessons. we buy our clothes at Ross and thrift stores. we don't have priceless antiques or custom home renovations.  but we do have our bodies, our faces, and how many times do we consider those priceless gifts? and i bet my booty that she would give all of her possessions to have a whole body and face again. so i'm going to apologize for being so petty, and love her for her. love her for who she really is. and not let the "other stuff" get in the way.

in passing, i highly recommend reading her book. i especially laughed out loud in one part on the 4-wheelers. tell me you didn't also! she has an amazing spirit and i'm grateful to have great examples of perseverance and faith to reflect on.


996th post

i can't believe it, but i'm nearing 1,000 posts on this little old blog thingy. i guess over 5 years it's not really a lot, but for me something sounds really great about one thousand!

so to celebrate the next 4 posts are going to be the best ever!* i say the best ever, but i really have no idea what to write on the other ones, except this one has been rolling around in my head for the last little while.

last week i thought i was pregnant. no, i knew i was.  my cycle was almost 2 weeks late. i was terribly exhuasted. i had broken 5 dishes in the last 3 weeks (one of my earlist signs of expecting is loss of coordination).  i was extremely emotional and had cried through an entire movie (again, one of my reliable signs). i was squidgy around the middle (another first sign from a hormone spike and slowed down digestive system). it hurt, oh it hurt so badly to nurse rodney. and my milk production was slowing.

i was. freaking. out.

so i took a test. negative.

i relaxed.

but i was still tired. and still feeling crazy, and still no definite sign that i was not expecting.

so i freaked out and took another test.

ok, negative again. i'm just crazy, which is par for course around here.

and then i couldn't get out of bed in the mornings and i was tired by 7pm (yet again, another sign)

this had to be a pregnancy, because, what if it wasn't? what if something was wrong with me? with my cycle? i sat down with ty and said, "either i'm crazy, something's wrong, or i'm pregnant."  i secretly feared all answers.

i started confiding in my close friends and family. "how long have you ever been late?"..."Have you ever taken a negative test when you were pregnant?" and boy, were those the wrong questions. i probably heard about a million people who had taken negative tests and were, in fact, pregnant.

but i continued to wait it out. but deep down, i really, truly felt pregnant. or maybe i was hoping i was? because as terrifying as it sounded, it would be a solution to a lot of my problems (albeit a temporary one). i would have an excuse for the messy house, the mismatched dinner meals, the frumpy clothes, hair, and poofy muffin top i've been sporting. i could relax about getting back into shape and losing weight!  my boobs would look great again! man, i am shallow.

 one of those mornings i received an email announcing one of ty's cousins new arrivals. their first baby, a girl.  i was so excited for them, and when someone has a baby girl first i catupult back to memories of beautiful baby lucy, and how all my dreams and expectations of motherhood rested so heavily on her shoulders. and as i continued thinking about that, i hear phoebe is up from her nap. and it sounds suspicious.

i find her, in her room, with diarrhea all over the carpet and toys. perfect.  i get the rubber gloves, rags, carpet cleaner and start working on my hands and knees.  and i was not happy. i scrubbed thinking about how wonderful it would be to just have 3 kids, or 2 kids, or 1 kid, but 4? why did we have 4? i can't do this. i'm not cut out for this. why me?

now generally i don't ever feel this way about motherhood. i have been lucky and it has fit me like a glove from day one. i love birth. i love newborns. i love everything about growing children. but the cleanup. oh! how i hate the mess! i am not a clean person in the first place, so the insurmountable amount of mess and laundry and dishes with 4 kids is just crippling.  cleaning does NOT come naturally to me. i did NOT want to be scrubbing feces off of the little dollhouse's cobblestone walkway (oh, the crevices!)

i finally gave in and called the dr to schedule an appointment. and not a minute sooner did aunt flo come to visit. and oh! i have never been so happy to meet her in my entire life*.   "TY!" i shouted running outside. he was fixing his work truck and looked up from under hood. "what?" he asked. " it came!" i shouted again, jumping for joy. "yeah!" he said with a little fist pump.

and then i went inside. relieved. relaxed. but mostly, just relieved.  could i have another baby in 9 months? of course i could. would i love it with all of my heart? absolutely.  but did i want to have another baby in 9 months? if it was the Lord's will, then i would accept it. but personally? no, of course, not.

and then i went to bed a little sad.
we know we want more children someday,
 but someday is not today. not today. not today.
abby took this picture the other day. not very flattering, but accurate of life around here.



the perrin's visit was a little later then expected, so saturday morning before conference we did what any other family with 2.5 acres does. we went to work. the girls love it when daddy brings the back hoe home.
our yard has an incredible amount of...potential.  the trees do look a gadzillion times better after all the pruning ty did this winter. yes, a gadzillion. 
rodney loves that stinking backhoe. it amazes me how a baby so little can already be obsessed with machinery
i could nom nom on those chubby arms and thighs all day. oh wait, i do.
we caught one picture of the cousin's visit during breakfast. the kids had a fantastically fantastic time visitng, and of course, swinging in the tree. stephanie and i chit chatted the entire time they were here and the dad's went for a little hike. we all made delicious plans for our 20th anniversaries (our weddings are a year and a week apart).
our little home in hidden hollow loves it when friends come and stay.  you should come too, we have an awesome guest room with 2 twin beds, a crib and a bath. hint hint.
conference was perfect. just when i start to get down and think life is going in the crapper, i get to hear countless talks that life is beautiful, God loves me and i have a limitless amount of potential to be better. and how is that not a perfect message for all of us?
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