Tuesday, April 29, 2008

My own social experiment

You know how you have more than one child so they can play with each other while you blog or talk on the phone? Sometimes that backfires and they fight more than play and you get very angry because that makes it hard to talk on the phone. But usually it works out. Well, here at our house I had a very special time of day where Ethan would go to his little neighborhood preschool and Noelle would nap. And it happened at the SAME TIME. This hour and a half was known as bliss. However, Noelle no longer naps in the morning and this hour has turned into not-so-much-bliss. I try to get lots accomplished and she tries hard to make sure I don't. So today I changed my focus and let her help me with my experiment of the social sciences.

It began with this bag of shoes:
We are the recipients of lots of castoffs from generous family and friends. Thus we have this bag of shoes that would enable Noelle to wear a different pair everyday. Notice how they are definitely girl shoes. Noelle loves to get in the bag and pull the shoes out. But when I tell her to bring some shoes to wear when we are actually going somewhere she brings me these: Noelle did her own hair so don't judge, OK?

These are obviously sandals from her older brothers. This led me to conduct my own social experiment to decide if she would choose male oriented things over female oriented things. I am very qualified to conduct such an experiment because I took a few sociology classes in college to boost my GPA.

Test #1: Babies versus T-Rex.


Hands down T-Rex won. But because I have a scientific mind I realized this result might be somewhat misleading. She may only have preferred the T-Rex because it is Mitch's and he keeps it on his bed and he closes the door so she never gets to play with it (unless Mitch isn't home and I pull it out so she can play with it like the naughty mom I sometimes am) So I moved on to Test #2:

Pushing a dump truck or a baby stroller.


Yes, ten minutes later Noelle had still not touched either toy. She was too busy doing this:Climbing up and down the same chair was apparently more appealing than having my test completed. I know lots about conducting research and you are not supposed to coerce your subjects into participating. So that was the end of it. I guess I will never be published in one of those research magazines that nobody reads except the people who are actually published in them.

My personal feelings on the matter are that Noelle is a definite girl surrounded by lots of boy things and boy behaviors. If she is lucky she will turn out like me (who had a very hard childhood with seven older brothers who tried very hard to corrupt me) and be the perfect combination of all good things male and female. And I will have you know I was able to type up this very long social experiment because Mitch and Ethan are both home now and entertaining Noelle for me. How do parents of a single child get anything done?

Friday, April 25, 2008

A grand idea by moi

Dear clothing store owner,

I do not get the opportunity to shop for clothes for myself very often. I relish the experience (as long as it does not exceed 30 minutes as I have inherited the attention span of my children) and therefore am very agitated when I have to actually return something. My last return of a darling summer dress could have been prevented if your dressing room was designed differently. There is no way to tell how a dress really fits you if you are standing in a 4x4 closet. Sure, I can leave the privacy of my little room and prance around the store but I find that slightly embarrassing. Much thought has been given on this matter and I have the perfect solution.

Please equip each dressing room with a few mannequins of children. It would be best if they were battery operated to throw huge tantrums on the floor and to cling to the dress that I am trying on. This way I will know how the dress will perform in the actual scenarios the dress will be in. Unfortunately the dress I will be buying will not be just adorning me while I am standing upright. It needs to be tugged at from the bottom and the top. It needs to not be too revealing while I am leaning over a church pew looking for every Cheerio, crayon, boardbook, fruitsnack, toy, etc that has fallen through the crack on the church pew (what is up with that opening?? Do we really need a space between the seat and the back of the pew? I really believe it is there just to torture me)

It would also be handy if some of the mannequins had runny noses and dirty mouths. Then, as you would also have a container of baby wipes, I could see how well the dress withstood on-the-spot cleaning.

You may think this is unnecessary and that I should perhaps just bring my own children inside the dressing room with me to see how the dress would handle the stress. Apparently you were not there the last time I went to the mall and Ethan about killed himself on the escalators and Ike and Mitch were playing hide and seek in the drapery section and Noelle went surfing in her stroller and I said lots of bad words and they ARE NOT ALLOWED in public again.

I think this will solve all my dress buying problems--except for the ones that involve how off your sizing charts are...but that is for a different letter.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Your Ideal Mate-Employment

Official Disclaimer: This post is by no means a way to disparage my hub's or your hub's skills or lack thereof. It is purely hypothetical fun. My hub and your hub work very hard at what they do and we wouldn't change a thing. Well, maybe, but this public blog is not the time or place for airing marital discord.
So with that being said....What profession do you think would be most handy for your husband to have? Salary not being an issue. I'm talking skills or knowledge. Like whenever we have car problems, I kind of wish Hubby could just do some magic in the garage and save us a couple of grand.
this could be Hubby putting in a new transmission or something on our own car!

Or when the kids have those scary nighttime coughs or rashes and I'm unsure if it warrants a doctor visit--wouldn't it be nice if Hub could just give them a checkup at dinner and pull out some free samples from his black bag? (my friend Rhonda's dad was a doctor and that made getting that annoying physical to play high school sports a breeze--just gave him a urine sample and he signed the paper). This could be Hubby in a few years getting ready to operate on me. Don't worry, it's not terminal

Or a plumber for those leaks? Accountant so you are getting deductions galore? Electrician? Musician? Martial Arts instructor? The possibilities are endless. Luckily my hub is good at lots of things so I ain't really complaining plus he occasionally does read my blog and he really makes sure we have the best insurance around! But to have those meds in the middle of the night...
HOLY COW. I was just reading this again and the feminist in me reared her ugly head. She does come out on occasion. So let me do my Official Disclaimer #2: This post is all in good fun and does in no way imply that the woman would not or should not have any of these skills herself. But as she has accepted the higher calling of being the one to nurture and nag, she is not able to obtain or activate these skills for herself at this moment in time. I now turn the time over to you for pondering.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Lots of Stuff

We are very fun folks so we went to the zoo to spice up our spring break. Isaac wore shorts because the sun had come out and he mistakenly equated that with heat. No amount of motherly advice could change his mind, so he learned a lesson from the school of hard knocks. We all shivered for the first hour, but it warmed up enough for us to enjoy the rest of the afternoon.
Hub with Cheesy Ethan and Ike on the train.

Noelle and I had a lot of snacks to keep us going. She boycotted her stroller a lot and then would run like a drunken baby to escape me. She's at that fun age.

This week has also been busy as we have been getting ready for my parent's return from their mission to Cambodia. This meant lots of cleaning and making their house look like we hadn't had lots of family parties in it while they were gone. I also had to return a few DVDs that we've had for oh, about 18 months. We made a lovely sign to hang up on the garage, only to have the wind tear it down a few hours later before it was even viewed. So here's the proof that it was up and yes, that is Mitch's belly:

Last night Erin and I and Sammy drove to the airport to bring them home. It was very exciting to see them again. And nothing has changed---Mom immediately offered to buy us some food on the way home. It's good to have them back!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Day 2 of spring break. The kids are loving every minute.

We've done some cleaning,

some spiritual reading,

worked on our tans,

and made lovely music together.

But we're not bitter. After all, if we all went to Disneyland then who would be left to watch your pets?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Mindless Debates

It may be due to the fact that I spend all day communicating with children. Their logic and reasoning has sucked me in and sadly I have given into debating them on very stupid topics. Why do I do this? It usually isn't until I have delivered several sound supportive facts for my cause and their only response is "uh-uh" and they think that is argument enough to win me over, that I then realize I have been sucked in again. Some of our recent examples:

Mitch, age 5, has a pair of gray cords. They are way ugly, BTW, but we ain't buying new pants at this point in the season. However, every time we are laying out his "Molly" (non-family members will not know that Molly is the term used when we lay tomorrow's clothes out on the floor) he will refer to them as brown. I then gently correct him and say they are gray. To which he not-so-gently corrects me with saying they are brown. And we're off! No win here! Doesn't matter what I compare them to, he insists they are brown. We can debate this until the cows come home and he will not budge. And in case you are wondering, he is very bright in every other aspect of living. Well, as bright as a boy his age can be considering his level of spazziness (did you know spazzy isn't in spell check? Do the Spellchecks not have any boys of their own?)

My other current fave is that Ethan has a boy in his preschool named Sterling. Whenever we refer to Sterling as a 'he', Isaac and Mitch both correct me and say that Sterling is a girl's name and therefore he must be a 'she'. They have never met Sterling and don't know that he is very much a he in the sense of size and personality. Let me add that they have not met any Sterling females so their logic is based on just thinking it sounds like a girl name. This debate is particularly frustrating because Ethan knows Sterling and knows he's a boy and takes it personally that his brothers are calling his friend a girl. Which, of course, makes Ike and Mitch enjoy the argument all the more.

Along those same lines we also had a hard time watching the movie Snow Buddies since the main character is named Adam and is a boy despite his long hair and pre-pubescent high voice. Again, we do not know any girl named Adam, but because of those two latter characteristics my boys kept on telling me he was a she and this argument may have ruined the movie for me (Way cheesy kid movie, but it made me want to go buy lots of puppies).

Then there is Ethan who insists that Monster Trucks are bigger than mountains. I could go on. And on. And on. The bottom line is I enjoy jumping in the fray to defend truth and liberty as far as truth and liberty can be defended in regards to colors and gender names. Eventually I always come to my senses after about 20 or so "uh-uh"s and realize that truth has no chance when you are dealing with irrational midgets. When does logic kick in anyway? Because Isaac will be 8 soon, and I'm ready for a good debate already.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


I have a blog so I can share family news with others. But also so I can get things off my chest in the middle of the day without having to call anybody. Like when I see pictures like this in the newspaper:

This girl had 8 limbs!! And it is not a trick with Photoshop. I thought that was crazy when I saw it a few months ago. But yesterday I saw a picture of this:

This girl has two faces! And she eats out of both mouths (which will not bode well for any childhood obesity studies). The interesting thing is that both of these girls are from India. This is probably a fortunate thing since the Hindus are treating these impairments as blessings rather than disfigurments as we probably would in America.
But isn't it more fun to see these anomalies and share them with someone? Hub has always left for work by the time I read the paper and so I show the boys and hope they will share my awe. But they have seen more interesting creatures on Scooby-Doo so aren't easily impresed.

And the last thing I want to share is in regards to polygamy. Due to the raid in Eldorado, TX, this issue is once more hot. Don't we all love to analyze what it would be like to be in that type of a situation? What if I had a few sister-wives? I would be the boss of course, and they would be the ones to cook and clean. They would have to be more homely than me so there wasn't any competition in THAT area and hopefully we could find some stylish long dresses to share.

Seriously though, I have seen interviews with intelligent polygamist women who honestly seem to cherish their relationships with the 'other' women. They have a strong support system and their children will be raised in more secure homes than a lot of kids in mainstream America. But the sects that marry off girls once they hit puberty.....horrible.
Those are my issues for today. Back to the exciting family pics later.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Conference/Calorie Weekend

I learned from my mom that every experience is enhanced if there is a treat involved. So conference weekend had me and some Swedish Fish hanging out on the couch getting edified. The candy worked wonders for my older two boys who understand bribes. Not so much for Ethan who then just kept on asking, "Is it treat time yet?" This was probably the most I've heard of conference in about 6 years. It's nice when the afternoon session hits naptime and the two most distracting kids are in bed and the older two know how to do some things quietly. Sometimes.

Hub was busy this past month improving our 72-hour-kit situation. We have really only had one huge pack in the past and figured it would get us by. But after lots of guilt-inducing lessons and seeing mile long lists of things we should have ready, we decided we needed an upgrade. He and the boys put everything together during the first session. We are going to update clothes and certain foods every conference weekend. The boys had fun marking things off their checklist and fighting over which color flashlight they got. My pack happens to be the biggest because I am the strongest one in the family, I guess. We bought the little kid backpacks from ebay for a steal. This now concludes the ramblings of moi.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Living on the edge

This is a story about my recipe box. There may be hidden meanings in this tale that I give you permission to use in future Sacrament Meeting talks.

Above you will see my own creative recipe box. I 'inherited' this plastic piece of junk when I worked in an office at BYU and they were throwing things out. I am a scavenger by nature and saw this plastic beauty and thought to myself, "What a lovely box to keep my recipes in!" I was newly married and therefore slightly delusional as evidenced by my thinking I needed a plastic recipe box.

I had a lot of spare time while I worked in this office and I also had access to a label machine. So I furthered my domesticity quotient by creating labels for my recipe box. See how organized I could be?

Fast forward ten years later. See how none of my recipes actually make it in their designated spot? They are all shoved in the first slot since it takes WAY too much time to file a recipe correctly. Much, much easier to shovel through a million scraps of paper to find the one I was looking for.

And the final proof of how I love excitement and suspense. There is no pleasure in looking for a recipe if it's on a boring index card or even labeled! Baking is so much more enjoyable if you are not 100% sure what it is you are making. Add that to the challenge of fitting a recipe on the smallest scrap of paper you can find and you have one grand adventure.

That is the story of my recipe box. You may invite me to teach a class at Enrichment night on making darling recipe boxes, but I don't think they make that kind of plastic anymore. I would also like to offer a special thanks to the Playmobil Pirate for being my scale model.