Thursday, August 28, 2008

Call Me a Romantic

can't you just see the love in Bill's eyes? We have replaced the exciting Olympics with the even more exciting Democrat National Convention. Same star power, same awesome rock music, same crazy fans, just less muscles and Chinese people.
Unfortunately, we have been busy with soccer games, soccer practice, homework tantrums, scouts and a never-ending backyard mess so we haven't been able to stay as riveted to the TV as we like. However, I have seen enough to realize that I have a dream (I'm pretty sure 'that' dream has been quoted a few times at the convention already so I'm doing a different one). My dream involves Hillary and Bill kissing passionately for the cameras and then retiring from the public light and becoming fisherpeople on the coast of Maine. And living happily ever after together. Forever. Wouldn't that be nice? Seriously, if they have stuck it out together this long for their political careers then they can stick out a couple decades more. Their story of love would be unrivaled. They've been through it all together and I just don't believe that real love isn't hiding under there somewhere beneath all the Aquanet and power suits. Come on, who's for a Bill and Hillary romantic ending? It would read like one of those incredibly sappy and predictable Nicholas Sparks books my sister always makes me read.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Family Sleepover

Did you know there was a night last week where I was in bed by 9:00? And I wasn't even sick? The sad thing was it was not something I desired. And it is not meant to be confused with actually sleeping at 9:00, since I was in a hotel room surrounded by my own loud sleeping kids and other loud people who can't seem to close doors gently or talk quietly in halls. So I basically was lying in the dark trying not to think about the people who had slept in the same bed as me and all the germs that were on the bedspread that I was careful not to touch.

With our kiddies, it is impossible to tuck them into a strange bed and expect them to quietly fall into slumber. Especially if two of them are sharing a bed and the toddler girl is trapped in a playpen in full view of the freedom of everyone else and Ethan...well, Ethan only can stay still if he's tied down. So we had to resort to drastic measures of creating the sleep environment for everyone all at the same time. Mom and Dad included. No lights, no TV. Just darkness so everybody knew the party was over. The kids were so tired that they fell asleep quickly. As was Hub since he can sleep whenever he feels like it. But me? I was ticked. I was wide awake in a smelly hotel room with little to do but ponder the meaning of life. Ike and Mitch has snagged the bed closest to the TV and I didn't dare mess with anyone's sleep and turn on the lights. But my Mommy Brain is trained to know that if I go to sleep at the same time my kids do and then wake up at the same time they do....then where the heck is my rejuvenation? My awake brain needs a kid break so it can function at full speed the next day.

Well, fortunately for us all, my awake brain had plenty of break as I probably slept only a couple of hours. Too many kid noises and hotel noises and worries of germs crawling on me for me to get too relaxed. But I know there are several more frequent vacationers than us. How do your awake brains get a kid break if you are all going to bed at the same time? Or do I need to better train my hyper kids to be able to sleep with the lights on? Or do I just get that nanny that would solve a lot of other problems as well?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

One for the family history book

We are cramming three days of notable activities in one exciting post, so get comfy.

Our fam enjoyed the annual Lagoon trip courtesy of Hub's work. Ike is big enough to actually go on some fun rides like the infamous white roller coaster and he loved bragging about it. Noelle is big enough to go on all the little kid rides, but she despised being strapped in and would cry when she couldn't get out of her own free will. The first pic is of waiting in line for the Merry-Go-Round in the hopes that Noelle would be happy and stay in place. And she did for about three minutes.

My favorite was to watch the three boys in the Bumper Cars trying to crash into each other. Good aggressive fun and nobody cried. Can't beat it.

The next day we went to the Treehouse Museum in Ogden. This was a very fun place and it makes me wonder why there were no kid-friendly museums when I was young. Ethan especially loved it and could have stayed twice as long as his older brothers. This is Hub and Noelle having a jam session in the music room:

We then went to HAFB (this was very similar to a certain C Reunion we had several years ago LC!) But it's better than the last time we went since they added a children's learning center with dressup clothes and a cockpit to play in. The boys loved this place and you can't beat free admission.

Mitch and Ike testing out their pilot skills with Ethan below in official attire.

We returned home in time for the first day of school. In spite of my previous post and being 'giddy' to send them back, I actually had a sad dropoff. It's hard letting your kids be indoctrinated half of their waking hours by other people. Ethan did his best to cheer me up by telling me that I could go home and fly paper airplanes with him and 'maybe we could go to the park?' Needless to say, he actually wasn't sad to be the king of the castle for a few hours of the day.

Above is Ike and Mitch before the send off. And yes, Ike did get some new school clothes, but for those of you who see him regularly you will know he prefers to wear this athletic outfit about 6 out of 7 days of the week. Since the school dress code prohibits sleeveless tops, he was lucky that his baseball shirt was a perfect match for underneath (who knew that bright orange Orioles shirt that he's had for two teams now would come in handy?)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

And These Are the Days of My Life...

My blessed boys sensed I was feeling a little sad about sending them back to school shortly. Their male intuition forced them to participate in behaviors that would make me happy to send them back and it worked! I am now just about giddy that in three days time they will not be able to wrestle/argue/bite/kick/breathe on one another!
I was so desperate on Friday to keep them entertained that I actually took them to the County Fair. By myself. With no plans to actually spend money there. We lasted about 40 minutes before home looked like a sanctuary again.

The kids weren't impressed with all the nice quilts and artwork displayed. But they couldn't get enough of the LEGO display. And look at my sweet girl, Noelle. She must be trying out for KISS.

I think the Olympics ruined this for us. It was a group of young vaulters who do gymnastics on a horse. After watching a few kids be bounced around in strange positions Isaac looked at me and said, "This is it??" He would have been more impressed if he hadn't seen what gold medalist gymnasts can do.

A good part of summer is being able to wash your cars, water the lawn and bathe your kids all at the same time.
We are now headed off for our last hurrah before school starts Wednesday. Lagoon, HAFB, Treehouse Museum and a cozy night together in a hotel room. I am pretty sure somebody will be breathing on somebody else at some point during this family getaway. I just need to remind myself that they are doing it so I won't have that emotional breakdown at the school doors.....

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Apologist

I've been too busy to blog lately because we are busy still messing up our backyard. OK, maybe 'we' is a little too broad. Hub is working in the backyard while I keep him updated on the Olympics via the sliding door. Our neighbor brought over his bobcat and the kids were enthralled at the action from the sliding door

Also, I have been very busy doing Noelle's hair:

Her first pigtails! I know, I know, I should start my own hair blog on how to do uneven parts. But an hour and a jogger ride later her hair looked like this:

Should have used more product and maybe tied her hands together. Lesson learned.

There also was a fun family party at Stinky Feet and a fun Birthday party where I got to pull out all my acting skills and be a fortune teller and there was lots of Olympic watching. Did I also mention all the energy and time it takes to try a new parenting method on Ethan? His room is constantly getting torn apart since he changes outfits about 40 times a day. I don't get why the kid is in and out of different pajamas and underwear and winter clothes all day long, but I am sick of clothes all over his floor. Anyway, I am working hard on him cleaning up after himself.

But do you see how I have to give excuses and reasons for not blogging as often as I like? I do this with sales people and solicitors too. I just can't say, "No thank you" and leave it at that. I think I have to justify my nos with socially acceptable reasons like, "We just donated to another great charity." or "I have that exact pair of shoes at home already." (Yes, sometimes my excuses are lies!)

Hub was on the phone last night and I was so impressed and in awe. Someone had called to see if he could join a game of late basketball. He simply said, "I can't make it." And even though he had lots of good reasons for not going, he didn't offer any as excuses. The other crazy thing was he didn't think he needed to! Why can't I be that way? I know that we don't owe telemarketers any explanations, but do I owe friends? Or can they just be content with simple answers as well? I am getting so stinking deep on my posts lately that I think I just earned an honorary philosophy degree.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

My Olympic Thoughts

We have watched a lot of TV in the last couple of days. Normally I would not admit this since I strongly believe that TV is God's gift to moms and only to be used when Mom needs to shower or make dinner or finish a really good book she is reading. But I am not super clean and haven't made lots of dinners in advance so why is the telly on? Because it's the Olympics and we are addicted.

Besides the healthy dose of competition, you cannot beat the teaching opportunities for your kids. Forget the kids. Teaching opportunities for me! It was pretty pathetic how many countries I don't think I'd ever heard of came parading in during the opening ceremonies (can you say Burkina Faso?) Not to mention the Chinese history and geography lessons we are getting thanks to the NBC commentaries.

Then there are the sports. My kids love watching gymnastics and swimming and cycling and beach volleyball--it's good for them to see that sports don't just include baseball, football and basketball. (but on a side note, why do the women's beach volleyball team have to play in sport bikinis? They are constantly picking wedgies while their male counterparts wear loose shorts and tanks. Not fair.)

And you can't beat the cheering for the USA. We are raising some true patriots in our house.
So for now, our grass will grow long, our children will lose muscle tone (actually no, they have been practicing some gymnastic moves off the couch) and our books will grow dusty. But we are happy. And craving Chinese food.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Question of Tact

I usually offer my wisdom and advice to all of you, but today I'm turning the tables and letting you impart knowledge on me.
Here's the scenario: We were at school registration looking at the bulletin board with the pictures of all the teachers on it. Mitch, age 6, points to one and says, "She's fat." I then quickly scan my head to see who heard and hope nobody who fits that description is nearby and Isaac, who is a little more in tune socially (sometimes) does his part by kicking Mitch for being insensitive.
On the car ride home I try to explain to Mitch why we shouldn't make comments like that. But the saddest thing was I felt my argument was lame. I said something about how it isn't polite to call people fat. Mitch's response: "But she is fat." Good point. So I said something about not needing to say things just because it's true. And calling someone fat isn't good manners. And that everybody is different and it's not nice to point out differences and blah, blah, blah. But then I started thinking that what I was saying was silly. Mitch wasn't meaning to be rude. Someone else making that comment may have meant it rudely, but not Mitch. He was making an observation. I thought of some other examples of things you shouldn't say (kids with braces, glasses, learning disabilities)--and it still came back to only being rude if that was the intent on the part of the sayer.
I guess my problem is that it is an issue of a double standard. We teach our kids that everybody is different. But telling them not to comment or notice the differences makes it seem like there is something wrong in being different. (You follow that?) And what about euphemisms? Would it have been more polite for Mitch to just say, "That teacher has a genetic inclination to obesity?"
So here is my plea: Please give me a good argument for why Mitch shouldn't have said the teacher was fat. If I buy your reasoning I won't send you any forwarded funnies for a year. You know you can't beat that prize.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Week in Review

We began the week with Ike's Birthday. Now that he's 8, he likes to take his shirt off for pictures. He also likes to wear his new athletic gloves quite a bit. They are very useful for gripping dessert.
Despite the lack of pastry prettiness, that apple pie lasted me several meals. Breakfast, lunch and dinner for a couple days. Hey, apples are fruit so I was very healthy.
Ethan had a rare moment where Noelle would sit on his lap so he screamed for me to take a picture. I did. Please note the pacifier. Future posts will be coming as I am debating whether or not it's time to say good-bye to my best friend.
The above picture caused lots of excitement this weekend. We are lucky to live so close to the mountains, but the dangers of wildfires came a little too close to home. Fortunately the wind was blowing in our favor and our neighborhood never was threatened but we knew people whose homes had to be evacuated. Scary.

Yesterday was Ike's baptism. He had managed to endure all the attention and extra gifts that come with this special day. We successfully fed the family afterwards even though I still don't know how to calculate food for large crowds. Let's just say we made several more shopping trips than I originally planned.
We also went school shopping this week and Ike and Mitch were very embarrassed for me to go in the boys dressing room with them. I don't know what was better in the boys or them in the girls?? What's the proper protocol?
More stuff happened like the kids putting on a realllly long play that they made Hub videotape and Mitch went into timeout about 83 times and I wanted to buy myself a snowcone but never figured out how to do it without getting one for the kids and heaven knows they didn't deserve one like I did....So that's it. You know where to come for excitement. Right here in my Week In Review. Oh yeah. Anybody need some zucchini? Why does that veg reproduce so much?

Friday, August 1, 2008

A night of culture

Usually I know I am the best mom ever, but every once in awhile a little doubt creeps in and I have to seek some counsel from Hub. This was the conversation the other night:
Me: Lambkins (you choose if that's what I really called him), do you ever get concerned that we haven't exposed our children to enough cultural events?
Hub: Huh?
Me: I just remember being dragged to choir, orchestra, dance and band concerts all the time when I was little. Not to mention the museum exhibits and plays. And look how great I turned out!
Hub: You were on the tail end of the family and they made you go to all that stuff because the older family members were performing. Our kids are too young.
Me: But shouldn't we start them young so they can get used to it?
Hub: You complain every time you leave the house with all four of them and now you want to take them to a concert????
Me: Good point. But are you sure they aren't culturally deprived?
Hub: ZZZZZZZZZZ (this is how lots of deep conversations end in our house)
I am one smart cookie and realized that my desire to have my children exposed to the fine arts doesn't really translate into taking them out into public and ruining everyone else's fine arts experience. So I came up with a perfect compromise. I let them stay up and watch So You Think You Can Dance with me.
We had a truly edifying experience. Ethan kept on asking why you have to dance in your underwear. Mitch tried to mimic a few breakdancing moves and ended up with carpet burn on his head. Isaac became distracted by the competition aspect and kept on wondering where they kept the prize trophy. Yes, I think it was a cultural success. Maybe next week we will try a different artistic venue. Like watching Don't Forget the Lyrics. Yessiree, my kids will be the most cultured kids on the block.