Tuesday, January 31, 2006


When they take a bath LaLa is in and out of the tub... we try to discourage this but when other stuff is going on...

Today I let them take a bath in the morning, but meanwhile Pearl woke up and was hungry. While I nursed I noticed that LaLa was doing her usual in and out shtick. I did NOT notice that she was gathering bedding. That's two pillows, a quilt and a bath towel in there, in that tub that used to have a fair amount of splashable bath water.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Sing Like a Bird

In our church the children all move to the next class up every January first, this move in Primary (kids Sunday School for ages 4-12) has brought a change or two for Birdie.Birdie is a "Sunbeam" this year... an exuberant Sunbeam bringing her own little brand of sunshine into the lives of everyone she encounters. Going from her previous experience in nursery with all of it's freeplay with toys, snacks and three sentence gospel lessons to the more formal environment of Primary with it's schedules, singing time and longer lesson time.... and most importantly no snack, has been a little rough. I should say that it is relatively rough... 'cuz Bird is one of the older sunbeams as her birthday is this Friday, the rest of the class has all the rest of this year to turn four. Plus the Bird is the Bird and she is in all things, gung-ho. There has been a shuffle of folks substitute teaching in that class until last Sunday but now she has the cutest couple team-teaching. But the damage was done, because this morning Birdie needed a little extra lovin' to get into the groove so I went and sat with her for a few minutes before the "Junior Primary" sharing time began. While I was sitting there the "music lady" saw Birdie and, bless her soul, said
"oh Birdie, I'm so glad you are here. Are you ready to sing?"

It was instant superfluity.

"oh... so ok, I guess... I'll go... bye." I mumble as I remove my chopped-liver-self to the adult brand Sunday School.

Later I was in the hallway during class time on my way to or from the changing of the bum (LaLa, like her sister before her has a regular morning BM routine going) and I saw the husband half of Birdies teacher in the hall. I asked if Bird had warmed up to them and of course she had the second I stepped out. He commented on her amazing singing ability... this brand new sunbeam singing every word of every Primary song. He was amazed that whenever he looked over at her, there she was gleefully belting it out.

Birdie sings. She was born with a love for music. Any time that she is getting grumpy, or naughty or sad all it takes is a song to lift her spirits and set all the world to rights. When she was born she gotten a little bit of fluid in her lungs and when the nurse lay her bundled and smashfaced body in my arms Birdie was grunting. The nurse said I could only hold her a moment because the grunting was a sign of mild respiratory distress and she needed her lungs cleared. I wasn't too worried... I mean, I had picked the hospital based on the reputation of it's NICU, but no mama wants to hear her baby in distress, mild or otherwise. I started singing The Wheels on the Bus to her and her grunting, wheezy breathing immediately calmed down and she looked at me. She looked right AT me and I swear my heart caught, I know my voice did because it was such a direct gaze.

We do alot of singing in this house... part of it's me and the rest of it all about the girls and the fact that they sing and would sing even if they had been born to a deaf-mute mama. Often instead of reading books or telling a story we will sing before nigh-night time, and since the goal is to wind down The Chaos-Girls to about a Cat-2 level, I lean toward Primary songs since they tend to be a little less rockin'. So it's not all that shocking that Birdie is singing her heart out at church. I just question whether or not she is singing "every word" like her darling teacher thinks. Lately I have been ending our evening sing with the song "Families Are Forever" because it's easy to sing it like a lullaby and the girls really love the words... so far as they remember, or understand them. Last week we were singing the second verse and the words are...

"...while I am in my early years
I'll prepare most carefully
so I can marry in God's temple
for eternity...."

I was hearing some different lyrics from the top bunk. I wasn't sure so I invited Birdie to give us a solo. Sure enough, she had revamped a line in there, so instead of singing...
"...so I can marry in God's temple
for eternity."

she sang...
"...so I can share my problem life
for all eternity."

Turns out this is how she always sings it. True story.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Harvey & Eck: A Book Review

I'm not sure that I have ever actually consciously read a review for a book. I just read whatever seems interesting, or more often go by what friends have recommended. To that end I was gonna check out a few proper book reviews before my own attempt so as to not completely shame myself before all of Internet-dom. Then I remembered the resume I posted to get this gig in the first place...check it. If Erin had wanted a professional review she would have gotten someone like Psychic Dumb Dum, if she wanted a learned one? Garrett would be the guy to get. Huh... and oh yeah, she did.

Sometimes I'll check out what a book says about itself on the back or the flyleaf, but tend to skim over words like "compelling," "edgy," or "gritty" and usually stay away from books that consider themselves "sexy," "sophisticated," or "sultry." Ooops... I just looked at the back of Harvey & Eck and saw two of the three strikeout words. In this case it's ok though because those words are on the cover, albeit the back cover and for me the cover does not exist. As a former graphic artist the cover sticks in my craw, but I'll get back to that.

Harvey & Eck is an epistolary novel (heh, got that from a fly leaf description of Lady Catherine by Jane Austen). This means that the whole book is written through letters, as in post office letters. This is something that could so easily come off unwieldy and awkward, and occasionally the book does catch a little on it's own form of delivery, but frankly this is a minor annoyance. It's the indomitable Harvey and fastidious Eck, their warmth and humanity, that drives the storyline and causes you to turn the pages.

I, for one believe absolutely in the power that writing has to change your life. Harvey and Eck chronicles these changes beautifully and tenderly through the most unlikely of correspondence. Harvey has a secret that she must tell someone, so she chooses a name at random from the phone book and begins writing. As you read her letters you will discover she has an off-beat take on life and a few serious problems as all the while you fall in love with her honesty and spirit. Eck is the object of her letter writing, a man of definite OCD tendencies... and a pure, if almost dead heart. It is her over-the-top and slightly off-color missives that kick starts old Eck and before he knows what has happened he is living and breathing once again.

As a mother and Christian woman I must note that the book is peppered with explicit language, "F" bombs and the like. None of the characters appear to have any problems with pre-marital sex and relatively minimal moral difficulty with infidelity. For me the language and amorality are overshadowed by the value of the story of metamorphosis and growth, but there ya have it. In other words if this kind of thing bugs you, consider yourself warned.

Back to that cover. I know I shouldn't judge a book by it's cover but DANG! the way I see it this cover is miles off the content. The only elements of the artwork that have any place is the motorcycle and the moody quality of the landscape. The computer generated image of a woman with painted on jeans? Wha...? This figure is everything that Harvey is not. Yes Harvey is a sexual creature but her sensuality is visceral and mortal. This CGI gal is pure fourteen-year-old boy fantasy; glossy where our heroin is vulnerable and as contrived as our Harvey is genuine. I think it's quite telling that the worst criticism I have for this book is the cover art.

Harvey and Eck is straight up, honestly delivered literature. I'd loan you my copy, but it's signed and I'm afraid you'd keep it. As it is, the cover is already looking a little beat and today I had to pry apart the top corner of pages 39-50 that had been stuck together by what appears to be smashed and dried banana.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


My literary pretensions...

Mr. Dadguy's grandmother is dying. I'm not writing about her dying...I don't think that the family would feel comfortable with me blogging about her passage, and I wouldn't go into particulars anyway. She is not a woman that I know very well, but she loves Dadguy and hey, that makes her a sensible and worthy woman in my book. She has always told me how lucky I am and what a sweet boy he has always been. She says this with great love and pride and I admit I cannot disagree with her.

Gramma F is able to play the piano by ear alone, she's really good. She has been wanting to leave this with someone in the family and the likely guy is Dadguy. He's got a great ear and once taught himself to play the song "No Holly for Mrs. Quinn," by Enya, top and bottom hand the whole shebang. It's my understanding that she teaches people who want to learn some chords, sprinkles fairy dust on their fingers and then they can play most anything. She has started to work with Dadguy and he has been trying to get in some practice time so that he can play her a little something before she has to go. He was trying for some keyboard time at the piano the other night and it was pure chaos. Chaos-girls, piano, Dadguy... well duh! The effort was valiant and in the end some progress was made partly due to my act using some smoke, mirrors...aaaaaand a little bit of old fashioned duct-tape-the-kids-to-the-carpet action. Forty five minutes later, after they Houdini-ed their way out of the tape and delivered their poor pop some WWF smackdown style lovin' he was limping down the hallway and gave me some kind of apology for having to work so hard to keep them off of him. Something about how he hadn't picked a great time to try to practice. I told him that he had little kids and if he was gonna wait and practice when all the stars were in alignment he wasn't EVER going to get it done.

epiphany. The same goes for this review.

I wanted so bad to be able to give a bang-up professional presentation. I wanted to write this review and have people read it and go... "dang I want to HIRE that woman to write for my newspaper, magazine, literary journal! Such talent, such an amazing command of ... of... of ... whatever it is that you have to have for a cool writing career." Yeahhh... whatever. First off even were I so awesome as to get some poor schmuck agent or the editor of "Yakkity-Smakkity-High-Tone-Magazine" banging on my digital door, I am a mom. I have chosen to BE a mom and nothing but a mom for right now. If things work out the way that Dadguy and I have planned we will not be figuring out taxes for me until after my kids walk out the door to college.

Section 26A of my personal reasons for this decision...
I used to think that I was this superfly multi-tasker. That was before I had kids. What I have discovered, post-procreation is that while I MAY be able to multi-task I don't do it pleasantly or kindly, and very likely have never done it particularly well either. On top of that, writing is very hard for me. But I love it so. I would never be able to balance a career and raise my babies the way that I want to. Maybe some women can, I can't and won't for so long as I don't have to.

and OH YEAH! No one is asking me to embark on this stellar writing career. By the way it's not polite to laugh at peoples dreams no matter how absurd. When someones actual life is poopy diapers, endless rounds of laundry, finding the entire contents of the refrigerator set out carefully in swooping patterns on the kitchen linoleum on a daily basis and losing every personal boundary known to man, a rich fantasy life is important. So shut it. Now.

I was going to post this along with the review.... but this part is done and the review is halfway there so suck it up and drink water folks! There is the outside chance I'll be done by tomorrow, and the slightest chance that it will make sense.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

proof that I am full of it...

...or maybe just covered with it.

You Are a Caramel Crunch Donut

You're a complex creature, and you're guilty of complicating things for fun.
You've been known to sit around pondering the meaning of life...
Or at times, pondering the meaning of your doughnut.
To frost or not to frost? To fill or not to fill? These are your eternal questions.


got tagged by Mama D
first meme I ever dun... here goes.

Four Jobs You've Had in Your Life:
1. Graphic Artist for t-shirt company, two sign companies and freelance
2. Library Storyteller
3. Art Supply Salesperson and later Assistant Manager.
4. Movie Theater employee (ticket sales, concessions and usher)

Four Movies You Could Watch Over and Over:
1. You've Got Mail/Bend it Like Beckham/My Big Fat Greek Wedding (lactating movies)
2. The War of the Buttons
3. Clue
4. Serenity

Four Places You've Lived:
1. Albuquerque, New Mexico
2. West Lebanon, New Hampshire
3. Farmington, Maine
4. Provo, Utah

Four Websites You Visit Daily:

1. Absentminded Housewife
2. Gronce
3. Saving Sanity
4. Daring Young Mom
most of my linky dinks I visit daily...

Four TV Shows You Love To Watch:
1. Numb3rs
2. CSI
that's about it for currently running shows... we have small children, few channels and no Tivo, you do the math! Have enjoyed Law and Order season DVD's, X-files DVD's all in order via my big sis in Denver (hey there Auntie S!), and the one season of Firefly. I liked INXS Rockstar when it was going, and actually voted twice!

Four of Your Favorite Foods:
1. Green Chili Cheeseburger... Lotaburger is great but so is the Owl Cafe
2. Bar-b-que ribs
3. Hot Sour Soup from Ko Palace in Albq
4. pie... I just love pie

Four Albums You Can't Live Without:
I don't deal with music in terms of albums anymore... so I'm gonna do four musical
artists or groups that I can't live without:
1. Aretha Franklin
2. Foo Fighters
3. Enya
4. anything on my "kid's music" play list... just shut-up and let me drive already!!

Four of Your Favorite Books or Series of Books:
1. The Complete Novels of Jane Austen- by Jane Austen...has all seven of her finished novels.
2. The Wheel of Time series- by Robert Jordan
3. Otherland series- by Tad Williams
4. Ender's Game series- by Orson Scott Card

Four Places You'd Rather Be:
1. Visiting my parent's in NM
2. At Disney Land
3. Chicago
4. In Bed (and not feeling guilty about it)

And finally, per tradition (apparently),
Four People Who Are Now Obligated To Do This on Their Blog:


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Temporarily Lifted

well so much for the blogging moratorium. Due to sickness, cranky babies and husbands who have a life outside of ME and what I need him to do, I have not been able to do more than make notes, cogitate and otherwise prepare for Thursday night. Thursday night, the night that the stars align, this entire family cooperates dammit, and I commit to digital what is going on in my cranial format. The night that I write this review.

Scratch that.

Thursday night is NOW the night that I will use to prepare to teach the lesson for women's church group on Sunday. This is a first for me and is, if possible, actually MORE intimidating than the intellectual and emotional task of book review writing. Giving a Relief Society lesson is intellectually, emotionally AND Spiritually taxing. I would add to that the public-speakingly taxing aspect... but that is something that actually gives me a bit of a charge. A stomach churning, sweaty, coronary sort of a charge... but a charge nonetheless.

There ya have it, because see? I'm a mommy and I'm flexible like that! Crap no, my perfectionism isn't eating away at my guts right now as I post this thing that is NOT a review... no, I am not cursing in my heart of hearts at my inability to think, type, produce infectious mucous and mother three cutie-patootie rats at the same time. I am flexible. I am Elasta-girl. I am Zen. I am up a sewage creek...

Monday, January 16, 2006


The fact is I am just not cool enough to blog and chew bubble gum at the same time. Therefore I resolve to make no posts until the review for Erin's book is complete. Aaaaand don't hold yer breath too long this may take a few days!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Household Update

Once again the House of the Mama is hit with the plague. Because I am putting my energies into nursing and nursing invalids I have no time for blogging. But here are some pix...

Birdie made her Daddy a cake. Can you tell that we have been checking out castle cakes? The yellow doobers around the edge are Halls "Fruit Breezers." They were pretty good. LaLa is going to eat one. Just one, because I took the other five slobbery lozenges away.

LaLa has a huge ear infection. The infection is huge, her ear is normal size. She is currently taking a Phenergan and Codeine nap. This could take a while... I want a nap like that.

Here is Birdie with Pearl.... please note the very cute Hilfiger jeans. You will never see those on her in real life. All three of my girls have darling pictures of them in the cutest wee pairs of what my Granny called "Levi's." She called them that just like my Dad calls all soft drinks "Coke." In his case it's an Oklahoma thing, in her case I think it was an old school rancher thing.

When she was a baby I used to put poor Birdie in Levi's because I liked to play dress-up dolly with her. The dress-up thing was too bad because I would do things like stuff her fabulously chubby body into stiff, unstretchy zip up pants. Ughk! and the SHOES. Always with the shoes. But it was also ok, because I would be changing her out of 'em in a few hours at the longest. With LaLa I put a pair on her at three months and took a picture then never put them on her again.... she looked exactly like a sausage in a casing. This particular pair of Levi's I thought might be different. They seemed to be cut more generously, and they are roomier only... so stiff. I see her sweet little tummy pressed up against the waist band and it constricts my breathing. Does any one want a pair of 3-6 month Tommy Hilfiger baby jeans? They will work great for boys or girls... speak now or forever hold yer water 'cause the MS folks are coming by on Wednesday.

But you can't have the hat! The hat is a knitted apple hat made by her Auntie R so get yer grubby paws off!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


This past Sunday we gave the Pearly girl a blessing in church. To save us all some time I won't go into great detail about the what, wherefore's and how's of the blessing... just the one small gripe that I got.

After sacrament meeting is done, often the family and friends of the blessed will go to the family's home and have a chat-n-snack. No big deal right? Just a wee open house setting to say welcome to the babe.


this is at my house right? The mother of three children, three and under.* My HOUSE...the living space of a gal who just spent 9 brutal months gestating. Consider the chaos this wreaks upon her house and body. Dadguy was telling someone how voracious LaLa was. How she used to go scavenging under the kitchen table for a leftover bite of ... whatever to eat. She doesn't do that any more. Partly because she has figured out how to open the fridge and now spends her day decimating whatever she can reach, open, or break into in there, and partly because now that I am no longer pregnant I can manage to sweep under the table more often than every four days. It got ugly and has been followed by two months of sleep deprivation, holiday mess and marathon nursing sessions during which the two mobile kiddos have ACCESS to the whole house. THIS house.

Who thought this up? WHO thought this would be a good idea or a fun time?

K, well it was fun. Likely I had a good time because my housekeeping standards have gone waaaay down. and my dear MIL came over and cleaned the kitchen and scrubbed the floor (the one area I didn't see those standards take a nose-dive). and she made the blessing dress. and homemade cinnamon rolls. and apparently was the only one with the presence of mind to take pictures.

The pix you see here? I'm a low down cheater who thinks nothing of stuffing a baby back into a blessing dress for a lousy Internet photo-op. As you may notice she is looking somewhat comatose... what we here in the House of the Mama like to call "booby drugs."

*Technically true as Birdie turns four on Feb. 3rd...LaLa turns two on Valentines Day.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


No one in this freakin' house is cooperating with my desire to blog, shop, shower or see a movie in the theater, and sadly I LIVE IN THIS HOUSE TOO! Does not play well with others. Does not cooperate with self. It's late. It was even later last night/this morning when I finished my first read through of Erin's novel. This is not the time or the place for a review and a review this is not- just have done with it and buy the book already! (hmm... I guess it actually IS the place for a reiview but tough doo-doo any hoo) Read it yourself and you can enjoy it and the people in it without having to wait for or wade through MY sorry attempt at literary criticism. I'm already looking forward to my next read with Harvey and Eck.

"Good stuff, Maynard," and "hey, Mikey! He likes it!"

Friday, January 06, 2006


I like art.

I like this guys art.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Princess Baphomet

February third is Birdie' s birthday... she will be four years old. That is, if I let her live that long because holy HELL! she has been possessed by the evil demon of the "Disney Princess Party."

It started evil and got worse, and it's probably all my fault. In the beginning of the evening Dadguy took the girls to our mailbox to pick up the mail in hopes that a DVD we purchased online a week before Christmas was here YET. (can you say "negative ebay feedback?) In our mailbox was a piece of snail mail spam, a catalogue hawking birthday party goods a.k.a. "The Book of the Damned." I must have gotten sloppy somewhere, because it was addressed to me. Oh, look! These purveyors of kiddie-crack have a website right here.... which means that YOU my dear friends get to see the picture that spawned Birdies worst meltdown EVER.

It was after dinner that the real mistake was made. I thought to myself..."Self, the Bird loves all things party... maybe she would like to have a gander at that there magazine of pornography disguised as party goods." Ummmm, yeah she would and she did. It was around the time that she got to the pink section that her head began to spin around. Slowly. So slowly that I missed this cue to call in an exorcist right now! She began a heathen "party dance" and sing-songing "I wanna buy THIS party, THIS party, THIS party!" in that nails-on-chalkboard voice that is normally exclusive to the statement "I wanna PONY Daddy, a PONY!"

I said, "we won't buy THAT party, but I will put together a great princess party for you for your birthday if that's what you would like!" I get pretty enthused by parties, and I had been planning on making this kind of cake for her anyhoo. I have the Pampered Chef glass mixing bowl to bake the skirt part in and some Wilton paraphernalia. I'm crafty like that!


what she heard was..."sure thing honey, grab yer coat and I'll grab the deed to the house. We'll take out a second mortgage and GET you that party, Aaaand we'll have that party complete with guests all set up for ya in about half an hour!"

Birdie is a very animated girl, prone to drama of a vivacious and silly type... but she has not been much of what I term a "Drama-Queen". You know what I mean, the hysterics and over the top wailing that some kids do. This is not a judgement on kids like this, or their parents cuz some folks just come wired that way, I have simply never seen THIS kid pull out the stops.

What I meant to say was HAD never seen her do it. Shoot me in the head, because we are not gonna make it.

The offending picture was actually WORSE than what you see in the link, I just took a closer look and realised that.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

New Year

I was inspired by Shelli's resolution to get a more loverly look for her page...turns out there a bunch of places with free templates. I picked these flowers up at this site. Dang it was easy to do! Of course I have my own IT guy, but he only helped me with backing up my original template and info in case I botched the job. The rest was done by Yours Truly, and that will sound a whole lot less impressive after you have done one of these suckers yerself. Someday I will design a blog from the ground up, and that day is NOT TODAY!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


The Dadguy has a new hang-out.

He said I could link to his blog if I wanted to, so I did. The link is to yer right in my "linky-dinky-doo's." Just know that if you go over there and say anything mean I'll kick yer can! I mean that in the silliest sense possible... as in I have no muscle tone left in my body. Did I mention that I am now Ooooooooold?

Monday, January 02, 2006

Third times the charm folks

I was at the opticians the other day (a spiffy way of saying Wallyworld's Eyemart) and trying on the frame selection. We had Cafeteria Plan money that was threatening to disappear in a poof of some deep corporate pocket if we didn't use it by the end of the year. We appreciate the untaxed medical bennies that we get from the Caf Plan, but c'mon with the Cinderella crap! The lighting in there is really, ahhh, revealing.

I am going grey.

I had a single hair of pure white before the new baby... and now they are Legion. I am not the queen-of-vain but HEY now! The other telling moment was telling the Optometrist how long I have been wearing the Rigid Gas Perm style of contact. Two decades people! Now that the Toric style are so cheapy cheap, and I am no longer finding it worth the effort to shove chips of wet plastic onto my eyeballs... 'cause it HURTS! I thought that we would go the easier, softer route. Too bad the soft contacts suck as well!

O, Lasik why dost thou cost so much?

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Farewell to the Designated Chair as we knew her. She is gone, but like a Phoenix rising from it's own ashes she will return in glory... it is my job to decide what version of microfiber goodness that glory will look and feel like. Right now I am leaning toward the heavy duty, nubby stuff that is chaos-girl impervious. "Java", "Buff" and "Sage" the colors of hushed serenity, ahhhhhhh.

Re-upholstering... firm and cushion-y new insides and texture-y clean outsides. This will be my first BRAND NEWish bit of furniture that did not come in pieces in a box. It is irrelevant to me that it is still not "technically" new. It is a beautiful set of bones, firmly fleshed and smartly dressed, and that makes it new enough. Better even, because it boasts a long and beloved history in my husbands family, and then in our own young family. A huge THANK YOU, to all who have made this possible most especially to my MIL who is footing the bill and doing the footwork... SIL who gave MIL the idea that I would like this for a birthday present, and Grandma "F" who has the connections in the dangerous underworld of upholstering. Yeah booooyyyyyy!

With the new year comes the graduation of my eldest from "Senior Nursery" to the regular Sunday School for kids... in our church it is called "Primary." This is where she will be in various classes and incarnations until age 12. Congrats to you Birdie... you are a SUNBEAM! A fact that I have browbeat her with at least twice today.
"Sweetheart, you have to be REVerent! You are a SUNBEAM now!"

Do I get that mother of the year award now?

LaLa is still in nursery, but props to her for not being such a big baby about it. She says "oop-a-day-shee" when she drops stuff, and "dank-oo" when you help her clean up the resulting mess. Now that Christmas is past we will likely hear her sing her version of Jingle Bells less and that is a loss.
"ding-guh bahhhw, ding-guh bahhhw, ding-guh bahhhw, a-WAYYYYY!"

Pearl slept through the entire three hour church block. She is STILL asleep, a fact that my boobs are expressing their concern about. Get it, "express?" Never mind.