Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Pictorial

So.... I am chasing after Henry pretty much his entire "awake" time, trying to get him to quit taking off his doobah, or at least make his "wee wee" and "poo poo" into one potty or the other. Kid made wee wee in his potty at least five times yesterday... and once or twice on the floor, which is OK, I guess. His enthusiasm is there, he just has no clue what is going on. The night before last he pooped in one bathtub, got transferred with his sister to the other upstairs tub so I could scrub it out and while I was doing it, he snuck out and pooped all over the girls room floor, then ran down the hallway crying about it with poo all down his legs and on his feet.

There was a lot of scrubbing going on considering it was the Sabbath. Ox in the mire and all that.

Any questions why I insist on having all my kids completely PTed before we get a dog? No? You want to know why the heck I am gonna get a dog at all? Good question. Don't know.

Yeah... Sunday night was a bit of a farce. He ran through six outfits from the time that he got up from his nap at five, to the time he went back down at 8:30 (he gets a late nap on Sundays because of church).


(I should have taken a pic of this before the kids got out there to play. The snow was higher than the swing seats)


Today was supposed to be the last day of school for the girls; Christmas parties and a field trip to the movie theater to see "Beezus and Ramona" and all that fun, but instead we awoke to some pretty epic amounts of snow. The tears over the cancelled parties didn't last long though, when the friends started showing up, with the snow forts, snowball fights, games of snow fairies, snow blower fountain ducking and all the rest of the outdoor fun. Plus one neighbor was giving kids rides around the block by pulling them on a sled tied behind his four runner. Henry didn't get to go on the sled, but he certainly loved his rides on my lap in the passenger seat, cheeks bright red and boogers streaming out behind him.


(For a sense of scale... note the snow shovel stuck in the snow next to the driveway across the street.)

For the adults there was the fun of neighborhood digging out, and I have to say- our snow blower wins the prize for being the heavy hitter. It pretty much ran all morning long between Dadguy, and I and then two of the other guys from the neighborhood. We got everything dug out and y'all? It was FUN! Right now I have a bevvy of thawing little girls and one little dude downstairs watching "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and eating popcorn.



Witness: only a portion of the snowsuit chaos!

What a cozy day; a lost day. A day to make a few loaves of bread and maybe some fudge.

Speaking of making... the other night I made each kid a Christmas pillowcase and let them open it for their advent calendar treat. When we put away the Christmas decorations and books, the pillowcases will go with them, so I wanted the kids to get some use out of them this year. I am VERY proud of them, unreasonably so since they were crazy-easy to make.


Birdie's


Lilac's

Pearl's

Henry's


...and now I have to go do piles of laundry and dishes and, and, and... it's a good thing we are done with Christmas prep aside from a grocery run, 'cause I am snowed under in more ways than one! This is probably it for my Christmas post, sooooooo

Merry Christmas!

Edited to add: the link to a tutorial to make those pillowcases.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Boy-o Turns Two-o


By decree from my Mother... I now hereby post something new upon my bloggeth.

I would apologize for my lack of posting, but y'all. I am whipped.

Between my new calling, birthdays, Christmas, family stuff, kid's school stuff and breathing, I am maxed out. Uncomfortably so. I am struggling to adapt to the changes in my work load and responsibilities, and it aint a pretty sight... doing things like losing my temper with the kiddos, to my shame. Unreasonable hollering. Nothing that an apology and a chill-out session cannot fix, but still I am not where I am feeling like I have a handle.

Just like how when we first add a new baby to our family, all of the uglier sides of my "mama traits" seem to get trotted out for display, I cannot get over the irony that now, when I feel like I am supposed to be this super-cool primary lady... I am a freaked out harridan. Guess maybe I will be closer to being that person I think I am supposed be, round about the time I get released from this calling.

Guess that'll have to be OK. Something to work toward anyways.

So Henry had himself that Birthday numero two-o, and we went to Pirate Island since I had purchased a voucher that got us forty dollars worth of food and twenty dollars worth of game tokens for $29.00. He had a GOOD time! As in we could barely talk him into eating a slice of pizza good.

Made him some cupcakes... but um... pictures? Not so much. Really, just the one. I would feel a little more chagrined at the cheesyness of these cupcakes as compared to some of the cakes I have made his for sisters, only he LLLLURVED them so very much, with their "kulls!" and their "shock-wit tanny!" and their electric blue frosting that tickles his soul so very. That guy is a BOY.



So here are a few recent, random shots of the kids...





... a little footage of the Henry-man enjoying his new birthday gift from Grandma and Grandpa, and Pearl trying to get her paws on the car to have a go. Oh, a little Henry trivia... he got a great big plush panda bear from his cousin that he has apparently named "Pizza."


Monday, November 29, 2010

AAAAAAAAAAACK!

Aw crud... Thanksgiving has come and gone and that deserves a post. But it's not gonna get one.

Honestly though... I haven't been posting because for the past week and a half I have been keeping a secret. A pretty BIG flippin' secret that will affect my life in big ways for the next few years probably.

Nope, not goin' back to school... why would I keep that a secret? You are weird.

Nope, not preggers. As IF! I wouldn't keep that secret! I would be sobbing hysterically and shouting my woe from the rooftops!

Naw, and my secret might not make a whole lot of sense to those of you who are not familiar with Mormons... but I got called to be the Primary President for my ward. I had to keep it secret because first they call me, and then I have to come up with the names of a 1st and 2nd counselor and a secretary for my presidency.... then they have to be approved by the Bishop and then accept or decline the call. This takes time, and everyone involved has to keep it quiet for a slew of reasons, mostly to keep hurt feelings and speculation to a minimum. It just works better this way.

So now... now I am in charge of about two hundred kids, their teachers, Scout leaders, Activity Day leaders and Sharing Time and... and ... and...! I do better if I don't try to wrap my head all the way around it just yet! I just have to ease my way into this and trust that everything will work out. Luckily, I have The Uberwymmin for my counselors and secretary, and the Stake Primary President who is one of my good friends a few houses down, has offered to train me. Technically, she train the whole presidency, but um.... I appear to be the only one without a clue or previous experience.

I am so EXCITED! when I don't think about the details (cuz then I freak out). What will I do? What will I learn? Eep!

Non-sequitor: Today Birdie dumped her back-pack out before going to school and I finally got to read a little one pager that she had written from the point of view of a turkey. The turkey ends up faking a cough and yelling out things like "I have CANCER! I have intestine problems! You don't want to eat me, I am not long for this world!" and the suckers on the farm decide to eat ham and potato chip for Thanksgiving instead.

Tonight Henry was yelping out "HELP! YOU! HELP! YOU!" and when I went to investigate, I found him standing on top of his table, looking for some help to get down. He can totally get down, guess he just didn't want to.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Underwater Pearl



Oh. Huh... has it been a week since the Pearl-girl's birthday and cake? Wow! I really NEED to find our camera! All of our documentation has been happening via iPhone, not bad if it's Dadguy's 4G, but less awesome if it's my 3GS. So yeah. Here is a shot of the girl from September when we made an "adventure trip" to the center of Utah; that manhole cover looking medallion at her feet.

If you are wondering why she is standing with her hands like that, I think she was being a horse at the time. Those are hooves.




Again. I think of these things as an artistic outlet. I research and plan and ponder upon how I am going to create them.... and then the day comes and I have so much "help" that I want to cry a little (or swear a lot). On the one hand, my kids will know how to make and decorate cakes from scratch. On the other, I am going grey. I have an appointment on Wednesday to get my hair done, and that should hide most of the evidence... but I am still a little tense from the experience.

On other news... I bought Henry a little blue potty. His love affair with all things to do with bodily functions continues, though he is 100% clueless about the nuts and bolts of actually making his "wee-wee" into the pot. He sure does love to flush the toilet nowadays though. Dadguy says he's glad that SOMEONE in this house is flushing, but I am feeling like three flushes in a row in each toilet is a bit much.

Also Henry insists on a regular cup at mealtimes, he has effectively used one for nearly a year. But he still has accidents so we give him maybe an inch of beverage at a time. The girls will occasionally ask for a "Henry amount" in their own cup, when they want just a little more.




Saturday, November 06, 2010

A Blog Post

Uhh... so it turns out that Dadguy thought I took the pictures of the Halloween costumes this year. I thought HE took pics, so I didn't bother. Grandma took pictures, so yeah... there is that. But y'all get no Halloween bloggy love.

Birdie was an Undead Pianist, Lilac and Pearl were Snowy Owls that I had made for them for this summer's Harry Potter Party, and Henry dressed up in the same Tiger suit that Lilac and Pearl wore when they were each two years old. We did things a little different this year, we decided that we would not spend any money on costumes this year. All in all, we bought trick 'r treat candy, pumpkins and four dollars worth of paper decorations at the dollar store. This is meager for the Chaos family... and yet, we all had a great time. At least as much fun as any other year. So yay! Budget!

Our tree in the front yard is FINALLY turning! It is usually good and crimson the week before Halloween, but not this year. I keep thinking each day, that it's color it is at it's most lovely, and the next days incarnation proves me wrong. Or indecisive, I guess.

About three weeks ago, a stinking little mouse came squeaking into the family room as Dadguy watched TV. I. HATE. MICE. They make me weep with fury at their existence within my home, and I will beat them to death if it is the fastest way to end it. We figured that it somehow snuck in the door when it was left unattended as it sooooo often was this past fall. Never mind how much I am off about, "not leaving the door open or mice and spiders will move in for the winter. Shut it. Shut the door. Shut the door please. The mice. Please. Shut. The. DOOR!!!! Especially since I had seen no poo or nibbles in our food storage, I assumed we were safe except for Mr. Naughtymouse. SO I got two traps, baited them and waited. And I got two mice. So I emptied and rebaited. Two more mice.

Seven nasty meese later... I am STILL not finding any poo, although the stankers have revealed their love of Ramen Noodles. Here is my completely unsolicited endorsement of this product....




Effective, easy, bloodless, reusable and worth every mouse-a-cide penny.

For Show and Tell to try and make up for the lack of costume photos.... Birdie had her fist piano recital today, almost a year of piano now. I feel like we are gettin' our $$ worth. I yam so proud! Kinda funny though, she sounds quite wooden during the first half of the song, but then it's like someone flipped a switch and she starts playing normal. Hit her stride I guess.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Snapshop of Henry on the Cusp of Two


Henry... he is a little dude of obsessions. When he loves a thing, he LURVES it and sees it everywhere! Luckily, he is not so focused on frogs anymore... he pronounces the word "frog" in the worst possible way. So much so that we had to be supercareful not to bring anything with frogs on it, or in it, to church. I am not interested in collecting one of those embarrassing stories about what Jr hollered out in the middle of the reverent contemplation of the Sacrament!

He has a thing about pumpkins right now. He loves himself some pumpkins, which he pronounces "puntinth" at top volume. So I got him a little sugar pumpkin at the grocery store. He carted the thing around and played with it until it's third trip down the staircase, at which point it fissured down the side, whereupon I turned it and a butternut squash into a couple of pies. He loved that too.

His joy in Halloween and it's many "puntinth" continues unabated. He literally squeals with joy over each and every jack o'lantern and orange orb.

He loves trucks, and can tell trucks from cars and trains... but he has a special love for any sort of construction truck, back hoe, crane or dozer and while he still calls them "trucks," he does it with his "thrill squeal" voice, so you know they are better. Waaaaay better!

He is also got a thing for.... this book:




He wants it read to him about twelve times in a row, five times a day... thankfully we can now press both Birdie and Lilac into service, or I would have lost my mind weeks ago. Even still, our copy of the book is currently hidden on top of the refrigerator. It's the Sabbath, I declare a holiday.

Henry is simply delighted with the picture of the little boy named Joshua in his birthday suit. He loves to point out Joshua's little "pee pee" and gets really charged up about it every time we get to the part about Joshua successfully making "wee wee" and "poo poo" into his little potty that looks like a big white coffee cup. Before YOU guys get all worked up about Henry possibly PTing early.... I cannot go there right now. My poor, poor little heart cannot take getting all hopeful about something that is NOT likely to happen for another year and a half. Sure. He might surprise me. Lets not talk about it right now. Am getting giddy even though I KNOW better. Shame on you for bringing it up.

Yes, I have tried him out on the potty several times. Yes, he grunts and toots a little and squeezes out a few dribbles of the ol' "wee wee," but I know from experience this means little past sad, dashed hopes for me, and diapers for eternity.





Also... he loves anything Dr. Suess. We have several of the classics on the iPad and iPhone, really some delightful apps. Henry pronounces it "Dah-shi-shoosh," and the fish in the car above is one of his favorite pictures. He loves to point out the very front of the car and say "pee pee," and really, is hilariously accurate. Did I tell you that after his birth by c-section, I'd had enough of knives and Dadguy sweetly let me have my way with the not doing the circumcision thing on the boy.

So yeah. The car. Snerk* bahHAhahahahahahaa!!

Here... a video. Is about a month old, but is still fairly representative of his pronunciation.
video

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Snippet Blogging

I am just not doing the job.

Obviously.

... and it's a crying shame, cuz the fun is going undocumented. For example: today Pearl and Lilac found the stash of paper lunch sacks and started making paperbag puppets. A cat, a dog, a girl, etc... Pearl brings me her masterpiece and tells me that it is a puppet of me... only evil-er.

The girls now demand to be called by the names "Beezus, Ramona and Roberta." Guess what movie I took them to see two weeks ago? Guess what books I am reading to them every night? Now guess who wants to be called what?



(If I were evil-er, and a puppet)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Blog? BLARG!

So... I guess the only writing that's happening 'round here is to my parents. I am reposting this weeks letter to them.

Dear Elder and Sister Mymaidenname,

Conversations at the dinner table:

Lilac: Mama, why do the cans of chips always have that face on them?

Bon: Well, do you remember when we talked this morning about the picture of the kangaroo on the can of hairspray, how people will know quickly by the picture, what brand the hairspray is, and how the companies who make them want you to to buy their brand so they make more money? It's called a "Logo," and that face there is the Pringles logo.

Dadguy: Yeah, also it used to be that not everybody could read, so they put logos and sometimes they put pictures of things on the cans so you know what you are getting (points to a bottle of ketchup on the table). What's that on that bottle?

Lilac: A TOMATO! So you know that it's tomatos in the ketchup!

Dadguy: And see how there is also a picture of chips on the front of the can of chips?

Lilac: Yeah! And what picture does the mayonnaise have on it?

Pearl: A bow? Why does it have a bow on it?

Dadguy: (disgusted look on his face) That's 'cause you don't WANT to know what's in mayonnaise.

***********************************************************************

Tuesday is the start of school for Birdie and Lilac... it will be Lilac's first time going alllll day long.
First grade. Wooo.

I tell ya who's looking forward to school starting... it's PEARL! She's gonna be the big sister every day. She's
gonna be the one picking out the movies to watch, the books for Mama to read, the one to get the hotly contended rose plate. And during Henrys naps... it's going to be just Pearl and Mama. I am pretty sure that the best part of that list for the kiddo is the rose plate.

This past week Robbie (my big sis) went to
Education Week at BYU, and we kept Ethan (nephew) overnight, not only to facilitate watching him for two days in a row, but because the girls were really wanting to have him over for a sleepover. Had some pretty dang funny conversations and a lot of fun with him over... but the highlight for me is that I finally got a recipe for chocolate zucchini cake that pleases me. Everyone realy loved it, and that's pretty darned impressive when you consider that the sucker is 100% whole wheat and packed with zucchini! I covered it with a cream cheese frosting and some big candy sprinkles, and it got sucked down by all. That's a mighty good thing, cuz boy. Do we EVER have zucchini coming out our ears. I am guessing someone at the store where we bought our starter plants swapped out the little cards poked in the dirt of a flat of summer squash, cuz I have about four more 'cchini plants that I had meant... and not one solitary yellow squash.... dagger sized all the way up to big ol' two handed broadsword size. Seriously... I have a couple of green baseball bats up there on my kitchen counter. I threaten my children with them, that and now finally the cake is just about the only joy I get out of 'em.

I have put zucchini in just about everything... did you know it is virtually undetectable in
spaghetti sauce, salad dressing and salsa? Just never, ever try to slide it by in a smoothy. Ain't gonna happen. Ever. Unless... maybe if I cook it down first. Now THERE'S and idea I haven't tried yet!

Thinking about peeling it, boiling it and running it thru the blender in order to sneak it into mashed potatoes. Shhhhhh... don't tell anyone. Hmmm... I have a buddy who hides
sweet potatoes in her Kraft Mac 'n Cheese... whddaya think about a little bit o' Zucch in there?

No?

Oh well.

I sure do love you guys... think about ya, and pray for ya too. This morning the girls drew some pictures for you... and since we cannot find our scanner cable, I will be shipping 'em out via snails. In case you can't figure it out when you get the cards and pictures, Pearl drew a picture of our family... if we were a family of
evil cats. I get the distinction of being the Evilest. Cat. Everrrrr.

If you were wondering.

Hasta la pasta
-the Mama

Friday, August 06, 2010

Where DID July Go?

I have started several posts in the past couple of weeks. I have thought about it, really I have. I just get so tired when I try to think about how to actually write the things that I am thinking about. It's just too hard.

So I am gonna give myself permission to be more stream-of-consciousness than I have allowed myself lately, just so's I can get started again. And yep, I am gonna let myself whine and bitch a little too.

I am sad to see some of my ideas go by the wayside, I just can't develop them right now. Four kids, y'all. I am maxed out. Plus there has been the issue of the fact that I have probably spent the past year or so wayyy low on thyroid. I switched doctors a few months back, and I feel like crying when it becomes clear that the last set of docs, or the lab they used, or something in the mix has kept me disastrously low. Man, I trusted those jokers with my health. It took a year of astoundingly poor health, 30 pounds of weight gain, exhaustion, hair loss and depression before I finally gave up on those shmoes. And I am having a hard time not beating myself for figuring it out earlier, for taking such poor care of myself. I know better. I know better.

It is what it is... I just hope I can get enough hair back that I can spend less time on my comb-over strategies to hide my bald spots.

Fact is... some days I just want to run away. But just for a week. Ya know? Or maybe a month. I'd like to get a pedicure, a passport and a ticket to hide out. Faaaar away. Where no one needs me to feed them, or dress them, or clean them or clean up after them. Where I am not having to be on my toes for "teaching opportunities" or asking the right questions or listening to the meandering and halting stories of four year olds. Feel guilty for letting the kids watch yet another episode of Invader Zim on Netflix, for not taking them to the library enough, or yelling at them.

Really, it's been a great summer. I am getting back to normal-ish, and of course that's good.

But, I dream of just being plain old me for a little while.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Nature Walk


I hadn't much thought about it till we took my SIL and family up to The Land, but while she was there she mentioned how surprised she was at all the trees on the property. The acreage is split almost in half; sage and grass with a sprinkling of juniper being the lower half, and the part that is most often in pictures, and the upper half that has the Nature Walk. The shabin and firepit/pad areas being in the middle and taking advantage of the views.

Most of the photos on this blog don't show the upper half.

Come on a little walk with me...



We have the start of our walk.



Cactus Corner.



Rocky Heights.


Most tree-age consists of Pinon, Juniper and...



Scrub oak.


So pretty.

...and we are back, or... at least this is all the shots I am gonna load tonite. Blogger is feeling sluggish and I am sleepy.

So, am I boring you with all the yap yapping about The Land? Because I am aware that I am starting to really get my geek on about it. Dadguy got us some plant and wildflower books and a bird book too. Truly I am a goof about trying to identify all the bits of flora that are about. Nerdy in the extreme, and I just cannot seem to help it.

Nerdy, and passing it on down the line. There are several deer trails on the property, and I know this is so cuz there is plenty of deer poo too. Birdie gleefully informed her sisters that the proper term for wildlife poo is "scat," and now every time Mei has to go number two she hollers, "Mama! I have to go scat!"

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Sunday pic: Hello





Meet the escape artist. Stinker, I tell ya. This is her bicycle which she refers to as her "pony." She calls her horse "Make Up." You heard me, "Make Up," as in the mascara that she is constantly pinching from me, and smearing all over her face. Make Up.



Here is the stinker in front of our house. Yard like that you might think the folks who live here have it under control, that they have a clue what's going on. They don't and they don't.



Shots of the girls at their respective "end-of-the-year-got-yer-moneys-worth" school programs. I have an almost identical shot of Birdie doing the same thing, standing in almost the same place, singing the same song from four years ago and with Mei's hair pulled up, it almost looks like they are sporting a similar haircut! Sorta not, except the point remains. Time! Flies!


Lilac had a line about springtime for her part in the Kindygardin show... hence the rain gear. That kid is more than ready for the BigTime that is first grade. Having noticed that Lilac likes spicy foods, Dadguy suggested that she and I go on restaurant dates to eat stuff like Mexican food. Lilac instantly perked up and asked, "Thoo-shi? Could we go and eat THOO-shi?!"




And of course my Birdie... who is sitting right next to a Particular Young Man who I will refer to as PYM. Apparently he is the smartest boy in her class, and holy crap if she doesn't have a huge crush on him. I don't want to make too much of the whole kerfuffle, she has had a series of different crushes this year... but we saw PYM and his family at the local ShamsClub on Friday, and when he saw her and waved, stood up, waved again and then sat back down quickly... my girl blushed. You have heard the phraze "blushed from head to toe?" Dude. I didn't actually think that elbows could blush. I am so no not ready for this.

Friday, June 04, 2010

This and That




So Pearl wants a new nom de blog, she has decided that she wants to be called Mei. Don't know if she actually wants to have it spelled like that, but since she keeps insisting that she wants to be named "May" like the girl in "My Neighbor Totoro," she gets "Mei."

Have you ever seen a Miyazaki film? You really ought to. They are dreamy and beautiful and the girls adore all the ones they have seen. We actually went and saw Ponyo in the theater. Just, wow. So when I finally remembered a month or so back that my brother and his wife had given us a substantial Amerzon-cot-dom gift card for last Christmas, I dropped a goodly chunk of Christmas change on three of our faves: "Totoro," "Spirited Away" and "Ponyo."

Summer has really set in around here, and once again I have all the best of intentions... so we spent a Family Home Evening having a family counsel and coming up with daily schedules and check lists. Basically just stuff that needs to be done before they run off and play or watch a show. Like, how I insist that they put on actual clothes and eat a breakfast. Seriously... you have to put that on a list for a four year old or it won't happen. Eight and six year old's too, apparently. There are other things like chores, piano practice, yard work, art and reading that are on the lists too.

I so understand my mother now. Awesome woman.

So I guess I need to consider purchasing stock in calcium tablets. I go through a bottle in no time at all, and I keep spacing off getting a new bottle. Of course... then I get sick at that special time I always get sick and I kick myself for having run out. I cuss too. The thing is, half of the frakking
pills I have to take interfere with half the other pills, and some I can only take on an empty stomach and some I have to take with food. So I have to remember to take pills about four times a day, and that on top of everyone else's meds and guess who's meds are the most likely to get missed? So I am coughing and hacking and feeling run down, as well as bloating and cramping and generally feeling like someone is gonna die. Maybe me, maybe the next kid to whine at me? Who knows?

Winner, winner chicken dinner!

We replaced the window in our darling shabin out to the land. Or maybe it's The Land now. That seems to be it's title; The Land. On Memorial Day we went up and put new boards around the outside and then stained them.... missed the color pretty good, I got Natural Cedar, and I suspect the rest of it had been done in Redwood... but then I didn't even take a shot of it after staining. The heck?

Dadguy has taken the most pictures, his iPhone has a functioning camera (mine took a powder when we replaced the battery and it has not yet decided to fix itself) and I only just thought to take our actual household camera up. STILL didn't even take many pictures! Below you will get to see what I did get...

The supercool bit? Our brother-in-law is one of the head guys in charge of wilderness in the southern part of UT. He's gonna come have a look and do some research and let us know exactly what can be grown up there. We are seriously thinking about taking a chunk of next years tax refund to rent what is called a "Bullhog?" and turn most of our sagebrush and juniper trees into mulch. BIL tells stories of the agency he works for taking bullhogs and doing just that to the junipers in huge tracts of land, and then finding underground springs popping up out of nowhere. Apparently while junipers are really good at getting by with very little water, they will suck down whatever is available, leaving nothing else for anything else. Since he has told us this tale, Dadguy and I have begun to notice land around our spot that has been cleared. There are several places where the owners have cleared out all juniper and sage, leaving only pine. Right now it looks amazing because all the grass is green and it looks like pines out in a meadow, but I want see what it looks like near the end of July. Plus I tend to think that I'd like to leave most of the scrub oak; I like the idea of some color in the fall.

Still thinking and looking. And even though we are pretty well tapped financially, we are keeping our eyes peeled for water shares too. Some day. Some day!


Have y'seff a turrrr of the shabin:

front



standing in the door looking left


back


shelves we put in

the window!

the door! (betcha couldn't tell)

20 X10 pad... maybe home of new, prettier shabin?

firepit

Next up, I'll take y'all on the wee nature hike.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Live Streaming

So we got the land, and it is every bit as wonderful as we had hoped. We have gone out there and had cookouts, cleared some deadwood, caulked a few holes, went on mini hikes, dug up a few poorly placed cacti and aggressive thistles, removed splinters and cactus spines from three out of four kids, installed a solar light for the shed (which after trying out a few names like "the dog house," "cabin," "shed," "cabin-ette" and the like, I am thinking I want to call it the "shabin." Not a shed, not a cabin, it's a shabin.), practiced our outdoor peeing skills, purchased a porta-potti and dreamed. Mostly we just breathed in the air and reveled in our new ownership of a bit of awesome.

Have we camped there yet? Ummmm, heck NO! Until I get a workable and comfy cot at the very least, I ain't even trying. Dude. 40. Seriously.

Obviously I haven't done a whole bunch of blogging.

I got half the garden in, but then I had to leave off because of going to the Temple with Dadguy
(date! whee!), scout training, spending time at the land and the fact that it's too flipping WET to plant anything. Hope I get a chance tomorrow night or Tuesday. This year we are planning on putting in a drip system so perhaps we will actually see some veggies. I hope! I hoooooope!

The fact is that I simply cannot be counted on to water all summer long. I lose my impetus in the heat of late July, so drip lines on a timer are just my speed. I am thinking that if I could just get my whole family on a drip line, this mother gig would be cake!

Wasn't too wet to put in trees though... five hybrid poplars and a purple ash. Growgrowgrowgrowgrowgrowgrowgrowgrow!

Henry smacked me in the teeth with a rock. Chipped my front tooth. Dang.

Lilac had a pretty rough meet-up with the pavement directly after showing off some of her new biking skills. Fat lip, smashed nose, skinned knee.

Pearl thinks that the bicycle she got from Santa this past Christmas is her ticket to ride. She seems to either be grounded from her bike or is off on it somewhere she is not supposed to be, and we are looking for her.

Birdie... well Birdie is just growing up too dang fast.

Summer break is right at the door, and I think I'm gonna go answer it...

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Not-Post


I just cannot write.

Sorry, I can't. I have tried again and again but I can't even write about the incident that happened last week when I "lost" Lilac and Pearl for 45 minutes. My neighbor, who's basement they were happily playing in with her son the whole time called it a "Perfect Storm," but I think I'll just go with "Custer Cuss." It's a little closer to my true feelings on the matter. It was just a lining up of the stars and a couple of horrible coincidences that set up to really freak a mama out.

Let's just let it suffice to say that when I did track them down I started sobbing on her doorstep, and spent the rest of the day feeling almost paralyzed.
*******
I got a church calling a few months ago to serve as a den leader for the Bears. It's Boy Scouts of America crap, if you are wondering, and the way I feel about the LDS's relationship with the BSA... well, it's not pretty and it's complicated and while I love the boys and am perfectly happy serving in this capacity on one hand, I have a lot of anger and grief mixed in there as well.

I have to work to make peace with this calling just about on a daily basis. I feel muzzled, in that I don't feel free to write about how I feel and why. I am ashamed to feel the way that I do, but on the flip side I feel entirely justified. Another cluster cuss. I cannot think very hard about it without weeping. More shame.

There. I said it. Maybe that will be enough and now I can just blog.
*******
Life is interesting and mostly good. I saw a silver minivan with metallic charcoal grey tribal flames across the front and down the sides.
*******
We got a family picture taken... but halfway thru, Birdie had a meltdown cuz we kept trying to tease a real smile out of her instead of this.





So we let the kids go run it off for a minute. They ended up in the pond to varying degrees. Even Henry. So that was it for the formal shots... but there were a few really good pics after that.


Note that Pearl's leggings have been hiked up, only they are already soggy and brown. Too little too late. Stinker.






There is a swab of mud on his arm and a bit on his eyelid, but on the other side of his head there is a new ding and he is kinda soggy from falling in a puddle. Stinker.





This one is gonna have to be it by default. Works for me.
Chaos.


Also, we might have some land this time!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sunday Pic: The Hawk










When I was younger and wilder I loved (in the way that only really poorly acted, scripted and directed movies can be loved. Cult! Classic!) the movie Suburbia. It had a number of super fun things in it, like Flea. There was also the exchange between two young teen girls who were drinking (if I remember correctly) around a bonfire in the back of the abandoned house they were squatting in. It went like this:

"Guess what?"
"What?"
"Chicken Butt!"
(Gales of wild laughter)

Cinema gold, I tell ya.

Things like this that really played up the fact that here was a bunch of kids who had been essentially abandoned by their loser-angry-controlling-indifferent-abusive parents. I also really loved the fact that they gave the protagonists little brother a great Mohawk.

Fast forward to last summer when there were a few short, but actual factual Mohawks on little boys in my ward at church. It slays me a lot to see squee little two and four year olds sporting the hawk. A lot. At church.

It slays me to have discussions with my daughters about the distinctions between an actual Mohawk and a Faux-hawk (a.k.a. Chicken-hawk). Kids these days! They insist on calling these goofy Rhodesian Ridgeback lines of hair down the front of their heads a Mohawk. My kids will set them straight. Next up for discussion: Stroids, Liberty Spikes and the Chelsea. Homeschoolers have got nothing on the higher learning in the Chaos household.

Lilac actually came up with a new one on me.... a So-hawk. The raised crest of hair done up in the bathtub with shampoo or soap.

Anyhoo, I like the fact that I can get Birdie to give Henry a darling little fauxhawk for church and not feel like I am being too edgy. Plus it gives her something to do while I am dragging a brush through
her unruly masses. Cuts down on the whining. Well. Birdies' whining in any case.

I give you the Sunday Pic a day late...


Are these littleboy ties killing you? They are killing me! Picklefaceplace, y'all. Mostly I am dying over the fact that this gal who makes them has several new lines of ties. I want a little tie with stars on it. Stars upon thars!



So close and yet so far! Next time before I put all that time into the painting, I'll check and make sure I have the drawing portion right. Sheesh. Still posting the pic because I am delighted with the paint technique. I had never tried this style before, and I think that the face really works in terms of color and painterly-ness.



This is one of Pearls. Again, I love the technique, but not so in love with the canvas she chose. I do have to give her props for using a water based marker as opposed to a Sharpie, and if I can salvage this with Spray 'n Wash, she may survive her artistic impulses after all.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Sunday Pic: Gearing Up










Getting a little more serious about writing that children's book... trying to remember how to paint.


Trying out a few different styles.


Oh yeah... I remember now. Using good paper really helps!


Still working on raising those kids too. Good paper only counts when they are potty trained though.


Come on SPRIIIIING! Seriously, all this snow is killing me.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My Mother Was Right

...yet again.

When I was a kid, my mom kept things like permanent markers and scotch tape, not exactly under lock and key, but we had to ask permission to use them. And I sure thought she was mean. Really, what the heck kinda damage did she think we were gonna do with some clear tape? Not like it's the priciest stuff in the world either. It's not expensive now and it wasn't then. What gives Ma?

Enter my own motherhood. From the outset I was gonna be the cool mom. I bought the good tape dispenser and decided to leave it on the cabinet top next to the pencil sharpener I mounted where the kids could use it. Right next to the stapler, the paper and the crayons. My kids will have access to all these items and learn to use them responsibly. I am not insane... the glue, glitter and paints are hidden in my private stash or up high, but the tape? Puh-leeeze. It's tape.

I never counted on how badly my kids desire to rearrange my world to their own liking. How much they would need to personalise and shift. I never counted on exactly where and how they would make use of tape.

Scotch tape.

Yards long swaths connecting their beds to the dresser, criss-crossing to form spider webs. Clothing taped together to make new fashion. Hangers with the corners taped up solid till they looked like the web feet of ducks. Inch long bits that never made it anywhere (I guess) other than to form an irregular skin upon the tile flooring, the table top, down the legs of chairs.

I expect to awake any morning to find my eyelids taped shut, my arms taped to the bedsheets like some 3M solution to my Gulliver.

It's like web worms in a tree, and my house is the tree. Every extremity and light fixture seems to acquire a scum of scotch tape, every toy is ready for the tape party with teensy little crayoned triangle hats taped on their heads. Anything not tied down is fair game. A Pokemon card taped to the walls in the hallway. The plastic ring that you remove from a new gallon jug of milk, scrounged from the trash and taped just in the entryway to greet our guests. Darling, did you find a wee little key to an impossibly teensy padlock? Tape it to the doorframe. Of course.

All this done while the tape dispenser is not allowed to leave the kitchen where it belongs. There is much scurrying and scuttling about with every new project as they run back and forth to the kitchen for a fresh length to shore up a beavers damn of sleeping bags and Littlest Petshop figurines.

I no longer cut or file my nails, my near constant habit of picking off stray bits of scotchtape off of any surface that is not wet, keeps them manageable.

Yesterday Lilac took a hanky and taped it up to make herself a "Trick or Treat" bag and tried to get me to raid Dadguy's stash of treats that he uses to bribe the Elders in his Quorum. Today as she walked into the house from the van she grabbed an empty ice cream bucket with lid off of the junk pile, and with a plastic spoon she found in the van, created a "Bird Feeder" using copious amounts of.... tape. She taped the lid upside down onto the bottom of the bucket, she used the spoon as wobbly perch with a knob of scotch tape joining it to the rim of the bucket..

She next wanted to go to the store for some bird seed.

If scotch tape was more aggressive I guess I'd end it here and now, but since the main casualty to the encroaching scum of tape is my sanity, as some new and incomprehensible place gains a filmy layer for whoknowsWHAT purpose, I guess I will let the madness continue. It's just sanity. Not like I'm gonna have anything to my soul or reason left at the end of this child-rearing, tape or no tape. I know that in the end they will take me away in a scotch tape straight jacket. It will look like a chrysalis, and when the time comes I will leave my filmy cocoon as a Granny and I will gift all my grandchildren with their own private tape dispensers and many, many rolls of refill.

But there is no doubt in my mind, my Mother was right to limit our tape access.

Monday, March 15, 2010

6. Be Still

....and know that God is there and listening.

Be still and slow down and have a little faith that your Father in Heaven loves you, wants you to be happy. Wants you to know joy, same as He wants that for the rest of His children. Believe that He is there with blessings innumerable, just for you, if you would but knock.

Be still and listen for the Comforter, pay attention to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit who will lead you to those who have need... of something. Something that you can provide or be. Often when it comes to friendship, so much of what is of value are the things that you do for someone else. So often it is the service you provide another that feeds your heart and stoppers up that hole where the wind blows through your middle.

...And so ends this wee series on being a friend and a neighbor.
Good Luck!

Half

I just want to record this for posterity, for my records... for THE flippin' record in general. I went to the ENT today to see if he thought that I should get my tonsils out.

He didn't.

Turns out that I am one round of tonsillitis/strep shy of the recommended amount to get the old tonsies yanked. So. Yay, I guess. I've heard that getting your tonsils out as an adult it a miserable process. He said if I get either illness in the next three to four months, just to call his office and schedule a tonsil-yanktomy. Medical terminology.

Otherwise we'll just count this past year as the year of bad luck. Y'all. That was a year of buckets of bad luck health-wise. Let's do the math, shall we?

In preparation for this appt, they wanted me to get my doctors records from the year prior... and this is what they said:

Strep throat- three times, and the way I get it, with the ulcers and all, I am one sick puppy for minimum two weeks each time.

Sinus infections- three times. By the time I go to the doctor's office I have been sick a minimum of ten days (they won't even deal with you till then) Then I go on antibiotics and by the time I am up and running again, it's an easy three weeks per episode.

Tonsilitis- same deal, only I didn't wait the full ten days.... so two weeks.

Mastitis- one week

Pneumonia- six weeks (and that's being nice about it)

I also had at least two colds that didn't turn into sinusitis hell- they are a week of feeling crappy each.

Out of the past 52 weeks... I have felt like crap for at least 26 of them. That's half.

I am not sure what to do about this information.

But it does sort of explain the frustration with a generous side order of self-pity that I feel. On the flip side I finally got pissed off enough to find a new doctor. Hope this guy works out a little better. Hope I won't have to look at him again for a looooong time.

Friday, March 12, 2010

5. Be Civil

Whuf! This series has been a little tougher than I thought it would be. Mostly just because I had that round of so-called Strep, that turned out to be that stupid flesh eating virus that gives me ulcers in my throat. Again. Being sick just eats the color out of my life.

There is also a notable, unbloggable elephant sitting on my keyboard. Stupid elephant has managed to hurt my feel-bads on seven different levels of strange Chinese hells... like the Hell Of Childhood Hurts, the Hell Of An Ungrateful Heart, the Hell of Things That I Don't And Cannot Understand But That's How It Is Anyway, The Hell Of There Goes The Last Of Your Discretionary time, and the Hell Of What The Hell Is My Problem?

Like when you need to just get over a jerk-wad ex-boyfriend, you know you need to let him go, you know you shouldn't care about some dill-weed that treats you bad, and you are going to stay away from whassisdork and all that.... but it still hurts and it's going to just keep hurting till it doesn't anymore. I am waiting for it to stop hurting, only there is no jerk, there is just me and my brains and my traitorous heart.

Not trying to be cryptic, but I do want to acknowledge that I am an angry, hurty person right now, even if I cannot tell you why.

So... Be Civil.

Look, I am more that aware that I am not everyones cup-o-tea. More than one person has taken it upon themselves to point out how Lame I am... and other things besides. I'll tell you a secret, not everyone I meet is my bottle of Diet Dr. Pepper either. Some people just rub me wrong by breathing air near me.

Some people go out of their way to make me miserable. But do I have to let them dictate my
behaviour? Heck no. When I react to some random person's nastiness with nasty in kind, I am giving them some of my space and some of my energy. Plus I am helping to grow the problem. Nourishing it. Closing down any useful dialog between us.

Civility is a choice, it is always a choice. It is not capitulation, it is not surrender and it is not validation of anything wrong done to you... it is simply Civility. An attitude, a pro-active choice rather than any kind of reaction. Since it is pro-active, it stands on it's own and has the amazing ability to be a beginning. A do-over. An opportunity to alter what ever negative thing is happening, or keep peaceful whatever disagreement that stands between two people. It is the anti-escalator, and when we adhere to Civility we can find whatever middle ground exists between those that disagree, small though it may be.

Civility means you put on your Big Girl Panties and Use Your Words. Sometimes it means doing things you would rather not, and often it means to have a care with how you say what you think you mean. Sometimes it requires you to listen twice, sometimes it means you just walk away.

It's all the stuff yer mama taught ya.
And I'll tell ya, little one year old boys don't know civility from a poopy doobah, so this is all ya get today!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

4. Be Quiet

Seriously, for the love of Pete wouldja just shut-up for a minute or two already?

Do you have any idea what you have just missed, what has sailed right on past you because you were so busy yapping or thinking about what you were going to say or being reminded about something that you could add...

...or even worse, has something awful, or private, or simply unnecessary about another person just slipped from your lips?

What critical thoughts, ungenerous even if true, are you putting words on and letting out into the open, about a friend no less?

Your mouth and your words cannot be too guarded when it comes to friendship. Trust me, I am perfectly aware of the concept "you are as sick as your secrets" and I agree that if you are having difficulties in a relationship that it really ought to be talked out, and some things really do need to be said. In the right forum. Carefully. And I bet you know what I am talking about when I say that most of this stuff is NOT discussed in the right forum. So shut that mouth. Quick!

Now, most all of y'all know me, I have lived a full life and have interesting stories to tell... and I like to tell them. But last year I had something interesting happen to me, a sort of epiphany I s'pose. I was at a family gathering for Dadguy's side and one of his cousins is a cop. A county deputy type I think, and let me tell you, this woman has paid and paid to be where she is. There is a pretty serious Good Ole Boy network in law enforcement in the county where she lives and works, and that network kept her working jail detail for years longer than her male peers. She has to be tougher and harder and smarter than everyone else to be where she is. And like any cop she has stories to tell, stories that normal people listen to with their mouths wide open. Only I was in there "swapping" stories with her, from my junkie days, but it was on the way home from that family picnic that i realized what had really just happened.

I had blown it.

Here was this amazing opportunity to shut my mouth and listen to stories, the likes of which can be told by so very few mouths on this planet. Stories from someone who doesn't tell them often. I was so happy to get in there and yapyapyap, that I used up valuable time that could have been spent quietly. What tales did I miss in my zeal to Share My Great Stories?

I am still kicking myself. To be frank, when I look back on it I still just shake my head at myself and say "Sheesh, what an shmoe I am!" But at least I am a shmoe with a lesson that I (hopefully) won't need to re-learn too many more times. Learn from my shmoe-dom.

Sure, not everyone has amazing County Sherriff Deputy Type stories to tell, but they do have words and stories that only they can give voice to. If you let them. If there is enough space that is not filled up with this need you have to fill every nook of silence with your own self-ity-self.

Shhhhhhhhh. Be quiet.