Thursday, February 26

Ahhh

I got a nap today! And I got seven hours of sleep last night! I feel like a human again- no thanks to my hair-brained idea on Sunday.

Someday next year, if all goes as planned, we will have another kid in the house. I'm not pregnant. But next summer will be the last time Zach has any kind of flexibility to his schedule. SO- we're going to need one of our two kid rooms freed up while the newbie screws with our sleep. Which means Mia will transfer to the top bunk, and the twins will share the bottom.

Right now, they all go down pretty easily. The twins kind of babble for up to an hour, but they drift off without any fuss. I thought maybe now would be a good time to get them used to the next bed situation, before they really learn how to party.

Zach took down both cribs, put Mia's bed (the top bunk with the railing) in the twins' room, and put up the bottom bunk in Mia's room. We put a crib mattress on the floor in case one of them attempted to climb over the railing and fell. Bree hadn't taken a nap, because she fell asleep in the car on the way home from church. So when we put them down, Anya was ready to call it a night, but Bree wasn't going to let us leave without a fight.

We went downstairs to wait for the crying to either stop or get worse. It stopped. Hooray- success!

A minute later I heard *scratch scratch* on the baby monitor. Which was on the art table. On the wall opposite the bed. A few steps up, I can see the light on under the door. Bree is up on the table, and Anya is standing in front of the door. Both grin at me and giggle.

We finally got them to sleep- I had to kneel and stroke Bree's face, which was just procrastinating the inevitable. At 1 something in the morning, she realized Mom wasn't there anymore, and started crying again. Which woke up Anya. Who started crying. I went to check on them, and tried to put them back in bed to see if they wouldn't cry it out. They thought climbing out would be more effective. *pound pound* Four little hands on the door. About 2:30 Zach decided the only way to get any sleep would be to put the cribs back up. He got done around 3:00. I fell asleep at about 4:30.

Dumb.

Oh- and last night we were downstairs and heard a thud from Mia's room. She fell out of her new rail-less bed, which is now under the top bunk. I went up to find her sitting in a pile of sheet, (don't let an Italian repeat that out loud) scratching her head looking around. "Did you fall out of bed?" She mumbled "yeah" as I picked her up and stuffed her over next to the wall. This morning she said she had a dream she fell off the couch.

Saturday, February 21

Go figure


Attention grabber pic. I'm shameless. I know half of you will see this in your little thumbnail thingy on the side of your blog page, and I need a lot of feedback on this one. :D

Alright, I'm not deaf, just dubious. I post artwork, like 90% of other cyber moms, because it's fun to show what I've worked on instead of filing it away, or publishing it into a book that will sit on a shelf. And well-meaning friends and family remind me (continually) I could be a productive member of society making money doing it. I agree, there is that ten percent of moms who don't already know how to do it themselves, or who just don't feel like it, and about five percent of those who still would like it done and would pay someone else to. There is a market, even if it's practically non-existant.

I'm going to do a little poll. And, I'd really appreciate a dirt-honest answer, so posting anonymously might be a good idea on this one, if you think it would help you to be honest-er.

What would you personally be willing to pay for a personalized calendar- all 12 months, a cover and end page, holidays marked, family members' pics on their B-days. You would be able to choose which pics went on each page, and the color and theme of each month. Or you could give me a bunch of pics and say, "make it pretty."
Now- putting your personal budget aside- what would you expect the first copy of something like that to cost? If additional copies were $20?




What about a pencil portrait?
You personally would spend ___?
You would expect it to cost___?
Pointless, why would someone spend money on something like that?

I hope my Pay it Forward gals don't mind me using these- I didn't use names!... ;D


And last, but not least. What would it be worth to you to learn how to do a calendar yourself? Photoshop lessons- 60 minutes a week.

Yes, I'm using you. You will not be reimbursed for your time... ;D

Tuesday, February 17

Unfit

All because I left the snacks.

Winter. I knew, before we even decided to get pregnant the second time, that last winter was going to be crappy. It seems by adding an unexpected kid we also added another unexpected crappy winter. We're getting desperate. Last week we went to the park when the temp spiked to a balmy 60 degrees, and didn't leave until we couldn't feel our fingers. All weekend we looked forward to the library today. Thank heaven for the library. We got there in plenty of time for me to pick up my reserved books, let Mia play on the computer, and get good seats for the free circus show at 11. In my rush to get there in plenty of time, I left the snacks at home. The snacks! Why did we take them out of the diaper bag in the first place? I would have been better off leaving the diapers!

10:30, the girls start getting cranky. The library vending machine has water bottles. Hmm. If we don't get something to eat, they're not going to make it. Shredded Wheat only lasts three hours, and they ate at 8:00. Another glance at the clock, coats back on, and I pack them back in the stroller. Back to the car, buckle all three in, fold stroller, stick in trunk. Race to McDonald's. Hand them hamburgers to eat as we drive back. I can't believe Mia caught that cheeseburger- awesome.

10:55, Stroller out, one, two, three kids unbuckled, packed back into the stroller. Race back to the library. A man in a top hat and a lady in a clown outfit are standing behind two keyboards, a huge mixer, two amps and million wires. Whew- they haven't started yet! Unbuckle, coats off, while Mr. TopHat tells us some facts about the origin of the circus. Mia goes and finds a seat on the floor (which precise location is only known to me because a friend happened to see her and point her out. Thanks, Breezi- you got my back. ;D) The room is packed, there's nowhere to sit. I figure either the twins will want to sit by Mia and see what's going on, or I can squeeze in that spot of floor I see and pull them onto my lap.

Then TopHat whips out the bagpipes we heard him practicing earlier.

I realized today that if you put their names together, the twins make "Anree." And that's exactly what they were the second those pipes started. Both wanted to be picked up- lap was no good. Yes- I realize you each want your very own Mom. You have no idea how I wish I could clone myself. Or get rid of one of you-we-won't-go-there.

I spot a chair at the back of the room. A little girl is climbing in and out of it onto her Mom's lap. Hmm- and a kind of a path between the sitting people. If for some reason she says no, there's floor room- maybe the twins won't scream once they can see what's going on. There's a lady in a chair right in front of me trying to catch a photo of her kid at the back of the room. I tell her my plan to ask the mom of the kid at the back of the room if I can use the chair. "Is your kid back there? Do you think maybe you'd want that chair instead?" She looks at my whimpering twin still on the ground reaching to be held, "Oh, I can't walk back there, I have a bad back." Haha! Funny. Okay- what did I expect.

I think Anya weighs 35, Bree was 28 at our last appointment months ago. I can't get them all the way to my hips from the floor unless I have a little maneuvering room. Lady in the chair isn't budging. There's no good place to start. Hmm. I can pack the twins back up, which will cause a lot of noise, retrieve Mia, which will cause even more noise, tick everyone off and leave with three screaming orneries, or I can try for that chair.

I couldn't get the twins up high enough. As I picked my way through the "path" I grazed a lady's head with one of the baby boots, and made a very noticeable trek to the back of the room. The mom plopped the kid onto her lap, and we collapsed in the chair. When I thanked her again, she said she was glad- her daughter had refused to give up her seat to another lady earlier. Great, that lady is probably ticked at me, too.

Mia participated and had fun. Bree escaped twice to vigorously rock a sleeping baby in it's car seat, (there's no way that mom wasn't ticked,) but other than that she clapped and laughed and had a good time.

Anya whined. Ten minutes left, and she wanted to be held, but it was only okay if I was standing. Okay, except here's the thing, baby. I have a bad back, too! If you want me to be able to walk out of here, I'm gonna need to sit down now. It's just the way it is. No- she needs me standing, sorry.

Mia heard she was going to get a present at the end, so pulling her out ten minutes early would not only be kind of mean, it would probably tick everybody off when she started screaming bloody murder.

Pack up the twins. They whine unless we're moving. Strolling the babies around in the foyer waiting for the end. Why do I leave the house? We are unfit for public. We make ourselves and everyone around us anree.

Mia pipes up in the car on the way home. "Mom- that was a fun circus! I loved that circus! I got a necklace! I got a chocolate! There was a clown there!"

Fine. That's why I do it. The price is just always so high- even when its free! But it could be worse.

I don't care what all the country songs say. I'm not going to miss this. Not this winter, anyway. Bring on spring, baby, bring it on.

Monday, February 16

Our Valentine's Day

I've had too much fun the last week, so this is going to have to be short and sweet so I can get back to making up for all the real-life I've been putting off.
We had a BLAST goofing off at the ward Valentine's Dance, something we used to go to every year and were trying to make a tradition. There's hope yet... ;D Our pupils are way dilated- we look kind of freaky! Oh well, cute pose. (Courtesy Andrea McClelland- thanks for not settling for the first boring pose we struck Andrea! We need all the help we can get...)
Zach enlisted Breezi's help for his Valentine present to me. She is going to be rich and famous for these... YUM!!


I made a "fancy" dinner. But I didn't take pictures of it because fancy didn't include good-looking. At least it tasted good- all the kids ate it right up, green bean casserole and all!

Friday, February 13

Little reader

We are loving our reading book, "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons." We started seven or eight months ago- right before Mia turned three. She knew her capital letters, and some of the lowercase, but had no idea what sounds any of them made. The book uses the SRA DISTAR method (basically phonetics,) and gives you absolutely everything you need to teach your kid. There's a script for parents to read for each little step, and tips on how to encourage and correct as you go.
video We've had a lot of ups and downs, as we have learned to be patient with each other. For a while, we butted heads because she didn't want to be corrected the wrong way, and I was using the word "no," which killed the buzz every time. We fought our way to lesson 78 and came to a standstill. No treat was good enough to get her excited to read. So we went back to 47 and started over. Her confidence skyrocketed, and I was free to concentrate more on my teaching than her reading. Things that we really struggled with the first time through took a fraction of the time. Finally I got into the habit of just "hmm"ing when I needed to stop her, which morphed into "try again," a phrase she responds to really well. Lesson 78 found a much happier, more willing, and more capable Mia the second time around. And a much less frustrated me. This was lesson 82.
I think accomplishing this together has really been good for us. It's definitely reinforced my desire to "home"school. We are learning so much more than how to read!
The book is out of print, but copies are everywhere online- we got ours used for seven bucks!
Did I just say "bucks"?! How unladylike. ;D

Thursday, February 12

6th picture tag

Amanda tagged me. So this is the same as the 4th picture tag, but you're supposed to go to your picture folder, get the 6th folder, and the 6th pic from that folder.
July 2006. Mine was going in reverse order, so this is actually the sixth from the end of the Britt wedding. This is the wedding where I first heard the "Over the Rainbow/Wonderful World" medley by Israel Kamakawiwo. It was playing during the daddy/daughter dance, and her sister told me a little about their sweet relationship that almost brought me to tears. So cute. This pic is actually after everyone went home, and she and her new hubby were just goofing around.
Taaaaagggg. Hmmm. RhondaLue, Ally, Wa (I know I tagged you last, time, but I just can't help it,) Nog, Maury aaaaannnd... BLOGSTALKER. Where in the heck is Blogstalker- I think I've fallen out of his or her good graces. Maybe I need to add him or her to my blogroll- duh.

Friday, February 6

Because I'm such a joiner

If you are on Facebook, you have probably been tagged by at least 10 people to do this "25 random things about me." Because I've waited so long to do it, I'm sure I don't have any friends who haven't already been tagged, but we'll see if there are any people out there left still fighting this pseudo cult.

1) I once lost a contact from keeping my eyes open on the back of a bullet bike doing 100 mph on 1300 E. in Sandy. Speed limit: 35.

2) When I was a kid I regularly thought up names for twin girls, including one for me named Winter. Because for some reason there were two photos of me on the wall, we tried to convince my cousin Rachelle that Winter actually existed. I would dress up in different outfits, and make entrances and exits from different places. I think she kind of believed it for about 30 seconds.

3) Someone showed me how Skittles are better when you taste the whole rainbow at once, and now that's the only way I’ll eat them. If there are no purples or greens or whatevers left, I usually give the package to someone else to finish, or chuck it.

4) I can’t keep plants alive, especially since I had kids (which I can keep alive- how nice.)

5) Archery is probably my best sport. No running involved, no balls flying at my face. I have pretty good aim.

6) I am always covered in at least three bruises, and can never figure out how I got them.

7) When I became a mom, I was told my pain threshold is really high. I think it might explain the inexplicable bruises.

8) Chocolate will be my ultimate undoing.

9) Favorite color is clear, and I won’t take any flack about it.

10) Each of the handful of times I’ve met women taller than me I was so disoriented I kind of felt uncomfortable. Somehow, my family members don’t have the same effect.

11) I’ve always wished I were shorter. At least 5’ 10” would be nice. Clothes shopping is what usually reminds me. But it is kind of funny that my size 12 makes me look like a stick, compared to a short person’s size 12.

12) My wedding ring is in my jewelry box so I won’t lose it. So is all of my other jewelry. I wear one of the plain bands to look married.

13) You probably can’t offend me. But, uh- I’m not issuing a challenge or anything…

14) I hate dogs, won’t touch reptiles, and can’t squish bugs with tissue.

15) I’ll wipe perfect stranger’s baby’s drool off with my bare hands to get a good picture.

16) My hair has been cut boy short twice and grown below the strap three times in the last eight years, and I’m not sure what color it really is.

17) I’m the world’s worst multi-tasker. And no, having twins hasn’t helped.

18) I once started an elbow judging contest. For some reason a lot of people cared all of the sudden what I would rate their elbows on a scale of 1 to 10. Probably had something to do with the palpable lack of anything else to do.

19) Every one of my Facebook friends from the past is someone I’ve thought of at least a few times over the years and wondered how they were doing- even those who weren’t close friends.

20) Strangers ask me if I’m from California, Washington, Canada, England, Utah, Wisconsin/ Minnesota area, because of how I talk. I don’t think I have any kind of accent whatsoever. Once a guy on a subway in New York knew my sister and I were Mormon because of our hair- and we didn’t even have the bob or anything. (Has anyone else from Utah dealt with this?)

21) When I was working at Olan Mills Kids, at least once a week strangers asked if I had kids. I was 18. They meant it as a friendly conversational starter, but it always annoyed my insecure self to no end.

22) I can’t leave the house with the girls without hearing some variation of the phrase “you’ve got your hands full.” I’m not kidding- EVERY TIME we’re in public. It hasn’t been annoying though, probably because so far I only hear it from smiling people when the girls are being good. It's a nice change from the old check-to-see-if-she's-wearing-heels glance that used to be the norm.

23) I’m seriously considering homeschooling if we can’t get Mia into a good school. (I’ve only heard bad things about the district we’re in now, so Kindergarten is definitely going to be at home.) I have dreams of traveling to visit places instead of just reading about them. “Home”schooling will be a very loose term for us if that’s what we end up doing. I’m sure we’ll be able to find a good high school, though. Zach will be done with residency, and we’ll be able to choose where we live.

24) Zach and I both want to live away from noise. We’re pretty tired of being at the mercy of inconsiderate neighbors for peace and quiet.

25) 99% of my talents are pointless. I learned how to flawlessly and simultaneously crack two eggs into a bowl because of Little House on the Prairie.