Tuesday, April 26, 2016


Real quotes from the past couple of weeks:

June: Mom! Poop smells GOOOOD!

June, on repeat, for 50 straight minutes at gymnastics (you know, while all of the other kids are actually participating): I'M RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER!

Me: June, should we march out to the car?
June: Yes! March! March! March! March! March Twenty Six! (her birthday)

It's been awhile. It's mostly due to the fact that I've been pondering many deep subjects about which I wish to execute a pensive, thought-provoking discussion. It's an election year, you know. Much to discuss. Like why Gwen is constantly covered in welts, scratches, snot and stinky diapers.

Little girl played in the backyard a loooong time yesterday while I caught up on important reading (catalogs that had come in the mail from which I took pictures of everything I don't want for Mother's Day and sent them to Heidi, so we could mock them) and when I looked up, I would find her and June filling up old plastic Easter eggs with rain water that had pooled in the back of her plastic car and trying to drink them, chasing her "pet" lizards, gathering sticks and throwing them across the yard and other festivities. This girl is a wild one. This morning when she got up, she had a few huge bug bites on her hands and legs and a puffy eye that got better as the day went on. And after throwing a caterpillar in the garage at me, she was just as happy and scrappy as could be.

I don't know if you can see how swollen her already-chubby little hand is, but that's a bug bite there.

In other Gwen news, it's always a delight taking her to wait with me during June's gymnastics class. Gwen climbs all over everything, trying to have her own gymnastics class, but we won't call it that in case they charge us more.

My face and attitude each week quickly descend from happy to frazzled to downright frustrated within the hour time frame. And then we have to leave, which involves my dragging two limp 25-pound noodles across the parking lot.

She's definitely not a baby anymore and can even sport a ponytail. So cute for my scrappy little Scout-like (To Kill A Mockingbird) girl.

Speaking of hair (I did forewarn you about the deep nature of this post), June insists on "doggie ears" or "Rudolph ears" or "horse ears" almost every single day. They are the same style but the name transitions with whichever role she is taking on for the day.

In character as a dog at the library

She looks adorable, but I only wish she would let me take the hair down and wear the curls from time to time.

Darling, right? I feel a bribe coming on. I should really write a parenting book called "Bribes and More Bribes: Success from Potty Training to College Graduation."

Except it would be a lie on the potty training front. Yes, June did have that ONE successful experience, but after 10 consecutive days of potty training with no other successes, I finally waved the white diaper of surrender. I think Gwen was especially grateful as she had been the victim of a major potty accident the day before. I had June sit on the potty for around 30 minutes, all the while she was insisting she didn't have to go. After the half hour was up, I put her panties back on her and she went to the kitchen to get a snack. Not one minute later, she peed all over the kitchen floor. This was how potty training looked every day with June, but this time was especially bad and the pee was everywhere. Two seconds later, Gwen came running into the kitchen, slid on the pee, and went flying across the floor until she crashed against the fridge. Her hair, back and everything else was covered in pee. I didn't even know what to start cleaning first--June, Gwen or the deathtrap floor.

Since I admitted defeat, June has continued to show very little interest in the potty. Yesterday, however, while we were running late to something, she announced she wanted to go. So I retrieved the potty, and she and Gwen began to both try to sit on it. It was quite the fight. And then five minutes later, June got up from the potty, announced she was done (leaving a completely empty pot) and we went on our way.

I've been trying to introduce fun craft activities more often so that tv is not such a prevalent presence in our lives, but I must admit: I stink at it. However, we did recently do something the girls really enjoyed.

The girls really enjoyed putting together this scene for the wall in our kitchen. I made most of it, taking direction from my two executive decision makers. Some of the stuff I made was not up to snuff, however. June would say, "Well that looks different" when I taped many of my creations to the wall.

Speaking of different, we made this school bus out of an old oatmeal container. It does not look like a school bus at all. Did I mention I stink at this?

It's supposed to be a side view.

We had Stake Conference on Sunday, and our Stake Center is a very old building with a cry room. It was so lucky for us because we spent the entire time there. The girls loved the space, and I listened much more than I would have.

We have been continuing our tradition of watching a musical every Sunday. Recently, we watched Sound of Music and West Side Story. I must admit that we cut West Side Story short because the first half is fun and the second half is so depressing!!

Can I please be Baroness Schraeder when I grow up?

I know I'm getting older. I cry at everything. I cried during totally non-cry worthy moments in both of these movies. I cried at the dance scene at the gym in West Side Story. You know, when they are trying to out dance each other. I kept thinking--they are such good dancers, and then I started crying. I'm losing it! All I ask for is a room with a view one day, folks.

And that's a wrap.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Friends and Family

I've been sick. I haven't had a voice in 6 days. Daniel has seemed a bit perkier as a result, but I'm so over it by now. I trudged along in sickness for the first several days because I had commitments with YW and other things, but yesterday vomit was added to the mix from both June and me. Vomit is the next level, right? Dan came home from work yesterday to find me lying on the bathroom floor, begging for mercy from the stomach gods. I had also been cleaning up June's mess in between my own issues, and I couldn't take another minute of it. I have tried so much to be the strong, independent wife a husband who works and goes to school full-time needs, but when Dan talked about getting off early the next day to come help me, I broke. "Please," I pleaded. "Please do not leave me alone with them!" I said, my eyes darting between Gwen, who was taking each dvd out of its case and throwing it on the floor and June, who wasn't sure if she should let herself throw up or try to swallow it back down. I must have looked pretty frightened because Dan immediately emailed his boss and explained the situation and was able to stay home with us today. I took two glorious naps in the middle of the day and finally feel a little better.

Dan is a great nurse. He pampers. He goes to the store and gets your favorite movies. He buys multiple types of medicine to "see which one works best." He cooks, he cleans.

I am a terrible nurse. I don't like being around sick people. I'm documenting this scene of Dan taking care of me today so that I can remind myself for the next time he's sick. Because whenever anyone in my family is sick, it really throws off my schedule and I get annoyed. Incredulous statements such as,  "Well maybe just go to school/work, and see if you feel better" and then "you're still feeling sick? but it's been THREE hours!!" have been known to fly out of my mouth.

In the midst of my sickness, however, I was able to keep some priorities straight, i.e. discuss a fave home reno blog with my sister.

The sign of true friendship is the ability to carry on multiple conversations, ranging from serious to trivial, at any given time.

Speaking of friends, my friend Cherilee and her friend Danielle came to Jacksonville last week. We watched conference together and were able to hit up the beach with Gwen while June was at school.

We were doing some calculating and realized that Cher and I have known each other for thirteen years. I moved into her apartment, hardly knowing anyone when I was a mere 18 year old baby at BYU. Now we are both old crotchety ladies who like to go to bed early. It's nice to have someone who understands that about you.

My sister also visited us this week. I have ONE picture from the visit. And here it is: four cousins in the bathtub after 5 hours of beaching it up together. We had a great time, and my kids like nothing more than to be with their cousins. End of story.

Gwen is the cutest and crankiest baby. This pic sums it all up.

June started two activities up this week: swimming lessons and gymnastics. We're hoping these activities will help her in the physical coordination and development department. She still can't jump with two feet off the ground and land on her feet. She has a lot of other issues in that department too, and we're trying to figure it out.

Her swim teacher is a dream. June's first week she was the only kid in her class, and I loved the one-on-one aspect (without paying for the one-on-one aspect). The teacher quickly saw how hard it is to carry on a conversation with June and asked me for some thoughts along the way. She summed up June with the following sentence. "This girl is a character, but I bet she wins over a lot of hearts wherever she goes." Yep. Yep.

And from her primary teacher this week, "Do you know how hard it is to take a picture of June?? Really hard!!" Yep. Yep. So while I admit to taking horrible photos, June gets to share a little in the blame of the constant blurriness.

Other miscellany:

Working for a grocery store has its perks. Dan brings home sample items vendors bring into the headquarters quite often, which has only been increased by the fact that his company is moving to a different office across town. They are trying to get rid of everything, and we've had multiple dinners where we just have taste testings.

This is how June prefers to ride a cart at the store, and you know what I say--no problem!! Gwen is in jammies because we have all been sick.

Spring pictures. Too many comments. Another piece of evidence that June might be the hardest kid to photograph in the entire world.

That is a grape on her eye. The whole thing has a "Clarice" feel to it, don't ya think?

Happy Tuesday! And don't you forget it.

I'm going to stop writing now because I'm obviously sick and totally unfunny but wanted to keep the ol' blog updated.

Friday, April 1, 2016


As if my last post wasn't long enough, I forgot to add some things to it.

First off, June received amazing presents from her grandparents for her birthday. I don't really buy my kids any presents for their birthdays (yet). They are little, and the presents they receive from their grandparents are more than enough. Plus, I want to set the bar low for number of presents so that I can easily match it every year.

My kids really lucked out in the grandparents department. My mom always finds the cutest dresses and sends them my way.

She also sent June a hoodie and a couple of interactive books. June and Gwen both have been carrying the books around everywhere we go.

My mother-in-law Kristi is crafty. You might call me the Anti-Craft. So I feel super fortunate to have her in my life. This year, she made June some puppets.

And June loves to cook with me every night, and so Kristi made her her very own apron.

SO cute.

And some Easter thoughts:

My Easter was super chaotic. At church, I was running June to sit on the potty (for no reason) every few minutes. I missed half of the musical numbers and the one musical number I played, my nerves were shot because it was from Handel's Messiah with four sharps and rather difficult.

After church, the glaze burning/smoke detector/Gwen hitting her head/egg hunt downpour happened, and while everything turned out great, I didn't feel like I got to really think about Easter the way I wanted.

Monday morning, I sat at my piano and played and sang Easter songs to myself. Easter is my favorite holiday, and it shows in my piano music. I think I have one Christmas song in my collection and about 5 Easter songs. I would love to be in charge of an Easter program one day (but not until my kids are all potty trained, so 50 years). Anyway, I spent a lot of time singing the words of one in particular, called "Did You See Him in the Garden?"

The lyrics are as follows:

Did you see him in the garden when he bled from every pore?
Did you feel his lonely anguish when he asked to drink no more?
Did you see his three disciples as they slept through his great pain?
Did you hear his footsteps coming, taking up the cross for men?
Did you watch him through the courtyards, did you hear their angry lies?
Did you feel the lash upon you, did you follow by his side?
Were you there when they condemned him, and they nailed him to a cross?
Did you hear him then forgive them as his loved one mourned their loss?

Then the last verse, with a key change:

Did you see him in his glory when the stone was rolled away?
Did you feel the hope of all men when his ransomed life was paid?
Will you know him when you see him once again on heavenly throne?
Will he say to you in pure love: Come to me, thou art mine own?"
"Come to me, thou art mine own!

Tears were flowing down my cheeks in a steady stream, my voice cracking and choking as I sang the lyrics. I sobbed afterward for awhile on the piano bench and then turned around to where June and Gwen had stopped playing with blocks and were just silently watching me. You could tell they thought their mother had really lost her mind.

I was grateful for that Easter moment I was able to have, even if it wasn't on Easter Sunday. I felt like it was a tender mercy from a Father who knew I needed that moment. I am grateful for my knowledge that Christ is Risen. He gave the gift of his life so that we can be forgiven and be more than we are. He was resurrected, and He still lives!