Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ah! Halloween!

Halloween is one of those "seasons" that our family usually gets into. We never go over board with decorations, but this year we have had a hard time getting into the spirit of the holiday. I guess you could say that this year we have taken the minimalist approach. We actually put up a Halloween quilt Nancy made last year. It is very cute and it covers all the bases. We may even get a pumpkin on the porch. Oh well.

In the spirit of minimalism I revolted this year and refused to dress up for the Ward Halloween and "trunk or Treat" party. As you can see in the photos I did in the end "dress" up.

After emphatically declaring that I would NOT be in a costume, I decided at the 11Th hour to throw together a make shift something or other. I wore the "get up" that I had to wear in the operating room when Grace was born C section. (Yes I did save it!) Not much imagination for costume but I did finally get into the spirit of the evening. Grace was dressed up as you can see as an M & M. (Thanks to Nancy's Sister-in-Law Allison for the cute costume.)
Ben was going to be a Lego block, but when he found out that Grace was going to be an M & M he decided he wanted to go as an M & M Box. Thanks to Nancy for it's creation. Sarah was excited to appear at the party dressed as Jasmine from Aladdin.
Emma is all talk and no action. She had abut 3 costumes that she wanted to wear but ended up wearing her pajamas with a Mini Mouse printed on it. Oh well, there is always next year.

Our Church party was a lot of fun. Ben had invited all the people on our court to come and one of our Neighbors ended up coming. We all had a great time. We combined with the other Ward that also meets in our building so there were twice as many trunks to visit and get candy.

In our family there is an unwritten rule that Daddy must check out all the candy received, and of course I do take the Daddy tax.When the kids are watching I get the dumb pieces, but when find their stashes, I gets what I want! Yahoo!

Happy Halloween everyone!!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Time For Crossword Puzzles

I had an experience on Friday that has left me nearly speechless. Allow me to explain: I had a doctor appointment in Concord and brought Grace along, of course. I parked and proceeded to gather my things including Grace and off we went inside. It turns out the appointment was really a class (argh) lasting over an hour.
About two-thirds through the class, I started doing the mental check of where I had put my keys, wallet, baby etc. I realized I didn't quite know where my keys were. Without panic, I started searching various pockets, bags and carseat. I searched my mind but couldn't quite recall what I had done with those keys. Hmmmm. No need to panic. Luckily the class was about over so I started to gather my things hoping at this point, I had just left the keys in the car and hadn't dropped them along the way. That would be bad. Off we go outside, staying calm. I got to my car and noticed the keys were still in the ignition with the engine running. Do the math my friends--my car was running, unattended and unlocked for over 1 hour. I can't believe my little minivan is not on Craig's List as we speak. As our niece and nephew, Christy & Danny, can attest to, the car theft ring is still thriving.
A friend suggested I should start doing crossword puzzles. Thankfully I have already told my kids that they won't get college tuition unless they take a healthcare course in the care of the elderly. Am I too young for Aricept? Maybe just more sleep is in order.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Old Dog New Tricks

Being the youngest of six kids with a spread of 16 years, I have always felt young. When you have siblings turning 50, being in the 30's feels like a teenager. I am starting to recognize the possibility that perhaps I am getting older as I am in my "late 30's" having a newborn. I look around and notice my baby-making contemporaries. I can't help but see how this old goat compares to all these young hip moms I'm surrounded by. I guess I'm just not feeling so young and spry. Here are some signs that have tipped me off:

- I don't own a Phil & Ted stroller or any cool, compact looking stroller for that matter. I still push around my enormous 4-in-1 stroller.

- Actually, I haven't even been using a stroller at all lately. I just walk around with my cute little bundle in my arms if I heaven forbid have to leave the house. Why bother getting the stroller out anyway? I think it's way more fun to just stay at home.

- I don't own a Baby Bjorn. I do have a Kelty Kids front pack but it's too much of a pain to put on.

- I don't use a real diaper bag. The first couple of trips out with my baby, I carried a diaper and a bag of wipes in my hand. Now that I am forced to carry around a few things, I use one of the kids crafty trick-or-treat bags I made a few years ago.

- After those middle-of-the-night feedings, I have been faced with boughts of insomnia. I figure if I'm going to have to get up in a couple of hours anyway, I might as well stay up and get something done. It would be too painful to have to wake up again.

- I don't use a sling. I just can't imagine being coordinated enough to be able to carry my baby in one of those without having her fall out. I'm way too clumsy.

- I don't swaddle my baby. She looks frustrated to me when I tie her arms down in the blanket.

- I don't have a "hooter-hider". I see them all over the place but I'm happy with a good old-fashioned blanket.
- There aren't really any pictures of me holding my baby. I'm great at taking pictures of everyone else but I don't really like to be in the photos. This is not good. I'll be putting that on my to-do list.

It's actually quite refreshing to hear all the new tricks of the trade from the hip and trendy moms I know. There are a few problems that have been solved finally on baby number 4 due to the young 'uns. The sound machine helps us with the nap/sleep thing. The "Brest Friend" pillow is handier than free-arming it.

Thanks to the trendy moms out there that are teaching this old dog some new tricks. Well, at least being good examples of what's in. There is always going to be a better way than how we used to do it. Whether or not the old dog can actually learn the new tricks is a different story...

Sunday, October 14, 2007

10 Things I Have Learned from Celia

I have a lot of really awesome friends. There is something kind of cool and extra bonding about a friend that you have that you knew when you were a teenager. I mean, really, how many highschool friends do you really keep in touch with? I feel pretty lucky to still keep in touch with and be friends with Celia from my Laurel class growing up. We weren't necessarily the best of friends then but as the church is good at, we were thrown together by associations in Young Womens. We didn't socialize on the same planes as you see, Celia was popular and I was well, let's just say, awkward. No, I was a band geek. Now, twenty years later, I have an awesome friend that knew me when...Happy Birthday Celia!
Here are 10 things I've learned from Celia over the years....
1. It's imperative to have a housecleaner at least every other week even if you must cut something else out of the budget.
2. You may not wear your maternity clothes after you deliver a baby even if they fit and are comfortable.
3. A bottle of formula once a day or more will not kill your baby.
4. Absolutely everything we know about this subculture world of blogging.
5. You must nap every day. Lock the bedroom door and use a sound machine if necessary.
6. Wrap-up verbage is not necessary when ending a phonecall particularly when your kids need you.
7. You can host a luncheon with store bought prepared foods.
8. Only spend time decorating your house one month a year and that's it.
9. Always dress great. It is preferable to start with a fresh new wardrobe every season. You can shop at Target to justify the costs.
10. I can ask her anytime for a book recommendation because she has quite possibly read more books than anyone I know.
The list could go on. To the award-winning blogger, cleverest, funniest, understanding friend...happy birthday Celia! And happy anniversary of the accompanying picture.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Birth Anouncement Etc.

Gracie's birth announcement is out. Nancy as usual did a super job. I thought I would share it here with you also.

For a larger image see the photos at the end of the "posts".

Here are a couple more updated photos of Gracie at 5 weeks old.

The following photos show the final step started in my post (dated September 18th) titled "The Grapes of Wrath".

I wanted to show you that Emma participated in the Jelly making "ceremony" regardless of her previous injury steaming the grapes. The truth is wild horses could not keep her out of the kitchen. She insisted on helping me. I decided that for her safety she should be posted well away from the hot bottles being steamed, the cooking jelly and the hot finished product. Emma's part was handing the rings that hold the lids down. She was excited to help in any way. She really feels like it is her grape jelly too.

There are two things about this photo I need to make a comment about. First, even with digital photos, eyes are closed at just the wrong moment. Dang!

Second is a bit more serious. If you look closely it appears that our darling innocent Emma is making a rude hand gesture. I promise that our next Family Home Evening we will have a special lesson on the proper use of sign language and how important it is to avoid the naughty gestures. I'll let you know how it goes... ;)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

When I grow up I want to be ...?

It is a fun past time to watch your kids at play. If you observe close enough you may even be able to see your kids begin to develop skills that will help them decide what they will be when they grow up.

Saturday Ben decided to open a shop in his room, he made paper laptops to sell along with a myriad of other little trinkets. All for a dollar, except the laptop. That was $2.95. He showed a lot of initiative and really payed attention to detail. He could easily have his own business one day.

He was determined to set up shop. The question was what to do with his unruly siblings. Include or exclude from his venture. Ben surprisingly decided to include Sarah and Emma. Human resources specialist? Hmmm. Maybe.

Ben drew up and posted this contract on his door and required his new "employee" to sign the contract in multiple places.

Yea, I think he will be a Lawyer, if nothing else he certainly knows what a one sided contract is and he knows how to convince someone to "sine" it. My favorite part is the line that says "Sarah you need to do what Ben says." That sounds like older brother lingo. (Maybe he will be a dictator of a third world country? It's possible.)

This is Sarah, living up to the contract that she signed. I am not sure why she got the position of janitor, but I am sure it was orchestrated by Ben.

As you can see it appears that she is not taking her job seriously.


Emma's .
job was to take care of the toys in the shop. Here she is by her table

All in all they played for a few hours at their game. No TV, no real screaming or major interventions needed.

At the end of the play I saw a number of potential things that Ben could do in his future.

Shop owner, future income up to 100K.

Human resources ... 70 to 80K.

Dictator of a 3rd world nation. $$$The sky's the limit, (it may however have a short life span.)

Lawyer ... 100 to 300K.

A few hours of relative peace and quiet while the kids play .... PRICELESS!