Monday, June 30, 2008

Laughing Kody

Kid Update 4 - Kody

You want an easy baby, here he is. Always happy as long as he gets his allotted attention which is not to say he needs a lot just a little interaction everyday from me and Travis. He is growing fiercely big, and still remains as red headed as ever. Although I have stopped noticing it and am now surprised when people mention it. He is crawling around and pulling himself to standing and walking along furniture a little. Still not close to real walking but entertaining to watch. He is so ticklish and it makes me laugh. I'll post a video next. Although excuse the too often dropped camera that now makes a clicking sound when recording. He is such a mix of Travis and me in terms of looks and so I am still waiting to see what he will look like, cute for sure though. He has started talking which consists of a strained coughing sound, which he learned from Wyatt and Travis who created a language called mouse talk which sounds like sick sheep. Regardless I can't help but smile when looking at him. Life really is good.

Kid Update 3 - Issac

I have more pictures of this child sleeping than any other child. Why you ask? It is only because I am so amazed and awed when it happens. This boy is one ball of energy that rivals any boy I have ever met. So I love it when he is finally asleep, sweet peace. Please take this as a challenge and bring me stories. This is the boy who even as he watches tv drums his legs as quickly as possible or crawls around in small circles keeping his head turned to the tv the whole time, not that it is very often because as you can imagine the tv just doesn't do it for him for the most part. He is inflicted with Graver tendencies and that is that he only has one volume, loud. This makes church difficult sometimes. He loves to be hugged and cuddled though and feels a little displaced by Kody. Previously he had been struggling, as well as me, with his unending crying. He has a decent vocabulary but for some reason kept resorting to the crying. Sometime this weekend though he learned the phrase, " I mad" or the slight variation "I am mad". At which point I can ask him why and he'll explain. Now I hear the phrase several times a day at least twice this morning already. The boy is intense, but he reminds me of me so I have tender feelings towards him despite being frustrated most of the time.

Kid Update 2 - Wy Man

To me his little eyes say it all: I am basically a good boy at heart, but man is it hard for me to be good. To quote his prayer at breakfast this morning "bless that we'll be good, bless that we'll be really good, bless that we'll be super good......and bless that we'll be good and listen to our mommy." It is so cute. He tries so hard to be good, but inevitably his boyness leads him to trouble, rough housing to hard with Issac or the baby, destroying something via his violent ninja behavior - a wall, his room, what have you, and the biggest problem of all are the little lies that follow so he won't get in trouble. All in all he is shaping up to be the best little man. Television is his entertainment of choice and after being grounded from it this past weekend he is reveling in it this morning. Soon we will hit the tramp with sprinklers and we can let the energy free that is trapped in his body.

Kid Update 1 - Isabella

Isn't she lovely? Bella is so dear to my heart. She is my best helper and friend. She makes me laugh. Recently she has been bored not being in school and she can't wait for first grade. I only hope it isn't a disappointment to her when she is actually going again. I have been keeping her as busy as possible though having her read to me. It is amazing and I can't always believe it: I have a child who can read. We do the library every Wednesday morning typically and I pick books to last a week. She has also been writing in her summer journal. And either I am getting better at reading kid writing or she is getting better at coming close to spelling correctly. Probably both. Another time I'll have to scan a page and let you all try and decipher it. Just know it's all proper phonetics, which I didn't remember too well, until my satellite Kindergarten class via Bella. I'm a little worried for middle and high school, but I guess I'll keep learning as long as I have a child in school.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Summer Fun

These are some of the fun things we did with the inlaws. Mt. Gretna and ice cream, Heritage Days in Intercourse PA, Liberty Bell and Independence Hall in Philly, and Hershey Factory. It was such a great week the pictures don't begin to capture it, I need you Ambyr to follow my family around and snap away with all your talent.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Funny Thing

Okay so I know that my husband and I don't have the most sophisticated sense of humor. So here goes the following story.

Behind our house is this little area of overgrown weeds, grass, etc... A "no man's land" among our subdivision. I don't think anyone actually knows who owns it so it doesn't get mowed by any HOA. It is taller than me at most spots. Anyway Travis loves it and decided he was going to cut all kinds of little paths for the kids through it. So he made several paths and clearings in the weeds. The kids loved it and played there for the rest of the night. Maybe two hours or so.

Anyway as we are getting ready for bed, Wyatt says, "I smell like weed." I started to laugh a little. Bella then informs us that she smells like weed too. At this point both Travis and I are laughing. The kids looked at us like we were nuts and asked what was so funny. Oh a conversation for another day I suppose. It shouldn't be that hysterical to us, but it was. Oh the little things.

Friday, June 20, 2008

In-Laws In Town

Today my mother and father in-law get into town to visit us. We are so excited, but especially the kids. They have been doing a daily count down. We want them to have fun and love the area as well as all the visiting itself.
But I am at a loss. I guess I have lived here for so long I don't know what would seem cool to do. When they were here for the wedding they did the zoo and the Smithsonion. They want to check out Harrisburg, I was thinking maybe some historical stuff in Philly possibly. People pour the ideas out. What are your most favorite things in the area?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance

No, but I do enjoy watching others especially on this show. Quite frankly I am amazed at all the talent and secretly, okay well openly, envious of all the ghansta hip hop routines and wish I could move like all of them including the latin flavored dances like salsa, tango, etc...It is the perfect mix of sexiness and sassiness, but I digress. Anyway...last night I am watching and once again I revel in reality tv. One of the judges, Nigel, grabs his own crotch, does a monkey impersonation, okay maybe it only looked like that to me, and made fun of his grandmother's peeing habits. can't script this stuff.

The apex though came after all this when the dancer, who Nigel was mocking because he was too white to dance this Krump routine, said "I didn't want to grab my crotch." Now that in and of itself is fine, but the way he said it was very "rain man" ish and his voice got softer as he said crotch in that the word itself was mortifying. Needless to say I watched it on the DVR at least fifteen times laughing harder with each time. Don't believe me ask Travis who was right there with me, saying that he was a Peter Priesthood, and didn't they pick this guy up in Salt Lake. Maybe so. I don't remember. Details, details, just give me total trash and I am in heaven. So I found a clip of the aforementioned scene when checking my celebrity/reality tv gossip. Watch from the beginning to one minute twenty seconds and then from two minutes twenty seconds or so to the end.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Cool Tag

Rules of this Tag:
1. Answer the questions about the list of friends and/or family on your blog.
2. If you don’t have 18 names answer the question about the next name that you have not had a question for on your list.
3. Tag 5 people.

When did you first meet the first person on your list? At Ricks through casually through roomates, and then one month ago, our new ward.

What do you like about the third person on your list's blog? That she got her belly button pierced, no that she pulled her eyebrows out when we were younger, she was always fun to be with.

What do you like best about the fifth and sixth people on your list? They have the same name. No first Candace is a super good and loving wife, Second Candice inspires me.

How long have you known the ninth person on your list? Some class at BYU, 2001 probably you were prego with Anna in that class, then at Nicole's wedding, then as Travis's cousin.

What impresses you about the eleventh and twelfth people on your list? Laura has a fabulous sense of humor that I wouldn't have known about if not for our shared Aerobics class and that other one we took. Lindsey is a person who knows who she is without her kids defining her. Hilton Head, grandma glasses in the bathroom. Need I say more?

What is a memory you have with the sixteenth person on your list? Endless but as retold last week for her husband, I was at a stake dance wearing her jeans trying to impress a boy, who I later found out liked her when I split my pants, or hers, clean open.

Say something nice about the eighteenth person on your list. Stacy cares about everyone. And is always a good source of information.

Tagging: Whitney, Candace, Beckie, Anja, Maria. York 2nd Ward young womens, whew who.

Notes From the Underbelly and Other Random Facts

Alert: Jonathon this blog is not for you, womenly content is involved.

So there was this failed television show a year or so back called notes from the underbelly. Clever name although I guess the show stunk because it didn't last as far as I can tell. Although I have often thought since hearing that title, that it should be the title of my life. Of late I feel like my life revolves around pregnancy, breastfeeding, kids, etc... Not a big surprise I have four, but it is ever more poignant as I try to stop having the aforementioned kids. So I weened the little one last week, and it didn't dawn on me until Friday or so that I need to change my birth control if I am no longer feeding from Micronor, the mini pill, to whatever Ortho Tri Cyclin or what have you. I call to get an appointment with a local doctor based on nothing else except who is closest and will therefore be most convenient.

I call the first office and his receptionist informs me they can get me in there in three weeks. Seriously, I then informed her that in three weeks time I would likely be pregnant and that I would need somthing sooner. At which point she chuckled and said, "don't be ridiculous". Okay I know she doesn't know me, so lady just take my word on it. She said no appt till then at which point I informed her I'd look else where to get something sooner. I called the next office and they could get me in today. Fabulous by tonight I'll be all hormoned out properly to avoid child #5, not that he doesn't have a future, just not yet anyway.

They asked when I had my last papsmear. I said when I was prego, so just over a year ago. Oh, you need a papsmear otherwise we don't prescribe birth control. Now once again, I am aware of standard practices and procedures, but people it is not like I have ever gone more than two years without having one. I am pregnant enough to take care of it. But they persisted. Great. Now what to do with the four kids, because quite frankly there are a few too many and they are a little too old to be sitting there as I swing my legs up into the stirrups. Not a pretty picture for anyone. I can't very well ask my neighbors who I don't really know, I don't feel comfortable asking anyone in the ward who I don't really know, so I am meeting my husband at the office so he can take the car napping children on a drive, to keep them asleep, so I can prevent future ones.

All this rigamaroo just to stay unpregnant and those are notes from the underbelly. Look for more installments in the future.

Monday, June 16, 2008

This Really Is My Day

This picture really illustrates a day with me. I run errands and all around the town the irony and dichotomy are not lost on me. The newest and oldest in technology I suppose. The buggy parked right next to the hybrid car. I guess they accomplish similar purposes in that they are both alternative, eco-friendly options, but to me they slow me down time and time again. The hybrid car because the consumer always tends to be a hippie who is more concerned with getting optimal gas mileage instead of getting places on time or me the car following it. And as for the buggy, you can imagine that this particular, one horse buggy really doesn't amp out speed. I can only assume the warranty repair man who stopped by my house today had me pegged when he said, "you seem like you are pretty wired" referring to my ability to handle four small children. Yes I am and so please can we in the state of Pennsylvania learn to be like rural Texas and pull over and wave cars around us instead of watching the line of growing cars increase behind us. Thanks. I appreciate it.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Me and the Elements

I am thrilled to back in the land of thunderstorms, high winds, snow, etc... There is something about the rawness of nature's elements that I can connect to. Something about weather fronts colliding, moisture collecting, and the finality of it being restrained no longer and breaking free suddenly and unexpectedly that calls to me. And about the time the clouds roll in low and dark and foreboding is about the time I feel an internal urge to go outside. I start to get antsy and feel myself drawn to our front porch or back step to watch. And where people run to find cover from the rain or snow and sink into the comfort of their homes, I run freely splashing or escape outside to create snow angels.

Me helping Elizabeth commune with nature too, especially snow.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Food Blogs

Lately I have seen an influx of food blogs. Can't say that I am surprised that American obesity is on the rise, what with our obsession with food and all. This is not to say that I don't appreciate the occasional recipe on your blog if it is really good, but the overall blog created for recipes only gives me slight hesitation. I am even more concerned if it is just one person creating an entire blog for just recipes. To me it shouts eatting disorder or in the very least, unhealthy relationship with food. Maybe I am wrong, maybe I am a cynic, somebody please explain.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Not A Moment Too Soon

Good glory it has been above 100 F here the past two or
three days. Hot to say the least. I couldn't let it get me down though. So instead I dug out the chrampoline, as Bella says and put the sprinklers under it for a splashing good time. And not a moment too soon, if anything a little late. I had to wait for my grass, grown from seed, to get to a point where I didn't think it would die. Hopefully all the sprinkling fun will make it grow thicker and greener.

First and Last

Well it came after all. Bella's last day of school was today. It seems like we are the last to get out, but that it because our school district started school late, because they were waiting for our middle school to finish being built. She is so happy and excited and can't wait for next year, first grade, her new teacher, etc... She is so full of life. It makes me smile. Anyway here is a picture from her first day of school to last.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Oh Crap, My Son's a Genius

So I know this shouldn't be a bad thing right, but let me give you the context. So I am trying to get Wyatt into preshool for next year, really pre-k but the subtle difference is missed by a lot of people. Anyway...the school district here offers one. Bella went to one out in Utah and I thought it was the best thing for her. Surprisingly enough all of my kids can be quite shy at first, Wyatt is the worst, Bella has pretty much outgrown it. I think they need the socialization to work them into Kindergarten, especially all day. And also -little moment of honesty here, I am not one of those mothers who work on things with their kids.

You know the kind I am talking about. Their children know their colors, numbers, letters, names, sounds, etc... by age 2. I don't do flashcards, quizzing, anything really. Not that I have anything against it, I secretly envy those moms and kids. I just don't have the time and it is not a priority. Anyway for this pre-k program you fill out an application, you go have an evaluation and they then pick the students. Based on several criteria, mainly income, skill/knowledge level, and other extenuating circumstances.

Although we are not rich, I somehow had my doubts about us meeting the income objective. As for extenuating circumstances, the guy was like if you don't have a car, weird family situations, etc... Who doesn't have a car? Really. So lastly I was hoping that somehow Wyatt was behind academically figuring all that not working on school stuff had paid off. Or if nothing else his shyness would inhibit him from talking to the assessor.

Just my luck. It turns out Wyatt was very shy. But this guy who would be teaching the class, was so good. He pulls out dinosour toys and they start to play without talking. He then asks Wyatt some questions like who is this with you today, and other primers of the sort. Eventually I can see him segway to the testing and Wyatt is fast coming out of his shell. Oh no. Please be dumb. A prayer not often uttered by mothers I know.

It turns out for all of Wyatt's not talking or being interested or sitting down with me, he is quite the genius - this even confirmed by the teacher. So Wyatt identifies colors, come on, counts to 29, who knew, and continues with some really amazing feats like shapes, rhyming word card games, same sound games, identifying letters, numbers, and timed guessing games. Last of all the guy asks him to draw a picture. Which he does of himself, when prompted who it is, Wyatt answers me, to which the guy says can you write your name. I know he is never going to do this because we have never even tried. Till last week he didn't even know what letters were in his name or so I thought. Wyatt proceeds to write his name nigh on to perfectly with a slightly odd shaped "w", slowly visualizing each letter in his name. Who knew.

In the end the guy said they would finish evaluations this week, have letters mailed one way or another by next week's end. But that this part was his least favorite part of the job, where he unofficially told me not to count on it, and referred me to some other private pre-K, academically based programs. I guess I'm glad Wyatt is a genius, but couldn't he just have actted mute for the thirty minutes thus confusing the testor to believe he is dumb. The things we, maybe it's just me, mothers wish for.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Country Wide Mourning Takes Place

It is going to be a sad day in the country tomorrow and many days afterward. As many of you already know, I am not a shy breastfeeder. I am the mom whipping her boob out oblivious or rather unconcerned with the dodgey glances flying all around me.

But tomorrow starts a new age one where my youngest child, Kody - 9 mos - is weened. Typically I wait till a year, but being an earlier teether and all we seem to have different ideas as to what breastfeeding is all about. I believe it is a form of nourishment. To Kody it is a playground for his newly blossoming teeth. Nevermind the teething toys so craftily made and millions invested by toy manufacturers. It seems the only thing he teethes on are my teets.

So as of tomorrow, Kody, adios to my teets. They will no longer bare the tread mark scabbed scars of your teeth. And to the world, you no longer will enjoy the privledge of a quick peep show on which my pancake boobs flop lifelessly out of my braizzerre. Weeping may begin now as I know you are all devasted. So long.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

I Was Afraid To Choose

Life is just a composition of moments congealed together. I love my life and each day I think about that. Each moment is a decision and I find myself not making choices. It seems a terrible waste and shame. Often times I don't know what to choose and I worry about every long term effect that could occur down the road. And always the roads have a down side or less than desirable trail along the way. And I find myself in a state of paralysis. What if I choose wrong? What if I don't choose the right choice? And is there just one choice?

So instead of choosing, embracing, and trusting in myself, my husband, kids, family, friends to deal with the outcome I succumb to doing nothing. But life still goes on and those around me continue to have their moments and make their choices. And my not doing anything was a choice in itself. I just sort of figured that I couldn't be responsible for any of the bad if I didn't choose it. And accepting all the praise of the good seemed easier anyway.

Yes my life is good, but that is because I have a loving Heavenly Father. And anything good has come from him and my dependence on him whether I can admit it day to day or not. So when did I stop being so dependent on him? Why when I didn't know what to do, didn't I ask him? Surely he knows the answers. And I believe in his being there for me, I believe in his omniscience, but I forget. The default of routine and monotony is comfortable. Nothing is required of me except a series of physical motions to keep the day from sliding into chaos.

Maybe I would feel okay about that if not for the realization that hundreds of millions of people long for that in the world everyday. To know that someone is in control beyond them. To know that God exists and loves them personally. To know that they could receive any answer they needed from him at any time. And so as one of my wisest friend's says "he calls me back and gently humbles me. I thought I could do it on my own, but now I see." What a selfish cad I've been. My greatest blessings aren't my life and the things in them, but one core truth that I have "a loving, very real, Father in Heaven".

So I take this opportunity, this very public forum to let you all - my friends and cybersurfers alike - know that I know. I know the things I've written are true. I know so many other truths as well about my life before here and life after here. And I know that all of these things are founded in the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I know that one day I will live with my Heavenly Father again. Maybe I forget to remember him as much as I should, but he loves and reminds me and I love those reminders. Maybe I can help another remember too, or learn for the first time.

Friday, June 6, 2008

My Husband Rocks My World

Yeah in that way too, but that's not what I am talking about here.

So my husband is the greatest and I know it, so here I am shouting it to the world via internet. He always takes care of me. Typically we go on date nights on Thursday's, but since moving here we haven't. We don't know anyone to babysit and we're poor right now, all the money went to the down payment. Okay well not poor, but my thrifty nature keeps me from spending money till I get to a certain point.

Anyway last night he totally surprised me with a babysitter, a girl that he found from calling the Young Women's president to get referrals and confirming with David. He took me out and wouldn't tell me where we were going. I was a little nervous, because I don't like surprises. I know I'm messed up, but I am getting over my control freak tendencies. His nervousness about it didn't ease my fears either. Anyway...I had no idea where we were driving, but then I started seeing Stadium Parking signs.

I love sports. We have a minor league baseball team here. The Lancaster Barnstormers. Yeah that's right. I have been wanting to go, and he got some free, this is why I love my husband, tickets from some guy at work. And they weren't just any tickets. They were skybox tickets with h'orderves (sp?) and dinner and dessert. So the surprise was amazing, because the whole thing was relatively cheap, it's like my favorite thing to do, and I missed it being just us.

He was worried about me having to chit chat with people in the building business, but it turned out to be better than I expected since the man who invited us took an instant liking to me and flirted shamelessly with me all night. I'll take it. Oh, the perks of his job. Anyway...I love T-rex. The only down side is his boss took the Phillies tickets someone gave them. Hopefully, we'll eventually land some of those tickets too. But I'm not complaining.

Here's to a turn around in my week. And Scott, the Yankee's suck. Yeah you heard me.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

On the Other Hand...

I think I may be failing as a mother. The other two boys drive me to my limit almost everyday. I don't know what to do. The major problems are as follows: they play together when they should be sleeping and then are grumpy all day because they are tired, they play and almost always end of fighting with Wyatt unleashing his temper and thus pummeling Issac for minor things, Issac when he doesn't get his way or wants to be played with bites others mainly Wyatt. These behaviors are not okay with me especially the hitting and biting. I don't know what to do. I have done time out, spanking, etc... Today though I realized I am losing this battle, but it is important to me.

It all came to a point, when I was trying to go to the bathroom. Heaven forbid I get five minutes alone. The boys were in their room playing. I hear a fight break out and yell to knock it off from my bathroom, but they seized upon the fact that I was currently detained and continued on. Wyatt ended up beating Issac. Issac came looking and crying all through the house for me. He would have just told me Wyatt hit him. It happens daily. He's looking for me to punish Wyatt, but I know he typically is the instigator. I ignore him knowing that eventually he will go back and play. He does and soon after it all happens all over again. I call Wyatt to the bathroom, where I spank him really hard, my hand even stings. He cries but only a short time and I know that nothing has really changed. It is not like all of the sudden he will never hit again.

And I am frustrated because I am angry. I am angry that I can't take a poo, sorry I know it's gross, for five minutes without total chaos breaking out. And I realized that I am spanking Wyatt not because I am calm and in control and showing him that he is being punished and that actions have consequences, but because I just need five minutes. I don't want to be the judge, referee, defender of my one son from the other, and so forth every minute of every day. And I can't go back and undo these children, because they are here and I want them, but I feel like I am failing miserably. And I am usually really good at the things I do, but I am not good at this. And so I put them all in seperate rooms in time out and me the same, but nothing has changed.

Baby Bathtime

I love bathing Kody. He loves the bath and he plays and coos the whole time long. He thinks it is a funny game to try and make the biggest splashes possible to get me wet. The first time he did it, he got quite a reaction out of me and now he tries to duplicate it. Of course I appease him with my fake squeals of horror at getting wet. But he makes the best faces and so I took these pictures. A typical bath with Kody.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

House Update

So the pictures are out of order, but here goes. My favorite space, walk in closet, Travis has his own seperate walk in. Bella's bedroom. All of the kids are pretty similar. Rectangle rooms, sparsely decorated thus far. Family room. I love this room too. Den/Office. Kitchen. Bedroom - I love my bed. Mmm.

Well now that things are a little more settled, I have taken some house pictures for those of you who asked. Keep in mind, it is messy now that we actually live in it. I am not dream housekeeper or anything of that nature. Some of you have come and seen it in person and the rest of you are welcome to visit anytime. I've gotten a lot of slack about people saying they weren't invited, I didn't know I needed to send an invitation. So consider yourselves invited. I am an open door policy kind of person. Knock and walk in. Love you all.