Sunday, October 4, 2009

FOUR YEARS OLD!!!

As the dreaded birthday neared, I decided they don't make diapers for four year-olds. The end has come. We are in potty training mode now. We will have no more diapers on any bum in this house again. Since Friday, I have had four naked four year old kids going on the floor ten times a day, each. I have been getting my exercise for sure! Of course they all want to go at the same time. No, I didn't think to get the little potties all in a row until the first day was over. I thought they would take turns. Ha ha ha ha! We have four toilets, luckily. Not so luckily they are spread out over three floors of the house. I have been running - literally running- up and down those stairs every 20-30 minutes! Whew! I need to catch my breath just thinking about it....

Who would have known I needed to explain better than, "Put the pee pee in the potty or you will be wet. Stink goes there too, okay?"

"Okay mommy!" They all cheered in excited unison. "We're big now!"

Day two Brenden comes to me and says, "These pants are broken! They have a hole in them. I need new pants!" I change his wet clothes and we practice sitting on the potty again. Some time later he returns. "These pants have a hole in them. They are broken! I need new pants! I get wet. I need new pants!" I finally get it and tell him all the pants will have holes in them. He will get wet if he doesn't use the potty. He says, "I need a diaper. I don't want to be wet." (Insert picture of lower lip curled waaaayy out here.) Well, after we figured that out he has done much better. He loves to get treats!

The other kids are progressing alright. Evan is really good and will go without asking or telling me now. I just need to remind him he needs to put his clothes back on when he is done. I will find him running down the hall in the buff. "Evan! Why are you naked?" Thinking oh, no! Where is the mess he got himself out of? "I put pee pee in da podee" then he leads me to it and smiles! I would say he is about done. He doesn't needa treat everytime anymore. Marek can't figure out how to get there in time yet, at least not for the most important part. Lily is still content to sit in the yuck. Eeew!

I thought we had laundry before, ha! I am just glad we have enough toilets to have a spare!

Oh, their birthday was good too. They got lots of books, a great soap mold kit like playdo for the tub, and some puppets. Even though I said we didn't need any gifts. It wasn't too much though. Thanks everyone!

Steve has the day off work tomorrow to help finish off the potty training (hopfully it will be finished after one more day!) Stephen and Dallas have been helping remind the kids and taking them to a far off potty while I was with another kid already. What a lucky mom I am to have such good helpers! Of course, they got just as many treats as the kids did, after all, they went on the potty too!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

8 years old and baptized!

This weekend my oldest son turned eight years old. We had Grandma Taggart fly in from Arizona for the big event - his baptism. She will be staying until Monday afternoon. It has been good for the boys to see her again and the little ones got to meet her and remember who she is. It's been about 2 years since we saw her last. Stephen was so excited to be baptized. I was sad it was on a holiday weekend and the bishop, his primary teachers, and others had other plans so they were not able to attend.

When we walked into the room for his confirmation it was just our family. I looked around and realized that there were no, none, nada, zero men there to assist in the priesthood blessing, confirming Stephen with the gift of the Holy Ghost. With only one member of the bishopric there, our circle of priesthood was nearly a circle of two. Then the other baptism from our ward came in with her family. They had the biggest group of people! WOW. We had a few of them help us, they were our friends too. I was sad that none of my family were there. But I am ever so greatful that they all have jobs!!! They all were at work. I am glad Stephen was happy and he knows he is loved anyway.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Where did the summer go?

Well, We have been so busy that I haven't blogged much. I have thought of it often though, believe me! Our summer has included fun things like having a visitor from Germany stay with us for 5 weeks. We went swimming, drove to the arches national park, hiked a bit, camped in mountains, went to Lagoon (local amusement park), saw a natural geyser, went to the zoo, the dinosaur museum, lunch at the park (many times). We attended the free movie almost every week, had playdates with friends, went bowling (yes, all of us - well, not Steve he was working) and more.

Here is a picture of Goblin Valley in Southern Utah Sabrina (German friend mentioned earlier) is in the background. I finally have a decent picture to put on facebook, if I can figure it out.


Here's a picture of Steve with some of the kids in Goblin Valley

Yet, when someone asked Dallas if he had done anything fun this summer he said, "mmm, no not really. But we ordered a swing set!" We have indeed ordered a swingset, but what about the entire summer? Oh well. It will get here in a few weeks.

This is what happened today. Of course they saw the camera coming and got their smiles on. I can't believe Lily was still clean even when I dressed her in a white shirt today!






Brenden was in on it too, but you can't tell because it's all on the back of his head. i took the pictures, then hosed them off outside, stripped them to their diapers then let them in the house. Then I decided that Brenden was still too dirty and took him to the shower. He still got a bath at bedtime for, as he said, "I am a dirty boy! I need a bath." He speaks the truth!

Whatever will I do next week without a vehicle? I guess there's enough dirt to keep us busy...and that ever elusive potty training... nah, why waste time for fun? Besides, we wouldn't want Daddy to miss all the real fun! He will be going to Colorado for high adventure mountain climbing. Wish us all luck!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Swimming?

How about taking six kids ages 7 and younger swimming, with one adult? Even better sounding when four of them are three years old right? Well, my sister called me yesterday morning and suggested we go to the pool. Would she help keep track of the kids? yes? Ok, but how much would it cost me? I never did find out and we didn't end up at the pool.

I spent hours looking for Lily's swimsuit. They were interrupted hours, but still, she has been carrying her princess suit around nearly every day since we bought it in May - just before the rains started. Now when the sun shines I can't find it? You've got to be kidding me! So My sister, Lacey, decided to buy her a new one - only $7, cute blue and pink striped with a flower and butterfly- so that was nice. Between this and trying to get all of the kids in their suits with sunscreen on, waiting for so and so to be able to go, call them to see what's taking so long/what time they are available- oh! They decided not to go. Thanks for telling us, blah, blah, blah - our attempt at going to the pool at 1:00 turned into running through sprinklers at 2:30. This wasn't as exciting as Lacey had planned (kids were still looking for snails and bugs. You should see our collection!) so she went to the store and bought a slip and slide.

We waited for the set up and waited for our turn. While Lacey was out shopping, she got more kids and we ended up with ten kids there. Boy were my kids mad at me when I said it was time to get dry and go home for dinner! This process took me close to an hour. I can not believe how time consuming this simple fun was. I feel like I wasted a good amount of day trying to figure out what we were doing - oh, the pool ended up being closed for maintenance when I called to get the cost. Then we drove by the pool, and it really was open. The kids could see other people in there playing and I was in trouble once again.

I refuse to be in trouble today! I will clean the house: dishes, laundry, bathrooms, vacuum the floors, get the guest room ready, take the kids to the park for lunch, do some homework (I finished a class yesterday except for the final), pull the weeds, harvest some strawberries, mow the lawn, read with the kids, have an art project with them, take them to the library, make a batch of cookies.... well, maybe I won't do ALL of that today.

But I will not give the kids expectations that can't be met today. We will most likely spend the day watching TV while I clean up and get ready for our visitor. We will got to the park because it is chicken day. I found out yesterday they are cutting back their menu options because of the economy. This means they have five things to rotate through the entire summer. Major bummer since my kids will not eat three of them EVER, and the other one they are 50-50. They like the chicken sandwiches.

Thursday our visitor will get here from Germany. Sabrina will stay with us for about a month. We are very excited! She is 17 years old. She teaches swimming at home and will help us learn while she is here. Maybe after she leaves I will feel better about taking my kids to the pool. What is American that we should share with her? We are thinking of taking her to the Arches and Zions national parks, a BBQ, fireworks and parade. Any other ideas?

Definitely a TV day. Dallas just came and told me he doesn't feel well today. I will not be in trouble today - no expectations to let down!
We love each other and we are sick today - Oh wait! Was that the camera?


What can I say, they take after their mother.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Bryce and Shannon's Wedding

Here are some fun pictures from my Brother's wedding on May 30th. It is quite a chore to get a good picture with all the kids looking and being happy with us. This is the best one Taken.
This one not so good.
Lily was the flower girl.
She was such a pretty princess.
Evan ended up being the ring bearer. Tavner was suppose to do it, but he was having a hard day and wasn't so cooperative. Evan stepped in and was great!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Hot Water!

(Sang to the tune of I wish I were an Oscar Myer Wiener)

Oh, I wish I had hot water in my kitchen!

Oh how happy, joyful I would be.

'Cause if I had hot water in my kitchen

All my many dishes I would clean.

Oh, I wish I had hot water in my bathroom!

Oh, how happy, joyful I would be.

'Cause if I had hot water in my bathroom

I could take that bubble bath I need.

This is the song I was going to leave on the plumber's voice mail today. I have been leaving messages all last week. He came and did some work and we thought it was fixed but it wasn't. Then he went out of town. He is a friend so I haven't been too upset about it. I guess he just got back to town this week.

I thought singing this would help him remember me. Alas! He answered the phone instead! He said he will be coming over today. This is good news, but I was looking forward to my fun.

Steve just rolled his eyes at me this morning when I sang it for him. I said,

"Aren't you going to comment?"

"I chuckled."

"You know I am a verbal person."

"I have to go to work now."

"Are you ignoring me and avoiding the topic?"

He just grinned at me and asked for his keys. "Will I embarrass you if I sing to the plumber?" "No. You can sing the first verse." I got permission to make a fool of myself and then the plumber answers the phone. The nerve!

Friday, June 12, 2009

What can happen when mom sleeps at night?

A successful day

Yesterday was such a success, very productive. With the exception of telling the boys we won't go to the park today, everyone was generally happy all day. Thanks to my darling hubby for letting me sleep.

I completed a homework assignment with 95% correct. I was able to practice the piano and convince the boys to practice. I vacuumed two rooms, gave all six kids haircuts, harvested the cherries and thinned the peach tree. We went to the park for lunch. I found the kids that were chasing the seagulls, then disciplined them intensely. I had story time with the kids, made dinner then had pizza instead (it didn't quite turn out the right way. I am so glad there is a $5 pizza place on the way home from work. Thanks Steve! You are my hero again.)

I also made it to my teaching class at church and visited a few minutes with friends there. I was uplifted and inspired. I squeezed in a good hour phone call with my dear friend, exercised for a while, found bugs and worms, and got soaked in the rain with the kids… It was a great day!

Anything can happen with a good night's rest. You know you are loved when your husband says, "When Dallas gets up tonight send him to me. If Lily gets up send her to me too. You sleep tonight." Thank you Steve! You are the greatest!

Today the sun is shining. The only day the sun shines for a week is the one day we are not going to the park (part of that intense discipline yesterday) This morning I hear nothing but loud angry voices. "I am not going to get dressed! We aren't going to the park today so I am not going to do anything you want! There's no reason for me to get dressed! I want to go to the park!" and so on. Does it matter that I want to go somewhere else? Come on! The sun is shining today! I guess I will mow the lawn.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Cookies with Grandpa!

My brother is getting married this Saturday! That's actually tomorrow. Grandpa Howard is here from Ohio and he's staying with us for a few days. Yesterday, he made cookies with the kids while I mowed the lawn. Stephen was at school and Dallas was outside finding bugs. He must not have noticed the call for cookies.

Grandpa was a little more lenient with the kids than I would have been. That's one reason why grandparents are more fun than parents. I came back in the house just as they were getting the cookies in the oven. He was offering the kids a taste. "Go ahead, eat it. Clean the bowl." Unfortunately for Brenden, he fell asleep and took a once in a lifetime NAP!

Lily had been sampling and helping from the beginning. Raw eggs, sugar, a bite of the butter cube... She didn't take the offer to taste the completed dough. She got some water to pour into the bowl. Evan was too busy at the sink washing the dishes. Meanwhile, Marek was trying to taste it. He got a bit that was soggy and said, "Eeww! Yuck! This is disgusting!"

Don't worry though, all the cookies were eaten!

Then we went to the Great Salt Lake to collect some sand as a souvenir. It was great till the bugs started eating us. We ran away in a hurry!










Friday, May 22, 2009

A day off!



This is what I woke up to find in my bed. I guess I was tired enough not to notice the boys getting there. This is a great start to the weekend! Steve has the day off work today too. After Dallas gets home from school we will go camping. My friend invited us to go with them. She laughed and said, "That's the same look that Steve gave me when I asked him! There will be lots of adults there and we miss you! Let's do something." So we agreed, for one night not the whole weekend. We will test it out to see how the kids do, and how well we can handle the idea ourselves.

So I am finally forced to empty some of my camera, as the memory is full. You know I am not very good at this posting pictures thing. They are a bit jumbled, and I couldn't get everything here that I wanted to. I don't have all day for this! So here they are. Good luck figuring out who is who. We have been experimenting with Lily's hair-dos, playing soccer (both boys, not a once a week commitment!), piano recital, weeding our yard (Some of it), the older boys went to a car race, we "rescued" a butterfly, and just been plain silly. Some of the pictures are missing/doubled. sorry. Now I am off to our next adventure, Camping!

















Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Oh no! Don't spill it!

This must be a brag about Lily month because the last post just happened to spotlight her too. Oh well. She is my girl after all!

She will be the flower girl for my brother Bryce's wedding in a few weeks. We took her to the rehearsal - so cute!- then we went to a dinner. The restaurant was on a street with construction going on. They were actually doing the work, not just the equipment sitting there. While we were waiting for the rest of the party to arrive we watched some of their work. What can I say, she has brothers right? So that being said I was surprised to hear her telling the dump truck, "NO! Oh no! It's dumping out! He's spilling it!" Heaven forbid someone other than Lily could make a mess.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Spring is here

My injury to the finger is healing well and I can type now, but time doesn't permit for all my thoughts to be here. School is nearly over for the year. Like most things lately, it came suddenly for me. I have nearly missed all the holidays this year until Stephen insists we decorate for whatever it is next. With spring here he is taking up catching butterflies, along with the bugs. Marek is afraid of flies - deathly afraid of flies, and Lily is afraid of ants.

We did some weeding and planting in the yard yesterday and we found a worm. Lily was so pleased with HER worm, "It's cute! It's cute? It's so cute! Look! Mine worm! Mine worm! Look, it's cute? It's so cute!" Then she went over to Daddy and pulled his arm. "Yes, Lily. I saw your worm."

"It's cute! Dare he is. I found it." Then Lily carried it over to Daddy in a shovel to be sure he saw it. When he still lacked enthusiasm, she picked it up with her fingers and shoved it close to his eyes. "It's cute? Mine worm!" Then she ran over to show her brothers. They were moderately interested but not as excited as she wanted them to be. About 3 minutes later I hollered, "Boys! Look at Lily. She is trying to show you her worm." Of course they had seen it but she was too excited about it to stop shouting.

The boys were devising a race course for the curl up (potato?) bugs. Using extra pipes from an old Christmas gift they were getting ready to study them as scientists to see who was faster. Lily's worm joined the races. She had to tell her worm (long dead by now) good night, night night worm! After she was into her bed she wanted to get out and check on it. "Mine worm! He's so cute! Night night worm!"

Friday, April 17, 2009

warning!

They should have a warning label on potatoes: "Slippery when wet! Use caution!"

I shredded a piece of my finger yesterday. It looks worse than it is. I got out of making dinner last night, dishes are not for me, and Darling hubby made enough waffles last night that there were some for breakfast this morning! He told me not to make a habit of this. I got a great large red bandage on the appropriate finger (middle tall one) a tetanus shot, and a two hour break from the house while I waited in the doctors place. (wish I thought to take a book with me) I will have my finger's bandage checked on Saturday and I think we will all live through this, but my typing is suffering. I will post pictures soon. I have several from Lily's dress, the new beds for the kids, making our own lotions that seem to be doing great for Dallas' super sensitive skin, and there's more to be said about gravity and how many times must we test the theory that when we pour salt/cereal/water/etc... it will really cover the ground/table/etc.... and how many times will we be able to get away with responding, "Um, I forgot." when a parent reminds us we know not to do that?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Sick, sick, sick!

We have been so sick here this last while. Dallas is finally feeling better, but the rest of us (not me thank goodness!) have had or still have the sickness. Lily had it the worst, but Dallas had it the longest. Hubby got it the other day, missed two days of work for it. UGH! I was enjoying the loves and no yelling for the first few days, but after a week I am ready to get some more work done! We are still recovering. Stephen has been a big helper. He did not get sick until a few days ago. He helped take care of the other kids while Steve was at work. I will post more about that later. I would rather talk about Stephen.

One day he walked out of class with a girl whose mom tends for me on the days I volunteer at the school. She offered to drive him home and he didn't want to until he asked his mom. He walked himself home that day, but after getting permission to go with them he has walked out of class with her often. Then they stopped at the park on the way home to play (the other mom called me to ask if it was okay first) and yesterday, she whispered to me that her daughter might want to marry Stephen. They are so cute! I can't believe he is getting old enough for crushes! He hasn't said anything about her other than they are friends. I am so glad he has friends! The mom says that everyone at school likes Stephen.

Well, that's all I have time for today. Hopefully we will be getting the beds for the kids this weekend along with our shipments of plants for the garden (Strawberries, blueberries, grapes, apple trees, and a peach tree to go along with our other peach tree and the cherry tree we already have. I had better get learning how to bottle things!) In a few weeks we will be shopping for tomatoes and other such things to be determined later.

Happy Easter!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

How long till Christmas?

I have pictures of Lily in her new dress, but I can't post them just yet because we have the sickness going in our house and I don't have enough time to figure the camera out today.

Yesterday Marek was sick. He suddenly burst out crying and would not be comforted or tell me what was wrong with him. He fell asleep while we were driving – a nap! A NAP! There must be something wrong! He woke when we pulled in the driveway, I thought maybe he would be recovered and happy, but no. He started screaming again, went into the house and mumbled something about a blanket. I got one, not his but he didn't care. He laid on the couch and stayed there. After a few minutes, the other kids came and turned the TV on. Marek left the room. He slept in the front room for a while then moved to the kitchen floor where I was attempting to cook dinner. He moaned a few times to make sure I knew he was there.

As soon as Daddy got home he jumped up with the rest of the kids shouting, "Daddy's home! Daddy's home!" Marek was cured instantly. Today Dallas is sick. I thought he would be cured the same way, but I was wrong. He didn't scream like Marek did, but he knows more words like, "Pick me up", and "Carry me"

As we cuddled on the couch, me attempting to comfort the sick child, he turns to me and asks, "Why don't you clean your room very often?" Good question! Could it be that I am too busy trying to clean the rest of the house and take care of the kids that as soon as I see the bed in there I fall into it and stay there? I surely could not think for a minute that it is because I don't want to, or "gasp" perhaps I am a bit lazy!

I don't want to say it's the kids fault, after all, he is sick and I am trying to comfort him. I tell him I don't know, you know I do clean it sometimes… He then informs me, "You better get it all the way clean before Christmas because Santa won't like it if it's not ALL the way clean, ya know. It has to be AAAALLLL the way clean. Before Christmas."

Well, thanks for giving me enough notice, seeing how it's just barely April! Kids are so sweet. The other noticeable announcement that I somehow have to deal with is, "Hey, tomorrow is April Fool's Day!" Hmmm, wish I had more notice for that one.

Friday, March 27, 2009

domesticated

I feel so domesticated today! This week I have been able to get the kids to where they need to be close to on time every time, I gave Stephen a haircut, made a few meals at home, put in an hour or so at Stephen's school, finished some of the boys homework, took the kids to the library, made a feeble attempt to grocery shop, and finished sewing that dress for Lily. The one I started back in August last year. I was so glad to see that it fit her and she liked it! She wore it all day and was mad when it was time for jammies. Hopefully she still likes it on Sunday! I also looked for my desk under that giant pile of papers and finished reading two books for my homework! WOW! But, alas, the dishes are NOT done and the toilets are excited for me to clean them today. Other than finishing the dress this week has been pretty much a normal one, but wow, I finished sewing the dress!!! I will post a picture soon, after she wears it Sunday... I hope.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Would you like blueberries with that flood?

Yesterday was a wonderful day! It was the first day in over a week that we did not have any clogged toilets. Stephen won a contest at school for the cutest and the smallest green thing for St. Patrick's day. Of course the smallest thing is the cutest thing according to him. He is so wise. I should have known that.

Steve got home from work and went into the bathroom. "What's this? Why are all the towels in here?" I sigh and say, "We had a flood in there today. I didn't get to finish the project. Sorry."

"Oh. Okay." He says with a roll of his eyes. I am sure he is thinking it's another toilet problem. Then he askes, "Where's the toilet paper?"

"It's in the sink!" Yes, we have moved on to bigger and better more difficult to fix problems. Hooray for progress, and teamwork!

I explain to Steve, I had a phone call from out of state family and took a moment outside to hear better. When I went in to check on the kids they were all in the bathroom, "Not me!" Says Evan. Right. You are dry. It was not you. There were three crowded around the sink, water on, splashing, flooding...

I get them out of there and Brenden starts to cry. Is it because he's in trouble? No. He sobs, "I'm wet! I'm wet! Aaahhhh! I'm wet!" Sniffle, sniffle, snuff. And wet he stays until bedtime, or until he air-dries. Whichever comes first. I ask Dallas to get me a towel. In his better mood moment he rushes back with the entire cupboard and throws it at me. Thanks for helping today Dallas! Next time just bring one.

Dallas has been on a good streak. He has been having learning time with the kids. Yesterday he taught them the letters, today he taught them numbers. He has a treasure box for them for being good. He has also covered gravity. I wonder what will be next. I think he is trying to teach them cursive. Such a good creative boy. I have been better at not speaking all my thoughts and it is more peacefull around here today.

For example, Dallas said he would not eat breakfast today (big surprise) because it was not chocolate chip muffins it was blueberry. He tells me after about an hour, "okay mom. Here's the deal." I wanted to shout, "No! Here's the deal. I am the mom! I made you food, and you will eat what I made you!" But I didn't. I listened for a minute. "Here's the deal. I will eat 6 bites and you will let me eat something else with it." Sounds reasonable. Okay. He ended up eating three muffins, including a few blueberries, and forgot to ask for the something else to go with it. Here is the biggest shock: He is still alive after eating what I made!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick's Day


Sorry I forgot to add the picture for the last post. Here it is, my excited sweet Stephen.

Pickle juice pranks?

Happy St. Patty's Day!

When I was a kid, I remember the leprechauns would bring a treat to us if we were good. They would leave a trail of green footprints, glitter, or sprinkles (something green) leading to a treat that was, of course, green: a green apple, green frosted sugar cookies perhaps. I thought it was similar to Christmas, if you are good you get a treat. Little did I know the true story of leprechauns being naughty and mischievous. Well, last year at the school Stephen and Dallas were at, they taught them the "real" story and leprechauns messed up their classrooms while they were out playing. They came home worried that our house was going to be messed up, not to get treats. Hmmm. I told them our house was already too messy for them to do any damage and they wouldn't have fun messing up our house – afterthought: it's good to have a messy house to keep leprechauns away.

We have had tricks played on us by changing our food colors. This year I was a little behind and barely got the milk green in time. We had green pancakes, and I planned on having eggs with green flecks of chives in them. However, I was not fast enough with the eggs.

Stephen was on the trail searching for any other tricks the little green fellows played. He took out the eggs. They are white, normal. I was able to sneak a few chives into the pan while he wasn't looking. "Oh! The trick was on the pan this time!" He scans the fridge further and finding nothing else different he announces, "I think the leprechauns turned our pickle juice green!" I like his thinking.

Enter Dallas: "Mom! Why did you make green food! I am not going to eat today if it’s going to be green! Why do you always do things I don't like?!" I say, "Dallas, it's St. Patrick's Day." He responds, "I don't want green food! I won't eat it! This is the worst day ever! I wish Leprechauns were never invented!"

Stephen tried to calm him and loved eating his green stuff. Brenden was resistant like Dallas, but he eventually tried it and ate, as did the other kids.

The next argument is about school. Dallas doesn't want to go to school at all this week because it is spirit week and you have to dress up. Yesterday it was sports day and he hates basketball because it is too loud. Today is crazy hair day. He doesn't want to have crazy hair and everyone else will then they will laugh at him for not having crazy hair. "Do you want crazy hair?" "NO!" "Okay that's fine" "But they will laugh at me!" "Do you want crazy hair then?" "NO!" And so on….

I like Stephen's school better than the one he went to last year. If you don't wear green you get kissed and the leprechauns lost a shoe in one kid's desk last year. No messes mentioned. At Stephen's school, they have a contest for who has the biggest, smallest, funniest, cutest, etc… green stuff. Here is what he looked like when he left today. He is so sweet and excited for fun. I did remind him the pickles were green already. He took the news okay.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

How many toilets?

How many toilets?

So tell me, how many toilets do you think are necessary in one home? I say at least 2 if there are more than one person living there. I have wondered how frivolous my four toilets are from time to time. Today though, I was wondering if I needed more.

Dallas announces early in the day that the toilet in the basement has been clogged. Since we are busy trying to get to school I let it go till later. Then, of course, I forget about it as life continues. Then Dallas reminds me, after he used it again and it still didn't work. Yuck. So, then I go to the one near the kitchen. That's where the plunger is. Kids in the kitchen distract me again. I hear the door close and turn to see Evan standing there with a grin on his face, yup. The bathroom door is locked. Plunger? In the locked room.

Oh well. I will just unlock the door. Where is that key? Hmmm.. I will try a screwdriver. Nope doesn't fit. How about this nail? It worked yesterday. No, it's not working today… Hmmm… nothing else seems to fit in there.

Hey! Get out of the bathroom! I run upstairs to find a clogged toilet in the hallway. It keeps running so I jiggle the handle. Whew! That was a close call! Oh no! I am going to be late for getting the kids from school! Let's go! Out of the mud! Out of the snow! Into the truck!! Evan! I said stay out of the mud! Let's go!

From school pick up to an attempted grocery trip.
"Do you have to go to the bathroom before we go?"
"No." "Are you sure?" "I said no!" "Okay."

Inside the store, still getting the kids into the baskets.
"Dallas, what's wrong? Do you have to go to the bathroom?" "No." "Are you lying to me?" "Yes." UGH! Race to the back of the store. He is afraid of going alone, doesn't want anyone else going but me. I can't fit everyone in the little back room of the grocery store…. Dallas decides to be brave and goes alone, with all of the rest of us standing as close to the hallway entrance as we can. Hooray!

Now let's get those groceries. No, no, no, no, no, that's not on the list. That's not on the list. We have that at home already. No, we don't need that… Oh no! We are out of time! A half way done shop and late to get Stephen from school!

I think we will just collect him and return, but when we get home, our dear friend is outside in our driveway waiting to say hi. I let everyone out of the truck for "just a minute", which ends up being a big minute. I have a flashback of our friend that watched the kids last week asking if we were able to unclog the toilet. The kids got together when she was watching them. This seems to be their favorite game this month. I told her, "Yes, but now the one in the basement is clogged." As I remember this, I shout out for all to hear, "Do not use a toilet if it is not working!" Then I visit our friend, unload what few groceries made it home with us, start making dinner…

Steve gets home and I tell him, "If you need to use the bathroom you have to use the one in our bedroom." "Okay" He goes upstairs and hollers, "What's this?!" I inform him the hall bathroom is clogged, the basement bathroom is clogged, the kitchen bathroom is locked and I can't get it unlocked. He says the hall bathroom looks really stuck and flooded into the hallway. What?!? They must have gone in there again when I wasn't looking! He asks, "Where's the plunger?" I am sure he thought I was just not interested in doing that fun job. "It's in the locked one!" My hero hubby to the rescue! He reminds the boys of the four wipes/courtesy flush rule, "I'm not saying you did it. I am saying this rule applies to everyone."

He magically unlocks the bathroom and has all bathrooms restored to working order within the blink of an eye.

So, how many toilets are enough, needed, too many? In this house, today, we need four! And half of us are not even potty trained yet! I am so glad no one was sick and needing to use it at the same time. Hooray for my hero hubby and his magical door unlocking, toilet unclogging skills! Afterwards, we all went to the grocery store. What a great day! Useable bathrooms and food in the house too. Wow!

Sorry no pictures today!

Friday, March 6, 2009

It's all Marek's fault!

That would be a ridiculous thought if it did not make so much sense from Dallas' point of view. "Marek broke it because he is always eating stuff! If he didn't eat my pants my zipper would not be broken!" I try to conceal my laugh, and remember the episode from the other day, the one of the pants soaking from Marek's drool last week that disrupted our day. The day the only pair of pants that Dallas had clean, he went to put them on and found wet spots on the legs. Dallas exploded yelling, "Marek! Did you eat my pants!?" "Yes." Dallas says surprisingly calm, "Well, it's just a little wet. I can still wear them." Then not so calm, "Oh NO! They're wet here too! Marek! Why did you eat my pants?!" Followed my more yelling and crying about not having any pants to wear.

I quietly put them in the dryer. When he was done screaming, I handed them to him dry. Yes, he was upset by wet pants long enough to have them dried in the dryer. I admit they were not soaked, but much more wet than I would expect from a mouth. Today I can't even tell him how the zipper really broke in the wash. I just get him a new pair of pants.

This scuttle doesn't bother me though because I started my day receiving a compliment from Stephen. He said, "I like your hair Mom." Then he proceeded to help me fix Lily's hair. She had at least twenty "pretties" in her hair. I don't think there will be a problem keeping her hair out of her face or food out of her hair today.




2 hours later, I am proven wrong, on both counts.







Stephen had no school today, but Dallas had the usual Friday run around. We dropped him off at school (On time hooray!) had a lunch with Daddy, rushed back to get Dallas (Late, boo hoo!) then we all went for an adventure to the library. We returned the gobs of books we had, collected the ones I had on hold, picked up a few new videos to watch, and watched the kids go crazy but luckily not lost while Dallas got his very own library card!

We made it safely out to the truck and decided that we were being good enough to go back in for the "event" of the day. As if that wasn't enough event yet! We watched a magic show, a good one. Stephen was chosen to be a helper. They were doing spoofs of the Dr. Seuss stories and Stephen was king from the Bartholomew and the Ooblek story. Then Dallas was chosen to help as a lion for a Horton story, from before he was "famous". I wish I had my camera! They were great! Nevertheless, as soon as Dallas sat down he started saying he wanted to go home. No much more embarrassing than when you have a kid participate in a great thing and yell loudly he wants to leave.

Tonight we had a double date with some friends and I tried sushi for the first time. Better than I thought it would be! Nice to try new things with seasoned "professionals" And our sitter said we have good kids. They were all in bed sleeping when we got home. It's been another great day of crazy!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

communication breakdown

Last night we went to the Utah Museum of Natural History. They have one day a month with free admission. It was really cool! They have real fossils there, not just the copies of them, an awesome kid area with puzzles and little pebbles to "dig" for dinosaur bones in, and there was a bug collection display that the kids just loved! We ran into some friends there that also like the word "free".

All ended well, but there were challenges along the way. A later than expected start for our journey was buffered by Evan actually eating some dinner. He told me it was delicious! A real compliment coming from him! He even asked for seconds!!! WOW!

We get on our way and Steve starts to turn the truck into a parking lot. "This isn't where we're going." "What? Oh. Where are we going?" We get to another parking lot. "Is this it?" "No. It's the Utah museum of Natural History. This one is for art." "Oh! The one clear over there!?!"

We finally get there. After looking for a parking spot (I guess I am not the only one who likes "free") I say to the kids, "Okay. We are here. I'll get the strollers out." Steve says, "Strollers? I didn't know you wanted them."

We had a great time though! The kids were well behaved and didn't get lost at all. I think we will be doing this again and not worry about the strollers.

The question for the day: How do you make friends if you are not supposed to talk to strangers and everyone you don't know is a stranger?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

brief run down of the last week...

If we can be brief, ha ha, here we go!

The audition last Saturday was a great kick. I don't think anything will come of it unless they are looking for demonstrations of mirror licking. "STOP LICKING THE MIRROR! LEAVE THE MIRROR ALONE, PLEASE!" (The auditions are for commercials, and marketing stuff, like IKEA's catalog.)

Sunday Lily and Marek were invited to give a talk and prayer next week. Good thing the talker, Marek, was asked to talk.

Monday, I called about getting Dallas tested for a different school program. Tuesday we went. He was nervous thinking he wouldn't do well and complaining that he doesn't know everything. He ran out so happy. He said, "It was so easy! I think I got all of them right!" I am sure he probably did. Then I was able to spend time in his class to help his teacher. Tuesday we also processed our taxes and closed our refinancing on our house.

Wednesday was a long day. After the usual morning at Waterford and getting the boys to school, I collected Steve's autograph for the taxes. Then I was crazy brave and went to the bank. We needed to get a certified check for the refi loan. I drove to the window. They would like people to go inside for that particular service. I said, "Really? Really? Ooookay!" I found a parking spot and unloaded the four. We made a nice entrance and behaved rather well inside. I could have had Steve do the job on his lunch break on on his way home, but where's the fun in that? From there we delivered the check to the title company. All of us went inside again, successfully! But, it was not to last. Lily thought she needed to play chase in the parking lot, winning herself and the boys a stay in the seat belts when I went to deliver the signatures for our taxes. Too bad. My aunt does our taxes. That would have been the best place to get out. Oh well. I was able to get back in time to get Dallas and our carpool. Hooray for me!

Good thing I was crazy brave. Steve worked late, helped a friend tow his truck to a fix it place, got home in time to help clean up the glass and leave for the weekly youth activity. His dinner was around 9:00PM.

If you ever wanted to do an experiment on how far Pyrex glass mixing bowl will spread when broken I can tell you it fills a 10x14 foot space easily. Yes, Evan was spanked that night, and no I don't know how it ended up in the front room in his hot little hands. There is no damage to the floor tile and no lasting damage to the boys seat. I was more mad when he tried to charm me when I was mad at him. He knows how to work that smile! Everyone got a bath and into bed close to on time. We haven't been very good at being on time to bed lately.

Today I was able to volunteer for a few hours in Stephen's school. He was V.I.P. this week, which meant more work finding things for him to take each day to show about himself. Today he took some piano books and his teacher asked if he would like to play for the class. He agreed and the class all took a walk to the auditorium and he performed for them, Row, Row, Row your boat and something else that I don't remember. Then they asked him questions. He was so cute and brave. His teacher is completely thrilled at his progress socially. Stephen has also been invited to his first birthday party! It's on Saturday for a girl he walks to school with. She also has Asperger's.

Dallas had a less than desirable experience at school. He was walking to the truck after school with the girl we carpool with. She said, "Hi Ms. Hansen." Ms. Hansen said hi and gave her a chocolate. Dallas sees Ms. Hansen for his advanced reading group. So he, naturally in my opinion, held his hand out waiting for a treat too. She crossed her arms over her chest and told him she doesn't give treats to people who ask for them. How rude! Maybe he shouldn't expect one, but he is in her class and a kindergartner! If a kid brings something to school they are expected to have enough to share with everyone. Shouldn't the same be true for teachers if it's not class time bribery?

Today we got some homework, of mine, worked on and that laundry monster is loosing the battle today. I do wish I would remember to lock the water button on the fridge. Will I ever learn? Lily likes being wet.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Who's who?

Yesterday we had a great time deciding who was going to school. I said to Stephen, "Get ready for school." he says, "No! I'm sick. I can't go to school!" Then I turn to Dallas and tell him, "You are sick and will be staying home today." He says, "No! I'm not that sick!" In the end they both ended up at school. Good thing, because we had auditions to go to and the older kids would not enjoy waiting. We waited for a VERY long time for our turn, about an hour and half. The boys did a great job, but Lily froze up. She is so adorable and didn't want anyone else to know. She wouldn't look at the camera or talk to them or anything. Oh well.

We had fun making new friends in the waiting room. I don't know why no one else brought anything to entertain their kids while they waited. We were the only ones with a bag, books, etc. I think some brought a snack, but I was reading to lots of kids that weren't mine and other moms borrowed my books. Stephanie was a wonderful sister and went with me. She also brought a bag for entertaining the kids. Good thing Grandma was able to get Stephen from school too!

The funniest part was when I showed Stephanie the pictures. (It's okay I told her I was going to blog about this. But in her defense, I apologize I can't post the pictures today.) She looked at the first one and said, "Oh! I didn't notice before, he's got a bit of Evan in him. Look at his eyes." I said, "That is Evan."

Friday, February 13, 2009

A step back

Once in a while I am able to take a small step back and just watch the family in amazement, or humor, or both. Today I had a moment. During dinner, this is what I saw.

Brenden was sitting to my left, painting with his soup on the table. I said, "In your mouth Brenden. It's for eating." "Noooo, ha ha, no!" His artwork spread and I did not stop him. He was happy and the table was already dirty.

Next to him Evan was saying, "Ook Mommy! I eat it!" Followed by a bite with sound effects - ahummummumm! Neither Brenden or Evan were sitting in their chairs, they were kneeling, but close enough.

Lily was walking around the table trying to find water, which was really milk. She brought her cup to me and burst into tears when I said, "I don't have it. Daddy does." I think all she heard was I don't, translating to no for her.

The next spot at the table was for Stephen, but he was busy dancing to some tune left over in his head from the T.V. show that ended just before dinner. He got his groove on next to the table, coming back now and then for a bite.

Dallas was being a trickster, trying to tease and move dishes around. His dinner ended up not being touched at all until bedtime.

Daddy was getting whines from Marek, with his big lower lip. Daddy told Marek he needed to have more of his sandwich before he could have whatever he was asking for. He took a bite so small that if it were a crumb a mouse might not be able to find it.

At this point, Brenden starts to cry and jumping to the floor whines, "Mine hands! Mine hands are dirty! I ave soup on mine hands! AAAhhhhh!!!" Sob - sniffle. Off he runs - Hurry catch that boy before he touches something! My moment is over, but it was a fun one.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Wrestle Mania!

Sorry about the Blurry pictures, but these were taken from my cell phone. This is Shelly again, these are the wrestling pictures from the crazy photo shoot day. I think the winner is Lily!




Monday, February 9, 2009

Here are the Crazy's!

This is Shelly, Lydia asked me to post the pictures from our wild outing getting the Quad's pictures taken. Brenden is such a cutie, he doesn't look wild here, and he was probably the calm one in the bunch that day.
Evan Lily and Shelly. Dallas wanted to take the picture for me.
Don't let this sweet innocent look fool you, she has a wild side to her. She even tipped over a tree that was in the room.
Dallas and Marek were probably the craziest ones that day. They were showing me how to shake your butt the right way...(Did you know there was a right way to shake your butt?)

This is just cute pic of the boys.... they look innocent right? Just remember looks can be deceiving....

Ok, I have to say that the kids were a little wild on this particular day, but they are not and were not terrible kids..... Of course I get to give them back when I am done with them!:) I am a very proud aunt, and I love all 6 of the Taggart kiddos.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Learning Tact Honestly, Dallas

My brilliant 6 year old son, Dallas, was 9 pounds 13 ounces when he was born. In all his wisdom he asked me, "Mommy, if I was such a fat baby and now I am skinny, how come you're still fat when all the kids are out and they are skinny? I mean, sort of a little bit fat. Not that you're fat, but you aren't very skinny... and why was I so fat when I was a baby?" The only answer I could think of while we were rushing to our wherever we were going and trying not to be late was, "Just because. That's the way it is for now. I should exercise more."

That same sweet boy, with all his intelligence, has been a part of a study group. At Waterford they are trying to see how learning is affected by different arrangements, such as math first then reading, reading alone or combined at the same time with learning math, and so on. They are using the computer primarily in Dallas's group. A while ago Dallas started saying he didn't want to go and it was boring. I told the "teacher" Ms. Marg. (- who we totally love by the way.) She said she would watch him and maybe move him ahead in the program. Time passed and we discovered he was in fact clicking at random and not paying attention to the activity the computer was asking for. She had Dallas read to her and she moved him ahead a level, saying it was still probably not on his level but she couldn't really move him more at the time.

She has been great at watching him and asking him how he likes things. She moved him again to level three. Then she asked him, "How's this one Dallas?" "Oh, fine." "If you didn't like it would you tell me?" "No." Then Ms. Marg told me that they really couldn't do anything more for him. That was as high as their program went. She still thinks it is not on his level.

We just finished reading a great book. "Frindle" is a chapter book about a boy in the 5th grade who learns how words are made and get into the dictionary. He decides to test it out and creates the word frindle, which means pen. His English teacher opposes him and every kid in the school misses at least one word on the spelling test each week. They spell pen: F-R-I-N-D-L-E. Dallas cracked up laughing "They spell pen, frindle! Ha ha ha ha!" He loved the book until the very last part where it mentions "5th grade" again with only a few pages left. Dallas was furious, "This book is only for Stephen! It doesn't have any kindergartners in it! It's just for old kids!" Never mind that Stephen is only in 2nd grade. Dallas makes me laugh every day.

Lastly, today our great big three year old Brenden and Evan are in a primary class together and will be giving their first talk/prayer next week. I can't believe they are old enough for this public speaking opportunity already! This most likely will translate to me giving a brief talk while they stand next to me.

Here's to saying things in a polite way!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Free event!!!

I love free stuff! Here is a copy of what was sent to me. Wish I checked my email more often.

* Everybody know??
This Sat, Feb 7, 10am to 1pm
FREE family fun and fitness/Go RED day. Boondocks inflatables, Hollywood connection mini golf, My Gym tumbling, Young Chefs cooking, Grizzlies Hockey, Big 5, Utah Olympic Oval speed skating, Redwood Rec wii, Axis Dance performance, Martial Arts World Demo, Global Skooters, Origami Lady Crafts, Jugglers---and more. Everyone is setting up games for you and yours to come play. Tons of prizes, $150 plush/stuffed animals, year family pass to olympic oval, kiddie kandids portrait package, nothing bunt cakes $$$, whole foods $$$....it's going to be tons of fun. Scavenger Hunt, 3k Walk, I'm so excited.

Invite tons of friends/families, pass along this email, put it on your blog.....We want a huge turn out.

too bad I won't be there this time, but I thought everyone should know about this FREE event!
Here is their info. This is not me, it's them.

Contact Us

info@utahkidsclub.com

683-7323

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

busy week, pictures and getting kicked out?!?!

We had a busy week! So busy it's turning into more than a week. We had pictures taken of our four on Thursday morning, scheduled on Wednesday. A great planner I am! I am! They were early in the morning so we enlisted help from friends to let Stephen over before school started and sister Shelly met us there. We rushed to get Dallas to school after, and then Steve and I took all the kids back with us after work to choose the best ones. Shelly offered to stay longer, but it was good that she didn't. It took us nearly 2 hours to look at all of them and pick just two for each child. They are so stinking cute! I saw Lily make faces that I haven't caught on her at home before. Even Brenden was pretty good at it. While they were waiting for their turn, they played in another room while Aunt Shelly took pictures of them. I am sure she can add some here for me, please???? They now have updated portfolios, just in time for the next "audition" which will be in a few weeks. That was a day!

Friday we got ourselves invited to not return to a place that will remain nameless no matter how much you pry. "Unless I can come with out the kids. Won't my husband get home from work in time?" No. He never will, unless they extend their hours of operation by a few. Lives were threatened, but the kids still ran in the parking lot. They were so out of control! I thought we just TOLD them we would not be able to go places if they didn't behave! I found out today that the person who invited us to leave is no longer with the company. I still don't know if I feel like going back. Now I just feel bad for getting her fired.

I asked if I was over reacting. "No. I just don't think it's that big of a deal." So, I would like to know what the difference is.

In other news, I now have two clean spots in my house. One is on top of the bookshelf where I have finally taken the Christmas pile of stuff down and put up a nice fake tree with a porcelain doll my friend made. It's up high and un-disturb-able as far as I know. It looks great! The other is the floor in front of the refrigerator. This is where the water keeps getting "spilled" and mopped. I can't count high enough to get to how many times we have "mopped" there this week! A nice un-sticky spot. It looks great too!

And now, we are off to our next adventure at the park!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

sweetest kids ever???

I took Stephen and Dallas to the dentist the other day. As a reward for being good, our dentist always gives each kid a free ice cream and free hamburger coupon. Stephen was especially good, so much so that the assistant asked what happened during the last 6 months. He also had some of his teeth sealed - time consuming. After our visit, we stopped for lunch at the free place. We ate and while Stephen was finishing Dallas and I went to order our ice cream. They were so excited! When we got there the lady behind the counter asked, "What flavor?" Flavor? I didn't know we got to choose. What flavor is free? I sent Dallas back to ask Stephen, chocolate, vanilla, or twist? He answered "Caramel." He settled on twist. On our way back with them, an older gentleman said, "You should ask them to put caramel on it for him. That's what he wanted." "Oh, can the do that?" "Sure they can. Go ask." I take the cone back to the counter and ask if there is any way for them to put caramel on it. "No. I can dip it in chocolate if you'd like." Stephen settles for the cone with a magic chocolate shell with no complaints. He seems happy to me. We sit down. I thank the man as we pass by again. We eat our ice cream. Everyone is nice and happy, everyone means Dallas, Stephen, and myself. Then all the sudden, a new ice cream in a cup with caramel sauce on top is put on the table. The nice man says, "Here, that's what you ordered." I thank him again, and again. Stephen puts the spoon in and holds it out to me. I get the first bite. How sweet is that? It gets better. I tell Stephen, "That sure was nice of him to give you that ice cream!" Stephen says, "Yeah, I want to take it home and share it with Daddy." "But he's at work. It will melt before then." "Well, then we can put it in the freezer until he gets home." And that is what we did. First thing he did when Daddy got home was get that ice cream out and share it with him. How sweet!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Here it comes!!

Yesterday as we sat parked in the inversion, which has lasted more days than I can count, I was reading my book when all the sudden I heard the kids shouting. "It's coming! Here it comes! I see it!" At first I thought they we scared of something, I asked what was coming. "The sunshine! Look there it is!" Sure enough, there was a peek of light breaking through in preparations for the storm we got today. We saw that sunshine for about 2 minutes. Today we are having a "water blizzard" and the weather forecast said, "I hope you like rain... 3 days, then snow..." Clean air! Hooray!!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

happy days

First, I guess I need to apologize. My Hubby told me that yesterday's posting looked like I was complaining. I suppose I was a little. Sorry. Can I help it? Doing dishes is not my favorite thing and after having the kids home from school and being inside all weekend because of the inversion, I was worn out last night!

Here is some of our blissful day off from school yesterday. (Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day)

"How about eggs and toast for breakfast?" Kids all respond, "Yeah, hooray, yum!"

"Breakfast is on the table."
"I didn't want cheese on mine!"
"It's not cheese, that's egg."
"But I don't want cheese! I'm not going to eat it!"
"That's not cheese. It's egg."
"How come you put cheese on mine! I didn't want cheese! I'm not going to eat anything all day if you don't make what I want!"
"No one has cheese. It's egg."
"You're supposed to ask me what I want before you make it! I'm not eating breakfast because you made it wrong! I don't want cheese! It's touching the bread! I'm not eating!"

Time passes. "Mommy, can I have a snack?"
"Breakfast is at the table." "NO! I am not eating anything today. You just want me to starve! You don't love me, you don't care about me because you won't make me what I want!"

"Are you hungry?" "Yes." "Then go eat your breakfast." Does any of it get eaten? Of course not! Amidst all this yelling, Stephen gets too close to Dallas and they hit each other. Dallas goes to quiet time. I ask Stephen to gather the PAPER plates from the table and put them in the garbage. I hear, "NO! How come I always have to do a job! You just want me to do all the hard work!" By the time he gets around to doing the job, it takes about 30 seconds. Dallas emerges from time out and asks for food. Ugh.

"I want tilapia for dinner!" "Okay, if you eat your and stop yelling at me I will make you tilapia for dinner."

I convince them to go play. Then Dallas realizes that Stephen got to do a job. "How come you never let me help? You never ….." And so the day continues. I try to get the kids dressed. Unsuccessful. During the attempt, conversation turns to food again.

"What's for lunch?" "Does it matter? I know you are just going to be mad at me for it. It will be disgusting."
"I didn't ask what it would taste like! I want to know what it is!"
"Noodles and spaghetti sauce." "SPAGHETTI!?!?"
"Well, not spaghetti noodles, different noodles with the sauce."
"I don't want that!...." Followed by very similar yelling as the earlier one. "I don't want sauce!" "I will not put sauce on your noodles. Which box of noodles do you want?" He smiles and chooses a box of wheel shaped noodles. I think I am in the clear. He chose the box, he smiled, no sauce. Good to go? Wrong!

"Lunch is at the table."
"Eeeww! What is it? I said no sauce!"
"There is no sauce. It's the noodles you chose."
"NO! I am not going to eat that! It's touching…." Repeat above conversation again.
Switch to Stephen's yell. "Stephen, lunch is ready. Do you want sauce on your noodles? … Stephen? Stephen, do you want sauce on your noodles?" Repeat three times.
"Huh?" "Do you want sauce on your noodles?" "Yeah."
"Did you say yes you want sauce on your noodles?" "Yeah."
"Okay, lunch is on the table."
"Why did you put sauce in my noodles!?! I don't want sauce!"

"Okay, I am not making you tilapia for dinner because you boys keep yelling at me. I am sure you meant to say Mommy, thank you for making me lunch. I don't feel like eating it though."

Dallas says, "Mommy, thanks for making me lunch. I don't want to eat it. See, I am saying the same thing as Stephen but I am not yelling. Did I earn my tilapia back yet?" "Did you eat yet?" "No." "Then the answer is no." This is followed by more yelling.

I figured for dinner we should have something I know they like – burrito casserole with tater tots. "What's for dinner? Hooray! Can I eat it now? When will it be done?" Peace? Not yet. Now they had to fight over which plate was whose. Then the fight was over who had more tots, why weren't there more tots, why didn't we buy more…. And once again, "No! I'm not going to eat and it will be all your fault for starving me because you never make me what I want!" I bribed them with ice cream, but even still I had two kids that refused to eat because it was not tater tots with more tater tots. Ah, the joys of motherhood.

Somehow, Dallas snapped out of it, ran to the kitchen timer, set it and announced, "The timer is going. Let's get cleaning! Hurry before the timer goes off!" Sometimes he confuses me. Today he is officially six years old. Happy birthday Dallas! I will make him tilapia for dinner today.

Monday, January 19, 2009

the downside

It was wonderful to hear the answer I was hoping for when I asked sweet hubby, as we were prioritizing our goals, "Is it more important to you to feed the family at home or save money?" He said, "If we feed them at home won't it save money?" This meant I would be buying lots of paper plates and pre-cut carrots, frozen pizza... Of course I already routinely purchase the pre-cut carrots and pizza, but it was a matter of - if I cook I don't want to clean. There's not enough time for that!

Imagine my dismay when I realized this weekend after cooking all meals at home and being healthy, our garbage can was full. (We also did some "spring cleaning") The garbage doesn't get picked up till Thursday. What are we going to do with all those smelly diapers now? The other downside, I still have all the pans to wash!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Luckiest ever, again

I must be the luckiest mom ever again today. You would think after being left home alone Thursday and getting lost Friday would not find Stephen quite so affectionate towards me. Oh, I didn't tell you about Friday yet. We took the family out for free family skating night at a roller skate place that allows scooters. The kids were excited and had lots of fun, for a few minutes. We were there kind of early and thought it looked like a good enclosed place. You just go around a circle together in the middle of a room. What could happen?

Evan pulled off to the side for a break so I stopped with two other kids, Steve had the fourth and the two older ones seemed to be holding their own. I guess Evan didn't realize I was standing behind him. He all the sudden turned around, as if he thought he had left me, which he had. He took off running though the circle with a terrified look on his face. Luckily, I was standing next to a person we knew, asked to look after the other two for a second. Steve pulls up at that same second and asks where Evan is. I caught him quickly, not too stressed.

We decided it was time we should be going home. The boys were still riding fine, waving when they would pass. Steve took the scooters out with him while he brought the truck to the door for easier loading. Dallas came to me and I told him to get Stephen, go around two more times and be ready to go. I thought I would get the four out and be back no problem to catch the other two. Fine idea if I didn't get myself lost. I found an unknown hallway leading to a bigger play area instead of the exit.

Well, Dallas decided to leave Stephen and could not find me. I found him right as he was starting to tear up. Whew! Stephen on the other hand was nowhere to be seen. I run Dallas and the four out and start looking for him. I found him rather quickly, but he was scared and crying. Every second feels like eternity when you are lost. He said he was never going to stop crying and Dallas started getting mad at him. When I told him he was okay, it was scary and he should cry as much as he wanted, he stopped crying instantly. So, a fun outing had four people lost, Evan, myself (even though I just couldn't find the door I count that as lost), Dallas, and Stephen. We stopped for ice cream on the way home.

So back to today and my good fortune. We all went shopping at Wal-Mart. Not exactly according to the original plan of splitting up, I take three grocery shopping while hubby takes three shopping for clothes. Stephen just won't stop growing and seriously needed more shirts. As we were looking, Stephen kept wandering off. I was starting to get quite mad inside when I couldn't see him for the third or fourth time. Just then, he comes running up to me holding a necklace. I didn't even know we were anywhere near the jewelry dept. He says, "Look!" "Oh, that's pretty." I said, looking at a simple silver chain with a plastic diamond. He tells me, "I saw a show on the history channel about this rock and I think you should have one! It's only $6.97! Can we get it for you?" How sweet is that! What could I say other than yes? I directed him to Dad for approval, who in turn asked me for approval, saying, "he picked it out all by himself"


So, back to today with my good luck.

Friday, January 16, 2009

You know it's going to be one of those days when...

You try to encourage your son to do his homework but not worry about it since it's not due till the following day. He responds, "There's no school tomorrow." Oh, and that means today is early day, school gets out at 1:30 instead of 3:45. UGH!

This turns a well thought out and simply planned day into being late, late, late, and long, long, long. We had to finish the homework, being late to school. That's okay though. We don't really need to get the kids all dressed because sweet sister is coming to tend them while I drop Dallas off at school.

What's that? Oh, she can't find the keys. Can I bring them over to her house instead? Sure. What? Oh, bring food for them to eat too? I guess I should feed them. That translates to packing a lunch, changing clothes including getting shoes on all five other kids, loading them in the truck (catching the runners and dragging them away from the snow fun kicking and screaming) and driving Dallas to school within 15 minutes. Get him to school and then take the kids to be tended 10 minutes the opposite direction, drive to trade vehicles at hubby's work (the suburban is difficult to park down town) get to BYU Salt Lake Center to take a test.

Ahh. I have arrived in plenty of time. A friend calls and as we chat, she asks why I didn't just call her to tend. I have no idea why I didn't think of calling someone near our house… Ooops! I forgot that Stephen has early day! Argh! Hurry in to take the test. I should be fine. I have about 30 minutes to take a 60 question test. I think I can probably finish within 20 minutes. What?!?! It's not 60 questions. It's 95!!! And there is a survey about how the class was since it's a final? AAAAHHHhh!

Oh, another afterthought: Travel time to get back home! There's 30 minutes till Stephen gets out of school! Well, since I have already sat down to begin the test, there's only one thing to do – take it in a hurry!

I finish the test in record time, probably not my best work though, and start running to the car. Instead of stopping by the store quickly and trading the car/truck again before getting the kids, I attempt to rush home. I discover that they have closed the freeway exit to one lane, down the road all the way to my neighborhood! What would usually take ten minutes is all one lane!

Panic sets in. I call neighbors, first one - no answer, two is in bountiful and not available today, three- no answer again. What other numbers are programmed into my phone? AAAAHHHH! Did I leave the door open or is he locked out? I can't remember! Do we have a plan of what to do when you get home and no one is there? Of course not! That should never happen! I call one more time and Peggy has just walked in the door getting home from the airport. HOORAY! Someone is home! She saves me! Peggy walks across the road and checks to see how Stephen is. He is home and inside. Of course, with our history and being asked to help, Peggy just walks in and remembering that some of the kids are very fond of her dog, she brings Winkie with her. Stephen is, unfortunately, not on of those kids.

He was hiding in my bedroom because he was afraid a bad guy would see him through the windows. Then he was afraid of the dog. Peggy called to let me know he was there safe, but he didn't come downstairs again. I had to coax him to say "hi". Then we need to visit and thank Peggy profusely before going back to trade vehicles back.

Oh, I almost forgot the store's brief stop. Stephen is well mannered enough to come with me. There was a darling old lady in line ahead of us who had fallen, or somehow gotten hurt and was bleeding from her leg. We gawked as we waited our turn to check out, and then traded the car and truck. Oh no! Now we are going to be late to get Dallas! Good thing we have a car pool and it's not our turn today! When we finally get home, down that one lane road again, they are in the driveway waiting for us. They said they had not been waiting very long, but still I always wish I were not late. We chat for a while about the benefits of baking soda taking odors out of things, and life's craziness in general while I wait for Dallas to change out of his school uniform and get ready to go.

By the time we get back to pick up the other kids from my sister, it's after 4PM. By time we get the kids diapered and into the truck, kicking and screaming again because they love cable which we don't have, then because they love snow, which we must not spend all day in, it's nearly dinner time. I check to see if darling hubby is ever leaving work. He already left me a message and is going to be home before me. Oh, what a day!

When we get home, I am surprised to see that Steve made dinner for us, actually chose something to make, found a recipe for, cooked, and fed us! As if that weren't enough to make my day, he also cleaned the kitchen afterwards! This really made my day because we had company coming in the morning and the dishes were the same ones that were there last time they were there. Do you ever have a day when you try to tidy and clean before company arrives and you find that same pile of laundry that was embarrassing you last week when company came? My sweet hubby to the rescue!

Monday, January 12, 2009

SHAKE IT!

I know everyone is dying to know how Sunbeams went for the kids. Here is the summary: Lily totally and completely hates it, Brenden doesn't like it much but he deals with it. Marek likes it lots and Evan... well, Evan just goes. I don't know if he likes it or not. The funny part is the first week they all fought it so much (Except Marek) that they changed their minds about splitting the class. At first they were planning to keep everyone together, now they will separate to two classes. I know it's not just because of my kids, but Lily cried the WHOLE time again yesterday. :) Ah, that's my girl.

In other news, we have entered a new phase. I call it the "shake your butt" phase. At least, I expect it to be a phase. How many ways can you use the phrase, "Shake your butt"?

1. During punishment: "Dallas! Are you listening? Did you hear what I told you? What did I just tell you?" (Yelled very loudly, full of anger.) The answer: "Shake your butt!" (Followed by difficult attempts to control my laughter)

2. As a yes or no in response to requests: "Dallas, do you have your seat belt on yet?" "Shake your butt"

3. As a nickname: "I'm the shake your butt!"

4. A greeting: Open the door to a neighbor, run away dancing and singing, "Shake your butt, yeah, shake your butt, yeah! Shake your booooodie, yeah! Shake your butt!" (This one was by Marek, very cute! Good thing it was someone we already knew at the door. They said, "Oh, this is the fun house!")

5. As an insult: "Mommy! Dallas called me a shake your butt!"

6. A to do list item: "Today is Monday. That means we are going to school. Let's get ready and not be late." "I'm going to shake my butt!"

7. My personal favorite, as an embarrassment: "Dallas, it's prayer time. Please be reverent." (During sacrament meeting at church.) "SHAKE YOUR BUTT!"

How many more can you think of? I may be adding to the list as the kids progress through this phase. How long does a phase usually last?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Fan Club

Dallas has his own fan club going. We went to the Primary activity this morning where the kids get to meet their teachers. The teacher Dallas had last year paid him a compliment, again, saying, "Dallas is going to be the next Bill Gates. He's so smart!" I say it's just more obvious than other people's smarts because he is so wordy. Today he was mouthy!

"This is so ridiculous! It's so embarrassing! ….. This is the worst day of my life and it's all your fault! You're the worst mom ever!" At least I know I am not alone in my quest as Steve was nominated for the worst Dad ever moments later. What could cause this display of early teenage-hood? You probably did not guess it was because I got the wrong color of snowsuit for him to wear. Yup, my 5-year-old boy is seriously fashion conscious. Wrong color, doesn't fit right, feels "funny" when he walks. Ah, the rant lasted a good 20 minutes. When the other kids went out Dallas was ready with his boots on and everything. Did he go with? No. When they came back in and I started taking their suits off, there was a brief pause in the yelling. Upon the second kid becoming near naked Dallas asked, "Is outside time over? I MISSED IT!!!?!?!" And the lecture continued, complete with tears. Wow. I had to ask myself what will happen when he actually is a teenager? Seems to me the only thing missing is his amount of sleep! I was looking forward to this much later in life, from my daughter! Could this possibly be the same kid that was so sweetly reminding me that I needed to apologize a few days ago? Hmmmm….

We ended the day late, but on a good note doing sand art that we got from Christmas.

Tomorrow there is a time change and class change for the new year at church. All kids are old enough to attend primary for the first time. Starting at 9AM! Let's hope we feel like being morning people in eight and a half hours from now!

Friday, January 2, 2009

GO UTES!!!!

We have never kept our kids out quite this late before, but tonight was a special occasion. The Utah football team was playing in the Sugar Bowl. The commentators were saying stuff like, "Utah will be lucky to keep it close" HA! We smoked them! The University of Utah has a 13-0 record this year, the only team in the nation to go undefeated this season. WHOOHOO! Utah 31, Alabama 17!

We went to a friends house and let all the kids run wild in their basement, and we saw some other friends that have moved, great time! The other girls there were hiding in the basement bathroom because they didn't want their dads to see that they had taken their clothes off to be in their princess outfits (their mothers had told them to put the dress ups on over the clothes they were wearing) Lily was happy to find a pink car and some really cool dinosaurs. That's my girl! Stephen got into the game a little, but had more fun playing. No one was scared by all the yelling and hooting. It was great.