Wednesday, October 29, 2014

few of my favorite things - techy parent edition.

A few things that I think are parent-y awesome lately and have to share.  Because I'm good like that.

The Kid Q app is a free trivia app that has become a dinner time favorite.  We talk about our days, then the kids beg for a question and we discuss everything from mammals to gravity to everything in between.  Seriously, it is a great alternative to arguing about whatever weird thing they are in the mood to argue about during dinner.



Next - you need to get a minivan.  I thought they were lame until I got to experience that automatic door goodness that you really appreciate when you have arms full of toddler.  They are like magical, moving living rooms.  And even better, one with a built-in DVD player.  HOW.  DID.  OUR.  PARENTS.  SURVIVE???  Okay, I'm sure it's possible to survive without one, but let me explain why I love ours so much - we have this perma-checked out from the library:


All the songs are around 3 minutes, and it takes about one or two to get anywhere we need to go into town.  WonderGirl mans the remote and they pick which songs to listen to next.  Byt just having this playing around in the car, WG memorized the preamble to the Constitution this summer, and the Dude randomly started counting by 3s and is obsessed with pronouns.  It's a great little distraction for zipping around town and they absorb so much it's insane.  It's PERFECT, bite size viewing for the car.  Just FYI

And these music videos are a favorite around our place - catchy, educational and satisfy our geography-crazed kids.  





Tour the States goes through the US states and capitols, and Tour the World names all the countries of the world.  Thing 3 loves to dance to them and I secretly adore them.  I totally pretend like it's the kid's thing, but I listen to them when they aren't around.  sssssshhhhhhhhhhh.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

oh, jane!

Cool factoid - everyone's favorite blogger and my SIL Jane's birthday is one day before mine.This enables me to remember her birthday, whereas I actually can't remember ANY else.  No joke, my 10th wedding anniversary is coming up and I only recently stopped calling the husband to ask what his birthday is when filling out forms.

And this year was no different!!  I totally remembered her birthday!  And then did absolutely nothing about it, because it was between the baptism and leaving town (those are not good excuses.  I should make us some better ones).  Anywho, it's not to late to shout from the rooftops that JAAAANNNNEEEE  IIIISSSSS AAAWWESSSOOOOOOMMMMEEEE!!!!!  To illustrate my point, enjoy this acrostic poem I made with the names of her family!!  Yes, I did totally have to look that term up!!!

Just so super
Awesome and
Nice,
Especially

Talented
Albeit
Really vertically challenged, but
Zounds!
Always giving
Nifty gifts and blessings!

Can
Help
Everyone (and does)
Even her crazy in-laws!
To feel
Amazing and
Happy!!!

YYYYYAAAAAAAAAYYYYY JAAAANNNEE!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

34 turns around the sun

I'm not gonna lie, 34 was a rough year.  Thing 3 became mobile and it turned everyone's life skeewumpas. I am not exaggerating.

Maybe a barometer for how things are going in my life would be this blog.  On average, my 33rd year had close to 200 posts, which is lower than previous years, and last year barely cracked 50, and that includes the 30 posts of NaBloPoMo in November. True, having 3 kids slowed me down, but there's something about Thing 3 that demands constant vigilance. If he's not demanding you to be near him - and you best not be on any device, because you must give ALL the attentions and he knows if your eyes wander (and he'll try to smash whatever the offending device is), then he's off ripping up the carpet in the living room or trying to get into the knife drawer or something else equally terrifying. I get nothing done. Nothing. My kids have never been the passive type. 

So my entire 34th year has been spent trying to keep him alive. And try to parent the other 2 while he voices his displeasure at being excluded. I've literally taught entire violin lessons with him screaming at my feet.   

Okay, this sounds way too negative. I adore him, and I love my life. And I adore him despite his attempts to turn me into his personal Igor-type slave.  But as I look back and feel sad that my list of adventures gets smaller every year, I have to remember most of my life this year was spent behind the scenes. And when Thing 3 finally becomes an astronaut just like his siblings and one of them is also president and the other one needs to be a doctor so I can get prescriptions whenever I want because have you ever gone to the doc sick as a dog and they tell you should come back later if it gets worse and you're like I'm here so it doesn't get worse!! That was pretty much the Great Bronchitis Spring 2 years ago when the entire family ended up inhalers because the doctors kept saying wait and see... one of my kids is going to med school dagnabit!!! - I will then take myself on a much deserved vacation to somewhere in the South Pacific where I stay in a private cabana on the water and check off my bucket item of skinny dipping because by that age, I won't have to worry about anyone checking me out because get serious. 

Ahhhhh........

Okay, let's got cracking.  Here's a totally non-comprehensive list of things that I did when I was 34 that I found pictoral evidence of on my computer!  Yay!!



 My band made our Stone Mountain Highland Games debut!  We killed it and got invited back for a second year, what what!

The family took Star Wars Reads day seriously this year.   (I'm Medusa in the first one.  But I did make those robes myself - AND Thing 3's entire Yoda costume, that he wore for a whole 3 seconds.  Worth it.)

We drove to CO for Thanksgiving, which means DAY AFTER T-DAY SUSHIGANZA. 

 I made this picture happen.

And this one.  I live for photo-ops.

Celebrated one year of this guy....


Which also meant celebrating one year of the husband being the bishop.

Headed to ATL for St. Patty's and found a gigantic instagram selfie we'd taken on a Cajun restaurant window.  Of course.

 Took the kids to a NPR show taping to see Twin Forks and ended up having a delightful convo about teaching music with lead singer Chris Carrabba (yeah, Dashboard Confessional fame).  He thought our kids were adorbs.  Smart celeb.

 I bought some rainboots.  The kids stole them and lost the insoles.  No biggie.

 WonderGirl started Harry Potter ..... !!!!!  Experiencing it with her was awweesomesauce!

Went to ATL to play the Blairsville Scottish Festival with the band for what... year 7? 8? And then....

 They headed up to Clowntown to play some shows here!!  My awesome points around these points HAVE to have gone up.  I haven't seen evidence yet, but I'm sure everyone is trying to play it cool.

 Tried to survive the summer.  Managed barely.
 The day he final HP book came out, I woke up and rushed to buy a copy, and dragged WG with me.  We came full circle when she was ready to read book 7 and had to recreate the moment.  How freaking cool was that???

 Family reunion!  There were 87 kids and no one sustained serious injuries (besides hearing loss)!!  Success!!

I parented...

 and parented some more.
 Went to the temple!  Ate Greek food on the way home!

 There is no point to this picture.  Just thought I'd add it.

 Aaaaaand WG got baptised.   !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So that was year 34.  I also saw my psychiatrist a bunch and at one point my mother bought a plane ticket to come visit that very day because I was such a mess, but the highlights are why I keep trudging along.  It's a good life.



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

happy birthday last year!

So. So. Tired.

I survived the last two weeks - the WonderGirl 8th birthday hoopla that included her baptism, then my birthday hoopla that included traveling to Atlanta to play with my band.  Early mornings, late nights, and the confirmation that I DO feel a heckuvalot older this year.  Possibly due to the late nights/early mornings thing.

I just looked back at my 14 years of blogging (YEAH.  DUDE.) and since the second year of my bloggeting, I've done a year recap of my previous year for my birthday.  So since 2001 - and last year, I forgot, apparently. How can I remember what happened to 33 year old me, when I had Thing 3 and my brains fell out during delivery.

But ah!  I'm a blogger!  There's a history of my doings everywheres!  In fact tonight at church I'm speaking on journaling, since I keep at least 5.  Seriously.   No wait - 6.  So I looked back and pieced together what happened 2 years ago, and before I pontificate on year 34, here's a brief look at 33:


 Went to Portland for the bestest weddingest of the amazing Pascal and his super awesome woman.

 Took pictures like this.  Cuz I was still knee-deep n my 365 self-portrait project.
 Taught this one violin.  And piano.  The Dude too, but he won't pose for 700 pictures or until I get one I like (usually takes about 700)
 Celebrated 8 years of marriage. AAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaa.

 Finished my 365 project with only minimal whiplash.


 Survived a wicked winter.

 Kept being pregnant.

 Gave birth to this slice of heaven on earth.

 Went to church 6 days later to see the husband be set apart as a bishop.

 Did the 3 kids thing...
Dani came to visit!  So we did this!

Played a Scottish festival with The BlarneyGirls.

Had an AMAZING summer.  The baby was too small to get into anything, the Dude had just given up naps and was an actual KID (not toddler/baby) so we got to go on adventures and just be blasted happy lotsa the time.

 Went to Chi-town to see one of my favorite bands, the Polyphonic Spree, which happened to also have 2 of my awesome college buddies in it!

Did I mention how awesome our summer was?  Cuz it was.

And that actually kind of covers it.  Not terribly thrilling, but I can use a year of downtime here and there.  Stay tuned for 34...



























Saturday, October 4, 2014

why hello, october

A few things:

This weekend  is my favoritest weekend because it is GENERAL CONFERENCE and there ire spiritual and physical goodies and jammies everywhere.

It's officially one week until WonderGirl turns 8, gets baptized and I host a mazillion people at my house.  Or 10, whatever.HO.LY.SNAP.


I got to go to the Chicago Temple a week or two ago.  Temple going is NOT an easy thing out here in the tundra, so it was awesomesauce.

I cleaned the kitchen.  Just thought you should know.

Thing 3 walked up to me this morning holding an Easter egg and handed it to me with a "Pease?" and when I opened it up for him, he said "Tank oo!"  That was so flipping cute that it made up for the time last week when I was reading a book to the Dude and out of nowhere Thing 3 hit me REALLY STINKING HARD in the head with a drumstick.  I didn't see it coming, either, so it was a nice surprise.  Not.

With medication and the blessing of my mom coming out a few weeks, I feel slightly more myself.  I don't know if you noticed that I was about to go completely insane, but I was.  If you didn't, booya to my acting skillz.  If you did, I should probably stop opening conversations with "Can you remember the last time you showered?  Cuz I can't!!"

One of the awesome talks today was by a woman who talked about a group of teen girls who asked her about what she wished she'd known when she was a young woman.  Her answer was that she wished she'd understood the sacrament better.  And then proceeded to give a seriously fabulous talk about that.  I wondered what I wish I'd known... and one thought that popped into my head was to have had a better perspective of what matters and what doesn't.  Thankfully I managed to get out of that age without too many bruises, but I think I would have liked to have the sense to fret less about a few things.

Pinterest is my spirit animal.  I don't know what that means, either, but I know that I MEAN IT.

Now, to go to sleep and wake up to snuggling/breaking up fights with the wee ones, the husband cooking up a storm, and a spiritual feast to boot!!!  I love the first weekend of October so hard.



Friday, September 19, 2014

you oughta be in pictures

In addition to my request in my last post, I figured I should also post an actual update/posty thing.  So I'll settle with some random pics form my 365 project lately:


 This girl is turning 8 in less than a month.  !!!!!!!!!!!!!  She is thrilled to get to be baptized on her exact birthday, and the husband's family has this gorgeous baptism dress they've passed down for 2 generations now.  How cool is that??


This kid.  He has been so lucky in early intervention programs and teachers who genuinely love him - and it makes me so happy to see how far he has come that I'm only slightly exasperated by the fact that this was the best back-to-school picture I could get out of him.  He cracks me up.


We live next to a corn field and I got it into my head that we should go take a fall-ish picture in front of it.  This was also the best shot we could get out of us.

You know, my life ain't half bad.

baby helps

So our dear Jane has a human in her abdomen that will be exiting shortly!

Yeah, I wanted to make that sentence as awkward as humanly possible.  Good for me!  Anywho, I'm trying to get for her all the very most helpful things I ever had as a mom and I wondered if y'all would weigh in?  I feel like I was punched in the face by motherhood and my memories are spotty.  There are tons of books and trinkets that I love, but the number one was this:


Sleep sacks.  Oh MAN, Thing 3 is my best sleeper and I swear it's gotta be because I discovered these.  Then there are snack traps, pacifier clips, extra socks (ALWAYS EXTRA SOCKS.), etc, but what am I missing?  What was your big help?


Monday, August 25, 2014

CANNOT UNSEE.

I was drowning last week.  I've been drowning for a while, actually.  It's incredibly hard to articulate, especially being surrounded by so much modern convenience, plenty and loving family.  So I haven't, just tried to muddle forward.  It's like walking through oatmeal, and I can't explain what I'm trying to do.

But mommies know.  So I call my mom.  Or she calls me.  And last Tuesday she listened while I tried to talk.  Gave encouragement the way a mom knows how to do.  And then called me back an hour later and told me she'd booked a flight for THAT NIGHT and would be staying with me for the rest of the week.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't explain how close I came to really losing it, and how she helped.  But I will say my head feels above the water today. I feel like I can make it to tomorrow, which is more hope than I've had in a while.  So there's that.

When mom was here, she told me about a painting that she'd seen in the Louvre that had stuck with her.  She described in such a way that I had to look it up and see what she was talking about.

It was Scene from a Deluge by Anne Louis Girodet-Trioson and it WILL give you nightmares. So read on at your own risk.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Friday, July 25, 2014

at the midnight hour... more more.

Friday night, kids are in bed, jammies on, when the husband gets one of those calls. And the poor guy has to suit back up and go for the umpteenth time this week and help the masses.   So I text Jane. She's married to my brother who was also called as a bishop last year, and  she's my go-to when it all gets a bit much. 

I WILL BE THE WARD NINJA. 

And in the meantime, I'll blog. A few of the promised before and after pics of the TEN FREAKING YEARS. 

At the Halloween orchestra concert I conducted. 

The night we got all officially engaged. 

Engagement shots. 

Just before Brasil got totally humiliated at the World Cup a coupla weeks ago. 

At an 80s party this February... I think. 

Last week. 

I used to get my hairs did. And bought clothing that looked good on me.  Now, I unashamedly care not for beans. And my main motivation in the clothing I buy is how much of this will keep me covered while I'm dragging one child through the store while another is on my hip, yanking at the neckline, chasing the third who is two aisles ahead of me, screaming for cupcakes and the potty. 

Like I said, it's a good life. But completely unplanned. 24 year old me would be totally weirded out.