Friday, April 30, 2010

Why?

If mothers were paid a penny for every time a child asked this question they would be rich. 

Except my kids don’t ask why. 

I get “What that?” a bajillion times a day from Gwen.  Lately it’s been at church as she sits on my lap flipping pages in a board book about Jesus. 

What that Jesus?  What that pretty dress?  What that baby? 

The other question I get is “What does (fill in the blank) mean?”  This is from Parker.  I know you’re thinking that he must be a smart little guy to ask so many questions.  What you don’t know is he asks this question about the most off the wall things. 

What does I love you mean?  What does hello mean?  What does brush your teeth mean?  I answer with, “What do you think it means?”  and I get back, “I don’t know . . .”

Why would make my day.  It’s easier to answer.  I usually know why and when I don’t I can always say because I said so or it’s magic or something like that.  How in the world do you answer a two year old who only asks the question to fill the silence?  I can answer her and she just points at the same thing and asks it again like the pull string in her back got stuck and she just repeats herself over and over. 

How am I supposed to answer a four year old who is asking questions he already knows the answer to?  He has a tendency to catch me off guard with the craziest questions.  I feel like I’m doing math and there is only one right answer but I’m not getting it.  The question will just be repeated until I give a satisfactory response.  At least he can rephrase the question a little bit.  He’s not a broken record like Gwen. 

Why would be welcome in my home.  Only when I ask why Parker asks so many questions I don’t get a great response if I get one at all.  Maybe why isn’t important to my family.  I wonder why. 

Thank you World Wide Web

It started out as a normal dinner at a family favorite, Granny’s Drive In. 

Granny's

The bummer was the pierced and tattooed cashier saying they were out of fries.  “What did that mean?” the family asked each other in hushed whispers.  “Will they make more soon?”  Nobody asked the teenage cashier with a cigarette sitting on his ear like a pencil.  Dad ordered himself onion rings instead of fries. 

They all laughed and talked while gorging themselves on burgers, onion rings, and Granny’s famous shakes.  

After dinner, the four adults and baby climbed into the car.  The gray four door sedan turned onto the road and into moderate traffic considering it was Heber City, UT.  The baby was fussy and the family wondered if she could handle an hour long trip home.  Grandma started feeding her toddler snacks, the kind that look like cereal but immediately melt on the tongue.  The baby was still crying and was in no mood for snacks from Grandma. 

Several snacks in her open wailing mouth meant gagging and nearly choking.  Mom looked back with concern at the first gagging noise.  The car was stopped at a light but Dad deftly pulled out of the lane making a right hand turn.  A couple feet on the side street revealed an entrance into a parking lot. 

The stores were all closed for the night.  Small towns don’t provide much retail entertainment after 9:00 pm, even on a Friday night.  The parking lot was empty.  Dad pulled up alongside a vacant store and Mom bolted from the front seat to the back seat almost before the car stopped completely.  In record time Mom was unbuckling her baby to pat her back. 

The choking stopped as soon as Baby was relieved from the indignity of a rear facing car seat.  Grandma asked if the family should stop for a minute to feed Baby.  Mom agreed.  Grandma and Mom traded places in the car. 

While Baby played with her bottle, much to Mom’s irritation, Dad pulled out his new iPad.  His fingers danced across the screen to pull up the commercials mentioned earlier that evening.

Cackles, giggles, and guffaws rang out from the car in the deserted parking lot.  Onlookers did not know what to think.  A short time later they were back on the road. 

The family quoted lines from the commercials and laughed some more.  The giggles soon died down and the only sound in the traveling car was the soft snoring from the passengers. 

Thank you World Wide Web.  This evening has been dedicated to you. 

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Do these emotional scars make me look fat?

The other day I posted about what a forgetful mother I am. The truth is Parker did not need to go to the kindergarten class visit. I certainly didn't need to listen to the parent information again. But it was one of those things. I felt bad for forgetting. I wanted Parker to have the experience and not be treated like a red headed step child because he's the second and middle child. My inner middle child cried out that I was being unfair and I had to do something.

So I took Parker with me to the office yesterday. I simply said we missed our appointment for the kindergarten visit and would there be any more. I did not give a reason because it wasn't worth lying and I certainly wasn't going to incriminate myself like that! As luck would have it there were some more times available. We were scheduled for Thursday at 1:15. That's today.

I told Parker what we were doing this afternoon and told him to put on a nice shirt and either shorts or pants with no holes in the knees. He came downstairs in his yellow Busy Bees Pre-School shirt that he inherited from a ward member, navy blue shorts, and a Winnie the Pooh backpack on. No comment from me.

For the next several hours he was not himself. He seemed extra edgy getting in more trouble than usual. I lost count of all the I hate you's he flung at me this morning. That phrase does not hurt my feelings. I understand that the boys are extremely frustrated when they say it to me so I just say I love them. What gets under my skin about it is the fact that our resident mocking bird, Gwen, mimics their every pout, temper tantrum and every inappropriate and hurtful thing to say. The I hate you's from Gwen bother me only because she doesn't know why she's saying it.

I've been around this block once before with Gavin. I was hip to what was really happening. Parker was so excited to do the classroom visit. Gavin was too but his anxiousness is usually anxiety because he's a worrier. He doesn't like to try new things. Gavin had an impressive meltdown about five minutes before we left for his kindergarten classroom visit. In that moment I remembered how much I fought with my brother in the weeks leading up to his mission. Heath and I talked to Gavin about how the visit would help him not be nervous about starting school. Our pep talk worked.

I tried to talk to Parker. But he wasn't nervous. He was so excited and anxious to go he was out of control. We got to the school a few minutes early and his anxiousness bubbled up more and more. It was interesting to watch. He wasn't nervous. He talked 90 miles an hour and had to fill every moment with verbal diarrhea. He was a little apprehensive inside but he was fine. No worried look when I waved goodbye to go into another room to hear all the policies and procedures.

His talking didn't stop when we were finished. It slowed down a little bit but he was still a little chatter box. He was surprised at how fast it went. We were only there for 45 minutes. My favorite was when he told me that when he goes to school he will miss me. Only he said it as if he was ticking it off a shopping list! My guess is the teachers must have said something about kids feeling homesick during school. I told him he might miss me but school is only three hours long. He would see me again!

Only two more nerve wracking moments for me. Walk Thru Registration and the first day. Then I'll be home free. But I will continue to worry. It's the job I signed up for before birth. And I am good at my job! I am worried about putting another one of my babies in the care of the school. The drama of Gavin's kindergarten year has almost completely disappeared. It is staring me straight in the face again now. Parker is different from Gavin but I still had to state on a questionnaire that he has not attended pre-school and that I am a homemaker. Two things I feel my family was singled out to be persecuted for.

I worry that he will be referred to speech, not because of shyness like Gavin was, but because he doesn't always pronounce his L's or R's correctly. I have had so many people suggest I put him in speech therapy now before school starts. I don't want to. I have worked with him a lot on his speech difficulties since his 3 year well child checkup. When the doctor asked if I understood him I told her I struggled to understand about 50% of what he said. Parker and I worked on correct pronunciations of words when glaring mistakes came up. He improved so much in one year. He speaks really well now except for those two sounds, that are developmentally normal for his age.

My biggest worry is another bad teacher/student fit. I can't deal with another year like I went through last year. Looking on the bright side, I am much more prepared now. I don't go with the flow without thinking it through first. Just because a teacher says something does not make it true. I fought the system once, I will do it again if I have to. In the end, I am the mother. I know my children and their true potential or shortcomings. Some overworked teacher can't tell me what to do.

In the meantime, we will just be excited. The question, "What are your expectations for your child in kindergarten?" made my heart pound. After a couple deep breaths I wrote that I expect Parker to have fun while learning. That's all I expect. I'll cross other bridges if and when they come up.

Circling the Drain

Gavin walked out of the bathroom with a weird look on his face. He turned off the light which also turned off the fan.

"Mom, I have bad news." Silence hung in the air for a brief but pregnant moment.
"What happened?"
"My tooth fell down the drain. Can you reach in and get it?"

Luckily Heath was working from home. I hugged Gavin and told him not to worry. Heath immediately started pulling out the toilet paper rolls we store under the sink. Gavin stacked them outside the bathroom. I grabbed a tupperware bowl while Heath started to unscrew the P trap. A small amount of water drained into the bowl.

Gavin was concerned about his lost tooth. I assured him if it was lost, which I was pretty sure it wasn't, then we would leave the Tooth Fairy a note and she would understand. He said a girl in his class pulled her tooth out and it flew into the toilet. Gavin was grateful the toilet lid was not up. I was too and Heath told Gavin that if the tooth had fallen in the toilet we would not be rescuing it! The more Gavin talked about the tooth being lost forever, the more I tried to reassure him it would be alright. He wasn't worried really. He was laughing the whole time. I finally said that some kids lose their teeth when they're eating and they accidentally swallow it. In the middle of all of this Gavin said something about there still being bubbles in the sink from when he washed his hands.

Heath announced there was no tooth.

"Stop!" I confidently declared. Everyone moved out of the way. I was a woman on a mission. Then I scrutinized the bubbles in the sink. Right on the edge of the drain I saw something white. I deftly reached in. My fingers pinched around the tooth without any hesitation. I rubbed bubbles off with my thumb while Gavin and Heath admired the tooth.

Disaster was averted. Gavin was thrilled that the tooth that was supposedly loose for the last month or more finally came out. He showed Gwen and Parker when they woke up. They were impressed. The tooth was placed under a pillow on top of the boys' dresser the same as teeth in the past.

In the middle of the night Gavin woke me up to tell me about some dream. Of course he told me it wasn't scary to him after he told me the whole thing. He also said he was afraid the Tooth Fairy wouldn't come. It was 3:00 am. I was sure she'd already been there but I told him that she was like Santa Claus and wouldn't come if he was awake. He wasn't going to see her.

My eyes were closed the whole time. I am perfecting my sleepwalking techniques. I can get to a distressed child in 10 seconds flat in the middle of the night. Then I keep my eyes closed as I comfort them. This time it worked. I was able to quickly fall asleep again.

The night turned into day and Gavin found a dollar the Tooth Fairy left behind after taking the tooth. Gavin sang some song he made up about the Tooth Fairy coming. At the top of his lungs I might add. He could not be more excited.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sowing the Seeds of Love

Saturday was one of the nicest days last week. Nature gave us enough of a break from the rain and cold so we could plant a garden. The kids were pretty excited to help Dad.

The boys helped Dad dig holes and get rid of rocks.

This is Gavin's tomato plant. He went on a field trip to a local farm and the kids got to plant seeds. He came home with this plant. For the last month or so it has been sitting on the kitchen counter. The counter doesn't get much sun and I was not the best at remembering to water the poor plant. Heath told me if we waited too long to plant it in the garden it would be pot bound. I don't know exactly what that means but I got that it was not a good thing!
Heath planted the tomato plant. He said it was not pot bound. The problem was that it didn't have a lot of roots. He was actually surprised the top was as big and leafy as it was considering the lack of roots. When Heath took the plant out of the pot, the soil crumbled out leaving the roots clinging to virtually nothing. Heath planted it as lovingly as he did the rest of the plants. He put up the tomato cage hoping for the best. We'll see what happens I guess.
The tomato plant was looking really sad there for a while. It started to look a little perkier yesterday. Maybe it will pull through after all. My mom told me how to put it on life support if we need to. We'll probably just buy another plant if we have to. Heath said that there can be plant trauma when moving a plant from a pot to the ground. We're thinking this poor little tomato plant had severe trauma on Saturday. But so far he's a fighter. Come on little guy. You can do it!

This was Gwen most of the day. She wasn't allowed to step where the seeds were planted. They didn't need to be tamped down anymore. She wasn't allowed to play with the grown up sized gardening tools. She wasn't allowed to play with the soil where we were planting or the pellet sized plant food. She wasn't allowed to touch the fertilizer either. No, no, no really got to her after a while.

Her sad cries reminded me of Gardening Day 2008. She cried all day then too.

The biggest issue with Gwen's tears was my fault. I put a clip in her hair that changes colors in the sun. Not the Del Sol clips I bought from What Women Want. No, the clip I put in her hair was from Grandma and Grandpa when they took a cruise to Alaska. They also bought two rings that change color in the sun.
The clip was fine. It matched her shirt really well too. The problem was I let the boys wear the rings. Gwen did not have a ring. She had a clip in her hair that she couldn't see. I took it out of her hair and put it on her shirt. She yelled at me even louder.
I went into the house to get one of my old rings. It wouldn't change color but she could wear it. The rings were gone. I remembered I gave them to D.I. when we moved. Hmm . . . now what? I found the bracelet my mom made me for Mother's Day last year.
Tears stopped. Gwen admired the pretty bracelet.

The offending ring. Way to go Mom!

Back to planting. So here are a few of the plants in our garden.


We, and when I say we I mean Heath, planted the tomato plant that could, parsley, spinach, green onions, bell pepper, jalepeno pepper (salsa anyone?), strawberry, zucchini, watermelon, and we still have chives from two years ago. The only thing we meant to plant was an artichoke plant but we forgot to buy it.

We told our neighbors that we planted a garden. One neighbor told another neighbor that we are like farmers or something. She thought our garden from two years ago was amazing. Her standards must be pretty low when it comes to growing vegetables. But maybe we're better than we think we are. After all, didn't we grow a tomato plant last year that had been torn out the year before? Growing without even trying must count for something.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

One of those days

It's been one of those days. Not much else to say. It's been one of those days.

I can easily move on from all the other minor disappointments of this day. I missed my calorie burn goal for the day by five calories. It's not a big deal but I normally exceed my goal by at least three calories. Despite exercising my guts out my blood sugar has been high all day. Grrr! I had plans to clean the house since Heath is working from home. Two bathrooms are clean. One load of laundry is done. The kitchen is still clean from yesterday. Toys are scattered everywhere. To quote Bill Engvall, "This place looks like the beaches at Normandy."

Heath is getting sick. It's been raining all day and the wind is blowing really hard. It's been a blah day with very little to show for my existence. Fine. Move on. But then the guilt trip came.

On the walk up the path to the schoolyard to pick up Gavin, I heard a mom say to her friend that she took her daughter to the kindergarten classroom visit today. Could I feel any worse about it? I forgot. It's as simple as that. I meant to go. Parker would have loved to go. I forgot.

What's done is done. Feeling guilty about it won't change anything. I told a friend and she said that he's the second kid. We're old hat to kindergarten! And she's right. Parker cannot wait to go to school. He knows where the kindergarten classrooms are. He's been inside them before. He isn't the type of person to get really nervous about trying something new and if he is nervous he follows along really easily. It's Parker. Gavin's opposite. It could be worse. But I still feel awful about it.

Oh well. "Tomorrow is a whole new day to mess up." I had that on a button that I wore on my denim jacket in sixth grade. Actually, I think it said that Today is a whole new day to mess up. Close enough.

The good news is it's been raining all day. Rain is good. We have had so much rain this year that we have not had our sprinklers on since October! In CA we usually have to get the sprinklers going again around March or April. Think of all the money we are saving this year. We planted a garden on Saturday and the plants could use some rain.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Big Brother to the Rescue

Gwen was playing with a stick at the playground today.  She was banging it against the metal rungs of a ladder to hear the ringing sound.  A young boy, my guess was he just turned three, came over and stood right in front of Gwen.  Her arms clutched the stick in a tight bear hug.  Then she quickly walked away from him. 

He followed her.  I’m not sure if his original intent was to take the stick but Gwen sure thought that was going to happen.  As Gwen tried to dodge the kid, Parker grabbed her in his protective arms. 

“Get away from my sister!”

The whole scene was very surprising.  Each child was so intent on his role.  Gwen the victim, Parker the protector, Trey the antagonist. 

Eventually Trey’s mom was able to help him with his social skills until all three kids were happily playing together.  They played tag and later he shared his sand toys in the sandbox. 

But the protective hug . . . that move impressed me.  It’s always nice to see one’s kids stick up for each other.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Exciting Conclusion

It came on gradually.  No flash of lightning.  No rolling thunder.  Just a slow realization.  Because of how slowly the thought unfolded, it was easy to push away. 

I needed to see my grandpa again.

When the need to do something is for real, thoughts are reordered to achieve what must be done.  Far off Someday becomes a nagging persistent worry.  What if Someday is too late?  Someday better come faster than someday soon. 

To ease our minds, Someday smiled from the other side of Disneyland.  No more saying, “We’ll think about it tomorrow . . .”  Someday had a concrete deadline.  A moment in time to be dealt with. 

Disneyland came and went.  Someday was here.  A date was chosen but that was all.  Fortunately we threw the date on the table in a conversation with my sister.  Then later we told my mom the date we were thinking of.  The busyness of life moved on and I had this conversation with my sister.

“When are you coming to visit?”
“I don’t know.  I thought I was going next week but I still don’t have a plane ticket.  It’s free so it doesn’t matter when Heath calls.  I’ll let you know for sure.”

Not only was Someday here but it was going to slip away if something wasn’t done.  The sense of urgency to get that free ticket in my name was a little alarming.  Why did it matter so much when I went?  Maybe it didn’t matter when.  Maybe it just had to be done and Now was as good a time as any.

“I need to go.  I want to go next week like we planned.”
“I’ll call the airline and get you a ticket.”

The phone call was made, ticket secured, itinerary emailed.  Someday was in nine days. 

More phone calls and emails equaled plans which equaled a level of excitement that almost overshadowed the inevitable agoraphobic panic attack.  Almost.  Having only a week to prepare for a trip definitely helped the hysteria rising in me like a bad case of heartburn. 

The next thing I knew I was on a plane flying home. 

For the next four days my laptop became my constant companion because the conflict in the story had changed from getting there to recording my grandpa’s stories.  My grandpa is a storyteller.  He has great stories and Heath and I thought it would be nice to preserve those stories if I could. 

My only worry was that I didn’t want to put my grandpa on the spot.  I didn’t want to hold the microphone in his face and expect him to speak naturally.  I wanted it all unscripted and unannounced.  Like when I was a kid and on a water skiing/ camping trip he would just start talking.  We would laugh until our sides were splitting and five minutes later the Spirit of the Lord was felt so strongly by everyone there because of another one of his stories. 

That’s what I wanted to record.  But how was that going to happen?

Friday was not the day.  Although I got another wish granted on Friday.  My grandpa shared his thoughts on his mortality.  It was short and I was not surprised by what he said.  I know my grandpa well enough.  But it was comforting to know his take on things.  I don’t think I will ever forget him saying that when he was first diagnosed with cancer he was given a death sentence – an amount of time to live before the cancer would win.  He outlived that prediction by well over a decade.

“I’ve had my miracle,” he said.

That statement and the tone in which he said it will always stay in my memory.  What an incredible blessing we have all been given.  Jay – husband, father, grandfather, neighbor, friend, servant of the Lord – was allowed to live.  He has lived such an amazing life too.  How blessed we have all been these last fourteen years.

My mom changed dinner plans and told me that she had only invited my grandparents over for dinner on Saturday.  My heart sank.  I honestly thought that was my last chance.  The barbecue was fun.  My whole family was there, well, minus my husband and children.  We had a great time.  But it never seemed appropriate to pull out the good ol’ laptop. 

My mom said my grandparents never stay long after dinner.  In fact, she brought out dessert as soon as dinner was over.  My stomach ached from all the food!  At one point, I believe it was after we were done eating, I went into the guest room and called Heath.  I was near tears as I said, “I’m not going to be able to record my grandpa.  I’m sorry.”  Heath is such a great husband.  He was very understanding as he told me that it was more important that I just visit with Grandpa and spend the time with him than force a recording session.

So back outside I went to visit.  My heart was heavy but I was going to make the most of it.  Then I got the video of his partial short story.  I actually don’t even know what he was talking about!  I think it was a water skiing story.  I was not paying attention because there was so much going on with everyone else and I was trying to just capture the story on video without him knowing.  Like I said before, that video became my treasure.  I didn’t even watch it until I got home! 

The twist in the story came when my grandpa asked when I was going home.  I told him I was flying out Monday morning.  He said, “Oh good.  You can come to family home evening tomorrow night.”  Yes, I was going to see him one more time.  Then the question that changed everything.

“Will you teach the lesson?”

He went on to say that it was Ed’s turn but since it was a rare thing for me to be there he wanted me to teach for Ed.  I reluctantly agreed.  My mind was a total blank.  I have not been to family home evening at my grandparents’ house since Heath and I got married.  What in the world would I teach?  All I could think of was the simple lessons we teach our kids or The Living Scriptures movies we watch and then make the kids take the quiz afterwards.  Yeah, I’ll teach.  But what?

My grandparents stuck around for a while longer.  I kept thinking I should grab my laptop and hit record just to see what I could get.  But when I went inside, the party sort of disintegrated and everyone started cleaning up.  My grandparents left soon after.  It was ok.  The door of opportunity had been reopened when I thought it had shut for good.  I was going to family home evening.  

Looking back on all of this is amazing.  The way it all fell into place could not have been planned better. 

I called Heath to see what I needed to do to record.  He said to open the program on the desktop and hit the record button.  He told me it may ask me to give the file a name first but it was as simple as clicking on the red record button.  I armed myself with the microphone and with plugs so I wouldn’t lose power.  As soon as we arrived I sat by the wall and hooked everything up. 

Everyone sat down while my grandma brought over the orange juice and air popped popcorn.  The tradition of family home evening on Sunday evening with popcorn and orange juice had begun when my mom, brother, sister and I lived with Grandma and Grandpa when my mom divorced.  The fact that that tradition had lived on every Sunday since I was 15 years old was comforting.  Going “home” to visit took on more meaning for me.

While everyone was sitting down I hit that beautiful round red record button.  The next two hours were immortalized via digital recording.  Oh I got it all!  I got Ed bearing his testimony of patriarchal blessings, prayer, and missionary work.  I got an interesting patriarchal blessing discussion.  For those of you who don’t know, my grandpa is the Stake Patriarch.  I got my crazy lesson.  I am not proud of it.  I never meant for it to dwell so long on death.  Given the circumstances of the weekend, both expected and unexpected, I may always resent the way I presented a lesson meant to get people talking. 

The best part of this recording was the fact that my grandparents had no idea what I was doing.  They thought my lesson was on the laptop.  They met my laptop on Friday and were not afraid of it.  They thought nothing of the fact that it was sitting on the table.  I didn’t hide the microphone.  I think it was out of their line of vision because the popcorn bowl was in front of it.  My dream of getting a natural discussion was blossoming before my eyes. 

Then my miracle.  As if we haven’t had enough already!  My grandpa, completely unprompted, starting talking about his best friend Kendall.  He grew up with Kendall and has shared countless stories about him.  After a couple stories there was a lull.  Every conversation has lulls and some people believe it happens every seven minutes.  They are called seven minute lulls.  My mom and sister didn’t allow the seven minute lull to last more than a few seconds before they started asking Grandpa questions. 

The evening was like a roller coaster.  We had click clicked our way up that first steep part.  As if the whole event was really a roller coaster ride we looked around at each other in eager anticipation of what may come next.  Those first two questions got the train over the hump and the rest of the exciting ride followed.  Just like when I was a kid, we laughed until our sides were splitting, the Spirit was so strong, we were sad when we heard about Grandpa’s dogs passing away, then back to laughing. 

I enjoyed every second all while checking the program to see the white words ‘recording’ flashing.  If the computer went to screen saver my finger quickly rubbed across the mouse pad to wake it up.  I was taking no chances!

Most of the stories I captured I had never heard before.  My favorite story was hearing how my grandparents met which led to me asking about the proposal.  Not even my mom knew that story.  My grandma proposed to my grandpa!!! 

“Such is life without a wife and me without a husband.”  Grandpa figured out what she was getting at and the rest is history.  They’ve been married for 59 years! 

I have always heard of people visiting family members for the last time before they passed away.  I never thought it would happen to me.  The idea seemed so strange.  I am so grateful I did.  The trip was fantastic without the recording.  That was the icing on the cake.  With a cherry on top.  I still get chills thinking about how amazing my visit was. 

I hope I always do.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Bubblicious

I have been trying to write my thoughts about my grandpa. I have been trying to share more of the story from when I visited. It's still a cliffhanger.

But this is a picture of him. I snuck one in among my bubble photo shoot. Now Dawn and anyone else who knows my grandpa can at least see a picture of him while I keep you all in suspense over the story. It's amazing. I'll say that.

This is my mom. She is a cool lady! Notice her green pants. These pants are too big for her because she keeps losing weight. So she gave them to me. They are a size smaller than my smallest pair of pants. Yesterday I squeezed into them. It was a tight squeeze but not like I was suffocating or strangling my legs in them. They fit well enough for me to wear to pick up Gavin from school. I need to lose a little more weight for them to fit like a glove.
I have to toot my own horn though. I have lost over 10 lbs. The excitement has been real but nothing compared to the experience of meeting my mom at the airport. I was wearing a pair of pants I got for Christmas. That are getting a little big, by the way. I also had on my tall wedge heel sandals.
After the initial happy to see me greeting and the hug, my mom started asking what was different about me. Was I taller? Yes. I was wearing shoes that made me a good two inches taller. No, that wasn't it. My hair was a little longer. Hmm . . . what was it. I couldn't figure out what she was getting at. So I said I lost 10 lbs. She freaked out! I have never felt so good about myself! She said she could tell. When I told her how I lost most of the weight by changing my pump settings and eating less from not having to correct lows she told me I had to tell the doctor I saw in Utah. He still asks about me. I never did. Not much time. But I doubt he would notice because I am now the weight I was when we moved.
Well, the weekend was a carb fest. I can't eat carbs like I used to so that was a little rough on the blood sugars. Besides the guessing game of how much insulin to take while eating out, I was terrified I had put on at least five lbs. Nope. I got home and my weight was the same. Two days later I had dropped another couple pounds putting me into the . . . well, I'm still too ashamed to say out loud! But I haven't seen that number in the tens place on my scale in years! I'm back into the exercise routine and my goal is to lose another five lbs before I see my endocrinologist again at the end of May. I would be so happy if I could step on his scale and see that neon number in my mind.
Well, here are some bubblicious pictures from the barbecue on Saturday. My mom has a recipe for the bubble solution. The recipe calls for glycerin or you can substitute corn syrup. We tried the corn syrup. No good. So we added the glycerin without dumping the original batch. That was better.

Ok, these bubbles are from a store bought tube of solution with the odd shaped wand inside.


I love Vinny's outfit. The cape is my favorite part. He brought Star Wars paraphernalia too.


This is where the bubble solution came in. We didn't get great bubbles until we added a little more water to the mix. Then we got spectacular bubbles that I saw on my tiny camera screen as I snapped away hoping for some great pictures.




Candi started getting some really cool bubbles that almost wrapped around her before they popped.




While I was taking pictures I kept wondering if I should pull out my laptop. My grandpa was enjoying visiting with everyone. Was this the right opportunity to record him? More and more it started to feel like a no. Luckily I got this.My mom was the only one who knew what was going on. I had the camera still poised on Candi when Grandpa started talking. I pushed the video button and held the camera on her for a second then slowly panned over to him so he wouldn't know he was in the spotlight. Calvin was running laps because Daphne had run 30 laps around the yard trying to be like her mom who ran a half marathon that day. That story is here if you want to read it. Ed was counting laps for Vinny. The video is noisy like our party. But it is a treasure. Did I get more of Grandpa's stories? Good question. I will answer that in another post. Cliff hanger!

Update: My mom told me what the story in the video is. My grandpa was in one boat going one direction while a friend was in another boat going the opposite direction. As they passed they high fived each other, which really stung their hands.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Step one: Start running

Running is a means for humans to move quickly on foot. It is faster than walking and involves having both feet in the air at the same time, at least for a moment. Running was first discovered as effective when man chased down his first meal.

Running was practical especially when large, menacing beasts challenged man to a staring contest. Or when Cain charged after Abel. Eventually the Olympics were born and running became part of the athletic events. Coroebus, a cook from Elis, won the stade in 776 BC. This was the first record we have of a race in the Olympics. For all anyone knows maybe he just had too much cooking sherry and was running around in the buff for the fun of it. Without the wind resistance of clothes, Coroebus was pretty quick. Whatever happened, running somehow became contest worthy.

Runners came up with this list of techniques to practice. Techniques. For running. People practice running. With coaches and everything. For running.

As true as this simplistic approach to training for a marathon is, there is more to it than just running the day of a race. This episode of How I Met Your Mother goes on to show Marshal training for the marathon while Barney puts on a track suit the day of the race. Barney finishes quickly and then gets on the subway because it’s free to the marathon participants that day. Unfortunately for him, his legs no longer work and he can’t get off the train. He just rides around all day hitting on girls until he has to call Ted to rescue him.

Running is funny. Well, when you find no pleasure in it. But for many people, running is a wonderful thing. It gives them a sense of satisfaction. It releases endorphins which are a natural high. Running is a natural way to battle depression and it is even reported to combat the mental effects of aging.

Honestly, I have great respect for runners. Mostly because I can’t do it. My brother ran cross country in high school. I loved watching his races. The races were three miles long. Three mile races. Who does that? It was amazing to watch. His wife enjoys running too. She has ran several marathons just because she can. Recently she ran in Salt Lake City’s half marathon.

I took Trax with my family to support her and watch her cross the finish line. Part of the running route followed the Trax lines. We passed by so many runners. It was interesting to see the different shapes and sizes of people competing in the half marathon. I saw women with full faces of makeup and fully styled hair running. Hard to make fun of women like that because I would do it. And they were out there running. I run in place in my room. Not the same thing.

A woman wanted to bike in a marathon type race. She began practicing in her home on a stationary bike. She was extremely proud of herself for biking a few miles the first night. When she took a real bike ride she panted and struggled through one mile. This went on for a while – success on her stationary bike then struggling on a real bike. She never built up her endurance on the real road. But no worries. She was going to take the week off before the race to save her strength. All I have to say is good luck with that race, Barneyrella.

Back to the half marathon . . . we got to the finish line at the Gateway. Some runners would jog in red in the face, sweating, panting, ready to die. Suddenly they found some magical burst of energy. The sight of the finish line reminded them of whatever they were running for and they kicked it in for the last several yards. It was extremely inspiring.

Many runners would come through pumping their arms above their heads. The crowd went wild. Actually, there were cheers of some kind for every participant. The ones who looked ready to give up were given encouraging shouts from the onlookers. A few stopped running and started walking. The crowd went nuts. “Don’t give up! Come on! You’re almost there!” I think I only saw one or two walk in. Everyone else dug deep and pushed themselves to run across that finish line.

My sister in law finished with cheers from her family and nearby strangers. She had a big smile on her face and since we all forgot cameras no pictures were taken. The cell phone wouldn’t focus fast enough so there was one picture of nothing. Her euphoria was contagious. She had done her personal best. My favorite part was when she said her goal was to be to Liberty Park before being lapped by the full marathon runners. She was past Liberty Park and only two miles from finishing the half marathon before the first marathon runner passed. That guy was awesome. White guy, not some guy from Africa. He finished 26 miles in 2.5 hours! For real.

I may not run and I have no desire to, but I will always respect those who do. I am inspired by the runners who do it to prove something to the world or prove something to themselves. One girl had a T-shirt on that said, “I run for M.E.” Not sure what M.E. stands for if it doesn’t mean ‘me.’ Run for a charity, run for a living, run for family or friends, run for yourself. Just run. Meanwhile I will huff and puff in place while my cartoon trainer compliments my efforts.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What Women Want

Women are fascinating creatures.  What makes them tick has been baffling men for centuries.  Some women are even baffled by themselves.  Which is precisely why the South Towne Expo Center in South Jordan, UT hosted What Women Want on Friday, April 16, 2010. 

I was surprised that there weren’t more cars in the parking lot.  Have you ever tried to go there for a scrapbooking convention?  You can’t even find parking on the street, much less pay someone to park in their driveway!  The scrapbooking convention is insane chaos of paper, embellishments, scrapbooking kits, and anything else you can think of to do with the ever popular hobby of scrapbooking. 

Friday’s choice parking spots were not a mirage.  Perhaps women already know what they want. 

The great and spacious building loomed across the parking lot inviting us to enter a world of color and fragrant air.  Enter we would.  We had free tickets from the newspaper and everyone knows women want bargains.

The inside of the Expo Center showed a decent sized turn out of women, many pushing babies in strollers.  Women travel in packs.  Which leads me to believe the women arrived via clown van.  Painted and fragrant woman after hairsprayed woman climbing out one after another. 

Every vendor had a convincing spiel of their take on what women want.  Most of the vendors hooked women with a free drawing.  We were accosted at the door with instructions for a drawing before even entering the convention!  Once inside, we were overwhelmed with booths of potions, lotions, accessories, massage tables, tattooed make up and so forth.  A vendor of magic lotion stopped us and before we knew what was happening she was rolling shiny, wet glue on our hands as we filled out a card hoping to win the overpriced youth elixir. 

I felt really good about filling out that card until I had filled out many cards throughout the room.  Candi said she never put her email address on the cards.  Suddenly it hit me.  I would be a victim of spam for the rest of my life!  So far I have had no emails or phone calls.    Hopefully seeing a California address turned people off to me.  I doubt it. 

We wandered around with eyes wide in anticipation, awe, and joy.  The vendors had been well selected to teach what women want.  Makeovers were being revealed on stage to a small gathering of women while vendors peddled their wares enticing onlookers with free samples.  Free.  Shiny.  Fragrantly smelly.  Delicious.  This is what women want!

Mom kept getting separated from us.  She was always found tasting the free samples of decadent treats.  The purses and shoes tempted Candi and me.  Gaudy and/or interesting jewelry caught our attention but never enough to buy.  Candi bought a darling fairy book for Isabel.  I wanted books too but resisted the urge.  My eye was on boutique priced purses and skirts.  I was ready to walk out with nothing.  The desire to get souvenirs for the kids hurt too much to leave empty handed.  What is a girl to do?

An osteoporosis booth caught our attention.  All three of us are healthy.  I had the best number which I found surprising especially since my doctor recently had me on calcium supplements and vitamin D.  Weird.  A man stopped us to explain how a dream plant works.  They printed words on a bean.  That was pretty cool.  Candi complained about her free smelly candle.  She thought it was stinky!  But she was too afraid to ditch it at a booth.  We rounded the corner and saw flat iron central.  An oasis where women were getting their hair curled by flat iron vendors.

The girl tried to get us to agree to having our hair curled with her fancy flat iron.  We instinctively said no.  As we walked away I changed my mind.  Women’s minds are cleaner than men’s because we change them so often!  I was having too much fun walking around Estrogen Land and missing Gwen like crazy.  She would have died with how feminine that place was.  I turned to Candi and said, “Let’s do it.  Let’s get our hair curled.”  She looked skeptical.  I convinced her.

I sat down first and felt like I was being scrutinized and judged in the worst way.  The girl acted like I must be an idiot for using a curling iron.  When I told her it was ceramic she jumped all over me.  “Does it say it’s 100% ceramic?  Probably not.  Nothing is but these flat irons.  Everything else is just coated with ceramic.  It’s not really ceramic.”  After the tongue lashing from the hairstylist, I felt like a darn clown.  She curled my hair in a really weird way.  I have curled my hair recently and I looked so much better than the weirdness this girl did to me where my hair was waving at everyone as it bounced on top of my head strangely.  Apparently my gray hair had wrapped around so it was shining and smiling right on top of the highest curl. 

Somehow I was able to walk away by saying we would think about the investment of $150 for a flat iron.  Heath never gets mad at me but I know he would have my head on a platter if I came home with a flat iron for that price!  It’s probably a good deal.  I don’t know.  All I knew was I did not need it. 

The three of us walked down the aisle, Candi and my curls bouncing awkwardly.  We stopped by the coolest booth I had seen all day.  The guy showed us how his Del Sol products changed color under UV rays.  It was so much better than those crazy hyper color shirts from the 80’s and 90’s that changed color where you sweat!  His prices were three items for $20 or $10 an item.  I was trying to not spend my money on frivolity and Candi had spent most of her “free” money.  She found some cash she forgot about and was pretty excited to use it.  We agreed to split the three items.  She got some nail polish that changes from blue to green and I got nail polish that changes from pink to purple.  We split the plastic flower hair clips. 

When I got home I showed Gwen the nail polish.  She was interested in my pink toes.  Sadly I have not painted even my toenails in quite some time.  No wonder my toes captured her attention.  I put the clips in Gwen’s hair which she was very excited about.  Then I painted her toenails.  She insisted I paint her fingernails too.  I was worried about that because the polish didn’t say fast drying.  Gwen is two years old. 

I told her she had to hold still and not touch anything until I told her she could.  She sat there so patiently with enough excited energy to power a toaster.  When I started blowing on her fingernails of one hand she almost wouldn’t let me finish painting the second hand because she was too busy blowing on her fingernails!  She strutted around afraid to touch anything afterwards.  So cute.  I have zero regrets on that purchase.  Even though she has chipped her nail polish and sucked most of it off (not while it was wet), I still don’t regret it.  She loves the pretty color and she loves the clips.  Every day she asks me to put the clips in.  If it were up to her she would wear all three clips at once!  I got two purple and one blue.  Candi got the other blue and two pink clips. 

So what do women want?  They want bargains.  They want to feel beautiful.  They want tiny samples of food so it feels like they aren’t overdoing it.  They want to band together and wander around being pampered for free.  They want anything beautiful, pretty, or cute.  The South Towne Expo Center’s What Women Want was the funnest most feminine thing I have ever done.  I loved it. 

I’m grateful that Ed hung out with little Izzy so my mom, sister, and I could all go together.  He would have been patient if he came but I know spending alone time with his baby daughter was more what he needed than the land flowing with femininity and estrogen in South Jordan. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Welcome to the random conversation table

Parker praying: Please bless Dad that he can bring home food from a restaurant . . .

Parker: Dad is coming home with food right now.
Me: Really? What makes you think that?
Parker: Because I know everything.
We had a homemade meal much to Parker's surprise.

Parker: Please!
Heath: Please what? Give you a hug? Ok.
Parker: No! Please chip!
Heath: I've heard of a potato chip and I've heard of a computer chip but I've never heard of a please chip.
Me whispering: Say a complete sentence.
Parker: Please chip please.
Cue explosive gales of laughter.

Gavin started talking about Earth Week and how today he was supposed to have a "green" lunch, meaning no garbage allowed.
Me: Did you get a green note from school for your lunch?
Gavin: No. I had garbage with my lunch.
Me: What? I pay for you to have school lunch and they gave you stuff to throw away today?
Gavin: The notes were only for kids who brought lunch from home.
Heath: How is that fair?
How I hate public education!

Gwen knocking on the window: Wook at me! Wook at me!
Heath through the window: Yeah, I see you.
Gwen: Wook! A shoes on!
She was wearing her Disney princess shoes.

Parker praying: Please bless me when I can be so excited to be a grown up . . . Please bless me that when I'm a grown up I will play with toys and I won't make a mess in my bedroom.

Friends and Family

I invited my friend, Becca, over on Friday morning.  It was just like old times hanging out with her and her kids Cameron and Allie.  We used to hang out all the time when we lived across the street from each other.  I was very sad that Parker wasn’t able to come with me.  He would have loved playing with Cameron and Allie. 

Becca navigated the construction by my mom’s house and dropped me off at Costa Vida so I could meet my blogging hero, Shannon, for the first time.  I was nervous as could be to meet Shannon until the actual day.  When I saw her she looked just like the pictures on her blog.  She was so easy to talk to.  She had two of her three kids with her, the two who are Type 1 diabetics. 

I really enjoyed our lunch date.  The food was fantastic because it was Costa Vida.  I felt bad for choosing a place that maybe wasn’t so kid friendly.  Her kids weren’t super hungry for California Mexican food.  My kids never are either.  It was nice to meet her finally and get to know her a little bit more. 

After lunch she navigated construction and dropped me off at my grandparent’s house.  My grandparents had just gotten home from the temple.  I talked with them for a while.  It was nice to visit with them. 

My grandpa was resting for the first part of my visit.  I was anxious to see him but I knew I would see him again if he was too tired to visit with me.  He came out to talk.  I didn’t know what to expect when I saw him.  He was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer over 10 years ago.  I was a freshman or sophomore in college, I don’t remember which.  He has lived with it all this time. 

I was expecting him to look like a walking skeleton with the Grim Reaper as his shadow.  He looked much better than I imagined he would.  He has always been thin and it was apparent he was thinner than usual.  His shirt covered his body in a way that made it difficult to see how emaciated he actually is. 

I know he hates his large belly.  His stomach is filling up with fluid as a result of the cancer.  Every two weeks he has it drained.  The doctors drain around five liters.  Astounding.  I’m not exactly sure what the fluid is.  I believe it is cancer cells. 

My grandpa is easily worn out.  My mom says he gets about four hours a day to be his normal active self and then his body forces him to rest after that.  He is nauseated several times a day although he is learning that protein helps a little.  My mom says that if someone saw him who didn’t already know him, they would never think anything was wrong.  I agree.  He does look fairly normal but I could see in his eyes how tired and sick he was feeling on Friday. 

He pulled his sleeves up to show me how skinny he is becoming.  His watch dangles on his wrist like a bracelet when it used to fit snuggly.  He opened the top buttons of his shirt to show me his pacemaker.  His friends at the gym now know he has one because it is this large circle protruding from his chest.  My grandpa describes his belly as if he is pregnant.  He says he eases into the water at the gym like an expecting mother.  He kept joking that he would deliver on Monday because that was when he was scheduled to have more fluid drained.

He has had the procedure done at least five or six times.  He was trying to guess how much fluid they would get since he was going in two days earlier than usual.  Unfortunately, it didn’t work so well.  He went to my mom’s facility but they didn’t have enough equipment to make the procedure successful.  My mom described what normally happens and it sounds a lot like an amniocentesis.  They use an ultrasound machine to find the fluid pockets to drain with a large and nasty looking needle.  My mom’s facility is not a hospital so they didn’t have an ultrasound machine.  They drained as best they could but only got a couple of liters before they had to give up since they couldn’t see well enough. 

My grandpa was actually very frank about his mortality.  I will share that story in another post. 

My visit with my grandparents on Friday was nice.  My grandpa was enamored with my small laptop, which I brought to try to record him telling stories.  I had mentioned to him that I wanted to do that but I didn’t do it on Friday because I didn’t want to put him on the spot.  I showed my grandparents my blogs and also my sister’s blog.  They thought that was pretty cool.  They loved the duck and run video and seeing pictures of my kids.  They loved Candi’s pictures too. 

My mom and sister finished their shifts for the day and came to pick me up so we could find out what women want.  We had ideas of what women want.  After all, we are women!  Stay tuned and the secrets of the universe regarding women and their mysterious desires will all be revealed.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Did you miss me?

For the last four days I have been in SLC, UT visiting family. It was fun, awesome, heartbreaking, introspective, wonderful, etc, etc.

Heath earns a lot of points with Southwest Airlines going on business trips. He had enough points for a free flight and told me I should see my family. My grandpa’s health is rapidly deteriorating and any family members living outside of Utah are trying to visit him, possibly for the last time. My family said at least once a day to thank Heath for his sacrifice in letting me visit.


What a sacrifice it was. Heath isn’t an idiot. He knows how to take care of the kids. Sometimes I think he is a better Mom than I am! But it isn’t easy to have to keep kids alive and happy for four days alone. We have never been apart from each other this long. Not only did he have to learn the school routine but he braved church with three kids. Alone. My hat goes off to him because we have enough drama in Sacrament Meeting when we’re both there!


Heath and the kids survived. They had fun together doing things Dad’s way. They missed me too. It’s nice to be missed. I missed them so much. Church was particularly difficult for me. As much as I enjoyed the peace and quiet without kids, I missed my babies so much!


I had called while the kids were supposed to be putting toys away in preparation for bed. The boys were fighting as usual. I asked to talk to Gavin, thinking I could maybe distract him from his ritual fighting with Parker during the “Toy War.” When he got on the phone I told him I loved him. He said it back but he sounded weird. I asked if he was crying and he responded that he was a little bit. I told him I would see him the next day. Heath told me that at bedtime Gavin said he was worried about my safety coming home. That seemed awfully mature for a six year old!


Prayers were answered because Heath and the kids were safe and happy. I was also safe. We were reunited at the time my flight was supposed to land. The plane landed 30 minutes early. The flight attendant said that Southwest prides itself on not having hidden fees but since we were so early there was a $5 fee. We could pay the attendants cash on our way out! We all laughed. I love the sense of humor Southwest is known for.


Gwen and Parker were happy to see me. Gavin was hard to read when I picked him up from school. I think I surprised him by showing up when he was planning on his dad picking him up. He was happy to see me but it took a minute to get over the change of plans in his mind.


Parker had me close my eyes while he led me into the house. He told me to open them and the first thing I saw was freshly vacuumed carpet. I was so impressed! I didn’t realize I popped Parker’s balloon of enthusiasm. He wanted to surprise me with a Welcome Home banner the kids decorated. The banner was the icing on the cake. I didn’t expect either surprise. Ahh . . . I’m home and it feels so good. I have the best family.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Mormon Church Organization Explained as Vehicles

High Priests are like old jeeps: they can't carry much but they're reliable and will never leave you stuck.

Relief Society women are like Lamborghinis: they are very beautiful, move really fast and are lots of fun but you had better spend time and money maintaining them or you'll be sorry.

Elders Quorum brethren are like freight trains: they can carry a lot and work hard but it takes a lot of energy to get them going.

Young Men are like bullet bikes: they can go 200 mph and are lots of fun but one mistake and they'll wreck fast.

Young Women are like Miata clubs: cute little cars that look like they're having fun but they're always in tight packs and can't seem to figure out where they're going.

And Primary: they just keep bumping along.

This is courtesy of my brother in law, Kirk.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Duck and Run

When Heath got home early from a client meeting there were ducks wandering around. Neighbors were coming out to see what was going on and Heath grabbed the camera. The one neighbor who herded the ducks back to the canal with Heath said that the duck family had been wandering around and he thought they may continue to wander in circles never finding the path to the canal.

I don't recognize the house in the first picture. It could be across the street. But the red fire zone stripe is right in front of our house. The ducks walk across the new concrete and into our next door neighbor's front yard while Mama Duck gets scared and leaves her babies many times. The babies frantically chirp at her. And bless their courageous, trusting little hearts, they climb over the plants to follow their mom.

I find the video amazing and very interesting.

  • Motherhood is not easy. Sometimes we forget how our actions affect others. Sometimes we think only of ourselves.
  • Life gets scary sometimes. Sometimes we get lost and wander in circles or keep going backwards as we make the same mistakes. Fear can paralyze us and cause us to get stuck in this cycle of circle wandering and moving backwards.
  • Babies trust their parents unconditionally. Babies usually bring us back from "the edge."
  • The closer we get, the harder everything seems, and the easier it is to almost give up.
  • Sometimes we take the hardest way possible.
  • When we stop fighting control and just let go, things work out in the end. Prayers are often answered through other people. Help is patient and kind even when we act like we don't want help.
  • Home is never as far away as we think. The path is usually very clear when we are ready to see it. Despite the saying that you can't go home, you really can. The road back may be uncomfortable and scary but it is possible.
  • Yes, I have a tendency to overthink things.

I chose the song because it was in my head all day yesterday and because I like the line "Your tired and so am I." It seemed to fit the video. I also chose to keep the audio on because it's cool and the song doesn't compete with it too much. The post title is because that's how Heath labeled the pictures. There were also pictures of Gavin helping his dad build shelves. They were using power tools!

The neighbor is a 5th grade teacher. He stayed with the ducks after they got under the fence and helped them get closer to the water. Heath went home and made him a copy of the pictures and video so he could use it in class.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Beautiful Melancholy

She was going to enjoy this rotten mood.  Ease her way into it and really get the most mileage possible out of a dreary disposition.  The day started out dark and black. 

A torrential downpour of emotion pounded for several minutes.  Then it would let up a little as if maybe it might cease.  Maybe she would realize the awful state she was in and stop savoring it so much.  But the addiction to morosity couldn’t be stopped.  It forged on as a new flood of sadness started as quickly as it had ended. 

The tears were steady. 

The sky would lighten to a bright gray for brief moments.  Then a fresh barrage of despondency.  Puddles of dejection were never calm.  Constant dripping.  Never ending rings and ripples of eternal crying.  The sky would soon open up and let loose the silent howling of an anguished soul. 

This is not the remorse that comes from a goldfish dying the same day it is purchased.  No amount of chocolate, caffeine, carb rich food, nail polish, or shopping was going to mask this problem.  This is deep loss.  The wracking torment of the depths of despair. 

The intensity of her depression was beginning to lash out.  There was no consoling her.  Any fleeting hope had long since flitted away.  In one final horrific tantrum the gut wrenching moaning furiously stormed down.  She angrily sobbed the last of it out.  Every last tear painstakingly squeezed and wrung out.  Exhaustion dictated there was nothing left to do but dry up.

Weakly the sun made its first cameo appearance of the day.  It was as if common sense was slowly being rediscovered.  The dolefulness was not nearly as impossible as imagined.  Being emotionally drained from exultation in her own misery the sky steadily grew dimmer.  But no more rain.  She had cried until she can cry no more.  She has been dehydrated ever since. 

After 12 days off from school for Spring Break, today was the first day back.  It was painful.  Gavin writhed on the floor last night bemoaning his fate.  I really felt for the kid.  It’s possible Mother Nature did too. 

She couldn’t imagine missing out on the giggles or the imagination.  So she spent the day mourning. 

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Photo Shoot

The kids' Easter clothes are so adorable. I had to have a photo shoot. I forget how uncooperative my kids can be for these things I want. Out of 97 pictures I found several good ones.




Gwen was hilarious with this photo shoot. She wanted the spotlight all to herself. Little Diva. But after yelling at her brothers to move or that it was her turn. Sometimes she would get up in Heath's face saying picture over and over. Anyway, after all that she would get her turn and more often than not she would make funny faces. I considered sharing some of those "attractive" pictures but I think I would rather have people believe my children are always darling cherubs instead.



If Heath tipped the camera to take a vertical shot, Gwen would tip her head to the side. That girl is too funny.


Cute Gavin smile.

GQ pose

I have to say that the boys picked out their clothes. Parker wanted a tie for church after not having one for a year or more. So he picked out this studly ensemble. Gavin couldn't decide if he wanted just a nice shirt and tie or the whole package deal with the vest and pants. He eventually decided on the full set. I think I looked and there were no shirts with matching ties in his size so it was good he changed his mind.
I never liked dressing like my sister when I was growing up. Our dresses were different patterns but always out of the same fabric and I hated it. The boys don't mind looking alike. I certainly don't encourage it. They choose it. It's cute.


Parker had a few color choices. He chose green because it's his favorite color. I think it was Gavin who wanted to pick pink. I had to do some fast talking to avoid that fashion disaster! Not every day is Easter!


Gwen's dress got oohs and ahhs in the store. One mom said that her daughter doesn't let her dress her up anymore. I am still thinking that one through. Yes, I am technically dressing her up because I really wanted her to have a big, fluffy dress fit for a wedding reception. But at the same time, Gwen loves pretty dresses. She had no problem with this dress with the Cinderella tag. The dress is a size 4T and the sweater is a 3T. The 3T dress was a little tight! My super model in training.

Twirling




Awesome twirling action shot!



It doesn't get much sweeter than this.


Some more cute Parker pictures

Gavin looks like a future missionary.
I love my kids. They are too funny. I love photo shoots. They make me smile.