Sunday, February 27, 2011

Mother of all Princess Parties

Preparations for this party actually started soon after Gwen was born.  The instant bond between Gwen and her little friends at church, even before any of them were old enough to be in Nursery together,  made me want to host a birthday party when Gwen turned 3 years old.  Maybe that sounds weird but it’s true.  Gwen is the youngest of her little friends so she was invited to everyone else’s parties first.  That kind of cemented the idea in my head. 

Naturally I went with a princess theme because Gwen is obsessed with princesses and femininity and anything pretty.  I hope the other girls, and more importantly their parents, were ok with the baptism of girliness I subjected them to for an hour and a half or however long the party ended up being. 

Gwen's-birthday-celebrations-020Gwen's-birthday-celebrations-021Gwen's-birthday-celebrations-022

My arsenal of femininity was cocked days before the party.  I had a well thought out and organized plan.  I had the supplies to execute on the plan.  I was ready for action. 

Decorations

This was the scary part for me since I feel challenged when it comes to party décor.  I know how I like to decorate my home but as far as party, activity, or even lesson decorations, I am clueless and have a tendency to forget that ambiance is an important part of what I’m doing.  That in mind, I think we scored some pretty awesome decorations that really set the tone for a cute princess party.

Gwen's-birthday-celebrations-046Gwen's-birthday-celebrations-047

The wall mural was very cool.  I don’t know when we will ever have occasion to use it again but we did carefully fold up all the plastic sheets to save for later. 

Gwen's-birthday-celebrations-048Gwen's-birthday-celebrations-050

Originally we had talked about putting the happy birthday banner outside but then Heath said to hang it from the railing.  That was fine and all but then I got nervous that I needed to decorate the door somehow so people knew this was the right place.  I had invited two little girls I didn’t know as well and they had never been to our house before.  Maybe I’m the only one with such a heightened fear of going out that I’m grateful for balloons and decorations when I go to a baby shower or birthday party.  It lets me know I made it to the right house!  The birthday banner is still hanging outside.  Why not? 

Gwen's-birthday-celebrations-051

This was an impulse move on my part.  I probably didn’t need a sign with leftover princesses and my barely legible handwriting welcoming people to the party! 

Food

Gwen's-birthday-celebrations-080

All my food ideas were from online sources.  I knew I had good ideas but I had no idea it would look so adorably like a tea party!  Seriously, this was the best part of the party and I’m not into food at parties.  The parents were so impressed with how quiet and polite all the girls were while they chatted and ate.  A dad was concerned when I threw out the white tablecloth.  He thought I was crazy!  I assured him my kids have eaten on it before and stained it too.  No worries.  The party just needed that extra dose of pretty.  It was the final touch to what was the most darling tea party of girls ever. 

One cute food idea said to put a stick in star shaped sugar cookies to look like magic wands.

Gwen's-birthday-celebrations-023  This was the first attempt. 

Gwen's-birthday-celebrations-024  Second attempt.  They still don’t look like stars.  It was late and we hadn’t let the dough refrigerate long enough, I think, so we just decided to make the best of a bad situation. 

Gwen's-birthday-celebrations-044

Behold the royal scepters!  Not bad right?  Nobody had any idea what they were supposed to look like so the “scepters” were a success.  Plus, the cookies taste so good.  You know those huge pink frosted sugar cookies that are individually wrapped?  They have like 30 grams of fat in them and they taste like a sugar cloud from heaven?  That’s what these soft sugar cookies tasted like. 

Gwen's-birthday-celebrations-089 

These little sandwiches were so easy I made them!  And they tasted really good too.  It’s just cream cheese, jam, and bread.  I made three sandwiches and was able to cut out four hearts from each sandwich for a total of 12 mini sandwiches for the girls, who only ate one a piece.  It’s like they had ginormous cookie scepters and pink lemonade too.  Then we had to eat cake. 

Gwen's-birthday-celebrations-045 

What’s a party without cake?  Could this cake be any more perfect?  We didn’t have to special order it or anything.  It was just in the refrigerated section of premade cakes.  The girls each got a cupcake which had plastic rings on top.  Perfect. 

Stay tuned for the next installment of the Mother of all Princess Parties where I share even more pictures and video from the party.  Imagine if you will six 3 year old girls getting princessified with makeup, crafting, and playing games.  The games are definitely worth coming back for! 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Week of Celebrations

Why celebrate birthdays on one day when you can live it up for a week or more?  We do birthday weeks around our house.  Sometimes birthday months. 

Gwen's-birthday-celebrations-013

“Really?  This will go on all week?”

Monday

We enjoyed some lunch at the Cheesecake Factory.  When the waitress came by to see if we wanted any cheesecake Heath told her no.  He said that we had eaten too much lunch and then he said that even though it was Gwen’s birthday she didn’t need dessert.  So instead of bringing the check she brought this:

She had us all sing Happy Birthday together and Gwen blew out the candle.  All three kids dug in and shared the fudge ice cream sundae. 

Later that night, after Gwen’s nap, we had a little family party with presents. 

Gwen's-3rd-birthday-007Gwen's-3rd-birthday-005
Gwen's-3rd-birthday-010Gwen's-3rd-birthday-012

Bedhead and pretty princess merchandise are such a classic little girl look!  Gwen got a princess CD, Ariel and sisters bath toys, and Little Mermaid figurines. 

Tuesday

This was her actual birthday.  She got a Disney princess card from Aunt Deanna, Uncle Tyson, Daphne and Calvin.  Of all the gifts Gwen has received this week, this card is her favorite.  She carries it around all day and even sleeps with it at night.  She uses the Little Mermaid figurines as crayons and paintbrushes while she’s “doing  homework” with the card.  She pretends to color the princess dresses and writes whatever her little 3 year old mind can imagine.  It’s pretty cute to watch.  She also received an e-card from Aunt Candi, Uncle Ed, and Baby Izzy.  Gwen loved watching that. 

Gwen's-birthday-celebrations-001Gwen's-birthday-celebrations-006

Heath came home from work with mini cupcakes.  They were a big hit.  The kids put all their toys away and bathed or showered before Heath came home so we could watch a movie as a family before bed. 

Gwen's-birthday-celebrations-009

Snuggling up with Dad is the best way to enjoy a birthday.  We watched Neverending Story on Blu-Ray.  I don’t know how I missed this movie in the 80’s especially since I remember people talking about it.  I really liked it.  The kids all did too.  We’re getting kind of bored of all the cartoon movies they want to watch over and over so we’ve tried to introduce them to live action movies they can enjoy.  We’ve watched Galaxy Quest, The Apple Dumpling Gang, and now Neverending Story.  All have received rave reviews from the kids. 

Wednesday

We took a break from birthday hysteria.

Thursday

Another bit of a break but we did get the package from Grandma and Grandpa.  I was super excited because Dawn made purses for the girls for Gwen’s birthday party.  She even embroidered everyone’s names on the purses!  Darling.  The party will come in the next post. 

Friday

Gwen's-birthday-celebrations-011Gwen's-birthday-celebrations-014
Gwen's-birthday-celebrations-016Gwen's-birthday-celebrations-019

Before Gavin went to school Gwen opened the gift from Grandma and Grandpa.  It’s an embroidered towel to match the boys’ towels.  In Utah the boys’ bathroom was a bug bathroom.  Dawn embroidered their names on towels with dragon flies for Gavin and grasshoppers for Parker.  Gwen gets butterflies.  So cute. 

When the mail finally came, our mailman delivers late, the package from my mom arrived.  We, and when I say we I mean me, were in panic clean the house mode last night in preparation for the culminating birthday party today.  So Gwen didn’t open her present until this morning. 

Saturday

Gwen's-birthday-celebrations-026Gwen's-birthday-celebrations-028

Parker has been a champ through this whole spotlight on Gwen week.  He’s had a few moments of Middle Child Syndrome but overall he’s been excited with Gwen over everything and he’s had fun helping us plan her birthday party.  He is already planning his party.  Oh heaven help me!  Maybe in 5 months time we can nail down a good plan. 

Gwen's-birthday-celebrations-032Gwen's-birthday-celebrations-033
Gwen's-birthday-celebrations-034Gwen's-birthday-celebrations-040

Gwen was excited about the new jacket.  I was too.  Her other one was getting small and it just wasn’t cool anymore to her since she has a pink coat I let her wear in the morning when temps are in the 30’s or 40’s and she has a purple raincoat she only gets to wear when it’s raining.  Now she has a cool new jacket to replace the other one that is so last year!  Every girl needs to have a handful of jackets to choose from.  New clothes rule! 

This afternoon we had a great birthday party.  I’m a little exhausted from this week.  Sincere thanks to family and friends who have all taken part in making this week spectacular for my Little Miss.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Postcards of Love and Finding Perry

You know you’re loved when you miss church and get a postcard later in the week.

IMG

Parker has missed the last two weeks of church and this is what he got in the mail after he missed the first time.  I thought that was so sweet and thoughtful. 

1

This came in the mail yesterday for Gavin.  His Primary class signed a postcard for him.  Gavin has had some really great teachers in this ward. 

My dream is for the whole family to go to church together on Sunday.  I’m so tired of sending my boys to school all week only to have them crash and burn health wise over the weekend. 

In other news . . . Heath found Perry.  Perry is the pet platypus on the cartoon Phineas and Ferb (the only cartoon I can stand for any length of time).  At least once in every episode someone will ask, “Where’s Perry?”  What they don’t know is he’s a secret agent and disappears to fight the hilarious Dr. Doofenshmirtz.  Perry returns at the end of the show and someone says, “Oh, there you are Perry.” 

 

I guess in real life Perry is disguised as a child’s seat in a furniture store in San Francisco.  Who knew? 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mormon Boy Learns: Life is a Cabernet

Life in the business world is a lot like life in the college world.  There are the Ivy League businesses, the community businesses and the party businesses. 

Agencies are the party businesses.  Agency life is fast paced and demanding.  As a result meetings come with alcohol either at the office or at a bar.  Everything is celebrated with alcohol.  The fridge is stocked with beer while the hard stuff is kept somewhere else for special occasions.  Employees each get their own bottle of wine as a Christmas gift and for various other celebrations.  Schmoozing, wining and dining is the name of the game. 

My husband works for an agency.  We are Mormons

That’s right.  Every day I send Heath into the city with the beautiful women and fancy cars, where men wear power suits and the women wear tight clothing.  

Recently his company pitched to a wine company in Napa.  Winning this business would be huge.  Everyone brought their A game to woo the potential client whose cheapest bottle of wine is $99.  After all was said and done the business was won.  The winery liked what everyone had to offer but what impressed them the most was the analytics. 

The Mormon boy’s expertise. 

Heath brought home another bottle of wine to celebrate the new business, which he gave to our neighbors.  This is usually what he does.  If he can’t give it to someone else at work he’ll bring it home and take it to the neighbors.  The neighbors gave us a can of walnuts because Mr. Neighbor works for a nut company.  Too bad we didn’t know him when he worked for Dreyer’s ice cream! 

How has this new client changed our lives?  It hasn’t really.  Heath gets to be the hero and analyze data for the winery.  It’s a great story for a dry party.  For instance, he took the youth to do baptisms for the dead at the temple then the next day he met with the new controversial client.  He also has this great new conversation piece to show off. 

life-is-a-cabernet-and-pancakes-003life-is-a-cabernet-and-pancakes-002

Maybe life really is a cabernet!  I wouldn’t know.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Then and Now

Last night I overbolused for dinner.  I ended up shutting off my basal rates for a couple hours and eating a lot.  Luckily this morning I saw a 178 instead of something in the high 200’s or even into the 300’s.  I worried that my last snack before going to sleep would put me way over the edge.  I needed a number high enough I could fast for lab work that I couldn’t do until I dropped off kids at school.  I played this same game yesterday only without the nighttime lows first.  The lab was closed yesterday for President’s Day so today I was bringing my kids with me!  My endocrinologist appointment is next week and I needed the lab work done so he could get the results in time. 

The interesting thing about last night’s blood sugars and this morning’s fasting is that I did the same thing three years ago to the day.  February 21, 2008 came with a bundle of nerves.  We ran errands mostly to get me out of the house and out of my head.  By late afternoon I was stressing my blood sugar low.  I ate until I was ready to puke but I could not keep my blood sugar up to save my life.  My fears were because I was scheduled to have a c-section the next morning. 

Parker’s c-section was a scary experience for me.  I wasn’t looking forward to having another baby born that way but after two c-sections I didn’t get to try natural childbirth anymore.  The other thing that was stressing me out was the fact that I was told not to eat anything after midnight.  This was my first time having to arrive at the hospital fasting.  At least with my scheduled induction with Parker I was able to eat first and then fast at the hospital where the doctors and nurses were in charge of my insulin needs and any possible lows. 

Gwen was born at 8:03 am on February 22, 2008.  I love her birthday.  We got to pick it.  My doctor told me to choose any day out of a specific week so I picked Friday the 22nd.  Actually it was Heath who suggested the 22nd because 2x2x2=08. 

This morning at 8:03 am I was sitting in my van while kids piled in for school.  Then I took Parker and Gwen with me to the hospital for lab work.  Very strange for me to be there three years later and 30 minutes after she was born getting routine lab work done!  I can’t believe it’s been three years.  That went by so fast. 

Baby-Girl-Westover-024
hugs-and-Gwen's-2-bday-090Gwen-006

She’s funny, sweet, full of life and love, and a great member of our family.  Before she was born I felt like she would balance out our family and not just because she’s a girl.  It’s hard to explain what that meant then and how it seems to be coming true now.  I’m so glad she’s in our lives. 

Happy Birthday Little Miss!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Tomato Ear

Parker-sleeping-001

If a picture is worth a thousand words then this picture tells the story of what’s been going on around here. 

We found out yesterday that Parker has Tomato Ear, aka a nasty ear infection.  After keeping me up most of the night while he cried that his ear hurt, he crashed on the couch a couple of times.  The first time we had to wake him up to take him to the doctor.  The second time he crashed for 4.5 hours.  My poor baby.  I love that Gwen gave him a pretend English muffin in case he got pretend hungry. 

The worst part of all of this is that I think Gwen has Tomato Ear now.  When I called to make the appointment yesterday for Parker I told the guy I wanted all of my kids to be seen.  I told him about an appointment I made for Gavin and happened to have the other two with me.  The doctor checked them all and told me Gwen had the early stages of pneumonia as well as an ear infection.  Parker was diagnosed with an ear infection.  Neither one of them showed any symptoms other than their cold symptoms.  I figured if one was that sick it was worth checking them all.  For a mere $75 I heard what I expected to hear about Parker but Gavin and Gwen just had colds.  That made me feel dumb. 

I went to Sacrament Meeting alone today.  I considered not going to church at all but then I felt guilty since I’m not sick.  It seemed like the right thing to do.  I came home to an inconsolable Gwen.  I could not understand what she was so upset about.  I think she said something about not liking the monsters in the movie.  They were watching Despicable Me.  No monsters.  I could tell she was tired so I took her up to my room to have some snuggly cuddly girl time in the rocking chair.  She wouldn’t relax or stop crying but her eyes were heavy so I risked putting her in her bed.  She’s not Parker. She doesn’t fall asleep in anyone’s lap. 

It was so sad to see her cry that she didn’t want to nap but she couldn’t even keep her eyes open.  I rubbed her back and sang to her and walked out hoping for the best.  She slept for a little while and then started crying again.  By the time I decided to just get her since she wasn’t falling asleep, she was standing at her door sobbing so hard she almost couldn’t breathe.  Tell me I don’t feel like the worst mother in the world for letting her cry so long!  I asked if anything hurt and she said her ear hurt.  Of course it does.  I knew she had an ear infection.  That’s why I wanted them all checked yesterday.  But she didn’t have an ear infection yesterday.  So I get to pay another $25 tomorrow to find out that yes she also has Tomato Ear and the doctor will call in antibiotics for her. 

I hate watching my kids be sick.  At least giving Gavin Ibuprofen every night has kept his airway open enough he hasn’t had croup.  Love that little trick.  It’s just not fair that little bodies have to feel sick.  I am exhausted though.  I haven’t had much more than 5 or 6 hours of sleep the last two nights and the first night it wasn’t even consecutive hours.  Tomorrow I get to wake up early to get lab work done and then have an early meeting at my house.  I was looking forward to sleeping in every day this long weekend and I get nothing.  Do you feel bad for me yet?  I haven’t even worked out.  Yesterday I was so tired I could puke and tomorrow I won’t have time.  Still no sympathy?  Man, tough crowd. 

Here’s hoping Tomato Ear doesn’t plague your children and you all have a lovely President’s Day.  Hopefully you or your spouse get the day off.  I love that Heath has the day off.  Our plans may keep changing but we’re loving every minute with our snuggly kids. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Cinderella Ate My Daughter

I found this book while searching online for princess books in my library.  It’s called Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture by Peggy Orenstein.  Apparently it’s a feminist’s view of our culture today and what it’s doing to girls.  The description sounds like it’s a very negative book.  I read through a lot of the reviews on Goodreads and everyone seems to love it.  I finally found one critical review.  The person said that while she agreed with most of the opinions in the book she felt like the author was writing about her experiences as a mother from the 70’s.  Interesting.  I kind of want to read this book even though I’m sure it will make me angry all the way through and I’ll finish and want to throw it at the wall. 

The reason why I was looking for princess books is because I’m throwing Gwen a princess themed birthday party.  I wanted to have some great picture books for the girls to look at while we recapped the stories so they understood the games inspired by certain princesses.  The description of this book alone makes me feel guilty for being such a cliché and having a princess themed party for my soon to be 3 year old. 

But you know me, I’m a go against the grain kind of girl.  I guess I want it all.  I want the girlie girl who is full of confidence and self worth and doesn’t give a flying fig what anyone else thinks of her and her interests.  So far I think that’s exactly who Gwen is.  One review of the book mentioned a part where the author’s daughter was teased for playing with trains.  Guess what!  Gwen loves trains and it was totally her idea.  My boys don’t have trains and really they couldn’t care less but somehow Gwen developed this obsession with trains.  So we got her a train set for her birthday last year.  She loves it.  Now her dad is getting into model railroading and is building a pretty elaborate set in the garage.  Gwen couldn’t be happier about it. 

I think what I find sad about the limited information I have of this scene in the book is that the author allowed her daughter to feel bad about playing with trains to the point that the girl stopped playing.  Come on!  An entire book freaking out about the pink brainwashing of girls and the evils of Disney princesses!  Let your daughter be who she is.  People probably think I’m raising a diva and forcing her to be girly.  So not true.  The only thing I forced her to do is get her hair done every day and I started that from day one.  She wore a headband until she had enough hair to do something with and as soon as she could sit up I was pulling her hair up into tiny pigtails.  Honestly, my friends wish they had done the same with their little girls because now hairstyling is a huge fight.  Gwen is used to getting her hair done and she’ll even sit for me to braid it. 

I bought Gwen one play dress when she was a year old and she loved it so much she wanted to wear it every day and she wants to wear skirts every day.  Nature vs. Nurture?  I think she came hardwired to be who she is.  She loves shopping, which I have developed a small taste for since she’s so fun to take with.  She loves to help me buy clothes and told me that one of my shirts was not pretty because it didn’t have flowers.  I bought it anyway because it looked good on me and while I value Gwen’s opinion, she’s 2. 

I value “vanity.”  I don’t think that people should be so vain they’re shallow.  I just think people should take care of themselves and look like they care.  Toddlers & Tiaras makes me sick and I imagine the bulk of this book’s diatribe is a generalization that all mothers of girls are the Toddlers & Tiaras type.  I think I need to get on the waiting list for this book because I need a good liberal feminist book to really get my brain going.  Who knows, my first impressions based on Goodreads reviews could be completely wrong.  It’s worth checking out to form my own opinion. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Growing Pains

I’ve come to expect what I like to call 8 year old potty humor.  Family movies nowadays are full of this type of low brow comedy.  TV shows aimed at kids are obnoxious.  They are always overacted but many times they are full of heavy sarcasm and the whole burp/fart/booger spectrum. 

My boys are really into Captain Underpants now.  It all started when I bought Gavin a couple of these books for Christmas last year.  He has them memorized he’s read them so much.  I was fine with the general storyline.  It’s about two friends who somehow hypnotized the school principal.  Every time someone snaps their fingers the principal strips down to his underwear, dons a cape, and grabs a toilet plunger so he can roam around the city as the super hero known as Captain Underpants.  It’s a stupid storyline but hey, it’s what kids this age are into right? 

I thought I was a cool mom being ok with the things young boys are into.  Soon a love of books turned into an obsession with a Captain Underpants website.  There’s nothing like sitting in Wendy’s eating lunch when suddenly Parker says as loud as possible,

“DAD!  DO YOU KNOW WHAT A WEDGIE IS?”

As you can imagine, we’re trying to shush him and downplay the whole situation,

“Keep your voice down son!  That is not an appropriate thing to be talking about ever, much less in public!”

Of course we’re interrupted but not the way you would think.  There was no couple giving us dirty looks then taking it upon themselves to voice their disgust with us and our children.  No.  What happened next surprised even me.  A Wendy’s employee in her early 20’s was wiping down the tables and overheard us.  Ok, everyone overheard us.  I’m surprised you didn’t hear this conversation too!  She looks up and says,

“Your parents are right.  Wedgies are bad.  My older brother and sister used to give me wedgies all the time.” 

She goes on and on describing how mean her siblings were and exactly what a wedgie is in case Parker was really asking and not just trying to share inappropriate knowledge with us.  I’m just sitting there staring at her like a deer in headlights.  Are you honestly talking to me and my family about this?  Can’t you tell I’m not ok with this!  Then she committed stranger suicide by saying,

“Make sure you have an even number of kids.  I hated being the youngest of three.  (to Gwen)  You watch out for those brothers of yours!  Odd numbers are just hard because someone is left out or ganged up on.” 

I held my cool.  I don’t think my face even turned red but what the what?  We’re done having kids, honey and if we did have four kids, three of them could still ostracize or gang up on one.  Keep your opinions to yourself and wipe tables somewhere else please. 

So thanks to these overt potty humor books and  the website that includes a juke box playing around 10 different songs, all three of my kids run around the house singing about Mr. Poopy Pants.  I am not making that up.  They randomly yell out, “Wedgie Power!”  and draw pictures of Captain Underpants on their school art projects. 

I have now become that mom.  The old fuddy duddy type who tells their kids to shut off the inane babble from the computer and to stop talking about Captain Underpants and singing about Mr. Poopy Pants! 

I am no longer cool.  And I really don’t care.  My kids used to be so cute and sweet until I sent them to school.  Now they say things I don’t think they should say out loud.  They refer to parts of their bodies in ways I don’t think innocent 5 year old boys should talk.  Ever. 

But get this.  For all my grumbling about the bad influences in school and their oblivious parents, it doesn’t matter.  Because I watched Sesame Street today with my kids and I was shocked.  The potty humor never ends does it.  An entire cartoon was devoted to classic 8 year old sarcasm and stinky armpits.  I am so not making that up!  First of all, the one character was lying to another.  He didn’t want the other character to know he had wings or something so he raised his arms.  Several seconds later he started to blow down and then a green trail of stench wafted towards the other character who said something like, “Take care of your B.O. somewhere else why don’tcha!”  Holy Moly.  Sesame Street.  You know the show that’s been teaching children how to read and count for over half a century?  It has now succumbed to the masses with 8 year old potty humor.  That’s exactly what I want my preschooler to watch. 

I give up.  I’m old fashioned and believe the media has made children rude and disrespectful.  So I plan to move to an Amish community and home school my children. 

Ok, I’m kidding.  They’re growing up and I can’t stop them.  I just hope it’s a phase that ends soon.  Although I know far too many adult men who love UHF and Monty Python.  It makes me want to scream that junior high is over!  Grow up already!  This cannot be the rest of my life.  Can it?  It can be exhausting unteaching all the crap my kids are picking up but I’m doing it because I am raising adults and not children. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sweet Dreams

Kids + Sleeping = Funny

The thought process of a child about to sleep has always interested me. 

IMG_0625 

This looks comfortable!  At least he’s still dressed. 

Gavin used to strip down during nap time and fall asleep naked.  Maybe his clothes were too cumbersome for sleep.  Maybe his dreams were better when he was in his birthday suit. 

002

Parker would fight sleep like crazy then fall asleep in the strangest places.  If he wasn’t asleep on the floor in front of the baby gate he was in Gavin’s bed.  Maybe Gavin’s bed was more comfortable.  Maybe Gavin showed up in his dreams better when Parker slept in Gavin’s bed. 

Gwen-snacks-and-bed-006

Gwen has always had her own room.  This makes her a terrible roommate in hotels.  She’s not used to sleeping in the same room as others.  Her big thing lately is to get up and play.  Maybe in her mind life is too short to waste on boring sleep.  I tend to agree with that theory since I’m such a night owl but I get uptight when I see her light on at 11:00 pm or later. 

One nice thing about lamps instead of overhead lights is that we can switch off her lamp.  She can play with the light switch all she wants but there won’t be any light in her room.  Oh the creative lengths parents will go to with stubborn children.  Gwen has found a way to foil this plan.  She gathers as many toys as she can to keep in her bed.  She has books, dolls, cars, pretend food in case she gets pretend hungry, you name it it’s in there.  Her very own toy menagerie.  The other morning I woke her up since I was carpooling.  She had her pink pearl necklace on.  I picked her up and a princess shoe fell on the floor.  The next night when I pulled up the covers I noticed the other princess shoe in her bed.  Maybe her dreams are fancy and require her best outfit. 

The boys used to stay up late giggling and talking and I miss finding them together in Gavin’s bed, the top bunk.  Sometimes they still stay up late giggling and talking but they stay in their own beds.  Sometimes they like to sleep on the floor in their sleeping bags.  Gwen loves to sleep on the floor too.  After her nap I will open her door to find that a toy hurricane came through.  Then I will see her pillow propped up against the wall with a blanket nearby.  The best was when she had her pillow as far into her closet as the dollhouse would allow.  Her head had come off the pillow in her sleep but the blanket stayed on.  She was sleeping on the closet door track.  Maybe that’s comfortable.  I’ve never tried it.  

My sister used to ask Gavin about his dreams.  He was too young to talk yet so he would babble a response to every question she asked.  Gwen believes the fairies in her room wait until she’s asleep to kiss her eyelids and give her pretty dreams.  Some mornings she’s mad that they never did.  I think that’s precious and funny. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Big But

“Everyone has a big but.  Let’s talk about your big but!”  Pee Wee Herman

That line is much funnier out loud.  Darn homonyms!  Anyway, I wanted to talk about my big but. 

I don’t give injections anymore but

I do poke my fingers every day with lancets

and every other day I let my husband poke me with a needle. 

The needle is actually quite small in length as well as circumference but

it’s going into my body where sometimes I don’t feel a thing and sometimes

I think it touches my spleen.

I used to poke myself with the medieval torture device but

like Mos Def in the Italian Job, I had a bad experience.  So we have a deal.  Heath keeps me alive while promising never to die himself. 

The approved sites for nefarious poking are fatty areas of the body like backs of arms, sides of thighs, stomach, and butt.

My thighs stopped working for me pretty early on with injections so I switched to my arms but

now that I wear a pump I don’t want to thread the tubing through my clothes and I don’t really want to bother with getting a different brand of pump without the tubing.  I’m lazy and set in my ways.  So

stomach it is but

I was getting tired of leftover marks all over my stomach that itch and look bad.  Funny!  Like I run around in belly baring clothing!  Anyway, I started to notice that my left side, the side I prefer to have my sites in since I prefer to wear my pump on my right hip, was bigger than the right side.  Can you say scar tissue? 

So one day I had this weird idea.  I was looking at my hips and thought hey, why not?  Heath poked my hip and it didn’t even hurt but

I started feeling pain with every bolus and by the last day it was really itching and hurting and I couldn’t wait to change the site.  It’s not attractive to scratch your abdomen but

it’s certainly cause for staring when you’re scratching your *ahem* behind.

Ok, so I wasn’t really scratching my derrière.  It was annoyingly painful though. 

Because I’m a glutton for punishment I let Heath poke the other hip.

And it hurt.  Like crazy.  Like worse than the three c-sections I’ve had including the staples that were left in too long after the last c-section that pinched really bad when the doctor pulled them out and I thought they were rusty it stung and pinched so much.  Worse than breaking my arm and back in the same day.  It hurt worse than anything I have ever felt and I wondered why I would allow anyone to do anything so mean to me but

Heath isn’t mean and he never wants to hurt me and he felt really bad about it. 

Today it doesn’t really hurt anymore but

I’m afraid that tomorrow it will start to itch and hurt again.  What if I’m allergic to insulin?  Maybe.  More likely I just have an aversion to having things poked in me that are meant to stay for 2-3 days at a time infusing insulin I may or may not be allergic to. 

That was fun.  Tell me about your big but!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Special Memories

The word special is a four letter word in my house.  Special has always meant ugly, fat, stupid, or just plain sad. 

“She is so special.” 

See the double meaning?  If any guy ever said the above sentence with reference to me my brother would guffaw, snort, and then get a little angry as he asked, “Does he even know you?”  Because any time I heard the word I would roll my eyes while saying, “I would rather be dead than special.” 

My brother was the only one who could ever give me birthday cards that said, “You’re so special!  Hope you have a really special day Tris  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . tan!”  It was a joke and he was the only one who could make that joke.  And I always wanted to hurt him a little when he broke up my name like that.  I don’t mind nicknames from most people but just freaking say the nickname already!  Don’t chicken out in the middle of it.  Of course he knew how much it bugged me so he kept doing it.  For years.  The love between siblings is complicated. 

More memories. 

My mom always made a big deal out of holidays.  Valentine’s Day was simple yet filled with love.  She would inject love into our morning routine with simple gestures like pink milk and heart shaped pancakes.  There was usually a little gift for each of us at the table.  She went out of her way to make the day a little extra nice for all of us.  I try to make things extra nice for my family but somehow my attempts often come out . . . special. 

This morning I remembered my mom and all her holiday efforts.  With stars in my eyes I asked my kids what they wanted for breakfast because today I was going to be the mom who makes breakfast.  They eat cold cereal so often Gwen actually thinks cereal and breakfast are interchangeable words.  I imagine my kids growing up and looking back on pancake memories with mixed emotions.  Fondness for the rare treat it was (I only make pancakes on days off from school or for dinner when Heath is out of town) and that nameless emotion that comes with specialness. 

life-is-a-cabernet-and-pancakes-008life-is-a-cabernet-and-pancakes-013life-is-a-cabernet-and-pancakes-015

It’s the thought that counts when it comes to my cooking. 

I gave up on the hearts after a while.  They looked like bloated amoebas and not much like hearts.  In the interest of time I made circles.  Lots and lots of circles that got more and more beautiful over time. 

life-is-a-cabernet-and-pancakes-010

I was rocking the circles. 

They got bigger and bigger each time but always a perfect circle.  No ovals.  No amoeba shapes.  Perfectly huge circle pancakes.  With splatters coming off one side as if it were a lovely balloon.  I was proud of my balloon pancakes with the apples and cinnamon added for an extra dose of I love you for my kids. 

My mom taught me how to cook and bake and somehow I just don’t care.  I suffer from extreme perfectionism until it comes to creating anything edible in the kitchen.  I don’t care.  I want to care but I don’t.  I burn boiled water.  I forget how long the eggs have been boiling.  I make amoeba pancakes.  I screw up boxed dinner instructions.  This is how I cook.  I’m not good at it and I don’t care.  I do make awesome scrambled eggs though.  Which I didn’t make this morning.  The pancakes were too much effort for this ditzy cook. 

The kids were excited about the pancakes.  They loved the pink milk.  I’m still a hero in their eyes!  They think I’m the best mom for acknowledging Valentine’s Day, a holiday I have always hated, by making them a “special” breakfast.  Yay me!  The memories of this morning are already taking shape in their little forgiving minds. 

Last night I made dinner.  It turned out so lovely.  Everything was cooked to perfection.  The homemade bread, the stuffed chicken, all of it was perfect.  How did I do it?  I basically focused long enough to heat everything up as instructed.  Heath made the bread and told me to put it in the oven when the timer went off and bake it for 15 minutes.  He also explained to me how to get focaccia bread off a peal onto a pizza stone to bake and then back onto the peal to remove from the oven.  I did it!  With no mishaps!  Then I warmed up the stuffed chicken.  All I had to do was get it to temperature.  It was precooked.  But I did it!  Heath and I were tag teaming at church yesterday.  I took the G’s to Sacrament Meeting while he stayed home with a sick Parker.  Then I came home, tagged him, and he went to the rest of church so he could teach his lesson to the Deacons.  While he was gone I cooked.  I know it’s amazing. 

Then breakfast this morning.  Seriously!  Parades should be thrown in my honor today.  Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.  What have you done to show your loved ones how much you care?