Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween on the 30th

Remember we were all themed as red riding hood. It had raining early so I went with the rain boots, it was a good idea, I hate getting my feet wet, and I step in lots of puddles. It helped the family from getting yelled at.
Just like in the story the (teen were)wolf got ahold of red riding hood.
Yes, we took the kids trick or treating.
And also stopped by the Auntie Kim's and Cindy's Halloween Party.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Preschool Halloween

On Thursday I was the co-op mom for preschool.  I thought I was super lucky, because that was the Halloween Party day.  The kids wore costumes for the whole class, and I knew the teachers were dressing up, so I let J dress me up.

I think it should be said I had no idea how much I would love preschool.  I love that J goes happily and has friends, and tells me about what they do, and comes home knowing new things and is happy to share them with me.  I love the things I'm not expecting him to do, and he has been taught in preschool.  Honestly I think school is so great.  I love the structure it provides the whole family, and the time Nan and I have alone.  Oh I love preschool.  I think thing its great to go into Preschool and see what they are doing, and see J excel, and see him intereact with other children.  I also love that have a nice friend who offered to watch Nan for me, and watches Nan during the morning, every other week.  She has a daughter a day younger than Nan, and these two girls are hysterical together, they are like little 14 years in a two year old bodies, one of which doesn't talk. I love how happy Nan is to go to her friend's house.Seriously, I love preschool.  I had thought long and hard for many years about my children in education, discussed with my husband since before we dated about educating future children, preschool is not something we entered into lightly, I spent months maybe years antagonizing over it, and in the end really felt  like preschool would be the best for this child this year.  I knew it was right, but I didn't know how much I would LOVE IT! Seriously, its love.
At the end of Preschool they had a program for parents.  I knew I would already be there, but I asked J if he wanted his dad to try and take some time off work to come see it.  He did, then I asked he wanted Dad to come alone or bring Nan.  He wanted her to come, he thought she would really like it.  He can be so sweet. Dad and Nan came right on time not early with video recorders like some of the parents, so when J saw them come in his face lit up it was so fun.
Can I just say I loved every minute of the program it was so darling.  Yes I'm officially a cheesy mom, but honestly it was so awesome.  Especially J sitting there in his ghost costume with his two bloody bullet wounds.  He says they are from a sword fight, but it look to me like that ghost met a .45.  Like I said in a previous post, he is a fairly talented preschool singer.  I loved it.
P.S. I said I found it difficult to work for the teacher, which I do, but I still love preschool, and I think she is great with the kids, she's just weird when it comes to adults.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Overwhelmed and Tired

  • Today I was pretty excited to get to help out in preschool today, but apparently I was stressed.  I kept waking up during dreams where my hands were dirty. What does that mean?
  • I always have bizarre dreams either the night after or the night before co-op.
  • I love my son in preschool far more than I could ever imagine I would, but seriously. I like going into preschool to see what is going on, see my child excel, and bizarrely enough be more socially active than a lot of the kids.  I think the teacher is great with the kids.  I had never thought about it before this post, but I feel like a 15 year old as a sterilization assistant at the ortho again, when the teacher is asking me to do something.  
  • At one point in my dreams, I was in my hallway between my bed and my master bath, just staring at my disgusting hands.  After all those dreams with my hands covered in mud or something, I'm tired.
  • I am my grandmother's daughter, and I get disappointed when plans change.  I like to know what the day has in store and have everything scheduled.  I thought I handled the changed well today when I was expecting to watch the Middle on Hulu, but instead I went to the discount camping store without whining.  I don't know why we go to the discount camping store, we never ever find what we are looking for, and we just find more things that I didn't know I wanted that I want to buy.
  • Then my husband went to study group tonight, he was hoping to come home in time to eat a late dinner, I don't think that is happening tonight.  Good thing he likes eating raw granola with cold milk at night.  Anyway, the whole reason this is being written is because I'm lonely and pining over my missing of my husband.
  • I have a lot of sewing projects I want to do, but instead nothing gets done, more and more preschool art projects get piled up around my sewing machine, and the ironing board is covered in SO much stuff! 
  • And the desktop of my computer is almost entirely covered in stuff, like seriously I only have three rows empty.  I was trying to consolidate yesterday and something went terribly wrong and it only got worse over the day.  I'm overwhelmed, but luckily preschool is over.
  • But oh, my computer and my crafts are falling apart, and I want to be reading my book, but I wish I had the abridged version its so long and wordy-- but it is helping.

Pumpkin Pumpkin Pumpkin Eater

We got pumpkins from Grandpa's garden, but then J got more pumpkins from his preschool teacher, so we ended up not carving Grandpa's because he said they weren't the best for jack o lantern, although they are much more beautiful shape than these. Now we have good jack o lanterns, and beautiful pumpkins to enjoy their perfect shape on our patio until christmas. (Not everyone took home a pumpkin from preschool, so I will admit I was a little surprised when J came home with a second pumpkin.)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I have never lived in a foreign country since I was two.  I have never lived in a third world country/developing nation.  I have never even spent more than 10 days outside of the US, since I was two.  But yet I find American extravagance overwhelming and disgusting all at the same time.

  • I absolutely hate trying to shop/find a store in a huge gigantic strip mall.  There is one in American Fork that stretches from one highway exit to the next.  Its disgusting, what in the world, why do we need so much stuff that we need to shop at so many dang stores?  
  • I shop at walmart quite regularly, mainly because its the closest store to my house, and because my favorite bread-- Nature's Pride Honey Wheat is two bucks cheaper than at my grocery store.  But we have a small walmart, its a supercenter but its at least 1/3 smaller than other walmarts if not more.  Which means when I go to other walmarts, I want to stand in the doorway and wonder where to go, except they all have the same floor plan so I don't get lost, but they are huge, why do we have such huge stores?!
  • Once we moved to Texas we lived in a fairly affluent area, most of the kids I went to elementary school with were "country club children".  On christmas morning I would always be pleased with my presents and be pleased for the the two weeks, well I was always pleased.  But once school started back up, I never joined in the conversations about what I got for presents, my parents spent a $100 or so, not $500-$1000.  Now its my turn to be a parent, and I have no desire to keep up with extravagance, even now I try to limit their presents, they get one toy from us (and stocking stuffers), but yet by the time the holiday is over they get so much stuff, I wonder why I even buy them a toy.  They get SOOO much!! 
  • We have lived in a house too big for us, and we have lived in cramped apartments.  I don't have a desire to buy a big american dream home.  I want a small modest home.

Wednesday Night-- Culinary Masterpieces

Our schedule is always changing, but currently, we say goodnight to daddy on Tuesday and the kids then see him on Thursday morning.  Except on the Wednesdays when they wake up early for breakfast and see him.  He goes straight from work to school. Which means Wednesday nights are culinary masterpieces for me, we cycle between hot dogs, fried eggs, and Campbell's Chicken Noodle soup.  The cycle is heavy on the hot dog side.  My son's favorite way to eat hot dogs is microwave octopus hot dogs.  Oh yes its only fancy in our house. (It might have been possible to take a grosser picture.)
The taste sensation is not my original idea, I got it in a church activity at my mom's house.  The kids love though, and encase you think it looks difficult I'll tell you the steps.

  1. Throw your frozen bag of hot dogs from your discount warehouse store on the floor until two break off the ice block.
  2. Wrap your two frozen hot dogs in paper towels and defrost two minutes.
  3. Cut four legs (8 is too much work) until about an inch to the top.
  4. Poke a bunch of fork holes in the head, because you live in fear the top of the hot dog will explode and then you will have to clean your microwave.  
  5. Cook full heat for another minute.
Yup, that easy and that disgusting. If your kids are lucky you'll over cook their hot dogs and the legs will really look crazy.  Disgusting enough to eat it at least weekly.  (I do not eat microwave hot dogs.) I cook myself more respectable adult food.  But I'm just grateful that Nan no longer eats two hot dogs for dinner, now its about a half, thank goodness.

This is such a fantastic blog post, that I would consider making this a series, all the culinary Wednesday night masterpieces, but... there are only two options.  Fried eggs which are pretty self explanatory, if you need help try googling it or calling your mom.  Campbell's Chicken Noodle soup the directions are on the can.  So atlas this is first and the last in this wonderful series.

Tea Party

My daughter absolutely loves the grinch doll all through fall and into winter, but the rest of they year she doesn't care. Today we had to dress grinchy in her jamies. Then she set up a tea party for him.
I gave them crackers for the snacks. She is very sweet, she puts it to his mouth to eat, then takes a bite for him, and puts it back on his plate half eaten. She is have a blast with her tea party with the table all arranged.
(I was asked to set up a table for Relief Society Activity-- a gratitude dinner in two weeks, and I was hoping not have to go buy decorations for the middle. I was exploring options when she decided that looked like the first date for her and grinchy. I have sabatier plates and bowls, but obviously I will bring some without a water stain on them.)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Voting Early

My husband and I voted early today.  I love voting early its so much more pleasant than voting day. In the beginning of the month I started researched my choices, spent weeks deciding one of them, so I was waiting in anticipation to go vote early. But even after research, I left plenty blank on the ballot, because I think its stupid that we vote for judges on whether or not to keep judges, and refuse to vote.  I also think it dumb that we vote for things like county sheriff, county auditor, county clerk, etc.  I think those should be appointed positions, but apparently not everyone agrees with my political opinions which is why we elect them.  My children accompanied us, and got their "I voted early" stickers.  When my son asked what we were doing, I said voting, and teaching you to do your civil duty.

Favorite Halloween Children's Books

We have three favorite Halloween Children's Books this season.
We found all of them in the library and all three of us, me and the two kids love them, and we read them night after night after night.

The kids favorite book is The Curious Demise of a Contrary CatThe Curious Demise of a Contrary Cat by Lynne Berry
They absolutely love this book, they want to read it night after night. The book is just the right amount of repetitive rhyme to really appeal to small kids, and make it bearable for parents to read night after night. I mostly like the illustrations, I but I'm not a fan of the cat's unibrow.  Other than the cat and the ugliness of the witch, I like the monochromatic of the book, but the cat makes me not want to buy the book. But I think we still might buy it so we have it next year, because the text is quite cute.

Ghosts in the House!Ghosts in the House! by Kazuno Kohara
We love this book, we got it two years ago at the library and read it repeatedly and then found it again this year and read it night after night. My daughter carries around the book, pointing out the little witch and her cat. I love the style Kohara illustrated the book, almost like engraved stamping. Since this is the second October we monopolized the book, we should definitely buy it.

My Monster Mama Loves Me SoMy Monster Mama Loves Me So by Laura Leuck
I will admit I like this book more than my four year old. Or at least more than he lets on, it a funny play on words through the whole book, about all the things a monster mama does for her child. Similar but different than what a human mom would do. I find it so cute, and my kids allow me to read it night after night, and giggle at some of the things monster mama does. I did buy this one, before we checked it out in the beginning of the month and didn't want to keep it all four weeks of October, but the other two we only got last week.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Baptisms are Fun

In my church we don't get baptized until we are at least 8.  In fact when I remember talking to my friend when I was 8 after I was recently baptized.  She was a devout Catholic, and her family went to church every Saturday evening. I was saying I had just got baptized, and she informed me she was baptized as a baby.  My little brother of course was tagging along, and so it turned out he was the only one not baptized. Other than watching her family get ready for church on Saturday evenings, this was the only time religion ever came up because this was New England.
On to the present time, one of my nephews was baptized on Friday night.  I took no pictures of the weekend because I'm lazy I guess.  Plus we don't take pictures of the ceremonies so it would have only been pictures of people talking.  I don't know, why I never bothered to pull out my camera. He had a big fat birthday party afterward with all his aunts, uncles, and cousins, so the kids definitely had fun.  But I'm sure all had fun, which is why I said Baptisms are fun.  Although maybe that's not quite the right way to say it.  Baptisms are significant, meaningful, religious.  J once again gave his go to talk, the one that started out in primary, and then he did it in the Primary program in front of everyone in church, and now he gave it in front of all his Paternal cousins, before the baptism.
The next day most stay around, to help with a fence building.  It all felt so pastoral, the men folk traveled from all around to help with the fence, the chicken wandered around in one of the gardens, the women watched the children and chatted while some cooked all morning.  Ok, it probably wasn't that idyllic, but one of the great things that was great was I realized my son was inside but my daughter was not.  I asked him where she was?  Then I glanced outside and she was playing with her newly aged eight year old cousin.  I love it, because cousins of all age play in my husband's family.  The older cousins are always nice to the younger cousins, and that is idyllic. Nan and this cousin played together for over an hour.  J is one of the last boys, there are four girls his age, at least another four younger than him, while there is only two boys younger than him, and they are 3 and 4 years younger then him.  But the older boy cousins who are all at least 3 years older than him, always let him tag along, so he doesn't have to suffer through a huge polly pocket fest.  Not to mention I always think its a good weekend when I spend it chatting with my sister in laws.

Friday, October 22, 2010

blogger has a ridiculous uploader part 2

Grammy in the canyon part 2, or better known as blogger keeps screwing up their photo uploader a little more each time they schedule a maintenance for it, so I can't figure out how to get multiple pictures in the same post, so I resorted to four picture only post through picasa. 
Yeah that's a long title.  
I also can't figure out how to get my blog back to the original uploader.  I checked all the settings, and couldn't find it.  So I'll be honestly partly user error, mostly stupid blogger.  Are you hearing this blogger, or do I need to tweet it?
One day I'll switch to wordpress, I'm just not... something, updated enough.  I don't know.  I know, about Bloggers templates are hardly perfect they are what I have been use to for three years, and I don't like any of of wordpress's free templates. I don't really want to pay, I also don't really want to try to write my own template.
Anyway, part two of the pictures.

The women folk.

My husband playing around on his camera.
Cute almost two year old. Almost a full head of hair.
My family, unfortunately Brent has caught the hammond problem of closing his eyes in all pictures, or at least in all pictures we took with all four of us.

We took Grammy into the Canyon

Grammy likes mountains and colored leaves so we took her into the canyon.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hooray he is singing!

My little boy use to always sing, then by February of this year he stopped.  I was worried, shocked, dismayed, everything below and above. He sang church songs, nursery rhyme songs, and his own melodies.  I tried to teach him songs to get him back on track, but he refused.  I stopped pushing, let it slide, instead worked on memorizing things this year (three scriptures, two talks, and a few little cutesy phrases). Then lately,  I noticed a return of his own melodies. I was pleasantly surprised. But I haven't commented, I didn't want him embarrassed and to stop.
But today during my co-op day at preschool I figured out why.  HE SINGS!  He sings all the songs, loud and clear, he does the actions, he smiles.  Yea, thank goodness for preschool, thank you Ms. Patti.  He is one of the better singers if you will allow me to brag.  (Not musically, just enthusastically.)
I'm so relieved to know its not him, its our primary.  Its ok I'll forgive you Primary, we are a lay ministry after all, you try, but you aren't succeeding, by the fact that no one under six sings. I'm so relieved, you have no idea how I've worried over the last 10 months, why my little boy who loved to sing stopped. He tells me the songs are too fast at primary.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Speaking of Nan

No offense to any of you out there with a perfect child, but you all make me feel like crap. I know I know, you aren't trying to say that at all.  I know, I know the miracle of perfect children, my first was one, he never cried.
So the point is I have had a perfect child, but I hate to hear about other perfect children, because it makes my inner ego scream, what the heck is wrong with you?  What have you done that makes number two hard to manage?  Yes, I know all of this has no effect on me, but who out there watches the Middle on ABC? Come on maybe if I wasn't a lazy parent my kids would be better, then at the end of the 30 minutes, I realize its not me, its the kids.  Yes, I relate to Frankie.
I have one and only sister remember, in my vast amount of immediate relatives, all of which I love, but only one sister.  She has a perfect second child, and when we talk, I'm almost jealous, but not really, because I love my sister and my nieces, and my daughter, and everyone is who they are, and so we all endure.  Right?  I can't actually have jealously in my heart when I think about our small group of females who share the same maternal grandma.  My sister can talk about her second perfect child, because she understands all that.
I remember when my son was a baby, people would ask me if he was a good baby.  He was, and I said yes.  But inside the question bothered me, why does not crying mean good?  I think my daughter is plenty great, but she would hardly fit the definition of what the people were asking. I asked my mom about it.  I said what do you answer if your baby is hard to handle.  She said, she's a lot of work, but we love her anyway.
Anyway, who knew that would be prophetic.
So speaking of Nan...
On Sunday my visiting teachers (two women in my church congregation who are assigned to me visit me and share a religious thought, but mostly just listen to me jabber) were over.  Both are married, but neither of them have children, they seem genuinely interested in my children, intrigued and in awe. So when one of them mentioned Nan I wasn't offended. She said, I noticed when we were singing in the choir, your daughter was so happy. Normally when you see her at church, she is .... well.. seems not very happy, she doesn't seem to enjoy church.  But she was so happy to see you sing in the choir, I've never seen her so happy at church.  Oh it made me laugh to hear that.
I love my daughter, but sometimes wonder if Brent and I are weak sauce, or just whiners, or maybe imagining things.  Are we lazy parents like Frankie and Mike? But thank goodness, for visiting teaching, I will not remember I single thing they said last Sunday as time passes, other than someone else notices that Nan is rarely happy at church. It would have been impossible for me to be offended by what she said, she said it with no projection on me.  It was just relief I felt.
That is the problem with perfect babies, I feel like they are every where.  Everyone in the blogsphere, has a perfect baby but me! Everyone is so blessed but me.  Yes, I know that is not the way blessings work.  I guess I'll just have to remember that next time someone is wondering why they don't have financial blessings, or when someone is wondering why they don't have a boy and a girl.  Or when they don't have whatever they are wishing for.
 But just let just tell you I'm so happy to meet someone who didn't have an easy going baby. Which is why Sister Muse at church might always be immortalized in my mind.  She was the woman who said to me, that sounds exactly like my second child, my first daughter.  There comes a time when you just have to say it not colic anymore, because they aren't growing out of it.  If I would have had anymore as hard as her, I would have never made it to seven. Oh yes, I love her so much for that comment, almost enough to name another baby after her, but only because her first name is one of my very favorite names.
One day my daughter might read all these posts and feel bad.  I will have no good answer for her when she asks why?  Other then, you drove me batty, you would sit on the ground playing with your toys just whining. You would wander around the house whining, you would eat dinner whining, you would suck your thumb whining.  I don't even understand how that was possible.  There was nothing we could do get you to stop that noise, it drove us all nuts.  But even with that, I love you more than you'll know, so much that I couldn't even go more than a few hours kissing your cheek.  The noises were hardly perfect, but you are the miracle of Nan.

Farmer's Market

I just realized I haven't posted on here since Saturday. (Sometimes I think I might be outgrowing this blog, and only up keep my crafts.) Anyway, on Saturday we went to the Farmer's Market while Grammy was in town. J has been talking non stop about his preschool farmers market, they have set up in one corner of the room.  He buys stuff there everyday, but as far as I can tell the rest of the kids stopped after the first day. One day he came home with a caramel, and a fake mini pumpkin decoration, another day he had a caramel and real orange. Anyway, I wanted to show him a real farmer's market, since he loves the preschool farmer's market.  That is always what he calls it, the preschool farmer's market.  Unfortunately we didn't buy any produce, so he might have been lost in the whole experience, and it was the last Saturday for the year. But Grammy came through and bought him a balloon, while being the cheapskate that I am try to convince him to wait until we saw Aunt Melissa next. (I'm always amazed that he can keep track of his 60+ immediate relatives.)
We went to the farmer's market after the dinosaur museum, so he asked the clown for a t rex. His exhaustion after the museum might have also contributed to his being lost on the experience of the farmer's market.
Grammy also bought Nan a fairy costume at the arts and craft fair part of the farmer's market.  You think I would have used this for Halloween, instead of spending Monday making a little red riding hood costume, but I have plenty of years that this girly girl will want to wear a fairy costume, I'm going with what I want. She'll wear it for a few minutes, then get mad at the wings, and throw a fit, I'm glad to see it doesn't change her personality, because we love her and why would we want her any other way? She is darling though, and loves the wand.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Halloween Change of Mind

Its that time of year again.  Two months ago I decided on my children's Halloween costumes.  But its only two weeks away so its perfect timing, to follow tradition and change my mind.
But as in interjection, I have decided if will keep making my children costumes as long as they want me to, knowing it is inevitable, that they will want me to quit before I'm ready.  But if J wants to be spider-man or some other commercialization, than I will buy a polyester costume next year. This is a huge step for me.  One reason I'm now ok, is I realize just because we buy a costume one year, doesn't mean we won't make on the next.
Back to changing my mind...
 While I was discussing halloween with my mom, I realize more than wanting my children to match, I want Nan to be Red Riding Hood.  As a mom I only have two maybe three years of picking their costumes.  One year is already done, I decided to save myself, by not really making a costume. She was a cute cat though, with a black sock for a tail, if you closely you can see it behind her.  (I know its blurry, you try getting a tactile 10 month old to keep cat ears on.)
So that quite possibly leaves only this year.  I decided I would rather my daughter be red riding hood than match with her brother.  (Next year we have pink cowboy boots, so that year is taken, and by the time she is almost four I definitely don't get to pick.)  Anyway, so this year I have a ghost, and a soon to be red riding hood.  We even got a handme down dress the other day that will be perfect under the cape. If we go to a Halloween party, I'll dress up as an old lady, my husband a wolf, and our lonesome ghost child. The rest of us will be matching, and that works too.  The ghost of the old lady maybe? But then again, if we don't go to a party we won't dress up, other than our children of course.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Another Happy Book

On my way to check out children books at the library I grabbed, Happy: Simple Steps to Get the Most out of Life, by Ian K. Smith, MD. it was on display.  It had some good advice but it was a typical Positive Psychology book.  Since positive psychology is a new-ish field, I guess there is only so many sources quote, because I had read most of the quotes in other positive psychology books.
This blog post is very fragmented and reads like notes in a spiral.

I liked chapter 2 the best, "Play to Your Strengths" Do you know the difference between strengths and talents? Strengths are moral traits, and talents are natural abilities.  The people that are reported to be the happiest, know the their strengths, and try to improve them.  Or something to all this, I'm might have paraphrased wrong.
There are six universal virtues: wisdom, courage, humanity (love), justice, temperance (moderation in action, thought, or feeling) and transcendence.
So feel free to skip the rest, I'm now going to identified my virtues.
Love of learning, (B) "your learning is not incentivize by any external reward it will bring, rather, you enjoy learning for the sake of learning
Judgement/critical thinking/open-mindedness (b)
Deliberate thinker, doesn't run into judgement.  Take your time to think things through.  Examine issues from all sides, weight being you make decisions.  You do not lock into a unchangeable position.
Ingenuity/originality, you rarely settle for doing things the conventional way
Perspective, (b) You are sought after by other who want your experience to help them solve problems and gain perspective
social intelligence/emotional intelligence, you possess a good understanding of yourself and others
good at judging moods, temperament and intentions appropriately.  you are in touch with you feelings and can find others.

Perseverance, you finish what you start, you do what you say you're going to do. You are determined to reach your goals, but you're reasonable and don't let them turn into blinding obsessions.  You are flexible, realistic, and ambitious

humanity and love
kindness and generosity, you are kind an generous, giving you good deeds give you pleasure and joy.  You realizes others need respect, you believe others have worth
loving and allowing oneself to be loved,
high value on close relationships

you are a reliable teammate, who functions very well in a group.  You carry your own load.

you are a good organizer, make sure plans are carried out, you keep good rlations being members while being a leader

you look before you leap (you avoid saying or doing things that you might regret)  You carefully consider before taking actions, you are able to look ahead by risiting impulses for the sake of longer term success
humility and modesty
you don't seek or want the spotlight.  you don't see yourself as special

hope, you have a positive outlook, and expect good things to happen, you think the best is yet to come, and work towards it.  You lead a goal directed life with focus on the future
appreciation of beauty and excellence, you take time to appreciate and enjoy the good things in life, you appreciate beauty and skill in various spheres in life whether spots
playfulness humor you enjoy a good laugh, you don't take yourself or life too seriously.
energetic, spirited, and passionate,
sense of purpose/faith
You strongly believe in higher purpose, you are aware of your position in the world and in the larger scheme of things.

identify five greatest strengths

"Unfortunately, many people misunderstand optimism.  The think that someone who is optimistic is always happy and never discourage.  That is simply not the case. ... Optimists tend to explain positive events as having happened because of them, not because of some random outside force. ... Conversely, optimists don't see negative events as being due to their own behavior or decision make.  In fact, they see negative events as not being their fault and as isolated occurrence. (61)"

Optimist- "Describe good events as permanent, they are responsible and predictors of more good events.  Bad events are temporary, outside their control and unlike to happen again."

Pessimists describe good events as temporary out their control, etc, bad events are permanent and predictors of more, etc. p76

What I found interesting is as humans we are hard wired to be optimists, we have an optimism bias, we think are going to live longer than life expectancy, not get divorce, win the lottery, etc.

"The happiest people are fearless dreamers" 125 That explains why Brent is rarely sad or depressed. I am not a fearless dreamer.

"Americans live to work, while we work to live" 142

Concept of "flow", " as a the mental state of operations achieved when a person is fully engaged in what he or she is doing; it is a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity that is being undertaken.  Flow is the "optimal experience" 162

"Flow is all about surrendering to the moment. It is the opposite of multitasking, where you efforts and concentration are divided. The single-tasking during flow increases your level of productivity and allows you to reach your goals.  Flow feels so good that it becomes addictive." 169
The times I really love being a mom to my kids and running my household (as Austen movies say) is when I experience flow through out the day.

Loving Preschool

On Tuesday when I came to pick up my son for preschool, he said he had a picture to take home, it wasn't in his cubby, so I went to ask a teacher.  It wasn't ready yet, but instead he showed me all the other stuff around the classroom.  He was very excited to show me the Preschool Farmer's Market.
Yesterday when I picked him up he had a bag, and said we got to buy stuff at the farmers market.  He bought  bread in the shape and color of a pumpkin, a grape and a caramel.  I was slightly confused, a grape?  I asked if everyone got pumpkin bread?  No, only one other kid. What did the other kids buy?  I don't know I don't remember.  When we got home I looked in the bag, indeed he got pumpkin bread (tastes like white), one grape, and a caramel.  One  real grape with one 25 cent sticker.  Got to love four year olds, I have no idea if it was his doing or someone else.  They crack me up.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Alice in Wonderland

I thought my daughter looked like Alice on Sunday.
Isn't she so sweet looking?
But sometimes its so rough being so big, she needs a shrinking cookie I guess.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I'm back.  That's what I thought about when I cleaned up after dinner.  I'm back, recently I have a great interested in crafts and creating things and such.  All of sudden I realized, I've recovered from my busy summer.  All through September, I thought please don't make me craft, I'm so tired I just want to read and watch TV.  My summer was long and busy, and good, but boy after my family reunion and my brother's wedding, I was just tired! Its good not to be there in the tired anymore. Not to mention my husband and I kept so busy camping all summer how could I get rested?
Then I strep, then I had stomach flu.  Goodness sakes, I rarely get sick, then two big doozies only weeks apart. (I mean I've never had strep before, and stomach flu, second time in ten years.) I never blogged about the flu, it was terrible, but we've had it before, so it wasn't terrible.  I'm not nursing, so I actually have an immune system for myself, so it was nice to recover timely.  My husband didn't throw up, thank goodness, but did sleep for 12 hours once the other three of us got better.  I lost something like seven pounds (I can't remember the exact number) while I was sick.  In case you haven't seen me I don't have seven pounds to lose, my husband was quite concerned.  It would be so nice if I could double twice that back, then we wouldn't have to be concerned.  In high school my mom use to make me protein shakes, I weighed more in high school, than I have been married (except pregnancy), I know this sounds fabulous to all you out there.  But my husband and I don't see it that way, hopefully health not vanity is the reason people want to lose weight, and so if we are going by health, definitely after the stomach flu I'm not at a healthy weight.  This summer I finally decided to accept my size, and buy pants in my size.  I honestly didn't own shorts that fit without a belt.  I've slowly been getting rid of pants that don't fit, so finally this year will be the year, that I'll reach my idea size now that I have no jeans that fit it.  Ha ha, that would be the best.
This post has gotten way off topic, all things just floating in my head, that I only dream of posting late at night or early in the morning.  So finally the world can know my drifting off to bed thoughts, or in the shower pondering.  Yes, this is only the top of the barrel.  By the way, my husband has encouraged me to start drinking the protein shakes again, in hopes of idea healthy, right?  Who knows, but maybe they did help the stomach flu a bit, maybe I would have lost more weight without them. I didn't take them while I was sick.
Oh one last thought, women often say to me, oh if I was your size I would eat another brownie, I bet you can eat lots of sweets and just stay thin.  I rarely respond other than an awkward smile, I've found people don't really want a response to that anyway.  Either way they are disappointed.  I will admit I love sweets, but I don't eat much, sugar makes me ill.  Ill enough that for years, my husband always told me to stop eating dessert, if ever got seconds, because he knew I would inevitably end up in bed whining about my discomfort. He no longer has to say no, he's already the voice inside my head.  Bizarrely enough, I had more self control in high school.  But maybe my aversion to sugar is the reason I'm thin, but most likely its genetics.  But yes, I eat more sugar than a chronic dieter, but less than others.  I monitor my intake, I think if I eat instant flavored oatmeal this morning, then I can't have a cookie after lunch.  Years I ago I stopped eating crappy bright colored cereal, because it just wasn't worth the sugar intake.  I think,  hmm, juice, will the juice contribute to the sugar in my belly?  And assuming the kids aren't driving me up the wall, I think no, I don't want to eat that now, I want to eat ice cream after they are in bed.  Except when they are driving me crazy, then I sneak candy hoping my daughter won't smell it, feeling guilty, wondering if this will be the 5 grams of sugar that push me over the edge to wallowing in my bed tonight.  Actually that's not true, I've been an adult for a few years now, so I rarely wallow in pain, because I know what my level of intake is, and what I my body can deal with, but I live in fear of that pain.  Although I usually get a headache from the sugar before the sickness hits, at least at this point in my life.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


I am not a homeowner, but I've spent plenty of time looking at RSL listings, (which is repetitive L stands for listing.) I am glad I'm not a homeowner yet, for various reasons that change almost every time we start looking to buy. Right now I'm not ready to settle down, but soon, I'm sure for one my son is now in school and needs some stability. Everything has its seasons, and this season is not homeownership..
I do have dreams of houses, wouldn't it be nice if my kids had a driveway to learn how to pedal their bike on?  Wouldn't it be nice if they had a backyard with shade to play in. And most of all it would be awesome to have a play house. But none of those dreams are synonymous with ownership, I could rent and get all that, luckily. I know there are places in the US where there isn't really a rental market, but I appreciate that there is here, and that I can rent in a complex and not worry about my neighbors, and my kids have other kids to play with.
I'm super behind in my Time magazines, and I just barely read the article on homeownership.  Nothing new there, I read articles about it all the time.  Like I said my husband and I have been looking at RSLs together since before we were dating. RSL are light reading for my husband. Sometimes I'm able to remain rational, and think of homeownership as an investment, because that is what it is. Still often it becomes emotional, I can imagine the play kitchen we will built, or the yard we will relax in. Those updated bathrooms and kitchens, boy do they get my heart racing. But once again those are not reasons for homeownership.
I recently read, to say 'buying a home is only an investment and shouldn't be emotional' is stupid.  Its a house its where you will live it is emotional.  Ok, I see her point, but I feel middle ground.  Its investment, I don't want to pay rent forever, rent always increases, eventually if you are wise and frugal, your mortage can be nice and stagnant even with repairs and such.  But at the same time it is emtional, I want to buy in a neighbor that is safe and has other kids, and that looks nice, and has green grass and tall trees. Yes, a house is an investment, LONG term investment.  But it is also emotional.  But financial soundness should come before emotion, at least in my opinion.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Conference Baskets

Last weekend, I made my kids conference baskets, I got the idea from this blog-- Creative Holiday Gift Ideas.

As I was going through old blog posts the other day to make a blog book, I read a post saying, "I loved general conference as a child, it meant I didn't have to sit through sacrament meeting, I got to eat through the whole thing, and play with toys, while my parents said shh. I really have few memories other than my teenage brothers using my coloring books to pass the time." The point is, I don't expect my children to like General Conference for the Spiritual Insights for a decade or two, but I would like them to watch a session each day of conference during each semi annual experience. I would like them to be excited for the change in routine, so I figure what better way than games and treats?!  Which is why I couldn't resist making conference baskets.  I printed off a conference packet from Sugardoodle for each kid.  Got them crackers, and treats, and cups of water, scissors, crayons, pencils, and pez.  What more could I child want/need? (The point was they wouldn't bother me because they already had drinks and such.) Nan specially picked out a "duck" pez, Daisy Duck, she has never had her own pez dispenser, but J has a few, and she was so thrilled with the girl "duck", she said duck every time she saw it. They were both excited to use the toys and games in their baskets, and sat there quietly playing while conference was on TV in the same room. Then I put the baskets away until the next session. It was everything I could hope for as a mother of a almost two year old, and a four and half year old.  We all pointed out when the prophet was on. I deem it as a successful conference.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sunday Thoughts on College

I forgot to post this, I wrote it back in August
A week and half ago, I was reading The Ensign-- its a good sabbath activity. I came across an article by Elder Packer, in fact it was the cover story.  Just as a side note, the day I saw him speak in person, was the first day I met future in laws, although at the time I wasn't romantically interested in their son, I was just looking for a ride back to college. Actually this antidote provides a good a lead to the point of my post.  In his article, he says,
 My college life began just after World War II had ended. Most of the men in our class were recently returned from military service. We were, by and large, more mature than college students of today. We had been through the war and carried with us many memories. Some of them we held on to; others we were glad to have fade away. We were more serious and did not enter into fun and games as much as students do today. We wanted to get on with our lives and knew that education was the key.
When I read that paragraph I breathed a sign of relief, so much relief I had to share it with my husband.  Which some of you may find bizarre, there is no great spiritual point in just that paragraph alone.  But before I get started let me just say, I am not claiming to be have more mature than the average college student, if anything I was immature, maybe that was my problem.  I know my future husband found me immature for most of that year, but at the same time I found him impertinent, so I guess life is fair. But I digress.
I was told repeatedly how awesome college was by adults in my life and so much so I found college disappointing.  I moved far away from home, found the culture shock- shocking, and thought most people were rude. I had no problem meeting people, I put myself out there, I went to all sorts of functions, church functions (ward and stake), Institute, university, pretty much anything I could find other than the drinking parties at the Frat houses.  I had declined those invitations in high school, so I definitely didn't look for any in college. But overall, I did not find college fun, sure I found friends, and we had fun times, but I would hardly classify college as fun. But college is a rite of passage right?  The university the end all be all, I always secretly wondered what was wrong with me.  I did enjoy my education, I love my classes once I got pass level 1.  But college was not fun, but then a few years after I graduated, a week and half ago, I read, Elder Packer's words, "We were more serious and did not enter into fun and games as much as students do today."  Apparently there is nothing wrong with me to think college was not 'fun and games'. I enter college with a strict 8 year plan, between undergrad, mission, and higher degree.  I knew exact what I was planning to study, and where my life was going.  I will admit I found it a struggle when some of my friends had no problem failing all their classes, they assumed they could redo them.  I'm also pretty sure I did homework first before play, so maybe I just wasn't fun. It quickly became aware to me, that I did not want to loaf around in college, I wanted to get what needed to be done work as quickly as I was able, and get on with life.  I believe I did that, and I've always had a ting of regret that my husband graduated in three and half years while it took me four, but in my defensive I had a baby, without the baby I could have totally beat him. But pride aside, President Packer's talk on the Tree of Life, in the August 2010 Ensign, was good.
P.S. Also I'm introvert, so I don't find large groups of people as fun as other people do. I did have fun in college, I just didn't find college the end all be all of my life of fun.  I've had way more fun since college than during. My eight year plan didn't go anything like I planned.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Super Mom

Do I look like super mom? Because I am?
Ever since my second pregnancy, I get queasy very easily. I can't look at other people's blood, or other skin maladies. But yet, I am super mom. I can watch my child repeatedly barf all day without one stomach churn. Yes, I think I'm amazing. I can care and clean up my children's blood but none other, barely even my own.  But somehow I can care for my kids. But now as I type this I feel... funny, I hope I didn't catch what they have.

Monday, October 4, 2010


If my photo drive was hooked up to the computer, I would post a super cute picture of J and his friend.  But just pretend you can see it.  J's friend's mom is the Resident Manager, I guess was.  She was just laid off. Her husband told us a few more details than the notice on our door.  But needless to say we felt awful.  The father has health problems, and this is the family's only job.  I feel terrible for their kids who have to abruptly move. As we ate dinner, the boys shared giggles blissfully unaware of the eminent separation, while Brent and I shared discouraged worried silent looks. After the initial shock, I thought about the repeated messaged shared yesterday, there is no need to judge.  We don't know the whole story, so why judge?  It is not first time we have gotten a termination notice on our door about an employee of our rental agency.  Last time I heard some gossip, and I now all I can think is, who am I to judge?  I don't have the whole story.  Whether I do or not, each person is someone's son, someone's brother, someone's mother, daughter, sister, friend.  Whether they actually did something wrong or not, there are people out there who love them and don't want people talking about them, they just want to move on with life.  I fail miserably but I want to live by the quote President Monson shared from Mother Teresa, "If you judge people, you have no time to love them."
Brent and I move so much, we label different rentals by the lessons learned, and experience lived.  Here I feel like I'm in a refiners fire to learn Charity.  Charity is not always the easiest lesson learned, I'll tell you the truth, I not someone that naturally experiences charity.  I often question people's choices, and get frustrated, but I'm working at it.  And when I have looked at the soul of a person, I have been blessed to the goodness of souls.
Finally, I feel bad that J has yet another friend moving, but I feel worse for two kids moving.  Especially because they have connected with Primary teachers here, and have been blessed with gospel in walking distance.
At the sake of sounding like an annoying optimist, I will say, the blessing for them, is being surrounded by friends that love them tonight.  Many people have been coming up to her all evening, carrying a look of sadness.

Friday, October 1, 2010


I feel like I haven't been around much.  I have been around, just not blogging around.  I'm not sure what to post about these days, blogging has changed.  I no longer post about the things I posted about three years ago.  I also don't want just a mommy blog with just pictures of our day trips, which is what this is turning into.  I'm not so successful at posting my intermittent ramblings, because I can't get the coherent.  I have about 10 drafts of yadda yaddas that make no sense, or probably to personal to post on a blog.  Maybe not too personal, but I feel like I can see a cross roads in my future, and so I should be preparing which way to take, but yet I can't see what the intersection says so how can I prepare?  Not to mention maybe I'm growing up, I don't feel informed enough to post the way I did three years ago on my opinions, I'm either out of practice since I've been out of school so much or I've grown up and know I don't have all the answers, and I'm too tried to try to research them and try to find them.  Maybe I'm just enjoying Nan more, so I don't have time to type.
I'm missing my son, he is outside paying with his friends all day everyday, I never make cookies or cupcakes anymore because he isn't around to help me.  Sad, I guess children must grow up.  Although I understand children must grow up he is only 4.  I get frustrated sometimes, I feel like we need meaningful family time to teach and learn together, and he just rolls on the floor the house time whining because he wants to go play with his friends.  Now I'm sure that is normal for most four year olds, but he use to want to participate with us as a family.  Maybe that's why we camp so much so we have something to occupies our son during our family time.
Did I mention he cries because we make him eat dinner with us as a family, he wants to eat outside with his friends.  I tell him its tough to have a mommy and daddy that want to spend time with you.  I knew I was justified in that, but then I just reread Elder Hales's talk from last conference, his mom did the same thing, but not quite a spiteful comment.

Birthday Hike

Last week a girl we know invited our family to a breakfast she and her family was doing for a few families in the canyon on a Saturday morning. Brent said if we were going up there for breakfast we would go up the night before.  It was quite opportune, because we have wanted some where close to home.  By the time we got out of the car it hadn't even been 30 minutes.   
All the canyons close by are watershed, so you can't car camp.  Which is part of the reason I wanted to start backpacking as a family, so we could go on short Friday night trips. It was perfect where we found.
This is the hike we found.  We didn't plan ahead at all.
Hooray for four year olds who can take digital pictures.  Nan is here to prove, you can never look too fabulous to go camping.  She is high class in her halloween outfit.
J is such the hiking boy, and such a trooper.
We are slowly building up weight.  His pack is getting fuller, and he doesn't complain.  While Brent and I are getting better and decreasing our weight.  I didn't even feel like I was wearing a backpack, maybe a daypack.  On the way out I held Nan which is an extra 20 pounds, and didn't feel it at all.
Since it was September and we were in the mountains it chilled off quickly, and the kids were not happy.  Especially not J because he was wet from playing in the river.
But she did love her purple puffy coat, apparently she has missed the style this summer.
We put him in his jammies and I held them both, building up our body heat while Brent cooked our dinner.  Our second dinner we ate before we left no need to bring more weight.
In the morning Nan wanted to cuddle with her daddy, she loves to cuddle with him while we are camping.  Ha ha, she somethings crawls out of her sleeping bag at night and gets cold and throws a fit while I sleep and Brent shoves her in his bag. That night she didn't, she just cuddle in the morning.