Monday, December 27, 2010

Innocuous Post About our Merriness

Ackk! I am as behind in updating this blog as I was in hitting puberty.
TMI, I know. But what are blogs for?
Okay, here's the run down in reverse order:

We wish you a Merry Christmas.

We wish that when we went skiing for the first time with the girls it wasn't a blizzard. We made it two runs, the girls loved the lift and the hot chocolate and cookies afterward. After our second run, as the wind whipped snow into her face Kenzie said, wailing, "I hate this! I hate this. I want to go in." Hannah sang like Ariel the whole time while skiing in between my legs. She said, "I've never been skiing before! I like skiing!" 

We wish for a trampoline to practice back handsprings on. Kenzie and Hannah worked all summer to earn a trampoline by doing chores and being kind and listening. They earned over 300 marbles to get a trampoline. We were so proud of them and planned to wait and buy one in the Spring, but our friends, Bri and Cindy gave us one that was on the way to the DI. Hooray! 

We wish to deck the halls with way too many Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving!

We wish for a bottle holder and strong neck muscles. 

We wish for good times with cousins making apple marshmallow turkeys. Thanksgiving day we were going to run a 5k, but it was cancelled because of the TERRIBLE HORRIBLE NO GOOD storm (that wasn't). So Summer and I went to a step class (not on purpose, we meant to go to a spin class but the bikes were full), and Mike played football with his friends. Later that day we made turkeys with the kids and then headed over to my Aunt Susan's for a delicious dinner. Fab-u-lous.

We wish we owned a house in St. George so we could travel there all the time. At the beginning of Nov. we went back to St. George for a race that Shae and I wanted to do. It was a really fun 5K and a great trip. Afterward we went to Zion and it was gorgeous! I'm going to do a slideshow of it, but my blogging skills are not awesome right now, so I'll probably get that up in about February. 

We're pretty tough, huh?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

October isn't over yet

I finally put all the Halloween decorations away so now it's time to finish up our October happenings.

We went on a really fun trip in October over fall break. We rented a condo in the Sports Am complex with some friends and went down to St. George. We took our bikes and scooters and had a great time swimming, playing at an awesome playground, watching movies, eating good food, biking and being with friends. (Matt and Cristina, Kristin and Mark, Dunk, Eli, Mitch and Caroline and all the kids)

We didn't get to ride together but both Mike and I got in a good mountain bike ride on the Bear Claw Poppy trail. I love that trail. It is perfect for adjusting to different levels of biking. If you're awesome you can ride the Fingers of Death, if you're not so awesome, you can ride the Knuckles of Head Trauma. (okay, there's not really a part called the Knuckles of Head Trauma, but that's what I'm naming my next blog.) It's challenging, but not too challenging and you can amp it up or turn it down depending on your preference. Mike also got to go on another ride, but he can't remember what it's called.

I like to delude myself into thinking that someday the girls will enjoy doing this sort of thing too. That we will all hop onto our mountain bikes and head off for a fun ride on the trails. Then I seen them shuffling around in high heels and telling me how tired they are from walking to the mailbox and my hopes are dashed.

Cristina, Kristin and I had a great time riding.  I even rode over a huge tarantula! (I didn't squash it, I just pedaled over it and then stopped in fear about 10 feet away to gawk at it, wondering how far it could jump.)

We were having so much fun that I forgot to take pictures. I have pictures of the kids watching TV. Which they really didn't do too much of, but that's about the only time they sat still long enough for a picture. We swam a lot and I wish I had some pictures of Kenzie and Rusti playing "Fetch" with Dunk or shark. Oh well. Good times.

Why is Hannah licking her bear? I'm not sure, but I like to imagine her thoughts at this moment. 

The laptops and "what-the-heck-are-they-talking-about" conversations are inevitable when these three get together.

Naptime for Lilly and Ellie

And that's all I've got for pictures. It was really a good time. We hope this becomes a tradition.

Halloween in December

Halloween should be in August. That way we can all wear bathing suits and pretend they are our costumes. And then I could possibly get the pictures posted before Christmas time. But hey, we've got 20 days till Christmas, as my countdown calendar reminds me, so I'm doing good.

The girls wanted to be princesses for Halloween. So I used up all my creativity for the months of October and November in making some wigs. I love the Family Fun magazine, which is where I got the idea. Hannah and Kenzie were ecstatic about their long beautiful hair. I was going to cut the wigs shorter but they were so excited about the length ("Mom, I am Ariel Rapunzel!"), I just kept them long. I should have made Ellie a wig too. I'm sure she would have loved to eat it.

We had a great time trick-or-treating at our ward Halloween parade on Friday night then we went trick-or-treating to our favorite Grandmas and Grandpas on Saturday and went to an awesome party at Cris and Matt's.

The kids had a great time, ate lots of candy and stayed up way too late. Mike and I did the same thing, just without the fabulous wigs. Next year honey. Next year.


Dear Kenzie--

Where does the time go?
Oh yes, it goes into feeding Ellie, doing your homework, and wiping goo off of Hannah's face.  
Homework. In kindergarten. I'm not sure how I feel about this. For now we are conforming, but I'm going to draw the line when they start asking for dioromas. But so far it's been innocuous little worksheets that you do with ease.

You are reading pretty well now, although you hate to practice with books. You'll read individual words on a worksheet, but you seem to prefer the smoothness of an adult reader to your own having-to-sound-things-out slowness. You have read "Go, Dog, Go" to me, and you have quite a few books memorized.

I am constantly amazed at how smart you are. You memorize things very easily. For the sacrament program this year you had to memorize John 3:16. I read it to you a few times and had you say it back to me. Then when I asked you to repeat it one line at a time after me you said, "I can do it Mom! I don't need your help!" and you did it. You were so cute up there on the stand reciting your scripture into the microphone.

It makes me incredibly sad (yes me, the one who couldn't wait for kindergarten) to think of you being gone all day next year. I miss you. Kindergarten is great, but I kind of wish that school would stay as short as kindergarten-- somewhere around four hours. 8-12 would be about perfect.

It's been fun to watch you go from being unable to do a cartwheel to doing back handsprings! You are doing so well in tumbling. You can land a back handspring on the springboard floor and your cartwheels look better than mine (that's not very hard). You love to be in Gracie's class and you work really hard to do anything that she can do.

I love your imagination. Right now you're obsessed with your Ariel Barbie (I hate Barbie by the way and you're still too young to understand why. Although I have tried to explain), Jessie from Toy Story, and jewels. Everything that glitters, glows, or shines is a jewel that you and Hannah collect obsessively. You keep your jewels in, where else?, your jewelry box. You keeps your jewelry box in your Fancy Nancy cardboard suitcase, which is falling apart after having been sat on and stepped in and generally well-loved. The other treasures you keep in that box are your paper dolls--a great Jessie from Toy Story that you drew, and pictures of your favorite princess (Ariel. Bleck), Jessie and Woody that you have us print on the computer so you can color and cut them out.

It's pretty funny to listen to you play. You've started to create elaborate pretend worlds with your toys and you play really well independently. A lot of the time you'll play with Hannah too, but you do love to play alone. You're very good at entertaining Ellie too. You do sometimes enjoy making her cry, but that's just so you can say, "Oh Ellie. No puckers. No puckers." Mostly you love to be by Ellie on the floor, or you love to make her laugh just by jumping up and down in front of her.  You love all babies, but Ellie especially.

You are always drawing us pictures and sending people letters and drawings. You love to do crafts and are always coming up with things to color, cut and glue. Today you rolled up big pieces of paper with drawings on them and tied a ribbon around them and attached a pencil with it. You were copying my handouts for my lesson in Relief Society. You gave them to your friends Allie, Ashlyn, Gracie and Kandelyn.

Lately I've started to see your spelling skills displayed on my notes and just the other day you walked out with this letter to Santa: "We want Toy Story 3 Toys." You are getting really good at figuring out how to sound out words and spell them yourself.

You are also a great big sister to Hannah.You'll often take Hannah's hand, when Hannah is being shy and lead her into the group. You get along with most kids and are a peacemaker.

You are a wonderful little girl, Kenz. We love you. I love you.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Writing the Same post, over and over

Hannah. Hannah. Hannah. Maybe if  I write a post that overuses cliches I will feel better about my parenting skills and be able to wake up tomorrow and be better. But parenthood is hitting me unexpectedly in the back of the knees.

So here goes:
I'm at the end of my rope.
She's bringing me to my knees.
I've lost my will to live.
My egg is cooked.
My turkey timer has popped.
My bacon is fried.
It's like trying to herd cats.

Today we were having our family picutres taken by my sister Alisha. We made those super cute hair flowers, I curled Hannah and Kenzie's hair, and almost (almost) convinced Hannah to wear pants to match the rest of us. I had her in the pants and I went to feed Ellie before we left. (Mike was at work, he was meeting us at the photo shoot.)

As I was feeding Ellie, I read a story to Kenzie and I started to wonder, "Where is Hannah?" Usually if Hannah is quiet, she is doing something like unrolling all the toilet paper or stealing toys out of gunny bag (the confiscated pile), or spreading gum on her bedspread and the carpet, or writing on her dresser, or dumping all the toys out in her room so she can sit on the bins.

I thought, "Wouldn't it be typical if Hannah were upstairs smearing something all over her face? Something like lipgloss or vaseline." Because I can't even tell you all the times I've walked into the bathroom and found Hannah with something on her face.

I finish feeding Ellie, load her up in the carseat and Kenzie gets into the van.

"Come on Hannah! Let's go," I yell up the stairs. No response.

I walk upstairs. Hannah is standing on the stool in the bathroom. I notice that she has changed into a skirt. She turns to me. Black covers her mouth and the area surrounding it. Her hands are covered in it.

Deep, deep breath.

I know that if I yell, Hannah will cry and fight and I will never get out the door and when I finally drag her out screaming and crying she will have pulled her hair out and her face will be tear-streaked and her smile will have left never to return. And it most certainly will not appear for any perfect family holiday pictures.

Calmly, I say, "Black just isn't a good color for lipstick Hannah. I have some pink in my pocket that we can use when we clean this up." And I wipe it off. Luckily it comes off easily and she hasn't wiped her black black hands on her new clothes.

She whimpers a little and acts only slightly defiant when I ask her what it is she has on her face. "I don't want to tell you Mommy."

I let it go and load her in the car. The picture taking goes smoothly.  Later we find a can of black shoe polish in her room. We confiscate her favorite doll. I'm pretty sure it doesn't faze her.

This is probably how I should act all the time with Hannah. Calm. Collected. Kind but firm. I am ashamed to admit that when I am not motivated by the immediate threat of an unhappy family picture (heaven forbid we should have a picture with Hannah crying and me glaring), I yell. I blow up. I give her exactly the reaction she is looking for. I want to PUNISH her. Because surely she is plotting to ruin my life in every way possible and if I don't punish her immediately and punitively she will get pregnant at the age of 14 and steal from her relatives. And hyperbole is always a good guideline for parenting and peace.

I don't know what the secret is to parenting this stubborn, often delightful, often devilish, frustrating little girl. All I know is that I feel like crying in my cheerios.

And Kenzie? She's going to be muttering that line from "The Prodigal Son," "But I was the GOOD Son! (Daughter). I was the GOOD one!"

Monday, November 15, 2010

Just for a minute let's pretend this is a family journal, not my narcisstic rants about the STUPIDITY of FAULTY, INEFFECTIVE dishwashing detergent. I'm buying a dog to lick my dishes clean. I tried to buy some Lemishine (I'm always looking for new things to add to my Walmart shoppping list. Because I don't spend enough money.), but of course Walmart was sold out. Imagine that. Those people over at Lemishine have never had it so good.

Well to take my mind off of my Phosphorous-Free Dish-Dirtying Detergent I decided to go and scrub my clothes dryer. What? You've never had the personal pleasure of lying on your back on that little tiny dryer door (which you're sure will collapse at any moment) inhaling Comet fumes, cursing Crayola, and scrubbing the bejewels out of your dryer walls? Well I recommend it for everyone as a great way to wind down and relax. After that perhaps you can have a large appliance burning in the backyard. There now. Don't you feel better?

While I was scrubbing the dryer I thought of a few insults to hurl when I'm really mad. Not that I ever get mad. But just in case Mike were on the couch reading a book while I scrubbed the crayon from the dryer and he happened to wander down and say, "You're not supposed to lean on the dryer door like that. It can't take the weight." And then when I threw some gloves at him and told him it was his turn and to make sure he got it off the *%$ top, and he said, "What are you talking about 'the top'?" You do realize that it turns, right?", this is what I might say:

"You piece of Cascade."
"You Cascade Action Gel Pack!"
"May your wife die and your children have infinite crayons in their pockets that are undetected in the laundry."
"May the phosphorous be removed from your dishwashing detergent."
"May you be forced to dial 801 every time you make a local call and may you have to buy Lemishine."
"May you always have to eat off of Cascade-cleaned dishes."
"May all your underwear and white shirts have purple streaks on them."
"You Cascade-loving, Crayon-In-the-Dryer Head!"

Oh yeah,  we were going to pretend this was a family journal. Okay October:
We went up to Mike's Grandma's cabin to see the leaves and had a good time playing in the stream and on the swing.

Hannah loves water and she and Kenz had a great time pretending to be mermaids in the stream. Until they actually got wet. Then it was no fun.

Cute Kenzers. She loved swinging out over the water and wished the zipline were in working order. 

Ohhh Ellie. Maybe if we throw some leaves at you it will look like we are real photographers. Or maybe not. You're still cute though.
 For our next adventure, Hannah and I went on a little ward/Joy school field trip to Black Island Farms. We went on a tractor ride, played on the slides, watched the pig races and had a good time.

Hannah even got to pick her own pumpkin which she colored black.
Next Mike and I went to a high school dance. Okay, it was a murder mystery party. It turns out that I killed Mike with a Rubik's cube. I think he stole the phosphates out of my dishwashing detergent or perhaps he said something about a dryer door. Poor sap. 

Oh how I miss the 80s. They were so bodacious. NOT. Kenzie and Hannah have appropriated my shoes and that vest has a special place in my closet. 

I'd have to say we look hot. The sad thing is that I remember doing my hair just like this. 
Someday I will get to Halloween, probably around Christmastime. Oh the irony.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Stormclouds, Broccoli and Black Holes

Mmm, who wants to eat the peaches on the left? Yeah, me neither. This my friends, is what happens to your peaches if you blanch them incorrectly. Bleck. Super bleck. And it's my own dang fault. I thought that perhaps if I ignored the step of putting peaches in ice water after blanching them, I would save some time. Well that was stupid. So if you ever read my post about canning, let's just pretend I never wrote anything about not putting them in icy water.
Having three children that are awake makes me feel like the mouse in "If you Give a Mouse a Cookie."
I wander around from task to task, never quite accomplishing anything. For instance:   While starting a load of laundry, I remember a few things I want to add to the load. I head upstairs. On my way up the stairs I pick up a piece of paper. It's a postcard saying they autorenewed my Runner's World subscription for way too much money. I start looking for the phone in the couch cushions. Kenzie asks me to read her a story. I do. I find the phone. I call Runner's World. While I am on the phone Hannah asks if she can have some of my lotion. "Sure." I say. I tell Runner's World I can't pay that much money. They give me a sweet counteroffer. Meanwhile Hannah has globs of lotion on every finger and toe. Of course Runner's World wants me to pay right then. I search for my purse. My purse search reminds me to write down that I need diapers. I read the credit card numbers while rubbing a defiant and angry Hannah vigorously. Call completed I try to remember what in the world I came up the stairs for. Oh yes, some more laundry to add to the load. I go into the girls room, I start looking for whites in their laundry. Wait a second this isn't dirty. I start pulling out things I want them to put away. This reminds me that I need to get the 6-9 month clothes down for Ellie. Speaking of Ellie, she is crying and needs to be fed. Now where was that pen? Oh wait, I need to start the washer. 

And it goes on and on.
Next, some letters.

I hate hate hate hate your new formula for Cascade detergent. Using Cascade to wash my dishes is like letting the food sit on them for a few days and then trying to lick them clean and putting them away. It doesn't work. My dishes look like this:

Bring back the phosphates! Which is worse for the environment--detergent with phosphates that works, or washing the dishes three times, trying first to clean the food off the dishes, then cleaning the streaky ugly mess your detergent leaves on my dishes, and then cleaning them again because it's been baked and caked on?

Please sell something that works. Like your old stuff. I loved it.

Dear Walmart--
Congratulations on effectively capturing the color of baby poo on your new diaper decorations. Other than that, love the new slimmer profile.


And now a gratuitous baby picture:

Friday, October 22, 2010

Small Pinpricks of Light

It may be more than 4.35 light years away, but I'm starting to see some light at then end of the tunnel with this three-year-oldness.

"Look at this yummy food mommy made. I put lots of tomatoes on it, because you like tomatoes. Let's eat."
"This is gwoss! I hate it!" Hannah pushes her bowl away without tasting it, folds her arms and says, "I will neveh! eat this yucky stuff. Neveh!" (She doesn't pronounce her 'rs' yet.)
"Fine," I say maybe rolling my eyes a little. "After dinner I'm going to eat a bowl of ice cream. How about you, Mike? Ice cream? Mmm. Kenzie is eating her dinner; we'll have some ice cream together. Do you want some ice cream Hannah? You have to eat your food if you want some."
Sad, popped-balloon sigh, "Okay Mommy."

"Hannah, it's time to go to sleep. Let's go get our jammies on."
In her whiny three-year-old accent Hannah says, "I am tired of going to sleep! I will neveh! go to sleep!" She folds her arms and flips her hair. "I will neveh!"
"Well Hannah if you don't get your jammies on, I'll put you in bed anyway and I'll shut the door. Let's go get your jammies on."
She drops her head and says, as if I have sucked her will to live, "Okay mommy."

I'm trying very hard not to engage her in those fun power struggles we have, but sometimes I still escalate the war to the point of yelling, "And you're not going to college, either!" But this "Okay Mommy" stuff? I am loving it. Next, we'll work on cheerful compliance.

Monday, October 11, 2010


On Labor day weekend we took one last hurrah up to North Fork with the C-clan (minus Laurie and Jared) for a camping adventure.

We got a camp-side visit from two large moose, made smores with marshamallows roasted by Mike, let the kids collect pieces of glass from the dirt (you know "jewels"), got to listen to Reid tell Treasure Island and discussed books. We tried to think of a really good plot for a bestseller, so I can write it, become fabulously wealthy, hand out cash to my relatives and then retire to my privately owned island. I can't believe we can't think of the next Twilight. Actually, I think I would prefer if we could think of the next Harry Potter.  I'm sure we will, we just need to go camping more often.

The next morning I woke to Ellie fussing and loud thrashing in the underbrush. While I fed Ellie I tried to decide how I would defend myself in case of a moose attack. What kind of flimsy protection is a tent zipper against maurading moose? After I finished feeding Ellie, I wanted to slip back into my sleeping bag, but I needed the facilities.I tried to overcome my fear of moose-trompling and I carefully unzipped the tent and tried to sneak past the moose to the bathrooms. Just as I reached the road, one of the moose charged off into the trees, while the other caught my eye to stare me into submission. I did not pee my pants, but I ended up knocking frantically on Reid and Shirley's new RV door. I think an RV is worth it for the small toilet alone.

"The girls slept well!" exclaimed an enthusiastic Mike the next morning.

"Why yes they did. Especially when they were in my sleeping bag," I replied. 

After a fabulous eggs in a bag breakfast, we walked down to the river and let the kids throw rocks. Ahh camping, I wish we would have gone more this summer.

My good camera was getting a flash modification and our batteries died, so that's all I got folks.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Kindergarten and Joyschool

I've always been a bit cavalier about sending my children off to school. My attitude has been "HOORAY! When are you turning 18?"

So the night before the first day of kindergarten I must have been coming down with something. Because I cried. I cried about lost opportunities and about the end of innocence. I also cried because Hannah Montana will inevitably be part of our lives now. And I cried because someday Kenzie will have to go to that awful place known as jr. high where everyone will make fun of her clothes and body shape. And then I realized I was getting ahead of myself and maybe projecting my memories onto her future.

Kenzie was excited and ready. Mike took the day before off of work and we went out to lunch and clothes shopping to celebrate. The next morning she wanted Mike to take her to school, and I tried to be cool about that, but goshdangit! I had done all the work to get her ready and I felt entitled to this parenting moment. She was nice about it and let her pitiful mother drive her to school. I took her into the class, showed her where to hang her backpack and jacket and helped her find her seat. I didn't cry. Kenzie started happily doing the activity on her table and I left. When she got home Hannah and I had made cookies and we ate them together and talked about her first day of school. (There was a boy named Sebastian! They earn marbles! You can sit like a princess in the kiva if you are wearing a dress!)  

Sweet Kenzie! (My good camera was in the shop for repairs, so this is what I have) She has six of the kids from our church in her class and seems to be loving it. I always ask her what she learned at school and she says, "I don't remember." Then later that day she'll tell me all about her color creatures or be singing a snatch of song she learned. Hannah misses her terribly, but when she gets home all they do is fight. Because they love each other so much.

Hannah also started at her own little neighborhood school. She goes twice a week to a different house each week with five other little girls. Hannah is glad there are no boys, since she says things like "Boys can't spell!" and "No boys! They are yucky!" (This is an attitude that must change, right?) So far, Hannah has done alright. She cried for 10 minutes when I dropped her off one time (sorry Kristyn), but has been good most of the time--and last week she even threw a fit the day she had to stay home when she was sick. I love doing preschool with my girls. It's a good way to make friends and get them ready for school. 

Cute Hannah! She's wearing her matching dress with her doll. She loves to have her hair curled (or at least she did until I burnt her ear with the curling iron), and she is starting to love playing with friends. She loves putting on her backpack and heading for school.

Friday, September 24, 2010


I'm going to write a book. I'll call it "How to Raise Children Without Slashing Your Wrists" It won't be overdramatic at all.
Chapter Synopsis
1. Look, maybe you aren't cut out for procreation
2. Too late, Now What?
3. The TV as Babysitter and Sanity Saver
4. Send them to Grandmas, but don't be surprised if they come back entitled and high on sugar
5. Discipline techniques that don't work, but make you feel Angrier, which makes you feel powerful, which makes everyone cry in the end
6. Accepting your role as Wicked Witch of the West
7. Who needs Love when you've got Guilt?
8. Removing the door handles to your children's rooms and other effective time-out strategies
9. Sleep deprivation, Repitition, and other Torture techniques (how to survive when your children use them on you)
10. Cleanliness is next to Craziness

What chapters would you include?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Case of the Three-Year-Olds

I love Hannah. She has such a sweet little mischievous smile, and she makes me laugh, even when I shouldn't. She loves to wear dresses, especially that dang long skirt, and wear "earrings" and curl her hair. She always asks me, "Now am I beautiful?" She sings to Ellie in the car whenever she cries. She always asks, "What about Kenzie?" And she's so determined. Recently she learned to buckle her own seatbelt, and she buckles it now and asks, "Did I do it by my big self?" so delightedly. So why do I have to remind myself by writing it, that I love her?

Let's have a little recap of our day today:
It's 3 a.m. I am dreaming about being in kindergarten. Someone keeps crying. Oh, it's real life. It's Hannah. She comes into my room accompanied by piercing sobs. "I'm scared. I'm scared."
I try to be gentle. She's scared. But she's done this every morning for the past two weeks. I'm starting to feel a little crazy.
I tuck her back in and stumble in a sleep-deprived stupor back to my bed. Just as I am shifting into the pleasant dream of my clock floating up to the ceiling, Hannah returns, crying. She does this three times. Some mornings it's been five or six times.  (And let's not even talk about the night this went on for one and a half hours, resulting in Kenzie sleeping in our bed, Hannah locked in her room, and me sleeping on the couch)

At 8:00 a.m. Hannah drags her pillow into my room and pats me lightly to wake me up. Mike is at a church meeting, so I slide over and cuddle with her for a minute.
"Let's go make some pancakes," I say.
"No! I want cereal! I want cereal," she cries.
"I'm sorry Hannah. We're having pancakes."
"I Won't!" She whines and whines. Pancakes are the end of the world, apparently.

I'm making pancakes with Kenzie. Mike's home now, and he holds Hannah for a bit, until he needs to finish something on the computer. He sets her down and more crying commences. She refuses to come to breakfast until we threaten her with no food. Ever again. I have her break up her pancake so I can put some peaches on them. Something is wrong with the way the pancake looks. Hannah throws her head back and cries. Finally she eats her breakfast and clears her plate.
While I'm cleaning up, something else happens. Hannah cries some more. Mike holds her.

Hannah cries so much these days that it's all become a fuzzy, tear-stained picture of sadness. She cries over so many things that I can't even remember details. I just know that she cries. And she's so tired, but she refuses to nap.

After Hannah and Kenzie's hair is done, there is a nice moment while they cut out paper dolls at the table. As we leave for church Hannah's shoes are hard to get on. "I can't do it! I can't do it!" This builds into sadness and more cries.

At church, after sacrament meeting, the first one hour meeting in our three-hour block, Hannah is scheduled for nursery. She's gone to nursery, a class for kids where they play with toys and eat treats, since she was 18 months old. Sometimes she fights it, but she's usually okay after a few minutes. Mike has left to get the treats that we forgot, so I walk Hannah to the nursery room.

"Hannah, remember you have two choices. You can either go to nursery and play and have fun, or you can go home and lay in your bed and take a nap. You choose."

I open the door to kids playing and laughing. Hannah begins to cry and fight. She turns from the door and runs down the hall, sobbing a little. Last week she gave me a huge scratch on my neck, clutching at me when I dropped her off. Her favorite teacher took her for a walk to calm her down. When that didn't work we took her home. Today will be the same.

I catch up to my delightful child. I set her in a chair in the lobby.
"Sit here until Dad gets back and then you're going home to your bed."  I say this calmly because I'm in church and people are looking at me.

Hannah jumps off the chair and runs away screeching and giggling. This is funny. I shouldn't laugh at her, the stinker. But it's either laugh or tears of frustration and anger (from me), and I figure laughing must be a better option. Somehow. Even though it encourages her.

I hold her squirming, half-giggling half crying form firmly in my lap. "Hannah. Stop this."

Finally Mike pulls up. Hannah begins crying in earnest. I take her hand and lead her to the car. Mike has the treats and decides to try again with her carrying them to the nursery.

While I'm sitting in Sunday School, I almost fall asleep, not because the lesson is boring, but because I feel exhausted and at the end of my rope. Mike comes in and whispers to me, "Hannah is in the nursery screaming her head off. I have to be back for a meeting. What should I do?"

I shrug. We can't torture the kind nursery volunteers. "Take her home. Put her in bed. Come back to pick me and Kenz up later."

Mike and I worry. Why is Hannah so sad? What can we do to help her be happy? Is she normal? Does she have some horrible disease?

I imagine taking Hannah to the doctor.
"What seems to be the problem?" he'll ask.
"Hannah is so sad. She cries all the time. She won't listen to me. She wakes up every night at 3. She's scared of monsters. She sucks her thumb and lays on her pillow almost all day."
"Well," he'll say. "It sounds like she's three years old."

I vaguely remember going through three with Kenzie (I think I've blocked these memories), but I'm writing this down now not to label Hannah as a terror, but to remember. I worry about my Hannah. And I know if I don't write this down and remember it, I'll go through the same thing with Ellie when she is three and life is sooooo hard. At least I think so. I hope so. This is normal, right?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Tony's Grove Camping

For the past two years we've driven up Logan Canyon on a Friday afternoon to Tony's Grove, only to find all the camp sites full. So then we drive back down the canyon to some inferior campground and then instead of listening to traffic from the comfort of our home, listen to traffic in a mountain setting. Joyous. 

This year I finally made a reservation in early March. Hooray! 

On Friday we ate lunch at Alisha and Dustin's apt. in Logan and then headed up to our site. When we travel we have discovered the joy of Rabbit Ears Listening Library and our current favorite is the story of "The White Cat" read by Emma Thompson.  It's superb. Listen to it and you will see how True Klove conquers all (And I do mean "Klove").  We listened to books on cd all the way up and Hannah kept asking if we were in the forest and was pretty excited about sleeping in the forest, as long as the animals wouldn't get her. 

 Ali and Shae and a dog they were babysitting were there already and shortly after my parents arrived. The whole fam damily was there, minus my brother Jared and his lovely wife Pam, who are busy with their house in Michigan. If they read this blog I would say something about how we missed them. Because we did. 

The girls had a great time playing in the tent. In fact it was so much fun, I considered setting it up at home and letting them live in it. I need another bedroom, you know. 

We spent a lot of time hanging out at the campfire and talking. The next day we went to Bear Lake where it was windy, windy. Ellie had a fabulous time in her car seat, where she spends the majority of her time (Sorry Ellie). Mike, Kenzie and Hannah, and I had a fun time with our blow-up boat. And Sophie, Hannah and Kenzie were in heaven with all the seashells on the beach. 

Overall it was a fun trip (Let's just gloss over the details of how sleeping in a tent with three children never makes for a good night of sleep, shall we?)

Alisha telling a funny story around the campfire. Look Ali was on crutches! What a trooper. This makes two out of three camping trips with someone on crutches. Maybe it will become a tradition. Quick, throw some salt over your shoulder if you belong to my family. I just cursed us. 

Awww! They do love each other. 

Quick get the camera! It's a rare sighting of a happy Hannah. 

Ellie in her element! 

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Bear Lake

I'm adding "Buy a Cabin at Bear Lake" to my list of "Things To Do Once I Write a Best-Selling Novel About a Young Wizard who Loses his Ring and Has to Fight Werewolves and Pasty Vampires." Catchy title, no?

Every year we're lucky enough to get to spend time at Mike's Grandpa Penrod's cabin at Bear Lake. This year we planned to arrive early Friday morning, which means we arrived late Friday afternoon. It was just in time to spend some time on the beach with Josh and Sherrie and their kiddos before they had to take off.  The next day we got to spend time with the rest of the family. 

My favorite moments were building a sand birthday cake for Uncle Scott, watching the girls play "steal the rocking chair" from Gpa Penrod, and hitting at least one good golf shot on the hole the guys made by the beach. 

Here I am in the best picture of me in my swimsuit. I am at the post-baby stage of "Wow. She Should Not Wear a Swimsuit."

The guys studying the golf hole they made. It was a pretty difficult shot past two water traps.

Hannah proclaims that she doesn't like boys, but Koy is okay. 

The girls in the "warm" water. Why is it warm? Well . . . 

A nice big beach and the kids chose the sand in the walkway by the cabin as their favorite spot. 

Gma holding Hannah because she was cold. 

Jared and La-la looking fashionable and carefree. 

We love Bear Lake!