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!"