Wednesday, March 14, 2018

a little bit about everyone in february

february dump

in honor of the olympics, herschel decided to go for all the points for terrible behavior. nothing is safe. the stereotypical, "if you can't hear your child, they are up to no good" rings very true with him. the emptying of alllll the supplements and vitamins has happened on more than one occasion. 

just last week, he discovered my hair cutting kit, which was rather well hidden. he smuggled the shears into the car with him. as i was driving down the road during rush hour trying to take reagan to school, herschel announced, "I CUTTING MY HAIR!" i have no photographic documentation as i was driving with one hand and swatting blindly behind me trying to carefully dislodge the scissors from his hands before he poked an eye out.

herschel is exhausting, 
absolutely refuses naps, unless the circumstances are just right and i sit perfectly still and only take shallow breaths and i am holding him on my face, with he special blankie "just so" while he sweats and drools onto my neck.

but darn it to heck if he isn't pretty cute when he's not being a dictator. 

we also celebrated his 3rd birthday on the 4th. i made an ugly cake that i spent way too much time on. 

but that FACE!

scarlett and athena blythe went to the daddy daughter dance. i think it was pretty fun for them and yet if they were given the option of attending the mother/son bash complete with BMX stunt riders and pizza, i think they both would have wanted to go to that instead, but still wear their fancy dresses. i know thomas and i both would rather go to the BMX show. 

athena blythe even let me curl her hair. 


reagan did a special olympics volleyball tournament. i was on the edge of my seat the whole time! mostly because bleachers are uncomfortable and i have a flat bum bum. i'd start a flat bum support group but it would also be called a family reunion. hahahahahahahahha. best joke ever.

reagan's incredible teacher mr. reese. he is a gift and an answer to prayers. 

these kids are always fun to watch in action. 

athena blythe wrote this story:
"the best retaurant is chik folay. i love it becos ther is a play grand. i like the chick nugits." pulitzer prize!

athena blythe shoved this gorilla hook in a light socket. i pulled it out without thinking. miraculously, we both still alive. take that, darwin. 

5 seconds later:

athena blythe is able to earn some special rewards at school when her behavior is what it's supposed to be and she always chooses a trip to the habitat room when she earns all the "ants on her log". that is her specially designed for athena blythe award system and it works for her. but only at school. i do not possess the correct ants or log or magical power that the ants on a log system requires. 

big highlight for me: i wore sandals one day recently. this has been a long winter for us, we're normally well within sandal weather at this point in march. 

tip for those of you like me who eat a lot of meals in the car: wear an apron. i ate a pre-cut steak and roasted broccoli while driving down the highway with no spills. just another highlight from my month. 

thomas and i ate at a great restaurant and saw black panther. it was good. thor ragnorok is better. captain america drives me crazy.


Tuesday, March 06, 2018

toddler for sale

each morning while i do my hair and makeup, i listen to conference talks. the average conference talk is about 10-15 minutes long so it takes one talk for my makeup and one talk while i do my hair. today i was fortunate enough to be able to hear elder utchdorf's talk entitled, "grateful in an circumstances". i reflected upon the talk for a good while. it's chock full of good information and encouragement. i mentally pinned this talk in my head for future reference, you know, the next time something stressful happened to me. which was not going to be today.

after i had gotten reagan dropped off at school and herschel and i suffered through story time at the library, i made a pit stop at home to grab a quick lunch for herschel. it was raining pretty steadily, but i simply pulled my jacket over my head and braved the elements from my car to the kitchen, about 5 feet. upon my return with hersch's lunch, i discovered that herschel had somehow triggered the locking mechanism to my car and had secured himself inside, all while the engine was running and he was strapped into his car seat. i honestly don't know how he accomplished the feat. my guess is he attempted to open his door and the automatic child safety locks kicked in. naturally, when i purchased this car last year, there was only one key fob from the dealership and it would cost around $500 to have a new one made. sounds like a racket if you ask me. frankly, i hope to expand my business into this cash cow of a racket. 

 during this moment of unexpected stress, i couldn't help but reflect upon elder utchdorf's talk. how could i have gratitude in this trying moment? what could i be grateful for? i'm standing in a thunderstorm, locked out of my running vehicle with my three year old inside, who is making very feeble attempts to pull up the door locks and smiling and laughing all the while. i was late to lunch at a really good restaurant with really good friend, paula. i only had one key and it was INSIDE the car with my purse and my phone. 

but, i was also being blessed. 
1. i was able to go in to the house. i go to the bathroom every 13 minutes and standing in the rain only exacerbated this need. i'm grateful i could go to the bathroom at my leisure.
2. after i went to the facilities, i grabbed my tablet and emailed paula the situation so she would't be completely inconvenienced by my mysterious disappearance. i'm grateful i still had internet access and an understanding friend.
3. my neighbor was home and i was able to use her phone to call thomas. he didn't have a key either, but he's pretty good at jimmy rigging car doors with coat hangers and he's just nice to have around in a pinch. plus, herschel likes him more than herschel likes me. i'm grateful my neighbor was home that day and for a husband who springs into action.
4. after a few minutes the lightning stopped and it was just a constant downpour. i didn't feel like death was upon me anymore. i'm grateful i wasn't struck by lightning.
5. i was hungry so i ate 4 oranges from the kitchen. i'm grateful i was able to quickly grab food.
6. hersch was smiling and laughing or pretending to take a nap during his confinement. this proved to be a much better than the alternative of screaming hysterically. which i only did for a few minutes and i only said one swear word. sorry, mom. it wasn't crumb balls. i'm grateful that rotten child was in good spirits even if his attempts to unlock the door were feeble at best.
7. after about 2 hours of trying various methods to unlock the car, we called a lock smith. he arrived within 10 minutes and in the BLINK OF AN EYE got the door open. and refused payment. he was incredibly good-natured about this ridiculous situation he was dragged into. i'm grateful for people with business policies of unlocking cars at no charge when there is a child involved. it was truly a tender mercy. 

today could have been much worse and i'm sure is not the worst thing i'll even have to deal with by a long shot. i'm glad i have today in my book of experiences so i can reflect upon my blessings and have gratitude in all situations. 

Monday, February 05, 2018

my finger has a heartbeat.

you know how on that big episode of "this is us" and the house is on fire and they have to figure out how to get all the kids out of the house and they use bed sheets to slide off the roof and everyone is screaming and crying and it's a giant smoky inferno? that's kinda how i have felt all through january. 

i am the busiest i have ever been. 

this is a random day from a few weeks ago:

get up at 4:40am and attend my bootcamp gym. i show up and it's a partner workout, which i'm not thrilled about unless i actually really know the partner and their abilities. i didn't and bless my partner's heart she was not up to pulling her weight. so i ended up doing most of her part too and it was over 100 burpees along with a bunch of push ups and other stuff in 30 minutes. that is my least favorite kind of workout and it was truly terrible. 

i went home and scrambled to shower, feed the kids, get the girls on the bus at 7:17 and the boys to the dentist by 8:30. before we left, i was digging around in my makeup drawer, looking for my mini scissors and my finger was sliced open by a rogue unsheathed razor. i thought it was no big deal but then i ended up getting blood on everyone's clothing and my finger's heartbeat eclipsed my own heartbeat and driving was difficult because of the size of the paper towel ball i had entombing my finger in in order to try and stanch the blood. 

for my obituary:

we made it to my very patient and longsuffering dentist and reagan went back to his very best appointment ever and herschel played in the waiting room and this none too bright little girl kept calling herschel, "hey, little girl". i felt bad that her mom had such a dumb little girl. but neither reagan nor herschel had cavities so that's a win.

as we were leaving the dentist, i got a frantic series of voicemails from reagan's teacher wondering where he was as we had missed the bus to the special olympics bowling meet. i did my best "let's make this happen" mom driving and we flew over to the next town to the bowling alley in just the nick of time.

reagan was greeted by his classmates like norm on cheers. he's lucky to have such a great teacher and class.
if you ask reagan, the highlight of his day was eating pizza and riding the bus with his friends.

i allowed herschel to burn off some energy in the empty games room. 

he had a blast until he figured out how to jump the barrier to the prize counter and went straight for the open bins of candy with fists a-flying. i then had jump aforementioned barrier to retrieve him and knock all the candy out of his hands and run out of the bowling alley like a crazy person. hersch was screaming, as i also would do if someone was trying to pull me away from large bins of candy and i had no sense of propriety and manners. i had to force him out the door and into his car seat with all my diminished 100+ burpee strength. i slammed the door, cried, "children!" in an exasperated tone and then let out a giant belch, because i suffer so much from indigestion. immediately, a woman walked past my car and observed the whole aftermath. she high-fived me and laughed. 

it was time to drive back across town to the elementary schoolto pick up a new car line pass. i also had an order of groceries to get from walmart.

after said groceries were procured, we met up with another friend at the park and it was fine but it was also kinda not fine. her son is very aggressive toward hersch and i feel like i'm always stepping in and i wish she would say, "hey, stop being so aggressive toward hersch." however, she seems very proud that her son can do judo moves that his dad taught him on his playmates. i don't mind kids rough housing with each other, in fact i find it healthy and great, but i'm not keen on one kid being allowed to dominate because he's never told no by his parents. it's a precarious parental position to navigate but i am clearly an expert in all things parenting and social awareness. so i allowed that to last as long as i could handle because i do like them but we bowed out gracefully after an hour and a half.

then it was lunchtime and i was exhausted and starving and drained.

after lunch and no nap for herschel, we did as many home chores as possible and then it was time to get the big kids from school and after school activities and sat in traffic forever.

while the big kids did homework, herschel and athena blythe fought over our special family dessert plate and shattered it. and now our family will never be the same.

for dinner, i was experimenting with the instant pot, trying a new sweet and sour chicken recipe. i was slap happy at this point and my sliced open finger was still throbbing and i could not make sense of the directions but somehow i pulled a meal together and we ate at 7. i despise eating dinner so late, but i was counting on figuring out the instant pot a lot faster than i did. i was thinking it would be a little more jane jetson and less, "press saute, now stir until bubbly. then pressurize. then release pressure and hope you did it all correctly so you don't die of salmonella". i realize how spoiled i sound, but i can make sweet and sour sauce in my sleep and slap chicken in cornstarch and fry it up lickety split. however, i am determined to use the instant pot with ease. 

reagan saw me trying to document my instant pot maiden voyage and decided he also wanted to be in the picture. but just his hand.

we ate dinner and packed lunches and cleaned the kitchen and i gave the kids baths and i tried to read books but my capacity to read had left me so i made them read to me and then i put everyone to bed and collapsed. then thomas got home. 

mulitply that by every other day in january but add in various illnesses and doctor's appointments and drama classes and math tutoring and SEVERAL SNOW DAYS and lots of grocery store visits and herschel sceaming and running away from me at the library and that was january. but it was good. just ridiculously physically draining. 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

removing my faith training wheels

the most stressful 10 minutes of my week are when reagan passes the sacrament. he does well most of the time. he's definitely come a long way in his passing ability and when i watch him i can see his brain scratching the place where his intuition should be. a few weeks ago he was acting erratically because he was distracted by the presence of a friend's grandparents. he started off strong but i could see from my vantage point that he was deeply distracted by something. he went out of order because he wanted to pass to abuela julia. he tried to recover but he was quite off for the rest of the sacrament. on christmas day we had an unusually large congregation and reagan ran out of bread and abruptly finished passing and got back in line. other deacons had to quickly jump to attention to finish his rows. other weeks, he is excellent. though he cannot stand quite as still as the other deacons and his shirt nearly always comes untucked at some point during the administration of the ordinance, he has had moments when he is able to dig deep and figure out what to do next with no prompting. last week he ran out of bread again. another deacon assumed he did not notice that he missed a row and tried to point it out to him. reagan stopped and rose a single finger in the air to indicate to give him a minute and held it there until he was at the priest's table to retrieve more bread.   he then proceeded to finish administering to his rows. it was hilarious and scary and my heart stopped for a beat and then i felt overwhelmed with pride and gratitude for that moment. 

so even though reagan struggles, he still has the authority to act in Christ's name. it's rather humbling. while i stress out to the point of wanting to vomit each sunday, i need to dig deeper and let reagan figure things out. i also need to let my fellow ward members be okay with him figuring it out too. i love my faith training wheels but i don't actually need them. they are the antithesis of faith. i always think that i should pedal cautiously and put my feet back on the ground anytime things get hairy. i really need to approach more gigantic downhill slopes and let it rip. i've got years of training from seminary attendance, church attendance scripture reading, prayer and temple attendance. i'm meant to ride up and down big hills. pedaling slowly on flat ground is not the point.  

Sunday, January 14, 2018

a waffle house kind of christmas

this should be several posts but it is not. because christmas is now 3 weeks ago. change the title of this blog to yesterday's news, now with mom jokes!

in the beginning of december, 2 weeks after we set up our tree because i am a firm believer in low stress november christmas preparations, the family made a list of activities we wanted to participate in for the holiday. we had most of the usual activities but we added lake lanier christmas lights to our list. we'd never been there before but you can't live in atlanta and not know about it. on the designated night, we made about 7 trays of cookies to deliver to friends and only one of them was home so we drove to lake lanier with 6 trays of cookies in the car. the car line to enter the park was astronomically long and we lost interest after about 30 minutes but there was no getting out of line at that point. everyone had to go to the bathroom. at the 1 hour point we were all starving and eating the cookie trays. by 1 hour and 30 minutes of waiting to ENTER the park, we were all climbing the walls of the car. when we finally got inside the park and they charged us $45 instead of the advertised $35. then we almost got in a fight with another car who did not want to let us merge. then we got stuck behind THE SLOW-W-W-W-EST driver of all time. no one needs to examine a lights display that closely and carefully. after we made it through the entire light display, we had lost the christmas spirit and gained bladder infections. the nearest quiktrip couldn't be found soon enough. it was nearly 11 by time we made it home. needless to say, we have had our fill of lake lanier lights for the rest of eternity.

christmas eve the kids put together a little show. lots of singing of songs made up on the spot and traditional hymns sung to unrecognizable tunes.

christmas morning. athena blythe commemorated the event by pulling out a swimsuit and slept in it and spent christmas morning in it.

all of hersch's visits to target paid off as santa gifted him with the much sought after paw patrol sea patroller. he would only pose in this picture if the sea patroller could be in it too. 

note: hersh was so enamored with his sea patroller that he sat in a filthy diaper for quite a long time without complaints and got poop all over the rug. merry christmas to me.

we went to waffle house for breakfast. we had to drive by about 5 locations before we could find one that didn't have an inordinately long wait time. along the way, we passed this holiday gem:
you may be thinking, "where is santa claus?" he's hard to see because he's wearing camouflage. 

i tried to make a charcuterie board. it was pretty good but could easily be renamed a constipation board. that much cheese, fruit and processed meat is an long, uncomfortable night waiting to happen.

my mom flew in later christmas night and the next day thomas and i embarked on my christmas present. thomas surprised me with an afternoon at the high museum of art and a night at the georgian terrace hotel. 

the high museum had a special exhibit i had been wanting to see, "making africa: a continent of contemporary design" and a permanent exhibit of african art. thomas and i have bonded over our love of african art. who knew?

 i'd like to wear this pronto, please.

we ate at a tavern in atlantic station then went to out hotel! it had a round ceiling in the bedroom! 

our view!

we watched jeopardy and semi pro wrestling and slept for 12 hours. it was amazing. 

the hotel restaurant:

historic pit stop in the hotel:

we arrived home to a very sick grandma and a lot of chaos. 

i got my first hair cut in almost 8 months. 

we made all the blondies we could possibly make in a 24 hour period.

we saw ferdinand. it was good. but expensive. i'll never get over the shock of how much it costs to see a movie. 

herschl almost escaped through the emergency exit but i was able to catch him at the very last minute, as witnessed by the entire theater.

tea party and toy story memory with grandma:

saying goodbye to grandma sandy is always the hardest. she is everyone's favorite. 

merry christmas the end.