Thursday, July 31, 2008


To the man in the quiet study room at the Sandy Public library:

Dear Mr. Man,

It was a pleasure to spend four hours of my time with you today. While we did not speak, I definitely felt a connection.

Perhaps it was your coughing. Or perhaps it was each time you cleared your throat, snorted, or even got up to leave the room - opening and closing the door each time you left.

There were quite a few others in the room with us, but none made the impression that you did. In fact I don't remember any of them.

But understood the idea of quiet at an elevated level. Particularly when you began reading your text, regarding bankruptcy, outloud.

And then you belched.


But none of this phased you. Not at all. Why? Because you enforced the quiet rule better than us all. How?

Bright pink earplugs.

Good thing or you may have upset your own train of thought.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

in Greece.

Did you know that in Greece, people run through the forest all the time?

They also wear one piece bathing suits throughout the day and can just throw on a skirt or pants to complete the ensemble.

And people who live in Greece all live on mountains. They are required to go up and down the mountain constantly. Due to the consistency of steep stairs, Greeks never, ever get out of breath. Climbing mountains is in their genetic makeup and they make it look easy.

But the best thing about Greece? The thing that makes me want to pack up and move there now?

If you burst into song while in Greece (which we all know occurs frequently), those in your vicinity will automatically join in. They become backup singers and their pitch is so perfect that you will swear that somehow, in someway, you must have previously rehearsed that exact moment.

That alone is the most magical gift the Greeks can give.

What? You don't believe me? Check it out for yourself. Go see:

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

eating; reunion style.

Cinnamon and Pear Soup. That is all I have to say. That is all I have to post. That is all that I should post. It deserves that much respect. I want to eat it at every meal. All. The. Time.

That was the best thing that I ate in Jackson Hole. It tasted like the ice cream on top of apple pie. You know, after it melts a little. Minus the apple.

You want some? Go to Sweetwater Restaurant and maybe you'll get lucky. It's not a nightly soup. But it should be.

Clin and I also went to Cioccolato. 3 times. Thanks to my sister Judy's research, we were in chocolate heaven. Mmmmm.

First visit - I got a raspberry macaron. Not to be confused with the macaroon. If you ever cross paths with a Parisian macaron - buy it. Right away. Clin purchased a coconut creme brulee, which also came in a chocolate cup. A REAL chocolate cup - not an icky waxy chocolate cup.

Visit 2 - 2 more pastries in our growing bellies. Chef Oscar Ortega became a chocolate nazi - not happy to answer our questions. And the man at our rafting experience said, "He is very proud of his chocolate" and "...service without a smile" in reference to Cioccolato.

Visit 3 - Clin asked Chef how it was working with Giada DeLaurentiis. And he quickly replied, "She has the palate of a goat." Laughter all around as we discovered he is just an honest, hardworking chocolatier who doesn't enjoy taking a lot of time away from making chocolates to film a segment for the Food Network.

Monday, July 28, 2008

reading my blog.

I just returned from Star Valley, Wyoming at a swank retreat with the family. I'm really not in the mood to blog.

I'm in the mood to play Blockus, or Settlers of Catain, or to eat and eat and eat. I'm missing the Jackson Hole Community Pool, and the white water rafting. I want to go to bed at midnight, wake up between 8 and 9 am and have Clin feed the girls breakfast every day.

I want to eat Christmas in July cookies, peach cobbler, raspberry pretzel awesome stuff that Melissa makes, bread pudding (made with cinnamon roles), and lots and lots of diet coke.

I want grandparents around for my clingy, whiny kids. I want cousins to entertain and teach the daughters to do summer saults, not scream at flies, play legos, and basically take over my role as primary entertainment.

I also don't want to think about anything. Or have responsibility.

Friday, July 25, 2008


I returned from Girl's Camp a week ago today (last Friday) - and what was on the TV? Golf.

Yep - you heard me right. Golf.

I'm a bit confused by this. Clin wasn't home, so I know that he hadn't turned it on. It was only my parents and daughters awaiting my return. Who was watching golf?

First: My husband and I never watch ESPN or Sports or anything involving coordination, teamwork, balls, etc. I like this about us. I'm just not interested. at. all.

Second: I grew up in a family that supported the arts. We went to musicals. Theatre. My father had a hobby of collecting broadway cast recordings of older musicals. He introduced me to the majority of musicals that I now know. We would play Name That Tune using songs from musicals.
Third: I don't remember my father ever watching sports. Maybe a football game now and again - but he never scheduled his life around sports, or got excited about them, or encouraged us to be excited about them.

Now, in the year 2008, each time I see the man he is watching golf. What caused the change? When did he digress? Where did I go wrong as a daughter?

And while playing golf is one thing (I've played a mean game of miniature in my day), watching on TV is beyond my comprehension. A lot of standing around, a lot of talking, and a lot of watching a person hit a ball and then walk or stand again. How is this exciting?

Thursday, July 24, 2008


I risked my life for our family reunion. That's right. I put my life on the line to fulfill a reunion requirement entitled, Christmas in July.

In an attempt to prepare, last minute, for a white elephant exchange - I ran into a store that we passed in South Salt Lake, on the way to our Wyoming retreat. The store was called Dollar Store and More. Little did I know that "more" meant Much, Much More.

The moment I stepped into the store I knew that the store's emphasis was more, rather than dollar. There was hardly anything in stock. One corner consisted of $1.00 items. You know, mostly your token princess paraphernalia and baby accessories.

A second row consisted of food - or what some might consider food if they were living off of food storage. Cans. Lots and lots of cans. Mostly little sausages and strange veggies.

Clinging to the princess paraphernalia corner, I noticed a few things:
  1. The store had bars on all of its windows and doors. That should have been a clue.

  2. An interesting smell permeated the premises.

  3. All customers that entered after me were very tough looking.
  4. The two cashiers were even tougher looking.

I grabbed a few princess items - as quickly as possible, and ran to the front cashier to ask if all were $1.00. The second I opened my mouth I realized that the man was not used to answering questions about princess paraphernalia.... No, he was out of his element, and looked at me as if I was crazy for even asking.

He was used to answering questions about a more complex item. As I looked around, I realized that I was surrounded by drug paraphernalia (bongs and other glass contraptions that I did not recognize). The entire front of the store was full of interesting items.

I quickly turned to the younger cashier, who seemed a bit more willing to deal with me - ran out to the car to get cash (they do not take debit cards for purchases under $5.00. You know. In case you visit). Said my final goodbye to Clin as I re-entered the store.

I made it out safely and locked the car doors. Adrenaline rushing, I realized my valiant endeavor and decided my white elephant gifts definitely should be raised up and held in high esteem above all others. For sure no one else risked their life in an attempt to prepare for our silly July.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


This is my final camp post - I promise.

Camp theme - Steadfast and Immovable like the stars.

The entire time I kept thinking:

Stars are not steadfast and immovable. What about shooting stars?
What about stars that blow up or die out? Stars are constantly changing,
aren't they?
And yet I don't think I got through singing the camp's theme song one time without crying. It never failed - by the third verse I was sobbing and if I looked at another person, I began blubbering even more and there was no chance of hiding it or working through it back to a sustainable singing sound. I would sing it for you right now, but I don't want to make you sit through tears. You know, I'm all about the your comfort.

I don't think it was the words of the song - but more the idea. And the fact that 100+ girls were singing in the middle of the forest overlooking beautiful mountains covered in trees, singing. I think that would make anyone weep a bit.

And since I'm ranting about singing - the camp songbook stunk. Where were all the fun songs? Alligator, Watermelon Rind, Fried Ham, Barges, Weenie Man (actually this one was there but the words had been changed to make it less offensive to someone), and the list goes on and on.

We sang the same songs over and over and most were repeat songs like Princess Pat or Sipping Cider. Isn't camp all about singing? And loving it? And singing lots? Am I alone in this?

Honestly I had a great time. I found a bit of myself that hasn't appeared in years. Not since kids, marriage, college...and it was fun to visit her. Maybe I can get her to stay around a bit longer.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

feeling good.

Teenagers are a strange species. One minute they are judging you and the next they are making you feel like the greatest person on earth.

At camp this past week - there were a few of those moments. You know. Unexpected compliments coming from the last person you would expect to think nicely/highly of you. Perhaps this isn't that uncommon - but I'm always surprised when a teenager says something kind to me. Why? I think because I assume they think of me the same way my fellow high schoolers thought. I'm on guard. Thinking, "they're judging me" or "oh, they consider me old and don't care what I think" or "I'm a goon."

There were a few instances this past week that made my life. Literally.
  1. One girl asked me to do her hair. What? Where did that come from? How could she ever think that I could do hair? Has she seen my mop? I warned her. Strongly warned her that my hair repertoire only consists of one hairstyle. I call it Toddler. And literally it is the exact hairstyle that I give to my 3 year old every single day. But she insisted. I did her hair. Two pigtails on top that connect to two pigtails in the back. She smiled. HUGE smile. And insisted that she loved it. Fun.ny.
  2. I led the nature hike...and the plan was to do sensory work, having them journal about each sense and the experience as we walked. Well, it started out fine...and then the rain came. The weather turned cold. Really cold. Towards the end I thought that some of the girl's noses were going to fall off. Each small activity that I had them complete was cut short by their desire to get out of the cold. And journaling? Some attempted. Others gave up. At the end of the walk - most were fleeing towards camp. I was in the back and the last girl came up to me and told me, "That was wonderful." What? Really? Did you just experience what I experienced? Evidently not. And that was a good thing. And again - my life was made and while not all got that experience, one did. And I felt good.
  3. One girl really likes guns, and is a bit of a tomboy, and brought an airgun (which she slept with under her pillow until I asked her to put it away), and does not ever show emotions, came up to me at the end of camp and said, "I have cried more at this camp than my whole life." And I promise she meant cry as in cathartic good cry. (Not sad, homesick, awful cry.)
  4. I can now tell the twins apart, by name, and had a great time getting to know them - and they brought me a thank you note and chocolate covered cinnamon bears after it all ended. And I ate them all. And I felt loved.
  5. The girls put together their own skit - wrote it and everything. And they included a song at the end, which I suggested, and it made it so much fun. And they included the line, "I feel a song coming on" directly before the song. Can't beat that.
I had a wonderful week.

Monday, July 21, 2008


I am 31. I am also the oldest leader in our church young women's group. That is right - 31 is old. I have never been the oldest at anything. An.y.thing. There has always been someone older who I look to for information. You know, because they have experienced it all before. Older is wiser - always has been for me.

At camp this past week, it was evident that while I was the oldest I definitely was not the wisest.

I haven't camped since I was in high school. (Or, I guess you could count my time in Madagascar as partial camping, but even that was 10 years ago.)

I learned some sound advice:
  • As the old leader - I'm also the last that the youth want to ride with. I take this as an honor.

  • I learned how to set up a 6 man tent and to take down a 10 man tent. In the past I have only ever used a 2 person tent - so I felt very rich in-deed as the other leaders shared their mansions with me.
  • Bears exist and even if they don't reveal themselves to you they invade your thoughts. Constantly. But I don't think that bears like spices. We know they like food. Thus the rules of no food in tents and everything locked in the trailer at night (including garbage). But what if spices are left out? I hate to admit this, but we left out spices. Bears did not appear in our camp. Thus I'm of the understanding that bears enjoy mild foods.
  • The Sego Lily is the state flower of UT

  • You can make a mean garlic bread out of hot dog buns.

  • Strawberry shortcake is AWESOME with twinkies.

  • I can last an entire week without a diet coke. Okay, it was actually only 3 whole days and two half days without - so that would be about 4 days - which in a 7 day week can totally be rounded up to a whole week.

  • Modern day camping lanterns are battery powered and can be turned off with the simple flip of a switch!

  • The Brown Headed Cowbird is a parasite

  • The young women may not know U2, ColdPlay's latest song, or Whitney Houston diddies from the '80s - but the second I broke into All in This Together from High School Musical the world as they know it was blown apart and they couldn't stop talking about it for days. (It must have been the amazing dance moves.)
For an oldie I'd say that was a lot of learning.

Friday, July 18, 2008


Each time that I cook I wish that I could remember that 1/2 teaspoon dried herbs is equal to 1 Tablespoon of fresh herbs.

Everytime I am in front of the stove, or sink, or regrigerator, or even standing in the kitchen, my brain goes blank and I am forced to open my cookbook, find my handy list of equivalents, and search for dried/fresh herbs. Again and again and again.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


I'm starting a new feature. I journaled off and on from grade school through high school and all of that writing is in one very large binder. Each week I'm going to randomly choose one entry from this enormous journal and post it, exactly as it was originally written.

So my question to everyone reading this blog:

Should I change the names of those in the journal?

Most of you reading this blog are related to me and may be mentioned in the pages. What do you think? Would you like me to change your name? And if so, what would you like your name to be?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Today I am at Girl's Camp. And I am taking our girls on a nature hike this morning through an area that I've never been. So we will be doing a lot of meditation - thinking, observing, asking questions and journaling.

My parents are in town to take care of the girls and Clin (seeing as we all know how well Clin functions on his own. Ha! Joke - Clin. You miss me, right?) so that I get a four day vacation with teenage girls.

Vacation. That is right! I plan on sleeping getting between 8 to 12 hours each night, living off of roasted marshmallows and a little thing called smores, and communing with nature. Oh, and journaling. Lots and lots of journaling to once again find the inner me that gets lost amidst the daily baby poop and whining.

(Happy Sigh.)

photo via Cape Cod Cyclist

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

calling all feminist dancers.

Why is it that female dancers are either required to dance naked, wear heals, or both?

This drives my inner feminist insane. Why? Because not only is the woman required to learn the same choreography as her partner, but on sticks (as my 3 yr old would say). For example:

In all fairness, I call for new rules. Either naked or heels, but not both. And the same should be required of the man.

Monday, July 14, 2008


There is nothing like seeing a movie in a theatre with a 3 year old; asking questions about every small movement. What is that? Where is he going? Why is he doing that? Is he burnt?

And they feel every emotion - when Wall-E shivers, 3 yr old shivers. When a large blast occurs (like a space ship landing), 3 yr old covers her eyes... you get the idea.

Sheer joy and complete (loud) laughter when other things blow up. (Even when it is dangerous for Wall-E.)

This was her second movie in the theatre. She didn't want a chair - just my lap. And by the end, a little wiggly, when Wall-E is in trouble, what was her biggest care? The babies. That is all she asked about from the climax until the film's end. Where are the babies? Are the babies okay?

I loved the entire experience.

And to all of you who were troubled by the environmental slant, and didn't enjoy the first 20 minutes because there was no dialogue? (Okay - I've only heard this from one person, but perhaps there are more out there.) I say, how can you not find a movie that opens with a young Michael Crawford singing Put on Your Sunday Clothes absolutely and completely charming?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

reviewing the week.

A look back at my highlights of the past week:

  1. My mission trainer (Anna) came to visit - we ate lunch and I actually cooked something. Okay, I didn't cook. But I blended and mixed to come up with chicken salad sandwiches and tomato salad with a parsley vinagrette.

  2. Vicarious moment - Anna has fulfilled a dream of mine. Bought an old house and fixed it up. Go see a photo journaling of this amazing feat and cry for me as you think, "Wow, Jackie will probably always have to experience this dream through the hard work of others. Too bad she married a theatre teacher and not a construction management major." And I will respond, "True. But lets look on the bright side, Clin and I are highly qualified to act this out."

  3. I ate an entire 1.5 lb container of Frog Eye Salad thanks to our friends the Mosses. Gotta love leftovers. Normally I'm not a huge fan of the Frog Eye, but this was a magical version. The secret? Cherry jello powder. Mmmmm. So I guess you could call it Pink Frog Eye Salad...or Frog Pink Eye.....

  4. Softball between the YW and the RS. All night I thought, "Wow - I can do this. I remember how to play. I totally just hit the ball. I am amazing. We should do this every month." The next morning, "I can't move. My thighs are like lead. Just have to throw them over the side of the bed and I will be able to stand. Must...stand....up..."

  5. Goodbye Thayne. We love you. Nigel is just an evil man who has bigger plans that, for some reason, do not include you. A moment of silence/remembrance from Utahns that love you:

  6. Yeah, I started my period!

  7. Cooked 12 pounds of hamburger all in the name of GIRLS CAMP 2008! Woo-hoo!

Friday, July 11, 2008


At playgroup a while back:

I wanted to tell one of the other mothers about an article in the paper that morning. I asked her if she had seen the article and she said they didn't get the paper.

What? I just assumed that everyone subscribed to a newspaper. But what really stopped the rotation of my world? She is married to a teacher, and she was a teacher before staying home with the kids.

Don't all educators subscribe to a newspaper? Isn't everyone as annoyed with television news as I am?

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Telling a 3 year old, throughout the day, that we are going swimming.

Bribing a 3 year old, on that same day, that if she naps we will go swimming.

Warning said 3 year old that she will have to wear a disposable swim diaper as well as a re-usable swim diaper.

3 year old naps.

3 year old dresses self in 2 previously mentioned diapers and swimsuit without crying. This alone is a world record for our family - as she usually throws numerous tantrums before we can get the diapers on her.

Dress grown-up self in swimsuit.

Dress 14 month old in 2 diapers and swimsuit.

Fill swimming bag with the following:
  1. Lock for lockers
  2. 2 swimming membership cards
  3. 1 extra disposable swimming diaper for 14 month old
  4. 1 extra disposable swimming diaper for 3 year old
  5. 1 shirt, 1 pair of pants, and 1 normal diaper for 14 month old
  6. 1 shirt, 1 skirt, and underpants for 3 year old
  7. Change of clothes for me
  8. Swimming trunks for Clin

  9. 4 towels

  10. 1 bag of raisins

  11. 1 bag of teddy grahams

  12. 1 bag of animal crackers

  13. 1 bottle of water

  14. 1 sippy cup of water

  15. 1 sippy cup of milk

Put stroller in the trunk of the car.

Put swimming bag in the trunk of the car.

Put shoes on 14 month old.

Wait while 3 year old puts on flip-flops.

Put 14 month old in car seat and buckle her in.

Put 3 year old in car seat, buckle her in, and make sure both lap and shoulder strap are not twisted.

Drive to swimming pool.

Get out stroller, and fill with 14 month old.

Get out 3 year old and help her put on flip-flops.

Walk into swimming center - sign reads, "Pool Closed. Currently cleaning the pool - please come back tomorrow."

Re-load all of the above into the car.

Go to McDonalds.

Healthy and active family outing quickly turns into unhealthy and inactive family outing. Anything to stop the screaming.

photo via grobledo

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


This past week - I burst into tears while watching TV.

That's right. I had a moment. I connected with television. Something so passionate, so moving, that I could not hold it in. I'm sure that if you had been here, you would have had the same reaction.

What could have possibly thrown me into such a state?

Episode 5 of MTV's Legally Blonde The Musical: The search for Elle Woods. That's right, a weekly competition to find a new lead in the broadway musical, Legally Blonde.

This past Monday night - the girls were asked to complete a questionnaire that asked them to identify the best singer, the worst, the best/worst actress, etc. You get the idea - they were asked to rate their competition.

In a move that Elle Woods would have approved of - the girls decided to rephrase all of the questions to say something like, who is the most improved singer? Eighteen minutes and 20 seconds into the show Rhiannon complimented Lauren, saying....

I put Lauren because I watched you dance at the 1st audition. And I watched you dance today. (Crying) And just to see your confidence level go from here to through the roof was amazing to watch.
And when she cried - I cried. It was beautiful.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

cutting hair.

For Independence Day, we did the following:

1. I cut Millie's hair.

It only took 90 minutes and by the time Mulan ended - I realized that the left side of the front was much longer than the right. Patience tried and no movie left to watch, I chalked it up to artistic vision.

I would post a picture but am currently reading about Evelyn Nesbit. (You don't know Evelyn Nesbit? Think Britney Spears circa 1900.) Evelyn's mother was very responsible for her demise. I don't want to give Millie an excuse to blame her demise on me.

2. Feed the Ducks.... and birds....and turtles

3. Colonial Days

We had nothing to do. Nothing. And thus ventured to Colonial Days. This is the second year and we have now gone every year of its existence. What does this mean? New family tradition! In 20 years we will be able to say, "We were there. We were there when it started."

Highlights from the colonial experience:

Lots and Lots of Princesses!

Mrs. Senior Utah performing a dance to Mambo #5.

That's right, nothing celebrates Independence day than a rousing dance to, "Everybody in the car, so come on let's ride to the liqueur-store around the corner. The boys say they want some gin and juice, but I really don't wanna beerbust like I had last week..."

To be fair - her song had been Disneyfied and did not mention liqueur.

We ended the day with snowcones and funnel cake. Not so boring after all.

Monday, July 7, 2008

dancing vicariously.

This was my favorite dance from last week (So You Think You Can Dance). Mia Michaels choreographed and I love, love, love her. What is there to miss? Abstract story, abstract beauty, and abstract movement. Honestly? My affinity to this piece must come from the resemblance to how Clin and I met.

While I will miss Matt (goodbye first Utah connection), I'm so very, very happy that Gev is safe. Check out the wonder dance that he pulled off to save his place on the show.

Likeable? Yeah.

Friday, July 4, 2008

pulling my foot out of my mouth.

One of the 14 year olds in my young women's group at church has cancer. She started her second round of chemo this morning at 9:30 AM.

Last night she was at our camp fire activity (it was next door to her house) and we were very, very happy to see her. I was so happy that I couldn't stop talking, even when I had nothing to say or had no clue what to say. I overcompensated in this area.

Why? Because I want to make everything all right. I want to make people happy. Feel good. And not sad.

This young woman was not sad last night. She smiled. Openly discussed her next round of chemo, and seemed genuinely happy to be there. She was handling it well.

I don't handle things well. I don't know how to interact with illness. My reaction is to ignore, hide, act like everything is great.

As she was about to leave last night, my first thought was, "Have fun tomorrow." I don't think I actually said that. But I'm not sure. I think I actually said, "Good luck tomorrow. (Long Pause to rethink how awful that sounded.) We are praying for you." (Even longer pause to re-assess how neither statement sounded right, or good or....well, what do you say?)

Here is the dilemma: I don't know this young woman very well. She just barely turned fourteen - and I get to work with the 14-15 year olds. She isn't always at church and I have not had the opportunity to get to know her. Yet I have this overwhelming feeling that I need to do something. Either by myself or with others.

Clin said, jokingly, that I should shave my hair in solidarity. But the thing is, I would totally do that if I knew it would help.

So to you the more mature, more experienced readers - what ideas do you have? Any thoughts?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

asking, "How do you live there?"

The following is the final post regarding our trip to New York with a group of 64 - most of whom were high school theatre and film students.

Everytime I go to New York, one thought plagues me the entire time:

How do people (especially those with children) manage to live there?
I find myself staring, and pondering the thought everywhere we go. I realize that the majority of the places we take students are probably more touristy, and not necessarily where families live.

My one thought is that perhaps most people in New York are single. And if they do have a child - they limit it to one.

I saw many people who were, or looked, single. Is that why New York has so many bars? One restaurant that we went to, I watched as no one sat at tables, and everyone went to sit at the bar. They sat, and talked with strangers next to them, and waited for more strangers to enter and sit next to them. I don't usually sit at bars. I prefer booths, or tables - bars aren't very comfortable. Is that so singles don't mingle too long?

3 was the most children with one person that I observed. And I only saw that one time. In fact, I felt for this woman, as she tried to keep the two toddlers near her while maneuvering a stroller. And a kind man helped her carry the stroller down the stairs - as they were heading to the subway. (Don't even get me started on subway control and kids - subways are not stroller friendly - and Millie would not be aware of her surroundings and accidentally walk off the edge of the platform -and I would be overwhelmed and either miss the train or leave a daughter on the train, etc. Oops - I got started on my own.)

In fact - I saw more dogs than children. Which is fine because I could never imagine raising a family in such a big city. The playgrounds in the middle of buildings, surrounded by fence instead of grass, and other than Central Park there wasn't much space for a child to run around.

And I'm just in awe of those who do it. And everytime I visit it is one of the most fascinating attractions - watching people live.

photo via vestitoverde

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

finding more proof of my filth.

Today we ventured out of the house to one of my favorite places...Costco. Yes, that says a lot about how exciting my life actually is.

In the highpoint of the week the girls and I shared hotdogs and sodas. Two women and their children came and sat next to us. They spent quite a long time searching, and then lamenting the fact that they did not have a wet wipe to wipe down the table (our table).

Then they spent a few more minutes all cleaning their hands with hand sanitizer, again lamenting the fact that it would do no good for the kids as soon as they touched the table.

And there I was at the end of the table, with my children - eating off of the floor, practically licking the table as ketchup, hotdogs and buns were all moved from their wrappers to the table top, bench seats, and floor. In one impressive instance, Millie crouched under the table and insisted upon finishing the bun of her hotdog before coming out.

Until these ladies approached - hand sanitizer never even came into my consciousness. Now what does that say about me?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

done at 2.

That's right - 2 is feeling like a really great number. I watched 5 kids between the ages of 7 and 14 months last week.

This was not a 2 or 4 hour stint. Oh no. This was all day.
The day began great and quickly became overwhelming. Everyone ate breakfast, I promised a duck pond visit - and excitement ensued.

Then, things began slowing down; as in slow motion down.

Did you know that cleaning up after breakfast with 5 takes, like, an hour?

And just as we are about to throw on some shoes and head out for our walk - a major eruption. Up the back, across the waist, all over the clothes. No, I'm not talking about me.

We clean up and head on our walk about 1 hour later. I'm thinking a morning walk in the sun, throwing bread at ducks, a quick snack - and everyone will be ready for lunch and nap. I wasn't being very realistic.

We return after much bliss. All are tired, a few screams about not wanting to share (all screaming came from my children) and a chair on baby toes in between throwing lunch on some plates.

And did you know that making tuna sandwiches for five and cleaning up also takes an hour? The wheat bread was not a hit. Grapes for half, bananas for the other half - but the chips. Oh, tortilla chips won the day!

Finally - nap time. Joyous. Nap. Time. Not for me - I work while others nap. And...

...not one person napped. 30 minutes later, individuals slowly arise. And I realize that there is no way I will be working.

I will admit that I lost all hope, or care. I could not feign excitement or happiness, or cheerfulness at everyone's short tempers (again my children). Throw in a movie - and daughters scream.

Scream about:
  • others stealing their seats,
  • bloody teeth after falling,
  • others need a booster seat,
  • scream,
  • scream,
  • scream.
Snack time - only marshmallows will do because we have no candy in visible sight. So I throw raisins in the marshmallow mix, you know, just to cheat us all into thinking we are healthy.

After all left - I came to a few realizations regarding the idea of having many children.
  1. Cleaning is impossible - by the time one room/thing is clean, many, many other things have become dirty.

  2. Watching everyone all the time? Impossible.

  3. Items not breaking? Again, impossible.

  4. Noise? Very, very possible.
So - two is sounding really nice, manageable. Any more and I will have to give up. On Everything.