Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Lots of my ideas can be described as halfbaked. I can't stop them from flowing. If I thought things completely through I probably wouldn't even begin to take on half the projects I attempt. Or even post half the posts I do. Halfbaked it is. It is totally how I feel tonight anyway. Crusty on the outside, mush on the inside. I am like Jiffy Cornbread.

Yeah, I have no idea where I was going with that. My brain isn't completely engaged. Halfbaked. Appropriate, considering I'm 20 weeks pregnant. Pollywogallina is halfbaked, too.

I watched the third piece of wallpaper come crashing off the wall.  Dammit all to hell and back again! I think I'm going to cry. I don't remember that happening in my mother's basement. Hanging the blasted wallpaper I got on clearance was the last project Husband and I did before he left on his trip. And at like midnight. He didn't complain. He was leaving the next day for eleven days. At one point he even said he kind of liked doing it. I'm thinking of texting him a picture of my recent calamity along with "don't quit your day job." But I wont in case it is the very first text he gets when coming off the mountain. He'll see it and turn around and start walking back in the opposite direction. We really need him around here, so I will keep my snarky texts to myself.

In case you missed it, my husband is hiking the John Muir Trail right now. It's kind of a big hiking deal. A notch in his outdoorsy-mans belt. Personally, I think the whole idea is a little... well, you guess it... halfbaked. But it's not like all my ideas are genius. We clearly have somewhat differing opinions on what is considered fun. He's obviously going to be kicking himself for missing my attempt at sewing a slipcover this week. I hope this halfbaked plan turns out. Some of them do. Thank goodness epoxying corkboard to the glass insert on the pantry door did. He isn't particularly fond of texts like, "Hey babe, could u swing by THD and pick me up a new pantry door?"

I sewed the faux dish towels out of napkins I liked and some fabric remnants. Woohoo! It worked.

Since Husband is pretty used to going along with my whims, I forget at how out of nowhere they might seem to some people. With my sister here she is frequently reminding me that I'm nuts. I don't know why she thought taking the kids on a field trip to the side of the road to pick weeds for the mantle in flip flops was a problem. She's coming around though. Soon I will win her over and she'll quit asking questions when I say, "I have an idea."

My almost free fall mantle. Rootbeer bottles from movie night, weeds on the side of the road, paint tarp turned banner from the garage, cheapo gourds from the farmer's market and my backyard, wah lah!

Further proof that buying eight bags of Dollar Tree fall leaves was not a halfbaked idea. Neither was the grape laden hideous topiary from Goodwill that looked like it came from the foyer of a nursing home. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with either, but now it's one of my fall favorites.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Bedtime Boogie Monster

I am among the lucky few whose Husband does the bedtime routine. It is fabulous. I count myself blessed. Trust me. But it becomes a problem say, if he's gone for ten days hiking in the wilderness. We are all tired. We are all cranky from not having enough sleep. This is because my children are not scared of me.

I need a glass of water.


I need another story.


I need a hug and a miss (kiss).

Okay, okay, okay... until I think I'm gonna lose it.

I can yell. To which Scrunch yells back, "Quit yelling at me!! Why are you so mad!?"

I can calmly and rationally explain. To which she calmly and rationally out-explains me in return.

Round and round until she tells me she's tired and is going to bed and I bang my head against the wall.

I don't want them to fear me per se, but being afraid of me or what I might do if you get out of bed for the thousandth time might be a good thing. I am going to sit here and work on my "So help me if you get out of that bed one more time!! Face."

I know, I know. An effective wooden spoon comes with slats. Mine doesn't have slats, but I love my Pampered Chef wooden spoons all the same.


Bribery. I would never give my child a Snicker's bar for going to bed. No really. I wouldn't. Those are MINE for when she's finally asleep!

OK, so this isn't really working. All I am doing is scaring myself. I'm sure it is not having a single effect on my sternness as the bedtime enforcer. I didn't think it would. I'm just trying to avoid going through the pile of crap sitting behind me in all the pictures.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Prepare to be amazed!!

Family Room Before

Family Room After

This has been my labor of love for the last few months. We've done all the painting, woodwork, flooring ourselves. I sewed the curtains, the roman shades, and reupholstered the ottomans. Clearly I'm hormonal, but looking at the two pictures like that...I think I'm going to cry.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Remember Me

When Mom called she set the record straight.

"I did not wallpaper 750 square feet of anything."

"It was just the two end walls. The rest was paint."

Huh? What? That can't be right. I even checked with Miqui and she remembers the wallpaper as much as I do.

On another day I might have been disturbed by the thought that much of my remembered childhood might not be true! How could this be?

But not today. Today I am pleased as punch that there's a chance my children might remember me more awesome than I really am.

'Mom fulfills special requests pulling out all the stops and all her connections.' Scrunch's only request was to see a lizard and a snake at the zoo, and by some miracle we showed up at the same time they were doing some exhibit.

'Mom always let us ride the train and carousel.' It was hot. Everyone was tired of walking, and if we hit the train and the carousel it would be easier to convince you it was time to go home.

'She always had her camera ready to take pictures.' No I didn't. It was my phone. These days everything is capable of taking a picture, crappy as they may be.

'Mom was always a master gardener.' By some weird curse all bloody twenty-four tomato plants took.

'Mom was always smiling in the kitchen and wearing her apron.' Once a year I stood for six hours straight stirring and peeling and making Heaven only knows what with all those damn tomatoes. And I wasn't smiling, I was gritting my teeth so I wouldn't cuss like a sailor when I stood up and smacked my head on an open cupboard.

'She always let us stay up and hang out on the couch while she finished working, waaaay past our bedtime.' I gave up. Papa was gone and I suck at bedtime.

The truth is...the truth. Lots less impressive. But with any luck, like generations before, in my children's eyes I will be awesome!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunday Memories

My mother had pinkish-hued wallpaper in the basement of the Clearfield house. It must have been at least a good 750+ square feet. Looking back, I think she must have been out of her ever lovin' mind! Not so much as it was  pink, but because I know she hung it all herself. My bowl scraper from the King Arthur Flour catalog is more likely to be used to flatten out wall seams than to scrape any type of batter from a bowl. I don't wonder where I get it. We just finished hanging wallpaper on one very flat, very square, non-basement wall, with help, and I don't care if I hang another sheet of wallpaper in my life!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Little Fun Goes A Long Way

I fell asleep sitting on the bed waiting for Husband to finish the kids' bath. I was still holding the diaper and dental floss pick I was headed to the trash with when I woke up. After spending Friday night at the waterpark, then the arcade, colds and calling obligations Saturday, recovery Sunday, finishing the floors, school, the park, and Home Deal-o, I couldn't be more ready for a "day off" tomorrow. I've got three paint tarps, chevron fabric, and a pile of unfinished crap waiting to be turned treasure that I'm hoping to tackle. Scrunch needs the the low key day too, I think.

What did you do in school today?

"I don't want to talk about it right now."

What happened?

"I'm just too tired right now."

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sunday Memories

September 11, 2001

I was on my way to take an English final at the High School. I first heard about it as I drove in my car. When I arrived at the school Karen my teacher let me take the exam in front of the television. I took the test while watching the plane hit the second tower. It was totally surreal.

If I remember right, Grami was visiting and "got stuck" at our house. That wasn't the same trip she backed down the on ramp was it? Jess, Erica, Miqui? do you remember that too?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Ahem...Excuse me while I get on my soap box.

Two weeks ago I was asked to teach Relief Society. The lesson? Chastity. Oh, and by the way...the Young Women (meaning 16 and older) will also be joining us.

My initial response was to text my sister. "Guess which recently knocked up chick just got asked to teach the Law of Chastity in Relief Society?"

Her response? "Guess it's a good thing Chastity is more than just not getting knocked up."

And so, this got me really fired up. Because you know, she was right.

If anyone can give a scared straight, lay it on the line chastity talk that would scare the pants on you, I could. Come on kids! You do not want an STD on your face. The statistics? Oh, I know them. What's going on in America's high schools? Been there, studied that. And originally this was the direction I was headed in. But on the advice of a friend I got a copy of Between Husband and Wife. THIS IS A MUST READ!!!

In a religion where abstinence is taught, I don't feel like it's something that we talk openly and appropriately enough about. It is a damn shame! As a church we are failing ourselves, our marriages, and our children. Yes, I said 'sex' and used correct anatomical terms in the church and in front of the Bishop's wife. It did not catch of fire and she thanked me for my honesty and openness. In fact, the Relief Society President came to me in tears and said she had never heard a lesson on the Law of Chastity given that way. Not to pat myself of the back, all I did was talk about information that is already there.

We did not focus on the "don'ts". We already know what those are. We talked about "why?" Why is it so important that we understand this? Why is it so important that we teach it? Since then, a member of the Stake Young Women's Presidency has asked me for a copy. I thought I would share some of the highlights here. You've got to read this book. Between Husband and Wife. Do it. Now.


What we teach and the attitude that we cultivate should be that sex is SACRED, not Secret.

We need to have positive attitudes towards sex. That it is good, and beneficial in a marriage. Our peers and our children need to see that it holds a special place within our marriage, that is to be respected. And yes, even that we like it.

It is our God given responsibility to teach our children these principles. If you don't talk to your kids about sex, someone else already is. Use correct anatomical terminology. It is important that your kids be able to accurately describe to you what has occurred should they ever find themselves in an inappropriate or predatory situation. Not just when they are 13. When they are 3, 4, and 5.

There are least five DIVINELY ordained purposes for sex IN MARRIAGE.

1. to provide a profound expression of love
2. to bring emotional and physical closeness
3. to lift the relationship to a higher plan
4. to fulfill Gods commandment to have children
5. to experience pleasure and joy.

Only ONE of these is procreation for the sole purpose of bearing children. Our child bearing years are a very short period of our mortal lives. As someone who has experienced infertility, sex for the sole purpose of bearing children is not only stressful, but can be very damaging to a relationship. Sex can and should be fun. If it's not, there is room for improvement.

President Kimball taught, “It is the destiny of men and women to join together to make eternal family units. In the context of lawful marriage, the intimacy of sexual relations is right and divinely approved. There is nothing unholy or degrading about sexuality in itself, for by that means men and women join in a process of creation and in an expression of love.

In the right time, in the right place, and with the right purpose.

Parley P. Pratt “Our natural affections are planted in us by the Spirit of God, for a wise purpose; and they are the very main springs of life and happiness- they are the cement of all virtuous and heavenly society-they are the essence of charity, or love;...
There is not a more pure and holy principle in existence than the affection which glows in the bosom of a virtuous man for his companion.”

This is why is important. This is what we should be teaching our youth and cultivating withing ourselves. Not because you can get pregnant or get and STD, but because you do not want to forfeit yourself from having a relationship with someone you love that is based on communication, and trust. 

Satan Wants Us to Break the Law of Chastity

President Packer stated, “The adversary is jealous toward all who have the power to beget life.” “He cannot beget life; he is impotent. He and those who followed him were cast out and forfeited the right to a mortal body”

They will be alone for eternity. This is why is cares so much! If he can stop of us from benefiting and using our God given powers then he wins! 

Pres. Packer, “To willfully destroy a marriage, either your own or that of another couple, is to offend our God. Such a thing will not be lightly considered in the judgements of the Almighty and in the ternal scheme of things will not easily be forgiven.
Do not threaten nor break up a marriage. Do not translate some disenchantment with your own marriage partner or an attraction for someone else into justification for any conduct that would destroy a marriage."

We like to say that it is 'The World' and place blame on someone other than ourselves. That we have to protect ourselves and our families from “out there” but Satan is smarter than that. He is working on us and our families from the inside.

The obvious hard work that Satan is putting into destroying and distorting these doctrines shows just how important they are, but what are we doing to distort them.

What conflicting messages do WE send our Young Women and ourselves?

Do we say that it is “special”. Between two people who love eachother and are married. Unless it is Tues, Wed, or Thurs night and our favorite show is on and we're getting together with our girlfriends to watch. Where selling yourself out for one night is part of the game and then we call that “love.”

Do we ever stop blasting the music so loud that we actually hear the words and realize what it is they are describing in accurate detail?

We tell our girls that they should be admired and respected for more than their bodies. That they should fill their minds. What do they hear us talk about?

Do we tell them it is not just about your body and more than looks and then stand in the mirror and berate ourselves and all that God has given us? How often do your friends and Young Women hear us whine about our arms, our butts, our thighs, the width of our lips, shape of our eyes, and every other God-given part we are dissatisfied with?

When we are getting dressed and ready to go out with our girlfriends, do we want to BE beautiful or look sexy?

When we go clothes shopping do we throw our hands up and whine about how hard it is to find modest , decent and appropriate clothes or do we write to these distributors and tell them We don't think this is okay. It works. A very trendy, popular clothing store pulled an entire line of t shirts with offensive and demeaning phrases aimed at young girls like “Does this shirt make me look fat?” They pulled the entire line because a group of moms said THIS IS NOT OKAY.

Do we tell our girls to wait for marriage, till they find a cute RM who can take them to the temple, where they will make covenants with GOD. Unless it is that ONE dress for that ONE occasion and then it's okay to tuck your garments...

What confusing messages are we sending our girls. What confusing messages are we sending ourselves?

My kids are young. As they grow and learn and I have to teach them about these things, I hope I can impress upon them that it is MORE than not getting pregnant or an STD. It is about the benefit of having an intimate relationship with someone they love and who loves them. Worse than any moral sin is forfeiting themselves of the blessing that the closeness and intimacy with someone they love can provide.

I hope I can teach with unconditional love so that they will know that it takes strength and humility, and more strength to go through the repentance process. That there are few things you can do in this life where God and our Savior would not want us to turn to them. Worse than the sin is the guilt that Satan will use to stop us from repenting. Because then he wins again.

These things are Sacred, not secret. They are virtuous, lovely, praiseworthy, and of good report. They are blessings given to us by a Heavenly Father who loves us so we can have an opportunity to express love to the one person we are closest with. It is our privilege to teach and understand them.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

First First Day of School

Today I..."Went to school."

What did you do?


What else did you do?

"I picked up worms with a fork. But I didn't poke them. I just picked them up with it."

Oh. Good. I think.

Yes, apparently she LOVED the worms. Inny the inchworm is the puppet of the week for the letter "i". Inchworm = playing with worms??? She got a blue stamp on her hand. But it's not blue it's "iii-ndigo". You get the idea. And she loved every minute of it!

 Mrs. A and Mrs. R

Today I...

I have this great plan that when I pick Scrunch up from "school" I'm going to ask her what she did today and then record her response. My response will not be as "cute" "precious" or "Scrunch-like" as hers, but I thought my mom should know, yes I took pictures. Yes I signed up for my class. Scrunch isn't the only one. 'Cept no one bought me a pair of purple shoes to celebrate.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sunday Memories

The lesson in Relief Society today was on Family History. Usually these types of lessons make me cringe as I add to the mental list of 'Here's one more thing "to-do" and another way to feel like crap about yourself for not doing it'. Add two points for not even wanting to do it even if you could and time and money were not factor. Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner!

The suggestion was offered that you begin by documenting one memory each Sunday. I can do this! Then my mom turned to me and said, "This is why you need to keep up on your blog." And I felt super righteous for doing my geneaological duty. Because for the most part, the really juicy stuff makes it to the blog. Yes, this is as juicy as it gets. I'm matronly, and boring, and lack unusual piercings. You can feel sorry for me in my boringness, but as you will see- Don't mess.

When I vent and spout and spew this random crap, someday one of my descendants is going to care. Or at least they are supposed to. It is a scriptural promise.

Sunday Memory #1

I'm sitting in Mom and Dad's family room with a full view of the kitchen. The table might be different (we wont even go there), but I can't think of their kitchen without remembering all of us sitting around it one night when Jess yelled, "Here!" Fully expecting me to gently lob a nectarine in her direction, it didn't work out that way. I wound up, hurled it full force less than a couple of feet. She moved her hands and I broke her nose. Neither one of us have been able to live it down since. Just to clarify for any of our descendents who may hear an embellished version of this story...This was not the start of my pitching career. No scholarships were offered. But I would like a little credit for contributing to the straight nose she always wanted and eventually got after she broke it couple more times. I had nothing to do with those.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Don't Blink

Fall 2010

Fall 2011

Friday, September 2, 2011

Llama, llama, I'm the Mama.

Along with the "Seriously?" and "Congratulations!" I also get one of two reactions to my pregnancy.

"Are you out of your mind?! You already have a boy and a girl." or "Good. Now you're starting to catch up with the rest of us."

Oy. Why do we do this to eachother as women? I don't think the guys do this as much.

It is this unspoken pressure that you're damned if you do, and damned if you don't that's been grating on my nerves as of late. Oh, I know. You have to make the decision that is best for you and your kid, but EVERYONE seems to know what's best for your kid.

There are certain expectations and pressures we put on each other and ourselves as women. For most things, like haircuts, outfits, cars, carpet, and paint colors, I have no problem telling someone where to stick it if they don't like it, but when it comes to screwing up my kid? I take a little more pause. I would really rather not screw this up.

For weeks I have hemmed and hawed, waffled, and waved about what to do. And so, even though I had planned on homeschooling and am a full Homeschooling supporter, I don't believe it's for every kid and most importantly not for my kid. We signed her up for Preschool today. I also don't think every preschool is for every kid. In fact, I don't think every kid should even go to Preschool, but for Scrunch- its what she needs right now. Right now, she needs more than I can give her.

These are just a few of my reasons.

- She is FIERCELY independent but also incredibly imaginative. I have to pick my battles very carefully.
-She wants to learn to read sooooo badly, but she is so independent she doesn't want me to help her with it.
-I have two little kids, soon I will have three. All of them still need me to help put shoes on, go potty, etc. Trying to add school to the mix and feel like I'm doing a good job is more than I have in me right now. It wouldn't matter as much if I didn't have a kid who was already responding to my "I don't know why's" with "Mom! Why don't you know this?!"
-Porkchop has and will continue to need additional attention, soon I will have a newborn. I can't be everything to everyone.
- I am not a glowing pregnant type. I am still waiting for the surge of energy that was supposed to accompany my first pregnancy, and we'd like to have more kids. It's hard to teach preschool with the energy of a sloth. Those preschool teachers get paid to be peppy and God love 'em for it!
-Call me selfish but I like to craft, garden, knit, and I don't think I'll ever quit my job because I like it. All these things make me a better, saner mother. There are still only 24hours in the day.
- We have access to a highly qualified, highly trained, and prepared Pre-school less than five minutes away. The setting is amazing, their ratios 1:3.

The deal closer? They have a llama named Timmy and a horse named Cowboy. My husband wont let me have a llama.

As a P.S., I am not so shallow as to have been sold simply by the farm animals. I have several concerns about public education- least of which are concerns regarding what is taught, but rather how it's taught. My background is not in education, but I don't make any decision without a significant amount of research. She is attending Preschool, but we're still exploring our options for kindergarten. She tells me all the time that, "We're growing up. Riiight no-ow." Joke's on her. She wont even start till she's almost six.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Real Life (with commentary)

I have this little white distressed tin bucket that usually sits on the bathroom counter. It's usually filled with...well, I don't really know why it's even in there, but it just is.

I happened to use that restroom and find the bucket sitting on the edge of the bathtub filled with... well, I don't really know what, but it just is. Pee? Shampoo? If I'm lucky, it's just the water Scrunch might have used to give some Little Person a bath. The Fisher Price variety not the TLC reality show.

I looked in, quickly finished my business, and left it still sitting on the edge of the tub. Bathrooms are on Mondays. Today is NOT Monday. Monday I hope to still be out of town. So, as long as it doesn't rust completely through the bucket making an even bigger mess, I hope to get around to dealing with it sometime before...??? Halloween? Yes. I can commit to dealing with this particular unexpected mess before Halloween.

That is the primary trouble with my grand plans. In theory, it was perfect. And for a whole five days it worked. But I neglected to factor in all the unexpected but 'don't have much of a choice but to deal with it' events in life. You know. Real life. Things like...

Working the weekend. Um, please don't use the lighter standing next to the oxygen tanks. Exact words I used, I swear.

Unexpected and required training two hours away. Hooray for paid drive time!

Midwifery appointments. Note to self. If you take your husband with you, he will tattle on you. But you'll also get the best name suggestion ever! A grand daughter of one of my midwives wanted to name their recent addition Pollywogallina. It didn't fly with her mom and they went with something else. I see this as making the name free game. Pollywogallina it is!

Optometry appointments. Oh yes, the Mayor is going to look oh so official in new purple glasses. And hopefully young and hot. 

Four hour ordeals for a Surgeon's follow up. Hi, I know you're a wicked smart surgeon and all (and I will always love you), but are you daft? Dude! You don't bring us into the exam room just to give us hope and then leave us there for another twenty minutes. Not if you expect all those fancy, shiny, sharp and I can only assume expensive gadgets to stay sterile. He's 15 mos old. Complete torture! You owe me so big that I didn't use one of your tools to poke my eyes out. I only ate ice cream with cocktail flavored Jelly Belly's to console myself instead. And, I figure I need to be nice(r) since we'll be back in a couple of weeks and then again so you can put him under. Tubes are falling out. Time for new ones.

You know... the usual stuff.

It's just life.

And somehow factoring in keeping a spotless house is taking less and less of a priority. In a perfect world? Oh, sure. I'd love to. But in the real world there will probably always be some tin bucket filled with Heaven only knows what! And other stuff will just have to wait till next week.

If I had it to do over again I might have added "and wonky stenciling skeeelz", but what can you do? Obviously there are a few letters missing because I needed a 'do-over', but my little reminder is now printed on the chalkboard above the kitchen table.

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