Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Do I Look Crazy?

This afternoon, I took 6 kids to Target. Did you hear me right? SIX. KIDS. I took my 3, 2 neighbors, and 1 of the twins.

A few people did ask, "are all those girls yours?" I even saw a few gawk at me. I was gawking at myself. At one point, the baby was fussy so I was carrying her through the store with the other 5 ducklings following and pushing the cart. A woman commented to me, "wow, you must have been really bored to bring all your kids here." Huh? Is that what most women do when they're bored? Haul 6 kids to the store? My idea of boredom is having nothing to do. Geez, boredom sounds fantastic. Don't ya think? That's my wish for the new year--boredom. Scratch that--boredom and a cupcake.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Twelve Moments Of Christmas

1. Extreme elation that comes when a Nana bypasses all parental arguments and buys Sam EXACTLY what she wants. She is no longer the lone human in the universe who doesn't have a cell phone.

2. Hearing Makell exclaim, "All my dreams came true!" Then watching her zip out the door and realizing that 15 mph is really fast.

3. Finding a present that so eloquently describes the recipient.

4. For the child who loves bacon--bacon bandaids.

5. ....and gummy bacon.

6. Fulfilling an obsession for dry erase markers (to teach school with).

7. Santa giving exactly what was asked for.

8. Sweet babies to hold.

9. Matching jammies.

10. An ingenious use for the boppy pillow.

11. 70 degree weather in the middle of winter.
Perfect temperature for a tetherball showdown.

12. Falling asleep at 5:00 pm from an overabundance of excitement.


Monday, December 22, 2008


"According to the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game, while both male and female reindeer grow antlers in the summer each year, mail reindeer drop their antlers at the beginning of winter. Female reindeer retain their antlers until spring, after they give birth. According to every historical and artistic rendition depicting Santa's reindeer, they all have antlers. Therefore, every single one of them, from Rudolph to Blitzen, are female. We should have known. Only women would be able to drag a fat man in a red velvet suit all around the world in one night and not get lost."

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Miracle

Look what Santa flew in on his Continental sleigh.
Double Christmas joy.
We are over the moon.

Now at 6.5 pds.

Now at 4.3 pds.

Compared to these girls, I doubt that anything opened on Christmas day will be as thrilling. New toys just can't compete with new babies. If you put your nose up to the computer screen I bet you could smell that sweet baby smell. It's intoxicating. I think I'm going to find a way to keep them. I doubt my sister will mind. It is the season of giving after all.....

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Fa La La La La

Christmas songs just sound better when played by your own children.

I'm sure they are going to thank me one day for forcing, I mean persuading, them to practice....right?

Friday, December 19, 2008


Every now and then, I have a blip of genius. It just happens. The last time my brilliance sparkled brightly was when I had the girls convinced it was my birthday. When it really wasn't. I just wanted to see if they would be nice to me. Todd told them the truth and ruined my plan. He's such a downer that way.

A few weeks ago, genius showed back up. I made up an imaginary dog. A-Mazing! I'm like the smartest mom ever! All the people in this house (excluding myself) really want a dog. Not happenin'. It's like buying a toddler and bringing it into your home. Oh, and this toddler isn't even covered by your insurance, and you have to pay to shack it up at a pet resort if you go on vacation. For reals not happening. So, as my genius was percolating, I realized that if there are imaginary friends, there can be imaginary dogs. Sweet.

This is Olivia (oh yes, I even gave our new dog a name):

I've talked about her for weeks and I think everyone is on board. Again, A-Mazing. Addie has now started schlepping this stuffed dog around and telling us that this is Olivia. The girls will ask me, "Well, where is Olivia right now?" I always respond, "Wherever you want her to be." Then they inquire, "What does Olivia eat?" "Whatever you want her to eat of course." I've explained to them that she is the perfect dog. So obedient and quiet.

The other night Todd even called to Olivia. Patted his hands on his thighs and leaned down and called to our puppy. It was at that moment that I knew I should be a member of the Menza Society. Honestly, if I can get a 43 yr. old man to beckon to an imaginary dog, I just might be the smartest person in Texas.

I'm toying with the idea of breeding Olivia. Nana told the girls that if our dog had puppies that she would buy one. They might be a little costly. With each puppy you also receive a Foster Child. A-Mazing.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Enough Already

What is it with this time of year? I have so much to do, take care of, clean, attend, blah, blah, blah. I think my head is going to explode. I know I am speaking collectively for all mothers. Explode. At least at that point the craziness would all stop. If I exploded, I wouldn't have to seach ONE-MORE-STORE for the one item I can't find!

While I was pulling into the parking lot of the 5th store on my list for the day, I remembered a childhood Christmas. It was the year of the Cabbage Patch dolls. I recalled my mom telling me when I was older about waiting in line for the store to open that year. And then all the mothers in a frenzy to grab the dolls. At the time I thought she was crazy. As I sat in the parking lot today, I realized she was a supermom.

For all of us who are stretched to our limits, maybe we could all plan to explode simultaneously. Wouldn't that be amazing!? A unified message, don't ya think? I just hope it doesn't mess up my hair.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Which Eternity Is It?

In Primary yesterday, the question was asked, "What do you think it will be like when Jesus comes again?" All the typical responses were given. But from the back of the room I heard, "There won't be any school!" He, he, giggle, giggle, crack a grin......

Wait a sec. Hold up......calm, cleansing breaths. OK, let's be rational and think about this. For eternity--is there school or isn't there? My personal belief holds true that school is a gift sent to mothers. A gift from heaven. Ah...so....what's the deal going to be for eternity? School or no school? Are they going to be with me all day, everyday, FOREVER!? panic, panic, lamaze breathing. I demand an answer!! I'm stomping my foot right now! Seriously! Don't you think that mothers everywhere need to know? What if no one goes to school? What will we do? Is there homeschooling in the eternities and no one has told me?! Oh my mercy goodness, I'm feeling faint.

Someone has to know the answer to this question. Maybe there was some fine print that I forgot to read somewhere: "Eternity will feel like one looong Sabbath Day." Is that how it will work? I'll grit my teeth and hold my breath for 3 hours hoping they don't do something too embarrassing, and then we will come home and everyone will fight and destroy the house? Really? Please, someone tell me. Hurry...

I'm thinking we should all sign a petition. If that doesn't work, I'm stocking up on valium.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Feels Like Home

The unbelievable happened today. It SNOWED! In Texas!
A cold front moved in last night and this morning it actually felt like the winter we are used to. By afternoon the flakes appeared. We started screaming from the excitement. I sat in my car and looked around at the snow, and felt a piece of my Utah home.

Snow is a phenomenon here. The last time it snowed (for an hour) was 4 years ago. As we drove down the street, kids were waving their hands out the windows trying to touch it. As we pulled up to Sam's school, teachers had let their students outside to run in it. Pure magic.

If you squint your eyes, you can see our Texas snowflakes:
The best place to catch a snowflake:

Soaking in the magic moment:
Don't worry about us freezing in Texas. It will be back up to 70 degrees by the weekend!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Fear Of The Fairy

Everyone is afraid of something. You know you are. I'm afraid of tons of stuff. The thought of sitting on an airplane makes me stop breathing. The thought of all the pills in the world disappearing makes me cry big, salty tears. Fear is irrational, that's what makes it so crazy.

Addie Bean is afraid of the tooth fairy. She has told us the fairy is a boy that is lurking around here every night. We have exhausted ourselves trying to explain that the fairy only does a quick drop-by when you lose a tooth. It's wasted words. She is convinced he is trying to get her. The other night she told me, "I am so sick of seeing the shadow of that tooth fairy's head!" I stared at her with intense curiosity. She continued, "His head! His head! I can see it! Will you call him and tell him I'm sick of it!?" It turns out that the haunting shadow is cast by the armrest of the chair in the family room. With scientific logic, I explained this to her. Again, wasted words. Every time she walks by that chair now, I hear her say to herself, "there's his head.....". The girl is only 6. She has a serious amount of teeth yet to fall out. The boy fairy is going to be around for a while.

Any advice about fear is welcome. You must consider your audience before offering. This child lives in THIS household. That already sets her threshold for crazy pretty high. I mean, come on, she is afraid of a boy with wings that brings you money. Sounds pretty fantastic to me, but I guess fairies can be scary. Especially those whose heads cast a shadow.

Friday, December 5, 2008


Today is your birthday.

I've thought of you all day. It's been painful because I miss you. My mind still lives in a realm where I can't accept that you are not here. I exist on the belief that you have to be here somewhere. You just have to, because my own existence is defined by it. I close my eyes and I can see you. I hear your voice on the other end of the phone. I cry and then quietly beg and plead for you to come back. Please just come home and walk through the door. Please just call and reassure us that everything will eventually work out.

Everywhere I go, I am reminded of you. I can't escape it. I never expected that my memories would haunt me with the reality of what I have lost for the future. It's as if the deepest part of my soul has gone missing and can't be replaced. Why has that happened? How can it be fixed? I'm sure there is no answer to satisfy my questions. And even if there were, the pain would still remain. It's always present. The prickly edges of the pain have slightly worn down, but its core is fixated inside me. I don't expect it will ever leave.

On this day I want you to know of my love for you--my gratitude for being your daughter. We all now work to live the kind of lives that will take us to where you are. You set the standard and we are trying to reach it. Before you left, I told you to wait for me there. Someday I will feel your hugs again and hear your voice. Until then, I will wait. I will think of you and teach my girls all that you taught me. I will wait.....

Happy birthday dad. I love you.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Candy Land

Andi is a Hawaiian goddess who has adopted my girls. She offers endless hugs and brings them treats every Sunday. She has WAY more energy than humanly normal. We love her. She invited the girls over to decorate gingerbread houses. She told us that this year she only made 32 houses (for all those coming to decorate). When I told her that I couldn't believe that she baked, cut out and sugared together 32 houses, she responded, "Oh, it was no big deal. I used to make 175!" That's a serious amount of frosting. I immediately envisioned bathing in it.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Something happened today that hasn't really happened to me before.....my hair moved. In the wind. (pause for gasp) I can't ever recall this happening before. It might have occurred once or twice when I was in 2nd grade, but definitely not any time after that. I'm opposed to hair movement and I'm pretty sure its against my religion. Everything in its place--including hair. I spray it in the morning and it should stay there. ALL day. Nary a hair out of place.

Lately, I have made a valiant effort to reduce my hairspray intake. I'm giving back to the environment. Me and Al Gore. So, because of my efforts, my hair is more free flowing. It's ridiculous and I can't stand it. It's too unpredictable. And, I know this is a shocking revelation....I don't do unpredictable. Ever.

When I was in high school, I had the best bangs ever. No kidding. I would rat them really high to form just the perfect nest. I would spray them solid and there they would stay. For a week. When the wind blew, the nest moved as one unit. I remember my mom telling me that one day I would wake up to find my massive bangs sitting beside me on the pillow. Like a rat. Ouch. I think that one scarred my self esteem a wee bit.

I have sometimes wondered what it's like for most people. Is there really anyone out there that doesn't have a testimony of hairspray? Oh snap. That would be sad. Honestly, I can't imagine that anyone like that even exists. Why live if you're just going to let your hair look ugly? Sheesh. That's dumb. Better take a hard look at your priorities.

After my experience today, I'm not sure if I will continue with my decreased hairspray usage. I'm going to pray about it and then I'll decide. I'll keep you posted...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Weebles Wobble

This is Sam and her backpack. Do you see how she is leaning? It's all the weight of the backpack. Mostly it's her laptop and the crazy heavy battery. She carries this all day long. Leaning like she does. I watched her the other day and realized that when she walks, it looks like she is giving her backpack a piggy back ride. So, I decided to weigh the big, black burden: 18.5 pds. Sam weighs 65 pds. Hmmm, that might explain the leaning.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Eat At Your Own Risk

The missionaries came for dinner tonight. I'm sure they were desperate. Why else would you come here? Willingly? They have been to our house before, so they knew what they were in for. I did warn them. Here is just a sample of the questions they were asked:
  • What color is your room?
  • Do you sleep in the same room?
  • Do you sleep together?
  • Do you have kids?
  • Why don't you have kids?
  • Do you have a mom?
  • What's her name?
  • What is your favorite color?
  • What is your favorite thing to eat?
  • What is your favorite number?
  • Why do you like that number?
  • What color is your phone?
  • Why don't you have any freckles?
  • Did you know you have a lot of hair on your arms?
These poor boys made it through an entire hour here. And lived. Maybe it's because they are doing the work of the Lord. They have a force field of protection. I gotta get me one of those.

Friday, November 28, 2008


First Birthday

I don't think she has closed her mouth since then.

Sixth Birthday

When did time speed by from 1 yr. old to 6? Looking back makes it all feel like it's passing faster than I want it to. It also makes the moments of joy stand out brighter than they did at their original occurrence. Reflection is funny that way. The bad is always there, but the good becomes better somehow. It happens every birthday. I look at my child and remember the bad, the hard, the heartbreaking. But my mind seems only to dwell on the good, the joy, the love.

And so I gaze at this child of mine who looks and talks like a tornado, and all I see is the good, the joy and the love. I see the kind of mother that her spirit is nudging me to be. I try to see what He sees.

Addie is many things, but shy is not one of them. She oozes freedom and independence, regardless of my instruction. She has an incessant need to talk ALL THE TIME and to cling to those around her like velcro. She is smart and stubborn and ridiculously determined. She is my Addie. And today she is six. I looked at her today and told her how happy I was that Heavenly Father let her be mine. I'm sure I'll change my mind about that tomorrow. But for today, she is my good, my joy and my love.

Happy Birthday Bean

Addison is quite obsessive over wintergreen lifesavers (and bacon).
Nana bought the smallest bag she could find....

Painting pottery with her friend Alexis.

Celebrating at Red Robin.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Crack In A Wrapper

Did you know that they are now selling crack at Costco? And they were nice enough to decorate it with sprinkles. It doesn't look like a narcotic when it's pretty. Pick some up for the feast tomorrow. Why eat pie when you can eat frosting?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Something Wicked This Way Comes

I could feel it before we even got in the car...that mother instinct that whispers, "somethin' wretched is a comin'...." I knew what was in store, but I was just too tired to gear up for it. Stake Conference. Super-sized church. Two hours of threats to make my kids behave. Two hours of looking at all the parents who gave birth to reverent children. The ordeal was yesterday, and only now can I write about it. Cringe.

My first hint should have been the family that moved 5 minutes after we sat down. When we first plopped into our seats, I turned to warn them of what it was like to sit by us. They left soon thereafter. The mom leaned down and said to me, "I promise it's not you." Oh, uh huh, and I'm Nancy Reagan. As the meeting started, I tried channeling all the positive mom-ness I possessed. It lasted 8 minutes. After that, I was reverently yelling at them through my clenched teeth. At one point, Addie was trying to color on my shoe and hit me, Makell was laying on the floor in the isle with a 2 yr. old, and I'm trying to get them to both return to their seats. As I sighed with stress, I noticed a note from one of my kids. It is laying out in the isle for all to see, written in big letters, "You're A Loser!" At least all the words were spelled correctly.

Just as the freak show was in full tilt, I looked to Todd for help. He doesn't notice my distress call because he's coloring! In--A--Coloring--Book! He is so focused on his parrot, he doesn't have a clue about his surroundings. His greatest concern is the pattern he is coloring on the parrots wing! For the love of all that is just and true, are you kidding me!? I swear I almost clocked him, along with the kids.

After the meeting ended, my fury had caused me to be mute. I couldn't speak for fear of the profanity I would use in the church. You can cuss at home, but not on hallowed ground. A woman from my ward commented, "wow, you sure have been blessed with some....uh....lively children."

For reals, my calling and election is made sure.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sew Perfect

During the summer, Makell decided to sew. She wrote her name in her own handwriting, traced it on muslin, and then stitched away. 14 minutes into the adventure, she realized that it just wasn't possible to sit still long enough to finish her masterpiece. So until now, her needlepoint has sat in a drawer. Today it was revived. What else are you going to do when you have strep throat and can't play with friends? Sew of course. This little lightning bolt girl actually sat still. For an hour. Pure delight.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Experiment Upon My Word

This is the entrance to our back door. It is the main door that we ALL use at least 84 times each day. For some reason that I have yet to discover, the girls leave their shoes here. Right outside the door. If they would actually open the door and take 1 step, they could put their shoes INSIDE the house.

I'm so sick of picking up everyone's shoes, I could just gnaw my finger off. So, I decided to try an experiment. I would leave them. Surely someone OTHER THAN ME (and there is another adult who lives here) would pick them up:

It is now 10 days later. Just look at the progress:

For the love of sanity people!! Pick. Up. Your. Crap.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Babies, Babies, and Babies

I absolutely adore babies when I don't have to be the one to incubate them. Lately I have gotten a slight reprimand from several of you, for not posting updates about the twins. So, here are all the girl additions to this family...

Two days after the twins were born, my brother and my sister-in-law delivered this sweet piece of goodness. Her name is Tess and could she be more beautiful!? I think modeling might be in her future. I'm over the moon about her hair. It's killing me not to fly to Chicago to accessorize it.

One twin home, one to go....Keagan came home last Friday. She weighs 4.7 pds. She makes her car seat look like it was made for Goliath.

Riley is still in the hospital. She now weighs 2.9 pds. They are projecting that she might come home on Saturday. She definitely won't fit in her Goliath car seat. Maybe she could fit perfectly in the doll carrier I've got upstairs.

Little pieces of heaven.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Colorful Bras

For as long as I can remember, I've longed to wear a colored bra. Especially black. But no matter where I shop, black bras don't exist in minuscule sizes. So, it's always been white. My sister actually found a fleshy colored bra for my birthday one year. It made me instantly feel like a grown-up. I had a roommate in college who's mom would send her a matching bra and undies for every holiday. Until that time I had no idea you could even buy bras with christmas trees on them. I was riveted at the sight.

Yesterday I was having a conversation with some friends and the discussion turned to boobs. Each of these girls for surely could fit in christmas tree bras. I told them that my bras are sold in the juniors department. In a box. With a 12 year old on the front. They proceeded to tell me that their endowment can actually be a burden. Huh? What a lie. "It's true", they said. "Crumbs get stuck in my bra all the time". "Oh, and last night I took off my bra and there was a piece of bread in there!" Hello!? How fantastic is that! Your boobs are big enough to lodge a piece of bread! A piece of bread! I was spinning with jealousy. "Sometimes you have to move them over so your kids can sit next to you." Holy moly, it's like the most ultimate accessory. The mere fact that you can move them makes me covet. Wow. Some people are just more lucky than others.

While these ladies were comparing bra sizes, I came to the realization that my bra size is the equivalent to the smallest size of batteries. Nice thought. I think I'm going to just shove a piece of bread in there to make myself feel better. Of course, it won't stay there long. Its just going to fall and get stuck in my belt.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Me: "How was school today?"

Makell: "In P.E., someone asked if we could do a sex dance."

Me: "Uh....did he say it to the teacher?"

Makell: "No, he just said it to me."

Me: "What did you say back?"

Makell: "Come on man, are you stupid or what!"

I'm thinking she should focus her future career in politics.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Christmas Shopping Is Done

We are going for a group gift this year. It was only $5,000.
Small price to pay for the joy it will bring on Christmas morning.

At least it no longer looks like this:

I'm thinking that we'll all wear our Christmas jammies and stand around the garage while we hold hands. This just might be the best Christmas yet....

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Goals Are Good

I've been thinking about goals lately. See, I have these brothers that have recently run marathons. They both set a goal about a year ago, and so they ran. Stupid goal if you ask me. Anything that makes you sweaty is ridiculous and those running outfits just aren't pretty. No one, I repeat, no one looks good in spandex. Ever. Did you know you actually have to PAY to run in a marathon? What the? I definitely remember both of my brothers using the word 'death' to describe their marathon experience.....AND THEY PAID FOR IT!

So, their goal has got me thinking about my goals. A couple of years ago I set a goal to floss more than I had the year before--which was none. How could I do anything but improve? I flossed 10 times that year. I'm such an overachiever. Lately I've had a goal to not use as much hairspray. It's quite a stretch for me, but like I said....overachiever. I'm thinking about setting a goal of decreasing my Pepsi intake by a teaspoon or two. This one is a toughie, so I'll have to fast and pray about it before I commit.

The new year is just around the corner. I should set at least one goal for 2009. It definitely won't be a marathon--the only reason to run that far is to a shoe clearance at Dillards. But I do think I should reach beyond any of my previous goals. You know, really stretch myself. Maybe I'll try to floss 14 times. In a year. Always, always an overachiever.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Growing up, we lived around the corner from a very colorful family. Every neighborhood has one of these families, but this one was REALLY colorful. Lots of kids, crazy stuff happening all the time....like putting on plays (including costumes and sets) that would last for 3 days. As a child, I was fascinated by the mother of this family. She had a fantastic laugh and she would wear a ginormous hat to church on Easter. Whenever they were getting ready to go on vacation, she would take all the clothes to the laundromat and wash them. She would then pack all the suitcases and lock them in the car--and there they would stay until the vacation. I'm not quite sure what everyone wore until that time came....I also remember that they painted the outside of their house a creamsicle orange--after the fire of course.

At one point, a few of the little girls in this family were playing with mustard seeds in their bedroom (don't even ask, I don't know where they got them). Some time after that the carpet got wet (maybe during the fire). Many, many, many months later when someone actually looked under the beds, there were mustard plants growing! Mustard. Plants. Growing. In. The. Carpet!!!!!! Again, I repeat, a colorful family.

Keeping this in mind, look what I found under Addie's bed:

It's a bag of noodles. My girls have a strange obsession with eating them raw. It appears that they snuck them upstairs. How long have they been there? Good heavens, who knows. But as I leaned over and stared at these noodles, I thought of the mustard plants. And in that instant, in the pit of my stomach, I knew...."holy crap, we're the colorful family!" The realization is sobering. Well, not really. I mean, it's obvious that we are that family, I just try to pretend otherwise. So, I've already ordered my hat for Easter, written the script and designed the costumes for our play and our house is going to look great in creamsicle orange. So Colorful.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Bad Teeth

  • Pain so severe that it hurts to talk (excellent side effect, I might add).
  • Throwing up from the narcotics.
  • Root canal.
  • Finding a dentist that tells you "if you chase the vicodin with a beer, its awesome." (I speedy quick made myself an appointment. This dentist must be a genius.)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Random Bits Of Amusement

Addie turned to me at the dinner table tonight and said, "Tomorrow is election day and we are going to vote for a new prophet." "Who do you think we should vote for?" I ask..."Well, I think we should vote for President Monson." Fine choice.
A few nights ago, Makell was playing a game on the computer. At one point, she poked her head out of the office and asked, "hey, am I a male or female?"
I think my armpits are growing. For real. I've been suspicious for a couple of months now, but I'm finally convinced. Growing. Not my boobs, just my pits. My shirts are tighter there. It bugs me. I'm thinking about a juice fast to slim them down. Cleanse the pours of my pits. Then they will be rejuvenated and my shirts won't bunch.
Makell's teacher told me that she has been trying to teach her a math concept since school started, but it hasn't clicked yet. The other day, Makell was so excited to show her this SAME math skill that another teacher had just taught her and she understood it. Her teacher said to her, "I've showed you how to do that for 2 months, how did you learn it so quickly from someone else?" Makell just looked at her and said, "well, at least you're still pretty."
I'm sure most of you have seen this, (I stole it off of http://seriouslysoblessed.blogspot.com/). It has brought me scads of amusement for a week. I hope it offers you a giggle. If it doesn't, you're more uptight than me....which says a lot about you.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Can you still carve your pumpkin in November? Yup.
Each person carved a different facial feature....I bet you can't tell.
Sam is taking the picture while Addie is giving a 'peace out'.
All my energy is spent trying to make this family appear normal--it just might be wasted effort. And yes, its 3:00 in the afternoon and Addie has on pajamas and I still have on my church clothes. Doesn't everyone pull the guts out of a pumpkin while wearing heels and a skirt?

Note again the pajamas...

I'm thinking she looks extra interested in wielding a knife....not a good sign.