Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Freddie Kroger

I realized that blogging about my kids is pretty therapeutic.  During the day I can get frustrated, annoyed, or too focused on the task at hand that I don't appreciate them all the time, but when I remember the day and I think about them I laugh and smile and love writing about all the crazy things they do.

Take grocery shopping, for example.

First, I should say that I am a bad grocery shopper.  It may be because I never live in one city long enough to memorize the layout of the local grocery store, or I am just slow, I don't know, but I am the kind of person who has to go down every aisle more than once to get everything on my list.  I end up buying things that aren't on the list, forgetting things that are, and wandering around trying to find the day's most necessary item without success.

Note to self.....just buy lemon juice when you happen to see it, because when it is actually being searched out it evades you.

So now that I have told you my (formerly) secret shame, you might forgive me when I say that taking my kids with me to the grocery store makes grocery shopping go from annoying necessity to seventh circle of hell.  I stopped taking my blood pressure while shopping with my kids, something I am supposed to keep an eye on for multiple reasons, because it was always high when they were with me.

Today.  Hm.  Well, Avery cries the entire time.  Not just today, every time.  She is so independent and......trust me on this....claustrophobic......she can't stand being buckled into the shopping cart.
When grayden was little he was so thrilled to be face to face with me just inches away and having my close attention that he loved the shopping cart,  but not Avery.  Grayden is a different story.  He loves the grocery store, mostly because if I don't put him in the cart he runs up and down the aisles, grabs everything interesting off the shelves, and talks to all the strangers.  When I try and use discipline to get him to stay by the cart, like helping me push it, putting one hand on the side, or even riding along side it, he cries or forgets or sticks his leg out and somehow knocks things over or kicks people.  So, I put him in the cart.  Where all the food is.  Of course, his toys at home are not nearly as interesting as a shopping cart full of food.  Things get thrown.  Towers are built.  A tube of crescent rolls becomes a drumstick atop a bag of Sun Chips.  He tries to teach himself to juggle.  All while Avery is crying (still) and I can't find the dang lemon juice.

So here is what happens when I take my kids to the grocery store.  After an indeterminate amount of time, I decide that certain things on my list aren't quite so crucial, I grab things that are expensive and unnecessary in the mind set that if I don't get my shopping done then at least I can feed them this stuff (cue unhealthy items) and I run to the checkout stand.  The cashier oogles at my baby, who of course doesn't cry for the few minutes the groceries are being checked out.....I haven't figured out why this is.  Grayden strikes up any conversation that comes to his head...Avery threw up on daddy, look how many teeth I have, mammals don't lay eggs, and other fascinating subjects.....which makes the oogling and attentive cashier take forever with the groceries.  Then, they put my bagged groceries in a new cart, and once I have paid I have to transfer the kids from one cart to another...except today, when they put a few bags of groceries, out of the nine total bags, up in the child's seat.  No room for Grayden, either.  So, I hold Avery with one hand and tell Grayden to hold on to the side of the cart and we make our way out to the car,  I quickly realize that I have one of those carts that pulls very hard to the left, which I didn't have a problem with when I had two hands, but with one hand I am pushing the thing like a drunken sailor, having to stop every two step and straighten the thing out, which requires a beautiful squatting move and elbow thrust that I will demonstrate for you sometime.  The exit door is far from our car, so,we have to cross the entire store front. Which would have been easy (except for the cart's alignment problem) if they didn't have the wide sidewalk completely covered with potted plants, leaving two small aisles that are perfect for a single file line of people to walk through but ironically impossible for a shopping cart.  So, we have to go down into the parking lot to walk across to the other side.  At first Grayden is obediently staying next to the cart, but he interprets close to the cart as three feet away, and when you are in the parking lot, that isn't safe.  I grab him and put him on the other side of me, where there isn't much room so he steps up onto the curb.  No problem.  However, the potted plants only leave a small space, which gets smaller the further we walk until the leaves are hitting his shins.  At this point I am a little ahead because the plants are slowing him down, so he starts to run after me and kicks over a lovely dirt filled purple potted flower right into the street and the contents spread out beautifully.  Luckily, at that moment I saw a store employee so I went back up to the entrance and said My son just knocked over a plant, do you mind picking it up for me?  And then I just kept walking.  Ten more yards to the blasted car!  As I'm trying to ditch the store worker the cart gets away from me and pulls hard to the left, crashing into the last corner of the building.  Avery starts crying again.  When I get to my car, there is no ramp off the curb.  At this point I vow to be completely self sufficient so I never have to go grocery shopping again.  I throw the kids in the car and then ram the cart off the curb so I can get the bags into my car.  When I got home, I looked at my shopping list......and made another shopping list of forgotten items  that I went and took care of tonight after the kids were safely in their beds and I got to go blissfully alone.

You people who shop with more than two kids, I commend you.  And, could you drop some of those groceries off at my house?  Because I am never going again.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


The first thing Grayden said to me this morning was " I had a dream that Storey had pizza for breakfast.  Can I?"  I don't know if he really had that dream or if he came up with that on the spot, if so, that's pretty impressive.  He also found black spray paint and sprayed a small part of the side of our house today.  What an adorable little vandal.  He also fell while jumping on his bed and hit his eyebrow on the window ledge and it gave him a nasty black goose egg.  When I dropped an open bag of graham crackers while standing at the pantry, he ran in like a flash, grabbed a cracker off the ground, and ran away as quickly as he could...I kid you not, if I had blinked twice I would have not seen him at all, he went that fast.

Yesterday Grayden and I had a little...big....run in at dinner time.  I know I let it go on too long, but he wouldn't eat while the family ate, so we all finished and left the table...which is the worst punishment for him...solitude......and instead of eating he kept leaving the table...got sent to his room until he was ready to take some bites.....came back to the table and still wouldn't eat....until finally I was practically forcing his mouth open and sticking a forkful of food in.  Mean nasty mom.  That made me think....I would really hate to watch a video of all my bad mom moments.  When I get frustrated, or lose my temper, or my patience, or when I'm lazy, or self-involved.  And I would really not want someone else to see that movie either, because it doesn't represent who I am.  I have great mother moments, too, and on average I think I do okay, but I thinkit would be hard to convince someone of that if the knew my worst moments.  I'm actually quite glad that I don't know every detail about the lives of the people I know.  Especially the bad stuff.  It would be hard not to think about it when I see them.  It would probably be hard not to make judgements about the kind of people they are, even though I know that my worst moments don't show the real me, the good person I try hard to be.  I know the scripture says "I, The Lord, will remember them no more" when talking about our mistakes, but we humans, we remember everything.  Sometimes it works out okay, my spouse and I definitely know the good the bad and the ugly about each other and we can still be happy and in love, but I think in the vast majority of circumstances those worst moments are best filed away and forgiven and forgotten.  (This totally ties in with my last post about prophets!  Judging people on their worst mistakes!)

Speaking of the "ugly", today Nate and I took the kids to a new little grocery store, and I looked abysmal.  I hardly got ready today, and then ran around like a maniac, it was muggy and rainy, by the time dinner was made and then eaten and we had to leave for the store I was disgusting and wearing mismatched clothes and I grabbed the closest shoes to the door (striped Toms) and we were on our way.  After a quick glance in the rear view mirror I told Nate I looked like the "before" picture on a makeover special.  He didn't seem to mind being seen with me, though.  Glad he still loves me after seeing me at my worst, both in life and in appearance.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Welcome to my evening scripture study thought process. Don't say I didn't warn you.

I was reading in the Book of Mormon about Zeezrom.  If you don't remember, it's a great bad guy repents and turns good guy story, along with a little miraculous healing.  I like it.  But I had the thought that if I met Zeezrom, maybe if he knocked on my door as a missionary or was asked to give a sermon in church, would it bother me that he had been so conniving and mean and hateful towards men of God, and who knows what else he did that wasn't kept in the record?  I hope not.  I don't think so.  Anyway, it got me thinking about other "good guys" who live less than perfect lives.  Well, that's everyone.  But for some reason it bothers people a lot more if a spiritual leader sins.  (Nate was devastated when he found out Martin Luther King Jr was an adulterer).  One time my sister and I had a completely irreverent conversation that I guess I could call "what if the prophet" which started when she heard something negative about a President of the LDS Church, and we then began asking each other questions that mostly started with "would it bother you if he.." and "what if he had done....".   The conclusion?  A resounding NO, our faith is not based on the sins of the prophet, past or present.  (Besides, after our conversation we realized that most of the sinful scenarios we had come up with could be found in the scriptures, often done by the prophets themselves).  So why, then, is it so difficult to look past the wrongdoings of spiritual leaders?  I think of poor Joseph Smith.  A lot was asked of that boy.  And since most of his history is written by people who either adored him (positive stories) and those who distrusted/hated/wanted him dead (negative stories) then there are a lot of mixed messages about his life.  But the point is that even if every terrible sinful story were true, Why should it shake my faith?  If anything, the adversary would have been working overtime tempting the man, and nowhere in the scriptures does it say prophets are sinless.  The only personal choice I know he made that affects my life is the decision to pray in a grove of trees.......pretty much everything else is between him and God and the same goes for every prophet before and after him.  But it is so common for people to glorify spiritual leaders that it can be crushing to find out the possiblity that they just might spank their kids, yell at their wife, have an addiction, or a bad temper, or a deep dark secret.  Often people get so carried away by the wonderful stories....like boy Joseph refusing alcohol as a pain killer when he had to have surgery...and they think he must have been super amazing every second of his life and forget that he was human.  We all are.

Aaaannnnnyyywwwaaaayyyyy.  Now that I have ranted, here is how my day went:  Avery cried all day.  Teeth or ear infection, only time will tell.  Grayden cried all evening. (Poor thing, his loving mother cooked him a nice hot meal for dinner, so of course he had to tantrum for an hour and a half.
He has a hard life).  I spray painted the long wooden handle of a former rake to look like a light saber so we can use it to hit his birthday piƱata.  I spray painted his headboard that I am going to decorate with a vinyl Star Wars logo.  I went to visit teach a girl in my ward who I had never met and who is moving tomorrow.   I.....fed my kids.  Remember how I said Avery cried all stinking day?  There wasn't much time for anything else.  Grayden learned how to skip and snap.  But not at the same time.  I ordered a ridiculously overpriced light saber ice pop contraption for the birthday.  (But seriously it is so cool, I got it at thinkgeek.com).  Now it is all of 9pm and I am exhausted.  So as soon as I clean my house, I'm going to bed :)

Thursday, April 11, 2013


At dinner Grayden held his fork close along his pointer finger and said, "Mom, I wish we had fork fingers.  It would make eating so much easier."  When I agreed he sighed sadly and said (rhetorically), "Why did Jesus make us with just normal fingers..."

My brilliant answer was that people would get stabbed if we tried to tickle them.  He thought that made a lot of sense.

Last night I went to mutual to plan the girls camp skit with the Laurels.  After that, (and after eating a cookie and a piece of cake, oh why do I have zero self control) I went grocery shopping by myself which I have decided is my new plan.  Never grocery shopping with children?  Yes, please.  It was blissfully quiet and unrushed.  And since I am gone every Wednesday evening anyway, it's a good two for one.  Peaceful and efficient, two of my favorite things.

Speaking of self control, today I went to a pizza buffet with a friend for lunch.  Pizza and buffet, two words that should never have been allowed to be put together.  I am not a health nut in the least, but Nate is so dedicated in his exercise routine and diet that I feel like I need to do something, if it just means slightly pay attention to what I eat.  Yesterday I jokingly pushed Nate with both hands flat on his stomach, and to be honest his abs are rock hard.  I just don't have the motivation to be that amazing.  When I do a show that requires dancing I get a lot of exercise, but that is pretty inconsistent.  Maybe once we join the YMCA I will go and take a class or two.  They watch your kids for free, and that is motivation enough.   Now someone else can play tag with him for a bit :). Today while playing tag for the 20th time, he fell and rolled his ankle a bit....and then he looked up at me and said, "Mom, I think I may have too much energy."   Smartest thing I've ever heard him say, before I realized.....he has probably heard that said in reference to him before.  Like, multiple times.

Four months from today our family is going to Grand Cayman on vacation.  I always feel like I desperately need a vacation about three months before we have one scheduled, but I guess I am a little ahead of the curve this time.  I think the roller coaster of last year that culminated in moving to Houston and then getting used to things here while my son acts like a deranged monkey on speed has made me want to take a step back from life and...I don't know, breathe a bit.  Recharge.  (even though the monkey is coming with us). Hopefully I have enough battery left for at least four more months.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tips on how to raise a four year old:

Totally kidding.  I have no idea whatsoever.  Besides, mine won't be four until the 27th.

Today he ran past me and said, "Mom, did you feel that air when I ran past? That's called the Wind of Death."
Today he begged, literally begged me multiple times to be able to sort and fold the pile of clean laundry I had put on my bed.
Today he tackled Avery with a little too much gusto and she cracked her head on the tile. (She's fine)
Today he asked to have quiet time instead of nap time and so I asked him what the rules for quiet time are.  He was able to recite all of them entirely on his own, and they are: no going into sleeping Avery's room, no loud stomping or pounding that makes the floor and entire house shake, no going to the top of the stairs and yelling if it is time to come down, and no tantrum after quiet time when I ask him to clean up the play room.  An hour and a half later he had broken every single one of those rules.
Today Nate got home after 7 and I lasted until 6:35pm before putting on a movie.  I was quite proud of myself.
Today he hid under the play room rug pretending he was a dinosaur fossil and commanded that I discover him.  39 times.
Today he told me that if I were a cake he and Avery would eat me.
Today he was a chef and cooked up some plastic waffles on his play grill.  Then he used a fork and knife to cut it up and fed all of his pretend bites to Avery, which thrilled her.
Today he read 32 of the 35 kindergarten sight words.  (When he can read them all he gets an ice cream cone)
Today he left three different flashlights in the on position scattered throughout the house.
Today he told me he loved me three times (awwwwww)
Today he went to timeout once for throwing ice at the dinner table and once for waking Avery up.

Today Avery somehow unrolled the entire roll of toilet paper in all three bathrooms.

As a side note, I took the kids to the local community college library yesterday.  Today 14 people were stabbed on the very same campus.  I am quite happy we weren't there.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Late Night with....Me

Nice!  I can blog on my iPad.  Maybe I can even attach pictures from my camera role.  This may be dangerous, because at night after Nate falls asleep (at 9pm) and my insomniac self hangs out on the bed in the darkness, all sorts of randomness enters my mind, and I may be tempted to share it.  Is this blog public?  I don't even remember.
 I went to my blog tonight, the first time in a pretty long time, to look over the drastic change that has taken place in my children.  What they say is true, the older you get the faster time goes, and I am only 30 for crying out loud.  My son has lost all of his sweet toddler ness and grown into a crazed little boy.  He is so hilarious I could post daily entries that would send you right past giggling and straight to guffawing.  He is strong and hyper and handsome and brilliant and kind and rough and naughty and silly and curious and stubborn and mischievous and he talks nonstop.  He amazes me with his many talents and his ability to go from tantrum thrower to genius to cuddler and back again in less than five minutes.
 My daughter is knocking on the door of toddler and it terrifies me.  I have never been super crazy about babies, but I already miss the baby version of her.  And what if we don't have more kids?  Then she is the last sweet baby I will have, and I think about that every single time I put her in her crib. First I sniff her....yes, I take a big deep breath through my nose right at her neck.....and think, one day soon she will walk herself to bed and get in it without my help.  With my first kid I was counting down the days, but it is different this time.  Every milestone she reaches causes a little bit more heartache.  But at the same time it is so fun to watch her personality develop, and to see the differences and similarities between her and her brother.  It is fun to watch her do something new and be so completely thrilled with herself.  It's funny how young kids learn pride in their accomplishments.  You can see the look of self satisfaction in their eyes at just months old....wouldn't it be nice if that confidence stayed with us throughout our lifetime!
Life has been really good to us lately, and I have been thinking a lot about how much we have.  Then after listening to General Confence last weekend, it is just abundantly clear that life is wonderful.  Not perfect, but I would rather have it the way things are...... a little messy, a little challenging, a little murky......than worry constantly about the little things.  The most important things are in check, so it's all good :)