Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Laney turns 2

Sunday was Laney's 2nd birthday. This is our "family party year" so we celebrated together at home. I love "family party year". I get to enjoy splurging on my child without the added stress of trying to come up with acceptable goodie bags.

Laney woke up to a bed o' balloons. Some would view this as a strangulation hazard. We view it as a whole lotta fun.

She said "buhlOONS!" and got right to work whipping them around into a tangled mess. It was just what I was hoping for.

We went right into breakfast and by the time I got to the table I was reminded of my "impulse goggle purchase" of the night before.

They contributed mightily to excessively reverent scripture study.

After a plateful of blueberries and strawberries, we all dressed for Stake Conference and headed out. I think having Daylight Savings land on your birthday is like having the Universe slap you in the face. Tough luck, Laney.

Mark was sickety sicko, so stayed behind. This was a tragedy in that I was on my own with four kids, metal chairs, no cheerios, 25 colored pencils that I forgot to sharpen, and two hours of meetings. If it weren't for the lady behind me that took pity on my soul and provided several "lift the flap" books for Laney to peruse, we absolutely would have not made it. I promise you I had my diaper bag hastily packed, slung over my shoulder and whispered to the other kids "come on! follow me!" no less that three times. But somehow managed each time to plant my hiney back in the chair, breathe deeply and forge ahead. I'd like a certificate or cash prize, por favor.

But on the bright side, Mark had the spaghetti and garlic bread ready and waiting when we arrived home. It was a lovely sight to behold. And Mark doesn't skimp on the the butter and garlic. Wait, is it my birthday? mmm....butter.

After all the bellies were fed, we brought out the cake and sang to our sweet Laney. She was feelin the love (as seen in video below). But when it came time to blow out the candle, she couldn't quite get it and we watched in suspense as she tried and tried. When she finally did it, we all cheered so loud, she got scared and started to cry. Happy Birthday!

After the drama, she was ready to have a few quiet moments with her chocolate.

The presents were almost entirely Thomas the Tank engine gear and she couldn't have been more thrilled.

I can't get enough of the look on her face as she realizes this cake is for her and she soaks in the attention. Love it. Love her.

My little Miss Laney. I love you (and so does your Dad!) and I think you are the sassiest, smartest little sugar beet on the planet. Happy Birthday, fuzzbucket.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


My children go to the dentist every 6 months like clockwork. Their little pearly whites have yet to come into contact with a drill. So they LOVE the dentist. Who wouldn't love an upbeat guy that has a frog puppet with teeth, video games in the waiting room, disney movies in the ceiling, stickers, prizes, namebrand toothbrushes and sunglasses to wear while they "count your teeth". For two weeks after each visit they ask when they get to go to the dentist again.


I didn't fare so well with my childhood dental experience. I NEVER EVER entered that office without wanting to lose my cookies because of that nasty dentist smell. What is that? Makes me want to heave just thinking about it. And I certainly never left the office without a hefty dose of guilt for not flossing and an appointment to fill at least four cavities. Four! Every time!

It doesn't help that we were plagued with incompetent and even criminal dentists. I ask you, is it normal to ask your juvenile patients to give you their opinions on the merchandise you are planning to hawk at your "other job"? I have foggy recollections of a bright yellow shirt with a big smiley face on it. Even at that age, it seemed obvious to me that it would work to my advantage to give the hideous shirt a favorable review. He had a syringe and a drill. I wasn't stupid. I think that was the same guy that had a penchant for billing the insurance twice. Nothing a little time in the slammer didn't cure, I'm sure.

I hated the dentist.

So, once I had gotten the go ahead to go on my mission, I failed to darken the door of another dental office for many years.....7 years. The first time I called and made myself an appointment, I felt I had crossed over into responsible adulthood. I "sucked it up", went in and was pleasantly surprised to find that we were going to a capable and kind dentist. It also doesn't hurt that he has a lovely Arkansan drawl, calls me "darlin", and he doesn't HURT ME. He even started replacing my old silver fillings with white ones. I really love that. Unfortunately, he had only finished half my mouth when Megan was due to be born.

That was 2005.

It only took me 5 years to call back and make another appointment. Since then I have come to the conclusion that:

*if I can give birth without drugs, I can face a numb lip

*the cavities are not getting better over time

*I am wasting a thousand dollars of dental insurance per year. And you never know when dental insurance will be dropped by an employer. I don't want to pay for this myself.

*I hate having half a mouth of silver cavities....and even though they haven't said so, my kids get that "ewwww" expression when they see them.

*Even if I'm in the dental chair, somebody else is taking care of my kids.

So I skulked in there after 5 years and showed a proper amount of shame for my inconsistency. I was promptly forgiven and was pleasantly surprised to find out that in two more visits I will be cavity and silver filling free!

I love the dentist.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Unlikely places

Last night I stayed up till 1:15 am playing Webkinz.

It's not my fault. Do you remember that story about the kid who saves and saves and saves his wittle pennies to buy a bike and just can't possibly earn enough, so his dad steps in and pays the rest? Of course you remember that story. We all remember it and it haunts our parental actions. I'm always torn between the beauty of assisting my hard working child "after all they could do" and encouraging them to bask in the satisfaction of achieving their goals. Confound those mormon folktales! They are contributing to my inner war.

So, my eldest three offspring were given Webkinz as a Christmas gift. Since then they have reveled in the virtual cuteness that IS Webkinz. Dressing, feeding, and playing fingernails-on-the-chalkboard animated music videos about a dog called Mustache Louie.

You can see why I've limited their daily computer time to 20 minutes a piece. Sanity must preserved. The time crunch severely limits their ability to earn "kinzcash" by playing games and answering trivia questions. This in turn makes the kinzcash they do earn highly precious and not to be spent willy nilly.

Mathew has been feverishly saving for a backyard for Hooves, his brown Arabian. It's got a pricetag of 1000 smackeroos, so in my effort to jump on the folktale bandwagon, I promised him I'd earn 500 if he'd earn 500 (half a bike is nothing compared to half a backyard).

That brings us to me playing on a child's virtual website in the wee hours of the morning. It didn't take me long to figure out that only a fool would waste time playing Cash Cow 2 or Candy Bash 2 Viva Poncho! when the real money is in Quizzy's Corner. Here you can pretend to be 5 years old and answer questions about shapes and colors and RAKE IT IN! suckahs!

Unfortunately I am the proud owner of an overactive conscience and selected the hardest setting (I think that makes me 13) and selected the "green thumb" category. How could I not?

Imagine my surprise when I received a bit of an early morning education in entomology and horticulture! Did you know that:

**When a spider takes down its web, it means there is a storm coming? Not me!

**Strawberries are a member of the rose family?

**Flies have no ears? Well then what's the point of "shoo, fly, don't bother me"? They can't hear a thing you are saying.

**Male mosquitoes are vegetarian? The ones drinking the blood are the girls. Women can be so mean....when are we going to learn to support one another?

And finally.

**Eggplants are poisonous if eaten raw. POISONOUS? They need to have a sign in the produce section with a little skull and cross bones. What if I had gotten a little creative and tossed a little fresh eggplant in my last pot luck salad? I could've wiped out the entire Relief Society!

I, for one, am highly impressed with the quality education to be had on the internet. Things are going to change around here. All I need to do is balance Webkinz time with a renewed commitment to serve Ramen Noodles and cold cereal on a regular basis.

Because when you know better you do better.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

FHE Hall of Fame

Last night we were playing our weekly game of hide and seek (it's our default FHE activity). I ventured into the master bathroom looking for my children. I hear rustling coming from my closet and open it up really fast to provide maximum dramatic effect.

Me: ha HA! I found you!

Megan: I had to go to the bathroom and I couldn't wait.

Me: uh oh. Well, go in the potty and finish up.

Megan: That's okay! I already finished.

Hey Kaira, you remember those shoes I bought from you for 20 bucks after I got home from my mission?

They were murdered.