Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Party

Christmas away from extended family can feel lonely, depressing, and overwhelming (does that sound like an ad for depression medication? Come on, I know you can here the pathetic music in the background and the scene in black and white).

This year, some good friends invited us over for a Christmas day party (color returns--music is super cheerful and happy--like my marvelous time at the Christmas Party).

To me, it felt like I was with family. Sure I don't have any great childhood stories with these people, but it felt so warm and welcoming. Each moment was enjoyable.

The 10-11 year old girls pulled S aside and put their Christmas gift of make-up on her (make-up=happiness to S). They did her hair. They played house. . . bliss for S.

Later the 10-12 year old boys showed up. They brought video games. . . bliss for R.

Everyone gleefully kept an eye out for T and his boyish-stroller (I painted the pink polka dots dark blue) zipping through the hallways. They smiled even when he kept pushing it into their legs--over and over again. They smiled when he turned off the karaoke machine (I rushed to rescue the situation--as did Cherry and others. They smirked gleefully as he emptied half of the water tank onto the floor (thanks to all those that helped clean that up). In short. . .bliss for R.

Thank you to Nancy, for singing with me. Thank you to Cherry and dear family! The food was delectable and the company divine. Bliss for M.

(Please note: spending time with friends can cause happiness, laughter, gladness, cheer, and in 99.99999 percent of the cases does not cause death. Drive with care after attending--your smile maybe so big your eyes may squint so much to make it so you can not see well--like me when I laugh and the picture of R below--which I adore).


Note to self:

A healthy serving size of Almond Roca (or any other other Christmas candy) is NOT a whole canister.

Maybe just the nuts. Rinsed.


Friday, December 25, 2009

Brooklyn Children's Museum

About a month ago my friend Kristin Taylor and I took our kidlets to the Brooklyn Children's Museum. It was so fun for them (and it was nice to have some adult chatting time). There were 2 sandboxes, fish tanks, reading nooks, act like gophers, a toddler grocery store (complete with real looking food--do not go hungry), a pizzeria (fake food), post office, travel agency, Mexican bakery, and a MTA bus. In short toddler/little kid heaven.

When we got there S had just been rudely awoken and refused for a stroller ride and was loudly expressing her displeasure with rolling tears. We walked in the door and she stood by it a moment longer wailing. Then she stepped toward what I think she thought was me and was still hollering. Only, it wasn't me, it was a peeved mother (peeved for several reasons, I believe). Suddenly that mother reached her breaking point and screamed at S "WILL YOU STOP SCREAMING BY MY SLEEPING BABY?!!!"

Yes, I felt the heat rise to my face and the boiling on my insides. . . but for some odd and blessed reason I was toooooooo angry to talk to the woman and pulled S aside to calm her (for the nth try). Maybe it was the rudeness of the woman, but S snapped out of it in a matter of minutes and began to look at things in a somewhat calmer light (note to parents--those minutes can seem like hours).

It is hard to realize when A: you have no children and B: your children are not older (so you assume the mother of the child in question has complete control of her child at all times, even when they are not-calm-able) that other children are NOT perfect and therefore at times may feel the need to vent for extended periods of time. To parents-to-be, parents-of-young-babies, parents-with-older-children, people-with-no-children-and-no-desire-whatever-to-be-parents I say:

CHILDREN HAVE MINDS OF THEIR OWN. It is a scientific impossibility to have complete control over every situation every moment of any day. Kids can be jovial and sweet one instant and rude and scathing the next. . . don't be too shocked if you should notice this in nearby children. This is only amplified if (like S) they are over-tired, hungry, and a bit sluggish for a few moments.

To that dear mother that hollered at my crying child. . . just you wait. You'll see [Evil laugh--followed by a subdued sigh].

Most likely my favorite moment of the day was on the way home. It was raining rats and roaches (of which, there are many more in NYC than cats and dogs--but please, I did not mean literally--it was truly only rain).

Pierson, my friend's son is very affectionate towards R. Probably because they are both boyish boys (trains, cars, NO dolls, etc.). He was giving ample amounts of brotherly hugs and kisses on the side of his head. R let it go for a few moments and then ducked his head and screeched, "Stop kissing me."

The stopping commenced followed by a small awkward silence.

S coyly offered, "You can kiss me."

Oh, dear. Four years old and already having the kissing conversation. . . .

Sunday, December 13, 2009

"Maybe Christmas Doesn't Come From a Store"

Last week in Relief Society (a group of women, in our Church, in the area) Ashley Jensen talked about this talk by Elder Holland entitled "Maybe Christmas Doesn't Come from a Store."

Interestingly enough, I wasn't there but I have heard a lot of good things about her lesson (with a wonderful recap from my visiting teacher, Martha) and decided I had better read the talk myself. It was actually before Elder Holland was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve.
For some reason it really struck a chord and seemed to speak to my soul. Maybe you'd like to read it.What was your favorite part?
I really liked how he related the pressures that Joseph and Mary must have felt(especially knowing that the babe was Jesus, the Savior of the World), yet they had the courage and determination to press forward and do what the Lord had asked. I think of how it was when I had my kids and I feel like I did the best I possibly could to ensure they would be born in ideal circumstances.
The pictures are really old child-wise (if you couldn't tell). The first one is the kids holding a pile of animals they would have loved to have taken home. The second is for the "why" effect, but also for the toys and books in the background (as in--Christmas is not all about stuff). The last one pleads for the writer/reader of this post to think about Elder Holland's talk, sleep on it and then arise and act.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Love to Laugh

This clip was made in July. Don't I have an awesome brother?! We love you Gary!

T is laughing non-stop.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Y M C A Interview

You know what happens when you get to thinking, "I think it would be cool to . . ." I thought it would be really cool to watch for a short time or an extended amount of time to watch a crew film something and to watch or participate in a real interview process for filming media. It's not that I want me or any member of my family to be a movie star--I don't think I would like fame. Admittedly the idea of fortune is . . . [you can now imagine a grand rendition of "If I were a Rich Man"] . . . nice.

I thought for sure I would get my opportunity to do both since S was asked to audition and then to participate in a filming of a YMCA Family commercial-ish thing. Call me corny, but the idea of taking care of my kid and watching this at the same time was somehow appealing. So we did it.

Did we get a whopper pay check in the mail? Well, if you consider the $50 travel stipend a whopper pay check--sure. I think that would be a Jim Dandy hunk of cash for a 4-year-old.

After outfit inspection from the head honchos and the sub-head honchos we waited for a brief period playing the regular keep-your-child-quiet-they-are-filming-downstairs-games. A hushed version of "I Spy" and the hand game "Here is the Church, Steeple, People" as well as a grand drawing that looked like a pop-version of the torch the Statue of Liberty holds (from S). They called us downstairs for S's interview. We sat in the room in which we normally research for them (for a story and $25 travel stipend).
Then after they called "CUT" and it seemed like the entire building let out a breath it was holding the aptly named outfitting person came to S and found some odd paper towel or napkin with which to wipe her face (oops-I forgot). Then they told me to wait in the room 20 feet from the filming place and I waited. Sometimes my non-timid side slaps me in the face with, "Hello, this is your conscience speaking--don't you want to ask if you can watch it be filmed? Wasn't that the idea all along?" Drat! Please excuse my strong language.

S saw the snack table for the people working there and immediately gravitated to it after her hard work (a 3-minute-interview) was complete. She immediately inquired if it was for her and then if she could have some. She began to reach in to take a complete bowl of grapes. I stopped her, grabbed a napkin and attempted to get the ones she had touched. Knowing they were striving to squeeze 20 kids into a two-hour-filming chunk of time we promptly thanked all of them we could and left the building.

Oops, I forgot to mention that as we were leaving the first room the guidance counselor through this, Melanie Pal, also known as some sort of producer (and really nice) told me that S is very polite--(secret high five to myself).

We then walked over and saw Santa at the South Street Seaport Mall. Santa gave the great Santa speech and then some to S. Then as we were walking away S turned around ran back to him and gave him a big hug. Silly camera wouldn't start up again in time. After that we watched a choir called the Big Apple Chorus. S fell asleep right before they started singing and I began to feel like being home with my family singing around the piano would be a dream come true right about now.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Nooooooooooooooo. . . . .

When recently trying to revamp my blog I lost a lot of the links to my dear friends both in Brooklyn and UT/ID. I just wanted to let you know they should be back up pretty soon!

Monday, November 30, 2009

S's story

Last night S was telling me a story and it went something like this.

Once upon a time, in a land far away, called Restaurant there was a great big, teeny, tiny castle [she held up her fists closed and together]. There was a thief that stole all the jewels in the the castle and the whole world. He left one diamond and it opened up into a note.

Then some of the jewels turned into princesses. The most beautiful of all was Princess M, and then there were [she turns to M and asks, "Who are your friends, mom? I don't know their names." To which I replied Kelly, Kristin, Kathy, Vickie, Lindsay . . . I said about 20 or 30 of you fabulous folks. She continued] There was Princess Kelly, Princess Kristin, Princess Kathy, Princess Vickie. . . [It took awhile to get through all the princesses]. They gathered together and took all the jewels back and saved the day.

It was really a much longer and drawn out story but I started to fall asleep and then got really hungry so we had to take a story break so I could eat some food. . . I condensed it at the last part. Sorry.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Private Blog

We are going to make this blog private. I love to have all of you reading. If you'd still like to read, please leave your email address and I'll add you to the happy-to-have-you-read list.

I really appreciate your comments. :) Thanks!

Monday, November 9, 2009


Halloween is a special time of the year. The kids look forward to it all year long (they literally ask me about it almost every day). This year the anticipation was at an all time high. S was Belle. T was Winnie the Pooh. R was the black hole (as you can see in the family photo). He was so clever to think of being a black hole. Oddly enough we got a few confused looks.

At this juncture I have no pictures of the kids in their Halloween outfits except what you have seen. I think W has some on his phone so I'll see what I can do about adding more later.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fancy Nancy

A goal of mine has been to spend individual time with each of my kids. I took R out for lunch from school and I took S out for pizza and to a Fancy Nancy book signing. We both dressed up. We looked sooooo glamorous. Turns out I was about the only mom there dressed up. Oh well, at least I looked fabulous. See--I have a flower in my hair--it's proof.

Note to self: Do not take 4-year-old to book signing when it is freezing outside.
Take more snacks/water. Bring a camera with flash. Bring a friend.

S was freezing for the 2 hours we waited to get in to see the people. About 1/3 of the time outside I was holding her in my arms, sticking her legs in my coat and wrapping her in my shawl (I had a jacket and a coat on as well). The ladies were nice and complimentary. The owner of the shop was upset I had only bought one book and then brought my own books. Pretty much it was a learning experience. Oh yeah, I've got a few signed "Fancy Nancy" books too.

Halloween Play by 2 First grade classes.

R is on the back row, third one from the left.

Ahoy Matey! Avast ye! Arrrr!
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