Friday, March 26, 2010

Happy Birthday

Yesterday R went to a birthday party at the really fun Bounce U place over by the 3 Guys from Brooklyn grocery store. He had a marvelous time bouncing, going down slides really fast, racing his friends (and mom). I raced the other moms through the obstacle course. I lost, but I think it was because I was pretty winded from playing with R., I was rather humbled. But . . watch out next time though. :D

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Last Saturday we were very blessed to be able to go to the temple with the bishopric. Thankfully, the Relief Society Presidency members, Kristin and Ashley, watched our kidlets. Our kids had been looking forward for a few days to seeing their friends (RS presidency's children and the Bishopric's kids) at the church. Here are a few pictures. The picture of the kids was beforehand--you can see they were so excited they could barely open their eyes--or was that because the sun was shining into their faces. :)

My dear friend Martha, the Bishop's wife.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

To Curl or Not to Curl

You know how I cut S's hair, right? You know all those adorable ringlets that she has had for awhile, well either they've left permanently or have gone on sabbatical because they have only left a back-up wave. Sniff. Her hair is much easier to do, fewer stubborn Bedelia tangles. But the curls . . . (feel free to imagine the ultra-dramatic music only black and white version of me in a pioneer dress wailing).

Do not worry. I have a secret weapon--the curling iron. Wink, wink.

Does anyone have any good ideas on informing your daughter that the curling iron does not hurt?

And in case you wanted more for your scooter pleasure. . . introducing S and her scooter video 1. You also get a close up of the sidewalks of Brooklyn.

My favorite words were, "You're the nicest mom I ever seen" and "Wha hoo!" I forgot the word "video" which happens when I'm filming so I substituted with the less effective "picture."

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Eye, It's a Miracle.

The other night I was doing pilates with T. He decided to do pilates with me. I was doing rocking like a ball (or something like that) and as it turned out he was drawing . . . and his pen was faced upwards . . . and backward I went and zap the pen hit less than an inch below my eye.

The Lord is definitely looking after me!

Delights with S

Today as S and I were walking she was working on getting things right with a scooter I found at the thrift store for $5. She was riding carefully with the exception that she aimed right for people's legs. Thankfully she is such a cutie that they would smile at me with a nod. I would of course say, "Excuse us, sorry" or "Beg your pardon."
Later we went to buy some shoes (which look like ruby slippers--except that they are bright pink--of course) and S on several occasions said what I thought was, "Beg your pardon." It really made me beam with a righteous pride.
On the way home she asked, "Mom, what does 'thank you, pardon' mean?"

We gave her a hair cut today too!

S with long hair.

Short Haired Sarah

See the shoes?! She is so proud of them!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Realizations of a Mother that is Trying

Dear Readers:

This is a letter to Ideal Me. She is an imaginary being--but sometimes can seem so real. Sometimes she's a little snobby. We just had to have a heart-to-heart chat. It was time. It is really long--so you don't have to read the whole thing. It may sound murmur-ous, but it was time to re-think Ideal Me and what better way than to write it out.


Dear Ms. Could-a Should-a Would-a Ideal Me:For many years now I have admired you from afar. Your perfections staring me in the face like a bright beam from a car in the night. Everything about you gave me something to aim for, something I felt I could achieve--yet being just ever so slightly out of reach.
Maybe it was your perfect complexion, the way your home and car were as neat as a pin. Perhaps it was that your children were always well behaved--no matter the circumstance. Your car had no dents; your teeth were straight and white. You always arrived on time--usually ten minutes early. Your clothes were pressed. Your family's clothes were always color coordinated. You never forgot things. . on and on.

I used to think you really gave me something to look up to. Something that I could achieve soon if not nearly right now.In high school you always made me feel like I could be doing something more. Undoubtedly I could have, but right at that time I was doing all I could, even with bouts of laziness. When those teachers that were too busy to really grade papers that would ask students to rate themselves on how they felt they did in the class--instead of rating how much you worked in the class--you always felt I could have done more and you pushed me to write lower than what I probably should have. Then those teachers would often use that grade to add to my GPA.
Now that I am at the epitome of my high school imaginings (as a 20-something-year-old) I cannot hope to achieve your lofty ideals for me. I will say, I have done what I could.
But, Ideal Me of the present--I think you need to back off. It's not that you don't have your good moments--you do. But much of the time you look at me with that glare--you know the one where guilt burns me with the power of a flame thrower because I am not doing absolutely everything I should or could be doing. You seem to belittle the good things I do--which may or may not be monumental for other people--but are for me. You act like I've accomplished nothing.Sure I may not be perfect, or even near perfect. But I am striving to live the Gospel, love my family, love myself, and to receive the love given me by those around me. I am working on being the best I can--even if it seem infinitesimal in comparison to others I admire.

I am going to celebrate the little victories of mine. You can glare all you want. I know the Lord loves me and yes wants me to be better, but realizes that I can only do better little by little. It is time you and I, Ideal Me, determined that we can be happy with that.For right now, I am going to zealously live the Gospel, cherish the moments with my growing and sometimes needy and whiny--but on the whole delightfully wonderful children and husband (and me). I'm going to accept me the way I am. I'll accomplish one thing at a time--like a bite of food, there is no way I can eat a whole plate full of food in one bite. It must be eaten forkful by forkful. Each taste of life will be savored for future joyful remembering.
Ideal Grandma me that I see in the future--it is okay for you to keep smiling. Undoubtedly I'll be one of those super good-natured grandmas that never forget birthdays, send cards, go on several missions and when I die thousands of people will come and will say, "She changed my life for good."Lovingly,

The Real M

The painting picture is from here.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Primary Music CD's

Our ward Primary Chorister, Brother Thomas, made CD's so the kids can practice the music for the Easter Sacrament Meeting. I am striving to listen to them at least once every morning. S and I go through them together singing the songs.

This morning she came to me and said, "Mom, is that song true?"

I said, "Yes."

Then she said, "He loves all of us? Every one?"

I answered, "Yes, he does."

She said, "I love him too!"

YES! Thanks Brother Thomas!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What would you do?

On March 2, 2010 I wrote and deleted the following post (with a few corrections):

Just this morning my neighbors were smoking (again). It smelled a bit sweeter than regular cigarette smoke and from what I understand that is what marijuana smells like. It was seeping through our bathroom vent--and then through the hallway.

First I would just like to state that having people smoke around my children does not make me smile--I would rather look at them with an eye of consternation, show them a chart of what their liver probably looks like--compared to what it should look like. Then I would give them the non-swearing tongue lashing of their lives declaring that their independence of smoking around my children--even if they think is so secretive in their bathroom--is having an effect on me and my kids.

This morning I hit a breaking point. I stomped into my bathroom and yelled for all I was worth at the tip-top of my lungs "STOP SMOKING! WOULD YOU LIKE ME TO SMOKE IN YOUR CHILDREN'S FACES? WE CAN SMELL IT!!!!"

Upon reflection I realize this was very immature (I am ashamed--it was not a proud moment in my life), maybe it was a side effect of unintentional inhalation. But I cannot stand the smoke coming into my house--they have kids too. What are they thinking?

A few minutes later I could smell a very strong room deodorizer. Ha!

What would you clear-minded and cheerful individuals do in such a situation?


I am not sure which of my neighbors is using pot. Because yesterday as I was walking with my kids home from school there was a group of teenage boys outside my apartment and one of them said, "Is it okay if we're smoking this here with those people?" One of the other boys said, "Sure, if they call the cops we'll just leave."

I should have answered him, "No, we would really appreciate it if you wouldn't smoke at all and donate the money you would have spent to a worthy cause--that will make you generous and happy. "

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Curly Hair Drama

After 5 years of attempting to work with S's curly/wavy hair I am determined that I will no longer guess my way into doing it. As it turns out this is harder than it sounds. Sure, people tell you--just add a little more conditioner and it works great. . . how much conditioner--when?

So I got two books from the library to aid me in my quest to figure out wavy/curly hair (it may shock you but I have a bit of it too). The two books are:

Curly Girl by Lorraine Massey
Curl Talk by Ouidad

Things I found out about curly/wavy hair:
1. Never use a brush
2. Condition before and after washing
3. I would like a curly head assessment from a curl proficient for both S and myself.

Curl Talk I will admit seemed like she was making a sales pitch for herself and her salon, bless her dear heart. She did give a list of ingredients which should be in the shampoos, conditioners, curl sprays, and such that may prove helpful. . . but more likely I may just go by the best selling drug store products that magazines put out every couple of months (My pockets are shallow at the moment--if you get my drift). I liked that she said that we as mothers must be very careful how we talk about the hair of our daughters. We must not be negative because it is challenging to do their hair. Starting tomorrow I am going to be much more upbeat about S's hair. A couple of times she said one thing and then a few pages later she would say the absolute opposite--kind of confusing.

Curly Girl had many more pictures (which enhances the curl-assessment process). It had tips (affordable ones) for helping hair. It gave ideas on cutting curly hair (though it did not really say how it should be done). She says not to use shampoo at all--unless it is imperitive. She says to only use conditioner. She uses a lavender spray all the time (apparently) which cleans and revitalizes curls. She also has an entire section on products the reader can make. She labels it "Lorraine's Lotions and Potions." Most of it is cheap. . . .more up my alley.

Still they both suggest getting hair wet in the morning and allowing it to air dry. I don't mind having wet hair in the evening, but not so much in the morning. Conditioner is much more important than shampoo. Brushes are curl suicide. Clips are essential so that not one bit of the hair is missed in the gel application process. Mousse is from the 80s. Big toothed combs are acceptable for right after conditioning and fingers are better after. Curls must not be touched by fingers, brushes (eek!), combs . . . after they have been set. If your curls need a picker-upper use a picker-upper spray (like conditioning spray or lavender spray).

Lastly I found out they both fiercely believe curls are a gift--not a curse. We'll see how it goes.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Grandma Orton

Last night, my Grandma Orton passed away.

My mother said right at the end she was talking in a way that didn't really make sense. She said Grandma said something to the effect of, "I know what is going on but that man in the corner, he doesn't think I know what is going on." There was no man in the corner--or maybe . . .

Mom also said she was laughing at times, even though loved ones (on this side of the veil) weren't too sure with whom she was laughing.

I have so many memories of this grandmother. Her house had 2 great porches. For a person that loved to put on "shows" with my little brothers as much as I did it was heaven. There was only the house across the street and my grandma with her video camera (upon occasion I would give in and be filmed), but mostly it was me, the grasshoppers, the spiders, the trees, the garage, maybe a cat or two and I could belt out all the show tunes I felt specified that moment (or an imagined moment) in time.

My grandmother always had a camera. After church when we were ready to change to our casuals a small uproar would go through the house as Grandma would gingerly call, "Pictures!" She couldn't whistle, so she'd sing the tune that normal come-right-now tune that whistles have. We'd all gripe, groan, and complain but Grandma--and our parents--would ignore all that and Grandma would take pictures to her hearts content (if she could get us to sit still long enough). She had many boxes of pictures that she'd taken through the years. Each new camera she got was like another singular glimpse at our Heavenly Father's wonderful world. She would try to catch every instant of any special moment. She would remember almost everything about every picture she took (it was amazing).

That's R when he was a baby. They would some times stop by our apartment with food and goodies. Grandma knew I had a weakness for dried fruit and she'd usually mix some into the food.
This was the last time I saw Grandma Orton. That's my brother Rob holding T. It was a special time. She convinced the nurse my kids needed popsicles.

This was the song she sang for my kids. We love you Grandma! Thank you for always being there for us. Thanks for the pictures, the boosts of confidence, and constant love.