Thursday, November 26, 2009

Forget the lump of coal

Damon: Mom, what are those three red dots on your nose?
me: Pimples.
Damon: I guess your sugar-free diet isn't working.
me: Maybe it would if I stopped eating sugar.
Damon: Yeah, whenever you make treats, you get five and the rest of us only get one.

I'm going to put a muzzle in that kid's stocking.

One fine day a week or two ago Anne informed me she got water on the bathroom floor. I went in to inspect and thanked her for telling me so I could clean it up. I assumed the water was from her washing her hands, as I had just heard her flush the toilet. Then she told me, "I put a green rag in the toilet." I lifted up the toilet lid and found the water had reached the rim of the bowl. So, the water on the floor was not from the sink. I put Anne in time-out. We have green dishrags, so I guessed that's what Anne had flushed. She is forever taking out my dish towels and hiding them, but this is the first time she's hid one in the toilet. I was not pleased. I did some research on the internet and found out I needed to go to Home Depot to buy a toilet auger. (Unfortunately by this time I had already scratched the porcelain with a wire hanger. Remember to always do your internet research first, folks.) So, I started getting the girls shoes on and told them why we had to go to the store. "Can I come?" asked Anne, all excited. "We need to go to the candy store." What the?! I was about ready to beat her. She overflows the toilet and thinks she gets candy for it. That is why parents spank. (I don't spank or beat my children, but I was sure tempted this time.)

This kid is getting a straight-jacket for Christmas.

Now Claire came up to me today and said, "Mommy, you are wearing a beautiful dress. I want to wear a beautiful dress like you." Nevermind that I was wearing slacks and a long-sleeved tee. This child can have something fabulous for Christmas.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Not so much sugar, plenty of spice

Anne: Can you go away?

Me: Go away? Why do you want me to go away?

Anne: Because you're bothering us.

So, I went away, and just as I suspected she would, Anne pushed a chair to the cabinet, climbed on the counter, opened the cupboard, and looked for candy (I try to limit the kids' sugar intake but sometimes a gal needs some bribery power, folks, so it doesn't hurt to keep a stash).

Anne is a sweet little girl (she says 'please,' 'thank you,' and 'I sorry' frequently), and very cute, but she's got a little more fire than the other two had at this age. She hits and bites more than they ever did. She also says "NO!!" and "That's not fair!" more than is desirable. She spends a considerable part of her day in time-out for tearing up library books, dumping bubble bath all over the floor, deliberately doing what I just told her not to do, etc.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

This Boy

was a ghost for Halloween. He never ate a single piece of Halloween candy without making sure his sisters ate at least one piece first. That way, he could ensure that they would run out of candy before he did. He does a similar thing with money. If he wants to buy something, he convinces his sisters to buy something of equal or greater value first with their money. I think he's on the cusp of some brilliant economic theory, like Russel Crowe's character in A Beautiful Mind. Hopefully D's best friends will always exist outside of his own head, though.
He's quite the talker. He can carry on a conversation for hours. It's great, but I'm the kind of gal who thinks silence in golden. So Sunday when I informed the troops they were not allowed to talk to me because I was listening to conference talks on my mp3 player, I was mostly talking to him.
D replied doubtfully, "Okay, I hope that works out for you."
It didn't work out so well.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

before and after

This is the way nature intended my hair, and sadly the way it looks most days.

Here's my hair (and a crazy-lady smile) thanks to the magical flat iron. I only look this sexy (see August post--sorry I'm too ignorant to do a link) once a week. Or month.

Beauty is pain, as my friend Rachel used to say. I'm itching to cut my hair short again. But then I'll be griping about having to get it cut every four weeks. Sigh. Why didn't I inherit my mother's gift for cheerfully getting up at 5:30 to beautify? Damon's right. I'm not much of a girl (see April post).


Claire demonstrating a more efficient way to drink tea.

Claire holding her pet Leaf Bug.

Claire in her favorite state of being: wet and muddy


Jake cuts his own hair in front of the bathroom mirror. During his last hair cut, he called to me, "Hey, check out my six-pack...oh, wait, those are my ribs."

I know what you're thinking: I'm a lousy cook. I'll admit I'm not the best, but he was pretty thin when I got him, so I'm just maitaining the status quo.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

If it shouldn't be heard by little ears...

Damon was across the street playing with his friends today. I was sitting on our front porch when I heard Damon say to his buddies, "I'm going to get the hell out of here."

I called him over and told him not to talk like that.

"What? I just said I was going to get the hell out of there."

I explained that hell was a bad word and we're not supposed to say it.

"Hell? You say 'hell'."

Oh. Well. In times of extreme provocation--

I thought I only said that when the kids couldn't hear me.

New resolution: no more swearing, and I mean it this time.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

first grade, random quotes and pictures

Damon regarding first grade: "All I do is listen to the teacher talk all day. I don't learn anything."

Anne: "I go school wif Damon. I five." (I bought her a backpack today so she can stop wearing Damon's.)

Claire, when I suggested we go to the park: "I don't want to go to the pahk. I want to go on a twip to da mooooooon."

Jake, on a day I had straightened my hair: "You look sexy today. Did you comb your hair?"

Here's Claire rocking her pet dinosaur:

Damon after his first day of first grade:

Anne in an outfit designed by Damon:

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Week in Review

Jake took last week off. This is how it went down.

Sunday: Jake wakes up sick. We find out on Friday it was strep throat.

Monday: I abandon the kids and Jake in his illness to spend a fabulous afternoon with my kindred spirit Jamie/June Cleaver. It was the first time I have enjoyed shopping in YEARS.

Tuesday and Wednesday (AKA Amateur Night at the Campsite): We went camping at Rendevouz Beach in Bear Lake. The word 'Beach' and the campsite illustrations on the internet led me to believe we would be camping on a beach. We (especially Damon) were disappointed that although our tent would be on sand, we would have to walk 100 yards through weeds and mud to reach the water, where there was no beach. We had a good time anyway, thanks to Jake's Dutch oven cooking and s'mores. At night we left our garbage bag under the picnic table, figuring that there weren't any bears at Bear Lake any more. There aren't, but there are skunks. Damon the early riser discovered one eating our garbage in the morning. Jake tried scaring it away from a distance, but the skunk refused to leave until it was finished eating.

Thursday: I take Claire to the doctor for her annual check-up and shots on her birthday. I'm a mean mom. Later Phillip (my brother) and my Grandma Firth come over for Claire's party, consisting of hot dogs (which inspired an impromptu song by Claire: "Hot dogs, hot dogs in a bun"), corn on the cob, strawberries and cream on spongecake, and a pinata. The pinata was traumatic for Claire. First of all, she couldn't break it open, eliciting sobs of frustration. Then, we forced her to let Damon and Anne have turns whacking it, which led to weeping and wailing. She felt better gathing up candy after Damon broke it open, though.

Friday: We're wiped out, skip the Pioneer Day festivities, and light our own fireworks at 7 pm. Jake and I begin watching The Curious Case of Benjamin Button after the kids go to bed.

Saturday: We finish Benjamin Button. I bawled my eyes out. Jake is heartless and cracked jokes about the ending.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Eagles vs Seagulls

Our FHE lesson on Monday was about the miracle of the gulls. The entire lesson was a flop: Jake had to take Claire out of the room when she wouldn't stop wailing because she didn't get to say the opening prayer, even though we let her say a second opening prayer; Damon was angry because no one was sitting in the right place; Anne was being Anne, running from one corner of the room to the other. I closed the lesson by saying Utah made the seagull its state bird fifty years later out of gratitude for what the seagulls had done.

Everything had gone so badly up until then that I shouldn't have been surprised to find Damon disappointed and demoralized to the point of tears to learn that each state had its own bird. His feelings seemed to be mortally offended on behalf of bald eagles everywhere that they were not enough the fulfill the avian needs of all the nation. We finally were able to comfort him with the assurance that all fifty states stand united under the bald eagle, regardless of their individual birds.

This morning I told him that Justin (my brother serving a mission in FL) wanted him to write to him.

"Why?" Damon asked.

"Because he misses you and is probably lonely far away from his family and friends."

"At least he still has the national bird, the bald eagle," Damon said solicitously.

Justin must feel comforted by that knowledge every day.

Friday, June 12, 2009

More Quotes

Me to Damon, while Anne is crying: Can't you just let Anne help you?
Damon: No, you don't let me help you on your special projects. I want to do this on my own.
A light bulb comes on in my slow brain and I pick up Anne and take her away from the home-made punching bag she was trying to help him with.

Claire: Let's keep the toilet lids closed so the chameleon cannot put it's head in the water and drink the water. (We don't own a chameleon.)

Anne: I wanna do it! (She says this a hundred times a day whenever I try to wash her hands or help her with anything else.)

Saturday, June 6, 2009


Damon, after I went to a Tupperware party: Why do people go to dumb parties where they just sit around and look at plates?

Claire: when my parents dropped by one night, she held her teddy bear and jumped into my dad's arms saying, "Teddy is very happy to see you!" (Teddy has since been lost, but I'm relieved to report that Claire is coping pretty well)

More Claire: Damon is my best, best, best, best, best, best friend.
When I'm happy I smile and when I smile I giggle.

Anne (she's one of those 2-year-olds that strips down to the nude regularly): I naked!

Monday, May 11, 2009

My Longest, Boringest Blog Ever

I am the mother of three small children and that entitles me to use words like 'boringest.'

I'm potty training Anne today. It's almost 10:30 AM and we've had two accidents and two successes: that's very good compared with Damon's and Claire's efforts on their first days in underwear.

April was an exciting and exhausting month. We visited the beach and Disneyland to enjoy some of the Longest Lines on Earth.

I went off my sugar-free diet during our vacation (if you can call a trip including three little kids 'vacation'), but then when I got back and reviewed that Ultra-Prevention book, I found out I could have/should have stuck with it. It's not all or nothing, you just do the best you can. Common sense could have told me that, but it was being shouted down by my desire for Easter candy. So, I'm back to whole grains and trying to eliminate sugar, but I'm not as fanatical as I was before. My soy milk, for example, is now the sweetened kind because it's cheaper than the unsweetened kind, and I don't feel like a complete failure for drinking it.

When we got back from CA (after a delightful stop to see Jake's parents), we celebrated Anne's 2nd birthday.

Then we packed up and moved about a mile away to a much better rental. I'm not sure how we survived 11 months in that stinky house, and now that we're almost settled into the new place and I don't feel completely stressed out, I'm really glad we moved.

Sorry the photos aren't matched up with the proper text, but as my viewership is of above-average intelligence, I'm sure you'll figure them out.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Damon told me today, "Mom, you don't look that much like a girl. You look kind of like a girl and kind of like a boy."

Me: "Oh...that's too bad. What do you mean?"

Damon: "I don't know. It's like worms. Worms aren't boys or girls. You look like that."

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sugar-free and patting myself on the back

I read this health book called Ultra-Prevention. It recommends a special 6-week diet in which you eliminate refined and processed foods, hydrogenated oils, milk, and sugar (including brown sugar, honey, molasses, maple syrup, and even certain fruits like bananas and pineapple), and severely reduce saturated fats (butter, etc). It promises to cure chronic diseases and prevent nearly everything else.

So, wanting more energy and less acne, I decided to try it. (For those of you who have never suffered from acne, I spit upon you. Just kidding, Lynsey, you know I love you.)

I am proud to say I'm in the middle of week three of this diet, folks. It's been tough, but my skin is clearer (although I did get one new pimple at the beginning of week 2 which nearly kicked me off the diet in a fit of rage), and I don't feel like I have to take a nap every afternoon (not that I could very often, but I always wanted one).

So, if you want to be healthier, I highly recommend this book. Mom, I know you think only crazy people drink soy milk, but you'll be getting this book for Mother's Day, and I'm sure it will change your mind.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Claire story

Claire's favorite passtime is running back and forth and back and forth and back and forth across the room while telling a story. The one being told as I type goes something like this: A mommy frog looked in the meadow and saw a strange creature. She said to the daddy frog, "There's a strange creature in the meadow." The daddy said, "What is the strange creature?" The mommy said, "It is a frog." The strange creature hopped inside the house and hopped into the bathtub. He will give hisself a bath.

The best birthday party ever

My words, not his. Damon turned six and had a Jedi training themed party. It was a lot of work and planning, and I was so shocked and pleased when it paid off! (Parties are not my forte.) Here you can see the Battle of the Evil Bubble Droids. Thank you, internet, for all the ideas. How did we live before the internet?

Madonna? Wonder Woman?

Anne has an unusual sense of style.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when his is 5, he will not depart from it.

Please avoid this catastrophic mistake we've made. Damon's once promising future in the fields of math and science has been destroyed by our failure.

Don't teach your kids that squares are squares and rectangles are rectangles. Rather, teach them that a square is a special kind of rectangle.

Damon refuses to believe this, and nothing his teachers, his parents, or the internet says can change his mind.

Save yourselves from endless arguments you'll never win, even with the truth on your side.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Thanks Annette and Conan...

...for a fabulous New Years party. I wanted to post a picture of the over-40 crew playing guitar hero, but somehow this is all I ended up with.

What Jake does during the holidays

It's the thought that counts

I made a lot of aprons for Christmas gifts this year. This is about the only time these ones have been worn by the recipients. I'm always gratified when neighbor kids come over and put them on.

They don't make wallpaper like this anymore

When we drove down south to visit Jake's parents before Christmas, we were caught in a blizzard and had to stay in Fillmore.

No room in the first inn, so we went to the second. Only $45 for a double room, and truly vintage decor.

Charming though it was, we don't want a repeat and might take Jake's mom's suggestion to start celebrating Christmas in July.