Thursday, December 29, 2011

day three, just when you thought i forgot...

 day three was filled with sleeping as our late night meatballs kept us out for two days technically.  i was bound and determined to eat at the clinton street bakery this day and have blueberry pancakes.  determined.  it started off by some wrong subway stops on my part, and then the lazy afternoon got the better of us. we couldn't hail a cab if our lives depended on it and so, we decided that a cuban sandwich and corn elote was just what we needed.  this meal took us thru the most quaint parts of SOHO.  it was full of street fairs and beautiful shops. the walk would have been better with full bellies, BUT the first bite was worth it.  i have never had corn like that.  i don't know what kind of corn they used but it was meaty and had such a deep flavor. the cuban sandwich was other planet fall apart in your mouth.  as you can see below, we opted for the walk up window at cafe habana as the wait in the shop was crazy.  we found ourselves a small bench and made enough nummy noises to turn your cheeks red. oh.momma. don't miss this place. it was so so amazing.  shout out to my friend erin who insisted that we go here.

 i never wondered one spec about it until i saw it.  where do you get gas in the big apple?  everyone goes here apparently.  it was the only gas station i saw in the heart of the city.
 this was at a lego shop at the rock.  every little round pod was filled with a different color of lego.  easton would have wet hit pants on upon entry.
this iconic figure is so pretty at night!

 right outside of the lego shop we saw this beautiful lettuce.  like i took 50 pictures pretty.  i instantly thought of emily ballard.  maybe sonora grill could have this as a plant stand outside the restaurant in the summer eh?

while riding on the subway uptown, there was an older woman and her niece that kept pointing and whispering.  they finally approached me and told me i looked like julianna margulies.  being a proud ER viewer for years, i was highly complimented, and then highly humored.  she has some nappy curly hair. this further supports my claim of my hair getting bigger and bigger with each passing hour in this humidity hubble.  the cute pair pointed us in the direction of the american doll store.  after the lettuce watching, we headed over to the doll store and fell in love.  it was story upon story of every doll detail you could imagine.  angela was in heaven and talked mindy into buying a doll for her daughter.  it was so fun.this day was our most mild in the city.  the walk thru soho was my favorite and that food.  the corn and sandwich top my to do again before i die list.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

day two

after seeing what a few hours in the big city will do to you, we decided to take before and after pictures.  this is our before. mindy and i on the left and taleese and angela on the right.
this was on our train ride in, it was a perfect foggy, rainy, humid new york day and it was our longest day in the city.  we left around elevenish and didn't roll in until three a.m.  shh, don't tell my mutha.

our first destination was set at the shake shack.  after being on the bandwagon of burgers for a while, i was quite curious to see how it compared to in and out or five guys.  it was kind of in a class of its own folks.  the bun was awesome. nice and chewy, toasted, and the meat was like butta. it melted in your mouth.  i got the seasonal flavor of concrete shake which was the chocolate, coconut,nuts something or other sinful and oh mamma. it was so divine.  the humidity was so intense that day it triggered something funky in my lens and i was having a hard time with the auto focus, let that be a warning for the fuzz.
we went to the flat iron district to eat as we felt it was appropriate as that is where the infamy of the shake shack began. it was a good 45 minute wait but completely worth it.

the picture above on the left is where we caught our cab to go see the torch of freedom.  we met up with a classy cab driver that was majoring in micro biology hoping to pursue a phd.  the cabby's were one of the highlights of the trip.  this one told us of his family coming from the middle east to live here and how he has driven cabs for 7 years. he told us how he is working on a book called "crown victoria" that would catalogue all of his adventures in his yellow wheels.  at this point taleese developed some questions she liked to ask all of our drivers.  have you ever had a gun pulled on you? what is the craziest thing you have ever seen? how long have you been driving cabs? how long have you lived in america.? most cabby's had never heard of utah.  they didn't even know if it was in the US.  

after that pleasant cab drive we found ourselves at battery park ready to view the statue.
i warned the nyc virgins that lady liberty could be quite disappointing.  it wasn't a large towering figure tv makes it out to be. like in this picture below, it kind of proves the point that it could easily be missed.

it gets a wee bit better in the second picture but for whatever reason, we only ended up paying homage for five minutes.  we were easily distracted and ventured up to ground zero next.  the first time i was at ground zero, they were still cleaning up.  it was in 2004 and everything was still quite fresh.  because occupy wallstreet was only a few blocks away, ground zero was completely in tarps (streets and all) because protesters were threatening to occupy the park there citing lack of TV coverage. (seriously?) it was another disappointing thing because NOTHING could be seen.  we meandered over to the craziness of the protest and were really unimpressed.  the gathering was not worth all the attention it garnered to say nothing of the purpose. stupidity.

we then entered the subway with throngs of other people as we were getting a taste of NYC rain.  there was a huge line to buy an MTA card, and we were stuffed underground like sardines.  the trip was hitting a bit of a prozac moment but once we got on that subway all was well. 
from wallstreet we hit canal street and little italy. because of the rain, canal street was a ghost town (can you imagine?) we didn't get snagged by one single asian to buy prada, gucchi, dolce cabana. we DID however make time to take a bite of a cannoli in little italy. it was so fantastic and i can still taste that sweet marscapone and ricotta cheese in that crackling chocolate shell!

 we headed to FAO schwartz and seeing all of the candy made peace with the world again. i love FAO schwartz. it is in a great part of town and makes you feel about 5 years old again.

we wandered 5th avenue for a while and i introduced the girls to H&M.  we strolled around a bit and then felt the panic of a tourist as we realized we hadn't used the bathroom and not every store has a facility.  we were directed to bloomingdales, and oh, honey. i have never had a retail experience like that.  i can't give it justice to walk in to hundreds of sales people trying to sell you a purse for $10,000, or sunglasses for $5,000. it was wild.  we finally accomplished our bathroom mission after 4 flights of stairs and two lovely bathroom attendants who directed us to some beautiful potties.  i mean purdy.  they had some lovely couches that we rested on.  we found ourselves in quite the pickle as we sat down next to a sleeping homeless woman.  she was aged with a large brimmed black sun hat, bright red lipstick, and her little cart.  we noticed that she had a hospital band on but that was quickly forgotten as she snored so loud it could have brought the four levels down to dust.  she would go quite some time in between breaths, and we had to pry nurse taleese from taking her pulse.  taleese assured us that we were witnessing death right then and there in bloomingdale's in the fancy bathroom with attendants.  i am a little ashamed to say i took a picture of her.  it was quite the scene, i won't post it but i won't soon forget it. so so sad.
while we headed out to the gershwin theater, magnolia bakery caught our eye.  it was not on our list of treats or bakeries to visit as we had been assured there were much better cupcakes to be had, but there was no line.  good thing we caught something because we didn't end up visiting any other bakery.  too many choices and not enough belly space.
magnolia bakery was okay. it was a five minute wait cupcake and i wouldn't have waited a second more for it without feeling jipped.

the highlight of our day was going to see WICKED.  i opted for some cheap seats labeled "obstructed" and we scored a pretty awesome view by taking that chance.  it was on the end of the isle, but on the floor.  it was such an amazing production.  the music, the people.  it made my heart ache for grayce as i know she would have been smitten.  one day i will get her there in the theater district and we will view to our hearts content!

after the theater we hit times square and i am amazed how this city never sleeps.  at right around eleven o'clock that place was more alive then most towns at noon.  we decided that we were hungry and we NEEDED meatballs.  off to the meatball shop we headed.  well, it was the meatball that almost never happened.  it took us a ridiculous amount of time to hail the cab and by the time we did we scored a lovely toyota sienna minivan.  this was likely the craziest cab ride we took.  i found that the art to calmly arriving to your destination without heart failure was to not look out your window.  that wasn't hard as these crazies drive 90 miles and hour and you really can't see a darn thing anyway.  but, as taleese and i were both looking out the window at the truck that almost killed us, our heads ended up slamming the seat in front of us.  unfortunately mine was plexiglass.  the driver stopped and turned around making sure my body was still attached.  lucky for me the adrenaline was flowing so freely i could only laugh hysterically about my near death experience.  we finally arrived at the meatball shop and found that at midnight the wait was forty five minutes.  we did what any other respectable mormon girls would do and bellied up to the bar to drink some water where there was no wait.  i am sure that thrilled the bartender to have four temple recommends sitting across from him. we assured him that water drinkers tipped just as well as the drunks next to us and we only needed meatballs.
taleese here is trying to tell you how off the hook her dish was.  she made friends with a dishwasher on his break and got a tip about the best dish.  all i know is that i couldn't keep my fork off her plate. it was some creamy noodle with a large meatball the size of my bruised head.  it was crazy good.

our cab ride to grand central was down right crazy.  this guy was telling us all about how to cheat the housing authority and how you should work less so you don't have to pay more rent.  we told him to go on down to the occupy wall street movement there and belly up, he would be in good company.

these are our after pictures.  at two in the morning i'd say we held up well.  mindy was only just beginning for the day. (she thrives at night).

i on the other hand was out of my darn mind and convinced them to take a picture of my steve tyler face.  if i ever have my nose done and my face lifted, this is what i will look like.
my theme song for new york was "elvira".  as the humidity grew, so did my hair.  i just kept on hearing the words and the "ba boom bop" over and over in my head.

Monday, October 31, 2011

nyc baby. day one.

 i decided after my august learning circle discussion that i was going on a trip to my favorite place at my favorite time of year.  i gathered some willing participants and took off.  the baby weaned right in time and scott was ecstatic to take a few days off to plug in to our home life (that is not sarcastic). he doesn't get to be fully submerged with all of his obligations and he may have enjoyed his time at home as much as i enjoyed my trip.

it started off with a red eye flight to the big city.  my whole goal was to be able to sleep a little on the flight as i was the driver for the trip.  with my back injury it was downright miserable and i DONT recommend the red eye.  it plays with your body for weeks. and that is why we look so silly by breakfast.

we found a charming cafe in poundridge, CT called blind charlies. it was delicious but i have to say that you should never ask a waitress that weighs eighty pounds if she thinks the a breakfast plate is big enough to share. taleese and i decided the description of the large breakfast plate would fill both our bellies as did the eighty pounder. when it came out we all broke into fits of giggles. mingled with no sleep, we were so delirious that this only added. we each got half of one french toast, a pencil thin parcel of bacon, and 2 potato pancakes that were the size of quarters. somehow that triggered jokes of enormous proportions that lead to us saying things like "meow". to make matters worse, in the restaurant were a older group of ladies wearing pearls having a ladies meeting of some sort. i can't believe we didn't get kicked out. at one point we had to look down and not look at one another to get thru the meal. it was the dry heaving, bodily fluids shooting out laughing. it was only a hint of the laughing we were about to do for the next five days.  we had a charming country drive but shackled with the delirium of no sleep we begged for an early check in a slept for a while before we attempted the big city.
angela taking one for the short people of the world and including a funny face .  all of the shots we got of her were hilarious.
we stayed in stamford and took the train in everyday. the train ride in proved to be one of our favorite parts of the trip. we were able to people watch, eaves drop, and feel like true new yorkers. for selfish purposes i wanted the first view angela and taleese had of the city to be grand central station. 
it is so surreal and so magnificent.
(left to right - angela, mindy, taleese)
we got a true new yorker experience to view times square: night time, foggy, humid, and stinky. i love NYC.

this below is our first taxi ride of the trip. it was wild. we took it to the ever famous grimaldi's across the brooklyn bridge.
i was able to introduce the gals to antipasto, real mozzarella, and tomato pie.  it was so heavenly.  and believe it or not, we walked right in. we had some wicked good luck on this trip.  we ordered a calzone and couldn't finish it, so taleese there offered it to the fellas sitting next to us (the were total new yorkers).  when they declined, she asked if we could finish their antipasto.  you can imagine the giggles.
i tried to google, research, find every good food option possible.  while watching a bit about brooklyn, i heard of a place called brooklyn ice cream factory.  my friend jason, a born and raised new yorker, also recommended getting ice cream while viewing the bridge.  we shared a banana split and i think the butter pecan ice cream rocked my world.  we had fudge, caramel, and syrup soaked walnuts.  i was so smitten.

as evidenced above, we had great need to walk. we sauntered across the walking path on the brooklyn bridge and were enthralled with the amazing city line. some of us (taleese excluded) admired the statue of liberty. somehow taleese missed our conversation about that and it took her four days to realize what she was looking at :)

we decided to call it a day and took a cab back to grand central. i loved this misty shot of the beautiful building.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

the power

in may i was invited to be a part of a learning circle.  i have been meaning to blog about this for a while now because it has been such a positive thing in my life.

my connection to it is: scott was friends with steve in high school.  i went to elementary school with steve. steve married emily.  emily's sister in law is my good friend and neighbor angela.  angela found out that saren, one of the co-founders of the power of moms was moving into emily's neighborhood.  saren encouraged emily to start a learning circle and by all of those magnificent connections, somehow i got the opportunity to be involved in this learning circle.

the concept is that a group of women are invited by a circle leader to participate in a monthly discussion pertaining to values that support motherhood.  anyone can sign up to be a circle leader if they are inclined to and feel like they have a diverse group of women that would participate.  it is an amazing experience.

co founders saren and april have a website here (the power of moms) that write articles daily from different authors supporting the months theme.  there is a specific essay for the month that is read by all members of the learning circle and discussed at the monthly meeting.  ideally a group will have 6-10 members.  this offers a cozy number of people to glean good motherhood bits from.

this has been a life changing opportunity for me to decide how i mother.  sometimes the thick of thin things get in the way of deliberate parenting.  i will have moments of evaluation and think, when am i going to get to all the fun memories i want to make with my kids. or, when will i teach my kids everything i want to. or, when will my house ever be functional and clean.  i can say that every month the topic has spoken to my heart and i have been able to change things i have been doing to be more, period.  sometimes life gets hard, and the thick of thin things as a parent are challenging.  the more kids that you have, the more monumental getting 6 people in the car can be.  sometimes life is felt to be something that needs great accomplishment associated with it and as a mother it can be a little trite when our major goal achieved for the day was a smooth breakfast routine, or all kids getting to bed on time and staying asleep for 6 hours at once.  suffice it to say, this group has helped me immensely putting purpose to motherhood.

this is for myself when i reread and remember, but i want to scribe a couple of things that have been monumental for me each month.

may: i read this article and loved the thought: you've made your bed, it's time to lay in it, even though it's often lumpy. honestly, this article pulled my head out of the post partum clouds and helped me own things better, putting more intent into my life. i can honestly say this was the most powerful month for me.  i have never looked back and have not had those moments of poor me since.  this is MY life, and it all amounts to my choices, own them and be proud.

june: i can defy gravity and accomplish lots of things. if you can do it in two minutes or under, DON'T PUT IT OFF. this one simple rule lead to an entire month brimming with productivity and crossing things off my list. it was so empowering!

july: retirement moments for me are so necessary. it is important for me when the house is bustling and overwhelming to picture what our home will feel like in 25 years when the kids are independent, and making noise somewhere else.  it is a two sided appreciation for me. one: my husband will look so good in coveralls trimming bushes and eating lunch with me. two: i will miss this bustle. i have so many opportunities to soak in the stage of life i am in and often those can be missed by the sheer exhaustion parenthood brings. to appreciate my stage more, it often meant going in after the kids were sleeping, grabbing their little hands in mine and thinking of all the good things that are going on RIGHT NOW with them.  i appreciated all of their little quirks and joys and often left their bedrooms with tears of gratitude instead of exhaustion at days end.

august: self nourishment is essential. i have lacked severely in this category.  do not fill my stores when they are low, rather, keep them brimming. i have been eating three meals a day, sometimes before my kids if i feel lightheaded. also. i decided at this meeting that i was going on a trip to nyc for five days with friends ( i always used to judge women who did this. now i see the necessity of filling one's stores). it was a milestone for me.

september: cleaning with kids is essential. they do not come knowing how to clean. teaching and working along with them makes cleaning about building relationships. what a key concept. i am working on a master cleaning plan for our family that helps nurture relationship building activities.  we talked about this for our last family home evening and everyone is on board as soon as we stop puking.

there are things that come along in life that we can look back upon and see as turning points in how we live and why life only gets better. this for me has been monumental and i highly encourage anyone with 6-10 women they look up to to start a learning circle!!! it is rich and wonderful and for me has been that "parenting manual"we all wish we had access to.

in case you missed it, here is the link to the power of moms website.  it is free to read the daily articles supporting the months theme and essay, and $20 to join for the year.

(you can email me with any questions)                                                                                                                                                                                                  

tis the season

last thursday i got a call from easton at school.
"mom, i 'm sick. can you come get me?"

just like that i was in the car off to the school. he looked white as a ghost when i got to the office.  i checked him out and asked what happened.  he said his teacher asked him if he felt sick and he told her no.  he said the butterflies were so tiny. she insisted he go home as he was the color of milk.  on his way to the office he made a stop at the bathroom and his lunch was given up.  he was fine eating and back to regular that night. so when i received an invite to go on this outing, i was thrilled as the temperature was projected to be in the nineties.

by the next morning he was writhing in pain.  scott was out of town and so i called him to get an appendicitis checklist so i could be sure to watch easton closely. he is not a complainer and his pain had me worried.  we had to forgo the last day of summer outing regretfully.

the next day was grayce's big day to sing in general conference.  she was so excited.  she had battled a miserable cold/stomach virus for 3 weeks and had to go to one of the practices with a barf bag. if you missed one practice, you were out.  she worked so hard to be a part of the children's choir, including going to practice on her birthday, giving up evening celebrations.  so when the notion was suggested to me about the possibility of grayce getting easton's belly ache and having to miss the performance, i started to pray intently that she would not miss this opportunity.  easton threw up a couple of times and by saturday night we thought all was well. grayce got to sing, and did a great job!  we were off to the greenery to celebrate grayce's singing triumph when easton started again to writhe.  he said he was fine to go anyway and halfway thru the meal he and i had to high tail it to the car so he could wail in private.  sunday morning about 1 am we were awakened to feet racing to the bathroom.  grayce was spared from saturday but not sunday.  after throwing up at least 40 times she had the look of death.  sunken eyes, pale skin, and misery written all over her face.  By tuesday all were feeling well and i thought we had been spared the worst of it.  grayce was planning on going to school wednesday and i was ready to be back to normal, vomit free.

tuesday night i started in with the agonizing perils of the flu and by 1 o'clock grayce was back in the bathroom begging for mercy.  ella joined in at three and the next 24 hours became a survival game.  after one particular episode with some violent vomiting on my part, i noticed that my foot had gone numb.  being delirious by 2 a.m. i started thinking i was going to be paralyzed by sunrise.  my head was spinning and i was in the clutches of being on the run every 10 minutes completely freaking out.  i sobbed for scott to give me a blessing so i didn't end up in a straight jacket from delirium  and worry.  my foot continued to stay numb and then came the back pain.  apparently when i was "so sick" the weak disc in my back most likely herniated.  it added to the stress of being sick and also the worry set in as i am headed for a 7 hour plane ride next week.  anyone who has had the misfortune of back pain knows that sitting is the hardest part.  it feels like someone is constantly pulling on your legs, butt, and the throbbing with hot and cold flashing up your legs is down right pitiful.  scott was able to call in sick (bless his surgeons heart, i heart the kind surgeon who employs us. his last surgeon ridiculed him relentlessly when he called in sick once because of 4 barfing family members he wanted to help out with) and take care of the sick and afflicted.  my gracious and kind mother in law took rowan the next day so i didn't have to lift him furthering the damage to my disc. my family came to our aid with a giant bucket of soup.

 scott went to work thursday (day 8 of affliction) and came home early to take care of ella and i.  thursday night we retired to bed early only to be awoken after an hour by a miserable baby throwing up every ten minutes.  screaming.bloody.murder. scott joined in an hour later (and yes, he had a flu shot this year) and we are officially the most pitiful family around.  6 for 6.  and one of the unfortunate thoughts that came into my pessimistic mind was, you brought all these people into this world, do you really want to bring more into this yearly event. i blame that thought on the devil for surely i am not done bearing babies.

today is saturday and i have been sitting in a chair for almost an hour, this is a major accomplishment for my poor back.  i can finally hold down some food so a steroid pack has been ordered to see if the shrinking of the herniation will help with the pain.  i can't wait for the MRI in which i declare the reason for a visit: an episode of violent vomiting.

people are so kind when they hear of incapacitating events such as this past week. my kind, sweet, dear next door neighbors played perfectly the loving grandparent role when they heard of our predicament.  turkey vegetable soup, rolls, fresh peaches, and an amazing cold gel pack for my back.  it is times where you are in humble circumstances that you get to count your blessings.  i am really glad that every other year or so we have something like this happen. we bond, we are kinder to one another, and sometimes there is no other choice but to lay and be sick despite a long to do list.  i can't recall the last time i was in pajamas for days, took a morning nap, and let others bring me food.  sometimes it is good for the soul to realize you don't have to push yourself beyond reasonable limits when others can make up the difference for you.   we are better for this insane 10 days. and look, i have time to blog. a good ordeal indeed.

like oprah's favorite things....

my friend emily is related to some cool cats who produce the most fantastic pillow you have ever slept on. this is real, no joke.  i have had two for over a month now, and suffice it to say, there are 10 in my amazon shopping cart.  we lay awake at night thinking of who we can give them to for christmas.  i love giving away things that i love to people and my red headed husband is not the "everything" gift giver.
as in if there is a gift given, i usually pick it out.  if it is supposed to be from "him", why, i run it by him and make sure it's alright.  while contemplating who would be christmas receivers of "the pillow" he was acting funny about some of the recipients.  i think his mind categorizes presents like a candle for mother, a tie for father, little ben with a red fire truck.  kind of a cliche gifter (although he has pulled off some awesome stuff for the kids and i) outside the immediate family circle.  i think he almost feared giving pillows for gifts might be akin to giving someone undies as a present.  a little personal.  but,  i think we have our list narrowed down to who wouldn't get offended getting such a personal item as a pillow. he justified it with telling me he would present the gift saying, just think of this like an oprah's favorties gift item.

i hesitate to describe what this pillow is like.  you see, i have fallen victim to reading reviews as of late and i think it's been tainting my mind. i stewed for weeks about buying a pair of tom shoes for an upcoming girls trip in the big apple.  stewed and stewed.  i saw every disney loving mother wearing them in march while we paid homage to the black ears and felt like that spoke for itself.  coz yer dogs be hatin after a day of magical kindumb. for reels.  then......i suckered into reading amazon reviews and website reviews by loyal toms customers.  i was torn.  underprivileged children getting shoes if you buy a pair. loyal supporters telling of all the colors and collections they have. i plunged.  happy to be a part of this trendy movement and help someone? sure.

turns out that for fifty dollars, i think they are junk.  kind of like when you get suckered into those "parties" and for $99.99 this baking stone will do the cooking for you and make your life worth living.  directly after she tells you about the bahama's last week because she sold the most baking stones at last years party.  i would have felt much better if i had written a check for $50 to an organization based in africa and they bought shoes for the children based on the area, need, and duration of the material.  they are $15 dollar shoes.  i realize this puts me into a non-trendy category.  i remember in the seventh grade going shopping for school clothes.  we had $100 dollars to spend on clothes for the year.  i was going to have a pair of girbaud jeans. yes. i was.  the problem was that they were $78.00 and that was for the color blue.  the actual blue jeans were $99.  i was dead set on them.  got my jeans and a shirt and my budget was blown.  i sat with them in the closet for a week thinking that everyday i would have to wear them as i had no other jeans.  that did not roll around my brain so well and there was born my non-trendy self.  there were plenty of other cute pants for under $78.  turns out coolots ended up in my shopping bag and i wore them proudly that year.  this further proves the point that i am not fashionable or trendy.  but.....that said.

i do know when i love something.  when it is a good product and the price is right, i will hop over the moon for it. food, products, clothes as long as i don't know about someones trip to the bahama's because of my purchase. i am happy to report that the malouf pillow, found HERE will satisfy all of your christmas gift recipients.  and let that recommendation speak for itself. it's like butta.

Monday, August 8, 2011

because she is the best!

i love being related to such an amazing photographer...

here is the link to see our family photo shoot.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

if you haven't, you should....

tune in HERE to read:

they are hilarious. and not the seriously so blessed funny, but why utah mormons are funny hilarious. my mother found them and was falling off her chair laughing at their funny take about being black and mormon.

i appreciate the concept of every mormon gets to be their own kind of mormon. i feel like i am in the new haven first ward when i read this blog. happy reading.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

threat level: two

it's that real mischievous look she gets to her.

her hair has caused us many tears. i have let my standard for hair fall low with girl number two. her scalp poses sensitivity that i can't wrap my head around. i look at the scalp, she cries. i talk about combing her hair, she cries. i lather it with moroccan oil, conditioner, and don't comb until it dries to no avail. yesterday was a pool day and i insist on the girls hair being up out of their faces for this venture. because of disney's tangled, they are both determined to swing from their own hair. so the pool with rapunzel like hair can be ahem, hairy.

while braiding ever so gently, she yells out with a red face and tears pooling in her eyes:


well, you better believe i was more scared of this tactic than the whipping threat. threat level red, level red i declared.

a hug and some funny jokes quickly remedied the scalp sensitivity and i was able to finish our pool braid. it might behoove me to go take up some karate myself with thoughts like that brewing in her head........

Thursday, July 21, 2011


i lay awake tonight at a ghastly hour with my stomach churning because of the poor food choices i made at dinner.

i had an idea that no one close to me protected me from. my idea was to invite 20 girls ages 8-11 over to my house for a summer social. two other women would come chaperone, bringing with them games to play for entertainment. now, the idea that needed common sense was the part about how we would roast hot dogs and marshmallows over a fire. over a fire. over a fire pit in july. it was about fry and egg on the cement hot today. we prolly could have got the job of roasting the weenies done by holding our roasters ore the cement. well. i asked my friend, angela, why? why did you not tell me of the stupidity of making a fire in the dead of summer.

well, it was the hot dog that got me. i love em. summer with some carcinogens and ball park meat + lee's hot dog bakery buns. it over took every sensible thought i ever produced. until i saw the happy faces of the girls red sweaty cheeks with those weenies black as could be i felt much better about my stupidity. they didn't care that they had sweat beads gathered right under their puffy red eyes, or that their bum cheeks were wet with revolt from the heat. and no one likes a sweaty summer bum, but put a charred hot dog in the mix. do you see all the raised hands? everyone wants in.

the other reason for the late post about stupidity and food is because i also set out every fruit the local orchards had. cherries, strawberries, watermelon, blueberries, grapes. then. angela got a moment where she had a light shine down and told her we needed nutella on graham crackers for those little ones. right after their little mallows were hot off the press she would smash them with nutella graham glory. it was a sight to see. i hadn't eaten a smores for 10 years, my belly is telling me they are now called no'mores. oye. it was wonderful while it lasted, the idiotic bbq and myself.

we also played a game where we wrote down some embarrassing moments and then tried to guess whose they were. i laughed at the innocence and beauty of what these girls wrote.

my own beauty wrote: i threw up at the homestead in front of peter breinholt.
mine included having my parents call the cops twice for an intruder only to find me snoring soundly in my bed. thankfully, the snoring is now under control and my husband has no need for intruder checks in the pm hours at this house.

so, this belly ache, totally worth it, it was a summer memory for the books.

Monday, June 6, 2011

enough is enough.

my name is h.mac and i am a junk-a-holic hoarder.

i am tired of living from treat to treat.

i am tired of my hind end giving me whip lash as i run up the stairs 54 times in a day.

i am tired of my thyroid being enlarged.

i am tired of being tired.

and no more sweet tooth fairy cupcakes for me. NO MORE. NO MORE. NO MORE.

i lost the baby weight and then the cupcakes got me and the candy, sugar cookies, and on and on. candy. me, really?!

i found myself making a cake yesterday and knew i was in trouble. in healthier days i was always sure that you were a real carbaholic if you were desperate enough to make a box cake for enjoyment. (why not go for brownies or ice cream if you're going crazy. a fluffy, need two pieces box cake?) my philosophy has always been to pour hours into making a dessert. this proves wise on many fronts. most especially not having dessert be an easy thing to get to. also, scott and i usually practice saving our treat for date night and we share. we made our agreement yesterday that we would breath new life into this and also, a sunday treat that would take a while to make and be taken to some kind of family gathering where there would be no leftovers.

10 pounds later with baby 4 it isn't melting off like it used to. which leads me to......

emily and i married cousins. they recently moved here from australia. we became fast friends and found we both suffer an immense love of food which has us traipsing across the valley on date nights (with our husbands tagging along) talking, oohhing and ahhhing over food. i don't think there has been a date night without 200 fat grams consumed.

my mother raised us with awesome food habits that were very balanced. we never had abounding junk around the house. never had processed foods or sweets casually tempting us. it was one of the best gifts she gave us. she taught us to appreciate food in moderate and healthy amounts. my gluttony is a disgrace to the wise ways she schooled us in.

so emily did this wonderful post today that had me at costco by nights end wanting to start over fresh. i want to feel better. i don't care so much about the exercising part as much as the feeling better. exercise and i do not get along. i would rather run into a brick wall repeatedly. so. again, go here to read her inspiring post about how americans are carb chasers and her thorough research about how to be better. she gave me lots of costco tip offs on products like the aguave nectar, quinoa, wheat sandwich rounds, frozen pitted cherries and on and on. i found salmon burgers, almond butter (only roasted ground almonds), and other delightful things to get me started on feeling better and snapping less.

hopefully my slightly older post partum body will return to its normal weight and forgive me for my shameful ways. i take pretty seriously being a good steward over my physical body. it's a privilege.

that or i may need to purchase some super glue to get all the rolls to meld into one. (that may or may not be a real threat i am giving myself with swimsuit season upon us)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

due punishment

the first day of summer arrived and i was screaming triumph in any one's ear who would listen. 9:30 and we found ourselves dressed, jobs done, TV never turned on, teeth brushed, breakfast cleaned up. yes, a mother's summer triumph indeed. as i was finishing getting ready ella loomed in the doorway. rowan was perched at the doorway with toys abounding and pillows to catch his cranium when the sitting up trick got old. with the older kids home she hadn't had her proper fill of mauling him. feeling jipped she decided to engage me in a compelling conversation.

ella: mom, if you do not let me hold rowan this instant i will whip you with this belt. (she was holding a very fashionable purple leather belt ready for action)

mom: ella, we do not whip people. i will let you hold row when i am done with my hair and i can help you.

ella: okay mom, i will give you two choices. if you do not let me hold rowan right this instant your choices are i will whip you or i will whip rowan. which is your choice?

mom: ella, whipping is not a choice. firstly (her favorite invented word i have come to love), i am bigger than you. heavenly father made it so the person giving choices has to be larger than the small person. okay.

ella: mom, that is not right. i give the choices at this house. i am not small, i am a big woman. who is getting whipped here.

mom: ella, you will not whip me or rowan. these are not choices children give their parents. i give the choices.

ella: mom i want to hold him right now on the toilet, let me have a choice about holding him on the toilet this INSTANT!

blah, blah, blah. downward spiral of my internal laughing and wondering where she comes from. as i am wondering all of life's perils, i feel something at my feet. only to look down and see a purple leather belt brushing up against my foot ever so sneakily. an indignant four year old smirking and walking away without a word. survival of the mentally fit here.....

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

refining fire

i was reading this article that our good friend todd posted on his FB account (FB means facebook mother ;)).

recently, i was talking with my dad about a profound parenting moment he had years ago. he was giving a talk in a religious setting about parenting. he was comparing the opportunity to parent to the experience of a sculptor. molding, shaping, cutting that clay into exactly what you want it to be.

he was feeling pretty good about his talk. afterwards, a good friend, who also happened to be very wise professionally about family dynamics, told him that although his talk had a good concept, it was wrong. kids are more like folded paper. with every part of growth a new crease unfolds. as a parent you are the one to open each fold on their sheet of paper. sometimes the way we parent leaves some papers closed, unable to see what's inside.

this spoke such truth to me. grayce and easton are so similar in their responses to our correction, praise, love. i figured that it was our parenting accolade that our kids were obedient, generally well behaved, sweet, did tricks on cue and on and on. then, well, if you've ever read one post on here you know that child number three turned my entire world upside down. it still has me shocked. she is entirely, completely something i never knew could come from our combined DNA. i had no idea personality traits like that could be floating around the family. this analogy of the folded paper has helped me see the truth of it.

i believe our spirits have lived far longer than these physical bodies. we were intelligences long before the marriage of our spirits and physical bodies. i think that might somehow explain why ella naturally likes using bigger, more correct phrases than my other kids. she thinks so much differently. it's a television to her, and calling the "children" in suites her more than calling "kids" in for dinner. like when she was two and asked me to play princesses with her. she handed me prince charming and asked me to play kingdom. what?!

you be king dumb. oh my. yep, paper i tell you.

in general conference a few months ago, my inbox for texting was hot when this talk was being given. at first i balked at his chipper, life's good with a child that has "unique characteristics" attitude. i had to let it sink into daily thought. guess what? he's right. surely, these "special kids" ARE making us more godlike. they are the refining fire of my soul. they make the rough edges smooth with humility.

so, i will let ella give the parting thought here:

peace momma, peace.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

because i want 42 more chubby babies....

to make up for 5 weeks of absence here....

i should let you know that the beloved kitchen has returned to function. can you spot the sous chef?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

what winter has brought....

because the food quality doesn't override the obsessive compulsive need to germ x the entire establishment, we don't participate in playgrounds at the golden arches usually. usually. but, i have been known in deep despair to let my kids scale the petri dish of community cast off germs, but you know, i kind of think those sorts of things are better left at home with a good vat of bleach.

that leads me to exhibit our winter finds that have made this season in the mountains bearable.

first up. ella's enchantment. we are not channel TV watchers. netflix and DVD's give us a good fill. these have topped her (and the older kids, they just might not want to admit to these) favorites as of late.

ponyo. a disney film with american stars released in asia? meets the general annoyance and overplayed at our house requirement. an instant favorite.

ella can't get enough of babies. as in, it is watched everyday. it is quite extraordinary in its content, i agree. she might have crossed the line when she asked if i would dress up like the tribal african mothers for halloween. as you can imagine, i gave a line about public nudity being illegal and such and how we don't belong to tribes. and no, mormonism doesn't count as tribal honey.

and this one still has me gobsmacked. mostly because it's french but yet somehow my kids know exactly what is going on and the conversing that takes place. they laugh hysterically at it. i can't wrap my mind around it.

and finally. if you are looking for a good, guilty indulgence, DOWNTON ABBEY is perfect. i just finished my second go around of the brittish series. 7 episodes was not enough for me. it does seem they are releasing the second season in the fall of this year. i predict that i will watch the series a few more times before then. i am addicted to beautiful architecture and interiors, not to mention that the dress for this series is unmatched. throw in a little drama and light hearted tributes to class and change, my heart was won. netflix has it and you can read more about it here.
and one last sign that spring has got to be on its way is the discussion of utter disgust the redhead and i had last night about how we wasted our hour before bed. his was spent on angry birds and i may or may not be suffering tetris thumb......

Monday, February 28, 2011

for anyone who's ever envied my kitchen....

get your "un" envy fix here.... sniff, sniff.

it's called a faulty water line that has been on slow drip for a while.
it means mold contamination barriers all about your house and such. as you can see, missy is getting a kick out of the fiasco.

me, not so much. because those wooden things behind the couch, my cabinets torn in pieces. my wood floor is up, soggy, and beat to heck from a fridge being moved by gruff men. and now the mold is remedied, they left my kitchen looking a mess and said, fix it yourself ma'am. and the translation for that is prolly another 2-3 weeks of tears and discomfort.
could be worse.