Thursday, April 12, 2012

spring break, literally.

spring break is always exciting and intoxicating to me.  i get to have my kids home for a week and we get every hope up for the summer to come.  we feel the laziness of the days and the flowing summer routine starts to shape up.  playing until dark, dinner eaten outside, a fun activity here and there and no strict schedule.

it was wonderful but a bit exciting as well.  we went on our first venture to the kangaroo zoo.  i am not a normal mother. you know this by now.  i would be more likely to take my kids to a park all day and let them explore versus taking them to a structured play area.  there are so many things i fear at public play places.  mostly poop.  i have seen what can happen at home from rowdy play and i just can't be responsible for other mothers diapering.  it makes me so nervous.  i worry about the germs and what not.  so, it was with no real shock that ella turned up with a rotten case of the true blue croup.  my kids have had coughs that come and go that resemble the croup, but the full blown screaming for air and sounding like a vacuum cleaner for days.  right as that happened, easton was holding his hand funny one night and that prompted us to get x-rays within 24 hours. last month grayce complained her foot hurt and after a while we took her in.  turns out the bone was chipped on her foot and thank goodness she didn't need surgery.  so, over spring break we had croup, a broken hand, a walking boot and sunday night were awoken to a burning fevered ella.  she was sent to the hospital for x-rays as she had pneumonia last month and they wanted to make sure she was unlucky in contracting a second virus and not a complication from the wicked croup.  throw in some allergies and it was a spring break i am hoping is not indicative of our summer.  the doctor was truthful in telling me we should watch ella closely because she has had a very rough year. we need to watch the fevers.  of course i turned into a ball of nerves because no one else got croup but it turns out rowan woke up with the fever this morning. i have never ever been so glad to have someone else get the germs! really.  he woke up with a scream at 5:45 am and i rejoiced to scott that he had the fever!!!!  ella is on her way to recovery and the fever only lasted 24 hours.  but it will be a spring break we won't soon forget.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

it's vulgar, i know. my mother is disappointed in me

but my kids hands smell like butt.

this was disturbing to me on many levels.  the smell on their hands, grayce and easton specifically, was reason for me to call a major news corporation to investigate.  this could be why they have been the bearers of the vomits so many times this year.  i was pouring over the reasons i should feel guilty over their smelly hands and then decided that i would take the approach of the french parents i have been hearing all about.  i identify with the french and their methods.  my kids are generally well behaved in public.  i don't find myself tearing my hair out at home with their behavior, but i have found a look has developed with the birth of my third.  it could be that the third one tilts the dynamic of the entire balance of one adult for every child.  i have found that generally, two children are the honeymooning phase of parenting.  being outnumbered can cause a plethora of problems.  mainly, there are not enough hours in the day to gently or patiently discipline.  the third one at our house gets parented with the look.  i always try to tell myself when a disciplinary situation presents itself that anger is not an option.  getting mad at my kids does nothing but deplete my emotional and mental reserves.  so, the look has been born.  i can get away with the look or raising my hand to count and my kids shape up, usually.

this has come in handy especially as the butt smell has come to light.  i can flare my nostrils real large and unnatural looking and the kids head to the bathroom.  i hope that by the first sentence of this post you won't think poorly of me.  just today grayce tried telling easton that his uncasted arm smelled like butt.  she was given the look.  do as i say not as i uh,er do-say.  my kids can't say butt because i was not allowed to say butt.  even when i was telling my mother about the smell i felt guilty telling her it smelled like butt.  i fear telling her that the smell of bum bum wouldn't get the same response.

the good news came to me as i was sitting with my 5th grade daughter at her maturation program.  that's right.  the county stepped in to tell my daughter about her changing body.  two summers ago i gave my daughter the american girl body book to read.  we read and skimmed together but she mostly took the lead on educating herself with her nose in the book and a large pillow in front to block any nosy siblings from her education.  i didn't stop to think about an eight year old reading unfamiliar terms and what kind of pronunciation she would come up with.  i discovered my error at the program.  i will let you use your imagination but she leaned over to me twice to clarify the names of certain things.  one thing she needed clarification on was what she thought was a state named after a female part.  she wondered why they would name the female anatomy after the state of virginia.  also, she thought the term public hair was what it was called because everyone has it.   i thought i would be kicked out by the teachers i was laughing so hard.  but, the real reason for this side note is because the school nurse explained to us in great detail that at the age when change starts, it causes the glands all over the body to produce a white thick film that has major odor.  i was aware of under arms being a problem, but apparently it can cause a horrific smell anywhere the glands are located.  my kids have actually had chaffed hands because of the look i give that ques the washing.  it was of great relief to me to know that they were not dipping their hands in a bucket of butt, in fact, their glands were to blame.

and don't worry, scotty is hard at work developing hand odor eliminator that will make us our millions.  just think of it, apply hand odor eliminator and then cover with handerpants...........

i am not pregnant

the last post has left me with quizzical glances from family and friends alike.  for that reason i would like to say that although i did take a pregnancy test, it was negative.  there was no intent or expectation that it would be positive but i had reason to be suspicious.  and i also must mention that i would not be needing prozac if i was pregnant.  me, of all people, the girl who was told that i would be lucky to be pregnant once in my lifetime, would rejoice at such a surprise!

on another unrelated note, i have been having the most wonderful sabbath days lately.  i, for no logical reason, was called to serve in our primary presidency.  i was told by a couple of people that logic did not put me there but a really strong feeling that i needed to be in there.  i had the chance to serve as the primary president in new haven and had the most choice experience while doing it.  but, i do have to say, it was VASTLY different there.  here, we have function.  people follow the rules and have real live meetings.  there are forms to be filled out, programs to be run off, serious stuff.  we have a secretary that makes endless lists of classes and changes and scout lists. oh mercy, scouts.  it happens that i have been put over scouts and it is a confirmation to me that i lack humility.  right now i would say that i love what scouting does for my sweet little 8 year old.  in the same breath i would say that i do not love that the scout  program in general feels it necessary to hold a meeting if someone needs to sneeze.  it is time consuming madness.  i feel like my eyes each have holes poked in the sides of them and i just can't see properly.  i don't quite get it.

but, my favorite part of primary is sharing time.  oh, i love spending 15 minutes every week with the kids to tell them about the gospel.  i am not a flowery person, i don't do games, i don't laminate or coloring.  but, how i love to tell.  i love to gather those kids around (my own included) and tell them about those wonderful things that pricked my heart at their age.  i love that sacred primary room and i tear up thinking about all of the wonderful things that happen in that room.  all the tender feelings felt by kids week after week that add that line upon line to their testimonies.  a couple of months ago the topic was to teach the kids about our prophet.  i prayed all week that i would know what to share with them.  i read and skimmed over a few things and after all of that i had the impression that they might enjoy hearing some stories from president monson's book about his life. i loved reading it myself and thought heidi swinton did a remarkable job.  i gathered a few stories about his childhood that i thought would be appealing to all of the kids.

i was reading one story in particular about president monson making the primary president cry because he was being so rowdy with his friends.  it then talks about how years later he visits her in the hospital and finds her memory gone and mind fading.  he is reassured by the other people around her that she wouldn't know who he was.  he continued to feed her and gently speak about her kindness to him.  with the visit coming to an end, she looked up at him and said, "i know you, you are tommy monson my primary boy. oh how i love you."  i of course was teary and let those sweet faces know how much i loved them.  one boy, our "lively" spirit of the bunch, really identified with the story and piped up saying "you mean a kid like me could end up being a prophet?".  i looked him square in the eye and emphatically replied "YES!".  i have thought about that experience many times.  maybe sharing that story was just for ethan, but maybe it was more for me.  his statement  bore testimony to me that it was an ordinary boy that the lord preserved and raised up to be a man of god.  tommy monson was a regular boy, filled with ordinary acts and extraordinary choices. he is a prophet of god preserved to do his work.

 that is why i love primary.  i am quite sure that these opportunities could be given a million of excuses as to why they couldn't perform these callings.  i have come to find out that although the task may seem inconvenient, the rewards are for us.  my testimony has grown vastly as i meet with these kids every week.  it is hard to make it on time with 4 little kids to get ready and a husband at meetings all day long, but i would never ever trade the opportunity.  it is such a blessing to see what the lord will let us become when we have faith and follow!                                                      

Sunday, April 1, 2012

while i'm not world's best holiday mom....

...i put on a mean april fool's day this year.  i hope heaven is full of laughing because there is nothing better to me that having a good laugh.  it compares to a good meal in my book.

this year we invited some guests over for a "sundee dinner" (that was the title of my email invitation). little did they know that my kids and i had been working all weekend on an april fools dinner. first off, the kids greeted our guests in robes while some of the kids were in the background making puking noises.  "didn't you get the message, we have the vomits".

for our first course at dinner, we had clear glasses with jello and fruit with a straw for effect when we told them it was fruit punch.  we served cupcakes and double layered cake for dinner which was meatloaf with mashed potatoes for frosting.  i put globs of blue dough in the rolls so it looked like moldy rolls, and for dessert, well we did what any experienced april fooler would do.  we bought loads of sponges, some brown RIT clothing dye and a package of frosting.  we dyed the sponges, dried them off and frosted them with the most delicious fudge frosting.  they really look legit.  the kids had planned out who would be served first for the brownies.  after our guests realized there were no brownies, they were confused when we told them we had some baked potatoes for dessert (ice cream rolled in cinnamon and sugar with honey butter atop).

perhaps the funniest moment of the meal came when my mother announced that grandma helen was pregnant (she's embarking on her 94th bday this year)! my mother was quite pleased with her quick whit, as was grandma.  we had a wonderful night of laughter.

all in all it was a great foolers holiday.  we may or may not have gotten carried away when we thought of the best humored people in our neighborhood to take sponge brownies to.  we had sweet ella use that magic voice, go up to the porch and say - "here bishop, we made this brownie just for you".  or "here Lorrin, we made a new recipe and thought you would love it".  i think my kids might have dribbled a bit they were laughing so hard.  then when we got home they were thinking of all the things these people might do to get us back, including and not limited to, scott's name on our weekly church program being listed as Sister Scott McKay as punishment from the bishop.  then, feeling guilt, they all resolved that we would make them our infamous s'mores brownies for family night tomorrow night as a peace offering.

i for one appreciate a funny little april fools joke.........but not the one where i had to take a pregnancy test today.