Yesterday as I was cleaning the house I kept finding these little treasures. They were hidden away in closets, laying on the ledges in the living room and kitchen, stuck in my plants where they had crash landed, soggy in puddles dripped on the bathroom floor. They were made out of computer printer paper, sacrament meeting programs, old homework, scratch paper from school and even grocery store receipts. These pictures show only a fraction of the "fleet" I gathered up yesterday. Just the "good" ones. And these are just the new ones since I threw away a big batch about a week ago. Here's the one responsible for it all:
He's a rather prolific builder, don't you think? Future aero-space engineer? He lost a tooth yesterday, too -- on accident. I kind-of maybe might have swatted his mouth for being sassy and knocked it clean out. Yes, it was very loose to begin with. (What kind of a monster do you think I am?!) Anyway, for the rest of my life I will never look at a paper airplane without thinking of my "Baby D". And the house will never feel quite the same when he outgrows this rather cute phase.
I turned everything upside down and moved almost every piece of furniture we own. The pictures and accessories are all re-hung and I love it. It feels cozy and fresh and just generally, ummm, new. AND I think we have room in the living room for another chair. Eventually.
The problem is that I don't know where to stop. I'm now having wild thoughts about our bedroom. How much do you think Brent will freak when he comes home to all this change?
The kids can't wait to surprise him Monday night.
Where to begin . . . Yes, my FIRST GRADER cut class. Or snuck out of class or whatever and was caught, to quote the incident report I got from the principal, "goofing around in the bathroom (rolling around on the floor) with another student". EWWWWWWW! Wrong on so many levels. He had to sit in the principals office during recess to "think about his actions". I asked him what, if anything, he was thinking when he did this and he said, "It's hard to explain."
"Am I EVER going to get one of these notes again?"
"Then we're good. Oh, and consider yourself grounded from anything electronic for the next week."
So, singing on the bus???!!! I don't know/don't really care what that's all about. All I know is that the school principal had all three of my kids names cross her desk within an eight hour school day. And not in a good way. Whatever happened to my philosophy of flying below the radar? It got me through I can't remember how many different schools successfully. Clearly Brent's kids don't subscribe. OY!
As Brent was packing last night for his trip he got out a very handsome navy blue pin stripe suit. It's my favorite suit he owns. It's the nicest suit he owns. It's also a hand-me-down from my dad. My whole family wears dad's hand-me-downs. He has exceptionally nice hand-me-downs. And, oddly, they always seem to fit everyone. Weird because there is not a more diversely built group of men almost in all the world. In fact Brent and my brother-in-law Whitney both have hand-me-down suits from dad and I would never have guessed in a million years that those two would a)wear exactly the same size as each other or b) wear exactly the same size as my dad. Anyway, long story short, I had an idea. I think these guys should start a blog and call it "The Brotherhood of the Traveling Pants Suit". They could chronicle their adventures while wearing one of dad's old suits. Like Brent could write about the time when our bishopric was being changed and he wore the suit as a joke to make people think that maybe he was the new bishop. He's taking the suit on another adventure to Canada even as we speak.
So, what up guys?? Any takers? I'd read it . . .
I know I tend to over-idealize things, but I'm picturing, years from now, my grown up kids sitting around reading this book and laughing at all their hi jinks. Assuming, of course, we make it through the teen years alive, out of jail, and still speaking to one another.
Papa G and Grandma on their wedding day.
Sydney: When Maddie comes our can we . . .
Dylan: Oh! Maddie is coming over? Like, sleeping over?
Dylan: (with a wicked little smile that scared me to the core of my being) Sweet.
Dylan: (in response to Brent and my suspicious looks) What?! I'm impressed by the ladies.
Heaven help us all.
I don't know what came over me that day. I think I tend to freak out just a little bit when Brent is not acting like himself. The whole universe seems somehow off kilter when he is not trying to make me laugh about ridiculous things. I'm the serious, quiet one in this relationship. Me! Not Brent. Me! So when he is ill or down or whatever I tend to compensate by taking on his role as family buffoon. (And I really do mean that in the nicest possible way -- I married that big old buffoon for all of eternity did I not?) I make inappropriate jokes and do silly dances in a feeble attempt to restore the balance in my world. Besides, I just have to let you all know that Brent has been stealing my shtick for years. I'm the real funny one around here. I just let him take all the credit. Whatever. I'm humble like that.
Anyway, that day in the hospital, all it took was a little shot of morphine and suddenly everything was as it should be again. It almost made me wish we weren't LDS because Brent is a fun, entertaining guy in a chemically-altered state. I chuckle at the memory of it.
Dolores Aguilar, born in 1929 in New Mexico, left us on August 7, 2008. She will be met in the afterlife by her husband, Raymond, her son, Paul Jr., and daughter, Ruby.
She is survived by her daughters Marietta, Mitzi, Stella, Beatrice, Virginia and Ramona, and son Billy; grandchildren, Donnelle, Joe, Mitzie, Maria, Mario, Marty, Tynette, Tania, Leta, Alexandria, Tommy, Billy, Mathew, Raymond, Kenny, Javier, Lisa, Ashlie and Michael; great-grandchildren, Brendan, Joseph, Karissa, Jacob, Delaney, Shawn, Cienna, Bailey, Christian, Andre Jr., Andrea, Keith, Saeed, Nujaymah, Salma, Merissa, Emily, Jayci, Isabella, Samantha and Emily. I apologize if I missed anyone.
Dolores had no hobbies, made no contribution to society and rarely shared a kind word or deed in her life. I speak for the majority of her family when I say her presence will not be missed by many, very few tears will be shed and there will be no lamenting over her passing. Her family will remember Dolores and amongst ourselves we will remember her in our own way, which were mostly sad and troubling times throughout the years. We may have some fond memories of her and perhaps we will think of those times too. But I truly believe at the end of the day ALL of us will really only miss what we never had, a good and kind mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. I hope she is finally at peace with herself. As for the rest of us left behind, I hope this is the beginning of a time of healing and learning to be a family again. There will be no service, no prayers and no closure for the family she spent a lifetime tearing apart. We cannot come together in the end to see to it that her grandchildren and great-grandchildren can say their goodbyes. So I say here for all of us, GOOD BYE, MOM.
If this is all you can think to write about me when I die, please, PLEASE just don't write anything at all. Thanks. (I'll put it in my Advance Directive right next to Brent's permission to "pull the plug" at his earliest convenience. Do I need to get that notarized to make it official?)
- Do horses eat hot dogs? Because I think that would be awesome. -- Dylan
- Hey, I think I can see your colon. -- Riley's "twist" on the old "your epidermis is showing" joke.
- Can I play Wii? What's your answer? Just spit it out. -- Dylan
- If America is a free country, how come everything costs money? -- Dylan
- I think it would be sad to grow up in Canada where you can't choose anything for yourself. -- Sydney (hopefully) mis-speaking after my explanation of the dual meanings of the word free
- If I don't eat my broccoli, can I only have the crust from the peach and raspberry cobbler? -- Dylan, ever negotiating
- When I grow up I want to be a Michael Phelps fan. -- Riley's philosophy of why do today what you can put off until tomorrow
- Should I make this ramen or what? -- Sydney, really asking if anyone was going to cook dinner
I never go very long without chuckling in this house. I'm so in love with this family!
Riley came home from school today just beaming from ear to ear. He had been chosen, it seems, to go and make a speech to a classroom of second graders. Wow, huh? Not so fast. I asked him what the speech was about.
"Spelling," came his reply.
"Hmmmm. More info, please," I pressed.
Well, this particular class had a few kids who had missed several words on their spelling tests this week and were saddened to the point of tears.
"So, what exactly did you say in your speech, my friend?"
"I just told them that's it's no big deal because I was in third grade and I missed six words on my spelling test and I'm not sad so they shouldn't care about it either."
"Is that what you were supposed to say?"
"I don't know. My teacher wasn't there so I could just say what I wanted."
Right. That's Brent's child, not mine.
Anyway. Resolution . . . The assistant principal from the kids' school called last night and the "pure evil" third grader has been suspended from the bus and Dylan's assigned seat has been moved so he sits with his fiercely protective 5th-grader sister and her gang of friends. Hooray!!! Always happy to see justice served. (FYI, Sydney was the one most traumatized by this experience -- sooo like her mom. Dylan was like, "It hurt, but whatever.") Also, in case you were worried, I got my new eyelash curler (and a free 12 pack of Dr. Pepper, but that's a coupon story for another day). Whew! Now we can all sleep tonight.
THE GOOD: I got a ton of food for, like, $11 today with my coupons, including 8 boxes of granola bars for FREE! Also some free breakfast sausage links, some free Tava sparkling juice drinks (how you like me now, Gregsons?), free mechanical pencils, free bags of salad, free Pillsbury pizza crusts, free nail files and cuticle trimmers, free hairspray, free aspirin, and 2 free loaves of french bread. I'm a dork, but that's a real high! Add that to my $20 I spent Saturday and that makes $31 to feed a family of 5 (WELL) for a week -- Fried Chicken with milk gravy, Thai noodle bowls, Margherita and Alfredo pizzas, Bratwurst and Cole Slaw, Baked French Toast with fresh strawberries, etc. Not too shabby, huh?
Also, tomorrow is haircut day!!!! I feel like I'm floating I'm so excited. What are the chances I'll be the first person ever to come out of Alina's salon looking bad?! Expect photos tomorrow.
THE BAD: I need a new eyelash curler really bad and I had a coupon to get one for 89 cents, but they were all sold out. Boo.
AND THE UGLY: Dylan got beat up on the bus today. This third grader who Sydney and Riley describe as "pure evil" slapped him on the face twice and punched him in the stomach really hard. This after he called my son an idiot and punched him in the crotch as a joke on Friday. Hahahahahahahah! I don't get it and I'm not amused. Dylan is a punk, but he means no harm to anyone. The bus driver told Sydney (who, for the record, seemed more traumatized than D) that he was going to give the video recording from the bus cameras to the principal to review. You better believe she got an e-mail from me to review as well. It just makes my heart sad. Why would someone be mean to one of my babies?!
Oh well. Tomorrow is a bright new day.
Mma Potokwane is the head of the local orphan farm in Gabarone, Botswana and she is "traditionally built". It says, "All the women in her family had been that build and it had brought them good fortune and success; there was no point, she felt, being a thin and unhappy person when the attractions of being a comfortable person were so evident. And men liked women like that too." Amen sister! I think I could really embrace the idea of being a "comfortable" person -- even if it means moving to Botswana. Brent, are you with me? (You know it's what you really want . . . )
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- 1 jar salsa
- 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Second, I had an experience at work this week that was kind of humbling. And funny, in a way. I changed this little girl's diaper (she's probably about 2 years old) and when I was finished she said thank you. Thank You! Actually, it was more like "sanks soo", but I got the point. At first I laughed. I mean, she's so little. And how many diapers have I changed in my adult life? No one has ever thanked me before, least of all the helpless child whose diaper I had just changed. But then I thought about how profoundly grateful I would be, tables turned, which I had never before considered and I saw my role in a whole new light. How many of the mundane, thankless tasks of motherhood are my children grateful for, but they just don't even know to say anything because what I do is all they know? They don't know how much worse life could be if I stopped doing those things. And I'm glad they don't because that means that I'm doing my job. Kinda wish I had this "a-ha" moment ten years ago. Oh well. That's what my kids get for not saying thanks once in a while. Ha ha.
Third, did you see the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics last night?! Uh-mazing! Completely. I have no words.
That's what's on my brain tonight. Thought I'd share.
- I overuse the word wonderful. Or super. Or the phrase "cutest ______ in the world".
- You can't stand to see my kids' faces one more time. (But don't even try to tell me they're ugly because then I'll know you're just jealous.)
- The things I find "sooooo fun!!!" are really boring and everyone else in the world is doing them, too.
- I have bad taste in music. On second thought . . .
- No human child could possibly be as sweet, charming, intelligent, (insert superlative here) as I claim that mine are.
- You don't get my jokes. Or my snarky, quirky sense of humor.
- I take rotten pictures.
Just kidding. I don't want to know any of those things. I'm going to keep blissfully blogging about my super sweet children and my wonderful, interesting life and if you're laughing at me just keep it behind my back.
But, for real, here are a few things you should check out:
Tostitos Creamy Salsa (Unnatural and a bit scary looking. So wrong on so many levels. And as yummy as the day is long.)
Pampered Chef Color Coated Santoku Knife (So sharp. So perfectly pretty and green. A pleasure to cook with.)
Crystal Light On-the-Go Energy (A tube of powder that turns an innocent water bottle into a strawberry flavored kick in the pants. 120 mg of caffeine per bottle. Wow!)
Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyers (Hang in there. It's a little bizarre in the middle, but it all works out eventually.)
Ahhhhh, sweet, blessed Sanity! How I've missed you and your brother, Silence. The monsters are officially students again. First, third, and fifth grade to be exact. And loving it to boot! I don't know if life could be better. Yesterday I had to work (farting noise, thumbs down), but I met all my girlfriends for lunch. So fun! This morning I had:
- worked out
- done some grocery shopping (16 boxes of cereal, 2 boxes nutri-grain bars, 4 boxes Rice Krispie treats, 2 boxes cereal straws, 2 cookie mixes, and 4 Warm Delights all for just under $20. Not bad, huh?)
- started laundry
- showered without having to break up WW3
- read scriptures and
- registered for traffic school
ALL by 10:00! Any one of those things would have been a day-long ordeal a week ago. It's pretty wonderful.Lest I begin to appear completely selfish, remember how happy the kids are! They ADORE their teachers, all have friends in their classes and come home exhausted. So great. No one was nervous this year, either. Here are some pics of their first day.
Take 1: Dylan wanted his "indy-visual" picture so he refused to cooperate for a group shot.
Take 2: The best I was going to get.
Already working on homework. He had all summer to get it done. I found out about it Saturday.
Big Girl on Campus.
Aren't they cute. And yes, we will easily eat (or donate to friends and family) 16 boxes of cereal.
TOP TEN THINGS SEEN AND HEARD IN OUR HOME
10. Wiener Beaners. How is it possible that my kids are aged 6, 8 and 10 and just tasted beans and franks for the first time?! We came home from vacation this month and I was too lazy to go grocery shopping . . . for about a week. Things started out fine -- mac & cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, etc. Then we got down to a couple cans of Ranch style beans and a pack of hot dogs. No buns, but a corn muffin mix. I made dinner miracle lemonade out of those empty pantry lemons. I think, if I recall correctly, my kids called it "delectable".
9. "How can I earn some money?" is a commonly asked question in our home. We got our hands on some free river rocks this month and we offered to pay the kids a nominal fee to help with the landscaping work. Dylan, ever the negotiator, said, "OK. I'll work for you. For twelve bucks a day".
8. Riley's 8th birthday! We celebrated with lunch at BJ's (mmmmm, Oreo pizookie) and a pool party with his two best friends. Peanut Butter and Jelly cake (on the actual day) and chocolate "Ben 10" cupcake cake for the party. (I'm all about the food.) He's my favorite 8 year old boy in the whole wide world.
6. Dylan has his future all mapped out. At least as far as the lady situation is concerned.
7. Note to self: When you stay at Applebees until 1:00 a.m. one night, DO NOT go back to the same Applebees for dinner the following night. Even if you get a gift card at work and you don't feel like cooking because you were, ahem, out until 1:00 a.m. the night before. The manager WILL indeed recognize you. So embarrassing.
5. Family reunion greetings. Here is what I found in my e-mail inbox every day thanks to my brothers. We had a good laugh.
"I missed my Buddy at the romantic dinner at Casa Bonita."
"We missed you while we were playing with our balls."
4. Brent, literally a kid in a candy factory. He enjoyed our tour of the Sweet's candy factory in Utah more than most people usually do. I'm sure. They showed us these enormous 2500 (or some ridiculous number) pound bags of sugar, powdered and granulated. Brent, bouncing up and down, claps his hands and says, "Both good. Both good." As Sydney and I slink to the back of the crowd in shame.
3. Dove ice cream. Have you tried it? I got some just the other day for a mere 50 cents with my coupons and it was tasty. Rich and creamy and topped with a layer of smooth Dove chocolate ganache. Try it. Seriously.
2. Kids say the darnedest things. At work one day I helped a little girl wipe her nose. She looked at me and said, "I usually just eat that." File that under too much information. Thanks.
1. Sydney is old enough to shave her legs. What?! Crazy!!!
There you have it! Come back early and often to see what new flavors we're offering. Don't be stuck with just a scoop when you could be enjoying the whole darn sundae!
"Is Riley there?"
"Sure. I'll get him . . ." Quiet conversation ensues.
"Mom, can I go play at Caden's?"
"Absolutely. Find out what time." More quiet conversation. He hangs up the phone. Then, as he's running upstairs to change his clothes, "Wait a second . . . I'm not sure if he said Caden or Aiden."
Crap. Sydney suggests *69. That's why we pay her the big bucks.
Crap. The number doesn't match Caden OR Aiden's. Maybe Braden? Nope. Not Braden either. Sydney sagely suggests we call the number and see who it is. Perfect. Except that "we" means me and I'm still a little bit phoneaphobic, even with the "happy pills". Deep breath and I'm dialing . . .
"Hi. This is Amy. Who's this?"
Turns out it was Caden after all. Whew! The things we do for our kids.