Monday, May 30, 2011

the trip I did not take- and why this one is so much better


You are the trip I did not take.

You are the pearls I cannot buy.

You are my blue Italian lake.

You are my piece of foreign sky.

-Anne Campbell

Recently, WBH and I found ourselves a little wistful for the times before kids, before giant dog, before mortgage, when we could say "Hey, we've got some spare cash and nothing to do this weekend. Let's go!" Not that we would trade them for the world, mind you, but it was nice when we could. I don't think we appreciated that time enough, and how many options we had. Choosing parenthood very abruptly limits your options, it's true, but it also throws open a door to so many new experiences.

Stinky has learned to climb a tree. Having seen older relatives doing so, he decided he wanted to try, and once he was in it without my support, he loudly declared "I did it! I climbed a tree" His feet were maybe two feet above ground, but he might as well have been flying, as proud as he was. Rotten is now crawling at full speed. He watches for the forbidden things (an open door to the back room, cords, dropped food) to appear, then takes off as fast as he can, looking over his shoulder to see if we're coming, giggling hysterically and picking up speed when he sees that we are. Oh, and he climbs, too, which is terrifying.

These experiences that might have seemed mundane before my children experienced them, are nothing short of miraculous now. It's like Dorothy opening the door of her Kansas home into Tecnicolor Munchkinland. Parenting my boys is, without a doubt, a trip to a new world. So, while I love Ms. Campbell's poem, I'd like to add a few new stanzas:

You are the nights we cannot sleep,

The showers we can't take alone.

You are the laundry piled so deep,

The noise that makes this home.

You are the trip we did not take

So we could take one better.

What good is some Italian lake

If we're not there together?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011



I need to be creative again. I need to be working towards goals. These cupcakes are the last bit of crafty-ness I've done, and that was at the beginning of this month. There is always a great reason- teething baby, messy house, other obligations. I do know, though, that I'm happier when I'm working on a project and allowing myself that outlet. There will always be a reason not to, but I really want to make sure I'm taking the time to work on some of the goals I've set, creative and otherwise.

On pinterest (have you signed up for it yet? It's the most amazing time sucker ever), I found a phrase that I haven't been able to get out of my head for a while- "If it's important, you'll find a way. If not, you'll find an excuse." There will always be something else that probably needs to be done, but I can find a way to fit in the things I want, too.

I'll be helping a friend with a baby blanket soon, and I'm looking forward to that- but I need to get back to work on some of my own stuff too. It's not a lack of supplies or ideas that's keeping me from workin on it- it's just me being stopped by feeling overwhelmed with life. I think if I take the time to focus on a project like this- even just a little each day- I can conquer feeling overwhelmed, too.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

This Month in Pictures

I am working on that old blog post, the one where I talk about how much I love my children. Today, however one of them is full of bad choices and the other is teething big time. How about we just look at some nice pictures instead? Here are some of my favorites from this month:


I got to enjoy my first Mother's Day Tea. It made me a little weepy to think that I get to do that now, and that my boy is old enough to have them with me. Stinky's teacher did a lovely job with it.


The weather warmed up enough to enjoy the beach and Rotten developped a love for swings.


We got a free date night, tickets courtesy Tealah and thanks to my little sister who watched the boys. In fact, we have dates planned for the next two weekends. Crazy.


We spent time with family before Middle Sister left for her mission, including a trip to the zoo.

Stinky learned about car maintenance with his dad.

Today was Stinky's last day of preschool for the year. It was a little sad- some friends from the last two years won't be back next year, though we hope to see them at the play time at our house this summer. It's also a reminder that he's only got one more preschool year left before he's off to Kindergarten. Wow. I'll think about that tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The weather around here is amazing this week. The sun is amazing and glorious and I woke up with a blinding headache. Why yes, Stinky, you may watch another show on Netflix. We'll take advantage of the sun when it doesn't feel like it will kill me to open my eyes.

I wrote one of the best posts I've ever written last Friday, and Blogger ate it in the great implosion last week. So I'm working on re-writing it. It should be back soon. But for now, I'm going to go back to nursing this headache away.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

"and don't you come back no more..."

I apologize for not writing much in the last week- my sister reposted to the LDS Missionary Training Center today to start her year and a half as a missionary. Later on, she'll be headed to Campinas, Brazil, and I'm so proud of her. I'm a little sad, too. She'll do great things, and it will be so fantastic for her. Between missing her and recovering from the go-go-go week and weekend it has been, I'm a little grumpy today. So I'm staying in my jammies and making sure we're all clean and fed, making delicious broccoli cheddar soup, but that's about it.

I'll be updating a blog for her, if you'd like to follow it here, and if you know her and would like to write, I can give you her information. let me know. In the next few days, I'll tell you how Chris totally won at Mothers' Day, and share some pictures from our weekend craziness.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

"Few of us will reach our potential without the nurturing of both the mother who bore us and the mothers who bear with us"

Sheri Dew

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Impromptu Family Photo Shoot

We attempted to attend a friend's piano recital last weekend. We made it through three songs before we realized that it just wasn't a place for the kids- not that they were bad. His beautiful piano performance just didn't need a backup singer (Rotten) and dancer (Stinky). Fortunately, the campus we were on was beautiful, and we took the chance to take some pictures around the music building.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Gardening With Your Kids Without Losing Your Mind


Unemployment is capitalism's way of getting you to plant a garden. -Orson Scott Card

Well, it's not that bad. In fact, we know that WBH's teaching job is secure for another year, but I think the truth holds just as well if you substitute "a lousy economy." We had an absolutely glorious day this weekend, and we took advantage of it- yes, a little late in the season. We're experimenting in square foot gardening this year, and I planted the first seeds.

This is the third year Stinky has helped with our garden. I really believe in involving kids with a garden for several reasons:

  • You can get kids to try eating what they've helped grow. Last summer, Stinky would grab snap peas right off the vine and eat them while he played.

  • Children gain a sense of accomplishment and contribution to the family from working together.

  • You're teaching math and science concepts without really having to try.

  • Kids become connected to their food, seeing it in it's whole, fresh form and learn to value that.

plant markers

Here's what works for us:

  • Know ahead what you'll have your child do: Stinky got to help push in the stakes on the outside of the garden, cut the yarn, push in the seeds where I poked holes in the soil.

  • Remember that it will take two to three times as long with your helper.

  • Let them help shop for seeds and help plan, as they are able: Our rule is that he has to try eating whatever he wants us to buy.

  • Small children are usually happy to dig or rake next to you if they're not ready to follow directions (we ended up with more spinach than we could eat due to eager hands tossing seeds by the fistful).

  • Plan other projects around it. We made markers for our squares from Popsicle sticks. You could paint rocks, draw pictures- just makes sure it's waterproof.

  • To keep costs down, if you're local, we used TAGRO's you-shovel pile. Stinky got to help with that, too.

I'm excited to see how our garden comes in using the square-foot technique, and excited to add our other plants later on. The coldest spring in over a hundred years has kept us inside for so long. It felt great to be in the sun and working.


He's pretending to eat a carrot here, by the way. Thanks for reading this epic post today! Happy Monday!