Tuesday, September 29, 2009

On Schedule

I was so anxious for summer to be over. Not necessarily to get my kids out of my hair, which sounds like a lie, but isn't, but just so we could be on a schedule again. I'm not huge on schedules, but I'm not exactly free-wheeling and spontaneous either. I told you I have no yellow in me, so any fun I decide to embark on must be planned, plotted, and coerced into being. Thoroughly exhausting. The path of least resistance (which I majored in) involves just letting it be, man. So the summer consisted of lots of letting be. Outings, exercise, housecleaning...let it be. Hair and fingernail trims (theirs and mine)...let it be. List of projects to do when free time presents itself...let it be. It's summer, man. Relax. Why you gotta be so uptight?

But enough of that. I need some discipline again. My abs need some discipline again. My kids need to change their underwear every day, it's just time. We need a schedule. So hooray for September, here we go again. We've got the school thing, we've got the church thing, the household thing, the exercise regime, the nurture your kids thing, we've got it all. And all I need to succeed is a schedule. Here goes:

7:20 Get up

7:25 No really, I mean it. Get up!

7:30 Ok, they're pouring their own cereal and milk. It's harder to clean up a gallon of milk than pull your lazy butt out of bed. That's what you get for watching "just one more" episode of House.

7:35 Make lunches. No bread. Plan B: little bags of croutons and almonds. Same food groups.

7:40 Scripture reading. Never seem to get more that 3 verses. I should consider that a challenge, but I haven't taken myself up on it yet.

7:45 Hair (theirs; mine must wait, along with my teeth. Waitaminute! Ok, brush teeth. Apologize to Hinckley for telling him his breath is atrocious).

7:55 Recheck homework because I can never quite remember if I did it the day before.

8:00 Gather everyone. Grab quickly and hold firmly.

8:05 Family prayer and hugs and kisses and goodbyes and last reminders called out the door as Dad, Hinckley and Halle are sent out.

8:10 Use up 10 minutes deciding which exercise video I have time to do, the hourlong, the 30-minute, or the 20-minute.

8:20 Check email. (ok, and my blogs)

8:30 Reconsider the exercise decision, now that I've wasted 20 minutes.

8:35 Remember I have preschool carpool, begin to panic, tell Ava to get dressed while I shower. Shower. Half-shave. The other half can wait for tomorrow.

8:45 Hair and makeup. It takes some effort to get me looking like this. Call to try and find volunteers to help with PE Testing this week, starting today. Leave a lot of messages. Email the whole class. Looks like it'll be me going today.

9:15 Change Ava's clothes, because I am just not ready to send her to preschool yet in an "I dressed myself today" outfit. Not until I have proven to Miss April that I am not a neglectful mother. Which being late will definitely NOT prove. Everyone get in the car!

9:25 Stuff slower children into car and frantically but positively encourage them to get their buckles on as I back out.

9:26 Pull car over because Tommy, who has tricked me into thinking he was buckled up is now jumping up and down on his carseat. Get Tommy actually buckled up and back onto the road. Pick up carpool kids.

9:43 Arrive at preschool/Miss April's house. Haha. Never been late. I hate being late. Drop off Ava's "mystery person" bag of goodies.

9:46 Realize I forgot to put Ava's "mystery person" information sheet in the bag of goodies and will need to go back. Mentally adjust my daily timetable to allow for stupid mistake.

10:00 Visiting Teaching, just one today, must take Tommy since babyswapper is out of town.

10:45 Arrive back at preschool with information sheet in hand. Knock on door as I realize Miss April will not answer the door during preschool, nor will she answer her phone. This actually pleases me, however I would have ben more pleased had I realized this an hour ago.

11:00 Home again home again. Jiggety-jig. Put Tommy in his bed, hoping he will take a nap an hour and a half earlier since this will be the only opportunity for a nap until 3:45 today and I have to appear in public with him so would rather not have him screaming and flailing.

11:10 Listen to Tommy alternately scream, sing, and declare he's all done with his nap (clearly) while I eat breakfast. And clean the kitchen. And the bathroom. And check my email (still no volunteers). And pack a lunch for Tommy and Ava, since we won't be home for awhile. Give myself a pat on the back for realizing this.

11:34 Tommy falls asleep.

11:35 Wake Tommy up, head to preschool.

11:45 Wait for kids to get out.

11:49 Kids are 4 minutes late coming, which according to my math will make me exactly 19 minutes late for PE Testing.

11:55 Stuck in construction on drive home. Stuck behind "cautious driver" on drive home. Make a wrong turn while driving home. 24 minutes late.

12:04 Drop last kid off, turn around and head for school. Open juice boxes and hand them and tortillas (still no bread) to 2 toddlers behind me. Stuck in construction, despite my attempts to find a new "construction-free" route. 27 minutes late.

12:29 Arrive at school, park, shuffle kids along to the gym, entering exactly 30 minutes late.

12:31 Talk with PE teacher, who says enough people showed up to help. Ok. Hang around uselessly for a minute. See the ridiculousness of this. Take kids hands and walk back out the door amidst shrieks and wails. Musn't neglect the proper prep and build up of change of plans.

12:48 Back home, ironically making excellent time, renewing my faith in the cosmic joke. Place Tommy immediately in bed, hoping that he won't feel his 60 seconds of sleep earlier should count as his nap. Laugh silently. Tell Ava to go downstairs for quiet time. Feel grateful that this is something she loves.

12:53 Still no email responses.

1:15 Start a batch of bread. (Out, remember? I did.)

2:15 Pull out scriptures and journal.

2:16 Read them and write in it. (Didn't think I was going to, did ya?)

2:42 Eat lunch. Clean kitchen. Get Tommy, who I forgot had already napped today and has no intention of doing it again, out of bed to go play with Ava.

2:55 Shout down the stairs for Ava and Tommy to get their shoesies and get in the car.

2:57 Act surprised that they haven't come up yet, run downstairs to shoo them out. They really don't need shoes.

3:22 Arrive at school, a little too late for Hinckley's tastes. Try to explain my new idea of getting there after the first slew of cars have gone, so I can find a good spot without having to get there 20 minutes early, since they generally don't come out until 15 minutes after school ends. Convince no one.

3:40 Home. Unload. Settle. Mediate. Bounce.

3:45 @#&@%!* (homework). And chores.

4:15 Begin to fill out a computer survey for an upcoming seminar I am attending which asks such perplexing and invasive questions as "What are you passionate about?" or "What is your favorite quote?" Feel boring and dispassionate and unread and completely stymied. Start googling. For ideas! For ideas. Not just random googles. Come on now.

4:30 Continue the above and the above that for the next two hours. Yes, really.

6:20 Start dinner. Salad and garlic bread, easy peasy. Start laundry. Monday is laundry day, if you didn't remember. Like me.

6:40 Darron home. Burn garlic bread because it is in my genetic makeup. Dinner.

7:20 Get kids ready for visit to Meemaw and Boompa's (don't ask) for Family Home Evening. Everyone is mannered and behaved, even Darron. Meemaw provides dessert, which soothes and calms everyone on the ride home.

9:30 Home once again. Superquick condensed bedtime routine. Don't ask if the kids brushed their teeth, tonight we'll just assume. Who needs a bath? No one, as long as we keep our distances.

9:45 Back on the computer to suss out a killer quote. Still on that. Darron watches House without me because he is highly rude and filled his survey out in like 15 minutes. Start this post.

11:05 Bedtime. Past bedtime, but this is when we always seem to get there. Feel thankful that I like two out of my three pillows and that my mattress is firm. Feel thankful that the neighbor's dog is not barking. Feel thankful that I have a busy life that is filled with family and purpose. Feel thankful that my 4-week cold is gone and I can breathe through my nose. Sleep.

Summer is so overrated.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

It's Always Fun for Everyone...

....When Grandpa Comes!

My dad was out for a few days to catch the Cougars and to catch some grandkids and it was great timing, since Darron was out of town I got a little help kid-wrangling. Which made me think a little hike would be just perfect for us. And it was. My older kids didn't have school on Friday (just another reason it is the greatest school in the world) so we busted Ava out of preschool (don't tell Miss April) and headed for the hills. We went up Timpanooke Trail (a very very little way up) in American Fork Canyon.

It was a beautiful fall day. Sixty degrees, sunshine, chipmunks chattering, kids getting along.

I don't know why they look so miserable, they really did have a good time.

Tommy kept the trail cleared of rocks. How can I harness this tendency at home....?

Ava was in it for the juice box. Mission accomplished.

Everyone wanted to take a picture of the pretty little meadow and valley where we stopped for lunch.

Mmmm lunch.

It was a lovely outing. We enjoy living so close to such a beautiful place. We love our Grandpa, he is a great sport and great fun whenever he comes.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Last Leg

Of our two week trip.... Norco, California to stay with my sisters Susie and Erin and my brother David. At the time Erin and her family were living in Susie's guest house, and David was living with her as well, so I got to hit three for the price of one.

Susie's house of course is known as the party house. She is the fun aunt, the adventurous aunt, the up for anything anytime anywhere as long as there is food aunt. And don't worry, she's bringing the food. I have never heard Susie say "I can't do that, Whitley is sick/Shelly is napping/I have placenta previa/etc." She just likes to do things. So I was interested to see how being 7 months pregnant might affect her. Not much, it turns out. Don't believe what you read in her blog. Erin, also 7 months preg, at least had the decency take a nap. Uncle David came home every night to pay attention to the dogs and children. All dogs and children love Uncle David.

We began with some horse ridin', courtesy of Uncle "Go For the Nerd" Christian, also a fungi. (Sorry, it's the nerdiest joke I know.) Ava was born ready.
Halle, summoning her courage
She always finds it.
Tommy is just happy the dogs aren't out. And no one is fighting him for the Princess scooter.
Whitley expressing herself. Through the medium of ribbon. Get in Shape, Girl! (You know the feelin')
But back to the dogs. These are some dogs, y'all. They require a bullet-proof vest AND bicycle helmet.
The next day was beach day. Aaaah. I love the beach. A little sand...

A little surf

A little seaweed
A little crab
A little Del Taco

A little cousin bonding

LOTS of fun!

Thanks to Susie, Christian, Gavin, Whit, Shelly, Erin, Wyatt, and David. We loved staying with you and can't wait for next year to do it again!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Clovis Vacation

The next few days were spent in Clovis at my mom and dad's house. We have never been here when it wasn't full of cousins, siblings, and sewage (what?). Each child got their own room, which has its many benefits, mom having a bed to herself and getting to sleep in because her children couldn't find her and anyway they like Grandma's idea of breakfast a whole lot better than mom's, being the only one I think needing mention. My mom is a fantastic host and the best grandma. My kids think Grandma and Grandpa's house is the best place in the world. Swimming pool, giant cookie jar, trips to the candy store, Grandpa's fascinating talent with a ballpoint pen, it is a grandkid paradise. And it ain't too bad for me either. My mom thinks she needs to mother me and take my children off my hands when I come home. She's always telling me to go take a nap. Miss Bossy.

So we had lots of pool time...

Aforementioned trip to the candy store. I had the rootbeer barrels. Ava likes a little sour. And yes, I catch the irony.
Tommy will be seen with this sucker for the next three days.

Halle has never EVER been this happy. EVER.
Hinckley looking dashing.
And hopped up.

The kids roaming about.
Me and Mom. We do look alike.

Me and my gaggle. I've won several baby shower games because I know what animal that refers to. Do YOU? 10 points. Don't feel bad if you don't, I'm really really smart.
Clovis was so fun. Got to see my parents, got to see my old friends, a great trip. We head for Susie's next...

Visiting Vegas

So I mentioned earlier that my camera busted while on our family trip, trapping my pictures inside it. Essentially. 3 months later, it is fixed and I have the proof of our fun times, right up until I tried to take this photo, at the beach.
Kind of hard to look at, right? Eww, scroll down.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. It all started in Vegas. The kids and I drove to my sister Elizabeth's house to stay for a few days. I'm not one of those people who likes to do lots and go places and have a jam-packed vacation schedule. And when you have 8 small children paired with two (pretty tired) adults, sometimes the best thing is to just lay low. We managed one or two outings a day, including my highly anticipated first ever trip to H&M--withOUT kids! (!!!) We went to a very cool neighborhood park. Being from Utah, where very cool neighborhood parks do not exist, we were all impressed. Tommy liked it.
Halle liked it. But she also likes Hannah Montana so you know she ain't picky. (Wait a minute-- I like Hannah Montana...)

Ava doesn't impress easily.
The snake pit was fun. Kai is digging something. Or has just finished and is getting off to go somewhere else. My camera has the looongest lag time.
We went to a splash park one day. Lots of fun here. Hot Vegas fun.

In her defense, it was really bright. Hi Kate!
Chase trying to ignore me. What kid doesn't like to have their picture taken?

Oh yeah.

So we had lots of cousin fun, lots of heavenly pizza and frozen custard.
Vegas: Done.
Clovis: Next installment...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Big News

After a 3 week hiatus from the computer, I am back. That's it. That's my news.

Well, I noticed.

And things are a lot better around here. For one thing (and there's only one thing) I have high-speed internet now. Oh. Yeah. After spending approximately 2/3 of my day waiting for pages to pull up, the speed at which I now navigate is nearly reckless! I don't know how to handle it. I can see your pictures on your blogs! I didn't know so many of you had kids! Or soundtracks. I sent out an email and it worked on the first try. The weather right now is cloudy and rainy, a used-to-be death knell for any internet usage (stupid Verizon wireless card--oh yeah, I'm naming names!), but I am whizzing right along at the speed of high-speed. I've got Gmail, Allrecipes, and Blogger all pulled up simultaneously and my connection has NOT, I repeat, NOT frozen, forcing me to restart my computer. I haven't had to restart my computer all day, come to think of it. Glory be.

I would like to say I got much done during my enforced computer exile. I would like to say, but I won't.

As an aside, I hear a few of Darron's friends have been heckling him about my other post. You know, the SEX one. I just have to say, I love it. The heckling and the fact that his friends read my blog.