Wednesday, December 19, 2007

on having a four year old

My baby is 4. She is magical. Somedays she throws 4 tantrums in 10 minutes at the grocery store. She says funny things. She told her preschool that I am going to have another baby. I am not! In a dressing room as I was trying different sizes on her she says out loud, very loud: Mom touch my boobies- they tickle! She gets cuddled almost every night by me or her big sister. She wears tutus anywhere, over anything or just alone. She still gets carried around in my arms and never pushed in a stroller. She makes peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and licks the knife during the process. She has eaten almost all of the candy on our gingerbread house that only she wanted to make! She cries some mornings and doesn’t others. There is no pattern. Something might make her happy one moment and furious another. Even as the baby of 4 kids, she still keeps me guessing.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Gift Giving

My parents are very hard to buy for. In fact I can't remember the last present I actually bought for either one! I have gotten creative and given them photo albums and treats, maybe a book or two. I was thinking about them today and I started laughing as I remembered a few years back when one of my little sisters bought a really nice package from Lehi Roller Mills for my dad who was in town. My sister was living a few blocks away at the time and my dad spent Christmas with me and my family. My dad was saying goodbye to me and my kids and he reached in his back seat and gave me a pancake mix and some syrup from the package! I held my laughter in and I don't think I told my sister, but one of the next few times she came over she inevitably saw the loot! We both rolled our eyes and laughed.
This is a picture of my older sister, my dad, me and Cammie. We- me, my dad and Francie visited Cammie in Scotland earlier this year. It was a surprise for Cammie. She knew my dad was going to visit, but had no idea that Francie and I were coming too!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Attic renovation

When we purchased our house in 2000, it had a main floor and a partial basement. We had two bedrooms and 2 baths- one on each floor. At the time I was pregnant with my third and we had family in and out of our basement (poor Liz, Cammie and Charla!) We started work right away on our attic. It was rafters and bird nests at the time! Now it has a bathroom, a bedroom and a "Living Area" that the boys use as their bedroom. We are almost done! We have spent a fortune, redone a lot, hired and fired and lost half a fortune, but we are almost done! We have learned a ton too. So Cammie, here are the pictures you requested. I would have included the "during phase", but those pictures aren't accessible and I don't want to remember too vividly what a mess it was! We would loved to have done a bit more... Maybe if we win the Lottery (though I would need to start playing).

Monday, December 10, 2007

Why I shouldn't have a dog

We have a dog. Over the past 5 years we have had 4 dogs. Our first one was a beautiful Weimaraner. We adopted him from a shelter. He was big and very smart. About a week into having him we were finally getting used to being dog owners. We liked him. On Christmas Eve Richard took him for a run. They had already been out earlier in the day, but Rich thought that it would help Sirius sleep and be more settled through the night. About a half hour into their outing, I got a call from a very distressed Richard. He was crying and my heart stopped. I thought that they both got hit by a car. It turned out that that was not the case. Richard took the dog across the street to run some stairs in the 6 level parking structure. He let Sirius off the leash. At the top, Sirius began to run really fast and Richard called to him. The dog stopped, looked at him, then took off, jumping over the 4” wall at the top of the building. We buried him in our frozen flower garden the next morning. Our second dog was another Weimaraner. She was also from a shelter. We had her about a week too. She didn’t like kids. One night we had some friends and their kids over and as the kids were screaming and chasing each other. The dog flattened one kid and scratched his back with her teeth. We returned the her to the shelter. Our third was a beautiful chocolate lab. We got her as a puppy in a parking lot right before Easter. She grew huge quite fast. As we live downtown, she was taken the few times she got out by “nice” dog people. We would put up signs and get calls (she did have a collar and a tag!). It was very annoying. Once a nice guy had her for over a week! About the start of summer, she was big, had no manners and no kids would play in our back yard. Not even mine! She disappeared one day and that was that. We didn’t even put up signs! We got our latest dog two years ago. Poppet is a Papillon- a circus dog from France. Papillons are about 7-11 pounds. Our papillon is not fat at 20 pounds and about twice the size of what I thought he would be! He is giant! We tried to get a little dog. Poppet is bad. Very bad. We have had him since he was 6 weeks old. We have loved him. We have castrated him. We have taken him to dog training. At the training, as I was paying attention, learning how to handle and train dogs, he would pee on me! He barks and is very obnoxious. He growls at Paris. He has bitten Paris- he hasn’t ever broken the skin, but he has made her cry. He has bitten Leif. Twice now as Leif has been reading in a stuffed chair, Poppet has come up to cuddle him. When Leif tried to pet him, Poppet bit him! Richard, who has never gone to Dog training, has gotten bitten 3 times by the wretched beast. It is always when he is mad at the dog and trying to catch him. Though once he got bitten feeding him! Now as the weather is turning colder, we aren’t taking him on as many walks and the other day he pooped two times in the attic (he hasn’t done that since he was potty training almost 2 years ago)! I am glad we have wood floors! The beastly little dog sheds. He sheds like it is summer every day! I used to like animals. When I was little I would bring home kittens and dogs all the time- my poor mom! She let me keep them all! Now I threaten to put Poppet on craigslist all the time!

A poem inspired by Shell Silverstein:
One dog for sale
one dog for sale
one barking, barfing, biting dog for sale
Do I hear a dollar, a dime, a nickel?
Is there anyone who would want this mean dog?
Who was raised with 4 nice kids
Is there anyone who would want this pompous pooch?

Richard thinks we should get a Chihuahua. I think we should not have pets! But then we have decent days where I am glad that we have a dog for the kids to love and to play with. If we didn’t have him, I would want one for sentimental reasons. We have tried a few breeds and I think that not one is perfect. Shouldn’t kids grow up with a dog? Although if something happens to Poppet I will not replace him! Last year he was attacked by coyotes! Richard was about 10 feet away and saved him! He would have been the pack's dessert! Oh well! Now he is my bane!

Friday, December 7, 2007

My rant and rave inspired by Charla... It is a rainy day and an early out which means all my kids are home early. I want to get out of the house but I don't, so here it goes (as the kids are pillow fighting in the living room and screaming with glee as I ignore them.
O.K. so I have already broken the first rule of ettique and have written a bit about religion with "the Golden Compass", now I will break the second one: POLITICS! I should know better...
Our Christmas card this year has the greeting of Peace on Earth and our personalized message is “seek peace and pursue it” Psalm 34:14. It is done in jest. But I really do mean it. Peace is understated. There is so much that could be accomplished if we as a people put our resources into bettering the world not killing each other. There was a news article from the military that Richard read- I'll cite it if you want to read it, but it said something like this when describing the killed Iraqis: Of the 14 dead, 10 are suspected terrorists, 2 women, and 2 children. All the men are suspected terrorists! I think that is way way off.
I can’t stand it when my kids fight. When we were little and fighting, my mom would always say, Bla Bla Bla “Don’t fight and serve the devil!” My sisters and I thought the phrase was funny, but I think that Bush is serving the devil with his fighting and war-mongering!!!
War is expensive, Peace is priceless
I bet world hunger could have been eliminated had the trillions of war dollars for Afghanistan and Iraq been spent on food for those who need it! Also I think that all of the politicians are so corrupt. Power corrupts and ultimate power corrupts ultimately... Dumb presidential candidates. Did you know that Obama quit smoking right before announcing his candidacy? I am so disappointed in all of them- at least the ones getting the media attention. I think that there should be no money involved in running for political office. Only the rich ones run. It is ridiculous the amounts of dollars that are spent on stupid political advertisements. They are all wimps! Bush should have been impeached a year ago. Clinton was impeached over an affair- yes he lied under oath, but Bush has lied so many times that I have lost count! He also encourages spying like the fascists and communists. A good movie to see is "The lives of others" it is in German and it is great!
When I heard and saw the twin towers fall I was so sad, but I don't think that the attack should have been used as en excuse for war. My saying was then and still is: Turn the other cheek. America was attacked, but that is no reason for a war. Forgive and lets try to understand one another better. Not invade and fight war. Senseless war.

Monday, December 3, 2007

A snowy day

We had our first real snow fall on Saturday. We awoke to a quiet white. Leif got up first and he looked out his window and immediately awoke Emilia. After that it was chaos. Gloves, socks, boots jackets, tantrums, gloves again and again and again! After breakfast they finally made it outside.
All day long we had a pile of wet accessories by our front door. In the evening we took the kids sledding. Paris was a riot. In years past she was cautious. This time she got on her sled and plowed down the hill! I was so surprised. I laughed when one time she didn't get on it fast enough and it went down the hill without her. Without waiting she ran after it. It was so funny to see her chasing the sled! I made vanilla cupcakes... This by far is the nicest recipe that I have tried. Moist, flavorful- perfect! It is from Martha Stewart and it is better than the Magnolia recipe or the joyofbaking one! I frosted it with chocolate buttercream and sprinkles- the big kids got one in the lunches- they'll get another if they bring back the containers! Aren't the containers awesome? I did some crafting... Rich thinks that I am crazy.. or at lest this latest creation is.