Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My First Ever Blog Award!

Mrs. Mordecai has given me this blog award! (Sorry it's taken so long for me to post about it!)

I feel like I should give one of those horrendously annoying Oscar-recipient speeches or the like...ha ha.

Anyhow, I'd like to pass it along to:
1. koprime--I get so excited when she has a new post on her blog because they almost always make me laugh, or at least smile a bit. And she lives in DC, which I'm totally jealous of.
2. The Stevensons--mostly for the recent hullabaloo about the Tandoori Grill, which has made for some chuckle-filled reading for my husband.
3. Amy--her blog inspires me to be more involved with my children on a daily basis.
4. Eowyn--the blogosphere was created for the likes of her.
5. Jeanette--she's introduced me to so many books that I want to read, and it's nice knowing there's other souls out there with little ones who are squeezing in some reading on the side!

Rules for award:

Post the logo on your blog.
Add a link to the person who nominated you.
Nominate 5 other people for this award and add links to their blog.
Leave a message for the people that you nominated.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Compliment for Mr. Brooke

My visiting teacher came over tonight, so Mr. Brooke took the girls to the park in order to give us some peace during her visit. He was definitely busy as he galloped about the park pushing Bluebird on the swing and helping Rabbit climb up to the slide and steadying her as she slid down.

He noticed a young boy, about eight or nine years of age, shepherding three younger siblings. After about half an hour the young boy came up to Mr. Brooke and said, "I've never seen a dad love his daughters so much before." And then, after a quick pause, "No offense..." and then the boy ran back to his shepherding duties.

Reciprocal Blog Linking

A lot of people have links to my blog and I am very appreciative for them spreading the word and I feel awful that I've been so slow to return the favor. I've also updated my feeds and have yet to post what I'm reading these days, so consider this a get-it-all-done post regarding blogs! Woo-hoo!

A Comfy Chair and a Good Book--perhaps I should start a reading blog know, besides the Reading Through History one.
Deez Days--I found her when she sent me an email directing me to a poem she had written that she thought I'd like. She lives in South Africa, how cool is that?!?!
Harmony--another LDFR blogger.
Reichle Family--another LDFR blogger.
Shimmy Mom--she's so friendly!
The Glory of the Present--I became aware of this blog when Denise informed me that its author got the inspiration for its title when I posted "America for Me." I really enjoy reading this blog.
Our Little World--another LDFR blogger who has posted a link to my blog that gets me a lot of web traffic, so thanks!

And my children are trying to maim each other, so blogging needs to go on hold for a bit. Let me know if you link to me and I'll link back to you in return!

Oh yes...I also read my sister-in-law's blog, but it's private and you can't see it because you haven't been invited into the ultra-exclusive circle. Hee hee.

Lots of Firsts

Rabbit has proudly joined the ranks of big girl bed sleepers. She transitioned extraordinarily well, only getting out of her bed once the first night and, according to Bluebird, once last night. I don't know why, but this development has really got me mulling over how fast my girls are growing's weird how regular things can sometimes get to you.

Little Lamb has begun rolling over. These "baby firsts" never get old, no matter which child it's been. It's also bittersweet because rolling over is the concrete sign that the newborn days are over; and seeing how I'm quite sure I am done with procreating, my heart cries a little that this stage is finished for me.

And there's (understandably) no picture for this big first, but Bluebird has denounced her inclusion with the "bath-time babies" and has moved into the big girl world of taking showers. I think that that's quite huge for a four year old. It's a time of day I look forward to, actually--I sit in the bathroom to give her direction from beyond the shower curtain and she chatters to me the whole time. Then I help her with combing her hair and brushing her teeth and inspecting her nails to see if they need a new coat of's so cute and it's nice to be able to spend time with just her, listening to her thoughts without interruption from her sisters. She is growing up...she'll be off to school next year.

It seems like all three of them bombarded me with reminders of their continual progression and it's aching a little bit. It's funny how that works.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Thursday, July 24, 2008

To-Do List through Saturday

Who would have thought that my blog would serve as a storage facility for my regular on-paper lists? There is not a piece of paper in this house that doesn't have some sort of scribbling on it, compliments of the princesses. All my lists go missing, so I'm putting one up here that will continue to be accessible:
  • Clean out the girls' room of toys and vacuum
  • Dismantle the crib and put in the garage for painting (Yep, Rabbit's going into a big girl bed!)
  • Paint the changing table
  • Nag Remind Mr. Brooke to get going on building the bunk bed
  • Nag Remind Mr. Brooke to get going on car shopping
  • Nag Remind Mr. Brooke to get going on school stuff
  • Fertilize the plants
  • Wash the windows on the cars
  • Wash the outside house windows and treat with Rain-X (my last hope in avoiding the hard water build-up from the sprinklers)
  • Nag Remind Mr. Brooke to get going on staining the deck
  • Tape off the girls' room for painting
  • Putty the nail holes in the walls in the girls' room
  • Buy canvases and coordinating paints so the girls can paint their own wall art
  • Buy papier mache letters to mod podge
  • Make visiting teaching appointments
  • Tape off the parts of the house that will be painted green (This was halfway completed)
  • Figure out what in the world to do about the entryway decor (I spent some serious time thinking about it and have yet to reach a conclusion)
  • Pay bills
  • Delegate a spot/system for storing shoes
  • Clean out the downstairs play room
  • Dig out the dead grass
  • Paint the girls' room on Saturday

Perhaps I should stop there...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Poor Rabbit

This girl is just plain accident-prone! She's had her foot wrapped up for what seems like weeks. Nothing serious, I've just found that it's the only way to keep a band-aid on her foot. First she stepped on something outside that cut her foot in two places; and then when that healed up and I began enforcing wearing shoes while outside, she tripped on Mr. Brooke's air mask and it sliced into her big toe! So more foot band-aids (Barbie and Diego) and elastic bandaging.

I had just finished bandaging up her foot after her bath last night (which is quite the ordeal, considering that hydrogen peroxide is involved...) and she was off playing by herself when she started screaming bloody murder and I took off running to find her. I found her sitting on the couch downstairs, blood smeared all over her face and her pointing fearfully at a ballpoint pen. Deductive reasoning concluded that she was jumping on the couch with the pen in her hand and she fell down on it and the pen neatly gouged into her upper lip. I ran her upstairs to assess the damage (mentally berating myself for not keeping a closer eye on her and thanking God that it hadn't gone into her eye) and found that the wound was shallow and not very big, but quite the bleeder. More peroxide, more struggling, more screaming, more band-aids.

She and I went on a jaunt down to K-Mart to restock our first aid supplies and I bought her some new crayons and a coloring book to brighten her spirits. Hopefully the coloring book will keep her out of trouble and I highly doubt she can draw blood with a chubby crayon.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Summer Activity Bag

We're having a hard time keeping ourselves occupied throughout the long, hot days of summer. So we made an Activity Bag with suggestions of things to do on slips of paper. When we find ourselves feeling a little bored, we pick out a paper and then do whatever activity it suggests (as long as it's possible given the weather, time of day, etc.) I just use an old gift bag to hold the ideas.

I thought I'd share our list of activities with you, and I'd appreciate if you would leave your own suggestions too!

(I duplicate some of the activities that they really like and/or things that are easy to do, low cost, good to do often, etc.)

Read a book
Play with Math blocks
Write in your journal
Play the Piano/keyboard
Read the Friend Magazine
Clean up the bedroom
Write a letter
Play hopscotch
Phone a friend
Play Candyland
Play Hi-Ho Cherry-O
Play Elefun
Play Ants in the Pants
Play Chutes and Ladders
Race in the backyard
Make treats to give away
Do some laundry (They love to put the clothes and soap into the washer and take clothes out of the dryer)
Dance to Bluebird’s favorite music
Dance to Rabbit's favorite music
Make Little Lamb laugh
Clean a bathroom (They each get a washcloth and a spray bottle filled with vinegar water and get to clean the bathtub while I clean the rest of the bathroom)
Weed the garden
Play baseball
Go to the slide
Go to the library
Go to the library park
Go to a new park
Jump rope
Sidewalk chalk
Play with Play-doh
Play in the sandbox
Paint fingernails
Blow bubbles
Play in the sprinkler
Play in the pool
Color in coloring books
Draw a picture
Paint a picture
Paint birdhouses
Make room art
Have a popsicle
Have an ice cream cone
Make pudding
Play Go Fish
Make popcorn and watch a movie
Play Red Light Green Light
Do something nice for a neighbor
Do something special for Daddy
Clean up the playroom
Make a card for your Primary teacher
Clean the garbage out of the car
Look at family photo albums
Do a science project from the science book
Prepare something for Family Home Evening
Do ten sit-ups
Touch your toes 25 times
Do 5 somersaults
Build a block tower
Look through Gospel Art Kit
Be firefighters (I draw flames on the sidewalk with chalk and they get to "put them out" with the garden hose)
Wash the sidewalk
Write letters
Do an art project from the art book
Be astronauts (We make helmets and have a big cardboard box to serve as a rocket and we collect "moon rocks")
Make a solar system
Go for a bike ride
Take babies for a walk
Invite a friend over to play
Plan a tea party
Go to the baseball park
Sing songs
Water plants
Make newspaper hats
Go on a treasure hunt
Play hide and seek
Play tag
Kick a ball in the backyard
Have a picnic
Go to the Art Museum in Springville
Rent a video
Trace our bodies on the sidewalk
Go for a walk and take pictures
Phone Granny
Phone Grandpapa
Phone Daddy
Phone a cousin
Phone Grandma and Grandpa
Phone Denise
Invite someone over for lunch
Make a treat for Daddy
Wash the car
Wash bikes
Sweep deck
Have a slumber party
Play letter games
Do a fire drill
Go on a scavenger hunt
Write a book
Plan an international dinner
Learn about something
Look at the map
Dress up like princesses, complete with hair and make-up

I have to have some activities prepared in advanced (treasure hunt, scavenger hunt, solar system, etc.), but sometimes I decide to not plan for them because part of the fun is in the planning and preparation.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The New Big Project

Living with white walls makes me crazy. We're slowly covering them up with paint, one room at a time; and it is finally the girls' room's turn. Here is the "Before" (actually "Current") photo, just imagine that the curtains aren't there because they were used as some sort of climbing surface and were ripped out of the wall. But look at that--white walls, blech.

Bluebird and Rabbit have already picked out what color they want for their walls--orange. I talked them down from "Home Depot Orange" to a pinkish-peach sort of orange color, which I think will go much better. (Hey, I'm all for creative license, but I still have to look at it too!)

I spent a good deal of the morning online making decisions (with the girls, of course) about bedding options and placed the order. And then, since they were out of the matching sheets online, I spent way too much time phoning stores all over the country to find four sets of sheets. (I finally tracked some down in Maryland.) The two older girls are going to sleep in a bunk bed (which Mr. Brooke has expressed interest in building) and Little Lamb will be saying buh-bye to sleeping in Mommy and Daddy's room and join her sisters in their peachy little paradise. And get this--I was able to get crib bedding that matches the bedding that will be on the bunk bed!

So excited...I'll keep you updated!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Dental Woes

I admit upfront, this is a pity post.

I caught wind of a study done regarding dental work and miscarriage rates shortly after I had Bluebird. Apparently there was a correlation, but not enough research had been done to draw a concrete conclusion.

Well, I got pregnant for the second time, went to the dentist and shortly thereafter had a miscarriage. I got pregnant the third time, had another dental check-up and miscarried again. And it spooked me, bad. So I haven't been to the dentist since--and that was three years ago. (And, thankfully, I haven't had any more miscarriages.)

Unfortunately, one of my teeth started to hurt last week, requiring a visit to the dentist this morning. And, even more unfortunately, the visit started off with the dentist taking a look at my x-rays and saying, "Whoa!"

Not a good sign.

So now I've got a tube of prescription tooth paste (that cost $10), a referral card to a periodontist to talk about gum grafts (yeah, I know...), and an appointment to fill two cavities, one of which is a huge, gaping void and has the very good potential of requiring a root canal.

I suppose it's a small price to pay considering that, if the study was true, I got two more children out of the deal.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Thanks a lot, Mr. Brooke

I don't know if the J.G. Wentworth commercials are just a Utah thing or not--but there's a commercial for his lawyering services to turn annuities and settlements into lump cash sums all at once and the actors in the commercial start opening their windows and yelling, "It's my money, and I need it now!"

Bluebird likes to repeat tag lines from commercials and she said it to me yesterday, so I told Mr. Brooke about it at dinner. After dinner, he called Bluebird over to the kitchen window, opened it and told her to yell it out to the street. They thought it was pretty funny.

And this morning, I had the window open and, you guessed it, Bluebird has been shouting "It's my money, and I need it now!" through the screen anytime she sees someone walking by on the sidewalk.

It's times like these that I seriously wonder just how weird our neighbors think we are.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Why Four Year Olds Aren't Your Best Choice for Babysitting

It's inevitable, sometimes Little Lamb needs to be left in the living room by herself while I attend to one of her sisters in another room. Little Lamb's going through a massive "If you leave me alone, I'm going to scream until you come back" phase, so when I had to attend to Rabbit in another room, I asked Bluebird if she'd sit next to Little Lamb and talk to her so she wouldn't be lonely. Bluebird agreed and I walked out of the room to the conversation of "Do you want to be my best friend?"

I was finishing up with Rabbit when Little Lamb started squealing in a happy, yet slightly scared manner. I made my way out to the living room and found the spot that I had left the two of them deserted. A quick glance around and I found Bluebird sitting next to her princess desk, with Little Lamb sticking out from underneath it! I asked Bluebird , in an incredulous tone, "Did you pick her up and carry her over here?!?!"

And Bluebird looked up at me as though I were crazy, scoffed, and then said, "No, I used her as a wheelbarrow."

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

It Was Time for a Change...

Sorry for the cheesy self-portrait, but it's all that I'm capable of at the moment. I'm liking super short hair. I've always wanted to try it and decided last week to just do it; if I didn't like it, it'd eventually grow back anyway and I would have satisfied my curiousity. And then I figured that since I was going for such a dramatic change anyway, why not change my hair color as well? I come from a long line of redheads and have always felt a little left out of the fun, so red it was. I think it's a good look for me.

(I don't think Mr. Brooke likes it...oh well.)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Reading Through History

I've set up a separate blog for the Reading Through History Book Club. You can go there now and read the thoughts post on the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States and the Federalist Papers. Be sure to leave your thoughts or a link to your thought post on your own blog in the comments section in order to be included in the drawing for August's book. You can vote for August's book in the sidebar.

The comments will close sometime on the 10th and the voting will close at 11:59pm on the 9th.

(I'll re-design the buttons as quickly as I can. You don't have to take down the existing buttons, the link in my sidebar will easily take interested persons to the correct site.)

Friday, July 4, 2008

Independence Day with Young Children

The Fourth of July is, hands down, Bluebird's favorite holiday. She loves all the "Independence Day Flags" that are flying, she loves to wear her $5 Old Navy 4th of July t-shirt, she loves planning (and eating) the BBQ dinner we have, and she loves to pick out fireworks with her daddy. Leading up to the day, I think wistfully of the beautiful memories and happy family traditions we're establishing and I feel so happy to have children to share this wonderful day with.

The picture is quite different right around 10pm on July 4th. We forgot to pay the Boy Scouts to put a flag up in our yard, so Bluebird is upset that we don't have a flag. She was rough-housing on the bed with Daddy and she fell off, got a bloody nose and had to change her shirt, which really put her in a foul mood. Dinner wasn't cooked fast enough for her and she pestered me for a full hour before it got to the table, then ate two bites and wanted to be done. She was just a bundle of nervous energy, waiting for it to become dark enough to light the fireworks...and then, except for three sparklers that she hesitantly handled, spent the entire firework-lighting time cowering with her hands over her ears while Rabbit screamed and cried (but refused to leave the scene). Then I got the extreme pleasure of carrying said younger sister inside, screaming at the top of her lungs.

Why then, you may ask, do we do this every year?

Because when we laid them down in their beds and stooped to give them their good night kisses, we asked each of them if they had a good day. Rabbit sighed, rolled over onto her side, re-arranged her blankie, and then nodded emphatically and sleepily said, "Uh-huh;" and Bluebird grinned widely and said, in a weary yet contented voice, "Yes, I love Independence Day. Thank you for the fireworks, they were spectacular!"