I'm just waiting for MG to fall asleep before I go crash on my own bed because I got like four hours of sleep last night.  The beauty of my babies' schedule is that they usually nap from 1-3 p.m. AT THE SAME TIME, which also means that every day at 1:00 I have the decision to make: sleep or clean? Or watch The Office on Netflix? Unfortunately, the answer is usually Netflix.

It's business as usual in these parts.  Slice is on the fourth day of his eight-day workweek; last week he had an incident at work which burned his left hand and forearm pretty severely.  Several hours later he made it home, at which time I had to remain overly calm to compensate for his excessive freaking out.  I found this website and convinced Slice to try the aluminum foil.  Yo, it worked.  I love the internet.

Speaking of the workweek, sometimes I have people (women) ask me if it drives me crazy to have Slice home for six days at a time.  They say that having husbands home just ruins their "routine," and they couldn't handle more than a few days of it in a row.
I can see where they're coming from.  Slice was unemployed for eight months last year, and we definitely drove each other crazy at times (although I'm certain that was partly because of other stress factors).  It gets even harder with kids, who get used to things really quickly.  But I love having him home, and six days always goes by too fast.  We still joke all the time about how Slice should be the one staying at home with the kids while I go to work.
(Alas, money.)

Last weekend I took MG and spent the night in Utah Valley.  I visited Lu and Shawna and Jennie and their babes, I missed Jane and her babe.  I got thinking about my favorite people (again) and how much I loved and learned in my three years of college.
There's something different about college friends.  They like you for being you.  Not because of your toys or parents or Primary class, not because of your house or husband or kids or boat.  College is a difficult, transitory time, and everyone is figuring out who they are - at the expense of others, sometimes.  Jennie and I talked about wishing we could go back and do things differently with certain people.  I feel that way about some of my high school friends.

Anyway, we all grow up and go different ways, and Facebook stalk each other now, I guess.  Life lessons learned.  People loved and lost.  Compassion gained.

Also, bad photos taken.


API (from Liam's point of view)

API was this weekend, which means I spent over 30 hours doing team pictures in two days.  My sister Em stayed with me while Slice stayed home with the kids.  When he brought them up to visit, Liam charmed everyone with his enthusiasm ("GOLF CARTS, MOM!  WHITE GOLF CART!") and his chatter ("Hi guys! Wanna see your pictures?").  These are only a few of the 100 pics he snapped on our little Kodak in the space of two hours.  Except that last one, of course, which Slice took.

This is the life.


A Few Good Shoes

Over the last little while my plantar fasciitis has flared up again.  I'd like to blame it on the sprinklers, but it was happening before that huge project.  So....
I've finally come to grips with the fact that I will never be able to buy run-of-the-mill shoes again.
And I've been on the hunt for other options.

A few months ago I bought some CrocsTone flats, which I think are almost cute.
They are super comfy.  But not great for summer (make your feet sweat) - so I bought myself some Birkenstock sandals from the cheapest place I could find.

Then, thanks to Christopher Kendrick, I found these which (of course!) are the least expensive of the bunch, and I wish I'd discovered them first.  FACT: these are sold at Walmart, for less than the prices on their website.

But in the colder months I'm going to need some real shoes.  I'm thinking I will save up and buy these:
Womens Aalto Chukka Casual Shoe Total Eclipse
Or a different pair from the same website.  And I'll wear them every day during the looong Uintah Basin winter.
(Then Slice will hate them.  He hates when I wear the same thing over and over and over, which happens frequently.)

ANYWAY - if you know someone who has foot problems, send them my way.  We can start a club or something.  And I can tell them where to find supportive shoes that are not too hideous or too expensive.


I've been reading

I recently read Bringing up Bebe on my kindle - first parenting book I've ever read, possibly the last.
I really enjoyed it.

Lots of other people have read it, and you can find more thorough reviews in other places (Goodreads!).  For me, though, the main value of the book is that it describes a parenting style which actively prevents entitlement.
The problem of entitlement that is rampant in our culture; that turns parents into maids and chauffeurs and personal secretaries; that makes teaching kids of any age a living nightmare.  The problem of entitlement that has created a generation of people who think the world owes them something, who can't commit to a person or job or even a major because it might limit their happiness.

Slice and I have discussed this problem to great length, and fortunately, we're on pretty much the same parenting page.  As I read this book I told him about all the things he's already doing the same as French parents. (Case in point: making kids say "hello" and "good-bye" to visitors in addition to "please" and "thank you."  There's a whole chapter on the social rules that French children are expected to follow, same as adults.  They learn from the start that the world doesn't revolve around them.)
We both feel that many parents don't expect as much from their young children as they could.

Of course there are things in the book that I disagree with.  The disturbing sexism and deliberate pleasure-seeking of French culture, the anti-breastfeeding attitudes, and the standard full-time daycare are a few.  It almost sounded to me like these French parents are having kids just because it's the chic thing to do.

But, I'd still recommend the book to parents and future parents.  I keep thinking about how nice it would be if all the adults I knew had a collective understanding (like the French appear to have) about what we should expect of children.  Then maybe we could watch each others' kids without worrying about stepping on the parents' toes.
(Or, maybe I could let Liam play with other kids without worrying about the bad habits he's picking up from them.)
(Readers: NOT YOUR KIDS.)

Other good stuff I've been reading:
Sue's excellent post on First World Problems (I can really relate, and the comments on her blog are always worth the read), and Azucar's similar post.

The post that everyone read (and I'm glad they did) about same-sex attraction and a truly beautiful relationship.

An article about same-sex marriage and kids.  Some things to think about.


20 Days Later

Sprinklers are finally working.  I will never take a good sprinkling system for granted again!

Now for the cleanup, and the fun part -


Because that's the kind of mom I am

I called my sister at 4:30 in the afternoon and said "Let's have a party."

We had ice cream cake (cookies & cream) with crushed mint malt balls, stenciled in the form of a tractor. (It was another twist on a Pinterest idea.)  I put tea candles on top of the Oreos for him to blow out.

Quick and easy.

Sometimes I still forget that I am Santa and the Easter Bunny, and I am the one who has to make the parties happen here.

(Did I tell you about the time I didn't buy candy for our Christmas stockings?  Like EVERY YEAR?)


The Best Two Years

Dear William,

Today's your birthday.  It's strange to think that two years ago I hadn't even met you yet.  So much has happened since then!

This picture, to me, captures you entirely.  You are a bundle of energy.  Sometimes people watch you for a while and then ask me, "Does he ever slow down?"  or "Is he always like this?" And I just smile and let them feel sorry for me.  You keep me running and jumping and catching and kissing owies ... and always, always cleaning up after you.

You are one smart cookie.  You know all your colors and shapes and animals and body parts, you sing lots of songs, and you spell my name "M-O-M-O."  You also count to ten in THREE DIFFERENT LANGUAGES - which we didn't even know until you whipped out the Spanish.  (Thanks, Dora!)
We just never know what is going to come out of your mouth, you little parrot.
Sometimes you get very frustrated when you can't do something that you think you should be able to.  We call this your OCD.  I have to calm you down and make you ask for help, so you know that you don't have to do it alone.

You are a boy, through and through, and I'm reminded of this every single day.  Every hanger becomes a gun in your hands.  You spot tractors and buses and "HUGE TRUCKS!" and rocks that I don't even see.  During the school year, we watch the school buses drive by our house every morning and afternoon.

You talk a mile a minute, except when we're on Skype and we want you to talk.  You're bursting with personality, and we love it.  Ward members still come tell me just how much they love you.  My favorite things you say are "Silly mommy!" and "Wummy!" (Yummy!).  I also love how you yell "Yah! Yah! Yah! Yahhhhh!" when you get excited about anything.

Your baby sister adores you.  You love her too and you're a good big brother most of the time - I just have to watch and make sure you don't smother her with all your blankets and toys.
You are teaching us every day, and we love you more than you know.  Thanks for the best two years of parenthood we've ever had.