Thursday, March 24, 2011

Recent Discoveries

I have recently discovered that even in my mature late twenties, I still occasionally have the sense of humor of a 10 year old boy.

My children love Capn' Crunch cereal and all they had ever had was the non-berry kind (it's always on sale). They call them Captain Squares. A few days ago, a box of Oops All Berries was on sale and my kids were thrilled. They kept asking me when they could go to bed so it would be morning and they could have their new cereal. They refer lovingly to their new favorite bowl of sugar as Captain Balls. Seriously, it has been a week now and I still giggle every time I hear, "Mom, I want Captain Balls for breakfast," or "Mom, these Captain Balls are so delicious! Thank you for buying us balls!"

I have recently discovered my daughter embracing her role as oldest girl more and more, while also sharing some of her newly Sunbeam knowledge with her friends.

While settling an argument with a few close buddies one day (I believe someone wanted the door shut to their play area which is not allowed), we heard Scarlet's voice come screaming out of the hallway. "Guys! We are NOT allowed to shut the door! Blaze, do you even know Heavenly Father? Do you guys know Joseph Smith? Do you guys even know Jesus?" Still not really sure the connection between all of the thoughts but we were dying just a little bit from the other end of the house. I then remembered the time I slapped a boy across the face in 4th grade for taking the Lord's name in vain... yup, pretty sure she is mine.

I have recently discovered that the new Costco hot dogs are not nearly as delicious as their predecessors. What I have not discovered is another quick outing lunch for my family that costs $1.50 and occasionally includes a freshly dipped ice cream bar for the same deliciously low price.

I have recently discovered the answer to a mystery every mom of little boys has wondered. You know how little boys tend to have the most beautiful long eyelashes? And you know how you occasionally wonder what those long, luscious lashes would look like with a little mascara? Well, it turns out, they look really good, disturbingly good actually. Before you think I am forcefully turning my my son into a cross dresser, let me explain.

It all started the other day when Rhode spent a little too much time upstairs being quiet. All mothers know what that means. The "bad choice" item happened to be my makeup bag. He didn't go for the blush or the lipstick as I would have guessed. He went for the mascara. I walked into find this.

The best part: while one eye was incredibly smeared, the other eye was applied beautifully. Hilarious and disturbing all at the same time...

I did my best to rub it off with some baby wipes but he had black tinted eyelashes with a slightly black line under his eye for the rest of the day. Jon, without know about the previous experience, commented on how awesome Rhode's eyes were looking all of a sudden.

I also recently discovered that with very little encouragement from me and only slightly more encouragement from relatives, my kids have become BYU fans. Their alum parents haven't mentioned a word about needing to support the blue and white today, but somehow my kids got the message anyway.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Just a Few Tidbits

Nothing all that new here. Just a few memories that are in desperate need of being recorded.

- Rhode now loves to answer the phone. He is very perturbed at me if I get to the house phone before he does. He will pick up the receiver, hold it to his ear in silence while the person on the other line hears me shouting from the distance, "Rhode, say hi!", which he will rarely do. He usually waits for the person to start talking to him. He then will utter his only phone conversation sentence, "Do you want me to sing you a song?" Whether the person answers in the affirmative or not, they are usually presented with whatever tune is in his heart at the moment. It varies from the ABC's to twinkle twinkle little star to Poker Face (don't judge me). But lately he has added a new favorite to his turntable.

- Scarlet is sick and has been off and on for about two weeks. Fever, coughing, runny nose and lots of clogginess which, in Scarlet's case, always leads to throwing up. Fun times. She wakes up in a constant state of absolute misery, feeling the weight of the world on her sinuses and burning with radiating heat. But, once the ibuprofin kicks in, she is instantly back to her old kicks and begging to leave the house.

She was devastated when I wouldn't let her go to church today. I was a bit devastated myself. Today was going to be her first opportunity to give a talk in church. We have been practicing, she even gave her talk to her uncle Brad (who was in town for the weekend) and we were all set. But with extra sickness and a round of antibiotics began, it just wasn't going to happen.

- When she gets sick like this, Scarlet very frequently gets so clogged up she has trouble breathing and usually vomits. It is a lot of fun. So, as last night was exceptionally bad, I crashed on a mat on her floor to make sure all was well. Beyond a few requests for nose blowings and drinks of water, she did well. But about halfway through the night, I woke up to find myself drenched from the waist down. What? In my half dazed state I was so not capable of coming up with a good solution to the problem. Obviously I had not wet the bed but maybe Scarlet came down on my tiny mat, peed, and then went back in her bed? It was all not making sense. Then I noticed the bottom of my sheet had made its way into the tub of her humidifier. You know how water tends to travel up fabric? Well it did quite rapidly and efficiently in my case. All of my bedding was soaked. But even with the realization, the best I could do was throw my top blanket underneath me and wrap up like a burrito, just centimeters from the wetness.

For so many reasons, I really hope she gets better quickly.

- Because of my germy house, we had to skip out on brunch yesterday at a friend's house. Yes, you heard me right, brunch. How fun is that? It was heartbreaking for me to have to cancel that morning, not only was Scarlet still feverish but she had gone back to bed at 9:00 that morning, but Suzanne had a better idea. Instead, she cooked up some fantastic food and brought it to us. Scarlet (now post medicine kick in) Rhode and I gorged ourselves on blueberry pancakes and the fixings. It was a million degrees of deliciousness. Not to brag, but I really have the best friends ever. The likeliness that any of us will be in the same place we are now in the next 1 - 5 years is incredibly slim, but I am going to try to enjoy this time as much as possible because there really are few better groups of women in the world than the ones I get to associate with weekly if not daily.

- Scarlet and I read chapter books together before she goes down for a nap. It is a lot of fun. I am going to start listing the titles that we have read on the side bar because finding a book can be kind of difficult. It is best if the chapters aren't too long, if there are the occasional pictures to look at, and if the story line is one a four year old can actually grasp. So the ones listed are my successes. But I am running low on options, any suggestions?

- Speaking of successes, about once a week we get a chance to watch a movie as a family. We try to mix it up and not just watch cartoons. A few weeks ago we got "The Secretariat". Jon was very doubtful but the kids loved it. I made popcorn during the slow middle but once the races were going regularly, my kids were enthralled. We have also watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (the old one) after Scarlet and I read the book and that was a big hit. It has also inspired Rhode's new song of choice. But our best movie night to date was this weekend when we all watched "Swiss Family Robinson." I had never seen it before and it was fantastic. I was into it as much as the kids. The amount of wild animals and all the crazy stunts they do (this must have been made pre "no animals were harmed in the making of this film" days) are just so fun. I was only going to let them watch half of it because of the late hour but we enjoyed ourselves so much we couldn't turn it off.

And now, as my children are asleep and I have a few hours until dinner needs to be started, I think I will join them in a short nap. It is amazing how unrestful a thin, wet mat can be.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


I began my initial planning for Scarlet's upcoming birthday celebration in January. I toyed around with a few ideas, did a little present shopping, put some thought into how large/small of a shindig we were going to throw together.

I didn't actually get around to thinking about it again until March 1st. Her birthday is the 3rd. Sometimes I really mess myself up when I try to be ahead of the game. But four year olds are still very forgiving when it comes to birthday planning. Not as forgiving as one year olds... but still.

Her birthday just happened to fall on our favorite day of the week, Sewing club day! I think my children do not actually know the word "Thursday", it is universally identified by sewing club. In fact, Scarlet kept asking if her birthday was going to be on "a Tuesday or a Sewing Club day?" Her eventual enrollment in preschool might be opening her up to an entire world of "mom, that is not what that is really called"-isms.

So, we did a combo effort. We threw together some party hats and treats that we shared with our usual sewing club crowd. I think I did make them sing the birthday song at one point to make it a little more official. But really, her "birthday party" consisted of kids running around with pointed paper hats in the backyard while the moms got to get their usual amount of chat and sewing on. It was pretty fantastic.

During nap time, my actual work began. We had invited some friends to return that evening for dinner, cake and presents. I had from 1:30 to 5:00 to get a cake made, dinner made, and house cleaned and decorated (using the term decorated very loosely).

I just had to have one more attempt at a fondant cake. I had to have a win. It had little to do with Scarlet's request for a crown cake and a lot to do with my need to finally succeed with my marshmallow enemy. It was a long and arduous fight, hours into the battle a winner was not yet clear. But in the end, I emerged victorious. Though the battle scars left their toll...

This was my kitchen a hour and a half out without a stitch of dinner in the works as of yet.

But, with the help of a very important, adrenalin filled second wind, I got it all done. Our feast (which somehow took place on that very table minus all the white) included homemade macaroni and cheese, corn, stuffed mushrooms (on Scarlet's insistence) and chicken drumsticks (thankfully provided by Suzanne). Friends came, friends ate, friends enjoyed or at least pretended to a satisfactory level.

We weren't exactly working with a free evening schedule, so presents had to ensue quickly after eating. Scarlet has some fantastic friends and family who know her very very well.
Ellie Seguin got her a tinkerbell hair and makeup accessory case. This morning, as I put on my makeup for church, Scarlet ran into her bedroom, brought back her new set and we spent the morning putting on our makeup together. It would really be the perfect gift if Rhode wasn't abnormally attached to the glittery hair dryer. It has caused more than one scream battle between the two.

Blaze, Bennett and Charlie Stout along with Grandma and Grandpa Nielsen got Scarlet the thing she asked for the most, birthday money. She is so excited for the next time she spots an
"I have to have this!" item in the store and have a different answer to the question, "Do you have any money to buy that?" So far, we have only ventured to the grocery story where she almost convinced herself the $4 bottle of Naked Juice was worth spending every last dollar she had at the time. This money spending process might be a long one.

Jane Warren brought one of the favorite presents of the evening, an Ariel Barbie. This (along with the Barbie she received from me) is the first Barbie she has owned and she was beyond excited. Ariel or Rapunzel have accompanied us on every errand mom would allow.

*** Side Story ***
The evening ended with a trip to the Young Mens Stake Basketball Tournament. Scarlet insisted on bringing Ariel along. I had an immediate, vivid flashback to my six year old birthday party where I received a Barbie myself. I insisted we take it with us to the pizza place where we would be celebrating the rest of my big day. In the excitement that followed, Barbie got left behind and no amount of calls to the lost and found part of the store brought her back. I was devastated for my loss all over again and spent the game watching Ariel like a hawk, making sure her owner wasn't nearly as careless as her owner's mother. Scarlet needed no assistance though and Ariel is still safe after a week of outdoor travels. Maybe we do improve with the rising generation.
*** Side Story Over***

From Grandma Peggy and Grandma Dave, Scarlet received her first doll house for her My Little Pony collection. She also got the latest Dora episode on DVD which I have already memorized. It is truly a fascinating tale of the adventures and successes one can have while dressed as a ballerina. Look out Oscars.

The My Little Pony house has been a big hit. We set it up and sat down together with ponies in hand. I generally assumed the pretending would just... happen. Not so much. We had to have a few practice rounds involving, "Okay now I will be the mommy and you pretend to be the baby pony" and vise versa. But success has been achieved and she is a pony pretending pro. I am so proud.

From mom and dad, she received a Rapunzel Barbie and some extra My Little Pony playmates for her new house.

The cake was finally revealed, candles were lit, songs were sung.

See? Not too bad right? I added three rhinestones to the crown points which were inedible but pretty. Cake and ice cream were devoured and the party was generally concluded.

Scarlet is four. She is incredibly proud of the fact, as are we. She is still incredibly tall, clever, funny, a killer dancer, and a bossy little perfectionist, which I absolutely love about her. Happy birthday my beautiful little girl. We absolutely and completely love you.