Today I started out proud--got up, wrote a blog post (family history, check), changed into real clothes and wet down my hair all ready to actually do it. Then I started getting the baby ready for her four month check-up only to realize that I left the key to my room in my locked bedroom. Where my computer, car keys, purse, and painting supplies all reside.
I called several family members with computers to help me get the phone number for the clinic to let them know I wouldn't be coming for my appointment, but nobody answered the phone. My friend, Pepe (also known as Aunt Pepe to my kids or Debora to people who don't think of her as a prawn), actually answered her phone and got the phone number for me.
Then I called my in-laws for help getting Emeline to her softball game that evening.
Then I wandered around listlessly, lost without a computer or the painting supplies I was going to use to work on the music room.
Finally, I gave up on the day and sat down in my comfy nursing chair and read. All. day. long. Since it rained all day long (yay!) Cowen's and Emeline's games were cancelled. Miriam made a cake. All the kids made a mess traipsing back inside after playing in the rain. Then they made a mess making a gigantic fort in the library. That, of course, devolved into tears and hysteria when Oskar and Harriet kept wrecking the tent and Miriam and Cowen kept arguing about the fort's design. Too many engineers spoil the broth--or something like that.
Clover and I hung out in the nursing chair, totally oblivious zen while reading A Girl Named Zippy, recommended by Pepe. I loved it. It was hilarious, but also a little tender. I laughed out loud and I teared up. I'm also a hormonal mess currently, so take everything with a grain of salt. Still, Kami needs to read it immediately for the hair-growing part. I want to buy a copy just so I can lend it to my dad. He'd like it. I could, of course, buy a copy and give it to my dad but then I'd just end up stealing it back. He only reads books once, crazy man.
Then I tried yet another new recipe (Kami gave me this awesome recipe book ages ago and I never tried any of the recipes right when I received it but lately I've been going crazy trying them all)--pork chops with rhubarb chutney. I didn't like it as much as some of the other recipes but my children loved it. Eli chowed down on the rhubarb chutney without realizing he was eating onions. My kids aren't picky eaters but Eli doesn't care for onions. Apparently the boy didn't realize that the chutney consisted of red onions and rhubarb. Anyway, good recipe and I felt proud of myself for putting down the book long enough to put dinner on the table.
Now I'm off to bed to nurse my chest cold. Ever since I had bronchitis that I didn't treat wherein I damaged my lungs, every cold I get goes straight to my lungs, so I'm trying to take it a little easy. Accidentally locking my door helped with that immensely!!
PS We went to the library recently after going through a bunch of "best books for children" lists online and have found a few treasures. I can't believe I made it to 36 without reading Grover's "Monster at the End of the Book." It's hilarious. Harriet already has it memorized and told me a few days ago, "I told Grover that it was him at the end of the book so he wouldn't be scared." Love it.
Kayli, my children demanded that I tell you to check out The Gruffalo. So there, you've been told.
It feels like the days are non-stop exhausting marathons to get through these days. I put the oldest four in baseball/softball and that makes my May calendar look bizarrely busy. Cowen and Emeline have their first games tonight, one at 5:30 and one at 6:30 so I have to find a ride for Cowen to make sure he isn't late. Miriam and Eli have their games the same days. Six weeks of baseball madness, here we come!
Yesterday I spent a good two hours sanding walls in my music room. As some of you may know, I painted the walls in my music room this glorious lemon-lime color, Frolic, from Sherwin-Williams. I was so in love with the color I used to go sit in the room just to bask in its glory when the afternoon sun hit. (Early afternoon is my favorite time of day.) But then I pulled the tape off and the paint peeled off with it. Apparently someone applied an oil paint and then didn't sand it down or use the correct primer when they painted over it. The kids and I spent a few days peeling paint off the walls and baseboards (only two walls, the other two walls didn't peel off, so I left them and am hoping for the best).
Yesterday I sanded. Today I am hoping to get to the walls again. I need to wash them down to remove all the sanding dust, re-tape everything and lay down plastic, then put the expensive primer on all of it before I can start re-painting. It has been a much bigger project than the weekend I first allotted for the job.
I got a new calling on Sunday--ward missionary. I'm focusing on helping with the inactive sisters in the Relief Society. This is a new calling for me, but I'm super excited because I still get to attend RS on Sunday. Yay!
Baby Clover is doing well. I'm taking her to get her four-month shots today. :( I always hate that. I do like finding out how much she weighs and her height. I think she's going to be tall like Miriam. At Emeline's practice yesterday I saw a one-year old about the same length as her (well, I didn't actually check, but they looked very similar in height). It is hard to tell because Squish likes to be curled up in a ball all the time. She's not much for stretching out. She's so cute.
Oskar has hit the "new word a day" stage. Yesterday he said "Eli" for the first time. He demands, "Lap, please!" when he wants to sit on my lap. He says "Mim" for Miriam, which is adorable and he says, "Clover," in this sweet sing-song baby voice.
Miriam was accepted (by raffle) into the Maria Montessori Academy for next year. It is a k-9 charter school in North Ogden. She'll be in grade 7. She's super excited because they have a drama club. Timothy said she didn't need any drama practice--hee hee. She'll be in choir and a class that teaches you how to make documentaries, along with the basics. She's happy about all of that and I'm happy that she's required to wear a uniform. I'm not really up to "back-to-school-shopping." It will be an interesting change from our free and easy homeschool life, but we're looking forward to a new adventure (even though I'll miss her so much!!).
And that's about it. Now I need to get going as Cowen just informed me that the kids are getting into the sugar bucket. Ruff.
Today I substitute taught gospel doctrine. After supper Cowen was reading on the couch and I was holding Clover in my nursing chair and Cowen looked up and asked, "How did your lesson go today, Mom?" It was so sweet.
Today Timothy watched the kids while I took a nap. It was awesome.
Today I saw a three week old baby in the mother's lounge and mourned a little at how huge Clover was in comparison. But then I hugged all her perfect squishyness and didn't really mind anymore.
Today I watched Cowen wrap his arm around Oskar and carefully help him take the sacrament water. It was so tender. I felt like a good mom for minute because I gave my children each other.
Today Timothy spent a good 40 minutes wrestling with the kids. He had an excellent strategy: contain Cowen. The rest just don't have the same sort of physical harm capacity.
Today we made the older kids take breaks from wrestling so Oskar and Harriet could safely wrestle during their turn. Oskar's version of wrestling is him running to his dad yelling, "Dad!" then getting tickled and growled at by dad, then racing back to me for a hug. I love that my hug was just as important as dad's growls and tickles in this game. I'll be your safety net as long as I can, little buddy.
Today I learned about a new game (story?) that Timothy plays with the kids. Timothy is in charge of the bedtime story/song ritual so I miss out on a lot of hilarity apparently. Timothy takes one of the children and either sits him on his lap or stands him on his lap-depending on the size of the child. That child is the "drawbridge" that protects Castle Gloomshaven from unwanted guests. The child gets lowered when someone approaches the castle and then gets hastily raised when it becomes apparent that the person is not wanted in the castle. The "story" part of the game is the good part. For example, a lady came to sell cookies (a good thing) so the drawbridge was lowered. Then the guard (Timothy's guard voice is exceptional) asks what flavors the cookie lady has. When the cookie lady answers, "Spinach flavor, broccoli flavor, spaghetti flavor," she immediately gets booted out of the castle and the drawbridge is hastily drawn back up.
There were several other visitors and the kids kept demanding that I hear about every one. There was the "new guard" who was told to admit the ice cream man, the cookie lady, and the king's mother, but not admit the music man. The new guard gets it all wrong. I thought Cowen was going to die when the new guard wouldn't let in the king's mother. Timothy's "king's mother" voice was pretty funny.
The stories all went back to the music man--who was a terrible music man. He sang "new" songs that the "kids liked." Timothy made all sorts of wonky sounds to demonstrate the music man's music. Hilarious. The kids loved every second of it. They loved it even more that the music man always got summarily tossed out on his ear and the drawbridge (child) was drawn back up. Fun, fun.
Today I made the mistake of asking if the kids had given their cat fresh water. They found a cat (bleeding) in the mountains last week and brought it home. They then smuggled it into my house, getting blood all over. I was unimpressed--especially as I am allergic to cats. Once I kicked it (not literally) outside, the kids put it in the currently unoccupied dog run. Timothy and I have been discussing what to do about it ever since. I sincerely hoped it would just wander off as cats are wont to do, but it hasn't. Since the kids have been feeding it and giving it water, and it is extremely content to laze about in the dog house, I guess we have a cat now? Maybe?? It is a really pretty gray color. The kids are calling it Smokey.
I went downstairs to change over the laundry one day and found a baby in a box. It was a delightful surprise. I thought the baby was upstairs on her designated chair, but instead she was all cozy in her little box, replete with a hedgehog and puppy for company. Miriam, of course, and some elaborate game. As for baby Clover? She probably blew bubbles until she tired and then drifted off to sleep. She's the happiest baby I've had, and that is saying something since all my babies have been sweet and contented individuals.
"The story is told that in ancient Rome a group of women were, with vanity, showing their jewels one to another. Among them was Cornelia, the mother of two boys. One of the women said to her, 'And where are your jewels?' To which Cornelia responded, pointing to her sons, 'These are my jewels.' They grew to be two of the most persuasive and effective reformers in Roman history. It is so obvious that the great good and the terrible evil in the world today are the sweet and the bitter fruits of the rearing of yesterday's children. As we train a new generation, so will the world be in a few years. If you are worried about the future, then look to the upbringing of your children." Gordan B. Hinckley, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints