Friday, July 31, 2009

looks like it's whipped cream for breakfast

You know, I really do get sick and tired of feeling as though I'm always just barely functioning. I've felt this way for a long, long time now. At first, I blamed it on the fact that I was pregnant, then on the move to our new house, then I blamed it on having a new baby and now, I'm realizing that this just may be the way life is for me. I don't like it. Every day, it's the same things that drive me nuts. I can't manage to get a single goal accomplished, I don't clean, I can barely get hot dinner on the table and we end up with take out half the time anyway, I forget things, appointments, etc. I'm desperate to feel in control of something. Most of the time, I can just give myself a pep talk and keep moving, but for some reason, this week has been particularly hard to push through.

The other morning, Lizzy awoke and joined me downstairs. As usual, the first thing she did was request breakfast. Breakfast is the one meal that Lizzy eats all day.

"can-i-have-oatmeal?" she asked me. When she says it, it sounds like only one word. It's adorable and so very Lizzy-like. She eats oatmeal every single day for breakfast. Just another one of those things she gets from Brent.

"I'm sorry, honey, but we are out of oatmeal today. I need to go shopping and get some," was my reply. I hadn't been shopping for like a week and pickins' were getting pretty slim.

"oh, can i have some froot loops den?"

"Um, sorry, but we don't have any froot loops either."

At that point she walked inside the pantry looking at what we DID have.

"can i have some kix?"

"We don't have any kix either."

"can i have cheerios?"

"No cheerios today, Lizzy."

She then gave up on the pantry and start making her way over to the fridge.

"can i have some cottage cheese?"

"Lizzy, we don't have any cottage cheese today. I'll get some when we go to the store." And then she looked at me as if to say "what are my options here, mom?" and started going through the list of toddler friendly foods that I generally keep in stock...

"yogurt? string cheese? applesauce?"

She was getting frustrated with me, I could tell. Finally her eyes landed on something she knew we had. She knew it was a long shot, but her options were limited. It was hilarious how carefully and sweetly she said the words, desperate to not screw up this golden opportunity..

"mom... can i have some whipped cweam?"

I thought and sighed a deep sigh. "Sure, have some whipped cream."

And she did.

Jane came downstairs a few minutes later and started yelling "Hey! I want to eat whipped cream for breakfast!"

"May as well," I told her, "not like there's anything else to eat."

It's taking all the strength and confidence I can muster up to keep myself from feeling like a total failure this week.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Tea for Ten

For Jane's birthday this year, we (and by "we" I mean "I") decided to throw a tea party. I got sick and tired of princess parties and Jane is always asking to have tea parties, so I thought it would be fun. It into a lot of work for me (if I was going to throw a tea party, I wanted to do it right). It kinda took over my life for a couple weeks which says a lot about how little I take on these days, and when I was feeling stressed, I got no sympathy from Brent.

"You know that you're doing this for yourself," he told me on Thursday. I couldn't even argue with him.

I don't know why I did it. Maybe just to say that I did. Maybe just so I could take photos and post them on my blog. Maybe so that I could have the photos to show her years from now when she's an ungrateful teenager claiming that I don't love her and that she was probably adopted anyway (don't tell me you never said that to your parents because i sure did). Maybe I just wanted to do something fun. Whatever, it hardly matters. This one is for my record book.

"Look at banner, Michael!" (if you get that, you might be my e-soul mate)

Yes, I made the banner. Yes, it was a royal pain. No, I will not be making them to sell (it wouldn't be worth it to you). But, yes, I'm glad that I have it now. I think it turned out super cute and will certainly be decorating our house on birthdays for years to come.

Do you like the invites? Do ya? Do ya? Do ya?

Ya, I made those too, but they wouldn't be half so cute if it weren't for Holly and her uber talented self. Visit My Cute Stamps to buy your own set of these tea party stamps (you know you want them) and you may as well just pick up one of everything while you're there. I'm thinking that Charlie is getting a circus birthday since I already bought these and I'm dying to use them.

So... on the menu:

apple Cider (for tea)
slushy punch
pb&j sandwiches
tomato sandwiches
grapes & strawberries
apples & cheese
mini brownies
mini cupcakes
and of course, candy.

The girls mostly ate cupcakes for lunch. Oops. Maybe I should have held out with the sweets until the real lunch was consumed.

There were 10 girls in all that were there in their stinking adorable tea party dress ups. Good thing we have a long table.

For our activity, we colored and made paper fans. I guess Brent got hot.

And a group hug. Jane was thanking them for her gifts. She made out like a bandit, lucky girl.

We really did have a lot of fun. We're so happy that Jane has so many friends and that they could all come.

Now I need me a good long break from party planning. I've come to realize that it isn't something I do with any degree of finesse.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


"I'm two" Lizzy informed me.

"I'm two" cried Ben.

"Ben's two" Lizzy proclaimed.

"Zizzy's two" confirmed Ben.

"Yes, you are both two, but can you tell me who's bigger?" I queried.


"Who is bigger? Is Ben bigger or is Lizzy bigger?" I repeated.

Ben stared.

Lizzy blinked once, twice "I'm two. And Ben's two... ... ... ... too!"

Time flies when you're having fun

Can you believe that Baby Jane turns 5 today?

Ya, me neither.

But, alas, tis true.

Happy birthday, my big girl.

She wears 5 well, don't you say?

(As soon as I get the energy, I'll show you some photos of her birthday party. It was pretty awesome if I do say so myself.)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Summer of the stay-cation

So, Brent and I have decided that we can't afford to head out to Disneyland this year, even with the change jar savings plan. Boo. As consolation, we've turned our Disneyland fund into a trampoline fund. I wonder how Sam's Club will feel when we bring in several hundred dollars in coins to pay for a new tramp :) I might actually do that, just for fun. (Ok, no, I won't do it, regardless of how much fun it might be to see the cashier's reaction. They'd just send me to the bank anyway and quite frankly, I don't have that kind of time to waste and if I did, you'd better believe that I'd be sleeping.)

Anyway, even though we've accepted that the happiest place on earth is out of reach for us, we still want to have a lot of fun this summer ("fun" can be a bit of a reach for us too), so we've decided that instead of going on vacation, we'd take our weekends to do fun things that are closer to home. I believe it is referred to as a stay-cation, if you will. So far we've made our trip to Park City, spent an evening at Cowabunga Bay and headed up to Ogden to the dinosaur park.

I'm sure most Utah residents have long known about said dinosaur park, but until I was invited to go with a couple of Brent's sisters, I didn't even know it existed. Ogden is a lot father away than I thought it was. I swear I could see Idaho before we actually got there, but it was SOOO worth it.

This is Brent's sister, Laura. It gets a little confusing. Sometimes, when we are having a difficult time distinguishing which Laura is being referred to, one will try to clarify by referring to "Laura Stringham" which is really, super helpful since we'll both answer to that name too. I dated Brent for a surprisingly long time before he bothered to tell me that his oldest sister and I share a name. In all fairness, we only dated for like three weeks before we got engaged and I'm fairly certain that I met her either before then or shortly thereafter, but even three weeks of very serious dating seems like a long time to hold out with that kind of powerful information. Seriously, if my brother had been named Brent and this guy came up to me and said "Hi, I'm Brent." I'd probably have said something like "Brent? Really? That's weird because I have a brother named Brent. " I mean, who doesn't bring up that kind of thing?

But I digress.

Laura is awesome. When I married Brent, Laura was like this big, huge unexpected signing bonus, she's a gift that keeps on giving.

Brent likes this photo because of Charlie's hair. He won't let me cut it because he wants it to grow into a lovely pompadour like Conan O'Brien.

Methinks no.

The girls loved the park and loved playing with their cousins (not pictured). Brent's only little sister, Cheryl and her kids were there too (talk about fun people, we don't spend nearly enough time with them either). So was Laura's daughter, Jessica... unlike our camera. Brent was the photog and although I'm glad his fancy schmancy phone takes photos and has tetris on it and lets me check my email and facebook when I'm not home or when I'm just in the other room and I'm too lazy to walk to the computer, it DOES make it a little harder to chase small children around in an attempt to catch them in adorable/heartwarming poses.

And a rare family photo. Sorry folks, this is as good as it gets.

Stay tuned for further documentation of our summer of the stay-cation. It's sure to thrill.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Naptime Issues

I love naps. Love them, love them, love them. So tell me... why do my kids hate them so much? I talk to other parents who tell me about their kindergartners that nap after school. I can tell you right now that THAT will never be happening with any of my kids.

At two, Lizzy is currently in full blown nap rebellion. I've tried everything. I've tried putting her down a little early, a little late, I've tried noise machines and a dark room. I've tried having her put Jane down for a pretend nap so that she thinks we're all napping with her, I've tried letting her scream in her room for two hours. I'm out of ideas.

And the view from her room isn't helping any:

It DOES look inviting, doesn't it?

One day I was upstairs trying to work and Jane was outside playing during nap time. I heard the following conversation

Lizzy: jane! i open my window!
Jane (from outside): Did you open it all by yourself?
Lizzy: ya. i in my woom. can you come open da door?

And I was too amused to leave her, I had to go in there and kiss her and hug her and laugh with her for being so cute. She DID open the window all by herself so that she could convince Jane to help her break out. Since then, we've locked her windows and Jane is no longer allowed to play during nap time, but it does no good.

Today, she had been up in her room, quietly, for a hour or so and naturally, I figured she was asleep. Charlie woke up and Jane and I were just watching TV and it's a nice day out, so I figured it was safe to hang out on the back patio. Before long, we heard the now all too familiar tapping on glass. I looked up to find Lizzy knocking at her window, smiling at us and adorably begging to be released. So... I sent Jane up to open her door and when she came down, she came out looking like this:

She took the socks off of her hands before I could get my camera out. My hysterical laughter may have made her feel a little insecure.

I went upstairs and found that her room looked like this:

If I had another photo, you'd see that she emptied out the closet as well.

I think it's safe to say that we have yet another day without a nap.


I laughed out loud again as Lizzy and I tried to clean up her room. Apparently her OCD got the better of her and she started to clean up her own mess before she came downstairs. She had pants shoved into sock bins, shoes in the shirt drawer and pretty much everything everywhere. I'm just thrilled that she tried.

Monday, July 6, 2009

4th of July Celebrations

Day 2: The big day

I think that we may need to make it a tradition to go down to Summit for the 4th. I don't know what it is, but small towns just know how to do the 4th of July right and Summit certainly gets things started bright and early. We were planning to skip the 7:00 AM flag raising and aim for the 8:00 breakfast but they apparently weren't very serious about the whole starting on time thing since when my mom and Jane were there at 8:00, there were only some cold scraps left over for them. The rest of us missed it completely so we scarfed at home and tried to make it in time for the 9:00 AM parade. We wanted to be there a little early since the girls were going to be in said parade, but that got started early too. My dad got them there and jumped in just in time to make the walk up and down the street.

Gotta love a parade that consists mostly of four-wheelers and kids on bikes and one beautifully decorated wagon.

The girls were just giddy about it.

Ben was supposed to join the girls, but he was having "one of those mornings" and refused to get in. He spent a lot of time pouting, which is too cute for words.

And Charlie was also feeling patriotic.

We then headed into Parowan for their parade which boasted some enormous tractors, dozens of motorcycles, classic cars, dancing cheerleaders, firetrucks AND ambulances. The kids were in heaven.

I seriously DON'T like parades mostly because it's always hot and they are always long and just want to leave. The Parowan parade is a different story. It was so fun for the kids and it was only an hour and the weather was amazing too.

Trying lure in the firemen so they could score some free frisbees.


All the Barron clan was there, except for Johnny and Danielle. Maybe next year...

We wanted to have some firecrackers for the kids, but we also wanted to get them to bed before World War III broke out, so we went with the mid-day fireworks display. Turns out there's a reason we all wait until after dark.

Here's a photo of Brent's finale. You ready?

Ya, it was a little sad, but the kids liked it.

And just when you thought that sparklers were harmless, Ben went and grabbed on that was lit, burning his little hand.

Actually, the entire Barron-Jackson clan was in a really good mood that evening. I had to sing "we are a happy family" to get this smile out of Leslie. Apparently Cam wasn't amused.

We had such a fun weekend. Now I'm going to start checking everyone's blogs for their photos of the weekend, I'll see you there.

Friday, July 3, 2009

July 4th celebrations

Day one: cherry pickin'

What are you doing for the long weekend? We've been spending ours picking cherries. How will we ever get all them off of those trees? I'm not entirely sure it can be done, but we made a valiant effort this morning.

Look at those branches!

Lizzy loved her daddy holding her.

Jane loved watching us all.

Ben loved covering his shirt in red juice. We had to invest in some stain stick.

And Leslie and Cam loved posing for this photo.

Jane has had a LOT of cherries today. It can't be healthy.

Brent was the only one brave enough to climb up to the top.

And what did we do with all the crop? Leslie and I made a very patriotic pie because seriously, what's more American than cherry pie? I mean other than apple pie. And baseball.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Things that I do

So, I've been made aware of the fact that I haven't been manning my blog very well lately. I've just had a blogger's block, I suppose. Days go by and I can't think of anything that's happened that is blog worthy. It's actually a little disappointing since I know that it has more to do with my attitude than anything else and as we all know, attitude IS everything. It isn't that I've had a bad attitude, just kind of a boring one. I haven't really been creative at all lately. I haven't been blogging, I haven't been painting anything, I haven't been using my sewing machine, I haven't even been making anything out of felt! Good grief, what's become of me?

Instead of thinking about all the things that I haven't been doing, I've decided to post about some of the things that I have been doing. Maybe pretending to be creative will get those juices flowing again. I've got a bathroom that needs a makeover and no money, so I'm going to have to get fancy if I want to do it on the cheap. I'm looking forward to how crazy I'm going to make Brent with it all :)

So here goes...


That's right. It's awesome. Last night, I hit my pillow at about 10:30 and was out cold until 6:00 this morning when Charlie woke up. It was amazing. It was heavenly. Hooray for my kids for sleeping like champs!


I run. Running is something I do. Am I a runner?


I don't think so, not yet. Especially since I use the term "running" quite loosely.

I'm actually really proud of myself for doing it since the first night I went, I couldn't run the length of an entire block (downhill) without getting totally winded and having to take a break. I'm so not joking. I've just been taking it easy and now I'm running 2.5 miles almost every day. Ok, I have to walk the uphill part, but in my defense, it's REALLY steep. I have a hard time with it (I've never been anything approaching an athlete) but I do it. I want to stop. My mind tells me to stop, my body tells me to stop, my lungs scream for me to stop, and I want to, I intend to, but my legs seems to have a mind of their own. They just keep moving and taking with them.

Methinks that I'm going to need some better shoes if I'm going to keep this up.

I have to get up bright and early (like the birds) to go before Brent leaves, which is, I grant you, invigorating on the days that I can actually do it. I'm trying to go in the morning instead of at night since the other night about 5 mosquitoes feasted on my smelly self before I got inside.

So anyway, not to toot my own horn, but... TOOT! TOOT!


Yesterday, I broke down and hired one of the girls in my circle to come help me clean my house. It was fabulous. I'm going to try to do it every couple of weeks. I thought that we would be able to get through the whole house in a couple of hours, but I grossly underestimated to amount of filth we've been living in. We got MOST of the downstairs clean and I mean clean. I can feel that the dirt is gone. My neighbor had Jane playing at her house and both the babies slept and my mom was here to help and it was almost too good to be true, like a dream. When a clean house is enough to make you want to cry, you either cry too easily or your house is way too messy.... or both.


When Lizzy went swimming last weekend, Brent and I were so worried about the chlorine on her skin. She was SO broken out and we were sure it would dry her out and make things worse, but we let her go anyway. When she got out, it was weird. Her skin would, like, flake off, like a sunburn and I would freak out and wash her off and put her lotions on, but underneath was just new, pink, healthy skin. She'd been getting random comments in stores the week before, her skin was so bad and by the time we took her to church on Sunday, everyone was commenting on how great she looked.

Then, when Brent was in Kanab for work on Monday, he happened to pick up a paper and happened to find and cut out a little article about a study that had just been conducted proving that bathing kids with eczema in bleach was actually good for them. If you search on the internet, everything will tell you otherwise, but this study suggests that you put half a cup of bleach in a standard tub and let them soak for 10 minutes twice a week. The bleach kills the bacteria that is spread when they scratch and allows the meds and lotions to do their job. We'll have to see if it holds up long term, so many things don't, but so far I'm a believer. We did it the other night and she didn't cry or scratch all night.

And it cleans the tub at the same time, so it's win/win, right?

So there you have it. Things that I've been doing. A post on my blog, photos and all. An attempt to write when I feel no desire.

I'm not feeling any more creative than I was before. Dang it! I really want to work on that bathroom.

p.s. For the record, I want to apologize to those of you (like everyone in my family but me) who actually know how to write. I am fully aware of the fact that my posts are riddled with errors of every kind and I my only excuse is full blown ignorance. It must drive you all crazy. I need to go back to school, I didn't take enough writing classes when I was there before. I've also thought about emailing my mom to proof all my posts, but that just seems like a lot of effort and it's just not going to happen.