Friday, August 28, 2009

real quick

I couldn't leave my blog for the weekend knowing that my 'crazy Laura' post would be the first thing anyone saw (i DID include the part about not thinking rationally, right? that would explain that post) so I decided that I'd better do something about it.

Instead, here is a little of what I do best... post pictures of cute kids.

Ben and Davie came over to play/sleep/dance on the table/rescue other children from their rooms during nap time/eat popsicles/pour the cat food into the water this afternoon and I took the opportunity to break out the camera and document their cuteness (since their mom sucks at it).

Ben was VERY hard at work. Check out that determination.

Ok, so if you haven't been around Davie in a while, you really need to pencil that it. He pretty much spends his days playing on the floor, smiling and laughing at any feasible opportunity.

Our peach tree is overloaded this year with peaches (as opposed to like pineapples or almonds) The branches are literally touching the ground. Ben kept asking if he could "pull an apple" so we picked quite a few today, but I'm not sure how we'll ever get through them all. If you want some, head on over to our house and help yourself.

And these are courtesy of Jane...

Charlie Two Teeth in his oh so classy wife beater.

I was kind of bombarded with kids today and finally just started crawling on the ground to play too. If you can't beat em', join em', right?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

TMI (and no photo to soften the blow)

Last night, I laid awake in bed for several hours before I was finally able to fall asleep. My eyes were furious with me, but my mind and body seemed determined race and toss and turn and itch and twitch. I thought that I would wake up this morning and want to crawl under a rock, but I had no problem waking up at all... at 5:30. It seems as though the obnoxious energy that kept me awake last night hasn't given up on me yet. Since then, I've been racing around the house, thrilled that I FINALLY have the energy to do the simple things that seem impossible every other day. Things like putting away laundry, sweeping the floor, helping the kids clean their rooms and thinking about what I'd like to accomplish during the day. Then I realized why I must be feeling this way.

Crap. I must be manic again.

For those of you who were previously unaware, I studied psychology in school and as a result, I find myself in the annoying position of knowing just enough about the subject to be dangerous ( i say that a lot, get used to it). I've diagnosed myself with (usually high functioning) bipolar disorder. The up side of it is that every so often, I find myself in these moods that I can only describe as ecstasy. Sounds dramatic, but so am I. I tell you, if the drug makes you feel anything like the real thing, I can understand why people like it. I have a million things that I want to do and I can do them all, I WILL do them all, if I let myself. Nothing can put me in a bad mood. I remember on my 20th birthday, I totalled my car and dealt with it surprisingly well. It really didn't get to me at all and my friends were amazed with my good attitude. I realize now that I must have been manic at the time.

The downside is that my thinking isn't rational, I spend money without thinking about it, my heart races and I move very quickly, often jittery, I also speak quickly. I can't concentrate on any one thing for very long and I find that I don't have much patience for people who aren't moving at my speed. This morning I was thinking about training for a marathon, which seemed TOTALLY do-able. I was going to start tomorrow. I think that in a few days, it'll loose it's appeal.

And then there's always the mania's evil twin, the life sucking, mind numbing, physically and emotionally crippling depression that tails the manic episodes. It's always there too, lurking in the dark corners of my mind, waiting for a moment of weakness to attack. What goes up, must come down and when I'm feeling so good, I forget to keep up my guard. That's it's game, you know. Attack and retreat, attack and retreat, trying to wear down my resistance. Some day I'll conquer it once and for all. I'll lock it and the mania up in that dark corner and throw away the key. The freedom I'd have seems unimaginable. (wow, i almost succeeded in bumming myself out)

Maybe someday I'll write about that too, it'll be fun.

I am stubborn and unreasonable, and as a result, I refuse to see anyone that might be able to actually diagnose me and prescribe me with meds that could potentially provide some much needed stability. Instead, I try to fight against it with exercise, scripture study and sheer will power. I've got a lot of will power, when I want to and even though this mood always feels great, I recognize that it isn't healthy and I need to do something about it. Usually, when I get like this, I try to force myself to sit, move slower, talk slower, breathe deep, listen to calming music and shorten my list of things to do that day to a reasonable length. But I'm planning a weekend excursion that we leave on tomorrow and still have million things to do. I also have to go get some new running shoes (i'm training for a marathon, remember?) So today, I'm thinking I'm just going to go with it.

Have a great day. I will.

(imagine photos of me having a great day. maybe i'll post some tonight)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Two of my Favorite Faces

I've been spending a lot of time thinking (and talking) about Brent and Lizzy's relationship lately. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I don't 'get' Lizzy. But Brent does. I just sit here, clueless, unable to figure out why she does the things she does.

For instance, I have no idea why she stayed up last night in her room climbing up to the shelves to retrieve a vat of newly purchased Cetaphil cream and unloading it's contents onto her carpet. The Butt Paste was sitting right next to it, sealed tightly . Earlier this week, she pulled the same stunt with the Butt Paste... again. See HERE for photos of what all the events have looked like. After a long talkin' to, she promised she wouldn't do that again and, like Brent, she really likes rules so I wasn't worried about another recurrence. Unfortunately, like Brent, she also likes things to be specific and literal and after all, she didn't promise not to spread Cetaphil cream all over the carpet, just Butt Paste.

I also have no idea why she stripped naked, removing even her diaper, then put her pajamas BACK on (minus the diaper, remember) and then proceeded to layer 4 shirts and a pair of shorts over said pajamas.

I have no idea why she insists on wearing socks on her hands and feet while she sleeps.

I have no idea why she took all the bedding off of her bed and slept on the rug last night. None of this makes sense to me. I might have to consult Brent when he gets home.

When Jane used to scream until the blood vessels in her eyes would burst instead of going to bed, it was a little freaky, but I totally understood THAT. I'm sure I've done it several times myself. I also totally get it when she works herself up crying so much that she can't stop and throws fits until she starts gagging and tries throw up. These things make total sense to me.

But I digress...

I think that Brent really likes having a child that he relates to so much. (did he ever do this stuff as a small child?) There's something so satisfying and rewarding to see that regardless of how hard it's been in life trying to fit in or how weird people can make you feel, you know that God must have made you that way, because there's two of you. I feel that way about Jane. She validates me. Problem with our relationship is that we're both so combative that we don't enjoy each other as much as Brent and Lizzy do.

There are so many cases when I just have to walk away from Lizzy and send Brent in for a shift because I don't know how to make her happy or calm her down. Brent always knows how. He just knows how important it is to point out the temple on hill before bed. He reads her just the right stories lingering on the right details and tickles her back in just the right way. It is the sweetest thing I've ever seen.

I've worried about my inability to relate to my daughter, thinking that I won't be able to love her as much as I should and parent the right way for lack of understanding. But I'm starting to get over that because there are two of us, thank goodness. I think part of me loves her because I don't 'get' her, not in spite of it. After all, I don't really 'get' Brent either. I'm glad they have each other.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I have arrived

Pardon me for a moment as I get all sentimental on you...

Today, Jane started another year of dance. As a result, I suddenly find myself thrown into the middle of an existential crisis. Ya, I know what you are thinking.

"Get a grip, Laura. How could Jane's first day of dance possibly throw you into an existential crisis? Shouldn't you wait until next week, when she starts kindergarten, for this?"

Were you here, I would respond by smiling politely and probably laughing a little. But behind my kind eyes, I would be thinking about how cruel and insensitive you are and most likely tempted to give you swift kick in the pants. Then I would force you to listen to me while I justify myself.

You see, today, I realized that I've reached "that" point as a parent. The point at which I sign Jane up for a tumbling class at a time that's inconvenient for me just because I want her to have the exposure to it. The point at which I sign her up for yet another ballet class because I think the structure and training will be good for her. I'm having to work out a tighter budget to afford the classes for her, arrange carpools and reschedule dinner time around HER schedule.

Remind me, when did I start letting my child run across the street and knock on the neighbors' doors to play? When did my work as a parent start revolving so much less around keeping her from falling down stairs and showing her how to brush her teeth and so much more around answering those hard, uncomfortable questions and teaching her about modesty and honesty and friendship? This must be when the tough part of parenting begins.

While Jane was gone today, I found myself without my helper, my partner at home and much to my surprise and delight, I found that Lizzy was ready and willing to fill her shoes. She was eager to help Charlie sit down after he got stuck standing at the TV cabinet and fish random objects out of his mouth. I had flashbacks to when Jane was about her age and I counted on her to help me with babies Lizzy and Ben as I took care of both of them during the day. It wasn't THAT long ago, was it?

There's a whole new stage of life waiting for me. A stage that involves homework and fights with friends and lip gloss and High School Musical. Until today, I guess I just didn't realize that I'd arrived at that stage.

I am currently in the process of freaking out.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Do me a favor...

If you happen to run across my husband today, tell him that there's something about him that looks different. A little wiser, a little more mature, maybe a little older, almost as though he's suddenly reached his prime.

And then wish him a happy 33rd birthday.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Kids with a camera

And this is what happens when Jane gets a hold of the camera...

Generally, I'm not a big supporter of arranged marriages, but I'd be willing to make an exception if it meant that I could guarantee that Jane would marry Eli. He's about the cutest, sweetest guy around. And he only sticks his tongue out for silly photos. And his brothers are just as darling. And his parents are wicked cool. Ya, I'd totally sign Jane up.

Our bounteous bounty

At the beginning of the summer, we (and by "we" I mean "not me") spent a lot of time clearing out the weed patch that appeared to have once been a garden in our back yard. We (and this time I was involved) then planted green bean seeds and carrot seeds and several tomato and pepper plants. We planted watermelon and cantaloupe and pumpkin plants, all of us anxious to watch them grow and reap the rewards of our hard labor.

Unfortunately, our garden appeared to have been a complete failure. I figure it is partly due to the fact that our sprinklers are so crappy and it didn't get enough water and partly because I have no idea what I'm doing. Mostly the latter. Ok, fine, entirely the latter. Our cantaloupe and watermelon completely shriveled up into oblivion and the pumpkins aren't doing so hot either. Out of about a million green bean seeds, only 3 or 4 plants started to grow and the carrots looked a lot more like grass than anything else. Please don't make me talk about the tomatoes and peppers.

I wrote the garden off as experience and assured myself that we would do better next year.

Today I was outside enjoying the glorious day and while down in the grass, I noticed something red over in the garden. I walked over and. to my surprise, found a lone tomato. While I was over there, I thought I'd grab onto one of the carrots and pull. At the end of it was a tiny, bright orange baby carrot staring back at me. I moved to the green beans where I found that our three or four plants had actually produced real life green beans.

It was awesome.

I almost woke Jane up from a much needed nap to come see, but I didn't. Fortunately for me, she was up within about 15 minutes and the two of us had a grand time picking all the baby carrots, green beans, the tomato that I saved for her to pick and a tiny yellow bell pepper.

Wanna see? I thought you might.

So what did we do with our meager crop? We ate it. The whole lot all in one delicious home grown meal.

Blurry food. Mmmmmm.

Better luck next year? Let's hope.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Up, up and away...

Tonight, after missing parts 1 and 2 of the Sandy City Balloon Festival, we made it to the finale. Leslie and Cameron joined us for the evening of fun. Observe...

Notice the coats on everyone? Ya, it was downright chilly. We've been loving the last couple of days.

Most of the time we spent there was taken up by waiting for the balloons to be filled, thinking about walking to Target to buy a blanket, being tackled by small children, talking about walking to Target to buy a blanket, taking photos and trying to explain to the kids that balloons would come, some day. I had so much fun.

Ben's funny. He plays favorites a lot, but his favorites can change not only by the day, but by the hour. Tonight, I was his favorite.

I love how brown my eyes look in this photo, and that Charlie and I are twinners and that Charlie is my baby boy (not yours) and that I'm always his favorite.

Token photo of Leslie and Cam (and Davie in the distance) I believe they were laughing at their firstborn who was dancing in the street.

I cut Lizzy's hair last week. This morning it looked like this:

but that's the problem with the toddler bob. It's either super cute or super snarly.

These two make me smile so much. Can you blame me?

I don't know what settings I had my camera on, but it was taking some funky pictures. (i kinda like them that way. it makes me feel artsy) This one is my favorite. I swear this is exactly how it came out of my camera.

And the moment you've all been waiting for (drum roll)

The rise of the balloons.

And then, in a very anticlimactic way, we went home.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Reason No. 328 I love being a Mormon

There are lots of reasons to love being a Mormon. It's nice to know the path to eternal salvation for one, and then there's always the treats at every function imaginable, which is obviously a huge draw. There's also the reliability of Mormons that I admire. In general, they are a group of people that you can count on to come through for you.

After the whole proposition 8 thing, I watched a program that included segments from an interview with Elder Packer. In that interview, he said something along the lines of "When the prophet asks us to get something done, we get it done." Considering the circumstances, it could have come across as smug, if he hadn't been so obviously being matter of fact about it. It's true, we've all seen it, Mormons know how to get things done and I enjoy doing my part to keep the ward moving and meeting with them on a weekly basis. Yes, I like being Mormon very much.

Last Sunday at church had been a successful one for us, as Sundays go. We made it in time to take the sacrament (in the foyer) and then found a seat in the chapel (although we had to snag the deacons' seats once said sacrament was over). Jane and Lizzy then went to class peacefully and Charlie spent the block with Brent, scavenging for rogue Cheerios on the floor. I even remembered that we needed to pay tithing right before we left, so I grabbed a slip and was filling it out against a wall next to the chapel entrance with Lizzy at my ankles. Yes, things had gone well and I was feeling proud of myself, which, as a Mormon, I should have realized meant that it was time to be humbled. So life was good... until I heard the sound of splashing and gasps in reaction to the unexpected noise.

I looked down to find that Lizzy, still securely attached to my leg, had chosen this moment to throw up all over the place. I won't go into the graphic details (you're welcome). Suffice it to say that it was repulsive and I was mortified.

As if it had been timed precisely, at that very moment, the chapel doors opened and the ward following ours started streaming out of the chapel... right into the mess. I yelled, full on yelled, for Brent, which was the only thing that I could think to do in the midst of the catastrophe, when several bodies began to converge on Lizzy and me and then I realized that we were surrounded by a group of people that suddenly found themselves very much in their element.

From that point forward, the ward got to work... like a well oiled machine.

As soon as Brent emerged from the crowd, one sister took Charlie from his arms and directed him to the bathroom to start with some paper towels. Jane followed, eager to be of service as well (I love that girl). One of the brothers standing nearby grabbed a garbage can and placed it between the chapel doors and the mess and began ushering the out coming ward around. Others suddenly became orange construction cones, placing themselves between us and the hallway traffic creating the necessary detour. Our home teacher was also close at hand and (since I was obviously stuck in a stupor of thought) told me that since Lizzy had taken a break from emptying the contents of her stomach onto the chapel floor, now would be a good time to get her outside. I did.

I cleaned her up as much as I could with some dehydrated wipees and waited for the rest of my family to return. When they did, Brent informed me that several other people assisted him in cleaning the mess, even going back to the janitor's closet to get the appropriate floor cleaner and taking a most unfortunate garbage sack out to the dumpster.

It was hilarious. Brent and I laughed the whole way home (and several times since) half that the incident occurred at all and half because of the way everyone reacted to it. I'm laughing right now just thinking about it. It was awesome. I love Mormons and I love being one.

Thank you Lizzy. I wasn't cool that you puked all over, but without, we'd never have had such a great story to remember.