Friday, February 29, 2008

The Return of the "Pupcake"

When K was a small child, she called cupcakes "pupcakes". I loved the mispronunciation of the word. I'll even admit I didn't correct her on her grammar as early as I should have. She had the other classics, "lellow" for yellow, "lemolaid" for lemonaide, etc. M would call the vacuum a "gaffume". That was my favorite mispronunciation of his.

Eventually they learned, and began to pronounce words correctly. It was a bittersweet moment for me.

Imagine my joy when yesterday, when seeing the cupcakes for M's birthday, S started calling them "pupcakes"!!! I swear I didn't encourage it in any way, shape or form. She was calling them "muffins", but I just kept calling them cupcakes, so she tried to imitate me.

With any luck, the run of the pupcake will last at least a year. And then maybe pupcakes will live on through Z.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Eight Years ago today

It is a beautiful sunny day today. The kids were convinced it was too warm for their regular winter coats and insisted on light jackets. The temperature outside was 32 degrees, but it was so bright and sunny that it looked much warmer. I took all of them out to the car to give them a ride to school. I found that dh had scraped the ice off my windshield. More often than not, I find that he's done that for me. It's a small gesture, but very touching and sweet.

Eight years ago today, I was in labor with #2. It was a cold, stormy, snowy day. I was induced because I didn't want to have another huge baby. It was a fairly easy labor. Total of 4 hours from my water being broken and being hooked up to pitocin to when I was holding M in my arms.

M is so excited for his birthday that he can't see straight. Tonight I am going to take him, K, and M's friend to Nicklecade and let them play video games. I will then take them out to dinner somewhere. Probably McDonalds, knowing M's taste. blecch. I wouldn't let him open his birthday presents til the whole family would be around. But, I did put them on the counter so he could poke, prod and otherwise obsess over them. He also requested that I make chocolate cupcakes with white frosting for his birthday cake. The cupcakes are cooling on the counter. Once I get them frosted, I'll revise this post with a picture of a cupcake.

Happy Birthday M! I am so blessed and happy to have you for my son.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Overheard at Costco

Yesterday DH and I went to Costco to replenish his microwave popcorn supply. He has a bit of a popcorn addiction, and they have a coupon right now. The box of popcorn had a big advertisement about how popcorn is a whole grain, so it's gotta be healthy, right?

We were waiting in line, and the people behind us had a box of the popcorn. They were debating whether or not to buy it or not.

"Do you think whole grain popcorn tastes any different than regular popcorn? I wonder if it's browner. What if we don't like it as much as the old stuff?"

They very nearly put their fancy, super healthy whole grain popcorn back so they could get the "regular stuff".

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Grow Up!

This morning, S and I were playing with her doll. She told me the doll was crying because she was hungry. We must feed her!!

I told her to just feed the baby some milk. She said she couldn't find the baby's bottle (the militant breastfeeder in my cringed a little at that). I told her to just feed the baby some milk from her breasts. She looks down at her chest, and thinks for a good 10 seconds. "I have no boobs, Mommy. I need to grow up first!"

Monday, February 11, 2008

Confession Time!

Valentines' Day.

I have been on again, off again with my mockery of Valentines' Day. Last year, for the big day, dh and I went to Costco for lunch (romantic, I know), and then counted the number of men who were leaving with these huge bunches of roses. The percentage of men with flowers was upwards of 98%. Seriously. We sat there and kind of made fun of them. The honest truth? I was so envious of their wives/girlfriends that I could hardly see straight.

The practical side of me acknowledges that the money spent on a cut flower that will die within a week is a total waste. But I don't care! I want the stupid cut flowers anyway. I don't want a rosebush in a few months that will produce dozens of roses for years to come (though I wouldn't turn that down in general). I want the beautiful arrangement and a sweet love letter from my dh. I don't want a mushy card; my mockery of those is 100% genuine. Funny card with a sweet letter inside is great.

My dh hasn't given me flowers in years. I think the last time he did was when I was in the hospital, giving birth to #3. Now, in his defense, his idea of being romantic is remodeling a bathroom. And he does do a lot of projects around the house to make me happy. That is his way of showing love. And I am touched by these gestures of affection. They take a lot more blood, sweat, tears and sore muscles than stopping at the florist and picking up some roses. He doesn't take the easy way out. He's done enough remodeling that if he was to have applied that time and money to flowers, we would own at least two or three florist shops by this point.

I would absolutely love it if he managed to get a sitter for the kids and took me out on an actual, romantic date on valentines' day. I don't necessarily want to go to a restaurant; there's nothing romantic about a huge crowd of people. But a nice date, alone, complete with flowers and a card..... -sigh-

I doubt it'll happen though, so I will start to put on the armor of humor and mockery.

Perception and editing the past

My maternal grandfather has begun compiling his personal history. He is retelling his life story, and then having my mother type it all up. She really enjoyed hearing about his childhood, and I am anxious to read what she has typed so far. He really struggled with the upcoming "chapter" because it is where he met, married, and divorced my maternal grandmother. He wasn't sure what to say because he didn't want to stir up any long buried feelings, and didn't want to hurt my mother. He has finally finished that section, and is ready for my mom to pick it up and put it into the computer.

Last night, we were talking about it, and she wasn't sure if she should edit the divorce part of the history at all. She agrees that hurting feelings isn't good. She also thinks that a lot of the deeply personal issues that cause divorce really shouldn't be available for family to read. I have to admit I'd find my family history a lot more interesting if I found out that great, great, great grandma left her husband because she caught him in bloomers or something equally scandalous.

I don't know. She does have a point about causing pain though. I finished MIL's "THE BOOK" for the second or third time this morning. She is quite critical of me in her letters, and there's very little positive. She thought I was so immature, and blamed me for dh and I not seeing the family as often as she thought proper the first couple of years. It's funny. From the time dh was about 13, she was complaining in the letters how his friends and work were always much higher priorities and how he's never home. Then, we get married, and somehow I'm bullying her baby boy into not spending time there. Never mind dh and I were both in college full time, working full time, and doing part time jobs on the side. We still went to dinner at their house every Sunday night, even though that was the only night we were both home and available. Gave up a lot of alone couple time for them. But was that good enough? Nooooooo. She was also pretty sure that I kind of pushed dh into the marriage instead of waiting til we graduated college, even though the opposite was true. Once the first year or two of marriage passed, she eased up on her comments of me.

Learning how she felt wasn't a surprise to me. Her letters stated basically what I suspected she felt, but it still really hurt to read it. By the time the book had been printed and distributed, she and I had made our peace, and had been getting along quite well for quite some time. But it dredged up the old emotions and feelings of inadequacy.

My mom asked if I would have preferred that she edit out all the critical things. In a way, it would have been nice. On the other hand, there really wasn't anything positive about me in there. If the letters said NOTHING about me, I'd really think things had been edited because she'd had such a rotten opinion of me. That, or I was such a nonentity in her life that I wasn't worth mentioning. At least this way, there was no surprises and no imagination at work. I know my imagination would have had her saying much worse things about me. I do have a tendency to awfulize things.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

My sister and secrets

My younger sister, J, is terrible with secrets. Can not handle them. If there is something she doesn't know, it will drive her crazy. I am the same way, but not nearly as extreme. Presents are also considered secrets. She was terrible about snooping around for our Christmas presents when we were kids. She also peeked at presents, carefully unwrapping and rewrapping gifts. One year, my parents had all of her presents canned. Not only were they canned, but they added tools to the can so that it made an unusual CLUNK when shaken, and made the can heavier. I think she came within a hairsbreadth of going insane that year. We all still laugh about how it drove her crazy.

She has been with her boyfriend, M, for several years now, and we suspected he was thinking of proposing (there may have been a few threats made). The two had gone shopping for rings, just to look. He casually mentioned that he would probably want my mom's opinion as well.

Yesterday, I get a phone call from J.

"Where's mom?"

"Uh, I don't know. She didn't give me her schedule for the week."

"You promise you don't know? You're not lying to me and not telling me?"

At this point, I'm a little confused. It's not that unusual for her to call me if she can't get a hold of mom. Like I keep that close track of my parents, even though I live 45 miles away and am up to my eyeballs in my own family's goings on. But for her to accuse me of withholding is unusual. So I ask her to clarify. J and my mom have been going to work out every week day for a month or so now. An hour before their standing appointment, my mom called to verify they were going to meet. Ten minutes before their appointment, she suddenly calls and says she can't make it, something came up. When asked what, she said she couldn't tell. (Note to self: teach mother to lie) Of course, this becomes a secret, and J is instantly interested and going nuts. If my mom had come up with some last minute church meeting, J wouldn't have raised an eyebrow.

After talking for a bit, J and I wonder if my mom went with M to look at the rings she had picked out. She decides she must go drive past the store to see. Unfortunately, I have just enough crazy in me that I probably would've done the same thing. When she drove by, she didn't see them. She was disappointed. She decided to drive past my parents' house to see if his car was there. It wasn't. So, she decided to drive past the jewelry store again on the way home. This time, we see his car there (well, I'm only there vicariously, on the phone). We both squeal with delight, and then I get off the phone.

Well, apparently on J's first drive by, M was only a couple cars ahead of her on the road, so he saw her (one has to wonder if she would've seen his car if she hadn't been on the phone. Oops).

When he got home, he acted as cool as a cucumber. Asked her if she'd had a good workout with her mom. She said she hadn't because she'd had things to do, but wouldn't say what.

Eventually it came out that he'd seen her following him, and everyone had a good laugh. J has completely ransacked his things, but can't find the ring. So she is now going nuts. She doesn't know when he'll propose or how. I hope he can manage to surprise her that much. And I really hope he doesn't have that ring anywhere in their condo or his car because J *will* find it if it is. We're kind of thinking it may be in my parents' safe. My dad changes the combo on it regularly, and won't tell us kids the combo. He also won't tell Jill what's inside. It drives her crazy. Absolutely crazy. I didn't care til he refused to tell us the combo. Now I have to admit it intrigues me too. I'm sure it's just legal documents and his guns, but the fact that he won't confirm is annoying.

Monday, February 4, 2008


I've been holding a pity party for myself the last little while because of Z's lack of sleep, the tiny house we're in, and going door to door selling girl scout cookies with K. I know I really do have a lot, so here's a list of things I'm gratitude.

1- My husband

He really is a wonderful guy. He treats me and the kids well, no abuse. He earns a good living. He helps around the house (not as much as I'd like, but better than the average husband). He doesn't have any destructive, bad habits. While our relationship ebbs and flows, the lows have never been anywhere near as low as most other couples I know. Right now we're in a high spot, and it's been really amazing the emotional connection we have right now. He is very smart, and we have good conversations. He respects me as a person and considers me an equal. We are on the same page when it comes to finances, religion, parenting, etc. I just feel so lucky that we get along so well.

2- My children

Every day I look at them and am amazed they're mine. They're beautiful, smart and sweet. They're healthy. When I was pregnant with each of them, I obsessed over whether or not they'd be healthy. Each time I gave birth to a perfect baby, it felt like I'd won the lottery. I can't believe my luck, that I won four times.

3- My "stuff"

Yeah, I'm not rich. But I never have to worry about whether or not my car will die, where the next meal will come from, if the power or water will be shut off, or whether our house will be broken into. Yeah, our house and car aren't as nice as I'd ideally like, but they are good. Most of the world would kill to be in our financial position.

4- My health

yeah, I'm blind as a bat. But I have access to glasses and contacts. I'm chubbier than I want to be, but I don't have to worry about starving. I can always lose weight. I have terrible stretch marks on my belly. I guess I can always get plastic surgery. But, I am not on any medication. I have no health concerns. That is HUGE.

Saturday, February 2, 2008


My in laws were both raised back east. They met as teenagers. My father in law converted my mother in law to the LDS church, and they came out here to get married and attend BYU. They never left. They were typical starving college students, and my MIL primarily communicated with her parents by letter. She tried to tell them as much about her children as possible so her parents would feel connected with their grandchildren.

Unbeknownst to her, her mother, "Jet" (her name was Jeanette, but she went by Jet) was saving all of her letters. Two months before K was born, Jet died of cancer. She'd fought breast cancer on and off for years, so it wasn't totally unexpected, but it was still a very sad loss for all of us. I really loved Jet, and she was almost as excited about the arrival of K as I was. (as a side note, Z's middle name is Jett in honor of her. He was due on her birthday)

After she died, my MIL's father presented her with all of the letters she'd written home. It was truly a priceless gift, and she was so excited to get them. She spent quite a long time compiling them, putting them in order, and typing them into the computer. For Christmas a few years ago, she had them bound into books and gave a copy to each child.

I suspect I am the only one who has really read the book of letters, and I've read it a couple times. I have gotten such a kick out of hearing about my husband as a child. When he was a toddler, he'd want to sleep with his parents, and he'd sleep sideways, kicking MIL all night. That sure rang a bell!! I'll admit when I initially got the book, I was really hurt by some of the things MIL said about me. She wasn't that crazy about me in the beginning, and didn't truly warm up to me until K was born. She liked me ok, but didn't *really* like me, you know? Giving her a grandchild changed our relationship for the better, and I really love her now, and am sure the feeling is mutual. Part of me felt like she should have edited the later letters where she talks about her future children in law. I'm still not sure that wasn't something to consider. I really did get off easy though. If I thought she slammed me, it was nothing in comparison to the other spouses!

In general though, it is such a great book. I've been reading it again, and really, truly enjoyed it. She talks about fairly mundane stuff, but it's really fascinating to me. I think I am going to try and post more mundane details of my life because I think I'll find it really interesting 20 years from now. My children may too. Of course, they may be a little shocked at what a lax mother I was. Some of the decisions my MIL made would be the sort of thing I would "flame" someone for now. (spanking a barely two year old for potty accidents, not using sunscreen, giving a 6 week old baby applesauce, etc) But, what she did was the acceptable, right thing for the time. Besides, her children obviously turned out fine, so I probably ought to unclench a little.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Baby Clothes

Since we are done with having babies, I am trying to declutter. Baby clothes are a significant part of clutter in our home. I have already gotten rid of just about all of my maternity clothes, a stroller, and my "travel system" (that's a baby bucket carseat, two carseat bases, and a stroller). Most of what remains at this point is clothes.

Today I gave a friend 3 Costco Diaper boxes, a big tortilla chip box, and garbage bag full of baby girl clothes. I asked her ahead of time if she was interested in them, and she definitely was. Her kids are older, and she thought she was past her baby days. Her baby girl thought wrong! She was excited when I knocked on the door with the one diaper box. When I told her I had more, she was a little surprised. By the time I was finished unloading, her jaw had dropped. The worst part is, I'm pretty sure I haven't unearthed them all. I had such cute baby girl clothes. I have to admit it was a little sad for me to give them up. But, the idea of needing them again makes me break into a cold sweat. Yikes!

I figure this way, I can live vicariously through her, and see the cute clothes again on her baby. I have also decided that I can have one tote of clothes that I like so much that I simply couldn't give them up. There's probably some clothes I gave up today that would fall into that catagory, but it's better to actually have them be used.

Science Fair

Today was the school's science fair. All students in 4th through the 6th grades participated. There was a lot of duplication in project ideas. A ton of stuff on soda cleaning coins, various liquids to water plants with, soda and candy (think diet coke and mentos), nail polish or nail polish remover, which microwave popcorn has the most old maids, etc. Note to self, steer K away from all of these projects.

K's project was to see what was most effective in killing germs on hands: rinsing with warm water, washing with antibacterial soap for 10 seconds, washing with antibacterial soap for 30 seconds, and simply using hand sanitizer. I expected the 30 second wash and the hand sanitizer to be neck in neck. Hand sanitizer won, hands down (no pun intended). I was really shocked and appalled at how little difference washing hands for 10 seconds did. I thought it was a very well put together project, and I was very impressed with K's work. I was even more impressed after going to the fair and seeing all of the other kids' work.

M was looking at her project and pointed out that her samples weren't controlled since we used different people for each sample. He felt like that invalidated the experiment because we had no way of knowing how dirty each person's hands were before the experiment began. I felt like that was such a brilliant observation for an almost 8 year old to make!

I was a little irritated that they didn't have enough table space for all of the projects. What didn't fit on the tables was just kind of crammed onto the risers to the stage. K's was one of those. It made me feel like her project wasn't as highly valued, even though I really felt it was one of the nicer looking projects out there.