Friday, June 29, 2007

The Nursery Rhyme I Identify With Most

Sometimes I feel like my head is going to explode and my legs are going to run out the door.

I am totally, completely, kidded out.

I have children who wake before me, don't take naps, and are down for the night when I am. I watch neighbor kids, entertain neighbor kids, feed neighbor kids. When the friends leave I break up fights and pry children away from electronic media, resulting in "Mo-ommmmmmmmmm! I'm bored!" I rescue 2-year-olds from the trash can, Windex bottles, the toilet, and many other things, all day long. Did you catch that? All day long.

I love my family (and the neighbor kids) but I'm at my breaking point today.


In other news, we went to library story time this morning after M's sewing lesson. The boys were good, especially during the songs. They really enjoy singing. During the book-reading segment they were a bit wandery but never left the story room or bothered others. After the books were read they did a little paper panda bear craft, which they loved. They got to glue and use a marker--I'd say it was the highlight of that outing.

Harrison is in a "real" bed now, and (I'm happy to say) goes to bed much better than he used to. The only drawback is that he pops out of bed the second he wakes up--which is why he is up before me in the morning and only takes a mini-nap in the afternoon. He also wakes up Cameron. Cam is grumpy a lot.

I hung a curtain rod (2) and a few pictures yesterday. Also hung my "In the Spirit" picture that was recently framed. (I love it so much I make excuses to walk past it at least 20 times a day.) I am at a plateau when it comes to unpacking.

Picture hanging in the entry hall alcove.

Our little TV (pictured in the big alcove in the Fam. Rm. in a previous post) broke when someone (to remain nameless) took the Game Cube wires out of the back. It fell off its stand and the plastic casing shattered. Remarkably, the TV screen is fine and the dang thing still works. I was surprised. It was bought in 1995, a wedding present from my parents. I don't know if it's safe to keep it around though--you can see the wires and components inside. What do you think? Is electrocution imminent? I'll take a picture so you can see the damage. It kinda looks like someone bashed it with a baseball bat but missed the screen. Quite attractive.


Damage, top of TV.

Damage to the front.

Well, a napper is up (already!!!!!) so I'd better supervise or, as previous experience tells me, I'll regret it later.
Here are some other pictures, just because.

An entry for the Naughty File. Cameron crushed my hard-boiled eggs in the garage refrigerator. Notice the drink pouch box is empty also.

Cameron, Harrison, and Mary Rachel play Connect Four. What, you didn't know it was a 3-person game? They played very well together.

My little lion before I braided her hair.

Mary Rachel built a marble run that she was really proud of.

Monday, June 25, 2007

New Book

I forgot to mention that our book club chose "Cry, the Beloved Country" by Alan Paton. I am really excited to read it. (Unfortunately I ordered a copy from a seller at and guess what . . . he/she returned my money because the book was misplaced in the inventory!) I have time to try again.

We discussed "Culture Warrior" by Bill O'Reilly at our last meeting. You didn't see that in my "books we're reading" section because I never bought it and I didn't read it. Yes, on principle that I don't like polemic rhetoric, but also because I waited too long to pick up a copy. The discussion was lively and the evening very enjoyable, probably because I didn't read the book. j/k

Sunday, June 24, 2007

We gave talks today

Bryce and I gave talks in sacrament meeting today, kind of a last hurrah before attending the new ward in (?) weeks. The topic was keeping the Sabbath day holy. Remember when I told you about our FHE re: the sacrament, and how we only take one piece of bread? Cameron repeated that to me many, many times during the week: "Just one! Just one piece of bread for the sacrament!" I guess he's just good at repeating what he's heard and no so keen to actually change his ways. Today I think he may have gotten a record 4 pieces of bread before the tray left our row.

Anyway, I sat with the children, of course, until it was my turn to speak. I am of the philosophy that less is more when it comes to public speaking, so I keep my remarks on the short side. I think, no matter how awesome your material is, or your delivery is, people tune you out after 15 minutes. You have to pick and choose the most important things to say. This is almost always a good thing, because for every person like me (and Bryce) you have 10 others who seem to lose all concept of time when in front of a microphone. Today was no exception.

Went to the marriage and family relations SS class, which is awesome, and then to RS where we discussed the parable of the pickle (!!!). Oh, how I need an attitude adjustment.

Well, I'm off to do some LTSP (long-term strategic planning) with Bryce. Can you believe that Tyce's birthday is in a week-and-a-half? He seems pretty excited to finally be 11 like all of his classmates.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

How I Earned $40

Bryce and I traded places today. He: At home with the kids. Me: At the federal courthouse by 7:30 a.m.

You may call me Potential Juror #137. (PJ for short.)

It is a local high-profile case that will last at least 10 business days. So you can imagine that I was not keen to be chosen, due to the length of required service. However, I wasn't even given the opportunity to use my awesome excuses (child care issues, dh in the building), and I was a little miffed. I mean, I at least wanted a turn at the mike to politely wriggle out of service, get out the door and onto some free time (possible activities: temple session, hair salon, shopping. Preferrably all three). But only 34 people were chosen to be interrogated. As it turned out, I just sat and watched and listened to the other PJs answering questions. For. A. Very. Long. Time.

The good thing was having a lunch break with Betsy and Judge Dawson (not the judge on the case) while the rest of the common folk scavenged for lunch at various local restaurants. I just buzzed myself through the security doors of the judge's chambers with Bryce's ID. (Is it wrong to admit that I liked barging in like I knew what I was doing?) I had a very enjoyable chat with Bryce's co-workers over Quizno's subs and Doritos. Betsy (my cousin-in-law!) is such a cool person. Did you know this was the first time we'd met?
The reject jurors were dismissed around 3:00 p.m. Seriously, I started to fall asleep during the pre-emptory challenge section. Not even my book (read surreptiously, of course) could keep me from nodding off. Luckily it was just the eyes closed, slight head-bobbing sort of snooze and not the snorting, falling-into-your-neighbor's-lap kind. I don't think the grizzly, tattooed gentlemen next to me would've appreciated that.

Though I wasn't chosen this time, I still say hooray for the wheels of justice.

Monday, June 18, 2007

A Day for the Dad

Our kids are lucky to have Bryce for a father. We had a nice and quiet Sunday without a lot of hoopla--just lots of hugs.

Bryce chose the dinner menu: french fries, milk shakes, and fresh fruit. The kids declared it the best meal ever. B. got a record player he'd been wanting. The best gifts were the ones made by the children (Tyce--a heart-felt letter; Mary Rachel--a cute pencil holder). Cameron and Harrison got something at nursery to give their daddy, but once I tell you what it is you'll know why it didn't work out: CANDY BARS. Who knows of a 2-year-old who will relinquish a 100 Grand, even if it is for a worthy cause?

Later we played "Sorry" and took a walk to the neighborhood park.

Fry gang.

Tyce presents his letter.

Mary Rachel and her very clever card.

I am so fortunate to have a great dad, Jim Cook, who is a wonderful person, father, and friend!

Friday, June 15, 2007

A Letter to Me

Out on the Town

On Wednesday night Bryce and I joined Betsie and Andy at the MGM to see the Cirque du Soleil show called Ka. This was my first CDS performance and it was awesome. The presentation was visually stunning--absolutely masterful. Apparently Ka has more of a story line than the other shows (a backdrop for the amazing acrobatics). Betsie and Andy have seen other shows, including Mystere and O (which they saw tonight). I'd like to see those too. If/when you plan a trip out here, we'll have to go . . . what say you?

A poster for the show.

A guard named "Chameleon." I asked him to take a picture of us. He took a picture of himself.

Hey, maybe I could be a guard myself.

Purely Pictures

Since you've suffered through a long string of text-only posts lately, I've decided to reward you with photos.
At the water park, where the feminine boy followed me around. (I don't have a picture of him though.) I think Harrison looks particularly handsome in this one.
Cameron shows me how wet he is.
The boys trying to stop the water from shooting up.

Check out Cameron's face!

"Okay, you can stop it with all the pictures."

Cam is a bit unsure about this swing.

Beloved Speedy gets some face time with his biggest little fans.

Harrison looks proud that the gerbil likes him.

Our new house! That's Bryce's car in the driveway but a neighbor's car at the curb. The next door neighbors have 3 boys around Tyce's age (middle school and late elementary) who like to skateboard.

The family room, painted, with My Little Ponies placed artfully on the carpet. We will replace the tiny TV with something larger when the old house sells. The whole house is painted in this neutral color. The alcoves here are a green color called "Sag Harbor".

Cousin Kess Price with Tyce and Mary!

Ice cream from Sonic, courtesy of Bryce. Do you like the kitchen color? It's called Paprika.

Bryce goofing around.

It's hard to find where everything goes in the new house.

Baby cousin Kira reading a book.

After a long day, Kira drops off to sleep.

Monday, June 11, 2007

We're In

This is just a quick note to say that we made it into the new house on Saturday. I must say, I love it even better than before, when it was white-walled and perfect. Now it has a few dings from the EQ movers but it is painted in the colors I like and it has our "stuff" in it. There are a few hitches (no hot water in the MB shower, no telephone service [temporary] because the wire is "too short", A/C problem in the casita) but overall I am just so happy.

All kids are doing well with the move, I think. Unfortunately, my brilly idea to keep the twins in their cribs didn't turn out so well. I thought they needed time to transition to big boy beds, which I still think sounds good, don't you? I didn't want too many changes at once. Well, the night we moved in was the night Cameron decided to climb out of his crib . . . over and over.
Yesterday I found them out of bed during nap time I swatted them both and put them back into their cribs. I went into Mary's room next door to put something away when I heard Cameron say, "You ready to get out again, Harrison? You okay now? Let's go."
And during nap time I've caught them both under Harrison's crib, like two mini-mechanics working under a car. You know what they're doing? Taking out the springs that hold his crib up. Harrison's mattress is now sagging in the middle and I have no doubt that the goal is to completely remove it from the frame all together.

The only way I can keep them in is to lay on the floor between their beds. I say, "If you want me to sing a song, you have to put your head on the pillow." This has worked quite well so far. When I get tired of singing I say, "If you want me to say something nice about you, put your head on the pillow." Tonight I said, "I like Cameron's fire truck shirt. I like Harrison's car shorts." They were very pleased. I had to say something nice (for real) about every one in the family by the time they went to sleep, like "Cameron is a good helper when it comes to cleaning up toys", and "Harrison is good at putting his plate in the sink after he's finished."

Tyce is babysitting a gerbil for his friend Dalton. His name is "Speedy." Tyce has to lock his door to keep the little ones from loving on Speedy (and letting him escape). Today Cameron snuck into his bedroom and let the gerbil out. Mary caught Speedy when he tried to crawl under the door. She said, "I grabbed him by the tail because I didn't want him to bite me. Man, I feel like a hero!"

Tonight for Family Home Evening we had a lesson on the sacrament. This was mostly for Cameron, who on Sunday snagged 3 pieces of bread as the tray passed.

My f-i-l (aka "Grandpa Al") is here helping us fix up the old house to sell, and boy, are we lucky to have him here. That place is falling apart. I guess 10 years is about the limit for a tract home before it needs some hefty renovations. (Kitchen sink faucet falling off, leaky hoses, busted bathtub drains . . . stuff like that.) We enjoyed playing Ring Around the Rosy with Grandpa Al at Family Home Evening!

Also, Bryce's sister Betsie (not to be confused with his co-worker by the same name, [different spelling]) is in town with her family. They run a group home for girls and I'm sure they're glad for a break. We're so happy to get to spend time with Betsie, Andy, and their two daughters: Kess (4) and Kira (10 mo.) They are here on vacation and Wednesday we (the grown ups) are going to a Cirque du Soleil show called "Ka." You know, living here I never do that kind of thing so it's a good thing to have a reason to be lured out of suburbia and into the city.

Oh, guess what. I found the camera. Don't ask me where, because then I'll be embarrassed. Okay fine, it was in the car. Now you know how cluttered the passenger seat must be if it could effectively hide a camera.
I will take some pictures and have something of visual interest for you on the next post.
P.S. My mom got out of the hospital today and she is doing just fine. After a week of boredom maybe she'll be ready for the insanity of her work life again.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

I found this list

Cleaning out the desk I found this list of baby names I wrote. Since I don't see us adding to the family again I don't think I'll need it. But what a shame to let all this work go to waste. So I am posting my long list of contenders for our next pet. j/k If anyone wants to use anything on the list, feel free, as long as you don't mind your next child sharing a name with our future dog. (Just kidding, I'm sure the dog will be named "Spot" or something creative in that line.)


Langston (I love this one)



Wednesday, June 6, 2007

It's coming down to the wire

I might not post for a while. The computer will go down in a in the next couple of days and I don't know when it'll be hooked back up. I will leave you with my highlights list for the week:

Best season finale: LOST, though it raises more questions than it answered. Charlie, I will miss you. Locke, I love you but you scare me. More Sayid, please.

Best kid accomplishment: Tyce's team's miraculous win in the single-elimination tournament. Remember, his team was like 2-20 this season, and one of those games was "won" because the other team refused to play in the wind. Bryce said that Tyce personally had a great game. Tyce's Mt. Charleston field trip is today (Wed.), the same day as the next play off game. He is really disappointed at not playing but he reports via telephone that he's having a great time with his classmates on his field trip.

Craziest day: Today. The kids (twins) were wild animals. While Bryce was in the garage with them, Harrison got a huge red Marks-A-Lot and scribbled all over the inside window of the mini-van. And Bryce was RIGHT THERE!!! Luckily it came off with quick action and vigorous scrubbing. Harrison also drank part of a bottle of children's liquid allergy medication, threw a large cup of water, crushed raw eggs while standing at the refrigerator, and refused to take a nap.

Biggest help: Dessa and Amanda coming over to watch the boys while Bryce and I packed. Hooray for Young Women. All of the above incidents happened before and after the girls came over.

Hardest room to pack: Master bedroom, because of the closet. It has been a catch-all for a long time.

Whiniest family member: Mary Rachel, complaining about her homework.

Scariest phone call: Finding out my mom is in the hospital with cellulitis and strep or staph. I think she is going to be fine but they are keeping her in for a whole week. She entered the hospital on Monday--if you know my mom, please keep her in your prayers.

Happiest moment: Talking and working with Bryce. He took the day off.

That's about all for now. Talk to you soon (but perhaps in a few days).

Monday, June 4, 2007

This past weekend

I had an awesome Saturday with my dad. I was so glad he was able to fly out to come to our cousin Una's funeral in North Las Vegas. Una and my dad's mom were neice and aunt, but only 5 years apart in age. They were more like sisters or best friends. My dad knew Una quite well. I only got to know Una since I moved to the Las Vegas area a few years ago, but boy, what an awesome lady she was! Blind in her later years, widowed twice, childless--but not alone. She tirelessly served others, and in turn was served by many. She died at age 97.

A close friend and Bishopric member put it like this in the program:

Perie Una Noble, a lady of true pioneer spirit. Compassionate to those in need. Quiet about her extensive service. Vocal in defending gospel truths and her faith. Patriotic to her country. Committed to missionary work, temple work, and genealogy. Quick to laugh at a good joke or tell a good story. Religious in her care of her body and spirit. Adventurous, well-read and wise . . . She was simple, but don't confuse that with easy. No compromise on principle. Her life is her memorial and we must be her legacy. To a handmaid of the Lord.

The chapel was packed to celebrate the remarkable and valiant life of this wonderful person.

My dad was (and is still) the first and only person to have spent the night in the new house. That's quite a penthouse suite we provided for his visit, wouldn't you say?

I think the kids sufficiently showed off for Grandpa without being too obnoxious. The little boys sang songs like, "Happy Birthday to You" and "The Wheels on the Bus" for him. Cameron had a hard time saying "grand-PA" instead of "grand-MA". In fact, he must have channeled Bryce's mom, "Grandma Judy," because Cameron kept asking us, "Is that Grandma Cutie?" I hope someday someone calls *me* Grandma Cutie!

Thanks for coming out, Dad! It was great to get to see you! Tyce and Mary really enjoyed all the attention you paid them.

We're still on target to move on June 9th. I think the painting might be the only thing that gets done before the move but we will deal.

Oh, I bought Harrison and Cameron their very own "Hoo Hoos" today at the store. They were 88 cents and the boys are feeling like hot stuff.

Okay, I'm off the pack some more. If you find my camera, let me know.

I hope this picture from last month will tide you over until I can post new pictures. Cameron and Harrison are digging for buried treasure. (Betsy, this is for you).


(Also, to enter the naughty file: Harrison shook out the entire cinnamon bottle onto the couch and family room tile this morning. At lunch he dumped a tortilla chip bag onto the floor. Earlier in the month he'd emptied the baby powder onto my bed, dresser, and carpet. Oh, he also shook a full jar of grape jelly onto the kitchen floor. I think he's trying to tell me something. If it's not "Look at me!" then I don't know what it is. Second choice is that it's a cry for help for me to provide more art supplies.)


Open letter to the mother of the very feminine boy I met at the park last week:

Dear Fellow Mom,

Remember last week when our boys played together at the water park? My twins were swinging on the swings when your 4-year-old came up to me and asked if I liked his towel. I said yes, of course. I liked the tropical motif I could see around the edge. When he unfurled his towel in all its glory and pointed to Ariel, the Little Mermaid (his favorite Disney princess), I was amused.

You saw me take a few pictures of my kids, right? I followed them around the park, and your little boy followed me. I learned that his favorite color was pink, he liked to play with Barbies at daycare, and his other favorite princesses include Belle, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella. Your little guy likes to talk! In case you didn't know, he really, really wants the Little Mermaid baby doll he saw with you at K Mart recently.

Now, what it comes down to is this . . . have you seen my camera? I think I had it around my neck the whole time I was at the park, but my husband seems to think I leave my bag around a bit too often. I'm not implying that you took it. (But he is.) If you've seen it, please leave it by the slides next time you're at the park. Maybe we can meet and your son can tell me more about the fashion show he has planned for his Disney babies.