Welcome to my little ol' blog. I'll be upfront about it: I don't blog very often any more. If you found your way here because you read my book "Trailer Life," have a gander! But it's easier to keep up with me on Instagram or on my Facebook page. I have this long, drawn out theory on why I'm a terrible blogger, but that is a story for another day. Enjoy the ramblings of my life from the last 8 years or so.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Pressure

Tomorrow is school picture day. That means Kacy has to look nice. And her frizzy hair has to look nice. And I have to spend like 40 bucks so that everyone gets a copy of her portrait- and she'll probably be frowning at the camera because she can't pose with her hands by her face, and her hair will look awful because they'll give her that little black comb. That little black comb that she will LOVE and she'll try to make her hair "smooth" (Curly hair doesn't get smooth when you comb it. It gets nasty. Personal experience talking...). And you know what? I bet she starts to take her hair down and COMB IT and it'll be worth spending the money on a frowny, non-posing, frizzied hair girl- for her posterity, and for my sick sense of humor.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fall Fashion 2008

This Fall we will see onesies with socks too big pulled up over chubby thighs (hers, not mine...). Beanies with hoodies will be all the rage in the "almost 7 months old who live in a trailer" group.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Don't bother me, I'm reading...

While waiting for Kacy's bus this afternoon, I looked in my rearview mirror and saw Ed concentrating on this book. He was so intent upon his studies that he didn't even notice me turning around and taking his picture. I see the light at the end of the tunnel with his behavior, and I want to dance a jig of joy. But I'll wait until he's potty trained before the jig comes. He comes back now about 90% of the time when I tell him to. So nice! And his first instinct is to no longer RUN when his feet hit the asphalt of a parking lot. Sweet relief! He is still a two year old, and with that comes some fabulous tantrums, but those I can deal with. In fact, I find his tantrums highly amusing. Seriously- he threw a fit yesterday morning when I asked him if he wanted a donut or pizza for breakfast (it was a long weekend for us...). He said "Donut", so I give him a donut. "No donut, mommy! I want pizza." I take the donut and put pizza on his plate. "No pizza mom! Donuts!" This went on for a full ten minutes. I didn't participate after the second set of switching- I had clothes to iron. I can hear him going back and forth, yelling at me (I'm outside ironing...) when I come back in, he is happy with both a donut and pizza. Kacy and Will solved his problem. He is so funny- his speech is blossoming faster than I've ever seen in a kid. So fast- but that's him. His favorite songs are "Bullet Train" by Choo Choo Soul, and "Seven" by They Might Be Giants. He loves to sing. I recently saw him eat a non-food item, say "Yucky" and then spit it in the trash can, not on the floor. I love to hear him say "Look mommy! It's an excavator!" I also find it humorous when I tell him to do something like "Ed, get your shoes." and he'll say "No thank-you mommy." or, "Ed, stop picking your nose." "No thank-you."
I just had to tell Will to stop licking the mirror. Kids are so weird! Seriously, if I'm not close to pulling out my hair, I have tears flowing from my eyes because I'm laughing so hard. Life is funnier with kids. And you know, I am rarely away from my kids. Hardly ever. I was away from them most of the day Saturday while I went to the temple in LA. They stayed with cousin Caley and my Aunt Kristin (and my cousin April popped on over too...) and knowing that they were safe and happy made me able to relax, and I was SO happy to see them. They didn't want to leave, so the feeling wasn't mutual, but I'm confident enough not to take it personally! I really do love all my kids, even when they can sometimes frustrate me. But I think that's normal, and as they grow up, so do I.
And can you believe it---I was in charge of sharing time in Primary on Sunday, which means that when the kids are together I had to teach a lesson to them all. The main idea was that God hears our prayers no matter what language we speak and that he knows all of our names, and that we have many things to be thankful for. I used a song from the children's songbook, and I sang it a capella in front of the other leaders, teachers, and kids. This is a huge thing for me, because I am not a singer. I remember when Ryan and I were first married I was the Primary chorister, and I was in there with two other girls who could really sing. And the pianist taught choir in the schools. Everyone could sing but me. It took me a good two years to get over myself and realize that the kids don't care how you sing. They just want you to. We sing all the time in our family, and the louder and more off key I am, the harder the kids laugh. Want to see Ed laugh so hard he snorts and blows snot bubbles out of his nose? I'll sing "John Jacob Jingle Heimer Scmidt" to him the next time I'm around.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Delusions of Granduer

I was thinking that my crackdown on Ed's misbehavior was working well, and fast! He has been perfect today. A small spat with Will in the morning, but otherwise a dream. A breakthrough! A turning point! And then I noticed he seems to have a mild fever. Oh well, a girl can dream... Actually, I have gotten my parenting mojo back by following our ask, tell, make thing- because I feel more calm about life. Instead of getting frustrated and impatient, I get to give myself a chance to stay calm. At the end of the day it could be a different story, but I am far, far from where I want to be. But, I am encouraged, because I am making progress.

Kacy is learning to read. I bought some phonics readers to help her learn how to blend- nothing fancy and no pressure. We read them when she wants to, so it's fun for her. Will wants to join her. She was up on my bed (a special privilege) reading, and Will asked if he could get up there too. I said "Nope, it's only for readers who sit still and read a book." He replied "I can read!" I told him that he has to know his ABC's, so he sang me the ABC song. "See, Mom?" So I said he had to know what the letters say.
"What does B say?" He says "Buh, buh."
"Okay, what does M say?" "Mmmmm."
"Wow, Will, what does T say?" "Tee, Tee, tuh tuh."
"Okay, buddy, you can get up on the bed, but you have to read."
He then gets book one, and proceeds to try and read. He did a lot better job than I thought he would. He looks at the pictures for clues, Kacy doesn't do that much.

Kacy had a water safety class at school today with some Jr. High kids. She hated it- our family friend Jimi H. was her buddy, which she liked, but she told me Jimi tried to drown her. I know Jimi, and I know that this girl did not try to drown her. Kacy said she took her in the 13 foot deep water and let her go. She doesn't want to go back tomorrow, but she is. I insist. They are teaching the kids how to tread water and float. I'm glad I wasn't there, because Kacy would have done her best not to have to do it. Right now she is laying in my bed saying "I really don't ever-never want to go into the pool again. Not until I'm 15."

On the creative front (what's that?) my SIL Jocelyn told me about Threadbangers, a cool site with video tutorials about sewing clothes. Some of it is too funky for me, but all in all, it's a decent site. The only show I watch on TV (besides Noggin) is Project Runway. I love it. And I know I'm no designer, and never will be, but I love the thought of sewing your own clothes, having them be the right colors you love, the exact right length, and the style you want. I want to sew, but I am booked with other commitments. Apparently I'm all responsible and stuff, because I am busy getting my church stuff ready for Sunday and doing my homework for my Lit. class. I'm really busy tomorrow and Saturday. I'm so excited to be able to go to the temple on Saturday. I am taking the kids and my cousin Caley as a babysitter. They get to have a picnic and play in the beautiful LA weather.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Flannel Board Fun

Here is a simple way to keep your kids entertained while learning shapes, colors, and practicing spatial reasoning. They get to be artistic without the mess of glue and the scariness of scissors. I bought a picture frame, took out the glass and glued flannel to the cardboard part of the frame. Wash the flannel first, using no fabric softener, and only glue the edges around the back (the part that wraps around.) If you glue the front, then the flannel will lose it's ability to keep static. I bought some of those cheap squares of felt and just started cutting shapes. I put a little thought into it and made something that could be used as a lake or ocean in blue, some green triangle for trees, light brown for skin tones- but mostly I just cut random shapes. I highly recommend that you DON'T let your kids carry the board around. Nail it to the wall- or better yet- get those 3M Command picture hangers and put it on the wall. That was my next step, but someone stepped on the board and it broke. I keep the small pieces in a zip-baggie and know that the pieces will be spread all over. The kids like it- and I need to make a new board this week. I was thinking that a mini version of this might be nice for church because there would be no noise. I think felt will stick to the back of the fabric cover pews as well. Ours are wood.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ask, Tell, Make (Me being "mean")

Ask, tell, make is a parenting strategy that Ryan and I have used since Kacy was very little. It goes like this: Ask your kid to do something, tell them to do it, and then if they still haven't done it, make them do it. An example: "Kacy, please go get your shoes so we can put them on." She doesn't do it, so the next step is to get closer to her, make sure she looks at you, and you say something like "Kacy, get your shoes." If she doesn't do it then, you go over to her, take her hand, put her hand on her shoes, and then walk her over to where you were with her shoes. This works so good when the kid is walking and starting to understand you. When they get a little older, the "make" part might come with a punishment like time-out or whatever. Or one of my favorites- a natural consequence. But those only really work when children get a bit older and start to understand logic- true logic is generally developed around ages 7- 8, but even a four year old can understand that if you don't eat dinner, you will be hungry later on (a natural consequence of not eating=hunger). I used the ask, tell, make method with Kacy and Will, and they are pretty well behaved. I've gotten out of the habit with Ed. I've done a lot of asking and telling (and of course, yelling!) but not much follow up, and it is starting to show. New baby? Crazy pregnancy with Jessie? Possible reasons for getting lazy. Now starts my two weeks of following through (what I call being "mean"- because mean mommy makes me do things I don't wanna do!). It's going to require a lot of me getting off my seat to "make" Ed do whatever I'm asking him to do. Getting him off the top bunk myself, instead of just saying to myself "Oh well, I'll just ignore him." "He's full of energy today" "I hope he doesn't get hurt"...Or, me chasing after him even a short distance and holding his hand while walking him to the car and putting him in his seat (he likes to run far away!) I like the ask, tell, make strategy because it gives me a plan- one that lets me know that I don't have to yell, which is something I do too much of. But, it is hard work with so many kids- you really have to mean what you say, and make sure it is something worth following up with. Kacy and Will both hate being treated like puppets- like with the shoe example, taking their hands, grabbing the shoes, and walking them back to where you were- they hated it. It's non-violent, emotionally nuetral, and they had to do what you asked them to do in the first place. They quickly learn that they have to do it anyway, so they just start to do things the first or second time. Both Kacy (5) and Will (4) do things fairly quickly after we ask/tell them. I always tell people that you need to picture your what you want your kids to be like in 5 and 10 years, and do things now to get them there. Happy? Kind? Obedient? Creative? Faithful? Mean? Unruly? Disrespectful? Drug addicted? Whatever it is, go for it. And if the ask, tell, make can help me make my kids respectful and safe and obedient (and maybe clean!) and keep me from losing my temper or yelling, then I'm going to use it.

Friday, September 12, 2008

What's going on right now

Sometimes nothing exciting or cute is going on, and I'm grateful. But here is what we are up to.

Ryan- waiting for an inspection on the house. After this next inspection, (Sometime next week) he will be able to put the floor sheeting on. (I think it's actually "sheathing" but it sounds like sheeting.) But since this is our "let's live in a trailer and build our dream house" house, we are doing things a little above and beyond. So before the floor sheeting goes on, he is going to put in "sleepers" and then fill the floor joist cavities with cellulose insulation. That's to keep the house better insulated. Every little thing to help keep the cost of being comfortable low.
Me- too, too much, and it's all my own fault. Mostly. I am taking one English class, and I'm hating it. I'd rather be doing at least five other things I can think of. It's good for me, because it is teaching me how to analyze literature, but I hate it. Apparently I'm good in English ONLY if it is writing research papers or editing papers for grammar and sentence structure. I'm horrible with lit. I am going to work in Kacy's classroom for an hour a week, and I'm excited. I have my church responsibilities- I'm the first counselor in Primary. That can be both fun and exasperating. I'm not going to complain too much, but honestly, what were they thinking asking three of us, all with new babies and other kids, to be in charge of Primary? Then of course there is laundry, cooking, sweeping, and my wonderful children. I decided I am going to just be really mean (strict) with Ed, even if it kills me, for two weeks. Ryan said "Why two weeks?" Well- by the end of two weeks he will either be improving or he'll be the same (or worse) and I can't keep it up that long. So if he's better, I can be nicer again. If not, it'll just be one of those wait and pray things. An "It's just a phase" things.
Kacy- loves school. I'm so happy she is enjoying herself. She has been eating lunch at school, and although I'm sure it's more expensive for school lunches, I like the idea that she is trying new foods. The fastest way to learn to eat different foods is to have no other choices when you are starving.
Will- is working on his fine motor skills. He has a homework book and we work in it for 10-15 minutes a day, tracing lines and doing mazes. He LOVES being with Ryan. He touches everything. It's like a natural instinct- he reaches out and touches.
Ed- One smart cookie who has been getting away with too much because of that dimple and grin. No more. See above.
Jessie- getting another tooth I think, and has a bit of a runny nose. She can walk in her walker. It's really more of a pushing motion with both her feet at the same time, but she can move that thing all over her small little area to get by the person she wants. She loves toys, too.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Emma Marie

(Thanks Kendra for letting me steal your picture as I forgot my camera...)
My youngest sister Karen had her baby last night- at 9:54pm, Emma Marie was born. She weighed 8 pounds, 2 ounces, and was 21 inches long. She has dark hair. (Jealous that she has hair...) Karen went into the hospital at 10:30ish on Monday night, and after a day of very slow progression she finally had a c-section last night. Yuck. Oh well, if this was the olden days, something horrible would have happened to one or the other of them. Grateful for modern medicine... Emma is so cute- we didn't hold her though because Karen was trying to feed her, and honestly, my kids are a bit germy, and a new baby and school germs isn't cool. And I have Jessie. I put her down for a second, she looked at Jason, and freaked out. She's getting a tad clingy. She also got a tooth last Sunday.

Besides our quick trip to the hospital to see Karen and Emma, we went to White Cap to get anchor couplers and they have popcorn and soda for free. The kids were so happy about that. Then we went to Sport Chalet and bought me some heavier weights. After that we went to Borders to get a couple of books. They have the best bargain book section.

Monday, September 8, 2008


Kacy, Jessie, and Ed... ah Ed! He's almost for sale. Almost. You know when you hear someone say, "Oh, they are just rambunctious." or "He's full of energy." or "They need to discipline that kid!"... oh I have one of those. He ran out of the gate at my grandma's house and my nine months pregnant sister Karen chased him down the street because he wouldn't come back. He kept throwing balls all over the house- they would be taken away, he would get a talk, but he kept finding more. And repeating. He kept eating food of off plates and platters, but only some of the food. He ate four hotdogs, but really only two because of the pieces left of the four. And then there was church...He escaped from under the bench at church in two seconds. Oh ya- and I had a LOVELY time cleaning up a horrendous diaper of his when we got to church- let's just say the boy was naked in the bathroom with me wishing I had a bathtub. And he got kicked out of nursery for being too wild and not listening. I was asked if I ever had Will tested for ADHD. It was not a good time. Today? Today it was just me and the two youngest, and it was weird. Nice, but weird. But he got into the mayonnaise and was rubbing it all over his hands. He ate the tip of another crayon. Some might think this is a minor, laughable cute little trait, but when the boy eats and breaks and writes on the couch with crayons that his older sister and brother need for their work... it just isn't funny. It's not like Rite Aid is around the corner- it a half hour away! He kept taking Kacy's stuff and throwing it and saying "No! Kacy! Hee hee hee!" I gave him crackers for a snack, and he said "No thank-you mommy!" in a very mean, forceful voice, and then threw them on the ground. He then dragged his chair into the kitchen, climbed up, and then got himself some crackers out of the same package. After that? He put one on the floor and then stomped on it. Not funny, not cute, and not acceptable to me. He does have his redeeming qualities, and he can be really fun and funny. But 60% of the time I like to refer to him as the Spawn of Satan. He does naughty things, and smiles and laughs the whole time. With that dimple! The nerve. What am I going to do with this kid? Pray. Pray that I don't sell him... and that he hurryies himself out of this horrible phase. He is a handful and a half. Which is why Jessie is so good. I deserve her after Ed. Really.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Jessie is six months old

Jessie turned six months old on Tuesday the second. At the Doctor on Wednesday, she weighed 18 pounds, 6 ounces, and was 27 inches long. She is our smallest baby- all the others weighed 20+ pounds at their six month appointment. Some of the things she likes are: oatmeal mixed with any fruit, her bottle, smiling, kicking herself out of her bouncy seat, her family, sleeping with a blanket over her head, and just about everything else. Things she doesn't like: nothing that I can think of, except her shots. At the Dr. she got an oral vaccination and two shots. The nurse was laughing at her because she wouldn't swallow the vaccination. She kept trying to spit it out, and she was getting mad. At the end of that the nurse stuck her with the needles and Jessie screamed at her. She stopped as soon as the nurse was done, so the drama was minimal, but the pain was real. She is such a super-duper good baby, I feel very lucky and do not take that for granted. I wish everyone could have a baby like Jessie, but not their first one because then when you get a baby with more than two emotions (Jessie's are happy and hungry) it might be harder to handle.

Monday, September 1, 2008

This Kid

Ward (church) swim party? check
8 pieces of watermelon, 1/2 pound of grapes, and some chips? check
3 adults forcing him into a life preserving swim suit? check
15 minutes of him screaming "Get me out mommy! Get it off!" check
One rescue from the deep end with him hanging onto the edge yelling "Help! Help!" check
One rescue from the spa when he lost his footing and went under? check
After said rescue, asked "Are you having fun swimming? Do you want to get back in?" Him saying "Ya!" and jumping back in? check
15 minutes with another mommy (Thanks Marcie) in the pool saying "No! Noooo!"? check
A somewhat stressed time for me? Of course.

'Tis the Season

Tis the season:
-to clean out all the kids summer clothes that don't fit them anymore. They grow like weeds!

-to go through all MY clothes that I don't wear, or shouldn't wear because they don't fit properly. If I keep a nasty, stained pair of saggy bottom pants in my clothes pile, I WILL WEAR THEM even though they are hideous. Even though I have other options. So OUT they must go.

-to look forward to nice weather- only 88 today? Yea!!!!!

-to think about Christmas gifts. I know, I know- it's only September first. But if this month goes by the way last month went, it'll be here fast. I'm not a good scrambler for gifts...