Thursday, March 29, 2007
When I threw my diet out the window, it must have landed in thick foliage, because I haven't been able to find it since.
Don't get me wrong...I get stuff done daily. Lots of it, in fact. I'm just no good at following a schedule or any sort of regimented anything (like counting calories). So, where diet is concerned, it's hard for me to stick with it. Especially when I'm overwhelmed. And I am. And the diet is down the drain. Among other things.
The way that Joel and I have been living the past 7 months is sheer craziness. Him with three jobs, me with a ton of lessons and getting the kids where they need to go, keeping them fed and in clean clothes and having the house ship shape. And we hardly ever see each other. And I think it has all come to that point where I can't take it anymore. I can't live like this because something's gotta give.
So, today, being Thursday, the day after the worst day of the week and the day I have no commitments (except traffic school tonight...but that's a whole 'nother issue). I let the pendulum swing toward "all."
I cleaned the kitchen, which included 3 days worth of dishes (so horrible, I know), from top to bottom. Scrubbed everything. Swept and mopped. I scrubbed both bathrooms and they are now sparkling. I cleaned up my scrapbook mess from the scrapping binge I went on the other day to the detriment of the dishes. I organized my stuff, even. I deep cleaned all three bedrooms. I vacuumed. I did approximately 59 loads of laundry and folded most of it. I wiped down every piece of bloomin' furniture in my house. Paid some bills. I didn't ignore my children, although I tried to redirect their attention as much as possible. I supervised homework and practicing. I even made dinner. And if you know me, you know that this is the most amazing thing I've done all day because I try to leave that particular task to my husband as often as I possibly can.
It feels good. The only things I haven't gotten to are cleaning off this very desk (okay, so I guess I lied. I wiped down all but one piece of furniture in my house.) and folding the rest of the laundry. Who knew that it would take me all the livelong day to do so much and feel like I have so little to show for it? I really know in my head that it is easier to keep up than it is to catch up, but I never feel successful like that. I have tried Fly lady and the S.H.E. cardfile system. I've made millions of my own little systems, all designed to do a little every day in order to keep up. I cannot keep my attention on those things for more than a week, usually.
I have decided to embrace my A.D.D. nature and just continue on the way I am. It has worked okay for me my entire life and it works okay for me now. I do think if I learned how to handle stress better it wouldn't get quite as difficult.
For the time being, I'm just hoping that the house will stay clean so that I can do something relaxing tomorrow. Like scrapbook. And try to kick start my diet for the fifth time this week.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
I am not happy about it. Not one single bit. Easter is in less than 2 weeks, for crying out loud!!!
And, it's Wednesday to boot.
Monday, March 26, 2007
They have now been named. I believe it was a collaboration between both Bria and Chloe, but I am not 100% sure how the process went. I just know what the final outcome was:
From Left to Right: Mary had a Little Lamb, Heavenly Mother, Baker Girl, Baby Melody, and Rapunzel.
If you are wondering about Heavenly Mother, it's a bit of a long story. But in short form, we are memorizing "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" (I have to call it by its proper name or Joel will come after me and force me to recite it 100 times correctly) in our Family Home Evenings.
The part that talks about how we are each a spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents prompted the girls to ask about our heavenly mother. So we talked about it for a bit. They decided she must be very beautiful.
And, as it turns out, they were right. I think that's the most beautiful doll I've ever seen.
Friday, March 23, 2007
Here are a few pictures of what I have done with my house since I moved in. I kind of stopped working on it once winter hit as I went into hibernation and lost all motivation to do much of anything. I'm starting to get an itch now that spring has sprung and have a couple projects started, if only in my mind.
Where to begin? Let's start by walking in the front door...this red desk, which I refinished a few years ago, is what you would see first. Please ignore my ever so ugly couch. I've been saving up for a slipcover, but the camera was just more important to me. Mainly so I could take pictures of my ugly couch.Here is another view of the bamboo vase so you can actually see what's in it. In the background you will see the sliding glass door. The curtains are a dark red, and the thingy on top, which is actually a tablecloth of some sort I received as a gift from one of my sisters-in-law, is green. You can also see Bria's tennis shoes there on the ottoman, but you know, that's how it usually is. This is a house where kids live.
If you were to sit on that couch and look to your right you would see my entertainment center. It is actually a bookshelf that was (and kind of still is) in sorry shape when I bought it from DI for 15 dollars. I cleaned it up a bit and tried to disguise the water damage, but it's still there. Not overly noticeable, though. You will notice how perfectly our TV fits. You will also notice that my kids are watching "Chicken Little" tonight and have built a fort on the ottoman in front of the couch...I guess the shoes are holding it all together. Above my entertainment center is this awesome star. I have to thank my sister-in-law in Orem for being so kind to pick it up for me when I admired hers. I saw them in Pottery Barn for a lot of money and this one only set me back about 15 dollars. To the right (or is it left?) of the metal star is my little photo collage and our family name. I used the Making Memories giant chipboard letters (99 cents apiece) and covered them with scrapbook paper, ribbon and paint. Love how it turned out. I actually used glue dots to stick them to the wall...pretty cool stuff, those glue dots. The framed photos have all appeared on my blog: here, here and in the current banner. If you are still sitting on my couch and look the other direction you will find my kitchen/dining area. In it are my table and chairs, which I refinished this past fall. The table is already "ruined" since Bria painted her nails on it with purple nail polish, three days after I finished it. Someday I'll redo, but not anytime soon. I just got the rooster during our "girly party" last week. He was on a good sale at Roberts Crafts, and I couldn't resist. I made the valance with the leftover material from recovering the chairs.And finally, the piece de resistance, my hutch. The one that was a total bear to refinish, but looks great anyay (thank goodness!). It holds my rooster collection, some pictures and a few other things on display. In the bottom, hidden part, is our vast selection of board games. And it is stuffed to the hilt. Sorry the picture isn't so hot. It's dark outside and I didn't really feel like setting up the tripod, so there's a bit of camera shake, even with the flash.And finally, a little of the detailing...These wood inlaid flowers showed up nicely when it was white, but not once it was black. So I took a cue from Chinese furniture and painted them. I wanted them to kind of look chippy and old. I am pleased with how it turned out. This picture makes the colors look brighter than they actually are...they are much more subtle in real life.And there you have it...my cheap decorating. I love it because it's cozy and homey and still looks great (at least I think so).
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Here are a few of my favorites from my entry this year...click on anything to see them bigger.
My VERY favorite layout of all time right now:
Another favorite, scanned crookedly, but you get the idea (perhaps I love these two because they have the word "love" in the title??):
I'll have to stitch some more of the two pagers (help Hilary???), and post them later. I'll leave you with this one...I love the photo and the journaling, although the design could have probably been better executed:
But all that is neither here nor there...Wednesdays exhaust me. I have to get up and get Bria and Chloe ready for school and rush off. Why the rush? It's called Daylight Savings Time. I am still not on track with it, and Chloe isn't either. Because of this she has cried at going into her classroom and I have to go in and sit with her for fifteen minutes or so before I can leave.
I come home and have so much to do, but Sophia doesn't let me. I put her in her crib today and just let her scream for a half hour, hoping she'd just fall asleep. I got a little bit done, but I finally couldn't take it anymore and am now blogging with her in my lap.
I have to go get Chloe in 10 minutes, after which I will make lunch, quickly shower and get ready for work, pick up Bria (today is early out day) and then rush off to teach lessons at the college. I'm done there at 6:00 pm, just in time to get dinner ready and cleaned up, work on homework and reading and baths and throw the kids in bed.
To make it worse, Joel is in St. George today for Solo and Ensemble competitions, so I have to go it alone.
I never get a thing done on Wednesdays. I dread them.
On a happier note...Thursdays are mine. I get everything done on Thursdays. Looking forward to tomorrow.
Monday, March 19, 2007
This year? I am a complete nervous WRECK. Looks like 18 or 19 of the 25 calls have gone out already, and I am not one of them. Which is fine. But, my Brother-in-law called me today and I nearly had a heart attack! I am hoping for an Honorable Mention. I will be absolutely thrilled for an Honorable Mention. Over the moon. Just have to wait for today to be over.
So, here is a meme about scrapbooking to bide the time. If you scrapbook, do it too! I would love to see how everyone answers these questions!
How long have you been scrapping?
I have been scrapping since right after Nauvoo in Fall of 1995. Didn't do a lot then. After I returned home from Romania, Annie re-introduced me to it and we both worked on our mission albums together. I was hooked from then on out. That was Fall of 1997.
What one word describes your scrapping style?
That is a hard question for me. But, I'll have to say linear.
How many times have you been published?
Just four. Twice in Simple Scrapbooks, once in Memory Makers and once with Cantata Books. I've only recently begun submitting again, and even that is sketchy. Basically went all of 2006 without doing any submitting except Hall of Fame.
Would you rather do layouts or make cards?
Layouts, hands down. I sometimes do cards, but I still end up buying most of mine at Hallmark. :)
Do you paper craft?
Not really. I've altered a few things here and there, but as far as paper crafting, scrapping is really it for me.
Have you tried or converted to digital scrapping yet?
Nope! Don't plan on it either. Just getting a digital camera has enough of a learning curve with software and whatnot for me. I like getting my hands dirty and pushing things around on the page. I will stay a paste eater forever!
What’s your least favorite layout ever?
I have a lot of least favorites...usually ones where the design just fell flat for me. I never redo, so they just get put in my albums. The story is what's important I figure, and sometimes doing bad pages is what I have to do to get a great one. :)
What’s your most favorite layout ever?
I think it's one I did for this year's Hall of Fame contest. It's about Sophia...I love it because I had such a great idea for the theme and journaling. And I also love the design.
Do you consider yourself a poor, fair or great journaler?
I consider myself a great journaler. That is one of the more important things to me about scrapbooking. My albums are my journal...along with this blog. :)
Do you follow the trends or scrap for yourself?
I used to try to follow trends. But now I just do what I like. I've hardly bought new product in the past year...no need. I have a huge stash anyway!!!
What’s the worst scrapbook product you ever purchased?
The Provo Craft Sewing Machine. Don't buy one...they don't work.
What’s your favorite scrapbooking tool?
This is a tough question....I really like my xyron because I like to use ribbon a lot. I also really like my paper piercer because brads show up on pretty much every page I do.
Do you scrap better alone or with others?
I get more done alone, but I am more likely to scrap if I am with others. My Sister-in-law has been coming over every couple weeks and we scrap. The girls in my ward are supposedly going to start a group. In Arizona I went to a friend's every Tuesday until the entire bunch of us had moved except me.
Are you on any design teams?
If the “industry” came to a halt today, would you continue scrapping exactly as you do today?
You bet I would. I'd just have to use other products. :)
What’s on your scrapbook desk this very moment?
A layout I finished last week. My paper cutter. A huge pile of pictures I wanted to sort through and haven't gotten around to doing yet.
What’s your favorite thing about scrapping?
Watching my kids look through their albums and being able to remember things with them that I would have probably otherwise forgotten.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Mamah left a couple hours ago, but not before I took a ton of pictures of her and the girls. It is always hard to regulate everyone's moods during a photo session...the more people and the younger they are, the more difficult.
So, we started out like this:
(Showing a bit of Bria's dramatic side that you've read about so often...)
We progressed to this: We tried laughing:
Then we tried saying "Stinky Socks!" (There's a whole story behind that...but anyway...):
This, more sober, picture was my favorite of all. I changed the color saturation to fit the mood more properly...Bria's dress was just too bright otherwise:
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Here are some I love of Bria from Sunday afternoon:
(As always, you can click on any image to make it larger.)
Here are some of all of the girlies at the park yesterday:
Bria wasn't happy with me since I wouldn't let her play in the gigantic mud puddle (I'm such a mean mom).
Chloe had a blast climbing the monkey bars:
And finally, some of Sophia watching the action. If you look closely you can see me and the camera in her eyes. She's been sick with a terrible cold lately, so excuse her boogerface.
Monday, March 12, 2007
Not to seem overly materialistic, but here are ten things I love.
(Or, stuff that makes my life less frustrating and more joyful.)
2. My flat iron. Who knew that something like a flat iron could tame my nearly un-tameable tresses? Unfortunately, I still wear my hair in a pony tail most of the time because a) it takes me over an hour to blow dry, product-ize, and flat iron my hair and b) a 7 month old and long hair worn down don't mix very well. But when I do wear it down it just makes me smile because I don't feel like I look like some freak with big hair. (And I also love that I got it for $40.00 brand new in the box on eBay. What a steal!)
3. Downy Simple Pleasures fabric softener. I came across this by accident, but I'm hooked. My mother-in-law gave me some of the Vanilla Lavender scented kind because she doesn't use fabric softener and bought it thinking it was detergent. The stuff is heavenly. When I do laundry the whole house smells wonderful for several hours. I am especially fond of the Vanilla Lavender scent and also really like the Jasmine Water Lily scent.
4. Our minivan. Every once in a while I wonder if we should have gotten another sedan and just crammed three carseats in an effort to be more frugal. But then I realize how much easier life is with the van and I am so glad for the circumstances that allowed us to get it. Not to mention it's red, and I love red. (Ours is a 2002...not a 2007 like in the link. That would really be something.)
5. Bazzill Cardstock. I admit it, I have become a paper snob. I cannot scrapbook without the textured cardstock anymore. It just doesn't have the right feel, and the colors aren't as luscious, and it just makes my layouts seem that much more finished. I still have a ton of non-Bazzill cardstock and use it only in times of dire scrapbook emergencies (like, I don't have any left of that color in Bazzill and I have to finish tonight) or for Sunday lesson visual aids or for art projects for the kids.
6. My computer. Goes without saying probably, but it helps make my life more sane. I rarely watch TV, so it's my downtime. Also my feed the baby time. (No link...much as I love it, it's nothing special. We all have one. :) )
7. The new comforters Mamah bought for Bria and Chloe. They are just so my style and the girls were in desperate need of decent bedding. It just makes me so happy when I walk into their room and see them. I am wanting to do some canvases for above their beds that match. My brain is full of great ideas, but my time is left wanting. Sometime soon, though.
8. Speaking of home decor, I found this design blog the other day and I absolutely adore it. I love perusing and getting ideas. Not only for my own home, but for my scrapbooks. I also just really like looking at it...totally inspires my creativity.
9. My stroller. I've had it for 2 years now...it's a bike trailer/stroller combo dealio and although I rarely use it with my bike, I love, love, love walking with it. I have been so hard on strollers in the past. I don't use them for mall walking, I use them for going outside and walking to the park and through the grass and dirt and all that. This one is wonderful. I am so happy that spring is finally on its way and the sun is out so we can go on more walks. Sophia really loves it. No matter how cranky she is, I can put her in the stroller and go for a jaunt and she is happy the entire time. Lifesaver for Mommy, really.
10. Triscuits and cream cheese. My new diet is hard when it comes to snacking. But, Triscuits are totally only made out of whole wheat and oil. So they're cool. And cream cheese is allowed. So, it really saves me from eating things I shouldn't. And Joel's hooked now, too. (No link here either...I'm assuming you all know what Triscuits and Cream Cheese are.)
What are ten things YOU love?
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Can't believe you're four whole years old! Amazing.
We had your birthday party today because your birthday falls on a Sunday this year. You had a blast with two of your friends from church, your cousins and your sisters. It wasn't much of a big to do: Just decorating crowns, opening presents, eating cake and doing a pinata. Pretty much a repeat of your 3rd birthday party, right down to the Princess theme.
But you are a Princess. And I love you. Happy Birthday your highness!
Oh...and yes, I am loving my new camera, thanks for asking. I am keeping my 50 mm lens on all the time, which is new for me, so I'm still not getting the greatest shots since I am not as familiar with this lens as I am my other lens. It will ultimately give me better pictures though, so practice makes perfect. :) And, just because this is my favorite picture from Chloe's party today, I'm going to post the line-up to hit the pinata.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
If I don't have eggs, I surely don't have egg yolks or egg whites.
And if I had something in my cupboard called "egg substitution product," certainly I would have used that before I looked in the back of my cookbook.
Perhaps you should take the word "emergency" off the top of your page?
Friday, March 09, 2007
Life is crazy, in a nutshell. We've had violin competitions, parent-teacher conferences, doctor appointments in order to receive dreaded shots, sick babies (well, just one baby, but everyone else has coldsores, including me), concerts, and who knows what else.
Take today, for instance: The house is a wreck because a) I haven't been home due to all the running around and b) when I am home the baby won't let me put her down because she is sick and cranky. So, instead of getting normal stuff done, I end up sitting at the computer feeding or rocking her, or just plain keeping her happy because she is in my lap. This morning as soon as I finally got her to bed I went to work on the kitchen, and then my neighbor knocked on the door. She'd seen me the day before and perceived that all was not right in my world and was just checking to see if I was okay. I am, just harried and stressed and not feeling so hot myself.
Then, I vacuumed, got some laundry in (but not folded...just added to the mountain of clean laundry) and then I decided to take Chloe and Sophia for a walk since it was such a beautiful day. Got them loaded in the stroller, along with the music for the song I'll be singing in church on Sunday. We walked over to the home of the girl who will accompany me to give it to her. I chatted for a second and as soon as she closed her front door I had a horrible thought. This is parent-teacher conference week and school is out an hour early! I was already a half-hour late picking her up.
I quickly realized that it would take me longer to go home and get the car than it would to just go straight to the school, so I ran. Got a call from the secretary as I was running. At least Bria was okay, just a little worried that I hadn't gotten there yet. I felt awful. And to add to the already not so great day, I have exercise induced asthma, so I gave myself an attack and I was without my inhaler. At this moment I have developed a nice cough and I am seriously wondering if I'll be able to sing Sunday at all. Sigh.
Joel hasn't been home much what with his own parent-teacher conferences and every other commitment he has in his life. He came home for dinner tonight and I hadn't had a chance to do anything with the baby screaming and helping Bria with her homework. So we went to Sonic. We tried to go to Wendy's but they were remodeling their drive-thru and we didn't have time to go in. Yes, I said remodeling their drive-thru.
And so it goes. Kids are all bathed and asleep now, the house is a little bit cleaner, and I have great plans to watch Letterman and fold some of the laundry that has overtaken my hallway.
But, there is a bright spot in all the stress. My new digital SLR camera arrived yesterday. I am finally entering the world of digital photography and leaving film behind. I got the digital version of the film camera I already have so my lenses are interchangeable. I wonder if I will use my last roll of film.
Here are some of my first attempts. I'm still getting to know the camera, but I'm happy enough with what I was able to do so far. (And yes, all my kids have coldsores...I think I mentioned that, but now you can see for yourselves.)
Click to make the pictures bigger.
Thursday, March 08, 2007
You are a liar! You're just a bully! A big bully head, that's what you are! You are the meanest girl in the whole world! I'm going to put you in jail! And then you can never go to Young Women again! You are the S wordest mommy in the world!!! I'm going to put you in jail and then I'm going to turn myself into a DRAGON! How would you like that, huh? You big bully!
For the record, she was put in time out because I had the nerve to bring her home from the park and tell her it was time to practice her violin. She didn't want to and proceeded to throw a fit. Into time out she went.
And yes, you bet I was in the other room laughing my head off. I think this was definitely one of the top moments of my S word mommyhood.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
One thing, though, has stood out to me in particular. It will probably not be a very popular thing, either, but I truly believe it has a lot of merit.
And here it is: too often wives expect their husbands to be perfect. They want to be catered to and loved and spoiled and for hubby to do the dishes and change the diapers and take them out on dates. I don't really have issues with that, as I pretty much expect Joel to do all of that for me, too. What I do have a problem with, is that these same wives think they shouldn't have to do anything that would make their husbands happy. Or, better said, they feel that husbands shouldn't have the same types of expectations of wives as the women do for their men.
Perhaps it's the women's liberation, feminist, I am Woman, hear me roar type of stuff. Perhaps women feel they are already doing so much for their husbands and families (and they probably are) that they shouldn't have to worry about exactly what their particular husband needs from them. Perhaps I am totally out of line. If I am, you can go ahead and stop reading right now.
A few years ago my mom lent me Dr. Laura Schlessinger's book, "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands." I read it and agreed with much of what she has to say. It was on my coffee table one day when I had some friends over. One of them picked up the book, snorted and said, "What about the proper care and feeding of wives? That's what we really need." That friend is now divorced. I am not in any way saying that her attitude brought about the demise of her marriage, but I can't help wondering if it was a contributing factor.
In the troubled and ended marriages that I spoke of earlier, I noticed some of the wives placing 100% of the blame on the husbands. He doesn't show me enough affection, he's addicted to his work, he's not paying enough attention to me, he this and he that. I have great difficulty with it all. I am by no means perfect in my marriage. I recognize when Joel isn't putting me first and I get upset/annoyed/angry/hurt about that. And I let him know. But I also try to let him know how wonderful I think he is and how grateful I am for him and for all he does for me and the kids. And I try to realize that if I want a happy husband who wants to do for me, I must also do for him.
President Hinckley said once, "The greatest factor in a happy marriage is an anxious concern for the comfort and well being of one's companion." Yes, he said it in the Priesthood Session, and perhaps the men need to hear it more than the women, BUT he did not say women are exempt. Women should have just as much "anxious concern" for the "comfort and well-being" of their spouse as should any man. And I think that showing gratitude for all our husbands do is the first step (even though we often feel they don't reciprocate or understand all that we do).
So, no matter how annoyed I am at Joel for coming home at lunch today and messing up my sparkling kitchen by cooking fish and rice instead of just making a PB&J, I am grateful for him. Grateful that I don't have a husband who comes home for lunch and demands that I make something for him. Grateful that he cleaned up the kitchen for me seven hours later. Grateful that he went to work today so I can even have a messy kitchen in the first place.
You may feel that I am living in the dark ages, and maybe I am. I really believe all I've said to be true, though. It takes two to tango, and we can only control our own actions. So, rather than complain and whine about all hubby isn't doing right, figure out what you aren't doing right and do something to improve. It will go a long way towards fixing his own issues. I'm sure of it.
Edited: I got a phone call this morning from someone dear to me who is currently separated from her husband, wanting to know if I was talking about her. I wasn't, and I appreciate the call. We had a really good talk. I'm afraid that others reading this might feel the same way and I wanted to clarify that all of the divorces I am talking about happened while I was serving as RS President. Because of that calling I had occasion to talk to the women involved and to know more than I would ever want to know about the details of the marriages in question. If you have never confided in me about your marriage then I am not talking about you. Hope that helps people rest a little easier!
Friday, March 02, 2007
After we ate, Joel's parents said they had a surprise for all the girls. We decided to all meet at our house so they could give it to them. (Turned out to be beautiful porcelain dolls which my girls are in love with. Can't speak for their cousins, but they seemed pretty excited.)
A little bit after that decision was made, and before we actually left the restaurant, I heard this:
Hana & Emma: Our mom said we could come to your house for just a second!
Bria: Yay! A second is like thirty minutes!!!
I probably don't have to explain to you the reason why she thinks this. Suffice it to say, I need to stop saying "just a second" so much.
Thursday, March 01, 2007
But I got there and realized that we have other needs. Needs I have neglected for a while. And, well, I suppose I could continue on neglecting them, but I figured if I was there I might as well nurture them instead. So on the bobby pin aisle I also bought the girls a new hairbrush so I can throw the old one away which only has about half its bristles left, shampoo and bath soap for the girls, hand soap for the girls' bathroom, curl invigorator spray stuff for Chloe, leave-in conditioner for Bria, hairspray and flat iron conditioner for me and I think that's all.
I guess that's the danger of the hair care aisle, eh? And, it seems that the girls had a lot of needs in their hair care that I have been neglecting...take the shampoo, for instance. They don't like to use mine because it hurts their eyes. So, since we ran out about a week ago, they've been using the baby's shampoo since it's no tears and all. Let me tell you though, it does nothing for their hair. You can just go ahead and give me the mother of the year award right now for sacrificing their hair to their sensitive eyes.
Also, Chloe's 4th birthday is next week and so I bought some party stuff for her. She chose the Twelve Dancing Princesses theme and we got her plates, cups, invitations and a few favors. I drew the line at the fancy cake, though.
Has anyone seen a 12 Dancing Princesses pinata anywhere?
It is definitely a need.