Saturday, October 27, 2007

If the key doesn't fit in the ignition, it's probably not your car

I am not blonde. Except for that one time that I played Rapunzel in "Into the Woods," I have never been anything even remotely close to blonde. Unfortunately, I seem to have a lot of "blonde" moments (my apologies to all of you quick-witted blondes out there) which I usually try to blame on pregnancy or lack of sleep or something.

I completely attribute this morning's particular blonde moment to exhaustion. I had to go to Tuacahn to teach, and since Joel had an early morning Jazz Band rehearsal, our niece Aly came over to watch the kids. She got here a little before 7:00 and crashed on the couch while I finished getting ready. Since I was so tired, I was already running late and I got out to my car at about 7:10.

The key wouldn't go into the ignition. Nothing I did could make it fit. I tried turning things on and off (including a button I'd never noticed before right above the ignition), jiggling the steering wheel and trying to move it up or down. It was so dark I couldn't really see the ignition even with the light on, but I was sure something was terribly wrong with it. In desperation I finally called Joel to see if he knew what to do since he's the one that usually drives that car, even though I knew that would be interrupting his rehearsal. Luckily he hadn't started yet and answered the phone.

Not surprisingly, this particular thing had never happened to him before. He told me to try various things and none of them worked. I was starting to get frustrated and worried I'd never get down to St. George in time for my lessons. I started noticing that the beep the car was making because the lights were on didn't sound very familiar, so naturally I asked Joel about it. He said he'd never heard that sound in his life. Great, I thought. Something is totally wrong with the car.

Then I glanced over to my left. I noticed that there was a manual handle there to roll up the window. That seemed a bit odd since I was sure we had automatic windows. My first thought was that Joel must have changed them when he got the door handle fixed a few months ago. My second thought was: Wait a second...I've driven this car plenty of times since then and I'm pretty sure we still have automatic windows.

Which led to my third thought: Oh. My. Gosh. This isn't my car!!!

And I quickly told Joel I was in Aly's car (whose interior is an awful lot like ours, especially in the dark) and hung up the phone before he could ridicule me too much...

...Or ask me if I was sure I didn't dye my hair.

Friday, October 26, 2007

15 months old

Sophie turned 15 months old yesterday, and to celebrate, she decided she'd send herself on a trip to the emergency room. Since whenever I turn my back on this child she is either climbing on something, figuring out how to get past all baby proofings in the house, or putting things in the toilet, it isn't something I was totally surprised about. In fact, I've been expecting something like this for a long time, constantly trying to avert such a disaster, while simultaneously taking care of the rest of my responsiblities.

So, I was in the kitchen doing too many things at once: starting to get some dinner ready, doing various things on the computer, supervising Bria's homework and basically trying to keep my head above water before we all had to head out the door to get the kids to rehearsal and me to a photoshoot. The older girls were at the table working on spelling, drawing and eating candy while Sophie was hanging around underneath hoping to be given some of said candy. Finally, she decided to take matters into her own hands and pushed Chloe's booster seat up next to a chair, climbed onto the chair and then onto the table. As soon as I noticed this, I made my way the ten feet across the room to get her down. And then she began to topple, and the rest happened in slow motion for me.

Obviously she fell, and she fell onto the hard linoleum floor. She screamed and I ran and got her and just held her. Then I noticed that a portion of her forehead was much bigger than it needed to be and I started freaking out. I ordered the other kids into the car (and they didn't even question me as usual...they just went, I'm sure they sensed the gravity of the situation by the way I screamed at them) only stopping long enough to make the baby a bottle to hopefully comfort her on the way to the hospital and then threw her in her carseat.

The older girls didn't really know why I was so incredibly upset until I got Sophia in the car. Then they were freaking out just as much as I was. The contusion she had probably came at least 2 inches off of her forehead and was already turning black and blue in the 2 minutes since she had fallen.

Bria started to wail, "Oh no! Grandpa Venturi died, and now Sophie's gonna die!!! What are we going to do? Mommy, I just can't stop screaming, I don't want Sophie to die!" Chloe said a prayer, and told everyone Sophia would be okay because she had prayed for her. Meanwhile, I was frantically calling the people I was taking pictures of and Joel to let them know where I was, trying to stay under the speed limit and making a huge effort not to let on how panicked I was feeling.

Anyway, once we got to the ER, she checked out okay. They wanted to observe her for an hour just to be sure, and gave me lots of instructions for the next 24 hours (which end in about 20 minutes now) like wake her every couple of hours and no solid foods for the first 12 hours or so. She seemed happy enough once we were discharged, so I still did my photoshoot and my sister-in-law came and got the other kids and took them to rehearsal.

To top everything off, once Sophie and I got to rehearsal she walked right into a chair in the auditorium and cut herself right in the same place. It swelled up quite a bit again and worried me, but it went down fairly quickly and she's still alive this morning so I think we're okay. Honestly though, I don't think any of my kids has been injured quite that badly before and I was a little surprised at the hysterics I went into...since I am not usually much of a hysterical person.

Here are a couple photos of her after I did my photoshoot. By then it had been about 2 hours since the initial fall and the swelling had gone down considerably, but you can still see her lovely goose egg.



I was hoping she'd remember this fall and cut climbing out of her daily schedule. Didn't happen. Today she was back to scaling the piano and threw quite the tantrum when I took her down and told her no. Such a little monkey. I guess all I can hope for now is that she'll grow out of this phase very soon.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Some sad news

Joel's Grandpa died tonight. We've been expecting it for a while, and he would have been 93 next month, so it's not entirely tragic. Just sad. He was a wonderful man and we will all miss him. My little Chloe is just so sensitive and cried herself to sleep tonight because she already misses him so much, and is trying to wrap her little brain around death.

The other bit of sad news is that my grandma lost her home in Ramona, California to the fires. She wasn't able to get anything out and only has the clothes on her back and her car. Watching this news and seeing all that has happened there is truly heart wrenching, but it's made me think about how to be more prepared.

I read a little thing that our insurance company sent us in the mail about what to take from your home in case you're in danger of losing it to something like a fire, and thought I'd share it here:

P is for Preparedness

People
Prescriptions (pills and eyeglasses)
Pets
Papers (phone numbers, legal documents, birth certificates, etc.)
Pictures (and any other items that cannot be replaced like journals, etc.)
Plastic (credit cards)
PC (personal computer: download the information or take the computer with you if you have the time and space)

Otherwise, the Neves family is just tired. We've made Fiddler on the Roof a family affair and have been at late dress rehearsals for the past couple of nights. Joel directing the pit orchestra, Bria and her cousins on stage, my sister-in-law working with the actors, me working with the singers, and the younger kids (Chloe, Sophia) just playing in the auditorium till they're tired enough to sleep. Well, until Sophie is, since she's the only one that will actually go to sleep.

I will be happy when it's all over and done with.

(Forgive the disjointed post...almost midnight, these are my thoughts.)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Harvest Holiday

For me, Fall is all about relaxation. Cuddling up with a good book and letting the busyness of life go. Unfortunately, this particular Fall, I don't have that luxury. Life is perhaps busier than ever and I don't have the time to relax (much less blog).

So the Harvest Holiday we "celebrated" yesterday (and let's be honest here, it's really a break for the Deer Hunt) was a welcome respite for me. We spent the day decorating Halloween cookies with cousins, visiting the pumpkin patch, and just plain being lazy. All things that should really be done every day in autumn time.

Today we're back to the insanity, but I wanted to take a few seconds and post some of the pumpkin patch photos because I love them.

Enjoy!






And one more of Sophie, for my mom. She'll know why. But the rest of you can just be amazed at her adorableness, despite her snotty nose.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

It has now been officially confirmed: I'm amazing.

Yesterday, Bria left her spelling list at school. This meant that, come homework time, she couldn't complete it and would therefore have to stay in at recess the next morning to finish it. Something we all know she would rather not do.

After looking all over the house to see if it had been misplaced, we only came up with a few lists from past weeks. I noticed that they all came from Harcourt spelling and were always related to a specific story they were reading that week. So, I asked Bria what the name of this week's story was and then looked online to see if I could come up with the list.

Lo and behold, not only did I come up with one site that had it listed, but more like 4, 324 sites. Seems every kid in the country uses this particular reading/spelling program. So, I pulled it up on the computer and told Bria to come sit at the desk to finish her spelling homework (putting the 15 words into alphabetical order).

She was completely awestruck and kept asking, "MOM! How did you do that? How did you know all my spelling words? Mom! How could you do that! This is so cool!!!" Ad nauseum.

After about the tenth time asking me how I did it and me telling her you can find anything on the internet, Chloe finally piped in and said matter-of-factly, "Mommy's just amazing, Bria."

End of discussion.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

My baby turned 7! Is that even legal?
(and the saga of the pierced ears)

Seven years ago yesterday afternoon, on Friday the thirteenth and a full moon in October, I brought my first baby into this world. I can't even believe it's been so long. And I especially can't fathom how much she has grown this year: physically, intellectually, spiritually, and all the other -allys. I have been telling her for the past month that I decided she couldn't turn seven after all and she was going to have to stay six forever. (Since this is Bria we're talking about, she believed me and was very upset until I told her I had no way of actually doing this as much as I would have liked to.)

Anyway, she had a very delightful birthday, even though after her party she told me it wasn't fun enough. I'm sure she was just coming off a crazy sugar high and feeling the let down we all feel after eating two slices of birthday cake, three scoops of ice cream and a full bag of pinata candy.

My parents came down from up North and brought her new High School Musical bedding, among other things. And not just a bedspread. Pillows, a throw blanket, sheets and the works. Her party was High School Musical themed (if you look closely, the crown she is wearing, which she made for herself a week or so ago, is also HSM themed) and was actually very fun for her, upon further reflection and after eating some vegetables.

High School Musical is probably not what I will remember most about Bria's seventh birthday, however. Fun as it is, it isn't much different than every other day of Bria's life right now, so it just isn't very memorable. What I will remember is her biggest gift from us: Getting her ears pierced.

She has known for a couple months that we would let her do it when she turned seven. And since her cousin Emma, who is a year older, got to do it when she turned eight, they decided that they would do it together. We made plans to go to the salon, get pierced, and then go get ice cream. Bria simply could not contain her excitement on Friday morning, the day before her birthday, which was earring day.

Well, we got to the salon a tad late, because my mom wanted to come and she had just driven into town about 10 minutes before our appointment. So Emma had already chosen her earrings and was in the seat getting her ears marked when we arrived. Bria was still absolutely giddy with anticipation and eagerly chose her own studs and then watched Emma's get done.


And that's when my fears were confirmed (I was really afraid she wouldn't go through with it). Even though Emma did not cry, she didn't really act like it was the greatest thing that had ever happened to her, either. Bria immediately turned green and decided she didn't want to get it done. I told her that was fine, that she didn't have to and we could go now. She burst into tears because she really wanted earrings. So, then, I explained to her that it really didn't hurt as bad as it looked (the guns really freaked her out) and Emma told her it was just a pinch that wasn't even as bad as the dentist (and Bria has done fabulously at the dentist this summer).

To make a very long story short, instead of longer as I tend to do, this scenario went on for a very long time. She decided to do it, got in the chair, but then lost her courage while they were marking her ears. But then she wouldn't leave. And then she'd get into the chair again (this time in my lap) and practically squeeze my hands off while they loaded the guns or re-marked her ears. All the time wailing and gnashing her teeth and deciding that, never mind, she wanted to wait until she was eight.




In the end, she did it. We were really going to leave, I told her this was it, if she said she wanted to do it she had to do it. And she really did squeeze my hands off when they did the actual piercing, but she did it. And I have never seen her so happy. Just another lesson about how the things that bring us the greatest satisfaction and joy often require doing something very hard first.

And then we went out for ice cream.


Happy Birthday Bria, I love you!

Friday, October 12, 2007

I love technology.....not

So, if you haven't noticed, my internet has not been in service for a full week. Don't even get me started about how extremely frustrating it has been working with our service provider. They haven't believed me in the past that the internet goes down whenever we have high winds. (And, if you are a fellow Cedar City-ite, then you know this is more often than not.) After any such storm I'd have to reinstall the drivers to the "device" that makes our internet work to get it to come back.

Well, last Friday morning we had super high winds. Internet went down, like clockwork. Couldn't get it to come back up, even with driver reinstallation. Found the "device" (all I know is that's what the computer calls it) had pooped out completely. Company sent me a new one. It arrived on Monday afternoon. Internet still wouldn't load with the new "device." Called customer service again and was told to reboot my computer (as IF I hadn't done that already 5 times!) and if it didn't work they'd send someone out Thursday. Yep, Thursday. I had to wait 3 more days.

Thursday rolls around. The guy was supposed to be there around 9:30 am. Nothing. I call. We are not even on their list to be seen. I freaked out. They said they'd call me back. Three hours later I hadn't heard anything so I called again. Finally was told the guy would be there at 4:00 pm. He showed up at 7:00 pm.

The good news is he fixed it. The better news is that I was right. The wind had totally blown our receptor dish thingamajig (I can't even call it a device...I have no idea) over and it disconnected itself. He reconnected in a different place on the roof and said we should have no problems now. Phewsh.

So I'm good to go. I did learn how much time I waste on the computer and I will be working on that. Hopefully, though, me and technology will start getting along nicely again.

Except, this morning, my cell phone has started turning itself on and off randomly. Sigh.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Have you met my eccentric Aunt Mathilda?

When Bria was about 18 months old until she was around 2, she had an alter ego. Her name was Aunt Mathilda, and she wore Mr. (Mrs.?) Potato Head glasses and a bunch of old costume jewelry that my mom had given her. She thought she was just amazing and would walk around the house pointing to her specs and necklaces saying, "Titi! Titi!" (Pretty! Pretty!)

She wore them all the time. All. The. Time. This picture (one of many) was taken in September of 2002, about a month before she turned 2, and this was basically her getup whenever we were at home. And that is how our eccentric Aunt Mathilda was born. I just started calling her that one day and it stuck around until she decided she wasn't going to wear Mr. Potato Head glasses anymore.

Well, a couple years down the road, Chloe channeled Aunt Mathilda. She wasn't quite as gung-ho about the whole thing as Bria was, but she did rather enjoy the extremely fashionable tater eyewear. She is 18 months old in this picture.

And what do you know? I now have a 14 month old little Aunt Mathilda toddling around. Sophia is hysterically proud of herself when she puts on the glasses and prances around the house much like Bria did. I'm sure if pretty were one of the words she knew at this point, she'd be using it to describe her wonderful little self.
I, for one, am super happy that Mathilda is back. I just love her.

(And sheesh, there is absolutely no question these three kooky babies are sisters, is there?)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

I hate music! (But I like to sing.)

Okay, okay, so I don't really hate music. I do however, like to sing much more than I like to analyze music. I like to sing more than I care about the composer and the time period and all the stuff that Joel just loves. I get kind of bored sometimes with all that stuff. Mostly, I just like to sing. (By the way, the title of this blog is the title of a Leonard Bernstein song cycle I once learned in college.)
Anyway, I was humming this song the other day and thinking about how so many things in life are just like that. You kind of have to deal with the stuff you don't love in order to enjoy the things you do like.

For instance:

I hate laundry! (But I like clean clothes.)

I hate cooking! (But I like to eat.)

I hate dieting! (But I like losing weight.)

I hate working out of the home! (But I like being able to pay our bills.)

I hate paying bills! (But I like having electricity.)

I hate scrubbing the toilet! (But I like having a nice smelling bathroom.)

I hate music! (But I like to sing.)

I realize some of those are less poetic than others, but the point is, basically, you don't get something for nothing. And some of these things I hate more passionately than others. Some of them are only mildly annoying, in fact. But either way, I still have to do them if I want to have clean clothes, eat, be thin, pay my bills, turn on the computer, go into the bathroom without gagging, or even sing well.

And it's just a bonus for all of you people out there who actually like to scrub toilets, cook and do laundry.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Accentuate the positive, Eliminate the negative

I've been cranky lately (see last post) and prone to complaining. I'm having a hard time seeing the good in anything this week. Everything just makes me kind of mad:

1. The Elementary School Carnival was Friday. The tickets were a dollar apiece. Highway robbery, if you ask me. Especially since the Go Fish game cost 2 Tickets and all Chloe got was a stupid little ball from the Oriental Trading Company that costs about 10 cents, if that. I'd rather take my 2 dollars and buy her something she really cares about.

2. We drove up to Provo yesterday for Joel's grandmother's 90th birthday celebration and it snowed the entire way up. Well, from about Beaver to Santaquin (if that means anything to you). I want to move back to Arizona.

3. The food at the celebration wasn't very good and it was expensive. And it certainly didn't adhere to my diet.

4. The stupid refs took away our touchdown last night! I don't think I like this new review rule. It seems like a good thing, but it certainly hasn't worked much in BYU's favor, that's for sure! And I still don't think they could have possibly had conclusive evidence on this one....they say he didn't have full control of the ball. Hogwash.

5. I am not losing weight fast enough. I feel like I am putting all this time and effort, not to mention money into it and I should lose like 10 pounds a week or something. It shouldn't matter that I have PCOS and it's almost impossible to lose weight, I am just not happy with the 1 pound a week I have been averaging.

Well, I don't like feeling this way. It's giving me a headache. Or maybe it's just making the headache I already have from lack of sleep worse. Either way, I don't like having a headache. (And here I go complaining again.)

So, in the spirit of accentuating the positive and eliminating the negative:

1. My girls were so excited about the carnival. I mean, Bria skipped and Chloe just bubbled the entire way there. It's hard not to smile and be happy when your children are just beside themselves with joy--it's contagious. Who cares about the tickets being so expensive? Chloe thought the stupid ball she got was the best thing since sliced bread and Bria thoroughly enjoyed herself.

2. Joel and I always love to drive for extended periods because we can really talk. Especially since we see each other so rarely lately. And, also, I guess the snow might mean the drought will be better this year. Even though that's a tough one for me to see positive in. I still want to move back to Arizona.

3. The celebration itself was fun. Always fun to see family members (even if they are in-laws) that you don't get to see very often. And Joel especially loves it, and I need to be better about allowing him the joy of being with his family. After all, we still got to spend some time with my parents and brother too, which I love.

4. At least we still won the game. Go Cougars!

5. At least I'm not gaining weight! 1 pound a week is pretty good. If I can keep it up, eventually it will all come off.

I'm still grumpy, but it does make me feel a little bit better.

And now, I'm off to try to sleep.