Monday, March 31, 2008

A very stubborn little girl

Sophia really, really likes to play the piano. I suppose this is fairly normal for a toddler, because after all, there are lots of "buttons" to push and they make sounds and stuff. Our particular piano is like buttons to push on steroids, because it is a digital piano. Sophie loves to push all the buttons so she can rock out to drum riffs, dance to the demos, leave the metronome on for hours and use the special effects settings to hear the dogs bark. It really does keep her entertained for hours.

Well, last night after dinner, she and Joel were having fun playing the piano. And then bedtime rolled around and it was time to stop and get pajamas on, brush teeth and do all that other stuff that most toddlers don't generally find very exciting. I feel I must mention the fact that Sophie has gotten to the age where she is experimenting with tantrum throwing. She hasn't completely learned yet that such behavior will get her nowhere (usually). That said, I'm sure you can guess what's coming.

But this tantrum? This was a tantrum of epic proportions. Not only did she throw herself onto her belly and kick and scream, but she did it after climbing onto the piano keys while trying to push the power button (which is non existent, thanks to Chloe...for once I was actually a little bit glad that I have to use the car key to turn my piano on and off) with one hand and holding on to her ball with the other.

In the event that you don't believe me, or feel like I am exaggerating my story, I do have photographic evidence:
And just in case you weren't aware, this is what you call a very stubborn little girl.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Wanted!

When I got home from Tuacahn this afternoon, Joel (rather sheepishly) told me that he had used my camera and he was sorry. He was worried that he had somehow overwritten some pictures on the memory card, but he didn't.

Besides, how could I be mad when these are the pictures I found on my camera?





I just had to play with them a bit in photoshop because he just picked up the camera and took the pictures at first, and it was in Manual on who knows what settings. But then he thought to do auto after that. (Also, I know they're watermarked with my logo, but that's mainly to deter people from stealing them off the blog. I'm not trying to steal Joel's thunder, I promise.)

Friday, March 28, 2008

New specs

For the last few weeks Bria has been complaining of headaches nearly every day after school until she goes to bed. I was starting to worry that maybe she had a brain tumor or something, but then her teacher let me know she was having a lot of trouble seeing the board. And then I felt pretty stupid for not coming to that conclusion myself.

So, last week, I took her in to see the eye doctor. Her prescription had more than doubled. Meaning even with her glasses on, she is seeing worse than she was without them when she first got them. And since that explanation doesn't even make sense to me, let's just say the poor child has inherited her mother's blindness and we are well on our way to sharing glasses someday.

She has been waiting with bated breath for her new (adorable) glasses to come. I promised her that as soon as they called, I'd bring them to her at school. They came in yesterday and I did just that. She wouldn't let me take a picture of them, however, until today.
How cute are they? She was a little sad to see her red High School Musical frames that say "I love Troy" inside the earpieces go, but she is thrilled about these. Besides, I think I'll have them put new lenses in the old frames so we have a backup. I am also happy to report that the headaches have disappeared since she got them yesterday, and she says the stuff on the board looks "skinnier." So we're set. Hopefully this prescription will last more than a year.

And while I was in picture taking mode after school, I got this of Sophie:
Can I just say it's really fun to finally have a blue-eyed child? (Not that I don't love brown eyes.) And did you know that half of Sophie's left eye is brown? That's why it always looks a little darker than her right eye. Maybe she'll grow up to be Jane Seymour.

And not to leave out Chloe, but she was a little too busy for me to get a good photo of her. As a consolation prize, here is one of all my girls on the walk home from school (not the greatest, but I don't want Chloe having a complex when she grows up and reads my blog):

Thursday, March 27, 2008

At least there wasn't anything wrong with the car

This morning we were running late. Not even just a tiny bit late. Really, really late. And there's nothing that makes me more stressed than being late.

The reason for the lateness was a combination of things. The infamous excuse of the alarm not going off at the designated time, kids that went to bed too late last night (rehearsal for both mom and dad, so kids came too), Bria not having finished her homework yesterday and having to finish it over breakfast, baby sleeping and sleeping and finally just having to be woken up and put in the car, soggy diaper and all, and...well, anyway, we were very late.

I dropped Bria off at school ten minutes after the bell rang. Then it was off to the races to get Chloe to school before she was 20 minutes late. While I was driving, I noticed a flapping sound. It reminded me of papers rustling in the wind. But they were really big papers in a really high wind.

And I should have stopped right then, but of course, I didn't. We were late! The sound persisted the entire ten minutes it took to get to Chloe's school and by the time I arrived I was just sure something was wrong with the car and we were going to have to fork over several hundred dollars to get it fixed.

But, as I opened the side door to get Chloe out, I noticed there was an actual book on top of my van. I took it down, and it turned out to be the conductor's score for the Berlioz piece Joel was rehearsing with the choir last night. A lot of the pages were ripped, but it wasn't entirely ruined. Still quite usable, in fact.

So, of course, I called Joel and told him my discovery. I was excited about the fact that it was actually in pretty good condition, considering the adventure it had just undergone. He was worried about the Organ part that he had stuck inside it, which was, of course, long gone by now.

Too bad. We'd just have to replace it. But, being ever hopeful, I still scanned the road all the way home to see if I could see it. There were a lot of boxes and grocery bags that raised my hopes a bit (nothing like looking for a lost paper to open your eyes to how much garbage exists along the side of the road), but I didn't find anything that could have been music. I had pretty much given up when I drove into my neighborhood and saw a piece of music lying open in the middle of the road.

It was a little worse for the wear, and had one tire tread mark on it (most likely from Joel's car!) but is still completely readable.

Moral of the story? Always check the roof of your car!

Especially if your husband drove it last.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wednesday morning thought jumble

  • I have re-commited myself to my diet.
  • I have also commited myself to exercise faithfully. So far, so good. Monday and Tuesday I did 8 miles on my exercise bike while watching CSI, and this morning I took a 20 minute walk after we walked Bria to school.
  • I am determined to drive the car as little as possible so that I can continue to actually feed my family.
  • I finally finished editing a newborn shoot for a friend. You can see my favorites here.
  • Sophia has been singing "Who let the dogs out." I'm not even kidding. It sounds something like "whoo dadada da who who who" but her rhythm is impeccable.
  • Bria and Chloe have also been singing it (from Shaggy Dog) which is where Sophie learned it.
  • Somehow during the eternal sickness I had this winter, I have lost about 3 notes off the top of my range. And it is frustrating as heck.
  • "Begin: The rest is easy" is my new motto. It really speaks to the professional procrastinator in me.
  • I love my new red and white polka dot shoes. (Thanks, Mom!)
  • Joel made a turkey dinner last night. It was very good, although it didn't help the diet re-commitance one iota.
  • Bria wanted a turkey and honey sandwich in her lunch today. With mayo. I obliged, but it seemed pretty gross to me.
  • Most of my laundry is finished, folded and put away.
  • I am nowhere close to being prepared to teach my lessons this afternoon. After spring break, I feel like I haven't seen them for a year.
  • Looks like it will be a beautiful sunny day today.
  • Our neighbor's dogs figured out they could dig under the fence to get into our yard and no matter how much they (Joel and the neighbor guy) fill the holes back up, they redig. I feel like I can't let my kids outside anymore.
  • Chloe is watching the "Get to know Joe" DVD she got at Hollywood video for about the hundredth time since she got it on Friday. I have never been so glad the due date is today.
  • My kitchen is sparkling.
  • I have almost lost all the weight I gained over Easter weekend. And by the way, I think it is the world's greatest injustice that you can gain 5 pounds in one day, but it takes days or weeks to lose it again.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I spy the sun!

Today's challenge (and look, I am getting it up today) was to spy something that shows light. There are a million things one could do with this, but I have been wanting to learn how to do sunflare, so that's what I decided to do. The problem was, I didn't have much time. Nor did I have much of a location since I live in a new development with very few trees. And then the time factor kept me from going somewhere better.

Anyway, I did get a few nice sunflares, but the rest of the subject matter in those pictures (telephone poles, dirt piles, etc.) left much to be desired. Besides, the whole sunflare thing needs a lot more practice. So then, I decided to just shoot the sun itself.

And I got this picture:



And I didn't even go blind in the process!

27

The number of bridesmaid dresses the main character has in that movie I saw with my friends a few weeks ago.

The number of books in the New Testament.

The current number of amendments to the United States Constitution.

The number of completed piano concertos by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

The smallest positive integer requiring four syllables to name in English.

The number of cereal boxes in my pantry.

(My I spy photo will be delayed, as I need to wait for the sun to be a bit lower in the sky to complete this week's assignment. Look for it tomorrow.)

Monday, March 24, 2008

The hair chronicles

Bria and I argue nearly every morning. Usually about her hair, but sometimes about what she's chosen to wear. The child is fiercely independent when it comes to how she looks. When she was in Kindergarten, we still lived in Arizona and she had a uniform, so the conflicts were much easier to deal with.

Sometime in Kindergarten (most likely when I was confined to bed, pregnant with Sophia) she began to do her own hair. Joel would try to do it most mornings, but sometimes he just let her go to school however she'd done it herself. This trend continued into first grade, when we'd moved to another state and long after I'd given birth and was perfectly capable of helping her.

Now that she's in second grade, I finally gave up the fight. She rarely lets me touch her hair. Instead, we have hair inspection every morning. Usually, I end up telling her her hair is unacceptable like that, or to go brush it 100 times (which she never does...she'll do it maybe 10 times) or that she is limited to only two barrettes instead of 15, or...well, you get the picture. She always stomps back into the bathroom while complaining that I am mean and I don't like her to look cool.

Sundays have traditionally been the exception to the "Mom doesn't get to touch Bria's hair" rule. But lately, even that spawns an enormous fight, and she is getting more skilled, so I have been letting her do it herself more and more, even for church. So, you can imagine I was in something of a conundrum about Easter yesterday, because, after all, she is still only 7 years old and her skills only go so far.

Then I had a bright idea while we were driving along to the store on Saturday. I turned around and told the girls to raise their right hands (we do this sometimes, to make them understand what it means to make a promise) and repeat after me:

"I promise that tomorrow for Easter I will let mommy do my hair without complaining."

When I got to the part about "let mommy do my hair" Bria stopped and gave me a dirty look, but she said it (very quietly) and she promised. And sure enough, yesterday she let me curl her hair without complaint.

And the even bigger surprise? She loved it. So much, that this morning she wanted me to do it again.

And, even though she looks so much more presentable when I do her hair, I don't know how much I want this to continue. I think I kind of like her hair independence after all....it sure saves me lots of time in the morning!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

My Easter Masterpieces
(lots of pictures)

Here are my three masterpieces featured in not so masterpiece quality photography. Sophie was so not in the mood for photos this morning, but we did the best we could. And also, if you're wondering where the cute matching bows Chloe and Sophie are supposed to be wearing are, so am I. I ordered the hair stuff online since my store was out of them and they say those particular ones are on backorder. Oh well, we made do, they were still adorable and delighted all who saw them today. Especially me.

Bria:


Chloe:

Sophie:

And all three of the polka-dotted beauties:



This last one was my favorite. I played with it a bunch, Chloe's oh-so-serious face reminded me of old fashioned photos. Which version do you like best? (The third version is at the top of the post).


Thursday, March 20, 2008

From tomboy to girly girl

We always joke that Sophie has proven to be the boy we never had. She climbed on top of the piano before she could walk, she is into everything, she likes playing with trucks and balls, she loves electronic gadgets and did I mention she was scaling furniture before she could walk? Not that these are bad things, they just surprised me somewhat, because my other two were so much more girly in their choice of toys and activities.

Lately, though, Sophie has started exploring her feminine side a little more. She started to play with babies instead of cars, and loves to give the dolls their bottles and blankets and put them in the stroller and cart them around. She started to be super concerned with what she's wearing and prefers pretty dresses to jeans and a t-shirt. She started to take more of an interest in books and drawing, something she didn't seem to have time for before with all of the pictures she was taking with my cell phone.

She has started to play dress-up (Excuse my vacuum):


And finally, she has started to be very interested in Mommy's make-up (notice she is studiously not looking at me, because if she doesn't, it means that I don't notice that she has something she's not supposed to have. I had to get right in her face to get the second photo):



Now these are things I'm totally used to my children doing. These are things I know how to deal with. And if I ever do get a real, live, actual boy I'm pretty sure I'll be clueless.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Let's go fly a kite!

Despite the blizzard on Sunday that made me want to get on the freeway after church and drive to Phoenix, we had some lovely spring weather yesterday. Joel came bursting in the door from work singing "Let's go fly a kite!" and so that's just what we did.

Turns out Joel has never actually flown a kite (at least that he can remember), so I had a fun time teaching everyone how to do it. Kite flying with my dad and brothers is a treasured memory from my childhood. We were too poor to buy the fancy kites at the store very often (even though they seem to only cost 3 bucks nowadays), so my dad would help us make our own out of wrapping paper and sticks and fabric scraps for the tail and we would spend hours in our big backyard trying to fly them.

Anyway, Chloe got a few kites for her birthday and she has been dying to try them out. Cedar City is a kite flyers dream with all the wind we have here, so we had a lot of fun seeing how high we could fly the kites.

Chloe happily holding up the kite once I got it flying super high for her:

Bria trying her darnedest to get the other kite to work:
Sophia, our designated Kite Runner, loved chasing the kites:
Up to the highest height:
Fun as it was, it ended up in drama when the girls were fighting over the good kite (the one in the picture) because the smaller one wouldn't catch the wind very well. When she had to let Bria have a turn, Chloe threw an all out tantrum and when Joel told her to be nice, she said, "I AM nice! Just not today."

And thus ended our kite flying adventure.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I spy something comfortable

I skipped last week's challenge in order to post about Chloe's birthday, but I'm back on the wagon for this week.

Today's "something" is comfort.

I chose my night table with its stack of books. I've mentioned before that I am something of a night owl, and that on top of that I have dealt with insomnia quite a bit. So, at night, I read. And I say there are few things more comfortable than snuggling up with a good book.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Leap of Faith

I know I've mentioned here and there that Joel has been looking for another (better) job practically since the moment we stepped foot in Cedar City. This just isn't where we want to end up, although it has been a nice little stepping stone along the way.

There have been several opportunities/job openings that seem to come up, raise our hopes and then disappear just as quickly. It has been discouraging, but we sally forth with faith. Or at least we try.

Last month, Joel went to a CODA (College Orchestra Directors Association) conference up at BYU and was able to make some new connections and learn a lot of cool stuff. It gave him back the spark of hope that has slowly petered out in the last year or so, and when he came home, we knew we had to do something besides just apply for the university orchestra jobs that come up.

And, so....today we wired our entire savings account (which was only about 500 dollars at this point...if you remember) to a bank in Spain. There is an international conducting competition for which Joel did not make the initial cut but has the opportunity to show up and audition for one of ten still open spots by conducting Pierrot Lunaire. We originally thought it would be totally stupid to go do that when he didn't even make the first cut, but we have both increasingly felt that this was the thing to do. Besides, the man is obsessed with Pierrot, who on earth knows why (and now I am singspieling in my head "Einem Weisen MondfleCK!"), so he probably has a great chance. Because how many people love Pierrot that much? (Also, how many of my readers even know what I'm talking about???)

If he gets to be one of the ten, he goes on to compete with the 50 who made the original cut. If he wins, he gets a nice chunk of change and a 3 year contract conducting orchestras all over Europe. Second place also gets a cash prize and a contract, though not quite as amazing. We're just hoping it gets him noticed, although winning would certainly be a big bonus.

So, we now know that our tax refund, which still hasn't come, and our stimulus package deal will probably help fund this little jaunt to Spain in June along with all the scores he'll have to buy in order to be prepared.

Let's just hope it's all worth it.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Yes, I am a mother of girls
(deal with it)

Today we drove down to St. George, not to teach lessons (spring break), but to go shopping! The goal was Easter dresses for the girls.

I have only two criteria:

1. They must be adorable.

and

2. They must come in sizes 24 months, 5 and 8.

Yes, it is completely necessary that they all match for major holidays. After I had Chloe I fell into the matching obsession and am still going strong. It's much harder with three, though. Normal stores don't usually have the same dress in baby, toddler and girls sizes. And that is why I love the Children's Place so much.

These are the dresses we ended up with (I was wanting the same dress in pink, but Bria totally vetoed that):

I also bought some white tees with ruffled sleeves to go underneath, since I don't let them go sleeveless.
Hair pretties for Chloe and Sophie:

Hair pretty for Bria:

Just need to get a new pair of sandals for the baby and we're set for Easter! Pictures of actual children wearing these items coming soon (I hope)!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Basically, I don't have a life

So, it's midnight.

I'm not in bed. (Don't get mad, Mom.)

I've been "Facebooking." Normally, I'm not much of a "Facebooker," but Hilary's husband added me recently and I noticed he'd joined a BYU School of Music Alumni group. So I joined it. And found like a million friends. And now I'm obsessed.

Anyway.

I've been feeling a little down (jealous) because so many of them are doing such great things with their music careers. I just can't help but wonder what might have happened had I chosen a different route. But then, I realize that most of them that are doing amazing things are single. And then I think that I'm so glad I chose the route I did. I can't imagine giving up a wonderful husband and three fabulous children just so that I could have sung at a bigger venue.

One of my voice teachers once expressed some frustration about all of us girls at BYU getting our vocal performance degrees just so we could go be moms. Back then I had more ambition (and hadn't met Joel and wasn't dating anyone), so I thought that I would make a bigger career out of it. But then, that wasn't what happened, was it? And even if I use my skills a lot more than other graduates, sometimes I feel a little gypped.

On the other hand, I look back at what that teacher said to me and think that it doesn't matter. Even if I never did anything with my degree except sing to my children (and they generally hate it when I do anyway), and at church here and there, it would be worth it.

Anywho, just a little late night pondering/venting/rambling.

Thanks for listening.

ETA: Just wanted to clarify that the title of this post refers to all the time I have wasted on Facebook, and not that I think I don't have a life right now just because I'm not singing at the Met. :)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Oh yeah, I just have one of those sitting out in my garage...

Here in town we have a radio show in the mornings called Tradio. People can call in and let others know about items they have for sale. They can also call in and say they are looking to buy this or that or the other.

My car radio is often tuned into this station since some of my favorite talk radio shows are on it, so sometimes when I take the kids to school in the morning I find myself listening to Tradio. And I actually get a kick out of it because I can't believe the random items people are trying to sell. I mean, these are things I would never think to actually sell, but hey...if you can make a buck off of it and don't need it anymore, I'm all for it.

Even stranger though, are the things people are hoping to buy. I mean, you hear normal things like baby cribs and toys and cars and stuff. But today I heard the one that must take the cake of all cakes.

A woman called in and was looking for a pair of live albino peacocks.

I guess anything's worth a try...after all, someone might have some.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Goose is FIVE

(I've been trying to get this posted all day, it's been half written on my computer since this afternoon. Better late than never, I say!)

Five years ago today I started having contractions that didn't really feel like contractions. Also, they weren't very close together, so I just ignored them. I remember my mom came over and took Bria on a walk and did some other things while I just went in my room and practiced my Hypnobirthing techniques for a couple hours. After that, Joel came home so we could go to my doctor appointment, and my mom took Bria home with her.

Since I was only a couple days before my due date, of course the doctor checked me. I will never forget the look on his face when he said, "Holy cow! You are at a 7 1/2!!! You get yourself to the hospital now and I will be there soon."

So, I went. Got to the hospital and relayed the dilatation information to the nurses, and one of them said, "You aren't acting like you are dilated to a 7." (How is one supposed to be acting, I ask?)

Oh well, though. Because she admitted me and checked me out, and by then I was at a 9. So there. And I was in the hospital less than a half hour when Chloe was born. I'm always grateful my appointment was scheduled for that day, since I obviously would have had her in the parking lot or something by the time I realized I was in labor.

Saturday we had Chloe's friend party (I won't even go into what a crazy day that was for me), and they had fun, although I probably win the worst mom award ever because I planned absolutely nothing about this party. I suppose we're lucky I managed a party at all. We had our traditional pinata and opened presents and ate cake and then I just let the kids play dress up in Chloe's room. Oh well, I'll make up for it next year.

She got the wedding ensemble as a birthday gift from one of her friends, in case you're wondering why she's decked out like that.

Today we had her family party as it is her actual birthday. Mamah came down from up North, and Uncle Matt, Aunt Ashley and all the cousins also came and she got to open presents again and eat even more cake. What a lucky girl.

Happy Birthday, Chloe! I love you forever!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Some random questions

Not dealing well with the time change. Barely got Bria off to school on time this morning (mostly because she was impossible to get out of bed), it's 9:30 and Sophie has been awake for about 20 minutes but Chloe is still sleeping (big surprise there). I feel like I just want to go to back to bed for a really long time. I suppose I actually could, since it's Monday and I have absolutely no commitments today except grocery shopping. But, I am going to do this kind of fun meme instead....


My roommates and I once....thought it would be a great idea to dress up as barcodes for the ward Halloween party at the bowling alley. The apartments with the most creative theme costumes would win prizes. Needless to say, nobody thought it was as great an idea as we did, and we didn't win anything, but it was a lot of fun. We all wore black and white and painted our faces white with black stripes and random numbers. Totally crazy.

Never in my life have I....been on a cruise. This is something I think I would really like to do, but Joel thinks it sounds stupid. I would love to do a European cruise, then I think Joel would like it too.

High School was...a learning experience. Depending on what you ask about it was good, bad and ugly all rolled into one. Definitely a major part of who I am today, but not something I ever want to have to repeat.

When I'm nervous...I start talking 300 miles a minute. I used to get all shaky, but that rarely happens anymore. I'm not sure if it's because I have overcome a lot of my fears or if I just outgrew that particular reaction.

My hair is...very dark brown. Some people even describe it as black, but it's really not even close to black. I have some red highlights (natural...I don't ever color it) in there too.

When I was 5...I went to kindergarten in the afternoon and my Montessori preschool in the morning.

When I turn to my left...I can see my kitchen, which is quite clean right now, by the way.

I should be...getting my coupons all in order for the grocery shopping trip today. I'll get to it soon. After all, Chloe is still asleep.

By this time next year...I really hope that we will be living somewhere completely different and that Joel will have a University job. We're still working on that, though.

My favorite Aunt is...Aunt Teri.

I have a hard time understanding...math.

You know I like you if...I'm nice to you? Except I try to be nice to everyone, but really there's not many people I don't like. I guess if I don't seem to be avoiding you, I like you!

My ideal breakfast is...a Yoplait yogurt and a couple eggs.

If you visit my home town...you won't believe how much it's grown since I graduated from high school. Sometimes it still takes me by surprise when I am visiting. But, I visit often enough that I'm pretty used to it.

If you spend the night at my house...we'll probably stay up pretty late chatting.

My favorite blonde is...My mom.

My favorite brunette is...Bonnie.

I shouldn't have been...reading last night until after midnight. But, in my defense, I wasn't tired yet. (insert another daylight savings rant.)

Last night I...went to a Young Women Stake Leadership Training meeting.

A better name for me would be...I don't know that there is one. Sometimes I've had people tell me they think I look more like a Kim than a Lara, which is odd, since Kimberlee is actually my middle name, and these people usually don't know that. But I think Lara suits me well.

I've been told I look like...Alyssa Milano when Who's the Boss was popular. Terri Hatcher when she was in Lois and Clark. We had the exact same hair cut and I was stopped in the streets/store whatever quite often for people to tell me I looked just like her. Since Desperate Housewives came on, I've had one or two people mention it, but since I've gained a lot of weight and she's tiny as ever, I think the resemblance is pretty much over.

If I could have any car it would be...well, I rather like my Honda Odyssey. I think it's perfect for me. But maybe someday I can drive a Solara. And I will have vanity plates that say Sojoel.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Question of the ages

I'm sitting here doing my Sunday morning leisurely computer surf: Checking out post secret, updating my good reads, reading the news and other blogs, looking at my coupon lists, etc. I'm doing it a bit late this morning because of the time change (not thrilled about this happening in March), and the kids are just playing happily behind me.

I turn around and see that they have moved all the furniture in the house to one spot to make some sort of fort (well, the furniture they were able to move anyway). I told them that they had to immediately move it all back, and they "can't."

It's too hard! It's too heavy! I can't do it!

Wailing and gnashing of teeth ensue.

How is it that they have super human abilities when they are making the mess, but when it comes time to clean it up they suddenly lose all of their strength and prowess? And why is it that when the mess is being made behind my back, I hear happy sounds of girls playing together, and when I ask them to clean it up the joy turns to anguish and complaining.

I mean, they're still moving furniture around. What's the big difference? :)

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Losing steam

Today started early because Sophie has still not been feeling well and kept me up for a good portion of the night, then decided she was awake and rarin' to go around 5:30. Luckily Joel got up not too much later and I went back to sleep until 7:45 or so. But then it was a big rush to get the kids dressed, practiced, breakfasted, prepared with homework and show and tell items (Chloe had to bring something that started with J. She vetoed jacket, jewelry, jewelry box, jell-o, jam, and a couple other things before she finally agreed to bring a jump rope.), in the car and off to school.

Ran to the bank and to the grocery store.
Cleaned out my car.
Went to a rehearsal with Jackie, my duet partner.
Picked up Chloe from preschool--late.
Made lunch.
Did some laundry.
Put a movie on for the girls (see last post...it was Sophie's turn to pick).
Blogged (and now I'm doing it again).
Practiced.
Caught up on emails and such.
Wrote the agenda for YW Presidency meeting.
Did some dishes.
Read to Sophie.
Taught a lesson.
Walked to school to pick up Bria.
Went to the book fair and got the girls each a couple books.
Came back home.
Cleaned some messes.
Taught 2 lessons.
Talked to my mom.
Made dinner.
Got Sophie to bed.
Started bathing the older girls.
Went to Presidency meeting.
Came home, Joel left to orchestra rehearsal.
Got the girls to bed.
Plopped in front of the computer where I now sit, completely exhausted.

The list reminds me that I was productive today, even though I feel like I accomplished a big fat zero. I really should get up and do the dishes, but I'm thinking I'll just go to bed. I teach at SUU early in the morning and then have yet another rehearsal, but the rest of the day is all mine. The question is, do I want to catch up on all of it tomorrow? Or try to lessen my load tonight?

Stay tuned...

PS I changed my header. Not the greatest picture, but one of the only pictures I've taken of the girls this last month in the insanity. They are wearing PJs that my mom bought for them in Chinatown.

Comparatively

Lately, Chloe is really into getting her point across by making some interesting comparisons.

For instance, she's been saying, "I love you more than Jupiter!" to me and Joel. We also found out she says this to her favorite babysitter and random people she decides she likes. On Christmas morning we video recorded her screaming, "I love Christmas more than the whole world!!!"

And then today, I put "Monsters, Inc." on for Sophia to watch and Chloe wasn't very excited about it. In fact, she was vehemently opposed to watching this show. So much so, that she said "I hate this movie! I hate it more than the devil!"

But, I made her watch it anyway.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The day after

I originally wrote the following almost 4 years ago, the day after my 30th birthday. It is currently part of a scrapbook page I was looking at the other day and I realized the topic went perfectly with Scribbit's Write-Away contest for this month, which I have always intended to enter but never seem to get it together enough to actually write something. So, I'm posting it here to enter the contest, for all of you to enjoy, and also for me to remember the way I felt that day.

August 14, 2004

Yesterday was Friday the 13th. Very appropriate as it was also my birthday...the one that I've been dreading for months...the big 3-0. It seems silly now that I put so much energy into fretting about it because it turned out to be a rather nice day. And today, the day after, I can't say my life has changed in any sort of dramatic fashion like I somehow envisioned it might. Still, it seems as if I have lost something by leaving my twenties behind. youthful innocence, pehaps? Maybe the feeling of immortality? Mostly though, I feel as if I have shut the door on a portion of my life that was filled with opportunity. Opportunity for growth, opportunity for adventure, and opportunity for forging my future. Many of the dreams I had, big and small, were attained in this last decade. I wanted to grow up and become a responsible adult, graduate from college, get married, have a family. Some of the things I did took me by surprise, but certainly helped to form the Lara of today--things like serving a mission, graduating with a degree in music (not theater as I had originally planned), and having a husband who keeps going to school after earning two degrees. Regardless of whether I planned for these things or not, they are some of the biggest decisions I will have ever made....what I did in my twenties will set the tone for the rest of my life.

As I went through the actions of life today, they weren't any different than they might have been last week when I was still 29. We had a slow morning, which is normal for us on a Saturday. I managed to get a load of laundry in, get the girls ready, and do a couple of other minor chores before we rushed out the door to Target. I had to buy two wedding gifts, two baby gifts and a new pair of sandals for Chloe to fit her ever-growing feet. It was already 11:00 and Joel had a meeting at noon, so he ended up leaving me at the store, buying presents to celebrate the milestones of other people...people still in their twenties. After spending way too long in Target and finding no sandals, we walked over to Payless for Chloe's shoes and then waited outside for Joel to pick us up and take us to the wedding reception of my 20-year old cousin. We arrived at 1:30--late, just as they were cleaning up--but Sarah was still there in her wedding gown, looking radiant as every bride should. Bria was enthralled: "Where are your flowers?", "Where is your boy?" (Bria-speak for husband), "Are you married in the temple today?"

It was then that it hit me. My twenties may be over, but the next twenty years will bring me a whole new series of milestones--those of my children. And my role in those milestones? To teach, guide and cheer them on as they walk the path towards their own future-forging twenties. With this new mindset, I know I have much to look forward to, even if it includes the mundane motions of this afternoon (picking up endless toys, doing piles of dishes and laundry, vacuuming and dealing with temper tantrums), because it also includes the memorable moments of today (eating at Wendy's, bathtime, reading to my children and savoring each new milestone with my family).

The most important purchase I made today was not a gift for someone just starting out, but Chloe's new pair of sandals. Why? Because they will remind me that my children are always growing and that they are constantly walking (too often running) toward their futures--and I have MUCH to do to lead their way.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I spy something festive

Well, it's pretty evident that I generally stick to photographing people...but that's the whole reason I'm doing this challenge, to break out of that box. So, today's task was to spy something festive. Sophie is sick (ran a fever and did not sleep most of last night)and I didn't want to go outside of the house, so I had to make do with the few festive things I have inside the house.

First:

Chloe's birthday is coming up, and we have been working on her invitations. (And yes, I am doing them store bought. This one snuck up on me and I have run out of time to do anything handmade.)


Second:

Easter is also coming up....Mamah sent these Easter eggs home with Chloe last weekend and the girls have been having a lot of fun playing with them.


Not in love with either picture, but I sure did get a lot of still life practice in trying to get these! I think I took 40 pictures, LOL!

Enjoy, and happy Tuesday!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Superior

With all the music festivals Joel and I have been involved with this past little bit, I forgot to mention what is quite possibly the very most important music festival: The Southern Utah String Festival.

Neither Joel nor I were involved in it, but Bria participated. I think I've mentioned here how difficult it has been in the past for her to play her violin in front of audiences. She must be heavily bribed to even consider it, and even then, there are generally a lot of tears and performance procrastination (telling whomever is in charge that she will not go when she is slated, but when she feels ready, which is never till the very end and even then she sometimes refuses) involved.

I have tried to delve into her psyche and really understand what scares her so much. She tells us that she doesn't like people to look at her and she especially hates when they clap for her. She loves to play the violin, but she doesn't like anyone to ever tell her she is a good player or did a great job. This means that she has inherited the worst performance traits of both of her parents. Joel used to worry that someone would notice him and it scared him to death as a child. He refused to go to school for this reason. He did not take up an instrument until he was 11 years old, so by the time he was performing publicly, he was largely over that little issue. And me? Well, I don't like to receive compliments about my performances. I don't mind applause, but it makes me pretty uncomfortable to hear people tell me how much they liked it or how well I did or whatever. In fact, I usually try to sneak out of the venue as quickly as possible. Like Joel, as I have gotten older and matured I have learned to be more gracious about such things, but I have never quite learned to actually enjoy them.

So, Saturday was the string festival, and we have been practicing hard and beginning the bribes (she was to earn an entire bucket of her own ice cream). On Thursday, while we were practicing and she was throwing a fit about having to introduce herself and her selections because she didn't want anyone to hear her, she had an epiphany. I told her that worrying about it was the hardest part...it was even harder than actually doing it. She thought about that for a minute and told me that she wouldn't worry about it anymore and that she wasn't going to cry or complain. She said she wanted it to be fun and that she didn't want to make other kids feel nervous because she was upset. And she was true to her word. The next morning during practice there were no complaints. She happily (and loudly) introduced herself and she played wonderfully.

On Saturday, she was very stoic. I know she was incredibly nervous inside, and that she was putting heroic effort into not showing it on the outside. When it was her turn, she introduced herself extremely quietly and she played. She didn't smile, she looked at me (I was accompanying her on the piano) the entire time and she didn't play nearly as well as she is capable of playing (partly because she wasn't watching her bow and partly because she was scared silly), but she got through it. She earned her second Superior mark, which means that next year if she receives a Superior she will have earned her first gold cup. Very exciting stuff, folks.

I haven't seen the judging sheets yet, as those are first given to the teachers, but I am excited to see what they say. But really, I don't care much. She did it, she got through it, she played as well as she could despite her tremendous anxiety. And for that I am one proud mama.