Friday, October 31, 2008

the dreaded toy monster

I am such a mean parent. Yet, I am also a genius! My children really struggle with the idea that when they make a mess then they need to clean it up. Whenever I ask them to clean a particular room I get either;

"I will do it on Monday..." (or whatever day isn't today) OR;

"But my hands and my arms and my legs get too tired..." (funny, they didn't get tired making the mess) OR;

"Will you help me?" (which then turns into me cleaning and them watching...or just leaving all together).

So, lately I have been more of a stickler about having them clean the mess, although I always do go and help them - well, really I direct them more than I help them.

Well today I was tired of the fighting. Lily's room looked like an atom bomb went off in it and the basement didn't look much better. After lunch I asked Lily to go and get started on her room and Adam to go and pick up all the "boy" toys (we have a bin for "boy" toys and a bin for "girl toys). Oh, sob, sob, moan, moan..... it was like I was sentencing them to life in a Turkish prison. I told them both that I would come and help each of them, but it was no use. Then it hit me; my moment of genius. Any of you out there who are opposed to Santa Claus (shame on you -but that is a commentary for another day) and the Tooth Fairy, I am warning you now, quit reading you will hate this idea. So back to my moment of genius....I told the kids that if they didn't start cleaning their toys then the Toy Monster would come tonight when they were asleep and eat all the toys left out. Well, they bought this completely and started asking all sorts of interesting questions about this dreaded Toy Monster. He is huge because he eats so many toys, and he is very sneaky, he can come in completely undetected. They asked why he hadn't come up until now. I explained it was because I was a nice mother and hadn't told him yet that there are children living in this house. Well, my little plan worked and I now have at least some order in my house. And quite frankly I thought it was a pretty clever story. Heck, if Lily can have imaginary friends and cousins then I can have an imaginary monster - besides, whatever they don't pick up will start to magically disappear......

Oh, and here are the results; both before and after...

Before (it is almost embarrassing - is that a spatula?)


Thursday, October 30, 2008

the pumpkin patch

Lily had a field trip to a pumpkin patch on Monday. She invited Grandma Goats to come along. Grandma said she had never been invited to a pumpkin patch and accepted the invitation (which was very kind of her considering she has a lot to do in preparing to leave). It was a nice morning and Lily LOVED having her grandma there - she was sure to point her out to everyone she met.

who doesn't love oreo cookies!

I think it is safe to say that Grace loves them... Like mother, like daughter!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

i'm sorry, could you repeat that please?

The other day my parents shared some very interesting news with all of us...maybe you would like to hear it too. Apparently they are moving to Guam. Yes, you read that correctly, I typed Guam. Where is Guam, one might ask. Well, it is the South Pacific, sort of near the Philippines. They will be there for two year, and then thereafter my dad will retire. They are super excited and we are excited for them. Although I have to admit I will miss not having them here and since Scott's parents are in Slovenia this means my children will be without grandparents for a while. Oh well, they are little and will survive. In the meantime I can start planning my beachy, sun-drenched vacation to tropical Guam.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

sooooo big!

This is mostly for Grandma and Grandpa Chickens who are so far away and haven't seen Gracie in months. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

"witch" way did she go?

For Family Night yesterday my parents, Renee and Fam, Michelle and Fam, and me (with the kids) all went to Gardner Village to check out the witches. They set up all the witches every year and we have such a great time exploring. Afterward everyone came to my house and we enjoyed soup in bread bowls. It was so fun!

Scott was still at work when we went to Gardner Village (which he was totally bummed about), but he joined us for dinner... Luckily we live a block away and we can go with him another day!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

shades of fall

I love this time of year - I don't particularly love cold weather, but I don't mind the cooler temperatures and the excuse to wear my winter wardrobe. I love the onset of the holidays. It is such a nice time of year - it seems people are happier and friendlier. Neighbors and strangers seem to reach out more. I love the first snow and my children's excitement when they wake up to it. I love dressing up for Halloween and gathering together for Thanksgiving; I love pumpkin pie! I used to love Christmas until I started feeling guilty about only getting my children a couple of gifts - I hate the idea of going overboard so I really hold back each year. I do love Christmas and singing the carols; I really love singing the carols and listening to the Christmas music (except "Raindrops on Roses" from Sound of Music - when did that become a Christmas song?). I love this time of year.

Do you want to hear a cheesy story? It snowed Saturday night and my kids woke up and came running into our room Sunday morning to tell us. Of course they wanted to go out and play in it immediately. We got them all dressed in their snow gear and let them go out. I felt such warmth in my soul as I watched the three of them play in the snow. I started to cry - I was so happy that we lived here and that my children were making such happy memories. Say what you will about Utah, but I have been so happy with the idea of planting roots here. My kids are happy and I love where we are. All of those feeling of gratitude came streaming through my body at once and I all I could do was cry (you need to understand that crying for me is like two tears - I just don't have the ability to cry anymore - someday maybe the floodgates will open again, but for now all I get is a trickle).

So, I have been decorating for this, my favorite time of year (other than the Fourth of July). I have far more Fall and Christmas decorations than any other and I look forward all year to the makeover my house gets every October 1st. Here is a taste of what Fall looks like at my house....

This is my favorite shade of Fall.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

raspberries and ta daaaa

We have a second crop of raspberries and Gracie has discovered just how yummy and accessible they are. Her friend Campbell has also made this discovery.

Ta Daaaa:
I have spent the last three days painting Gracie's room. I LOVE IT! Thanks to Scott's patch jobs on the walls it turned out perfect (there were a bunch of holes in the walls - weird). If you can't tell, the bottom half is stripped. It turned out super cute.

P.S. Adam has been completely dry since Tuesday - What a HUNK!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

captain underpants

The monumental day has finally arrived!!!! We have, at last, made a break through with Adam and the potty - and just shy of his fourth birthday (in one month)!

What made the difference you ask. Time and my incredible patience! I am serious, I think I deserve the Patient Mother of the Year Award (may as well give me the most humble mother award too...). A couple of years ago I prayed very fervantly for the opportunity to develop more patience - well I am here to tell you that the Lord does hear and answer prayers. He gave me Adam so that I might learn how to be patient!

Okay, so here is the quick story (or maybe not so quick). In short, nothing worked; well almost nothing. I tried EVERY trick in the book! People would suggest things and all I could do is politely nod my head all the time thinking about how I have tried that method and it failed miserably. Finally a couple months ago I decided to just forget about it and let him wear a diaper. Then two friends of mine finally gave me two suggestions that I really hadn't tried yet (this was in two seperate conversations). I decided I would combine them and see how it went. One friend, Wendy, suggested that when the diapers run out then don't buy anymore. My other friend, Malisa, suggested that you take yourself completely out of picture, tell him he is a big boy now and that he is wearing undies. If he has an accident he will have to clean it up and that you aren't going to remind him every hour to go potty. So I found a happy medium. Monday morning I told him we are out of diapers and he is a big boy now. We put undies on and I told him if he needed to go then he knew where that bathroom was (after all we have only gone over that part about a million times). He had accidents all day. I never made a big deal about it, I just told him to clean it up and get a clean pair of undies and pants. We did this again yesterday. We again had accidents all morning and even a poop accident while I was at Target (luckily it was pretty contained in the undies). He didn't like the feel of the poop in his undies, espcially since I wasn't in any hurry to leave the store - I know that is disgusting and the health department would kill me if they knew I didn't rush him to bathroom to clean it up - I was making a point though! When we got home there was one more accident and then something must have clicked. The rest of the day he would come running to me to go sit on the potty - even when he needed to poop! This morning he woke up with a dry Pull-Up and again was very excited to go potty. I am telling you, I think we are on a really great path and I am so THRILLED!!!!! I know that no one likes hearing potty stories, but for me this is the biggest news we have had in months and it changes my life!


Monday, October 6, 2008

there were never such devoted sisters...

Melissa (my brother Sam's wife), Lisa (my oldest sister), and me at the restaurant the first night

Jennifer and Renee (Michelle couldn't come until a little later that evening)

This last weekend my sisters and I all got together for our bi-annual sisters trip (I think it is bi-annual; we go every other year). Jennifer, my second oldest sister, has a beautiful vacation home in Midway (about then minutes from Park City) so that is where we met this year. We went hiking, shopping, got pedicures, ate at fun restaurants, watched the new movie "Ghost Town" (very funny), and we even played a little pool. It was a really FUN time and I can't wait for the next one (which I am planning for St. George). I love my sisters so much and feel really blessed that we are able to spend time together!

PS the title is a line from the song Sisters from the movie "White Christmas" - truly a classic.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

politically correct

I know I talk a lot about the funny things Adam says, but I just can't help it - he is really funny! Here is the latest:

Renee (my sister): Adam, who is your favorite aunt?

Adam: (thinks for a moment before answering) I like the black ones!

It took Renee a minute to realize he was talking about ants, not aunts! I figure if my boy ever runs for office he can say without hesitation that he has liked people of all races since he was a young boy - ah...the political correctness....