Thursday, January 11, 2018

Learning to Write

On Monday night, at the counter after dinner, Owen took Lily's homework and started to scribble on it. 
He wouldn't let her take it, so Lily decided to just let him keep it and to join in the fun.
It's family art time!
We all ooh'd and aah'd and "oh cute!"-d at his little scribbles and at how he held his pencil.
He was pretty excited with himself when he actually did made a letter. The letter "O" is his favorite, and that is very appropriate.
His stuffed lion Louie at the counter with him, as well as his trusty blanket and binky.
At Daniel's 15 month appointment last week, the dr. asked if Daniel was still using a bottle. Yes, and unfortunately his older brother Owen has decided to take up the habit again too. "Yeah, we advise that you start to wean them from bottles and pacifiers this age." Ok, I predict we're gonna have some drama on our hand when we try to take those beloved binkies away from him. It's on my radar, Owen, you are warned.
It was cute to see them drawing together. Happy family moment, yay!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Joseph is an Adult!

Happy Birthday Joseph!! Wow! 18 years! Everybody come wish your big brother a happy birthday!
(Lily and Wes are being weird in all three pictures I took. But that's normal around here, so there ya go. Owen, you look so sweet!) So, yeah, Joseph is 18. That means I've officially been changing diapers for 18 years today! Not his, mind you, just all the little kids that have followed suit behind this leader of the pack. It's Joseph's "last" birthday with us! Everything's become a "last" now with the mission quickly approaching. Most of the gifts he got for Christmas and the ones today have been with the mission in mind - things he'll need and be able to use when he's a missionary. For his birthday, he went to school, came home and had cake and ice cream, then he had some activity at 7 and went to the temple after that. Busy day for this busy guy. He's ready to launch into life, thanks for sharing your "last" birthday with us!!! We miss you already.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Lost Pictures

Daniel woke up at 2 a.m. this morning crying. I tried to give him a bottle but he didn't want it and kept crying. I got him out, changed his diaper, and tried the bottle again, nope. He just kept crying and crying for no apparent reason. He would not calm down or be consoled. I didn't want him to wake up Owen so we went down stairs. I tried rocking him, walking him, giving him the bottle again, laying with him, bottle, food... nothing worked, he was just ticked. I wasn't feeling too frustrated, mostly I was like "Whatever dude, I don't know what's wrong, so sorry... " and just let him freak out. Nothing I could do but just keep trying. Around 2:30 I picked up a book on the floor and surprise surprise, he calmed down! He looked at the pictures and turned the pages, so we read Toy Story at 2:30 in the morning, and after half the book, he politely accepted his bottle. It was promising, and I thought this calm moment might be my chance, so I closed the book and took him upstairs where he sweetly and easily laid down went him to bed. I was scratching my head as to what that middle of the night fit was about.

Unfortunately for me, I was on alarm clock duty. I told Joseph I'd wake hi up at 3. I know I know, I said I was done with that kinda stuff, but oh well, what's a mother to do, just let the whole house fall apart? He asked for me to wake him up at 3 so he could finish homework, cause he's missed 3 days of school for the JEN tour in Dallas. He got back yesterday at 4, so I felt sorry for him. He originally planned to pull an all nighter - working on his Eagle Scout papers until midnight, then starting on his homework. He's trying to decide if it's worth it to get his Eagle, cause it might mean he doesn't get any sleep the next two days, and it's end of the term this week too! So after putting Daniel to bed, I rested but I wasn't able to fall back asleep before 3. Then I went and woke up J after his very loud alarm clock didn't work. He kept laying there, I blogged for a bit, woke him again at 3:30, repeat. He got finally got up at 4:45 but I've been awake since 2. I couldn't fall back asleep. But I've been getting lots of blogging done, catching up on December, so that's good.

Bad news though - I haven't finished blogged December yet, and now I've lost my chance for a few things because yesterday Lily reset Corey's phone AGAIN and he lost all his pictures and videos. He tried recovering them all morning but they're gone. He had some of the sweetest videos of the kids skiing at Wolfcreek on Decemer 21st (which I haven't blogged yet) but now his pictures and videos have gone the way of all the earth, goodbye! He also lost all the pics he took at Brigton this past Monday, I hadn't seen them yet, so I'm not sure what's gone, but I'm sure I'd be sad if I did know. I had one of the Wolfcreek videos of Owen on my phone, but since I got a new phone for Christmas, that is gone too, unless Hyrum, who got my old phone, didn't delete it (kinda doubt it.) I'll check when Hyrum gets home. That one that Corey shared with me via WhatsApp was a really cute video of Owen laughing as he skied with Corey. Corey skiing backwards, filming Owen in front of him laughing, wearing Corey's big gloves. Now all we have is the a photo of it - cause I didn't download it so I can't watch it or save it! I'm so sad.
Sure, we do still have the one of Owen screaming his head off as his afternoon of skiing started (end of this post) but that one wasn't as cute as the laughing with delight videos. Lesson learned. I shall now retrieve the photos off of Corey's phone every week so that we never have to endure a tragedy like this again.

I'll try to look on the bright side. I guess we do have other pictures and videos. As Jim Gaffigan says, we probably have more pictures of our kids than our parents ever looked at us! Ha. Ok, so, the memory will just have to be captured by in black and white text like back in the old days. So I'm putting the memory in words right here, so it's not a totally lost memory, but I it is kinda lost. Ya can't photo, instagram, and video record everything. Or if you do, get it online pronto! Good bye little video of Owen and the cute videos of Natalie and Sophi. I'm sure you will soon fade from my memory. Hopefully we've got enough other pictures and videos of you guys that we'll be able to figure it out close enough. Or maybe we'll just have to go skiing one more time to recreate the moments.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Braces and Barf

Abi got braces on this morning.
Corey said he's gonna miss her Wallace and Gromit smile... (let's see it Abi!)
...but we're glad that things are going to get straightened out. She usually won't show her teeth when she smiles, so it will be good to get this taken care of. It was a memorable appointment today, and I almost missed it, cause last night, as I was figuring out logistics, Corey offered to take Abi in to her appointment. I was grateful for that, cause then I could be home to finish getting kids off to school, with the added bonus that I wouldn't have to wake up sleepy toddlers. Sweet. But... at 7:00 this morning, after getting back from taking the high school kids to jazz band (cause, as I've mentioned twice already, our only insured driver is Joseph, and he's in Texas on tour with the Crescent Super Band) So I got to drive them in and when I got back at 7, Corey was up and ready for the day. He said he had a meeting at 8 that he should go to. Blah, ok, so scratch plan A. Plan B: I take her, with all my ducklings in tow. Yay, I get to wake up sleeping children. That just always seems like such a tragedy! Getting them to be quiet and to sleep is a big parent goal every day, right? So to take them out of that quiet and peaceful state just seems wrong. But duty calls. I got them up and we started getting dressed and ready and eating breakfast. With Corey and all the big kids gone, I had to decide: do I take Lily and Sophi with me and drive them back to go to school? or do I find a fellow mom that could send them off? My first call to a neighbor solved that and Lily and Sophi went over there after they finished getting ready. I finish getting Natalie, Owen and Daniel ready, and we're left at 7:55 - a little late for Abi's 8:00 appointment, but that's okay.

At the orthodontist, Daniel was being a handful right off the bat. One of the receptionist ladies brought out balloons to give to some patients that were getting their braces off. Daniel really wanted one and reached for them saying "Hep!" (aka help). "Hep! Hep!" I looked at her to see if she was okay with it, and she didn't seem to be, and didn't offer to go get an extra for him, so sorry little buddy, no balloon today. I pulled him away and tried to distract him with something else (hard to compete with big metallic and shiny blue star balloons though!) So, next best thing - he tried to grab her computer mouse. I was signing paper work for payments and Hiipa and whatever else, aware he was trying to wreak havoc. I finished signing paperwork and picked him up. We went over to join Natalie and Owen who were watching Beauty and the Beast. Daniel was still everywhere. The lady who had helped me with the paperwork brought out a puzzle. Natalie liked that, not Daniel. She then brought out a little farm toy set. Daniel liked that, but so did Owen. And they started fighting over the red tractor. Usually Daniel doesn't fuss, but he was fussing really loudly this time. He wanted that tractor. I took it from Owen and tried to encourage him to let Daniel have a turn. Owen wasn't having it and starting freaking out louder than Daniel was. I gave it back to Owen and picked up Daniel. We did that twice and I was getting embarrassed about how loud they were being. So I give Daniel the tractor and get my phone out for Owen. Owen was pleased with that move. But then Daniel didn't want the tractor anymore and he wanted the phone too. Ugh, I can't win here... I went back to where Abi was getting worked on and thought about going to the store or something to kill time. How long does this take? About an hour. We'd already been there 15 minutes, so just 45 more, would that be worth it? Maybe I can just drive around in the car? I don't know, but I gotta get out of here. I carry Daniel and Natalie and Owen follow me back to where Abi is. They all sit on the bench. Hmm. Maybe one last try - I put a video on my phone and they sit quietly and watch it for about 2 minutes. Then Daniel starts to fuss and gets down. I pick him up and he is fussing a little weirdly - like crying a weird cry. He looked a little pale... I thought maybe was going to faint or something. I wasn't able to hold the video on the phone for Owen as I tried to help Daniel, so Owen was upset again, Ok, I give up. Abi, I think I'm going to go. Then Daniel throws up over my left shoulder and down my back. Oh! Ok! So that is what that weird cry meant!  Abi, I definitely am going to have to go now. The ortho assistant looks at me like "What do you need?" Um, I am going to go, I'll be back. I switched Daniel to my right hip and apologized for the mess on the floor. Luckily most of it got on me though. "Don't even worry about it!" I gather Natalie and Owen, and then Daniel throws up again all over my right side and my front. Ok, I better get out of here! The ladies had already grabbed me a towel and now there were like five of them on the floor cleaning things up and trying to help. "Do you need help getting to your car?" Yes. She walks me out to the waiting area. If you could grab my bag there. And those papers, And that blanket. "Is this bottle yours too?" Yes, thank you, that too. Oh my goodness. I find my keys and unlock the car. "What can I help you with?" She was so nice. I was laughing now. "Can you take a picture of me? Cause this is so funny..." She was laughing too - Mom life, right?
After a picture, I put Daniel in the car, Owen and Natalie are in and I get them buckled. I get ready to get in, and she says "Just so you know.... it is all over your back, so you might want to take off your coat or it will get on your seat..." Good idea, thank you! I knew it was bad in front, I was thankful she pointed that out. Here is what I looked like not counting the mess that my coat had absorbed, (which was most of it...)
screenshot courtesy of the Marco Polo video I did for my family, cause I just have to share this funny and gross moment with someone. Rice milk and banana barf all over me and in my hair, smelling it during my 15 min drive home, it was stinky, I was trying not to breath. But I was very grateful this was a breakfast barf and not a spaghetti dinner barf. And I was also glad he had only eaten a smoothie breakfast instead of a chunky cereal or something like that. Yes, if I'm going to be covered in vomit, this is a good one to get. Daniel fell asleep right away in the car with his wet clothes. I wondered if it would be bad for me to die in a crash cause I had the shoulder strap of the seatbelt down so I wouldn't get throw up on it - what is my priority? Safety? ...or not getting the car interior dirty with puke?
I call Nicole and tell her, we are both laughing - I call Corey and left a message with him to see when his meeting is done and if he could possibly come home and save me so I don't have to take the kids with me when I pick up Abi. He calls back and says he can go get Abi. Great, that's even better. We get home, unload, start a bath, start laundry, into the tub, and wow, that was funny. My first time being puked on in public. I guess it was nice though to not have carpet to clean by myself! Seriously, they all jumped up to the rescue and I was just able to say "Hey! Sorry about that! Thanks for your help, I'll be leaving now..." and walk out and leave. That was nice. Thank you, three cheers for McDonough Orthodontics! I was barfed all over last year on the first week of January. Hope this doesn't become a new new years tradition, or maybe it's a winter thing? More barf stories - Natalie threw up in February 2015 or a when we had a whole barf week in February 2013

I didn't get to see Abi's finished product until I saw her walking home from school (on my way out to pick up high school carpool again, yay) Doesn't she look cute?!
You look good Abbers. Sorry I didn't stay till you were done, but I guess that was fun to have such a memorable appointment!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Drawing on Daniel

Hi. It's January 4th. I need to catching up big time on the blog, as I'm atleast 3 weeks behind. But before going back to wish a Happy New Year and all that, I'll start with the here and now. And as most posts on this blog, this one will be about the baby of the family, who is currently known as Daniel.
That there is Daniel last night after his big adoring teenage brother expressed his affection for his little chubby brother by giving him Marlo the Magician mustache and goatee on his face. The mustache and beard was all I had noticed until bedtime, when I saw more writing all over him. "CUTE" on D's left arm, "Daniel" on his right, and other grafitti all over his sweet little body.
Eth had written "Chubby Calves" on his legs, "Kick Me" on his back, colored his toe nails, gave him earrings, put a face on his tummy, using the belly button as the mouth, etc etc. Daniel's happy when he's got his pointer finger in his belly button. You gotta move it so we can see the belly face!
Owen, wondering why Daniel tolerates such abuse.
Ethan wasn't done yet. Daniel got on his tummy to join the circle of kids looking at a book - and was a prime target for more of Ethan's shenanigans... 
Eth wasn't finished with the back. He had to add an arrow pointing down at Daniel's cutie patootie...
...and he also added the word "hard".
It was time to put Daniel to bed, but Ethan had one final work before his masterpiece would be complete. Fine, hurry. The exclamation point was a uni-brow. 
All in silver permanent marker, mind you.
It was funny, Daniel was still cute and making us all laugh, and then I remembered that he had a 15 month well visit in the morning.
Well, D. What are we gonna do about this?
I put him to bed last night with marker on, woke him up early today, and into the tub we went.
 Why, mother... why?
He didn't want to take a bath, but was fine once he got it. His protest time lasts for just like 30 seconds tops. But don't tick off Owen... he can go for a full half hour. Anyway, I washed his body and couldn't get it off easily, so I wasn't going to bother with it, except for the face. We had to get the face clean. Just a few minutes of rubbing it with the coarse skin on my thumb and thankfully, I was able to get that all off. And the "earrings". Long sleeve shirt, long pants, sweet, we're good to go. Into the car and off to the doctor.
As predicted, we didn't get any looks on the way in from other patients or the check in ladies. Once we get in to the exam room we're safe, cause I don't mind if the pediatrician sees. He's our neighbor, he knows how it is. Daniel got a glowing review, he's doing great. Still in the high percentile for weight and height, and his head is about off the chart.
One of the questions he asked during the check up was if Daniel is starting to say any words. "Yeah, he says 'help' a lot" - I always ask him if he wants help putting on his shoes or getting a bottle or being held - so he says help as he asks for things. The doctor joked that Daniel probably says "help" a lot when seeking protection from teenage brothers and their permanent markers. Lol, yeah, but lucky for us, little D is pretty chill. He does a good job of just rolling with the chaos around here. We love you Daniel - you're totes adorbs.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Pulled Over

I got pulled over by a cop tonight, which I guess is an appropriate way for a mom to end a busy chauffer day. My day of driving started early this morning when I took Ethan to jazz band (Joseph was finishing getting ready to leave for a jazz band tour to Dallas.) Then I came home and had to drive out there again as Wednesday morning is my day to take the jr. high carpool. It was while taking these kids that I first heard, via Hannah, that President Monson passed away. I'll write up a post about President Monson soon. I love and admire him so much, and his talks and his example have blessed my life and guided me and our whole family. So, I took carpool and Corey took Joseph to the airport while I was gone. Home to get kids up and ready for school.

Since I had a busier morning than usual, I didn't go to scripture study group but stayed home to try to get a handle on life again. Since I was home, I was able to listen to the 11:00 BYU devotional. Today it was this talk - Convenient Service by Sheri Palmer. I would like my service and my impulse to help to be automatic, like President Monson. I loved that she started with a quote by him.
I was coming in and out of my bedroom cleaning as I listened, but stopped when she was talking about the beggars at the hospital and her roast beef lunch money. We all need to learn, even President Monson had to learn. I will try write more about President Monson this weekend. What a wonderful man.

So... we had the usual afternoon - Sophi came home from kindergarten, lunch for the girls, naps for boys. At 2:15 I loaded the four little kids in the car, cause with Joseph gone to Texas, he wasn't around to drive himself and Mel to their 3:45 Lyceum rehearsal, or Wesley to Little Big Band at 4. So I got to do it. We headed to pick up Mel at the high school, then to the Jr. High to pick up Wes, then we were off to American Fork. We dropped off Mel first, then to the Soundhouse to drop off Wes. Usually I run an errand to Costco as I wait, but since I had four kiddos with me, they voted to go to the McDonald's playplace instead. I didn't know where a McD's was, so I just drove, trusting that in this fast food culture, I would be able to find a place. Sure enough, Chick-Fil-A came into view, we did a drive by investigation. Success - there was a slide inside. We parked and went in. I didn't have a big kid to help me, so we were a mass of 5 people that had to go places together. Before we went to play on the slide, we all went into the bathroom for a potty break. Then all 5 of us to the slide. It was messier than the last play places I can remember. I do not like fast food play places. The kids ran around for a bit, I got grossed out every time I saw Owen's blanket dropped or dragged on the floor, and then we took a break to go get 3 kid meals.
I was grateful to PBS kids and the show Odd Squad for helping my kids play pretend with their juice boxes -
All pretending they were Miss O talking on her juice box phone. Silly kids
They shared their fries with Daniel. I probably should have ordered an extra serving of fries for him, cause there's never enough fries, right? (Cue Jim Gaffigan at 2:22 "What happened? Where'd they go?") Then the five of us headed back into the handicapped bathroom stall to access the toddler table and change D's diaper. Then back to the playplace to try and kill another 20 minutes. While we were there, two kids were prowling around like Gollum, growling and hissing at each other. Owen and Daniel looked at them with some concern and confusion. Then another little boy by the slide was having a coughing fit, which made him hack and throw up on the slide. I was the only parent in the play place with the kids and I jumped to my feet, rescuing children from sliding into the mess. I signaled for the little boys older brother to go tell his mom so she could grab paper towels. And then I had had about enough. I sent Corey a voice message, telling him that it would please me if Owen and Daniel never learned the word "McDonalds" and if they never learned that these fast food places exist. Sophi and Natalie are lost to us, but there is still time to save Owen and Daniel. I left there feeling glad that my kids are my kids and that other people's kids aren't my kids. Although I do hope to someday learn to love all people and children as if they were my own. So, yay, it's 5:30! We killed an hour and a half! Time to go pick up Mel at 5:45, then Wes at 6. We had to briefly wait for Wesley. I turned off the car and turned off my headlights, but I kept the running lights on - aka this position:
Wes got in the car, I turned on the car, and we headed out. I turned out of the soundhouse parking lot, drove west through a 2-way stop where I had the right of way, and then a cop pulled out behind me. There is no way I was speeding, so he must be going after someone in front of me. So I pull over out of the way, and the cop pulls behind me. Ok, what did I do? I know that we are late registering the car, but there's no way you saw that as I drove by... The officer comes to my window. "Did you know you were driving without your headlights on?" I look at the switch... doh, it was still in the "running lights" position. I turned the dial. Doh. Really? Ok, you got me. Yes, officer, I didn't have them on, I'm sorry. "It makes a big difference, huh?" Yes, officer sir. I'm sorry, I was just picking up my kid right back there at the Chapman music soundhouse... I had just barely pulled out from the parking lot, sorry I didn't notice it yet, I'm sure I would have in a moment. "Can I see your driver's license and registration?" Mel was in the passenger seat and looked through the glove compartment. She grabbed the insurance papers. "That will do, thank you, I'll be right back." Lame. Oh well. I figured I'd get a warning or a ticket and we'd be out a $100 bucks, lesson learned. I'm glad it was just about the headlights. Although I'm sure he will now also notice our expired registration. Doh. Ok, so maybe $160. I sent Corey a WhatsApp message to let him know of my mistake. The officer came back. Pointed out that the car registration is expired. Yes, I'm sorry. He then gave me back my license and the insurance paper, but didn't give me a ticket or warning or anything. I was surprised, and then he then asked me if I'm related to Cory Wride. Since it was an officer asking me, I knew he was talking about the Utah County police officer Cory Wride that was slain a few years ago. I said no, I was not related. He then said "Oh, well, it's not that common of spelling of your last name..." Yeah, it's the same spelling, but we are not related. "Ok. Well... turn your headlights on, and get your car registered." Yes sir, officer sir, thank you sir. And he let me go after that. I was grateful for my good luck, but also felt bad that he probably didn't cite me because he thought I was Cory Wride's widow. I called Corey to let him know that because Cory Wride had been slain, I got out of a ticket. Poor guy, he probably shouldn't have had to die just for me to not to get in trouble. Now I feel like I lied or stole his widow's identity or something. Corey said that the officer should know that I wasn't the widow, cause the wife of a police officer would surely have shown more respect for the law than I had. Yes, that is true.

In January 2014, Corey was over at his parents house and the television was on, when he heard his name over the news. Old friends called, emailed, and messaged us on facebook asking if it was Corey. Mostly old high school friends that we haven't kept in touch with. Corey's answer the phone "Are you a police officer?" No, and I'm also alive, as you can tell by hearing my voice... As Corey heard it on the news, he had a Brian Regan moment... Where Brian Regan the comedian heard about Brain Regan the spy on the news...

I was watchin' the news the other day, and I heard them talking about a criminal named Brian Regan same spelling and everything. He's gonna be in jail for the rest of his life. So I'm sitting there doing a crossword puzzle and all of a sudden I hear, "It is unknown whether the charges against Brian Regan will lead to his execution." "Guess I can put this down. Honey, did we pay that parking ticket?!"

We were sad for his family and it was weird to be on our end as friends tried to figure out what happened and if it was us. I had a few friends reach out to me - "I thought it was Corey! Oh, I felt so bad for you! I'm glad it wasn't him!" Anyway, sorry Cory, I didn't purposely take advantage of your death to get out of a ticket. I go turn myself in, I'll pay it, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to, and I promise I'll always turn on my headlights!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Wrestling My Inner Scrooge

This morning my mom called and asked me if I wanted to go to a movie with her and my dad.  My dad had read a review of "The Man Who Invented Christmas" and they hadn't heard much about it, but they watched the trailer and thought it looked really fun. So they invited me and any kids that wanted to come to go see a matinee of it at 3:45. I watched the trailer, too, liked it, and decided it would be great to go. Wesley and Lily took my parents up on the invitation with me. It was so good. I also took Daniel to the show, and I didn't see all of it because I of him. but what I saw just totally hit the spot, probably cause it was so similar to how my feelings were about my circumstances today. So I went to see the 3:45 showing with my parents and then, I insisted we go for date night, so Corey adn I both went tonight for the 9:30 show.

So, I'll tell you why I was feeling like I was wrestling with the same things as Mr. Dickens did in the show.

So before I told my mom I could come, I had to figure out the little kid situation. I knew that Corey was still catching up on consulting hours, after having taken a break for skiing last week and cause of Christmas on Monday. So I knew he's appreciate it if I helped get kids away from him. But he said he'd be okay to take Owen and go to his parent's house, and he was sure Owen would be okay there and he'd be able to get work done. Great, then this will all work out cause I'll just leave Daniel home with the older kids. But then Corey asked me to take Daniel to the movie. I was sure that Daniel would/could be taking his nap at that time, but told him I'd consider it. He insisted again, saying he didn't trust the older kids to take care of him well or to do their music or homework (that they've put off all break!) with Daniel around - they'd use him as an excuse. So, I tried to put Daniel down for a nap at the normal noon-ish time, but he didn't fall asleep. So I got him out and thought now for sure it would be okay to leave him, cause I could put him down right as I left and he'd sleep the whole time. Corey still wanted me to take him. Ugh, what to do... do I do what I want and think is best, or do I honor my sweethearts wish. Oh, fine. So I took Daniel but I was a pretty irritated by it. He seriously fell asleep in his carseat before we'd even turned out of the neighborhood. But I didn't want to take him back home cause I wanted to go by the library to grab a book that had a book on hold (- it's going to help with my New Year Reboot: Organized Simplicity! More about that later) Plus, I'm being a good wife by taking him cause Corey wanted me to. So I called my mom about where to meet, told her I had Daniel, she shared her hesitation with me cause she said she wanted me to be able to enjoy the show. I was 95% positive that he would sleep through the whole thing, since I knew he was exhausted. He slept the drive there, slept as I took him out, slept as we went in, kept sleeping as we sat down. And then... during one of the previews, alertness came upon him and he was wide awake. Oh doh. I wasn't thrilled that he was awake so early on in this afternoon event...
I only had 6 oz of milk and one sucker. Still sure he'd sit and watch the show. So, the movie began. It was way cute. I felt like I could understand the stress Charles Dickens was feeling with work because of Corey's entrepreneurial experience - taking risk, being in debt from the risk, not knowing for sure what or how he would do it but nevertheless determined to figure it out. During this first 20 minutes Daniel finishes off the bottle and is cruising through the little dumdum sucker quickly. Mrs. Dickens says tells Charles she is expecting. Charles is totally stressed by the constant interruptions (YES! That is my dear husband!) The house is a mess as they've just moved in, he has unexpected and unwelcomed company, said company brings a black crow which makes their new expensive chandelier fall and break (which he hadn't figured out how to pay for yet) and when he goes to try and work and come up with a story, interruption and knocks continue. When he does get an idea breakthrough, he rushes into his office, skipping dinner and time with the family (that feels like our life) he's just working all the time and his wife seemed upset by it.
It was around this time that Daniel got squirmy. I really was into it and wanted to stay, so I tried to give him pretzels and tootsie rolls my mom brought but he didn't want them. He wanted to move and play. Ugh, so I stood up and moved toward the exit where I could still see and could stand and hold him. He wanted to get down. I put him down. He went over and was about to bug people, so I grabbed him and headed out to the lobby. Darn it! Ugh, I was feeling so upset. I filled his bottle with water, and he took it and we went back in. He then rejected it. Wanted to get down again, was mad that I was trying to hush and constrain him, back out to the lobby. I was feeling so upset with Corey for insisting that I take Daniel. I texted him "Daniel is not being nice. Will not take him again. Feeling frustrated." He said "I'm sorry." and then "Thanks for taking him" to which I felt a big "Boo!" fume out from my soul. Daniel was running around (unfortunately without shoes, so I was trying to hold him, but he didn't like that" It was 4:25. What do I do, stand here in the lobby cursing Corey and frustrated with Daniel? Or do I just go home? I decided to go. I walked out to the car, changed my mind, walked back in, changed my mind again, walked back out, and went home. I didn't want to yell at Corey or any of my family, so I called Nicole to vent and get it all out. She's such a good listening ear. In my fuming to her, I decided to drop off Daniel with the older kids and home and hurry back. I could probably catch the last 15 minutes or so. I called Hyrum, he was in the driveway ready to save me, and I turned right around, called Nicole again for the 9 minute drive to make sure I'd gotten all my pent up frustration out, parked as fast as I could, and ran back into the theater. I sat down in front of my parents and enjoyed the rest of the show. I arrived at the part where Charles is having his confrontation with Scrooge in some old warehouse thing (didn't know what the place was, missed that part, but I got the gist of it). He's telling Scrooge to leave him alone, but Scrooge won't go and Charles can't make him. I loved this part, and I can't remember the line exactly, but Charles is giving up with trying and cries "Who are you?" Scrooge answers "I am hunger..." and said other stuff like ambition and stuff like that. HUNGER. All this striving and yearing, these things that leave us feeling so unsatisfied and frustrated with ourselves and other, I want to kill that and bury it! And then Scrooge is in the deep grave, ready to die but pleading to live. We all have those weeknesses, but we can do some good before we die. The good things we do are at home with our families - and I feel like I just lived all that - wanting to watch this movie and learn something, being mad at myself that I was feeling so upset at Corey and frustrated with Daniel. Yet they are the people that are the most important to me, more important than a movie. When we watched it the second time, the wife says to Charles "It seems like you love your characters more than your own flesh and blood" (I confess that the negative voices in my head make me often feel that way toward M0vie M0uth). Does that make sense? I'm trying to share what I was feeling and thinking, not sure if this all articulates it properly. But there is my attempt. And the take away was hopeful - his book is a success, the risk was worth it (go Movie Mouth! I sometimes hate you, but I'm still rootin' for you), he's able to apologize for his poor behavior to his wife, parents, children and staff, his wife still loves him, people learn and are changed for the better from his efforts and his book.

It was great going to watch the whole thing with Corey and without any kids. No offense kids. Corey said on the way there that he was not looking forward to it and still had hours of work to do, I said that was okay. He said afterward that it was really good and he enjoyed it too. We both laughed at Charles frustrations with the constant interruptions. That is so Corey. Cause it takes a lot of mental work for Charles to come up with the characters and develop their personalities, and just when he's got it there's a kid calling for Dad to help him with their math or kids teasing each other about something stupid. I loved the actor. I hadn't seen Beauty and the Beast with Emma Watson, so I didn't know Dan Stevens was the beast. I'm really glad, or I might have been thinking "he's the beast" the whole time and that would have been a distraction. I'd never seen him before, so it was a really great show, loved it. Here's praying to the good Lord that we can be the kind of parents we want to be, that we won't be frustrated by life's trials and challenges, like Tiny Tim's illness or the stress of providing for our families. That I can have charity for people that make my life more chaotic and that I'll remember what this test on earth is really about -

“Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, benevolence, were all my business." - Jacob Marley

President Monson shared this quote by Scrooge in his 2011 Christmas devotional talk -

"I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me." - Scrooge 

Sometimes I call myself a Scrooge when I'm grumpy and negative. But it is good to be Scrooge, because he changed! A new Scrooge was born after that Christmas Eve night, maybe that's where the name Ebenezer came from - . He changed, he was better and was true to his word. I want to be better, I want to be happier and share happiness. I bought this wall decal at Hobby Lobby last week during my holiday shopping spree. I put it on the laundry room desk, where I usually do work.
It's going to be part of my theme for 2018. Be Joyful. I loved this movie, go watch it. We're going to buy it and watch it every Christmas. I'm excited for the rest of my kids to see it next year, or maybe we'll take them when it's at the dollar theater, even if in February and not the right holiday. It was great.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Christmas Toys

The kids have been enjoying some days free from school to play with their toys. Thought I'd share that I am veryt happy with this present I got for Owen for Christmas:
I am quite pleased with myself that this little lion has been so well received. His name is Louie the Lion and get this... Louie is already at the level of importance as Owen's binkie and blankets! That is pretty cool!
He'll leave his bedroom in the morning and say "Binki. Blinki." (which totally sound the same when he says them) and then "Louie" - it's pretty darn cute. 
"You got all your stuff? Ok, you ready for breakfast? Let's go get you some oatmeal, cute boy."
I got a Husky Dog and a lion as stuffed animals as the two options to give to Owen and Daniel. Then I thought of how Owen is afraid and hesitant about most everything. Yes, he's a little cowardly lion. Lion for Owen. I did such a good job. Daniel likes the husky well enough, but is also slightly indifferent. But Owen, I dare say Louie is his favorite present. Downside with that is that comes the pressure to always know where it is so that he'll go down for naps and for bed at night time. Wesley got a drone. It was a few days late arriving. We went and got it at Corey's parent's house today, where it was delivered. 
You actually can't see it in either of these pictures, but I didn't know cause the sun was shining and I couldn't see the image on my phone. But it's a little drone that is cute cause it has a little clasp that can pick up and release things. It also had a gun that shoots little bullets, although "shoot" is too strong of a word... it pops out little BBs.
Hyrum got a drone too. His has a camera and he's been taking pictures. Although he is disappointed already cause yesterday his drone lost's it guard rails somewhere in the backyard so now he's afraid to fly it. And for go reason... these boys go through drones pretty fast. (drone 1 - Wesley's X-Wing fighter didn't work well the day he opened it. Hyrums Millenium Falcon had a few close calls, and Wesley's little mini drone that he bought to replace his X-wing worked well until it got caught in Abi's hair.) Hence, I was reluctant to buy these for them, since I know it's basically like throwing money away. but it was a request and they had emailed both of us with the link, so Corey ordered them. They're having fun!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Nerf War

We got the kids more than a few Nerf Guns for Christmas. Tonight they destroyed what organization was left in the basement to make barricades and set up their opposing fortresses. I was a bit in shock as I saw the mess. "We promise we'll clean it up." Hyrum is usually true to his word, so okay, I'll try to just not look. I didn't play with them and decided to get in my workout during their war. They got Corey to come down and join them.
It was Girls plus Dad vs. Teenage Brothers. It got a little out of hand, but not too much.
Thankfully Corey was there to break the rules and defeat the boys, little sisters win! (Let the girls win, Hyrum, just pretend.)

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Party at Uncle Mark's House

Yet another Christmas has come and gone. True to form, I was ready to continue my "the day after Christmas" tradition of taking down the tree. And I did. Just the one in the front room. Honsetly, I was so excited to get the ornaments put away and out of reach of the kids and to vacuum the front room. Yay! And it's not because I'm a Humbug Scrooge. It's cause I celebrate Christmas all year long and I don't need a tree in my house to have the spirit of Christmas in my heart, hah! So there. I'm not a Scrooge. Although I was accused. The kids woke up and were surprised at my efficiency. Kids, I'm really excited for us to get back to achieving goals and "making-something-of-my-life" mode and out of "it's Christmas-break-and-I-can-be-lazy" mode. Before Christmas, Ethan had said that the only thing he wanted for Christmas was to be able to sleep whenever he wanted for as long as he wanted. No waking him up early, like at 10 or anything, no waking him up from afternoon naps. Children, I realize that you guys won't be producctive until you are forced to go back to school, and I will accept that, but that doesn't mean that I can't start to try and kick things back in gear. So, even if you all don't want to say goodbye to December yet, I am okay to take down the tree. (I counted it as my workout today.)

A little more about Christmas Eve - on Sunday, after church, we headed up to Corey's brothers' house for a Wride family party. It was great. We enjoyed a yummy taco bar and other appetizers and desserts. I gave in to the cheese ball which was really tasty with the sweet potato crackers. I'll be getting back on the plant based wagon as soon as the holidays are over. Highlight for the kids was the saran wrap ball game. We played this last year and it was the highlight then too. When Uncle Mark announced it was time, they all cheered.
Daniel was a little curious/confused as to what could be the cause of such noise and excitement.
I took a video, but it was so loud and there was so much screaming (mostly Ethan being obnoxiously loud on purpose) so I'm not uploading that one.
I will, however, share a video of the highlight of my evening - Sophi and Owen dancing their little interpretation Tchaikovsky's nutcracker music. 
It was so cute. I love these little people.

The kids played their musical instruments like last year, and they all gave a go at Karaoke too.
Ethan and Hyrum did an interprative dance to George Michael's "Last Christmas"
You boys are funny. The kids enjoyed time with their cousins and with their cousins' pet lizard.
It was starting to snow when we headed home. Thankfully it wasn't too bad but we did see a few accidents on the way. That would not be fun to be in an accident on Christmas Eve. But the kids were glad to have a little bit more snow before Christmas day, it's been a very mild winter. They are hoping to sled before the break is over. Not much yet though and nothing in the forecast. Unfortunately it's a pretty short break from school this year, they might be out of luck, we'll see.


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