Friday, March 27, 2009

Sometimes. . .

Sometimes we have morning like the post below, but then we also have mornings like this morning. I woke up this morning to nicely made beds and fully dressed kids (not Tanner, but we will excuse him from such expectations for a little more time at least). I think this is the first morning that has ever happened without the kids even being asked. It was awesome. After making my bed I headed down stairs to find the table all set for breakfast: cups, bowls, spoons, cereal and milk, compliments of our Natalie girl. Yes, sometimes we have mornings that are hard and the kids need a lot of prodding to get things done, but most of the time they are awesome kids. Now if I could only teach them to do the dishes, clean the bathrooms and cook dinner. . .

Sunday, March 15, 2009

That's what we get. . .

. . .for sleeping in. Natalie was the first to wake up this morning around 7:30, so I told her to quietly go downstairs and turn on a movie until everyone else was awake. At around 8:30 I finally woke up and looked at the clock. I was amazed that none of the other kids had come in and that no one was bugging me for breakfast. I could hear the TV on downstairs and was glad to have another hour of sleep and so thankful that my kids were so obedient. . .until I came down to this. . .And because you can't see the pure chaos of it all, I include these as well.
I honestly was speechless, so I just took these pictures and went up to Brett who was still in bed, leaving the kids thinking they were getting off the hook. To make matters worse I was teaching in Young Women's today and had put off making a treat and handout until this morning (thank goodness I had prepared the lesson ahead of time). Luckily Brett said he would handle things and he headed down stairs. Brett asked what had happened and who did the kids blame? Tanner. Like they didn't see him get the cereal out, hear the crinkle of the bag, see him pour out the cereal in how many different places and then proceed to get another box of cereal out and pour that all over the place too? Come on! I am sure they get a lot past us, but honestly! So Brett gave the kids a talking to and sent them to their beds, while I started making a batch of Snickerdoodles. It took about 20 minutes to get everything vacuumed up and de-sugarfied (oh, how I regretted this morning buying those Cinnamon Toast Crunch!). Brett went up stairs to talk to the kids and let them off their beds, only to come down not even a minute later asking for the camera. Why would he need a camera? The kids are on time out in their rooms. Oh, because he found this when he went into the boys room. . .Yes, that is Spencer, standing on his bed. And yes, that is throw up all over the pillow below him. But to make it even better. . .. . .Tanner must have been standing next to the bed (see the throw up on his shoulder. It was dripping down his cheek too, poor boy). Luckily Spencer wasn't sick, he has just choked on some phlegm that made him gag. But honestly, that is what we get for sleeping in, especially on a morning when I am teaching. Thank you Brett for being such an awesome husband and cleaning up EVERYTHING this morning so that I could take care of things for my lesson. And next time, maybe we shouldn't sleep in once the kids are awake. . .

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The following article and cartoon come from here. There are days when I wonder what I have accomplished, but this article helps put things into perspective and answers the question, "what do stay-at-home moms do all day?"

By Carolyn Hax Wednesday, May 23, 2007; Page C10

Best friend has child. Her: exhausted, busy, no time for self, no time for me, etc. Me (no kids): Wow. Sorry. What'd you do today? Her: Park, play group . . .

Okay. I've done Internet searches, I've talked to parents. I don't get it. What do stay-at-home moms do all day? Please no lists of library, grocery store, dry cleaners . . . I do all those things, too, and I don't do them EVERY DAY. I guess what I'm asking is: What is a typical day and why don't moms have time for a call or e-mail? I work and am away from home nine hours a day (plus a few late work events) and I manage to get it all done. I'm feeling like the kid is an excuse to relax and enjoy -- not a bad thing at all -- but if so, why won't my friend tell me the truth? Is this a peeing contest ("My life is so much harder than yours")? What's the deal? I've got friends with and without kids and all us child-free folks get the same story and have the same questions.
Tacoma, Wash.

Relax and enjoy. You're funny.

Or you're lying about having friends with kids. Or you're taking them at their word that they actually have kids, because you haven't personally been in the same room with them.
Internet searches? I keep wavering between giving you a straight answer and giving my forehead some keyboard. To claim you want to understand, while in the same breath implying that the only logical conclusions are that your mom-friends are either lying or competing with you, is disingenuous indeed.

So, since it's validation you seem to want, the real answer is what you get. In list form. When you have young kids, your typical day is: constant attention, from getting them out of bed, fed, clean, dressed; to keeping them out of harm's way; to answering their coos, cries, questions; to having two arms and carrying one kid, one set of car keys, and supplies for even the quickest trips, including the latest-to-be-declared-essential piece of molded plastic gear; to keeping them from unshelving books at the library; to enforcing rest times; to staying one step ahead of them lest they get too hungry, tired or bored, any one of which produces the kind of checkout-line screaming that gets the checkout line shaking its head.

It's needing 45 minutes to do what takes others 15.
It's constant vigilance, constant touch, constant use of your voice, constant relegation of your needs to the second tier.

It's constant scrutiny and second-guessing from family and friends, well-meaning and otherwise.

It's resisting constant temptation to seek short-term relief at everyone's long-term expense.
It's doing all this while concurrently teaching virtually everything -- language, manners, safety, resourcefulness, discipline, curiosity, creativity. Empathy. Everything.

It's also a choice, yes. And a joy. But if you spent all day, every day, with this brand of joy, and then, when you got your first 10 minutes to yourself, wanted to be alone with your thoughts instead of calling a good friend, a good friend wouldn't judge you, complain about you to mutual friends, or marvel how much more productively she uses her time. Either make a sincere effort to understand or keep it to yourself.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

For the last four months I have been watching Sarah and Justin's kids every Tuesday while they were coaching the El Toro Varisty Soccer Team. Their season just ended, placing 3rd in CIF. And I am actually sad to see it end. Yes, it was hard to get dinner on the table for 8 kids 6 and under, but it was fun for the kids to play with their cousins and to know that every week we were going to get to be able to see them. Maybe with soccer over now I can convince Sarah to keep the tradition of coming over and we could spend some time together too.
Around the table starting at the top left: Bailey, Natalie, Spencer, Tanner, Daniel, Morgan, Taylor and Dallin
And then this picture is of Tanner's first dinner up to the table. In the past I have always had one of the babies in the high chair feeding themselves and one on the ground with me that I could feed, but I took the chance of putting Tanner up to the table and he did great. Yes, he was a huge mess, but he would have been a mess regardless. I can't believe my baby is getting so big!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Brett found the "old school" Transformers Cartoon on You Tube and showed it to the kids. I don't know who is more into it, Brett or the kids. All I do know is that they sat like this for the entire 20 minute episode, completely enthralled.

Monday, March 9, 2009

T-ball has started

Spencer is in his first year of T-ball and is completely loving it. He is on the Red Sox (but can't understand why they have to have such a boring name as "Red Sox"). It is interesting to see them play at this age, as they are still trying to grasp the concept of catching a ball, let alone throwing it to a teammate at a base to try and get someone out. But they have had three games now and the improvement each game is amazing, so there is some hope that by the end of the season they might get the hang of it all.(Spencer's hat is a bit big on him, so he tucks his ears into his hat. It is cute, but sometimes I wonder if he can see what is going on out on the field.)
Brett has the opportunity to help coach the boys and is having a blast doing so. I am glad he is into baseball because really, it is not my thing, so it is nice to have him there to help out and teach Spencer.For Spencer's first game he had a crowd of fans. Grandma Higham, Becky, Michael, Doug and Liz and Alyssa, and Becky's friend Cameron all came out to cheer him on. I hope he knows that isn't the normal, but it sure was fun to have them all there. Hopefully I can get them to come to at least one more game this season. . .

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Happy Birthday Bailey

Yesterday we celebrated Bailey's 3rd Birthday and had a blast. We started out the morning with pancakes topped with peanut butter and maple syrup upon Bailey's request. Most of the day was filled with family activities, including going to Grandma and Grandpa Higham to play the Wii for a little. When I asked Bailey what she wanted for her birthday dinner, all she wanted was cupcakes. So I told her she could have that for dessert, but had to have something else for dinner. Her reply, "cooked carrots and rice". So we threw in some chicken nuggets for some protein and called it a meal. We love our Bailey girl so much and can't believe that she is 3 already (although she feels so much older than that). Happy Birthday Bails! We love you!
Bailey with her "cake"
The book that Bailey got from Tanner
A Dora movie from Natalie (don't mind that it is Christmas, we buy things on clearance and save them for birthdays later in the year) A fun game from Spencer.
Fun coloring books from Grandma and Grandpa B
And then this video is just cute of Bailey opening one last present.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Trip to the Snow

Because we had a long weekend the weekend of Presidents Day, we decided to head to Utah for a trip to the snow.  It was a last minute trip (we were back and forth on whether or not to go and finally decided Wednesday morning at 10:00 that we would leave at 2:00 that same day), but we decided that if we didn't do the trip then it wouldn't happen and Spencer has been asking to go to the snow all winter, so it was a must.  We got to Brian and Megan's late Wednesday night (or early Thursday morning, depending on how you look at it) and spent Thursday with them, just letting the kids play and enjoy "cousin time".  We were also able to go out to lunch with Great Grandma Betty and most of the girl cousins/cousins-in-law and their kids on the Bruschke side for Grandma Betty's birthday.  It was fun to see Brett's cousins that we haven't seen in so long.
On Friday Megan and kids, and me and my kids all headed down to go swimming with Grandpa Bruce and the Rustad kids.  There is a neat indoor pool that is heated that we were able to go to.  The kids haven't been swimming since last summer and had a blast.  That night was another birthday party, but this time for both Brian and Grandma Betty at Bruce and Karen's.  There was delicious food and good company.  And then the fun started.  When we were putting the kids down for bed Spencer said he didn't feel too well and by the time Brett and I went to bed he had a fever of 103.  Luckily Karen had some medicine in the cupboard, so we didn't have to run to the store.  But by morning it seemed to hit everyone.  Brian and Megan were sick, Brett and I weren't feeling well and some of the Rustad kids were feeling down and out as well.  We all laid around that morning, everyone taking naps other than Grandma Karen and Natalie, but since we had come to Utah to play in the snow we pulling out the snow gear and went to play.  The kids had fun helping Grandpa plow the driveway using the quad.
Grayden, Grandpa and Spencer
Grandpa and Bailey
Grandpa and Natalie
After they got things cleaned up we headed across the street to sled in a neighbors backyard.  By this point Brett and I were feeling so down and out that we just sat at the top of the hill most of the time letting the kids enjoy themselves.  Luckily there were cousins and Grandpa Bruce to help them up and down the hill.  Natalie was the official "pusher".  She didn't want to do any sledding so she stayed at the top making sure everyone got a good start.  Spencer went down the hill at least a dozen times and Bailey was right behind him going down as often as she could convince someone to go with her (like I was saying, Brett and I were not in any condition for sledding, so she had to find sledding companions elsewhere).  Tanner just sat at the top with Brett and seems to enjoy just being outside.
Megan, Talmage, Brian and Grayden
Spencer (now there is a face of pure joy)
Grandpa, Spencer and Bailey (do you see Natalie in the background having pushed them off?)
Bailey with her limited snow gear on (don't ask me what this face is)
And Natalie with hers
Jaclyn and Bailey
Dad and Tanner
Tanner boy
Natalie doing her "snow dance" up the hill
Brett, Tanner and Bailey (Bailey was able to convince Dad to go down once)
Brian and Talmage
Bailey and Tanner look like they are just chillin'. . .
. . .but that is the way that they made it up the hill.  Wouldn't that be nice?  Easy down easy up!
Megan, Grayden and Talmage
Grandpa Bruce and Tanner
Megan and Talmage
Grandpa and Tanner
By the end of Saturday night we were feeling so sick that we decided to cut our trip short and head home in the morning.  We figured if we left Sunday morning we would have two days to make the trip if we weren't feeling up to driving the whole way feeling so sick.  Brett was a trooper and was somehow able to drive the whole way home (in Las Vegas Weekend traffic mind you).  Cutting the trip short meant that we weren't able to see many people that we were planning on seeing, but it was all for the best that we didn't expose anyone else to that terrible sickness.  Brett and I were talking on the way home and decided that even though we got terribly sick and had to cut the trip short we were glad that we did it and were able to spend time with the Bruschke side of the family.