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Friday, January 30, 2009

I Can't Tell You How Happy it Makes Me

. . . to look down and see this:


look up and see this:


look around and see this:


and look beside me and see this:

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Only Good Thing About Ellen Being Sick and Miserable

. . . is all the extra hugging and cuddling.

(Are you enjoying how she's dressed for the day and I'm not? I hope so.)

Just during the time I was posting this, she fell asleep leaning against my leg at the computer. Guess I'd better add a couple of pictures of that too.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pegboard Beads and Crumbs

I have a love/hate relationship with Perler® beads.

I love: when they keep the kids occupied for large amounts of time.

I hate: when they keep me occupied for large amounts of time.

Monday, January 26, 2009

My Girl Wants to Party All the Time

We are doomed to fail to live up to Jane's inborn high standards of festivity. Last Monday (the same day that she was begging me, "Please, pleeeease can we have a Martin Luther King, Jr. party with all of the cousins tonight?), she felt we were unacceptably tardy with decorations for Valentine's Day, so she enlisted Zuzu and they took matters into their own hands:

I was impressed.

They were so pleased with the first doorway curtain, they spent the next day after school putting up another.

Was Jane done? Certainly not. Here are the fruits of her labors from the day after that:

(If only she would direct the smallest bit of that energy toward making her bed.)

Next Monday, I will most certainly awake to enthusiastic shouts of "Happy Groundhog Day!" Thanks, kids, for giving me so much to celebrate.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Adam, Looking through the DVD Collection:

"Mom, we shouldn't watch Batman, because there's a serious bad guy in there."

"And look, mom, that girl is tending Superman."

Thursday, January 22, 2009

For a Moment I Was Worried I Married a Freak

Peter: Is it really Friday tomorrow already?
Me: Yep, tomorrow's Friday.
Peter: Garbage.
Me (incredulous): You don't like Fridays?
Peter: No. I mean, I'll need to put out the garbage.


These were under my pillow when I went to bed. What a sweet little Zuzu I have.

P.S. Though I'm not so much a breakfast-in-bed kind of girl, it does sound more comfortable than breakfast in Deb.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

GIVEAWAY: We Have a Winner!

Once I tried changing comments to display in a pop-up box, Blogger would finally let my sister leave comments. Bizarre. I don't prefer the pop-up box, but I DO prefer lots of comments from Z, so there you go.

Anyhoo, she guessed (among other things): "To throw at annoying neighbor cats?," which was exactly correct, so, woo-hoo, she wins! Man, she wins all the blog contests.

As for the frozen clementine projectiles -- no, we're not animal haters. There is a backstory.

Since moving into this house, we've enjoyed the many birds that the mature trees here brought to our yard. We especially loved all the quail, and the adorable quail babies that came every season, scampering around our backyard after their parents, looking, from our kitchen window, surprisingly like tiny walnuts on legs.

In the last couple of years, however, there's been an upsurge of ill-mannered, untended cats prowling our backyard day and night. We don't know who they belong to, but there seem to be more all the time. The backyard bird populations are in decline, and the quail are gone.

So, yes, I feel a private delight when Peter takes aim at one of the churlish felines.

And Here's What Happens When Someone Leaves the Bathroom Door Open

Again, a blessedly milder-than-usual incident. No water on, toilet's still closed, no contaminated toothbrushes, and -- miraculously -- the T.P. isn't unrolled into a heap on the floor. And do you see how again she removed her pants in advance, meaning that the ancient stick of Skin So Soft™ she's pulverizing is all over skin instead of clothing? I promise she does customarily wear pants, so I have to see it as Providence. Or maybe she's just trying to moisturize. Or maybe, next time I see that her pants are off, I should consider myself on notice.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

My Powers of Suggestion are Weak

Adam, climbing into my lap: Tell me a story, mom.
Me: Once there was a little boy named Adam. And he was very tired and cranky, so he decided to take a nap. He lay down on his pillow, and he pulled his blanket up, and he fell asleep. And when he woke up, he felt much better, and was sweet and nice to everyone. The end.
Adam, pointing his finger in my face: Bad. Bad story. That story isn't about me, that's a story about Ellen.

Would You Believe She Made This Easy Bake™ Confection Almost Entirely by Herself?

Yes. Yes you would.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Decorating Idea for Homes with Toddlers


Do you like our kitchen furniture arrangement?  (I don't know which of my children added the doll chair to the mix the other day, but I thought it was hilarious, hence the pic.)  When someone forgets and leaves a chair down, Ellen drags them around so she can get up on the counters and get out, oh -- I don't know -- say, the vaseline.  That's just a hypothetical example off the top of my head.

Vaseline Should Really Come with a Childproof Lid

At least
1) she was in the kitchen instead of the bedroom this time.
2) she had the foresight to remove her pants beforehand.
3) the shirt she had on already bore stains from two older sisters.
4) the floor and cabinets were in desperate need of cleaning anyway.
5) it helped with her dry, chapped skin.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Trouble with Comments?

Hey,  I just found out that my sister has been trying to leave comments on my blog unsuccesfully since last week.  She types her comment, submits it, then . . . nothing.  The comment box goes blank again.  I'm supposed to get email notifications for all comments so I can allow them, and I haven't gotten any for hers.

So now I'm curious: Is anyone else having problems?  If you'd let me know at mcanary(at), I'd appreciate it.  Thanks.

Three Stories From Our Sunday

Me, to Adam, who is running around, not letting me put his clothes on:  Hey, you can cooperate, or you can stay home.
Adam, nodding head emphatically with each part of the phrase:  Those, are my, options.

Adam, as we're getting ready to leave for dinner at my dad's house:  Can I bring my jedi robe and my blue light saber, so I can show grandpa a little action?

When Adam (in his jedi robe) and I get in the car, we find that Jane is wearing her Little Red Riding hood cape and Zuzu has on her sparkly princess cape.  I'm glad everyone was able to come up with proper attire for an evening at grandpa's house.

Adam, on the drive up to grandpa's house: Ellen, you and me growed out of mama's belly!  We did!
Ellen:  Yeah.
Adam:  Mom!  I said to Ellen (repeats everything he said) and she said, 'Yeah!'
Jane: Wait.  Mom?  How does . . . ?  Under what circumstances . . . does the uterus . . . produce an egg that grows into a baby?
Me, considering the mixed company and thinking quickly:  Um, well, the egg has to be fertilized.
Jane (apparently finding this to be a sufficient answer):  Oh.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Zuzu Doesn't Fall Far from the Tree (But She Does Fall)

Zuzu likes to take her sled on some sweet jumps.

Jane wants to too, but she keeps missing the jump. 
Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

So, Zuzu takes it upon herself to demonstrate how it's done.  "Mine is straight, you see.  So I got on the sled, and I start going. . . "

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Is It Really That Hard to Get My Attention?

The phone just rang and I answered it.

"Hello? . . . Hello? . . . Hello?"

Oh, great. Is it that prerecorded thing I hung up on a few minutes ago calling back? Is a telemarketer about to come on? Wait, I hear little kid noises in the background. Did one of my sister's kids accidentally call me?

Wait, those sound like the same little kid noises going on in my own house. I turn around, and there's Ellen, with my cell phone out of my purse and tucked under her chin, grinning at me.

(Can you imagine Ellen's delight when I pulled out the camera instead of taking the phone away? Can you imagine the betrayal she felt a moment later?)

Monday, January 5, 2009

I Was Beginning to Suspect It.

Me:  Kids, you wear me out.
Jane:  It's our secret ambition.

Baby Gift Opportunity of a Lifetime

My cousin is having twins, a boy and a girl.  Now, I can recognize a very special crafting opportunity when it comes along, but at first, this was the best I could come up with:  

At the 11th hour before her shower, inspiration struck, and thanks to Peter stopping for onesie blanks on his way home from work, I was able to make these as well:

Many thanks to Adam for planting the idea in my head by talking incessantly about Star Wars.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

I Looked Out the Window and What Did I See? (GIVEAWAY!)

We had some clementines that were going bad, and I was surprised when I saw that Peter had lined them up to freeze on our back deck instead of throwing them out.  Then I figured out what he intended to use them for, and was mightily amused.

I'm offering homemade toffee or bread--your choice-- to whoever is first to correctly guess what they're for.  (Lili, sorry, you don't get to guess since I already told you the story.)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

One-Woman Freak Show

Zina tagged me, before I even started the blog, and I'm supposed to list 6 random, abstract, weird things about myself.

1.  I'm not very hairy.  I once went 2 1/2 years without shaving and no one really noticed.

2.  I do have some very fine, soft, pale hair on my face, especially on my upper lip and on my jawline right in front of my ears.  I was looking in the mirror one day when I was pregnant with Adam and I noticed that maybe there was more of it there on the sides of my face than before, so I started pulling it out, and -- !!! -- it had gotten to be, like, 2 inches long. My "angel moustache" was thicker and longer, too.  Of course I had to shave it, even though it was nearly invisible.  It came back again when I was pregnant with Ellen.  I was the lady who shaves her face but not her legs.

3.  I can sing off-tune, on purpose, exceptionally well.  I can make it as slight or as drastic as I want.  I do it to amuse myself sometimes.  It drives Peter crazy.  Most people who sing off-tune aren't doing it by choice, and you'd be surprised at how many people with good pitch aren't able to sing off-key deliberately.

4.  I don't watch television, and I've never paid for cable in my life.  It's not a matter of principle, I just got out of the habit a couple of decades ago and never got back into it.  I do watch during General Conference and the Olympics. I think The Office is hilarious and I've seen a lot from the first four seasons on TiVo at my mom's house, but I always forget to turn on the TV when it's on.   Don't feel sorry for me -- the internet helps me fulfill my time-wasting needs.

5.  My right foot was once run over by a bus.  It was in Japan during the morning rush hour (I added this so you'll know the bus was as heavy as it could have been when it happened).  I got knocked off my bike and under the bus.  Miraculously, no bones were broken, but it swelled up to an enormous size and to this day it feels itchy and tickles in annoying and hard-to-describe ways on the inside sometimes from the soft-tissue damage I sustained.  (I can feel it right now, in fact.)  And my right ankle has been bigger than my left ankle ever since.   There's a faith-promoting story associated with this incident, but I'll save it for another post.

6.  In my lifetime I've received paychecks for (among other things): stapling math packets together,  making copies in a law office, selling lingerie, working in an elementary school library, working at a university library reference desk, doing some recording work for Deseret Book, writing an inspirational piece about the invention of the ATM for the Franklin-Covey company, soloing  with the Utah Symphony, writing product copy for an online store that never launched, singing with the Utah Opera chorus, providing Xena's "fight sounds and battle cries" for the Xena:Warrior Princess video game, conducting library research for a California environmental consulting company, giving voice lessons to teenagers, proofreading/editing, performing at the Utah Governor's Arts Ball, and one signed by Gordon B. Hinckley for dancing around in a pig costume and dressing as a giant Christmas tree. 

Friday, January 2, 2009

Good Point.

Adam (playing with playdough at the table with Zuzu): Moms aren't the coolest. Dads are the coolest, not moms. 
Zuzu: Good point.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A long time ago, in a stable far, far away.

Adam, ready to play Joseph in our Christmas Eve nativity reenactment.

Adam, doing some mid-performance improvisation. He pulled his robe over his face and said, "This is my helmet. I'm Dark Vader." Then he turned to Jane (playing Mary) and said, "You are part of the Rebel Alliance, and a traitor. Take her away!"

First Post.

A New Year, a new blog -- and one I've resisted starting for many, many years, mostly because I already spend too much time on the computer and know far too well my tendency for perfectionistic tinkering.

I hope I will be able to use my powers of blog for good.