Tuesday, June 30, 2009

To infinity and beyond

I totally dig science-fiction. 

Not Star Trek science fiction (a little too nerdy, and gadget filled for me),

but more

Orson Scott Card,

The Giver

and Gattaca


science fiction. 

Ryan is a big fan and I’ve realized I am, too. 

And mostly, I think it’s either you love it or you don’t. 

I love future-istic,




utopian society stuff. 

I like the What If and Could It Happen of it all. 

I love Time Travel (because what would be cooler than that?)


I love the way this genre examines human nature and ethics and morals

by making humans more able and powerful. 

I love the escapism of it all. 

My dad doesn’t.  My friend who read The Road,

recently, doesn’t.

Which camp are you in?

Monday, June 29, 2009


It’s all I seem to do around this blog.  Sorry.

Ryan, hopefully, had a fun Father’s day.  I’m so not as good as he is at celebrating events.   Gabe carried this tray up the stairs, to our room, for a breakfast in bed surprise.  Picture 042

(He probably didn’t realize that for his Keep-Things-Pristine Father, the fact that he didn’t drop the tray was the biggest present of all). 

It’s so nice when he doesn’t have meetings, so besides that and the dinner of grilled sandwiches, chips, and banana pudding dessert, it wasn’t much of a day. Picture 043

We sure do feel lucky that he’s the Dad around here, despite our laid-back efforts.

Jessica, takes pictures of the food on her dates with Ryan.  Look at how pretty it was:Dinnerdate

We’ve had a few fun evenings out:  to Shock games with the Nebekers, to dinner at a local French cafe, to SYTYCD get-togethers (wasn’t last week’s kind of lame?). 

I also got to hang out with blog friend, Andrea, for a day and a half.

 Picture 063(Jessica A., also blogs with Andrea and wanted to get in on the fun.  Why do I look so shiny and tired?) 

It was so fun.  I dream of that kind of visit with all of you blogger friends—SO fun to ask all the questions that I always wonder about and get lots of back story.  She was a champ—mostly because she let Seth crawl ALL over her during the entirety of Sacrament meeting.  And ate my 4000 strawberry dishes (post about strawberry picking to come).

Emma and Gabe, had the THRILL of setting up this fort (see “shanty town” in the background):


and having a Late Night of games, treats and keeping up the neighbors in the Hunter’s backyard.  Who officially win as Funnest Neighbors Ever.

Remember last year’s photo at Silverwood?

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The sad faces were a result of me (pregnant) and Jane (too short) being left off the Big Rollercoasters at our local amusement park.

Well…replace it this one:silverwoodI was happily un-pregnant and Jane was more the 42 inches tall, so we took this picture on our first Big Kid ride.  She was truly scared out of her mind, but determinedly went on a few more…even ones Emma was a little too chicken for.  When asked later what her favorite part of the day was, she replied:  “Riding the Big Rollercoasters with Emma and Gabe”. 

Seth, who a friend dubbed Perma-Grin yesterday:

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seemed to have a great time hugging people at Silverwood.  Here with Odie:

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and Jane (who wanted no part of the Little Kid ride situation, but was cajoled into accompanying him on the helicopters):


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Faith, was a trooper at Silverwood, despite her refusal to nap in her stroller.  (Side note:  isn’t that so the problem with sleep-trained, Babywise kids?  They sleep like crazy at home, but have such a hard time doing it in your arms, carseat, stroller, etc.)  She loved the water at the wave pool:Picture 061

Today, she apparently sat herself up (as opposed to being plopped down), in her crib today, because this is how we found her after her nap:

Picture 075(I know.  So cute.) 

Okay, now we’re caught up.  I promise some deep essays, hilarious personal foibles, and recommendations sometime soon.  Especially if some of these kids that seem to require parenting 15 hours a day would disappear.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Saturday Summary

(I’m so glad I actually take pictures once in a while because that’s the only way I have any memory of the stuff we do.  So according to my camera, this is what we’ve been doing:)

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  We went to Jane’s Kindergarten Center BBQ.  (In our area, our schools are so overcrowded that our kindergarteners are bused to a center.  There are actually a lot of plusses about it.)  In the background you’ll see Jane’s teacher, Mr. McCaslin leading the sing-a-long room.  She loved him.  All of the other kindergartners were jealous that Jane’s teacher played the guitar in class everyday.  And had a soul patch.  For real.  Lucky for us, we have a CD now, so we can listen to Mr. McCaslin for the rest of our lives!




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This is, as you can no doubt tell, despite the lack of black-face, Sacagawea.  Emma’s awesome school puts on a wax museum program.  They freeze, like wax figures, and then the parents walk around and animate them.  They tell the story of their historical character.   

Note to future 4th grade parents:  You really like listening to YOUR child’s presentation, you kind of like listening to the kids in your neighborhood and then you spend the rest of the hour animating the kids that you feel bad for, because they are just sitting there frozen, staring at you.




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This is Seth’s preschool graduation.  Yes, we were very relieved that after the dismal assessment showing, he was allowed to graduate preschool after all.  Phew.   I made some graduation cupcakes but they a) tasted yucky and b) looked no where close as cute as the picture on the website I copied.  I hate that.




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This is Faith’s newest toy:



(I wish I had the guts to just leave it at that, but for the 3 of you out there who might be horrified:  she was on the counter in her Bumpo, while I was cooking 2 feet from her.  I heard a crash and saw that she’d successfully removed the knife from the knife holder.  I had the camera close and took a picture.)


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I made some awesome chicken satay the other night.  I remembered that our friends, the Seligers, make really good Thai food. The entertainer/cook in me couldn’t help but organize Asian Night.  We had Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese and this awesome Chow Mein cake (courtesy of Jessica A.):Picture 036

and LOTS of fun.





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This is our Last Day of School celebration, at Doug and Marcy’s pool.  It was lots of fun till the HUGE lightening strike.  At which point we scurried the kids out of the pool and huddled under the deck, hoping it would pass.  It didn’t.  Ah, Spokane in June.





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This is Gabe, post MRI, yesterday.  Looks like the Valium was talking, here.  His arm that had the bone infection is bugging him, so we’re taking precautions.  My mother’s intuition tells me it’s not a recurrence, but I wish I knew why his back, arm and neck have been bugging him so much.  Any ideas out there?






And for the grandparents in the audience, this one could be labeled either What Happens When We Don’t Feed Faith Fast Enough or Why It’s Awesome To Be Born Last and Have An Audience:

So that’s what the camera says we’ve been doing.  Summer’s here and for the first time ever, I’m a little terrified.  I usually look forward to lazier days and vacations, but the mess and noise of 5 kids is really freaking me out.  Wish us luck. 

Monday, June 15, 2009

Move it

**by guest writer, Ryan

Today Seth went to Chuck E. Cheese's for the 1st time. He wasn't sure about the place, but he seemed reassured when I promised him that it was a place where "a kid can be a kid." I then told him that a giant mouse lived there.

"Does it squeak?"
"No he just talks."
"How does a mouse talk like?"

I made a lame explanation that didn't even really make sense to me. After arriving and losing the obligatory change as it lodged itself in the token machine we began to scout out the place. Catching a glimpse of the animatronic Chuck, I excitedly dragged Seth over.

Seth gawked at him in utter amazement as Chuck sang some song I'll never remember, moved his arms robotically and batted his humongous eyelids. He sat and stared for a minute and then noticed something.

"Can his legs move dad?"
"Guess we'll have to see."
"I want to see his legs move."
"Come on ... let's go see what else there is here."
"I'm staying here until his legs move."

Chuck's legs never did move, but lucky for me Seth's finally did.

Friday, June 12, 2009

I should be charging you for this…


scan0001 scan0002

*from Real Simple magazine

Seeing that I’m a published writer, and all.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Babies don’t keep


Faith was 6 months on May 1st. 

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Some 6 months (okay, almost 7 months) stats:

15 pounds (and more importantly maintenance of the 20th percentile)

28 inches

Champion sleeper, down to 2 naps a day and 13 hours at night.

Not so good eater—a combination of breastmilk (thank you alfalfa, fenugreek and a good hospital pump), formula, baby food and lots of crusts and crackers shoved in her hands to keep her happy.

Sitting well, finally

EXTREMELY happy…if entertained.

Can blow raspberries, fake cough and do this high pitch scream on command.

Not-so-good with babysitters and holders at church.  We’re working on it.

Loved and super fun all the time.


Before she was six months, I was up all night, training her to sleep, Baby-Bjorning, wiping spit up, nursing, trying to retain my milk supply, shielding her from over-loving siblings, attempting to run errands in that infinitesimal space between baby’s naps, feedings and kindergarten drop-off, bemoaning and working off the baby-weight,  keeping up with the lives of her 4 other siblings and, of course, kissing, biting, nuzzling, rocking, lullaby-ing, tickling and strolling.

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And I was really really really trying to appreciate, enjoy, soak in this possible last baby.

And then she was 6 months.  What? …6 months is one half of a year.  An actual age.  How did my newborn become an actual age?

I promise I did not soak it up enough.  And, still, it’s here.

I was kind of wishing I’d feel more relief or something.  Not this achy, where-did-it-go and am-I-really-not-going-to-have-another-perfectly-yummy-looking-smushy-baby-who-thinks-I’m-the-greatest-thing-that-ever-lived feeling. 

I commented to Ryan the other day:  “If someone could invent a Have Your Child At Any Age For A Few Hours machine, I would pay thousands of dollars for it, in a second.”  Don’t you agree?5

Lucky for me, my friend Randi (here for her family blog, here for her photo website)takes these kinds of pictures, so I can remember exactly how sweet she was.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Quick Quote #33

Gabe to Emma: "If I HAD to choose to marry Girl A or Girl B (names changed to protect the innocent), I would choose Girl B. Girl A gives me too much back talk."

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Elements of an Awesome Third Grade Titanic party

This is what you’ll need:

a costume:

Picture 189

a cute face to use it on:

Picture 191

delicious, fancy looking food, that 8 year olds will eat:

Picture 193 

pretty place settings:

Picture 199

a classroom decorated like a boat (notice the portholes, the life preserver and the captain):

Picture 197

superb wait staff:

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a maitre d’ that also sings “Danny Boy” for entertainment:

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a hot chick to waltz with (I use the term “waltz” very loosely):

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And maybe, if you do all of these things…you’ll get a thank you note that goes something like this:

Dear Mom.  Thank you for coming and severing (sic).  I did not think I would like it when you severed.  (Well, who would?) But I liked it.  And That’s the way Ah-Ah I like it.    Love, Gabe. 

(The third grade does this every year and it is incredible.  The kids get so excited and really learn about the Titanic, etiquette, turn of the century history and dress, and their individual persona.  I’m grateful my kids go to such a great school.)