Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Aunt Jenny saves the day

Last weekend Casey and I went to the temple and did a few other things (like get the stitches out of his lip. When you live in an isolated area, you always combine errands.) Usually when we leave the kids on their own, I make dinner for them, remind them of the rules, and give them something to look forward to when they're done with their jobs, like staying up late to watch a new movie. But we learned that we'd have to leave early for Casey to get his second booster for the India trip and so there was no such preparation before we jumped and ran. Chaos resulted, as witnessed by my sister-in-law Jenny when she brought Meri home. I lifted this from her blog:

Violent Tendencies

This last weekend I helped babysit for my nieces and nephew. The violence that ensued reminded me of my own childhood when my parents would leave. I was witness to kicking, yelling, threatening, bawling, chasing, and machete-whacking intentions.
But I knew things were on the up-swing when I witnessed this tender moment:
My nephew hugged his older sister and apologetically said, "Sorry I tried to whack your face with a machete..."

Later, when I was recounting the horrors to my dad, I said, "Who in their right mind would give a machete to a little boy with violent tendencies?!"
Looking slightly abashed, my dad said: "Me."

When Anika related how Jenny had stepped in, she counseled us "You should probably pay her. Or at least buy her some shoes."

I'm pretty confident that if Jenny hadn't helped out it would have been a lot longer for Anderson to arrive at the point of apologizing. This is the same boy who, at age 4, chased Anika around the house while yelling, "I'm not gonna hurt you! Now come back here or I'll sword you in pieces!"

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's 2009

On the 14th of February, 2009, Casey and I celebrated our 14th Valentine's Day since getting married!

Here are some of the fun things we did on the day before Valentine's Day:

Casey worked.

I left the two little girls with him (during Rosalie's nap) so that I could go to school to help Anderson's class make paper flowers.

I snuck out of the First Grade Flower-making Fest to take some pictures of the Sixth Grade Valentine's Dance. Here is Anika dancing with her cousin Brigham. Aren't they cute!

Then I ran to town with Rosalie to get some fresh blueberries and strawberries on sale at Smith's but so did everyone else. So I got a raincheck instead and a bunch of refrigerated rolls.

I got home in time to say goodbye to Casey and the older kids as they went off to Casey's basketball game. After I fed myself and Rosalie, we drove over to watch, too. We cheered for a while, and then I took Rosalie into the women's bathroom to be changed. When I came out again, they were mopping Casey's blood up off the floor. The spectators excitedly informed me that my husband was probably in the men's bathroom and also probably in need of stitches. Both proved to be true.
It took us a while to get the whole family loaded back into two cars, drive home, set them up with instructions on how to spend the evening without us, and get to the clinic in North Ogden. About an hour later Casey had six stitches in his upper lip (mostly on the inside) and we were on our way home to watch Corner Gas together while Casey tried not to laugh.

Here are some of the fun things we did on Valentine's Day:

I actually decorated! That is, I put out a red tablecloth, only the warm colors from our plastic plate collection, and glass cups. They didn't match, but I knew I'd achieved the desired effect when Anika walked by and said, "Oooh---Fancy!"
The monkey bread (here's where the refrigerated rolls come in) looked wonderful. And was totally doughy inside. I followed the instructions exactly, but. . . Next time I'll skip the fancy bundt pan and just use a casserole dish. So I whipped up some crepes while we waited for the middle parts to recook.
After that, Meredith went back to bed with a fever while Casey lay on the couch in pain and hunger (it's really hard to eat with lip stitches.) Then he got up and did our taxes. And then his sister Emily's taxes. 'Cuz as long as you're in pain . . .

Lissa had been begging me, so I helped her make this owl (from a pattern my friend Star designed.) See how much she LOVES it. Anderson looked on. Anika drifted around between the bookshelf and the monkey bread platter.
And the day wore away like any other Saturday. Two baths for Rosalie, three outings (as in "get out!") for Anderson and Lissa, each, and some cleaning of the house in time for Sunday.

But wait! Did I mention our mutual gift exchange? We got each other matching King-sized Snickers bars! Go ahead and laugh (or snicker) if you must. In our defense, I think flowers are beautiful but I hate watching them die. Especially the potted ones. We had a discussion about getting some chocolates and realized that our favorite kind are the kind with nuts and caramel, but a box of them would be more than we want to go to waist--ergo the Snickers. Out of sympathy I am waiting to eat mine until he can eat his.

This year's Love Poem:

"Are you glad that we did marry?"
"Yes, my love," I answered. "Very."

The End

Friday, February 13, 2009

Pay it Forward--a risky proposition

My friend Charity posted this little game on her blog--here's the deal: Be one of the first three commenters on this post and I will send you a handmade gift sometime in the next year. I get to choose what it is and when (mwahahaha) BUT!--You also have to do the same thing with your blog. It's a chain letter gone WILD! Actually, I hate chain letters but I love handmade gifts. And this will get me motivated to create something, which I love to do but rarely get around to anymore.

So if you don't want to get swept up in the crazy of a chain-homemade-gift-giving--do not respond! At least not until 3 other people do first.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Learning Patience

When Rosalie gets hungry--at least eight times a day--she gets SO hungry. She hangs off the front edge of her highchair tray until I put her in and then moans and whines frantically until she gets something to eat. I have to make soothing reassurances while I'm fetching the juice, or opening the can of mandarin oranges--"Hold on, I'm almost done. Just a minute."
So I was halfway through making her some Ramen when I tuned in to realize that she wasn't whining for a change; she was repeating this to herself: "Ho'd on, Me. Ho'd on, Me."

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Passage to India

Casey is going to India on business. He works with "off-shore" employees who mostly live in Chennai and Hyderabad. His bosses think it will help things if the people from here go meet the people from there.

He'll be gone for nearly two weeks in March, including his birthday.

27 hours on a plane. Both ways. 10 hours a day in meetings. In the middle of big cities in the second most populated country in the world.

At least he is friends with some of the other people going on this trip.

He asked me, not quite seriously, if I want to go. I have considered it, but in the end, the logistics are too daunting. I would have to: get a new passport, (and pay extra to expedite it), get a bunch of immunizations against things like Hepatitis and Typhoid, plan to take malaria pills for the entire trip and 6 weeks after, arrange for child care for 2 weeks (!!!), pay a thousand or two for a ticket, and then figure out what to do with myself for the first 10 days while Casey is in meetings all day. And then I'd get to go see some sites with my husband for 2 or 3 days.
Now, my younger self would have thought my current self was being totally poopsie. (Songer variation on party-pooper, fogey, stick-in-the-mud, etc.)
My younger self was informed by the gorgeous color photographs in National Geographic. I maintain that the Sari is the most beautiful female clothing in the history of the world. And even the word, India, is beautiful.
My current self (I didn't say older, and don't you think it--I could just as easily have said "the old me used to think. . .but now the new me thinks. . ." That's funny--silly English language.). . .aaand where was I? Oh, yeah--I am still informed by National Geographic, but now I read the articles. And these days it's all about the overcrowded slums, the unemployment, the disease, the westernization--it's totally off-putting. And the PBS documentary about the young women forced into slavery/prostitution wasn't very heartening, I'll tell you. The only other information I have internalized comes from three books--A Passage to India, The Jungle Book, and Little Black Sambo. You might see why I have mixed feelings.

In the end it comes down to this--If I'm going to pay all that money, get all those shots, and saddle someone really generous with my five children, I want to go to China to visit my brother Mike and his family! And I want Casey to be with me full time, not just in the evenings when his head is spinning from speaking computer in nearly comprehensible English.

The Creative Power of Hunger

It was Fast Sunday.

I was making dinner but just not fast enough.

So Ani and Lissa made pizza, noodles, a relish tray, a jug of orange juice, and some watermelon. Mmm, mmm.

Baking Powder--right

So my mom asked me to send her a few things to Mexico including the rest of her can of special aluminum-free baking powder.

I can just see the Customs officer reading through my declaration slip--
"Spanish/English electronic translator--check
Music CD--check
Floss Threaders--?--uh, check
Christmas letters--check
Baking Powder--Hmm, this can is opened. And filled with loose white powder--Hah! You can't pull one over on ME--into the quarantine you go, with all the rest of these items which were so obviously included merely to throw me off the scent!"

And so I'll save the baking powder for a shipment that they don't need in a hurry. It will be an interesting experiment. I'm planning to send it along with Mom's prescription medication as soon as it comes in the mail. Hmm, I've been waiting on that for a few weeks now. I wonder if it had to clear Customs. . .