Thursday, April 29, 2010


A little camera love for the cousins. . .

I had already wiped her face three times since we got to the park. Seriously. That sand gets everywhere.

Toddler Fun

These photos pretty much sum up how Kylie felt about having Alexa around for 3 1/2 days.

I love me a toddler in overalls and pigtails. But two toddlers in overalls and pigtails? I was practically having seizures from all the cuteness.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Three toddlers.
Four baby dolls.
You would think
those relative proportions
would be favorable enough
to keep said toddlers
from fighting
over said baby dolls.
But you would be wrong.

So very, very wrong.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Say "hello" to my little friends

These two have actually been playing together the whole time and rather enjoying it. Tomorrow we add Claire. Maybe I can get a shot of all three little ladies together.
The kids kept telling me this was a jungle. With all the little sections of bushes, it did make a pretty good little-person maze.
It was tough to break them away from the fountain. It was pretty bright and sunshiney.

Hills must be rolled down, of course. Dylan was showing Keith the ropes.
This little one is pretty cool. I can see how she's going to be her mama's sanity saver. The middle child and only girl, she's pretty mellow and happy and she's a great sharer. (At least that's how she's been around here!)

The girls were pretty excited about the flowers--these two mostly stuck to the leaves. I was informed that this was because they were making soup.

They're doing great, Christa. Keifers will probably call you tonight at bedtime. He was a little sad last night, but he recovered pretty fast.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Beautiful Morning

I took all the hooligans outside for a couple hours this morning. Bright, bright sunshiney day (so, you know, absolutely horrible light for photography), and all the sunlight and flowers made me happy. The kids, you ask? Well, I got a few scattered shots of them, too. Maybe I'll get to the photos later, but I've got to get back to the kids now.

We found quite a few bugs today. Dylan sang a song to a ladybug, Keith squished a few ants, but nobody wanted to get close to this little guy.

Spring has definitely arrived. I'm pretty jazzed about it.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Keilana the Bilingual Reader

Keilana brought home two new books today. One was a Q1 First Grade reader, which she totally breezed through. The other was a Q2 Second Grade reader, for which she only had to slow down on four or five words. Her nightly homework is to read for 10 minutes, so I have her read me two English books and then two Spanish ones (technically, she's supposed to write five words five times every night, but she enjoys writing so much and does it on a daily basis anyway, so I never make her do that). Her Spanish reading is right on par with her grade level, right about where you would expect a typical native Spanish speaker to be at the end of Kindergarten. Her verbal Spanish has now way outpaced mine (with the exception being at Church, since my "Gospel vocabulary" is much bigger than hers--glad I'm getting something out of teaching RS that fourth Sunday every month!) After Church last Sunday, she was writing word problems (yes, writing herself math problems). In Spanish. For fun.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Six loads of laundry done
bathrooms scrubbed
kids' closets organized
spare room put back together
(boxes and boxes and boxes of stuff stuffed away)
house sparkling clean from top to bottom
Keilana's knee-holes patched
a bit more knitting done
dinner for another family in the crockpot
ward newsletter finished
lesson for SS read through
lesson for RS almost done.

Of course, its 55 and pouring rain
so I'm seriously craving some clam chowder
and fresh-baked-anything
And its only 3 weeks til Mother's Day
and haven't thought of anything for mom or mom-in-law
Any good ideas?
Send them my way
(even better if an almost-six-year-old can do it or at least help
she loves making stuff).

Now I need to find a quiet corner
to do some writing. . .

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Enough already, I know

We went to a playdate at Becky's house yesterday and soaked up the wonderfulness that is her backyard. Kylie, not knowing the place or about half the people there, was of course a clingeratti. Never has anyone captured her pout so well. Thanks, Becky!
(and I promise to start posting something other than pictures of Kylie soon)

Thursday, April 15, 2010


She's terribly shy around anyone other than Doug, Keilana, Dylan and myself.
She's pretty laid back, low-key and easily contented--usually.
She loves dresses, skirts and tutus.
When she's not being shy, she's usually being bossy.
She slaps her hand against her leg and glares when you tell her "no"
She is such a Mama's girl.
She's convinced that she's got her daddy completely wrapped around her little finger.
She's not terribly far off in that conviction.
She loves shoes. But girly shoes. If I put her brown sneakers on her and she comes across something pink, purple, or sparkly, she will insist I switch the shoes and glare if I don't.
She is very affectionate. She loves to hug, cuddle and kiss, or just sit quietly in someone's lap.
She's a tease--frequently offering things to people and then taking them away at the last second and giggling.
She loves other people her size. She gets excited when other toddlers come to our house and follows them around, trying to hug and kiss them.
She is obsessed with babies. She's often carrying a baby doll around and insists on holding real babies whenever she finds any.
She is extraordinarily expressive for a young child, but in very, very subtle ways.
There is usually a tiny glint of mischief in her smile.
She's sweet. If someone is upset, she generally tries to hug and kiss them better.
She's a fish. I frequently find her trying to climb into the tub during the day. She thinks that fountains are swimming pools and gets very frustrated when she's not allowed to get in them. If there's water within 25 yards of her, she'll find it.
She sleeps. The night she was born, she and I both slept for six hours straight. She slept a lot as an infant and took two 2-hour naps a day until about her first birthday. I was up in the middle of the night maybe 4 times her entire first year. She still takes a 2 1/2-3 hour nap almost every day and sleeps for about 12 hours every night. Its amazing.
She wouldn't know what to do without her brother and sister. She's a "Me-too" through and through. Fortunately, they both love her, are patient with her and include her in their games, even though that's often hard to do because she's so much younger.
She's spoiled.
We adore her.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I know, I know

I have a problem. But bear with me. Kylie was my guinea pig today while I tried some things I haven't done in a while. Which I imagine you can't see, these probably look like the pics I always post. But putting them on my blog makes me feel more accountable for progress. And now you can see how she would prefer that I dress her every day.

She's actually quite a good little model, because she isn't nearly as frenetic as the other two. And she likes to smile :)

Monday, April 12, 2010


When I started to get Kylie dressed in this cute little sweat pants and velour shirt combo this morning (very appropriate for a day at home that's all cold and drizzly, especially since I only turn on our heat about four times a year), she started yelling at me in a clearly irritated tone and pointing. It took me a second, but I realized she was pointing at the dresses in her closet. When she saw that I figured out what she was pointing at, she pointed at them one more time and then huffed as she pointed at herself. I maintained that it was too cold for a sundress, but she wasn't interested in listening to reason. Keilana didn't clean her room very well before bed time last night, which turned out to be fortuitous, as it meant that one of the girls' tutus was still lying on the ground. I pulled that up over Kylie's sweats and now everybody is happy.
When she started crying at strangers at 8 weeks, I knew she was going to be a problem. But throwing fits about dresses before 18 months?! Keep your fingers crossed for us. We're gonna need it.

Friday, April 9, 2010


I love animals. If we ever increase our income in any substantial way, we will have horses. I'm thinking about getting another cat. We have a dog that goes with us almost as frequently as our children do, and sleeps on our bed half the time. But your dog is not as important as my kid. No dog is ever as important as any kid. To see the life of a dog and the life of a person (or the life of any animal and the life of a person) as equivalent in value is morally retarded. And I don't mean that as a casual insult, I mean it literally: if you believe that animals are just as important as people, I believe that your moral development has been impeded or halted in some manner.

I should never go into JoAnn's without adult supervision. It is supremely difficult to fight the urge to spend far more money than I should, and every where I look I am reminded of things I love but have put on hold the last few years due to time, space and expense. Its time to get the junk out of Kylie's room and into storage, bunkbeds set up for the older kids and the crib moved so that I can set up my sewing machine and have somewhere to store craft supplies. I must get back to my hobbies. Learning to knit was dumb--now there's another massive section of the store that tempts me.

Kylie is going to be trouble. As long as she gets her way at all times, she is an easy-going, happy, playful delight. But she glares more effectively than any toddler I've ever known. She usually cries or glares when she is told "no", but if she's tired or upset enough, she punches or slaps me. When we go into stores, instead of hiding in the clothing racks and knocking things down like a normal 16-month-old, she brings me frilly things and expects me to put them on her. Almost always, it is something pink or purple and there are frequently ruffles involved. Glaring commences when I refuse to immediately change her into the ruffle-butted aqua-with-white-polka-dot capris and puffy-sleeved pink shirt that she has brought me.

I can't "think locally" very well. I'm constantly trying to figure out how each new bit of information fits into the big picture, whether that means the big picture of someone's personality or the big picture of international politics. I always want more information so I can figure out where it "fits". Unfortunately, I'm not very good at that, except on occasion with spiritual subjects, but that's only because I have help on those. On the other hand, I can sometimes get so hung up on a particular example or situation that the principle goes right over my head for a while. I find this incredibly annoying about myself.

I need to start putting deadlines on myself for writing projects, or I'm never going to develop the way I want to, and this blog will be my biggest accomplishment. I must get going if I'm going to publish that book that's going to make us all that money for that big house with room for the horses (outside, of course--we don't intend to keep horses in the house).

I've discovered that I am incredibly impatient when I think someone I love isn't getting a fair shake, and I have about as much patience as a hungry bear with behavior I perceive as selfish or vapid.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

a favorite. . .

Mimi with her two newest grandbabies,
a nice Easter Sunday image.
A day to remember
the loneliest walk ever taken,
the loneliest task ever completed,
so that we never have to be lonely,
so that we can be together.
Bound, sealed, blessed.
The world can be an ugly place,
but the future is bright.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Fearlessly conquering
the rockwall,
in pink plaid pants
and silver, sequined ballet flats
More spring break coming soon. . . .