Thursday, May 26, 2011

Overworked and underpaid

I ran around all day today doing things for others.  And I don't think anyone even cared.

My day:

7:00 - woke up (this is late for me, usually 6)
7:30 - beg girls to please get ready for errands earlier than normal.  Check hours for Scout Shop.  Open at 9 - sweet!
8:00 - decide to take Bugs to school (he has to be there early for safety patrol) because today is his band concert and he hates carrying his heavy saxophone.  I'm nice like that.
8:15 - tell Jedi to come too, and he can just eat breakfast at school instead of walking alone in 15 minutes
8:30 - run to Walmart to get Goo Gone and red icing.  It's scouts tonight and I have to remove some patches I put on a shirt with stupid Badge Magic and Goo Gone is recommened. Red icing in case I have time for baseball cupcakes.  More on those later.
9:00 - go to the Scout Shop all the way in Sandy
9:05 - one of the things I need is sold at another counter in the Scout Shop (huh?) and they don't get there till 10.  You're kidding.  She agrees to sell me one on their behalf if I have cash.  I surprisingly have enough.  Catastrophe averted.
9:30 - I am near my favorite store, Tai Pan Trading, so I stop in for their tent event sale.  Rosebud is pitching a fit and won't stay in the cart.  Everyone is staring (or at least it feels that way). 
10 - scoutmaster texts me to pick up something for the troop.  I'm still in Sandy, so back to the Scout Shop.  I'm nice like that.
10:15 - I grab what I need but they tell me their computers just went down. REALLY? Girls are acting crazy.  Rosebud is in underwear and I'm shocked no accident yet.
10:30 - everything up and running and we finish.
11 - home, potty the baby, feed the girls lunch, attack scout shirt patch problem which takes forever, and then it must be laundered separately.  I wash it alone and get out the next kid's scout shirt.  Realize he also needs the newest rank badge sewn on. I see lots of dirty spots so I wash it in a small load as well.  Hang them each to dry.
12:30 - Princess to Kindergarten.  Off to the dry cleaners to take Strider and Potter's suits that I forgot to take with me this morning when I went near there to Walmart.  Grr.  Prices have gone up $2 for suits.  Of course they have.
1:00 - Rosebud asleep so I indulge in a rare fast food drive-through lunch. Mmmm.
1:30 - make cupcakes for Strider.  He wants to do a special treat for the final game.  I didn't mind doing them, but told him didn't know if I'd have time.  Well, I found the time to bake them.  Decorate later?  Hope so.
2:00 - shirts still not dry.  Hmm.  When to sew new badges on? I chill on the computer for a bit before needing to leave.
2:30 - Rosebud still asleep but we need to leave soon for Bugs' band concert.  Gather her shoes, water, snack, toy. 
2:45 - take bawling Rosebud to Potter's school so we can pick him up and have him join us for the concert (she hates to be woken up).  I told him in the morning he'd have to hurry out to the van - I'd be waiting because the concert is at 3:00.
2:55 - Potter finally shows up. I lecture him for being incosiderate of others' time.
3:00 - send Potter into the school ahead of me to run Bugs his tie that he asked me to bring him for the performance.
3:01 - get Rosebud out of her carseat and see that I forgot to bring her shoes.  What the??  Oh Geez.  Throw her on my hip and hurry.
3:40 - concert over, I send Potter up to the stage to offer to take Bugs' instrument home for him.  I'm nice like that.  He says no - he's fine.  Um, kay.
4:05  - Bugs storms into the house and asks why we didn't take his sax home for him?  Excuse me?  Obvious misunderstanding there.
4:30 - decorate cupcakes to looks like baseballs with the player names on them. Jedi comes in and looks over my shoulder.  Says, "oh, are those for my game?" and walks back outside.  Not the reaction I was going for.
4:45 - Strider home early.  Nice surprise.  I ask him how the cupcakes look and he says they are nice and 'are there any drink boxes to take with them?'.  I don't know, babe.  Go look.  Rosebud wants to go out and play so I ask Bugs to go out with her.  He complains and tells me all the reasons why he can't.
5:00 - I sew the needed patches on both spiffy, clean shirts.  Neither boy mentions anything.  Strider is up in the room and I call for help with feeding the family, but apparently he doesn't hear.
5:30 - I go make supper as kids continue to grab snacks from the pantry.  I wonder why I'm even doing this; I know they won't eat.  But I get the grumpy girls by myself at scouts, so I know they will be monsters unless they eat a little.
6:00 - I ask for help getting a few things ready.  No one hears me.  Boys are bickering.  Princess refuses to set the table and is mad that she is coming to the scout court of honor instead of baseball.

I'm done.  I head to the bedroom to clear my head and tell Strider the meal is ready.

7:00 - Bugs earns his Tenderfoot Scout rank.  Some of the sting of the day is gone, although my heart is sad that I'm missing Jedi's final game.

I love being part of these milestones and the days that matter.  Is it wrong to want more appreciation for the little stuff that is behind the scenes of the big stuff? 

I don't think I'm only doing it for the thank-yous.  I do enjoy serving my family.  But man, I worked hard today and instead of feeling the joy of service, I feel resentment.  I need to define/work through/figure out this whole charity thing while making sure it feels more balanced around here. 

Anybody else get the I-bet-no-one-would-survive-without-me-around-here blues??

Monday, May 23, 2011

Curl up with a good book

We made some switcheroos this weekend. We brought Jedi downstairs with his brothers, leaving the little girls to have their own room.  I didn't know if Rosebud was quite ready, but we needed space for the bookshelf and her bed had to go.  It feels spacious with the crib gone.  And the twin bed Princess used to occupy under the loft was switched into a toddler bed for the time being.  Lots of space!  Well, in a tiny house, any open floor feels like lots of space.

Rosebud is pretty happy to show you her spot.

Ahhh, so calming.

Wait, what's that?  A reading corner under the window!  I snagged this Pier One chair and ottoman from the classified ads for free.  There is a lot of green in this room so the green stripe is super cute, in my opinion.

When Princess was a toddler, her little bed was against this wall and we put up this swirly vinyl saying.  It's been up this whole time, but was covered up by the crib when Rosebud came along.  I have considered taking it down many times but I'm so glad I left it up.  We can enjoy it now, and the saying, "Once upon a time....they lived happily ever after", is even more appropriate in this new reading nook.

All the younger kids (under grade 3) books came upstairs.  The boys room will hold all their higher level ones.

It includes all my favorites, like Ask Mr Bear, Robert the Rose HorsePopcorn.

We brought it home just a few minutes before I took these photos.  She's lovin it already.

She calls the ottoman the "little chair".

It's like a dream come true to have a spot like this.  And it's not about money; I haven't spent a dime on creating this space.  It was just important to me. 
When I showed my sister (biggest reader I know) a picture of the chair I got she text me:
 "That is adorable.  Every kid should have a reading chair.  That's my new motto"

I knew I had heard President Gordon B. Hinckley talk about this, so I searched and found it.  Here is part of the talk, entitled The Environment of Our Homes:

"Most families are cramped for space. But with planning there can be a corner, there can be an area that becomes something of a hideaway from the noises about us where one can sit and read and think. It is a wonderful thing to have a desk or a table, be it ever so simple, on which are found the standard works of the Church, a few good books, the magazines issued by the Church, and other things worthy of our reading.

"Begin early in exposing children to books. The mother who fails to read to her small children does a disservice to them and a disservice to herself. It takes time, yes, much of it. It takes self-discipline. It takes organizing and budgeting the minutes and hours of the day. But it will never be a bore as you watch young minds come to know characters, expressions, and ideas. Good reading can become a love affair, far more fruitful in long term effects than many other activities in which children use their time. It has been estimated that “the average child on this continent has watched something like 8,000 hours of TV before he or she even starts school.” A very large part of that is of questionable value.

"Parents, work at the matter of creating an atmosphere in your homes. Let your children be exposed to great minds, great ideas, everlasting truth, and those things which will build and motivate for good.

"The Lord has said to this people, “Seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.” (D&C 88:118.) I wish to urge every parent within the sound of my voice to try to create within your home an atmosphere of learning and the growth which will come of it".

Related post:
Favorite Childhood Reads

Craft DIY Ideas

Monday morning smile

All you faithful readers know I primarily write for me and my family.  And I'm also grateful for friends locally and around N America (Andrea, I included you there) who read my blatherings.  But I get an even bigger smile when I check my blog stats and see my visitor from Angola.

I love it when I have evidence that my baby brother, on a mission in Angola, is checking up on his sister during his weeky email time.  Love it.

P.S.  Now, who do I know in the Netherlands?

Friday, May 20, 2011

T-shirt fix

2 year old found the scissors.

Can you see it?

An inch long slice in the center of the tee (how did she not get her skin??)

I freehanded a flower shape out of scrap fabric and cut it out

and ironed some hem tape to the back to keep it in place while I sewed a zig zag around it.

Applique for a toddler oops!

For what it's worth, I took an adorable pic of my Rosebud wearing it yesterday, but it appears to have vanished off the camera :/ and the shirt is in the wash so I can't get another at the moment.

 Linking to:

Nothing But Country

Craft DIY Ideas

Thursday, May 19, 2011

What we're up to

In addition to graduations and championships and musicals, here are the my corner goings on:

1. soccer - even with Strider's school playoffs going on, Princess was in her first season of soccer and is tearing up the field and loving it.  In April I said "Do you want to try a dance class this year"?  She said "Soccer!  Soccer!".  She handles the ball really well for a kindergartener.

2.  coach pitch baseball - Jedi is in baseball at our rec center.  Strider coaches.  It's a ridiculously dumbed-down version of baseball and is organized batting practice instead of actual games, but oh well.  He is a total star and hits the ball into the next diamond with every at-bat.  I feel bad that we didn't put him in actual little league this year, but next year he should be awesome there.

3.  we made an official girl room/boy room -  Man alive, is it ever tight to have the three boys in the tiny room, but it was long overdue.  The room is so small I literally can't get a wide enough angle to show all three beds.  Strider has spent two+ weeks staining and finishing the triple bunk (yes, all stacked together) bed for them.  With near constant rain for a month it was a bit tricky to complete the task.  But it's finally done and they spent last night in it for the first time.  Jedi is in heaven to "move up"; Princess is bummed.  She misses talking to him as she falls asleep.  Still have a TON to do. Namely, we don't have dressers yet. Bugs and Jedi both had their drawers built into their old beds, so we need a new solution.  So the whole family room is covered with boy clothes), but the bed is in place.

4.  band concert - Bugs had his spring concert last night and it was short and sweet.  Really - it lasted 20 minutes.  Talk about efficiency; that's my kind of concert.

5.  field trips - The kids have been going to the landfill, a Bees game, Hogle Zoo, and This is the Place Monument, all in the last two weeks.  Bugs is also preparing for Mill Hollow camp in a month.

6. scouts - Potter finally completed his swimming merit badge!  He has tried many times before but finally passed it last week (we aren't the best swimmers around here).  He will be able to advance to Life Scout now and Bugs is ready for Tenderfoot.  So exciting to see them move through the ranks together, now with two boys in brown shirts :)

7.  car troubles - we were plagued with car problems for back to back weeks at the end of April/early May.  SO much frustration and money.  We hope to be okay for a while now.  (Please??)

8.  butterflies - for Easter the kids got a butterfly pavilion.  We patiently waited for the caterpillars to do their thing.  As of typing this we have 3/5 butterflies emerged.  Still waiting on two.  The kids are loving this.

9. bats - Jedi has been immersed in a year long project for third grade.  He was to become an expert on one subject.  He chose bats.  Holy moly, I never knew how much work it would be. But he finished the presentation last week and had the fair to show it off to the student body yesterday.  He did a wonderful job (and I'm GLAD it's over).

10.  rain - what we haven't been up to lately is gardening.  We have been swamped with endless rain.  While normally a blessing in the desert, we are wondering how short our growing season will end up to be.

So, we've been a busy fam but are trying to juggle everything.  It's worked out pretty well for the most part.  I tell you, I get more appreciative of my mom every day.  How she did this with six kids in even more activities I will never know. 

Monday, May 16, 2011


Potter just finished up a spectacular run of OKLAHOMA! at our local town theatre. Long hours, lots of rehearsals, songs that the whole family cannot stop was an amazing experience that was so worth it.  The cast was full of talent and was quite impressive.  Potter was the youngest and was thrilled to be part of it and learned so much about theatre in the process.

If I enjoyed watching him as Jester in jr high, I was over the moon about watching him do a real show; performing with adults and using choreographers and having lots and lots of people pay to see it over a month's time. 

The show ran 15 times through April and May, and (including a dress rehearsal or two) I was there more than 10 times.  I seriously could not get enough.

Full cast
(he's on the floor just left of center)

After the matinee performance and before closing night we had a quick family celebration at a pizza parlor near the show.

So proud!

He was super emotional after it ended.  He loved it and was sorry to see it go.  We have his aunt to thank for this great experience. My sister Wendy, the choreographer, brought him on board the cast.  They were only looking for ages 16 and up, but shhhh - he's just 13.

Potter with lead "Curly"

And "Laurey"

Fighting tears :(

The little stinker is already talking about his next show...

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Strider's team came out on top in their soccer tournament which took place all this week. They were a #9 seed, and after knocking off #1, ended with a spectacular finish over #2. What a rush!!

I love this shot of celebration immediately following the game.

So happy we could watch the game as a family.  It was really intense and they seemed evenly matched.

Nicely done!!