good day

Sometimes it’s just such a good day you have to make good “old fashioned clementine pound cake” to top it off :)

This morning Daniel took the boys to school. I love a day that starts with Ray and me waving goodbye to Daniel and the boys while still in our PJ’s. We went inside and promptly made a smoothie. Ray drank his smoothie while watching a Thomas show on Netflix while I drank mine while setting up the mantel. I recently redesigned the mantel with new black and white pictures and an aqua colored quote that says “Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured” by Gordon B. Hinckley. I love it.

I’ve been worried about making everything in the house earthquake proof, so today I tackled that. I secured the pictures on the mantel, then went into the boys’ room and secured the expedit bookcase to the wall and took glass out of frames. While I had the drill out …. I finally fixed the bathroom towel rack too! Ha! While in the bathroom … I gave Ray a much needed bath.

Then I decided I needed a break and laid down on my bed to look at pinterest. I found an awesome article by one of the general authorities and started reading about being meek and before I knew it, I had drifted into a cat nap. That is such a lovely thing to do. I only slept for about 20 minutes but to quietly drift into sleep while Ray played with trains next to me was a special kind of wonderful.

It was time to shower and sing. So I did. Showering is always awesome. I never take that for granted. I’ll bet at some point in my future life, I will take showers for granted … not now. A good day always includes a shower. Then I practiced singing. I have a performance coming up, so it was needed.

I had about ten minutes before I had to pick up Noah and Liam from school and I took that opportunity to look online for some piano books for Noah. I didn’t have much hope that I would find exactly what I was looking for … but then I did … and then I bought them … and they will be here in 2 days, before his next lesson. It was a total success.

When I picked up the boys from school I was bombarded with good news!! Liam said he got 100% on his math test that day and only 3 kids in his whooooooole class got 100%! Noah chimed in with news that he had just passed the next level of reading tests! I was so happy that we spent the rest of the ride home discussing which kind of cake we would make as a celebration.

We got home, put Ray down for a nap, and did homework. Noah finished all his chores in a flash, without any reminders and Liam finished his homework then helped me make the Old Fashioned Clementine Pound Cake. Liam finished his chores while I did dishes then the boys got to play computer games and I got a quiet 35 minutes to start cleaning the guest room. It wasn’t scrubbing the baseboards kind of cleaning, it was looking through old school papers and pictures kind of sorting and organizing type of cleaning. Full of memories and cute pictures. So delightful. Also, I don’t have to have the entire room ready for guests until this weekend, so I wasn’t crunched for time. It was leisurely and rewarding.

As I walked downstairs the air was full of smells of clementines, sugar and cinnamon – that right there will put you in a good mood.

It was 5 o’clock and time to get dinner on. We made homemade pizza. Ray was still babbling in his bed and the other boys were happily enthralled with Spiderman on TV, so I just took my time and made dough from scratch. Noah asked if he could help me cook and the boys both wanted to help. They were fighting over who could cook with me … how often does that happen??? I’ll tell you how often – never. But they were, so I had Noah help me make the sauce and roll out the dough. It was so pleasing to teach him how to fold the dough into 4ths to put it on the pizza pan, just like my mom taught me as a little girl. He giggled as he did it and said, “huh! So fourths?! I got it!”

I went upstairs and got Ray before he started crying and Liam jumped in and actually helped with Ray. Liam got him milk and played nicely with him while Noah and I finished up. Then Daniel walked in the door. I didn’t have to call and ask him if he was going to be super late. I wasn’t checking the clock. Daniel just called us on the way home and then came home. At a decent hour. BEFORE dinner. whaa?? Yeah. That kind of a day.

We ate together at the table, the boys shared their good news about what they’d accomplished at school and Ray ate his salad and showed everyone at the table that he could count to 4 (then he jumps to 7 and that’s the end). We finished off by downing some delicious clementine pound cake.

As I write, Liam and Ray are almost falling over giggling and trying to chase one another with a ball and each telling the other “that’s dangerous!” (about running). It’s funniest to hear Ray say so clearly, “that’s dangerous Leo!” (he calls Liam, “Leo”). Pure bliss.

I’m just going to finish this post, snuggle up on the couch with my lover and watch some good shows. It doesn’t happen all the time, but I guess that’s what makes this so sweet when it happens. Good day.

end of summer

Sooooo, it’s the last day of summer and tomorrow school starts … sort of. For some reason the school schedule here is retarded. For Wed, Thurs and Friday (the first 3 days of school) they are “minimum days” which means “we don’t really learn because we’re only in school for 10 minutes and of that 10 minutes 5 are spent in recess and at lunchtime”. Give me a break, if you’re going to start school, start it already! Don’t do 3 minimum days, just start 3 days later and do full blown school days. It’s almost not worth getting up at 6:45 am and getting the kids to school by 7:45 am, just to pick them up at 11:35 am! A waste, total waste. And don’t they know we moms are chomping at the bit to get these darn kids back into school??!

I don’t know how everyone else is doing, but I am fed up. I wonder some days what I was thinking when I decided to procreate. It doesn’t help that on this lovely last day of summer, my kids have been especially terrible. We’re going out with a bang here, by taking the car in to the dealership to get some recalls taken care of. Nothing worse than being in public, in a small room, waiting for hours for your car, with all of your children in close proximity to you. They said it would take 45 minutes, then 1.5 hours, then 2.5 hours after we were there the guy comes up to me and says, “I checked on your car and they said 10-15 more minutes and I even told them that you have all of your kids with you!” I had no sympathy or patience I just said, “yeah, whatever” and put both Liam and Noah on time out … for 10-15 minutes.

It’s not like there wasn’t stuff for the boys to do. They had an entire little room for children, with toys, seats, a magnetic wall, movies playing in Blu-ray and they even offered the boys snacks too! Granted, it was not a smart choice to give 3 boys chocolate muffins. There was chocolate on the floor in the children’s room and trailing out the door into the hallway for passersby to track everywhere with them. A little gift from me to them.

But a 20×20 room could not contain my boys, oh no. We decided to leave and take a walk after Ray started teetering on coffee tables outside of the children’s room and when I pulled him off, he fell to the floor (made it look like I pushed him too … total drama queen these days) and laid there in the hallway, face to the floor crying and kicking his feet. Thank you my little two year old. I picked him up, called for Liam and Noah to follow me and walked right out of the door and started down the street. We found a burger place within a few blocks and ate there for lunch …. also a bad idea.

I am beginning to think that there is no place for my children. They are wild, mean, ungrateful, loud creatures meant only for cages and the outdoors.

I thought getting some burgers in them would be good. I have to feed them right? Liam and Noah were ok, although, I can’t for the life of me get Noah to stop wandering around in large circles, knocking into people and things. Liam continues to say things too loud, whine and wander away in public places. My boys wander away from me everywhere – in stores, on sidewalks, in parking lots. Sometimes they just start walking towards the street or moving cars, with their heads down, staring at their own feet, mumbling. ??????! I have no words for this kind of behavior. It’s stupid and dangerous. I guess I do have words for this. Anyway, nothing more than the usual for Noah and Liam, but Ray was in rare form.

Ray has been in rare form for about 3 days now and I’m ready to sell him on craigslist. It’s pretty typical 2 year old behavior – yelling, “mine!” or “I do it!” or “NO!”, hitting, not sitting down anywhere at anytime, running away, throwing things, being wildly giddy then totally raving mad the next minute … it’s like they go insane for a year between 2-3 years old. Then their brain chemistry regulates and they act a little less mean.

Ray was doing all of this at the burger joint. He threw his drink on the floor and it burst everywhere, making a huge mess that the patrons had to step around and one slipped in (insert me apologizing and trying to mop up pink lemonade with 60 napkins while Ray keeps whining and yelling about his “deenk”). He refused to sit and when he finally did sit down to eat, he only ate fries, nothing else and then started pushing the stroller around, knocking into people and things. And while I’m playing defense on Ray, I look over at Noah and Liam, hoping they are close to done eating and I see them not eating anything, but staring out the window mindlessly. I had to snap them back into reality and set a fire under their buns to get eating or we’d leave and they’d be hungry. Finally, I had to go to the bathroom. So, I asked Noah and Liam to go to the bathroom and go potty and wash hands while I took Ray with me.

The bathrooms are right next to each other, so I could hear every bit of the shenanigans that was happening in the men’s bathroom. sigh. It just makes me tired thinking about it. Once outside of the burger place, I look over at the boys and they have ketchup and food all over their faces. Back into the bathroom to clean faces …

Once we walked back to the dealership I thought they would surely be done, since it had been 2 hours already and they had estimated 1.5 hours. Nope. We waited another 40 minutes before getting out. painful, just painful. And that was just half of the last day of summer. Right now I am listening to Ray, not sleeping, but yelling and crying from his room when he should be taking a nap. I WAS hearing banging and crashing about and yelps of pain from Liam and Noah until I put them on time out for the past 15 minutes. ugh. summer, just end already and get these unruly boys out of my house and learning, doing something useful! sheesh. And the fact is, they act waaaaaayyyyyy better for their teachers than they do for me, so get them out!


So, it’s Mother’s Day on Sunday and today is Wednesday and I am just sitting here, eating my egg whites and drinking water and thinking about how people should be more afraid of moms.

I just started (again) on the 17 Day Diet today. I’m supposed to eat mostly veggies and protein, some fruit, tons of water and no sugar or bread … for 17 days. I’m only about 3 hours in and I’m angry. Also, I have spent the morning cleaning. I became intimately aware of my half bath’s floor this morning and I figured something out. I’ve been annoyed for some time because I can’t seem to figure out why all of my bathrooms (I have 2.5) smell like urine. I thought I was cleaning them well and yet, they always smelled like pee. Well, this morning I realized why – because they have urine on the floor and around the under side of the toilets. Fun tidbit of information to pick up. Also, I am not feeling well. Just a cough and headache, but it’s enough to bug you. Also, Ray is sick … he’s kind of taking it like a baby too. Yelling, squawking and whining about everything, doing diarrhea in his pants every 15 minutes (not really, but man it feels like a lot of poop lately) and the snot strings are flowing down his face all day.

And I’ve been contemplating all of this while eating my tasteless egg whites and I thought that I might not be the only mom in the world doing the stuff I’m doing. There are probably thousands of hungry, angry women out there on the edge of screaming and since they can’t scream at their children because it’s not their fault they are 2 and sick … these women must be looking for outlets to scream and punish people around them. People should definitely be more afraid of mommies. If I were a thief or hoodlum of any sort, I would steer clear of moms. I’d be afraid they would not only have the nearest police station on speed dial (which I happen to have), but they are dieting and angry, they probably have pee or poop on them or at least under their nails and are ready the hurl something at the nearest person who looks at them wrong.

On a separate but related topic. I’ve often thought that the worst kind of torture would be to put a two year old in the same room as the person you are trying to torture and the two year old would take care of the torture. An especially effective torture would be to put a sick two year old in the room. There would be no “good cop, bad cop” it would be total chaos – yelling, screaming, crying, scratching your eyes out, crawling on top of them and pooping and throwing up on them kind of torture.

The day before yesterday I had a poop incident, while we’re on the subject, which we usually are on this blog. As I have been mentioning Ray is sick. He couldn’t wait for dinner, so I had fed him in his highchair, while I finished up with dinner. When he was done, he screeched at me until I picked him up to wash off his hands in the sink. As I was washing hi hands, I felt something fall on my toes. I thought, “oh great, the juicy tomatoes he was eating must have been in his lap and now it’s all over my feet!” … it was much worse than that. I looked down to see diarrhea on my feet, all down the front of my clothes and coming out of Ray’s shorts. I froze. This is the moment I am most familiar with as a mommy; the one where you are at a loss for what to do in this situation because you are not prepared for this kind of predicament. I did an awesome yoga move and stretched my feet, one at a time up to the sink where Ray was and rinsed my feet and Ray a little, then I scooped him up and we walked up the stairs to the bathroom where everyone disrobed and washing and bathing ensued. It was gross.

Anyway, these are the thoughts swimming around my head this morning.

never exempt

There is always a “re-entry” period after a vacation. It’s the worst. Ray was evidently very angry that I left him, so he made me pay … for days.

We got home Sunday night, so Monday morning was a bear. Getting everyone up and off to school and then there was Ray, awww yes, little Ray. That kid was a hot mess. He spent the entire day just following me around the house crying. All. Day. The only time he was not crying, was when I was cradling him in my arms. Sometimes throughout the day, I would find myself giving up on trying to accomplish anything and I would just sit on the floor cross legged and hold Ray in my lap. I would see all the suitcases lying around the front room and think about the calls I needed to make and projects I needed to finish for people that were waiting on me for … and I would just be sitting in the middle of the floor, holding Ray. It made me a little crazy. A few times I just picked up his crying little self and gave him his favorite blanket and put him in his crib and closed the door to his room because I HAD to do something! Then there was the sickness.

Ray had been sick and I knew I would get it and I did. Monday morning. It hit like a sack of marbles in my face – particularly in my head. I had a major congestion headache all day and then that night, I got a migraine. I was sniffling, coughing, sneezing … what else does the Nyquil commercial say? … yeah, I had all of that and on top of that, I had a crying baby following me around. Then Liam and Noah came home from school and Liam broke down into tears when I asked him to do his chores and homework. Then after dinner, Noah cried because we were having Family Home Evening and he didn’t have a chance to play his Lego Game. There was lots of crying on Monday.

There is a misconception that I have had for years about having a cold. I thought that the only real upside to not being able to breathe or taste your food was not having to smell stinky diapers. This is a misconception. Not true. No matter how clogged your nasal passages are – they may be completely blocked, yet somehow, you will be able to smell the poopy diapers. It’s amazing really. And Ray had some doosies on Monday because he was getting over being sick, so we had some pretty serious diarrhea that smelled heinous, truly heinous. It was the kind of smell that was so bad and pungent that it smelled kind of spicy. Gross, wet, spicy poop and even though I couldn’t for the life of me smell or taste the lovely homemade chicken soup I made for myself and family – I was getting the full force of Ray’s diapers. Thank you, totally useless clogged nose. How does that happen??! I guess it’s a motherhood thing – to never be exempt from smelling poopy diapers.


I started my period. TMI? Whatevs. My house is a bit of a disaster, I already showered, took kids to school, ran errands, hung out with Zacky and then Christina and put Ray down for a nap, so I feel like I can be done for the day and not feel bad about it. It’s noon.

I am on the committee that puts on the Relief Society activities/meetings. Last night we had an event and it was awesome. We had Patriarch Bascom come speak to us about the Book of Mormon. It was mind blowing. He talked about the editions of the Book of Mormon and why they came out and how the closer we get to the original words spoken from Joseph’s mouth, the better the text is; it is more clear and makes more and more sense with what scholars continue to discover about ancient times and texts. It was so exciting. Patriarch Bascom reminded me of my dad and Bro. Collette. He was so excited about the Book of Mormon and all of his studies about it. He was moved by words and passages. He found wonder and amazement at what it must have been like to be Joseph Smith, speaking out loud the words from 3 Nephi 11 for the first time in this dispensation –

5 And again the third time they did hear the voice, and did open their ears to hear it; and their eyes were towards the sound thereof; and they did look steadfastly towards heaven, from whence the sound came.

6 And behold, the third time they did understand the voice which they heard; and it said unto them:

7 Behold my Beloved Son, bin whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name—hear ye him.

8 And it came to pass, as they understood they cast their eyes up again towards heaven; and behold, they saw a Man descending out of heaven; and he was clothed in a white robe; and he came down and stood in the midst of them; and the eyes of the whole multitude were turned upon him, and they durst not open their mouths, even one to another, and wist not what it meant, for they thought it was an angel that had appeared unto them.

9 And it came to pass that he stretched forth his hand and spake unto the people, saying:

10 Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world.

It was so powerful and such a testimony builder to listen to the Patriarch speak. He was animated too, just like Daddy. And he didn’t need to look at anything, no notes, no hiding behind a pulpit, he was so comfortable just discussing with us his findings. I loved every moment. I felt like clapping afterwards, but I guess that’s irreverent. I went up to him afterwards and chatted with him for a bit. He studied religion in college, majored in it and then taught high school history and later a high school religion course too. Such a fascinating person and an enlightening night. I love having time to educate and uplift myself all at once. Loved it, loved it.

Anyway, as a sidenote – we put together a “bread bar” to celebrate and mirror the sustenance we were given through Patriarch Bascom’s presentation. Give us our Daily Bread … through an awesome little bread bar. We had pita and naan bread with several different, yummy hummus dips. There was honey wheat, pumpkin, cinnamon raisin and jalepeno cheesy bread. All complete with butter, honey butter, jelly and olive oil and balsamic vinegar to dip everything in. We decorated the table with lavender, green potted plants and one basil plant.

Besides this, life is moving forward here in California. Today is a cloudy day, which is why I’m taking some time and spending it indoors to type away, but pretty much every day is a sunny day. It’s unbelievable. I was bummed out last Saturday because early in the week it said it would be 77 degrees at the beach, but it cooled to 71 and we decided against a beach day with such chilly weather …. I know. I smile even as I write this because most of the country is covered in snow, in February, and here I am bummed about 71. I’m not bummed. It’s gorgeous.

I realized that I never really documented Ray’s first word. I’m pretty sure it was DADA, because he loooooves Daddy. But Ray went from grunting to saying like 4 words all at once, so It’s hard to say. But here’s a list of what little Ray is communicating these days:

Woh-wah (Noah)
Le-oh (Liam)
Sacky (Zacky)
Nina (Aunt Stina)
dee (drink)
down (up and down … it’s confusing really. You have to watch where his hands are pointing)
muh (more)
uh-side (outside)
shoo (shoes)
no (“yes” – again, this is tricky)
uh oh
buzzy (fuzzy)
bubee or buzzy (his favorite blanket)
Guc (all animals)
huh-coc (helicopter)
uh-pay (airplane)
nice (usually accompanied with petting Emily’s hair … usually because he’s been mean to her)
at (hat)
day-doo (thank you)
eees (please)
nuss (nose)
eh (ear)

He’s a pretty cute little human at 20 months. He still walks like a drunk and I’m worried about that … when is he going to master walking? His run is hilarious. He ends up going faster but in reality, he just makes his steps tinier and quicker. You just have to see it. It cracks me up every time. And he is a true Daddy’s Boy. This is a first in our family. We have a lot of family photos around the house and so all day long I hear Ray rounding a corner or coming down the stairs yelling and then I see him point at a picture and yell, “Da-dee!!” Sometimes he hears the front door open and he takes a swift intake of air and says, “Huh! Daddy?!” His little heart is broken ten times a day. I need to start taking pictures of Daniel down from the walls … nd maybe we need to start entering and exiting from the back or side door??

Recently, Liam and I have been working on a project for his kindergarten class. It’s an alphabet book that he is making entirely on his own. His teacher sent home very specific instructions on how parents couldn’t “help”. This has been pretty painful for me. A project that I have to watch being done not perfectly?? … and although this started as a “pulling-teeth” exercise, it has become wonderful. Liam talks about it all the time and what needs to get done before it’s time to turn it in. He’s really become conscious of responsibility a little. And I’ve learned how to work with Liam better – giving him ideas, but letting him come up with it on his own. You should see his “proud of me” face. It’s gorgeous. He half smiles and sticks his tongue in his cheek and his eyes are alive with excitement and pride. I love it. I need to catch it on film sometime.

Noah. And there’s my Noah. He’s such a good boy, but lately he’s been talking back. He knows he’s pretty smart. Too smart. So he’s beginning to think that he knows more than everyone. Parents, teachers … everyone. This was a conversation we had on the way home from school the other day:

Noah: Is it bad for boys to take off their shirts and show their top part?
me: not when you’re swimming. But if you’re at school or anywhere else, it’s inappropriate to take off your shirt. I mean, you don’t see mommy walking around in her bathing suit, do you? And you don’t see Daddy walking around without his shirt on, right?
Noah: no. Ya know, even when you’re swimming, there are swim shirts.
me: yeah, in fact, we just got a shirt like that from Aunt Aria for little Ray. I’m excited to use it next time we go to the beach.
Noah: he has a swim shirt?
me: yes
Noah: no, I mean one that you use in the water. It’s made out of different stuff than regular shirts.
me: yes, I know. Ray has one.
Noah: But is it a swimming shirt? One that he can be in the water with?
me: yes. I know what you’re talking about and I’m telling you that Ray has one.
Noah: no, no. It is made from swimming material, like swim trunks.
me: Noah, I know what you’re talking about and yes.
Noah: …(silent for a second) … mommy, can I see it when we get home?

It’s like he felt the need to check up on me. sheesh. This kid. I even got a call home from his school teacher about him “talking back”. So we’ve had several talks about it. I really think he doesn’t know it when he’s doing it. So I’m trying to make him aware.

But … here’s a thought – what if he really is a genius and it’s terribly frustrating for him to talk to everyone around him?

Last night, Daniel and I went in to check on the boys before we went to bed and we found paper next to Noah’s bed with equations all over it. He was doing addition and division last night. But addition into the thousands – like 13,777 + 13,777 = I don’t even know, I’d have to add it … Anyway, he’s a beautiful creature, just like the other two. I’m a lucky mom.

As for me, I know it would make me so happy to clean everything up and I should. I should get up off this darn couch and clean. Yeah … but I’m feeling tired and it’s overcast and I ran 3.22 miles yesterday and I just want to maybe take a power nap before the boys come home from school ….. pretty sure cleaning up is not winning this one.