Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Soothing Cry

I am such a slug. Every minute of every second I took pictures of my twins. I have sooooo many. I think I have gotten the camera out 3 times for Eli. I just think to myself, "Well, he really looks about the same as he did last month. I mean, he just sits there and stares at stuff." So, today I made a special effort to get some pictures of him. He weighs over 16 pounds now. Yikes. He is my big fat sack of potatoes, as I affectionately refer to him.

He does make that face when he is not happy. I call it the pirate face. He makes it a lot when Zach maules him with incessant kisses. I think Eli starts to get annoyed. Cute, huh? The picture of him in the swing is a typical face for him. It is really his essence right now. He doesn't really cry too much.

However, I have realized that I don't remember what the twins sounded like when they cried. So I decided to take a little video of Eli crying, for everyone to enjoy. There is nothing like the sound of a crying baby to soothe the soul, eh?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Don't Mess With the Muscle Girl!

I have been getting my butt to thegym pretty regularly now for the past month. I take a class called Body Pump, and I really like it. After the class, I decided to run with Melanie on the track upstairs. We planned on running one mile. On lap four there were three teenage twits who decided to walk side-by-side at a leisurely teenage pace and block the entire track for everyone else. The first time we were nice and yelled at them nicely to move. Melanie made it past them without any problem, but I ran into the girl as I was trying to weave my way through their little barrage of hormones. After another lap we once again approached a wall of teenage twittiness on the other side of the track. So, this time I really yelled at them "MOVE!" and "GET OUT OF THE WAY!!!" I was really nice :) . As soon as we ran past them the girl yells out "Suck my d%@&!". Melanie asked me, "Did she just say that?" and I reassured her that that is what she heard.

On the next lap they had gotten off the track and gave us the ooh-so-scary stared down and I was determined to have some words with them when I finished. So, when my mile was done, I went to find an employee and was only able to muster up a petite blonde girl. I pulled her over to the teens who were now on machines. I tapped the girl on the shoulder and said, "Is there something you want to say to me?" After a brief discussion, she hedged and said that she didn't say that to me, but to her friend. Right! Then he chimed in to say that I was rude and I fired back that they were rude for walking so slow on the track blocking all the lanes. They need to learn how to read the signs and stay to the right. Then I told them they need to get some manners if they are going to be at the gym.

Don't mess with me. I had a lot of adrenaline in my system and I have children...nothing scares me!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

A Not So Perfect Sunday

Rinar was assigned a talk for sacrament today. He worked late, late last night to get it ready and overslept this morning. He is supposed to be at church at 6:30 for meetings, but got there an hour later. I was planning on my 2 1/2 month old baby to wake me up, so I didn't set my alarm. At 8:15 I awoke and realized how late it was. I went into the nursery and woke up Eli, even though he had been asleep for about 10 hours (wow, huh?). I woke up the twins and told them to get dressed and then I started feeding Eli. I already had my clothes on so I could hopefully get everyone out the door and to the church on time. The entire time I was nursing Eli my precious six-year olds were fighting non-stop and I was yelling at them non-stop. It is just the way you want to start your sabbath day, right? So, as I was finishing up feeding the baby he did a big poop and I thought that it was lucky that it all stayed in his diaper.

At 8:58 we rushed out the door to get to church and pulled into the parking lot at 9:05 because, of course, I hit every single light on the way there. Then I went into the Sacrament room as they were singing the opening song and saw that Rinar had saved us a bench in the middle that we were sharing with a single mother and her three rambunctious 7, 6, and 5 year old. Rinar was supposed to sit on the rostrum, so I was left basically with all the kids to deal with. I blew my top and was berating him under my breath as I took my seat and was mobbed by the other kids who wanted to see the baby. Then Rinar left me with everyone and then I felt bad for yelling at him, basically right before he was supposed to speak. We ended up sitting in the lobby because Eli got fussy and I couldn't leave my kids unattended with her kids. It was a recipe for disaster. Luckily a nice lady in the ward came out to me and offered to take the twins for the rest of the meeting.

After church, I went to Primary. I was conducting this month and I had no list for talks, no one sitting on the stand to talk, no birthdays to celebrate, no visitors and about 20 minutes to kill before they were supposed to be dismissed for classes. It was my turn to give the spiritual message, but since I was in such a raunchy mood, I was not really qualified to give a spiritual message, so I really didn't know what I was going to do. I muddle my way through it and then we practiced our Mother's Day song a few times. Of course, all the stars aligned so that there was lots of time and no content for me to share with the Primary. Usually we are trying to fit everything in. Yikes, what a nightmare.

Finally, church was done. I had survived and then I looked down at my skirt to see that Eli had pooped on my skirt afterall. A perfect end to a perfect day.

This is Eli with Caleigh. She is three weeks older than him.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Pizza Night

It has become a tradition. Every once in a while we invite over our friends from church and make pizzas. We put out a dozen toppings or so and fire up the oven. I make pizza dough and try to keep pizzas going in and out of the oven so everyone gets one made in a timely fashion. Our friends Dwan and Elizabeth have three boys, Alex, Christopher, and Josh and one girl, Grace. It is a lot of fun. They like to play billiards and ping pong and sometimes we will watch a movie.

Tonight we decided to play a game called "Ticket to Ride". They had never played it before and so after a few go arounds, everyone was really getting into it. I had gotten all of my cards and was getting ready to build like crazy and get lost of points. That is until Josh knocked over his water right onto the board. Yikes! There was water everywhere. Darn it. So I went up and fed Eli. It is probably a good thing that the game ended so abruptly, because I think Eli had been crying for a while, poor guy. It was okay once he got some food. Then he was content.

I thought they would have left, but when I went downstairs they had started a new game. I am glad they were able to play an entire game. "Ticket to Ride" is really fun. I am sure we will have to play again.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Bannister Bedlam

Raef had an adventurous ride this morning, as he was sliding down the bannister. I have always frowned on him doing it, but it first started out innocently just leaning on it and picking his feet up. I think over the weeks he has gotten a lot more daring. So, as I was sitting up in the office, he headed down the stairs and disappears. A few moments later I hear a crash, boom, crackle, and splat. It is all those sounds you never want to hear when you are a mother with little boys in the house. I rushed down the stairs trying to sort out what the heck happened. I see Raef lying on the floor in agony, a casserole dish (that needed to be returned to a neighbor) on the ground and luckily in one piece, and my decorative tile in many, many, many pieces on the floor as well. Raef was very fortunate that he did not break anything on him. There is a green bureau that broke his fall, along with a lamp and that poor decorative tile. The whole episode made my heart skip a few beats, but everything was okay in the end.

The boys had their violin lesson this afternoon. Halfway through it, Rinar walks through the door. I was very surprised. Wow. That was cool. He came straight from the airport to the lesson. I guess he knew where we would be. The last appointment he had in Albuquerque canceled, so he was able to catch an earlier flight. It was fun to have him home early and the kids faces just light up when they see him. I love to see that.

I successfully had school lessons with the boys four days this week. It went really well. Here they are hard at work on Spelling Workout. It is a really good spelling book. I highly recommend it.

Zach is on the second book and to finish up the lesson, it has you give them a spelling test. Well, at first I had him write it, but it was getting overwhelming for him. So, I give him an oral spelling test and then if he gets any wrong, we put it in a "word locker". He doesn't want any words in the locker and I am always trying to get one in there, as an incentive to get him to remember his words. He doesn't spell them wrong very often, so I have only written a few down (true, clue, and grew).

He gets so excited once he spells a word. He jumps up and down and flaps his hands. Zach really loves words and letters. I don't know what he will be when he grows up but I am sure it will involve languages and words, his very favorite thing.

And now, just for fun. Here are some pictures of Eli with his great-grandmothers.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Nobody Drowned!

We got back on track today with our schoolwork. My kids did their reading, writing, and 'rithmetic. Yeah for me! But I just remembered...we didn't practice the violin!!! AAARRGH! I have got to be more diligent at having them practice. They are really starting to get it. I decided to start reading a new book to them, so we started the first Lemony Snicket book.

Do you have any recommendations for good children read out-loud books?

After reading to the for 30 minutes, I fell asleep on the futon. I was expecting my friend to come over with her three little children around 12:30. Well, at 12 I heard the kids and a little girl, who I assumed was our neighbor. Then I heard them around the pool and the sound of a little boy, who I also thought was the neighbor, a 3 year old that I am certain does not know how to swim. It pulled me right out of my nap because I didn't want anyone drowning in the pool. So I rushed to the balcony to make sure everything was okay and I saw a teenager and several little children I did not recognize. I was very confused, owing partly to the fact that I was not completely awake. Then I heard my friend's voice and realized that they were here early with some of her family that I didn't know. What a relief! Nobody drowned. I still have a perfect record.

With solar heating, our pool warmed up considerably this week and the water was quite warm. I love having the swimming pool swimmable because the kids stay busy for hours and then they sleep really well at night. They play hard when they are swimming. It is great. It is one of the many benefits of the desert. I decided to go running while everyone was hanging out, and after about 2 miles it was bloomin' hot! I couldn't believe it. But I got it done, so I am going to give myself a pat on the back.

These pictures are from a couple of years ago, but the kids look about the same. Raef is in the floatie and Zach is holding on to the wall.

Aaahhh summertime!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Clean Office=Messy House

When the office gets cleaned out, the entire house falls apart. That is exactly what happened yesterday. My dear husband and I spent pretty much our entire Saturday cleaning out the office. I was drowning in paper and dust. I came to a realization yesterday. I have a serious hoarding problem when it comes to scrapbooking supplies. I could not believe how much stuff I had. There were things buried everywhere. When I would clear out one corner, it would create 10 other corners of things to clean, purge, donate, and re-assign. At times it was discouraging, but in the end we prevailed. We loaded up our Tahoe with a ton of stuff and Raef and I took it to Desi's or the Bee Boutique, whichever one you prefer. I learned those nicknames from my sister-in-law Angie.

However, after all that hardwork, it really paid off. The room is almost completely empty. I got rid of a lot of things that have haunted me for some time. So, late at night I had an extremely clean office, and a disastrous toy room, cluttered hallway, pudding on the staircase, sand all over the floor downstairs, sticky stuff on my feet that I don't even what to know what it was, a mound full of dishes, and not one single clean cup in the entire house....but hey! My office is clean, darn it. So when you couple that with my cleaned out closet, I feel like a new woman!

Now I have a huge bin of Stampin' Up! stuff that I feel obligated to eBay. I believe there might be upwards of 50 stamp sets and many accessories and tools I just have to get rid of. Like the Berlin Wall, I will sell it off one piece at a time.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Baby is Crying...But I am Blogging

I want to post my adorable children playing their violin at their last recital. Unfortunately, Raef's is a mere snippet because we ran out of memory, but you can hear all of Zach's...
This is from Christmas time, so they have moved on quite a ways from this piece. Zach is working on Minuet 3 by Bach, and that leaves him only "Happy Farmer" and "Gavotte" and then he will start book number 2.
Raef is now working on Minuet 1 by Bach and he can play it all the way through. They both seem to enjoy playing the violin. I enjoy watching them reach new milestones and I see improvement on an almost daily basis. I used to be able to play all the things they did, but I don't think I can anymore, especially on those tiny violins.
**Okay, for some reason my video will not post. That is a bummer. I will have to tape them playing their violins and then I can share it later.

Friday, April 11, 2008


As we were pulling away from the Mexican restaurant, Rinar noticed that the odometer on the car read 101101. He really made a big deal about it. Why is it a big deal? I mean, it is just a number, right? It is a pretty cool looking number. Anytime the odometer has a cool, symmetrical number it is pretty cool, but you only get to enjoy it for about a mile.

On Wednesday, my friend Melanie and her two kids came over and visited with me and my kids while we were eating dinner. We were both husbandless that night. As she was tending to her son, Zach told her daughter Halle, "Halle, you look beautiful tonight." Zach is only 6. He is sharpening his lady-man skills already.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

When Can I Strangle My Kids?

Because I live in the Southwest, we have a swimming pool. I hate having a swimming pool, but it is great in the summertime because it gets so flippin' hot around here. When we moved into this house my twin boys were 2 1/2 years old. My two Curious Georges: they could wreak havoc and still be so innocent and cute. I spent months learning how to clean the pool and had it just right and then I went out to the back because we had a construction project going on back there. We were removing rock to put in a little bit of grass so that our kids could have a place to play. My husband had put a chain lock on the door so our kids wouldn't drown and we thought everything was fine. Well, one beautiful morning the twins got up before me and used a broom to knock the chain off. Then I caught them out around the pool (no, they did not know how to swim, so I am so grateful no one drowned) throwing in mountains of rock and clay. It looked like a swimming hole you would find in rural Georgia. All my work was ruined. I was so furious.

And so that has set the tone for the relationship of the pool, me, and my darling little twins. They throw things into the pool, the pool stops working, and then I get furious. Over the years it has gotten better, but there always manages to be some kind of foreign object in the pool that should not be there, and that the wind could have never dumped into it. Today it was two large rocks with a splattering of sand. Yes, once again, rocks in the pool!!!

So when can I strangle my kids?

On another note, I managed to get to the gym with my kids in tow, and after my sculpt class I ran another mile. Today my time was 9:25. So I am getting faster. I am working towards consistent low 8 minute miles, then I will be back where I was before I got pregnant.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Chocolate Chess Pie

On the day I graduated from high school in Durham, North Carolina, my parents took me to the Angus Barn for dinner. It is one of the nicest restaurants in the area and it also happens to be a very large red barn. Dinner was delicious, but I especially remember dessert: chocolate chess pie. So, now 14 years has gone by and I was sitting there watching television and for some reason I thought about that pie. Then I realized, "Hey, I wonder if the recipe is on the internet?" So I promptly got on the computer to check, and low and behold there it was. I was excited. I was even more ecstatic to see that it was a very easy recipe. The next day I made the pie. It turned out okay, but the middle did not get cooked enough, so it was runny.

Then I tried again when I was in St. George this weekend. Unfortunately, I forgot to put butter on the list when my husband went to get the ingredients, so the entire pie was runny from using margarine, instead of butter. ***Never use margarine when it calls for butter!!!*** It pretty much tasted lousy. So, I gave it another try today, just because I had a pie shell that I didn't want to waste. I used butter this time and I added in a tablespoon of flour. OH YEAH! That is what I am talking about. A delicious chocolate pie that will probably be consumed by me alone. I need to invite a pie-eating friend over or I will have a lot of extra laps to run on the track tomorrow.

Monday, April 7, 2008

A No School Day

It is Monday and school was out today. I woke up a little before 7am to feed Eli and then I was up for the day, even though I did not want to be, compliments of the baby. Yet, by the time I really got things going it was approaching 10am and it was time to go to the park. We usually go to playgroup on Mondays, so that is what I decided to do. The boys had a lot of fun at Green Valley park. They really wanted to take their bicycles, and I really made Raef's day by shoving his new, larger bike into the back of the Tahoe. Then Zach asked so nicely if he could take his bug catcher, which is currently occupied by a very dead and very squished cockroach. It made him happy that I said yes to that too.

We got home from the park at around 1pm and I had already faithfully made my appointment at the gym. I have got to lose the baby fat so that I can start wearing clothes with no elastic. So, we ate lunch, and I fed Eli, and then we were off again to LVAC. Hey, I ran 20 minutes today without stopping, and I pushed it hard at the end so that I can get faster and so I won't always be stuck in 2nd gear. We returned home at 4pm and I had to feed the baby again, make dinner, and then race off to the city pool to find out about a tryout for the boys so that they can do competitive swimming. They couldn't try out because they have to learn the strokes, but I now have a new goal. I need to teach them the strokes so I can get them in a sport that will tire them out and get them stronger. I have my work cut out for me.

We ended the night at Dairy Queen. Yummy! And by the way, Raef really loves ice cream. He finished his cone lickety split, then helped Rinar and I finish our blizzard, and then he got mad at Zach, because Zach would not give him a bite of his cone. I think Raef is made of sugar.
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