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Showing posts from 2010

Today

Yesterday was a glorious day with clear blue skies and reasonable temperatures. I doubted the forecasted winter storm, especially when it was still clear at eleven last night as I went to bed. We woke up to several inches of snow and more falling hard. It's finally stopped now, but as I look out the window I'm grateful that we did our errands yesterday and can just stay home today. We're a little low on baby formula but should have enough to last through tomorrow.

I've had a few moments of panic when it comes to keeping the older kids busy all day. Thankfully they're finally getting old enough to mostly just entertain themselves and they've spent a lot of time playing together quite nicely. It makes my mommy heart proud to see how well they are getting along today. It also makes my teacher brain happy because I'm finally figuring out my challenging class schedule and syllabus for next semester (I have one section that meets twice a week and one that meets on…

Random Thoughts

I haven't blogged for a week now. The other day I said to Mr. Fob 'why do I feel like my life is so amazingly busy right now?' Well, I had a third child, I started working part-time, and my computer is usually downstairs in the basement office where my husband is working. This is good for reducing my internet usage, but also bad because it reduces my internet usage. Plus I need to have a clear mind to blog and lately my mind is not clear very often.

Last week I had to grade 32 papers. I should have had more, but both my classes had several people flake out. That's to be expected at the school where I'm teaching, but still a little disheartening. I've had one student who managed to miss nearly half the class days this semester who has repeatedly sent me emails trying to figure out some way to avoid having to take the class again. Sorry dude, the first lesson you need to learn in college is the importance of showing up for class and doing the work.

I also went to …

Sibling Dynamics

Last week S-Boogie was trying to write something and asked me to spell a word. Before I could answer, Little Dude stepped in and spelled it for her. Perfectly. Today in church he finished coloring his picture, turned it over and drew a church, then wrote "This is hevinly fathers cerch" on it, without asking me how to spell the words. He is four-and-a-half, she's seven, and he has nearly caught up with her in his spelling and reading abilities. A few months ago Little Dude figured out how letters work and took off running. He can read and spell really well. S-Boogie is actually on grade level as far as reading goes and recently brought home a report card that had perfect grades in all her academic subjects (her only low grade was in 'school behavior', which encompasses staying on task and following directions).

This new dynamic has honestly had me a little worried. I have a brother who is slightly less than two years older than me. I started reading when I was thre…

The Letters P & R

We ended up skipping countries that start with O and only did one with R.


Peru: We read a few books about Peru and colored the flag. For dinner we got together with my sister-in-law who had served her mission in Peru. We ate papa a la huancaina, lomo saltado, rice, and chicha morada. It was all delicious, even though the kids didn't like it very much.

Philippines: We read some books; I found a few good story books that the kids liked, especially this one. For dinner we had two of my favorite foods, pancit and lumpia. Neither turned out quite as well as I remembered my Filipino friends making them when I was a kid, but I guess that just means that I'll have to make them again some time.

Poland: We read books and colored the flag; I had a hard time finding any story books about Poland and so we didn't get to read any. We did eat some pierogi, which were really tasty and big hit with the kids. I also tried making some cabbage rolls stuffed with brown rice but they didn't tu…

Easy to Love

This afternoon S-Boogie had a dress rehearsal for her dance class. Waiting the hour for her class to finish has become increasingly difficult as P.Bibby has gotten older, and I knew that today would be especially torturous for both the baby and Little Dude because we were in the Senior Center and there was nothing to do (plus the heat was on high and it was exceptionally stuffy). Today's weather was somewhat moderate for December so I decided to take the kids over to the park next door for a little bit of playground time.

When I got there I realized that P. Bibby was probably big enough to try out one of the swings for babies. I was right; when I put her in the swing and started gently pushing it, her face lit up in a big grin and she began giggling. I love her giggling; she is my first child to giggle so freely and so often at such a young age. She really is a delightful baby and nearly every day I think about how much fun she is and what a joy it is to be her mom.

And every time I…

The First of December

A few weeks ago I found a deal online for half-off a fresh Christmas tree, delivered to your home. I'm always a fan of a bargain, plus I'm lazy and liked the idea of home delivery, so I ordered a tree. I thought it was going to be here over the weekend but it didn't show up until today. It is spectacular: a giant noble fir with thick, green needles and an overwhelming smell of pine. The tree takes up an entire corner of our living room. Its heavenly.

So we let the kids stay up late decorating the tree and drinking hot chocolate. We listened to Frank Sinatra and discussed all of our special ornaments, though I think my little candy canes that I bought at Pic-n-Save twelve years ago have finally bit the dust. The kids were thrilled with the tree and I am so grateful to have a lovely home with room for a beautiful tree and a mantel just right for hanging stockings. I have a feeling that this is going to be a wonderful Christmas; the kids are old enough to be excited about ever…

A Better Day

I hate it when I write a post about a bad day and then don't have time to come back and blog for a few more days. There are negative moments in life, but generally things are all right. I think I'm starting to recover from this last week (for the record, it wasn't totally bad, but there were bad moments). Yesterday and today were generally pretty pleasant days, although I really do need to find a better way to manage my time so I can get enough sleep.

Yesterday morning I woke up to snow. This actually made for a good day; I love looking at snow and it wasn't enough to be horribly inconvenient. Mr. Fob shovelled the driveway so I could get out and go to church, and when I got there one of my friends had saved the bench in front of her family for me so she could help with my kids. They were actually well-behaved during sacrament meeting, but it was nice to have someone else spend some time holding the baby because she has become a super wiggly monkey lately. I did get th…

Roller Coaster

So remember how I posted last weekend about how wonderful and happy my life was? This has been a rough week and I'm trying to find that happy place again. The real culprits have been my lack of sleep (and yes, I'm posting this at 11:15 when I should be in bed) and my stupid hormones which always make me morose and weepy for at least one week in every five. Sleep deprivation, cold weather, and PMS are not a good combination to have when you're hosting a family gathering. The truth is, Thanksgiving went really well. We managed to find a lovely new (to us) dining table just in time for the celebration, my little brother survived the blizzard in Seattle and made his flight here on time, my parents drove up safely, and all the food was tasty and prepared without mishap. But it's still been a rough week. We finally received some news about a long-lost family member; this is mostly happy, but the story is not finished yet and emotions have been pretty high all week. Then on T…

Comfortable

Yesterday was our ninth anniversary; I've written a few different anniversary posts over the last few years, but I still think my favorite is this one. Since the baby is a good sleeper and no longer nursing we decided to take a little staycation this year. Mr. Fob's sister was a fabulous auntie and came to spend the night with our three kids on Friday while we escaped to Salt Lake for the night. First we checked into our hotel; we've stayed there before, and while our room did not have a jacuzzi tub, it was very comfortable and affordable without feeling like the Super 8 motel. From our hotel we walked over the The Copper Onion; the food was fabulous and we left feeling completely stuffed. We shared a cheese plate and then I ordered the beef stroganoff and Mr. Fob had the fettuccine carbonara. Those may sound like ordinary entrees, but the cooking was amazing. We will definitely eat there again some time, but our budget can probably only handle it once a year. Then we walk…

Reading Roundup: November 2010

The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan

I had read many good reviews of this book, but I never felt that interested in reading it. It turned out to be much better than I had expected. I realized that I had read much about the Great Depression, but nothing specifically about the actual Dust Bowl (they're not the same thing), and Egan's writing is both clear and compelling. He made this time period really come alive to me and a month later I still find myself still thinking about some of the stories he relates.

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

This is another book that I'm kicking myself for not reading earlier; I think I had a misconception of what it was about from something else I'd read, but it wasn't what I was thinking at all. It was actually just my kind of book; I love 'literary mysteries' and I love historical fiction. The protagonist was someone I didn't particularly love, but at least I could understand her even when I did not agree with her.

Roo…

Counting my blessings

For the past two years I have done NaBloPoMo, but I just didn't feel up to it this year. The year before that I posted two weeks of 'thankful' posts. Neither of those things is going to happen this year; don't worry, I'm still thankful for the same things I've posted about before. I just wanted to share a few of the good things that have been happening lately. Life still has its little annoyances and I never feel like I have enough patience, time, or sleep; that doesn't mean that there's not good to be found everywhere.

We've been in our house for nearly a year and I love being here. I love our home itself; it's just the right size for us and so comfortable. I'm looking forward to hosting Thanksgiving with many of my family members here and I love having a home that gives me space to have family gatherings.

During the last few days the older two kids have been playing together really well. A week or so ago we had a scary incident where they go…

Slow Down

Some days are just slow days. I woke up this morning and realized "I have nothing to do today." Obviously there are plenty of things I could get done, like cleaning my baseboards, organizing my pantry, preparing lessons for next week, cleaning my shower, and so on. There just wasn't anything pressing. I know that I have been blogging about how busy my life is lately, and most of the time it is, but this week is a slow one for a lot of reasons. We've also suddenly hit winter weather and all I want to do is hibernate

So today I sat on the couch and read: part of a book, the new Ensign, my scriptures. I took pictures of Little Dude making block towers for the baby to knock over. I packed up Little Dude and the baby and took them to play at the mall playground for an hour. When my sister-in-law came over to use our scanner, I just hung out with her and looked at her pictures. Tonight I made an easy dinner of scrambled egg burritos and smoothies. Mr. Fob and I watched TV t…

Your Son is (Probably) Not Gay

I usually avoid controversy on this blog and I generally try not to get too opinionated about things. I have many reasons for this, but I'm not going to go into them here. I recently read an article about the controversy whipped up by a mommy blogger who posted pictures of her son dressed up like Daphne for Halloween. I'm fine with the fact that she is willing to let her son dress up as whichever character he chooses, and I'm mildly uncomfortable with the fact that she seems to be doing so as some sort of political statement. What I'm most uncomfortable about is the fact that she titled her post "My Son is Gay."

I'm sorry, but just because your five-year-old wants to dress up like a girl doesn't mean he's gay. Being gay means that you are attracted to people of your same gender. Some gay men dress as women, but cross-dressing is not always related to homosexuality. There are plenty of cross-dressers that are straight as well. Gay men do not necessa…

Reading Roundup: October 2010

Books

When a Crocodile Eats the Sun by Peter Godwin

Mr. Fob looked at my book and said "That title sounds pretentious." It does, and I suppose some could argue that this book is a bit pretentious; it's a memoir written by a man who has grown up as a white person in an African country and is now watching both his country and his father die. Some of the circumstances of his life seem almost too incredible to believe, but the book remains deeply personal and not pretentious after all. I was mesmerized by his writing and his story--I think this is one of the best books I've read this year.

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

I've read this a few times before, but it was our book club pick for the month and I thought it would be great to read it again. This time I was struck by the nuances of the story; for some reason I had never noticed them in quite the same way before. Wharton is an amazing writer and I think I could easily read this book a few more times and enjoy …

The Letter N

Netherlands

We read some books about the Netherlands; S-Boogie particularly liked this one. For dinner I made hutspot with smoked sausage. It was really tasty. We also watched the movie Hans Brinker and ate some apple cake that I made from a recipe that I got from a kids' cookbook.

New Zealand

We read books and colored the flag; the kids insisted on reading this book many times and really liked it. We also listened to some music from New Zealand and ate meat pies for dinner. They were really tasty and a big hit with the kids--I cut the meat in half and added some diced potatoes. I don't have little pie dishes so I cooked them in custard cups; they were a bit of work, but a really tasty dinner and something I want to make again. If the kids were a little older I would watch Whale Rider with them, but they aren't quite big enough yet. I also wanted to make pavlova and I just didn't have time that week, so I felt a little sad about it.

Nigeria

Mr. Fob and I liked the food I …

A Halloween Feast

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We had a church party on Friday night and then went trick-or-treating last night, so my kids certainly got plenty of Halloween this year. But since today was the actual holiday I wanted to do something a little special for them. I found a bunch of cute recipes and we had some 'spooky food' that was actually pretty healthy (except the hot dogs--once in a while can't hurt, right?). The kids loved the meal and generally ate most of it without a complaint. We had potato ghosts, hot dog mummies, fruity jack-o-lanterns, and witch fingers. I think this is going to be a new tradition in our house.

A Day in My Life

I've seen a few posts like this around lately and thought it would be fun to do. Every day our schedule is a little bit different, but today was a pretty 'typical' day for us.

6:00 Wake up because Little Dude is screaming/crying. He's been having some sleep issues lately that have been affecting all of us. Thankfully he doesn't wake up the baby (in the next room) and he falls back to sleep.

6:30 Wake up for real with my alarm clock. Take a very long, hot shower. I feel guilty every morning for taking long showers that are very hot, but it's cold and dark and I am very tired.

7:00 Warm up some oatmeal and eat my breakfast. I like to make a big batch of oatmeal and keep it in the fridge to warm up on other days. Then I go blow dry my hair, get dressed, and do my makeup. I bought new makeup the other day and I'm still not sure I like it. Instead of just powder I bought a creamy foundation that has a powder finish. It seems fine; it is just a bit more obvious tha…

Sometimes things work, sometimes they don't

This morning P. Bibby was really crazy in sacrament meeting. She wasn't loud, but she didn't want me to hold her and she didn't want to play on the floor; there was a whole lot of wiggly craziness going on. Lately I've been trying a new trick of skipping Sunday School to sit with her in the mothers' lounge in hopes that she'll fall asleep. It didn't work out last week, but I thought I'd still give it a try. Thankfully today she conked out after just a few minutes of rocking and we were able to have some nice quiet time before Relief Society. I actually like our Sunday School teachers, but having to deal with a baby for three hours of church in class just is not working for me. I'm trying to sort through my feelings about just leaving her home to nap until she is old enough for nursery. I'm not sure yet what the best decision is. We have plenty of wonderful sisters who love to hold her during Relief Society when I play the piano, but three hours …

Ten for This Week

This week has been busy and I suddenly realized tonight that I hadn't posted for over a week. Oops. I'm really looking forward to next week's Fall Break when we don't have school for two days. Well, I only get one day off, but S-Boogie gets two. It should be fun.

1. Monday I canned twenty-four quarts of peaches with my sister-in-law (we each kept a dozen). She had never done canning before and so I offered to do it with her. I discovered that canning goes a lot faster when you do it with someone else to help you. Since I had already canned a dozen quarts before, I now have a total of twenty-four quarts of peaches in my basement. I haven't had home bottled peaches for years so I'm looking forward to eating them.

2. S-Boogie has become good friends with a little boy who is in her class at school as well as her class at church. They had two playdates this week and they get along so well. I felt sad when she told me that some other kids were teasing them at school fo…

Reading Roundup: September 2010

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

No, I have never read this book before. I've only recently begun to read science fiction and similar things during the last decade of my life. I liked this book much more than I expected too. It was also different from what I had expected; it was much more philosophical and deep than I had anticipated. I think it was a good book and I'm actually glad that I read it as an adult and not when I was younger. Now I just need to read the sequel.

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

There are plenty of reviews of this book out there to read, and I agree with most of them. I thought it ended the series well and was much more deep than I expected it to be. I'm still upset about a few of the choices the author made, just because I don't like to see people die.The Passage by Justin CroninA review I read of this book mentioned that it is the type of book that builds to a point where it is impossible to put it down without finishing it. I agree--reading t…

Random Thoughts on Life this Week

I think we're down to weekly updates on this blog; I keep meaning to write more frequently but it just isn't happening right now. I'm still working on prioritizing my time well and getting enough sleep. Generally things are still going along pretty well here. This week was busy with some visiting teaching, soccer practice and games, a Relief Society meeting where I taught a class, and a quick trip for the baby to the doctor to get her ears checked for infection. She did have an infection (and lots of wax) in both ears, but the antibiotic seems to be clearing things up. We checked her weight while we were there at the doctor and she is now over 14 pounds--a good sign that extra calories are helping her grow. As of this week she is officially weaned and I'm still trying to figure out how I feel about it. I know my body made the decision for me, more or less, but it seems a little sad nonetheless.

Yesterday I spent the morning at a conference for adjunct instructors and I …

The Lord is My Light

I'll be honest and say that going to church for the last little while has been hard. I've been tired and stressed, and even though I like 9 o'clock in the morning as a starting time, we've ended up with 9 o'clock for several years in a row now through moving and I'm kind of tired of it (yes I'll change my mind in January when we start at 1:00). We stayed out too late on Saturday and I just didn't feel like getting there yesterday morning. Then we got to the meeting late and found it was completely packed with visitors. I found us a few seats on the back row and we squeezed in. The first meeting was hot and uncomfortable, and then Sunday School was moderately successful except for the fact that I can't hold a Bible and a squirmy baby at the same time.

Besides the fact that the kids love Primary, I also mainly went because I like my job playing the piano for Relief Society. This week the opening song was "The Lord is My Light", and as I star…

Weekends are Great!

Thanks for all the support on my whiny rant the other day. Teaching and everything else this new school year has really knocked my ego down a bit lately. After spending some time thinking about things I have come to be reminded (again) that it is good and necessary for our lives to get shaken up every so often in order to help us grow. I'd much rather have my current stresses than some of the ones I have experienced in the past. Nothing going on right now is really too unmanageable. It's just that the solutions tend to be things I dislike: prioritizing, cutting back on extra things, going to bed on-time, and focusing on the 'best' rather than the 'good' or 'better'. I hope that I can use this experience to polish off some of my rough edges.

I've been avoiding posting for a few days in order to get in a better mood. Thursday wasn't any better than Wednesday was. I still felt awful from my cold and spent most of the busy day with a sinus headache.…

Obsessing

Starting teaching this year has really done a number on my psyche; I think I'm struggling because things were going well for quite a while and I felt like my life was in control and not too full. Plus I have not been giving myself enough sleep. I need to sleep or things get crazy. Don't ask me why I am blogging instead of going to bed like I should. Maybe because reaching out to other people helps me feel better. I'm also hoping that shaking this cold that has been plaguing my entire family (myself included) will improve my mood. I can tell when my brain isn't doing well because I start obessing over things instead of doing something about them.

First of all, I feel like a constant refrain for the last year or so is "Little Dude is driving me crazy". He is really clingy and I have a hard time getting him to entertain himself much. I'm discovering that the hardest part of having S-Boogie do so many activities is dealing with a four-year-old who won't ge…

Reading Roundup: August 2010

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell


It was interesting to read this book so soon after finishing Middlemarch, since they both cover similar social issues during a similar time period. They are, however, very different from each other in many ways. I had never really heard of Gaskell or her work until a few years ago and my impression is that she is not studied nearly as much as other similar writers like George Eliot, the Brontes, or Jane Austen. I think that's a shame because this is an excellent book on many levels: romance, social commentary, political and feminist criticism, etc. I think I need to read more of Gaskell's work to see if it is all as good as this one.


One Small Boat by Kathy Harrison


This was a book that caught my eye at the library. It was a nicely-written memoir about one woman's experience as a foster parent; she writes so lovingly about the children she took care of that it almost convinced me to become a foster parent. At the same time, she is honest e…

The Letter M

Yes, we've still been plugging away at our countries project. It's been a bit more difficult as our schedules have gotten busier, but the kids love talking about different countries and I think they're learning stuff. We ended up skipping the letter L entirely; sorry Laos, Luxembourg, Latvia, and Lithuania!

Mexico: We actually already know quite a lot about Mexico, but it was fun for the kids to learn even more. We read several books, including this one, this one, and this one. For dinner I made frijoles (in the crockpot) that we ate with fresh salsa, queso fresco, and corn tortillas that the kids helped me make. I also made some flan for a treat and we ended up watching the movie Beverly Hills Chihuahua since it mostly takes place in Mexico. Not that anything in the movie is remotely accurate as far as Mexico goes, but the kids thought it was great.

Mongolia: The library only had one picture book about Mongolia, but at least it was a good one and S-Boogie wanted me to read…

The first week of school

The first day of school was a week ago, and I'm barely finding time to blog now. I'm sincerely hoping that the beginning of next semester is not so crazy. Starting a course more or less from scratch has taken up a massive amount of my time. I've also realized that the last time I taught we only had two kids and Mr. Fob was in school and not working full-time. That being said, he has been a big help and we are so blessed that he has a flexible, at-home job. I'm becoming more and more convinced that outsourcing is a great way to strengthen families--and it helps the environment because there is no commute (but that's a post for another day). I teach at eight and nine in the morning and I usually get home a little after ten o'clock. I just get up, get ready, nurse the baby, and go. Mr. Fob gets the kids ready, sends S-Boogie out the door to school, puts the baby down for a nap, gets Little Dude a video, and then goes to work about 9:00. So far things have gone smo…