Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Taya One One

I think it was a few days ago I blogged about her turning 10, and now she's already 11! It must be nice to have so many birthdays every year, all that extra cake and ice cream. Maybe somebody gave her a speed-up-time clock, or maybe she built one for some science fair. I don't know how she does it, but amazingly she gets older and older faster and faster, to her delight and my horror. Not horror at her, I mean, just look at her! With a personality to match, she's one amazing still-little girl!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Blues

No, we don't actually have the blues, we're not sad: look at how happy we look! No Easter dresses this year, (have you SEEN how many daughters I have?! If not, just look at the photo, Einstein.) I ended up in blue, noticed Taya was in blue, and then like the family fashionazi I am dug out everyone's blues. Troy willingly goes with the flow, which makes his domestic life so much simpler, and Levi is always happy to match Dad. Though frankly they didn't even notice until I pointed it out to them during church. And then I realized all the bluebonnets are out this time of year and arm-twisted our friend David who attends church with us to graciously swap family photos shoots. Though climbing down a hill in spike heels wasn't my idea of a good time, (those idyllic bluebonnet fields are actually full of thistles and thorns and mud with a freeway speeding by), and despite the full sun time of day which results in yet another Easter squinting family photo to treasure, (when will we learn to stop taking these right after church? When it stops being so convenient. And when I stop using so many parentheses. Stay on topic, girl!) we had a wonderful and relaxing Easter Sunday. And we weren't distracted by any bunnies nor eggs. We do all that pagan stuff the day before and the day after. On Easter we eat ham. And think about the Resurrection. While we sing in the choir.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

8 months

Zoey is 8 months old, and it somehow feels like what I really mean is that I'm 8 months pregnant. She's the most advanced fetus I've ever seen: sitting up, smiling, eating solid flowers...er, food, and check out how well she wears that clothing! I've never seen a fetus do that trick before now. I'm also pretty sure she's the smartest thing ever; unless you count my older 4 kids, in which case it's a 5-way tie. I will say she's the cutest baby because all my other kids are no longer babies! Yeah, I know you covet my perfect children and my photography skills, and I can say that because most of you just look at the photos and never read this part. And those who read this far love me just the way I am, and are susceptible to suggestive subliminal messages. That wasn't very subtle, was it? I think this is the part that qualifies as my "Mindless Ramblings." Just pray she grows up to be just like her dad! Unless you've read his Slightly Unstable blog, in which case just be glad your own kids aren't in our gene pool!

Sunday, April 05, 2009


I have had this Singer anniversary edition sewing machine for several years now, and it worked, but it didn't have a table, and wasn't in tune. Since it didn't have a table, it didn't sit level, and the mechanism hit the desk when it was running. One morning when my sewing student was here, and my kids were out of school, we were all sewing around the big dining table (my student had hers, my daughter had mine, and I had my serger). Troy must have felt either left out or too masculine perhaps from lifting weights that morning, and pulled out my old black Singer to fix it up. He got it oiled and tuned, and a few hours and Craigslist clicks later came home with a new table for it too! I found him and Levi rewiring it into the table for a knee button, so no more foot pedal. We're such nerds. I have to be honest, that's kind of why I married him. When we were dating, a big group hopped into our cars to drive to Yellowstone, and we were the last ones in the caravan. He started his car, and as everyone drove away, smoke billowed out from under his hood. I was pretty disappointed to miss the park as I hadn't been since I moved to Idaho. He diagnosed the green goo pouting out of his radiator as, "This is no problem! My dad is the automotive professor on campus." The thing limped up to his dad's shop, and 2 hours later we were watching elk cross the road in Yellowstone Park! Several months after that, we were watching a movie with some friends, and my attempt to make popcorn yielded some black smoke, sparks, and some very burnt kernels. Disappointed again, (I love popcorn!) I brought him the air popper and sat down to watch the movie. He brought it back to the kitchen, and 15 mintues later walked into the TV room with a giant bowl of fluffy, buttery popcorn! I literally thought, "I have to marry this guy." It's a good thing he liked me too!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Three Front Teeth

Okay, so I hate to admit it, but my kid, my son, my only son, our only shot to get this boy thing right, has 3 front teeth! Not by any fault of our own save for an unfortunate flaw in genetics. His right lateral incisor (can you tell we took him to a pediatric dentist?) fell out to reveal not its successor, but a giant central incisor otherwise known as your front teeth. Saw-edged to perfection, right on time, just wrong place.
So the cracked, rotten, infected, gray front tooth we've been praying would fall out was still in there, twisted and sticking out like it deserved all the limelight! Seriously, praying, because the cost of getting the thing yanked totaled $150 per tooth! Can you believe that dental insurance doesn't cover anesthesia for children?! Injections, yes, so technically it's covered, but who is going to allow that on a 7-year-old?! So funny gas was called for. We even went in to the extraction appointment, gas tanks all hooked up, and the dentist said, "If you just really work on that thing, you can get it out today." So we left as he packed up all the gas tanks again (sorry, Aaron!), and Levi got to watch TV the rest of the day while he twisted and yanked. We even tied dental floss to it while he pulled and twisted some more. We told him the dentist mentioned that the tooth fairy would bring TEN DOLLARS if he got that thing out that day, and after goodnight kisses and tears that it hadn't come out, he came out asking Daddy to do something about it. Lacking any dental tools and dental degree, Troy pulled out the needle-nosed pliers, grabbed a hold, and twisted that thing right out! Levi was still hunched up with his eyes squeezed shut waiting for the yank, and replied, "Wow, that didn't even hurt!" Sure was a lot of blood, though, and a root about a mile long! And bright and early the next morning Levi had two five-dollar bills under his pillow!

So does this kid have personality, or what?

Playing Dumb

At the park the other day, 2 twin girls were playing in a mud puddle from a recent Texas splash and dash spring storm, and their older sister showed up and said, "Ew, ick, stop playing in that!" A neighbor mom told her, "Don't worry about it: they've been doing it the whole time you were gone. They won't be any cleaner if you make them stop."

Wow. Now THIS is how to be a laid back parent, I observed.

I asked her what response she would give to the mild freak out of, "Oh, she's eating rocks!" I so frequently hear when my babies are sucking on pea gravel. Yes, it's gross, yes, it may be a choking hazard, but I'm so sick of constantly fishing them out that I've just given up. However, in an attempt to not admit that I am knowingly allowing my kids to participate in activities that promote choking, I "pretend" I don't notice, which always yields that friendly piece of warning advice that she's sucking rocks...again. So then I "pretend" I'm surprised and grossed out, and like a good mom and say, "Ew, yuck, spit those out."

My friend just laughed and told me that if I'm a laid back mom, I need to wear that. What I'm doing instead is looking incompetent, perpetuating the space-case reputation (not that it's totally undeserved, but to a much lesser degree than it appears).

So in an attempt to not look incompetent, I am in fact making myself look incompetent. It's better to just let them do things like play in the mud, eat inorganic matter, or practice toddler gymnastics by climbing on rickety objects (it's a lot cheaper than Gymboree!), than pretending I don't see it and acting flustered when it's pointed out.

I've also learned that if I'm getting "that vibe" from someone that they don't think I can handle 5 kids, that it's probably not all in my head as I have previously thought. It's probably because I inadvertently lead them to believe that by playing dumb, and that instead it's really time to step into my role of parenting "old school" style.

Any witty or quick responses for, "Back off, hover mom!" are welcome in the comments. Help me educate the would-be CPS-dialing watch dogs!