Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Book Review

Okay, sorry Stephenie - but I think I found my new favorite author. I just read another one of Sarah Strohmeyer's books - The Sleeping Beauty Proposal - and I loved it!! Even more than The Cinderella Pact. The Cinderella Pact was probably funnier, and it has more of the fat humor. But I so loved the romance better in this book. There was a stronger story there. All I can say is I totally love this author's work. She is the greatest. Read it if you get the chance!! Here is my favorite quote: (DISCLAIMER - if you are offended by the word 'nipple', do not read).

"Most men, I've learned, can be easily distracted by a flash of leg, a bit of cleavage. They're like apes, really, a half a notch up the evolutionary scale when it comes to all things sexual. Show them the merest hint of a nipple and their brains instantaneously go to mush."

It is 8:41 p.m. and I am just admitting that my goal to finish my own book by the end of the year is sort of unrealized. I actually finished writing the story; but now I have a mean rewrite ahead of me. Oh well, at least I finished it. I am sitting down right now to start reading it again and decide what it is still lacking.

New Year's Eve, and Sean and the kids are asleep. Sean's parents are watching t.v., and I am blogging. It was actually a fun night - at least to me - we had fondue for dinner (cheese fondue with meatballs, french bread, and broccoli) and dessert (dark chocolate fondue with bananas, pineapple, and oranges). We were going to play games, but Sean got up at five this morning, and my MIL and I were much more interested in finishing the books we were reading.

Happy New Year to all!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Morning

Here is the wreath I made my sister for Christmas - I used the same ribbon that was on her wedding cake (well, not the exact same ribbon - just what was left on the spools).

And here is her gift to us. I totally bawled when i saw it. She has drawn each of my kids now. She is so talented.

Here are a few pictures of our Christmas morning!

Here are the girls with their doll house. It is seriously an awesome dollhouse with sturdy wood furniture and everything. I'm sure Santa had a blast setting it up - like some childhood dream come true!

Sean & I got the girls little MP3 players (kid ones). The girls have been listening to them ALL DAY LONG. So far the favorite CD seems to be David Archuleta.

Here is the Raggedy Ann doll that I (oops....I mean the elves) slaved over. My mom actually painted the face and took care of the hair - I sewed and stuffed the body and sewed the clothes. I am proud to say that Emma hasn't put her down all day!

Spencer's favorite gift was the bag of pretzel goldfish in his stocking. He ate half the bag before breakfast and carried them around all day. Santa brought him a scooter and Sean & I got him a car garage thing.

Here is Sean with his Guitar Hero t-shirt. He also got The Dark Knight and a book he has wanted for a long time.

And last but not least.....a BOSCH!!! Can you believe it? I am psyched. But also intimidated by it like I always am with new kitchen gadgets. Thanks, mom and dad P! Sean got me a giant curling iron I've wanted forever, and the kids got me the Mummy Trilogy.

Now the ham is in the oven and I am somewhat ashamed to say that I haven't showered and I am still in my PJs from last night. Oh well!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Then and Now

Tomorrow is our ninth anniversary! I can't believe it's been that long. Anyway, I took a few pictures of some pictures - since we got married before the digital camera days. Here are some things I loved about when we were dating/married/newlyweds - and some things I love about now.


Flirting at work under everyone's noses
Being twitterpated all the time!
Listening to 'Truly, Madly, Deeply' over and over in Sean's Sentra (our song)
Picnics up Provo Canyon w/Quiznos subs and playing spades
Feeling completely safe with Sean
Realizing I had found someone who loved me more than I ever thought possible
That adorable spiky bleached hair!
Cooking our meals together and cleaning up together


Staying up talking late at night
Being able to make each other laugh all the time
Watching Sean be a father
Having a home of our own
Having a husband who encourages my talents and interests
Being able to stay home with the kids since Sean works so hard
Listening to him rave about my cooking rather than his mom's!
Hearing him tell me I'm beautiful every day
Knowing we have been through good, bad, and ugly - and he still loves and supports me
Still bringing me roses all the time - sometimes for no reason
Quality over Quantity (not going to specify - sure you can figure it out)

Thank you for working so hard every day to make me happy. I am so glad I said yes - even if I did pause.

2 for 5 Christmas

I had a funny epiphany this morning when I woke up. The last few days our wireless printer hasn't been working due to the fact that we changed our wireless modem for internet. I have been going crazy since I had a bunch of things I needed to print for my calling. I started to go into panic mode, saving my files to a USB disk to take to the library and print off. When I woke up I thought 'why don't I just bring the laptop upstairs and plug it into the printer?'. The thought seriously never occurred to me. How sad is it that because we live in a virtually wireless society, plugging a cord from one thing to another is a huge inconvenience - even if the result is the same? Anyway, it just made me laugh at myself. And also, don't laugh, but it was an answer to a prayer, too.

Can I say I love my mom? She got up with my kids this morning, made them pancakes, and had Emma dressed when I came downstairs at 7:30. Then she did her hair for school too. It was so nice to lay in bed curled up with my body pillow and ignore Spencer yelling 'mama.....mama....mama' - knowing that she was going to get him. She said she is going to do that for me like three times a week so I can sleep. Thanks, mom - you are the best!

I finally finished the girls' Christmas pajamas. These actually only cost me 2.50 a piece this year, since I already had the fabric and the patterns. The only thing I ended up paying for were the shirts - Michaels 2 for $5. I am still working on Spencer's - his are green with red Santas and reindeer. I also have Raggedy-Ann's body sewn, and my very talented mother painted her face. Now I just have to make the yarn wig (which I have absolutely NO CLUE how to do) and sew her clothes. Hopefully I can get it all done in time! Never mind the fact that Emma recently informed me it is the Indian Doll from the Raggedy Ann story she wants - not actually Raggedy Ann herself. I tried to convince her that I heard her ask Santa for Raggedy Ann - but she is positive that Santa heard different and will oblige her. Yikes.

Tomorrow is our 9-year anniversary. I will have to post some pictures on here - though I have no idea how seeing as I don't even have a disk with the pictures on them - I only have the actual copies - and no scanner either. Sean booked a room for us in Lehi this Friday night.

Lehi, because we were married in the Mount Timpanogus Temple. We are going to do a session and go to dinner, and then have a munchkin-free night. Thanks, honey!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sasquatch Sighting

Well, it's finally looking like Christmas around here now, isn't it? We got a ton of snow yesterday and even more today - which I love in view of the approaching holiday. However, I hate the snow when it comes to our dog. The fringey fur all along his legs and belly trap the snow and he brings it all in with him. I keep stepping in puddles in my carpet left when the ice balls melt out of his fur.

Anyway, I had to tell about my fabulous day yesterday. My husband was so nice to me all day. I was in house-cleaning mode since I was supposed to have a PJ sewing party at my house last night and we have people coming for dinner today. He volunteered to do the dishes and mop without being asked. He also cleaned the stove top (which I completely loathe doing). I had a picture of him on his hands and knees scrubbing the floor, but he threatened me not to put it on the blog - so I deleted it. He also put on my Sarah Mclaughlin Christmas CD even though he hates Christmas music, just because he knew it would make me happy. Later when my sewing party fell through he said we should go and do something instead, and I suggested (jokingly) going to see Twilight again. He totally took me AND let me ride in a car with one of my best friends to the theatre while he followed behind. I may add that he didn't expect anything in return for any of this, either.

Thanks, honey!! You rock.

So I can now boast I have seen Twilight three times. I THINK I can wait until it comes out on DVD now. I hope. My sister (bless her heart) burned the soundtrack for me and I have been thinking about the movie nonstop ever since! (Actually I've been thinking about the movie nonstop since the day I first went to it, and the whole blasted concept since I first read Twilight). WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME?

Here is a picture of the girls while Sean and I were cleaning yesterday. They decided to sit down and do their reading - without being asked. What is going on here??

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Elves and Thieves

Here is a cute shot of Spencer-Elf. I was sitting in the living room this morning listening to Emma read her A.R. book, and Spencer walked in with this hat on and matter-of-factly plopped a book open on the table and began drawing on it. It was just funny to me that he put the hat on himself, and of course the binki made the whole thing funnier. It was like he had something important to do as Santa or something.

So, apparently Mackenna has decided it is a rule to kife my camera while I am in the shower. Up until now it has been cute bordering on slightly troublesome, but after this shot, I think I may have to take it to the shower with me:

WOW, HONEY - is that the strap to my $400 digital camera hanging down in the toilet? At least she picked the one clean toilet in the house to photograph.

Here are some of her other shots - I'll let them speak for themselves!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

First I want to say thank you to all of you who left me comments on my drama-post. I appreciate all of your input and your loving thoughts!

Second, for those of you who have asked or are interested, the book I am working on is a modern version of (DON'T LAUGH)Pride & Prejudice. That's all I will say about it right now. I am still not done, I can't figure out a non-cheesey/corny way for them to end up together. And then I have to go back through and add in all the mindless filler details that I usually skip when I read a book - but right now the story is kind of skeletal without them. My original idea was to rewrite all of Austen's classics in a modern version. "The Austen Chronicles". Once I started I realized how difficult it will be - Pride & Prejudice for example, has been done and redone so many times it was really tough to find a new take on it. And it's not even really a new take - there is a mormon version on DVD that is kind of like it. The saving grace of this scheme, though, is that the concept of a relationship starting out as a love/hate thing is definitely not new - and Austen herself didn't invent it, either. We all know it just makes for the best love stories! But lots of people have tried to redo P&P: Bridget Jones, Austenland, etc. not to mention all the sequels and threequels and prequels people have written. I am just hoping I can actually finish it to my satisfaction; getting it published will be a whole new ball game.

Also I have been wanting to talk about the last couple of books I've read. I just finished The Mermaid Chair, which was pretty interesting and I absolutely love the way the writer described things. She was very talented.

Right now I am reading a FREAKING HILARIOUS book my friend Sarah loaned me - The Cinderella Pact. I can't even describe her style, but it's like having my sarcastic friend Sarah right in the room with me at all times. It is a hilarious book about three overweight friends who decide to lose weight, hence, The Cinderella Pact. I can't even count the times I have busted up laughing. Here is my favorite quote of the day: [I put on] "high-tech expensive mascara to make my puny lashes look fuller and longer. I pause and ponder how and why having hairy eyeballs became sexually desirable." That is just a smidgen of the kind of humor in this book - you really have to read it, whether you are overweight or not - hilarious.

Anyway, things got better after that last post, after they got worse, that is. Friday was kind of the same, though I did cuddle with each of the kids on the couch, had Emma read to me for 20 minutes while I sorted laundry (which in and of itself is a miracle as I detest laundry), AND when things started going downhill again after dinner I took the kids over to Layton park for a drive-through to see the 'Lights Before Christmas'. Of course I turned the radio up loud on the way over so they couldn't hear me sobbing in the front seat. Mackenna peed her seat on the way home, and by the time we walked through the door I couldn't look at any of my children. I put Spencer in his crib with an obligatory kiss on his forehead (it's not his fault his mommy's psycho, poor little tike), and told the girls to put themselves to bed - after which I sequestered myself in my room and cried in the dark for an hour. All better now, thanks to a 20-minute platonic massage from Sean and his letting me sleep in the next morning.

Sean was home on Saturday and we actually had a group Twilight/Dinner date planned for that night, so I knew it had to be a better day. Then we have been at church all day today and I get to go back in a couple of hours for a primary thing. Tomorrow Emma goes back to school - so I should be good until Christmas Break. I am thinking of premedicating.......

So, here are a couple of pictures I have been wanting to put on here. Mackenna was sick the day of her 'thanksgiving feast' at school, and so upset. So I pacified her by making our own little fingerfood feast at home:

Yup, those are green olives on White Cheddar Cheese-its, and very yummy if I do say so myself. Not bad considering I used to spread butter on Saltine crackers and dip them in pickle juice, which I also still like, by the way.

This one is for all the mothers of boys with cute spiky hair. I adore spiky hair on boys, but I had no idea how much work it is! This is Spencer after I attacked him with a comb & water, gel, hairspray, my hairdryer, more hairspray, and more hairdryer.

Seriously, it takes longer to do his hair than to do the girls. I think my hair actually took less time today too - it was the pile-your-hair-on-your-head-and-clip-it-day today. And the outfit he is wearing was given to us by the Heatons - bless your hearts! He looks handsome and he knows it, since I taught him how to say "I hansome'.

I had to capture this one: Emma's very creative pretzel-nibbled art.

She's nothing if not creative!

Friday, November 28, 2008

WARNING: Negatively Lengthy

I am so frustrated I don't even know where to begin. This morning, this is what I woke up to: Spencer screaming 'mama......mama' getting louder each time. The girls were dancing around the kitchen like naked aborigenees (sp?) even though they know they are supposed to be quiet in the morning. And this was at 6:20. Oh my GOSH. This is the third day my kids have been on their out-of-school hyperactive rant. Maybe I shouldn't have given them jello and two kinds of pie yesterday. I am even tempted to feed them more pie this morning, just out of laziness. When I woke up on Wednesday I felt so good - I was looking forward to just spending structure-free time with my kids. The high ended when I came down the stairs, though. I don't know why, but I decided that I wanted to push to finish my book that day. So I sat on the couch all day, only stopping to make food for the kids and bark out 'I SAID sit down and watch t.v.......go upstairs if you can't be quiet.....JUST GO PLAY IN THE BASEMENT!'. Spencer cooperated nicely. He sat on the couch next to me with his nigh-night and his ee-ee (blanket/binki), and took about a 3 1/2 hour nap. The girls, on the other hand, made it their personal quest to get into as much trouble as they could. They tore their room apart several times, they decided to play in the plant they took from my father's funeral by putting their princesses and care bears inside it, then got soil all over their room when they took the toys out, they overwatered the plant AFTER I TOOK IT AWAY AND PUT IT IN THEIR BATHROOM, flooding the counter. During all this they kept wrestling and screaming and just being kids, but I JUST COULDN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE. So we went to Carls Jr. for dinner and Sean had been home about five minutes before he said 'what's wrong with you guys today - you're giving me a headache.' Yeah, honey. Try living with them all day.

Yesterday went much the same, maybe a degree or two better. I had determined after Wednesday that I would not try and work on my book, that I would just spend time with the kids. They were all up at 6:00 a.m., so I grudgingly layed on the couch while they watched t.v. Let me tell you, MY CHILDREN ARE INCAPABLE OF SILENCE. I mean, seriously - how the FREAK do they have all that energy at six in the morning? By the time the t.v. went off I was just irritated. I sequestered myself in my room and took a long hot bath, feeling better about the day, until I realized it was only 9:30. See, my spirits brighten considerably around 10:40 every day, when it's acceptable to start thinking about what to make the little demons for lunch. Then it's onto nap time, and it starts to go downhill from there. I spent a good part of the day cooking, and it felt good. Of course, a good mother would have gathered her children around her and let them help her make pie, savoring the memories for years go come. It reminds me of an article you might see in an old issue of Woman's Day. My holiday spread went something a little more like this: 'What is WRONG with you guys - GET AWAY FROM ME, I'M MAKING PIES HERE.' After dinner I decided we should all just sit down and watch a movie. The girls picked 'the parent trap', which I was grateful for since that meant I didn't have to watch Barbie as the Island Princess for the umpteenth time. Do you think my girls were quiet through the movie? I swear, the only thing they know how to do is make noise. By the time I got them in bed I felt horrible - mostly because I have done nothing but yell at them and say 'just go watch t.v.' over and over the past two days. We went to a friend's house to play games and gorge ourselves on pie, and at least I was able to laugh so hard that my face hurt by the time we left.

Now it is 7:49 a.m., and this day is looking much the same. I am all achey for reaasons unknown, and I want to go take a Tyelnol, though a Percocet would do the job nicely. Good thing I don't have any. I am afraid of going anywhere in the car today, lest I jerk the wheel into a bridge abutment in my frustration. I am seriously considering a handsome slice of apple pie for breakfast, and I am relishing the thought of my chilrens' faces when I tell them they can't have any because they are too hyper and the sugar isn't good for them.

WHY DOES IT HAVE TO BE SO HARD? Do me a favor, please. If you have made it to the end of this then you have more patience than I do. Please leave me a little comment and tell me one or two things you do to stay positive about being home with small children - just some little way you try to enjoy them. I am obviously doing something wrong here.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Confessions of an in-the-closet writer

I saw this on Becky Squire's blog and thought it was so cute, so I copied. Sorry, Becky!

7 Things I Can Do:
1. sing
2. sew
3. decorate cakes
4. scrapbook
5. creative writing (poetry, and currently, a book!)
6. talk on the phone for hours
7. blog for therapy

7 Things I Can’t Do:
1. interior decorating or anything crafty that gets hung up
2. math
3. clean the shower (why IS that?)
4. quilt
5. stay away from walmart
6. make lasagna (sean does)
7. pay attention to my hyper dog

7 Things That Attract Me To My Hubby:
1. his teddy bearness
2. his hypercolor cheeks
3. his sense of humor
4. his efforts to be involved in what's important to me (blogging, my book, cakes)
5. his willingness to surrender the remote
6. when he laughs at my jokes
7. when he bathes the kids or does the dishes without any hints from me and doesn't expect anything in return

7 Things I Always Say:
2. "Hey, NO."
3. "Come ON, throw me a bone here."
4. "Your room is a DISASTER."
5. "Emma, let's do your reading."
6. "Kenna, flush & wash!"
7. "Get DOWN, Spencie!"

7 Things I Love To Eat:
1. Carls Jr. Chocolate Malts
2. Sonic Cherry Coke (I get diet, but it's just NOT as good)
3. my friend Sarah's salads
4. ranch dressing (on something, of course)
5. potato chips
6. anything baked and sugary
7. popcorn with butter and popcorn salt

WELL, THAT WAS FUN. I tag anyone who wants to!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

My Working Four-Year-Old and Twilight Spoiler

I got some bad news yesterday while I was at the movie. My biological father has had cancer for the last year or so, and he passed away yesterday. For anyone who is up on the details of my sordid family history, you'll understand that I wasn't that close to him, and a positive relationship between us wasn't ever accomplished. For those of you who aren't privy to the gory details, just watch 'The Dysfunctional Home Show' on In Living Color, and you get the picture. Anyway, we will be going down to Richfield on Tuesday for the funeral. I am feeling guilty that I don't feel more sad - but mostly I am happy for him. He is finally out of pain and is able to be with his mom again, my grandma who died several years ago, and who I have missed severely. She was a very good friend of mine during those awful teenage years.

Mackenna got ahold of my camera again the other day, and I have to say she is actually getting quite good. I think she may have a future there. She took 124 pictures of everything, including several views of her room from Emma's bunk bed and Emma's bed itself, her feet, Spencer, Spencer's room and many details such as his sport light plate, etc. I don't want to encourage her to touch my very expensive camera, but she is getting really good. Somehow I don't feel like the cheapy $5 pretend camera going in her stocking will cut it. Maybe next year. Anyway, here are a few of her pictures:


What can I say? I was in a haze for about two hours after the movie. I went with my best friend Dionne and we went to Applebees after, and I kept seeing a pair of amber eyes looking back at me (SORRY, DI). I don't really think about the fact that the story takes place in high school - I think since it is written by an adult you forget that - but the movie made it abundantly clear that it is a teenage thing. I thought Kristin Stewart did a great job with Bella's character, and what can I say about Robert Pattinson? YOWSA. He totally pulled it off. He even brought an element of comedy (like when Bella sits next to him the first time in biology and he plugs his nose and looks like he's about to gag) to the character that I think may even have been lacking in the book itself - Edward is always so somber. I loved the way his eyes smiled when he smiled, but he also did the brooding well too. I only thought one part was too goofy to handle, the part where he is sucking the venom out of Bella's James-wound, and the faux-tortured look on his face. I actually laughed out loud at that. I loved the first kiss scene, even though that's not quite how it happened in the book - I will probably rewind that one a few times (okay, I will - no probably about it) when I get the DVD, WHICH I WILL. I was a little shocked at her informal attire though - 'holy cow, she's in her underwear'. I just about swooned in my seat when he said 'hold on, spidermonkey' and took her tree climbing on his back. I don't know why, but I thought it was so adorable. I absolutely loved Charlie. He wasn't at all how I pictured him, but I loved his character and all the comical things he said/did with a totally straight face. I so want to go out and buy the sound track, but it will have to wait.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Leaning Tower of T.P......

This is what happens when you let your children play unsupervised in the bathroom. When you are sitting on the couch, blissfully contemplating the delightful absence of kid-screeching.

I just asked the kids for a confession and Kenna was the culprit. I wonder if she has a future as an architect?

I have started my Christmas sewing finally. Raggedy Ann is all cut out and ready to be sewn. I was going to nix the PJs this year since I don't really have extra money for fabric; then I remembered that I had about 4 1/2 yards of different Christmas fabrics I bought a couple years ago for a table cloth or something. The other great part is that the patterns I bought last year I never used, since Angela Sedgwick had her patterns already cut out at the church. So, basically the PJs are already paid for.

In closing, here is a quirky and potentially exploitive picture I took the other day. The story that goes along is actually pretty funny; the girls were fighting over who got to lick the spatula after I made a chocolate mint cheesecake (for which, by the way, i crushed Spencer's chocolate animal cookies to make the crust) - ANYWAY, where was I? Oh, yes. So this was my solution to the sibling rivalry. They actually did touch tongues a couple times, but that doesn't leave this post!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Emma has a 'crush'......

This was Emma's reaction watching David Archuleta on the Ellen Degeneres show today:

If you're going to be smitten at the age of seven, what better object of your affection? At least we know he's a good Mormon boy.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The New Toothpaste

So last night Spencer came out of the bathroom holding Emma's toothbrush and the thing of toothpaste saying "buh-bee" (brush teeth). I took Emma's toothbrush away from him and put it back in the bathroom. I turned slowly and followed droplets of brown water to a toilet that hadn't been flushed and had a few goodies floating in it. I looked at the toothbrush and nearly yacked when I saw the lovely coat of brown pushed into the bristles. NASTY. He had been playing in the poopy toilet water with Emma's toothbrush. I FEED THIS CHILD OFF MY SPOON. Of course I came unglued at Mackenna for not flushing (she always forgets) and got as mad as I could at an almost two-year-old who doesn't understand why mom is yelling at him for wanting to brush his teeth.

Today we took the kids to see Santa at the mall. This is the only picture I got since I had to hurry and snap it before the grumpy elf came over and told me that the new 'mall policy' is not to allow any pictures except theirs - even if you're not technically standing on their carpet. Anyway, before I could even rehearse with them what they were asking for (brainwash them into asking for what we already got them) Emma asked Santa for a Raggedy Ann doll and 'David Archuletta songs'. She saw me looking at the Kmart add yesterday and when I saw his CD coming out tomorrow I gasped. She said 'is he the one I like to sing?'. She loved him on American Idol, and she belts his songs out in the car. The other day she said she wanted an i-pod for christmas - how does she even know what that is? Then today she said she wanted her 'own REAL phone'. Uh - no, honey. When you have a job, and a car, and are driving by yourself late at night, then you can buy your own cell-phone. What is happening to my baby?

Mackenna told Santa she wanted some pink earphones (she saw some of those 'gumy' ones in the walmart catalogue) and her 'own REAL camera'. Hate to break it to you guys, but remember, Santa doesn't always bring you everything you ask for. Maybe he'll bring you a lovely doll house instead. (Costco, $90 - joint gift).

Just before we went to the mall we went out in the rain looking for pine cones. I am having some cub scouts over to my house tomorrow for a den meeting, and I saw these cute Christmas tree neckerchief slides that you make out of pine cones. No way I was going to buy a thing of pine cones when they are laying all over the ground. I was about to either do a mission impossible over someone's fence or drive my family up into the snowy mountains to find them. Luckily a church on the corner had a few pine trees and the pine cones were plentiful.

I took the girls to get their hair cut on Saturday. Emma was worried everyone at school would laugh at her, and Mackenna suddenly developed social anxiety at the same time.

I think I sound pretty boring today, so I'll quit while I'm behind!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Andy Rooney on Flu Vaccines and Day Light Savings

I have several questions to pose to anyone who cares. Or maybe you don't care - at any rate I need to vent. WARNING: I am about to sound like Andy Rooney on 60 minutes.

1. What is the point of a flu shot anyway? Seriously. Spencer has had horrible diarrhea ever since he got his on Monday, which equals diaper rash, which equals me getting kicked in the chest or the crotch or wherever his stubby little legs can reach while I change him. I end up practically sitting on him to keep him still while I change him. It's about every hour or so that he yells "bum-bum!" and starts wailing. Then I have to hold his ankles up in the air with my right hand since it's the strongest, while he bucks and tries to flip over as I wipe him. That's to get the back of the bum. Then to get in the folds I have to pin each of his legs down under mine while he keeps kicking and slides across the floor, smearing diarrhea or diaper cream across my lovely shag carpet. If any of you come to my house and see a suspicious stain, DON'T ASK. My RN husband will probably chide me for my flu vaccine-cynicism, but what can I say? It's getting old already. I don't even know if his bowel issues are a result of the shot. Lest any of you think I have no compassion, I do feel bad for the little guy. It can't feel good having your poop burn on the way out and then sit against your skin, and then get scraped off you by something that is cold and wet.

2. Why does maintaining a household have to be so hard? Every aspect of it is a challenge right now. Mouths to feed. Clothes to wash. Toys to pick up. Dishes - endless dishes - to do. It never ends. I understand the need for opposition. I understand that challenges make us grow in ways we probably wouldn't otherwise. This is the eternal question I ask myself over and over. Why does it have to be so hard? I keep feeling like the Lord is trying to teach my family something. Some valuable lesson we will need later, which can only come through the hardships we are facing right now. Don't get me wrong. There is no big tragedy at our house. It's just the same thing everyone goes through when you try to live on one income. And yet, I have to ask myself how many of our needs are truly needs. I think a person can live on surprisingly little - it's just that we're used to a certain standard of living. Plenty - of everything. At least gas prices are dropping, right? The other day I filled my beast for $76 instead of $90. (See, honey, I CAN be positive).

3. Why do my kids wake up while it's still dark EVERY MORNING? Tell me. If I catch them in time I make them get their little fannies back into bed, but this morning I was too late. I heard their little voices drifting up from downstairs just after 6 a.m. I was too lazy to go all the way downstairs, so I whispered "shhhhhhh!" at the top of my lungs over the banister and went back to bed. At least Spencer slept a little later. Trouble is, them getting up right after 6 was actually like them getting up just after 7 before the time change, and they were waking up at 6 before the time change. At any rate, we were all up before 7 today. The last week has been horrible for mornings. I wake up in a bad mood and the kids have been extra rambunctious in the morning, which makes me grumpier. I try to make breakfast, which I hardly ever do any more, and Spencer hangs on me crying the whole time. Or the girls both want to 'help' make the muffins and end up fighting or getting pushed off their chairs by Spencer because he wants to help too. Maybe I should just invest in a cereal dispenser. Or a robot.

4. Why is it that the only real 1:1 time I have with Emma is the time Spencer decides to be needy? I have been trying to sit down with Emma right after school and get her reading done. Inevitably, the MOMENT I plant myself on the couch Spencer runs across the room and slams into me, crying. And he won't just sit nicely and listen to Emma read, either. I have tried turning on a show for him, but it distracts Emma. I have tried sitting him down with a snack - doesn't work either. I am at a loss. Finally we have started putting Spencer to bed and then letting the girls stay up long enough for reading - but seriously, that is a risk. Usually by 7:00 I don't want to look at any of my kids any more.

5. Has anyone seen 'Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood'? You know the part where she totally runs away and stays in a hotel on the beach by herself for a few days? Yeah. I'm there.

Here is some Andy Rooney wisdom, quite relevant to my little rant up there. Good on ya, Andy!