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!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

We're off to see the wizard.......

I am so glad Halloween is over for this year. And even though Sean and I went to a party after getting the kids tucked snugly in bed, I have to ask myself if all the time at the sewing machine is worth wearing the costume for a few hours. Once again I have vowed not to do a theme next year. I have at least vowed not to think about it until after the new year! Anyway, here is the finished product!


Lion (renamed the grumpy lion instead of the cowardly lion - he was crying unless he had candy in his mouth):


Dorothy (definitely cuter than the original!):

Tin Girl (there are no words for how adorable she was!):

Wicked Witch/Toto:

I had to put this on here too. The Bruns always go all out for Halloween. Get this - she didn't have a pattern and she 'threw it together' yesterday. (But according to her, she doesn't sew.) WHAT THE HECK? As far as I'm concerned, with my Padme/Star Wars obssession, that is freakin' awesome.

Here is my awesome friend Sarah as the star from the movie Stardust:

The day before Halloween Carissa and I cashed in our much-needed girls' night out. We started with a pedicure at 99 Nails, where I relished splurging on a flower.
There is something about getting a flower - it makes the whole experience like 110% better! Then we went to the mall and had our Twilight T-shirts made to wear to the movie! It wasn't exactly what I wanted - I wanted just a picture of the cover on the shirt, but they couldn't get it exactly the way it was. So we settled for this:

I am elated. After t-shirts we went to Chili's for dinner. It was awesome!

Here are a couple of Kenna all ready for her school party on Thursday. For those of you who don't know, I had to bribe her to be the Tin Girl by telling her she could wear her Tinkerbell costume to school.