Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Is... (2010 Edition)

Games at grandpa's house until way past the children's bedtime on Christmas Eve.
New warm soft cuddly jammies to sleep in.
One little boy not falling asleep until way past Santa's bedtime.
Santa stuffing stockings anyway because she can't keep her eyes open anymore.
(Yes, Santa is female at our house)
Same little boy waking up at 1 am to see if he missed the fat man.
Then again at 3.
Mom and dad telling him we're not getting up until 6.
Waking mom and dad up at 6:24 to say we slept in!
Each other, all filled with excitement.

Homemade rubber band guns.
Home made play dough.
Home made scarves and aprons.
Sock monkeys.

(Seriously, I'm in love with them.)
New clothes and shoes and books.
Farm toys and an army base.
My favorite gift of all: siting on the couch watching my kids play together and feeling this new little one all wriggly inside me, knowing I don't have to share this baby for another 3 months.

Bubble baths.
Finding out that if you turn the jets in the tub on that it multiplies your bubbles by a million.
Eating stocking suffers for breakfast and lunch.

Not feeling guilty since the stocking were filled with dried fruit and nuts and rice crackers and cheese (and only a few sweets as well).
Afternoon naps all snuggled up with my lover.
Being content to not go anywhere all day long.

Christmas dinner with grandpa.
Eating Christmas dinner on the same china that my grandmother served Christmas dinner on when I was a child.

Reading Luke 2 by the light of the Christmas tree.
A big glass of eggnog before bed.
Having all the kids in bed and asleep by 7:30.
Dreaming about next year.
But most of all, Christmas is love.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Time is Here

Wow, December has flown by. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and we are all just ready and waiting for the festivities to begin.
We have had such a fun, but busy month.
First of all, my baby boy turned 3.
I really can't understand it since he was just born last week.
He could not be prouder to be such a big boy.
Man, I sure do love that little person.

Speaking of little people, my nephew Bradley became a father last week.
What a cute little bundle.
I really can't understand that either considering he just turned 12 last month.
OK, not really, but it sure feels that way.
I feel like time is on the fast track again and everyone is aging, except me of course.

And speaking of tracks, last week we took the kids to Temple Square to see the spectacular lights and nativity.
They thought the best part was riding Trax to get there.
Those little boys were in boy heaven on that train.
It was crowded since it was rush hour.
I felt like I was back in Montreal on the Metro again.
I have to say I was in heaven on the train, too.
There were not enough seats for all of us and I insisted on standing, just like the
sardines-in-a-can-Metros of Montreal.
Wow, I can' believe I've been back from there for nearly 11 years.
Surely I can't be getting that old.

We have really enjoyed this Christmas season.
Time at home as a family, waiting for this new baby to get big enough to come out.
We have baked together, brought baked goodies to friends and family.
Doodle thinks that is the best part of Christmas. She is such a giving girl. As soon as we had cookies out of the oven she had a plate of them standing on our neighbors door, ringing the bell, smiling from ear to ear.
We have been busy making gifts for each other.
That is my favorite part of Christmas.
I love seeing the kids get excited to give something to their siblings.
I love the sparkle in their little eyes as they hand each other their gifts.
This year I made each of them sock monkeys.
I hope they like them as much as I do, I'm kind of in love with them.
I also made them each an apron, for all the helping they do with me in the kitchen.
So we are ready and waiting for the big day to come, when we all get to give each other our gifts.
And we get to think and talk about the best gift ever given.
The gift of God's Son to each of us.
The gift of healing and forgiveness and eternal life.

Speaking of eternal life, on Sunday we all met at the grave to remember Mr Bird's mom, who passed away 3 years ago that day.
Again, where has the time gone?
It feels like she was just here with us yesterday.
Sometimes I still expect to see her in the kitchen putting the last minute details of our family meal together.
It is at this time of year I am particularly grateful for the gift of eternal life.
I am so thankful for the sweet knowledge that we will be with our wonderful angel mother again. I miss her so much.
Merry Chirstmas, everyone!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My Aching Heart

Lately my heart aches more that it ever has my whole entire life.
I can hardly stand it any more.
(This is where I start whining...again.)

Anytime I eat, the pain starts filtering in.
It's just one little twinge of pain to begin with.
Then the pain spreads.
Soon my whole chest feels as though it is on fire.
It hurts to breath, let alone hold myself upright.
I guess it's the pregnancy heartburn.
I don't remember it being this bad with any of my other children, especially this early in the pregnancy.
But I'm trying to be optimistic here.
So maybe this is really a good thing.
The heartburn makes sure I don't ever over eat.
The heartburn hates sweets, of any kind.
This is the first time in my life that I could (and do) pass on chocolate (but only sometimes).
Plus it makes sure I don't eat any scrap of food after 7pm.
Night time snacking has vanished for me.
The good news? Perhaps I will not gain 500 pounds before this little one makes its grand entrance into the world.
So I want to know, if I'm not eating pounds of chocolate by the week, why are my cheeks growing disproportionately large (both pair)!

Monday, December 6, 2010

My Obsession

Can you tell I'm obsessed about this baby's gender?
Well, I am.
I have looked into every old wives tale in the book.
The Chinese calendar says it's a girl.
Did you even know the Chinese have a calendar to predict the baby's gender?
I guess if there's anyone more obsessed with gender, it would be the Chinese.
It calculates the mothers age at conception and the lunar month during which she conceived.
Makes total sense to me.
But then I have friends who practice foot zoning (don't ask).
One of them looked at my ankles and told me it was a boy.
Then there are all the online quizzes.
Take your wedding ring and dangle it with a piece of thread over you belly.
If it swings in a circle, you are having a girl, but if it swings back and forth it's a boy.
Yes, I actually did this!
The verdict?
I did it more than once to be sure of the results and it was different every single time.
If the heart rate is over 140 it's a girl.
At my last check up the baby's heart was going faster than Speedy Gonzalez.
At a whopping 160 it must be a girl, right?
Then there's the whole if you're carrying high it's a girl, but if the baby is really low it's a boy.
I have all kinds of issues with this one.
How can you tell if you're carrying low or if your uterus is just sagging to your knees (along with everything else) because this is your 5th child?
So ya, I'm low. I guess it must be a boy.
There is even a question about the hue of your urine.
I really did not know how to answer that one.
I guess it depends on how much I've had to drink that day.
I love the question about if you feel more attractive or less during the pregnancy.
I actually laughed out loud.
There's an old wives tale that says it's a girl if you look less attractive because the little girl steals her mothers beauty.
Are they serious?
If that's the case I must have 5 girls stuffed in there.
I look tired and puffy all the time.
I don't even look good with makeup on anymore.
Forget about even having the energy or desire to put makeup on.
My cheeks are starting to look like a Cabbage Patch doll.
And it's only going to get worse during the next 17 weeks.
I always look like an over stuffed turkey by the time the baby comes.
Even with my boys.
Then there are questions about position and the type of undies the father sports.
yada, yada, yada.
At the end of the quiz the all knowing world wide web gave me a 67% chance of having a girl.
Pretty funny considering that just the fact that I'm pregnant, I already have a 50% chance of having a girl.
Not that convincing if you ask me.

Long story short, I can't believe any of it.
I do, however, have an appointment for my very last ultrasound of the entire pregnancy tomorrow morning.
The fact that an ultrasound tech will be looking directly at my little one and all it's little systems is making me antsy.
She will know my baby's gender.
No guess work, it'll all be in black and white, clear as night and day right in front of her face.
It is going to take all the will power in the universe for me to not peak.
Darn you Mr Bird and that stupid agreement!!!
What was I thinking?
I have talked to lot of women who have decided to not find out what they were having and they tell me how much fun it is.
I think they mean it's fun AFTER the baby gets here.
Because honestly, the waiting may just kill me.
One of them never found out with any of her children (she has 5) and said you could not pay her to find out, she likes the surprise.
Well, I've got news for you Mr Bird, I AM NOT THAT WOMAN!

Nevertheless, I am a woman of my word.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

It's a Funny Thing

Time, it's a funny thing.
Sometimes it seems as if life is zooming by at break neck speeds.
You look at your baby girl and realize she has been here nearly 9 whole years.
That's more than twice as long as high school.
And high school seemed to last FOREVER.
Yet, those 9 years seem to have gone by in the blink of an eye.
Some weeks have barley begun before you are in the weekend again, regardless of weather or not you got all of the items on your to do list completed.
Then there are weeks that drag by, every hour seems to last a whole day.
Then there is pregnancy time.
It's a whole other ball game.
In "normal life" time 18 weeks would fly by and spring would be here tomorrow.
But in pregnancy time 18 weeks may as well be 18 years.
I feel like this baby is never going to be born, like it's just some sort of fantasy.
I feel like the weeks take years, slowly ticking away.
I kept thinking the holidays would speed things up and that Christmas would be here before I could blink, but not this year.
Time is like slow, sticky molasses to me right now.
I suppose I should just enjoy it for once.
I should just enjoy my kids right here where they are and be glad they are not growing so fast, at least for the next 18 weeks that this time warp lasts.
Because we all know that once pregnancy time is over, the post pregnancy time flies by at triple speed.
Before you can even take a hot shower you look down and you have a 1 year old.
Time, it's a funny, funny thing.
And this week, it's torturing me! I hope I can keep my sanity for the next 18 painful, deliriously slow weeks.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

True Confessions of a Stay At Home Mom

  • When the boys are driving me nuts and I don't have anything else for them to do I put them in the tub, just to get them out of my hair (plus they can always use a bath!)
  • I have a secret chocolate stash that the kids have no idea even exists
  • Plus every time I go grocery shopping with out any kids I buy a candy bar or some other treat and eat it all on the drive home, then I hide the evidence
  • My favorite lunch is cranberry pecan salad with feta cheese (even though I'm not supposed to eat soft cheese while I'm prego)
  • Sometimes my kids make me laugh so hard I pee a little in my pants (darn pregnancy bladder)
  • I wait until I have a huge mountain of laundry before they get folded and put away
  • When Mr Bird gets home from work I am more than happy to let the kids torment him the rest of the evening
  • What would I do without Mr Bird
  • Sometimes I take my kids to the library for chess club just so I can see that other people really exist
  • I secretly like it when I see other people's children being naughty in public
  • Mine are never naughty in public, only at home (hahahahaahahaha, I kill myself)
  • Park days save my sanity (it's going to be a very, very long winter)
  • Every time I get pregnant inside I am so excited that I don't have to watch my weight (at least for a few months)
  • My desk is the messiest place in the whole house
  • I need to stop telling all my deep dark secrets
  • Truth is, I love being a mom, wholes in the couch and all!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Calm After the Storm

We all survived the couch incident.
After a few hours to cool off and time to re-asses the damage and reading the sage words of advise from my wonderful blogosphere friends, I realized it was not the end of the world after all.
Beano has been justly dealt with.
We had a nice long talk about taking care of the things God has given us and just what it takes to get those nice things.
There were strict consequences put in place.
Long term consequences.
The damage will not just disappear.
We will not cart away the damaged couch and magically replace it with a new one.
We want him to know that his choices have permanent consequences.
This will not just go away just because we throw some money at it.
So, we have opted to repair the damage the best we can and live with a scarred couch.
Plus what's the point of getting nice couches when the kids are still little? There will be plenty of time for that when the kids are much, much older and more responsible. So what if that's still 15+ years away!
Mr Bird and I hugged Beano and told him that we still love him.
He is after all, our only little Beano.
During the whole thing Beano did feel really bad.
He looked like he wanted to cry.
My heart just about broke for him.
Then I started crying again.
These pregnancy hormones have got to give it a rest already!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Multiple Choice

What would you do if your 7 year old Heathen did this to your leather couch?
a. Beat him to a pulp
b. Put him in time out for the rest of his life
c. Scream at him until you're blue in the face
d. Lock yourself in your bedroom and cry like a baby

While none of these reactions seem rational, a part of me wanted to do all of the above.
But instead I chose d
Then I called Mr Bird for his counsel.
He told me not to let my pregnancy hormones get too out of control (as I sobbed into his ear piece) and we'd talk to Beano when he got home from work.
So for now he knows something is coming, he just doesn't know what yet.
And quite frankly, neither do I.
How is a parent to respond?
I know it's only a couch, but come on, in reality it is a big deal.
The tear is right on the middle cushion, when we sit on it now it will only stretch and get worse.
Then it's only a matter of time before little fingers start pulling at the exposed stuffing.
It's ruined, completely worthless now, the whole couch.
And what do you do when it's a part of a 4 piece set.
Basically the whole living room set is ruined, totally destroyed.
I can not be the only person in this house trying to take care of our things.
Don't even get me started about what they did on Saturday concerning a box of apples.
I don't want to live in a dump (I had enough of that as a child), but it seems like everyday our kids are trying their darndest to destroy everything we own.
OK, I may be letting my emotions get the best of me and I may be exaggerating just a little.
But really, how am I supposed to shower without the house falling down around my ears?
What can they demolish in the 30 seconds it takes me to empty my bladder?
I'm afraid to find out.
It's like they wait for the moment my eyes wonder away for 2 seconds and something else is drenched with water or scratched or broken.
I am seriously going to loose it.
I am even temped to send them to public school just so I can have a moment of peace, not worrying about the house falling to the ground because I decide to check my e-mail, like every other mother in America gets.
Then I could clean my house in the morning and it might stay that way for 4 whole hours.
That is music to my ears right now...

I bet you're wondering what he used to gouge my couch beyond repair?
Yup, that tiny thing.
It's the blade from a hand held pencil sharpener.
Yesterday Doodle was sharpening a pencil and the little screw worked its way out and the blade went flying. We looked high and low, but it was nowhere to be found.
Well, I guess Beano found it this morning.

So, seriously, I need advise.
How is a parent to respond?

p.s. I really am temped to drive them to the local elementary school in the morning and enroll them all. Please, someone talk me out of it!

Monday, November 15, 2010

In Every Way

Mr Bird has an entourage.
The very moment he walks in the door he has four little monsters nipping at his heals.
Of course we all know that dad is way cooler than mom, any day of the week.

After all, when was the last time mom took apart her bike and put on new components in the middle of the living room?
Or used a real tool for what it was intended for?
Or used the 12+ year old mission bike for things like grueling mountain bike trails?
Or even knew the first thing about mountain biking?

When Mr Bird goes on a bike ride he is so good to take the kids (the ones who can ride well) with him.
They worship him for that.
That is way more fun than learning math facts and practicing writing.
Why is that the dads get the fun part of parenthood?
I help them with chores and clean their bums and teach them boring stuff like how to read and how America came to be.
I make them clean up their messes and disciple them all day long.
With me they learn to fold laundry and vacuum the floor and to be nice.

With dad it's watching a movie or going on a bike ride or doggy piles on the floor or dancing to the music turned up too loud.
It's no wonder they want to be like him in every way.
You know what? I do too.
He's a pretty cool guy, sure do love him for the wonderful father he is.
I love that we all look forward to him coming home from work every night.
I love that he acts surprised when the kids try to jump out and scare him every. single. night.
I love that he always has a huge hug for all the kids and how he makes each of them feel so special.
I love how he leads our home in love and respect.
I love that he eats my attempts at healthy dinners even when they don't turn out so well.
I love that he loves me.
Plus he's always such an inspiration to me, I feel like he is always lifting me up, helping to make me a better mother and wife.
Call it the pregnancy hormones making this one so corny, but I seriously don't know what I'd ever do without my lover.
So Mr Bird, this day in November, I am oh so very thankful for YOU!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Foiled Again...

It's a big deal when you're expecting.
There are clothes to be bought and blankets to be made.
There are bumper pads and curtains to think about.
I am a planner.
Which bedroom will this little being claim, the girl's room or the boys?
And don't even get me started on names.
Mr bird did not want to find out the gender when I was pregnant with Baby Cakes.
About half way through the pregnancy I could not stand it any more.
Especially since my midwife's office did an ultrasound at every single prenatal appointment.
I told Mr Bird I was planning on finding out the gender at my next appointment and that I'd keep it a secret for his benefit if he would like.
He said if I knew he may as well know, too.
He knows me too well, I'd slip somehow and ruin it for him before the end of the pregnancy.
I had my heart set on a little girl, a sister for Doodle.
When the midwife told me it was a boy I was literally in shock.
I had KNOWN it was a girl.
I nearly started crying. I could not take my eyes off the monitor to look at my family, I would have totally lost it.
Somehow I held it together until I got on the road and then I cried all the way home.
Even then I thought she was mistaken and she'd tell me at my next appointment that I was really carrying a girl.
No such luck, he stayed a boy.
I can admit that now because nearly 3 years later I love that little boy fiercely.
I would not trade him for 100 sisters for Doodle.
He has been the joy and light in our family that I don't think we could ever be without.
SO, back to this pregnancy.
During pregnancy negotiations Mr Bird said I could only get pregnant if we did not find out the gender for really reals this time.
Of course I said yes, I would have said yes to almost anything at that point.
You all know how much I wanted another baby, that sounded like music to my ears.
But now...
I am going crazy.
I can't even walk past the fabric section at Wal-Mart without getting restless.
My brain wants to plan.
I want drawers full of clean baby clothes all ready for the moment the baby comes into the world.
I want coordinating diaper bags and car seat covers.
I want blankets and baby socks galore.
I want to sew something so badly!
And forget about yellow and green everything, I'd rather have a naked baby for months than yellow and green.
So I thought of a plan.
You know how it seems like everyone you know is either having boys or girls at the same time?
They come in waves.
For months everyone has nothing but boys, then suddenly there are no boys to be found and girls top the charts.
For the last year I don't know one single person that has had a girl, they've ALL been boys.
I know 6 women that are due within a month of my due date, my cute niece Tiffany and I even share the very same due date.
I figured I'd just wait to find out what they are all having and I'd just know that my baby would be the same, it's just how these things work.
Well, even that plan has been foiled.
So far 4 of the women have found out what they're having.
Guess what the stats are?
Yep!Girls 2, boys 2.
Now how am I supposed to find out the gender??!?!
Looks like the tides are changing.
The question is, which wave will I be riding?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Better Way

Newborn Doodle April 2002

When I was expecting Doodle I had a great idea.
My sister and I were talking about childbirth and she told me of the experiences she had had in delivering her first 3 babies at home with a midwife.
I knew right then and there that I wanted to birth my baby at home.
It seemed so natural and sweet to me. I wanted a quiet birth, on my own turf.
I looked over at Mr Bird and he immediately started shaking his head.
He would not hear one word of any of it.
We were going to the hospital were there are doctors and emergency supplies.
I saw how resistant he was and decided not to push the issue.
I did not get online and research midwives or their safety practices.
I did not read natural child birth books.
I let the doctors and nurses tell me what to do every step of the way.
When the pain got unbearable because of the petocin, I got the epidural.
I was dilated to a 10 and ready to push for 20 minutes before my doctor finally got there and they let me push.
He came for the pushing and was there less than an hour total for the whole 16+ hour labor.
I knew I wanted something different for the next baby.
With every pregnancy home birth was on my mind.
With every pregnancy Mr Bird shot the very idea out of the water.
I found a midwife that delivers babies in the hospitals and she was amazing.
I loved her to death.
She was with me for a lot of labor, helping me to find a better position, telling Mr Bird where to rub my back, fending the nurses off with a stick every time they'd ask if I was ready for an epidural.
I had my boys with no pain meds. She was so great.
I can't tell you the difference between her and that silly doctor.
Still, there were a lot of things that I did not want with those births.
The I.V. bas, the being strapped to the bed (or the general vicinity) to accommodate the fetal monitors and blood pressure cuff.
Nurses in the room every 5 minutes all night long, making sleep a thing only to be dreamed of.
The hospital still had their protocol that I hated.
This time things will be different.
When Mr Bird and I were going through negotiations of weather or not to have another baby we had all but agreed we wanted to add to our family.
He said if we could go the whole pregnancy without finding out the gender, we was game.
He wanted the experience when the baby is born and some one yells, "It's a boy!"
I quickly agreed, and added my demand.
"I want to have this baby at home."
To my udder shock and surprise, he said YES!
To be continued...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Just a Wish

A goal without a plan is just a wish, as a wise man (I have no idea which one, but I'm sure he was very wise indeed) once said.
That is what I thought of yesterday when I wrote about nesting and not knowing where to start.
I wish my drawers and shelves were clean, but I have no plans as to how to get them that way.
It kept eating at me all day.
I kept thinking that none of this will get done if I don't do something, anything.
So now I have a plan!
It's a really simple plan.
It's not my own, it's what everyone does when they have a huge feat to accomplish.
My plan?
Slow and steady wins the race.
I hereby commit myself to going through at least one cupboard or drawer or closet each and every day.
See? Simple.
Even I can do that.
Last week I cleaned out the bathroom closet. I was amazed at how much stuff I pulled out of there.
Now I feel so good every time I open it.
Everything I need is right where I can find it.
All the stuff I don't need and never used is gone.
I don't have to hunt for 10 minutes to find a light bulb.
I want my whole house to be like that.
Watch out D.I., here I come!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Lazy in My Old Age

Well, there you go. The title says it all.
I am getting lazy in my old age.
I used to change my decorations to match each and every season.
From Valentine's Day and St. Patty's Day to Easter and 4th of July.
And we can't forget the biggies, Fall (Halloween and Thanksgiving lumped into one) and Christmas.
I used to take my kids to fun and adventurous and educational field trips and activities several times a week.
Between book clubs and Joy School and fun activities and errands, we seldom had a full day where we just stayed home.
I used to make fancy birthday cakes for each and every birthday.
I even used to make homemade Halloween costumes.
I used to craft (not that I was ever any good at it).
I did all of this stuff while preparing fun home school lessons and making sure my kids were reading and writing and doing math everyday.
I never had a mountain of laundry waiting to be folded.
I used to be super mom, literally.
Now, I feel so lazy.
By the time I get to laundry it's so out of hand that I just feel overwhelmed.
I still love to prepare healthy yummy food, I think it'll always be my passion.
We still do school everyday, but I feel like I've let a lot go.
I don't know if it's because my priorities have changed and a lot of that stuff does not seem important anymore or if I'm just really, really lazy.
Now we spend more days at home not going anywhere at all than not.
I love our morning routine and snuggling with my kids for scriptures.
I love reading to them and watching the little ones develop into readers, too.
I love hearing my children play together.
I love coming upstairs to find the living room transformed into a gigantic fort using every blanket from their collective beds.
I love that my kids want to cook with me and just be with me.
I don't want to spend time away from home anymore because I just love being here with my kids.

I do think my motives and priorities have changed drastically over the last few years.
For example, it's really hard to make a designer birthday cake without a gallon of artificial food coloring.
It has become more important to me to create healthy, natural food (yes, even cake) than to have the fancy design.
So now I go with simple and tasty.
And you know what? My kids don't even bat an eye.
They're just happy to be eating cake!
And you want to know what else, they have not said a word about my Spring decorations that are still up either.
Considering it's nearly Halloween, the Fall decor will have to wait until next year, if at all.
I think I'll be doing good to get a Chirstmas tree up this year.
I am ready to just have some simple and cute decorations and just leave them there all year long.
Think of the storage space I can reclaim by getting rid of all those boxes and bins of plastic Easter eggs and four leaf clovers.
Now there's a novel idea!
The only problem?
It has become like the laundry pile, there's so much STUFF that I don't know where to begin to filter through it all.
I am having the nesting urge so badly.
I just want to clean every drawer and cupboard and shelf and get rid of all the junk we seem to collect.
The only problem is I have no idea where to begin, then my laziness takes over so I do nothing.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Leave are Falling All Around

Last week we took our annual trip to the mountains to see the fall leaves in all their glory.
As usual, it was beautiful.
The leaves are so spectacular this time of year, especially the maples.

I have a love/hate relationship with Fall.
I love the chilly evenings and gorgeous foliage.
I love that I can make soup for dinner and not sweat to death while we eat.

I love having a reason to make as many pumpkin recipes as I can think of.
Everything from pumpkins chocolate chip cookies to my newest favorite, pumpkin chili.
I love walking on our favorite pathway and stopping so we can literally watch the leaves fall before our very eyes, and the soft sound they make as they whoosh to the ground.
Really, what's not to love?

The only part of Fall I dread is the end of it.
Because that means it will be winter and that means endless cold and wet and snow.
I am already dreading that.
The California girl in me wishes we could skip the Utah winters all together.

Especially this year, because when Spring comes, so does this baby!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I'm Sorry, So Sorry

Dear Mom in Wal-Mart I saw the Other Day With the Screaming Child,

I realized as I made my way out of the store the other day that you probably thought I was staring at you and judging you harshly because of your toddler who was throwing a doozey of a tantrum. You were probably embarrassed enough without noticing that I was staring at you. I'm sorry I stared, really I am. I was not judging you. I was having the thought that I was glad it was not my child this time. Because trust me, I have had my share of grocery store melt downs. If I were to write down all of my "fun" grocery store moments with the children over the years I could fill a novel. In fact it is rare that I get away to the store without any children. You probably thought I had none, since that was one of the rare occasions I got to enjoy a few moments of peace shopping solo. Truth is, I have twice as many children (with another on the way, I might add) as you had with you. Our moments have ranged from mildly funny to embarrassing to the point that I vow never to take my children in public ever again. In fact the very next day it was my toddler melting down in the very same Wal-Mart (don't ask why I was there 2 consecutive days). It was then that I felt really badly for allowing myself to be caught staring at you. So from the bottom of my heart, I'm sorry!
Love, Me

Monday, October 4, 2010

With a Bump on the Head

Happy Birthday Beano!
Glow in the dark candles and everything.

We have this weird tradition that I had never heard of until I married into Jay's family, of bumping the birthday boy (or girl) on the head with the gift.
We have a chant that goes with it.
"Heavy, heavy hang over thy poor head, what do you wish with a bump on the head!"
See, it's weird.
It's usually fine unless the gift is a brand new BMX bike.
Then it gets a little awkward.
But really, I can't believe how fast my kids are growing up.

Dear Beano,

You are becoming such a good little man. I love how you want to be just like daddy. If you ask me, he's not a bad person to be like. You follow him around fixing things and taking care of your little brothers. You are becoming so responsible and obedient. Of course you still have that mischievous side. You are all boy. You're never happier than when your blazing down a super steep hill at top speed on that fancy new bike with a huge grin on your face, giving your mother a heart attack. You've got the battle wounds to show. At this moment every elbow and knee is skinned along with one on your ankles. But that does not stop you for a second. You have such joy in everything you do. Whether it's singing while you do dishes or running around the yard with a stick that's twice as long as you are. You always have a grin on your face, ready to have fun. Thank you for being such a great kid. I love being your mom and watching you grow. I talk big about keeping you small forever, but part of me loves watching you grow and can't wait to see the man you'll become. I love you and Happy Birthday!
Love, Mom

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Consider the Lilies

A few mornings ago I woke up with a massive head ache.
My first awaking thought was wondering when this seemingly never ending pregnancy head ache would go away.
When I became more cognizant I realized it was awfully early for a head ache.
They usually don't grace me with their presence until after dinner.
As I made my way to the bathroom the first glimpse of myself in the mirror was considerably more scary than usual.
Was it the hair?
Nope, same frizz as usual.
Was it the pale lips and skin in general?
Nope, Same pallor every morning of my life.
The eyes, it was the eyes.
They were puffy and swollen and I looked awful.
Then I put 2 and 2 together.
The reason for the puffy eyes and throbbing head?
I had literally cried myself to sleep the night before.
There have been a couple of local news stories lately that have really hit me hard.
I don't watch the news, I heard about these from other people.
I'm sure I didn't get all the details, nor do I want them.
It's enough to know that these poor innocent children went through hell on earth.
I don't know if it's the pregnancy hormones or the fact that I have children the same ages as all of the children victums, but these stories have really messed with my head.
It has been a few weeks now and I still can not get them off my mind.
The night that I cried myself to sleep my mind would not stop thinking about those children's moments of suffering and it tore my heart from my chest.
There is so much about this world that I hate.
I hate that children have to suffer.
Then the words to one of my favorite hymns came into my head.

"Consider the sweet tender children who must suffer on this earth.
The pains of all of them He carried from the day of His birth.
He clothes the lilies of the fields.
He feeds the lambs of His fold.
And He will heal those who trust Him.
And make their hearts as gold."

~Consider the Lilies

Suddenly I was picturing those children wrapped in His arms.
The gratitude I felt for my pains that have been healed became palpable.
Two of the children did not survive.
Their last moments on earth were nothing less than horrific.
As I pictured them walking arm in arm with our Savior I felt their burden lift.
The other child survived.
She must live the rest of her life with the wounds and scars of what happened to her.
I pray with all my heart she can find the peace in His love that she needs, that will heal her.

These stories are not unique to my area.
Things like this are happening all over the world these days.
I'm sure you can all think of similar stories from your own local news stations.
The need for our Savior is universal.
He sees the ugliness in the world and we can find refuge from the storm in His loving arms.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

My Mountains

Every week there's a new mountain to move.
Just when I think I have it conquered, it somehow sneaks back in and the next thing you know, there I am moving the veritable same mountain, week after week.
This relentless mountain?
Let's just say it: it's never really DONE.
Because just when you think every stitch is clean and folded and put in its proper place some kids sits in mud or pees their pants or wipes boogers all down their sleeves.
(Kids are disgusting, I'm just sayin.)
Then, magically, the same mountain you just moved starts to reappear.
It's a funny thing, that laundry pile.
I remember when it was just Mr Bird and I and we were expecting Doodle.
I received tons of cute girl baby clothes from family and friends.
Before she was born I'd sit for hours and fold them and imagine my baby in them and place them in the correct drawers or hangers.
Then, when she was born I washed all of her clothes separately with Dreft,
a laundry soap formulated just for baby's super sensitive skin.
I loved folding her cute little clothes and seeing that little pile appear out of seemingly no where.
With each new baby the best part of laundry has been finding the miniature clothes and watching the tiny pile grow.
And for some reason the prospect of another new tiny pile makes laundry almost bearable again.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Showing Up

I keep having these blog posts writing themselves inside my brain.
The problem is that I have not had the energy or desire to sit at the computer and write them.
So there they sit, day after day, in my brain along with the list of chores that need done and the groceries that need bought.
I forgot how much energy it takes to create a new person.
Or maybe I'm older now than I have ever been with any of my other babies and I've become a wimp.
Either way, my whole life feels neglected right now.
Except home school.
That's the one thing that's thriving.
I have plenty of time to be on the couch and read to my children or have them read to me or help with math and writing.
It has been fabulous.
Beano is reading better than ever and is starting to really love it.
He'll bring me his beginning readers and ask to read to me several times a day.
I love it.
But that is not what this post is about.
A few days ago I posted this on facebook:

"Now Hiring: personal chef. 3 week contract (or until the morning sickness passes). I'll pay what I'd normally make doing the same job (nothing). Any takers?"

I meant it as a joke and plus I was bored and wanted comments.
Well, this is one of the comments I got from just about one of the best people that I know.

"Sara, I'm busy tomorrow but I'd be happy to take the dinner shift on Thurs. Just have the ingredients & instructions out for me, I'll be there @5. Also, have you tried ginger or mint? They're tummy settlers, I've heard. Love ya!"

I tried to tell her she did not really need to come make me dinner, but she did.
She showed up on my door step just when she said she would.
She cooked my raw chicken *gag* and we chatted as dinner practically made itself.
After she left I got to thinking about her wonderful act of kindness.
I thought about how many times I've had the thought to do something for someone and I put it off until I forgot I even had the thought in the first place.
But not Cindy the Great.
She showed up.
How great would this world be if we all showed up more often.
How much suffering could we eliminate if we acted on all those little thoughts we have?
Isn't that part of why we're here?
To learn compassion and service and love.
Because can we really love someone until we spend time serving them?
Weather it's making dinner or just two girl friends chatting, it's all in the name of service.
What woman do you know who can be happy and sane without a good gab session every once in a while?
So yes, even a good chat is a form of service in my eyes.
It makes us see that we are not the only ones with pain.
It makes us look outside our ever selfish world and actually see others and their pains and their joys and their trials.

"Have I done any good in the world today?
Have I helped anyone in need?
Have I cheered up the sad or made someone feel glad?
If not I have failed indeed.
Has anyone's burden been lighter today, because I was willing to share?
Have the sick and the weary been helped on their way?
When they needed my help was I there?
Then wake up and do something more
Than dream of your mansion above.
Doing good is a pleasure, a joy beyond measure,
A blessing of duty and love."
Hymn #223

It's time to get our tooshies in gear, including my own (as soon as I feel better!)
The world needs more like you, Cindy!

P.S. the fonts turned out really weird in this post and I don't know how to fix it, so there you go. Weird fonts and all.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Joy in the Journey

Oh look, I still have a blog.
I wonder if after the tumble weeds pass if there will be anyone left to read.
If not, that's OK, I still have me, myself and I to write for.
School starts this week.
It seems like just yesterday all of our cousins would be home and there was the promise of endless Summer nights and gallons of lemonade in our future.
All the lemonade has been guzzled and all the nights have faded.
We had a wonderful Summer filled with park days, the rodeo, fire works, watermelon, swimming, parades, horse rides, camping, hiking, music filled Sunday evenings and much, much more.
It's time to turn our focus back to our family routine.
I love our routine.
When I think about it I get a nice comfortable feeling.
It keeps me sane.
I have slowly been easing back into it for the last few weeks and this morning was a sheer joy.
I love home schooling my children.
While others are having back to school hoopla, we are eating our regular breakfast and doing our regular jobs and cuddling up on the couch (all 5 of us) for our morning devotional and the beginning of our "school day".
I love having my children close and reading scriptures together.
Today we read about the creation.
It seemed appropriate.
I love reciting and memorizing with my children.
I love to hear even the baby-who's-not-a-baby-anymore repeat the words we say.
He's one of us now, you know.
He's a big kid and he does literally everything the others do.
I love Doodle bringing me her math book and showing me the 7 pages she completed.
I love hearing the stories they write.
I love hearing my kids read their first words.
Today that is just what Dubs did.
We were playing with the alphabet flash cards and I laid out the "a" and the "t".
He read them.
Then I put the "c" in front and he read "cat".
Then we changed the cards from "c" to "h", "b", "f", "m", "n" and he read "hat", "bat", "fat", "mat", "nat".
He thought it was the best thing ever.
He laughed uncontrollably the whole time.
Meanwhile I was stunned that my little boy was reading real words, simple as they may be.
It's like he's on the edge, just ready to embrace it all.
I really do love this journey.
I have so many goals for this year, I am so excited.
The big one of course is to get through this pregnancy so I can love on that new baby.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Number Five

I'm pretty sure 5 is a lucky number.
At least it is for me.
I am so excited I can hardly contain myself, literally.
Mr Bird told me I had to wait until my first doctor's appointment to say anything about baby number 5, who is due to join our family April 2, 2011.
Well, today was my lucky day.
I told Mr Bird that I would not be able to wait that long until I spilled the beans, especially to people like my sisters and favorite nieces and certain family members and good friends.
I think half the world already knew before today.
So if you already knew our big news consider yourself in at least one of those categories.
What can I say, I just can't keep my mouth shut.
From the moment I knew for sure I felt like I would bust at the seams with excitement.
Part of me was a little nervous though.
I had fears of twins.
A friend of mine recently had a pretty ugly ectopic pregnancy (love you girl) and for some reason that put the fear in me.
Every little twinge of pain would throw me into sheer terror.
I had not experienced that terror with any of my other pregnancies.
So seeing our single little bean in the right place with it's fluttering little heart beat on the monitor today instantly put my fears to rest.
I was struck by how tiny and vulnerable this little being is.
I was struck by how much I love my baby already.
I just can't wait, it's going to be a long 9 months!
I guess this means Baby Cakes need a new bloggy name.
Any ideas?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Guess what? I have really good news!
I have a reader!
I am so excited about this.
I really thought I was just writing to myself and stuff, but as it turns out someone actually reads my psycho babble.
I guess last week when I posted about The Ladder I mentioned SOADS and I never followed up on what they were.
My reader pointed out my error
(truthfully, I did not even remember I'd promised to explain. I'm getting old).
So here we go, SODAS is one of the little secrets I learned from Nicholeen Peck.
I use them all the time and I love them.
The kids, not so much, but I'm sure they will once they become parents.
SODAS is an acronym for Situation, Options, Disadvantages, Advantages, Solution.
So when a child is in 24 hour consequence they get to practice SODAS, a lot.
I give them a situation, for example: Your brother knocks down your block tower.
The child then has to come up with 3 options for his reaction.
For example he might say, "I could get mad and hit him or I could go tell mom or I could chose to share the blocks and build another tower with my brother."
Then we take it one step farther and he comes up with 3 Disadvantages for each option.
For example, the disadvantages of getting mad and hitting would be a time out, or the brother could hit back or his brother could get hurt.
He comes up with 3 for EACH option.
Then he comes up with three Advantages for each option.
For example, the advantages of getting mad and hitting might be the brother does not want to play anymore so I get all the blocks to myself, etc.
A lot of times they can't come up with advantages for bad behavior, or disadvantages for a good option.
Thus, they teach themselves the lesson by thinking it through and problem solving rather than me lecturing all the time.
Because we all know that when mom starts talking they tune out.
This is a brilliant way for the kids to teach themselves the things they need to learn to get along in the real world.
From Nicholeen's blog:
"The idea is that your child will become so natural at doing mental SODAS that they will problem solve all of life's problems, by the time they are adult age. By the time youth reach age 18 they should have all the basics of problem solving down, so that they can achieve their goals and lead out in their communities. "
I love this. As parents, it's our job to help our children to become reasonable and responsible adults.
I can't think of a better way to meet that end.
Cause and effect.
The last 'S' is for solution.
After talking about all the advantages and disadvantages they choose which option they think is the best and this is their solution.
Sometimes, just to be ornery, they still will say, "I'd chose to get mad and hit!"
And that is fine with me.
Again,from Nicholeen:
"Remember, whatever they choose to pick during the SODA is OK. Don't try to make them pick what you think is right. After going through the exercise, they know what is right, but sometimes they will test you to see if you really want them to choose for themselves, or if you want them to just choose what you think they should choose. Let them choose, and then if they choose a bad choice, simply say, "It is very interesting that you chose to... I am so glad that I know how you would handle this situation...This helps me better be able to decide what kinds of situations I can allow you to be in and not be in."
As long as they know that when they chose that behavior, the consequences will follow.
They, in essence, hand pick their consequences.
Doodle is to a point where she writes this out like an assignment, it's way better than writing, "I will not hit my brother." on the chalk board 100 times.

Beano and Dubs don't have terrific writing skills yet, so it's verbal with them.
I love getting in their brains and making them think and see the lights come on.
Baby will come to love them in time as well, I'm sure of it.
You really do need to read Nicholeen's post about SODAS, she's amazing.
Happy SOADS everyone, and Happy Birthday TO ME!
P.S. thanks for reading!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Dream Number 5,297

My Blog.
In my dreams I post on my blog at least once a day.
I always have something witty and thought provoking to say.
People come back day after day to laugh at the musings of me.
They just can't get enough.
I have tons of followers and people just want to give me stuff because they like me.
While all of this is happening I spend quality one on one time with each of my children every day.
I still make beautifying and cleaning my home a top priority.
In fact it's so clean all the time you could eat off the tile in the kitchen if you really wanted to.
I prepare gourmet organic meals 3 times a day and my children love and eat every bite of their meals.
We never waste food because we know there are starving children in Africa.
Laundry is always clean and perfectly folded and tucked neatly away in dressers and closets.
There is never a stray sock to be seen littering the bathroom floor.
I never yell or scream or nag at my children.
My children get up in the morning and spend several hours studying music and math and history without even a word of encouragement from me.
I spend my time in service projects to better our local community.
I teach all kinds of home school co-ops and our home school friends think of our house as their second home.
I bake fresh cookies several times a week to share with visitors and sick neighbors.
Sound out of reach?
Maybe, but I'm working on it.
I have such ideas about my ideal life and, as you can see, I fall short every day.
Really though, I feel so guilty when I neglect my blog for so long.
Maybe when all my kids leave home for bigger, better lives I can find a spare moment or a shred of energy to stay caught up.
For now, I guess you'll just have to take what you can get.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Ladder

We have started a new system in our house that has been working miracles.
My kids are suddenly doing jobs without me asking them to.
If I don't make my bed as soon as I get up, some little person is in there making it for me.
Dubs went to bed distraught one night worried that there would not be enough jobs to do the next day.
What 5 year old do you know who's worried about not having enough jobs?
My kids are generally more kind to each other.
Arguing? Gone.
Back talking? None.
Rolling of eyes and general disrespect?
No more.
When I ask them to do something they say, "OK, mom!" with a smile on their face and they run to do it.
Sound too good to be true?
Well, let me tell you, it's really not.
It's ever so much simpler than I could have ever imagined.
It's called The Ladder.
It's heaven sent.
I stole the idea from a friend, then modified it to fit our family.
I am thinking about modifying it again now that we've been doing it for a few weeks, just to tweak a few things to better suit us.
The Ladder is basically a list of privileges, I have listed 10.
Things the kids like and that are super cool are at the top of The Ladder.
Things that are boring and even undesirable are at the bottom of The Ladder.
Each child has a button (stuck on with poster tack) on The Ladder to mark where they are.
They move up The Ladder for good behavior as invited to do so by either myself or Mr Bird.
If we notice a child being kind or sharing without being asked, we invite them move their button up one level.
If two children are fighting or if they argue after being given an instruction they are invited to move their button down one level, thus losing a privilege.
The children can have any privilege that his button is on or any of the ones below his button.
Here's what our Ladder looks like right now.
  1. Alone time with Mom and Dad (if a child has his button on this level they will be invited to make a run to the hardware store with Daddy or may be invited to go on date night with mom and dad or some other sort of one on one time with one or both of us.)
  2. Screen Time (computer or movie)
  3. Play Day with Friend
  4. Personal bedtime story (after prayers and the family bedtime story, I pull each child who is at or above this level one at a time to read a story of their choice. Beano and I are reading Indian in the Cupboard and he loves it. He is never below this level for fear of missing this.)
  5. Make Dinner with Mom (my kids love to do this and fight over whose turn it is. Doodle's night is Monday, but if she's below this step on The Ladder she will have to miss her turn. Beano gets Tuesday, Dubs gets Wednesday, Baby gets Thursday and Friday is date night. We just wing it on the weekends.)
  6. Family activity (park, museum, Ogden Nature Center, hike, etc. All the kids must be on or above this level)
  7. Play outside during free time
  8. Snacks (I put this pretty low on The Ladder because I wanted them to all be able to have snacks, but it they are really naughty they miss eating a snack, which is a fate worse than death in this house)
  9. Fold a batch of laundry (I always can use help in this department)
  10. Dish Duty! (When dishes need done the person at the bottom of The Ladder gets to do them, no questions asked)
To them it's like a real life version of a board game.
They have a visual of where they are and it has been miraculous for us.
Here are some tips and general rules for our family.

  • Any hitting or pushing or biting or pinching or anything of that nature is automatically 3 steps down.
  • Telling a lie is 3 steps down.
  • Most any other bad behavior is one step down. Such as back talking, eye rolling, arguing, yelling at sibling, unkindness and selfishness, etc.
  • Good behavior is one step up, such as doing something for the family without being asked, sharing, obedience, using kind words, helpfulness, etc.
  • Our world does not stop to accommodate a privilege. They are only allowed to have screen time after dinner is cleaned up, not anytime they want it just because their button is there. Play days with friends must be arranged before hand and will be canceled if the child does not stay at or above that level. These privileges must fit in our regularly scheduled programing.
  • If someone moves someone else's button they go down one.
  • If they ask if they can move up because of some deed or kindness the answer is automatically no. They must wait to be invited. They are allowed to tell me that they did an extra job, then I determine if they go up or not.
  • If a child is at the bottom and ends up falling off The Ladder that means they have earned a 24 hour consequence. That means no privileges for 24 hours. The only things they are allowed to do during those 24 hours are jobs, SODAS (I'll post about those later), and school work. Their world literally stops for them and they do not have the opportunity to get back on the ladder or start going back up until the 24 hours are over.
  • Where I put them back on after the 24 hours depends on their behavior during the 24 hour consequence. If they were horrible and thew fits at every instruction or refused to be helpful, I'll put them at the bottom level where they risk falling off again and must work hard to get back up. If they were super obedient and had a good attitude and were kind to the family I'll put them at or near the top. If they are just OK, but not horrible, I'll put them near the middle.
  • If a child is near the bottom it usually means they need a little more love and attention from me or Mr Bird. In that case I spend time looking in their eyes and talking to them, it seems to be just the boost they need and before I know it they are kind and I can find opportunities to invite them to move up.
  • If I'm grumpy they all seem to end up near the bottom, go figure.
  • This has given them personal responsibility for their actions. It shows them immediate consequences for their choices. I don't have to get upset, I just let the lack of privilege do the teaching.
  • Baby has a button, too. he moves it around willy nilly, but does not really understand the concepts yet. He has to be part of it though. I'm training him for later.
This is really long.
I hope it makes sense.
I really love it!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Confessions of a Desperate Housewife

Some days I just feel exhausted.
Like someone has connected a wire to my insides and just started sucking all the life out of me.
I feel drained and unmotivated.
I had a million things to do today and only got to about 1/3 of them.
I have been walking around since I woke up with my work out clothes on in hopes of getting my work out in.
But it never happened, so I never showered or bothered to change out of them or even comb my frizzy ponytail hair.
By the time Mr Bird got home I was ready for some quiet.
But since our baby sitter canceled I knew our weekly date night was out of the question.
So I did what any desperate house wife would do.
I thew on some shoes and made my way to Wal-Mart.
How sad is it that I look to Wal-Mart for a refuge of peace and quiet.
That must tell you how my day was.
I would have gone to Target, but I was not dressed for Target.
You know those web sites with pictures of shamefully dressed people walking the isles of Wally World?
I could have put some of those people to shame.
My hair was haphazardly thrown in a ponytail, my workout clothes were limp and ugly from a day of cooking and cleaning.
I did not realize how much pumpkin pie and mashed potatoes I was wearing on my shirt until I looked down in the store.
I spent the rest of my shopping trip Praying I would not see someone I know and crossing my arms over my shirt to hide the stains.
I looked like a home school mom.
I looked like one of those cats that has been thrown in a tub of water with an awful expression, whose eyes seem too big for the rest of its pitiful little self.
If you had seen me today you would have either laughed or stared in utter amazement.
I was truly a sight to behold.
Tomorrow, I am showering first thing!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Go Brad!

Yet another dream come true!
Not only did I get to be in a parade, I got to be in charge of the float and boss people around.
As head of the parade committee, I also was in charge of organizing all 5 local parades in the span of 2 weekends.
Man, what a ride!

We all had a total blast, most of the time.
Between an unexpected death in the family just a few days before the first parade and finding a new lead fiddler, we were definately feeing the pressure.

As you can see, we opted to forgo the equestrian route.
We did not feel any of our horses were parade ready at this point.
You know horses and loud unexpected sounds.
Some horses are used to it after lots and lots of training, or they get a big dose of tranquilizers before such big events.
Since we were not willing to drug our animals, we opted for the next best thing.

Live country music, of course!
My cute nieces Jeni and Jordana we on fiddles, Mr Bird on his coolest ever bass, Mama Lisa on guitar and Justin the Great on banjo.
It was an all out moving Howe Down complete with near deafening sound system!
My job was to walk beside the trailer and giver Otter Pops and American flags (with Brad Galvez stickers attached) to the cute kids in the crowd.

And there he is, the man himself, larger than life.
Two Saturdays in a row we had an early parade and then we rushed to the next local city just in time to sneak in their line up and do it all over again.
The mornings were early (even for us) and the heat and excitement of it all was exhausting.

Baby Cakes (whose not really a baby anymore) had the very important job of waving the flag from the back seat of the truck at all the cute girls.
He rocked!
As you can see, it was too much for my little man.
As soon as we hopped in the truck to head back to our vehicles, he was out like a light.
It seriously only took 3 seconds!

Even so, who can resist a spontaneous post parade horse ride party in grandpa's shady back yard?
Not my little man, he's never happier than he when he's on a horse!

Was it all I dreamed it would be?
Will I ever do something this crazy again?
Were my kids on a sugar high for the next 3 days straight?

Yes, Yes and YES!

Only next time, one parade per year is good for me!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Back to Basics

Have you noticed that I love food?
I love to make food, I love to eat food and I love to feed those I love the wonderful creations I create.
I have been on a sour dough kick again.
Yesterday it was sour dough waffles for breakfast.
Today I made sour dough bagels.
They are to die for.
I could eat those everyday for the rest of my life and be perfectly happy.
Tonight for dinner we will have tortillas made with sour dough and tomorrow I'm making sour dough English muffins.
I can hardly wait!
I love nothing more than making healthy food and then watching my family enjoy it.
I love how these recipes have such few and simple ingredients, yet they taste divine.
I am ruined forever.
I started this journey in a quest for a healthier life style, but now I think I'm just spoiled.
I can't eat store bought bagels any more.
They taste like cardboard.
Homemade ones are chewy on the outside and super soft and moist on the inside.
They are not all the same exact cookie cutter shape.
They look hand crafted, I can see each imperfection in their shape and it makes me happy.
It's the same with everything I make.
The store bought version just seems like a sorry excuse for the real thing.
It's like the difference between picking a super red and juicy tomato from the vine and eating it while it's still warm from the sun's rays and then getting a tomato from the store that is almost red and has been sitting in a warehouse refrigerator for heaven only knows how long.
They are both a tomato, but if you've ever eaten one fresh you know what I'm talking about.
Pulling a warm, chewy cookie off the still hot cookie sheet is ever so much more satisfying than opening a package and eating the sad excuse for the same thing.
Sometime people give me flack for the way we eat.
I wonder why?
Really, store bought and fast food has only been available in the massive quantities that is today for the last 50 years or so.
Think of the whole rest of the history of the earth.
What did people eat then?
There were no Super Wal-Marts filled with man made flavors and preservatives at people's finger tips.
People ate what they could grow or what they could trade for.
And you now what? That simple way of eating not only works, but it tastes better and is infinitely better for you.
I know you all think I'm crazy, and I admit that I probably am.
But honestly, it seems a lot more crazy to me to fill my kids full of additives just because I'm too busy or tired or lazy to make them real food.
I mean that with all the love possible, but seriously, it's time to get back to basics.
The American diet is killing us.
It's making us fat and depressed and sick.
Did you know that if the current trends continue our children's generation is the first generation on average whose life expectancy will be significantly shorter than their parents.
That means that our children will die before us.
That is totally backwards.
Here's another scary fact.
If a child eats 2 bowls of sugar cereal a day until they are 12 years old, they are 100% sure to have diabetes by the time they are 18 years old.
Sad. Scary. Totally Unnecessary.
The good news? 100% preventable.
Make a change, any change.
Start small.
Stop buying cereal.
Make breakfast for a week straight.
It's summer time, we have time.
Make granola or muffins or a smoothie or pancakes or french toast or oatmeal (not the sugar boxed kind!).
Make anything, anything would be better than almost any cereal you can buy.
Try it for a week, even if the kids complain.
Trust me, you'll be glad you did!
We have got to see it for what it is and make a change.
At least Jamie Oliver agrees with me!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Decade

I have a problem.
I have been struggling with his problem for almost a decade.
It's really embarrassing to me because usually, the man in the relationship is the one with this problem.
Do you want to know what it is?
OK, come in close and you have to promise not to tell anyone.
I always get our wedding anniversary wrong.
I always think it's 3 days later than it actually is.
Let's be clear, I have never forgotten it altogether, but for some reason it has stuck in my brain as the wrong date.
When our first anniversary approached, I was sure I was right and that Mr Bird was off his rocker.
He had to pull out our wedding certificate to prove he was right.
I put my tail between my legs and admitted defeat.
There have only been a handful of times in the last 10 years when I have actually gotten it right.
So it was no surprise when I got it wrong, yet again this year.
I thought Mr Bird was being romantic and thoughtful when he whisked me away for a romantic anniversary get away earlier this week.
I knew he was running the Wasatch Back this weekend and I foolishly thought he was planning ahead so as not to miss our anniversary while running the race.
I had it in my head that he would be running his race on the day of our anniversary.
So I did what any good wife would do and called him this morning bright and early and sang the lame-o, cheesy Happy Anniversary song to him as he waited to run the next leg of the 188 mile rely race.
I thought, he's going to love that I remembered it right this year and he'll be so impressed that I said it first.
When I finished my song there was an awkward pause on the line.
Then Mr Bird just laughed out loud, the biggest belly laugh I've heard in quite some time.
What? Is my singing really that bad?
Then he asked what today was.
I told him, "June 19, our anniversary!"
Another laugh.
He ever so sweetly reminded me that I was wrong, yet again.
How can I possibly keep making this same mistake?!?
It's really shameful and silly.
From now on I think I'll check the wedding announcement we have hanging in our living room at the beginning of June just to be sure.
For the record, we had a fabulous anniversary.
Mr Bird would not tell me what he had planned, just that I needed to clear my calendar for a couple of days.
We dropped the kids of with my In-Laws and headed to Salt lake.
We shopped for a while, then Mr Bird took me to my all time favorite Chinese restaurant.
Then we went to Hale Center Theater and watched The Wedding Singer.
Hilarious. I loved all the 80's references, ah, the good old days.
Then Mr Bird and I spent the night at the Anniversary Inn in Salt Lake City.
It's a little bed and breakfast in an old Victorian house.
It was so charming.
My favorite part was watching the magnificent thunder and lightening and rain storm from the turret in our room. Then in the morning the sun was shining and the whole world was green and awake as we ate breakfast (that I did not have to prepare) in the same turret.
By the time we left we were looking at Victorian homes online.
They are so charming and beautiful.
Then reality set in and we came home to our noisy kids and never quite clean enough house with the endless yard work waiting to be done.
We had such a fabulous time while it lasted.
It was so peaceful and perfect. All we had to worry about was if the bath water was too hot or if we'd eaten too many chocolate fudge cookies.
We took our original honeymoon to San Francisco and stayed at a Bed and Breakfast there.
We hardly left the room (ahem), we fell in love with that place.
It was so fun to do the same thing closer to home a decade later.
Thank you Mr Bord for a wonderful anniversary.
I loved every minute of it.
One decade down, eternity to go!