Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Oh, Mama. . .

Macey starts preschool tomorrow, and she is very excited to go back to school! She's watched Emma go to school for several weeks now and has been anxious for her turn.

Of course, the best part of preschool is the snack and the best part of the morning is trying to guess what the snack would be. Yesterday, on the day of orientation, Macey was trying to figure out what her snack was going to be that day.

I told her that it was not a full day and that there would not be a snack.

"Oh, Mama," she laughed. And then she realized that I was not teasing. "Are you serious?" she asked.

Just thinking of her laugh and "oh, mama" still makes ME laugh. And the good news is that there was a snack provided at orientation. So afterward I was treated to a "told ya so". Oh, the things that come out of this girl's mouth.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Good News & The Bad News

Who knew that a mere 27 hours after Garry left I would be scrambling and looking for a Home Teacher!

During the home inspection, they found a gas leak. I called Washington Gas to report the leak. They came out, identified the location of the leak, but they did not fix it. He told me how to fix it, and then turned off the gas and left.

I did not worry when he left because the gas runs the furnace and who needs the furnace when it's still warm outside? Um, I do.

It's not just a furnace. It's a heating and cooling system and when the upstairs got up to 84 and Molly would not sleep, I started to panic. Really panic.

I turned the gas back on (that leak has not blown us up yet, right?) but it took me quite awhile and quite a few phone calls to get the pilot light back up. But the system was still down. After five phone calls I discovered that there was an emergency gas switch in the utility room and it had been turned off (who knew?)

It was a tough morning (termite inspection, round two) and a tough night, but I realized that now I know a little more about termite hiding places, the evils of mulch, the power of prayer, furnaces and pilot lights. And more knowledge is always a good thing.

Anytime I go out of my comfort zone, I learn something new, and that's the good news to go with the bad news.

Ten Months of Mollyliciousness

Today Molly is ten months old! This was a big month for her! She started walking and is getting pretty good at it. She is so proud of herself!

She has also gotten a lot better with the stairs (unfortunately). Yesterday Emma got in trouble for being too rough with Molly (she likes to try to pick her up) and was sent to her room. Molly loves Emma and so she just decided to follow her. She went up 14 stairs so that she could find her Emma.

And, speaking of Emma, it's Molly's favorite word and she walks around all day shouting and looking for her "EMMA! EMMA!".

Molly likes strawberries and eating cheerios off the floor because they are so much better than the ones on her tray. She still dislikes her carseat and still will not sleep through the night. Well, maybe this month!
Molly, ever so tired of her photo shoot!
Molly with her push walker. She likes this toy!

Molly gets to go to dance class with the girls and likes to hide her Dad's car keys.

"Why do you have a camera in here! I'm NAKED!"

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Journey Begins

Today Garry started his FBI training in Quantico, Virginia. If we could build a bridge across the Potomac, he would probably only be about ten minutes away. As is, he has to drive up, over and down and so the entire trip is about 45 miles. Still not too bad.

When Garry left for his month-long trips to Mexico and Peru, I would have someone stay with me to help out. My sister Cindy came once and I think my Mom came for a trip. That was with just one kid! Now I have three and one seems like a vacation. I must have gotten more comfortable with being a Mom or they have just worn me down! Maybe a little of both!

Garry loves his girls, and this time apart is heartbreaking for him. But Quantico is so close; I think that he will be able to come home a lot more than he expects to. The good news is that the journey is already one day down!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Stress to Stress

This week I have been a little bit stressed. We are moving toward closing and the townhouse is going through a series of inspections: termites, appraisals, home inspections, radon, etc. Ugh. Some things are going well and some things need to be addressed and fixed.

I have to admit, I am overwhelmed by it all. When I am in the woes of a mini-depression, I watch the Discovery Health Channel and watch the stories of courageous people who are going through things I cannot imagine. Though that helped, last night I realized that I just had to pray the stress away.

But, I thought about all the problems going on right now. A neighbor of ours from Alexandria passed away this week. She did not have any children, but I know that her family is devastated by the sudden loss of this young and kind-hearted woman. A dear member of the family is struggling with a job loss at the worst time in the worst economy. Members of our ward family are devastated due to strained relations in their family. There are lots of real problems right now.

As for my stress, it is so temporary. There is much to do but it will be done in three months. I wish I could just take a three month nap and wake up when it's all done, but I need to realize that it's just a bunch of little stuff in the broad scheme of life. So who was I to discuss my concerns with God. Didn't I know He was busy?

But I realized at about 4 am (ah, stress insomnia, how I've missed you. . .) that to think this way is to put limits on God's power and understanding. And that was just ridiculous.

So I prayed and begged for help. Here's hoping for a better week!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Dance Class

The girls have started their second month of dance class at Sharon's Dance Studio in Waldorf, Maryland. Emma is in a Ballet & Tap class. Garry thinks that she needs to concentrate more and stop being the class clown, but I think that she's already got fabulous lines!And here's Macey. Ah, Macey. We jinxed you when we named you Macey Grace. Macey has a little ballet lesson, a little tap lesson and a little gymnastics. The girls really enjoy their class and look forward to it all week!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Confusing Signs

Waldorf is a larger city with some mainstream stores: Target, WalMart, etc. But it also has some "special" stores.

For example, by Stephanie's house there is a carpet store. The owner advertises on his marquee that he is "Serving Jesus Christ Through Carpeting". I'm not quite sure how that works, but, good for him.

Another favorite of mine is a furniture store over by the pediatrician's office. I do not go to this furniture store very often because the few times I have been there they have been overpriced and panicked by the havoc my kids might cause in the store. They have a large marquee outside of the store. I drove past the other day and it said:

I always knew I could when you said I couldn't I knew that I could.

What? Shouldn't they be advertising couches for $499?

Monday, September 21, 2009

It's All Coming Together (I Hope)

Last week we found out that we had an offer for our townhouse. We have been on the market since the first week of June, and so I was hopefully optimistic. Not happy, really, because so much could still go wrong. Deals fall apart, financing doesn't come through, things just happen in general. But yes, I am definitely hopefully optimistic. The best thing is leaving the house a complete mess when I walk out the door and knowing that it's okay. It's FABULOUS!

My sister put her house on the market at the same time and she also finalized a contract on her house last week. I feel that we have been greatly blessed, and I look to my parents. They have worked every Saturday in the temple for years. They take their assignments seriously and will cut short trips and family get-togethers in order to fulfill their assignment.

At times, this has been a pain. For example, they are the first to leave after Thanksgiving in order to get home. But it has also been a great blessing. I still remember getting the best parking spot ever when we went to The Christmas Carol, something I attribute to them having fabulous guardian angels. And now my sister and I have sold our houses and look forward to great changes. I wonder what my parents will pray for next?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I Have A Secret!

I have a secret I have been dying to tell. All through Sacrament meeting, I thought of telling my deep secret, maybe to LeeAnn who was sitting in front of me. Or to Sylvia who was over on my left. But, I didn't.

Then all the way through Primary and the unfortunate gas incident (not mine) I thought of telling a few friends my secret. Maybe Tara or Tiffany.

But I didn't.

Then in Relief Society I thought of leaning over to Stephanie and telling her my secret.

But I didn't.

I cannot keep it in anymore and so I will spill it in my blog. Here it is!

I didn't make my bed today! WoooooHooooo! Isn't that GREAT!

Friday, September 18, 2009

She Might Be Right

My favorite hairstyle for Macey is what I lovingly call "The Pebble Do". A little ponytail -- right on top. Lately she has been pushing for something a little more sophisticated -- maybe a headband or a ponytail in the back. I usually try to just do The Pebble Do really fast before she has a chance to put in a request or complain.

But the other day she started crying after I did her hair and looked at me with her most hurt face. "You made me look like a baby!" she said. And I realized, she was right. Ugh, when did she get so big?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Oh, to be normal . . .

I have a sister that I greatly admire for her kindness and patience. When I had Molly, it seemed as though my stress level went into another orbit, and I found myself being so short with my kids. I would think about this sister and try to emulate her more, knowing that we came from the same gene pool so deep, deep down I knew I could find the ability to be like her.

Yesterday I was talking to this sister about our upcoming moves (she is also moving to Utah County in a few weeks) and we were discussing a planned community that had horrible reviews because the houses were so close together. After living in a townhouse, I am done sharing walls and looking into my neighbor's window that is straight across from ours.

She agreed that she wanted a larger lot so that she could yell at her kids without having the neighbors hear. I just laughed because I have never seen this sister raise her voice to her kids, but she admitted that she has had her husband stand on the sidewalk outside of her home so she could tell how much people could hear.

It was a funny story to hear, and for awhile I felt really, blessedly normal!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Blog Stalking

I have been known to occasionally blog stalk. When I am looking at a friend's blog, I will check out their blog list and see if we have friends in common or if it looks like an interesting subject.

But lately I have been going back and back to the same blog. A few weeks ago a friend on Facebook posted a notice about a young mother in her ward who had just lost her husband and needed help. She posted a link to the young mother's blog, and therein started my stalking.

This blog is heartbreaking. If we did not have a friend in common, I would think that it was fake because I cannot believe the composure this young mother has as she writes about the biggest heartache. She posted a blog the day after her husband died with minute-to-minute details of what happened that day. (He died due to complications with Lupus that he had only been diagnosed with two years earlier). She wrote a blog on looking for her husbands casket. She did a blog the day after the funeral. It's like looking into a Nicholas Sparks book, but knowing that this is actually happening. Not just happened. This is a blog. It's an ongoing happening that she is sharing with the world.

Her son is just a toddler, and he might appreciate having this detailed record of what happened. But I cannot help but wonder, if I lost my G, would I turn to my laptop? I do not think so, but I do know that I hope to never find out. Because I'm going to die first, of course, and G is going to move back to West Virginia and live like a king. And maybe he'll blog all about it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

To Bidet Or Not To Bidet?

I read an article in Newsweek this weekend that said toilet paper was on its way out! That's right! It seems that there is a growing segment of the population that believes toilet paper is not efficient and does not work.

In response to this a Japanese company is getting geared up to do a huge push for bidets in the American market. They will say that bidets clean better and they do not kill trees. It's a green product for a green product market crazed time.

So I'm wondering, is everyone really ready to give up squeezing their Charmin?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Hoo-ray Luray!

When we went to the Jack Diamond Morning Show a few weeks ago, Stephanie and I won tickets to Luray Caverns. They are located a little under two hours from our house over by the beautiful Shenandoah Mountains.
The caverns reminded me of the Timpanogus Caves in Utah County, but they are not that similar. If you visit the Timp caves, you have to hike up and up and up the mountain. And it is a HIKE! To enter the Luray Caverns, you walk through the parking lot, in the building where you buy tickets and then go down the stairs. I saw the entry way, sans the hike, and thought, really? This is it? I could get used to this!

But it's beautiful inside and they have headsets so you can go on your individual tour. I loved the headsets.
After we finished the tour, we walked back up the stairs and back into the parking lot. Then we went to see the car show. They have EVERYTHING there -- from the first Model T to the first Rolls Royce. So nice.

Against my better judgment, we then went to the maze. I thought that this was a bad idea as we have problems keeping track of all seven kids (Rory & Molly were in strollers) without entering a maze. But, it was a lot of fun and much harder than I expected! And we did not lose anyone!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The County Champ

On Neighborhood Night Out I encouraged Emma to color a picture to keep her entertained before the Hula Hoop contest. I filled out the contact information, left it on the table, and I did not think much of it afterward.

But last week we got a phone call saying that she had won for her age group! There were hundreds of entries, and the County picked out 18 winners. In October she gets to go to a reception, meet the County Sheriff, and she will get a prize.

Last night when we attended School Orientation at Diggs Elementary Emma showed us a bunny that she had colored that day. It was a simple bunny, but I saw hers and compared it to the others around it. She stayed in the lines and was consistent in her stroke. And I thought to myself, "Yep, that's why she's the county champ!"

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Aha! I Knew It!

Today was Day #2 of Pre-K for Emma. She was so excited to go to school. She kept asking if it was time to go yet and told me that she was worried that we were "going to miss the bus stop". Too cute.

But the time finally did come to go and she nearly did a cartwheel when she saw her little bus.

And I realized something on the way home that I had always thought but now it's confirmed.

I am a FABULOUS part-time Mom.

Emma is a wonderful girl. She truly tries to listen and help and she's just happy 99.9 percent of the time. She is a joy. So sending her out to school does not decrease my work-load because she is not that much work. But it has greatly decreased my guilt-load, which, being me, is heavy.

I no longer wonder if she is watching too much tv (yes) or is getting enough socialization (no) or if she is getting enough one-on-one time to learn things that she should be learning (never) or even if she is getting enough exercise (probably not). She's going to school and so now my job is making sure that she has a place to relax and feel comfortable and loved. And I am FABULOUS at that.

I am loving this school thing.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Off To School!

Last Friday we got the great news that Emma had been accepted to the Pre-Kindergarten program at Diggs Elementary. Many of her friends started Kindergarten this year, and Emma was starting to feel a little left out. So it was with great excitement that we started school today! Emma picked out her sweater and her jeans this morning. She was very excited and started talking to me about what she was going to do and wear this morning before I was even out of bed.
We bought the headbands this weekend. Garry does not like the no-bangs thing, but I think that she looks beautiful!

Here we are, waiting for the bus!

She said she had a great day, likes her teachers, and made a friend (though she cannot recall the name) and was excited by the drama of a little kid getting a nose bleed on the bus (it's the little things). Macey is very jealous, and it will be a relief to have her start preschool in a month!

If You Take A Trip Without A Camera, Did It Happen?

For Labor Day weekend we took the girls on a road trip and headed west to West Virginia, the home of G. The purpose of this trip was twofold: to get a picture of Molly with her Great-Grandmother Delores before we move and to spend time with Garry's Dad and his wife who were there for a class reunion.

We had a great time seeing family from both sides of Garry's family. But it wasn't until Sunday that we realized that the camera was missing its memory card. How can you visit with family without a camera? How can you blog about a visit with family without pictures from a camera? I have to admit, I am finding it difficult. We'll have to rely on family sending us pictures that they took with their cameras and then post those!

Monday, September 7, 2009

There's Talking. . .And Then There's TALKING.

I told Garry today that sometimes he reminds me of that teenager who comes hom from school, tells his Mom that not much happened that day, then goes to his room and talks and talks to his friends over all that happened that day.

We just got back from a trip to West Virginia. We saw a lot of family members and went through a lot of experiences, and I thought that we had experienced a lot of things to talk about on the way home. So I waited for the talking to commence. And waited. And waited. Finally an hour away from home I asked Garry why he was not talking to me about the weekend.

"We were together this weekend," he explained. "We saw the same things, went the same places. What would we talk about?"

I do not know where to even begin.

Friday, September 4, 2009

My Turn

Yesterday Garry gave his notice at work that he was joining the FBI at the end of the month. It was a really hard and sad day for him as he really enjoyed his job, his coworkers, worked well with his boss, and he was really good at what he did. I hope that he will find the same level of satisfaction with the FBI in Salt Lake.

Now it's my turn to provide notice to my piano students, and I feel bad that it is going to be such short notice. Last night I had a dream that the Mom of one of my students was so mad that she threatened to start stalking my house.

Hopefully it will not get THAT ugly.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Liar, Liar

Macey is not a fan of going to the bathroom. She is too afraid that she is going to miss something, and so she puts it off to the point of disaster. So, in desperation, I invented a little story.

Yesterday, when we were at Stephanie's house, I could tell that Macey really needed to go to the bathroom. But she denied it and attempted to continue playing; a difficult task when you are also doing the potty dance at the same time. Finally, I feigned severe alarm and said, "Macey! Your eyes are green! You have to go to the bathroom so badly that your eyes have turned green!"

Concerned, she ran to the bathroom.

Today she came up to me after many cups of water and fruit boxes and asked, "Mama, are my eyes green?"

Shock! Horror! "Yes, Macey, they are! You need to go to the bathroom right now!"

And off she went. Everything is a little easier to take when there's drama associated with it. I have no idea where she gets that from.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


One of my favorite classes at BYU was a Theory of Communications course. Did you know that when the television came out there was a theory that it would be good for communities? That people, who previously had been hanging out on their front porches would now go into their homes and watch the same show and then be able to talk with one another about that show? It was thought that this would bond people to one another and stregthen communities.

I am not sure if it has worked. True, I can talk to Sylvia about the crazy blond on Real Housewives. Tara and I can dish about Top Chef. Stephanie and I can critique American Idol. But wouldn't we talk, anyway?

If you go around the block with my Mother, she can tell you everything about the people that live in each house, including their children and sometimes even their pets. She has about four working channels. So maybe the more channels you have the more likely you are to be a horrible neighbor?

For example, I have a neighbor that since we live in a townhouse we share a WALL with. We have been here for five years. Over those years she has never waved, said hello, told us congratulations for baby one, two or even three. No Happy Holidays. Nothing. It does not bother me until Macey tells her hello again and again and then asks why she did not say anything back (can you imagine ignoring a hi from a three year old?) and I have to explain, "Well, Macey, it's because she is a bit. . .bit. . .bit hard of hearing." Maybe from now on I can just tell Macey that she has a zillion television channels!