Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fun Times At The National Arboretum

On Saturday Garry spent the morning at the Temple and then was a ref for a few flag football games. So the girls and I headed out to the National Arboretum! I used to go here with a coworker when I worked in the Senate. It's a 400+ acre park with special collections and gardens and groves. Very pretty. There is so much to see but we only fed the fish at the Visitor's Center, went to the Herb Garden, saw the Columns, and went the the State Tree Grove.
Molly with the map.

Emma with some weeds in the Herb Garden.

The National Arboretum is also home to the original columns from the Capitol Building. They've been here since 1990.

Emma at the columns.

Molly at the columns. Trying hard to be a good sport.

Emma and Macey in front of the flowers at the Visitor's Center.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Bad Behavior

When I worked in the Senate, my coworker and I would play small pranks on each other whenever we were in the elevator together. We'd wait for the doors to be closed, the other person to be stuck, and then start an embarrassing conversation. It was juvenile and oh, so fun.

I have not done that in almost ten years, but yesterday I was tempted to do a variation on the theme. I was getting the girls out of the van so we could go to the mall and mail my Dad's birthday present. I saw an older, well-manicured couple walk toward us with a "tsk!tsk! so many kids!" look on their face. I was instantly annoyed. At the same time, Emma asked me, "Mama, do you think that Grandpa will like his present?"

With all my heart, I wanted to say, "I'm sure he'll love it sweetie, if it can get past the Warden. They have some tough rules at his new prison."

I figure, if they are going to disapprove, I'd give them something real to actually disapprove of.

Alas, I didn't. But it would have been FABULOUS.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Six Months of Fabumollyness!

Yesterday Molly turned six months old. We started a tradition with Emma of letting them dig into a cupcake on their six month birthday. Poor Emma, she did not know what to do with it and just cried. We took a picture anyway and it looks like she is laughing happily! Both Molly and Macey dug in to the best of their six month ability!

Molly is fabulous. She loves toys and her sisters, pears, apples with blueberries, sweet potatoes, music, and hanging out with her Mama. She's also the cutest bald thing I've ever seen!
I'd be really sad that I am putting her 3-6 month clothes away but I am too excited for the next three months. Is there anything better? Crawling, learning to walk, not being frustrated because they can get to what they want -- I really love the next stage!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

World Cup!

(This post is courtesy of Garry vice Alicia)

Yesterday was the Pee-Wee Soccer World Cup for Emma and Macey. Basically, the kids are divided into a 5 vs 5 soccer scrimmage that resembles organized chaos. After dividing up into teams (Emma and Macey were both on the red team), Emma called the red team together for a team cheer. The soccer scrimmage was pretty rough. For most of the game, the 5 vs 5 turned into 2 vs 2 as most of the Pee-Wees spent more time clinging to their parents, picking grass and flowers (that would be Macey), and asking for drinks.

Last year, Emma was pretty intimidated by some of the older/faster kids and got frustrated that other kids would steal the ball from her. But yesterday, Emma did a pretty good job of playing, competing, and scored a bunch of goals. I'm not sure what was more fun for me, watching Emma score the goals or laughing at the celebratory dance that she would do after each goal. Emma is a lefty and does have a pretty strong left foot. One of the other parents commented that she'd make a good striker. Maybe she can get a soccer scholarship to BYU??Now we just need to get her to work on developing her right leg, passing, & dribbling skills.

Maybe next season Macey won't feel as intimidated by the older kids--but she improved throughout the season and enjoyed the snack and drinks after each practice.

Thoughts Of Current Events. . .Then And Now

This morning I have been thinking about two things. First, whatever happened to The Scud Stud? Remember him from the Persian Gulf War? I do!

Apparently his real name is Arthur Kent and he lives in Canada. Who knew? I believe that the above picture is pretty recent. I think that he looked better when I was 13.

Second, can I just express my outrage, OUTRAGE, that NBC is cancelling the show Without A Trace. Okay, I have not been watching lately but before I stopped watching it, I thought it was great!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Good Heart

Macey is my little stinker. She throws a lot of fits and likes to do things her way on her time schedule. So sometimes it's good to remind myself that she has a beautiful soul.

She truly has a good heart. When we were at soccer I saw a little boy who was wearing a device around his head, I assume due to a developmental disability. Macey walked up to the little boy and I was worried. Would she ask a rude question? "Why are you wearing that?" "What's that?" or say something rude like "You look funny!" But instead, my little stinker walked up to him and said, "I like your shirt." She's a good egg.

When we were at Kings Dominion Macey and I were waiting for Garry and Emma to get off of the Scooby Doo Roller Coaster. On our bench was an older woman. I barely looked at her. She was older in a big old hat and was someone I would never really talk to because I would think that we had nothing in common. But Macey scooted over to her and said, "I like your hat!" and scooted back. What a good kid.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Fun!

Today we took the girls and went with some good friends to the Gilbert Run Park. It was a beautiful day, and the kids had a great time playing at the park, riding in paddle boats, feeding ducks and trying to catch fish. Perfect day!

Paddling in the paddle boat. Garry hates these things because they do a number on his knees. Macey stayed on shore with me and Molly.
It took her a few hours, but Macey finally worked up enough courage to go out on the water. She's sitting in the middle, being all brave.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Too Much Fun!

After a few days at home when I felt that I was always yelling at my beautiful girls, Garry and I made an effort to get the girls OUTSIDE. We had a lot of fun this week! Emma & Macey on their bikes. Don't let the picture fool you. Macey can't pedal well. Thus the bar on the back!
Wednesday we met up with Sylvia at the Oxon Hill Children's Farm, one of my favorite places. Here's Molly. She's really excited to be there.

Emma & Peyton on a wagon on the historic farm.

On Friday we took the girls mini-golfing. Who knew that Macey, our constant whiner, would do the best job? Move over, Tiger!

Macey getting ready to smack the ball. Perfect form, perfect form.

On Friday the girls went to their last soccer practice before the World Cup.

Saturday morning Garry took Emma fishing.

And here's dinner.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Super Powers!

I was taking a Facebook quiz the other day (I know, I know. . .) and the question asked me what super power I would really like to have.
Would I like to be able to fly? Well, that would be a nice way to get places fast. Oooh! Especially for long distances. How fun to never have to go through airport security again, especially with kids!

Would I like x-ray vision? As a mom, that would be nice to be able to check in on my kids no matter what room they were in. That might be a nice super power.

Would I like the power to control the weather? That would be awesome. But the people around me would probably be miserable! I like things a little toasty and do not mind the humidity. I think that there would be a major mutiny after 87 degree days and high humidity.

All these things would be nice, but after thinking about it for weeks (truly, for weeks!) I have figured it out. I would like to power to control and stop time.

Now, you are probably thinking that I would like to stop time for some sappy reason like my kids are getting so big so fast and I just want to savor these days when they are so little and so cute. Yep, that would be a good answer from a good Mom. But not mine.

I want to stop time and have people freeze so that I can clean my house without it being immediately messed up right behind me. I would freeze time and clean and clean and clean and clean and just revel in it for awhile. It'd be great.

Maybe I should just ask for the super power that would allow me to have a room clean just by thinking about it. That way I would truly never have to actually even clean. Oh! Even better! Okay, I want that one.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

She Has A Point

Emma is a wonderful four year old. Truly, a fabulous girl. So I do not know why I torture this poor soul to be a little better, but I do. Lately Garry and I have really been working with her on listening and obeying the first time. In fact, sometimes I will go as far as to sing the Primary Song "Quickly I'll Obey" I know, I know, wouldn't you hate to have me as a Mom? Could there be anything more annoying?

But, Emma has started to use my own words against me. The other day Macey was not listening to Emma and so she broke out into song "When my sister calls me, quickly I obey. I try to do just what is right. Each and every day."

I had to laugh. Um, Emma, those are NOT the words -- but good try!

Then yesterday I was helping Molly get settled in her chair when Emma wanted help putting on a shirt. "Mom, help me with my shirt" she called. I ignored her. "MOM," she called. I ignored her. "MOM!! HELP ME WITH MY SHIRT" she yelled.

"Emma!" I finally answered. "I heard you!"

"Well," she said, "you need to listen and obey the first time."

The girl has a point.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Amazing Emma!

Yesterday we went to Target and I put Emma in charge of the cart. While she sat in the cart, kickin' it with her soda and popcorn (the lovely $1.50 combo at Target we love so much) I told her it was her job to find a place for this, hold onto that, make room for this.

She took her job seriously and did well. But her true perfection came as we were leaving the store.

"Mom", she said, "She didn't give us our hangers."

Holy toledo. She was right. The nice Target lady had forgotten to hand us one of our bags. I backtracked to the register, asked about the missing bag, and hooray! got my bag with hangers and Bounce dryer sheets. It would have been a sad day, indeed, to go home without new hangers and dryer sheets.

Hooray, Emma! Clearly all those games of Memory have paid off. Now if only I can get you to stop cheating at Memory. . .

Sunday, May 17, 2009


When Macey was just a little, little one, Garry and I noticed that she slept a lot better if she slept with a blanket that my freshman roommate, Lisa, made for her. This blanket was named Lovey and accompanied us everywhere to ensure Macey's comfort and happiness. They were inseparable for over three years.

This week Macey told me that she no longer wanted Lovey. "Emma doesn't have a lovey," she said. In other words, it was not a 'big girl' thing to have around. Then she walked over and handed it to Molly.
It's the end of an era.

Friday, May 15, 2009

A Week Of Music

This week has been a week full of music! First, I got my fabulous IPOD NANO for Mother's Day. Working out is so much more fun when it's done with Sting. Too bad you cannot dance on the treadmill. And you really can't. I tried.

I rediscovered some of my old favorite songs -- like this Billie Myers song. Part of my angry 90s.

This week I also had a competition with my piano students called "Beat The Teacher". They had a week to practice more than I did and, if they did, they will have a chance on the night of the recital to draw out of a hat full of $1 and one $10. So far three students have Beat the Teacher! But that also means that this week I have been practicing some old favorites. I had forgotten how much I loved Chopin. He died when he was 39. Oh, what he could have done with a few more decades!

It's been fabulous having music back the last few days!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Come On! Cry A Little!

On Monday Emma & Macey "graduated" from preschool. For the graduation, they sang a few songs and then received a beautiful certificate. I expected the teachers and their high school students who have taught the kids this year to be a little emotional and to cry as they watched my Emma and Macey walk out the door for the last time this year. They didn't. I think I was the most weepy -- crying over the thought of finding ways to entertain all my girls this summer!

Big extra credit points to Garry for being one of the few Dads to take the afternoon off to watch his girls sing "What A Wonderful World." Emma sang her heart out for her Dad.
Macey accepting her certificate. She's crazy excited.

Emma graduating and holding her certificate.
Yep, they matched. Too cute.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Stuck On One

Awhile ago I bought a book entitled "15 Secrets To A Happy Home" by Janene Wolsey Baadsgaard. I've read most of it and decided to reread it and really focus on the steps. In fact, I decided to take it a little further and not read another chapter until I had completed a whole week living a step.

Step One was about "Replacing Thoughts" and generally having positive thoughts about yourself. Instead of thinking "I can't do that" think "I am smart enough; I can do that." I also thought that I would try to not have negative thoughts about other people.

I am stuck on stupid Step One. Well, there I go again.

What to do? Just focus on having positive thoughts about myself? Or try to not SAY anything negative but realize that sometime thoughts creep in? I am never going to get past this step. See, I did it again. Argh!

Monday, May 11, 2009

A Fabulous Day!

Yesterday was Mother's Day, and it was a fabulous one. I heard on the radio a few days ago that the present Mom's wanted most on Mother's Day was time away from being a Mom! I understand that sentiment as when we were in Hershey at the Spa I tried to forget my kids' names. But today I spent the whole day with my family and had a great day!

The day started with Emma telling me at 6:45 to stay in bed. "DO NOT come downstairs." Yep, no problem there.

But then she came back (too quickly!) to tell me to come downstairs. Downstairs I found some lotion (surprise!) cards, flowers and my new present that I will spend more time with as soon as I get it away from Garry -- my IPOD NANO. Too much fun uploading some of my favorite songs. I went through my cd collection, and wow, I went through an angry female stage in most of the 90's. I spent awhile uploading songs and have still only used 1 percent of my memory on my fabulous gizmo. Too much fun! When I started going to the gym after I had Macey, I was surprised at how many people were wearing little heart monitors on their arms. It took me awhile to figure out that they were IPODs. Now I finally join their ranks!

Church was nice. I missed the girls singing in Sacrament Meeting because I was behind them playing the piano, but I am sure if I saw it, it would have been lovely.

Then for dinner Garry made all of my favorites! Cornish hen! Green Bean Casserole! Mashed Potatoes! Dr. Pepper! It was really nice.

After dinner we took the girls' bikes to the Indian Head Rail Trail. Garry really liked it.

A wonderful day!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Indian Head Rail Trail!

This morning I took the girls on the Indian Head Rail Trail while Garry was a referree for a few flag football games. Since we were without Garry, we were without a camera. Sorry, no pictures!

I loved the trail! It's nice and flat which means that Emma can ride her bike on it (she's scared of hills as her braking is only so-so). It is still a great secret in Southern Maryland and so the trail is generally vacant. Trees line both sides of the trail making it just beautiful!

Here are some hints for those families who might want to give it a try.

(1) Go to the bathroom before you leave! No bathrooms along the trail!

(2) Stay on the trail! The grass is really tall in several places and I saw a HUGE snake. Okay, to me he was huge. He was probably just normal size to those not scared to death of snakes. I am pleased that when I yelled: "Snake! Girls! Run!" they listened and bolted straight ahead. Thank heavens I do not have boys that would want to (a) explore further or (b) try to kill it or (c) ask if they could bring it home!

(3) Check your kids for tics! I found one on Macey's back about an hour after we left. Yuck.

(4) Take your allergy meds before you leave. Grass, trees and pollen! Oh my!

Hope to see you soon on the trail!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Funny Times With Macey

Macey started talking really early. And boy, can she talk! Here's a few conversations I've had with Macey recently:

Not Me! On the day that Emma went to school and Macey had to stay with Me & Molly, I took Macey to McDonalds. I know, I know, not the best "punishment" to make her want to stop pooing her pants. But, I did play hardball and went through the drive-thru and did not let her go in and play! We sat at the exit of the parking lot, waiting for our turn to go onto Highway 301, when a large truck rambled down the street making its large truck noises.

"Excuse you, Mama," Macey said from the back of the van.

"Macey, that wasn't me. It was the truck."

"No it wasn't!"

It was here that I decided not to fight with my three year old over whether I did or did not fart. But, for the record, I so did not!

Moms: Yesterday Macey was playing with Emma and she was pretending to be the Mom.

"I'm the Mom!" she announced to me.

"Really?" I asked, with a laundry basket on my hip. "Are you ready to work because Moms work really hard."

"Moms don't work!" Macey explained. "Dads work!"

I have no idea where she got THAT crazy idea.

Surprise! Yesterday Garry took the girls shopping for Mother's Day. Macey tries so hard to keep a secret, but she just cannot. When my sister was here we got her a book and talked for 30 minutes about how it was a surprise and we should not tell her what it is. She did okay until my sister started unwrapping, and then she could not take it any longer.

"It's a book!" she yelled.

Yesterday she kept the secret all the way up the stairs but when she reached the second level of our townhouse, she just could not take it any longer. "Lotion!" she blurted out. "We got you some more lotion!"

Thursday, May 7, 2009


It may seem strange that the week before Mother's Day I have been thinking a lot about Fatherhood.

It all started when I read a Newsweek "My Turn" article entitled "Slouching Toward Fatherhood." In this article he describes his depression after his son is born:

When a child was added to my life, it was as if something enormous and coveted was subtracted in return, and the transaction left me reeling, like someone who'd just gambled away his soul.

Ouch. The rest of the article can be viewed at

At the same time I was reading a book entitled "Mommies Behaving Badly" where the husband/father feels so overwhelmed that he has an affair. In the book he describes his desire to return back to the cocoon of peace and quiet that he and his wife had shared before they had three kids.

So I began to think, "Wow! Do all men think like this?"

I thought about it for awhile and finally asked Garry if he ever thought about those single and QUIET days. He told me that it was the opposite -- that these were the days he had always wanted and he was worried that in just a few short years it was all going to be over.

He's right. Right now is a lot of work. And the house can get loud. And things can get stressful. But at the same time right now our kids think that we are the greatest things around. They are not embarrassed by us yet and actually want to spend time with us, as much as we will give them.

When Emma is sitting with her primary class and I wave at her -- she waves back! How long will she do that for? When I pick Macey up from preschool she yells "Hi Mommy!" And she tells all her little friends "That's my mommy!" How long will she do that for? When I leave a room without hugging and loving on little Molly, she cries. How long before she just does not want to be hugged and loved on?

Garry is right; these times are really crazy and busy but it is fun being the coolest person around (while it lasts).

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


On Sunday night Garry and I were watching a conference talk given by Elder Robert Hales. The title of the talk is Becoming Provident Providers Temporally and Spiritually.

The talk discusses the addiction of spending above our means, especially in an effort to keep up with the neighbors. This was a good talk for me to hear, because I definitely fight jealousy often. I want the house where my kids can run and play but space of my own (no toys allowed!) and a huge backyard and a tree swing for Emma. . . But I need to be more grateful that we have a mortgage that we can afford.

At one point in the talk, Elder Hales states that: "I have learned that the three most loving words are “I love you,” and the four most caring words for those we love are 'We can’t afford it.'"

If that is true, Garry cares for me A LOT.

It's a good talk to review again and again, especially before shopping trips!,5232,23-1-1032-2,00.html

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

She's So Stylin'

Molly was sporting a new dress at church last Sunday -- another great find from Grammy! In case you missed seeing my little bald beauty at church, here's some pictures. Thanks, Grammy!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Fun Times In Pictures

This week my sister came to Virginia! Here are some pictures of our outing to Mt. Vernon. I LOVED the new Education Center. It was amazing! Move over, Monticello, Mt. Vernon is now the place to visit! Emma & Macey posing as visitors -- Macey dressed in period clothing.
Cousins posing as the Washington family!

Emma & Macey with cousins!

Emma at Washington's 16-sided barn.

All the gals watching a sheep getting sheared.

Emma wants you to know that Washington was First In Peace!

Posing with the Washington Family at the Visitor's center.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Lulled Into A Lie

Quite unknowingly, over the last eight years or so I have been lulled into a lie.

I blame HGTV. Over the years as I have watched its programming and other similar shows on other channels I have convinced myself that home improvements were easy! Anyone could do them! And they could be inexpensive, too!

Lies! Lies! All Lies!

It's not easy. Not everyone can do it. And it's not inexpensive unless you are Martha Stewart. Even paint can get a little pricey.

I have learned my lesson. Much to Garry's grief. And the scarring of not one but two bathrooms. Poor things.