Sunday, June 24, 2012

Are You Fluent In Molly?

One of the benefits of having older sisters seems to be fast and furious speaking ability.  Well, it might just be Molly.  She seems to be doing everything a little early.  But with her fast and furious speaking ability comes some difficulty understanding her.  She has a little girl's high voice, she talks quickly, and sometimes she does not get everything right.  It is easy to get lost when trying to understand her.

I realized the other day that often I have to translate for Molly around adults and sometimes there are people that are Fluent in Molly.

My friend down the street lets Molly come over often and play with her three year old son.  Because of this time together, I realized that my friend is completely fluent in Molly.  We were together one afternoon and Molly said something to my friend.  I thought that I would have to translate, but my friend responded directly to her.  She's fluent, after all.

I realized the same thing listening to Molly talk with Garry's Mom, her Grammy, on the phone yesterday.  It's really hard to understand kids on the phone, let alone three year olds with high voices that do not hold the phone correctly.  But because Grammy tries to talk to the girls individually several times a week, she has become fluent in Molly.

I really appreciate these people and their time and their efforts.  They love Molly enough to spend time with her and really, truly listen to her.  Enough to even become fluent.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Keep It Simple

Today was silly crazy hot in Utah.  And windy.  I think that we were expected to reach 100 degrees today.  So what better thing to do but go to the zoo?

I can explain the madness.  Emma's favorite animal is the polar bear, and this year they introduced a polar bear into a new part of the zoo.  She has been waiting three weeks to see them, and since we are done with soccer I thought it would be a good time to go with my four kids and my niece.

Emma was excited to see the polar bear, and she beamed while watching him swim in the water.  So that was a success.  But on the down side, it was really hot and so the girls spent most of the time running from water feature to water feature.

I think I would have been better off keeping it simple and letting the kids run in the sprinklers while I sat on the couch and ate gummy bears and turned on Days of Our Lives.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Republican Momma

Though I have not been heavily involved in politics for a very long time, this week I realized again that I am still a Republican Momma.

It came to me when we were at the library.  I have taking all four kids to the library down to an art.  We walk in and the kids are able to pick out as many books as their age.  Macey always finds hers in record time, Molly picks out horrible My Little Pony books, making me grateful she only gets three picks, and I help Emma with hers because it takes her a little longer.  We then go to checkout and the girls can sometimes go to the ouside fountain and play in the water.

Things went horribly awry this time, however, when Macey jumped from the fountain and landed on her ankle.  I knew that from the angle she landed on, it could be bad.  It was scraped up, and she started howling.  I think that a Democrat Momma would feel compassion, sympathy, immediate concern. . .some tenderhearted emotion.  I merely calculated in my head whether I had time for an ER visit that evening.

Deciding that the answer to that was a definite no, I helped her to the van and listened to her howl all the way home.  I figured I could look at it at home and see if it was swelling and then decide what to do.

We pulled into the garage, and I promised a sobbing Macey a Tinkerbell bandaid.  The crying stopped, she leaped out of her carseat, jumped out of the van, and headed inside to get her bandaid.

Hmmmm.....there may be a reason why I am a cold-hearted Republican Momma. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Catch & Release

Yesterday I took Molly & Braden to the girls' elementary school in order to drop something off for Emma.  I parked over by the Kindergarten recess area and during recess was able to see Macey before she spied me.  I was glad to see her so happy and playing with all of her friends.

She was running around the playground, laughing and having a great time.  I thought I saw some boys in her path and so I asked her when she got home whether boys chased her during recess.

"I wasn't running away from boys," she told me.  "I was chasing!"

Dear love.

"Macey, what were you going to do when you caught them?" I asked.

"I let them go and then I chase them again!"

Kind of a cute twist on catch and release.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Our Golden Girl

After the soccer season, Garry signed the girls up to play in the Kohls Cup tournament. 

It was an intensive tournament for little 7 & 8 year olds.  They would play three times on Friday evening and then again on Saturday if they won enough games.

I was really concerned for two reasons: this team never, ever played well on Friday night.  I think that we lost each and every Friday night game during the regular season.  The girls came to the Friday night games tired and unable to run much.  It was odd. 

And, the girls were going to be playing "the green team" first.  We lost to the green team.  Often and frequently.  They are aggressive and the last time we played against them one girl knocked Emma down, hard.  Flat on her back.  The parents were intense as well and one mother with oodles of time and skill had embroidered the name of each girl on the back of her jersey.

Emma was really upset about having to play the green team first.  It was like she was looking at a mountain she could not climb, and I thought she was too young to have have no hope.  Every seven year old should have lots and lots of hope.

So I emailed the team and told them to send me their girls as soon as they got home from school on Friday.  I would keep them refreshed, happy, relaxed and entertained while I stuffed them with carrots and strawberries and orange julius drinks.

One mother thought that I was crazy.  "You want all of them?" she asked.  "That's a lot of girls."

She was right.  When did I turn into THAT mom -- the "the more the merrier" mom.  That is so not me.  But I knew all of these girls and they were good, good girls.  And most of them were 8.  I am frequently overwhelmed by my kids, but just the little ones.  Having 8 year olds over for a few hours seemed like no big deal comparatively, and it wasn't.  They were so good and so polite, many of them coming up to me and thanking me personally for "the party".  Such cute girls.

It seemed to work because Friday night we BEAT the green team and tied the purple team and beat the grey team.  We played the purple team again on Saturday and won, after overtime play, after our team scored more penalty kicks than the other team.  Emma scored 4 goals on Friday and had some great shots on Saturday.

It was a good experience, and I hope that Emma remembers that anything is possible -- even beating the dreaded green team.

Saturday, June 16, 2012


I have had some requests for more information regarding that curly hair salon in Salt Lake City.  It's called Aura Hair Studio, and it is on 900 South.  Since they technically cut your hair twice and they allow it to "naturally" dry as much as they can before they bring in the diffuser, the haircut is a long experience -- I think I was there for a little under two hours.

Also if you look at their website you will see that almost all of their stylists have curly hair, which I loved.

They use Deva hair products.  I am loving their conditioner because it is also a leave in conditioner and if you leave a lot in, your curls are bigger, the ringlets are tighter, and if you mix it with water, it is a "curl refresher" which means that you do not have to wash your hair as often.

Here's the website for the products.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

This morning I met a friend at the gym, and after we ran a few miles, we returned home.  I called Garry at work to ensure that he knew we were home and all was well.  Unfortunately, the phone call did not go as smoothly as expected as my phone line is down, again (curse you, Comcast!) and all Garry heard was "shwjdkfsjffogmdnsjsemdivmfl".  Well, you get the point.

I was confused because I could hear him perfectly, and I thought he was joking when he said that I was "breaking up."

"I am not breaking up!" I said, as I was under the impression that as long as I could hear me, everyone else could as well.

"Yes, you are," Garry answered, and I agreed to hang up and try the call again from my cell phone.

While searching for cell phone, I saw Macey from the living room, looking at me with panic in her eyes.  "Daddy wants to break up?" she asked.

I laughed out loud, but the poor thing.... for about 10 seconds there she was having the worst day ever.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Feast Or Famine

I quit working when Emma was a little over two months old.  After I left my full-time employment, I started thinking about other ways to supplement our income.  I thought about becoming a tutor and even put together a little brochure.  But a friend encouraged me to teach piano.  I went down that path for many years.  I put up signs and handed out flyers.  It was slow going in the beginning.  I discovered that for every 100 flyers I passed out, I would get one new student.  But things worked out and I eventually had over 20 students and also had students at the College of Southern Maryland.  I even had a waiting list.

When we moved here, I decided that it would not work to teach piano here.  Teachers around here are very accomplished, and it would just be silly for me to try.

So I started teaching at Neumont University.  I was so excited to teach, and then I was asked to teach more!  After looking for an opportunity for months, I felt like I could exhale.

But then the class was cancelled.  Not enough students signed up for it.  And then the people that hired me and understood my background and qualifications left the University. New people came in and they decided to make American Government a required class.  In fact, a full-time position.  But they did not know about me and hired some other lady (sigh).

But then I was hired to prepare Business Plans for a small local company.  It did not pay much but it was work that I could do at home, in my pajamas.  So that was awesome.  But then that company closed shop after I worked for them for five months.  A similar company opened in its place and they also hired me to prepare business plans.  It was great because they offered to pay me double.  But they were very slow to get that part of the business going, and when it was finally going at a great speed,  they decided to go a different direction.  So they sold that successful aspect of the business to a law firm who also hired me.  But it took a long time to get that part of the business going at the firm.  But things were looking good there for awhile, I was crazy busy, but then that law firm started experiencing problems and they are slowing down that aspect of the business indefinitely.

Good heavens. 

I am really blessed that Garry's job can cover our expenses, and we have been using my jobs to pay for extras: a trip to Disney, BYU football tickets, my gym membership, my cell phone, a construction project in the basement, a plumbing problem on the second floor.  We do not "need" my income, but after seven years of trying to make something work and be successful, well, I wish that something would work and be successful.  It is hard to start all over every few months.

But I have learned that when I am busy, I am very productive.  The stress of not being busy and wondering what "Plan B" should be is debilitating to me.  I should relish in the down time and enjoy the freedom of playing more games with my kids and getting the laundry back under control.  But, like I said, stress seems to be a bigger occupier of my time than actual work. 

Maybe that's why I go through this every few months: to learn to let go of the fear, trust that a door will open, and enjoy the moment for what it does contain.

But, to be honest, I really stink at that. Instead of having the trial of letting go of my fear, I wish I had the trial of being gracious, humble and giving in times of wealth.  That would be freaking awesome.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Not the best, but here it is . . .

I had Garry take a picture of me yesterday.  This is after I washed my hair and tried to recreate the curls that were so nicely done at the salon.  It turned out okay.  My curls were smaller, and Garry says crunchier, than the ones done at the salon.  I look forward to continuing to experiment with their products.  They have an entire line that they sell called "Diva" including a gel, a conditioner, a leave in conditioner and since Tina is right and you should not wash curly hair, they have a sulpher-free shampoo which is called 'no-poo'.  Haha.

I need to experiment with a high quality diffuser and also with the leave in conditioner, but I am committed to learning to love my curls again.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Curly Hair Salon

While searching online for supplies that I could use to better handle my curls, I found out that there is actually a salon in downtown Salt Lake that specializes in curly hair. 

I made an appointment for Monday night.  I was SO excited.  I drove into Salt Lake, picked Garry up from work, and had him take the kids home while I was off to the salon!

I was excited because never, ever, ever had I gone anywhere to get my haircut where they were not absolutely baffled by what to do with my hair.  I have had some really horrible experiences.  One lady was convinced that she needed to brush my hair out before she washed it or it would get all tangled while she washed it.  Let me tell you how well that did not go.  One horrendous poof later, I convinced her to wash it, assuring her that it was manageable when it was wet. 

One lady made me stand up during the whole haircut because she felt that my hair was too long.

I went to a place in Pentagon City, Virginia a few times because it was 'popular'.  But I HATED that place because I would just get lectured about how dry my hair was.  Um, hello, I have naturally curly hair.  Of course it's dry!!

Then there was the lady in Maryland who did not charge a fixed fee.  Instead, her customers were supposed to pray over how much they could afford.

Then there was the lady in Utah who stopped in the middle of my haircut to take a banana to her son at school because he was hungry.

Do you understand why I was excited?  I was due a good haircut experience.  Past due.

I walked into the salon and found out that they actually cut your hair twice.  First they lightly brush it out to cut off the damage (and there was plenty!).  And then they deep conditioned each and every strand.  And then they applied gel in order to get the curls to form into their "curl families".  Every curl has a family -- a group of hair it chooses to adhere to.  Once my hair had formed into its family, she cut it again according to curl family so that the haircut was completely even.  I loved, loved, loved this because I have noticed even after good haircuts that my hair was uneven.

I learned a lot.  I guess I should not brush my hair.  Ever.  I should only finger comb in the shower, and that's it.  And as for those curl families, they have 'memory' and so you supposedly can train them to behave.  Though this does not work for my actual family, I have geat hopes for my curl family.

Three days later, I still have great little ringlets.  I am going to wash my hair today and try to recreate these curls!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Explain THAT

Macey is an excellent reader.  Though she has not completed her end of year evaluation, I think that she will finish Kindergarten at a Third Grade reading level.

Lately she has been reading a set of scriptures written for kids -- the older version which has four pictures per page with a paragraph per picture that covers all of the main stories.  We have been AMAZED (and not a little scared) by not only her dedication but her comprehension.  She came upstairs the other day and told me that she finished 3 Nephi.  Thinking that she was reading but not really understanding (just like an adult, in other words) I answered, "Oh, really, Macey?  And what happened in 3 Nephi?"

"Christ came to America," she answered.

Okay, so her comprehension is great.

She finished the Book of Mormon, and so I got her the New Testament on Saturday.  She dug right in on Sunday.

So we should not have been surprised by her question at dinner that night, but we were.

"Do a lot of people have babies before they get married?" she asked.

Not knowing what she was getting at, we answered that it did happen, but it was not the best way to go about it.

"But Mary was pregnant before she married Joseph."

Good grief.  How am I supposed to explain THAT?

Friday, June 1, 2012


This year I signed Emma up for "Up With Kids" a little theater option for kids here.  This year they were performing Rapunzel, and since we are big Princess fans around here in the Cunningham house, I thought that Emma would enjoy it.

It was an interesting format.  The kids started in September.  That's right!  One entire year on one play.  They learned songs, they had some acting little lessons like projecting emotions and projecting their voices.  Months and months later, they finally got a script.  Each child got about five to seven lines.  Emma was a viking.  She was Astrid the viking and was nervous because she had to call people "losers" in the play and that just is not allowed at home.  But she warmed up to it.

Emma has a great voice, and she was also able to sing a song at the beginning of the play with two other girls.  They were princesses.  She did great!  I love Emma, and I am always so proud of her!