Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Now my kids will be perfect!

My kids are really hard, and I honestly don't think that it's just because I'm their mom. They're so high energy, and they really seem to enjoy fighting sometimes. And they get some seriously bad attitudes. Even sweet little Katy has started biting when she gets mad! So, I'm constantly trying to come up with new ways to deal with them.

A few days ago I realized we haven't been doing allowance since we moved 2 months ago. I think allowance is both fun & important for them. It teaches them the value of money, how to save, etc. So I want to start giving them allowance again. But I don't want to tie it directly to good behavior. I'm not sure why, but I'm pretty sure I've heard that you aren't supposed to. But I really need them to have motivation to be good, and time outs really don't seem to be a deterrent to being naughty!

So here is what I've come up with. I made a chore chart with days of the week across the top, and 7 jobs down the side. I want to give them $2, so 8 quarters, a week. I was thinking of doing a quarter a day if they do all their jobs, plus a bonus quarter if they get all 7. But my friend Gayelinn mentioned paying individually for separate things, and I think I'm going to try that. If they do one of their jobs all 7 days, they'll earn a quarter. And if they successfully do all 7 jobs all 7 days, they'll get that bonus quarter. Here are their seven jobs:

Be Kind
Be Respectful
Do Morning Jobs (make bed, put jammies away or in the hamper, etc.)
Do Evening Jobs (get in jammies, put clothes in the hamper, etc.)
Set or Clear the Table (the boys will trade off)
Feed the Dog (2 dogs here, each boy will do 1)
Pick up after Yourself

I'm not sure exactly how I'm going to quantify if they've been kind or respectful, maybe 3 strikes and you don't qualify for the day. I hope this works! I'm really excited to try something new!

Oh, and I've really noticed lately that if their routine gets disturbed, they're exceptionally bad. So I will do my part by making sure they have good meal & snack times, bed times, etc. And I will take away computer & Wii time when they start fighting, even though it makes my life harder. I think this is all I'm going to focus on for the New Year - being really aware of what they need, and not taking the easy way out (like allowing them to keep playing just because it's easier for me). Wish me luck!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I don't want to see porn!

I just went to Yahoo to check my mail. On the main page they had this:

Shirtless Obama causes stir
Photos of the president-elect taken during his Hawaiian holiday have the Web in a frenzy

That caught my interest, so I opened that in a separate tab. It's just a silly article about how Obama was topless on the beach (imagine that!) and someone got pictures, and how there are tons of people now looking for them online. The article ended with this:

And as for shirtless celebrities versus shirtless politicians, Obama's Web appeal runs second to "Twilight" star Robert Pattinson, thereby upholding the right and proper balance in the world.

The words "Robert Pattinson" were a link to a Yahoo search for Robert Pattinson Shirtless. I clicked on that link, then on the top result. Now that I look back, it mentioned nudity in the description, but somehow I didn't notice. And I thought you usually had to pay for things like that! Or at least have to click on links in the website. But in the upper lefthand corner of the main page there was a picture of Harry Potter actor in the buff! Full frontal nudity! Yikes!

You know, it's one thing to have stuff like that available for those that want to intentionally look at it, but those of us that don't shouldn't have to! It makes me worry for my children. :(

This is NOT where I wanted to park!

I hate snow. Hate hate hate hate HATE snow! I was so excited to move somewhere that rarely has snow, so of course we're having the worst winter EVER! It started Friday, December 12th, and has been really bad since then! The roads got a little bit better the middle of last week, so I ran some errands Tuesday & Wednesday. And that's pretty much the only time I've left in that whole stretch of time! I was trying to get out of the house this morning, and this is what happened!

The very end of the driveway slopes up, and if there are cars in the way so I can't just go while I have momentum, I can't go. My parents both told me to just get up there as high as possible, but I still wasn't able to get going. So I had to back way up to try again. I got stuck in the snow. I was able to get going, then got stuck again. That happened a couple times. Then finally, I really got stuck. I'd work and work and finally get the tires moving, and would just slide further into the blackberry bushes. I finally ended up pretty much perpendicular to the road, and unable to make any forward or backward progress. It had been 75 minutes, and the gas tank said I had 0 miles left, so I gave up.

While I was starting this blog, my mom's friend Carolyn sent her husband Brian to pull me out. They have a nice big SUV with 4 wheel drive, and he was able to get me out! First he kind of pulled me more into the bushes, and my side mirror broke off, but it was already cracked. Then he got me out, and I still couldn't get any traction. So he finally just pulled me all the way out and across the road to the Zion Lutheran church across the street. I drove down to 7-Eleven, and got gas and slurpees. Then I realized that I was wearing the coolest boots ever!

Oh well. When I came back I just parked across the street! That way I can go somewhere later if I need to!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Is this one happy?

Yes, Ryan, that one is happy.

Why are happy oranges yummier than regular ones?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Katy & the Nativity Scene

Here at my parents house we currently have 7 different Nativity scenes. 4 "normal," 1 Veggie Tale, 1 teeny tiny, and 1 from Peru I think. 1 of them is mine, the other 6 are my mom's. Oh, and there's a little Baby Jesus that isn't part of a full Nativity that I think someone must have made (it looks like it's made out of craft sticks). The set that is mine (one of the "normal" ones) is pretty sturdy and safe looking, so it's been living in the family room for the kids to play with. They hadn't been lately, so in the interest of having minimal stuff in here I decided to take it to the living room with the other 6. A little while later I found the Baby Jesus from my set hiding somewhere, and gave it to Katy. I told her to "Go put Baby Jesus away." Later this evening this is what I found:

Sweet little Kathryn had taken the Baby Jesus and put it where she thought it went, in another Nativity! And she'd also put the one that isn't part of a set with them as well. So three little Baby Jesuses were all together in one Nativity! Here she is being sweet & playing nicely with them. Girls are so different than boys! She's so much more gentle & loving. And she plays nicely with all the little Baby Jesuses! Oh, and the mess of pink and purple at the bottom is her baby, wrapped up in a blanky. Such a sweet little Mommy!

What a good daughter-in-law I am!

Well, first of all I was a bad daughter-in-law. I forgot that I needed to get presents for my in-laws for a while. I don't know why, it just didn't occur to me. I got presents for my parents, assigned sibling, kids, husband, and even myself. :) I wrote the Christmas letter, made the Christmas card, and got most of them off last Wednesday. I was feeling great, totally on top of things! Then I remembered that we have Dan's side of the family as well! Ack!

Actually, now that I think of it, I think I have a semi-decent reason for forgetting. We got an email from the Morrill siblings discussing the elimination of gift giving between siblings & cousins. Later it was decided to just eliminate the cousins & keep the siblings. So I was thinking I didn't have to worry about the Morrill side at all. Well, now we have Dan's brother, Matt, and I have put Dan in charge of it. Hopefully he can handle it!

So, I braved the roads last Tuesday and went to Costco, and found something for my father-in-law. But nothing for my mother-in-law. So I started knitting a skinny scarf for her Thursday evening. I worked hard, knitting every chance I got (and we haven't gone anywhere since Wednesday, so I've had a lot of chances!), and I finished it today! I'm so proud of myself! I plan on braving the roads again tomorrow & putting it in 2 day mail, thus making it before Christmas (good use of the word "thus," huh?)! Yay me! I know it's pretty plain, but it's my first finished knitting project ever! I think it's pretty, and hopefully my mother-in-law will too!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Dr. Pepper

I just have to say that I love Dr. Pepper. It is one of my favorite things in the whole world. That makes me sound like a junkie, but I think I have a healthy relationship with it. I don't NEED it, and I don't even have it every day. And usually a 12 oz can is enough. I just really, really enjoy it.

What is so great about it? Well, I enjoy the sounds of preparing it. It has to be in a cup with ice, and I've learned to love those sounds of the pop can opening & pouring over the ice. Then I really enjoy the flavor, and the amount of carbonation in it (but only prepared the way I like it, I really can't stand it straight from a can, or even without ice to make the bubbles lessen). And I love the way it makes me feel. Being a stay-at-home mom with kids that sleep 11 hours (and I don't even have to get up when the boys do anymore), I rarely suffer from lack of sleep (and if I do it's my own stupid fault!). So it isn't like it wakes me up. It does, however, perk me up. I think there's a difference. It's more of a mental thing than a physical. It makes me feel a lot more motivated, usually about whatever currently needs my motivation!

Tonight, for example, I was dreading the bedtime routine. The boys had just had an outburst at the end of dinner (with Ryan chasing David with his fork while all 3 adults yelled at him), and I was not feeling up to dealing with it. I told them to get in the pajamas, so naturally they went to the rec room to play. I decided not to fight that for a little while, and got myself a drink. A few minutes later, I felt great! I started feeling all warm and fuzzy about my kids. I had lots of patience with them, and did a great job lovingly reading to them and preparing them for bed. It was great! Now I've ended the mommy part of the day feeling like I've been a good mommy. If not for my Dr. Pepper indulgence, I'd probably have yelled & stressed, only to feel guilty about being a bad mommy.

So maybe there are mixed feelings about whether or not caffeinated beverages are okay, but I really think they can serve a good purpose. I don't see how it's different than taking tylenol or something. Just for my mood! And now, isn't that good for everybody?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Printing envelopes is hard...

...way harder than I thought it would be. I'm being such a good girl this year, getting the Christmas letters ready so early! I am pretty sure I've never mailed them before Christmas before. I also have always hand written the addresses, but decided that in the name of simplicity this year I would print them. However, it has been much harder than I thought it would be. I did a couple test envelopes on blank whites, then started using my cute ones with red stars down the side. They match the paper my letter is printed on. I'm so neat, huh? I love things to match! Well, the printer did this to a lot of them:

I guess that isn't such a big deal, but then it did this to a few random ones throughout the list:

That, I don't think I'm okay with. Partly because it picked bad ones to do it on. My single brother-in-law's printed just fine, but my super cute roomate from BYU & my super crafty friend from BYU have totally ugly envelopes. It's like it knew which ones I wanted to look the nicest, and splooged ink all over!

Now I have a dilemma. I have 6 more addresses to confirm/get, and 5 more cute envelopes before I have to open another pack. So I either have to use the ugly ones & just give a plain white to 1 person, throw away the ugly ones and give white ones to like 7 people, or spend $5.99 + tax on another 50 pack. Sigh. What a problem.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Our Big Nursery Girl!

Yesterday was Katy's first day in Nursery, and she did GREAT! I was just positive that she'd have a hard time, loving her mommy as much as she does. I was so very irritated that we weren't allowed to bring her in early to get used to it. But she was such a big girl, and didn't have a problem!

Dan & I sat in there during the first activity (play-doh), assuming we'd be in for the long haul. But she just sat at the table with the other kids (none of whom were sad at all, which I'm sure helped!), occasionally looking at me to be excited about something she showed me. She was doing such a great job, we decided to leave at the first transition to another activity. She went to the blanket to sit down for the lesson, and I told her "It's time for Mommy & Daddy to go, we'll come back in a little while." She ran over to where we were leaving and started to whine. One of the teachers picked her up, and we left. We walked 10 feet down to a place where we could sit and listen to how long she cried. And she was done crying before we even sat down! She literally cried for only a couple seconds!

We hung around for a while, but she was totally fine! She has a friend named Bethany that she plays with when we go to aerobics at the church, and I saw them together a lot. Bethany's mom told me today that Bethany talked about playing with Katy, so they're good little friends! So cute!

I snuck out of Relief Society a few minutes early to get her, and this is what I saw:

It's hard to take pictures with a cell phone through the window. Katy is straight across in the light colored jumper with a pink shirt underneath. Bethany is to the left of her (holding Katy's right hand) in the black & red dress.
I took another picture when they came around. I love Katy's cute little ponytail!
I think they're getting ready for bubbles or something. And look, she just seems totally comfortable hanging out with the other kids!
Bubbles! Katy is right in the middle of the crowd! SO FUN!

I was so proud of sweet little Katy for doing such a great job! I can't believe she's already in Nursery, and playing so nicely with friends. What a big girl!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Our whirlwind road trip!

Yesterday most of the day was spent sitting around playing Wii with the boys or trying to figure out what to do for a Christmas card. I felt really sluggish & lazy, so I got a Dr. Pepper for a pick-me-up. I don't have caffeine all that often, so even just a little bit perks me right up. Sometimes it does what I want, and I get super energized to clean the house. Other times my newfound excitement goes other directions. In hindsight, I think that is what was responsible for what happened next...

I was texting Dan right before going to the bus stop to pick up David. I said "I wish I was coming to see you." It was his birthday, and I was really sad to not be together. Then on my way to the bus stop I started thinking "Well, why don't we?" If I had planned in advance I would have packed and been ready to go when David got out of school, but I wasn't very much later. I knew I needed to decide fast, and was having a hard time thinking clearly. I asked the children (because their behavior is so important on a road trip!), and both boys kind of didn't want to. Then I asked Katy if she wanted to go see Daddy, and she said "YES!" and nodded a whole bunch! So, I hurriedly packed everything we'd need for overnight. We got on the road only 45 minutes later!

We hit traffic almost immediately, so the trip took 3 hours 40 minutes (including a stop for gas & a quick McDonalds run). The kids were really good, and Katy only got cranky a little bit at the end. I was really excited to surprise Dan, but Uncle Jim let it slip. It was still really exciting for us all to be together!

Today we went to visit Daddy at his new office for the first time! I could have lived without driving downtown with all those one way roads, but we survived. It was fun to see where he works. Here's a picture of his back that I took and sent to him while I was trying to figure out where to park.

I'll post about the OMSI later. I told Grandma I was coming down to pack, so I should get to that! It was kind of silly to come down for one day, but we've had a good time! It's nice to be with Daddy!

FWD:Katy is having lots of fun at the OMSI!

Katy is having lots of fun at the OMSI!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Big One Point Five!

Katy is now 1 1/2! Yay! The 18 month milestone is such an exciting one - time for Nursery! I'll blog about that on Sunday after we give it a shot!

She seems to think she turned two though. Today on the way home from getting David at the bus stop I said "You need to hold my hand so you don't fall down in the mud." She started shaking her head very determinidly (is that a word?). So I asked her "Do you want to fall down in the mud?" And she said "Yeth" just as clear as can be. I didn't push the issue, and luckily she didn't fall down. Silly little Goo!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

anyone want to analyze this dream?

I just suddenly remembered the dream I had last night, and I have to post it. It's just really random & funny!

Mitt Romney was president of the US. I ran into him somewhere, but where is kind of fuzzy. I think it might have been just walking around our neighborhood (but not our real neighborhood, just our neighborhood in my dream). He came to our house to hang out with us (I'm 90% sure Dan was there). Then he started flirting with me & put his arm around me (with Dan there, apparently not caring)! Then his presidential duties called him away.

Then we were at some polar bear swim, just watching other people do it. Only they had to actually swim a pretty far ways in water with chunks of ice in it, not just take a quick dip. Oh, and Joe & Mary Ann LeDosquet were there (haven't seen them since high school I think), and I had to hug their daughter to make her stop crying. And Dan's friend Joey was there with his kids, but I don't think his fiancee was there. And I don't remember my kids being there.

So, any psychologists out there want to analyze that for me? I promise I don't have a secret crush on Mitt Romney.