Monday, April 27, 2009

Assorted April

I just uploaded waaaaay too many pictures to bother arranging them chronologically, so instead I present you with a disjointed, scatterbrained partial-summary of our recent doings.

Here is my dream bedroom, maybe minus the wallpaper, but even that is growing on me. If I ever have unlimited resources I will, like I do with all my crafting projects, point-blank copy every angle of this room, thank you very much IKEA.

Saturday for Kyle's birthday, while Kjerstin and her roomie magnanimously took the kids to Thanksgiving Point's baby farm animal birthday party (pictured somewhere in this post), Kyle and I carpe diem-ed our way to Tucanos, a deliciously carnivorous Brazilian grill buffet. Kyle had never been and I only once, but they actually give an entire free birthday meal that we were not about to miss. That piece of meat on my fork there left absolutely nothing left to desire. I seriously can't describe it. It was like it was marinated in the most juicy, flavorful, and yet positively simple sauce... like maybe meat juice? See, shouldn't have tried to describe it.

We consumed our monthly allowance of protein and waddled out of there supremely satisfied. Actually, my real train of thought was something like, "You know, I could stuff more food in... so I should, right? Am I shaming my mother by walking out on a buffet with my pants still buttoned?"

I know, I know, fruit cake for a birthday? Kyle wanted a ukulele for his birthday, but that wasn't gonna happen, so I thought I'd try to appease him with a cake-u-lele. I put butter and brown sugar at the bottom of the pan so it'd be all ukulele-colored when I flipped it, but it never ended up coming out of the pan. Flat out refused, even with the whole stick of butter down there. I'd already sliced off the cake top to flatten it, so frosting it became a disaster, and so ukulele-less fruit cake it became.

Thanks to the 72-hour emergency kit in Kjerstin's car, these candles found fire. Erik was a little nervous about all the flames. Good thing he's only got two to fret over with his upcoming cake.

A little later our ward friends L & D came over with their three uber-duber cute boys. Ellie chased C around trying to hug him for a good while. It starts...

Not sure what's up with this new vampire face.

Today's first attempt at craftiness turned into 30 seconds of messy entertainment for the kids and me completing the project. Sometime I think I should just stick to crayons. Those hairy balloons are actually supposed to get popped and the yarn flipped over, transforming into beautiful, even functional(!) birdie nests. I'm about 98% sure that they'll just collapse into heaps of gooey yarn, so I'm choosing NOT to pop the balloons for a little while, just until I'm over the high expectations I had for this project.

Attempt #2 at crafting went much better, with Ellie piecing together this sweet little blossom tree,

and Erik turning out this work of art. Actually he was only interested in gluing on the tree trunk, applying plenty of glue on top of the trunk, and then dropping the gluestick caps down the "slide" (stair banister), but this kept him entertained enough for me to nostalgically finish the tree. This was a beloved grade school art project of mine, after all.

I seriously didn't photograph this because I'm proud of my cleverness and/or craftiness. It's pretty pathetic, actually. I was going to chug the rest of our bottled water and do that whole sand and seashells and message in a bottle thing for Erik's party invitations, but then Kjerstin reminded me that Erik is only turning two and will hold no grudge if I, instead, spend $0 and 20 minutes cutting out something cheesy and simple like these jellyfish. You know how I love to make a bigger deal of things than they need to be, but here I recognized she was very right. As for going overboard on the rest of the birthday party, wait two weeks and you will see... as of yet, I have no intention of simplifying a thing. =)

Saturday after Easter we loved celebrating Easter again with the Williams, who delayed festivities until Miche and her kids' arrived from AZ. I haven't spent Easter at my parents' home since high school, and Ken and Marilyn have been wonderful to have us over for Easter all the years since (complete with egg hunt, even pre-children!). Marilyn always puts together the cutest baskets, chalk full of pasteled splendor. I can hardly believe Michelle and I are about to have our 6th child together, separately. You know. We were hopeless and helpless little freshies at BYU only seven short years ago. Actually, that seems like forever ago. I'm so happy she decided to copy me and also have a girl and then two boys so we can force the six of them to be best friends.

The other week Erik "tried on" my glasses while I was taking a little snooze on the floor, I mean responsibly attending to my children, and now I only have working contact lenses to my name. It was time he get his own pair to destroy.

Erik collected a grand total of two eggs during the hunt and Asher needed a whole cheer squad directing him in order to collect his bucket of loot, but the competition was fierce between Kimberley and Ellie.

But not too fierce to foster any hard feelings. They both walked out of that yard two pounds in chocolate richer, after all. Oh yeah, Marilyn bought the girls matching dresses when we moved to UT in January, not at all with the expectation that they'd ever get to wear them together. Life surprises me with its kindness sometimes.

Easter dinner was fabulous, of course. The rolls that taste like whipped butter, the mashed yams that taste like thick, creamy butter, and the fresh fruit salad that doesn't taste like butter at all but is just about as scrumptious as life gets.

So yeah, as you may have noticed, Michelle is back in the valley for a time while her house in Tucson sells and her hubby in Denver kills bugs. Reunion time! Na is regrettably out of here in a week or so, but we still had 4/5 of us in one room for an afternoon. We missed Cathi, but loved being together just like old times. Just like old times give or take six little munchkins, of course.

As a soon-to-be mother of three babies, I must rejoice in seemingly small accomplishments. For instance, last week Ellie was able to buckle herself into her car seat without assistance. The bottom part of the buckle had given her grief for some time. This means that after Charlie is born and Ellie is relegated (or promoted) to back row status, I will not need to climb in there after her to secure her. This development was worth eating out at Subway in honor of. (whoa, bad grammar there...) Plus, Ellie did explain, "When I'm resurrected I'll live in heaven with Jesus and then I'll tell Jesus, "I can buckle my seat belt all by myself!" and He will be so proud." As are we, Ellie.

I love Kjerstin. She makes my kids happy when I am too grumpy and/or lazy to do so. Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

Here I intended to capture one of those rare, magical moments in which the kids are peacefully collaborating on a common goal, such as reading "The Little Engine that Could," Erik's all-time fave piece of literature. Ellie's got it memorized and that makes my storytelling role a little easier. By the time I took this shot, however, Erik was about to rip the book from Ellie's hands. But maybe it was appropriately at the part where the little blue engine "tugged and pulled, and pulled and tugged..."

Okay so here's where our kids were while we gorged on juicy barbecued tenderloins at Tucanos. The report was that Erik would've been content to hang out with the farm life straight through the afternoon showers, but Ellie pretty much had her heart set on pony ride and pony ride only.

Horses were probably her close second, though.

I wasn't there, so I'm not positive that he wasn't just caught in the middle of a sneeze, but my educated guess is that Erik was stoked to meet a real sheep in real life. Sheep and sharks are where it's at in his book of awesomeness, right under yellow trucks and the colors brown and black.

You may have noticed that not a single craft (Tiff craft, that is) made it into this post. Don't worry, my crafting to-do list is alive and well, although my common cold immunities are not (perhaps Utah's seven month long winter is not helping???) and fetus has recently decided that he'd like me to get ten hours of sleep from now on out (including falling asleep time, that is), but if everything goes according to my crafty little plan, this weekend will be centered around crazy crafting madness. Time's a ticking, after all. If I have this baby as early as I did Ellie, a week from yesterday I will be the mother of three. Erik still needs his birthday party on the 9th, though, so I refuse to believe that will happen. I am determined to make it to June (so I am full term and can deliver at the birth center), although ideally no more than a day or two in. =)


SKISLN said...

Whew! After all the pictures and commentary I feel very brought-up-to-date. Also, next time you aren't allowed to go to Tucanos without me. Haven't been there since we moved from Provo. Saudades.

SKISLN said...

Also, that picture you took outside Tucanos? Check out the woman in the background--that's all-you-can-eat done right.

sara said...

I thought the same thing about the woman in the background of your Tucanos picture.
I love all your commentary and the picture updates. Sadly I don't take that many pictures so my posts aren't quite as exciting.
I can't wait to see baby!

Kallista said...

Wow, Tiff! Looks like you have been having fun. Happy Birthday, Kyle! That was so fun playing with your kids the other day the Williams. We need to get together again soon.

mmm.chocolate said...

Looks like good times Tif! So, what? Are we having our babies on the same day or something? I'm due the end of May (okay, technically June 1st), and, after my Dr. appt. today it looks like I'm probably headed as close to my due date as I've ever been (pre-term labor shots have done their job). So fun that we will be new mommies together! Two boys in a row is perfect. I thought you were having this baby at home. Let me know if you are ever coming up to my neck of the woods. I would love to see you! Unfortunately, I almost never, ever go to Provo. Maybe we can meet in the middle? Take care.

Marilyn said...

You really have a fun life. Glad we get to be part of it.

Tana said...

That's the bed & night stands we have except in the black brown! Now I'll finish reading the rest.

Tana said...

Great updates. They are getting so big - buckling her self, and eating with socks on hands. I wish we could see you more.

Bryce said...

This is the newest best Tiff post ever! Hahaha, "I could stuff more food I should, right?" Classic Goodwin moral dilemma. We have been cursed with frugality and appetites ;-)

"When I'm resurrected..."