Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Monday, May 17, 2010

Turtle Spider

So, many of you know that our pet, adorable Teancum the turtle, resides in a comfortable gray $5 tub from Walmart next to our fireplace.
During lunch today, I found a terrible black and red spider that had dropped in the tub for an afternoon swim. Distracted by the heat lamp, Teancum didn't notice Spider chillaxing over there in the corner, doing a little spider dance right on top of the water.

I thought, “Oh, yeah! I bet T will love to eat that!” (He loves to eat bugs and other small creatures we find outside.)

Then I thought, “Oh snap! If he eats that thing, maybe he’ll die!

Then I thought, I don’t think Ellie could take another tragic aquatic pet death. (RIP Gigi the tadpole and Ffff the beta fish...)

I had to think fast because Tiffany and the kids had stepped away for a moment--now was my only chance to act. After determining that the risks outweigh the awesomeness of watching Teancum eat Spider for lunch, I found an old can in the trash, stuck my hand in the depths of nastiness to scoop it out, and smashed Spider with a hammer! (But, by "hammer," I actually mean "summer sausage wrapper.")

I bravehart, man. I am.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Deep thoughts by E & E

That little quote corner at the bottom of my sidebar very much resembles many corners of my life. A little cluttered and a lot neglected. But eventually, I will get around to everything. Tonight, I am getting around to these. Just for the archives, here are quotes from that time we lived in China, and more recent ones follow.

"Mom, Didi is my brudder. And you are my mudder. And Didi is your son. And you are my child."

"Mom, I like my chest. I like your chest, too."

"Mom, please turn over so you don't blow air in my face." (Even though she was the one crawling into MY bed in the middle of the night.)

"Ellie, when we go back to America, would you like to go to Dis-ney-laaaand?"
"No, I want to go to church."

"Mom, hurry eat your sandwich before a shark eats it!"

(while stripping his pants for a bath) "Oh Didi, cute feet, cute legs, cute knees! You're so cute I wanna DIET!"

"Ellie, what do you like to do?"
"Dance! In a pretty dress!" [little shimmy]
"Oh, and how do you dance?"
"..... pretty good!"

"Heavenly Father, thankful for my pasta, Didi's pasta, Mommy's pasta... Name-a-Jesus Christ, Amen. . . OH NO! My Jesus! Heavenly Father, thankful for my Jesus. Name-a-Jesus Christ, Amen."

"Ellie, would you like to take a bubble bath, like Ernie?"
"Yes. Maybe someday."

"Mom, I can't close the door! Your bum is too fat!"

"I not can know how-a talk."

"I wanna be a baby bird and live in a nest in a chocolate egg."

[anytime while naked...] "My BUM! It's so cute!"

I realize a lot of these aren't funny without full context, or without hearing the intonation and pronunciation, or without knowing these kids, or without being utterly obsessed and enamored with them. Okay, moving on....

El: (coming down the stairs without taking a nap, in melancholy tone) Mommy, I want a bad consequence.

Kyle laid down with Ellie at naptime but after a while she still didn't sleep so he got up to go and she said, "Daddy, you're like the Holy Ghost. When I'm good, you stay near and when I'm bad, you go far away."

El: (blowing seeds off stem of a dandelion weed) I wish I wish with all my might to clean up my room!

El: (having a meltdown while going potty before a nap) is it broken? (about the towel rack)
Ky: yes
El: (crying) now we can't live here anymore!

Ellie was saying the bedtime family prayer, leaning over Erik's bed, who was upset because HE wanted to say the prayer...
El: Dear Heavenly Father... grateful for [this and that], grateful for Erik (then he starts hitting her on the head), he's not being very nice right now, grateful for Grandma, [etc.].

El: (about Erik who had pizza sauce on both sides of his mouth) Erik has two things on his mouth so he looks like a beaver!

T: I sure love that Erik boy
Er: (wistfully) yeah, me too

El: (singing quickly to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star) ya-ya-ya-ya-ya-ya-ya, you are baptized I am not!

El: Erik will you share your fruit roll-up with me-- yes or no?
Er: no!
El: Erik will you share it with me-- yes or no?
Er: no!
El: Erik, will you share it with me-- yes or dance?
(after this we gave the kids that option-- yes or dance-- for a while, so at least we got some entertainment if they didn't choose yes)

ALL the time,
Er: where my bat-guy? (batman figurine)
Er: No! I do it my-by-felf!

In light of Erik's recent fascination with superheroes, Ellie assigned superpowers to the family in our house:
Daddy- run really fast
Ellie- do flips
Erik- break people out of jail
Grandma- if people need $, she gives them $
Aunt Mish- if people are hungry, she goes to the store to buy food for them
Mommy- give people puzzles
Uncle Bob- doesn't have a super power; he's the bad guy trying to destroy the world
Charlie- eat fat milk

Ellie's dinner prayer included emphatic declarations of gratitude such as,
-I'm SO grateful that there are so many kids who know me, and love me
-I'm SO grateful our family loves each other so much
-I'm SO grateful tomorrow's my birthday party-- (big sigh)-- I'm so filled with joy!
-I'm SO grateful me and Carter are getting married

Playing hide-and-seek, Erik was the seeker but only counted to one before hunting out Ellie. When I asked him why he didn't count to ten,
Er: because I'm lazy


El: (about her tadpole, who died shortly thereafter) Her name is Gigi, and she will always be alive.

El: I'm so smart, my brain spins around and round in my head!

El: Let's play Mom and Dad! I'll be your aunt, Mama.
Er: and I'll be your grasshopper.

El: I know some people followed Satan.
Er: I know Daddy has a beard like Jesus. (actually he doesn't)


While Ellie's making goo-goo faces at Char while Kyle holds him,
T: I can't believe after six months Ellie is still doting over Charlie.
Mish: You're still doting over him.
T: Yes, but I've had many years to learn to care about someone more than myself.
Kyle gets up with Char and walks away.
El: Oh Char, I miss you!

GPS: Take [the] exit and bear left.
T: Bear left? What does that mean?
El: What they're trying to say is turn left and then look very carefully for a picture of a bear.

Carter: (as he's leaving) Remember you're going to marry me-- okay?
El: ...(long pause)... maybe. Bye!
Later I inquired and she said,
El: I'll wait and see if someone else wants to marry me first.

Er: (while stacking odd-shaped toys in front of the dresser to reach Kyle's bag of tortilla chips) I need spicy chips... because I have a beard.

El: Nobody is best-er than my baby brother in the whole wide world!

El: Aunt Mish, will Teancum (pet turtle) die at Christmas?
M: No, why?
El: Because Christmas is a long time away.

Er: (out of the unrelated blue) Does Holden eat asparagus?

El: (whispering to Mom after Dad left the room) Tomorrow I'm going to give Daddy LOVE. Shhhh! Don't tell him because it's his Christmas present!

T: Can I have a taste of your ice cream?
Er: Umm, uh, sure! That's so nice of me!

El: We ate mini hot dogs, but they're not shaped like Minnie Mouse.


T: what did you learn in primary today?
El: to follow Jesus
T: how do we do that?
El: by doing what He asks us to
T: right, like what?
El: like if He asks us to build a bridge, we do it! But He doesn't ask me to because I'm too small.
T: then what does Jesus ask YOU to do?
El: (thinks for a minute)... be cute!

As Charlie's screaming, Erik starts in, too.
Er: Charlie makes me cry because... I'm Erik!

Er: (in crazy expressive voice) Charlie's a NOODLE! I need to EAT the noodle!

T: whatever happened to eating five fruits and vegetables every day?
El: not every day, every month!

El: we're running away... to the Promised Land!

About meeting Snow White,
T: Did you get to talk to Snow White?
El: yeah, she's pretty nice. Pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty nice.

El: Here's a bite of my eggs, Erik. That's how much I love Erik.
T: You love him one-bite-of-eggs worth?
El: I love him 51 pieces of my eggs. This small, teeny piece-- look, Mom, this little crumb-- that's how we count Erik's love for me.

Erik is a natural at the game Props, in which you take an odd-shaped object and, in charades fashion, act out a scene pretending it's something else. He applies this game to life. In the past hour he's vacuumed the room with a crib mobile, played baseball with a crib pole and balloon, worn a net for a hat, and zoomed Memory game tiles as cars along an elephant trunk track.

K: What can we do to have healthy bodies?
Er: We don't want crying carrots in our house because they're rude to the carrots.

My son, the contrarian...
T: you went pee pee in the potty? I'm so proud of you!
Er: not proud of myself

T: You don't have to say 'no' to everything. It's fun to be positive. Being positive makes me happy!
Er: No, being happy makes me sad.

T: Can you go cheer up Daddy? I think he needs some Ellie love.
El: (goes over to his room and says to Kyle) I love you, you're the greatest dad ever! Do you know what I love best about you? All of your hugs.
K: why?
El: when you hug me, my heart beats SO fast in love!
El: (runs back to me and says) Mom, know what I said to Daddy? I told him he's the best dad ever. However, I have TWO dads. (Heavenly Father) But I cheered him up!
She really did.

El: (pretending to be Erik's aunt) I want to get married but I know a boy has to ask me, but I ran through the whole town trying to find a boy to marry me, but everyone was asleep! (sigh of exasperation)

Er: (calmly, while we're driving out of Costco parking lot) Mmmm, this water tastes good but can you strap me in? (this is notable because usually he's full out tantruming if I forget to strap him in)

T: ...and maybe leprechauns will leave us some candy!
Er: yeah and maybe the leprechauns will wear leprechaun undies and go on the leprechaun potty and get leprechaun candy!

El: Hey Dad!
K: yeah?
El: you know what?
K: what?
El: when I hurt you, I still love you!

El: Daddy is Dad's hero.

Er: (while eating yogurt) I want something else to eat that's good. But not broccoli.

El: These are my babies. His name is Kelntson...
T: Kelson?
El: No, Kelntson
T: Keltson?
El: NO, Kelntson!
T: Oh, Kelntson.
El: and this is Zelntson.
T: and you are the Momelntson?
El: No, I'm Sally.

El: Erik, blow your nose and then kiss me!
Er: No no, I'm a mean one. Mr. Grinch.

El: Dad, do dogs lay puppies in the spring?

Er: No no, I'm making this to save our tummies from the cwah-da-diles and the shocks. (crocodiles and sharks)

El: (trying to distract Char as he's climbing on Kyle and clawing his face) Charlie, here's a tiger to defeat.

T: we're having the missionaries for dinner.
Er: Ewwwww! Missionaries are yucky! (to eat)

K: Erik, what job do you want to do when you grow up?
Er: I want to play a drum
K: you want to be a drummer?
Er: yes, and you will play your guitar. Pretend I have a lot of money and I buyed a drum!

Er: (while I'm cleaning or doing something unrelated) Mama, you are so reverent to share your (imaginary) hot chocolate with Heavenly Father and your friends.

K: You disobeyed so I have to take away your Polly Pockets.
El: No, not Polly Pockets! I wanted you to take away my carrots! (stuffed carrots serving as Easter decor in the living room)

El: (while I'm using a plastic flower pot to shovel) is that your dirt shovel?
T: No, but we don't have a shovel so I'm just using this.
El: Oh, so we don't have dirt shovels in THIS life?

El: (looking in my dresser drawer) Mom is this ALL your underwear?
T: yep
El: and this? and this?
T: yep
El: you have a LOT of underwear, Mom.
T: thanks
El: yeah, it's not nice to say, "you don't have a lot of underwear"

Ellie telling Daddy how we threw pennies in a fountain today,
El: but we can't tell you what we wished or it won't come true
Er: (in low whisper, only to me) I want to tell you what I wished for
I smile and lean my ear closer
Er: I wished that I could frow (throw) a penny in the fountain.

El: (while eating dinner) this is like the sacrament, cuz we get to EAT!

After telling her the Easter dinner menu for tomorrow,
El: That's a lot of dinner to make-- you need a servant!
T: yes I do!
El: The servant is me.

Aunt Mish attending General Conference live
T: We should look for Aunt Mish on tv, but we probably won't see her because there are so many people.
El: But we will if she comes up and buries her testimony!

El: Charlie bit my finger!

El: Charlie took his pants off! Look at how cute it is!

Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Iz comes on the radio,
Er: I don't like this song. It's scary. Can we go to other ones?
T: Yes, but it's not scary. It's about rainbows. Are you scared of rainbows?
Er: No, just mean, talking rainbows.

El: Mom, the Polly Pocket shoe fell down the vent.
T: Oh, too bad. I guess it's gone forever.
Er: yeah, because if we go down there our undies will get dirty.

El: I'm from Europe.
Er: Yeah, and I'm from Syrup!

T: what was your favorite animal at the museum?
Er: the cat
T: the bobcat?
Er: yeah, the bobcat eating the turkey, because (singing) "everybody wants to be a cat!" (from Disney's Aristocats)

Er: Ma, can you open it? I'm not stronger enough, but you're stronger like Superman!

El: (singing) M-O-I-P-X-A-P-H-I... Gastooooooooon!

El: (first time she's ever asked this) Daddy, when are you going to get a new job?
K: good question
T: why do you want Daddy to get a new job?
El: so I can see him every day at dinner. (she already does)
Er: you ALWAYS want Daddy to get a new job!

El: You know what, sometimes I talk to my "spirit friends." You can't see them, but you can talk to them!

Er: When I turn three, I will go back to potty school. (with tone of resignation) Here we go again!

Er: (naming who went on Noah's ark) two elephants, two rattlesnakes, two guitars, two missionaries, two eyeballs, two Erik's -- wait a minute! Not two Erik's! (this was inspired by Grandpa's telling of the story)

T: Char, why do you think it's okay to scream like that? Because of your cute face? Yeah, you're banking on it.
El: Bacon on it is the BEST!

El: (unloading silverware) I feel like I AM Cinderella!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Easter, etc.

Life is so fun. And as a yellow, that means life is good. I spent today at a wedding and reception and throwing a beautiful baby shower. I can't wait to post pics, but first, I bring you Easter 2010.

But really first, some assorted memories. Free night at the U vs. Y gymnastics meet. We made a special bedtime exception and brought the older kids (usually their bedtime is between 6 & 7, but before you get jealous, think about what time they must wake up in the morning, okay?).

Kyle doesn't think this is an impressive spread of dirty dishes, but I find it pretty silly that this is how my counter looks after neglecting the clean up of ONE meal. Not a whole day, but ONE meal. Can you imagine what it'd look (and smell) like if I took a whole day off? If only I could devise a way to get paid for rinsing and loading other people's dirty dishes...

My camera was in the process of dying as I took these two, and that's why no entire penguin actually made it in, just Ellie's scruffy ponytail and Erik's penguin hat. Erik had been anxiously awaiting the arrival of his favorite animal to our aquarium and spoke of nothing but Gentoo penguins for days.

Okay, here we go. We did the community egg hunt in the pool again this year, but unlike last year, our kids found themselves at the bottom of their age brackets, and came nowhere near to securing golden eggs, and even worse... well, take a look for yourself.

Ellie made good time to the play structure that was littered with eggs,

placed a single egg in her bucket,

and spilled it, after which it was promptly swiped.

She wasn't able to secure another single egg. It was pitiful. But she took it pretty well. Actually I was quite proud of her for cheerfully accepting failure.

Erik also missed the objective of egg hunts, wading through swarms of floating eggs without picking any up, headed straight for the jungle gym. Finally, the overbearing Asian mother in me could not be suppressed and I jumped in the pool coercing/encouraging him to snatch a few eggs before other overbearing parents beat us to them.

The post-pool chomp down was inspired by enormous burgers Kyle saw on Food Network being served in some sports bar somewhere and really nothing could stop him from trying his hand at 3/4+ lb burgers exploding with cheese.

I said I'd only eat half of one, but remember how I have no self control? Knowing full well this would add an entire inch to my waistline, I gobbled up an entire beast myself. Mmmm. (Pleasure mingled with regret.)

I tried my hand at Easter wreaths, again being so naive as to believe the kids could "help" me make one. Even if they could, did I forget that I still have an organized-activity-thwarting Charlie screeching around every turn? But I finished the peeps wreath later and from a distance, you can't even tell how many bear Erik-inflicted wounds of mutilation and impalement.

Windstorms rather destroyed this one, which is also mighty stinky as I used real moss. And then I bought a nice one at Joann on post-Easter clearance. So maybe this will find a nice corner of our garage to adorn in the future.

The Easter bunny this year was even cooler than Santa! That's because Kyle's mom felt bad about not sending a package (and I honestly hadn't given it a single thought) so sent oodles of money and insisted I spoil the kids with it. I didn't even pretend to resist. Being forced on a shopping spree I'm not funding is about the best thing I can think of.

By the way, contrary to his expression captured here, Erik super loves his boots to the max and wears them rain or shine. And he definitely has Goodwin feet because they are size 9 (he's a 5/6 in sandals) and they're barely wide enough.

We had the Porters over again for Easter this year, but unlike last year, Kjerstin and Mish were not preparing the feast by my side. Thank goodness it was conference weekend because it took six straight hours to pull it together.

I am looking at that dinner and wondering how on earth someone with two arms and ten fingers could take six hours to whip up four dishes, an appetizer, and a cake. But I tend to believe things take about a quarter of the time they actually do. Thus why I am four times later to scheduled events than expected.

A year ago I pledged my crafting honor to three commenters in this post. Almost within the generous parameter of time I was granted (one year), I sent off some homemade necklaces (and baby headbands).

But at the end of the day, rest assured that the pants-less pirate king will save the day

with a little love/smothering from his fairy god-sister.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

It happened again...

but unlike that old time, this time it was on purpose.

I'm trying to look like Rory. (wishful thinking, I know)

And Mish (but I don't have a pic of her new bangs yet).

And also, our stake had a women's conference this week and I attended classes about emergency preparedness, family finances, and prioritizing life's demands. Lots of room for improvement. Still, the resounding message I took away from the evening is to relax, and simply be okay with however I happen to be doing and whoever I happen to be. Can I just say that, in a world that cuts women only a little slack for falling short of perfection (which is still more slack than we cut ourselves), I am so very grateful to know that what I'm doing is enough. Who I am is enough. There will always always always be countless people better than me in whatever area I'm choosing to focus on, and that could be quite discouraging if I didn't already know that their awesomeness doesn't make a difference to me. Like my fa reminds, there is enough room in heaven for us all.

So dirty laundry is spilling out of every closet in my house. So I yelled at my kids today. So I don't like my nose. So I'm too cynical. So I covet people with a backyard and artistic ability and a baby that sleeps. So I wish I were funnier, smarter, skinnier, and sweeter. Doesn't mean I'm not making it to heaven. I'll try to be better. And that's perfection enough.