Friday, December 23, 2011

Our Christmas Tree

When I was little, my mom would get a different ornament for me and my sisters every year. She usually tried to make them relate to the past year - the year I worked as a junior tour guide
at the museum, my ornament was a dinosaur with Christmas lights on him. This was a tradition I loved and wanted to pass on to my own kids. After a few years of trying to find ornaments that were 'special', I met Jodie, a lovely woman in our ward who is an amazing artist. Each December she has a get-together at her home where she teaches you to sculpt things from polymer clay. People do nativity scenes and ornaments and all kinds of things. So each year I make a special ornament for each of my children. Some are holiday-themed (angels and snowmen) and some are specific to each child (Dash is totally into zombies this year so he got a zombie elf). Violet has even started making some of her own (the red-gowned lady and the snowman with broomstick arms are hers).

So this is our tree. It is small and kind of sparsly-branched, but it will never crush any climby babies who try to scale its modest heights. It will never stand as a model of amazing decoration and design, but so far no one has been able to harm themselves with any of the ornaments. The kids are proud of their creations and baby Smitty loves to re-decorate his lower half of the tree every day.

Monday, December 5, 2011

I wanted this for my Christmas card

But then I remembered that I had three kids. You know, instead of just this one.

So I didn't use this card.

But still....

It would have been good.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cooties and the like

I love fall. I do. The cooler weather, the decorations, the holidays and get-togethers and baking and everything good. Every year I get so excited for those first crisp, cool days that I totally forget what comes hand-in-hand with the cold.


And sore throats and coughs and sneezy sounds and every other bad thing. Stupid classes and stupid germs and stupid cold-weather cooped-up cooties anyhow.

After Joe and I spent a shivery, feverish, sleepless night and everyone stayed home from school the next day, I made a round of appointments for the pediatrician and I said, without thinking "I hope we all have strep throat". And Joe looked at me like I might have turned insane.

"Because" I went on as if this was making perfect sense to me, which it was "Then there will actually be Something Wrong with us all, instead of the vague 'probably a virus' diagnosis and there are actually antibiotics to take and we'll all be better".

It is perfectly reasonable, when you think about it.

So, after some taking-of-temperatures and some throat swabs and some wrenching-open-of-someone's-jaws (because the oldest, in spite of her cleverness, will never submit to any procedure, no matter how small, without a 5-star tantrum) it's official. We all have strep throat. Except the baby. He has a sinus infection.

We brought home a bag from the pharmacy that probably weighs as much as the baby, and Happy Meals for all. My dear, darling visiting teacher dropped off Sprite and popsicles. New Netflix movies arrived in the mail (a miracle!) I've confined everyone to the house for 48 hours to try and get better.

I've decided that sick days would be a better experience if you're not actually sick. I keep thinking that I'd like to sleep late, curl up by the fire and maybe crochet the remainder of Smitty's Christmas hat. Instead I lay awake all night trying not to swallow because of the cantaloupe-sized ball of ouch in my throat and wander around in a haze all day because none of the kids believe in sleeping in.

I decided to put a bit more effort into today, so instead of slouching around in Joe's pajama pants all day, I showered, put on an entirely new pair of Joe's pajama bottoms and crammed my contacts into my eyes because Smitty doesn't recognize me in glasses. Also I washed everyone's sheets, applied disinfectant spray to the house with a crop-duster.

Have you actually made it to the end of this post? Well, here's hoping that tomorrow will contain more wellness and less annoying illness than today.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

To my Scrabble girls

For a while, I was doing really good at keeping up with a few Words With Friends games. And then this guy, Smitty McSmitten Mittens, discovered that he too, loves that iPod.

And if you think you're going to play a great word, or maybe toss an angry bird or two, you are confronted with this.

Oh! The iPod? Are we going to play Peekaboo Barn now for the maybe three millionth time?

Do you think it will be the sheep? Or the rooster? Or maybe even the dog! We must know!

And then you think to yourself how heart-meltingly cute his little giggle is when he hears the kid say "peekaboo barn" and you absolutely and completely give in to him, every single time.

And you lose all your Scrabble games.

This is me not caring

On kid #3, sometimes you flatter yourself that you are starting to figure things out. Then you get slapped in the face with (yet another) thing you failed to consider.

Holiday decorations and a pre-walking munchkin bent on terror and destruction, for example.

I left the nice nativity sadly tucked away in its box.

I put up the little tree which will, probably, most likely, I tell myself, not crush any little someones when they pull it over on themselves.

With the shatter-proof ornaments, because my kids have been known to eat tree-related holiday decor and, you know, safety first!

And the old, old, like from our haunted house old, gold garland.

And told the type-A part of my self that it's perfectly fine and everything will survive and he'll eventually lose interest and next year we can trust him with more of the decorations out.

Which is, I'm almost pretty sure, totally what's going to happen.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Apps for kids

In the last week I've been on a quest to find good apps for the Smittens. He loves the iPod but how much Plants vs. Zombies does he need to play? So I've been browsing interactive games and books for little kids. What I've found is that a lot of them have
a. super annoying voices
b. lame graphics (this bothers me... a lot)
c. ways to make you (or the kids) "accidentally" buy more stuff

Grrrr, right?

So in the middle of my quest, guess what happened? My friend released an app.

How often do you get to say this? Let's say it again.

My friend just released an app.


And it's a totally great one for little kids - counting, letters, shapes, colors, all in these interactive little games. Love it.

Oh, and did I mention that it's totally beautiful?

So yes, totally check it out! Click here or search for Make it Pop in the app store.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Wreath

Maybe I've mentioned how much I love Pintrest. Everything I see on there is beautiful, so fun, so ImustmakethatRIGHTNOW! Exclamation point!

My husband has been gone the entire weekend and the kids expressed a desire to sit around and make Halloween decorations. Well, the oldest wanted to make Halloween decorations. The middle child declared his intentions to play video games for several hours (whatever, dude) and the baby said "I'll go along with anything as long as I don't have to be strapped in a seat. And make sure there are snacks. Also check out how my language skills have progressed."

So after a quick trip to the craft store, an iPod loaded with Bartelby's Book of Buttons and quantities of Apple Jacks scattered on the floor, this was our first finished creation.

It's not technically a Halloween decoration. I already have one of those that I love. But this one will be perfect for fall AND I needed to use up some of this $1.50/yd grey fabric I've had laying in my work basket for 3 months. It will just have to wait for Nov. 1 to be put up for Thanksgiving.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

On being nine months old

When you are only nine months old
The world is on your string
There's things to climb
People to slime
A single tear earns snuggle time
Your mother makes up silly rhymes
When you are nine months old.

Oh clever little nine months old
Every thing a toy
A lock of hair
A rock to share
An empty box, a joy
Your world is full of things to eat
A toe or two will taste so sweet
A phone can be a scrumptious treat
When you are nine months old.

Exploring little nine months old
New wonders to behold
To climb the chairs
And scale the stairs
The fridge's heights
Hold new delights
And treasures yet untold
From far across the kitchen floors
To bang the pots and climb the drawers
There's springy things behind the doors!
The cupboards are the place to play
Who locked these darn things anyway?
Yet on we go, come what may
For we are nine months old.

When you are but nine months old
There are things that get you down
Your delicious sticky face is wiped
Your treasures and your toys are swiped
Your tantrums quelled
Your bum is smelled
Tasty tidbits are withheld
Without your saying so, you see
There isn't any dignity
In being nine months old.

When you are only nine months old
'Mama's boy' is no bad thing
For too soon, they all will say
10 months will be on its way
And we will look back on the day
When you were nine months old.

And when someday you stand alone
Out of my arms and on your own
All owies patched and tears been dried
Though I'm filled with mother's pride
To my secret heart inside
You'll still be nine months old.

Friday, September 30, 2011

School pictures

School pictures just get more and more expensive, ya know? This year's price increase was the breaking point - I decided to take them myself (actually, I let Jenny talk me into taking them myself - she's the best). I even ordered prints and wallets and the whole thing. I guess we won't get a class picture, but I can live with that.

And hey, what do you NOT get with the chicken man's school pictures?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

An 8 month Smit

Smit 8.0 is so wildly different from all previous versions - by the end of this post you'll be running out to get your own!

Your 8 Month Smitty comes with a variety of New & Improved features!

-Crawls, scoots and pulls up.
-Loves to hip-ride. He clings to me, baby-koala-like, one hand wrapped in my shirt collar and the foot behind me kicking away contentedly.
-Is compatible with all fruits, vegetables, meats, grains - all foods and treats in general.
-Comes with a fascination with the electrical outlet covers.
-Has a love-hate relationship with Joe's hat. He grabs the brim in both chubby fists, talks to it animatedly then loses his temper and tries to take a big slobbery chomp out of it. Joe says his viewpoint of the experience is quite unique.
-Eats cheerios, puffed cereal and bits of cracker by rolling his drooly fist in the pile, sucking the bits and crumbs off and starting over.
-Has a lot to say, (translation book sold separately)
-Loves Baby Einstein and Sesame Street videos (manamana... doo dooooo do do do).

Bugs in Smit 8.0

-Nursing is a little more high-energy with increased levels of arm-waving, hair-pulling, foot-kicking, pulling, nipping and general distractedness.
-If your Smitty is not fed promptly and fast enough, it will develop (between bites) a high-pitched yowl that will grow into a piercing shriek unless the problem is remedied.
-A mean old tooth is trying to work its way in, causing night-waking and general crankiness (a temporary patch is available in the form of frozen mangoes and bananas.)

Monday, August 29, 2011

It had to happen someday

Yesterday I told someone that baby Smittins did not, at all, for any reason, crawl.

Thanks for making a liar out of me dude.

Fortunately, we've started construction on his prison.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

7 months is made of...

1 part chunk-style thighs

3 parts toothless, milky grins

2 parts longing to be bigger

15 parts popsicle-snatching stickyness

1 part splashy bathtime clean

2 parts sad and frowny

5 parts super-sidekick

3 parts bouncy sleepyhead

7 parts pinchy pinchy bums

1 part future technological genius

4 parts mischief-making kitten

Fold together gently with plenty of hugs, a splash of kisses and enjoy.