Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Weekend in the Mountains

This weekend, . . .

my favorite moments included . . .

. . . driving through corridors of pine trees on the way to my parents' cabin.

. . . seeing signs of spring in the mountains: dogwoods blooming in the glens, light green new growth on the tips of spruce branches, pink fuzzy new oak leaves, and manzanita flowers that look like tiny pink balloons.  The Spanish broom was in bloom, too; I know it's technically an invasive weed, but I can't help being cheered by all those bright yellow blossoms.

. . . my dad proudly showing off the first dozen cherries he hopes to harvest from the trees he planted a few years ago.

. . . talking with my mom for hours.

. . . praying for help with a dilemma that was weighing on me, and having a solution come to my mind.

. . . seeing a chipmunk hunting for breakfast outside.  I grew up watching Chip and Dale cartoons, and since they had short tails I'm always a little surprised to see that the live version has a long tail.  I guess short tails were easier to animate.

. . . watching the big kids play with pinwheels.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Doggerel and Fabric Monsters

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . Anna biting my arm.  That little chipmunk has some serious teeth.

. . . shopping in a fabric store with three kids.  What was I thinking?

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . Phillip taking charge of the kids this morning so I could tackle the mountain of clutter on my desk. It felt good to toss a lot of things, take care of others, and get the rest more organized so I can deal with it in the coming days (maybe).

. . . using the word "doggerel" in context. It makes me feel sophisticated, even though my extemporaneous nursery rhymes are anything but.

. . . Anna making cute baby sounds.

. . . the big kids giving me hugs.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Introvert with a Jetpack

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . Daniel being Captain Crankypants this afternoon.  I finally put him down early for his nap, and he was out within a few minutes.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . playing Uno with the big kids.  They get so excited when they win (and let's face it--I do, too).

. . . sprinting to the laundry room with Daniel.  He laughed the whole way there and back.

. . . playing Jetpack Joyride with Phillip on his iPhone.

And another thing . . .

. . . I once heard someone define introverts not as people who dislike socializing or struggle to do it, but as people who prefer to recharge their batteries alone rather than in a social setting.  By that definition, I am definitely an introvert, and that can be tough as a parent because when I'm stressed I can't exactly ask the little people to give me half on hour of peaceful alone time (unless at least two of them are in bed--huzzah for nap time!).  I wonder if, when extroverted parents get stressed, they say, "I'm feeling grouchy and frustrated; let's all do something fun together to cheer ourselves up!"  It sounds delightful and even logical in principle, but in practice it's the last thing I feel like doing.  When the kids are in a pesky mood or I'm feeling overwhelmed, I sometimes wish I had a nanny so I could just say, "Take the reins for half an hour; I need to take a walk."

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Fireworks and Fairies

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . dropping Joy off at preschool and realizing we'd forgotten to bring our scooter for Wheel Day.  Fortunately the school is close to home, so I could hurry back with it before everyone went to the bike yard.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . taking a brisk walk with the little kids in the jogging stroller.

. . . playing Uno with Daniel.

. . . perusing Joy's daily batch of school artwork, and finding a fire truck picture with some adult handwriting on it.  Apparently the teacher had asked each student their thoughts on fire trucks, then recorded their words verbatim.  Joy's quote read: "I can tell you about fireworks and fairies, but not about fire trucks."  You can bet I'm saving that one for posterity.

. . . having a relaxing afternoon while Joy played with friends and the little kids took long naps.

. . . hugging my husband.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Pumpkin Bowling and Light Sabers

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . my attempts at an afternoon nap being repeatedly foiled by Joy and my phone.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . spending some relaxing time perusing Pinterest after the kids went to bed.  I found some fun Halloween ideas to revisit in a few months.

. . . reading Rachel's Mother's Day post.

. . . cuddling Anna.

. . . having the missionaries over to dinner.  One elder shared some good ideas for setting family goals.  He also showed us how to take pictures with our toy light saber that make it look real.  Awesome.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Baptism and Birthday Land

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . attending the baptism of our neighbors' son.  He's a sweet little guy, and it was heart-warming to be there with his family as he made that commitment to God.

. . . stopping by that family's home later, and seeing how they had decorated for his big family birthday party.  He likes to draw imaginary creatures, and his mom had covered the walls with butcher paper and painted big versions of his creations on hills and in trees.  It was awesome to see both his creativity and her love in bringing it to life.

. . . talking with my husband as I washed the dishes.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Jupiter and Picture Frames

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . selling a bunch of stuff at the annual garage sale in my parents' neighborhood.  As mom put it, people were taking away our junk and paying for the privilege.  They didn't pay much, but at the end of the day if I have more money and less clutter than I did yesterday then I can't complain.

. . . going to lunch with my mom.

. . . hugging Joy.

. . . having a friend visit from out of town.

. . . finally getting a few pictures framed for the kids' room.

. . . watching Anna snooze peacefully in her crib.

. . . listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing "The Iron Rod" arranged to the tune of Holst's Jupiter (one of my favorite songs).  They sang it at the beginning of the October 2005 Sunday afternoon session of General Conference.  Love it.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Butterflies and Dessert

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . sticking some big, painted butterflies on our front door.  The kids painted them, and the colors make me happy.

. . . visiting my family with the girls while the menfolk went on a Fathers and Sons campout.

And another thing . . .

. . .  when Mom served cupcakes after dinner, Joy asked why Grandma always serves dessert.  At home we usually eat treats in the afternoon, rarely after dinner.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Raspberries and Pink Polish

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . Anna blowing raspberries while I'm trying to feed her pureed carrots.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . talking with my husband about his day.

. . . getting my hair cut.  It's fun to see something a little different in the mirror.

. . . Joy running downstairs to show me the pink polish our neighbor had put on her fingernails.  It was  cute to see her so excited, and I was touched that she came down just to show me.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Playtime and a Salesman

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . a door-to-door salesman who refused to take "no" for an answer.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . lots of one-on-one playtime and cuddletime with Anna while Brother slept in and Daddy took Big Sister to school.

. . . playing Uno with Daniel.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Logistics and a Symphony

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . Phillip having a packed schedule and automotive trouble on a day when I was bone weary and desperately wanted a break.  Some days you just have to pray and keep plodding.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . reading this comic.

. . . my kids giving me hugs.  I think they could tell I needed them.

. . . eating half the giant Symphony bar the Elders' Quorum gave each of the mothers (past, current, and prospective) at church on Sunday.

And another thing . . .

What Joy said this afternoon: "Can we go swimming?"

What her mom heard: "Hey there--I know you're feeling stressed and overwhelmed with all the scores of things you have to do today, but how about you add in wrestling four people (yourself included) into swimsuits, then spending an hour making sure they don't drown (none of my kids can swim without floaties), break a collarbone running on slippery cement (I know a guy who did this), or get sunburned and lay the foundation for skin cancer?  Oh yeah, and you'll have to wrestle all of us back out of swimsuits when we're done, which will be harder 'cuz we'll be wet." Sigh--it's hard to be spontaneous and fun when you're staring down the barrel of all those logistics.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Big Hug and a Bug Bite

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . enduring a persistent bug bite.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . Daniel giving me a big hug.

. . . lying on a towel with Anna while the big kids played tag with a neighbor.

. . . seeing my husband smile.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . Phillip making Mother's Day French Toast and some banana orange juice.

. . . the Primary kids singing Mother's Day songs in church.  They sang a couple old standbys, then a Mother's Day variation on "Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree."  I enjoy the familiar songs, but it was fun to have a little surprise, too.  Joy had learned it so well that she sang it for Pink Grandma when we visited her this evening.

. . . picking and eating apricots off Grandma's tree.

. . . starting my new calling in the Primary.  I can tell it will be a little more chaotic than my previous calling in the Relief Society, but I suspect it will also be a lot more fun.

. . . hearing Joy offer the prayer in Primary.

. . . singing a Mother's Day song to my mom over the phone.

. . . Anna cuddles.

. . . husband hugs.

. . . rubbing Daniel's newly short hair.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Chickens, a Dachshund, and a Frisbee

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . watching Anna kick her feet when she's happy.

. . . seeing a cheerful little dachshund.  My grandma used to have two of them, and they always remind me of her.

. . . hanging out at the park with my family, blowing bubbles and tossing a Frisbee.

. . . my husband doing the dishes even though it's my turn.

And another thing . . .

. . . Why did the Hendricksons cross the road?  To get a closer look at five chickens in someone's yard while we were out for a walk.

Friday, May 11, 2012

A Razor Ride and an Empty Victory

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . Anna waking me up at 3:30am, then deciding that she didn't want to eat after all.  She went right back to sleep when I put her in bed, but for some bizarre reason I couldn't get back to sleep for two hours.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . zipping across town on Phillip's Razor to pick up our car from the mechanic while a neighbor watched my kids.  A pedestrian called out "Don't hurt yourself," as I whizzed past him on the sidewalk, and I cheerfully replied, "You, too!"

And another thing . . .

. . . Joy's preschool class recently submitted drawings of animals for a local library's "Be Kind to Animals" art display.  We got her drawing back today, with a blue paper ribbon attached saying she was a "Winner."  I asked Joy's teacher if all the drawings had "Winner" ribbons attached.  Sure enough, they all did.

I understand that the library is trying to praise the efforts of all budding artists, but it seems almost insulting to imply that every single person is a "Winner" regardless of skill or effort.  No wonder our country's performance and work ethic is flagging if we're so scared of hurting feelings that we don't teach kids that success requires effort, you don't instantly excel at everything you try, and you don't "win" just by showing up.

Stars and Annas

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . Phillip holding down the fort this morning so I could crawl back in bed for an hour.  Ah, blessed sleep.

. . . seeing lots of star jasmine blooming in the neighborhood.  It's fun to see all those little, white stars suddenly appearing where there was only nondescript greenery before.

. . . meeting a new missionary who just transferred to our ward.  This is his first area, and all the biking is wearing him out.

. . . finding out that the new missionary has a little sister named Anna.  Awww.

. . . eating ice cream and Ghirardelli brownies with my sweetie.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Leaf-watching and the Hokey Pokey

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . tabloids blaring gossip at me in the grocery store check-out line.  Why is Kardashian drama of any interest to people outside that family? Sigh.  Yet another thing I love about Trader Joe's is that they have no tabloids by the cash registers.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . laying on the lawn with Anna, as she happily kicked the grass and watched the leaves blow overhead.

. . . chatting with a neighbor.

. . . tooling around the pool on a scooter while the big kids rode their bikes.  Huzzah for fresh air and exercise.

. . . dancing the Hokey Pokey together for our home evening activity.  Good fun for all ages.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Apples and Roses

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . our blender finally giving up the ghost after over a decade of service.  We had to use the immersion blender to finish making our smoothie.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . seeing some vibrant, red-and-white striped roses blooming like crazy while the little kids and I were out for a walk.  I think the variety is called Fourth of July.

. . . passing a little, espaliered apple tree, and noticing from its ID tag that it is an Anna Apple, which I later learned is a variety that requires few chill hours to produce fruit.  If we settle in a warm climate, I may just have to plant an Anna Apple for little Anna.

Holding My Head High

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . getting my neck fixed this morning.  My muscles are still sore, but at least things are straightened out and on the mend.

And another thing . . .

. . . my sore neck sapped my energy and motivation yesterday, so I spent the evening reading Princess Academy.  When I finally went to bed I couldn't fall asleep, so I eventually just got back up and finished the book.  I enjoyed it, and it got me thinking about something my mother-in-law once said.  She commented that she prefers to read young adult fiction, because it tends to be clean, inspiring stories of people cultivating the best in themselves.  The more I read these days, the more I find myself agreeing with her.  It's nice to read something that pushes the envelope upward rather than downward.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

A Concert and a Prayer

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . Anna waking up an hour early.  Groan.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . helping out at Joy's class today.  Two of the girls gave us an impromptu concert on the patio, performing the Alphabet Song and Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star (which, conveniently, are sung to the same tune).

. . . Joy praying that my neck would feel better.  It's still pretty sore and I think I need a follow-up adjustment, but my daughter's prayer helped.  So did hugs from the big kids.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Bees and a Dive

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . getting worked over by the chiropractor.  Carrying a baby around all the time really pulls things out of place.

. . . Calamity Joe taking a dive off our spinning desk chair (which his mother has warned him not to stand on countless times).  I wasn't in the room when my son went down, but I could instantly tell that I was hearing an "I'm injured!!" cry and not just a fussy "I'm bummed" cry.  His bloody lip wasn't pretty, but it should heal without medical intervention.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . watching lots of bees buzzing around a flowering bush, their fuzzy bodies dusty with pollen.

. . . husband hugs.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Pain in the Neck

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . lots of neck pain.  Every now and then, when I crane my neck to the left at just the right angle to kiss a baby I'm holding, I feel something shift out of place and I know I'm in for a sore neck until I get to my chiropractor.  Good thing his office opens early tomorrow.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . Daniel making Anna laugh by throwing a stuffed dog up in the air.  It was fun to hear her crack up each time he did it.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Lassi, Catch, and Hugs

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . tossing a ball around with Daniel.

. . . Anna hugging me back when I picked her up from her crib and held her close.  I love when she does that.

. . . blending up a strawberry lassi to share with the kids.  Yum.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Goose and the Pawn that Roared

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . playing chess with Joy.

. . . cuddling Anna.

. . . singing "Irish Blues" to Daniel; it's the easiest way to get him to hold still when I'm changing his clothes.

. . . playing Duck, Duck, Goose! for our home evening activity.  We invited some neighbor boys to join us, and one kid got such a kick out of being "it" that he just went around and around without ever saying "goose."  After he "ducked" me for the seventh time I tapped his back and said, "Goose!"  He stopped in his tracks, trying to figure out what had just happened and whether he needed to start running.  When he realized I was just teasing him, we all had a good laugh.

And another thing . . .

. . . when Joy got up this morning, the very first thing she did was walk over to our chess set and start playing against herself.  She always makes the white team stomp the daylights out of the brown team.  This afternoon I played a few games with her and in our first match she checkmated me in about ten moves using a measly little pawn.  After that embarrassing debacle I paid more attention and won the next two games.  Phillip then played a match with her, and though he won he acknowledged that she has made a lot of progress.