My inspiration for this record of my days:

“The biggest mistake I made [as a parent] is the one that most of us make. . . . I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of [my three children] sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages six, four, and one. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less” -Anna Quindlen

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The lucky recipient

Today I was the recipient of a lot of love.

It came in the form of Simon wanting to sit on my lap all morning.  He was smothering me with slobbery, snotty kisses.  And dirty fingers (with sharp nails) up my nose, in my ears, and gouging my eyes as he practiced identifying body parts.

It came in the farewell that I got from Jonah when I dropped him off at preschool.  He gave me a thumbs up and said “Good luck, Mom!”  before he closed the car door and ran through Miss Lori’s gate.

It came at the breakfast table when Caleb was telling me about his favorite part of the family Olympics that I organized for Family Home Evening.  And when Josh said that I was a “fun Mom.”

I felt the love when Savannah (with only slight prompting from her dad) noticed that I was exhausted and got Simon ready for bed.

And when the kids added their own suggestions to the grocery list on my chalkboard door, then later looked excitedly through the bags to find their favorite snacks.

Today I feel loved, appreciated and needed.  Who ever said that motherhood was a thankless job?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Break from a break

I always look forward to the kids having a break from school.  I love having them home, and having some free time in our schedule.  But I’ve gotta say… after two weeks of it, I’m ready for a little break!

In the first two hours after everyone rode their bikes off into the sunrise, I got the house cleaner than it has been in the last two weeks.  About an hour of that was spent folding laundry!

Warning: The rest of this post will be interesting only to Grandparents and posterity.

Here are some of the highlights from our visit to San Diego:

caleb beach

Caleb spent his beach time digging holes, then covering them with towels and trying to lure the Seagulls into the trap with bits of food.






Josh and Simon taking a snack break.  Josh stayed busy for hours creating a sand masterpiece, and then trying to defend it from wandering toddlers.

josh digs


jonah 2

Jonah was writing in the sand, and called me over to see his handiwork.  I was expecting to see his name, or a happy face or something, but no.






In case you can’t read it, it says TOOT.  Ahh… the joys of knowing how to spell!






simon mom

It looks so cute, but 6 hours at a windy beach with a tired, sandy baby is not as fun as it looks.






I’m sad that I don’t have any pics of Becca or Savannah.  They were having a great time boogie boarding, playing catch, flying kites, etc.  At one point Rebecca came to me and said “I feel like I might explode with happiness!  I just feel SO happy at the beach!”  That made ALL THE TROUBLE somehow worth it.

That reminds me:


I know you can’t see it very well, but this is Jonah and Sadie flying the kite all by themselves!






jonah shamoo

Here we are at the Shamoo show at Sea World.  Jonah was covering his mouth in awe of how high Shamoo could jump.  Simon was really impressed, too.  He kept clapping and yelling “YEAH!”

It was all fun and games until we got soaked.



simon hat  I just thought this was too cute to leave out.  Simon waiting patiently for the big kids to finish petting the sting rays.





Looking at these pictures I’m already forgetting how stressful the trip was!  Funny how that happens…

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Happy Birthday to me!

My birthday was last week.  I was in San Diego all week, and Jeff pulled off a great birthday surprise while I was gone.  Here is a sneak peak:


I’ll post more pictures when the finishing touches are done, but let me just say that I LOVE IT!  I was hoping for a hammock, and I got a kitchen!

Meanwhile… I was sinking my teeth into this birthday beauty:

37 candles 

My sister Kathy was our very brave hostess in San Diego.  She put 37 candles in a still-warm- from- the-oven cake and lighted them.  Before I could get enough breath to blow them out, they had all MELTED into the cake!  There are scorch marks on the frosting where the flames were still burning after the wax disappeared!  It was hilarious!  We ate the cake anyway, and were all still picking wax out of our teeth the next day!

Thanks, Kathy, for making my most memorable cake ever!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Rock Star

Today Jonah and I were watching a show on PBS kids, and one of the characters asked him what he wanted to be when he grows up.  “An astronaut!”  He shouted to the TV.

That got him thinking.  “Mom, what do you want to be when you grow up?”

That’s an easy one for me.  “I chose to become a mommy, so I could stay with you all day.”

He rolled his eyes.  “No, Mom.  You have to BE something!”

“But I am something.  I’m a mommy!”

Since I obviously didn’t get it, he decided to choose a career for me.

“I know.  You should be a rock star.  Because you could do that and still be a mommy at the same time.”

That guy is always thinking.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I just had a moment the other night that I wanted to freeze. We had a fun family home evening, so everyone was in an exceptionally good mood. Teeth were brushed, prayers said, and the boys were waiting for me to come read to them.

I heard them in their room laughing hysterically. Squealing with delight (a very cute, very un-masculine squeal) over the MadLib they had created. Every adjective was stinky, mushy, smelly, ugly… you get the idea. And every verb was toot, poop, burp, etc. So of course it made for a fabulous story to read back!

In the other room I was putting Simon to bed. He had finished his bottle and snuggled into my neck to burp and spit up on it… as per tradition. Then I rubbed his back and sang him a song. In the middle of “As I Have Loved You” he reached up and grabbed onto my nose, hoping for a honk.

Snuggling and singing to a baby, boys giggling together in their beds, and girls with their noses buried in their books… that’s my idea of a perfect moment.

Monday, March 8, 2010




This morning I announced that we were having oatmeal for breakfast.  I received a less-than-enthusiastic response.

“Eeewww!  I am NOT eating that!  It’s all mushy!  Can’t you make me something else?”

It sounded very similar to the response I got on Friday, when I had made rice, sugar and cinnamon.

As the hairs on my neck began to prickle, signaling the beginning of a rampage about ingratitude, I had a sudden flashback to my childhood.

I was the child, and my mom came in to wake me up in the morning.  She turned on the light, which was annoyingly bright, and started singing an annoyingly cheerful song.

“Doodah (good) morning, dear Christi, doodah morning to you!  I am happy to see you, because I love you!”

The first words out of my mouth, from under the pillow, were always  a grumbly “What’s for breakfast?”  If it was something good, like muffins and orange julius, then I would get out of bed without further complaint. 

If, however, she had the nerve to make something like oatmeal, I felt I had the right to be grumpy all morning.

I have come to appreciate the sacrifice that my mom made every morning.  I, because of her example, get up before my children every morning.  I allow myself enough time to wake up, do my morning scripture study, and prepare a hot breakfast.  Then I wake everyone else up by playing Hymns on the piano.

But I’m afraid that is where my sainthood ends.  If anyone has the audacity to complain about what I’ve made… happy, cheerful mom is done.

I guess I have a ways to go before I am as gracious as my mother.

Monday, March 1, 2010

A dizzying intellect

Do you remember that line from The Princess Bride?  “Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.”  I find myself saying that to Jonah frequently.

How else do you respond to this:

“I know why you need water in your throat, Mom.  You need it to protect the blood in your throat.  Because if you didn’t protect it, then the people could see it, right?”


Jonah says random things like that to me all the time!

The other day he was riding home from school in my friend Crystal’s car.  She had all of her kids with her, and was giving one of the boys a hard time for getting a frowny face on his behavior chart that day.  After listening to the exchange, Jonah began asking questions.

Jonah: “Why did he get a frowny face?”

Crystal:  “I guess he had a hard time staying in his seat today.”

Jonah:  “Doesn’t he understand the plan of Jesus?”

Crystal: “Umm… uh… I don’t really think that is the problem.  I think he just had a hard time staying in his seat.”

(At this point, I’m sure Crystal was very impressed that not only had Jonah learned about Jesus’ plan for us, but was capable of applying it to good behavior in school!)

Jonah, after a pause: “I don’t really understand the plan of Jesus, either.  Do you think it has something to do with safety?”