Thursday, July 29, 2010

one, two, buckle my shoe


First, Claire. 

Four or five days after she breaks her arm, we realize it.  Although we still don't even know how it happened, we have a pretty good idea it has something to do with the approximately 602 times she falls on her face every day.  Her little body runs everywhere she goes, but sometimes her feet can't keep up.  Turns out that she's done a number on  both bones in her wrist.  We feel like parents of the year.  Claire chooses a pink, sparkly cast and doesn't even seem to notice.  The only thing she cares about is getting a pair of fancy, purple gloves like the ones the nurse wears. 


Emmy falls off her bike a week and half later, within the first hour of the Wo-Jo family reunion.  We are staying in a cabin in the mountains.  Courtney and I watch out the window and wait to see how she reacts.  A fairly decent crash, but we hate to make a bigger deal out of it than she does.  She stands up, props the bike against the wall, and comes in the house where we are all talking.  After standing next to me quietly for a few minutes, she leans over and whispers in my ear, "Mom.  My thumb hurts really bad."

Sure enough, her little digit already looks like a little balloon.  Swollen and purple.  So. . .like any good parents would do, we wait.  Again, parents of the year.  (In our defense, we did call Aunt Jodi, who is a nurse.  She talked to her husband, who is a doctor.  They talked to their friend, an orthopedic.  And he said we might as well wait until Monday.  Whew, glad to have that off my chest.) 

So.  On Monday we went to visit Dr. Murray for Claire's follow-up visit.  Except we brought along Emmy, too.  A two for one, perhaps?  We arrived with the expectation that we would be losing Claire's cast and possibly getting a new one for Emmy. 

One x-ray, two. 

Next, we field more than a few questions from the kind doctor, who (for obvious reasons) was digging a little to make sure we aren't beating our poor children.  We pass the test (I think) and learn that Claire's arm could use a little extra time (might have something to do with the 602 falls.)   Emmy?  Sure enough, it's broken.

One cast, two. 

This time?  We leave the office with two matching, purple, sparkly casts.  Waterproof, too.  (We begged, as we are spending next week at the lake with the cousins.)   And the satisfaction of having been the first family to have had two siblings casted in the same appointment. 

We've made another appointment to see Dr. Murray in two weeks.  Courtney has made it known that if I haul in a third child to that appointment, he's not going.  And.  In the slight, but obviously not impossible chance that it happens, he has advised me to find a new doctor. 

Monday, July 19, 2010

sugar and spice

Because we have four children of the female sort, we get a myriad of comments every time we venture into public.  Many of them come from well-meaning folks who offer up their own parenting experiences on a platter along with a decisive statement regarding which gender is easier to raise.  Surprisingly, our running tally denotes that according to this scientific approach, boys are easier to raise than girls.  The only ones who seem to disagree with this are those who are currently in the trenches raising a boatload of boys.  These parents often cast us wishful glances and wonder at the seemingly easy life of raising sweet, innocent girls.  I suppose it seems to them that while they are chasing frogs and playing referee to endless wrestling matches, we are home sitting serenely with our embroidery, dolls, and tea parties. 

Now, I have a sister who has five boys of her own, and I agree that yes, there are definite differences between boys and girls.  Boy oh boy . . . is there ever.  

However, this guy can tell you that things in his girl-filled neck of the woods ain't all sugar and spice.

Take, for instance, an event as simple as opening birthday presents.  These pictures were taken recently the morning of Kate's eighth birthday. 

Isn't this a sweet exchange?

This next picture captures Emmy singing the "birthday wish song".  During this ritual, the giver gets to hold the present over the receiver's head and sing/yell at the top of her lungs "Heavy, heavy, hang over THY poor head.  What do you wish with a BUMP on the head."  If the recipient is lucky, they only get one gigantic bump.  However, if the giver is so inclined (and they usually are), they may choose to bump the present as hard as they can every. single. word.  We're nothing if not thorough.

Along with the gifts, the receiver sometimes  offers up love notes.   This was one of my favorites of the day. 

By Emmy.
To Kate.
You. rockn.

Following the present bashing, I generally try to get a picture of all the girls together to document how they change from year to year.

This, as you will see, is a piece of cake.

Attempt #1

Attempt #2

Attempt #3

Attempt #4
(. . .just before I throw in the towel.)

Now, if you'll excuse me please, I'm off to intervene in the latest bed jumping contest in an effort to prevent another broken arm (yes, we had one of those last week).  It's a hard job, and I can hardly find the time amongst all the tea parties and such.  However, I must not get discouraged.  Right now (I am told this often by the experts), is the easy part.  The sugar, I presume.

They tell us the spice is still to come. 


You see, already we have such an abundance of sweetness and everything nice.   I'm just not sure our taste buds can handle all the rest.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

kate turns eight!

We can't believe it, but Kate the Great is officially eight years old! 

To celebrate, we planned a mommy/daddy/kate date as part of our eighth birthday tradition.  A whole day with mom and dad!  Kate has really been looking forward to this.  On Ryenne's eighth birthday, we spent part of the day at Thanksgiving Point for the Tulip Festival, and then went to Temple Square where we watched the movie about Joseph Smith.  When I asked Kate if she might want to do the same thing, she said, "Well, I was thinking that it would be fun to do my very own special thing, so that when I came home I could tell Ryenne, 'Guess what I did today?'"  If you know Kate, you know she thinks through everything, and she had definitely thought through her special day.

And what did she choose?  Lunch on the way to Salt Lake City (chinese, please), followed by an afternoon at the climbing gym.  She did decide that going to Temple Square and watching the movie did sound pretty fun, and so we ended the day with dinner and a movie.  What a wonderful day.  We kinda love this girl.

Turns out that this girl is quite a climber!  We had so much fun!

Of course, the very most special thing about turning eight years old is being baptized.  An official member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints!

Kate's daddy was more than a little proud to baptize his girl.

And to make it all the more fun?  Kate's best friend Ashley was baptized on the same day!  These two are little peas in a pod.
Such a fun day, and so many people to share it with.
We love you, beautiful Kate! 
Happy number eight! 
(Can you see that handsome guy posing in the background?  Don't tell anyone, but I love him too.)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

i changed my mind

I shouldn't be sarcastic.  I really shouldn't.

You know the other day when I wrote a flippant comment about walking lambs being "so much fun I can hardly stand it"?

My words have come back to haunt me already.

We didn't make it up to Grandma and Grandpa's house yesterday morning to walk those little buggers.  Gymnastics, math. . .there's only so much you can do before it gets too hot, and I've noticed a direct correlation between lamb-walking angst and the rising of the mercury.  Their poor little tongues hang out, panting- and they bleat, complain, and slobber on anyone who dares get too close.  The lambs and the girls.  The whole time I'm wondering if we're gonna make it back alive.  So, all things considered, we decided to put it off until evening. 

Last night, as the daylight began to wane, we headed to Grandma and Grandpa's, where the lambs take up residence.  Not because we don't have the room here, because we do.  It's just that earlier this year when Courtney and I suggested that we should pen our four legged friends at our house we were met with an absolute rebellion.  It seems that walking lambs, by itself, isn't all that great.  But add Grandma and Grandpa's house in the mix, complete with oreos, hugs, and a quiet, country road?  Therein lies the charm. 

As we pulled into their yard last night, we saw Grandma dragging the hose around the yard.  "Grandma!"  Shortly thereafter, Grandpa was spotted heading from the barn.  "Grandpa!"  Squeals of delight.  Even better, Grandma and Grandpa had grins to match.  "I was just telling Grandma that I sure hoped we'd see our girls tonight," Grandpa remarked. 

After rounds of hugs, kisses, and yes, a few oreos, the whole gang chore-booted up and headed for the lamb barn.  Soon Ryenne and Kate came marching out with their haltered lambs, laughing and smiling.  As they waited at the end of the driveway, we watched as Grandpa pulled, prodded, and dragged Emmy's feisty lamb into the fray.  Emmy followed close behind, carrying a large wooden cane.  We giggled as she wound up with a resounding thwack on it's behind.  Pretty soon she had it moving.  The poor little thing doesn't know what he's up against. 

Claire wasn't going to be left out, so we dudded her up in a pair of too-large chore boots. Holding mine and Grandma's hand she followed behind and we watched the circus make their way up the road.  The breeze was blowing, the air perfect, and we watched as the sun set in a sky of vivid, pink clouds.   Past fields of grain and rows of corn, we watched the tangle of girls, chore boots, and lambs up ahead, and listened as their giggles and Grandpa's corny jokes floated back to us.  At one point, we heard Courtney yell, "Hurry!  Someone grab Emmy's lamb!"  More laughter.   No complaining, no quarreling, just a troop of happy little girls learning a few good life lessons. 

It was a perfect night. 

And this time, I couldn't help but think to myself, "This is a whole lot of fun."

Sunday, July 11, 2010

ewe won't believe how much fun this is

Yip.  It's that time of year again,

and we couldn't be happier. 
Ahhhh, summertime.  Sunshine, popsicles, sprinklers. . . and LAMBS. 

I have to admit we're off to a good start.  Ryenne initially named her little gal "Jumpelina" on account that the lamb liked to make energetic leaps into the air every time Ryenne tried to get her into a halter.  Cute little trait, cute little name, eh?  Well, about halfway into the first walk of the season, her little antics weren't so charming.  As the leaps turned into flops, Ryenne began to threaten to change Jumpelina's name to "Pork Chop". 
"You think you're funny now, Pork Chop?  Just wait until I turn you into one."

For the record, I tried to explain that lambs don't become pork chops.  That would be a pig. 

"This little four legged friend will eventually become a lamb chop, my dear."

My efforts of persuasion went unheeded.  Jumpelina is now officially named Pork Chop.
And the whole tying-the-rope-around-the-waist idea?  Not a very good one, I'm afraid. 
On account that this happens every time the girls turn around to make the trek (or rather, sprint) back to the barn.
I know it looks a little crazy now, but just you wait.  In another month, these bad boys (or are they girls?  I never can tell) will be whipped into shape- ready for a rootin' tootin' good time at the county fair. 

As far as the whipping-them-into-shape part?  It's so much fun I can hardly stand it. 

*if you're a little bit rusty (or you're new to this and want to know what in the heck the girls are doing) you can learn a little bit more about why we walk lambs on a leash for fun.  Look here, and here, and here.)

the wild west

Once again, the W family headed waaaay out west to the land of sage brush and jack rabbits.  Each year (if all goes well) our family takes our annual trek to George Creek to spend a few days in the dirt with the rest of the crew.  This year as we arrived and were getting set up, one of the girls looked at me with a satisfied grin and said, "George Creek is one of my favorite places to take a vacation."  As a mom, I might say the use of the word "vacation" is a bit liberal.  But for the kids, life doesn't get better than being in the wild west (it doesn't get much more wild or west than this place) with all of their favorite things. 

Cousins (and best friends)

Exploring at the City of Rocks
Four wheeler rides
(or trying) to hike this mountain.

All the dirt a  kid could want,
and beautiful sunsets.

Lots of fun.  Loads of mud.  Never ending memories.  Until next year, George Creek. 

We'll be back.

Monday, July 5, 2010

decorating tip number two hundred and one

Ladies, many of us have at times have been interested in adding interest to our walls.  Perhaps you have limited your talents to merely painting the wall or applying a faux finish?  Prepare to expand your vision with the latest in home design! 

Have you ever thought of using a blueberry/banana smoothie motif?  A new trend in home design, it is sure to complement any theme.  If you are worried about spending the time to make it happen, don't!  It's easy as pie.  Simply blend up a concoction of frozen blueberries, banana, and vanilla yogurt.  Next divvy up the treat into 4 breakfast glasses.  You can be assured of a lovely result by merely answering the phone and heading into the next room to chat while your children (supposedly) drink up the goodness.  Be confident that shortly, your older children will become distracted, leaving the smoothies on the counter.  (Don't worry if you have already warned them against doing this a hundred times!  They are, after all, vital players on your decorating team!)  Left alone, younger child will be thrilled to find a variety of smoothies to choose from.  And with no one to stop her, she can happily waltz into sister's room with her yummy find. 

Now!  The key element is that older sister spy the younger sister out of the corner of her eye!  With a scream of distress, she runs after mother to report the robbery.  Dutifully obligated to teach manners, the mother calmly explains to said child that when mother is on the phone, children are not to interrupt.  Whatever problem child is facing, she will need to work it out or wait until mommy is off the phone. 


"No child, please wait until I am finished."

But Mom!"

(Firmly shut the door to make the point loud and clear.)

Taking it into her own hands, older sister chases after younger sister in top speed.  The culprit will see the oncoming policewoman, and be forced to throw the stolen goods at the nearest wall in an attempt to save herself.  You know the old mantra, "If I'm not gonna have it, ain't no one gonna have it"?  Works every time.

When mother finally finishes her necessary phone conversation, she will be thrilled to find this lovely addition to her home.  While she may initially fear that it will disappear at the first washing, she can be comforted to know that blueberry won't just wipe away!  My fellow home economists, I can assure you that beauty such as this (while a bit troublesome to apply), will add depth and interest to your walls for a good, long time. 

Until next time. . .Happy Homemaking!

happy independence day!

After a big weekend, it's quiet around here. 

After a week with Aunt Haylee and the Mumford boys, Ryenne is off again.  This time, she's celebrating with the Aunt Jodi's Stosich boys.  The ten year old cousins are gathered there to party for Carson's birthday and lots of swimming in Grandma Stosich's pool.  Uncle AJ + 5 Stosich boys + 4 boy cousins + Ryenne and Jodi.  Ten to two. . .the girls are boy trapped, I would say.  I sent her off with a hug and kiss and a reminder that boys won't beg her to play.  She's gotta be one of the boys and just jump into the ruckus.  You know what I mean?   We'll see.

Kate is at Uncle Matt and Aunt Kerri's.  Again, hanging with the boys.  But she likes it that way.

And Emmy?  At Uncle Chris and Aunt Amy's house.  She was so wound up by the time I dropped her off at quarter-after-nine last night that I handed her over and wished them good luck.  That girl.

I also had to call Aunt Jodi and tell her I was rethinking my decision about sending Ryenne after Emmy told me that two of the Stosich boys claimed that Grandma Stosich would not allow swimming suits in her pool.  Emmy got that crazy twinkle in her eye look when she said, "She only lets them wear their ummmmm. .. celebration suits!!!!"   She finished off with a crazy Emmy giggle. 

Aunt Jodi insisted she doesn't know where that came from and promised me that swimming suits (not birthday/celebration suits) will be allowed. 

Courtney is off to work today, which leaves Claire and I.  She's still sleeping, and so it's awfully quiet.  In a few hours we'll head off to join the cousins at the lake, and there will be plenty of noise to go around.

But for now, I'm sitting in my still, semi-clean house.  I suppose that it is ironic that on the day we are celebrating our country's independence, I finally have a little of my own.  Perhaps all of this independence  isn't really my cup of tea after all.

I realize that while peace and quiet are nice for a day or so, my family makes this place a home. The chaos, the spills, and the dirty laundry. It only means I have a lot of people to love.

I like it that way.