Friday, April 5, 2013


I cannot believe how long it has been since my last post. Over two months, and so much has happened! I mostly blame my lack of blogging on Emilia. She likes to do what I am doing, which is great when I am not trying to read, practice my guitar, eat lunch (she prefers to share my food), or typing on the computer. I would just wait for nap time, but she sleeps in the computer room (keeping my fingers crossed about that whole computer causes cancer thing). This is my most intense child, and I love her for it. She feels things deeply, which means we have a lot of drama. But because she feels things deeply we also see and experience a tremendous amount of joy with her. It's totally worth it. Emilia is approaching two years of age and I lover her more every day. If she is in the mood, she will repeat anything I say. Outside of that, she does little speaking of real words (although there is plenty of gibberish). Her biggest obsession right now is going outside. Most mornings, the first thing she does is bring me her shoes in hopes that I will put them on her and send her outside. Just mention the word "outside" and she goes running out the door. It is such a joy to watch her explore her little world. Her other obsession is her dad, who she talks about all the time (Dad? Dad? My dad! My dad!). She squeals with joy when he comes home, and is his right hand man when he is working outside. All of my kids have loved their dad at this age, but she might be my first who actually prefers him over me much of the time. I think the feeling is mutual! Emilia has real intent in life, and is happy as long as nobody interferes with her plans. Usually I can accommodate, but not always. This is when we see the drama. She is a girl who knows what she wants!

I swear Carson is going to grow up to be some sort of engineer. That kid loves to build. We got him Legos for Christmas, and he makes some pretty cool stuff, mostly trains and planes and towers. That is, when I can get him motivated. Carson likes to take it easy in life, which makes him peaceful. This in turn gives me peace... unless I am trying to get him to do something in a hurry. In those cases he brings frustration. The poor kid doesn't mean anything by it, he just is not in any rush to do anything at all. He is also really into hiding, which from the outside is precious. But again, if I am trying to get somewhere it is super frustrating. Say for example, I leave to find his shoes for him. When I come back he is nowhere to be seen. If I am lucky, his giggles will quickly lead me to him hiding behind furniture, in the back seat of the car, under his covers in his bed, etc... If I were smart I would allot some time for hiding in my getting-ready schedule. It might stress both of us out less. What a sweet boy though.  I have noticed lately how tough he can be when experiencing physical injury. Things like falling down or bumping his head don't really phase him. However, if a person hurts him it breaks his heart. It is a tenderness that I hope he holds onto.

I am in some serious trouble with Rachel. Apparently the fact that she is someday going to be the Red Power Ranger was some big secret. She is mad because I told everyone. So if you could all forget that I said anything, that would be great. Rachel has a really rich fantasy life, which I adore. I try really hard to encourage her, for two reasons. First of all, I love it when she tells me about her fantasy world, and I don't want her to sense that I think it is silly. Second, because I think the longer she holds onto her desire to pretend, the longer she can stay a child. And I think in this day and age that is a good thing. Especially since in many ways she is trying to grow up too soon. Yesterday she wanted to ride bikes with a 5th and 6th grader in our neighborhood. I know the 5th grader, but not the 6th grader. Shelby and I just didn't feel good about it. She was devistated at being told "no" and acted very (to quote the great Clif Huxtable) "teenager-y" about it. I have a feeling this is the beginning of a lot of similar situations.

I have to give a little shout out to my sisters for their interest in my kids this past week. It was spring break, but also the Friday before was mine and Shelby's anniversary. My sister Sarah took Rachel Saturday night for us, with the plan of me picking her up Sunday afternoon. Sunday afternoon rolled around and she called with an offer to keep Rachel for a couple more days. There is nothing Rachel loves more than spending time with her cousins. At Sarah's house she was in her element. Of course if you ask her if she had fun, she will first tell you about how Maya ran her over with a four-wheeler. She's fine of course, but she does have a flare for the dramatic.

The rest of spring break was just as fun as I hoped it would be. It started with a huge family Easter egg hunt at my aunt Gigi's house Saturday afternoon. Tuesday we went to see a 3-D movie (the Croods). Wednesday was sand dunes day. Then my awesome big sister (Shout-out to you, Summer) kept all the potty trained cousins for a sleep-over. To understand the significance of this you have to recognize that this came to 13 kids in all. And she did it willingly! I came back to her house to help the cousins decorate Easter eggs. Thursday night through Friday was Recover-From-Fun time. Saturday we planted our spring garden and decorated our own eggs. Then of course Sunday was Easter. We spent Easter day with cousins again. It was a great finale to a great week.

All of the spring break fun proved too much for Lilly's immune system. On Sunday morning she woke up with a bad sore throat and spent the day in and out of consciousness. She didn't even want any of her Easter candy! Remember Lilly was sick with the flu from Christmas Eve through most of Christmas break. At one point Easter morning she exclaimed, "Why am I always sick at every holiday?" Good question Lilly. This sore throat thing she had lasted about 4 days. She was mostly a good sport. One night, around 3am after I had to comfort her for a second time she said, "I'm sorry you had to get up with me again mom." Which of course broke my heart. By the end of the 4 day stretch however, we were both pretty grumpy. I was quite happy to send her back to school yesterday.

So a couple of Lilly speaks. She is in kindergarten, and learning to read. Of course she is also in primary and learning about Jesus. One day she said to me, "Mom, if I were Jesus, I would make it so all the words are spelled how they sound." How very wise.

Last night Rachel was outside helping Shelby water the grass. Lilly wanted to go out but she was already in her jammies. When she said that wasn't fair I told her that she got to have cuddle time with me instead. From there we had a frustrating conversation where she kept saying "Do they?" meaning, do Rachel and Carson get to cuddle too. I thought she was saying "Today?" As in, do we get to cuddle today? So every time she would ask, "Do they?" I would respond with something like, "Yes today, Lilly. We can cuddle right now." Then she would get frustrated and repeat herself with something like, "NO! Do they get to cuddle?" And I would say "Yes! Today we get to cuddle!" Finally, with her close to tears and me not feeling much like cuddling anymore, we just looked at each other and started to laugh.

I love my kids! I am feeling very joyful at the thought of having these four little people in my life for eternity. They are so cool, and I like them so much! I can't wait to see what they do in life and how they develope as human beings.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Emmy First

Let's shake things up this week and start with Emilia. She is 18 months now, which in my mind makes her mostly child, mixed with a little bit of baby. Emilia is the dancing queen! I think all babies dance to music at this age, but she doesn't just dance to music. She dances when Shelby chants her name, she dances when I sing (which I definitely do not consider music), she even danced to the tune of a car alarm that went off in the Costco parking lot the other day. It is so darn stinking cute! She also talks more now, when she is in the mood. She can say the following words clearly: Mom, Dad, uh-oh, cat, snow, and of course, no(!). She says a lot of other unintelligible things, and is always telling stories. Lilly said the blessing last night at dinner. She is notoriously long-winded, blessing everything from the table to all the little animals. Right in the middle of her prayer, Emmy piped up with "Blah, blah!" Emilia has also suddenly grown quite attached to Rachel, which is new. Up until now she has very much had a "look but don't touch" relationship with her sibling. Now at any point if I won't hold her, she turns directly to Rachel to pick her up. Today when Rachel left for school, Emmy was downright mad, and told me all about it! Boy it is exciting that she is old enough now for me to actually have fun stuff to say about her.

On the way to school last week Lilly gave me a stern lecture about the dangers of drinking and driving. She was concerned because I had brought my smoothie (alcohol-free, of course) with me to drink on the way. Rachel quickly corrected Lilly and reassured her that it was only things "like, like, alcohol, and smoking cigarettes that you are not supposed to do while you drive."

So Lilly has this friend Elizabeth who is not a member of the church. Yesterday I overheard the following conversation:

Lilly: Elizabeth, did you know Jesus died for us? Because he loved us so much?
Elizabeth: .... Umm, yes?
Lilly: But don't worry, he came back to life!
Elizabeth: Lilly, if you saw Jesus, would you fall in love on him?
Lilly:... Umm, yes?

I have been making an attempt to spend 15 minutes every day one-on-one with my three older children. Lilly's favorite way to spend this time with me is to color. Her second favorite is to play a card game called Casino, which she almost always beats me at, followed by Slap Jack, which she always beats me at. With Slap Jack, I had been taking it easy on her at first, but yesterday I gave it my all and she still killed me! A little hard on my pride, I have to say.

What is important to Rachel beyond all else is that the adults in her world take her seriously. This means no laughing at her expense, and listening to her ideas and dreams without judgement. Sometimes this is hard to do, like when she really really wants to cut her hair "short like a boy" so it isn't in her face all the time (we compromised and did a bob cut, which is very cute on her). It is easier to be supportive when she tells me she is going to train to be a Power Ranger because I can support her in theory, but I know she will lose interest before she really leaves to protect the world from Nighlocks. Not snickering when she tells me about one of her many boyfriends and then says "but don't tell him, he doesn't know he is my boyfriend!" is hard. Helping her make a sign about saving the world, easier. Helping her plan a Christmas party for all the kids in her class, devastatingly hard. But only because I was terrified nobody would come (if I haven't mentioned it already, it was a huge success!). I love that girl and want her to succeed, but parenting her has been something that has required a lot of thought and reflection, not to mention many many tears on her part and mine.

So I have learned something about my boy. I am lucky to have a child with such an easy-going nature. He seems to be ok with just about everything in life. He can eat, or not eat. He will wear whatever I want him to. If the girls want him to play a part in their games, he will do it without complaint (although he almost always morphs into a monster or a dinosaur at some point during the game). I am lucky he is this way, but there is always a downside to every personality type. The downside of his easy-going nature is that he also does not care about time constraints. "Carson you need to get dressed quickly" means nothing to him. "Please eat your breakfast now because we have to go" goes in one ear and out the other. "If you want to go get ice cream, you have to clean your room now!" rolls right off his back. That kid has one speed, and it is sloth slow. I'll take it though. It is a small price to pay for some peace among my other three very intense kids.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Christmas and Other Stuff

Wow, it has been a while. I'm going to have to search my memory a ways back to make sure I get everything. Let's start with Christmas at the Rayl house. Aside from a couple of minor hiccups, it was a success! Christmas Eve day was spent picking up a few little gifts and visiting with my grandpa (who my kids call "Papa the Grape") and his wife Joan at their ranch. Then instead of our usual Christmas Eve out to dinner, we got burgers at the drive through and ate at home, which I loved! We actually did a lot of wrapping prior to Christmas Eve, so Shelby and I did not have to spend the usual hours and hours that night wrapping and sorting out presents. We both wanted to avoid things like running out of wrapping paper (as happened last year around midnight Christmas Eve. Thank goodness for good neighbors who stay up late and are well-prepared!). Lilly was not feeling well Christmas Eve day and I figured she probably was coming down with a cold. I always have a hard time sleeping Christmas Eve because of the excitement, even now that I am an adult. I had finally just dozed of when Lilly came up panicked because she couldn't stop coughing and was having a hard time breathing. She did sound really miserable, so we cuddled her, doctored her up, and made a bed for her on the floor by our room. Her coughing kept her and us up so eventually we moved her to the living room, but she still could not sleep. At this point it was 3am, and all three of us were exhausted. Finally in desperation to get some personal sleep I put some cartoons on for Lilly, hoping it would distract her from her cough long enough to help her doze off. It did not work. Instead, a few minutes later Carson got up and joined her in watching TV. Neither of them ever did get back to sleep. Around 6am Rachel joined them, and then they all pestered us to get up to open presents. We were able to put them off until 7, and then we succumbed. I got a few hours of precious sleep, but I don't think Shelby ever was able to go back to sleep.

We try to do Christmas pretty cheap. I spent hours and days leading up to Christmas searching Amazon and various toy stores to find one or two big gifts for each kids, and a few small things that they needed (think socks and underwear), all for a reasonable price. Rachel got a guitar, Lilly got beads and a puppy purse (just exactly what she wanted, and very cheap), and Carson got a Thomas train set. Other various gifts included a box of Legos, a Hungry Hippos game (mostly for Rachel. In case you don't remember, she wanted a hippo for Christmas), a box of Roald Dahl books, art supplies from the dollar store, and puzzles, along with said underwear and socks. Pretty good Christmas, right? Well then Shelby went out and found a used trampoline, which he set up the night before. Ask any of my three older kids, and what do you think they will tell you your favorite gift was? Was it the guitar I fretted over for days before buying? Was it the Thomas train set that I was beyond excited to give Carson? Was it the cute puppy purse Lilly asked for? Nope, it was the trampoline that I had nothing to do with. I sound more bitter than I am. I'm glad they love it, and I think it will be a great thing to have around.

After opening presents we had breakfast and started to prepare to head out to my parents' house to open presents with cousins. Lilly looked miserable and said she didn't want to go. Lilly lives for cousin-time, so this should give you some idea of how sick she felt. And remember, Carson and her had both been up since 3am. The two of them climbed into our bed and promptly fell asleep. I took Emmy and Rachel to Nonna and Papa's, and Shelby and the others met up with us there a few hours later.

Oh, I forgot to mention how spoiled I got. Shelby bought me Shakespeare Festival season tickets again, along with a gift card for my Kindle, new pans that I desperately needed, a case for my phone, and various other little treats. I got him socks. OK, I got him more than socks, but no where near as cool of stuff as he got me. Plus, after present-opening with my family, he insisted on taking the kids home while I went to Les Miserables with my siblings and parents. While I was gone he cleaned the whole house AND did the laundry. I am a lucky woman!

Post-Christmas, we spent the entire day playing with our new stuff. Nobody was required to dress, clean, eat, or bathe if they didn't want to. It was the best! Post-post Christmas, when Lilly's horrible cough and sore throat mutated into the stomach flu, I finally took her into the doctor. Turns out she had the flu. The real flu. You know, the kind that makes you wish you were dead. She is such a trooper when it comes to being sick.

I have Christmas pictures that I took on my phone. Great pictures in fact, but my phone is not cooperating and they got lost somewhere in cyberspace on their way to my email. Once my tech-savvy husband comes home I will get them posted!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Tree and Other Things

We finally put up our Christmas tree last night. It is a big bushy 9 footer that rubs right against the ceiling. Tonight we will do Christmas lights. I cannot believe we have waited this long, considering the pressure we have been getting from our kids. Every day, several times a day since mid-November at least one of our children asks when we are going to do Christmas decorations. Since our neighbors have started putting up their decorations and lights, the asking has turned into pleading and begging, guilt trips, and occasional threats. Getting ready for Christmas is a hassle, but the joy my children feel surrounding the preparation makes it worth it. Lilly and Rachel were beside themselves just watching Shelby get the Christmas boxes down from the attic. Especially Lilly, whose joy seeps out of every pore of her body.

If you ask Lilly what the best part of putting up the Christmas tree last night was, she will undoubtedly tell you it was finding the giant moth in one of the boxes. She was able to capture it in a Tupperware container and is planning on wrapping it and giving it to Elizabeth for Christmas.

Rachel had her 7-year checkup yesterday with Dr. Hanks. She is in perfect health, and Dr. Hanks was impressed to hear about her plans to train to become a super-hero. Rachel has a habit of pulling her eye lashes out. Dr. Hanks says it is pretty common, especially with intelligent children (I agree!) and gave us some tips on how to deal with it. Apparently it is a stress outlet for her. She doesn't necessarily do it in a stressful situation, but afterwards when she has time to let her brain relax. That beautiful child lives an internal life. She is not as outwardly social as Lilly, and therefore a little harder to understand and get to know initially. But what a delightful human being! I just hope everyone else in her little world gets to see how wonderful she is.

Carson, Carson, what to say about Carson? I cannot believe what a delightful, easy child he is. Kind, affectionate, easy-going, playful. What more could a mother ask? Well, I guess I could ask that he doesn't tackle me every time I sit, kneel, or lie on the floor. This is of course Carson's love language. He went to a birthday party with his friend Ian, and I guess during dinner at Red Robin he would alternate between playfully punching and hugging Ian's dad. I know I keep saying this, but he talks so well now. Yesterday he kept telling me that we forgot the "hate". I had no idea what he was talking about and eventually I gave up trying. A few moments later he said very slowly, "We forgot the CAKE!" Carson also alternates between telling me that he is "Big like mine daddy" when he wants to do a grown-up thing, and "I am still little!" when he wants to get out of doing something.

Still crying about the keyboard

So Emilia is pretty much walking all the time now. Much of the time she just walks for the sake of walking. Her new found talent has not made her any tougher. I don't think a thinner skinned child ever lived. Everything is heartbreaking. For example, just a moment ago she wept because she tried to give me an old dirty slobbery sticker and I said "No, thank you." Meanest mom ever, right? Now she is weeping because I won't let her touch the computer keyboard. Maybe with a first baby this would have been distressing, and I am not saying I love hearing her cry, but I can pretty well tune it out now.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


I love my family. They are the five coolest, kindest, most beautiful people I know. This is most notable to me during the holidays when we all get to spend more time together. Usually we spend Thanksgiving with my side of the family, but this year we had the privilege of having my father-in-law in town for the holiday, so I hosted Thanksgiving dinner for him and my brother-in-law. What a fun day! A Thanksgiving meal is not easy to prepare. Add my neuroses that everything turn out perfectly, and it can make for a stressful day of cooking. I love it though. I love the stress, I love the planning, I love spending most of the day in the kitchen, but mostly I love the finished product when we all get to sit around the table and enjoy each other's company. Everything turned out great with the exception of a slightly undercooked turkey. But, hey what is Thanksgiving without a little salmonella?

The whole group Thankgiving morning
Being thankful is the best way to feel blessed, so here is my list of things I am thankful for. First my family, without whom I would be lost. They are my greatest accomplishment. I am thankful also for wonderful friends who would willingly drop anything to help me (and have). I am thankful for great parents who helped me become who I am, and awesome siblings who I consider my best friends. I am thankful for fantastic in-laws who not only think I am great, but tell me so frequently. I am thankful for a strong body that despite taking a lot of abuse, allows me to move and work freely. I am thankful for food. Mostly that we always have enough, but also that I get to enjoy the foods I love (there are so many!). I am thankful that I live in this country where I enjoy all the freedoms that I usually take for granted. I am thankful for a spacious home that is a little rough around the edges. I already said I am thankful for my family, but I want to give a special shout-out to my husband who is truly my better half. He works hard for our family. We are his purpose, his hobby, and his favorite thing. He loves his children, but more than that he loves me, including my flaws, my shortcomings, and my quirks (not the adorable ones, but the holy-cow-you-might-need-professional-help ones). I have an amazing life!

Rachel and me looking down from the top of Tablerock

OK enough sap. Now back to Thanksgiving day. In the morning I did a hike up Tablerock with my mom and dad, my sister Summer, and Rachel and Lilly. Rachel was very excited at the prospect of a hard hike because she thought it might help her in her training to become a Power Ranger. Lilly wanted to come because she does not like to be left out. Rachel spent more than half of the ascent running ahead of everyone, but petered out towards the end and I had to all but drag her to the top. Lilly on the other hand wasn't in any hurry, but she basically skipped her way to the top of the mountain. We explored the caves at the top for a while, where Lilly found about a dozen little green balls that she collected and shoved in her pockets. Rachel discovered broken glass from alcohol bottles. When we got back she explained in a whisper to her uncle Cody "People were drinking wine up there!" Per the green balls, when one would fall out of her pocket, Lilly would try to chase it down. On the descent, this started to look dangerous so we had to tell her if she lost one to just let it go. From there every time one would fall out she would start to chase it, stop and say, "Oh, yeah. That's OK." What a joy she is! I love that my big girls are getting old enough to do stuff like this.

On a Carson note, I have a couple of Boise State shirts now. I know I know, it only took my 10 years to succumb, but in my defense, they were given to me. Whenever I wear one Carson says, "You are a football-soccer mom!" I love the things he says. Maybe because I am still surprised that he talks so well now. This morning he noticed one of the chairs was broken and he stuck his finger in the air and said, "I have an idea! Daddy can come home and fix this chair!" He said it as though he had just discovered electricity. 
Lilly inside a Tablerock cave

Emilia is officially walking much of the time. She is becoming quite stable, and is really fun to watch. Her new-found skill makes her think she one of the big kids and wants to be wherever they are. This is great for me because she is much less attached. I used to be her main source of excitement. No hard feelings though. I am totally OK with it.

One final Rachel story. Last night she got out of bed because she just had to tell me something. She wanted to know if I had red, orange, and blue thread, and if I did, could I make her a Power Ranger and Spiderman outfit. Rachel apparently WAY over estimates my sewing abilities. Apparently she forgot it took me two years to sew her a simple quilt.

Monday, November 12, 2012


Once again, life has gotten in the way of me blogging as much as I would like. There have been a few major events that are just waiting to be put down. Here we go!

Halloween was a success! I don't sew, I am not particularly crafty or creative, and I am cheap. At the same time it is important to me that my kids feel like they are as pretty, scary, silly, or cool as all the other kids on Halloween. This creates a great deal of anxiety for me. This year we borrowed an Esmeralda costume (Hunchback of Notre Dame) for Rachel, and a bumble bee costume that would have worked for Lilly or Carson from a neighbor. I talked Lilly into being a 50's girl since I already had a poodle skirt, and just assumed Carson would be ok with the bee costume. A couple of nights before Halloween he insisted that he wanted to be a t-rex. He insists on so very few things, and I wanted him to get his way, but there were no dinosaur costumes to be had, and no time or money to hunt one down. I talked him into being a bad guy, a costume that consisted of a brown smock, one of my scarves tied around his waist, a bandanna and some scary make-up. Lilly ended up with the bee costume after she informed me she didn't even know what a 50's girl is. Emmy dressed as a 50's girl, and everyone was happy. I was once again reminded how little my children need to feel satisfied. And the most important part to them was that they got candy anyway!

Emmy walking

Emmy finally took her first real steps on Halloween, which makes her my second child to do this (Lilly being the first). This would be more impressive if she weren't almost 16 months old. She still prefers crawling to walking. She does do this funny thing while I am exercising. She crawls over to me, stands up, and tries to mimic what I do. So, my baby won't walk, but she can do squats and burpees!

Rachel opening presents

Rachel had a birthday. My baby is seven years-old now! She asked for a Power Rangers cake which my neighbor was nice enough to make. For months she has been saying that for her birthday she wants to go to Big Al's Arcade with her dad. We let her choose two friends to go with her. She picked Livvy and her cousin Brady. I think it was a success since she was all-smiles when she came back. They decided to watch The Princess Bride after the Big Al's adventure. Lilly watched too, and all was fine until the scene where Buttercup and Wesley are attacked by the rodent of unusual size. When Wesley kills the giant, disgusting, man-eating rat, Lilly refused to watch another second of the movie, out of concern for animals everywhere. So they all made up a play for me instead. Rachel has learned from me. She spent the entire month leading up to her birthday using the "it's almost my birthday"card. "Mom, can I stay up since it's almost my birthday?" "Can I have the biggest pancake since it's almost my birthday?" "Can someone spend the night since it's almost my birthday?" The day after her birthday she asked if she could stay up late since "it was just my birthday?" That one got a roar of a laugh from me, and put an end to the month of entitlement.

Lilly's best friend got a new bike for her birthday. Lilly was bitterly jealous, which is uncharacteristic of her. She wept and cried because she doesn't have such a cool bike. I understood her disappointment, but I was not very accommodating to the huge fit she was throwing. It seemed ungrateful. Ok, I am warning you that what I am about to tell you does not show me in my best light, and was admittedly a mother-fail on my part. I told Lilly there are children in the world who don't even get to eat, let alone have a bike. And since she has both food and a bike she should stop complaining. She did not believe that there were really children in the world with no food, so I pulled up some images of starving children in Africa. It turns out a white child in America cannot relate at any level to the images I showed her. To her, these children did not look like children, they just looked scary. She wept even harder as she asked me the following three questions "Why did you show me those?" "Why are their bones sticking out of their skin?" and "Why are they green?" It was a devastating hour for both of us.

My kids playing outside AND getting along. My two favorite things! By the way, they are pretending they are in jail, and I put them there.
So we have been working with Carson on saying words right. He gets lazy and starts every word with an "h" sound. So "fire" is "hire" and "sandwich" is "hamwich". He has gotten much better about enunciating. His new thing is that the lines on the laminate floor in the kitchen are fire. So anytime I am cooking or doing dishes he comes in and articulates very slowly and firmly "I said to you this is FIRE!" I tried telling him that I am wearing fire-proof shoes, but he always says "no" in a tone that is similar to "duh". Aside from the fire thing, nothing really gets him riled up. Rachel karate kicked him the other day because he distracted her while she was playing an electronic game. Consequently, we took away her little game thing for a while. She was devastated. Even though Carson was the victim, he hugged her and patted her on the back to try and comfort her. He is such a nice, easy-going kid. I like him so much!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Having Babies

I am about to relate a story that makes me glad so very few people read my blog. I feel like it is an important story for posterity's sake, but be forewarned that involves the word "vagina" and concerns the process through which babies are born. Consider yourself warned...

Lilly asked me last week if Emmy was going to have a baby someday. I told her she probably would, but not for a long time. There was a pause, then Lilly asked "am I going to have a baby someday?" I didn't want to pressure her so I told her she could if she wanted to. She said "I don't want to...does the doctor take the baby out of your tummy?" This caught me off-guard. I quickly contemplated the effects of telling my 5-year-old how babies are born and decided honesty was best. "Sometimes the doctor takes the baby out of your tummy but usually the baby comes out of your vagina." Lilly got a panicked look on her face and decisively said "I don't want to have a baby."

Speaking of great parenting, I took Rachel and Lilly to see Avengers a couple of weekends ago. First of all, they both asked questions throughout the whole movie. I finally had to tell them no more questions because I was afraid we were being a distraction. After the Avengers save the world, Samuel Jackson's character tells the counsel that the Avengers are taking a deserved break. Rachel leaned over to me and said, "When Power Rangers save the world, they take a deserved break too!" On the subject of Avengers and Rachel, she got me in serious trouble. I told her my favorite character was Hawkeye, but she misunderstood. When discussing the movie with Shelby she told him her and Lilly's favorite Avenger was the Hulk, and my favorite character was "the Hot Guy".

Carson's hair cut (and muscles)

Carson cut his hair by himself. Short. And just in the front. Luckily we were taking him to get his hair cut by my neighbor the next day. I usually keep it a little long on top and short on the sides, but because of his first hair cut we had to buzz the whole thing. His little friend Ian has a similar hair cut, so while she was cutting, she said "Do you want your hair cut like Ian's?" When it was over, and he looked in the mirror he was devastated. He cried and said "I don't want to look like Ian!" By the time we got home he was fine, but the minute we walked through the door he ran into the bathroom to have another look. He started crying again and told me "I didn't want to look like Ian, I wanted to look like ME!" For the record, he looks really cute with his hair so short. I am posting a picture, but I should note when I asked him if I could take a picture of his hair he said "no". So I asked him if I could take a picture of his muscles, hence the pose.

My poor sick little baby

Emmy is sick. She has a typical winter cold, but because of her little heart it always worries me more when she is sick than it does when my other kids don't feel good. Let me just say, she is not a trooper when it comes to physical ailments. Everything is devastating to her. I guess this is how I feel when I am sick as well. Part of me likes it when my kids are sick. They are more cuddly, and it brings out my nurturing side.

One more Lilly story to end on. She went fishing with Shelby, Rachel, and Cody on Saturday. If you have been following my blog at all you can probably guess how this story is going to play out. When Lilly agreed to go, she did not realize what was involved in fishing. She caught the first fish and when Shelby asked her if she wanted to keep it or let it go she said "keep it!" Then Shelby explained that it wasn't being kept as a pet, and if they kept it we would eat it. She decided to let it go. This all would have been fine except Rachel also caught fish. And Rachel has no moral qualms about killing fish, so she decided to keep hers. The minute they got home from fishing Lilly went down to her room to weep for animals everywhere. It really is a sad thing to witness. I want her to hold onto this tenderness she possesses, but at this rate she is going to spend her life lamenting the pain of animals everywhere.