Sunday, November 6, 2011


Daylight Savings.  It ended today.  Again.
Every year when we get one extra hour.
If feels pretty good until April comes around again and we start 'saving daylight' again.
And every year I try to be conscience of how I use that extra hour.  But that gets tricky.  When is that extra hour?  Is it before I go to sleep?  Is it when I try to sleep in in the morning?  I hope the extra hour isn't really at 2am because then it is wasted when I am not around to enjoy it.
But this year, I knew exactly when my extra hour came.  At 9:30am I was up and showered.  The kids were also cleaned and dressed and mostly fed (it is fast Sunday so they weren't all fed), and ready for church.  We usually aren't this ready until after 10 for sure.  So there I was...staring at my extra hour.
I played with my baby.
Part of me thought, there must be something better I should be doing with this hour.  I still had one more chapter to read for Sunday School, I still hadn't called either of my Grandmas to see how their new houses are.  I didn't change the batteries in the fire alarms (i still need to do that).  Nor did I review the contents of our 72 hour kits.  I laughed and cuddled and sang and smiled with my baby.
OK, maybe I only actually played with her for 30 minutes, the other half of the hour I was getting her dressed, changing a diaper, trying to see if she wanted to eat.  But all the while I was with my baby.

Then it hit me.  This may be the last time I get to spend daylight saving extra hour with one of my babies.  :(
I don't know if I will have another baby.  I think right now the chances are 50/50.  Life is crazy.  Life is expensive.  We still live in a townhouse.  And, I am getting older.  This last pregnancy took quite a toll on me and in turn the whole family.  It may be that another baby just isn't going to happen.  And...6... ... ...that is a lot of kids to take care of.  With all of these thoughts in my head, it makes each moment with Erica more precious to me.  I want to savor it, to NEVER forget it.  She is still so little. So demanding. So constant.  But I can't imagine my life without one of these little souls clinging to me and I clinging to them.
I know I am blessed.  And I have 5 wonderful daughters to care for, to teach and to raise.  There will be tough roads ahead and they will need me, just like I needed my mother.  Being there for them as they grow up is just as important as being there for them when they were babies.  But, I will miss being the mother of a baby.


So for now I am making memories,
and saving them.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Reading Snapshot-October

One blog I saw had a list of the books the kids were currently reading.  It sounded like a fun idea so I thought I would do it too.  
Elizabeth is reading: Toads and Diamonds by Heather Tomlinson.  Where one sister is cursed to have jewels and diamonds fall out of her mouth and one sister is cursed to have toads and serpents fall out of her mouth.  Follow that with tough choices, possible 'prince charmings' and life lessons.  She read it in a day (typical).  I picked it up and started reading it in between lunch and dishes but there were a lot of Indian names that tied my tongue so I got frustrated.  I find that if I can't pronounce a name in my head, I can't keep the characters straight.  But I am going to try again because it sounds really good.

Sarah brought home Rapunzel's Revenge!!  I was very excited for this one.  It is one of Shannon Hale's stories (she did it with her husband and brother).  I read about it on the cover jacket of one of her other books but couldn't find it at the public library.  Sarah found it at the school library this year!  It has a long list of 'holds', but one of Sarah's friends checked it out and after she read it, she let Sarah bring it home (what a nice girl).  Loved it!  It is a graphic novel/comic book, but other than that it is done in true Shannon Hale style.  Rapunzel grows up in a 'wild west' like setting.  She escapes from her tower without a prince and her quest is to free her mother who she found out was being held captive by Mother Gothel.  Along the way she--and her new friend Jack--help many people who have also been affected because of Mother Gothel's selfishness.  The pictures are fun and I love how Rapunzel uses her hair against the 'gun slingers.' 

Rachael is reading all of the above as well, but she also read "Tumtum and Nutmeg" stories about a nice mouse couple who live in Rose Cottage with a family who have two children.  It is a compilation of three sweet stories.  I love how Tumtum and Nutmeg love each other and care about the family of humans they live with and the other mice they meet.  Rachael loves these feel good animal stories.  In fact when I was pregnant last year at this time, and feeling so sick, she would read to me from the books that she checked out of the library while I lay down in my bed.  She is as sweet as these mice.

Maire has library day once a week now!  I love kindergarten :) 
She came home this week with Princess Penelope Takes Charge.  When Penelope gets a baby brother, she is very disappointed because boys can't be princesses, and she wanted the baby to be a princess with her.  But as the baby gets older Penelope realizes that he can be just as fun to do things with and finally realizes he is a prince.
Maire has adjusted well to Erica being around.  I don't think she wishes Erica was a boy, but perhaps that Erica was more fun to play with at this point.  But for now, Maire sings her songs, makes her laugh, picks up the toys that are dropped, and reads books.  And, she likes to check out new books every week.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


I have discovered something about Erica over the last few weeks.
Curiosity > Hunger
I have never had a baby so curious!  She wants to know what is going on all the time.  And actually, she never knows what is going on, but she wants to be a part of what is going on.  If she hears a noise, she snaps out of sleep or away from food.  Anything that has to do with her sisters being home, she does NOT want to miss.  Columbus Day weekend was horrible because everyone was home all day for three days. She didn't sleep or eat very well. She was so tired (and so was I) by Monday afternoon.
I finally realized that I can't fight this curiosity.  If she doesn't eat for four hours, she doesn't eat for four hours. And hopefully when she does eat, she will pay attention and eat a full meal.  It seems to be working.  I was even in the habit of offering to nurse her before we went someplace because I knew we would be gone when she needed to eat, but she didn't know I was offering a meal.  To her everything was just snacktime. Now I wait at least three hours, sometimes four.  And she EATS!
Better eating also brings about better sleeping.  And that makes everyone happier.
Whose idea was it for mothers to be woken up continually through the night?  We all know that a tired Mom is a grumpy Mom and that does not bode well for anyone in the entire family.  When Mom is tired- not taking out the garbage can somehow prevent her from being able to make dinner?  When Mom is tired, she starts making absurd threats, "If you don't clean your room you won't be able to read a book for a month." (there is no way of enforcing that punishment).  When Mom is tired all her energy is spent changing diapers (again), feeding the baby (again), and trying to get the baby to sleep (again).  Chocolate Chip cookies just don't get made.  And if they do, most of the dough is eaten before the kids come home anyway.  Then I just feel guilty, and tired, and fat.
But I'm feeling better now and I am going to bed as soon as I'm done typing this. :)

Just a few other things about the rest of life:
Elizabeth is going to try out for the fall musical at middle school and is writing a TMNT (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle) fan fiction story.
Sarah is trying to put together a bake sale to donate money to the red cross.
Maire is learning to read.  There is nothing more fun than watching a child have the world open up to them with words.
Rachael CRACKS ME UP!!  she is the cutest 8-year-old blonde you'll ever see with a grin full of mischief every second.  I hear her tell Maire, "Maire, did you know you are in mid-air?"
"You are. You are in mid-air right now.  Do you see this?  It is air.  It is everywhere, all the time.  So, we are mid-air."  
One night we were playing Apples to Apples and everyone was counting their cards to make sure they had enough.  Rachael starts counting her cards which are in one stack in her hand.  As she starts to count, she puts the card she just counted back in her hand on the bottom of her stack.  She just kept counting and counting, all the while putting her cards back in the stack.  I lost it!
Shoot, I can't remember the other funny things I was going to share about Rachael.  I'll have to remember later.

Friday, September 16, 2011


Erica is going to eat some cereal.

What do you think Erica?

The spoon doesn't taste as good as the cereal does.


So cute!

All done.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

First Day of School

I know, I know, couldn't I think up a more creative title?  But there it is.

The first day of school has come and gone and I think it was successful. whew!
Last night I checked the weather and found out it was going to be rainy and only in the 60s today, so first thing in the morning I had to break the news to the girls that they couldn't wear shorts, capris, or skirts.  Of course they all had some cute outfit picked out that did, "NOT go with pants, Mom." But even the clothes downer and the rain didn't dampen the mood.  Everyone was so excited.

Elizabeth left first for the bus stop for middle school.  (ACK!)  The bus stop is further from our house--and I cannot see the bus stop from my window. (yes, i am spoiled.  i have been able to see the bus stop from my house for 5 years).  But being the good middle school mother that I am...I did not even ask to walk Elizabeth.  Luckily Eric called as he passed by the stop on the way to work and let me know she was there, and she didn't miss the bus because there were lots of other kids there too. 

Maire left next with a short walk to our neighborhood school.  She was excited and still seems so small.  But she is so ready for Kindergarten.  I did not cry---I was too busy thinking about getting back before the next crew left.

Sarah and Rachael left on the bus last.  They go to the school with the Advanced Academic Program and their bus comes later.  I got back in the house in time to wait at the stop with them.  Sarah is starting 5th grade and Rachael is starting 3rd grade.  This is the 3rd school that Rachael is going to, so she is nervous about making new friends-again-this year, but Sarah is being a good big sister and promised that Rachael could sit next to her for the first 2 weeks on the bus.

And Erica stayed home with me.  She walked Maire to school with me.  Well, actually she rode in the stroller and fell asleep.  She slept in the stroller and then while I did some errands.  I didn't get a lot done today--mostly because Erica was adjusting to the new routine.  But it was fun and peaceful at home.

Everyone came home saying their day was great.  Well, except for Maire.  She was crying.  But after a few minutes she kept telling me about her day and she was just fine.  I think she is just not used to being gone for so long and wanted to be home.  But I asked her if she is going back tomorrow and she said she is.

Day one--DONE!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Happy New Year!

I love this time of year!  It truly does feel like a new year in September.  Even when my kids weren't in school there is a sense of 'renewal' in September.  Perhaps is stems from when I was in school, the possibility of new classes, making new friends, maybe even new is that time of year when you can 'throw off' the old person (or at least the parts you don't like) and start fresh. 

And so it is with this year. The past week has been full of 'hustle and bustle,' and the poor baby can't seem to find a calm moment to take a nap when I wasn't about the go another place to another store or appointment or to take someone to just one last playdate before the summer ended. I met teachers, roamed school hallways, practiced walking to school with Maire, cheered as Elizabeth opened her locker and bought gym clothes for the first time. 

But as this craziness merges into the craziness that is 'the first week of school' I get to create and keep NEW goals of how I am going to help the girls keep on top of all their work this year; how I am going to take time to talk with each of them on their own throughout the week; how I am going to get up before they do and be dressed and ready to greet them and get them out the door; and most of all  I am going to prepare for Stake Conference, the General RS Broadcast, and General Conference. 

This past year (Sept 2010-Aug 2011) has been such a physically draining year.  I was so sick for the first part of my pregnancy and very tired the rest.  Getting up in the morning was always a chore (and it still is with a nursing baby).  When the baby came, still I was drained.  But, I am just now starting to feel the 'drag' and 'weight' lifted and energy enter my body and mind.   I am  so thankful for another opportunity to start again and refresh my life.  I am thankful for the start of school so that my energy coincides with opportunities to meet new people and make a good first impression after 12 months of making a 'dead mommy' first impression.  And, I am thankful for my Savior because it is only through His atonement that fresh starts are even possible.  I can feel the Holy Ghost pushing me out of my slump and reminding me what it is like to have energy and to seek to improve and do more, do better than I did before.  That feeling is exciting. 

What a great way to start off a NEW YEAR!


One of my  friends on facebook posted the following:
"The thing about summer is that my kids drop EVERYTHING on the floor.
The thing about summer is that they stay up way late every night.
The thing about summer is that my house is filled with constant noise and my mind feels like it's filled with marbles smashing loudly 'til I can't think.
School can't start fast enough."--Angela Felsted (Facebook post August 20, 2011).
That is me.  My brain is filled with marbles now.  I feel I have absolutely NO time to think and get my bearings.  I go from being completely exhausted trying to remember to do everything I need to so that I can wake up the next morning ready for the new day.  But instead of being ready for a new day I am  
--I wrote this like, 2 weeks ago--didn't even have time to finish it.  I can't think of a better way to illustrate how my life feels during the month of August! 
But I did give the girls haircuts :)
Sarah before

Sarah after

and another view of Sarah's hair in the back

Rachael before
Maire, I didn't get a 'before' picture

Rachael after

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Growing Up--fast

Erica got her 2 month check up this week.  I had been a little concerned because she started eating every 2 hours again.  I was getting used to a longer break in between feeding, but then she kept wanting to nurse.  I thought, "oh, it's just a growth spurt, it will calm down in a couple of days."--but it had been lasting a week.  Then I thought maybe she was teething. 
Well, I shared my concern with the doctor and he just said, nope--she's not teething, she is GROWING.  She has gained 2 pounds in the last month putting her in the 85% for weight and she is 25 inches long which puts her off the charts in height!  So those first few weeks when I was worried that she wasn't getting enough to eat, those worries are gone.  She has grown pleanty!

But she is not the only one growing up around here.  Elizabeth just 'graduated' from 6th grade!!  They had a nice graduation ceremony at her school on Tuesday and now I have a 7th grader/ middle school/ junior high student living in my house.  I never thought I could be this old. :)

Sarah completed 4th grade and Rachael completed 2nd grade.  Maire will be entering kindergarten this September.  We are all very excited for the new changes, but focusing on the fun to have this summer.

They had an end of the school year water party and it was tons of fun.  Each girl got to invite a few friends and we borrowed Grandma Ehlers' slip-n-slide.  They got wet, ate popsicle or ice cream sandwiches, and watched a little bit of the movie Tangled.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Kool-Aid and Curls

While there are many things that I can do while holding a baby, typing coherent sentences is not one of them.  I can pour cereal and milk, click a mouse, type in passwords, sort laundry, dial a phone number, hold a book open (depending on the size of the book), and of course nagging my kids to do their chores can be done without any hands.

The Kool-Aid stand.  (a friend helped too)
Last weekend our housing development sponsored a neighborhood yard sale.  Boy was Elizabeth excited! Nothing is more wonderful than the thought that she could actually get money for things that she doesn't want any more.  It has been hot out and so she asked if she could do a kool-aid stand sometime.  I suggested that she do the kool-aid stand during the yard sale since a gathering of several families to sell things was a bigger draw than a table outside our house on a dead end street with little traffic.  But Saturday came and there was not one single other person out to have a yard sale in the big field!  We decided they could still set up a kool-aid stand on the common road (not very busy) that we see from our back yard.  The kids did all the work and even cleaned it up.  They made the kool-aid, kept track of the sales, even divided the money evenly and spent it all on ice cream from the ice cream man. :)  I stayed inside with the baby while my other girls were entertained for more than two hours outside.  Lovely!

Erica is smiling a lot now!  We love it!  She will start to fuss and one of the girls will go to her and start talking and Erica will stop fussing, look at her and smile or coo.  I love that.  I am trying to get a good picture of a smile, but you will have to be patient.  I do have a picture of her cute hair that curls after her bath.  Adorable!  It goes straight when it dries, but we'll see what happens as she gets older.