...and it's not even New Year's yet!
presents put away
clutter purging begun
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
...and it's not even New Year's yet!
Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, December 22, 2008 at 7:37 AM
(or maybe everyone is too busy writing their representatives and signing petitions to comment)...
I guess I better do a nice frothy Christmas tag to get the ball rolling again, eh? Here you go, courtesy of Amy, Claudia, Angie, and everyone else I know:
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Wrapping paper. I feel like a cheater when I use bags at Christmas, plus most of the people I wrap for are kids and they seem to find paper much more satisfying.
2. Real tree or Artificial?
Fake. I'm a Fakey McFakerson when it comes to trees. I had a real one the first year we were married, because I wanted to try it, but I killed it (of course!) and the smell is just too much for me inside the house. Real Christmas trees belong in the great outdoors, not in my living room.
3. When do you put up the tree?
Depends - if it was up to me and David it probably wouldn't go up at all, but it's hard to be a Scrooge when there's a 5 year old in the house. I think it was the day after Thanksgiving this year, and it was hard to put him off that long!
4. When do you take the tree down?
After New Year's. We're always out of town, plus I'm lazy and I don't care who knows it.
5. Do you like eggnog?
Is this a trick question? Nobody likes eggnog!
6. Favorite gift received as a child?
The one I remember most was the dollhouse that my Dad built for me and my sister!
7. Hardest person to buy for?
Actually, no one was hard this year. The hardest thing was narrowing it down since I pretty much wanted to get a huge pile of gifts for everyone I know.
8. Easiest person to buy for?
David and my dad. They make Amazon wish lists and I just go down and click on things.
9. Do you have a nativity scene?
No, not yet. I'm a snob and I want a nice, really beautiful one and they're spendy.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards?
I love them all! Since I have sent neither, it feels a little hypocritical to look down my nose at emailers...
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
You'd be hard-pressed to make this little idealist call a gift "bad". It really, really is the thought that counts.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
It's a Wonderful Life
When Harry Met Sally (more of a New Year's movie, but whatever)
and all those hokey Christmas cartoons I used to watch with my sister on Christmas Eve!
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
This year it was pretty much October, to spread out the damage to the old checking account!
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
Not that I can think of. But I would totally do it, depending on the circumstances.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
An orange on Christmas morning.
16. Lights on the tree?
Well, yeah! I like our white ones, which is a good thing, because the tree is prelit and we can't change 'em.
17. Favorite Christmas song?
Now *this* is impossible. I'll list the first 5 I can think of that I especially like and we'll leave it at that: In Dulci Jubilo
- In Dulci Jubilo/Good Christian Men Rejoice
- this version of The First Noel
- God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
- Some Children See Him (listen to this one, it's so beautiful and most people don't know it)
- Happy Christmas, War is Over
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Stay home for Christmas Day, and then hit the road Jack!
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?
Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, Rudolph. Come on, my kids make me sing this to them 100 times a day!
20. Angel on the tree top or a star?
We don't have anything on top of our tree, actually. I haven't seen The Perfect Thing yet, and I'm holding out.
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
Christmas Eve is cheating. Christmas Day for us, thanks.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
Germs. A kindergartener and a preschooler are a remarkably efficient germ-retrieval team.
23. Favorite ornament theme or color?
Sentimental hodge-podge is exactly right, Granny!
24. Favorite time for Christmas dinner?
Whenever, and very informal is my style.
25. What do you want for Christmas this year?
I asked for a pressure cooker and cookbook (yes, I am a nerd) and some jewelry and a hat off etsy. Oh, and a clone of myself since I can only ever do about half the things I need to get done! I'm not holding my breath for the last one.
OK folks, I know you're busy. So am I. But I've got something important for you to do this weekend.
As of today, a piece of legislation is set to take effect in February 2009 that would require, among other things, third party lead and phthalate testing on all products intended for use by children under the age of twelve. This includes clothing, toys, diapers, baby carriers, hairbows, capes, and many other items that I personally have purchased for my children. This burden of proof is, according to the current wording, to be shouldered by the manufacturer of the item with no exceptions.
This means that, for example, if a woman sews and sells baby carriers out of her home, she is required to test, at her expense, all the fabric that she uses to make the items - every color individually, every batch tested individually - even if the fabric has already been proven safe at an earlier stage in the process. This also means that products originating from other countries (you know, where they actually make things safely in the first place and pay their workers a living wage) are subject to this testing and will have to be tested AGAIN in the States according to the law.
There are many other examples I could cite, but the short version is that the only companies who will be able to bear this burden are the big ones - the ones who should bear it - the ones who are importing these unsafe products in the first place. (Of course, they're importing them because that's what American consumers want, by and large, but that's another post altogether). Small shops and artisans will be out of business, simple as that, and foreign manufacturers will not sell to the United States. There are steep penalties in place for violators of this law, and any products not meeting the new standards will be considered "hazardous goods" as of February 10th. This includes items already made.
If you value handmade, heirloom, or high quality products for your children - or even if you just want to have a CHOICE as to what you buy - then make your voice heard! The Consumer Product Safety Commission has formally asked for comments and feedback on this legislation, and it just takes a minute. You can check it out here, or here, to get you started. Just take 5 minutes and stand for something. They asked, and they better get an answer!
Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Thursday, December 11, 2008 at 12:08 PM
Wow. Putting my 2-year-old on a school bus and watching her drive away is one of the more surreal experiences of my life thus far.
For the 4-6 people reading this blog who don't already know, Eve recently qualified for speech therapy preschool through the state of Arizona. They offer a bus service to and from our front door, which while moderately terrifying is also fabulously convenient. Things being how they are, what with my fleet of nannies/drivers/housekeepers/personal chefs nowhere to be found, I took the bait and onto the bus she goes!
It was such a delightful experience that it would be a crime not to share - hence, the play by play:
8:48 am: "Mom! De tiny bussy - it 'ere!" (Save your short bus jokes, we've already made them all).
8:49 am: "Car-eat? Where is?" (Talk like Yoda, she does. Kindly note red nose and tear-streaked face - the result of the arduous process of selecting a school outfit that was both weather appropriate and free of pinching or scratching properties. Also, red and purple totally match).
8:50 am: "I can 'it wight by my packpack?"
"Bye bye! I uh you doo!"
9:20 am: "Mom, you 'ere?" (They really are insanely thorough to ensure the littlies get to their classes safely. She had a personal escort every step of the way. Just in case, though, I drove to the school to meet her with her teacher, Miss Nessa. What, who's a control freak?)
12:29 pm: (Back at home, thanks to driver Stanley. I think her face says it all).
Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2008 at 1:27 PM
then there exists irrefutable evidence that I am occasionally productive, right?
Some days I desperately need to feel productive. And on this fine Wednesday, Devlin might have a mom who could either whisk him off to Disneyland or burst into tears at any moment, without warning, but at least he has a cool haircut now!
(What exactly constitutes a cool haircut for a 5 year old? I've seen boys in his kindy class with their collars turned up so obviously there's some moms out there a lot closer to the trends of the moment than I. Whatever. I figure my responsibility is to keep him one at least one rung up from the bottom on the elementary school Cooler-Than-You scale, and the rest is up to him.)
Let's see, it's December 9th, so...
9 reasons this week has been wonderful:
1) This little girl here is starting preschool! Today was supposed to be her first day, but the poor thing has a terrible virus or something and she's coughing and wheezing to beat the band. She's so out of it that a few minutes ago she woke from her nap after two hours because she had wet the bed (very unusual), and was still so tired that I just put new undies on her, moved her to her brother's bed, and she went right back to sleep. Still, though, all she can talk about when she's awake is the how she's going to take her "packpack" on Thursday and ride the "tiny bussy". I am so excited for her! (And me, let's be honest).
2) Christmas shopping! I have been having so much fun picking out gifts for my kids especially, and all my friends and family. I love this time of year - the weather is gorgeous, there's lots to do, and I *love* making people happy and getting fun things in the mail!
3) I have the best, the very best, husband in the universe and yesterday was the 11th anniversary of our first date.
4) Devlin was the "music student of the week" at Madison. Whatever that means. :) I couldn't get him to elaborate much, except that he got to sit up front by the teacher (although that's an effect, not a cause. He didn't seem to see the difference).
5) Iris's ugly face rash/es is/are a mere shadow of its/their former self/ves.
6) My solo went pretty well yesterday. I didn't make any mistakes, and I was a little nervous but on balance I would call it a success. I had a new dress so at least I looked good.
7) Now that it's over with, I don't have to think about it any more!
8) I've only had to wash 3 loads of sheets so far this week. This is an improvement.
9) My hair is long enough to put in a ponytail! After a year of growing it out, I think it's officially not short any more. Just in time for me to wish it was short again. Sigh.
So, if any of you are looking for something fun to do tonight, come and hear me (and David) sing at the Messiah Sing-a-long! First Presbyterian Church, Mesa Drive south of University, 7:30 pm.
I am taking the bull by the horns this year and performing a very difficult solo that I have always wanted to sing, but was too chicken. You won't want to miss it! I hope not, anyway.
Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Thursday, December 4, 2008 at 1:34 PM
So I leave her alone for 5 minutes...
Anyone who knows this girl will tell you, she's definitely Oscar material! Best actress in a drama, otherwise known as my life. So I guess she heard there was a lot of buzz around Heath Ledger's Joker in the new Batman, and figured she'd give him a run for his (posthumous) money.
Or maybe we should get her the award for Best Makeup.
On Thursday I was, and every day I am, thankful for:
Little boys. I just love 'em. I love thoughtful sensitive boys...
daredevil, rough-and-tumble boys...
and healthy, cooperative mischief-making.
I am thankful for cousins that Eve likes better than me:
I am thankful for food, and lots of it!
I am thankful for chaos. (Actually, not really. But I try to be, since it is my life...)
I am thankful for my family, altogether. Nothing else matters - not pie, not politics, not Black Friday, not "cocktail attire". Here's to the holidays, and all the little important stuff.
Funny tidbits from my kids this week...
Uncle David, reading from a trivia card: Who is the prophet of our church?
Devlin: Barack Obama!
Devlin: Mom, what's that book?
Me: It's a book to help me learn how to be nicer to you and Eve, so our family can be happier.
(oh, maybe an hour later...)
Devlin: Mom, did you forget to read your book?
Devlin: Mom, look what I made at kindergarten today! (indicates pilgrim hat, complete with buckle, and Puritan vest-type garment made of construction paper).
Eve: Wook, a AT! Wi a BAND AID on!
(Devlin furrows brow, scowls).
Eve: An a BIB! Mom, wook!
Devlin: It's a vest.
Etc etc etc. Trust me, it was funny.
Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and there are going to be a lot of people at the Dixon dinner so more mayhem is sure to come. Mayhem with pie, which is surely the best kind of mayhem there is.
at photographing all three kids - unassisted! As expected, I got lots of pictures of 2 people smiling and the third either:
a) picking his or her nose
b) "fixing" the baby's hat
c) blinking dramatically
d) eating dirt
But I did get a few keepers. Leave a comment and vote for your favorite!
(Also, I think I am going to change my template yet again, because I love the butterfly at the top but the rest of it isn't ringing my bell. Here we go again!)
Lest you think I am always an uptight, controlling, raging ball of stressed-out, allow me to present my Veteran's Day.
Parade in uptown Phoenix, city of 1 million people? Street closures aplenty? Hellish parking situation (or lack of parking, as it were)? 3 kids? No naps?
Piece of cake.
We actually had a great time, no "incidents" of any kind! I was amazed. Eve even watched the service dog float go past at close range without so much as a whimper (this is a *major* achievement).
I also successfully navigated my first in-transit potty emergency on the way home. I had taken Eve potty at every possible opportunity all morning, but nevertheless I looked in my rear view mirror 3 miles away from the parade route and saw The Face. Yes, that one. The one that says "this definitely can't wait 20 more miles". I started searching the horizon for a gas station, but none appeared. Her eyebrows were arching higher and higher, lip quivering, eyes turning yellow. She shouted "POTTY!" once more and I knew our time was up.
I turned right on the next street, into the scenic Encanto historic district, trying to decide on which door to knock and beg their indulgence.
Then I looked down at my cupholder. A pretty good size styrofoam cup, only half full of Diet Coke, complete with lid. Perfect! We pulled over, de-pantsed (well, Eve did) and didn't spill a drop! The hardest part was remembering not to drink it the rest of the way home.
So yesterday was Iris's blessing day.
I woke up early, hoping to have everyone ready in a timely fashion so the morning wasn't spent frantically rushing around, stuffing people into church clothes and hissing "hurry up! we're going to be late!" I wanted the hours before sacrament meeting to be peaceful and calm, so we could all feel the spirit of such an important day. So David could clear his mind and be receptive to the words that would come to him as he blessed the baby. So I could enjoy the moment.
It didn't quite work out that way.
As inevitably happens, so matter how I plan and scheme, I ended doing my makeup with Iris asleep in the sling, leaving my right arm, John McCain style, with just under 90 degrees of movement. I rushed to get Eve's pigtails done and pulled her hair and made her cry. She balled up a fist and whacked her brother and made me cry. The baby finally fell asleep 10 minutes before we had to leave and woke up, disgruntled and wailing, when we put her in the car. We got to church 15 minutes early all right, but by that time I was so tense I couldn't enjoy the presence of my friends and family who had gathered to support us.
I worried that Iris would scream through the blessing and no one would hear it.
I worried that the grandmothers would feel left out of the traditional "pass the baby down the row" post-blessing ritual if I wasn't able to indulge them.
I worried that I had neglected to plan a luncheon or reception for our guests.
I worried that there would be an epic poop explosion all over the pristine heirloom blessing dress.
I worried that I was warping my kids for life by bringing so much stress into our home.
I worried that I had bitten off more than I could chew with 3 children.
I worried that I would never be able to learn the calm demeanor and gentle voice I admire so much in more experienced mothers.
I worried I was ruining the day for everyone else by worrying so much.
I worried that my own sweet, happy life was passing me by while I worried about all the little things that didn't matter.
As I speedwalked up to the stand, fighting back tears, to play the organ (yes, I was the organist that week too - yes, I had totally forgotten), I was so angry I could hardly see the music. Why am I like this? Why is it so hard for me? Why can't I just relax and lower my standards? Why do things have to be perfect? Why can't I be more like my mom? My mother-in-law? My husband? My neighbor?
David came running in from the changing room with the baby (there had actually been an epic poop explosion, although the dress was spared) when the bishop announced the blessing of Iris Dixon and walked straight up to the front of the chapel, game face on. She was wailing, as I had feared, but when the wonderful men in the circle laid their hands on her and she heard her daddy's voice, she stopped and everything was still. She was blessed to be a comfort and a calming influence on our family and our home, and my soul was quieted.
There must be a reason these children are here - with me, short temper and all. I know it, and with every new member of our family I learn more about myself, I love my husband more deeply, I am more grateful for everything I have and more reliant on the hand of the Lord.
We were reading last night, and I was given again a reminder. As Nephi is taken by an angel and shown the vision of the Tree of Life, he is asked "Knowest thou the condescension of God?" Nephi answers, as I have so many, many times and doubtless will until my time here is done:
"I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things".
I don't have to know it all. I don't have to do it all. No one else knows it all either, no matter what we see on the surface. It's enough, today, to be still and present and cling to the knowledge that we are loved.
With that, I present an imperfect picture of a beautiful, beautiful day.
I think this one might be a keeper, after trying at least 10 different templates this weekend.
Well, I'm experimenting so hang with me. You'll want to check back often because this is most definitely not set in stone and it will probably look different every time you visit for awhile. :) Feedback always appreciated!
of my stupid ugly snoozetastic black background here. Help me out! I want something beautiful and colorful and modern. And free - free would be nice but it doesn't have to be. How would you even go about paying for something like this?
Anyway, comment here and point me in the right direction. My blog is too good for this Blogger Basic nonsense! ;)
I don't even know where to start - so much has happened since last time I posted.
David and I had the great honor to sing at Shane Figueroa's funeral on Saturday. It was an amazing experience, and I am so grateful to know that his sweet wife and daughter are supported by so many good people. The police brother- and sisterhood is really remarkable.
And on Saturday, immediately upon arriving home from the funeral, we learned the sad news that Jeff McBride, another young father in our ward, had lost his second battle with cancer that same afternoon. So we will be attending another funeral this weekend, and praying for another widow and her two children, so close in age to my first two. It makes life seem so fragile and fleeting, and I am unspeakably grateful for my family, the time that we have together here, and the time that I know we will have together again beyond the veil of heaven.
In the middle of all this, of course, there was a visit with my awesome sister and her husband, and Halloween festivities to spare. I managed not to get a single photo with Emily, but she has lots of good ones on her blog so please go take a peek! She learned to crochet during her recent run of My Fair Lady at the Pioneer Theater in SLC and she spent hours backstage making a big squishy blanket and hat for Iris. She surprised me and brought them over while I was folding laundry so I very understandably did not have my camera. She's got unmissable pics, though, of sleeping Iris modeling the little hat amidst the piles of underwear in my hallway!
David came home early on Friday to carve a pumpkin with the kids after I flatly said I would not do any pumpkin carving, seeing as I have neither interest nor talent in this area. The kids, of course, were over the moon:
Devlin was Wall-E and Eve was - well, Eve - in a singular, historic fit of crafty inspiration on my part:
I don't have a photo, but I did take all three kids with me to the poll and they helped me make history by electing Barack Obama as the new President-Elect! We did get stickers and free donuts at Krispy Kreme, which I suppose is cooler than a photo in any case. If you feel like getting your politick on, check out my thoughts here on my other blog, PoliticaLDS.
Now 6 weeks old, and if I put her in front of the window her hair looks kind of red, right? Is that cheating?
There is nothing to make a person feel better about all the injustice in this sad world like tiny little baby smiles:
Good night, God bless.
I have had the great pleasure over the years of dressing my children in the beautiful hand-knit creations of Grandma Dent, Claudia's mother. We've got sweaters and booties for every size and occasion, and we have used them with love for each child. It's fun to see the looks on people's faces when I say "yes, it is handmade - 30 years ago, for my husband when he was a baby!" I don't know what's more surprising - that people still know how to knit beautiful things, or that the items have lasted this long and are still going!
Yesterday, we got a sweet little box in the mail from Salt Lake City, and inside were two new pairs of booties, knit just for Iris. They fit perfectly, Grandma, and these little white ones with pink flowers look like they were made to match this outfit, do they not?
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
So, I had some free time this morning (not really, but whatever) and I thought I'd get some nice photos of Iris.
I emptied out a nice big basket, filled it with blankets:
found the best light in the house:
got out the fancy extra flash on the camera, nursed her 6 or 8 or 10 times, put her in a plain prefold with pins and all, the better to appear picturesque and old-fashioned:
this is all I get. Dozens of purple-faced, so-mad-she-pooped baby Iris photos.
So we scrapped that idea, cleaned up our mess (or started to, at least), and went about our day.
Guess she's just camera shy!
Just a little mishmash from my life this week...
Looking for Christmas gifts for the kiddos in your life this year? If they don't already have some, playsilks should be on your list. My kids just love these things. We've had them for years and they've been used as everything you could possibly imagine. And they take up absolutely no space in the toybox, which is really great for those of you whose square-footage-per-person ratio is ever-diminishing. Used here as a pirate headcovering: yarrrrr!
Well, it's still almost 90 degrees here in the afternoons, but I like to manifest my own reality so my kids are wearing festive Halloween clothes, weather or no.
Kindly note the "spiderwebs" gracing our front column - Devlin is hardcore into holiday decorations this year, so I figured we could spring for $1.99 at Walgreen's to compete with our neighbors across the street, who look like they should be charging admission to ring their doorbell.
(Interesting note: the spiderwebs are apparently fully functional because there are an alarming number of bumblebee carcasses stuck in them already. Who knew?)
And there's no photo, but tonight I cooked a real meal, from scratch, in the oven, for the first time since Iris hit the scene here. She's 5 weeks old today, for anyone keeping track. It went pretty well, all things considered, but I'll be more than happy to eat leftovers for the next 2 days in any event.
Look for lots of fun, fabulous photos coming in the next few days, because my sister is coming into town tomorrow night and we fully intend to party like rock stars all weekend. You won't want to miss it!
"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven" - Ecclesiastes 3:1
"Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it" - Anne Shirley
" 'How did it go so fast?' we'll say as we are looking back. And then we'll understand - we held gold dust in our hands" - Tori Amos
Seems like an inordinate amount of my blog titles are shamelessly lifted from Beatles songs. Hmmm. I am not sure what this says about me. I'll come back to it in a few months, when I'm getting more than 2 hours of consecutive sleep.
In any case, it's been a week or so, and I have some rowdy cross-country family members who are banging down my door for new Cute Baby Photos. I aim to please! Here's what I've done today (just a sampling - I left out all the loads of barfed on, poo'd on, and otherwise biohazardous laundry, among other unsavory things):
- gave Devlin a haircut, and very nearly made him late to school in the process. It was a jungle up there! His stitches are still in place but they're healing very nicely.
- (hopefully!) largely completed Dev's Halloween costume. He is going to be Wall-E, and I - Queen of All Things Quaint and Domestic - am making his costume. Making it. He's got a costume themed birthday party on Saturday, so I will begrudgingly have it finished an entire week before Halloween, in an attempt on the standing world record.
- assisted Iris in gaining what appears to be at least three pounds today alone. I don't think I am allowed to specify, but just in case: I would like this 3 pounds to come directly off my jiggly midsection, posthaste. Thank you.
- and, in the interest of full disclosure - lest anyone ascribe to me more parenting skills than I can actually claim - I also put Eve down for a nap, closed her bedroom door (which she is unable to open without assistance), and did not hear her calling me when she woke up. When I did hear her, I opened the door to her sweet little blonde head hung in the corner, shoulders shaking with tears. She needed to go potty, couldn't get out of her room, and her Epically Neglectful Mother did not respond to her cries, so she had pooped in her pants. She was devastated. I was devastated.
But she got over it, as children will do, and her stinky pants will have plenty of company in the laundry room.
I don't trust his hair to stay combed until picture time, I don't trust the Highly Qualified School Photographer to capture the moment appropriately, and I don't trust him not to stick his tongue out at the last second. So I took some photos myself, just in case:
Little Miss Understood here wanted a turn too, of course:
And happy 2-week birthday to cheeky baby Iris! I just put her on the floor for the photo shoot - I do not normally put her down for naps in the middle of my living room:
Just a couple of photos. You know, because I can.
Baby Iris riding in her wrap. Yes, hers - this particular wrap is actually named "Iris". I realize this puts me dangerously far into heavy niche geek territory, and that only me and about 5 other people would ever get this reference without my pointing it out. Which is why I'm doing it! You can thank me later.
Really? Joe Biden vs. Sarah Palin? Fascinating.