From the Dalton Girls...

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Thursday, December 31, 2009 at 7:55 PM

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...have a FABULOUS new year, darlings!

So much more than a tea towel

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Tuesday, December 29, 2009 at 2:13 PM

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This is ridiculous, even for me. But I don't care.

Once upon a time, a frazzled little redhead went "on vacation". We won't get into it too much, but you know and she knows that a trip with three small children is not exactly relaxing. Let's just say, she was in another state and some people in her travel party were enjoying a vacation from their normal occupational duties. She was taking in the amazing scenery, the eucalyptus trees and succulents and gorgeous greenery growing out of the hills around her (rented) house. She put her kids to bed early and played games and watched movies with her family after dark. She tried - repeatedly - to keep her toddler out of the garbage can. And the knife drawer. And the fireplace. And the mini fridge. And the koi pond.

She was trying to have fun. But sometimes it was hard.

And one night, she was making dinner for her family. (Her kids were in someone else's care, so this part was actually a vacation). She was shaping her bread dough into a nice fat round loaf, and she had flour all over her hands. She had left her apron in the guest house, so she opened all the drawers, looking for the kitchen towels. She found them and grabbed the top one off the stack to dust off her chalky fingers.

It.was.heavenly.

No, seriously, the towel. It was amazing. It was fluffy, yet smooth. It had a lovely drape, a finely woven pattern, and was not wrinkled or faded though it had obviously been used and washed again and again. (You know how some tea towels from a store we won't name, but which may have a red and white bullseye logo - you take those towels out of the dryer and they are wrinkled into a tiny ball? And you try to hang them from your stove and they totally lower the taste level of your entire kitchen? This little redhead had lots of towels like that. The towel she now held in her hand was very, very different. It was elegant).

She squeezed the towel in her hand. It was...bouncy. It squeezed her back. She unfolded it to study it more fully. It was red and green and white, woven with a pattern of a snow skier and a heart border. (That was kind of not her thing, but whatever). And what was that, in the corner? The name of the manufacturer, woven right into the towel for her convenience!

"Yves Delorme!" She shouted it out loud! This would be, from now on, her sole purveyor of tea towels.

Her family came running in from the other room to investigate. (She didn't often make sudden outbursts in French, you see.) She related her discovery and passed the towel around so that every could take a turn admiring its beauty. She explained her previous frustration with towels that snagged, stained, wrinkled, and otherwise offended her aesthetic. Some nodded, some laughed, some wandered out of the room and back to the basketball game.

Never mind, she thought. It was her kitchen, her pet peeve, and it would be her distinct pleasure to acquire her very own tea towel as a souvenir of this year's trip.

So the next day, she took her husband to the Yves Delorme retail location (at the mall! They have these stores at the MALL here, people). He was hesitant to fork over the big bucks for tea towels to replace what were, in his perfectly logical opinion, the more than adequate towels they already owned. He was concerned about the expense, the potential lack of absorbency, the fact that her favorite towel had a chicken on it. (Really, it's not a tacky chicken. I wouldn't do that, and you know it). So she very carefully and lovingly selected a towel, blue and green, with a pineapple motif. She took it to her husband, hoping he would agree to grant her wish. He smiled, put his arm around her, and whispered into her ear.

"I love you. Get two".

'Twas the Night Before...well, you know

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Thursday, December 24, 2009 at 7:17 PM

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So, I haven't blogged in so long that Blogger made me re-enter my username and password. I know. It's shocking.

The thing is, when I don't blog, it's either because I am too busy having fun and actually living my life to document it much, or because I am clinging to my sanity by the skin of my teeth and don't want to let go long enough to blog, lest I lose my grip completely.

It's been some of both over the last month and a half.

I'm here now, it's Christmas Eve, the kids are in bed, the presents are wrapped, Santa is allegedly circling the house right this very minute waiting for little eyes to close and little mouths to quiet (because "he sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake"!) It has been a lovely, if chaotic, evening, full of dear family and amazing food, music and silliness.





And now, dear readers, it is time for bed. There's no point in trying to fill you in on all the details as to what has transpired between Thanksgiving and now. There were good times, there were crappy times, it all comes out in the wash. My camera battery went dead and we lost the charger, so I had no pictures to blog - and you all know how I feel about blogs with no pictures. We bought a new one and there will be lots of photos coming your way from Christmas and our annual trip to Santa Barbara.

If you haven't completely lost faith in me, check back soon for the skinny.

In the meantime, three veryveryvery excited Dixon children in their new Christmas jammies bid you so long, farewell, auf weidersehen, GOODBYE!

Instant gratification

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Sunday, November 15, 2009 at 7:58 AM

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I'm all about it.



I still need more layers and textures on the bed, a non-hideous alarm clock (does such a thing exist? Suggestions welcome from you professional shopper types), and the new paint color on the walls (just a deeper version of the tone we already have).





But I have to say, I am very pleased with my little project. Even David likes them!

I think this might be the start of something beautiful.

Inspired

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Friday, November 13, 2009 at 8:10 PM

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So, I didn't end up going to that thing I said I was going to. I had a very good reason, though, and the purpose of the outing was accomplished - namely, I have taken some steps to rescue my mojo from a very early grave.

1. Have joined a gym, with excellent child care and convenient yoga classes, and gone 4 times this week.

2. Have been on one very lovely date with my husband.

3. Have purchased utterly fabulous new sweater coat, and worn it at every possible opportunity.

4. Have made plans to create something amazing and not too expensive for my soon-to-be (much more) romantic bedroom. I can't give it away yet, but I've always wanted to do it.

Here's a hint:



If you can guess what it is, then you get to come over and help me. :)

Identity Crisis

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Wednesday, November 4, 2009 at 1:41 PM

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(Warning: overwrought philosophical self-indulgence ahead. Danger. Turn back now).

Halloween has gotten me thinking. (In short bursts.)

I used to be the girl who loved to dress up - the more dramatic, the better. I used to actively search out opportunities to visit far-flung destinations, to use a fake name and accent, to make things complicated. And fun. No effort was too great, no adventure too grand, no rationale required. I would drive to another state to try a new restaurant without blinking. Life was exciting. I was living Dead Poet's Society.

I love...everything. I love to go places, see people, do things. Simple as that. Everything sounds like a good idea to me. Or it used to.

Now I have 3 small children, who are absolutely lovely, and everything is infinitely more difficult than it used to be, on every level. Now it takes me 2 weeks to muster up the fortitude to go to the Post Office or the grocery store, let alone a non-essential "fun" activity. I find myself either declining social invitations, or accepting them reluctantly and then finding reasons not to participate or dreading their arrival. I don't know what's the matter with me. Sitting at home with three fractious kids isn't exactly my idea of a good time, either. What do I want?

This isn't a cute problem, like not having time for a shower once in awhile or having PB&J every single day for lunch. (I have those problems too). This is pretty much me wondering where my personality went - the core of myself - whether it's in suspended animation until my kids are older and I don't have to manage their every movement, including chewing, swallowing, and urinating, or whether something in me has fundamentally changed.

I was at lunch the other day (In-N-Out: cheap and close by, which are my only two requirements anymore) and at the table next to me were 4 teenage boys. They looked like some variation on my younger self: gleefully non-conformist, looking to take on the world. I caught them stealing pitying glances at the table next to them, populated by a few balding 30-somethings in shirts and ties, on lunch from their Boring Office Jobs. I knew thy were thinking they would never turn out like that, that they would always be full of energy and vitality and their spirits would never be crushed by something as mundane as a job, or a daunting series of Halloween parties, or a ketchup stain. Life is what you make it!

Carpe Diem!

O Captain, my Captain!

I sat with my daughters, hiding from my kitchen, rationing french fries and encouraging bites of cheeseburger, wondering when I got to be such a fuddy duddy. Why does it seem less frightening to sit home browsing Facebook than to charge out into the world and try something new, or even just compose a serious, coherent blog post? I think it's some combination of the demoralizing effect of calling people and begging them to babysit, or bringing the children and completely missing the point of the chosen activity, or just rationalizing in my mind that whatever it is isn't worth the trouble, would push bedtime too late, would cost too much money.

Well, I'm tired of it. I am boring myself.

It sounds like such a small thing, but to that end, I am planning to attend this event this weekend. It's totally frivolous, my husband will find it unappealing to say the least, I have no Western attire to speak of, and I am certain to spend money I shouldn't. I won't know anyone there. I am afraid of looking like a NieNie fangirl, which I am not. (I mean, I read her blog, but who doesn't?) I am irritated with myself for worrying that I will appear to be a poseur (I mean, if that's my primary concern, then don't I already qualify? Geez.) I'll need to find a babysitter. I will probably have to get a nap so I don't fall asleep standing up at a booth like a narcoleptic old grandpa.

But you know what? It sounds fun. I think it's worth fighting for. I'm not dead yet! I'm hoping there's a little spark in there somewhere that can survive the years of raising young children and live to tell about it. I'm hoping that when I emerge, I will be a better version of my adventurous, fun-loving self: less selfish, calmer, wiser.

But I still need to be able jump up on my desk when the moment calls for it.

Carpe Diem, indeed. See you all at the shindig.

Halloween leftovers

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Sunday, November 1, 2009 at 8:08 AM

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I gotta tell you, Halloween wore me out this year.



David was out of town, I was recovering from what presumably was the Piggy Flu, and the pressure of costuming and transporting three small children, 2 of whom were TREMENDOUSLY invested in Halloween this year, was almost too much for me. I did a Very Smart Thing by scrapping (ha, ha!) Devlin's Tin Man costume because it prevented him from sitting, standing, and jumping in a bouncy house comfortably and it fell apart repeatedly. I got this simple, warm, adorable giraffe number for $9 from Once Upon A Child and it was the best investment I've ever made. Last year I won at making costumes. This year I do not. I feel no guilt about this whatsoever.



Last night was the "real" Halloween, with trick-or-treating and all, and it went very smoothly. However, I have already made arrangements next year for David to take the little dears all over town collecting candy, while I will sit quietly on our doorstep and pass it out instead. I think this is a much better plan.



Now come the holidays I actually like! Bring it on.

I have sinned

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Tuesday, October 20, 2009 at 8:43 PM

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It has been 2 weeks since my last confession.

1. I am a much, much happier lady when Devlin is in school. I'm not sure what this says about me as a mother. I guess I should just thank my lucky stars that I can hold it together under any circumstances at all, right? Lots of people tell me that after three kids it's all the same amount of work, but I'm not drinking their Kool-Aid. I am not cut out for more children than this and I am totally okay with that. I literally had the phone in my hand to find myself a therapist and some DRUGS and David said "just wait until Fall Break is over. You were just like this at the end of the summer, too."

(Was I? Good heavens, my sincerest apologies to anyone I may have crossed paths with during that time. I will be quaratining myself for the Christmas holidays.)

2. I would give up the internet for the rest of my life if the weather would be like it was today, every day, forever and ever. Maybe.

3. I have a very expensive, professional camera, and no idea how to use it. Really. Can anyone recommend a book or a DVD to help me learn (because taking a class is out of the question)? Iris is a very difficult target right now, but even so - this lighting is just embarrassing.

Isn't she just the sweetest thing, though? Thanks for the outfit, Granny!





And now, off to fritter away the rest of my evening via a different electronic device. I've been doing lots and lots of organizing/rearranging/decorating so if I ever finish to my satisfaction I will take some terrible pictures of that - and you know you'll be waiting with bated breath!

Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Thursday, October 8, 2009 at 2:32 PM

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Quiet. It is quiet.

While I was walking Devlin to the bus stop this morning, a big white work truck turned down our street. But it didn't stop in front of my house, it just turned the corner and kept going. The driver did not wave at me, because I didn't know him. He was not coming to make noise at my house, because our floors are DONE!

Later, I told Iris it was time for a nap. I carried her up the stairs, walked down the hallway, and sat down in her rocker. She nursed, with her eyes rolled back in her head and a smile on her lips, visibly delighted to be back in her very own room, in her little bed that she loves so much.

Home, sweet home.

I have so much work to do now, putting it all back together - it's absolutely frightening. But it feels good to get started!

Confession

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 10:53 PM

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It has been 2 days since my last confession, if you count oversharing Facebook status updates.

I just have a couple of things to get off my chest real quick. Ahem:

1. Today I wore skinny jeans tucked into boots. (Hey, it's been under 90 for a few days in a row!) I don't know what is more ridiculous: the fact that I - a little Mormon mother of three - actually wore this getup, or the fact that I still think it's taking a fashion risk when everyone else has been wearing this for at least 3 winters.

In my defense, the boots were not Uggs. They were cute. Sorry if I have any readers who are Uggs fans. They're uuuuuuugly. That's why they call them "Uggs".

2. I have been spending a lot of time in the car the past two weeks, due to the people hammering/sawing/generally disturbing the peace in my house. We drive around in the morning and go places, and Iris has a little nap in the car. I have been using this time to start listening to books on CD, and the books I have chosen to start with are...

...the Harry Potter books. And I love them. Yes, I am finally ready to dip my toe into the water, at least a decade after the rest of the world. I have this *thing*, where if everyone else is doing something then I just.don't.want.to. People were so gaga over these books that I just threw up my hands and figured I would come back to them when everyone else had left them for dead and I could read them in peace. But then I had 3 kids in there somewhere and now sitting down and reading several thousands of pages in order is daunting, to say the least. So now not only am I embracing the Harry Potter books, but I'm not even actually *reading* them! What a weenie.

I won't even put up a fight. I am totally handing in my Uppity Literary Snob card. Next thing you know I'll be attending the New Moon premiere showing in costume.

That's all for today. Let me know if you have any good penance ideas.

Pay it forward

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 10:41 PM

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This post from my sister-in-law was fresh in my mind today as I experienced a little blooper of my own. (Do a lot of frazzled moms exhibit this particular behavior?)

After I got Devlin off to school, I came home to find the floor guys banging to wake the dead in the upstairs hallway. Downstairs is still a dusty, splintery mess, rife with irresistible mortal danger from a baby's perspective. That leaves...nowhere, so out of the house we went! I stopped at Sprouts to buy drinkable in-the-car breakfast for the girls, who had slept in, to consume on the way to our friend's house. Being a model of carefree efficiency, I thought it prudent to remove my wallet and keys from my bag and bring only them and a reusable grocery sack into the store instead of carrying my entire diaper bag, which admittedly contains more than is strictly necessary to purchase and transport 2 smoothies.

After a lovely productive morning rearranging furniture at Kim's - yes, I help friends rearrange furniture, for fun - I returned home to find the workers still banging away with wild abandon. So I left the girls in the running car and quickly ran inside to throw the grocery sack, still holding bananas, carrots, and the smoothie remains, into the fridge. Then, to get us all out of the house, we drove with David to Phoenix. He went to see a doctor about his sore shoulder, while I took the girls to Paradise Bakery for lunch.

Iris fell asleep 10 minutes before arriving at our destination, and she woke up as soon as the car stopped moving, so I was already flustered when we went in. Eve climbed on chairs, danced on barstools, and ran, slalom-style, between the legs of the other paying customers in line. Iris glared ferociously at nice old ladies who tried to tell her how adorable she was. I ordered, excited to try the new butternut squash bisque, but when I got to the register, I found I did not have my wallet.

Embarrassed, I excused myself and went to the car to retrieve it, thinking my bag must have tipped over, spilling some of the contents under one of the seats as sometimes happens. It was not there. I realized with a sinking feeling that it was in the grocery bag, in my refrigerator, at home. David was in a doctor's office without cell phone reception. If I wanted to eat - and believe me, I did - I was going to have to improvise.

I found Devlin's piggy bank in the back seat, fresh from spending his birthday money earlier in the week, and hoped he had enough coins in tithing and savings to cover our sandwiches. I went back in, saw the total was $14-something, and started stacking quarters, red in the face. The nicer people behind me in line were looking quizzical, and the ruder types looked as if they were contemplating calling the police on me for stealing money from my OWN CHILDREN. The shame!

Through tears that surely made me look even more stupid, if that were possible, I told the very patient cashier that I only had $11 and I would need to cancel my order. She didn't answer. I looked up, and she was gone. I started to gather my girls, my coins, and my lighter-than-it-should-have-been diaper bag, but just before I turned around to leave, the cashier reappeared, smiled, and handed me a receipt. She picked up the tray with our food on it, told me my meal was on the house today, and asked me if a quiet booth in the back of the restaurant would work for us.

I said I figured that would be just fine.

(So, Heidi, my rescue wasn't as dramatic as yours, but my wallet was in a weirder place!) It is people like this woman who save my children from seeing their feeble mother hauled off in a straitjacket, cackling with insane laughter, to a psychiatric unit. Leaving my wallet in the fridge unfortunately wasn't the last stupid thing I did today, but that kind soul planted in my path definitely took the edge off and helped us all limp through until bedtime.

I think I'll bring some cash in my pocket to the mall tomorrow...just in case.

The last first birthday

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Sunday, September 27, 2009 at 7:33 PM

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See, I already don't like that title. It sounds really depressing, and we had a fabulous time tonight! Iris was giddy all the way until bed time. She must be the luckiest baby in the world, and she knows it.





Yes, those are hedgehogs. On her shoes.



The party was short and sweet, just a little dinner at my parents' with (almost) all my favorite people.



Grandma and Grandpa Dent, this is what Iris bought with your birthday money. Bibs! With hedgehogs! Who knew?



(All she ate was blueberries for dinner, incidentally. This is becoming sort of a tradition in my family.)

And this, folks, is how you make a watermelon cake.



The company was delightful, and we missed dearly those of you who could not be with us. Iris says thank you...



...from the bottom of her little hedgie heart.

Tomorrow, tomorrow

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Saturday, September 26, 2009 at 8:54 PM

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You're always a day away.

And that is why is it safe for me to here publicly announce my intentions for tomorrow. It is still as they say, "fresh, with no mistakes in it".

1. Ignore the state of my house. Really. It is a disaster beyond my ability to describe it, but chasing the kids all day with a broom, nagging them to pick up their library books/legos/tiny princesses is not going to fix it. Breathe. Try to enjoy having basically no household responsibilities.

2. Play Devlin's new game with him at least once.

3. Photograph the new solar system mobile we hung today (thanks Angie and family!)

4. Read a pile of library books.

5. Sing to some nice old people.

6. Make a cake out a watermelon. You'll see, it's going to be awesome.

7. Celebrate a first birthday. This doesn't happen very often. Got to make it count.

I'm counting on you all to keep me honest. Come check in tomorrow night and we'll see how I did!

(If you're nice, I'll even post a picture of the watermelon cake.
)

Red-Letter Day

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 7:20 PM

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I'm on such a high right now!

1. Notice anything different about this little man right here? (hint: little hole on the bottom right of the smile)



Tooth Fairy, take notice! (I just hope she can find the darn thing on his white polka-dotted sheets).

2. The above-mentioned toothless boy is sleeping in his room...alone. That is because Eve is sleeping with Iris. Yes, I did it. Devlin has been needing more space, more big-boy-ness. He's got experiments to conduct, robots to build, electricity to harness, and none of that works with two little sisters who delight (Eve: intentionally, Iris: innocently) in destroying all his creations.

My plan has always been to put the girls in together, in the yellow room, but I was waiting until Iris was out of a crib, closer to 2 years old (and hoping that Eve's baseline volume level would come down significantly somewhere in the interim as well). But I decided - what the heck, let's just try it. The worst that could happen is the girls miss out on a few hours of sleep and we abandon ship and try again in 6 months. Or a year.

But I am shocked and thrilled to announce, utterly prematurely, the success of this New Deal. As far as I can tell, the girls are both asleep (and if they're not asleep, they are entirely quiet which accomplishes the same thing for my purposes). No crying, no chattering, nothing! If this works, I will be the happiest mom in town. All the dolls, doll clothes, doll strollers, doll houses, doll feeding implements, and doll slings can live in the "girl room", and all the choking hazards can live in the "boy room". There are so many levels on which this would be a Very Good Thing that I can't even explain them all, so you'll just have to trust me. And keep your fingers crossed!

3. I am about to go downstairs and move furniture for the rest of the night. This is FABULOUS because it means that a team of very hardworking gentlemen are coming to my house tomorrow morning to tear out my woebegone, threadbare, bedraggled carpet and no-longer-pristine tile and grout. They are taking it all away, hopefully to a large bonfire somewhere, and they are putting in gorgeous new wood laminate flooring. This is a lifelong dream of mine (well, a practical and economical approximation of that dream) and it.is.happening. Rest assured you will all be kept up to date on the process.

4. New shoes. Thank heaven for new shoes! Aren't they insane? So comfortable too. It's ok to be jealous. I would be if I were you.



(They did not, however, come with a pedicure so we'll both just have to imagine that part).

Happy birthday to you, you live in a zoo

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Saturday, September 19, 2009 at 4:36 PM

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Yesterday, my oldest child turned 6.

He had some modest requests for his birthday: waffles for breakfast and his very own frozen yogurt from Costco that he didn't have to share with anyone. Now I may not be Mother of the Year, but I can handle those!

His "party", such as it is, will be tomorrow at Granny and Grampa's house, with as much of our lovely family as we can manage. There will be pie, Don't Eat Pete, presents, and still more waffles (did I mention he likes them? He'd eat 6 at a time if it were up to him).

We did let him open one of his presents on his actual birthday, though: a kit with which a robot is built out of a soda can. (Hey, it's Devlin in a box!) It will have a motor, arms made of bendy straws, and will do "everything except talk" apparently. It is sure to be the highlight of his entire life.

So, in honor of my first and only boy, who I love to pieces and then some, I give you:

Devlin in 6 words

Inquisitive
Smart
Creative
Silly
Confident
Sensitive

..."You look like a monkey, and you smell like one too!"

Attention Moms of Boys

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on at 10:25 AM

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Every mom of boys secretly (or not so secretly) wants a girl, at least on some level. Often, the reasoning for this desire is the clothes, hair clips, tights, and sheer frenzied fashion explosion that is dressing a little girl.

In a boy's closet, everything sort of goes together, for better or for worse. Gray goes with navy, which goes with red, and they all look just dandy with olive green. That's about the extent of boys' clothing, unless you go significantly out of your way to beat back the gender stereotypes with your own two bare hands (which is a post for another day, all on its own).

It's really fun, I cannot tell a lie. I love dressing the girls.

But sometimes, they dress themselves. And sometimes they are very opinionated and you can't talk them out of it, even if you had the energy to try. Which you don't.

And on those days, you end up with this. She looks like a geriatric colorblind schizophrenic.



Dressing boys isn't as fun, but it's definitely easier!


If Eve were an inanimate object

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Thursday, September 17, 2009 at 3:11 PM

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she would be this ring. That is all.

Wallflower no more

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Tuesday, September 15, 2009 at 9:19 PM

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Behold, she is vertical! So far she just stands there and smirks, but if she hurries I might have my first baby to walk by their first birthday.

Stay tuned. I think walking would actually be an improvement because it will slow her down, at least for awhile!

Holy cow, I have 3 kids, and other delightful observations

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Wednesday, September 9, 2009 at 7:39 PM

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Such a lovely little week!

Curtains, not only in my front room as documented last blog, but in my bedroom as well! Long, white, flowing, romantic curtains, like I always wanted.



(Never mind the Channel-One-style television mounted in the corner, that's not the romantic part. Focus on the curtains, people.)



Labor Day carne asada at our place, with all my Arizona family. I was so busy having fun, of course, that I forgot to take pictures, but here's a typical action shot of my children. Hurricanes Devlin and Eve, with Iris roughly in lotus position watching it all unfold:



Speaking of that baby, she now has 5 teeth, and can stand on her own for many seconds at a time. She also took her first step toward me tonight! It was wobbly at best, but I am counting it. I am so delighted for her that I almost completely forgot to be sad that my last baby is almost one, almost walking, almost not a baby anymore.



(This is my third consecutive child to absolutely adore that little blue car in the background, by the way. David bought it for Devlin and I confess I thought he was an idiot for spending $80 on a child's toy car, but I admit it, I was WRONG, it's a fabulous item and has served us very well all these years. Plus, every family of leftist elitist snobs needs a BMW for their children).

Devlin has his first "big" tooth coming in already! It's on the bottom, in the middle. Too bad his baby tooth has forgotten to fall out first, so he looks a bit like a shark just at the moment. He is my kid, after all - braces are doubtless in our future.





Also on the home organization front, we got our downstairs coat closet put back together this week, a mere 2 months or so after the builder's grade shelf (singular) formerly located therein decided to come crashing down with great fanfare. We now have 5 lovely shelves, securely attached to the wall, which have allowed a place to store all of Devlin's choking hazards (sorry, TOYS) up out of nosy little babies' reach and behind a door. It has also allowed my pantry to be put to use storing only food, for the first time, if you can imagine such a thing. It's a beautiful, beautiful sight.

So that you might be as happy as I am on this Wednesday evening, I'll leave with you with two pictures of all my kids in the same frame. Truly momentous, and if I do say so myself, truly beautiful.



Cleaning house

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Friday, August 28, 2009 at 10:33 PM

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With school starting for Devlin, I've had to find a new groove. It has involved piano lessons on Saturday mornings, walking to the bus stop, homework, making lunches, baking bread (and eating it), working out every day with my sister, and lots and lots of "Mommy and Evie time".

Sadly, my new groove has not yet evolved to include regular blogging, applying makeup, or any of the many MANY projects on my cluttered to-do list.

However, some major progress has been made this weekend already and I thought I'd celebrate with a little oversharing. You know, in case anyone else takes disproportionate pleasure in checking things off and tidying things up.

Three little towels, all in a row (on the wall, not the floor, on hooks that are NOT going to come out - third time's the charm!):



My sister Emily bonding with sweet baby Iris (just practicing, you know - I'm brainwashing every someday-mother I can get my hands on with the Babywearing Mojo):



And finally - FINALLY - almost 7 years after moving in, 2.5 years after purchasing drapery fabric, and one year after hanging the rods...



I have curtains! *happy dance*

But I didn't make them. I bought them. And I refuse to feel bad about it. IKEA has saved my bacon yet again, and the old fabric is going to craigslist - so if anyone needs 25 yards or so of brown faux silk, keep your eyes out. I'm open to offers.

Family Vacation, so-called, the short version

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Wednesday, August 12, 2009 at 7:39 PM

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I keep waiting for the energy to do this post justice. It does not appear to be forthcoming, and every day that goes by makes this information less relevant and my brain more crowded. So better late than never, and better something than nothing!

We went to Utah and Idaho last week to see the Grandparents Great. As usual, it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be - although we did have some interesting events along the way. What would a family vacation be without them?

This was the last time Iris smiled in the car (it's ok, we only drove 2100 miles from here):



Arrived Sunday night at our ill-conceived accommodations, boasting dog hair in the bed, a beehive and broken beer bottles on the patio, and no towels. Among other niceties.

Monday morning found David a sneezing, watery-eyed mess. Mercifully, our renter gave us a refund and we secured other lodgings for the rest of the trip.

Monday was also the day we met up with David's parents, younger sister Holly, and older sister Heidi and her family. We went to the zoo, roughly together, then out to lunch and swimming. It was a big day, but my kids were so thrilled to see their oft-remembered cousins:





We rode an elephant:



and saw a real live hedgehog!



Two red strollers, one adorable towhead Gavin:



Iris was a pretty good sport about having her precious napping routine disrupted (or was it me whose precious napping routine was disrupted?):



That night we stayed with David's Aunt Diane and Uncle Galen, who pampered us royally. My kids now think I am Very Very Boring compared to Uncle "Red Tickler" Galen!

The next day we went with Mark, Claudia, and Holly to Idaho, where my kids met Mark's parents for the first time. In my stupidest moment of the entire trip, I did not take a picture of this event. If you had been there, you would understand why it slipped my mind though! The kids attended their town parade and county fair, where Mark gave them the inside scoop on cows, pigs, sheep, and everything in between. Devlin very gallantly picked up every piece of yellow parade candy he could get his hands on for Evie.

Stayed overnight in Twin Falls, ID, then back to Salt Lake on Wednesday, to the surprisingly homey Homewood Suites Hotel. Our kids wasted no time turning our living room into a Nudist Fort:



Thursday we hiked to Timpanogos Cave and took a guided tour.







Devlin greatly hoped to see a bat and was disappointed - however, we did get to see a "fishmunk":



It was fascinating, and very enjoyable once David volunteered to carry both Eve and the backpack with all our provisions. Devlin's favorite was the "cave popcorn":



Friday I took the kids - yes, all of them - to the Salt Lake Children's Museum while David represented our family at his great-aunt Gwen's funeral. The kids had a ball, and I only had to enlist the help of security to find Eve one time so I consider that a success. We attended Aunt Diane's 60th birthday party Friday night and it was a rare treat to have so much of David's family together in one place!

Saturday morning we took the kids to visit Claudia's parents. We had a lovely time, although you'd never know it from this photo:



You're never too old to wrestle, apparently!





The kids were absolutely smitten with Great Grandma's secret garden (and collection of garden animals):









We also had the pleasure (well, we thought it as nice - I hope David's grandparents have recovered) of lunch at the Chuck-A-Rama, including an extra trip just for the dessert bar.

Saturday afternoon we had dinner in the park with a lovely friend of mine, a lovely friend of hers, and a fantastic spread of homemade baba ganouj. We have eight kids between our families, so we opted for dining al fresco:







Iris and Daddy go ten rounds over a paper plate:

















And Devlin gets what he has coming to him:



Sunday we drove home, and ever since I've been trying to put my life back together. As of the completion of this post, I think I have succeeded to my satisfaction.

Let's do it again next year!