Best laid plans

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, April 27, 2009 at 6:25 AM


So, yesterday was, shall we say, not my finest hour as a parent.

I don't even want to go into details, but it's a little bit to do with a very, very stubborn 3 year old, a little bit to do with her older brother's highly developed sense of The Rules and social justice, and a little bit to do with church being squarely in the middle of everyone's naptime.

After bedtime, I was flipping out. My kids hate each other, they would be happier without the other in the house (and we'd ALL be happier without them in the same house!), they're never going to be friends, we're all going to need extensive therapy, how can I live like this for the next 15 years, etc etc. Then, Eve peed all over her bed 2 hours after going to sleep (because we're out of Pull-Ups, but that's a different story) and when we went up to address that situation, found her in an absolutely delightful mood, beaming and giggling and passing out hugs and kisses to all.

I realized that they are kids. This is normal. Siblings fight, and most of the time they grow up to tolerate - even like - each other in spite of it. They are both more resilient than I am giving them credit for and when they wake up this morning they probably won't even remember that they were fighting from morning until night yesterday - let alone why! So I formulated a plan for today that would get us all working and having fun together, not to mention checking a couple of niggling boxes off my mental to-do list. I went to bed feeling refreshed, much calmer, and ready to face another day.

Then Iris woke up (for the last time) at 5 am in a mood most foul. She's pinching, grunting ferociously, and doing what sounds suspiciously like grinding her teeth (although I don't know how this is even possible since she's only got the 2 on the bottom. Against what, pray tell, is she grinding them?) She's asking, not very nicely, to go down for a nap at 6:35 am, the other kids aren't up yet, and I'm blogging. But I'm not feeling beaten down yet! There are weeds to pull and breakfast to make and I'm still feeling like I might be able to turn this day around. So wish me luck, and I'll give a full report tonight.


Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Friday, April 24, 2009 at 8:31 PM


I am happy to report that as of this morning, we have a new camera battery. However, David took the camera with him to our church's Father and Son campout this weekend, so I still have nothing to show for it.

I've taken some pictures this week with my iPhone, but I am almost too vain to post them because, you know, they're phone pictures. But you know what? Sometimes life is beautiful and in focus, and sometimes it's grainy and washed out. We've had some wonderful moments this week, and they're not any less beautiful because the photo documentation is, shall we say, less than professional.

Last weekend, we had an impromptu family adventure: a ride on the train to Mill Avenue, a grossly overpriced "Greek" meal, and disgustingly large, mind-blowingly delicious, custom-built ice cream sandwiches. On the way home, stuffed to the gills:

Devlin - he's growing up so much! Got the monkey bars all figured out, all of a sudden. My sweet, cautious little man:

Why yes, real men do wear tutus and dance the hula:

Most of his leisure time lately is spent "creating" various things out of...stuff. This child can take any scrap of paper, cardboard container, or empty water bottle, and 10 minutes, lots of tape, and a few markers later it's a masterpiece, a contraption, or a robot. Sharing the love with hedgie baby Iris:

Small yard? Make a tiny hammock on your stairs! It only works if you're under 4 feet tall and your mom has a collection of very sturdy wraps:

Since the boys are out of the house, the little girls and I have been having lots of quality time together today. We got shaved ice (Eve got banana, with a yellow umbrella of course), and made a special trip to Michael's for real origami paper to make "boodies" (also known as a crane). An extra-long bathtime, with all the toys to herself, and sleeping in her big brother's bed topped off what I hope was a fun day for my favorite 3 year old ball of singing sunshine:

Iris can't be bothered to hold still for Mom's ridiculous "camera":

My ladies-in-waiting:

Since no one's here to stop me, I think I'm going to sign off and go be intimate with my Peanut Butter Chocolate Haagen-Dazs. Good night all!


Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Tuesday, April 21, 2009 at 9:14 PM


My camera battery has gone kaput, and I just don't enjoy blogging as much without photos. Payday being 3 days off yet, you'll just have to bide your time.

To tide you over, allow me to offer you a tasty, easy, reasonably healthy recipe that has been approved by both my kids (the ones who eat solid food, anyway). Bonus: it only uses ONE POT! I have pilfered it from, which website I highly recommend. I hope this is legal. If it's not, please don't turn me in to the authorities.

Easy Skillet Penne and Sausage Supper

Serves 4 to 6. Published February 1, 2005.

Italian pork sausage can be used here, however, you may need to spoon off some of the fat before adding the pasta. When you are adding the spinach, it may seem like a lot at first, but it wilts down substantially. Be sure to use at least a 12-inch wide skillet here-- this recipe fills it nearly to the rim. This recipe was published in America's Test Kitchen's Family Cookbook.


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion , chopped fine

table salt
3 cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press
1 pound hot or sweet Italian turkey sausage
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes , rinsed and chopped fine
1/2 pound penne pasta (2 1/2 cups), see Note below
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup milk
1 ounce grated Parmesan cheese (1/2 cup)
6 ounces baby spinach

ground black pepper


  1. Heat the oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, sausage, and tomatoes and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes.

  2. Sprinkle the penne evenly over the sausage. Pour the broth and milk over the pasta. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender, about 10 minutes.

  3. Stir in the spinach a handful at a time, and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For all my birth junkie readers

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Wednesday, April 15, 2009 at 2:49 PM


Yes, there is such a thing as a "birth junkie". If you didn't know that, then I guess that means you don't qualify. :) Feel free to read anyway, you might learn something!

My sister-in-law Heidi did this tag today, and I thought it was fun so I'm stealing it. Be interesting to see how much I actually remember!

1.Were your pregnancies planned?

Yes, all of them. I do, in fact, "know how that happens".

2. How long were you married at the time of birth?

D: 2 years, 3 months
E: 4 years, 9 months
I: 7 years, 3 months
(They're all 2.5 years apart, almost to the day)

3. What were your reactions?

Thrilled! I remember being especially thrilled with Iris, because David didn't originally want to have a third child. She just felt like a special sneaky bonus baby, and still does!

4. How did your spouse react?

Basically not at all, which is typical. I think if Ed McMahon came to the door and handed him a million dollars, he wouldn't raise an eyebrow! He loves them just the same, never you mind.

5. How old were you?

D: 22.5
E: 25
I: 27.5

6. How did you find out you were pregnant?

It's hard to miss when you're an insane control freak and you take pregnancy tests for a week out of every month!

7. Who did you tell first?

David, then probably the immediate families, then the kids. Then the whole world. Not very good at secrets around here.

8. Did you want to find out the gender?

Yes, even when we already had one of each. See "control freak".

9. Due Date?

D: I honestly don't remember, but he was born 9/18/03. That was a few days early according to the OB, but I think she was wrong. Long story.
E: due 3/4/06, born 3/4/06. It was the last cooperative thing she's done!
I: due 9/20/08, born 9/23/08.

10. Did you have morning sickness?

You'll all hate me, but I've never had a moment of nausea with any of my babies. Sorry.

11. What did you crave?

I had an insane ice-crunching compulsion with both the girls. I took liquid iron supplements but it didn't curb it. Crazy!

12. What irritated you the most?

Nothing sticks out. I'm a happy pregnant lady.

13. What was the child’s sex?

Boy, girl, girl.

14. Did you wish that you had the opposite sex of what you were getting?

Not at all. I knew the gender every time - just knew. Devlin cried when he found out Iris wasn't a boy, but I think he's over it now.

15. How many pounds did you gain throughout the pregnancy?

D: 40
E: 35
I: 40
(Thank the good dear Lord it's all come off every time! That would be scary.)

16. Did you have a baby shower?

Yes, every time. Any excuse for a party!

17. Did you have any complications during your pregnancy?

None at all.

18. Where did you give birth?

D: Banner Mesa Hospital (formerly Mesa Lutheran, now defunct)
E and I: an inflatable kiddie swimming pool in my bedroom

19. How many hours were you in labor?

D: I think it was 18 hours from when they started Pitocin until he was born. That's what happens when you're induced before you're ready and then numbed to the gills!
E: 8 hours from first contraction to baby - she was born 4 hours after I called the midwife to come.
I: She was tricky! I thought I was in labor several times before the "real" thing - so many times that when I was actually in labor, I didn't believe it until it was almost too late. David asked me if I wanted to call the midwives over, and I said no because I was tired of crying wolf. He called them anyway, and a good thing too because she was born an hour later! It was less than 2 hours from "hey, I think this might be it" to baby.

20. Who drove you to the hospital?

David, the first time. Now I do it the easy way! Can't imagine trying to go somewhere in the middle of labor.

21. Who watched you give birth?

D: David, Dr. McNeal, not sure who else. I was pretty out of it.
E: David, Wendi (the midwife), and her assistant...her name escapes me. I hadn't met her before that morning!
I: David, Wendi, and Sarah (my other midwife - yes, I got two, all for me!)

22. Was your baby delivered the regular way or by c-section?

The old-fashioned way, thanks.

23. Did you take medicine to ease the pain?

D: I had an epidural before things ever got going very hard because I thought that's how you did it. Shouldn't have watched so many episodes of "A Baby Story", I think I would have been a lot better off! It was the hardest delivery because I couldn't feel anything.
E and I: All natural, at home. Much better.

24. How much did the baby weigh?

D: 7-12
E: 7-10
I: 7-15

25. What did you name your children?

Devlin Thomas
Eve Marian
Iris Olivia
(I wish I could have 5 more babies just to pick out names! I love names).

26. How old are your children today?

D: 5 years, 7 months
E: 3 years, 1 month
I: almost 7 months (what happened there???)

So, any of my friends who find this stuff interesting, please do this tag and let me know you did it so I can come and read!

The one with the Easter Clothes

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Sunday, April 12, 2009 at 9:21 PM


Aren't they fabulous?

I am blessed beyond measure, and so grateful for my beautiful family. I can just hardly stand the sight of them all together like that! It's just too much - too much for one person to deserve.

Happy Easter everyone!

Hey, lookie here!

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Sunday, April 5, 2009 at 4:05 PM


No, over here. :)

My favorite part about all this is that my laundry is so tiny that you can't even get a picture of half of it at the same time, much less the whole thing. (Now imagine, you know, doing laundry in it! It's like a jigsaw puzzle - everything has to be in the proper configuration or you can't open the door, or close the washer, or whatever).

Anyway, thank you once again to everyone involved. My laundry room is well on its way to becoming the nicest room in the whole house - I'll update when we get some window treatments and the last of the shelves installed. In the meantime, check out the link and try to contain your jealousy!


Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 8:32 AM


So, I'll make this simple for you.

Iris is six months old. She weighs 16.5 pounds.

She has 2 teeth, on the bottom.

She can sit up, but doesn't like to practice much because it gets in the way of her crawling EVERYWHERE.

She likes to eat things. Especially if they're very dirty, like shoes, or could possibly electrocute her.

She is super ticklish.

She likes Mommy best.

She is truly the most delightful baby that ever there was. All smiles, peaceful and laid back.

It is impossible not to love her.