So I have a confession. Sometimes as I go about doing my regular stuff during the day, I blog in my mind. Sometimes I get on and just spew whatever thoughts I have unedited out into the world, but sometimes I think of witty things to say. The problem is, often I've forgotten them by the time I actually have a few uninterrupted minutes to sit down at the computer. Or sometimes I realize they aren't as witty the next day when I'm operating on a bit more sleep.
But a couple of weeks ago I had the idea to do "Like, Don't Like" posts. I was entertaining myself by thinking of all sorts of related items, one that I liked and one that I didn't like. Example:
Like: Round toed shoes
Don't Like: Pointy toed shoes
Like: Wheat Thins
Don't Like: Triscuit
I thought this would be a fun and somewhat clever way to tell the world little things about me they might not know, and would never think to ask. Yeah, I realize they would also probably not care, but in this world of Facebooking, Twittering, blogging, etc., we are all narcissists. I think some of the others that I thought of were more interesting than the two examples I shared, but (naturally) I can't think of them right now. Perhaps because a baby is destroying things under my desk even as I type this and a fluffy dog is trying to persuade me to throw her rope for her. I need uninterrupted time to be brilliant. Which explains a lot...
So, my Daisy doggy is a fabulous fetcher. A fetching fetcher, if you will. She will race to retrieve all manner of soft squeaky toys or her tug rope time after time after time. She releases the toy to the command "Give," or just drops it on her own. It's a lot of fun to watch her fluffiness run and carry her toys around (she has a HUGE plush bone which is especially entertaining!). We play fetch outside and also inside. Rudy is not such a great fetcher. He will, however, play for a bit inside when he can try and steal Daisy's toys from her, or act like a roadblock just by standing longways in her path. Spud, however, is a most awesome fetcher. I think it is one of his favorite activities. Whenever I get Daisy going on a game of fetch (usually without Rudy around), Spud will come and join in the fun, racing Daisy to get the toys and bring them back. And he can keep these sprints up for a loooong time. It's a great way for both of them to burn off their excess energy, and it's pretty fun to watch.
Though there are days when one or more of the pets threaten to send me over the edge of sanity, I do love having them around, especially for the kids. I really can't imagine anything more fun for kids than to have pets to play with, tease (in nice ways), cuddle with and love. I know my kids will never fully appreciate their "good fortune" in having an animal-loving mother, but it makes me happy enough knowing that they are growing up with these experiences and will be animal-loving adults, too.
Kind of. I guess we need a blog-appropriate phrase for that. "Thinking at keyboard." Maybe that works.
A couple weeks ago was General Conference (wow, I guess it was only about 1 1/2 weeks ago, but it feels like much longer). It was my first attempt to actually involve the kids. In the past I was happy if they stayed out of my hair and managed to be relatively self-entertaining. I would tune every radio to conference, so it was playing wherever they were, but I liked to do my own thing and let them do theirs. This year I felt it was important for them to participate more, so I did a few things differently. I found some great Conference Bingo sheets, and also these Apostle Cards which I printed off and laminated. I also printed off some pages from various Conference packets--the most used page was the one where the kids could color the ties of each of the Apostles as they saw them. Pretty fun. Anyways, though it took more effort on my part both before and during the conference, I really felt like the effort was worth it to have the kids participate in Conference. As a child, I was allowed to bring toys in to the family room to play with quietly on the floor while the family watched, and I remember those times. I've always felt like Conference is a very important time, and I think it is because there was always the expectation to watch/listen to all the sessions. I want my kids to grow up with that, too. They did really enjoy the bingo sheets, and they earned treats for getting BINGO on both their Saturday and Sunday boards. So it's definitely something we'll do again.
We watched the Sunday session with David's family down in Springville. Since we don't have a TV subscription, we ended up watching Saturday's sessions in the office on my computer. Not nearly as comfortable as in our family/TV room, but at least the screen was a decent size. (I love my big monitor!) Between sessions the TV was on and there were commercials for various toys. Noodle said, "It's a good thing we don't have TV, otherwise we'd just want all these toys that they show on commercials." I thought that was rather an astute observation, and think it is very true. We do watch movies and a handful of cartoons, but we are spared from commercials. It's pretty great, really. It's hard enough for kids to be grateful and satisfied when they aren't constantly bombarded with commercials for the latest cool toy or trendy idea. My mom likes to say, "The play should be in the child, not the toy." I firmly believe this. I don't think this means only wooden or simple toys are appropriate (you should see the creative things Spud comes up with for his Transformers!), but rather that a toy should invite the child to use their imagination and not only have scripted play. One thing that Noodle does that I love is to "accessorize" all her toys. Shemakes houses for them, food out of Sculpey clay, beds, blankets, vehicles, musical instruments, etc. Plus she will write letters to/from the toy, illustrate scenes from their lives, construct a family tree, and on and on. Last week was our week off school and I sewed Noodle & Spud each a cute little plush mouse. It's pretty neat to watch how much fun they can have with one toy. Spud likes to build aircraft for his mouse from the Magformers.
1. her plastic cone aka Elizabethan collar 2. an outgrown one of Sprout's rompers (long-sleeved, long legged onesie) 3. two socks on each of her back feet
Well, I'll tell you.
Over the past few months we have had one sore after another. One of them was a legitimate injury, exacerbated by her understandable licking at it (she had a foxtail embedded in her rump--ouch!), but the others have been various itches that she either scratches until they bleed or licks until they bleed. I don't know if it is an environmental allergy or food allergy or just because we live in a super dry climate, but I do know that it is a lot easier (though heavy on the ridiculous side) to prevent these sores than to deal with them once they are present. And I think the annoyance/discomfort to her is also less if I can keep her from making the sores. She actually doesn't seem to mind the onesie or the cone. The socks I think annoy her, but she's a pretty good sport.
Aren't you glad you asked?
On a somewhat related note -- today I gave her a bath and, for my first time ever, a haircut!! Four weeks ago I did part of her haircut by myself (David has done the haircutting for the past nearly 3 years that we've owned her) and it didn't turn out that great. But I learned from my mistakes and did a much better job this time. It's a small thing, but I'm happy to be able to take it off of David's plate and kind of proud of myself for doing such a nice job. :o)
We had an "End of Term" party for the kids tonight. We invited 12 kids over and made mini pizzas, ran around the back yard like crazies, and then had a dance party in the garage (complete with our cool "disco-esque" light ball thing [gift from a former roommate in honor of the Year of the Dance Parties]). Who knew that 14 kids in a garage could be so fun? I enjoyed the party, though, even if the only adults were David & I and my friend Leah. Kids are fun, especially when I get to spend time with them on my terms (not Cub Scouts, babysitting, helping out in a school classroom, Primary, etc.) My terms usually involve just wanting to do fun things. Anyways, the party was a hit and I'll post some blurry pictures if I get around to it soon.
Things are looking really promising for David on the work front. If you've been praying for us, thanks! and keep 'em coming. I've been working on being very mindful of the blessings we've received over the past year and have been diligent in keeping the fear and worry at bay. Heavenly Father has kept us going this long (with/through the generous help of a number of people here on earth), and I trust that he won't let us fail. I've been doing a good job focusing my energies on productive endeavors that pertain to my role in our family (nurturing & teaching the children), and honestly, that has taken so much of my energy and time that I haven't had any left to worry unnecessarily about the money situation. I feel like I'm doing the right things, and I think David is, too, so I think we are in the right place to do "the next thing." I have to say that I am so proud of the kids and I for doing as well on our homeschool these past six weeks as we have. It has been an adjustment, as it's been our first time doing real, official FULL-TIME homeschool. Last year we had kind of a funny schedule because of my working so much. Noodle has adjusted really well, and I think Spud is responding well to the one-on-one attention he gets when we do his preschool work. Also, now when he isn't doing his school, he'll often play nearby on his own, rather than just moping around or pestering. So we have made progress!!
Well, I'm rambling. It was a good day, and I'm glad we had the chance to have some fun and make some good memories with the kids. I hope we can be the sort of home where friends like to come to feel safe and have fun.