Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right..

The morning begins peacefully enough. Mark wakes us for scripture study. I answer emails and read headlines at the kitchen table while the kids make their lunches. Haley drops something and looks worriedly my way. Not wanting to add to her anxiety, I say nothing as she swipes at the floor with a dish towel. I'll handle it later.

Then Jesse wakes up. (This is often the point when peaceful morning go awry.) He decides to get dressed. Moments later, he's screaming. Only the underpants with the blue stripe on the waistband are available. He prefers the ones with the black stripe.

Once the kids are out the door to school I investigate the kitchen. Apparently Haley dropped an entire jar of jelly. And everyone else walked on it as they made their lunches. Nice.

And the screaming continues. I have decreed that Jesse must wear the available underpants. Finally I put him in his room and kindly tell him I'll be happy to see him when he is wearing underpants.

Serenaded by screams and thumps, I dress, start a load of laundry and work on resumes. Preschool starts in 45 minutes. Now 20 minutes. I really must take Jesse to preschool since I'm scheduled to teach resume writing at Logan's school this morning.

T-minus- 5. After brainstorming session with Nancy on the phone, I stage an intervention. I burst into Jesse's room and loudly exclaim, "Have I told you about Santa Claus?" He sits up and asks, "What?" I launch into unbroken chatter, "He lives in the North Pole. Oh, you say he's a ninja? Well, yes he is, and so are the elves. They make toys and also they're ninjas." This continues--without any mention of clothing or preschool--as I dress him, put him in the car, and unload him at school. As he begins to walk up the sidewalk--just in case he suddenly notices his own compliance--I throw out, "And what about the Easter Bunny? Is HE a ninja?" Jesse chatters to himself as he walks to the door. Phew.

Rush back home to mop kitchen, apply make-up, and finish a resume before my appointment at Logan's school. On time to teach two classes on resume writing.

After preschool and lunch, I nap a bit, Jesse crawls on my head, finally I wake up. We drive out to Roscoe's high school to pick him up for an orthodontist appointment. The school cannot locate Roscoe. For 30 minutes. They say, "We cannot find him." I say, "Well, what are you going to do?" Jesse entertains secretarial staff by standing on his head. Finally Roscoe is paged over the schoolwide intercom and appears promptly. He says he was in his class the whole time. Now we're late for the orthodontist. Rush to pick up Logan, also for said appointment. Arrive 30 minutes late. Entertain Jesse in waiting room while boys get braces tightened.

Home late to greet Haley and Levi. Homework. Screen-time negotiations. Early choretime. Early--and lame--dinner of pasta salad and tortilla chips. Then a divide-and-conquer scheme in which Levi attends soccer game, Logan attends karate, and Roscoe and Mark attend parent-teacher conferences.

This day was particularly crazy, what with the jelly and tantrums and missing high schoolers. But mostly, this was a normal day. I'm dealing with big boys and their appointments and activities, as well as little boy tantrums, plus baby fatigue. Here I am, stuck in the middle.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fun with Babies

Around here we've been thinking about the fun of babies.

In yoga, one of the chakras is the right to see and be seen. Mark and I love to just look into the eyes of a baby. Watch this baby connect with a dog.

This baby was born deaf. In this clip, you see what happens when its cochlear implant is turned on for the first time and the baby hears his mother's voice.

Oh my goodness, Daddy--stop for a minute and let this baby catch his breath!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

My Girl

We're still hardly able to believe it ourselves, but it's a girl. I know! Who really believed it could happen?

I have to admit, we're very pleased. Mark and I both wanted a girl. We've loved all our boys, and we've loved having Haley. But it definitely feels like this family could use another girl, and I've never, ever had a baby girl--not even a foster baby girl. In fact, I can hardly remember even holding a baby girl. My sister Nancy observed, "They're like mythological creatures to you." And they have been. But not anymore.

Roscoe, Logan, and Haley (of course) were also pleased. Jesse was skeptical--I think he can't picture a baby girl, either. Levi literally fell onto the ground in dismay. "I really just need another brother!" he claimed, though I can't imagine why.

She looked great on the ultrasound. An adorable little nose in profile. A spine like a string of pearls. Leg bones and arm bones and toes in all the right places.

Don't hold me to it, but as we drove away from the office it really felt like this girl's name is Elizabeth Gold. Elizabeth is my mother's name. Gold is Mark's mother's maiden name. I think we'll call her Betsy.
Me and my girl, 16 weeks

Monday, September 20, 2010


Based on ongoing phone calls from a certain high schooler, we've abandoned tonight's Plan A for Plan B, then launched Plan C, only to revert to Plan B. I'm dizzy.
Kids these days have online gradebooks. So their mothers can make them redo every single missing school assignment. They love it.

I'm too fat for regular clothes. But not big enough for my maternity clothes. Also, my maternity clothes are looking pretty dated. It's clear I need a whole new wardrobe. Also a pedicure.
My husband is really enjoying listening to me constantly fret over my wardrobe/fatness issues. "This has happened to you before," he reasons. "Yes, but you'd be freaking out, too, if if were happening to you," I counter. Then I call my sister Nancy.

So every item from my closet has been removed and sorted. Farewell, normal-human-sized jeans. I hope to see you again. Perhaps in winter 2011.
Poll-takers predict a girl over a boy three-to-one. Conversely, three out of four blog commenters predict a boy. Mysterious.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Predictions, please

Wednesday is my gender-check ultrasound. So in five days we'll know if I am continuing my fine tradition of cooking up adorable, fat-cheeked boys or if somehow the universe has realigned giving me--finally--a baby girl.

I have to confess: This time I'm kind of hoping for a girl. I've loved, loved having boys, but this is my last chance for a baby girl and there's a part of me who wants to have that experience. Haley, as you can imagine, is quite certain of her choice.

Poll on top left sidebar. What's your prediction?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I realize this is the boringest headline in the history of the universe:

Pregnant Mother of Five Reports Feeling Tired

But still.

I literally feel like I'm on drugs. Like someone slips an Ambien into my morning OJ. My head is full of cotton and my limbs are heavy. My brain is fuzzy and I'm seriously worried that my driving is impaired. The word soporific keeps rolling around in my head. Somehow it sounds how I feel.

No, my iron isn't low. I'm getting full nights of sleep and afternoon naps (you know, while Jesse climbs on my head and raids the kitchen). In general, I'm feeling good and living it up in this second trimester sweet spot. I'm just sayin: I'm tired.

Friday, September 10, 2010


I introduced Jesse to ants on a log. (You know, pb and raisins on celery.) He digs it. Sweet.

Joni Mitchell "Radio" is a perfect song.

Our weekend of nothing-much-going-on includes karate practice, soccer practice, Shakespeare rehearsals, and a ward party.

After sipping Coke all summer long to settle my stomach, I don't drink pop anymore. But I have discovered Fuze. mmmm.

Mark and I have started season 6 of Lost. All day we send each other cryptic emails like, "maybe the note really just said save sayid or you're dead--but the water was murky and ineffective presumably BECAUSE jacob was dead, so I think he knew sayid couldn't be saved. so maybe jacob's plan to re-embody himself was a secret to all."

"Mormons Who Support a Mosque Near Ground Zero" has 382 members. I only check its stats about 15 times a day. Oprah hasn't called yet.

I made this chart of who will be in what grade when. In three years, Roscoe will have graduated from high school. At that point,
Coda will have just turned two. In six years, we'll have an RM, a missionary, two middle schoolers, a fifth grader (Jesse!), and a kindergartner.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


For whatever reasons, life has been spanking my bootie for several weeks. I think today what we have here is normalcy. Jesse and I spent the morning doing a bit of prenatal pilates and catching up on laundry--as in the bottoms of the laundry bins were sighted for the first time in ages.

We also got out the big bin of baby toys and reminisced about which babies loved which toys. Little Jess is the most enthusiastic brother-to-be I've ever known.
(Do you notice that Jess is wearing actual clothing? As in a full ensemble of shirt and pants? The result of a much-touted Target trip in which he could select any outfit of his choosing. That is, any outfit of his choosing from the $4/$8 table.)

Jesse is also in the constant questions mode. A few gems from today:

"Which hole did Alice fall in?"

"Will you buy me an ice gun so I can kill all the bad guys?"

"Do aliens have brains?"

"Are the brains green?"

"I love you and yes someone else." (After I sing, "I can't help myself, I love you and no one else.")

"No, you're just sleeping." (After I answer for the 20th time that Sleeping Beauty has that name because she's sleeping and she's a beauty and he observes that I'm sleeping, so I foolishly ask, "Am I a sleeping beauty?")

In other news, earlier this week Roscoe led the Scouts in sanding and staining cars for his Eagle project. (Yes, that Eagle project that's been on hold for more than a year.)

Friday, September 3, 2010


Savvy children know that after a long day of hooliganism...
...some targeted re-branding is wise.

**My mom is sure we staged this photo. We truly didn't. We came upstairs to bed and found this little tableau awaiting us.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


This is how life goes: A blissful moment of peace yesterday, then another child falls to the stomach flu I've done you the favor of not describing. (It's a doozy.) So for another night Mark and I drifted in and out of sleep while dealing with a very sad, sick child.

This morning, my heroic sister Nancy, who has spent the last three-and-a-half months--since May 15!--lying flat on her back to keep her little baby safely ensconced until he fully baked, went into labor. She has been such a champion as her life has basically ground to a halt to care for this baby. And today, finally, he will arrive, safe and sound.

Also, I went to the doctor. I'm thirteen weeks pregnant. Three months. And everything looks good. That little heartbeat chug-chugged just as it should. By this point my chances of a miscarriage are down to about three percent. (Knock on wood.)
Meanwhile the laundry situation here continues to hover between Critical and Code Red. (How can I make progress when people puke over entire loads each night?) Still haven't been grocery shopping. No dishes done yet today. Not yet sure how we'll navigate the triple layers of family obligations we have scheduled tonight. But I took my little nap and now sit here sipping water and swilling a vitamin.

So the bitter is all mixed in with the sweet, the sublime with the base. Everything is just as it should be. Life is good.