Friday, December 29, 2006

I wonder what she is thinking . . .

Just a quick note and a great picture. Christmas was wonderful and this whole week has been great. Greg has the whole week off from work so we have mostly just relaxed and enjoyed family life. Greg ran over to the neighbor's house last night for a few minutes and Ellie asked "Mom, why are you watching us?" - I think the kids have enjoyed seeing quite a lot of their Dad lately.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Little girls are so cute!

Greg here, filling in for Heather who has her hands plenty full. Today we had an ultrasound and found out two things we already knew: We are roughly 21 weeks along in the pregnancy and we are probably going to have another girl. As much as I may like to have a boy someday, I certainly love the three little princesses I have been blessed with this far, and look forward to one more joining the ranks. Attached is a picture of why I love my little girls, and quite frankly I don't think a little boy could stand a chance of ever being so cute and sweet.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Picture Day

This morning I dressed the girls in their new Christmas outfits with the hope of getting a couple cute pictures taken. Of course, little did I realize that the reason Sarah was so uncooperative was because she was getting sick. We got a couple of pictures taken before we went to church, then I thought we could take a some more when we got home, but Sarah's dress may never be the same--she had a monster case of the runs which "ran" all over my lap during the closing prayer. I quickly ran out of the church and changed her clothes and mine, but it would appear that we will have to wait for another day to try the matching outfits again.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Happy Cinco de Mayo

You may wonder what happened to Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Holidays or Happy New Year, but this spring we will be expanding our home by two feet. It is yet to be determined if those two feet will be boy feet or girl feet, but judging from our past record, I think chances have us at another girl (Due May 5, hence the title of this entry).
As for the last few blog entries, sorry there haven't been any pictures with the fun-filled adventures, the camera was missing, but yesterday Sarah wandered into our room holding it asking me to take her picture, so we are back in business as soon as I have more exciting pictures to take! (My expanding stomach definitely does not count). All else is well (except for Greg who is at present sick in bed) and aside from an oil slick that Ellie caused in the kitchen yesterday we have no turbulence to report.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

greased lightning part 2

Ellie has moved on in her hairstyling prowess. Today, rather than putting things in her own hair, she opted to put them in Sarah's. You know, I thought that Vaseline was the worst possible thing that she could put in hair, and for a while I thought that is what was in Sarah's hair, until I discovered her tube of eczema cream. Yeah, it's worse. It's like vaseline mixed with special moisturizers for extra dry skin. Umm, not the easiest thing to get out--on the plus side, though, her pigtails stayed in really well today!

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Today I cut off most of the remains of Ellie's last disastrous haircut. YEAH!! After months of trying to cover up the bald/thin spots, she now has a short, but even haircut--Oh what joy fills my heart! Overall, Ellie's behavior has been improving, but her emotions have been raging out of control. She is so funny. The smallest things can set her off one way or the other. For example, not getting to say the prayer on breakfast, someone opening the garage door before she can push the button, not getting to wear sandals when it has snowed outside, or having to go to bed at a decent hour can send her to tears faster than you can say "cry." On the other hand, finding a penny, getting a piece of candy, going to preschool, or talking to her dad on the phone can keep her in high spirits for hours. I am loving the highs, but am wondering what this emotional rollercoaster is going to be like when she becomes a teenager and has hormones! YIKES!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

It's an Ellie Day!

Well, it has been a while since I have had two posts in one day, but today has been an especially busy day for Ellie. Usually, Ellie spends Tuesday mornings at a neighborhood preschool, but it has been postponed because my neighbor's daughter was sick. So instead, Ellie expressed her creative self in other ways. First, when I thought she was eating breakfast, Ellie climbed up into the spice cupboard and emptied a couple bottles--especially potent was the Salad Supreme. Then, when I was on a phone call, she went into the family room, emptied two shelves of our bookcase of their contents and ripped out pages from a couple of books that she apparently found inappropriate to have in our home. This afternoon, we went outside, and she came out without shoes on, so I sent her back in to get some. When she hadn't reappeared after a minute, I went inside to find her making butter sculptures in the kitchen. When I was changing Sarah's diaper, I came downstairs to find the kitchen smelling lemony fresh, and the floor a veritable ice skating rink since Ellie dumped a good portion of my Costco-sized bottle of dish soap on the floor. At least I thought it was just on the floor until I just ran a load of dishes in the dishwasher. Apparently she decided to "help" with the dishes because we had quite the pile of suds built up around the floor when it got going. I think this the first time I have actually seen a dishwasher overflow from using dishsoap. Thank you Ellie for the memorable day.


I can hardly believe that it is really November--Wow! Becca has finished her first term of school and came out with straight 4s with the exception of a 3 in penmanship, which she inherited from her mother. We also had a great Halloween. The girls dressed up as Cinderella, Belle (Beauty & the Beast) and Sleeping Beauty and enjoyed being princesses for the day. They looked more like eskimoes when they came back from their trick-or-treating, though. It was really cold and they had rather pink noses when they came inside. But, they have thoroughly enjoyed their candy (as has Greg) and the sugar high that comes with it.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Tonight was a great night! The kick-off event was carving our pumpkins and the girls loved cleaning them out - which was a tough decision because they really wanted to both carve and paint them. Well, as push-over-parents we decided it would be OK to carve them first, and then let the pumpkins get covered in paint.

Ellie was quick to decide on a fairy princess. Unfortunately and due to a complete lack of artistic talent her vision became just a fairy wand. She was stilled thrilled and we were somehow able to keep her clean - right up until we were taking pictures when she leaned into the purple paint. Bless her heart!

Becca set off through the cookie cutters and after rummaging through them for a few minutes decided that heart would be great - particularly when covered in red paint. It certainly must have something to do with the red shirt. I had told Becca she could paint her pumpkin as soon as her bed was made, so of course she waited until Greg came home and coerced him into helping.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

At Least

Thanks, Michelle for the great idea of the "At Least" game. Here is the list I made after Ellie's little mess yesterday:

At least nobody drank the Windex

At least it didn’t get in Sarah’s eyes

At least we don’t have to go to the emergency room

At least I have already called Poison Control about Window cleaner, so I don’t have to today

At least my kitchen floor is now streak free

At least I have chocolate in my house for moments like this (Thanks Michelle for this reminder)

At least I have a kitchen to clean

At least I have my family

At least Ellie’s love of cleaning products has the potential to turn into a love of cleaning

At least we have the gospel

"something good"

Yesterday morning was the first time in a while that I have been able to see the humor in Ellie's antics. Not that she hasn't been her normal, havoc causing self, I just haven't really been up to putting a humorous spin on it as of late. But yesterday she made me laugh. I was cleaning the upstairs and Sarah was in the playroom, but when I went in to check, Ellie was not with her sister. Here is the conversation that followed:
Me: "Ellie, where are you?"
Ellie: "Downstairs."
Me: "What are you doing?"
Ellie: "Umm . . . something good!"
Me (while walking quickly downstairs): "What good thing are you doing?
Ellie: "I'm, um, getting a drink."
Me: "No you're not, I'm in the kitchen, and you're not here."
Ellie: "Oh....oops."
Me: "What are you really doing?"
Ellie: "Umm...something not very good."
By this time I had found her in the laundry room with a bottle of eyeglass cleaner dumped on the floor. While I was cleaning that up, she climbed up into my cleaning cupboard and sprayed Windex all over the floor in the kitchen. Sadly, Sarah decided to come downstairs just then, and slipped on the wet tile. When I went to clean up that mess, she slipped on the other puddle in the laundry room--not her lucky day.

Monday, October 09, 2006

How now brown cow?

On our way up to Jackson Hole we took several pit-stops to help ensure a more peaceful, pleasant ride. One such stop occured next to a cow pasture. Greg rolled down the window, mooed at the cows and received a whole hearted moo in response. Becca, who sat in the back seat dumbfounded exclaimed, "Daddy, I didn't know you could speak cow!"
The entire trip was wonderful. We had a great time looking at wildlife, hiking, driving through Yellowstone, (although we gave up on Old Faithful just moments too soon), and just relaxing by the fire. All in all it was a great trip.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Two weeks later...

I can't believe it has been two weeks since I posted. With funeral preparations and thank-you notes, General Conference and birthdays, life around here has not been without event, but I haven't been able to put into words the feelings and emotions that have abounded over the last few days.
The girls have been their typical energetic selves, with comments and actions to warrant blogging, but we have been so busy that I'm afraid some of the adventures will be lost forever, but here are a few of my favorite stories that have been missed.

Grandma was certainly loved. Her viewing was supposed to go from 6-8p.m. on Sunday night, but people arrived an hour early, and the line continued until 10:00 making for a nearly five hour viewing. The next morning at the Stake Center, every chair was set up for the funeral, and people were sitting on the stage, standing against the wall, and waiting out in the hall--it was packed. All of the grandchildren and great-grandchildren sang for the funeral, and the day after we sang, I asked Becca what she thought of performing in front of so many people. She told me that there were a lot of people at the funeral, but she was only singing for one--Grandma Welling.

GENERAL CONFERENCE--(or should I say Merry Christmas)
On Conference Sunday, we went to Greg's parent's house. We ate a delicious turkey dinner and sat down to watch the last session of Conference. I suppose the tryptophan in the turkey was a little too effective to keep me alert enough to pay attention to the speakers and to my daughter. While we were happily lounging in front of the television, Ellie, who obviously didn't get enough of the sedative, was busily pulling out all of Lorna's Christmas decorations. She pulled all of the mini-lights out of their strings, dumped a bag of confetti equivalent, pulled all of the keepsake ornaments out of their wrappings, and to add that final touch--as if she hadn't done enough--she found the glass ornaments and smashed them into tiny pieces with her fingers. Somehow she managed to come out of the ordeal without a scrape, which is amazing considering the fact that she was playing in shattered glass, and even more amazing because I didn't inflict any bodily harm to my little stinker :) Somehow, we got it all cleaned up with only a few minor cuts ourselves, and Ellie offered her grandma several heartfelt apologies at my bidding.

Aside from the usual day to day issues, I also turned 30 on Saturday. I think one of my most clever gifts was from the Kearls. I received a giant bowl filled with Halloween treats with a card at the bottom that said: "Now it's time for your Halloween SCARE" and when I opened it up it said, "Happy 30th Birthday"

All in all we are doing pretty well. We are getting ready to leave for Jackson Hole tomorrow morning and we can't wait! I am sorry I didn't have my camera for the Christmas wonderland that Ellie created, but I promise to take pictures while on our trip!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


My sweet, wonderful grandma died earlier tonight. And what a saint she has been through her entire life. I am so grateful, for her sake, that she is free from her poor, sick body, but I also mourn for those of us she left behind. Life just won't be quite the same without her around. She was truly an angel on earth.
But, amidst my troubled heart, my kids have kept life in perspective. As the end drew near, I forwarned my girls that I would most likely cry more than they were used to when Grandma was gone, but whe I first heard the news, my first reaction, aside from shock--I have been dreading the phone call for so long, it hardly seemed real when I heard--was happiness for Grandma's release. I passed the news on to my girls and Becca immediatly asked, "Mom, why aren't you crying? You said you would cry." I told her that she would certainly have a chance to see the tears, but was definitly amused by her candid response.
The other reality check I had was when we were getting ready for family prayers. Becca was praying, and I told her that instead of praying for Grandma, we should probably pray for Grandpa and the rest of the family, since we are all so sad right now. Becca replied, "Well, I am kind of sad, but it's a good thing Grandpa is still alive. He gives me treats, so I'm still pretty happy.
Watching my girls' simple faith, knowing that we will be together as a family again, and since their concept of time is so poor, it is really more accurate in the eternal sense, that we will be together again soon makes me a little bit stronger at this selfishly-sad time.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Fall Family Fun

Well, fall is here and we are loving every minute of it. The weather is cool and crisp, and we are spending as much time as we possibly can outside. I think that fall has to be my favorite season with the following as a partial list of some of my reasons why:
  • Football Season--I love going to football games; dressing in the school colors and cheering for my favorite team
  • Raking and more importantly JUMPING in autumn leaves
  • Apple Picking and apple baking--pies, cobbler, crisp, applesauce, apple cider, YUM!
  • School Starting--Not that I want to get rid of my kids, there is just something exciting about the beginning of a new school year.
  • Hiking through the mountains to see the changing leaves and kick up some crunchy leaves
  • Pulling out the cold-weather clothes
  • Taking the kids to the pumpkin patch
  • Hay rides
  • The sweet crisp smell of the air
  • Harvesting the garden (meager as it may be)
  • My birthday
  • Hunting for Monarch Butterflies on their southern migration
  • Swinging in the Apple tree
  • Watching a movie outside on the "BIG-BIG" screen
  • Picking out Halloween costumes
  • Going to a Farmer's Market
  • Carving Pumpkins and roasting the seeds
  • Making Homemade Doughnuts
  • Watching the wind blow the dried leaves up into the air
  • Listening to songs about the fall--"See you in September" and "September Morn"--who could beat Neil Diamond?
  • General Conference
  • Fall Picnics
  • Canning--This one I have mixed feelings on--I really like canning, but it is a little tough with my three little "helpers" under foot.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Eau de Toilette

I am currently stuck between a rock and a hard spot...or should I say a messy and a gross spot. Ellie is still in the last-second I HAVE TO GO POTTY NOW stage, and Sarah is in the "cool--a small body of water just my size--perfect for playing and drinking" stage putting me in the which is worse stage: continually cleaning potty-training accidents because there is a lock on the toilet, or discovering my daughter slurping from a toilet-dunked wash cloth. YUCK! I have done my best to keep the bathroom doors closed, but it is a futile attempt. I caught Sarah playing with a wash cloth, cup, and wad of toilet paper in the toilet just today, and once I even loudly told Becca to "stop playing in the toilet" when she was using it, thinking it was in fact Sarah.
When Ellie was Sarah's age, she too had a bathroom fettish, but rather than taking water out, she was more interested in putting things in. For example, one day she managed to stick ALL of my hot curlers in my bathroom toilet. Greg had to take the toilet off to get them back out, and then tried three times to put it back together before we finally called a plumber to fix it. So, although taking water out definitely has the gross factor, our budget is grateful for the fact that she hasn't tried putting anything in...yet.

Thursday, August 31, 2006


Yesterday as we were running around doing errands, Ellie had an accident, so I changed her pants in the back of the car, and continued on my merry way. One of the tasks at hand included going to the grocery store to get some dry ice since we were taking popsicles to to Becca's soccer game. All went well, but as I was getting ready for bed I realized that I had left the dry ice in the car. I didn't know what implications leaving dry ice over night in the car would cause, so I quickly grabbed the ice and dumped it in the kitchen sink. This morning after breakfast, Greg was taking his dishes to the sink, when he discovered what I will term the "underpantsicle." Somehow, Ellie's underwear had fallen into the sink when I brought the dry ice inside, and landed in a pan I had left overnight to soak. By the time we discovered it, the entire pan was a solid ice block, with a pair of Strawberry Shortcake big-girl-pants cryogenically frozen in the middle. The moral of this story? Unless you want to preserve your potty-training experiences for future generations, please be careful with dry ice.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Born to be Wild

Ellie woke up yesterday with this adorable hair-do and I think it was just a forewarning of what was in store for the day. I had people coming over, and decided I should focus my efforts on getting the house picked up. When the main floor was straightened I went upstairs to make sure that everything was still tidy. The first thing I noticed as I started up the stairs was a distinctly tropical scent wafting down toward me. A gooey squishy feeling between my toes gave me my first indication that the delightful aroma eminated from a spilled bottle of coconut-scented shampoo that was now being used to "clean" the carpet. I wiped off my foot and made a mental note to come back and clean the soapy puddle. As I turned the corner, I saw a bright yellow mural welcoming me upstairs. Ellie had used sidewalk chalk all over the walls--not terribly difficult to clean, just a little time consuming. I heard Ellie playing in the toy room with Sarah, so I decided to start cleaning up the newly discovered mess. When I had scraped up as much shampoo as I could, I decided I should probably get cleaned up myself. I went into my bathroom and discovered another Ellie masterpiece. She had placed my watch in a glass of water (fortunately it still seems to be working), used the handsoap to "clean" the mirrors, and then drew a beautiful picture for me on a check I needed to get cashed.

I got myself, and most of the bathroom cleaned up before anyone arrived, but when Ellie came downstairs to say "hello" I realized that I should have looked at her before cleaning up the rest of the house. After all the time I had spent working on taming her "fly-away" hair, she now looked like a dog that had escaped mid-bath. The front of her hair looked like a soapy toupee, and the rest had obviously been brushed with a shampoo-laden brush. I decided there was nothing I could do at that point, and after a half hearted attempt to improve ther hair, just let her run around with her new do.

The rest of the day went smoothly until dinner. We had invited one of Greg's home teaching families over for dinner, and as I was busily making the last minute preparations, Ellie had once again decided to express herself through the medium of chalk--this time on the stair wall. She also took a bunch of stickers to decorate the fire place, but I think the highlight of her mischievousness was something I didn't discover until today.

I decided to make some grape popcicles for Becca's soccer team. I made the first batch and stuck the remaining punch in the fridge. This morning I got up early to make some more popcicles, but the punch was not in the fridge. I looked all over the kitchen, wondering if I had accidentally put it somewhere else, but to no avail. Then, as I stopped to think about what could have possibly happened to it, I remembered that at about 2:30 in the morning, I had woken up to find Ellie walking up the stairs. I realized that I had probably found my culprit, and started looking in places that only "Ellie's mom" would think to look. I eventually followed a purple trail down the stairs and into Greg's office. and have spent the morning destickifying my house (I don't think that is a word, but it is the only word that describes what I did) but don't worry--I made sure to keep Ellie in plain sight the entire time.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Monkey See-Monkey Do

Here we go again...

Well, Sarah has apparently been spending a little too much time with Ellie since Becca has started school. My little "angel child" who has up until now seldom given me much grief (aside from the poopy problems mentioned in previous posts) managed to cause her fair share of mischief today. After school today, Becca had a couple of friends over for lunch. When one of the moms came to pick up her daughter, I visited with her at the door for a couple of minutes when I heard a crash in the kitchen. She left and I found Sarah up on the counter with the cabinet door open and the pencils, crayons and other miscellaneous school supplies strewn on the counter, chair and floor. Sarah just giggled when I found her, and when I put her safely back on the ground, she even helped me pick up the mess. Then, later in the afternoon, as I was making a futile attempt to get caught up on the laundry, I heard Sarah giggling in the kitchen once again. I found her once again on the counter--this time the pencils and crayons weren't scattered quite as far, but she had also discovered that postage stamps are great "stickers" and crayons make great accessories to a fish bowl--I don't know if the poor betta will ever be the same. As evidenced by the picture, she was unbelievably proud of herself.

I thought perhaps that the mischevious side was a one (or two) time thing, but since Sarah was a little slower eating her dinner than the rest of the family, I started working on the dishes while she finished up. I looked over once and saw that she was building the leaning tower of tortilla, and knew she was finished eating but decided that as long as she was happily entertained I would let her enjoy herself while I kept working. Instead, I created even more work for mhyself. Within thirty seconds of building the tortilla tower on top of her cup, she decided that it would be much more effective to build it right on her head. The tortilla, corn, rice and bean "LEGOS" stuck much more solidly to her hair than they did the cup, and she was elated. This picture is of her modeling her masterpiece. Unfortunately, when she stood up most of the tower slid off her head and onto the floor...but you get the idea :)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Wheels on the Bus

Today Becca got to ride on the bus for the first time. Everything went smoothly on the way to school. She sat on the front row, and made it to her class without incident. However, the way home was a little different. The bus is supposed to drive down our street and stop two houses away, but as I sat on the corner and waited for Becca, she pulled up in the neighbor's car instead. When I asked Jenny how on earth I missed a giant school bus going down the street she told me that the bus driver is new and dropped the kids off on the wrong street. Fortunately, she saw the bus, and went to get her daughter. When she got there, Becca was being tearfully ushered across the street in the wrong direction, but by the time they drove to our house she was fine. When I asked her what happened she said simply, "they took me to the wrong stop."
I must say I am immensly grateful for a good neighbor who was keeping tabs on my daughter, and hopefully tomorrow things will go a little more smoothly.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

School Days!

Today was Becca's first day of school. Since you only start kindergarten once, I decided to make today special. The first of my "special" experiences started last night when I went to iron Becca's sweater. I guess the iron had a little something on it, because when I finished ironing it, I held it up to the light to examine my work and noticed that it no longer appeared white, but rather a yellowish-brown. I stuck it in some Oxy-clean to soak and then rewashed it just before bed.
I must have been really tired, because for some reason I thought it would be smart to stick the sweater in the dryer before going to bed. There were a couple of towels that I had already dried still in the dryer, so I just tossed the sweater in with them to help it dry quickly--planning to get up when I heard the dryer and quickly go over it with the now-clean iron. I guess I was more tired than I thought, though, because I didn't wake up until Sarah did at 1:00 a.m. She was obviously not feeling well, and couldn't sleep. I stayed up with her until 3:00 when she finally calmed down and went back to bed. Then, at 3:30 Ellie climbed up on my bed complaining of a bad dream. She tossed and turned keeping me awake until 4:00 when I finally decided that enough was enough and I should just get up and start this special day. Somewhere between doing laundry and cleaning out the summer contents of Becca's backpack last night, Ellie went into Becca's room and pulled out every article of clothing from her dresser. I didn't think that having to clean up mounds of clothes that she didn't mess up would be a very good "First day of School" morning, so I quietly went about picking up her room. When all was tidy, I went downstairs to once again iron Becca's sweater. Upon opening the dryer, I discovered what looked like the sad remains of an entire ream of paper. How it got in there I have no idea. The towels that were already in the dryer were dry and there was no sign of anything out of the ordinary when I put the wet sweater in, but when I pulled it out it looked like an old hand-me-down sweater decades old. The paper had pilled all over the sweater and it looked awful. I decided to give it one more shot, and threw the sweater back in the washing machine one more time. When it was clean I decided to let it air dry and then just iron it while it was still damp. The end result was that it stayed clean, but had a bit of a "cooked" smell. Becca noticed the smell but wore it anyway, for which I was grateful, since it only took me about four hours to get her outfit ready, all things considered.
I wish I could say that the sweater really gleamed as much as it does in this picture, but sadly it is just over exposed. I had to really hurry to take the picture because the camera battery died and I only had about thirty seconds to charge it before we needed to leave, so I could only get a couple pictures before it died again.
But, all in all, today was a great day. Becca had a wonderful time at school and what more could I want?

Farewell to Summer

Monday, Greg and I celebrated our seventh anniversary. We didn't have what you might call a "romantic" day, but we had a great time. We started the morning by taking the kids to the zoo. The girls had a great time, and when we threatened Ellie that she would have to wait in the car if she didn't keep her sandals on, we even had success with keeping all three children fully clad. This was Sarah's first interactive trip to the zoo. She ran from exhibit to exhibit, squeeling with delight at each new animal. After the zoo, we went out to lunch, where Ellie successfully turned her white t-shirt into a coral-colored shirt thanks to a little help from the fry sauce. Then, that night, we took the two minute drive up the canyon for a fun family night with the extended family. We were the first to arrive, and Ellie was a mud-slicked mess by the time everyone else made it up, but we had a great time and really ended the summer with a bang.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Too "CUTE" for Words

In keeping with our Sunday tradition, we ate dinner with Grandma and Grandpa today. When we arrived, Grandpa Steve told Ellie "You are so cute, you're full of cutes. Go look in the bathroom mirror and see if you can find your cutes." Ellie galloped happily down the hall, but when she didn't return quickly, I went a-hunting.
When I discovered her, every exposed part of her body was covered in liquid hand soap. I reminded her that we only use one squirt of soap on our hands, and asked her what she was doing. She replied, "Grandpa said I was covered with 'cooties' and I was just washing them all off."
I told her that Grandpa said "cutes" not "cooties" and she said, "Yeah, cuties, but don't worry--they're all off now."

Well, we all thought her 'cutes' multiplied at that experience, but a few of them did get "washed off" after dinner when I was helping with dishes and Ellie decided to try the Advil. Fortunately for everyone involved, apparently Ibuprofen is too foul for even Ellie to eat and she could only get one down before giving it up.

Friday, August 18, 2006

From the fair to the Circus all in one day

Unfortunately for me, the fair was not the most exciting part of the day. While I was posting my previous entry, Ellie was playing upstairs. I know better than to leave her alone for even a moment, so the blame is on me, but I still can't get over how ingenious that child is. When I went up to check on her, the pungent aroma of Chloraseptic hit my norstrils. When I found the offending bottle (hidden discretely behind Ellie's back) I asked the perpetrator how she got the medicine down from the top shelf in my closet. She proudly responded, "I will show you." When I got into my room, I was met by an act that could have come from the Chinese Circus. Ellie pointed proudly to the closet and stated matter of factly, "I just climbed up on the table and used the broom." After checking with Poison Control to make sure that Ellie hadn't consumed a lethal dose of the delicious substance, I took this picture to document for anyone wondering if I am exaggerating Ellie's abilities.

Fair Weather Friend

Today was my first experience going to the fair that I can remember. According to my mom, we went once when I was little and the smell of the hen house was enough for us never to go back, but I must say that we had a great time today. The only tragedy was that I didn't have the memory card in my camera, so when I took my first picture of Sarah on the free pony ride (after running all the way back to the car to get the camera since I had forgotten to stick it in the backpack) I got the most frustrating message of all time "CANNOT RECORD." I couldn't believe it. But, in an attempt to give some idea of what our morning was like, I took a picture of the girls eating hotdogs--the most fair-like food I could think of, outside while holding a few of their new found treasures.
Today was also the last day of our free manual labor. Our neighbors have been in Alaska on a cruise, and in an attempt to keep their 14 year old son busy they sent him to our house to "work on the farm" for a couple of hours each afternoon. I now realize why the South was as reluctant as they were to give up slavery. I loved having a slave for the week, and even if Johnny hadn't accomplished anything in the yard, his time at our house was well worth the visit. All three girls clung to him like glue all week. Here is one example of their many conversations.
Becca: "Johnny, what are you doing?"
Johnny: "I'm spraying these weeds with poison so they will die."
Ellie: (Pointing to a weed Johnny just sprayed) "Oh. Hey Johnny, you missed one. HERE! Quick! Quick!"
Johnny runs over to the weed and lightly resprays it. "Whew. Thanks for finding that for me."
Becca: Johnny! Come over here!! I found another weed!!

Johnny was at their beck and call all week, pushing them in the swing, getting them drinks, playing hide and seek and letting them "help" and still managed to get a lot done in the "jungle" for which I can't express enough gratitude--all I can say is that a box of Otter Pops and a few Jelly Beans was a great price for the help I received this week, and I'm not looking forward to "roughing it" alone again next week.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Quote of the day

Ellie: Mommy, how big are you?
Me: I don't know, how big are you?
Ellie: I'm 2.
Me: No, you're 3.
Ellie: No, Mom, I'm 3 years old. I'm "too" Big.
Me: Oh, well I guess I'm "too" big, too.
Ellie: No, Mom, you're bigger.

Sugar and Spice--Minus the Spice--That's what this little girl is made of

If the saying "You are what you eat" has any merit, then Becca must be the sweetest kid on the planet. This morning, after a very long night, Ellie climbed in my bed to snuggle. I heard Becca downstairs, but knowing that Ellie was safely snuggled next to me, I wasn't as quick on the draw as I usually am. By the time I got downstairs, I saw that Becca had decided to make herself some breakfast. She climbed up on a barstool and pulled the Trix cereal and chocolate milk powder out of the cupboard, and got the milk out of the fridge. She mixed up her concoction on the kitchen rug, that now is in serious need of laundering, and sat down to a "nutritious" breakfast.
At least I know why she is acting like Hammy; the Crazy Rabid Squirrel on caffeine.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Food for thought; "Penne" for your thoughts

Ellie has once again found fun where I didn't think fun existed--in the fruit room. Who would have thought that a barrel of wheat and a box of penne pasta could be so much fun? Ellie entertained herself by turning my food-storage wheat into confetti & then opened a box of pasta and used it as an explosive maraca--who wouldn't find that amusing?
Then, after I took her picture and started cleaning it up, she went upstairs, got into the fridge, and spilled grape juice all over the floor. There isn't a picture of that, however, because she tried to clean it up herself, using my new bathroom towels. So instead, the towels are soaking in the laundry room and the cupboards have already been mopped down to prevent purple stains reminding me of this morning's events.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


After countless mornings of waking up to find Sarah bare-bottomed and poopy, I have finally found something that, so far at least, has prevented her from escaping the bonds of her jammies. I tried pinning her zipper, but she messed with the safety pin until it popped open; I tried putting her pajamas on backwards, but she looked so uncomfortable I didn't think she would sleep very well, but I must say that wearing them inside-out seems to work like a charm. She did manage to get one arm out yesterday morning, but she can't unzip them and the head hole is too little for her to get her whole body out, so for the time being, I am back to changing dirty diapers rather than a dirty nursery!!

Monday, August 14, 2006

These Boots Are Made For Walkin'

Tonight as part of Family Home Evening, we went for a family drive. While we were out, we stopped at the store and found Becca some new boots for school. When we got home, Becca asked if we could go for a walk. I told her that would be fine, and when I opened up her door to get her out of the car, she had exchanged her sandals for her new boots, and asked, "Mom, can I please wear these? 'Cause these boots are made for walkin!"
We started on the walk, and after I had regained my composure a little, I sang the chorus of "These Boots are Made for Walkin'." When I had finished, Becca said, "Mom, my boots are made for walking, but they will never walk all over me."

It was a great walk,--it was breezy and overcast, and best of all, we got to see seven little Golden Retriever puppies just like the puppies my dog, Annie, had when I was growing up.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Hot Dog! I Love the Weenie Man!

Last night we went up to the lake with the family for dinner, boating and fun. The kids had a great time riding in Grandpa's boat, playing in the water and building castles in the sand, but the highlight of the evening, for Sarah at least, was the gourmet menu--HOT DOGS!!
According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, during Hot Dog Season – Memorial Day to Labor Day – Americans typically consume 7 billion hot dogs – or 818 hot dogs consumed every second during that period, and I think that if everyone ate as many as Sarah does, that number would triple. All three girls love hot dogs, but none as much as Sarah. Last night, for example, she ate almost four hot dogs (she wanted more, but I ate part of mine). According to the nutritional information on the package, that is nearly 1100 calories with the buns, and that doesn't include the fact that she had a good helping of lake water, sand, potato chips and chocolate chip cookies too. But, with or without hot dogs, we all had a fabulous time and played our hearts out, as evidenced by these pictures of our quiet ride home.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Fill'er Up!

Since I am now doing the laundry on my own, I left Becca in charge of the girls while I did a load. When I was finished, I found all three girls playing with a laundry basket and random jugs and cartons from the pantry. There was powdered milk sprinkled on the fireplace and carpet, but (much to my relief) none of the vinegar, Karo syrup, maple syrup, vegetable oil, or mashed potatoes had been opened. When I asked the girls what they were doing, they said that they were playing cars, and all of the condiments were the gas.
I must admit I was unbelievably grateful that they only "filled up" the car once, and of the potential mess I saw, the powdered milk wasn't too bad.

Once everything was put away and Sarah was down for a nap, I decided to let the girls make some new "cars" --this time with a little supervision. They had a great time cutting, pasting and decorating their cars, complete with steering wheels, keys and licence plates! Then we let them go to the "Drive In" and watch a show while eating popcorn in their cars.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Let's make a Deal

After exhausting her “Get out of Bed Free” cards (also known as “I need a drink” and “I need to go potty") Ellie crept into our bedroom with a more creative approach to staying up past bedtime. She came in with a look of great concentration and said, “Since I did the thirteenth Article of Faith, you should write a letter to Santa, and tell him to give me some mints and to make it so that it isn’t bed time anymore. Oh, and blue mints and green mints like grandma had and bring me some of her makeup.”
I told her I would write the letter, but that for now it was still bedtime, to which she responded, “Hmm, there is something else—I have a great deal, but I’m still thinking of it. Can I climb up on your bed while I remember?”

As a side note, Ellie is currently in her bedroom with the door closed, flicking the spring on the door-stop. For some reason bedtime is just hard tonight.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

It's Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas

Becca came downstairs as I was doing the laundry and asked if she could help. I am well aware that it is faster to do it myself than to include my little helpers, but in an effort to develop her autonomy, I gave in and let her help me sort the laundry. I thought I was watching closely, but somewhere along the line she threw a pair of pull-ups into the washing machine unobserved. When I opened the lid to move the clean laundry to the dryer, my eyes were met by a veritable winter wonderland. The pull-up, which I have learned from one of our trips to the beach, is much messier when wet than a diaper--it expands to about 5 times its regular size then explodes. There were probably two quarts of a crystallized substance that looked like a smashed snowball and felt like wet, gooey jell-o transforming my laundry into a flocked Christmas decoration. By the time I shook out all of the clothes my entire laundry room floor looked like a snow storm had come through, and was slippery as an ice skating rink.
This image is just a very small sampling of what was all over my laundry room, and judging by how much work it was to get it cleaned up I think I have decided to waive Becca's privilege to help with laundry until after all the girls are potty trained.

Lazy Days of Summer

After spending the morning cleaning the house I got sick of being inside and decided to take the girls outside with some sidewalk chalk. They had a ball playing hopscotch and making up their own games--although I must admit I never quite figured out the rules of Ellie's game. Somehow, despite the phrase, it seems there are very few
"Lazy Days" during the summer, and it was very nice just to take some time to relax. It was especially nice having the house clean before we went out. I consider it a moral victory when the house stays clean for an hour during the day.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Salon Services for Trendy "Pets"

I've heard of pet rocks, chia pets, and virtual pets, but today, Ellie has turned the bathroom rug into her own personal make-over ready pet. While I was cleaning up Sarah and her mess, Ellie was in my bathroom giving my rug the royal treatment. She used a brand new bottle of pine-sol to shampoo the rug, then used my hair brush to style the "hair", brushed its "teeth" with my toothbrush and an entire tube of tooth paste, then rinsed it all with the same bucket she used in the kitchen, only with toilet water this time, (I think I'm getting rid of that bucket now). She then gave her pet rug a nice massage and tan with my self tanning lotion (You can guess how much was in there since I only used it once, right before our cruise.)
If anyone would like to visit Ellie's spa for bath rugs, please contact her at 555-MESS.

Modesty may make a fool seem a man of sense. --Jonathan Swift

I am not sure what the opposite implies, but it would be a little closer to the truth around this house. Yesterday I was so proud of myself for getting all of us over to the church ten minutes before sacrament meeting started. I pulled Ellie onto my lap, and in so doing, noticed that she had not followed my counsel to put on some underwear, and instead had nothing on under her dress. I quickly walked her home and took care of the issue, and didn't think anything of it until today. Sarah came into the kitchen as I was cleaning up lunch and I smelled something less than pleasant. I lifted up her jumper to examine her diaper only to find that there wasn't one. Instead her little body was a mess and I followed the trail of poopy footprints back to the family room where the incident occured.
At the moment I'm afraid my house smells like an "outhouse" that has just been cleaned with undiluted ammonia. But at least Sarah is now clean from head to toe after a nice long bubble-bath!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

To Everything there is a Season...

A time to be born, and a time to die. My great-grandmother passed away yesterday. I was outside when the call came, and Greg was with the girls, so he took the opportunity to tell them what had happened, and to explain a little bit about the Plan of Salvation. He told them that even though she was gone, if we do the things we are supposed to, Heavenly Father has promised that we can be together as a family again.

When I came inside, Greg told me the news, and then turned to the girls and asked, “But what is our promise?”

Ellie turned to me and said, “If we are good we get to go to Grandma Lorna’s house tonight!”

(Apparently, he had already bargained with the girls before my mom called with the news.)

In happier news, Heather gave birth to a darling little girl today! The newest member of the family is baby Annie! Here are a couple pictures:

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

"A good rainstorm in August can break the back of summer." --Grandma Inee

There is something absolutely refreshing about a summer rainstorm. Somehow, even though Ellie dusted the furniture with Crystal Light Powder, threw cheese around the kitchen and then made herself a "Drink" of 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water (which she dropped on the floor when she saw me coming), my life has been renewed by the storm that came through yesterday.
During one especially heavy downpour, I threw open the kitchen door to listen to the rain beating against the ground. I walked back to the sink to finish washing the breakfast dishes and looked out the window to see Sarah soaked to the bone and laughing her head off standing on the back porch.
I think that her love of the summer storm might have equaled my own!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Up the Down Staircase...

...or in other words, Oh, Crap!
Today's mess will not have a picture, for which all readers can be especially grateful. Shortly after taking the kids over to see Grandma Lorna, the kids went downstairs to find Grandpa. Sarah, who unfortunately is not quite old enough to start potty-training, went down with the other kids, but came up shortly thereafter. She played upstairs with me for a few minutes then started back down. I didn't think much of it, but about thirty seconds later, Rich came up and informed me that there was a large brown streak going down the entire staircase and his son wasn't poopy. I followed the trail down to Sarah, who fortunately was being attended to by Greg, then quickly grabbed some cleaning supplies to take care of the other mess.
Sarah had no problem spending her remaining visit clad in a diaper, and fortunately, everything came out of the carpet.

Quoting Ellie

Some of my favorite Ellie quotes that are just too good to forget:
  • It's a Wonderful, Wacky Wednesday
  • It's a Cleaning Day . . . PARTY ON!
  • Just because it's not a toy doesn't mean it's not fun to play with
  • (after telling Ellie that the treadmill was only for Grandma to use) Okay, let's play house. You be the baby and I'll be Grandma. I'm going to use the treadmill.
  • Could I please have some "flexible" noodles for lunch (cooked ramen versus "crunchy noodles," or uncooked ramen)
  • We don't talk about the potty unless we are going potty...or if we are saying "Potty ON!"
  • Would you like me to shake my booty?
  • (from the thirteenth article of faith) Indeed we may say that we follow the Adam-magician of Paul

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Go Greased Lightning!

Today I promised myself that I would write something absolutely darling that the girls did to show that they are not always rambunctious hooligans, which they aren’t, but I’m afraid that rather than doing something cute or clever, today my little Elle-belle turned her cold cereal into confetti, decided that birthday suits are best, and the coup de grace (or should I say coup de gras) thought it would be a good idea to audition for the cast of “Grease” as one of the T-birds complete with Vaseline-slicked hair. My poor daughter’s scalp is now as red as her hair from all the cornstarch and soap I have used in a failed attempt to de-goop her.

I must blame myself for her hair experiments, though. When I was pregnant with Ellie, I told everyone I was going to name her “Beauticia," and I fear that might have been some bad karma. :)

By the way, it is worth double clicking on the image to get the full effect of the Vaseline!

Friday, July 28, 2006

*Flour Power*

Apparently the old adage “Two heads are better than one” could be rewritten “Two heads are more destructive than one.” Ellie had a partner in crime today, her older sister, Becca.
Since most of our bills are due at the end of the month and today is the 28th, I thought it would be wise to spend a couple of minutes online to get it taken care of. Apparently I was wrong. While I was working on the laptop in my bedroom the girls were anxiously engaged in a not-so-good cause. In the five minutes it took me to pay the bills, the girls dumped not one, not two, but three bags of flour and a bag of sugar onto the floor. I will admit as I was cleaning it up it really is a lot of fun to play with, but definitely not worth the cleanup effort. As a consequence for their behavior, the girls were forced to take a long, cold shower (their idea of corporeal punishment). Now, however, they have both assured me that it wasn’t worth it, and hopefully we can wait until Christmas to make our next snowman!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Water, Water Everywhere...

I think I must have a mischievous sprite living in my house, because I don't think it is humanly possible for one child to move as quickly as Ellie does. As I was getting Sarah up from her nap, I heard a crash out in the hall, and came out to find the contents of our first aid kit scattered on the floor and Ellie precariously perched atop two stacked chairs. I ran over to the closet, pulled her from her perch and reminded her that medicine is not for little girls. Since it was lunchtime, I sent her downstairs to wait while I cleaned up the contents of the spilled kit.
When I went downstairs, I stepped into a wading pool in my kitchen. A broken bowl and empty sand pail served as the centerpiece to the new water park, and when I asked Ellie why she had dumped water on the floor by the pail-full, she told me that it was to clean up the lemonade she had spilled. Sure enough, half of the floor was covered in water and the other half was a sticky, syrupy mess.
Ellie disappeared while I was cleaning up the water and when I went upstairs, I discovered that my daughter could be a hairstylist for Vogue. Since I don’t own any hair-wax, Ellie figured out an alternative. She found a tube of Neosporin that I had missed in my attempt to clean up the first aid kit, and used the entire contents on her newly cut hair. If anyone is wondering what Neosporin looks like when used as a pomade, here is your answer.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

A Cut Above the Rest

I have a feeling much of this blog will be dedicated to our second daughter, Ellie. She is the one who typically keeps us in stitches, and will be most likely to receive the first stitches. The other day Ellie asked Becca to cut her hair. Following which, I trimmed it to make it even. Apparently I didn't trim it enough, though, because Ellie followed my lead and chopped the very front of her hair off. I have fixed it as well as I could, but there is only so much you can do to cover up hair that is only a quarter of an inch long.