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!