The Trials of a Busy Mom

Month: December 2006 (Page 2 of 2)


Nothing much to say here, just getting ready for the trip. I’ve got our suitcases packed, presents wrapped, groceries bought and my bedroom and bathroom cleaned. Now I can work on the kitchen and bathrooms and get the neighbor gifts organized. Who’s brilliant idea was it to schedule a trip the week before Christmas?! It’s probably cheaper, right?

Anyway, you probably won’t be hearing from me–but maybe you will–who knows. So, enjoy your week before Christmas!

Getting ready

Does anyone out there like packing? I guess it’s better than unpacking, and I’m glad it’s just for me and Ryan this time instead of for all 7 of us, but it’s not all that fun. But I’m pretty much packed for both of us. I’ll still have to throw in cosmetics and hair things, but the clothes are all packed. Things I need to remember to include would be sunscreen, a razor, dramamine, chapstick and a hat.

I’ve written a 4 page “manual” ( I feel like I’m on wife Swap or something) including schedules for the kids’ activities for the kind souls who will be staying here watching the kids. It includes things like what they like to eat, when the kindergarten talent show is, where the jr. High band concert is, even how to operate our tv and the automatic lights. I feel like I’m being OCD about this, but I don’t know how easy it will be to get ahold of us in Mexico, and I just want things to go smoothly for them.

I’ll need a vacation after all this prep–oh, yeah, that’s what all this is for–so we can go on vacation!

Concert Pics

I wanted to toss up a couple of pictures from our concert last weekend, just for fun.

Can you find me in this picture?

or this one?
more bells

This is a cool one that shows the whole stage with the organ and everything. We look pretty small and insignificant from so far back, but the setting is so nice.
conf center

Here’s a picture of the audience. I still can’t believe we had that many people come to the concert!

And here we are in our “up on the housetop hats”.

On Dreams

Yesterday I woke up from a dream starring John Stamos. If you aren’t watching ER, you are missing out on a serious treat, because he is just the cutest thing ever. Now I don’t even really remember what the dream was, just that John Stamos was in it. I woke up in the usual way, with a small child climbing over me and demanding breakfast. That same child later threw up his breakfast (out of consideration for the squeamish, I won’t mention what color it was, but if you are interested, ask me later). So, needless to say we had a lovely morning.

This morning I woke from a dream where all the members of the Bells on Temple Square and their families went to Disneyland. It was so much fun! I don’t know if we did a concert there, or if we were just all on vacation together, but we had a great time. Let’s work on that one. I just hope my morning happiness and fuzzy dream remembering isn’t cut short by another such incident as we had yesterday.

And on a totally unrelated subject, I’m pretty sure I’m done with my Christmas shopping. I have the neighbor gifts almost all finished, kids presents all bought, family presents bought and wrapped, even stocking stuff is ready. I have a bunch of different teacher gifts that I’ve been collecting, and I just need to have the kids pick them out for each teacher and wrap them (yesterday we wrapped the Christmas t-shirts, but I don’t have any more of those except in smalls, and I don’t think any of the kids have teachers who wear smalls. ) I have a few gifts squirreled away in different places and I need to bring them out and make sure they get wrapped and under the tree, but it’s a relief to know it will all be done BEFORE.

Now, that’s my kind of dinner party

Yesterday at church, our neighbors who moved out and have been living in a hotel for over a week while they wait for their new house to be done, came to church. Impulsively, I leaned forward and said, “Why don’t you guys come over after church for dinner?” even though I really had nothing planned. So during Relief Society I tried to think of what I could make quickly enough for dinner guests right after church. When we came home, we knew we had at least 15 minutes to clean up the house, as they would surely have people to chat with after church. We quickly cleaned up our messy house, I tossed a pork roast in the microwave to thaw, cleaned the counters and started boiling some water. Luckily I had been to Costco on Friday and had picked up a large package of their chicken ravioli, so I made one package with a white sauce, and one package with a red sauce. I got out a couple of packages of cressant rolls, and the kids all said, “are we having pigs in a blanket?” Oh, why not? So, we wrapped up little hot dogs and voila–pigs in a blanket. I threw together a big salad (also from Costco), and there you have it–instant dinner. The roast didn’t get done in time, but I cooked it anyway, and we’ll have it tonight. The best part was that I had a cake left over from the ward party the night before (can you believe it? I took a cake and it didn’t get touched–I brought the whole thing home with me) and a neighbor had brought over a fresh apple pie on Saturday to thank Ryan for hooking up his computer, so we had cake and pie for dessert. It was fun to have them over, and I didn’t stress out about cleaning the house or planning the food. Instant dinner party, and it was still fun even though things weren’t all planned out and perfect. Let that be a lesson to you (and me).

Ring, Christmas Bells

Last night’s concert was fantastic. We were all so nervous to perform in the huge conference center, knowing that thousands of people could be there, but we had rehearsed and gone over everything so many times, so it was time to “enjoy the moment”. It was quite an experience. We were told afterward that there were about 12 thousand people in the audience–wow. Unlike last year’s Christmas concert, where there was an unfortunate Sleighride incident, we pulled it off and there were no song slaughterings. Of course we made some mistakes–there will always be mistakes–but none so horrible that the song suffered. I had a couple of spots where I got my bells all switched and in the wrong spots and couldn’t play for a couple of measures while I got myself reorganized. But I did not panic. I’m sure I wasn’t smiling the whole time, but I tried to “have a pleasant look on my face” instead of looking all stressed and ready to bolt at any moment.

My family enjoyed it, and all wanted to tell me what their favorite songs were. Megan last night in her prayer said, “And thank you that mom and her team could play such lovely music…” I didn’t know I had a “team”, but it’s a nice thought.

Now I’m done with bells until after Christmas. Since we’re going to Cancun and I would miss a couple of performances with the Tab Choir, I had a sub learn my part for all those songs. So, the next week for me will be a lot easier. I’ll go and watch the concert instead of rehearsing for two nights and performing for 3 more. It’s bittersweet, because I want to be ringing with them, but I’ll be going to Cancun!

Now that the concert is over I can finish the Christmas shopping (i’m seriously pretty much done–I just have to help the kids find things to give to each other and mom and dad), wrap everything, get the neighbor gifts done, go to a few parties, pick out and wrap the teacher gifts, help the kids with their programs and shows, organize the schedule for the babysitters, and clean my house and pack. That’s do-able, right? And I’ll start right after I take a shower.


I woke up today with a TERRIBLE headache. It could be because of the long exhausting rehearsal we had last night, or maybe the early morning getting a child ready and off to her band concert early, but it was just a huge headache. I’ve also been under quite a bit of stress, what with our Bell concert tomorrow night, and getting ready for Christmas, which all has to be done before our trip. I’ve also got to clean my house, since the parents and the in-laws will be staying here to watch the kids. And I’m trying to plan for everyone’s schedules so that the week we are gone goes as smoothly as possible. So, yes, I have a bit of stress going on right now.

So, today for my preschool time (9-11), instead of going to aerobics like I usually do during preschool, I….are you ready for this?…I took a bath. A bath! Me. The queen of quick showers. I never take baths. But today, I decided that to help my headache and maybe my sanity, I was going to have a bath. So, I filled my bathtub with nice hot water, but some nice smelly bath milk in there, and took a nice dunk. It was quite nice. Afterwards, I cleaned the tub, started some laundry, started the roomba, and got dressed. I wish I had time to take a nap, but I had to pick John up at 11, so my freedom couldn’t last forever. But I’m pleased to say I feel a bit more relaxed now. Except for the fact that I totally twisted my ankle when picking him up from preschool, so now my ankle is aching (to go along with my head). The headache has not totally left yet, but after a Dr. Pepper, some chocolate and 4 tylenol, it’s much less now than before. I’m sure going to Megan’s band concert at 2:00 will help, right?

Will the nightmare that is reflections never end?

EERG. I’ve got to get these reflections turned into the council level person on Friday, and there’s just SO. MUCH. PAPERWORK. Double Eerg. I thought back in November that the hard part was over, but I’ve been putting off this last stuff because it’s a ton of busywork, making sure every entry is signed by the student and the parent, has the right color dots, has a media release form, then I have to fill out a paper for each category…and on and on. Ick. Why must they make these things so yucky for the poor volunteer?


Ok, I’ll stop my complaining and move on to another subject. My three year old is getting into everything. I hide presents around (some wrapped, some not) and he finds them and starts to play with them. I guess that’s what being 3 is.

Last night I gave him and the other kids an early Christmas present.

It’s a tiny bit disturbing to see that baby Jesus is a carrot (I think it’s a carrot, I’m not really sure!), but they’re having a lot of fun with it.

Save the computer, Save the ward

As most of you know, I have quite the handy husband. He can do electrical wire, build computers, and is pretty good in the trouble shooting department. (He also has a really really tall ladder in case you need one of those.) He’s a good guy who doesn’t mind helping people. That may have been his downfall. You see, he has helped about half of our ward with their computers in some way or another, and right now everyone seems to be having computer related issues. There’s the neighbor who’s daughter hooked up a wireless router for her laptop and now nobody’s internet works. They panicked about this as that’s the way they write their missionaries. So, he fixed those issues. Last night it was the friend who’s son downloaded something so that he could play free games, but meanwhile it was sucking resources from their computer. And the list goes on and on and on. Saturday he hooked up a CPU fan for another neighbor, and Sunday they brought us treats! That’s what I call a quick turn around on the thank yous. Not that treats are required, but it sure is nice when people at least offer to pay him or ask what they can do for him in return. I ended up with a great Reflections Slideshow because Ryan fixed Shelly’s computer, and Shelly does powerpoint presentations. Great trade. We’re looking for someone who does stucco work to need their computer fixed, or maybe a landscaper who could give us a deal on some sprinkler work next summer. That would be helpful. But I think he’s feeling a bit bogged down by all the needy people who constantly call and ask him to fix their computers. I don’t know if they realize that thiers are not the only machines he services. He’s working on getting his dad’s new computer to somehow work with ancient windows 98. I personally don’t think it’s going to happen. Oh well, it’s his superpower, and he’s got to (whisper this part) “Save the computer. Save the ward.”


Tonight we decorated our gingerbread/graham cracker houses. I realized a few years ago that when you have this many children, one gingerbread house kit does not cut it. There will be arguing and fighting. So, we make one big house, then use the extra candy to decorate their own individual houses made from graham crackers. Last year I learned a tip from the 1st grade teacher–boiled sugar. Yes, you boil about 1 cup of sugar until it’s a brown liquid, dip the crakers in, and glue them together. It’s not a job for children because it’s obviously very very hot, but it stays! Those graham crackers aren’t going anywhere when they are glued together with that stuff. And should a child decide to eat their house later, they won’t be eating anything that could harm them. It works much better than trying to get all their little houses to stick together with frosting. Then the kids can concentrate on the decorating without the frustration of their little houses caving in.

house john's house

If you want to see more pictures, you can check these out.

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