The Trials of a Busy Mom

Month: July 2008 (Page 1 of 2)

Today I taught my son how to pee in the grass

Oh, the proud moment of any mother–when your son finally learns to pee in the grass! And frankly, I’m thankful! It’s taken a long time to potty train that boy, but I can finally say that (knock on wood) we’ve made it. I still let him have a pull-up on at night, just because he’s kind of crabby in the morning and he doesn’t like hearing “go and use the potty” as the first thing in the morning. Yes, he has a few accidents (mostly when we are out and totally unprepared!), but he’s doing well, stubborn little cuss that he is.

Today I took the kids to the children’s garden at Thanksgiving point. They have a wonderful Noah’s Ark fountain where the kids can splash and play to their heart’s content. They all had a great time, and it was all very laid back and casual. I sat in the shade and tried to read my book. But I ended up taking pictures, handing out snacks and drinks, and protecting myself from Megan, who was more interested in the MUD than the water (yes, she’s 12). I even handed out some band-aids that I had in my pocket for a poor little girl who took quite a spill. I guess that’s why you aren’t supposed to climb on those rocks. She got a big scrape on her hip, and her mom was grateful when I walked up with three band-aids all ready for her owie.

When it was time to go, I asked the kids if any of them needed to go to the bathroom. Of course, they all said no. Because no one wants to waste one second of their valuable playing time in the bathroom. Besides, peeling off those wet swimsuits is never fun, right? Well, we get everyone to the car and they are all sitting on their towels like I asked them to do and buckled up. Everyone except John, who is taking his shoes off in the parking lot. Come on, kid! As soon as I get him near the car, he starts doing the “I’ve got to go to the bathroom dance.”

“Mom, I’ve got to go potty!!” he says in a frantic voice. I can tell there’s no WAY he’s going to make it across the parking lot and back to the garden and into the bathroom, so I say, “Great! You are so lucky you are a boy, because I’m going to show you how to pee on the grass!” He seems interested, which is a good sign. I walk him over to the grass, pull his pants down the tiniest bit and show him how to stick out his little thing and pee on the grass. He was still a little bit worried about it, but when I told him to go ahead, it was ok, he let his stream loose. “See, you’re just like a fountain!” I said. He laughed at that. I then told him how only boys can pee outside, and you only pee on the grass if you aren’t near a bathroom. NEVER at friend’s houses. When we got back to the car, he excitedly told his sisters: “I peed on the grass!” He was so proud.

It’s a great, great day when you can finally teach your son to pee on the grass and he doesn’t have a screaming fit about it. It means that we might have finally accomplished “the potty training” with this, our last, most stubborn child. (Where was that wood that I was going to knock on? I’m going to need it.)

Can you be brave? (with a giveaway!)

Oh my goodness, but I’m excited today.

You know I LOVED Wicked. Ryan and I saw it when we were in New York and were both blown away. I then ran out and got the Wicked soundtrack and we’ve listened to it lots and lots. The kids know all the songs, too.

Then when Enchanted came out, I thought, “there’s something familiar about that lady who’s playing Nancy”. It didn’t come to me right away until someone mentioned that it was Idina Menzel who played Nancy. Then it came to me. She’s Elphaba! Now, when I saw the show, Idina wasn’t playing Elphaba, but she was the original! The Soundtrack Elphaba! The one we sing along to in the car.

Well, she’s not just a fabulous Broadway star and movie actress, folks. Idina Menzel has a new CD out! Take a listen here:

Her song “Brave” is a great one! We all need to take a turn to be brave? And she has such a powerful and strong voice, I really enjoy listening to her. I’m so excited to listen to the whole album.

And now for the fun part!

The One2One network is generously donating a FREE copy of Idina’s new CD “Stand” and an Idina tote bag to one winner! To enter, you will need to tell me in the comments the first role and show that earned Idina a Tony award nomination (before Wicked). You can look here at her website if you need help answering that question. You can also listen to more song clips there.

From the correct answers, I’ll draw a winner’s name and they will receive this great prize! The contest deadline is August 18th (my anniversary, by the way!). To receive extra entries, you could blog about this contest, or send me and my sweet hubby an anniversary card!

Take me out to the ball game

Friday night was Ryan’s company party. I’m glad we rearranged our schedule so that we could all go, because it was really fun. We went to the Bee’s baseball game. We haven’t taken our kids to a baseball game (other than all three girls’ playing softball this year) in a couple of years, and they were excited. If only it hadn’t been 100 degrees!

Dinner and treats were provided, and the kids all got their own Control 4 baseballs, which they were excited about.

One of the fun things they did was to give each employee a player to root for. We got #26 on the other team. When our guy was up to bat, we cheer and pay attention, and then if he scores, we score. If he gets on first base, it’s $10, second base, $20, third base, $30, and a home run is worth $50. This made the game so much more fun, as people around us were all cheering for “their guys” and collecting money if their guy did well. Unfortunately, our guy only made us 20 bucks, but hey, that’s 20 buck to pay for the gas to get there, and paid for Ryan’s 5 dollar snow cone.

Because it was so dang hot, we went through a lot of drinks and snacks, but it really was fun. We were sitting by our friends

And John made a new friend (Thanks, IVY!) who played with him and kept him entertained the whole night.

And after the game was over there were fireworks. It was the perfect night at the ball game.

And the next night we went to see the OSMONDS!!! I’ll write more about that later!

Now, Why does my head hurt?

The other day when I was grumping at my kids, I wondered what in the world was wrong with me. Was it PMS? Was I just really tired? Were my kids being especially loud and cranky? Then I realized I had a headband on that was squishing my head. Oh, that’s the problem right there!

True Blue

As a child I was raised in a BYU house. We went to BYU football games, BYU basketball games, and we booed whenever BYU played the University of Utah. BYU blue was the color we supported. We had T-shirts and hats and blankets that professed our loyalty. I wouldn’t be surprised if somewhere we had a stuffed Cosmo around. Like many LDS youth, I was taught that Brigham Young University was the Lord’s School, and any good Mormon SHOULD go to BYU. And I did. When applying for schools and scholarships, I applied at BYU. I also begrudgingly applied to Utah State and the U. And I think that was it. I did get accepted to BYU, and also got a scholarship. I think I was also offered scholarships to those other schools, but honestly, I don’t really remember. Those were just fall backs anyway.

While at BYU, I had a great time. I met many wonderful friends, and got to know friends from high school in a different setting. It was a great time in my life, and I think that in college I had the most fun I’ve ever had. I was an ok student and did what I had to do to get by. Elementary Education is not the hardest major in the world, but there’s a lot of busywork. I had a great job which I loved, and had fun roommates and friends. I did also meet my husband there, which is an added bonus.

Last night I dreamed that I went to the U. The Univeristy of Utah. I don’t know why I was going there. Maybe I couldn’t afford to go to BYU, or maybe I hadn’t been accepted–I don’t know. It was a dream, remember. But I felt like a complete failure. I felt embarrassed and ashamed that I was attending that evil school to the North. I felt like maybe I would have to go and confess my school allegiance sins to my bishop.

When I woke up, I was shocked. And I realized I might have to adjust my thinking. I realize that the U is not neccesarily an evil school. Some of my best friends and even my sister (gasp! I know!) attended that school, and they all seem to have come out unscathed. Some day my children might even go to that school. (double gasp!)

BYU is getting more and more competitive and you really have to have good grades and scores to get in now. Of course, now there are more options. There’s Utah Valley University now. Last year it was UVSC, before that it was UV something else. Before that it was Provo Tech or Trade Tech or something like that. It’s been through quite a few name changes, but now it’s a full fledged University. And Salt Lake Community College, and the University of Phoenix. There are quite a few good schools out there that are options for my kids. Oh, yeah, and there are other schools that are out of state, but is that really an option? My kids will want to stay close to home all their lives so they can visit often, right?

The point is, even though I went to BYU and feel loyalty to BYU, I guess I have to have an open mind when it comes to my kids’ education. Or maybe I need to get a job there now, so that my kids can get in when it’s time to go to college.

Birds, birds, and more birds

We like birds around here. Anyone who knows us knows that we like birds. That may be partially because our lovely Ryan has allergies which prevent us from getting any furry pets. Or it may be that I grew up with birds and have always loved having birds as pets. We have our two cockatiels, who have been with us for such a long time. We’ve also gotten into parakeets, since they are so easy to take care of, and we now have three of those. But the birds outside must also know that we are bird lovers, because they’ve taken quite a liking to us.

In the spring, we discovered this pretty little nest right outside and close to the porch.

A sweet little mother robin laid her eggs there, and we enjoyed watching those 5 little babies grow up. But then they flew away and “left the nest”, never to return. I guess that’s why they call it “leaving the nest”, but still, I wish they’d just stay close, or just one of them would return to the nest.

This summer we’ve had some fun little swallows build a nest on our front porch.
I guess it’s as good a place as any for a nest, since it’s protected from the elements and we can’t really reach up there to bother them. They also like to “swing” on the cords that are coming out of Ryan’s office window and going up to the roof. I think it’s an antenae thing for the Rhapsody satelite radio or something like that.

These little birds have kept us entertained for a month or so, what with their swinging on the sprinkler lines and swooping around and scolding us whenever we step out the front door. But recently they’ve become even more interesting. There have been little tiny birds up there in the nest. Every day we’ve tried to catch a glimpse of them way up there, and you should hear their parents complain. In no time at all they’ve grown to be almost as big as their parents, and they scarcely fit in their nest.

(Sorry about the picture quality. These little birdies do NOT want to be bothered, nor do they want to be photographed, so many of their pictures are taken through the windows.)

Yesterday, those little birds looked like they were ready to jump off that nest. They don’t fit in anymore, after all. And this morning, when we returned from our fun neighborhood Pioneer Day breakfast, there were NO birdies in the nest. “Oh, no!” I thought, “They’ve grown up and flew away!” But I was pleasantly surprised when I saw both little birds swinging from the the cords, and the parents were swooping around keeping a watchful eye. But of course, when I went outside to take a picture, they flitted away. I’m hoping they’ll stay close by and keep us entertained for a little while longer, at least.

And after closing night she rested

Suessical is over. We had our last performance last night. It was wonderful!! Fantastic!! Full house, even. Now, don’t tune out just yet because I’m talking about “that dad-gum play” again. I know I’ve been a little obsessed with my theatrical pursuits lately, but that’s because it’s been taking over my life.

Really, this whole production wrapped up in only two months. But it’s been an intense two months, with 3-5 practices per week, and the last few weeks it’s been almost daily. I don’t even want to think about how many hours that’s been, but it’s been a lot. And although I’ve been having so much much fun, my family has been getting a little tired of it. Here’s what they have to say:

Jenna: “Mom, can we go swimming today?”
Me: “No, sweetie, I have to go to my play today.”
Jenna: “AGAIN?!”

My Mom: “So, what are you going to do after your play is over and all your houseguests leave?” (Did I mention that we’ve had guests staying here for the past two weeks? Oh, well, we have.)
Me: “Wow, I don’t know. Maybe clean my house of fix a decent dinner for my family.”
My Mom: “I’m sure they’ll appreciate that.”

Ryan (Saturday night after I got home from doing a matinee and an evening performance and was gone for 10 hours): “I’m tired of your play.”

John (after coming to see the show): “I liked your play mom!”
Me: “Thank you.”
John: “I liked the cat.”
Me: “I liked the cat, too.”
John: “And the elephant.
Me: “Oh.”
John: “And the monkeys.”
Me: “Good.”
John: “And the birds.”

Megan (singing): “Tell yourself how lucky you are.”

Cole: (actually Cole has had nothing but a positive experience. He kind of got volunteered into working in the booth and doing sound for the show, so he’s been there almost every night for the past two weeks, too. In fact, last night when we were striking the set (that’s cleaning up everything and taking down the set and props for you non-theater people) he said: “Mom, they might need some help tomorrow to reset all these frequencies and other technical stuff. Can I come and help?”
Me: “Sure. After you mow the lawn.”

Ryan (after I asked him if he wanted to come see the show again on closing night): No offense, but no, I don’t want to go and see your play.

Natalie: “I think I want to be in the next play.” (Hooray!)

So although I’ve LOVED doing this play, and it’s been nothing but a GREAT experience for me, I have to say I’m glad it’s over. But I’m sad that it’s over. Does that make sense? I mean, if this was my mid-life crisis, is that all I get? Can I do it again? Will I ever see these fun and exciting people I’ve spent the last two months getting to know? YES. I will. A few of the “Who” moms have already exchanged phone numbers and are planning to get together for dinner or games “once a month”. Which may in reality be once in a while, but still, I would love to get together and hang with them. They are just so much fun. And tonight we get to have our big cast party and bring our families, and that should be fun, too.

I just can’t say enough about what a good experience this has been. The people at Alpine Community Theater have been so organized, and our director, Laura, has been always encouraging, always positive. Even with all the kids in the cast, there was not chaos (well, not much) and it all ran very smoothly. Kudos to you, ACT!

I’m SO glad that I took a chance and auditioned. You may remember that I didn’t feel very good about that audition, and it was a horrible experience for me. But from that very hard thing came this very wonderful experience. If I had not done something hard, I wouldn’t have had such a good thing. I think we all need to remember that and do things that are hard or scary for us every once in a while.

Some people in the cast are all set to audition for the next production of Suessical that the Scera theater is putting on. Look, auditions are next week! That will give me just enough time to… Um, no. If I were young and single and had no family or job or other commitments, then SURE, I’d go and audition for another show. It was THAT much fun. But, I DO have a family, and it’s about time I went and fixed them some breakfast.

Hair today, over tomorrow

Oh, the play is almost over. We did a LONG LONG day yesterday with a matinee and a show at night. We were there for almost 10 hours. But it’s been such a great experience, and I’ve really loved it. It’s been fun after each show to go out to the “lobby” and meet and greet the people. At every show I’ve had someone I knew there, who comes up to give me a hug or say hi. I’m really thankful to everyone who’s come and supported me in this venture.

I thought I would take some pictures of the whole hair experience. Since everyone wants to know, “is that really your own hair?”

It starts at about 4:30 when I put hot rollers into my hair.

Then I go put on my makeup and costume and then take out the hot rollers, so they have time to curl and then cool.

My friend, Kelly, there then starts to work on the hair. She gets out her trusty comb and back-combs the heck out of my poor thin hair.

Until it starts to stand up by itself. Oh, and she sprays it. Don’t forget the spray.

Pantene outrageous hold seems to do the trick.

After the hair is about a foot high, then she gets out the curling iron and curls it!

Spray, curl, repeat.

Then when you think it’s all done and I’m ready for the stage, (Hi, Kelly!)

then come the accessories.

But I’m not the only one with crazy hair. Here’s me with some of the other Whos. Two of them are wearing wigs, can you guess which ones? And this is before our Christmas scene, when they add those little Christmas accessories. What a fun and crazy show!

Hello? Is this thing on? Check one, two…Sibilance, Sibilance

Oh, the show went GREAT last night! For the first time, all the music cues were right, and we didn’t have any problems with the wireless mic’s. The other night, for example, someone answered their cell phone during the show, and the conversation was picked up by Maisy’s mic. How’s that for embarrassing? We had a wonderful audience, too. They were laughing and clapping in all the right places, and that really helps us to be energized. It was FUN!

We get to do a mic check every night before the show, and people don’t want to sing just anything, so we come up with funny and interesting songs to sing for 20-30 seconds. One guy always sings “I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts” for his check. I’ve done “Oh, Holy night”, and “Amazing Grace”, and last night I did “We got together” from Grease. The Wickersham brothers, who are the monkeys in the jungle, have a little hymn book, and when they do their mic check, they sing a hymn all together. It’s a nice little moment.

We are now halfway through the run of the show. We’ve done four shows, and we have four shows yet to do. It’s been such a great experience for me, and I’m so thankful that at my old and advanced age they let me be with this fun, young cast. In the lead’s dressing room, it’s me and a bunch of young single gals putting on makeup together. They are usually all talking about some boy, texting some boy, or talking about how they were texting some boy. And then they talk about how white they are and that they need to get out and do some tanning before summer is over. I did have to speak up then and try to discourage them from the tanning–you know, skin cancer, wrinkles and all that–but I doubt they listen to an old lady like me. They talk about auditions, who’s doing what play this fall, and all that theater stuff, too.

I was sitting by one of the guys that I’ve become friends with, Jake, the other day at rehearsal, and “Little Shop of Horrors” somehow came up.
“They’re doing that at the Hale Center Theater!”, he said, “Wouldn’t that be such a fun show to be in?”
“Oh, that would be such a fun show,” I said. “But I’m not really auditioning for more plays. I don’t really do that.”
“What? Why not?” he said. He actually sounded shocked.
“Um, I don’t really do a bunch of plays,” I said sort of sheepishly, “I kind of just auditioned for this one on a whim. Because it’s convenient and so close to my house.”
“Oh, that’s a shame. You really should do more plays. You’re so good,” he said.
Well, there is the issue of my family, and the bell choir that meets once a week, and I do have five kids and a husband who I really do enjoy spending time with…. But being in plays would be fun, too.
What a sweet thing to say!
So besides being a heck of a lot of fun, being in this show has been kind of an ego boost for me. I had some lady I don’t know come up to me on Monday night and say, “Oh, you did such a great job! You have a beautiful voice.” I was surprised and so thankful for her compliment! Wow! Someone said I had a nice voice!
And it’s been fun getting to know a bunch of new people. Yes, most of them are younger than me, and most of them are single and giggly, but they are nice. And it’s fun to see people in the grocery store and have them say, “Hey, Mrs. Mayor! How’s it going?” And there’s a bunch of cute little kids in the show, and they are always fun. They’ll sit and watch me getting my hair done, and they’ll say, “I like your hair.” Thanks, I think.

My oldest two kids have enjoyed getting involved in the show, too. Cole is now working up in the booth with the sound, and he runs the music. His friend manages the mic’s. Megan sold tickets last Saturday, and will be doing that again this Saturday for the matinee. They’ve also helped a little bit with set building. It’s been fun to have them involved. So, IF I ever do this acting thing again, I’ll make sure the kids audition with me, so that we can do this together. Wouldn’t that be fun? Well, maybe. Right now one of those children is sitting right behind me nagging me about using the computer and complaining, complaining, complaining. So maybe having them in the show with me wouldn’t be that much fun after all.

Today is a day off, which is nice. I think Robin and I are going to go and get pedicures or take the kids to a water park or something.

Oh, and for those of you who knew where the title of this post came from, here you go. Enjoy

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