The Trials of a Busy Mom

Month: February 2009 (Page 1 of 2)

I’ve got some moppin’ to do

I’ve got a busy day today, with Jenna’s baptism tomorrow (hooray!) that means we’ve got to get the house clean. I’ve also got some people to call, visiting teaching, and John’s got a field trip. I’ve got to workout sometime, too. But mostly there will be cleaning. And probably some mopping. Which brings me to this–my favorite commercial. Every time I see this, I laugh. Out loud. Just thinking about it makes me laugh. Ha, ha! I’m laughing right now.

Oh, the mop sent her flowers! Oh, that’s great! Doesn’t that just make you laugh? If you don’t think that is funny, there must be something wrong with you. So, I’m off to mop (Bwaaaa, Haaaa. Mop! That’s funny!) and chuckle a bit. That and Liz Lemon singing “99 Luftballoon” from 30 rock should get me through the day.

piano wars

me: Get your piano books, it’s almost time to go to piano lessons.
her (laying on the floor): I’m not going to piano.
me: Yes, you are. Get your books, please.
her: Why do I have to go to piano? I already went this week! I’m not going!
me (trying to stay calm and not end up in a shouting match with her): You did Not go this week, you switched lessons with your brother. If you do not go and get your books and get ready, you will get to pay for your own lesson, and there will be no soccer tomorrow.
her (begrudgingly getting up off the floor): Why do I always have to go to piano? It’s not fair!
her (from the other room as she’s getting her books): Why don’t I ever get to skip piano! It’s not fair!
me: You skipped last week, remember?
her: I don’t like piano. It’s not fair that you make me take piano lessons (and on and on and on while she gets her shoes on).

In the car
her: Why do you make me take piano lessons? You must hate me. You Hate me! And I hate piano lessons and I hate you. I can’t wait until I’m 16 and then I’ll NEVER have to take piano lessons ever again.
me (turning up the radio) I am not listening to you.
her (louder): Because you Want to Make my Life Miserable. You Hate me and you want me to suffer. You want me to live a painful life.
me: Here I am putting up my soundproof invisible barrier so that I cannot here you. I’m singing along to the radio as loud as I want because now I’m the only person in the car and I can sing as loud as I want. La La LAAAAAAAA!
her (shouting): I CAN STILL HEAR YOU! YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY PERSON IN THE CAR! I’m not going in. I’m not getting out of the car. You can’t make me!

pulling up to piano lessons
me: I’m putting down my invisible sound proof shield, now. Here we are. Hop out.
her: I’m not going.
me: Yes, you are.
her (getting out of the car): I hate piano lessons and I hate you.
me (rolling down the window): You’d better apologize. You cannot speak to me that way young lady. Apologize or I’ll leave you here. You can live here and have piano lessons every day.
her (quietly): I’m sorry. But I still hate you.
me: Not going to fly. Apologize again right now or you’ll be staying here.
her: I’ll just run home.
me: Fine with me. See you later.
her: I’m sorry.
me (driving off): -sigh-

Does this sound familiar to you? This is really how our conversation went today. And I’m tired of it. I’m tired of the fighting and the whining and the complaining. It would be so much easier to give up and let her quit. But I will not. I will stick to my guns and persevere and she will take piano lessons for 3.3 more years, even if it kills me. And it might.

I wasn’t going to post this, but when I told a friend this story, she laughed and laughed and insisted it was SO FUNNY! And looking back (this happened a couple of weeks ago), I guess it was kind of funny, if you remove yourself from the situation. But sometimes it’s just not possible to remove myself far enough.

When I checked my email this morning, I got this message from my husband:


“A certain child” (only he didn’t say that, he said her name) is not allowed to play Wii or XBox or play on your computer tomorrow.

If she is mean to her sisters, that expands to being TV as well, through
Saturday (which means no XBox during Jenna’s baptism party… — Mean

and this one:

Oh, I forgot. She’s also doing her sister’s jobs tomorrow. Trash and Hall

Any suggestions would be appreciated.


Boys can enjoy those littlest pet shops animals, too. When he asked me to play with him, I was surprised. Usually he plays with his little guys or cars and makes all the noises and the voice, and when I try to play with him, he gets mad. But he actually wanted me to play with him the other day. He handed me two of the littlest pet shops pets and said that was all I got. Two? And he got all the rest? Well, eventually we were playing together and shared the little pie and bones and ice cream and had a fun time.

Maybe I’ll get those out for him to play with today. I get to clean out the mud room. Wish me luck. So far this morning we’ve found Natalie’s missing library book and about four pairs of shoes that nobody claims are theirs. I’m hoping not to find anything dead or rotting. Maybe I’ll even find money! I *should* go and take a before picture, and then later take an after picture, but I don’t think I want anyone knowing what my mudroom before looks like. If you’re free right now and want to come help, I wouldn’t turn you away.

The Relief Society Diaries

When Ryan told me that a member of the bishopric had called and wanted to talk to me, I was a little surprised. Surely it wasn’t a call to give me a new calling. I’ve only been a Young Women adviser for a few months, so there was no way they would release me. Maybe they were wanting me to give a talk in church. Or maybe music specialist for the Young Women was an actual callling, not just something I was doing in addition to teaching. Either way, I wasn’t too worried.

But when he came by Thursday night right before dinner and asked if he could talk to both Ryan and I, I got a little bit worried. I may have even been a little bit rude. “You aren’t releasing me from my calling,” I said, “I have only been doing this for a little while, and I love it.”
“Well, we’d like to release you from that calling and give you a new calling,” he said.
“No. I’m not leaving”
“Well, it’s already done.” I’m sure he was trying to be gentle, but let’s face it, he’s not making any friends, here. “We’ve called a new Relief Society President, and she’d like to have you as her first counselor.

I think the color may have drained from my face. “What?!” Don’t these people know that I already HAVE a calling? A calling that takes me away from home at least one night a week? A calling from which (thank goodness!) they won’t release me for another 9 years?

Well, I told them yes, I would do it. It made me feel good when a friend told me that this president had her pick of everyone, and she chose me to be her counselor. When I asked her what she was thinking, she said, “We need someone fun in the presidency. I’m old and boring, and we need someone young and fun.” Young and fun I can do. But what about all that other stuff that comes with this job? How am I going to do that?

Sunday we went to sacrament meeting and they sustained us as the new RS presidency, but I didn’t feel any more Relief Society-ish. I just want to stay and have fun with my girls in the Young Women.

But–I will do this calling and have a good attitude about it. There must be some reason that I am meant to be in this calling at this time. Either I need to do this to learn and grow myself, or there’s something I can give to the women in my ward, or both. I am worried that it will demand a lot of time, and I’m already gone from home a lot, but at least it won’t be every Tuesday night, like the YW calling has been. That’s been kind of hard on Ryan to have me gone two nights in a row EVERY week, and then sometimes I’ve got things on Thursday nights, too.

So, wish me luck as I embark on this new adventure. The Relief Society Diaries. And, hey, I already know how to make funeral potatoes, so that’s one less thing I need to worry about.

I just found out that Einstein Bros. Bagel shops in the Salt Lake City area (including Bountiful, Draper, Layton, Logan, Midvale, Ogden, Orem, Park City, Provo, Salt Lake City, and Sandy) are giving away free bagels every Friday until March 27, 2009.

I don’t have any more details than this, but I think I’d better find out where the nearest Einstein Brothers is and snag my free bagel.

What’s all the chirping noise?

I have an announcement to make.

We have a new member of our family. He’s about two years old, grey and white and has feathers. It’s a new cockatiel, and his name is Churt. Weird name, I know, but it’s starting to grow on us. Are you surprised? No, of course you aren’t. Thanks to the magic of freecycle, and a family out there who didn’t think they could give this little guy the attention he deserved, we now have him.

Here’s a picture of Popcorn and Churt. Popcorn is in the front, and Churt is in the back. They are not totally identical. Churt has a little bit of white on his head, so we can tell them apart, but not from far away.

When I brought in the cage with our new little friend in it, Popcorn immediately flew down to investigate. “Wow!” he said, “It’s someone who looks just like me! I think I’m in love!” only it sounded like chirp, chirp, squawk to us. But since he’s been here, Popcorn has been close by. If we take Churt out to play with him, Popcorn flies down to be with him, too. It’s cute.

Sundance, our wise old bird who we’ve had for over 15 years, is less than interested. But I kind of figured he wouldn’t care. He’s old and doesn’t really want to play anymore, but we hope that Popcorn and Churt will get along and play and be friends. Right now Churt is in his own cage, but Popcorn is often in the cage with him, or on top of the cage, or by the cage. I’m hoping to someday get everyone in the same cage so we can do away with the whole two cage thing, but for now I’m ok with two cages.

So, in case you were counting, that brings the bird total at our house to 8. We’ve got the three cockatiels, then there are 5 parakeets up in the girls’ rooms. Yes, that’s a lot of bird seed.

You’re welcome

Are you in a “Home Improvement-y” mood? Do you need new knobs for your kitchen cupboards? Are you itching to get started painting your sons’ room? (Yes, I am, thank you very much.) Are you almost ready to go and buy your seeds and potting soil to get started on that spring garden? Or maybe your snow shovel bit the dust. Or do you just need household things like tape and garbage bags and windex and boring stuff like that. Well, friends. I am here to help.

Wouldn’t it be nicer to save $10 on all that stuff? Why, yes, it would. That’s why you want to go quickly over to Lowe’s website and print your coupon for $10 off your $50 purchase. Really. And the nice thing is, you can actually just hit the back button and print out more than one. These do expire March 2, so you’ll have to plan on using them soon, but if you’ve got a looming home improvement project, it just might help.

You’re welcome. No, I’m not going to come over and Do your home improvement project for you, silly. I’m just going to help you save a little money while you do it.

Our fun almost free President’s Day

Oh, the fun we had yesterday. Seriously. After I forced my children to do their jobs, we went out and had some fun. I call it Free Fun, which is the best kind.

1st- We stopped at Krispy Kreme with report cards in hand. Since we had four report cards, we got 6 dozen for each, thus two dozen free donuts. Yum, if you like that kind of thing.

2nd- We went to Toys R Us. I’ve had this giftcard rattling about in my wallet forever, and since littlest pet shops were on sale buy one get one free, we thought we’d check it out. The selection was terrible on the littlest pet shops, but we did manage to pick up four of them to use for future birthday party gifts. We also got some valentines and a hot wheels car. I used my gift card, but didn’t manage to use it all up. There’s still $3 on it. I should have just turned around and picked up something for $3, but didn’t want to hassle with it, so back in the wallet it goes.

3rd- We had some Barnes and Noble gift cards to use up, so off we went to the book store. The girls each picked out a book, I got a book each for Cole and Megan, and bought To Kill a Mockingbird for myself. I’ve (gasp) never read it, and I’ve been meaning to. So, now I own it, and have no excuse not to read it. John was a hard sell, and didn’t want any books. He did, however, want the baby Jaguar from Go, Diego, Go. What can I say, I’m such a pushover. I let him get his jaguar instead of a book. That whole venture cost me $7 after the giftcards. Not completely free, but almost.

4th- We stopped at Del Taco and got four free kids meals with coupons we had from Reflections.

Last- was a stop at the grocery store to get our free Redbox rentals for Monday. If you didn’t already know, you can get a free rental at redbox every monday if you go to their site and sign up. They’ll send you a code every week. And you can use it more than once if you use different credit cards. So the kids picked some silly Mermaid movie, and I picked Mama Mia. They watched their movie last night while the pizza cooked (we made individual pizzas for dinner–yes, I am that fun), and then had donuts for dessert.

Ryan picked up the kids at my parents’ house, and they also had a fun fun weekend. They helped my dad put up and take down flags, they went to the planetarium, and my mom got them started on knitting and crochet projects. And we actually missed them.

It was a good weekend for everyone.

Now if only we could find a way to get the truck’s suspension fixed for free. That would be REALLY great.

Grandma Camp

I’m enjoying the sound of a semi quiet house right now. A house with only 3 kids in it. Three kids who are getting along quite nicely. And I’m thankful for parents who are willing to take a couple of kids for a few days. I asked my mom if she’d like to have some helpers, that she could put them to work ALL she wanted, and maybe give them a lecture or two on attitude and obedience and all that jazz. As it turned out, it worked out nicely because my dad had volunteered to set up the flags for their neighborhood for President’s Day, and he could use some help with that job. Well, There you go! Help for their grandparents and a little sanity for me. Win-win, right? And we didn’t have to make a special trip, because my parents were coming here for a wedding reception Saturday night, anyway.

It was quite nice getting the kids ready for church this morning. Only three kids to dress, do their hair, and help find their shoes. There was no arguing, no teasing, and no complaining. Without the teenagers, the house is such a calm and quiet place. Seriously. We’ve been having a little attitude and conflict and sassy going on, so it’s nice to have just a couple of days without that.

The younger kids were a bit jealous when they found out that the oldest two got to go to “Grandma Camp”, even though I told them they were going to a work camp. Kind of like in the movie Holes, where they have to dig and dig all day. But without the scary Sigourney Weaver character. I told them they would have to shovel snow, set up flags, and maybe even (gasp) vacuum, and that when they come back they’d better have had an attitude adjustment. But I don’t think anyone believed me. They know that their grandparents love them to death, and think they are just the cutest things since new babies, and would NEVER make them do WORK or PRACTICE THE PIANO like their mean old mom does.

It’s good for all of us to have a little bit of time away from each other, I think. The kids have a great time getting to feel special by staying with Grandma and Grandpa, and we as parents get a little bit of a break from the five kid thing, and the siblings get a little bit of a different dynamic by not having the teenagers there. They get to feel like “the oldest” and maybe get to do some things they don’t normally get to do.

Hopefully they are being well behaved at Grandma camp, so that they don’t ruin their chance of every doing this again. So, thanks Mom and Dad! You are the greatest!

Happy Valentine’s day… Sort of.

It’s hard to decide what today is. Is it Valentine’s day? Is it Friday the 13th? Is it V-day the 13th? Well, whatever it is, it will be a fun day.

Valentine’s day for the elementary school kids really is where it’s at. My kids have spent the last week making valentine’s boxes, which I just realized I forgot to get pictures of before they left the house. Oh, well. Maybe when they come home. They’ve also had fun writing out their valentines. It’s good practice for the 5 year old to write his valentines. He gets to write his name over and over, which is a good thing for him. And you know there will be parties and candy. I’m helping out in Jenna’s 2nd grade party today. I am supposed to do the craft, and I always end up picking crafts that are too hard, and can’t get done in the time we have. Well, not this year. I’ve picked about the easiest craft you can get, and hopefully we’ll have time left over to play simon says or something silly like that.

My junior high kids have not done anything at all for valentine’s day. They didn’t even ask me to buy candy to give to their friends. Oh, wait. I take that back. Megan wrote little poems for her friends. But it’s no big deal for them, I guess.

As for me and my sweet heart, we have a ward party thing tonight. It’s “Macho Chef Night”. That means the men are supposed to whip up their best recipes and come and impress everyone with their mad cooking skillz. The funny thing is, men’s cooking usually revolves around the grill, and it’s the middle of winter and no one’s going to be grilling right now, are they? So,we plan on showing up and having many great MEAT dishes, and DESSERTS. Because men don’t make anything resembling fruit. Or salad. There will be lots of GREAT meat dishes and dessert dishes, though, I guarantee it. That doesn’t bode well for my Biggest Loser challenge, where I have to weigh in tomorrow morning. I have only lost 4 pounds in almost 3 weeks, and this week I haven’t really exercised because of this lingering sickness and overall feeling of ick. So, I can’t just go and eat only meat and desserts–ugh. I’ll have to try to eat only veggies and fruit all day so I can have my share of MEAT tonight.

Tomorrow, on the real valentine’s day, I’ll be up at the crack of 7 to go to two basketball games and a soccer game. I’ve also got books for my kids for valentine’s presents, and that’s about it. I picked up books while working at the book fair, but after I picked one for Megan that I thought she’d like, I see it on the counter yesterday. She’s already reading that book from the school library. I can’t give her that book! I’ll have to see if I can exchange it today while I’m at school.

I heard on that radio that according to some survey, this song is the #1 romantic song of all time. So, if you are planning a romantic rendezvous of some kind, you might want to make sure this song is loaded up on your ipod. Or something (for those of us who haven’t entered the world of ipods and technology, you know.)

Or you could just sing it, like this guy here. And if you click on that link, you’ll understand why I didn’t want to embed the whole thing and put it here on this here blog. Ick.

And a few words about my dear husband. My sweet hubby who last night in the car told my son that “There’s only one know it all in this family, and I’ve already got it covered.” He’s just so sweet, isn’t he? He’s the man who sent me this romantic ditty.

Isn’t he the greatest? Well, he stole my heart years ago and still has it. How could I not love him? Well, to my dear sweetie, I say, back at you, babe. You are the best. And there’s a Costco right close to your work, and they have lots and lots of roses, in case you were wondering.

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