Sunday, September 16, 2012

Peace

[nakey picture of my boys covered in mud has been removed because hello, this is the internet, and anyone can see it] 


This is how we found the boys today after ward choir practice. I am the choir director so we have choir at our house and just kinda ignore our children and hope for the best while it's happening. I'm pretty sure that's not the best way to do things.

I go insane several times a day. Yeah, I'm not joking. So you might be wondering why I'm not sitting in a straitjacket somewhere without access to the internet. Well, let me share with you a few things I've been doing lately to help me stay calm, keep cool, and feel peace as a mother of three little boys.


1. There's an app called "Track My iPhone." I think it's supposed to help out if you ever lose your phone or if someone robs you. But... I use it to stalk my husband. (Hey, he's the one who suggested it, cut me some slack.) He has an hour-long commute, sometimes longer if traffic is especially bad, and it drives me crazy not knowing what time to have dinner ready. I used to call him during his commute to try and gauge what time I should have a hot dinner on the table. Now, I just track him. It's a map and every time I refresh it, a little dot shows me where his phone is. It's ingenious. Although it makes it harder for him to surprise me. Like the time he bought me flowers and I knew exactly where he was. Oops, sorry, Dearest. But knowing where my husband is and how much longer I'm going to be alone with our little crazies just helps me out. Yaknow?


2. I cook. I know. I KNOW! Up until a few months ago, that would have been a joke and I'm sure all my sis-in-laws still think it is. But ever since I had Lincoln I have started to really enjoy making dinner, especially if the kids are doing something else and I can just have the kitchen to myself. Not that my cooking is anything to brag about, but the point is that lately, I have been looking forward to it and that it relaxes me.

Oh! I found a SUPER easy recipe the other day for a creamy lemon sauce to go over chicken, rice, or pasta. The only ingredients are a can of cream of chicken soup, water, lemon juice, butter, and garlic powder. I used milk instead of water and I think I might have added some Italian seasoning, but the recipe is here. I served it over whole wheat spaghetti and we had broccoli with it. Seriously, the easiest recipe ever and tastier than I thought it could be with just those ingredients.


3. I just put this up on my living room wall:
No storm can shake my inmost calm
While to that refuge clinging;
Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth,
How can I keep from singing?
It's from an old Christian hymn called "How Can I Keep From Singing?" and when I feel like I'm really going to lose it, I try to think of these words. I picture myself clinging onto a ship's mast in stormy waters, holding on for dear life, outwardly being beaten by the wind and tossed by the waves, but inwardly calm and untouchable because Christ is Lord of heaven and earth. (Incidentally, Enya did a famous version of the song, but took out all the religious references. She replaced the word Christ with the word love. Hmph.)


4. I clean the house. One of my favorite times of the day is when we put the kids down and I can clean the house in peace. I do this almost every night so it can be a little discouraging how badly the house needs it every night. But there is just something so satisfying about shiny, clean countertops and floors that makes it worth it. Even if the house is only clean while we sleep. PLUS I listen to audiobooks while I do it. Josh and I just finished listening to this book:
Yes, it's written by Richard Paul Evans, and yes, it's written for kids, but it's a fun book and the reader is FABulous and hilarious. And it's the beginning of a trilogy so we just downloaded the second book. Nothing makes the dishes go quicker than listening to a book. You should give it a try.


5. Yes, I blog. Which is why I blog so much. Sorry about that. I also get on Facebook (come on, don't you?). The other day, when Joshy refused to use the restroom first so we could leave for the store and the other two boys were buckled into the car for a whole hour while I tried to get him to go and I even gave Bennett the rest of a bag of mini marshmallows to punish Joshy and his dad even called home from work to try to get him to do it and Joshy still absolutely refused, I sat down and chilled on Facebook for a little while and ignored him and got nice and calm again.


6. I kiss chubby cheeks. Time with Lincoln always helps. His big smile can make me feel better pretty much anytime. Look, I'm not picking favorite kids, just favorite ages...

What do you do to stay sane? I can't wait until I can start running again.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

P's


This little guy started "real" preschool this week. When I went to pick him up his first day, the teacher said he had been "good, but" and then she did that little thing with her hand that people do that means someone talks a lot. She said he had told her what he was going to be for Halloween, that his mom likes peacocks, that he had only been to preschool at people's houses... yeah, he had already interrupted her twice before I had even left the classroom that morning. But hey, I'll take "chatterbox" any day over "he is spitting on all the other kids." Right? Am I right? Also, when he wrote his name in all caps on his papers, she told him that he needs to use lower case letters. Since he can already read and write pretty well for his age, I was afraid he wouldn't get much academically out of preschool, so I'm excited that she's already pushing him to be his best.



This little guy started "home" preschool this week. After drawing the letter C in his new preschool Lightning McQueen notebook and reading a book about colors, we painted popcorn with colored sweetened condensed milk. We might or might not have eaten it all. I'm so excited to spend some one-on-one time with him while his brother is at preschool. Being the middle child has been pretty rough on poor lil benny! And I'm thinking that since it'll only be twice a week, it'll be a lot more doable for me; with joshy I got kinda burned out doing it every day.


This little guy's skin is now practically perfect. There's still peeling on his hands and toes but besides that, he's looking really good! He only needed powder, creams, lotions, gels, ointments, antifungals, antibiotics, steroids, lots of doctor visits, a couple of months, and a priesthood blessing. The dermatologist said he might have been allergic to an ointment, then he got a bacterial infection, and then his whole body kinda freaked out and broke into a bunch of different rashes. It doesn't help that he's so chubby that it's hard to keep his skin dry. Poor kid with sensitive skin. (I'm seeing some serious dermatology bills in his teenage years. And sunburns.) Luckily he's an optimist and doesn't seem to mind!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Catwoman, A.K.A. lettuce for lunch

=  

That's right, Catwoman is a big plateful of lettuce.


Have you ever had a salad for lunch every day? Every day? And as you were sprinkling craisins and crackers over the top of it in an unsuccessful attempt to liven things up a bit, did you ever glance longingly at the chicken bacon ranch pizza leftovers that your kids were having for lunch? Or daydream about soft garlicky buttery breadsticks?

Sometimes you have to replace what would tingle your tastebuds and satisfy your stomach with something that is going to help you lose that baby weight. It's a sacrifice, and it's worth it. Sometimes. If you don't think about it too hard.

I was having a great day yesterday until I realized who would have been the perfect Catwoman.

Emily Blunt.


Yes, I know. The role was made for her. She is as rascally and mischievous as she is elegant and classy. Which is exactly what Catwoman calls for. In fact, she played a very similar role in another movie (although we stopped watching it halfway through because it was dirty) and did a superb job at it.

I told myself I was just fine with Anne Hathaway as Catwoman because I had consigned myself to her playing the role and prepared myself for it in advance. But really, I lied to myself. Watching her in that role was just like watching Robert P. as Greek god Edward or Woody Harrelson as the burly Haymitch. Almost bearable, as long as you don't think too hard about it or realize who the perfect actor actually would have been. Not that the aforementioned actors don't do their very best with what they've got, but you know, when you got it, you got it. No offense.

The key difference between Catwoman and a green salad, drenched with lite raspberry vinaigrette and soggy crackers, is that you can choke down the salad because you realize that you really have lost 5 pounds in one month, but can you really ignore how much more satisfying that last Batman movie could have been, with just a slight change in the cast?