Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bad Parent Trophy

Ruby thought the Tooth Fairy came, took one look at her tooth, and didn't want it.

Why didn't she want it? Maybe it had blood on it, that's why she didn't want it?

No, she just forgot. Just plain forgot. Ruby walked into school this morning with her shoulders low and her head hanging down. She was so sad. I emailed Jake at work and we discussed disappointments this morning. How painful it is to see our kids experiencing a big one. And being fully responsible.


She'll be here tonight. She'll draw hearts on the dollar, just like she always does. She'll maybe even write an apology.

Because Ruby's heart is just too tender.

On a lighter note, we're having a Medley reunion this weekend. Including, but not limited to my parents, 8 out of 9 siblings, their spouses (6 are married). My grandparents will stop by on Saturday along with my cousin's family and my aunt, uncle and their 6 kids.

Oh ya, and we invited a special guest: Chaos.

Did I mention my house is 1200 square feet?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Tuesday.

I am so mentally and physically exhausted from taking care of my four daughters. Sometimes at the end of the day I can barely move. Mysteriously, I can eat chocolate and blog, though, strange.

Took the girls to their school playground this evening. Jake wasn't home and we needed something to do. Lillie fell and scraped her nose. Her nose is the teeniest part of her face. It hides between her cheeks, lips and forehead, so scraping it was nearly impossible. Comfort I gave, and she trotted off and most promptly stubbed her toe.

So I called it a night on account of injuries and said bring it in, girls, we're going home!

I've tried lately to be more present. Really see them, really hear them, really really remember. It's hard. It takes more effort to live this way. But I'm determined. I never want to regret or forget the easy stuff, the daily stuff. I want to tell them someday about their younger selves and how amazing they made us feel.

My doobies who doesn't even know her middle name. The girls stayed home from school with the sniffles and we did "homeschool". A combination of nonsense games that we made up for each other. I gave Ruby a quiz. I asked her, for question #5, what is her middle name? She didn't know. She'd never heard of it. Could it be Doobies? What about Ruby Tuesday? or Dubinator? Nope, I told her: Jean. Ruby Jean. She was surprised. "Oh", she said.

She's got peach fuzz on her skinny bruised little legs and she's got my crooked toes.

Gracie with her cheeks puffed out riding her scooter. She's a creature of compulsive habit. Every day making noises with the air in her cheeks. She does it constantly. Her number one goal is to be my friend and companion. She is a thousand good, kind, friendly people wrapped up in one seven-year-old girl.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Here we go

She is fed rice cereal. And likes it!

And do you enjoy her hair as much as I do? The way that one bang is creeping onto her face, down toward her eyes.

She absolutely kills me with her beauty every single day.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday Drawings

Ruby's drawing. Riding scooters to the park. Daddy's giving the family a thumb's up and I am bringing up the rear thinking of our family in my thought bubble. Holding a mini Matilda. 
Grace's illustration of Grace and Ruby choosing the right. Dad has no idea where to go. 
Grace's chart. 

Ruby draws a scene in a pet shop. She and Daddy have love halos above their heads.

Ruby's drawing of swimming at the rec center.

Today we had a long discussion about how dangerous marbles are for choking. We don't let them in the house. I told them that they are slippery and round and that they are one of the worst things! This is Ruby's drawing of me cooking eggs, Grace comes to ask me a question and leaves her bag of marbles on the ground. Lillie picks one up and chokes on it. Her throat leads straight to her heart. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Just Stuff

-- Ruby loves that Tada Mae so much.

-- So now that Lillie is potty trained, next on the agenda is taking away the binky. Probably will never happen. She sucks on that piece of plastic like a bag of m&m's at midnight.

-- The girls just started gymnastics at a serious gym. I sit in the waiting area and watch (with Lillie and the babe). I simply cannot hang with these moms. They are dressed to the NINES. I am not. I feel like little Tim from Christmas Carol.

-- I took the girls swimming at the rec center last night. There is a soap opera going on over at that place with all those teenage lifeguards. There's always some drama going down. A little flirt or a sideways glance. I overhear some pretty interesting stuff. They don't care about chubby, pasty white moms. They know we're completely harmless. If I hear them talk about how cute so-and-so is or what chick didn't show up for work, who the heck am I going to tell?

The little one in swim diapers, that's who.

-- I've lived here for 9 months now and apparently there's been a WinCo Foods store near me all that time. Oh, the pain I feel having found out that truth, and all the money I could have been saving! Hannah and I went there together. With our five kids. It was as ridiculous as it sounds. Speaking of Hannah, she just finished a cycling relay race from Salt Lake to St. George. She is incredible and tough and does it all while halfway through nursing school.

-- My sister Miriam is 39 weeks pregnant today. I felt her tummy, closed my eyes and pictured my niece all curled up inside there, her tiny warm body taking it day by day, making her new parents wait. She'll be such a beauty. I dreamed about her a few weeks ago. She looks like her mama.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

"The Impossible"

I may have potty-trained our third child.

Without totally losing my mind.

I would have bet millions that Lillie would have been astronomically hard to potty train. That she would test all limits, set the earth askew and send me rolling down a steep embankment to take away the pain.

But she was fairly easy. She took to it. She was motivated. She was organized. She was clean.

So I'd say after three weeks of it, she's about 95%.

Most of us know that potty training is never really over, not until they're four. Give or take two years.

But for now, Mama's happy.

Monday, September 20, 2010


Eating their after school waffles, sharing a chair, wearing best friend necklaces.

With all that fighting they used to do, who would have thought?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday Photo

Mothering is much harder than anything I have ever done or ever will do. I'm going to even be more specific-- being the mother of FOUR is much harder than anything I have ever done. One, two and even three wasn't so bad.

Sometimes, when we're driving down the freeway on the way home from something, various little ones cry and fight and scream and throw board books at the back of my headrest.

Sometimes that happens and when it does, explosions happen in my brain. Like when Baghdad was bombed, you remember watching that on TV? The earth was rocking and rolling and there was a firebomb here and a building exploding there and it happened at random and it looked all together very damaging.

Well that's my brain sometimes.

But at the end of the day, at the end of the long sentence that is my day, there's a short little cadence. A sweet song that sums up what we did and what we felt. It's mostly the sweetest song anyone would hear and its melody weaves into my heart and back out again, over and over.

I can hear it when I look at this photo. Sung by a lucky, lucky mama.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

R & L

"Lillie wanted a snuggle."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Today with the little woman.

(I'm not sure why the sound is off on these, but I don't know how to fix it.)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunday Photos

I absolutely cannot resist six or so frames of the same pose. They're hilarious all put together, almost like a video.

It's the second week in a row that I've taken their photo in their pajamas... I keep forgetting until it gets late and I'm too lazy to change them into something cuter.

And seriously... Matilda's hair... seriously...

Monday comes and there's no school, it's a furlough day (Grace said they don't have money to pay the teachers and that's why they don't have to go to school). So what the heck will we do all day besides eat cookies and run circles?

I want to drive them up to Brighton and hike a paved trail around a lake. But really, c'mon, what am I, crazy?

Staying home all day, eating cookies, and not answering my phone... now that's tempting.

Friday, September 10, 2010

It's about life.

(You know those kids that you don't know that wait out in their yard and say hi to you as you walk by? And you say hi back but then it's kind of awkward because they're kids and you just want to keep walking and they look super bored and where the heck is their mom? Ya, those were my kids today.)

Today as I had my grocery cart full of food and all my little girls in tow, Grace struck up another chat with me. If you don't already know, it's really hard to talk to a seven year old and grocery shop at the same time. I deserve an award.


She asked me why our basic cable does not include Nickelodeon. I said because I don't want her watching Spongebob and iCarly every day after school, I like her to play with her sisters instead.

She asked me if that was the only reason.

I said, well, it does cost more money, too, so I didn't want to pay extra for all those channels that we don't need.

She said,


"It's not about the money, Mom, it's about life."

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Me and them.

The girls had a piano recital this afternoon.

Ruby played her piece, "Magic of the World" and then second, "Magic of the World Ever Seen".

Grace performed, "Magic" and "Katie loves her kittens".

Great pieces, all of them. Really great emotion and dynamics.

They bowed, that was the best part.

Lillie's piece, "I paaaayyy daaat" was also followed by the Most Adorable Bow of Any Wild Two-Year-Old.

As an aside,

Ruby brushed her teeth with peanut butter yesterday.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

All Smiles.

There is no accurate way to describe my feelings for her. They are constantly in battle with each other. The love and the frustration. The intensity and the intimacy and the screaming tantrums and the kisses and her yelling and her stubbornness. It's impossible to sum up and impossible to dissect. It's just....


She's my third two year old. The others were nothing like her. That's comparing spring rains to a midnight thunderstorm right over your head. She cries all day. She stomps her foot and screams and falls on the ground with, "no no no's". But not fairly often. All the time. Every five minutes. Nap or no nap, hungry or full, she's the same.

She fights around every turn. Every decision I make hinges on what her reaction will be, whether or not I can handle the screaming at that moment. And it's not ever the normal things like I don't give her a piece of candy so she screams. It's things like, if I sit on the couch she'll scream because she had something else planned for me to do. If I give her juice it's always in the wrong container. If the girls make a wrong move with the wrong toy it's over. For five minutes she screams and hollers and we are all very afraid. Sometimes I'll walk through the hall and she'll burst apart with screams and I'll look around, check myself over, searching for something, anything, that could illicit that type of reaction. I find nothing.

When she's not crying, she demands certain things of the household. There is a general rule in our house. Stay out of the kitchen. This rule is for Lillie's sake. If you walk in there, she's begging and pleading and wanting you to put her on the counter and comb the cupboards for food and treats and then she's laying on the floor in a tantrum because you won't let her hold the butter.

I'm not allowed to talk on the phone. That's a big one. Taking a shower is a huge deal and if I can run in there quickly and shampoo my hair before she's out there banging on the door crying, I consider it an accomplishment.

I know, I know. She'll grow out of it. At least that's what Jake said last night. I understand, she probably will. But what about the meantime? From when she turned one she began to be like this and has been ever since. So say she grows out of it in a year. Great. Great news. But that's a YEAR. What do I do until then? How do I survive? Build a bunker for myself in the backyard? Put Enya in my iPod and listen to it full blast and lock myself in my room? I'm to that point. I just love peace, I love quiet, I love tranquility. And not much resembles that.

Of course she's delicious and funny and interesting and loving. She talks better every day. When she wears her pink sweat pants, holy mama she looks gor------geous. I eat her neck away to nothing.

They say kids like her are "highly intelligent" and will "go places in life". It's hard to say if that's true or not, but I hope all of this muddling through will be worth it someday. My vengeful self lies in wait of when her first baby turns one and she calls me and goes, "uhhhhhhhhh..... having a little trouble over here!".

I will be all smiles.

Monday, September 06, 2010

The loveliest.

I realize your heart just stopped beating in your chest. I'm sorry, I should have warned you I was posting a photo so stunningly beautiful.

Punch yourself on the left side of the chest, a little below the collarbone, that should get the old girl goin' again.


Mother of the loveliest baby on the planet.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Sunday Photos

These photos are grainy, I took them at dusk right after their bath and right before I sent them to bed. Lillie's got binkies and a bottle, Ruby's got a bruise on her forehead, Grace is loving her matching pajamas and Matilda looks like she's 9 months old.

As for Jake, I didn't know where life would lead us when we got married. We were only kids, with lofty dreams and all the freedom in the world. There's been twists and free falls. There's been heaven and something in between. I didn't know how I could love him more than I did the day we were married in the Oakland temple, me a little lightweight in my wedding dress I bought at the mall. He wearing a tux and all smiles. We held our breath.

And here we stand. These baby girls forever wedged in between us. Physically and emotionally. We hardly talk about anything else. Our barrels are full of them. And our reserves are empty. Being their parents takes everything we have and everything we will have.

But I have him. He is my home and rock and thunderclap and hot shower. My throat tightens as I look that this photo. I couldn't have married a man who would love my daughters more than he does.

No matter what he does, no matter what he says, I will forever love him for that. I know what I have and I try not to take it for granted.

Thursday, September 02, 2010


Since I've had more than one child, it is really hard to have one-on-one time with each of them and it makes me really sad some days.

Today I picked up Ruby from school and within an hour, Tada and Lill were asleep. Ruby and I ate lunch together, did make up and painted nails. No interruptions, an absolutely silent house. I stayed away from things that might distract me and just spent some good time with her.

We ate some cake and she teased me relentlessly. I had to physically restrain her from tickling my feet one more time. She's such a lover and I love that little face and neck like I always have.

She described herself in phrases like, "beyond beautiful" and "so so absolutely beautiful". I hope she always feels that way because it's so, so true.