Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What was he thinking?!

While I am going about my day and cleaning up one thing after another, I regularly wonder what exactly was going through my child's head when they are doing this or that. It kind of helps to think of what they're thinking and it can be quite amusing at times. It helps keep me calm I think.
For example, one of my children may start their day as follows:
Go into the living room and see that it's still dark. Well mom will probably be mad if I go into her room and wake her up. I REALLY gotta take a dump, but first, let me take my pull-up off and leave it right here on the couch where it belongs. Phew. That's better.
[goes to toilet] Gee I hope none of that poo touches me, I better use half a roll of toilet paper and hope it sticks with minimal wiping effort. Eeeew. Wow I love the way the bathroom smells. I think I'll just leave the toilet unflushed; that way the smell can permeate the room really well.
Lalalalalala. Hmmm. What can I do now? Guess I'll turn on the TV. Oh my goodness! What are throw pillows doing on the couch? They don't belong there. Everyone KNOWS throw pillows are meant for THROWING on the floor. Sheesh.
Hmmm. While I'm at it, I think I'll get my blanket from my room and put that on the floor in here too. Then, hey! I can lay down on the pillows with my blanket and watch TV.
Oh boy, everyone's up now. Now everyone else can get in on the floor pillow action. Better bring their blankets.
Some time later, from another child's point of view:
Oh boy! I hear mom's door opening. About flippin time my human slave woke up! I'm hungry. Mom needs to get me some juice before I starve. Maybe if I say the word "hungry" over and over and over and over, she'll move faster, or at least maybe juice will magically appear. And man, my PJs are WET. I hope she can take this off of me even though I can take it off myself AND go to the bathroom. Why do that when you have a human slave called mom? Wait! Why is she going back in her room? Ok. It's screaming time.
Later that day:
Hey Beya! Mom's occupied with the baby. Let's go in the kitchen she forgot just this once to block off and REALLY do some damage. I'm hungry. I think I'll test out every piece of fruit to see if it's to my liking. Then maybe I'll empty all the cabinets. Even though I don't actually want to PLAY with any of the kitchen implements, there's just something magical about having it all out on the floor where I can see it. Plus it is just SOOO entertaining to watch mom clean it up.
Meanwhile, another child:
"Mooooom. Can I play on your phone?"
Mom: "No. You already played games today."
What? That is SOOO unfair. I think I'll just whine about it a lot to see if she's really decisive on that no. If so, well, at least I get to torture her for a while.
Some whining time later:
Oh hey... is that dad that just came in? I think I'll see if HE'LL let me play on the phone. Dad's the nice one after all.
After trying to bamboozle dad and failing:
Oh my gosh! Those darn throw pillows are on the couch again! And where is my blanket? Oh man, a boy's work is just NEVER done! Let me just take care of that.[throws pillows on the floor] That was so tiring that now I am thirsty. Where's my cup? Oh well. I'll just tell mom I can't find it even though I haven't looked ANYWHERE for it. [after failing to get mom to find cup] Can you believe she won't get my cup? I'm just physically incapable of looking for it. All I know how to do is whine about it. I know mom hates whining but that will show her!
Dinner time:
I cannot BELIEVE Mom is trying to get me to eat THAT! I better tell her I don't like it in a really rude tone so I can get my meaning across. I sure as heck better get my cookie after dinner though. If I don't, I think I'll just whine. I know mom ALWAYS makes me eat my dinner before I get a treat but what the hey... I might as well try whining again. There's a first time for everything, right? She'll be proud of me for being persistent.
Bed time:
Mom: "Can you put your jammies on please Novan?"
I wonder how long I can get away with not doing that. [plays with a toy]
Later Mom: "Novan. PLEASE put your jammies on."
Wow, I soooo don't feel like doing that.
Later, again Mom: "Novan, look at me."
[looks at mom]
Mom: "Put your jammies on." [mom holds out jammies she got out of drawer for child]
Awwww. Isn't that sweet? She even got my jammies out for me. See I knew she'd cave. Now I really don't have to put them on.
Later, Mom: "Novan! Jammies. NOW!"
Can you BELIEVE she's ordering me around like that?
Child replies in his best rude voice, "Mooooom. I'll do it in a MINUTE!"
Mom: "Novan. You put those jammies on right now or I'm spanking you."
Child rudely: "OK mom. I'm doing it."
Gosh, she didn't have to get so snippy.
Child on the way to bathroom before bed: 
Holy Cow! There's those pesky pillows again on the couch. I better put 'em on the floor. Why do I have to clean up everything around here?

Yeah. It's so much more fun to think of that as I go around cleaning up blasted pillows and everything else along with dealing with a screaming 2 year old and a 5 year old who seems to speak to me like he's some kind of teenager every day. But fortunately for me, mom is always right. And mom is going to win in the end, especially against boys and their incessant need to keep pillows on the floor. Just when they think they've beaten me, I've got tricks up my sleeve, like booby trapped baby swings:

*Sigh* It's the little things that make my day. Yeah, he was NOT happy with this. Notice how his arm is ALSO stuck in the toy attached to the swing tray. And this is after REPEATEDLY telling him to stay out of the swing. I was pretty tempted to just leave him there. At least he'd stay out of trouble that way.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

So thaaaat's how it's done.... who knew?

So I'm pretty sure that I have mentioned before how terrible I am at baking. It's been kind of hit and miss for years but I think I've finally figured out the secret. YOU FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS. Hahahaha! Ok, so it takes a little more skill than that. There are a few additional things I've discovered:
1) A watched cookie is a perfect cookie. Yeah you have to watch those babies like a hawk. They can overbake in like 5 seconds. Never take a recipe's directions on how long to bake because 99% of the time it is wrong. I figure that's mostly due to a difference in ovens and how much cookie dough you consider "a mounded teaspoon" or "walnut size" and whatever. You have to watch them so you can catch them at that perfect interval between undercooked and done. You want to pull them out just before done.
2) Not only is a gas oven the ideal environment for a baking cookie, the the top rack is a MUST. Never ever ever ever ever ever ever EVER bake a cookie on a lower rack. Don't even try.
No really, don't.
I warned you!
3)The magic of toffee pieces. Seriously toffee pieces are fabulous to add to just about any cookie, especially peanut butter. It's magic. You should try it.

So how did I discover all of these fabulous tricks? Cookie making of course. Baking is always something I do when life is stressful and stressful is probably an understatement for what the last few weeks have been like. Nail-biting, sleepless, and emotionally exhausting is more like it. Why, you ask? I'll give you one guess.
If you like... EVER read the news then you know about the whole national debt situation and also the crazy capital markets that have gone along with the dysfunctionality of our government. A roller coaster of a market means a roller coaster in our income sooooo well you can see why I was stressed I'm sure.
That's not really what this post was about though....
Cookies.... mmmmmmm.
I've made all kinds of cookies: sugar cut-out cookies (thanks to a fail-safe recipe I got from my friend Maria a couple years ago), peanut-butter cookies several times (courtesy of my cookie-baking diva friend Kiersten), These yummy oatmeal cookies I made today:

And last but not least, THESE. It's for a chocolate chip cookie but I nixed the choco chips and used white choco chips, chopped walnuts, and toffee pieces. I am so not exaggerating when I say these things are like the cheesecake of the cookie world. You eat one and you want to but you can't eat any more because they're so rich. They are "the bomb" as my friend Emily says.
So I was feeling pretty confident in my baking ability that I decided to tackle my baking fear: bread making
So I took my friend Kim's advice and got some SAF yeast from ChefSmart because I have serious yeast issues, and not the kind that can be cured with an over-the-counter drug. I can never get dough to rise properly. It just sits there, mocking me. I bake it and it comes out as hard as a rock. Anyway, I used this recipe and that dough rose like a hot air balloon. Doubled in size? No I would say that stuff tripled. And the rolls were FAAAABULOUS. I made 36 of them and all but 9 got eaten that night. OK, so I didn't mention that we had Elder Foster (a former missionary in our area a few years ago) and his wife to dinner that night as well. Oh, and Elder Foster is like 7 foot 2 inches, so he eats a lot. But they were still Yum-OH! Novan kept saying how good they were as he stuffed his face, "Mom you are the best cooker ever!" Makes a mom want to shed a tear, ya know? Especially from someone like Novan who tells me he doesn't like what I'm cooking practically every day. All in all a terrific self-imposed lesson in baking.
Here are the other things that help with alleviating stress:

My girls, all ready for church. My sweet Beya and my yummy 11 pound baby Keshet.

My loving husband who works harder and cares more than anyone I know. My little hammy man Iyov who in this picture has come into our room after his brother and sister are asleep at night thinking he's so cute, Mom and Dad can't POSSIBLY send him back to bed.... He was right.

I love how kids are so naturally loving. Keshet is ADORED, even by Novan who says multiple times a day "Mom, see how cute she is?"

Oh Iyov. How I love you. How you drive me crazy with your screaming. How you smile just so and manage to melt my heart. What would I do without your infectious smile in my life?

And there you have it. Cookies and family and a little faith are fortunately all you really need when the stock market makes you nauseous. OK, so cookies aren't really necessities but they sure can work wonders!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


I do not know what is wrong with me. Three nights ago I woke up at 2:30 to feed Keshet. I couldn't go back to sleep until 5:30. Two nights ago, I fed her at 4:30. I couldn't go back to sleep at all. Last night I woke up to go to the bathroom at 3:30 and what do ya know? I couldn't go back to sleep. So after lying fruitlessly in bed until 4:30, what's a girl to do but get up and be productive? So I swept my kitchen, dining room, and bathroom, and then decided to mop. I topped it off by doing a little breast pumping. I went back to bed only to NOT go to sleep again so what better way to spend the wee morning hours than blog? The irony of it all is that Keshet has been sleeping since 10 o'clock and it's now 6:20... so I don't even get to enjoy a baby that has slept through the night. I said a prayer last night that she would because after 2 nights, I really just wanted to sleep and I was hoping that if she didn't wake me up, I wouldn't have to worry about being awake too long and thus would be able to sleep through the night. Prayer answered apparently. I guess I should have added "And bless me that I won't have to pee." Actually, I don't think I had to pee that badly. I think I just woke up randomly and decided I might as well go to the bathroom.

I've not been a very good sleeper for many years now.... oh since I had kids I guess. Women have this switch that turns on once they give birth the first time that makes them have superwoman hearing. It gets intensified with each child until you hear things without even knowing you heard them. You just KNOW when something's going on. As of late, I have been waking up before Keshet starts making audible noise. I swear, even though she's in another room, the sounds of her moving in her bed still reaches my sleeping ears. Men do NOT have this gift. My husband can sleep through just about anything.

Now usually, when I am unable to sleep it's because I'm thinking about something. I do my best thinking at night I think because I don't have any brain power to do it during the day when my thoughts are always disturbed by somebody wanting or needing something. But I've not been thinking about anything these last few nights except how much I need to get back to sleep. Trust me, I've tried NOT to think about that because it only stresses me out and keeps me awake. I've tried all kinds of things like reading a book, playing a game on my phone, singing hymns to myself, relaxing exercises, cleaning...obviously. Two nights ago I actually took a shower to try to relax myself. Every time I think about how long I've been awake I just want to cry. Actually I've done that too, hoping a bit of catharsis will tire me out. Nothing has worked. The part of my brain screaming at me to go back to sleep just will not SHUT UP! And I know I'm not awake because I only require 5 hours of sleep now because that whole time I'm awake, I'm so TIRED. And I'm tired during the day also. I am fearful this will get worse because now I'm going to spend time worrying that I'm not going to be able to sleep which means I won't sleep and if I wake up at night, my first thought will be, "crap, am I going to go back to sleep?" and then the vicious cycle will repeat. I think tonight I will try staying up later so that maybe I will be just too tired to stay awake if I wake up in the middle of the night. Maybe I'll throw in a dose of melatonin as well. What do you do when you can't sleep? How do you quiet your mind?