Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Spoonful of Sugar

"Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down."

A "spoonful of sugar" means something different to everyone. For some, it's a Diet Pepsi in the morning. For others, it's a piece of chocolate. For others still, it's listening to their favorite childhood CD. Whenever there's a job to be done, there is always something you can do to help it go by a little better.

This morning, I looked at my to-do list for this week:
* Laundry (2 weeks worth because we were gone)
* More laundry (towels, sheets, etc.)
* Pack for our little anniversary getaway this weekend
* Make Primary Activity Day invitations for our Ward Primary Program practice next weekend
* Create a new seating chart for the primary program (because the one I originally made was turned upside down and inside out due to me not thinking that the tall kids should be in the back!)
* Grade for University of Phoenix
* Participate for University of Phoenix
* Weekly lesson for NAU
* Curriculum goals for POHS

So, I got started. I threw a load of laundry in the washing machine, took Sariah to preschool, came home, thought about doing the dishes in the sink, but decided to play instead. In between loads of laundry, I read, sang, and played with Emerson and James.

Naptime came, and I sat down at the computer to do my online work. But I could not focus (which is why I'm blogging instead of working!). My head was so full of all the things I need to do, that I just could not get my act together. But then a thought hit me - my thoughts were so cluttered because my working space was also cluttered. My living room floor was a mess - toys everywhere! I decided to take 10 minutes and pick up. I normally do this at the end of the day, with all the children helping. But because this isn't a typical week and I have so much to do, I decided to do it quick. I picked up everything, got a Diet Pepsi, and got to work. I could not believe how much work I got done once my work space was cleaned!

Now, I know that we don't want to put our family aside while we clean our home. But my evenings are so much better after I take 15 minutes with my family to pick up toys, put shoes away, and make sure dinner is put away. My day comes to a close, and I wake up refreshed with a clean slate (literally). So for me, today, my "sugar" was a clean living room floor. I hope you find yours as well!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Illinois In Pictures

It is hard to accept that our Thanksgiving trip is over tomorrow. On this Thanksgiving Day, my heart is full.


Uncle Doug:

Manly Tools:






Winter Clothes:

Thank you, Illinois, for being so good to us this year. We will see you again.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How Many Men Does It Take...

To install a new toilet?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Magic Stairs

I have an amazing husband. He completed an exceptional Eagle Project that took 3 weeks to complete - he built stairs in a forest. We took the kids to see them. They loved it, and Sariah kept calling them her "magic" stairs. I'm not sure why, but they do seem magical in this beautiful wooded area. In the first picture, you can see the staircase off to the left, going up the hill.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The High is 32 Degrees

For those of you who chuckled at my previous post discussing the potential need to drug my son, I appreciate all of your support and advice!

Picture this. We are sitting on the plane. I am on the left side of the plane, with the 3 seats. Sariah by the window and James in the middle. Jared is right across from me, in the aisle seat. The plane is completely full, with the exception of the middle seat that James is taking. We are about 3 minutes from takeoff when a woman runs onto the plane. Literally. But she is no ordinary woman. She is probably 65. Exquisite. Plastic surgery obviously previously performed. Bright red colored hair, so much mascara that she has tarantula legs for eyelashes, red lipstick, unnaturally perfectly white teeth, and a diamond rock so huge that I'm surprised it didn't require its own seat! I scoot over, because I know where she's headed. She's paid for the seat right next to me. Dang.

As we start to take off, James starts to fuss. Really fuss. Chucks his pacifier, arches his back, and starts screaming. This gorgeous woman crosses her legs, pops a couple of pills, puts her hands between her fingers and starts rocking back and forth saying, "Great. This is going to be a wonderful flight." And what do I feel like? Crap.

25 minutes into the flight, Sariah announces she has to pee. The pilot hasn't turned off the seatbelt sign, so I'm not sure if she's allowed to get up. So what do we do? Chance it! No one in their right mind is going to turn down a little 3 year old girl who is doing the pee-pee dance, right? But guess who she has to climb over first? Yup...the sleeping gorgeous plastic woman. G.R.E.A.T. I let Jared know she's coming and I actually lift her up over this woman. Sariah's big toe gracefully catches a tuft of hair but she doesn't wake up. Or may she did but she was faking it so she didn't have to deal with us. Regardless, we got Sariah to the bathroom without a hitch. Jared brings her back, and James is miserable. I have Jared get the Benedryl and give him just a tiny bit. Boy am I glad I did because James then slept for the next 2 hours! He woke up with about 15 minutes left and was a charmer. Flirting, smiling, talking, and having a ball. Sariah was an angel on the flight as well. Can't wait to do it all over again!

We made it safe and sound, and the high today was 32. I thought I was going to die. But I sucked it up, and we have had fun so far. Sariah and Grandma have even made us pancakes.

Life is good.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

We're Ready For you, Grandma and Grandpa Franklin!!

Can you tell I've been packing?

I'm actually surprised that James climbed in here! He usually undoes everything I do and I was completely expecting him to empty it out. Instead, he grabbed his little fuzzy panda book and sat right in!

We've also been running around like crazy...

And playing Peek-A-Boo...

And trying on new winter gloves...kind of...

And the girls? Well, they were having their own kind of fun...

It is very interesting the fascination children take with certain objects. Take suitcases for example. These girls played in them for a good 45 minutes while I laid clothes out. They traded suitcases, closed each other up in them, pretended they were in boats and rowed to get away from the alligators that were chasing them, and having a great time!

In short, we're going away for Thanksgiving. Like to 30 and 40 degree weather, across the country. It's a direct flight, thank goodness. My carry on bag is armed with new snacks, new toys, new books, and a couple of movies...and Benedryl. As a last resort. Don't judge. It's not for me, because I can handle a cranky toddler. It's for the sanity of the people around me. You know you've rolled your eyes when you saw the person in front of you or behind you with a toddler because you just KNEW what the flight was going to be like! So to be polite and not invoke the fury or pity of those around me, I may have to drug my child. Sariah will be fine, but we'll have to see about Sweet Baby James.

In short, we're ready to go! We'll see you soon, Grandma and Grandpa Franklin!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Copy "Cat"

Whoever says kids don't pay attention, has never had kids.

While I was in the shower today, Sariah did this:

What is she doing? Where did she learn how to do that? If you scroll down to see my previous post, you'll notice my face. Sariah decided that she could do it...and she did! She actually did an AMAZING job!! I let her wear it all day because it looked so great.

I love watching this girl grow up. I can't stop it, I can't speed it up, I can't control it in any way. But what I can control is how I react to her growing up - her exploring, her curiosity, and her newfound love of life. I always feel sorry for those who say "I miss my kids at that age..." because they haven't learned to love what stage their children are at, at any given time. I love the baby stage, and I love this stage. Do I miss her as a baby? No, because if I did, then I wouldn't be enjoying her now! She was a wonderful baby, and she is now a wonderful preschooler.

Sariah is also starting to phase out of the naughtiness I was noticing a few months back. I read a few books on raising strong-willed children, which totally changed how I talk to her, how I discipline her, and how I praise her. It has changed our lives! No more battles. NONE. Or, if there is a battle, it's a small one and is handled very quickly because of the techniques I have learned. She is entering the phase of life where her imagination is hard at work. She absorbs everything around her, and plays all the time. She makes up stories to tell to her animals, puts her babies to sleep, and will explore in the backyard for hours!

Will I miss this stage when it's gone? Probably not, because she'll be at a whole new one - kindergarten. I'm not ready to talk about that one yet. It will be here too quickly!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

When Mom's Away...

On Monday evenings, I teach a class for NAU's Tucson campus. I leave at 3:30 pm, which means my bacon-bringer is in charge! The kids LOVE it when they get dad all to themselves (because I'm a little selfish for his attention when he's home!).

And you also get to have a Popsicle with dinner!

I am so grateful for Jared, and the support he extends to me as I keep my hand in the teaching field. It is so nice to get out one night a week, stimulate my professional brain, and keep abreast of the current teaching trends. Thank you, honey, for all that you do for me and for our family.