6/3/15

The Little Things About My Little People

I have a number of children.  Not a significant nor exorbitant number of children, but still, more than a few.  Recently it's been on my mind, why?  Why have a bunch of children?  What is it about having children that makes me so content?  Why do I want to have a million more children?  Is it in my DNA?  My cultural orientation? 
Maybe it's the conversation I had ten years ago with two mothers who each had eight kids.  They said, "You never regret the kids you have, you only regret the ones you don't."

Having children is the most difficult thing in the world.  It's so hard.  There's so much work.  The babies come and they're just like little kittens -- balls of cuddle to love and care for who rely entirely on you.  That's satisfying.  

But babies ruin your body and your sleep and your errands.  
And then they grow up.  They're noisy and needy and naughty.  And I'm right in the thick of it, looking into the chasm of summer alone all day with four kids. I'm ready.  This is my thing. Kids are my passion.  
I wake up every day exhausted and during the day I am alternately amazed and hell of annoyed, bored and keeping 25 balls in the air, humbled to tears and exalted with pride, worn out and invigorated, grateful, oh so very grateful and feeling grandly cursed.  And that's just before noon.

I feel like having a handful of kids is living a hardcore lifestyle.  Three of the most impressive women I know have 7, 7, and 5 kids.  They're big time.  They're in deep and I admire that.  Their every day lives remind me of Marjorie Hinkley's quote:


But I just can't help myself.  I love all four of them and I worry I will never be done having children!  
I got this note for Mother's Day from Mimi.  The best line is not that I'm (obviously) the best mom ever and that she loves me.  This is a thank you note.  She writes, 
"Thank you for having Lou Lou for me."

From the mouths of babes, no? 

Look at that little blessing.  Mimi's sister!  Who wants to grow up without a sister?  
It was the least I could do for her.

 And look at this little blessing.  The world needed Silas' kookie smile and fun loving personality.
 Look at these little naughties.  So what if I wanted to make dessert for a bunch of people and turned to get the strawberries and found the basket empty?  They exist to thwart my progress and their messy faces give them away.


Who else is going to gnaw on our record collection?
Who else will walk the baby on the leash?

Who else will idolize Hush so much so that he has to sit just like him while playing the guitar?
Who else can keep me awake at night and live to see the next day?

Who will invite me on rainy field trips to local cultures day and then talk me in to ditching it and buying them all hot chocolate?

Who will steal my 12 hour lipstick and look like a clown for two days?
How will Hush and I spend our Saturday evenings if not for these little piano performers?
Why would I bother to cook?  Who would I eat with? Who would I train as my sous chef?

Whose smooth skin will I bury my face in?  Who will I sneak Oreos with?

Yes, they are hard and burdensome and expensive but the payoff is so worth it: imagine the army my sisters and I are creating.  I've always felt great security being a member of a big family (8 kids 2 parents) and I want my kids to have somewhat of the same experience. My husband had an enviable cousin gang and a similar experience of growing up with a bunch of siblings.  Having a brother or two to beat up on you is good. Having a sister or a few presents challenges and gave me a resource of experience.  

So my errands are slow.  And my grocery receipts are staggering. Those of you with just a couple kids (by choice, not because of circumstances or difficulty) are welcome to your neat lives.  But I feel powerful and validated in my little army of minions.  And I know exactly how lucky I am to be blessed with 80 fingernails and toes to clip.  So me and my family?  We're gonna ride the rails.  We're going to swan dive into the maelstrom.  And we're going to happily drown in flailing limbs and drooly kisses.






5/21/15

Easy Listening

I've recently emerged from a music rut.
You know what I mean?  Like when all music starts to feel old and played out?  Sometimes it happens with food too -- nothing sounds good (except chocolate, let's be real.)
It was Paul Simon who helped me out of my rut.  I've found there is always another Paul Simon song to discover.  This time it was Slip Sliding Away, which I'd forgotten existed.
Image result for paul simon slip sliding away
My musical whiz of a husband makes playlists with me on my beloved music app Rhapsody.  If you don't have Rhapsody and you're still dinking around on Spotify, YouTube or heaven help me Pandora then you are on the wrong App. http://www.rhapsody.com/  (Dear rhapsody, pay me money.  I stunt for you all the time.)

It costs a little bit of money.  I think it's less than $10 a month, can't remember.  But Hush and I use the same account and we have saved playlists from the last few years.  The way the playlists are generated is just by whatever we happen to be listening to that month, so if I go back to June of 2013 I am transported by songs into memories.  The lists ideally tie together, but lots of times they're just songs we are into that month or that we want the kids to know.  Or it's what we've Shazam'd.  Or a song we'd forgotten that needs to be part of our lives again.


June 2013:
Pour Some Sugar on Me - Def Leppard
Abandoned Love -- Bob Dylan
Situation -- Yaz
White Lines -- Grandmaster Flash
Jesus was Way Cool -- King Missle
Teenage Dirtbag -- Wheatus
Gimme Shelter -- Rolling Stones
Begin the Beguine -- Artie Shaw
You Got the Silver -- Rolling Stones
Domino -- Van Morrison
Baba O'Riley -- The Who
When the Music's Over -- Doors
Patience -- GnR
Don't Fear the Reaper -- Blue Oyster Cult
Champagne and Reefer -- Muddy Waters
Hurt -- NIN
The Beautiful People -- Marilyn Manson
The Man Who Sold the World -- Nirvana
Debaser -- Pixies
The Black Jack White -- Spirit Animal
Crazy Baby -- Joan Osborne
Carry that Weight -- Paul McCartney
212 -- Azealia Banks
The Final Countdown -- Europe
Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth -- Primitive Radio Gods
Christiansands -- Tricky
My Name is Trouble -- Keren Ann

Last month Hush hit me with this mix which included covers by people I like more than the original bands.

The Scientist -- Willie Nelson
Satellite of Love -- (Betty) Lou Reed
Mary Ann with the Shakey Hand -- Petra Haden
Mozambique -- Bob Dylan
Bang the Drum all Day -- Todd Rundgren
Eminence Front -- The Who
Go Down Gamblin' -- Blood, Sweat, Tears
One Toke Over the Line -- Brewer & Shipley
Low Rider -- WAR
Riptide -- Vance Joy
Other Side -- Family Portrait
Don't Sweat the Technique
All Night Dinner -- Modest Mouse
Stuck in the Middle With You -- Stealers Wheel

Our musical taste is very similar with Hush (and Mimi) tending more toward country influences like Johnny Cash and Classic Rock like David Bowie and Queen.  There's a pretty sweet playlist they made around the time Lou was born including Golden Years and Way Down Yonder in the Minor Key by Billy Bragg/Wilco.  If you don't know that song you should.  Jude and I prefer the harder rocking songs like Green Day and Beastie Boys.  Silas just likes The Final Countdown.  I feel a moral responsibility to my children to provide them with a vast and thorough musical education. It cracks me up when their friends are around and they demand to rock out to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons like it's a favorite amongs the kindergarten crowd.  Well, it should be.  And sometimes they come to me asking for a Nickle Bag of Funk from Digable Planets.

Right now I'm putting together "Shameless Pop Songs that are Just Great Songs"  and these have to meet both mine and Hush's satisfaction to be on the list.  Right now the list has:
Jessie J -- Bang Bang
Britney -- Toxic
Katy Perry -- Roar
Timber -- Kesha/Pitbull

Got any idea of other songs that need to be on there?  Anything garnishes a listen and we're fairly accepting.  I have even gotten sucked into a Jonas Brother's version of Poor Unfortunate Souls.


This month it's all about Mr. Paul Simon in all his many varieties for me.  Sometimes you just need to go back to the classics.
But that doesn't mean that some completely weird song will suck both of us in as the witching hours approach.  And on those days you get a little something like this:

Just Me Myself And I.  My favorite line is the end when Hush says, "That has to be the most ridiculous thing I've ever done."

5/10/15

May Round Up

In early May in the year of our Lord 2015 these happenings happened.
Jude did his Kindergarten music and dance show.  His favorite song was Never Smile at a Crocodile. I can't remember which song warranted the frog head piece.
BL, nearly 8 months, had her tummy zerbeted.
Silas went on a field trip with his Pre-K and I attended. Natural History museum.

Si wore Jude's Komodo Dragon mask and terrified yours neighborhood.
I was finally awarded my unicorn horn.
Worked on my dreadlocks, week two. Yes I wash them.  They're all my own hair. 
Mr McHandsome hung out at Jude's most spectacular soccer game.  Here's a text write up by grandpa Jim: 

Report from Jude's soccer game: MVP 

The opposing team scored an opening goal. That was a mistake. They awoke the sleeping monster: JUDE  He got a look of determination on his face and promptly scored two goals. There was no stopping him. 

Next, standing a few feet from his goal an opponent kicked the ball that became lodged between Jude's legs. Rather than dropping the ball Jude hopped over to the front of the other teams goal and then dropped it so he would have a good shot. But he was only getting started.

A player from the opposing team got a hold of one and kicked the ball so hard into Jude's head that it snapped his head back. The field and spectators went silent: you could hear them thinking is this kid seriously hurt? The ref walk over to Jude who had jumped to his feet. Jude sees that everyone is stunned besides him. In the confusion he runs to the ball and sends it half way down the field everyone else looking on with their mouths open. The kid is tough and smart. College scholarship and pro soccer get ready for Jude the Terrible. 
LouLou had lift off. She's already crawling, pulling up on everything, cruising and now she's trying to stand by herself. Slow down, kid. You're barely 8 months.
With busy hands I try to dictate into my phone. Apparently I am asking Siri to act against her moral code.
Mimi has inherited her grandpa's love of contracts.  Favorite parts: be supportive! Don't sit around doing nothing!  
Mimi's hair is thick and lovely but hard to style because she runs away every time I try to brush it.  Her hair also prevents her from being first place in our morning getting ready contest.  This is our temporary solution and I think she looks absolutely fabulous! Next she's going to get big gold hoop earrings.
I just love this kid. Her outfits have always been fantastic. She was born with style.

There were some tears.
Hush has started our family on nightly meditation through an instructional app called Calm.  Every day the kids get better at the ten minutes of stillness.  The first night was a chore but every night since then they beg to do it. It's been good for our family.
We're getting pretty tired of waking up for school. LouLou helps them wake up by crawling over their faces and then they all pile in one bed to snuggle.
Just baby Lou being beautiful.
I've started exercising and I hate it. How could anyone ever enjoy exercise?  This pic for Christine and Rebekah who couldn't picture me in workout clothes.
Surly Silas' Mother's Day picture.  I love my mom because "Her give me food." He just cannot lock down the she/her pronoun and it has become a trademark.
Mimi had her school singing performance.  Her line was "I can save the planet by avoiding fast food wrapping". I cannot agree to that.

Working on a new project. Inspired by Van Gogh's Starry Night and Irises. Oh, and Gaudi, mosaic master. 
And starting another new project that required me going to city hall. Utah has no grocery delivery service. I'm going to try to start one.  I'm a big ideas small results type of person so we shall see how far this new activity goes.

All my kids want to do is play play play.  Right now they're doing a lot of swords and guns in the backyard.  They get mad when we have to load in the car and go places.  We are ready for regularly scheduled programming to end. School wake up is at 7:50. Tuesdays Mimi and Jude have piano and Jude has soccer practice. Wednesday is Mimi's activity days with primary.  Thursday Mimi has dance class which ends soon with a recital. Friday Mimi has drums and Jude has guitar. Saturdays Jude has soccer.  Silas has pre-k four days a week and has to be toted along on all of our activities, as does BL.  Every activity is wonderful and necessary and most just require walking rather than driving, but we long for the summer days of having nothing planned.
Untill, of course, they all start driving me nuts and I can't wait for school to start again!

5/2/15

Oh, Just Your Spring Hair?

I am having a hair identity crisis.  I know it's irrelevant but it is driving me crazy.  Kylie freaking Jenner has been wearing wigs that match my hair.


 Buzzfeed is posting list after list of "Festival Hair" which is pastel colored hair just like mine.  I am absolutely pro people having colored hair, Team Unicorn is expanding and that makes me very happy. HOWEVER, I am angry that pastel hair is a trend.  Because trends go out.  Is pastel hair the Rachel of this decade?



Jennifer Aniston has stated that she hated the now-iconic “Rachel” haircut. | 25 Fascinating Facts You Might Not Know About "Friends"

Are people going to be saying "remember when everybody had weird colored hair?"  Like those horrible skunk stripes people did for a while?  What about those of us whose natural color IS pink?  


It's just not fair.  I have invested five years into this hair it aint no passing fancy.  Now my normal is going to be passe in probably six months.  I love all the colors, it reminds me of the Capital from Hunger Games.  Those are my people!  But damn you stupid Buzzfeed for calling it "Festival Hair." And damn you for all of these articles:
If Famous Paintings had Festival Hair
Pastel Rainbow Hair
All About Pastel Goth
Tay Swift Pastel Hair
15 Celebrities with Colored Hair  with the worst possible tag line: All the SPRING hair inspiration you need.  Spring?!?  No.  Not just the Spring of 2015.  Life.  My children have no memory of me with anything but pink hair (with occasional bouts of teal and purple).
075
2010.

I do not need this kind of publicity around my hair color.  Just let us dye our hair and don't make it a thing.  Don't Rachel us.

So what do I do?  Do I have to jump ship?  Go back to natural, whatever that may be?
In frustration and while I wait on a solution to present itself I will wear dreadlocks.

4/26/15

Privatizing

I'm taking this show off the road.  You're welcome to come along, but I'll need your email if you want to keep reading.
My reasons for privatizing this blog are thusly:
1. I intend to primarily post about my husband and children as a record of our lives.  Since we've been married, bought a house and have stabilized our lives to a great degree I don't feel like publicizing.
Blue apron kids

2.  The kids are getting old enough to roam outside of my eyesight and I don't feel safe advertising them publically.  We live next to a school and I don't want to make them that easy to find.
This is the main reason.  I am obsessed with kidnapping stories and terrified of human trafficking. Safety is an illusion but the least I can do at this time is reduce my phobias by making them less accessible.
 
Betty Lou 7 months

3.  I haven't been able to speak as candidly as I'd like and privatizing allows for that. I want to write more scathing things. 
She's got the baby blues.

4. You are all quitters and it bugs me that I'm one of the last bloggers standing. This is unrelated to privatizing but I wanted to chastise you nonetheless.
5.  I want to post about adventures without my squirrely people having access to them. You know who you are! I can't believe you're still reading this! Go away!
Rad freak snow storm in April. 44 inches in 48 hours, apparently, though it looked more like 6.

6. Hush has indicated that he would prefer my blog to be private and I concede that sometimes he knows best.
Silas failing to put on footie pajamas.

7. I want to relieve the pressure of writing for strangers. Mostly I write for my records and I want to be more braggy about my kids without worrying that I'm that parent who thinks their kids are better than everybody else's kids.  
Playing monopoly on the porch.

8. I want my kids to start reading so I want to share things that they will enjoy having recorded.
A colorful feast for the eyes.

9. I want to post about parties and events without worrying that somebody feels bad for not being included. Everybody who knows me knows that I am all-inclusive, with the exception of adulterers, but I'm tired of those social media posts that make people feel left out. So maybe privatizing will reduce that? This idea deserves a post of its own.
10. I'm tired of giving away handouts. I'll share with you but the price is my knowing who is reading. No more looky-loos and no telly-who's. 

So if you want to continue to follow along you're going to have to let me know either by commenting your email address on here or on facebook.  If you read the blog now you are welcome and invited.