Thursday, July 26, 2012

Taking the Troops to the Dentist


It was that time of year again…

and after a few years of mothering, I’ve learned a few things…one of which is that taking our young kids, especially all 6 of them while Brent is MIA (aka at work earning the dough to feed and house the troops), to a no-touching-no-screaming-no-wiggling place for more than a few minutes is pure torture…for all involved parties.

Typically, a visit to the dentist would qualify as such a place (especially since it also includes little mouths opening wide for a very long time while someone pokes at them with sharp tools).


We have The Coolest Teeth-Cleaning-Lady on the planet!!


She invites us all to invade her space while she shines up our teeth.

As the children and I switch in and out of the roller coaster seat, small hands trade control over Mr. Thirsty and Mr. Vacuum. It’s very entertaining. (Luckily, MaryAnn missed some of the excitement because she napped in the stroller during my turn.)

Am I lucky, or what?

Definitely worth blogging about.


And if any of my children (or all of them) become a dental hygienist in the future, I won’t be surprised…we’ve spent ample time with an inspiring one.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Good-bye Pink Bathroom

It happened again…and maybe for the last time…at least for awhile.
Brent mentioned something a couple of months ago about starting the remodel on the one room left un-re-done since we bought our 1965 home 5 years ago…
The Pink Bathroom.
And when Brent mentions something about tearing walls down, it’s typically not an ‘I’ll-get-to-it-sometime-in-the-next-few-years’ comment. It’s a ‘hammers-will-start-flying-in-just-a-few-hours-Honey’ type remark.
And they did.
Demolition is like a big party around here. (And Kirsti took most of these pictures…I’m going to hand her the camera more often.)
But because Brent is a fast mover (Have I ever told the story about how he kissed me before we had our first date…and uttered the ‘M-word’ a couple of weeks after our first date? (M-word = ‘Marriage’ for all the non-Utahns.) No? Ahh…future post. We have such a cool love story.) I hardly had a chance to say good-bye to Pink Bathroom. *tear*
All I can do now is reminisce the life lessons Pink Bathroom taught me.
Lesson 1. Potty training is way more fun when you have a Pink Bathroom. Who wouldn’t want to take time out of their busy play projects to tinkle in a pink toilet in a Pink Bathroom?
Lesson 2. Ditto #1 with bath time…because Pink Bathroom also had a pink tub.
Lesson 3. My husband is darn cute when he’s wearing a tool belt (but I already knew that)…
or when he’s surrounded by kids wearing them (I guess I knew that already, too…but it sure was fun to witness it again around here).
Lesson 4. When my child spills red fingernail polish all over the bathroom floor some day, I will be patient and forgiving. Because I did exactly that all over Pink Bathroom’s pink little 1960s square-inch tiles. I accidentally dropped the bottle about a year ago and it shattered everywhere. Ooops. It stayed for several days because we were out of nail polish remover and it took me multiple shopping trips to remember Pink Bathroom’s messy floor while I was bustling around for milk and eggs. Most of it came out nicely. But every time I stomped across the remaining red marks in the cracks, important mental notes ran through my mind: “Breathe deeply when things slip through my child’s little fingers. It’s normal to drop things that splatter a blood-like substance all over the place. It’s just a little mess. And it’s just a bathroom floor.” I’m pretty prepared for the future now.   
Lesson 5. The interior design part of my brain is underdeveloped…still. Because this is the last (as opposed to the first) room we’ve redone in this house and this is the 3rd (as opposed to the 1st) home we’ve remodeled, one would think I could confidently march into the home fashions isle and pick dazzling decor with a gleeful grin on my face…but no.
I’m very plain. Most of our windows don’t have curtains hanging and I hardly notice. Anything in my wardrobe that is remotely stylish is a hand-me-down or came from my mother-in-law or both…she’s awesome…But the point is: I’m not wired to notice fashion. I simply don’t pay much attention to it. I daydream about how brains are wired and what motivates my kids to eat their dinner (or not). Fantasizing about the perfect centerpiece or the latest and greatest hair accessories?? Not so much. It’s just not me. Maybe I should contract out those details to my many stylish friends…oh wait…I’m also cheap…(actually frugal…it sounds so much nicer)…But my dilemma when Brent and the kids started scraping off the pink wall tiles in Pink Bathroom is obvious isn’t it? Crucial design decisions were on the horizon…and that’s out of my comfort zone…which makes me grumpy.
So, with Pink Bathroom in disarray, we (kids and all) jumped into the van to head to the hardware store. Brent stayed in the van with napping children (I almost got to stay, but the fakeness in my snore was easily detected) and I had the tedious job of painfully staring at samples of sinks, countertops, paint colors, and toilet paper holders while the other half of the kids bounced in and out of all the shower samples…begging for me to choose the tub with a handy door on the side for entry and a seat at each end for convenient sit-down bathing (because it reminded them of the Rosey Teacups ride at Great America…Perfect). I nearly went for it because I doubted that my choice would be much better…and a child’s innocent pickings are always cute. 
By the time Brent cheerfully appeared with another cartful of kids to ask my final opinion, I growled and grimaced…and we picked white stuff…and cream…done. **big sigh** 
(Side note: I may not know much about color mixing, but I do know that even adult brains are changeable. Neuroplasticity is the scientific term..what a cool word…it just fills me with delightful chills. But it basically means I still have time to cultivate my design neurons…if I put forth the effort…hmm…stay tuned.)
Lesson 6. Painting Parties are kind of fun (kind of being the key words there). I think MaryAnn is sad that her nap made her miss it.
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Lesson 7. It’s really hard to re-wire our brains (hence Lesson #5). So, we hear, “…in the Pink, I mean the White Bathroom” many times a day…and hopefully forever because even though Brent and the kids did a fabulous job modernizing this well-used room, ‘White Bathroom’ just doesn’t have the same comfy ring to it.
May and June 2012 306May and June 2012 304White Bathroom 003
Lesson 8. I’m grateful I married someone who loves to do nice things for his mother. Brent’s primary motivation for giving Pink Bathroom a make-over was to provide ample upgraded space for Nana’s recent visit (Papa came, too, and we love him dearly, but he uses the Brown Bathroom) because our girls (and we have lots of them) love to mimic Nana’s every move when she’s digging through her enormous make-up bag and is actually using hair care products that require electrical power.
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We’ll miss you Pink Bathroom. You taught us much. You were good to us. It feels kind of like when we had to say good-bye to Green Van. (I kid…I’m really not that sentimental about out-with-old and in-with-the-new. It actually feels quite refreshing…especially since I don’t have to worry about picking colors for something substantial for a very long time…I hope.)
Thank you Brent and Kids! Your hard-working hands do awesome work!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Good Times

In honor of Kirsten’s baptism, Nana and Papa (Brent’s parents) came…all the way from Arizona.
And whenever Nana and Papa are coming, time is measured based on their anticipated arrival. “How long ‘til Nana and Papa come?” “Is this the month/week/day that Nana and Papa come?” “When Nana and Papa come, we’re going to…” “That will be when Nana and Papa are here.”
And this time Cousin Katie’s name (age 5) was included in all the bubbly dialogue and in all the bubbly fun once she arrived with them. We’re so glad our kids got to know Katie so well.
These pics sum up the Good Times:
May and June 2012 202May and June 2012 210May and June 2012 219May and June 2012 240
July 2012 091July 2012 108July 2012 129July 2012 145July 2012 133July 2012 138       Didn’t my mom make AWESOME costumes for the show the kids wanted to put on for Nana and Papa as part of Diggy’s birthday celebration?! We had a blast and Halloween is all prepared 4 months early…a new world record. Thanks Mom!!
May and June 2012 252May and June 2012 259May and June 2012 269 May and June 2012 262
July 2012 022July 2012 026July 2012 021July 2012 013July 2012 075
July 2012 146July 2012 158
July 2012 168July 2012 173July 2012 171July 2012 186July 2012 213July 2012 221July 2012 246
July 2012 223July 2012 224July 2012 222July 2012 236July 2012 292July 2012 2 012July 2012 2 024July 2012 2 030July 2012 2 043
July 2012 296July 2012 336July 2012 159
Needless to say, we adored our treasured time with Nana and Papa and Katie.
May and June 2012 245And Nana did lots of hair while she was here. Yeah!!