Thursday, September 29, 2011

Manipulation

Yesterday I did something very low.  Very, very low. 

The kids and I went to Ikea for a little adventure, and the time really got away from me.  I knew I was driving a ticking time bomb of tired, hungry kids on our way home.  At one point, Audrey "hit" Amos.  She's not really capable of an intentional hit, but Amos didn't care.  He smacked her right back.  She started to scream. And scream.  Which brings us to the low moment: I told Amos she was crying so hard because he hit her, when I knew full well that although it might have started because of the hit, it was because she was starving and exhausted.  Bad mama.  Amos looked devastated, and he did everything in his power to cheer her up.  Poor little guy felt so bad.  He's been a whole lot nicer to her since though...

 

Monday, September 26, 2011

"Mom..."

I hear "Mom..." 800 times a day.  It's generally followed by something random.  Today, was the best one yet: 

"Mom...there's something in Maggie's crib, and it might be poop."

 

Even better than the statement, what it actually was.  A line of chicken nuggets =)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sally's Second Birth

I know I said I'd blog about Amos' first primary program, but it turns out there is nothing to blog.  Little man decided he'd rather "sit with mama" than go up to the stand.  It was sweet, and there will be more programs.  Maggie, on the other hand, was begging to go up with the kids.  I think it'll be good for Amos when she's in primary too.  She is so bold.

Eric got home from his work trip this afternoon, and he was shocked that I hadn't given "Sally" to Maggie yet. So....



Ha.  And, yes, we opened Amos' present too. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Super Great Day

In spite of Amos waking everyone up at 7:15 a.m., today was a great day.

This morning Amos had practice for the primary program tomorrow, so the girls and I had some free time around the house.  We mostly worked on these:




From this tutorial.  They are going to be party favors for the kids' jungle themed birthday party next month.  Maggie cut pieces of paper into a million little pieces and then glued them onto another paper.  She worked so hard on it.  It was really cute.

On the way to drop Amos off, I noticed a stool sticking out of a yard sale pile, so the girls and I stopped and picked it up for a whopping $3.  We've been trying to assemble a stool collection for our kitchen counter and so far I was up to one.  One is a bad number when you have 2 preschoolers interested in seeing what's on the counter.  The stool didn't match the one we had, so after we picked Amos up we went to Home Depot to get some spray paint to paint it.  I also wanted to find spray paint for this project, but no luck.  Next weekend maybe.  The highlight of Home Depot was definitely pushing all three kids in the car cart.  Those things are ridiculous to push.


The final excitement of the day was that "Sally" came back from the American Girl Doll Hospital.  About a month ago, an AGD catalog came in the mail and Maggie was totally enamored with it.  She carried it around for a week oohing and ahhing at all of the pictures.  I figured it was time to give her my old AGD.  My doll had suffered an injury at the teeth of the Shaver family dog, Mahanna, so I knew she needed to go to the hospital for some new arms first.  After putting the kids to bed one night, I got her out and had her on the counter to get ready to be boxed up and shipped away.  Of course, Maggie got out of bed, came into the kitchen and saw the doll.  She took one look at her and said,

"Sally!  I just need to hug her and take care of her."

She was heart broken that Sally had to go to the doctor, but she seemed to understand.  Anyway, today Sally came back, and I have to say, she is stunning.  They fixed her arms and her hair.  Good as new.  Amos helped me wrap her up, and she is waiting for Mag's birthday to make her grand re-entrance. 

That's a wrap for today-next up Amos' first primary program!

Friday, September 23, 2011

An Afternoon Lost

I wasn't going to blog this, but Eric isn't here right now, and I feel like I need to get it out.

Today I was duped.  Not into buying anything, thankfully, but I did lose three hours I'll never have back.

At noon the doorbell rang.  I had just finished working out, and was super gross =)  I was also very much looking forward to giving the kids lunch and getting them down for naps.  Alas, it wasn't meant to be.  There was a young man at the door, and he asked if I used tissues, while handing me a small package of Charlie Brown tissues.  It was so random, but you know the kids were all over them.  Then, he asked me if he could ask me a few questions.  (This is where it gets tricky.  I took a course in college where I had to give out surveys and I'll never forget how hard it was to get people to take them.  Hence, I am generally willing to help with surveys).  This is also the first of two times he said,

"I won't try to sell you anything."

He also said,

"It will only take a minute."

I said sure, and he ran back to the shadiest van ever and starting hauling a big box back to my house.  When he got to the door he went to move past me and said,

"Is there a spot I can clean?"

I literally said,

"What??  I am so confused?"

The wheels kept turning in my head, and I thought, maybe he needs to do some kind of experiment before he can ask the questions?  So I let him in.  BIG MISTAKE.  He then tediously started unpacking and assembling a Kirby vacuum.  Once it was together, he started to vacuum.  He put in filter after filter and started little filter dirt piles all over our library.  I will give them this, the vacuum seemed to work fabulously.

Then he had me get out my vacuum (which is a dyson, thank you very much) for a side by side comparison.

Then he vacuumed the stairs, at which point I thought, this guy is totally cleaning my house.  About this time I started to get really antsy though.  I had been holding Audrey so she couldn't get to the little dirt filters and we had both had enough together time.  Amos and Maggie were going nuts.  I have no idea how this guy was so clueless about reading the situation.

This went on for a while, hundreds of dirt filled filters (with a strategically place "Kirby" on them) lining the floors.  Then, he showed me about 5 attachments for the vacuum.  Using even more filters.  One of them was a paint sprayer.  SO ridiculous.  Finally, he got to the carpet shampooer.  I really should have stopped him at this point, but I didn't even know what to do.  It was so awkward and weird.  So, he shampooed.  While the shampoo is drying, he hands me a flyer and says,

"Here is the cost of the system.  Don't get scared off by it though, because my boss can get it lowered for you."

Bold Laura would have said,

"What??? You said you weren't going to sell me anything!!!"

Actual Laura said,

"Ok."

The price for the vacuum: $2600.  I am so sure.  At this point I quit caring.  This guy was taking forever, and I was so bored.  His stuff was everywhere and a million Kirby attachments were scattered around the house in their demo locations.  So, I started making my kids lunch (since it was now 2:30!).  And browsing the Internet.  And still, this guy was putzing around my house.  Finally he says,

"I am going to call my boss and get you the best price." 

Uh.  No thank you.

So, he starts talking to "the boss" on the cellphone and relaying information to me.  They keep offering lower and lower prices and I keep saying no.  I did learn that it's pretty darn fun to negotiate when you don't want the thing at all.  There's no losing there.  Two things stood out from this part of the experience though:

1. I told him we don't believe in financing anything.  You pay cash or you don't buy it (with the exception of our house).  He relayed this message to his boss as "she can't get financing."
2. At one point during the conversation he said, "Can you keep a secret?" and I said yes.  (We all know the answer to that is really no).  Anyway, he then says into the phone: "She can keep a secret."  Following which, they offer yet another lower price.

So lame!

I am so done at this point, and I offer him a garbage bag for the million dirty filters all over the floor.  He hesitated before accepting it.  After reading about others' experience with this sales pitch on the Internet, I fully believe he had no intention of picking up the filters.  He did though.  But, he brought me the trash bag of filters and said, "Here you go."  Ok, I guess I'll be putting those in the trash for you.

This is taking almost as long as the demo, so I'll end it.  Eventually, he accepted my "no."  Final things that stood out:

1. He asked to use the bathroom.  Twice.  I sent him to the kids' bathroom.  It's gross.  Point Laura.

2. He asked for a drink.  I said we have milk or water.  He chose milk.  I don't know why I find that so annoying.

3. He asked me for windex to clean the Kirby when he was done. 

4. His ride abandoned him at my house.  So, he sat on my porch for a while waiting for them to come back.  Again, lame.

5. Dave was in and out while all of this was going on. Thankfully, he had my back.  Salesman noticed a family picture at one point, and said, "wow, your husband has lost weight," while motioning to Dave.  I said, "That's not my husband."  Period.  He didn't know what to do with himself at that point.  Another point for me.

6. In case you're wondering, I got them down to $800 before getting too annoyed to continue.  Nope, can't keep a secret.

I will willingly admit that I think Kirbys are cool, and probably work really great, but I am so annoyed at being lied to that I don't think I would ever consider one now.

This was long, but I needed to put it out there.  Now, I am off to make a "no soliciting sign."

Audrey eats whole apples

and peaches.  The other day I found Audrey sitting on the floor eating an apple:





When I asked Amos (the only other person around) how she got the apple, he said, "she found it." 

I gave her a whole peach the other day, to see what would happen.  She sat and very diligently nibbled away.  When all of the fruit was gone, she squealed and held out the pit for me to take away.  I gave her another one, and she did the same thing.  The best part was, it got her to sit still and quiet for half an hour.

I can't believe her first birthday is fast approaching.  It's crazy, really.  We've had such a great first year with her, I am sad for it to be over. 

Quiet Time

The conversation at our family dinners often consists of me telling Eric of every little thing the kids did all day.  Sometimes, Eric finds it hard to focus and tunes me out a little bit.  It's not that he doesn't care, it's just that it really is every little detail of our days.  The other night I was working really hard to get Eric to understand how amazing it was that Amos drew this picture all by himself, with no help at all from me:


**Nan and Pop close your eyes, this one is currently en route to your house**




I was saying to Eric, 

"Look, he wrote his name, Pop's name, and Nan's name all without any help!"

About this time Amos chimed in,

"Yeah, I colored this all by myself while Mama was sleeping!"

Woops.  My secret was out.  I may use Amos' "quiet time" for a little "quiet time" of my own =)  Apparently Amos is teaching himself to write, so it's not all bad.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Dear Future Self,

Someday we're going to want to blackmail Amos.  Or at least embarrass him in front of a girl.  Note to self: remember this post on that day.

  

  • We bought Amos and Maggie both a bike earlier this summer.  Amos prefers Maggie's bike because of it's size.  He also prefers her "Hello Kitty" helmet because it matches the bike.  After much persuading, Eric talked him into wearing his own helmet.  Even though it doesn't match.
  • Amos has started calling his boy parts his "tinkle thing."  
  • The other day Amos was in the bath with Audrey and he said, "The tinkle is getting on Audrey!" Sure enough, he was peeing on Audrey.  Thankfully, they were already in the bath.
  •  

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Davecation

A few times lately it's come up in conversation that we often had "extras" staying in our house when I was growing up.  We had everyone from Minnesota Twins baseball players to my sister's friends.  It must have rubbed off on me, because we've taken in a roomie.  Eric's friend, and old mission buddy, Dave, is staying with us for a little bit.

Eric has lovingly named our time with Dave, "Davecation."  Eric is thriving while on Davecation, but it is making me feel really old.  I can't party like I used to =(

Who needs personal space?
 
Until now, everyone who has stayed in Dave's room has been family.  So, Amos and Maggie think that anyone in that room wants them around all the time.  Dave is a good sport, and we're working on boundaries.

The Long Goodbye

Last night, once again, we sprung my parents from the MTC.  We've been joking that they would be sneaking off to the BYU creamery all the time while they were in the MTC, so last night we made it a reality.

The kids were THRILLED when we told them we were going to get Grammy and Grampy for ice cream.  Amos immediately determined he was having pink ice cream, and he never changed his mind.  He ate his entire bowl too.  Pretty impressive.  Maggie opted for the ever classic chocolate.  I accidentally tricked my Dad into ordering one with nuts (WE HATE NUTS IN OUR ICE CREAM!), but my guilt was eased since I ordered the same one and suffered right alongside him. 




This time, we didn't even bother saying goodbye since I'll be going to see them one last time on Thursday.  For reals.  They're leaving the country first thing Friday morning.





Saturday, September 17, 2011

Grampy the Grandpa

Good day here.  Eric and I continued with our arrangement, plus a twist.  After sleeping in and lazing about the house, we loaded up the kids and picked Grammy and Grampy up at the MTC for an afternoon of freedom.  It was really neat to see them with their name tags on.

Eric and my Dad went to Best Buy to get a new laptop for the mission, and Grammy and I headed to Target to grab some more Missoni.

Short aside: Have you been following the Missoni for Target hulabaloo?  It's nuts, right?  I am telling you though, it makes me feel like I need the stuff.  I am so weak.  I don't even like "real" Missoni.

After our respective errands we came back to our house to do some laundry (they have to pay for it in the MTC, and I owe them like 8,000 loads of laundry).  Eric took off for fishing and after some "quiet" time for the kids, Grammy and Grampy the Grandpa took us for a freedom meal...to McDonald's.  Amos was practically begging to go to "Badonald's" and they couldn't say no.

Short aside:  The McDonald's Asian Chicken Salad isn't half bad.  Especially when paired with the french fries leftover from Amos' happy meal.

As we were leaving McDonald's a cute woman came over to me and said,

"Are those your parents?"

"Uh, yeah."

"Are they in the MTC?"

"Uh, yeah."  (Nametags!)

"Oh!  My parents are going on their mission in a few weeks and we didn't know if they could leave to see us or not!?!?!"

Funny, since that is one of the things we were totally unsure about too.

Finally, we had to take Grammy and Grampy the Grandpa back to "smishonary school" i.e. the MTC.  As we were dropping them off a large group of elders and sister missionaries were coming back from the playing fields.  It struck me that we have such an odd culture.  Then, I remembered it was a Saturday night, and I was really overwhelmed by the oddity.  I mean, I have facebook, I know what happens for 20-somethings elsewhere on a Saturday night.

Amos and Grampy the Grandpa ca 2008

That's about it for today-except that at some point Amos started referring to my Dad as "Grampy the Grandpa."  I am thinking that one is going to stick.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Reported

This morning Elder and Sister Shaver reported to the Provo MTC to begin training for their service in the Caribbean Area mission as medical advisers


 It was a really strange morning.  I told them on the way there that this might be the weirdest drive I've ever taken.  As I was dropping them off, a nice man drove by and said,

"Boy, that's backwards, the kids dropping off their parents."

Yeah. Weird. 

Here's the account I shared with my sisters, who'd had to say their goodbyes earlier:
We just got home from dropping mom and dad at the MTC.   Seniors' reporting day is a lot different than elders' and sisters' reporting day.   They greeted us right at the front, and directed us to the building where mom and dad will be staying (Jacob Hamblin Bldg).   When we got to their building there were about 10 elders waiting for them, to carry their bags into their rooms.   They followed the elders to their room and got the couple things they would need for the rest of the day.   Then, I drove them back up to the main building and they went in the same front doors Anna, and I am sure others, did.   We said goodbye in the parking lot.   It wasn't as bad as "drop them off on the curb," but we did watch them disappear into the building.   There were very few people there, not like the swarms that are there dropping off on Wednesdays.

 
A couple other details that I am remembering...
  • The missionaries were so welcoming to my parents.  Elders and Seniors alike (we didn't see any sisters).  My mom was super excited that the Elders hauled her heavy bags to her room.  Think 18 months worth of luggage.
  • The kids really have no concept of what's going on.  Amos did say, "Grammy and Grampy are going to be missionaries now???" on our way out of the parking lot.
  • The kids did not want to take pictures.  Amos was semi-agreeable, but Maggie couldn't stop herself from picking the flowers.  Which were GORGEOUS.
  • I was able to drive all around the MTC "compound" in order to drop my parents off.  I had no idea it was so huge and there were so many buildings on it.  Neither did they.  Hopefully they'll learn their way around quickly.
And, their final walk away from us and into the MTC:






There will be a blog for my parents' mission, I am just not sure who will be running it yet.  We're hoping my Dad will be able to run his own, but if he can't, I'll get one set up.  Either way, I'll let you know how to check up on them.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ouchies

We just arrived at the airport to pick up Grammy and Grampy Shaver for their mission!

When I turned around to see how the kids were doing after the long drive, I discovered Maggie had found the cars' first aid kit and put a bandaid on every finger. And her knee. And her chin.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

An Arrangement

Recently, Eric and I have made a little arrangement that is working out like a dream for both of us...

We split our Saturdays.  He gets to go fishing for hours on end in the afternoon and I get to sleep in, read, watch t.v., and run errands sans the three amigos in the morning.

We've been doing it for a few weeks now, and I have to tell you it is making me a whole new person.  Getting to do whatever I want to all of Saturday morning is great.  Not having the kids in my face first thing when I wake up is a day changer.  Eric gets to fish all afternoon and he's actually starting to miss us =)  Trading half days makes it so neither one of us feels any guilt.

I just have to share, this morning Eric coincidentally took the kids on the EXACT path I was taking on my morning off (craft store, dollar store, Sweet Tooth Fairy).  Thankfully, I was far enough behind them that I didn't run into them, but boy, would that have been funny.

These pictures are from Friday night, but they capture another glimpse of our day-to-day.  Eric napping while the kids watch tv.  Not an uncommon occurrence at all.



Life is simple around here and that's just how I like it.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Up Late Dog

I have a feeling this is going to be one of those stories that just doesn't translate to blog (i.e. "you had to be there"), but I'll give it a shot anyway.  There are some cute pictures if all else fails.

Last night, when we put Maggie to bed she woke up Audrey.  So, Audrey was up, wide awake, playing in her crib at 10 p.m.  Eric left about that time to go pick up a friend (and our current roomie!) from the airport.  I went and checked the mail, stopped and admired the beautiful night, came back in the house and did some dishes, made a bowl of popcorn, and then settled into bed to watch a movie while Eric was gone.  While the movie started I kept hearing little noises.  I thought maybe it was the dishwasher humming away in the kitchen.  The noises kept up though, and eventually I had to investigate...

A quick look over the far edge of the bed revealed Audrey, sitting on the floor, eating a piece of pizza. 




Eric freed her before he left, and didn't tell me.  She was loose and of course, managed to find some food.  She is so awesome. And seriously like having a dog.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Second First day of School

Amos started preschool again today!  You might remember he went for like a month last year (we snuck him in early).  So, this is his first real year of preschool.  His 3-year-old year, if you will.  Since his birthday is at such a crummy time school cut-off wise, he is the oldest in his class.  Couple that with already going to school for a bit, and he is practically running the place ;) 

I was pleasantly surprised with how excited he was to go again, and all of the specific things he remembered about school.  He knew exactly which toy he wanted to play with when he got there this morning.

I tried to get a good first day of school picture, but Amos insisted on making silly faces:



I did catch him once, but obviously he wasn't looking:


And one more time, in the car:


Maggie was sad she didn't get to go to school too, but when I came back to the car without Amos she had a new excitement in her eyes.  I think she remembers "Queen of the Castle" time.


The girls and I celebrated our freedom with a long nap.  It was awesome.  We won't get to do that every day, occasionally we'll have to get some work done.  But, for today, it was perfect.

Amos was a happy little guy when we picked him up.  I can't wait to see all of the things he learns this year.


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sad Dog

Audrey has reached a new stage of life...getting into things.  Amos and Maggie aren't taking it well.  They're too little to understand she's too little to understand.  It's downright heartbreaking sometimes. 

Amos has been really into building train tracks lately, and unfortunately Audrey:train tracks as Godzilla:Tokyo.  The other day I was in the kitchen when I heard:

"GET OUT OF HERE!"

SLAM.

"WAHHH!"

I came down the hall to find this:




=(  It was so very sad.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

[ˈbɔɪ.zi], [ˈbɔɪ.si]

Tuesday we returned home from our final trip to Boise before my parents leave for their mission.  The kids and I were there for a week, and Eric joined us for the last weekend.  We got to hear my parents give farewell talks in their brand new ward.  It was a bittersweet trip, and it really made the idea that they're leaving for 18 months sink in.

I've got a modge-podge of pictures, so I'll just get to it.  In no particular order.

The first night we ate at Donnie Macs.  It is one of my favorite places.  The "muds" are so good and you can't go wrong with a burger and fries.  The kids LOVE the atmosphere.  Eating dinner on a ratty old couch is cool.


We spent hours and hours swimming in the pool and hot tub.  My kids love the water.  I am not a huge fan, but it was so hot out, it was the only place to find relief.







The cousins bonded like crazy.  They fought like crazy too ;)  With that many "Shavers" there's bound to be a lot of alphas...




One night, the best night in my opinion, Carrie was kind enough to babysit for us and we had an adults only night out. 






Our kids always get an education at my parents house, and this time was no exception.  Snickers, the horse, was a hit.  T-Bone, the cow, was not.





A new addition to our Boise trips is my Dad's land in Parma.  We had a Sunday picnic planned, but Amos came down with a wicked fever, and the women folk ended up staying home.  Eric and Maggie went with my Dad and Josh.  Maggie turned into a girl of the wild and had a great time.  Eric also managed to have a little fun.







One thing we did not do a lot of was sleep.  Amos and Maggie couldn't stand missing out on any of the fun, and usually snuck back to the railing to watch us after they'd been put to bed.  It was sad.




We were all exhausted by the time we got home.


One last picture of Audrey from the airport.  How could you leave that face for 18 months?