Monday, March 31, 2008

Or something like that

A conversation with Ellie tonight while reading from the Book of Mormon Stories book:

Ellie (pointing at Nephi): Hey, that looks like the missionary!
(Side note: in this picture, Nephi has black hair; both the missionaries in our ward right now are blond.)
Chris: Maybe you can be a missionary one day.
E: Me?
Me: Yeah, when you're grown up.
E: Yeah! When I grow up I can get a missionary!

How to survive Spring Break in 5 easy steps

...Or, our week in review

Step 1: Have Grandma and Grandpa(pa) arrive on Friday, the very beginning of Spring Break, and stay through Tuesday. Do all kinds of fun stuff with them, like watching movies at home, going to the zoo, going out to dinner, going to the movies, playing house, and teasing Grandpa(pa) about his bald spot.

Step 2: In order to keep grandparent withdrawl to a minimum, plan a playdate for the day after they leave. Ideally, the friends should have a child for each of yours (spares are okay, too), and a mother you are comfortable having constantly interrupted conversations with. Spend the whole morning and a good part of the afternoon with them. Walk to and from their house, a half mile away, (in the rain) so you’re good and worn out by bedtime.

Step 3: On Thursday, have friends over to play at your house. All day.

Step 4: Spend Friday morning running errands and the rest of the day playing games and completely ignoring all housework and other homemaker duties. Make pigs in a blanket for dinner, because it takes no work whatsoever and everyone thinks it’s funny.

Step 5: Saturday = errands day! Optional activities for this day include daddy-daughter dates to the well-loved Saturday Market and attempting to clean nail polish off of the toilet seat, stepstool, floor, and one very cute (and beautifully purple) two-year-old. (Look! I’m painting my toes! Oh, but I spilled a little. Actually, Mommy, I spilled a lot. See?”) FYI: it comes off the toilet, stepstool and floor easily. The two-year-old, not so much.

Possible side effects to this 5-step program may include: uncontrollable giggling, way too much fun for their own good, a messy house, exhaustion at the end of it all, and children who know that they're loved.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Aaaaand...the magic is gone

Usually it's the older kid who ruins it for the younger ones, right? Well, not the case in our house. After church I heard Lexi telling Vicki that her friend had seen her parents filling the Easter baskets. In her words, "So, your parents are the Easter bunny. That means Mom & Dad hid our eggs." Lexi wasn't even bothered by it - she's very nonchalant about the whole thing. Vicki, on the other hand, seems to have deflated slightly with this information. She's been trying to get me to come right out and tell her yes or no, but I can't bring myself to do it without being directly questioned. Still, the spell is broken. It won't be long now before Santa comes under question, too. I've been waiting for this to happen for a while, but still, it's like a chapter in their childhood is coming to a close. more growing up!

Happy Easter

Yeah, I know I'm a few days late. But I have a good excuse! We had Grandma and Grandpa(pa) E. here for the weekend and we were having way too much fun for me to stop and blog about it!

We went to the Rabbit Run at the zoo, and we met the Easter Bunny. It's hard to tell in the picture, but Ellie thought this was the most awesome thing ever. Well, at least until we got to pet the real bunny. THAT was truly the most awesome thing ever.

We had a really nice Easter Sunday. The program at Church was better than usual, and the Primary kids sang two different times, which helped break up the time for them, since the program was during the Sunday School hour (meaning we'd already been sitting in the chapel for an hour and 10 minutes before it even started). Having Grandma and Grandpa(pa) there helped, too, I'm sure. In fact, I actually got to pay attention and hear the majority of the meeting!

Here's the girls in their Easter dresses, hamming it up for the camera. It didn't help that there were two cameras going off, since Grandma had to take pictures, too. Hers probably turned out better, though.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My awesome daughters

It's bragging time. I ran errands all morning and then we had Brownies, and it was a particularly loud Brownie meeting, probably because Spring Break is coming up. Anyway, after picking up Lexi and Ellie from their friends' house, I was tired, grumpy, headachey, the works. So I told the girls to have a snack and watch some TV (I know, shame on me) and I came up here to chill in the QUIET and tell you all about our fishies. And guess what Vicki and Lexi did without me ever having to remind them? Their jobs! When 5:00 came, they turned off the TV (leaving Ellie sound asleep on the LoveSac) and came upstairs to clean up. And they did it all without any reminders! I am so proud of them right now!

The craziest impulse purchase we've ever made

Those are fishbowls. We are no longer petless people. Chris saw those in the Chiasso catalog and said, "We should get these." I said, "Okay," and way more money than we care to admit later three funky fishbowls arrived on our doorstep. But we had no fish (of course we didn't - we didn't have any fishbowls yet!) So the girls and I ran to the pet store yesterday after school and came home with the five newest members of our family. Here they are:

This is Ellie's fish, Memo (which of course translates as "Nemo" if you speak Ellie, which fortunately I do). She named him by herself. First he was "Purple", which is fitting, seeing as how he's a brilliant blue color. Then he was "Alex and Leah", who are the kids on Signing Time. But "Memo" has stuck, and I like it, although I think having a blue fish called Purple would have been awesome.

This is Lexi's fish, Sarahbelle (Sarah for short, of course). She's a Singapore Beta - you can tell because of the white in her tail. The pet shop guy said it like it was a big deal. You can click on the picture to see her better. Sarah is Lexi's current favorite name, but apparently plain old "Sarah" isn't fancy enough for her. Except that all fish need nicknames.

You will most definitely have to click on the picture if you want to see Vicki's fish. Since she's already had a Beta once, many years ago, she chose the other variety of fish that the pet store guy (who I think honestly believed I was out of my mind, walking in there with this crazy fishbowl and asking all kinds of questions with three kids alternately hanging off me and running wild through the store screaming things like, "Puppies, Mama, they have puppies! Aaaaaaaaggggghhh! The puppies are barking at me!") said could live in our bowls: White Cloud Fish. Mostly they're clear, though. He said up to three would be happy in there, so say hello to Annabelle, Rosalina, and Lizabeth, called (of course) Anna, Rose, and Liz for short. We have no idea which is which.

We're so cool now that we have pets.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


A friend gave the girls a huge Easter basket full of princess goodies today. They were very diplomatic with how they divided everything up. Vicki got the majority of the jewelry (including press-on nails that sadly wouldn't press-on) and first rights with the Barbie, Lexi got the tiara, and Ellie got the fancy shoes and the lensless glasses, which she wore all through dinner. They each got a pair of earrings. The candy was also distributed evenly, although only between the older two, since Ellie was (conveniently) down for a nap by the time I let them have any. What I love the most about this picture is that you can see each girl's personality here, and it makes me smile.

Restaurant review

A huge plus to living in Portland is the number of really good local restaurants. We have a few favorties, but we're always adding to the list. On Friday Chris and I had a rare night out, and I was in the rare mood for Mexican, so we decided to try Nuestra Cocina. I had read an article in the Food section of the paper a few weeks ago about the sous chef there - apparently he and his twin brother are both chefs, his brother at an Indian restaurant, and a cook-off of sorts was arranged for the two of them. A little bit of healthy competition, I guess. Anyway, they were each given a box containing the same 20 or so ingredients and had to make two dishes using all the ingredients, each in their own cuisine. The food sounded so yummy, and when Nuestra Cocina popped up on CitySearch we decided to give it a shot.

It was definitely a good choice. It was soooooooo good, and not your "traditional" Mexican fare. In other words, there wasn't a taco to be found on the menu. Our appetizer, far from the typical chips and guacamole, was grilled goat cheese wrapped in banana leaves with a side of pumpkin seed salsa. Chris ordered white prawns with fried plantains and I had enchiladas with diced pumpkin. Wow. And we had black beans that had been cooked with some sort of herb that's similar to mint, but we can't remember the name to duplicate it at home, darn it. Anyway, such good food. If you're ever in Portland, definitely worth a visit.

Other local favorites:
India Grill
Pastini - okay, it's a chain, but it's still excusively Portland!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

What is it with my kids?

Specifically my oldest.

Today after school Vicki informed me that she'd told two of her friends that I'd be happy to make them each a Monchhichi costume for them to wear in the school talent show. Apparently their teacher has, for some inexplicable reason, taught them the Monchhichi jingle. Which I had not thought of in years, if ever, really. I remember them from the 80's, but I never had one and was never really all that excited about them. But now I'm expected to sew not one but three costumes of the ugly little things so that Vicki, Larisa, and Maria can dress up like them and, respectively, sing the jingle, play it on the piano, and play it on the violin. I suppose I should be grateful that Vicki has such confidence in my sewing abilities. Now I need to constructive way to tell her it's never going to happen.

And for those of you who don't remember the jingle, enjoy this. I know I did, all 30 times the girls watched it before I decided it is possible to have too much Monchhichi.

We love to fall back...Spring forward, not so much

I don't know about anyone else, but Daylight Savings was HARD this year. Losing an hour of sleep never goes over well with anyone, but it didn't help matters that we were all up late Saturday, Sunday, and Monday nights, either. Ellie refused to take a nap Monday, because even though I put her down at noon like I always do, to her it felt like 11:00, so she just hung out in her bed and played for an hour and a half (with a potty run in there somewhere) before I gave up and let her come out. So, of course, here's what happened at 4:30:

I had to take a picture because it looks like she just fell over, which is pretty much exactly what happened. Then we went to our friends' house for Family Home Evening, and we lost track of the time and didn't get home until after 9:00, which meant the girls didn't get to bed until after 10pm (not that Ellie would have fallen asleep any earlier anyway, thanks to her early-evening catnap).

On Monday I got a call from the school - it seems like they call me a lot - to tell me that Lexi was in the office coughing up a storm and complaining of not feeling good, so could I please come get her. I brought her home and she laid around the rest of the afternoon. We had the missionaries over for dinner at 6:30, and she ate about six bites and then said she was finished and went upstairs and put herself to bed.

Vicki, of course, was completely unaffected by it. The only issue she ever has with sleep is that she just doesn't want to do it.

I read in the paper that it takes the average person 5 days for a person's body to adjust to the time change. Today is day 4. I never thought I'd say this, but please, please, puh-leeez let my children be average!

Monday, March 10, 2008

The last, lonely cookies

Remember this?

This is all the Girl Scout cookies that are left in my house! Hooray!!! One case is being mailed to Grandma Y. as soon as I can get to the post office, one case is going home with Grandma E. when they come up in two weeks, and one case contains 5 boxes for some friends from church that we haven't been able to connect with yet. Sales end today and we'll have everything totaled up and prizes sent away for by Friday, and then NO MORE COOKIES! (until next January)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

My daughter, the heartbreaker

I has begun already. Lexi and boys. We are so not ready for this.

Apparently the other day at school Lexi made a boy cry. Not just any boy, either. Her good friend, Daniel. They've been friends since the beginning of last school year, when Daniel's brother Johnny was in Vicki's 1st grade class and his mother and I became good friends, forcing our children to be friends. Their oldest three kids are all around the same age as our three kids, give or take 10 months. So Lexi and Daniel have played together for a year and a half, and we specifically requested that they be in the same kindergarten class. At the beginning of last summer, Lexi informed me that she was trying to decide who she would marry, Daniel or his friend Aiden (who is now also in the same class, although apparently not a marriage prospect anymore).

I guess what happened is that at carpet time Lexi sat down with a group of girls - giggly, I'm sure. Daniel walked over and sat down by Lexi, at which point the entire group of girls, Lexi included, got up and moved. Coincidence? Most likely not, as much as I'd like to believe it. Daniel's feelings were incredibly hurt, and he told his mom (who was helping out in the class at the time and witnessed the whole thing) through his tears, "I love Lexi more than she loves me!"

Lexi says she didn't mean to hurt Daniel's feelings and just wanted to sit with the girls that time.

Oh, the drama. I am not ready for this. What on earth will we do when they're ALL teenagers at once?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Um, Mommy?...

Yesterday the phone rang at 12:37. It was Vicki, calling from school to inform me that all the 2nd and 3rd grade classes were putting on the plays they've been working on. At 12:40. And could I please, please, pleeeeeeeeease come down to the school and watch? What? I had two sleeping kids at home, only one that actually belonged to me, and three minutes to get there?

It was one of those moments that you almost wait for once you start down the road of motherhood. You know, the "I told my teacher three months ago that you'd make all the authentic Indian costumes for our Thanksgiving feast that's happening tomorrow" kind of moment. Vicki's exact words (as well as I can remember them) were, "Um, Mommy? You know the play we've been working on when we do drama? The one I was telling you about a while ago? Well, um, we're doing it at 12:40 and I really want you to be there."

How on earth do you say no to that? By repeatedly sending her back to her teacher for more information I figured out that the plays were starting at 12:40, but that each one was about 15 minutes, and her class's was last. So I promised to get there when I could, woke the sleeping kiddos, fed Violet lunch, grabbed a pack of fruit snacks for Ellie, and hurried to the school. I even made it in time to see the class before hers.

The play was great. Not because they were artistically spectacular, or because the kids knew all (or any) of their lines, or because the costumes or props were particularly well-designed. It was great because the kids were having a fabulous time being a part of something that they had been working on for weeks, and because they designed their own costumes and chose their own parts. Vicki was a robot. There were robots, pirates, aliens, and killer bunnies. It made no sense whatsoever, but those kids had a blast and felt really good about themselves.

I'm glad she called me.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

He decided to join me!

After months of being completely uninterested in the fact that I have a blog about our family (okay, uninterested isn't true - too busy would be more accurate), Chris has decided to jump on the blogging bandwagon. However, since I already blog about our family, all that was left for him was to blog about his views and opinions, of which there are many :) You can get to his blog from mine by clicking on the "Chris's liberal musings" link under "People we love". Not for the faint hearted!
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