Friday, October 30, 2015

Self-Appointed Class Clowns

There was that time that my cousin told us that he was the class clown in one of his high school classes. It's the kind of thing people will say from time to time. "Oh I was the class clown." Or whatever. And really, you believe them because let's face it: you weren't there. You have to take their word for it.

But like I said, there was that time that we didn't take his word for it.

So we were talking about high school pranks and funny things we'd done in classes and JD says, "Yeah, me too. In my Math class last year, me and my friend Gabe were class clowns." Some laughter. Some more discussion. Then JD leaves. Which is when Isaac and I decide to do a little digging.

First we had to find out who was in that class. So we called Gave and got a list. Then we used the school directory and called a dozen or so kids in the class. We went over the basics of the class, reminded them who the teacher was, some of the other students. Then casually asked if they'd like to be involved in a brief survey, leading up to the main question.

In that class, would you consider JD Jones

a) a class clown
b) a class clown wannabe
c) slightly annoying
d) Who is JD Jones?

And that's when we found out that no one actually considered JD a class clown. Not one. To his credit, though, he took it really well when we gave him the results of it all. Really pretty well.

It's just that being a class clown is not something you should really take lightly, you know?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Mt Timpanogos

When I was a freshman in college, I hiked Mount Timpanogos. It's fourteen miles roundtrip and 11,700 feet elevation. I don't know. I guess it would be considered a difficult hike. I'm not really sure. I don't remember any of that.

I just remember doing it with my brother and cousin and our two overweight dogs. The dogs (Retriever/Samoyed Mix) ate a lot of food and never really bothered to exercise except when we took it upon ourselves to take them skiing hiking on a whim. They were good sports and could keep up when they needed to. Then go back to a dog food induced coma as soon as we got home. Seriously. They slept for days. That probably makes me a terrible dog owner but they were happy and I was eighteen. So.

Anyway. The dogs are important to this story. Their names were Dandy and Seven.

Like a lot of people, we decided that we would start hiking somewhere in the middle of the night. I can't remember the reasoning behind it other than it's a long hike. A lot of people did it that way or would at least get a really early start. So we drove to the trailhead at about 8:00 at night. The parking lot was completely empty. We parked right in the center of the parking lot and slept in my cousin Derek's Volkswagen Vanagon. Which was dumb. We thought we would get to sleep early and wake up at 2 am. But really. How are you going to get to sleep at 8:00? It was still light outside and we were sleeping in a car with three adults and two dogs.

I think the dogs were a bit spooked. We never took them for long rides in the car. This was probably their first and only 2 hour car ride. Plus, we left them alone for a couple hours that night while we ate at a restaurant. All of this was new to them. They seemed uneasy.

Which proved to be the case.

Somewhere around the middle of the night Dandy and Seven started throwing up. You can always tell when a dog is going to throw up because they give you about a thirty second warning when the dry heaving starts. We heard it and it was a scramble to wake up, slide open the door, and throw them out onto road. They threw up pretty much the whole night long. It was disgusting, nasty business.

Needless to say we did not get up at 2 am to start hiking.

When we finally did get up the entire parking lot was full. Except for a generous hazard area around our car. I can only imagine what people thought. The smell was pretty terrible. We were calling ourselves the gypsy camp.

But we ended up hiking anyway. Dandy and Seven were champs. Made it the whole way without puking once.

They were some really awesome dogs.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Pickle Sandwich

Jane's really into pickle sandwiches for lunch lately. They're so yummy.

Here are the ingredients.

PICKLE (or two or three)
Bread (optional)
Roll (optional)
Lunch Meat (optional)
Cheese (optional)
Mustard (NO WAY)
Mayo (optional)

If you run out of pickles, no problem. Drink the pickle juice from the jar.

My kids are so weird.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Sometimes I feel like a responsible adult

I drive three different carpools.

I make dinner almost every night.

I tuck four bodies in bed.

I do things like clean toilets on occasion and wash bedding.

I like and eat green things.

I drink lots of water.

I do all these things without being told. I just do them because I'm a responsible adult. It's not really that hard.

But then some mornings I wake up and eat almost an entire bag of Doritos before breakfast.

And my status as "adult" is completely obliterated.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Cosmic Forces

Yesterday I got a flat tire. I was driving home from the grocery store. The kids were eating corn dogs and drinking little cartons of chocolate milk. They were singing and dancing and probably yelling too. I can't quite remember. But I could tell something was wrong with the car. It sounded funny and wouldn't go faster than 25 miles per hour.

Like any good girl scout, I pulled over and checked for flat tires. It's like checking to see if something's plugged in. Like the only thing I know to check for. And bingo. I had a flat. It was the rear right tire.

I called Christian. He left work. We waited on the side of the road and the kids rolled down the window and yelled at cars to stop and help. Which was fine until the FED EX guy heard them and looked over at me. "What?" He asked with raised eyebrows. I looked up from doing something really important. Like trying to google how to change a flat tire. "Oh, we're fine." I smiled. He drove off.

Anyway. Christian took care of us. We switched cars and loaded up all the groceries and went home, leaving him on the side of the road with a wrench and a spare. The saint.

But the point is: this morning Jane had ballet. I have been loading the jogger in the car and taking Nell for a run while Jane's ballet-ing. It's about the only thing I have time for and it gives Nellie a chance to look for dogs. Which is basically her equivalent to Disneyland. Anyway, I was shoving it in the trunk of the car when I noticed the jogger had a flat tire.

The right rear tire.

Completely flat.

All this could only mean one thing:

The universe does not want me to exercise.

Alright, universe. You win.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

It's Gum, People

Since I have four small kids, I like to separate things into two categories: Big deals and small deals.

For example:

Dumping an entire 20 pound bag of flour on the floor: Small Deal

Dislocating your arm: Big Deal

Using every blanket in the house to make a fort that you never play in: Small Deal

Two year old locking herself in the car in the garage with three spare keys and cell phone: Big Deal

Dropping a roll of toilet paper in the toilet at least once a week: Small Deal

You get the idea.

I feel like we had an agreement, the kids and I, where I would look the other way when I found another roll of TP clogging the toilet and they promised to stay on the small deal side of the line.

But I tell you.

That line has been crossed.

And it's about gum. Gum is now a BIG deal.

A package of gum does not last in this house longer than 15 seconds. The kids can smell it out, I swear. I have hidden gum in every square foot of this home. Drawers, cupboards, shelves, cubbies, top of the fridge. Nothing is safe. It lasts seconds. SECONDS, PEOPLE!

Gum is no longer a small deal. Gum is a HUGE deal.

Take note.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

What We're Bringing to the Moon

We took the kids on a couple hikes last week. They were mostly good sports about it. But then again sometimes not at all.

But let's be honest. Sometimes I'm not a good sport about hiking with a seven year old, five year old, four year old, and one year old. But the 33 year old is okay. He's always pretty cheerful.

But I'm not. Especially after eating a handful of Cheese Nips and helping the four year old go to the bathroom only a foot off the trail (it was an emergency, okay?).

So we played a game.

You know the "I'm going to the moon, and I'm going to bring..." and then you have to say what you'd bring. And then everyone has to say what they'd bring and remember all the things before. It's an okay game and it always ends up in a competition between Christian and me to see who has the best memory. (I know he would argue, but I still think it's me.)

We made it through eight rounds of this game.

Here is what we're bringing to the moon with us:

His big blanket
Sleeping Bag
The real Heatwave
The real Boulder

My Little Pony
This lake (Jenny's Lake)
Trees and Bushes

Space station
Rocket ship with blasters
Rover (like they have on Mars)
Xbox 360 (We don't have one. I guess he's saving it for the space station.)
Xbox game holder

Papa and Nana's cabin
Swimming Pool
Double Kayak
Sound of Music
Running shoes
Mt. Everest

Lightning Rod

Friday, August 7, 2015

Jane packed her suitcase today.
Because we are going to my parent's cabin next week.
Because she wants to be independent.
Because she is four.

She didn't ask me if she could do this. I was busy doing something really important. Like tinkering around on the piano while Nellie sat on my lap and the boys destroyed our basement. Oh and while we had friends over to play. Because that's a normal day for us.

But then I went to the car later.

She had packed:

Every single item in her closet.

All I can say is Thank you. Thank you, Jane.
And also. I'm tired.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Real Live Bears

I turned 21 on July 21st. Not this year, people. I'm a full decade older than that.

But when I did turn 21, it was on the 21st, and I think I felt that I had to do something really big that day. I guess I just did the really obvious thing for someone to do on their 21st birthday. Go on an overnight camping trip to the Tetons with a bunch of twenty year old girls. Duh.

It's still one of my favorite birthdays.

We left about 5 hours later than planned and got to a campsite at 11:00 at night. No reservations. No sort of planning. We somehow built a fire and put up a tent in the dark. No boyscouts there, remember. I'm actually not even sure we had a tent. But we did start a fire and cooked tinfoil dinners that took all night to cook. But it was the best dinner I have ever had at 3 am.

The next day we hiked. I can't remember which hike, but it was long and steep and ended at a beautiful lake. We ate lunch there and took lots of pictures. There's something about 20 year old girls and how much they like to take pictures of themselves. This was before camera phones. All taken the old fashioned way. Digital cameras.

But on our way down, I remember there being a crowd of people stopped on the trail. We got closer and saw that there were two bears, one on either side of the trail. Every one had stopped and was snapping pictures and whispering. It was pretty amazing.

Now this is the weird part.

I was within ten feet of two bears, and I remember thinking "Huh. Cool, bears." Then I remember us walking past the line of people and tromping through the rest of the hike like it was no big deal. What? TWO BEARS? Yeah, I know. I walked passed them like they were a couple of golden retrievers. I'm not sure why I a) didn't care or b) didn't get mauled to death. 

But it happened. And on my 21st birthday. I even dug around the other day and found some of the pictures. There were like thirty of me and my friends and one of the bear. Figures.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Case In Point

I found this post in a draft pile after I wrote my last one. I'm posting it now because it made me think about all sorts of things that won't matter to anyone but me.

But might matter because all of our lives evolve. And mine is too. And so are my kids. 

Here it is. Un-edited.

Oh baby Jane.  It has been quite a year.  It has been hard.  Can I say that without sounding like I'm complaining?  Because I'm really not.  I'm just being honest.  It has been hard in ways I never could have expected.  I have cried some.  Laughed more.  Changed lots of diapers.  Worried a lot.  Spent lots of time in pajamas (all four of us).  Read lots of books.  Played with lots of cars.  Tucked lots of heads into little beds and cribs and couches.  Made lots of messes.  Yelled at my kids some (gasp).  Wished that I had let more go.  Chased my kids lots.  (Sometimes laughing, sometimes crying.)  I have learned a lot.  I have tried to be a better mom.  I have cuddled little babies and big boys that are still little babies.  I have gotten used to sticky fingers and hand-smudged windows and water-soaked bathrooms.  I have gotten used to broken cellphones and empty bins of flour and sugar.  I am used to going to bed tired and waking up tired, too.  I have exercised less than I am used to.  But have run lots more laps around the house, the store, the church.  I have picked up shoes and socks thousands of times and tripped on trains and cars at least that many.  I have squeezed them so tight they start giggling and looking for a way to escape.  I have found that the days go by so fast now.  Too fast.  I have started to worry that they will get old before I have time to really look at them.  I would like to remember just one day.  One day forever imprinted in all its messiness, whininess, orneryness, silliness, fighting-ness.  In all its glory.  Because I think I just might miss it.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

I really like Thomas the Train.

Hang on. Let me explain.

I like Thomas the Train. Now.

I used to HATE Thomas the Train. The incessantly tooting steam whistle. The annoyingly chirpy character voices, the whining diesel engines, the fact that Thomas is always getting in the same kind of trouble the same kind of ways in every single episode. And don't get me started on the theme song which I can still hum on demand at any time day or night. Especially night. Between 2 and 3 am.

But a funny thing happened: my kids grew out of Thomas. They "grew" up. Sort of. I mean CJ is 7. But we don't watch Thomas anymore. Ever. I actually forgot it existed.

Until the other day I was at my mom's house cleaning out some old movies and found Splish, Splash, Splosh. As soon as I held the case in my hand, it's like I remembered all those times watching it with the boys. I remembered cuddling on the couch with sippy cups and blankets. Or me sweeping up sticky cheerios. Or me folding baskets of clean laundry. Or ironing shirts. (I'm making myself sound a lot more domestic than I really was.)

Or when CJ was in the hospital. The four of us piling on top of each other on a teeny, tiny hospital bed. CJ + Christian + me + baby Jane still in my large belly. Barely scrunching together. I remember the drip, drip of the antibiotics through the PICC line. Piles of stuffed animals and get well cards and balloons everywhere. And Thomas. Seemed like an episode of Thomas is about how long it took for the antibiotics to go all the way through.

I was transformed to a different era. When the boys were small. Things were different then. Not better, not worse. Just different. And I miss it just a little bit.

I turned it on the other day for the kids. They watched it. They didn't love it. It wasn't the same. I didn't even watch it with them. I was probably doing something completely domestic in the other room. But somehow hearing the music made me think that if I tip-toed back in, I'd see a 3 year old CJ and a 1 year old Soren sitting on the couch with sippy cups together. And I guess I sort of miss them. I mean, I love them now. But I miss them then too. Is that crazy?

Geesh. What a baby. What am I going to be like when they're 30? And please don't tell me I'll ever feel this way about Ninjago. Please no.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Mini-Vans, blogs, and spaces after periods

It's not actually cool to blog anymore. Also you should only space one time after a period. Those are two things I've learned recently. Except not the blogging thing. That I've known for awhile. It's okay to blog only if you have like thirteen billion followers. Which I don't. Weird.

But lately I've been thinking about writing and how important it is to me. Then I remembered that I'm not actually cool anyway, so why not blog even if it's not cool. It's like when Christian and I realized we weren't too cool to buy a minivan because we aren't actually cool. So here goes my mini-van. I mean blog.

I am making no goals or promises on how often I'll write. Just that I'll try to. Write. More.

Ladies and gentlemen: A blog about nothing. Round 2.