Sunday, January 30, 2011

"I Like Me Too."

My baby turned four this week, so this whole post is going to be about her. So if you don't like Suzie stories, you might just want to move on.
I just love my Suz! She is such an independent, confident, charming, bossy little bugger. She has the mentality of an oldest child combined with all the spoiling of the youngest child.

So the first Suzie story relates to the title of this post. A few weeks ago I was drying Suzie off after her bath. I gave her a kiss on her cheeks as I was drying her face. She said, "Why did you kiss me?" I said, "Because I love you." Then she asked, "Do you like me?" I responded, "Yes." I fully expected a "I like you too." response. But instead she replies with a, "I like me too." Well who wouldn't?!?

Suzie loves, loves movies. She will even quote them. My favorite one she quotes is Nacho Libre. She will say, "Go away. Read some books." Or when I give her hug when she is going to bed she will grab my neck and say, "I give you da squaa-weeze!"

She is also my best eater. She loves most food. I had made some noodles the other day and gave her a bowl. She saw that there were still noodles in the pan and informed me that she wanted ALL the noodles. I told her they wouldn't all fit in her bowl. She said, "Then get a bigger bowl." Well of course. Why didn't I think of that!

She has discriminating taste in clothes. She has a outfit that she calls her "rockstar clothes". It has a ruffly top and pants with a crazy design. And when I wear a sweatshirt and my camouflage pants she will ask, "Why are you wearing your ugly clothes, mom?"

She is voted the favorite prayer-giver by the kids because her prayers last about 2.5 seconds. They usually go something like this, "Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for the food. Amen." Or "Dear Heavenly Father, Bless that we won't have bad dreams. Amen." One time I suggest she make her prayers longer by thanking Heavenly Father for all the things he has blesses us with. She took this suggestion to heart because her prayer went something like this, "Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for all the things. Amen."

She also knows her place in the family. One night Eric and I were in our room discussing some "criminal mischief" that had taken place in our house that day like a shelf in the pantry being broken from being used as a ladder to the top where the "good food" is. Suzie's room is across the hall from ours and she overheard our discussion from her bed. Without being asked if she was the one who broke the shelf, she offered up, "I didn't do it. I'm too small."

She also knows Eric's place in the family. She was naming everyone in the family and ticking them off on her fingers. Like touching her pointer finger and saying, "There's Finn." then moving to her middle finger and saying, "And Annie." After she finished the whole family she turned to Eric and said, "Daddy, you're the thumb."

Her view of Eric as the thumb might also explain the comment she made to him while lifting up her shirt and proclaiming, "Daddy, our tummies match!" (Eric is another one of my best eaters too!)

One day she was playing house with Katie and her friend Ellie. When I walked past them while they were playing she told me, "I'm the mom and these are my two sweeties."

But my most favorite recent Suzie story is when she was giving me a kiss and said, "Mom when I give you a kiss, it means love." Absolutely.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A big dose of reality

I usually blog on the weekends, but this story is too good.. it deserved a midweek post.

Let me preface this story with another story. On Christmas Eve, we saw some neighbors who we lived by when I was in my twenties. They have a son who is in his early twenties who was just a kid when we lived by them. Well his mother, my friend, told me that he had told her,"Kari doesn't look like she is getting older at all. In fact she looks like she is getting younger and younger." I mostly attribute this to the fact that I have grown my hair out longer. But this didn't stop me from fully accepting this compliment and proclaiming it as the best Christmas present of the year, if not ever!
Now fast forward to this week. Suzie is in a 3-4 year old dance class and there is a mom of another 3 or 4 year old in that same dance class who has looked so familiar to me. I have tried and tried to figure out how I know this woman. She is kind of quiet and keeps to her self, so I have never spoken with her. I figured maybe she just works at Costco. (See sometimes when I am at Costco, I will look at the people that work there and think. "How do I know you?" and then I remember that I know them because they work at Costco and I am there once a week.) Anyway I gave up trying to figure out how I know her.
Until this week. After dance class, the little girl of this woman passed out birthday party invitations to all the girls in the class. As Suzie and I opened the invitation and I read the mom's name on the R.S.V.P. line, it hit me like a ton of bricks who this "woman" is.
To be sure I went home and pulled out my scrapbook to find my class picture from those years and sure enough here she is in overalls on the front row of my first year of teaching.
Now in my defense I am only 10 years older than these kids, but it still stung. And it didn't help that I later went to the pharmacy and dropped of my prescription to a pharmacist who was a former student too. Seriously, I am suppose to only be 25 and how can I be 25 if these former students are 26!
Then to add insult to injury, I had this exchange with Katie recently:

Katie: Mom, you don't look like you are 36.

Mom: How old do I look?

Katie: You look like you are 28.

Mom: Silent, but smiling.

Katie: (Adding after a moment) Except for the wrinkles.

Mom: Silent, but not so much smiling.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

More Kitchen Capers

Ever since I did the Great Chicken Experiment, my kids often ask things like, "Are you doing another experiment on us?" or "Are you trying to give us salad every night until we tell you to stop?" Nothing like causing paranoia in your children.
Well recently Eric conducted a food experiment of his own. Last fall he went deer hunting and came home with two big, black garbage bags full of deer meat. I'm not a big fan of cooking or eating venison, so Eric said we were going to donate it. He put the meat in our deep freezer and I didn't think much about it.
Then one night last week Eric called to see what was for dinner. When I told him spaghetti, I didn't think twice about him saying he would fix it when he got home. See, if I am being perfectly honest here, Eric is probably a better intuit cook than I am. I can follow a recipe with the best of them and I can even change and doctor up a recipe fairly well, but Eric has more of a "kitchen whisperer" sense than I do. I have a bigger repertoire of what I can make than he does but that is just because I have to cook more often, but if all things were equal, he would beat me anyday in the cooking department. But don't tell him I admit this. I like to keep a psychological edge in my kitchen.
All of this is to say I wasn't surprised when Eric offered to make the spaghetti, especially spaghetti. Italian is his forte. If I ever invite you over for dinner, insist that Eric make italian. Anyway, Eric makes dinner and I move from head chef to sous chef. As good a cook as Eric is, he is a bit unrealistic about what he expects from his kitchen. I think he expects the cabinets to magically divine what ingredient he needs and move it to the front of the shelf right where his hand would reach for it. So this is where I come in when he is cooking. My place is not to question his methods or do the actual cooking. My place is to make sure all the ingredients are within quick reach of his hand. I've never been in an OR, but I can imagine that the set-up in our kitchen is very similar to a doctor asking the nurse for a scalpel during surgery, except without the masks. Mine is a supporting role, not a life-saving role.
So after we have conducted this life-saving task of making spaghetti for our family and have enjoyed the fruits of our labor, Eric asks everyone, "So can you guess the secret ingredient in the spaghetti tonight?" I knew immediately what is was not because of the taste of the spaghetti, but because the one ingredient I hadn't divined for Eric was the meat. It was deer meat. I was honestly surprised because I couldn't taste the difference at all. I think if I ate the meat straight, like in a hamburger, I could taste the difference, but because it was in a sauce it tasted just fine. In fact we have been so impressed with this deer meat that we have made sloppy joes and chili with it and they have both been fantastic.
So my cooking club may have to watch out. Last year I fed them fish and this year they may just get deer!

What we have Mastered in 2010

If you got a Christmas card from me, then you have already read this. So sorry to not give you any new reading material, but I thought it was so clever it deserved to be posted. And if you didn't get a Christmas card from me and would like one, let my know in the comments and I'll put ya on the list for next year! So here is what we have mastered this year:
Finn: The art of eye-rolling and pre-teen sighing, playing tuba solos and making us and his classmates laugh with his wit and humor.
Annie: The art of noticing each and every slight or injustice committed against her with statements like "That's not fair" and "Finn always gets to go and I never do", being an excellent piano player and constantly creating new games and activities for her sisters and friends to do.
Katie: The art of infuriating her brother and sister by taking her own sweet time getting ready for school in the morning, having more friends than a 6 year old needs and being an expert reader.
Suzie: The art of getting whatever she wants through charm or sheer will. (Part of this art may also lie in the fact that she is the baby and her parents are just plain worn out), getting everyone to adore her and she is still working on the art of sharing her Polly Pockets.
Mom: The art of getting dirty while she runs (Dirty Dash and Warrior Run), remembering when each kids' library day is and what the letter of the week is in preschool and when the kids' run out of lunch money and when scouts is and when she is suppose to drive to band... you know just the art of motherhood, although she wouldn't claim to have mastered it yet!
Dad: The art of repairing dings in the walls (Turns out raising girls can be just as hard on a house as raising boys!), keeping his heart rate in check through the ups and downs of this year's Utes football season and getting his girls to squeal with delight when he walks through the door each night.
Can't wait to see what we master in 2011!