Friday, October 31, 2008

The Family Costume

The Ottoman

Here is a picture of my "new" ottoman. The top is the only part I replaced. I had lost a fair number of the nailheads over the years, so I just used what I had left.


Today I learned a new word.

irenic: favoring, conducive to, or operating toward peace, moderation, and concilliation

It's from the Greek word eirene, peace.

Used in a sentence:

"But there has long been a small but cohesive evangelical left that chafed under the weight of such identification, actively distanced itself from such leaders, and sought to emphasize economic equity, social justice, environmental stewardship and a more irenic foreign policy."

---from The Obama Dilemma, by Wilfred M. McClay, published in today's Wall Street Journal online opinion page(

Party Pooper

Victor does not have a Halloween costume. Neither do Zeke or Jeremy. I do not have a Halloween costume.

We don't have a pumpkin. We are not going to any parties. We have not decorated our house with cobwebs or spooky sounds or even a wreath (although I do have on in the attic.)

I have put up my Halloween-themed mini decorative plates.

And thanks to Aunt Liz, we have a headband with a large fabric candy corn on top and some plastic spider rings and a pumpkin Pez dispenser.

So no, we're not really doing Halloween this year beyond the obligatory handing-out of candy. (I always make the trick-or-treaters say Trick or Treat.) I don't feel remotely bad about it. There are so many years to come. Maybe we'll do Halloween next year.

Or maybe not.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Use it up, wear it out, make it do . . .

Today I did my first ever upholstery project. The subject was my little cylindrical ottoman. Its top had pulled apart, revealing the foam. It was very ugly.

In the interest of thrift and conservation, I decided to recover the top of my ottoman. I bought some fabric and put it in my closet.

This afternoon, in a fit of motivation, I pulled off the old, torn top. Then I pulled off--carefully--the band of trim and the nailheads holding it on.

Next, I used our staplegun to staple the new fabric over the foam. After it was on, I trimmed off the excess with scissors.

Finally, I reattached the band of trim and hammered in the nailheads.

I've got to say it looks pretty good. It's a big improvement, anyway.

Fire Extinguisher Services

One of the more interesting things I remember about "becoming" a grownup is when I started to notice all of the different careers out there.

When you ask a group of young people what they want to be, what do they say?






Nobody says, Fire Extinguisher Salesman? And yet, this morning as I drove home from the pediatrician's office (flu shots), I saw a minivan outfitted for business with FESSINC written on the side.

That's Fire Extinguisher Sales and Services, Inc. They sell and service fire extinguishers, train employees as to fire extinguishers, clean carpets, and eliminate pests. Their clients are restaurants in North Carolina and Virginia. (I got all this from their van.)

It got me thinking of all the people I know and their various professions-- professions you don't immediately think of, but which provide sufficient goods and services to a sufficient clientel to earn their owners a living.

So the next time you meet a young person searching for his calling, you might recommend he drive down the road at 10 AM and look at all the work vans. There are lots of options.

Or you could just recommend fire extinguisher sales.

Monday, October 27, 2008


As I was cooking pancakes for lunch, I said to Victor, "I hear you are learning I Am a Child of God in Nursery. Can you sing it to me?"

"No. I can't sing it," he replied.

"Why not?" I asked.

"Because. . . "

"Because what?" (This was wishful thinking.)

"Because I am eating."

Oh. Duh.


This morning Victor brought me some nail clippers and said, "Trim my fingernails, please?"

That's something I don't hear every day.

Hooray for Pie

Happy Anniversary to Elizabeth and Peter!

We're so glad you're part of our family.

May you celebrate many more years of pie-eating.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Great Discovery

I have discovered that if I lock shut the closet doors in the boys' room, Victor can't get into the closet.

And if Victor can't get into the closet, he can't get the air freshener and empty half the can into the carpet. (Boy, is that room smelling fresh!)

Nor can he get to the Triple Paste or A&D ointment and smear them on the wall, Dog, and himself.

Nor can he dispense lotion onto his hands and the floor.

Nor can he empty the changing table/dresser (which is in the closet) of its contents and fill Zeke's crib with diapers, socks, blankets, and sheets.

I am just so pleased with my discovery. It has saved me an hour of work tonight.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Kraut

All right, you disgruntled Republicans (Kristy, this means you!)--

I want you to head on over to the Washington Post website and read your weekly Krauthammer.

I promise you'll feel better when you're done.

(And all of you Democrats can keep on feelin' fine!)


I think it is safe to say that Zeke has appreciated the fun of peek-a-boo for a couple of months now.

But this week he has learned how to actually play peek-a-boo. If we are playing, he will put his pants (or whatever it is) over his own face and then pull them off, laughing.

He's so sweet.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Victor's latest interest is in locks. He's been trying to work the locks on the front and back doors for about a year now, and he's almost got them. He can get the key into the deadbolt, but he hasn't mastered the turning.

We'll be needing a new way to secure the doors once he gets it.

He's more recently in love with the little doorknob push locks on the bedroom and bathroom doors. When I send him to time out, he goes into his room and locks the door. I think he has fun in there. I clearly need a new form of punishment.

He also locks the bathroom door so Zeke can't get in. (Zeke looooves to play in the toilet.) Unfortunately, if the door is locked, none of us can get in. (I'm getting better with the bent paper clip, though.)

But the funniest is when he wants to do something naughty in the kitchen when I'm in my bedroom. He comes into my room, pushes the lock on the doorknob, and shuts the door. I don't think he realizes that all he's done is lock himself out.

I'm glad his little brain is learning to make and execute plans.

Monday, October 20, 2008


Victor is telling Zeke, right now, in an ominous tone of voice,

"That's not for you. That's dangerous. That's dangerous piano. That's not for you. No piano."

(The funny thing is that they are allowed to play the piano as long as they only use their fingers.)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Good Suggestion

The other morning I told Victor to turn off the TV.

He turned off the TV.

Then he looked at me and suggested, "Mom have to go to bathroom. Go sit."

It was so transparent it was cute. And now I know why my parents always seemed to know what we were up to. I think the phrase "been there, done that" probably applies.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Cleaning House

Today we took a trip to Goodwill and dropped off a bunch of stuff. Just stuff--nothing that had been used in years, even though it was perfectly servicable.

It's cathartic to clean out old stuff. Today, it was stuff I've been wishing would disappear for years because I couldn't quite decide to throw it away. But I finally put it in the Goodwill bag and then into the car and then dropped it off at Goodwill. It was a lot of stuff.

The house feels less heavy. Light shines into new corners. I could finally organize the back bedroom. You can come and stay in it!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

When it rains, it pours

Zeke's eighth tooth poked through today.

He now has four on top and four on bottom.

Does anyone need a . . .

--set of directors chairs from Pier One, dark wood with khaki seats and backs

--unused backyard volleyball set, complete with uninflated volleyball

--book about Laura Bush

--pair of crocheted pictures involving geese, framed in the early 1990s

--artifical ivy plant in basket, medium size

If you or a loved one needs any of these items, please let me know. They are yearning to bless someone's life instead of my back bedroom.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Zeke has cut his seventh tooth. This one is on the top left, second from the middle.

This one appeared with a minimum of drool and crankiness, for which I am grateful.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Political Signs

Political yard signs are like a natural part of the landscape to a person reared in New Hampshire, like me. When we moved to California and later Utah, I remember being surprised at the tepid political involvement of our neighbors. Nobody had signs!

Well, I've been watching our local signs for months now. ALL of the early signs were for Obama, but in the past few weeks the McCain signs and more Obama signs have appeared.

It warms my heart and quickens my pulse. Election season is so exciting!

There is a wide selection of signs besides the run of the mill Obama Biden and McCain Palin:

Democrats for McCain

North Carolina is Obama Country

And my personal favorite, and Obama sign with a color photo of the candidate himself.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Baby Boom

Does anyone but me think the new Volkswagen Routan commercials with Brooke Shields are funny?

I think they're really funny.

Year's Supply

I have a year's supply of the following items:

Vegetable Oil
Olive Oil
Beef Bouillon
D Batteries
Canned diced tomatoes
Cake mix
Hot Cocoa
Instant Mashed Potatoes
Toilet bowl cleaner

Friday, October 10, 2008


Today I saw something I had never seen before: pro-life protesters. There were about six of them, men and women, standing on the sidewalk along the street across from Planned Parenthood. They were holding signs about protecting life and voting pro-life.

It was all very quiet, not inflammatory, not angry. And I was glad these people cared enough to stand outside and hold those signs. And I hope they influenced someone for good.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Victor's Stash

The other day, Victor held up a piece of paper and said, "I write my name." There were marks on the paper, and I didn't recall giving him a pen, so I was concerned.

"Victor," I said, "will you please bring me your pen? You're not in trouble. Just bring me your pen."

He leaned down and reached under the couch and emerged with two pens. He brought me the pens and I thanked him.

That was my first inkling that Victor, true to what I have read about toddlers, had a stash.

Today, after changing three messy diapers that smelled like MINT, I decided to take a peek under the couch.

Now I know where all my gum has gone.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Not So Free

Yesterday we had a very expensive outing . . . to the public library. Victor had, um, removed six pages from a book about trains, and since it couldn't be mended, we had to buy the book. I had him tell the librarian what he had done and apologize.

The librarian was very nice, but the book was still $16.50.

Then it turns out that DVDs are only 7-day items, not 21-day like I had thought. So that was another $10.00. The librarian said I'd have to talk to the branch manager about getting it reduced.

They say freedom isn't free, and now I know it's true.

Monday, October 6, 2008

My Dream

I think it would be fun to act in a commercial. I would particularly like to be in one of those commercials for products that are only available in special TV offers.

I would like to be the person who demonstrates the problem the product will solve. It must be so fun to heave a mighty sigh and roll your eyes as you water plants--how tedious!

Or I could be the person who winces in pain as I try to pick up an item on the floor or reach an item on a high shelf.

Or I could even throw up my hands in frustration at my disorganized purse.

Doesn't it sound like fun? So if any of you out there need a frustrated/expasperated/wincing actress for your commercial, just give me a call.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sorry, Prophet

Conference is hard for two-year-olds. Our rule is that quiet must be maintained in the TV room. Victor did pretty well, but he was sent to his room for excessive noise during President Monson's talk this morning.

When he came back he said, "Sorry, Mom and Dad. Sorry, Prophet."

Saturday, October 4, 2008

My First Yard Sale

Today we participated in the annual neighborhood garage sale. Despite a slow start, we came out ahead $38.38.

I'm perplexed about that $0.38, because everything was priced in whole dollars. I don't know who paid in pennies, because we had simply left a box labeled "Put Money In Box" outside with the items. That was Jeremy's idea.

I did go outside from time to time to answer questions and accept lower offers.

I am satisfied with the result because I'd rather have $38.38 than put the items back in my house.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

New Pictures

Oh boy oh boy oh boy . . .

New pictures have been posted on Jer's Super Fun Family Extravaganza.

So if you ever wanted to see Victor and Zeke go on a Dad ride, or Victor feed Zeke some baby food, or this season's version of my curly hair, this is your big chance.

Shoot me an email if you'd like the password.