Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My Target Curse

The closest Target to me is about 20 minutes up the road.

I love Target. Love, Love, Love, Target. So 20 minutes is no big deal.

However, I firmly believe that this particular Target is out to turn me prematurely gray, and that I may have to increase my commute time in order to visit a safer (for my family anyway) Target.

Do any of you know what a code yellow is at Target?

I do. Only because I've been fortunate enough to experience it, 3 or 4 times now.

I've lost count.

Code yellow is what they say over all their walkie talkies when a child is lost.

Yeah, that's right, when a child is lost.

And yeah, I know cuz it's been my child, the same child, 3 or 4 times now.

At the same Target.

The first time I lost this Henry, I was trying out how he would do walking next to the cart.

Pretty quickly he figured out he could hide amongst all the clothes.

Which meant it only took a very short time for me to lose him completely and then to get crazy nervous that someone took him.

So I asked for help.

Some cute young associate came back with Henry on his shoulders after finding him hiding behind a row of belts, where he had gone to hide so that he could poop.

The second time I lost him, he just plain old ran away from me. And he is faster than me. Normally I would ditch my cart for a few minutes to try and chase him down, but on this day I had two smaller children in my cart, and I had to decide what to do. So I calmly walked as quickly as I could after him while pushing the cart, calling his name.

After 5 minutes of not being able to find him, I asked for help, and they called a code yellow.

This time an older, hulking, bald associate found him and Henry and this man faked back and forth until the guy could catch him.


Today was scarier for me. The first two times, I was nervous, but today I felt something else nudging me into panic. I don't know how to explain it, I was just more worried.

Let me tell you what happened today. At Target. The same Target as before.

Henry has been much better at staying by the cart, and he wasn't feeling well so he hadn't wandered off at all.

I was looking for a specific cereal I had a coupon for. I had my eyes off him for about 30 seconds.

When I turned and he was gone, I called his name figuring he was just around the corner.

He wasn't.

So I looked up and down the few aisles that were near me, calling his name. Then I figured he may have gone back to look at the candy that we had just passed.

He hadn't.

Then I thought, maybe he wandered over to the toys where he had expressed interest in one particular toy.

He wasn't there either.

So now I'm feeling concerned. I've searched everywhere we were, everywhere I think he might have tried to go.

At this point I want to ask an associate for help (yet again) but I'm nervous since I've asked for help before and he has always just been hiding somewhere and not in danger. (And what if they remember me? No one wants to be THAT mom)

But finally, my motherly paranoia kicked in, and I said "Screw it, I'm askin!" and I asked an associate for help finding my 3 year old.

She, of course, did not know what the code for missing children was called and had to ask two other associates before someone knew it (why I didn't know it, I have no idea, and not super comforting that Target associates don't know the code for a lost kid either, by the way).

So they tell me to wait up by the front.

As I'm standing there, I hear some chatter on the walkie talkies about a red headed kid, striped shirt being outside.

So an associate tells me they think they found him outside in the parking lot.


At this point I think, was someone stealing him, why was he out there?

So this very nice lady and a security guy come walking towards the doors with Henry between them.

So of course, the first thing I do is run to him, scoop him up and start bawling like a baby.

They tell me that he was just standing by our van. Waiting for me, apparently.

And the nice lady (thank you so, so much nice lady) tells me that she asked him where his mom was and he wouldn't have anything to do with her. He kept inching away from her and it wasn't until the security guy came and they said they would take him back to his mom that he went with them. But even then he wouldn't let them touch him or hold his hand.

Good boy. I'm glad someone nice found him, but I'm also glad that he was giving them a hard time.

When I asked him why he was out there, he said "I couldn't find you, I went to our car to find you".

So in the 30 seconds that he couldn't find me, he decided to walk out to our van to find me there.

Does he really think I would take off without him? Does he have abandonment issues?
I'm sure he'll send me a bill for therapy someday.

But in the process of crossing the parking lot, by himself, and finding our car, by himself he didn't get hit by a car or stolen by someone.

It goes to show that small miracles happen everyday and that strengthens my testimony that there is a God in Heaven that loves us.

So now I'm thinking that Henry is banned from the Kent Target.
That big bullseye has his name written all over it apparently.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Julia left for 5th grade camp yesterday morning.

When she left it looked like this outside. But I'm sure she is having a blast anyway.

We packed her with boots, hat, gloves, a warm coat and all the love we could send with her.

I missed her all day yesterday. Even though she is usually not home during the day, just knowing she wouldn't be getting off the bus in the afternoon made me miss her.

When Jeff called on his way home, he said "I miss Julia". And I knew exactly what he meant.

I had a dream last night that when I woke up in the morning Julia was home. She had become so homesick that she asked them to bring her home.

I think my own feelings were coming out in my dreams.

She'll be home tomorrow at 2, and I can hardly wait.

Oh what am I going to do when they go to college? When they leave to go be grownups?

How will I survive that when I can't even stand 2 1/2 days away from them?

And it's weird. When I go somewhere, it's not as bad. But when they leave, it's almost unbearable.

Don't even get me thinking about kate going to girls' camp for a week this summer.

Why are the growing experiences that they need, so painful for me?

Come home Julia, soon.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Technical difficulties

Picasa is acting funny.

My computer is being soooooooooo slow.

And I had two posts all ready to go.

It could have something to do with the torrential, sidways rain we are having here.

Or, it could just be all the blogger powers that be conspiring against me.

I think it's that one.

I always enjoy a good conspiracy theory.

Check back tomorrow, hopefully everything will be running as it normally does.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

8 is great

This is Charlie on his 8th birthday, which was this week.

He is happy, charming, smart and has the sweetest dimpled smile.

I would use the words reasonable, cooperative, kind, and generous to describe him now.

He has always been my most curious child. We had locks on everything when he was three-the fridge, the pantry, his bedroom, the microwave, an extra one on the front door.

All of these he eventually figured out. Tenacious, curious and much smarter than me, I would say.

I used to wonder what he was going to be like as he got older, if he would ever move past the escapee phase. But not wanting his generous hugs and kisses to ever be a thing of the past. Loving his ability to figure things out, and to surprise me with his willingness to learn and love others.

As he blew out his candles on his Diary of a Wimpy Kid cake (it's a book, extremely popular with the 2nd and 3rd grade boys), I felt a shift in the cosmos, as if a new chapter was beginning in Charlie's life, as if 8 will be the magic number for my son.

One where he is a Cub Scout and a good example for his younger brother and sisters, one where he knows who he is as a son of God, and one where we couldn't be more proud of our boy. Our Charlie.

Happy Birthday Charlie boy.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My windows and mirrors are all smudgy.
There is a layer of dust on my bookshelves.
I have lots, and lots of laundry to put away.

Oh. and my finger hurts.

It hurts because I am finishing a headboard that my dear neighbors helped me get started.

So now I am on to the tufting part, which involves pushing a needle through drilled plywood and 2 inches of foam and batting.

I have stuck myself a couple times now and my finger hurts from pushing the end of the needle so hard.

And yes I have heard of a thimble. And no, I don't have one. But now I understand how important and helpful they can be.

So that is my current project. Who knows when it will be done. But when it is, I will unveil it here. And this current project is just one of the reasons why my windows are smudgy and my house is in general disarray.

But the pain of my fingers to accomplish something lovely got me to thinking today about the pain or trials we endure in order to achieve some greater happiness.

And that led me to think about the name of my blog.

I hope it never connotates that my life is constantly full of sugary happiness.

On the contrary, my life is full of ups and downs, peaks and valley's, sunshiny days and dreary drizzle.

But the point of my blog name is that our attitude about life in general, about where real happiness comes from, and the way we view our trials can help get us through anything, just as a spoonful of sugar can help the medicine go down.

I think Mary Poppins may have been, perhaps, the wisest fictional character. She was stern, she expected goodness and effort out of her charges, but she did so with a twinkle in her eye and a love of fun. She knew that the tough things required would only be palatable if there was also a smattering of joy, and moments of life's sweetness mixed in.

So if you come to this blog hoping only for a fake perfect world and life, well, you must not have read many of my posts, or you're going to be very disappointed.

But I'm glad you do stop by.

You help add the sweetener to the occasional days when all life gives me is lemons.

And I love you for it.

Monday, March 22, 2010

What you didn't know you were waiting for.

I have these very talented friends who are in charge of activities at church.

The theme they came up with for our adults only dinner and dance was The Love Boat.

So as they threw ideas around of how the evening should go, of who should play the various characters, they approached me with the question "Would Jeff be Captain Stubing, and would he be willing to sing The Love Boat Theme Song?"

What do you think I answered?

Heck yes!!! I knew without even having to ask him that this would be his dream come true.

Now, when you first meet Jeff, he comes across as somewhat reserved, quiet.

But put a microphone in his hands, or give him the opportunity to be the center of attention, and WATCH OUT!

Sorry for the shaky camera work. I was laughing too hard. Oh, and the Woody Woodpecker laugh? That's me, unfortunately.

The Captain, all decked out and ready to set sail.

Aren't I a lucky girl?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Happiness is

Happiness is....

Homemade bread, mom's raspberry jam, and of course, diet pepsi for breakfast.

Happiness is....

62 degree weather in the Seattle area, in March.

Happiness is.....

Having a weird argument with your husband but then realizing it and both of you saying your sorry and I love you before hanging up.

So, is this all really happiness?

What is happiness, what does it involve?

Is it sunshiny days, good food and the love of your life?

Is it self confidence, a good job, money to burn?

Health, intelligence, success in all endeavors?

Is it all these things?

Does it have to be all of these things?

I'm really curious as I ponder this lately. I know that certain things make me happy at certain times. But what is involved in real, long term happiness? Or joy, real, lasting joy?

Please share, enlighten me on this,the brightest, happiest days.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Reason number 45 of why Grandpa's are the best

They don't mind watching hours of kid shows with you cuz it gives them a nice excuse to take a nap.

Love you Dad!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Good mommy/bad mommy weekend

(The big bad wolf and red riding hood. Classic good vs. evil.)

This is the story of two mommies, good mommy and bad mommy.
No names have been used to protect the innocent.

~On Saturday, good mommy woke up with the sun. Made homemade waffles, sang as she gently asked the children to clean and tidy the house.

On Saturday, bad mommy woke up grumpy. Ate her own breakfast while her husband cooked for the kids. Then barked at the children for watching too much t.v.

~On Saturday, good mommy kissed her husband and eldest daughter goodbye as they headed off to go skiing. She then spent quality time with the children getting them ready to attend the baptisms of two friends.

On Saturday, bad mommy barely acknowledged her husband and eldest daughter as they left to go have fun. She then hastily got everybody ready to head out the door for the baptisms.

~On Saturday, good mommy prepared activities and snacks for the younger children to be entertained with, while the older children sat quietly in their seats as the baptisms commenced.

On Saturday, bad mommy forgot to bring anything for the younger ones, and had allowed the older ones to watch too much t.v. which riled them up, and then she mistakenly allowed some of the to sit by eachother.

~On Saturday, good mommy looked fondly at her reverent children, patting their heads and cuddling with the younger two who were quietly playing with books that good mommy had remembered to bring.

On Saturday, bad mommy pinched the shoulder of an older child who was being way too loud and glared at the other two to be quiet. Then bad mommy took the youngest children outside and strapped them in the car so that the baptism could continue without everyone hearing two children crying and making noise.

~On Saturday, good mommy got everyone a treat for being so well behaved.

On Saturday, bad mommy made everyone wait in the car as a punishment(with their older sister there, of course) while she ran into the store by herself.

~On Sunday, good mommy was careful with her baby as she got her out of the crib, got her dressed and with the help of always good daddy, got everyone to church on time.

On Sunday, bad mommy somehow popped her baby's elbow out of place while getting her out of the crib and ended up missing church because she was at urgent care.

Guess which mommy I was?

Boy, am I glad it's Monday.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Do you think there is enough Nutella on her face to put on my toast?

Waste not want not, I always say.

Well, I should say, but I don't.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Travel Diary

I had a moody boyfriend once, who when asked where he was going, replied:
"Wherever the road takes me."

Yeah, that's what we said too.

After making it 550 miles toward the place we were going, we stopped for the night.

It's remarkable what getting ready with no kids does for your complexion.

Lovely, no?

This is the view from our glamorous hotel room.

It may also be where we got gas later.

I may have found that pointing the camera up someone's nose,(especially your sister's) while they are pumping gas is extremely gratifying.

The place we went might have something very grand, noble and beautiful as it's 360 degree view.

The place we went may also be home to my husband's most beloved football team.

Go Cougs!

The place we went to may be the home of my favorite blogger, it was NIEt to see her house.

The place we went may also be the home of the most scrumptious cupcakes ever.
And yes, it is totally normal to eat 5 cupcakes all by yourself, thanks for asking.

The place we went may also be home to this cat, whom I may or may not have accidentally stepped on. Sorry kitty.

While in the place we went to, we may have found ourselves at the receiving end of pedicures. Maybe. (and maybe my toes were sparkly blue)

While visiting with my dear friend in the place we went to, I may have discovered from this photo that I shouldn't wear my hair in a ponytail.

Hair hides double chins, you see.

While traveling home from the place we went, we may or may not have taking photos of ourselves as we drove. But probably not, cuz that would be totally dangerous. *ahem*

We may have watched the sun sinking into the sky as our stomachs also sank with thoughts of reality and responsibilities awaiting us.

This may have been waiting for me when I got home.

I love my punkos!

This may be the end.

P.S. If you haven't figured it out, we went to Utah.
If you live in Utah and before this post considered me your friend, please still do!
I only had two very short days in happy valley and while I tried to figure out how to visit with all the wonderful people I love, I just couldn't do it this trip and still be there for my lovely friend who is moving away to the middle east for 2-5 years!

Can you forgive me?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Can you say Road Trip?!!!

What would you do if your husband and brother in law were so awesome that when you said you wanted to take a 4 1/2 day trip/road trip they just said, "ok, when?".

Well I know what I would do. I would pack my nicest clothes.
~The clothes that normally don't make it very far into the day because of the combination of snot and food that end up on them.

I would load up on Diet Pepsi and Snacks.

I would bring my fancy camera so that I could come home with pictures of a place I adore, and people I adore even more!

I would take my favorite music, and maybe an audio book or two.

And then I would tearfully say goodbye to my husband and children, and take off down the road avec ma soeur, singing at the top of our lungs!

I would have the road beneath our tires in no time, traveling with few breaks (no kids you know) in order to spend a precious 2 days with our friend/old roommate who is moving to the middle east with her husband 5 children.

I would eat a lot of food, laugh about old times and help out with the children since her hubby is already across the ocean.

That's what I would do, anyway.

If it were me.

Which it is.


See ya Tuesday.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Curtains and a jam face

I have been desiring new curtains in my kitchen. I have had sort of lacy white ones that while lovely, just didn't seem to go some how.

But I am also trying to be frugal, so rather than spend money on the fabric I really desired, I scoured Goodwill in the hopes of finding something that I could turn into curtains.

And voila!

I am pretty happy with them. They cost me just about 3 dollars to make.

And so when I get sick of them, or change my mind (which I've been known to do), I don't have to feel bad about the price I paid for them.

Oh, and just because.

My favorite jam face.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Olympics withdrawal

I am not a watcher of television.

Unless you count the glimpses of PBS I catch as I am doing things around the house.

I have shows I like, and that I record, but I never seem to find the time to sit down and actually watch them.

So it's not some super human ability to avoid the boob tube, or a judgement on tv watching in general, I just don't have time.

But I obsessively made time to record and watch the Olympics.

4-5 hours a day reduced to half that thanks to DVR and the ability to zoom through all of the commercials.

But still-that's 2-3 hours of television a day.

Needless to say, my house was more messy than usual for the past two weeks.

Laundry went undone.

Cold cereal was fed for not only breakfast, but dinner too.

Something about these amazing people who have devoted their lives, their families lives, to being the best at what they do, something about that makes me completely enthralled with watching them.

And now that it's all over, I'm a little depressed about it.

There is nothing to replace it.

I have to wait 2 more years for the summer Olympics.

I have to clean my house and do laundry once more.

I enjoyed every event that we watched.

But my favorite part of the Olympics?

You'll never guess.

During Ski Cross, one of the commentators was discussing the Swiss' attitude towards second place. How it's unacceptable.

Because to the Swiss "Second place is first loser" (said in more of an Arnold impersonation.)

I like it, not because I think it's true (I'd take a silver medal any day and be happy) but because it's funny to me to think that way. To be so competitive that second place holds no pride or joy for some.

So now we say it at random times with more of a German accent, and we laugh every time.

My saddest moment? Watching poor Ryan Miller of the US hockey team, after the winning shot by the Canadians made it in. So sad.

What was your favorite moment from the Olympics?

Did you watch? Did you obsess as much as me?

Or are you glad it's over so that tv can go back to normal?

Do tell.

And take a jaunt over to my great-uncle Norman's blog today. He wrote a post about my grandfather that I loved. My grandpa died when I was 4, so I love hearing stories about him. He sounds like a pretty good guy. So you might enjoy it too.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Guilt Free

I have always prided myself on good, homemade breakfasts for my children.

Arrising early to make from-scratch waffles or pancakes, or french toast from homemade bread, homemade syrup, or good oatmeal or, if I'm in a hurry, toast and hot chocolate.

But lately, I have been slacking.

In fact Kate got up today, made her own breakfast and lunch, and headed out the door while Jeff and I slept away.

Now, for a woman who grew up with a mother who put hot breakfast on the table every morning, there is a HUGE amount of guilt associated with not making a homemade breakfast for my kids.

But as I stood in the frozen food aisle at Walmart today, contemplating what I was about to do, I realized that for all the guilt I was putting myself through lately, I wasn't actually accomplishing the homemade breakfast thing.

So I did what I have only rarely been known to do.

I put frozen waffles and microwave pancakes into my cart.

And you know what?

There was no guilt.

No one came swooping from around the corner to berate me for taking short cuts on breakfast.

No one yelled at me for not planning ahead, or going to bed earlier in order to provide a homemade breakfast.

I was amazed, in fact, at the burden that was lifted off my shoulders just as the box of frozen waffles landed in the cart.

I can, in fact, make my children a warm, yummy breakfast, that is quick and fills them up, and I don't have to get up half an hour earlier to do it.

They will have food in their tummies as they walk out the door without me adding unnecessary stress and guilt to our mornings.

I can be a good mom, and feed them from a box!!

I was so caught up with being a good homemaker (because homemade really does taste so much better, it really does) that I forgot that my fatigue and stress in the morning was negating all the effort that went into my homemade waffles.

I will still create yummy breakfasts from scratch, I'm just not going to feel guilty anymore when that plan goes out the window because I pushed the snooze button.

Now tell me, how many of you already figured this out years ago and are nodding your heads in appreciation of this aha moment for me?

Next time you see me wasting my time feeling guilty needlessly, will you let me know?

Thank you, ever so much.
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