Monday, June 23, 2008

Adventures in Babysitting

(Here I am in 1989 with James and Nisi Hester, long time clients.)

Paul and I are very popular these days. We had three outings this weekend, which meant getting a babysitter three times. (My sister helped out one night so I only had to hire two sitters for the other nights.) Score!

Seeing as I’m the big P in my ward over the young women, I know all the teenage girls in my neighborhood pretty darn well. So I know who is responsible and well…..who will eventually be responsible when they grow up. I like to pay my babysitters well (by Utah standards at least). I pay $4 an hour because I want them to come back. I think most girls charge $1 per hour, per kid, and since I only have three kids I guess I figure I pay 35% more than others. This calculation assuages my guilt of still paying less than minimum wage. I only earned $2 an hour back in my days of babysitting glory--what a crime!!

One of the girls who babysits for me regularly is afraid of Peeping Toms or creatures that go bump in the night because she always closes all the drapes in the house when she comes. Bless her heart, I can totally understand this. When I babysat, I usually babysat for poor Mormons like myself who didn’t have cable. So the only shows on Friday night were 20/20 at 10pm. So I watched that dang show every Friday night and then freaked myself out because it was usually about axe murderers or prisoners who escape from the state penitentiary. (And Chino, CA is the home of a large men’s prison!!). Funny thing is, now I am back to those days of childcare. Hey, where’s my $2 an hour?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Gifts that Keep on Giving (Giving Me Pain)

We pride ourselves on not buying many toys for our kids--they get 1 toy on their birthday and 3-4 at Christmas time. That's it. The rest they get from relatives with good intentions. Now, I'm not going to name these relatives (but they are fellow bloggers so you can guess who they are) nor will I get into the reasons why I think they give such destructive gifts to my children, and believe me, I have theories about these saboteurs. I will simply point out the current gifts that are giving me grief. You be the judge whether these toys are evil gifts.

1. Musical Sit and Spin: Yes, the vomit vortex is back from my childhood. Only this time it is updated with the ability to play horrific music whenever you so much as tap the toy with your foot when walking by. It plays awful music trying to impersonate rock, hip-hop, and country. We have deemed it an upstairs only toy. This rule is broken all the time.

2. Water Sprayer Duck (seen in photo next to Water Spraying Darth Vader which never worked). The water spraying duck caused me havoc just today. When you attach the hose to the duck, it sprays water all crazy-like through the snorkel. Cute right? Wrong, the girls opened the back door while the water duck was doing it’s thing and water was quickly sprayed all over the wood floors in the dining area. This led me to mopping and swearing at the same time.

3. Manicure Kits: Who are the ad wizards who thought giving small girls permanent oil based paints in the form of nail polish was a good idea? I don’t really need to explain this any further, do I? It simply fuels the fire behind every small child’s desire to be a grafitti artist. That also goes for the 3-D Glue Bonanza. That "washable" label is a joke meant to frighten mothers all around the world.

4. Paint Sprayer: Our kids have received this gift twice now! Creative and crafty right? Wrong! My kids have turned on the sprayer before without the shield on thus spinning hot pink paint (not washable) around the room and landing on my white slipcovered furniture. Come to my house and I’ll show these stains that occurred at least 3 years ago. I didn’t have a personal photo of this toy because I have thrown it away.

5. Doodle Bear: (Seen at top of blog.) In theory this is a good idea. Give a child a special marker for her special bear. Child can scribble away to her heart’s content and then mother can wash bear all nice and clean. Child can repeat process. Wrong! This only teaches the child that scribbling is ok--especially on her own body. She will then scribble on walls in her bedroom, French doors, supporting beams on front porch, etc. Evil toy.

Please, I am begging the offending gift givers out there. Just give my kids what they really want—cardboard boxes, loads of Scotch tape, and plain white copy paper.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Ode to Summer

Summer has finally come, rejoice with song!
I’ve been dreaming of you for oh so long
Warmer days make me elated
'Cause winter made me mean and jaded

All of a sudden life seems carefree
My kids stay in the pool away from me
Windows open, breezes blowing
I was beginning to wonder if you were coming.

Give me the heat oh any day,
Snow is evil please stay away
So here’s to sandals and shorts, this is my plan
Poolside days and soon dark tans

I love the heat so much it’s true
I rarely run my A/C cooler
For when summer is here
I want to fry like Sizzle-lean
May it last long and fill my happiness canteen

Monday, June 16, 2008

Synopsis of YW Camp

Lots of snow and mud….40 degrees by day, 20 degrees by night……all day campfires to stay warm….all day smoke inhalation of said campfire burns lungs and eyes day in and day out…wind galore chaps face…..went through 2 tubes of chap stick….extreme cold keeps me in three layers of clothing at a time….backpacked and hiked in snow….stuffed foot warmers in shoes after hike to thaw out feet…..peed on a rock in the wilderness like an animal…..getting a sore throat…..sore ankles the next day from sinking in snow while hiking…..sore between my knees from ‘chattering’ with the cold….one of my campers got very sick… threatening… flight….helicopter finally landed due to our prayers to calm the winds…..drank more hot chocolate this week than entire life combined….learned more crazy camp songs like ‘mormon boy’ and ‘wienie man’ that will surely come to haunt me on my deathbed in a state of delirium……realized sore throat turned into bad cold with constant coughing and nose blowing….had a great time getting to know the girls better….hoped I helped them increase their testimonies of Jesus Christ….great testimony meeting…..came home and took hot shower for 45 minutes….slept…..ate Café Rio for dinner….slept through the night in my warm bed without a ski hat on…..nursed my cold with cough medicine....happy I went.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Missing My Parents

I'm a big girl, but even big girls need their parents once in a while. I haven't lived near my parents ever since I was 18 and moved out of their home. (Paul's parents live in Chicago so they're even farther and we see them even less.!) I'm pretty independent but every once in a while I miss my parents so much it hurts. Now that I am a parent and my kids are getting older, I seem to be missing them even more. Here are the top 10 reasons I wish I lived closer to my parents:

1. All kids should get to hang out at their grandparents home eating homemade cookies from Grandma and flying model airplanes with Grandpa.

2. All daughters need a break from cooking dinner once in a while. Nothing makes me more jealous than to know that my sister and brother go to my parents house every Sunday night and eat fabulous enchiladas or gorditas. Aye, yo me gusto comida preparada de mi Mama. I'm sure I said that wrong. Sometimes I just want to cry on Sunday nights when I hear about my friends who are heading to parents/grandparents for Sunday dinner. Sigh. What would it be like to have someone cook for me? I can't really fathom that.

3. My dad is a great handyman. He's taught me how to put up crown moulding, change my spark plugs, and use a compound miter saw. If he lived here I would be learning even more from my amazing Dad.

4. My mom is good at doing hair and nails. She is a cosmetologist. If she lived closer, my girls would have cuter hair. Hallie refused to let anyone cut her hair for 6 months insisting that only Abuelita could touch her hair. Also, she gives the best manicures.

5. Lunches with my mom. Sometimes when I am starved for adult conversation during the day I beg Paul to meet me somewhere for lunch. If my mom lived here, Paul would get more work done because I would bug her and not him.

6. Great conversations--my dad is a great conversationalist. Luckily this one isn't too much of an issue because we chat on the phone--lately during his L.A. commutes home at night. We talk about McCain, Obama, racism, the price of gas, etc.

7. Shopping. I hate to shop, but my mom seems to find bargains wherever she goes. If she lived here, I would go shopping with her--as my good luck charm.

8. I still need to learn how to make Carne Machaca and Chile Rellenos (not the healthy ones, the fried ones) from my mom.

9. My Dad could help Nathan win the pine wood derby. Ok, so I don't really care about this one, but Nathan does. He's always saying, "Grandpa can fix anything!"

10. Kindness--my mom is so kind to me. I'm sure I would be a kinder mom if she were here to rub off on me.
I feel a trip coming on to California.....

Thursday, June 05, 2008

I Thought I Lived in A Desert?

As a Young Women leader in my church, I get to/have to/am privileged too/am forced to go to Young Women's camp. And aren't we lucky? This is my third year in a row going to camp, but the first year I am going in June. We are the first stake/congregation going--well, technically we are the second stake to go to camp this summer--there was one other stake going the week before us (this week) but it was cancelled due to the all the snow. I got word Sunday that we are definitely going to camp next week--even though it has been snowing for two days in the mountains. Camp Mia Shalom is located up Fairview Canyon and the elevation is over 8,000ft. These pictures were taken just a few days ago.

Now, if you know me, you know that the only thing worse than being hungry for me is being cold. As I sit here typing this on my laptop (in my warm kitchen) I am wearing a light coat because it is only in the 50s today--and I'm only at 4,500ft! Dang this cold spring! So wish me luck, wherever you are in the world, during June 10-14, as you eat a popsicle and wear shorts. I'll be wearing mud-caked shoes and a heavy coat. I know, wah wah, where's that tiny violin when I need it?


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