Thursday, April 29, 2010

It's All in the Details

In my last post, I wrote about some similarities Riley and I have in personality. In this post, I will discuss some of the differences.

Today she is having Track and Field Day at school. I hope she is having a good day. She really tried to make sure to be ready.

As usual, Riley was pleased to enjoy a non uniform day. She knew exactly which shorts, shirt, socks and shoes she wanted to wear. Her teacher suggested that the kids not wear dark colors. Riley went with lighter colors, worrying a little about some of the dark pattern in the clothing. And there it is. The issue. She is so literal. She cares too much about detail. I am positive that I care too little about detail. I'm sure I would be a much better person, if I could focus more on detail. But I am not interested in being quite so literal!

She informed me that she needed extra drinks and snacks. I found her some chips and some grapes. She then told me that she needed three snacks. I packed more grapes, and told her that double grapes plus chips equals three snacks.

Since it was going to be a little cooler, Riley's teacher told the kids to wear a jacket today. (But steer clear of that black shirt!) Riley didn't want to be too warm or too cold, but wanted to follow the jacket instruction. I found her a nice light jacket that used to be Emilee's, and that worked out. We just had to roll the sleeves a little.

Enough yet?


Riley wanted a Sharpie to label her Propel. I couldn't find a Sharpie for her. I convinced her that if we tied a blue ribbon to her Propel, then she would never forget which drink was hers.

Just when I thought we were ready, with the hair, clothes, and snacks, she wanted sunscreen. That should have been easy. When I opened the cupboard where it should have been, it was not there. I told her that we would just use my Mary Kay moisturizer which has sunscreen in it. She was doubtful, but I think that probably worked just fine.

I can't believe she is coming home at the regular time today, because I felt like I spent enough time getting her ready today that she should be gone for Track and Field Weekend.

I think when I had days like this at school, I just went. I probably never worried about what I needed until it was too late. I don't think I read the notes that my teachers sent home. I know that if I read them, I did not stress about the details.

I guess I am still not stressing over them much, if I can't even find a Sharpie or any sunscreen.

Anyway, here she is!

I sure hope she is having a good day.

Lots more to catch up on here, from the past couple of weeks. I hope I write it really soon. (I also hope to get to some blog reading.)

Friday, April 16, 2010

"Funny Story......"

I could tell by how she blasted into the house after school yesterday, that Riley had something on her mind. I didn't even see, but merely heard the "whoosh," and the running foot steps that followed. "Funny story," she said almost breathlessly as she arrived in my room maybe a second and a half later. She then motioned to the glob which was front and center on her head:

It looks gross, doesn't it?  It is a huge wad of bubble gum.

The school kids have been taking tests this week.  They were each given bubble gum.  I guess the gum is supposed to keep them happy, alert, energized......

I am not annoyed that the kids were given gum.  Riley is seven, not three.  She should have been able to handle it okay.   (I have been annoyed about some of the test preparation, but I will save that for another day.)

So, I imagined that Riley got that gum in her hair when she was on the bus.  I was wrong about that.  She informed me that she got it in her hair at 10:50am (it cracks me up that she knew the exact time) when she decided to throw it away.  Interesting aim she has there....

Riley did not want to tell her teacher about the gum in her hair.  She hid it all day.  How do you hide something that is in the front of your head?  Well, I will tell you that she pretty much massaged it into her hair,  so it would be camouflaged.

It took me an hour with canola oil, a bag of ice and some tiny scissors to get that thing out...oh yeah, and a couple of Excedrin too.

While I was working on her hair I told her it would have been so much easier to tell her teacher and handle it quickly.  Riley is a little shy, but not terribly.  I wondered why she would give herself such a miserable day, just to hide this minor thing.

Then I thought about myself in second grade.

Let me start out by saying that I was much more shy than Riley is.  Add to that, I was in a new school that year.  There was a school within walking distance of my house, where I attended first grade.  My mother taught second grade at that school in our neighborhood, so it was arranged for me to go to a different school.  I would have been in her class, if I went to the school.

Looking back, I can see that this was a good decision.  At the time though, it was hard for me to go to the new school.  I ended up loving my second grade teacher.  She was so kind.  My first two teachers were not particularly warm and fuzzy.  I was so confused though that her son was in her class.  I was told that I had to change schools because that wasn't allowed.

I have only a few sharp memories of that time.  I sat by a girl named Lydia.  I thought her name was so beautiful.  I tried to say it carefully, and when I said it just right I felt very mature.  I remember taking my baby doll for show and tell.  I had a new baby sister that year, and was really into imitating taking care of my sister by nurturing the doll.   I remember doing plays in class.  Although I was shy, I liked doing that.  I chased a certain boy at recess too.  Shyness doesn't mean you don't like to chase boys.  I think I didn't want to actually ever catch him.

I had to go to a third grade classroom by myself for math.  That, I did not like.  I feared that teacher, and those "big" kids.  I didn't like walking in and out of there alone.

One day, when I was in that third grade classroom I really had to go to the bathroom.  I knew I should have  stopped into the restroom on my way to that class, but I hadn't done it.  I was pretty sure that I could leave again, unnoticed, but my shyness kicked in like crazy.  I didn't want anyone to say anything to me.  There came a point where I couldn't wait any longer.  I stood to leave, but it was too late.  The floor where I stood was no longer dry.

I could not believe I was SEVEN years old, and had just had an accident like a baby.  Since I had stood up, I simply kept walking and went to the restroom.  I was wearing a dress and tights.  I took off those tights and even my undies and tossed the whole mess into the trash, and just returned to the classroom......without.  When I got back to the classroom, I asked a nearby girl, who I never spoke to before (or since) "How did that water get on the floor?"  I got a handful of paper towels and cleaned it up.  The teacher did not say a word to me.  Did she know?  How could she not know?

At recess I kept away from my friend Carolyn.  She cried because she thought I didn't want to play with her.  I was afraid that I didn't smell very good.  I was extra nice the next day so we could be friends again.

So much for wondering why Riley would go to great lengths, and have a miserable day.  She is SEVEN, and didn't want anyone to know she had some gum trouble.  Do me a favor, and don't bring it up, okay?

ps....Here is a tip for you.  My hands are feeling very soft and smooth today.  It's all that canola oil!

Monday, April 12, 2010


Today, I told Jeff he was freakishly cheerful for a Monday morning.  He is generally in good spirits in the morning.

He wasn't in love with the word freakish.

(I can be lighthearted....really, I can.  It is one of the foundations of my personality.  I just don't arrive at lighthearted until I have been up for a little while.)

When my mood was apparent, he didn't run for the border.  He quietly massaged my sore shoulder. 

I have some other words for him.







Unselfish.....let's make that freakishly unselfish.  (Could not resist.)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sparing His Feelings....

I often find Riley's friend Hector on the kitchen counter. When I do, I give him a little toss onto the nearby family room couch.

Yesterday, while Hector was flying to the couch, I stated, "No monkeys in the kitchen!" Riley snatched him up, covered his ears, and whispered, "But Mom, he is a stuffed animal."

Friday, April 9, 2010

Only When I Sit Still......

Last Sunday, an earthquake shook us up a little.

We were all sitting in our family room, correcting our **conference quizzes, when the room started rocking like a boat at sea. The kids took shelter under a large table. They didn't really need to do that. We had just one lamp fall over, and it didn't even break. It wasn't a particularly jarring earthquake, it was more of a rolling one, but it sure seemed long.

About thirty seconds into the earthquake, my phone rang. I didn't get it right then. It was Ryan, and I figured I would call him back in a few minutes when we were settled again. When I did talk to him, I found out he was calling to see if we were okay in the earthquake. It surprised me that he could know about it so soon! As it turns out, he was speaking to a friend of his from here, on the phone, when things started shaking, so he called us immediately. That first quake was so long (okay, it was about a minute)that he called before it was even over.

We learned that earthquake was centered sixtyish miles from here, and measured 7.2. There have been some definite aftershocks since that first one. The ones that measure in the 4's and 5's are undeniable. Since we are miles away, these don't make us worry too much. I feel for those who are experiencing all this right up close.

When I am going through a busy day, I don't even think much about this. When I sit though, I feel like the earth is still moving. Well, that's because it is. Here is a little map of the nearby quakes in the last week:

(The map is from the US Geological Survey website.)

As you can see, they are shown in red for the last hour, blue for the last day and yellow for the last week. 2000+ earthquakes on that little map! (The time on that one is seven hours ahead of local time.)

Yesterday, I sat at the table for a long time sorting tax information. (Hey, there is a week left!) As I went through files of statements and receipts, I had to wonder if the queasy feeling was coming from piles of paper, or the motion of the earth. I'm going to have to go with BOTH. Today I need to go out and play.

(**Twice a year, our church hold a General Conference. It is broadcast on tv. One way I inspire my kids to pay attention to the messages, is to give a fun family quiz afterward. Quiz and fun in the same sentence? It is fun in a way. There is some competition to it. It is an expected tradition on conference Sunday.)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Mini Cousin Marathon...

March 26 was a great day for Riley. It was the last day of school before a two week break. It was also the day she started a mini marathon of playing with cousins.

Most of my brothers and sisters and their children were here for that weekend. Riley loves her aunts and uncles, but of course she spent her time with THE COUSINS.

I love this solemn little picture.  I told Shayla I wanted to take her picture.  She dutifully stood there so I could take the picture, but she was not very excited about it.

Emilee had a dance show that same weekend.  I went back and forth between rehearsals on Friday, and the performances on Saturday.  I was a room mom for the Saturday night performance.

Here is a picture of the back of Em's head, with the official "dance do."  She doesn't like it, but I think it is cute.

This is the kind of picture you take when you are a room mom....well, unless you are the room mom yelling for everyone to "Grow up!"  Since I wasn't the yelling room mom, I was taking this silly picture, of five girls in a shower with a skeleton.   I assure you that no harm came to "skelly" while he was under our supervision.  It occurs to me that maybe we were actually under his supervision....

As far as I could tell, the show went well.  I only saw the behind the stage, room mom portion of it.

Although it was a week before Easter, we had an Easter egg hunt for the cousins.

I only bought plastic eggs for that day, since we had so much going on.  I don't think anyone minded the absence of real eggs, when finding those treat filled ones.....

This isn't about the cousins, but this is a spring thing, so I am putting it in anyway!  Something I love about March around here is all the oranges.  My parents gave us bags and bags of oranges from their trees.  My girls enjoy juicing them, which is an added bonus for me.

On this day, Riley and Kaitie were drinking juice out of the empty orange halves.  Cute!

Every year when the kids are out for Spring Break, the fair comes to town.  I like the fair, but I never go on the first day.  Well, I will have to alter that statement now.  This year the girls convinced me that we should go on the first day.  Kaitie and Emilee usually go with friends, and I liked the fact that they were going with me.  Well, this picture of them, right before we went in, was about the last I saw of them, until it was time to leave...

Riley and I met my sister and her kids for rides.  Riley had a great time riding with her cousins!

The day after we went to the fair, more cousins came to town.  We had Easter Egg Hunt 2.  Since we had a smaller group, we started by coloring eggs. 

While I was in the kitchen with my two sisters and their kids I realized red heads were the majority.  I took this picture of them.  They are all so beautiful, it made me want a hair appointment immediately!

No less beautiful, is the picture of the "browns." 

Miss Giddy Crazy Face loved Easter Egg Hunt 2.

It is hard to be ten years old, and surrounded by a herd of small cousins.  Rather than look for the eggs this time, Henry helped me to hide them.  That was one of my fondest memories of the day.  I love bonding with all these sweet nieces and nephews.  (If you tell him I called him sweet, I may be in trouble!)

And finally, here is Riley in her Easter dress.  She is not Crazy Faced here, but rather a little dramatic about the amazing twirly dress....