Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spring: Dysfunctions and Validation

Ever have one of those weeks? Things just don't seem to be going your way? Me too. I think it's the weather...lots of doom and gloom. My brain doesn't seem to want to work. I found a site that says Brain Fog is an actual dysfunction. I think we all knew that though.  

Wikipedia usually has a good, sometimes funny, explanation to things in life. Though Cognitive Dysfunction isn't very funny on Wikipedia, or anywhere else for that matter... and, I'm not sure why I'm including it, except to say that, "Yes! That's what I have!" I love validation:

I've been looking for ways to get out of this early-spring slump by cooking new recipes and baking, which is fine except that I'm nauseous from all the rich foods. A reason to stop cooking all together and exercise more?  Perhaps:

Today I found a picture on Eryn's camera that made me smile, so I thought I would share:

Oh my gosh, this girl cracks me up!

She reminded me that even though some early days of Spring may be gray and yucky:

Just keep swimming:  

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Eryn: A Formal Introduction

Waiting for the Greyhound Bus. Not my favorite moment:

If you know me or have read this blog before, you might have noticed that I haven't written too much about Eryn.  This is not a mistake on my part, or favoritism, as some 'other' children might want to believe. It's simply that my Eryn encompasses so much of me that it's hard to put into a blog, and I have, therefore, been unable to write about her. There is just so much to Eryn.

Eryn came into this world, like any true Fife, 2 weeks late, screaming like a banshee and with a purple face. She would probably still be in the womb if not for the emergency cesarean that my ob/gyn finally preformed...and I do mean finally. But once Eryn saw daylight there was no stopping her.  Let me just say she rocked my world the day she was born and hasn't stopped since.

She is preparing to return to BYU-Idaho in a few weeks. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. It's been odd to send her off for only one semester of college and then have her come right back home before Christmas. I was so happy to see that she was healthy and breathing, but at the same time I didn't have time to catch my breath from when had she left. Now she will be leaving us again for 2, count 'em 2, whole semesters, and I probably won't see her until next Christmas.  Again, laugh or cry...I don't know.

When she came home, she slept straight for two weeks and then hit the pavement looking for a job. She's been working at Silver Diner being a hostess, catching up with friends, reading books and watching movies since being home, and she's taken two trips to Yorktown to visit her boyfriend, Andrew.  

This past weekend she took MeKenzie with her to visit Busch Gardens and to see Andrew again before they get to see each other every day at school (hmmmmm....). I think it was...
"The Great Fife Sister Bonding Trip":

Sisters with Sassy Sunglasses:

She's helped a lot with driving, shopping, Alivia and even got involved in building "The Playset" :

Eryn and a power tool:

Eryn is an adventure in and of herself, and I'm so happy that I get to be part of it. She's an amazing young woman that is bursting with hope of the future, and it's not hard to get caught up in all the excitement. I am going to miss her so much. 

Alivia and Eryn. Both running head first into the future:

This past weekend was just a prelude to her leaving us again. I was full of misgivings and tears at that parting... I can't imagine what it will be like in a few weeks:

Again, do I laugh or cry:

Probably a lot of both:

Monday, March 21, 2011

Trina: By and By

Happy St. Patrick's Day 

So, St. Patrick's Day freaked me out a little this year:

This was the holiday that I grasped a little more of what we've gotten ourselves into with Alivia:

On the evening of St. Patrick's Day,
  I remembered that Alivia needs to not only wear something green to pre-school,
but that she needed to bring a green snack too...well, yikes!
I barely remembered to put something green on her that day! 

I haven't had to remember something like this for quite a while now.

Take for example Valentine's Day.
I only remembered that she needed cards for her classmates a few days before.
Not good.

And I use to be such a good classroom mom...
Cute Valentine's Day card mailboxes, all decorated with hearts and stickers.
Handmade cards with candy...or better yet...
  heart covered gift bags with handmade frosted sugar cookies 

for the whole class and office staff.

I made sure my children wore green on St. Patrick's Day.
I even bought cute pins with four leaf clovers for them and their teachers one year.
I was all over it:

Those days were far behind me (happily, because frankly, that was a lot of stress).
Alivia has thrown me back into the lion's cage:

I only partly understood my demise at her Holiday Party:
They asked me to bring frozen waffles, toasted, with a bottle of syrup.
I was very happy to oblige this easy task until I realized they weren't having a 'class' activity.
  They actually wanted me to stay and eat with them!
I needed to just drop her off and leave, but, I'm trying here, so I stayed for the whole thing...
Lots of playtime.
Lots of yelling and screaming.
Lots of donuts and other variety of 'breakfast' food.
I even did a craft with her.

Yes, I did have to crawl inside:
Another clue to my downfall that day 
was that, not only did the other moms bring their assigned food, 
but they also brought gifts, 
and, not only were there gifts for the teachers, 
but there were gifts to all the kids from the teachers,
and even more gifts from the students to their classmates.
Where was the reminder note in the green folder about this holiday tradition?

Even though I understand that I'm not up to par anymore with classroom parties,
or much of anything,
I do love Alivia, so: 

Here we go again:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Childhood: A Public Service Message

I recently bought Alivia a fun CD by The SqueeGee's 
(another amazing Target clearance deal...$2).
They have a song called I-D-E-A :

Since listening to this song (over and over and over again) I've thought about all the ways social brainwashing media has influenced me (and I'm not talking about the idiot paparazzi):

My earliest memory of this strong-armed advertising is:
Really? Only ME?:


I wanted a whistle just like Woodsy's:

Woodsy was fun. Smokey was scary:

Then once I started school they honed in on my teeth:
Sacred Ground. My teeth:
Who doesn't remember this childhood traumatic experience?
I blame my teeth cleaning OCD on this:

When I was about 7 or so they started playing this on TV:

I have to apologize to all my Native American friends for this:
It truly made me cry...Every time
I really believed he was out there living in a tipi,
canoeing his way from the past to the futuristic freeway:

Until I realized he was wearing tennis shoes:
Put on the brakes! What?! Where are his moccasins?

I also remember this:
Crazy, right?

I was so emotionally involved in these 'public service messages' that I was sure my mom had a Drinking and Driving problem!  I needed to do something about this before it was too late. 
She could get arrested or something worse:

We were driving down the road and she had her usual beverage of choice
(no cup holders then, she was was actually holding the can between her legs)...
I burst out crying, telling her she shouldn't drink and drive....
This was dangerous!  She could kill us!
If she wanted, I could take over driving for her (I was 11)...
"Friends don't let friends Drink and Drive", after all:
Pause here for the praising I thought I deserved for saving us.
She burst out laughing because this is what she was drinking:

There are so many more of these 'approved messages' from my childhood,
one that involved my sister speeding and me getting kicked out of her car,
but I'll save some time here and skip to the teenage years:

I have to admit that I was mocked for my forward thinking. 
Because once I started driving I always wore my seat belt:
Even before they showed us the horrific movies of dead bodies that
1: were stupid enough to drink and drive and/or
2: didn't wear seat belts

This all must have had a profound impact on me, and perhaps for other people, as well,
  because 20 + years later:

I have never started a forest fire:
I've already mentioned OCD concerning my teeth:
I am afraid a bow and arrow may kill me if a small scrap of paper gets away from me...
You will see me chasing it (sorry Gregg Deal):
Most people don't think twice about buckling up now (not to mention child car-seats laws):
I never got into a car with a drunk driver:

And, I'm okay that my kids have learned about Reduce Reuse Recycle:
But I think prodding my 3 year old to only 'eat organic foods' may be pushing it a little.

Only time will tell:

Friday, March 11, 2011

Ironing: Don't Phone Mum


We have hit an amazing milestone at my house...passing the ironing torch on to the next generation. This is one of the best days of my life:

About a year ago we started telling the kids we'd pay them a dollar for each shirt they ironed. For a while, all I got was an eye-roll, but times are tough, you know, and we are in an economic depression, so the girls have taken up this paying job when they are desperate for a little cash:

"Did you get the Epic Fail sticker?" Yep:

Today Eryn felt up to the drudgery task. She chose her weapon well (the modern 'featherweight' iron), picked the battlefield (grabbing Tony's 156 wrinkled shirts...this may or may not be an exaggeration), and is determined to win the epic battle:

I gave her a kiss on both cheeks, bid her farewell and good luck. Tears were shed, but they were tears of happiness and gratitude because 1: I didn't have to do it and 2: I can see the fruits of my labor:

She did enlist the help of Alivia.

Alivia handing Eryn hangers and shirts:   

Pass it on Eryn:

Monday, March 7, 2011

FHE: Moments and Mayhem

I've been working on teaching Alivia about kindness:
I've been especially focused on how she should treat her family:
She's been a little grumpy and cross with her sisters:

I've been reminding the older girls to "Be positive in what and how you say things to each other:
...especially to Alivia because she's prone to have bigger fits than you do":
It hasn't helped that they, being girls and sisters, tend to take her peevishness personally:
I try to call attention to the fact that they are older then she is:
And that they are wiser than she is: 
Because she's 3...just sayin':

To me this sounded like all the good ingredients for a teaching moment:
And what do mom's do when there's a teaching moment?
We mix it all up in a blender:
And we have a Family Home Evening on it:

Tony had asked Eryn to give the lesson earlier in the day:
But considering Josh didn't get home until 7:10 and Eryn needed to leave at 7:20:
It became an quick, impromptu lesson:

Eryn asked Alivia about who might belong to our family:
"Daddy, Mommy, Smike, Josh, Kenzie"
Eryn asked, "Anyone else?"
Alivia cautiously said  "And Eryn...?"
Eryn taught about how we should treat each other:
Should there be any fighting?
Should Josh leave his sisters alone when they ask him to?
All the basics of being kind to each other:

Alivia then asked for a story:
Eryn said she "Wasn't THAT prepared":

"Daddy? Your turn":
"Ummm, can't think of one...":

"Momma? Your turn":

Well, you don't have to ask me twice...

So I start in on "Once upon a time there was a happy family:
And they did lots of fun things together that made them happy:
But, one day, the littlest girl in the family was grumpy and mad...":

At this point of the story Eryn interups and yells:
Alivia starts crying...
Eryn is freaking out:
The rest of us are laughing...
It's mayhem:

It's definitely a Fife Family Home Evening:

This rest of the night is spent:
Steam cleaning couch:
Giving Alivia a bath:
And un-traumtizing Eryn:

Teaching Moment?  I think, yes: 


Friday, March 4, 2011

Alivia: Doctor and Teeth

Notice the orange Starburst in her hand to stop the "before check-up" tears:

On Monday I took Alivia to the pediatrician for her well-check:   

Her stats are now:
Height - 36.5 inches
Weight - 29 pounds

She's up 3.5 inches and 5 pounds from last year:

We had some time to wait so we made her a 'princess dress':
I had a blue crayon in my multi-purpose purse: 
Coloring her 'dress' kept her occupied for about 4 minutes:
The other 35 minutes were spent looking for more Starburst:

Alivia had 4 shots...2 in each arm:
For the last 4 days she been rubbing her right arm, asking:
"Why did they put that blue stick in my arm?
It wasn't fair. Why did they do it, Mommaaaa...?"

She's had a fun week a preschool:

Teeth, in all forms, gives Daddy the heebie-jeebies:
I don't know why I was the only one in the family 
that had no idea what this was:

Her teeth:
What? Really?Ok...

(In all fairness to me, I was looking at it upside down for the first 5 minutes:)

She learned a new spider song:
She's trying to teach it to me so we can sing it together:

She loves art:
And gym:
And her friends:
Her teachers:
Story time:
Snack time:
Free Playtime:
Singing time:
(including, but not limited to "Hello Friends" and "Good-bye Friends":) 
Basically, any and all time spent at pre-school:

Momma loves 5 hours a week of:
Walking by myself:
Getting a pedicure:
Grocery shopping:
(okay, I really don't even like the last two, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do:)

I really love you, my Alivia girl: