The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
November 2013

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Snow!

We got our first snow of the season yesterday - pretty exciting, I think. I just love snow for Christmas. I wish I didn't depend on it so much to feel "Christmas-y" but I do. I need to find another holiday-cheer trigger, because these days (darn that global warming!) we don't get a white Christmas very often. It's been a few years since we've had a truly white Christmas. When CTP was one we woke Christmas morning to a brown and dry day, but as the day went on we got pounded by a huge storm. Our car was buried for a couple of days - it was great! I of course have my hopes up for a wintry holiday this year too, but it snowed about one inch yesterday and it isn't even December yet. Thinking that this storm means we'll have snow on the 25th - that's like being one point ahead with 1:38 still left on the clock...oh yeah, we aren't talking about that.

Of course when the kids saw the snowflakes they immediately insisted on pulling on their entire array of snow gear - hats, boots, mittens, coats - just so they could go outside and play in the smattering of flakes. It's cute really, how excited they get. I was on the phone with my friend Becky while the snow was coming down and her kids were going berserk in the background. It sounded like she was babysitting the neighboring circus troop, but it was just her three whooping it up. She should have done what I did and sent them outside and shut the door. What I want to know is why do snow clothes have to consist of so many separate items? My kids had a great time outside for 1/2 an hour, but after that I had a mountain of clothing by the back door, dripping muddy water on the floor, which I couldn't attend to because I was busy making the demanded post-snow hot chocolate. Ah, well.



Last night the first on our list of Christmas shows was on t.v. It was "Charlie Brown's Christmas." I'm such a silly. We actually own this tape, but for some reason I have so much more fun watching it on live t.v. I can't tell you why - the tape has no commercials! I think it must hearken back to my childhood when my mom did such a good job of paying attention to when something would be on, like Rudolph or The Wizard of Oz or something. She'd push the couch up close to the t.v. and we'd all pile on and cuddle under blankets, eating homemade popcorn. It was great. So I did the same thing and pushed our big green chair up in front of the tube and the kids snuggled up for Charlie Brown. Pretty cute. RAP actually fell asleep there at 8:15, which was a miracle because she had fallen asleep in the car during the day. This usually ensures a late bedtime, but she crashed. Of course, she did wake up at 2:00 and wiggled in a very awake way until 4:00...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Women's Football Clinic

In the fall, you may remember, I participated in a football clinic for women up at the UofU. (Sad weekend for us, by the way. I don't want to talk about it.) Here is a video about it that got posted on youtube. If you look closely, you can find me - on the left side, third row from the front, long bushy brown hair...green vest...look fast or you'll miss me. It was really fun and I totally want to do it again next year!

Tagged

About 10 days ago my cousin Monica sent me a note that said I was "it" and to go see her website. She's such a faithful blogger - I love her! So I guess there's this thing going around where you tag someone and they have to write six interesting things about themselves on their blog. I'm sitting here in my late-afternoon haze, noticing how exhausted I am just because I actually sat down. I can not think of anything interesting to mention. Let's see...I'm only on my first diet coke today? Not that interesting. Okay. I'm going to try.

1.) ...
...still sitting, staring at the screen, watching the cursor blink...

I know! I was once on a t.v. game show in Korea. I was on my mission, and the t.v. station there needed some foreigners to join in a competition so they called the office and about eight of us spent the day recording the show. We played games, I jumped rope and did a tongue twister, and we sang a song. I was flat and sounded horrible. That was my 15 minutes of fame.

2.) I can curl my tongue into a clam-shell shape. Those crazy Romney genes, you know.

3.)My inner soul is a singer. In actuality I can't sing very well at all, but whenever I see someone singing with all their heart and guts I'm so jealous. I wish I could sing like that. Maybe when I'm dead.

4.) My grandmother's name was Oa. Two letters. O. A. I kind of love it and would like to pass it on, but she threatened us all with many curses if we did that. Now you know how she felt about her name.

5.) I no longer like playing Monopoly. I used to love it until I grew up, got married and bought a house. Now that game gives me ulcers. How interesting is that? I know, not very.

6.) Okay, one more. I'm the most compulsive list maker I know. I keep a running list of "to-do's" and my joy in life is crossing things off. I'm sure I have many friends in this club-o-nutties. I think it has something to do with the fact that as a stay-home-mom I have very few chances to feel like I've completed a task. There is ALWAYS laundry in the basket before I'm done putting the last laundry-day load away. There is ALWAYS something I forgot to buy at the store. So far, I have not been able to check off "raise kids." That one isn't even on the horizon.

So all in all, not too interesting, but there you go. And whoever reads this...TAG! You're it!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

I Wasn't Last!

I know today is Thanksgiving and I should have titled my post along that vein, but I couldn't help it. My most exciting event of the day was running a 5k this morning. A couple of weeks ago I was driving to my friend Becky's house, and I saw a sign up for a Thanksgiving morning 5k run. Strangely, I felt a desire to sign up. This is so not like me. I HATE running. I've only run in one race before, and it was the Moab 1/2 marathon in 2002. I think I ran for about 8 or 9 miles before my lack of training caught up with me and I was done. Only I wasn't anywhere near the finish line, so I had to sluggishly plod along at a very slow walk for 4 more miles. But here I was, desireing to enter a race. Granted, a much shorter one, but a race none the less. I signed up, went for a total of three runs between then and today, and went for it. I tried in vain to get someone in my family to join me, but no one did so I was a loner. It was probably better that way - I'm not a real quick runner, so it spared me some humiliation. Most important to me was that I run the whole way. I really needed to feel successful that way. I'm happy to say that I did it! What a rush! And I wasn't even the last person to finish. Somehow I even got a little ribbon that said that I beat the mayor (of Cottonwood Heights) but I don't know how that happened unless he walked the whole way. I'm a REALLY slow runner. You know what the best news is? I don't hate running anymore. It's actually kind of fun when you plug into some good tunes and get into a groove. Troy and I are going to run the 10k in Moab this spring, but that's good enough for me. I'm not one of those people who really wants to run a marathon someday. I'm just psyched that I made it through 3 miles today.

The actual holiday of giving Thanks was also a good part of the day. It was a Preslar year so we got together with Troy's family at our church. It really worked out nicely to use the Church's stuff so we could push tables together and all sit down at one big table, use nice dishes and have plenty of space for the kids. The day wasn't even too stressful because I had been doing food prep for the past two days. Unfortuneately, my food was the least successful part of my day. As you probably already know, I adore eating (oh yeah and cooking) so Thanksgiving is a really big holiday for me! But my food all kind of backfired. I made this great cranberry chutney but forgot all about it until we were passing the turkey (too late!), and I meant to make my favorite sauted green beans, but the burners at the church wouldn't work, so I had to microwave them. I made a great salad with roasted squash and onions plus pomegranite, pear, and candied nuts. The squash was met with more surprise than delight by the feasters, I think. And then I made some pies and I tried a new pie crust recipe that just didn't go well at all. The fillings were pretty good, but I was mad about the crust. WHY can't I master this pie-crust thing? Mary Poppins said, "That's a pie crust promise - easily made, easily broken," and I don't know what she's talking about because I can't seem to get the knack for it at all! Enough about the food - I didn't mind that my contributions weren't of the A+ variety, because there was tons of other good food and we had a great time as a family together. Which is actually more important than the food. Only a little bit, though.

I did get pretty carried away with decorations....I actually steamed ice cream cones and bent them into little cornicopias to set at each person's plate. Last night as I was exhausted and yet standing above a pot of boiling water holding a slowly softening ice cream cone it occured to me that I may have finally lost my marbles. Why was I doing this? I guess I had been looking for a craft that the kids could do on Thanksgiving Day while all the grown-ups were talking, but it became clear that the kids, if they actually participated in the activity by filling each cone with treats, would be done in about one second. But I had already bought all the stuff, so I went ahead and did it. It was pretty cute, but carried the essence of "hyper mommy" all over them. Well, I wish everyone the happiest of Thanksgivings (hey - there's still 45 minutes of Thanksgiving Day left!) and a wonderful start of the Christmas season. Are we there all ready? Wow.



The Preslar Brothers: Rick, Doug, Sam and Troy



Saturday, November 17, 2007

It wouldn't be Fall without...

...pictures of the kids jumping in the leaves. We just had to take them! Yesterday my niece MG was over and we had a great time frolicking. The weather has been so pleasant I can hardly stand it. Mild, sunny, delicious.





The above video is probably all the information you need on our afternoon, but I had to include the next one too because it shows R actually in a good mood, the first time in a couple of weeks, it feels like. I finally got her to sleep in after another late night and then got her to go nap-free for a day. What a difference. She has a cold, along with the rest of our family, but she was happy all day both yesterday and today. I like my child again, isn't that nice?


I'm Crazy.

But you knew that already, right? Here is today's reason. A year and a half ago we threw a "good-bye diapers" party for C. It was a celebration of his potty-training achievements. The very fact that we threw him this party is sounding crazy to me right now, but too late. We gave him a little gift - this stuffed animal triceratops, whom we named "Topsy-Turvy" and who immediately became C's indispensable companion day-in and day-out. I thought the name was clever and sweet. I think I probably mentioned this at some point in the past year of blogging, but C fell in love with this show called Dinotopia. Yes, I remember now that I did already tell this story, but too bad. In the show the hero helps deliver a baby dinosaur, and cheekily names it "26" because it was the 26th egg or something like that. C totally latched on to that and poor Topsy Turvy has been 26 ever since, causing much confusion to many people such as his preschool teacher. "Uh, C kept talking about 'his 26' today. I couldn't figure out what he was talking about!" Things like that. Well, today we were driving to the library, and 26 was sitting on C's lap. 26 accompanies us on many outings, waiting patiently in the car until we return. C was fondly stroking him and said, "His real name is still Topsy-Turvy, huh mom." I started laughing at myself because I immediately felt this wave of peace and happiness...what is my problem? I can't believe I'm blogging this - I'm such a dork! I guess I spend a lot of time with this little stuffed creature and I hated his name change. Why do I care? I don't have an answer for that, but I was happy to know that deep down, 26 will always be Topsy-Turvy. I told you I was crazy. Maybe I should get out a little more often. I feel like I'm a prisoner in a jail cell and have been there so long I have named all my toes and they've come to life in my head or something. Okay, I'll stop talking now.

Friday, November 16, 2007

St. George

Now that we've been home almost a week, I thought I might write about our trip last weekend! While I was on the trip I kept thinking of all the funny little incidents that I wanted to blog, but now that it's been so long and I have a head cold, that information has departed my puny brain. And my little RAP has been quite a challenge this week. QUITE a challenge. That probably started with the trip, because of course I couldn't keep her from having naps in the car, and that plus the excitement of the trip made her so hard to get to bed. I am really glad I went. I took the kids down on Friday. The rest of the family was coming on Saturday and going back home on Sunday, and I didn't want the kids to do that drive twice in two days. The drive down went pretty well, though it is hard to drive and parent at the same time. I had looked online for a motel that had an indoor swimming pool, and found one on St. George Boulevard. It was kind of an extended-stay deal, and it was pretty slimy. But, it was cheap and had a pool. I went swimming with the kids three times in twelve hours, and they loved it. We got some park time with Peter and Sheri and baby Siena before the hoards arrived, which I was so glad about. Sheri's sister got married that weekend, so her family was totally crazy with wedding stuff plus the blessing on Sunday. They were a little short on time. So Friday afternoon at the park was fun, plus we made the obligatory visit to the Pizza Factory. Can't go to St. George without a visit to the Pizza Factory! I have to share my favorite park moment - though you'll think poorly of me because it made me laugh. R was happily climbing all over the playground equipment by herself, and decided to take one of the slides headfirst. At least I think that's what happened - I wasn't looking until I heard her crying. She was sitting at the bottom of the slide with a face-full of wood chips. I've never actually had to pull those things out of one of my kids' noses before. Her mouth and nostrils were pretty packed with them. Luckily the injury wasn't serious and once I had excavated her orifices she was ready to play again. There was also a very good moment at the Pizza Factory. If you've been there you know about their gigantic breadsticks served wrapped around a dowel and standing upright in a pewter mug. We ordered one for each kid and when they arrived their eyes lit up like someone had just handed them the best treat in the world. C went to gnawing on his like corn on the cob, and R took to hers like it was a lollypop. Luckily I brought the camera.



On Saturday morning after another swim, some mediocre "continental breakfeast" and checking out of our very questionable motel, we played at the park some more until my parents arrived with my husband. We met up at Smith's to do some shopping, where R fell asleep on my shoulder as we were shopping. She was so wiped out. Margaret and her girls arrived shortly thereafter and we took off to hang out at my uncle's condo. It was a nice afternoon. We enjoyed some banana cream pie to celebrate my niece's birthday, we talked a lot, we ran around the back yard where R fell and cried for the next three days about her scrape. (That is not an exaggeration, by the way.) Peter and Sheri joined us, and I eventually took C, R and one niece to the dinosaur track museum on the north side of town. Then we all trooped off to dinner and then we crashed Sheri's sister's wedding reception. We heard there was going to be a chocolate fountain and we just couldn't stay away!

Sunday was the blessing, and Peter did a very nice job. Siena is a sweet chunk of a kid who seems really mellow and happy to be alive. We enjoyed some lunch at Sheri's parents' home. They were so nice - after throwing a big old wedding, to have us all over too seemed like it would be too much, but they're so gracious and fun. They aren't that much older than Troy - it's kind of a weird thing. Sheri is the oldest in her family and Peter is the youngest, so there's some funny age things like that. Sheri has siblings that are the same age as Margaret's kids, Troy and Margaret are only like five years younger than Sheri's parents...kind of funny. Anyway, it was a nice trip. We really missed Adam and his family - our entire family hasn't been all together since Peter got married 2 1/2 years ago! I don't think we'll get the chance again until next summer. So, great trip.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Validation

I just got back from St. George and am excited to blog about that adventure, but I'm still trying to locate my floor under the trip-debris. We were gone for three days. That's it, and still, my life has been thrown into total chaos. In the meantime, I had to post a paragraph from a blog that my sister sent me about Toddler sleep issues that I find myself relating to in a serious way.

"As usual, the time change last week completely screwed with the pace of our daily schedule, and by mid-week when I thought we were nearing the end of the transition Leta fell asleep in the car on the way to the grocery store. At 5:30 PM. For those of you who have children I probably don’t need to go into too much detail about what that did to her bedtime, and what that delayed bedtime then did to the mood she was in for the next… oh wait, she’s still upset about it. For those of you who have never had to worry about the sleep schedule of an incorrigible, three-foot-tall shin-kicker, let’s just put it this way: this time change? It’s like running at full-speed on a treadmill while balancing an egg on the end of spoon that you’ve got clutched between your teeth. And if you drop that egg? Everyone dies."

Is it true for you too? Right this moment my extremely volatile 2-year-old is sobbing, hanging on my leg, and letting the flow of boogers run freely down her face. She's been doing this for about two weeks. Solid.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Observations

As R and I were leaving the house the other day, she tripped over the door frame and let out a big, "Oh Crap!" Yeah, I know, all parents get to enjoy listening to our kids repeat things they hear from us. "Oh Crap" isn't the worst thing in the world, and I can be grateful for that! C was next to me one day when I muttered that phrase under my breath and he said, "I heard that, Mommy. I hear everything you whisper." Now that scared me.

Today was one of those jam-packed days - C had a friend over in the morning and then we went straight to school at lunchtime. During school I took R on about five errands, and she hung in there pretty well. Then immediately after school the three of us headed up to Bountiful to Misty's house. She had gotten the two of us tickets to hear Shannon Hale speak. I dumped the kids off at her house with a babysitter, sure that R would panic and completely wig out, but she did well. I enjoyed hearing from Shannon - she's funny and clever, which you can tell from her books. The event was slightly unorganized, but still fun. I sneaked out early to relieve the sitter while Misty attempted to get our books signed. I was really happy that my kids are so comfortable and happy there, just like I am! And THEN after that we went straight to my sister's house. She offered to watch C and R while Troy and I went to a wedding reception, and then she wanted me to try to teach her kids how to knit. By the time that last activity started it was after 8:00 and we were all near tears, so despite the deep sadness of the girls we abandoned the effort. We'll try again soon. After that we finally came home to a very messy house. I'm leaving with the kids in the morning to go to St. George to see Peter and Sheri and their new baby, so I had much to do. I didn't start reading to the kids until 10:00. C was trying so hard to listen to the story - I kept turning my head to see him trying desperately to keep his eyes open and failing. Finally he started crying with frustration. I asked what was wrong and he tearfully told me that he couldn't see anything. I told him that was because his eyes were closed. He said, "I know! They don't work at all!" His little eyes were closed for this whole conversation - it was pretty funny.

So now I am being crazy and blogging when I should either be sleeping or getting ready for the trip...I can't help it. I think I'll go to bed. The kids will sleep in and I'll get ready in the morning, I suppose!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Finer Things

Anyone see "The Office" this week? Apparently we have a little "Finer Things" club going on at our house as well. This Sunday afternoon I've been trying to keep the kids busy so they don't fall asleep on their faces on the living room floor, which has been known to happen. So I let them help me make pizza dough in the kitchen. Afterward, C spotted one of our spoons from the plastic tea set, and asked if we could have a tea party. He LOVES having tea parties. We pulled out the cups and plates and set it all up on the table. I had been listening to NPR, but the voices in the background got kind of drone-y (not a word, I know) so I switched to classical 89 and now there's a lovely Mozart piano-violin duet going on. Very high class, you know. And there's C, daintily pouring chamomile tea into his little cup, adding cream and sugar and sipping away. Then Troy walks in, comments on the tea party going on and Chase replied,
"Yes, would you join us?"
Troy and I immediately had to purse our lips to keep from laughing. Oh, he's refined, I tell you. Troy graciously accepted and C fixed him up a cup as well. I'm sure part of the reason C loves the tea parties is the sugar bowl, but I make him fill up his cup almost to the top before he adds the cream and sugar, and he can't have more until he finishes the whole cup of tea. I think it's probably a good way to keep him hydrated.

I have to say that I feel pretty strongly about including kids in the kitchen. Frankly, it's a pain in the behind because they spill, they are clumsy, they argue about who's turn it is next...etc. But I know they both love it, and it's so great for them to be such a part of the family.
So although I have to remind myself to be patient, I kind of love letting them get their hands in everything. I just think it's so healthy. When I went to my cousin's house for dinner a couple of weeks ago they had a quote on their fridge that just rang my inner gong. I have no idea who said it, but here it is: "You must sacrifice perfection in order to teach responsibility." Was that it, Monica? Anyway, it rang true to me. The pizza dough may not be perfect, but my kids are learning, and being a part of our family process.

I would have loved to snap a picture, but our camera battery is recharging. Instead, I'm including a picture from a few weeks ago of the kids helping me with bread sticks. Also a picture from about a year and a half ago, when our dear friends the Van De Graaffs invited us (mostly they were inviting C, whom their daughter both babysits and adores) to tea at a little shop downtown.



Friday, November 02, 2007

Many Many Happies


I did a fun thing last night. I was in Bountiful helping out my friend for a bit, and both of us realized that we had occupied husbands for the evening so we decided to hang out at Costco. Perhaps this does not sound like a very exciting field trip to you, but we had a great time. The two of us plus our combined six kids made for quite the gaggle, but she has kids a little older whom C totally adores and follows like a puppy. We ate pizza and hotdogs, and then wandered through the toy section. Usually at Costco I feel like I'm on some sort of mission impossible trying to prevent my kids from even seeing the toys. Sometimes I'll drive them through the isles, but I never just hang out there and let them touch everything they want, which is what we did. The hit of the evening was this giant horse - giant like as tall as my five-year old. R about went berserk. Kids could sit on it and it had battery power to move like a horse. It was quite a trick to remove her peaceably from its back, but we managed it with offers of heading to the free chocolate milk samples.

Anyway, on to the "happies." Our first happy this week was to C - happy fifth birthday! When we got home from our trip on Sunday night, he received his first big gift: a leopard gecko. He's wanted a real lizard for a long time and we got one. It's quite young and small, and very wily, making it hard to hold, but we're hoping to help it learn to be calm eventually. Our friends the Grundvigs have a leopard gecko that's about three times as big as ours, and she's totally mellow. Being C's lizard, we gave him the honor of naming him. First he chose "Polka-Dotty-Dot," but happily he moved on to a much better name: "T-Rex." I think it's pretty cute. The name, I mean. Actually, the lizard's cute too.

On Tuesday we had a birthday party for C. I invited nine kids - many of the kids C plays with also have siblings he plays with too, so there were three sets of siblings. It was kind of crowded in our little house, but the party went great. The kids were invited to wear their costumes, and almost all of them did. Pretty cute! Parties are hard, you know? Last year I made some key mistakes. First of all, I went a little crazy on the decorations - I actually paper mache'ed balloons and painted them like dinosaur eggs - stuff like that. Also I had made the party two hours long which is definitely too long for a little kid party. This year I reeled it in on the decorations and only had the kids for 1 1/2 hours. Also my mother-in-law gave me this book she had when her boys were little - Betty Crocker's Parties for Kids book or something like that. It's from 1964, and is totally awesome. There are like 50 pages of games in there, so I prepared the games a little better and we had a good time. It's funny how kids will get so specific about what they're interested in. C really wanted a "kimodo dragon" party, but I talked him into a general "reptile" theme. I made a snake cake - cute and easy, except that I suck at making frosting. Someone please remind me that I need to follow a recipe, okay? What I made ended up looking like melted green marshmallows. Yuck. But the cake was cute and the kids didn't care.

I was fairly exhausted when it was done but felt good about it. Despite being tired, after the guests left I took the kids to Ratatouille -Troy's on such a groove on the house that I wanted to give him more time sans-kids to work on it. Let it be known that R is not yet ready for the theater. She moaned and cried most of the time because she wanted to go. I was able to distract her with lipstick and gum for a while, and then we got some popcorn, and other that that she kind of either ran around or rolled around on the floor. I know, gross. But C was loving it. This was the first theater experience he's had where he didn't sit there with his hands over his ears. It was a really cute show. Luckily we were sitting in two seats right by the exit.

And then there was Halloween. We had had such a big week with the trip and the birthday that I just thought we should hang out quietly in the morning of the big day. I still maintain that this was a good idea, but the kids did go a little nuts. Finally at 4:30 we garbed up. I had been planning on participating in the holiday - I borrowed this big poofy princess dress from my mom, but I just wasn't feeling it. My inner child did not feel "princessy" in any way. So I bagged it. The kids looked great. C had his pterodactyl costume, and luckily we had a kitty costume for R, so even though her witch costume is still in the mail I didn't have to buy yet another costume for her. Our first stop was Morris & Carol's - they always love to see their grandkids in costume. My sister-in-law Kathleen was there with her two boys, and C ran around the street with them trick-or-treating at every house. I'm so glad they got a chance to do this - it seems as if trick-or-treating (man that's a doozy to type) is becoming a thing of the past. Carol likes to keep count of her trick-or-treaters every year, and this year she only got 9. They used to get 60 or something like that. Anyway, it was really cute to see the boys running so excitedly from house to house. It seems like trick-or-treating is a more honest way of getting loads of free candy. Do you know what I mean? At the trunk-or-treat, which we headed to next, you get so much candy so fast, and the traditional method at least has you walking farther than 100 yards. Anyway. I'm glad that C got the chance. R wasn't too interested, she was feeling shy and buried her head in my shoulder. She didn't emerge until the sun was going down, and suddenly her second-wind kicked in and she went nuts. Running, twirling, jumping, hollering... Here's C at the second trunk-or-treat we went to, put on by a student ward at a building in the avenues. They have a pretty elaborate set-up in the parking lot, plus a "carnival" inside. This is the "mummy wrap" station, which C got a major kick out of. Well, that's all I can think of. We pretty much came home and crashed after that. We're still recovering a little bit. What I can't believe is the HAUL of candy we pulled in - now in a GALLON container on top of the fridge. The kids have already kind of forgotten about it, but I sure haven't!