The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
December 2017

Monday, January 28, 2008


Just a couple of funny stories -

Stomper is really on a roll as far as asking me questions. Deep, eternal questions like, "When I'm resurrected, how old will I be?" I think he just thinks about stuff like this all the time because all his conversations these days include Jesus, death and resurrection, and creation. It's all a bit over my head. On Saturday I was in a hurry, late as always, driving to a meeting at the church. Bitty was crying loudly in the back seat, my phone was ringing - friends at the church asking me to go back home and grab stuff they forgot - and through the mayhem Stomper insists on telling me his latest discovery. "Mom! Mom! I know how Jesus created dimetrodons! He got the body, screwed in the legs and head and glued on the sail!" Do YOU have any suggestions on how I'm supposed to respond to that? Especially while my other child is screaming and I'm trying to answer the phone and drive at the same time...

My other funny is all about me. Are you familiar with Jamie Oliver? British chef, has a new show called Jamie at Home, he's awesome. How can I describe his cooking style? Definitely more laid back and relaxed, very comfortable and very hands-all-over the food kind of cooking. And the food he makes is extremely ...what? Rich in flavor and variety of ingredients, he moves fast and furiously and passionately. Okay, I'll just say it. It's total food-porn for me. The way he just throws all these incredible dishes together...I can't move while I'm watching. The knitting needles in my hands come to a total standstill and a little puddle of drool forms in my lap as I'm watching. His shows are a half and hour and include several recipes but I find I have to limit myself to watching him make only one recipe a day. It's just obscene to watch more than that. Troy was a little disgusted with me last night as I shushed him while I watched Jamie make this gorgeous golden crusted pie with chunks of apple, fresh blackberries and candied ginger....he heaped a big slice of it on top of real custard and then dribbled it with the scarlet juices from the pie....oh my. I gotta go. Someone slap me and send me to weight watchers!

A Fond Farewell

It was my mother-in-law who called me last night around 8:30 to let me know that Gordon B. Hinckely, the prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, had passed away. I was totally shocked. I have noticed his decline in energy over the past year or so, but thought that we would be made aware of an admittance to the hospital or something. How wonderful for him to have lived such a full, eventful and fulfilling life and pass away without long painful illness or injury. I just wanted to express my love for this wonderful person, and my sadness at his departure from this life.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Park Day

Just because it snowed 8 inches yesterday is no reason to not go to the park, right? I was so grateful to get my friend's phone call this afternoon, as the empty day stretched ahead in the most depressing way. She said that she and her boys were bundling up and heading for the park. What a great idea. Now, it was COLD - this morning was 2 degrees below 0 - the coldest it's been here in years, and the high today was around 19. I'm also grateful for the good snow clothes my kids have right now because they stayed nice and dry and enjoyed some sledding, sliding, flailing and stomping in the piles of fluffy snow today. I was surprised at how long the kids lasted. I finally took Bitty home. She zonked out face down on the couch while I did dishes, and then our friends the Moores and the Grundvigs joined us for some inside play and hot chocolate. It worked out great. Some days my house gets really really small when that many people are over, but today the kids played pretty mellow-ly (?) in the livingroom while the mommies chatted in the kitchen. I thrive on days like that, you know? I'm so enjoying the snow we're getting - usually January is one long smoggy nightmare, but so far this year it's been totally bearable. Not that I'm not looking forward to the spring, but I think, like last summer, it's easier if you just enjoy what the season has to offer. So let's go get cold, baby!

Mr. Potts

I saw this video on youtube, and I just can't get it out of my mind - I loved it so much. It's a clip from the British show "Britain's Got Talent," with the infamous Simon Cowell on the judges panel. I love this clip not only because the man, Paul Potts, can sing, but because I love watching the looks of boredom, skepticism and disdain on the judges' faces just melt away into awe and respect. It gives me the chills.

P.S. Don't you think that hot British chick should replace Paula on American Idol? I sure do.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Creativity Gone Wild

It all started with a little art time for Bitty. She was bored, I needed to wash the dishes, so I got out the tray of watercolors, making sure to remove her shirt so it wouldn't get painted. Viola - there was the perfect blank canvas for her. Once Stomper came in the kitchen, I knew we were on a slippery slope, but hey, we're all about free expression and creativity over here! Two of my sister's girls were here, and with their artistic touch, we just went hog wild. And then we opened up shop at the Preslar mop-n-shower.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

One Nutty Nutty Mutt

Our dog is crazy. Here's the story. Yesterday I decided to make lamb for dinner. I'm usually not a big fan of lamb, but I have this recipe my mom made me once long ago and I remember loving it, so I tried it. Just for the record, the recipe is great, but it turns out that I don't like lamb. I don't think I ever need to eat it again. Anyway,in the afternoon as I started browning and braising the meat, Alex went berserk. You're probably thinking he tried to climb the stove and steal the meat or something, but it was the opposite reaction. He started trying to climb out the front door. He ears were flat back, his tail was totally between his legs - these are not things he does often. Some dogs you look at the wrong way and their tail just goes right up there. look at him the wrong way and he basically gives you the finger. So he's pretty much trying to claw his way out the front door. We opened up the back door and he slunk outside like we were about to beat him. Something about the smell of lamb totally freaks him out. Okay, it freaks me out a little bit too, but wow. Not only would Alex not come back in the house, he spent the rest of the day curled up under the trees in the farthest corner of our yard. And he still won't come in this morning. I scrubbed the kitchen down, and there is no lamb left in the house. But I can not get that dog back in our house. No offering tempts him within ten feet of the door. Weird.

An update on my feelings about my children: it's easier to love them when they're deathly ill, don't you think? Have no fear, my children are not actually anywhere near death, but Stomper sure had a rotten day yesterday. He's got some nasty combination of allergies and the pukies...the poor kid. He's doing better this morning, though still slightly feverish. But last night his little eyes were just red, he had huge circles under them, his skin was super pale, his little lips all parched....he looked awful! And he said cute things all day like, "Mom, my eyes just keep thinking it's nighttime!" He slept a lot during the day and then tucked himself into bed at 8:00. He's so skinny as it is that when he has a day of not eating and throwing up it kind of scares me. What a bony little man! Luckily Bitty has not appeared to have picked anything up, at least not yet. Stomper really seems to be struggling with something he's allergic too. I'm trying to get him in to an allergist, but that takes some time. Until then I guess we'll be enjoying a daily claritin cocktail and staying away from kitties. The real miracle of the day was that I spent the entire day inside the house with both kids and I was not insane by the time they went to bed. I was actually in a pretty good mood, believe it or not. I guess I really do like my kids after all!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Ups and Downs

Let's start with an up, shall we? In fact, let's start with two. First of all, last week or so I took the kids to the aquarium, way out on 7th East 106th South. We go there pretty often and I don't usually bother taking pictures, partly because it's really dark in there and hard to get a good shot, and partly because, you know, how many pictures of the aquarium do we need? However, I did have to post one because it is really hard to catch a shot of your kids petting the sting rays. On the day we were there the rays were so active, practically jumping out of the water all over the place, and both my kids got pretty hands-on with them, perhaps more so than they wanted to!

My other up for today (so far) is in the knitting world. I've been wanting to make a sweater for Chase and I found a pattern I'm excited about. I asked the women at the knitting store about it and they said it would be pretty simple, so I went ahead and bought the yarn for it. Well, when it came time for me to pull out the pattern and get started I had a real problem deciphering it at first. That would be because the waist band is all cable knit - you know, the rows that look like they're braided. I panicked. I am afraid of cables - they just seem complicated beyond belief. Then I just thought to myself, "Calm down! READ the pattern." I did, and I thought I could understand it - so I tried it out, and guess what! I could totally do it! I was so excited - it's a great feeling to me. Here's the waistband of the sweater:

Now, on to the downs. Do you, as a parent, ever feel vaguely like you have NO IDEA what you're doing? Are you ever blown away suddenly by the weight of what you are attempting? Trying to teach small children to grow up into good, responsible, compassionate and educated people? I know, I know, I'm probably doing fine, but sometimes it just seems overwhelming. And it is. Part of the heaviness for me right now, and I'm ashamed to say it, is that the kids are kind of making me bananas. Stomper in particular seems to have a never-ending supply of questions that I can't answer, (Mom, when is my lizard going to come out of his house?), requests that I can't grant, (Mom, can I have a pet octopus? Can we dig a really big hole for him in the back yard?), "What About's" that I don't understand, (Mom, what about my knees?) and best of all he must start every sentence with, "Mom?" He'll repeat my name 50 times, even if I'm looking right at him, until I say, "Yes?" And if he stops in the middle of a question and needs to start again he needs to say, "Mom?" again. Like this: "Mom, can we....Mom? Mom? Mom? Can we have a, Mom? Mom?" You get the idea. Sometimes it feels to me just a little bit like someone has grabbed a lock of my hair and is now jumping up and down. I get rather tired of feeling like all of our interactions are negative, so I've really been striving for the positive moments with Stomper. Nice talks, praise, special activities...these are the times he chooses to scream in my face or ask me politely to please stop talking or interrupt with, "Mom, what about outer space?" Bitty's problem is more along the lines of going from happy to full-on screaming in about one nanosecond. So now I hang my head in shame as I confess my impatience with my children. I've been a bit down hearted.

But then come more ups - because Stomper and Bitty will be in the process of chipping away at my sanity one brain cell at a time and then suddenly change channels to charming, happy, resilient, sweet and loving children. These moments save their lives and mine. And I cherish them, I really do. Bitty is awesome at saying please and thank-you, and says it in the cutest way. "Oh, TANK-you, mom! TANK-you for the banana!" One morning she came racing out of the bedroom, saw her dad and said, "Oh, hi there Troy!" and went racing on by. So of course there are high moments and low moments. I just had to vent about the lows for a bit...okay, I'm ready for all your comments about what a good mom I am. Just kidding. Just tell me I'm not alone!

Monday, January 07, 2008

I'm no Windybrook

I have a friend known as Windybrook Spinner - she calls herself this because she nicknamed her home Windybrook (cute - I need a cottage name for my house! Nothing is coming to mind outside of Dusty Acre or Construction Central...surely there's something cuter than that for our little ramshakle hut o' love?) and because she's a spinner of wool into yarn. She's awesome, and I admire her knitting from afar. I have no hopes or aspirations to rise to her standard, but I did knit a sweater for Bitty. It only took me four months. That's a long time, by the way. But I'm pretty pleased that I finished an item of clothing that actually fits my daughter. It has plenty of flaws, but if you kind of squint you can't see them too well. If you want to be really impressed, check out my friend's website. Woah. Anyway, I LOVE knitting, as long as I'm not in the middle of fixing one of my frequent mistakes. I'm now going to start a sweater vest for should be done by next Christmas!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Good Flicks

I've had a nice weekend enjoying checking some movies off my list. (Yes, of course I really have a list of movies.) Friday night, after doing some rushing around with kids and knitting a bit at my sister's house, my friend TL and I made a hasty run for a 10:00 showing of Juno. Now, I don't know what everyone's tolerance is for the slightly crass, but if you can handle a little, go see this movie. There's plenty of gross teenager talk, but I found the characters enchanting and the story heartfelt. And the soundtrack completely quirky. I'm sure part of the reason I really liked it was the experience itself. It's been a long time since I've been in a theater that was even half full, and this evening it was pretty packed. There's something about a group of strangers laughing, and laughing hard, all together. Also being there with TL was great. She's such a good and sensitive friend. I was surprised at how the scenes such as the ultrasound and the birth of the baby were hard for me. She picked right up on that and put her arm around me. I think we cried a little together both for Matthew as well as the fact that she probably won't be having another baby due to medical stuff. "Stuff" being surviving breast cancer. You go, TL.

Saturday evening Troy and I enjoyed a date night together, with many thanks going to my in laws who took the kids for a really long time. We went out to dinner with our Mayfields and our growing friends the Gonzales's. We went to a restaurant in the gateway called Biaggi's...oh yum. Seriously yum. Italian food, really nice atmosphere. Wanna hear about our appetizer? (now, Margaret, you either need to skip ahead or prepare yourself. :)) Shredded duck sauteed with dried cherries and mushrooms and served over warm polenta. Drooling yet? You should be, because it was awesome. I had a butternut squash ravioli with butter sauce (call me Tubs) and walnuts. Misty and Mike both had this incredible black linguine with lobster. Joy! Okay, let's move beyond my food fetish. We enjoyed watching National Treasure 2. Not quite the indie film-genera like Juno, but it was exactly what I thought it would be and it was a ton of fun. My favorite was the London car chase.

So cheers to good friends and good movies, and here's hoping for many more!

Christmas Sledding Slideshow

Friday, January 04, 2008

Just a Couple of Grumps

I can't remember if this was last night or the night before, but one evening in our recent past Troy and I were both in the bathroom helping the kids get out of the tub. We were wrapping them in their towels and drying them off, stuff like that. I thought it was going rather well when suddenly Stomper looks at Troy and says, "So, are you two always going to be in a bad mood?" Troy and I just looked at each other first in surprise and then we just had to hold in our laughter. I thought it came out of the blue but Troy reminded me that a week or so ago he had gotten after Stomper for misbehaving while getting into his jammies and had said something like, "Have you noticed that your mom and I are in are really bad mood? We need you to cooperate!" So I guess he thought that the bad mood had just never ended. Glad he perceives what seemed to me like a pleasant evening as me being in a bad mood.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

A Hunter on the Move

You may remember that Stomper received a lizard for his birthday - a leopard gecko who has been named T-Rex. Well, Stomper and T-Rex don't actually interact that much, although they share a bedroom. T-Rex is nocturnal, so that makes it a little rough, plus his care and feeding pretty much need to be done by an adult. He's a fun little pet though, and I know that Stomper loves him. He holds him every three or four days and that makes him happy. What I'm surprised about is how much Troy and I are enjoying him, minus the fact that I think it costs more to feed him that it does our dog. He's just fascinating to watch. Our favorite thing is putting crickets in his cage every evening. We were surprised to learn that a gecko will shake its tail like a rattlesnake before striking. It's pretty cool. I just had a make a video and post it to either gross you out or share in the fascinating circle of life going on at our house.

Bye Bye Gingerbread

This year as I was cleaning up Christmas, I couldn't decide what to do with our gingerbread house. It was a work of art, truly, but it's got to go at some point, right? The best idea I could come up with was to put it on the back porch and send out Stomper with a hammer. Now that's a good time.

Forgotten Details

I realized that I had to make note of a couple Christmas details I forgot. They're not especially big details, but I wanted to remember them. The first, as my sister reminded me, is about Bitty on Christmas day as she went sledding. She did go down the hill a few times on the lap of a grown up, and once or twice they tumbled into the snow. She was so optimistic about it - she'd tumble, hop up, and exclaim in surprise, "I'm okay!" I guess she liked the way this sounded or the laughs she got from it because she started throwing herself in the snow and saying loudly, "I'm okay!" Just added to the charm.

My other favorite part of Christmas this year was watching Stomper think about giving as well as getting. Don't get me wrong, he stewed long and hard about the gifts he wanted to receive, and talked about it more than I needed to hear. And I think the presents had only been unwrapped for three hours when he asked when Christmas Eve was coming again. But I was charmed when he approached me a couple weeks earlier about giving gifts to his sister and father. What was really amazing was that he didn't immediately assume that they'd want a dinosaur. He decided that his daddy would like a new saw and that his sister would like a talking Dora doll. I was so pleased that he thought about it and actually recognized what they might like. He and I had a fun outing, including a stop at The Sconecutter for scones and hot chocolate, shopping for their gifts. And on Christmas morning there was a gift that Stomper had picked out for me with his dad. It was a set of two really great knives - they're made by Kitchen Aide, I think, and they're sharp little buggers. And it was all his idea. I was proud of him.