The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
December 2017

Friday, October 31, 2008

Festive Festive Festive!

The end of October always brings a busy rush of parties, treats, presents, and many goings on. Stomper's birthday happens only three days before Halloween, which makes everything kind of nuts but full of fun stuff. This year we tried something new and had his party on the Saturday before his actual birthday, thinking that a party on a Saturday would be a lot less stressful than on a school day, late in the afternoon. I have to say, the party was a total success. A small group of kids, and the main activity consisted of printing coloring pages off the internet which kept the kids busy almost the whole time. I did, of course, feel that I had to make a theme-cake. It was kind of a watch thing from a cartoon he likes. Why do I do this? I don't know. I'm not that good at cake decorating. I always get some big idea and it always ends up kind of scary looking. Well, not scary, more like frumpy. I even thought I was simplifying this one, but really, it was a pain. Also, I have learned that making gray frosting is a lot harder than it looks. But it was a fun party.

The only trouble with a weekend party for a weekday birthday is that you end up celebrating twice. On Stomper's actual birthday we still had to do something, right? Of course! I tried to get off to a festive start even though we all woke up about 15 minutes before we were supposed to be out the door. I quickly whipped up some pancakes (love you, big bag of Krusteaz from Costco!) and stuck six candles in it and woke up Stomper by singing to him. At least that got him in a good mood before we were rushing around like crazy getting him to school. Then, that evening, we went to Ye Olde Red Lobster because my kids, as you may remember, love crab legs. My in-laws joined us and thought it was pretty funny to watch my children ripping appart the shells and gorging themselves on crab. I'm just glad there's a protein they'll eat without coaxing. It's expensive, sure, but hey, they eat it!

The same night as Stomper's birthday party, my mom agreed to come help me take the kids to some type of Halloween activity. There's so much our valley has to offer - there are pumpkin patches, festivals, all kinds of stuff. I really wanted to do some of those things with them, but honestly, the thought of herding my kids around someplace crowded, busy and possibly dark made me just want to cry. But if my mom could come along and we'd each have only one kid to watch over, well, that I could handle. So we went up to Red Butte Garden for their Garden After Dark. (A note: how come every time I type "butte" I type butter and have to erase the r?)It's really so much fun - they have all these stops all throughout the garden with crafts, stories, games, mazes, treats.... They also have firepits where you get your map stamped, and if you get all your stamps you get a prize at the end. We thought it was terrific. That is partly due to the fact that both my children were in very cheerful, patient and agreeable moods. This, of course, makes all the difference in the world. We really just had a ball. I'm glad the strangest part of the evening came first, so we could get it over with. There was a magic show with a young magician who decided it would be appropriate to show his balloon eating skills to a group of small kids. Yes, he ate a balloon. A blown-up balloon. A three foot long, blown-up balloon. I'm not kidding. He stood there, tipped his head back, opened his mouth, and shoved the whole balloon down his throat. Where it went, I don't really want to know, but it was disturbing, if not totally disgusting. Some drool was involved. Could we please not pass this idea along to my six year old? The rest of the evening was a hit. Black-lights in the forest, face painting, Native American sand painting, seed planting. Great.

And then came Halloween. I'll admit it, there are parts of Halloween that I hate. But the evening was just delightful. Stomper dressed up as Ben 10. If you're not familiar, don't worry about it. He's a cartoon character. Bitty, however, dressed up as a multitude of things. At one point she was a cow girl (that was a week ago.) Then she had her heart set on a kitty. Then a princess. Then a fairy princess. Luckily, between our current dress-up box supply and the loan of a friend, I was able to accomodate each costume cost free. Okay, I did get her a pair of wings at the dollar store. I'd say that one buck for four different costumes was a pretty good deal. She fianlly settled on the fairy princess outfit for this evening's outings, and she was so happy and excited all night that by the end she had named herself a "Magical Halloween Fairy Princess." That is until she got too tired, burst into tears, and declared that she wanted to burn all her candy and never go trick or treating again. That kid is on a serious roller coaster ride. And she's dragging me along with her.

The day was not a crazy as it has been in the past - we did have a little party at Stomper's school. I brought Bitty in so I could help out. I think I would have been a lot more helpful had Bitty not chosen that time to skip her recently developed potty skills and poop her pants down to her ankles. Yeah, that was fun. She and I spent most of the party in the bathroom. Luckily, she is not so far developed in her potty skills that I have stopped bringing extra pants/undies with me where ever I go. Next time remind me to bring a mop and some disinfectant.

After a nice afternoon during which the kids played at a friend's house, (and mommy had a nap!)we geared up for the evening. Our first stop is always at my inlaws' place. They live on a circle, so it's always fun to start the trick-or-treating there. Such nice neighboors. We then headed off for our neighborhood's trunk-or-treat. We've been enjoying this tradition for a number of years now and felt it was our year to actually make a contribution. Stomper really really wanted to decorate our car. Of course, his ideas for decoration were all about making the back of the car into a shark's mouth, stuff like that. We'll see, buddy. We shopped around for Halloween decorations at several stores and guess what - even though Halloween had not actually happened yet, the stuff was all the junky clearance on the back shelf and the displays were all stocked with Christmas stuff. Hello! Let's wait until Halloween is over to take down the decorations, okay? I struck out on all webs, spiders, bats, anything. So, in desperation at the dollar store I grabbed ten packages of glow sticks and two clear plastic rain ponchos. By cutting up the ponchos into strips to hang as a fringe around the door and haning glow sticks all over it, our car ended up looking pretty cool. I did learn that next year I'm buying cheaper candy to hand out to the kids who felt that three times around the parking lot just wasn't enough.

Following the trunk-or-treat we made our final stop at my sister's place, who, I must say, certainly knows how to do Halloween. She and her upstairs neighboor pulled out their fire pit, so there was a campfire in the front yard, surrounded by chairs. They made chili, corn bread, cider, and donuts. What better Halloween food is there? It was so fun! The kids played around, the adults sat and talked, and Troy and I each took a turn taking a kid trick-or-treating around the block. I must say, I just love trick-or-treating. I'm a little sad that it seems to be going the way of the dodo bird a little bit. Not too busy on the streets out there, but nothing delights me like seeing the excitement my daughter had. She totally caught on to what it was all about. She was cheerful and interactive, loved knocking on the doors and saying, "Trick or treat!" She wished everyone a Happy Halloween, and would even converse breifly with those candy hander-outers who wished to discuss her costume. Troy took Stomper, so I didn't get to see him, but I hope it was just as fun. I'm sure the very warm weather made for half of the fun of the evening. It was a great Halloween. No one even threw up all the candy they chowed down! What could be better than that!

Pictures of actual costumes are upcoming - like you care - I just need to get them from all the people who took them instead of me!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Off to a Good Start

Today was a day I was quite anxious about. It was my first "try to hear the heartbeat" appointment with my midwife. I'm only nine weeks along, and so I knew that it was a little early to be hearing a heartbeat. As I lay on the little table with my wonderful midwife searching for the wooshy-washy sound I longed to hear I did have some strong memories come back of another appointment, doing the same thing, and not hearing it. I think both Margy and I were trying to not freak out a little when we couldn't find the heartbeat. She said that normally with anyone else she would just say to not worry about it and come back next week. I'm so grateful that she's a compassionate woman, and is very concious of how I might be feeling. She quickly had us run over to their little ultrasound machine (also the next step in our dreadful appointment that day many months ago) and we had a peek. This time, we found a tiny little blob on the screen, with a beautifully beating heart. Margy and I happily embraced and breathed a sigh of relief. Of course there is a long road ahead, but we're sure off to a good start. How I loved seeing that tiny beating heart. Troy and I are both quite emotional with joy and remembering.

Later, at home, I was curled up on the bed, and somehow found it possible to feel both wretched and beautiful at the same time. Wretched - the "morning" sickness is really kicking in; Beautiful - there is a beating heart inside of me! The kids were playing really happily in the living room and spied me lying on the bed. It was actually very charming the way they instantly wanted to be close to me. Of course, a little space from time to time would also be nice, but really, I appreciate my childrens' happiness to be at my side. They picked up their whole operation and just moved it onto the bed with me.

Of course, the peaceful playing didn't last long. Soon enough they were crawling all over me and trying to have a jumping war. I had to make an exit. But it was sweet while it lasted. How grateful I am, sicky sick and all.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Verdict is In

It's official. Elk meat is actually yummy.

I'll admit that in my pregnant state I was kind of scared to even look at the stuff, fearing that I'd see it and instantly puke or something. Not only am I able to handle the visual, but we have now made both elk burgers and elk pot roast. I'm happy to say that the whole family enjoyed the meals very much. No crazy smells, a flavor very like beef, and a tasty result. It looks like our family will be able to spend the winter eating through the mountain of meat in our freezer. I think it's quite a bit less fatty than beef, not to mention the fact that wild elk has not been raised on hormones and too much corn and all that stuff you hear about.

So, next time you're in the mood for a little elk, give us a call!

Friday, October 17, 2008

This is Just to Say...

This is an oven.

This is a bun.

Put the bun in the oven and what do you get?

May 26th, that's what you get! (The day after my birthday, by the way....)

Okay, so I'm just barely 8 weeks along, but since my belly is protruding in a very announcing sort of way, I guess I'm getting the news out there.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

It's Just That Kind of a Night

My family is currently, long past bedtime, sitting around at the kitchen table consuming large amounts of whipped cream. This is something we all deserve today because frankly, it's been the day... from...HELL.

Okay, now that the kids are tucked sweetly into bed, I can say that there were definitely good parts to the day as well, but it was certainly, shall we say, eventful.

The day began for Troy at 4:00 in the morning, when he got up to go pick up his dad and drive to Roosevelt. See, a couple of weekends ago was the elk hunt. Troy's dad goes every year, and at least a couple of the four boys go along too. This year it was the eldest (Rick) and the youngest (Troy.) Troy had found a spot he thought to be a likely place to find an elk, and woke up that Saturday morning very early. He found a good place to hide and waited for the sun to come up. As he waited, two groups of elk passed by him, and when he found he had a good shot at a young bull, just as the sun was coming up, he took it. It was with some trepidation that he shot the elk, knowing that if he did, there was a very long day ahead as far as cleaning it and getting it off the mountain to a butcher and all those things. But shoot it he did, and indeed a very long (and kinda yucky) day did follow. The meat was ready for pickup today, so Troy and his pop headed down.

I got a phone call at 7:00. Pretty much I know that a phone call at that hour is not a good thing. I'll just say this. Our poor little Eagle Summit, which has served us faithfully for many long years, breathed its last breath just outside of Roosevelt, Utah. The phone call was from Troy, asking me to help him find a tow truck in Roosevelt. You can imagine the other troubles this all led to, starting with the discovery that the car was not to be revived. I ended up sending my Dad (thank you!) to go rescue them and the meat, and poor Troy didn't get home until about 3:3o in the afternoon.

What's more, this evening was the night of a very big church activity that I was in charge of. I don't really feel like getting into all the hairy details. I'll just say that the details were very, very hairy. Lots of cooking, planning, cleaning, setting up, serving, etc. etc. etc. Big big day for Rachel.

All of this would have been pretty manageable. However, Troy stayed home during the activity to get started tiling our bathroom with our very helpful neighbor. I got another phone call almost 12 hours after the first bad phone call from my husband, and this one could have been worse. It turns out that as he and Tim started to work on the floor, Tim said, "What's that noise? Is that spraying water?" Yes, it was. Under the bathroom floor. (You may have heard a strange strangled screaming kind of sound coming from somewhere in Salt Lake. That was Troy.) Now, when they first heard it Troy just about freaked out because he imagined a huge leak with a foot of water on the insulation under the floor. Luckily, it turned out to be a manageable leak, and they only had to tear out one small bit of the floor. Not a good thing, but definitely better than tearing out the whole thing.

Thus the piles of whipped cream for everyone.

But, like I said, there were also good parts to the day. For example, we have enough meat filling our freezer to keep us fed for months to come:

I now need to research recipes. Any ideas will be appreciated. This isn't even all of it - some ended up in someone else's freezer. Maybe one of these days we'll have a "come eat elk and use our new toilet" party.

The church activity also seemed to be a success. Again, I'm not really in the mood for details here, but I didn't think it was going to go well at all. It was great. Good food, happy people, great music, and a very funky fashion show. And lots and lots of people helped me.

Also, the kids were so sweet and darling today. These kind of days can wear a kid out, you know? When I went upstairs to the nursery to collect my kids at the end of the evening Stomper was very excited to show me that one of his two loose front teeth was on the verge of falling out. Here he is demonstrating the extreme loose-ness of his tooth during the whipped cream session:

And of course, five minutes later, he yanked the thing out:

That picture makes me happy.

So now it's time for lots of sleep. I really hope tomorrow is better, but I'm not going to tempt fate by saying it can't be like this one. Because it can. I just really hope it isn't.

Friday, October 10, 2008

1 Down, 1 To Go

I have always loved my friend Cayenne's sweaters she's made for her kids. They're called Wallabies, and she assured me I'd be able to make one too. So I went out and bought the pattern and the yarn. It turns out that I can make one if I call her at least once a day for a few weeks. But, made it I did, and here it is! (It looks much cuter on Bitty than on the table, by the way.) Now I've started Stomper's and I think poor Cayenne might actually not have to coach me through every step of the way this time. She's pretty good, to be able to, over the phone, figure out what I'm talking about and what I need to fix. She's very talented.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Maybe I Can Do This...

I'll always love you, Gene Kelly. My mother introduced me to you many long years ago. I think you're fabulous. (By the way, GHD3, have I ever told you that I think you look quite a bit like him? You do!)

I think I've mentioned before how awesome my mom is. She did such a good job sharing her loves with us kids. She was always giving us opportunities to get acquainted with the arts. She rented all sorts of things from the library to show us, including Gene Kelly movies, Gilbert and Sullivan musicals, and plenty of Shakespeare. I think I also gained an undying love for the public library from her as well. I have many fond memories of my mom getting all excited when her favorite dance number came up in some show. I always wondered if I'd be able to muster enough energy in myself to pass some of that along to my own kids. Well, tonight at the dinner table Stomper started saying something about only girls being able to tap dance. Oh contraire, mon fraire! Within moments Stomper found himself being dragged into the living room by his mother. I did not actually make him watch all of Singing in the Rain, one of my favorite movies of all time. I did, however, show him three of my favorite dance numbers from the show, and I think I may have emulated my mom a little as I sat there, kneeling in front of the television getting all excited. And you know what? The kids thought it was pretty great. Stomper started pretending to be Gene Kelly, and Bitty really liked "the girl with the blue bow shoes," (Debbie Reynolds). I ended on the very silly "Make 'Em Laugh" number, starring Donald O'Connor, which escalted them into a frenzy of their own crazy dances around the living room. I was expecting that to end in tears, but thankfully, they were okay. They were still going crazy when I tucked them into bed, but thankfully the exhaustion took over. Bitty was zonked out within the first two pages of our book. I'll have to try that more often! Someday we'll actually watch the whole thing. Remind me to do it before Stomper turns 12 and thinks everything I do is dumb. Of course, tonight as I tried to kiss him goodnight he tried to make me swear I wouldn't kiss him again for the rest of his life. Maybe I should try the movie again sooner than age 12.