The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
November 2013

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Post-Christmas Christmas Post

My Butt, I'm behind on blogging. Oh, I mean, My, but I'm behind on blogging! ...I'll never forget my friend Randy who played Bob Cratchit in a production of A Christmas Carol. He walked on stage and said, "My Butt! Would you look at this room!" when he was supposed to have said, "My, but would you look at this room!" Luckily that was just in a dress rehearsal. It sure was funny. BUTT I digress.

Christmas happened, so blogging did not. I'm sitting at the back desk watching snow come heartily sprinkling from the sky, and I'm wishing Christmas were still a few days ahead of us instead of a few days behind us. Partly because I've had the work all done for so long now, whereas I was still scrambling around on the 23rd and 24th. It's just so Christmassy out there! I hate that the season goes away as quickly as it comes. I guess that means that I really do love it.

Things to remember about this year. Our family did a few fun things such as visiting Zoo Lights with my brother Peter and his family. What a spectacular sight! Of course, we went on the discount night, which meant that we were kind of shoulder-to-shoulder with half the valley. I'd say that the zoo lights were spectacular and totally worth paying more money for a less-crowded night. The kids were entranced.

Another evening out was Indian Food and This is the Place State Park with our friends the Radants. Indian Food? Totally worth it. This is the Place? Perhaps not. It was so crowded I couldn't believe it and it was almost not fun. Almost except that we love the Radants and we always enjoy time with them. Also, some of the attractions bordered on being kind of strange. There was a puppet show in which something like, "The God of all Heaven!" kept being shouted by these puppets that looked like they came straight from the 70's. Little weird. But we did like the gang of highly theatrical and historically dressed singers wandering around. They were very cute, if slightly too reminiscent of the cast of Glee.


I always love visiting the down town lights at Christmas time, but we weren't sure we'd be up for the crowds this year. I hate it when everyone discovers something cool and then it's not cool anymore because it's so dang crowded! Well, the kids and I came up with an alternate plan that ended up being really really fun. We got in the car, buckled up, turned on some Christmas tunes, and took a driving tour of the valley. Up Capitol Hill, down through the city, over to Christmas Street, playing i-spy all the while. It really was fun! And warm. It would have worked out better if Bundle hadn't been crying most of the way, but I think it's a great alternative to braving the crowds and cold.

On the 23rd my entire family gathered for our traditional Mexican feast with gift exchange. It was so fun to be all together, although there are so many kids now that the atmosphere at our parties is much the same as you'd find inside a popcorn popper. Not a lot of quiet moments to sit and reflect on the season or have much serious conversation, but I'll promise you you'll never get bored. Great gifts, too. Peter and Sheri had us this year and gave us a hard copy of the first year of our blog. THAT is a treasure for us, so many thanks to them. The evening did have its high-brow highlight, which was when my sister and her friend who is a harpist played some music for us - some Christmas, some not, all delightful. It really made the evening.


I have a feeling that these three girls are going to be slightly over-photographed together over their youth, but we just can't help ourselves. Well, I think that's all this post can hold. I better publish before another month goes by, and keep working on all the other updating I have to do!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Having a Wonderful Christmas Time

I think we may have started something this year that will become a can't-miss-it tradition in the future. I got an email from the SLC Downtown Alliance advertising that the Broadway movie theater would be hosting a free screening of A Muppet Christmas Carol and serving waffles and wassail. My brother Peter and I decided this sounded like the funnest thing ever and were planning on going. And then our brains turned on. He has a two-year-old and an infant. I have an infant and a four-year-old. It would be cold. We'd have to go early to get tickets. Maybe this would not actually be fun at all. So we decided to put it on ourselves at our own house - after all, I can make both waffles and wassail. Peter has a copy of A Muppet Christmas Carol (perfect for kids because it adds a lot of humor to the spooky stuff) and Troy has a projector that you hook up to a laptop. So I hung up a sheet in our living room. Margaret, one of her girls and my dad all joined us. Seriously, I think we're going to have to do this every year. Yummy waffles (anything is good if you add melted butter to the batter) with plenty of toppings - buttermilk syrup, berries, applesauce, and, for my dad, roasted raspberry chipotle sauce. Not everyone's choice, but he sure loved it. Cuddled up on couches with heaps of pillows and wiggly babies to watch a really great movie, which was broadcast on a screen just to the side of our glowing Christmas tree. FUN!!!


By the way, I have to say that I so love our tree this year. I just love getting those leggy kind of trees that show off all the ornaments so well. I love all the ornaments the kids have made. I love the new ribbon I got at Tai Pan. I LOVE the new garland I got from 10,000 villages - it's a string of folded grass stars, colored red - I need to go get more and hang them all over my house. Last night for family home evening we (Troy) built a fire in our wood stove, put on soft Christmas music, turned out the lights and snuggled up on the couch next to the tree. We made a plan to surprise someone we know with some anonymous gifts (just little things the kids will pick out) and sang some Christmas songs. Moments like those just make the season for me.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Two Houses, Both Alike in Dignity.




Not really. One house was definitely more dignified than the other. I'm hardly to blame for not having the gentle spirit of creativity with me as I slammed together the gingerbread house in our 4th annual house construction party with The Misty and Co. This continues to be a favorite tradition, heading up to Bountiful on a chilly Monday evening in December, eating pizza and salad and then starting the wrestling match between me and my kids as I piece together the house while they simultaneously try to eat it. Come on, guys! At least let me put it together before you start eating the stuff! And why are they so sure they want to eat it? The gingerbread is hard as a rock, probably due to the fact that it's been in a Costco warehouse since July. I know the candy is colorful, but it really is not the tastiest of treats around. And yet, it is made of sugar, so my kids are pre-programmed to do anything they can to get it in their mouths. And also, Bundle was not a happy girl hanging out with the men in the living room while the kids and moms were doing the decorating in the kitchen. So, I did not come up with the best house ever, but it was still fun. And really, as long as the thing is plastered all over with colorful candy and pasty frosting, it ends up looking great. Now, I bought two house kits this year in case I had the energy to put one together for the kids and then one for me to do in my uptight, perfectly symmetrical and color coded way. I did not. But the house kit is just sitting in my kitchen, and I can kind of imagine me doing it all by myself late one night just to satisfy my inner perfectionist. How crazy would that be? Quite, I tell you. Quite.


Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Baby Bundle is Big!


I just love photographs of babies being enthralled with their very first Christmas Tree. That just warms my heart. Well, as I type this, Miss Bundle is sitting right next to me in her Saucer of Joy. You know, the very large but very helpful "exersaucer." She's babbling away, chewing happily on anything she can grab, trying to get me to look at her and doing a bit of drooling. What a big girl. Last week she turned six months old and what I'm wondering is how come the past six months have blown by in a millisecond while my nine month pregnancy took at least a decade to get through.

I would say that Bundle's big six month accomplishment is to be the best grabber this side of the Mississippi. Heaven help you if there is anything on your person that she wants to put in her mouth, because she will come at you, mouth agape, like a ferocious toothless dive-bomber. Lately I feel like I'm getting gummed to death all day long. And it's worse if you have hair. Anywhere. Poor Troy, his arms are going bald because Bundle is methodically dehairing him one gripfull at a time. Youch! (Wow, spell checker doesn't like my creative use of the English Language here.) Here are some examples of her steely grasp:




You know, as difficult as the past couple of months have been as we've been getting a handle on her reflux and now dealing with head colds and bilateral ear infections and upset tummies due to antibiotics (I'm so not loving this) and in general getting not much sleep, I'm still just in love with this little bug. She's really starting to be a big baby now, with the dadadadada babbles and reaching her arms up for me and playing "how big's the baby?!?" I can't get enough of her. Okay, today when she refused to nap for five hours, (yes, I was counting,) I did actually get enough of her for a while. But for the most part, I feel like I could look at her round little elf-face for hours. She's a keeper, I'll tell ya!


(Check out that belly hanging over down to her knee caps! Love it!)


Monday, December 07, 2009

Calling All Bakers!


That's kind of dumb title, I know, but I can't keep titling my blog posts "Another Lesson Learned." I feel like I'm learning LOTS of lessons these days. My latest educational venture has been in the world of cookie making. As I may have mentioned in the past, Sunday afternoons get a little LONG for me. I was thinking of what we could do to fill up an empty afternoon and I thought to myself, "Hey! Candy Cane sugar cookies! Fun!" I mean, how hard can it be to mix up some sugar cookie dough, color half of it red, roll it out, cut it in strips, twist the strips together, and bake them up like candy canes? Well, I tell you. It's very hard. Something went terribly wrong in the "roll it out, cut it in strips and twist the strips together" department. Those were the ugliest cookies I've ever seen. Happily, the kids had a great time playing with the dough that was left over after I gave up, and as it turns out, even ugly cookies are delicious!

p.s. If you MUST know why the kids aren't wearing shirts, it's because they had just been playing Tarzan. Running around in their undies with their blankies tied in intricate fashions around their nether regions. That was funny. I did convince them to put on pants (and wash their hands) before handling the dough.


Tuesday, December 01, 2009

I Love You, Cornelius!


You'll never believe it, but this phrase, as of last night, is now one of the most commonly uttered things in our house. I myself am a little surprised.

I think I started my new favorite Christmas Tradition last night. On the good advice of my friend Melissa (thank you thank you!) I have begun the tradition of "The Elf on the Shelf." I guess this is a book you can buy that comes with a little elf and it costs like 30 bucks or something. I just took myself down to Tai Pan and picked out a cute little guy for $6. Then, starting December 1st, the elf gets to hang out on a shelf (or, in our case, in the treat basket on top of the fridge today) and keep an eye on the kids all day. He reports back to Santa at night, thus appearing on a different shelf each morning. Rules? Kids can't touch but they can talk to him all they want.

Last night, being Monday, we had a quick family home evening after we held the season's first viewing of Rudolf. I wasn't sure how warmly the kids would take to this idea of a little dolly perched someplace in our house for a whole month and me using him as bribery for good behavior. Stupid me. I pulled out our elf, and started telling the kids that he is a real Santa's helper and everything. Their eyes grew wide with amazement and awe. They had all sorts of questions about him (wish I had thought through some answers sooner - answering those things on the fly is a bit of a task...) and we picked his name, Cornelius (in honor of Yukon Cornelius, of course). The kids have been nothing short of hilarious, talking to him, telling on each other to him, and believing in his purpose with great gusto. This is so fun. Last night Troy had to actually leave the room to go and laugh, while I was left to try to smother my snickers as the kids faithfully reported to Cornelius all of their good deeds, all of their Christmas hopes and dreams. They wish him good evening and good morning, they ask his opinion on important matters, and Stomper even apologized to him after being a stinker to me. Huh. I'm trying to figure out how to get Cornelius to stick around for a while...

Monday, November 30, 2009

Many Thanks


Many thanks need to go out to my in-laws for putting together a great Thanksgiving dinner for us. With the whole family being near by, we get a pretty big group together for our meal, and it's not easy to find a place for all of us to gather. It seems that the general population around here has figured out how nice it is to hold Thanksgiving dinner at a church, and so the local churches were all booked up and we were unable to find a location for our dinner this year. Luckily there is a building near by Morris and Carol that has a big Relief Society room with its own little kitchenette. (Are you kidding me? If went to church there, I'd store ham and Swiss sandwiches in the fridge and sneak them out during the lesson!) I wasn't sure we'd be too comfortable in a little room, but it turned out great. Plenty of space, a much more cozy atmosphere than the gym. That' s partly because my mother-in-law brought lovely Christmas music and nice table decorations and everything. There was a spare room for the kids to go nuts in (a definite requirement when you have 11 kids ages 0 - 15). And of course everyone brought really scrumptious food. My favorite? Kathleen's yams, in which she accidentally doubled the butter. Can't go wrong there! Anyway, it was a total success. Thanks!







Sam and Kathleen's baby girl turned two on Thanksgiving, so we decided we could have a birthday pie for her. She is such a dolly, so cute.

Go Away, Axel

I believe it was back in April that I cheerfully blogged about Stomper's new addiction to the song "Axel F." Oh, I thought it was so funny that he loved this song so much after seeing the President play it for the aliens in "Monsters vs. Aliens." Yeah, well, it's not funny any more. He has learned how to open itunes, find the song, and put it on infinite repeat. Ahhhhhhhhh! I checked on itunes the other day, clicked on "most played." The 2nd most played song is "Let My Love Open the Door" by the Who at 88 times. Guess I like that song... Anyway, the top most played song is of course Axel F at a whopping 385 times. I guess that was money well spent, considering it cost us one buck to buy it. But I had to quietly come put my arm around Stomper's shoulders this evening and calmly whisper, "I can't listen to Axel F any more today."

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Nothin' Like a Girls' Night

Oh how I love going out to the movies with the gals. One gal, two gals, a gaggle 'o gals, any number will do. Even if I have to prop up my eyelids a bit the next day, I just love it. Becky, were you TRYING to make a silly face (like you'd ever do something like that...) or did we just catch you at a bad moment? Sorry, I'm posting the picture anyway! Cheers to girls' night!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Loved This.

Happy Thanksgiving


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Twilight Thoughts

I think it has now been three years since I was out to dinner with The Misty (we were at Bombay House....mmmmmmm.......) and she and I were chatting up books we were both reading. She told me about a romantic tale by the name of Twilight...never heard of it. She insisted that I had to read it so I ordered it and its sequel New Moon and got to reading. I will confess that I read both books within about four days while my household crumbled steadily around me. I didn't think the books were especially well written, and actually the style was a quite heavy handed. (Yes yes, we know he's gorgeous, but enough about your breath stopping at the sight of him.) But something about those characters and story pulled me to a place of memory and emotion that just exploded. It sure was fun. And it was my own little private escape.

I must say, I'm very happy for Stephenie Meyer, who's daydream has blasted her off into major stardom, wealth and hopefully additional creativity. (Read The Host if you haven't; it's much more grown up and well written.) However, since the entire planet now knows all about Twilight and all it's goofy lovey-doveyness, my own private little escape has been slightly overrun. At least overpopulated. And exposed my silliness to all. Some people feel the same way, some people don't, but everybody knows! Kind of sad.

I did get the chance to go see an early showing of New Moon the other night with The Becky, and I'm not going to deny that it was a treat. Bundle was a perfect little lady and slept right through it, bless her. She must have sensed just how much mommy needed a night out, even if she was tagging along. It was super fun. Much closer in vision to my ideas than the first. One comment to the movie makers: If you're going to fill a movie with someone like Jacob who is so large and brown and lovely, you can't throw a pasty white skinny boy like Edward at us. It just doesn't compare. No offense, Book Edward. Movie Edward needs a wax and a trip to the gym. Okay, I confess. No matter how silly, I will always love it and will continue making a mental trip to the land of Forks when needed.

The Return of Bundle


My Baby Has Returned!!!! Oh MAN. The past few weeks have been a little rough. Ever since we transferred her into a crib, my perfect little sleeper has been a waning miracle, down to the point where something was really truly wrong. Lots of screaming. Little did I know that the crib was the key. I mean, I wasn't surprised that she had some transition time between sleeping in her car seat and sleeping in her crib, but it was the actual lying flat that flushed out our trouble that I think has been here all along. Too bad I didn't figure that out a month ago. I have been going nuts doing all sorts of things to figure out the problem. She used to sleep 8 - 10 hours at night and by this weekend it was down to 3 hours at a time max, usually with interruptions in between. So I was trying to drink a TON of water every morning wondering if because I was drinking most of my daily water at night so was she. She's been miserable during her meals, crying and pulling away and not eating much. I have tried eliminating all sorts of foods from my diet wondering about upset stomach. I've had a yeast infection and been treating her for yeast too. I actually think that all of these things have helped her a little and are not crazy, but still poor Bundle has not been herself. I was trying to not just think that she had decided she was not a great baby after all, but it sure felt that way! Finally I called the on-call doc yesterday to ask a couple of questions about the yeast medicine she's been on. Well, he said he had a different idea and proceeded to describe her exact behavior. It's reflux. She's not spitting up at all, which is usually a big key to reflux, but I guess there's something called "silent reflux," in which there is little or no spit up. He recommended an over the counter medicine to give her every time I feed her, and if that works, we'll give her a once daily med. Well guess what. I gave it to her yesterday, and her first meal after that was the first peaceful one she's had in a few weeks. And guess what. I gave it to her last night and she slept soundly in her bed from 7:30 last night to 5:00 this morning. I woke up so surprised and excited that I actually couldn't go back to sleep. Ironic, right? I was so excited to get some sleep that I couldn't sleep. And right now she's zonked out for the longest nap she's had in I don't know how long. And it all started with her lying down flat in her bed.

Sorry to be obsessing here, but seriously, when all I do is be a mommy all day and something is wrong with my child, there is little else I can think about. Usually I find there is not one clear answer for most behavior, this time, it seems that we've found it. Ahhhhhhhhhh.

Good bye, spooky burps, Hello sleep. And hello again to me going out to late movies, one of my favorite things. YAY!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Someone's Got a New Trick...



Just so you know, she's going to stay "Bundle" for a while. I got a split vote on "Cookie" and "Posey," plus a few requests to just leave her name alone. So, I think I'll keep her as Bundle until she's one and then we'll go from there. In case you care.

So Bundle pulled a fast one on me. She decided to sit up. She's of course not perfect at it - no way am I leaving her on the kitchen floor like this, but she's a lot more steady than I thought. It was Bitty who wouldn't sit up much at all until she was eight months old and then decided What the Hey! and was not only sitting but crawling and pulling herself to standing all within two weeks of each other. That is so Bitty for you. Bundle seems to be a little more on the slow and steady track, praise be.

I'm wondering how many pictures I really need of Bundle sitting. Today I think I took about 20. When I went back through to edit them I couldn't delete any! Pathetic, I am. Who knew.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Headline: Fall Photo Shoot a Success!

I am so excited! There is this weedy little area in front of our house (okay, there are several of them...) but this one gets really pretty every fall. Yesterday the sky was cloudy in just such a way to make all the fall colors really pop. I decided to try for a little photo shoot of the kids. I knew that the second I said "pictures" they would throw fits, so I just asked them if they'd help my wish come true. (Manipulation can work wonders, I've found.) Thus, pictures were successfully taken with only brief shedding of tears on Bitty's part after she accidentally let Bundle roll off her lap. Ooops. Bundle was fine, Bitty cried for a while. After a few hugs from Daddy we got snapping and I'm pretty thrilled with the results. I might actually get pictures printed and hang them on my wall, believe it or not!








And I have to throw in one of sad Bitty because it kind of melts my heart:

Sing To Me, Jackie!

The last words I heard before I made a run for the door just now were, "Mom, what is that horrible smell?" It happened to be dinner that my kid smelled and couldn't handle. And he had a point. I totally messed it up, came very close to sitting on the floor and crying, and decided instead to head for the nearest Little Caesar's. Luckily I have a husband who not only shooed me out the door all by myself but placed Jack Johnson's Curious George soundtrack into my hand on the way. Smart Man. I turned up Jack and let him sooth my wrinkled brow all the way there. I'm wondering if the cashiers at Little Caesar's are getting familiar with the sight of a half crazed mother, hair askew, baby snot on her shoulder, shoes untied, careening in there and demanding pizzas at any cost.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Best. Husband. Ever.

Bundle is not sleeping well. Bitty has started waking up again. (Melissa, I have to admit that after reading your blog I really have nothing to complain about, but still.) So Bitty, who seems to need a lot less sleep than other kids, comes wandering in our room the other morning at 5:00 just as I start feeding Bundle. Troy shoos her back to bed with the promise of a kiss from me after I feed the baby. He leaves to go to spin class. (Yes, he's awesome.) I feel sure that Bitty has gone back to sleep until she comes back in and tells me that it's taking me a really long time to come give her a kiss. So she climbs in bed with me and lies there chatting quietly with herself until 6:30 when Bundle wakes up. Gonna be a great day. What's up with this 5 a.m. thing I'd like to know?

In an effort to Look On The Bright Side, I did take some very cute pictures of the kids in bed together...


...but the day kind of went down hill from there. Sensing that I might be in distress (a weeping mommy is surely a sign of something gone wrong, I'd say) Troy, in an act of selfless heroism, (and a dash of self preservation) took Bitty with him on an errand to Layton, during which ride Bitty gave herself a nap. They took just long enough that he had to drop her off at school and I didn't see her until after I had a two hour nap with Bundle. Good work, Troy. Today's crisis averted.

I think it was later that same day that Bitty uttered a pretty cute prayer. It went something like this: "Bless that everything will be yummy, even spicy and mint."

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Hang in There, Thanksgiving!


I'm just going to state here and now that I am now celebrating Thanksgiving. Just because Halloween is over does NOT make it Christmas time yet. I know the stores and television commercials would like to make you think so, but I am here to say Oh No You Don't! This week as I packed away the hanging jack-o-lanterns and dangling spider decorations I very resolutely placed my fall leaves on the front door and dried corn on the piano. And now I'm going to just sit around and Be Thankful. Happy month of Thanks, everyone. I'll pull out the Christmas tunes later.


Friday, November 06, 2009

Just Can't Stop It

As hard as I try, I just can't convince Bundle that she should stop growing up. Okay, there have been more rough nights than usual lately which makes the growing up not all bad, but mostly all I can do is kiss and smooch and squeeze and nuzzle her as much as I can. Of course, when the big kids do this I yell at them to "Get off your sister!" but when they aren't looking I do it myself. So, Bundle is now five months old. I am thinking that perhaps "Bundle" is no longer an appropriate name for her since she is starting to hate being bundled up the way she used to. My ideas for a blog name for her are Cookie ('cause I wanna munch her), Posey or Boo. What do you think?

To celebrate the triumphant completion of her fifth month I decided to feed her some cereal. She is definitely not going as long as she used to without a meal at night and I'm wondering if it's because she's just hungry and growing. Here's what she thought about that:








Sunday, November 01, 2009

Epilogue

Remember how I was talking about my mom and her little Halloween problem? Well, I guess my dad's in on it now. Behold:



What did I tell you? I invited my folks to our Trunk-or-Treat so they could see the kids' costumes and they kind of upstaged everyone else there. They were so funny. They were a troll and her troll-trainer. And guess where they were going next. Out dancing. I hope my mom didn't twist her ankle dancing in those troll feet!

Well, Halloween treated us right this year. We had quite a mellow day. You may remember that the kids got me up at 5 in the morning (curses!) so I took them for a drive around 2:30 and they all zonked out for 1/2 an hour. I don't know that we would have made it otherwise. After that we donned costumes and went to visit Troy's parents. That's a really fun tradition. Every year our first stop is to see Grandma and Grandpa, collect our first candy of the evening and then trick or treat up and down their circle. It's really great.


At the last minute Bitty put a Bundle toy on her head and decided she was a princess kitty.

After that we had to scurry off to our Trunk-or-Treat to set up our car. I'm so glad we did a car this year. There was a UofU football game last night and so there were pitifully few cars there. Luckily I brought tons of candy and I think it was okay.


After that Bitty was pretty much fried so we took her home, along with Peter and Sheri who came to enjoy the Trunks with us. Stomper went out for some serious candy collecting with friends and didn't come home for two more hours. Meanwhile, Peter, Sheri, the girls and I ate pizza, simultaneously cleaned up and made more messes, and plopped the big girls in the tub.



Now there's only two things left to do. Clean up and eat candy.