The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
December 2017

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Morning Funnies

Memorable quoteables from each of the kids this morning:

We'll take Stomper first. He was begging and begging for us to go buy him a new toy. I was trying to help him understand that I didn't think buying him a toy was a good idea since he didn't seem interested in playing with any of the other billion toys we already have. Basically, if you want a toy, show me that you're interested in playing with toys! He tried to resolve my concerns by assuring me that if we went and bought him a new toy he'd play with it for one whole hour. He made my point for me, I think.

And Bitty? Well, the story can't be told without me first explaining that Bitty has had a very hard time with some discipline issues lately, and I've had a very hard time finding her motivation to do better. She's an absolute expert on figuring out what carrot I'm dangling in front of her - be it a punishment or a reward - and removing the power of the motivation by not caring about it. There is not a toy, t.v. show, playdate, outing, or chart that is reward enough for her to care; nor is there a time out, favorite toy taken away, banishment or whatever that is punishment enough either. And so, she has had a couple of spankings lately, administered by me. I'll just say that it works. It works so well that it actually works on both kids at the same time. As much as I hate it, I'm chuckling a little thinking of Stomper's most excellent behavior when his sister is in trouble. Well, this morning Bitty was in a full-on wrestling match with her daddy. He had her by the ankles and was dangling her behind his back. I said, "Bitty! Now's your chance to spank daddy!" And she replied, "Oh mommy, I can't spank him! You'd never spank anyone you love!" Whereupon I was instantly reduced to a 1 inch tall and very wilted mommy. Okay, it was pretty funny. That little stinker.

Three Little Maids

One of my favorite musicals....(okay, Anthony, operettas,) is the Mikado, by Gilbert and Sullivan. I've always loved it. You may remember one of the numbers, Three Little Maids from School are We....

It's going to become a popular tune on my side of the family over the next few months. I may have mentioned that we're expecting a baby girl in May. I think I've also mentioned that both of my brothers' wives are expecting also - in fact, they're due one day apart from each other in August. And guess what. They're both expecting girls too.

Get ready for some additional estrogen, family! On my side of the family there are three granddaughters, then Stomper and his male cousin (luckily the two of them were born less than a year apart, so at least they have each other!) and then there are two (correction...) THREE more girls. And now there are three more girls on the way. We need some more boys around here! I guess our fetus could surprise everyone and be a boy, seeing as how the ultrasound wasn't exactly definitive, but I'm pretty sure we've got a girl in there. And of course I'm not forgetting our Matthew, but he's keeping an eye on things from Heaven. So it looks like for now there are just girls girls girls everywhere in this family like crazy! It will be fun to have these three little girl cousins all together, though. Ours will be the oldest of the three, so I'm assuming she'll be the boss, right?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

My Best Friend

I never would have dreamed how much I would come to love and depend on this little bottle of glue. As a kid I found the stuff kind of fascinating, as an adult I found it useful, and now as a parent I find it absolutely essential. That is mostly due to the needs of my very creative and somewhat destructive son. I'm sure you can understand why his destructive nature would call for a little super glue. I guess I shouldn't even call it destruction. He'll just play really aggressively with a toy and then be very upset when it doesn't hold up forever. I've glued more arms on dinosaurs and splits in rubber animals than I can count. Thank you, superglue, for saving the day time and time again.

It's the creativity part that really makes me laugh. I will admit that sometimes I feel a bit like an assistant to the infamous Sid, the toy mangler from the first Toy Story movie. Stomper doesn't mangle his toys out of spite, as did Sid; he gets these ideas about changes, or shall we say improvements he wants to make to his toys and isn't happy until we perform extensive operations on them. I've always felt a little guilty about the time he asked me to cut off a rubber lizard's tail and glue it into his open mouth to create a very long tongue. It just seemed cruel. But Stomper could not rest until the deed had been done. Without my trusty bottle of superglue the procedure would have been impossible and I would have had one miserable little boy. Here are two of our latest creations:

This poor creature was once nothing more than a humble spider monkey, purchased from Hogle Zoo. Then Stomper saw a cartoon, The Secret Saturdays, featuring a large ape-person type guy named Fiskerton. He just had to have a Fiskerton toy to play with. Problem? Fiskerton has no tail. Off came the poor monkey's tail. I felt horrible just chopping it off. Then Stomper decided he'd like to transform Fiskerton into this dinosaur creature thingy and he insisted that we needed to shorten the monkey's arms and add a head and tail crest. So we cut out the middle secion of both arms, reattached the shorter arms with superglue and a little duct tape, and glued Stomper's homemade crests on. Now it kind of gives me the creeps.

This guy used to be a lizard. Just a plain old lizard. Now he is the mighty Godzilla. I guess it's kind of great that Stomper's desire for the toys he's interested in isn't satisfied only with a trip to the toy store, which is lucky. I don't think anyone carries Fiskerton toys, or dinosaur creature thingy toys, or any of the other myriad things bouncing around in his head. We just create them! Godzilla has taken over life at the Preslar household. I have to say that I don't know where the first exposure came from, but at this point Stomper is pretty well versed in all things Godzilla. Fortuneately (for Stomper) and unfortuneately (for the rest of us) Troy's oldest brother has a son who went through the same stage, and recently delivered right to our door approximately 15 Godzilla videos. Oh my. At first the only one Stomper would watch was the latest one, from 2002 or so, with Matthew Broderick in it. He thought the covers of all the others looked scary. They're all the old Japanese shows from as early as the 1950s and 1960s. Finally he decided to watch one and now he's totally hooked. I have to say that they are some of the funniest shows I have ever seen. But Stomper loves them. And now I spend a good deal of my time cutting out paper teeth and neck spines, glueing and re-glueing them to a variety of small rubber toys. What a parent won't do for their kid. Just keep the superglue coming. I panic when the bottle gets low.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Au Revoir

I'm totally behind. I think I started this post...oh, I don't know, multiple days ago. I keep pulling it up on the computer, looking at it, and then getting up and walking away for some reason or another. I'm feeling a little tired, people! So anyway, like I was saying....

I think it was all the way last May that my parents got a phone call from...huh...I don't know. Someone from our church inviting them to serve for another length of time in a mission-type capacity. They would be doing something along the lines of government relations, living in Brussels, Belgium, and traveling around Europe. Sounds awful, doesn't it. Well, they were very excited to go - they started studying French and learning about European politics, but they never really got a firm departure date. Then suddenly, about 10 days ago, they found out that they were to hop on a plane in just seven days. It was a little crazy, but luckily they had been preparing a little here and a little there for months so it wasn't too overwhelming. It was just so strange to say goodbye so quickly.

We had a family dinner the Monday before they left, and then I managed to see them three times the next day, and then suddenly on Wednesday they were gone. Crazy! I'm excited for them, though. I really admire my folks for how active and involved they are. I'm hoping to visit them sometime - they'll probably be gone about 18 months, but that time could vary a little bit. What with a new baby on the way, I'm really not holding my breath, but I haven't given up all hope that I could actually make my first trip to Europe. That would be great. It might kill me to be so close to Italy and not make it there, but I think that's a trip for the future.

I can't believe how long it took me to post those few little paragraphs, but there you are. Here are my parents with my kids from last Monday, a week ago today:

So, Mom and Dad, I hope you are doing great! We love you! `And let me just say, I've become a huge believer in skype. I can call my parents! And see their faces! They could see mine too if my huge belly didn't keep getting in the way. Actually, it's pretty much hanging around my knees at this point, so the facial obstruction is diminishing.

My goal? Blog again before another entire week has gone by!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Budding Artiste

I am so enjoying Bitty's drawing skills. Stomper never cared much for drawing - he only really started adding any detail whatsoever to his drawings over the past few months. Before that it was pretty much scribbling. But Bitty, probably in part from watching her brother, has really gotten interested. She even likes to write her name. This particular work of art she told me is about "a man in a mouse suit riding a skateboard in the Himalayas." Didn't know she'd ever heard of the Himalayas, but I guess she has. I asked her what they were, and she said, "Someplace very far away. In Africa." Well, at least she knows it's a place no where near here.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I Believe in Tractors!

I just have to record a story here. It happened several weeks ago, and isn't especially significant to the story line of our lives, but every time I think about it I keep on laughing. I decided that I just have to keep it here to always remember it.

In our ward is a young couple who have a little girl. They are a very sweet family. The father was raised on an onion farm in Oregon, and he's just about the nicest person you'll ever meet. Anyone who lives in our neighborhood will know exactly who I'm talking about. This man has a passion for John Deere tractors, like no one I've ever seen before. He's like a little boy about them - he has model tractors in his house, tractor t-shirts and even a clock that chimes each hour with a different tractor engine sound. I love it, although it kind of scared me one day while I was over there babysitting. I could not figure out what kept revving at me.

Well, one day in church this guy was sitting behind us. Bitty was in one of her classic grumpy tempers, you know, the kind where she is disagreeable about absolutely everything. I was trying to make her happy (why do I try?) by offering her a cracker. She took the cracker and looked at it disgustedly. She let me know just how she felt about my efforts by saying, "I HATE crackers." Well, my friend behind us got a rather stricken look on his face. He then smiled, leaned forward and whispered conspiratorially to Bitty, "You know, every time you say that a tractor dies!" I could not figure out WHAT he was talking about, until I realized that he had thought he heard Bitty saying, "I HATE tractors!" and he had to have been deeply upset by her opinion, so much so that he had to pull off a Peter Pan-esque feat and have us all clap for the tractors. Clap if you believe in tractors!

Perhaps this isn't funny to anyone but me, but I'll always find it very endearing of our friend the tractor man.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

The Slippery Slope

Today is Sunday. Ah, the Sabbath. You know it's been a good church day when you leave the building both looking and smelling as if you've just walked across the Sahara. Somehow today during our sacrament meeting I was a total kid magnet. I felt like I was feeding pigeons at the park, except that these pigeons weighed around the 40 pound mark, and they weren't afraid to get on you. It wasn't such a bad day, you know, just a little on the strenuous side. Between the meeting itself and the weekly round-up of my post-church totally hyper children, let's just say that I was looking a little mussed, (aka bedraggled). My fabulous hair and makeup (that's a joke by the way) didn't quite make it back to the parking lot.

It doesn't help that I have officially entered the "waddle" stage of pregnancy. Pregnancy, as you know, is divided into three terms. Most people refer to these as the first, second and third trimesters. I prefer to call them what they truly are. The puke phase, the heartburn phase and the waddle phase. I have to tell you that I think that I have a more alarming waddle phase than most people I know. I can tell because of the looks of shock that appear on peoples' faces as I approach. The reason is because I have no waist. There is no where to go for this baby to go but out. Since I'm still at the beginning of the waddle phase it isn't too bad yet, but trust me, it gets worse. I have already been asked whether I have two or three weeks left, despite the fact that I have close to three months left. I can also tell that this phase has started because I have seen some photos of myself and am wondering who inflated my entire face and neck so bulbously. This is why I have not changed my facebook profile picture for over a year. I'd rather just look at that nice little face I used to have, not so long ago, and hold it as a beacon of future thinness to be. I hope.

Now, shut up, everyone. I know what you're going to say. No, no! You look great! Pregnant women are beautiful! I was going to blog about this fun spontaneous tea party that Bitty and I threw for each other, and I'll get to that, but when I saw the picture that Troy took of our party all I could think to myself was, "Oh dear. The downward slope has begun. I am officially getting large."

Okay, enough about me. I am not complaining, by the way. I'm happily donating any and all body parts/functions/appearances to this little fetus. I'm just saying that the donation has happened. "This Little Fetus" is kicking a lot, by the way. Bitty would like to name her Annie. Stomper would like to name her Tara. I would like to keep thinking about it.

So. The tea party. Bitty and Stomper and I actually hold regular tea parties. We have two tea sets. One is large, colorful and plastic. The other is dainty, painted with little apples, and is quite a bit more breakable. It can't be actual china or glass, but whatever it is, it breaks. This I know, as it has been greatly diminished lately. As I was sharing these details with my friend Emily we looked at each other and said, in unison, "Frances!" I don't know how many of you have read the Frances books, but if you haven't, you've got to track them down. Written by Russell Hoban, illustrated by Lilian Hoban, they are treasures. My favorite might be Bread and Jam for Frances, but I also really love A Birthday for Frances, Best Friends for Frances, and of course the tea set one, A Bargain for Frances. You can also find Bedtime for Frances and A Sister for Frances, which are fun as well. My mom found a lot of these on tape for us from the library when we were kids and we listened to them constantly (along with the record of Robin Hood, which I can still quote almost verbatim). A Bargain for Frances deals with a treacherous friend and two tea sets; one plastic and one china. I have looked for this book almost every time I went to the library, with no luck. Once Emily and I discovered our mutual affection for Frances, she searched around her bookshelves and discovered a much loved copy of A Bargain for Frances tucked in among her other books. I was so thrilled when she loaned it to me, and as soon as I started reading it to Bitty we both knew that the reading would be incomplete without also sipping a cup tea from the little china tea set.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Too Much of a Good Thing

Anyone who knows my daughter Bitty knows that she can be rather (how shall I say it?) temperamental. Lots of ups and downs. Lots. People who don't know her are often worried that she doesn't like them, because she generally snubs the friendly advances of anyone who talks to her. I try to assure them that she treats everyone this way. (Is that reassuring? I'm not sure.) Anyway, she's been on a pretty good streak lately. (Perhaps for two whole days!) I have to admit that these streaks or happiness and affection are charming and a very welcome break from the moody bouts she plagues us with. And when I say "moody" I really mean this unbelievable banshee-like behavior that makes you want to run away screaming.

This latest happy phase has been notably punctuated by intense fits of hugs and kisses. This sounds like a good thing, right? Okay, it pretty much is. She is pretty darling about it. She says things like, "Daddy, I love you so much I just can't stop loving you!" (Of course, she still says other questionably cute things too, such as yesterday at the store when I pleaded with her to stop eating her boogers. She replied, "Mom, that's just what little kids do! They eat their boogers!") She's very sincere about her application of affection and let me tell you, you can feel the love. Feel it, man. Like I said, it's darling for about the first 25 to 30 kisses. And she's a very strong hugger. But after that you start to feel just a little clobbered. Take today at church, for example. She spent the majority of the meeting administering fierce hugs and very loud sloppy kisses. Everyone watching; the people in the pews behind us, Troy, up on the stand; were smiling in an "awww isn't that cute kind of way," but I started to feel like I was wrestling with a very loving octopus. And I know it's beginning to be a problem, because tonight after dinner at a friend's house we had to tear her away weeping because she wasn't "done kissing Cameron yet." I think we may have a problem on our hands.

(Sorry, no pictures for this one - I'm not that handy with a camera. Wresting the three-year-old kissing monster and taking pictures aren't really compatible activities.)