The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
December 2017

Monday, August 31, 2009

Thoughtful, Prayerful

I had a moment this evening that I don't think I will ever forget. I was snuggling with a very fussy Bundle, which is unusual behavior for her. She must not feel too good. I was a little tired out (but not totally insane yet - Bitty didn't mess her pants for the 5th time today until later) after a long argument-filled kind of day, and was a little edgy with the constant baby fussing going on. The big kids were playing and I finally got Bundle calmed so I was standing by the computer reading blog updates. I read the very tender blog entry from a friend and found myself weeping. I looked down at Bundle and just smiled and cried and laughed because I'm so happy to have her and she just laughed right back at me. Which made me cry more. The more I cried the more she laughed. It was one of those little gifts that get you through the days.

The blog that made me cry so much was a very touching entry from a friend who lost her baby just a couple of weeks ago. That was the viewing I went to on Bitty's birthday. She was in labor at 39 weeks or so and discovered that the baby had gone probably a couple of days earlier due to a hematoma in the umbilical cord. (I hope it's okay I'm talking about this, Kate!) She and her family are amazing and have much to share about their baby and the things that they are learning. Thank you, Kate.

Troy and I can't help but feel, especially lately,that life seems to be awfully fleeting. I'm also consumed by thoughts about another friend, whom I respect and admire immensely, who is facing the fight of his life in a battle against melanoma. He's only months younger than myself and has a wife and three children who are all so beautiful, both inside and out. I have several other friends going through great trials; more lost babies, health troubles, cancer scares, divorces; it seems overwhelming right now. And there's very little I can do for any of them except fall to my knees and ask for help for each of them, which I am doing.

I am grateful for the chance to remember my blessings. Seriously, Bitty had me close to running for it today. Troy arrived in the nick of time. I'm not sure if he saved me or Bitty, but he saved someone, that's for sure! But as Bitty had sat weeping in the bathroom tonight she tearfully told me through her sobs, "I still love you mommy!" I thought of what a blessing she is to me. She also asked if she could have a noogie instead of a spanking. Rest assured, neither were administered. The remedy tonight was just a quiet family time sitting on the bedroom floor reading and talking and hugging.

My love goes out to those who need it.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Sunday Well Spent

Ah, it's that lovely time of year, when it's still summer out there but you can tell it's winding down. I'm sitting by the back door listening to the late-summer crickets - such loud chirping, you know they're all grown and soon fall will be here. Of course, it's still pretty dang hot out, so we decided to spend our afternoon up Big Cottonwood Canyon at Silver Lake. Many other people had the same idea we did, but it was still a very nice afternoon, perfected only by the fact that our friends joined us and Bitty didn't fall asleep either on the way up or the way back. Magic, I tell you. In this case, pictures definitely speak louder than words, so here you go.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

First Day, Take One

Bitty doesn't get to start school for two more weeks (dangit!) but Stomper got to go to first grade this morning. He was so excited about it I couldn't help but be excited myself. (Okay, I would have been excited anyway.) We bought an alarm on Monday so we could have better mornings without mom nagging at everyone to wake up and get out of bed. I set it last night but at 7:21 this morning realized that I obviously didn't do it correctly because it never went off. I went in and quickly set it for 7:22, snuck out, and let the thing do its duty. Both of the kids jumped in their sleep when it went off, and it sure got them out of bed! Luckily they decided they liked it. The morning went well, and all five of us went off to school to check out the first grade.

By the way, I sound like I'm just excited to get the kids away from me and out of the house. I can not deny that there is something to that. But before you condemn me as a sucky parent, think of this. Every school day when I say goodbye, there comes a moment when I get to say hello. That is a wonderful moment, that moment of reunion. And during the summer you don't get to have that moment very often. I love that moment. Also, I could use some new stimulation for the kids, and let me just say that they are seriously ready for some time away from each other. Also, (doth I protest too much?) I really am excited! I remember all the things I loved about school, especially pre-sixth grade. I love watching my kids learn new things. It's...exciting! So, I have now officially defended my feelings of elation about the start of the school year.

This year was a little strange for me because every year before this we've had some sort of orientation, meet the teacher, see the classroom kind of experience. We had none of that this time. Just find out what class you're in on Friday and drop the kids off on Tuesday morning. It felt a little cold turkey to me, but I guess since Stomper didn't seem to be traumatized by it at all I shouldn't be either.

During school I took Bitty and Bundle to the zoo. I am very proud of myself because as I was walking out the door I thought to myself, you know, Bundle hasn't pooped for a few days and I bet she does it at the zoo. I'd better bring an extra change of clothes. I quickly grabbed the jammies I had just changed her out of. Good thing I did. She didn't poop at the zoo. She pooped on the way to the zoo. MAN. I think she ruined her clothes. And I'm not sure I got it all out of her belly button. And watch out for the changing table in the bathroom by the entrance if you're there in the near future. I tried to wipe it down as best I could. How could such a cute, darling little thing make a mess like that? Here's a picture of her in the onsie she destroyed:

(I just had to throw that shot in because it's so cute!)Is it ironic that the shirt she pooped all over says, "adorable?"

We got back just in time to pick up Stomper from school. I tried all afternoon to get information out of him as to what he did all day and came up with nothing. Apparently there was a lot of talking, none of which he remembers. He did, however, get very excited that he ate his whole lunch so he could eat his dessert. The kid hasn't yet figured out that I WON'T KNOW IT if he eats dessert first. No one tell him.

I had a poignant moment last night as I made his first ever school lunch. As I lovingly spread the peanut butter and gently tucked in the string cheese and carrot sticks, I realized that if I keep making lunches for my kids for the rest of school, I'm in for a damn lot of lunch making. Bundle will (I hope) graduate from high school in 18 years. I have 18 years of lunch making ahead of me. This occurred to me again after school as I stopped someone from diving into the freshly purchased lunch supplies. "Don't eat that! It's for school lunches!" A phrase I heard hollered many times in my own home growing up. I have now uttered/hollered it myself for the first time and not, I strongly suspect, for the last.

Happy Family Days

I'm feeling all warm and fuzzy inside right now. I've just finished looking at dozens of pictures taken over the past few days of happy family things we've been enjoying.

First, on Saturday Troy's oldest brother Rick got married to a terrific woman named Tonja. We're so so happy for them both, and so thrilled to have two new cousins in the family: Tonja's twins, a 15 year old boy and girl. They are darling - my kids got excited just looking at pictures of them because they know how much fun they are to be with.

Also, last night was my niece's 11th birthday and my sister threw her a family dinner in the park. We missed Troy who couldn't come and Adam and Whitley and kids, because it was really a delightful evening.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Bitty has a Birthday

My gal is four! Four, going on 17, of course.

We had a lovely day. The Misty gave me a great idea; to open presents first thing in the morning so the birthday girl can play with her new stuff on her birthday, all day long. (And also so I don't have to have the "when can I open my presents" conversation 20 times during the day.) I got up early and made a birthday coffee cake, set the table and put out the presents. Of course Stomper woke up long before Bitty so I did actually have the "when are the presents?" conversation many times after all, all in the space of half an hour while we waited for the birthday girl to arise. You know, it was a great idea. We had a really fun breakfast together and then the kids were busy with the stuff while I got ready for the party that evening.

Bitty had been asking for a cash register for a while, and through a miracle I was led, almost as if by a divining rod, through Toys-R-Us, directly past three different varieties. Something inside told me there had to be just one more somewhere in there, and unbelievably, I walked straight to it and it was perfect. Bitty opened it and said, "It's my cash!" Sorry, kid. I wish. She also got the much sought after "Bendaroos" which, if you have cable, you have undoubtedly seen an add for. My kids have been begging for them for months and when I walked right past those also at Toys-R-Us (I was totally guided, just so you know - I had about 30 minutes to do all of Bitty's shopping and found four fantastic things in just the allotted time!) I knew I would make her birthday. The box comes with 500 of the little waxy strings, and in the evening as I was cleaning up from the party I found one on the floor, already mashed full of dog hair and all I could think was, "One down, 499 to go," as I tossed it in the trash. Oh well. They're really very fun and have kept the kids busy for hours already. Easier to clean up than playdough or moonsand.

My good friend Ruth has a son who is one of Stomper's best buddies and who also has a birthday on the 21st. All he wanted for his birthday was to go to Chuck E. Cheese's for lunch with Stomper. So good Ruth took them, plus her two other daughters, plus Bitty as well, the saint. I was going to go with them but ended up at a viewing (more on that later) so she went at it solo. She definitely earned another point towards her halo. The kids had a great time, apparently, because they asked me if we could move into Chuck E. Cheese's. No. But thanks for asking.

We had a joint party for the two birthday kids in our backyard in the evening. It was going to be at the park, but seeing as how the temps were hovering around 100 degrees, we changed it to a place with shade, an inside, and a pool. Hurrah once again for the $37 blow-up pool. Lovely evening spent with family and friends. Just how a summer evening should be - chips, salsa, homemade guacamole, fruit, birthday cake, and people you love lingering in the warm evening air until well after both dark and bedtime. And since the dog did most of the dish duty on all the cake lying around, clean up was a snap!

I attempted my first ever princess dress birthday cake. Not too bad, but I'm not going to show a close up!

Best jumping-off-the-edge-of-the-pool shot ever!

So happy birthday to Bitty, who lights up my days like the blinding ray of a 2000 lumen flashing beacon. Just kidding. Sort of. She certainly is a bright little star, and I am lucky to have had her come to me. I can't wait to see what she does next!

Speaking of Tomatoes

You may have noticed that I mentioned tomatoes in the last post. This is because, after watching Troy's awesome gardening skills send our tomato plants soaring skywards all summer long, the tomatoes are ripening. Oh my gosh. I think my favorite food on earth may be the brandywine tomato, so fat and delicious, so heavy in my hand, warm from the summer sun. Don't come over. There aren't enough for you.

My Mommy and Daddy

Thanks to skype, it didn't feel like it had been a million years since I had seen my parents, who left for a church assignment in Belgium last March. So when I saw them, it was a little odd - like, oh hi! I think I saw you yesterday, right?

Yes, I got to see my parents, and introduce them to Bundle long before I expected to. I'm so happy. They are home for a quick visit to meet their three new granddaughters, hug all their kids, and to do some medical testing for some issues going on. Nothing major or drastic, so no worries. They are headed back to Belgium in a couple of weeks and then we'll see what happens next. Mostly I'm just delighted that they got to meet my baby!

They came home on Tuesday night and I think all the SL kids (me, Margaret and Peter) were so wound up and anxious to see them we all kind of went berserk. And this berserk-ness manifested itself through the frantic compulsion to clean. We all spoke that day and found that we were all cleaning our houses like crazy. Major nervous energy, I guess. My folks didn't even see my house until this afternoon, and do you think it was still sparkling from its Tuesday afternoon scrubbing? No, of course it wasn't. What I loved was that by the time my parents' plane had landed I had reminded myself that I probably wouldn't even see them that day because they had to be so jet lagged, they were getting picked up by friends in order to have their own vehicle while in SLC (they gave all of theirs away before they left!), and it was late in the day. I decided to do something with my nerves and put the kids in the car and head to Bountiful to visit The Misty. Just as I was headed almost out of town my phone rang. Yay! My parents! At first, Dad said, "We love you and we'll see you tomorrow," but then Mom got on the phone and said, "Stop! Where are you? I need to meet my grandbaby!" So we had an impromptu reunion in front of the Delta Center and it was lovely. Here's the picture I took with my phone:

I felt so happy. Then we all got together at Peter and Sheri's/My parent's place for a tomato and Belgian bread dinner the next night. Then they flew off to CA the next morning to see Adam and Whit and their new baby girl. Man, they have done a lot of baby holding the past few days! But this afternoon when they dropped by under the suspicious guise of seeing us (really they were after our freshly ripened brandywine tomatoes,) they acted like they would never get sick of holding Bundle and playing with Bitty and Stomper. Like they like us or something! Here are some pix from the reunion dinner last Wednesday:

By the way, I didn't ever post a good picture of the third granddaughter. Here she is! I can't wait to meet her.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Dinner Up Millcreek

My sister-in-law Kathleen and I talked about getting together for dinner a few times over the summer, and even scheduled it once but had to change it. Last Monday, we finally thought we could pull it off. It was at the end of a pretty hectic day (which seemed to be the prevailing theme all week long) and I almost called to change it. But I knew that with only a week left until school it would be too hard to make it happen. I'm so glad we did it! We just threw some stuff together and met at a campground up Millcreek Canyon. What a lovely place! We ate hot dogs - Kathleen even brought grown up hot dogs for the taller folk; chicken brats with spinach and feta, or something along those lines. We did the customary s'mores too. Basically, we just tried to make the children get as sticky and filthy as possible. We did a pretty good job of it, too!

End of Summer Cram

Wait, wait....I think I might actually be sitting down. It's hard to tell. It's been so long since that last happened that I'm not actually sure. What a week. WHAT A WEEK.

Well, I can't believe it's here. Summer's end. Already! I'm so weird. Every summer I kind of just bear the heat, I look forward to fall, I want school to start, and then when summer finally winds down I feel bad like I missed out on something. Really, we've had a great summer. I mean, seriously folks, I had a kid right at the end of school and we still did a ton this summer. Maybe no big fabulous trips, but we were out of the house and with friends all summer. And I've REALLY looked forward to school, especially with how much the kids have been fighting. And now I'm all sad because it's over. Weird.

These last couple of weeks have been completely insane. That's partly because I have tendinitis in my right hand and I've been in physical therapy three times a week. But we've also had birthday lunches, Bitty turned 4, Troy's brother got married, we're stuffing in as many play dates as we can manage - the list goes on. I have lots of stories to tell so get ready for a slew of posts over the next few days.

I think I'll start with this evening. My wonderful husband let me go on a date with Bundle. Today was a very long and hot day, but my sister was playing her cello in the Bonneville Glen this evening and I really wanted to go hear her. So he hung out with the big kids while Bundle and I went to the concert. It was wonderful. Cellos, guitars, banjo, drum, Irish jigs and happy people everywhere enjoying a lovely last-of-summer evening. Fabulous! And I got to just enjoy the music and my baby girl. I feel refreshed, and my husband is completely wiped out. I definitely owe him one.

Okay. Ready, Set....Go!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Good Parents

I'm going to go ahead and give a Good Parenting Award to both Troy and me today. I think we deserve it.

Troy gets his award for Outstanding Excellence in the Effort to Spend Time with Your Children. He's been working so hard lately - work, church, baby, wife, house, bike and kids. Not in that order. There is no order. It's all mixed up. But he's been making a real effort to do some fun stuff with the kids this last month before school starts despite his exhaustion. Last night he took the kids up to Strawberry Reservoir to go crawdad fishing. This is not a trip to Disneyland, I recognize, but the kids were almost as excited. And I know they will always remember it. I can't give you many details of the trip because Bundle and I took a rain check and enjoyed a snuggley evening at home together. I will say that apparently there is a learning curve to fishing for crawdads because they came home with, count 'em, FOUR crawdads. (I guess you can't get much fishing done when you spend half the night walking to and from the car with your daughter meeting her various needs, according to Troy.) Yes, just four. But those were the four most beloved crawdads in the world. The kids were so excited they could barely contain themselves, and this morning when they got up, I did not hear a single request for "can I watch a show?" They, especially Stomper, spent the entire morning out on the back porch playing with the crawdads. ("And when there was no crawdads, we ate sand." "You ate sand?" "We ate sand." Anyone who can name that quote is awesome.)

I confess that I started to feel a little sorry for the little beasts. Stomper played with them like toys. And I knew we were in trouble when he started giving them names. Oh no you don't, buddy. Time for the boiling water. Which is where my award comes in. Mine is really an Honorable Mention in the area of Doing Something You Don't Want To Do Because You Know It Will Make Your Kids Happy. Yes, I was the crawdad boiler, cooker and tear-aparter. I get only an honorable mention because I made Stomper put the crawdads in the water. For some reason, meat eater that I am, I had a hard time actually killing the poor little bugs. I thought Stomper would get all sad, but he was willing to toss his playmates into the pot without a second thought. What this means I'm choosing not to think about. Then I had to take care of getting the 1/2 oz. of meat out of each little one for the kids to dip in butter and eat. Bad news. They loved it and can not WAIT to go again. Oh, Man!

By the way, I couldn't help but think of Homer and his darling Pinchy throughout this experience...

Sunday, August 09, 2009

The Hat Trick

I think I've mentioned that I have a great baby at least once or twice. Well, I do, and to prove it, I'll tell you about the three miracles she performed in the past two days.

First, The Becky invited me to go with her to a matinee of "Julie & Julia." I've been dying to see this ever since I saw the previews. I mean, I read the book and liked it okay, but when I saw Meryl Streep pulling off a perfect Julia Child without mocking her in the slightest, I knew I had to see it. Especially since I'm such a total foodie. Do you know how hard it was to go see that show without bringing a picnic with me? Well, it was. Anyway, I've never taken Bundle to a movie - I just didn't think she'd do well, especially in the afternoon. But, for Meryl, I was willing to try it. I can't believe it. It was perfect. The theater was packed, so I sat in that single chair right up front that's meant to be next to a wheelchair. (There weren't any people in wheelchairs there, so I didn't feel bad.) Bundle sat happily on my lap staring at the lights during the previews. As soon as the movie started she politely asked for her binki, rolled over in my arms and snuggled down right to sleep. She isn't a lengthy napper, but she zonked for the whole 2 1/2 hours and even nursed in her sleep. It was awesome. The movie was too. I was so happy to be sitting there, so happy with my sweet baby in my arms, that when Meryl/Julia came on screen she was so awesome I actually cried a little. (Shocker.) It was a great show.

Miracle two: Bundle slept 9 hours last night. Need I say more? I don't think so. Nine to six, baby!

Miracle three: After a somewhat rocky but manageable church day I came home with the kids, fed everyone a pb&j and got Bundle down for a nap. Then both the older kids asked to watch a show. I saw my chance and took it. I got them settled and slipped into my room to read a book for a few minutes. Sadly, Bundle stirred just then, but I didn't despair. I scooped her up and snuggled down with her myself. And I fell asleep. She slept for another hour. I woke up and groggily wondered where my other children were. Admittedly, they played a major role in miracle 3 because 1) they left me alone to sleep and 2) they were playing happily and quietly with their toys with no conflicts for an entire hour. Did you hear me, people?!? An entire HOUR!!! It made for a great day. Thank you, Bundle, and thank you, children. Happy day. Now I'm going to go out and get me a copy of Julia's cookbook and try out a few of those recipes. I could tell that they must have been amazing when I almost ran to the front of the theater and started licking the screen.....

Thursday, August 06, 2009

All Swum Out

I knew at the beginning of the summer that we wouldn't be doing much traveling, and big outings like trips to the zoo were out for a couple of months at least. I also knew that just hanging out at home all day wasn't going to cut it either. So, I signed us up for swimming lessons, all summer long. Today was the last day of week six of lessons. It has been really fun and the kids have made a lot of progress. But I'll confess, I'm about all swimmed out, and I wasn't even in the water! I'm sure Troy will take the kids to open plunge a couple more times before school starts, because they certainly want more, but I'm ready to bid goodbye to the constant cycle of hanging up wet suits and towels to dry, packing up the swim bag every morning and making sure everyone has enough sunscreen on. Really, it's been great. And really, we'll see you next summer.

Le Budding Artiste

So I'm kind of winding down now after one of those evenings where, as the kids and I were getting home from an outing, Bitty began a sentence as we walked in the door and didn't finish it until she was asleep: .........and .............and ..............and .................. Oh my. She had a lot to say this evening. At least she and Stomper weren't fighting for a change. Anyone have any advice on that front?

So the other day Bitty was asking us to provide her "hat that makes her look like an artist." I couldn't figure it out, until she found it herself and showed us:

Yes, that's a potty seat on her head. I see where she's coming from, though. This happened not long after she did that amazing thing she does where I take one step into the kitchen to quickly prepare a little food for the hungry masses and she's instantly by my side asking, "Can I help?" For the record, I never turn her down, no matter how much I sometimes want to. I mean, I want to only because her helpfulness adds at least 20 minutes to the prep time, you know? But I can't deny her. I just have too strong a belief in kids helping in the kitchen, no matter how big a pain it can be. Besides, you'll find that Bitty is rather hard to turn down. She just won't have it. Anyway, she pops in during a super busy morning, steps in front of me so I trip, then grabs a chair to stand on and shoves it into my bare toes. I holler in pain but try to keep things moving anyway, just as she climbs down to kiss my foot where she hurt it and I trip again. She smiles up at me from the floor and says, "See Mom? I was thinking of your feelings!" How can she be so sweet and wonderful and I'm so exhausted all at the same time? Hard to tell.

2 Months Old

I can't stand it! I can not get enough of this little Bundle of mine. Thank you thank you that she is in our family and is such a delightful baby. I spend my time wishing she was still as tiny as the day she was born, looking forward to her growing and meeting new milestones, and trying to suck up every single second of the present. Her rough moments have been very few and her disposition seems to be calm and happy. I miss her while she's sleeping! This is awesome.

On the same day that Bundle turned two months old the final new baby arrived, born to Adam and Whitley. So even though Bundle is a couple months older and the two nieces are only three days apart, officially, we have a June baby, a July baby and an August baby in the family this year. I hope I get to meet her soon, although I hear she's giving her parents a bit of a run for their money these first few days. I send them good sleeping wishes and thoughts.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Out With a Bang

July ended with excitement around our house! On Friday morning I was having one of those mornings where I had to be someplace (the dentist) and I felt like I spent the entire morning just getting ready to go to my 11:00 a.m. appointment. I did manage to get my teeth brushed, but just barely. As I was pulling out of the driveway, I got a phone call from my youngest brother, Peter, who let me know that they were going to have their baby that day. Whoa!!! I had told them that I'd take their 1st daughter while they were at the hospital, and I was very glad that I wasn't getting this call in the middle of the night. So after my dentist appointment, I headed over to the new Intermountain Medical Center (aka the Death Star...) to see Peter and Sheri and take Siena home with me. We spent the day together, and Siena held it together pretty well. Baby Cara (pronounced like Car, not Care...) was born at almost six that night, and I brought Siena back to the hospital around 7:30 or something. When I first got there Cara was out of the room getting all fixed up with immunizations and such, and I got to sit there and chat with Sheri for a bit while I held my sleeping Bundle.

I'll confess that when Peter came in with little Cara I just had to cry a little. Bundle is already so big - she looked like a monster next to this little 6 1/2 pounder. And it hit me like a ton of bricks that it would never be me in the hospital with a new baby again. Never would that tiny tiny little lizard-legged suckling little creature be mine again. And it kind of took my breath away. Troy and I really feel good about Bundle being our last, and I still don't want one more baby. But I think there's not much I wouldn't give to have one more day with each of my babies as a 1 day old. (Okay, Stomper, being a premie, wasn't too fun on his first day, but I'd take him a few days after that!) Anyway, it's hard, even when you feel that your family is all here, to let go of that part of your life. But you know, Bundle is getting funner by the day - smiling and laughing, making little noises, trying to hold up her head, and it looks like she's going to keep her blue eyes - it's fun to see our babies get bigger too.

By the time I got home from the hospital, it was quite late. Troy had been considering taking the big kids for a little crawdad fishing that evening, but the day was just too nuts, so he ended up having a sleep out with them in the back yard. So cute. I love my husband. We planned a bunch of stuff like this for the last few weeks of summer, and he gets excited whenever one of the events comes up. He loves his kids. And I love him.

And now we wait to hear from my OTHER brother, in LA, whose wife is to be induced in the morning. Granddaughter number three, finally to arrive! I can't wait to see her little face and get her here safely. It seemed like it would be so long before all three babies were here, and now there's just one day left. Pretty exciting.

The Corker Corks On

So I mentioned in my happy list post that we like listening to CDs by Laurie Berkner - she's great. We just got a new one last week - Victor Vito - and we're really enjoying it. So the other night the whole family was driving along, listening to the tunes, when on comes this great song. The lyrics go:

I'm not perfect, no I'm not.
I'm not perfect, but I've got what I've got.
I'm not perfect, no I'm not.
I'm not perfect, and I hope you like me that way.

Cute song. It goes on for a while about "you're not perfect" and stuff, and then when the song ends, Troy and I hear this quiet but rather stubborn voice from the back seat.

"Well I AM perfect."

We looked at each other with wide eyes. I started to giggle. Then chuckle. Then I started to laugh so hard I almost couldn't drive. The fact that Bitty thinks she is perfect is the summation of our problems, I think. Do you know, one day last week I actually engaged in an argument with her about whether or not she could speak Korean. And she thinks she won the argument! I'm still wondering why I got into it with her. Because I'm an idiot, that's why. An idiot who can speak a little Korean, but an idiot none the less. And apparently my 3 year old daughter can speak better Korean than I can anyway so why bother?

On a more positive note, Bitty's summer ballet class wrapped up this week and we got to go to the parent observation class. Stomper was less than thrilled about it, but hey, Bitty goes to all his soccer games so I guess he can handle one ballet class. Bitty obviously loves ballet, and especially excels in the "sunburst arms" area. Skipping is not her strong suit. (We'll do some drills at home to catch up.) I think we're going to continue on in this or a similar class. My sister was a dancer when she was young and some of the pictures we have of Bitty remind me a lot of pictures I've seen of my sister. I used to love going up to Margaret's ballet studio. Mom signed me up for one ballet class but I believe I complained that it hurt my back too much and that was that. Anyway, I LOVE watching Bitty dance. It obviously thrills her to death.

Happiness is....! A mostly-manageable church day (I only got a little baby poop on my skirt), a visit to my brand new niece (more details on her arrival in an upcoming post), and a baby who goes to sleep in her own bed just in time for me to make a really yummy dinner. I don't do a lot of cooking these days, but this afternoon all the stars aligned. Bundle stayed asleep, and we all sat down at the table together, which I actually set. With real dishes. We ate farm-stand corn, shrimp cooked on the grill, brown rice and 'shroom pilaf with herbs from the garden, and vanilla yogurt with fresh blackberries. Rock ON.

Now we'll see if the goodness continues and I can post a few other things that have been going on....