The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
November 2013

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Thinking Inside the Box

Never underestimate the power of thinking inside the box. This weekend, Troy was about to dismantle, fold up and recycle a large white box that had encased our new memory foam mattress (yes we love it). I quickly stopped him. I had a hunch about our kids and the big white box. We had been in the middle of a rather trying Saturday morning with much dissension between the kids. It was overcast and grey outside and I'll just say that my spirits were in the dumps. Until the box. As I suspected, if you hand kids some crayons and markers and sit them in front of a canvas so white and blank and expansive as was that box they will be busy and happy for many hours. In our case, about four days. Yes, folks, my kids did not start fighting about the box until today. And you would not believe the time they put into the box. The outside is fun and colorful and scribbly, but it's the inside I love. Stomper spent HOURS in there, carefully drawing and painting scenes of dragons and terrible monsters. Bitty threw in a princess and mermaid or two, and it ended up like some sort of cave painting from a prehistoric and magical land. Awesome. So awesome, in fact, that Stomper begged me to let him sleep in the box on Saturday night. It seemed like a hassle to me, but Bitty said, "Oh mom, just let him." So we set up the box in their room with a blanket for padding and a pillow inside. Stomper craweld in and instantly decided that it was too scary. Much to my surprise, Bitty took a turn and seemed perfectly content. I really expected her to come wandering into the living room after 10 or 15 minutes telling us she couldn't sleep, but half an hour after lights out we peeked at her and she had totally zonked.


One funny thing I noted as I was looking at the box was something that reminded me of a bit from the ever infamous "Raising Arizona." Now, I do love this movie, but in general if ever anything in my life is reminiscent of it, it's not a good thing. Here's the box. Look closely to see if you can figure out to what I'm referring:


I don't know if you can see what it took me a few minutes to notice:


" Junior's learning his ABC's!"

Yes, Stomper is figuring out how to spell. Great. I know all bodily functions are hilarious to little kids, but really? So, should I be happy that Stomper finally seems to care about spelling and reading or should I go after him for scrawling one of the dreaded potty words on the box? Oh, this is making me laugh. I'm glad I took this picture! I'm going to save it for the slide show at his wedding.


Monday, January 25, 2010

A Problem

Yes, I have a problem. I'm going to give you a rare glimpse into the happy world of OCD that I live in. Yes, I am now going to show off my very purple To-Do list with all its purple accessories.


How many purple pens does it take to keep one very purple To-Do list? Not that many, that's for sure. But still, my heart flutters with joy as I gaze upon this pile of purple, thus further fueling my illness. Scary, isn't it?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Using My Imagination

I love that Simpson's episode wherein Homer does something rotten to his next door neighbor Ned Flanders, who then loses tons of money and says to his kids, "Well kids, it looks like we're going to have an imagination Christmas this year!" (Rod replies, "Yay! I got a pogo stick!") I'm feeling deeply in need of a girls' night out, but for the time being, it looks like I get an imagination girls' night. I'm just going to visualize an evening away. Hard to believe but this does have its advantages. I might not actually be able to leave the house alone, but my imagination has no budget. Last week The Becky and I decided that for our imagination girls' night we'd go to a nice hotel where we would each shower for as long as we wanted with no one bothering us, at all, and then we'd put on brand new clothes and go somewhere very expensive for dinner. It was great. We had a lovely evening. What was funny was that as we were discussing our plans we were interrupted by our children so many times that it was challenging to even TALK about a girls' night out!

Poor Bundle. Though it is her fault that I cannot leave my house unaccompanied, she's had a rough time lately in the form of further ear infections. I guess it's only her second, but it's really crappy. She was up all night crying so hard one night last week that I nearly took her to an ER at 4 in the morning. Surely her lungs had deflated or her kidneys failed or her bowel had been perforated. Something. No, it was her right ear. And thus began another round of amoxicillin, the nastiest pink goo ever known to man. Or baby. Seriously. WHY so pink? I can not think of why it has to be that way, except to leave a lasting reminder of its presence upon every article of clothing Bundle has, not to mention a few shirts of mine and my bedspread as well. That's got to be some serious food coloring. It's beyond pepto, you know? And let's not even get into the viscosity issue. I myself nearly gag every time I administer it to Bundle. And the worst part for me is that I'm not entirely sure that it's going to help her ear infection.

Regardless of her ear infection she hasn't been sleeping well. I mean, she's done great falling asleep in her own bed for naps and for bedtime, but she does not stay asleep at night. She always wakes up, sometimes 45 minutes later, sometimes 2 hours later. Sometimes she'll fuss for a few minutes and then fall back asleep, but that hasn't happened for a long time. Usually she wakes up and cries until I give her a little love and put her back to bed, either in my bed or back in her crib. I tried a few times to let her cry this wake-up out, but learned quickly that she wasn't going to do it. (You may have heard me around 1 in the morning crying along with Bundle a couple of weeks ago.) So I just go in, love her, and put her back to sleep. No big deal. I don't mind lovin' my Bundle. Unless I really need a movie night or something, and then I'm toast, because if it's anyone but me going in there (sorry Troy) she flips out. Side note: she adores her daddy. Just not when she wants to go to sleep.

Ah well. Such is life with a baby, and we all know that it goes by too quickly any way. I will just snuggle my Bundle until she is Bundle no longer. (I'm thinking "Cheeks" might be a good blog-name for her once she reaches her first birthday.) Movie going will return to my life someday, and in the meantime, how can I begrudge a little extra nuzzle time with this fat cute cuddly momma-lovin' babe? I just can't. She's too sweet, which you can see for yourself. She loves taking tubbies with her big brother.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Snowglobe


Do you ever feel like you live in a snowglobe? Everyday someone (gee I wonder who...) picks up out globe and shakes it as hard as they can. The little snowflakes go flying everywhere, scattering wildly in an even layer throughout the entire house. And it's my job to put every single snowflake back where it belongs before it all gets shaken up again. Of course it's not really snowflakes but an eclectic and all-consuming collection of hairbrushes, story books, missing socks, various utensils, plastic toys, dishtowels, receipts, pincushions....how do each of these things all get out of place every single day? And can you imagine what it would be like if our house were bigger than 1000 square feet? Maybe I'd be thinner from running around putting things away. Or maybe it wouldn't look as messy because it would be more spread out. But I doubt it. I'd say it's similar in feeling to being assigned the task of keeping sopping wet sand piled into a tower. You just keep scooping and scooping and scooping and it just melts down the sides no matter what.

Well, I guess the only thing to do, besides giving up and letting my house look like it belongs in an episode of The Hoarders, is to just be grateful I have enough hair to warrant using a hairbrush, even if it somehow migrates to a new location on a daily basis. (The brush, not my hair. I guess a little of that migrates around too...) And be grateful that there is money to spend, even if it produces a few receipts floating around on the breeze. Life never seems to be a finished product, does it? Ah well, so it goes! Here's to my little snowglobe.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I Thought I was Being Cool

You all know by now that I have a place in my heart for Twilight, and I confess that I have seen the movie more than once. Those of you who have also seen the movie may or may not have noticed that Bella wears some completely cool mittens. I noticed them the very first time I saw it and just loved them! They even make an appearance in the second movie. I wondered about finding a pattern for them so a couple of weeks ago I googled "Bella's Mittens" and found a pattern posted on a nice young woman's blog - I was so excited to have found them and admired her greatly for figuring out the pattern. Okay, I kind of found the pictures she had of herself wearing the mittens and cuddling an apple with them were a little lamespice, though she is obviously a terrific knitter. Sorry.

I was feeling a little sheepish becoming a Bella-wanna-be, so as I went to my favorite yarn store I tried to be discreet about finding the right kind of yarn. I wasn't sure, and finally figured that asking the woman for help wouldn't reveal me instantaneously as a Twilight lerp. (No offense, fellow lerps.) Ha! I asked the woman there what to use and she asked me what pattern I was knitting, and I started to pull the pattern out of my bag. She took one glance at it, and said, "Oh, let me show you what I used!" She took me over to this display where she had a copy of Twilight set on a stand next to the mittens and a big sign, "Knit Bella's Mittens!" Oh lame. She said she had had so many women badgering her about the dang things she finally found the pattern herself, knit them up, and is now completely sold out of the yarn. Sigh. Well, I am what I am, and I decided to press on. I bought a slightly different yarn, which I love, and knit the mittens, which I love. And here they are, embracing the true love of my life, Edward be darned.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Randomness

I don't know what to call this post. All I know is that I want to post something as quick as possible so that the previous picture is not the first thing you see when you pull up my blog anymore. I have such lovely friends, don't you think? I just have to say one thing, and forgive me for saying so; I will be happy to stop sporting the chest of a nursing mother when the time comes. Okay. Sorry for talking about my chest. Just had to say. Moving on.

Here is a picture of my haircut:


And now, I must report on two things that my children have said in the past couple of months I forgot to post.

Stomper is growing up and learning how to be funny with his parents. He was in the kitchen playing with a dinosaur. Troy playfully approached him for a massive tickle/wrestle/hug and Stomper pointed the dinosaur at him. He said, "Dad, I'm holding a t-rex and I know how to use it!" Troy got a good laugh out of that.

And Bitty. This is gross, but necessary to report. She was chatting with me and casually told me that you shouldn't eat other people's boogers. Correct, my dear. "You're right, Bitty, that's really gross." She replied, "Yeah, I tried eating one of Bundle's and it was cold!"

Are you sick now? Sorry, I just had to get that down for posterity.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Chrome Dome, Take 2

Well, TL, it had to be done. It was time to reintroduce the world to your beautiful cranium. And frankly, of all the heads to be shown so baldly to the world, yours is one of the best I've ever seen. There are some of us out there who just would not look quite as elegant and lovely as you do without our hair. Heck, even with our hair we can't come close! So here's to TL, who's bravely sporting her new 'do.




Sunday, January 10, 2010

Not in the Mood

As it turns out, when it's January in the Salt Lake Valley, and it's cold, dark and so smoggy that breathing tastes bad, I'm not really in the mood for blogging. Not much seems interesting or worth reporting. Add to this the fact that Bundle's sleeping habits have gone so far off the deep end that I, despiser of crying it out, have started to let Bundle cry out her bed times and nap times. Middle of the night meals I am not yet up to facing, but the bed and nap times are tough enough as it is. Whoever said that it would all be over in three days has a different baby than I do, because today is day 6 or something and I just won't even tell you how long Bundle cried it out last night. I'll just say that it was bad and Troy and I have the "hit by a mack truck" syndrome this morning. She just keeps waking back up! This sucks.

Hopefully some happy blogging days will come my way. I am knitting again, which is my happy place. Also I got a new haircut, and that always does good for my soul. Perhaps I should try getting it cut more than once a year. I will post a picture later if Troy will take one of me. I'm going to go sit on the couch and close my eyes for 10 minutes before someone needs me again.

How's that for a VERY exciting entry.

Monday, January 04, 2010

The Sludge Age


You've heard of the Stone Age, the Iron Age and perhaps even Old Age. I imagine you've never heard of the Sludge Age, but if you've ever had a kid, you'll know what I'm talking about. Bundle has hit her seventh month mark, and we are now delving into the world of solid foods. She will not tolerate me spooning anything into her mouth whatsoever, and so I kind of just gave up on solids for a while. But then a friend suggested I find things that she can feed herself such as baby cheetos (we're super health-conscious around here,) graham crackers, and little things like that. Bundle is in heaven. She can't get enough of them. Now I just put her in her once-was-clean-but-now-is-totally-goopy exersaucer, tie a bib on her which, by the way, has on it a completely obnoxious proclomation that she "Is A Diva," and hand her something to eat. She goes crazy. Jumping, cooing, laughing, growling, slapping the tray; crazy with joy. She then gums the thing into oblivion except for a slimy layer of sludge which coats everything in her wake. The sludge seems to dry instantly into a hard coating that you couldn't remove with a jackhammer. Bathtimes have become more frequent and laundry has become more abundant, if that is possible. And I have one happy seven month old baby.

Bundle has started to pick up on the fact that she can get a reaction out of her people by doing funny things. She plays this little game, which I once saw my big sister teach her baby and I have done with each of my own babies ever since. It goes like this. I say, "Nigh'night!" and she lays down her head. Then I say, "G'morning!" and she pops back up. Here is Bundle playing with me while also being distracted by her new best friend, the dog. He, by the way, LOVES the Sludge Age.



Bundle's other new favorite is to make this funny growly growly sound. She used to growl when she was giving me her 'angry cry.' "Mom, I am officially ticked off. Now pick me up." But then she figured out that she can make that noise whenever, and it's kind of funny! So here is a video of me making a complete ninny of myself trying to get her to growl, and finally succeeding!

Saturday, January 02, 2010

My Year in Facebook Status Updates

No one has to read this post. I just couldn't help blogging this, though. I found a way to get all your status updates for the last year and I'm putting them down for posterity. Well, they won't care either. I'm putting them down for me. Here goes.

Rachel Romney Preslar:

January:
…is loving Kyle Whittingham, …thinks that it is just taking so long, …is wishing the movie were starting sooner, …is California or bust, …is home.

February:
…is sipping tea. Mmmmm, …thinks Kevin Kline does a great Cyrano, …is ready to go to sleeee........zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, …is eating her weight in ganache, …is recovering from taking her kids swimming, …is ....uh.....welll.....huh. Not sure.

March:
…is up early and is still going to be late, …is watching her husband assemble the 7,000 pieces of a new IKEA bunkbed. Poor dude, …has no idea how to parent my children, …has experienced kite flying mayhem with six small children.

April:
…is thinking that Yo Gabba Gabba was weird enough without Jack Black. Time to turn of the tv, kids! …is noticing that as happy as yesterday was, today is as grumpy. I love three year olds.

May:
…thinks having a sinus infection while being almost 39 weeks pregnant is not fair. Also her baby needs to flip the right way by Monday or ELSE!!! …is heading out the door to see if we can get this baby turned head down. Thanks for all of the well wishes, ...has a good baby who decided to flip the right way all by herself. Now let's see if she can stay that way! …is 39+ weeks...come on, Baby! …is putting spicy noodles to the test.

June:
…thinks she might actually get to shower today, …is wondering what that strange bright orb in the sky is,…just might be drowning. Ask me again tomorrow.

July:
…is noticing that 11:05 on a Saturday night is not too late to finish her daughter's blessing dress for tomorrow. Holy procrastination, Batman!

August:
…is happy to welcome two new nieces into the world, but is pretty sure that my baby is the best one! …just got back from 500 days of summer and already has the soundtrack, …is wondering why it's always the morning after I stay up really late that the kids decide to get up at the A**-crack of dawn, …loved Julie and Julia, and has the best baby ever, …should check to see if she's logged in and not her husband before posting that she wants her mommy. Sorry Troy. He's fine without his mommy, …has almost recovered from the big day. Not quite, …can not turn off her brain, so I guess it's good morning, …is about to attempt the birthday cake, …just savored an omelet made with sauteed mushrooms and shallots, Swiss cheese all the way from Wisconsin, and topped with a Brandywine tomato from the back yard. Heaven, …Has just made her first ever school lunch. And sent off her first ever 1st grader, …just pulled two perfect loaves of garlic rosemary bread out of the oven. In the words of Uncle Jimmy, "Oh Mamma!" …Awesome. I just spent the ENTIRE day doing laundry. It's 11:00 at night, I just put the last of it away, put the last pillowcase on the last pillow, and my son gets up to tell me he wet the bed. I quit.

September:
My kids have not yet learned the fine art of sleeping in, …has alone time. Woah, …is looking at the tent in the back yard which is glowing with lantern light as Troy is reading to the kids before a camp-out, …Go Hubby Go!!!!!! …has learned that at the Iceberg, there's nothing mini about the mini, …picked up her knitting needles for the first time since about June 2nd. Turns out I didn't forget how to do it! …is going to give Glee one more chance, …is glad this day is almost over. Un. Re. Len.Ting, …is wondering what happened to that nice empty calander page, …has decided that dinner outside in the cool evening air with candles, flowers, friends and tasty food isn't a bad way to go. Especially if chocolate chip cheesecake is part of the deal, …is starting the 3rd kitchen deep clean of the day, …is losing the battle to save her sourdough starter, …Did not love the movie "Adam" as much as she was hoping too, but still thought Hugh Dancy was pretty good. She DID love hanging with Misty as much as she was hoping too. Thanks for the loan, Mike, …is wondering why it's always on the tuna fish days that Chase decides to leave his lunchbox at school over night, …is missing the middle ground.

October:
…is loving a quiet morning with multi-grain French toast, buttermilk syrup & fresh peaches, and doesn't really care what her kids are doing, …just had the LONGEST Sunday ever. Praise bedtime, …is feeling very grateful for a school day, …knows it's going to be a good day when her baby is ready for her first nap before the other kids get up, …has a major announcement: One Bundle, age 4 months, 3 days, just rolled over for the first time. (Front to back.) Go get the video camera and scrapbook supplies! …is enjoying a refreshing Gatorade after an exhausting tour of all the local 40th birthday surprise parties. Never thought I'd go to more than one of those in one night! I'm parched! …is wondering if the trip to Hires was maybe not so helpful in the quest to shed the baby weight, …started a project she definitely should have waited until to tomorrow to start. Classic me! …appreciates her parents for helping her do a major kitchen muck out today. Thanks! …thinks October gets really expensive, …loves reading a good book and hitting that moment called the point of no return. Sorry everyone! I am not putting this book down until I finish it!

November:
…has a home that is officially FILLED with baby paraphernalia, …is watching her daughter discover her ears, …is exhausted but doesn't want to go to bed because it will just make tomorrow start all the sooner. Nooooo!!!!!!! …is off both Diet Coke and chocolate and is wondering what else there is to live for. Dang baby! Just kidding. She's worth a little suffering,
…is watching her daughter eat Indian spinach. Spinach! Are you hearing me people??!?!
…finally figured it out, …is just about to descend into the basement to retrieve the large boxes of Christmas paraphernalia. Deep breath. Here we go, …has uncovered an evil plot masterminded by her daughters to kill her. What else would they have in mind when they wake her up 8 times between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.?

December:
…just recieved the season's first greeting card - yay! I love getting Christmas cards! …has just addressed Christmas cards while sitting in front of a fire, sipping postum and watching Christmas Vacation. Now that's Christmas for you! …is seriously bummed, …has completely lost all parenting skills and probably her mind too, …loves it when the dishwasher is already full and there are enough dishes in the sink to make up an entire second load, …wonders how the movie ended, but doesn't mind coming home to help out hubby and baby, …has a major Christmas/Baby's not sleeping/Head cold/crazy kids not in school headache. It's an 800 mg kind of day, …is starting the wrapping, ...is having OCD madness over all the tiny plastic objects now scattered all over her house. What was Santa thinking? …loves The Weepies, now and forever more. Sigh...

Happy New Year and a merry 2010 to everyone! We'll see what status updates come our way over the next 12 months.

Twelve Years?

I have now been married for 12 years. Twelve! That's THREE of highschool, which definitely seemed to have taken longer than my marriage has. Well, I'll just say that I'm one lucky lady. I am so grateful to have met Troy and had the good fortune to convince him to fall for me and stick with me for all of these years. Back in my youth I used to try to imagine being married and all I could think was that it would be fun for a while and then it would just have to get a little boring. The SAME person, year after year? Well, little younger-self, you were wrong. The longer I'm married to Troy the more I love him. The more I learn about life, the more grateful I am to have him. I had a conversation with someone over the summer whom I knew in college. She isn't yet married and has a very prestigious career, which we talked about for a while. She's great. But then she asked me what I was up to, and I said I was a stay home mom and wife, and she kind of just said, "Huh." I felt a little dumb, but then I realized that there just weren't the words or time to describe the path that I'm on, the things I'm learning, the happy life I'm living. I wouldn't trade it for a single thing.

Troy and I spent our anniversary out to dinner with some much-loved friends whom we don't see nearly enough but whom we think of often. It was a lovely snowy evening, we enjoyed a little Indian Food but mostly the conversation and company. Love to you, Durhams, Jacobsens, Stewarts, Andersons and Larsens. Missed many more of you! Here's a not-so-great photo of the group: (our camera didn't like the lighting and we were rushing to get a photo snapped.)



Cousins Cousins

We sure have enjoyed having our cousins around over the holidays. I am sad writing this because they're mostly gone now! Peter and his wife have been living in SLC for since the springtime, and now they have moved to St. George, plus Adam and his family left for home today. Wahh! We've had such a good time getting together. Over Christmas the four siblings got together for some serious conversation and some serious Korean food - that was great to be together. And we've had lots and lot of playdates. Stomper spent the night with his cousin Smith one night, and we had Adam's kids over here several times. It was especially fun to be around Rosey, baby number three in the trio o' granddaughters born last summer. She is the cutest little thing! Peach fuzz head and the widest smile ever. So fun.



I never did give a gift to either of my sisters-in-law when their babies were born, so I really wanted to give them each something over the holiday. I thought it would be cute to find a little outfit in triplicate so each baby could wear one and (of course) we could take some pictures. Well, it turned out to be much harder than I thought to satisfy my idea of a cute outfit for all three girls and I almost didn't get it together in time before everyone migrated away. Just in the nick of time I pulled it together. I'm still not sure how cute the outfits are, but I like them.


Oh how I love how different these three girls are. They don't look related at all!

Friday, January 01, 2010

Further Festivities

Christmas Eve. I think I love that night more than I love Christmas itself. The excitement, anticipation, the family together. It's terrific. Well, the entire Romney family gathered on the 23rd, but that didn't stop those of us who were able to spend Christmas Eve together as well. I figured we at least needed a change of venue, so we got together at my house this time. We enjoyed soup, bread, salad and pies together. The kids and I made gingerbread cookies that afternoon - I was actually just cleaning up the floury mess when everyone started arriving:


(And by floury mess I am referring to Bitty rather than the kitchen...)

The kids decorated cookies together - I knew if I had one big project that everyone would be happy for a while, and I was right. My niece Hannah kind of took the cake on the decorating thing - she did a cookie in the shape of a house with a tree in the window. Clever! And the winner of the evening? This beauty here:


We chatted, we watched "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," and then I kicked everyone out by 8:30 because I was so exhausted and still had quite a ways to go before bed. That whole wrapping thing really caught up with me this year.

So, tell me. I really love the tradition of giving kids jammies on Christmas Eve, plus a new Christmas book to open and read together. I did these things and guess what. My children could not have cared less. Neither of them would wear their jammies - Stomper had been wearing jammies since approximately 4:30 telling everyone that it was time for bed (cute!) and Bitty got a dress as a gift from a friend and would not take it off. Nor did the book get read. I still love the idea of the jammies and book, but do I force it down their throats? I'll give it another try next year I guess.

I'm not sure that Santa was really up for the 3D frosting on these cookies, but seeing as how there were only crumbs left on the plate by morning, I suppose it was okay!


Then the big morning finally arrived. I love that I have all these pictures of the kids opening gifts with a pitch black sky out the windows. They didn't get out of bed too darn early, but seeing as how Bundle got me up at 6:30 anyhow it didn't really matter. What was really fun was that at about 7:15 there was a knock at our door and there were my parents standing on the doorstep! I wasn't expecting them but they decided that they could fit in two Christmas mornings - one with us and one with Peter. It was really fun to have them there.


I think Santa did a great job this year and someone should give him (her) a raise. Or a vacation. I'm just saying. The kids were very happy and didn't seem to notice that only a fraction of their wish lists actually appeared under the tree. That's the best part. Sometimes I got a little weary of new items being constantly added to the wish lists, but really, the kids were just happy and excited to open their gifts and everything made them happy, even the boxes of sugar cereal they each got. Note to Santa - next year, get the kids each the same kind of cereal. A couple of great happy-face photos:


Yes, happiness. And I'm thankful for it. The kids were so good all day. Troy's parents came over around noon for some simple Christmas ham and potatoes, a dinner I confess I love. We kind of just hung out - eating a little, watching the kids play, and that was about it. I was going a little stir-crazy by bed time and was wishing that we had planned an outing of some kind, but it turned out fine. My OCD acted up a little (ha) and I had a hard time not sorting and storing each new plastic item in a new plastic bin - forgive me! Our house is a little small and to have 100 new tiny toys sprinkled evenly throughout made me a little nuts! But all in all the day was very pleasant, and guess what. The kids are still enjoying their gifts, one whole week later. Now THAT is something of an accomplishment.

The next day we had Troy's family party, and I was silly and did not bring the camera. It too was a very nice time together. We're so enjoying getting to know Rick's wife Tonja and her kids, and it's always nice to see Troy with his brothers. Happy family, Merry Christmas, Good Night.