The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
November 2013

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Baking Attempts


I have this new analogy for parenting. Count on me to relate it to food.  So picture this.  You decide to make a cake.  Yum.  We all love cake, right?  Instantly you get a mental image of your cake.  Mine?  Chocolate, definitely.  With fresh raspberries and maybe a layer of ganache in the middle.  Swirls of buttercream frosting coating everything.  I'd even like to make the top look nice with some chocolate shavings or something.  And you get kind of excited - you can picture just how delectable it is going to be! Then you start to make it. And reality hits.  Your oven doesn't heat evenly and so the cakes come out lopsided.  You can't find your ganache recipe so you kind of make it up and it ends up too runny and drips all over the place.  Your raspberries are too ripe and end up on the mushy side.  And as you're trying to at least put some pretty frosting holding it all together it all just starts dripping down the sides and no matter how you scoop it and scoop it up it all just sags down the sides until it ends up in a puddle on the platter.  The final result?  A bit of a mess:



I mean, it's still delicious, still chocolatey, still covered in creamy yumminess.  It just doesn't quite look like the cake you pictured in your head.  After a brief run through the stages of grief, (Anger at the cake, Bargaining with the cake, Depression about the cake....) you finally come to acceptance.  Oh well, you think, whatever.  Just get me a plate and a fork and cut me a piece of that funny looking, delicious chocolate cake!

This is how I feel about parenting.  I just keep trying for that gorgeous cake and life is just a little messier than that.  At least I'm in the kitchen, right?  At least I haven't pitched my cake out the window and into the neighbor's yard.  I'm still baking.  It's delicious.

As a side note, I noticed myself doing something rather odd the other day - and after thinking through my cake analogy I can hardly blame myself.  Bitty had accidently brought home a duplicate of a worksheet she had to complete.  I had the compulsion to work on the extra one along side her.  It was the best homework page I ever did.  Just look!


Yes, I can hear you all going, "Cuckoo!  Cuckoo!"  Leave me alone.  I can't tell you how satisfying it was to see a simple task with clear instructions placed before me.  Something for which I knew exactly what was expected of me and then I carried out the task perfectly, with some creativity and a correct answer at the completion of the task. This is not something I encounter often in parenting.  It was very therapeutic.

The First Annual Team Firestorm Bike Fest

What a gorgeous morning.  It was crisp and cold and clear.  We had a stormy day on Friday, and expect another again today, but for Saturday morning, it was perfect.  Saturday was the birthday of our friend Ben,who passed away in October. His family and friends decided to celebrate the day by holding an event in honor of his favorite past-time - cycling.  An absolutely huge group of people met at the mouth of Emigration Canyon this morning and rode the canyon together. (Well, I rode in a truck in order to be the photographer of the day.  I really need to get on a bike at some point so I can take part next year! Taking all the pictures was really fun, though.)  It was so incredible and quite awe-inspiring to see that number of people all gathering to honor and celebrate Ben and his family.  The energy was happy and poignant.  And powerful.  I'm sure Ben got to spend a few mintues with us there today.  He is missed. I'm so thankful to have had the chance to see the smiles on the faces of his friends and wife and adorable kids, and to see a collected group of people united in celebration of his wonderful life.  Happy Birthday, Ben.

Allison the Awesome

Allison and her Darling Kids

My Troy as he was pulling into the parking lot before the race

My long-time 'back door' neighbor Kathryn, isn't she lovely?

Kenton, Kathryn, Troy GHD3 (my old next door neighbor), My Troy and Rob H.
My Troy, at the top

GHD3, of good cheer, as always!

Two Very Tough Chicks - Melissa and Lisa - I gotta try harder to emulate these two gorgeous gals...

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Take A Picture; It'll Last Longer


Somehow the light pink seems less offensive than 100% Cougar Blue would.  This is the shirt I found Bundle in when I picked her up from the home of our Cougarite Friends on the day of BYU's Sweet 16 game. I could hardly object - the family would actually be coming into our home that night to watch the game with us.  We did our best to make it a fun night - we scootched the couches up close to the t.v. We got pizza and made salad and treats.  We even cheered our hearts out for BYU.  It was such a great game!  So close!  BYU and Florida were tied at the end of regulation - how exciting.  Our friends were so anxious they couldn't even sit - they had to stand up and pace around. And rock back and forth from time to time. I was a little afraid we would have to administer CPR because I thought at least one of them would pass out.  Which is why it was so heartbreaking when the Cougars just fell apart in overtime.  It was tough to watch and tough to see our friends just wilt.  I was heartily sorry for the loss - I even woke in the middle of the night, unable to sleep because I was thinking of Jimmer and also my friends.  Sigh.  What a great year.  I wonder if I'll always harbor a slight fondness for BYU basketball now.....no, probably not.  :)



Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Bundle By Any Other Name

When our little Bundle arrived almost two years ago (!!!), her blog name just seemed obvious.  She was such a perfect little bundle!  As she has gotten older I've really wondered about finding a new name for her, but she has made it clear that Bundle is still perfect.  Over the past few months she has become very attached to her pacifier and her blanket.  Not one or the other, but both at the same time.  All throughout the day she'll suddenly state, "Binki!  Bankie!"  (It's a good thing the two are always demanded together because it's nearly impossible to differentiate the two words.)  She'll go in search of her beloved items - luckily she has multiples of each otherwise I'm sure I'd be scrambling all the time to located them, since she seems to randomly dump them as quickly as she demands them.  She'll then bring me, after firmly lodging her binki in her mouth, one of her blankets.  After handing it to me, she'll turn around and start reversing - I keep expecting to hear the BEEP BEEP BEEP of a truck as it backs up - knowing that I'll be there with the blanket outstretched so she can just back right into it.  I then wrap it around her and tuck it under her arms which she then folds in front of herself so she's all wrapped up.  It's adorable.  She walks around for a while, all bundled up, just like she's always liked it.


Oh yeah, she also loves this big puffy pink coat - she'll often refuse to take it off all day long.  So once wearing the coat and wrapped in the blanket she's so puffy I can barely pick her up. It's like holding a marshmallow.  A giant pink marshmallow.

She's been totally healthy this week, for the first time in what seems like months, and it turns out she's quite charming and adorable when she feels good!  Sorry to say that I'd almost forgotten how much fun she is.  Bundle has been talking up a storm - she repeats everything I say (which is sometimes alarming....) and seems to understand it too.  I love how she walks around the house and says, "Mom!  "Meere!" (Come here.)  And I'm also happy to report that her appetite has returned with a vengeance.  We may get her to gain a pound or two for the first time since she turned about 1.



Oh yeah, one more thing.  I do have to report on Bundle's love affair.  Besides calling for her binki/banki combo all day long, I also regularly get a call for "Buzz! Woody!  Jessie!"  That girl adores her Toy Story.  I try to not play it non stop, but I will confess to having used it from time to time to completely absorb her while I got something done.  Thankfully Stomper went through a similar love affair when he was two so we have an actual Buzz and Woody on hand to keep her company.  I see a Jessie entering our life in the near future.  I just can't decide if it will be on Easter or on her Birthday that it will get delivered.  I know Easter should really be less about the gifts, but I can't help getting excited to see her reaction to the arrival of a Jessie doll. I don't know if I can wait until June.


I'm just not entirely sure that Jessie will fit in the stroller!

Friday, March 18, 2011

What The....



....BYU?  I actually meant to take a picture of us last night just to document this momentously unheard-of occasion, but for some Freudian reason I forgot to bring the camera. We had been graciously invited to attend a Saint Patrick's Day feast by our good friends the Radants. And it just so happened that dinner was scheduled during BYU's game in the 1st round of the NCAA tournament. Very sneaky of them; the Radants are extremely loyal Cougars. What else could we do?  We watched it with them.  And....we even cheered for the Cougars.  Weird.  We couldn't really help it - I mean, Jimmer Fredette is really just a spectacle to behold.  And he seems like a perfectly nice, respectful young man. Okay, I'll confess. We're all Jimmer fans over here.  So yes, we were caught cheering for the bad guys.  Stomper picked up on this a few weeks ago and he got really confused. "Dad," he said, "I thought that BYU were the bad guys!"  "Well son," replied his father, "Sometimes it's okay to cheer for BYU...in basketball...."  Troy had to cut short Stomper's lecture on moral relativism before it went too far and had to placate him with one of those fabulous parental statements:  "You'll understand when you're older."  There, that should solve his issues, shouldn't it?

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Let Me Tell You a Story


It all started two nights ago.  Troy took the big kids to go see the UofU women's gymnastics team.  (I've been meaning to blog about taking Bitty two weeks ago, but it's been so long now that I'm just going to have to forget it.)  I was home with little Bundle, who is pursuing a professional career in  ear aches.  (This girl hasn't been healthy for longer than a week since last summer.) Troy and the big kids walked in late, Bitty holding onto a giant bag of pink and blue cotton candy.  We hurriedly got the kids ready for bed, when Bitty started mentioning that her stomach didn't feel very good.  We, being the good parents that we are, used it as a teaching moment about the evils of eating too much candy, despite the fact that we're the ones who bought it for her.  We got the kids settled and went to bed ourselves around 11:15.  It was a lovely 1/2 hour of sleep.  And then the wild rumpus started.  Bitty began the great evacuation of the cotton candy all over herself and her bed.  This in turn woke up Bundle, who was fevery and crying and clinging to me for dear life while I swabbed up her big sister.  It took both parents to get the girls cleaned up and put back to bed.  Bundle wasn't able to get to sleep for another 1 1/2 hours, at which time Bitty woke back up and began the cycle of puke again.  Which woke up Bundle.  Again. This went on until about 5:00 in the morning, when we finally all fell into a sound sleep. Until about 7:15.  Yes, the girls still woke up at their regular time.  I'll summarize the rest: Saturday was awful.  This was made especially true by the fact that as I was madly doing dishes and laundry between caring for two sick girls we realized that we had no hot water. Troy made a trek to the basement to confirm the fact that yes, the water heater had died.  Not a great day for that to happen, by the way.  I am happy that it lived long enough to get us through the previous night, but seriously.  We're now in the market for a tankless water heater, which will be great....when we get it installed...in two days....Bitty is still puking....

So yeah, not the best weekend ever.  And yet, I do have to say that there are good things about it.  Like the fact that the kids haven't fought at all in three days!  (Bitty's been unconscious for most of it, that's why.)  Also, she's doing that darling thing where she's so sick that she's crossed from being really whiny to being utterly and completely sweet and lethargic.  I hate to see them sick, but it brings out their good manners.

There have been many many things queuing up on my to-blog list in the mean time...I'll just mention them briefly and call it good so I can go to bed.

Thing 1:
The Pinewood Derby


Ever since I found out I was pregnant with a boy, Troy has been looking forward to his son's first pinewood derby.  Now, he's definitely not one of those dads who goes nuts and insults other people and only cares about winning.  He's excited because he loves to make things well.  And he and Stomper made a really cool derby car.  So cool, in fact, that Stomper won the most votes for "Our Pick to Win It" prize.  He was thrilled to get a ribbon.  And how did the actual race go?  Well, our Scout Master did his best to help all the boys feel good about taking part in the race, so he really downplayed the results.  But I do wish he had announced the top three because...Stomper took second!  It was awesome!



Thing 2:
Another Year Older, Wiser and Better


We celebrated Troy's 41st this week.  It was a somewhat quieter affair than last year's bash.  Just his folks came over for chicken pot pie and a super fabulous chocolate cake.  A night high in calories and high in spirits.  We decided not to risk burning the cake into a crisp by putting 41 candles on it - so we did four candles, then one candle.  Bitty (look at her all healthy and happy in that picture - I remember her!) did the honors of placing the candles, the sweet thing.  The house was a mess, we were all tired, but Troy got a new buck knife and a new hand plane is on its way.  Happy Birthday, my wonderful husband.


Thing 3:
The Skating Queen

This is another thing I've been meaning to blog forever - Bitty got skates for Christmas and though they occasionally go unused for weeks at a time, she absolutely adores them and is the cutest skater ever.  Sometimes she'll put them on and skate back and forth on the back porch for literally two whole hours.  It's crazy!


Okay, time for some sleep for me.  That's all the updating I can handle.  And frankly, after this past weekend, I hope there isn't much to report for a few days!