The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
December 2017

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mommies Day

I didn't do a lot of the usual kinda stuff most moms do for Mother's Day - no brunch at a restaurant, no afternoon naps, but I have to say, it was one of the best Mother's Days ever.

I already had a hint I was going to love it when, on Saturday evening,  I saw Troy and Bitty whispering in the corner just as we were tucking her in. After their energetic and hushed conversation, Bitty tippy-toed over to me and said, with stars sparkling in her eyes, "Mommy, just sleep in in the morning, OKAY?" So I figured I could look forward to a little breakfast in bed to start the day.  Bitty loves doing that.  Of course, I woke up about a hour and a half before she did, but I killed time by reading and working on the lesson I was giving in church later that day.  Finally Troy had to go wake her up so she could help out with breakfast - she would have been heartbroken if she had been left out of it.  He tried to include Stomper as well, but he seems to be making an early entrance into the teenage habit of moaning into his pillow a low and definite, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO" when you ask him if he wants to get out of bed on a Sunday morning.  Bundle wanted to take part in the breakfast as well, albeit on the receiving end.  She woke up just as Troy and Bitty were finishing my perfectly poached eggs on toast (yum!) and when she learned what was going on she crawled right into bed next to me, sat up leaning on a pillow, and smiled expectantly at Troy and Bitty as they came up the stairs with my tray.  Troy went back down and quickly made eggs for Bitty and Bundle too so they could join me in our bedroom feast.  A great start to the day.

I don't know if most mothers feel the way I do about the funny little homemade gifts the kids make for me every year.  Their teachers at school and church both seem to help them come up with a cute little craft and I just love the art and creations I'm showered with each year.  This year it was a hand-decorated shopping bag from Stomper and a self-portrait from Bitty as well as some cards and treats.  Treasures, every one.

After a nice church day we came home to get a few things ready for family to come over.  So no, I didn't nap luxuriously all afternoon or read in the bathtub or something like that, I did some cleaning and a lot of cooking.  And I'm so glad I did.  It was the most glorious spring afternoon - the temperature couldn't have been more perfect.  While I cooked and cleaned, Troy came home and played with the kids (read: kept them out of my way.) They had a rollicking good time with the sprinkler and we ended up with lots of funny pictures of Stomper as he sat on the sprinkler as it was going full blast.

We invited my parents and Troy's parents over for dinner, and it turned out that my dad's younger sister Roseanne was in town for the weekend as well and she joined us too.  I made a Cafe Rio type salad bar so that everyone could have plenty of things to pick and choose from.  Everyone got here at about the same time and we just sat on the back porch enjoying good food, good company and good conversation.  We each shared  memories of our mothers which led to a lot of funny stories and tender ones too. I especially enjoyed hearing my mom relate a story about Grandma Cannon that started out quite picturesque but ended with Grandma chopping off a chicken's head.  Troy's dad also had some great tales about digging ditches with dynamite as well as throwing firecrackers down his mother's chimney.  I guess I know more about my husband and his brothers' love of all things explosive.  Inherited trait.  I really enjoyed hearing all those memories and stories.  Later my sister and two of her beautiful girls stopped by as well and we all topped off our dinner with brownie and strawberry sundaes.

I just felt completely FULL.  Not from food, although that too.  I felt FULFILLED.  Happy Mother's Day to all - (a few days late) - and I send that wish out to any friend or family member who has shown me kindness and nurtured me along my wavering little way.  There are many of you and I love you.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Confession Time. I Have Turned Into Gollum.

This has been a challenging week. I don't even know how to say this without possibly bursting in to tears.

I have stopped drinking Diet Coke.

Waaaahhhhh!!!  I don't even WANT to stop drinking it, seeing how it's my favorite thing on the planet pretty much.  It's taken me months and months since the first moment I heard a little voice in my head telling me that I drink too much to actually admit that it's true.  I'm telling you, I love the stuff, and rely on it heavily as my own personal anti-depressant, energy booster, delicious guilt-free treat, tension tamer, mood lifter, ....basically, it's the precious. And I'm Gollum. And now I don't have it any more.  This is how I feel about it:

It's true.  I'm just that awful.  Today I took my toddler to the library to attend Books and Babies, a wonderful outing during which we enjoy songs and stories told by our favorite librarian.  We were sitting there happily, singing and clapping and being generally happy and calm when I saw a mom lean over and pick up a clear plastic cup with a lid and a red straw, bubbles filling the brown liquid like tiny jewels, dew beading up on the cup....I had to fight the urge to wrest it from her grasp and start sucking like a vampire.  Believe me, if she's anything like me she would have fought back.  We would have caused a scene.

Do I sound like I may have had a problem? No...addicted? Not me!

I have to say that I'm pretty proud of myself.  I've been very strong and have even walked into both a Maverick and 7-11 this week and did not lose all control and start drinking directly from the Diet Coke spout.   Funny, I don't feel any physical effects from cutting myself off - no headaches, nothing like that.  I'm just sad.  Diet Coke made me happy.  But it was getting apparent that I had a problem seeing as how I poured myself a tall one by 10 a.m. pretty much every day and just kept it flowing until the late afternoon.  That can't be good, right?

So, there you go. I have confessed.  And if Frodo ever goes walking by with a big gulp in his hand he'd better look out because he's going to lose a lot more than a finger.

A Long Time Coming...I Mean Going.

Bitty just has not been on the same tooth-losing schedule that Stomper was.  I swear that boy spit them out like watermelon seeds one year until he had the most mangled-looking mouth around.  Bitty has chosen an apparently more ladylike schedule of occasionally  losing a tooth and then politely growing the new one in before moving on to the next.  Her two front teeth have been wiggly for more than a year without making much progress but finally finally one of them was on the verge of falling out after she kneed herself in the face and knocked it loose. More loose, that is.  I was a little sad to see it get so wiggly because I knew the days were numbered for her sweet and perfect little baby teeth - not one cavity yet!  (I AM a good mother! Oh no, wait, Stomper had like four, so I guess I take that back.)  Kids' faces just seem to change after those little pearls are gone and these big jagged permanent monsters take their place.  It takes a long time for their cute faces to grow into those big teeth!  I changed my mind about my sorrow however after she wiggled it so hard it started hanging at an angle, slightly protruding from the rest of her teeth.  She looked a little too buck-toothed yokel-ish.  Is that a word?  I don't think so.

Tuesday night it was so loose she couldn't even sleep.  Finally, as I was drifting off to sleep I heard a very un-sleepy holler from downstairs and instantly knew that the tooth had finally been wiggled free.  Hurrah.  Of course, Bitty was all set to sit down and write a lengthy epistle to the tooth fairy right then, but I talked her out of it, thank heavens.  I probably would have been okay with a quick note except that the tooth fairy always leaves a gold $1 coin in place of the tooth and I happened to know that the tooth fairy was out of them last night and would need to stop by the credit union sometime before bedtime the next day.  So I sent her off to bed after she showed off her gap to her daddy.  It's pretty cute.  She already has a lisp and now with her mithing tooth ith even worthe.

Okay. Cute, but still possibly a little yokely.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Happy Birthday, Sweet Matthew

How it's possible that five whole years have gone by since Matthew is beyond me.  But somehow it's true.  Five years.

It's a little tough when Matthew's birthday falls on a Saturday.  It's not like life slows down or gives us a peaceful quiet day for us to celebrate and remember, so we have to kind of make room for it ourselves, which we did in the beautiful, cool and sunny afternoon. The kids and I made a cake -  so cute - we asked them what kind of cake they thought Matthew would like.  Stomper started out by stating that it had to have whipped cream and strawberries, Bitty quickly followed up with deciding that it had to be chocolate AND vanilla cake, then Bundle topped it off by saying, "with SPRINKLES!"  And so it was.  We made it together and decorated it together.  The kids and I went and picked out balloons like we always do and took them to the back porch to write our notes to Matthew.

Bundle, despite obviously not having an abstract understanding of our spirits and of heaven, didn't stop jabbering about "my other brother Matthew in heaven" for the entire day.  And each of the kids wrote a note of their very own.  Stomper never seems to forget Alex or his brother and wrote a sweet note to both of them, though it was brief. Bitty wrote a lengthy note expressing longing and tenderness.  Bundle drew a picture and continued talking talking talking about Matthew.  Then we let our balloons go and for the first time in five tries every single balloon made it on its heavenly flight.

After an evening out celebrating Cinquo de Mayo with good friends, we came home and tucked some very tired kids in bed.  They were kind of manic all day as they are every year.  They seem to enjoy celebrating and talking about Matthew, but are always beyond energetic as well. I've mentioned other years that Troy and I have a hard time finding time to do our own remembering because so much of the day is spent in the crazy energy of the kids.  So of course Troy and I snuggled up on the couch after the kids were sleeping.  We pulled out our Matthew box and tenderly remembered our May 5, 2007 by reading the letters and notes we received and looking at his one photograph.

Though the day is always a little painful it is also a day to really celebrate our wonderful little family, and we had a great time together.  We bought a few extra balloons in case one got popped before we sent it with a note attached.  We enjoyed doing helium-intake demonstrations for the kids with the extra balloons and making them giggle like crazy.  We thoroughly enjoyed eating more cake than was good for us and licking all the bowls, whisks and spreaders involved.  We just tried to enjoy each other all day long, and we thank Matthew for bringing that extra depth of gratitude to our family.  We love you, sweet boy Matthew, and we want you to know that you are a blessing in our family.

Monday, May 07, 2012

The Salad Days

Raising Arizona. One of my all time favorite movies. I guess I do have to confess that I lean towards thinking about it and quoting it more than actually watching it because some of the stuff in there is just too yucky for me to enjoy watching over and over - mostly those two guys who break out of jail.  Wait, they didn't break out - they released themselves upon their own recognisance, of course.  Anyway, it's a great movie and I truly do love it.  I think it has one of the best opening sequences of all time - partly because it lasts 15 minutes or so before they even show the title of the movie and partly because there's that guy yodeling Beethoven's 9th the whole time.  It is during that wonderful sequence when H.I. McDunnough is happily married to his sweetheart Edwina and they're sitting there enjoying the sunset as they sit in their crappy lawn chairs outside of their crappy trailer, H.I. makes the comment, "Those were the salad days."

The Salad Days. Is that a common phrase?  I think so, but I am not entirely certain.  We sure use it a lot around here -  Troy uses it especially to describe the wonderful college years after his mission when he was spending time with this awesome group of friends including people we know and love to this day, like Rex.  I get a little jealous hearing him talk about those salad days. I wish I had been there.  Of course, I was way too mental in the year 1992 to have been cool enough to hang out with the likes of Troy and his gang.  So I just reap the benefits of being married to a guy who had salad days like those.

I bring this up because I think we might be in the middle of a salad-days time of our lives at this very moment.  Our youngest child is very nearly potty trained and very nearly sleeps through the night very nearly every night.  She has friends and play dates and is definitely no longer a baby.  Don't get me wrong - babies are great and many are the days that I wish I could have just one more day with each of my babies.  But let's not kid ourselves that the baby years are some very physically demanding and completely exhausting years!  And I've made it!  At the same time, our oldest child is no where near his teens yet.  He's still young enough to be a little kid - he still plays pretend and builds forts and needs hugs and a few weeks ago even asked me to sing him to sleep.  These are just some very good years. Here are a couple of things I've enjoyed since my last post:

We bought some dry ice. (Troy did his own wart removal; it was fascinating and alarmingly effective).  We had quite a lot of left over ice and had a few fun ingredients in the fridge so we whipped up some dry ice-ice cream.  The kids had fun stirring the smoking pot of cream and sugar and the result was so yummy.  I mean, it's hard to go wrong with that stuff anyway, but the dry ice made it sort of carbonated as well. You had to eat it up quickly before it melted, but that's never been a big problem around here.  Troy and I topped ours with berries and almonds, but the kids went heavy on the sprinkles and light on the fruit instead.  It was a great spur-of-the-moment family treat.

The other thing we seem to not get enough of is riding our bikes at the park.  Bundle has recently learned how to pedal around on our tiny little bike with training wheels.  We head up the street and around the corner at least once or twice a week let the kids zoom around (or wobble around as the case may be.)  Bitty especially loves her bike time and gets a look of absolute glee whenever she rides, as noted by her photos.

I'm hoping the summer ahead will be one full of many salad days.