The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
November 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

One Year Closer to Having a Teenager

Happy 11th Birthday to my sweet boy, Stomper.  It is freaking me out how big he is getting - I watch the top of his head grow closer and closer to the top of my head as the weeks go by - he's just past my chin these days.  I am in trouble.  Why does it feel overwhelming to have your own offspring be taller than you?  Will I still be in charge once he hits 5'4"?  Don't answer that - I'm barely clinging to parental control as it is.
The day he was born - six weeks early much to our surprise!



(And THAT is how you make yourself cry - my little baby!!!)

So yes, we celebrated Stomper's birthday yesterday, his actual birthday, and it was great.

There is a certain item for which he has been longing with much pleading and bargaining and begging.  That item would be something called a 3DS XL.  It's a little Nintendo game player.  Not as little as its predecessor, but still hand held.  And it does 3D.  Oooooo.  Truthfully, Troy and I tried with all our mights to talk Stomper into wanting an iPad mini but he wasn't to be swayed.  So we worked it out - Stomper could choose to spend the money we usually reserve for a party, along with gifted money from his grandparents as well as selling his old DS, to purchase the new 3DS XL with accompanying game.  I thought this was a pretty grown up thing for him to do, to recognize that on the day of his birthday he would not have a friends party, would have not much to open besides some envelopes containing the needed dollars.  And still he wanted it.  And was happy.

Troy and I decided to have a little fun - we tracked down the right 3DS XL along with the game he wanted most and purchased them in advance and hid them.  He had no idea.  I was so excited to surprise him!

We had a fun day - mostly trying to kill him off with unhealthy foods at every turn - he wanted scones and sausage for breakfast, then he wanted donuts for his class treat, plus Troy surprised him at lunch with a burger as a little surprise, and then for dinner with the grandparents we had this decadent meal of orange chicken, chow mien and shrimp cocktail.  Oh yeah, and my dear father, who heard from me that Stomper's favorite food on the planet is crab legs, brought a gift of two king crab legs from Market Street. (I owe my dad.  That was really really nice.)  So basically we stuffed him and ourselves all day.  Urp.

Then he sat down for presents - a friend had dropped off a gift he was excited to open plus there were some envelopes from his grandparents.  He was charming and delighted and didn't show a hint of disappointment, which made it all the more rewarding when we surprised him with one last little package.  Check out this awesome face Troy caught with the camera:



Isn't that the best ever?  So glad we got that.  We let him play for a bit before we pried him away for cake and ice cream.  This time, as per Stomper's request, the ice cream was included WITH the cake. Tricky to figure out but I finally just put ice cream in the cake pans, put a baked layer of cake on top to squish the ice cream into the right shape and stuck it in the freezer for a couple of hours - it worked well!



What a fun evening, what a calorie rich day!!  Totally worth it.  I love that boy of mine, I really do.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Dreaded Annual Halloween Carnival

We have had kids at our beloved elementary school for more than five years now.  And I say beloved because it really is beloved, not just because I'm on the PTA and being coerced to say so.  I really do love it.  But it was in the first year, right off the bat, that we discovered that we are not big fans of the annual Halloween Carnival.  It's only once a year but we dread it for months.  It's hectic and crowded, the hallways crammed hip to hip with children and parents, many of whom have ignored the "no weapons" and "no masks" rules.  Of course, those rules are only really problematic when the 6'5" father of a kindergartener is the one breaking them.  Then it's completely freaky.  You find yourself wishing you could whisk yourself away to someplace calm and peaceful like Target or Walmart on Black Friday morning.

And then...I went and joined the PTA and became the lady who has to beg and plead with all the other parents to come volunteer at this nutty event.  For two years I spent Halloween Carnival sweating in the conference room trying to organize the arriving (and heaven-sent) volunteers while panicking about the spots I wasn't able to fill.  Simultaneously my husband plus Peter and Sheri (who were magically here to help two years in a row) were out in the madhouse halls trying to keep track of the kids and meet all of their desires and expectations.  It wasn't always that fun.  For anyone. Except the kids who adore it, thus our continued attendance.

Now I am in my third year of filling this Volunteer Coordinator position and people keep asking me WHY WHY WHY I keep doing it.  I'll tell you. It was a really steep learning curve those first couple of years and now I want to actually do what I have learned how to do.  Make sense?  Not really?  Well, let me give you an example.  How about....the dreaded annual Halloween Carnival.

It turns out that I actually learned a few things over the past two years and this year it wasn't so bad. Did you hear me?  It went from DREADFUL to not so bad!  That is a huge improvement!  It still isn't my favorite event of the year (which begs the question...which event is?  Ask me later). But my kids adore it.  We had fun.  I was organized enough that I actually got to leave the conference room for large chunks at a time and watch my kids compete in the costume contest (I never knew before that is one of those "everybody wins!" kind of things) and take them around to a game or two.  I even made sure I had a cute niece to help my kids when I was busy so that Troy didn't have to come and suffer through the whole thing.  It was great.  At least comparatively.

Okay, I sound like a spoil sport, like the Grinch of Halloween.  Well....Bring it on.


My Medusa!

With a best (and creepy) buddy

Fuzzy shot of the costume contest

Best In Show Costumes - couldn't get over these guys.  I think they made national news.

Cake Walk Winners!  (That thing is still sitting in our fridge with just a couple of slices missing....)

Hanging in the Conference Room with my friend's adorable chubby son
My friend Emily puts a ton of work into her family's costumes every year, and though this isn't a great shot, you can see some Monster's University players there.  What an awesome family.


Huh.  I just noticed that Stomper escaped my camera completely.  Now that he's a big old 5th grader he doesn't need a lot of leading around - he just took off and chased cute 5th grade girls all evening long.  Sigh.  I have fond memories of doing just that long long ago before I got bitter and old about Halloween....maybe all that's changing!  Maybe one of these years I'll be spirited and dress up and everything!  Never mind, I take it back.  Can't see it happening.  But in the meantime, if carnivals go as smoothly as this one did I will come back year after year.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Three Little Maids From School

Bundle is having one crazy school year - her preschool is having a lot of trouble keeping a teacher! They didn't even have one at the beginning of the year, had to cancel a day of school because of it. Finally they hired a lovely woman who lasted all of three weeks. Yep, got a phone call this week letting us know that this lovely lady up and quit one morning, no idea why, and we were having school cancelled out from under us for two weeks.  I'm sure there was a good reason but still...

Mommy not happy.

Mommy like school days.

I'm making it sound like I don't love spending time with my daughter. I do, I really do... it's making me a little sad thinking of her being gone all day every school day someday in the not too distant future. But I can't deny, having her gone a few hours for a few days here and there....is really helpful. I just need....a little...BREAK.

Happily, Bundle, in her month of actually going to school, has made a couple of sweet little friends and happily, her sweet little friends have sweet little moms that this sweet little mom really likes. This is a good thing. At the cancellation of school we were immediately texting and within 20 minutes had rotating play dates all scheduled.

Today was my turn. And...I forgot how cranky four year olds can get when their territory is invaded. I forgot that four years old is the time when play dates are just beginning and they are rocky for a while. Case in point: Bundle got upset and asked her friends to please stop touching her walls.

So yes, there were a couple of rough moments that needed refereeing, but over all there were some pretty sweet little moments and these gals are darling together.  An energetic bunch to say the least, and I hope they stay friends for a long time.




Tuesday, October 08, 2013

October Splendor

Yes, we have had a few days with temperatures dipping far below where they should be, but really, October, we love you with all our hearts.  Some rainy days, some warm and sunny days....I am a little sad that Salt Lake really only sports two or three months a year with the perfect weather but when those months finally get here they can be described only as GLORIOUS.  My friend TL used to use that word often in describing October weather, and I think of her every time I hear it.

Yes, tis the season for sunny park trips, harvesting vegetables and planning Halloween costumes.  Woah...why do I feel tense, exhausted and anxious suddenly?  Oh yeah, because Stomper wants me to make him into a lego ninja character and Bitty has given me a detailed description of the costume she wants me to create for her to turn her into the headless horseman.  Complete with horse.  My blood pressure is going up just thinking about it.

But back to happier October topics - Troy took two of our three kids to the park this weekend and brought the camera - it feels like we haven't taken any real pictures for a long time due to the constant presence of our very handy iphones.  We should do it more often, because the resulting photographs make us happy.  (Bitty was on an excursion with her auntie M, so she wasn't present but had a grand time out.)










Friday, October 04, 2013

Passages

Two of my three babies have made really big steps this month. What, it's OCTOBER?  Oh okay - I mean LAST month.

They were really big.  Huge.  So BIG, in fact....that I totally was too overwhelmed to blog about them for a few weeks.

Actually I'm just tired!  Getting into the swing of school has taken us a full month at least, but I think we're there now.  It's just been in the past week or so that my kids haven't gone into fits of hysterics when I ask them to please come do a little homework.  Let's just say that they've had some separation issues with summer.  But finally we're settling into things and a half hour of homework isn't so bad any more.

Okay, so our big events:

Number One:

Bitty Got Baptized!  

We had a wonderful day.  Peter and Sheri came up from St. George and Troy's family came in from all around.  The service was at 11:00 in the morning - so happy that it wasn't at 9:00!  Phew!  And it was such a happy thing because the other gal from our stake getting baptized the same day happened to be one of Bitty's dear little girl friends so it was fun for them (and for us) to be together.

I have to tell you my favorite story from that week - it's not a big deal but it was fun for me.  Bitty, just a day or two before her baptism, let me know that she was really hoping for a new dress, one that was all white.  I thought that sounded like a nice idea - but wasn't too keen on spending a lot of time hunting for one in a big hurry while I was already zooming around getting ready for arriving cousins and feeding a large group of people after the baptism.  I had a little thought to just stop in to Kid to Kid since I happened to be right there.  It was so amazing.  A really lovely white dress was hanging up, kind of poking out of the rack a little like it wanted me to see it hanging there.  It was the perfect size, perfect style, and it was seriously the only white dress in the whole store.  Thanks universe.  I needed that.

Anyway, we had a great day and I was so proud of my gal.  She has such a strong spirit and was just glowing away all day long.  








Number Two:

Stomper earned his Webelos Badge and Arrow of Light!

I would feel ashamed if I didn't announce publicly that I pretty much had zero to do with this accomplishment.  Oh okay, I drove him to scouts.  Yay me!  Beyond that though I was just useless.  Stomper has awesome scout leaders that got him through everything and I owe them everything!  Zach and Kylie, you rock.

I tried really hard to make some Arrow of Light Cupcakes...most people looked at my arrangement and just wondered if I had been drinking while setting out the cupcakes.  Pinterest Fail!