Friday, May 30, 2008

Things I Could Learn From My Kids

WAKE UP HAPPY: A smile does a lot to improve puffy eyes and bedhead.

LISTEN: Adrie likes to talk about everything under the sun but if she senses that I am not giving her my full undivided attention she will yell..."mom...MOM......MOOOOOOM!!!!"
SHARE: Kate came home from a birthday party with some fun party favors. She immediately gave one special thing to each of her sisters from her goodie bag. It made me feel a little guilty about how stingy I am with my stash of chocolate truffles.

And a good reminder for those stressful Sunday mornings...
LOVE: Brynn and I were reading from her journal and came across this entry from a Sunday morning in 2006 . Brynn got dressed asked me to do her hair and got her shoes out all with such a merry-air. I asked her why she was so excited to go to church today. She answered , "Because I love Heavenly Father."

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

What Happens When Kids Get a Hold of the Camera

Any guesses???
Kate explained that obviously this was the freaky spider in the bathtub. Looks like it was too scary to get close so the maximum zoom was used. The girls spent at least 10 min. trying to bring this thing to it's demise. First by gingerly splashing water, then pouring it, then turning on the faucet full blast. Gutsy.
Yes, another spider to spice things up around here. Frightening yet fascinating. This one was allowed to live because it was OUTSIDE or in the garage which is close enough.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Recital Meltdowns

Kate did a great job on her piano recital despite what she thinks. She missed one note at the end of her song and it was all she could do to hold in her tears until she sat down and buried her head in my lap. If she had been listening to all the other kids she would have realized that everyone made some mistakes. It's okay!

She said later that she never wanted to play the piano again. I tried to comfort her by telling her that I was proud of her and at least she didn't miss every note like I did once. I had to play the cello for the State Music Competition but this one particular time my nerves got the best of me and I blew it--bigtime. Maybe it was because I was so sick of my song by the time the competition rolled around I didn't practice much before. Maybe it was the huge crowd of musician peers that filed in to listen. But, I think what really put me over the edge was when I found out right before that one of those peers had made the hour drive to come to watch me because he had a crush on me. Aaaargh! Maybe it was worth the drive just for the freak show. I couldn't believe myself how awful I sounded with each note more out of tune than the next. It was shocking really and I never could get it together. When it was over I got up and instead of bowing I apologized to the judges.
But, back to Kate. The point I was trying to get across with my story was this. I still kept on playing my cello. I didn't quit because of one career-busting humiliating disaster..and look how happy and rewarding the cello is for me now...etc. etc...!

(and the guy still wanted to go out with me and neither of us ever mentioned the State Music Competition)

More exciting events of the week: Brynn's preschool graduation. She was very satisfied with all the fun and learning of the past year. She told me that when Smokey the Bear came to visit he told them that when you are on fire you are supposed to "Duck, Roll, and Sit."
Richfield Rhythm
Adrie was especially good at doing the part in the song that said, "turn around and fall on the ground."

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Boy Crazy

Cannon is 2 months now. Everyone loves to hold him except when I need to make lunch or clean or throw that load in the laundry. I asked Kate to watch Cannon while I got his bath stuff ready. When I went back for him he was naked and Kate was holding a diaper like a shield waiting for me to come back. The minute I took the diaper from her he peed full force all over me. I couldn't help but scream. There is nothing funnier to a 7 yr. old--Kate about died of laughing! Brynn thinks she is old enough to be able to walk around holding her baby brother--but she obviously struggles with his enormous size (Cannon is a chunk--he looks ready to hibernate for the summer or at least sleep through the night.) When Adrie holds him it has to be supervised. His head will flop from side to side and she will try to overcorrect him. "Whoa! He did that his-self" she'll say. Luckily we have a swing. I can put him in it and have pretty much peace of mind that he'll be safe. Cannon tries to stay awake but the soothing rocking motion eventually overcomes him and he falls asleep and I can use my two arms again.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Why My Mom is Special

I thought it would be fun to talk about my mom today--she is a force of nature and no one is quite like her. She is fun, crazy, wonderful all at once. A few childhood memories of life with "Nana"

  • Going to every park, museum, festival, bakery and chocolate shop within an hour radius of home.

  • Feeding the bears at the zoo. She would fling bread slices like frisbees. There would be a crowd of people cheering when a bear caught the bread in mid air. Sometimes she could get the bear to clap its hands together. I'm just glad she never got arrested.

  • Watching mom cruise down giraffe hill in a little wagon using the handle as a steering stick.

  • Getting out of Jr. High a couple of times to go to lunch and see a movie with Mom--COOL!

  • Sitting on her lap (age 10-12) steering the car on the freeway--YIKES! (She wanted us to learn to drive early.)

  • Going to the Tower Theatre, sitting on a grungy couch next to some odd people and watching unrated foreign films--YIKES again!

  • Best maple syrup, chocolate truffles, mousse, and fudge.

  • Lots of road trips. We would take of to the beach or a National Park and along the way visit every rest stop and historical marker.

  • Great stockings and Easter baskets with gourmet chocolates.

  • What she exclaimed when she forgot where she hid your Christmas present, "Oh spit!"

  • Listening to her make up tunes and play them on the piano. "Aquamarine" and "Blessed are the Meek"

  • Never following recipes and never wearing a seatbelt because they were too confining.

  • Going on walks but not getting far because she had to stop and admire every rock and flower.

  • Visiting the sick, the needy, the downtrodden, the lady with a zillion cats, etc...

  • The Symphony, opera, ballet, plays. We never owned season tickets but everyone who did knew mom would use them if they couldn't.

  • pink or green mush, mystery juice, and "award winning recipes"

  • Bible stories during breakfast.

  • Sugar coated addictions at one time or another: dove ice cream bars, jelly bellies, juju bees, chocolate covered maltballs, raisins, Jordan almonds, gushers.

  • Sunday dinners never with just the family. Alway there would be a new family, some singles, some international refugees or all of them at the same time. Holidays too.

  • Hosting lots of parties and family reunions.
  • Waking up in the midnight hours to the typewriter clickety clack or the osterizer (making the aforementioned mystery juice)

Recently, my dad told me that my mom had blown up the pictures I sent her of the kids. She took them to sacrament mtg and proudly showed them to the whole ward from the pulpit saying, "These are my grandkids." Only my mom could pull that off.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Art Day--Portraits

Our favorite day of the week is here. We looked at Boticelli's Portrait of a Young Man and learned some skills for creating portraits such as not to draw eyes at the top of the head, make the neck as thick as the head, and eyeballs are football shaped, not round. The girls took turns posing and we tried our hands at making portraits.

I drew Kate, Kate drew Brynn, and Brynn drew Adrie. Adrie drew something that looked like Cannon as a zygote or something. See how we look...

Today is also Adrie's special day which means she will choose mac-n-cheese for lunch and hopefully something better for dinner.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

5 Love Languages for Children

This book has been a good parenting resource for me lately. It's about showing children love in different ways: physical touch, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, and quality time. All children need all forms but the book suggests that children (and everyone) has one or two primary languages that speak most clearly to them. It gives guides for figuring out which is your child's primary love language and ideas for expressing it. This is what I've concluded about our family:
PHYSICAL TOUCH--This is definitely one of Kate's because when she gets mad she likes to scoop up Cannon before running off and hiding so she can have a little someone to love up. Even if she is really upset she will not turn you down if you tell her to "Come here so I can hold you."
WORDS OF AFFIRMATION-- I think this is Brynn's. She loves to dress up and put on dance shows. She flits around the room and says, "Pretend I won the prize for being the best dancer in the world" She just loves us to ooh and aah over all of her moves and say things like, "Wow, I wish I could dance as good as that girl with the pink tutu!!" Ditto for Adrie.
QUALITY TIME--This has to be Adrie's. She is constantly asking me to play barbies or do a puzzle with her or read this Disney bedtime version of Cinderella that is so long we might as well watch the movie.
GIFTS-- Kate loves to find some of her old treasures, put them in a fancy gift bag, throw a few suckers from the candy jar in there, maybe some stickers, write a note and deliver it to a lucky little recipient in the neighborhood. This must be her way of saying, if "Everyone must love to get gifts as much as I do... Mom, when can you buy me my own TV?"
ACTS OF SERVICE-- Brynn often makes requests, such as: Can you put batteries in my Pixel Chix car (which still won't work if I do because Adrie played with it in the bathtub.) Can you sew up my Webkins puppy (whose bean bag guts came out of the stitching in its stomach 2 days after she got it.) Brynn really appreciates when you do little things for her like help her make her bed or pick out a show-n-tell thing for preschool.
BD's love languages are physical touch and words of affirmation. I would say mine are: all of them--ha! I'm pretty high maintenance. You can take the poll and see which one or two love languages you think speak best to you.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

3 Blessings and a Homecoming

What an unprecedented event in family history to have 3 babies blessed in one day as well as the homecoming of Brandon's parents from their mission in Cambodia! I'd like to sum it up with the highlights and lowlights from my point of view so here goes...

  • Adrie woke up the morning of with a burning fever (how do you quarantine a 3-yr. old?)
  • 5 min. before Cannon's blessing he had a huge explosion of poo that came out his diaper and onto the nice white outfit that we borrowed from the neighbors.
  • My family arrived 1 and 1/2 hrs. late and missed the blessing. When they did arrive, my sister got out of the car fuming, "Do you know how crazy it is to be in the backseat of a car with 2 Stewarts who think they know where they're going?!@!!" I could just imagine it-- My uncle driving trying to follow the exact address while my mom was going off her memory. Mom --"This road looks familiar, I think we turn here." Uncle--"No no, the address says we need to go over here...etc." They ended up driving all over Utah County.


  • Seeing Mom and DadC. again and everyone else!
  • Mom N. brought a tower of fancy treats for everyone plus baby blankets for all the babies that were blessed.
  • Listening to Mom and DadC. share their uplifting missionary experiences at church.
  • All the brothers performing "Brightly Beams Our Father's Mercy..."
  • Healthy baby cousins
  • Souvenirs from Cambodia. I like my red bag.
  • Good warm feeling that permeated throughout the day.
  • My cute new outfit.
  • etc, etc. I'm sure there are many more I could list.