Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The bedroom shuffle

We bought the boys a new bunkbed on saturday. It looks so cute. I love the color. The boys were so excited. we needed another mattress for Matty and mom brought that over last night. (I'm almost embarrased to admit he was still sleeping in the crib.) So their room is all rearranged. It no longer has a crib. just the big boy bed. They have so much more room. I caught Matt before he got out of bed this morning:

unfortunately, he had already woken up so I missed getting him actually sleeping in his big boy bed. ah well. he did a very cute pretending to sleep thing for me when I asked.

The crib went to the girls' room. I was worried about having Libby sleep in it because she's been waking up in the middle of the night at least once and usually twice (or more) still. I didn't want her waking up the girls. Also the fact that the girls' room is on the other end of the house from my room bothered me a bit. But I took a deep breath and put my baby to sleep in her bedroom with her sisters last night. I laid her down just shy of 10 pm and she woke up at 6:30. yea, Libby!

Saturday, June 25, 2005

why does it have to be so hard?

so I had to ground my seven year old yesterday which means he doesn't get to be in the Fiddle Parade today. he won't get to ride the fire truck and wave and laugh with his siblings and his cousin. He was awful and he needed the wake up call but it hurt to have to take that from him.

My three year old is losing his hair. I feel and overwhelming sense of guilt over this. I don't know why it's happening. We are thinking it's because we let him get away with a very limited diet too long without vitamins (because they weren't in the limited diet.) and then last night the one vegtable I could count on him eating and enjoying, spagetti sauce, (in this house, that's a vegetable) he refused to eat. I should call a dr and get him a good physical, but I feel so guilty thinking I know what the problem is and it's my fault that I'm paralized into not making the call because I don't want to hear what a bad mother I am.

my baby keeps waking up four and five times a night. she's nine months old and fully capable of sleeping through the night. she did it for about a month. then she decided she didn't need to anymore and she needed to sleep with me. I've kicked her out of my bed because I wasn't getting any sleep and now I'm still not getting any sleep.

mommyhood is hard.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Really trying hard to avoid the pun

We spent the evening in Weiser today wandering around the booths set up for the annual town festival. In Weiser this happens to be the Fiddle Fest. Yes, a whole week devoted to fiddling. If you are bluegrass fan, this is the place to be. For the rest of us, it's just a chance to wander corny local bazzaars and shop at goofy trinket booths. Oh, and pay exorbitant prices to ride in circles on chintzy carnival rides. The kids seem to love circles and have stomachs of iron though, so I guess it's all good.

Poor Matt though. It seems no one really felt that root beer would sell well enough at the booths to stock it. I walked the entire stupid circuit looking for root beer for that kid and no one had it. This of course commenced a 20 minute melt down in which he forgot how to say anything but "I want root beer!" (Imagine this long and drawn out and spoken with all the anguish of all the people who thought Noah was an idiot. It could only be calmed by a promise of a marshmallow gun and a free sample of kettle corn. (big brother and sister already got their marshmallow guns so I'm not a total pushover. really.) A second melt down was barely averted by a quick run for more tickets so the Little Prince could ride the "roller coaster." (this ride can only be spoken of in quotes, because it only aproximated a roller coaster.) That was fun though. He joined his older sisters and his dad, but not his older brother who could not be persuaded that the thing was not going to kill him. who knows, with these carnival rides, he may have been right.

Mommy was tired after that so we went home. all outings are always over when mommy is tired. that's the rule.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Breakfast philosophy

I’m bucking the system today. I’m not going to write about fathers. Father’s day is almost over anyway.

You know that flavor of orange juice at breakfast, sweet and pure and delicious and just right. Now think of the flavor of juice after you have taken a bite of your pancake with syrup. The flavor is gone. It becomes this wet, slightly tart drink in your mouth. The sweetness of the pancake totally overwhelms the natural sweetness of the juice. It becomes nothing and its value is stolen by the artificial maple syrup.

That’s my life. I’m spending too much time worrying about the syrup and not near enough time just tasting the sweetness in the glass. My goal this week is to enjoy the sweet. I want to enjoy my time as a mom and not just endure it.

Life is sweet. Taste it.

Monday, June 13, 2005

What is with Me and Cookies (for steve but the rest of you can read it.)

Last night I was craving cookies really, really badly. It's been over a week for me now since I had any, longer since I have baked any. When I crave cookies I don’t just crave eating them. I want to bake them, my finger itch to grab my mixer and create a batch from scratch. I want the noise, the mess, the smell, the taste, the whole experience.

For me, cookie baking is an event. (I live a pretty low key life, in case you couldn’t tell.) I usually have a child helping me (and the others all fighting over the chance.) I carefully consider what kind to make but most often its plain chocolate chip. It takes an hour in the afternoon, when my energy is up for a bit. I love every stage of the process. I love the feel of the dough in my fingers as I test the consistency, the sweetness on my tongue when I sneak a taste.

Cookies are my thing, more than scrapbooking, more than photography, more than reading. I have an emotional connection with the process. I need to feed that emotional space more than I really need to eat the cookies. There is comfort in a cookie. It’s small, and easy. It doesn’t intimidate. it’s simple and familiar. They never bore you because there is always another cookie to try. Other things I do make me happy, but the happiness from a mouthful of freshly made cookie dough is a very tangible thing. You can touch it. You can hold it in your mouth and savor the moment. When it’s gone, there’s more cookie dough. My childhood is wrapped up in that moment, my good times with my kids, my success. It’s all there, sweetly melting away, full and rich and full of promise of more good things to come. A good batch of cookies will turn an afternoon around. So when I’m feeling fidgety, sad, lonely, grumpy, I make cookies. They center me and make it so I can finish the day.

There’s a lot in a little chewy circle, isn’t there?

Saturday, June 11, 2005


I started a new diet Monday. I wasn't excited about it. To be honest, I was working on being happy where I was. Ok, so it wasn't happening, but I was working on it. Steve has been unhappy with his weight so he decided he was going to try this new program. It cost us over $100 to buy the package and I guess at $60 each to lose weight it's cheaper than Weight Watchers.

But it's not like Weight Watchers at all. Instead of me deciding what I'm going to eat, I have a list of exactly what I can eat and when I should eat it. Instead of flexible points, I have a set menu. Ok, so there is variety within that menu, but not a lot. For example, we must have a protien at each meal. steve gets 4oz I get 2oz (cooked weight.) we can have chicken, turkey, and fish, every once in a while we can choose beef but we can't have as much. For three meals we get a carbohydrate. Now in this diet, we get potatoes and white rice as well as oatmeal and a whole bunch of grains that no one actually eats like barley, millet, strange African grains that can only be purchased in specialty stores in large cities and not anywhere near Bedlam, ID. (which is not a real town, btw. Bedlam is a state of mind and only achieved after years of motherhood.) Veggies three meals and Fruits three meals and yet once again, the aproved list has like five each that we can actually find here and the rest are weird things that are only added to round out the cards and make it look like the diet has lots of variety to it.

Why do these diets think they can get away with this? really, who actually ate Jicama until Dr. Atkins came along? millet? do you ever say to yourself "now what I"m really craving is a nice big bowl of millet!" So you get this big ol' list with your diet of all the food that you are allowed and at first glance you think "hey! this is good! I can have potatoes!" then you start reading the list. I don't live in Alabama, I doubt i can buy okra around here.

This diet also treats salt like a posion. we must avoid it at all costs. It's crazy. So all of the sudden, the potatoes which looked wonderful two minutes before now don't look so good. ever eaten potatoes without salt? yeah. exactly.

No dairy. aparantly "Milk is for making baby cows fat." since I am neither a baby nor a cow nor intending to get fat, aparantly milk is not for me. however, since I have a baby who needs to be fat eating from what I eat, I have added milk back into the diet. She was starting to get more demanding and asking for food more, so I decided I needed to be sure I had enough of the right nutrients for her.

So after all that complaining you may ask "why the heck are you still doing this crazy diet? why didn't you sell the thing back and go buy yourself something cute with that money?" Because I've lost five lbs in five days. Because my sweetie who is perfect with the diet and never cheats has lost ten. Because I have to be seen in a bathing suit at the beach in five weeks. Because I'm tired of my shadow looking like someone took scalloped deco scisors to the side of it.

I'll stick with it for awhile longer and see where it gets me. It's amazing what you can do with chicken, oatmeal, potatoes, and egg whites. ;)

Friday, June 10, 2005

Self Portrait

I was taking pictures of my new photo arangement in my living room, to post on my blog of course, because who is crazy enough to take pics of their livingroom unless they are going to post the pics on the internet? This somehow degenerated into me taking pics of the boys, then matt sitting on my lap and taking pics of us, then I had a pile of my kids around me and I was still pressing the button myself.

They had a fun time even if I did get a bit over nervous with them actually holding my camera. we were using pretty wide angles so our faces are a bit distorted. Poor Rilla should have been looking down.

avoidance techniques

so the Creating Keepsakes Idea Annual calls are going out. Yes, I submitted to that one. If I were to go read the Message Board at 2ps, I would know what letter the calls are on. Aparantly they are going alphabetically backwards by first name. could they draw out the torture even longer here??? I know I'm not getting a call for this. CK hates me. They think my kids are ugly or something. (which just shows how bad their taste is because my kids are dang cute.)

so here I sit avoiding 2ps. I'll probably be heading over there soon. just because I wanted some torture for the day.

This is the last major call I've submitted for. I really can't take the pressure anymore. PK doesn't like me anymore, the other mags never liked me. Scrapbooking has become this big cometative race I'm losing. So I'm pulling out of the race for awhile. I need it to be fun again. I have scrapbooked a few pages but they aren't magazine worthy and it doesn't bother me. Now I just need to host a crop. That's a great way to bring some fun back. :)

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Now you've got the evidence . . .

I have my quirks. Some of them I fully admit to and some of them I don't even know I have until faced with them in the moment. I had no idea how quirky I could be until this afternoon at two o'clock. The city was in the process of resurfacing our street. We had to park a block away and carefully go around the machines and construction workers. I had all five kids with me, we were packing 15 lbs of books (yup, five kids times three books each, plus mommy's, that's a lot of weight.) I was carrying the baby. It was akward. But I looked at that freshly laid blacktop and I smiled.

It was perfect. One great big stretch of road without blemish. All smooth and perfect for bike riding and rollerskating (with proper supervision of course.) No more pot holes and funny bumps. That new road makes me happy.

It made me so happy I didn't mind a bit that I had to walk a block from my car to my house with five kids twice in one day. The kids watched as they laid the other lane of road. They were fascinated by the big machines, the big dumptruck contiuously dumping loose blacktop into the machine that rolled it out on to the road like a big green pasta machine. The smell of the tar permeated the air and it got several degrees warmer as those machines drove past. The big steam roller chugged by leaving steam rising from the blacktop in curls of mist, a freshly baked chocolate cake of a road. beautiful.

so there you have it. I am crazy and I am quirky. excuse me while I go admire our new street again.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Another Milestone

Sigh, they grown so fast. Elizabeth passed another baby milestone yesterday: she turned off the computer for the first time. It's a rite of passage . . . and a great big annoyance to mommy.

see, now I have good reason to not do anything important on the computer and just stick to the internet. I never know when this thing will get shut off on me.

hey, I can rationalize anything.

Sunday, June 05, 2005


not an inspiring title, but we'll have to go with it today.

While Steve and I were cleaning out one corner of the basement yesterday to get it ready for the stair move (yea!) I ran across our old Mancala game. We bought it when Sarah was five and somehow in ended up in one of the "someday" boxes in one of our moves. (someday as in someday I'll get it unpacked.) We love that game. Sarah could play it at five and she learned basic strategy very quickly. Over the time the game has been lost, we have had a computer game for kids with a version of Mancala on it, so all the kids are familiar with the rules of the game. They were all so excited to see it when I brought it upstairs. Sarah and Joshua have been playing each other and Joshua is holding his own pretty well. they seem to trade off who wins, which is good for the peace in our house! I'm glad I found it now. Summer will be so much better with Mancala around.

Now I just need to get a hold of a Polyanna game. Pollyanna is the game I grew up with. My daughter is the fifth generation of Hilliam women to play the game. Sounds impressive doesn't it? Really, Pollyanna is just an example of how games become traditions. Every family has a game they all play and they all enjoy. Parents teach their children and somehow this family game becomes a tradition. That's Pollyanna for us. It's based on the rules of Parcheesi, like Sorry and Trouble. Four players take their pieces around a board by rolling dice. It's a perfect game because you can visit so easily around the board. There's time to talk and laugh (and since you can send other players pieces back home, burn off a little steam.) It has stayed mostly a game for the women, although my brothers do play. We usually fill the board with Mom and sisters first. Whenever we all get together a game is absolutely on the schedule. Yup, I need a board. I have three girls now. Just enough to start our own Pollyanna tradition. (I call red!)

Saturday, June 04, 2005


ok, so my blog is down. everybody else using blogger is still up, but mine is down. Kinda gets a girl thinking she's not wanted around here ;)

so anyway, this is a test to see if posting something will bring it out of the black hole of the internet.

update on life: we finally have some funds to finish our basement. I'm really, really excited. I dont' like my house that much and finishing the basement and the changes that will go with that, will make a huge, huge, huge difference. Yea us!

first order of business: moving the stairs. that should be a story!

Friday, June 03, 2005

Wanted: new life

I need some structure! My life is crying out for it. I’m getting the bills paid, but what should be extra is slipping away and I am not getting the things I really want with it. My time is slipping away and I’m not getting the important stuff done. My body is not slipping away—it’s expanding. I need structure; I need to take control.

I’ve decided to give myself a schedule. It does not include me sitting here for hours every morning (because somehow this is happening.) It does include me working out every day with a simple walk on the high school track. It does include me making time to scrapbook again with no pressure and no thought to what calls are out. It does include me doing what I can get our remodeling started. And most of all, it includes me getting a handle on our budget. I want a cute house, dang it! It’s not going to come to me, I have to make it happen.

So now I have a check from PK and I have to decide if I want to buy myself photo equipment or a new entertainment center. Right at this moment, I’m leaning toward the entertainment center!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Toes! adorable yummy toes!

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aren't they cute?  those are sweet little preschooler feet.  Now I'm wishing I had taken more pics of my kids with their feet in the sand.

Bravery beyond measure

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Not the baby.  she loved the water.  thought it was just wonderful.   the bravery part is from me actually posting a picture of myself on the internet.  yes, people, I'm starting the diet immediately.  I may call plastic surgeons and ask about liposuction, too.  : p

who took that picture?

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why, yes, it was Steve!  He has to remind me every time he takes a good one just like that.  "hmmm, who took that one?  Me!"  cracks me up.   isn't she beautiful?  Marilla is one of those rare people that photographs better than real life.  You can see her personality in the image and when you stop her for just a moment you can see just how beautiful her features are.  big, big brown eyes and lips that any woman would be jealous of. 

gotta love the beach

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this is my favorite photo so far.   I love the way Steve is carefully helping Matt to overcome his fear of the waves.  I love the way they are holding hands.  you can see Matt is nervous, with his arm flexed and tense and his little back leaning away from the water just a little bit.  He's holding on to his daddy as tightly as he can, but he's going to be brave and let the waves get him because he trusts his daddy will never let him be hurt.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

baby chasing

I have help now with my baby proofing. Libby learned to crawl on our vacation. (That's where I've been for a week. CA. it was fun. I might tell you about it later, and there will be pictures.) Now I get to chase Little Bit around the house pulling things out of her mouth. How does one even baby proof with big kids around? I can't take away all the marbles and legos for the next two years. that wouldn't be fair at all.

my blog may turn into one sentence appeals for sanity. won't that be fun to read?