Monday, December 29, 2008

Snow WAR is a good War!

Armed with Aunt Noelle (aka Wala) and Uncle Marvin's Christmas present of snowball and snowblock makers, those that weren't settled in for our warm winter's naps (in other words, everyone over two) hiked in waist-deep snow to the backyard and had a battle more of fluff than of substance.  (I snapped less snowballs than I did photos, but still felt good about the effort it took just to make it to the war-zone because I knew it was working off some of the amazingly yummy home-made Spicy Orange Chicken I had scarfed down the night before.)

The Weather Outside is Frightful


Peter thought that it would bring a thrill to toddle through the snow for a few minutes. His walking though a winter wonderland lasted about thirty seconds before he was begging to come back inside.  Poor guy had his first taste of snow-induced prinkly hands and the howling lasted fifty times longer than the actual fun in the snow.  (I love how in the "After" close-up you can not only see the slow roll of a tear down his cheek, but also the remnants of lunch and a smattering of scribble from his encounter with a pen.)

Christmas Eve Wishes

You can bet your stocking that the little elf got everything she asked for on Christmas!

On the actual Christmas Eve (which is much less adorable than the personified version that lives at our house), we regaled on our traditional Euro-fare of leek and potato potage, grilled sausage, cheese (those both stinky and non-stinky), and bubbly cider.  Peter got toddler-drunk on the sugary stuff and wouldn't stop asking for more until we had gone through THREE bottles!  We put Marie up on the  buffet and couldn't tell where the sausage ended and she began!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

O Christmas Treat. . I mean, Tree. . .

We went on our annual Christmas Tree Hunt for FHE, fighting off the bitter Rexburg wind and snow as we trudged up mountainous terrain, lugging our freshly sharpened axe and our trusty rope to find our one true and living Idaho d'Evegnee Family Christmas Tree!  Okay. . . that's a slight hint at hyperbole.  Just take away the fighting and the trudging and the lugging and add a warm greenhouse, gallons of hot chocolate and piles of candy canes and you'll have it just about right.  We drank enough cocoa to help justify the outrageous cost of our fresh pine, and letting the kids run around in circles around the choice of trees, fueled by their sugar high is cute enough to motivate us to come back each year to the same little Idahoan nursery.  We also have a tradition of donning festive hats, which only makes the ruckus even more charmingly Dickensesque--in a Gymboree sort of way.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Volume IV, Issue 2, November 2008

Hair-esy: An Epic Tail

The Peer now spreads the glitt'ring Forfex wide,
T'inclose the Lock; now joins it, to divide. . .
The meeting Points that sacred Hair dissever

From the fair Head, for ever and for ever! . . .
-Alexander Pope, “Rape of the Lock” 1714

My maternal nightmare materialized on Thursday night when the horrific remains of Eve’s hair lay scattered on the tile of the bathroom floor like post-war corpses on some beautician’s battlefield. When asked why, oh, why she would butcher her long locks, she replied through her sobs, “Because I wanted to be beautiful!”

My first inclination of the tress-tragedium was hearing Eric’s screams from the basement of “Oh my gosh! What have you done?” My heart went into high-speed and it wasn’t absent fingers or limbs that came to mind, but “The hair! It’s the hair!” and I flew downstairs and ran into Eric who was blocking the doorway to Eve’s room with outstretched arms, trying to hide her from me (could I help but think of Genesis?).

Then flash'd the living Lightnings from her Eyes,
And Screams of Horror rend th' affrighted Skies.
Not louder Shrieks to pitying Heav'n are cast,
When Husbands or when Lap-dogs breath their last

Every mother of a daughter, especially a long-awaited post-set-of-boys-daughter, fears that her little princess’ hair will meet a self-inflicted end and I think, like me, every mother worries that if and when it happens she will react the way that she fears she might. I have never imagined that such guttural, visceral sounds could spring forth from my usually pretty little mouth—you remember the “NOOOOOO” echoing through the Snowy River Mountains when poor Jim lost his father? That scream pales in comparison to my Oscar-worthy shrieking. Wide-eyed Ethan said to Eric, “I’ve never heard her do that before!”

My attempts to calm down were only successful when I was saved by digital-grace as I realized that I could either continue my over-sized-toddller-fit or I could get out my camera and start shooting people. My shooting-spree was enough to return me to my right mind and to create a nice photo spread for the Review. After capturing Eve’s swollen eyes and red face (notice her pavlovian smile, even through her tears. . . I didn’t tell her to look happy!), I apologized to my family and to myself and tried to explain to them that my harlequin reaction was strange proof that I knew deep down that it was only hair and that it wasn’t really that big of a deal. I told them all, “I really do love you more than hair.”

Early Friday morning, I dragged a reluctant Eve to the best beauty shop in town, which has the unfortunate title of B’Dazzled, making it sound more like something lonely cowboys might visit on a Saturday night than a barber shop. Eve hid her face in her hand and dragged her feet because I’m the only one who has ever cut her hair. . . make that we are the only ones who have ever cut her hair. I think she thought of the beautician as some scary hair-doctor. The concerned beautician offered our pouting Eve some post-breakfast skittles and without pausing Eve looked up and in a calm, authoritative little voice demanded, “I want the whole package.”

I watched as my stylish Eve was utterly Idaho-ized with a bob and bangs which were curled under and ratted. . . yes, ratted. . . and then doused with laquer by the Rexburgian stylist who then gave Eve a side-mini-pony-tail reminiscent of Deb from Napolean Dynamite and sprayed and backcombed some more. Hey! My hair from 1984 called and wants its style back! All she needed was an oversized “Relax” sweatshirt and some neon stirrup pants.

As we left our b’loved B’Dazzled with Eve leaving a trail of fumes behind her, the stylist told Eve she could take three packages of skittles home with her to share with her brothers, and Eve said, “I won’t share with Peter. . . he’s rude!” The whole salon erupted in laughter and I shook my head as we retreated to the car.

I rushed her home and quickly de-Rexburged her with an army of bobby pins and yet another cloud of hairspray to hold down the freshly mown strip of half-inch long fuzz in the front of her hair—there was nothing even B’Dazzled could do to fix those.

. . . Not all the Tresses that fair Head can boast

Shall draw such Envy as the Lock you lost.

To be fair to Eve, I've included my favorite "Hair by Sarah" photos from my childhood. Can you imagine the drama that would have ensued if Eve's haircut had been as drastic as mine? (Shudder, shudder)

Beauty isn’t just Belly-Deep

On the way to Friday morning play-group, our newly becropped Belinda looked at me seriously and said, “Mom, when are you going to be normal?” Thinking she was referencing my hysteria from the previous night, “I said. . . what do you mean by ’normal’?” She replied, “When are you not going to have your big fat belly any more?” I asked her if she meant my big fat belly from Marie and she said, “Yes.” I calmly explained that sometimes it takes a long time to get a baby-belly back into pre-baby-form, but that someone can be beautiful even with a big fat belly. She paused thoughtfully and said, “Oh. . . I didn’t know that.”

How do you Say Harrassment?

At Ethan’s most recent parent-teacher conference, his teacher praised Ethan’s brilliance and then leaned in and whispered, “But he’ s naugh-ty!” Oh no. She told me how that very day he had been carousing around the playground with outstretched fingers, gleefully smacking the hind-end of many a screaming female from his class. When his teacher tried to explain to him that he shouldn’t hit girls’ bottoms, he just said matter-of-factly, “But they like it!”

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The REST of the Story!

You’ve Got a Fanatic in Me

This is our TENTH year of doing a family costume and now we are all hopeless addicts, including the reticent papa, who this year sighed, "I figured I could fight it and you'd do it anyway or I could enjoy it!" So. . . we all enjoyed ourselves as I took a housework hiatus and dove into the sewing room abyss for a sewing binge that lasted five days and
. . . uh. . . big chunks of five nights.
   As we planned who would be what for our Toy Story Extravaganza, Ethan wanted to choose to be Zurg until Holden lamented, "But I never get to be evil!" So, it was decided that Holden would get to be the bad guy for once, and Ethan would be Rex. 

   Caleb wasn't thrilled about his part as Woody until I had painstakingly transformed yellow fabric into the yellow and red plaid for a perfect Woody shirt and then sewed up the cowboy vest, complete with a pull string on the back. He asked me if he could please try it on, and his eyes gleamed as he ran off to play with Eve, who had been dressed in her Jesse costume as soon as it was hot off the sewing machine a few hours earlier. When he came back from playing with Eve, Caleb said in his quiet way, "Hey, Mom. This costume is actually kind of fun." Every day after school until Halloween, he would sidle up to me and say cooly, "Hey, Mom. . . can I wear my costume again?" How could I NOT want to do this every year? 

   Peter was reticent to wear his Buzz costume for our costume debut at the ward party, but now he wears it for days (and nights), screaming when I have to peel it off to wash it. Sometimes I practically need the jaws of life to separate him from the space-suit. When he wakes up in the morning, he points fondly to his chest and repeats, “Buzz Li-yer, Buzz Li-year!” and then sticks one arm skyward and shouts in his two-year-old way, “To finity and ee-yond!”
    Mr Potato-head and I got a big kick out of the roasted spuds at our Ward Party and never tired of saying to friends, “I feel like such a cannibal!”

   You'd think that after gouging our feet on stray pins, discovering pieces of thread dangling from our clothing, and having a grouchy sleep-deprived mom for a week we would just as soon forget about our Halloween production for at least a few days. But dinner-time conversation keeps the thrill of the family costume alive with the kids constantly making creative suggestions for 2009. Eric's bright idea was to be "The Food Chain," with him as the carnivore on top, of course. I thought that "Evolution" might be fun, with Marie being a single-celled organism and then we'd work our way up to primates and then I would be the highest evolutionary example as "Mom." Maybe Rexburg isn't quite ready for that.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Marie's First Food Feeding!

Our Petite Marie is already six months old. As you can see from the pictures of her foray into the world of food, her cheeks have filled out just a touch.

Our Halloween Story

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Volume IV, Issue 1 August 2008


     Since Eve was old enough to squeeze her infant cranium into a bow-band that would inevitably leave elastic marks embedded in her soft head, I have soothingly whispered to her in my maternal way : “Girl, you’ve got to learn to sacrifice for fashion.” 
     Yes. . . I know this slaps many of my staunch convictions about female empowerment in the face; however, I really do believe that paired with the right outfit, fashion-forward footwear does make post-debut blisters and band-aids a small price to pay. It was for this very reason that when I took our two-month old Eve to meet my English class, I stuffed her Gymboree shoes from the Poppy line with wads of toilet paper because they were too big for her under-sized feet; she absolutely had to wear them with the dress and the hat from the previously mentioned line. Eric would protest here, whining that a girl who doesn’t walk doesn’t need shoes. Let me borrow a phrase from Eve here : “What-ever!”
Currently, our four-year-old fashionista willingly wears the shoes or boots that I pick out to match each carefully-chosen ensemble. I know what she’s going to wear to Church on Sunday for days, if not weeks ahead of time. A few Sundays ago, she wore a new favorite pair of gold, metallic strappy clogs to Church, and clopped around in the two-inch heels like a champ. After Church, we walked across the street to our house to shed the usual pounds of diaper bags (yes, it’s plural now), lesson materials, and baskets in the mud-room. As I clunked my stuff all around me on the floor, I could hear a sweet, high-pitched, angelic voice muttering to herself, “These da*n shoes are hurting my feet! I need to get these da*n shoes off!” I looked up, wide-eyed (knowing she didn't learn that colorful language from me. . . hu-hum, Eric) to see her pull off the shoes and then prance away with no further comment or complaint.  They're still her favorite shoes, despite the initial diva-discomfort.  
Last week, when she tagged along with me to run some errands, Eve was wearing some shiny new brown boots. We exited the car, and she looked down at her feet and observed, “These boots make me look like a Pop-Star for some reason.” The girl knows that shoes make a statement, even if they inspire her to make. . . statements.


     One of our back-to-school rituals involves each of the school-aged kids going on a special outing with me (I tried to call it a date, and each of the boys thought that sounded “weird.” Fine.). By the end of each outing, I practically float home on a cloud of parental glee, feeling like I’ve got a little crush on each of them. They each have their own set of scientifically based reasons for selecting the location of their outing. For Holden and Caleb, these reasons are based strictly on volume, so they each wanted to go to an all-you-can-eat buffet. For Ethan and Eve, it’s all about the Happy Meal Toy—the food is merely a by-product. 
     Holden and I went to JB’s for their Breakfast Buffet, and when the hostess asked us if we wanted a table or a booth, I looked to Holden for the answer, and he quickly answered, “Booth.” As we were led to the booth, he said with a smile, “Me likee boothee.” I did a double-take, not sure if I was with Holden or his father, who would have said exactly the same thing with the exact same expression on his face. 
     As Caleb thoughtfully licked his greasy fingers after downing his third piece of pizza at Craigo’s Pizza Buffet, he said, “When I grow up and get married, my last name is going to be Twinkle-fingers.” As for Eve and Ethan, the conversation was much less quotable because of the involvement of the Star Wars bobble-head toys that kept whirring across the table.

On Back-to-School Eve, Eric gave each of the kids a Father’s Blessing, and even Peter got in on the action as he climbed into the folding chair we had placed in the middle of the living room and looked up at Eric expectantly. (He’s turning two in a couple of weeks, and we figured we could all use the help.) After the blessings, as I was assembling their individual Cookie Monster desserts (think home-made cookie crust, ice cream, caramel, fudge and whipped-cream on top. . . yum. . . . uh. . . where was I?) in the heart-shaped ramekins Eric gave me last year, Eric talked to the kids about Priesthood blessings. The mood was solemn, so the kids reverently raised their hands and waited to be called on as they asked questions about the power of the Priesthood and what it means. Eve waited patiently with her hand in the air, and when Eric called on her, she asked, “Why is Marie so cute?”

Petite Marie

     Marie is surrounded by a constant string of admirers, never wanting for someone to hold or adore or kiss her. If I ever ask the kids, “Who can hold Marie for me?” I am met with a horde of clamoring little fingers, and to avoid a brawl I have to make them take turns. Holden is especially enamored with his baby sister, and has said on several occasions, “She’s just so cute. . . I can’t resist her!” We all feel that way, though. How can you resist a girl who smiles with her whole body when she catches your eye? Her eyes glimmer, her legs and arms pump wildly, and she lets out a little gasp of excitement just because she makes eye contact with one of us. We don’t stand a chance.

                                                                         GO CELTICS!!!

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