About a month ago, Eric and the older boys spent hours hauling the excess dirt into the backyard, using the best tools in an English professor's arsenal : a plastic storage container and a child's wagon. They filled up the container and then rolled it down the hill into the backyard and dumped it at least ten times. Then, to be sure the dirt had settled enough during the winter, Eric ran the hose over it for about an hour. By the next morning, the dirt had settled. . . again. . . leaving a huge gap between our lawn and the sagging mud. So, Eric and the boys hauled dirt back up the hill using the aforementioned tools.
Unfortunately, my sunny day was dimmed by the fact that FIVE out of our ranks, including Eric, were inside the house, moaning and up-chucking (as my fiery, flamingly red-headed Grandmother Kartchner used to call it). Insanely undeterred, I pounced on the relatively windless day with crazy determination and mowed the surrounding lawn and then made several trips with the non-puking kids around the Rexburg area to find enough sod to cover the area. 30 pieces of sod and three trips to different stores later, I was a-layin' sod. I looked like a pregnant mother-duck waddlingly lugging her weight in bricks as I slowly moved each piece from the car to the dirt, but I was a-layin' sod!
I laid (dropped?) the thirtieth piece right before dinner, and then Eve, Peter, and I decided to finish the job and plant some little purple pansies touched with yellow gold, using the very last fragments of daylight. It was dark by the time we planted the last one, and by that time, Caleb felt well enough to be in a picture (although you can see some remnants of pukiness written all over his face). You can see by the look on my face in the picture that my child-bearing, c-section ravaged body was reluctant to be used for manual labor, but I survived. Mud-caked? Yes. Back aching? Yes. Wimpy? Certainly not! Ready to bite the head of any living creature who stood in my way by the time I was done? You Betcha!
Like Peter, I went through a veritable cornucopia of emotions from ornery cussiness to downright giddy pride, but we got 'er done! (Have I lived in Rexburg too long?)
To quote Peter's newest and most favorite phrase: "No way, baby!" When those three words popped out of his cute, rose-shaped lips, I looked at Eve and said, "Did he just say, 'No Way, Baby'?" She thought so too, and Peter confirmed it every time I made a request to which the answer was negative. Peter, it's time to go to bed. No way, Baby! Peter, I need to change your diaper. No way, Baby! And so it goes. . .