Saturday, March 31, 2012


Is learning to bite your tongue and keep your mouth shut hiding who you are, or is it a sign of maturity and self-control?

Either way, I'm not much of a grown-up even though I'm trying to rein in my personality.

My big mouth (or in this case, my keyboard) got me in trouble. Because I hurt someone's feelings. I embarrassed them. I made them angry.

I feel so icky inside, and I deserve to. I've been awful.

I also feel like making this blog private, so I know exactly who's reading it and don't have to censor my thoughts all the time. Or just deleting it.

As expressed my one of my favorite bloggers, The Sassy Curmudgeon (Una LaMarche); how much can we really change about ourselves? Is it more important to accept ourselves as we are, or to try to change so that we can avoid the embarrassment, guilt, and sadness that comes from letting our messy selves come out to play?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

It's a big deal for me...

The Munday kids came over on Tuesday afternoon--all three of them. They stayed for dinner and their parents picked them up at about 6:30pm. Emma had a medical appointment and Lewis went with her.

I volunteered to have them over, and it was no problem having them here. If anything, it was easier with them here than it is when it's just my two at home. And I like those kids. They were well-behaved and had nice manners. Caitlin even helped with the dinner clean-up. I actually enjoyed having them here.

So what's the big deal? I don't really like other people's kids. Sometimes I don't even like my own that much. But Emma needed the help, and what else do you do when she's just introduced you to someone as her best friend, and you realize that she's your best friend, too?

Seriously, Emma is my best friend.

That sounds so junior high, doesn't it? Like we should make each other friendship bracelets and, like, totally go to the mall and get BFF necklaces from Claire's!

But I enjoy her company so much. She is unfailingly kind to others, but doesn't seem to mind my slightly nasty streak (too much). She is one of the nicest people I've ever met, and I know she would do anything for me if I really needed some help. And I would do the same for her, because I love her like a sister and respect her as a person.

I don't make friends easily. Please see my post about being a social retard. But the friends that I do make--and manage to keep--are so important to me. So thanks, Emma. For being you, and for being my best friend.

Now get over here with your future sister-in-law so we can get our legs waxed together and gossip about boys while we watch "Twilight."

Love you, man!

A message for all my Utah friends and family...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mothers Day

It was Mothering Sunday on the 18th. In grand tradition, Martin spent Mother's Day serving food to other people's mothers, while the mothers in HIS life spent the day without him. Awesome.

Actually, it turned out to be a pretty good day. Martin helped the kids bring me toast and peppermint tea in bed. Then we all got ready for church (and work) and Martin helped me get the kids bundled into the car. Now that Edith is in nursery, church is a 2 hour opportunity for me to have some grown-up time. I played the piano for the Primary children while they sang, and Edith gave Emma some serious cuddles. The children then read their cards to their mothers for the entire congregation. Dylan went first, and he read it all on his own. I was so proud, and I freely admit that I got a bit weepy.

After church, the kids sat and watched "Tangled" while I made scones and filled profiteroles. We had posh afternoon tea at the in-laws, and it was really nice. Then it was home for a quick bath and into bed for the kids. And I watched telly until Martin got home at about 9:30pm.

I'm glad that the U.S. and Britain celebrate mothers day at different times. Not only does it give me a chance to celebrate my mother-in-law, but it also gives me the chance to have a "real" mothers day when Martin is at home to help the kids make it a special day for me. So roll on, May!


Nearly two weeks ago, my iPod went missing. The kids and I were listening to their playlist on the way to the cinema, and I couldn't find it afterwards. I searched everywhere, and I even contacted all the businesses we patronized on the day to see if it had been found. After searching the car and the house, I decided that I must have left the car unlocked and someone stole it. I felt so bad, because it was a Christmas gift from Martin and it was going to cost a lot to replace. I love my iPod, because it gets used every day. I've been having to work out with no podcasts. I've had to TALK to people in the gym. Oh, the horror!

So Martin was kind of angry that I lost my iPod. But I think he was secretly pleased that I'd been so irresponsible. It gave him something to throw back in my face whenever HE does stupid stuff, like leaving the front door unlocked all night...

Anyway, I was having ANOTHER look in the car a few days ago (just in case, because I ALWAYS lock the car) when I noticed something. There's a small gap in the center console, which is about the same thickness as my little iPod. So while I've been exercising, I've been going over and over the day it got lost. I parked in the multi-story car park, and went down a pretty steep slope to exit it. What if...

I asked Martin to try to take the plastic cover off the center console, and lo and behold...out slid my iPod.

I did a happy dance.

Martin seemed a little bit disappointed that he couldn't be mad at me for losing it any more.


Dylan has a birthday party to go to on Sunday. It's a Harry Potter party, with optional fancy dress. My Google search didn't turn up any great costumes, so I bought some black and red fabric and this evening I made my son a wizard robe. It's totally lined, as well. It's sort of my practice project, because I've found an absolutely gorgeous vintage Vogue dress pattern that I want to make. It's a 1950's original, and it's AMAZING! I'm not sure if I've got the skills to make it though, and the pattern alone costs £15 and I would need to buy about 4 yards of fabric on top of that. Wouldn't want to buy all the supplies and then bomb the project...


The weather was nice enough tonight that the kids and I dined al fresco. They've been spending so much more time out in the garden lately, and I'd forgotten how much easier it is to keep the house clean when the kids play outside. Summer is so great for that reason!

And speaking of summer, I think we are going to buy tickets to fly to Utah this summer--and soon! I'll keep everyone posted on this. We have Edith's passport form filled out and ready to send, and almost enough money to buy the tickets for me and the kids. Martin's will be purchased later.

Anyway, that's the update. Happy now, mom?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


It occurred to me just yesterday that I am guilty of doing something that I HATE. I have been treating Dylan like a much older child than he is.

I pulled him onto my lap last night, and gave him a gigantic cuddle. He practically melted into me, and I realized that we hardly ever cuddle any more. He is so big for his age, and so advanced in his speech and reading. I just forget sometimes that he is really only a very young four-year-old.

So I've got a theory that one of the reasons he's been acting up is that he's been craving the snuggles and cuddles he got as a toddler.

He got plenty of affection from both his parents today, and he was better. We'll see if my theory holds up under experimentation.

Even if it doesn't, this kid is pretty easy to love and hug!

Monday, March 12, 2012


My sainted mother-in-law came over for dinner last night, and she brought dessert. It was a German sour dough friendship cake, and it was absolutely gorgeous!

Today I was cleaning up after breakfast, and I caught a whiff of the left-over cake. Instantly, I was transported back to the Hostess discount shop my mom used to take us to when we lived in St. George. I remember the racks of cheap bread and cakes, and that SMELL! I remember the gray concrete floors, and eyeballing all the Twinkies with my big sisters. And did I mention the smell?

I was four or five years old at the time. The same age Dylan is now.

Scent can trigger some strong memories. A lot of them, for me, come from my early childhood. Grape Lip Smackers, for instance, always reminds me of the St. George condo, age 4. Dumping out all of my small toys onto my basement bedroom floor. They were in a chunky peanut butter tub.

I love it when I remember things like that from when I was just a kid. I have so many happy memories. I hope my children have that, too.

And I wonder what smells will trigger their happy little trips down memory lane.

Anybody else have any of these?

Friday, March 09, 2012

I've got nothing...

Had a long soak in the bath tonight, and it was pure bliss. I was lying there, just thinking about my life and the direction it's taken recently. I am struggling to remember what life was like before we had kids. It's been less than 5 years. How is it possible that I don't remember it?

It's been a bit difficult this week, taking care of the little rugrats. I've been fighting off a cold and struggling with my asthma for about a fortnight now. Today was especially tough, because Edith woke up the whole house at 4:30am. I listened to Martin struggling to get her back into bed, and just felt myself getting more and more furious about the whole situation. So I got up and sorted her out myself. Sadly, getting up in the night means I'm awake for several hours. So when I had to get up with the kids later that morning, I had only been asleep for about 30 minutes. I was tired, Dylan was tired, Martin was tired. Edith was NOT tired, since she had a 2 hour afternoon nap during which I scrubbed the bathroom, including scouring the limescale out of the toilet with a pumice stone.

I know the house needs some attention when Martin actually notices that I haven't done the cleaning. He told me it was looking a bit disgusting this morning. Then he was surprised that I didn't take a nap with Edith. Men!

Dylan had "healthy eating week" at school, and his class did the morning assembly. Parents were invited, and it was good fun. He also had to keep a food diary, and they did a sponsored Teddy Bear walk today to raise funds for new outdoor play equipment. He also went to a friend's house for dinner on Thursday night. He's doing really well at school right now, except for some behaviour issues. He hasn't been sleeping as much lately, and it puts him in a foul mood. Evenings are pretty hellish, but I love him on a Saturday when I get to spend time with him at his best.

Edith got another haircut today. I think the last of the Dylan special haircut has finally been cut out. Lately, I've been styling her like a little 1920's flapper, and she looks so adorable. Still doing the terrible twos with her. Eek! But when she's cute, she is completely charming.

The kids are going to be going out with their Nanna tomorrow afternoon. Seriously looking forward to that. I think I'll finish scrubbing the house.

Then again, maybe I'll just get that nap!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Giving up...

I'm a Mormon, and we don't really do Lent. But I figured, well, why not give something up? It's only 40 days, and I can pick something that I know is bad for me anyway.

I decided to give up French fries and soda.

Doesn't sound that difficult, right? The soda hasn't been bad at all, and I am actually feeling the benefit of drinking more water instead of Diet Coke. But I want McDonald's fries more than just about anything.

I should say at this point that it is only deep-fat-fried chips. I am still eating oven chips. But they are just NOT the same!

But hey, the first and best victory is to conquer self. Isn't that right, Plato?

My mother-in-law gave up sugar in her coffee one year. I'll bet that was harder.

Lent. Not for the faint of heart.

Easter dinner is definitely going to involve plenty of Dr. Pepper and FRIES!!!

Thursday, March 01, 2012

I'm a bad daughter and, even worse, a bad American!

I had a great Skype call with the family on Sunday. Mom got to see the kids being all adorable (a fairly rare occurrence these days) and we had a nice chat. That's obviously not why I am a bad daughter. I'm a bad daughter because I got in a political "discussion" with my dad (the Cook one, not the Bowcutt one) that may or may not have ended in his blood pressure being raised sky-high. This just MIGHT have been because I said the U.S. was not hurting financially so much because of socialist agendas as it was because of a ridiculously high defence budget and that there was no danger of him speaking Russian or German, but he might have to learn Chinese soon. And maybe, just MAYBE, I insinuated that Americans were no longer the "good" ones, and being "evil" or "righteous" really depended on where you were sitting.

Ok, I admit it. I said all those things.

That doesn't make me a bad daughter. That just makes me opinionated. What makes me a bad daughter is that I said a lot of those things just to wind him up. Because it's so easy to do, and I have such a good time doing it. I'm not nearly as liberal as I pretend to be for the sake of giving my dad heart palpitations and raising his danger of having a stroke. Honestly, I just like to watch his face go all red!

Love you, dad :)

The really scary thing is, the whole time we were, erm, discussing politics, I kept referring to Americans as "you" instead of "us."

Apparently, all it takes is six years and 6,000 miles for me to disassociate myself with the country of my birth. That makes me sad, because I love my country with all my heart. I've pledged allegiance to that flag more times than I can count, and I meant every word of it. I'm losing touch with my homeland. I think I need to work on that.