Happy Birthday M

Nine years ago this morning I was in Maryland, in our little house in New Market. After getting to bed late at 11:45pm, my contractions started immediately so I never went to sleep... We paged our midwife and as we waited for her call, got packed for the hospital just in case. In the meantime we called and woke up a neighbor, Lynette Johnson. Got the call back from the midwife, dropped A off at the Johnson's at 2:20am, then headed to the hospital (which was a good 20-30 min away in Frederick). Got checked in by 3am. All my pain was in my back and I couldn't hardly sit down... so I refused to let them put me in a wheelchair to get me up to a delivery room. They had to get an entire bag of fluids in me before they'd give me the epidural, which painfully took forever.  I was at 9.5cm before they'd give me the shot, but thankfully it still happened. My little girl came quickly after that - she was born at 4:57 am and has been a morning person ever since!
That seems like an entirely different life now - I'm old.  I love my girl. She is helpful, pleasant, clever, a hard worker, goal-oriented and a great big sister. 
•  She is highly responsible, honest and for the most part is happy to do her chores every day. She gets up and makes her bed every. single. morning. without ever being reminded. 
•  She loves lists, drawing, playing at the neighbor's house, swimming, cooking and organizing. She loves to clean and help decorate or do crafty projects with me and teach family home evening. She is always interested in my vinyl business and is concerned that I get my work done, too.  She always wants to help me.
•  I had parent teacher conferences yesterday and her teacher couldn't be happier with her. M is way ahead of the curve in the class and has straight A's. Mrs. Murphy was telling me how sometimes she tries to be funny and sarcastic with the class, and a lot of the kids just stare at her, confused. M however gets her jokes every time and throws the sarcasm right back at her.  (Have I mentioned I love my kids' teachers this year? Because I do.)  She has lots of friends right now, even though there's a bit of the "she doesn't want to be my friend" or "so and so was mean to me" etc. that happens in third grade. M was excited to go to school this morning in her new clothes and accessories (Thanks Grandma!) and even had me curl her hair. 
•  She is in LOVE with anything and everything zebra right now. Her birthday present was a big canvas print of a zebra for her room - she loves it. She is totally drawn to obsessed with? anything black and white and pink and loves bling on everything. 
•  She is in synchronized swimming 2x a week and tries to practice stretching (goal = splits) at home. She's been in piano for a little over a year now, and though she hasn't progressed as quickly as I would have hoped she really tries to get her 20 minutes of practice in daily. "MOM set the timer!"  "How many minutes left?"  She likes to play primary songs and do her favorites over and over. She's playing Teach Me to Walk in the Light right now.
• Every once in a while she comes up with some zingers that crack us up. The girls and Daddy were playing Monopoly the other night and A was winning - and gloating. M got mad at her and snarked something about rubbing their faces in it like a dog  (what was it honey?)  . A couple of weeks ago I had spent the day rearranging A's room, which M was totally jealous about when she got home. She yelled at me that it wasn't fair because her own room looked like "a hideous troll".  Hilarious.  10 minutes later she had cleaned her room up and reorganized some things herself and was happy as can be about it.
•  She is great with J, playing with him, making sure he's got breakfast, packs his lunch often, carries his backpack for him and is basically his second Mommy.  She's the one who picks him up from his classroom every day and make sure he gets to the bus.
• M is a great eater and likes a great variety of foods. She is not a fan of mushrooms or sweet potatoes, and rarely chocolate, but she loves salad, carrots, grape tomatoes, spinach, chips and salsa, and all kinds of soups. She will get up and make herself an egg in the morning - which she would rather have than the pancakes and syrup that her siblings are addicted to. She chooses gatorade over soda when we go to QT. It frustrates me that she's the one who tries to eat so well and that she's going to be the one who will probably struggle with weight, versus her sister.
• This girl needs her SLEEP. She is a bear when she stays up too late, but is the most pleasant ever as long as she gets to bed on time. • She is very much a reward-oriented person and loves to earn behavior bucks at school. She totally understands the idea of earning her way and is quite vocal when she sees her siblings getting away with things . I guess you could say she's a natural conservative who doesn't tolerate entitlement...lol


Dear Santa

I have a lot on my wish list lately. I figure Santa's got an unlimited budget, or at least my kids think he does, so why not shoot for it all?

1. Citrus trees planted along the side of my house - 1 blood orange, 1 lemon, 1 grapefruit, and 1 navel- and then taken care of by a landscaper from now on, along with the rest of our bushes and trees
2. Sonicare toothbrush - Healthy White, I think it's called?
3. My piano tuned
4. Sparky I-phone case - this one http://www.fanatics.com/catalog/product/Arizona_State_Sun_Devils_iPhone_4_Silicone_Case_-_Maroon

5. New white king-size Egyptian cotton sheets for my bed
5b. While we're at it, four sets of soft high-thread count white twin sheets for the rest of the beds in the house
6. Les Mis and/or Anything Goes tickets at Gammage
7. Gift cards for Tia Rosa's, Sassy's Cafe, Charming Charlie's, Home Depot
8. Table saw
9. Compound miter saw
10. Leaf blower - that backpack kind that you control with your arm like landscapers have

11. Kids' bathroom, and downstairs bathroom, painted
12. Lighting for Master Bathroom 13. A NEW CAR 14. Yellow placemats for my kitchen table
15. Coordinating seat cushions for my kitchen chairs
16. New light fixtures and faucets for my bathrooms
Five of these Giagni Pearl faucets would be fine, and even better if I didn't have to install them myself:
17. a new ironing board
18. a Dyson vacuum cleaner, or actually, just any vacuum cleaner.
19. Shutters in the loft
20. Countertops & new flooring for my office...tee hee hee


My goals.

okay, for the record, I am able to do many things. However, I am unable to do all of the following simultaneously.

1. Keep 4000 square feet cleaned, picked up, dusted, vacuumed, with bathrooms sanitized and laundry and dishes done all at the same time.
2. Work and make a significant contribution to our household income.
3. Make sure three kids accomplish their chores, practice music, do their homework, bathe, brush their teeth twice a day and not kill each other on a daily basis.
4. Do my calling, go visiting teaching, attend the temple and read my scriptures. Gardening? Indexing? Are you kidding me?
5. Work out daily and cook healthy meals, and keep my children from eating junk.
6. Prepare for, pay for and then taxi my children to their various activities... piano lessons, gymnastics, orchestra, Let's Play Music class, synchronized swimming, activity days, library, school events...
7. (Smart) shop for the things we need and take advantage of sales and coupons.
8. Spend quality time once in a while with my children, my husband, my library books, and ASU's football team.
 9. Home improvement projects.
10. Keep in touch with old and new friends and offer service.
11. Journaling, Scrapbooking, etc.

Ummmm..... how about you?