Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Speech, reading, and Down syndrome -or- funny things The Love Magnet says:

"Mom, I read Poobs magazine. Can we get Poobs magazine?" The Love Magnet looked at me expectantly through the rear view mirror as we drove home from swim lessons. It wasn't her look charming and irresistible so I can get what I want look. It was a genuine I read something that was really cool and I want to share it with you look. But, Poobs? Wait.......MY DAUGHTER READS MAGAZINES?!

"Honey, I have never read Poobs magazine. What is it?" I had no idea. Have you ever heard of it?

"Mom, it Poobs magazine. It really cool!"

"Honey", I answered, "I don't know anything about Poobs magazine. Where did you read it? What was in it?"

"I read it at J's", she said definitively, as if it solved everything. Okay, the family who takes her to school twice a week. The Js are helping me so I can attend my early class.

"Do you want me to call Js and ask them about it? Or you can tell me what you read in it."

The Love Magnet grinned from ear to ear. She tilted her head to one side and put her pointer finger against her cheek. She thinks this is what people do when they are thinking. The kid is literal. "It about Clifford-the-big-red-dog an' Martha speak and dinosaurs!"

Hmmm. My mind tried to find the combination between these odd subjects. Brain cells coalesced ideas until the fog dissipated.

"Love Magnet, do you mean PBS magazine?"

My daughter threw her hands in the air. "That it, Mom! Poobs magazine."

"Honey, its pronounced P-B-S. PBS magazine."

"PBS! That spells Poobs, Mom!"

PBS, you might consider changing your pronunciation. I doubt The Love Magnet is the only child who thinks this way.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

14 Days of Valentines - Dinner ideas

I am narrowing down what I want to make for dinner. The kids always get a pizza early and then head upstairs for a DVD. I think Firstborn will be out on a date and Secondborn will be out with friends.

I've had my eye on the recipe for Lobster and Tomato Fettucine from my favorite restaurant Market Street Broiler. I've never made it before, nor have I ever cooked a lobster on my own. Shouldn't be too hard, should it? The dish sounds divine, but it would mean not doing a cream based dessert and my creme brulee recipe from the same place is my go-to dessert. Hmmm.

There is always my fall-back staple entree: Alton Brown's Pan Seared Rib Eye with roasted garlic mashed potatoes. It's foolproof when you want to make a really good steak. One rib-eye is big enough for the two of us. I like to add caramelized onions, sauteed 'shrooms, and crumbled Stilton. If I do this then I will also add bacon wrapped scallops.

I'm going easy on sides this year since I always serve too much food. Along with a loaf of really good bread from a local bakery, I'm making a simple Pear and spinach salad (swapping out the cranberries in favor of pomegranate).
Dessert will most likely be a Blackberry and Almond Torte recipe, also from Market Street. The presentation is gorgeous and I haven't made one for a few years. It's time.
Other ideas can be found in a previous blog post here. Or get already prepped food from Costco that you only have to heat (the Miso-glazed cod from the freezer section is tasty) or get your fave takeout. For dessert, get brownie bites and fruit from the store and melt chocolate for fondue. Or head to your fave bakery for a cupcakes, ultimate chocolate cake, or fruit tarts. You could layer cubes of purchased pound cake, fruit, and whip cream in flute glasses or those cute mini trifle glasses I've seen at Target and Walmart. Go to your fave chocolatier, purchase 8 different kinds of truffles and have a truffle tasting. (This surprisingly went over really well on a date night I planned last summer. If you don't do it for V-day, plan it for a romantic picnic ASAP).
I've said this every year, but it bears repeating. It doesn't matter what you do. Your Mr. Wonderful will appreciate the effort. Spending time making him feel loved it the only goal.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

14 Days of Valentines Plan-o'-Days

Sorry, this is a bit later than I promised. But here it is (*cue fanfare*) My 14 Days of Valentines game plan:

Day 1 (Tuesday): One gift basket full of all the triathlon and training stuff he keeps meaning to get but never has time, plus a note telling him how sexy I think he looks in his bike gear.

Day 2 (Wednesday): Me and You - a letter with my plans for our special Valentine's dinner.

Day 3 (Thursday): movie tickets and red vines candy. (Remember this is Firstborn's birthday so keeping it low key.)

Day 4 (Friday): 4-ever in love with you (recreating our first dance. Must get CD or MP3 download of Simple Mind's Don't You Forget About Me.) Yeah. That's when I first fell in love with him.

Day 5 (Saturday): 4 beautiful children and one cute wife pictures for his office. Irreverent silly pictures. Or just baby pictures including mine where my mom gave me a flat top. Seriously)

Day 6 (Sunday): Breakfast in bed with Pineapple Rolls, thick cut bacon, and a mushroom and Gruyere omelet.

Day 7 (Monday): One banana cream pie (his favorite) for Family Home Evening treat, with accompanying cheesy poetry.

Day 8 (Tuesday): Madness Make-It-G0-Away. I take the kids out and he gets downtime to do whatever he wants. Provide latest book he said he wanted to read, make sure his gym clothes are clean if he wants to work out. Dinner will be homemade pizza with a pepperoni heart.

Day 9 (Wednesday): Love note about our 20th Valentine's Day together and reminiscing about our 1st one.

Day 10 (Thursday): Ten Things I Love About You (written in calligraphy on a scroll)

Day 11 (Friday) Date night. Trip to the temple to do sealing and remember our own sealing in the Salt Lake Temple. Followed by dessert at our fave place.

Day 12 (Saturday) Valentines Dinner. Put kids to bed early. Menu will be posted soon.

Day 13 (Sunday) 13 Ways to say I Love You written on his truck in those fun window paints. Yes he will have to wash the car but he will have to wait until Monday. *grinning*

Day 14 (Monday) Home Evening about the importance of being a good husband. This is geared towards the boys, using their dad as an example.

I am particularly excited about days 11 and 13. SO EXCITED for V-Day 2011! Tell me about your plans, especially if this is the first year you try it. As always, look on the right side of the blog for the label cloud and click on 14 Days of Valentines for intro to the whole shebang and even more ideas on what to do to romance your Mr. Wonderful.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Real, honest-to-goodness, not-family-but-friends LATEOVER

Last night was another first for The Love Magnet. Her first lateover. Her first real not-family-but-friends lateover. She has never been that long away from me without other family members keeping track of her. And she loved it.

"Mom. I go in all by myself. You not invited. It's my lateover."

She was determined that I understood completely that I was not welcome.

The one thing I regret from having The Love Magnet repeat first grade was that she didn't continue on with her friends. Those kids really looked out for her. They invited her to birthday parties. They came over to play or to swim. The kids in her current grade haven't done the same. The closeness just isn't there. But one girl in particular who has gone ahead a year still invites her to birthday parties. God bless that family for remembering my daughter.

We went to Wallgreens to get a present. The Love Magnet knew exactly what she wanted to get: 4 uber-bright colors of nail polish (yellow, aqua, fuchsia, and sparkly purple), nail stickers, hair pretties and a matching necklace that changed colors when exposed to sunlight. Girl stuff.

She asked nonstop every waking hour for three days "When we go to party, Mom? Don't forget it at 5:00." I was quizzed to make sure I knew when to go. She made sure I knew where to go. Finally, when it was time, she reminded me for the entire 15 minute ride that I was not to go in the house. I promised that I would stay at the door.

She hugged me goodbye and tried to push me out.

I worried a little bit. I have no problem admitting it up front. The Love Magnet was gone for 4 hours. I trusted the family. I just wondered if my daughter would remember her manners. I worried if she would stay with the girls and not go off on her own to play with toys. I was afraid that she would forget to use the bathroom in all the excitement and have an accident.

When I picked her up, she was disappointed to see me. She must have been tired, because other than the initial expression of not wanting to be the first girl picked up by her parents, she put her shoes on and hugged everyone goodbye. She thanked the mom who hosted the event (and looked her in the eyes while speaking to her! - HUGE VICTORY! My DS moms will understand that.)

On the way home, The Love Magnet announced to her brother and his friends (whom I just picked up at the Y) that she was tired. She hugged her daddy and me and went straight to bed when we got home.

I'm cheering the independence. I'm thrilled about the remembered friendships. I'm at peace with her growing up.

I'm thinking we need to host more playdates and a lateover. Encourage more friendships.

Thursday, January 06, 2011


(psst.....Mr. Wonderful...go away, you are not allowed to read this)

Are you ready for some R*O*M*A*N*C*E?! It's that time of year again (woot-woot!). Get ready to smother your lover/hug your honey/make your man feel 20 feet tall.

For those of you who have never done this, here is the 411 (dude, I am so hip!):

* Think up a little something to do for you Mr. Wonderful for every single day in February from the 1st and culminating on the 14th with you making a special supper for the two of you. (Don't worry if you don't cook. I have advice to make it easy for you.)

*Inexpensive and creative is the way to go.

*Borrowing/stealing ideas from others or past years is perfectly acceptable.

*Jewelry, flowers, or reciprocation in kind from your man IS NOT THE GOAL. This is unselfish, sweet love.

WHY DO THIS? Because he deserves it. Period.

Easy peasey. Check out the right side bar and scroll down to The 14 Days of Valentines for ideas. I will post my ideas by Saturday. Early planning is the key. Ideas can cost little or even be free. Think romantic and fun.




Wednesday, January 05, 2011

New Years Resolutions thrust upon me

I wasn't going to make any New Years Resolutions. I have my goals already laid out: make it through my last semester, graduate (!) with my Bachelors in Communication Sciences and Disorders, put my house somewhat in order and hopefully keep it that way, and juggle my schedule plus kids tutoring, swim lessons, climbing lessons....

(Did you know that the YMCA has climbing lessons and a competitive climbing team called The Rock Stars? Thirdborn is swooning. Unfortunately the 101 class is full and he has to wait until next month. But I digress......)

Today I sat in front of the organ at church. Listened to podcast lesson #2 "First Steps In Pedal Playing". Practice my pedal work. Sounded like a first year piano student.


The organ amplifies my every mistake. The medial area of my right knee hurts and I wonder why. It's worse when I try to navigate the pedals heel-toe. I have to sit ram-rod straight and barely on the organ bench in order to make that heel-toe motion work. Along with the discomfort, I mourn the straight posture I used to have way back during the Jurassic Period. Before color was invented. Eons ago. It's exhausting to sit that straight for 4 verses of a hymn.

It's hard for me to not be good at something. And this organ playing humbling me. I'm scheduled to play organ in two weeks in Sacrament Meeting and I realize now that it is not nearly enough time. As I told the Ward Music Chairperson "I won't be an organist, but at least I will be willing". I am impatient and want to see improvement now. Uh.......now. No...........now! No improvement after an hour of practice. I pack up my laptop, binder of printed material for the online podcast course, and my brand-spankin'-new huge spiral bound hymnbook. The kind organists use. Because I am an organist. At least I'm trying to pretend to be one.

I need organ shoes.

I said a little prayer yesterday before I started my first practice. I asked Heavenly Father if he would mind loaning me Sis. Larson (my piano teacher for 8 years) to whisper in my ear until I got the hang of this. Its going to take months and I need a mentor.

Magnify my calling. Hope. Believe. Endure joyfully. No bad attitude.

I'm still impatient. Do I need to repent for that?

Monday, January 03, 2011

Believe. Hope. Endure Joyfully. Welcome 2011!

The textbooks have come. Sticker shock over the $150+ price tag of my Educational Audiology paperback textbook as well as the $50+ price tag of Topical Diagnosis in Neurology textbooks whose size I can easily fit into my purse. I can already tell you that my Neurology class is going to be incredibly tough. Still, I am looking forward to it.

Last semester, blog peeps. I am getting my B.S. in Communication Disorders in May. Twenty years after my original plan of when it was supposed to happen (albeit with a B.A. in Musical Dance Theater way back in the '91) I am going to graduate.

Can you hear the angels singing? Oh, yeah, I can.

Today's plans include more sticker shock as I go pay my tuition for the semester. Then it's off to practice the organ at church. Yesterday I was called to be the Assistant Ward Organist. I have a feeling my old piano teacher, Sister Larson, is up in heaven pointing her finger at me and saying "I told you that you needed to learn organ!" I have downloaded and printed BYU's The New Organist program and will listen to the free accompanying MP3 lectures from iTunes. BTW, those lectures and printouts are FREE if you are interested. 12 lessons in all and the claim is that it should turn me into an organist or at least put me on the path. BYU also has their yearly organ workshops (this year it starts August 2nd) which I am seriously looking into attending. I used to love their choir workshops.

As for the title of my first blog in 2011, it comes from a talk I gave the last Sunday in 2010 in my ward. Mr. Wonderful, Secondborn, and I were asked to focus on the topic of the 13th Article of Faith. My talk was about the middle: "We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things." I took the liberty of changing it a bit to "....and hope to be able to endure all things joyfully". My goals for 2011.