Sunday, September 20, 2009

Mission Accomplished

Ever since I've been a home owner I've been blessed with abundantly producing peach trees. However, I have always looked at the peaches growing in my backyard with a sense of dread. I have, for the past several years, really wanted to can the dang peaches. However, when the fall rolls around, it never seems to be a good time. Usually babies do not afford their mom's the time it takes to can.

This year, though, I was determined to make it happen. Kendall might just be my clingiest baby yet, but I was not going to let that stand in the way. I decided I would just do it at eight (and be up until 2am) after she was in bed.

I started to look on the internet for directions on how to can peaches and became so frustrated! The problem is, people who can peaches don't give beginner instructions. All the instructions assumed I had at least a general knowledge of canning peaches and I sooo did not. One set of instructions I read came on a blog. The girl said something along the lines of "canning peaches is something I always watched my mom do as a child, but never took any interest in at the time. Sorry Mom!" I just thought, well, lucky her, at least she can remedy that (by having her mom come over that day and help her, as she had done). Unfortunately, I didn't have that option.

The internet was no help.

Hmm, where could I find someone who would help me can peaches WHEN I want (Kendall's nap time) and WHERE I want (my house, so Kendall could sleep the day away cozy in her crib). So I called my awesome friend Gayla, who happily agreed to come over!!! I was so excited!!! This is the first year Gayla hasn't been working so I needed her to teach me EVERYTHING she knew. We started with the peaches.

We did JARS and JARS! :) (And thanks to Kelly who took all the children home with her so I could finish!) It was super easy and I'm so excited that next year I will have the happy anticipation of canning my peaches. I really just needed someone to walk me through it one time. I did remember being a child and my mom busily canning in the kitchen, so I actually had a little bit more knowledge then I thought. Yay!!!

I also took advantage of the abundant peaches by freezing some and...wait for it...making jam. At this point my domestic skills could not be tamed.

I went to Days Farms (and Heidi, I was not lucky enough to take my superman and encountered more then my fair share of bugs!!!). Anyways, Days Farms is AWESOME. You can fill a box of pick-your-own veggies for ten bucks. The best part was having the children help. I told them to find veggies with no blemishes. Allie would pick up a tomato, inspect it, and say "Mom, is this one good to go?" It was the cutest thing ever! And how could I say no to that? (Needless to say, a few of the veggies were NOT "good to go" but it was so worth building her confidence.) So Gayla came over here again to help me make the world's best salsa. With the leftovers, I bottled some tomatoes. Yay!!! I feel so accomplished. Peaches, tomatoes, jam, and salsa. We are ready for the winter!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Cool things

You might have heard it was my birthday last week. We were to leave on my birthday (Friday) to the cabin. The combination of cabin meals and Dave having a late softball game on Thursday found me at the store late Thursday night. If I'm buying more then a couple of groceries, it simply doesn't work to bring all three children. No room in the basket. So I arrived home after midnight and found a note hanging in the doorway (literally, if I hadn't seen it I would have walked right into it). Then, sitting on the cooler in the doorway was the video camera. I won't bore you with the contents of the love note from my husband, but it's probably the best one I've ever gotten. See, Dave has a bit of "adult onset" senility. If I asked him to purchase tickets for the family to go ride the Polar Express, he'd probably need at least ten or eleven reminders before he purchased them (side note to Dave: Call and purchase Polar Express tickets!) (Also, I guarantee Dave will be calling after he reads this post and saying "what day again?" Though we've been through it many times.) (Has anyone ever ridden the Polar Express? I sure hope it's all it's cracked up to be!) So my birthday note was full of cute little details of our courtship that I was shocked he remembered. He must have really been in love:) On the video were my children singing Happy Birthday and saying their favorite things about me. I loved it. It made me feel like, if in twenty or fifty years I miss my 4,2, and 9 month old children I can watch it and capture them perfectly. It was a great surprise. Of course, I was happy to spend my time at the cabin, away from it all. Dave's mom made me some brownies and I loved when Detmer helped her carry them to me. I also scored a new tupperware set from my mother-in-law. You may think that doesn't sound like an exciting gift, but it was just what I wanted (literally, I had a list) and my kitchen is a whole new room already. Still along way to go but I'm pleased with the organizing I've got done with a little monkey constantly on my hip (at least I don't have a monkey on my back). Tonight my birthday gifts arrived. Dave says they were ordered in plenty of time, but something went wrong with the order. Is that the case, or did he not order until too late? You decide. I'm just excited to put all my gifts to good use.

Other cool things in Steffensen News. OH MY GOSH!!! Did you see that BYU game on Saturday? If you are good at putting two and two together, you might say "what TV at the cabin?" Oh no. Luckily, Dave's sister lives in Evanston and was kind enough to offer us her home (even though she was away). I'm thankful we only had to drive that far. Dave and I had a ton of fun watching the game. I liked the part after they won. You could see Max Hall (the quarterback) say "OH MY GOSH!!!" And the ESPN announcer said "I think he just said 'oh my gosh', or whatever it is they say in Provo." Way to represent, Max.

Also cool. The children and I went shopping today (since I only had to get a couple things). As we walked from Big Lots to All A Dollar there was a guy walking behind us about to lite up a cigarette. I'm sure I looked at him as I was telling the children to move it along, but I didn't really think anything as he lit up his cigarette. So he puts his cigarette out and says to me "sorry about that ma'am". In the words of Max Hall, OH MY GOSH! What a thoughtful guy. A simple thing, but I was so touched!

Allie has started her "Mommy preschool", that's what Dave decided to call it. I love it! We did a little bit last week but this week we had some fun plans and Allie and Detmer had a great time. Today as soon as Allie woke up she said "what are we doing in Mommy preschool?" Plus, Detmer also loves saying he's in preschool. So I got a pretty simple outline from the net and I added some books and crafts and stuff. Well, each week we are supposed to learn a nursery rhyme. That girl! She knows all her nursery rhymes. It's awesome. I go to teach it to her and she recites it better then I do. Thank you, Barney. A couple years ago a lady at a yard sale gave me all her Barney tapes, so I can't say it's the best investment, but the children sure have enjoyed them and I love that Barney is always teaching. I know there are a lot of Barney haters but that's about all Allie watched for her first three years and she still loves it.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I used to work, now I just play

I was thinking about how my mom used to teach second grade. Back in the day before I ever came to earth to meet her. I know the apartment she lived in and the parking lot where she threw up before work everyday for nine months while she awaited Cami's arrival.

But she was my mom and her living in that apartment and teaching the second grade were foreign to me. Wasn't I her life? How could she have possibly had one before me?

But mom's do that. Afterall, I used to be Kira, a career woman (ha!).

My first career, baby-sitting, started at about nine. Might I recommend to mother's everywhere that you don't get a nine year old to baby-sit? At nine, people adored me for two reasons: I loved kids (why not? I was one) and I was cheap. I often overheard people talking about what a great sitter I was because I just LOVED to play with the children. Yep. That was true. What I should have said to them at the time was "also, when I watched you kid last night, I couldn't figure out which way to put on the diaper." I'm not talking about hanging out at the neighbors while they went visiting teaching. I'm talking about full on Friday night date night baby-sitting (hopefully I was 11 or 12 by now). I got so scared! So many times I had to call my mom to come sit with me. She was very kind about it and always acted like she had just "dropped by" when the family got home. No one ever knew I held the phone with the 9-1 dialed until I finally called my mom. Also, it's not okay to not pay a baby-sitter. Even if she is nine. It's dishonest. Yep, I'm holding a grudge towards all those people who "oops, don't have any cash, I'll pay you later." I'm nine, I'm not missing my brain. Money is very important to a nine year old. I could still tell you first and last names of all the people who ripped me off (also, not okay to pay two bucks for five hours).

My baby-sitting career took a turn for the best when I met my second lover boy (although he's older than Corben, I met him second). That's right, it was love at first sight for me and Charlie. I still remember the first time I met that boy. Love him!!! I could also share with you the birth story of Jack and Will, from my point of view. Then when Amy found out Henry was coming, I was one of the first she called because she knew I would be genuinely excited about another boy (and I was!).

I put all that childcare experience to good use my senior year, when I worked in the daycare at Davis High for my senior year. It was an awesome time. I was so lucky to work with Jaimee and Andrea, two very amazing girls who I love! We had so much fun and I loved those kids!

You know how some people graduate high school and have no idea what to do with their lives? I was lucky enough to get to postpone that leap into reality for a couple months when I went out to California to nanny for Bart and Amy. A summer hanging out with some of my best friends in the universe. Everyone I met out there was so quick to include me in everything and it was an awesome summer...

That leap into reality came, though. I was back home with nothing to do. I debated about going back to California. I missed the boys plus I was fairly certain marriage was in the future with that hot guy I met (ha!). I stayed home and thanks to my darling Grandma I was soon employed at a chiropractic office. Now there was an experience. I met a whole lotta interesting people there.

Also, some very amazing people...This is a true story of what happened when I took the children to school lunch one day this summer. We were standing in line when a mom came walking up with her four children. I thought "Wow, she is super pretty!" As she walked closer, I thought she looked familiar. It was my friend Tiffany, a former patient. When I first met her I was like "are you for real?" She was always so happy and friendly. As I came to find out how real she is, she became someone I aspire to be like.

My final job out in the real world was in the Security Office at McKay Dee. I was sooo lucky to have this job. My boss was the most amazing (I'm using that word a lot in this post) person. He was very powerful at the hospital. LOVED to act like the tough guy, but he would have given me the shirt off his back. One day he overheard me talking on the phone to my husband about how our snow shovel had broken. The next thing I know one of the officers was bringing a snow shovel into me. From the boss. Of course, he couldn't give it to me himself, he would have been embarrassed by my thanks. Did I mention this was during what had to be the worst time of my life? My boss was so understanding and kind. He could have easily kicked me AND my emotional problems to the curb, but he was very patient. It was nice that some of the most feared guys in the hospital totally had my back. One day a doctor came in to yell at me. This guy was freaking me out. I SERIOUSLY thought he was going to hit me, he was so out of control mad (he was a surgeon, I know that means something to a lot of you). I got on my radio and said "Dave and Jim can you come to the office now?" Before I could even put my radio down, they were in the office, as was Dennis who had been sitting at triage. They took such great care of me!!! I love them all so much and always will. I can't forget my girl, Trish. The other female amongst all the male officers. She is getting her degree in psychology and I gave her plenty of practice with all my drama. She was always there to listen, advice, love. Did I tell you that Trish was AMAZING!!!

Now I've turned in my security badge for the title of mama. And when people say "do you work?" I say I sure don't. I know some people pull the old "being a mom is a job." Today I woke up, cuddled children, went to the gym, , shopped, listened to Detmer tell me over and over that the bath tub is like a swimming pool and show me his tricks, practiced gymnastics, watched my children play, fed my baby, played a game and listened to Harry Potter with a super hot guy. No, I don't have a job.