Friday, December 21, 2007

The Precious Locks Are No More

We finally did it. We cut Maxwell's precious locks off. Okay, they weren't precious to him, just to Steve and I, and maybe some family and friends who got attached to the glorious strands. Steve and I had discussed the matter several times but just couldn't find the courage to take action. A bad haircut from me is what finally sealed the deal. I trim Maxwell's hair every 4 weeks or so, only cutting approximately 1.5 inches, but last week I was a little less precise with the scissors and gave him a minor mullet. So rather than try to fix the bad haircut myself I decided it was high time he had a haircut from a professional. The morning of I decided that maybe it was time for short and spiky. I really loved his hair, but he definitely had good and bad hair days, which just isn't right for a boy. The day after we washed his hair was always the worst hair days because it didn't have enough build-up yet to be styleable (you all know what I mean), and then everyday thereafter got better. I am making it sound like he went weeks without a washing, but it was usually just 3 or 4 days. I took him to Great Clips in a really bad hair state (mullet and bed head), and we had the most friendly hairdresser I have ever met, Tonya, as our professional. She did a wonderful job, but Steve and I were still in mourning for 2 days. Although it was very fun to kiss his skinny little neck, because we hadn't seen the back of it for a long long time. I am now accustomed to his new look, and have not yet decided if the locks will be grown back or not. For the time being, I love that it only takes 30 seconds rather than 3 minutes to do his hair. Also, I think Max likes it because I told him it makes him look 6, instead of 5 1/2!

Friday, December 14, 2007


Last week Steve was feeling a little bit stressed in his role as breadwinner, as I'm sure most breadwinners do at times, so I thought it would be really fun to have a special night to remind him how much we love and appreciate his hard work each day. Most nights when Steve walks in the door the kids call out, "hello Dr. Steve Payne". I'm quite sure this greeting emerged from listening to Steve on the phone as he is checking to see how his patients are doing in the evening. When he makes those check-up calls he refers to himself as Dr. Steve Payne, so after hearing that repeatedly the kids must have decided it would be fun to use that title for Daddy also. With this as my inspiration I hatched a great plan. We all dressed in scrubs and jumped out to surprise Steve as he walked in the door. We also shouted out in unison "we love you Dr. Steve Payne". I think he loved it, or at least he pretended like he did. Then we ate a steak dinner, because that is one of Dr. Steve Payne's favorite meals. For family night we sang Daddy's favorite songs and had Daddy share his favorite scripture. Hopefully this helped a little in boosting the confidence of our favorite breadwinner. (Sidenote: This is what Sophie's hair looks like when her ponytails come out for the night. We call her our little cocker spaniel!)

Friday, November 30, 2007

Never a Dull Moment With the Girls!

A girls' night out can be successful with a few main ingredients, fun girls, good food, topics of interest (like my sister divulging her secret that she has been dating someone for the last month) and great husbands who encourage this behavior while they stay home with the kids. As you can probably guess this particular girls' night was a huge success! I have the funnest sisters and sister-in-laws and Mom and niece ever. We all get along so well and laugh so hard when we are together. P.F. Changs always provides good grub, and is one of those restaurants that accommodates sharing. Anyone who has been out to eat with me knows that I love to share. Why not have half of a really good salad and half of another delicious entree'. I think people who don't like to share are just plain crazy. I would like to give an official shout out to all my friends who oblige in my sharing habit with know who you are! Back to the girls' night...we had great conversation, with the most prolific topic being my sister, Hilary's, dating life. She had confided in me about this great guy she had been dating for the past few weeks, or rather I had forced the information out of her, but no one else in the family knew. Before arriving at the restaurant I called Hilary to see if she was going to spill the secret, and she said that she would not bring it up but if someone happened to ask if she were dating anyone new then she would divulge. I had to do my sisterly duty and very nonchalantly (not really), during a lull in the conversation, ask her if she had any men in her life. I felt a bit guilty as she was bombarded with questions, but it was such fun watching and listening that the guilt quickly subsided! As far as the last ingredient necessary for a successful girls' night out...great husbands...they were plentiful. Steve is always so willing to send me off and he even encourages me to go out more often. That's one of those qualities I didn't know I was getting in a husband when I got I consider myself very lucky.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Hopefully Grandpa's work ethic is genetic!

Grandpa Dicker has always been a very hard worker. My father-in-law's real name is Richard, nickname Dick, but all his kids and grandkids call him Dicker. He can barely sit still long enough to watch 30 minutes of the local news. He retired from his career as an economics professor at Boise State 3 years ago and is finally appreciating his new life. One of his favorite things to still do is work, but rather than spend most of the day at school he now spends most of his hours mowing, raking, shoveling, gardening, and any other manual labor that he can dream up. It would make his week if one of his boys called him for help on a project. He also loves it when the grandchildren want to help work. The day before Halloween Maxwell and Sophie, and some of their cousins joined in raking the neighbor's yard. I guess I forgot to tell you that Grandpa Dicker doesn't just do manual labor at his house, he has taken care of the yard of an elderly neighbor named Sylvia for 30 years. Actually, Steve and his brothers did it for many years, but they have since moved on. Not only does he take care of Sylvia's yard, but he also checks on her several times a day to give her medicine and to make sure she is eating her meals-on-wheels. He is quite a guy. Now that I have bragged my father-in-law up I will let you enjoy the pictures of the kids hard at work! Doesn't the red hair of my niece and nephew just sparkle? I love it.

Battleship Anyone?

Maxwell's new favorite game is Battleship, which he borrowed from Grandma Smith. I am happy that he has moved to a new level of gaming, beyond Candyland and Chutes and Ladders, because I actually like to play Battleship...and I play to win! Max would play this game many times a day if he had his way but I just can't fit it into my schedule sometimes. The other day he decided to play the game by himself. I heard him in the living room calling out coordinates and then saying "hit" or "miss" with great enthusiasm. I was wondering how this game was going to play out. Was he taking turns hitting and missing each player? Who was going to be the winner? I had to hold in the hysterical laughter when I saw how he was working it. Notice all the reds (hits) are on one board and all the whites (misses) on the other. I wonder if a psychologist could tell me a little about how his brain works from this outcome!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Deep Dark Secrets

I have been "tagged" two times now, so I am wondering if I am meant to have a moment of introspection. Maybe I'll discover a talent I didn't know I possessed, or more likely, maybe I'll discover that there's nothing new to discover. I'm not sure that I can conjure up six new things to tell people about, because I am an open book...and more importantly, because I talk too much so everyone probably already knows these six things about me. Regardless, here goes:

1. I have become very picky with food in my old age. I am not picky in the sense that there are many things I don't like, because I actually like almost all types of food. I am picky in my quality of food. If I am going to eat it, it has to be good. I have been disappointed at restaurants lately. I don't make casseroles because usually they are made with cream soups, which I don't find very appetizing in my old age. I could go on, but I don't want to continue offending people who like cream soups!

2. I am much more critical of my husband than he is of me...but I'm working on it. This sounds really terrible, and it is, but you must know that my husband is one of the most accepting people I have ever known. He is totally fine if there is no dinner planned when he gets home. Cold cereal or a sandwich is just fine with him. He was never one of those single guys who ruled out dating girls who had fat potential (thank goodness) because it honestly never crossed his mind. He does not think any differently of me if I don't do my visiting teaching occasionally. Really, I can get away with so much in this relationship! He inspires me to be a better person not by asking for it, or even expecting it, but by loving me for me, and treating everyone with respect.

3. I love playing sports. I played basketball and volleyball in high school, and I was on the championship intramural basketball team at BYU two years in a row, which is more competitive than it sounds. I had a mean hook shot. Most of you probably don't even know what that is, but I had it. I now love to play golf with Steve. I also love to rollerblade and used to be quite the daredevil on them. I would even go down small flights of stairs. I really enjoy snow skiing, but have learned in the past few years that I am a cold weather weenie, so I only like to ski now when the weather is relatively mild.

4. I loved the "Twilight" series, and have read all three, but started getting a little bored with all the mushy stuff by the second book. My sister-in-laws informed me that that disqualifies me from being a hopeless romantic. I would have to agree, and am just fine with that. I still love the storyline and will read the next one right when it comes out. Everyone who has read the books has a favorite guy, and I have decided that a mix between Edward and Jacob is perfect.

5. I am not a sentimental person, or rather I am not attached to things. Other than pictures and video footage, I would be okay if my house burnt down, as long as I was given plenty of money to build a new one, buy new clothes and redecorate. I am not attached to my scriptures, so I would be okay buying new ones. I would miss the small amount of memorabilia from my childhood and youth, but I only look at it every few years, so I could move past that pretty easily. Further proof of this is that I gave my wedding dress to D.I. several years ago, and have had no regrets, except when a friend makes me feel cold and heartless for doing so!

6. I have never made a budget, but I am still good with money. I could make and stick to a budget if I really had to, like really really really had to, but if I don't really have to, then I won't. I always know how much money we have because I am the bookkeeper in our family. We rarely pay interest, with the exception of our mortgage and student loans. I consider myself smart with money and will do the necessary research, so our money should be growing well. But, I'm not a strict "rules" person, so strict budgets do not lend themselves well to my personality. Is that a great excuse or what?

I am supposed to "tag" six more people to tell six things about themselves. Don't feel any pressure, just know that it's quite interesting to think about yourself for a few minutes! I tag Alexis, Abbie, Jamie, my Mom, Michelle Ray and Brooke Romney (who has probably been tagged several times, so get on it).

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Contemporary Traditional Eclectic...Whatever!

Most of you know that I love to decorate, and if you don't you will find out soon enough because I talk about it more often than is appropriate or necessary! I have no idea what to call my decor style, other than...whatever I like at the time. I definitely lean toward more clean lines and contemporary feel, I love to display family photos, and I love being different, which means my Goodwill and garage sale finds are real treasures to me because most likely, no one else will have what I have. The zebra chairs were a MAJOR find. I'll tell you why - I wasn't even shopping at the time. When my friends, Brooke and Kelli, were in town we were out for a Saturday morning run/stroll when we walked past a garage sale with none other than zebra print chairs. You must know that I had been eyeing black and white bold patterned chairs on for quite some time, but could not justify them in the budget yet, so these chairs at $50 each were like a dream come true for me...and I mean that seriously. The amber glass lamps were from Goodwill, along with the green velvet throw pillow and the white octagonal mirror in the entryway (with more to come, I'm sure). I have actually seen two ward members (yes Kim, that includes you) at this, my new favorite second-hand store. Sadly they were each looking for costume items, while I was looking for long lasting household goods! The pear painting was done by none other than Kelli Jelinek, an artist on the verge of greatness! I will have you know that she whipped that painting out in about 45 minutes. I found the two little pears on the mantel at Pier 1, which mirror the painting. Clever isn't it? The big round amazing mirror on the mantle was a housewarming gift from Sam and Hollie, my brother and his better half. I know, I don't deserve it, but I couldn't be rude and not accept it! I seem to be saying "I" a lot in this post, when infact, I should be saying "we" much of the time. My most fabulous friends, Brooke and Kelli, were the other two thirds of our dynamic decorating trio (I know that should be duo, but it wasn't a duo). We stayed up until 3 am one night rearranging furniture, placing accessories, and brainstorming for what I was to complete after they left me high and dry. It was a night that made many great memories, including Kelli's famous words "I need more wood here" and Brooke breaking out as a decorator in the making. She finally realized that fashion is much like home decor, so all the hours she had spent reading InStyle magazine were becoming useful! I have three things left to do before the room is officially complete. I want a sunburst clock for one of the walls in the living room. I still have to mat one more family picture that is sitting on the shelves, and I want to buy a piano to replace the sofa table that sits between the two zebra chairs. The piano is on a little bit different monetary scale than the other two, especially in the eyes of Steve, but a piano will be there at some point in the future. Much thanks to the contributors of this frugal masterpiece, and if you want to see it in person...I love visitors!

Friday, November 2, 2007

I'm a Dork!

I really don't even need to address this title, because you all know this about me, but I will just give you one more reason why I'm such a dork. Steve took the kids out trick-or-treating while I stayed home to man the front door. Right after he left I got this sudden surge of Halloween spirit and decided to download some Halloween songs to my ipod and play them on my ipod player on the front porch. Steve happened to be right across the street when I started blaring "Ghostbusters" and he signaled for me to turn it down, while our neighbor was yelling for me to turn it up. He can be such a stick in the mud sometimes! Really, who doesn't want to hear Ghostbusters at 8 pm on Halloween? I turned it down, but just a little bit, and then sat on the front porch to greet trick-or-treaters. As I was looking around at our street and noticing no one else with such great holiday spirit, it hit me, "Lyric, you're a dork". This realization comes to me quite often, and I am secure enough with myself to be okay with it.

The Smith (my maiden name) household seemed to be the breeding grounds for cool dorks. I know it's an oxymoron, but it's true, at least I think it's true. Maybe only we thought we were kind of cool, but really that's the most important thing for a teenager...self esteem. I had the brother who wore the blue 70's tuxedo to prom and still looked good. Most of the 10 of us went all out for spirit dress-up days in high school. I think all of us love to dance. Not all of us look good doing it, but we have spunk, and we don't care who's watching. I actually have a couple of sisters whose dance skills could hang with the brothas and sistas, if you know what I mean! My 17 year old sister just dressed up as Pokemon's friend (Pikachu) for a Halloween party, while all her friends wore cute and flirty costumes. This same sister just had my mom use a big full skirt from another sister's prom several years ago and transform it into a full dress. Sounds kind of like Pretty in Pink doesn't it? I'll stop there, but I must admit that it is a fun family to be a part of. There is never a dull moment.

I have posted pictures of Maxwell and Sophie, and their cousins, from this most spirited Halloween. Sophie was the cutest pirate ever. She even wore big hoop earrings! Max chose to be a muscled power ranger. We stood in the costume section at Target for nearly an hour before he officially decided. Actually he chose the power ranger costume right away, but I spent an hour trying to talk him into being a pirate (Jack Sparrow), so he and Sophie would match, but to no avail. There's no swaying this kid. Funny thing is we went to Target today to buy half off costumes for next year and he let me buy him the Jack Sparrow costume. What a dork (obviously it runs in the genes)!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Crazy Sock Day

The only reason I wish drugs would have been more of a problem in America when I was in elementary school is so that I could dress up for Red Ribbon Week (Drug-Free Week). It's like Homecoming Week in high school with each day being a different dress-up day. Maxwell got really excited about it, mostly because everyone who dressed up each day got a rainbow stamp, which is highly sought after among Mrs. Stred's kindergarten students. My favorite day was crazy sock day. I have these striped socks that go up past my knees, so you can imagine that we had to adjust them a bit for Max. He thought they were pretty cool. The best part about crazy sock day was when Maxwell came home and said, "Mom, Mrs. Stred had the same socks as me". If he would have been in 3rd grade that would have been so embarrassing, so thank goodness for innocent 5 year olds!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Porch Full of Fun!

This is our first autumn back in Idaho and I had forgotten how absolutely beautiful the trees are. You’ll drive past an Albertson’s grocery store and because they have planted all the same tree throughout their parking lot, and they are glowing amber in color, it has become amazing for the eyes to behold. Who knew that a grocery store could be a drive-by attraction!

Steve insisted that we have a festive porch, although he wanted spooky and gory décor, and even admitted that he loves the tacky stuff (like plastic cut outs taped to the windows…need I say more), I found my own way of bringing the season to our little front porch. As you can see, there is a narrow opening for guests to enter now! I had to copy my sister, Hilary, and buy three coordinating colors of mums for my front porch. The scarecrow was a silent auction item at Maxwell’s school carnival. Each classroom had a scarecrow they entered in the silent auction, and my name was on far too many of the bid sheets, but the “Ski Bum” is the scarecrow we took home, and we absolutely love it. It is an added bonus that the skis and boots are real and will probably be worn by Max this winter. Steve carved the skeleton pumpkin (Max’s request) at the Payne Halloween Party. Most of you probably don’t think of dentists as artists, but he sure takes his dentistry and his pumpkin carving serious. Details are important to him. Hence his pumpkin looks really cool and spooky, especially when it has a candle burning in it.

The Payne Halloween Party was major (in the words of Posh). The food was delicious, and Steve and I even baked several hours to prepare for the event. Don’t worry, it won’t become a habit! As you can see from the pictures, the electric jeep was the hit for children 3 and under and Max! Pumpkin carving was the other big event of the evening. Pumpkin carving is kind of like barbecueing to me…a man thing

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


My little nephew, Luke, broke his arm a few weeks ago, which was sadly expected at some point because he is such a curious and energetic boy! He is a lot like my brother, Dillon, who has the biggest heart and is good to his core, and is even extremely laid-back, however, he can't hold still. If you sit across from him at the dinner table his feet are moving constantly. You want to just put a really heavy weight on them so your soup stops jiggling! Okay, I'm totally exaggerating, I just thought I'd give you crazy visual! Luke and his parents came to play the other night and Maxwell and Sophie got to sign his cast. We brought the camera out after the fact so we had to re-create the event! By the way, don't you love the leopard print Sophie is wearing? Don't worry, I don't have a matching one!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Still Getting Babied

Sophie looks much different from this picture, but my Mom looks just as good!

My back was giving me major warning signs a few days ago that it was ready for another breakdown. When this happens I now know how to nurse it back to normal quite quickly. I have to rest it for a day or two, do what little stretching my body allows, and pump the ibuprofen. I called my Mom and Dad the morning after I realized where my back was headed for some further advice seeing as they have each had back surgery(s). They voiced a lot of concern, and my Mom offered to watch Sophie for the day, but Sophie is very self-maintaining for a two year old, so I refused her offer. At about 2:30 in the afternoon I heard the door from the garage opening, so I called out "hi sweetie" assuming Steve was getting home early from work (which is not a good thing now that he actually earns money for his time!) It was not that sweetie entering the house, it was another Mom. She brought dinner and dessert over. Just a little something she whipped up that morning after she spoke with me. My Mom is the greatest. She still babies her adult children. Now really, who wouldn't want that? And Steve actually got homemade dessert without having to have guests over! Mom, I love you very much and am so thankful for the many sacrifices you make for your children, including cooking dinners at 8:00 in the morning before a busy day.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

A Day of Firsts!

We had a day of accomplishments this beautiful Saturday. I'll start with the best news. Maxwell made his first goal in a soccer game! Last year, while playing in Arizona, he went from mostly running alongside the referee, smiling up at him, to actually following the ball. He didn't have many chances to score goals on that team, because his best buddy, Braden, was on the team, and he was about twice the speed of any of the other players, therefore he was the sole scoring machine. However, although Braden is sorely missed, Maxwell's scoring opportunities have definitely increased since moving to Idaho. He stole the ball and had a fast break (at least that's what they call it in basketball) and with several players chasing him down he kicked it in for his first goal. He was very excited and immediately looked over at the sidelines and gave Steve a big smile. Sadly I had to hear this story second hand because I missed it. But I missed it for a good reason; I was off accomplishing a first for me. I ran my first competitive race. You are probably all remembering me in my green swimcap during the triathlon, but let me remind you that I did not swim/run/bike that race in a competitive manner. I just cruised along, not exerting myself too much, and felt just fine at the end of the race. This was my first exhausted finish line. It is the largest 5K women's run in the nation. Over 14,000 women joined in the fun. Only about 1500 of those women run in the competitive heat, while the others do the fun run/walk heat. Myself and 3 other women from my ward registered for the competitive heat. Little did I know that 2 of my 3 friends are amazing runners. One of them even qualified for the Boston Marathon. I really think they should have disclosed that to me before asking me to join them! As we were driving to the race they shared their abilities with me, and there went my hopes of another leisurely race! Within 15 seconds of the starting gun going off I realized I would not be able to run the race with the two gazelle that were running at my sprinting pace, so I decided to push myself more than normal, but to run solo. I actually finished 113th out of 1444 runners, and I even finished 15th in my age group. It was nothing spectacular, but I had to brag a bit and post my standings because I am actually quite proud of myself. There were definitely moments throughout the race that I was not enjoying myself, but life is not always about enjoyment, which is a new concept to me! One more really cool first for me today is that I met Jared the Subway guy after the race. He even signed my race bib. It was quite hilarious because the bib was pinned to my chest, so I had to hold the bib away from my chest a bit while he signed. That was good for a few laughs!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Skipping Woodys

I decided that it has been way too long since I have been a member of a non-performing band (I think Lemon Chug was the last), so I created one. We are called the Skipping Woodys, and the trio includes myself, Kelli Jelinek and Brooke Romney. I should just let you contemplate this name and not tell the story behind it, because I know there are some of you, without naming names (Mike Romney, Sally and Rusty Jones, Tara Fisher, Alexis Brown, Alyson Nielson...yes Alyson, you are officially grouped with the pervs), who might think this band name has some sort of sexual innuendo. Get your minds out of the gutter...all of you. This band name is nothing of the sort. It comes from a majorly fun weekend the three of us shared in the great state of Idaho. At the end of the trip we decided that the two most quotable quotes from this party weekend were:

(1) "I need some more wood in this room" (said while decorating my living room till 3 am)
-Kelli Jelinek-

(2) "Skipping is so underated " (said randomly)
-Brooke Romney-

Hence the name Skipping Woodys.

Two of my best friends, Brooke and Kelli, flew to a hick state just south of Canada to visit poor little ol' me. Talk about great friends. I actually think they really liked Boise, and will hopefully spread the good word so we can have more visitors come our way. We had such a fabulous time. We ate some great food, we transformed my living room from blah to chic (pictures will come in a future post when it is officially complete) most of which happened after 1 am, we had soul to soul talks, also until the wee hours of the morning, we laughed, and we skipped. I was so sad to see them leave, as were my kids, who adore them, and my husband (although they may not have felt the love, it was surely there). Loves to them both.

The picture of the three of us in my car shows how devoted they were to me and my decorating project. We drove nearly 30 minutes with a jungle in Kelli's face and a wicker and wood chair (Kelli got her wood) caging Brooke in. It was a sight to behold!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

9 years of Bliss

Yesterday marked the 9th anniversary of my wedding day. It would have been a good day to bring out the ol' wedding dress and reminisce, but I gave it to Deseret Industries years ago! Instead I will celebrate by blogging 9 of my favorite memories with Steve. Don't worry, I'll keep it clean!

1. Hitchhiking down the mountain in Mexico after we realized the bus would not be back to pick us up. I felt at ease when the man who kindly picked us up turned on his radio to a song that included the word "Jesus Christo" many times.

2. Cuddling in the off season! Cuddle season in our home excludes the summer months, because Steve does not like adding to his body heat when he is already hot. I love it when he breaks his own rule and cuddles in the off season. By the way, cuddling has increased since moving away from the desert!

3. Hiking to the top of the ski hill in Aspen, and many other hikes we have shared.

4. Seeing his emotions surface when Maxwell was born. Even the female pediatrician thought it was adorable!

5. Celebrating together during dental school graduation. I shed tears at graduation because I was so proud of his hard work. I often get caught up in my own little world, and forget that he works very hard too. The festivities of graduation also included our own formal dinner and dance, which we referred to as Prom.

6. Nothing makes me happier than dancing with my husband when he is footloose and fancy free. He cannot seem to find it in himself to dance in public and feel comfortable, but he does it at home...and I love it. His latest dance craze is to "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash. You gotta see it!

7. Steve coming home from the grocery store. He is constantly thinking of me and the kids, even at the grocery store. He always comes home with something that he knows I love, whether it is my favorite granola and berries, or Bananas Foster ice cream. I love his cute little smile he flashes when he says, "I got you something!"

8. Family walks. These were formerly couple walks, which we enjoyed nearly everyday before we had kids. These walks are now shortened, mostly on Sundays, and often include scolding or bribing, but they still continue and are looked forward to.

9. Watching Steve get teary-eyed as Max drove away with Grandma and Grandpa Smith for a 3 day vacation to Utah. It was the first time Max had ever gone somewhere without us for a significant amount of time, and Steve was not thrilled about it. I am wondering how he'll do when Max goes on a mission!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Confessions of an Unfit Mother

Pictures are from Maxwell's First Day of Kindergarten

For the last two days I have been questioning if I am fit to be a mother, but I have since talked myself down from the ledge. All this paranoia stems from my lack of paranoia. Let me explain. Those of you who know me well know that I am a very laid back mother. All of the potential dangers that my children face do not naturally come to my mind, rather I have a more "Pollyanna" approach, thinking that only good things will happen to my children. Maxwell started kindergarten on Monday, and this is where my story starts. I sent him off to school on the bus, yes on the first day, because he insisted. I assumed he would ride the same bus home from school, so I made sure he knew his bus number and I wrote it on a card attached to his backpack, but I assumed wrong. He was supposed to ride a different bus home. After the driver was done with his route he realized there was still one child left on the bus, so he headed back to the school. In the meantime, I was trying to track my child down. 90 minutes after school ended, the bus dispatcher finally found my child. The bus driver was kind enough to drive Max to our home, and he arrived home safe and sound, with a big smile on his face because he just got to ride on a bus for an hour and a half. One would think that I would have been frantic, because all you mothers reading this are probably having the beginnings of an anxiety attack right now, but I was not worried at all. I knew that if he was on the wrong bus he would be taken back to the school, and I would be able to come and pick him up. I also knew that Max loves buses, and does not have many fears, so I figured he would be handling the situation magnificently. I was correct on all those accounts, however, after discussing this with many other moms, I started to wonder if I should have been more worried. I started to wonder if I am not just an abnormal mother, but an unfit mother. If you care to continue reading, the story continues. On the second day of kindergarten, I tried unsuccessfully to reach the bus company, and their website was down, which means I could not find the right bus for Max to ride home. So, I decided to pick him up myself. When I reached the school, I saw lots of moms standing around the bus area. After talking to several that I knew, I discovered that many moms come to the school the first few days or weeks to make sure their child gets on the right bus. It had never even occurred to me to do this. It had never even occurred to me that there would be any kind of problems associated with getting on the right bus, other then your mom telling you the wrong bus number! Again I began to question my fitness to be a mother. After waiting about 15 minutes for Max to come out of the school, I decided to check on the buses, which was a good move. He was back on the wrong bus. The bus driver told me that he was just going to take him home again after his route was completed! I got Max off the bus, but he insisted on finding the bus he should be on, rather than just drive home with me. So I poked my head into each bus, trying to find our 4th grade neighbor. I found her and the bus problem has officially been solved. Is it okay to not think about all the "what-ifs" as a mother, or is that my responsibility in order to keep my child safe? I have come to the conclusion that somewhere in the middle is probably best, and for a happier, more stree-free life, lean to the "Pollyanna" approach. I think I need to be a bit more attentive to the safety of my children, but I also feel that if they make it to adulthood they will be very well-adjusted and confident! Already Maxwell has had more experience finding the right bus than many 4th graders, so there's one more notch on his self-reliance belt! One more thing...when your child starts kindergarten, ask if they are supposed to bring snacks. At Paramount Elementary they are. Sadly I discovered this 2 days late! When I apologized to Maxwell he said, "it's okay Mommy, I wasn't very hungry."

Monday, August 27, 2007

Boise Zoo...a LITTLE piece of paradise!

Last Thursday I woke up and decided to stray a bit from my norm of going to the gym or running errands (i.e. post office, Target, Wal-Mart). I decided to take the kids to the Boise Zoo. I called a plethora of family and the few friends I have to see if anyone wanted to join me, but to no avail. No one even answered their phone. Can we say "Caller ID"? We still had so much fun, and Maxwell and Sophie even played together really well - I'm sure out of necessity! The Boise Zoo is much smaller than the Phoenix Zoo, however, I really liked that. There were not 10 million strollers on the sidewalks, and 20 people all trying to see the tigers at the same time, it was just nice and pleasantly populated. They also have a butterfly exhibit right now, which the kids loved. If you hold really still sometimes a butterfly will land on you for a while. There are lots of lizards and birds, a few different kinds of monkeys, tigers, even a racoon,which is really funny because racoons are a slight niusance in Boise. They have a big giraffe poster that says "Help us bring lions and giraffes to Boise...please donate". They have to raise 2.8 million dollars to get lions and giraffes, and they already have over 2 million. How exciting is that!! Okay, now calm down everyone...but really, why are lions and giraffes so dang expensive?
Sophie played so hard she crashed in the car amidst trying on Mommy's sunglasses! So cute!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Photo-op Chair & Princess Lea Buns

Our new thrift store purchase, that is waiting patiently to be recovered, has become the official photo-op chair. Whenever I tell Sophie that I want to take a picture of her she goes directly to this chair.

And check out those adorable Princess Lea buns in Sophie's hair. That only took me about 10 hours to do the first day, but after a few days of practice I can give her the look in just a few minutes. The first day I did them, the part in the back was hideous, but she looked super cute from the front. 50% of the people she comes across will see her from behind, so I decided to work on the part! Sophie is such a trooper through it all. Occasionally she says in a quiet little voice, "hurt", but she doesn't cry or move. I never thought I would be able to do little girl hair. French braids are on the horizon!