30 March 2008

The Weekend

This morning I woke up to this.

Well that isn't entirely true. I actually woke up to a crying baby. But that is beside the point-- it's snowing and I'm upset. However, I have four young children so "upset" is not new to me.

Speaking of the young kids, have you ever walked around with the boy? Well, if you had, you would know that everyone knows him. I've mentioned this before, but I really mean it. Everyone knows him.

Yesterday we were getting ready to go to lunch. As we were about to pull out of the driveway I saw the mail carrier go into the cul-de-sac. I told Michael to hang on a second so we could get the mail. I told the boy to hop out of the car and wait for the mail. Then, because it was really cute, I told Michael to take a picture.

Yes. I have control issues. Just focus on the story please.

So, the mail carrier rounds the corner, pulls up to our box, says, "Hey little buddy!" hands the mail to the boy then says, "Here you go," and calls him by name. The mail carrier knows the boy's name. I was in shock. I don't think the mail carrier knows my name, and a good portion of that mail is actually addressed to me.

28 March 2008

Chase In Soo Malmgren

Tomorrow Chase will turn 3. To celebrate this occasion I am going to tell you all about my wonderful little boy.

This is the first picture I ever saw of him. I don't know how often UPS drivers get mobbed by people awaiting special packages, but this UPS driver sure did. As soon as I saw him pull up I, as well as my neighbors, came running out to meet him.

Chase was about 5 pounds when he was born. Some people at the agency were concerned about his small size. But my smallest baby was 4 pounds and my largest was 6 and a 1/2. So for us a 5 pound baby was just right.

After Chase was born he was placed into foster care. He ended up staying with two different foster families. I think he was still with the first family when this picture was taken. He must have gained weight pretty quickly--by the time we got him he was a chunk.

After foster care they moved him to the Holt Reception Center. He was very well cared for while he was at the reception center. They even celebrated his 100 day birthday (the baek-il) while he was there.

On July 18 2005 we picked Chase up at the airport and took him home. He was sealed to us on his first birthday. And we celebrated with a huge Korean birthday party. The party wasn't completely traditional, but we did our best.

Tomorrow Chase will be three. He is, as you can see from previous posts, a very busy little boy. He loves to watch the garbage trucks pick up the garbage, and the mail truck deliver the mail. He likes all sorts of cars, trucks, bikes, and trains. In fact he is slightly obsessed with them.

He is always good for a hug and a kiss-- a sweetheart through and through.

Happy Birthday little buddy!

I just realized that the shirt Kai is wearing at the airport is the same shirt Chase wore on his first day of school. Gotta love hand-me downs.

27 March 2008

Busy Busy Busy

I don't think I have bad kids. However, some days I think they try extra hard to get me to change my mind.

Today Chase literally went from one room to another emptying things. As soon as I finished cleaning one mess I found him in the next room making another. Here is my shopping list of items that used to be full that are now empty and need to be replaced.

1. Baby Powder
2. Hand Sanitizer
3. Simple Green
4. Fabreeze Air Freshener
5. Lysol
6. Baby Lotion
7. Liquid Hand Soap

And to top it all off while in time out he got off his stool and tagged my entire kitchen with tape and a blue marker. The ENTIRE kitchen. Walls, fridge, stove, plugs, table, chairs, and doors.

I love my children . . .
I love my children . . .
I love my children . . .
I love my children . . . .

Getting a Little Crazy

Madison is getting a little crazy today. I think we might have to start reigning her in.

This week is school spirit week. Each day has a theme and the children are encouraged to break out of the uniform drudgery and wear something according to the theme. The class with the most participation gets . . . uh . . . something next week.

Today is "dress like a character in a book" day. Madison decided to dress as Violet from The Box Car Children. She came upstairs wearing tan uniform pants with her brown school belt, her navy uniform cardigan, and . . . are you ready, because here is where it get a little crazy . . . . a light blue shirt. You SO can not wear light blue to Freedom Academy on regular days. And, get this, she didn't even tuck it in!

I was expecting her to come upstairs wearing tattered jeans and an old t-shirt. I was under the wacky impression that Violet the box car child lived in a box car. Wrong.

Apparently at the end of the first book the box car children move from their box car to their grandfathers house. The grandfather is rich, so now the children dress like yuppies. This means swapping the collared navy blue uniform shirt for a light blue henley. The rest pretty much stays the same.

At Michael's suggestion we added the "Hello My Name Is: Violet (a box car child)" tag to her shirt. The perfect little cherry on top of the perfect little outfit.

26 March 2008

I've Had Better Days . . .

It's true, I've had better days.

However, once it was all cleaned up, he spent 45 minutes picking dried glue off his hands. He was quiet, it was nice.

25 March 2008


I fell off the wagon last week. I didn't do Fly Lady at all. Don't worry I have throughly reprimanded myself and am starting strong this week.

Last week I gave myself a vacation by slacking off. I think a slack off week is in order from time to time. You may disagree with me, but I don't care. My wonderful husband topped off the week by surprising me with a weekend get a way. We didn't get far. However, I like to think that it isn't the distance, but the quiet that counts. Sweet sweet quiet.

We went to a fancy dinner at Cusina Toscana and bought some tasty cheese, crackers, and chocolate at Caputos.

So I didn't learn much from my goals last week because I didn't do them. I don't plan on slacking off this week, though. And I am much less inclined to yell at my kids for the moment. A nice trade off I think.

Belated Easter Post

I am finally posting some pictures from easter. Every year we start the morning with an easter egg hunt in the living room. I always make them wait in the hall and take their picture before the hunt. I should dig them all out and make a time line.

This is what I call our white trash easter picture. Madison is still covered in green dye from the egg activity the night before, Kai isn't wearing a shirt and Chase isn't wearing any pants. He is, however, wearing his new backpack. He loves that backpack.

After everyone was bathed and dressed I tried to get a group shot before church. Apparently not everyone was excited about this.

After church we went to grandmas for dinner and another egg hunt. The older kids got to hide the eggs for the younger kids. Chase, being no dummy, watched as the older kids hid the eggs.

24 March 2008

All Varieties

This is the largest person I know holding the smallest person I know.

In fact one of them happens to be extra small.

Big Kid

Remember how Chase graduated from PEEP? Well they must have read my blog and decided that his speech shouldn't be left in my capable hands. Friday they had him come in for an assessment and accepted him into the Provo Preschool Program. He started today. We had to buy him a backpack this weekend. He loves that backpack and wears it as much as he can. However, the best part . . . starting next week . . . he will be RIDING THE BUS! My little chase will ride the bus!!! They will pick him up and drop him off right in front of our house! Don't worry there will be pictures.

But for now . . .

This is Chase on his way to his first day of school . . .

This is Chase as soon as we walked in the door after his first day of school.

Yes. That picture was taken in the entryway.

20 March 2008

The Big Game

Yesterday was Madison's first soccer game. Her team pretty much got their trash kicked. I think they got beat 5 to 0. They had NO idea what they were doing. It was pretty funny. All the girls followed the ball around the field like a swarm of starlings. At half time they got confused because they didn't realize they had switched sides.

When Madison got to try out being the goalie she did a really great job. She was right in there grabbing the ball--apparently she has no fear of being kicked in the face. I over heard a little girl from the other team telling her dad she "just couldn't get the ball past that little girl." Kai told her she played so well that she "freaked him out."

She had so much fun, I'm not even sure she knows they lost.

19 March 2008

The Perfect Fit

Last night I went shopping with my sister-in-law. I have been reading the latest issue of Lucky and have been itching to buy a new outfit.

Most of my shopping trips are greatly anticipated yet end with disappointment. I have a hard time finding clothes that fit my shockingly short stature.

To my surprise, this shopping trip did not disappoint! I found the perfect outfit! It consisted of a black poplin shirt, red peek-a-boo wedges, and black pashmina, and (this is the best part) I found the perfect pair of jeans. In fact, the jeans were so perfect we decided I should buy two. Luck struck again when we found that there was ONE other pair left in my size. I snatched them up and proceeded to check out.

To celebrate our fantastic shopping adventure we decided to stop at sonic and get gianormous drinks for the trip home. Naturally, after I got home I decided to show Michael how wonderful these pants were. They are the best pants ever and I love them to the point of obsession. I grabbed a pair and ran to change into them. As I put them on I quickly realized something was very wrong. They didn't fit.

I was in a panic! What had happened to my perfect pants? I looked at the tags . . . they were the right pants . . . I tried them again . . . they still didn't fit. I wondered if my decision to get a drink on the the way home was a bad one. Would I have to give up Dr. Pepper for these pants? I didn't even give up Dr. Pepper when I was pregnant! But these pants--well, how often do you find the perfect pair of pants?

In desperation I tried on the other pair of pants. To my relief they fit perfectly. Obviously the second pair of pants I had snatched up at the store was labeled incorrectly.

I returned the other pants this morning and told the clerk about the problem. I showed her both pairs of pants and she saw how one was smaller than the other. Her response was a very polite, "Wow. I bet that was frustrating." Yes, it was frustrating, but I don't think she really understood how frustrating. I almost gave up Dr. Pepper for these pants! I wanted her to be completely disgusted and burn the pants in outrage! Perhaps this is why I should never work at a clothing store.

18 March 2008

Organize Smorganize

Last week was my second full week of Fly Lady. The Fly Zone was the kitchen. I managed to organize and clean the pantry and under my sink.What is that ridiculously large red and silver thing under my sink? Why it's my disposal! Yes I think a new disposal should come with a new sink and faucet this summer. Uh oh, I think my husband is about to have a heart attack. Perhaps I should take a few more web jobs . . . .

Unfortunately, I didn't get to everything. I never tackled the random white shelf, or the kitchen bookshelf. Perhaps I will next time the kitchen zone flies around.

In addition to continuing my fly lady, my goal this week is to get some more items up at my etsy store. I have been neglecting it lately. However, I have some really cool things in mind. I'll keep you posted.

Side note: I have started blogging with a few other women at the Hip Homemaker. I've written three posts; feel free to check them out.

Science Fair Extraordinaire

I wonder how IHC feels about me using my insulated water cup to keep my Dr. Pepper cold. Liquid is liquid, right?

Today should be a fun day. This morning is the science fair at Freedom Academy-- I know, I can't believe my kids go to a school with such a right winged name either. Both the girl and the boy entered projects. They aren't going to be judging the projects for the lower grades but they do get to show them to their class.

The girl did a project about primary colors and secondary colors, and the boy did a project about lava lamps. Wish them luck with their presentations!

17 March 2008

Graduation Day

Chase graduated from the Provo Early Education Program (PEEP) today. If you are going to Google it, I suggest using the keywords "Provo Early Education" instead of "peep." I think you'll be happier with your results that way. But then I suppose that depends on what you're actually looking for.

So now that he is too old for PEEP to teach him to talk the burden falls on our shoulders. My favorite method is saying, "I have no idea what your saying. Maybe you could work on your pronunciation." I'm going to write a book about my methods someday. It'll be a hit among slacker parents everywhere.

Here he is on his graduation day. He adored the gown but kept bending down so the cap would fall off. He DID NOT want to wear the cap. The child obviously doesn't understand how important these pictures are for scrapbooks and wedding videos. What good is a graduation picture if you're not wearing the cap?

These pictures are pretty bad because they are taken with my cell phone. I grabbed the camera on my way out the door but then said to myself, "Why would I need that, I'm just taking Chase to speech therapy. " That'll teach me.

15 March 2008

The Girls from the Hood

Last night I met up with some of my childhood friends. We try to get together every year and a half or so. It's ambitious but so far so good. We ate salads and sandwiches while talking about everything from good schools to laser hair removal. We talked so long, we were practically kicked out of the restaurant.

So, one of us became a physician's assistant, one became an office manager, one became an artist, and one of us sits at home all day pretending to do important things on her computer--can you guess who's who?

14 March 2008

Games Children Play

Everyday but Monday this week has been a half day at the kid's school. Don't worry about me, I've faired well enough. I think I only swore at them one, maybe two dozen times.

I'm expecting great things for today as well. The boy is staying home. Yesterday his teacher requested he stay home today because she thinks he might be getting pink eye. It's been a while since we've been to the doctor, so I suppose we're due.

Seriously though, the week hasn't been all bad. Tuesday and Wednesday they played with friends so it was almost like they were at school. However, the threat level of the toy room has increased from the blue to the red. It's never at green. We don't want to get complacent. You never know when terror is going to ring your door bell for a play date.

Yesterday Madison told me she was going to play by herself. Normally she accomplishes this by shutting herself in her room reading a book or playing with the toys she doesn't want her little brothers' grubby hands on.

Unfortunately, yesterday this meant she was going to follow me around the house and mope. I was knitting in the living room when she came in, slouched down on the couch looking so bored I thought she might burst into tears.

Me: Go play.
Her: I AM!
Me: Really? It looks a lot like moping.
Her: I'm playing teenager!
Me: Yes. Well, that makes sense. Go play something else, we're not ready for that here.

13 March 2008

Turbulent Times

Last night was parent teacher conferences. We talked to both the kid's teachers and it went swimmingly.

We were told by Madison's teacher that she can read a third-grade-level story (that she's never read before) at over 200 wpm and then answer all the questions correctly at the end. Bravo!

We found out that Kai's picture is on the display for his class' science fair project. Why? Because he is ridiculously adorable and has dimples.

We also asked that Madison be moved to a different table due to another little girl who keeps trying to smash Madison's fingers between the desks and kicking her under the table.

All these things made me think back to my days in elementary school.

It was in elementary school where I had an "accident." When another little girl in my class asked me if I'd peed, I denied it. "Really?" She asked, "because you smell like pee." I told her that it was the laundry soap my mom used to wash our clothes. I imagine pee scented laundry soap would be pretty inexpensive; it might even be in the bargain bin.

It was in elementary school where I learned to hide my fingers under my desk and count on them when adding facts I was supposed to have memorized. A trick I still use.

It was in elementary school when a little girl asked me my first political question, "who are your parents going to vote for?" I told her my parents were going to vote for Dukakis. She told me my parents were evil, because her dad told her that Dukakis ate babies. I'm fairly certain her dad was misinformed.

It was in elementary school where the class was gathered around a doll under the pavilion. Our teacher told us we were going to have a demonstration about smoking. He showed us how the lungs of the doll (which were made from a kind of white cheese cloth) were all white. Then we sat and watched as the doll literally smoked a pack of cigarettes. Our teacher kept lighting them and loading them to the doll's mouth. We were all enthralled as we watched the white cheese cloth turn black. I'm proud to say I've never second hand smoked an entire pack of cigarettes since.

It was in elementary school where the same teacher later showed us what it was like to be drunk by adding a little bit of alcohol to the water in the bowl of his goldfish. The fish couldn't swim straight and kept bumping into the walls of the tank. I don't know how many years he taught, but I bet he suffered some sort of lung aliment later on in life. I also imagine he and his fish showed up at an AA meeting at some point.

And finally, it was in elementary school where I officially became a dork. I started out pretty cute, but the end result was a little less flattering. I'm not sure, but it might have had something to do with the HUGE glasses.

12 March 2008

The Philosopher's Daughter

I just started my first knitting project where I knit in a round using circular needles. Last night, to my surprise, instead of knitting the brim of a hat, I knit a mobius strip. I believe this is evidence that I was raised by a philosopher. My dad will be so proud. Perhaps I will save it, and give it to him for father's day.

Oh! Remember the sweater vest I was making for Chase's birthday? Look how cute it turned out! It was my foray into cable knits. Chase's birthday is in two and a half weeks so I finished it with time to spare!

Well except for one smaaaallll little problem . . . . It doesn't actually fit Chase. I had to give it to Davis. I suppose I should hold off on the mobius strips and hat brims and start working on another vest.

11 March 2008


I couldn't resist posting more pictures of the crocus.

Oh and btw I know I spelled beige wrong on the poll. By the time I noticed the typo someone had already voted, so it won't let me change it. So, I suppose you'll just have to deal with it.

My Sink

In honor of completing my first week of fly lady I am going to be posting a picture of my shined sink. This is a fly lady staple. I admit that I love waking up in the morning to a clean and shiny sink.

It isn't as nice as the sink and faucet I left behind when we moved, but it cleans up well. Perhaps I can replace the sink and faucet when we finish the changes we are making in the kitchen this summer (I think I just heard my husband groan).

Speaking of the kitchen, I have added a poll about the color to paint my kitchen. Keep in mind we put in a dark brown (with black) tile and we are going to be putting up black bead board. I have red curtains, and oak cabinets. It isn't the cheap fake looking oak we had in our old house, but it isn't really nice oak either. It's middle range oak; too nice to be painted over, but more orangey than a really nice oak.

Vote AWAY!

10 March 2008


Mondays are the busiest days of the week for me. I have a gamillion things to do on Mondays. Gamillion . . . hmm . . . I know . . . it isn't a real word. The boy uses it a lot though, and as it is very useful I seem to have picked it up.

For example, he used it the other day when he told me that he couldn't clean his room because it would take him a gamillion of minutes. I don't know how much a gamillion is exactly. I assume it is more than a million. That is a lot if your talking about something like minutes, or things you have to do on a Monday. Perhaps not so much if your talking about the colonies of bacteria that are now growing on the boy's socks he has hidden under his bed from the last time he cleaned his room.

Like I said earlier, I have a gamillion things to do today so I will not be able to write a very long post. However, I would like to leave you with this little parenting tip: Always, ALWAYS, check the pockets of your boy's clothes before putting them in the washer. I'd hate for you to be surprised by these little beauties when you go to put your now clean (and beaten) clothes in the dryer.

Oh, quick side note here, have you ever known your child was doing something in the other room that he probably shouldn't be doing? You don't know what he's doing, but you're pretty sure he shouldn't be doing it. However, you have a gamillion things to do, so you hate to go interrupt because you don't want to take the time to deal with the mess you know he is currently making. And maybe, just maybe if you ignore it, it will all go away. Has that ever happened to you? No? Me neither.

06 March 2008

Its Hard to be the Youngest

When you are the youngest of four kids . . .

. . . sometimes you have to get your own damn pancake.

As Promised . . .

Ta Da! The before and after pictures of the little boys room

They are taken from the doorway. I love that now as you walk by you don't see diapers! The crib is no longer by the window, and I don't trip over Chases bed when I walk in. Much much better.

05 March 2008

The Ultimate Cop-Out

The boy is a noise machine, and a lot of his noise comes in the form of questions, to which I usually answer, "Because that's how God wanted it." Rarely have I found a question of his, this answer doesn't work for. Why is the earth round? Why are my eyes green? Why does this float? Why does that sink? Because that's how God wanted it.

Lately I have been feeling guilty for using this cop-out. I thought that if I really answered his questions we might be able to have some great learning moments together. On our walk home from school the other day I was presented with a question.

Boy: Why are sticks pointy?
Me: Well, sticks are branches from the tree. They are long, skinny, and pointy so they can reach up to the sky. This way the leaves on the tree can get sun and water and the tree grows big and strong.
Boy: So they are pointy so the leaves will stick on them?
Me: Long and pointy sticks do have more room for more leaves to spread out.
Boy: So things that aren't pointy can't have leaves?
Me: No, the stick's pointyness doesn't determine whether or not it has leaves.
Boy: So why are sticky pointy?
Me: Because that's how God wanted it.
Boy: That's how God wanted it?
Me: Yup.
Boy: Oh.

04 March 2008

Organized Clutter

I suppose I should start by telling you about my goals from last week. Last week I started making a vest for Chase's birthday and got the house ready for my current goal. I would be done with the vest, but I am having issues knitting the collar. The goal I am currently working on is a cleaning routine. I set up a routine and plan to follow it for the month of March. I am using the much acclaimed Fly Lady site to keep me on track. I have heard that if you follow the Fly Lady's instructions you're house will be spotless in a matter of a few months. We shall see . . . .

Things I learned:
1. Just because you measure and your child has a 22 inch chest doesn't mean that pattern size will fit him. Sometime kids are ridiculously skinny, and even though it goes around his chest doesn't mean it won't be too short.
2. Though it is good to teach your kids to do chores, sometimes their help increases your work load.
3. I still don't like to exercise.

Yesterday while working on my living room I decided that I wanted to reorganize the bookshelves. I recently read an article about organizing your bookshelves in an organized but cluttered sort of a way (I wasn't able find it again or I would link to it). I quite liked the idea and so I gave it a try. This is my first attempt. I have an expert coming this afternoon. She is going to make sure I've done the bookshelves correctly. She is also going to be helping me rearrange the little boys room. Perhaps I'll take before and after pictures.

In the meantime I'll give you a brief tour of my bookshelf. I know, you're so excited, right?

The top shelf is full of books I had to read for school, or books I picked up and wanted to read on my own. It's got everything from Jane Austin, to Poe, to Walden.

The second shelf is full of art books. It's got quilting books, the autobiography of Ansel Adams, and books about Rennie Mackintosh, Magritte, and some of my other favorite artists.

The third shelf is religious books, and the fourth shelf is children's books. The forth shelf is my favorite shelf because it holds some of my favorite books. Books I read over and over again as a child. One of which Madison is currently reading, "The Phantom Tollbooth". I loved that book. Good old Milo, what a character.

Oh yes, the bottom shelf holds bags, but that isn't very interesting.

03 March 2008

Creative Writing

Before kindergarten the boy took two years of preschool. During the second year they taught him how to read. He struggled with it, but he managed.

Because he struggled, we have tried various things to help him become excited about reading. One of his favorite is the word box. Anytime there's a word he wants to learn to read, we spell it out for him, write it on a 3x5 card, and put it in his word box. He looks at the words in his word box all the time. What are some of the words in his box? "Ninja turtle", "puff", "buddies", "Halloween", "refrigerator", and "gobs" are among my favorite.

We also got him a set of foam letters and numbers that he can stick on the wall while he is taking a bath. He spends most of his bath time making words with these letters. His favorite words to spell are the names of his friends, or words he makes up. After he combines random letters and numbers, he asks you to tell him what it says. Yesterday he combined letters and numbers to spell this . . .

. . . armpits. I'm just excited that he didn't write butt or poop.

01 March 2008

Spring Has Sprung

Shortly after moving into our first house, I naturalized crocus in our front yard. Each winter as the snow melted the boy and girl searched for crocus buds popping out of the lawn. Upon finding a bud they would boisterously declare spring had arrived.

Last summer we moved. As soon as our first fall in the new house rolled around, I bought crocus bulbs. This time I had the kids plant the bulbs with me. It took significantly longer with their "help," but I keep reminding myself it was worth it.

Yesterday we found our first bloom and they immediately got into a heated discussion about who planted that particular bulb. When they noticed little buds popping up everywhere, it no longer mattered whose bulb was whose, because spring had finally sprung.

Oh and did I mention that all the snow has melted off our free swing? It, along with a variety of other items, came with the house. Regardless, it is one of the kids favorite spots and they are glad to have it back again.