Monday, September 29, 2008


Amber loves gum, and is usually very good not to take it out of her mouth, leave it anywhere but the trash can, and spit it out before she goes to sleep. This morning, though, I found a lump of pink ABC gum embedded in the bottom of her hair. Since she's been needing a hair cut for quite a while, I asked her if I could do the honors. She thought about it for a minute and said, "Sure. I don't want to have long hair like Kinzi's any more...I want to have short hair like LuLu!" (She was referring to two of my adorable nieces.) I trimmed her hair and here are the darling results:

After taking this picture, I said, "Okay, now do a cute pose" and this is what she produced:

I think Amber has watched waaaaaaay too many episodes of "America's Next Top Model" (thanks to my shameless addiction), but even so, she sure is a fierce little cutie-pie!

Sure Was a Crappy Day

Today started out great: Karli used the potty twice, Amber let me cut three inches off her perpetually tangled hair, and Rex actually got bathed. I did the dishes right after breakfast (a rare and exciting accomplishment) and we were all ready to go by noon. We drove over the mountain, through Suncrest, to enjoy the spectacular views on the way to Sandy for some administrative errands to complete Adam's Bar exam application, and were delighted to find out that he has no speeding tickets left on his driving record. Since the day was going so well, we decided to visit a park where Adam used to play as a kid. It had a great playground with lots of old school equipment like a dinosaur-shaped climbing apparatus and a teeter totter with horses for seats.

As Adam and I sat on the bench watching the girls frolic, we noticed that Amber kept digging at her perma-wedgie (she recently grew about four inches and needs a bigger size in undies...that's on my to-do list). Finally, she settled down on a swing and I said, "Do you keep getting wedgies?" As calmly as can be, she replied, "No. I did poops in my panties." and kept right on swinging like nothing was wrong. When I said, "You can't be serious," she said, "I am serious. I pooped in my panties." ARRRRRGGGHHHH!

I suddenly noticed that the whole back side of her shorts was brown, meaning the mess had seeped through the undies and shorts, and was inching its way up her back and front. I hate to be graphic, but this was not the kind of mess that can be dumped into a toilet. I had to throw away her panties and shorts, and it took an entire package of wipes (brand new this morning) to clean her off. Aside from covering her whole lower trunk, she had it on her hands (from digging out the wedgies, of course), legs and feet, and I honestly had to bite my lip to keep from throwing up everywhere. I was fighting back tears, too, because poop and vomit duty are two areas of motherhood that I just can't handle.

Finally, Amber was barely clean enough to be buckled in her carseat, and we made our way to the nearest McDonald's to use the soap and sink. I walked in with Amber who was sporting an adorable little white tunic, a tiny diaper (Rex's), filthy feet, and poopy flip-flops. I was expecting at any moment to be handed a large, gold-plated figurine of Jerry Springer with the title "White Trash Citizen of the Year" carved into it (courtesy of a pocket knife or car key) by any one of the six soccer moms with darling and sparkling-clean-karate-student children who were all sitting right by the door. Eventually, Amber took a makeshift bath in the sink and was thoroughly soaped down, so we headed on our way.

The story only gets better (worse for us, though) is my niece's birthday, so we quickly ran home to grab new undies and shorts for Amber before I needed to be dropped off at the gym where I teach. Adam and the kids then went out to Kinzi's house for her surprise party. Upon calling Adam for a ride home, he said, "Amber just peed all over the place and through her underwear and shorts!" What the $%#&!? Twice in one day?! What have we done wrong?

After a long, calm discussion between Amber and Dad (I was too disgusted and annoyed to say anything), we realized that Amber is feeling really bad that Karli gets a treat every time she uses the potty and Amber only gets them occasionally. Amber also told me that she felt sad all day because when I lay down by her last night, I turned my head toward Karli instead of her and that she "kind of doesn't like it when I yell at her so much because it makes little kids hide because they are scared of yelling moms and grown-ups." I listened intently and tried not to laugh and cry at the same time, and desperately hoped that tomorrow will be a day free from yelling and accidents involving bodily waste.

Hello, I'm Phyllis Neffler

Adam and I got called to be the den leaders of the Bears in Cub Scouts, which means that once a week, three times a month, I'm going to have three eight-year-old boys come to my house and expect to be entertained by activities that don't involve pink, sparkly dress-up clothes or painted toenails. Whatever will we do? All I can say is I'm thrilled that Adam is my partner in this endeavor...otherwise, those poor boys' parents might have a thing or two to say to the Primary president. :)
I am actually really excited for this calling; maybe now I'll find out what boys like to do and how to respond to their gross humor and seemingly ridiculous antics so that when Rex is eight years old, I won't be encouraging him to do something utterly feminine like donning a Giorgio backpack and smashing his way through the underbrush with a tennis racquet.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Ravenous Rex

For several weeks, Rex has tried valiantly to swipe food from our hands, drink from our cups, and shove everything he can grab into his mouth. We bought him some rice cereal yesterday and he couldn't have been more excited to wolf it down. He knew exactly what to do; when I held the spoon up to his mouth, he leaned forward and gulped down the cereal like he hadn't eaten in days.

Once he realized cereal had spilled on his hand, he wouldn't let one bit go to waste.

He sucked his fingers clean after every bite, which was cute but annoying because he wouldn't take them out of his mouth once the cereal disappeared down the hatch.

Finally he learned that he could get more food faster if he removed his fist from his mouth. This kid takes after his cousin Hunter...he loves to eat (obviously; just look at those chubby arms)!


Amber, Karli, and I met Stephanie, Gracie, Cooper, Emily, Will, and Tate at Hogle Zoo on Friday. It was fun to have a "girls' day out" (Adam kindly watched Rex) and enjoy the wonderful weather and fun animals. The girls had a blast seeing the creatures and I liked meeting a new friend and spending some time with my cool sister-in-law.

All of the kids tried to scare the poor lynx to make it wake up. It stayed put and ignored them...I don't blame it one bit!

We couldn't find the tiger anywhere, which is a shame, because it's pretty cool to see a huge tiger swimming around its habitat.

Karli, Cooper, Gracie, kind of zoo animals.

We watched the bird show and it was great! We saw lots of interesting and talented birds, but the bald eagle was my favorite.

Now that we know Rex will drink formula from a bottle, I think the girls and I will have to do a little more playing. Shopping, anyone?!

Adam Clark, Esquire

It's official...I am now the proud wife of a Juris Doctor. I already feel smarter, and I'm only the groupie! Adam's diploma came in the mail on Wednesday and it's a magnificent sight to behold (at 16x20 inches, it couldn't be more imposing). I am so proud of Adam's grand achievement and think he is the very best husband and dad ever. Way to go, Adam!

Adam is thinking about pursuing a career in litigation, and, because I love the movie so much, I have to quote Cher from "Clueless": "My daddy is a litigator, which means he charges $500 an hour to argue with people. He argues with me for free, though, because I'm his daughter." Maybe someday the big bucks will roll in, we can pay off our seemingly interminable loans, and I can have my elective total-body reconstructive surgery so I'll look as good as Cher. :)

I'm Old School

I remember the first time I played with Legos; I was three and at our neighbor, Susan Anderson's house. She had a gigantic Rubbermaid tub full of them, and the only thing more spectacular than stacking the millions of plastic blocks into a tower that touched the ceiling was the glorious and melodic sound of each piece spilling out of that monstrous tub onto the carpet. I played with those Legos for hours on end and was always sad when I had to clean them up and go home. I think the main reason for my dismay was that it took what seemed like forever to pick up every single Lego.

I was delighted to find a similar tub brimming with Legos in the closet of the cowgirl room (the adorable room where Amber and Karli sleep). Adam suggested Lego play as a reward for the non-whiners (which are increasingly fewer and farther between these days), so after dinner we headed upstairs and slid the enormous container to the middle of the room. I couldn't hide my nostalgic excitement when I removed the lid, carefully tipped the tub onto its side, and relived that magical symphony of sight and sound as all the Legos tumbled out onto the floor. Amber and Karli were more excited about finding different colors, shapes, and Micro Machines among the Legos than actually constructing things, but Adam and I had a grand time making cars with passengers, a little red house, an airplane, a bridge, and a few other abstract structures. One thing is for sure...Legos rock!

Check out all these sweet Legos!
The Clarks have every set imaginable, from castles to pirate ships to trains.

Amber sneakily tried to destroy the house I built.

The clean-up process was as bad as I remembered. Just like before, it took FOREVER!

It was fun to see the girls build little towers and take them apart, even if they were only interested for a few minutes.

Amber and Karli each found a Micro Machine car and have been carrying them around for days. I used to love the commercials for these vehicles with the yelling pro-wrestler. I don't know why I loved them so much...I guess I have problems. A toy-filled memory lane is a great place to visit once in a while; it's loads of fun, even if I do feel ancient when my kids play with the toys I used to love.