Tuesday, May 31, 2011


We had swim lessons again today.  I asked the swim instructor how they were doing, and he said, "Great!  Except that your daughter loves to drown so much."

It's true.  I feel so bad for him, but she just loves being dramatic and pretending to drown.  I don't know how many times we've talked to her about crying wolf, etc., but she still does it.

I can't believe we're going to be moving in a month.  It looks like we'll have to sell our house before we can buy another one in Arizona, so we'll be renting until our house here in Utah sells.  What I'm saying is, BUY MY HOUSE!  Haha, jk.  But seriously...

Last week was so horrendous, it's soooo wonderful having Brett back home.  I never really realize how much I miss him until I've lost 30 or so hours of sleep and the house is falling a part by the hinges and the kids are hanging from them like Amazons.

And oh my goodness, I'm reading this fabulous book called "These is my Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine" by Nancy E. Turner.  I highly recommend it!!

Oh, and if you hear of a crazy woman from Magna going nuts and slashing all of the speakers in her neighbors house, that would be me.  At least you'll know someone who made the news.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Long Week

This has been a long week.

I'm getting pretty used to Brett being out of town for business.  But this week was...loooooooong.

It started out promising.  My mom offered to take the kids while I cleaned the house.  This was her suggestion.  I guess being mom never really leaves the blood.  Yes, mother, I know my house is a complete disaster zone.  But I had the flu for a week and I can't stop tornadoes from attacking my house.

Anyway, I dropped the kids off, but before I could get out in time, Cohen was saying how much his tooth hurt.  This was not the first time he had mentioned it, and he isn't one to complain.  Soooo, off to the dentist we go.

$58 later: no cavity.  But the boy grinds his teeth.  It must be from all that stress in his life.

Then we had swim lessons.  Or, as Cohen explains it to Kembry: swim learning.  Hilarious.  Anyway, swim lessons are always a huge occasion.  The changing, the swimming, the heat from the pool making me sweat like I'm in the Amazon, then the drying off, the getting them dressed again, then the showering, getting dressed again....ugh.  And I get to do it TWO DAYS A WEEK!  FABULOUS!

Yep, still adorable.

So at Cohen's dentist appointment, I decided I better get their teeth cleaned and made another appointment for a few days later.  

Still adorable.

It was a very informational appointment.  Both kids are cavity free!  A miracle of epic proportions.  I don't know how it happened, but the dentist and assistant gave me all the kudos, as if I had something to do with it.  Besides good teeth genes, I had nothing to do with it.

Anyway, the girl needs her tonsils out.  The dentist showed them to me, and oh-my-gosh, they were huge.  They weren't infected, they were perfectly healthy, just GINORMOUS!  He said it can cause a lot of problems with the development of their face and jaw.  She's already a big mouth breather, poor little Neanderthal.

The dentist also discovered what was causing Cohen's tooth ache.  It is a nickle sized canker sore.  I'm not sure how we missed that the first time around...but oh well.

$300 later, we left.

Afterwards I asked them if they wanted to go to lunch or get a prize, and they both said lunch at the Olive Garden!!  And because I'm a kind, obliging mother, who loves her children and has not a selfish bone in her body, to the Olive Garden we went.

Wednesday my dad and step-mom graciously took the kids for me so I could do some Cohen birthday shopping and FINALLY get my hair cut (it's been 10 months).  This was the random guy at the Gateway.  Here's my question:  What's with old men wearing shorts, black socks and sandals?  Moving on.

Thursday was perhaps one of the better days (aside from the "Terrible Awful").  Cohen "graduated" kindergarten.  He was adorable.  The performance was awesome.  It was really difficult tackling Kembry and keeping Chloe from eating the video camera, but we got it all recorded for daddy to see when he comes home.

Because we had his program, we missed swimming lessons, and Kembry did not let me live it down.  Perhaps the nail polish was her vengeance.

So, it was a busy week.  I kept forgetting to get the towels out of the washer and so I had to keep re-washing them.  Which was a huge pain, because I had other things to wash.  Like nail-polish covered couch covers and my very soul.

Also, Chloe had a blow out each day.  Mothers of the world will feel for me.  She's also started thinking it's so funny to roll away with poop all over her back while I'm attempting to change her diaper.  This is still adorable, and I'm terrified that I'll never be able to say "No" to Chloe.

We didn't read our scriptures or say prays a single night this week, which makes me feel like the worst mother in the world, and we also ate out for most of our meals, which makes me feel like the worst mother in the world.

Brett could not come home sooner.

The Terrible Awful

If you've read, "The Help", then you just got a smile on your face from my post title.  If not, you should totally read it.

I want super double kudos for not killing my child.

I didn't even beat her.

I didn't even yell at her.

A part of me, the part that dwells in denial better than any Egyptian, wants to believe that she was truly remorseful.

When she came into my room to wake me up from my nap (number one reason why this was all my fault) should have been an indication that guilt was guiding her actions.

"I'm here to confess, mother.  I'm here to tell you everything and beg for your forgiveness.  I'm not worthy.  I'm not worthy."

I could already smell it on her.  It was all over her hands, all over the brand new dress  I had just purchased the night before.  (Yet another reason I should get double kudos, but it gets better, reader.  Oh, it gets much better.)

So I drag my exhausted toosh out of bed, prepared to slowly but surely clean her hands of all the nail polish.  The dress was a lost cause and would join the cemetery of other garments destroyed by the little imp.

There it was.  I think my heart stopped.  14 bottles of nail polished rested on a towel on the *gasp* couch.  But oh, blessed day, they were on the towel.  I didn't yell.  I didn't go in search of the leather whip.  There was a little bit on the arm rest, but, shoot, I could clean that off easy peasy.  Japanesey.  

I gathered the towel with all the nail polish, and as I pick it up, I feel the unmistakable tug and look beneath the tomb stone to find all 14 bottles worth of nail polish DUMPED on the couch.

This, of course, was after an hour or so of trying to clean it off with nail polish.  Once I started seeing visions,  I opened the window and fled to my moms house.  It was safer if there were witnesses.  I couldn't do anything too drastic.

We now refer to the incident as "The Terrible Awful".  All I have to say to her is, "No, you can't watch a movie.  You're in trouble.  Remember The Terrible Awful?"  And she bows her head in shame and remorse.  She's a fine actress.

Anyway, I want those kudos.  I didn't even yell at the child.  But then, can I really blame her?

1) I shouldn't have been napping.  No matter how exhausted I was, I know my daughter.
2)  She's 4.  I really don't know how much I should expect out of a 4 year old.  I do know that if she does it again, she's going to an all girls catholic school on the Eastern seaboard.  
3) She came to get me.  I'd like to think she was remorseful and felt guilty.  I think I'll hold on to that, or sanity sake.
4)  I couldn't speak to her afterward.  I was so upset.  So after about an hour of the silent treatment, she was coming to me with meek, "I love you, mommy"'s and melt-your-angry-heart hugs.

I also called Brett to talk me down.  It helped redirect my anger 1,000 miles south when he said, "Can't you just clean it with some nail polish?"

Oooh, can I?  I've been waiting for a reason to soak my arms up to my elbows with acetone!!  SUPER!!

Whats that you say?  It's only going to take 12 hours, in one hour increments, to make even  a DENT in the mess?


What do you mean I shouldn't beat her with a cane?  She's only four?  She'll make much worse mistakes than this?


Sunday, May 22, 2011

All About Chloe

Everyone in the Neff household is absolutely in love with Chloe.

She is an amazing baby.

She fell asleep sucking on the button.  Isn't that adorable?  I know, it totally is.

She is super happy.  When she wakes up, she has a BIG smile for me.  When we lay her down and she's tired, she giggles.

She's always content to play with her brother and sister, who she adores.

I realize she's not smiling, but she really is in love with Cohen.

In fact, whenever Cohen walks into the room, she giggles.  His sudden appearance is always a treat for her.

When we pick Cohen up from school each day he asks, "Has Chloe been crying?  Is she happy?"  And, of course, at the exact moment he enters the mini-van, she's giggling.

Chloe is 9 months old.  She weighs 20 pounds.  She's tall and chubby and has the roundest, most beautiful blue eyes.  They twinkle when she smiles.

She eats like a sumo wrestler.  She loves everything, so far.  She can down an 8oz bottle in about five minutes.

Wook at dat wittle tooshie.  

She has one tooth.  It popped up a few weeks ago, and we didn't even know she was teething.  Nothing in her demeanor changed.

She rolls everywhere, but doesn't crawl.  She loves to stand and jump.  She absolutely LOVES peek-a-boo. In fact, I can't fold sheets or blankets around her anymore, because she gets so excited thinking we're going to play.  She sleeps through the night and still takes two good naps during the day.

Her favorite toy is a Mother Goose book.  She watches TV like a 21st century baby, and her favorite show is, of course, Baby Einstein.  Kill me.

She's watching Baby Einstein episode 2,345,602 here.  Note the glazed over look in her beautiful blue eyes...

She's by far my favorite baby.  Future Cohen and Kembry, you were great babies, but as I'm sure you'll remember, Chloe is just something special.  Everyone who holds her falls for her.  Our life has melted down to the simple act of making her giggle.  I think I've told her "no" a handful of times, and even then it was amongst giggles and smiles and squeals of delight.

Chloe makes me want to have a baby.  If I had any guarantee that my future children would be just like her, I would have...well, just one more.  But still.  We're so blessed to have her.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Either Way, We're Punished

I read a funny thing this morning during my FB perusing.

"How young is too young? Is there a suitable punishment for drawing all over my closet wall this morning while I tried to get in just 10 more minutes of sleep?"

Haha, seriously, my first thought was, "You're being punished for sleeping in!"

Being a parent is a full time job.  If you show up 10 minutes late, you're punished with any number of creative tortures.  I can attest to this.  This is my morning, like, every morning.  

And I get so mad.  Why can't they just behave?  Why can't they get their own cereal?  Why can't they not bicker for five seconds?

Then I laugh as I remind myself that they're 4 and 5 years old.  Ha!  Oh goodness, my expectations are skewed.

But really, some semblance of order must be put in place.  Punishments must be doled out, but some how it seems like no matter what I choose, I'm also being punished.

No TV turns into...well, NO TV.  That's like sending the Nanny home for the day.  Pure torture.

Then there's time-out.  Psht, yeah right.  More like sit against the wall and scream for half an hour.  Gotta love that.

No books (when Kembry colors in them) is usually followed by two hours of, Ï'm boooooooored."

No coloring (when Kembry colors on anything, thankfully we're pretty much past this stage) is usually followed by two hours of, Ï'm booooored."

No friends is as bad as no TV.

No playing outside is worse than it all.  Outside is my safe haven.  It's where I send them 80% of their waking moments.

I could lock them in their rooms, but then they'd just play.

Sit quietly in the living room turns into a 4 year old tornado going all ape on the  living room.

So now my punishments mostly consist of, "Come help mommy clean the kitchen/bathroom/bedroom/coffin/laundry,"which they actually enjoy, and even though it really slows down my progress and often makes more of a mess, I also enjoy.

The trick is keeping them out of trouble to begin with.

Good luck with that, everybody!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I Have Sick Breath

I rolled out of bed in a panic today around 10 a.m.

But once the adrenaline subsided and I realized Brett was working from home today and that nuclear war hadn't happened while I slept in, I noticed that I felt a little better.

So the goal today is to take it easy and give myself a, as Brett calls it, "recovery day".  I have a tendency to jump in and clean everything I have neglected for the past 4 days e.g.* the massive, but totally fun, BBQ we had here on Saturday, as soon as I think I feel better.

I'm determined to take a shower today, you're all welcome, and brush my teeth.  Again, you're welcome.  It is nice that my body fights back whenever I move too much by forcing me to attempt coughing up my lungs.

And oh my, I am so happy this thing is behind me.  I'm pretty sure if I had the strength, suicide would've crossed my mind on Sunday.  I went home from church bawling because I felt so awful.  Turns out a 104 fever will do that to you.

*You must go to this link.  It's hilarious.  But if you're...thinned skinned, just stick to the link and travel not into the further recesses of his blog.  He's funny, but vulgar.  Anyhoodle, have a great day!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Phases of the Flu

Phase One:

*Sniff Sniff*  Argh, stupid allergies.  Pop a Benadryl, call it good.

2 Hours Later...

*Sniff HACK Sniff*  Ugh, nasal drainage.  Imma gonna go soak in the hot shower, open up these sinuses.  That outta do it.

20 Minutes Later...

*Throw self on bed, naked, still draped in a towel, soaking wet*

I think I'm sick.

Phase Two:

That night...


Honey, honey...wake up, I think you need to blow your nose.  *SNOOOOOORT*



The next day...no time frame...time is suspended in a haze of pain and moaning...

Stream of conscience... 

I can't move.  My body hurts everywhere, I can't move.  I'm dying.  I have to move, my body hurts everywhere.  Maybe if I roll over...OWEEE, nevermind.  Maybe if I adjust the pillow...oh no, no don't move.  I can't move.  My body hurts everywhere, I can't move.  Kill me now.  Oh won't somebody please kill me now.  I can't open my mouth to beg for death.  Oh the agony.  Aaagggooonnyy!!!

Rinse and repeat.

Phase Three:

Later, at the $80 doctors appointment...

"Oh yes, yes, you have a sinus infection.  Probably something viral.  I hate you, so I'm going to give you a crappy antibiotic, but don't worry, I'm giving you a refill because I know one 10 day dose isn't going to be enough.  Flu?  Noooo, it's not the flu. 104 fever is totally normal for a virus. Just something viral.  Something for your cough that made you throw up today?  I don't think that's necessary.  It's just a virus. Still, take this second line antibiotic and don't call me in the morning."

Phase Four:

Five days into the seventh circle of Hades...

*Cough HACK HACK Cough*  Ugh, but I'm down to half a dose of ibuprofen, only three doses of Tylenol.  Still popping the Benadryl and antihistamines like they're crack, but I'm improving.


Phase Five:

Ten days and one full dose of antibiotics later...

*Sniff Sniff*  Bah!  Dang allergies...

And it begins again...

"I have good ideas in my little brain."

My son, the genius.

I'd like to share with the world my reasons why I think my son is the greatest 5-year-old-almost-6-year-old on the face of the planet, nay, in the entire universe.

Firstly, he adores me.  Freakish intelligence?  Yes.

B)  He corrected my grammar today.  He was spot on.

Reason the third:

I asked Kembry to come and get her hair brushed after her bath.  She refused (shocking).  Cohen said, "Kembry, don't you want your hair pretty like Cinderella's or Tangled?"

"Yes," she said.

"Then you need to get it brushed, okay?"

She pranced over to me, and as I was brushing out her Highness hair, Cohen said, "That's a distraction, mom.  I have good ideas in my little brain."

Yet another example:

Today while driving to the doctors office in freaking Hairyman, Kembry said the copper mines were volcanoes, and Cohen kindly corrected her, and told her they were copper mines.  He then asked Brett what, exactly, are copper mines?  And Brett told him that they find all sorts of metals there, and Cohen said, "Like gold, and silver, and copper?  That's impressive."

No, son, you're impressive.

Finally (for this post, cause this mama could go on all freaking day)  he went to take a "Post-Kindergarten" test today.  Psht.  Brett said it was the exact same test he took at the first of the year, which he blew out of the water.

I'm writing to N.A.S.A. first thing in the morning.  Don't worry, I'll have Cohen read over it and make corrections.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What Is WRONG With Us?

I've noticed something about women, specifically mothers, that disturbs me.

I read it in blogs, I see it in my own mother and friends, and in myself.

Why is it when we're sick, or exhausted, or going on a two day migraine, we tend to push ourselves more?

Like, why would we possibly think, "I have a migraine, I need to go to water aerobics, and then go to Zumba, and then walk to Paris,"?

Why do we wash the walls and scrub the pot when we're running a 101 fever?

Why do we haul the laundry downstairs two days after surgery or giving birth?

What is wrong with us?

Brett asked me tonight as we left the gym, "Why do you push yourself so hard when you're not feeling well?"

The only thing I can think of is the sheer terror of what will happen if we do stop.  I'm pretty sure the Earth would stop spinning and fly off it's axis.  Have you ever taken a sick day, only to find the house exploded and you get to clean it up the next day?  Or walked out of the bathroom after a vomit-marathon of three hours to find your children naked and starving?

In my mind, I really think, "If I lay down and rest, I'll feel more sick.  I'll notice my headache more.  I'll worry too much about the house falling apart and the kids killing themselves."

Is there no cure for this sick, twisted disease?

Where's the rub?

I don't know the answer to this one, Sisters.  But I'm going to try and discover it at the bottom of double chocolate fudge ice cream.  I think I'm on to something, here.  I'll let you know what I find.

Thursday, May 05, 2011


I was just a ball of pent up, angry, bitter feelings earlier tonight.

Normally, I can talk myself out of these feelings pretty quickly.  I have so much to be grateful for, and that will always out way the negative.

However, not so much tonight.  As hard as I tried, I was really wishing I had a cattle prod handy.  Or a bull horn.

Maybe I'm just turning into the old grumpy lady I always knew I would be, it's just a little premature.

Anyway, bitter feelings.  I understand that they are stemming from some unmet expectations.  The frustrating part is that these are not my unmet expectations, they are others unmet expectations of me.

Side note: I hate it when people expect things of me.  Things that have nothing to do with anything.  Like keeping a spotless garage, or darning my socks.  Who gives a woop.  Not I.

So I got a little snippy with a family member.  I waited and waited for the guilt and remorse and regret to sink in, like they usually do, but...nothing.

I sit to examine my feelings.  I shoot out a "vent" email to my darling husband who is now too many miles away to count.  Who has been away for two weeks.  Who also has some of these unmet expectations being thrust upon him, as well.

But it was so much more than the usual, "You need to do this, you're doing that wrong, harp harp harp..."  So much more about the distance I was feeling...

And then I realize...I felt it as I was flying into Salt Lake...I couldn't pin point my emotions...the way my eyes kept filling with tears over nothing...the way I felt in the car ride home....the way I felt sitting with these family members, wishing they would just go home...the way I felt pulled from here...

I realize that Heavenly Father has answered a prayer I have been having for about six months.  Please, please,  please let Arizona feel like home.  Please help me accept this move.  Please help me love it like my home.  Please help me, please please please.

Arizona is home.  I don't have an address yet.  My bills will still lovingly find their way to my Utah address for a few more months.  But leaving Arizona this week was hard.  I wanted my babies in my arms, and that was it.  I didn't care to see the mountains, or smell the cold air.  I didn't even feel that rush of familiar release when I walked over my threshold.

It's odd, the way Heavenly Father answers our prayers.  Odd and wonderful.

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