Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Normal Craziness

DSC00296 Gwyn's babyYou know how we have to tape Lana's diapers on?  Well today Gwyn brought me her baby doll and some packing tape, and wanted me to tape her baby. Maddie has also asked me to tape her diaper.  I guess they think Lana is getting special treatment!

The girls had a lot of fun trying on their new swimsuits this week.  At one point, I left the bag on the floor for two minutes while I put away some groceries.  Gwyn ended up wearing her suit on top of her clothes, and Maddie underneath her clothes.  We're looking forward to using them at the Snoopy pool this summer!

And disasters are always fun to hear about, right?  Today Lana climbed out of her pack 'n' play at least eight times before she finally fell asleep (on the floor).  Before falling asleep, she removed the vent cover, put it down into the ductwork, and then proceeded to put anything that was loose on the floor or in Everett's dirty basket and small enough to fit down in there too.  I believe the final contents of that duct were a pair of underwear, pajama shorts, a plastic cup, torn-off pieces of the room-darkening shade, a sock, and a Lego man.

Yes, I know we need to get her in a crib for naps, and yes, we need to fix that vent cover!  It has already been used to create disaster. At least it was easier to take the ductwork apart this time!  Rest assured, securing that vent will be one of my first projects tomorrow!

The results are in!

You may recall this photo of Maddie:

DSC00175 Maddie with buckets

Please click here to see all of the entries for the caption contest. I had a tough time choosing this time, but I've decided to go with:

"Bucket, buckets, knees and toes, knees and toes, knees and toes!" from Richard and Bethany.

I will also be awarding a prize to Lara for her on-time winning entry. Believe it or not, I have never seen or read "Oliver!", but it still sounded like a cute title to me!

Thanks to everyone for all the fun ideas! Richard and Bethany and Lara, please let me know what kind of candy bar to send you (unless you'd prefer a healthier treat after all that Easter candy).


The blog has been sadly neglected this week. Thank you, Cary, for your post! It's amazing how one stamping party can take up all of my free time in the evenings. (In my "free time" I sell stamping and scrapbooking products for a company called Close To My Heart.) I thought I'd share what we made at the party.

The first card is all stamping. (Each leaf and flower was made using two separate stamps.) I love the clear stamps for stuff like this.

Thank You card

For the second card we used a technique called "chalk popping". We used a tinted embossing pad to stamp the flowers and butterfly, then rubbed chalk on the stamped images to add the color. The chalk sticks to the ink to make the color "pop".

Hello card

For the last card we created our own background paper using a sponge and ink. We added some beads and waxy flax as accents.

Thinking of You card

It was a lot of fun! I enjoy doing this creative stuff, but don't usually make time for it.

(All images copyright CTMH Co.)

And here are some little stampers:

DSC00270 little stamper DSC00272 Ev stamping

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Can you guess where Everett went yesterday?

Hi all, guest blogger Cary here. Mandy's in full tizzy mode getting a Close To My Heat stamping party ready for tomorrow, so I'm filling in for today.

Fun times yesterday at Everett's first dental appointment. No fear, no hesitation, no biting, and no new toothbrushes (wow, what a stingy dentist...oh well...), but also no cavities! Two highlights: the chair that MOVES, and one REALLY cool picture...

Here's hoping the triplets' first dental appointment goes half as well!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Eggs

Think about three two-year-olds dying Easter eggs. Any images coming to your mind? We actually had four children ages two and under dying eggs at our house on Saturday, and it actually went well! Thanks to Grandma, Uncle Jordan, and Aunt Celina, we had a lot of supervision. (I don't know if I would have tried it without them--thanks guys!) Here's a picture of most of the crew. Little Daniel, Cary, and Grandma aren't in the shot.

DSC00220 the gang

Celina, Maddie, Everett, Jordan, Lily, Melina, Emily, Lana, Gwyn, me, Rosie

Two of my girls were very patient and absorbed. They let their eggs sit in the dye and were intently observing the new experience.

Maddie wore a very serious expression the entire time.

DSC00187 Maddie easter DSC00198 Maddie easter 2

And here's Gwyn. She did not want to leave the table when we were done.

DSC00193 Gwyn easter DSC00209 Gwyn easter 2

Lana was a much more "hands-on" kind of girl. I had to periodically move the cup out of reach to avoid disaster.

DSC00190Lana Easter DSC00192 Lana Easter 2
DSC00194 Lana 3 DSC00195 Lana 4

She doesn't like most food, but apparently vinegar isn't so bad! She also cracked open an egg, tasted it, and decided she didn't like it. She then very carefully...

DSC00208 Lana 5 DSC00215 Lana 6
DSC00216 Lana 7 DSC00217 Lana 8
...put it back together!

And Everett did just fine on his own this year!

DSC00197 Everett easter

We had a really good time with everyone, and the kids played so nicely together. Here's Lily playing with Everett and Gwyn and Maddie:

DSC00227 easter

Friday, March 21, 2008

Quacked Goose and Naptime Disaster

Sorry for the cheesy title. The children were getting a bit out-of-control before dinner today, so I decided to teach them how to play "Duck, Duck, Goose". It was really cute. After a while, Gwyn stood up every time and followed the goose around "ducking" people. Lana was wandering around the whole time. We finally got her to "duck" a few people, but when she got to Everett he leaned away. She kind of landed on his face and proceeded to squeeze his nose repeatedly. Fortunately, he was amused. The chase area became larger and larger. We all had fun. Maddie mostly sat in the circle and held her buckets. (See the previous post.)

As for naptime... The first few days of Lana being in the girls' room for naps went fairly well. They all at least got some sleep. Well, yesterday was another story. I heard them for about two hours. Finally I went upstairs and discovered that Lana had taught Gwyn a new trick. They were both standing in their cribs naked over a puddle. Maddie had apparently slept through that part of the shenanigans. Sooooo I separated the girls again today, but I think Lana had already made an impact (hopefully temporary) on naptime. Today I heard some jumping in the formerly calm girls' room. Ah, the adventures of supertwindom...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Call for Captions II

Well, I think it's time for another contest. Please submit your idea for a title. I'll choose a winner on Saturday and post the results. Here's the photo (of Maddie, by the way):

The winner will receive a candy bar of their choice. Have fun!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

100 things about me.

1. I like chocolate (too much). I eat it when I’m stressed or frustrated.
2. My first name is Edith, after my Great-grandmother.
3. I love to have things really organized.
4. Being a good mom takes precedence over perfect order.
5. I am a perfectionist, but I’m getting over it.
6. Green is my favorite color.
7. I love to hike and take walks.
8. I love camping, as long as there is a bathroom nearby!
9. I haven’t been able to hike or camp very much since having kids.
10. I enjoy playing my flute, especially when it actually sounds good.
11. I wish I could keep up with it better.
12. I like to eat just about any food that I don’t cook.
13. I used to LOVE making (& eating) desserts, but now it affects my waistline too much!
14. My favorite is a good New York cheesecake. Yum!
15. I feel like bringing my children into the world and being a mom are the greatest things I’ve ever done.
16. I really don’t like “exercising”.
17. I like canoeing and rollerblading, and dancing as long as no one outside my family is watching!
18. I think sunbathing is a ridiculous waste of time, but perhaps this has something to do with my fair skin.
19. I’m not a big fan of pink.
20. I would rather people be honest than try not to hurt my feelings.
21. I don’t offend easily.
22. I enjoy gardening.
23. I have a hard time not pulling weeds when I’m outside in the summer.
24. I have a really hard time finding music that I like. (I want music that really makes me want to dance without junky lyrics.)
25. I lived in Utah for three years without going skiing once. The whole idea seems kind of scary and cold.
26. I love mountains and trees, and living near family. I wish there was a place that had all three things!
27. I get headaches from perfumey stuff (including candles) and cigarette smoke.
28. It annoys me when people wear strong perfume or cologne.
29. I love swiss chard from the garden! And broccoli. Ooh—and fresh tomatoes cut up with a little bit of salt on them, and corn on the cob! These are some of the things I love about summer.
30. And real mashed potatoes. Mmmm. They’re one of my comfort foods.
31. I hate celery.
32. I wanted to be an English teacher.
33. Or a book editor.
34. I have a BA in English and a minor in music.
35. I used to jump down flights of stairs—all the time.
36. I don’t like being in the spotlight...yet I am publishing this post.
37. I love our extended family, and wish we weren’t so spread out.
38. Beautiful singing makes me cry.
39. So does beauty in nature (when viewed in a peaceful setting).
40. I love the feeling in the air just before a thunderstorm.
41. Fall is my favorite season.
42. I enjoy playing the piano—especially when I don’t have to.
43. I hate scheduling doctor’s appointments. I have no idea why.
44. I have never dyed my hair. I once bought a temporary dye and didn’t have the heart to use it.
45. I never had pierced ears.
46. I used to take out aggression on my marimba (and sometimes the piano).
47. I wouldn’t want to do college again, but I’d like to take a few courses one at a time so that I could really enjoy them.
48. Immodest clothing really bothers me.
49. And little girl clothing that looks like miniature women’s clothing.
50. I like cats. When we were waiting for kids, we got a kitten.
51. I like it when Cary cleans the toilets—my most detested chore.
52. I miss Jamba Juice (really good smoothies out West).
53. I used to be really shy. I think church callings and going to France cured me of that.
54. I can speak French because I lived in France for 10 months. (I also took 5 years of courses, but that only gets you so far.)
55. I thought I would marry someone tall, with dark hair.
56. I’m glad I married Cary!
57. I like making stuff. I know that’s not very descriptive. I enjoy scrapbooking, building things with wood, sewing, painting, etc.
58. I like it when things are CLEAN and undamaged.
59. I like having kids (and a husband) even better.
60. When Cary is late, I worry, and weird scenarios play through my mind.
61. I’m very attached to my pillow.
62. I really like crêpes with Nutella and banana.
63. I wish there were more things made for more than two children (wagons, strollers, bike trailers, etc.). Maybe I’ll have to make something…
64. I wish I had more time with Cary.
65. I’m glad he’s so supportive of me.
66. I didn’t wear makeup until my senior year of high school.
67. I’m not the most tactful person in the world, though I try.
68. Turtlenecks and watches bug me (when I wear them).
69. I don’t carry a purse—I would just leave it everywhere!
70. I think I’m becoming a patient person.
71. I love having a schedule.
72. I love having sunshine in my house.
73. I really admire something about each of my family members.
74. My parents have dinner with us almost every Sunday.
75. I feel like I’m starting to understand people better. I can get along with most people.
76. A lot of my friends are senior citizens. (They love the kids!)
77. I like reading blogs.
78. I generally prefer literature to modern novels.
79. I love date night!
80. I enjoy going out with my club once a month.
81. I miss my kids when they’re gone, which is rare.
82. I like to walk fast.
83. I’m not a big fan of soda. (Just ask Cary about that one.)
84. I like water and watered-down juice.
85. I miss cute carpenter jeans and the other styles from a few years back. (I know I’m a geek.) I am frustrated with the current “ultra low-rise show your belly and waist flab” jeans.
86. I sometimes wish that I didn’t grow up so much.
87. I miss western sunsets on the mountain.
88. I love green grass that you don’t have to water!
89. I enjoy photography, but don’t really know how to use my digital camera.
90. I miss being able to go to the temple regularly.
91. I enjoy teaching. I used to teach flute lessons, and I love teaching my children.
92. I don’t like to wear dresses or skirts at home. I change as soon as I get home.
93. I wear slippers all winter and go barefoot or wear sandals all summer.
94. I wear sneakers when I’m feeling low on energy.
95. I LOVE my little family.
96. I hated lectures growing up, but I think I’m prone to lecture! I better watch it.
97. I’m very stubborn. (Especially when I know I’m right.)
98. I’m getting better at being a peacemaker.
99. I’m generally pretty positive and upbeat.
100. I am happy with my life.

Apparently I like to hold kids on my right side!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Foiled! (this time)

I decided to stop messing with the "put Lana in her pack 'n' play so that she can remove her clothing, climb out, and run amok" thing and put her in her crib. I wasn't sure how it would go with all three girls in the same room. There was a lot of carrying-on at first, but Maddie and Gwyn slept while Lana bounced around, then Lana must have fallen asleep shortly before they woke up. Thankfully, I was able to collect the other two girls without waking her. We'll see how tomorrow goes!

Two things I love to look at: sleeping children, and cute little toes!

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Today was a really good day. We went to church, as usual. (Maddie is having an explosion in linguistic development. This morning she said "Going church." She has followed that with a bunch of other two- or three-word thoughts.) I taught the women's class today, and then we went to choir practice. Someone watched the children for us this time, so Cary and I were both able to attend the last rehearsal. I really enjoyed it!

Several people remarked how Everett looks older. It's definitely the hair:

My mom and dad brought cinnamon rolls after dinner, and we had a nice visit, then after the kids were in bed I worked on my other blog. (Sorry it's not public. It's just where Cary and I record our thoughts from our scripture study.) It was a pleasant, relaxing day--oh yeah: I took a nap on the couch which was periodically interrupted by children climbing on my head. For some reason, I can only sleep downstairs during the day, so even with the jungle-gym treatment that's where I take my occasional naps!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Good News

Cary has been a graduate student at Pitt since the fall of 2000, and this is his last year of university funding. He applied for two fellowships for the next school year, either of which, if awarded, would provide funding for one more year without teaching and coursework requirements attached. We were informed earlier this month that he was an "alternate" for one of the fellowhips and would not receive the other. That sent Cary into a bit of a scramble to look for work.

Well--drumroll, please--we received another letter yesterday which informed us that he is no longer an alternate! He will be awarded one of the fellowships and will be able to focus completely on his dissertation instead of trying to write it while working at another job. Woohoo!!! (That's exactly what I said when we read the letter, along with a big sigh of relief.) We feel very blessed.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Lana's Newest Trick

Today was a really fun day. My mom came over to be with the kids and help out, and Cary and I had a two-part date! We went out while the girls were napping for a little bit of rollerblading. I haven't done it in a long time, and I loved it! (I was questioning the intelligence of my choice of activity when we started, but it didn't take long before I was having fun.)

When I went to get Lana after her "nap" I was surprised to find her waiting at the door for me and wearing only her diaper (which was taped on). She had taken off her clothes, probably spent some time trying to remove her diaper. climbed out of her portable crib, placed everything that was loose in the room in the crib, and then who knows what. I'm glad she didn't get into Everett's dresser! (I probably shouldn't even write that because it will probably happen tomorrow.) She naps in Everett's room and sleeps in the girls' room at night. I found that when they were all in the same room they didn't nap, but it looks like we may need to try it again!

For Part II of our date, we went to see 10,000 BC. I really enjoyed it. We got a text message in the middle of the movie that Lana had thrown up. Aargh! I felt bad, but what could I do? We're still learning what upsets her little tummy. I just hope we get it figured out some day. (The emetologist parent in me had to look to see what she threw up--I know, TMI.)

And last but not least, we got Everett's hair to stay down today!!! Here is a picture of him with Gwyn:

Thursday, March 13, 2008

How we get stinky feet, etc.

I had to explain to my normally barefoot son this week that feet will become stinky if they are left in shoes too long--especially without socks. He has been wearing his Lightning McQueen sandals every waking moment since the party Saturday. He has also sported his new hat and binoculars except at mealtimes (even at the park today under the hood of his coat). He is dressing himself now too, so he has made quite an interesting fashion statement this week!

We tried unsuccessfully to fly a kite, but the kids had a great time. Maddie and Lana especially liked the swings.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The daylight savings effect continues...

I think that the daylight savings change may be affecting us more than the children! Cary gave all the kids baths and put Everett to bed while I dressed the girls, put Maddie and Gwyn to bed, and gave Lana her syringe feeding. This is what I found when I came upstairs (aka Cary putting Everett to bed):

And here's a cute Gwyn story: Gwyn has had a fever the past two days and has been fairly miserable. Yesterday after dinner she came up to me, held up her arms, and said "I know, I know" in a comforting tone. That is often what I say when I'm comforting Everett. I don't even remember saying it to the girls, but apparently I have! It warms my heart to know that the children appreciate those little things that I do.

Monday, March 10, 2008

MOMs Night Out

Warning: This post actually contains information which may be useful to parents of preschoolers. If you will find this boring, you may not wish to read any further.

Since becoming a mother of four, I have joined two MOMs clubs (Mothers Of Multiples). I never thought I would do anything like that, but it's really nice to get out and have some adult conversation and relaxation once or twice a month! One group, which I attend more than the other, is really informal. We just meet for dinner once a month at different restaurants. The other group has social events too, but they also have professionals come in to speak about various subjects.

I was really interested in the topic tonight, and am excited to try out what I learned at home. We talked about handwriting, and in particular, a method called "Handwriting Without Tears" that seemed like a really good idea to me. The letters are grouped into categories that make sense. You start with letters that begin with a vertical stroke on the left side (L, F, E, M, N, etc.). In a nutshell (from what I learned tonight), the method has three basic parts.

  1. Using a rectangular foam mat and wooden pieces shaped like letter strokes you demonstrate to your child how to build a letter on the mat. Then they build the letter. (At some point they will be able to build it without seeing it first.)

  2. This part is called "wet-dry-try". You write the letter on a small chalkboard. Your child takes a damp piece of paper towel or sponge and wipes the letter clean, following the strokes you made three times. They then do the same with a dry paper towel. This is something that will encourage "muscle memory".

  3. You demonstrate how to write the letter with pencil on paper. They then write the letter.
I'm sure this is a watered-down version, but you can visit the website in the link above if you're interested. When I asked the speaker how much the kit costs, she said that she usually recommends that parents buy foam sheets from Wal-Mart or a craft store and cut out pieces to make their own kit. The pieces are listed in the products section of the website.

I've discovered that Everett is a bit of a perfectionist in some ways. (I wonder where he got that.) When he tries to write letters and they're not "just right" he wants to erase them. He gets frustrated or loses attention rather quickly despite my encouraging words, so I'm hoping this will make it easier and more interesting for him. We're not putting a lot of pressure on him, but I'd like him to learn and enjoy it too!

This is one of the things we were working on before I heard about the HWT method. (I would have shown the "E" page, but Everett erased all of his "E's" and my elephant looked rather gimpy.)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Party Time!

On Saturday we finally celebrated the girls' birthday. Everett and I had a lot of fun preparing the cake and decorations, and at the party he said, "This is the best birthday ever!" I'm glad he had so much fun on the girls' special day.

We made tissue paper flowers for our decorations and as favors.

I put three little bears on the cake, since the girls have been little bears all winter in the coats I made for them.

Lana, Gwyn, and Maddie had a great time. Grandma and Grandpa were there, our neighbor Amy, my Uncle Dale and Aunt Mary Jo, and Uncle Jordan and his wonderful family. The girls loved having the special attention and were just thrilled with all their gifts. Grandma had the wonderful idea of helping Everett make bead bracelets for the girls, so he was really excited to give his gifts. And he got gifts as well! Check out these new shoes:


Grandma Campbell made adorable shirts for the girls.

They got a new set of books and some sweet cards from their cousin Grace and her family. ;) They have enjoyed dressing up in their new hats too.



Maddie and Lana (We'll post a better picture of Lana later.)

For now, here's one from today:

Friday, March 7, 2008

Husband Tag

Looks like there's a new tag going around! If you are reading this and you feel like you want to play than go right ahead and consider yourself tagged!

What is your husband's name?
Cary Campbell
How long have you been married?
almost 9 years
How long did you date?
We met August 1998, started dating exclusively that November, were engaged January 1999, and married June 4, 1999. (I guess that would be about nine months of dating.)
How old his he?
Who eats more?
That’s hard to say because he skips meals. He eats more at one sitting.
Who said I love you first?
He did, but I was ready to say it right back. I was so happy that I cried.
Who is taller?
He is.
Who can sing better?
He can, but we both love to sing. Here's a picture of him singing to me at our wedding reception:

Who is smarter?
Hmmm… That’s a toughie. We each have our areas of strength. He uses his book-learned smarts more. I'm into the ABCs right now. ;)
Who does the laundry?

I do, but he did the washing part for a while before and after the births of our children.
Who pays the bills?

I do, for the most part. I used to love paying bills, but now they're mostly automatic. (Bills seemed so mundane and unecessary after the girls were born. "Do we really have to do this? Taking care of crying babies is so much more important!")
Who mows the lawn?

He does. I help with the trimming every now and then.
Who cooks dinner?

I do, but he is master of the grill.
Who drives?

He does. Even on our 4000 mile trip to Canada I only drove for a few hours.
Who is more stubborn?

HAH! We are both the oldest child in our families. I think I might still be able to say that he’s more stubborn, but it’s a really close call. I guess our kids are doomed.
Who kissed who first?

He asked me if he could kiss me, then we kissed.
Who asked who out first?

He asked. (He forgot my name on our first date.) This is a picture of us dressed up for Homecoming of 1998. When my dad saw this picture, he said that Cary was practicing.

Who proposed?
He did. He was really creative about it too. He enlisted the help of our good friends and his family members to deliver a dozen roses one at a time with bags of scrabble pieces attached to them. I had to unscramble the pieces to find the proposal, then he got down on one knee and asked me.

Who is more sensitive?
I am.
Who has more siblings?
He does. He’s one of eight and I’m one of four.
Who wears the pants?
I try not to stick my leg in too much, but we do share the pants.