Sunday, February 15, 2009


Grace sings incessantly. I mean it. And her repertoire is extensive. She sings a lot of normal, happy church songs, like "I Am A Child of God," "I Love to See the Temple," "I Lived in Heaven," "How Firm a Foundation," and lots of others.

For a while there, she was singing a lot of Disney. Like, "Someday my Prince will come, and away to his castle we'll goooooo," and "...big brass band [while pumping her arm Dick Van Dyke style], ooohhhh it's a jolly 'olidye wi' Mary...."

Other times she just improvs. "Mom is feeding CLAAAYY-rrrr... and Claire is CRY-ing!!!" You know, composing her life soundtrack.

When she's not doing one of the above, she's la-la-ing. Or she's humming. Or she's asleep. One of those.

She sings at dinner. She sings in Sacrament Meeting. She sings during scriptures and on her way to sleep. She sings always.

It drives me crazy. 

And to add to the insanity, I've lately found her singing lyrics I didn't know she'd ever heard. Like this one: "she wears short skirts, I wear t-shirts, she's cheer captain and I'm on the bleachers..." and this one: "Ohhh, it's what you do to meeeeee.... Ohhhh, it's what you do to meeee." And this slightly modified version of a popular favorite: "You've had a bad day. Something just died. You had a bad day... you had a bad day." 

I'm just hoping these lyrics never make the cut for her favorite performance of the evening: Prayertime.

And I'm also a little befuddled. Because she hasn't heard those songs with me. Which means that either someone is sneaking headphones onto her ears in the middle of the night, or she's learning these songs in very short clips with Karlee--her aunt. Karlee does listen to such music. But mostly not with Grace.

And that makes me sort of nervous, my friends. Not because of the songs themselves. I suppose they're mostly harmless. 

I said Mostly. 

The question gnawing at me, is: What else is Grace memorizing in thirty-second segments? And at what other inopportune times is she regurgitating it?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Work Date

My Mom's been out of town this weekend. I miss her. For lots of reasons, including the fact that working without her at home is very difficult.

Luckily my employer is tolerant and accommodating.

Claire came to work with me on Tuesday. It was intended to be a very short thing. But it turned out to be a very long thing. And for the first two hours she was angelic--carrying around a cup of popcorn, looking in cabinets, smiling and chattering...

She was wonderful.

Right up until she found some peanut butter and smeared it all over my desk chair. 

We, of course, left shortly afterward. 

The scent of peanut butter, by contrast, still lingers. Still. 

But it makes me think of Claire. And that makes me happy even if a stinky chair doesn't.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Mall Date

I really hate shopping at the mall. Like, a lot.

I hate how I look in the dressing room. Maybe it's the lighting. Maybe it's my first time looking in a mirror in several weeks. But I hate it so much that I usually carry on the following conversation with myself--after my shocked ego has recovered enough to think clearly: "Really? My family let me out of the house like this? Self, tell me I don't look like this all the time. [long pause.] Crap. I do, don't I? That's great. Well then. I guess I don't need this [highly overpriced cloth item], seeing as it couldn't possibly cure my [acne, love handles, green skin, cold sore scar...]." Dressing rooms have historically saved me a lot of money.

I hate how tired I am after shopping around all day to find the best bargain. I don't ever in good conscience buy the first thing I like. Unless it's 80% off. And it's ridiculously perfect. Which never happens. So I usually end up wandering from store to store liking plenty and buying nothing. Which makes for one long wasted day. And a sore back.

Mostly, I really [really] hate. spending. money. In truth, on the rare occasion that I buy anything [a phenomenon requiring the planets align and give me the perfect outfit at an incredible discount with a less-than-punishing dressing room experience], my stomach drops and I feel sick the rest of the day. I'm sure some of you can relate to that part. [You can relate, right?] 

So when Grace requested to spend her hard-earned chore cash on a single ride at our mall's Merry-Go-Round, I groaned [silently, of course]. But it was her money. And I had promised she could spend it as she wanted. So we went.

I avoided clothing stores. I avoided making direct eye contact with the women who don't need the mall since they are already perfectly coiffed and elegantly accessorized.

And I had a total blast.

We stopped at Starbucks for an incredible cupcake and vanilla flavored milk.

And then Grace and I perused the Disney Store, looking to use her remaining funds for a gift for her friend's birthday party.

Grace paid in quarters, very carefully counting them out in a thankfully empty line behind the register, to a thankfully patient cashier.

We headed back to the car and wrapped the present in paper we found. [My car might be messy, but sometimes the mess comes in handy.] On the way to the party, Grace wrote "CARTER" on the box--something she didn't know she could do.
And she kept repeating, "Oh, I hope Carter likes his present!" Over and over.

It was the perfect Saturday. And it started at the mall. Makes me want to go again.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Greener Grass

Tonight I folded laundry while watching Backyardigans and dancing and singing and giggling with my girls. It shouldn't really have felt special. But it did. For three reasons.
  1. I don't fold my own laundry anymore. And I had apparently--to my great surprise-- been missing it.
  2. The episodes were brand-new. And seriously. I love that show.
  3. It gave me a false sense of routine. And that was the best part. For a second I didn't have to snatch every precious instant in my memory for safe-keeping. It felt so ordinary. Like it was something that happens every day. Even though it doesn't.
Which is okay. Because someday soon I will be folding all my laundry. And living in my own house in which I will be doing all of my own housework. 

And I think I will like it more than I used to.