Thursday, September 5, 2013


It is a treasured night when I am able to get housework done to a point where I allow myself to relax and even joke around a little with my kids. Here is a conversation from one such night.

While playing scrabble with my two oldest...
Cara: "No more talking unless you're challenging."
Will: "I'd say you're pretty challenging."
Mom: "Yeah, Cara, I guess you can talk all you want."
Cara: (to Will) "I am going to lick your nose off while you sleep."

New word learned this scrabble game: vexer.  Caroline will try ANYTHING to see if we'll challenge it.

The girl's got personality.

Saturday, July 6, 2013


On the way home from church last week:
Nathan:  "I did three flips off my chair in class today."
Mom: "What?  Nathan, that was a bad choice. That's not being reverent. What did your teacher say?"
Nathan: "He didn't say anything. pause He was amazed."

On the way in to the Colonial Festival:
Mom Reading a sign: "Welcome to the place where you meet history face to face. Are you kids ready to meet history face to face?"
Nathan:  confused "Who's that?"

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Reframe (to be read AFTER May 15th entry)

Time for some Hillary Weeks clicker magic
Move over "natural man."
Here comes my yesterday, in a new light...

1. I can walk, as opposed to when I was pregnant and had to go clear to the swimming pool to get my heart rate up because walking hurt so bad.

2. Have clothes to wear. Could always just wear my stretchy workout capris I got last yr. for my bday I guess. Although fluffier now, I am basically healthy except for my perpetual sugar intake. Also, glad weather is warm enough for capris.

3. Having fam scrip. study. A good habit. In fact, we finished the BOM last month after like four years reading ten verses a day.

4. Washing machine. Better than washboard.

   *Preschool slide show put together by John was ADORABLE. He put several hours into it, as he has
     for the past few years each May. He is my tech guy.

5. I love my girls' hair. I will style it as long as they will let me. It is beautiful.

6. Deposits are the best kind of bank business.

7. Let's not bring up the capris again.

8. Love my suburban. So glad I have a comfortable, reliable way to transport all of us.

9. Thankful I don't have to hold down a job, so I can pop in to field trips and do other volunteer work at the kids' school on occasion.

10. The mana from heaven. That was already a positive.

11. Glad I can do basic sewing, mending. You know how I feel about mending.  (insert link to "A Common Thread" article)

12. Peggy bought John a nice suit. Nice enough to need dry cleaning. And he looks handsome in it.

13. Our neighborhood. The best. Friends everywhere.

14. Mom's Day was more than I deserve. John re-did the front flower beds. He did mucho dishes and other housework on Sunday, made sure I got a nap. At church I got FOUR packs of herseys kisses- one from each of my Primary aged children. They said that was surely reason enough to share with them, since I got about the most caney of any Mom in the whole ward!

15. I LOVE my baby boy and our cuddle time. Obviously I love nursing (at home, that is) a little too much. Okay, let's also not bring up the lack of bottles again.

16. My kids are READERS! And we all know about my library love affair. Still my oasis!

17. Food to eat. Kids getting better at veggies.

18. Nothing positive about Koalas. Sorry guys, you entered my life on bad timing. Oh, wait- this morning Desi was up at 6:30 so we had a much more positive study session and are done with the reasearch portion of the report. Today we go to the copy shop and finish the visual aids. That is my positive thing about Koalas.

19. Piano. Neat to hear developing talents. Especially when the song is mastered. Maybe not so much the process, but what an analogy for life THAT is!

20. Free Papa Murphys Pizza coupon from when John went to Jazz game!

21. Safe school. Amazing teachers.

22. I guess I'm thankful for that student who left their hoodie on the hallway floor.

23. My new tracfone with texting capabilities! And a contact list full of friends and family.

24. So glad Caroline had the confidence to sign up for the tapping part. She wore my old clogging shoes. Her only exposure has been last year when I held weekly lessons and taught my kids a routine for the family talent show. Pat on the back for that.

25. The van. Our second family sized vehicle. Usually when John goes on scout camps he takes the time to clean out all of his tools and install a few more seats for us. Very considerate of him to do that extra work.  Tonight was just a short ride, and he was stretched thin as was I.

26. Active scout troop Will's age. You know we are scout CRAZY over here. (I am the new cub committee chairman, to add to it all.)

27. Always thankful for prayer. Direct help line.

There. Now I have "counted my many blessings"...surprise me.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Give me....five? (Did I really say that?)

One of the hardest " 5 kid" days yet.
Bear with me for this emotional release and mental sort-out through writing.

6:30 am- wake up so I can take a walk. Nathan comes out wanting bkfst. Wes, who was just fed an
        hour earlier, starts to fuss. Get Nate's cereal and haul out of there.

7:00 am- Shower. Try on capris. Too tight. Not good when my emotional self starts heading downhill
       first thing. Just button up and pull it together for morning routine Jul. Come on!

7:30- Feeding Wes while trying to have Fam. Scrip. Study. Think: "'s feedings at 10:30, 2:30, and 5:00- so we can make Desi's soccer practice at 5:30 and he'll be fed and happy before Cara's

8:00- Pre-treat today's laundry

8:45- Kids on bus after speed hair-dos for Cara's "Utah" program and Desi's field trip. Straighten house
       including refreshments from Nathan's preschool commencement we hosted last night.

9:45- Ponytail and mascara...then off to errands.

10:00- Bank. Add Wes's social to his account. Deposit some checks. Of course a sucker for Nate!

10:15- Gordman's to Return John's shorts. Buy some BIGGER for me- which I went to the suburban
           and relieved my squished in self with immediately.

10:30- Feed Wes in suburban so we could conquer one more store

11:00- Target to return rug and too big baby onesies. And to get MORE binkies since Wes apparently
        prefers silicone over laytex. Also pick up Nate shirt and Will pants for Sat.'s fam. picture.  Potty
        break here. Starving! Pick up protein bars to eat at Desi's school field trip/ picnic. Ran out of time
        to finish the list which included 2 bags of skittles to give my Dad's machines at upcoming b-day

12:00- Barely make it to Des's field trip at the park to say Hi and take her requested water bottle.  (side
           note- Also find 2 treasures while picking up after the 2nd graders. unopened pack of apples and
           unopened pack of carrot sticks. Nathan's lunch! Score! -He didn't happen to like the mocha
          flavored Kashi bars I selected at Target. If these contain caffeine, please forgive me. Heaven
          knows, however, today would be a nice day for some. I think they are caffeine free, but either
          way,good news is I now know my kids won't be foraging them due to the mature flavor-.  So I
         discreetly slide the fruit and veggie loot into Wes's carseat. I call it the day's mana.

12:30- Broadbents for blue yarn- hems for Will's cut-off shorts.

1:00- Dry cleaners- drop off John's pants so they are ready for Sun.

1:20-Walk Nate to friend's house.
1:30- Laundry in, water new bushes in yard. LOVE this Mom's Day gift from my hard workin hubbie.
1:45- Research Luau games for Will's upcoming graduation class party.
2:30- Feed Wes, Read a little from Ensign, then doze off for a cat nap. Change him.
          Finish arranging family pic outfits
3:00- Check email- Caroline's hold is in at library, Michael Vey part 2.
         Need to register Desi and Nate for soccer.
3:20- Walk to pick up Nate
3:30- Rotate Laundry
3:35- Bath for Wes.
3:45- KIDS HOME!!!!!!!  Wait!!!! I wasn't ready yet!!! I was going to have the laundry folded, and the
         celery cut for Hawaiian haystacks, and the rooms inspected so I'd know what they had to get  
         done before snack... but alas, ready or not. Try to act happy and nurturing here.

3:50- Desi breaks out supplies for "Koala" oral report poster. I guess we're doing this now. Wes
         screaming. Me yelling directives at Des for how to spell words and what goes where. Continually
        pulling my newest phrase, "I don't have 5 brains. You have to think for yourself"  on the rest of
        the kids who have questions like "Are my chores done yet?" "What time does piano start?"
       "What fruit or veggie can I eat before I make Ramen..."

4:15- Cara off to piano. Didn't get time for snack. Frustration on all parts.
4:45- Still  "Koala"ing.  Dryer buzzes.  Unload the most wrinkle prone items.

5:00- Realize Hawaiian Haystacks are not happening. Tell boys to warm up last night's pizza leftovers.
        Tell Des to get dressed for soccer and Cara to brush teeth so she can smile pretty on stage.
**** REALIZE I DON'T HAVE TIME TO FEED WES BEFORE WE GO. Hope to feed him between 5:35 and 6:00 while Will and Nate save our seats.

5:45- At Sego Lily. Good seats. Wes still asleep.  Will he last another 45 min??? Debate. Train Will on
        both cameras just in case.

6:00- John drops Des off at program and heads to combined YM/YW that he couldn't get out of.

6:10- Wes fussing. I hand off camera and place him in front pack.
6:15- New LAYTEX binkie not cutting it. ALL OUT SCREAM. I head to back of gymnasium and
         into restroom. This is where I get creative. Out of complete and total desperation. I try the trick a
        sister in my ward uses when the nursing lounge chairs are all full. Loosen up the front pack straps
        so his mouth is more even with what he wants, and stick it on in.

This is where it gets shamefully embarrassing. Is this worse than the hobo scrounging at Wine's park earlier? You be the judge.

I walk out into the hall with my arm over Wes's head but realize this probably isn't enough coverage. I spot a forgotten hoodie on the hallway floor. That'll have to do. I re-enter the crowd filled gymnasium JUST in time to see that Caroline's tapping group is beginning their feature number about the Railroad.
Do I have time to snap a still shot while Will films. Probably not of this number. Darn.

Make my way back to where my kids are sitting (still nursing under the lost and found hoodie) and mouth to Will that I need my nursing shield. He rummages around and locates it. I skillfully suit up, and we are in business for about 2 more songs. At which time I realize I may not be relaxed enough to get much of a letdown. I think he is just getting what was already there.

WHY HAVEN'T WE BEEN MORE DILIGENT WITH THIS PUMPING/ BOTTLE FEEDING THING???  Well, at this point, I don't know that a bottle would have been much more convenient. Maybe so. Our family only has ourselves to blame for our kids' lack of bottle sucking ability. But we haven't totally given up. In fact, it was in my bedtime prayer just tonight. (hint, hint, kids... help me out here)

6:40- I'm back out in the hall trying to switch sides and having no success. he is beyond consolation in this position. The last song finishes and there applause. I start checking classroom doors to find a private chair, and end up in the faculty room on the couch. I dial my neighbor, who we sat by- to ask her to let my kids know where to come, but she doesn't answer. I burp Wes as I walk back to the gym to get them and we load our carseat, camera, diaper bag, etc. back to the faculty lounge- hoping to see or have to talk to NO ONE.  Kids being extra helpful as they can sense tension in the air. They get all worried about being in that room, and noone can relax, not even Wes to eat. I tell Cara good job, and we march on out of there.

I recently read in a book by Emily Watts called "I Hate it when Exercise is the Answer" that we should open up the pop bottle lid atop ourselves and let out a little fizz every once in a while when we feel it building so that we don't end up SPRAYING our stresses out all at once on unlucky bystanders.  I think I need some help with this. I exercised and stretched this morn. I had a moment for spiritual study. I even asked Cara to pray on our way to the Utah program that Mom could calm down and Cara could do her best. I bought myself new pants today-which was actually NOT what I call fun- I took time to clip my nails and pluck some eyebrow hairs.  But still my fizz was fizzin'.

We got the parking lot and found that the Suburban had been switched out for the van because John had to take youth to the activity. Here it came. The teary eyes that had begun moments earlier turned to sobs and, mind you, DROOLS as I pointed to spots where my kids could sit atop drywall buckets and tool boxes. It was ugly. Will and Cara-extremely quiet and helpful now- popped up a seat so I could buckle Wes, and we headed home.

Before exiting the van, I turned to my kids and as composed as possible and told them the only clear thought I could conjecture at the moment. "It's not what happens to us, but what we do with what happens to us that matters." How's that for a memorable driveway speech? I know full well that it is up to me to model emotional resilience. I told them I was sorry for my weakness and my bad planning and my loss of control, but that I was ready to go in and finish out the evening as peacefully as possible. I also enlisted their help by informing them that I can't run the house alone (surprise-surprise) , hence, there would be no free time tonight unless all the socks were matched and put away, etc. etc.

7:18- Realize Will is supposed to be at scouts right now. Run him to church while others do dishes...
7:30- Sorry Koalas, but you are not very cute to me about now.
8:00- Feed Wes. He didn't get quite full before, and we usually do cluster feeding in the evenings.
         Listen to Will recite poem he needs to memorize for tomorrow.
8:40- Jammies on kids. Graham crackers and milk.

We kneel in prayer and I ask Father to help me be more calm and focus on the positive. For peace in our home amidst the rush. Our continual prayer. I mention each child by name and ask for help with their specifics. Thankful for them.

All 5 He gave me.

P.S. 11:30- Foot rub from John after he read this post.  :)

Friday, April 26, 2013


Our responsibility, our reason, 
our beauty, and messiness, 
our joy, our frustration, 
our partners, our projects, 
our helpers, and hold-ups, 
our laughs and our cries. 
Our commitment
has grown 
and again solidified.

These five are OURS.

More new family members

Yes, unbeknownst to Matt, Jason, Whitney and Malory- they have taken their place in the Whitehead family photo album. They are also a part of most every dinner conversation, and breakfast for that matter. We stumbled upon "Studio C" in a BYU alumni magazine article. We recognized Whitney from her rendition of ""Baby Ride Your Firebolt," so when we saw her on Studio C, there was an instant connection for all the Harry Potter maniacs here in this house.

So much so, that - freakin' awesome parents that we are- we drove our kids down to Provo to wait in a two hour line for a live filming that began at 9:30 pm on a school night...

Our family has not watched a show together regularly since David A. graced American Idol. ("We love you Elder Archuletta!!) But now, every Monday night at 8:00, our new -Studio C cast -family members join us for the "activity" portion of FHE.

Last week we braved the winds for a REAL soccer game with our pals the Nebekers on Monday night. Would you believe that the next morning AT SEVEN A.M.  ALL my children were on the couch ready to catch the missed episode.  INCLUDING the child who, due to recent events- presented his Mother with THIS comic ...

Studio C's motto is "Funny, even with Mom."  Hey, if it gets him out of bed,  gives him a reward for time hard spent on homework, and gives us a relaxed weekday laugh together, I think it's a good thing.

Life of 5

Several people have asked me what life is like with 5.  I would post pics of the laundry room and kitchen sink, but I don't want to scare anyone.  Here is a peek at the goings on. 
 Science Fair was actually the day before I delivered. I remember on the way to Hobby Lobby to get paper for this display board prior to the fair, I swung a left over to Dollar Cuts to get William buzzed because the thought of standing to do it made me want to fall over into a curled up position on a jumbo sized, heated bean bag.

During the fair, I could be found on the stage steps taking a breather because going down one aisle of projects pretty much did me in. But I was very happy with how his turned out, and grateful for the families who tracked their time in different rooms to help him out.

 Gymnastics! Thankfully Grandma Peggy was in town this Friday evening to watch Wes while I took my girls to open gym at Jump Up. They've since transferred back to the Legacy Center and have their exhibition meet in May. Now during their drop off and pick up times, William is thankfully able to stay at home with his brothers. Needless to say I don't get to stay and watch much any more. Good thing we have a swing set stripped of swings which serves as a bar, a guest futon pad that serves as a hand-spring landing mat, and a 2 x 4 wrapped in a sheet to use as a makeshift beam in our basement.
 Here Caroline is on stage "opening the blinds" to see if the scary witch in her story is there. When she made it to the school level in the storytelling competition, I was at a loss for how I'd go support her. I had already had to reschedule parent teacher conferences for a time when my Mom would be in town since I wasn't ready to take Wesley to a germ filled school. (He was like 2 1/2 weeks at the time). Then thankfully sweet Aunt Marilyn came to my mind. With great effort Nate and I made it out of the house and over to Sego Lily. I had to call on the way to ask them to switch her to the end of the assembly so I'd not miss her after all that pre-arranging. As you may have heard, she was dynamite!
The day NATHAN reminded me about the upcoming  Neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt was a fulfilling mothering moment for me. I had started the hunt 6 or so years earlier (before he was born) for preschoolers in our neighborhood due to the unface-able crowds at other Lehi hunts. #Utah County is FULL of happy families!!  So I continued the tradition this year of organizing it. For Nate :)  He has had some boring afternoons since the baby came, but handles it in stride. The book time on my lap has sadly been mostly replaced by nursing, but Nathan and I still hit story time weekly and hang out as the pals we have become whenever we can. We are back to tending a friend on Wednesdays and at Sego Lily for our take-home library post each Friday. It seems we're daily running errands all around the town besides, with our little portable napper  just along for the ride.


Photos by the amazing Sarah Whitehead Sidwell. Proud Aunt.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

And the days were accomplished

I don't know whether or not anyone noticed, but the pic on our family Christmas letter was actually taken in 2011, last Christmas.  I wanted to get the 2012 cards done early, so I used what we had. I figured most of us hadn't changed too much.
Oh, except for that BIG ROUND BELLY on Mom!!!  Here we are in actual Dec. 2012.

I haven't ever been THIS pregnant during the holidays. And I don't think any of my pregnancies have felt THIS heavy. This season I took particular notice of Mary's condition as she rode on a donkey and prepared to deliver the Savior on a bed of hay in a cave. The phrase "and the days were accomplished" meant to me this year that-yes, every single day of this third trimester is an accomplishment! And I have so many comforts to help get me through. I now feel more respect and compassion for Mary than ever before. 
I listened for the first time to the meaning behind Amy Grant's song "Breath of Heaven" as it was played for me during R.S. behind the Nativity video. She is calling on a higher power to help her labor through the delivery. My favorite phrases are  "Breath of heaven, hold me together. Be forever near me..."  and in the bridge when she pleads "help me be strong."

Christmas Letter twenty TWELVE

(Think: ”Twelve Days of Christmas” J )


In the first month of 2012 the Whitehead family

   Finally saw the land of Disney!

In February 2012 the Whitehead family

   Played Junior Jazz andá

In March of 2012 the Whitehead family

   Biked and Read

For Caroline’s birthday was mini golfing

   A Brick Oven meal

In May we decided that we are gonna be


In June Nathan James had his birthday party

   Bob the Builder

July, baseball tourneys and tent camping

   Rope swing and swimming

Backpacked the Uintas, Lake “Grandaddy”

   Eight miles hiking

Throughout 2012 the Whitehead family

   Saw Desirée Dancing

This year William “rocked” on the kneeboard and skis

   Dad’s traditions keeping

We hope 2012 for our friends and family

   Has Been to your liking

We rejoice, and are grateful for all our blessings

   Christmas is coming!