Saturday, July 31, 2010

Announcements: New Arrival to the Kydd Family!!!!!!!

(No, I did not have a baby, am not pregnant, and do not intend to be without an act of God.)

The Kydd Family--of which I am a founding member--is pleased to announce the imminent arrival--next Saturday, to be exact--of a healthy, happy fifteen-year-old girl. We're welcoming an exchange student into our home. Friends, as a way to expand one's family, this is definitely the way to do it--no stretch marks, no morning sickness, no colic, no teething. The hard work has already been done. And we are the lucky people who get to share the next year of her life. Yeah! ! !

In preparation for the exciting event, our house has been turned topsy turvy. Well, strictly speaking, that isn't quite true. Our house was already semi-topsy turvy as we prepared to change every bedroom and 2/3 of the bathrooms. And then we found out we were going to be able to host a student, and we accelerated into renovation warp mode.
[The rest of this post is mostly for Sunny, our new short-term daughter. If you aren't her, go ahead and read if you're interested. If not, check back later as the continuing--I hope!--story of my existence unfolds.]

Sorry, Sunny. Since I am totally technologically inept, and no matter how hard I tried I was unable to paste the following photos into an email, I had to post them this way. (Seriously, I'm going to learn as much from you as you will from us!) I apologize for being a complete numskull when it comes to anything with a power cord.

Here's what your room looked like before:

Totally and irredeemably brown. Ick. And it was Robert's office, which meant it had his stuff on the walls. I did NOT decorate this room.

One month--and a lot of paint--later:

So much nicer, no?

Also, the desk:

And the closet:

So much better--cool, crisp, BLUE!!!!!, and cheerful.

Aren't you excited to come? We're excited to have you!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Please excuse the possible jerkiness of this post. I'm writing it between bouts of "Bedtime Tag", which is a delightful game played by the parents of nearly-two-year-olds-who-can-climb-out-of their-cribs and the nearly-two-year-olds themselves. The rules are simple: immediately after Mommy or Daddy (parents are allowed to take turns in the initial stages of play. Eventually, one parent will dominate play while the other enjoys an extended penalty [for the other parent] phase known as "Just resting my eyes, Honey!") place the toddler/opposing team into bed with the pacifier, blankie, and twenty-three books (all of which contain the toddler-soothing words "bed", "night", "moo" and "dark"), the toddler climbs out of the bed/parental goal zone, and scampers for the couch-toy box-kitchen-bathroom-living room-hallway/child goal zone. The toddler scores one point for every 60 seconds he remains out of bed. Parents score one point for every 60 seconds the toddler remains in bed.

Current score: 34-36 (Slight advantage currently to the parents because the child is almost imperceptively wearing down, although I suspect the ten-minute nap he took in the car three hours ago will soon emerge as the decisive factor in his ultimate victory.)

Kids: gotta love them. The alternative is a rapid descent into chocolate-assisted madness. (It would be much more rapid without the chocolate.)

For example:

I grew up being told that Sunday was a day of rest, of spiritual rejuvenation--a time for meditation and spiritual contemplation. I believed this until I had children. In reality, for moms at least, it is a slow torture conducted in full view of the ward--depending on where you sit. As exhibit "A" I offer the following discussion, quoted verbatim, "enjoyed" only this afternoon.

Mom: (singing sacrament hymn, considering the role of music in creating an atmosphere conducive to the Spirit) La, La, La

Child (the one with the mischievous grin): Hey, Mom. Mom. Hey. Do you have a wipe?

Mom: (absently, but compassionately) Sure, honey, let me just pull one out for you. La. La. La.

Reaches into extra-large-grande-size, Super Mommy Bag of All that Can Be Carried Without Large Animal Assistance.

Mom: Here you go, Sweetie. La. La. La. (Pause after chorus and consideration, having been attempting to focus on the hymn and its spiritual conducive-ness, and thus not having actually looked at the child yet. But sensing, somehow, that all is not quite as it should be. Perhaps.) Why do you need a wipe, anyway?

Child: Well . . .

Mommy: (in--and I'm extremely proud of this--incredibly restrained pianissimo shriek) AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Why is there blood all over your face and hands!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And that, dear friends, is why the one with the mischievous grin took the sacrament this afternoon with a blood-soaked wet wipe stuck half-way up his nose. Dangling, I might add, over his mouth, thus requiring a rather odd head toss maneuver to drink the water. Also, eliciting smirks and fascinated/horrified stares from the priests, speakers, bishopric, and member of the Stake Presidency.

And you wonder why my temple recommend interviews take so long.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

110 days to go--110 days to go! In only three and one-half (ish) months the Beautiful Desert Southwest will be free of the annual sweat-fest known as Summer. If I had enough energy, and enough construction paper, I'd make one of those wonderful Elementary school-inspired paper chains and cut off a ring every day from now until Halloween. (Which, incidentally is the typical cut-off day for heat around here. It's called a "cut-off day" because that's the day you'd be willing to cut off you own head if the thermometer didn't announce the arrival of something dramatically colder.)

50 days down. 110 to go. We can endure this, folks. Somehow we will survive.

On a positive note, extreme temperatures lead to creative thinking. I've discovered that aprons are THE accessory for the summer. Not for bar-b-cue-ing (because that would require being
which is, obviously the last thing I want this time of year. More heat is not the solution to any problem I can currently think of), but because the bib, if you cinch the waist ties tight enough (breathing is overrated at this point in the summer, anyway), makes a wonderful place to stash one's polar-gel pack. (Note: when running those errands that cannot be delayed until sometime around November 1st, there is a wonderful invention called a bra which will perform roughly the same cold-source retaining service. There may be a few side effects, but really--who complains about frost bite at this time of year? I think I'd welcome a little hypothermia right about now.)

Continuing that theme, gel-packs are my little summer survival tip du jour. I sleep cuddled up to them the way my husband wishes I would with him. (Sorry Honey, not this season. I have a heat-ache.) I sit on one when working at the computer. For some reason, that one doesn't last so long, though. I may soon resort to duct-taping them to my thighs before I walk the boys to their piano lessons. (Ha! All you skinny people could never get away with that little trick. But on me, a couple or twenty extra bulges--no one will notice. Fat can be our friend.) If they ever need a spokes model for polar-gel packs, I am theirs for the asking. (Wide-angle lens required.)

So, now that we've had our obligatory digression and some seasonal moaning, how about some cool and refreshing thoughts for your summer day?

See, here in the Beautiful Desert Southwest, climactic conditions aren't always as predictable as they might seem. Yes, you can basically depend on it being HOT in the Summer, and cool in the "Winter", and humid in August. But every now and then, we get thrown for a loop. This tends to happen mostly on my son's birthday. Seriously. This year we had a rain storm so fierce we lost power in our neighborhood. (Birthday candles--they're not just for cake anymore!) We slogged through foot-deep puddles on our way to buy him his birthday gift. (It also rained--less dramatically,thank goodness!--on the day he was born. Looking back, that seems like a sign. Of what I'm not quite sure.) But on his fourth birthday we had the mother of all Freak Desert-area Weather Occurrences. A picture will illustrate this better than any words:

That, friends, is the birthday boy in front of the snowman he made in my cousin's front yard. In the Desert Southwest. (Which was particularly beautiful that evening). His little hands were frozen--who carries gloves in the desert?--that's why his face is not as cheerful as one would expect of someone who has just participated in a miracle.

What I wouldn't do for another one right about now.