Saturday, March 21, 2009

Mom Smell This

As the circumstances of my life have evolved, so has my definition of “ambitious.”

Age: 21
Ambitious: “Applying to intern for John Stossel.”

Age: 29
Ambitious: “Deciding to take ALL three kids, ALL by myself, to Costco.”


One infant
One toddler
One preschooler
Two in diapers (which is actually preferable to the one out of diapers, who generally waits until we’re in the middle of the checkout line to announce that she has to go NOW)
Three carseats, one shopping cart,
…All in a city where the average number of children per household is -1 (I’m no census taker – Is that what you get when you add 1 child + 2 nannies?)

Against the odds (and in spite of the inordinate amount of prep work involved), I actually love running errands with all three kids. I’m convinced that someday I’m going to miss leaving the grocery store and noticing that Leah is inexplicably wearing less clothes than when we entered (actually happened), or unloading the cart and finding various items we didn’t pay for (actually happened twice).

Yes, I’ve had to abandon a full cart when the baby wouldn’t stop screaming. And yes, Leah sometimes forgets that the produce aisle isn’t her own personal salad bar. But on good days, the kids are actually quite helpful. They can count potatoes, help me decide which cereal to buy and, for the benefit of everyone around us, loudly confirm what kind of personal items I’m putting in my cart.

And on bad days? Well, at least I get to come home with a little extra humility.

And something to blog about.

"Mom Smell This,” a true story:

On a recent day out, somewhere between the car and the entrance to Vons, Jolie became distracted and dropped out of the ranks.

“Jolie catch up.”

She wouldn’t.

“Jolie, let’s GO.”

“No Mom. Come SMELL THIS.”

“I’ll smell it later Jolie (???). You have to stay with us.”

She held her ground.

"No, SMELL this. It is sooo gross.”


"That smells so nasty.”

There was no point arguing. She was fixated on something behind a row of shopping carts and wasn’t going to move until I smelled it. (I admit, I was curious.) I walked back to see what on earth she had stumbled into.

Oh, heaven help me.

It was a man, sitting on the sidewalk in front of her, smoking a cigarette.

She looked at him.

"Mom, doesn’t that smell nasty?”





Fortunately, as in the law of small animals, he seemed to be more afraid of me than I was of him.
He spoke first.

“You’re right kid. (Inhale) It’s a terrible habit. (Blow) I’m trying to quit.”

“I’m very sorry sir. Please excuse her.”

I dragged her away, along with the other two, and then,

"Good luck with that.”

I said it, about the whole 'trying to quit' thing.

As we entered the store,

I think he was tempted to say it back.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Parents Strongly Cautioned

When Jack puts the girls to bed, he likes to read to them from Illustrated Stories from the Bible, and Illustrated Stories from the Book of Mormon, the classic, 1970s editions.
By last night they had made it to Volume 9, which illustrates the story of Ammon defending the flocks of King Lamoni against Lamanite robbers. A graphic account, to be sure.

Thank goodness for this 'kid-friendly' collection!
Otherwise, the story might be frightening??

(PS, for friends not familiar with the Book of Mormon...
You can read the story of Ammon, one of my personal heroes,
here or here )

Sunday, March 8, 2009


At one point when we were younger, my sister Aileen adopted the word “raunch” to denote all things inappropriate (ie “You’re getting on my nerves” became, “Quit being such a raunch”)

Once when my sister Jane had (shall we say...) 'a less than cheerful disposition,' Aileen escalated the situation by suggesting Jane have a “Raunch-a-thon," wherein she could go door to door, asking neighbors to pledge a certain amount of money for each manifestation of her bad mood. According to Aileen, this could finance an entire summer vacation.

Personally, I thought the idea had some merit. But, Jane cheered up and we stopped shy of implementation.

(I’m getting somewhere.)

Earlier this week I was holding baby Cal, super busy falling in love with him. Jolie sat next to me and rubbed his bald little head.

(Jolie) “He’s so….righteous.”

“I know”

“Righteous means good.”


“And if you’re bad, you’re rauncheous.”



”Did Aunt Aileen teach you that?”


“Who taught you rauncheous?”

“My Primary teachers."

“Did they? Rauncheous?”


Fairly certain (though admittedly not positive) that “raunchous” appears nowhere in the CTR5 Manual, I asked a few follow up questions and realized that she was actually saying “wrongteous.”


Clever girl.

Choose the right = Righteous
Choose the wrong = Wrongteous

Why not?

It makes such sense that we've awarded "wrongteous" a permanent place in our family vernacular

Two days later, during a discussion on hitting Leah (which was prompted by Jolie hitting Leah), I asked, “Jolie, is hitting your sister righteous?” She wouldn’t look me in the eye. “No…..Wrongteous.”

I think this one might stick.

A Brother Like No Other

(Written by my mother Susan Foutz, who would like to clarify that she actually has two brothers like no other ) If you lived in Arizona in t...