Hi, I'm Stephanie

 

 

 

  I love Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice so much that I decided to have five daughters and name the second one Elizabeth.  Like a modern-day Mrs. Bennett, I spend my days raising my girls so they will be happy and independent when they grow up – only I prefer that they make their money instead of marry it.  And if my youngest runs away to London with some loser at age 15, I will track her down and haul her home myself.  But I’ll totally do some sightseeing first.

 

Kira

 

The Guinea Pig.  Gives me hope.  My husband in feminine form, she just gets more fun.

Lizzy

 

 

 Energetic, smart, kind, and will argue her convictions to the death. 

 

 

 

Hallie

 

My Hallie Priscilla. Unique fashion sense, desperately wants to live in a purple house.  Loves skunks and fruit bats.

Sophia

 My girly-girl and lone lefty.  Charming, gracious, stubborn, preternaturally practical.  And ya, she and Hallie are identical twins.

Scarlett
Scarlett Bella, Bella-boo.  Becoming a daredevil. Spoiled rotten, practically perfect.

 
Mr. Man

My intensely private husband.  Hilarious, smart, compassionate, good. 

 

Joan Rivers on Housekeeping:

I hate housework.  You make the beds, you wash the dishes, and six months later you have to start all over again.

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CK’s Days

Cozzens Family News

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Every Day I Write the Book

Graham Family Adventures

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LDS D.I.N.K.W.A.D.

Living Waters

 

 

Amen!

"I surely know that there is no role in life more essential and more eternal than that of motherhood.

"There is no one perfect way to be a good mother. Each situation is unique. Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children. The choice is different and unique for each mother and each family. Many are able to be “full-time moms,” at least during the most formative years of their children’s lives, and many others would like to be. Some may have to work part-or full-time; some may work at home; some may divide their lives into periods of home and family and work. What matters is that a mother loves her children deeply and, in keeping with the devotion she has for God and her husband, prioritizes them above all else."

Elder M. Russell Ballard, "Daughters of God"

Wednesday
Mar242010

Because You Asked, Shay

When I introduced myself, I boasted that I have accomplished two major (non kid-related) things during my mommy years – taken a shower every day and read a ton of books.  I’m probably sharing too much about all the books I’m reading now and have read, but my sister wants to know:  what about the daily shower?  You gonna write about that, too?

Yes, I think I just might.

But first a note about all the books.  Yes, I’m very impressed with myself that I figured out how to breastfeed twins and read a book simultaneously.  I finished some very thick volumes during that time.  It would be much more impressive if I remembered what any of them were. 

 I don’t remember how I fit the showers in, either, but I’m going to tell you how I do it now.  Ya, I know this is only my fourth blog entry and two of them have either been about bathroom humor or about… the bathroom, but I’ll leave the topic and go on to higher things soon.  But Shayla did specifically ask.

I can’t just get up in the morning and take a shower.  My husband gets up at 5 a.m. to get ready for work.  When he’s finished, Kira gets up and showers.  At this point, there is very little hot water left.  On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, Lizzy uses the rest.  Tuesdays and Thursdays, Hallie and Sophia bathe.  (Saturdays are one long parade in and out of the bathroom as we all get ready for church on Sunday.)

You may have surmised that this is all taking place in one bathroom.  You would be correct.  While we technically have two bathrooms, one is an itty-bitty three-quarters bath downstairs that the kids hate to use because it’s home to several large spiders.  Such are the sacrifices we make so we can support a large family on one income.

Scarlett’s naptime is my time to shower and do anything she typically prevents me from doing, like scrubbing the floor, e-mailing, or now, typing blog posts.

Anyway, once Scarlett is sleeping I let Hallie and Sophia know I’m going to shower soon.  They assure me they don’t need to “go.” I gather my clothing and go the bathroom.  Then I stand there for about ten minutes.  Sometimes I pluck my eyebrows or trim my fingernails.  If I’m feeling ambitious, I’ll tidy up the counter.  Before the ten minutes is out, both twins will have come pounding on the door, “I have to go potty!”

And then, if I am very lucky, I get my twenty minutes of blessed alone time for the day.  I shower, which makes me feel human, and therefore much more patient and content with my hectic life.

Sure, I could use the downstairs bathroom, and stretch that time to a good uninterrupted hour.  But I don’t like spiders, either.

Tuesday
Mar232010

Hallie, Sophia, and Manners

Sophia wanders into the kitchen and joins Hallie at the table for breakfast.  Who promptly informs her, “You have a cracked bum.”

“What?” Sophia says.

“You have a cracked bum.”

“That’s not a nice thing to say.”

“But you do.”

At this point I have to turn my back on them.  I am trying not to laugh because if I do, they will be terribly offended and I so do not want to miss wherever this conversation is going.

After a few minutes of fairly civil discussion, they conclude that although everyone does, indeed, have a cracked bum, it’s probably poor manners to talk about it.

 

Incidentally, you have a cracked bum, too.

Monday
Mar222010

Meet the Cast and Crew

I have five daughters.  Yup, FIVE.   The question a lot of people seem to want to ask, but only the most tactless do:  are we happy with the gender of our children, and are we sad that we didn’t have a boy? 

When I get this from somebody, either directly or merely hinted at, it conjures up images of tiny newborn girls in China, left exposed by the side of the road; unborn baby girls aborted in many parts of the world, sentenced to die for the crime of being female.  (And one of the things I love most about my husband is that the question offends him even more than it does me.)

Then I remind myself that the questioner is not a misogynistic baby-killer, he or she just probably has a son, who has brought much joy, and they’re wondering if I feel disappointed that I don’t know that same happiness.

You should know, I have five brothers, two older and three younger.  My husband has four brothers.  I have 31 male first cousins and only 11 female first cousins.  I had to wait until I was 13 to finally get a sister.  Having been so rare, girls have always seemed special; a gift.

 

Besides that, my kids are totally awesome.

 

Kira, 11, has fantastically curly hair and the most beautiful brown eyes.  My oldest baby (and they’ll all forever be my babies,) she puts up with being subject to our best parenting guesses – generally with good grace.  Kira is patient and helpful with her little sisters (except, sometimes, with Lizzy).  She wants to be a writer when she grows up, and has been known to fake illness so she can stay home from school and read.

  

 

 

 

Elizabeth/Lizzy/Liz/Lily B. Badoodles, nine.  Such a big personality deserves a lot of nicknames.  So much energy, we get tired just watching her.  Always kind and considerate towards others (except, sometimes, Kira).  Also wants to be a writer.

Might just rule the world someday.

 

 

 

 

 

 Hallie - middle name Priscilla - after my mother.  Four years old.  I wish my mom could have known her namesake because Hallie is, as my mom would have said, “a hoot.”  Quirky to the point of sometimes being strange, Hallie is nevertheless good at sizing up a situation and figuring out how to get exactly what she wants.

 

 

 

 

Sophia, also four, is Hallie's twin.  I call all my daughters "princess," "sweetheart," "honey," and "punk."  It saves me from having to remember their actual names.  Sophia, however, is the only one to take the whole princess thing to heart.  She stumbles out of bed and immediately goes to the bathroom to brush her hair.  She is sweet, charismatic, and incredibly stubborn.

 

 

  

Scarlett, 16 months, still taste-tests everything.  I can’t decide if this is wonderfully optimistic or just gross.  She also climbs on everything.  Joyful and affectionate, Scarlett is a classic youngest child: adored and rightfully convinced that the world revolves around her.  Ours certainly does.

 

 

 

 

 

My husband is loving, hilarious, supportive, and absolutely the best thing that has ever happened to me.  I will be forever grateful that he works so hard so I can stay home with our daughters.

 And I will never show his picture or write his name in this blog.  Why?  I dunno. I’m pretty sure he’s not in the witness protection program.  I am fairly certain he’s not really a celebrity trying to lead a secret normal life.  I do know that he is a very private person, so while he’s nearly as gung-ho about this blog as I am – because he places a high priority on my happiness – I am going to respect his wishes and keep him out of it.

That leaves… me.  I have done exactly two things for myself while raising small children:  I have showered every day, and I have read an enormous number of books.  Which is why I’m adding a few more sections to this blog that revolve around that exclusively.  So check out the “Reading Room” and “Book Shelf” pages.

I am also a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints – a Mormon.  Although I don’t anticipate writing about this much, any more than I plan to write about my favorite color being red, it is an essential part of who I am and how I view the world. 

Someday, between trips to the British Isles, tropical cruises and tours of China, my husband and I will welcome our daughters home for visits, and I hope that at least some of them bring back grandchildren (I hear they’re fabulous).  Odds are, we’ll get some grandsons along with the granddaughters.  We’ll bring out totes full of matchbox cars and legos – all the things our girls never seemed to like.  We’ll chuckle when they marvel at how rambunctious those boys can be. 

 Meanwhile, we will treasure our time with our sweet little girls, and when we meet parents who have all boys, we won’t ever say, “I hope you can experience a girl,”  or “Are you going to keep trying until you get a girl?”  We will just smile and say, “All boys?  What fun!”

        

Sunday
Mar212010

And So It Begins

Another “mommy blog?”  No, this is MY mommy blog.  Me, Stephanie Cozzens, mother of five daughters, resident of Mount Laundry, and aspiring… I’m not sure.

I have three reasons for doing this.  The first is that I would like to leave a better record of my years raising young children for my daughters, in the hopes that they find it interesting/ educational/ revelatory  when they have children of their own.  If I post stuff publicly, even if nobody’s reading it (a distinct possibility) I’ll still feel pressure to keep it up.

 The second reason is that while I have loved being “just” a stay-at-home mom, the fun has to end sometime.  Five years from now, my youngest will be in kindergarten, and my oldest 16.  It will be time to start contributing to our bank account instead of only emptying it.  For that, I have a sneaking suspicion that my brain will need to be back online.

Yes, I know, I really, really know, that being a mom requires lots of thinking and smarts and growth.  I can make a credible chicken costume with no pattern to follow.  I can plan day after day of menus that accommodate varying tastes, caloric requirements, and numbers of teeth.  I am more patient and have more emotional depth that I ever thought possible.

 But it has been nearly twelve years since I finished college; nearly twelve years since I produced anything of an intellectual nature that I submitted to a neutral party for evaluation.  I don’t know if I’m smart anymore.  I hope so, but I don’t know. I have this vague notion that writing, and trying hard to write well, will resolve that question for me.

 The third reason to do a blog is the most important:  I want to.  Writing feels good, deep down in my bones.  And that, my friends, is reason enough, all by itself.

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