Monday, November 30, 2009


I had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We got to go visit my family this year. Thanksgiving with my family has always been one of my favorite things, and since we got married we've only been able to go a few times. Weather always seems to be a problem. But this year the weather was beautiful and we made the trip there and back with no problems. Yipee!!

I got a little girls' night out with my sisters when we went to see New Moon. For you Twilight fans who haven't seen it yet, it's better than the 1st movie! We had a blast. I say girls' night out, but my brother-in-law actually went with us, too, and we were happy to have him. :) We love Brian, and he really enjoyed the movie (as opposed to suffering through it for his wife's sake, which is what would have happened if I had dragged Aaron along). Thanks to Aaron, Boy, and Mom for watching all the kids so we could go out!!

I loved getting see my parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, assorted cousins. We had more than 60 people there for Thanksgiving dinner - and that's just immediate family (Mom's brothers and sisters with their kids and grandkids) and with several families who weren't able to make it this year! Staying up late to bake pies, getting up early to start the turkey, getting everything set up and ready to go at the church, letting all the kids run wild in the gym, stuffing ourselves with all the good food and of course all the pie. Such happy memories. I loved it all. Can't wait until I get to do it again!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Santa Goes High Tech!

My kids were getting ready to write letters to Santa when Haley said: "Doesn't Santa have e-mail?" When I thought about it, it occurred to me that Santa might have e-mail. A quick search showed me that he does indeed - e-mail, a blog, photo albums, the works!

At your kids can fill out a quick online form that talks about their age, how naughty or nice they've been this year, and what they'd like for Christmas. Click "send" and they got an almost immediate response from Santa that was personlized just for them.

The kids LOVED getting letters back from Santa - and so quickly! We printed out the letters and they really like reading and re-reading the letters. I put pictures of the letters so you could see how cute and Christmas-y they are. But since they're so small you can't read the text, I'll re-print that below the letters.

It's fun - I'd recommend it as a great new way to contact Santa this year!

Dear Preston,Thank you for sending me your email all the way from Lochbuie! HO!! Ho!! ho!! Did you know there are lots of elves in Lochbuie? I hear they like visiting Lochbuie because there's a special boy by the name of Preston that lives there! (*wink*). Well tickle my whiskers, Preston! Are you really and truly 3 years old already?!? I'll bet you're really excited about Christmas! Everyone at the North Pole sure is! Are you looking forward to Santa Claus visiting your home? Rudolph said he's really excited about visiting your home! Let's see what you put in your letter for Christmas wishes: fisher price - little people airplane. The elves really like making those presents so I know they'll be happy to hear that's what you want. HO!! Ho!! ho!! Rudolph wants to take me for another test ride in the sleigh so I better get going! Lots of Love,
Santa Claus

Merrrryyyy Christmas Haley!!Thank you for sending me your email all the way from Lochbuie! Jumping Jingle Bells, Haley! I still remember bringing you your very first Christmas present and here you are 5 years old already! I hope you are getting excited about Christmas because I am really looking forward to visiting your home! Rudolph said he's really excited about visiting your home too! I also hear you've been a good girl. (Of course, you won't mind if I do a little checking, will you? HO!! Ho!! ho!!).

Let's see what you put in your letter for Christmas wishes: jumpstart pet rescue (wii game). Can I tell you a little secret? I love playing games on my Nintendo Wii -- reindeer games that is! HO!! Ho!! ho!! They are a lot of fun aren't they?
With All My Heart,
Santa Claus

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I Can't Wait!

We're going to visit my family in Utah for Thanksgiving and I'm really looking forward to it. Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. I have so many good memories of Thanksgiving with my family.

We haven't been to too many family Thanksgivings since we moved to Colorado because it seems like weather always interferes. I'm always disappointed when we don't get to go. So I'm thrilled that the weather looks nice and clear for this year and we're going to go!

We have a pretty large family, so there was never room for everyone at anyone's house for Thanksgiving dinner. Instead, we had dinner at the church cultural hall. In blatant disobedience of the signs instructing us that the kitchen was for warming and serving food, not preparing food, we would make potatoes and stuffing and crescent rolls and pies. So many pies! We always go overboard with the pies. Sometimes it seems like there are so many pies that we could have one to a person.

We did usually cook the turkey(s) at someone's house and then bring it to the church. Except for the year that Grandma's oven malfunctioned and after hours of "cooking" the turkey was completely uncooked. That year dinner was really late, since we had to finish the turkey at the church.

I remember so many games of ruthless basketball. If the game didn't end with a semi-serious injury for someone, it was just no fun at all. And when the crowds of family got to be too much, you could always find an empty room perfect for a nap or reading a good book.

I don't know if we'll be at the church this year. Between the remodeling at Mom's house that provides more room for everyone, and family members who aren't going to Vernal for Thanksgiving this year making the group smaller, we may not need that much room. But even so, I'm sure it will be great!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ask a Child, part 2

I asked my kids some questions about Aaron.

Haley - 5 years old
1. What is something dad always says to you? Clean up the playroom.
2. What makes dad happy? when I eat all my food
3. What makes dad sad? when I don't eat all my food
4. How does dad make you laugh? tickle me
5. What did dad like to do as a child? eat (Aaron says his favorite thing was to play with the kitty)
6. How old is dad? 21 (or 36, close)
7. How tall is dad? taller than you (mom) (by about an inch)
8. What is his favorite thing to do? sleep (he does do that a lot - I can see why she would think that)
9. What does dad do when you're not around? work
10. If dad becomes famous, what will it be for? a talent show because he would be the director
11. What is dad really good at? sweeping (I don't think I've ever actually seen Aaron sweep)
12. What is dad not very good at? soccer on the Wii (true, and he admits it)
13. What does dad do for a job? work
14.What is dad's favorite food? soup (Aaron says his favorite food is tuna steak)
15. If dad were a cartoon character, who would he be? a rock star
16. What do you and dad do together? clean up the playroom sometimes
17. How are you and dad the same? we both kind of have short hair
18. How are you and dad different? our eye colors are not the same because his are green and mine are blue
19. How do you know dad loves you? when he's happy
20. What does dad like most about mom? that you (mom) sometimes just stay home with the kids (Aaron could not provide an answer to this question... hmmm, should I be offended? )
21. Where is dad's favorite place to go? the store

Preston - 3 years old
1. What is something dad always says to you? clean up the playroom
2. What makes dad happy? give him a hug
3. What makes dad sad? if you don't clean up the playroom
4. How does dad make you laugh? makes silly faces
5. What did dad like to do as a child? play with baby toys
6. How old is your dad? 25
7. How tall is your dad? this tall, very tall like this much, super tall like his head almost touched the ceiling!
8. What is dad's favorite thing to do? play with me
9. What does your dad do when you're not around? watch a show
10. If your dad becomes famous, what will it be for? because he cleaned up the playroom by himself
11. What is your dad really good at? building a puzzle
12. What is your dad not very good at? the computer, the e-mail is very hard (Aaron was surprised by that one - he had THOUGHT he was pretty good at the computer and the e-mail ;) )
13. What does your dad do for a job? go to work... I don't know!
14.What is your dad's favorite food? ice cream - he really likes ice cream - vanilla (or as he pronounced it bru-nilda) (ice cream is not a favorite, since Aaron is lactose-intolerant! and even when he does it ice cream, it's not vanilla.)
15. If your dad were a cartoon character, who would he be? just daddy
16. What do you and your dad do together? play with each other
17. How are you and your dad the same? by being boys and because our hair is so crazy (apparently they both need a haircut)
18. How are you and your dad different? our pants are different (I'm not sure how, they're both wearing jeans that look very similar to me!)
19. How do you know your dad loves you? when he gives a hug
20. What does your dad like most about your mom? you watch tv with him
21. Where is your dad's favorite place to go? Wal-mart (Aaron's comment: really? when did that happen?")

Monday, November 23, 2009


Haley made a dreamcatcher at PAWS. We told her that we would hang it above her bed so it would catch the bad dreams. Haley asked how it worked and we told her that the web in the center caught all the bad dreams and they stuck there so they couldn't get to her. She was satisfied with that explanation. Preston has questions about it...

"How does it catch the dreams? Is it a laser? Does it shoot out a laser and catch the dreams and suck it into the web? Is the laser invisible? Is it an invisible dream laser that only dreams can see and it catches the dreams and keeps them there?

"What does it do with the dreams? Does it put them in the trash? Does the laser kill the dreams really dead and then put them in the trash?"

Sunday, November 22, 2009

We don't smoke because God says so!

We were running errands on Saturday morning and the kids saw a lady come outside for a smoke. They were appalled! Haley wanted to me to lower the car window so she could tell the woman she shouldn't be smoking. :) I told them that would be impolite, because she got to make her own choice about smoking.

The kids then proceeded to give me a detailed lecture on why she shouldn't be smoking. I'm not sure where they learned it all, but they told me:
  • There are chemicals (can-sickles, in Preston-speak, tentacles in Haley-speak) in cigarettes. I find it amusing to picture actual tentacles in cigarettes. :)
  • Chemicals are bad. They make you want to smoke ALL THE TIME. (emphasis Haley's)
  • You'll get sick. Then you'll have to go to the hospital (hop-sickle). "The hop-sickle is not fun!" Preston informed us. "They poke you with sharpies." I assume he meant sharp things, not actual Sharpie markers, but it's a funner mental image than needles. :)
  • From Haley: "The prophet said we shouldn't. And he said so because GOD told him! So we don't smoke because God says so!"
  • From Preston: "Yeah, we have to do what God says or we'll be in big trouble! Maybe He will spank us!"

Made me laugh. But I'm glad they're getting the right messages! Hopefully they will remember this stuff when they start to be rebellious teenagers and think it might be okay to start smoking.

Friday, November 20, 2009

I still miss Cristie

It's been 3 years since the Elison's moved to Utah, and I still miss Cristie. She was my closest friend. She was one of the first people to know about my pregnancies. I was one of the first people to learn about the surprise when baby Joseph was joining their family.

We used to spend hours every week talking about everything under the sun. We comforted each other when things weren't going well. We celebrated for each other when good things happened. I miss having a girlfriend to talk to like that. I love talking to Aaron, too, but it's just not quite the same.

I think I always miss Cristie more at the holidays. Cristie loves Christmas even more than I do, so she understood my need to listen to Christmas music all year round. And why I am secretly not disgusted by Christmas decorations for sale in October because I actually want to decorate my house that early (though Aaron won't put up with that!). During the time that we lived near the Elisons, we celebrated (at various times) Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day with them. It made the holidays more special to celebrate with friends.

It's not like I don't have friends now that Cristie has moved away, but all of them have closer friends than me. I just don't have that closeness I had with Cristie. So today I'm missing Cristie and wishing she wasn't so far away. So if you're reading this, Cristie - love you, miss you, and wish you were here!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Halloween... finally

Okay, so I realize it's almost Thanksgiving now. But the last month has been a bit hectic. I did finally have a chance to upload our Halloween photos, so here they are, if a bit late!

A couple of days before Halloween, we had a big snowstorm. This is our front porch with the snow piled high. It's just wrong to see Halloween pumpkins covered in snow like that...

The day before Halloween - Preston was in the hospital. Looks so sad and pathetic. :( But later that day he finally rebounded and was able to go home on Halloween. Of course, since he was in the hospital on Halloween, he got spoiled. Several people brought him special gifts and treat baskets to cheer him up. They were wonderful at Children's Hospital!

Even though Haley was the only one who got to go trick or treating (Preston was released from the hospital about an hour earlier and Brekken was still ill as well), everyone wanted to at least dress up at home for Halloween. I took Haley trick or treating around the neighborhood and she was kind enough to share the loot with her brothers.

Brekken kept pulling off his mane, but he was a cute lion anyway!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Wii had lots of fun with Grandma and Grandpa

Aaron's parents came to visit for a few days this week. It had all been pretty up in air - we didn't know for sure if they would be able to come, and didn't know when they would arrive. A lot depended on the weather (as it so often does at this time of year). So we hadn't told the kids that Grandma and Grandpa might come, because we didn't want them to be disappointed if things got cancelled. When Grandma and Grandpa arrived on Wednesday night, the kids had no idea.

They were playing in the playroom when there was a knock at the door. Grandma and Grandpa came inside, and I went to get the kids. I told them "We have company, come and see." They came running out to the living room and then caught sight of Grandma and Grandpa. Haley came to a dead stop - so did Preston since he was slightly behind her. Then Haley shouted happily and went running over to give hugs. Preston was torn - he wanted to go give hugs, but the big dogs (they came with Grandma and Grandpa) were there too, and he wasn't sure he wanted to see the dogs. He was so torn about it that he literally ran in place for a couple of moments, unsure whether to go forward or go back! He quickly got over his shyness toward the dogs and went over to get his own hugs. Even Brekken warmed up pretty quickly and enjoyed being with Grandma and Grandpa and the dogs. He especially liked Andre (a big golden retriever) because Andre patiently let Brekken climb and roll all over him.

We enjoyed the visit with Grandma and Grandpa. One of the favorite activities during the visit was playing the Wii. We recently got the Wii-fit board, and we've been learning all the games and exercises that go with it. The kids really liked showing Grandma and Grandpa how to do it. Grandma especially got into it and had lots of fun playing all the different games. Grandpa even commented a couple of times that it looked like Grandma would need to get one for Christmas! They created a Grandma Mii for the games - now that they've gone home, the kids keep wanting to play with Grandma's avatar because "she was lots of fun to play with."

It was a short visit, but Wii sure had fun! ;)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Wickedly Perfect... or would that be Perfectly Wicked?

It was a perfect day. At work, I finished up the Guidelines project and got it finalized for the printer (for the second time, but hey, who's counting?). That was a happy moment.

When I got home, my sweet mother-in-law had marshalled the troops and cleaned my house. It's been sadly neglected over these past weeks dealing with all the illnesses we've had. It badly needed a good cleaning. Thank you, Bonnie! My great father-in-law had also been busy... replacing light bulbs, fixing a wobbly dining chair and table... all those little maintenance tasks we haven't gotten to lately. Thank you, Larry!

When it was time to go to the show, the kids waved us off with hardly a quiver. After all, they got to play with Grandma and Grandpa - they didn't need us! Actually, they did better without us. For Grandma and Grandpa they behaved themselves and actually went to bed and to sleep the way they're supposed to!

Wicked was incredible. It was everything I hoped it would be. We had good seats - 2nd row of the balcony. So we were too far away to really see faces, but we could see everyting that was going on. Besides, sometimes sitting up too close is over-rated... For Jekyll and Hyde we sat in the 2nd row and that was too close. When you're close enough to watch the actors spit as they sing, it takes away some of the magic! ;)

Glinda was played by an understudy last night, but she was VERY good. I can't imagine enjoying the regular actress any more than I enjoyed the understudy. Interestingly, the part of the Wizard of Oz was played by Larry from Three's Company (Richard Kline). A bit unexpected, and I'm a little disappointed at the lack of a 70's pantsuit, but he was very good also.

The whole production was great. I loved the music, the characters, the subtle little jokes that were worked in. I enjoyed the story of the musical much more than the one in the original book... the book is a bit dark, and the musical lightens it up some. And of course, it provides a happy ending! Maybe a happy ending isn't required, but I like it. :)

I'm so glad I finally got to see the show - and so glad that after all the waiting and my excitement, it was as wonderful as I hoped it would be. Thank you, Aaron for knowing how much I wanted to see it and getting the tickets!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Finding a Good Book to Read

When I finish a really good book, I'm usually disappointed. I don't want the enjoyment to end! But since all books do occasionally come to an end, I'm then on the lookout for the next good book. The Book Seer ( can help you find that next book to read!

Just enter the title and author of the book you just finished, and The Book Seer will recommend other books you might like based on the book you entered. I've found some really good books that I would probably never have stumbled across otherwise.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Like an Enema for Your Nose?

So when I went to the doctor yesterday I learned that I have a sinus infection, a double ear infection, and a lung infection that the doc says she "won't call pneumonia just yet, but given another day or two it would be." Yuck.

One of the things the doc prescribed to help the sinus infection was a Neti Pot. Now I've heard of these before, but never used on. When I told Aaron that the doc had given me one, he asked how it worked exactly. I told him what I knew... it's a container that holds warm salt water. You put it to one nostril and squeeze the water in until it starts to come out of your other nostril. On it's way to the other nostril, it swirls around your upper sinuses and pulls the crud out to run out your nostril. Aaron's succint summation... "So it's like an enema for your nose?"

I laughed, but then realized that it's true. That's a very good description of it. I know some people who swear by their Neti Pots. I had a couple of people at work just yesterday suggest that I try one. My doctor says she uses hers twice a day, in sickness and health. So I agreed to give it a try.

After using it a couple of times now as directed, I can tell you that it ACTUALLY feels like... it's a refreshing... it's cleansing... Okay, really, it's like an enema for your nose.

Monday, November 9, 2009

In No Shape for Blogging...

I feel like I haven't blogged for so long! I've just been so busy with sick kids and then feeling so rotten being sick myself that I was not doing much on the computer... just checking in on FB every so often.

The family is all recovered now. I'm a little bitter about Aaron, considering he got sick several days after me (Wednesday) and by Saturday was all recovered. Meanwhile I'm STILL feeling rotten. I came to work today and was here all of 10 minutes before my boss started trying to send me home. I am going to go home early once I can meet with an assistant and get her going on some stuff that has to get done. I need to get in to the the doc again and get more meds... pretty sure I now have a sinus infection. Which they did warn me was pretty common with this flu - adults especially tend to come down with a secondary infection of a sinus infection or pneumonia as they start to recover from the original virus. Obnoxious. But given the choice, I'll take a sinus infection over pneumonia!

I'm pretty sure my in-laws are coming tomorrow or Wednesday. They haven't said for sure, because they want to be sure the sickness is good and gone from our house before they come. I'm not contagious anymore and I promised to Lysol the heck out of the place before they get here, so I hope they are coming. We're supposed to go see Wicked on Thursday and we've been planning on them babysitting. It's much more of a pain if we suddenly need to find someone else. Of course, if they decide not to come at least I won't have to rush to get the house cleaned up. We did clean the kids' room over the weekend (Read: Aaron and I cleaned while yelling at the kids to come help us) and it looks really good. The rest of the house... not so much. Oh well, I'll deal with it when I find out if they're coming, I guess!

In the meantime, I'm just feeling in no shape for blogging. I haven't got energy or imagination for a good blog post right now. I hope to be back to my blog-happy self very soon!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Swine Flu Saga Continues

Back on Friday - while I was at the hospital with Preston - I started coming down with a runny, sneezy nose. I called Aaron to bring me cold medicine so I could mask the symptoms, because there was a big sign in Preston's room that said visitors who were ill would be asked to leave and not come back until they were recovered. I wasn't going to let them kick me out while Preston was there in the hospital, so I very carefully covered up my drippy, sneezy nose. I didn't have much of a cough or anything, so I figured I was coming down with a cold. After all, I was well outside of the window that the pediatrician had predicted for anyone else in the family developing swine flu.

Yesterday (Monday) I woke up feeling awful. Coughing, sneezing, muscle aches, headache, throwing up, fever and chills, the whole lovely ball of wax. Since it just got worse and worse throughout the day, I finally called the doctor last night and got an appointment for first thing this morning. Sure enough, it's swine flu. Had I gone to the doctor back when I first developed symptoms, they could have given me Tamiflu to shorten the duration of the illness. However, I was a bit busy at that point. And now it's too far into the illness. Tamiflu won't help any more. So the only advice they could give was to take Tylenol and ibuprofen, drink lots of fluids and get plenty of rest. Oh, and stay home all week. Because I really need to miss more work at this point.

Thankfully, the Relief Society president arranged for some meals to be brought in this week. That's been a big help so far and will continue to help take at least that much off my plate!

So I think I said it before, but it bears repeating... get your H1N1 vaccination!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

More About the Swine Flu

So it looks like Aaron provided a pretty thorough recap of events up to Thursday. I stayed the night with Preston at the hospital on Thursday night and Friday night. He was very out of it for the first day and a half. He hardly responded to anything... except for hating the O2 tubes in his nose. The first night he hardly slept because he woke up every 15-20 minutes to scream and fight and try to get those tubes out of his nose. After a full night of this, a new nurse came on shift. She brilliantly suggested that we try putting an O2 mask on him instead. When the switch was made, he was a much happier boy. He settled down and got some sleep.

He still wasn't eating or drinking, but since he had IV fluids going, that wasn't as big a problem as it had been before. He spent the rest of that day still sad and lethargic... then suddenly on Friday night it was like a switch was flipped. Suddenly the effects of the dehydration were gone, and he was acting almost like himself. Climbing around in the bed, trying to get out of bed and run around the room (which didn't work since he was still connected by several tubes and wires) and in general being the energetic monkey we are used to! We were very happy to see that change. With his improved behavior and appetite (he was eating and drinking a bit), they were able to take him off all his oxygen and later to remove the IV as well. We were all happy about that.

At that point, they might actually have sent him home. Except that his blood cultures had come back positive with an infection. Based on how he was acting, they were fairly sure that it was a false positive, but they had to be sure. So they drew more blood for a 2nd culture. Which meant we had to stay another 24 hours until the results came back. Preston was pretty good for the rest of that time. Still cranky and tired easily, but much more like his old self. After 24 hours, the cultures came back negative and we were free to go.

Preston was thrilled to go home. He'd been begging to go home to his house the entire time we were at the hospital. Haley was thrilled to have him home, she really missed her little brother. The rest of us were happy to have all this behind us!

Since it was Halloween, Haley still wanted to go trick or treating. We had arranged for her to go with the Mouritsens, but just because of timing when Preston was released and the family had to come pick us up, that didn't actually work out. So after getting everyone a little dinner, I took Haley out in our neighborhood. This little girl who claims she is too tired to go on after 2 aisles at Target dragged me around for blocks and blocks, running and skipping all the way. Then she came home and started generously sharing her candy with her brothers, since they had not been able to go trick or treating. It was very sweet of her.

So now we're home with Preston. He is VERY cranky and whiny. He wants brownies, darn it, and nothing else!! And of course, I don't have ingredients for brownies anywhere in this house. And he wants nothing more than to watch Jungle Junction... which of course is not on TV or On Demand. So there's a lot of crying going on. Before long, some of it may be mine! I'm doing my best to push fluids on him, because we sure don't want to end up back at Children's. We will follow up with our regular pediatrician tomorrow to see how he's doing.

Haley is completely over her bout with swine flu. She is absolutely fine and really didn't have too much trouble from it. We're unsure whether Brekken ever actually had swine flu or whether it was just a cold that happened to strike him at the same time as the others had the flu. He only ever had a high temperature for a few hours. Other than that, he's acted just like he has a cold. So he's just fine.

Thanks so much to those who have helped us out during all this. My visiting teacher for coming over to stay with the kids during our first trip to Urgent Care and being willing to do it again yesterday (though it ended up unnecessary since Preston was released). Our good friends the Sherman family for watching Haley and Brekken while we were at the hospital with Preston, taking Haley to the Trunk or Treat, and sending John over to help Aaron give Preston a blessing. Our other good friends the Hoopes for watching Haley and Brekken for us while we were at the hospital. The Mouritsens for volunteering to take Haley trick or treating with their family. And everyone else for all the thoughts and prayers. (We'd appreciate any more of those as we try to get Preston over the last hill to recovery!)