Saturday, February 26, 2011

There's the motivation!

After trying - unsuccessfully - all afternoon to get the kids to pick up their toys and other belongings scattered all over the living room, dining room and kitchen, I finally had enough.

I got a broom and started sweeping. EVERYTHING. Dirt and dust, yes. Cat hair, yes. Stray papers, yes. Toys, clothes, books, and other kids' belongings, YES! I gathered it all into a big pile and informed them that they had 5 minutes to pick up and put away anything they wanted to keep. Everything else would be thrown away. To add weight to the threat, I pulled the big kitchen garbage can next to the pile and started throwing away school papers and crafting scraps from the pile.

I've never seen the kids move so fast when chores were involved! They flew to the pile and gathered up their things. Sure, they only took them as far as the playroom and just threw them inside to add to the chaos there. But I don't even care. It's out of my living area and out of my direct line of sight. For the moment, that's good enough for me!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Visiting Utah

Since my computer is super-slow and tied up with a project at the moment, I have a few minutes to get around to updating the blog. :)

Last week we made a visit to Utah for Aaron's grandmother's birthday. We were worried about the weather, since it's always iffy heading over the mountains to Utah in the winter. Luckily, in spite of threatening forecasts, the weather cooperated and wasn't too bad either direction.

We drove over on Thursday, since on Friday I was supposed to make a site visit for work down in Salt Lake City. It was interesting to visit the site and talk with the nurses who use the materials I create every day. I also went out on a home visit - this is where the nurse goes to a client's home and teaches her about a couple of topics (again using my materials). I was really looking forward to a chance to see this - especially since I'm supposed to script a video showing a typical home visit. This was my opportunity to really see how things go in the home. Unfortunately, the nurse I was supposed to go with called in sick at the last minute. So they sent me with a different nurse. Who spoke Spanish. To visit a client who spoke Spanish. And the whole visit took place in Spanish. I do not speak Spanish. So I didn't really get much out of the visit.

We had a good time with the visit to Aaron's family, though. All of Aaron's brothers and sisters came to town for the birthday party. It was the first time all the grandkids had been together in several years. The kids had a wonderful time playing with their cousins. They were so sad to leave them. Hopefully we will get a chance to get together with the cousins again soon. And hopefully next time I will actually take some pictures... I even took the camera with me to Utah, but somehow never managed to pull it out and take a single picture.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

We generally don't do a lot to celebrate Valentine's Day at our house. It's just never been a big holiday for us. I guess before we had all these kids we might have gone out for dinner for Valentine's Day. ... But then again, maybe not. Restaurants are crowded on Valentine's Day, so it seems like the kind of thing we would try to avoid. I honestly can't remember, though. :)

The kids like Valentine's Day, of course. So we went out on Saturday and bought Valentines to take to their school classes. We had waited much too late, and the selection was VERY picked over, but we were able to find some acceptable Valentines. Sunday night was spent signing and stuffing the Valentines - because of course they must include candy! The last few years I just sent Haley with cards alone and she complained to me afterwards that she was the only one to give out cards without candy (or a pencil, or stickers, or fake tattoos... people put a lot of stuff in those little cards!)

Preston had insisted that he was supposed to be taking cookies to his class for a party. So even though we couldn't find a note from school about it, we bought some cookies and sent them. Turns out it was just an offhand remark about cookies that the teacher made one day last week which in Preston's mind translated into "You MUST bring cookies for Valentine's Day!" Oh well, I'm sure the class enjoyed them.

It seemed like way more trouble than it was worth to drag all the kids out to dinner, so we just decided to stay home. I did go to more effort than usual for dinner and made meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and brown sugar squash (hooray for yummy ingredients from the Bountiful Basket!).

And Aaron actually surprised me with 2 dozen yellow (my favorite color) roses! I believe I could count on one hand the number of times I've gotten flowers in the alst 10 years, so it really did surprise me. They're beautiful and it was a sweet surprise.

Then, in keeping with our usual romantic Valentine's Day traditions, we fell asleep in front of the TV. :-)

Monday, February 14, 2011

If I were a cursing woman, I'd have turned the air blue!

Saturday started out good... went way downhill... turned good again... went downhill again...

I woke up Saturday morning and was happy to find that my awful cold had mostly gone away. With nothing more than a stuffy head and a sinus headache, I could attend my friend's baby shower without feeling like a plague-bringer.

Unfortunately, the shower had been moved at the last minute from convenient Henderson, CO (about 10 minutes from home) to very inconvenient Castle Rock, CO. (For those of you in Utah, it's like driving from Vernal to Duchesne to go to a baby shower!) But I love Mary Alice and since she lives in Indiana now and just came back for a couple of days for this shower, I wanted to go.

But everything seemed to take 10x longer than it should have as I was trying to get everyone ready for the day. I get the baby dressed - and he immediately pees through his diaper and has to be changed again. I get the older boys dressed - and two minutes later they've already taken off their shoes and socks and discarded them in some random location.

I finally get everyone dressed enough to go pick up the sitter (it's a Saturday, so Aaron's working), and get out the door with them all. Only to realize I hadn't thought to ask Aaron to trade cars for the day. I don't have enough seats in my car for all the kids and the sitter. Okay - Haley is going to have to stay home and watch a show for the 5 minutes it takes to go get Sarah. I load the boys in the car and go unlock the house door for Haley. Go back to buckle the boys in - only to find that one of my seatbelts has completely locked up and I can't figure out how to fix it. I'm already 5 minutes late to pick up Sarah at this point, so I decide that Preston will have to stay with Haley while I pick up Sarah. Go unlock the house door again and give them a safety lecture (mostly - don't do ANYTHING until I get back!).

Get Sarah, get back to the house and the baby wants to eat. I haven't gotten directions to the shower or wrapped a gift yet, so I have Sarah give Rylen a bottle while I take care of that. Finally get out the door and on my way... only 20 minutes later than I'd planned. 5 minutes down the road I turn around and go home to get the present that I'd wrapped and then forgotten.

I decide I can take I-25 down - it's Saturday after all. The freeway should be fine! Except that there were three separate accidents tying up traffic. I don't know why - it was a beautiful day with clear roads! Rylen screamed almost all the way there. I could reach back and pop the bink back in his mouth when the traffic stopped, but as soon as we started moving again, the bink fell out and the screaming resumed. It was a LONG, LONG drive to Castle Rock.

I finally got there and it felt totally worth it. I loved seeing my friends and celebrating Mary Alice's baby. It was WONDERFUL. Rylen was perfectly calm and cuddly and well-behaved. So much fun.

But then I had to drive home. And that sweet baby screamed again. All the way home. And even though I took a different route home - I still got stopped in traffic due to more accidents! After all that, I vowed to myself that it would be a while before I take Rylen on another long drive. Only to realize that we're headed out on a drive to Utah in just a few days. *sigh* So much for that idea!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

It could have been such a touching moment...

I love the Bruno Mars song "Just the Way You Are." (If you haven't heard it, click here.) From the first time I heard it, it made me think of my daughter Haley. She's beautiful, she's wonderful. In the words of the song, she is amazing, just the way she is.

So a couple of days ago, we were in the car together, just the two of us. The song came on the radio and I told Haley that I really love the song because it made me think of her. She listened to it, then asked me why it made me think of her. I told her that it was because I wanted her to realize that she is incredible and amazing.

In my head, the next thing to come would be a touching moment where she was empowered by realizing that she is wonderful just as she is. There would probably be a big hug. Maybe even a sentimental tear or two.

In reality, she said: "Huh. That's kind of weird."

The touching moment then degenerated into a round of "You're weird." "No, you're weird." Followed by a rousing chorus of "You're a weird-o... just the way you are."

Monday, February 7, 2011

Can I Do That On the Bus?

As I near the end of my day at work, I frequently look over my to-do list. If there are any items still to be done (there always are) I ask myself, "Can I do that on the bus?"

So I use the trip home from work to get a few more things checked off my list. For example, today:
  • Review a co-worker's document - yep, I can do that on the bus
  • Edit a PowerPoint presentation - yep, I can do that on the bus
  • Pump some milk for Rylen -hmmm... maybe I'd better take care of the BEFORE I get on the bus!