Friday, July 29, 2011

I Dreamed a Dream

Last night, I dreamed of scrubbing the shower. It was very realistic. When I woke up, I thought - "Wow! Maybe I do have a clean and shiny shower. This dream could have been a message from the cleaning fairy letting me know that she had taken care of the shower for me!"

Sadly, the dream was instead apparently just a message from my subconscious that I really need to clean the dirty shower already. Darn it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sign You've Been Watching Too Much Little House on the Prairie

You are feeling ill and suddenly realize - this is just how it started when Almanzo and Laura came down with diptheria!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I Need a Pepsi...

...full sugar. Full caffeine. The goody-two-shoes Mormon girl's equivalent of hard liquor.

A couple of days ago, I came across an old post: I Am Supermom. And I thought - I can have more days like that! It's all in the mindset and some planning. I can make it happen. Saturday is going to be a supermom day.

And I really tried. I got up and made pancakes for breakfast instead of the usual cold cereal. I promised the kids some time playing at the splash park if they'd behave while we ran a couple of errands. And we headed out.

And then I didn't have the right insurance card to pick up Preston's inhaler from the pharmacy. Hopefully he won't run around too much in the next few days... And the trip to Target didn't go as well as hoped. And the fountains weren't running at the splash park.

And in general I just spent way too much time shouting at the kids. Even as I was shouting, I knew I didn't want to be this mom. And yet I couldn't stop.

By the end of the day, I really got nothing accomplished. The house is still a mess. I didn't catch up on the dishes. Or the laundry. Or the vacuuming. And it was a bad mom day, not a supermom day.

So I need a Pepsi. I wish I had some in the house...

Friday, July 22, 2011

Eat, Papa, eat! Nobody likes a skinny Santa!

Bonus points if you can name the movie my title quote is from. :)

Just as we've suspected, Preston is just not growing like he should. He had his annual check-up yesterday and his height is actually ok (though still in that 5th percentile), but he's just too skinny. He's fallen off the end of the growth curve there.

So we were sent home with a list of high-calorie foods and instructions to really feed him up for the next 8 weeks. (*sigh* I never get those instructions from MY doctor!) After a weight check in 8 weeks we'll see if things have improved and hopefully avoid having to move on to a bunch of labs and tests. I'd sure like to avoid that if possible!

I just don't know, though. One of the doc's instructions was to not let him graze all day - follow scheduled mealtimes and snack times so he'll eat more at meals. Yep, already doing that & he still doesn't eat at meals. It's not that he's picky. He'll eat most things. But he eats two bites and decides he's had enough.

And the list of high-calorie foods? Mostly stuff he already eats on a regular basis. But hopefully if we're really intentional about having him eat those things he can gain some weight in the next couple of months. Wish us luck with that.

On a completely unrelated side note - posted this from my iPhone on the bus. Love this phone! Thanks to those who advised me to get it. You were totally right!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Eating Habits

Today's writing prompt is to confess a weird eating habit. I thought about it and sure, I could go with one of the old stand-bys... I hate to have my food touch. I eat all of one item on my plate, then eat the item next to it, then the next item. At the ripe old age of 36 (37? How old am I, anyway?) I still don't like to eat my vegetables - even though I make my kids eat theirs.

But no, today I decided I'd focus on utensils. I'm very picky about utensils. Really, I just prefer to use a spoon at all times. If I could figure out a way to eat steak with a spoon, I would. Forks are to be used only as a last resort.

The type of spoon matters, too. A heavy-duty plastic spoon is best. Something about the texture is good for me. A soup spoon is also very good. For some reason I just prefer that shape. There are two soup spoons in the utensil drawer at work and I always search for one of them to eat with. I find it disappointing if I can't find one and have to use a regular spoon. (So a heavy-duty plastic soup spoon would be ideal.) If I have to use a regular spoon (or fork, if forced), I want the thickest, heaviest one available. I really dislike thin and flimsy metal utensils. I have no reason for this, it's just the way it is.

What about you? Anyone else have a bizarre eating habit they want to confess?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Kids' TV... Now with Schizophrenia and Cross-Dressing

I know that according to all the experts TV is horrible and we should never, never, never let our children watch. But I also know that unlike the "experts" the rest of us live in the real world and television is a part of it. So yes, I admit that my kids watch more than the recommended amount of TV. Though when asked about this by the pediatrician, I have been known to respond "Yes, we try to limit the amount of TV," wherein limit actually means "We occasionally turn the television off in order to spend more time playing Wii."

I actually think kids can learn a lot from TV. My kids can tell you all about eating habits of the koala bear and why earthworms come out when it rains thanks to Wild Kratts. They're learning Japanese from Ni-Hao Kai Lan. Phineas and Ferb helps encourage their imagination.

But then there are the other shows. The annoying shows. The ones that I occasionally ban because I just can't stand to watch them anymore.

Like Dora. Always with the shouting and encouraging them to jump up. I know, I know... they're encouraging kids to get moving. But sometimes I have my kids sitting in front of the TV because I just want them to sit still for one. freaking. minute. And besides, who are these irresponsible parents who let her wander around on her own with only a monkey? What kind of example is this? On Halloween, she had to be in by midnight! That's quite a late curfew for a child her age. (I did have a bit of a revelation about Dora a couple of years ago that may explain a lot:

I can't handle Calliou because of his constant whining. It's like fingernails on a chalkboard for me. I have to hit the mute button. (And besides, what's up with the bald head? Is he a cancer patient? Does he have alopecia? Have they seen a doctor about it? Why is it never addressed in a "very special episode" where Calliou is teased by the other children because he still has no hair at 4 years old?)

Angelina Ballerina is another one that kills me with the whining. Believe me, there is quite enough whining and crying in my house already without watching it on TV! But in every episode you are guaranteed that at some point Angelina will begin to sob and probably run off somewhere to fling herself down dramatically and cry. (Maybe that's where Haley learned this charming habit!)

We've learned that sometimes watching children's television requires a little self-defense. If you add your own internal filter to the show, it's a lot more interesting (or at least bearable) for adults to watch. For example, Special Agent Oso... if you assume that the special part is because the bear is part of a special education program, then you see why he needs help to do the simplest tasks. Now you can cheer him on instead of being annoyed that he can't do anything right. ("Come on! You really need 'three special steps' to open a door?")

Handy Manny... does anyone else hear the tools talking? Or is it only Manny? Maybe the rest of the neighborhood just humors him. ("He thinks the tools talk to him. Just go along with it, because he's the only handyman in town.") The show is a lot more interesting to watch once you have that in mind.

A friend just told me that they picture Calliou's father as a closet transvestite... I'm watching that show with new eyes tonight!

At least those popsicles won't drip all over their clothes...

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Quick funny from Brekken

"Look! It's a hooker!"

No, it's not. It's a HOOK. Big difference. There are quite a few hooks around the house. But hopefully no hookers.

Friday, July 15, 2011

That's nice to hear...

The CEO's assistant just came by and let me know that she was talking with the CEO earlier and he made a comment about how he hadn't realized until recently how brilliant I am. Well! That's certainly a good thing to hear. The CEO thinks I'm brilliant!

Do you suppose this has anything to do with the day he saw me topless? ;-)


Maybe I've been spoiled, but all my other kids were sleeping through the night by the time they got to this age (almost 8 months). Not Rylen. No this boy still gets up 2-3 times each night. He's not up for long - he'll usually go back to sleep within 10-15 minutes. But that's still an interruption in my sleep. Considering I rarely make it to bed before 11 p.m. or midnight, and I have to be up no later than 5 a.m. (though earlier is better), waking up 2-3 times in this short stretch means that I am chronically short on sleep. Thank goodness for naptime on the bus!

I dream (during the short time I'm asleep) of the time when Rylen decides it's okay to stay asleep all night.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A little help?

So I'm FINALLY eligible to upgrade my phone to a smartphone... I'm so excited! Now the question is, what's the best option?

When I look at the options on my AT&T plan, they're offering
  • Motorola Flipside
  • iPhone 3GS (technically they also offer iPhone 4, but it's $200 more than I want to spend)
  • Windows Phone 7
  • HTC Inspire
  • LG Quantum
Any thoughts or reviews? Do you have one of these phones and love it or hate it?

I want to be able to surf the web and take a decent picture. And possibly make phone calls. Any input would be appreciated!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Vacation... part 4

As usual, we had to have some massive storms while at Reunion! We were all stuck under the tarps for quite a while while a few rounds of rain and hail moved through. The kids thought it was great fun to run around and get soaking wet in the rain. They did not find it quite as fun once the quarter-size hail began falling! But they greatly enjoyed the hail-ball fight that followed the storms.

There was time for fishing - the kids didn't really catch anything worth keeping, but they had a great time anyway.

My favorite thing about Reunion is just getting to sit around and talk with my family. I had a wonderful time talking with my sisters. Rylen met my brother Brian and snuggled right up to him for a good long time. He also really liked my sister Emily. Since I often can't get Rylen to go to anyone else when I'm around, it was really nice to able to hand him off for a little while and have him happy about it!

Two things that stick in my mind from all the various conversations...

At one point, the subject of my "dainty little hands" came up. A co-worker recently commented on the fact that I have "dainty little hands," which I've always referred to as "stubby little fingers." My sisters and mom and I all compared hand sizes and we were all pretty similar. Then we compared hand size with Grandma. When I pressed my hand against Grandma's, my fingers ended at the beginning of her first knuckle - confirming that I do indeed have stubby little fingers and explaining why Grandma has much better reach when playing the piano. :)

And I learned that my mom and sisters and I all have to have a blanket (or at least a sheet) when we sleep. It doesn't matter how hot it is, we HAVE to cover up. Interestingly, for all of us, if we get hot it's ok to stick your feet out from under the blanket, but you still have to have the blanket wrapped up around your arms and shoulders. I don't see how that could be genetic, but it sure seems odd that we all have the same habit! :)

We were very happy to have Grandpa there with us to celebrate his 82nd birthday at the Reunion. Given his stage 5 cancer, it was certainly in all our minds last year that he might not be with us this year. I'm so happy that we had him there again and will keep my fingers crossed that we'll have him with us again next year.

After saying goodbyes at the Reunion, we headed for home. The weather was cooler due to lots of rain, which helped make the ride more bearable. It was also very LONG, due to the fact that we had to change our route halfway home because a landslide had closed the road we were planning to take. We finally arrived home at 4:30 a.m.

It was fun. It was exhausting. I'll be glad to do it all again next year (minus the car troubles and visit to the DMV!), but right now I'm pretty glad we don't have another road trip planned until November!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Vacation... part 3

When we got to Vernal, we discovered a wonderful thing - my parents had gotten a new air conditioner for the living room and it blew out a lot of very cold air! After several hours in the car in the middle of a VERY warm day, this was a beautiful thing. My parents had already headed up the mountain, so we just hung out with the air conditioner for a while to enjoy the cool. {Yes, I realize we were a little obsessed with air conditioning.}

We took Aaron out to dinner at Cafe Rio for his birthday and went back to my parents' place to go to bed. Since they weren't there, they'd told us we could use their bed upstairs and put the kids to bed on the living room couches so we wouldn't have to haul our things downstairs to the basement bedroom we usually use. We were pretty tired, so it sounded like a good plan. Until the kids started complaining about that wonderful AC. "We're cold! We need blankets! Turn it off!"

It occurred to us that if we put the kids to bed on the couches, we would have to turn off the air conditioner or they would complain all night. And we would be in the bedroom wishing for the cold air. So instead we decided to put the kids to bed in Grandma and Grandpa's room and Aaron and I slept on the couches! Ah, wonderful cold air for us. :)

We spent Saturday, Sunday, and part of Monday on the mountain with the family, coming down only at night to go to bed. We had the usual big family lunch - and miraculously it did not rain and/or snow during lunch! We were half done eating when I suddenly realized that we were not huddling under the tarps to eat as we usually do for Reunion.

The weather was so beautiful that we were able to go with my cousin Robert to take some family photos after lunch. They turned out wonderfully! We're rumpled and a little dirty (especially Brekken, who fell in a swamp literally moments before we started taking pictures) but I love it. It shows what our family is really like! It's my favorite people in the world in my favorite place in the world. Perfect.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Vacation... part 2

We had a good time at Aaron's family reunion. The family rented a big house so that all of us could stay together, but still have enough space to not be TOO together. The house was really nice, with enough bedrooms for each family to have one, space for the kids to play indoors and out, and most importantly, air conditioning. ;-)

Unfortunately, we didn't have quite as much time there as we'd hoped, since we arrived a day later than we'd planned. But we had a good time while we were there. On Wednesday we kind of just hung out around the house recovering from the all night drive. (Aaron got to have a long nap. I, somehow, did not.) The kids immediately discovered the trampoline, slide, and ping pong table and went wild. They just love it when they get to play with "the cousins" as they refer to our nieces and nephews.

Thursday was zoo day. Aaron's parents have an annual pass to the zoo that lets them bring grandchildren as well, so we always go to the zoo when we visit. I've been to Hogle Zoo many more times than I've been to the Denver Zoo! It was fun, but hot. The kids were very happy to find some "spitting" statues that sprayed them with water. By the end of the day, we were very ready to head back to the house, where we had yummy pulled-pork sandwiches, a water balloon fight, popsicles and some firecrackers to round out the evening.

Friday morning - and Aaron's birthday - came and it was time to pack up and say goodbye. I'd thought we were going to take Aaron out to lunch for his birthday, but it didn't happen. And on top of that, I'd forgotten to bring Aaron's presents for him to open. Poor Aaron always gets short-changed on his birthday. We are usually travelling to my reunion and so we don't end up doing much. :( Next year I'm going to do better!

So we loaded into the hot car once again and set out for Vernal and my family reunion.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Vacation... part 1

I've had a few people ask where I've been - usually I manage to add a blog post or two even on vacation. But this time I took the week off! We just got back from a week of family reunions and it was wonderful. At least, it was wonderful once we got there. We got off to kind of a rough start...

I stayed up until 3 a.m. packing the night before we left. I wanted everything ready so that in the morning we could just grab the last couple of things (toothbrushes and such that we still needed to use that morning), put everything in the van and head out. I loaded the van while Aaron finished just a couple of things he needed to do for work before leaving. And then those few things took a LONG time. So several hours after I had hoped to leave, we finally got out the door.

Aaron had just realized that his driver's license was going to expire while we were gone, so we decided we had to make a quick - hopefully! - stop at the DMV on the way out of town. A co-worker of Aaron's had told him that the Golden DMV was always quick with no lines. Of course, when we got there, it was a 2 hour wait. They sent us to the Arapahoe County DMV, because they have an Express Driver's License location. Express. That sure implies quick, doesn't it? But it's not. It's very. Very. Very. SLOW.

The kids and I sat in the parking lot waiting for Aaron. Since it was an express location, we were hoping he could be in and out in maybe half an hour. After about 15 minutes, there was suddenly a huge hissing from underneath the van! Clouds of vapor billowing around us until we couldn't even see out the windows. And a sudden lack of cool air from the air conditioner. I turned off the car and we tried to wait it out with the windows down. But after about 20 minutes we couldn't take it anymore - it was 102 degrees outside and approaching that inside the car!

So I grabbed all the kids and we went inside to wait for Aaron. We checked in with him - still about 25 numbers to go ahead of him. Luckily, there was a waiting area in the hallway with some benches and a little room to wiggle around where we wouldn't have to confine the kids to the room where everyone was waiting in line. As we walked into the waiting area, an older man was sitting on a bench and says to me: "Jeez, how many kids do you need to bring with you to the DMV, for God's sake? What the **** is that about?"

Tired, frustrated, and really, really hot, I responded: "You know what? We tried to wait outside in the car, but the air conditioning just blew up. So to avoid heat stroke, we came in here. My kids aren't doing anything to bug you and until they do, leave us alone." He sputtered a little, but didn't say anything else to us while we were there. (And for the record, my kids probably did bug him by the time he left. I don't care.)

FINALLY, 20 minutes after the DMV actually closed, Aaron was done. Then we had to figure out what to do about the car. We found a garage where they were able to look at it and let us know that the AC compressor had gone out. The car was still perfectly drivable, as long as we didn't try to run the AC at all. So we decided to go have dinner and then head out on an overnight drive.

The drive itself was fine, just very hot. I think it was around midnight in the vicinity of Grand Junction that we couldn't take the heat anymore and started stripping down. Shirts came off all around the car. (Important bits were still covered, just a little less so. ;-) )

We stopped to sleep in a Wal-Mart parking lot for a couple of hours and made it Draper around 7 a.m. Whew! First leg of the trip was done!