Monday, March 31, 2008

Back to "Normal"

I know normal is all relative, but I am sooooo glad Spring Break is over! My days seemed so long when all the kids were home all day. And conversly, I got so much less done! But the kids were back in school today, and it was great! So much better than last week. I was having some tough days there.

I had Oren to school on time, no mean feat, and my other little guys actually had a good breakfast. I got dishes done, which means now we have plates and silverware already clean for dinner. That didn't happen a lot last week...

I needed milk again (I'm not sure how) and bread and eggs, so I hitched a ride with a friend who was going to town this afternoon. Mark walked Nathan to the bus and met the bus driver, which is good in case he ever has to pick Nathan up from the bus, she'll know who he is. Although, I think the white blond hair they both have would be a dead giveaway. Chloe got taken for a nice walk when I got home, we both enjoyed that. Nathan got back from school having had a great day. And my boys are playing nicely in their room with my friend's little girl, so they are all being quiet and good and "normal". Mark is on his way to the gym (mandatory workouts for work) and the evening promises to be a fairly quiet one, for my house.

I even know what I am making for dinner, how's that for having a better day! And my friend may come over to help cook and eat the yummy cheesy chicken cups (I will post the recipe on my food blog later). I have the rest of the afternoon to vacuum and fold some laundry, thanks to my friends daughter keeping my kids occupied. And the dog hasn't peed in the house yet today!

I am sure enjoying our nice, "normal" day...

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Out of the Mouths of Babes...

Oren and I were in the store the other day in the baby section. He turned to me very seriously and said "Mommy, we need to buy that dress for our new baby." What new baby? If there is a new baby then it is news to me!

But it has me wondering... He has made several comments about "our baby sister" and "what month is our baby going to be here". "OH, it's so cute" when he sees little baby girl shoes or clothes. Does he know something I don't? Is he just letting me know my little girl is up there and wants to come down? Or has he just listened to me talking about wanting another one.

So no, this is not an announcement, but Oren seems to think there needs to be one made. I tell him to go talk to Daddy! (Obviously if we were to try the boys would be on board with an addition.) Mark just isn't ready at all yet. Maybe if Oren pesters him enough, he'll relent... :-)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Just venting...

I have to do a little yelling, and unfortunately my family has taken the brunt of my bad mood thus far.

One of my biggest pet peeves in the world is when people say they will be somewhere and then don't show up. The lady that was to come meet Chloe never called, never came. Doggone-it! Mark wanted to go somewhere today as a family and I said no because they were supposed to come over. And they didn't! I turned down family time for some people who didn't have the courtesy to make an excuse for not being here! Not to mention the afore mentioned dog made a mess on my bedroom floor while I was bleaching down the boys bedroom, and then Nathan turned around and peed all over the bathroom floor, not even close to the toilet, on purpose! Ack! So I have been in a really bad mood since about 3:00, and my poor kids have been yelled at a lot. Luckily Mark is very easygoing and doesn't take the yelling personally. It just ticks me off, people take a little interest in her, but when they find out she needs work they drop off the radar. Or don't show up. I am sure there was a perfectly good reason, but that doesn't help me any, because it is too late in the day to do anything together out of the house.

Thanks for letting me vent. Mark is letting the kids ride their bikes to the park, so the house will be somewhat quiet and maybe I can calm down. I didn't even ask him too, he just knows me really well, and when I get this grouchy and yell-y he takes the kids elsewhere and lets me simmer down a bit. What a nice guy!

Friday, March 28, 2008


Today was just one of those boring kind of days. I got up and got Nathan up, dressed and ready to go to therapy. William woke as we were getting ready to head out the door, so I popped up to the table with some breakfast and woke Mark up to tell him William was up. Oren was still asleep. Therapy went so good she went over his time a little bit, he is very cooperative. I needed milk so off to the store we went, just Nathan and me.

Note, if you just need milk, do not go to a superWalmart. You will buy more than milk, it is a given. But in my defense, I did need veggies and fruit, and cheese, and cereal, and ice cream. Okay, not ice cream but it wound up in the cart anyway. I spent 2 hours at the store with Nathan because, and as a mom I am a little ashamed, I needed a break from Oren. See, he didn't take his meds yesterday, we kind of forgot in the rush to get to therapy that day. Which would explain the mess from my previous post. He is sort of the ringleader. And what is frustrating is that he lies about the mess, that makes me more mad than the things he has gotten into and destroyed. I was able to keep cool pretty well, Steph I am sure would say differently as she was on the phone with me, but that was pretty good for me considering the scale of the catastophe.

And I think the reason Oren is alive today is because I had 3 hours away from him this morning. I love him dearly, but either we need to get stricter with his diet again, or we need to up his meds. I discovered some loose pearls in the washing machine this evening. And half my jewelry box was missing. He was probably pretty scared during questioning, I was pretty mad and yelled fairly loudly I am sure. To avoid harm, I sent him to bed. That wasn't just any strand of pearls he had broken. This was a strand Mark brought home from his tour in the desert when I was pregnant with Nathan, as an anniversary present. These are actual, real, pearls. And aside from my wedding ring, I don't own any nice jewelry. Except those pearls. I don't wear them that often because of my kids, but I treasured them! I did find most of the remaining ones, and maybe someday I will have them restrung.

I know this doesn't sound boring, but the rest of the day really was. Did some dishes, started a couple loads of laundry that got washed and dried, but not folded. Spent lots of time on the internet looking up random stuff. Called a lady about Chloe, she called earlier this week and said to please call her if Chloe was still available by this weekend. She is coming down with her family and other little dog tomorrow to meet Chloe. I feel really good about her, she is the only one that gave me info on her family, job, house, other pets... Chloe would be in good hands with her. I should have been making the house spotless, but I have tomorrow morning for that.

I like a clean house, but right now my living room arrangement is bugging the jeebers out of me. I can't stand it! It just doesn't feel right, like an itch at the base of my skull that makes me cringe and tense my jaw. And there is too much krud on the bookshelves, in drawers... I want to get rid of half my stuff. (I never thought I was a minimalist until I had kids and all the stuff that comes with them)

I realize these are completely random thoughts, but that is how my day has gone. Sort of boring with random interesting or crazy things thrown in. Maybe I am just tired.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Oh, if only...

Today I wished. Not for super powers, or millions of dollars. Not to be president, or a pretty princess. No.... I wished for something very simple. A housekeeper!

I didn't get my wish of course. For when I opened my eyes, all I saw was me!

The reason for my wish? I took a nap. "A nap?" you say. "What a small, simple thing!" Not with my children. I woke from my 20 minutes of splendid rest to naked natives yelling their war chants and splashing about in the waves. Not on TV, in my very own home! Where did they come from? I cannot answer.

These natives are cunning and sneaky. They delight in the destruction of peace and tranquility. They mark their territory, not merely with things strewn carelessly about, but with bodily excretements as well! With the spraying of Febreeze, and the squirting of Nair on the bed do they also announce their presence. Oh, beware the naked savage....

Bobby pins strewn about, plastic diaper bags floating about aimlessly in the pond that is the toilet. Climbing high upon closet cliffs searching for baby bottle treasure, they brave the unknown. And the youngest savage, he is the leader, for he still wore garments, but commanded the others in a loud screech unlike nothing I have ever known.

Oh, for a housekeeper! But as I looked, all I saw, was me....

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Still Confused!

I have had several calls and emails about Chloe. Apperantly when you post that a Shih Tzu needs a good home, people respond! Now I just have to decide how I will figure out who gets her! That is scary. Whoever I pick will need to be patient, loving, willing to accept her as she is, and not just get rid of her if she proves a little difficult. But, seeing as I am trying to "get rid of her", how picky can I be? But I can't give her to just anyone, right? I think the problem is that deep down I really, really want to keep her, but I can't, so I want someone who will love her as much as I do. Since I can't be her forever home. And I feel ridiculous. I mean, it's a dog, right? A dog! More prayer for me I guess...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

there's hope

The lady I emailed about Chloe called this evening. She is going to talk to her sister-in-law and have her call me for more info. Then someone else called to ask who I rescued her from, she thought Chloe looked exactly like her sister's dog she never took care of. I reassured her, and she said she would tell her mom, who loves Shih Tzus, about Chloe. So there are some bites on the hook. It shouldn't take long, the sooner the better before I get too attached to let her go.

I had been wondering when her next heat would be, I didn't get that info from the previous owner. Turns out, it is right now! She was bleeding a little today. Lovely! Poor thing, to go through this and have to switch families too!

Not sure what to do...

Okay, I have had a little setback. The family that was going to take Chloe called me this afternoon. They have changed their minds. Apperantly, after spending some time with her Monday without me there, to see how they all do, they just don't feel right about it. They were all excited at first, but the more they think on it it doesn't feel right. Okay, I don't blame them, I'm LDS too and I know what they mean. But this leaves me in a bit of a sticky situation, and I can't help but be a little upset about it! I don't want to have to take her to the animal shelter, but I promised Mark this wouldn't be a long term thing, and I can't take 2-3 months to find her a family! I don't know what I am supposed to do. I will be thinking long and hard, and I should probably pray about it. My boys will be ecstatic that we have her for a little while longer at least. And I know if I did take her to the shelter, she wouldn't be there long. She is a purebred, even if she does need quite a bit of work. Someone is bound to snatch her up! (If only I didn't feel so bad about it, abandoning her when she has such a strong attachment to me already and is just getting used to our kids...)

Monday, March 24, 2008

What a day!

Easter weekend started with a sleepy little Easter Bunny. He forgot to make a visit during the night, and so the kids had to stay in their rooms until their baskets were set up. Poor bunny just wanted to go to bed, instead of making his visit!

The kids had a lot of fun digging into their easter baskets. The stash included: chocolate bunnies, a jump-rope for Oren and Nathan, and a stuffed monkey for William, and some fun temporary tattooes. Needless to say, they were a bit wound for the rest of the morning!

We were going to Mom and Dad's for Easter dinner, held Saturday so Janelle could be there, and I had lots to do. I baked the layers for a german chocolate cake the night before, so the frosting needed prepared. That was also made from scratch, so I was at the stove for a good long while stirring the simmering milk and sugar combination. Good frosting is worth the effort though. I was also bringing a pasta salad, so I boiled up the tricolor rotini and chilled that, then mixed the sauce/dressing together. We used a ranch dressing mixture, tomatoes, crispy bacon, olives, onions, and peas. Yumm! That sat in the fridge while we got ready to go.

Dinner was lots of fun, we did some catching up, a little movie watching, and a lot of laughing! There are always stories to tell, and of course, pictures of nieces and nephews to take.

Zaylee is too cute! I love having such an adorable niece. I have to stop myself from buying all the cute springy dresses I see at the store. Her eyes are just gorgeous! Like her momma's.

We came home rather late, but Mark and I needed some time together, so we watched "I am Legend" that Mark got for Easter. Good, if a little "thrilling" for me. Then it was up early for church the next morning. I just got called as the Relief Society Chorister. It was so nice to sit and listen to the lesson. I didn't have to deal with anyone elses kids. Mine are enough thank you.

We had signed up to feed the missionaries that night, and my house was kind of a disaster. It was just fine for basic living, but not for feeding people! So I spent a good 4 hours after church cleaning. Swept, mopped, vacummed, dishes, counters, more counters, table, computer desk, entertainment center... Lots of cleaning. All things that have been bothering me for a while, but hadn't actually cleaned. I like things really neat. I know Sunday isn't the best day for doing all this, it isn't exactly resting, but I feel so much better now. And I wasn't stressing about it, I just wanted to get in and do it. Dinner was great, I did up a huge (almost 6 pound) roasted chicken, roasted asparagus, leftover pasta salad (it gets better as it sits) and mashed potatoes with gravy. It was so good! And for some reason, about 10 pm, I really wanted chocolate chip cookies. So I made some! Warm chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven with nice cold milk is a great bedtime treat!

I was still on a baking kick, after not doing a whole lot of cooking the last few weeks I am enjoying it again. So this morning I made Scots Baps. It is a roll like thing that is big and yummy, and tastes so good with jam! I think it is tradition Scottish bread. Anyway, the recipe and pictures are here, on my food blog. I love making bread, it takes lots of love to make a great loaf of bread! Mark took the kids down to the park this morning, so the house was nice and quiet. He also took Nathan down to town to sell our old car to the junkyard. We got $75 for the beater. Not bad...

So this weekend was fun, and we are looking forward to a nice, relaxing Spring Break!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

And now, by special request...

Rachel asked if I would post why my van door got bent. You could sum it up in one word. Men. Men that don't put trailer hitches on the back of mini vans. Men that buy towing equipment that have large metal cinches on one end. Men that tie one end of the rope around the bottom of the car being towed, and throw the end with the very large metal piece in the back end of the van and shut the door on it, then call it good.

Yes, that is the problem. Also it didn't help that he slowed down to fast, allowing slack in the rope, and accelerated a little too quickly, jerking the car. When the car jerked, the rope was underneath the handle, and the metal is thinner at that point, and when the rope pulled up, the metal gave under the pressure. He drove the van, I controlled the car, so I saw when it happened. It is not a huge bend, but enough to be an eyesore. It doesn't affect how the door shuts, although he almost busted the door. The rope kept sliding around in the back, and ended up on the side so when he was pulling the car up a hill at one point, the pressure of the rope was slightly opening the door. He doesn't believe me. But, no real harm was done, and the piece of junk car is out of my driveway forever! What an adventure...

Friday, March 21, 2008

Random Tag!

I was tagged by a friend of mine, and don't know the rules for sure, but it sounds like you pick 7 completely random facts about yourself, your family, whatever, and post them. They had 7 anyway, so 7 it is.

So I am throwing this tag into our midst. Rules: think of 7 totally random facts you want us to know. Post them, and tag 2 people. Let's see how odd we really are!

Fact #1 - I did dishes today.
Fact #2 - We bent the bottom of our van's back door towing our broken car to the junkyard.
Fact #3 - I don't like snakes.
Fact #4 - Oren stole candy at the grocery store and Mark made him go pay the manager. He won't do that again!
Fact #5 - I keep getting the urge to move all my living room furniture around. For the 5th time!
Fact #6 - We are bringing German Chocolate Cake (from scratch) to our Easter Dinner at my parents house. And my mom doesn't like coconut... Glad Steph is bringing a pie.
Fact #7 - My right contact just went blurry. Because I have astigmatism. I hate when it does that.

That was actually harder than I thought! Okay, I tag Stephanie and Melinda!

The purse tag

It never ceases to amaze me what you can squeeze into a purse. Here we have my current purse (I have 4 or 5 that I switch between every so often). Inside it houses: my wallet with grocery savings cards, military id, drivers licence, receipts, measurements for my mother-in-law's kitchen windows, my temple recommend, and very little change but no actual cash; then there are the plethora of cards for library, video rental, gas savings, my piano business card, bank memborship cards, appointment cards for therapy times, and insurance cards; my cell phone and bluetooth; calculator; car keys, house keys, mailbox key; lotion, carmex, and eyedrops; assorted loose reciepts; and mints and gum, great for keeping kids quiet in line at the checkout. There is also a moxie-java card for a hot chocolate treat, a check stub from the car dealer (the refinancing mumbo-jumbo involved a cash back sort of thing), and a baby shower invitation that had to be rescheduled because one of the mommies had her baby the day before instead of 2 weeks from now! I have also been known to have a pacifier or two, a book, a pocketknife, bandaids, and candybars floating around, and I generally have nail clippers but they got lost. My life condensed!

Well, I blew it.

My tire, that is.

We had an early morning WIC appointment today, so we dropped off Oren at school and headed towards town. Halfway there I ran over something, there was a loud bang sound and a kind of bump. I didn't see any tire bits flying behind me, so kept driving, trying to spot what I had hit. A few minutes later, the "check tire" light came on, telling me my tire pressure had dropped. Uh oh.... I drove a little farther, thinking that it was probably just a slight drop and I would be okay until after my appointment, and that as soon as it was done I would go down to Les Shwab and have them take a look. Well, a minute or so later, I got the feeling that something wasn't right and I should turn my music off. As soon as I did I heard a horrible grating-like sound. I pulled over right away, and got out to check. Sure enough, my front right tire was COMPLETELY out of air. Totally flat! With 5 minutes until my appointment, I knew there was no way I'd make it, so I called and let them know, and got that rescheduled. Then I headed around to the trunk of the van and grabbed the jack/lug wrench. I called Mark to let him know my tire was flat, and to ask where the lug wrench was, apperantly it was attached to the jack. Okay, odd place for it, but whatever. I reassured him that I knew how to change a flat, and let him go. He was a little upset that I had been stopped with lights flashing for 5 whole minutes, and no chivalrous knight had stopped to help! How sweet of him.

I got the rim cover thing off and had just loosend the lug nuts, and just about to place the jack under the frame, when a van pulls up and a guy steps out. One of the brethren from church thought he recognized the red-head kicking the lug wrench (easier to loosen the lug nuts) and stopped to help. Now, what's funny is that I knew what I was doing, and was perfectly capable of changing the tire myself. But when a gentleman stops and offers help, you don't tell him "No buddy, back off, I'll do it myself!" No, you graciously let him pretend he knows more than you do, especially if you know his wife, that way he can score some brownie points later when he tells her about his daring rescue of the damsel in distress. He was very nice and followed me to Les Schwab just to make sure the donut tire didn't give me any problems, and hauled to flat in for me.

At last I was able to find out what I had run over. Some one, at some point, had left a rather large bolt on the road, and I just happened to run over it. We knew what it was, because it tore throught the tire and was lodged inside of it. So my tire was no good. This is where I became glad that we maintain a savings account. My other tire was wearing pretty thin, so I ended up just replacing both and getting them rotated while I was at it.

What an adventure, and all this before lunch! Makes me wonder what the rest of the day will be like. I did get some good news though. They had the tires in stock so I got to drive away with new ones on and won't have to go back later. And Mark's work called needing to leave a message, and I checked with them. Mark has the whole weekend off! So we get to have some family time for Easter. What a great Easter gift!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy Spring!

This morning I went out to start the car and found that it had rained, then got really cold, freezing my doors shut! Brrr!

Much to my suprise, when I went out in the evening to run dinner to my Visiting Teaching partner (she just had a baby, I love babies!), I didn't need a jacket! It was warm and sunny! The promise of nice weather for spring break makes me glad, I want to kick the kids out into the backyard, and open my house to the sunshine. I want to clean! (I know, sounds strange...) My house really needs it. Mark has been home today and it was nice to have another adult in the house. Hopefully he will have this weekend off, I could really use him home. We have missed him.

Mark just asked William if he was ready to go "night-night", and William said, in a rather doleful voice, "Noooo." Sorry, that was just cute! He is starting to say some words, and I am glad to hear them. I don't want another one in therapy!

There is something growing in my tomato pot, I never got the dead tomatoes out of there last fall. It looks like a seed flew there from one of my other flowers, not sure which one. So I will let it grow awhile, and then transplant it elsewhere so I can use the pot for tomatoes again. I love springtime!

Picture of the Day #29

I happened to glance into the living room while preparing dinner, and William was sitting in a box, just being cute. There were so many cute shots I couldn't decide which one to post, so I used all of them! He was being such a ham for the camera.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I love our new therapist!

Nathan got to go work with his new therapist, Miss Gayle, today for the first time. The other was just a screening, this was the real work. He did so good she worked him for almost 20 extra minutes! She said he was a pleasure to work with and cooperated better than some adults she's done. I get that alot with him. And I saw his doctor in the store today and chatted with her some, she has to see us a lot because of Oren's followups and stuff for ADHD, Nathan and his therapy, and William's previously constant weight checks because of his size. I mentioned what the therapist had said about going down to Salt Lake sometime for further evals, and she said she wouldn't have a problem with that. So when the therapist decides its time, I know the doctor will be on board. Great! So Nathan will continue to do two sessions a week, one 45 minutes and one 30 minutes, with Gayle and I am confident that she is who Nathan needs to be working with right now. Maybe she can help us get some answers. Some days, when I have to translate for him a lot, all I want is for my little baby to have the ability to speak normally, to make himself heard without frustration. My close friends are so good with him and his best friend helps to pull him out of his shell, and will sometimes translate to us (which we find hilarious), so I am grateful for what we have. I know the Lord is blessing him with the people he needs right now, and he is blessing me the same. Somehow, I am able to do all that is being asked of me for my kids' sake.

Sorry, I get a little emotional ( I am sitting here crying because he is such a special boy, and I hurt that it is hard for him, and I think it's about that time of the month...). Some days I just sit and wonder what else He will throw at me, but then I remember that they all walk on their own, they talk, they are intelligent, and they have so much joy for life. And I know I don't have it so bad.

Chloe gets a "Haircut"

A new segment in my chronicle of Chloe the Dog.

So, I got pretty tired of looking at her in all her matted glory, and the groomers are booked solid until about the 1st of April. Ouch. Those mats have got to be hurting, they tend to pull the hair. So I called my friend to talk me through the process of clipping it off myself. She decided to come over and help since she has shaved dogs, goats, and pigs (I had no idea pigs had hair that needed clipped!) We oiled up my clippers and went to work. Her back went pretty quickly, her sides were already bald, and we did down her sides as far as we could get her to let us. Up the nape of her neck and across her chest. Then we wanted to see what we still had to work with, so she got a really good bath, got all that encrusted dirt off her skin, out of her footpads, under her tail. Poor thing. We still had her face and belly/groin area to do, which dogs really don't like being messed with, and we needed her to stay very still. So we sedated her.

Benadryl, it turns out, works great on both kids and dogs to make them super drowsy! Once that kicked in, we were able to go to work. It took a couple of hours working mats out with dematting combs and haircutting scissors, then clipping the fur more evenly with the clippers. We had to take it pretty short all over, and I still have some work to do on her face and front legs, plus her claws still need clipped pretty badly, so either tomorrow of Friday afternoon I will have to give her more Benadryl and do that. She snores.... too cute.
So this is her side in all it's glory. You can see the back paws are clipped down, but the front are still long. That's Jade in the background, my kitty. Her bare spots are worse off that I thought. The skin is a different color that the stuff that was covered with hair. Kind of like a sunburn, but winterburn, caused by the exposure to the cold. She wears a shirt here to protect her skin, and I have started putting a non-scented, superior grade massage oil on the bare skin to moisturize it and provide a barrier. You can tell she feels so much better now.

Her front looks much better. You can actually see her eyes now, but you can tell her face is a little uneven, and that should look better when I can clean it up a bit. She has a slight curl to her coat that will be so cute if kept clipped short!

We took her over to the Mayberry's to meet their dog and the rest of the family. She loves Jasper! I think she is really lonely for another dog. And although he was a little reserved at first, she has such a winsome personality that by the end of the visit he followed her out to the car as if to say, "Why are you taking my new friend away?" So I think they will be just fine. She made herself right at home. This has made Mark happy, he only has to put up with her until next week. I am happy she will have such a great family, and I can keep tabs on her and go play with her occasionally.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

My hundreth-postaversary!

I don't think that is officially a word, but I like it.

I looked at my dashboard thing, and it says that I have done 99 posts. 99 times I have sat here at my computer and shared how my day was, my frustrations, my joys, my kids messes... with my great family and people I love! 99 times of doing something other than housework. 99 times of kicking my husband off the computer so I could blog. 99 times I have sat here and thought about how grateful I am that Rachel was online at the same time I was and we chatted a few months ago, or I wouldn't have known about this little circle of closeness. I wouldn't have been able to see into your lives, or realize how even though we are all so far apart, we are all going through so much the same things.

And so, even though I have other thoughts and things to blog about, I am dedicating this one to another 100 blogs: insights into my little world, my challenges, ups and downs, and my inspirations. Thank you for reading, and for caring. It means the world to me...

A nice, big 2x4...

That sounds lovely about 11:30 at night. As sweet as Chloe is, she seems to have some seperation anxiety about that time, and commences howling and barking. Last night, I really wanted some annonymous stranger to come waltzing into my room, holding a 2x4, and pop me in the head with it! But that's fine.

Today has been a nice calm day so far. This afternoon will probably be hectic, but right now all is quiet. No one is sick, and Nathan is at school, William is napping. Mark is still sleeping, and Oren is discussing how different letters make different sounds. I am amazed every time I look at him, since I had to shave his head. It makes him look so much older! He is so long and lanky. Sometimes it seems that the only thing that remains of my little baby is the fact that he still has a lisp. I was asked if I wanted him in therapy for the lisp.... Ha. No. No more therapy, I don't need one more thing in my schedule! Plus, I like it. It's endearing. What a love...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Chloe gets a new family.

I heard back from the family this evening. They came by to see Chloe and brought the kids to see her. The kids wanted to take her home tonight! They all seem pretty taken with her, and the dad was touched by her story. He especially loves dogs who have had it rough, they usually turn out the most loyal and loving. She was pretty comfy with them, but I guarantee that it was because I was their petting her too. She has bonded with me pretty fast, and it makes me a little sad that she won't be in our family. But I really like the Mayberry's and I know she will be in good hands. I will be taking her over tomorrow to meet Jasper, their lab/chow mix and get used to their house and kids. That way it won't be in "her" territory. We will do that several times before she goes for good. They have company coming this weekend, so she'll go to them after the company leaves. That gives me another week with her, which I am happy about.

As much as I would love a dog for good right now, I know Mark just isn't ready for one yet. And I really want another baby some time, but I don't think he would allow me both too quickly, since a puppy would be better for us and to be training a puppy and have a young baby/toddler at the same time would be a bit much. This whole experience has taught me more about animals than I thought I would learn, and has broadened my horizons. Dogs really do talk to you with their expressive faces and eyes! Hers says, " I love you, come play with me!" And here I thought I was more of a cat person.... So someday, maybe in six more years, Mark will be tired of my badgering and relent, and I can go find another poor puppy to rescue. Here's hoping!


I must confess to being a bit puzzled today. So I have a series of questions to ask of the force of nature or whatever that thought it would be fun to do this to me today.

Question 1 - How is it that a child can wake up perfectly normal, feeling great if a little tired, get to school, and decide to empty the contents of his stomach upon the playground during fire drill, and then play the rest of the day at home as if he had never felt ill at all that day?

Question 2 - Why did the people at the DMV choose to not post all relevant information regarding titling and registering a car on their webpage? At least, not in plain English? Was is so that I would look it up, think I knew what needed brought, and drive all the way downtown (20 minutes) just to find out that the little pink piece of paper that was still in the window of the new car and still in my driveway 20 minutes away was kind of an important part of the registering process and would be the first thing they would ask for? 20 minutes before closing so I couldn't even go home and grab it....

Question 3 - Who was it that decided that for this particular base exercise, no one should be allowed anywhere near the building in which people may obtain a new military id? Why should they rope off that particular building, and put the parking in three different, not clearly marked areas? So that when I needed to go get one today since mine expires tomorrow and they close in 15 minutes, I ended up dragging three children, a stroller, and a husband all the way around some other buildings and coming into a back entrance with only a few minutes to spare?

And Question 4 - Why did Oren have to leave his new stuffed dog from Grandma that came in the mail at the ID office and only discover it back at the car so Mark had to run back and grab it?

I think the answer has to be someone's wierd and twisted sense of humor. But the important thing is that I now have a current military id and I can have Mark drive his car down tomorrow afternoon and take car of it then. And Oren wasn't throwing up all day, just the once and then was home playing, and we were able to get his dog back. So all did or will end well...

Picture of the Day #28

Big shoes to fill..... William has become obsessed with shoes lately. He likes to bring us our shoes and tries to help us put them on. He loves saying shoe and will walk around going "shoe....shoe...shoe..." too cute. And all too soon, my shoes will be too small for him, and I will look and wonder where my little baby went.

Isn't it sad?

This is Chloe. She's a bit stained from rolling in the mud on her feet and belly. Her face is stained brown because of an issue with overtearing, because the hair hasn't been groomed and is irritating her eyes. But when she is properly groomed and her hair all grows out, and the stain cut off, she is going to be a pretty little dog. The side shot is what the bigger dogs did. They would roughhouse and nip at her sides, and pulled the hair out. Isn't it a little sad? She looked so bad I just had to take her home and give her some love. She loves attention and would spend every moment by my feet if she could. But we won't be keeping her. I know I was supposed to bring her home, but I don't feel like we are her permanent family. She is a little older to get used to my very rambunctios kids jumping around the house and yelling. And Mark is really not happy. Not a pet person. He doesn't mind the cat, but she is calm and cute and doesn't smell. Chloe is ugly right now and smells like outside. I think I may have found a good home for her, a family in the ward with older children and a 10 year old lab/chow mix who is very used to kids and is very calm. And they have been looking at getting a small dog for a while now, and she likes shih tzus. So I am crossing my fingers, because they would be perfect for her, based on what I have seen this weekend. As much as I would love to keep her, I had told Mark this would be temporary, a trial period, and I don't think we are the perfect family for her. "Sniff" But this has been a fun weekend, and I have learned a lot. If they can take her it won't be for another week yet probably, so I can still play with her for a while.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Mission not-so-impossible...

Okay, those of you who read Friday's really long post already know, but we adopted a dog! Not just any dog, one of the dirtiest, shaggiest, most matted dogs I have ever seen, with copious amounts of both hair and goop in her eyes, sticks in the fur under her belly, and her face stained brown with mud. Not exactly a pretty picture. But what a sweet, friendly little thing. Okay, a fat sweet little thing. 20 pounds on a 15 pound frame is not a great look for a dog. Her teeth are pretty bad looking right now too. We decided not to even attempt to groom her, we will be taking her to a groomers and get her shaved down. Any hair that is salvageable will be left. And I, who have thought for years that doggie clothes are ridiculous, am going to have to buy her a sweater since she will have no fur on her body.

I was able to talk her into having a bath. She wasn't too thrilled at first, it is a pretty deep tub, not what she is used to. Let me tell you, the amount of dirt that came off of her..... wow. I got the gunk off her eyes, and trimmed up the hair from them so she could see a little better. When she gets back down to a healthy weight she is going to be a beautiful girl.

So pros - she is very sweet and friendly. She doesn't seem to mind the kids when they are being quiet. She doesn't bark and doesn't shed. She will be beautiful once she is cleaned and the fur grows back. She has been bred, so if we wanted to find a stud and have a litter we can make some nice money. She trusts me a lot already, she let me blowdry her, so just think how loyal she will be once she is fully settled in and comfortable with us (and the noise from the kids).

The cons - She isn't already housebroken, just puppy pad trained. Her teeth are going to need work, which costs money. She is a little skittish around the noisy kids and we don't really know how long it will take her to get used to it. She is purebred and they tend to have more health problems. Shih tzus need lots of grooming and shampooed every week or two. And the biggest con - Mark isn't thrilled. He isn't really a pets kind of guy, let alone in the house. And that is where she will have to be until her coat grows back out or it gets warmer. It took me 6 years to talk him into the cat, and several months before he would actively play with her. And I kind of plopped this whole dog thing on him while his work schedule is crazy. He seemed a little more okay with her once he saw how bad she looked and I told her what the other dogs had been doing. But it may take him a while to come around. I understand, some of it is money, some of it time, and some just plain he was brought up that animals belong outside. Not me. So he's not really going to be a happy camper for a while.

Sorry about the long post about the dog, I am just really excited. I have wanted a dog for a while now, and it is just fun to talk about it.

Friday, March 14, 2008

A Day In Our House...

It is so fun seeing you guys' days that I thought I would give it a shot today. This isn't my typical day, normally I don't drag the camera everywhere and it is usually busier than this but here goes...

7:20 saw our household starting to wake up. I got up around 7:00, got dressed, and went in to talk the boys into beginning the day. William was a cheerful waker, as usual, but the boys needed a little more convincing to get up.
8:19, we are coming home from dropping off Oren. Nathan is tired, William is contentedly sitting in his seat. Mark is sleeping behind the doorknob, he got home at 6:30 in the morning today. Normally we would be going to the gym or to assorted doctor's appointments, or running errands down in town, but this morning I have chosen to relax. Plus, we just bought a car, so I don't need to spend any more money this week... :-)

9:27 - Nathan and William are enjoying just being at home, eating a snack of little cinnamon rolls, and watching a movie. I decided that it would be a good idea to learn more about the car we just bought, since the salesguy didn't know all of the little features our model came with. Turns out we made a great buy, had a terrific price, and all the review said it was a great value for the money. Well, that's nice to know, since we will be stuck with it for several years now. I am glad we chose this one. And, if you didn't already guess, this is the same doorknob, and yes, Mark is still asleep.

10:15 - This clock is all that remains of my wedding bouquet. The movie being over, Nathan and William wandered into Nathan's room to trash...erm... I mean, play in it. Nathan said he was making a bed for his Care Bear. William thought it would be fun to help clean up some blocks, but became a bit overwhelmed at the number of toys on the floor. I dashed out to the car to put the insurance cards I had just printed out into the glovebox, just in case.

11:13 - The snooze went off on my phone alarm. Go get Oren! The parking lot isn't very full, most of the morning kindergarten go to daycare afterwards. Oren was trying to buckle while still holding his ice cream cup, a special treat from the principal today. Nathan was fine being back in the car, but William tried protesting. He screamed most of the 5 minute drive back home. Before we could leave the school however, I tried backing up and discovered that it only works when the keys are in the ignition and the car is turned on! Imagine that. And on the short drive home, I itched the side of my mouth and noticed this little red bump to the side of my lip. A cold sore coming? Great.....

12:18 - Lunchtime! I opted for a very fancy peanut butter and homemade apricot jam sandwhich, cut into petite triangles, accompianed by Ranch Pringles and, for liquid refreshment, fresh water... Ahh, the simple things in life. After this, William was ready for his traditional afternoon siesta in his comfortably appointed crib, with fresh sheets of course. Thank you Mommy!

1:17 - This chair can be pretty comfortable, but I have been sitting in it almost all morning, and going into the afternoon trying to figure out how to group all these pictures together in a format that will save as one uploadable file. Not exactly easy, but obviously I figured it out. I decided to get up and stretch a bit, since it was time to take more pictures anyway, and thought I would take one of my view past the backyard. All snowy mountains.... William was still napping, Nathan and Oren were having quiet time watching another movie. This is the quietest the house has been pretty much all week.

2:20 - So, I look over at the wall, because I heard a sound that was suspiciously like scissors on hair, and voila! Caught in the act. The first two are his work, the third is mine halfway done, and the last is the final effect. Why, son? And of course, Mark is still asleep....

3:25 - William is awake now, and wants his snack! I am so glad he is cheerful when he wakes up. But then he decided that I didn't give him enough snack, and figured he'd help himself to some more.... Nathan and Oren attempt to clean their room, and Nathan finds a little keychain flashlight that is a little bit of a distraction. Mark is still asleep. I guess he is tired....

4:25 - This passed me by as a friend came over and told me of a sister in the ward whose husband is dying. They have given him only a few weeks left, and all of their animals need new homes, since when he dies she has to sell the house. We are considering taking one of the dogs, a black and white CKC-registered Shih Tzu. This is an outside dog and would be the perfect size and temperament for the kids. Very energetic and playful, but a sturdy little dog too. Not at all yappy. We have told her we will be going to their house this evening to look at the dog, and see how the kids do with her. This is a free-to-good-home dog, and at the very least, we can relieve some of her stress by giving it a good home and if it doesn't work out, we can find it a good family somewhere else. But it is sad that she is losing her husband, and her animals and home all at the same time. I am so grateful for eternal families and temple blessings.

5:29 - Mark is trying to get ready for work, having had his breakfast of cold cereal. If cereal was the only food left in the world, he would be excstatic... The boys discovered plastic bags from my hall closet and the house was complete mayhem, bags flying everwhere, children jumping off of any surface strong enough to hold them, laughing and joyful screaming... What fun!

6:30 - No camera, but I was driving with a friend and all 6 of our combined children to the sister's home to see the dog. We got there, and the poor little girl was filthy! She will be so beautiful when her hair has all grown back out. The two other dogs nipped at her all the time, so she is missing chunks of hair on her sides, and is so matted we will have to shave her to the skin. She was a little scared and unsure. I could see what a beautiful dog she is though, and I felt really good about taking her home.

7:30 - No camera, we got to my friends home intending to bath Chloe since she was so filthy. But when Amanda opened the back door to her car, Chloe went nuts. Snapping, growling, barking. She was terrified. Amanda had opened the door quickly, and the lights in the car went on all of us a sudden. Poor thing was so scared she didn't know what to do. It took me 10 minutes of just standing about 3 feet away from the car talking quietly before I could come close, and another 10 of more quiet talking before she would let me near enough to pet her. She calmed very quickly after that, and soon I was able to get into the back of the car with her. 10 more very cold minutes with a blanket wrapped around me and feeding her some canned dog food with a little robitussin (to help her calm down and get very tired) and voila! I was able to get a collar on her and a leash and carry her back to my house (3 doors down) into the garage where another friend had set up a kennel for me.

8:30-9:30 We let Chloe get used to her new home and explore the kennel and garage. She got a tour of the house and the backyard potty trip was productive. Both friends that were with me are animal enthusiasts and very knowlegable, and said that the dog really, really likes me. Every where I went in the garage, dogproofing, her head followed me. Tail wagging, followed me and came when I called her. All very encouraging, since I was a little nervous not knowing if she would even calm down enough to let us get her out of the care. What I found interesting was that the sister told my friend after I left that she felt very good about me and comfortable with us taking the dog. I am glad I could make this a little easier on her, and we will keep her updated on how Chloe is doing.

11:22 - I have the camera, but am too tired after our very long and somewhat unexpected day. Each day in our house is full of suprises, but I'll bet no one saw this one coming.... The kids are all tucked in bed, 2 1/2 hours after bed time, William didn't get a pacifier for the first time, and they will all sleep in tomorrow. Mark will find out when he wakes up that I did indeed bring the dog home. I warned him that I felt that was what would happen. He didn't forbid it. I am exhausted, the house is quiet. I did get some housework done, and I feel pretty good about my day.

That new car smell.....

Hooray! We arranged for Oren to get a ride to a friend's house after school yesterday and devoted ourselves to car shopping. Not having two cars was driving us crazy, with his work schedule constantly changing, and mine being so busy 90% of the week, we really need the extra car. So we went down to a dealership in town, Thrifty Car Sales. They sell used cars about 1-5 years old, and these are well taken care of, at a decent price. To make a several hour long and many clarifying questions story short, we purchased a car. A 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt LT, in Blue Flash Metallic... oooohhhhh...... Being a smart consumer, I knew what kind of payments we could swing, and found financing that would allow us those payments and a low interest rate. About 3.5 percent lower than our van was financed at. So we ended up basically refinancing the little bit left on our van, at the same interest rate we were getting on our car, and our payments are less than we were paying on our van, even condensed into one payment to make it simpler. While we ended up spending much more than we had planned on this car, it is a very good car, reliable, safe, fuel efficient, and was cheaper here than anywhere else we could have gotten it. This car won't give us any trouble for several years, just needing brakes and tires occasionally. To us, that piece of mind is worth the extra money right now. We will continue paying the amount we have been on our van, so we will be paying this loan off early, since we are used to this car payment and won't miss the money. It was funny, the salesman was trying to talk number and was giving us conservative estimates, until I whipped out my calculator and ran my own numbers.... After that he quit trying to fool us and gave me the info I asked for, not the runaround. It pays to do your research... When will men learn not to underestimate women? We aren't stupid.... What was funny was that after we had signed all the papers and were walking away to load children and go home, the guy started trying to talk me into trading in our van for an 07 model. Are you kidding me? I just bought a car from you, don't push your luck....

Picture of the Day #27

I don't know what flower this is, but it is green, growing, and wasn't there a few days ago! Mark scattered seeds at the end of last summer in the spot, and some of them grew and bloomed. This is probably from the seedhead of one of those. There was an echinacea close to here but I don't believe those spread by seed. It is not one of my carnations, those have thinner leaves. So I will have to take a picture several weeks from now when this is grown and has bloomed. But until then, I will just enjoy this promise of spring!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Decorator Buttercream Frosting

Okay, this is the jazzed up, yummier than normal decorator frosting recipe that I use. This has gone on every cake I have sold, from birthday to wedding cake, and always gets rave reviews. Please note that the extracts only give a hint of flavor, and it will still taste like decorator frosting, just a little less intense-sweet and kind of richer.

1 cup solid white shortening (I like to use the sticks so I don't have to measure)
1 tsp butter flavor/extract (McCormick or Watkins have this, so does Wilton)
1 tsp other extract (vanilla, carmel, raspberry, vanilla nut, almond... have fun)
2 tbsp milk
dash salt
1 pound (4 cups) powdered sugar (sifting is recommended but necessary. Sift after measuring.)
1 tbsp Wilton Meringue powder if it is a really hot day or it will be in the car for a long hot drive.

In a bowl, cream together the shortening, milk, salt, and extracts/flavors. Add the sugar and meringue powder (opt.) and mix at medium speed until thoroughly combined. I then whip on medium high until really creamy and kind of fluffy. It takes about 2 more minutes in my kitchenaid.

This makes 3 cups of stiff buttercream. You would use this for roses and sweet peas. If it cracks coming out of the tube it is too stiff, add a couple drops of water at a time.

To make medium consistency, add an additional 1 tbsp milk or water to the whole batch, or 1 tsp per cup. This is for stars, borders, and all other flowers. Also for figure piping, like clowns or faces.

For thin, add an additional 2 tbsp milk or water to the whole batch, or 2 tsp per cup of frosting. Thin is what you will need for frosting a cake, doing vines and leaves, or for writing on the cake. For writing, leaves and vines, you can mix in a little corn syrup, but it will work fine without it.

If you want to know approximately how many cups of frosting you need to frost any given cake, let me know. For instance, 3 cups of frosting frosts, does borders, and top decoration for a one-layer 9x13 cake. That means one batch of this frosting, or just 3 cups of whatever frosting you are using. Enjoy!

Let Them Eat Cake!

Our Relief Society Birthday Party was last night. And what is more fitting at a birthday party than birthday cake? It had been too long since my last cake project, so I just had to sign up to bring one. I had so much fun, a friend came over to ooh and aah and help decide color scemes, and I thought it turned out pretty good....

This was fairly easy: Roses in burgandy and primrose yellow, and star drop flowers in the yellow. All were in my buttercream frosting, that is the shortening and sugar frosting. Mine is the only buttercream my dad will willingly eat. I don't do almond extract. I can't stand it. I use milk instead of water, add a small pinch of salt (these both cut down on the sweetness a little) and I use butter extract. Instead of the almond I use caramel, vanilla nut, peanut butter, coconut, raspberry, or other extracts depending on the cake and what I have. For anyone wanting to expand their extract library, I get mine from Watkins, at .

It felt really good to get in and play with frosting again. I came home with a little cake, just enough for Mark and the boys. Everyone at church loves my frosting (it's the extracts!) and so they ate a good deal of it. If anyone wants my take on standard decorator frosting, let me know and I will post it for you!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


You Are Garlic
Of all the spice types, you are the most universally loved.You get long with pretty much everyone, and you leave a lasting impression.You adapt yourself well to situations. You can fit in or stand out, depending on what you're called on to do.

I had issues with the code for this blog thing, but if you want the link, check Steph's blog! I love garlic, and this is pretty spot on...

Monday, March 10, 2008

money, money, money.....

I would love if it grew on trees right about now. You know, it's almost springtime and things should start sprouting soon, but as hard as I try I can't seem to find a money tree.

Mark's car decided about a week or so ago that it didn't want to start. At all. Just sits there and tries to turn over, but no luck. A friend of ours is a car buff, loves to play with engines and rebuild old cars and stuff. So he swung by yesterday to take a look. You know, it's really bad when coolant stars coming out of the muffler? I didn't until yesterday. Basically, if Mark tries to start his car again it will hydrolock the engine. Water CANNOT be compressed so the engine will be irreparable if it tries to. Fluid is not where it is supposed to be, and is where it is most definetly not supposed to be. Being a 17 year old car, with about a million miles on it, this isn't a huge suprise. We can maybe sell it for parts, the alternator is newish and some stuff is salvageable. We paid $200 for it, so I feel we got our money's worth. We even made some money on the car last winter when Mark was rear-ended and it would cost more to fix than the car is worth, so the insurance paid us off and Mark banged out what he could with a hammer and replaced the light that was broken. So we will bid our junker car a fond farewell, and turn to a new source of transportation with open arms.

However, the open wallet is a bit of a problem. I was able to fine-tooth comb our budget and found enough for a decent little car, a bit newer - like a 2001 or so. We would have to get a used auto loan, but we could still swing the payments. We were going to replace his car this summer anyway once our van was paid off, so this is just about 6 months earlier than expected. It will be tight, but do-able. With Mark's work schedule and my shuttling kids to school and therapy, we really need both cars. I found a nice little 2001 Saturn for a good price, but I would need to learn how to drive stick. I know, 26 and can't drive stick is a little sad. I just figured that if automatics are available, I might as well drive them! But our mechanic friend offered to let us borrow one of his cars once he flushes the coolant on his main car. Thank you to good friends with lots of vehicles! That gives us time to work up a bigger down payment and juggle things, find that really good deal on a solid car. So wish us luck!

BTW- I am not the least bit upset about our car troubles, it is just funny that it cropped up so suddenly....

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Steph's New Tag...

Hey, this looks fun. Okay, the rules are to write 7 facts about me and food. Odd, gross, fun, little or well known, whatever.... So here goes....

1. I don't consider fat-free mayonaise to be actual mayonaise. Reduced-fat is pushing it a bit. If you want fat free, just buck up and by Miracle Whip, because fat free doesn't taste like real mayo anyway!

2. I am obsessed with recipe books. I will sit on my kitchen floor next to my books and just look at recipes forever! Especially when I am hungry, it takes me forever to decide what to make.

3. The more people I get to cook for, the happier I am! I love the chaos of cooking a 4 course meal for 10+ people, all of it from scratch. This is where I shine.

4. I find chicken nuggets with honey on them to be the next best thing to heaven. Try it, just a little honey goes a long way.

5. Peanut butter is my favorite flavor of just about anything. Wouldn't it be neat if there were peanut butter pudding, peanut butter cool whip, peanut butter milk? If an ice cream has peanut butter in the title, it is automatically in my shopping cart, and I spent a long time looking for the perfect moist chewy peanut butter cookie.

6. When I make casserole like tuna noodle, I love to eat it on (not with, ON) a piece of buttered bread. A big scoop of casserole on top of the bread and eat it over the bowl.

7. I do the same thing with fried eggs and toast. The egg (soft yolk of course) sits on top of the toast, sometimes I put a little ketchup on it. Depending on my mood, I will either eat around the yolk until it a little circle with the smallest possible amount of white keeping it from popping and then throw the whole thing in my mouth, letting yolk ooze everywhere. Or I pop the yolk first and smear it all over the egg and enjoy the warm goey yolk taste over the whole egg toast. The white has to be fully cooked, and the yolk nice and runny. But if the white is runny at all I want to gag. I don't often get them done perfectly...

Okay, there are seven things about me and food, some odd, some normal, some probably a little gross. I tag Melinda and Calista! Have fun!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Pic of the Day #26

This is one I took several days ago. Nathan and William enjoying a ride on a "Richard Scarry's Busy Town" car with a worm guy at Walmart. William has never been on one of these before, I didn't think he was big enough. He wasn't sure what to think when the car started moving around, but he sure had fun playing with the buttons before it did!

I love technology!

I am soooooo happy! When I got our new phone, I was psyched about having a camera on it. But the hoops I had to jump through to get the pictures off the darn thing were ridiculous. So I went online to try and find the software for the phone to download to my computer, because I can connect the phone to my pc via a usb cable, but I didn't have the software drivers. I was able to get a digital download for $4 off ebay, totally legitimate and legal thankfully, and so now I have the drivers on disc for future use and the software on my computer. YAY! Okay, so this may still seem like a lot to go through just for some pictures, but I always have my phone on me even if I don't bring the actual camera on outings. So now I don't have to pay a text fee every time I want a pic off my phone, so the software will pay for itself quickly.

I also have discovered a new way to pass an hour on a Saturday evening. Bowling! We wanted to take advantage of Mark having the weekend off and decided to have a family evening. We ran some errands, and chose to let the good folks at Burger King feed us as a special treat. We weren't quite ready to go home, so we popped by the base bowling alley. The kids were very excited, they had never gone bowling before. Pardon the pics, they are from the phone...
Nathan enjoys his kid's meal monster truck while awaiting his turn.

William decided he hadn't had enough dinner and that leather should taste pretty good.

Oren had a really good time experimenting with different ways to plop the ball down the lane.

Mark whooped us all, actually scoring over 100. The next highest was 60 something, which isn't too bad for me. Nathan got a whopping 22 and Oren was the proud scorer of 38. Maybe not the best scores, but together we got over 200!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

A Better Day!

Well, the kids woke up early without too many problems. We were only 5 minutes late to our appointment this morning. Not too bad since we had to get Oren to a friend's house, then take the other two somewhere else before our appointment. The appt. itself was alright, just a little long. We got there and found that one of our couple friends from church were there too, so we all sat in the back and entertained each other through the class thing. We got done and went to get the kids, and were very pleased that they had behaved for the various sitters.

Then I dropped Mark, Oren and William off at home and rushed Nathan down to his speech therapy eval. We have been trying to switch his therapist from Boise to Mountain Home, to save on gas, and I just felt that it was what we were supposed to do. Everything had gone through and we saw her for the first time today. The old therapist sent me a copy of everything in his file, reports and test results, things like that. So I could bring that to the evaluation, she was pleased about that. The lady we saw specializes mostly with adults relearning how to use their mouths after brain injury, or infants with feeding problems due to cleft palate. So Nathan isn't her normal type of client, but when I described his problems she said she would take a look. Her unofficial diagnoses after this afternoon was that it seems to be a sub-something-or-other cleft. Basically, the palate itself, the bone, is formed right, but the muscles and nerves above it aren't connected fully, or far enough into the muscle. His muscle movements are somewhat primitave, swallowing.... because that is like a gross muscle movement, but that finer ones like control over the valve aren't working because the nerves aren't as deep into the muscle as they should be. That is her hypothosis, nothing is set in stone. So she will talk to a bunch of her colleagues all over (she has been doing this for 30 years, and has connections.) and will do some research. But the end result will probably mean going down to Salt Lake for further evaluation by a voice specialty clinic that works mainly with mouth deformities and such in children. This may not seem like great news, but we have already gotten further in one session to figuring out the problem than 8 months with other therapists. She confirmed some things that I thought could be the problem, that were in the back of my mind this whole time. In the meantime we will continue with the therapy with her because it is helping his motor skill in the front of his mouth area, there has been improvement in his speech. He did really great today and I am so proud of him.

I love my children, and am so grateful for the things they teach me. Like patience. A quick fix would have been great for Nathan, but I have learned a lot in these past months. I am much better at scheduling my time. I am quicker to ask for help. I am branching out with other babysitters. I am learning about Nathan, which is a huge blessing. His being the middle child, it would be all too easy for him to get lost along the sidelines, just mosey along life unconcerned because of his personality. But working with this takes so much time and energy that there is no way I can forget he is there. He gets plenty of attention and alone time with mommy, and thinks of therapy as play time. What a sweetheart!

So I still have housework to do, and I am still tired, but there is some hope at the end of the rainbow...

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Oh, wouldn't it be nice?

Wouldn't it be nice if life was all sunshine and roses? Playdates and clean houses? Schedules that don't get changed? Wouldn't it be nice if I could post some happy little inspiring thing, to brighten everybody's day?

Yeah, it would be nice.

But that won't be the case. I am utterly exhausted. It is cold and windy. My friends flowers have started coming up, but no sign of mine. We had a large church playdate, but William wouldn't leave me alone. Mark called me at 8:00 tonight to tell me about a mandatory Air Force appointment we both have for 4 hours tomorrow morning, children not allowed and we both have to go. So I had to call around at bedtime for sitters, and people to run children to school. All the while the children were running rampant through the house beating each other up... literally. I had an extremly late light last night so I can barely keep my eyes open right now, and did not feel the least bit capable of handling this situation calmly and without panicking. I do not deal at all well with changes to my schedule. But, sitters were found and drivers for my son to get to school, thanks to some wonderful sisters in the ward and good friends.

I have not been home all day, so besides my children being tired and cranky, my house is a disaster. I am almost glad for an excuse to cancel my visiting teachers tomorrow. I just can't seem to get it together enough to get it clean right now. Going to the temple helped a little, but it isn't a magic fix. Which is pity, becuase I could really use one. Mark is making the boys clean their room right now, even though they need to be in bed because I will be waking them up early tomorrow.

I would love to write about all the happy things that go on in my life. But I think I just have a case of the blues at the moment. I don't know why, I hope it goes away so I can get back to being cheerful, optomistic me. It's not that today was a bad day. If I was feeling normal it would have been a fun day, my kids were listening and playing nicely, I wasn't stuck at home all day. I am just off right now. Hopefully I am feeling more myself soon.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Picture of the Day #25

This may not seem like anything special, just a little guy hanging out with his Daddy. That's why I love this one. After not seeing much of Daddy for almost 3 weeks, we have all enjoyed having him home a little more. William woke a little early from his nap, and settled right down with Daddy to watch his favorite video. Daddy may protest, but he really is glad that his little guys are such "daddy's boys".

Monday, March 3, 2008

Why am I tired?

I really shouldn't be. Today was one of those blah kind of days. I had to go run errands this morning, and stupidly forgot what I actually went to the store for. But, being hungry, came home with lots of other goodies. Just not the bread I actually needed. On the plus side, I resisted buying any more clothes. I did get a new alarm clock. Mine has quit working. This morning it was going for 25 minutes when I woke up on my own. It is radio only, and you only get sound sometimes when you have your hand on it so it acts like a giant antena. Usually the static sound is enough to wake me up. But this morning was dead silence until I touched it. I have finally gotten sick of not being sure if I will hear it at all, so I bought a new one. I like the idea of the projecting the time onto the wall. So I got one of those. $16.00 seemed like a great deal for an alarm clock that actually goes off so I can hear it, and with projected numbers big enough for me to see at night.

But the rest of my day was dismally unproductive. I pretty much sat and watched and watched Trading Spaces on DVD and did something on the computer. I don't even know what. I did get the living room somewhat straightened. Or at least the kids did. I didn't make it to the gym, or even work out at home, I wonder if that is why I have no energy today. I should be over the moon. Mark was back on swing shifts today, so we got to see him for more than 20 minutes, I got to run to the store for an alarm clock without the kids, and Mark got off 3 hours early and was home to help get kids in bed, although that was at 9:15 instead of 7:30. I was just having issues today, and couldn't seem to get things together. All I want to do is go to bed, sleep 10 hours, and wake up with absolutely no responsibilities, housework, buses to catch, people to bring things to. I just want to sit and stare at the tv and let Mark deal with everything. I can't even bring myself to care about the house enough to sweep and mop, even though the floor hasn't gotten cleaned in almost a month. Swept, but not really cleaned. My rear actually hurts from sitting so much today and yesterday. I am not used to it.

Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day, and I will be out of the humdrums, or whatever this is.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Great Weekend!

This weekend was really great. I needed to get out of the house, and get a break from the kids at the same time. So I called my mom and Steph to see if they wanted to go to the temple with me. They did, Jeff watched Steph's little ones, and Janelle/Dad/Marie watched mine. We were able to get in and do initiatories. That was awesome. The last time I did that was the day I got my endowments. Most of that first time is a blur, so it was really neat to go do it again, and actually pay attention to the words. There were some things I was having trouble with, and it turns out that my mom's suggestion to do initiatories instead of a regular session was inspired, because everything I needed to hear was there. I was reminded how much the Lord loves us, and that even if the things that are hard for us seem small, he cares about it and is there. I am so grateful for the blessing of having a temple close again, and to have family here that will drop everything and help me when I need it. It was nice to go with Steph, I had just had Nathan and so was not able to go through the first time with her before she got married.

Afterwards we went back to Mom's and hung out there for a while. The kids were enjoying being spoiled, and so was I. After 3 years in England and not seeing anyone, I really cherish the time I get here with all of them. And Steph had us over for dinner so we could see their new place. She puts together the best spices on chicken and veggies, I'll tell you what! That was a good dinner, even if I couldn't eat the french bread. Zaylee and Thomas are soooo cute, and Jeff is just a hoot. It never ceases to amaze me how sibling relationships can change and deepen as adults. We have always been close, but now we are going through a lot the same things: kids, moving, etc. I really am grateful to have sisters that I can truly call best friends. I know some people that can't, and that saddens me.

So even though I didn't get to see Mark except for 5:30 in the morning when he got home and came to bed, it turned out to be a pretty great day! Word to the wise however, if you get up at 5:30 am, don't try driving 1 1/2 hours home at 9:00 pm. You probably won't remember most of the drive home, which is a little scary...