Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Mark served his mission in Virgina and North Carolina. One of the this southerner's are famous for doing is Barbeque! Not the kind where you dump ribs or a roast in the crock pot with a bottle of barbeque sauce on it and simmer all day. Nope! This is the good stuff: a spicy herb rub marinading on the roast for 6-24 hours, slow cooked on the charcoal grill with packets of soaked smoking wood chips for 3-5 hours, and then letting it rest in it's juices for 1 hour. Served with a regional sauce like a mustard sauce on delicious rolls.
That's what my baby wants, that's what he'll get! Talk about love, right? And for desert, why not combine his two favorite treats... Fudgy brownies, and german chocolate cake. Voila! German Chocolate Brownies!
He and I both think I am nuts. But he has been raving about southern barbeque for 7 years now, and I want to taste it. If this works, I will be posting the recipe on my food blog. Happy birthday honey!
Monday, April 28, 2008
I though William would be a little hesitant about the cold water. Nope! He just walked right up and started trying to catch the water. He didn't even wait for a swimsuit...
Oren and Nathan were thirsty apperantly, and William caught on quickly to the idea. They all thought it was a lot of fun.
Nathan was playing ring-around-the-rosies, running around and around the water.
All three kids having a blast drinking from the sprinkler!
I just thought this one turned out interesting. I wanted to get a shot of their faces, so I kneeled down, leaned the camera out and pointed it upwards a little. I guess the sun was bright enough at that angle that all you see is the boys. Either way, I loved this one. What luck!
(Can you tell I am just a little excited?)
He got the final stuff taken care for his 2 weeks leave last Friday, so that's all settled. Which is good, because I think I really need this time with him. It's been too long since we had a completely child free, do what we want, kind of day.
It will be really busy though. Oren's class is putting on plays that day, so we will do that first. Then we have to take him out of school early and go see the eye doctor. They did a screening at the school that indicated he needed to have a more comprehensive exam at the doctors, had some trouble seeing lines far away. Glasses? Maybe. We'll see on Friday. Then it's lunch and off to my parent's to drop off kids! Dinner, check in, maybe enjoy the hot tub, and then the best part of the whole weekend... Our 1 hour massages! Mark was worried I would get addicted to them when he gave me a gift certificate to a spa for Christmas. He was right. I love them! I could do one every week! (pity they are so expensive) But that will be the perfect end to a very busy day.
Another YES thing is that I was approached on Sunday about making a cake. A half sheet cake, which is 2 9x13's put together so it is 18x26. That's a big cake. The young men/young women are doing a "Congrats Seniors" party to celebrate the six graduating youth, and they want a cake for the party. Having heard I was the person to talk to in the ward about a professional cake, they asked if I would do it. I know I am good, and I should charge lots, but for official ward stuff I generally just charge for the supplies, and donate my time. I can't think of better people to do that for than the church. I'll take a picture and post it on the 7th, that's when the party is. It is going to have "congratulations seniors" written on the front, with at least 6 people throwing hats up in the air. Each senior will have a frosting person that looks like them. And for the border I am thinking about doing "color striping". You paint a stripe of coloring on the inside of the bag, then fill with frosting. When the frosting is piped out, the food color makes a vibrant stripe of color on the usually white frosting. It's going to be awesome! I love playing with frosting!
i am: a unique person, with unique talents.
i think: that chocolate should be calorie free!
i know: how to decorate beautiful cakes, how to play piano, and how to drive my husband crazy.
i want: to be slim again.
i have: a serious shortage of pens in my house.
i wish: that I knew how to best help Oren with his ADHD, encouraging him and finding that spark that makes him tick, and being able to lovingly discipline.
i hate: that my temper flies off the handle so quickly and frequently. People say it's the red hair... I don't know.
i miss: my husband. He works a hard shift and I end up getting the children up and ready for the day by myself, and down for bed by myself. Both are hard. I miss getting to go on dates with him any night of the week, any quality time we get is either very late at night, or on a Saturday.
i fear: my children getting hurt and I am not there. They like to escape to the park at the end of our street, and it scares me. Legally, according to base rules, they are still too young. And next year Oren may want to walk home from school by himself, and that terrifies me.
i feel: a little warm. It is a beautiful day, and we don't have the air conditioner turned on, just the ceiling fan going to move the air around, and it is warmer than I am used to.
i hear: the sound of myself typing. Mark took the boys to the gym, and I only have William with me, who is being very quiet right now.
i smell: the carpet-smell-good powder we used yesterday for the home teachers. Country Flowers or something.
i crave: a chocolate dipped ice cream cone. But I shall resist, too may calories (plus they're all the way in town).
i search: for my bluetooth headset the kids lost. It's driving me crazy!
i wonder: if I will ever feel good about my body.
i regret: being so hard on Oren all the time. It's not his fault that he is the way he is.
i love: my kids more than anything in the world.
i ache: in my sinuses. It's allergy season.
i care: about the way my house looks, I just can't seem to stay on top of it.
i always: make sure the butter goes from edge to edge of my toast.
i am not: afraid to speak my mind.
i believe: in the power of second chances.
i dance: around with my kids in the living room. Nathan likes to twirl me around, it's too cute.
i sing: anwhere. In the shower, in the car, to my kids, in church.
i cry: when Mark and I are having problems. And when I find out bad news about my children.
i don’t always: get the laundry folded. Clean and dry, yes, but not folded.
i fight: with my husband sometimes and my kids often. They are challenging children.
i write: 3 different blogs.
i win: almost any argument I get into. I guess I have a way with words, and can usually make things come out the way I would prefer. There are always exceptions of course. There are people more stubborn than I am. :-)
i lose: pens. I can never find them.
i never: drive with out my seatbelt on, and making sure the kids are buckled in. Two of them do their own seatbelts/carseats...
i confuse: want with need.
i listen: better than people think. Just because I like to talk doesn't mean I am not a good listener.
i can usually be found: Either at home, or in my car driving the kids somewhere.
i am scared: that I will never be good enough.
i need: to be reassured that my husband and kids love me, even though I am short tempered, not skinny, and a so-so housekeeper.
i am happy about: how well I have been doing on my diet and exercise. After taking a 2 month "break" I am back at it, and have already lost 5 of the 12 pounds I had put back on. YAY!
Sunday, April 27, 2008
It was really nice to sit with Mark and listen to the lesson. And I got to watch another mom's little boy run around Relief Society, and didn't have to worry about what he was getting into, becuase he wasn't mine! Hee hee! Eventually we'll have another little one, and do the whole child-in-class thing, with the toys and bottles and diapers that explode, but I think I will just enjoy the peace and quiet for now.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
We were headed to town to get WIC and noticed it was a tad past dinner time. So we pulled into a Subway so we would at least get some healthy food. We got the children settled, checked what sandwhich they wanted, and left them with just one coloring book to share and a box of crayons. I got in line with Mark so he wouldn't have to remember so many sandwhich orders by himself. We were almost through the line, about to pay for our food, when I looked back at the kids to make sure they were at least near the table.
Not only were they still at the table, they were sitting quietly, SHARING the BOOK AND CRAYONS! Amazing! William was even still in his highchair instead of trying to tip out onto his head.... And, they ate almost all their food without too much ado.
Did I miss the base's announcement that they were putting tranquilizers in the water supply? There has to be a logical explanation for this erratic behavior...
They also did suprisingly well in Walmart. There were no huge fits, no spankings, no pulling children out of the clothes racks. (these accompany EVERY trip I make to the store when I am by myself with all three) Could it have anything to do with the fact that Daddy was with us? Is that the secret to pleasanter shopping? If so, that's the new rule. Daddy goes when the kids go.... (wouldn't that be nice?)
Friday, April 25, 2008
His teacher said he not only stayed with the class (a big thing for him), but he was totally into all of the exhibits. He was fascinated with the germ display, and has requested soap to be placed into his bathroom again (we took it out because it just ended up literally everywhere but on their hands). One of the scouts from church that he knows was there and juggled scarves. He thought that was pretty neat. If I had known what they were doing today I would have gone and taken pictures!
We are pretty happy he got to go, he loves anything science or math, loves to problem solve, and I can totally see him being a scientist or engineer of some sort. He's so smart! We got to talk about how they will learn more science stuff in 1st grade, and he asked if he could start tomorrow... :-)
It never ceases to amaze me how fast they grow. One day he was learning to roll over in Aunt Annette's basement, and then I blink and he's almost done with kindergarten! Where does the time go?
Thursday, April 24, 2008
So after lots of thought and looking, we have both pretty much come to the same conclusion. We think he has what they call a velopharyngeal insufficiency caused by a submuccos cleft of the palate. In English, the muscles above the palate that control the valve between nose and mouth are not fully formed, they are divided, or the nerves don't reach fully into them. And internal cleft palate.
We discussed this today, and while she is pretty sure (as am I) she still wants to do some more observations so she knows what to look for during the tests. I am finding myself a bit impatient and want to go ahead with evaluations by a cleft palate team in Salt Lake, I understand why she wants to wait. It's hard though. She has observed him twice a week for a couple of months, I observe him all day, every day, for the last 3 1/2 years. Who would know him better? I actually understand a lot of what I read about it, which is nice for both her and I.
So we will plod on with the therapy for a while longer, let her get a better feel for his oral capablilites, and then it's off the ENT for more nasoscopes (fiber optics inserted into the nose to have a look around), this time with little strobe lights and videotaping and such. Whee! And then eventually we'll head down to Salt Lake City and see if they think it can be fixed. Cross your fingers.... But this will all take months to do. I think the Lord is trying to teach me patience. I think I could do without the refresher course.... :-)
But at least the therapist and I are on the same page, and we agree on the possible diagnosis. That's something anyway!
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
I am a firm believer that if you make the mess, then you should clean it up. I guess William thinks so too. He had just wandered all over the house with a cracker, and then tried to clean his mess up. The broom was a bit large for him, but he had a blast pushing it around the hallway and living room!
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
It has been in the back of mind now for a while that his meds are going to need adjusted. The logical part of me is okay with that. I have talked to the bishop before about putting him on it to begin with. He actually works with children and adolescents that abuse and injure people and animals, steal, end up in jail, generally make bad decisions. Some of them started out like Oren, with some developmental issues, others were abused as children. He commented how different some of these children would be if there parents had worked with teachers and doctors like we have, and given their children the help we are trying to give Oren. He fully supports us, and talks to us all the time about how Oren is doing and how we are doing. He is a great bishop!
I think part of Mark's issue is that he doesn't really understand how an ADHD child's brain works. That it isn't "too much sugar" or "not enough sleep". Those things can make the underlying problem worse, but are not the sole cause of the behavioral issues. There are chemicals missing from his brain that control impulsive behavior and the ability to filter out distractions. I also privately believe that he may be very mildly autistic, as the two go hand in hand, and it seems more like he isn't easily distracted as much as he CANNOT filter it out and is overstimulated in a bad way by things going around him. He seemed relieved when they seperated him from the rest of the kid's desks. It is too much for him. I haven't got that officially diagnosed, maybe I'll deal with that later. So Mark finds it hard to believe that a medicine would "fix" the problem, even though he does notice the difference when I forget the meds. Or give them to him later in the morning and he can see the "before" and "after". It helped that we did a conference with Oren's teacher, and she could show him examples of Oren's work. That struck a note with him.
I just need to stop feeling guilty, and letting my mommy brain interfere with my other one, the one that says modern medicine is a wonderful thing and these meds are getting better and easier on kids, and make a call to the doctor. The longer I wait the harder it is on Oren. This morning was just really rough for some reason, and I just needed the reassurance that I am doing the right thing with him. I feel okay about more meds, not that I am jumping for joy, but I know it will only help him. Thank you guys for being there...
Oren's school work is going downhill, as has his behavior. Today was the worst day he's had at school in a long time - comparable to before we started him on medication. A brief history for those that may not remember or didn't know...
Oren was diagnosed with ADHD, plus some ODD (oppositional defiant disorder) and CD tendencies (conduct disorder). In short, he is hyperactive, cannot focus on things and when he is focused is extremely hard to break him out of it. He is very defiant of authority and hasn't got a very good concept of socially acceptable behavior and would spit on, kick, punch, stab, lick his classmates. We had a hard first 2 months of school, then got him diagnosed and on doctor's recommendation and my own personal feelings put him on medication. Night and day difference. We moved him to the morning and suddenly he had friends. His handwriting improved because he could sit still and focus on it. He shot way up with his reading and math because suddenly he could concentrate.
But now, he is backsliding. He has trouble cutting in a straight line, his handwriting is barely legible some days. He constantly defies the teacher, and will refuse to do his assigned tasks. Having outbursts in the class. He hasn't started the physical aggression towards his classmates yet, but that's only a matter of time. We are watching his diet since he is sensitive to artificial colors and sweetners, but we have cut most of those already. He has had a growth spurt, so it's possible he needs a higher dosage now.
And here is my debate. On one hand, his schoolwork is very important. We need to stay on top of his problem because next year is full day 1st grade and they expect even more out of him. Diet isn't working as well as it was and neither is the meds. The logical thing would be to give him a higher dose so he can follow his classmates. I have already observed that at the correct dosage he acts like any other normal child, and is very bright, catches on quickly and is proud of himself and his ability to work hard. He feels good about himself and has friends that accept him.
On the other hand, how can I stuff him full of more drugs, when I didn't really want to have to in the first place? It won't make him a zombie/vegetable, but isn't there something more I should be doing as a mother? Am I wrong to let a medication take over for me? I still feel like I have to justify him being on meds to people, how can I increase what we are giving him? And Mark is against upping them, he thinks Oren is just sneaking candy or something, and needs more sleep. Do I listen to the teachers who work with him and others like him and trust their expert opinion and the examples of his work right in front of my own eyes? Even when it is against what my husband wants to do?
This is my big debate. I have been struggling with this for a while, and my feeling is that this is something no mother should have to deal with. But there it is, I have no real choice. I can up his dosage with the doctor and let him progress normally in school but struggle daily with my guilt that I am still doing something wrong, or I can leave things as they are knowing that his behavior will get worse but keeping peace with my family and those who judge me. I know the meds help, but I hate that I had to "stoop" to giving them.
And what really hurts is that I will have to make this decision constantly. Just when I am comfortable with how things are and feeling better about my choices as his mother, someone will turn around and point out that he is going back downhill, he will change, and I will have to go through this all over again. It is a never ending struggle, and I can only pray that he is the only one I have to do this with.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Well, Mark got ready and left. And stayed gone... He had decided to stay for Gospel Doctrine class and come home part way through that. Problem was, the main gate is closed and it took him longer than he thought to get home, so by the time he was here, it was too late for me to go. I was a teensy bit upset about that. So I have been home all day, after dealing with sick kids all week, and I didn't get that spiritual uplifting that I really could have used! I did get some homemade chicken noodle soup done for lunch, and cooked actual food for dinner too, both recipes are posted here.
So needless to say, the lack of church has left me a tad bit grumpy, and I would love to break Mark's flash drive with games on it in half and throw it away. The noise drove me crazy. I just wanted to sit and blog this evening, but had to contend with the yelling and screaming as the kids ignored Mark's request to pick up their train set and get pj's on. He can't do bedtime by himself? Sad. No housework got done, becuase I figured if he could sit and waste an entire weekend (seriously) playing video games, I would sit there too and read a good long book. Let him figure out his socks for tomorrow...
But the kids are in bed, and my blogs are all updated. I am soaking in the piece and quiet, and Mark is off sulking. That's life sometimes... To be a little fair, it is a certain time of the month, but after 7 years you think he would learn not to aggravate me right now?
Saturday, April 19, 2008
This is Nathan sleeping. No kidding! I thought he was feeling better today, no throwing up. I went into the kitchen after lunch and caught a glance of Nathan, taking a nap stretched out on our piano bench (makes a great extra bench for small children when company comes). He had 2 bites of macaroni, and passed out! After this snapshot, I took pity on the poor little guy and transfered him to his bed where he finished his obviously needed nap. And his first sentence when he woke up? "Where's my chicken nuggets?"
Friday, April 18, 2008
Nathan fell asleep on the bus yesterday coming home from school, which happens occasionally, but was rather subdoed the rest of the evening. Today he wanted to just sit and watch movies, and was a little warm right before he put himself down for a nap. Then he woke up crying a little bit ago and proceeded to throw up his blueberry pancakes from this morning. Now he is napping on the couch again, warm but clammy feeling, kind of damp and sweaty. Poor thing.
I got it figured out. I have been getting so many good deals lately, this is just another one. A two for one sale, buy one get one free! I am glad I got out and got some time to relax this week, because strangely, this isn't stressing me out at all. Things happen! I got some time to myself, to restock my energy and my patience, and now I have plenty to deal with and care for my little ones who need me. At least I will get lots of cuddles the next couple of days. And hey, it's Friday! I find it hard to be too stressed when it is Friday, the sun is out, and the weather warm. Bring on the sickies!
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Would you believe that I got all this for less than $20? Two of the sweaters were on clearance for 67 cents! So I got two, one for William this winter and one for my nephew Thomas. (Suprise Steph!) They were too cute. I got several pairs of jeans for between $1 to $2.50, lots of summer things for William for 25 cents, a few shirts for $1. That was at the thrift store. There was several name brand (abercrombie and fitch, ralph lauren...) sweaters and hoodies for Oren next school year for free from the Airman's attic. It always amazes me what officer's wives will buy and then get rid of. And Amanda had already grabbed a bag worth of clothes for me earlier, so there is even more than what I show here. I'll keep tabs on what I have for Oren next year so I know what to look for this summer. Yard Sales, here I come!
The white dishes were free, and I paid 50 cents for the plate. These are going to be some of my display dishes for my food blog. Cheap is great, free is even better! I love the square plates. This is going to be fun to play with...
I went through the boys' clothes while folding today and pulled out the ones that are too small. Also the ones that I don't like or are too ratty. Some will be made into rags and some donated back to the Airman's attic for someone else.
I did end up rescheduling my dentist visit. I just did not feel like having my mouth tortured today. And it's a good thing I was home, or I would have went to the store later and paid full price for all this stuff, which is just a dumb thing to do. Mark was impressed with my haul, I got to "shop" with a friend, and Oren got to hang out with Mommy for a while without his brothers around. Not a bad day!
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
I also had a very productive trip to Costco. I was keeping a running total in my head of what I was getting. Since I was using her membership I had to pay either cash or debit card. I had plenty (I thought) of cash and my debit card went missing in Rigby, so I am awaiting a new one. After getting the meats I needed (I am now well stocked on chicken breasts, ground beef, pork chops, and pork roasts) I grabbed some wet wipes since I was down to the last 2 packs from my last box. On our way up to the register, I say a box of fruit snacks. Out of curiousity I checked the label, and it had no artificial colors or flavors! You see, we have to keep Oren on a strict "no artificial colors and limited artificial flavors" diet to help control his ADHD, and normal fruit snacks are loaded with red food dye, the worst culprit. This was the first I had found that wasn't. They are basically fruit juice, sugar, and gelatin. Not bad! So I grabbed a box of these for my poor children who have been denied fruit snacks for over 6 months. We made it to the register and she rang up my stuff. The total was higher than I thought, with the fruit snacks. Oh no! I only had so much cash, and needed some for lunch too. What to do? It was a little embarassing, but luckily, my friend considers herself my sister, and stepped in. She grabbed the cash out of my hand, and swiped her own debit card. Then she stuck her tongue out at me! Goose... The total was just over what I had, by about a dollar, so I owe her that and a little for lunch too, but what is nice about her and I is that in a few days I will probably do something like that for her and we'll be even. Neither of us nitpick pennies, we just do things for each other and it all comes out pretty even. And if nothing to retaliate with comes up, we just kidnap the other's children for a couple hours and leave the other one with a quiet house. What a friend! But I am now stocked up on meats for a few months, and have wipes for another 2-3.
I know the picture of the day is a scary one of the boys' room, but don't worry. They cleaned it up before they got to go to bed. Vaccumed and everything. And my living room got cleaned too! By the same troublemakers! There are days I love being the mommy... My friend did my dishes in return for my hosting all 6 kids and cooking dinner for both families. (We do this a lot...)
And to top off the day, Mark succesfully got everyone to and from school on time and with their correct backpacks! A major accomplishment! And I discovered why William has been so cranky the last few days. He has been pushing out one of his canine teeth. Those hurt. I am supposed to go to the dentist tomorrow for Nathan and I, but I haven't hardly seen Mark and I was really stressed out by bedtime, so I am going to reschedule tomorrow. I feel like I just need to stay home. Especially with William getting fussy. He tends to get his teeth in 2's. Plus I have about 12 loads of laundry to fold and some to get washed too. Busy Busy Busy!
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
The boys plugged up their toilet again. They do this about once every months or so. And usually a quick plunge will fix the problem. Occasionally however, more drastic methods are required. Mark will plunge as much water down as possible, then he disconnects the toilet and turns it upside down. The snake is then able to pop the object (usually a ball or a mega block turned funny) out through the mouth of the toilet. But that isn't quite as nasty as what I got to do this evening.
For starters, the water wouldn't plunge down. So I had to get a pitcher that I use for pouring water over the boys' heads in the tub, and scoop as much water out as possible. That only got me so far. I donned my trusty nitrile gloves ( I use for all sorts of nasty little jobs, their great!) and grabbed a small cup. That got rid of some more of the water. (And yes, I have thrown both the pitcher and the cup away.) Okay, most of the water is gone at this point, so I brace myself... and reach in. (EW, GROSS) Aha! It feels like a ball. Full of air and floating on top of the water at a pipe bend just at the reach of my fingertips. But because it is full of air, I cannot drag it down into the water to pull it through the pipes! It is acting as a float and pops out of my fingers when I try to grab it. I have to take more water out.
Off comes the glove. At this point I am seriously mad at this stupid little ball. This is disgusting, one of the low points in my job as mother, and I am determined to win this war. Using the glove, I fill and empty it several times into the pitcher to lower the water level. Back on with the glove, try to grab ball. Off with the glove, siphon out water... Repeat several times. Finally I can see the darn ball, but still cannot convince it to come out. Almost all the water is gone, but I resort to scooping most of the remaining water by hand and flinging it into the waiting pitcher. I am finally able to grab enough of the ball and work my fingers around to the back, and pop it out! Yes!
It is at this point that I come back to my senses and realize that I have toilet water from my fingertips to my elbows and almost to my shirtsleeve. ACK! Flinging the ball into the trash, I ran to my bathroom and scrubbed my arms most thoroughly, and then took a really scrubby shower. The door has been shut and the bathroom will be sterilised at the first possible oppertunity!
But hey, at least I got the darn thing unplugged...
Oren, Nathan, and I are all due for our dental exam. Oren and I need to do our yearly eye check up. And William is due a well-baby. All at the same time! I made many phone calls, pen in hand and calendar at the ready, and whew! That was tricky. Between dropoff and pickup times for the boys, who have school at opposite times of the day, and Nathan's therapy appointments that we try to keep set in stone for my poor brain's benefit, trying to find time to get to everyone without missing a whole lot of school or making extra trips to town was insane! I think we did an okay job. Today I picked Oren up from school, and took he and Nathan straight to town for Nathan's rescheduled therapy session at noon. Daddy had William at home. Therapy ran long, leaving me just enough time to run to the dentist for Oren's cleaning. I still have to go get WIC today, and get cash for my Boise trip tomorrow.
Tomorrow, I will be taking Oren to school and then hitching a ride to Boise with a friend to go to Costco and stock up on meats. Our freezers are a little bare, and she was going up anyway, so I am tagging along. Mark volunteered to be on transport duty, meaning he will be picking up Oren, making sure Nathan gets fed, and then to the bus stop, as well as picking Nathan up from the bus after school. What a brave guy! I have the schedule down pat, and know exactly how long it takes to do each thing, so everything pretty much runs smoothly at this point. I'll be nice and write everything down for my poor hubby however, it's a lot to remember.
Then Thursday, Mark has to pick Oren up from school as Nathan has more therapy and then Nathan and I have our dental appointments. I won't get back from that in time to get Oren, thanks to the base redoing the main gate and making us do a nice little detour to a back gate, adding at least 10 minutes to my trip each way! At least William's well-baby isn't until next week!
I really don't like doing more than one crazy day a week, because then I am cranky by Friday, and I don't hardly get to see Mark. But, at least we are getting the dental stuff over with for 6 months, and my freezer will be stocked so I don't have to pay exhorbitant prices on meats last minute, and dinner ideas will flow easier having more than chicken breasts to work with... Thank heavens for a sweet, helpful husband... today he swept the floor and started straightening the kitchen for me while I was gone! What a wonderful suprise!
Monday, April 14, 2008
We had a huge dustorm this evening. I braved the front porch and snapped a few pics before I had too much sand in my eyes and had to duck back inside. I loved this one, you can see the dust cloud coming off the roofs and the sinking sun shining through.
A- Attached or Single? Very much attached! June 15th is 7 years!
B- Best Friend? My husband, my sisters, and my friend Amanda who lives 3 doors down.
C- Cake or Pie? Cake! Unless it is pumpkin pie, or german apple pie.
D- Day of Choice? Friday. Saturday is too long, but Friday is the sense that I made it through the week.
E- Essential Item? Cell phone. It has an alarm clock feature that I don't have to reset everyday. So it goes off to wake me up (my alarm clock is stupid and doesn't work), tells me to go pick up Oren, take Nathan to the bus, and pick Nathan up. So I can't be late!
F- Favorite Color? Green. Olive green.
G-Gummy Bears or Worms? The worms are easier to eat and come in a sour flavor with sugar crystals. I rarely eat them though, they hurt my teeth.
H- Hometown? Don't have one. Panama City, Florida. Or Del City, Oklahoma. Maybe Misawa Japan? I just say I am from the Boise Area, because all my family is there and that's where I was born. I feel most at home here.
I- Favorite Indulgence? Chocolate chip cookies. Warm out of the oven. French bread with homemade jam. Homegrown tomatoes with salt and pepper.
J- January or July? July! School's out, sprinklers are on, and snow cones abound!
K- Kids? 3....all boys....all cute.
L- Life isn't complete without? Hot showers! Hugs from my sweetheart, "I'll always be your baby" conversations with my ever growing oldest child.
M- Marriage date? June 15, 2001
N- Number of brothers and sisters? 7. 4 sisters, 3 brothers, all younger.
O- Oranges or Apples? Apples. Tart braeburns or granny smiths with generous amounts of peanut butter.
P- Phobias and Fears? I used to be terrified of large dogs, but my friend Amanda has 2 that I have gotten used to. Now I think huge ones are beautiful. Poking my hand into somewhere dark and small and getting bit my a spider. Same with putting my shoe on. My biggest fear is that the next time I am pregnant the doctors won't be as diligent and miss something going wrong, like we almost did last time.
R- Reason to smile? It's sunny today!
S- Season of choice? Fall. I love the springtime when it gets warmer, but the colors of fall are beautiful. And the cool is so welcome after the sweltering heat of summer.
T- Tag five people? Nah...
U- Unknown fact about me? I talk to myself in the shower. All the time. Mark caught me once a few months ago. He has been married to me for quite some time and never knew that I did that. He found it funny.
V- Vegetable? Tomatoes! Salt and pepper, mayonaise, vinegar, cooked, raw... So many ways to eat them!
W- Worst Habit? I pick scabs... and I have a hard time with interrupting people.
X-ray or Ultrasound? Ultrasound! I know what I am looking at by now.
Y- Your favorite food? Just one favorite? Can't, too many. Chicken enchiladas, homemade pizza, french bread sandwhiches, Reeses' peanut butter cups, anything with Alfredo Sauce!
Z- Zodiac Sign? Saggitarious
Anyone else want to do it?
Sunday, April 13, 2008
As we were driving, sometimes the hills would suddenly give way to a valley. Just a quick flash, like a sneak peak, and then they would close again.
I enjoyed watching the fields go by. The lines on this one were amazing. Rolling hills, plow furrowed, green just waiting to grow.
This one I just liked the huge silos in the back, cows just minding their own business. And the crooked lines on the fence. Luckily we were going fast enough we didn't catch the smell...
When we got back in the car after dinner, we enjoyed a beautiful sunset. All these came out blurry, but I love the dark outline of the trees against the orange glow.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
I stayed up late packing and getting things ready. We had a long drive, 4-5 hours plus a couple of pit stops and lunch. It feels good to have a little vacation. We will be driving back tomorrow afternoon.
But right now my children are thoroughly enjoying being spoiled by their Grandma Willford and assorted aunts and uncles. Mark is glad to be off the Air Force Base and far away from Military for a weekend. And I don't have to cook or do dishes tonight, although I will help anyway. And the best thing, we will have built-in entertainment during sacrament meeting, so Mark and I get to actually listen to the talks. Yes!
Name something you use in the shower.
2. Face Wash
Name something people hate to find on their windshield.
1. Bird poop
Name something a man might buy before a date.
Name another word for blemish.
2. Beauty Mark
Name something you'd cook in the microwave.
3. TV Dinner
Name a piece of furniture people need help moving.
2. Dresser (mine, anyway)
3. Couch (those big L shaped ones)
Name something a dog does that embarrasses its owner.
1. Poops in someone else's yard
2. Pees on a visitor's shoes
3. They lick themselves.....
Name a kind of test you cannot study for.
1. Parenthood (only those of you without kids question whether this is a test!)
3. Lab tests (blood work, etc.)
Name something a boy scout gets a badge for.
Name a phrase with the word "home" in it.
1. Love at home
2. There's no place like Home
3. "Run Home Forrest!"
Name a sport where players lose teeth.
Name something a teacher can do to ruin a student's day.
1. Give them a pop quiz
2. Fail someone's test
3. Announce a book report or a 10 page paper.
Name a bird you wouldn't want to eat.
Name something that gets folded.
Name something a person wears even if it has a hole in it.
Name something that gets smaller the more you use it.
3. Toilet paper roll
I tag anyone who hasn't been tagged yet!
Friday, April 11, 2008
This is my pothos plant. I have had it for over a year now. One of my good friends, with quite the green thumb, was pruning her houseplants. Now, pothos plants are really neat. There is a small nub on the stem of each leaf where it connects to the main stem. When you trim the plants, if this nub is placed in soil and kept moist, it will grow roots and become a whole new plant! So she took the trimmings from her oldest pothos, which is at least 7 years old, and planted them in a pot. I was the lucky recipient of this brand new little plant. I have taken it from a few leaves barely peeking over the edge of the pot, to beautifully lucsious greenery! It doesn't get potbound, is slow growing, and can go for up to a month without water without dying. the perfect plant. We did cuttings again 6 months ago and I now own 6 pothos plants scattered around my home. But this one still means the most.
Out of all of my kids, Jade likes William the best. He is just her size, and he isn't strong enough to hurt her. They often will sit peaceably on the couch together, just hanging out. Today, William was sharing his sucker with her. Literally. He was holding it out for her, and she was licking it. He kept sticking it on her fur, and she would lick herself clean. She will playfully at him, and is very gentle with her claws. This was my favorite picture though, cuddles between good friends.
1. Write your own six-word memoir.
2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you’d like.
3. Link to the person who tagged you in your post.
4. Tag three (choice is yours) more blogs with links.
5. Remember to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play.
I tag Aunt Karen, Calista, and Kevin/Reighlyn!
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Okay, this may not look like much, but we thought it was pretty awesome. When we say prayer before a meal, we help William fold his arms, and sometimes we help him "say" the prayer. Today at snacktime I put him in his seat, and placed his snack on the tray. I then went and sat down in the living room. Mark came in the kitchen and started laughing... There was William sitting quietly with his arms folded, waiting for the prayer! He snapped a picture really quickly before William started eating. What a funny little guy!
I did some digging and found that Anniversary Inn, the place with all those theme suits like jungle and ocean and whatnot, does military discounts. The one in Boise does anyway. I called my sister Marie and asked if she would babysit the kids for us overnight, a paying job of course, and she agreed. Awesome!
Mark has a total of 56 days of leave he has built up (I know, isn't Military great!), some of which he has to use soon or he will lose it, so he is going to take 2 weeks off for his birthday. That's a long time to me, but it will be really nice to have some help and to spend some time with him. And that means we can really enjoy our stay at the hotel. So I called the hotel and booked our reservation. I know it's a lot to spend on a birthday, but he is an awesome guy and he totally deserves it. And it's not totally selfless of me, I get something out of it. They contract with a local spa, who send masseuses to the hotel and do massages. So I booked a suprise massage! We each get one hour, they send two ladies so we have them at the same time. He has never had one before, except by me. I will leave that a suprise!
So I know this isn't until next month, and we still have a couple of weeks till then, but I am just so excited! We haven't been to a hotel sans children since our honeymoon, and haven't been to a nice restaurant without children in over a year. And I don't have to worry about the kids. Marie is awesome with the boys, really fun and has lots of energy, and my mom is there to provide help if she needs it. They will be well taken care of and they do really well there. I am so grateful we live near family, and can spend time with them frequently. We will be doing dinner there Saturday night, hang out for a while. Happy Birthday Sweetheart!
It turns out I won't be seeing Mom and Grandma. Grandma's brother is coming into town so Grandma had to come down this morning, and Nathan had therapy this morning so I wasn't home. Bummer! But I guess it is a good thing, because, like Rachel, my house looks like I run a full daycare center and didn't clean up afterword. But, that is what the Lord gave us Saturday for, and Mark doesn't have to work so I'll have help.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
I had debated whether to even bother driving Oren to school, but since Mark was up with William I decided to let him sleep this morning and opted to take Oren late, since I could barely move, that way I could just drop him off at the door instead of walking him to his teacher and standing in line with him to go in. Feeling guilty, yes. Worth it, definetly.
Mark and the other boys woke after a while, but due to lack of decent food for breakfast and being very tired I had a very lazy morning. I really didn't want to get in the car and drive, so Mark volunteered to pick up Oren. I did do some lunch while he was gone, and with some Ramen noodles in my system I felt a little better. So I was able to take Nathan to the bus. I talked Mark into going to the store with me to restock the pantry, since William was fighting his nap, hopefully he would fall asleep in the car, and Mark could push the cart. William did not, however, fall asleep, so I ended up very slowly pushing the cart up and down the aisles while Mark contended with the SCREAMIMG William. He fell asleep in the car on the way home. Thank goodness!
I managed a small nap when we got home, Mark put away the groceries. William ended up sleeping from 1:30 to almost 7:00, so he and I are in for another late night. Great... And the workmen are digging some sort of something behind my house, disturbing all the dry plants, and setting off my allergies big time, which hasn't helped. The kids have sort of run rampant, and the house is a disaster, I just want to sleep. Hopefully tomorrow will go better. My mom and Grandma Danes are supposed to be coming down to Base on Friday to pick up Grandma's meds, and they usually stop by here for lunch and a visit. So I need to clean like a madwoman for the next few days. My stomach has pretty much quit hurting, so hopefully that will clear up and let me get stuff done! Isn't it fun when Mommy is the sick one?
We think William has an ear infection, I gently tugged his ears earlier and one was fine, but the other made him scream nicely. So I'll be taking him in tomorrow. Poor guy. That would explain the not wanting to sleep, so he is doped up on some motrin right now, since that is what the doc would give him for pain until the ammoxicillin kicked in anyhow. I am thinking he may have some allergies that clogged his sinuses and led to an infection. He has been rather "snotty" out the nose of late, like mommy has. What fun! I love springtime!
I thought this was interesting. There are almost 800,000 people named Michelle, which would explain why I always know at least one if not two anywhere I live. And 972 people with the last name Willford. Half those are probably people I have met at his family reunion, and most, I am sure, live in the western US. But put the 2 together, and you have 3! That's it, and I'll bet I have met or seen one of those others at the reunions.... Awesome!
Sunday, April 6, 2008
We had the missionaries over a few weeks ago, and one of them mentioned how he loves sticky buns. They have been on my mind ever since, and I have wanted to make some. Well, today was conference so we were at home relaxing and watching the speakers on our local tv, and I decided to make some.
I have a recipe for pecan maple sticky buns. Let me just say, "WOW!" Amazing! They are pretty easy. You don't even have to knead. Mix the stuff, let rise. Roll out, sprinkle brown sugar goodness, cut, and let rise again. Bake, flip out of pan, and bask in the carmelly-mapeley heaven! I'll post the recipe on my blog later, and I'll have to make them again so I can post a picture.
What a terrific way to end our Sunday lunch of baked pork chops, and mashed potatoes with gravy. I made a dozen, 3 went to a friends family (gotta share the good stuff....) and the rest are gone.... They didn't last until dinner even. Yum Yum Yum.... Sticky Buns!
Mark thinks it is great, I have been craving baked goods lately. Yesterday I made Taco Soup, which I also should post the recipe for as it's really good, and what do you have with taco soup? Cornmeal muffins of course! And only from scratch will do.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
I wanted to pull up the area rug and sweep anyway, and get under the couch and stuff. And then I just kept going. It felt great to move everything around, and clean under it. And I was enjoying the moving around so much that nothing ended up in the same spot. Now my couch is sort of dividing my living room, so I have two halves. The "living room" half, with the tv, piano, and bookshelves, that the couch faces. And the half behind the couch. The computer desk, my really big bookshelf, and my recliner. So I have a reading spot and my work area.
So far I like it, Mark did too when he came home for dinner. I need to put no skid pads under the couch though, it is sliding on the wood floor.... But the whole thing looks more cozy now. I had to rearrange all my pictures. I should putty some of these holes, they don't look too good.
But I was ready for a change for spring. I still can't stand my entertainment thingy, and I really want a new computer desk, but with things moved around I feel I can stand these are little while longer. It is like taking a breath of fresh spring air! Now I just need to fill my trash can with stuff I don't need and donate a bunch of stuff to the ARC (they come to your house and pick up your donation), and I'll feel even better!
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
I was out of anything remotely connected with portable snacking. Fruits and veggies I have plenty, but nothing long lasting. I tend to buy large packages of these edibles, and I guess they don't last forever. And generally they stagger themselves when they run out, but not this time. So I took myself and the kids off to the store while I was in town today for Nathan's therapy, and stocked up. Walmart has HUGE boxes of goldfish crackers for like, 5 bucks. Large bags of animal crackers, cheapo graham crackers... Austin brand has those little cracker sandwhiches in little packages that come in flavors like PB&J (tastes like it too) and grilled cheese. Those are great for Boise trips. Or lunches.
So now, when my children complain of hunger midday, midmorning, midevening, sundown... I can confidently stroll into my kitchen, peel a banana, and throw in a handful of fishy crackers! Voila! Snack time!
I heard a suspicious crunching sound this afternoon. Using mother's foresight, I grabbed the camera and rounded the corner. I guess we won't be having green bean casserole anytime soon, since he emptied the whole container on the floor and then crunched it into little crumbs.... Oh well!
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Isnt' she pretty? This is Kiya (pronounced like Kia but that is a car so we changed the spelling), our new friend. She enjoys running on her wheel, and finding the juicy little tidbits in her food bowl. She has let me touch her, but it not up to me picking her up yet. She is a longhaired, but the females have shorter hair than the males. The males actually need brushing sometimes, like a longhaired dog or cat. She won't need as much care, her coat is only about a 1/2 inch long. What a doll!
For instance, I woke up with an upset tummy that got me up an hour earlier than I usually wake, but it was gone by the time I needed to get the kids up.
I went out to start the van that I haven't driven in several days, only to find out that Oren had played in it at some point and turned on all the lights, draining the battery. No biggie, I woke up Mark to watch the other kids and drove his car to Oren's school. Then I borrowed a friend's jumper cables, and her husband decided to come do it for me. What a nice guy!
I got a call mid-morning from a lady I was to meet in Boise about Chloe asking if I could come earlier than 5:30. Fine by me, I hate rush hour traffic. We did lunch, picked up kids, dropped kids off, did some laundry, played with the dog... Then I went to get Nathan from school at 2:00 and headed off to Boise.
We met with the very nice lady and her little dog, also a shih tzu. The two got along, and Chloe really liked Angie, the lady, so she took Chloe home. I didn't think it would be so hard to put her into a stranger's car and watch her drive off. I hope she is happy and I know she will be well cared for, but still.... I got kind of attached.
It is 4:30 at this point and the kids are getting a little antsy, but a friend asked if I would go to Petco for her since I was already down in that area. They just bought 7 (not kidding) large snakes and needed a few things. (2 10-foot and 5 4-foot, they already had 1 4-foot and 1-baby) I had been missing my old hamster of late, and having promised the boys a hamster after we fed their rats to this same friends snake, I decided today would be a good day. I had the cage, water bottles, food dishes, house. Everything but the hamster and the food. So we left the store with a golden longhaired teddy bear hamster and stuff to feed her with. She is so pretty, and seemed to be friendly. I'll give her a couple of days to settle before I try to handle her a bunch. I am pretty patient.
As a treat we ate out for dinner, on our way home. We stopped and bought Mark some stuff he needed, and got home about 6:30. Already a long day. But we wanted to go see Amanda's new snakes, and the guinea pig she also ended up with. (They really like animals. This brings the grand total to a tankful of fish, 2 medium dogs, 1 cat, 9 snakes ranging from 1 foot to 10 feet, and 1 guinea pig. Yikes!) She fed my kids more dinner, we played with the snakes, and talked about breeding their albino pythons. It was 10:00 before I realized it, so we hurried home and put kiddos to bed. Next came un-posting my ads for Chloe, I had 5 out there, and didn't want anymore phone calls. Now I am exhausted. Trip to Boise on top of an early morning and a late night.... A really long day. But I am minus the dog that my husband did not want, and have a new little hamster. My kids did fairly well on our long drive and pretty much behaved in the store. So long does not mean it was bad..... Just long!
We all need a little stress-reliever! Sometimes when you have a stressful day or week, you need some silliness to break up the day. Here is a dose of humor...A. Follow the instructions to find your new name.B. Once you have your new name, post it as the title of your post. Include the instructions so everyone can play along!
The following is excerpted from a children's book, Captain Underpants And the Perilous Plot Professor Poopypants by Dave Pilkey, in which the evil Professor forces everyone to assume new names...
So:1. Use the third letter of your first name to determine your New first name:
a = snickle
b = doombah
c = goober
d = cheesey
e = crusty
f = greasy
g = dumbo
h = farcus
i = dorky
k = funky
l = boobie
m = sleezy
n = sloopy
o = fluffy
p = stinky
q = slimy
r = dorfus
s = snooty
t = tootsie
u = dipsy
v = sneezy
w = liver
x = skippy
y = dinky
z = zippy
2. Use the second letter of your last name to determine the first half of your new last name:
a = dippin
b = feather
c = batty
d = burger
e = chicken
f = barffy
g = lizard
h = waffle
i = farkle
j = monkey
k = flippin
l = fricken
m = bubble
n = rhino
o = potty
p = hamster
q = buckle
r = gizzard
s = lickin
t = snickle
u = chuckle
v = pickle
w = hubble
x = dingle
y = gorilla
z = girdle
3. Use the third letter of your last name to determine the second half of your new last name:
a = butt
b = boob
c = face
d = nose
e = hump
f = breath
g = pants
h = shorts
i = lips
j = honker
k = head
l = tush
m = chunks
n = dunkin
o = brains
p = biscuits
q = toes
r = doodle
s = fanny
t = sniffer
u = sprinkles
v = frack
w = squirt
x = humperdinck
y = hiney
z = juice
Thus, for example, George W. Bush's new name is: Fluffy Chucklefanny.
Now when you POST THIS...use your new name as the title. And remember that children laugh an average of 146 times a day; adults laugh an average of 4 times a day. Put more laughter in your day.