Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Years Eve!

So, here we are, on the cusp of 2006! I am so excited to be starting this new year, I have a lot of plans for some big changes for this little family in 2006. I am also terrified of the changes that will be coming in 2006. See, I don't do change very well, I like the same 'ole, same 'ole but in this family, and in this life change is immanent and necessary.

We don't have any big plans for this evening. It is hard to make any big plans with a toddler and a four year old going through a very difficult *phase*. May 2006 bring and end to the four year old phase! We are going to go eat out at the Old Spaghetti Factory and watch the trains go by in the rain. Then we will come home for family games, watch some new DVD's and eat junk food. I took a nice nap so I should have no problem making it until midnight, I know the kids will make it after they gobble up all the sugary snacks I have planned for them. I keep wondering when I got to the age that requires a nap to stay up until midnight.

I wish you all a prosperous and healthy 2006.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Bye-bye Laundromat


What I learned at the Laundromat.

- Always watch your quarters, they are like gold when it comes to drying that last load.

- Distract the children when the homeless drunk man is bathing in the utility sink so they won't yell out, hey mom look at the naked man. He wasn't completely naked, but it wasn't pretty.

- Do not make eye contact with the older lady who will not quit talking about the five cameras in the coin machine.

-Always watch your quarters, they have a tendency to disappear when your back is turned.

-Do not let your four year old swing from the hanger bar in the laundry cart, no matter how bored he is or crazy he is making you. He will most likely end up with a goose egg on his head, and a crying fit that is only quieted by having frozen peas, purchased from the store next door, held to his head. Oh, and a doughnut.

-Be careful not to put the red underwear in with the rest of the whites. That is a general laundry rule, but when it happens at the Laundromat it is much, much worse.

-Always keep an eye on your quarters, they could be magic quarters and mysteriously disappear.

-Do not make eye contact with the *missionary* lady passing out pamphlets and giving mini sermons. She will judge you.

-Do not let four year old push one year old around in the laundry cart. It can only end in tears and another purchase of frozen peas and doughnuts.

-Hold head up high and silently repeat, I am not the worlds worst mother while holding frozen peas to one year olds head and feeding her doughnuts.

-Never leave the back of your car open with a box of laundry detergent in it. Like the magic quarters it will mysteriously disappear.

-Get there early, the freaks are still in bed and don't come out until late morning.

-Be quick to remove your clothes from the washer or dryer when it is finished. If you don't someone else will.

-Never, never turn your back on your cup of quarters, they will be gone.

-How fortunate I am to have a washer/dryer at home.

-To wear pants with pockets so I can keep my quarters in them.


What I will miss about the Laundromat.

- Nothing, nada, nil, zippo!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Day(s) After

The day after Christmas was perfect. It was a day of eating leftovers, watching old movies, taking naps and playing with the kids new toys. By late afternoon, we finally pulled ourselves out of bed and went to order a new washer, woo-hoo, it comes today, any minute now. I am actually excited about doing laundry today, I have six loads all ready to go. I will no longer have to haul eight loads of laundry, and at least three kids to the Laundromat to get clean clothes. I will never again take for granted the fact that I can do laundry at home.

Since school has let out, with the exception of Christmas dinner, we have eaten nothing but crap. We have junk-y food all over the house and the kids are literally eating it up. Scott ate left over banana pudding for breakfast. It did have bananas in it so it was almost a breakfast food. I am trying to take control again, I have prepared a nice pasta dish for dinner, we will have salad, green beans and garlic toast with it.

Bedtimes are a disaster. The kids don't see their pillows before 11:00 p.m. and they sleep until almost 10:00 a.m. Elyse is now taking her naps at 4:30 p.m.

I can not get control of the house, it is practically upside down. I had the family room in decent shape for about an hour yesterday then it all went to hell in a handbasket - again.

After new years I will get a handle on things again. I just hope the kids cooperate, it is going to be an adjustment. It is amazing how quickly we can get so far away from our normal schedules.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Let Down

It's over. Christmas and all the good cheer is over. I am feeling a bit of a let down. The tree is still up but it looks lonely and bare now. It no longer has the presents under it's sprawling branches to protect from a curious toddler or a persistent seven year old. It's branches are starting to droop and turn brown, it's job is over. Soon it will be time to strip it of it's adornment and haul it away.

There is also a sense of relief, it is over. No more lists, baking, frantic shopping, crowds to fight or mass wrapping sessions late at night. No more awkward family gatherings to deal with. The Christmas family get together ended as it usually does, with my hurt feelings and a feeling of being less than, less than them. It hurts, it shouldn't be that way. The self protectiveness of my mind has already started to block the events and comments of the day out. They have been properly labeled and stuffed deep down to that dark area to be dealt with at a later time. Never.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas

Today is Christmas! It has been a fun morning full of cinamon rolls, hot cocoa and opening of presents. Later off to a family gathering for linner (what we call lunch and dinner combined).

Scott was a Shepard in last night's Christmas Eve program at our church. He did an awesome job.










Tayler with her candle .

It was such a nice and meaningful service.


Merry Christmas!



The weather turned out to be very nice. Overcast and cool, very Christmas-y.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Show and Tell: My Coat

This is my *coat*, I know it isn't much of a coat, but it is all that I have needed lately. You see, I live in S. California, where the climate is perfect but sometimes the ground rocks and rolls but that's okay, I can handle the trade off.


Okay, okay, so maybe the climate isn't always perfect. Christmas Day it is going to be in the 80s. Not very Christmas-y. I would like it to be 70 and overcast, that would give us a nice Christmas feeling. It rarely gets colder out than 65 during the winter. I don't get very cold so this type of *coat* is all I need. 13 Years of being either pregnant or nursing has raised my body temperature. I am sure it has nothing to do with the, um, extra padding I have covering my body.


Did you notice I used a red *coat* with a green hanger, and if you look very carefully you can see Christmas lights out the window's. I was trying to be festive, but it didn't come out very well in the pic. I just wanted to point it out.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

First Day of Winter

I heard on the news this morning that at 10:35 a.m. winter officially started.
Winter?! Not here. It is 80 degrees F. at our house. I am sitting here looking out the window watching four of my kids, and eight neighborhood kids playing baseball in our front yard. They are all wearing shorts and sandals. A few minutes ago the ice cream man stopped by and they all had ice cream to cool off. It is going to be close to 90 F. by Christmas day, not very Christmas-ey (yes, I know that isn't a real word).

I am starting to become concerned about the Christmas tree. It is going through a lot of water and I am afraid that it is going to dry out before the big day. I put some ice in the Christmas tree stand and I turned a fan on it to keep it cool. I am probably the only person who worries about a Christmas tree that is already dead.

All I Want For Christmas is...

My voice back and to feel normal again. The whole family has been sick with the exception of Jeff. I don't ever remember Dave being so sick before. He has been running a low fever for five days straight. He is managing to go to work every morning, but when he returns home he goes straight to bed.

I started feeling sick Monday night, by Tuesday morning I could hardly get out of bed. Thank goodness for the older kids who have been a big help with the younger kids. Scott has really stepped up and has helped with everything. Yesterday afternoon I was taking vicodin to calm the inferno in my throat and my voice was fading quickly. By dinner time it was gone completely.

I am now communicating with the kids through a series of snaps, hand claps and clicks. We did teach Christopher and Elyse the baby signs technique so we are also using sign language.

Okay, now Elyse is having fun taking the candy canes off the Christmas tree (the only thing she can reach) and showing them to me and running back up the hall, laughing. Somehow she knows I can't do much about it. The little stinker is taking full advantage of this situation.

Tomorrow is another day, a healthier day!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Finally, our tree

Yesterday we finally went Christmas tree shopping. I dreaded it, the whole ordeal and time spent to find the perfect Christmas tree, if it exists. I tried to get Dave to go buy it alone, but he thinks it should be a family event. We loaded into the car, drove to the local lot, unloaded and spent a whole three minutes looking before we found *our* perfect Christmas tree. It passed every test with flying colors and it was reasonably priced. There was no line to fight to pay, no wait while they sawed off the bottom for freshness and there was no problem getting it home. Even decorating it went very smoothly. No bad lights, no broken ornaments and no tears over who gets to put what ornament on the tree.

Now our 2005 ornament has a nice home, top and center and our Christmas gifts are nestled underneath the tree's branches.


Oh, and the house smells really good too. I just hope it all goes as smoothly when we take it down,

Sunday, December 18, 2005

cookies and kids


This last week and weekend was the busiest of this Christmas season yet. We had Christmas program after Christmas program, activity after activity and lots of shopping for me. Not that I mind the shopping, I actually enjoy to shop and I enjoy going to the mall. In the middle of it all I took the time out to make sugar cookies with the kids to decorate. I even made the cookies from scratch. The kids helped me every step of the way. It went amazingly slow. But it was worth every minute of it, we had a great time and made some nice family memories.

Jeff and Christopher worked hard to get their cookies just right.

Elyse thought that decorating the cookies was the greatest thing ever!

Finger lickin' good!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Exhaustion is setting in

I am not just tired today, I am exhausted. Weeks, or is it months of too little sleep is catching up with me, again. Oh how I wish I could just sleep, close my eyes and sleep for hours, even two solid hours in a row without waking.

Lately, the feeling of dread comes with the darkness. I start to realize that in just a few hours the rest of the family will go to bed, and the house will be quiet, and I will be alone with the silence. I will become lonely, I will feel like I am the only person in the world that is still awake. I will begin to wander from room to room after everyone else is asleep. I will listen to the soft steady breathing coming from my sleeping family. I will be envious of them. Finally, I will get into bed, I will lay there, staring and thinking. If I could just turn my brain off, turn the thoughts off. Finally, out of exhaustion I will fall asleep, but it is more of a passing out type of sleep rather than just drifting off like *normal* people do. It won't last long, 20 minutes maybe, then I will wake, it may just be for a few minutes but I will wake up, my sleep will be interrupted over and over until I can sleep no more. Then I will wait, wait for morning.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Show and Tell: Ornament

Here is my ornament for show and tell. It is not my favorite ornament, since they are still packed, I decided to share this one, our most current ornament. I do like it a lot though. I did this a couple of nights ago, since I turned into an insomniac a few months ago I have a lot more time on my hands. Vacuuming at 3:00 a.m. turned out to be a bad idea.

Christmas 2005 - Silver Bells


This is our newest ornament. Every year, since Dave and I got married (in 1990), we buy a new, dated ornament. This is our 2005 ornament, our 16th ornament that we have bought together, 16th in a series of 50+. This picture does not do it justice. Since it is silver I just could not get a good picture of it. I tried with flash, without flash, slow flash, intermittent flash and red eye flash, this was the best picture I could get.

Here is the description of it, as it is described on the box: 2005 Musical Hanging Ornament. Crafted with pierced bells and ornaments and a double bell finial, this ornament is plated in rich silver finish and features a top wind rotating movement. It plays silver bells when wound. It also says Christmas 2005- SIlver Bells around the center ring.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

All Wrapped Up and Nowhere to Go

So, I Christmas shopped my butt off on Sunday, I wrapped Christmas presents for over three hours on Monday, and now I have bags full of wrapped Christmas gifts with no place to put them. We still do not have a Christmas Tree. We keep trying to get a Christmas Tree, but time constraints, conflicting schedules, holiday programs and sickness keep getting in the way. Soon, real soon, we will have the pleasure of trudging through a picked over Christmas Tree lot, doing the needle test on several Christmas Trees, finally picking out a Christmas Tree and paying way too much money for the Christmas Tree. Then we get to heave the heavy Christmas Tree onto the roof of the car and tie it down, haul said Christmas Tree home and into the house and try to get it arranged just right, don't forget all the hand washing to try to get the sap off of my hands from handling the Christmas Tree (no, I don't wear gloves). Then we will adorn our Christmas Tree with lights and ornaments, and it will be beautiful.

For weeks after the Christmas Tree has been hauled off to Christmas Tree heaven, I will get the supreme pleasure of vacuuming up pine needles that I will find in strange places.

Knowing how much the kids love having a Christmas Tree, and how good the Christmas Tree makes the house smell makes it worth all the trouble.

No Silent Night Here

All Shiney and Clean After a Long Night


One of the smartest things I ever did (and there aren't very many of them) was to teach the kids to call their dad if they need something in the middle of the night. It all started with Scott when he was a toddler. I would put him to bed at night and say if you get cold call for daddy, or if you have to go potty and it is still dark outside call for daddy. I have done that all down the line with all the kids.

Last night was one of those nights. It all started when I was playing with Elyse, I was holding her upside down and I noticed her top two year molars are coming in at 20 months. She has always had a hard time with teething. I thought uh-oh, those are going to give us trouble in the middle of the night soon.

Soon was last night. I could hear her calling daddy, daddy, where are you daddy about 1:00 a.m. Of course I had to kick Dave several times to get him awake but once he heard his princess calling him he went right to her. At some point he came back to bed and just as we were dozing off here comes Christopher, daddy, daddy, I have to go potty, I have to go potty NOW! So off goes Dave again, soon he is back in bed next to me snoring away. Just a few short minutes later from down the hall I hear - daddy, daddy, where are you daddy? Off goes Dave, but he is back shortly. Soon, I am not sure how long because I dozed off, I hear crying coming from our bathroom, no it wasn't Dave crying, not that I would blame him, it is Christopher. I ask him what is wrong and he says daddy is gone, sure enough Dave is back down the hall with Elyse. So that means I have to get out of bed to tend to Christopher. I get him all tucked back into bed and I had just dozed off when I hear Elyse again, I turn to kick Dave awake and he is gone, again. That's when I noticed the hall bathroom light on, Christopher was up again and in the bathroom with Dave. So that meant I had to get up again. I went to Elyse's crib and plucked her out, as I passed Dave in the hall I said, you knew it would come to this eventually. I plopped her on my pillow and we cuddled up, this is where I would like to say we went right back to sleep. It is never that easy, we laid awake listening to Dave snore for about two hours before she fell asleep. Once asleep she kicked and pushed on me until my alarm clock finally went off, the sweet relief of that alarm clock.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Not Much to Say

Jeff is home from school today, he says his throat hurts. He is in bed resting.

Scott is better and went to school, but he is excused from p.e. for a few days. He has a mild concussion.

Tayler went to an amusement park for a birthday party and spent the $20.00 emergency money I gave her on souvenirs. She gave me back $1.26 in change.

The little ones need baths but the house is too cold.

Dishes need to be done and laundry needs to be sorted but I don't want to do it.

I shopped for 10 hours yesterday and had fast food for lunch, it was good.

We saw Chicken Little over the weekend, it wasn't that good.

I had a candy bar for dinner last night while watching Survivor.

There is nothing on t.v. tonight.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Concussion?

So, I got a phone call from my oldest sons school *nurse* yesterday. It seems he was playing football at PE and was tackled (?) and he hit the back of his head on the ground. He told me he was feeling well enough to go to class. Fast forward three hours, my dad calls (cause son is there now) and son is feeling dizzy and has a headache. My dad (who was very upset) gets me all in an uproar so I call the school, they assure me he was playing flag football not tackle football, tackle football is not allowed. I call son back who tells me that the coach was cleaning out the supply storage area and not watching them and that in fact they were not even wearing flags. The vice principal again assures me that when SHE is out there the coach is ver diligent about watching the kids play. Duh, she is his boss, of course he is.

So that brings us to this morning. Son is nauseous and dizzy and still has that headache. I am waiting for the doctors office to open so I can call to get advice on what to do. I imagine they will refer us to the ER, just how I want to spend my Saturday morning. I wish I could call the VP to join us there.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Show and Tell:Christmas Ornament

This is all I have to share. I picked up Mr. and Mrs. Snowman at Target the other day. I like snowmen, but they wouldn't live long in our 75 degree weather that we had today. More decorations will come out this weekend when we get our tree.

It Hurts Me More!

She came home with a note, the note said she was talking too much during class. She has never had a note from school, not one like this. I had to do something, didn't I? I mean, a note, that isn't good. So I grounded her (!), and it hurt me more than it hurt her. I don't think she has ever been grounded, or in trouble before. She does what is asked of her and doesn't cause a moment of trouble. There was no back-talk or argument when I handed down her punishment, just acceptance. I want so badly to let her out of her room to go play with the pack of kids that are playing in the front yard. It is especially hard knowing that she is watching them from her window. Just a few more hours and we will be freed from this injustice. Tomorrow she is free, freeee... I hope she learned her lesson.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

What is Cold?

It has been cold here in California, for us. A chilling 65 degrees or so. My friend that lives in northern Canada considers anything under 20 degrees cold. Driving through Utah a couple of weeks ago it was cold for us. 25 Degrees and under, we about froze. I did notice that while we were in Downtown Salt Lake City, and the weather was a bit warmer, about 45, most people were either wearing a light sweater or just a short sleeve shirt. Seeing them made me feel like I was doing a little overkill with the heavy jackets, hats, gloves and scarves. But we were COLD. And apparently we are wimps. We will have to develop thicker skin if we are going to move out of state.

driving through Utah it was 25 degrees, brrrrr!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

More Waiting

So, after waiting over an hour in the waiting room I was finally called into the intersactum of the small waiting room, also know as the exam room. The nurse finally came in and took my blood presure, her low toned hmmm concerned me. I asked her how my blood pressure was, a little high was her response. A little high!?! My blood pressure has always been perfect, how could it be a little high? Then she lead me to the scale where I stood feeling humiliated as she fumbled with the metal weights trying to make sure to get the perfect balance. I was then shocked, how could it be that much!?! The nurse led me back to the little room where she asked me a bunch of questions. She wanted to know all about the numbers, the numbers I have to write down twice a day, the numbers that tell me how bad I am doing. Finally the doctor comes in, and looks at the numbers, hmmm she says in that low toned voice. More blood work is ordered, come back tomorrow morning to get it done she says. Great, another visit to the doctor, another ten bucks. Oh, she says on her way out, make a follow up appointment for next week, another ten bucks.

I had the sitter until 1:00 so I head off to the grocery store, we need milk, OJ, veggies, I am trying to make a mental list. But my mind is whirring, what will all this mean? How much of my life will have to change? I dealt with it before, while pregnant with Elyse but that was different, it was for her not for me. I don't want to deal with this again, I DON"T WANT TO!

Then I noticed the really tall guy in line in front of me, I mean he was really TALL. I wondered how life must be for him, everyday life must be so much different for him. I bet the top of his fridge is clean. I bet the top of all his friends fridges are clean. I came home and cleaned the top of my fridge off, I might have a tall friend someday.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Show and Tell: My *Car*

Here is my car, we just got back from a long trip and it was filthy. The filth does not show up in this picture like it appears in real life. It had been snowed and rained on and we had gone four wheeling in it. It also collected a ton of dirt on the 800 mile trip home.

It is a big car for our big family, but it still isn't big enough at times. I love it though, although someday it will be nice to down size.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Thoughts on a Road Trip

Recently we took a long road trip through four states. We had just driven through Las Vegas when we saw a tow truck pulling a squashed car out of a ditch. The car was so badly damaged the model was unrecognizable. That's when my morbid thoughts started.

What if our car got forced off the road, what if that had been us. We do drive a rather large car so the damage wouldn't have been so great but what if??? That's when the "what if" thoughts started rambling through my head. What if I died on this trip, what if both my husband and I died (my mind could not comprehend anything happening to my children). Who would take care of the kids? Who would clean out my closet? What if they found my journal and read it? Would they think I was a crazy person? Would they think I was a slob? Would they think I was a bad mother? I played out all these scenarios in my head for 50 miles or so. Finally I looked over at my husband:

Dave.

Yes?

I don't want to be cremated!

Okay.

I want to be in one of those, you know, mausoleums.

Okay.