Monday, June 30, 2008

Our Life in Pictures

Every day I find toys in unique places. This was my favorite though. Cookie Monster eating a cookie on the stairs next to a Lightning McQueen sippy cup.

I love that I got a picture of Gavin counting out 2+2 on his fingers. Too bad it's fuzzy. I also love the orange streaks down his arms. When I picked him up from school I saw it and thought it was paint. But when I asked him about it he said he had a popsicle for a snack. That makes more sense.

Heath finished his Thomas Kemper root beer and let Gwen play with the bottle. He said she kept reaching for it and putting it to her mouth. She's almost to the point where she can feed herself a bottle (of formula, not root beer!).



These pictures are to prove that it's really root beer and not beer. Thomas Kemper bottles look like beer bottles.


I love Gavin's eyes in this picture. You can kind of see the diorama the boys made in their Lego bucket. It's a Lego fireman station complete with a "flag." They call the pick axe a flag. Later in the weekend Gavin's drawer face broke off again. It was a cheap dresser from Target. Heath glued it back together and had it sitting out to dry. Parker was playing with Cookie Monster in the drawer saying it was Cookie Monster's house. He was not happy when we put the drawer away.


This is a good smile from Gavin. I surprised him to get a normal smile instead of the silly camera smiles he gives us.
These pictures tell the story of our life. We have cute kids who are smart and creative. We have fun together and we are happy.

Friday, June 27, 2008

What They're Really Doing

My kids apparently don't need to sleep anymore. They have gotten enough sleep to last a lifetime. Last night Heath and I were happy that Gwen didn't fight sleep too much. She went to sleep pretty easily but Big Brother Parker woke her up when he was coming up with every excuse to not sleep. He was yelling for water. (How am I going to break him of that habit when he starts potty training in a few weeks?) Well, since Gwen's room is right next door and the walls are pretty thin, she woke up.

Heath put her down again about an hour later and we didn't hear from her again until 4 am! She wanted to play. We didn't. We put her in her swing. She screamed for 30 minutes. I fed her and finally around 5 I got her back into bed. I don't mind as much when she's up at 1 or 2 am and I've had a little bit of sleep but 4 - 5 am when I have to get up at 6:30! Are you kidding me, Gwen! That's just not enough recovery time.

Parker was up playing in the hallway before I was up. He has been a pill today because he's tired. Guess who has been throwing a fit for 2 hours? I finally gave in and let him out. I told him in no uncertain terms that if he started whining or fighting he would be back in bed. So far so good. I would give up on naps for him but he still needs them. Days like today are rare. Usually he fights sleep for a good long time and eventually falls asleep in front of his door and sleeps for 3-4 hours. I hate it because it kills our afternoon.

Even if I got those boys into bed early tonight I can guarantee Parker would be up around 6 am again. This must be because he slept for the first 3 months of his life. I'm not kidding. He napped all the time and woke up when he was hungry but as soon as he started eating those eyes were closed again.

Maybe I think this because I'm tired but I think my kids stay up late conspiring against Heath and me! That's what they're really doing. I have to go. Heath wants a picture of Gwen trying to drink from his root beer bottle.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Remembering

Sometimes you get discouraged
Because I am so small
And always leave my fingerprint
On furniture and walls
But every day I'm growing --
I'll be grown some day
And all those tiny handprints
Will surely fade away
So here's a little handprint
Just so you can recall
Exactly how my fingers looked
When I was very small.
That was a poem I got from Gavin on Mother's Day when he was 2. I thought of it today because I'm having a bad mommy day. Gwen has been driving me crazy. She refuses to sleep at night. Last night she was awake from 5:00 pm to 11:30 pm! I wish I was making that up. She took a small snooze on Heath's chest but once she woke up she was up and not happy about it. Now she's starting to fight sleep during the day. Well, I'm tired so it feels like I have one nerve left and Gwen is on it!
Gwen fell asleep on the way home from picking up Gavin today. I was all excited thinking she would stay asleep for a couple of hours. No, 15 minutes later she was up. I put her in her exersaucer so I could make lunch. She caught my eye and gave me a big smile that basically said, "I know I'm a pain Mom. But I still love you!"
Parker finally sat down for lunch after I threatened to turn off the computer for good. (He knows how to turn it on but if I flip the switch on the back of the CPU he can't turn it on!) Gavin sang "If you're happy and you know it" which softened my mood a little. Parker spilled his milk accidentally. I started to get annoyed again until Gavin said, "You need to follow directions the first time, Parker!" I explained that following directions had nothing to do with Parker spilling his milk accidentally and he just needed to pay attention. Gavin said, "Yeah. It was an accident. Accidents happen." That gave me even more motivation to not get mad.
This day seems to keep handing me situations I don't want to deal with but for the most part I am dealing better than I usually do. I must be growing!!! Just kidding. I don't always remember this but they are little kids and they are learning. They won't stay little like this forever. I'm glad for those little smiles my kids seem to reserve for the moments I'm ready to lose my mind. Those smiles help me remember why I do what I do.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ahoy Thar Me Hearties!

Today I went to school with Gavin. Wednesdays parents are invited to stay and spend part of the morning with their child and spend about an hour listening to a guest speaker. Today's guest speaker was one of the children's librarians from the public library.

She talked about the importance of reading. I liked that she knew we already knew the value of reading to our children and helping them learn to read. She didn't waste time telling us a bunch of stuff we already knew. She spent time talking about the value of children listening to stories to hear how language works. She said that it's not necessary for parents to check out every phonics book and every ABC book for their child. The point of reading at home is to establish that reading is fun. It's best to read books the kids can relate to like stories about other kids their age or animals.

I love hearing "the authorities" say that parents can relax and not put so much pressure on themselves and their children to "keep up with the Joneses." I don't care where you live there is pressure to have your child be on the fast track of education. Sandy, the guest speaker, recognized that there is so much pressure for parents to have their child be proficient in reading and writing before they enter kindergarten. She really tried to emphasize that kids will succeed without us pushing them so hard. The important things they need are a love of reading which comes when reading is a fun family activity and not a chore to get ahead.

Sandy also talked about the libraries summer reading program called The High Seas Bookaneer Adventure. Even though my kids are young I was able to sign Gavin and Parker up to participate in the program. They get credit for listening to stories. I also thought it was nice that kids only get credit for time and not the number of books they read or the number of pages they read. They can mark off one dash on the treasure map for every 30 minutes they read or listen to books. The first island is 10 dashes or 5 hours on the map. At that point they can take the map into the library and receive their first prize. We took extra time today to read so the boys can start earning treasure or prizes. Since the program started June 14 we can receive credit for time spent reading from the 14th to today. The boys are super excited about the program because it's a pirate theme. So of course we had to read Pirates Don't Change Diapers today!

Another program the library is doing is Paws for Reading. Sandy knew our kids were too young for this now but she told us to remember it for the future. The kids read stories to service dogs! The dog handlers are the only other person involved in the activity. The kids feel very relaxed because they have the dog's full attention and the dog isn't going to correct them if they make a mistake. This program has been the biggest source of improvement for struggling readers as well as children with autism. And to be festive for the pirate theme the dogs and their handlers will come dressed like pirates!!! I thought that program sounded really neat. We'll have to let Gavin do it when he learns to read.

I filled out a library card application for Gavin today. He doesn't quite understand the meaning of a library card right now. I feel bad because I haven't taken my kids to the library since we lived in San Francisco. They never seemed to be very excited about the library especially since we have plenty of books at home. I think they are much more mature now so we'll have to do little field trips to the library again. I don't regret having the bookshelves in my bedroom. I don't mind letting the boys come in and look at books whenever they want to. But the bookshelves can stay where they are because Gwen is going to be mobile soon and the thought of never having to reshelve books 50 times a day is a delicious thought! Parents have to pick their battles.

One of my favorite ideas I got from Sandy was books on CD for trips. I know it's not a new idea. Heath's parents listen to books on CD all the time especially when they are on long road trips. But it never occured to me to find books on CD for my kids to listen to while they follow along in a book. Sandy suggested that as a great way for kids to be exposed to books on a long drive or vacation. We have a long road trip coming up so I think I may get some books on CD for the boys to break up the monotony of movies in the van. It's something different that's worth trying.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Finding the Groove

Yesterday Parker lost his mind as a result of our new schedule. He screamed and cried and threw an impressive tantrum because he didn't want to take a nap. He was clearly overtired and once he stopped yelling he was asleep. I don't know how long he napped since he was awake by the time I got home from the doctor's office.

Today Gavin is acting out. Well, he was. He seems fine now. I took him to school and helped him put on his name tag. It's a badge looking thing on a necklace with velcro in the back. He took his name card and put it in the word chart pocket and sat down like a pro so I left. When I went back to pick him up I saw him run out to the playground with the other kids. He didn't see me. He looked confident and content to be running around with a bunch of kids. Any kids other than Parker on a playground has become an issue with Gavin lately. Nice to see he's gotten over that one. He climbed up one of those curvy ladders and was very proud of himself when he successfully made it.

I couldn't understand why parents were waiting outside when we were told yesterday to pick up our kids inside the building in the hallway. I waited outside for a second or two then decided to take Parker and Gwen inside to sign Gavin out. Yesterday we signed our kids out and then walked through the classroom to pick them up. It was chaos and I didn't really want to push Gwen's big old stroller through the classroom door. So I had her in an umbrella stroller today. But they had worked out yesterday's kinks and collected the kids and sent them out to the parents today. I think I'll keep Gwen in her carseat in the big stroller from now on. It's just easier that way.

Anyway, when I picked up Gavin I could tell he wasn't ready to change gears like that. He was still in school mode and wasn't sure how to deal with seeing his family. He was interested in Gwen as we walked out to the van. I tried to get him to tell me about his day but he was pretty quiet. He told me more as we were loading everyone into the van but once I started driving I could hardly hear him because he was talking too quietly.

When we got home I asked him what he wanted for lunch and he suggested spaghetti. I told him that was a great idea for dinner tonight. (Heath, if you're reading this that's our idea for dinner!) Well, Gavin lost it.

I tried to keep my cool. My mind immediately went back to a conversation I had at Park Day a few weeks ago. One of the mothers was telling us her success story with her 18 or 19 year old son. It had been a long journey but she is starting to see success with him. Another mother was crying because she was genuinely happy for this mother but was so frustrated with one of her children who is stubborn. The experienced mother gave a lot of advice. At the time I was not having issues with Gavin but I had and I knew I would again. So I tucked the advice away for the future. One thing I remember her saying was that school doesn't solve behavior problems at home. She said that kids get tired of being nice all day at school and act out more at home. I could see Gavin sort of doing that.

I asked if the other kids acted like that at school. He said no. I asked if he acted like that at school. Gavin said no. So I told him it was inappropriate for him to act like that at home and I wasn't going to respond to him unless he acted and spoke normally. He pouted on the couch and screamed out every once in a while to push my buttons. I made him lunch to avoid any further arguments. He came over to the table on his own. He's been fine ever since.

I love that he is going to school and learning how to work with other people. I love that Parker isn't his world anymore. I just think we all are still adjusting to the new routine.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Gavin's First Day of School!

Today was Gavin's first day of school. He was so excited he woke up at 6 am! So not Gavin. I'm grateful for Primary because Gavin had no issue with me leaving him there. And while he was happy to see me when I picked him up he didn't run for me all relieved I was still alive like some of the other kids. His teachers said that he had a good day. They said that to all the parents! But they did say that Gavin was very mature. I assumed that was because he never cried. Some kids cried a lot!

We totally forgot to take his picture before school this morning. So we took it after we got home from McDonald's for lunch. We can't believe we take our kids to McDonald's! More on that another time. Gavin is so goofy when he gets his picture taken. But he had the most confident smile I have ever seen on him when we were at McDonald's. That is worth everything. I will have to post more about school later. I haven't been home all day and we have friends coming over for dinner in one hour!






I took Gwen in for her 4 month check up. She weighs 16 lbs. 5 oz. and is 26" long. 95th percentile for both. She has mastered her 4 and 5 month milestones! She was starving because the appointment was taking forever. She got her booster shots and is still sleeping it off. I better wake her up so she sleeps tonight!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

A Little Spice

A la Posh Spice that is! I have been wanting to cut my hair short for a while now. Heath bought me a magazine with over 500 short hairstyles. I put sticky notes on the pictures I liked of different A line bobs.

I walked in the salon looking like this.
I walked out looking like this. The hairstylist didn't make my hair all smooth and fancy because she made it look exactly like the picture of Victoria Beckham in the magazine. Her hair was stylishly messy in the picture.
Here is a better picture of Victoria. This is what the back of my hair looks like. I tried to make my hair all smooth and fancy for church today. It looks pretty good. I love my hair.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Arachnophobia

By definition, this is a fear of spiders. Not only a fear but an irrational fear. However, I don't believe there is anything irrational about it! I may be larger than spiders and can step on them if I choose but spiders, tiny as they may be, can bite me and kill me.

I remember a girl in my 7th grade Utah Studies class. She was bitten by a brown recluse. Even though she had skin grafts done on her ankle she still had an eerie and deep hole in her ankle from the bite. Recently someone mentioned that there are black widow spiders in the area I live in. That's just what I wanted to hear!

As a child I heard that daddy long leg spiders would be one of the most poisonous spiders if they could open their mouth wide enough to bite anyone! Nice.

The first year I went to diabetic camp a big fat black spider with white speckles crawled across my hand as I was sitting on my bed in the cabin I would stay in for the week. I don't know how this happened. I don't know if I wanted to make a good impression that badly or what but I calmly brushed the spider away. It wasn't until several seconds after I did that the thought occured to me to scream, which I resisted the urge to do. Although that night I was afraid the spider may still be in my bed and would eat me. But it wasn't.

Have any of you seen the movie Arachnophobia? I know most of those spiders were mechanical but that is only because the animal trainers who were training the huge spiders were actually eaten. I'm not making this up! (ok, that part I did!)

Have you heard the sobering statistic that on average people swallow 5 spiders a night? And that quality control by law can allow a certain amount of spiders, rodent parts, etc in food? We had a guest speaker (Stacey Bess author of Nobody Don't Love Nobody) at the Elementary School I taught at tell the students that. She also said that left handed people die earlier than right handed people. A lot of left handed teachers were offended by that one.

Heath has also pointed out that crab are just huge spiders that live in the ocean! And people eat them thinking there is nothing wrong with that.

I am so rationally afraid of spiders that I can barely bring myself to step on one. My heart pounding so hard in my chest I swear I'm having a heart attack. I shudder for several minutes after sucking one up in the vacuum. My brother hates spiders too. He makes his wife kill the spiders in their house! I figure that's her fault for being calm enough to do it with a tissue! If my brother did kill a spider he would leave it's dead body on the wall as a warning to the other spiders. I admit I'm gullible but I always thought that made perfect sense!

I am able to cast enough fear aside to kill a spider in my kids' room. I have to. That's where my babies sleep. How would you like to explain to people that your child died not from some illness, or SIDS, or whatever, but by a spider sucking the life out of your child?

Today I saw a huge and creepy spider walking along the floor in my bedroom as if he owned the place. That's when my flip flops went on. (FYI - I only wear shoes when I go out in public) But when I got closer to that spider I thought my shoes weren't big enough. I remembered asking Heath to kill a spider recently and he did it by spraying Raid on it. It took several attempts before the blasted thing just died already. So I ran downstairs to get the Raid. I know the spider saw me. He paused when I first saw him and made a break for it when I ran to get the Raid. I haven't seen it since. I'm dying not knowing where that nasty thing is!

If this is my last blog entry you'll know it's because that spider found me and my family!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

magic baby

i picked up gwen, carried her downstairs ready to play outside with gavin and this is what i saw!

i'm pretty impressed that she only got a corner of her onesie but all over her socks! the lack of smell for these mandatory outfit changes baffles me too!

Dog Days of Summer

Here are some more pictures of our everyday lives. It's been a while since I've posted a lot of pictures. Enjoy.
I had to get this picture because it must be in our kids' genes to kick off one sock. Every one of the kids has done this. They kick off a sock and then go about their business. One foot must get hotter than the other!
Gwen giving her "I'm so happy to see you" face. She is a cutie.
I love the concentration involved here. She's got her tongue out and everything!


I took the boys to a nearby park today with a water feature. I thought I was the funnest mom in the world for taking them out to play in the water. It was a painful experience! I saw my childhood flash before my eyes and not the happy part!

Gavin is so shy it hurts me to watch him. When we arrived Parker seemed interested in playing but Gavin stayed off to the side as if he were glued into place. He had that panicked deer in the headlights look on his face. I was incredibly shy as a child and I haven't really grown out of it as an adult. But I like to believe that I tried to get more involved as a child than Gavin does. Maybe I didn't. I like to believe that I don't show how uncomfortable I really am in situations but maybe I don't and Gavin has picked up on it.

The boys played tentatively while the other kids at the park were on the playground. As soon as kids came to play in the water the boys beelined for me and Gwen. We were sitting on a blanket in the shade a little ways away. I honestly believe that Parker would be a lot more extroverted if his best friend, Gavin, would be a little less aprehensive.

Parker played on the playground. Gavin acted uncomfortable on the playground. I could convince Parker to play in the water. Well, he really went over to the water area and expertly avoided getting wet while he drank the water coming out of the pole. Gavin sat on the blanket with me. The closest he got to the water was to sit on the grass at the edge of the water area, drinking water from his sippy cup. When Gwen had had enough I started packing up and Gavin told me he didn't want to go because he was sitting in the grass.

I'll keep trying to give my kids fun experiences. I'm glad Gavin starts his PreK summer program on Monday. He needs the extra nudge from the teachers in the social category. I got some information in the mail today and it looks like learning through play is what they do most. Lots of social opportunities for him. I'm happy for him. He's going to love it. I'm totally bummed though because we will be out of town for the one field trip they are having. I feel bad but what can I do? We planned our trip to Utah before we heard about this program. They also have family Wednesdays where one parent can spend the day with their child at the school. That may have been nice to know sooner. Heath already requested Monday off because I didn't know if I was expected to stay with Gavin the first day. Nope. I'm expected to stay on Wednesdays. I need to get a babysitter!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Shout out to Candi!


Big congratulations to my sister who is now officially a registered dental hygienist! She works 3 days a week and probably makes more money than I did as a teacher for 3 years!!!

This is Ed and Candi just a couple of weeks before they got married. We moved two days after their wedding day. Such a cute couple!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Excuses

I like to use my kids as an excuse for everything! Right now I am blaming Gwen for my wasting time. She is having a bad nap day again. She also has a voracious appetite. She is back to eating 5-6 ounces. Only now she eats every 1.5 to 2.5 hours. I can't make her wait 3-4 hours anymore. I think she's catching up on what she missed in the last several days when her appetite dropped. So she's napping now and what am I doing with my freedom? Posting about nothing again!

I found the motivation to exercise. It's hard to find a good time since I am practicing getting everyone ready by 8:15 am. Which I did today, by the way. I don't want to get up any earlier just to exercise before my shower. So lazy I know! Anyway, I took my exercise ball downstairs so I wouldn't have to move any furniture in my bedroom and so I wouldn't bother Gwen who finally fell asleep. I pushed myself too far with the exercising thing because I feel like jell-o! Last night we watched a rerun of How I Met Your Mother. Barney ran the New York City marathon without training first. All marathon participants were allowed to ride the subway for free that day so Barney rode the subway. But he couldn't get off because his legs wouldn't work! I can physically walk I just don't want to.

This morning we played outside. The boys pretended to be pirates with squirt guns. I sat in the sun reading my magazines trying to tan my white legs. I came in to feed Gwen and the boys followed me because they hate playing outside unless it's 50 degrees outside at 8:00 pm and we want to get them ready for bed! I thought maybe we would go back out later this afternoon. We did that yesterday and talked to the neighbors, which was fun. But besides feeling like jell-o, it's 92 degrees outside and I just don't feel like melting in my own yard.

What are your excuses for doing or not doing things?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Ears Revisited

Gwen had a follow up appointment this morning for her ear infection. She was seen Saturday morning and prescribed antibiotics. This morning the doctor said that her ear was improving. I think that is fast but I know Gwen is improving because she is more herself. She was so much happier on Saturday after having her first dose of antibiotics. Her appetite is even coming back.

I love that Heath forgot to make a follow up appointment for Gwen after he took her in on Saturday. I love it because it's something I would do! So I had to call and make the appointment. The girl I talked to asked if I wanted the appointment in the morning. I said yes. She said, "How about 9:00?" I said, "That is so early, do you have anything a little later?" She said, "How about 9:30?" Yeah, that's better! I agreed to it though. It was good practice for when Gavin starts pre-school next week.

I know I may sound like the laziest person to some of you, but mornings are not my thing. I am so proud of myself for getting 4 people ready before 9:00 am! If I could do that today why can't we ever get to church on time??? Our church starts at 9:30 and Heath is around to help! Yet we are consistently late every week. Yesterday I made Heath breakfast in bed. Nothing to be too proud of; I made cinnamon rolls from a can. But given the extra time that took you would think we would be late. We were only 5 minutes late rather than 15. I was proud of us!

This morning Gwen had had one of those exploding poopy diapers! My favorite! So not only did I get 4 people ready well before we needed to leave, I also gave an unexpected bath. FYI: you can give a bath to a baby without clearing off the counter first. It's just trickier to get her in and out. I should still clear off the counter though and clean the rest of my house.

Dawn thinks I need professional help for my compulsions. While she may be right what she doesn't know is that I don't clean every day. If I was a germiphobe (which I'm not at all) and a neat freak on a more regular basis then I may consider therapy. But I'm not a multitasker. So as it is, I only do one thing a day. Some days I scrapbook but don't clean. Some days I clean all day. Some days I do nothing at all because I can. It will be so good for me to have Gavin start school. It will force me to be a better member of society earlier in the day.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Ignoring the hunch

Poor Gwen has had a cold for over a week. It was inevitable. Parker got sick the day after we planted our garden. Heath told me that Parker was running around outside with only a diaper on instead of getting his pajamas on like he was told. Temperatures were about 50 degrees that night.

My kids love to share and they are good at it so Parker gave Gavin his cold. They both dripped and coughed for a while and I tried to keep them away from Gwen. But she got the cold anyway.

I worried that she might get croup like Gavin. Gavin was only 4 months old when he got his first cold and croup came with it. For those of you who don't know, croup is a cold symptom that some children get and some don't. Your child sounds like a barking seal and they can't breathe. The best way to open their airway is to take them outside. The cool moist air helps more than a steamy bathroom. The dangerous times with croup is in the early morning or at night. During the day your child just sounds like a barking seal but they can breathe just fine.

After spending 8 hours in the Emergency Room with Gavin the first time he got croup, I have worried about that first cold with Parker and Gwen. No croup in Parker and so far none in Gwen.

But I have to admit that when my kids are sick, calling the doctor is not the first thing I think about. I only think of calling the doctor when I have done everything I can to help and my kid is not getting any better. Usually when I do call the doctor says, "You're doing everything right. Hang in there."

When Parker got Rotavirus I dealt with it for a couple of days and then called the doctor. The doctor said I was taking care of him well and to keep it up. She did tell me warning signs to look for. Good thing because I knew something was going on when his stomach got huge and hard. I didn't want to believe it at first. Parker has always had a bigger tummy than Gavin but I started feeling like maybe I needed to worry about him. I called my mom first. She's an RN. She told me to call a doctor.

Long story short, I took him to the Insta Care by our house since it was 8:00 pm when I noticed his distended stomach. He had x-rays that showed he had no intestinal blockage but a lot of gas. He was fine by the next morning.

With Gwen's cold I wondered if I should call a doctor only because I know so many people who would. But I figured she was fine. When I realized she had had the cold for over a week and it wasn't getting better I thought maybe something was up. Then yesterday she was crankier than normal, wouldn't sleep unless I held her, and had a huge decrease in appetite.

Then I read in Parenting Magazine about ear infections. There was a list of symptoms to look for that are not the typical ear infection symptoms. It was almost 5 pm when I read this so I told Heath when he got home. We decided we better call today to have her seen. Luckily we figured it out on a Friday night and not a Saturday night. She has a slight ear infection in one ear.

I don't know why I thought my kids would never have illnesses that my family never dealt with. But I think I hoped I would never have to deal with the unknown like that. We learned about croup and deal with it like experts every year, and will until Gavin is 12 and grows out of it. We learned about the effects of major stomach illnesses and know what to look for there. There is actually a Rotavirus vaccine now. Thank heaven for that. I would not wish Rotavirus on a dog I didn't like! Now we are learning about ear infections. But kids are very resilient and I know Gwen will be ok. She has already handled her cold like trooper. She is handling her ear infection well enough that it took reading in a magazine about how some kids don't make it obvious something is wrong.

I feel like I ignored the hunch but maybe I just don't react to my first hunch that a doctor needs to step in. I do get my kids the help they need and I do know when something is wrong.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Ad Wizards

In junior high and high school I used to have a whole bunch of crazy phrases that I would say all the time. One was, "Who were the ad wizards that came up with that one?" It's amazing how often I coud work that into any conversation. Or, "Are your ears painted on?" That one is actually making a comeback.

I guess asking who were the ad wizards for my deodorant isn't really fair to the ad wizards. It's the genius scientists who made claims for the ad wizards to fly with. I have been wearing Suave brand deodorant since I was 11 or 12 or however old I was when I started using deodorant regularly. Secret irritates my skin and gives me a rash so Suave it is.

Now after all these years my deodorant is failing me. I have never experienced sweaty underarms unless my blood sugar drops dramatically or I have had an intense work out (even then I don't know that I really sweated there) or I have pulled weeds in the yard in 80+ degree temperatures for 5 or more hours. But now I get out of the shower, put on deodorant, and by the end of blow drying my hair I want to shower again because I am dripping wet. I know, spare you the details. But honestly!!!

I thought maybe it was kind of deodorant I had chosen. Different ones make different claims or they have different scents. Baby powder is not the scent for me. It has a weird chemical reaction with my own scent and smells like I haven't showered since Tibet was a free country. I looked at my deodorant and it says it is supposed to give me 24 hour protection. Given the experience I am having with it I just have to ask: Protection from what???

It makes me think of a joke Bill Engvall told where he took his wife hunting with him. She was a little naive and at one point said to Bill, "Well you're not going to shoot it are you?" He responded with, "What do you think I brought this gun for? Protection? Do you think that deer might climb up this tree and rob us???"

Right now it is 86 degrees outside. Maybe more since the computer is a little slow in reading the temperature. According to the thermometer on the clock in my bedroom it is 81 degrees in here and 79 for the rest of the upstairs. The air conditioning is on and I haven't turned off the two fans in my bedroom since I turned them on yesterday afternoon. Let me tell you, this doesn't help the faulty deodorant situation any!!! And Gwen refusing to eat or sleep just makes her cold and clammy from her temper tantrums and me really annoyed that I have to hold her all day to get a decent nap out of her.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Dirty Little Secret

I considered showing pictures but since a picture is worth a thousand words I think I will supply the words and incriminate myself less!

My secret is that I'm not always the perfect housekeeper I like others to believe! Right now my kitchen looks like my dishwasher and sink are broken and that the garbage hasn't been picked up in weeks! None of those things are true. I have noticed that when Heath is home, regardless the reason, I don't clean the house. We live in squalor. (I have a tendency to over exaggerate.)

Our house has gone from this state to the complete polar opposite (clean) 3 or 4 times since last weekend! Heath was home yesterday because he had jury duty but when he called in, he was told that he had completed his assignment. Pretty easy assignment to only have to call. We were home long enough to make a gigantic mess and spend cleaning time watching TV. Now I get to take care of the aftermath. Lucky me.

The motivating fire beneath me is not burning too hotly yet. I have already been surprised by my visiting teachers for the month. I say surprised because I totally fogot they were supposed to come. My house wasn't bad but I was still embarrassed. I don't get a lot of visitors anymore so I will assume I'm safe today.

Some people exercise to get a natural high. I clean. It's a little strange to have so much of my general happiness wrapped up in the cleanliness of my home, but it's true. The older I get the more I realize this. So here's to a day of euphoric happiness. I'm cleaning my house.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Cool Idea!

Heath was telling me about this site. It's awesome. You can create your own professionally bound books. You can also create a book from your blog. Becca, you may want to look into that with your Baby Babble!

Strange Rule to Follow

Some people don't mind kissing their children on the lips. Heath and I are not some people. It's never been an issue until recently. The boys think it's a game and they do everything they can to try and trick us to kiss on the mouth.

One day we told them that only Mommy and Daddy can kiss on the mouth. Everyone else has to kiss on the cheek. We told them that when they get married they can kiss their wife on the mouth. (We don't care if they kiss girlfriends but that is years down the road so this rule seems to work for now.)

Over the last few weeks I have heard the boys playing. The popular dialogue I hear is Gavin saying, "Look Parker! blank and blank are married. They are kissing on the mouth!" Today it was Lightning McQueen and The King that were married and kissing on the mouth. My kids are crazy!

Monday, June 9, 2008

All Good Things Come to an End

ok, i have spent the last 20 minutes or more finding different versions of this song on youtube. the last version i found was the closest to the one i fell in love with when we still lived in utah. but i still remember hearing more of chris martin's voice and nelly furtado's voice was less nasally! i think i remember parker, the dj on 107.5 the end, saying that he was playing a version of the song that was hard to find. maybe that's why i can't find what i'm looking for.

well, the real reason why i titled this blog with this song title is because the pool finally died! somehow the boys popped the arch. the bottom chamber of the pool has issues too. they can still use it, it just looks sad.

we are not too surprised this happened. the pool was very cheaply constructed. i really miss the nice one we gave away before we moved. if only we knew we would rent a house with a real yard. heath wants to pump up our rubber rafts since that is the same material the nicer pool was made of. if we pump those up and fill them with water i bet they would be just as fun as any other pool!


This is what we did today. The boys let their creative juices flow while they painted with water colors outside. Dawn, I have not forgotten that you wanted pictures for Barry's office. I do somehow keep forgetting to get a big envelope to send pictures in. So hopefully I get organized soon and you can look for all the boys' masterpieces in the mail.

More on Faith

Yesterday we had a lesson on prayer in Relief Society. The teacher had asked what our prayer traditions were. My mind went blank. It seems to happen a lot since I've had kids. Children on the brain maybe? Anyway, all I could think of was how Heath and I are trying to have a tradition of praying before meals. Gavin and Parker know we pray before meals. Gavin has started to pray on his own. I mean he prays without the rest of us so he can start eating when he's done praying!!! I didn't think that was really what the teacher wanted to hear to enhance her lesson so I kept my mouth shut!

When I got home from church I walked through the door and immediately thought of an experience with prayer that has forever shaped my faith in prayer. I couldn't have been more than 7 or 8 years old at the time because I know my brother was still in Elementary School with me. We were going to a playdate with our cousins who lived on the opposite side of the school.

I remember this being the first time my mom had us go there alone. She trusted us. My brother was 11 or 12 and we walked to and from school alone all the time. But I remember my mom slowly explaining how to get from the school to her sister's house so we could play with our cousins. Right before we were going to leave she called us into the livingroom. She had us all kneel down to pray. She prayed for Heavenly Father to keep us safe as we walked.

When I think of my faith in prayer that is the story that I think of. That experience touched me in such a profound way. I can remember countless other stories of my mom exercising her faith by praying but that experience praying before walking to our cousins' house is the one that has always been the foundation of my faith in prayer.

Growing up, we had a tradition of praying before long trips. I remember this especially after my parents were divorced. I don't really recall praying before every camping trip or long drive before then, although we may have. But I know it was a big deal to my grandparents and my mom that we pray for safety and that the cars would work properly before major trips. This soon became a big deal to me too.

When I talked to my mom yesterday for our weekly phone call, she said that she thought of me a lot in her lesson on prayer. The experience she thought of with me was when I was in a car accident about a week before my high school graduation.

It was an accident where nobody was at fault and we all were at fault at the same time. After being awake for over 24 hours to do fun and spiritual things to initiate the new Seminary Council members, we finally drove back to the Seminary building so everyone could go home. We were almost there. Jessie was making a left turn and fell asleep in the middle of the turn. I believe the rest of us were already asleep. She drove her parents' van over the curb hitting a power pole head on with enough force to knock out the power in Magna for 8 hours! I had the worst of the injuries and spent 4 days in the hospital on a morphine drip. It was the most I had slept that whole school year.

Anyway, what my mom remembered most was me insisting that the accident would have never happened if we would have remembered to pray before we left.

I thought it was interesting that I thought of my mom while she thought of me.

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Faith of a Child

Gavin is coloring a picture in The Friend, an LDS magazine for children. It's a picture of a family and the caption says something about having faith in Jesus and having faith that he will someday return to earth.

Me: What does faith mean?
Gavin: I don't know.
Me: You've heard about faith in Primary. Do you want to guess what it means?
Gavin: It means Jesus will come again.
Me: Have you seen Jesus.
Gavin: No.
Me: Just pictures and statues of him, right?
Gavin: Yes. I saw a statue of Jesus at the temple and he was saying something.
Me: So even though you haven't seen Jesus you have faith that he is real and he loves you, right?
Gavin: Yes. He sees me in the TV.
Me: Jesus watches you from inside the TV?
Gavin: Yes.
Me: Is that why you like to watch TV so much?
Gavin: Yes.

Look What I Can Do!


video

that's right! gwen is rolling over. it's great except when she tries to do it in the tub. we love our little sweetheart.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Best Reasons to Wii at Night!

That sounds a lot worse than it should. But Heath and I just got done playing Wii Sports for the night. It's sort of a new tradition for us to play every night after the kids all go to bed. If we don't play it's because I am snoring on the couch while Heath is scoring really well on his fitness tests. 25 and 26 are his best scores.

Anyway, the best reasons to play at night are:

Everything is funnier late at night. Heath had me laughing so hard. I wasn't even bummed when the screen said "You Lose!" at the end of the tennis match because I was too busy wiping tears from my eyes from laughing so hard that I missed a bunch of balls and lost.

I love the Wii because it makes me feel like we are dating again.

I bowl really well when I'm a walking zombie! I bowled a 216, the best score either one of us have ever gotten so far.

Going to bed sweaty would seem gross except that I always sleep really well after playing that hard.

What's in a Name take 2

Years ago I remember standing in the water at Lake Mead with Heath. We were talking to my mom about our future children. I remember telling my mom I wanted twins more than anything; a boy and a girl. My grandpa has a twin sister so I thought my chances were pretty good that I could have fraternal twins. Anyway, I wanted a boy named Gavin and a girl named Gwen.

The funny thing about that was that Gavin Rossdale, the lead singer of Bush, had just married Gwen Stefani, the lead singer of No Doubt. Gwen and Gavin were all over newsstands. Who knew that one day I wouldn't get my twins (the Lord must have known I wouldn't be able to handle it like my friends April and Sharon) but that I would have a Gavin and a Gwen! Who knew Heath would be working on an HP ad campaign with Gwen Stefani when we decided to name our little girl Gwen! The famous names had very little to do with why we chose them for our kids.
I think my earliest memory of liking the name Parker was from watching The Three Musketeers (1993).

Book Tag

Thanks for the fun idea Janelle.

The rules are:
1. Grab the book closest to you (has to be at least 123 pages)
2. Turn to page 123
3. Find the 5th sentence
4. Post the sentence on your blog
5. Tag five people

This is mine: Parenting With Love and Logic by Foster Cline, MD and Jim Fay
"Margaret called her best friend one evening to explain her problem and ask for a favor."

Now I tag Abby, Becca, Shani and Erin. Dawn, I want you to post a comment with yours. I think it would be great to hear from you since you are a librarian!

Question for you Janelle. Is this just for fun or are we supposed to see a pattern? I looked through a couple more books just for kicks and the 5th sentence on page 123 was always the most boring sentence!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

It's Been a While

It's been a while since I posted last. We've been busy with friends this week. That's been fun because it's been a while since we've spent much time with some of these friends.

Today we went to a birthday party for Sam who is in Gavin's Primary class. I don't know why but Gavin and Parker are obsessed with surprise birthday parties. I don't even know where they heard about surprise parties. On the way to the park for the party Gavin and Parker were both saying that they wanted to yell "Surprise" to Sam when they saw him!

My favorite game they played at the party was the water fight. Rebecca, Sam's mom, got green and blue goggles for the kids Sam's age. So the kids were in teams based on the color of their goggles. Then each kid got a squirt gun and they ran around squirting each other. I loved how the goggles eliminated any whining about getting squirted in the eye. Gavin loves squirt guns but I was surprised that he told me he was sorry he was wet. I told him it was a water fight and he was supposed to get wet.

The last time we went camping with my family we broke out the squirt guns as soon as we got there because it was so hot. Gavin was ruthless with squirting us in the face and laughing. We finally decided to go play in the water until the rest of my family got there. Funny thing about that camping trip - the other night at dinner Gavin randomly said, "I fell down the stairs, then I went to the doctor, then I went camping with Aunt Candi." That's exactly what happened but the timing of Gavin's memory was out of the blue! There was nothing that I'm aware of that would have triggered that memory that night.

Heath and I are jealous of Gavin's incredible memory. Although I think Gavin remembers everything surrounding that camping trip in great detail because it was so traumatic. He was looking at a magazine ad for the movie Cars that I had torn out for him. He didn't take his eyes off the picture the whole way down the stairs. He missed the last step which launched him into the corner of the wall at the bottom of the stairs. He split his forehead open, got 7 stitches, turned 3 years old a couple of days later, then got his stitches out right before we picked up my sister to go camping at Willard Bay.

Gavin and Grandma enjoying one of Heath's famous chocolate chip cookies straight out of the oven on Gavin's birthday. I love the bandaid in the picture because it reminds me that we had to keep his stitches covered. Then after we had the stitches out we kept a bandaid on Gavin's head to keep the wound clean and avoid too much sun which would have made the scar worse. He had a nice tan line on his head from the bandaids we used those first few days.
Our first homemade portraits of the boys were done a month after Gavin's accident. Here's my favorite picture of Gavin without photoshopping his scar.
In a little over a month Gavin will turn 5 and Parker will turn 3. Last year Parker dented the wall with his forehead the day before his 2nd birthday. He had a lovely goose egg on his head for a while afterwards. Hopefully this July will be accident free.

Parker on his birthday with the nasty bruise on his head.

I know most of you already know those stories but I thought it had been a while since I retold them and shared the pictures!