Friday, October 31, 2008

Day Off

Can I really consider it a "day off" when all I did was skip the drive to and from school? I am though! Gavin spent the day at work with Dad. They ended up staying much longer than I expected. Heath says that Gavin did great. More on this story later.

Today I have tried to cram all I can into my day. Days like this remind me that there is never enough time to do all the nothingness I want to do. I have read, scrapbooked, showered, scrapbooked more, cleaned the kitchen, played with Parker and Gwen, and read more. When Heath and Gavin get home we will carve pumpkins. Trick or treating is up in the air because it's been raining off and on since yesterday.

Have I mentioned that I love the rain? Cooler weather with rain is forecasted through Tuesday! Wahoo! I started my long weekend by falling asleep in front of the fire in the fireplace last night while Heath watched TV. So cozy.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ghosts, Goblins, and Witches, Oh My!

If there is a reward for getting oneself ready as well as putting 3 kids in Halloween costumes by 7:45 am, I deserve it!!! Since tomorrow is a teacher work day Gavin's school celebrated Halloween today. Today we got to school in perfect time to get a good parking spot. This is a big deal to me because we were almost late yesterday.

After Gavin went inside I took Parker and Gwen back to the van to give her a bottle. I had about 20-25 minutes to kill before the parade. We followed Gavin's class to the parade area. It was total mayhem as you can see in the few pictures I took.

The teachers began the parade. You can't really see Snow White in this picture but she was there with her seven dwarfs.

Go Team USA!

More teachers.

The old lady is Gavin's teacher. I put this picture in because this is basically what I saw of the parade. The backs of other parents' heads.


Here she is! It's a mask and she looks so funny with her cane.

General craziness.

If you look close to the top of the picture you'll see Gavin holding his teacher's hand. The principal is just to the left. He's dressed as Indiana Jones. Our neighbor is in this one too. Can you find her Heath?

Gavin and his class sitting down after their turn.

I left as soon as Gavin sat down. Parker and Gwen were very overwhelmed by everything. They did much better than I thought they would. I guess the school used to have the kids parade around the perimeter of the school. Parents could see better that way and got better photo opportunities. I don't know why this year was different. I'm just proud to say I went. And yes, I want a cookie for it!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

If Only . . .














She is so curious. So willing to try new things. So determined to surpass even herself.

I can see it in her eyes. If only . . .

If only I could walk. There has to be a way to figure it out. At least a way to avoid scraping my knees on concrete. Maybe if I pick up my feet . . . no, that's not really working.

Everything seems to be in position. But wait, I'm not standing. How do you put all the steps together? Without looking like an upside down crab?
Oh well. I'm content putting this toy in my mouth. Wait! How about that toy! Or that one!
If only I could walk . . . or talk . . . or climb the stairs faster . . . If only . . .

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Cat Lovers Unite!

I am finally taking a public political stand. This essay was brought to my attention and I feel it needs to be shared.

My very astute friend wrote this allegory to the homosexual agenda a while back - It's pretty good.

Cat Lovers Unite! This is a rallying call to correct a great social injustice. Cat lovers everywhere must awake and recognize the gross inequality imbedded in the civil code of many municipalities in the form of biased rules limiting the issuance of dog licenses to the owners of dogs. Those of us who do not like dogs, who, through no fault of our own, are afraid of dogs, allergic to dogs, or just naturally inclined to prefer cats are denied our basic civil rights to apply for and obtain dog licenses in our municipalities. We are being persecuted and singled out because of our pet preferences, and we must take action today.

So

1. Go to your city offices and demand to be issued a dog license for your cat. After all, cats are just as good as dogs! and we love our cats just as much as dog lovers love their dogs, and that is what is important after all. You may encounter some of the following arguments from the administration:

First, that your cat is not a dog, and dog licenses are for dogs. Take this as an insult. Become offended, and insist that this is a bigotted anti-feline statement. Who are they to suggest such a narrow minded interpretation of the purpose of a dog license.

Second, they may suggest that you have the same right as anyone else to go buy or adopt a dog and apply for a dog license. Do not be confused or softened by the obvious logic of this argument. Take it as an insult. Become offended, and insist that this is a bigotted, anti-feline statement. You cannot help the fact that you prefer cats to dogs. You were born that way, and cats are just an alternate pet choice. Everyone should be entitled to choose whatever pet they naturally prefer, and get a dog license for it.

Third , that, since dogs are different from cats, society has established different responsibilities and privileges to each, such as leash laws and rabies vaccinations. Take this as an insult. Become offended, and insist that this is a bigotted, anti-feline statement. Just because societies throughout time have seen cats and dogs differently is a sorry excuse for denying someone their civil rights.

Fourth, that if dog licenses are issued to cats, it would threaten the very legal or societal definition of what a dog license, or a dog for that matter is. Take this as an insult. Become offended, and insist that this is a bigotted anti-feline statement. Insist that the issuance of dog licenses to cats, far from taking away or confusing the meaning of what dog licenses are, would enhance it, and only add to the beauty of dog licenses as an institution. Look deeply wounded, maybe tear up a little and ask the totally rational question, "Why are you so hateful and selfish? How does giving dog licenses to cats diminish the meaning of your dog's license?" Point out that many dog owners are irresponsible and do not love their dogs or care for them properly. They get dog licenses, why can't you? Do not be discouraged that this has nothing to do with the argument. Throw it in there anyways. It is inflamatory, and cannot be argued against. Insist that the love of your pet is the only issue.

Fifth, They may suggest that issuing dog licenses to cats would open the door for other animals to apply, like birds, fish, hamsters, or even non-animal pets, like pet rocks. They may suggest that stretching the definition of "dog" that far would, in the end make it meaningless. Again, do not be confused by the logic of such an argument. You are not suggesting that licenses be issued to rocks. That is absurd. You just want to have one for your beloved cat. You have waited all your life for this chance. Quickly change the subject, becoming offended and accusing them of bigotry is always good.

Sixth, be especially wary if the city, to assuage their conscience and keep you from feeling injured, suggest they create such a thing as a cat license, and allow you to apply for that instead. They may even make the two legally exactly the same as far as rights and privileges. Do not be placated. Keep your eye on the goal here. You do not want a Cat license. You want a Dog license and your rights are being denied if you receive anything else. So, take this as an insult. Become offended, and insist that this is a bigotted and anti-feline idea.

By now, you will probably have been issued a dog license. If not, go to another city, or better yet, take it to the California Supreme Court. They will assuredly see the impeccable legal argument here, and will overturn all existing dog licensing laws in the state. After all, who will it hurt?

2. Now the real fun begins. With your dog license in hand, go sign your cat up for a dog obedience class. If you are denied entry, sue the obedience school. You will win. Now that you are in the class, bring your cat and set it right down there amidst all those dogs. If it is chased, scared, or hurt in any way, you guessed it, sue the obedience school. Sue the dog owners. Sue whoever you can. Bring as many cases as high up in the courts as you can. The ACLU should be very helpful.You may notice that obedience schools all over the state close, since they are now in a catch-22 situation. You should feel happy about this. After all, these were the same bigots that denied you your dog license for so many years. They deserve to suffer. In fact, you may notice that dog obedience classes all over the country shut down. This is great!

3. Now move on to dog parks. Take your cat/dog to your local dog park and plop it right down there with all those off leash dogs. Proceed as you did above, if anyone objects to your presence, sue them. If they relent and your pet is insulted, scared, or injured in any way, sue them, and the city. In this way, you should soon shut down all dog parks in the state. Isn't this fun.

Use your imagination about other ways you can ruin the lives of dog owners. Remember, our goal here is to abolish the very institution of dog ownership, but don't tell anyone this. Insist that it is all about your rights and the love between you and your pet. Oh, and don't forget to be offended. That seems to work really well.If you run out of ideas, buy an iguana.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Halloween Celebration

Our family tradition has always been that the Trunk or Treat put on by our church is our main Halloween celebration. The kids tend to get more candy from the Trunk or Treat than they ever would going around the neighborhood on Halloween night.

The boys are always very excited about their Halloween costumes. This year was no different. This year was a little more exciting just because the boys chose their own costumes. Parker has been wanting to be The Hulk since the summer. At first he said he wanted to be Spiderman. But when he was wearing a superhero shirt he kept pointing out The Hulk and calling him Spiderman. I realized he really wanted to be The Hulk. Gavin really wanted to be a ghost with a sheet over his head with eyes cut out.

Grandma delivered as she always does. I have a friend who looks forward to seeing the costumes she makes because they are so creative and fabulous. Since it wasn't very practical or safe for Gavin to wear a sheet over his head, I painted his face to look like a ghost face with black eyes and a mouth. Parker was thrilled to be painted green!

It's getting eerie around here!
I had no idea Gavin's makeup would look so scary but when he's caught on camera not smiling he looks really frightening.
I think Gwen's castle tower stroller is awesome.
My favorite part about the Stake Trunk or Treat here is the free professional photo. I think I said this last year but I would pay for this service every year because they do such a great job. But it's free. Even better. Gavin is sharing this picture and last year's picture with his class today. I love that last year Gwen was a princess in a tower on my maternity shirt and this year she's the real deal.
The Cake Walk in the Primary room. We didn't win anything. I'm dressed as a BYU fan!
One of the Carnival games in the gym.
These pictures crack me up!
This one is my favorite. I love how unenthusiastically Parker seems to be tossing the ball. Actually, we had a hard time getting him to understand the rules of the game. He moved up to the closest line because he is 3 years old. He wanted to stand right in front of the boxes and drop the ball in. We finally convinced him to stand behind the line. He actually did match the colors and won a prize.
Did we put makeup on Gwen? No, the bits of green on her are leftover from when Parker hugged her right as we were walking into the church! The boys were good not to touch their makeup but Parker forgot and hugged Gwen. Gavin forgot and wiped his mouth after a drink. Oh well. Gwen was a very good baby. She tolerated being in her stroller for a lot longer than we thought she would. She gave up on the idea early on in the Trunk or Treat part. But she sat happily next to Dad while he passed out candy and I took the boys around.
It's possible this is why Gwen was so content. Her costume was a little soggy. She had been sucking on it all night.

This is Gavin trying to match the colors. He didn't win. The boys had a blast with all the carnival games.
I made Heath march all 3 of them around for the costume parade. I thought at least Gwen would win something. It felt like the whole thing was rigged. They announced winners so quickly and knew kids' first and last names. I guess there wasn't much of a chance for any of our kids to win. Oh well. I thought their costumes were great. We got a lot of compliments from people as we walked around.
Baths were a must after we got home. The makeup came off pretty easily. Gavin looks interesting though. The black came off his skin but it stained his eyelashes. He has a little smudged under his eyes. He looks like he's wearing eyeliner and mascara. We just laugh about it. Poor kid. Yesterday he said, "I looked in the mirror this morning and I still have girl eyes!" It doesn't look as bad today. Hopefully it all fades away soon.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday

Thank heavens it's Friday! This morning I wanted nothing more than to crawl back into bed. However, I'm proud of myself for all I've done today.

I exercised even though every bit of me didn't want to.

I got everyone ready on time to take Gavin to school. I even put a cute ponytail in Gwen's hair (she has pulled it out twice today but that's beside the point!). We read stories for 15 minutes before we left.

I bought food for dinner tonight. Baked potatoes. The boys are going to help me wash potatoes and wrap them in foil. I am making dinner and having kids help. That qualifies me for mother of the year right?

My visiting teachers called this morning to see if they could visit me today. We found a time that worked for all of us. I had less than 2 hours to get my house clean and have everyone fed before they came.

Success. My room is spotless, I washed sheets, folded laundry, and the kitchen is all clean. Yay me! I can clean fast when I have to. The toys are still all over the house because they didn't get cleaned up last night. I wasn't here so I don't know what happened last night.

My visiting teachers came, got into a long political discussion, and offered to watch Parker and Gwen for me while I went to pick up Gavin from school. That was nice.

Now it's time to enjoy my weekend. Football game, Stake Trunk or Treat, late church. It all sounds good to me!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

You know you're a parent when . . .

  1. Your car is full of smashed goldfish crackers and random toys.
  2. There is also unexplained stickiness in your car.
  3. You drive a minivan or SUV, regardless of the number of kids you have, because DVD players are now standard.
  4. You own at least one package of Kraft macaroni & cheese or Ramen noodles.
  5. You have cars, action figures or Barbie dolls lined up on your stairs.
  6. It takes 15 minutes to get from the door to the car. Sometimes it can take an additional 5 minutes before the key is in the ignition and you back out of your driveway.
  7. Sandwiches are a food staple.
  8. You have restroom radar no matter where you are with your children.
  9. You understand the value of candy.
  10. You throw out toys when your kids aren't looking. If they ask about the toy you pretend to look with them and act stumped when you can't find it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Witch's Brew

Today I feel like the Wicked Witch of the West. I am burned out on Kindergarten. I wrote a whole ranting post about why and have decided to keep my opinions to myself for now! Every time I think Parker might just be potty trained he tops his last accident. I keep myself going with the thought that I won't have to clean up after him when he's in college. Gwen is a professional wiggle worm for every diaper change. Plus, some of her diaper changes are ill timed. But no matter how witchy I feel, my kids are super cute and I love them to death!

Check out these adorable pictures of them in their Halloween costumes. Thanks Grandma!

Could Gwen be any cuter as a little princess?
For real! This is my favorite picture of her.

Gavin is doing a perfect ghost woo-oo-oo.

Boo!

How funny is Parker as The Incredible Hulk!

Don't get on his bad side.

For some reason all the pictures posted in the wrong order. This is the Hulk before he gets his mad on.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Pumpkin Patch

Gavin's class went on a field trip to a local pumpkin patch. He will be the voice of this post.

I learned to buckle up a different car seat in Samantha's car. When we drived up and down the neighborhood until we got to the Pumpkin Patch. At the pumpkin patch we sat on the hay bales and we got to get a picture taken. We gotted a tractor ride coming down. We drived to the barn until we got out and ran. There was lots of things to see at the barn. We walked and walked until we found the kid's garden. I saw a talking food out of wood with shoes for its feet. At there we the farmer smelled the pizza and there was lots of food to make pizza with. We saw a leaf to make a pizza with. After that we went to the pumpkin patch and we gotted to pick a pumpkin what we gotted to carry the pumpkin to the car. We took it under the table to help it be our own pumpkin patch and we are going to do math and science activities with it. We went back, took our backpacks, and ran to our moms and we ran back home. The end.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Have It Your Way

That Burger King slogan has a whole new meaning now. I needed a break so Heath brought me some comfort food - Burger King. My favorite. Then he took the boys to McDonald's so they could play in the play area. As a thank you I kept Gwen with me. She's very quiet and pretty low maintenance. She's just hanging out in her exersaucer while I scrapbook.

Do I have the best husband or what! I love you Heath.

School of Rock

video videoI had music on today while we were eating lunch. Gwen started rocking out to "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" from The Singles Ward soundtrack. It was the cutest thing so I grabbed the camera. I had to restart the song to try to recapture the moment. I did and hours later I finally realized the reason why I can't upload the video is because it's in the wrong format! Good thing the camera ran out of battery or I probably wouldn't have grabbed the Flip camera. It took me a minute to find it.

Parker, Gwen and I had a blast singing and dancing to songs before we had to get Gavin from school. The first video is Parker dancing to "Get Over It" by The Eagles. The next video is Gavin reciting a poem he memerized in school. He knows 5 poems and a bunch of songs. I took a lot of video of him singing and reciting. Too cute. The last video is Gwen flirting with the camera. I'm bummed about the other video I took of her. Maybe Heath can help me later.

video

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Great Birthday Party

One of Gavin's little friends at school recently turned 6 years old. His birthday party was today. I have to give Kudos to his mom for planning such a fun birthday party.

We met at Comic Ink where Star Wars Storm Troopers were visiting.

Gavin with the Storm Troopers
Group shot. I love how the Storm Troopers seem to have commanded so much respect from the kids!
Another group shot. I believe this was all the kids at the party. 4 kids, including Parker, were not classmates. My favorite part - there were 3 Gavin W's at the party! Who knew the name Gavin would be the next Michael or Matthew!
After the photo shoot outside, the kids walked around the comic book store to look. The employees gave the kids comic books and Halloween rings. Gwen even got a comic book. I promise this is not me passing out prizes. Although from this angle she looks like me!
After the comic book store we went across the street to the Dollar Store. Most of the kids walked across the street. We drove Parker and Gwen. Outside the store, Shannon passed out baggies with $2.50 and a glo bracelet. The money was for 2 toys. The 50 cents was to cover tax. I thought that was a brilliant idea. Let the kids pick out their own goody bag prizes.
Gavin chose a light sword and a remote controlled car. Parker chose a light sword and a football. Gwen also got money. I looked for baby sunglasses but couldn't find any. Heath found fairy wings and a matching skirt. We have glitter all over us now. But it was too cute to pass up.
Last we went to Round Table Pizza for lunch. We were in the party room and the Pizza employees even gave us a choice of movies to watch. Bug's Life won. Everyone enjoyed pizza and conversation. Later we had cookie cake that Shannon made and Travis opened his presents.
Most of the kids were in the arcade mesmerized by the demo games. None of them had any quarters to actually play but it didn't seem to really matter. We all left at our convenience. It was such a fun party. Simple. Not at anyone's house so the stress level was way down for everyone. And a fun little field trip to 3 different businesses close by.
A few weeks ago Heath had the best idea for a birthday. He said that we should just send out announcements saying one of our kids is having a birthday and solicit gifts with no obligatory party. I love it. I think that's what I'll do for Gwen's first birthday. Who do you invite to a one year old's birthday party? Family. All our family is out of state so I think we should announce her birthday and everyone can send gifts. We could even include astronaut cake in the announcement. Sounds like a plan to me!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Mama Said There'd Be Days Like These . . .

Holy Moly! It has been a day. Excuse me while I whine a lot. Blogging is how I relieve stress.

Heath called in sick yesterday. He looked crappy so he deserved a break. He napped most of the day. Today he worked from home. This was planned in advance because BYU is playing. The game started at 5:00 pm and there is no way he could be home in time unless he worked from home.

The kids were on one the second they got up this morning. They act differently when Dad is home. I hate it.

I took Gavin to school in the Mini Cooper because I needed to go to the DMV (yeah, it's been over a year with my Utah driver's license in good old California). I took the Mini because I wasn't sure if Heath would have to pick up Gavin from school.

I was nervous about having to take a written test at the DMV. I'm not used to Heath's car. So I forgot my purse, birth certificate, etc for the DMV. Luckily I only made it to the end of the street before I figured it out.

We got to school and I forgot the lunch money in the car. That wasn't that big a deal. Just an extra trip to the office to pay.

Went to the DMV, filled out the paperwork, got a number and immediately found out I had forgotten my marriage license. Stupid female tradition of changing names when married! Went home. Grabbed the marriage license with Social Security card - that was actually helpful at one point. I waited and waited. Finally got called up and right as I was writing the check for whatever fee I had to pay she said that I had a hold on my UT license. She gave me the UT DMV number to figure it out.

I called and found out my license had been suspended because they sent me (sent to my old address) the medical release form for my diabetes and when they didn't get it back they suspended my license. Awesome. But I couldn't get mad at anyone but me. I was the idiot who never bothered to go back to the DMV after last September when I was turned away for not having a birth certificate or passport.

I went back home to print the form to have my endocrinologist here sign and fax to Utah. Halfway home I remembered that my doctor had changed his hours and only worked in the afternoon. Awesome.

Had lunch with Heath, Parker, and Gwen. Heath had not eaten breakfast and was having a hypoglycemic moment and spilled his Healthy Choice rice everywhere.

I picked up Gavin from school and went straight to the Dr's office. My doctor signed the paper for me. It felt like I was getting a permission slip signed by my mommy or something. Yes, I can drive. See? He's a great guy and he was nice about it. At one point he walked away and slid a paper in front of me. I started skimming. My doctor is giving up his practice of endocrinology and metabolism in December. He was working on other medical projects which took too much time away from his family. I totally understand but I'm bummed. I grew to really like him. I hope they find another endocrinologist to take over here otherwise I'm driving pretty far to see a doctor. Awesome.

I brought Gavin back home and called the UT DMV to make sure they got the fax. I asked how long it would take to unsuspend my license. She said it already was. So I went back to the DMV here and waited and waited. The lady looked at all my paperwork and proof of who I am. She said, "This is a marriage license." I had called it a marriage certificate. I didn't know if she was correcting me or if I would be sent home again. She didn't say anything else except to tell me to go to the camera.

She took my picture. I took a test. I only missed 3 so I totally passed. The guy was impressed. I almost left my piece of paper (permission slip) saying I really can drive for 2-4 weeks until my real license comes. I came home and wanted to sit down and rest.

But Gavin had homework. He didn't want to do it. Neither did I. Heath had to go to the store. I wasn't going on the same 2 streets one more time today!!! We worked out a deal that if Gavin got his work done before Dad got home he could have a treat. If not, he had to share the treat. He got it all done but he didn't want to wait until after dinner so he chose to share with Dad after all!

Parker woke up from his nap stinky. I'm annoyed because for 2 days in a row he seemed to have mastered that part of potty training. Then he got bored or something. Needless to say, I lost my appetite for dinner that was waiting on us. Parker has one more pull up because I forgot to tell Heath to buy more from the store. Awesome.

BYU is playing really poorly. I hate games like this. I don't even get to watch and be mad with Heath. I have to babysit. Granted they are my kids but keeping them quiet and away from Heath is harder than you would think. Ok, not really. They're watching a movie on my bed. A rare treat.

One more hour and kids go to bed. I'm not looking forward to hanging out with Heath though. I went down to feed Gwen. The game is still not going well at all. Awesome.

Maybe I will wake up to a better day tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Diets

It's a proven fact that you will lose weight if your intake is less than your output. Here are some creative ways to achieve that.

1. Serving home grown fruit for lunch.
Choose an apple. Wash and cut. If the inside of the apple is dark throw it out. Choose another apple; wash and cut. If there is a chilled worm in the middle (chilled from the refrigerator), throw it out. Then repress the gag reflex and eat hardly anything for lunch while shuddering the whole time. Later throw out the rest of the apples.

2. Daily cardio.
This can be achieved one of two ways:
a. Anything that gets the heart rate up can be considered cardio. Seeing you are completely out of necessary medication can raise your heart rate. Later realizing you had the medication on a different shelf can make you laugh. Laughing is also good for weight loss.

b. Chasing kids around the house for the fun of it. Running with your child while they take a 5 minute break from homework is fun and healthy. No need for a track or gym here.

For those of you taking notes, the first way is the easiest but not all that effective.

3. Continue any good thoughts and periodic toning exercises. Watch the weight slowly melt away.

Note: the more regularly you do these things the better.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Let the Battle Begin!

Naptime. The battle of wills. The tears break my heart for a minute but not long enough. I have given in a few times and thought maybe a morning nap was unnecessary. It bit me every time. The morning nap is necessary. I will win! I am the adult here! I am in charge! And by golly, my baby will sleep if I have anything to say about it!

Yesterday I locked in to a battle of wills with Gwen. After a while it was getting too late for her to finally fall asleep so I got her up. She was happy as could be. I always give her a bottle before I pick up Gavin from school. She fell asleep drinking the bottle. She stayed asleep as I put her in her carseat. So I switched strollers to the big, cumbersome, travel system stroller so I could snap her carseat onto the stroller without having to get her out. Guess who woke up as soon as I got to the classroom door? Then I felt like an idiot with my 7 1/2 month old baby in a baby carrier snapped onto a stroller. She was awake as awake could be. We battled again for the second nap. I won.

I'm reading about schedules and how some spirited kids are on an irregular schedule. I feel like a meanie making Gwen take a nap when she would rather crawl all over the house. But I know my kids. Irregularity is a bonus trait that not all spirited kids have. Luckily all my kids thrive on a regimented schedule.

I have learned that I am the irregular one. It's weird to know something about yourself but read it and gain clarity of the situation. I have never been able to sleep at night. As a kid I used to lie awake at night crying because I couldn't sleep and I knew I was supposed to. I still don't sleep well. It has nothing to do with my kids. All my kids learned to sleep through the night before they were 6 months old. I'm not bragging. Some kids sleep well while others don't. I can fall asleep watching TV at 9 pm, be wide awake for 2-3 hours, sleep a little more, wake up for no reason around 2 am, and not go back to sleep until about an hour before the alarm goes off at 6 am. Some variation of this has been my whole life.

Hunger is another regularity issue. I used to think I have been diabetic too long to remember what it feels like to be hungry. If my blood sugar is low I feel famished because I know eating will raise my blood sugar. If my blood sugar is high, I will sometimes skip a meal. But really, maybe I'm just not hungry on a regular basis and my diabetes is the only reason I eat 3 meals a day.

I read that irregular spirited children can be taught to follow a schedule. Society functions on schedules. Some people learn to like schedules. I love schedules. The more predictable the better. I think I have figured out why I hate holidays. Holidays are a change in routine. As a kid I used to feel nervous and nauseated on holidays. Now I realize it was a change in routine. Why do I still hate holidays? Mostly the same reason but honestly, most holidays are just an excuse to have a big old stressful party.

Besides learning about myself, I have been finding effective ways to work with Gavin. I have prevented a lot of his behavior that used to result in a meltdown on one of our parts. That makes me feel good. It makes the whole family happier actually. But I have also learned that it's absolutely exhausting to use such positive parenting skills. Every time I learn something I try to teach him though. The point is for him to recognize his own intensity and take care of himself. He seems to already have a pretty good understanding and will take care of himself before it's too late. We're getting there. Progress not perfection is the goal.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Whole New Perspective

I'm reading again. Gavin's teacher has lent me "Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for parents whose child is more intense, sensitive, perceptive, persistent, and energetic." On some level I have always known I am spirited but I have never heard it described so positively. I knew the moment Gavin was born he was spirited. But again, I didn't know there was a positive way of looking at that temperament. I loved myself as a teenager. I used my temperament for a lot of good. Admittedly, I used it for a lot of bad too. As a teenager I simply did not care what anyone thought of me. Like it or not, this is me was my attitude.

Somehow in college my attempts of toning down some of my venom turned into me being a passive people pleaser. Some days I miss the old me. But this book has been good for me to learn about myself. It has been an answer to prayers as I learn about Gavin. I started reading it on Friday. All weekend I have had more patience than I have ever had in my life. I look at Gavin so differently. It gives me hope that butting heads will not be the rest of our lives. We can learn to work together. On a bad day Gavin can be a nightmare. On a good day he is an angel. I'm sure my family could say the same about me.

I may never blog about the interesting events that led me to this book. But I will be forever grateful for the recent trials. I now have a whole new perspective on life. That is worth all the trauma, drama, emotion, and preoccupied forgetfulness I have been through in the last several weeks. I highly recommend it to anyone with a spirited child. If your child truly is spirited you know who you are.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Are you kidding me?

This is too funny not to post. So Gwen finally fell asleep. My ears are still ringing because I'm not used to the sound of silence! Just kidding. I was ready to do homework with Gavin. Only I can't find Gavin. For real. It's not like our house is that big. I thought maybe he went outside but all the doors were locked and you can't lock the deadbolt without a key. I called his name. No answer. I even checked his room to see if maybe he decided to nap with Parker. Not there. Slightly panicked, I called Heath. He said something to the effect of "What do you mean you can't find him?" I looked in the closet. No Gavin. I was explaining the door situation when I found him curled up on the couch (that I had checked earlier and was pretty sure I didn't see him) with pillows over his head.

Heath laughed at me. I did too. I knew I would find him as soon as I called. My poor babies. I haven't experienced a break from all 3 of them in the middle of the day like this. I almost don't know what to do with myself. I'll think of something though.

Hair

Is it really necessary to have luscious locks? The shorter my hair is the more I remember how thick it actually is. Until now . . .

Gwen has been screaming for a good 45 minutes. She is supposed to be napping. I don't know if she is just refusing to nap or if she is getting stuck standing. That girl stands up with the help of anything she can. I keep going in and laying her back down without saying a word (sleep teaching technique). She screams harder. Now she is having small periods of quiet. Which is good because soon I won't have any hair left. Short, thick, or otherwise.

Ahhhh, I think the sobbing storm is over! I should have sent my complaints out to the cosmic abyss of the Internet sooner!!!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Wildlife

I have an appreciation for all wildlife . . . from a reasonable distance. This year I have seen many more lizards running around our yard. They really are cute. And lucky me, my boys have not discovered them yet. I'm not as worried for myself as for the lizards. Parker immediately steps on every bug he sees. I think he would step on a lizard or if he picked it up he would squish it.

Every night between 10 and 10:30 pm there is a noisy bird that flies over the ravine. I think it's one of the cranes but I don't know. It's noisy and not in a pretty bird sort of way. Heath and I laugh because it's become predictable.

The squirrels here are fun to watch too. They're huge. I can kind of see why Parker called them cats last year. A few days ago I saw a squirrel just chillin in our front yard. Only I didn't know it was a squirrel at first. I walked by the front window and thought there was a cat in our yard. After my double take I realized it was just a ginormous squirrel!

But the squirrels around here all have a death wish, I swear. I have almost hit at least 3 squirrels since school started. They dart into the street, then stop with a classic deer in the headlights look. Meanwhile, I'm slamming on my brakes hoping they just finish running across the street. My heart races for a long time afterwards. It's embarrassing though because other people are always around. I'm not sure they realize I'm stopping for a stupid squirrel and not that I have officially lost my mind!

When we were driving to Utah Heath hit a bird. I'm so glad I was asleep and didn't know about it. But when we got to my mom's house Heath saw dead bird in our front grill. He ditched the body in the parking lot of a local grocery store. It still makes me shudder to think about it. I freaked out every time I saw a bird for the next month. I thought for sure we would hit another one.

The other night Heath slammed the bathroom window closed so fast I had to ask what was up. He said he smelled a skunk in our yard. So we closed our bedroom windows too. I didn't smell anything back there so we think it was just in our side yard. We slept with the windows closed anyway. The next morning I noticed one of our camping chairs was tipped over. Those camping chairs were taken in and out all spring until about May when I just left them out there. They have never tipped over even when it was super windy.

We know there are raccoons that come into our yard. We've seen their muddy footprints on the concrete. Thankfully I forget about that every time I take the garbage out in the dark. I try to turn on the outside lights but they don't light up the area where the garbage cans are.

On Saturday Parker said there was an animal at his window that was scaring him. Heath looked into it and there was a bird fighting with its reflection in the window. Weird! The other day I left the garage door open while we talked to our next door neighbor for a little bit. When we got back home there was a bird in the rafters in our garage. Heath laughed at me and said that if it flew into the house he would call up Alfred Hitchcock and ask him how he got the birds to go crazy! He shouldn't laugh though because there was a bird by one of the buildings in college that would swoop down and peck people's heads as they walked by. I'm not making this up! I always heard the bird but it never got that close to me. He did it to my roommate. She stopped wearing big clips in her hair or she would cover it with her hands so the bird would leave her alone. I hate birds!

It is amazing to see such diverse wildlife right in our neighborhood. But I prefer to see it on the other side of a car window or a window in my house. Or on my TV. I dread the day I see on the news that a mountain lion has been spotted in our city. One has been spotted at least once a month all over the Bay Area since I had a dream about a cougar in our backyard last fall. Wildlife should be seen behind glass. That's my stand.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Bumper Stickers

I saw a great one at the library: Forget the village, where are the parents?

I don't remember where I originally got this from but in my quote book I have Bumper Stickers we'll probably never see:

  • I love animals - they taste great!
  • Earth first! We'll strip-mine the other planets later.
  • He who laughs last, thinks slowest. (My sister has this on her license plate frame. We thought of getting one for our mini van. It didn't seem as funny on a van as on her cute little sports car. I had a license plate frame on my Chevy Cavalier that said "It's lonely at the top but you can eat better. That didn't seem appropriate for the mini van either.)
  • Lottery: A tax on people who are bad at math.
  • All generalizations are false, including this one.

Hope you enjoyed at least a smile from these little sayings.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Expensive Taste


An interesting thing about Gwen is her expensive taste. She gets it from me I'm sure! It's amazing how much money we have spent on that girl since we found out she was joining our family. You would think it would be fairly cheap to have a third kid. So not the case.


Clothes, fabric, towels for bibs, hair doo dads that she pulls out as soon as I put them in, toys, not to mention all the nursing stuff I only used for a month! She is the only person in our family besides me who gets monthly prescriptions. Ok, so we made one month of Axid last for over 2. And formula. Don't forget the formula. Can formula be any more expensive? $30 a can. One Costco can lasts about 10 days. We tried to give her the cheap Kirkland Signature formula. Her brothers had no problem with it when they decided they were done nursing. But Gwen hated it. Extra spit up, extra fussiness. She was only about 2 months old so we went back to the Similac. We recently tried the cheap stuff again because we had an extra can. Heath figured we could save a couple hundred dollars by switching. No, she still hates it. Extra spit up, extra unexplained crying. Heath wanted a princess. He got what he wished for! But she is worth every penny.
I know it's so smooshy mooshy to say, but I look at her and I can't believe she's mine. I can't believe I have 3 kids and they are all perfect.

Favorite Music

We have a lot of mixed CD's from over the years. Each one reminds me of different road trips or different stages of our life together. Right now there are 3 CD's full of MP3's in my van that Heath made for our trip to Utah. The boys crack me up when we're out driving. At first they would say something like, "I heard that song in Dad's car!" But now they have favorites.

Their favorites are:
White and Nerdy by Weird Al Yankovic
Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve (I hate this song! Mainly because it was way overplayed on the radio back in the day. But it's Parker's all time favorite. He doesn't know the name of it so he hums it!)
Bubble Toes by Jack Johnson (one day I had to play it twice for Parker. I didn't mind. I like belting out the la da da da da dah with him.)
Another Postcard by Barenaked Ladies (The first time Gavin heard it he thought the words were chips and meat instead of chimpanzees. The boys call it the monkey song.)
Weapon of Choice by Fatboy Slim (It's on Night at the Museum so the boys are always excitedly yelling, "Dinosaur movie!" every time it's on.)

I'm sure there are more but I can't remember now. I love how they think different places play different music and they are surprised when they hear the same song somewhere else. They have a Baby Beethoven CD they like to listen to. When they hear a classical song on a commercial or something they say, "I heard that on my radio!" I love music. I hope my kids are developing a love for music too.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Rain Finally!


I have been missing rain like I'm missing an arm or something. So when Wally Weatherman forecasted rain I was pretty excited. I was getting sick of the lightning background. It was too hard to read. But it was a matter of principle after a while. I wasn't going to change my background until it rained. (The picture is me in the pouring rain at the Ballard Locks in 2006. It rained a lot for that trip! Fish spawning across the street. Yeah, I don't care who you are, that's a lot of rain!)

Last night Heath and I kept smelling the window. We'd be talking and suddenly one of us would interrupt with a sniff, sniff, "Can you smell rain?" "No, it's just the screen. Wait, maybe it is rain!" "Nothing is happening though." "I know. When is it going to rain?"

I don't know when the rain started but I woke up at 5:30 this morning and could hear it. I woke up Heath because we love rain. We both went back to sleep happy that it was raining again after months and months of nada!

There was a lady in Dawn and Barry's ward that was complaining about the weather in the Seattle area. She said it was too cold and rained too much. She said she could do with a little less green if it meant less rain and warmer temps. I told her she should move to California. But somehow she thought we lived in LA or something! So she wasn't interested in the traffic or crowds. I think she should just trade houses with us. But as much as I love my in-laws I don't think I want to be in the same ward as them!

One of my favorite rain memories as a kid was the day Tyson and I played outside in the pouring rain. The swingset was a submarine or something like that. When we finally went back inside we drew pictures of our adventures in the rain.

I also loved driving out to Copperton Park to watch the thunder storms roll across the valley. Heath and I did that once when we were dating. Heath and I got caught in a big rainstorm once. We were out walking and suddenly the light rain got heavy fast. There was plenty of thunder and lightning too. I remember he seemed concerned and told me to run with him. I was seriously scared for my life because I cannot run! It was like I was in sand or something. You know those intense dreams where your brain tells you to run but your body doesn't respond! That was real for me. We made it back to our apartment soaking wet. I can smell the heater. Heath turned it on so we could warm up quickly. That's an interesting smell in the summer.

In college, Necia and I waded through a creek behind a park in Cedar City during a rainstorm. Best 5 minutes ever! That was the problem with Utah rain. Especially Southern Utah rain. The teaser misty rain would last for days at a time but the really good rain storms would only last for about 5 minutes and then roll on.

I'm loving California don't get me wrong. I'm not the type to move somewhere on purpose and whine about it the whole time I live there. But I am so excited for winter! Rain is my favorite. I can't wait to see the grass in the ravine behind our house turn green again and have the ravine fill with water.

Friday, October 3, 2008

It's Friday with a storm coming

Highlights of our day.

1. Gavin wants to be a talking dinosaur when he grows up. He says in a growling dinosaur voice, "I am a talking dinosaur. I am your dad. See my little little claws? Roar!"

2. I may have a wildly unpopular bah humbug attitude about every holiday, but I did decorate for Halloween today. The boys couldn't be happier. I figure you're only a kid once. If they really want to dress up and beg for food from friends and neighbors so be it. But by a certain age the dressing up thing just gets weird. And if you're so hungry, get a job and buy your own candy!

3. BYU won again! Our children may be scarred for life as we yelled at the TV, the officials, and the boys who wouldn't listen to me tell them to just leave Dad alone - the game was not going well! Parker's prayer tonight: "Heavenly Father, thank you for this day. Mom and Dad watching football. Dad talking on the phone. Dad yell. Dad watching football. Dad talking on the phone. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen."

4. Gwen cannot get enough of standing up on her own (with the help of furniture and stuff). Heath tried to sit her down. She stiffened her legs and refused. So he stood her next to the couch. She didn't nap today so she went to bed at 7:00 pm. She even slept through Parker's temper tantrum when I sent him to bed for talking back to me, telling me no when I asked him to put his shoes away, and throwing his shoes to further prove how mad he was at me!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Trust

"Trust is the highest form of human motivation." - Stephen R. Covey

If in doubt, go with your gut. It never lies. Trust yourself and go for whatever you believe in. Miracles can happen.

I love my children. I know my children. We go way back. My gut never lies about my children. I will always trust my gut.

(Unless you are a family member, chances are I won't explain this blog entry.)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Welcome to Reality!

How much is too much protection? At what point is it appropriate to teach a child about war? Is it ok to have an "ignorance is bliss" attitude? At least for a little while?

I was not prepared for the book Gavin brought home from the library today. The last couple of weeks have been a blast. He brings home the cutest book from the library and we read it daily. Sometimes several times in a day. But today the book was very different. It's called The Cello of Mr. O.

I could tell right away it was a long story. I thought that would be ok. We may not read it as often but it might be fun to snuggle in for a longer story. But war? Are you kidding me? He's 5 years old. He doesn't know anybody fighting in the Middle East. He probably doesn't even know anything about the war going on there.

Recently I read a friend's blog entry about September 11, 2001. She told her daughter about the significance of that day, what happened, kind of why, and how it affected Americans. I think her daughter is 8. All I know is her son is Gavin's age. They were in Nursery together. My kids don't know about 9-11 yet. They will one day when they are old enough to read about it in my scrapbook. Or, like my friend, I decide to tell them one year on the anniversary of that life altering day.

I realize how stupid it is to shield our kids from the world. But that book was a little intense for a 5 year old. My favorite part (heavy sarcasm) was when I turned the page and saw the cello was clearly hit by a bomb. Mr. O was standing against the building away from the cello because he had a leg cramp and stopped playing to rub it. I had a hard enough time explaining what a bomb was. Then I got to explain that Mr. O could have been killed but just his cello was destroyed. No biggie! It was a good opportunity for a Holy Ghost/protection speech. I just couldn't believe the book was considered a picture book and in the picture book section. I prefer to be an ostrich with my head in the sand for the next couple of years thank you!

It's already been an emotional day so I'm pretty proud of myself for not crying as I read. That would have confused poor Gavin even more. I did my best to explain the story as I read it. He didn't get it. He has no frame of reference. When we were done I asked if he liked it. He said yes. I asked why and he said because Mr. O played the cello. That was the only happy part of the story! So at least he picked up on that. I never want to read it again and it will sit in our house until next Wednesday when Gavin's class goes to the library again. Welcome to reality, Gavin. It's not always pretty.