Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Whew. Almost.

There is much more to this title than you will ever know. Surprisingly, I do keep a lot of my personal life to myself. But there are a few meanings that I can expound upon here.

1. We made it to Utah in just under 25 hours. That's driving time, people. We encountered 100 slide offs in Des Moines, and just after passing through the city, realized they had closed the highway behind us. Good times. But we made it. I have a picture of what Diesel fuel does when it gets too cold. You'll see it soon.

2. Christmas was good. The kids had a great time, got too many presents, and ate too much junk food. Just like Christmas should be. We were all dreading the holiday without mom around, and it turned out just fine. All the grandkids got teddy bears with outfits on that are made from Nunn's clothes. They are so adorable, and we all had a good cry. Then TroyBoy pulls out purple hand made bracelets for us girls, and they all have little sterling sliver ribbon charms on them. Another good cry ensued. You'll see pictures of those, too.

3. Yesterday, the 30th, Sugar Daddy and I celebrated 11 years of wedded. Bliss, okay, wedded bliss. And Meg also go married yesterday. Yes, she went through with it. Nevermind the shackles and gags that were involved to get her to say "Yes" at the appropriate time. Kidding people, kidding. Fear not, there will be oodles of picture of that day to follow.

4. We saw Body Worlds today. So cool. The science behind it is amazing, but to see how delicate life is reinforces to me that God is in everything. There is just no doubt after seeing that. Not that there ever was, but you know what I mean.

5. Tonight is New Year's Eve. We are spending the evening with Troyboy and Kelli making home made pizza with artichokes and olives. Mmm Mmm good. Do you think I could get sued for using that as my motto? Oh well.

6. Which means that this year is almost over. If someone had told me last year what 2008 would hold, I would have laughed. Now, I know there are no limits to what life can bring. So, in keeping with that frame of mind, my resolution for the year is to work on enhancing my food storage. Before you start sending me links to places to buy powdered water, and ways to preserve chicken hearts for 100 years, let me explain that I don't plan on doing that kind of food storage. I mean the kind that entails extra supplies of things I use deliberately, daily even. Not stuff I will shove in a corner of my basement and forget about until my 14th child needs a bedroom down there.

So, I hope you are fully prepared for the onslaught of pictures that are to follow. Life has been good to me for the last two weeks, and as much as I hate to leave my family, I'm ready to get back to reality.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Fun

It's Friday again. Yay. Christmas break starts today, thanks to an early call from the school last night canceling classes due to the impending snow storm. I'm saying good call (literally!) on that one, since we woke up to about a foot of snow. Emma was bummed, since they were supposed to have their class Holiday party today, but I told her I would let her stay in her jammies all day and have a fun day at home instead. That seemed to work.

So please forgive the tardiness of this post, I have been outside snow blowing my little heart out all morning. And without further ado, I give you this little beauty:

I love it. I laugh every time I drive by it. It's a sign posted at the Catholic church where Maggie goes to dance class. Oh, and the church bells ring every hour. It's so beautiful to hear them, and to see the birds fly out of the belfry. With the snow, and the boughs and the Nativity, it seems so very "Home Alone"-esque, which by the way was filmed somewhere here in Chicagoland.

So there you go. I hope to be able to get a few more posts in before Christmas, especially one last True Meaning Tuesday, but with the storms coming, and a 2 day drive ahead of us to the Promised Land, I can't make any guarantees. So if I don't see you before, have a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Good Santa, Bad Santa

We had our annual Ward Christmas party on Saturday night, as did the rest of the Mormon world, I think. Being on the newly formed activities committee, we were in charge of various aspects of the party. Part of the food, including baking 5 bags of potatoes, the paper products, and finding a suitable (get it, suit?) Santa, were all left up to us. After volunteering said Santa, there were a few weeks where we weren't sure we would even have a Santa. Luckily, he came around, and decided it would be good for his soul, not to mention his sleeping habits, since if he had rejected the part, he would be sleeping on the couch. We procured a suitable suit from neighbor Kate, and Voila! Santa was born.

Santa with some neighborhood girls. Excellent babysitters, these girls. Look how excited they are!

Who knew Santa had such big beautiful blue eyes?

And here he is telling a sweet story of the symbolism of the candy cane. He did an excellent job. He knew most of the kids by name, which is always a plus when you're playing the part of Santa. The only "oopsie" moment, was when we realized he had on brown shoes, and not black. Eh, small details.

All in all, it was a great night. We had plenty of potatoes, ran out of side dishes, and had to make an emergency run to Jewel for more cookies for dessert. But everyone had a good time, and we fed and entertained about 165 people for 2 hours. Not bad. And our Bishop gave us a count, saying he thought we had at least 40 non-members or investigators present. Wow. That's unheard of in Utah. I don't even know 40 non-members in Utah! It's refreshing to see the community all come together to celebrate a common thread, regardless of religion.

That was our one big party, and now we're pretty much taking it easy until the Memorial Day picnic. I think we are planning a Spring service project, but we have to wait until the ice melts (around May) before we decide exactly what it will be. Now, it's all about getting us to Utah, through our first Christmas without Mom, and having the best wedding ever!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

True Meaning Tuesday

I thought a few quotes of Christmas would be better today than a long story. Sometimes I just like to skim through, and not have to devote a whole 2 minutes to reading a story. So here are a few quotes to uplift, and lighten your heart on this day.

There's nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child."
~ Erma Bombeck (1927-1996), American author and humorist.

Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas."
~ Peg Bracken.

The earth has grown old with its burden of care But at Christmas it always is young, The heart of the jewel burns lustrous and fair And its soul full of music breaks the air, When the song of angels is sung."
~ Phillips Brooks (1835-93), American Episcopal bishop, wrote 'O Little Town of Bethlehem'.

Christmas! The very word brings joy to our hearts. No matter how we may dread the rush, the long Christmas lists for gifts and cards to be bought and given--when Christmas Day comes there is still the same warm feeling we had as children, the same warmth that enfolds our hearts and our homes."
~ Joan Winmill Brown, American author and editor.

This is the message of Christmas: We are never alone."
~ Taylor Caldwell (1900-1985), English novelist.

Remember, if Christmas isn't found in your heart, you won't find it under a tree."
~ Charlotte Carpenter.

There are no strangers on Christmas Eve."
~ Adele Comandini and Edward Sutherland. Michael O'Brien (Charles Winninger), Beyond Tomorrow, after proposing that the partners invite three strangers to dinner (1940).

To the American People: Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. If we think on these things, there will be born in us a Savior and over us will shine a star sending its gleam of hope to the world."
~ Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933), American president. Presidential message (December 25, 1927).


Monday, December 15, 2008


Do you remember back when my thermometer read 6 degrees? I would kill for that today.

3. Yes, 3. With the wind (which is blowing at 50 mph) chill, -14.

But I still say I'd rather be cold than hot. I hate being too hot. I don't sweat pretty, but I like to be bundled up with a pretty silk(like) scarf and a warm down(ish) coat.


Friday, December 12, 2008


*You can all rejoice in my glory be. The part for my water heater has arrived, and Sugar Daddy will be coming home early to put it in. Rest assured that my usual warm, witty self will return with the first blast of hot water on Monday morning. It's a good thing it came today, because to be honest, Maggie is turning into the pee kid, and Gretta isn't far behind. I'm a little worried about giving Emma a whiff, because who knows what that one smells like. Eww.


Fun For Friday

The other day I received a package. No, it wasn't the loot from my win over at Tip Junkie, since that hasn't yet arrived. It was a mystery package. Something I wasn't expecting. That's the best kind of mail.

I rip it open, and what do I find inside?

This little beauty. Courtesy of Barb, over at Terrill Connection. She also included the sweetest little note, and totally made me cry, which under normal circumstances is hard to do, but lately, I'll cry just about anywhere. But I would have cried regardless. She is so sweet to send this to lil ol' me. I love it. It's adorable. And I will wear it with pride.

So thanks, Barb. You made my day. And having my day made, well, that's fun.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Cold Hard Truth

Well, today is gonna suck. Big time. For a few reasons.

You see, a few days ago, I noticed that I had pretty limited hot water when I was taking a shower. And by limited I mean it only lasted 20 minutes instead of 30 minutes at boiling hot temperatures. I mentioned this to Sugar Daddy, who promptly fixed it. Well, Tuesday comes around, and suddenly, right there mid-lather, None. And when it's 6 degrees outside, that water is freaking cold. I rinse, all the while my nipples are etching the glass doors (TMI? Yeah, but it's funny, huh?) , and I head to the basement to check it out. Uh oh. There is a flashing code on the thermostat. Uh oh. I don't know my water heaters, but I know this isn't good.

So for 2 days now, I've been making do with limited (at best) warm water. The kids are getting a little funky, and I'm not one of those that can go more than a day without a shower. Hopefully our water heater is still under warranty, because I already spent our cruise money on my dog's uterus, and I don't have much Christmas money left to spare. I mean, I may be okay with getting 2 generators for my birthday, but a water heater for Christmas is just over the line.

Also, I ate 5 Hershey's Nuggets for breakfast. Hey, they had almonds in them. Healthy, no?

I'm reading sTori Telling by Tori Spelling, which has a very clever title, don't you think? It's a very easy read about her life growing up. Wow, it's "hard to have sympathy for a girl that wants a certain car for her 16th birthday, and her parents buy her a newer, more expensive car instead". It's not a bad read, just kind of "blah blah blah, I'm so picked on, blah blah blah". But then I find out she has issues with certain lifestyles, and now I have no desire to finish her book. I just hate the thought of supporting someone that is so narrow minded. So we'll see.

And finally, remember when I tried to give up Diet Pepsi? I've done it! I'm totally off the diet. But now I'm on full strength. Yep, I've crossed back over, Jill. I'm sure my mom is cursing me right now, since she was kind of the proponent of Diet that I needed. But I just like me some sugar first thing in the morning, know what I'm sayin'?

So that's pretty much it. I'm heading to neighbor Kate's for a shower, and then it's off to dance, unless water heater fixer dude can make it over this morning. Then dance will have to wait.

Wish me luck!


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Dear Disney

Dear Disney,

I'm writing you in regards to your various styles of childrens dress-up shoes. You see, I own a couple of pairs of these, or rather, my daughters own a couple of pairs of these. They are wonderful accessories to the dresses and wings and wands and such. And as a woman who never learned, I thank you for teaching my children to walk in high heels at the age of 2, because it is a life long skill that cannot be learned too young.

There is a flaw to your dress up shoes style, however. Something I know you'll be grateful I am pointing out. If you could please make the shoes a little narrower and possibly a little more ill-fitting, as to facilitate a more rapid sprain or break of the ankle, I would be so happy. You see, I know eventually my dear daughters will fall and break something important, and I feel that your current design is just prolonging the inevitable. Perhaps you could just remove the flimsy ankle straps with the barely functioning buckle? Or maybe make the toe box just a little more awkward, so the pinky toe and the next toe have to hang out of the side together, rather than just the pinky toe alone. That would probably do the trick, since it would throw off the delicate balance just enough.

Finally, I wish you would make the bottoms even more slick, since the hard plastic sole against wood floors is far too much traction for a 2 year old balancing on 3 inch heels. If you could maybe have a silicone lubricant applied to the bottom, so they could just slide along the flooring surface and cause the child to fall backwards onto their head, that would be a much better scenario than having her feet slip sideways out from underneath her and causing her knees to fold laterally. I mean, tearing an ACL is such an easier injury to recover from at a young age, no sense in waiting until adolesence.

Thank you for your time in reading this letter. Please feel free to send me any prototypes you may have in the works already, as my children are fully prepared to sustain serious injury in the hopes of bankrupting other families with your overpriced dress-up accessories. They're just such givers.

A mom who thinks the balancing act can never be learned too young.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Blagojevich's Forecast

I'm saying stormy, at best. I just love living in the land of mobsters and corruption. It's a long way from Utah.

True Meaning Tuesday

Bobby was getting cold sitting out in his backyard in the snow. Bobby didn't wear boots; he didn't like them and anyway, he didn't own any. The thin sneakers he wore had a few holes in them and they did a poor job of keeping out the cold. Bobby had been in his backyard for about an hour already. And, try as he might, he could not come up with an idea for his mother's Christmas gift.

He shook his head as he thought, "This is useless, even if I do come up with an idea, I don't have any money to spend."

Ever since his father had passed away three years ago, the family of five had struggled. It wasn't because his mother didn't care, or try, there just never seemed to be enough. She worked nights at the hospital, but the small wage that she was earning could only be stretched so far. What the family lacked in money and material things, they more than made up for in love and family unity.

Bobby had two older and one younger sister who ran the household in their mother's absence. All three of his sisters had already made beautiful gifts for their mother. Somehow it just wasn't fair. Here it was Christmas Eve already and he had nothing. Wiping a tear from his eye, Bobby kicked the snow and started to walk down to the street where the shops and stores were.

It wasn't easy being six without a father, especially when he needed a man to talk to. Bobby walked from shop to shop looking into each decorated window. Everything seemed so beautiful and so out of reach. It was starting to get dark and Bobby reluctantly turned to walk home when suddenly his eyes caught the glimmer of the setting sun's rays reflecting off of something along the curb.

He reached down and discovered a shiny dime. Never before has anyone felt so wealthy as Bobby felt at that moment. As he held his new found treasure, a warmth spread throughout his entire body and he walked into the first store he saw. His excitement quickly turned cold when salesperson after salesperson told him that he could not buy anything with only a dime.

He saw a flower shop and went inside to wait in line. When the shop owner asked if he could help him, Bobby presented the dime and asked if he could buy one flower for his mother's Christmas gift.

The shop owner looked at Bobby and his ten cent offering. Then, he put his hand on Bobby's shoulder and said to him, "You just wait here and I'll see what I can do for you." Bobby waited, he looked at the beautiful flowers and even though he was a boy, he could see why mothers and girls liked flowers.

The sound of the door closing as the last customer left jolted Bobby back to reality. All alone in the shop, Bobby began to feel alone and afraid. Suddenly, the shop owner came out and moved to the counter. There, before Bobby's eyes, lay twelve long-stem, red roses, with leaves of green and tiny white flowers all tied together with a big silver bow.

Bobby's heart sank as the owner picked them up and placed them gently into a long white box. "That will be ten cents young man," the shop owner said, reaching out his hand for the dime. Slowly, Bobby moved his hand to give the man his dime. Could this be true? No one else would give him a thing for his dime!

Sensing the boy's reluctance, the shop owner added, "I just happened to have some roses on sale for ten cents a dozen. Would you like them?" This time Bobby did not hesitate, and when the man placed the long box into his hands, he knew it was true.

Walking out the door that the owner was holding for Bobby, he heard the shop keeper say, "Merry Christmas, son."

As he returned inside, the shop keepers wife walked out. "Who were you talking to back there and where are the roses you were fixing?"

Staring out the window, and blinking the tears from his own eyes, he replied, "A strange thing happened to me this morning. While I was setting up things to open the shop, I thought I heard a voice telling me to set aside a dozen of my best roses for a special gift. I wasn't sure at the time whether I had lost my mind or what, but I set them aside anyway. Then, just a few minutes ago a little boy came into the shop and wanted to buy a flower for his mother with one small dime. When I looked at him, I saw myself, many years ago. I too was a poor boy with nothing to buy my mother a Christmas gift. A bearded man, whom I never knew, stopped me on the street and told me that he wanted to give me ten dollars. When I saw that little boy tonight, I knew who that voice was, and I put together a dozen of my very best roses."

The shop owner and his wife hugged each other tightly, and as they stepped out into the bitter cold air, they somehow didn't feel cold at all.


After I found this story, and without me even mentioning it to him, Sugar Daddy brought me home a dozen red roses. The only time I've ever gotten flowers from Sugar Daddy is when I've given birth. I don't recall giving birth in recent days, so I guess he was just inspired. It makes this story that much more special.


Monday, December 8, 2008

Ha Bum Hug

What day is it? Monday, the what, 7th? 8th? I don't even know. And from the looks of it around here, you can tell I don't really care. We have a total of zero Christmas decorations up. Yep, zero. Zilch. Nada. This isn't for lack of intentions. I've been meaning to get them up for weeks now. It just hasn't happened. Let's face it, I don't feel like hauling up that heavy box from the basement. That's what the menfolk are for. And my manfolk has been AWOL for the last few days. Between work, church stuff, Christmas partying, and DVR, the time to do it has eluded us.

But there is a more sinister reason behind my slacker ways. You may recall that I don't like Christmas much, and that is what sparked True Meaning Tuesday. It's hard to want to play the role of a Holiday lover when truly I'm a total Scrooge about it. I know, I suck. Another reason is that we leave for Utah in a week and a half, and we'll be there for 2 weeks. Do I really want to decorate for the 10 days we'll be here? Not really. And I certainly don't want to come home from Utah after all the celebrations there, and have to take down Christmas stuff I never wanted up in the first place. Do you see my logic here? I knew you would.

What's a mom to do? I'm thinking tree, minimal other decorations, and it all comes down the night before we leave. Sound like a good compromise? I thought so.


Friday, December 5, 2008

Fun For Friday

I don't know if this counts as "fun" exactly. Below is a snapshot of my Oregon Scientific thermometer. The top number is the outside temperature. The middle is the inside temp, the bottom is the time of day, and below that is the date. You will see it is today's date and time. But please notice the outside temperature. And this is without the wind chill. Yeah. Not so fun.

So what is the coldest temperature you've ever been in? And where were you?

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sugar Daddy's Day

Happy Birthday to you, my dear Sugar Daddy. There are so many things I love about you, so here are just a few.

  • You can fix anything.
  • You watch "Ice Princess" just to see the ending.
  • You have an immense love for jackets and coats of all styles.
  • You snore like a fog horn.
  • You are always thinking of the girls and I, and ways to make our lives easier.
  • You take out the garbage cans every Thursday.
  • You like your sleep time.
  • You can make friends with just about anyone.
  • You do all the ironing.
  • You love me and the girls more than anything else.
  • And we love you too!
Have a great day!

There's also a sweet blurb about Sean over at Terrill's blog, so you can check that out here.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Remember That One Turkey?

Sugar Daddy kind of dropped the ball on our Thanksgiving dinner. After being asked by moi several times to go and pick up a turkey, he "forgot", and Sunday morning decided he could just run to Jewel and pick up a fresh one. Ha! Yeah, I knew it. I fully expected him to return empty handed, or at the very least, with a rotisserie chicken. But he went all out and purchased this here beauty. A fully cooked, yes you read that right, fully cooked, whole turkey. Vacuum sealed for freshness, and caramel color added for appeal. Mmm, caramel color, my fave.

So here we have the beginning product. Yes, it's a Butterball. That was my only hope of it turning out half decent, I've always had good luck with a Butterball.

Here it is in all of it's bagged glory. Why a bag you ask? I really don't know, except for that is how my mom always did hers, so that's how I do mine. No basting, it always turns out juicy, and it's just the way it is. Obviously I need to spring for the bigger roasting pan, as my scale of turkey to pan is a little off.

Here you see the temperature set at 320. The instructions say 350, but my oven is a total over achiever, and likes to cook a little hotter than it should. So I have to compensate. And you also see the timer set at 1 hour and 46 minutes. It should be 1 hour and 45 minutes, but I overshot it a little. I usually do this when I top off my gas tank too. I always get that 1 penny over. Dang penny. Also, I apparently have no use for that "Auto Clean" button. For I have never to this day cleaned any oven I have owned. Perhaps I should.

And here is the lovely finished product. Looks okay, right? The caramel color seems to have done a nice enough job. The juices were flowing, and the meat was tasty. I can honestly say I was pleasantly surprised. Like so pleasantly surprised, that I'm thinking about going and buying another one to freeze and keep on hand just in case. For .89 a pound, it's not a bad deal. And considering that we've eaten turkey in some form or another for 3 days now, it's pretty economical.

So even though Sugar Daddy had to change up our routine, he proved me wrong, as usual, and came out on top. It ended up being a nice, simple, fairly easy meal to cook, and I was happy to be all together as a family again. Thanksgiving just isn't the same without Sean around. Nothing is.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

True Meaning Tuesday

The White Envelope
by Nancy Gavin

Editor’s Note: This is a true story that is provided to us by the family of the author. Even though Nancy passed away two years after her article first appeared in Woman's Day Magazine in 1982, her family continues to keep alive the tradition of the white envelope. This article has also inspired The White Envelope Project and web site.
It’s just a small, white envelope stuck among the branches of our Christmas tree. No name, no identification, no inscription. It has peeked through the branches of our tree at this time of the year for the past 10 years or so. It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas. Oh, not the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it. You know, the overspending, the frantic running around at the last minute to get a tie for Uncle Harry and the dusting powder for Grandma, the gifts given in desperation because you couldn’t think of anything else.
Knowing he felt this way, I decided one year to bypass the usual shirts, sweaters, ties and so forth. I reached for something special just for Mike. The inspiration came in an unusual way.
Our son Kevin, who was 12 that year, was wrestling at the junior level at the school he attended. Shortly before Christmas, there was a non-league match against a team sponsored by an inner city church. The kids were mostly black. These youngsters, dressed in sneakers so ragged that shoestrings seemed to be the only thing holding them together, presented a sharp contrast to our boys in their spiffy blue and gold uniforms and sparkling new wrestling shoes.
As the match began, I was alarmed to see that the other team was wrestling without head gear, a kind of light helmet designed to protect a wrestler’s ears. It was a luxury the ragtag team obviously couldn’t afford. Well, we ended up walloping them. We took every weight class. And as each of their boys got up from the mat, he swaggered around in his tatters with false bravado, a kind of street pride that couldn’t acknowledge defeat. Mike, seated beside me, shook his head sadly, “I wish just one of them could have won,” he said. “They have a lot of potential, but losing like this could take the heart right out of them.”
Mike loved kids — all kids. He understood kids in competitive situations, having coached little league football, baseball and lacrosse. That’s when the idea for his present came. That afternoon, I went to a local sporting goods store and bought an assortment of wrestling headgear and shoes and sent them anonymously to the inner city church.
On Christmas Eve, I placed the envelope on the tree, the note inside telling Mike what I had done and that this was his gift from me. His smile was the brightest thing about Christmas that year and in succeeding years. For each Christmas, I followed the tradition — one year sending a group of mentally challenged youngsters to a hockey game, another year a check to a pair of elderly brothers whose home had burned to the ground the week before Christmas — on and on... The envelope became the highlight of our Christmas. It was always the last thing opened on Christmas morning and our children, ignoring their new toys, would stand with wide-eyed anticipation as their dad lifted the envelope from the tree to reveal its contents.
As the children grew, the toys gave way to more practical presents, but the envelope never lost its allure. Still, the story doesn’t end there. You see, we lost Mike several years ago due to cancer. When Christmas rolled around, I was still so wrapped in grief that I barely got the tree up. Yet Christmas Eve found me placing an envelope on the tree, and in the morning, it was joined by three more. Each of our children, unbeknownst to the others, had placed an envelope on the tree for their dad. The tradition has grown and someday will expand even further, with our grandchildren standing around the tree with wide-eyed anticipation, watching as their fathers take down their envelopes. Mike’s spirit, like the spirit of Christmas, will always be with us.

Please visit the White Envelope Project website for more information about how you can implement it in your Christmas experience

Thanks to Nurse Heidi for this story. She posted this on her blog a while back, and this is what got my gears aturning in the direction of True Meaning Tuesday. Heidi is a special friend, and belongs to a very special family. They have all seen us through some very difficult times, and have had their fair share as well. They are all the kind of friends that only come along once in a lifetime.


Monday, December 1, 2008


I heart Thanksgiving. I really, really do. I love the day before Thanksgiving almost more than the actual holiday because of our super fun family tradition of dinner and a movie that evening. Picture it; a family of 20 or so, half of which are kids, crammed into Applebee's, spilling chocolate shakes, sending back undercooked steaks, and raising the decibel level by at least 20. Then we head to the movies. Remind me to tell you a story of the family accusing us (oops, my bad) of sitting in their seats, even though they were 15 minutes late, and the theater was less than half full. They just couldn't make the mental jump and take other empty seats. Geniuses , I say. Okay, so that was pretty much the story. Now you don't have to remind me. We also had a girls only sleepover at my inlaws, and all the girl cousins stayed up waaayyy too late, and laughed too loud, and had to wake me up at 4 in the morning to do laundry duty. Darn bottled water next to the bed. It was a good time, though.

This was a bittersweet Thanksgiving. You know, another first without Mom. It's that sick sad time line we all keep in our heads, and I'm starting to resent it. And it was less another person this year too. Sugar Daddy was here in Illinois all by his lonesome. He managed just fine, though. He caught up on his sleep, and even cleaned up the house! He's such a good husband. He did forget to buy a turkey for our Sunday celebration of Thanksgiving, though, which warranted a trip to Jewel on a Sunday for a "fresh" turkey. Remind me to tell you the story about Sugar Daddy forgetting to buy a turkey, and then getting stuck with all that the store had left, a fully cooked whole turkey. Really, I'll go into more detail about that one tomorrow, and I even have pictures.

I know Mom would be proud of our Thanksgiving, though. It was perfect. Crowded, loud, too much food, naps, football, roll ups, cheese tree, chips and dip, and lots of pies and cheesecake. And I think we all took away more than just pot bellies and L-Tryptophan hangovers. We got renewed as siblings, and as daughters and son. We learned that no matter where we are, we have fun together. We learned that Dad is stronger than we (I) thought, and that he is doing okay. We also learned that being in the temple all together is one of the most special things a family could ever experience. We're all very excited to have Josh join our family next month. I know mom would be proud of that, too.

So all in all, it was a good holiday. I always feel like I get more out of Thanksgiving than I give. I guess that's what Holiday's are supposed to be. Family, friends, fun, food, and growing a little.

Because It's Good To Have Smart Friends

Today my good friend Nikki is featured as a guest poster on NieNie. She is sharing her thoughts on her favorite past NieNie post, and she also mentions our Cancer Sucks blog from many days past. Seriously, it's good to have smart friends. And also, thanks to Clisty for her heads up. You gals are the bestest.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

True Meaning Tuesday

In September 1960, I woke up one morning with six hungry babies and just 75 cents in my pocket.

Their father was gone.

The boys ranged from three months to seven years; their sister was two.

Their Dad had never been much more than a presence they feared.

Whenever they heard his tires crunch on the gravel driveway they would scramble to hide under their beds.

He did manage to leave $15 a week to buy groceries.

Now that he had decided to leave, there would be no more beatings, but no food either.

If there was a welfare system in effect in southern Indiana at that time, I certainly knew nothing about it.

I scrubbed the kids until they looked brand new and then put on my best homemade dress, loaded them into the rusty old 51 Chevy and drove off to find a job.

The seven of us went to every factory, store and restaurant in our small town.

No luck.

The kids stayed crammed into the car and tried to be quiet while I tried to convince who ever would listen that I was willing to learn or do anything. I had to have a job.

Still no luck. The last place we went to, just a few miles out of town, was an old Root Beer Barrel drive-in that had been converted to a truck stop.

It was called the Big Wheel.

An old lady named Granny owned the place and she peeked out of
the window from time to time at all those kids.

She needed someone on the graveyard shift, 11 at night until seven in the morning.

She paid 65 cents an hour, and I could start that night.

I raced home and called the teenager down the street that baby-sat for people.

I bargained with her to come and sleep on my sofa for a dollar a night.

She could arrive with her pajamas on and the kids would already be asleep

This seemed like a good arrangement to her, so we made a deal.

That night when the little ones and I knelt to say our prayers, we all thanked God for finding Mommy a job. And so I started at the Big Wheel.

When I got home in the mornings I woke the baby-sitter up and sent her home with one dollar of my tip money-- fully half of what I averaged every night.

As the weeks went by, heating bills added a strain to my meager wage.

The tires on the old Chevy had the consistency of penny balloons and began to leak. I had to fill them with air on the way to work and again every morning before I could go home.

One bleak fall morning, I dragged myself to the car to go home and found four tires in the back seat. New tires!

There was no note, no nothing, just those beautiful brand new tires.

Had angels taken up residence in Indiana? I wondered.

I made a deal with the local service station.

In exchange for his mounting the new tires, I would clean up his office.

I remember it took me a lot longer to scrub his floor than it did for him to do the tires.

I was now working six nights instead of five and it still wasn't enough.

Christmas was coming and I knew there would be no money for toys for the kids .

I found a can of red paint and started repairing and painting some old toys. Then I hid them in the basement so there would be something for Santa to deliver on Christmas morning.

Clothes were a worry too. I was sewing patches on top of patches on the boys pants and soon they would be too far gone to repair.

On Christmas Eve the usual customers were drinking coffee in the Big Wheel. There were the truckers, Les, Frank, and Jim, and a state trooper named Joe.

A few musicians were hanging around after a gig at the Legion and were dropping nickels in the pinball machine.

The regulars all just sat around and talked through the wee hours of the morning and then left to get home before the sun came up.

When it was time for me to go home at seven o'clock on Christmas morning, to my amazement, my old battered Chevy was filled full to the top with boxes of all shapes and sizes.

I quickly opened the driver's side door, crawled inside and kneeled in the front facing the back seat.

Reaching back, I pulled off the lid of the top box.

Inside was whole case of little blue jeans, sizes 2-10!

I looked inside another box: It was full of shirts to go with the jeans.

Then I peeked inside some of the other boxes. There was candy and nuts and bananas and bags of groceries. There was an enormous ham for baking, and canned vegetables and potatoes.
There was pudding and Jell-O and cookies, pie filling and flour. There was whole bag of laundry supplies and cleaning items.

And there were five toy trucks and one beautiful little doll.

As I drove back through empty streets as the sun slowly rose on the most amazing Christmas Day of my life, I was sobbing with gratitude.

And I will never forget the joy on the faces of my little ones that precious morning.

Yes, there were angels in Indiana that long-ago December. And they all hung out at the Big Wheel truck stop....

Thanks to a family friend who forwarded me this email.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I'm A Winner

Look what I won over on Tip Junkie. I never win anything. But I guess I can't say that anymore.

And when you read this, I will be en route to Utah to see my family! Which is way better than winning any contest. Unless it was a contest in which I would win a free trip to see my family. That would be the ultimate.

Stay tuned for "True Meaning Tuesday", and the maiden post tomorrow.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Things I Hate

I hate that I only have today and tomorrow left to get ready for next Saturday's craft show.

I hate that I have piles of laundry on the dryer that need to be put away.

I hate having kids on anitbiotics, and repeatedly forgetting to give it to them.

I hate waking up cold and headachy.

I hate that I have to leave Sugar Daddy alone for Thanksgiving.

I hate that my dog has a uterine infection and I hate that it will cost a fortune to treat her.

I hate it when my Voice Mail light is blinking, and then there isn't even a message.

I hate lying awake stewing about life.

I hate cancer.

I hate being in a bad mood first thing in the morning.

I hate that I still have 3 more days until I get to see my family.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Things That Blow

The other day, I got an email from my friend Dubya. She is always on the lookout for a great deal, and when one comes along, she doesn't hesitate to spread the word. In this email, it said that was having a sale on a Toro snow blower. It was regular priced at $299.00 and it was on sale for....Wait for it....


Yes, you read right. $15.00!!! So of course I immediately hop on the net, and check it out, and sure enough, right there in print was said snow blower priced at 95% off, coming in at $15.00. Add the $25 for shipping, and I had myself a new snow blower for $48.00 including tax. Suhweet. My mind was a swirl with thoughts of Christmas presents bought with the money I would make by selling it on Craigslist. Suddenly my burden was light.

But then, a day and a half later, I received an email from, stating that it was, in fact, an error on their part, and the snow blower was priced wrong. They had canceled my order, but offered the snow blower to me for the sale price of $219. Nope. No sirree.

That totally blows.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Yesterday I finally (finally!) went out and bought a new pair of jeans. I had received a catalog with a cute cute pair on sale, so I went on over to the store to check them out, and turns out the ones on sale were elastic waist. Okay, I'm all about comfort, and I understand the need for elastic waist in certain situations. Pregnancy, post-op, post-pregnancy, and, okay, I think that's about it. Unless you're 90 years old, then due to the fact that you've lived nearly a century, you can wear pretty much whatever you choose. I would choose a house coat. And slippers. Okay, I would choose that now, but I can't pull it off like an old gray haired granny.

So I give in and buy the regular priced jeans, and a shirt on sale for $9. Score! I'm not thrilled about paying full price, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. This whole time, both kids had been with me, and had been perfect angels. No, really. Gretta is still fighting a vomiting virus, so she was at an all time energy low, which translated into her sitting peacefully in a chair while Maggie entertained her with books and stuffed animals. It was Heavenly. I proceed to check out, at which point the cashier tells me she's a Montessori trained teacher who does babysitting on the side. Always a nice thing to know, just in case.

I gather up the goods, and the children, and head outside. As I'm crossing the road and scurrying through the 15 degree air, I see a car out of the corner of my eye. I realize about halfway across the road that it isn't stopping, and is, in fact, speeding up! Speeding up! The drives swerves around us, at which point I take it upon myself to give him the old Chicago Hello wave. This prompts him to slam on his brakes, which is just what I wanted. Now I can confront my attacker face to face.

He proceeds to get out of the car, and walk towards me. He is about 5 feet tall, no teeth, and no hair, and covered in tattoos. It is a perfect juxtaposition to the beat up POS Hyundai he's driving around. So we exchange words, which went like this,

Me: "Hey! What the heck? I'm a pedestrian (not pedestrain, Jill), you should be giving me the right of way!"

Jerk: "You need to use a *^&*ing crosswalk you *^&*(). "

Me: "Do you see any crosswalks around here?" Me motioning around and pointing out the fact that there are in fact, no crosswalks.

Jerk: "Well, you need to use a crosswalk! Stupid @#@$%"

Me: "I have 2 kids here, you could have killed us! You jerk, I'm calling the police."

Jerk: Ducks quickly into his Hyundai and "speeds" away.

At this point, I'm grateful for 2 things. The fact that Gretta was in my arms and not running alone by herself as she normally would be. And also the fact that I'm medicated with anti anxiety meds. Normally a confrontation like this would have sent me into a crying fit. I wasn't even shaking. I was calm. Calm, people! That $2 a pill is totally worth it after this.

But as I drove away, still reliving the incident in my mind, I realized that I'm especially grateful for my genes. Knowing in my heart that I was in the right, and knowing that had I been on the other side of this confrontation, I would have let that mother and her children cross the street and not even given it a second thought. There is something basic and instictual about it. Being a good person is more than just waving to a neighbor, or going to church every week. It's doing what we know is the right thing.

I could have turned out like that Jerk, who obviously has no respect for women, children, or people in general. I don't know his circumstances, but most people are taught right from wrong at an early age. And yet sometimes, it just doesn't take. They still do stupid things that are common for most of us.

But thankfully I didn't turn out like that Jerk. For some reason it took on me. And it stuck. Not that I don't ever make mistakes, but there is a place in me that wants to make others safe and comfortable.

And I blame it all on good genes.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

True Meaning Tuesday

It's time for me to make a confession. This is hard fought because it practically goes against my DNA code.


I know! How can it be! But it's true. I don't like feeling torn in so many directions, and I don't like "settling" for the perfect gift to give some one I may not know very well.

I do love the spirit of Christmas. I love the lights, and the snow, and the food, and the food, and the food. But I especially love the stories of Christmas. You know the ones, the ones when you hear it, you start to get all goose pimply, and your eyes well up (or in my case, sweat) just a little. The ones that make your heart feel good, and your faith in humanity is restored. These stories can come in many forms. Children's books, short stories, family history stories, or songs. (Christmas Shoes, anyone?) But if we're lucky, or very observant, we may be privy to one of these stories in the making.

So this year, I'm starting True Meaning Tuesday. The Tuesday part is insignificant, mostly it just sounds good with the True part. Feel free to participate on your own blog. I will be telling one of these stories each Tuesday. Some will come from me, some from other people you may or may not know, and some will come from other sources such as published stories and such. My hope is that through this act of seeing the True Meaning of the Christmas season each week, my eyes will be opened to the miracles of the season that are happening around me. Thus making the necessities of this Holiday more bearable.

So stay tuned for your first dose of True Meaning Tuesday. And enjoy the Holiday season.

Monday, November 17, 2008

En Francais

This just made me smile.
She reminds me of Gracie, only en francais. Tres magnifique!

Once upon a time... from Capucha on Vimeo.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Give Away Time

Go here for a great Macy's giveaway. 3 Kids And Us is a great site, found through Tip Junkie, just another reason to love that website, that does lots of giveaways and has a very cute template and button. Go here for the Macy's believe promise to donate $1 for each letter to Santa they receive at their stores. A good cause, and a great excuse to get your happy butt over to Macy's. I need a new pair of jeans in a bad, bad way, and Macy's is very um, size friendly for me. So I don't really need a better excuse than that.

At Least It's Clean

Yesterday started out like most days. Up and at em bright and early. Emma off to school, Maggie awake and dressed in her standard outfit consisting of a Hannah Montana shirt, jeans, and the puffy pink skirt over the top of the jeans, all of this topped off with sparkly pink shoes. She is all girl. And Gretta being her silly self carrying around 13 binkies and her milk. We headed over to the local Starbucks to meet up with some friends and get "coffee", which is code for Hazelnut Hot Cocoa. Mmm. I chatted up the ladies while the kids sufficiently destroyed the table and chairs with donut pieces and spilled milk. Eh, we'll just leave a tip, no biggie. After I had my fill of funny stories and gross sex talk, it was time to head off to Maggie's dance class. She danced her little butt off. Gretta got her white-girl groove on, too, and it was hilarious.

So we head home. I've decided that on the way, a trip to Linens N Things is in order, to take advantage of their misfortune of going out of business and scoring an electric blanket for cheap. Sounds good, right? Yeah. So I'm heading along, minding my business and listening to Cathy and Judy's Sex Thursday talk show, when I approach the turn off for my street. Should I continue to LNT, or should I head home and put Gretta to bed? Hmm. If only there was a way for this decision to be made for me. If only.

Then suddenly, "Waaahh, baaarrrfff." Gretta has spewed all over in her car seat. Decision made. I turn up the street and head home as fast as I can. She continues barfing in her seat, not really crying, mostly just saying "Eeewww", and looking at her slime covered hands. We whip into the driveway, I pull her out of the van, and strip her down naked on the grass. Mind you, it's 30 degrees outside. But I'm not taking any chances of having my van smell like rotten milk, as I was doomed to drive around a Jeep that smelled that way all summer. My bad. But I digress.

I pop G in the tub, and start the mind numbing task of disassembling the damn car seat. Does that remind you of the movie Short Circuit? "No disassemble, no disassemble! Number 5, alive!" That movie reminds me of Meg for some reason. And again, I digress.

What the heck is with those car seats? I mean really. I understand the need for safety and all that good stuff, but who hasn't had their kid puke in the car seat, and needed to rip it apart STAT? You'd think they would make them a little easier to get apart for washing and sanitizing and such. This is the second time in 5 months I've had this kid puke in her car seat. I should be a pro at this by now. I'm not. So now I have a clean, sanitized, taken apart car seat in my dryer. Sugar Daddy is out of town, and this time I don't have an identical model to copy like I did last time. What's a girl to do? I guess I'll stay home and take care of business here. Or I could attempt to put it back together. But at least it's clean.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Say What?

What do you think it says? I have my own suspicions.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hey Y'All

Check out the Mom-preneur Shop-a-thon giveaway extravaganza going on over at Tip Junkie. Love the Tip Junkie. A prime spot for inspiration for an Activity Days leader such as myself. But seriously, tons of good stuff going on over there. It's definitely worth a look.


Some of you may or may not know that I hosted my In-Laws for a couple of weeks. And being the good hostess that I am, I never took one stinkin picture of any of the stuff we did. Yeah, I'm just cool like that. We did have a good time, though. We did lots of cool stuff. We did a "double dutch bus" tour of the City. Very interesting. We made pajama pants, and the poodle skirt. Charlie did laundry. Mountains of laundry. He even cleaned under my kids' beds. Seriously, that alone put me a good week ahead in the housework department.

But Mom, being the sweetheart she is, knows the two things I love the most. Cookies and Roosters. So she gave us a "thank-you" rooster cookie jar. And she filled it up with home made chocolate chip cookies. Yummy! They lasted about 3 days, and my kids were begging for more. So I spent all day yesterday (okay, like an hour, but it seemed like all day) making more chocolate chip cookies. And refilling the jar. And I suspect they will last another 3 days.

So thanks, Mom. That jar will be put to very good use.

Monday, November 10, 2008

What I'm Doing Today

Mondays. Ugh. I don't especially look forward to Mondays. Don't get me wrong, I would look forward to them less if I had to go "off" to work, but dealing with what is left behind from a weekend of slakerness is no picnic either.

My kitchen in all its glory. The weekend tornado has definitely left its mark.

The laundry. Okay, it's been sitting here since Friday, so sue me. Part of me was hoping that Sugar Daddy would take it upon himself to put it away. Or at least carry it upstairs. I should have known better.

Bebe. I had to make a PetsMart run the other night for some necessities. Look at that cute new sweater. Don't judge me, it was 19 this morning, and I'm pretty sure I'd want a sweater on when I went outside to pee and poop and then eat my poop. Oh, and the diaper. Yeah, it's her time of the month. About the only thing I hate about a female dog that isn't fixed. I think it's time to get that taken care of. She hates the diaper, and I hate cleaning up the mess if there isn't a diaper.

And here's a shot of Maggie. I just love this kid. She was trying so hard to finish off the Lucky Charms so she could start cutting out the mask on the back. That's Mags, for you. Always the crafter. Cutting, pasting, taping, whatever.

So, that's pretty much my day. I'll be making a stop at the library for a new book. I've started the Janet Evanovich books "One for the Money", and so far I've read through One, part of Fourteen, some of Four, and just finished Three last night. In that order. Good thing I'm SMRT, or I'd get confused. Who knows what else today will bring, there's always a surprise in store.

Friday, November 7, 2008

In Case You Haven't Had Enough

I understand how boring it can be to browse the various blogs on your Google reader and see only images of mediocre children dressed up as mediocre characters. But I bring you Emma. A most beautiful child, in a most beautiful home made costume. I had a few people tell me they needed to see all of my kids in their costumes, so here you go.

Yes, she's in a poodle skirt, made by yours truly. Even the little doggie and leash. Yes, because I'm that talented. And yes, she's wearing her pajamas underneath. We took this picture on Wednesday afternoon because I forgot to get a picture of her on Halloween. She was home "sick" that day, cough cough. But what can I say, I'm a big softie about stuff like that. But seriously, she is sick. She has an ear infection. Her first ever. So I thought she deserved a day off for that.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Special Month

I am so disappointed with myself. I had a post all written out, and thought I had scheduled it to publish today. And yet, I cannot find it anywhere. Apparently I need to rehash the pain that is cancer. November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness month. Don't you love having a month dedicated to every cause? I think December should be Cash Depletion Awareness month. January should be Sanity Losing Awareness month. But lets just focus on this here month. November. There is a certain symbolism involved here.

My mom loved the Holidays. She would set up the Christmas tree at the office on the day after Halloween. She would cut out the Christmas show schedule from the newspaper and tape it to the fridge. Her embellished sweaters and watches and bracelets and pins and socks would be out in full force. And November was her jumping off point for all of this craziness. It is no small irony that the very cancer that took her life has it's scheduled awareness month at the very time of year she lived for.

I hate that I need to be aware of cancer in general. I especially hate that I have to be aware of pancreatic cancer specifically. I hate all that the awareness means. It means so many people are losing the battle. It means so many families are torn apart. But specifically for me, it means I have to remember all the feelings that come along with losing my mother. Every June I will remember that day of the diagnosis. Every July I will remember the dying and the funeral. Every August I will remember that drive across the plains to my home, knowing on return it would never be the same. September and October will bring thoughts of her birthday and conference weekend. And now November will bring the awareness. Only to usher in December and the Holidays. This seems to be some sort of sick monthly countdown. I wonder if every month will be special?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Again I Say

You might remember a little while ago I posted about a booger being stuck to my mouse. And it wasn't mine. I swear.

Well, it has happened again. Only this time it wasn't on my mouse. It was suck on the closet doors in my entry way. Nice.

I guess this is what happens when 2 kids have runny/stuffy noses, and the other one just has a special affinity for picking hers. And 1 of the 2 kids has croup, and the other one of the 2 kids has an ear infection. How lucky are we? Just in time to pass it all through the family for our trip to Utah. Yippee.

And today, after hearing of a friends passing from cancer, I miss my mom. I hate knowing what they are in store for over the next few months. It makes my heart hurt.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Bonus Post

I'd just like to thank all my sibs out there for being the first to put my new button on their blogs.

What? You don't see it on their blogs when you click the links? There is obviously something terribly wrong with their blogs, because I know in my heart of hearts that they would never, ever go more than a blog check or two without copying and pasting that simple HTML code over there. See? It's right over there on the left. See? It really is.

Apparently my hard-earned button has not taken blogdom by storm as I had anticipated. Shocking, really, I know. So far my button has made it to one, and only one, blog. But I mean, come on. Some of us are blood, so they are obligated to adhere this here button to their blog, are they not? I thought so.

So get on with it already. This is my subtle cry for approval.



This was quite the Halloween around these parts. After arriving back home on Friday afternoon from a nice getaway to the city, we scurried around getting things ready for our party that evening. What started out as as small, intimate affair, blossomed into a full on fest. It was great. I think after final count we ended up with a total of 55 people. Just what Halloween should be.

Here's Maggie in her Princess dress. This isn't her costume. This is her daily attire. But at least she got candy for wearing it this time.

And here's Maggie and Gretta. Notice Gretta's costume. It is so cute. You'll never guess what she is. And I mean that because she absolutely would not let me put her costume on her. So she went around in her overalls. But she still looked cute.

And here's a taste of what part of our group looked like. We all tried to Trick or Treat together, but between burning corn bread, and runaway dogs, we ended up split up most of the way. That's okay, because we arrived back home, and had the most fun. White chicken chili, red bean chili, cornbread, and good company. The recipe for awesomeness.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Leave A Message At The Beep

Keli can't come to the blog right now. You see, she and her Sugar Daddy have gone to the city for a night on the town. Good food, good shopping and good... Well, use your imagination. Let's just say it's been a while since they have been away from the kids.

So, Hyatt Regency, here they come. Thanks to for getting them a great deal, and thanks to Grandpa for watching the kids. Don't expect pictures, because it's not that kind of trip.

Later alligator.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Dang You Darci

A few weeks back, my loving cuz Darci from L-to-the-V blogged about her sweet kid pooping in the bathtub. You will want to scroll down a little bit to see the comments section. Go ahead, scroll. I'll wait. I'm waiting.

Did you see what I said? Yes, my kids had only ever done this once. Note that I said kids. With an S.

Until recently. Gretta has taken it upon herself to poop in the tub 4 more times since I wrote that comment.

Murphy's Law? Probably. Sick irony. Yep. For sure.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I love living just outside the Ghetto. It makes for fun times driving around town. And it makes me appreciate my surroundings. The other morning I was heading back from a muy delicioso breakfast of Nutella and banana crepes at Wildberry, when I was treated to this prime specimen of hoopdee hoopness.

Sorry for the poor picture quality. I was trying to drive and take a picture all at the same time. Shh, don't tell. But for those of you that can't tell, yes, those are in fact Twenty-Fo inch rims on a car. Yes, a car. Some trucks can't handle Twenty-Fo's. Niiice.

And here are the lovely ladies with whom I shared a nummy breakfast. Neighbor Kate and Cayden, and Rosalia, who we're still trying to convince needs a blog. Because every good mom needs a blog, right moms? And for the record, she has the cutest hair I've seen in a long, long time. And her little boy there, Giovanni, he didn't make a peep through the enitre breakfast. Which is more than I can say for Gretta. And Cayden.

But really, this breakfast has awakened in me a sense that I need to do those kind of things more often, and an appreciation of good friends who share my needs. Why oh why do we act like hermit crabs all winter? I mean besides the sub-zero temperatures? It felt so good to sit and chat about mom stuff, and kid stuff, and most importantly, woman stuff. It was like Relief Society. Only yummier.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Best Thing

For those of you that know me well, know that I likey my sleepy. I love taking naps, and I love sleeping in on cloudy, rainy days. Unfortunately, I have an early riser on my hands. Emma likes to get up around 6 or so, sometimes earlier. But it's not Emma that I'm talking about. Maggie, she could sleep in until 8, no prob, so it's not Maggie I'm talking about either.

It's Gretta. She wakes up at the first sound of life in the house. Which, unfortunately, is around 6 when Emma wakes up. Not.A.Good.Thing. But since I'm a loving, devoted mother, I arise and start off the day, doing my motherly duties of cereal and milk and making lunch. And of course I do all of this with a smile on my face, and a song in my heart. Sense the sarcasm here.

The other night, as I was getting G ready for bed, she became fixated on a Hello Kitty pillow that resides on the bunkbeds that share her room. She didn't want to leave that pillow alone on the bed. So I put the pillow in her crib, thinking she would be sick of it in no time. Turns out, she loves it. Yeah, she's 21 months old. She probably shouldn't be sleeping with a pillow. But she is.

And my life has suddenly become much, much easier. Now, her once short sporadic naps have become 2 hours or more. Heaven! And her habit of waking upon any sound in the house? Gone! She sleeps through anything now! I can even go in her room to check on her now, which is probably a good thing, since she's sleeping with a pillow and she's 21 months old, or have I mentioned that already?

So thank you, Hello Kitty. I never thought I would be grateful for a creepy kitten with a giant head, and yet, I am. Gretta thanks you too, from her very rested heart.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Send out the P.I.'s

Have you missed me? Be honest. You have, haven't you. Haven't you? Well, even if you haven't, I've missed you. Oh blogdom, do not a hater be. Please take some pity on my poor, slacker soul. You see, I've been so very busy. You will never understand the "ness" to which I've been busy. In the last 96 hours, I've played host to 8 guests, at 2 separate intervals. You don't understand the amount of time, and laundry detergent, that has been spent folding towels and sheets, and rugs, oh my!

Here is just a taste of what kind of things I've been up to recently.

Lugging around 6 kids. To dance, to the drug store, and to McDonalds. Where else could 6 kids be entertained simultaneously? In the picture are only 5, but you can't see the one sharing the cockpit of the vangina avec moi.

And here are their dear, dear parents. Parents for whom I have an immense respect, not only for traveling so far to attend the temple like dedicated Latter-Day Saints, but because I now understand the time and patience it takes to rassle 4 kids. I may have provided the cheeseburgers, and even though I skimped on the drinkage, there was nary a complaint. Good, good kids.

So dear blogdom, now you have my plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. Don't they call it by reason of mental disease or defect now? Probably, but either way, it fits. Do not fear, I will return. And I will return with a promise of more interesting posts, and pictures of various projects and children. So for now, dear blogdom, I bid you adieu.