Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Fun

So that's where all our taxes are going.

Public education at it's finest.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Happy Mail

Again, thankyoublogger for publishing everything in reverse order.

Gretta was the proud recipient of some wonderful happy mail yesterday. She was so excited to see the box when we arrived home, but she was so tired, a nap took precedence over opening the box. After 2 hours of sleeping bliss, she was revived and ready to dig in.

Of course, with its being from the canine species, she is in love. Love, love, love.

And she's learning some grooming skills that will give her something to fall back on later in life.

You can see the pure bliss on her face as she sees the fuzzy fur peeking out of the package.

And here is the box we found waiting for us on the front porch. There are few things more exciting than finding an unexpected gift by the door.

So thank you, Mimi and Josh. You guys rock. Gretta is in doggy heaven, and has added to the dog pound in which she sleeps.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Germy Fungus

While I shopped and shopped yesterday, I had my kid in the cart. She was sitting so quietly while I perused the wall of ribbons, looking for that one perfect design. I took my sweet time. Upon turning around, I see her sucking on the handle of the shopping cart. Sucking on it. Like a newborn sucks on a binky.

I don't consider myself a germ freak by any means, but I do know the facts. Like, the fact that most people don't wash their hands properly, if at all (BLECH!) after using the bathroom. And then those filthy hands find their way, along with their hitch hiking germs, onto various surfaces. Like door knobs, and telephones, and yes, even grocery cart handlebars.

And now my kid has sucked it clean.

Needless to say, she woke up with a wicked cough. I hope that's all it is. I'm worried about seeing a rash, or sores, or worse! Especially since I know of 2 people whose babies have come down with MRSA.

Let's hope she recovers quickly, and that I won't become that mom who sanitizes everything and won't let her kids touch other kids toys and such. Yeah, like that would happen.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Womb Mates

Did you hear about the lady that gave birth to Octuplets? OCT-tuplets. For the record, that word isn't even in my computer dictionary. Quintuplets, yep, it's there. Sextuplets, sure. Septuplets and Octuplets, nope. This should be our first, or maybe seventh or eighth clue that our "fertility treatments" have gotten a little out of control. And the poor lady, she didn't even know she was having 8 babies. She thought there was "only" 7 until the delivery, and then surprise! one more.

I guess what's one more when you're already having a litter. Note that that is a statement, not a question.

My darling Terrible Two year old, of which I have one, has decided that she can dial 9-1-1, stay up until midnight, and drink regular Coke. Imagine a day like that times 8! I need a nap just thinking about it.


Monday, January 26, 2009


Yesterday I drove all the way to the airport, picked up my cargo, dropped them off at an undisclosed location to which I'd never been, and drove home using roads on which I'd never driven. I did all of this without using my GPS.

It was a good day.

Also, notice there are no dangling participles in that first paragraph. You're welcome.


Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday Fun

Thanks, Meg. For some reason I think yours would get a discount.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Two Down

My baby is two. Two, people. Where has the time gone? So instead of blah blah blahing your ear off, I've included a sweet picture story, in reverse order, thankyoublogger.

Gretta showing off her pearly whites.

At the beach this summer.

Memorial Day bbq with the Ward.

Playing in the water. A favorite pastime.

Where her love of all things dog began. Camping last Spring in Wisconsin.

Enjoying some early morning play time in the Spring.

Love that hat. She gets laughs whenever she wears it.

Learning how to crawl. She was so skinny!

Swaddled up for nap time. She was so wiggly, if I didn't swaddle her, she would flail around and never sleep. And of course, she had the lovely helmet. It did make her head a nice round shape, so I guess all that stink was worth it.

And the birth shot. I could include several bloody C-Section shots here, so if you want to see them just email me, and they're all yours.

So that's it. My babes. Growing up too fast. But I have to include reasons we love Gretta
  • She knows how to get her way. That Pterodactyl scream gets the job done effectively.
  • Anything dog related is her best friend.
  • She loves Ranch Dressing.
  • The way she won't eat her own dinner, but she'll crawl up on your lap, open her mouth, and say "mmbite?"
  • She runs everywhere.
  • The way she "stays close" when we carry her from the car to the store/church/school, so as to keep her face buried in our shoulders and avoid the freezing wind.
  • When she lies down on the step when she needs her bum changed.
  • Her love of "Me's", which is Gretta's way of saying binky.
  • Having 20 blankets in her crib at night, along with her many many dogs.
  • When someone is crying, she gets such a sympathetic look on her face, as if it really makes her sad, too.
  • That she knows how to turn on the toy room TV all by herself.
Gretta, we love you. I'm sad to see you grow, but I love seeing all the new things you discover. You are truly a joy to have in our family. We love you!


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

It May Only Happen Once Every 8 Or So Years

And I'm not talking about the inauguration. I'm talking about the fact that I went to Wal-Mart yesterday during the inauguration, and not only did I score a front row parking space, inside the store was practically empty.

I'd like to think it's because everyone was home watching the inaugural speech of our new Prez, but for some reason I think it has more to do with people being broke from Christmas and their 401(k)'s taking a big ol' crap. Like ours.

Christmas spending - $680,934*
401(k) losses - $32,059*
Front Row Spot at Wal-Mart - Priceless

*Not actual numbers. Duh.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009


One thing you must know about Gretta is that she loves her stuffed animals. And lately, it has been her stuffed dogs. Dogs in every size, shape, color, and species. In addition to carrying 3 or 4 lucky "doggies" around all day, she insists on each and every one of them sleeping in her crib with her. This brings the total to 267 stuffed dogs in her crib, along with her "woof woof blank" blanket from Grandma. It's like the dog pound in there.

This morning I was returning from Neighbor Kate's house after letting her 500 pound dog out to pee, and as I entered into the house, Emma runs to tell me Gretta has thrown up in her crib. Oh, great. I can hear her upstairs saying, "eew, throw up ma!" So I hurry upstairs to purvey the damage. First thing I notice is no smell. Whew, maybe she didn't barf up that entire cup of milk she guzzled minutes before falling asleep. Second thing I notice, it's everywhere. But still, no smell. I flip on the light, and voila! No barf. It was a bloody nose!

My baby duked it out with her 267 puppies in the dog pound, and lost.

But those poor dogs took a pretty good beating. Blood everywhere. On everything.

I find it appropriate that she had her inaugural nose bleed on this, inaugural Tuesday. Firsts all around.

And the bleeding has stopped, thanks for asking.


Monday, January 19, 2009


There are good days. Days when I can almost forget. There are bad days, days when I get those twinges of sorrow, but they pass without incident. Then there are days like yesterday. Days when the grief is utterly consuming, overwhelming, and crippling. It hit me hard yesterday. And of all places, it was during Sacrament meeting, during the opening hymn. It was the last 3 verses of "If You Could Hie To Kolob", I mean really, who ever really sings the last 2 verses, anyway? Well, our little Ward likes to sing the entire song, of every song, and yesterday the words really hit hard.

The works of God continue, And worlds and lives abound;
Improvement and progression Have one eternal round.
There is no end to matter; There is no end to space;
There is no end to spirit; There is no end to race.

There is no end to virtue; There is no end to might;
There is no end to wisdom; There is no end to light.
There is no end to union; There is no end to youth;
There is no end to priesthood; There is no end to truth.

There is no end to glory; There is no end to love;
There is no end to being; There is no death above.
There is no end to glory; There is no end to love;
There is no end to being; There is no death above.

As I sat sobbing, unable to get a grip on my emotions, I started to think why this particular day was so much harder than all the other days. For one reason, it has been nearly 5 months now, and the grief still gets me. 5 months has flown by, and I worry that the next 5 years will fly by just as quickly, and that I may lose some of the essence of what made Mom Mom. What if I forget the way she talked? What if I forget her smell? What if I said the wrong things or did the wrong things, and she can't forgive me? The other reason I came up with, is the fact that I am basically unmedicated at this particular juncture in my life. This is something I haven't dealt with in over 8 years. Due to some reasons I'd rather not get into, I've decided it's time to change my prescription, and in order to do that, I had to leave on behind, and pick up another, leaving a gap in between. It's not a pretty sight. But let me tell you, it's not a pretty feeling, either.

As I sat sobbing, even through the youth speaker and the Bishop's testimony, it was as if these last 5 months were hitting me raw for the first time. I've been feeling all of this grief from behind a medication screen, and now, they are hitting full force. It's like the diagnosis, suffering and death all over again, only this time I don't have my siblings there to share the sorrow with. It makes me grateful for the blessing of being together during all of that the first time. But it makes me sad that Sugar Daddy can't feel what I feel, because he wasn't there. I know he hurts too, but it's not the same. I felt lonely. But I'm giving it another couple of days, the new medication will kick in, and all will be well again. Hopefully.


Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday Fun

As comfy as it looks, I'm glad there's this sign to stop me. Lagoon, you rock.

And did you see? NieNie is back! She posted a picture and everything! I don't know this woman, but I feel like my soul does. I'm thrilled for her, just like I would be for a sister, and am so excited to see her old self coming through. Go visit her here.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Warmer Places = Antarctica

*Image added this afternoon. I can hardly believe it, and it's now -10 at 5:24 PM.

It's cold here. Way cold. Cold enough that they closed the schools because it is dangerously cold. But it's windy, so you know, that helps lots.

If you want to see our hourly forecast of frigidness, and this has nothing to do with me, click here.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wednesday WRant

Dear Parents Magazine,

Lest you think I'm writing this letter out of irritation, let me start off by saying how much I love your magazine. I love the poorly researched articles, the generic advice given by mediocre experts, and the way you lump advertisement pages together so you can't find page numbers, as the pages fly by 25 at a time due to the clump of Target ads. Those are all things I look forward to each month. But there is one thing that is really irritating about your magazine these days. Let me explain.

I love nothing more than curling up with a good magazine or book, climbing into my bed, warm from an awaiting electric blanket, and cracking open what could be hours of fine entertainment. I could remain in this position for eternity, I think. Sometimes, though, I like to mix it up a little, and take my reading material on a little field trip, and that is into the jetted tub for a relaxing bath. Ahh, bubbles surrounding me, no kids bothering me, and word after word, page after page, to keep my mind alert. A little slice of heaven, really.

I open your magazine, only to find the first 15 pages to whip by my fingers as if in a fit of rage. There seems to be a large clump of heavy duty glossy pages right where the page I'm looking for should be. It takes me nearly 5 minutes (!) to sift through all those glossy ads for diapers and PediPed shoes, and baby bjorns before I finally find the article I'm looking for. I roll the front page back, slide a little deeper into the bubbles, and relax in for a good session of parenting advice. Suddenly, out of nowhere, I am accosted by 3, count them, 3 loose subscription cards, falling gracefully into my steaming hot bath. I feel violated. Like a stranger in a snorkel mask has just surfaced. I'm in a tizzy, throwing your magazine across the room to save it from a watery death, reaching two handed into the bubbly abyss to find the drowning cards before they melt away and adhere permanently to my naked body. Let's face it, there's more body in that tub than there is water. In this moment, my bliss is shattered.

My evening of "me" time is down the drain, so to speak.

So thank you for your intense interest in me getting me to subscribe to a magazine to which I already subscribe. I feel like a popular girl who keeps getting asked to prom, despite everyone knowing she already has a date. But at the risk of soundy snobby, just quit already! I don't need to be reminded with every turn of the page that I need the latest baby gadget to make my baby happy. I don't need to be showered in subscription cards to remind me to subscribe, your weekly junk mail takes care of that nicely. Just leave me be, and let me read your magazine naked in a tub like it's meant to be read.

And keep up the mediocre work.

Bubbly yours,


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

An Anniversary, Sort Of

It's was a year ago today. A year ago that I did the most grown-up thing of my life. A year ago that I left my little cocoon of a life behind, and started across the plains like a modern day pioneer. It was a miserable morning that day. We awoke early to an unexpected snow storm. We packed up the final necessities, hugged, kissed, and cried our loved ones goodbye, and headed East, into the sunrise. There was definite excitement as we drove. Crossing each new state line brought us closer to a new adventure. There were times when the grief of leaving family behind was almost too much to bear. But we pressed on. It grew colder. We grew more excited. With each passing mile, the draw of a new life brought a new light to our hearts. We knew it was an experience we needed. We knew that our new life was all about what we made it to be.

Without knowing even a single soul, we settled into a new home, new school, and a new church. Friends came easily for all of us, and soon life seemed normal.

Summer came, mom died, and suddenly life, I realized, will never be normal again.

This anniversary brings a gamut of emotions. Sadness, for those months I missed out on while mom was well. Joy, for knowing I can do hard things and make it work. Fulfillment, for seeing my children flourish in a new environment, and trepidation, for not knowing what lies ahead, and seeing first hand that life can change drastically in an instant.

I know that the years pass more and more quickly as time marches on, and each anniversary of this date will lessen the sadness and grief that came with it that first day. Thankfully, those aren't the only feelings I remember. I miss my old life, but I love my new life. And that makes a happy anniversary all around.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Economy Of Mythical Proporthons

My baby lost her first tooth. She's 5. An early bloomer, just like her mom. She had a full set of teeth at 5 months, so I guess I shouldn't be too surprised by this, but I thought I had at least another year before she started losing the pearly calcifications.

The Tooth Fairy dropped off $5 in $1 bills. Chalk that one up to the economic crisis. I think the government should offer all mythical creatures a bit of that bailout money, don't you? I mean, I've seen Santa panhandling on the street corner for weeks now. I guess he's out of a job too. Let's hope Obama can help him out, huh?

And here is our toothless wonder. She is quite excited to use that new found hole by squeezing a straw in the gap, and using it as a "holder". Honestly, it was the cutest little tooth. So tiny. And such a metaphor for what is to come. I know soon we'll be looking into braces, and acne wash, and lip gloss. Too soon. Too, too soon.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Friday Fun

Only on Saturday.

Did you miss me yesterday? I know you did. I was ripe with diarrhea and vomitous, so I took the day off, thankyouverymuch. But I'm back and I give you this.

This, my friends, is what Diesel fuel looks like when the weather outside is muy frightful. Like, -30 frightful. In Nebraska. On a Sunday. And we don't want to spend another minute in small town Nebraska, but we have no choice because we need a new fuel filter STAT! frightful. Did that sentence make sense? It did in my head.

I think Diesel fuel is supposed to look, more, well, fuel-y, than buttery. I'm just guessing, though. Good thing Sugar Daddy is good with his hands (wink wink) and got that bad filter out and the new one in in 5 minutes flat. He da man.


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Important Things, Part Deux

A few years ago, maybe 2 or so, Jill gave Sugar Daddy this nifty hitch cover shaped as a golf club. It's pretty cool. He loves it, though I wish she had given him the truck nuts, but it will do. This little beauty has seen a lot over the last couple of years. New wheels and tires, a new baby, a cross-country move, and 2, count them, 2 accidents.

And both times, this has saved his butt (no pun intended). The first time was last winter, our first here in Chicago, and surprisingly, most people are not great drivers when it comes to snow covered roads. Sugar Daddy had pulled in to McD's for a refreshing beverage after a long day of work, when he felt a little jostle. He didn't even spill his drink. So he pulls forward a titch, and sees what is left of a Dodge Neon in his rearview. Mr. Neon Driver was a little too ambitious when it came to getting his after-work treat. He hit Sean at a slow speed, but seeing as it was a Neon, and made of wax paper or something similar, the hood was now a taco, and Sugar Daddy's truck, well, it had nary a scratch. You could see where the Neon had made contact with the golf club hitch, and the hood of the car just folded around it. Score one for the Club.

The second, and hopefully last, time this happened, was just this week. As Sugar Daddy headed through an intersection at the left hand turn light, the driver behind him was so anxious to get to work that morning, he tried to push Sugar Daddy out of the way with his Pontiac. This time, the man was so shaken up, he couldn't even get out of the car, which I think has more to do with the fact that his tags were expired, and I'm just guessing he had no insurance, if you know what I mean. Sugar Daddy saw that again, the golf club hitch had saved his rear (sorry, I just couldn't help it!), and waved at the man, and drove off, leaving a Pontiac with a mashed in hood, and a very scared immigrant behind.

So Jill, you always win when it comes to gift giving. You are definitely the most thoughtful, and you always know exactly what will be touching and special. You could always make Mom cry with your sweet gifts. And though you probably thought the golf club hitch was a funny man-gift with no real purpose, know that it has served more than it's purpose of making aware Sugar Daddy's love of the game. I figure it has saved us at least 2 trips to the body shop, and who knows how many arguments about who is the better driver. And that, my dear sister, is very important.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Important Things

Surprisingly, Sugar Daddy has a perfect driving record. This seems so funny to me, even as his wife, because he has tendencies toward road rage (minor) and speeding (medium), and even erratic driving (major). He tries to talk on his phone, shift, and steer, all at the same time. It's tricky, trust me, I've tried it. I'm not great at it. He can do it with no problems, sometimes even balancing a refreshing beverage in his hand. It's a gift, really.

But his perfect record has nearly been marred a couple of times. Once, 11 years ago, on a lonely road North of Kemmerer, Wyoming, as we headed hurriedly up to Jackson Hole for our honeymoon, a bored Highway Patrol officer pulled us over for speeding. After seeing us in our newly wedded bliss, and I'd like to think a strong stirring from the Spirit, he let us go with just a warning. Whew.

Last weekend again, we were hurrying home from Utah, only this time instead of newly wedded bliss, we had 3 kids sleeping and a truck bed packed to the hilt with Christmas loot. A Lincoln, Nebraska construction zone can be a lonely place at 2 AM, so when those red and blues turned on, it nearly caused an anal hygiene problem for me, if you know what I mean. I instinctively opened up the glove box to get out the registration and proof of insurance, ( you see, I'm really no stranger to the routine) as the friendly police officer approached my side of the truck.

It is at this point 3 things happen simultaneously. First, I realize we have no current proof of insurance. They are all expired, some just barely (August), and some for quite a while ( January of 07). Second, I see our registration is a little iffy, at best. Sure, it has the county in which we live, but no home address, no name to which the vehicle is registered, and no make or model of the vehicle. Hmmm, weird. And third, I get a gut instinct that this officer is only looking for drunk drivers on this the first night of the year. I know that none of our misdeeds is enough for him to care about.

Sure enough, he takes Sugar Daddy back to his vehicle, makes small talk with him while he runs our plates, and proceeds to tell him he and his wife are expecting their first child in June. I think once he saw the 3 kids, and heard we were from Utah, he figured there were probably a few extra wives and several dozen children awaiting our return. Which is fine, I think it's kind of a fun stereotype to let people believe. It makes me chuckle.

So despite our lacking proper papers, and the fact that we were doing 11 over in a construction zone, Officer Goodeed let us go with just a warning. Wow. Again, we made it by the skin of our teeth.

And Sugar Daddy continues his perfect driving record. Much to my chagrin, as I have had a couple of incidents with red lights, and garbage cans. No matter. It keeps our insurance down, and it makes him feel superior to all the other drivers on the road. And that's what is most important.

But stay tuned for tomorrow's installment of "why it's good to have a golf club shaped hitch plug when you live in an icy environment", or "thanks to Jill's fabulous gift, she has saved us thousands of dollars in deductibles". Trust me, you don't want to miss it.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Snow + Power = Hilarity

Cousin Chad is so sweet. He always has something fun up his sleeve, and is endlessly entertaining our kids. One day, he'll make a great dad, but for now, we'll take him as our surrogate. This particular day, a day or two before Christmas, we headed over to his parents house, and spent hours (okay, maybe an hour) pulling the kidlets around on sleds behind the 4 wheelers. It brought back many a fun childhood memory, as we spent most of our winters this way.

It was a cold day, so Chad built us a fire by which we could warm ourselves. As you can see, it didn't feel cold to me, since it was at least 30, and it hasn't gotten up to 30 in my hometown for months, now. It felt balmy to me.

Here I am, pulling Brent on the snowboard. He did better than I thought he would, and apparently, he was cracking me up. Yes, you see correctly, I have no coat on. Honestly, the only thing that got cold on me was my hands. I'm so tough.

Here's poor Livvy. She was the first casualty of the evening. Bloody nose, fat lip, and not a peep of discomfort from her. She was such a good sport. She was very brave, and wouldn't give up, even with blood streaming down her face and onto her coat.

Sugar Daddy and Emma driving around like they own the place. I think Duane was a little miffed when Sugar Daddy decided to take a spin through his garden, so I had to put a stop to that right off. Emma loved driving, though, and I think some 4 wheelers are in our near future.

Here's Kinney slamming righteously into Brent's car. You see, Sugar Daddy was a little slow on figuring out the whole "whip the sled around, but avoid obstacles at all costs" thing. Good thing Brent is leaving on his mission, here to Chicago!, in a couple of months. I doubt he'll even notice the dent her head left. Although she does tend to walk in circles, now.

I have some cute photos of Gabe and Eli, too, but blogger is being picky, and won't upload them. I don't know why. Maybe because they are 2 of the cutest boys Ev.Er. and blogger feels like keeping the fairest in the land hidden away.

I also have one of Maggie having what could be the best time of her life. If you can sense my sarcasm here, it's fully intended. That girl is afraid of everything. For her, wearing layers of clothes, gloves, boots and a hat, along with the loud sound of the 4 wheelers, was totally overwhelming. She hardly moved from my side, or from the fire pit, the entire time. Oh, except for when I literally shoved her into my lap on the sled so we could go for a ride together. Yeah, she screamed the whole time. I know, I know, slap the parent of the year award right here next to my many others, but my dad did that kind of stuff to me, so I figure it can't be all that harmful, right? I mean, I turned out perfectly.


Monday, January 5, 2009

I Resolve

Okay, okay, everyone is doing it, so I guess I should too. Tis the season of resolution making, and if you're anything like me, breaking. But to help give myself a better chance of keeping my resolutions for more than a day or two (remember the time I gave up Diet Pepsi for like 12 hours? Yeah, I'm that devoted), I've decided to make monthly goals. Easy stuff. Stuff I can do in my sleep, or on the toilet. No, I'm serious. I'll 'splain.

One of my goals is to work on food storage. I plan on doing a little every time I visit the store. A little extra ketchup here, a few extra tissues here, yadda yadda, and after a month of this, voila!, food storage.

The other goal I have can easily be done whilst taking care of those matters of nature. Surprisingly, I don't ever read the Ensign. I know. I should. I admit, I try. But I get bored, and decide folding laundry is more fun than reading about Jimmy saving his pennies to buy Gabriel a new tie for church. (You know you've read a story just like that, right?) So, my plan includes taking the monthly edition of the Ensign directly upstairs to the bathroom. Usually I peruse Parents Magazine or the L.L. Bean catalog, or the back of the air freshener spray, so this idea will get me going (no pun intended!) in the right direction. So far, so good, on this one.

One more goal I have, and one at which I fully intend to fail, is to reinstate Family Home Evenings. I was so good when we first moved here. Every Monday night, there was a lesson, a song, and a snack. Then Summer Vacation arrived, and we haven't had one since. So tonight is the night. We're doing it.

So there you go. Those are my goals. Right out there in the open. I will post these on the side of my blog so I will be reminded daily. Nothing like a nagging note to get you motivated, right?


Wedding Day

Well, she said "Yes" at the appropriate time, so here are the pictures that prove it. She was the most gorgeous bride I've ever seen, and I'm not just saying that because she's my little sister. She did a fabulous job planning the wedding, and everything turned out beautifully, even the weather.

Moments after saying "Yes".

Isn't that one of the most gorgeous cakes you've ever seen? She grew that wheat grass all by her self, with a little help from Kelli, Jill, and a grass growing operation in the basement.

Saying bye to Dad. Aww.

So purdy. Those are Mom's pearls, and her ring consists of Meg's engagement ring, and my mom's wedding band. They look so beautiful together.

It was a fun night. The sisters all got to mingle around the guests all night long, and it was fun seeing people on a good note this time. There was still a definite missing piece, but not in a sad way. It was as if Mom just stayed in the back of our minds, and let Meg have her day. So typically Mom. We're so excited to have Uncle Josh join our family. I hope he realizes what he got himself into!