Monday, December 27, 2010

A Christmas Experiment, Gone Horribly.......

RIGHT.  Phew, what a relief it is to say that.

Before I begin, I just want to say that we did this for us....not to judge, criticize or make anyone else feel bad about how they did things.  This was what we needed....

Felix and I decided early in the Christmas season that we didn't want the same ol' typical Christmas.  Lot's of stuff, lots of fighting.....blah, blah, blah.

This year has been more adventurous for us than most....they seem to be getting more and more hectic as we wend our way through some of our medical issues.  I spent a lot of time at the hospital with Baylee, Felix spent a lot of time at work and we both realized the one thing we didn't have enough of this year was time.  We both felt like our kids deserved more than we had been able to give this year.

So we warned the kidlets that there would not be a lot of 'stuff' this year.  Originally, we had planned on a little getaway, but that just didn't quite work out either.  But we stuck to our guns and didn't buy individual gifts.  We bought family gifts and only family gifts.

Not to say that our kids didn't get anything....they just didn't add to their piles of unused toys and gadgets already piled in their rooms.

Santa managed to still get us our Christmas Eve jammies.  Phew....I don't know if we would have survived without our Christmas Eve jammies.  Then in complete opposition to what we have always done....we stayed up until after 11, having a rockin' Christmas Eve Rock Band party with the kids.  We kept the computer up, so we could track Santa through NORAD and the second he crossed into Utah territory, we all went to bed.

Christmas morning we woke up to new sleds from Santa and new snow pants from Mom and Dad.  The kids don't believe that I have Santa on speed dial...but I do....that is how we are able to always coordinate so well.  Their stocking contained journals, silly string, a giant bag of M&M's and a disposable camera.  A disposable camera?????  In this digital age?  Well, the mommy worked that out pretty quickly and we are going to develop the pictures from our Family Christmas adventure and make a photo collage....I think we may have to do that every year.

We weren't totally heartless......there were games and movies, a Clearplay (so mommy could watch all the movies she hasn't been able to) and an air hockey table.  No individual gifts....but things we would be able to do together.

We put the air hockey table together and played for a couple of hours and then we suited up and went hill hunting for some sleddin' time.  We stopped at a convenience store and had donuts and Ruffles for Christmas breakfast....YUMMMMMMM. 

It didn't take long, but we found a great hill and had a marvelous time.  Apparently, all I do is cackle as I watch everyone else biff it....watch for videos....you'll see what I'm talking about.

We had dinner with my family and then headed home to enjoy the rest of our day.  We made a late night snack of pot stickers and fried rice and then played air hockey and watched movies until the wee hours.

So...it wasn't a big Christmas.  What is was.....WONDERFUL.   There was more peace in our home this Christmas.  Our focus, had been completely changed.....

Lessons Learned
1.  It really is just stuff.  And it really doesn't matter.
2.  My kids were amazing about our 'redirection' from commercialism.....they didn't complain....NOT ONCE.
3.  We spent a whole day playing as a family.....AND WE LIKED IT.
4.  It was nice to be content with what I have....and admitted, I have a lot more than I need....but the best thing I have, is my family.
5.  We might be doing this again next year.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Ode to the 12 Days of Christmas - Repost from 12/08

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, a partridge in a pear tree.
--Ummmm, what is a partridge and what the hud is it doing in my tree?

On the second day of Christmas my true love game to me two turtle doves and a patridge in a pear tree.
--Great, it's that wretched partridge again and now doves? That's it, I'm calling animal control.

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me three french hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
--What the hud is up with the flipping birds? Who's going to clean up all of the poop?

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves and a patridge in a pear tree.
--Are they remaking Hitchcocks birds or something? HELP ME.

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me 5 golden rings, four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
--That's right we are in Utah, so 5 golden rings is perfectly acceptable. At least there will be help to build the aviary.

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me 6 geese a laying, 5 golden rings, four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
--Great, now it's not only bird poop, but eggs too. GRAND.

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me 7 swans a swimming, 6 geese a laying, 5 golden rings, four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
--I don't have a pool, why the heck are they here? Where's my gun? Swans aren't a protected species are they?

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me 8 maids a milking, 7 swans a swimming, 6 geese a laying, 5 golden rings, four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
--Milking what? We only have stupid birds.

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me 9 ladies dancing, 8 maids a milking, 7 swans a swimming, 6 geese a laying, 5 golden rings, four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
--Has anyone told them that they are dancing on bird poop and eggs yet?

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me 10 lords a leaping, 9 ladies dancing, 8 maids a milking, 7 swans a swimming, 6 geese a laying, 5 golden rings, four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
--Okay, the lords a leaping got the memo...at least they are trying to avoid the bird poop.

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me 11 pipers piping, 10 lords a leaping, 9 ladies dancing, 8 maids a milking, 7 swans a swimming, 6 geese a laying, 5 golden rings, four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
--Great, the plumbers are here. What do they think they are going to accomplish, birds don't use toilets.

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me 12 drummers drumming, 11 pipers piping, 10 lords a leaping, 9 ladies dancing, 8 maids a milking, 7 swans a swimming, 6 geese a laying, 5 golden rings, four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
--Well, with any luck at all they will drum everyone out of here so I can clean up the poop.

MERRY CHRISTMAS (and avoid all of the poop). 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Eensy, Weensy Spider.....

"Spider!"  "Spider, spider, spider, spider, spider!!!!!"  "SPIDER!"

Yeah, that would be how it started. Oh my goodness....put your big girl pants on and get it yourself.

"I have to leave,"  Felix says, "Can you go down and take care of that?"  "Fine!"  I said on the inside and outside.  The big babies.  "I'll be down in a minute!" They can avoid it for an entire minute.  No problem.

I finish up what I am doing and go to the basement.  I get to the bottom of the stairs and just as my toes are gracing the very tippy tops of the carpet, Caleb, Baylee AND Savannah are all screaming, "Stop!  You are going to step on it.  It's a black widow....we're gonna die!!!!!!!"

Drama much?  I look down and see a GIANT spidery-lookin' thing.  It was black...but I'm pretty sure there were more than 8 legs.  I get down and look closer.  Why?  Because I'm me.  Spiders don't scare me.  My older brother had a tarantula as a pet.  So....I get about an inch from the 'spider' and realize...it's a wadded up ball of string.

So I reach to pick it up and the kids all start screaming bloody murder.  I'm not kidding....bloody murder.  I pick it up and Baylee nearly passes out before she turns and runs screaming in the other room.  Caleb and Savannah back up towards the wall as I am trying to unravel the string and explain it's  JUST string. 

Sadly, there was so much screaming it sounded something like, "But........No.......Stop........Screaming.......Wait..........Look.......Chill........"  I think you get the general idea.  I finally get close enough for the three "Screamateers" to see the string I am holding up.  After a minute, Savannah and Baylee calm down and kind of giggle.  I say, kind of, on purpose.   They had worked themselves into such a frenzy they were having trouble calming down.

It was about then I realized someone was still screaming.  Poor Caleb was sitting on the couch, tears streaming down his cheeks, flushed and wailing.

I finally sit next to him, touch him with my hand (so he'll open his eyes and stop screaming) and he opens his eyes, sees the fully extended string and screams even louder as he tries to burrow through the cushions of the couch to protect himself from the danger of the wild string.  After a minute it dawns on him.  He stops screaming, looks at me, looks at the string and says, "Stop chasing me with that thing."

Lessons Learned
1.  I think we might be needin' a tarantula.
2.  Big babies.
3.  Poor things.
4.  Poor Caleb...he needs to not hang out with his sisters.
5.  For the record, I wasn't chasing anybody!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Angels Among Us

Many of you know that Baylee has to go up to Primary Children's Medical Center pretty often. If you didn't before, you do now.

We were last there a couple of weeks ago. Because we had to push her treatment up, we ended up going a little later in the day than usual. I don't think that was an accident. I think Heavenly Father wanted me to have a particular experience.

The halls of PCMC are blessed. I've always thought that. How can you not, when you see the bent and twisted bodies, the tubes and machines hooked up to children, and all of the amazing people who care for these little ones?

There is a part of me that feels almost guilty for noticing that even though we have our fair share of trials, it could always be worse. I don't like having that viewpoint, but it is reality.

I was somewhat frustrated with our last visit. I was tired, not looking forward to another long afternoon/evening.

It's always interesting to see the people at Primary's. You can see the worry, hope and peace throughout their bodies. Anyone who has spent any time there, even for just a doctors appointment understands the combination of emotion. You worry because of the struggle of your child. You hope for the best....you always hope for the best, even when part of you is expecting the worst. And peace....some have it, some are searching for it and some don't think they will ever find it.

We arrived in our room, got Baylee hooked up to her IV, did all of her blood work and then waited for the medication to arrive from the pharmacy. Once she had ordered her dinner and had a craft to occupy herself, I went to the cafeteria to get myself some dinner so we could eat together.

As I was walking into the cafeteria, I was looking toward the floor, kind of deep in thought about how much more I could take and more importantly about how much more Baylee could take, and how I need to do a better job for all of my children, especially the ones at home. I glanced up to walk through the door (and make sure I wasn't running into anybody or anything) and the first thing I was were two little legs being held up by the supports on the wheelchair. I quickly looked at the boy, his father and walked past to get something to eat.

After I got my food, I went over to the line to pay. I was privileged and extremely humbled to be right behind this child, his father and a guest I hadn't noticed the first time. When I first brushed past, I didn't see what this little one had been through. This time I saw the multiple scars that ran from his feet up his legs. I saw the swelling and irritation of more recent surgical scars on his arms and legs. I also saw the drainage tubes coming from underneath his shirt.

I felt bad for dismissing this little wonder the first time I saw him. After standing behind this little boy for only a few minutes, my spirit was humbled and I felt a peace unlike any other. I was amazed at what I heard from this angel.

As he looked back and forth between his father and the other man as they talked, his eyes were bright and excited. After a moment watching the exchange, he suddenly said, "Bishop, I am so happy to see you. I am always so happy when I'm here, because I get to see so many of my friends. The people here love me Bishop. Know how I know? Because they take care of me. I am so happy to see you. Can you stay for a while? My dad likes to talk to you and so do I. This is why I like it here, because so many people love me." I watched as the Bishop stood there and wiped tears from his eyes. He got down on bended knee and gave a quick hug and said, "What's not to love?"

It may not sound like much, but looking at the scars, the tubes and the physical ailments of this little one and I was completely overcome by what a precious place this was. Even though Baylee did not have the same journey as this boy, hers was still a trial for her. And through it all, how blessed we are to have so many angels among us. These doctors and nurses who have chosen to help the weak, sick and suffering little ones are but a few of the angels there. Others include the friends, volunteers and support staff.

I was also over come by how many of Heavens angels walk through the corridors of that hospital. The blessings of Heaven rest there. Our babies are never alone in their suffering and trials and neither are we.

Heavenly Father would never turn His back on a child and there is proof of that at Primary Children's Medical Center.

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to see the purity of this boys spirit. I cannot fathom how he has physically suffered, but I can understand so much better why he is able to endure the physical struggles and and yet continue to bring joy to others. What a wonderful scene to witness.  I saw the power of life.  I feel so privileged.

I know mere words could never do justice to what I witnessed, but I hope it suffices to say that I felt the love for my daughter and for me on this visit. I was truly, truly humbled and am so grateful for this loving, gentle reminder of how truly blessed I am.

Lessons Learned
1. There are so many, where do I begin.?
2. How grateful I am to a Father in Heaven that gives us everything, and asks so little in return.
3. I'm grateful for my blessings, even if I have to walk through the refiners fire to reach them.
4. I know I'm stronger for my trials. I know my family is too. I hope we can give our strength to those who need it one day.
5. In this midst of chaos, is where the greatest peace lies.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Death by SPOON

Oh, the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth that made it's way up to our room from the basement.  Each footstep, heavy with whatever travesty had befallen the woeful child.

As Caleb came into our room, he threw himself onto our bed and loudly cried, "Noah, turned off my program......WAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH".  So we (being the incredibly just Solomon type parents that we are) asked Caleb what Noah's punishment should be.

"Should we ground him for 2 weeks?" Felix asked.  "How about we cut off his hand for touching the remote?" I asked.  Caleb looked at us and said, "YES."

As Felix and I giggled, Caleb continued to offer suggestions as to how we could correct the problem.  "We should cut off his other hand too, in case he tries to use that to change the channel."  Felix and I started giggling even harder, and then we hear, "And we should cut off his legs too, so he can't get to the remote."

At which point Felix and I lost it and started quoting Robin Hood (Kevin Costner version).  "I'll cut your heart out with a spoon...." "Why a spoon cousin?"  "Because it's dull, and it'll hurt more."  Caleb was crying in the background about how this wasn't "hysterical", it was "serious"....NOAH CHANGED THE CHANNEL.

We asked Caleb how we should do the punishment....his sweet and honest reply was "Chainsaw........or spoon."

We called Noah up and asked Caleb to explain the punishment to Noah.

"First," he says, "You are grounded for 2 weeks."  [Imagine Noah flipping out in the background]
"Then we will cut your hand off, then the other hand so you can't touch the remote.  Then we will cut your legs off so you can't reach the remote."  Caleb leans over and in his very bestest stage whisper asked, "Why do we use a spoon?"

As we all completely dissolved into fits of laughter, Noah went and got a plastic spoon and said, "I accept my punishment."  So Felix flicked him a few times with the spoons, told his to change the channel back and Felix and I continued laughing.

As I write this little memoir, a voice came over the intercom and said, "Mom, Savannah turned off Caleb's show."

So Felix and I intercommed back, "Savannah come upstairs....AND BRING A SPOON."

Lessons Learned
1.  Caleb might be a smidge vindictive.
2.  He didn't get it from me.
3.  Maybe you had to be there, but that was funny.  I don't care who you are, that was funny.
4.  Don't worry....we told Caleb it wasn't okay to cut people's arms and legs off.
5.  BECAUSE IT'S DULL AND IT WILL HURT MORE.....It was funny then, and it's funny now.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

PAYDAY!!!!

I may have mentioned before, there are very large and very different personalities in my house. 

Last Friday was the kids payday....time for allowance.  We used to give it weekly, but in order to teach budgeting, we switched to monthly...man that has been fun.  I think I upped my "Mom, can I have....?" quotient by at least a thousand.

Well last month....not so many chores have gotten done.  I am the kind of employer that only pays for work performed....because we spent so much time riding the crazy train last month I wasn't able to keep as close of track as I usually do.  So I thought I would try a little experiment.  I asked the kids to tell me how much allowance they should get, and they had to justify it to me.  I really wanted to see what their perspective was on how much they had to do around the house.

It went a little something like this:

MOM:  Tell me how much I should give you and why.

SAVANNAH

She stood up, went to the basement and closed the door behind her.  Ahhhhhh, thirteen.

NOAH

Per true Noah style, he grabbed a piece of paper, figured out average number of "workdays" in the year, worked it down to an average number of days.  Figured out a daily rate for his chores, then of course, had to work out the most likely percentage of what he had actually done.  After the computations were complete, it came out to $17.61...but he said, "How about we make it an even 17...in case there was an error in my math."  Then he turned to Baylee and said, "You are getting way less than that because you didn't do any chores hardly at all!"

BAYLEE

Baylee looked my square in the eye and said, "Seventeen dollars".  I asked, "Why?".  Her extremely honest reply was, "because Noah said I couldn't get that much."  I must remind myself to ask more specific questions, such as "Tell me how much allowance you should have based on the amount of work you think you did."

CALEB

"I don't really care about allowance mom, I just want a pillow pet."

To be fair to my personalities, I mean children, I won't divulge the amount of allowance they got....except that between Caleb's savings and allowance he did manage to eek out a pillow pet.

Lessons Learned
1. Be specific....be very, very specific.
2. Next....converse with each child individually....I'll save much loudness and time.
3. Keep track so I don't have to ask them.
4. Skip allowance all together and hire them out as child laborers.
5. Skip allowance and make everything they do part of the responsibility of being a family.  Somehow, I don't think 4 and 5 are going to fly.....

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Darkest Hour is Just Before Dawn

Well, I'm here to tell you, nuh-uh.  In my humblest opinion, I'm going to have to go for roughly 2:30 to 3:30 ish.

As an avid insomniac, all sorts of fun and wonderful things can happen in the dead of night....except of course,quiet. 

I think I have been taking my BFF Ambien for granted lately.  You know, Ambi is very consistent, for the most part....but on occasion, like last night, we just don't seem to get along.  So I figure this is my wake-up call (get it, wake-up call?), to be grateful for pharmaceuticals that let me rest more often than not.

After my monthly night out with the girls at the giggle fest, I came home wound up.  I don't get to laugh that hard on a regular basis....so it takes me a while to come down off my giggle high.  Kids in bed, drugs in mom, television off by 11.  No problem.

Side Note: Felix started using a CPAP about 3 weeks ago.  No snoring, but hoses and humming and don't get me started about what happens if he opens his mouth.  Last night Felix decided to go sans CPAP.  He was exhausted, had a stuffy nose, so he couldn't use his 'nose pillows'....that isn't what they look like, but ok.

He was asleep in 2 seconds flat, and snoring with every single breath.  Every............Single...........Breath.  So at 12:45, when I hear grandma turn on the house alarm, I know she is heading to bed and I can go downstairs and figure out what to do. 

I try sleeping on the couch....unfortunately this is what happens:
-Cat gets lonely, climbs on me and is generally annoying
-Grandma starts moving furniture (I don't know if that is what she was doing, but it sure sounded like it)
-Grandma turns TV up to hear over whatever she is doing
-Cats start playing hockey with empty cat food cans
-Automatic litter box goes off, gets jammed, resets and goes off again
-Cat gets lonely, comes back and is generally annoying
-I resettle, start to drift off, and the smoke detector starts doing its' beepy warning "I need a new battery" thing....REALLY.
-Cat gets lonely, comes back and is absolutely annoying

So I decide it's TV time.  It's about 2am at this point, so what do I watch....that would be Storm Chasers...nice, relaxing TV show.  I turn on the computer and annoy myself on Facebook, checking out the news and thinking bad things about politicians.  Sigh....

At this point, the cat comes back....again....and not only annoys me, but takes my blanket.  Jerk kitty.  So I finally give up and decided to go back to bed. 

And Felix is snoring....I love him, but this was just SO NOT THE NIGHT for this.  I try and match my breathing to his rhythm and pretend I am on a beach somewhere watching the crystalline waters lap over warm sand....as I start to drift off, the cat starts snoring.  Super sigh.

I try again, get comfortable in my beach chair and settle in to my beautiful beach view.  Just as I set one foot into the great subconscious of sleep, Caleb starts crying.  Super duper sigh.

He stops....and I try again.  It's getting harder to find my happy place.  That does not make me happy.  In the middle of my attempt, Caleb cries again and comes into my room....thinking he has majorly tossed his cookies, I wake up from my not sleeping stupor to find out what is wrong and he has to go to the bathroom....since when does he wake me up to tell me that?  He does his bidness and heads back to bed.

I lay quietly, pretending that I can sleep.  I glance at the clock....3:48....hmmmmmm, what to do what to do.

The next thing I know, Noah walks in at 7:23 to tell  me I overslept.

Lessons Learned
1. I'm seriously going to have to start meditating before bed.
2. I hate insomnia.
3. I really hate insomnia.
4. I really need some sleep.
5. This is so not funny.....You would think after 10 years of fun with insomnia, I would be way better at this.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Bad Mood Bob

I'm having a bad day.  No particular reason....I am just in an EXTREMELY hateful mood.  I'm guessing that I am putting this in the blog because I look at it as some sort of penance or something. 

I really don't get like this very often.  For the most part, I try to be positive...even when things are insane.  The rest of the time, I just eat chocolate.

On our way to the pharmacy from today's doctor appointment (because we don't spend enough time with medical professionals), these are but a sample of the things that were going on in my head.

-Stop flicking your cigarette and drive the speed limit...moron.
-No, putting your sunglasses on top of your head don't make you look cool...it makes you squint....moron.
-Stop talking.
****Stoplight****  This is the part where I have to choke back tears at the stoplight for thinking mean things about strangers.  Then the light turns green....
-I hate green.
-Why did you stop in front of the driveway...moron...now I'm stuck.
-That's an ugly car.
-The long pedal means go...moron.
-Did you just give me a dirty look....that was dumb.
-Why is everybody so stupid?
****Stoplight****  Back to crying.
-Does everyone and their freakin' grandma have a handicapped placard...sheesh, those things used to mean something.
-Aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh.....why am I so hateful?
-Because everyone else is stupid.
-That's not nice.
-Who asked you?
****Started wishing for a stoplight so I could put my extra personality away****
-I hate Thursday
-Why was it named Thursday.
-That was stupid
-How many ways can I say hateful?  One HATEFUL.

Anyways, you get the point.  These are the kinds of things that go on in my head....it's really a pretty scary place in there....unless of course, I am in the part that has rainbows, unicorns and sparkly things.

Lessons Learned
1.  It may be time for anger management.
2.  No....I don't want to talk about it.
3.  I only have about 6 hours left before my 24 hour pity party is over.
4.  Maybe I should call Ben and Jerry?
5.  Hmmmmm, you know it's bad when chocolate doesn't even sound like it will fix everything.

The Ho's Are Back in Town

Does anyone else ever have anything come  back and bite them in the tushie or is it just me?

During the summer, we had an interesting conversation about what Ho's are....not the gardening type either.  You can refer back if you need a refresher....

I had to pick Baylee up from school (rough day with many, many, many phone calls and tears...and I suck as a mom, but let's just leave that right there).  Caleb was in the car and we made it about halfway home before we had the following conversation....

Caleb:  I know how to say red in Spanish.

Mom:  How?

Caleb:  Rojo.

Mom:  Very good.

Caleb:  Baylee's a ho.

Mom:  WHAT?

Caleb:  Is ho a bad word?

Mom:  Ummmmmm, yeah.

Caleb:  Then why is it in rojo?

Mom:  Because it is part of a WHOLE word.  When you say Ho all by itself, it isn't a nice word.

Caleb:  So Baylee isn't a Ho?

Mom:  No.

Lessons Learned
1. I need to learn to shut up.
2. Trying to figure out if I learned anything else, other than lesson number 1.
3. My children need to stop paying attention to me.
4. I don't know if I deserve my children....but I am quite certain I DESERVE them.
5. This should make my mom happy, since she was the Ho this summer.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Pancake Queen Rides Again.....

About a year ago, Noah challenged me to a pancake eating contest.  Yeah, he didn't win....although for some reason he keeps telling people he did.  He must have gotten his faulty memory from me.

But, GUESS WHAT....Ihop is at it again....all you can eat pancakes for $4.99.  Oh yeah, bring it on.  And Noah has thrown down the guantlet and issued the challenge.  If I would have had really good leather gloves, I would have answered by a gentle smack on his cheeks with my gloves in hand....but I don't.  So instead I said, BRING IT ON.



As a family we went to Ihop, and Savannah, who was being sneaky, sneaky entered the challenge. 

Plate One:  Savannah and Mom in record time.  Noah doused his with diet coke and ate them.  I don't know why either.

Plate Two:  Savannah and Mom, record time again.  Noah...two bites and a "I was only kidding.  I don't know why you would think I would actually have a pancake eating contest."  Which was answered with "I WANT MY TWO DOLLARS" (Better Off Dead anyone?), and he said no because it wasn't real.  I told him that I would forgo the two dollars in exchange for his announcement that I was the pancake queen.  He tried "You are the pancake fool for thinking it was a real contest", so I doubled it to 4 bucks....don't mess with me.  He dropped his head and softly announced, "You are the pancake queen."  I made him do it louder.

Plate Three:  Mom record time.  Okay....get over it.  I like pancakes...A LOT.  And just to mess with my kids, I might have them for dinner.  Savannah managed to make it through her third plate...barely.  There were complaints of "I have a headache, pancakes might make it worse."  And with each bite, the fork move ever more slowly to her mouth.

Plate Four:  Mom.  Easily.  Savannah finally put her forehead on the table and said, "You are the pancake queen."  DUH.

Lessons Learned
1.  4 plates was nothing.  The record at the Ihop is 7, I may have to go back in while they are still doing all you can eat.
2.  I could have kept going, but I didn't want to embarrass Felix.  I can eat him under the table...and apparently I can do the same to my kids.
3.  There is a trick to eating pancakes without filling up.  I have shared it with very few....
4.  There is never a bad time for family bonding over pancakes.
5.  Who is up for the challenge?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What a Week....Oh Wait It's Only Tuesday

It has been a year in a span of days.  And there is some drama involved...but let me just say, if we can laugh about it, so can you.  I don't want to hear about any "Oh, I'm so sorry..."  or "It's always something with you..." or anything like that....cuz you know what...there is always something going on for everyone...mine just happens to be fluorescent purple.

MONDAY - Baylee had one of her checkups for her eyes and things are not as good as they hoped.  Not bad, certainly not terrible, but not as good as it should be.  So the sweet and wonderful people at Primary Children's have extended an invitation for us to be there more often.  Awwwwwwwwwww.  That's so sweet.  So we will get to do infusions more often...how often?  I'd like to know myself.

Savannah had volleyball practice, so we had two quick trips to the rec center.  Plus the usual homework, dinner, chores, so just another night.  Or so we thought.....

As we were settling down the young 'uns for the night, Caleb runs in and says, well more like SCREAMS, "It was an accident, it was an accident...I'M NOT GROUNDED!!!!"  Which for some odd reason begs the question, "WHAT was an accident?"  Come to find out, he was washing his hands after going to the bathroom in the sink that drains slow and forgot to turn the water off.  PLUMBING anyone?  Yes, if you know me, you know that plumbing and I are ARCH ENEMIES.

As I wade though the one inch of water on my laundry room towels, round all of the walking Indians to find me dry towels I just had to laugh.  Why?  Because it was 10 o'clock at night, I was drench and so was one entire room of my house.  Apparently, we needed a cleansing.  No worries, it was all cleaned up and I was in bed by 11.

TUESDAY- Tuesday started out like it usually did, with 6:30 am piano lessons.  Oh, don't start...it works for us and my kids get their afternoons.  We rush home from piano, take the Jr. High kids to school, come home get everyone else ready, fit Baylee for crutches, fight about backpacks and get everyone out the door.  PHEW.

I get some work done and head to the Kindergarten Christopher Columbus play.  Caleb was AWESOME.  He was a fabulous Columbus and 'faced his fears' (in his own words) and did fabulous.  Right after that we made for my piano lesson, which had to be changed for Baylee's doctor appointment.  So the kiddos get home from school, we attempt to get chores done, send Noah with the neighbor to Lacrosse warm ups and get ready to follow.

We made it to the game on time.  Enjoyed a thoroughly exciting game.  Jon took an amazing hit to the head, Tad was all over it and Noah tried twice to take the ball from his goal and score on the other team.  He won the Most Improved Player award from the team and I AM SO PROUD of him.

We decided to take the munchkins out to dinner to celebrate the end of the season and had a fun dinner.  Baylee was able to get around pretty good so we didn't have to take the crutches.  SO NICE.  We made it home and played s'more Lacrosse until Tad was picked up.

After that....things got a little nuts. 

DISCLAIMER:  All events in the next section happened within 5 minutes.  I can't make this stuff up.  Nobody is that good.

Baylee managed to make it to the basement even though her pain was increasing....she was doing okay, but the basement wouldn't have been my first choice.  After about 20 minutes, she starting intercomming (read: SCREAMING) that her pain was horrible and couldn't stand up.  Yeah, I saw that coming....but (and NO, I am NOT a cold-hearted mommy....much) she needed to make the attempt herself.  After about 10 minutes I headed downstairs to help her.  As I passed by the family room heading to the basement, I saw Noah laying on the floor.

He raised his head a fraction of an inch and weakly raised his arm in my direction and whispered, "Help me.....help me.  I can't breathe."  OOOOOHHHHHHH, he was in the middle of an asthma attack and on the verge of passing out.  Whoops...I DIDN'T see that coming.  So I grab the nebulizer, start a breathing treatment and tell Caleb to get his dad because Baylee had moved from screaming to wailing.  Felix comes down completely perplexed by the scene in front of him.  I rattled off instructions for him to get to Baylee because I couldn't leave Noah until was breathing normally. 

Felix and Savannah went to Baylees aid, helped her up the stairs and started a bath so we could 'jet' her casts.  (FYI:  We put her casts in front the jets in the tub and flush them out).  Noah was stable enough for me to leave, so Felix and I switched places. 

As I was helping Baylee get her feet situated, Caleb came in and announced, "Hey I found this stuff in the couch and it tasted nasty, do you think water will help?"

Mom:  What did you drink?
Caleb:  I don't know but it was yucky.
Mom:  Go get me the bottle.
Caleb:  Can't I just have water?
Mom:  No, go get me the bottle.
Caleb:  FINE

He leaves in a huff and I hear him talking to Felix, but not about what he was supposed to.  So I took  my turn at the intercom and said, "Could somebody please see what Caleb had to drink so I know if I need to call poison control?"  After a few loud, choice words from Felix I hear giggling.  Then I hear some footsteps.  Caleb and Felix walk into the room, and Felix tells Caleb to tell me what he said.  Caleb promptly looks at me and says, "I told dad you are smarter than him because you are 38 and he is only 37."

REALLY?

Lessons Learned
1.  Oh, by the way....Caleb drank a REALLY, REALLY old liquid sucker.  It had at least another 100 years before it went bad.
2.  I gotta stop saying "what else" out loud.
3.  Children are a joy, an adventure and a few other choice words.
4.  It could have been worse....but it wasn't.  And when all was said and done, we laughed.  We laughed long and hard.
5.  I wouldn't change a thing.....except maybe containing my few choice words in my head.

Monday, October 11, 2010

You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry....

This post does not paint me in the best light.  I'm trying my very best to get over it....baby steps people, baby steps.

Before I 'officially' start, let me explain a few things.  First, I'm not comfortable in my own skin....probably because it's too tight.  Second, I have a horrible fear of being on the wrong side of the camera lens....kind of like my fear of people.  Third, if I ask you a question....answer it....no games....unless I initiate them and am winning.

Noah had a Lacrosse game on Saturday, and as usual it was in Salt Lake.  So we went and enjoyed the game (mostly...trying to contain Caleb has a tendency to make things difficult) and since we were all starving we decided to grab a bite to eat on our way home.  Well, we were halfway between lunch and dinner so we decided to have linner or dunch (depending on where you are from). 

We meandered our way to the freeway, perusing our many choices of eateries.  The short people in the back seat kept saying how hungry they were so we went to Chuck-A-Rama...yay buffets, because there has to be something that everyone likes.  We got there with 5 minutes to spare for the lunch rates, so it was a pretty good deal....except for the fact it was PACKED.  I completely forgot it was Saturday in Mormonville...Football games, weddings, funerals....beyond nuts and we all know that Mormons can't have an activity without food, and Chuck-A-Rama was it.

So it took forever but we filled up our plates, got settled and began chowing down.  While I was out getting my food, Felix began exploring the features of my new phone....more specifically the retro camera app.  I'm guessing while I was gone that Felix enjoyed taking pictures of each of the kids.  They don't care if they have a mouthful of food, they were all muggin' for the camera.

I sat down and what does my husband do.....he takes my picture.  That was dumb.

Few minutes later he is typing away. I ask him what he is doing and he won't answer.  That was dumb too.

We finish eating and head to the car, all the while I am pestering the heck out of him to find out what he did with the picture.  While we are on the freeway he finally 'fesses up and admits that he posted it to facebook and it was funny.  Why was it funny?  I captioned it, "You wouldn't like me when I'm angry."

So what do I do?  COMPLETELY FLIP OUT.  DUH.  Not only does he take my picture, he posts it where it will stay in cyber-space for like EVER and then he compares me to a large, green man.  Let me just say, it was not my dear husbands day.

As I go ON and ON and ON and ON about him calling me fat and green, he really did protest that it was a cute picture and I was giving him a dirty look, hence the caption.  SO....fat and green....REALLY?  Now men, you may not be able to draw the same conclusion that I did, but women....you did and that is all that really matters.

Once we got home, he removed the post from Facebook....smart move.  It is two days later and I should probably stop telling him to "Post it on Facebook".  Just a thought.

Lessons Learned
1.  DON'T take my picture and post it online.  NOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooooo.
2.  My poor husband inadvertently bit off more than he could chew...but after 16 years (almost) you would think he would know better.
3.  One day I might find all of my neuroses....but there aren't enough therapists int he world to treat them all.
4.  I should really roll with things better.
5.  This is as close to an apology as he is gonna get....hope it works.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

KISS Me Baby

This is somewhat over due, but hey, better late than never.

Felix and I went to the Kiss concert on September 22.  Nope, not a fan (okay, one of my guilty pleasures is Gene Simmons Family Jewels).  I hate concert settings because 1) People scare me.  2)  Drunk people scare me even more  3)  What if someone touches me?  4)  What if there is a fight by me?  5)  What if something happens and I get locked inside the stadium and everyone is gone and I'm alone in the dark?

You know what....let's just leave my neuroses alone and move onto the concert.  But as a side note, why would I go?  Easy, I would rather be a part of my husband's midlife crisis than not.

We rode up with some friends (YAY Tjay and Christy) and of course had to be early (so I could find all of the escape routes while it was empty.

We wandered around, did the whole bathroom thing and found our seats.  Unfortunately we were in a different section than our friends...but I had to get settled early.  We were in section AA, row 15....which in simple terms means, we were by all of the scary people. 

So I did what I always do during the opening acts.  I made fun of them.  I honest and truly have no idea if the bands were good....I couldn't take them seriously because they were all in skinny jeans.  Really, really skinny jeans.  Honestly, go have a cupcake or something.

So as it got closer to concert time....and as I delved deeper into my people watching....I decided I needed to get me some of these boots.  The whole front was studded too, but I couldn't get a picture without looking like a wacko.

We knew it was getting close when the Kiss curtain dropped.  Buh, buh, bummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. 

 And then they made their grand entrance onto the stage.  Lots of smoke, light and DRAMA, DRAMA, DRAMA.  I really have to say one thing about Kiss.  Whether you like their music or not....they put on a great show.  And to be fair....it was really a clean show.  No nakedness, swearing....just a lot of people who imbibed and LOVE IT.

So you can see the grand entrance for yourself and look who made it into the picture....my favorite aisle nazi.  Ooooooohhhhhhhhh, HE MADE ME SO MAD.  And for the love of Pete....be fair.   Breathe....I'll get to that part of the story in a moment. 

Like I said, it was an amazing show to watch.  But me being who I am didn't exactly watch the show.  I watched the people.  I really, really enjoyed the Indian woman in front of us....like from India, not Native American who was there with her teenage son.  In fact, in a large portion of my pictures you can see her head, arm or camera.  During the entire length of the concert, her son stood by her side, with the hood of his sweatshirt pulled over his head, while she rocked out like a crazy woman.  It was fascinating to see.

Then of course, there were all of the people trying to sit someplace other than their own seats, which is how the incredibly drunk people with their daughter ended up pushing us out of our seats into the aisle.  Now Mr. Aisle Nazi put them there, and then made us stand in the aisle.  Ya NIT....

But the best part of having an aisle seat was watching the surgically enhance blonde woman hit on every single security guard to try and get to the front row (which was cordoned off so people like her couldn't get there).  After about an hour and twenty attempts of her slobbering on men they kicked her and her husband out....you know...the guy that paid for her 2.0 enhancements.  Also in the aisle, was EXTREMELY drunk zebra pants guy that would jump and spin through the aisle until Aisle Nazi put him back in his seat.  All in all it was pretty freaking funny.

 I was able to get several amazing shots of the entire band together...which Felix is pretty exited about....I'm probably going to have to scrapbook it or something for him....YUCK.  I'm really hoping that he will settle for our T-shirt, tickets and maybe one photo to be framed for the guitar room wall.  We'll see.

The most amazing part of the concert was coming up.  From watching Family Jewels, I knew Gene Simmons was incredibly involved with charity work for soldiers and veterans.  After the main set, the band said they wouldn't continue the show unless the ENTIRE crowd rose and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.  They kept UNDER GOD in there and everything.  After the pledge, they had soldiers come up and hold a check, where they donated over $450,000 to the Wounded Warriors Organization.  A charitable organization that helps wounded vets get back on their feet.  It was amazing to watch
and see.  I felt an overwhelming sense of pride to be at a Kiss concert....I know that sounds weird, but these are incredibly patriotic men who give a little bit of their time and money to the men and women who have given EVERYTHING to protect me, my rights and freedoms and this blessed nation.  I was extremely touched to be at a rock concert where they stopped everything to honor the true heroes of our world.....the soldiers.

The concert went on, and the last two songs were like the only two I had ever heard before.  God Gave Rock and Roll to Us and Rock and Roll All Night.

Now my dear sweet husband....who loves me in spite of my wacko, knew that I would recognize God Gave Rock and Roll to Us from Bill and Teds Excellent Adventure.  I did surprise him though, by yelling out "WYLD STALLYNS"...it was okay....all the drunk people that I was just one of them.  We enjoyed Rock and Roll All Nights....collected pieces of confetti to give to the kids and booked the heck out of dodge.

It was a good show.  Much better than I expected....and next on the list is Heart in November.  The Morgans Concert Tour is continuing.

Lessons Learned

1.  People still scare me.  But I am learning some FABULOUS defensive stances.
2.  I have respect for Kiss as people...not musicians....I'm just not there yet (nor do I want to be).
3.  I love saying the Pledge of Allegiance.  I could probably use that as a method to get over my whole scared of people thing.
4.  Fake blood and fire and really cool in concerts.  Good mix.  Kind of like Deadliest Warrior - Live and in person.
5.  I've gotta gear up for Heart....it's indoors, I won't have the sky to save me this time.



Friday, October 1, 2010

No Regrets

**I've received this a couple of times in email, and maybe it's been the events of the past few weeks but I was really touched this morning and needed to share.

The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn't already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder.


I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being..

She said, 'Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I'm eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?'

I laughed and enthusiastically responded, 'Of course you may!' and she gave me a giant squeeze..

'Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?' I asked.

She jokingly replied, 'I'm here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids...'

'No seriously,' I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age.

'I always dreamed of having a college education and now I'm getting one!' she told me.

After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake.

We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this 'time machine' as she shared her wisdom and experience with me..

Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.

At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I'll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and stepped up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor.

Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, 'I'm sorry I'm so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I'll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you what I know.'

As we laughed she cleared her throat and began, ' We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing.

There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humor every day. You've got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die.

We have so many people walking around who are dead and don't even know it!

There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up.

If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don't do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight.

Anybody! Can grow older. That doesn't take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change. Have no regrets.

The elderly usually don't have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets..'

She concluded her speech by courageously singing 'The Rose.'

She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives. At the year's end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those months ago.

One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep.

Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it's never too late to be all you can possibly be.

Lessons Learned (again)
1.  It's okay to play in the rain.
2.  It's okay to have joy.
3.  It's okay to make the best of every situation, and Pollyanna-up.
4.  It's okay to admit I don't know it all and can't do it all....BECAUSE I'M NOT DEAD YET, there's still time.
5.  It's okay to love freely with no expectations of anything in return.
 
I WANT TO LIVE WITH NO REGRETS and make the most of this wonderful adventure I'm on.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

WE THE PEOPLE

Councilmember(s),

I attended the public hearing the other night, and admittedly went in and came out frustrated regarding the proposed increase in our utility rates. Unfortunately, my intense fear of public speaking prevented me from making any comments. That said, I would like to offer a few suggestions related to the proposed increase and the meeting in general.

I would first like to address the communication issue. I believe more could have been done to inform the citizens. Looking at the newer design of the city web page, I do not understand how and/or why the web master has not set up an electronic newsletter registry. With technology being where it is today, I find it incomprehensible that our city has not kept up with the times. Email, texting, Facebook, etc. are all viable options for communication. From personal experience, it takes less than 3 minutes to set up a Facebook group or Twitter account. I am not technologically savvy, yet even I can do this in a minimal amount of time. I would like to encourage you to set a Facebook account, Twitter account and electronic newsletter IMMEDIATELY. It will be well worth the 5 minutes it takes.

**As a side note to the communication issue, I believe you need to be aware that when I called to confirm the location and time of the hearing on Tuesday night the person that answered the phone did not know. She had me hold while she looked up the information. I find it difficult to believe that information is being actively passed on to citizens when city employees are unaware.

I would next like to address the thoughts regarding amenities. I believe the individual that spoke regarding closing down every amenity, had an interesting idea. Personally, I think total shut down is extreme, in his defense Councilman Jensen initially brought up the idea with the city library in his response to another comment. However, I wish to propose for consideration the possible of modified/limited hours in regards to city amenities. Many governments are already having 4 day weeks or shorter daily hours. I propose the same type of structure for our library, recreation center, golf course, etc. during this economically challenging time. I believe there is middle ground that will help the city and allow for continued availability of some of the resources that make Pleasant Grove great. Unless we are willing to compromise, be creative and think outside of the box we will all lose in this situation.

Finally, I wish to address the issue of the proposed funds for land purchases. During the comment session, Steve gave information that the Sewer/Drainage (?) Fund (it may have been called something else) has been completely utilized to purchase land. Yet, in the initial presentation, he discussed the proposed monies for future land purchases. While we are facing such a large increase, I believe the land purchases can be completely set aside. Not permanently, but short term. We know we already have land set aside, rather than plan on $7 million that will worsen an already frustrating situation, I believe we should set it aside for now and revisit it on an annual or semi-annual basis. Again, I urge you to be more creative and flexible in thinking of solutions. Land purchases are NOT a now or never choice. Recent reports from economists indicate we will have at the very least a very slow recovery, if not a double-dip recession. Consider these facts before you decide to spend money we don’t have.

The majority of you are not first time council members. Do not act as such. Taking a single recommendation is unheard of when looking at a rate increase of this magnitude. GET A SECOND OPINION. With only a single report to garner information from, it appears to be a mandate, rather than a recommendation.

WE THE PEOPLE are watching and are questioning motivations, qualifications and competency. You have within your power, the ability to give us something to believe in.

I know your job is difficult. I know you won’t please everyone. Before you make your final decision and take a vote that will affect every member of our community, be aware that there are options. We live in an amazing city with talented, intelligent and creative individuals. WE THE PEOPLE are the greatest single resource you have at your disposal. Consider a second public hearing, with every possible method of communication to inform the citizens, and use your resources.

Thank you,

Wendy Morgan

RESPONSES FROM COUNCILMEMBERS:

First Response was from CINDY BOYD:

Thank you for emailing us with your concerns and suggestions. We do appreciate the public suggestions and we are trying to answer and consider them all.



Just yesterday we now have a twitter account. I have not checked it yet, but I do know that it is up and running and we are looking at facebook and group email.


In the meantime, I will be sending out all agenda's and information that I can till an email group list is created. Your idea of making the website available for electronic newsletter is great. We will be discussing that as a council.


I apologize for the lack of knowledge by one of our employees. We will also address that.


We are having further discussion regarding the amenities and other suggestions this Tuesday night and then there will be another public hearing.


Again let me thank you for your attendance and your suggestions.


Thank, Cindy Boyd

Second Response was from Val Danklef:

Thank you for your comments. I agree that we have not done everything possible. I spent yesterday researching costs and why we are so far underfunded for water. I will be making some suggestions Tuesday night on that issue. I have also concluded that bonding for the purchase of additional land for storm drains is not acceptable, and will propose we not do so. Others have offered suggestions on communications, and we will look at it very closely. I voted against the budget this year, and still feel we could address what I think are weaknesses in that area, and have ask that our staff be prepared for some cuts to help. Thank you.
Third Response was from Lee Jensen:
Thanks for your email. I appreciate hearing from you about your thoughts and ideas relative to the city. A couple of responses seem in order. First, the city has already proceeded to open both a Facebook and Twitter account.

Since I don't personally use either, I'm the least familiar with how it all works. But they are available, and as I understand it, available now. There has also been talk of RSS accounts that those who are interested can enroll in.

As far as the location of the meeting, it was announced last week, and was posted on the city website. I don't know who it was that you spoke with so I can't explain why that person didn't know the location. Fortunately it sounds like she was able to get the address to you, so that is good!


We can look at your idea of 'modified hours' as a possible savings. However, and not discounting your idea, the savings of what you are proposing probably wouldn't amount any real savings as the increase in utility rates is not a function of a few thousand here or a few there. We are talking about millions here and millions there. But I will take this forward as I have already expressed that I believe we need to look at EVER option to save, including difficult cuts to the budget.

My response to Lee Jensen:

Thanks for your quick response. I thought I would just let you know that Pleasant Grove does NOT have a Facebook account (I just did a thorough search). I appreciate the idea of an RSS feed, that would be a great way to communicate with all of us.



Just a quick response to the modified hours thought. Small savings from many sources add up. Please don't discount the idea quite yet. It is possible combined with other ideas, the total may be more significant than at first glance.


Thank you for your communication, it gives me hope.


Wendy

Fourth Response was from Kim Robinson:

Thank you Wendy for taking the time to get involved. My desire is to encourage as many citizens as possible to do the same. Getting the word out has presented a challenge and the staff and council are willing to look at any and all suggestions. Increasing our involvement in social media is a great opportunity to reach the masses. It has been presented at previous council meeting, without urgency. I believe the fuel is available for that flame now. I want you to know we are looking at every, and all possible solutions to this difficult situation. "The People" is why I got involved.



With regards,


Kim Robinson

Post Script:  I still have yet to hear from one council member.  Make your own judgements as to who has any idea of what the hud is going on.  I've made mine, and I will likely do everything I can to keep them from coming back. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

News in 30

iHave Options: It looks like the iPad is going to have competition. Four different tablets are looking to be released in time for the holiday season. One is already on the market.


Samsung is releasing the Galaxy Tab, which is similar to a traditional tablet. The seven inch touch screen has a 1024 x 600 resolution LCD. The Galaxy Tab will also make phone calls, as well as having cameras on both the front and back for video chatting. The Galaxy Tab will work on the Android platform and is being picked up by all four major carriers, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile.

Dell has just released the Streak. With only a 5 inch touch screen, there is debate over whether or not this can be considered a tablet. It makes phone calls, but is too large to comfortably hold by the ear. The streak has a fast processor, GPS and 5 megapixel camera. It is also works on the Android platform, but is only available through AT&T.

Research in Motion is releasing an unnamed tablet by the end of the year (known as the ‘Blackpad’ by techies). It will only be able to connect to 3G through a Blackberry device, and will not run on the new Blackberry 6 OS. It is unknown which network this device will be aligned with.

Lenovo showed their pad prototype, the ‘IdeaPad U1 Hybrid’. The unique tablet was a detachable tablet that could attach to a case with a keyboard. The Lenovo tablet is supposed to run on a Linux based OS. In May Lenovo made an announcement that its original prototype was not worth of market release. They scrapped the entire project and started over. The new tablet, the LePad will have a 10.1 inch touch screen and is slated for release in China in December. No word yet on a U.S. release.

Editors Note: CHOICES…There are finally CHOICES. YAY.

                                                                                                                           

People Talk Back: After the announcement the recession had ended in June of 2009, pollsters went and asked the people what they thought.

General polls indicate the majority of Americans feel that the recession is still going on. 74% believe that the recession is serious and the economy is not improving. Only 25% of those polled feel that the economy is on the road to recovery.

The Administration is continuing to defend its position that the economy is improving. President Obama stated that, “Obviously, for the millions of people who are still out of work, people who have seen their home values decline, people who are struggling to pay the bills day to day, the recession is still very real for them.”

Editors Note: Anyone that is feeling it is going to say the recession is still going on. While things are still frustrating, the very best thing we could do is support one another and discover the lessons a bad economy can teach us.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Dear Mr. President

Dear Mr. President,

I've had a long couple of days, weeks, months, okay, let's be honest here...years.  I'm am writing this letter in an open forum because, quite frankly, even if I emailed you, mailed you, twittered, texted or any other method of communication, I know it would be received by someone else, vetted and disappear into the circular file of oblivion.  Honestly, I need to get this out of my head so I can focus on more important things.

I've been watching.  Not just you, but everyone.  I was bitter after the election because I didn't believe in the type of change you've had to offer.  I realize that our nation has been on a downward spiral for years.  Unfortunately, it would appear that we have come to a time of decision, about who we were, who we are and who we are going to be.

Mr. President, I don't believe you are equipped to deal with the uncertainty sitting in your lap.  I don't blame you for the state of affairs that we are dealing with, but I do blame you for other things.

I blame you for apologizing to the world for our nation.  We aren't perfect, I readily admit that.  However, we have nothing to apologize for.  We have the right and obligation to uphold and protect the freedoms, liberties and rights set forth on this hallowed ground by individuals who shed blood and tears to give them to us.  We need remember who is against us and treat them accordingly.

I blame you for slowly, yet deliberately, increasing the size of government.  The more of YOU there are, the less there are of ME.  I don't want more legislation.  I want the laws on the books to be enforced.  It doesn't take more government to do that, but a more efficient government.  Stop hiring individuals who don't pay they're own taxes to regulate mine.  Stop supporting individuals who don't even read the bills they are shoving down our throats. 

I blame you for over-regulation.  Do we really need Government Motors?  Do we really need a new czar for every aspect of our lives?  I don't need a new Consumer Affairs person, as a consumer and a citizen of this nation, I need to be responsible for my own choices.  I need to deal with the consequences, or I will not learn.   Let us choose.  Let the market solve its' own problems....look at history, it has done it before and WILL do it again.  Stop encouraging the bad behavior of corporate America through bailouts and funding that will never solve the problem, only encourage more of the same. 

I blame you for keeping me up at night worrying about healthcare for my family.  I believe that everybody should have basic care.  I don't believe that my family should suffer for it.  I have a chronically ill child, and I lay awake at night worrying about how I am going to pay for my own insurance after I am done paying for everyone else's.  Middle class America is footing the bill on this one.  The GAO has even publically come out with their findings that it won't be a self-sufficient as touted.  Mr. President, how am I going to take care of MY child?

I blame you for spending more time on TV than any other sitting President.  I would have more confidence in the job you are doing, if you weren't constantly on TV telling me what you were doing INSTEAD of doing it. 

I blame you for talking out of both sides of your mouth.  I wish I could believe you.  I really do.  Unfortunately, I can't.  The economy is not improving, your stimulus hasn't worked.  My grandchildren will be paying for that, literally.  It is hard for me to have faith in someone that only gives interviews to networks that support his agenda.  Wouldn't it speak more highly of your integrity if you talked to everyone, including those who disagree?  Help me understand what you are trying to accomplish, instead of telling me that you know what is best for me and you are going to make it happen.

I blame you for lots of things.  But to be fair, I blame your predecessors for lots of things too.  I don't believe that you are solely responsible for what is going on in this country, but I do believe that you have the power to make things better. 

I want you to do well, and you can, if you choose to.  I beg of you to stop regulating my life and the lives of everyone in this nation.  We could be so much stronger if we were to band together and help those who CAN'T, instead of encouraging and empowing those who WON'T.  Let us learn from our mistakes, instead of having them swept under the rug and taken care of by someone else.  I WANT TO LEARN.  I NEED TO LEARN. 

Our nation was founded on freedom and responsibility.  Part of responsibility is dealing with the consequences of our choices, good or bad.  If you take away our responsibility, our freedom will go with it.  Don't take away what I am fighting for.  Please.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Taco Night

So this is one of my gross posts.  Admit it, you like it....kind of like the grosser than gross jokes.  Yeah, you've heard 'em...don't deny it.

So Tuesday night we had tacos for dinner.  It had been a long day (so what else is new), and I needed something simple and fast.  In my rush to prepare my gourmet feast, I overseasoned...just a smidge.  I have a very sensitive tongue and the slightest over seasoning will be felt for hours.

We had dinner, made it through the rest of the night.  Kids in bed, mommy in bed, ambien in the mommy, it was all set to be a good night.

About 2 in the morning I woke up to the horrific taste of vomit in my mouth, coughing and sputtering and seemingly unable to breathe.   After I heimliched myself (not really, just throwing myself upright seemed to do the trick), I was able to get enough air to start coughing, choking and waking my husband who wanted to know if he had to drive me to the hospital.  Since the answer was no, he dozed back off.  That's okay....I couldn't believe I managed to throw up and inhale it in one incredibly smooooooooooth move.

I ended up coughing taco meat out of my lung for a couple of solid hours, then pretty much most of the next day.  At the urging of my husband, I made a doctor appointment to make sure there wasn't any offending meat left inside my super important oxygen supplier.

After a series of x-rays this morning, I was given the all clear.  Kind of.  I am on pneumonia watch because of breathing a foreign substance into my lung  (that is what happens when you aspirate [as-per-ate: fancy word for DOH]).

However, as the doctor managed to choke out, through his bursts of laughter, my chest is probably going to hurt for quite some time thanks to the taco seasoning.

Lessons Learned
1. Taco seasoning is PAINFUL.
2. Ambien does have down side.
3. It's a gift.  I truly have a gift for the unusual.
4. Noah wanted to know if I was going to grow tacos in my lung (thanks to that guy that inhaled a green bean, pea or whatever that decided to sprout in his lung)
5. It couldn't be chicken noodle soup night, could it?  OH NO, it HAD to be taco night.  Really.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

When Mixers Attack

Some people, okay I'll admit it....mostly girls, talk with their hands.  I am a HUGE hand talker and my girls have absolutely followed suit.

Baylee had a cute little friend over the other day and I thought they could make cookies.  In order to avoid the mess I would absolutely have to clean up, I gave them a mix to use instead of having them start from scratch.  They read the instructions, got everything in the bowl and then I hear...."Mom, I don't get it.  I need your help."  Really?

So I trudge into the kitchen....kind of dejected like because I am trying not to make cookies.  As Baylee is asking me her question, she has the hand mixer in one hand and is gesturing wildly with the other.

Halfway through her sentence, she accidentally turns the mixer on.  It grabs the side of her hand and works its way through her wrist and halfway up her forearm before she can turn it off. 

She looks at me.

I look at her.

She screams.

I laugh.

I try to remove it, but it is stuck fast.  At which point, she panics and hits the pulse button, and the mixer moves even further up her arm.  She screams louder, then I start to panic.

With my killer mama bear instincts, and my incredibly strong physique, I grab the beaters and pull them off of her arm, rescuing her from the bite of the wild mixer.  I wrestled the beaters to the sink where I disposed of them, and drown them (it had to be done...they had blood on them....ewwwwwww).  No longer will anyone in my home have to fear an unprovoked attack from that household kitchen appliance.

We patched Baylee up and sent her on her way.  Slightly scraped, bruised and beaten (get it?  beaten.), she is well on her way to recovery, having learned don't mess with the mixer.

Lessons Learned
1. DON'T TALK WITH YOUR HANDS WHILE COOKING
2. Don't laugh when mixers attack.
3. Mama bear instincts work for this kind of thing too.
4. She's still mad at me for laughing.
5. I really loved that mixer....I wonder why it went on the rampage?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Learning to Dance in the Rain

 This may be a little sappy...sorry up front.

Life the past few months has been a little stressful.  No, I won't be going into detail because I still don't have definitive answers....just more questions.  So there is really no point in discussing that which is floating about.

Anyhoo, needless to say, I have been more than stressed and so has the fam.  One of my favorite quotes is:

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass,
but about learning to dance in the rain.

Yesterday, we had a wonderful summer storm.  And most importantly, with no lightening, which meant we could all play in the rain.  The kids, except for Noah, all enjoyed the umbrellas and trying to dart through the pelting rain drops while I sat on the porch taking pictures. 

While I was sitting there, I had one of my famous moments of reflection that resulted in a personal epiphany.  Yeah, it was an AH-HA moment.  I was watching the kids and smiling, like most parents do, when I had to ask myself, when was the last time I got off of the sidelines and jumped in and laughed? 

So after the kids used the basketball hoop to block the gutter and create a pond, I jumped in.  Literally.  And we laughed, and we played, and we jumped in puddles.  I had one neighbor yelling out the window about what a nut I was (DUH) and another on her porch asking me if I had been stressed much...Ummmm, yeah.  And while I laughed with my neighbors and at my soaking wet children I decided, there are a lot worse things than running in the rain, jumping in the puddles or being soaking wet for the entire world to see.

So we stayed out and played for about an hour, kicking water at each other, catching raindrops in our mouths and giggling to our hearts content.  Not only did we play, we danced, enjoyed and just let our hearts soar.

It's so easy to turn a blind eye to the miracles that surround us every day.  Especially, when you are wrapped up in a stressful situation.  But when you open your eyes, and your heart, you realize, God hasn't forgotten you, He's been sending the blessings, it's more likely you haven't been watching for them.

Yesterdays rain storm was my miracle.

Lessons Learned
1.  Laughter cleanses the soul.
2. Watching children be happy...well sometimes there are no words.
3. Being a part of what makes your children happy...there are definitely no words.
4. Being surrounded by darkness, only makes the light that much more sweet.
5. Size doesn't matter when it comes to miracles.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Quote of the Day

Caleb - "Mom, mom, go get me something to eat."
Mom - "Why?  Are you hungry?"
Caleb - "No, but my subconscious is.  Kind of like the ghost of my former self needs something to eat."

Lessons Learned
1. When I was 5, the correct answer was "Yes, I am hungry."
2. Maybe I should talk with my children with a little bit less of a vocabulary.
3. It really was just a simple question.
4. Did my 5 year old really say 'subconscious'?
5. Oy.

Friday, July 9, 2010

OH NO....HO'S ARE EVERYWHERE

Sometimes a conversation can go horribly wrong.  See if you can tell when it happened.

Savannah:  Mom I love this 'artist' (to remain nameless), isn't he awesome.
Mom: I don't think so.
Savannah: Why not?
Mom: Because he's a wifebeater and he does drugs and he's been in rehab several times and I don't look up to him.
Savannah: Oh.
Mom: Any questions.
Savannah: No.
Mom: Look I'm not going to be one of those moms that tries to be careful about what I try and teach you.  Smoking is wrong, drinking is wrong, sleeping around is wrong.
Noah: Hey that sounds like me...I already sleep around.
Mom: No Noah, not what I meant.  I don't mean sleep around the couch, I mean sleep ARRROOOUUUUNNNDD.
Noah: But I sleep ARRROOOOUUUUUNNDD.
Mom: No Noah, I mean having sex with a whole bunch of people and acting like a ho.
Noah: What's a Ho?
Savannah: That's mom's favorite word.
Noah: Is that why Santa says HO HO HO?
Mom: No Noah, it isn't.
Noah: Can I call people that bug me HO's?
Mom: NO
Caleb: Grandma's a HO.
Mom: Caleb we don't say that.
Caleb: Baylee's a HO.
Noah: HO HO HO
Caleb: Everbody's a HO.
Mom: Nobody is a HO.  I don't know when it happened.  But this conversation took a terrible turn for the worse.

Lessons Learned
1. Those conversations need to be planned a smidge in advance.
2. If you happened to get called a HO from one of my kids, I apologize.
3. FYI Grandma is NOT a HO.
4. Nobody is a HO....except maybe for people who act that way...and there weren't any in the car or any that we are related to.
5. Christmas will never be the same.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Crazy, Stranger, Oriental Porn Linking Weirdos

So, we have reached a new pinnacle in the blogsphere.  I have gotten so many comments from crazy, stranger, oriental porn linking weirdos that I have been forced into comment moderation.

I am a huge believer in the First Amendment, having a dialogue and telling it how it is.  But...this is a family friendly blog and your crazy, porn links don't have anything to do with what I'm talking about.  Which brings up another point.  Since this blog is all about me, and since I'm not into porn...we are going to say bye-bye.

Please continue to comment, cuz I think you people are fun...when you comment about the blog and things that are actually related to me.

Lessons Learned
1. I can't control everything....YES I CAN.
2. Crazy, stranger, oriental porn linking weirdos....you suck.
3. Oh and those mentioned in number 2...thanks for making my life just that much more difficult.
4. That's okay....I'm a pain in the neck and I am going to make your life a little more difficult too by giving you one less blog to hijack.
5. So there.

Friday, June 11, 2010

I LOVE YOU....I'LL DANCE WITH YOU

As mentioned previously we went to the Kansas, Foreigner, Styx concert.  We took with us Savannah, Noah, Baylee and Sara (Sara officially belongs to another family, but I claim her as my own).

Each child had their own little experience that made the show stand out for them, so I thought I would share the love.  The best part though, was introducing our children to reality with us watching.  Yes, people do drink.  Yes, people do smoke.  Yes, people do things that we don't.  And it is okay, because they can choose...and more importantly, we don't judge.  That said, it was an eye opener for everyone.

Baylee:  Baylee couldn't wait for Foreigner to come on because she wanted to hear Juicebox hero.  After we explained it was Jukebox hero, she was a bit disappointment, but made it up to herself by making up words to Jukebox hero as if it were really Juicebox hero...that kids has got some creativity in her bones.

Noah: Poor Noah.  He was actually okay with the drinking part until the older women started rocking out and shaking their tushies in his sweet little 10 year old face.  So he moved.  Okay, before he moved, he leaned over and sat as close to Savannah as she would allow, then he moved.  So he was sitting on the grass side obsessing about somebody starting a fire because they didn't step on their cigarette butts when they through them in the grass.  Poor kid...got my OCD.

Savannah and Sara:  I have to combine them because it really is all part of the same story.  During Foreigners "I Wanna Know What Love Is", Savannah and Sara were being true to their age, dancing with another and having a marvelous time about it.  As they slow danced with one another, they were kind of blocking the aisle...if you can call it an aisle...we were general admission sitting in the grass.  So I kindly asked them to break up the love fest and let people through.  As the couple that had been waiting walked through, while the girls were giggling about dancing with one another we were chuckling about what a good time we were all having.  Then out of nowhere, the lady comes back (with her 24 oz beer can in hand...and I'm going to go out on a limb here and say it wasn't her first of the night.), and hugs Savannah from behind, so her beer can was in Savannah's face and she says, "I love you...I'll dance with you."  Sara deftly stepped away while Felix and I dissolved into a fit of laughter.  My good girl used her manners and didn't throw the woman off of her.  When the lady was done dancing with Savannah she went back to her seat.  Savannah looked as us and was like, "WHAT?"  Okay, we thought it was hysterical for many reasons.  Sara knew Savannah could handle it, so she let her.  Felix and I let Savannah handle it.  Noah and Baylee are still shocked there was a beer can in her face.  But the punch line comes later when during Styx's performance...they came back.  This time the guy grabs Sara's arm and says, "I won't let her dance with you anymore."  Ummmm, dude....wrong girl.

Lessons Learned
1. Sheltered children NEED a little exposure.
2. If you can get beer in a 24 oz can, why can't I get a Caffeine free Diet Coke in anything bigger than a 20 oz bottle or go to the fountain?  What's up with that?
3. Kansas, Foreigner and Styx think very, very highly of their merchandise.
4. The kids survived...barely...it took Noah's asthma a week to recover from the smoke...poor kid.
5.  I'd take them again....it's good to see the other side and learn that everyone has a choice.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Holy Cow

On our way to the Kansas, Foreigner and Styx concert Saturday night, we drove by fields full of cows.  Most would complain of the smell...in our car the conversation had a few of these components.

1) Do you know that cows are producing so much  methane there is a hole in the ozone layer?  So do we kill all of the cows and not eat beef?
2) Felix:  Holy Cow Noah: Cows aren't holy.  Wendy: They are if you shoot them.  Baylee:  Is that where Holy Crap comes from?

You know, I was really going to post more, but as I was typing I realized we spend at least 30 minutes on the Holy Cow/Holy Crap relationship.

Lessons Learned
1. Driving in a car with my family for more than 15 minutes can cause concerning conversation.
2. They didn't start fighting until after 30 minutes...I think it's a record.
3. Thank goodness for the cows....it broke up the fight.
4. The miller sportspart is GI-NOR-MOUS.
5. I still think Holy Crap comes from Holy Cows.
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