Thursday, March 31, 2011

Best Picture Ever!

photo.JPG, originally uploaded by bookemdano1978.

This is by far, the best picture of our trip to Disneyland. Ross made that sweet four year old ride Space Mountain. He had no idea what he was getting into and as I'm sure you can guess from the picture, Elliott was absolutely TERRIFIED the entire ride.

Such a cute look of fear and panic.

At least dad was holding his hand.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

That boy!

As mentioned many times, my mother is numero dos of eight children. The oldest boy in her family, my uncle Dee was child number 6. According to many sources, including him, whenever my Grandma called his name as a child, it was preceded with a, "Dammit to hell!"  I love this picture of him as a little kid.  I think it probably personifies the spirit of his childhood.  He was strong willed, the first born boy and often gave my grandma a run for her money.


Now, fast forward a bit....oh, 40 something years to the little boy, almost two, who resides in my home. The one we call, The Chick. This kid...I tell you what. The moniker that my uncle so fondly remembers being his may start to stick to this kid. He's sick all the time and I'll admit that we baby him because of that. It's hard not to. Regardless, this kid has a mind of his own, a strong will, and is sneaky, sneaky, sneaky.

At Disneyland, when he wasn't coughing up a lung, he was dragging a blanket, whining and yelling at us. At several points during our trip he just gave up and found a great piece of asphalt to curl up on and call home. For the last 90 minutes of our car ride home he would pull his bink out of his mouth and scream, "DAD! UP! NOW! PLEASE!" because he wanted out of his car seat.

Yesterday, bless his heart, he had a nearly 4 hour nap and Elliott and I didn't know what to do with ourselves. There wasn't anyone to cough on us, yell at us, or take a swing. Today though he must be feeling better because that Chickadee of ours is back in true form.

Elliott was at school. I was folding laundry in my room and Wyatt was playing in his. I finished the laundry and checked on him. All was well. I came downstairs to send a few e-mails on the laptop. I literally didn't leave him unsupervised for more than 7 minutes. Not a big deal, or so I thought.

I came upstairs to get him ready to go and pick Elliott up from school. After there was no response from calling his name I should have known that I'd find trouble. And trouble there was. That boy of mine was hiding in a corner of his room. There was a familiar smell wafting from the bedroom. That boy of mine, upon closer inspection, was covered in St. Ives Apricot face scrub. It was in his hair, all over his face like a beard, up his nose a bit, and caked on his hands, shirt and pants.

I picked him up and carried him to my room. Luckily, the mess was all on him and he'd had enough common sense to place the squeezed out tube on an empty zip lock bag on my bed. Oh, so considerate!

We then marched into the bathroom and I stripped him down for bath number two of the morning. By this point, the stuff had been on him 10 minutes and he'd been rubbing it in...his entire face was blister red, as was a couple spots on his head. I was certain he was having an allergic reaction and I'd need to find the eppi pen. I also was pretty sure that he'd eaten some, he's that kind of kid, and I didn't know what I was going to do.

I got him bathed and dressed, carefully washing all the scratchy stuff off his face, avoiding his eyes. I then forced as much water and juice into his system as I could, hoping to flush it out. But then I figured he didn't eat any....his mouth looked clean.

Anyway....this kid is such a terror. His true personality came out on our vacation and I'm really starting to worry about what I'm going to do with him when he brings bugs and critters into my house. He already eats dirt....what next?

Elliott may have regularly scheduled meltdowns and tell me that I'm dumb. But, he isn't sneaky....except for that one time last summer when he shoved a q-tip into his ear and busted out his ear drum.

Yeah, except for that.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Disneyland! La, La, La, La, La, La, La Disneyland

We're back.  Did you miss us?

I'm really tired and my ankles are swollen from 12 hours in the car yesterday.

Yesterday we drove through 4 states.  Pretty impressive.  I also accidentally drove 100 mph yesterday.   But only for like 3 minutes because I wasn't paying attention.


Anyway - here is a summary of our trip in list fashion because like I said, I'm just too tired.  And then, some pictures.

The Highlights -
*Rented mini-van's rule.  I didn't have to put the miles on my car and the boys had enough space that they didn't fight.
*Raising Cane's chicken fingers in Las Vegas are awesome.
*Disneyland is fun and very family friendly.
*My boys are brave.  Both boys rode on the Matterhorn and screamed at the Yettie.  Elliott rode on Thunder Mountain and Space Mountain, and everything else that he was tall enough to ride.  He was scared of Pirates the first time but after the second ride, he was singing, "yo ho, yo ho" the rest of the evening.
*Darth Vader scared us with his light saber.
*Captain Eo is awesome.  It almost made me cry watching it, having flash backs to when I was a kid and I LOVED MJ.
*Boys are cheap.  The only souvenirs they wanted were Buzz Lightyear lights and lasers.  And bubble guns.  We got out pretty easy in the souvenir department.
*I love churros.  Especially hot Disneyland churros.
*Visiting the park in the Spring is way less crowded than visiting in the Summer.
*Early entry rules.
*First time in my life I road Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.
* I rode Space Mountain for the first time in almost 10 years and did not get sick.
*The ocean is beautiful but too windy and cold in March.
*I came home with a couple hundred dollars still in my pocket.  I love it when I don't spend all my money!

The Low lights -
*Cheerleaders!  They were everywhere and besides being overwhelmingly annoying, they were just really in our way.
*I didn't get a good Diet Coke in the park the entire three days we were there.
*Cold weather - I didn't pack for cold.  I packed for what I thought California weather should be like, not what the weather actually was.  We all managed to stay warm, but next time I'll pay more attention.

There really weren't any bad parts of our trip.  Except that the Chick was sick.  He started a really croupy cough on the drive down.  He puked in the hotel in Las Vegas.  When we got to Anaheim, Ross took him to an urgent care.  They said he had minor ear infections, a 100 degree fever, and croup.  They gave us antibiotics.  The medicine made him sick.  He puked three more times on the trip.  We had to get a new antibiotic prescribed.  We had to have the hotel launder all of the Chick's blankets because he went through 7 blankets (he's just like Linus in case you didn't know.  He drug a blanket through the park for three whole days) in about 24 hours.  The hotel charged us $175 dollars to launder 5 blankets, two little boy shirts and a pair of little boy pants.


We had long, sleepless nights with baby coughing and crying and screaming and the Chick had grumpy, coughy days and he only wanted his dad.  He was generally disagreeable but I think he still had fun.  On our last night in the hotel, he was particularly out of control and after almost two hours of screaming, being steamed out in the shower, fighting his inhaler he finally calmed down and went back to sleep....on a pillow, on the floor, in front of the door to our hotel room.

I also didn't know that being at the ocean was a bad idea for a two year old asthmatic with ear infections and croup.  The kid started coughing every 15-30 seconds as soon as we sat down for lunch at Rubie's Diner on the Huntington Pier and he didn't stop until we were inland again, and back at the hotel.

Anyway - that's it.  We survived our first long road trip with the boys.  We had a great time.  I'm grateful to my parents for taking us on such a grand adventure.  To my brother for being willing to hang out with his goofy nephews.  To my sister for being a baby pack mule with me.  There isn't anything better than spending three days with my family at Disneyland with a churro and a diet coke.

Get the flash player here:

Side note - I decided not to take a "real" camera on this trip.  I just took an iPhone 4 with a zoom lens attachment.  It was awesome.  I took nearly every photo with a hipstamatic app and they all turned out way cool.  It was a good decision.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

2000 steps

2000 Steps. That's about what my pedometer told me I took sitting in the car from my house to Las Vegas. That's how many times I turned around to deal with the back seat boys in the rented mini van. Or how many times I hit my head on the ceiling mounted DVD player.

Were on vacation. So far, as with everything we do, it's suck city.

Nervous 4 year old.

Sick, puking, visit urgent care in a different state 2 yr old.

Insomniac mom.

Moderately uptight dad.

Tomorrow? We start three days in the happiest place on earth. Oh what can gO wrong? I doesntly really matter because were making memories griswald style.

And, tomorrow grandma is here.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Morning Conversation

Elliott:  Mama.  Do you want to get the new O'Cedar Pro Mist?

Me: huh?

Elliott:  It cleans your floor with a fresh start every time.

I guess he's seen that commercial one too many times on Sprout.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Weighing in....

Long story short -

I've been diagnosed as a diabetic for 5 years - since July 2006.  Elliott was born after 7 months of heavy insulin use.  At my 6 week postpartum doctors appointment I'd lost 41 lbs.  It was the 40 I'd gained with him and 1 extra for good measure.  My A1C number was hovering at 5.9/6.0 and all was well.  I was a busy and fairly active new mom and for the first few weeks after that crazy monkey was born I didn't even need insulin.

The Chick was born in May 2009.  My weight in the summer of 2008, before Kid, Round 2 began was a few pounds more than my weight had been at the same stage with Elliott.  I gained 41 lbs. with Wyatt and at my 6 week postpartum doctors appointment I'd lost about 25 of those pounds.

Add two years.  My weight right now is 5-8 lbs (depending on the scale) heavier than I was 6 weeks post Wyatt (two years ago).  Since January I've decided to try and lose a 20 or more.  I've started slowly - I try to exercise 40 minutes at least 4 times a week - I've even played four basketball games and not died.  I've cut out a lot of junk, a ton of fast food (kids meals are the death of me...), and have been using a "fad" diet to help me control my eating and to help me not feel hungry all the time.  Since January, I've gained 3 lbs.

Yesterday I had my quarterly visit to the Endocrinologist.  My A1C is 6.7 - the same it's been for about a year and consistently higher than it's been forever.  After a trip to the scale, a blood pressure check and a few other things, John, my PA, came into the office, sat down in his chair and said, "Let's talk about your weight!"

I said, "Yes, PLEASE!  Let's talk".

He told me that after going over my history and blood test results he fears that my body is becoming immune to my insulin regime....not immune in the sense that the insulin is no longer controlling my blood sugars, because it is.  But, immune in the sense that when my body is separating out the blood sugars, instead of getting rid of all of it (some quickly, some slowly) it is storing the slow sugar and I'm consistently gaining weight.

My meds making me fat?  At this point, I'll take any help I can get, especially if I don't have to blame myself 100% for the problem.

After our long talk about weight and medication we've decided to shake things up a bit.
New oral insulin with possible nasty side effects....Metformin
New 24 hour insulin called Levamir which my dock called, "Lantus without the weight gain."

More exercise.  More controlled eating.  More help (instead of hinderance) from my meds, I hope.

So last night when I got home I jumped on the computer and looked up the side effects of my two insulin's.  Why I never did this in the last 5 years I don't know.  Because I trust my doctors are doing what's best for me.

This is what I found....for both:
Intensive insulin therapy causes an increase in body fat as a result of the elimination of glycosuria and reduction in 24-hour energy expenditure.

Patients on intensive insulin therapy have been more likely to experience weight gain.

You think being a slave to insulin for the last five years, particularly during two pregnancies where my needs quadrupled counts as "intensive insulin therapy"?  I'm pretty sure it does.

Of the top 5 general side effects of Lantus and Novolog I've got two: weight gain and high blood pressure.  Thank heavens I don't have any eye problems, or high cholesterol or an irregular heart beat.

To end this super boring post...please wish me luck.  New medication is a bit scary, especially one that gives nearly everyone who takes it monster stomach aches.  But, if it helps me get back on track both as a "healthy" person and as a diabetic then I'm game.

Monday, March 14, 2011

My Grandpa

This is my Grandpa.    This may be his first official appearance on my blog.  He is almost 82 years old.  He's been my only grandpa my entire life.  He goes to work every single day.  He eats half a grapefruit for breakfast every single morning.  He's always kind of scared me because he has always been larger than life.  He is smart and faithful and confident and generous.  He knows everything! He doesn't mess around and tells it to you straight.  He once threatened to ship my sister and me to Iraq if we didn't shut-up in the car.

As a little girl, my sister and I spent many nights driving around Salt Lake City with my grandparents.  We'd get a coke at Wendy's, drive to "the yard" to check on things, go to the post office at the airport and then Grandpa would show us where all the polygamists lived in the city.  We'd drive home on Indiana Avenue past where his family grocery store used to be.

Since my Grandma passed away in January I've been uncertain what to do about my Grandpa.  He's never been as easy for me to talk to as my Grandma was.  I always figured that he thought I was sort of a dork - a goofy girl.  I ask my mom about him every time I talk to her.  A few Sunday's ago he joined our family for dinner and as he was leaving he told me my kids weren't too big of brats.  That was quite a compliment coming from him.

We've been out to visit him on a few Sunday nights in the last 2 months.  The boys put on a show and he and Ross talk about work and mining and sports and geography and finances.  I just sit and listen.  I'm not sure what to say or do and then I end up crying all the way home.

On Saturday we drove out to visit.  When we opened the door the boys yelled, "Grandpa, we're here!" and ran down the hall to find him.  He was in the office, working on birthday cards.  He's starting to forge his own way and make his own traditions.  It's pretty cool considering that for two months shy of 60 years he pretty much let my Grandma be in charge of anything that related to the household, gift giving, cooking, etc.

He finished up what he was working on and headed out to the kitchen to visit with us.  I was so amazed at how at ease I felt sitting at that kitchen table, the one I've spent years around, that it almost brought me to tears.  For the first time since January 22, I was in the second home of my childhood and I did not cry.   I laughed.  My Grandpa laughed.  We had a great visit.

Grandpa had plans - he was meeting my uncle's family for dinner, so we had to leave.  Things are not back to "normal" and we're all still a bit sad but those boys of mine never fail to impress me.  They both headed to my Grandpa, gave him big hugs and told him that they'd see him later.  That little Chick gave Grandpa two hugs.  It melted my heart and made me proud.  It's our turn to get to know Grandpa as best as we can.  To soak him in.  To learn from him.  To follow his example.

I gave my Grandpa some photos before we left.  He'd asked my mom who in turn asked me to find some pictures of my Grandma when she was younger.  You see, my Grandpa is nervous that he won't remember her young and beautiful when he meets her again in heaven so he needs some reminders around the house.  I gave him the photos and he looked through them with a tear in his eye.  He said thanks.  I said you're welcome.

Whether we want it to or not, life moves on.  We have our memories and thank heavens, our pictures and until our time to see our loved ones again comes, we'll just have to take what we can get.  Until then, I'll love my Grandpa very much and steal as much of his time as I'm able.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Squirt:: 22 months


Hey Smart Fart.

What's happenin'?

Oh really? That's nice.

You my boy are 22 months old. When people ask how old you are you say, "two". Close enough.

The last month has been fun. You are smart and funny and talking up a storm. You tried a hot dog and like spaghetti. Go figure.

You love to cheer at basketball games and bask in the sun shine. You run everywhere and can communicate through sound almost as much as you can through words.


Case in point. Thursday we went to the zoo. You were in animal heaven and cried when we had to leave because you wanted to go and play with the elephants. When dad got home from work you attacked his knees as usual. Dad said, "Wyatt did you go to the zoo today?" You said, "uh huh!" Dad said, "What animals did you see?" and you immediately made the sound of an elephant, a gorilla, a chicken, a rooster and then something that your brother said was a giraffe. It was super cute.

I love to watch you play. You can entertain yourself so well. You'll go down in the basement to shoot baskets all alone byand can lay on the floor and drive cars for ages.

Your vocabulary is expanding at lightening speed. Today we were sitting watching a show before your crazy brother got home from school and you went to the drawer to grab a new blanket. The blue blanket in question however didn't have a tag, or in our house a "ticket". You climbed up onto my lap, felt around all for edges and then looked at me with sad eyes and said, "mama, no ticket".

A sentence. YOU MADE A SENTENCE. For that, you got kisses. And for my kisses, you gave me some back.

Every morning we go through the same routine.

You say, "mama, daddy?"
I say, "Dad's at work."
You say, "Dad truck."

Every school day you say, "Mama, Elliott?"
I say, "I don't know, where is Elliott?"
You say, "!"


Thank you for being my boy. Thank you for being cute and funny. Even when you tell me "NO" and take a swing I'm still amused...but only for another three weeks or so. I love your energy and your passion for the things that are important to you like balls, and blues clues and chocolate chips.

And cake. Man, you love cake.  And diet coke.  But that's a whole 'nother blog post.
The boy and his favorite beverage

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

on staying busy...

Photo on 2011-03-08 at 17.10 #3

On December 22, 2010 I quit my job. The decision to quit came months before. The desire to quit came the day the Chick was born. He's almost two now so you can imagine how antsy I had been to get the heck out of dodge. Before things went down last fall, Ross and I had decided that I'd quit my job this coming May, 2011. Though it was nice to have my pay check for savings and extra fun stuff, my salary wasn't necessary to our survival as a family of four and it was okay to say goodbye to a job that I no longer enjoyed doing. My sanity was more important than the pay check. My family more important than a j-o-b I'd grown to dread.

It's been nearly three months since I quit and my family has been very blessed. We don't seem missed the money. We're doing a decent job sticking to our budget. We're thinking about putting our house up for sale and moving to something different. We're happy.

It used to be a struggle to find 20 hours in a week to work part-time. Now I seem to be running out of time left and right and it's okay. It doesn't stress me out. Unemployment seems to suit me. Lucky. Lucky. Lucky.

In the last three months I've been so busy. I was able to make a last few visits with my Grandma that I wouldn't have thought I'd had time for, before. I edited and coordinated a 180 page family history book that went to print on Sunday night. I've baked cakes, done crafts, played basketball, volunteered my time, watched basketball, cleaned my house, exercised, read books...all things that I wanted to do but never really felt like I had the time. When I see a cool crafty thing online, I have the time to try it out. When I see a new recipe on a blog, I can whip it up for dinner. Even though it drives my controlling self crazy, I have time to sit down with my boys and watch them mix up all the paint colors, do crafts, and eat frosting off the beaters.

I work every day. I'm busy every day. I laugh with my kids every day.

Sometime soon, I'll be back in the workforce doing something that I want to do. That I love to do. Until then, I've realized I'm in a really good place right now.

I am happy.

It's not often I say that.

I'm still uptight and grumpy and overwhelmed and a little too intense for my kids and struggle to relax and wear stretchy pants every single day because it's comfy and easy.


The end!

And now...a movie where we say butt!

Monday, March 07, 2011

It is finished

Right after Christmas I had the idea to do something great for my grandparents wedding anniversary.  I send out letters and e-mails to everyone in the family asking them to type up stories and memories of my Grandma and Grandpa, and life in our family and I was going to put all those stories with pictures in a book.

When my Grandma passed away in January I wasn't sure if the project should continue but I realized that my Grandma would have been pretty mad at me if I quit the book on her account.  So, it continued.  During the last 4 weeks I've been reading and editing stories written by members of my 54 person strong family.  I've poured over old photos, personal photos, and photo albums looking for the perfect pictures to put in the book.

My grandparents wedding anniversary is on March 19.  They would have been married 60 years this month.  The book will arrive by their anniversary date.  We are having a family party to commemorate the book and our family but thinking about the anniversary is just too sad.

Part of the book though, has been family group pictures.  My mom is one of 8 siblings and I either took photos of or got photos sent to me of all eight families.  Last night, it was our turn to try and take a family picture.  It was quite the set-up getting all 10 of us situated and organized, getting the camera set up in the right spot, getting the kiddos to cooperate, and making sure that my hand with the camera remote control wasn't visible in the final photo.

I love my family.  I love the out takes of our endeavor almost more than the final shot.  I'm so excited we are all going to Disneyland at the end of the month.  It is going to be so much fun.




Friday, March 04, 2011

not quite dead yet....

Last night I played basketball.

I was nervous about it all day.  Spent most of the day sick to my stomach.  I had Ross e-mail me a list of orthopedic doctors covered by our insurance just in case I torn something in my knee.

I played the entire first quarter.

Two minutes in the second quarter.

All but two minutes in the third quarter.

The entire fourth quarter.

I had 6 points and 10 rebounds so says the husband that was keeping stats.

It was the first basketball game I have played in....wait for it......EIGHT YEARS!

When I got to sit at the end of the first quarter I thought 1) I might have asthma and 2) I'm going to throw up.

I did not puke.

Today however, I cannot walk.  I limp like a 63 old lady with arthritic joints who needs a knee replacement.  My body aches, I still haven't caught my breath and I'm exhausted.

But, like all former "athletes" (term used loosely) I had fun.  I had enough fun that I'm playing again tonight at 8:00.

I'll be in the hospital tomorrow if you'd like to send flowers.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011


Lounge lizards

I have dozens of these pictures. My boys at peace, on the floor next to each other, enjoying the space and the time.

When everything gets a bit over my head I find one of these pictures on my phone.

They are calming.

Some days, I join the pow-wow on the floor, basking in the beauty of all there is to life.

Happy and content. Watching a movie. Just being alive.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

some random bits of random for you....


There is that line at the end of Grease, when Danny Zuko comes to the end of year carnival wearing a letter man's sweater and the T-birds are like, "Danny Zuko turned jock?"  and he's all, "I did it to impress Sandy.  I'd do anything to get her back."

So my brother he

Seriously.  Mr. Football.  Captain Basketball.  He tried out for the tennis team at school and made the cut.  He's one of 18 tennis players and he said he's not the worst.

Not sure who he's trying to impress with that one.  Willie, is there a Sandy somewhere I don't know about?

I don't know how to cheer for tennis.  Do you?


This is my sister-in-law.  She is 34 weeks pregnant with twin boys.  I bought her XL maternity t-shirts (she is itty bitty tiny) months ago and sent them with a note telling her that she could "aspire" to fit into them.  She told me today that they are some of the only things she can get around that belly of hers.  I have no idea what it's like to have two babies beating the crap out of me from the inside all day long and  and I'm so glad I don't.  Her babies, A and B collectively are weighing in at an estimated 10 lbs and they still have 6 weeks to go...though I'm pretty sure they won't make it to their April due date.

This is interesting...
My husband has one brother.  My mother-in-law has two sons.
I have two son.
My sister-in-law very shortly will have three sons.

We have no girls (except cutie pie Miss Molly and thank heavens for her!).
We women folk are sorely out numbered.
It seems it is impossible to get a girl in the family.

When all grand kid/great grand kids that are related to me, including my children, are added up on all sides of the family in the last nearly 5 years there are 9 boys and 1 girl.  These new boys, my soon to be sweet nephews, will make that 11 boys to 1 girl.

If we ever decide to add a third child to our family, the odds are stacked against me for sure...

I guess I ought to start training my boys to do hospital corners on beds, vacuum in straight lines, and enjoy going with me on the occasional run to JC Penny and for a late night diet coke.

PS - I forgot Baby Kate - my cousin's baby....two girls and 11 boys....
Sorry sweet baby was late at night!



My boys are funny.  Have I mentioned this to you yet?  Elliott uses big words and talks to me about animals of which I have no knowledge like Draco's and Remora's.  In fact this afternoon he did this thing with his hand, made a suction cup sound and stuck his hand to my head.  He then told me that I was a whale and he was a Remora (a fish I learned) that was suctioning onto me to catch a free ride.

They are mysterious animals, don't you know.

And my other boy?  He's totally crazy.  He says "Whoa" and "Hey" and today he learned the word "Elk".  On Sunday while in the car, he saw a dog.  We apparently didn't acknowledge the dog as much as we should have and he yelled, in an escalating tone, "dog....Dog....DOG!!!!!" for about 10 minutes until we reached our destination.

He also loves Mater.  As in Tow Mater.  From cars.  We have a movie with shorts starring Mater.  He of course, cannot say Mater.  Instead he moves his hands as if he were driving a steering wheel and says "Vroom....vroom".  This means, "Mother, may I please watch the 38 minute DVD starting my favorite and lovable tow truck Tow Mater?"  When I say, "Chick, do you want to watch Mater?" he smiles, says, "Yeah, Yeah!" and claps his hands as fast as he can.


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