Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Happy Birthday, Elder!

Today, my brother turns 20.  He's far away, and we didn't get to celebrate in our traditional way with pizza and a party, but hopefully he could feel our love for him from thousands of miles away.

Because my mom and sister and i often think alike (and apparently Parker and a few of Willie's friends, too) there were lots and lots of social media birthday wishes for the Big Iggy.

I posted to Instagram, and within minutes, my mom and sister posted wishes to him as well.

It's so good to know that he is doing so well, and is such a great missionary.  Willie is a pretty special kid, and he has a way with people and is a natural born leader.  I am so proud of him and can't believe that he is so grown up.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The December Daze

Blogging hasn't been my thing lately, but we've done a lot in the last little while.  December didn't feel as busy as it normally is, but we still had a lot going on.

We went to a movie, and there were only 8 people in the theater.  Sweet.

Junior Jazz basketball started and it's the return of Coach Karl - and he seems to be cultivating the second dynasty.

We saw lots of Christmas lights.

We went to the MoTab Christmas concert with the Sesame Street Muppet's.  It was so awesome.  It ran a little long and Wyatt got tired, but it was one of the most fun programs I've been to.

The boys wrote letters to Santa and got letters in return from the big guy.

Ross and I went on our first "date" in three months (without kids).  We went to dinner and then to see the Lower Lights Christmas concert at the Masonic Temple on South Temple.  It was a fun night and I hope to make the concert a tradition.

I made a lot of candy and in one day used 10 sticks of butter.

We had the annual Petersen Christmas party at aunt LeeAnn's house.  It was a great party and a lot of fun.

 We had a great day a couple days before Christmas.  We headed to Grandma Judy's to frost cookies and hang out.  Then we went to Crown Burgers and then up to the Utah basketball game.  My favorite kind of day.  Sugar, family, french fries and basketball.

We also did our annual Petersen/Howden/Binggeli Christmas activity of dinner (Mt. Mike's pizza) and a movie (Penguins of Madagascar).  It was a super fun night and the kids were really good, and I don't have any pictures.

Phew!  That was a lot.

Friday, December 26, 2014

It's Christmas. I'm writing a blog post and it's Christmas!

This Christmas, we had one of the more mellow holidays than we've had in along time.  But, it did start very early.  Our early morning though, was for a very good cause....Uncle Elder Willie.

Willie's phone call was scheduled for 7:00 am so Ross and I got up at 5:00 to get ready.  We woke the boys up at 6:00 am, let them glance at their Santa gifts for 15 minutes, and then got them dressed and headed out the door.  We arrived at my mom's with minutes to spare and then got to talk to our best big iggy for about an hour.

He was so happy!  I don't know if I've ever seen him so happy.  He was smiling, and laughing, and being funny, which is just as we had hoped he would be.  Hopefully, talking to us was as rewarding for him. 

After we signed off (Until Mother's Day) we fixed a delicious breakfast.  We decided to buy waffle dough from Waffle Love and had Liege waffles with all the fixin's, hash browns, bacon and a couple people ate eggs.

Then it was time.  Time for presents.  My mom said she was "cutting back" this year, but from the dozens and dozens of wrapped boxes, her version of cutting back is my Grandma Huber's version of cutting back, which really isn't cutting back at all.  We opened a whirlwind of presents and then, as the exhaustion of the early morning set in all the kids settled down, the adults started to fall asleep, and the cokes were poured.

Once we all felt ready, we headed out to my grandpa's house to visit with him, wish him a happy Christmas, and set up the food for the rest of the day.  All 10 of us (willie wasn't there and James was working) stormed into my grandpas house like a Christmas tornado and I think he was happy to have us there.  I've never been FIRST to his house on Christmas in my whole life, so it was fun to be there with him, watch him laugh at all our craziness, and get to hang out before the rush of people.

When it was time to head home, we did.  Some people fell asleep in the car.  Some people fell asleep at home.  Some people never fell asleep but played video games and sat in the mess of all their holiday loot.

In the evening, my parents came over and we had shredded beef tacos and nachos and tamales made for us by a nice neighbor.  We went to bed Christmas night with full hearts and full bellies.  It was one of the better Christmases I've ever celebrated.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Spirit of Service

Every year, the youth of our neighborhood, do some sort of service project, in two events.  They hold a neighborhood bonfire where people bring donations for some charity and then they do a Christmas program at a local Alzheimer facility.  This year, Ross was in charge of the combined "service" activity and he followed that old mantra, "Go big or go home!"

Go big he (we) did.  Ross did some research and found the Family Support Center of Midvale.  This organization provides a lot of services to people around the valley, mostly transitional housing, day care and counseling for families down on their luck or women and children leaving abusive situations.  After talking to Kellie, on of the awesome people who help run the facility, it was decided that they would be our charity for the year.

Ross agreed to provide Christmas gifts for 7 families, as well as use the traditional neighborhood bonfire to collect donations for general center operations.  Then, he pretty much handed the project over to me.  I organized all the people (I think it was 28), and we made ornaments with gifts listed, three ornaments per person.  I also put together gift bags for each of the moms, added items like socks and underwear (I was taught well by my grandma) to each child's list, and then we placed all the ornaments on two trees in the lobby of our church.

Then, we just waited for the gifts, as well as donations of boxes, wrapping paper, and so much more to arrive at our house.  By last Saturday, my front living room and dining room looked like the salvation army of new gifts.  Each person had a minimum of 6 items, and most people in our neighborhood bought more than was on each tag.  I figured that we had around 150 presents donated, even some big items like bedding, long boards, and play station games.

As items started to roll in, I felt Santa's pressure to make my list and check it twice.  The more organized I could be, the better things would turn out.

Last Saturday four women in my neighborhood came over to help me check, double check, and box all the presents in preparation for the youth wrapping them on Tuesday night.  It took us a little over 2 hours to go through all 7 families and in the end, I was only missing three items: underwear, a Lego set, and a stroller.  The generosity was amazing and I was so proud to be able to help with such a project.

Last night was our wrapping night and it was amazing.  Kellie, from the center came to help out and we had about 50 kids and adults show up to wrap all the presents and stuff almost 30 stockings with wonderful prizes for any kids who will be entering the center on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

I grew up in a family where service has always been a priority.  I've watched my grandparents and parents serve so many others, that even though it's challenging at times, it really is second nature to me.  And, my obsessive need to plan and organize fits right in to a project like this.  It just made my heart so happy to be part of such a project and I hope, that next year, we can do the same thing all over again.

This is what Christmas (well, really all the year) is about and it was just an awesome thing.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Survival Mode

There are a lot of things I'm good at in this world.  People tell me that I'm crafty.  I try to be a good listener.  I'm organized and an over-planner.  My kids are always clean and kind and polite and I try to take the best care of them that I can.

But there is one thing, no matter the circumstances, that I am good at.  Single motherhood.  In fact, I completely suck at it and it overwhelms me to the point that instead of the kids having a melt down, I have one.  Or twenty.  And they are loud and insane.

Ross started a new J-O-B this week.  With a week of training and meet-and-greets in New Jersey and Atlanta.  This new job is really a blessing and a wonderful opportunity for him to showcase how good he is at what he does.  I'm really happy and excited for him.  It will be great to see where this job takes him and what additional doors open up for him.

But.  BUT - he's been gone since Sunday afternoon and I'm toast.  The boys are done with me.  We're running out of Cheetos.  It's getting serious.  We've had lots of activities and help from my parents to get everything done this week that we've needed to do and thank heavens! the boys are back in school this week and extra tired and worn out at night.

Anyway - this single motherhood stuff is so hard.  Kudos to those of you who do it often, or all the time because your husbands are gone for work - or you don't have one.  The level of exhaustion I feel when I finally get to bed around 11:30 is at least comparable to that of having a newborn at home.  And, my house is still a mess, and all the laundry isn't folded and there are Lego's all over the floor and I forgot to start the dishwasher.   I'm pretty much a giant ball of panicked disorganized goo when I don't have my "help meet" at home with me.  There is no balance - especially for the boys.  Let's face it, I am annoying and bossy and loud.

But, they've had a great week of fast food so hopefully they won't complain too much.  I did fix them dinner on Monday night.  Yeah, me.

We did have some good experiences this week though.
On Tuesday afternoon, we met Grandpa for lunch at his work because Waffle Love was in the parking lot.  Nailed it!  Made Wyatt the happiest, nutella lovin' five year old on the planet and it was warm enough that we ate outside on the patio.  Double brownie points.  And, on Tuesday night, to keep it even steven, Elliott got to pick where we went for dinner.  He chose Hires.

I must have looked pathetic enough walking in by myself with three crazy boys because I noticed immediately that an older woman and her husband were eyeing me.  We sat down, we ordered, and we began the frantic game "let's keep Quinn from screaming, throwing, climbing and breaking until the garlic bread comes" when this woman approached our table.  I thought she was going to yell at me, but she smiled a gentle smile and handed me a gift card.  She said, "I've written my remaining balance on the back.  That should help you pay for dinner for yourself and your cute boys.  Merry Christmas."  It was so great!  No one has ever done that for me before, and there was enough balance on the card that it payed for a good portion of our meal.

This week, it's also been warm enough to play outside without jackets (thank heavens we bought a trampoline....best purchase ever.)  We've had some good meals, some good company, attended Molly and Jack's Christmas program, and Grandpa and Elliott have basketball practice tonight.  As hard as it's been, the boys have mostly slept, mostly been good and happy, and we've mostly gotten along.  I'm a mental mess, but what else is new?  Our dad comes home tonight...not a moment too soon.

Friday, December 05, 2014

The things he says

We were driving to meet Elliott and Ross for dinner tonight after Jr. Jazz practice.  Quinn noticed the moon.

Q:  Mama, the moon.  Wook at da moon.
M:  Yes Quinn, I see the moon.  It's so pretty.
W:  Quinn, the moon is in outer space.  We are on the earth that's why we can see the moon
Q:  No Wyatt!  The earth spins on axis!

Continuing the drive....

Q:  Borilla fraid of giraffe.
M:  I don't think that a gorilla is afraid of a giraffe.
Q:  Yes, borilla afraid.
M:  I don't think that gorillas and giraffes ever see each other.  Gorillas live in the mountains and giraffes live in the savanah.
W:  Quinn, maybe gorillas are afraid of orangutans.
M:  Gorillas and orangutans don't live together, Wyatt.  Gorillas live in Africa and Orangutans live in Asia.
Q:  No mama!  Tang-tangs live in Merica!

At dinner....

Q:  Dad, chewy is chewbacca.
D:  Yes Quinn, Chewy's name is Chewbacca.
Q:  No dad, chewy is a wookie!

Before bed....

(Sitting on the kitchen counter waiting for his bottle.  Yes, he still drinks a bottle.  He will until he's 15).

Q:  Hey Craig!  Hey Craig!  Hey Craig!  Hey Craig, It's me Jake!
(From the dodge dart commercial)

Thursday, December 04, 2014

10 month update

December marks the 10th month that "The Big Iggy" has been a missionary for the LDS church.  A few weeks ago, my parents got a letter from the mission president informing us that Elder Petersen was going to be a trainer.  Then we got a letter from Willie telling us that he was going to be a trainer, but that his trainee was held up in Utah with some knee problems/surgery and there was no way of telling when he would actually arrive.

For months now, he's been part of a trio, instead of a companionship.  He told me that even though he wasn't the senior companion, that it often felt like he was in the video game Animal Crossing, with those other two elders just following him around wherever he went.

But, he isn't part of a trio anymore.  In fact, my dad got an e-mail last week telling us that our Elder was getting a new assignment and that he would now be a district leader.  Then, our Monday e-mail told us that yes, Willie is a district leader in 1) a new town and 2) his new companion is Elder Norman - his companion from the MTC who, to put it nicely, tried his patience.  I could feel my nervous mervous brother sweating it out in his e-mail but hopefully, he's relaxed a little in the last few days and he can go about the business of being the missionary in charge.

Willie is now in his third city, Klaipeda, Lithuania.  It's a coastal city, right on the Baltic Sea and he said that so far, its very pretty.  But Lithuania right now especially is very cold.  I check the weather weekly and this week the high was supposed to be 25 in the country's capital.  I'm not sure whether the sea makes it warmer or colder, but I'm guessing colder.  He also said that the people are very friendly and there is actually a young man in the branch preparing to serve a mission - which is very cool.

I know that as a family, we so look forward to an e-mail in our inbox every single Monday from our Elder.  There have been a couple weeks where his e-mails have been "late" and we all frantically text each other wondering whether we were left off the list, or if something happened to him.  That something, generally, has been that he's busy.  Duh on us!

The rules have loosened a little and Willie can now send us pictures of actual Lithuanian members, and of his companions.  He's broken the rules a few times to send us, what I guess would be contraband pictures, but it's nice to know that he can do it legally and that we get to see a little more of where he is at and what he is doing and put names to faces of some of the favorite people he is teaching like Birute, his Lithuanian Grandma.

We get the opportunity to Skype with Willie on Christmas day.  I am so excited.  My boys are so excited.  My mother (and I assume my dad) is beyond excited.  It's like the biggest thing ever in our lives and we are all counting down the days.  Quinn talks to Willie every day on his plastic nemo phone.  He also talks to "Unka We-eeee" through pictures, generally carrying around a photograph or magnet with his image on it at least once a day.  I really hope that he doesn't pull his crazy bashful self when we see Willie on video and that he will actually talk to him.  If we tell Willie ahead of time to ask Quinn about the bison at the zoo, I'm sure he can zone in and talk (FYI - the bison are no longer at the zoo.  They are on a farm.  Quinn will be more than happy to tell you that whenever you ask).

I miss my brother very much, but I know he is doing an important work, touching the lives of people who need a little love from a very tall and skinny albino boy from Utah.  I heard in a talk at a missionary farewell at church this past Sunday, that if you apply the law of tithing to your life, for a young man, taking two years out of his life when he's 19-21 is the same as paying a 10% tithe to the Lord.  I thought that was a neat way to interpret a mission.  We've got Willie with us forever.  The people of Lithuania just get him for two years.  I guess that's why missionaries (especially my brother) work so hard.  They've got a lifetime of work to do helping other people in a fraction of time.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Family resemblance

A week or two ago, an older lady in my parents neighborhood, Sister Farnsworth, brought a local church publication from 1965 to my dad. Sister Farnsworth apparently is in love with my dad, and mostly my brother, but she just happened to have something that was 50 years old worth sharing. In the newsletter, was a page dedicated to my dad's parents and family. My Grandpa Petersen and his new church calling, my Grandma and hers, and their "lovely" family. At the bottom of the article, was a picture of my grandparents and four of their five children; my uncle Gregg was not yet born.

My dad told me that when he and my mom looked at the picture, that there was a pretty strong and uncanny resemblance between him and my Uncle Paul, and my boys. When I got out last week to set up for Thanksgiving to see the picture for myself, I had to agree, that there are some very strong Petersen characteristics that come through in my boys. I'd like to think that was my Grandpa, and later my Grandma, in Heaven, molding my future sons into the people they will become, and giving them some of that character is important to their existence here on earth.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014


This week marks the 4th week of our four week off-track experience.  I swear my children are never in school.  On Sunday, driving home from my mom's house, Ross and Wyatt were talking about how in one week he gets to go back to school and then he gets to have a short off-track for Christmas.  Wyatt, in his traditional whine, lamented the fact that he is off-track and said he didn't want to go off-track for Christmas.  He just wants to go to school.  His dad told him, "But Wyatt, at Christmas, you get lots of presents, don't you want presents?"  Wyatt replied, "No, I'd rather go to school than have presents."  This child loves school!

For as much as I was dreading this break, it actually has been better than probably any other off-track we've ever had.  The boys have been pretty relaxed, we've tried to keep busy, and their best neighborhood friends are off-track too, so it's been helpful to have kids to play with.

We've taken swimming lessons.
We've gone to Cabella's and the Museum of Curiosity.
We've eaten a lot of lunch on the town.
We had our family pictures taken.
It's been warm enough to still jump on the trampoline and run around outside.
We went to Disney on Ice.
We've been to four Utah basketball games.
We've watched movies, drawn dozens of minions, colored entire coloring books, and set-up three Christmas trees.

And yesterday, December 1st, marked the first day of advent, what has become a much asked about tradition in our home.  Instead of doing stockings, and buying my kids a million Christmas presents, we do advent.  Every day, from December 1 - 24, the boys get a small prize, treat, or directions for an activity in a little bag that is tied to the railing on the stairs.  It gives them something to look forward to every morning and it's fun to watch them get so excited.  The 24th is always a treasure hunt and the boys have to seek out their final "prize" which is generally pajamas, a small lego set, and some candy.  They love it.  I love it.  It's fun.

The boys go back to school on Monday.  I am happy to send them back - it's only for 10 days before they are off for Christmas.  I think however, that their little brother is going to have a hard time.  Quinn has gotten quite accustomed to having them home.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Let It Be

Once, as an American History teacher, I shared a current event about how the US government had decided to offer reparations to the surviving families of Japanese Americans who had been interned in camps across the Western United States during World War II.  As an apology, the survivors, which in the most part were grandchildren and great grandchildren, were given $20,000 - $40,000 to compensate for the loss of income and livelihood during that volatile time.

After sharing this current event, one student in particular, a student who I disliked very much, but was also very good friends with the only African American student I had in class, a student whom I loved dearly, asked me a question.  He wanted to know why the government didn't pay reparations to the ancestors of slaves - why their families didn't get $20-40,000 to make up for the loss of livelihood for generations.  At first, I tried to logically explain American history and the questions involved with such a process.  How do you begin to pay back possibly a million or more families?  How do you trace the records of people who were never accounted for?  Where would you even start?

These questions and my attempt at an answer weren't enough for this student, who was quickly becoming my enemy.  He was Hispanic, and had felt prejudice and racism in his short life, and he saw it in the story of the government and history I was trying to paint.  He started to yell at me, raising his voice in anger and frustration at the injustice he felt I was justifying.  In turn, as I sat in my desk at the front of the room, papers in hand, I yelled back.  I raised my voice, but probably surprised him with my response.

I don't remember everything I said that day, but I remember I maybe had never been so adamant and vocal and emotional in my whole life as a teacher.  I do remember that I shouted back.  I shouted quotes from Malcolm X and Martin Luther King about injustice and inequality.  I argued that slaves never stood a chance because of the system that existed and finally, though the details are hazy, I shouted, "Isaac, it's because they were black!" and as I calmed myself down I said, "The government would never do such a thing because it would be impossible and because slaves were black!"

That pivotal moment in my classroom was a life changer.  I remember looking at Tim, my black student, and having him smile his beautiful smile at me.  Maybe he was mocking me because once again I had let Isaac rile me up.  Or maybe he was proud that I'd vocalized and figured out something that he'd known for all of his 16 years.

Either way, this story came to mind today as I was pouring over postings on Instagram about the decision by the Grand Jury in Ferguson, Missouri yesterday.  As the details continue to evolve and unfold,  I don't know what to think.  I don't know what side to be on.  I feel horribly for all the mothers who have ever had to witness something tragic happen to their children, and then feel like no justice was served.  I am sickened that something like this happened because of race, if that's the real motive.  I am nervous that police officers are so quick to fire their weapons and "shoot to kill".  I am disturbed to no end that robbing and looting and committing additional acts of crime feels like a just response, that it feels like the only response.  Why is it when, whether our "team" wins or looses in any capacity of life, as a culture we feel it's okay to take from the innocent and uninvolved.

I've read statistics on crime rates.  I've seen the numbers of how many black men have been murdered in the last few months.  I've once again, read those same Malcolm X and Martin Luther King quotes that I've read so many times before.  But, I've added some Maya Angelou, some Toni Morrison, and some Cornell West into the bunch as well.

It's so sad to me that all of this still exists in the world.  That we don't see people for people and crime for crime.  That it feels like we're going backwards as a nation.  Baton Rouge re-segregates schools, injustice because of race is okay, and there are people of every creed, color, and race oppressed in the nation that is supposed to be the answer to "the dream".

My boys and I, every once in a while, have talks about skin color and how some people look different than others.  We talk about how it doesn't matter, that you are friends with everyone and stick up for everyone.  Every day, as we wait in line to be dropped of for school I tell the boys, "Be good.  Be smart.  Be kind to everyone."

I surely hope they are hearing me.

Also in our house - though it may seem a little unrelated, we talk about the fact that in this life, you are either a Beatle or a Rolling Stone.  I am a Beatle through and through.  And, as I've been thinking about all of this today, a song game to mind, sung and performed in a movie that is so reflective of what is happening today, but identifying with a time decades ago.

These are pivotal times in a volatile world.  It's a little scary.  But I will do my best to stand up for what's right, and make sure my kids do the same.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Oh Honestly Handmade

About a month ago,  I launched a small business.  I've been making tote bags and zippered pouches as an obsessive hobby for a few months now, and finally got around to trying to sell some.  With two weekend boutiques under my belt, I've learned a lot and have a few ideas, I hope are good ideas, to move forward with.

I'm selling my bags on Instagram, and slowly filtering through ideas as to whether or not I should open my own website shop, or to open a shop on ETSY.  I think I'm leaning towards the latter, but just don't have the brain space to figure it all out right now.  Tis the season to not start a new business

But, I'll keep sewing, because it takes me to my happy place, and continue to sell a few bags here and there and then get ready for a real launch and a real plan at the beginning of the year.  You know, when no one has any money left over to spend on handmade items.

In the meantime however, here are a few pictures of some of the bags I've made.  If you are interested in purchasing a bag, or just coming to look at all of them, please don't hesitate to contact me and come over to take a look.

These colors are so nice..... @ohhonestlyhandmade   #handmade #crafter #bag #totebag




Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Family Picture Time...

It's that time of year.  Time for family pictures.  I realize that it's probably not necessary to do a picture of some kind every year, but in addition to needing something for a Christmas card, while my boys are young, I really like seeing how much the boys change every year.  And, we haven't had an official family picture since February 2013, so we were due.

I scheduled an early morning appointment at FotoFly in Draper.  We've been there several times now and it's just fast and efficient and we get our pictures an hour later in an online album.  That cannot be beat.  Besides the fact that there weren't a lot of bookings left, I thought early morning would be best for the little sloth.  You see, he doesn't cooperate much these days, but he's always pretty happy in the morning.

I was wrong.  Unless Ross was holding him, he was crying.  He wouldn't smile.  He did not cooperate on any level.  In fact, the very last picture taken of our session was me and Ross together, and Quinn is hidden behind our legs gagging and crying and spreading his boogery cheer all over my pant legs.

But, as you look at the pictures the photographer got, she was awesome.  Not once would you realized that Quinn was as uncooperative as he was - he wasn't smiling of course, but what else is new.

I'm really pleased and have already ordered my Christmas cards.









Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Belated Birthday Wishes!

All "tiered" up for my dad's birthday.  This may be the tastiest sugar bomb I've made all year.
On Saturday, twas my dad's birthday.  He, like my mom, entered his 6th decade.  I called him on Saturday to wish him a happy birthday and when I asked if he felt older, senior citizen-like, he said that he felt the same as the day before.

Yesterday, being the first day of a gargantuan 4 week period of off-trackedness, was a rough day.  The boys fought all day, Quinn didn't have a legit nap, Wyatt tried to drown a kid at swimming lessons, Quinn for the first time in his life pooped in a store and Elliott was a generally whiny and crying disagreeable mess.  And so on.  And our dad was out of town.  It was decided that we run some errands in the evening, which was a bad idea in and of itself because it gets dark so early now and the boy who cannot stay awake in the car (wyatt) coupled with the lack of lighting just kept falling asleep.

But, I digress.

In near tears I called my parents home at 5:45 from a parking lot.  My dad answered.  He was home alone, my mom was working late and doing a dinner thing with some friends from work.  I told him that I was having a compete mental collapse and wondered if he'd had dinner.  He hadn't.  He offered to come and meet me, to drive out to my house to help me, but instead we drove to him.  We arrived, the boys unwound, we debated over where to eat dinner and the five of us went out.

For chicken fingers.

I really, really love my dad.  He is a good man, Charlie Brown.  While I was waiting for our food, he had a talk with the monsters.  They were really good today.

Thanks dad.

Happy Birthday.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

His first MAJOR Award

Elliott's decision to participate in the elementary schools reflection's contest wasn't really his decision.  It was mine.  At his school, they do a thing called "Paws for Success" (mascot: Wildcat) and at each grade level, to earn the award at the end of the year, you have to accomplish a certain number of goals and the reflection's contest was one of those things.  I decided that he was going to do it.

It was Elliott's decision however, how to complete his entry.  The theme was, "The World Would Be a Better Place If...." and he finished the statement with, "(if) animals weren't endangered."  And he decided that he wanted to enter in the category of photography so on a Friday afternoon, immediately after we picked him up from school the kids and I drove to the zoo to take pictures of the endangered animals.  Elliott took all the photos, and I gave him a little creative direction.  We swapped out lenses a couple of times on the digital SLR to make sure that he got the best close-ups, and after an hour at the zoo, we raced back home.

Elliott did all of the editing and he selected the pictures to be in his collage.  I thought that for a second grader, the project turned out pretty great.  He helped me fill out the entry forms and after a little help from me mounting his collage on a piece of card stock, he turned it in.

Now, never would I have guessed that his little project was award worthy, but apparently I need to put a little more faith in my kid.

Yesterday at school was the assembly to recognize the kids who participated in reflections.  Wyatt told me when I picked him up from kindergarten that Elliott got a certificate.  I figured that all kids got a certificate.  But not until the end of the day, when he came flying to the car, grinning ear to ear, did I realize that Elliott got more than a certificate.  He took FIRST PLACE for the entire school in the photography category.  He got three ribbons, a certificate and a trophy.  Oh, and not to mention a free frozen yogurt at menchies.  It was so exciting!  He was so proud of himself.  I was so proud of him.

We called Grandma Judy.
We called Dad.

We did a happy dance when we got home and of course, took a picture to commemorate.

Such a great day for this oldest child of mine.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

The Morning After...

We definitely aren't winning any awards for Halloween creativity.  But maybe we could for desperation...to get out of the house and solicit for candy...most of which will contain peanuts and we will just have to throw it away. #allergies

Anyone who has read this blog long enough knows that I (and my husband for the most part) am a general holiday scrooge.  There are parts of holidays that I enjoy, but for the most part, I really don't get it all.  And, probably at the top of my list is Halloween.  It just feels like such a waste of time and money and energy and I just don't understand why I have to give candy to people I don't know, who don't live in my neighborhood, just because they show up on my front porch.

But then again, we don't give out candy.  We give out plastic crap and stickers from Oriental Trading.  And generally speaking it really ticks people off.  Especially the 10 and older crowd.  Especially times two, the 20 years olds who come to our door at 9:00 pm, not even in costumes with pillow cases wanting candy and all we have left are ghost finger puppets and pumpkin stickers.  Ha ha!  And, that one girl, who didn't have a bag, who was with said 20 year olds who just stuck out her hand and stood on my front porch staring at my 7 year old and he just stared back because she didn't have a bag and even he was smart enough to know that we weren't giving handouts - not in that sense anyway.  That was when we turned off the lights and called it a night.

Or, the little kid who, when Elliott gave him one of the few pieces of candy we did have, inspected it and then handed it back declaring that he didn't like it and marched into our house, to our bowl and demanded something different, while his mom just stood on the porch weakly telling him to back off.  He and Elliott had a short stand off, and finally Elliott took the candy away from him and gave him a cheap plastic jumping spider.  See kid, you beg and you lose.  That kid was not from my neighborhood.  And I didn't like him either.

We gave out about 600 "treats" last night.  Our neighborhood is known as one that goes all out for the holiday with enough "big ticket houses" that it has a reputation that brings out not only all the surrounding neighborhoods, but people from all over.  People we've never seen.  People we know don't live around here.  It bugs me.  Is it really worth it for a snack size pack of M&M's?

But, Wyatt had so much fun being in big kid school and in the parade ("But Mom, it wasn't a parade, we just walked around the school," he said) and having a party with FOUR treats.  And Elliott thought he was pretty cool because he was one of only a small handful of baseball players, not like all the ELSA's we say - holy unoriginal batman.  We joked in the car that it should have been called Elsaween, instead of Halloween.

And, we carved pumpkins and it grossed Quinn out which was pretty funny.  And, before bed time that little sloth was so hopped up on sugar that he not only broke open a glow stick and sprayed glow goo all over the entire house (bad!) but he was moving at the speed of roadrunner, not sloth and he was singing and dancing and passing out candy and was down right hilarious and crazy and I wish you could have seen him because most people don't think he has a personality but once he gets going, he's a total nutter (phew!  long sentence.).

"Your not old enough to wield a sharp knife" says the wise father to the young sons.


I haven't been feeling well the last couple of weeks.  This could be why.

You want to know what was the best part of yesterday?  It was payday and I was able to order a whole bunch of Christmas presents online while the boys were doing their thing all afternoon and evening.  And that made the day just about worth it.

Until next year Halloween....

Until next year....

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Quinner :: Captain Sloth!

Finding our farm camp pumpkins

Two years old seems to suit you little fart.  Two years old is driving me a little batty.  Your dad and I were talking the other night about how you are about a 60/40 mix of your brothers, leaning, at least for now, more towards Elliott as a two year old than Wyatt.  But, believe you me, you've definitely got some of Wyatt's habits (albeit mostly bad ones) oozing out of you lately, too.

As we were trying to get everyone settled down last night for family prayer, you wouldn't stop talking.  I said to your dad that I cannot remember the exact day, but I'm pretty sure I remember that at about the same exact age, I remember thinking about Elliott that I wished you would just stop talking.  You are a jabbering fool, non stop talking machine.  You say the word gorilla at least 75 times a day.  You only talk about animals - the animal fair, the animals at the zoo, the animals in your bag, in your book, on the kindle.  You dance like a gorilla, your growl like a cheetah.  And, if you aren't talking about animals, you are talking about bodily functions.  And, just as dad said started saying the prayer last night, you shouted, "my farted on Elliott's bed.  Elliott farted at grandma's house."  Oh, you are hilarious.

Lately, you are a lazy sloth.  You sleep in and when it's time to take the boys to school you haven't eaten breakfast or gotten dressed.  In fact, I cannot seem to get you dressed before 10:30 am without hissy fits or bribes.  But, every morning when I say, "Okay, let's go" you run to the open door and then put on the brakes and shout, "cold feet!" Then, with the sweetest look you can muster you beg, "mom, carry you?" which really means, "mom, from the bottom of my heart, it is so cold and dreary this morning would you please do me the favor of carrying me to the car in your big strong arms."  Every morning I laugh at "cold feet" and every morning I carry you.  Then, when we get home about 10 minutes later, you will not get out of the car.  Instead you sit in the middle, climb in the back, then climb in the front and push every single button so that, when it's time to get Wyatt the warning lights, brights, and turn signals are all on as well as the seat warmers, the air conditioner and generally, the radio is really loud.


You can run any technological device put in front of you in a matter of minutes.  We went to see "book of life" over the weekend with all the dual immersion kids from Elliott's school and you sat on dad's lap with your own bag of popcorn and didn't move a muscle for the whole movie.  And, after the movie when we asked you what your favorite part was, you said the pig and the snakes (obviously) but your favorite part was original and not a copy cat of either brother.


You are non-stop talking all day long like Elliott was when he was little.  Also like Elliott you are curious, full of questions, quick to notice slight changes in routine and have an opinion about every thing.  But, like Wyatt, you are also turning into a lazy couch potato slug.  One who, at least when the TV is on, loses his ability to support his own body weight and head, resorting to the closest floor, couch and pillow combination you can find.  It's okay.  Right now, it's funny.  You love to watch "wild atts", "bubble uppies" "oconots" and "curus dorge".  You don't seem to be able to pronounce any hard syllables in any words - not sure if it's because it's too hard or because you are a sloth.  But tonight, when I was on the phone trying to fix a problem with our basketball tickets, you took of your own pants.  Apparently you cannot watch bubble guppies with pants on.  Maybe that's your new thing.

And, like both brothers, you have a temper.  Man alive, you have a temper!  You throw stuff like Elliott used to and you scream and grown like Wyatt.  At first it was cute, but like a parrot that has outlived it's owner, your scream has outlived it's welcome.  We love you, not the screaming.


But, when you aren't screaming, you say some pretty funny things like, "oh my heck!".  You are also the official button pusher and dishwasher soap loader in the house as well as quickly becoming the official tattle tale.  You are very good at ratting out your brothers, especially when they haven't done anything.  It's pretty funny.  You very rarely call them by their names, instead just saying, "Mom, the boys...."  I like it when you call them the boys.

You eat pizza really, really, slow but can finish one of those giant slices from Costco all by yourself.  And, you think every single flower can do a trick like a snap dragon so when we are outside, you pull the heads off of every single flower and try to make them do something.  They don't.

Except for these two knuckle heads who just giggled and ate sweedish fish.

I just cannot believe how, all of a sudden you are such a grown up kid.  I mean, just a few months ago, you were afraid of your own shadow and now, you and Jack are best friends and you run and play and laugh and giggle at each other and make the rest of us laugh.  You two are so good for each other.  You have to speed up your sloth mode a little to follow Jack around and Jack has to slow down the climbing a little to let you catch up.  Hopefully, you two will always be buddies. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Happy Happy Birthday!


Twas my momacita's birthday over the weekend.  It was a big one.  A DECADE birthday.  You only have one of those once every 10 years you know.

I have a good mom.  My kids have a good grandma.  We spent my mom's birthday weekend working in my grandpa's yard, eating dinner at Crown Burger, watching Wyatt play soccer, and having a fancy french dinner at my house on Sunday while cracking jokes about Stacy from Wayne's World.  You had to be there.

"Thanks Stacy.  A gun rack.  I don't have one gun, let alone multiple guns that would necessitate the use of a gun rack."

"Hiiiii Wwwaaaayyyynnnneeee."

Hopefully, my mom had a good birthday and knows that we love her and that she is important.

Mom, we love you and you are important.

Happy Birthday.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

sheppard :: Say Geronimo

at any given moment in our house, one of the three boys will be singing, "Say Geronimo" or "can you feel it?"

This song may have become their new theme song.  It's catchy.  It's fun.  It's Australian.

We like it.

Can you feel it?
Now it's coming back we can steal it.
If we bridge this gap,
I can see you
Through the curtains of the waterfall.

When I lost it,
Yeah you held my hand,
But I tossed it,
Didn't understand,
You were waiting,
As I dove into the waterfall.

So say Geronimo!
Say Geronimo!
Say Geronimo!
Say Geronimo!
Say Geronimo!
Say Geronimo!
Say Geronimo!

Can you feel my love?
Bombs away,
Bombs away,
Bombs away.
Can you feel my love?
Bombs away,
Bombs away,
Bombs away,
Say Geronimo!

Well we rushed it,
Moving away to fast.
That we crushed it,
But it's in the past.
We can make this leap,
Through the curtains of the waterfall.

So Say Geronimo!
Say Geronimo!
Say Geronimo!
Say Geronimo!
Say Geronimo!
Say Geronimo!
Say Geronimo!

Can you feel my love?
Bombs away,
Bombs away,
Bombs away.
Can you feel my love?
Bombs away,
Bombs away,
Bombs away.

Well I'm just a boy,
With a broken toy,
All lost and coy,
At the curtains of the waterfall.
So it's here I stand,
As a broken man,
But I've found my friend,
At the curtains of the waterfall.

Now I'm falling down,
Through the crashing sound.
And you've come around,
At the curtains of the waterfall.

And you rushed to me,
And it sets us free.
So I fall to my knees,
At the curtains of the waterfall.

So Say Geronimo!
Say Geronimo!
Say Geronimo!
Say Geronimo!
Say Geronimo!
Say Geronimo!
Say Geronimo!

Can you feel (Say Geronimo! [x4]) my love?
Bombs away! [x3] (Say Geronimo! [x4])
Can you feel (make this leap [x3]) my love? Make this leap.
Can you feel my love?

Monday, October 13, 2014

When it all falls apart


You know how when you are in the hospital, they ask you to rank your pain? You have a scale of 1-10, 10 being the worst pain you ever could feel in your life I suppose. I've been in those situations and never really ranked my pain higher than a 7 probably. Either the pain of the procedures I've had hasn't been bad (really, it has been though) or I have a pretty high thresh hold for pain. Either way, I've not been higher than a 7 and as soon as I'm home, I quit the hard stuff and recuperate on tylenol and advil.

The last 15 days or so of my life haven't gone so well. They've been around an 8 or 9 on the "pain" scale. Pretty much every single day, something in my world of #firstworldproblems has gone terribly wrong and if you would have talked to me at any given time in those last two weeks, I probably, if I wasn't wallowing in my own "pain" would have sat down and told you all the gory details.  There has been a lot of arguing and raising of voices, dramatic expression of frustration at the actions of other people towards and around me and my family, sadness at the choices of others.  Many things have broken, strange conversations have happened, and bad attitudes, at least on my part, abound.  I've pretty much felt like giving up on just about everything because nothing has been happening as it should.

Yesterday, we skipped out on stake conference because we were going to attend a baby blessing instead and it was the first I've been to church in three weeks time.  It was, honestly, a little strange to be in such a familiar setting, and really refreshing, too.  It was a Fast Sunday and let's face it, Fast Sunday in a different ward has the potential to be full of surprises.  But instead, for the most part, it was really good.  I was happy to be in the meeting and feel the spirit that was there.  I was happy to hear the messages that were shared.  I was happy to be reminded that no one is forcing me to make the choices I make in this life - that they are mine, and I make them happily.

Today is Monday.  Monday is preparation day in Lithuania, which means it is letter day from that big Iggy brother of mine.  Words cannot begin to describe how I look forward to Monday mornings.  Lately, I've taken to keeping my phone by my bedside on Sunday nights because 1) on the off chance that I wake up around the time he sends his e-mails, I think about trying to catch him and 2) the first thing I do when I get out of bed on Monday morning is read his letter.  It lifts me up and inspires me and makes me smile.

This Monday, I got an e-mail from him.  My brother likes to talk about our "chi" - our inner spirit that guides us and keeps us balanced.  My letter to him for the week, basically, detailed how my chi was lost, and my struggle to try and find it.  (Seriously Internet, you have no idea how rough these last two weeks have been.  Going to lunch and me talking the WHOLE time couldn't even begin to cover it!)  I told him of a couple experience though that were helping me feel like I was getting back on track.  He told me that my e-mail was intense to read, but then he shared some things with me that were really important for me to hear from my wise missionary little brother, who, is way too skinny.  It's funny how from so far away, in a different time zone, he knew the right things to say to me.

And then, in typical Willie fashion, he signed off like this:
Be calm. Be happy.
Express your thoughts. Let it all out. 
May all of your wildest dreams come true :)
Thanks Napoleon.  For your information, I drink almond milk and yes, it's because I think I'm fat!

Oh, get to the point, right?

What is the point?

I think that the point is - sometimes life really really sucks.  It sucks so hard and so bad that you don't even want to get out of bed.  It just sucks your will right out of you.  But, no matter what, there are things that make it better.  Like your goofball kids doing well in school, and making each other laugh, and having great soccer games.  Or, your baby saying the word "cooties" all the time and calls his brothers, "the boys" and sings the chorus, "say Geronimo" from the song we heard on the radio all day long.  And, a husband who is your opposite so when you are sitting inside the emotional toilet, he is at least on the seat, not all the way in.  Or your mom and your aunts remind you that girl power rules and that learning how to work hard is pretty much the most important thing.

And all of that stuff, if only for the fact that it is barely keeping me sane, is the stuff I need to think about.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Kodaline :: Love Like This

This isn't a new song, but it's one I've been listening to a lot lately.  I really, really like it.

Running through the heat heart beat
You shine like silver in the sunlight
You light up my whole heart
It feels like in the sun, the sun
We're running around and around
Like nothing else could matter in our life
But wait, but wait, but wait
The sun will stop shining soon
And you'll be gone from my life
Yeah, you'll be gone, it's as simple as a change of heart
But I'm not gonna think about the future

A love like this won't last forever
I know that a love like this won't last forever
But I, I don't really mind, I don't really mind at all

Slipping into the night love
It grows dark but you don't mind
Hiding in the back streets, yeah, you'll never notice me
All that I was thinking about was cleaning up my conscience
Lost in the memory as it shakes up the corners of my heart
Was it my mistake?
Or maybe it was just as simple as a change in your heart
Just as simple as a change in your heart

I know now a love like this won't last forever
I know that a love like this won't last forever
But I, I know that a love like this won't last forever
I know that a love like this won't last forever
But I, and I

I don't mind at all
A love like this won't last forever
A love like this, a love like this
A love like this won't last forever

Sunday, October 05, 2014

What's been happening.....

I  keep up this blog, and don't write nearly as much as I used to, in years past.  But then when I do write, I'm not sure that it is about enough of the things that are going on.  Sometimes I wonder that, if the boys were to look back at this blog, and the books I've made of our little family history, if it would accurately portray the life that we have been living.

Anyway, things are busy and bustling and with the fall weather hitting us hard in the last week or so, I've realized that the year is almost over and panicked a little.  I probably do a little panic dance every year around the first week of October, so this year is like all the others.

The boys have been super busy with soccer and school.  Ross busy with work and scouts.  Me busy with some sewing projects, all that mom stuff, and all of my church calling as well.  Quinn has been busy being a cute little monster, throwing fits and protesting all aspects of his life that don't involve carrying around a kindle and watching videos of gorillas on YouTube.

So, for the sake of a quick but maybe not so quick recap - here it goes.

This kid has been a true gem lately.  Maybe it's the whole, "I'm turning 8 in a few months and tired of being 7 because being 7 sucks" phase he's finally moving out of, but I cannot remember the last time this kid got in trouble.  He asks super smart questions about savings and loans for houses and cars, is saving his own money to buy a red ipod touch (he's up to $140 dollars).    We talk about missions and temple marriages and eternal life.  We talk about why it is important to make good decisions, and save your money, and be kind to other people.  We talk about being tough, and how some of the kids in his dual immersion class are "salty spitoons" and ready for hard work and hard things and how some are "weenie hut juniors" and are afraid of being brave and doing hard things (Thank you SpongeBob for the best analogy this kid and I ever could have created.)  Elliott starts all of these conversations, and it impresses me.  This week, he was one of the spotlight kids at school.  He and I sat down and made a poster together, and he even let me add a few artistic touches.  Elliott is really starting to wrangle all his restless energy and is so good with Quinn and Jack, taking care of the little twiner brother/cousins.  He writes real letters and e-mails to Uncle Willie, he knows how to text, and he tells pretty dumb and funny jokes.  He cannot spell, but he is very good at math.



Starting kindergarten was just the best thing for Wyatt. His teacher, Mrs. Woolf, is wonderful and he has made some great friends at school. Not that he wouldn't though, this kid is too cute and too social to not have a herd of friends, boys and girls (lots of girls), trailing behind him at the end of school everyday to tell him goodbye.  He is doing so well, and it's just awesome.  He loves to come home, show me all his papers, and believe it or not, sit right down and do his homework - may he always have this attitude.  Unfortunately for Wyatt, he seems to have lost his spine lately, and with it, his ability to sit up...school seems to take everything out of him and when he gets home, unless it's to build Lego's, he cannot sit up for the rest of the day.  Wyatt though is funny and happy and coughing all the time.  He is also, completely unintentionally, pretty destructive lately, with the piece de resistance being completely destroying a cupboard a couple weeks ago while climbing down off the counter.  But, he did say he was sorry.  Wyatt is doing great at soccer, he draws fabulous pictures, and he is such a good little self-starter.  I don't think I've ever known a kid who can play and invent so much just with a few little Lego's and some markers.  And, he's pretty fun to watch Lego Chima with, too.


I've been sick with severe stomach and back pains for three days.   Haven't even been able to stand up straight.  Promised this kid lunch out and who knew,  at least right this minute, animal style could cure what aisles me. #howmanypicturesfrominandoutar

"I dont know what happened"  he says.  Anyone know how to repair cabinetry?  #boysbreakeverything

Man alive, this kid turned two and he turned into a beast.  He is a jabbering fool and talks non-stop all day long.  He loves to say, "my don't want it", and "my OK" whenever he isn't interested in something whether it's food, a bath, a ride in the car or a haircut.  He is obsessed with animals, mostly gorillas and has figured out how to find netflix on my kindle, and then find Disney's Tarzan.  Usually, when he's lost, he can be found in my room, on my chair, watching Tarzan.  Or, some animal killing another animal on YouTube.  He seems to manage to find a lot of that stuff, too.  Quinn knows the name of probably 100 animals, from elephant to Okapi.  He loves to eat bacon and Cheetos and pizza.  He loves to dance!  He actually just discovered dancing (go figure) but if we watch, acknowledge or join in, he gets embarrassed and runs away.  Just this week, after a couple of weeks of fights in the car, we gave in and got him a new car seat.  Basically, I wrestled him like a WWE fighter so we could take the boys to school and after they were dropped off, called Ross and told him that Quinn and I were headed to target and we weren't leaving without a new seat, and I'd stay as close to $100 as I could.  Quinn calls his new seat his new car and so far, so good....no major car fits.  This kid though, he is as cuddly as ever, and seems to always want to be perched on my lap, which 85% of the time, I'm totally down with.  He's been pretty sick lately, but finally seems to be back to his normal wandering jabbering self, which couldn't be better.

This child is holding me hostage.



I always am reminded of that line in Ferris Beuhler's Day Off.

"Life moves pretty fast.  If you don't slow down, you could miss it."

Our lives are moving so fast.  These boys are growing up faster than I can keep track.  I don't want to miss a second of it.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Viva Las Vegas

Months ago, Ross discovered that his boy band, the Kings of Leon, were starting out on a new tour and that the closest they would get to us would be Las Vegas.

The conversation basically went like this.
Ross - how strange would it be if I went to Las Vegas by myself to go to the concert?
Me - strange.

Me - what if all 5 of us went down for the weekend and you just went to the concert when we slept in the hotel?
Ross - that could work.

Me - Or, what if we asked my parents if they wanted to come down with us and they could just hand out with the kids and I went with you?
Ross - you'd go with me?
Me - yes, i'd go with you.  That makes more sense than you going by yourself doesn't it?

Anyway, when we presented the idea to my parents, my mom surprised us with the idea of keeping the boys with her for the weekend and Ross and I going to Las Vegas by ourselves for a quick trip to the concert.  It was a great idea, we were very appreciative, and we made plans for the trip.

This weekend, the time finally arrived and I guess it was a small blessing that all the early morning soccer games got rained out so we could head down early.  We drove through pretty torrential rain until about Cedar City and then the weather cleared up and the sun came out.  We got to Vegas in time to check-in, have a nap (because we are old farts) and then wander some outlet malls and have dinner before the concert.

We arrived around 9:00 pm thinking that the opening bands would be about finished.  Nope - they were just getting started and we were warming up for the longest and latest night ever.  The concert ended around 1:00 am Utah time (Midnight Vegas time) and we'd been standing up for a little over four hours with a few sitting breaks on the astro turf covered parking lot in between bands.

The show was good - for  a show with three bands that I'm not a fan of.  The light show was great for the Kings of Leon.  Opening bands pretty much suck, no matter where you are or what show you are seeing and electronic cigarettes are pretty much as bad, or maybe worse, than the real thing.

But aside from the concert, I spent more time with my husband in about 30 hours than I have in the last several weeks.  That was nice.  I sort of remembered why I like him, and that I like to spend time with him.  I have to admit that I think both of us were sort of forgetting that lately.  We aren't good at finding time to spend with each other, and this time, without our kids, the first time without them ever (and Elliott is almost 8!), was time needed and well deserved.  And, we couldn't have done it without my parentals, who I'm sure were pretty tired.  But it was most excellent of them to take the boys for us.

Hey look its us!!  Driving to las vegas like we're 25 to go to a concert and then turn around and drive home like it ain't no thing.  #kingsofleonin30hours #weusedtobethecouplethatdidthings

We cOuld eat somewhere fancy or we cOuld eat here and be so happy!  #kingsofleonin30hours #raisingcanes



Windy blurry post 4 plus hour concert 12:30 am selfie over the strip.  #kingsofleonin30hours #bedtime

Small town bathroom breaks.... #kingsofleonin30hours

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


I'm two weeks late, but on Saturday, September 13th, my Grandma Huber's birthday, we had a celebration.  It was her 84th birthday and as has become tradition, at the designated time, all those that were able, met at the cemetery to remember Grandma.

Once we were all gathered, my Grandpa said a few words, shed a few tears and then offered a family prayer.  His prayers are pretty insightful, he talks to God the same way he talks to the rest of us - very direct and upfront, with no messing around.  It made my heart happy to hear the words he had to say on behalf of all of us, and of my Grandma.  He talked about how he knows that she has made her presence known to many of us on the earth this past year and that she is trying to influence us all for the best while in heaven, just as she did when she was here.

It was good.

Then, of course, we went to eat.  And, of course, we went to Crown Burgers.  I think that my mom and I counted 46 of us, out of almost 60, gathered together at the cemetery and for dinner.  It was a good night.  The oldest, of course, being my Grandpa, presiding over us all, and the youngest was baby Beau, a mere two weeks old, a great grandson, who if he could have talked, I'm sure would have had some messages from my grandma to share with us because I'm also pretty sure that he had just recently been in the presence of her company.









When they get sick

Hey.  I know how to have a party.  Why only have one kid who can't breathe when you can have two! #wheezy #babycantbreathe #sofreakingout #asthma #myhusbandhasbadgenes

Elliott was diagnosed with asthma when he was around two years old.  He however, minus a few seasonal coughs, never really had any severe problems and it's safe to say has outgrown any symptoms of asthma that he may have ever had when he was much younger.

Wyatt contracted RSV, we believe from a shopping cart at Wal-Mart in St. George, Utah in the early spring of 2010, when he was about 9 months old.  This illness was pretty horrible and was the spring board for his asthma diagnosis.   Since that time, the last four years, have been a roller coaster of breathing issues with this #2 child of ours.  Every change of season, we are in the doctor's office for steroids and lunch checks.  We have an asthma action plan.  He always has a cough and last fall, we broke down and just bought a nebulizer because the inhaler just couldn't do it's job.  It's hard to get a little kid to suck the medicine out of an inhaler the right way.

Luckily for us though, or luckily for Wyatt, we are good enough with his symptoms that, when the cough changes, he is on the machine and we've been able to ward off any bouts with bronchitis or any other respiratory problems for the majority of the year (knock on wood).  We aren't as good with his daily Flovent and singular treatments as we should be, but he really does alright.  If only he could learn how to clear the phlegm balls that build up in his lungs without throwing up all over the kitchen floor.  That would be a miracle.


Now, Quinn?  This kid?  I really thought that we had escaped the asthma menace with this one.  The primary reason I decided to feed him myself, and not feed him formula, was the "evidence" that nursing a baby was one of the sure-fire ways to prevent childhood asthma.  I was sold.    However, I was wrong.

On Monday last week, Ross took Wyatt and Quinn to the doctor because both seemed under the weather and with Wyatt, especially, we just cannot every be too sure that his cough isn't something more than just a cough.  Both boys checked out fine, minor colds, no problems.

On Tuesday morning of last week, when I got Quinn out of bed in the morning, he was not good.  His breathing was fast and a little erratic.  Speedy like a hummingbird bats it's wings with long pauses, like he was trying to catch his breath from breathing.  And, knowing the signs of wheezing, regardless of being able to hear his wheeze from a different room, I could see the problem.  The skin on his neck above his collarbone, as well as the skin on his belly above his ribs was completely concave every time he breathed.  With every breath, he looked like a skeleton.  It was bad and it terrified me.

I called Ross.  I called the doctors office and got him an early appointment with the nurse practitioner he had seen the day before.  When she met us in the small room, she could hear him wheeze, and said, "He did not sound like this yesterday".  "I know I said, this started in the middle of the night".  In spite of his best efforts to maim both of us with his deadly shoes and sharp finger nails, she completely her exam and I pinned him down for an albuterol treatment.  Wheezing.  Mild respiratory infection.  Albuterol with a nebulizer for 3-4 days until the cough stops.  If he gets any worse, or if the fever got worse, bring him back in.

We headed home, both exhausted, me still with shoe prints on my arms and sweat dripping down my back from the wrestling match I wasn't prepared for and we camped out for the day.  Quinn was so tired he slept through several transports in and out of the car (into the house, back to the car to get Wyatt from school, back into the house once we got Wyatt).

I guess he kind of looks cute?  At least he doesn't scream anymore and he can feel like a big boy and hold the mask himself.  I mean he will cooperate with pretty much anything for a sucker.  #asthma

I thought in the next day and a half that things were on the mend, and that we were doing better.  Then came Thursday afternoon.  It was the appointment for his two year old check-up that we'd scheduled weeks ago with our regular pediatrician.  He had a slightly elevated fever and I told her about our earlier appointments in the week.  She took one look at him, got quiet, did some checks of his ears and throat and then stepped out of the office for a second.  She came back with a laminated card depicting kids with various stages of sores all over their bodies and gave me the verdict:  Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (sores all over the inside of his mouth), ear infection, respiratory infection, asthma.

I.  was.  not.  prepared.  for.  that.


We got a prescription for the ear infection.

He ate all the dum-dum suckers in my purse to keep him from screaming.

I texted and then called Ross.

I was exhausted.  I also knew I was getting it myself (and I've spent the last three days horribly awfully miserably sick, but that's not really worth a blog post) and that I had 7-10 more days of one sick baby on my hands.

Well, he's finally feeling better.  Everyone is finally feeling better. (Except me, of course)

And, I've got another asthma baby on my hands.

I told my husband, the culprit of all this asthma crap (Ross was also a childhood asthmatic), half joking, that if I would have known what his genes would do to my children, that may have been a deal breaker.

He laughed....nervously.


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