Tuesday, February 26, 2013

If only I could have some too . . .

I think my daughter is becoming a beautifully stunning young woman. I know I'm bias. But I still think I'm right. When people tell her she looks like me I'm flattered. If only I could have had just one-tenth of this fabulously luscious hair.

It stares me in the face all day. Mocking me. I was pondering on what I would give for hair like that. I decided a body part would not be going too far. Peter said, "Like your pinky toe?" I said I was thinking more like a big toe. "Hmmm," he said, "that's a pretty big commitment."

On Valentines Day Sarah got this candy gram from her friend Leah:
Apparently I'm not the only one.

Ever feel like something is on your head?


 John's depiction of Martin Luther King Jr.
Nathaniel says he isn't brown enough. John agreed.

Had this for a while. 
Rebecca put it on Peter's pillow for Christmas. 
(It's kind of a running joke between them.)

 Nathaniel likes to draw depictions of "Slenderman"and so Rebecca drew this one.

 And here is Rebecca's tribute to this week's Monday.
I think she is pretty funny myself!

Rebecca & Will

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

And what does your teen son do on his day off?

Don't you just love the looks on their faces?


They do this for hours with the room right behind them looking like this.
I asked Hank the other day if his room is cleaner than Nathaniel's. He said, "Yea." 
Then he laughed at me and said "No."

Sunday, February 17, 2013

I have a desk again!

One of the things I lost in the move was my personal office space. Ever since November I've been working on my computer from a folding table in our bedroom. I wasn't quite sure how I wanted to fix that situation but after living in the house for a bit we decided the best place would be the kitchen. There was a nice long wall there and that way the computer could be out in the open. I've been planning this for a while now and we finally were able to get the supplies this week. 

This was a 4'x8' board from Home Depot. I sanded, stained, and put a few coats of polyurethane on it. Then Peter cut it in half lengthwise and glued the two pieces on top of one another so it would be 2" thick. Then he cut a couple of holes for wires to run in the back and we had a desktop!

I bought these cubes from IKEA to set the board on top of and for storage. We assembled them and Peter secured the desktop to the wall and I now have an 8 foot long workspace. This is something anyone could do. So easy, so functional. Most important? It was cheap. The whole thing cost us about $150-- stain and everything.

I love it! And Peter gets big points for doing this for me before he leaves for California again tomorrow.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

6th Grade Sock Hop 2013

Rebecca wanted a poodle skirt for the the annual sock hop. Despite two years of home economics in junior high I'm not much of a seamstress. Gratefully this was very easy and basically consisted of cutting a hole in some felt. Rebecca insisted she wanted black and white and I thought it came out very nicely.

Learning to dance 50's style.

This kid here was too cool for words.

This is Rebecca being forced to dance with a boy. 
He's to the left-- didn't catch him because they are too far apart to be in the same frame. The instructor (in the pink) kept yelling, "Closer! Closer!" None of the girls were having it.

I went to get pictures of the event but ended up taking quite a few pictures of Will, who was feeling a bit abandoned in his stroller.

Does she see me?

I think she sees me!

It's Mom!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Good and the Bad

Rebecca has been drawing little cartoons every Monday to express her feelings about her most unfavorite day. Nathaniel says Monday always looks like a poop. 
Rebecca says that's because it is.

This was the scene Monday outside my front door after we got the driveway shoveled . . . again. Maybe we watch the wrong news station or maybe we're just up too high in Springville but the news often says we are not getting snow and we do anyway. Everyone is getting a little tired of it. It doesn't really bother me so much though I do have some healing blisters from shoveling and my hands are a little rougher now.

The last year of my life has been challenging to put it mildly. We've been through some hard things and Peter and I are now experiencing the post-trauma of more or less losing our house. Our realtor says there is an offer in the works, so that's great. You never know with a short sale. There are people over there everyday looking at it now. I think things are finally picking up again after the holidays. Whoever is drawing up the offer wants the swing set and trampoline, which is fine.

I've pretty much moved past losing the house and don't miss anything about it except for one thing-- my plants. I can see some of them starting to push up on warmer days. I invested so much time on my yard and I loved it. When I planted those things I never did so with the intention that I'd be leaving it so soon. Last year while in a miserable pregnant state I dug up all the tulips (again) from the front yard. The ones I didn't catch the previous year had majorly multiplied and I broke them all apart and replanted them all over my backyard beds. I won't even be there to see if they come up. I hope whoever moves in there doesn't think we resent them for it because I don't. I'm hoping myself we'll be able to get a smoking deal on a house when we are ready to buy again-- which by the way, won't be for a while as we're feeling a little gun-shy right about now. I just hope whoever buys the house takes care of the yard. I guess that's the trade off of living in the same neighborhood as your old house-- the continual reminder of what you left behind.

With all these emotions and Mondays and money struggles and teens that have suddenly turned into back-stabbing, eye-rolling alien beings, I don't always get a lot of positive reinforcement around here.
That's where this guy comes in:

Here is Will waiting for me to come out of the shower.
This guy is always happy to see me. I don't take long showers and I talk to him all the while through the curtain, but Will is SO excited when I step out. When I've been gone for an hour Sarah comes out to the garage with him on her hip waiting for me to come in and take him and he giggles with happiness that mommy is back--I love it. He gets that look like, "There's Mom! It's almost too good to be true!" 

It is wonderful to have someone happy to see me. I gotta say I love everything about this kid. Ok, maybe not some of the sleepless night, but most everything else.
I love the fuzz on the back of his head.
I love that little bald spot where the hair has been rubbed off from sleeping on his back (or from me kissing it-- can't be sure which.)
I love his pink cheeks, his fat fingers his little eyes (like mine!) his big cheeks and his gummy smile.
I love every part of him.
I even love changing his diapers. I was reading about a celebrity who was saying she loves the way her babies smell-- even pee diapers.
I get that.

During this not-so-easy-time Will has been such a bright spot for us. I'm so glad we decided to make the sacrifice to bring him into our family. How blessed I am to have him and all my other kids to love and watch them grow and interact with a baby in the house again.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

It's pretty simple. Really.

About a year ago I started doing something called "freecycle." Check it out online, they probably have a group in your area. After several people I know mentioned they really loved it I decided to try it out for myself. It's basically a network to get rid of or receive useful things for free. I've seen all sorts of things, used wood, blinds, furniture, etc. Lots of stuff maybe someone could use but you wouldn't really advertise in another way.

The great thing is that it all gets picked up right from your door. MS Society comes about once a month and I always have stuff for them and during the move I loaded my van several time to drop it off at the DI but freecycle is nice because it is usually pretty immediate that someone can come get it, they can pick it up right off your porch, and most of all I think a lot of these people are down on their luck and could really use the stuff. They can also advertise for things they need that you may just have lying around (like a toddler coat in a certain size.) In one case I was able to give someone my old baby monitor that really needed one. I had kept it around all these years from Nathaniel and used it for all my babies before but with Will I got a new video one (which I LOVE) and when I saw someone was wanting just a working one I thought, this is silly I have this thing lying around when someone else could be using it.

The point is I've really had good experiences so far. But you know? There are always people out there that can stir things up. This was just too good to keep to myself so I thought I'd share. I won't go into the details of it except to say that after much delay and having this thing sitting on my porch for several days I got this email.

By the way, except for the street I took out this isn't edited.

Email to me:
I wish I'd had a phone number for you on my rather traumatic attempt to come by tonight.

I spent a couple of hours trying to find your house since I know that area pretty well and didn't realize it would be difficult. I had a friend on the phone and also someone living on (took this out) look up on Google Maps but it makes the road look connected to 300 S. I made it to the scary back road inlet and went the wrong direction, nearly heading down off of what's basically a cliff and I ended up getting stuck in snow for an hour. 

People heard me and no one would help, but I finally dug myself out with my window scraper (about 8 times) and finally got traction from a blanket I keep in my car. That area is quite nasty with the unplowed road--assuming my looking at the map on a large screen (my phone was impossible to view) is the actual place.

Anyway, all of that is to say that I really, really tried to get there, but I've lived here all of my life and got lost and repeatedly stuck in snow. I don't think I can actually get to your house, so I guess just give it to someone else. I am pretty overwhelmed and exhausted by my attempt.

My reply: 
I was very sorry to hear of the terrible time you had trying to get here. I would be more than happy to drive the item to you if you are here in Springville. Just email me your address I'll drop it off on your porch.

Her response:
Wait. Was that a Springville address? I thought it was in Provo. I guess that would explain everything. Huh. I could have sworn I checked to make sure your post was from the Provo group. Strange.

So there it is folks. And to think these people are just out there walking among us.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Rebecca the photographer and April's 1st bout with croup

 On Sunday Rebecca took these pictures: 
Peter had just gotten back from California the night before and we were all just enjoying our Sunday. 

Will had been running a low-grade fever for a few days and I assumed it was just a passing virus because he was only warm at night and he had no other symptoms. This is the only picture he looks flushed in.

Here he is in a little nest Rebecca built on my bed so she could contain him while she played on the computer. His eyes were starting to look a little red at this point. I think it was about 4pm here. Over the next few hours he developed a pretty good wheezing noise and his breathing seemed too fast. Peter and I started to worry so around 8:30 that night I called a woman in our ward who is a pediatric nurse and she had us count his breath sounds in a minute. They were about 40-45 and she said to start worrying when they reached 50-60 or his temperature reached 101. Though neither of these things came to pass he gradually grew worse through the night and I was able to guess what he had thanks to the internet and remembering friends who told me about their experiences with croup.

That night I got zero sleep and Will didn't get much more. I was up all night making sure he was breathing in and out. Thanks to his $5000 deductible I wanted to wait to take him to the doctor until the morning if I could. I found myself walking up and down the street in front of our house with him in the frigid air at 3am to help ease the cough. I was the first one to call at 8:30 when the pediatrician office opened. Thankfully they got me right in and gave him a steroid shot to ease the inflammation. 

Now I can say I know lots more about coup then I did before. I also learned about stridor-- the nasty noise his breathing made that sounded like he was choking-- which was freaking me out all night. The doctor was very understanding and said that it can be very scary to a parent experiencing it for the first time. I think I would still be scared even if I had been through this before.

For the record I take this kid almost nowhere right now. Not to the store, not to the school, not even to church most Sundays (and when I do it is for Sacrament only and then I immediately leave.) Who knows how he got it but I can't help the fact that I have four children in public school exposed to who-knows-what all day.

He's still getting through it but seems to be mostly back to his curious and very squirmy self. The stridor was back some today because the steroid has worn off but it is a lot better than it was before. I just hate the sickness. Who doesn't? This is the hard part about having babies.