Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Fun time

We went to a birthday party for our friend, D.
We had a blast!
Miniature golf is almost impossible with two 4-year olds - at least these two.
The rollercoaster simulator is pretty fun, though!


In my opinion, the leaders of our team (at work) aren’t really close knit. (“Hi” to the two who read this blog. I think that we agree on most things relative to this post, but I won’t speak for them.) We work pretty well together because, well, we have to; we’re paid to, and I truly believe that we all have the best interest of our company in mind – all of us. We get along, but we aren’t “tight.” Well, anyway, we were collectively lamenting on how we haven’t really bonded even after a couple of years. Blah, blah, blah. So, I suggested that we do something together. I’m not sure if anyone thought that I would really find something (because I sometimes don’t follow through with stuff – because I’m flaky like that – and I really don’t like that about myself). Anyway….. I figured that we could volunteer our time at The Road Home (the homeless shelter in Salt Lake) during their once yearly big to-do: The Radio-Thon.

Basically, all of the radio stations owned by a particular local media mogul do a contest where the listeners pledge money and coats/toys/clothes. One radio station “wins,” but I’m not sure exactly what they win besides bragging rights. Well, because our awesome company provides a person for the board of directors of The Road Home, I figured that we should spend our time and efforts there. I got us set up to help on one of the donation days. It was a good day to donate because other people from our company were manning the phones at different hours of the morning. It was a good day for our company to represent!

We were stationed outside. Half of us (my half) were directing traffic, half of us were collecting coats and stuff from out of people’s trunks. One of us was the “bouncer,” who basically kept the “riff-raff” away from the radio broadcasters. There were, like, eight or nine stations just inside the lobby. Off track – how do they all talk and not be broadcast on each other’s stations?

How cute are we?

ANYWAY (gawd – one topic….. right?), my friends, B-Dub and Lish, were directing traffic with me. Of course, there were a lot of homeless people around; we were at homeless-central…. So, we noticed that there was a lady milling around a little flat-bed truck with a tarp over the top. This didn’t surprise me. I expected to see people holding on to their last possessions – like cars – because, well, why wouldn’t you? So, I wasn’t surprised by her. I was saddened, and I was grateful that it wasn’t me, but I wasn’t surprised.

So, the tarp was domed, so it was obviously pulled over something. Then, we noticed that something moved underneath the tarp. Ug. Someone else. Look. There is a tent under there. Someone slept there overnight. (We were chilled. It was cold!) So bummed that someone is sleeping in the bed of their truck! Seriously, this is hard! We decide not to completely stare at them, because that’s just rude. So, we turn our attention away because it’s the right thing to do.

A few minutes later, Lish says “Don’t look!”
Oh, come on. If there is not a more compelling phrase to make you look, it’s “don’t look.” So, what did I do? What could I do? So, I looked.

There, the woman was getting a boy dressed. Well, he got “dressed” in the tent, but she was helping him get his coat and scarf and gloves all on. It was just a glance, so I thought that he was about eight years old. A few minutes later, after dad got out of the tent, I saw him a bit closer.

He was five years old, maximum.
Seriously, he was the same age as my little people. He was tiny. He was cold. He was innocent.

I started to cry – well, teary eyed – I don’t cry in front of coworkers. But, oh! That poor little boy! I felt horrible. And I felt grateful. And I cried later in the day after I talked to my boys. And I hugged them close when I got home that night.

PS – note to volunteers: when you are offering your services to a place like this, drive your “clunker” car. When you drive your Lexus or your Mercedes or your Beemer, you look like you’re rubbing it in.


I don’t re-gift often. OK – once in a while – in an emergency – or when I have 50 of the same thing due to a certain in-(not)-law who has a shopping problem. But, really, I generally believe that people put thought and effort into finding a gift that is right for me because that is what I try to do for them. If I can’t find a good gift, I will make some food or buy them dinner; who doesn’t like food, right?

But, I must confess this (and only because the boys aren’t going to read this blog until they are grown-up): last night Bub and I set aside about ten gifts that they received for Christmas with the sole purpose of giving them again for their birthday. I don’t think of it as bad parenting but rather economical parenting. Good parenting, even, if you consider that they are only four years old and can’t possibly have the attention span necessary for EVERYTHING that they received. There was so much stuff that Bub and I didn’t even know what was there. There was stuff that she helped one of them open that I never saw, and stuff that I helped the other one open that she never saw. Cool stuff, yes, but seriously TOO MUCH. At one point, my dad said “I’ve never seen so many toys – and there were FIVE of you kids!”

The evidence:
After Santa visited, but before Papa and Nana got here, here are the presents - on BOTH SIDES OF THE ROOM. There was barely room to walk. They stretch from one end of each picture to the other end. They were in the corner, under the tree, by the piano, by the closet, in the recliner, on the table. It was insanity.

It was just overboard. Everything was overboard. Bub and I went out of our spending limit just a bit for the boys, but not by far. Granny and Grandpa went berserk, and then Uncle Norris sent (too much) money to be spent on the boys which Granny and Grandpa did happily. Santa, cousins, uncles, aunts, god-mother, neighbors. Papa and Nana seemed to keep a handle on it until we got the “experience” cards. This means that they bought two pre-loaded “gift” cards that are for the sole purpose of going out and doing stuff (like the aquarium, the zoo, the aviary, bowling, movies, Chuck-E-Ch**se-type settings).

The one thing that the boys didn’t get too much of was clothing which is GREAT (and surprising) because their closet is already stuffed (see above list people ready and waiting to spoil them).

The problem (besides that they will never play with this much stuff) is that a dangerous expectation is being set that Bub and I will have to meet, surpass, or readjust in coming years. Honestly, as long as Granny and Grandpa have a credit card and can drive (car or motorized old-people-scooter), there will be no point in trying to readjust.

So, we have started a stash for birthday presents six months from now. I don't care what anyone says.....

And, here is a picture of the spaz. Sadie's no Gus, but she's still a good dog.


Years ago (10? 12?), I was diagnosed with Meniere’s disease. The symptoms were extreme vertigo, nausea, and the “spins.” These episodes sometimes last for days, always at least one day. I can’t drive, sometimes I can’t walk, can’t even sit up in bed. Movement is horrible; prone is good – well, at least until I have to potty. It’s quite miserable. The worst part, however, was the knowledge that I would eventually lose the hearing in one, possibly both, ears.

The episodes were thought to be brought on by anything that was a vasoconstrictor, specifically alcohol, aspirin, salt, and caffeine. When diagnosed, I stopped drinking all caffeine immediately. I missed the occasional Diet Peps!, but didn’t really care about the coffee. (I drank it for the flavored creamer, anyway.) My diet was also immediately very low salt until my body would revolt, and I would go overboard on a bag of chips or something. (Your body just needs salt sometimes, you know?) I never get headaches, but I had been taking aspirin at the behest of my doctor to prevent colon polyps since my mom had died from colon cancer. As long as I didn’t get wasted, I could have a few beers here and there. My quality of life was fine (actually healthier), and I learned to control the circumstances that seemed to cause these episodes.

(Episodes, by the way, make me sound like a little old lady, don’t you think?)

Still, I would have three or four episodes each year. This is mild compared to other Meniere’s sufferers who have an episode every day for hours at a time. Gawd! These episodes seemed to be out of the blue, but if I thought hard enough, I could somehow link them to eating too much popcorn while watching a movie or sharing a bottle of champagne to celebrate a big event. But, still, they seemed random and strange.

At the urging of my doctor earlier this year, I finally made an appointment with an ENT to have my hearing level checked and just have a general re-assessment. I couldn’t remember who I saw the first time, so I just picked some ENT off of my provider list and made the appointment. As I talked to him about my symptoms, my episodes, my experiences, he would tilt his head or look puzzled and ask me more questions. Finally, we did a new baseline for my hearing test. Turns out my hearing is great. After ten+ years with Meniere’s, I should have some hearing loss in at least one ear, but not so. Then, they tested me for ear pressure. This turned a bit more interesting as one ear has a lot less pressure than the other. Then, they tested me for pET (patulous Eustachian Tube – or floppy ear drum). Ding, ding, ding!

My understanding of pET is that the Eustachian Tube(s) stay open instead of closing like normal people. Therefore, the person’s tube(s) can become dehydrated or an imbalance of pressure can occur. (This is actually more rare than Meniere’s.)

We won’t know for sure until my next episode, but it is likely that I was misdiagnosed all of those years ago. I don’t blame the doctor at the time because the symptoms are pretty much the same, but the cause is different. The problem with Meniere’s is constricted blood vessels. Like I said before, the problem with pET is dehydration or pressure imbalance. Oddly, the triggers are basically the same – alcohol, sodium, caffeine, (I’m unsure about aspirin) because they all dehydrate you. Of course, running long distances ('thon training!) also dehydrates you! This explains some of the unexplainable episodes! If I had been a good patient, my situation would have been re-evaluated years ago.

After my appointment, I went for a run. Sugarhouse Park was close by, and I had the rest of the afternoon off for my appointments anyway. (I saw my dermatologist, too.) I felt great during my run. It was all psychological, I’m sure, but I felt free. I was free from a deaf sentence (oh, that was clever…), and it felt great. I still need to watch my diet, and I can’t get dehydrated – that’s going to be hard as I train for a spring marathon, but….

So, the first half of my run was celebratory. Yay for me, right?!?! But, then quite UN-like me, I started thinking. If I had been misdiagnosed with Meniere’s all those years ago, what else have I been misdiagnosed with? I don’t mean physical ailments, because I’m pretty healthy (minus those 40 extra pounds that I’m carrying around). But, what have I done to myself? What have I done to others?

I’m a middle child, so I exhibit all of those behaviors. But, do I do that because I’ve told myself that I am that person or because I actually AM that person? I’m overweight, and I have no self control when it comes to sugar. But, really? Or is it just an excuse to be lazy and not have any accountability? (There – did I just "misdiagnose" myself aain – am I really lazy? – for Pete’s sake, I got my Masters while working full time, being a mommy, and training for a marathon.) How am I limiting my life, my self, my soul?

And others? Are they really who I have labeled them to be? Sometimes, people just make mistakes. Am I holding the mistake(s) over their heads and causing them to be “that” person in my eyes because I have “diagnosed” them that way? I am notorious for holding a grudge – and for what? – where is it getting me or them? – is it doing any good for me or them?

I’ve been thinking a lot about this in the past two weeks, and I think that this will be one of my goals for the new year. I want to re-evaluate my relationships with others and with myself and really try to see people (including myself) for who they are, not who I believe them to be. Maybe I will have been right all along, but maybe not. I owe it to them, and to myself, to find out.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

scared smokeless

So, Terrie, ten time cancer survivor, really freaks the boys out when she comes on TV. (Bless her! See her story here.)

Boys: Mommy, why does she talk so scary?
Bub: She had to have her voice voice box taken out.
Boys: Why?
Bub: Because she used to smoke, and smoking makes you sick. It's dangerous and yucky.

So, then Bub got sick, and lost her voice. Then, it started to come back, but it was gravelly - you know, like Terri's. So, I walked in the door after work at the height of her crummy week.

Meatball (incredibly worried look on his face): Mommy! Mommy!
Me: What?!?!
Meatball: Mommy Kel had her voice box cut out!!!

I thought he was going to have a full-blown panic attack! He's ok now. So is Bub.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Jensen Family Holiday Party, 2011

Like I mentioned before, Bub was far too sick to come to this party. The boys and I headed out at 9am, and after two hours of good music and making a huge mess with breakfast (muffins - what was I thinking - crumbs everywhere) we were in Mt. Pleasant and greeted by a practically empty parking lot. No biggie, I thought, because my cousins and siblings would be along shortly. Sadly, I was wrong. This was the most poorly attended family party of my entire life. In that way, it sucked.

START RANT: I'm a little irritated that more people didn't show up. My aunt goes through a lot of trouble to rent the hall, get Santa to come, and make goodie bags (out of her own pocket) for everyone. She was left with about 40 extra goodie bags, and I'm pretty sure that we didn't cover the cost of the hall. What makes it worse is that we voted as a family to continue having this party after my grandma died. Now, we're not showing up. Pissed. OK - END RANT.

We had a fun time regardless of the fact that so few people were there. I got to catch up with a bunch of cousins and squeeze the cheeks of a new baby (who has the cutest Charlie Brown head with the fattest cheeks of any baby I've seen in a long time). I spent a lot of time running from Peanut to Meatball and back again about 700 times. Would it kill them to like doing the same thing at the same time? Sheesh!

Here they are with my cousin R and his wife K making their own bouncy balls. Meatball was all over this. Totally fascinating. Peanut just happened to stop by to see what the fuss was about.

Most of the time, Peanut was on the stage playing trains. Thank goodness that my cousin's daughter (two years younger than the boys) wanted to play cars and trains, too.

After eating, the boys sang a song for Aunts C and D. They did a really good job. Then, wouldn't you know it? We heard jingle bells at the door! Both boys looked at me with the cutest, widest eyes in the world. "It's Santa!" they both declared.

Santa and Mrs. Clause walked down the hall, and Peanut went completely ape shit. "Santa! Santa! It's Santa!" and on and on. Meatball, on the other hand, looked right at me and said "Mom, that's NOT the same guy."

Yes - it's true. We saw Santa at the pharmacy and sat on his lap not a week earlier. Oh, crap.

Me: Oh, it's the same guy, honey. It's Santa!
Meatball: Mom. It's not the same guy. He looks different.
Me: Look! He brought Mrs. Clause!
Meatball (not falling for the distraction): Why is he different?

What is a mom to do?

So, Santa sat down and started pulling gifts out of his bag for the kids.
Peanut: Santa! It's Santa! Saaaannnntaaaaa!!!!!
Meatball just sits still.

Of course Santa pulls Meatball's present out first.
Mrs. Clause: [Meatball]! Where is [Meatball]?
Meatball (whispering): That's not the present I asked for, mom.
Me: Oh, the elves are probably still working on that, honey. Go see Santa!
Meatball (whispering): No.
Me (pushing him off of my lap): Just go see him.

Meatball approaches Santa very warily, completely eye-balling him the whole time. He looks at Santa (super suspiciously), then to Mrs. Clause, then to me, and back to Santa, up and down. He takes his place on Santa's lap.

Santa: Ho, ho, ho! How are you?
Meatball (through clenched teeth): Fine.
Santa: Have you been a good boy?
Meatball (teeth still clenched): Yes.
Peanut (whispering): Mom! Look! Look! Mom, mom, mom!
Santa: What would you like for Christmas?
Meatball just looked at me with a See-I-Told-You-It-Wasn't-The-Same-Guy look.
Peanut (whispering): It's Santa!!!
Meatball (low voice and clenched teeth): Pet Vet.
Santa (looking confused): What was that?
Meatball (still...): Pet Vet.
Santa just looked at me.
Peanut (whispering): Oooooo, it's Santa!
Me (loudly, for Santa's benefit): Oh, yeah. That Pet Vet is going to be fun!
Santa: Oh, yes! The elves are working on that right now! Now, to get this present, you have to be a good boy. Have you been a good boy for mommy and daddy?
Meatball is completely exasperated at this point and thinks that Santa is the dumbest human on the face of the earth.
Meatball: I don't have a daddy.
Santa (stunned): Uhhhhhh......
I wish I knew what Santa was thinking right then.
Peanut (whispering): I'm so excited!
Me (to Peanut): I know, honey. Me too!
Meatball: I have two moms.
Santa: __________ (silence, but at least he has closed his mouth by now)
Meatball: One mom is sick and at home. This mom (pointing to me) is not sick. This is my not sick mom.
(Gee, thanks. I'll alert the religious right.)
Santa looked at me for some guidance. I had none to give him.
Santa: OK - you be a good boy! Ho, ho, ho!
Peanut: Oh, I hope it's my turn! (It wasn't. It was Aiden's turn instead.)
Mrs. Clause: [Peanut]! Where's [Peanut]?
Peanut (practically rushing the Clause couple): It's me! It's me!
Santa: And, what do you want for Christmas?
Peanut: THOMAS! And Gordon and Lady and Diesel 10 and a wooden Percy and Iron 'Arry and Iron Bert, and blah-ditty-blah-ditty-blah on and on about trains.
Santa: ________ (silent because he couldn't get a word in edge-wise)

In the end, they were both happy with their little gifts, and they even sang Santa their song before he left the building. Then, afterwards, we took a walk around the buildings there and looked for reindeer tracks where Santa may have parked his sleigh. We found some. Well, they could have been dog tracks or ostrich tracks or elephant tracks, but I managed to find the deer hoof outline. (No matter that there were no SLEIGH tracks...)

And, now, gratuitous child/Santa pics:

I even sat on Santa's lap. (How else was I going to get my goodie bag? It had a rice krispie treat in it, for pete's sake!)
I asked for new running socks.
I hope that I get them since I only have two pair (unless you count the mis-matched pair that I have to wear once in a while...).

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Here's one of my favorite parts of the valley that I grew up in: the view of the Horseshoe mountain. It's actually half of an ancient volcanic crater, and it's beautiful year round.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Growing up

Yesterday, we were driving to the annual Jensen family Christmas party. Bub was sick and couldn't come, so that meant that I got to listen to music that she doesn't really like! Bummer that she was missing the whole thing with a horrible sore throat and general achiness, but yay for 10,000 Maniacs!

Until "How You've Grown" came on. Here's the part of the lyrics that got me:
Every time we say goodbye
You're frozen in my mind
As the child that you never will be
You never will be again
This used to really get me when my (36-year-old-not-so) little brother was in the National Guard and stationed in Iraq.

But, I made the mistake of looking in the rear view and visor mirrors during this song to see these handsome little men:

Did I get all teary-eyed? Oh, for the love! It was practically a sob fest! My babies aren't babies anymore. They will never be this little again. They are going to go on and do wonderful things, sure, but mommy is going to miss these little guys. Bub and I already miss the true babies and the learning to walk and the learning to talk and needing help to swing and the frosting on the face birthdays and all of that.

Here is my view of me. Yes, I was at a stop sign and after the tears had subsided a bit. AND, since I had just taken surprise pictures of the boys, they somewhat knew what was up and kept saying "smile, mommy." Hence the (partial) reason for the wrinkles around my eyes. (OK, fine. I'm old.....)

Hugs and kisses to my little stinkers. No matter how big you get, I will always love you. ~Mommy

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Dance your pants off!

I just found these pictures that were taken at Joe's Crab Sh*ck earlier this year. The boys thought that it was cool that all of the waiters started dancing at the same time (even though the waiters don't seem to like it all that much), and they decided to join in. Sadly, Peanut didn't do any breakdancing.....

Christmas movie night

A couple of nights ago, one of the cable stations was playing a grundle of the old claymation movies like Santa Clause is Coming to Town, The Year Without a Santa Clause, and etc. I try to limit the boys' TV viewing time because I know that they already get too much, but c'mon! How can I possibly turn them away from the classics?

The dogs were watching with us. Well, ok. The dogs were snoring. The boys thought that Sadie the Spaz needed to be wrapped up. Here she is with my "snuggly, cuddley blanket" and a heating pad. (Don't worry, it was only on her for about three minutes. After that, she had to get up and run around the house again for no apparent reason.)
Sadly, there are no pictures of Liz because she was hidden away in her favorite corner (probably shedding big black tufts of hair while sawing logs).

Bub was (and still is) sick, so she had gone to bed at about 6pm. No fun for Bub! :-(

But, here are the three of us having a good time. (Shockingly, neither had scratched or chased or pulled-the-shirt-collar-of or pushed or kicked the other for about 15 minutes at this point. Yay for claymation movies!)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

awake early

Five a.m. hit, and I was awake. I tried to go back to sleep, but it was no use since I get up 45 minutes earlier during the week. So, I thought I might go for a run; Spaz-dog (and my ass) could surely use it! I decided to wait a few minutes until I was, um, ready.

Not five minutes later, the Peanut was in the TV room with me. I swear, that kid can hear a pin drop. Or, maybe it was the brush that I dropped while combing my rats nest. Whatever.

So here I am - laying on the couch with a sleeping Peanut sprawled across my lap. Lizzy is snoring on the floor at my feet while Sadie takes up the other couch (which she's not supposed to be on). Meatball is in the big bed with Bub (who snored so loudly last night that it woke me several times - it sucks when she is sick). By this time, Meatball has tossed and turned himself around so many times that Bub will accuse him of literally walking on her.

This would be a great time for some self reflection, but I'm too shallow for that kind of nonsense. I'm watching Sex/City reruns instead.

And, now I'm hungry. Can't wake the prince, though.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Rainbow Tree

I was running yesterday morning, and I saw this tree in a store front window. It's hard to decipher it because of the window reflection, but it's funny nonetheless. I totally want this tree for our tacky, shag carpet, paneling basement!

Thanksgiving place settings

To keep the boys busy while the turkey was cooking, we made some place settings. CUTE!

Halloween dresses

Yes - dresses.
Peanut insisted on being Rapunzel, so we went to the thrift store and bought him this little pink number. Before I spiffed it up and added to it, he wanted to wear it. Well, then Meatball was bummed because he didn't have a fancy dress to wear, so I grabbed one of my sarongs and he cheered right up. How cute are my dressed up boys?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Where is the logic?

I am a logical person. I like things to make sense. I plan. I do not typically fly by the seat of my pants. I like logic. Today's examples of illogical behavior:

While reading an article about health: "it's ok to keep looking and getting second opinions.". Um, there is only ONE second opinion.

While waiting for my mammogram office to open (TMI?), I had to potty (again, TMI?). Manual flush toilets and faucet handles? Really? In a brand new hospital where we're trying to CONTROL the spread of disease? And it's not like the building is old. It's maybe 3 years old, so I know that the technology for motion sensor restroom appliances was around when the "old fashioned" stuff was installed. At least the paper towels were motion sensor. Sadly, they are 20 feet away from the faucet, so nobody is going to walk all the way back to turn off the running water.

Where is the logic, people?

Monday, December 5, 2011

A thought to remember and live by

This quote was published in our holiday newsletter at work and is attributed to the company's Chair of the Board:

"There is no more certain path to joy in life than a thankful heart." ~Carolyn Tanner Irish

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Bub was yammering on about making a tunnel for Peanut's train out of one of those big metal popcorn barrels.

Bubba: But - I would probably cut a finger off.
Me: Yes, you probably would.
Bubba (knowing full well that I'm right): Oh, ye of little faith.
Me: Come on. Have you seen your finger? (She cut half of her index finger off on a band saw 20 years ago.)
Peanut: I want to see your finger!
Bubba: OK. See this finger? I cut it off!
Peanut (in all seriousness and shaking his head): Oh, that's a shame!

Yes. We cracked up.

About my family

I don't mention my siblings very often - primarily because we don't do anything together. For some reason, for years I was under the illusion that we were a close family. After my mom died, I realized that we really weren't, aren't, and probably never will be. It's a shame because there are five remarkably different personalities that could create a raucous good time if we would only have our little pissing contest and move on.

I joke about them a lot. There is some truth to the jokes, but everything I say is from my perspective: a middle child who constantly aims to please but can't seem to ever get it quite right, the one who will never be quite good enough, the peace maker. I do love them all. I honestly do. But, collectively, we are a bunch of jackasses who can't seem to get out of our way to save ourselves.

The Conspiracy Theorist: The oldest - scarred by a young life in two dysfunctional families - nervous about anything that the government does (and I'm starting to agree with him in some aspects) - surprisingly stable - the BEST fisherman since my grandpa (from whom he learned how to get trout to practically jump into the boat) - the keeper of our childhood home - the one with the biggest heart - the one that never holds a grudge - the one that will be there, no matter what.

The Nutcase: She really is crazy - for years, I thought that she was certifiable, but now I realize that she is just incredibly independent (a survival technique) and doesn't really give two shits if you like her or not - she's crazy enough that she will retire ten years before the rest of us fools, and she is never home because she has too much to do/see/experience - she has a loud laugh, a wild sense of humor, and is always on the lookout for an adventure - she used to let things worry her and weigh her down, but now she just lets it all go (I'm actually kind of jealous!).

The Golden Child: He just seemed to be perfect as we were all growing up - the successful bull rider (yes, seriously, professional and everything!), funny, and popular (but not in a quarterback kind of way) - everything just seemed to fall into place for him (of his own making or just by luck, I may never know) - he's the one that got the majority of our dad's attention and affection, and it's very possible that we all still feel ripped off to this day (or maybe it's just me - yes, I have issues) - he used to be really easy going, but I've recently come to realize that he carries a grudge longer than anyone I've ever known - he's nostalgic and, surprisingly, he believes a bit in spirits.

The Bitch: That would be me - I am the quintessential middle child, and I'm far too realistic and responsible for my own good or for the other siblings' taste - I'm the one that gets to do things like work with the guy that created my mom's headstone, disburse her meager life insurance policy, notify all of her contacts about her death, etc. etc. etc - I will say what needs to be said unless it means confrontation with my dad or a sibling and then I dance around the subject or just take care of it on my own - I am blunt and can be a bit mean - I have a master's degree but still say "left" when I mean "right" - I don't express my love to people very often even though I always want to say it - when I get hurt, I carry a grudge - my relationships are difficult - I am often hard to be around(good gawd - is there a therapist out there?) - when I make a true friend, I am a friend forEVER.

The Angry One: As the baby of the family, I don't think that he's supposed to be angry, but he can certainly get that way - it's not a surprise that he and I get along pretty well - he really got the shaft when our parents divorced - we don't really talk about that, though - he's a former Marine and Army National Guardsman (I'm pretty proud of that) - I think that his tours of Kuwait and Okinawa were good for him, but his tour of Iraq really soured him on the inherent goodness of people because he has a hard time seeing that now - he's crafty and ingenious and can fix anything - he's a good dad - he, too, carries a grudge.

But, I love them all. I love spending what little time we have together because we almost always manage to laugh more than cry or fight. Sometimes their spouses really piss me off, but mine's no saint, either. I try to get us all in the same place at the same time at least once a year which shouldn't be hard since we're only separated by two hours of drive time, but it never works out. I don't think that we all really, truly want to be there. We haven't been together since 1999 - pathetic. I'll just keep trying.....

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Stinky uncle

So, we were eating our breakfast, and a Febr*ze commercial came on. I'm not sure why they are fascinated with that product, but they are.
Peanut: It's Befreeze!
Me: Yes, it's Befreeze. (He just doesn't get it right. It's pretty funny.)
Peanut: I want to go see!
Me: No. How 'bout you eat? (We were in another room.)
Peanut: We have Befreeze.
Me: Yes, we do.
Meatball: Granny has Febr*ze.
Me: Yup.
Peanut: Nana has Befreeze.
Me (feigning excitement): Yup. Everyone has it!
Meatball: Except Uncle Jake.
Me (how does he know this about Uncle Jake?): Hmmm... Well, maybe Uncle Jake's house doesn't stink.
Meatball: It does when he farts!!


Peanut: I really hope I get a Thom*s Chuggy Chug track from Santa.
Me: Honey, you already have a wooden track and a gray track. What is a chuggy chug track?
Peanut: It's the ULTIMATE-SUPER-COOL track!

Uh, riiiiight. I have no idea what he is talking about.

Monday, November 21, 2011

National Adoption Blogging Day

So, here's the thing: I'm the one that wanted to have kids more than anything. I did this knowing that I would have to keep working in order for our kids to have medical insurance - at least in our lovely state. It took a LONG time for Bub to decide that she would be a good parent and to agree to giving it a go.

Now, since she became unemployed (and can't find anything due to this awesome economy), she has been home every single day with the boys for 30 months. Now, try to tell me that they would not be traumatized if something happened to me and they were taken from her.

To the state, she is a legal stranger to them.

To them, she feeds them, helps them brush their teeth, plays trains, sings christmas songs, tickles them, goes for walks, takes them to story time at the library, takes them for ice cream, helps them practice their writing and math, and watches Wonder Pets or Thomas or Super Why. She is their parent.

Someday, she will be able to legally proclaim this. At least, I hope so.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Funny little Peanut

Peanut went potty. Not five minutes later, he was standing by the wall looking at his (uber-cool) train track that spreads for eight feet across the floor. He looked up at me and said "My pee thinks that my pants are a potty!" Then, he ran to the potty again.

Fifteen minutes later, he was playing with trains on the aforementioned track with the TV on in the background, and he said (to no one in particular) "That Breaking Dawn movie is pissing me off." I asked him why, and he replied "Because it freaks me out!"

Friday, November 18, 2011


Every year, the employees at our company come together to help provide Thanksgiving meal boxes to the Utah Food Bank for families that would otherwise have nothing. Teams gather items together for a couple of weeks and then box everything. Donated gift cards are included so that needy families can purchase a turkey or a ham or whatever. At last count, we were ready to donate 156 full boxes of food along with random extra food. This is just a portion of the boxes that will be loaded on the company truck and delivered later today:

The beautiful part of this is that it is just the beginning of what is truly "the most wonderful time of the year." This is such a generous company due partly to the employees. I mean, the company itself is AMAZING - like, COMPLETELY AMAZING - but the employees make it OUTSTANDING. I am so lucky to work here.

**Final count: 162 Thanksgiving dinners and several additional boxes of food. Seriously, we kick (turkey) butt!

Chop, chop, TIMBERRRRR!

The boys' swimming instructors are good about keeping the kids in line and focused during lessons. This, of course, gets really boring after 30 minutes, and the last thing that they get to do is something fun called "chop, chop, timber."

Basically, the kids sit down and act like a seed (which means do nothing, just in case you've never actually seen what a seed does). The instructor splashes water on them, and they slowly grow into a tree. Then, the instructor places her palms together (an axe) and asks what kind of tree they are before she makes two chopping motions and cuts down the tree. At that point, they get to dive into the water (which is really a limbs-flailing jump or sometimes a cannonball). While doing it, the instructor says with growing excitement in her voice "chop, chop, timberrrrrr!"

Usually the boys are a pokey (pine) tree, or an apple tree, or an orange tree, but last week when asked, Meatball declared himself to be a chocolate tree to which his instructor answered "You are going to be every woman's favorite tree!"


On the way home from work a few nights ago, I just had to stop and take a picture of the sunset over the Stansbury mountains.

Monday, November 14, 2011

lazy parenting, 101

After a long day of saving the world, one recognition award at a time, sometimes I just don't have the patience or energy to be an awesome mom. So, we're watching a movie tonight because it is the only thing I can think of that will keep them calm for a few minutes. I will say that they are clean, fed, their teeth are brushed, and I *DID* teach them how to play rock/scissors/paper.

That being said, I feel that it is my responsibility to let non-twin affiliated folks know that it is pointless to try and play rock/scissors/paper with twins. It's not a rumor that they have their own language and way of understanding. So, here's the story about rock/scissors/paper: THEY CHOOSE THE SAME THING EVERYTIME! Great, two rocks. Ah, two papers. Hmmm, two scissors. Nobody ever wins!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Everybody plays the fool, sometimes...

I didn't realize until today that in order for someone to be made a fool, there must also be someone being a complete tool. Sometimes, it's the same person, but it really hurts when it's someone close to you. Call me a fool for thinking that this person would change. Even if change wasn't an option, call me a bigger fool for thinking that tact and sensitivity would be used (especially when I expressly asked for it).

To [insert name here]: You are a friggin' tool. Sadly, this is going to take me a while to get over.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

movie review: Elmo in Grouchland

So, here's the scene: the mean man who bullies everyone in Grouchland just took Elmo's blanket and won't give it back.

Me: Well, that man is rude!
Peanut: Yeah! I would kick his butt!
Me: Maybe we should just ask him to count to ten and then talk to him. If he doesn't want to talk, he should go to the naughty corner.
Meatball: Or, maybe he should go to jail with the police!
Me: Well, maybe.
Peanut: I would just kick his butt!

So much for non-violent problem solving!

And, yes. It's a Saturday night, and we're watching Elmo in Grouchland. Can we party, or what?
See?!?! It's a gripping tale:
(And, you've got to love Peanut's socks, right? Meatball's gray/black checkered flag patterned socks aren't much better. You just can't see them here. I don't know why Granny can't just buy white, tan, or black socks.)

This night of movie fun follows a day of de-scaling the teapot and coffee maker, cleaning the toilet and sink, washing the dishes twice, picking the last of the apples from an icy and snowy tree, making apple leather, doing laundry, and sledding down the hill in the back yard. (And all that was just me! Bubba read her book and fought stomach problems all day.) Seriously. We know how to spend a Saturday.

Sunday will bring more sledding with our friends and more things with apples. (I don't know what yet, but I have at least 15 pounds of them!)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I'm a home canning maniac!


This is why:
7 pints relish
3 quarts mustard pickles
6 quarts veggie stock
7 quarts peaches
19 quarts applesauce
12 quarts apple pie filling
10 quarts stewed tomatoes
8 quarts spaghetti sauce
6 pints salsa
21 pints beets
19 quarts pears
69 bottles various sizes/flavors jam (no, I'm not kidding)

In the freezer, we have more beets, 6 bags zucchini, chard, elderberries, more applesauce.

Then, there's the meats, frozen soups, and store-bought goods, too. I LOVE my pantry!

Friday, October 21, 2011

She's awesome

I NEVER have to dust. If you were into it, you could eat off of our kitchen floor. She only occasionally washes my dry-clean-only stuff. She is willing to hang out with my ex. Dinner is frequently waiting when I come home from work. She sits for hours at marathon finish lines (because it takes me hours to get to it).

But, I'll be good and goddamned if I can get her to scrub the bathroom tub.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I can't wait to see this movie!

I have no idea what is in or coming to theaters if it's not animated. I haven't even seen half of the Oscar winners from eight months ago. What I DO know is that I will be seeing this movie:

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

October's been a bit busy

In addition to the canning (pears, applesauce, etc.), October has been a rather busy month so far! The leaves are changing, and we did our first elderberry picking. We should have done it three days earlier, but oh well. It was a beautiful day in the canyon.

We also attended the yearly open house at the fire station. They put on a good show. The kids get to sit in the fire trucks, go through the "life activity house" where they learn what to do and not to do with grease fires, medication, hot stoves, toaster fires, and curling irons. They get to practice calling 911, and fake smoke comes into the bedroom, and the kids learn how to escape. Treats, videos, and activity books are given out. Best of all, they got to pee in a fireman's potty, and they got to work the fire hose!

One of our favorite books is The Lorax. It is my favorite Dr. Seuss book, by far, and I like to do voices for the characters as I am reading it. Every time we see a tree stump, Meatball jumps on it and yells "Ga-zump! I am the Lorax; I speak for the trees 'cuz the trees have no tongues!" Peanut got in on the action on this day. He was a Lorax, too. I was the Once-ler; I wasn't really very happy about that...

Back in September, the boys were playing at Granny's door. Peanut slammed it and caught Meatball's toe. The nail has been just waiting to fall off since then. It finally did:
Then, the toenail fairy came that night and left him "many coins" and a mini KitKat which he shared with his brother, apparently forgetting exactly who slammed the door on his toe in the first place.

And, seriously, this is good art:
I cut out the shapes, and Meatball put it together. I think that he did a remarkable job! Peanut doesn't share in the desire to do crafty stuff, but he did have a good time cutting up paper and making a mess.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Open house at work

We had an open house at work a few weeks ago. I don't know why Bub insisted on getting the boys all excited about it. I mean the technology and the machines that we use to create awards are great, but none of that stuff would be running for the open house. Even if it had been, that's not what I do. But, we went anyway so that everyone could see my cubicle and hundreds of others just like it. Thrilling.

The boys did have a good time sitting at my desk and pretending to make phone calls. I let them watch a couple of videos on my computer, and now they think that all I do is watch YouTube all day. Yeah, as if that's going to pay the mortgage (but wouldn't it be great if it did?)!

Then, while Peanut was watching yet another Thomas video, Meatball drew on my whiteboard. This is a picture of me. Quite a good resemblance, actually. He started with my lips first and had to maneuver around them for the rest of the picture. Interesting approach. I may never erase my whiteboard again! Such talent!

Monday, October 10, 2011

I feel pretty....

Guess who got into mommy's makeup?
Peanut found it a couple of days later, but Bub had him cleaned up before I could get a picture. A couple of days after that, Meatball got into it again, but this time he got the mascara just right. In fact, he did a better job than I do each morning!

Friday, October 7, 2011

How much fun is soccer?

Well, I'll tell ya: it's not.

Last week as Peanut was sitting in my lap pouting about being at soccer in general, Meatball was moping down the field. He stopped in the middle of the field as all of the other kids were mobbing the net on the south end of the field. He turned to us (and all of the parents from both teams) and shouted "I. HATE. SOCCER!!!!"

It was impossible to not laugh.

goodbye garden

It's so depressing to finally be forced to clean up the garden, but the first snow storm of the season will do that to you. (Seriously, 12" in the Wasatch mountains on October 6?)

So, I stripped all of the oregano off the stems, cut the parsley tops, and plucked tarragon leaves. All of these are drying in the oven right now. I also picked about 12 more peppers, 2 zucchini, 3 small yellow squash, and 30-ish un-ripe tomatoes which are now layered between newspapers in a box in the pantry.

This weekend will be more pears (in some fashion), perhaps some dried tomatoes, something with those peppers (maybe more salsa?), and get busy with apples which should keep me busy for a few weekends.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

String of names - whats the draw?

Bub and I both watched the 10th anniversary 9/11 memorial programs on and off for the whole day. When the boys napped, we were glued to the TV. When they were awake, we censored what came on.

Early in the day, she was watching the ceremony at Ground Zero as the victims' names were read. For some reason, this really had an impact on Peanut who still recites his own names at least once per day, 11 days later.
James Shurter
Thomas Clandon
Molly Magger
And my uncle, Gordon Stanley
Yes, the first names are all Thomas the Train characters, and the surnames are all made up and usually mumbled, but he recites some version of this every day.


When I graduated from Westminster earlier this year, the boys attended a couple of different ceremonies. After each and for weeks later, Meatball would do something similar to what I've just described Peanut doing. However, since he is not obsessed with any particular toy, both names are a bit unintelligible until the end. Oh yeah - he also adds titles:
Gurshen Polling, MBA
Janna Reggish, MBA
Clim Thadoll, MBA
Kaye Beeny, MBA (and then he claps and cheers)


What's the deal with the stream of names? Why would something like that stick with them? Interesting.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Gooooooooo, Real Salt Lake!!!

The boys are playing soccer with TC United. We're on one of the Grantsville teams, but that doesn't really matter. We just wanted them to have an opportunity to interact with new kids, run around, and listen to someone other than the regular adults in their lives.

I like our coach. He hadn't planned to be a coach, but if he hadn't stepped up, there wouldn't have been a team at all. (I totally would have done it, but we were late to sign up. Oh, and I know nothing about soccer. But other than that....) TC United is very well organized, and I am impressed with them so far. Our coach doesn't focus on the rules of the game or positions or anything. Honestly, there are eight 4-5 year olds. I think that he is doing great if the kids are just staying on the field!

Anyway, the local professional soccer team (Real Salt Lake, which is pretty dang good) allows the youth teams to come to the game for free one time per season, so we recently attended along with a bunch of other Tooele County players. Bub and I had a great time because it was really quite exciting, and the night was beautiful. (The pictures don't do the sunset justice.)

The boys really enjoyed themselves because we got to ride the train, AND we caved in and bought them blue cotton candy.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Funny - Love 'em!

Peanut: But, mom! We can't go to sleep; we're too hyperd.

Meatball (in the middle of the soccer game, running to us and away from the ball): Mom, look! A puffball!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Mommy 2 - To - Two - Too

I am Mommy to Meatball and Peanut, and they are amazing. AMAZING. I adore them. How can you not? (Unless Peanut is screaming in your face. Ug, lately....)


A long time ago (four years), I made up a song and I would sing it almost every night. In it, I sang about how my life was complete with the boys and "mommy, too."
Well, Bub didn't like that much. She said it sounded like I was saying mommy TWO, and she didn't want the boys to think that she was a less important mom. "Oh, you're being silly," I would tell her.

One night, about a year ago, we were all sitting around the dinner table, and we were counting.
Me: How many dogs to we have?
Boys: One, two!
Me: How many eyes do you have?
Boys: One, two!
Me: How many boys are there in this room?
Boys: One, two!
Me: How many mommies do you have?
Boys: One (pointing at Bub), two (pointing at me)!

Ever since then, I have been Mommy Two.
Bub was right. It sucks.

Friday, August 26, 2011

What is WRONG with people?

The boys and I were on the way home from the park the other day. They were on their bikes, and we were headed up a gradual incline which means that I was pushing, and they were whining. It was about 11am (that's important).

Well, after a block and a half of this, all of a sudden a little girl ran into the road. Like - little - as in, 18 months! She was just making words like "pink" and "mommy" and "there" - all in baby babble, of course. Luckily, it was a very infrequently traveled street.

Me: Ooooooh! No, no, no, nooooo - sweetie! Go to your house!
Baby: Hi!
Me: Honey - where is your mommy?
Baby: oer deh (over there, pointing to brown house)
Me: Go get your mommy!
Baby: aaahhh, eeehhh, basset (something, something, basket - she was carrying a purple easter basket, complete with eggs and plastic grass and half eaten chocolate sucker - in August)

Well, I couldn't just let her stand in the middle of the road, and she wasn't moving. So, I grabbed the boys off of their bikes, and we snatched her up from them middle of the road, and took her to the brown house where I knocked on the door - hard. (While I waited, I took in the baby and the surroundings: dirt - no grass, bricks laying everywhere, no rail on the porch, no fence around the dirt, tampon applicators on the ground as if the dog had ripped apart a garbage bag - eeewww, baby with an obviously sagging diaper that hadn't been changed in hours, at least six inches of of dirt on the bottom of the baby's PJ bottoms, bare feet covered with dirt and dust, pathetic.)

I knocked again, and again, and again.
Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.
I walked around to the back yard and yelled in hopes of finding someone who had just lost track of a little person.

So, really, it seemed like she had come out of the white house next door, and lo and behold here wanders two other kids (4 and 18 months) from out of the white house, also without parental supervision. So, I dragged the first little girl and the two new little girls over to the white house and pounded on that door. It was answered.
Me: Does this one belong to you?
Young Mom: No, she lives next door.
Me: Do you know where her parents are?
Young Mom: No. Her mom usually works during the day and her grandma takes care of her.

Oh, great. So now I'm thinking that granny has fallen and can't get up, or she's had a stroke, or whatever.
So, young mom decides to go into the back yard and knock on the back door.
Young Mom: Well, you can just leave her with me. I'm sure that they will come looking for her when they get back.
Me: (thinking to myself - I don't frickin' know you! I'm not leaving a baby with someone I don't know! Judas - I wouldn't leave a baby with most of the people that I DO know!)
At this point, Young Mom is tired of the whole thing and goes back to her house. Gee thanks for the help.

I went back to the front door and banged and banged again.
I opened the door wide enough to get my face in, and I hollered into the pig stye at the top of my lungs - several times.
I didn't dare go in because there was a dog guarding the door. He was probably very friendly, but I'm not stupid.

When Young Mom came out and offered to take care of the baby again, I broke the news to her: I had already called the police.
Yes - they were on their way. Yes - they were alarmed. Yes - they seemed to take forever (but they were probably only three minutes).
The Young Mom came back and finally volunteered to go IN to the house. After all, she knew the dog and the people.
She came back out and said that she found someone that looked like she was sleeping. Or at least she was breathing. But Young Mom didn't know who it was. Granny? Mommy? Babysitter?
It didn't really matter, because Officer Thurgood finally arrived.

After giving him the low-down, he really pounded on the door. Serious pounding. I'm actually not sure that I could have physically pounded that hard. Well, someone finally came to the door. The mom. About age 26.

Officer Thurgood: Is this your daughter?
Irresponsible Mom: Oh, Ro! What are you doing outside (feigning concern). I'm so sorry! I was asleep!
[Remember when I said that 11am was important? Are you friggin kidding me?]
Me (totally out of line): I'VE BEEN KNOCKING ON YOUR DOOR AND YELLING INTO YOUR HOUSE FOR 20 MINUTES! (yes - I was yelling at her - in ALL CAPS)
Irresponsible Mom: Oh, I was asleep! I was asleep!
Me (to myself): It's called a HANGOVER, bitch!
Officer Thurgood: Are there any other kids in the house.
Irresponsible Mom: No, just her.
Officer Thurgood: Has she tried to get out of the house before?
Irresponsible Mom: Yeah. She can open the doors by herself, even if we have a kid lock.
Me (to myself): It's called a chain you idiot!
Me (outloud to cop): Can I go now? I don't really need to hear this crap, do I?
Officer Thurgood: Yes (with a look on his face that said PLEASE GO NOW and stop yelling at this stupid woman)

We put on our bike helmets and headed home. I don't know what happened in the end, but my friend at work (who knows something about these things) says that - by law - a report MUST be filed with DCFS.
I've now driven past that house about 20 times just to make sure that the baby is not in the middle of the road.

Stupid bitch.

Camping, August 2011

I had taken a week off for a long camping trip, but everything was all turned around due to Granny and Grandpa both having surgeries within a week of each other. So, the camping trip turned into “I’m taking a week off, anyway. Let’s just do some fun stuff.” And we did. We decided to go camping, but it was pretty spur of the moment and much shorter than a week. Getting everything together without much planning is not something that we do well, and we found ourselves getting really impatient with each other and with the kids. We really need to PLAN.

Anyway, we asked if we could use dad’s camper because Peanut had a cold, and we didn’t want it to get worse. That thing is quite the rattle-trap, but it did keep us warmer than if we had been in the tent! It was the boys’ favorite part of the whole trip. In, out, in, out, in, out, climb up to the bed, climb down, up, down, up, down, open the door, close, open, close…..

We went to our favorite spot in Fairview canyon, and since we arrived on a Sunday afternoon, most people were packing up and leaving. It was nice and quiet. We stayed until Tuesday. We got there so late on Sunday that we didn’t really have time to do much but start a fire and make some dinner, but on Monday morning, we were up very early to go fishing. On the way to the ponds, Bub had “Mimi, the finger” out talking to the boys. Mimi asked about fishing, and Meatball explained it like this: “You just rod it out, hook the fish, and swishy it back in.”

We were the only people at Potter’s upper pond for almost the entire morning. I didn’t think that it could happen, but fishing with 4-year olds is harder than fishing with 3-year olds! Cast out, reel in, out, in, out, in. We could have been casting into an aquarium filled with starving trout and wouldn’t have caught anything! Those poor fish didn’t have time to even see the bait, let alone eat it! But, whatever. The boys had fun. In his own words, Peanut was determined to “rail [reel] it out there, and then rail it back in when I catch the fish.”

After we tired of this, the boys and I hiked around the pond so that Bub could actually fish. It was at this time that she caught three. Coincidence? I think not. We walked and talked and talked and talked. Meatball’s poor stuffed dog, Baby, was a dirt covered mess at this point. The live dogs had a great time, especially Sadie. We came to the pond overflow drainage (we called it a ramp) and ran up and down it about 50 times. I think that was their favorite part of the “hike.”

After we finished our trip around the pond, we all moved to the lower pond. This turned out to be a very bad mistake because it smelled like pig poop. Literally. Sadie waded/swam through the worst part of it, and later REALLY stunk up the car. It was awful. Jake said later that there is something wrong with the lower pond because, well, it reeks and fish are dying. But, only in the lower pond. Doesn’t make any sense. When we got back to our campsite, I actually had to take Sadie to the stream and give her a bath; it was that smelly - like pig poop!

No matter what we were doing, the boys wanted to go back to the campsite. I think it’s because that’s where the “mountain house” (dad’s camper) was. There was also some really great dirt to play in.

When we did get back to the campsite, Bub went to the stream to clean the fish. She saw some other fish in a deep part of the stream. We decided to go down there later so that the boys could throw some rocks in the water. Bub decided to toss her line in a few times. It was here that she caught the biggest fish of the entire trip. Easily a 15” brook trout. Nice. Grandpa will be enjoying it very soon. Peanut was all about throwing the rocks, but Meatball was more interested in the current; he kept throwing grass and flowers in so that he could watch where they would go. They are so different….

When we returned to the campsite again, we picked lots of wildflowers and set them in a coffee cup on a stump by the fire. They really added to the ambiance (ha-ha). Later, Peanut was playing in the dirt, and Meatball was trying to see if he could re-plant some of the flowers and get them to grow. He would make a mound of dirt, stick a flower in, and water it. Cute.

Uncle J, Aunt J, and cousin Bill came up to roast hot dogs, and the boys loved playing with their cousin. She tolerated them, but she’s 11 and ready for grown-up conversations (or so she thinks – I think that she needs a new dolly and some sparkles for her hair – she’s growing up too fast!)

Not only did Peanut feel pretty crummy and grumpy during this trip due to his cold, but Liz was also not top form. I forget that she is getting old (11?). It really bums me out. So, we tried to let her take it easy. I think that she was rather pissed about it since “taking it easy” means that she had to stay in the camper for a few minutes at a time. (Really, she didn’t miss anything except some trips to the outhouse, but she thought that we were off on an adventure without her…)

Something that was pretty cool, though, was the fact that Sadie started gathering firewood with us. Spontaneously. All on her own. Really! We were picking up kindling, and she just started picking up little sticks and following us back to the campsite. She’s NOT an idiot! Hurray!

The next day, we got up and went fishing with Uncle J. The first thing Bub did that morning was ask Peanut if he felt OK. He said yes, of course. “No, really. Are you feeling sick?” she asked. Peanut’s response? “Mom. Does it seem like I’m barfing? No! I don’t think so.”

So, that was that. We went fishing on Uncle J’s boat. THAT was fun! Three grown-ups, one pre-teen, two pre-schoolers, and two dogs – and EVERYONE was well behaved! Of course, the boys were sick of fishing after about 10 minutes, and Peanut bossed everyone around by telling them that HE was the captain, but whaddya’ gonna’ do? Bub caught a decent fish and released it. Uncle J caught a sucker, and we all made fun of him (snicker…). Then, someone of a very young age had to potty, so we had to go back to shore. It was about this time that the boat started behaving poorly. We decided to call it a day. We said goodbye to the REAL captain and his first mate, and headed on our way home. The boys were crashed within 30 minutes.

Mr. Sensitive

Bub took the boys for a walk today. We frequently cut through the cemetary because 1) it's there and 2) it's in the way of every place we want to go. So, they cut through. (Disclaimer: out of respect and privacy, we do try to avoid it if something is happening.)

Well, today they were cutting through before they realized that a funeral was going to take place shortly with military honors. So,as they were walking, Bub was explaining what was happening. She was getting a bit teared up because she's just sweet like that.

The hearse arrived, and the pall bearers removed an urn. Then, the family got out of their car, dressed in black and crying, of course. The military folks weren't quite ready yet, so everyone was just standing there, and this was right when she and the boys were passing the group.

Mr. Meatball very calmly and solemnly walked up to one of the women who was crying and said "I'm sorry that you're having a bad day."

And, he was full-on sincere about it. He was really moved, and he meant it.

Then, the three of them went and sat down in the gazebo, far enough away that they wouldn't distract but close enough that they could see what was happening. Bub explained the whole thing on a 4-year old level, even the 21 gun salute.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

But, we've been having FUN!

Here's a mish-mash of stuff we've been up to in the past couple of weeks:

Stockton Days:
It's the highlight of the year for the little city of Stockton. Really, though? It's probably not big enough to be called a city. Village? Hamlet? Whatever. They put on a big day in the park. Dutch oven cook-off, demonstrations by the fire department, food from the local cafe, talent (or not) show, inflatable sumo-wrestling outfits, games, and bounce houses. There might just be more bounce houses than there are kids in the entire hamlet! This year, one of them had a water slide. We played in it for two hours.

Non-stop, this one. He couldn't get to the top of the slide fast enough!

He was going down the side of the slide so that he wouldn't land in the big 2' pool of water at the bottom. Why? I dunno. He was already soaking wet, and he had to go through the pool to get out....

In the summer, the main floor of our house is sweltering. (No, we still don't have central air.) So, we hide out in the basement in the evenings and watch movies. These pictures suck, but what do you expect from a phone camera in a dark basement?

One afternoon at the beginning of the month, we were killing time in Salt Lake and decided to paddle around the pond in Liberty Park. It took almost a year, but it's been cleaned up nicely since the oil leak; it didn't even stink much. There were plenty of ducks and geese paddling around with us.

No, Meatball isn't as scared as he appears here. He's having fun - you just can't tell.

See? I told you he was having fun.

And, no - mommies weren't required to wear vests because the water at its deepest point would only ever come up to our armpits.

Can I just say how much fun I've been having since finishing up my MBA?

Thursday, August 11, 2011


The Peanut had to potty. A #2. So, he did, and all went as should be expected. He did the wiping, the flushing, the hand washing, everything according to textbook (if someone was strange enough to write a textbook about such things).
Upon leaving the bathroom, Bubba said to him "You did a good job, buddy!"
to which he responded "Yeah, I'm fairly impressed!"

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Is it possible?

Really, is it possible to NOT like "The Blind Slide"? Seriously, I think not.

This is bliss...

Let me construct my current scene for you:

Wife: sleeping to the right - worn out after a day of successful surgery for her mom
Peanut: snuggled, exhausted and next to her from a no-nap day at the zoo
Sade: fidgity 1yr old pup trying to get comfy on the basement bed, crazy from being alone for 2 days
Meatball: sleeping skeewampus and wiped despite the cat-nap in the car after the zoo
Liz: the best dog ever - not walking on the pre-schoolers but still close enough for a scratch

My life is truly wonderful.

Friday, July 29, 2011


Why, yes! Actually, I do believe that a couple of tall, frosty mudslides are the best way to celebrate the fact the I JUST COMPLETED AND PASSED MY FINAL MBA PROJECT! Hell, yeah, baby!

Monday, July 25, 2011

fun walk

We were going to hike to the "T" again, but it was sprinkling a bit, and I'm not going to be stuck on a mountainside in a rainstorm that could have lightening (and every rain in Utah in July could bring lightening). So, instead, we headed out to a flat section of groomed trail between Tooele and Grantsville. It was pretty unexciting scenery. However, we still managed to have fun. In addition to finding a couple of old railroad spikes, we loved the echo tunnel.

Then there were these horses. They were literally following us. We would walk, and they would watch us. When we were about 50 feet past them, they would walk past us as a group. Then, they would watch us as we continued to walk, and then they would do it again. When stopped, they weren't eating or anything. They would just stand in a line and look at us. It was really funny because almost every single one of them had a star, stripe, and snip (although you can't see it very well here):

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I really shouldn't be posting, but.....

Really. I should be working on my final project for school. Then, I'll be a hugely successful professional with a degree and a $350/month bill to prove it. Instead, I had to take a quick break to watch "Chicken Run" with the boys and the Mrs.

Oh, and I just had to share these cute pictures.

We went to dinner at Ruth's Diner for Granny's birthday. Here are the boys being GOOD in public:

And, since it's been a jillion degrees here for days*, here's how middle-aged lesbians cool off:

(*Yes - I know that it has been much hotter in the Midwest and the East coast. We're lucky by comparison...)

OK - I really should work on my "business plan," aka my-it's-never-going-to-happen-because-I-don't-really-want-to-start-my-own-business plan. (But, if I did, it would be a guest ranch in Moab, I swear!)