Friday, February 27, 2009

Even "slim" isn't slim enough

Cameron is a skinny, skinny kid. He's about 4 feet tall, 7 years old and weighs around 48 pounds (on a really good day). Fully dressed. I have to buy slim size pants for him and they have to have an adjustable waistband on top of that. I then have to adjust the waistband to just about as small as it will go so his pants will almost stay up. A couple of days ago, I noticed that he was walking around holding up his pants and if he let go, they would fall down to the middle of his skinny butt. It was obvious that the button on the adjustable waistband had come undone. I checked, and sure enough, it had. The elastic had retracted back into the waistband and so it was impossible for the pants to stay up on their own. Impossible to keep a pair of slim pants up? Whoever heard of such a thing? I don't think I've ever had that problem. I think the last time in my life I could be considered "skinny" is November 30, 1975. The day I was born. It's all been downhill from there.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My ♥ is happy

I absolutely adore these things. I screamed when I saw them at the grocery store the other day. Yes, I really did scream out loud. I'm a constant source of embarrassment to my children. To me, they are a sign that Spring is just around the corner. Plus, they just make me so happy. I know that they're the kind of things that people either really love, or really hate. I REALLY love them. When I say really, I mean REALLY. Like a lot. It's a good thing they're only available for a short time each year. Otherwise, I would never eat anything else.

I think the reason people hate them is that they're "too rich". I don't even know what "too rich" means. Personally, I don't think that something meant to be sweet can ever be sweet enough. I've never met a dessert or candy I felt was too much of anything. I love them all. My hips and butt can testify to this fact.

Monday, February 23, 2009

He's making up for it

Peyton used to be such a good sleeper. He's slept through the night pretty much since he was born. He's always slept soundly and very rarely been disturbed by simple noises around the house, but did you notice how I said he used to be a good sleeper. Lately, he's decided to mix things up and wake up at all hours of the night. No, not just wake up. Wake up crying and screaming his head off. He'll do that for a good solid hour with no breaks if I don't go in to pick him up. He then insists on being held and rocked back to "sleep". Not real sleep. Fake sleep. He tricks me into thinking that he's gone back to sleep, but really he's just been laying there quietly for 15 minutes. He waits until I move to put him back in his crib and then screams no and starts saying mom in a very sad and pathetic way. So, of course, I feel guilty that I'm disappointing him by leaving and I pick him up and start the process all over again. Last night this went on for just over 2 hours. It was so much fun. I really love only getting 5 (sort of) hours of sleep.

I've never been one to put up with crazy sleeping habits. I very rarely gave in like this to my other kids. I would do it once or twice, but if it continued to happen and look like it was going to develop into a bad habit, I would nip it in the bud. I would let them cry it out after that. They would then figure out that the fits weren't going to work. They would go back to sleep and get back into their normal routine. They're none the worse for the wear now. Peyton has been a different story. He's my last baby and I've been trying really hard to hold on to his babyness. I just want him to stay little forever. Plus, he loves Ryan more than me. He would choose him any day of the week over me. I'm not exaggerating. This really gets my goat. So, I think what I'm trying to do is force him to love me just as much as he loves Ryan. The only time he'll really let me hold him and hold still while I'm doing it is during the middle of the night. I think I'm hoping that my snuggling smothering will finally convince him that I'm just as much fun as his dad. It's probably not going to happen. The only thing I'm going to get out of this is sleep deprivation.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


It's so exciting, but also kind of sad at the same time to see Peyton growing up. He's learning so many new things. Like how to open the refrigerator and will do it about 25 times in a 5 minute span because how can opening and closing the refrigerator ever get old. It's just too exciting. He's learned that trying to take out the big jar of pickles once he's in the refrigerator, will get a big reaction out of me and that I'll come running every time he touches them. He's learned that it's kind of funny to see me try and do that. He's learned the word no and that he should say it when I move him away from the refrigerator and also that he should throw a major fit at the same time.'s just so precious.

Friday, February 20, 2009

It was due to happen

This happens at least once every couple of months. Without fail. One of my kids will play with the overhead lights in the car. They'll turn them on and then not turn them off. Of course, this will happen in the daylight hours so that it's not really obvious. I will, of course, get out of the car and leave them on because I can't see that they're on. They will stay on. All night. Therefore, when I go out to my car the next morning to go somewhere like, say, preschool, and I'm in a really big hurry because it starts in 10 minutes, I won't be able to get there because the battery will be dead.

Thank you for taking the kids today Kristen even though it wasn't your turn and you had really short notice. I'll make it up to you.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Kids do the darndest things

This is the type of television we have. We've had it for about 2 years. It hangs on the wall in our basement family room. Our kids have always been really good with it and never bothered it. Until yesterday. Last night, Ryan noticed some large, circular scratches in the screen. The only 2 kids who spent any time in the family room yesterday were Tyler and Cameron. Once Ryan showed the scratches to me, I immediately called screamed for them to get their butts downstairs. When presented with the problem, both had no idea how the scratches had gotten there. Of course. One of them was in big trouble and didn't want to have to admit what they had done. It took a few minutes, but Cameron finally admitted that he was the guilty offender. We had to prod him further, but eventually found out that he had popped the pop top off a can of Dr. Pepper and decided to rub it on the screen. Just to see what it would do. We asked him many times why he did something like that. What made him think it would be OK to rub a sharp piece of metal on the television screen? He just kept saying he had no idea why he did it. He just did it. Why do kids do such crazy things? Also, why did he wait 2 years before he decided to do something so destructive?
Now, you might be thinking that I probably went crazy and absolutely lost it. Well, you would be wrong. I was relatively calm, cool and collected. (I know. Totally uncharacteristic.) As was Ryan. Yes, I was thinking to myself, "Crap! (edited) These stupid (edited) things cost a lot of stupid (edited) money. I don't want to have to replace it." I just assumed that replacing it would be what Ryan would want to do. He really loves that television. I was wrong. He just rolled with the punches. He did a quick search online and found a home fix for it. You simply rub over the scratch with an eraser. It doesn't remove it, but it takes the high edges off it and makes it much less noticeable. He worked on it quite a bit last night and will continue with it tonight because he's kind of a perfectionist and wants to get it looking as good as it possibly can. I had to squint and look very closely this morning to see it. What a relief. I'm so glad I have a resourceful, calm, patient and capable husband. We don't need to buy a new television. I'm also glad that since Ryan was able to "fix" the scratch, Cameron was able to go to bed with his butt intact.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Don't you hate it when your kids get sick

I know I do. It started with Tyler a couple of days ago and moved on to Avery and sort of Cameron yesterday. I'm sure that Cameron will be getting it for real soon. Peyton will be sure to soon follow.

Thankfully, I have my new washer & dryer to keep me busy. I may have gone into my laundry room late Saturday night and cried over them and told them I loved them. I also may have contemplated sleeping in there just so I could watch them all night. How did I ever live without them?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Flowers, candy & cards are nice on Valentine's Day

But I kind of prefer getting something like this or this. I'm in love with them and I love my husband for giving them to me. Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Another exciting offer

I just wanted to let anyone out there know that they are more than welcome to come and clean my house for me. I have my jewelry party tonight and I need the place to be spiffy. I also need to be rested and not overly stressed. I need to be a kind, gracious and happy hostess tonight. Having to do all of this work just might make me grumpy. I'm just saying.

I've already swept and mopped the kitchen, done the dishes and straightened up the living room. I need someone to vacuum & dust the living room and the family room, clean a bathroom for guests to use and probably wash a few loads of clothes. You won't be able to dry the clothes. Our dryer pooped out on Monday. Go figure. I thought it was the washing machine that was going to go first. We'll be buying a new set as soon as our tax returns are deposited. That should be next week. Anyway, I will probably need whoever comes to do this, to bake some cookies too. I need some strawberries washed and trimmed. Oh, and I plan on baking bread as well. Maybe what should happen is I bake while someone does the cleaning. Yes. That will work nicely. Please let me know in the comments when you will be here.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I'm still not sure

I've been going back and forth about having the space between my front teeth fixed. Some days I'm all for it and other days I worry that if I do it, I'll be stuck maintaining it for the rest of my life. What if it doesn't stick well and then falls off in 6 months? What if my teeth underneath it end up looking disgusting when it falls off? What if, when it falls off, I can't get in to have it fixed for several days and I have to live with my disgusting teeth until that time? What if I have a panic attack after it's on because it feels so different and it freaks me out? I mean, I've been living with this space for around 25 years. Do I really need to get rid of it? Silly questions for something that's really kind of frivolous. It's not like I have to have it done. It's purely for the sake of vanity. I know it would be a big self esteem booster to have it done, but hmmm...I'm still not sure. I think I'll just keep thinking about it.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I'm in the money

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My check for jury service arrived in the mail today and guess what. It was for more than I thought. I took the train to the courthouse and I forgot that they were going to reimburse me for the fare. I didn't get $18.00. Oh no. I got, are you ready for it, $23.00. Being the kindhearted individual that he is, the Utah State Treasurer didn't just reimburse me the $4.50 it cost to ride the train. He rounded it up to the next dollar and gave me $5.00 bucks flat for it. That generosity brought a tear to my eye. Or, maybe the tears came from laughing so hard at the ridiculous amount I got.

Something good did come in the mail. The title to our car. We paid it off several months ago and I realized on Friday that the credit union hadn't released the title to us yet. I called, they fixed the mistake and mailed it off. So, now we officially own a 10 year old car that has 124,000 miles on it and several scratches that I'm going to say were caused by Ryan. OK, me. I suppose that since it is now ours for real, it can feel free to break down and die at anytime.

I really hate balloons

I was out running some errands with Avery and Peyton yesterday. I decided to stop in a furniture store and see what they had in the way of dining room tables. We really need a new and bigger one. I've been trying to find one I like, but doesn't cost a million dollars for several months. I also need one that's nice, but not fancy. Strong and utilitarian, but not ugly. It does have to stand up to 4 kids after all. If anyone caught my subtle hint for suggestions on where to go, please feel free to share.

We walked into the store and as soon as the salesman saw us, he asked Avery if she wanted a balloon. Did she want a balloon? What was he? Crazy? Of course she wanted a balloon. (Why did I let her have one?) He asked if Peyton wanted one too. I knew he would have it off his wrist and let it float away in about 2 seconds. So, I nixed that. We browsed for a bit, didn't find anything good and then left. The whole time we were in there, Avery was talking to the balloon and calling it "balloonie". She decided balloonie was her best friend and told him/her that she was going to love them forever. I inwardly groaned and prayed that balloonie would soon pop. I can't stand what balloons do to my kids. They get obsessed with them and that is not an exaggeration. They cause fights, tears and headaches from the moment they get them until they are flat and dead. Peyton was so overstimulated yesterday by Avery's he looked like he was on speed. He wanted that balloon so bad he was frantic and looked absolutely crazy trying to get at it. Actually, he looked pretty funny too and I did laugh over it, but that's beside the point. My point to all of this is I hate balloons. I mean, just a few minutes ago, Avery brought balloonie to me (it actually has some helium left in it and is still floating, I just can't wait until it goes flat and she cries over it, hooray), told me I hadn't kissed him/her in forever and then made me do it. I hate balloons.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Another post in which I whine about how old I feel

It occurred to me last week that a possible reason for my frequent headaches is bad eyes. It had been about 14 years since my last eye exam. At that time, the doctor told me that I was near and farsighted and prescribed bifocals. BIFOCALS!!!! At 19!? No thank you. I went with reading glasses because my farsightedness was the worst and then wore them occasionally for the next couple of years. I then stopped wearing them altogether. That was probably a mistake. My eyesight has not improved with age. Lately, I've noticed I've been having double vision and some dark shadows surrounding objects or words. I have had to blink and squint a lot to try and bring things into focus. My eyes get strained and make me feel dizzy almost all the time too. Whine, whine, whine, but remember how I said I was going to do that.

I decided on a whim last week to get them checked. Sure enough, I hadn't focused enough over the years and wished away my bad eyes like I wanted to. I now have an astigmatism in both eyes. The right eye being worse than the left and my farsighted vision is now much worse than my near. You mean it's not normal to have to extend your arm out as far as you can and then tip the item you are holding at an angle in order to see what you want to see/read. He said the astigmatisms would certainly account for my headaches and will get worse as the years go by. I'm so excited about that. He gave me a prescription and told me I could get glasses or contacts, whichever I prefer. I've gone with the glasses for now. I want to see if there's an improvement in my vision before I decide to invest in contacts. Many will probably tell me that contacts are definitely the way to go. It's just that with an astigmatism, you can't wear just any contacts. You have to have special ones that literally cost twice as much as the others. I want to see a change before I decide to spend twice as much on contacts as anyone else and do it for the rest of my life. The doctor advised me to wear my glasses as much as I felt I needed to. He said I should wear them while using a computer, reading, watching television, at a movie theater and possibly while driving. I guess that means all the time. Don't tell my husband. He's having weird issues about seeing me in glasses.

My endless hours reading classic novels, my scriptures and books by general authorities blogging have finally begun to take their toll and have compounded a problem I already had. Oh, why oh why, do I have to get old? Just wait, I'll be getting bunions or some other old people affliction very soon.

Friday, February 6, 2009

It's one, two, three strikes you're out

I have been wanting to know how to do a strike through for the longest time. A couple of days ago, Erin, used it one one of her posts. I was again reminded how much I wanted to know how to do it, but I wasn't going to ask. I didn't want to bother her anyone to know how computer illiterate I am. I wasn't going to ask, until I read a comment from her sister asking the same thing. I then realized that maybe I wasn't alone and asking wouldn't be such a bad thing. Thanks Erin for the post telling how it's done. It was perfect and I'm going to be using strike through all the time now.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

You could try

You could try (great emphasis on try) to beat me at Dr. Mario, but you never would be able to. It's probably because I'm from planet Awesome and am just that good. However, I'm always up for a good Dr. Mario tournament. Just don't get disappointed when you don't win. Ever.

Ryan downloaded Dr. Mario for the Wii last night. We used to rock that game all the time on our old Nintendo 64. We would play for hours with friends and family. Then, we kind of got out of the habit. I missed it for the longest time, and sadly, I kind of forgot about it. How could I? We felt blessed when we found it last night in the Wii store. I was a little rusty at first. It had been about 4 years after all, but I found my rhythm and am addicted to it all over again. Happiness, thy name is playing Dr. Mario until your eyes burn so bad you have to stop.

He ate some toast

It happened way sooner than I thought it would, but Cameron ate some toast for breakfast today. He even asked for it himself. I tried to stay calm and act very nonchalant about it, but inside I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I didn't want to get all crazy excited and have him change his mind. Remember how he thought toast could only be made with store bought white bread. This toast was the bread I've been baking. Miraculous. I thought that it would take several more weeks to wear him down.

The fact that he even eats bread now is an amazing thing in and of itself. He's 7 now and the first time he actually asked to eat bread was when he was 5. Yes, you read that right. He was 5 years old before he willingly ate bread. It wasn't for lack of trying. I tried almost every day of his life up until that point. He wouldn't even eat it when he was a baby. I'd never known a baby who wouldn't eat bread until Cameron came along. He's always been a kid who has a mind of his own and there's never been an easy way to change it. I guess that's why he's always so fun to have around. There's just a little bit of sarcasm there, but in a good way.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Store what you will use, use what you store

Latter Day Saints have been counseled for years to have a food storage. I've made attempts, but never really been very good at it. When I decided to try harder was when I decided to start baking bread. The first thing I needed to make bread was, of course, the wheat. I went to my sister in law, Heather, to get some advice on where to buy it. I won't go into all the details, if you want to know more, you should go visit her blog. She has lots of posts about subjects like this. I'm also sure she would be willing to answer an questions. I then needed a way to grind the wheat into flour. I'm lucky in that my parents have a grain mill and allow me to come and use it anytime. I usually grind enough to make around 6-8 loaves of bread. I would say that's around 10-15 cups of wheat. I've never measured exactly how much I do. Once the wheat is ground, it starts to lose its nutritional value and you can only store it for a couple of weeks. However, if you put it into freezer bags and then store it in the freezer, you can extend it's shelf life. That's what I do. This is a link to the grain mill Heather has. I plan on getting one of my own someday, but will keep using my parents for now. It's the first necessary tool to be able to use the wheat you have stored.

This is the recipe, in its original form, I've been using to make whole wheat bread. I had to tweak it a little bit because I have a smaller mixer and the amount of bread dough this makes doesn't really fit. In Utah, you can purchase the dough enhancer and vital wheat gluten from Harmons, or from Kitchen Kneads in West Jordan. I found the lecithin at Kitchen Kneads. Outside of Utah, I'm not sure where you would go. I've been using Fleischmann's Bread Machine Yeast because it works well for rapid rising recipes. That's exactly what this recipe is.

Whole Wheat Bread

4 cups lukewarm water
1 T salt
2 T dough enhancer
1/2 C vital wheat gluten
1/2 C honey
3 T yeast
2 T lecithin
3 T lemon juice
1/2 C oil
8-10 C whole wheat flour

Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. You can remove the dough and knead by hand for 5 minutes, or allow it to continue mixing and knead in the mixer. Separate into 3 sections. Roll out each into a ball to remove bubbles. Roll balls into loaves and place in greased loaf pans. This is a link to the type of pans I've been using. I have a larger size than the 8 inch ones shown. I think that mine are 10.5 in. long. They're great because they force your bread to have height. I let it rise for a couple of hours, while sitting on my stove top above the oven that has been preheated. The heat from the oven keeps the bread warm enough and encourages it to rise. If you are using the rapid rise yeast, it will be ready really fast. I still just like to give it some time. Place into a preheated 350 oven and bake for 30-35 minutes.

These are the changes I've made to the recipe. They work for my size mixer and for the area I live in. Bread is kind of a fickle thing and environment seems to play a big part in how well a recipe works.

2 1/2 C lukewarm water
1 T salt
2 T dough enhancer
1/2 C vital wheat gluten
1/2 C honey
4 T sugar
1 1/2 - 2 T yeast
1 T lecithin
1 1/2 - 2 T lemon juice
1/2 C oil
6 cups whole wheat flour

You'll notice that I didn't cut all of the ingredients in half. I tried that and it didn't work very well. The bread was really bland and flat. So, I kept the salt, dough enhancer, vital wheat gluten, honey and oil the same. I also added the sugar. It helps a lot. I get two large loaves out of this recipe. I hope this has been helpful.

I've gone pioneer

I've started baking bread. It's something I've thought about doing over the years, but always decided it was too much work. I didn't think I had enough time for it. I didn't want the mess, the trouble, the hassle. All that has changed.

My husband is a bread eating fiend. It's always been his go to snack. Especially since becoming an avid runner. He burns calories fast and is constantly craving carbs. It was when he started running and going through 2-3 loaves of bread a week, that I again began to consider baking it myself. He loves homemade bread and I decided I would finally be a nice wife and make some every once in a while for him. I guess for myself and the kids as well.

I was inspired by my sister in law, Heather, who has been baking bread for about 2 years now. I decided if I was going to do it, I was going to try and do it like her. I asked her for some recipes. One that she sent me came from an Enrichment Night that she attended at my ward. Go figure. I guess I didn't save the recipe because that was back when I didn't want to be bothered with bread. It was easy to follow and looked like the best choice for me. I only have a 4 quart (I think that's the size) Kitchen Aid mixer. Consequently, I can't fit a lot in the bowl. In fact, I had to cut this recipe in half in order for the mixer to even be effective. I still get 2 loaves at a time out of it and that lasts around 3 days here. I'm really starting to see the benefits of the professional size Kitchen Aid's or even the large Bosch mixers. Maybe someday.

My parents have a grain mill. I've never taken advantage of it before. I don't know why I've wasted that resource for all these years. So, I bought a 25 lb. bucket of wheat, some dough enhancer and vital wheat gluten and jumped right in with both feet. That was at the beginning of January. I have been grinding wheat once a week and baking bread 2-3 times a week since then. After a little trial and error and tweaking, I think I have the recipe down to what works best for me. My husband thinks I'm amazing for doing it (I assume because he's not the kind of guy who would come right out and say "You're amazing"). I just know that he eats it non-stop and so that must mean that he likes it. My kids are basically on board with it as well. Just in case you can't guess, Cameron is the one who's been the hardest to convince. He's eaten a couple of slices, but still won't eat it in toast form. He thinks that toast must be white bread. I'll get him to come around someday. I've told everyone that I'm not going to be buying bread anymore unless it is absolutely necessary. My husband is totally fine with that. The kids have complained, but I think they are finally resigned to the fact that I really mean it. ☺ I'm actually really proud of myself. I decided to try something new and once I did, I discovered that I wasn't half bad at it. I'm glad that I've taken a chance on bread making.

I think I may finally update my cooking blog and post the recipe that I've been using there.

Monday, February 2, 2009

I'm gonna party like it's February 13, 2009, 7-9 pm

You may have noticed a link on the side of my page to Rustic Mama Jewelry. The Rustic Mama is my friend Annette. She's a stay at home mom who home schools her kids. I am personally very impressed by that and so I had to mention it. She was looking for a way to keep herself busy (as if she weren't already busy enough) and also generate a little extra income. She came up with jewelry. She designs and handcrafts all of her pieces. I own several already and love them dearly. The pieces are inexpensive, most are under $20.00, and she uses rustic, organic materials. I'm going to have an open house boutique on February 13th, 7-9 pm, to allow her to showcase some of her jewelry. It's a no pressure affair. She's new to this and she's her own one woman show. I just wanted to do what I could to help get the word out about her. If you're a family member reading this, I have probably already given you an invitation. If you don't have one yet, you will. If anyone else would like one (friends I don't have addresses for, etc.), just email me via the link on my profile page. I can send an invitation to you, or if you prefer, I can just email you my address so you know how to get here. Something to consider, coming to the open house will save you money. You won't have to pay for shipping. Saving money is always nice.