Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Month of Thanksgiving

I was invited by this blogger, through facebook, to participate in "A Month of Thanksgiving".  The idea was to post something you're thankful for each day in November.  Easy!  I love listing on a daily basis things I'm thankful/grateful for.  Doing it give me great perspective and helps me to see that things really are never that bad.  *note* Some of the posts were a little fluffy and or silly and they were very specific to the day.  I was/am, however, really very thankful for everything I posted.  Even the silly stuff.  ☺  Here's my list:

  • November 1st. - I'm thankful the power in my house came back on after being out since about 7:45 this morning.
  • November 2nd. - I'm thankful for fantastic friends and neighbors who are willing to be a help to me.  Like, say, when my car battery dies and Ryan Hendriksen is out of town (of course, because he's almost always out of town when something happens with the car ☺) and unable to help.  thank you to Troy Roth for helping out in a situation like that!
  • November 3rd. - I'm thankful for lint rollers.  Especially when I do something stupid like, brush my dog while wearing a black cardigan and black slippers.  They come in real handy after doing something like that.
  • November 4th. - I'm thankful my kids have such good friends.
  • November 5th. - I'm thankful for my carpet steam cleaner.  I bought it in the spring and it's more than paid for itself.  I love it!  (Oh, and I apparently really love hooded sweaters & tees.  Yesterday, I discovered I have at least 10.)
  • November 6th. - I'm thankful for Sundays and all that come with them.
  • November 7th. - I'm thankful for beautiful music like the symphonies of Beethoven.  I really love his 9th and was able to see/hear it played with Ryan Hendriksen by the Utah Symphony on our anniversary.  That was on opening weekend of the season.  They're performing all of his symphonies this season, starting with the 9th and going back.  It was beautiful?
  • November 8th. - I'm thankful that I decided nearly 3 years ago to learn how to make bread.
  • November 9th. - I'm thankful my kids have the opportunity to go to school to learn, grow & expand their minds. I'm also thankful for school for a selfish reason. It's nice to send an ornery, bratty kid away and hopefully have them return in a better mood. (We didn't have a very good morning. ☺)
  • November 10th. - I'm thankful that I have such wonderful parents in Dana Mackay and Tracy Mackay and that Ryan Hendriksen's parents, Eric Hendriken and Elaine are pretty wonderful, too!  ☺  They're amazing grandparents to our children!  They've been so willing to help out with them while Ryan and I have gone gallivanting around the world.  I love and appreciate all of you!  ♥
  • November 11th. - I'm thankful for people like my brother, Joshua Mackay.  Thank you for all you do.
  • November 12th. - I'm thankful I've been able to travel with my husband to places I've always wanted to go.
  • November 13th. - I'm thankful for naps.
  • November 14th. - I'm thankful for my washer and dryer.
  • November 15th. - I'm thankful for my car.
  • November 16th. - I'm thankful I know how to cook.  Well, at least I assume I know how to cook.  ☺
  • November 17th. - I'm thankful for my children.  I love them very much.
  • November 18th. - I'm very thankful for my husband Ryan Hendriksen.  He's kind, loving, hardworking, funny, sarcastic, exasperating, sweet, a fantastic father and really cute to boot.  I ♥ him a whole bunch.
  • November 19th. - I'm thankful for hot showers.
  • November 20th. - I'm thankful for uplifting Sunday meetings.
  • November 21st. - I'm thankful for warm and comfortable beds.
  • November 22nd. - I'm thankful we had a pleasant and easy morning getting ready for school.  No dilly-dallying, no screaming, no crying.  Just nice and easy!
  • November 23rd. - I'm thankful for Excedrin Back & Body and Dr. Pepper.
  • November 24th. - I'm thankful for lessons learned.  No matter how difficult the learning process was.  Happy Thanksgiving!
  • November 25th. - I'm thankful for long weekends.
  • November 26th. - I'm thankful for a strong furnace to heat my house.
  • November 27th. - I'm thankful for prayer.  I'm thankful for comfy clothes in which to lounge.  I'm thankful for cozy socks.  I'm thankful for bedtime.  I'm thankful I'm loved.
  • November 28th. - I'm thankful for pet groomers.  My special brush does a very good job (was pulling out a hairball the size of a volleyball, once a week).  but I decided the only way to truly reduce the amount of hair in my home was to have the dog shaved.  (Had it done last Wednesday.  He looks great!  In fact, it made him look like he had lost about 5 lbs. ☺)  Today, I was only able to pull out a hairball that was barely the size of a cotton ball.  Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!!!!  So thankful for pet groomers.  I'm also extremely thankful for online shopping.  Shopping without crowds is wonderful.
  • November 29th. - I'm thankful that if I don't want to, I don't have to be stuck with the hair color I was born with.  I can choose what color I would like my hair to be.  ☺  Thanks, Sheena Dastrup Hendriksen, for taking care of it for me.
  • November 30th. - I'm thankful to be alive at this time and in this place in the world.                

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

37 before 37

Today is my birthday. I'm 36 years old. yay! (I'm an even number age, that's why I'm not super excited. Poor me. Waaaaa!  I just have an affinity for odd numbers.) To mark this special occassion, I decided to set some goals to accomplish during my 36th year of life. Some are silly, some are fun, some are going to be difficult, some might not happen, but I'm going to try my best to make sure they do. (I'm sure you've seen lists like these floating around the internet.) So, here are 37 things I would like to do before I turn 37 years old.
  1. Lose more weight. (I'm tempted to say 'lose 37 pounds', but losing that much wouldn't be healthy for me because I don't need to lost that much. Ummm...maybe I'll say 'lose 15 pounds'. Yes, that amount would be totally fine.)
  2. Read 37 books. (I was going to say 50, but thought I would try to stick to a theme of '37' for this list.)
  3. Travel to Italy with Ryan.
  4. Make my own laundry soap. (Not necessarily for economic reasons, but if it saves me money I'll be just fine with that. I'm just very intrigued by all the recipes I keep seeing around the internet.)
  5. Get current on family and kids scrapbooks.
  6. Find and prepare 37 new recipes.  I have at least half of this number already.
  7. Make a greater effort to reach out to others. (This is one that will be hard to determine if I've really accomplished it. I guess the only way to know is to simply ask others if they've noticed a difference in me.)
  8. Clean out the 'toy room'. Get rid of (through donation or the thrash) old/broken/outgrown/unused toys.
  9. Clean out and better organize my laundry room.
  10. Play the piano at least twice a week. (At home and for myself.)
  11. Finish the 2 afghans I started 3-4 years ago.
  12. Go to sleep earlier. Even on the weekends. (I'm usually out and asleep by 11-11:30. I'd like to bump that up to 10:30-45. It will help me to accomplish the next goal.)
  13. Wake up by about 5:45 and no later than 6. Except on the weekends. (I'm usually awake during the week by 6:30. 7:00 at the latest. I'm awake by 8:00 on the weekends, but that doesn't necessarily mean I'm out of bed at that time. Ha, Ryan! I said it before you could. I may not be out of bed before 8:00, but I am awake. I do my workouts mid to late morning. If I get up by 6:00, I can fit it in before the kids are awake and still get them up and ready on time. This one is going to take some time for me to accept. I love my sleep.)
  14. Stop biting my nails.
  15. Read the Book of Mormon (again) from start to finish. (I might add the Doctrine & Covenants to this. I'll try the Bible (Old & New Testaments) next year because we just finished studying it in Sunday school this year. I want to read the current year (2012)course study.)
  16. Continue to grow my hair out. I was a little overly optimistic when I thought my hair would be to the middle of my back by the end of the summer. It's long and longer than it's been in years, but it's not that long.  I want it to be long
  17. Help my two oldest children become more responsible for at least a little bit of the laundry.  Ummm....maybe.
  18. Paint at least one wall in my bedroom a different color.  I'm thinking the wall the head of the bed is on so that I can turn it into a focal point of sorts.
  19. Finally make the quilt I've been meaning to make for about 6 years out of old, worn out jeans.  I have stacks and stacks of jeans (growing all the time) just waiting to be cut up into squares and sewn into a quilt.  In order to accomplish this goal, I'm going to have to either get a serger sewing machine of my own, or go to someones house to use theirs.
  20. Buy a white Christmas tree.  I have some hot pink, vintage glass ornaments that were my grandma's and I think they would look stunning on a white tree.  I wasn't able to convince Ryan this year that I need one because I bought a new green one just last year.  I think I can convince him by next year.
  21. Eat a beet.  Why do I dread this so very much?!
  22. Contact my cardiologist and find out how severe my murmur is in order to donate blood.  Yes, I've decided to pursue it.
  23. Get to church every Sunday at least 10 minutes before Sacrament Meeting starts.  Our meeting schedule will be changing to 11:00-2:00 in January (we've been on the 9:00-12:00 schedule this year and usually get there right at, or just after 9:00) and so I think it will be very easy to do this one.  If I can't make it to church by 10:50, then there's something very wrong with me.  Especially since the building is 30 seconds away from my house.
  24. Move Peyton downstairs into what is currently the 'toy room'.  As long as I do number 8.
  25. Continue to write in my gratitude journal.  This one should be easy.
  26. Continue to try to live only for today so that I can be a better mother to my kids.  Oh, and a better wife to my husband. 
  27. Take down all the blinds in my house, wash them and hang them back up.
  28. Once my hair is long enough, actually try to do all of the fancy pants hairstyles I've been pinning on Pinterest.
  29. Make more 'fall' decorations for my house.
  30. Try canning something.  I don't know what, but I want to put some sort of food in a jar and seal it shut.
  31. Plant and maintain a vegetable garden.  If I do, I guess that would mean I'd have something to can.
  32. Learn how to really use my camera.  I'm a visual, hands-on learner.  I need to be shown how to do technical things.  But that does mean I'll have to really listen the next time someone tries to teach me.
  33. Walk and or run every week.  For sure on my treadmill, but I also want to move out onto the road for more and more of my 'runs'.  I'm not sure yet how many miles per week I want to go.  I'm not going to commit myself to a number just yet.
  34. Be better about wishing people Happy Birthday.  
  35. Get over some of my irritations/pet peeves.  No, I can't list them here, unfortunately.  And this one is going to be really hard, unfortunately.
  36. After I find and prepare the recipes (in goal number 6), post them on my cooking blog.
  37. Go to New York City for my 37th birthday.
Wish me luck.  I'm going to need it for some of these.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


So, last night I went to donate blood and was denied because of my open heart surgery 35 years ago for this condition that has left me with a murmur. It's not necessarily simply because I have a murmur. It's because I have no idea the level, grade or seriousness of my murmur. All I know is that it's "minor". This particular blood collection company (is that what they're called?) is extremely cautious and strict about it. Even though I know that it's minor, they won't even consider me until they know just how minor it truly is. Apparently, collecting blood from a person with a murmur could possibly trigger a cardiac episode and that could obviously be very bad. It's understandable.

So, if I want to pursue donating and completing my goal, I must first check with my cardiologist. Once I know the level of my murmur, I can contact the company and see if it's within their acceptable parameters. If it is, I can donate. If it isn't, I'm denied for life. Or, I was told I could try the Red Cross because they're not nearly as strict. Basically, I was told that they'll take anyone as long as they have blood and two legs. Meaning, they walked in on their own. ☺

I'm disappointed that I wasn't able to donate and I can't believe that I am. I feel like I had it just within my grasp. I was going to do something that, for me, was very hard and it was ripped away. I really wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. I think I might get in touch with my cardiologist and figure out the whole murmur thing. Maybe. Probably. Oh, I don't know. Maybe just saying, "at least I tried", is good enough!?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I have a couple of long-standing goals. Items to cross off my bucket list, if you will. Both have been running around in my brain for some time because they're things that will require courage to do. They are:
  • Eat part of, or an entire beet. (If I can stomach a whole one.) I remember eating them just a few times and HATING them when I was a kid. My mom never forced me to eat them after and so I swore off them entirely. That was probably 30 years ago. Now, I'm not a person who dislikes very many foods. Beets, in fact, are really the only thing I can think of that I don't like. So, I guess I only dislike one food. I decided a few years ago that was ridiculous. I can eat so many other random things, but I can't eat a beet!? Stupid. I NEED to do this. Who knows? Maybe I'll be surprised and find that I like them.
  • Donate blood. I have a massive fear of needles. My fear of needles was pretty much the number one, driving reason for me not having epidurals during childbirth. The thought of a needle being inserted between my vertebrae and then a catheter being left behind, was simply too much for me to bear. The thought of a sharp needle puncturing one of my veins and then extracting a significant amount of blood from my body is enough to send me into hysterics. I'm getting weepy just thinking about it. I watched three vials being drawn when I was about 14 and almost passed out once I stood up. I had to sit with my head between my legs for a good 5 minutes to recover. And that was over 3 lousy vials. (I make Ryan come with me and hold my hand whenever I have blood tests done now.) Needles turn me into a wimp.

So, as I said, those things have been on my list for quite some time and because it's been so long, I've decided that now is the time to tackle one of them. It's time for me to be brave and prove to myself that I can do hard things. No, I'm not going to eat beets for dinner. I'm going to donate blood. There's a stake blood drive and I have no idea what possessed me, but I signed up to do it. Tonight. At 7:00. I'm pretty much terrified. I tried to tell Ryan that I could handle myself and do it without him. Thankfully, he could tell I was lying and will be coming with me to hold my hand. And probably pick me up after I faint. Or, wipe off my face if I puke. (He'd better be loving and supportive enough to do those things!) Why in the H-E-Double Hockey Sticks I chose to willingly let blood be sucked from my body before I ate a beet, is totally beyond me. I must be losing my mind.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Lessons Learned Pt.2

Back in October of 2008 I wrote a post about what I felt I had learned up to that point in my life. I was 32 (almost 33) at the time. And now, at 35 (almost 36), here's what I feel I've learned.

I've learned that I'm always going to make mistakes. Sometimes they won't be so bad. Sometimes they're going to be enormous. Sometimes they'll be something that only I know about and notice. Sometimes they're going to be really embarrassing and very hard to hide. And that's okay. It really, really is. Yes, it's frustrating when a mistake happens. Especially when I make the same kind of mistakes over and over and over and over. (I kind of have a thick head. I'm very stubborn too.) The important thing to remember is that I must keep trying. As long as I try to learn from the mistake, that's what it's all about. Trying and learning. I also need to remember that after making a mistake, I can still be loved. I can be forgiven. Just because I made one, it doesn't mean I'm stupid. Just because I made one, it doesn't mean it's the end of the world. And finally, life will go on.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Kindle Love

My husband bought me a Kindle in August. This particular one. (And maybe you've noticed that I'm finally able to do a hyper link. And I can also use all of the other features. Yes, I figured out what was causing my blogger problems. No. I don't want to talk about it. It's too stupid.) I'm addicted to it. I've always been a big reader. I love the escape that books give me. I absolutely love the convenience of this. I have so many books at my fingertips, it's just amazing. I use it everyday. And, actually, I'm on my second one. Just about 3 weeks ago, I was reading it on a Friday night and everything was hunky dory with it. I placed it on my bedside table for the night and in the morning, the screen was funky. I flipped out and was just about to roll up into the fetal position on my bed and cry my eyes out when Tyler suggested that I call Amazon and see what could be done. (My 11 year old son is more logical that me most of the time. ☺) So, I called them, explained what was going on with my screen and they immediately placed an order for a replacement. This was at about 11:00 in the morning. I received an email around 3:00 p.m. telling me that me new one had shipped and it arrived on Monday. Talk about fast! Amazon, I ♥ you! I ♥ my Kindle, too. Oh, and I ♥ Ryan for buying it for me. Reading is awesome.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


- I have so much to be thankful for. So very much.
- My kids have great personalities. They're fun to be around and they're really funny, too. They're great kids.
- I've found that I really, really love hooded sweaters and or tees. I have at least 10.
- Reading is awesome.
- There's beauty to be found in every corner of this world. Usually in very unexpected places.
- I'm calmer and have a better day if I exercise.
- I've decided that people like the season they were born in the best. If you whine/cry/complain about fall/winter and cold temps or snow, you were born in the spring or summer. If you love the cold and hate heat, you were born in the fall or winter.
- I was born in late fall/early winter. It's my favorite time of the year. I don't, however, hate heat and don't complain about it. I don't love it, I just deal with it. I see no point in complaining about the weather. Whatever it may be.
- I'd like to know when kids and more specifically, boys, start to care about their living environment. When will they start to take notice of the fact that their bedroom, for example, is a dump and then take the time clean it up? Or, even better, simply get it clean and maintain it? My husband tells me that it doesn't happen until they move out of the house to go to college or, maybe to go on a mission. But, he says even then it's not very likely that they'll do much. He says it won't happen for real until they have a wife who will make them not be slobs. I don't have that kind of patience to wait that long.
- Cameron is taking piano lessons and is enjoying them and doing well. He seems to have a natural talent for it.
- I actually made and kept for myself some Halloween/fall/Thanksgiving decorations. I've enjoyed having them out.
- My kids are smart and I'm not saying that because I'm their mom. They really are smart and amaze me daily.
- Teenagers really aren't so bad.
- I need to be willing to reach out to others more.
- Scarves are awesome.
- I really want a brown (any shade will do) leather, satchel style bag.
- Classical music is good for my soul.
- My 1999 Chevrolet Suburban is still alive and kicking.
- Dr. Pepper is one awesome beverage.
- I love my husband and I KNOW he loves me.
- I love my kids and I KNOW they love me.
- I am very, very blessed!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Little Notes to Myself Pt. 2

Dear Self,

Don't ever make cinnamon rolls again! Yes, it's true that Saturday was the very first time you've made them from scratch. And admittedly they weren't half bad and you really want to keep experimenting and trying to make them even better. But DON'T DO IT! It's simply too dangerous for you. Your family may tell you again that if you make them, they will eat them. DON'T LISTEN TO THEM! They're all filthy liars. (☺) Out of the 18, or so, that you make, 1 or 2 will be eaten by one of them. Leaving 16-17. Those 16-17 will evilly call out to YOU, tempting you and sorely trying your resolve. (You know you have no real resolve when it comes to gooey, warm sweetness. Even now, you're probably drooling like Homer Simpson just thinking about them.) And then you will end up eating 5 of them over the course of 3 days and will have to throw the rest away to save you from yourself. So, just trust me on this. DON'T MAKE THEM AGAIN!


Dear Self,

Just remember that you wanted a dog just as much as the kids. Remember that the next time he decides to poop in his kennel in the middle of the night for no apparent reason and then sit in it until you take him out in morning. Oh, and remember that dogicide isn't an option. (Okay, as if you would really do that. Just covering your bases for anyone who can't take a joke.)


Monday, September 26, 2011


Tomorrow, Peyton will be 4 years old. Being that he will be 4 years old, I really have no business calling him a baby, but I still do. And I most likely always will. It's my right as his mom. I did make him promise today that if I let him be 4 tomorrow, he must always stay 4 and always be my little boy and always suck on his finger while holding his blanket and always want to cuddle with me and always love me like he does now. He says he will. But I know he'll change his mind round about the time he turns 7 years old. Oh well. It's to be expected. ☺

I love him, his dad loves him, his brothers and sister love him and the rest of his family does too! I hope he has a very, very Happy Birthday tomorrow!

Monday, September 19, 2011


I found out last week that Peyton will be starting preschool tomorrow, a week earlier than originally scheduled. There was a change in teachers and thus, a bit of a change in the schedule. I was excited to hear about it because he really needs something to do. (He's sick of being left behind when his "kids" (brothers & sister) go to school.) And then, I had the nerve to go and feel conflicted, too.

I'm excited. And I'm dreading it. I'm happy. And I'm sad. I'm looking forward to the "me" time. And I'm worried I won't know what to do with myself. It's silly. He's growing up and there's nothing I can do about. And so, I'm going to have to embrace it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

What The?!

Peyton was helping me take clothes out of the dryer (a big deal for me, the fact I allowed him to help really makes me feel like I'm growing). He pulled out a pair of red sweat pants that belong to Cameron, but he has a pair exactly like them. When he pulled them out he said, "hey, look! It's my pants". He then held them up to himself and a hilariously confused expression came across his face. He then said, "what the?! MOM!! My pants grew in the dryer and they're GIGANTIC!". It was so cute and funny, I didn't bother to correct him and let him know who they actually belong to.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

He's Got My Back

Peyton's really into space and spaceships and flying in a spaceship to the moon and aliens that fly in spaceships, too. Oh, and zombies. He's really into zombies as well. He talks about those things all the time. He mainly talks to me because I'm around him the most, but he'll talk about them with anyone who crosses his path, too. He wants to play alien zombie when he's playing with his brothers or sister. He plays alien zombie when he's all alone. It's alien zombie all the time.

When he's imagining and playing, the scenario goes something like this: there are aliens flying in spaceships in space, heading toward the Earth. He flies up into space in his own spaceship to try to intercept them at the moon. They usually get past him because they're really determined. They really want to do what they're coming here to do. What is it they want to do? They want to destroy me. (Mom) Once they get here, zombies somehow arrive, too. At that point, it's an all out battle to destroy mom. Madness ensues. Horrific battles occur as the aliens and zombies try to destroy mom. I'm supposed to get/act really nervous at this point in the story and then he tells me not to worry. He's going to protect me and destroy all of them because he's good at fighting. Plus, he has a light saber that they don't stand a chance against. It's a given that he's going to win. Duh. So, when the Alien Zombie Apocalypse to Destroy Mom occurs, Peyton's got my back. I'm going to be just fine. Phew!

Monday, August 29, 2011

I Think I've Found a Solution

So, I've been trying the fish oil on my dog's food for a while now. And....meh. I haven't noticed much of an improvement. Other than his hair being a bit softer and his farts being stinkier. I've still been able to brush pounds and pounds of hair off him every other day. And the amount I vacuum up daily? Still totally terrible.

I've been feeling really anxious about it. I'm not a total clean freak, but my house is neat enough. It does have its fair share of clutter, believe me. What house with kids doesn't? (My "public" areas are the ones that look the best, by the way.) But, I would say that, in general, it's a clean house. It's just that I don't like things to be covered in dog hair and everything has seemed to be covered in it lately.

I've been getting desperate to find a better solution and today, I think I did. I found this brush today at Walmart. (Still having blogger issues and can't do a hyper link. I'm seriously considering a switch to Wordpress because of all the problems. I've been hearing good things about it.)

Anyway, this thing is amazing. I filled a grocery bag just about half full (literally and gagged the entire time) with the hair I brushed off of him. It's essentially like a razor. In fact, it reminded me of the kind of razor used on people. You know, the kind used when you have your hair textured and thinned. It worked just like that. It also pulled out the undercoat very, very, very well. The dog enjoyed it too. He seemed to be relieved to be getting rid of all the excess hair. The real test of its effectiveness will be checking the amount I'm able to vacuum up daily. If that decreases, I'll know that the brush is actually working. I'm crossing my fingers!

Friday, August 26, 2011


I went to back to school night last night. I met Tyler and Avery's teachers and re-met Cameron's. (He had her for first grade. He was pretty darn ticked when he found out he would have her again. He thought a new and different teacher would be more exciting, fun and adventurous. It took almost the entire summer to make him see the benefits of not having to break in a new one. She already knows him. She knows his likes and dislikes, his habits and quirks. And more importantly, she already likes him. He finally heard the wisdom in my words and has decided having the same teacher twice won't be so bad.) This school year should prove to be a very interesting one. Tyler's teacher seems like she's going to be very on top of the turning in of class work and homework. That was a major problem for him last year. He would do the homework (and he must have been doing the class work as well because his teacher never complained about him not being on task) and I know he would because I would make him show me once he was done. I would then make him put it directly into his backpack and would ask him as soon as he got home if he had turned it in. But, it somehow magically, strangely, inexplicably was "never turned in". We couldn't ever find them at our house because, believe me, we searched everywhere. His teacher never had a clue where they could be either. He would always get extremely upset when missing assignment reports were sent home and swear on his life that he had, in fact, turned them in. He would get so upset every single time that there was no way he could have been acting. No kid is that good and can keep up the facade for that long. So, I actually really do believe that he WAS turning them in. But, that was last year. We've put it behind us and we're moving on.

Avery has a pair of teachers, who happen to be mother and daughter. I liked them and she seems to like them too. I think that they're going to be good for her. They were organized and that's a big plus in my book. (See previous paragraph. ☺) I'm looking forward to watching all of my children learn and grow and expand their minds this school year. (Peyton too! Preschool starts on September 27th. Only 32 more days!!!!!! Not that I'm counting down, or anything.)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I Need to Get Moving

I've been up since 6:30 and so far, my accomplishments are getting the three oldest kids off to school, feeding Peyton breakfast, washing 2 loads of laundry and eating a piece of bread. Four tasks in 3 1/2 hours! Wow! I really need to slow down and pace myself. (I really do have quite a bit to do today, but I'm practicing one of my greatest talents, procrastination. At least for another few minutes. Then I really do need to get my butt in gear, or I'll be in serious trouble. ☺)

I found a notebook/journal on Monday that I had purchased in November 2009 to use as my "gratitude journal". (I had filled up random pages of others. So, this was supposed to be my exclusive one.) Well, I misplaced it after only 1 entry and because of that, fell out of the habit of writing down at least five things I'm grateful for each day. Shame on me! It's a great habit to have and when I did it regularly, I can honestly say I was more positive. I was almost always able to find something I was grateful for and see the positive elements that were part of my day. I'm so glad I found the notebook and was reminded of the wonderful effects looking for the good in my day can have on my overall outlook on life. Here's to gratitude!

Friday, August 19, 2011

You Give Me Fever?

Peyton has been running a fever on and off since Tuesday. (He seems to be fine today. Thank goodness!) He does this every few months for some reason. He'll run a fever for a few days and feel like crap and then it goes away. The fever is usually the only symptom of the "sickness". I've taken him to the doctor a couple of different times when it's happened and the answer is usually that it's "viral" (the most hated answer for a mom with a sick child) and there's nothing to do for it but wait it out. Unfortunately, there have been a couple of times when his fevers have caused him to have a fembrile (sp?) seizure. (The last one happened in the spring.) They're not dangerous, or neurological in nature. Basically, they're just a child's way of "resetting" their body when a fever spikes. Once the seizure is over, he's really none the worse for wear, sleeps for 30 minutes to an hour and has no recollection of it later. His doctor feels it's something that he'll outgrow by the time he's about 5. But, for the time being, I can't ever let his fever get very high. So, we've been alternating with Motrin & Tylenol every few hours. It's done the trick and has kept the fever in check.


I woke up this morning at around 6:00, shivering and feeling pretty poopy. I was so cold; I actually had to cover myself with the blanket. I never sleep covered in the summer. So, I was really cold! I thought Peyton must have decided to share with me whatever virus he's had. But, no, it turns out it was just the beginnings of a migraine. I'll take that over a virus that lasts for days, but it still stinks. I stayed in my bed for a couple of hours with ice packs and a pillow over my head to block out light and I'm feeling much better now.

As I was lying there, I was trying to distract myself from the pain. I was thinking that my wedding anniversary was fast approaching (September 11th) and about how much I love this time of the year because of that. So, as I was thinking about all of that, I was trying to remember how many years we've been married...and I COULDN'T. What woman forgets how long she's been married!? I do when I have a headache. STUPID HEADACHE! I had to count on my fingers a few different times before I finally figured out that it's 13 years. 13 years! Wow.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Like Nothing Happened

The dog is totally fine after being neutered. He was a little woozy and had a hard time walking in a straight line for about an hour and half after he came home. He was totally fine after that. The clinic sent pain meds home with me and I crushed one and put it on his food this morning. He flat out refused to eat it. I finally gave in about an hour ago, dumped the medicine laced food and gave him some without. He's been acting completely fine so, I suppose he doesn't need the meds anyway. It's like nothing happened. I guess I should be relieved. (Of course, I totally am. The last thing I wanted to deal with was a sick dog that was in pain. Hooray for an easy surgery!)


Is it Monday yet? I DO love my kids and I DO love spending time with them, but we are ALL so very ready for a change of pace. We need the new school year to start. Like, now. (But I guess we'll wait until Monday. ☺) Bring it on!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


The dog (or dig, as I sometimes like to call him) has been dropped off at the spay & neuter clinic. (Salt Lake Spay and Neuter, if anyone is interested. They have excellent prices and can get your dog in very quickly. I called around to vets and the prices ranged from $200.00 just for the surgery, all the way up to over $600.00. That was for a yearlong puppy wellness plan through Pet's Mart. They tried to reason that it would cover all visits he may need throughout the year + the neuter so, it was an excellent plan. I asked them just how often they thought I would need to bring my dog in!? I just couldn't justify the cost. The Humane Society is another great option, but they have a very long wait list and also don't like to work on Pugs because of the shape of their face and nose. I guess it makes them hard to intubate. They recommended Salt Lake Spay and Neuter. They're only $45.00 for the neuter and will do vaccinations for $35.00, as well. Bonus!) I wanted to have him neutered within the first couple of weeks of having him, but Ryan felt that we should give him a chance to settle into our house and get used to us before we took away his manhood. Or, is it dog hood. I don't know. But, fine. I decided to wait. My dad felt that we shouldn't do it at all. Or, at least give him a chance to sire a litter of puppies before we took all the joy out of his life. I, however, felt it would be cruel to let him be a real dog and then snatch it away from him. So, neutering it is. I'm very excited! He's not an overly excited dog. In fact, he's really pretty boring most of the time, but when he does get excited, he gets very excited. This is going to be good for him! ☺

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I had my nails done (acrylic) yesterday for the first time since February. I was so busy with doctor appointments for the first couple of months of the year; I could never find the time to go. My own nails are pretty darn ugly and I was getting really sick of looking at them. They need a little sprucing up and I finally made the time to go. I forgot just how much it can sometimes hurt to have them done. Wow! It wasn't horrible, but I forgot that it takes some getting used to. ☺

The television was on MTV while I was there and I saw Jersey Shore for the first time ever. I've never had any desire to watch it. Ever. I kind felt like I would catch an STD, or something just by watching it. So, I've avoided it. The episode where they go to Italy (if you follow the show) was on. You know, Italy, the Motherland, Italy, we're going to Italy, my family is from Italy, the Motherland, Italy, Italy, my family's Italian, Italy. I think I heard the word Italy (or some reference to it) about 21,345 times in the space of 10 minutes. Because the television audience would be in danger of forgetting where they were going if they didn't remind them every 0.2 seconds by saying Italy, Italy, Italy.

What did I think of the show? (I'll answer, just in case someone wants to know.) I'll have to quote the cantankerous David Letterman to let you know what I thought and say, "This, my friends, is why the rest of the world hates Americans." Truly, truly awful. (And not because they said Italy so many times.) And that's my 2 cents.


We went to Lagoon at the end of June. Peyton really, really, really wanted to go on the Spider when we were there. He couldn't because he wasn't tall enough by about 3 inches. But....that's not the way he remembers it. He remembers that he didn't get to go on the spider because I wouldn't let him. He thinks I kept him from it out of spite, or something. He remembers that he couldn't go on the Spider just about every other day. He'll start crying at random moments and when I ask why he's sad, he'll scream at me, "YOU DIDN'T LET ME GO ON THE SPIDER!". He's scarred for life.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Can You Feel It?

There's something in the air that gives you the feeling something exciting is about to happen! Something long-awaited and you've been counting down too. Something that happens every year. Do you know what it is? That's right! The first day of school is only 1 week away!!!!! (Every single mom knew immediately just exactly what I was talking about. ☺) I'm so, so, so, so very glad too! IT.IS.TIME! My kids aren't terribly excited and I get that. I never got all that excited over having to go back to school, but it really, really is time. They're "bored" all the time. They "don't have anything to do". They're getting on each other's nerves (which, in turn, gets on mine) and fighting all the time. They may not realize it yet, but going back to school next Monday is going to be very, very, very good for them! And yes, for me too! (I'm sure my excessive use of exclamation points in this paragraph, and probably in the next, convey very well just how excited I am!!! And a few more, just for good measure!!!!!!!!)

I have all the shopping done. (Oh, wait! I don't have crayons, colored pencils and a couple of other supplies. No big deal. Those will be easy enough to get this week) My kids wardrobes are fully kitted out now. (At least until around Christmas because by that time, they'll have outgrown everything I just bought and will need another new wardrobe.) I ♥ sales! So very much. Especially sales like $10 jean sales, or buy 1 pair of shoes and get another half off, or spend "X" amount of dollars and get "X" amount of dollars off your total purchase. (Having 4 kids to shop for, I always spend the "X" amount of dollars and always get the"X" amount of dollars off of my total purchase. ☺) Oh, I just love sales! And back to school! And kids who aren't bored anymore and finally have something to do! Hooray for the return of sanity! (And hooray for exclamation points, too!!!!!)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Survey Says.....

I'm just wondering at what age you started to do your own laundry? And, if you have kids, at what age did you have them start doing their own? I personally love doing laundry. It's quiet and relaxing for me. And I find it extremely satisfying to take the clothes from dirty to clean. I love the smell of laundry soap and fabric softener, too. I love to take things out of the dryer and sniff them. It's just so, I don't know, comforting to me? Yeah, I guess that's what it is. (Plus, and I don't mean to brag, I'm good at it. I'm fantastic at making sure there are clean things to wear. I'm not so great at the folding and putting away part, but there are almost always clean clothes available for the whole family. They really don't have anything to complain.) So, I'm kind of hesitant to give up being the one solely responsible for it. (It's also a control thing for me. Don't act like you're surprised. I just know that if I'm the one doing it, its being done the way I want it to be done. Well, duh Christa. Of course it is. Right there I was just predicting what some people were thinking about that statement. ☺)

Presently, I do let my kids switch stuff from the washer to the dryer and turn it on. I don't ever let them load or start the washing machine. I guess I don't trust that they will put the soap, fabric softener, color bleach, etc. in the right places in the drawer. Or, that they won't throw a red sock in the whites. (Controlling.) I do let them fold towels (it's veeeeerrrrryyyyy hard for me to let them do it if they don't do it the way I like, but I'm trying), but nothing else. (Because I'm terrible at the folding and putting away part.) So, why am I even asking this question? Because it's a skill that they WILL need to learn and I'm going to have to teach it to them eventually. I just want to know when that time should be.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


I decided, on a whim, to put Peyton to bed on Monday night in just his underwear (and pajamas, of course☺). No Pull-up, Goodnite or diaper. I didn't expect anything other than a wet bed in the morning, but I wanted to test the waters. Just see what would happen. I'll be darned if he didn't wake up wet, but totally dry. And the first thing he did when he got up was go use the bathroom.

I totally thought it was a weird fluke, but thought I would try again on Tuesday night. (Again, not expecting any miracles.) I heard him talking to himself when he woke up in the morning. I went in his bedroom and found him playing and his underwear and pajama pants were wet on the floor. Okay, no big deal. I wasn't really expecting him to make it through the night 2 days in a row. So, I went to take the sheets off of his bed and found that they were completely dry. He had made it through the night, but because he started to play before going to the bathroom, he had the accident.

I'm still putting him to bed in underwear and he's still waking up dry. I was so NOT expecting anything like this to happen. I was expecting him to need to wear "something" to bed for at least another year. It's such a pleasant surprise that he's doing so well. If he has an accident here and there, it's just fine. And if he needs to wear "something" to bed here and there, that's just fine too! (I hope I don't jinx myself by saying this.)


The dog has settled into a good routine. He goes to bed (in his kennel) at around 9:30 each night and stays asleep until I get him out at around 7:00 in the morning. It's so nice! I do usually have to INSIST that he go in the kennel at night. (Because of his extreme attachment to me.) I usually have to carry him into the room and put him in. Until 2 weeks ago. I was looking around the house for him so I could put him to bed. I called and called him and looked everywhere. I couldn't find him. The only place I could think of him possibly being was under Peyton's bed, but he wasn't there. I was getting really perplexed. If he wasn't in the house, how could he possibly have escaped? I finally decided to check his kennel. Sure enough, that's where he was. I thought it was weird, but shrugged it off and just shut the door. He's been doing it consistently ever since that time. Right around 9:30, if we can't find the dog, we check the kennel and he's there. I have no idea why he started doing it, or how long it will last, but I'm going to enjoy it while it does.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Once Bitten

My feet, ankles and calves are covered with mosquito bites. I've counted and there are 32 of them! 32!? Good grief! More than half of them are on the tops of my feet and back of my ankles. The itchiness has been coming and going and varies in intensity & frequency. Most of them have been there for about 2 weeks and really shouldn't be itching anymore, but oh well, they are.

They were itching pretty bad last night and so, I covered them with Caladryl lotion before I went to bed. It "worked", but not very well. They were still itchy, but tolerable. I figured I could ignore them and I went to sleep. I was suddenly and rudely awakened at 1:30 by intense itching on my ankles. It was horrible! I was able to resist scratching for about 5 minutes and then couldn't take it anymore. I gave in and started scratching them and did it for about 10 minutes. My skin became so inflamed and sore and even more itchy. It was unbearable. I got out of bed and covered them with more Caladryl. It didn't do a thing. I remembered that I had some Campho-Phenique and tried that. Nothing! I was getting really anxious and desperate (it was after 2:00 and I was tired) and felt like I was going to scratch my skin right off.

I decided to Google home remedies and came across some very interesting ideas. I found several things, but here's a list of a few:

1. Bar soap (I knew about this one, but mine were past the point of being helped by it.)
2. Rubbing alcohol (I knew about this one too, but really was beyond this helping.)
3. Oral antihistamine (I thought, "duh! Of course that would help!" So, I took a Benadryl pill. It took about 30 minutes to kick in, but it finally did. #16 gave me relief before this finally worked and the 2 of them togehter worked wonders.)
4. Caladryl
5. Calamine
6. Orajel
7. Bag balm
8. Cover the bite with a piece of Scotch tape
9. Underarm deodorant
10. Honey
11. Mouthwash
12. Vinegar
13. Bleach
14. Baking soda paste
15. Hot water (take a bath)
16. Vick's Vapo rub (This one jumped out at me. I decided to try it and finally got some relief! The cooling effect was so, so, so, so very nice. As I was drifting off to sleep at around 2:30, I thought about maybe trying Icy Hot. You would get the cooling and heating effect all in one. I'm going to try it today if it gets really bad.)

There were several more. Some I won't try, some I might. I'm happy with the results I got from the Vapo Rub and will most likely continue to use it.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Super Saturday Overload?

My ward (church congregation) had their Relief Society Super Saturday (a day of crafting and eating) on August 6th. I ordered several projects, because I always do. I do it because I like to give the things I make as gifts (like all the "fall" decorations I've made and thought I kept for myself, but found out last November that I had actually given as gifts every "fall craft I've ever made) and I do usually get a few things for myself.

So, I ordered 8 different projects knowing I would probably only get to one, maybe two on the actual day. (I was only able to complete one that day. No big deal.) A "Happy Birthday" sign Avery (she insisted on coming with me) felt we should work on first so that we could put it out for her dad's birthday the next day. Fine. The "Happy Birthday" sign is done and placed on our piano in honor of Ryan's birthday. I took the other projects home thinking it won't be too big of a deal to work on them over the next couple of months. I may have had seven more projects to complete, but they're fairly easy to do. But, the problem is that I decided to pick up 4 more projects that were available on my way out the door. In my defense, a couple of them are "fall" themed and since I've given all previous ones away, it was necessary to pick up more. Right!? So, I now have 11 different craft projects to complete, three of which need to be done by October if I want them to be of any use. Looking at all of the work I now have to do, it's kind of making me think I went just a little overboard.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Because I'm the Mom!

"Because I'm the mom," is something I say to my kids ummm....pretty much daily. I know it makes my kids bonkers to hear it (actually, I think it completely enrages them ☺) because I could never stand to hear any sort of similar phrase when I was a kid. But, you know, sometimes, things are what they are simply because "the mom" says so. (It did take until I was a mom to understand.) No further explanation of "why?" it was said is necessary. So, my kids can hate it now, but they'll understand (and say/hear their wives say the very same thing) when they have kids of their own.


My dog's shedding has been a bit on the extreme side, lately. I was talking to my mom about it and she shared with me something a vet told her. They suggested cutting open a fish oil capsule and mixing it in with the food. My mom said that when she was doing it consistently, it worked wonders. Well, I need wonders to be worked on my dog. I brushed him just before I talked to her about this and I swear I pulled out enough hair to knit a sweater. It was so disgusting! (Oh, and you should see the amount I'm able to vacuum up daily!) So, I've been putting it on his food for 4 days now. I can't say whether or not I've noticed an improvement yet, but I've decided to give it around a week to ten days before I really pass judgment. I'm crossing my fingers!


My kids like to eat toast for breakfast. And by toast, I mean toast with cinnamon & sugar. It's the only way they will. No toast with just butter for them or even jam. Oh, and by "my kids", I mean my boys like to eat it with cinnamon & sugar. Avery likes it with sugar only and for some reason, this irritates Cameron to no end. He can't believe she even dares to call what she makes "toast". He thinks the only thing worthy of that title MUST have the cinnamon AND the sugar. He considers it a crime against humanity to make it any other way.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

I Hope You Don't Mind

Today is my husband's birthday. So, and I hope you don't mind, I'd like to paraphrase Elton John and tell you how wonderful my life is because he's in this world. I love him more than anything and I just wanted to share that.

I hope you had a good time yesterday, Ryan, when we went out to eat at the restaurant I chose. (The Dodo. Take that Barrett! I told you I would make him take me there. And I'm making a huge assumption here that Barrett will even read this. ☺ Totally fine if he doesn't.) And I hope you had fun when I suggested we go shopping for fun afterward. (The fun part being that we bought a new pair of shoes for me.) I know those activities were a little selfish (well, a lot selfish), but that's just the kind of guy that you are. You are kind, generous, caring and really only concerned with making sure that I and your family am happy. I hope you have a very, very Happy Birthday today because you deserve it. You're wonderful!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

It Looks So Pretty!

I've been making so many changes physically lately, I decided it was time to update and change the design on my blog. I used Designer Blogs again and, once again, I'm totally thrilled with the result. My blog design is light, airy, pretty, not fussy & everything I wanted it to be. Thank you so much, Erin! You do wonderful look.

I'm still having the issues with Blogger. (It's time to contact them directly and DEMAND they fix the problems. Anyone think it will actually happen? ☺) So, I can't do a hyper link to Designer Blogs for you. What you can do is scroll down to the bottom of my blog and click on the link that's there. If you have a Blogger or Word Press blog and are looking to do something "more" with it, contact them. They do fantastic work!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

When Ryan is Away

In the past, Ryan would travel all the time. Sometimes, he would be gone 4-5 days a week for every week of the month. He did that for years. It started to taper off about 4 years ago when he moved from installation to engineering. He would still travel on occasion, but only for 4-5 days in a month, usually spread out and usually only 1-2 days at a time. He moved to sales a year and a half ago and it slowed down a little more. Now, he has the occasional, once or twice a month, overnight at the most, sales trip. Just because he doesn't do it nearly as much as he has, that doesn't mean that it's any easier. It's hard having him gone. And so, when he is away, I don't like cook an extravagant dinner. The days seem longer and harder when he's gone and cooking is usually the last thing I feel like doing. So, it's Ramen noodles, macaroni & cheese, or whatever quick fix we can come up with. I put the kids to bed much earlier than normal. (Because, like I said, the days seem longer and harder when he's gone and I'm usually VERY ready for them to be over.) I watch television shows he can't stand. I stay up late watching movies he thinks are crappy. Or, I stay up late reading. Or, I stay up late washing every dirty item of clothing or linens in the house. Or, I stay up late cleaning. Or, I stay up late doing some sort of craft. Or....basically I just stay up late because I don't sleep well when he's not here. It throws off my routine because I always, always miss him when he's away. I'm glad this trip is "probably" only an overnighter.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Happy List

Just a few things that make me happy:

1. All the crazy, off the wall things that Peyton says. Like when he burped the other day and told me it was "a mouth fart".

2. All of my kids. Yes, there are days they can make me totally crazy, but I still love them and the crazy doesn't last forever. They make me happy more often than not.

3. My husband. Oh, I just love him!

4. Progress being made on home improvement projects. We have the driveway done and the roof is underway. I'm happy to be improving the look of our home.

5. Watching any of the Toy Story movies with Peyton. They're just so darn cute. And he's just so darn cute watching them.

6. Good conversations with friends.

7. Good conversations with my husband.

8. Good conversations with my family.

9. Learning from an experience.

10. Listening to my favorite music.

11. My new, orange sheets. I bought them because I wanted something bright and cheery to lie on while I was recovering from my tonsillectomy. I can't help but feel happy when I look at them.

12. The fact that my tonsils are gone. It's been a rough couple of weeks, but I wouldn't take them back for anything.

13. A delicious piece of fruit.

14. A super cold glass of water.

15. Cozy, quiet evenings spent with my family.

16. Watching one of my favorite movies.

17. Reading a great book.

18. Cooking and or baking.

19. Watching Cooking Channel or Food Network. I would watch either of those all day long if I could.

20. Completing a task and feeling like I've accomplished something worthwhile.

21. Finding fun, new blogs to read. I've really been into handmade/fashion/lifestyle/vintage ones.

22. Just being alive. There's a quote from Emily Dickinson on my side bar that I just love. That's why it's there. It says: "Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough." So true.

Monday, August 1, 2011


School starts for my kids in just 3 weeks. It feels strange that it is because this summer has hardly felt like summer to me. At all. I feel like it's still waiting to start. Kind of like we've been stuck in a permanent spring. The weather has been so incredibly mild. It's been (at least the way I remember it ☺) hot, but not too hot with lots of rain. I don't remember many days with temperatures too far above 90. Today, in fact, it's cloudy and rainy and the high temp is only supposed to be 79. (By the way, I totally adore cloudy and rainy days. They're comforting to me, for some strange reason.) I'm not complaining because overly hot weather isn't my thing. If I could control the weather and maintain the temperature at around 75 degrees, I would be a very happy person. So, all this mild weather suits me just fine. that I've said that, karma is going to come and bite me in the butt and temperatures will soar to astronomical, melt your face off heights.

Oh, and since school starts in just 3 weeks, I started back to school clothes shopping last week. I need to get a couple more pairs of pants for Tyler & Cameron (they have enough to start, but really do need a couple more) and few more shirts for Avery. (She seems to have had a bit of a growth spurt. She hasn't grown longer legs, but she is longer in the waist. A size 8 shirt is kind of a belly shirt on her now. Well, not quite, but close. She now needs a size 10 and that's just crazy to me because Cameron is in the same size & he's 2 years and almost 9 months older than her.) I also need to get shoes for all and then I'll be done with the wardrobe part. Next, we'll stock up on school supplies and we can really call it good. (I'll get Peyton's preschool wardrobe in September because he isn't starting until then.) It's unbelievable to me that Tyler will be in 6th grade, Cameron will be in 4th, Avery will be in 2nd and my baby will be in preschool. Wow. I really have no other words to describe the feeling.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

We Like To Take Our Time

Our garage is detached from and sits behind our house. There's a narrow driveway along the side of the house that leads back to it and a large parking area in front of it. It was paved with old, cruddy, cracking asphalt when we bought the house in December of 2005. It was in really bad shape and was in great need of replacement. So, in early November of 2006 we ripped out the entire back parking area (leaving the narrow drive in asphalt) and poured cement in half of it. We figured we would pour the other half in the spring (of '07). Well, spring came and went and we didn't pour any cement. We thought we would wait for some cooler temps and do it in the fall (of '07). Fall came and went without any cement poured. And so, we again planned on spring (of '08). Spring came and went and we didn't pour any cement. We decided to wait again for the cooler temps and said we would do it in fall (of '08). It didn't happen then either and this meaning to do it thing turned into a vicious cycle that lasted for three years. It just kind of turned into this thing where if we had the money to do it, we didn't have the time. And then, when we did have the time, we didn't have the money because we had spent it on other projects. But now, thanks to my father in law, 3 brothers in law, and some others ☺, we now have a parking area completely covered in cement. Hooray! I'm so glad it's finally done. Better late than never is what I always say. We're determined to get the asphalt in the driveway ripped out and cement poured in the spring (of '12). Or, maybe in about 4 1/2 years. We'll see.

Thank you so very much to all who helped with the work! It means the world to me and it feels wonderful to finally have that entire back area done!

P.S. I was holding Peyton yesterday when he tipped his head up and I could see up his nose. I said, "ewww! You have a lot of nasty boogers in your nose!" He said, "they aren't nasty boogers! They're tasty boogers for eating!" He then proceeded to stick his finger up his nose. Oh, my.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

I'm Already Thinking About It

It's really ridiculous, but I'm already thinking about and preparing for Halloween. In fact, I've already bought costumes for Peyton and Avery. (Hey! Don't start with me. I know it's ridiculous to be buying Halloween costumes in July, but if you want to get what your kids want, you HAVE to shop this early.) Avery wanted to be Princess Peach (Super Mario Bros.) again. (She's asked to be her for about 3 years.) Unfortunately, I've only been able to find slutty, adult Princess Peach costumes. (I had no idea that Princess Peach ever wore short, short skirts with thigh high stockings and hooker heels, but apparently she does when she's all grown up. Whatever.) This year, however, a mighty miracle happened. I found, online, a child size, Super Mario Bros. licensed costume that isn't slutty. I snatched it right up and decided I would have Peyton wear something that coordinated with her. (They'll probably hate me for it when they're teenagers. Oh well. ☺) He's going to be Toad. Yay! They're done.

Cameron wants to be Deadmau5. I think it has something to do with raves (he doesn't know that) and techno music. I think. I'm not hip and in touch with what the young folks like. Cameron just thinks the mouse head is cool. I googled costumes for that and did find some on places like eBay. And guess what? They were only.........$275.00!!! No siree. I flat out to refuse to pay that much. I don't care how cool he thinks it is, or how happy he says it will make him. I'm a waaaaaay mean mom like that. He says that if he can't be that, he doesn't want to be anything. So, it looks like I'm going to have to figure out how to make the silly thing. (Google it if you have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about.)

Tyler thinks he's too cool for Halloween and at the moment, says he doesn't want to dress up. I'm sure he'll change his mind. Especially since this will probably be the last year for him to do it. At least, it will probably be his last year to wear a costume to school. He'll be in 6th grade this year and I'm pretty sure that you don't wear costumes to the big, bad junior high. He needs to take advantage of his last year of elementary and wear something. We'll see what happens.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Tom Hanks and Jane Austen Have Been Helping Me Get By

I woke up feeling like crap this morning. Why? Well I decided that I was tough and could get by just fine if I didn't take my pain meds in the middle of the night. (I've had to take some around 4:00 every morning.) That was so stupid of me. My throat and ears were throbbing by the time I woke up at 6:30. I think what I was experiencing was more never pain than simply sore throat pain. It still hurt like a son of a bee sting. Apparently, it happens because there are nerves running between where your tonsils sit (or, in my case, sat) and your ears. So, experiencing pain in your ears when you have pain in your throat, or severe the connection of the nerves to the tonsils, is perfectly normal. I've learned my lesson and will continue to take the meds every 4-6 hours for the next few days. I don't want to take any chances and experience that kind of pain again.

I've been watching a lot of Tom Hanks and movies based on Jane Austen books during my convalescence. Let's see, movies of the Tom Hanks variety I've watched are: Castaway, The Burbs, The Terminal, The DaVinci Code & I think there was one other, but I can't remember right at the moment. As far as Jane Austen goes: Pride & Prejudice (2 times), Emma, Sense & Sensibility (2 times) & Persuasion. I don't get to have movie marathons like those very often. It's been lovely.

On another note, I really like Giada DeLaurentis' recipes and her cooking. But.....I can't stand her over-pronunciation of Italian words. It's so flippin annoying. We all know you're Italian. Okay. Over-pronouncing the words doesn't make you sound more legit, or make me respect you more. I almost have to watch with the sound muted because it bugs me so much. Okay, enough of me being a jerk.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Putting It Out There

I'm just going to put this out there into the universe. Just in case people (Ryan) are wondering, "hmmm? What should we/I get Christa for her birthday or Christmas?" (Just so you know, I would do a hyper link these items, if I could. Stupid Blogger STILL won't let me do ANYTHING!!!! I was trying to think of how long these atrocities have been occurring and it seems like it's been happening ever since Blogger had their big collapse and it was down for a couple of days. I think almost everyone had problems at that time, BUUUUUUTTTTTT......their problems were fixed. MINE HAVEN'T BEEN!!! Enough of my whining.)

Here's one thing that I would really love to have:

And while I'm being a brat and asking for things that I really don't need, just want. Here's another:

My sewing machine is basically out of commission. I don't sew tons, but I do just often enough that not having a working one really bites. I've always wanted a Serger and I figured, why not whine and beg for one at the same time I whine and beg for a new, regular sewing machine. I have quite a few projects in mind I would like to do, but can't unless I have these things.

There. Enough of me being a spoiled brat.


I really can't wait until I can again eat solid foods. I tried eating a piece of bread on the 21st. Big mistake. I thought that since I was numb from the pain pills, I would be able to get it down. No.flippin.way. I was barely able to gag down 2 bites before I had to stop.

I was able to eat a very, very, very (like about as thick as a cracker) thin slice of bread yesterday. It took me 15 minutes and I had to chew until it was liquefied, but I got it down. So, I figured it would be no problem to eat something at Avery's birthday dinner. (She chose Ckick-fil-A.) I ordered the chicken salad sandwich. I nibbled on the chicken and got down about 5 bites. Tried the bread and just couldn't do it. So, I gave up. I took everything home, including the fries, to try again another time.

I was able to eat about 4 bites of the birthday cake because it was extremely soft. So, I decided around 9:15 to try to eat one the fries. I even broke off all of the edges and only ate the softest part from the center. HOLY COW! I thought I was going to die. It was like swallowing broken glass. I started to cough/gasp/cry/gag. It was truly, truly AWFUL! I think it's because I had pushed my luck and tried to eat too much. I had to take 2 pain pills and 800 mg of Ibuprofen to kill the pain. I also lay on my bed and cried for a while. It didn't help with the pain, but I was feeling pretty sorry for myself. So, I'm sticking to a very soft and or liquid diet indefinitely. I'm really missing solid food.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


My little girl is 7 years old today! She's been so excited she has hardly been able to stand the wait. She's been counting down for about 364 days. (She'll start counting down to the next one tomorrow. She's especially excited for that one because when she's 8, she'll be able to be "bathtized".) She's a little worried about the present thing this year because I've been laid out for more than a week with my tonsils. She's pretty sure that since I've been so sick, I haven't had the opportunity to get to the store. She even offered to call her dad yesterday and tell him what she wanted. You know, so he could go shopping on his way home from work. (Little does she know, I planned ahead (something I very rarely do ☺) and did all of my birthday shopping more than a week ago.)

She's really is such a sweet, kind, loving, helpful, thoughtful, fun & silly girl. We are truly blessed to have her in our family. Happy Birthday Avery! May all your princess birthday wishes come true!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

He Must Love Me

Ryan has been taking such good care of me these past few days. He's been making sure I take my pain meds. He makes sure that I always have something cold to drink or suck on. He keeps me comfortable. He lets me sleep when I need it. He's been a wonderful nurse and I love him so much. ♥

P.S. I'd also like to thank my parents for taking the kids for several hours on Wednesday evening so that I could have a quiet house to sleep in. I love you so much! ♥

P.S.S. Finally, another big thank you to my in-laws for taking the kids to a family reunion from Thursday morning until this afternoon. That was such a big help, too. I love you so much! ♥

Heck, I love everyone right now! And that's not just the pain meds talking. I am a very lucky girl to be surrounded by such kind and caring people. ♥ Thank you so very much everyone!

Friday, July 22, 2011

No Kidding

The nurse who took care of me while I was having my tonsils removed, told me to expect to feel "okay" for the first couple of days after surgery. She said there would be pain and discomfort, but nothing that would be too terrible. She told me when I could expect to feel the real pain/swelling/discomfort would be day 3. And then it would be bad, probably very bad, until day 7. She said after that time, I could expect a great improvement and things would feel better. Well, today is day 3 and, oh boy, was she not kidding! Today, I feel like gum stuck on the bottom of a shoe. My throat hurts. My tongue hurts. My ears hurt. The roof of my mouth hurts. But...I will never say that having my tonsils removed wasn't worth it. I'm so very glad that they're gone!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Today is the Day

I'm scheduled to go in at 3:30 this afternoon to have my tonsils removed. That's kind of a late time in the day to do it. Especially since you can't eat anything after midnight the night before. Don't you think? ☺ I'm not a person who can eat breakfast first thing in the morning. I need a little bit of time to wake up and get going before I can think about food. Sometimes, if my day gets crazy busy, I can forget about breakfast altogether (which is really stupid and something I should stop doing). (Plus, I just CAN'T eat prior to my workout and I do my workouts in the mornings. It makes me sick to my stomach to try and do anything if I've eaten.) There are days when I don't eat anything until 1:00 or later. So, I figured I could easily handle going without until post-op. No big whoop. I even ate 2 helpings at dinner at 7:00 and then ate a nectarine at around 10:00 in order to tide me over. But....guess what the only thing on my mind is this morning? Food. And lots and lots of it. Oh, food! Glorious food!

Right about now would be the time I'm getting around to breakfast on an average day. I've finished my workout, I've done a few things around the house and finally have a moment to stop and eat. I'm feeling hungry out of habit. I didn't do a workout this morning because doing it and then not being able to refuel would be a bad idea. I'd be done for, have a headache and be ultra ornery the rest of the day.

Thankfully, I can drink clear fluids like water and apple juice up to four hour prior to my check-in time. I have until 11:30 to chug liquids and fool my stomach into thinking that it isn't hungry. I hope it works! ☺

Friday, July 15, 2011

My Jerk Dog

My dog still loves me the best and while I do kind of secretly like it because it is a little fun (it bugs the crap out of Tyler), it does get old. I don't get a lot of breathing room when he's around. He follows me everywhere. (I'm trying to force him to stay around the kids once in a while. I have them put his leash on him and hold onto it so he HAS to stay in the same room as them. It's helping a little. Baby steps.) The minute I make any sort of movement that might indicate I'm leaving a room, he's up on his feet and ready to follow. (I'm a jerk and will sometimes stand up and then sit right back down. Just to see what he'll do. Hey, I've never claimed to be nice. ☺) He still waits for me outside the bathroom door. He's always lying right under my feet while I'm making food. He watches me while I do laundry. He likes to lie across my feet while I'm at my computer desk. (I have to admit, that one is kind of sweet.) And all of those things are okay and relatively easy to deal with, but he's taking it a step further now. He's decided that he can't eat unless I'm standing in the room. (We keep his dish in the kitchen.) Now, that just goes beyond all that's reasonable for me. I don't have the time (or desire) to sit and watch him each time he eats. I've been trying to break him of it by having the kids do the same thing they do to keep him around them. They put his leash on so he can't run away from them, then they start to hand feed him. It's been taking a lot of coaxing and doesn't always work, but we're going to continue with it come heck or high water. Again, baby steps. I refuse to be present for every single one of his meals. It's just too ridiculous!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I've Finally Decided To Do It

I have abnormally large tonsils. Like, massively huge, alien sized ones and they've been that way for as long as I can remember. It seems like I've always had issues with them, too. Whenever I get sick, it always seems to settle in my throat. There was one year (somewhere around 7-10 years old) that I had strep throat or tonsillitis at least 10 times. It felt like I was at the doctor's office all the time. I tried every antibiotic known to man, but it always seemed to come back. Doctors, unfortunately, were reluctant to remove my tonsils because of the open heart surgery I had at 10 months old. They didn't know how my heart would handle the surgery (they were also worried about infections, etc) because when I had my open heart, the surgery was a fairly new procedure. Most babies up to that time simply didn't survive the defect. In 1976, they were starting to blaze new trails. I was a pioneer and was basically a case study they were learning from as I grew. Well, times have changed and doctors have figured out that simply cutting out my tonsils won't kill me. Thank goodness!

My family doctor first suggested I have them removed around 7 or 8 years ago. He told me it wouldn't necessarily prevent strep throat (which I knew), but I wouldn't have massively swollen tonsils should I happen to get it. It would also, most likely, take care of my ahem...snoring problem. I also get tonsil stones (very disgusting things, you can Google them if you like, but don't say I didn't warn you) and not having to deal with those anymore made the idea of surgery more than worth it. I wanted to do it, so very much, but could never seem to find the right time. I had small kids, I was pregnant, I was breastfeeding a baby, it would be hard for Ryan to get the time off from work, etc. I don't have excuses like that anymore. (Well, I still have small kids, but they can handle themselves a bit better now.)

So, back in May, I had a sinus infection and went in to see my doctor. I told him I was finally ready to get the disgusting buggers yanked out. He referred me to an ENT specialist and I finally saw him on Monday. When he looked in my throat he said, "Oh! I can see why you want to have those removed. Those are gross!" Ummm...thanks? He was available to do the surgery yesterday, but I couldn't do it on just 2 days notice. So, I'm having them removed on the 19th. To say that I'm excited would be an understatement. I don't care that's it's probably going to hurt like a mother after. I want them gone because the improvement to my quality of life after will be so great. 35 1/2 years is long enough to live with those disgusting things.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Deep Thoughts Pt. 2

So, I said on June 25th, (can't link to it because of, you know, Blogger being stupid) that I had some deep thoughts that I wanted to blog. Well, my previous 2 posts were what I wanted to say. There's probably more I could say, but like I said, my mind is kind of feeble. That was the best I could do. (Oh, and I never allowed myself much "down time" while at camp in order to better organize my thoughts. Maybe I'll add a bit more later. Don't get too excited.) I wanted to get those thoughts out because of some events that had occurred in just about the month prior to June 25th. They were quite tragic and sad and set my feeble brain to thinking. I really just wanted to get them out. The few readers I have were the "lucky" recipients of my deep thoughts. ☺

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Looking Inward

This is kind of a follow-up to yesterday's post that I, of course, can't link to because stupid Blogger won't let me. (Do you hear that Blogger administrators? Your site has been a big, steaming pile of poop lately. At least, for me it has.) It's another reminder for ME because I have weaknesses, I forget, I stumble and....I need constant reminders.

So, as you may or may not know, I am the 1st Counselor (over the Mia Maids) in the Young Women's presidency in my ward. And as such, I have to teach lessons every other Sunday. A few months ago, I was teaching a lesson about resolving conflicts, or something along those lines. I had a thought come to me while preparing it: So very often, when we are in the midst of a conflict, we turn everything outward and blame all of our problems on others. What I realized, is that most often, the problem doesn't lie with others. The problem lies within us. (Whoa!? You mean everyone on the planet is NOT out to get me, or ALWAYS picking on me!? You mean it can sometimes be a problem with me!?) We do this, especially, if we tend to look at things with a "poor me" attitude. (Raise your hand if you sometimes do that because I'm raising mine.) It's such a self-defeating way of thinking and doing it takes our energy away from fixing the problem. So, we pretty much turn ourselves into our own worst enemy. We look for faults in others because we feel wronged, thereby, turning ourselves into the victim. We assume that everyone else is wrong and we're right. (Admitting that I am not always right is a very tough pill for me to swallow.) We let our own hurt feelings get in the way and prevent resolution. We waste countless hours screaming at the top of our lungs how right we are and how wrong is everyone else. Or, at the same time, we even let the opinions of others cloud our judgment and prevent resolution. A friend posted a great quote on facebook: "During the bonfires of life don't take advice from the person holding a gallon of gas." Are we letting those who are pouring gasoline on the flames of the problem, influence our opinions? Or, even worse, are we the ones pouring on the gasoline? (Unfortunately, I'm guilty of both offenses. I need to learn to leave things alone.) In actuality, if we want to resolve our conflicts, we are the ones who need to make changes. After all, WE are the only human beings on this planet that we have total control over. So, why not start with ourselves? If we aren't willing to make the changes in ourselves, down. Even worse, every time we take this approach, we risk gradually become more and more bitter, resentful, cruel or even vengeful. (Sounds like a lovely combination, no?) We only hurt and then destroy ourselves. I revealed my realization to the girls and I suggested/asked them if they might try to think of this the next time they found themselves in the middle of a conflict. Perhaps, try to approach it thinking, "what do I need to fix in myself in order to fix this problem?". I told them if they would it, they would see their problems and conflicts be resolved much more quickly and then dissipate altogether. (Remember how you said that, Christa? Hmmm...reminding myself.)

Now, once I challenged them to try and see things in a different light, I realized that I have to do the same. I can't be a do as I say, not as I do kind of person. Because am I guilty of doing this? Absolutely. And more often than I care to admit. Have I been perfect in applying this thinking to my everyday life since that time? Absolutely not. If I don't consciously keep an open mind during a conflict, I veer to the "poor me" way of thinking and I turn into a shrew. Who wants to be around a shrew? I certainly don't. And more importantly, my family and friends don't. I NEED TO TRY HARDER AND I NEED TO TRY HARDER EACH AND EVERY DAY! I need to be aware, conscious, present and mindful of ALL of my actions. Whether in times of conflict, or good times too. The Young Women president of my ward said it like this: We need to stop thinking that we should be treating others the way we want to be treated. Rather, we need to think that we should be treating others the way that Jesus Christ would treat them. The way he would treat others is the standard we should be holding ourselves to. She also gave the girls a fantastic handout yesterday. It's a coin with a sticker on each side, with one side reading: What I do reflects who I am! The other side says: Who I am reflects what I do! Great food for my thoughts. Time to apply, apply, apply!

This has been another long, jumbled, rambling post brought to you by: me. ☺ Have a nice day!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Thought/Reminder for Myself for Today

"The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past . . . we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. . . . I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it." Charles Swindoll

This is something I needed to remind myself today because I truly, firmly, with all my heart believe it. Adversity comes to us all, there's simply no avoiding it, but we CAN avoid having a negative reaction to it. Negative reactions destroy ourselves and pretty much EVERYONE around us. So, how do I avoid a negative reaction? Quite simply, by humbling myself enough to know that I may know some things, but I DON't know everything. I also need to place my faith and trust in God and trust that he can help me and those around me get through whatever is going on. (Somthing I need to remember. Taking out my frustrations on others/unnecessarlily stirring the pot of contention only brings just that: contention. And resentment. Not a good combination. Oh, and the problem never goes away, either, unless I let it. So, I guess the phrase that would most appropriately apply here is that I need to "let it go".)

To quote a bit from a book called "Adversity", by Elaine Cannon (and taken from a talk by Elder Dallin H. Oaks):

"An old cowboy said he had learned life's most important lessons from Hereford cows. All his life he had worked cattle ranches where winter storms took a heavy toll among the herds. Freezing rains whipped across the prairies. Howling, bitter winds piled snow into enormous drifts. Temperatures might drop quickly to below zero degrees. Flying ice cut into the flesh. In this malestrom of nature's violence most cattle would turn their backs to the ice blasts and slowly drift downwind, mile upon mile. Finally, intercepted by a boundary fence, they would pile up against the barrier and die by the scores.

But the Herefords acted differently. Cattle of this breed would instinctively head into the windward end of the range. There they would stand shoulder-to-shoulder facing the storm's blast, heads down against its onslaught.

You always found the Herefords alive and well, said the cowboy, I guess it's the greatest lesson I ever learned on the prairies - just face life's storms."

Similarly, if we face up to our individual adversities or hardships (and I, Christa, would like to add if we face up to our weaknesses and shortcomings and stop blaming others), they can become a source of blessing. God will not give us adversities we cannot handle, and he will bless us richly for patiently doing the best we can in the circumstances. (And I, Christa, again would like to add something: if we stand together instead of trying to drive each other apart, the hardships will only be easier. Again, something I need to remember.)

(Stupid spell check still isn't working for me. I'm sure this post is just full of spelling errors.)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Deep Thoughts

So, I have some deep thoughts (well, as deep as my feeble mind will allow) that I would like to blog, but I'm still mulling them over in my mind. Nothing that's going to change the world. Nothing that's going to make anyone say "Wow!". It's really just for me, but first I need to formulate them a little better. Make them more cohesive. Try to make sense out of them so I don't sound ridiculous. (I mean, more ridiculous than usual.) It's going to take some time to write them all out. Time that I don't have right at the moment because I'm preparing to do my favorite activity next week. Girls Camp, here I come! Yay! (Please remember that statement is dripping with sarcasm. Oh, and please remember girls of my ward, my distaste has nothing to do with you. It's me. And the campfire part. And the dirt part. And all the laundry I'll have to deal with when I get home part. ☺ I'm looking forward to spending a few days with all of you.) Perhaps, I'll use any down time I may have at camp to gather all my silly thoughts together and get them blogged later in the week. Perhaps.

Friday, June 24, 2011

I Don't Know How He Does It

Peyton's breakfast, for weeks & weeks now, has been 2 hot dogs (no bun), cut into slices, served with ketchup for dipping. It's the first thing he asks for when he wakes up and I very rarely can convince him to have something else. Toast? NO! Cereal? NO! Eggs? NO! Fruit? NO! He only wants hot dogs. It's kind of weird. I especially don't get the ketchup thing. I think ketchup is absolutely vile. I didn't even like it when I was a kid and that's when you're supposed to like the stuff. I've always been more of a mustard kind of person. I tasted a tiny bit a couple of weeks ago to see if my aversion still stood. And, yep! It sure does. I had barely touched it to my tongue, when it caused my stomach to turn, my jaw to clench up and then I gagged. Ketchup is nasty stuff.

In other food news, did you feel the world shift dramatically about a week ago? Like it was being turned upside down. Did you hear a gut-wrenching, horrible scream? The sound of ulitmate suffering. Well, that was me on the day that Avery told me she, in fact, does NOT like melted cheese on food. WHAAAAAAT!? How can a child who came from my womb (which is most likely lined with cheese because I love it so much) not like the gooey, comforting, wonderful goodness that is melted cheese!? It makes no sense to me. At all.