Thursday, December 24, 2009
I kind of muttered, "Why, you dirty baa...Bugger!"
From the back seat of the car I hear Natalie, "Did you hear that? Mom almost said bastard! She was going to say, 'Why, you dirty bastard!'"
How could I NOT laugh after that! I did give a little reminder that if I stop myself from saying a word, chances are it's not appropriate for her to say either!
Saturday, December 19, 2009
At the restaurant I'm always reading the white board that the chef uses for orders from the suppliers. I'm often sneaking up there and making a correction or two (skewrs? no, skewers!) or asking what something means in messy chef short-hand (chopped red ants? really?! no, actually chopped mxd (mixed) nuts) although after pointing that out, a few days later he did write "chopped red ants" on there just to see if I would notice. I did. Immediately.
One of the waitresses who has been there some 15 years said she didn't know anyone's last name. Apparantly she doesn't read the names on everyone's time cards when she clocks in and out.
I've never really thought about it until the chef pointed it out, but am I really that unusual? I'm sure most people read everything too, right? Box labels, scribbled notes, office memos, signs, t-shirts, those mandatory employee rights posters? Please tell me I'm not the only one. I'm starting to get a complex here.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
My little angels waiting for their turn to see Santa.
Not only Santa, but Mrs. Claus too!
Monday, December 7, 2009
I had a bad angle on this photo of the girls following a crash, but it's so funny. Miss Moo has snow in her glasses and Nat's laid out flat laughing her bum off.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Our bishop was the first one for our ward when our little branch became an official ward 5 years ago. I had known this man out of church when I got involved with Relay for Life and he was the Chairman of the event. I have always admired him and he is one of the kindest most thoughtful souls I think I've ever known. When he was called as Bishop I wasn't surprised.
They say the bishop is the father of the ward and he truly was. He was such an example to all (still is), and so warm and caring. One of his favorite things was to ditch his regular meeting on Sunday and come into Primary to hang out with the kids. We could always count on him to come to the kids' activity days and play games with them too.
I think someone serving as bishop for 5 years is probably a bit unusual, but in a ward as small as ours, we all serve in our callings a long time just do to a lack of people to take our place. For our bishop though, he had to step down due to health reasons and that's really why no one was prepared, and there wasn't a dry eye in the house today. Our bishop was recently diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia and even though he's undergoing treatment, there is no cure.
The man called to be our new bishop was a complete surprise to me, but as one of the High Counselors explained, a lot of prayer goes into choosing just he right person and it has to be sent to Salt Lake City for approval and even then it's not a done deal. So even though this new bishop has only been in our ward for a mere 5 months, and he was the perfect Uncle Fester at the church Halloween party, I know that there is a reason he was chosen.
Yes, it was a sad day to see the man we all looked up to and knew we could count on, have to step away from his duties, and I think we're all praying for a miracle for him.
If you're not familiar with the LDS church, we have a lay clergy, meaning serving in the church is not a profession. No one recieves pay for being bishop or doing any other callings. Members take on these demanding positions in addition to their regular jobs and responsibilities.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Then, bad influence that I am, I asked Sis to play hooky and go with me. She of course jumped on the chance too.
I would feel a bit guilty, but I was seriously stressing out about when I would be able to shop at all with both my work schedules and especially because we have quite a few extra parties scheduled for this month as well at the restaurant. I truly don't have any days off (Sundays I don't usually work, but going to church for 3 hours puts a dent in my day).
I left the house yesterday at 8:30 am and returned at 8pm. A. Long. Day. But productive and worth it. For me, I have to travel for an hour and a half to get to a major shopping area so it's even more of an endeavor (I'm not like you spoiled city people!).
We did encounter a couple cashiers who had never heard of our town, and when told how far we had to drive they wondered aloud at how much money they would save if they lived where we did and couldn't shop all the time. (I really doubt they'd last a week up here, personally.)
Sis is so good at keeping me on track (well especially when I almost missed the turn to the city we wanted to go and headed somewhere else entirely!) and she's also good at giving me opinions and finding cool stuff and also finding my dang car in the parking lot. We really had a lot of fun.
Sis shopped for her Christmas gifts but will have to wait for them and open them on Christmas morning. I would've had to give her gift cards had she not picked out what she wanted and that's not near as much fun.
We had to laugh, when at one store while waiting for the clerk to bring back a pair of boots for Sis to try on, another clerk (a young tattooed man who looked very hip) asked if we had been helped. When we said we had, he replied with a very exuberrant, "SICK!!!!" Not, "Ok, cool." or ,"Good deal." but "SICK!!!!" Too funny! We chuckled about that the rest of the day.
I returned home tired, but a lot less stressed about the prospect of Christmas. Now maybe I can actually enjoy the season for a change!
Saturday, November 28, 2009
The Shorts Are In The Mailbox, The Pies Are In The Trunk, And The Godiva Chocolates Are.....Digesting
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Here are just a couple cute quotes from our kids:
Little boy picking his nose....
Teacher: "You need to get a kleenex."
Little Boy: "No I don't, I've got my finger right here."
That's little boy logic for you.
The preschool has a new teacher this year and when last year's teacher dropped by, one of the little boys ran up to her and said, "Teacher! You're here! I thought I lost you." So cute!
And let's just say we have one little boy that aims high when he sits on the potty chair. Last week he hit an unsuspecting teacher square in the chest from across the bathroom. Luckily she had a sense of humor and a clean sweatshirt in her car!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Let me preface this by saying I've been inordinately tired this week: sick girls up in the middle of the night with coughing fits and earaches, working a double shift last night (school then restaurant), and feeling like I may be coming down with whatever crud the kids have been infecting the house with for the last week and a half. (That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!)
So, I'm walking into work at the school this morning and I'm passing all the parents who have just dropped their kids off and are heading back to their cars. I notice one gal in particular who looks like she just rolled out of bed a few minutes ago and is shuffling along in her slippers.
Here were my exact thoughts:
She looks tired...
...just like me...yawn...
...hmmm...I have some slippers just like that...
...they make that same shuffling sound...
...kind of like the sound my feet are making right now...yawn...
...wow, my feet feel especially comfy this morning...
HOLY FLIP! I'M STILL WEARING MY SLIPPERS!
Yes, I made a lot of people happy today by embarrassing myself at work. Like I said, I am not above sacrificing my own comfort level if it will give someone something to chuckle about for the rest of the day. Yes, today I made a lot of people smile. And it was worth it. (At least that's what I'm telling myself.)
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
And for my sister, an obligatory kitten picture:
Monday, September 28, 2009
We have a man at our church who is special needs. He's my age but I think we all think of him as a "young man". He goes to Sunday school with the teenagers even though he functions a bit lower than that.
Every so often it's his turn to bless the sacrament. His mom prints out the words for him to read and I think everyone in the congregation pays special attention to each and every word, each of us praying with him and praying for him, that he gets it exactly right and doesn't have to do it again.
It's hard to describe the special spirit that he brings to the routine of blessing the bread and water, but it is definitely felt as one hears his voice saying the prayer and struggling to say it just right, or seeing him with his limited motor skills breaking the bread.
It has happened that he has done the blessing on fast and testimony Sunday a few times and invariably, his special spirit inspires people to come up and bear their testimony. That's exactly what happened this Sunday. As soon as the time was turned over for testimonies, a gentleman in the back, who happened to be visiting our ward, popped up and strode to the podium. He said that this special man inspired him to get up, and that he rarely bears his testimony, let alone comes to church these days, but that he could not stay in his chair. He went on to bear a beautiful testimony of the gospel.
It's amazing how these special souls who walk among us touch others, especially if we open ourselves up to their unique spirits. I often wonder as I work with the 3 and 4 year olds at my job, what their future holds. I do know that they teach me more than I teach them, and for that I am grateful.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Nat and Em went immediately to Nat's room and that's the last we saw of them until dinner time. They love playing Barbies and Nat also has a fashion studio toy that includes scraps of fabrics and a little dress manikin that they love to play with. Nat and Em love to design dresses or other girly things (they generally use tape to fasten everything together). They have decided that they will become designers together in the future and guess what they call themselves? The Cousigners, as in cousin-designers. They came up with that themselves. I think they're brilliant.
Moo spent all her time with little Zachy. He was tickling us with his booty-shaking skills and I finally caught it on video. Just too cute and I chuckle every time I see this:
We picked blackberries off our bush and later had them over ice cream. I can't even tell you how good that was!
Lastly, a little kitten goodness:
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
We've become fairly close and just the other night we were discussing how hard it is to have friends, and she said I was really her only friend, and I feel the same about her. I have other friends, but as far as someone I would be really comfortable calling up to hang out with there are only a couple and she's one of them. It's nice to have someone that's easy to talk to and that you feel a connection to.
My friend has a son, and I've known for a while that she lost a daughter just two days after birth. The other night she really opened up about it to me. Tonight she brought the few pictures she has of her baby to show me. How touched I was that she would share this with me. How precious her little one was!
The true mark of friendship is having that feeling that you can open up and spill your heart out and the other person will be there to listen. I feel honored that my friend found that in me and that I could be there for her to remember her daughter.
I'm really thankful for my new friend. Goodness knows it's not easy finding friends when you've got a family to care for and a job to hold down and so many other things that take priority. We "old ladies" have to stick together!
Friday, September 11, 2009
Well, to start, just prior to 9/11, there was a forest fire burning nearby and our neighborhood was in evacuation stand-by, meaning that we should be packed and ready should the word come. We're no strangers to forest fires up here, but this one was especially fierce, and our stress level was pretty high.
Then 9/11 happened. I, like everyone else, was glued to the tv and horrified as the news kept getting worse and worse. It shook me to my core in a way nothing else has ever done before.
That same day, as the fire inched closer, the planes fighting the fire began circling right over our house on their drops. We lived at the top of a ridge and the planes were so incredibly close. The whole house would shake and the noise of the engines was so loud that nothing could be heard above the din. All I could think of was that those poor people in the towers must've heard something just like that right before those planes crashed into their buildings. The more I thought about it, the more freaked out I started to get. Every pass from the planes began to make me feel panicky.
Then it stopped. The planes were all grounded. Even the CDF planes fighting the fire. No one knew if they could get the fire under control without the air support, and that was even scarier.
The schools cancelled classes for an entire week because the smoke was so thick it was unhealthy for the kids to be outside. Soccer games were cancelled as well, and all we could do was sit around inside wait for news on the fire, and watch more of the horror of 9/11 unfold in the days following.
I began to go into a true depression. Our whole life had been upturned on a local level with all the daily routines put on hold, and our whole country had been upturned in a way I never thought that I would see.
Well long story short, they let the fire fighting planes fly again and the fire was put out, we never had to evacuate, and 2 weeks later I finally started coming out of the worst funk I've ever been in. It was so bad that I really considered seeing my doctor for medication because I knew I had to function for the sake of my kids.
I think the effect of 9/11 rocked me so badly because of my kids. I kept thinking, "What kind of world are they growing up in?", "Will the US be a safe place for them to grow up?", "How can I protect them and keep them safe?" It so scary as a parent to think such things.
Well, now 8 years later, I don't worry so much, and I'm thankful every day that I live in the USA and that my kids are growing up here. I know they will be ok, and so will I. But believe me, I will never forget 9/11. God Bless America.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
There was also the Jerry Lewis Telethon which ruined all the good tv watching on this last weekend of summer freedom. Kids these days just don't get it. We had 3 main channels and a couple low rent channels and that was it. I never really liked Jerry Lewis or his telethon, but I admire him now. (He just raised a crazy amount of money again this past weekend, and didn't even spoil my tv watching to do it! Go Jerry!)
I always liked the excitement of new school clothes and shoes, school supplies, lunchboxes and finding out who my teacher would be. So much anticipation in the air. Of course all that got real old, real fast especially in high school, but still, I have good memories of starting another year of learning.
I still kind of get excited about the start of school for my kids (even though it starts in the middle of flippin' August). I like buying them a new backpack (which I never had!) and new clothes and always make a big deal out of finding out who there teacher is. The only thing missing is an annoying telethon dominating our tv. Maybe I'll work on that next year. I think my kids deserve the whole Labor Day experience.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
It's the pre-teeny-bopper stage. An awkward stage, an annoying stage, a stage that reminds us both that time is marching on and changes are coming, and a stage that reminds me that this stage really isn't THAT bad.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
I have the distinct impression that this house isn't going to be the easiest place to heat come winter, and I'll probably be wearing lots of layers and sitting by the woodstove. Have I mentioned how I hate being cold? I may just have to get over that somehow.
We have a fabulous blackberry bush in our backyard and every day when I walk the girls home from school up the steep hill to our house, we stop and eat a few blackberries as our treat. I hope that is one of the childhood memories they grow up remembering. I know it's one of the highlights of my day!
Last night we had a visit from the legendary huge bear that roams the neighborhood. No, we didn't see it with our own eyes, but we did see the evidence it left behind.
I grew up hiking in the woods with my dad and when we came across bear scat he was always interested in seeing what the bears had been eating (I'll just leave it at that). Suffice it to say I'm no stranger to seeing bear stuff, but honest to Pete, this was the hugest pile I have ever seen! If it's any indication of the size of the bear, this guy is gigantic! And he REALLY likes apples. I'm just saying...(and I'm glad he's leaving the blackberries alone.)
So ends my rambling post...cohesive thoughts are so hard to come by these days!
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
I don't do it well.
Meaning when one of my kids is sick, I just don't handle the throwing up all that well, and as a parent it's just inevitable. Yuck.
Take tonight for example. 12:30am, a crying Nat wakes me up standing next to my bedside telling me she threw up. On further inspection in the bathroom it looks like someone dumped a bucket of it over her. Holy Moly! The only thing to do is just start the shower and put her in, clothes and all. As her clothes get rinsed, I take them off of her.
Then I go to inspect the bed...
~insert the theme from Jaws or Psycho or other creepy movie here~
Not a pretty sight. Let's just say a cute, tented loft bed from IKEA does not make for a hasty retreat to the bathroom. In fact, it really hinders a child from leaving the bed in any kind of quick or expedient fashion.
I just went from one end to the other and rolled all the bedding in a ball and took it to the laundry to deal with later. Holy Cow!
I've actually been pretty lucky as far as pukey kids are concerned and I know it because I've heard some real mothering horror stories.
Probably the worst instance I've had to deal with involved Moo when she was 4 years old and had hair down to her fanny. Two words: Top Ramen. It only took me three go-rounds before I figured out that french braiding that hair out of the way would save me lots of time and trouble. Yeah...I'm quick like that.
Then there's that pukey suspense: will it just be an isolated incidence with this one child or is some evil virus having it's way with the others' digestive systems as well? Do you go back to bed or begin a tactical defense by placing towels and buckets near the sleeping, symptomless children in the household? It's like waiting for the other shoe to drop (and for some reason it likes to drop just as mom's weary head hits the pillow). Sigh...
And I'd just like to know why it always seems to start in the middle of the night. What is it about clean sheets, a quiet house, and an unsuspecting, slumbering mother that brings on illness? Truly one of life's deeper mysteries (and bitter injustices, in my opinion).
So, I'll admit it. I'm a pukey-kid wimp. I'd much rather deal with other icky bodily substances over throw up. I think it's unfair that it usually happens in the middle of the night (and in the middle of a bed), and that it causes undue suffering to all involved (especially those reading a blog post written by a bleary-eyed, sleep deprived mom on vomit watch in the wee hours of the a.m.)
Here's hoping my little Nat is better soon and not contagious!
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
And here they are afterward:
Suey is doing well with them. When they went from bottle to bowl, they would finish their meal with what I liked to call a "milk beard". They weren't very good at cleaning themselves up so I would let Suey lick them clean. Now they've bonded:
Here's Jo-Jo outside for the first time on a leash:
In other news...
Mike brought home a coconut for the girls to try. The coconut milk was gross, but they loved the raw coconut:
Our backyard blackberries, yum:
We must have 10 apple trees, plus a couple pears and tree that has either very small yellow plums or strange cherries on it. I haven't figured out what it is yet.
We had a bear visit our backyard and gorge on apples the other night. I could hear him crunching away right outside the bedroom window. As I was watching him, a skunk trotted across the yard, tail in the air, with a little skunk behind it also with it's little tail flying like a flag. Very cute and they didn't spray so that was even better!
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Nurturing and interacting with small children feels very natural to me, but when you take a 3-year-old with the capacity of a 9-12 month old (so I'm told), all of a sudden techniques that generally work don't work anymore, and you have to start thinking differently.
One of the teachers is so good about explaining how certain children process certain things and really offers a lot of insight.
I was playing in the play area with my little one and she came over and told me that this may be the most difficult area to work in. We need to teach these kids appropriate play: baby is hungry, let's feed baby; put the car on the track and make it go down; stack one block on the other, etc. as these kids often get into their own little world and don't play with toys with a purpose in mind. Interesting...and helpful.
Later on the playground, I got my little one to play for a long time in the sandbox, not just letting sand sift through her fingers, as usual, but actually scooping sand with a shovel into a pail.
There is so much I want to know and learn about this little one so that I can help her to the best of my ability. I think each special needs child is kind of like a one-of-a-kind jigsaw puzzle. They have their own secrets on how they work and the rest of the world has to figure them out.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
The girls started school on Wednesday and are thrilled to be able to walk to school. Mike had to be in charge of first day of school duties (his first time ever) because I started my new job that day. He did a good job. Even getting a photo of them with the principal (bonus points!)
Sis signed up for classes at the local community college and will start at the end of August. It's strange not having her around all the time. Since the move, she's moved in with her dad (only a mile away). Even when she was home, I didn't see her a lot, but at least we had a few minutes a day where we could touch base with each other. I miss that.
I started my new job as a one-on-one aide at a special ed preschool on Wednesday as well. I love it. I feel so blessed to have a job like this that's so rewarding.
I'm still working at the lodge, and yesterday as I went from my kid-centered preschool job to my adult-centered waitressing job I was struck by just how different my two jobs are. At one it's all about play and enthusiasm and simple words, at the other it's all about adult conversation, efficiency and being business-like. Kind of weird to have to shift gears like that all in one day.
Also on Wednesday, Bub and Cass came up to visit for the day. We managed to fit a lot into their short visit. We took a tour of some local caverns:
Wow, that's a really big....thumb
It was really hard to get a decent photo in the close quarters of the cavern.
We then came home and made pizza, then we walked down to the lake, and came back home and had pie and I cut Bub's hair. We had lots of laughs and fun times.
Bub was in love with the orange kitty, Princess
and Cass, who's allergic to cats, was a real trooper who loaded herself up on allergy meds so that she could enjoy them too.
The kittens are doing really well. Im not having to bottle feed them anymore. They're still on formula but I'm mixing some soft cat food with it now. They are climbing and running now and playing like crazy. They are so ridiculously cute. Here is where they like to sleep now with their "surrogate mother":
Consider yourself updated.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
My friend tells me that the folks where her daughter takes riding lessons have two kittens they found and do I want one? Well, I had been thinking of getting another kitten as a playmate for Sis' kitten as she's so wild and playful so I told her I would consider it.
Later that day we drive out to the ranch to look at the kittens. I know that there's a really good chance that if I'm looking at them I'll be bringing one home, so I'm prepared.
We get there and can hear them already as we get out of the car. I can't believe all the meowing is coming from these two babies. On closer inspection I notice that they're tiny, a lot smaller than I expected. The people say they found them a day or so ago meowing near the driveway. They say they've been feeding them regular cow's milk and moistened food. I know kitties shouldn't have cow's milk so at this point I'm concerned, and I know these people have barn cats they let breed at will, and that they're just anxious to get rid of these two so at this point I commit to taking both of them.
Our friend gave us some soft kitten food and as we drive the half hour home I can hear the babies sucking the juice from the food out of Moo and Nat's hands. It's fairly late, 9:30, so I figure I'll go home and research what I need to feed them and take them to the vet in the morning. As luck would have it I see our vet out taking her dogs for a walk on our way home. I pull over and acost her and ask if she wouldn't mind looking at the two babies.
Our vet is so kind and accomodating that she insists that we come to the office (which is right next to her house) so she can check them out and give us a can of formula to take home.
We found that the orange one is pretty good at lapping milk from a dish but the gray one was having trouble so we got bottles to feed with.
These poor babies were most definitely starving when we got them and once their little tummies were full, they calmed down and even began playing. My theory is that one of their barn cats was a young mama and abandoned the little ones. My friend said that the people wouldn't have bothered with the babies much longer so they wouldn't have survived had I not taken them.
These little ones are a lot of work right now, but they're so darned cute. The vet said that in about a week we can start them on soft solids and they already have the cat box figured out. They do miss their mama though. They suck on their blankets and even on our hands. I'm so glad that I took these little cuties home that night, even though they are so much responsibility. I hope that they thrive and that we'll enjoy them for years to come.