Tuesday, November 23, 2010

And the winner is...

Heather! I'll bring the toothbrush to you next time I see you!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Because I like the taste...

These cartoons seem to say it all...

It seems to happen to me from time to time. Especially when I am tired and my filter is a little slow. Well, it happened to me again. I said something that once I said it, I realized that it didn't sound like it did in my head. However, before I could even clarify, someone (who I wasn't even talking to) jumped all over it. Called me rude and started to rip me up one side and down the other and on and on, blah, blah, blah.... So at that point, of course I just wanted to cry, and I wish I could have clarified myself to the actual person that I said it too, but it would have just come out a blubbering mess. The thing that made it even worse, is that the person that was chewing me out, was totally making assumptions and judgements about me that were totally unfounded. And she knows me. It isn't like we are strangers. She should know that I am not that way right? So what do you do in that situation? I just walked away... it was one of those moments that I wished I wasn't so emotional. Just sayin'.

Monday, November 15, 2010


Funny, I couldn't remember how to spell the word, so I looked it up in the dictionary - online of course because who would actually go look in a dictionary. The funny thing was, one of the five definitions given was "the belief that goodness pervades reality". Ha! so does that mean it's not real? Just a belief?

Two Sundays ago we had a lesson in church about optimism. We talked about always looking for the silver lining in everything, so this past week, here was my attempt at optimism:

  • To the snow - at least it will warm up enough to not hang around...
  • To the cold - I get to have Hot Chocolate everyday if I want...
  • To Jayden pooping on the carpet (twice if you must know) - at least he took his pants and undies off. That tells me he actually knew that he needed to go poop - he is capable. Even if he doesn't want to. That means I can punish him for his naughty choice.
  • To the kids not wanting to eat what I made for dinner - More for me to eat.
  • To Steve working a TON - I got sole control of the TV remote.
  • Jayden throwing up in the middle of the night - at least it was only once and didn't get on the carpet.
  • Stake Conference on Sunday - We could play hookie and no one would know.

I know, for every ONE reason that I came up with for it to be a good thing, I can think of AT LEAST THREE different reasons why it sucked... just sayin'.

Pobanz Orthodontics in Ogden, Utah

Last week, I was given the opportunity to attend my first ever "blogging event". My friend Motherboard who is kind of like a celbrity in the blogging world, invited me to join a group of local bloggers to tour a local orthodontist office and write up a review about it. When I told my Sister in law Heather about it, she said, "Do they know that you don't always give rave reviews about everything?" Probably not, but at least you'll know that it's an honest one, right? The Orthodontist, was Dr. John Pobanz. That is him on the front row.

To begin with, we met in the waiting area for everyone to arrive. And as we were waiting there, the cute office lady offered us some bottled water, which at first I thought was because they were putting their best foot forward for us, wanting a great review. However, that was NOT the case. They do that for EVERYONE! Because that is just the way they are. Seriously, you can tell that the people who work there love their job. We were there for a couple of hours, and let's face it, you can't fake being that nice for that long.

They took us on a tour of their facility, showing us all of the things that they have to offer. Including all of the different types of braces that they offer. {Boy braces have come a long way since we got em!} They offer Invisalign, SureSmile and the Damon System (which actually uses a robot to shape the wire in a way that would be most beneficial for the patient - like I said braces have come a long way). I learned that they have become so efficient at braces that you don't actually have to have them on as long now as we did.

I was really impressed with how up to date and knowledgeable Dr. Pobanz was. He is constantly researching the newest stuff out there and not only that, but he publishes in medical magazines. When you are dealing with something that will affect your physical look in the future, you want the best right? I know what you are thinking, sometimes people like that are so knowledgeable, they are hard to communicate with, but not this guy, he is really down to earth and explains thing really well. He is the type of doctor and has the type of staff that I would not hesitate to call up and ask about any questions or concerns that I am having. The other nice thing is he actually talks to the patient, not just the parents. He makes sure that they understand what is going on. He has parties for the kids when they get their braces off, they have theme days, where the staff dresses up, and the office itself is just a fun place to be.
The parent waiting chairs in the exam room is an actual ski lift chair.

There are video games and TV's in the waiting area.

And of course a "brushing station" for those kids who come to the office straight from school. The station is even equipped with prepasted toothbrushes for you to use. {See what I mean, they are just that way - they think of everything when it comes to making your ortho visit fun.}

They did give us a fun gift bag that included a teeth whitening kit for us as a "thanks for coming". Here I am getting my teeth molded for my whitening kit...

Which I was super impressed with the girl who did my impressions, when I told her that I have a hard time with getting impressions, she did a good job of talking me through it, and I only had to do it once. And that is no small feat.

Also included in the Thank You bag, was an Oral-B, CrossAction Rechargeable toothbrush for us to give away on our blog. So, if you want to win the toothbrush, leave me a comment, and on Friday, I will randomly select one person to win it! I'll post next Monday who the winner is...

All around, it was a fun afternoon, probably the most fun I've ever spent in any sort of dental office and I've certainly been in plenty. In fact it makes me excited for Melissa to get braces - just sayin'.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The answer to your maturing problems!

I subscribe to a Daily deal on-line. Everyday, they send me a new deal good for that day only, and here's what was waiting for me in my in-box!

Do you ever wake up in the morning, look at yourself in the mirror, and say, "When did I get so old? What happened to my face in the last five years?" Instead of looking five years older, it's more like fifteen. There are fine lines creeping up on your forehead, laugh lines framing your mouth, crow's feet encroaching on your eyes, and a fatigued dim topping it off. You miss the supple skin, fresh eyes, and youthful glow of previous days.
If you are aging exponentially, don't panic. Although Enlighten Laser Cosmetics can't skim the last five years off your age, they can certainly remove the damage done to your complexion, with a variety of services that will help you recognize that young, sprightly, woman in the mirror again. Today's deals are an answer to your maturing problems.
Whatever... I don't think I call those "maturing" problems. "Maturing" problems for me always meant having a period at the most inopportune time, or a flat chest while your friends are all sporting C - sized bras, or a zit-covered forehead from using too much hairspray to achieve my "bangs to heaven" look. I mean let's call it what it is... we are getting old!

Steve and I recently ran the Ragnar with Steve's coworkers and spouses. Our team name was "Hard Assets" - they are a bunch of accountants. It is a 195 mile relay race where there are 12 runners in 2 vans. Basically the two vans leapfrog from one exchange to the other and it took our team about 32 hours to complete. I was runner number 12. In our van, Steve and I were the older ones. We had a couple who just barely got engaged (she ran, he drove) and then another guy who has a 6 month old child and another couple who have a 15 month old. When we got in the car to drive down to the race (it was in Vegas) Steve was driving and I was in the front seat and one of the guys goes, "You guys are like the Mom and Dad of the trip." Which ended up sticking, they referred to us as Mom and Dad quite a bit. Then at one point, we were at one of the exchanges and a lady comes up to the van and asked which one of us was runner 12. They said that it was me, and we began talking about the previous run which was an 8 mile up hill run on a rocky trail at 2 in the morning. When we were just about done talking, she goes, "Well, I'll see you at the finish line Mom." Seriously...

I used to look forward to being in my thirties. It just didn't seem like anyone took you seriously as a Mom when you were only twenty-something. However, now that I am here, I wouldn't mind just slowing them down a bit.

I must admit, I am looking old these days, and I swear in the last five years, I have aged exponentially. Those fine lines, crows feet, laugh lines, and fatigued dim topping it off? Check, check, check and check! Having kids will do that to you, but I certainly wouldn't trade any of the last five years for anything, so tonight vefore I go to bed, I am going to look in the mirror, slap on a bunch of age-defying cream and then whatever is left in the morning, so be it! Just sayin'.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Bedside manner matters!

In our quest to get this girls feet fixed, we decided to seek a second opinion on her bunions. And boy! what a difference a doctor can make!

This time, we took her to a podiatrist. We actually talked to a podiatrist in another state to see if he had an opinion about what kind of a doctor would be a better fit for bunions (now that we knew they were bunions). He gave us some good things to think about, as far as what to look for in a good doctor, what kind of questions to ask, etc. So I called my neighbor across the street who has yet to steer me wrong when it comes to doctors. She suggested a podiatrist that has actually seen her daughter, so I made an appointment. The crazy thing was, when I went and checked Melissa out of school for her appointment, my neighbor was at the school checking out her daughter for an appointment (I know, what are the chances) her appointment was with an orthopedic doctor because the podiatrist had recommended that's what they should do. So, there's sign one of a good doctor, they aren't so full of themselves to think that they can solve it all. The other good thing about running into them is her daughter was able to tell Melissa how much she liked the doctor, so it put Melissa's mind at ease a bit.

The doctor came in and first examined her foot. He actually held it, bent it looked at it, measured her pain, felt the bones, etc. It hadn't donned on me before that the first doctor didn't actually LOOK at her foot. He just looked at the x-rays, and made a suggestion. This doctor looked at her foot from all sorts of angles, and measured her arches. And then was able to come up with a plan of action that will be the best for HER. WE (Steve and I) were sold on this guy.

However, that wasn't the best part, Melissa is sold on this doctor as well. All throughout the exam, when he was talking to us, he was talking directly to her as well. Explaining everything to her in ways that she would understand. He even asked her about her interests. He found out that she is really into dance. So, when he was dicussing her options, he made mention to how it would affect her dancing, what kind of recovery time was involved, and how when all was said and done, she wouldn't have to give up dancing. At one point, he looked at her and said, "What kind of questions do you have for me?" And then when she said she didn't have any, he said, "Well, let me tell you what kind of questions you might have as soon as all of this soaks in." And then proceeded to tell her all sorts of good stuff that probably are or will be concerns to her.

So, to end an already long story, Melissa will have surgery in the summer after her dance competitions are over and then most likely be able to begin dancing again in the fall. This doctor is also suggesting a different kind of a surgery that will hopefully mean less recovery time, and also not as much joint stiffness. He also doesn't seem to think that she will need the surgery again any time soon. He said that if she does need the surgery again, it will be well into her adult years. So more good news! Just sayin'.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I'm bugged

... or so I think I am. Well, actually, I KNOW I'm bugged, I'm just trying to figure out if I should be or not. I posted on our family blog, (or at least I think it posts tomorrow) that Jenna has this new found love of reading. Her class has had a contest this past two months to see who could read the most minutes in month. Jenna won the first month hands down, and won this last month by a landslide as well. At parent teacher conference her teacher asked Jenna if it would be alright if she gave her a different prize other than the giant Mr. Potato head that was the prize she already got. Jenna said that would be just fine. And I am totally fine with that as well, however I am totally NOT fine with what she came home with yesterday. And no, I am not referring to the prize she got because honestly Jenna would have been happy with a sticker. I am bugged that she came home with a 2nd place certificate. Because clearly, she was not in second place. She read the most minutes, and now her certificate states otherwise.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't care about the recognition or whatever, but I am bugged at what it represents. It is as if her accomplishment has been down graded. I am sure the teacher was just thinking that perhaps the other kids might become more motivated knowing that they could have a chance to win the prize the following month. However, don't you think she could have said something like, "This month's winner was Jenna Gardner, however since she's already gotten the big prize, this month it is going to go to so and so." Don't you think the kids would have been motivated that they too could win the prize still.

It just leads me into the entire problem with schools. Why do we have to downplay what others do just so that we don't hurt people's feelings? Why can't kids just be inspired by greatness? Why have we downplayed grades? Our old school had gone to a 1,2,3 grading system. 1 means they don't really know the concept, 2 means they know it and 3 means they've mastered it. The kids new school actually does letter grades, so when my child comes home with anything but an A, I know there is room for improvement. And no I don't require my children to have all A's, I understand that some struggle, however, I also feel that when they don't get an A, I know better where I can help them.

I know that Utah is the lowest when it comes to how much we spend on Education per student, and somehow that needs to be addressed. However, why are we making matters worse by dumbing down the standards? It is so irritating. When I taught HS, the first year I had a normal grading system: 90% and above an A, 80% - 89% a B, and so on. However, the second year, as a department we decided to raise the standards, 92% and above was an A, 84% - 91% was a B, and so on. And you know what? Statistically, the number of students getting an A or a B or a C was essentially the same. Kids knew what they wanted, they knew what they needed to do it, and they acted accordingly. So why aren't we giving our kids higher standards? Why are we doping it down for them?

Argh! I feel my blood beginning to boil, so figure I should stop. However, my main delema now, is what do I do with the stupid certificate? I usually keep those things and scrapbook them, but I just don't think I can actually scrapbook this one. I'm just sayin'.

{So really, I am interested in knowing what you think on this one. Am I wrong for being bugged? How would you handle it?}

Friday, September 17, 2010

A follow-up

After Melissa's foot doctor dealio, I had my own Dr. Appt. Like I mentioned before, since we have almost met our deductible for the year, Steve thought it would be a good idea for me to go in and see if anything needs to be done for me this year. So I go into be measured and weighed, and the nurse does my height and says, "So you are 5'8"." I said, "No." And she goes, "that wasn't a question, but I can do it again to make sure." So she checked again and said, "Yeah, maybe slightly under 5'8", but I would call it 5'8"". I told her that the last time I was checked height-wise, I was five-seven, is it possible to grow after you are an adult. And she asked me when it was that I was checked and I told her right before I got married when I was 19. And she said, "Yeah, especially if you were a late bloomer..." Twice in one day...

Seriously, I hate doctors sometimes. Just sayin'.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Did you say Bunions?

Yesterday we took Melissa to an Orthopedic Doc to have her feet looked at. With all of the "extra" medical stuff this year, we are close to our deductible and figured why not. They have been bugging her quite a bit lately and so figured now is as good a time as any. After filling out the paper work at the desk and giving a brief explanation of what has been going on, they showed us into the exam room. Shortly thereafter, a nurse comes in and says I just wanted to come in and see if we are going to need x-rays of both feet or just the one. Then she took one look at Melissa's feet and says, "Oh, you've got Bunions, I think we have to do both..." and walks out.

Um what? Did you say Bunions? Bunions are for old people. And isn't a bunion just a growth on the bone that just sticks out like a big bump? But she wasn't there to ask (the nurse). The next thing we know, the X-ray tech comes in to collect Melissa and off they go for x-rays. Long story short, yep, she's got bunions. Only they aren't actually a "bump" on the bone, her big toe is all sorts of deformed. The PA comes in and starts the exam goes over all kinds of information and actually ended up being just as thorough and knowledgeable as the actual doc himself. They were telling us that they have found that by having the PA come in first and look over the patient, there are some things that he can just take care of completely by himself and then send the patient on their way, or the doc can come in at the end if the patient is insisting or requesting it, or the doc will come in for a second opinion or a more specialized opinion. That way the doc can get some other stuff taken care of and they actually see more patients that way. That's kind of a long explanation and not really pertinant to the story, but on a side note, if they can afford to hire a PA to kind of "double" up like that they must be making all kinds of money. (just sayin')

So anyway, back to the story. I don't know how many times the doctor said that he was shocked after "peeking" at the x-rays that Melissa was only 12. He said that in his 20+ years of being a surgeon, he's only had 1 case of juvenile bunions. So here's the kicker. Melissa needs surgery. Ony we have to decide when. The doc says there are several kinds of bunion surgery. The kind that Melissa needs now is a somewhat "simple" procedure. However since she is not skeletally mature yet, she most likely will have to have it done AGAIN when she is "mature". So we could wait until she is "mature" and then do it. However, the draw back to that is if we do wait, it will get worse and may get to the point that she will need a different kind of bunion surgery that entails dislocating her big toe from her foot and cutting into the foot bone from the top, rearranging a bunch of stuff and then putting the toe back on. So basically it comes down to making a decision and not knowing for three more years if we made the right decision. That stinks. Just sayin' (agian).

On another side note, I asked the doctor how long until she is skeletally mature. He said, "Oh probably in about 2 to 3 years. Generally they say 24 months after you have your first period." The PA starts to laugh and says, "If you could only see your face right now." And it's true because I was in some sort of a shock. I am not prepared for Melissa to be starting anything of whatever anytime soon. Do the Math! 2 to 3 years from now means she could start any time now. After I explained my shock to the doctor he said that generally nowadays, the average age is 12! TWELVE I tell you! as in one two. As in not even an official teenager. Then he said, "Well how old were you when you started?" I told him (I'll spare you all the details- you're welcome). And he said, "Well, then you matured with the boys." And yes, that stinks too. Just sayin' (again).

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

One question...

How am I supposed to be a good Mom when my kids drive me crazy all the time?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Take a Chill Pill People!

Can you feel it?

Or maybe it's just me...

Today I have been a witness to several people, just losing it...

First of all, there was the lady at the grocery store yelling at the checker that the "kind" of treat she likes wasn't all sale. "All of the others like it are on sale, why not the one I actually like." {Cause maybe the kind that you like are the same kind that everyone else likes, and they are trying to even out their inventory... duh!} Only the lady didn't say it so nice. And as if the checker had anything to do with it!

Then there was the lady in the carpool line at the kids school... Who pulled her car in front of another, gets out and proceeds to yell at a Dad for not following the proper "carpool protocol". Seriously? It was probably his first time ever doing it, and give him credit for actually being around to pick his kids up from school. Not to mention he wasn't even in the carpool area, he was parked on the side of the street waiting for his kids to walk to the car. I do the same thing.

Then there are my kids, losing it over the tiniest thing... Jayden looked at me... Yeah, you are quite a site to see when you are throwing a fit! But he wasn't looking at me very nice... How was he looking at you? He was smiling! Yeah, that isn't very nice is it? You know, that kind of stuff.

But I have to admit, I'm not in a very good mood today either. I think you could even say that I'm a little mad today too. Not sure why, just am...

As I have been observing all this kind of stuff, I couldn't help but think that perhaps we are all being inundated by some negative thoughts from unseen "forces". And perhaps we would all be better off if we just "chill out". Don't allow the negativity to get to us. We are better than that. So I am telling myself that I refuse to give in to the negative thoughts, and I am going to choose to be happy. Right now. And so should the rest of you. Just sayin'.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Geek vs. The Nerd

My Sister-in-law and I took my niece out for frozen yogurt the other day... In the process, she was telling us about a boy who is interested in her, but she's not sure about. So I asked her what was the hang up. Here's our conversation:

Neice: He's a nerd.

Me: Nerds are good. Nerds are rich. Its the nerd who ends up being the boss of the jock.

Neice: Not that kind of a nerd, the kind that are in to Star Wars and super heroes.

Me: Oh, well those aren't nerds, those are geeks, so run!

Just sayin'.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I'm proud of you Brett...

I just have to do a quick shout out to my Brother-in-law Brett. I heard from my sister this week that he did a major shake up in the callings in their ward. {Did I mention he's the Bishop?} I love shake ups. I think that they are a healthy and necessary thing for every ward.

My thought is that if you leave people in their callings too much, they start to get too comfortable, and then they start to relax a little, and then they just kind of stop doing their job. And if they don't actually stop doing their job, they start not doing it right. You start to notice that "burned out" feeling eminating from them. You ask them politely in the hall at church how things are going in whatever area they are over and the first thing you get is a sigh followed by, "It's going..." Then I say, get them out of there. It isn't good for the people they are supposed to be serving, or the people they are serving with who have to pick up their slack.

Have you ever noticed too that when there is a major shake up in a ward, there is a little bit of electricity in the air. There is so much talking and laughing and hugging and comraderie going on in the halls after sacrament meeting, that just seems to energize a ward. People are excited to be doing something else, they are ready to give it their all, they are excited for a new start, a fresh start, and a clean slate. Who doesn't love that. And the more often that you shake up Primary especially, you don't hear the phrase, "I got stuck in Primary" so often either.

So, Brett I'm proud of you, good job! And here's to hoping for a shake up in our ward sometime in the near future... just don't shake me up 'cause I've been shook up quite a bit in the last little while... just sayin'.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What a sight!?

For those who are friends with me on Facebook, I posted something about this already, but there are those of you who don't go there, so "for you, I post again." {Said in a Mr. Miyagi voice - we watched the original Karate Kid the other night, so it's kind of stuck in my head}

I was at Sam's Club yesterday and when I got to the check out area, I saw this guy dressed in slacks and a nice shirt and tie, totally picking his undies out of his bum. Now, there are four things (that I see) wrong with this picture:
  1. He was in the check out area which is probably the most crowded area of the ENTIRE store (besides the sample tables that is). So it isn't like I happened to surprise him by coming around the corner while he was trying to be discreet about it on an empty aisle.
  2. It wasn't just a quick tug and move on. There was a movin' and a shakin' and some adjusting going on. If I ever see you, I can show you the dance because words can't even discribe it... like I said so wrong...
  3. He was well dressed, so I assume somewhat educated. He was buying snack stuff for an office meeting he was having (I heard him tell the checker - we were in the same line). So he SHOULD know better. I mean seriously I don't know how many times a day I tell Jayden to leave his undies alone. Didn't his Mom ever say something to him? Let this be a lesson: don't assume your kid will just "grow out of it" because apparently they don't.
  4. This one is according to Steve: He said (after I performed my reinactment of it) that apparently I stared a little too long. And maybe I did. And maybe if Melissa was with me, she would have gotten after me for staring (is it one r or two? starring? whatever, you get the jist). I know I was as bad as the first time Melissa ever saw a black person in the grocery line. It is just not something you see everyday, so you can't help it but stare. So I guess from here on out I'll have to cut my kids some slack when they are staring at people.

So seriously, people be more careful of what you do in public! Just sayin'.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I know, I know... every year I do a tirade on the public school system. Because I think for the most part it stinks and is hugely (is that even a word) flawed. However, not this year...

Spencer came home from school on Friday happy. Really happy. And that has not happened since Kindergarten. He LOVED Kindergarten, he had a fantastic teacher who he thought, thought that he was just the greatest smartest kid ever. And I am sure that all of her students thought that. She was just THAT kind of teacher. She's battling cancer right now (for the second time) and I hope she beats it. The school would greatly suffer if she didn't. However, first grade hit and that was the end of loving school. He started getting teased more and more, and his teacher let it happen. How do I know? I saw it. I helped out in the class and I watched it happen and her do nothing about it. And it wasn't just Spencer, there were other kids getting teased as well, but if the teacher says nothing, then as a kid being teased you are screwed. She was completely unorganized and well, we really struggled with her. Especially considering that Spencer tends to be kind of OCD about things. He NEEDS structure to feel safe and happy. And he didn't have that.

Second grade got better. He had a more organized teacher who actually did a fantastic job. She was well structured and even got to the point where at the end of the year she started teaching them the 3rd grade curriculum. Knowing full well that they would forget some of it over the summer, but also knowing that at least when they relearned it in 3rd grade it would seem familiar. However, the teasing continued. Teasing about everything, his ears being big, the things he was interested in, the fact he doesn't play sports, the kind of underwear he wore (he was pantsed in the 1st grade - yea that was NOT a good year) you name it and he was probably teased about it. Add on top of that some bullying on the bus and we needed a change.

So, at the end of the last school year, I put my name in the lottery for the charter school near us. It opened a year ago, and I heard good reviews about it from two families that are in our neighborhood and I figured it was worth a shot. I was told from the beginning that there was a chance Spencer would get in, but not Jenna because 1st grade was full and there was a waiting list of kids whose siblings got in to other grades. So we waited. Spencer finally got in on the third lottery and so Jenna went on the sibling wait list. That was on a Monday, by Wednesday Jenna was in. It was a small miracle. And really I felt like it was going to be a really good thing for the kids, especially Spencer.

On the Sunday before school started, we got an email from the Principal, who wanted to send out an email reminding the families of the "charter" that the school was founded on. The goal of the school or main focus is Constitutional History. And the charter had a ton of excerpts from Pres. Reagan's farewell address. Seriously! Steve could not have been happier.

On the first day, I worried. All day long. And Jenna of course came home COMPLETELY happy. But I didn't expect anything less. She LOVES to meat new people (I know, whose child is she?). She had a fantastic day. Spencer on the other hand said he had a good day and that things went good, but he wasn't over the top excited like Jenna was. And this went on for a week. Until Friday. Friday he came home from school just beaming. He said that he had the best day ever! And I may or may not have gone into my room and cried...

The test was Monday. Was it just a one day thing or was he finally glad to be in school? So yesterday when I go to pick him and Jenna from school, he gets in the car and was just chatting away. He loved it again. And then this morning when I was dropping the kids off at school, a boy saw Spencer get out of the car, and yelled, "Hey Spencer!" and they went walking into the school just talking away... That hasn't happened in a long time, I just hope that it keeps up... just sayin'.

Monday, August 23, 2010

School Shopping...

I hate it. What else is there to say?

I hate it even more with an almost teenager. Melissa starts Jr. High this year, and we have gone all over kingdom come looking for anything and everything and finding nothing. And who knows how many of the shopping trips have ended in tears.

First on our list is jean shopping... Enough said right? She is at that stage where she fits in the girls clothes still, but then thinks they all look too little kiddish. We did figure out that she could do a size zero short. But finding zeros first of all is a HUGE task and when you add on top of that that you want "short" zeros, the task becomes almost impossible. Then add on top of that the fact that you don't want holes in them, you like the "cute" pockets, the color has to be "not weird", and they can't cost an arm and a leg and you have a "never gonna happen" situation. I finally got wise and told her that we would go online to the JCPenney catalog and order some of what we want and have it shipped to the store, that way she could try them on before we buy them. I know, sometimes I amaze even myself with my strokes of genius.

* On a side note, I am a fan of skinny jeans for Melissa because even if they are on the long side, they look OK bunched by her ankle a little bit. It also allows for some "growing" room. {We can be optomistic too :)}

Shirts weren't any better. We found (I mean I found) that sizes meant nothing. I did more trips back and forth between the clothes and the dressing rooms than I think I EVER have. Trying to get shirts that were not too tight looking or high enough on her was no easy task. I did notice that she likes two different styles of shirts and I talked her into a third style (just to be different). I am guessing that she won't wear the one I picked out much, but it was in the clearance rack and so was super cheap and so if she only wears it a couple of times, it is no big loss.

The funny part about the trip was watching her worry about how much things cost. I gave her a budget before we left and I was amazed that she kept looking at the price tags, and then calculating in her mind how much she would have left if she bought it and then debate about which things she liked the most. The funny part was we bought quite a bit from Kohl's and they were offering Kohl's cash. As we were walking out to the parking lot, she said, "You know those shoes that I put back? I now have enough Kohl's cash to get them!" {As if the Kohl's cash is hers!}

She still has to find a "bag" to take her school books in. I finally convinced her after looking at five different store (no joke) that she should just use one of her little dance backpacks that she has and then after the first day, wait and see what others are carrying and what will fit in her locker and then we'll go out on Monday and find something.

One last note, after all of our school shopping. All of the clothes we bought are still in the bags with the tags on them because after suggesting waiting on the "bag" she decided that she would wait and see what everyone else wore the first day of school and then decide if she likes what she got or not. And then "we could look for other clothes on Monday..." whatever.... I hate Jr. High... Just sayin'.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Weight Loss Wait

This week on Facebook a friend of mine passed on some words of wisdom from her sister. It's the funnies thing I've heard all week and it has really got me thinking... She said, "I'm not addicted... I just need it to cope."

Seriously sister, amen and amen.

This week my lovely little Jenna in all her sweetness came up to me and said, "Mommy, is there a baby in your tummy?"

"Uh, no Jenna, that is just fat..." - followed by me changing clothes...

I am training for a race in October. Steve's work is doing the Las Vegas Ragnar and the original six employees (they are now up to 12 employees - yeah! but that is another post for another time) and their wives are running it together. For those of you who don't know, the Ragnar is a relay race and there are two vans of six people each and between the 12 of you, you run a total of around 200 miles. My part of the race is three legs of about 5 miles each leg. Originally my part was a 3 mile a 5 mile and an 8 mile run, but for some reason it was changed. So, long story short, I have been exercising. With school starting I have been getting up at 6 every morning and doing my 3 miles and then once a week doing 5 miles. The exercising is there. However, I still have this baby of fat in my belly.

So what's the problem? The problem is food. And I am convinced that my food problems are not really food problems, but emotional problems. I'm worried about Spencer. He's started this new school this year in a hope to get away from all of the problems we've had in the past associated with school (another post another time) and I worry THE ENTIRE TIME he is gone. I worry about whether he is making friends, whether he is happy at the school, did I make the right decision to move him - which deep down I KNOW I did, but I still question and doubt myself anyway, and I worry about him making good choices. Then there's Jayden, do I do the preschool thing or not, he still occassionally has accidents and 90% of them are when he's at someone else's house (probably another post another time too).Then I worry about Piano I want to scale back, but I have so many students, plus people who I teach one kid and the parents want to start siblings too, then there's the whole payment issue, this year, I've changed it and I'm worrying if it is going to work or people are going to be OK with it and on and on. Do you get my drift? I've got a lot going on in this little brain of mine that seems to only be getting littler as I age.

And when I worry, I eat...

And eat...

And eat...


And yes, I realize that I am not really all that fat. I do only have 10 pounds that I need to lose, I know boo hoo. Yes, I realize that I have been blessed with a really good metabolism, I shouldn't complain... But I also have this nagging little voice in the back of my mind that tells me, the unhealthy eating is what will kill me in the end. And really, who wants to die in a way that they could have totally prevented?

So I am at a crossroads, I eat because I worry and I can't lose the last 10 until I stop. So the question is, how? When you figure it out, let me know... just sayin'.

Friday, August 20, 2010

What's the deal?

Why is it that when Mom wants to do something for herself everyone suffers?

The kids suffer because they are "stuck" with Dad. Dad suffers because the kids are acting like they are "stuck" with Dad, and Mom suffers because she has to deal with the before and after of the kids being "stuck" with Dad.

At least this is the situation at our house. And I am convinced our house isn't the only house associated with this problem. I know that I have kind of blogged on this subject before, but it keeps being an issue, and I keep talking about it.

A couple of weeks ago, Steve went to a Rush concert. Totally had a great time, everyone did. He went with two of his brothers, a friend of his brother, and his Uncle. Called on his way home and couldn't stop talking about the great time he had. Was completely in a great mood the following morning despite the late night. Since he wasn't going to be home, the kids and I got some pizza for dinner, I let them play late with some friends, had a fun dessert and then went to bed. Really an enjoyable evening for all of us. And there was happiness still in the morning from the kids too.

So why is it that I can't go out like that and do something for myself and have the same results? I'm not going to Steve-bash or anything, so I'll leave out any specific details, but seriously? What is so hard about taking over for Mom ONCE in a blue moon and just enjoy the time with your kids? Why does it have to be pain and torture for the kids and dad when Mom is gone? Play with the kids, have a fun treat with the kids, watch a movie together with popcorn, go to the park, go for a walk, explore a weed field near your house together, shoot some hoops at a school nearby (if you don't have a basketball hoop at your house), show your kids how to do a hobby of yours, go get an ice cream cone at Mc D's, make a box of brownies together and then eat them, color together - make mom some cards, do sommersaults in the family room, really it isn't all that hard to come up with something out of the ordinary to do with your kids when Mom is gone. I just suggested 12, that should last you a year, maybe two.

Give Mom [me] a break... I'm just sayin.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Another Confession

I love to watch the Bachelorette. Yes, I know that it is probably the biggest hoax in the world, and yes I also know that in the like twenty seasons that it has been on, only one of the couples have gotten married and stayed married. But, in this summer season of absolutely NOTHING to watch (I don't have cable, so no HGTV for me) it entertains me. I love it when the Bachelor or Bachelorette says, "I am really starting to believe that this process works, I am falling in love with these guys (or girls in the case of the Bachelor) and I really believe that I can be engaged by the end of this show." Um, seriously? The funny thing is I ACTUALLY think that they think that it is going to work for them this time, so I say knock yourself out! It's more entertaining when you are "all in". Know what I mean?

They just aired my favorite episode this week. It is the episode where the Bachelorette meets the potential hubbies family. And of course they didn't disappoint! They had them all, the crazy family, the somewhat normal family, the sceptical/cautious family and of course the hopeless romantics. After watching the show, it got me thinking about what it would have looked like if a camera crew was following me or my family when we first me the "in-laws".

For example, the first time I met Steve's family. They served me "chicken" enchiladas for dinner. Only it wasn't chicken. I knew as I was eating that the "chicken" was really chewy and kind of hard to cut, but it actually did taste like chicken. In fact at one point during dinner, I was having a hard time cutting one of the chicken pieces, and as I was struggling to cut it, the piece kind of flung acroos the room. Only noone seemed to notice, except me. Or if they did, no one said a word. So I left it. On the floor. And then when dinner was over, I nonchalantly went over and picked it up in my napkin and then threw it away, and no one was any the wiser. Like I was saying though, they didn't tell me at the time that it wasn't chicken. It wasn't until I put two and two together after we were married that I figured out what it was. I knew at the time that they had rabbits in the backyard, but I thought they were pets. However AFTER we got married, I learned that he raised them for meat. That's right, for meat. Those enchiladas were rabbit enchiladas. They fed me Thumper for dinner. And didn't tell me. Probably a good thing too, or my last name right now would not be what it is. {not really I don't think, but I do wonder if I knew if it would have affected my thinking or not.}

Then there was the time we met my sister-in-law Cindy for the first time. She came out at Christmas time to meet my parents, so my sister Michelle and I were home from school also. We almost killed her. For reals. One night we went to bed and the pilot light went out on the furnace. It was crazy though that it seemed like we all came to the realization that the house was filling up with gas at the same moment. I remember sleeping on the couch and then all of a sudden, I sat up and knew that the house had gas in it, and right at that moment, my Dad comes flying out of his room to turn off the furnace. My other siblings have mentioned similar things. Good thing she didn't take that as a bad omen and married him anyway. It is funny if you think about it in a twisted sort of way.

Then there was the time we met Heather. She was coming to our house and again ALL of us were there. ALL of us, my brother and his wife, my sister and her husband, my other sister and her husband, and me and my kids. So it was the classic MEET the family. Of course we were all increadibly nice, in fact my sister Lisa, sister-in-law Cindy and I went all over the town looking for Tulips since that was her favorite flower and Jim wanted a bouquet for her when she got there (I know, how did one of us wind up a romantic? - don't worry though he isn't too much of a freak because I don't think he does that kind of stuff anymore, so he's back to normal again). I was actually REALLY surprised how hard it was to find Tulips, but we did find them, and of course, she LOVED our family and had to marry Jim to be a part of it. The funny thing about her coming was Jim actually proposed to her while she was there, and we all knew it was happening before she did and were waiting on pins and needles for them to get back from him proposing (on the beach - I KNOW, where did he come from!). I wonder though, what we all looked like when they walked in the door. I know we were trying to act normal, but I bet we didn't. I mean seriously, how do you act normal, when JIM is getting engaged and all of us were still in shock because he ACTUALLY talked to a girl in the first place, let alone ask her on a date over and over again and then ask her to marry him. It was a shocker to say the least.

Sorry Brett, but I don't remember a thing about meeting you, but maybe that is a good thing because that means you are normal, and everything went good. Right? Or maybe I just wasn't there. But you are a good addition to the family, we need some stability - and no I am not calling you boring. Actually I think the fact that we hung out on the veranda with you at David's apartment a couple of times, just makes it seem like you've always been there. Sometime it would be fun to hear your version of meeting my family though because I am sure that it is a pretty boring story considering how normal and not weird we are.

Lisa's husband Blaine, well... what do I say?... You just have to meet him and then that will speak volumes! He's just a lot more lively of a person than the rest of us. I am actually having a hard time coming up with a way to describe it. I mean none of this in a bad way because honestly our family get to gethers would be pretty boring if it weren't for Blaine. If you ever have some spare time, search "blaineusa" on youtube some time, and you'll see what I mean. {My favorites are his trying out the nose cleaner and getting psyched, and the bird one is kind of funny too, I just hope that there weren't any eggs in the nest Blaine}

And that is my thoughts of meeting our in-laws. Or at least my family's in-laws. And so far so good. We are all still married, all have WAY too many kids (not really) and for the most part have a good time together. So there you have it, that's what I'm sayin'.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

It's been a while

Can you see my smile? I am one happy Mama! Not to jinx things or anything, but I think that it is safe to say that Jayden is potty trained! So I just might be officially done with all that crap! Yes, literally! It took some of my not so proud mothering skills to get him to go poop in the toilet. But he finally did and we could not be happier. He even celebrated with an ice cream cone, and I let him play video games for the rest of the day. Dr. Phil said that every kid had their price and I guess the video games are his. In fact this morning when he woke up, the first thing he told me was he wanted to poop in the toilet so that he could play video games. And being the fantastic mother that I am, I let him. But seeing as how I have been in this place with the two older than Jayden and had to somewhat start back at square one at some point, I am cautiously optomistic and knocking on wood and throwing salt over my shoulder and praying and wishing and hoping and so on and so on, that this is it!

And hopefully in the next few days with most of our computer problems behind us, I will be able to get back into the blogging thing because 6 months is a long time, and I have A LOT to say! Just sayin'...

Thursday, January 7, 2010


I gave up...

Clearly I am not ready...

Either that, or the thought of being a work widow from now until March (or more like April) finds me with very little patience these days. I'm just sayin'.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Jayden's perceptive

Yesterday Jayden came up to me and said, "Melissa's bossy and responsible."

"Yes, I know that, but how do YOU know that?"


Aha, have you ever played the Apples to Apples game? Well aparently Melissa, Spencer and Jenna were playing and Jayden was watching. The way the game goes, without going into too much detail, is you collect these cards that have adjectives on them and in the end, you read them all and the kids say that they are supposed to describe you. Well when the game was over, Melissa read through her slew and the only two that Jayden caught were bossy and responsible. And yep, describes her to a T!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A love/hate relationship with the toilet

I am potty training Jayden. I know, believe me, it took long and hard for me to deside to take the plunge. And while I have just completed Day 2, I am ready to quit. I did not think that I would potty train him until he BEGGED me to do it. After dealing with some of his older siblings (hows that for anonymity?) I swore I wasn't going to jump into it. However, ALL the signs are there. He knows when he needs to go potty, he knows I KNOW he needs to go potty. He does the whole dance thing and then it dawns on him, he has a diaper, so he looks at me, smiles, and then you can hear him going in his diaper. He's dry for long periods of time. He wakes up most mornings dry (because he will usually go potty before he goes to bed at night only because he is trying to delay going to bed). See? All signs, say potty train right? Not to mention, there is a little bit of outside pressure mostly for me because he is now in the 3 year old class at church and he is the ONLY one not potty trained. Of course he is 6 months younger than all the rest, but still. I have put it off as long as I have because he just doesn't want to take the time to go. That lazy bum (pun 100% intended), doesn't he realize that it would take less time to go potty on the toilet than it does to change his diaper every time (which he hates having that done too)?

I refuse to ask Jayden if he needs to go potty. Spencer (anonymity just went out the window...) would stand there and do his little potty dance and then say, "Mom!" followed by me saying "What?" and then him continuing his potty dance and saying, "Mom!" several times until finally I would say, "Spencer do you need to go potty?" Where he would then say "Yes!" and run into the bathroom. He just had this idea somewhere in his mind that I needed to give him permission to go potty. So as to avoid that this time, I figure I will keep my mouth shut and allow his (Jayden's) accidents to do the teaching. I don't know if that's the right approach or not, but that's what I'm trying. I think with each kid I have tried so many different things, who knows what's right. And he's my last, so I can hack it right?

So back to the subject, it is not MY love/hate relationship I am referring to with the toilet, it's my kids. Why is it that when kids are first learning to go potty on the toilet, they don't want to go on it, but then when you finally coax them to sit on it, they want to stay for hours? And they want you to WAIT with them. But they don't want to sit there and do nothing, they want something to do. I don't let them though, because that is just gross to think of mixing potty germs and toys (yes, I am a mean Mom), so I sit and listen to them whine about wanting something until they finally give up and get off the toilet only to have an accident two minutes later.

Then today, my kindergartner I realize can not get in and get out fast enough. Half of the time, I am sending her back in to first flush the toilet, then to wash her hands, then to completely dry her hands, and then to hang the towel back up on the rack. And it seems like EVERYTIME, we are going through the ritual.

Of course, kids find themselves staying in the bathroom longer than usual when they are supposed to be doing something else like doing the dishes or cleaning their room, or are supposed to be practicing their piano for 30 minutes, and yet spend 15 of that in the bathroom. {I finally had to change it to they have to practice each song a certain number of times before they are done practicing}

Then there is my oldest who is doing who knows what in the bathroom FOREVER. Seriously, I think she is just enjoying the breather, which I have to admit is a good place to do it. I find myself doing that as well. Sometimes I am having a "time-out' while several of my kids are either standing outside of the bathroom, banging on the door, or after being properly threatened, are sitting on my bed waiting for me to come out.

Like I said, a love/hate relationship, I'm just sayin'. (And yes, I would love it more if Jayden would use it - I'm just sayin' again.)

Monday, January 4, 2010

My newfound ADD (attention deficit disorder)

For the past little while I have been the 2nd counselor in the Primary Presidency in our Ward. Roughly translated for those "non-LDS" readers: I was incharge of the younger children's group (age 18 mo. to 12 yrs.) at church for our neighborhood. Recently I was released. Now I teach the 14 year old Sunday School class. What a difference!

The way primary is set up, there is the nursery. That is the class/baby-sitting {yes, I said baby sitting, cause basically that is what they are doing} that is done for the kids that are 18 mo. up to 3 yr. old. Then, the other kids are broken up into two groups Junior and Senior Primary. The younger kids are junior and the older are senior. Within those groups, each kid is a part of a class, that is based on their age. During the 2nd and 3rd hours of church, the kids take turns going to Sharing time and then to class or vice versa. Following me?

Sharing time is setup where there is some singing time and then a lesson. Once a month, I was in charge of doing the lesson, and the other three weeks, I would help manage the other things. So, I was always going. Either helping out with kids needing to go to the bathroom, or making sure each of the classes had teachers, sometimes I was in the nursery helping out, sometimes I played the piano for the singing time... You get the picture. Rarely was I ever just sitting there.

So, now, during the 2nd hour, I teach the 14 year olds, which I LOVE. So I am constantly talking, moving, and presenting my lesson. Then during the 3rd hour, I am expected to go to Relief Society (the class for grown up women). And don't get me wrong, the lessons are usually really great as was this Sunday's (at least the parts I heard). I just could not sit still. After 5 years of being in Primary, I found that I have ADD. To have to sit there quietly for an hour was complete torture. And yes, I probably could have made comments to keep me somewhat occupied, but honestly I would have had to make a comment every three minutes to keep me engaged in the lesson. And I think the other ladies would have gotten sick of me (not to mention, I don't really have that good of things to say). AND, that means I would have had to have been paying attention in the first place to know what questions were being asked. I just about had to get up and leave "pretending" to go to the bathroom with 15 minutes remaining because I couldn't stand it anymore. However, at that point, she (the teacher) pulled out a children's book to read as a part of the lesson. That was actually pretty great, she would read a page and then show us the picture. Just enough to keep me stimulated to listening.

That got me thinking, Relief Society should be more like Primary. Why couldn't we break into a rousing rendition of "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" when the teacher sees that she's losing her class from boredom? Or pull out some cardstock fishes with little magnets on them that we get to then use a pole with a magnet hanging on it to "fish" for the questions that she is going to pose for the class? Or why don't they use for visual aids so that we have something to look at when they are talking? And by visual aids, I don't mean word strips, cause Relief Society is already very good at that, I mean pictures, something that is a little more exciting to look at. Or my all-time favorite, learn about the good things to do on Sunday by playing Family Feud.

My one saving grace, besides the children's story, this Sunday was that the lesson ended 5 minutes early. I think that I am going to have to follow Sher's example and make a reverence chair for myself. Whenever her little boy acted up on Sunday during Primary, she would have him sit in a "reverence" chair for so many minutes (kind of like time out) and fold his arms and sit quietly. {Which is a GREAT idea - for serious - and it worked for him, he was pretty good at sitting still in Primary.} That way, I can train myself once again to sit quietly during church, or use my parents old form of "punishment" for not sitting quietly in church and tell myself I don't get any dessert on Sunday after dinner. Wouldn't that be a bummer? OR they could just take my suggestions and liven Relief Society up, I'm just sayin'.