Friday, September 30, 2011

Over-protective Mommy?

I worry sometimes that my children might think that I am a bit paranoid (if they even know what that means).  I admit that I wonder if they would be right.  Being the mother of 3 little children (the fourth will be here in less than 2 weeks), I worry about them often, if not always.  I restrict them from doing things that other children do because I worry about their safety.  I wonder if I am the over-protective mommy, or if the other mommies are not protective enough. 

I recently let my children start walking to school by themselves, they have been walking home since the beginning of the year.  It is less than 1/4 mile away.  I warned them incessantly of the dangers of not walking together.  I drilled into their noggins that safety is in numbers.  I told them that if someone stopped in a car to talk to them, don't get close to the car, always stay on the sidewalk, act like you don't hear him/her, and run the rest of the way to school.  From everything I know about this city, it is a safe place to live and raise children.  I just never know when that could change.

A couple weeks ago, when I was walking out of work for the day, I got a phone call that I realized was from my children's school.  I answered it, expecting it to be one of the computer generated messages, so I just clicked the on button and waited.  I didn't hear anything, so I said hello.  It was my daughter.  She was telling me that her and my son were waiting for one of their friends after school.  He got tired of waiting and went across the street, and then he disappeared.  She wanted her aunt's phone number to call and see if he was home.  Well, I worked about 1/2 hour away.  I gave her the phone number and told her to have her aunt call as soon as they hung up and let me know what was going on.  I got a call within a couple minutes stating that my son had walked home by himself, he was tired of waiting.  So, again that evening, we went over all the rules.  They have done a fine job of walking to school together, there have been a few more instances of my daughter being left behind on the way home.  Thankfully, it hasn't happened in a while, and hopefully it won't happen again.

We live in a large apartment complex.  There is always a car coming or leaving it seems.  We have an apartment that faces a courtyard.  The children are permitted to play in the courtyard with their friends.  They are not permitted to play out front next to the parking lot.  I just feel that it would make it way too convenient for someone to grab them and put them in their car.  We watched a Dateline NBC show a few months ago about a 19 year-old BYU student that had gone home to Oregon and was helping out in an apartment complex that was grabbed in broad daylight from the parking lot where she was cleaning.  This rule has caused many complaints among the two older children.  They don't think it is fair that their friends can play out front, but they can't.  When I catch them out front, they get to come in for the rest of the day.  They don't like that either.  It has happened a few times...

So, these are just a couple of the rules I have.  I never wanted to be labeled an over-protective mommy, but I suppose that if this makes me one, I will live with the label.  It would be nice to have a guarantee that every child would be safe in their surroundings, but it is just not something that anyone can guarantee.  Children are so precious and so innocent.  They seem to inherently trust anyone.  I am so blessed with the children that I have and am so thankful for the opportunity to be their mommy.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Getting Ready for Baby

Well, knowing that my daughter will very likely be born within the next couple of weeks has put me into what many people refer to as the "nesting mode."  I sit here and realize that there is so much that has to be done.  I need to set up the Pack 'N Play which arrived yesterday.  First I need to admit I have to figure out where to set it up.  We live in a three bedroom apartment... each room has 2 beds in it, except for mine, which has 2 big dressers, a night stand, a queen size bed and a stand which my husband's brother made him.  Needless to say, there isn't much room in any of the bedrooms.  She will end up in my room, I just need to do some redecorating first.

The housework is the fun part (very sarcastically spoken).  I try to convince my children that cleaning IS NOT a punishment.  We all have to participate because we all contribute to how the house looks on a daily basis.  The older children like to think that my youngest is the only one that messes up the house.  Once they get started on chores, it goes much better.   The moments leading up to that are not so much fun.  I guess I haven't ever met a child that really looks forward to doing chores.  Before we moved from NY, the children helped out really well.  I need to propose the same reward I used to give them.  They would get electronics (computer, DS) for the same amount of time that they cleaned.  We would set the timer for 20 minutes, and if they cleaned that whole time, they would get to play the electronic of their choice for that long.  If anyone else has a good suggestion on what has worked with their children and chore time, I am always open for ideas!

I have to admit the excitement of meeting our newest baby is really setting in.  I look forward to seeing her and holding her.   I have imagined what she will look like for months now.   I wonder how big or little she will be, what color hair she will have, but I have to admit, I would be very surprised if she doesn't have blue eyes at birth.  My older two held on to the blue eyes until they were almost 2 yrs old, my youngest will be keeping his blue eyes, like his daddy.

My children are also very excited about their baby sister arriving soon.  We are not sure if she will be here next week or the following week.  It depends how this rash is affecting me -- currently I itch like crazy, and if I don't itch I feel like my stomach is on fire, or both at the same time.  She could be here in a matter of 5 to 6 days, if things get better, she will be here no later than two weeks from today, as long as the amniocentesis shows that her lungs are mature.

I hope that everyone has a wonderful day!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Broken Down Car

Well, I knew that things happen in threes, but I didn't want to say it out loud, so I didn't.  Last week, when I got to work and it had been burglarized was when I started thinking about it, since hours before our sleepwalking neighbor had been trying to get into our apartment again.  I figured that there was two down right there.  I hoped that it would only be two things.  Fast forward six to seven days... depending if the bad is when the car broke down or when the car shop called. 

Yesterday, I got a phone call at 4:15 pm.  It was my husband telling me that the car (2004 Chevy Aveo)  stopped running and he was on the side of the road (I-15).  My mind started running... I told him it sounded like either the alternator or the timing belt.  I asked him if he lost his power steering, he said he still had it when he was getting it to the side of the road.  I knew that if it was the alternator, he would have lost all power... no power steering, no power brakes (it has happened to me before).  I knew those kinds of things just make a car stop wherever it is.  I told him that we would be there shortly, he gave me very vague information about where he was, so I knew it would be interesting trying to find him.

We got into the van and headed down to the freeway.  I told the kids to watch across the freeway to see if they could see Daddy's car.  Of course, I was keeping an eye over there too.  The phone rang, it was my husband.  He had spoke to my dad who suggested that the fuel gauge may have gone out and he may have run out of gas, something that I had not thought of.  So, once I saw him on the side of the road, about 8 miles from home, I told him I was going to buy a gas can and some gas.  I think I can safely say that I have never bought a gas can, or filled one up.  So, I found out that a 2 gallon gas can at Chevron costs $14.05 with tax, then I bought $6 worth of gas.  I drove back to where my husband (it was easy to find since the traffic was going at a snails pace looking at the little blue car with the cop car in front of it).  We dumped the gas into the car and it wouldn't start.

I then got on the phone with AAA.  My plan is in NY, so they said they had to transfer me to UT.  As they did the transfer a tow truck pulled up in front of the car.  I told Keith that it was fast service.  Then I went and told the driver that I had AAA on the phone and asked if he was AAA approved.  He advised me that he was.  So, he called his dispatcher and told him what was going on, and started hooking up the car.  I told the guy I got transferred to what was going on and he gave me the service number to give the tow truck driver and off we went.

I followed Keith and the tow truck driver to the service station so we would know where it was at.  Well, this morning I got a phone call informing me that it was not the fuel pump.  It is the idler pulley that runs the timing belt broke, there is a 1% chance that it didn't damage valves.  The fix would either be have them fix all of the above or get a used engine installed.  When you hear those words, you know that it is not going to be a cheap, or even reasonable fix.  The baby will be born within the next two weeks, so we have made the decision...we will be selling the car.  I never liked the car anyway, but it is a good commuter car.  I am glad that we went and picked up the van last  month or we would have no vehicle.

Yesterday, after we got back from having the car towed, I made pork stir fry.  It was very good.  I used a frozen bag of veggies, leftover pork from the night before and rice.  Everyone added soy sauce... I added it for my youngest, because he seems to think that the rice should turn black with soy sauce, and then he doesn't eat it because it doesn't taste good.  I would have to agree!

After supper, we loaded the kids into the van and headed off to the indoor playground so my sister could watch her show.  It is really the only one that she cares about, so we thought that we could at least make sure it is quiet for that hour.  I enjoy getting to watch the children run around and play.  They enjoy the time getting to do that.  I am so grateful that I am their mother.

The kids have been in school for over a month now.  It is hard to believe that it has been that long.  They are doing well with what they are learning.  My daughter still loves to read and my son still loves math.  She doesn't like math and he doesn't like to read.  It is funny how they can be so opposite in that way!  It is hard to believe that in a couple of weeks is parent/teacher conference.  I look forward to meeting with teachers, but I am not sure if I will have the baby or be in the hospital or still pregnant.  My husband may get to be in charge of that this quarter.

Well, I hope that today goes well for everyone!  

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Fun Saturday...Smithsonian Museum Day

Yesterday was a busy day.  We took advantage of the Smithsonian Museum Day by going to Ogden's Union Station Museums.  There they have the Browning Museum, a train museum, and an antique car museum.  It was quite interesting.  My 3 year-old seemed very interested in the trains.  They had model trains running on tracks that just fascinated him.  He would probably still be standing there watching them if we hadn't made him leave.  My daughter also seemed most interested in the trains, but not to the same extent as my son.  The gold spike from Pomentary Point arrived at the train museum on Mar 8th of this year.  I had no idea what it is, but my husband seemed most excited about it.  I guess it was the last spike used for the continental railroad.

The antique car museum had the first registered vehicle in Utah.  It didn't even have a steering wheel.  It had a bar that you would move from one side to the other in order to steer the vehicle.  I guess they didn't want to make it a lot different than driving a horse carriage.

My husband and older son seemed most fascinated with the Browning Museum.  I have to admit, the only museums I have ever really like had dinosaur bones in them.  I have never been really interested in museums and those sorts of things.  I went along just to enjoy the time with my family. 

After the museums, there was the Harvest Moon Festival down the street so we walked over there to see what it consisted of.  They had a lot of things for children to do and it was free.  They gave the children little pumpkins to draw on.  The children got to "fish."  They had to throw the line over a curtain and they each ended up with a lollipop on the end of the rope.  They got to dig through sawdust to find little prizes.  They enjoyed every moment of it. 

Before we went to the museums, we went to Costco and had lunch.  I bought the kids each a hot dog and my sister and I a sausage dog.  I also bought 2 berry frozen yogurts and 2 chocolate dipped almond ice cream bars.  It was good food.  My kids ate half of their hot dogs and then started on ice cream.  I have decided that I should probably just buy 2 hotdogs and cut them in half.  The hotdogs are pretty big for a little child.

After spending a few hours in Ogden we headed back to our city and let the children play at an indoor playground for an hour.  By that time, the children were pretty worn out and ready to come home.   Upon arrival at home, I had my husband talk to the mainenance department about what kind of hose we need to hook the dryer up to the vent thing.  One of the maintenance men came over, took a look, went back to his shop, grabbed the hose and hooked it up for us.  I thought that was incredibly nice of him.  I will always have a spot in my heart for maintenance men as that is what my dad did during his working years.  I told my husband that it seems that people in that profession are generally giving people.  Perhaps it is because my dad would do anything for any one and I know that.

To end the day, my sister and I went and did grocery shopping.  Upon arriving at the store, we saw that they were doing flu shots there.  So, before starting our shopping expedition, we both got our flu shots.  My doctor had said the sooner the better for the flu shot, so the baby could start getting immunity to the flu as well.  I thought I should take that advice.  She won't be able to get a flu shot until she is 6 months old, and she still has 18 days left inside me, anything I can do to keep her healthy this flu season, I am willing to do.  Now I just need to set up an appointment for my children to get their flu shots.  They really don't look forward to that, but I always bring them for out for ice cream afterward.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Sunday today!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

What a Week...

This week has been a little crazy!  My laptop was at the warranty doctor, we got it back yesterday.  It is working good after finding out that the charger I was using didn't work, so it was the charger, not the computer.  That is good news...

This week I worked Tuesday through Friday.  It was a good, but very busy, week at work.  I am thankful that I work with a great bunch of people.  I am generally the first person to work, so when I walk in to the office all the lights come on.  Wednesday morning, this was not the case.  I walked through the back door of my office building.  I could see in the distance that the front door of the building was broken.  I thought perhaps it had a stress fracture and finally broke during the night.  I took a deep breath and took a few more steps to check things out.  I noticed that the office lights were on.  I saw one of the office windows was broken.   Needless to say, I turned around, and walked back out the same door I came in. 

One of the co-workers pulled into the parking lot so I told her what was going on, then called 911.  My co-worker and I walked to the front of the building to meet the officer when he arrived.  We kept an eye on the backdoor, which can be seen from the front door, to make sure none of our co-workers tried to go in.  The officer arrived about 10 minutes after I called.  He saw all the broken glass and said he was calling for backup.  Within a matter of minutes, there were 4 other officers at the building.  We told them what we knew, which was the office lights are motion activated, and that I am generally the first one in the office, when I am there.  They had us stand to the side on the front sidewalk in case someone came running out, and they went in through all the broken windows and doors.  I gave them my badge to get into the office.

We watched them clear the building hallway, with guns drawn, and then progress into the office.  After several minutes of them being in there, they came out and told us that one of our coworkers were in there and it was safe to go in.  So, we went in, walked through the broken glass on the floor, and found another fellow worker.  She explained that she could see something, but it was so dark that she didn't realize it was broken glass.  She went in and started to work.  She said that she was busy at work when she turned around to have officers with guns pointed at her.  She explained that she worked there and didn't notice anything was wrong. 

It took me a good couple of hours to recover from what I had walked into that morning.  I am grateful that the person was gone by the time I got to work and no one was injured.  The person took a laptop from the office, but that is all.  The cameras showed that it happened around 5:15 am and the person was in and out within 1 1/2 minutes.  Didn't take him too long to get something and get out.  I arrived at work an hour later.

Tuesday night/Wednesday morning...about 6 hours before arriving to work, our sleepwalking friend started to try to come into the apartment again.  This is the second time he has done this.  It is always a little unnerving.  We know the fellow now, but since he was sleepwalking, I didn't dare to let any of us open the door.  You never know how someone will react.  We yelled through the door a few times and then he left.  He came back about 10 minutes later and finally I yelled to him which apartment to go to, and he must have listened because he didn't come back.    It was a crazy few hours!

Tuesday my little sisters turned 36.  It was a long day and I felt bad that I wasn't able to do anything with my sister that lives with me.  I worked from 6:15-3:45, I had a doctor's appointment at 4:45, didn't leave til 6, then had to stop and buy stuff to make supper.  We arrived home at 6:40, I threw supper together, and brought the kids outside to eat.  She wanted to be able to watch NCIS, so we wanted to let her do that without any noise from the kids.  We ate outside, then went and fed the ducks, then went on a little walk and let the kids play at the playground.  We came home at 8, and I proceeded to make her birthday cupcakes.  We had cupcakes at about 9 that night.  I was exhausted because I had been up since 4 am, so I ate my cupcake with some ice cream and went to sleep. 

On Thursday, my mom had her birthday.  I called her at about 8 am her time, which made it 6 am my time.  I guess it can startle a mother when her 35 1/2 week pregnant calls her that early.  I assured her I was on my way to work and was only calling to say Happy Birthday.  She was happy to hear that.  She said that 65 feels great and I should look forward to it.  We agree that we have had a lot of fun.  It was interesting to see that she has a 40 year-old and a 28 year-old, and several in-between.  I will have a 36 year-old and a 27 year-old at that age, with a couple in-between.  

The baby is doing fine.  We are thinking that she will be delivered on Oct 13, in the evening, if the amniocentesis shows that her lungs are fully functioning.  My children usually come that early anyway, so I am sure she will be fine.   I am excited to meet the little one. 

Today we are trying to figure out what we will be doing.  We may go to a museum or a fun center.  Either way, I hope to end up with a Costco sausage dog and an ice cream bar.  We are hoping to get our dryer hooked up as well.  We need to figure out what kind of dryer vent hose we need to get, the aluminum one was too long.  We shall see!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Look Mommy, Their Baby Popped Out!

On Friday night, we brought my sister out to dinner in Logan.  I had seen that morning that they had opened a restaurant up there that we used to frequent in college.  To say we were a little excited would not do it justice.  Her birthday is tomorrow, so this would be her birthday dinner/gift. 

Although the breadsticks had changed, Craigo's had the absolute best breadsticks in the country, the food was delicious, and priced very affordably.  The restaurant is called the Pizza Pie Cafe, for the dinner buffet for adults, it is $8.25 and includes pasta, pizza, breadsticks, dessert pizza and salad bar.  It was great food.

At a table close by, there was a young couple with a 6 month-old baby boy.  When my 3 year-old saw the baby, he pointed my head in that direction and said, "Look Mommy, their baby popped out!"  I couldn't help but laugh.  He has sat on my stomach and pushed on my stomach, telling me he is going to pop the baby out.  He is more than excited to meet his baby sister, and I imagine he is a little envious of everyone that has actually had their baby "pop out."

On a side note, my two older children walked to school today with some of their friends.  This is the first time they have walked by themselves, without someone from our family.  It is hard to believe that they are to that age when they can be independent enough to walk.  I feel there is safety in numbers.  I also feel we live in a safe place.  They know all the rules and I have to trust that they will follow them.  They are responsible children, as are their friends. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Cloth Diapers and a Washer and Dryer

We have decided that we are going to give cloth diapers a go with this little one.  She will be here in about 3 weeks, less than four weeks maximum.  We are excited for her grand entrance into this world.  After weighing the costs of everything, and a lot of research, it looks like cloth diapers are going to be the way we go. They have certainly come a long way since I babysat a couple kids when I was 10 and they were both in diapers.  Cloth diapers, nonetheless, and they were made out of long, white pieces of cloth that I had to rinse in the toilet (trying not to puke my guts out). 

We then decided that we should buy a washer and dryer.  We got online and found the website for the local classified ads and started calling  people that had washers and dryers listed for sale in the classified ads.  All of the people had sold theirs.  At the bottom of the page, I saw one that was listed 33 minutes before.  I had my husband call, she still had them!  We told her we would be there quickly.  We stopped and picked up the money and rushed over.  Thankfully, the dryer was electric as well.  We were super happy.  They look in great condition.  They also had a dining room table and chairs for sale.  So we bought those also.  We had been using a card table for our dinner table.  The first meal we ate at the new table was hamburgers with tater tots.  It was good food.  

We need to grab some washers for the washer connection to the water faucet.  We have to get a tube to vent the dryer and then I think we will be up and running.  Sure beats hauling the laundry to the laundry room as I discussed last week.  Here is to hoping for many years out of our used washer and dryer!

Hope everyone has a great night! 

Friday, September 16, 2011

It Has Been a Good Week

This has been a busy, productive week.  The kids are doing great in school.  I put in 38.25 hours of work in 4 days.  My laptop was sent away to the warranty doctor.  It will not hold a charge and if the plug didn't have precise placement, the laptop would go off without any warning, due to not holding a charge.  So, it shipped away on Tuesday. 

My oldest got his tooth pulled on Monday.  He did very well, until we left the dentist office.  By the time we got home, which was less than a mile away, he was crying in pain.  It was painful for me to watch and not be able to do anything.  I had given him his pain medication before we went so that it would kick in by the time the tooth was pulled.  The crying and pain seemed to last forever, but in reality it was probably only an hour.  By the time the dentist office called and said I could also give him Motrin, and I left to buy it and come back, he was a lot better.  He didn't even want the medicine.  I was happy.  His mouth bled for about 2 hours and I think I went through at least 15 gauze pads.  Thank goodness for gauze!  He ate bananas and ice cream for the rest of the day.

I went to the doctor on Tuesday.  The non-stress test on the baby looked good.  When I saw the perinatologist, they determined that they will do an amniocentesis in 3 weeks to determine if the baby's lungs are fully functioning.  It will then be decided when she will be delivered.  I look forward to meeting the little one!  I want her to be full-term though, so past 37 weeks.

We went on a walk Tuesday night and brought Cheerios to feed the geese, ducks and swans.  The geese and ducks loved the Cheerios, the swan was too busy grooming herself to even know we were there.  She cleaned herself the whole time we were watching her.  We all got a kick out of watching how she did.  You would never imagine how well a swan can clean itself until you see it happen.  That long neck makes it possible to get very clean.

Last night, my sister and I went grocery shopping.  We got enough food for a week, what a wonderful feeling!  I had been going daily for a few days, and it gets expensive... especially since I think I should replenish the ice cream regularly.  I hate going grocery shopping, but I hadn't had enough time to make up a menu and figure out what to buy. 

We went to feed the ducks that live here last night and there was none to be found.  I wonder where they have wandered off too, or if it was just too late.  It was more dark than dusk, so they may have went to wherever they sleep for the night.  I haven't figured that out yet.

Today, my sister, my youngest and I rode the train down to Salt Lake.  She met with my supervisor so she can start work soon.  My supervisor wanted to meet my youngest son.  It was so cute how they interacted together.  I had made brownies to bring down for the co-workers and he insisted that he was starving, so he was eating one when we walked in.  He got to meet my co-workers, I had told him that they are my friends that I hang out with when I am not at home.  When my sister was speaking with my supervisor, we went outside and walked around.  He did quite well on the train, but he didn't seem as impressed with it as I imagined. 

I hope all of you have had a wonderful week!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11/01-9/11/11 Ten Years Later -- Never Forget

It was a beautiful California morning, I woke up about 8 am, oblivious to what had been happening 3000 miles away in the state I had left a mere 3 1/2 months before. I was married 4 days before and very happily in the honeymoon phase.  My husband and I were renting a room from a wonderful woman that is now a dear friend.  She was crying and I wasn't sure what had happened.  I asked her what happened, if there was anything that she needed, anything I could do.  She then filled me in on everything that was happening in our country.  She told me that airplanes had run into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and one had crashed in Pennsylvania.  I have to admit that it took what seemed like a minute or two to digest what I was being told.  Tears welled up in my eyes. I stood there in disbelief, disbelief that this could happen to US, to our people, on our soil.  Disbelief that some people could be so hateful, so evil, that they would take so many innocent lives.  I had dated a man that lived in New York City. I stood on the observation deck of one of those Towers in October of 98.  It was a magnificent view, you could see for miles upon miles, at every angle.  To this day, it stuns me at how quickly they crumbled to the ground. 

I wondered what would be next, if there was anywhere safe to be.  I lived much closer to a big city than I had in a long time.  I was living within a few miles of Sacramento, the capitol of California.  How safe could I be?  This was my next thought.  My husband was taking a Political Science class at a local college.  It started about an hour after we woke up.  I had him call his school to find out if there were still going to be classes.  To my surprise, he did still have class.  So, I kissed him goodbye and he headed off.

I turned on the radio, we didn't have television service.  In fact, I didn't see any footage until 2 days later, when I went to the gym.  Until then, the news I got was from the radio.  I heard the audio footage of people screaming and running.  I heard them telling us that all planes were grounded because we didn't know how many had been or would be hijacked.  I heard people sobbing, wondering where and how missing family members were.  I heard about local blood drives, emergency blood drives, to get blood to people that were going to need it.  This was something I could do, to help from thousands of miles away.  I had donated blood in the past, I wanted to do something, and this is what I could do.  I heard a location on a street that I knew, so I headed there.  The line was backed up, it would be a few hours before I could donate, if it would be that day at all.  I made an appointment to come back the next day.

My parents and my sister were still traveling home from my wedding.  They had a cell phone.  I had tried to get in contact with them for hours.  If anyone remembers, cell service didn't work very well that day.  I can understand why, everyone trying to make sure their loved ones were accounted for.  When I finally got through, they were really close to Chicago, IL.  When my parents travel, they don't listen to the radio.  They talk and enjoy the scenery and the drive.  Sometimes the radio will come on, but it is usually later in the day, but it hadn't been on at all that day.  I told them what was going on.  I could hear the disbelief and shock in the voices as Mom told my dad and sister.  We hung up and they continued their drive.  The next day when they had to return their rental car, it wasn't an easy task.  Since they had rented it from an airport and the airports were closed.  I guess that it took a while to figure out what they should do with this car.  It did get taken care of.

When I finally saw television footage of the events, there were things on the TV that I would have never imagined.  People jumping from buildings, dust clouds chasing people as they were running away from the falling buildings, bloody people helping other bloody people.  So many images, so many terrible images, that had to be shown.  I don't know that there would be any other way to report such a horrific event.  We need to remember that day, we need to remember how much we love our country.  All the flags that were waving in our front yards, the flags we bought and hung from our car windows, the t-shirts we bought with flags on them.  The comraderie we felt as a nation.  The togetherness, neighbor helping neighbor, neighbor speaking to neighbor, there was genuine love between people...regardless of political view, religious background, race.

Ten years later... I am still married to that husband.  The honeymoon phase is over, reality has set in as far as that goes.  We are expecting baby number four.  Life is good, but like everyone else's it is not perfect.  We drove home from work on Friday.  It would be the last day of the weekday talk radio.  My husband enjoys talk radio.  He listens to Rod Arquette after work on his way home.  Friday he was remember 9/11.  I listened, tears rolling down my face... I hid it from my husband.  I'm not sure why I didn't want him to know I was crying.  As a mother now, hearing the terrible sounds of people crying out for their loved ones, people in so much pain, hearing the reports of the Towers being hit, falling down, absolutely broke my heart.  Perhaps as a mother, I was understanding the pain of all the mothers that lost children they loved more than life that day.  Perhaps as a wife, understanding how she woke up and kissed her husband goodbye, knowing fully well that he would be home that evening, and he would never again walk through their door.  The tears flowed, like they never had before, remembering that day.

This morning I woke up, I made pancakes (plain and banana) for my family.  I told my children about the events of ten years ago.  I turned on the television to see some of the coverage.  I listened to names being read.  The names of peoples' loved ones, mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, sisters, brothers, best friends.  I heard a mother talk about her son.  I didn't catch the whole thing, but I know how very proud she is of him, how much he is missed and how much he is loved.

We must remember the troops, the many men and women, who signed up to serve our country.  The people that have signed up before 9/11/01 and those that have signed up after.  The troops who have given their lives to protect our freedom.  We must support those men and women. 

We must remember the firefighters, police officers, and other first responders, that went running into the buildings that day while others were running out.  The ones that died doing what they believe in, trying to save the lives of others.  We must remember the men and women that survived that day.

If anything, I would imagine that all the people that died that day, and the ones that have died fighting the battles of that day,  would want us to love each other.  Treat each other like we did those days, weeks and months after 9/11.  They would want us to be a charitable nation.  They would want us to raise each other up, instead of pushing each other down.  They would want us to focus on service, being selfless, instead of being selfish.  Let's remember the people on the flight that went down in Pennsylvania, they acted selflessly, knowing that their plane was probably going to take the lives of other innocent victims, took control and ran into the ground instead of another building. 

Let's remember that we have our lives today, we don't know what will come tomorrow.  Let's try to smile at someone that may need a smile in their lives.  Let's be a friend to someone who could use a friend.  Let's just remember that life is unpredictable and treat people like it may be the last time we may ever see them... and hope and pray it isn't.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Sleep Came Early...and the Smoking Television

No blog last night... I was really tired and the kids were sleeping by 9 pm, all of them.  The youngest had fallen asleep around 8 pm.  I didn't realize how tired I was, until I looked at the clock and it was a little after 9, and then I woke up at 10:45 pm.  It had been a long week, the trip home on Monday was exhausting, and then putting in 40 hours of work over the next 4 days.  I just needed to sleep and I wasn't going to fight it. 

When I woke up at 10:45 pm, I turned on the television, expecting to put on something boring so that I could go back to sleep quickly.  The complete opposite occured.  I turned it on and David Letterman was on my screen, but in a completely distorted view.  I kept looking at it for several seconds, tried to turn up the volume to see what was going on, and then tried to flip the channel.  The sound didn't go up, but the channel did change.  It was a Spanish channel, but still completed distorted.  The screen then started flickering, with a rainbow looking flash in the middle.  This all happened within a minute of turning on the televison. 

I turned off the television, and in all my wisdom, turned it back on.  I thought it was just a momentary problem that would correct itself.  I was sadly mistaken.  There was no picture, except for the flickering, rainbow thing in middle of the set.  Then I started to smell smoke... the scent of an electric problem radiating from my television. I turned it back off and unplugged it.  Then I posted a note and hung it front of the television stating not to plug it in, that it was ruined and smoking.  Just in case one of the kids wanted to watch TV this morning and I didn't notice. 

I had many strange dreams about televisions once I fell back to sleep.  It is odd how those kinds of things can cause the subconscious to unleash.  I don't know that I have ever actually dreamed about a television, until last night, when I must have dreamed at least 5 different times about different television scenarios. 

When I woke up this morning, I went and got our older television out of my sons' room (they had it in there for their Nintendo 64 console), and hooked it up out here, after moving the broken one off the stand.  I wouldn't want to cause the children to not watch the Nick saturday morning cartoon lineup.  As I sit here writing the blog, they are watching TUFF Puppy

Today, I need to get some housework done, including laundry.  It is not ever my favorite thing to do, since we need to bring it to the apartment complex laundry room, which is on the other side of the complex.  I drive over there, because I am not going to walk with a ton of laundry, and toss it in.  Leave my vehicle there, walk back here, go back and toss it in the dryer, walk back here, go fold it, put it back in the vehicle, and drive back here and carry it up the stairs to the apartment.  Not fun, but necessary! 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Missing Nikes, The Abscess Tooth, and The Midnight Snacker

When we got home from Washington on Monday night, I had my children get ready for school.  I always have them show me what they are wearing, down to the underwear, socks and shoes.  I don't want to leave anything up in the air for their Aunt to have to worry about as she tries to get them off school.  My daughter brought me everything except for shoes.  I asked her where her shoes were.  That is when she started to cry.  I knew this wasn't a good thing; it was obvious they weren't tears of joy.  She started to explain to me that she left them outside when we left for our trip the previous Friday.  I have to admit, I was annoyed.  I had her go and look for them, she brought her aunt.  They were not where she left them.  I told her that probably one of her friends brought them inside for her. 

She cried and cried.  She explained to her dad that they are special shoes, that her Uncle Bob bought for her.  She wanted "tie shoes," not velcro.  Her other sneakers are velcro.  I told her to pray for them and that I would too.  Tuesday rolled around, I had her ask friends if they had put her shoes in their houses.  None of them had.  We continued to pray, no one wants to lose their special shoes!  Wednesday, after my date with my husband, I saw that her shoes were in the corner.  I was really happy for her and so was she.  I asked if one of her friends had them, she said no, that they were outside.  I was just happy that she had them back and for the answer to the prayers. 

As I mentioned yesterday, my oldest son has an abscess tooth.  I was sure that it was just a cavity, until he was up off and on from 1 to 4:30 am Wednesday morning.  Something told me at 4:30 am that he had an abscess and that I had to get him to the dentist.  I tried to figure out who our dental insurance is through.  No one could answer that question at that time of the day, just a whole lot of digital voices answering phones and asking you to say something or the other or press something or the other.  I finally got through to a live person at 6 am, on the way to work, and found out who the insurance is through at my husband's work.  It took another 3 hours to get through to the dental office.  They got him in that day and my sister was kind enough to bring him. I mad the appointment for his extraction; the earliest they could get him in is Monday.  I will be there with him during the process.  

My sister reminded me tonight that it will be "fun" trying to make sure he doesn't get a dry socket.  That is definitely the last thing a little guy needs.  When I was in college, I had my wisdom teeth pulled.  I don't know what the doctor was thinking, but he told me to be sure to drink with straws.  Perhaps he hated me, or I was so drugged I misunderstood?!  Everything I have heard since then, straws are a huge no-no.  Dry sockets are incredibly painful!

My midnight snacker, who is my youngest fella cannot go to sleep without having something to eat.  He is hilarious how he explains what he wants to eat.  He tells us that he is going to have a baby.  His babies are blue and yellow.  He tells us that his babies want cheese, or cereal, or carrots, or whatever it is that he wants at that moment.  He eats until he is full and then tells us that his babies don't want to eat any more.  Sometimes as he eats, his eyes start closing.  I have to keep him talking until the food is out of his mouth.  I worry about him eating while he sleeps.  He is too old to stick my fingers in his mouth to fish food out.  I learned that lesson a few months ago when I practically had to pry his jaws open to scoop something out.  He has too many teeth to do that too.  Never fun to get bit!

Well, football season has begun and the first game just got over.  I didn't think it would be such a high scoring game.  I am a Buffalo Bills fan and a San Diego Chargers fan.  I love football and always look forward to the season.  Sundays has always involved watching games.  Finally, there will be something good to watch on Sunday again!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ten Year Anniversary!

Today my husband and I celebrated ten years together.  We woke up a little after 5 am, got ready for work, and drove the 30 minute commute together.  He dropped me off in front of my workplace and continued on to his.  We didn't speak again til about 3:40 pm, when he called to see if I was already home or if I needed a ride.  I needed a ride.  He came and picked me up and we headed off to doctor's appointments.  I had a fetal non-stress test and then saw my midwife.  The baby looks fine, which is always good news.

We then headed to a local buffet in town which makes the best scones around.  I ate more than I should have, the food was good.  We arrived back at the house a little before 7:30 pm.  My sister was kind enough to watch the children even after work hours so my husband and I could go to the appointments and out to eat.

Ten years ago today was a very exciting day.  My sister and I went and got our hair done and manicures and pedicures.  She was my maid of honor.  We had to go buy shoes (you never remember everything) also.  My parents and my sister drove from NY to be at our wedding in Reno NV.  We decided to get married on September 7, but the date was chosen on September 4.  That gave them 3 days to get there, they arrived on September 6.  We hung out in Reno that night.

My older brother, my grandfather, and my aunt and uncle, as well as a dear friend who I was renting a room from were also there.  My husband's grandmother, his parents, brother and sister, and his best friend were in attendance.  It was a wonderful turn out for short notice.  I have never really been one to want to be the center of attention so it worked out well for me.  We were married at a wedding chapel in Reno, NV.  My grandfather's sister, Mary Jane, let us use her house for the reception afterward.  My grandfather had made and decorated the cake.

I am so thankful that I met such a wonderful man 10 years and 4 months ago.  Yes, it was a short engagement, before we were married, but when you know it is the right person, you just know.  Life has been good to us.  We have been blessed with 3 healthy children who love our Heavenly Father and love us.  They treat each other well.  We have our little one on the way, who had good reports at the appointments today.  I am so thankful for everyday I have with him and with my family.  I have truly been blessed.

I want to thank my husband for 10 wonderful years!  I look forward to an eternity!  Love you and Happy Anniversary!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Long and Fun Weekend

This past weekend, my kids, my husband, my sister and I went on a little trip to see my big brother, his wife and kids.  We left on Friday when my husband got home from work.  We had a couple little setback, so we didn't head out exactly when planned, but we did pretty good.

I had my oldest son bring the snacks (in a little plastic grocery bag) to the van so we would have some things to munch on, as needed.  This was the first setback.  He thought it was trash and ran it right to the dumpster and tossed that in... as well as the Nintendo DS he was holding.  So, the plastic bag was easy to retrieve, it was right at the top of everything since it had just been deposited.  The DS, not so easy to retrieve.  It took a good 15 minutes or so.  First I tried holding his legs because he would be able to reach it, but he didn't trust me enough to not let him fall in.  It got knocked down further.  I went to see if we could borrow someone's long grabber thing, but by the time I found someone that would bring it over, my husband had helped my son get the DS.  The trip would not go so well knowing that the DS was being served to the landfill.  The other setback was that my husband couldn't find any of his hats.  That took a little while to solve also and then we hit the road.

We drove for 8 hours that night and ended up in a little hotel room with beds that were too soft.  My back enjoys firm beds, and seems to enjoy them even more when 33 weeks pregnant.  We finally all fell to sleep and slept well til the morning.  My daughter didn't even remember my youngest son falling out of bed and landing on top of her.  That is what woke me up at 6 am for the rest of the day.  We headed out by a little after 7 am and were to my brother's house by 9:45 am.  The hotel had a free continental breakfast.  It wasn't very impressive which caused my oldest son to announce that it was a 1 star hotel.  He gives things stars based on the food that is served... buffets always get 5 stars.  I was humiliated, but that is how we learn.

When we arrived at my brother's house, we didn't see a vehicle there, so my husband and kids went out back.  Their cousins were very happy to see them in their backyard.  My oldest nephew is old enough to watch the kids (which I often forget, where does time go anyway?!) so I didn't even think they would be home.  My sister-in-law and brother arrived home shortly thereafter.  My brother had to bring the boy scouts to an archery range to earn a badge or something and my sister-in-law was running a quick errand.

That day the kids played outside for hours.  This is the second time they have been together in 4 months.  They love having time to be together.  We had tuna fish sandwiches for lunch.  My brother and husband brought the older kids to the archery range where they got to learn the rules of the range and got to shoot some arrows.  I guess my daughter was a really good shot from 10 yards away.  My nephew watched the kids later that evening while we went out to Mongolian Barbecue.  I had never had it until I was visiting them in May.  It is a very impressive dinner and it is interesting to see them cooking it on the grill.

On Sunday, my sister-in-law made pancakes with bacon.  It was a delicious breakfast.  I ate more than I should have, but I enjoyed every bite of it.  We had church from 11-2 pm and then went to the Temple to walk around and get pictures afterward.  Upon arrival back at the house, we had leftover Mongolian Barbecue for lunch.  We sat around and talked for hours while the children played outside.  I made a mistake and took a nap, a long nap, and ended up staying up til 1 am (Pacific time), which is 2 am my time.  That was not a good thing.  When I woke up it was time to start thinking about dinner.  My brother grilled steak and squash on his grill.  My sister-in-law made French fries and corn on the cob inside.  It was an amazing dinner!  Then came out my sister's surprise birthday cake.  It was made at Costco, chocolate cake, 4 layers with chocolate chunks around the outside and fudge between the layers.  If it weren't so rich, I think I would have eaten the whole thing.  She was very surprised.

My sister-in-law and I stayed up talking until 1 am.  The children went to sleep around 10 and it was very nice to get to visit without noise for a while.  I think my brother, sister and husband all fell to sleep around 11.  I planned to leave by 7 their time, but it was a little after 8 am when we finally left.  I woke up at 6:50 am officially.  My son woke me up an hour before to get medicine for a toothache.  I had a piece of that cake for breakfast (it is so yummy!).  We kissed everyone goodbye and jumped in the van.  I drove the whole way home, we got here about 8:30 pm.  There were a few stops on the way... potty breaks, a stop at the Boise Mall for something my sister has wanted forever, to buy gas and to grab food and keep going.  It was a longer trip home than previously, but it was well worth the trip to get to see the family.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

TV Time Has Changed...

Is it just me, or has being a mommy (or any adult around children a lot) changed anyone else's television viewing habits?  I used to be one that would watch Days of our Lives daily.  I started watching it in college and finished watching it the day my youngest son was born.  So, I watched it for a good 11 to 12 years.  Yes, I would miss episodes, but I could turn on the television and figure out whatever it was that I missed prior.

I used to watch the night-time lineups, the shows that wouldn't be appropriate for children to watch because of the adult content.  In college, I don't think I missed a single episode of Friends.  Now, I can't even tell you what shows are on what nights.  Although, I have to admit, I do watch Biggest Loser, and my sister got me watching Bones and NCIS during the final couple weeks of last season.  I will probably watch these when they start the new season.  I am also a huge sport's fan.  I will put it on ESPN to watch whatever is on, or whatever NFL, NBA, or MLB game is on.

Since having children, I have tuned into Nickelodeon, Disney, PBS Kids, and Cartoon Network (CN has only been recently for Looney Tunes, Tom and Jerry, and Johnny Test, for the most part).  I never had any desire to know about SpongeBob SquarePants, The Fairly OddParents, Phineas and Ferb, Ni-Hao Kailan, etc.  Those are just a few of the shows that are favorites among my children.   I never envisioned myself as actually sitting down and watching these shows and enjoying them.  I have even noticed that some of the episodes I will continue to watch, even if the children leave the room.

I enjoy having my children sitting around me as we watch cartoons.  There is nothing like hearing them laugh at the funny parts.  Hearing them laugh makes me laugh even if something wasn't funny to me.  It is amazing how hearing the laughter of a child can change your whole day!  It is fun to hear them discussing the cartoons with each other.  They discuss aspects of the shows I would have never even thought about again.