Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Has Anyone Ever Told You.... ?

Has anyone ever told you that you have a hole in your left eardrum?  That is what I heard from the doctor today.  I went to see him because I have an earache.  My ear starts itching horribly so then I scratch it.  That is where I always seem to go wrong.  I don't know if the scratching leads to the ear infection or if it itches because there is an infection. 

That all said, I think that is his way of telling me I have a hole in my left eardrum.  He prescribed ear drops for me, to use 4 times a day. 

My oldest son and my youngest daughter don't have strep throat.  That is the good news of the day! 

Tonight is Parent/Teacher Conference for my two older children.  I always look forward to that.  My husband  is only working a half a day so he can go with me.  My sister will watch my kids while we are gone.  I am thankful for evening hours for conference.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Midnight Wake Up Call

My one year-old daughter had a half hour nap yesterday.  That was it.  She usually takes a few naps a day, and for longer periods of time.  I wasn't surprised when she cuddled up to me and went to sleep at 8 pm.  The shock came at a few minutes before midnight when she woke up.  She wanted to play.  She wanted a whole lot of mommy time and mommy, who is me, was exhausted.  It took all I had to stay awake.  I found Sesame Street on TV.  They seem to have a marathon of Sesame Street on Sundays around midnight around here.  I never knew it until last night.  I am not one to stay awake to watch Sesame Street.  She enjoyed one episode.  It seems like it was about bullying.

We then got up and went upstairs into the bathroom.  She likes the bathroom.  She likes to open the doors under the sink and play with the drawers around it.  There are a lot of mirrors in the bathroom.  She loves mirrors.  She flirted with herself for a little while.

We came back downstairs.  We had been hanging out for an hour and a half at this point.  I was far beyond exhausted.  It didn't help much to know that morning would be arriving in a matter of a few hours.  I enjoyed every moment with her in middle of the night though.  She doesn't do this often, thankfully.  We played with my phone for a little while.  I let her play with the remote control buttons.  I changed her diaper.  I figured that since she was awake I might as well change it.  I usually wait until morning to change her, unless she wakes up in middle of the night.

She likes prayers.  She will randomly fold her arms.  I know that it means she wants to hear a prayer.  I often wonder if babies and toddlers pray.  I believe they remember being with their Heavenly Father.  I believe they miss that connection.  It wouldn't faze me to think that they pray to Him in their own language, whatever baby language may be.  I believe He understands what they are saying also.

She finally cuddled up to me and went to sleep at almost 2 am on the dot.  I was asleep within minutes of her falling to sleep.

We had a freezing rain storm on Thursday, so essentially, it was an ice storm.  When I went to pick up my children after school, there were kids falling down left and right.  I didn't really understand why they didn't close school, but apparently they have never had such a phenomenon around her.  I think they might cancel it next time.

I literally slid my baby's car seat on the ground to the front doors of the school.  It slid easily on the ice.  There was no effort needed.  I didn't want to fall carrying her and her car seat served as a bit of a crutch.  I spent 1 1/2 hours getting the ice off of our driveway.  It was about 1/8 inch thick and very slick.

I have been limiting my time online lately.  If I don't want the children spending so much time online, I figure I need to lead by example.  Well, the baby is resting now, I am going to see if I can join her.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Count Your Blessings

Lately, this is something I have been forgetting to do.  I wake up cold, I go to sleep cold.  Some of the snow melts, just enough melts so at night it will freeze and cause everything to turn to ice.  This sure makes it a lot of fun to try to go on a walk or run!   Anyway, you get the point.  Sometimes things happen which I dwell on, that I should just sit down and count my blessings. 

I have so many things to be thankful for.  I am so blessed to have four healthy children.  They are very energetic.  They love to be with each other.  They are each others' best friends.  What mother could ask for more? 

I am blessed to have an amazing husband.  He puts up with me, even when I think I would be hard to put up with.  He makes me smile when I am down.  He cheers me on.  He goes to work five days a week to make money so we have things we need.

I have great brothers and sisters.  I am blessed to have one of my sisters live with me.  I think that she makes living away from the rest of my family more bearable.  My siblings have always been my best friends.  I have always had someone there for me when I needed to talk.  I have always had someone to hang out with, when I needed to get away.

My parents are amazing.  First of all, to raise six children that truly love each other.  I think that is a fete in itself.  They helped us get through college.  They taught us correct principles, and let us govern ourselves.  Although, I didn't always govern myself correctly, they loved me anyway.   My parents always made sure we had what we needed.  They loved us unconditionally.  We always look forward to being together as a family. 

I have many wonderful friends.  I have friends that know that even though I am horrible at keeping in touch, I love them anyway.  I always enjoy seeing my friends when I can.  It is nice to bump into someone at Wal-Mart or the grocery store and get to visit.  I have always been a homebody.  I am most comfortable at home.  That is just how I am.

I am blessed to be in good health.  I am not sure I will always have this blessing, but I am trying to take advantage of it while I can.  I have started running again.  I bought a FitBit Zip which monitors my steps, miles, and calories burned.  My sister and I have started a running regimen which helps to motivate me.  I want to take good care of my body.

I am blessed to know that my Savior, Jesus Christ, lives, and to know that He died for me.  He took upon the sins of everyone that has walked on earth and will walk on earth, that through Him we may return to our Father in Heaven.  He has marked the way, we just need to follow Him and repent when we sin.  He loves us all.  He does not love our sins, but He does love us.

I am blessed to know there is a Prophet, Thomas Monson, on earth today.  He will let us know the things which we need to know, if we but listen. 

I am blessed to be able to watch sports.  I have loved sports since I was a little tyke.  My dad coached my brother's football team (peewee?) and I would run the laps and practice with all of them.  I ended up being a cheerleader for the team though.  Guess it wouldn't be good to have a girl on the team :)

I am blessed to have a house and a car.  There are so many people in this world with neither.  Although my van really doesn't ever want to go anywhere, it generally will.  I don't dare to bring it on the freeway until it has had plenty of time to warm up.

These are just some of the things that I feel I am blessed to have.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Halloween 2012

It is quite evident that this post is a bit overdue, just by the title of it.  I was waiting until I could post pictures of the costume.  Our camera is lost more frequently than not.  I found the camera and took the card out.  I then copied the photos to my computer so I could get them on here.

My children were supposed to be matching this year.  My two daughters were supposed to be fairy princesses, compliments of matching costumes my friend made for them.  My two sons were supposed to be Army soldiers.  My youngest son ended up being Mario from Mario Bros, because he had no clue where his Army costume went. 

We started off the evening going to Krispy Kreme doughnuts where the children each got a free doughnut.  We then went to Nielsen Frozen Custard where people would get a free small frozen custard if they brought in a text.  They didn't say that each person needed their own phone with the text on it.  We got one small cup and I let my children eat it.

When we got home, there was a trunk or treat at the Church close to my house.   My kids each grabbed a bag and ran to the corner.  Well, all of my children that could walk.... The baby hung out with me. 

The children then came home and I brought all of them Trick or Treating, including the baby.  We went to a few houses.  I just wanted the baby to go out and be seen her in costume that matched her sister.  They got a lot of compliments.  They looked really cute, all of them.  When we came back, my husband took the children out. 

That night, the Great Pumpkin came and took their candy.  It is something that happens right after Halloween every year.  It is so that they don't eat too much candy.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Our New Addition

Last night, after I finished my blog, I went upstairs to tuck in my son.  I also check on our Guinea pigs to make sure they still have water and food.  Well, something seemed a little strange in the cage.  For a few days, I had been asking my husband to flip over one of the Guinea pigs and see if there were signs of pregnancy.  He thought I was kidding, but I was quite serious.  We were told that they were both female.  When my Dad was visiting at Thanksgiving time, he took a look at told us that one of them looked like a male.  We left them in the same cage, and still called them Gracie and Elizabeth.

It was confirmed last night that Elizabeth is not a female, Gracie is a female.  There was a baby in the cage when I checked.  Little did I know that Guinea pigs go into heat as soon as they give birth.  Elizabeth, who is now Harry, was trying to procreate.  This is how I knew right away who the mom was.  We removed Harry from the cage and put him in his own container.  He has not been happy at all since then.  He cries a lot, and it is very sad.  He has never not been with another Guinea pig.

Well, here is Baby.  That is what we are calling it until we know if it is a boy or girl.  We are still determining if we will end up keeping it or not.  We also need to figure out how we are going to deal with the Gracie/Harry situation. 

Baby looks just like Gracie...
My children are very excited that they are grandparents.  They have been telling the baby that they are the "Grandma" and "Grandpas."  This is my 5 year-old in complete joy holding his grandbaby.  This makes me a Great-grandma and I am not sure I am ready for that :)

This has brought on a whole new conversation that I am trying to avoid as long as possible.   My children have been told that when they were born, the doctor had to cut me open and take them out.  We have left it at that.  They have seen the place that I have been cut and everything, as soon as I had the baby.  They wanted to see where the baby came out of.  I have c-sections.  The children know Gracie was not cut open, but there is still a baby.  I heard one of the theories and it was quite amusing... my 9 year-old suggested that she threw up and the baby was there. I think that delivery method would be shocking to any mother!  :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Many Uses of Tupperware

I am a Tupperware Lover.  I admit it.  I even bought waaaaayyyyyy more than I ever should have.  I had to sell a lot of it.  I was a Tupperware Consultant, and if there was a good deal, I would buy it.  Wow, did I spend a lot of money.  I kept a lot of my Tupperware too.  I use it for everything.  My husband brings his lunch/dinner to work daily, courtesy of Tupperware.  I store my flour, sugar, brown sugar, and powdered sugar in Tupperware containers.

I have cereal, oatmeal, pancake mix, and rice in Tupperware containers.  I think there is a Tupperware container for everything!

My toddler, a few months back, found where I kept some of my Tupperware.  I don't keep anything toxic under my kitchen sink.  I have little children and I would hate myself if they got into anything that could hurt them.  All of my medicine is up high...higher than any medicine cabinet could ever be.  Just not worth it to keep it down low.  Anyway, back to the Tupperware.  My toddler, who was 11 months at the time, figure out that the things under the kitchen sink were doors.  She then went on to open them...

She was innocently looking through the things under the sink, and then started to pull things out.  She discovered some uses for them that I would have never come up with.  That thing she is sitting on?  Well, that is my cereal holder.  At that time, it was full of Rice Krispies. 

It is amazing to me how comfortable she can make that look.  It is the perfect sized seat for her.  She is such an inventive little child.  AS she sat on the cereal holder, she played with the sugar container.  Seems like the perfect world, if you ask me!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Everyday we wake up and make choices.  We can choose to not get out of bed, or get out of bed long enough to do the vital things after waking...eating and going to the bathroom, and go back to bed.  Sometimes, I wish this was a viable option for me.  It isn't, having my kids and husband, no matter how much I want to stay in bed, I can't.

My bed is warm and house, not so warm.  We keep the temperature at 68 and wear warm clothes.  The price to heat a home is much more expensive than the price to heat an apartment that was less than half the size of our home.  The learning curve began when we started getting our electric and gas bills.  They were much higher.  We had to figure out what to do to keep them at a reasonable cost.  The answer was, keep the thermostat at 68.  Brrrrr... but it is our choice.  We could choose to turn the temperature up, but the money we spend to pay the bills would have to be allocated from another necessity we have.

I have chosen to get in shape...again.  So, as I sit here and type this up, I am hungry.  It is not fun to be hungry, but I have reached my caloric intake for the day so I will live with this feeling.  I am hoping in the morning, the scale reflects the effort.  My sister and I have started to run.  I have signed up and forked over the money to do a half marathon on June 8.  This keeps me motivated to reach my running goal.

I have chosen to not spend much time chatting online.  I choose to not play SCRABBLE as much as I do.  I enjoy learning new words.  I have learned a lot of them lately.  Who knew there were so many words in the English language that I had never heard of... for example, NABE, QAT, QI, XI, XU, ZA, FIVER, but NINER is not a word.  I could go on and on...

I hope to make good choices in my life.  I have not always been famous for good choices.  I have lost my temper over stupid things.   There was a point in my life when I would go days without eating.  That wasn't a good choice either.  Once I decided that I should eat, I gained weight quickly.  I screwed up my metabolism.  I hope that my children learn from both my example and my mistakes. 

Just an update on my son, he seems to be better now.  I think the chicken pox are better.  I am going to keep him home just to be sure.  I don't want to infect any other children.  It isn't a fun thing to deal with.  As of right now, my toddler is healthy.  She doesn't seem to have been affected with the chicken pox.  I am hoping she doesn't get them. 

I've decided I would love to see a Super Bowl between the Harbaugh brothers, with the 49ers winning.  I am not a fan of the Ravens at all, but I do think it would be a fun Super Bowl to see.  I would be thankful I wasn't their parent.  That would be a hard one to watch, although, in the end, one of my kids would have coached a Super Bowl Champion team.

Remember to smile at someone today!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Moments That Change Life

The only reason I am thinking about this life-changing moment is that I am feeling it right now.  It was August of 2005, Hurricane Katrina was bearing down on the southern portion of our country.  I wasn't down there, but the police chief's son was, so that is how I remember what was going on.

I had asked my husband to buy diapers to bring home on his way home from work.  During this period in my life, I had two babies in diapers.  They were 1 and 2 years-old.  He was too tired to stop, so I ended up needing to go out and get them.  It was a Saturday morning.  I got the diapers and then decided that I also wanted donuts.  My little fellow that decided to ride with me wanted donuts too, so we ran through the Tim Hortons drive thru.  I had also bought him animal crackers while I was in WalMart.

I headed out down Constitution.  When I got to the light at the intersection of Constitution and Wayne, the light turned red.  So, in all my obedience to the law, I stopped.  Apparently, the old man driving behind me (he was 84), doesn't always stop at red lights, and doesn't think that others should either.  I had been stopped long enough to have had my left hand securely on the steering wheel, and turn around to talk to check on my son, whom I had handed an animal cracker.  Well, the man hit the back of my car.  My shoulder has hurt ever since. 

The man told the police officer that I had "stopped abruptly" at the red light.  I told the officer, that although I don't know about the gentleman that hit me, I have always stopped at red lights.  I also told him that I had been stopped long enough that I had time to turn around and check on my son.  I believe that if I hadn't been turned in that position with my hand on the steering wheel, I may have not injured my shoulder.  It is hard to know for sure though.

I have come to understand that I will always have pain in my shoulder and my back.  My back had been injured in 1999 when someone backed into the front of a car I was exiting.  Getting rear-ended certainly didn't help that pain.  I have a baseline for the pain.  I just know that it will hurt, but it is bearable.  I guess the best way to explain it, is since I have to live with it, I should bear it and not complain about it.  I think everyone, including myself, would get tired of hearing about it.

Well, today, for some reason, my shoulder is in immense pain.  I am not sure if it due to one activity over the past few days, or several, but whatever it is, I have not hurt this bad in a long time.  I still have pain medicine from when I had my c-section after my baby was born.  I took one of those.  It helped, but didn't completely remove the pain. 

I am hoping that I will be able to get some sleep tonight.  It is my plan.  It is 1 am and I am still hurting.  I don't want to take another pain killer because my husband is sleeping and I need to be alert if the little one wakes up.  Oh well, I hope you all had a wonderful Sunday!

Friday, January 11, 2013


I woke up a little before 7 am this morning.  I don't know why, I just did.  It certainly wasn't because I had enough sleep already.  I was awake until almost 1:30 am.  I don't know why I was up that late either.  My brain just doesn't want to shut down some times.

I turned on our local news channel when I woke up.  Knowing how much snow we had by the time I stopped looking outside, I thought that school might be canceled.  I was right.  As my children woke up, I let them know.  They were super excited.  My two oldest children are working on perfect attendance, so my daughter was not quite convinced that school was really canceled.  She didn't want me to be mistaken and miss her perfect attendance. 

She wanted me to call the school, I didn't want to call the school.  She got really close to the television and announced that she didn't see the name of her school go by.  I let her know that they didn't list the name of all the schools, they just listed the name of the school district.  With that, she was a bit more satisfied.  Then when she heard the news anchor actually say the name of the school district, she was happy.  She no longer needed me to call the school.  She was able to go on with her day, no matter how early it was.

My son didn't have any qualms about it.  He was completely happy to know that school wasn't going to be happening today.  He loves school, but I think we can all admit, it is nice when we don't have to go.  Whether it is work or school, it is nice to have a break!

My husband called in to work.  Last night he almost went off the road a few times due to the road conditions.  We were predicted to get 4 to 8 inches of snow today on top of what we received yesterday.  It wasn't worth the chance of getting in an accident or killed.  I think he made a good decision.

I got two workout videos today.  One was a walk at home video and the other was a belly dancing video.  The walk at home video is a great workout.  The belly dancing video will be a good workout too, I think.  I just need to work on my coordination.  My kids, my husband and I did the walking DVD together.  Even my toddler was attempting to do the workout.  We got a kick out of that.   

It was a very nice day together.  I enjoyed the time we got to spend that we wouldn't have had together otherwise.  Although I am not a fan of snow, I was thankful for the time we had as a family.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Chicken Pox and Winter Storm Gandolf

"It looks like the Chicken Pox," is what I heard this morning when I brought my 5 year-old to the doctor.  Like most children, they are up-to-date with all their vaccinations.

I woke up with every intention of bringing my 5 year-old to school.  He made the announcement that his whole body itches.  I took a look and noticed some bumps that I haven't seen before.  Being a mother of the 2000s, I haven't seen the chicken pox since my younger siblings had them.  This has been a good 28 or 29 years.  I have seen pictures.  Probably back then, parents didn't have to bring their child to a doctor to be diagnosed.

My 1 year-old received her vaccination for MMR and varicella (Chicken Pox) yesterday.   I hope that it keeps her from getting them.  Since my 5 year-old has been vaccinated, the doctor said this should be an attenuated case, meaning he won't have very many spots, apparently.  He gave me the daily breakdown of what to expect.  Day one - rash, day two - bump, day three - bump with white spot on top, day four - ulcerated skin, day five - scab.  I will have to wait until all of them, and I am hoping there aren't a lot, get scabs, and then he will no longer be contagious.

I let his teacher know in case she needs to give a heads up to other parents.  I also let her know so they wouldn't be expecting him at school.  The doctor is having me give him Benadryl.  I thought it would knock him right out.  It has done the exact opposite.  He has all sorts of energy.  It is nice that he is not lethargic.  It make me sad when that happens to my children.

My sister has him convinced that he is going to grow feathers and lay an egg.  He is very excited about the idea of laying an egg.  He has been running around for about 10 minutes saying "You can't beat the chicken man."  It is quite cute.  I may have to get an egg and put it in his bed tomorrow after he wakes up so he can think he laid an egg.  We shall see!

On another note, we are getting slammed with snow today.  It is no fun.  It started right around 3 pm.  Tonight, at about 8 pm, my sister and I shoveled the snow.  She went out first, then I went out and finished.  There was at least 5 inches of new snow and it was still coming down.   My husband got out of work 1 hour early.  He got home at the same time he would have if he had left on time.  It took him 1 1/2 hours to make the 1/2 hour drive.  I am glad he took his time to be safe.

My 8 year-old daughter made me a delicious cup of hot chocolate when I came back inside.  She added whipped cream which made it even better than it would have been by itself.  It hit the spot.  It is so cold outside!  The day started at 42 degrees and it is 28 degrees now.  It is only going to continue to get colder.  Over the weekend, it is predicted to have lows in the negative temperatures, brrrrrr!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

What is my Present?

This is the question I get everyday at approximately 1:30 pm from my 5 year-old.  It all started the first day of school for him.  I dropped him off at school and went on my way.  I had to be back to watch my baby when my husband left for work. 

He was on cloud nine.  He loves school.  Before I picked him up from school, I had gone to the grocery store.  At the checkout stand, I saw that York Peppermint Patties.  He loves them, especially right out of the freezer.  When I picked him up from school, I asked him what he had to eat that day.  He said pizza.  I said I got him a present.  He asked what it was and I said it starts with "p" too.  I started making the "p" sound and told him it sounded like pizza.  When I told him what it was, he did one of his high pitched "woohoos."  If you have heard it, you know what I am talking about. 

Of course, that day when I bought the Peppermint Patties, I didn't know it was setting a precedence.  The next day, when I picked him up, I got the question, "What is my present?"  It has been that way ever since.  When I was really sick and it took all my energy just to pick him up from school, one day I didn't have any more "presents" at home.  Presents can be anything from food to a toy, generally.  Thankfully he loves his baby sister, because one of those when I couldn't get enough energy to get him anything else, I told him his gift was getting to play with his baby sister.  He was happy with that.  I was happy that he was happy. 

I felt bad, because some of the days when I was sick, I didn't feel like I should even leave the house.  I had to keep him home from school.  He had a bit of a cough, but he would have been fine to go.  The problem was that I would not be able to pick him up.  It would be terrible to strand a 5 year-old at school.

One of his favorite "presents" after school is "oyster skins."  That is what he calls smoked oysters.  It cracks me up.  I don't know how many children like smoked oysters, but all of mine do.  That includes my one year-old.  I used to eat them whenever I thought to buy them.  The last two times I had them, which is about 3 years ago, I would get sick within 30 minutes.  I think I somehow managed to develop a food allergy.  I haven't had them since then.  I figured that it would be quite a coincidence if it happened both times and several weeks apart.

I am so thankful for my children.  I am thankful that I can do little things for them.  My older children remember that they would get little gifts when they were young too.  It wasn't daily though.  I have started to get them things also.  I figure that it is only fair.  They haven't missed a day of school yet.  They want perfect attendance.  I can't blame them for that.  They are very smart children and they enjoy school.

I hope that someday my children remember this time in their lives and they try to make school, and coming home from school, a memorable experience for their children.  I hope that is several years down the road though! 

Monday, January 7, 2013

It is SOOOOO Cold!

There hasn't been a day above freezing in a long time.  Long time, being over two weeks.  That is a long time to me when it has been this cold.  It is bitterly cold in the mornings and at night.  Although, it does get warmer during the day, we can't really say it is warm, by any means.  I felt warmer on Saturday than I did in a long time, then I heard the weather person on the radio say we had reached 20 degrees.  Whoopee! 

My sister and I will be going out in this freezing cold weather in a matter of minutes.  We will do our exercise.  It will be nice to do the running/walking.  I will look forward to when we can do it in a little warmer weather!  I think one of the days this week, it is going to get above freezing.  I may not wear a coat that day.  It will feel warm. 

Some of the mornings it has been in the single digits.  My husband is in charge of getting the children to school.  I am in charge of getting them home.  Up until Christmas break, this meant a walk.  After Christmas break, I have picked them up from school every time, except for twice.  My husband has driven them to school everyday, except for once.  That was their first day back to school, that is when he realized that it was way too cold. 

My baby girl has a rash on her stomach.  It is some kind of viral rash.  The doctor says it isn't anything to worry about, but had me start giving her benadryl just to relieve the itching.  It knocks her out pretty fast.  She is sleeping now. 

My husband just got home so I am heading out for a run. 

Have a good night!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

First Sunday Back at Church in a While

It was a wonderful Sunday.  Our church schedule switched to 9 am - 12 pm.  Our schedule last year was 1-4 pm.  It is not a good schedule for us.  It was wonderful to wake up, get ready for church, and leave.  There was no time to fight.  The children got ready for church and then it was time to go.  When church is at 1 pm, half the day is over, and the children have really annoyed each other. 

It seemed like the 3 hour block went really fast.  I hadn't been to church in several weeks.  If I wasn't sick, one of the children were.  No one had seen the baby walking until today.  She went throughout Relief Society (the women's meeting) visiting everyone.  I would stand up to see who she was with, and the women would smile and tell me she was okay.  Everyone really loves her.  She would go over to them and give them a big smile and grab some of their hands, or their purses, or their scriptures.  They would just smile.

I am grateful for the opportunity to go to church again.  It is wonderful to be able to take the sacrament.  It was nice to sit with my family and see the people I know from the ward.  There was nothing awkward about going back.  It was like I hadn't missed a single week, let alone several of them. 

I watched some sports after church.  I enjoy sports.  I did some Family Search Indexing.  I did 630 names today.  It is nice to do things that will help others.  It helps to keep me busy too.  I watched The Biggest Loser premiere.

My baby went to sleep at 7:45 pm.  I think I need to go to sleep too, because I imagine she will be waking up quite early.   Have a great night!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Back to Running

This morning, my sister, my 8 year-old daughter, and I got up and went for a walk/run.  I had told my sister yesterday that I wanted to go at 9 am so I could go get my hair done afterward, and it would still look good tomorrow.  My daughter came in a little before 9 to let me know what time it was. 

I got up and got dressed.  I knew, for the most part, what I was planning to wear this morning.  I didn't know that it was going to be so cold that I should have doubled up on the long johns.  It was really cold, I am not sure of the temperature, but I know that 5 hours lately, it had reached 20 degrees. Thank goodness I had decided to wear my heavy coat, instead of my jacket!

I am excited to hit the loop at the park with my sister and daughter.  We are working up to a mile, then up to a 5K.  Today was run 1/16 mile (100 yds), then walk 3/16 mile (300 yds) and repeat for a total of 4 times.  We are planning to do a Kiss Me Dirty run in June.  It looks like it will be a lot of fun.  I am thinking that I need to add some strength training as well.  My upper arm strength is seriously lacking.

I went to the beauty school and had my hair colored to its natural color.  So, I have achieved one of my New Years Resolutions.  It feels very good to have it back to normal.  While I was having my hair done, we were engaging in small talk.  I asked her if she had any children.  She said she had a son that is 15 months old.  I told her I had a daughter that was 15 months old, born Oct 5.  Her son was also born that day, in the same hospital, with the same doctor delivering the baby.  My baby was born about 7 hours before hers though.  It was quite unusual that would happen though.

Speaking of the baby, she is sound asleep.  I think I shall head that way soon.  It was a good day of football... Houston and Green Bay have advanced in the playoffs.  I would like to see Houston go all the way and win it all. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Smiles

It is amazing what a smile can do for you.  When I see the smiles on my childrens' faces, it makes my day.  Whether it is because they are happy or something funny was said, their smiles absolutely brighten my day.

I enjoy dinner time, when my children tell funny stories about their day.  They sit around and all smile and laugh with each other.  They enjoy hearing stories about their birth and the years since then.  They look at each other, sometimes in disbelief that something like what was mentioned actually happened.  There are other times when they remember when something happened and their smile gets even brighter.

I can remember wondering what each of their smiles would look like before they were born.  I never got it quite right, but they have amazing smiles.  My 5 year-old enjoys when I sit down and attempt to play DSi with him.  I really stink at it.  I am not really into those kinds of things.  Earlier today, he told me I stink at it, in so many words.  I pretended to cry.  He then told me he was kidding and got a big smile on his face.  He put it back to the first level and let me try again.  I beat level 1, it made him get a big smile, and he reaffirmed that he was kidding. 

It is amazing how big a toddler's smile can get.  When we pick her siblings up from school, her smile radiates in the room.  She absolutely loves each and every one of them.  She knows them by name, it seems.  I can ask her where one of them is, and she goes to that one.  She can't say very much yet, but she definitely knows everything that is being said.

I think it is important to take the time to enjoy the smile of the children.  Yes, they have their moments when there is anything but smiles.  I think those are the moments that it is most important to remember the smiles, and take a few deep breaths. 

I am thankful for all the little moments that might not always be remembered, but in the moment, they are important.  I am thankful for the smiles from strangers, that although they might not know it matters, it really does.  When I am having a bad day, getting a smile from someone that doesn't know what is going on can really perk up the spirit.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Why I Hate My Crock Pot...

I can sum it up pretty quickly.  I believe crock pots were invented for those people that do not hang out at home the whole time the food is cooking.  This is the second day in a row that I have made dinner in it.  My children come home from school and announce how good dinner smells.  This is the reason I hate it... I have to smell it all day long.  I am starving by the time the food has been in there for about 2 hours, because it is so aromatic that I just want to eat.  I then have to wait 4 to 6 more hours until I can actually eat the food.  I have also found that adding onion soup mix to anything with meat in the crock pot makes it taste exceptionally delicious.  This is true, even if some people (namely my children) don't like onions.  They enjoy the food and don't even know that any kind of onion touched it.

I have been making up my own recipes and throwing them in the crock pot to cook.  There is something about food that cooks in a crock pot for several hours that really makes it taste good.  I think it is better than if I put it in the oven for a few hours.  If only there were a crock pot big enough for a turkey!

Last night, I put in stew meat, several different vegetables, onion soup mix and water.  I let it cook most of the day.  My 8 year-old made brown rice.  I put my crock pot mixture over my brown rice.  My children had it on the side.  This morning, I put in chicken bratwurst with some onion soup mix and water.  I cooked it for about 7 hours, until the kids and I had to eat it because we couldn't stand how good it smelled anymore.  My daughter, once again, made brown rice.  We had it on the side with shredded cheese.

It was really nice to go shopping for the week.  I went on Tuesday with my sister.  I used to go several times a week and then try to decide daily what we were going to eat.  This week I know what we will be eating which makes things a lot easier.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Brrrrr... It is Cold!

Today was the first day my children went to school in 2013.  It was miserably cold out (11 degrees) this morning with about 10-12 inches of snow on the ground.  We like to have them walk to and from school.  My 9 year-old lost his knit cap so he got to put a shirt around his head.  This was my first clue that I would have to go and get more winter clothing.  I started to think that I should buy each child about 4 pairs of gloves and 4 knit caps.  I think that is how many they go through in any given winter. 

After I picked my 4 year-old up from school, we went to the Dollar Tree store.  I love that store.  It is especially nice when they actually have what I want.  I think they are just about out of the winter clothing, because I had to dig through a cart and a couple baskets in an aisle to find the sizes that I needed.  I bought both of my sons another knit cap and mittens. I got myself and my sister a cap and mittens also.  Who wants to be cold?  I bought them for my daughter on Saturday, so she didn't need winter necessities.

I bundled up my 4 year-old and my 1 year-old at the appropriate time, and we headed out to get my older children from school.   I brought the knit cap and mittens for my son.  They were a bit dismayed that we were walking.  They wanted a ride.  My son was pleased that he had a cap and mittens though.

I might need to drive more frequently in the winter, until the weather gets better.  Although my baby was in a hoodie, a zip-up thing that you put on them for their carseat to keep them warm, and a coat, I still think she was colder than anyone would like to be.  I put her in the carrier and away we went. 

I am not a cold weather person.  I would prefer living in Hawaii so the temperature would remain stable all year.  These mornings, and days, when it is so cold, I don't even want to get dressed, let alone go outside.  I do what I have to though...

I am hoping, perhaps beyond hope, that it will warm up and stay warm for the rest of the season.  It doesn't look like that will happen anytime soon.  

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year 2013!

Who else can't believe it is 2013?! 

A new year, a new set of resolutions.  I am willing to admit that I failed miserably when it comes to resolutions last year.

With that said, I am willing to start over.   I will start over. 

I am a huge chocoholic.  If it were up to me, chocolate would be paired with just about everything.  I am going to start unpairing it though.  I will not eat as much chocolate as I did in 2012.  I think I will drop weight easier.  I did manage to lose about 15 pounds this year.  This year, I would love to double that... or even triple it.  I know it is possible, it would be less than 1 pound a week.

I will start to run again.  For my birthday, I bought myself a couple of gifts to help with this goal.  I bought a running calendar, it has a day-by-day entry for how far you ran and a few other things.  I will use this to track what I am doing and what I have done.  I also bought a running watch, or rather, a watch to track running times and splits.  I think this will also help me out.  Now I just need to determine places to run.  I live in a safe area, but that being said, nowhere is really safe, it just takes one person to end the safety of an area.  I know, quite pessimistic, but very true.

My sister and I are going to start running together.  I think this will be wonderful.  I always do better with someone else along.  I am hoping to convince my children to join me.  

I need to get back in touch with the spiritual aspect of my life.  I need to make the time to read my scriptures daily.  It isn't a hard thing to do.  I have 24 hours in my day, just like everyone else. 

I also plan to have normal colored hair again.  This is one of the first things I plan to accomplish.  I got red highlights back in October.  They weren't very visible, so the Saturday before Christmas I asked to have them be more visible.  We will just say, I look like a dark brown and red candy cane on top of my head.  It is not nice.  I don't know what color this red is, but I wouldn't advise getting it.  I don't really like going outside where other people can see me with this hair, but I do it when it is necessary.  I will be getting it redone on Saturday.  It is just not me... some people look good with hair like this, but it is very bold and just doesn't fit my personality at all.

My house... I will attempt to keep it clean.  I will spend at least 30 minutes a day doing that.  I want to organize things so I know where to look for them.

I need to remind myself that life is good.  Even though I am not near more than half of my family, I can be happy.  I miss them like the dickens and I get depressed because I can't just go 5 miles or less and see my parents and my brothers and one of my sisters anymore. 

My blog... I need to do this more often.  My children are growing up so fast and I want to do better about recording it.  My baby started walking on Thanksgiving with the help of her sister and cousin.  I can't believe it.  She doesn't even crawl anymore at this point.  She has six teeth and loves listening to the "Piano Guys" with her "da."  

Oh, and I want to win the ESPN Streak for the Cash.  That would be really nice.  :)

Happy New Years to everyone and have an amazing 2013.