Thursday, August 29, 2013

Potty Training Blues

My one year-old, soon-to-be two, has decided that she doesn't like diapers anymore.  We took this as our first clue to buy a toddler potty.  She will quickly peel off any diaper we put on within seconds.  I decided that, perhaps, I should buy some Pull-Ups and see how she likes those.  I bought the Pull-Ups, they have Minnie Mouse, Sullivan from Monsters U/Inc, and Ariel on them.  She will only leave on the Minnie Mouse Pull-Ups.  She loves the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse show. 

We bought her the DVD "I Gotta Go!"  It is the the same DVD we used to teach my older three children to use the potty.  She loves the DVD.  She will run and get her potty and then come and get the remote to let me know that she wants to watch the show.  She has not yet connected the fact that she is supposed to actually sit on the potty when she goes.  She will stand next to it or no where near it.  She will sit on it endlessly until she needs to go though.

She also lets me know when she has had an accident.  I think she enjoys watching me clean them up.  I go and get the spray and some paper towels.  Many people have said they have potty trained their child by letting them run around naked.  I don't know how it works for other people.  It just doesn't seem to be working out too well for me, but she really doesn't want to leave clothes on.  She is at the age where she can take off her clothes.  I can't put the diaper on and then pants and then expect that she won't be able to take them off, because she can.

I have bought her some Hershey's Kisses for treats for sitting on the potty.  I am hoping this will do the trick.  I joked with my husband that if we are ever going to get a puppy we should do it now and I can take care of getting the dog house-trained and the toddler potty trained at the same time.

Monday, August 26, 2013

First Day of School for My Two Oldest Children

My children were really excited last night as they fell to sleep, because they were going to be starting fourth grade and fifth grade today.  It is hard for me to believe that they could possibly be old enough to be in fourth and fifth grade now.  I can still remember dropping them off for their first days of preschool.  Where has the time gone?!

They had their baths last night.  I braided my daughter's hair so it would be curly this morning.  She likes it that way.  They picked out their clothes last night.  It makes life so much easier on me!  They brought me their clothes, but I didn't see socks.  I had them hunt down some socks so they would be completely ready.  Thank goodness, because the sock hunt never goes too well!  I don't know where they hide them, but they do a really good job!

My five year-old will be starting Kindergarten in a few days.  His Kindergarten assessment will be on Wednesday morning, when I drop off the older children.  He is really excited to be going to the same school as his big brother and big sister.  He was excited to go to orientation today.  

They had early-outs today.  They arrived home and both announced that they didn't have any homework.  My daughter did admit that she had to do 20 minutes of reading.  She set a timer and started to read.  She read well after the timer went off.  From where I was sitting, it looked like a comic book.  She loves to read, but it is usually not a comic book.  My daughter is excited that she starts getting homework tomorrow.

My oldest son just needed some paperwork signed for his homework.  He needs it signed so that he can get his netbook for school.  They have netbooks for the children to use in the classroom.  We just have to sign user agreements.

Both of the children have friends in their class.  My daughter has a friend from up the street and my son has a friend of church.  I am so excited that they started the day knowing someone.  It makes life so much easier.  I found out shortly after I started fourth grade that one of my friends lived on the next street over.  That made me happy.  I had close friends that lived across the street, but they went to Catholic school and I didn't.

The worse thing was needing to wake up my toddler in order to get everyone to school on time.  She wasn't very amused with needing to be woken up either.  It led to an early nap this afternoon, which is good.  I prefer early naps to late naps.  I usually have to wake her up after only half an hour if she takes a late nap, because I want to get to sleep at a decent time myself.  This is how my children looked as we got ready to walk out the door.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Gargantuar = Gar Gan Are Tar

My sons oldest daughter (and husband) love to play Plants vs Zombies.  I have never played Plants vs Zombies.   It was several months ago, I heard my five year-old yelling to my ten year-old, something about a gar-gan-are-tar (pronounced like bargain, but w/ a "g" at the beginning and then are-tar).  I have to say, I was most puzzled about what a gar-gan-are-tar (all one word) was.

I asked several times and they just told me it was something on the game.  I wondered where the game makers came up with something called a gar-gan-are-tar.  It was a strange name to say the least, and very long.

It wasn't until I was on vacation, and my husband was in the hotel room, that the children said something about the gar-gan-are-tar.  My husband was playing the game and I asked him what exactly a gar-gan-are-tar is.  He laughed and said, "A gargantuar."  I had heard that term before.  It made much more sense.  My husband brought the Ipad over to me and showed it to me.  This is what I saw...

I still don't know what the game is all about, but I do love when I hear "gar-gan-are-tar."  My five year-old still pronounces it that way, but my ten year-old has started calling it a gargantuar. I say it how my five year-old does, just because I think it is so much cuter pronounced that way.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Proposal...Twelve Years Ago Today

Twelve years ago today was the day my husband proposed to me.  By this time, I had moved to Sacramento, California.  I had left everyone else in the world that I loved and headed out on my own, again.  I met my husband on  It was meant to be.  I had wandered into a chat room I had never been in before.  I went in as "NYLady."  I had always chatted as "GreenEyes27F" up to that point.  How is that for telling about yourself in just a few letters? 

My husband said to me, "I served my mission in NY."

Me, knowing how everyone assumes you live in NYC, stated, "Oh yeah, what part?"

To which he stated, "Jamestown, NY."

I replied, "That is in my mission."

That is how it all started.  Coincidence? I think not.

This was Wednesday, April 11, 2001.  I was supposed to be in Erie, PA, but I decided not to make the trip that night.  I stayed up most of the night chatting with him.  The next day, we were leaving to visit my sister in Massachusetts.  I was exhausted, but that was okay with me.  While I was in Boston, we exchanged e-mails and kept in touch that way.  We talked every night, for hours, once I returned home.

We continued chatting online, until May 26, which was a Saturday night, when he came to NY to visit me.  He flew in really late.  I picked him up and we went up to Niagara Falls, Canada, to see the Falls.  I hate the Falls.  He had never been there.  That is where we had our first kiss, of many to come.  We spent some time up there before driving back to Olean.  I showed him where I went to High School.  We kissed on that lawn too.  I had never been kissed there.

I loaded up a U-Haul trailor, hitched it to my Blazer, and we drove back to California.  We left on the 29th.  We were supposed to leave on the 28th, but we spent much longer in Palmyra than we expected.  We went and saw church sites.  This was the first time I had visited Palmyra church sites in my life.  We had several pictures taken there.

On the way back to California, we took some detours.  We stopped in Kirtland, OH, where the first LDS temple was built.  We stopped in Nauvoo, Illinois, where the Nauvoo LDS Temple was under construction.  We went to Carthage, Illinois, where the beloved prophet, Joseph Smith, and his brother Hyrum were martyred.

We traveled on to California.  I had no idea what to expect when I got there.  We went to his parents' house.  They were very cordial.  They let me stay in his sister's room, until I found a place to live.  That happened quite quickly.  I moved in with a wonderful woman, Dawna, from church.  I rented a room from her.

Keith worked as a security guard at a college.  I found a temp job with Verizon Wireless.  As time went by, we got to know each other better.  He decided to propose to me.  He chose this day,12 years ago.     It was a Saturday.  We got in his car and he drove to the LDS Oakland Temple.  We walked around it around the outside.  Looking at it from the front, he proposed to me on the left side.  I said yes.

We went to an expensive, but not so good, Italian restaurant that was close by.  We then drove home. The traffic in that area is horrible.  I called my parents and told them.  The date we planned was October 18, 2001.  We got married 20 days after the proposal on September 7, we didn't want to wait any longer.

Thursday, August 15, 2013


I was just sitting here, minding my own business.  My five year-old son started looking through the closet for something.  I am not afraid of spiders (unless they are super poisonous, as mentioned previously), but there is really one word you don't want screamed in the confines of your own house.  It is "TARANTULA!"  Especially if it is being screamed as the person jumps back several feet.

So, me, being the mommy, get up and go over there.  I asked him where it was.  He said it ran under something.  Our closet isn't immaculate.  My kids like to throw things in there, thus, the reason he was searching in it.

I told him to get me a stick, I use a stick to kill black widows.  I haven't seen one yet this year :)  Then I told him to get me a shoe.  I started to think that the stick might not be good enough.  He ran and got me his shoe.

I started to slowly remove things from the closet.  S-L-O-W-L-Y!  I wasn't horribly excited to find this thing that got the "Tarantula" descriptor.  On the other hand, I didn't want this creature roaming my house.  After removing some items from the closet, I found a spider.  My son exclaimed, "There it is!"  I took the shoe and squished it several times.  It was no bigger, including its legs, than a quarter.

I was happy that it wasn't a tarantula.  I don't know for sure what I would have done.  I don't know that I would squish it, because I imagine you would hear things getting crushed, which would cause me horrible dreams, I think. I might stick it in a jar and try to sell it to a pet store :)

I am just glad that I didn't have to make that decision!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Social Media

When I was young, I would talk to my friends about how cool it would be if we could see the person we are talking to on the phone.  I never imagined that it would happen, but it would be on the computer.  I love Skype!  It gives me the chance to chat with my family throughout the country.  I had a bad computer that stopped running with Skype, so I got a new one, and had to buy a webcam.  We are up and running again :)

Then there is Facebook.  You can add people to your page that are your friends, whether you have met them or not IRL (in real life).  You update your status when you want to.  Some people shock you with their status sometimes.  You never expect someone to write some of the things they write.  Sometimes you might think they are looking for advice.  I am not one to offer advice unless they explicitly ask for it.  I worry about my friends and their families.  I don't have anyone on my Facebook that I wouldn't like to see have the best life possible.  I always hope that somehow I can make their life a little better for them.  It is hard from distances that might be between us, but I always know that a prayer can help a person.

Twitter is another one.  You get to make a statement in 140 characters or less.  I have done Twitter parties.  I have won things at Twitter parties, sometimes.  I think that the Jodi Arias murder trial is when I really started understanding a lot about Twitter.  I followed it closely and I would comment on that with a lot of other people.  It is fun to follow a topic with people and see their opinions.  They would often make me laugh.

There are, of course, blogs.  I started my blog to keep a "journal" about my family.  It is so hard to sit down and write in several journals for all the children.  This is just so much easier.  I have had a book made out of my first year of blogging so that we have it in bound print.  It is important to me that we have memories written down.  I don't do this as often as I should, but I have been doing better.

I am thankful for how far technology has come.  I am thankful that I can chat with my siblings and my parents without needing to send a stamped letter and wait a week or so to hear back.  It makes me wonder what is next.  I am sure it will amaze me!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Reasons I Miss Olean, NY

I have been thinking a lot of "home" lately.  There is a lot of nostalgia around City Cup Weekend.  For me, it is a time when we would all be together, enjoying some great ball games.  For many, many years, more than I can really remember, we would watch softball.  The City Cup pretty much was the end to softball for the season, so I would try to get as much softball as I could.

I would run into old friends that I hadn't seen in ages.  I would even be known to make some new acquaintances.  I miss those times with my family and my adopted brothers (the boys on my brother's softball team).

I miss Olean because that is where my memories are.  My good memories with my family and friends.    Even if I hadn't seen a friend in a long time, when I saw one, it was like very little time had past.  To me, that is a true friend.  Someone that realizes that even though time has passed, I still love them and I love to see them even though life gets in the way.  I like being able to pick up where we left off last as if not a day has passed.

I miss Olean and Allegany's Allegany River Nature Trail.  When I go out running now, I need to cross a road at every half mile, except for at the first half where this is an overpass for the traffic.  On the Nature Trail, I could run 3 miles without needing to cross a single road.  I think it was a lot safer.  It was easier to get a true look at the speed you were running.  It is kind of hard to do that when you need to stop for traffic every half mile.

I miss my Dad's barbecues.  He is the grill master.  I always looked forward to the summer so I could count on getting grilled food.  He would do chicken, burgers, hotdogs and Italian sausage.  We would occasionally have some steak. 

I am thankful that I was able to spend many years with my family in Western New York.  I wish I was still there, but sometimes our Heavenly Father has different plans for us.  I know this is where I am supposed to be, although there are times I would give my left arm to be at "home." 

To my City Cup playing family members, and those adopted brothers previously mentioned, Best of Luck!  I will be there in spirit and I hope to hear about your games.  Colette, that includes you :)  Love you all!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Achilles Tendonitis

Just those words seem to make me hurt.  What do you think when you read them?

I wrote about my kids and husband training for a 5K.  Their training started last week, as I was laid up on the couch with bronchitis.  I told my husband what they were supposed to do for their training.  It didn't quite work out as I planned.

My 9 year-old daughter came home from their training complaining that her heel hurt.  She complained for a couple more days.  She would only complain when I would ask her to do something.  I started to pay attention to her walking.   She would limp even when she would have no reason to be thinking about it.  I hoped she could walk it off, but it wasn't seeming like she was going to.

Yesterday, she asked me if I would bring her to the urgent care.  I am not a fan of going to urgent care unless I know something is wrong.  Since I had seen how she was for a few days, and not seeming to get better, I relented.  We went to the urgent care.

The doctor ordered x-rays since there are growth plates in the heel after pressing on her heel in different places.  He told me what he thought it was, but wanted to be sure she hadn't cracked any bones in her growth plates.  The good news is that she didn't crack any bones.  The bad news is that she has achilles tendonitis. 

This is not her foot :)

The doctor asked her what shoes she had worn to run in.  She pointed at the shoes on her feet.  They were flat church shoes.  Apparently she wasn't able to find her running shoes.  Running in flat shoes is a bad idea.  It doesn't give her foot the cushion or the protection it needs.   It causes extra strain on your achilles tendon.   These are things that I learned yesterday. 

She was ordered to wear her running shoes for the next few days, even to church.  She got to wear them everywhere, even to church.  Her running shoes have Hello Kitty on them.  They are cute shoes.  I prefer her to wear running shoes for running and dress shoes for church though.  She was also ordered to ice the heel.  She has done that a few times.  She was given a reprieve from running for a few days.  I think she will resume training on Wednesday. 

My 10 year-old son didn't like the idea that his sister didn't have to run.  When he was stung by a wasp a couple of weeks ago before we went to the playground, he didn't have to do a lap running with his dad.  While we were in the van yesterday, he stated that he wanted to get stung by another wasp.  I guess he hasn't caught the running bug yet.

I really hope that one day my children enjoy running.  I know it took me a little while to enjoy it.  I think it will be something fun to do together. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

One Year Ago Today

We got the keys to our house a year ago today.  This is the first house we have ever owned, and it might possibly the last.  We like our home.  It has a lot of space.  It has a lot of storage room.  We own it.  Well, my husband owns it.  I wasn't here when he signed the deed to the house, and we haven't gotten around to adding me to it.  It is something we keep saying we have to do, but just haven't.

I was on my way to Buffalo to catch a flight back here with my baby and my youngest son.  I was still not sure if the underwriting was going to be done or not.  I didn't know if I would be coming back to live in a house or in a hotel.  We had given our apartment complex notice that we would be out on July 31. 

I finally got the call saying that the mortgage had been approved and that my husband would be signing the title and getting the keys.  I was relieved, mostly.  I didn't want to think about coming back to Utah and not have a place to call home.  That was the last thing I would ever want.

My husband, my sister, and my two older children, picked us up at the airport. It was late at night.  They brought me HOME, to our home.  It was basically empty.  There were air mattresses to sleep on.  We would not have any furniture in our house until Saturday.  That is the first day we could get help getting it from storage to the house. 

Members of our church ward were more than willing to help us, virtual strangers, get things from the storage unit, to the U-Haul, to the house.  It was very much appreciated. 

I have grown to like our home, more and more each day.  It has had a few quirks.  During the winter, the downstairs is warmer than the upstairs.  I thought heat was supposed to rise, right?!?  The first real rainstorm, the playroom started to leak.  It hasn't leaked since then.  It was a torrential rain.  To run the AC, it is expensive.  I am not sure this is a quirk, but it isn't wanted :)  My sister moved out of the house, not really a quirk of the house, but I miss her all the time.   The sprinkler system was placed only 2 inches underground (at the deepest) so my husband cut through it when tilling the space for the garden.

The biggest thing is IT DOESN'T CLEAN ITSELF!  This is much to my children's dismay.  Every day, when it is time for chores, I hear "We just did it yesterday."  I quickly reply, "Yes, but this is today."

We now have a garden that we have harvested peppers, tomatoes, onions, zucchini and crookneck squash.  We have a little peach tree that is still trying to grow its peaches, only 3 survived the windstorms, the torrential rainstorm mentioned previously, and the late frost.  We are going to have to cut those in half so we can all enjoy it.   The plums didn't get much bigger than their pit this year, so they weren't very enjoyable.  Hopefully next year!

We have a wonderful house.  We will make many memories here, beyond the ones we already have.  I have enjoyed getting to know my neighbors and the members of my ward.  I have made some wonderful friends.  I didn't get out and try to meet people until my sister left.  I was happy thrilled to have her live with me.  I didn't really feel the need to go out and find someone to hang out with since I had her here.