Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Are You Sure?

Let me preface this by saying that I understand that pornography is a bad thing. A really bad thing. I have seen people trapped and ensnared by the lure and temptations of pornography. I have seen a few isolated encounters with online pornography become devastating addictions that have broken hearts and torn families apart. I have spent hours hoping and pondering and praying that I can keep my children and my family safe from its ever-reaching grasp. Those under its influence have been known to make poor decisions without fully understanding the span of the consequences. And it seems that even the fear of what pornography can do to our children is enough to adversely affect our critical thinking skills. 

I'm sure you have all seen it. It's usually preceded by some snappy little blurb...

"It only takes a minute"

"If it's working in England, why not here?"

"Think of our kids!"

"I just signed....will you??"

You know, that petition from the White House website to require porn to be an "opt in" feature with internet service providers. It's been posted by 6 of my Facebook friends today alone. 

Yikes! *porn* I don't want pornography in my home. Ever! Where do I sign? And how do I get all of my 400 Facebook friends to sign too??

Believe me, on the surface it sounds like a reeeeaaalllly good idea. Let people that like porn opt in and leave the rest of us alone. There's only one problem.....

After I worked my way through the emotional response I had when I read the word pornography and thought it through for a minute, I realized the ramifications of this petition are less about pornography and more about censorship. 

Let that sink in for a second. 

Yes, pornography is bad. But is censorship good? At the hands of our government, I'm not so sure. 

If we ask Washington to do this for us, what are the limits? I don't want pornography working its way into my home through the internet but what about art? In my opinion there is a fine, yet distinct line between nudity in art and pornography.  Will congress place that line where I think it should be placed? Or will my children also be "protected" from the no less than ten works of art that I can think of (just off the top of my head) that could easily be tossed out with pornography should the government so decree? And how long until some self-serving politicians with hidden agendas convince us that parts of history should be included in what is shielded from the general public?

Do we really want them to have the power to decide what comes into our homes and what doesn't?

There has to be another way. There are already filtering programs available. My husband and I use one. We have come across several instances where a website was unnecessarily blocked and WE have been able to make a decision and override controls to make those websites accessible. Will the government do the same?

If we don't consider filtering systems good enough, perhaps we should have our friends and neighbors sign a petition to show internet service providers that we would be willing to pay extra to opt out of pornography. Or if we all think and brainstorm together, maybe we will come up with an even better idea. 

I don't know what the solution is, but I do know that the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press were important enough, when combined with other concerns, to incite a revolution. Are we really so willing to give that up?

I think our kids deserve better

Thursday, August 1, 2013

August Is For Lovers

Well, it's officially August. I like August for many reasons; the summer is winding down but we're still having fun, it's almost time for the kids to go back to school (anyone else have a countdown going?), and it's the month Olyut came home from the NICU and we still celebrate his "coming home day". But more than all of that, it's the month BJ and I got married. This August marks nine years for us. Nine. And I'm even more in love now than I was then. Sappy, I know, but true.

So here's the deal, I want to celebrate by sharing my artistic abilities with you. I have created some printable word art that I'm going to share with all of you. For free! For a limited time. I'm sharing one below, and I'm planning to offer at least two others. They will be available through August. Feel free to pin this on Pinterest or share it on Facebook or even on your own blogs, I just ask that you link back to me please. I worked hard on this, after all.

Just be warned, I also plan on sharing parts of our love story...how we met, ways that BJ still manages to steal my heart and sweep me off my feet, and all that jazz.

This first printable is a quote from Wuthering Heights, which I haven't actually read. I know, for same....right? But this quote so perfectly encompasses how I feel about BJ. He truly is my "other half". I can not even imagine what life would be like we're he not part of it, I am not whole without him. Totally sappy. I'm sorry....well not really. I honestly hope that everyone finds a love like that at some point.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Shopping on Saturday Night is a Bad Idea

Saturday nights at our local Walmart are a little crazy. Partly because most of our community avoids shopping on Sundays for religious purposes, and partly because the teenagers seem to think that's the place to be on Saturday night. Generally, I avoid Walmart like the plague on Saturday night.

I didn't have that luxury last night. 

I was lucky enough to get an evening out, BJ stayed with the kids while I went to a movie with my brother and sister, Brent and Ashley. When the movie was over we thought we'd stop and get a treat and I needed to pick something up for Sunday dinner. 

The, hopefully brief, shopping trip started off great. We ran into a family friend and had nice chat for minute. Our friend even offered to start as many blogs as I would like for the sole purpose of allowing me to guest post, thanks Jim! We parted ways and got down to business. 

We hit the DVD section to see if they had a particular movie we wanted to watch. No such luck, but not a big deal. Then we headed for the grocery aisles. I picked up some broccoli, cream cheese, and then decided to peruse the ice cream. After making our ice cream selections we rounded the corner to head for the chicken. I was in the lead, so I didn't actually see what went down but soon heard a commotion behind me. 

I turned around to see a teenage girl darting away from Brent. He was following right after her saying, "excuse me, what were you doing? Did you just take a picture of me? I'm talking to you...did you just take my picture?" She answered, "huh? No. I didn't do anything. Leave me alone."

"You were all up in my face with your phone and I'm pretty sure you were taking my picture or taking a video or something".

"I didn't do anything, leave me alone", she responded as she ran to meet her friends on the other side of the Oreo display.

Well, she did do something. She walked right up to Brent and stuck her phone in his face about two inches from his nose. And when he tried, two or three times, to duck out of her way she followed him with her phone up in his face the entire time. After witnessing the whole thing, Ashley jumped into action. 

She bounced after the girl and cut her off at the pass, "did you just take his picture?"

"I didn't do anything!"

"If you didn't do anything then show us"


"You did take his picture didn't you?"

"No, I didn't"

"If you didn't take his picture THEN SHOW US YOUR PHONE!"

She briefly held out her phone but dated away when Ashley tried to grab it. Brent and Ashley both followed after her as she met up with her friends saying things like, "you just can't get up in complete strangers faces with your phone!".

"It was just a joke! Calm down...it's supposed to be funny" they said as the rushed away. 


Brent took off at almost a full run after them. At this point, I decided I was tired of cowering behind the Oreo display and wanted to finish my shopping, so I told Ashley to follow him to make sure he didn't do anything stupid, and went on my way. 

It turns out he just went to complain to the manager. But once the manager got involved the teenagers were long gone. 

I was still shaking long after we relayed the story to BJ. The only thing Brent was shaking was his head. And when we told BJ that Ashley had been ready to throw down, right in the middle of Walmart, she said "I could have taken her". 

Don't expect me to go to Walmart on Saturday night ever. again. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

My How-to Repertoire Needs a Little Work

I have been doing a little research lately on how to grow my blog. I love and appreciate all my adoring fans (hi Mom!) but I wouldn't mind adding a few readers to the mix. Here are a few things the experts say to do

Guest post on other blogs
Make a Facebook page
Comment on other blogs/Facebook pages/Instagram profiles
Write a how-to

Well, people aren't breaking down the door for me to guest post on their blogs...yet. And my parents always taught me it's rude to invite yourself over. I'm guessing that goes for blogs as well as houses.

I have a Facebook page. www.facebook.com/hersandhims

I'm trying to comment on blogs and Instagram but it isn't really encouraging people to check out my stuff. Honestly, the most it's doing is making me feel like a stalker.

So that leaves the whole how-to thing. Hmmm. How-to. I guess I know how to do some stuff.

I know how to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I can generally keep my kids from beating on each other. But not always. Maybe we ought to scratch that idea. I'm pretty good at getting sucked in to old TV series on Netflix. Oh! I bet I could write a killer "how to avoid those piles of laundry" post.

Maybe I better think about it for a while longer.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Raiders of the Lost Fasser

Milgie loves her pacifier. LOVES. She calls it her "fasser". I thought about weaning her from it before Weezie was born but decided that would be too much change all at once. And perhaps a little cruel. She's my first to even take a fasser so this is all new territory for me anyway. 

Honestly, she doesn't care about it much when she's awake, she can take it or leave it. But nap time/bed time is a completely different story. That also seems to be the time when it most often goes missing. By "it" I mean the eight or so fassers we've accumulated trying to make sure we always have one on hand. 

We still lose them all. the. time. We had one such experience just recently. 

We had been running errands all morning and Milgie fell asleep in the car. So I hurried everyone inside, changed her diaper and ran her up to her bed. I thought a fasser was left there, but I was mistaken. 

So the search for the missing fassers began. I looked all around her crib, under her blankets and feeling in the corners. No fasser. I dropped to my hands and knees hoping one had rolled under her crib or under the Princess' bed. No fasser. 

So I ran down the stairs, frantically begging for help. "Come on guys, I need your help! I can't find a fasser and it's nap time. Milgie will never go to sleep if I don't find one!"

Olyut and the Princess have actually gotten pretty good at finding them around. They know all the right places to look. But this particular day they just sat there. I kept looking. 

In the Tupperware cabinet. Through the pots and pans where she's been known to hide them. "Come on guys! Please! I need your help!!"  I looked under the table and in her high chair. No fasser. 

I looked under the couch and through the toy box. No fasser. And the older two were still just sitting there! And, by this time, Weezie was awake. And starving. And screaming. 

"Please help me!!"

On to where we keep our shoes. No fasser. The DVD cabinet. No fasser. Weezie's bouncy seat, the bookshelf, the rocking chair, the bathroom, my bedroom. Still no fasser. 

Not a single solitary one. And no help from the peanut gallery either. 

"Can somebody help me please?!?!", I yelled as I started all over, from the top. 

Finally, Olyut replied, "don't worry, mom, I said a prayer...you'll find one any minute".

I remember thinking that wasn't exactly helpful as I rounded through each hiding place again, coming up empty handed. I figured it was pretty hopeless at that point. I braced myself for the oncoming screamfest as I trudged up the stairs to tuck her in, fasser-less. I knew she would never possibly fall asleep without it. But I knew we needed to try anyway. 

I rounded the corner to Milgie's room, and peered over the side of the crib. There she was. Asleep. With a fasser in her mouth. 

Behold the power of prayer. I guess Olyut showed me. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Could You Win The Newlywed Game?

Usually the mornings around here are a bit on the crazy side, and require us to tag team. One of us stays with the kids, making sure everyone gets fed and dressed and chores done, while the other gets ready for the day. Then we switch.

But I guess the kids were abducted by aliens on Tuesday night because they were perfectly behaved Wednesday morning, allowing us to get ready at the same time and actually have a real conversation. It began with me complaining about something inconsequential, and morphed into something completely different. Which, honestly, is the way it usually goes....

I wouldn't worry too much about it, you'll get over it

Um, ok. 

Ok? What, you don't think so?

Well, I've been told that I hold a grudge so maybe I'll stay upset forever

 I have seen you let things go. It may still bother you from time to time, but you don't hold on to things the way you think you do. 

If you say so.

I do. I have been married to you for almost nine years. I think I know you pretty well by now. 

Well, thanks honey. 

I mean, I don't know if I know you well enough that we'd win The Newlywed Game or anything, but I know you pretty darn well. 

Hold up....you just said you think you know me pretty darn well, and reminded me that we've almost been married for nine years, but you don't think we could win The Newlywed Game??

I just don't know if I could answer the kinds of questions they ask. 

What kind of questions do you think they ask?

Like, what elementary school did your wife go to? Or something. 

I'm pretty sure they've never asked that question before. 

Ok, then what's your wife's favorite food...

I'm pretty sure that's not the kind of question they ask either, but you seriously don't know my favorite food?

Is it creme brûlée?

Are you married to me or my mom?

I wouldn't have known that was your mom's favorite food! I mean, I guess I might say ice cream?

That'd be closer. Think about it for a minute. There's a shop that I like to go to, I spend way too much money there, I go far too often.....

Oh!! Cupcakes??

Um, yeah


Yeah. Duh. 

Anyway, I just mean that I'm not good at answering questions like that. Tami [his sister] and I played a game like that at a family reunion once and we lost. We got like none of the questions right. 

When you played that game with Tami, you didn't even get her birthday right!

Exactly! That's what I'm trying to tell you!

It doesn't help that I went to four elementary schools. 

See! That's another problem. 

You want to know which one was my favorite? I could give you a hint...it was named after an author...

Stanley Kubrick Elementary?

Um. No. That would have been terrifying. 


And Stanley Kubrick wasn't even an author. 

It looks like he may be on to something, we probably won't be winning The Newlywed Game any time soon ;)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Soon-to-Be Mrs. Moses

My best friend is getting married! In roughly 18 hours she will marry the man of her dreams and create a new little family and live happily ever after. I am so excited we get to be here in Colorado  to celebrate with her.  And I am so, SO excited for her!

Because really, she is awesome! So awesome that I can't possibly do her justice by trying to explain.  That's not going to stop me from trying.

We met at church when we were seven years old. My family just moved to the area and she was the only girl in a church class full of boys.  And I don't mean just a couple boys, I mean like ten boys. First impressions weren't great....I thought she was a nerd (which she isn't) and she thought I was stuck up. Let's face it, I was a little bratty. Luckily, our mothers knew better and arranged a sleep over, and we've been friends ever since.

She is so kind and fun and thoughtful. One time, her family went to Europe and she brought me back a real live, actually from France, French beret. I think I wore that thing so much I wore a hole right through it. She had one too, and we would jump on her trampoline pretending to be sisters that both made the French Olympic team. The French Olympic trampoline team apparently.

Then one Christmas, we both got American Girl dolls. We played with those dolls until we outgrew them, and maybe even after. The only time we didn't have those dolls right with us was when we were trying to prove that they got up and moved around on their own when we weren't there. We would pose them and then leave the room for a while so we could come back and catch them in different poses.

As we grew older, we dreamed of of pooling our money together and buying a green convertible with tan leather interior that we could share through high school. But before we could even realize how impractical that dream was, my family moved away. Then we moved again. And again. And again.

She proved to be a great friend through all of it. Our mothers helped to make sure we stayed in touch by organizing weekends together throughout the years. Even though she made new friends, she was there for me when I struggled with not really having friends or having friends that weren't always the best example. She always had a way of convincing me of my own self worth while keeping me accountable for some of my not so great choices. I remember her saying things to me like "you know you're better than all of that, right?" And a would reevaluate, because her opinion really mattered.

It still does.

She has always been there for me. When Olyut was born premature, she came to visit him in the hospital. She comes to visit whenever she is able. She was there with me at my wedding. Now it's my turn to repay the favor.

And I can't wait :)

Friday, June 28, 2013


Our city does a family festival every year. They have a family night at a local pool, a family fun run, a golf tournament, a movie and dinner in the park, and a carnival. Then the finish it all off with a fireworks show. It's great fun, and one of our favorite parts of the summer break....and this year the final family festival fireworks festivities just happened to fall on the night before Olyut's birthday. That meant that we skipped the carnival in order to play laser tag and have dinner at his favorite restaurant.  But it also meant that he got super cool fireworks for his birthday! What could be better than that?!


And the Princess did her best to make sure we didn't forget that. In fact, she was sure to point that out after practically every. single. firework.

And you know what? She was right. They were the best birthday fireworks ever.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Sticky Fingers

I think I've gotten too complacent in my shopping trips. It got really comfortable hitting the store while the older two were in school. Just plop the younger two in a shopping cart and you're in and out. Easy as pie.

I'd forgotten what it was like to take all four of them. But obviously there's a reason I starting going during preschool/school in the first place. I took them to JoAnn's the other day and I swear I needed a Xanax by the time we were done. And that was with my mom there for back up.

But I must have some short term memory loss because I decided to brave the outlets today. The kids all needed new swimsuits, and since I'm fairly certain the stores will be busting out their sweater displays next week, we needed to go to Carter's. NEEDED to. Today.

And you know what? We actually did ok. We made it from the car, past 15 or so stores and in to Carter's without incident. We picked out four swimsuits and several $5 items and only had to pick up about 20 swimsuits knocked off the rack while the kids were playing hide and seek. We paid and made it out of the store without a single screaming fit.

I was feeling pretty darn good. So as we made our way back to the car, I called Daddy to see if he wanted to meet somewhere for lunch. I rounded the corner back to the car and opened the doors with the remote entry. The three oldest ran ahead and jumped in the car. I unlatched the infant carrier from the stroller, latched it into the car, buckled the toddler, opened the trunk, and finalized lunch plans. Then as I was going to fold up the stroller, I saw them....

Three baby blankets. You know, the kind attached to teddy bear heads. In the basket under the stroller. Milgie,the almost two year old, had been playing with them in the store. I know this because I remember putting about 5 of them back on the shelf.  Obviously I missed some.

"I'm sorry, honey. We're going to be a little later for lunch than I thought"

"How come?"

"Well, apparently we stole some things and I need to take them back. See you as soon as we can."

So I put the infant seat back into the stroller, grabbed Milgie, waited for the other two to file out of the car, and headed back to the store.

Only this time, Milgie wandered into every store with an open door along the way. Which was every store by the way. She yelled "NO!" every time I asked her to stay with me. She threw herself on the ground each time I tried to hold her hand. She went into Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory four times. I had to physically remove her from the store the last time as she screamed "chocolate!!!" over and over.  And Olyut had a meltdown the entire way back because he was certain they were going to throw us all in jail.

I'm pretty sure this second trip took twice as long as the first. I'm definitely sure I'm feeling more humble now.

Lessons of the day:

Never get smug about your parenting skills
Just because the first two kids never had sticky fingers, doesn't mean the younger ones will follow the same path
Wait to go shopping with fewer kids or with an extra set of hands to help
Less chocolate for the toddler. A LOT less.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Daddy Is Most Definitely Not Oprah

Daddies know about a lot of things. My Dad knows everything...just ask him. And my husband knows a few things about computers. Ok, he knows a LOT about computers. And providing for our family. He knows about politics, music and movies. He even knows a thing or two about Oprah. 

Everyone knows about Oprah, right? Even if you never watched her show, I'm sure you've seen her "Favorite Things" show spoofed on Saturday Night Live. Or when she was on 30 Rock.....LIZ LEEEMMMMON!!! Right? 

Please tell me my huband and I aren't the only ones that Oprahfy things. 

Even though he really does know a lot, there are some things he doesn't get. One thing my husband doesn't know so much about? Taking the kids to the pediatrician. That's usually my domain. I take the kids. I fill out the paperwork. I ask the questions and fill prescriptions and follow doctor's orders. And I'm the one that eases the kids' minds when they are certain they'll have to get shots. 

Maybe I lie. Actually, I definitely lie. Half the time I lie by avoiding the shot question altogether. The other half, I lie through my teeth......"nah, I'm pretty sure there won't be any shots today". Because I know what happens when they know they're getting shots. The crying and the screaming. Hiding under the back seat when we get to the office. And hiding under the table when we get to the exam room. So yep, I lie. 

But Daddy doesn't know about all that. Or at least he didn't before he helped me take the kids to get their flu shots last fall. 

He offered to help since he had some vacation days he needed to use and because I was about seven months pregnant and already extremely uncomfortable. So he stayed home, got everyone dressed and ready, and started loading them into the car. All while I began formulating my lie to answer the inevitable questions. 

"Mommy, where are we going?" asked Olyut

"We have an appointment with the doctor today, buddy", I replied. 

"THE DOCTOR??? Are we gonna get shots??"

Before I had the chance to even open my mouth, my husband chimed in.....Oprahfying the entire situation. 

"YEEEEESSSSSS!! We're going to the DOOOCCCCCTTTOORRRR!!! And EVERBODY is getting a shot". 

He then pointed to each individual child 

Obviously after all that, we had three screaming/crying children in the backseat.

Now Daddy knows. He knows exactly what not to do on shot day. Luckily, the kids still think he's cooler than Oprah.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Real Mom

I just got back from grocery shopping. It's been a lot longer than I care to admit. But as I was wandering aisles with my two youngest kids and then later as I was filling the pantry and fridge with food, I felt like a real mom.

I know I AM a mom. Everyday, I'm a mom. But there are certain things I do that make me feel more motherly, I suppose. Oddly enough, that list doesn't include wiping noses and bums or even doing laundry.

The things that make me feel more like a real mom are things like grocery shopping. Or driving carpool. Going to after-school activities and parent/teacher conferences. And check-ups at the pediatrician. I don't know why those are the things that make my list. I'm guessing it has something to do with how I felt as a child, while watching my own mom do those things.

What about you? What makes you feel like a real mom/dad? Or if you don't have kids, what makes you feel like you've officially "grown up"?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Beautiful Things

The Princess is obsessed with all things beautiful. If something is sparkly or shiny or one of her favorite colors then she must have it, or at least tell someone about it. She points out all of the beautiful things she finds each day. Under normal circumstances I would be concerned about a person described in that way. I would worry that such a person was superficial.

 But I'm not worried about The Princess. She finds EVERYTHING...and everybody, beautiful. No lie. It's one of the qualities I love most about her.

She points to people in Walmart, at the mall, the gas station, and Costco and exclaims, "oh Mommy! Aren't they just beautiful?!".  I hate to admit it, but a few times I have thought to myself, "really?". It seems I have a thing or two to learn from my sweet five year old.

She isn't afraid to approach people and tell them how beautiful they are. The list of people she has told is quite long.....

Miss Nettie, her preschool teacher
Her best friend's mom
The greeter at Walmart
The cashier at Walmart
The cashier at Costco
The bank teller
Her teacher at church
A few random people at the park
The waitress at dinner the other night
Our neighbors
The other moms in our carpool
The receptionist and nurses at the pediatrician's office

And that's just in the last week or so!

Just yesterday, on her field trip to the fire station, she raised her hand just to tell the fireman that he is handsome. She is known to talk very softly, so I had to repeat it so he could hear. Which I found slightly embarrassing. But, you know what? I think it might have just made that fireman's day!

Who doesn't love to be told they're attractive? And how many of us have been brainwashed by the world around us to believe, at least at times, that we aren't worthy of such a declaration?

I hope my Princess always searches for beauty with more than just her eyes. I hope she continues to feel beauty with her heart. And I really hope, when the world tries to convince her that she isn't beautiful, that she will listen to me as I boldly proclaim how amazingly beautiful she is! And as I try teach her all I know about true beauty.

And I hope she believes me when I tell her that I learned it all from her.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Don't Make Me Sick

I don't do vomit. Barf. Puke. Up chuck.....whatever you call it, I don't do it.

I avoid it at all costs. I have even been known to lock myself in my room while my poor husband is forced to comfort and clean up after sick children.

Don't get me wrong, if I'm the only one here...I take care of the sick children. Keeping them clean and hydrated. But I reeeeallly struggle with it. A lot. It has actually become a bit of a joke in my family. My parents just recently went on vacation, asking me to keep an eye on my siblings. My sister was going through a rough time and my mom apologized profusely at the prospect of her "falling apart" on me.

"Don't worry Mom, if she falls apart, she falls apart. I can handle it" I assured her.

"She's right, as long as nobody's throwing up, she'll be just fine" my dad replied.

Ha. Ha. Good one dad.

My brother, the aspiring psychologist has even inferred that I have a full blown phobia. I prefer to think of it as post traumatic stress. On Olyut's second Christmas, he came down with rotavirus. Any mom knows that is a nasty, nasty stomach virus that lasts for. ev. er. He couldn't keep anything down. He was crying all the time because rotavirus comes complete with horrible stomach cramps that I've heard likened to digesting razor blades.

We took him to the ER two days in a row where he was given fluids through an IV, just to be sent home with instructions to come back if he didn't get better. On the third day, we took him to his pediatrician who admitted him to the hospital. He stayed there for a week. Then a week after he was discharged he got norovirus and was right back to the ER.

He got the stomach flu 5-6 more times over the following year, each time landing him back in the ER. He has a very touchy gag reflex (I'm guessing from all the time spent on a ventilator when he was born) and has a very hard time stopping once he starts throwing up. It has mellowed over the years but, it took a few more visits to the ER, several visits to the pediatrician, and a prescription for Zofran to keep at the house. It's really only been in the past three years or so that we've been able to manage the stomach flu without him getting crazy dehydrated.

So it's true, I get super stressed out about it. I don't want to go anywhere near anyone that has thrown up in the past 72 hours. So I about lost it a couple weeks ago when my mom asked me to take a care package to my sick brother. I could not believe she even asked. I had to pick my jaw up off the floor and give myself a major pep talk before I was able to pick up some Gatorade and Saltines, drop them on his doorstep and run like mad after ringing his doorbell. Not to mention the hand sanitizer bath I took once back in the safety of my car.

No joke. This is an actual text exchange between us after the fact...

Thanks for getting me all the stuff B-rooke.  Thanks for coming to the belly of the beast to do that!

You're welcome. You better know how much I love you, punk. Just use it so my sacrifice isn't in vain :-P

Haha no joke! I was telling Matt it's really nice that you came because I've never seen anyone else that's as weirded out about throwing up haha. Hopefully none of y'all get sick. Hopefully it was just a fluke thing. 

I know! I'm the worst....like Mr. Monk, Howie Mandel, and Mark Sommers all rolled into one. 

Haha. Luckily it's mostly just the throw up bug that freaks you out. So you can shake people's hands and stuff. 

True. Unless I know they've barfed recently. 

True dat!

In fact, I may never shake your hand again ;)

See? Problems, I got 'em. 

That's why, when my Zumba teacher ran out of class with ten minutes to spare because she was going to be sick, I could not get out of there fast enough. And may have taken another hand sanitizer bath when I got home. I heard later that several of the other Zumba students texted her over the next couple of days to make sure she was ok. Me? I just prayed and prayed the virus didn't make its way to our house. It didn't even cross my mind to check on her. 


On second thought, maybe my brother is on to something. Maybe I really do have a phobia. Maybe that means I can plead insanity on judgement day. Is that how it works? I hope so. Or I may just end up in h-e-double hockey sticks. 

I HAVE gotten a lot better over the years but I doubt I'll ever be the kind of mom that strokes her kids' hair as they are throwing up. I am now capable of offering a comforting hug though. Please tell me that counts for something. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Dolce and What Did You Say?

My parents live at the mall.  Not in a " wow, you really have a shopping problem" sort of way. But literally. Like in a "if they fall down four floors, they'll be in J. Crew" sort of way.

So we find ourselves in the mall often. We know a lot about this particular mall. For instance, there's a restaurant on the 2nd floor of Nordstrom. Just like several other Nordstrom stores across the country. It's never been busy when we go, but it is very yummy. We find ourselves there every couple of months or so.

After the last time, we decided to split up on our way back to Magah's apartment. Magah and Aunt Ashley took Olyut and the Princess down the escalator because they love it so, while Daddy and I took the stroller down in the elevator.

Along the way, Magah and Ashley got distracted by a gorgeous Dolce and Gabbana lace dress and stopped to give it the admiration it rightfully deserved. Which is all well and good, unless you have two grubby handed children with you.

Which is exactly what my children are: grubby handed.

I'm not exactly sure how. I'm constantly wiping faces and hands. Or supervising while the older two wash their own hands. Or inspecting hands after they've been washed.

But somehow, on any given day, my walls look like this...

Even if I just wiped down the walls the day before.Which is probably why, when Olyut reached out his little hands to touch that gorgeous,expensive dress, my mom and sister saw....

Whether his hands looked like that right then or not. It also explains their synchronized reaction. 

"No, no, no, no, no, no, NO! No Olyut! No, don't touch that!!!"

To his credit, he actually listened. He stopped dead in his tracks.

"Why not, Magah?"

"Because that dress costs $2000, buddy, and we don't want to mess it up."

He thought that was absolutely hilarious...

Until my mom showed him the price tag. 

There isn't much that leaves Olyut speechless. But a $2000 dress sure did the trick.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

A Numbers Game

Olyut doesn't like math. The way he reacts to math homework each night, you'd think we were water boarding him or something. Lots of yelling and screaming and flinging himself on the floor. It's a nightmare. For him AND me. I think it's made me hate math more than I did when I was in school. If that's possible.

So it bugs me when Olyut starts with his math questions.

He'll say, "Mom, what's 2+2" and I'll answer him.  Then he'll say, "Mom, what's 4+4?" And I will answer that. Then he'll say, "Mom..." And before he can ask what 8+8 is, I wil say, "Olyut, I don't want to play this game anymore. Don't ask me any more math problems!"

But my husband is infinitely more patient with this sort of thing than I am. So the other night he'd asked me if I had figured out Olyut's "tell", so to speak. The way he signals that he is done playing his own game. When I admitted that I haven't ever made it that far, he let me in on the secret.

You see, he has played this game many, MANY times. Because Olyut LOVES this game. He starts it anywhere and everywhere. At all hours of the day.

But it always ends the same way. Once he decides he doesn't want to play anymore, he will ask one more math question. For example, "Dad, what's 1600+1600?". Then my husband will answer, "it's 3200" and Olyut will respond with....

Then my husband repeats, "it's 3200". And that's the end of it. Completely. Olyut doesn't say another word about any of it. Not a single word. 

That is, until the next round of the game. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Year Later

Wow. It's been an entire year since I posted here. Ridiculous.

While there really is no excuse for that, there are a few things this past year that kind of monopolized my attention.....

1.  Four days after my last post, I turned 30. This time last year I was pretty weirded out by that. I was preoccupied by the thought of leaving my 20s behind and all that I had failed to accomplish. BUT my friends and family, mostly my mom, threw me a super cool Disneyland themed (yep, I'm still a kid) surprise party. I felt pretty darn special. And then I realized that thirty isn't really a big deal. And my thirties are going to rock!

2. Once I had gotten over myself and decided thirty isn't so bad, I found out my Dad had skin cancer. I had a really hard time with that. My mom had been begging him to get this particular mole checked for years. YEARS. And there were other concerning growths besides that one. At the beginning no one was very convincing in assuring me it would turn out ok.

I may or may not have kind of shut down at that point. I mean this was my DAD. The man I could always turn to for advice or comfort. A real constant in my life. And suddenly we were all faced with his mortality. And it freaked me right out. My brother and sister had not gotten married yet, would he be here to meet their spouses or watch them get married? My husband and I weren't finished having children, would my dad be here to cuddle my youngest child as he had the others? How would my mom survive all of this?

Luckily, the test results were on our side despite things not looking so great to begin with. He is cancer free and doing very well. He even goes to the doctor regularly now. And he'll keep that up if he knows what's good for him.

3. Not too long after we had all recovered from the cancer scare, my husband and I discovered we were expecting our fourth child. Just nine short months after welcoming our third child. This fourth pregnancy was, by far, the toughest. I was more sick in the beginning, more sore and tired throughout, and had high blood pressure at the end. Add that to being a pretty cranky pregnant lady anyway and taking care of two kids and a baby and, well....my mind just wasn't on blogging.

But now we have a healthy baby and a happier mommy. I'm ready to get back to keeping a record of this fleeting childhood years.

It doesn't hurt that my husband bought me a fancy new iPad to use just for this purpose ;)