Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Pool Poo-lution

Pool Poo-lution

Fortuitously, my adorable cousin, Tania, was at her vacation home with her hubby, Kip, this week. And her vacation home is only 20 minutes away from Chelan! She very graciously invited us over for lunch and a swim in her swimming pool. It was awesome. Kip barbecued hot dogs on the grill and Tania was the best hostess ever. She had cream soda available (my kids' favorite!) and even put them in those little cozies to stay cool.

She had a life vest available for Gagey, which was perfect for him. He was able to paddle all around on his own, which made him happy. Dyl and I had a spirited water fight, which was a blast. And then I got seasick and had to get out for awhile. Yes, seasickness from swimming pools. I am my father's daughter. He gets horrible motion/seasickness. He also gets vertigo. He can't even go to yoga with my mom. Once he's upside-down, that's it for him. He's nauseated and dizzy and DONE. Neither of us can watch those 3- D things at the beginning of movies in the theater, where you're, like, going down a roller coaster and popcorn is popping to your know the thing I'm talking about?

Anyways. Tania's place is beautiful and it was so nice just to chit-chat with Tania and Kip. Unfortunately, we had a little mishap with Gagey. I thought Ben had put Gage's swim diaper and swim trunks on that morning, and he thought vice versa, when the truth was that Gage had put his OWN swim trunks on, sans swimming diaper.

And he had an accident. In the pool. A pooping accident. Ben used snorkeling goggles to locate the pieces of poop at the bottom of the pool, depositing the pieces into a ziplock bag, and the floating, fluffy pieces were scooped out by Kip with his little pool net thing and flung into the garden.

Sooooo embarrassing...

Kip and Tania took it all in stride and were very cool about it, but I felt really awful. We soon left. That's usually how things go. One of my kids embarrasses me, so we beat it before things get worse. :)

Working About

We headed down to Wenatchee one day this week. Mainly so we could go to the Wok About Grill, one of our favorite places to eat. Completely worth the half-hour trip each way.

I also really wanted to get Ben some jeans for his birthday, and there really isn't a place to buy any in Chelan. At least not any that would please my picky man. Every pair of jeans he owns has a hole in the crotch. Nat and I were trying to figure that out the other day - why the crotch, of all things, is worn out on our husbands' jeans.  We thought that maybe our men wear their jeans below their bellies, which makes the crotch hang low, and then their thighs rub together right there, thereby causing the crotch holes? That's the best we can figure.

Anywho, if Ben had his 'druthers, he would want a pair of Lucky jeans for 80 bucks. Which we have never been able to do, honestly. The next best thing for this picky man is Old Navy. So we made the trip down to good old Wenatchee.

The Wok About was as awesome as usual. Love that place. Then we went to what Ben calls Old Slavey. (He has names for almost every store - Safeway is Slaveway. Pizza Hut is Pizza Slut. Little Caesar's is Little Sleazer's. He's a funny guy.)

The kids were being super-special, so after about 5 minutes, I took them out to the car. Containment. But first I picked out some sunglasses and sports socks for myself and gave them to Ben. Old Slavey has the BEST workout socks. I also got some schlip-schlops for Sadie and Gage.

Ben ended up with a few pairs of jeans and a t-shirt. I'm glad. No more wearing patch-crotched jeans for my man. For now.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Hoochie Mamas at the Beach

Kay, can I first tell you how much I hate typing on an iPad? My fingers are asking why we can't do our regular typing things. Hunt-and-peck - that's so not me. Not since high school typing class. Best class I ever took, I swear.

Also, this Auto Correct thing? What a pain in the arse! Sometimes I choose to lengthen out a vowel. Type it eight times to emphasize a word. And Auto Correct chooses to make my word into two new words that have nothing to do with my original word. Hate. I know how to spell, iPad. Let me do my thing.

Kay, so I swear on the sword of Indigo Montoya that I will upload these pictures this afternoon - pictures of what I'm hoping to tell you about, but they're on the hubby's phone, and getting him to send pictures he's taken to me is like twisting arms. Like pulling teeth. All of those cliches. We even may have a video for you. You'll love it!

Oh, and P.S., I'm feeling much better. Good thing I waited for three hours at the insta-care and got my pooh analyzed. Good thing we'll be paying for that... Ah well. It is what it is. I had no idea at the time that I would feel better the next day. I just knew that I couldn't go another day feeling like I did.

So, um, sorry if you thought I might be hospitalized or dead or something because I was all, "I'm deathly ill," and then I suddenly disappeared... I'm good. And no longer 3 pounds lighter, probably. I've been super-naughty with my eating. Ice cream! Milkshake! Carbs! Naughty, Naughty Kar. But I was in a celebratory mood.  "My husband got a job that pays peanuts! I have solid poop now!" These moments must be celebrated.

Alright. On to the hoochie mamas. No, iPad, not "hoodie mamas." Hoochie mamas.

So please don't think from this post that I'm a judgemental person. I'm really, really not. I just...really love people watching. It's one of my favorite pastimes. I think people are funny. I especially enjoy when people aren't trying to be funny and they're funny. Those are precious moments.

So we went to the lake a couple of nights ago. We have to go in the evenings because it's been like 108 degrees every day since we've been here. We just can't bear to go out in that. So we wait until after dinner until it's cooled down a teeny bit.

So we found a spot and Ben and I sat on the shore with our feet in the water, which actually felt lukewarm. And if you've ever visited Lake Chelan, you'll know that it is always, always icy cold. This weather is actually heating up this enormous lake. It's insane. That's just how hot it is. Anyways, the kids splashed and swam around and we were just enjoying ourselves.

We couldn't help noticing some girls playing in the water to our left. First of all, they were wearing really skimpy bikinis. Strapless bikinis. One of them had like a lace-up back. Honestly, they looked like they were wearing lingerie. I didn't appreciate how they were dressed. My hubs doesn't need to see that.  They looked to be in their early 20s. It was just the two of them. And they were taking selfies. And modeling shots of each other. Frolicking in the lake. Splashing around. Click-click. Making Duck Face. Click-click. Cheek to cheek duck face. Click-click. I mean, they spent like an HOUR taking selfies.  "Here we are at Lake Chelan, and we're spending our whole time taking selfies instead of hanging onto that huge piece of driftwood over there and trying to stand on it without it rolling over or swimming to the dock and climbing out onto it and singing the Rocky theme to ourselves while punching the air or throwing pebbles at each other. Or sitting with our feet in the water and having a deep talk about life. Or looking for little clam shells. Or floating like starfish. Or racing to the dock. Or dunking each other." I mean, there are so many things they could be doing, and instead, they're taking selfies. "Look at how much fun we're having!" When they're not really doing
anything fun. They took their pictures, then climbed onto their towels and reviewed their pictures for
an hour and probably posted them.

I don't know. I should stop being so judgie.  I mean, social media has its place, right? I love that I can see what my sisters-in-law are doing. I love that I can see what my sisters who live far away are doing. I love when they send me articles they liked or memes that reminded them of me. I love that stuff! I love that you can ask if anyone nearby has a such-and-such you can borrow. I love that you can put something out there about how you're feeling and can have those who care about you rally around you.

But I hate when people take pictures of themselves "doing" something when all they're doing is taking pictures of themselves and not doing anything at all.  I hate that reporting about doing something has replaced doing the actual thing.

But what I think I hate most of all is when people girls base their self-esteem on getting attention (the wrong kind of attention) from boys. I'm realizing now that what I'm feeling toward the girls is not a
self-righteous judgmental kind of feeling. I'm realizing that I feel sorry for them. It's actually a maternal, "Oh, I feel bad. They need to do this to feel good about themselves" kind of a thing. I want to go give them a hug and tell them that they should put their phones down and just enjoy the sunset and talk about life goals or how their families are doing. Or to read a good book. To find fulfillment in a way that will bring them true, lasting happiness. Not just Facebook " likes." Likes don't last. They will feel fulfilled for about two seconds, and then need to take some more selfies of them dressed scantily in a bar, taking shots.

I'm not saying I know more than them or am better than them or anything. I guess I'm saying that I'm grateful. I'm grateful that I feel good about myself. I'm grateful for the gospel, which gives me true self -esteem. I'm a daughter of God. I don't need likes or followers or whatever, because I know who I am. I'm at peace with that. It's a relief, really. Not to have to base my worth on whether a boy lusts after me or whether I'm pretty or ugly or whether I look perfect on Facebook or not. I can just lean
back, relax, and watch my niƱos play in the water and enjoy the feel of the cool water on my toes. Because that's what life is all about.

Monday, July 14, 2014

A Rough Night

Welp, I was violently ill all night long last night. Slept on the bathroom floor. Well, maybe "slept" isn't the right word for it. I existed on the floor. And then I was up every three minutes, doing my bidness. It was freakin' awesome. My body finally ran out of things to rid itself of at about 8 a.m. For fun, I weighed myself before bed last night. Then, out of curiosity, I weighed myself this morning.

I lost 3 pounds in 8 hours.

I tried not to feel perversely pleased at this.

I mean, I'm not saying I would ever take laxatives to lose weight. I guess I was just glad that all of my suffering wasn't for naught. At least I lost 3 pounds from it. I've been working on those pesky three pounds for the past month. :) It's like my pregnancy with Micah. So, so horrible. I was so sick that I only gained 9 pounds. So after I had him, I looked amazing! Which was fun. But then the weight inevitably piled on again. It always does.

At any rate, I went to the insta-care here in town this morning. I was really hoping they would give me some kind of shot or something. Instead, I waited for 3 hours, and then was very helpfully told that I either have a virus or some kind of bacterial infection. I had to, um, provide a sample of my...product (humiliating!) and get my blood drawn. I will be contacted in 3 days about the results. And if I'm still violently ill in the interim? Drink lots of fluids.

Thanks, Doc.

I'm seeing a bit of a pattern. I'm sick all night, dizzy and tired but okay all day, able to eat dinner and laugh really hard at reruns of Nadia G's Bitchin' Kitchen with Ben's uncle Jody (I mean, have you seen that show? Hi-larious), but at bedtime, I feel my body sink back into horrible illness. As I type this, I'm trying to ignore my churning stomach. I'm just so grateful that only 2 of my kids had this illness and it only lasted 12 hours for each of them. Fingers crossed.

Ben got the official job offer from Bend this morning. He'll make a little more than half of what he was making before. But we both feel good about it. I figure we've lived off that salary before; we can do it again. We've been poor our whole marriage; we're used to it. I'll work and it will be okay.

And get this - the boss of this company called Ben a couple of hours after he had e-mailed the offer, all anxious. "Sooo, um, did you get my e-mail? Are you going to join us? We just really want you in our company. We think you'd be a good fit."

How adorable. Like a boy saying to a girl, "So, did you get my text???" And it's gratifying, too, to know that Ben's talent is being honored and that he's wanted. He needed to hear that, for sure. I think he'll really love this job.

So now it's time to figure out logistics. Selling house. Finding temporary room for rent in Bend for Ben. Eventually finding rental house. Probably a single-wide trailer in a really bad part of will be fantastic. :) But hey, way more temperate winters there. And hardly any wind. And summers don't get very hot. Kind of getting excited.

When the kids and I were walking around downtown Bend during Ben's interview, every other store was a wine shop or a coffee shop. The kids were thoroughly dismayed by this. You would have thought by their reaction to this that we were walking around the red-light district in Amsterdam. I had to keep telling them that we're not in Kansas anymore, and that Bend is different from Idaho Falls in lots of ways, but that people who drink coffee or alcohol aren't bad people. And that we're going to be more of a minority now, but that it will be a good chance for us to be good examples and introduce people to our beliefs. I reminded Dylan of his baby blessing, which emphasized that he would be a good example and missionary to his friends. I told him that us moving to Bend would give him a great opportunity to fulfill this part of his blessing. I think it will be great. It's fun to live in " the mission field." I really enjoyed that about San Diego.

Tomorrow, I have a great story for you involving some dumb girls down at the lake this evening. Good stuff. Stay tuned. In the meantime, pray for me that I won't have another night like last night...

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Naive Little Kar

So before I got sick with...dysentery... (wink, wink) I was able to go to Ben's meet-and-greet for his 20-year high school reunion on Friday night.

Luckily, this time, his high school girlfriend (who wasn't even in his grade, but crashed the 10-year reunion and was trying to hit on him - it was pathetic) didn't show up, so that was a plus.  And it was hilarious.  All of the wives that Ben's friends had been married to 10 years ago were gone, with new replacements.  And lots of bitterness on the part of his friends toward the exes. One of his buddies, we'll call him Roger, who we've seen a few times over the years when he had business and was passing through SLC (when we lived there), has this huge Santa Claus beard.

I was like, "What's with the beard, Roger?"

He's all, "It's a 'Screw You' to the ex-wife."

"Oh, she hates beards?"


"But what does it matter if you aren't married anymore?  Isn't that hot and itchy?"

"I'm going to wear this beard until my son is 18 and I don't have to pay child support anymore."

"How old is your son?"


"Um, oh.  Okay...  Your new wife is okay with the beard?"


This other guy, we'll call him Nate, was talking to us about some kind of personality test online.  He's like, "I'm a PTSDEG.  It means I'm like this and like that and blah blah."

"How interesting!  I love that kind of stuff!" I said.  (I really do.  I just can't remember what his initials are or what they mean.)

"Yeah, it's taught me so much.  Like, just by looking at you and your body language, I can tell you're really introverted."

"Um, not really the word people use to describe me..."

"And hold up your palm toward your face, with your fingers together."

I complied.

"I can tell from the length of your ring finger that you are really, really good at math.  Am I right?"

"Um, noooo...I'm pretty crappy at math."

"Well, maybe you think you're crappy, but you're really not."


This same guy, when he introduced us to his girlfriend, said, "This is my partner."

Ben goes, "Like, your partner that you work with?"

I stared at Ben.  "No, babe, like, his life partner."

It was so funny.

I was having a really good time - I love conversing with people, even though they're strangers.  It's just my deal.  (So, no, I am NOT an introvert.)  Everyone was so friendly and outgoing and really interested in Ben and me and our life... And I was interested in them and their lives!  I was like, "These are great people!!"  I had this deep heart-to-heart with a classmate of Ben's that had just left her abusive husband of 18 years and moved home with her grandma and started a dog-grooming business...  It was great.

But after only a couple of hours of chit-chat, Ben was like, "Well, we'd better get home.  Gotta put the kids to bed..."

I looked at him like he was crazy.  "But Benny, your mom said she'd do that! This is so fun!"

"Eh, I'm tired.  We'll have fun tomorrow.  Bye, everybody!!" he yelled over his shoulder as he dragged me out the door.

I punched Ben in the arm when we got in the car.  "Ben, why on earth would you want to leave so early to go home and put the kids to bed?  I'd much rather talk to people than put our kids to bed!!  I HATE putting our kids to bed!!"

"I was getting uncomfortable.  Everyone was drunk."

"What?  No they weren't!"

"Oh, they totally were."

"Well, I mean, they had drinks they were drinking from, but I thought they were just 'buzzed,'" I said, using air quotes.  "They weren't, like, falling all over and yelling and laughing really loudly or anything..."

"Kar, only drunk people in the movies are like that.  These guys were drunk.  I know them.  They aren't usually this outgoing and friendly and fun."


I was shocked.

And then I made a little connection from long ago.  From my days in high school.  When we had basketball games, or hung out to play board games, or watched movies as groups of friends, people always asked me if I was drunk.  And I never was.  (I actually have never tasted alcohol. It just wasn't a huge temptation for me.)  And I was always like, "Why would you think I was drunk???"

And now I get it.

OR.  Here's another example.  I was in drama club in high school, and one of the parts I had to play was a drunken wench (a Shakespearean play).  And I asked all my friends, "How do I DO this?  I don't know how to play a drunk person!!"  They all responded with, "Just act like yourself!  You always act like you're drunk!"

So, apparently, being jovial and outgoing and spazzy is the characteristic of being drunk.  Good to know.  Good to know.  Maybe this is why I'm so bad at first impressions...people must think I'm totally drunk all the time.  Hmmm.

Saturday, July 12, 2014


You know how, in every Jane Austen book, there's this character who is always described in Cliff's Notes as "hapless"? The bumbling idiot who's being cuckholded, or the guy who just doesn't get that she's just not that into him? Or the parent who doesn't have enough money and is forced to extremes to try to marry her dowry-less daughter off to someone, anyone?

I feel like I am that hapless person. The person who always seems to be down on her luck. I knew of a family in my neighborhood growing up, and they were truly the definition of hapless. The dad couldn't find a job. Their daughters had horrible reproductive issues. The mom, the sole bread-winner, got terribly ill. Their son, on a mission, also got terribly ill and had to come home early and be hooked up to an IV for months and months. And everyone kept saying, "Oh, those poor so-and-so's. They don't need anything more happening to them. They've had enough challenges." And yet the challenges kept coming at them.

I feel like we're those hapless people, Ben and I. I saw an old friend at a bridal shower about a month ago, and she was like, "I heard about Ben getting laid off." And I was like, "Yeah..." And she was all, "You guys just can't catch a break!" I nodded thoughtfully. But like I've said before, everyone is struggling. Maybe they're just not as transparent about it as I am. Maybe that's obnoxious; I prefer it to be termed as authentic. I mean, different strokes for different folks. I don't begrudge people who like to be more private about their issues. Everyone handles things differently; I choose to be transparent. So whatever.

Anyways, it's come to the point now where, when something bad happens, I'm so used to it that it has little effect on me. When I found out about my boob having something concerning in it and needing a biopsy, I was like, "Naturally." When Gage spent all night in Bend barfing, I was like, "Yep." When he had diarrhea several times yesterday, I was like, "Mmmmm-hmmm."

And when I went jogging this morning and was also hit with...dystentery (a much more elegant name for diarrhea, in my mind, and I'm nothing if not elegant, wink, wink) when I was 2 miles away from Ben's mom's house I was like, "Well, of course."


So, I spent the next 45 minutes struggling to get back and not to totally poop my pants. Luckily, Chelan is situated around a lake, which means lots of marinas, which means lots of port-a-potties. See? A stroke of luck right there. Not completely hapless. I managed not to poop myself. I did have to stumble behind a small bush on the busy street surrounding Chelan at one point. It was situated on a slope, though, with a tree between me and the also very wide open parking lot below, so, um, I felt a little bit better about it. But I got some thorns in my fingers when I was scrambling back up the slope and almost fell back into my, um, bodily product. I grabbed the first branch I could. Which was thorny.

Good times, man. Good times.

I almost considered going out onto a boat dock and sticking my butt in the water. It was burning, and I knew that lake water would feel awesome. But I refrained.

It's Ben's 20-year class reunion this weekend, and I missed almost everything, which was a bummer. Get it? Bummer? Greg and Gloria have to travel to the closest temple, which is 3 hours away, two Saturdays a month, so they've been gone all day. Ben took the kids to the picnic thing while I tried to rest, but tonight I was left to try to take care of them while still violently ill myself. Of course. I didn't want Ben to miss out on the dinner part of his reunion.  While left to my own devices, Sadie, um, sharted in her pants. (I only reserve the elegant word of "dysentery" for myself. Everyone else has
diarrhea or the Hershey Squirts or sharts in their pants.). Gage sharted in his diaper and screamed and fought when I had to wipe his little red bumb and put desitin on it. Naturally.  We were watching
some show about naughty dogs on Animal Planet (which was really pissing me off, by the way. Buttheaded dogs, ripping their beds apart. Naughty dogs are NOT cute, Animal Planet. Not in the least. And then this one dude has a pet skunk - she was, like de-stinked when she was born - don't fret - but he was basically saying that he loves her more than his ex-wife or his kids. Like, they divorced over his pet skunk. That is seriously messed up. Not cute, Animal Planet. Messed UP.) and they kept showing commercials for some reality TV show about people who hunt for Bigfoot, and Dylan and Micah were so traumatized by just these commercials that they weren't going to bed for me. All while my stomach has been churning and threatening another unfortunate bout of Elegant Dysentery. Mmmmm-hmmmm.


Nailed It!

Ughhhhh, every time we make the zillion-hour trip to Washington, I always swear I will never, EVER do it again, yet here we are. Sigh. At a gas station in Yakima. My sister had to do an internship here once, and she hated it. So far, I'm not terribly impressed by it. It smells weird.  And it's absolutely boiling outside.

Kay, so, big, big news: Ben had an interview this morning in Bend, and HE NAILED IT. He nailed it so much that the boss man called just five minutes ago, told Ben he'd be a perfect fit, and that he was going to send Ben a formal offer on Monday. Can I get an hallelujah? HALLELUJAH! Saying a silent prayer of thanks right now.

And we both have a Peaceful, Easy Feeling about Bend. And can I tell already that I'll love it there. So forestey! So artsy! While Ben interviewed, the kids and I walked around this park by the Something River. Can't remember the name of it right now. And I was like, yep. This is my kind of place.

This little duck followed us the whole walk.
I think he was hoping we'd feed him.  We didn't have anything with which to feed him, but there were signs everywhere saying, "Help cut down on Poo-lution!  Don't feed the ducks!"  Hahaha!

The houses on the other side of the river are fantastic.  Huge.  Amazing landscaping.
 There's a bridge at one point that crosses over to the other side of the river (Gage was off trying to find a bug, probably, and Micah's shirt was on backward, but he refused to turn it around for me):
 We saw a little otter carrying some grass to his little nest underneath some shelf-like rocks:
 Um, her face looks a bit creepy here:
 Look at how tall Sadie is getting.  Almost as tall as her brother.  Cray.

So now we have to figure out logistics. Do the kids and I stay behind until the house sells? He would start the first part of August, so he'll still get his severance plus salary for that month...could we feasibly move here, with him, into a rental until the I.F. house sells?  I don't know.

And then salary. The job itself is perfect for Ben. Custom homes. A lot of craftsman-style homes. Stuff he's dreamed about working on. He'll love it.

But he won't make enough for us to survive.

Which means I'll have to work full-time. As a public teacher? As a dance teacher? That's what we need to figure out. I'd rather do dance, but teacher benefits are really great...and I would work while the kids were in school...

But ballet... I can't tell you how much my life has lit up since I started teaching. Ben says he hasn't seen me this happy in YEARS. It's true. I'm in love. In love with teaching ballet. I'm in love; I'm in love; and I don't care who knows it! (What movie??) I taught some advanced students on Wednesday, and for kicks and giggles, I taught them the Four Little Swans variation.

They loved it.

They rocked it.

One girl even asked if I could record her and her friend doing the variation. I grinned and grinned. They are so hard core. I love it. I had three groups of four, and I gave each group a nickname. The Sweat Sisters (they accordingly made a little gang-like sign for themselves), Hard Core, and Wonderwomen.

So anyways. Lots and lots of thinking and praying to do.

And, um, I found out today that there were grave concerns about the results of my mammogram. I have to get a biopsy on two areas of, um, Lefty. I'm scheduled for the day after we get back from this trip. I'm trying to remain cheerful and optimistic.

Which isn't hard. MY HUSBAND GOT A JOB!
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