Saturday, February 28, 2009

One of the Low Days

Well, Ben talked to the engineer guy on Thursday. The engineer says that he isn't sure he wants to go through the expense and time to train Ben if he will be gone in a year. If I was Ben, I would have said, "I will commit to you! Bring me on to your company! I will be with you for five years!!" Instead, Ben said, "I understand. Maybe you could have me do some different things for your company..." And the guy said, "Well, I'll think about it. Call me on Monday." I don't think things are going to work out with this guy.

I was, understandably, upset about how this went down. Ben and I differ on how he should be going about finding employment. I think he's looking for the Perfect Job, and I think that, right now, it doesn't exist. Ben told me he would want to shoot himself in the face every day if he had to do engineering work. And I told him that everyone wants to shoot themselves in the face every day when they get up to go to work. I don't know many people that adore their jobs. If I was him, I would take this job and run with it until the economy picks up. The economy could pick up in a year or ten years - we don't know. This job could have benefits, or pay enough for me to be at home with my kids, where I belong.

I'm just having a really hard time. I have okay days and I have low days, and today is obviously a low day. If I was Ben, I would be working like three jobs so my wife could be at home with our kids. And I would look for a "real" job while working the three dinky jobs. It's just something I really believe in, that I need to be at home with my kids. But I don't think Ben agrees. I don't know what to think, and I don't know what to do. Is working, and pursuing getting a job teaching, enabling him? Or is it being a partner with him? It's a fine line, and I can't figure out what to do.

And am I acting Entitled? I don't want to be acting with a sense of entitlement. You know, like those teenaged kids who are like, "Um, I deserve to have a cell phone with unlimited minutes and a brand new car that my parents gas up and pay insurance for." Am I acting entitled??

When Ben told me about that phone call on Thursday, I went jogging out in the freezing wind. I just needed to get away. Punishing my body physically actually felt strangely good. Like the outside was matching what I've been feeling on the inside.

Thanks for listening.

Friday, February 27, 2009

We Love Our Boppy

It turns out that our boppy can be used for more than a nursing pillow or a sitting aid for babies - it's quite comfortable for lying on the floor and watching TV, as well.

There He Is!!

This is one of Micah's favorite games to play:

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I Love to See the Temple

Someone was speaking in sacrament about a month ago, and they were talking about the temple. Usually, Dylan pays zero attention to the talks in sacrament (and that's kind of my problem, too), but he perked right up when he heard the word "temple." "Hey, Mom," he tried-but-didn't-succeed-to-whisper, "I want to go to the temple for Family Home Evening." So, the next day, we went to the visitor's center.

It's been remodeled, and it's really nice. It seems smaller than it did when I was a child. But it has lots of little interactive booths, and the missionaries there are really sweet. They offered to take a picture of our family in front of the Christus:

It took a LOT of convincing to get Sadie near the Christus. She was scared of it, which is weird. But she's scared of everything, so.... And we could not get Micah to turn toward the camera. We took like five pictures, trying to get him to turn forward. Silly little baby.

Ben and Micah in front of the Christus:

This poor missionary lady was trying so hard to keep Dylan engaged, but he has such ADD, I swear. He just kept looking around, right when she was trying to talk to him. I felt bad. Here she is, temporarily keeping their attention with one of their booths:

I think this station had the introduction to the Book of Mormon in all of these different languages. So Ben was listening to it in Portugese, of course:

It's the double-chinned ones, both me and Micah:

My Two Sons:

Micah is just so stinkin' cute:

Dylan really, really, really wanted to take one of those pictures where it looks like he's leaning on the temple spire. After many tries, we finally succeeded:

It was fun, and it beat the heck out of coming up with a Family Home Evening idea myself. I hope my kids continue to be as enthusiastic about the temple when they're older as they are now. Ben and I need to get over there for a session. It's been too long. It would do a lot for our stress levels. I love the calm, peaceful feeling inside the temple. I get sad when it's time to leave and rejoin normal life.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Playing "Horsey"

Poor Sadie. She and Dylan were playing "Horsey," and she lost her balance and fell right into the corner of the TV stand. Her first shiner. :)

Endust and Licorice

So, like I said, Ben has been doing a fantastic job as Mr. Mom. (And nope, we haven't heard back from the engineer guy. Ben is going to call him today.) He has been cleaning like a mad man! I have started calling him Monica, because he's like Monica on Friends. He keeps buying all of these new cleaning gadgets. He got some special dry mop that you use to trap dustbunnies. He got a new toilet scrubber. He got that Scrubbing Bubbles shower spray thing that sprays your shower after you are done showering. I love sending him to the store, because he totally buys stuff like that. If I go to the store and go like $5 over the budget, he flips out. But he feels justified in spending an extra $20 on cleaning supplies. So funny.

So yesterday, I went home for lunch and kicked off my shoes. I was like, "The floor feels weird. What's going on?"

Ben was grinning from ear to ear, practically jumping up and down and clapping. "I waxed the wood floors!! I just finished!!"

"Oh really? I didn't know we had wax..."

"Well, I just used furniture polish."

"Um, Ben, I don't think furniture polish is the same as wax. And I've never heard of waxing wood floors. I've heard of re-finishing them..."

"Oh, furniture polish is totally the same thing as wax."

"Ben, you know how it is when you dust the shelves in here, and the extra spray gets on the floor, and then it's really slick right there, and everyone falls in their socks? Our WHOLE FLOOR is going to be like that!!"

"Oh, it will not. And look how shiny our floor is..."

So far, Sadie has biffed it once, and Dylan has biffed it once. I haven't, but it's just a matter of time. Ben says that it's not his fault that we're all clutzes. Grrr.

Ben is funny when it comes to cleaning. He's kind of clueless. Like, when we were first married, we had two dogs. And one of them had diarrhea in a few places on our purple-carpeted floor. I was at work, so Ben cleaned up the diarrhea, and then poured bleach on those spots on the carpet. Which obviously created big white spots on our purple carpet. When I came home, I was like, "Did you pour bleach on our carpet??"

"Yeah. Gromit had diarrhea all over the floor. I want to make sure I get all the germs killed."

"Ben, now the carpet is bleached out. It will never be purple again."

"Yes it will! That white is just the cleaning agent in the bleach. I'll rinse it out and it will be purple again."

Yeah. Not so much. He learned his lesson about bleach. Now I'm wondering when he'll learn his lesson about not putting furniture polish all over the wooden floors. Maybe not until someone breaks a bone, or when he falls.

He made crock pot chicken noodle soup yesterday for dinner, and he decided to doctor it up with spices. I don't know what the crap he put in there, but it tasted exactly like black licorice. And it smelled like the inside of Peaches Pets, the local pet store. He's like, "I added some extra spices to the soup! Isn't it awesome?"

"Um, Ben, it tastes like black licorice."

"Well, that's a good thing! I love black licorice!"

"Honey, I'm so grateful that you made dinner, but I really hate black licorice. Maybe you should stick with the recipe..."

He looked so sad that I choked it all down.

The Ant and the Elephant

As a kid, one of my favorite books was The Ant and the Elephant. I even used it when I was teaching a class at EFY a billion years ago, to illustrate the theme of the class - by small means can great things come to pass.

But that's not the only theme of The Ant and the Elephant. As I used to always tell my students, that's what makes literature so great. A piece of literature can have a million different meanings, depending on the person reading it.

The book is about an ant who is stranded on a stick in the middle of the river. He asks a passing turtle to help him to the shore, but the turtle doesn't wanna, because he's a brat. He wanders away. Then he tries to climb onto a rock so that he can sun himself, and he falls backward onto his shell and can't get turned around. He asks the horn-billed bird to flip him over, but she says no and flies to her nest. Her egg falls down into the soft ferns below, but it's so big, and her bill is so big, that she can't lift both the egg and herself back up to the nest. She asks the giraffe to lift her egg up, but he says no and wanders away. Then his long legs get all tangled up in a vine. He asks the lion to cut the vines away with his claws, but the lion says no and walks away. He sits next to a big boulder to rest in the shade, and the boulder rolls onto his tail, trapping him. He asks a rhino to shove the boulder off his tail, but the rhino says no and lumbers off. He doesn't see where he's going, and he runs into a stump and can't get his horn out of it. So they're all stuck. elephant comes along and hears the ant. He reaches with his trunk and moves her to safety. She says thank you and wanders off. Then he comes upon the turtle, who he flips back over. But the turtle doesn't even say thank you. He saves all of the rest of the animals, but none of them say thank you. Then the elephant accidentally falls into a ravine, bottom-first, and he's so wedged in there and can't get out. Then he hears the ant, who has brought a million of her little ant friends, and they wedge down there and get the elephant out, carrying him back to the plateau.

So, you know, you have the theme that I focused on for that EFY class so long ago, but you can also take it to mean that you need to show gratitude, or you need to help others, etc.

When Mom found out that a children's play based on the book was coming to town, she got tickets for me, Nat, Jake, and Dylan. It was really cute. They obviously added lots of songs to make it stretch to an hour. The singers were really good; in fact, I think the guy who played the elephant played Frog in the play we went to last year, A Year with Frog and Toad. It was only a four-man show. Ten billion costume changes. But they did really well.

It's so funny to see the differences between Dylan and Jake. Jake sat and watched the whole show, smiling the whole time. Totally engaged. Dylan kept asking me technical questions: "How did they make fog come out from the sides?" "How did they get that rock to move? Is it attached to a rope or something?" "How are they making those puppets so big?" "How did they get the light to make him look red?" Always wanting to know how things work. He couldn't have cared less about the storyline or the singing or anything. He's so funny. Here we are, with the stage behind us (this was pre-bangs):

Oh, I almost forgot the funniest part of the whole show. When the elephant is going around and saving everyone, he's doing this chant about his trunk: "My trunk, my trunk, my very helpful trunk. My trunk, my trunk, I'll help you with my trunk." And I'm not kidding; it was just like the beat to that song "My Humps," by the Black-Eyed Peas. But I don't think these people did it on purpose. I think it was just a coincidence. Nat and I laughed so hard. I think we were the only people in the audience to see the correlation, because we were the only ones laughing. :) So funny.

Thanks, Mom! Like I've said, without you, I wouldn't get to do anything fun!!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Interview

Okay. So Ben had his interview yesterday, and he was gone for 2 1/2 hours!! It was with an engineer in town; a guy in our ward is friends with this engineer, and he called us saying that this guy was looking for an architect. Ben applied a couple of weeks ago and hadn't heard back, but then the engineer called him in for an interview. I was sooooo excited. The longer the interview kept going, I kept thinking, "This is a good sign! This is a really good sign!"

Result? Um, we're not sure. I guess the guy just is a chatterbox; they didn't talk much about the job or have any of your typical interview questions. The guy kept saying, "Well, let me talk to my architect friends and see if I can figure out something for you to do so you can work with me." I wonder if he's just kind of making up a job, like how singles wards make up callings, as a favor to the dude in our ward.

The interview ended with him saying, "Well, I'll keep in touch. I'll call you when I figure out what I can have you do." Hmmm. Cryptic much, Mr. Engineer?

Ben has a few ideas of what he would be doing, and I asked him if it's something he could see himself doing for a long time, and he's like, no. If it pays enough and has benefits, then he'll take it (if it's formally offered....) for a few years, until the economy gets better and he can get an actual job with an architect. His goal is to become an architect, and he can't do that until he works under a licensed architect for so many hours. For me, as long as he has a job and I can quit and be at home with my kids, that's all that matters.

So, if and when this guy actually formally offers Ben a job, I'll let you know. Or if anything else exciting happens.

Power of Two

I'm giving a lesson tomorrow about our roles as wives and mothers, and there is part of the lesson that talks about the scripture in 1 Corinthians, 11:11 - "Nevertheless, neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord." The lesson says this scripture points out that men and women help each other in a marriage. The two are stronger than just the one. I think this is so true. When I'm waning in spirituality or patience with the kids, Ben is stronger in those areas. When he's struggling, I'm stronger and can help him through. It works out nicely that way. The lesson has us ask the girls how husbands and wives can help each other in marriage, and I was reflecting on how much Ben helps me. I wanted to share:

1. He is a good example to me of prayer. He prays, on his knees, every single night, no matter how tired or sick or upset he is. His example helps me to get on my knees and pray.
2. He helps me with housework so much. I'm embarrassed to say that he really is a better stay-at-home mom than I ever was. The house is spotless. The laundry is all done. It makes me feel kind of crappy about the kind of job I did when I was at home. (To be fair to myself, I was working for a few hours every night, and he's not, so maybe I shouldn't be so hard on myself...)
3. He comforts me when I'm upset or frustrated.
4. He helps with the kids. He has no problems changing poopy diapers, bathing them, or reading them stories at night. He's very hands-on, and I LOVE THAT.
5. He fixes stuff. I would be deed meet without his help.
6. He defends me. He drove over and yelled at the guys at Pep Boys in Salt Lake when they didn't treat me with respect. I now call Pep Boys, "Pep Crap."
7. He does the bills. I really, really hate money stuff. And he knows it and does it, even though I think he hates it, too.
8. He makes me feel good about myself. He showers me with compliments and makes me feel like a million bucks.

I was thinking more of this concept of the two being more powerful than just the one, and I thought of that song by the Indigo Girls, The Power of Two. I loooove that song. I wanted to put up the original video, but it has a lot of homosexual action in it, and that makes me feel weird. I don't care if they do that stuff, but I just feel kind of uncomfortable watching it. I found this leetle youtube video, which just has the song and shows the lyrics. Much bettah:

Thursday, February 19, 2009

My Hairy Situation

Okay. I wanted to post a little bit about my hair. I've been using my flat iron to make "beachy waves," and it works, but it makes my hair feel... kind of fuzzy. And itchy. It's hard to explain. No matter how much pomade I smooth on it, it just itches the crap out of me. The other day, a patient came in to the office with her friend, and her friend had the cutest Beachy Wave hair ever. So I asked her how she does it, and she says that she uses a curling iron about one inch in diameter. She doesn't open the clampey thing at all. She takes a section of her hair and wraps it around the whole barrel (without the clampey thing opening), holds the end with her finger, and then lets it go. I decided to give it a shot yesterday morning. Here is the result:

Nice beachy waves. And no fuzzy feeling. Except for on my arms, because I was wearing a wool sweater yesterday. Dude, even though I had a long-sleeved t-shirt underneath, the itchiness came right on through and drove me nuts. But I knew it wasn't from my hair. I can tell the difference between Wool Itch and Hair Itch.

I had been needing to get a hair trim, and lately, my gargantuan forehead was really bothering me. Every picture I had taken recently made me look like a big baldy. I thought fleetingly of getting sideswept bangs, but I've had those before, and they were always getting into my eyes. So I decided to try a straight down, brushing-the-brow bang. After many requests, here is the reveal. Drumroll, please...

Well? What do you think? Ben was in total shock. Micah looked at me like, "Who the crap are you?" Sadie said she loved it. Dylan didn't even notice, because he's so completely self-centered. :) My dad said I don't even look like the same person. All of my coworkers (at both offices) love it.

I didn't realize that having bangs would make the rest of my hair look soooo much longer. I feel like Demi Moore. I did get the rest trimmed a couple of inches, but maybe I should have gone shorter.

At first, I was really excited. But then... I jogged last night,and they stuck to my forehead. And then I had to pin them back to wash my face and sleep (I don't want to encourage pimples on the forehead.). And toward the end of the day, they were looking really greasy and stringy. I have really greasy skin, so I felt like all the grease was being absorbed by my bangs. And this morning, my bangs were being brats, so I was a little bit shell-shocked and getting a little bit of buyer's remorse. But I re-flat-ironed them, and now they've settled down.

I wonder if I should have gotten them a little thicker? Maybe that would help with the grease-absorption thing. Anyways. If I end up hating them for sure after a few weeks, I can grow them out. Hair grows. This I know.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Big Money, Big Money, No Whammies...

Ben's got an interview with a local engineer on Friday. This is Ben's first interview after about one billion applications. I would die and go to heaven to stay here in Idaho! Cross your fingers and toes and do lots of praying for us!!! I'll let you know how it goes!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Healing the Sick

We had FHE on Tuesday night, and we played this game called "Search, Ponder, and Play," in which you learn about Christ and his life. If your playing piece lands on a "spotlight," you have to say what you know about the picture depicting a scene from Christ's life. At one point, Sadie landed on this one:

I love the dude's face. I think it's funny. Anyways, I wasn't sure if Sadie understood what was going on in the picture, but I thought I'd ask. You never know. So I go, "Sadie, what is Jesus doing in that picture?" And Sadie looks at it and goes, "Jesus is doing him's hair." Hahahaha!!!

Speaking of doing hair, I'm going to get my hair cut either today or Saturday, and I think I'm ready to make the plunge and cut some bangs. And I'm not thinking sideswept bangs anymore. I'm thinking full, straight, to-the-eyebrows bangs. What do you think? It's all the rage lately, and I really need to cover up this gargantuan forehead of mine. And I'm ready for a change.

Ascending to Heaven

Dad and Lex were going skiing on Saturday, and when they called and invited me (and Dad offered to pay for my ticket), I totally jumped on the opportunity. I needed a break from life. :) And I hadn't gone in two years!! Ben is the sweetest man in the WORLD to stay at home with the kids while I went and played for a day. What a babe he is.

Two years ago, when my family went during Christmas, Natalie and I sucked it up. I don't know what was happening, but she and I could not handle it! We were huffing and puffing, and after two runs, we were ready to call it a day. I would have chalked it up to me being 20 pounds heavier then, but then what's Nat's excuse? She's never oveweight. Maybe having flown up from San Diego? Maybe it was the drastic change in altitude? But Nat didn't come from San Diego, so I don't know. Maybe it's just the exhaustion of having kids in your life.

So I was a little nervous about how I would do, but luckily, I wasn't huffing and puffing too badly, and my technique easily found me again. Like riding a bike! It was a really good day of skiing. We skied long and hard, and there was fantastic snow. I kept thinking that I really wished Dylan was there, so that I could teach him. Ben will probably insist upon teaching Dylan the devilish ways of snowboarding, instead of the graceful ways of skiing. I wish we had the fundage to teach Dylan to ski/snowboard. Maybe someday.

It was a coooooooold day. With wind chill, it was -1. Brrrr. It's a good thing that Dad insisted upon me wearing long johns and another layer underneath the parka and ski pants. Usually, that makes me too hot, but in this case, it was perfect. Poor Lexi got really cold, so she was going to run to the car - well, "run" isn't the right word to use when you're talking about ski boots. Let me rephrase that. She was going to stump to the car to get some more snow pants, but Dad is like, "No, no, let me go." He is such a caretaker. So he ran down and got her some snow pants. And then I was wearing Mom's ski boots and ski socks, and they were rubbing me wrong - I was getting rubbed raw on my inner ankles - so I was going to go buy some moleskin from the little shop there, and Dad is like, "No, you stay here. I'll go." And then he had to trek around to look for scissors. Lex was like, "Look at us. We're 31 and 21 years old, and our daddy is still taking care of us." Dad is really quite the nurturer.

Despite all of the things I was wearing to cover up, my nose/lips/chin area was exposed, and now it's totally chapped. I could hardly talk all day - my face was totally frozen!!

And, of course, it being Grand Targhee, it was foggy at the top. Sometimes it's so foggy that you can't see the difference between the snow and the air, so your center of balance gets messed up and you just keep falling. When you ride the chair lift to the top, the higher you go, the denser the fog gets. The girls and I joke that we are ascending to heaven. There have only been a handful of times in my entire life that Targhee has been clear at the top.

But the snow was fantastic, and it felt soooo good to ski hard and fast. And it was just fun to joke around with Dad and Lex. Riding on the chair lift, so many skiing memories came flooding into my mind. Some of my best times have been when I was skiing.

This is Pooh, Em, Cecily, and me at the top of Targhee. On a clear day, you would see the Grand Tetons right there behind us. But it wasn't a clear day that day. Of course.

Before heating pads for fingers and toes were invented, my friend Emily and I were in ski lessons for a few years while growing up. As soon as we got on the lift, we could yell, "Toe time!!!" And we would spend the whole time on the lift wiggling our toes and fingers inside our boots and mittens to try to get them warm.

This is Nat, me, and Em on the way home from skiing at Big Sky. There is nothing better than to sit in a nice warm car after a day of hard skiing and go to sleep. And I always pull my neckie up. It's nice to get the hair out of the face:

We would ride up with Em's dad, who always parked illegally. He was a very elegant skier. He would always say, over and over, "You can conquer any mountain in a series of turns."

Another picture from Big Sky; eating lunch outside:

One day, during ski lessons, it was so windy that the chairs were tipping way back, which means that we were about to fall off the chairs. We were screaming and holding on to the chair with all our might. Ah, good times.

My very first pair of skis:

I remember a guy in our ski class didn't have proper protection, and he was chubby and wore too small of a coat (Fat Guy in a Little Coat!! - from the movie, Tommy Boy), and his chubby tummy was hanging out of his coat, and it was bright red from the cold. And he had no hat or mittens, so his hands and ears were also bright red. Poor kid.

Me, Nat, Beads, and Mom:

We would always get hot chocolate after lessons, and I remember always hearing the song "Sail Away," by Enya in the lodge. And that dang hot chocolate burnt my tongue every Saturday, no matter how long I waited before sipping on it.

Me, Beads, Lex, Mom, and Nat:

When my family would go skiing together, Brianna had this thing where she loved to ski in the trees. That girl has no fear.


Once, we were skiing in Jackson, and Dad was skiing on the smaller hill with Lex. Mom, Nat, Beads and I went on a run called Rendezvous. It was very foggy and cold, and the run was extremely steep. And it had frozen into one huge, huge ice block! A very steep ice block! We thought we were going to die. I think Mom and Nat tried to "conquer it in a series of turns," which was brave of them, because you'd turn and then dig with all your might into the hill with your ski edges to keep from sliding to your death. I was like, no. No turns. So I sideslipped the entire mountain. It took me like an hour. I'm not joking. Brianna, early on, was like, screw this. So she just pointed her skis straight down the hill and bombed it! Then she lay at the bottom and waited for us. People kept passing her and asking if she was okay. She was like, "Yeah, I'm just waiting for my family." That was so funny. And scary.

Here we are, spring skiing. We decided, since it was so warm, to ski in jeans. Never again, my friends. Never again. The jeans bunch up in your boots and bruise your shins. I learned my lesson:

Nat and I used to sing INXS songs on the lift.

The following picture shows me and Em. See? Now this is what you should be able to see at the top of Targhee - the tetons, right there across a ravine. Hence the orange rope:

Lexi's favorite run at Targhee is called Alley Oop Alley. It's soooo much fun. Just a bunch of huge, huge bumps. You can get some pretty sweet air if you get going fast enough. Dad biffed it on that one time - he got going too fast.

Em, Nat, and me:

So. When I was seven, Mom and Dad took me for my first time to go skiing. We went to Kelly's. I lost control and ran into a ski lift pole, and I had this horrible pain in my knee. I cried and cried, but my parents thought I was faking it because I really just was cold and scared. So they made me ski on it all day. Turns out I had sprained my knee! I skied on a sprained knee all day long! I still give them crap about that.

Which is maybe why I used to hate to ski, until I was, like, in high school. I always felt nervous and thought to myself, "Do I really feel like doing this?" I always ended up having fun, but it wasn't until I was older when the jittery feeling went away. And now I love it. I have decided that heaven (if I get there) needs to have lakes for waterskiing and mountains for skiing. And Ben and Jerry's yellow cake batter ice cream with chocolate frosting swirls.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


The Millenium

We read scriptures with the kids every night, but because they're so young, we use my parents' old Book of Mormon reader for kids, with pictures. So we were reading the Isaiah chapters of Second Nephi, and it's the part where Isaiah is talking about the Millenium, which is the thousand years of peace after the second coming of Christ. Deep stuff for kids. But at the part were Isaiah talks about how the lamb will lie down with the lion, and the small child can play with the lion, because all of the mean animals will be nice or whatever, Dylan perked right up. He thinks that's pretty cool. Actually, so do I. :) Dylan's primary teacher shared this story with me: They were talking about the Second Coming in Dylan's primary class, and he raised his hand and goes, "After Jesus comes again, mean animals will be nice, and we can play with them!!" And then a light goes on in his eyes, and he gasps and goes, "Oh my gosh! That means I can play with sharks!!!" So, when the lesson was over, the teacher had them draw pictures of something they learned about the second coming, and Dylan drew this little beauty:

The man at the top is Jesus coming down, and then that head with the green eyes is Dylan. And there is a shark next to his ear. Perhaps he's whispering sweet nothings. :) Dylan is sooo funny. I'm surprised at the stuff he picks up. Now if he would just internalize all of our many family home evenings on obedience and kindness!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Their Favorite Thing

My kids love to attach themselves to Ben's huge paddle feet and go along for the ride while he walks around. So cute.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

While I Was Working

I worked on New Year's Day, and when I came home, my children (and I'm including Ben in that word) happily showed me what they did while I was gone:

Ben (and the kids) love the WebCam.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Little Pick-Me-Up

My friend, Nyline, forwarded a little tag thing to me - I was supposed to e-mail her one word that I think best describes her. So I wrote "strong" and sent it. She's very emotionally strong. A great, great person. And then I thought I'd forward this tag to the friends in my address book, to see what they wrote about me. Here are the words I got back to describe me:


This was a nice little pick-me-up; I've obviously had a very frustrating few weeks, and in the learning curve that I'm experiencing in each of my new jobs, I have made a few mistakes and felt really dumb. It was nice to know that people out there are rooting for me and think that I'm a worthwhile gal. :) Thanks, friends. I needed that.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Lex wanted to do the Resolution Run here in I.F. - a 5K. Dad and I were very unenthusiastic, but we signed up for the sake of togetherness. It was on New Year's Eve, and what we had to do was estimate how much time it would take us to run the 5K. Then we would start that many minutes before midnight. The idea was for everyone to cross the finish line at midnight. We estimated 45 minutes, so we started our run at 11:15. Ben has this thing where he has to kiss me at midnight on New Year's Eve - he's very sentimental about it. So my mom stayed at our house with our sleeping kids while Ben came along to be our photographer (and get his midnight kiss).

So here we are, pre-race, doing Deep Lunges:

The whole Deep Lunges thing originated with this photograph:

This was a few years ago. We were getting ready to ski, and Lex and I were laughing about how gross we looked in long johns. So to make ourselves look even grosser, we kept doing Deep Lunges. This year, we lent our long johns to my cousin's kids to go skiing during Christmas break, and Lex and I advised them to do lots and lots of deep lunges. My cousin's kids didn't get it, obviously. So we explained the history of Deep Lunges, and they didn't even crack a smile. Maybe it's just funny to us.

Anyways, we were both wearing long johns the night of the run (actually, I think Lex was wearing her new under armour, lucky girl), so we had to do the Deep Lunges together.

And here are me, Lex, and Dad pre-race:

Here we are, halfway done. The race was one big loop, run twice:

As for the race itself, it was cold, windy, and icy. We were running on ice half the time. I finally got fed up with it and ran in the street, where there wasn't ice. And there were hardly any cars out, really. There was this one part where the wind would just blast us for about half a mile, and it felt like we were going to die. During that part, Lexi and I would yell at Idaho: "Bring it ON, Idaho wind!!! Bring it!!!" It helped us to get through it.

And here we are, crossing the finish line. We actually finished five minutes before midnight:

Lex and I are doing the ooooh-OOOOOH arms in that shot. Here's another shot, post-race, of the ooooh-OOOOOH arms:

Story behind that: Lexi judges cheer competitions, and this one group would do this thing when they were transitioning in their little program from one part to another. They would put their hands on their shoulders and then up into like a high fifth position, yelling, "oooooh-OOOOOH!" She thought it was so gay. So now Lexi and I do that a lot.

Here are Ben and I, sharing the ever-important midnight kiss:

And then Ben did that thing on Lex where you cover the person's mouth with your hand and then kiss your hand:

I love her eyes in that picture. On the drive home, we were discussing our New Year's Resolutions, and Dad said, "My resolution is to not do any more 5K's." It was funny. I don't think Lex will let him off the hook that easily.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

My New Jobs

Like I said before, to bring in money while Ben is looking for a new job, I had to get a job. My dad was really sweet, bumping me up in pay and "promoting" me to the title of Assistant. He just needs someone to kind of do his busywork for him during tax season. So I do that Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays for 8 hours. And then I work at this psychiatry office Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for 8 hours.

I'm a tired girl.

I thought that I'd have much more energy if I was just sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day. I was kind of excited - I'll have so much more energy for jogging in the evenings!! Oh, no. It's WORSE!! I don't know how sitting comfortably for 8 hours can be more tiring than chasing kids all day, but that's how it's turning out. I've been trying to still jog at night, and my goal is to jog an hour per night, but I can barely make it to the half hour mark. I just have no energy source from which to pull. Usually, I can jog for half an hour without stopping, and I don't feel like I'm dying or anything, but for the past two weeks, I have to stop a few times. I stand on the sides of the treadmill, clinging to the front console thingey, gasping for breath. I don't know what's wrong. So that's disturbing. My family is doing this Biggest Loser competition, and I'm obviously making no headway, first of all, because I'm not jogging very much. Secondly, when I'm stressed, I eat. And I drink Coke. Not so good for the dieting. The other night, I ate an entire little carton of Ben and Jerry's yellow cake batter ice cream. I suck. I need to be better. I'm trying.

I'm totally digressing in this post, but oh well. I just wanted to point out that Ben has lost six pounds in the last two weeks of the competition. I asked him how he did it, and he's all, "Well, I went from triple-decker peanut butter sandwiches at lunch to just the two slices." BUT he has also been making pancakes every morning since he's been home. So I'm like, what the crap??? How did he lose six pounds?? Men suck. And now Ben is drinking Slim Fast shakes and eating yogurt, so I know he's going to continue to whip everyone's butts. What a butthead.

Back to the original subject of this post. As far as my job at my dad's, I don't think I'm doing a very good job! He gave me a project last week, and I did a pretty good job with that. This week, he gave me another project, and I was sooo confused and ended up totally messing it up. I think I'm creating more work for him than actually helping him. But I'm trying. I just don't understand financial things very well. Hopefully I'll do better. And when Dad doesn't have a project for me, I just scan. Which I love.

As far as the psychiatrists' office, I'm really liking it. I work closely with a girl named Jody, who is the office manager, and she is really fun and funny. We have lots of good conversations. Then there are two psychiatrists (they can dispense and manage prescriptions). They are really nice guys. And then there are two counselors - the ones you go to just to talk. Everyone is really laid-back, which is fantastic. And the patients have been very... patient... with me as I'm learning the computer program for scheduling patients, etc. Most of the patients are on medication, so it's not like they come in ranting and raving or anything. They're there for help, and they're happy to be getting it. I honestly don't judge any of them, because I know exactly how it feels to feel... a little crazy. It's no secret that I have clinical depression and have been on medication for it for years. So it's very easy for me to empathize with these patients. We get a few phone calls a day from patients who are crying, and I truly do feel badly for them and try to get them in as soon as I can. We get about a billion calls per day from people who want to be new patients, but because the doctors are so busy, we usually can't schedule them for two months. And I feel so badly for them when I break that news to them, because I know that they are desperate for help now. But I do my best. I'm getting a little better at the computer program; where I struggle now is that I don't know a lot about insurances, company policies, which prescriptions are controlled substances and which aren't, etc. So I have to ask Jody a lot of questions; I hope she's not annoyed with me. Hopefully I'll get the hang of it soon.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Losers from the Street

When I was pregnant with Dylan, Ben and I were in Roberts one time, and he was making some joke that only he got (this happens a lot), and I just kind of smiled a little, because I just didn't think it was a very funny joke! And Ben's feelings got hurt. He said, in all seriousness, "You just think I'm a loser from the street." We laugh about that now, because that's just a weird way of putting it.

Anywho, last New Year's Eve, my parents and my sister's family got invited to parties, and we didn't really know anyone that well yet, so we just stayed at home, like "losers from the street." So this year, before we went up to Washington, I was talking to my dad, and I was like, "Are we going to hang out together on New Year's Eve?" And Dad's like, "Heck yeah!" So I was thinking to myself, Good. Now we won't be losers from the street on New Year's Eve again. So we got home from Washington, and I found out on New Year's Eve day that it happened AGAIN!! Mom and Dad got invited to a party, and Nat's family got invited to a party! I was so saaaaaaaaad!! I was like, People must really not like us very much, that we didn't get invited to a New Year's Eve party, two years in a row!! Nat invited us to crash the party she was invited to, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to do that, because I was going to run in the Resolution Run at midnight that night. I realized that I kind of wanted to rest. But the party animal in me was seriously considering it. I wanted to go to a PARTY on New Year's Eve, like the rest of America!

Then my friend Patty called me. And I was like, Yessss! She's going to invite us over for New Year's! So I say, coyly, "Sooooo, what are you guys doing tonight?" And she said, "Oh, Ken and I stay in for New Year's Eve. We go buy really nice food and make a gourmet meal, and then rent movies and watch them together, alone." It was a total epiphany, to hear that. It's true: it's always a party when I'm with Ben. We have so much fun together. We don't need to be invited to a party to have fun. So I ended up really enjoying New Year's Eve. It was laid-back, and I like laid-back. And it really was a good thing for me to rest up before my big run.

This is a cute picture of Ben and Sadie on New Year's Eve day:

And this is what we did New Year's Eve night - I cleaned the house (I didn't end up resting at all), and Ben and the kids watched Family Guy, much to my consternation:

Oh well. I did tell Ben to turn it off if anything inappropriate happened on Family Guy. So Ben had to change the channel a few times, because Family Guy is chok-full of inappropriate things. And we put the kids to bed at nine. It ended up being a pretty pleasant evening. We are such fuddy-duddies.

Rocket Science

So, Dylie got his Makuta Icarax Bionicle for Christmas:

I thought you just open up the box and there's the fully-assembled Bionicle. I didn't realize that Bionicles are made by Legos, and you have to assemble them! Dude, it's so hard! It has this instruction manual that is totally thick!! It's like freakin' rocket science.

Dylan had a blast putting it together, of course. He's very good at that kind of thing. Sadie got this little doggie stroller thing from my mom for Christmas (you can see the picture of it in the post below), and Greg couldn't figure out how to put it together. He had the instructions and was scratching his head. Dylan came up to Greg, saw the problem, and put it together in like two seconds. No instructions necessary. Dylan also put together my bassinet and my baby bouncer when Micah was born. He's crazy-smart at that kind of stuff.

Here we are, trying to put it together:

Dylan is chewing on his cheek in that picture. He's started habitually doing that lately. I chewed on my cheeks a ton when I was a kid - another thing Dylie and I have in common.

And here's the final product:

Courtney Love, Part 2

I wrote a couple of months about Sadie's obsession with makeup, and the resulting Courtney Love-ishness. She continues to adore makeup. Gloria got Sadie a makeup kit for Christmas:

And boy, did she have fun with it:

She is so funny. The following picture is my favorite:

And isn't her little outfit so cute? My mom got it for her for Christmas. Funny story about that outfit. My mom gets the kids clothes at Sam's club, and they run really, really large. The tags on that outfit say "2T," but Sadie wears a 4T, and the outfit fits perfectly, as if it was a 4T. Well, the sweater and the pants fit perfectly - the shirt is a different story. It's long enough, and wide enough, but the hole for the head isn't big enough, because my kids have such huge heeds. The other day, I was trying to take the shirt off Sadie's head, and it took like half an hour!! She was bawling; I felt bad. I almost had to cut it off her head!! So we packed the shirt away in the 2T box, but she can still wear the sweater and the pants. I just put a different shirt underneath it now.

A little clip about heeds - from one of my favorite movies:

Oh, and we had to throw Sadie's makeup away - she was getting it all over Gloria's house. Gloria and I had to scrub her area rug with toothbrushes to get the bright blue makeup off it. :)
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