Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pidgeon-Toed Dancer

Awhile ago, I posted about Sadie's dance group performing at a retirement community. About a week later, they had their official performance night on stage. In that original post, I showed a video of their dance to "Splish Splash." At the time, my friend Megan lamented that there wasn't a video of the dance to the song "Broadway Baby," so Megs, here you go:

I'll bet Meg's son, Brynnan, likes this video, too. :)

My cousin, Sadie's dance teacher, is the best choreographer ever. She was down beneath and to the side of the stage so that the kids could look at her if they got lost. I almost get more of a kick watching her than I do watching the little kiddos. Ah, that girl has so much energy... I'm very jealous of that.


Sadie's class:

This is a picture of her doing her Mermaid Ballet dance:

Well, she's mainly standing there...not really dancing... but you get the idea. :)

This dance class was such a fun experience for her. She's actually taking another class this summer, and Kortney (my cuz) does such fun things with those kiddos. They've had a hula-dancing day, a country dancing day... It's awesome. Every day, Sadie says, "What day is it?" I tell her, and then she says, "Is it dancing day?" She really looks forward to it.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

ADHD - How it's Going

I realized that I haven't yet posted about Dylan's medication for his recently-diagnosed ADHD. Wanted to share.

The pills in the above picture are in a baggy, because when I took that picture, school was still in session, and the school nurse requires me to bring Dylan's pills to her in the prescription bottle. So our pills for home purposes were stored in this handy baggy.

Let me just pause to let you know that I forgot to take my heartburn medication today. I just took it and am waiting in agony for the stabbing feeling to go away.... Arghhhhh....

So anyways. Dylan was prescribed the generic form of Ritalin. We wanted to do extended-release Ritalin (so that Dylan didn't have to go to the nurse's office at lunchtime every day), but our insurance wouldn't cover it, so he did the nurse's office thing during the school year. And it really didn't seem to bug him to do that. If he forgot, she went and got him. No biggie.

There are sooo many hoops to jump through when you're dealing with "controlled substances" like this. It's not like a normal medication, where, if you're out, you call the pharmacy and have them fill up a new bottle for you to pick up at your leisure. With this stuff, when you run out, you have to physically go in to the doctor's office and have him give you a written prescription to then physically take to the pharmacy. Every single month. I have to show the pharmacy my driver's license every time I pick the medication up, too. Pretty intense stuff.

People would ask me all the time how Dylan was doing, but I honestly couldn't tell how he was doing while school was in session. He took his morning pills and caught the bus. By the time he came home at 3:30 in the afternoon, his lunchtime pill had worn off and he was still the same naughty, in-your-face, yelling, tazmanian devil tornado man. I was usually working all day on Saturdays, and then on Sundays, I would sleep in, and then we would go to church. So I got very little observation time on the weekends. He seemed calm during the one hour of church when I saw him, but then after church, his pills had worn off and he was back to normal naughtiness.

I did keep up with Dyl's first grade teacher, though. We tried the smallest dosage at the very first, and she felt like it helped a little bit. For example, he wasn't getting out of his chair as often as he used to. But she said he was still yelling incessantly. I told this to our doc, so he upped Dyl's dosage a little bit, and his teacher raved about it. She felt like it was the perfect dosage. She had SEVEN ADHD kids this year. SEVEN. Some of the kids' parents refused to try medication or behavioral counseling or anything. Some of the kids were taking too much medication and falling asleep all day long in class. She felt that the dosage we had Dylan on was perfect. He was still participating and actively engaged in classwork, but not causing as many disruptions to others.

I asked Dyl's doc if we could do a small pill for after school, just so that we could feel like we were getting some kind of benefit at home, and he said we could give him half a pill at that point. The whole idea behind exploring this medication was because I wanted to see our home life improve. I wanted more peace. Less frustration. Less storminess. And I knew that Dylan was mainly the center of the storms. The half pill seemed to help, and it wasn't affecting his sleep at all - that's a common side effect of this stuff - difficulty falling asleep. So far, Dylan seems to be doing alright with that.

Now that school is out, I'm able to see Dylan all day long with this medication inside of him, and I have to say that I LIKE it. A LOT. He's Pleasant Dylan. The Dylan I saw sometimes and really liked. He likes the same stuff, he says the same kinds of things. He's just not bouncing off the walls. He doesn't argue as much, and he's more obedient. He doesn't seem tired or lethargic or anything.

One thing that is weird is that he doesn't care as much about playing as he used to. For the last two summers, he used to play outside with friends from the second he got up in the morning until it turned dark. Now, he doesn't really feel like it. He wants to play inside with his sister, which is really weird. I limit his TV-watching to one hour per day, and his computer usage to one hour per day, and after he's done those two things, he just sits and plays with Sadie. There have been times when the nappy neighbors have come over and asked him to play, and he says, "No, I just really don't want to." Sometimes he will go out and play, but sometimes he just doesn't wanna. And I'm not sure what to do about it. Part of me is fine with it. If he doesn't want to, he doesn't want to. And I can't stand the nappy neighbors. But the other part of me worries about it and wants him to be running out in the sun.

Ben has suggested that we take Dylan off medication during the summer, but I'm just... not willing to do that. Peace in my home is my main motivation. Especially while I'm so pregnant and uncomfortable and sick. I need Calm Dylan right now. So desperately. So I don't know. Should I, like, force him to go out and play??? Like I said, he doesn't always say no when kids come to ask to play, but he says no like half the time. I mean, the kid has free agency, right?? It's a conundrum for me. Perhaps I should arrange more playdates.

The second thing that's a little disconcerting is Dylan's general frowniness lately. Like me, Dylan's relaxed face is a frown. People give me so much crap about how I frown when I'm relaxed. That's just the way my face works. Same with Dyls. So sometimes, he'll be sitting in church next to me, listening to the speaker and just frowning. I'll nudge him and whisper, "Are you sad, honey?"


"Are you sure?"

"Yeah. I'm just normal."


So that's been a little weird, too. But on the whole, as far as Ritalin goes, I say two thumbs wayyyy up.

Monday, June 28, 2010

My First Attempt

Nat gave me some moolah for my birthday for jewelery-making purposes. I had been wanting to learn how to make earrings, so I got the stuff like the day of my birthday, but then I didn't make them for like a month. I was just in barfing/couch-dwelling mode. I finally got around to making them, and here is the finished product:

They're not amazing; I really should get an earring-making book so I can know how to make them look a little better where they link with the thingeys that go through the ears. I'll get around to that sometime.

They perfectly match this one blue shirt I have. Oh, how I love being all matchy-matchy. I need to make MORE!!

Days of Yore

Gloria wanted to visit this little town, Menan, where she lived as a small child. We weren't sure how to get there, any of us, but we heard that you can take this one road just straight north for a long way. Mama Mia, it took forever! We should have researched it online before we left - we might have found a quicker route - but oh well. I didn't mind so much, because we listened to my new Black-Eyed Peas CD the whole way. I am soooo in love with the Black-Eyed Peas. (Parenthetically, should just stick with rapping. He is a horrible actor, as I just recently discovered when I watched X-Men Origins: Wolverine this week. I need to get that movie back to you, Apes.)

So anyways. Gloria's childhood home had been torn down, but the elementary school she went to was still there:

Look at how old that building is!! I don't know if they still use it as a school house. But it was fun to see a bit of her childhood. She was grinning from ear to ear.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Da Zoo

While Gloria and Gregg were here, we went to the zoo. It was a PERFECT day, because it was so nice and cool. If we had gone on a day like today, I think I might have fainted. It's so HOT right now!!!

Uncle Jody and my two youngest:

The kids liked him so much.


Dylan is so proud of his t-ball shirt, though he couldn't care less about doing t-ball ever again:

Us in front of the flamingos, standing one-legged (I love this photo):

And poor Mikey:

You can't see really well, but he has a fat lip in this pic. He and I were sitting on a bench, and he fell off, right on his face. He doesn't put his arms out to brace himself when he falls. It's really weird.

And I have really, really slow reflexes, ever since I went on anti-depressants. Brianna will tell you. She was leading Dylan on her horse once when we were visiting her in Arizona. The horse heard a plastic bag crinkling like a mile away and freaked out and started bucking. He bucked Dylan right off. It took me like five minutes to realize that something was wrong and that I needed to run into the arena and grab him. Or, once, I was behind a lady at a store, and her cart started tipping over with her child inside, and I was just standing there, watching. I snapped into action when it was too late. It's bizarre. But which would I rather have, slow reflexes, or soul-crushing depression? Slow reflexes.

When you leave the zoo, you have to exit through the overpriced gift shop. Dylan brought his whole $2.75 that day, convinced that he would have a chance to spend it in the gift shop. He and I combed that dang shop for like half an hour, and there were only two things that cost $2.75 or less. And he didn't like those two things. He kept trying to convince me that Grandma Go-Go (that's what the kids call Gloria) would buy him something. When that didn't work, he kept asking me to buy him something. I told him over and over again that I didn't have a red cent to give. He finally got some dumb toy frog that grows to three times its size if you leave it in a bowl of water for three days. But at least I held my ground. He used his own money, and it was like $2.50.

That Dylan kicks my butt.

So anyways. There you have it. Da zoo.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Listening to the Spirit

So a couple of weeks ago, I had this huge meltdown. I've told you this before - every couple of weeks, I just bawl my eyes out, because I'm just so sick of feeling SICK. Sick of having no energy to take care of my house properly. Sick of everything. I had Ben give me a blessing. I probably ask him wayyyy too often for this, but it really helps me. And he's very kind about giving me blessings when I ask for them.

I always hope that blessings when I'm pregnant will say, "You are HEALED! Laaaaaaa!" and all of the horrible things I have to deal with suddenly disappear. I know they could, if Heavenly Father wanted it. But He isn't going to let that happen for me right now. And that's fine. He knows all, not me. Someday I'll look back and see why I suffered so terribly to bring my kids here. I may not understand why until after I'm on the other side, and again, that's okay.

So, of course, I wasn't miraculously healed, dang it. But the blessing said, over and over again, "Listen to the Spirit." And I felt sheepish. It's pretty hard to listen to the Spirit when my kids scream at each other all day, and when I'm either barfing or feeling like I'm going to barf all day. I don't have a lot of quiet, meditative moments in my life right now. So I've been trying harder to leave room in my cluttered brain for the Spirit.

As soon as I started trying to listen more, bam. It hit me. For whatever reason, we aren't supposed to put our kids into this charter school. Not that there is anything wrong with the charter school - like I said before, there are a million good reasons for our kiddies to go there. It's just not right for our family right now. As soon as I acknowledged what I was feeling, a huge weight lifted from my shoulders. I knew that the message Heavenly Father wanted to get to me had finally gotten through. I told Ben about the impressions I was getting as soon as he got home from work that day. He admitted that he had been too busy to listen very well to the Spirit, as well, so he promised to try to take more time for meditation. And bam. It hit him, too. No charter school for our kids.

Ben let the principal of the charter school know today that our kids aren't going there, so that he can give those two spots to two other kiddos. And I feel totally great about our choice. Because it's what Heavenly Father wants. And we'll see why someday. I just know that, when I listen to Him, He takes care of me. Always. Unequivocally.

The kids were already signed up at their public school, so no changes. We're good to go. Now we have to hit that killer school supplies sale at Fred Meyer's this week...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Mission: Impossible

I was putting away some folded laundry in the kids' room. Disgust filled me as I realized I couldn't even see their floor. We usually have them pick up their bedroom before bedtime, but I've been working every night this week, which means Ben has been putting them to bed. Which means that they don't get baths, scripture reading, or cleaning time. It's special.

I seethed as I looked around at the mess, absently picking up a discarded coloring book. To my great surprise, there, on the cover of the coloring book, was a picture of my brain! And my brain started talking to me! It said, "Agent Kar, we are experiencing a high volume of toys compared to the volume available in your kids' room. They don't play with about 75% of their toys. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to get rid of a bunch of these without their discovering it. If you can get the toys from the bedroom to your trunk, you will have succeeded in your mission. This message will self-destruct when you throw this coloring book away, which has been untouched by your children for roughly two years."

Cue the Mission: Impossible theme song.

I grabbed four other coloring books, exited the room, looked left and right, and ran into the kitchen, tossing the coloring books into the garbage. Realizing that the kids would discover the coloring books and protest loudly that yes they do TOO use them, I decided to take the garbage out to the dumpster. But I knew I couldn't take the usual route through the living room to the back door. They would surely see the bright books through the translucent lining of the garbage bag.

So I went out the front door, opened the garage, went through the back door of the garage, ran into the alley, and dumped the garbage bag. Phew. I went back into the house the way I came out of the house.

I tiptoed back into the messy room, checking first to make sure the kids were still mesmerized by The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack. Yep, they were. Time to do some more de-junking.

The things that might sell nicely at the children's second-hand store, I would deposit into my tinted-windowed truck. The things that were too far gone, I would take to the dumpster, one bag at a time. I was making pretty great progress.

I started tackling the Barbie box when, to my horror, Dylan appeared at the door, mouth agape. "You're getting rid of our TOYS??" he exclaimed.

"No, Dyls, none of yours. Of course none of yours. Just Sadie's. See? The Barbies. Just Sadie's stuff."

The lie worked. Little did he know that all of his crappy, plastic, miniature toys from last year's Halloween carnival (which he never plays with) were in their dumpsterey grave at that moment.

Dylan was far from placated. "But Mom, what if she wants to play with the Barbie stuff sometime?"

"Dyls, she hasn't played with it since the second she got it, at Christmas. It has sat here in the bin, looking promiscuous." (She got Bedroom Barbie or something. She is literally wearing lingerie. It's super-awesome.)

"What's 'promiscuous'?"

"I'll tell you when you're older. Look, don't tell Sadie, okay?"

"But I thought you said that lying is bad."

"Ummmm, yes, usually it is. But this is for a greater purpose. If we clean the extra toys out that nobody uses, then you won't have to clean up as much stuff every night."

His eyes lit up at that prospect. Then they clouded over. "But Daddy doesn't make us clean up at night."

I rolled my eyes. "Yeah. But Mommy does, and next week she won't be so busy working."

That did it. He kept my secret.

When Ben came home, I hugged him. Sadie was right there, eating some canteloupe at the table. This necessitated a good Mission:Impossible tactic: while we were hugging, I whispered in his ear. "Hey, while I'm at work tonight, don't take the kids anywhere in the car. I have some D.I. stuff in there. I'm waiting until they're in bed to move the stuff from the truck to the trunk of the red car, where they won't see it. And then I can take the red car covertly to D.I. on Saturday." Ben chuckled, then pulled away to give me a high-five. He likes when I de-junk. When it's not his stuff I'm de-junking.

I didn't get a chance to get into Dylan's and Sadie's Miscellaneous Drawers. Oh, I cannot wait to tackle those. They are full of sooo much crap. It will require much sneaking around. Possibly one of those sideways somersault moves. And maybe one of those cheesy masks that the Mission: Impossible people are always wearing.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Golden Girls

Ben's Aunt Myrna had a luncheon at her house on Memorial Day. I la-hove Ben's aunts. Gloria is one of five sisters, and when they get together, it's like they're all little girls again. They giggle and hug and just have the best time. They go on trips together, just "the sisters," all the time. I love it. It's how I picture me and my sisters when we get older. Ben's cousin's husband calls them The Golden Girls, which is so great. I loved that show.

I finally learned how to play dominoes under The Golden Girls' tutelage:

I've always wanted to learn. It was nice to sit. I like sitting.

After playing for awhile, everyone settled in to chat. Ben's aunt Joyce and cousin, dang-it-I-can't-remember-her-name:

All of Gloria's family have very, very olive skin. And all of their kids do, too. Ben stands out with his bright white skin. :) Every now and then, though, someone who doesn't know Ben was adopted says, "Oh, you look JUST like your mom!!" We think that's funny, because it's so not true!!

Here we have my buttocks and Micah playing with something:

We left after just a couple of hours, because I felt really crummy and needed to rest.

I used to always jog through Myrna's neighborhood, not knowing that was where she lived. When I jog again in four-and-a-half months or so, I can make pit stops at her house to say hello.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hangin' with the Dudes

Just some pictures of what we did when we weren't oot and aboot with Gloria, Greg, and Jody.

Gloria has gorgeous nails. I learned for the first time when they were visiting that she was actually training to be a manicurist while she was pregnant with her first child. She has always taken really good care of her nails, and they are beautiful. I know Ben really wishes I had the same passion for nails. I tried when we were first married to keep my nails long, but it drove me BATTY. I think it's my OCD nature. I always felt like there were dirty particles under the nails, no matter how many times I scrubbed under there. I just couldn't do it. And I always habitually chip off the nail polish. So now I am a happy stubby, uncolorful nail wearer.

Sadie was fascinated by Gloria's nail file. At one point, she helped Gloria file her nails for her:

Sade's hair was ca-razy that morning, as it is every morning.

This is where Gloria spent most of her time - doing my dishes:

Oh, it was so heavenly to have a clean kitchen for once in my life. We did a lot of eating in, so I was so grateful for the extra dishwashing help.

Greg spent most of his time on his laptop:

The man is addicted to Facebook. :)

I didn't catch a picture of what Jody spent most of his time doing - entertaining my kids. They all took a shine to him and just wouldn't leave the poor man alone. During rare moments when the kids were in bed, Jody read or watched movies. He has a great sense of humor and likes a lot of the same movies that Benny and I do. He and Greg have the same laugh. Kind of a: "Heh. Heh-heh-heh. Heh." It's really cute.

They were great houseguests. They didn't complain about our lack of space, about how rowdy my kids are sometimes, that there was only one bathroom for all eight of us, or the fact that they had to listen to me barf three or four times every morning. It was so great to see them. Gloria says she will hopefully make it down after Gage comes, which I look forward to. I am so lucky to have wonderful in-laws.

There must be something in the water...

Ben's mom, stepdad, and stepuncle came to visit us during Memorial weekend. I have never seen a sleepier bunch. Gloria:

Uncle Jody:

This is Aunt Elaine, Gloria, and Greg (Ben's stepdad) on the right, sleeping:

I guess that is what vacations are for, right? Sleeping. And far be it from me to diss on anyone sleeping. It is, by far, my favorite pasttime.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Frugalisto, or OCD?

In my couponing journeys, I heard tell of a website called Fabulessly Frugal. It has become my couponing bible. Sooo helpful to a money dunce like me. Anyways, the people who run the blog call us couponers, "Frugalistas." Very cute.

My gramps (forgive two posts in a row about him) is a Frugalisto, I've decided (I masculinized that Frugalista thing - didja catch that?).

He told me this system he has for his sheets. He will make his bed with a new set of sheets. He will sleep on one side of the bed for one week. Then, instead of washing the sheets at the end of the week, he sleeps on the other side of the bed for one week. And nope, no washing of sheets yet. At this point, he turns each sheet inside out, the side that wasn't exposed to his body during the first two weeks. So he turns the bottom sheet inside out and the top sheet inside out. And then he'll do it again - sleep on one side for one week, and then sleep on the other side for one week.

And THEN he will wash his sheets. So funny. So cute. So quirky. So frugal. And maybe a little OCD. Maybe that's where I get my OCD-ness - from my gramps...

I wear my clothes in order. Did you know that? It's a bit OCD of me. I take the shirt from the right side of my closet and wear that for the day. After I wash it, I put it on the left side of my closet. True story. I don't do it to be frugal, though. I do it so I'm not wearing the same thing over and over again. And so that I don't have to make decisions. Ah, look, there's the shirt I'm going to wear today. If I don't feel like wearing the shirt, I skip to the next shirt on the right side. And I do it because it's deeply satisfying to me. Some small thing I can control in my uncontrollable life. :)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Make Me a Sammich

It's one o'clock in the morning. I'm too scared to try to go to sleep, so I'll blog. Nighttime is a horrible time for me. Lots of barfing. Lots of acid. Lots of restless legs. So I'm avoiding the trauma for now.

I'm trying to write down stories about my gramps so that my kids and grandkids will know what he was like. My kids kind of know him, but I know he won't be with us forever - their kid memories of him will mostly fade. So I'm typing stuff as it happens.

The title of my post comes from this song:

Which is a spoof of this song:

I love both of 'em.

A few weeks ago, I was having a very, very, very busy day. I had a teeny pocket of time in which to drop Micah off at my mom's before taking Sadie to her dance thing. I had to try to stuff some kind of lunch down my throat and my kids' throats before rushing off, so I planned on making some lunch at her house. I walked in the back door of my mom's house, and there was my gramps, sitting at the counter.

"Hey, Gramps!" I yelled. (He's hard of hearing, so I have to yell a little bit.)

"Hellooooo!" he said, in his cute little muddled, muffled way.

"Where's Mom?" I asked, looking around.

"I don't know."

"Didn't she answer the door for you?"

"No, I walk in the back without knocking, just like you."

"Have you looked around for her?"

"Yes, downstairs and up, and I can't find her."

"Did you look in the backyard?"

"Yep. Not there, either."

"Her car is here..."

"Yeah, I know she's here. I just figure she's got to come out sometime."

I grinned and walked around. I heard the sound of splashing water (it was very faint, so I know it didn't get through to Gramps' ears) and I knew she was taking a bath. I went into the bathroom and said (through the curtain), "Hey, Ma, I'm here. And Gramps is here, too!"

She said, "Gramps?"


"He just came in?"

"Yeah. And he couldn't find you anywhere."

"Huh. Alright, I'm coming out in a sec."

So I run into the kitchen to start making some sandwiches for the teeny ones. Gramps sees what I'm doing, and he goes, "Hey, will you make one for me, too?"

I was seriously strapped for time, but I just had to do it for him. Because he's cute. It ended up taking forever, because he couldn't decide between a half sandwich or a whole, Miracle Whip or mayonnaise, what kind of meat... And he couldn't hear the options I was giving him, so I had to repeat myself a few times. I could tell he was so thrilled that someone was making a sandwich for him, though, so I did it. Because of my Gramps Sandwich Foray, Sadie and I ended up eating ours in the car on the way to the ballet thing.

So that's my cute story. At least I think it's cute. I'm glad I could provide him some happiness by making him a sandwich. It really would be quite luxurious to have someone else make a sandwich for me. That hasn't happened in years...


Oh, Dylan and his friend, Breckyn, make quite a pair.

A pair of liars.

I don't think they mean to lie. I think that both of them make up a story, and then convince themselves that the story is true. Pathological liars, I guess.

So last month, on a Sunday, Dylan said, "Mom, Breckyn's birthday is this week."

"Is it?" I asked.


"That's nice."

Breckyn came over that day to ask if Dylan could play. (He does this every Sunday. And, every Sunday, we have to remind him that Dylan can't play on Sundays.) I said, "Hey, Breckyn, is it true that your birthday is this week?"

"Yep," he said, nodding solemnly.

"What day?"


On Monday, Dylan came home from Breckyn's and said, "Mom, Breckyn is having a birthday party at his house on Wednesday right after school. We need to get him a present."

Skeptical, I said, "Dyls, don't you think his grandmas would have called me to tell me about it?"

Dylan, "I don't know. All I know is that he's having a party."

"Don't you think they would have brought over an invitation?"

"I don't know. All I know is that he's having a party."

I should have called the grandmas then and there. Against my better judgement, Dylan and I went to the store and got Breckyn a birthday present.

Wednesday rolled around, and Dylan came home from school. "OKAYMOMIJUSTGRABBEDBRECKYN'SPRESENTI'MGOINGOVERTOHISPARTYRIGHTNOW!" he screamed, before slamming the door shut behind him.

Five minutes later, a dejected Dylan comes home, with Breckyn's present in his hand. "Breckyn isn't even home," he wailed.

Mmm-hmmm. I think I even said that out loud at the time. Like a wise black lady. Mmmm-hmmm. "Dyls, I should have known you weren't telling me the truth. Now we got this present for nothing."

"But Breckyn told me it was today. It's him who is the liar, not me!"

We put the present up high on the mantel so that Micah couldn't get it, and we decided to wait until we saw Breckyn again to ask what on earth was going on.

He came over on his bike like an hour later. I answered the door. "Breckyn, I thought you had a birthday party today!" I exclaimed.

"Nope. My party is tomorrow. It's at Leo's Place. At one o'clock."

"Are you SURE?"

"Yep," he said, again nodding solemnly.

"Well, Dylan can't go. That's in the middle of school for him." [Breckyn was in Kindergarten this year.]


"I'm calling your grandmas."

"Okay, but I'm telling you, it's tomorrow at Leo's Place at one o'clock."

"We'll see, Breckyn."

So I call Breckyn's grandmas' house. [He lives with his grandma and great-grandma. His is a sad story.]


"Hey, Bonnie, this is Karlenn."

"How are you?"

"Fine. Hey, Breckyn just told us he has a birthday party at Leo's Place tomorrow at one. I wanted to call and make sure that was true."

"Uh! NOOOO. We had a party for just his family at Leo's last Saturday..."

Totally delusional, these little boys are. It kills me.

Breckyn did end up having a little bowling party (I think it was just him, Dylan, and his grandma) the following Saturday. Bonnie called me herself to tell me about it. That's the only way to get the truth of any situation when it involves Dylan and Breckyn.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


We're finishing a bedroom downstairs for little Gage. We really wanted to get it all done before Ben's mom and stepdad came down for Memorial Day weekend, so that they could have a room all to themselves, but it didn't pan out. Ben's friend from work was going to lay carpet, but he was too busy the week before Memorial Day weekend to finish that part up. We did get it painted, though:

It looks like Ben did all the work, but I actually did all the trim the following day while Ben was at work. I can't believe my kids let me do it without bugging me so much. Or that I didn't barf all over the walls.

I know what you're thinking: "Beige? Karlenn??" I like color on my walls. Big time color. But it will best match this crib set that Ben and I have our eye on at Wal-Mart. You'll see. We have to save up for the crib set, though. Those are so dang EXPENSIVE nowadays.

I keep asking Ben when his friend is coming back over to finish what he started. So far, I'm getting nothing from either of them. Which irritates my nesting sensibilities. But oh well. Men don't nest, so they don't get it.

Ballet for the Been-Arounds

So. As you know, my little Sades takes dance lessons from my adorable cousin, Kortney:

Kortney's grandparents (the ones I don't share with her) live in a retirement community, and she arranged to have her students perform there. Sadie's first performance ever!!

They did three dances. The first one is called Mermaid Ballet. I swear the recording is of Doris Day singing. I'm quite familiar with the Doris-meister's voice. Here is a pic of Sadie in her Mermaid Ballet costume:

Then they performed "Splish Splash." Sadie peeked at me before the number began:

A video of "Splish Splash":

The third number is called Broadway Baby. Sooo cute with the bowties and the hats:

I snapped a pic of my aunt and uncle (Kortney's folks), Marilyn and Boyd:

I just love them.

Sadie... well, I don't know that she is necessarily a natural dancer. It's hard to know this early on. I do know that she was the only pidgeon-toed dancer there! :) She didn't really have the dances memorized - she just kind of watched Kortney and went through very vague motions. But she says she really likes it, so we'll stick with it. If she hated it, I obviously wouldn't force her into it.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Why did I even bother??

I'm such a nerd. For Sadie's last day of preschool, they had a big party at the park. Micah had therapy, which made us half an hour late, but I thought, oh well, the party goes for like five hours. And there's free breakfast and free lunch. So let's go.

So we went and had some pretty gross breakfast:

Well, it was gross to me. The kids liked it. Every breakfast is gross to me right now, except for Gatorade.

They had all of these booths and games and project tables, but my kids just wanted to play on the big toy. They had just started climbing around on it when I realized that we needed to leave to get Sadie to ballet class on time. Oops. Sadie was really mad when I told her we had to leave:

And Micah is fine going anywhere, as long as he has a toy in each hand:

So we were there a grand total of half an hour. So dumb of me. I really overscheduled myself that day. You live and learn, right?

La Fin de Headstart

Well, my little woman finished two years at Headstart. We'll see if Mikey qualifies in a year and a half. I adore Headstart. Both of my oldest had two years there, and it was wonderful. And free. You can't beat free.

The kids get to bring home a portfolio of art projects they've done throughout the year. Interspersed in the portfolio are photos of your kid doing activities and projects. I scanned them, and voila. Here are a few of them. They were printed on regular paper from a regular printer, so my apologies if they look a teeny bit grainy.

Sadie's class, smiley:

She's on the back row, third from the left.
And Sadie's class, silly:

They did some kind of "make an ocean in a bottle" project. Apparently, the ocean is pink:

They made bird feeders out of pine cones:

Sadie's Dr. Seuss hat on Dr. Seuss's birthday:

The kids are all out of school for the summer, and dang. I wish they were still in school. They're killing me. So much bickering. I've already locked them into the backyard a couple of times, just to not hear them fighting for one second.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Mikey is Two!

My little man turned two last month! I can't believe it. He's really blossoming. He's saying more and more words, and he's just hilarious! I just love this little guy. Here are some pics from his little family party.

He couldn't figure out how to tear open his presents. He would kind of finger the paper, and then look at me like, "Well, get on with it...":

He already knows that clothes aren't interesting gifts for boys. Look at his little half, fake smile in this pic:

Then shoving the clothes at me so he can get on to more exciting things:

His favorite gift of all - M&M's from Nat. He loves "canny":

He wasn't interested in opening presents after the candy was introduced. I had to open the rest of them. He's so funny.

A video of him trying to figure out how to blow out candles. It's seriously so adorable:

And eating his cake:

I made carrot cake for his party, because he doesn't care what kind of cake he has at this age. And because I had lots of carrots in my fridge I had to use up.

Happy Birthday, my little man.

Friday, June 11, 2010

No Diabetes!!

I got my results today, and I passed my Three Hour Tour "with flying colors," as the nurse said. I'm sooooo grateful. So blessed. Thanks for your prayers, friends. I'll post more later. I'm busy planning Dylan's birthday party for tomorrow. Sooo stressful.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A three hour tour....a three hour tour...

Wow. That picture turned out way teenier than I thought it would. Sorry 'bout tha', as Hagrid would say. For those of you without a magnifying glass, that's the cast of the show, Gilligan's Island. I was a Nick at Nite junkie as a teen. I know the whole Gilligan's Island song.

I had my one-hour gestational diabetes test on Monday, and may I just say how much those finger prick things hurt? Owwwwwwww. I'd rather have blood drawn out of the crook of my elbow than do those finger pricks. Those mothers HURT. So anyways, I flunked the one-hour test by two measly points. Sheesh. So they signed me up to do my three-hour test this morning.

Which is where I come to the "three hour tour" part. Whenever I talked to Ben about my upcoming three-hour test, he'd start singing that part of the Gilligan's Island theme song, but sing, "A three hour test...a three hour test..." He's pretty cute.

So. I had to fast for ten hours before my appointment, which was super-fun. I was allowed to drink water, but not Gatorade, which meant that, as I lay there from 11:30 p.m. until I fell asleep at 4:30 a.m. (Restless Legs Syndrome is something that people who go to Hell will have. I'm certain of it. It makes you want to just DIE), I was soooo nauseated. I barfed at one in the morning, which made me feel a little bit better. The Gatorade really helps with the nausea, so I was suffering without it. It's my crutch. My binkie. My blankie.

Then Sadie woke me up at 6 a.m., and I barfed again. Why is it that she is waking up so dang early, now that school is out? So wrong. So very, very wrong. And then I lay there while she watched Cartoon Network until it was time to go. My lovely mom watched my kids. The woman is a saint. One of my old friends was asking what my mom does, now that all of her kids are out of the house. I said, quite sheepishly, "Welllll, she helps my sister and I a lot." It's seriously all she does. I feel really badly about that. I try not to ask her to watch my kids too much. But it's been kind of a medical necessity during this pregnancy.

So I check in at eight, the phlebotomist (who has a sweet White Snake-era mullet) takes my blood, and then I'm led into this big room. She asks what kind of super-sweet flavor I want in my super-sweet drink, and I choose orange. Then she came back to take my blood three more times, every hour. I found out later that this big room is the catch-all of everyone that is taking any kind of insulin resistance or diabetes test this morning. We were all thrown into this room together. They had a TV that was maybe one foot by one foot big, and no magazines. I thanked my lucky stars that I brought my book. I settled down to read by myself for the next three hours.

I hardly touched my book.

Because these people would not stop talking to me!!! People from all walks of life. There was Lady Who Was Doing Her Personal Progress Again. Lady Who is My Age and is Married to a Sixty-One-Year-Old Man. Soon-to-be Eighth Grader Boy. Really Cute, Skinny, Tan Fifty-Year-Old Lady. And my favorite of all, Probably High on Drugs and They Couldn't Find Veins in Her Lady.

Really Cute, Skinny, Tan Fifty-Year-Old Lady was watching the Today show and asking me if I knew this celebrity gossip or that celebrity gossip. I knew most of it. I am an avid People Magazine reader. I can't remember why she was there. But I remember she has thyroid disease. It must be hyperthyroidism. Because she was really skinny. She was outta there in just two hours, the lucky stiff.

Lady Who is My Age and is Married to a Sixty-One-Year-Old Man was really quite sweet. She has Multiple Sclerosis, and her doc wants to see if her difficult episodes are due to some kind of insulin resistance or diabetes. She is scared to have kids, because she knows her health will deteriorate. She doesn't think it will be fair to her child. She and her husband live with her extremely elderly mother-in-law, who thinks she is lazy, but she's not. It's just that her husband has OCD and doesn't like how she cleans or cooks. He insists on doing everything, so that it's done the right way. He's on drugs now, and he seems to be doing a little better with the OCD thing. She was outta there in 2 1/2 hours.

Lady Who Was Doing Her Personal Progress Again was very, very quiet. Her scriptures were really weird-looking. The extremely chatty people in this room couldn't take her from her goal of doing Personal Progress. She was outta there in 2 hours. I'm not sure why she was there. She wasn't in a sharing mood.

Soon-to-be-Eighth Grader Boy was just adorable. Not sure why he was there, but he wouldn't bend his elbow. The White Snake phlebotemist kept telling him to bend his arm. Let me explain. At this place, instead of putting a needle into you four different times, she put this little device in the crooks of our elbows where she could just come get blood out of us every hour without sticking us over and over. Admittedly, the thingey hurt. It hurt me to bend my elbow, for sure. White Snake phlebotomist kept telling Eighth Grader that his thingey was clotting because he wasn't moving his arm around enough. She would tell him to bend his arm, and he would just kind of keep it straight, but move it in circles. He was adorable. He played his Nintendo DS the whole time. Straight-armed. He was outta there in 2 1/2 hours.

Probably High on Drugs and They Couldn't Find Veins in Her Lady. Oh, my. What a piece of work. She was on a mission to keep everyone centered on her. As we watched the Regis and Kelly show, Christina Aguilera came on to perform a new song. High (that's what I'll call her for short) snorted loudly when Christina came on. "OH MY GOSH, CAN YOU SEE WHAT SHE'S WEARING??? WHAT A SLUT!!" Everything High said was in a shout. At one point, Christina was talking about her toddler son, and High said, "SEE? A TOTAL SLUT. WHO KNOWS THE FATHER OF THE BABY." Me, being a People Magazine conneisseur, said, "Actually, the dad is her husband."


"Some record executive."


"Nope. They were married long before she had the baby."



On and on about Christina Aguilera. Whatever. I tried to open my book for the twentieth time, but was forced to close it when High decided to sit right next to me. She had bright green bandages all over her, from all the failed attempts to find veins in her arms. Every now and then, she would yell to Eighth Grader to bend his arms. He would swing his arm around, straight as can be. At one point, High actually goes over to Eighth Grader and wrestles him down and makes him bend his arm. I just sat there like, Um, have you ever heard of personal space, High?? It's his funeral if his blood keeps clotting and he has to get re-stuck with a needle every time. Poor kid. He was very uncomfortable with that situation. As I would have been.

So High has some kind of stomach problems. She's been hospitalized a lot. The doctors don't know why her stomach always hurts. And she hasn't been getting her period since she had her son. So her gynie sent her to see if she had insulin resistance or diabetes. She was going to see her gynie later this afternoon. She asked if I wanted to see her son. Sure, I said. She showed me a picture on her phone. He's cute. I ask how old he is. Two, she says. She's not married to the father, and she lost parental rights soon after her son was born. She didn't elaborate on why she lost parental rights. I think her folks are raising him. I laughed within myself, thinking, "Why is she being so harsh on her false ideas about Christina Aguilera, when she herself had a kid out of wedlock?" High has the nastiest toenails I have ever seen. She needs a good scrub brush. And a nail clipper. And a shower. Her hair is really greasy. She used to be a track star in high school. She is pretty heavy now. High got out of there even before I did. I was the final gal to go. High couldn't find a ride home. She was sitting in the foyer when I finally waddled out of there. She wished me luck on my baby. I wished her luck on her stomach stuff and her period stuff.

I'm excited that I didn't barf the drink up, though I wanted to. I guess I was distracted enough by my strange new friends. I came home and had lunch and still just felt sick as a dog, all day long. I went to Ben's work to drop off our hot glue gun for a presentation he was making tonight, and when I saw his face, I just started bawling. I just felt so sick. I bawled all the way home, and then I felt much better. Emotionally. Not physically. I still feel like I might ralph soon. I find out the results of my three-hour tour tomorrow morning. Wish me luck. I'm not wanting to add Gestational Diabetes to my long list of problems in this pregnancy.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


My title is my feeble attempt to put into writing that thing that Tim the Toolman Taylor used to do in Home Improvement whenever he was talking about male bonding.

Our ward had its annual father/son campout, and Ben and Dyls went. Why didn't Ben bring Micah? Need you ask? Micah can be.... difficult.

I was probably the cutest mom/wife ever. I sent them with ample supplies of snacks and soda for if they got hungry in the middle of the night. I reminded myself of my own mom, when she would pack us for weekends at my grandparents' cabin. She packed everything but the kitchen sink, and it was wonderful. We always had choice snacks on which to nibble. I even packed some card games for Dylan and Ben to play if they got bored. Another move my mom would have made.

And then I sent the blokes out the door, admonishing Ben to take pics. He really didn't take many close-ups, which I thought was so weird. I think he hurried and took some pics, and then put the camera away so he could eat and start fires and do other manly things.

Dylan was sooooo worried all that day. "Are there going to be bears?" "Are there going to be wolves?" His class had gone to the museum, where they have this big display on the evolution of dogs, and apparently, wolves are his new fear. I knew they were camping by Blacktail Lake, and I assured him that the place was devoid of wildlife, except for rattlesnakes, and it's too cold for rattlesnakes. Take a look at the lack of forest there:

Yeah. No bears there, I can assure you.

There was a basketball area where the kids played:

The menfolk cooked dinner AND breakfast for the attendees. This is my friend, Patty's, husbie, Ken:

The man loves to cook.

Ben did take several pictures of the sunset, which was nice:

There were dark clouds looming, so you can just see the sliver of the sun setting behind the mountains.

Here's a shot of the menfolk gathered around the fire:

Ben said the boys spent most of the night looking for stuff to throw into the fire. So funny. Boys will be boys.

As soon as they all settled into their tents for the night, it rained and was extremely windy all night long, from like 10:30 until 6 a.m. There were some leakage problems in the tent we borrowed, too - apparently Dylan's spare pair of undies got soaking wet. So it wasn't a pleasant night for them at all. I felt badly for them. Probably a little too early in the season for camping. At least in Idaho.

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