Thursday, September 30, 2010


We had a family get-together at my Aunt Marilyn's house a couple of months ago. We usually all sit around the table or the kitchen island and chat when we get together. And eat. We do a lot of eating. This time, on her table, she had a bunch of beads and that stretchy stuff you can use to make bracelets! So we created while we chatted. It was so much fun! What a good idea. Here are my concoctions:

Not bad, not bad. Lisa and Ashley, two of my cousins' wives, thought the beads that are on the bracelet to the left were butt-ugly, but I kind of like them. I don't have one blasted thing that matches that bracelet, but oh well. The one on the right is wayyy too tight. I need to purchase a couple of beads to add to it and make it larger for my beefy wrist.

Ashley has such an artistic eye. She knew what would look good, what order in which to put the beads on the bracelet, etc. She's really crafty.

Kortney, my cousin, was stressing out because she didn't think her bracelet looked quite right. She spent the whole time fretting over just one bracelet. That is so her!

Lisa saw Micah and said, "What an attractive child." Then it occurred to her that he strikes her as attractive because he is the identical toddler twin to her boys when they were little. He has their same head shape - kind of larger, with the back of the skull kind of flat. :) He looks like he could belong in Lisa's family, for sure.

Boyd gave me a hug and told me how worried he was about me with my pregnancy. He has such a tender heart. It meant a lot to me that he cared.

I haven't done anything with jewelery for like a year, so it was really fun to put these bracelets together. I'm making necklaces at my mom's Super Saturday next month, and I'm totally excited about it. I love doing artsy things.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Pink EYE! Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na, Pink EYE! Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na...

Mikey had Pink Eye a couple of weeks before we had Gage:

And Sadie had it the week after we had Gage:

The poor girl. Dylan and Ben treated her like a freakin' leper. Sadie touched one of Gage's baby toys, and Ben made me disinfect every single toy. Sheesh. And if Sadie was within five feet of Dylan, he would yell, "Get away from me! You have pink eye! You're disgusting!"

Pink Eye really is freaky. I don't like the fact that it's highly contagious, and the fact that I had a newborn at the time. But I was kind to poor Sades. It's not her fault. I had her use her own special hand towel, but I still swapped our hand towel out like once a day, just to be safe. And I washed my hands a ton and made her wash hers a ton, too.

I took Micah in to the doctor when he had it, and we got those antibiotic eye drops. We seemed to have a ton left after we used it for the required seven days, so I kept it. When Sades got Pink Eye, I thought, "Sweet! I'm totally not going in to the doctor! I've got the drops right here! Gonna save me $30!" But we ran out after five days. I was freaking out. I thought for sure it wasn't long enough to have taken those drops, and that the pink eye would come back with a vengeance. I was telling Mom of my concerns, and she said that she had some over-the-counter eyedrops - they aren't antibiotics, but they helped her eyes during her own episodes with pink eye. She offered to bring it over. I said heck yes.

So we start using these herbal drops, or whatever the heck they're made of. And Sadie's eyes keep getting pinker and pinker, and the discharge started up again. I was like, "Crap. These drops aren't strong enough. I'm going to have to take her to the stinkin' doctor." Ben was looking at these herbal drops, and he was like, "Um, Kar, these expired two years ago. Maybe that's why her eyes are irritated."

That is so Mom! It's this cute thing about her - she always has expired food she's trying to pawn off on us. We are always having to double-check expiration dates. Now Expiration Syndrome is delving into her medicine cache. :) I called her and teased her about it, then chucked the drops. I gave it a couple of more days, and sure enough, Sadie cleared right up. The herbal drops were irritating her eyes, after all. I never ended up having to take her to the doc. But I'm telling you what - next time, I'm not going to trust that I have enough antibiotic drops. I'll take whoever to the doctor, first thing. Some things are worth spending $30 for.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Patty P. from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania's Precious, Perfect Papoose

Soooo, Pats had her little man, Kole, July 19th, I believe. This kid was eleven pounds at birth!!:

He kicked his mom's butt for many, many hours. The poor woman. It's a good thing he's so dang cute. Look at those chubby cheeks! I love 'em.

He looks like Ken, I think. Here is a pic of Ken for your comparing pleasure:

I took a pic of Patty, too, but she won't let me put it on my blog. :) I think she looks great in it. Smiling. Radiant.

Megs came with me to visit the P family in the hospital. Here she is with the Kole-ster:

And here am I, in my lobstery, sunburnt, pregnant glory:

Autumn and Taylor from our ward were there, too:

Kole is the snuggliest baby EVER. He just snuggles right in. And he smells really good. I spend the whole time I hold Kole sniffing his little head and squeezing his chunky little legs. Talk about pleasingly plump. The kid can eat. Patty says he now weighs 18 pounds. I love it. Chubby babies are happy babies. And Kole is happy. He smiles a lot. Sooo cute. And talk about a good baby. He burps like a champ and sleeps through the night. I'm a fan of him. Gage needs to take burping and night sleeping lessons from Koleyoley.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Rigby Lake - Apparently, a Place for Romantic Trysts

So. My friend Megs and I decided to take our kiddos to Rigby Lake. This was when we were both enormously pregnant. And it was like 95 degrees outside. We're crazy.

I could not, for the life of me, remember how to get there. I went last year, but my mommy had driven, so I hadn't paid attention. So I did an internet search. Sometimes, when I scan the results of my search, I don't read the titles of the websites I'm looking at - just at the little two- or three-sentence description underneath. I was scanning the descriptions and saw one that looked like just what I needed - a turn-by-turn set of directions. So I clicked on the site, and lo and behold, it was a website called Cruising Gay, or something like that. I was like, huh? I guess this website is dedicated to places where you can, if you're a gay dude, meet other gay dudes. And I guess Rigby Lake is hoppin' with that kind of action. I was like, "Rigby Lake??? Really???" It was all, "The best time to hook up is in the evenings. There are lots of meadows where you can go and be alone..." Who knew?? I didn't realize there was that big of a gay population in Rigby. You learn something new every day.

Anyways, the website really gave awesome directions. Thanks, Cruising Gay.

Megs and her kiddos could only stay for like an hour. They all had fun playing together, though. Sadie and Brynnan would run down the sloping beach to the water, over and over:

We got to utilize our newly-acquired sand toys. Pregnant me with Mikey:

Dylan made a little "lake" with a river that ran down to join the real lake:

Here are Megs and Jonas:

She had her swimsuit on, but she wouldn't take her shirt off, because she was so embarrassed of her belly. I couldn't believe how far out her belly stretched! Tinian was a big, big baby. And she is a little, little person. There's no where else to go but OUT when you're as teeny as Megs is.

Jonas had a hard time keeping his balance in the water, so Sadie held his hand:

I thought that was so cute.

And I love this shot, because it shows her little butt cheeks sticking out of her swimsuit:

She has such a long torso - we have a hard time finding suits that fit her body. I have the same problem. If we buy a suit her size, it gives her wedgies. If we get one a size bigger, no wedgies, but the top is too roomy. It's an issue.

Megs had to take off, but my kids and I stayed for quite a bit. I had the wonderful opportunity of blowing up the dang tube (my least favorite thing to do):

The tube was a hot commodity. All three kids fought over the dang thing the whole time we were there. It was super-special.

Micah wouldn't float in the toddler floatie, so Sadie decided to give up the Red Tube Fight and try it out. I can't believe she didn't sink!! I didn't think it would hold her weight:

They've added something new since last year. Or maybe I didn't notice it last year. A dock thingey way far out, with a slide on it:

It looks like a blast. You can slide right into the water. Dylan swam all the way out there in his life vest and went down it a few times. If I didn't have Clingey Micah with me, I might have gone out with the other two and slid down it.

I remembered to lube up the kids, but I ran out of time/forgot to put sunscreen on myself, so I got crispy crittered. Suuuuch a bad sunburn.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Benny Bones' Birthday

Yeah, his birthday was July 18. I'm just a leetle behind. Do you mind that I'm posting about something that happened so long ago?

I was watching Cake Boss today; I really wish I could make cool cakes like that. Maybe sometimes I'll have the time and the energy to go down that road. Using fondant and all of that. My pregnant self could only muster a plain chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, baked in a 9X13 pan:

We put three candles on one side, and four on the other, to stand for "34." I've now known Ben for ten years. I threw him a birthday party for his 24th birthday; we had been dating only a few weeks. We were both so skinny and peppy back then...

I'm the coolest wife ever. I got Ben some great stuff. Whitman's chocolates, the Twilight graphic novel (Ben is a major Twi-Hard), the New Moon soundtrack (which he listens to every single day when he's driving to and from work), and a couple of other books to read when he donates plasma.

The kids picked a card out for Ben - it was a 4th of July card. I protested, but it was a pop-up card, and they were so in love with it, I gave in. Ben liked it:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Just a couple of weeks before the Gagemeister was born, we decided to transition Micah from a crib to a Big Boy Bed. We moved him into the same room as Dylan, into the bottom bunk of the bunk bed, and we put Sadie into Micah's old room.

My poor parents kept an my old bed set in their storage room for five years for us, until it was time for this transition, which was REALLY, REALLY nice of them. Benny set everything up on his birthday. He is the best:

I wouldn't want to do something like that on my birthday.

The floors in that room were sanded by the last guy who lived here; we haven't had time to refinish them yet. They look really dusty, but they're only moderately dusty in real life. :)

Sadie's reaction to the transition:

Micah's reaction to the transition:

It took him a couple of weeks to get used to it. We had to have Dylan sleep in the living room a couple of times while we locked Micah in the bedroom - he was screaming bloody murder and keeping Dylan up. Sometimes he gets up and comes and bugs me and Ben when he's supposed to be going to sleep, but it's not too bad - maybe once or twice per night. When Dylan was two, and we transitioned him to a Big Boy Bed, he would LITERALLY get out of his bed and bug us FIFTY TIMES PER NIGHT. I'm not eggagerating. I counted once. I was trying to be all Nanny 911 and take him back into his room over and over again (I had so much more energy back then), but finally I had to just lock the kid into his room every night. You gotta do what you gotta do.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Two Myths

Myth #1: Burying your face into the grass will make the sprinkling water less cold.

Myth #2: Mom isn't watching. I'll de-pants Sadie. Then, when Sadie tells on me, I'll lie and say that I didn't do it. Mom will never know.

(Little did Dylan know that I was taking pictures of them through the windows.)

Here is poor Sadie, pulling her undies and pants back up:

And YES, Dylan got into big trouble for that. He is such a punk.

Friday, September 10, 2010


Ben adores Family Guy. I, however, think it's really, really naughty. I won't let the kids watch it. But sometimes I'll come into the family room from the kitchen or whatever, and there are Ben and the kids, happily watching it. Grrr.

The other day, Dylan drew a picture of Stewie and taped it to the wall above the computer as a surprise for Ben:

It really is a pretty good likeness, don't you think? Ben is so enamored of the picture that he took it to work and now proudly displays it on the wall of his cubicle.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Micah is a huge fan of shoes and jackets. He insists upon wearing his shoes inside the house all day long. It drives me crazy, because then he stomps all around, which wakes up the baby from his nap. Sometimes I give in and help Micah put on his shoes to make him shut up. But sometimes I fight the good fight. It depends on my level of busyness.

He is also obsessed with wearing jackets. It can be 95 degrees outside, but he still wants to wear his jacket. He calls his jacket his "oat." I think he's trying to say "coat," but can't say the /k/. He follows me around with a jacket he needs help with, saying over and over again, "Oat?" "Oat?" "Oat?" "Oat?"

He is a nutter. In so many ways.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Our Chipmunk

Micah has two therapists, an occupational therapist and a developmental therapist. He was officially diagnosed "developmentally delayed" when he was just an infant, and though I don't feel that he is delayed that much anymore, his therapists still think he is, so they still come. And I don't mind it. It's free, so why not have someone come and play with him for two hours every week, right?

Micah's developmental therapist is, like, eighty years old. Seriously. And probably once per month, she can't come over because she has this sickness or that sickness. I can't believe she's still working at her age! She is really, really sweet, though. Her name is Eunice. (I smile whenever I say her name, because it reminds me of a character in one of my favorite movies, What's Up, Doc? I really need to own that movie.) She works with Micah on color recognition, matching, puzzles, and a little bit with speech. (We had him tested for speech, and apparently, he's doing well enough not to need a speech therapist. I disagree with the test results, but oh well. I'll have him tested through the school district when he turns three.)

The Infant/Toddler Program just renewed/didn't renew contracts with each of its therapists a couple of months ago. Eunice is still with us, but Lisa, Micah's occupational therapist, didn't have her contract renewed. That made me sad. I really liked Lisa. We have a new OT, Melissa.

I really like Melissa. We mesh well. She's funny and kind of edgy. The first week that she came, she brought some toys with different textures. She wanted to see if Micah was having any kind of sensory-perception problems. He did just fine. Then she asked if we had any rice that we could put into a container, to get Micah to play in the rice. I guess some kids with sensory perception disorder cannot stand the feel of dry rice. So I got our rice out. She hid some small toys in the rice and had Micah dig them out. He had no problem. In fact, he started throwing rice all over my living room. That was pretty awesome. So, apparently, SPD isn't an issue with him.

After Micah was done with his rice extravaganza, the kids begged me if they could play in the rice, as well. I let them have at it. They had a blast:

I've always liked the feel of dry rice in big containers. Same with dry beans in big containers, like they have in the grocery store.

Melissa hasn't brought any more toys over since that first week. For the past two months, she has been working on Micah with his eating. She and I differ a little bit on our opinion of Micah's eating issues. Micah, as most toddlers, is very picky. He likes bread, cheese, bologna, bananas, the norm toddler fare. If we give him something he doesn't like, he will either a) not touch it, or b) pocket it in his cheeks, like a little chipmunk. And there it stays, FOREVER. For at least a few hours, or until a parent gets sick of it and tells Micah to go spit the food in the garbage. It's nuts. Get it? Chipmunk? Nuts? I'm so punny.

I don't care if he pockets food that he doesn't like. To me, he's doing the equivalent of spitting his food in his napkin, sitting at the table for hours without touching his food, or trying to throw his food into the garbage when his folks aren't looking. (I did all of the above when I was a kid. I totally didn't get away with the garbage trick. Dang it. And to this day, I still hate potato soup.)

But to Melissa, this pocketing business is so perplexing. It really gets under her skin. Every single week, she has me serve Micah lunch. It has to be all food that he doesn't like. She sits there for an hour, trying to make Micah chew and swallow the hated foods. Sometimes it goes well; other times, not. Once, she and he fought over one grape. ONE GRAPE. For an entire hour. Sometimes he'll eat for her, if she spoon-feeds him, but mainly, they sit there. A war of wills.

I'm fine with her using up her entire hour on one grape. She can knock herself out. The problem is, now she wants ME to do this with him. She wants me to sit with him at every meal, spoon- or fork-feeding him one bite at a time, begging him to chew and swallow, until all of the food is gone. Which could take hours, folks. And she wants me to only serve him foods that he hates.

It's a nice sentiment, but seriously, I do not have that kind of time. I don't even have time to shower some days. Yesterday, I didn't get to shower until eleven at night. I wore jammies all day long. This "four kids" business is insanely busy.

Melissa is single and doesn't have kids. So I don't think she really understands how crazy my life is right now. Every week, she asks if I've only been serving Micah foods that he hates. Every week, I sheepishly tell her that no, when I'm really busy, I offer both foods that he likes and foods that he doesn't like, because if I don't have the time to spoon-feed him, then at least he's getting some kind of nutrition. Then she gives me the third degree. What did I feed him this morning? Did he eat it? Did he feed himself? What other foods did I give him this week? Did I spoon-feed him?

Maybe I'm an enabler. Maybe I'm not keeping my child's best interests in mind. But I seriously don't think I'll ever have three hours per day to spoon-feed my child who is perfectly capable of spoon-feeding himself. I can't force him to like foods he doesn't like. I can't force him to chew and swallow. It's physically impossible. We're on WIC, and whenever they test the iron in Micah's blood, he passes with flying colors. He's in the 75th percentile in his weight and height. I'm not concerned about his eating. I'd rather her spend more time with fine motor skills or whatever the heck they think he still needs.

Gage got referred to the Infant/Toddler program because he was a NICU baby. They just sent me a letter, saying, "Call us! Let's screen him for problems!" Part of me wants to just throw that letter away. I don't think I can handle any more therapists in my life right now.

I'm hoping Melissa gives up the food fight. She's kind of scrappy, and so is Micah, so I wonder if a lot of this is just her not wanting to give in to him and him not wanting to give in to her. I'm so tired of getting the third degree every week that I'm considering making a food log, so that, when she asks a million questions, I can just hand her the log and say, "Here. This is how our week went with feeding. Yes, he hates some foods. Now can we move on??"

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Boating Blues

Well, my pops sold his boat.

I cannot even begin to express how sad this makes me, yet I understand his reasoning - we didn't use it enough to warrant the cost of winterizing, boarding, fixing, upkeep, etc. Nat and I inherited the sand toys and beach chairs, which my kids have been using as their own personal TV-watching chairs:

Boating was just such a huge part of my life as a teenager and onward. Nothing beats cutting across glassy water in a waterski. Nothing is funnier or more painful than getting dumped while riding the tube at top speed. I'd like to think that there is waterskiing in heaven. The first time Ben asked me out, he asked me if I liked to waterski. It was a match made in heaven. :) Can you indulge me in a little visual walk down Boating Memory Lane?

Me, 1993, at Bear Lake:

Nat and I get this thing when we waterski, where just the hairs around our face get really frizzy and curly. We call it our halo. We could be in a Jane Austen movie with those curls.

Also at Bear Lake in 1993:

Bear Lake is shallow. And usually not waterski-friendly. You have to really work hard to ski on such choppy water.

Mom in 1999 at Palisades Lake, our favorite haunt:

She just couldn't be any cuter.

Me and Nat in 1999 (also at Palisades), "surfing":

Dylan in 2004 at Bear Lake:

My nephew, Brock, in 2005. Look at those cheeks:

Brock and his flowing locks, same year, with his Aunt Lex:

Me, pregnant with Sadie, acting as a beached whale:

Beads and her hubby, Spencer, 2006:

Me and Sadie, 2006:

Brock, asleep on the boat, 2006:

Ben wakeboarding, 2006 (I think he is so handsome):

Brianna in 2007 (Palisades' shores are rocky and muddy - she fell on her patoot):

My bro-in-law, Pete, teasing Dylan at Lake Tahoe, 2007:

Sadie Lou, 2009:

Ah, goodbye, boat. I will miss you so, so much.
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