Thursday, July 31, 2008

Just Like His Daddy

I was upstairs putting on some make-up (yes, I didn't shower until after 1:00 today!), talking to my cousin, Jenni on the phone and I suddenly realized that I couldn't hear Titus. Any time you can't hear Titus you can bet large sums of money on the fact that he's doing something he shouldn't be. That's literally the ONLY time he's completely quiet!
I asked Leeann to go check on him and she came back and told me she couldn't find him. I looked in some of the usual spots (on the back side of our bed playing with something he shouldn't be, in the pantry...) and I was yelling, "Titus, where are you?" He was still dead silent so I knew it had to be good.
"Titus, what are you doing?"
"Eat boo berries mama!"
"I yike boo berries!"
"More boo berries mama?"
Leeann of course wanted to join in the fun as soon as she saw me pull out my camera, so I can't neglect to include that picture here too!
I was momentarily caught with conflicting emotions. Do I correct his behavior, or take pictures and blog it because it's so cute? It seems a little hypocritical to do both. As you can see, blogging won! I often find his daddy in the fridge sneaking blue berries... I've got all sorts of blue berry capers on my hands!

I have LMS

LMS? What on earth is LMS? Before you get to scared, fearing for my life... I made it up. It's an acronym for Lazy Mom Syndrome. It's hereditary. Only, I get mine from my dad. Not LMS, but LDS--you get the picture? My brother has it too.

My dad, my brother Jason and I can all sleep through a hurricane. We religiously fall asleep in the middle of movies or loud parties, even if it's on something uncomfortable or in a very uncomfortable position. We all like our sleep!

My grandma used to have to come physically shake my dad out of bed at 5:30 in the morning to get him to get up and ready for work. He was in his 30's. An alarm never worked because they have snooze buttons. We have no problem pushing snooze and going back to sleep. Sometimes calling him would work, though we have no problem having a short phone conversation and then falling back asleep. Nine times out of ten my grandmother would have to physically walk over to our house in the wee hours of the morning to shake my dad out of bed.

I'm not much better! It doesn't matter how many hours of sleep I had... I DON'T WANT TO WAKE UP! There is not a day that goes by that I don't wish I could stay in bed until noon. I religiously run late in the mornings because I think I can pull off just a few more minutes of sleep. I could take a nap for hours everyday and still have no problem getting to sleep at night. My head hits the pillow and I'm out in 3o seconds. Only acid reflux in the late stages of pregnancy and some severe joint pain have ever made it difficult for me to sleep. I virtually sleep walked to Titus room while I nursed him (still mostly asleep), then I would crawl back into bed and not skip a beat. Did I mention that I like to sleep?

There are only two problems that interfere with my love of sleep and they have names: Leeann and Titus. They spring out of bed before 7 in the morning and run around their bedrooms like wild banshees! Even if they stay in their beds they'll laugh and play and scream and yell obscene things at me like, "Mommy, can we get the gate up? Mommy, can we have breakfast? Mommy, can you get up?" Okay, notice the sarcasm surrounding the obscene word. They only sound obscene because I'M STILL ASLEEP! Or at least I'm trying really hard to still be asleep. My favorite is when they then turn their attention toward each other and start fighting over something really important--like a book (we have 40 others in their room).

On most mornings this goes on for about an hour until Rob gets their gate up and they come running into my room like race horses running for a prize. They jump onto my bed and proceed to pounce on me. They seem to find great joy in this, and so does Rob! He kisses me and heads off to work knowing that the kids will find a way to peel me from my pillow. So, on an average day I spend the next 30 minutes trying to fend off the cutest little creatures known to man as they kiss my cheeks, hug me, snuggle with me and pounce on me trying their best to get me up! At some point I must admit defeat and crawl out of bed, no doubt grunting and groaning about how I don't want to get out of bed.

About 20 seconds after I finally do get out of bed I realize it isn't so bad and I wonder why I just spent the last hour and a half trying so hard to get my kids to let me stay in bed!

This happens just about every morning unless I know I have to be somewhere for something. Then I still moan and groan and curse my alarm as I get out of bed.

Do any of you have LMS too? Tell me, at least one of you out there knows a cure?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I need some advice...

I'm trying to fly from Portland, Oregon
to Kansas City or St. Louis, Missouri,
to Newark New Jersey or JFK or Long Island
Back to Portland, Oregon

I have 27,000 Delta Skyline miles (which I've never used and I'm clueless about), a fairly flexible schedule though I need to be in Missouri for my brother's wedding on Sept. 27th, and I'd like to be in the New York area for 5-7 days.

If it were incredible inexpensive to travel with a child I'd love to take Leeann with me... but it probably isn't going to make very much sense financially to take her along.

So, here are the X-factors regarding the trip that may or may not ever happen. I'm trying to get down to the bottom line price to figure out whether or not it's even an option for me to go.

So... the advice I need is: How do I maneuver the 'system' to get the cheapest possible airline prices and make the best use of my air miles? I'd really like to take this trip but it's going to have to be pretty stinkin cheap for me to make it happen. Do I have any seasoned travellers who can give me some great advice?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I just finished reading a book. I read 413 pages in little more than 24 hours. The book was that good. I couldn't put it down. It helps that I've been sick and haven't been up to doing anything else. I was actually grateful to be sick to have a reason to spend so much time with my nose in a book!

I picked it up a few weeks ago at my Father-in-laws house. His wife, Stephanie showed me the book at their house and after reading the description on the front of the book I had to flip open the first page 'just to read a little bit'. The little bit turned into a lotta bit as I turned page after page engrossed in this woman's story.

"I was born into a radical polygamist cult. At eighteen I became the fourth wife of a fifty-year-old man. I had eight children in fifteen years. When our leader began to preach the apocalypse, I know I had to get them out." The book chronicles her life in and her escape from a very powerful man in a bizarre radical religious group. I won't get started or I might never stop. All I can say, is this is a worth-while read. Escape, by Carolyn Jessop.

I had to wait for a couple of weeks to get to read the rest of the story because I had put the book on hold at the library and had to wait for it. I went to the library and let the kids play for a while as I read. After lunch I let the kids play and read some more. Rob came home for dinner but the smell of it made me feel even worse so I skipped dinner and read some more. The kids went down at 6:30 because Titus had only napped a few minutes and I was sick. They were allowed 2 books in bed and told they could stay up and read but they were both asleep in no time. They had too many nights of staying up too late and waking up too early. It was probably a good thing they got so much sleep. Rob had a meeting that lasted 3 hours so I got to read some more last night. I snuck in a few pages before bed and picked up where I left off just after my shower this morning. I didn't even eat breakfast because I wanted to finish the book

Some fix-it guys came to fix our sliding glass door upstairs and to replace our front door downstairs. Of course I had to keep the kiddos out of the way and put on a movie for them. I, of course, stayed in the room with them but used this time to read some more. After lunch I put the kids down for a nap and stuck my nose back in the book. At last, I'm finished. Did I mention it was a GREAT book?

Now I still feel sore, sick and beat up. My nose is running, my head is congested and my neck and back and body ache. I feel like I can hardly move. Hopefully I'll feel better tomorrow. As for today... I think I'm going to scour the Internet to see if I can find any updates on this woman. Did I mention her story was fascinating?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

July Recap

July has been crazy busy for us, and I've once again been bad at blogging. Here's a small recap:

We spent a few days in Washington, and got to meet baby Landon! Yay!
We had fun playing with the boys... Leeann and Titus LOVE seeing them. We also got to see lots of the Barrios family, but I forgot to take pictures there. Silly me!
I took Leeann and Titus to the Fair. We had lots of fun. This is Leeann 'milking' a cow.
Titus got to write a pony. He did great!
Leeann LOVED it too!
She made a dirt baby. It now has green hair, and lots of it!

She spent some time at the Fair with her good friend Sarah. They loved sliding down the slide together holding hands and jumping in bouncy houses. They have fun together!
Titus loved playing in a big box of corn. I was impressed that they thought to do something cleaner than sand. Clever!
While I was taking pictures of Titus all impressed by the clean corn, I didn't realize that Leeann was planting potatoes in the dirt then wiping the dirt all over her face and clothes. Whoops!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

She's 5!

Have you ever wondered what a 5 year-old looks like?
I'm still in denial that she's 5 now. Rob took her out to Denny's for a special birthday breakfast. She had alien pancakes and a date with Daddy. Does it get any better than that? He took her to work with him until about 9:30 and then Titus and I picked her up and join Miss Ro (Eroica) and her kiddos to run some errands together.
And here you have it. A pink John Deere Tractor cake. It's not everyday you see one of those!
This is Leeann with her birth mom, Kyndall. We call her Nai-Nai. I'm grateful for her in so many ways. After all, Leeann wouldn't have a Birthday to celebrate!
Blowing out the candles! (Which Grampy had to run to the store to get. I knew I was forgetting something!)
Some of the kiddos enjoying cake and ice cream!
Whoa mom, that's $20! Sweet. It's going into her spending money envelope for Disneyland. Thanks Aunt Pam and Uncle Steve!
My favorite present of all!
And here are my favorite party-crashers! This is my Aunt Pam and Uncle Steve. I lived with them on a couple of occasions growing up... so needless to say, they're quite special to me! Aunt Pam called me yesterday and asked if they could come 'crash' the party. It's a 2 hour drive for them just to get here so I was surprised (and incredibly delighted!) that they wanted to come down. It was such a special treat! Thanks Pam and Steve!

And, here are the two cutest kids this side of Texas!

We ended the evening with an American Girl movie, Felicity (Rob and I got her a 3 pack of movies including Felicity, Molly and Samantha). Leeann got scared half way through and asked if she could go to bed. "Maybe I'll like it when I'm older." she told me. Of course, this morning she decided she was 'older' and wants to try watching it again! After all, she is 5 now!
She got several Barbies, a little piano and a keyboard from Kyndall (that her dad gave her when she was 5!), a purple Barbie car, several cool games, a Tennis racket and pink tennis balls, swim lessons for a year, a puzzle, some clothes and shoes, and a homemade blanket from Great Grandma!
Titus and Leeann are currently sitting together on a rocking chair and she's admiring her purple Barbie car. Titus is spinning the wheels and saying over and over again, "I like it, I like it, I like it!" Ah, what a good sister, she just gave it to him to have a turn. He's now crashing it into all sorts of things like any good brother would! Remind me not to take him driving anytime soon!
She's onto the little piano now... it's going to be a fun long day of enjoying all of her new toys. It was a great party and a great day. I now have one full year to enjoy 5 before we have to learn to enjoy 6. Then 7, then 8...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Here we go again!

Today is July 21st. That means it's the day before Leeann turns 5. 5! Can you believe it?

So, today I'm making my second (well, third kinda) John Deere Tractor Cake. This one's going to be pink and white and brown. We'll see how it goes! I'll be sure to post pictures soon.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Just in case you were wondering

Rob seems to be doing well. He's had some headaches and sensitivity to light. He's also a little more overwhelmed than usually about over-stimulation... but he seems to be remembering all the important things like my birthday, my favorite foods, how to clean the toilet etc. :0) Just thought I'd let you know! I need to call soon and see if there's any chance they'll take care of at least part of the medical bills. If not, I don't plan on checking my mail for a long, long while!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Whip Cream War

A couple of weeks ago Rob got into a whip cream war with the kiddos. They had lots of fun getting whip cream squirted in their mouths (and consequently their nose, hair, hands, kitchen chairs etc.) Lucky Rob, that means he got to do baths! It was fun. These random fun memories are usually my favorites. I like when normal everyday activities turn into fun times to remember. I've got a great family!
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Monday, July 14, 2008

Fix-It Galore!

I got rather overwhelmed today looking at our unfinished house. It seems like everywhere I look things just feel dirty, undone and out-of-place. I was almost in tears by the time Rob left the house this morning... just because I'm an emotional woman, not because anything has changed lately... I just got overwhelmed.

My friends Eroica and Brenna both came over with their kiddos for a couple of hours today and we rearranged furniture, hung some pictures and got some stuff cleaned up. When Rob came home from work we got to work again installing door knobs and replacing electrical outlets. We finished the night with some painting and I finally feel like I can breathe a little bit. There's still lots left to do, but so much has been done just today even. Progress. I like progress. Of course, I'd like to snap my fingers and have it all done yesterday, but hey... that's all right!

So now, much of the downstairs is done... at least there isn't reminders in every corner that our home is still a work in progress. Now the reminders are only in some corners! We still have to dry wall the dining room ceiling, then paint it. We need to paint 3 doors downstairs, finish painting the kitchen, scrape the paint of the cabinets then repaint them, paint the kitchen ceiling, replace some light fixtures and remodel the half bath. Then we're done with the downstairs. Okay, yeah... I guess we're still far from finished. I won't get into the list of things we've yet to do upstairs. Yikes!

Oh well, all in all I feel good. We've made progress and it's starting to feel a little more like home. I have found myself missing the air conditioning in our old house... but that's a rant for another time (this place is terribly hot--upstairs especially!).

I'm going to sleep now. My feet hurt and I stink. I haven't showered yet today. Now, don't you feel like a better person because you now know all this random useless information about me and my house. Why is it that I blog? Ah, it's therapeutic that's why. And years from now I'm sure I'll find great joy out of reading all of my random crazy rants and I'll laugh at myself and my immaturity. Ah, the joys!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Cool Pool and Emergency Room

We had a great time at the Cool Pool again this year for the 4th of July. We'd been promising our kids that we'd go on the 4th for more than a week and they've been counting down the days. Much to our dismay this morning it was only 75 degrees and cloudy... but we persevered and went to the pool as to not disappoint our kiddos! We probably shouldn't have though, because the day ended in a trip to the emergency room. Not for Titus even (which I would have put my money on), but for Rob.

We were just getting ready to leave and Leeann wanted to take one more trip down the big yellow water slide. Titus and I were watching and much to our surprise Leeann had decided she wanted to go by herself. So she did, and the life guard caught her and took her out of the pool and Rob soon followed. He walked out of the pool looked at me funny and said, "I hit my head." He was holding the side of his head but I didn't think anything of it. He sat down on the chair and just kept telling me that he hit his head, and that he wasn't okay. Then he started asking me if he'd hit his head. After about the 5th time of him asking me if he hit his head... and looking at me with a blank stare I went and got a life guard. She asked him simple things like his address and his age and his birthday and he was clueless. His name was the only thing he knew. He didn't know where he was, what happened, or what day it was. Needless to say, he was freaking me out!

I started searching for the keys knowing that an E.R. trip was in order. I couldn't find them, however, and Rob couldn't tell me where they were because he didn't even know where he was! He started to go down hill and I started to panic a little so the life guard called an ambulance. Before I knew it the paramedics where there and put a neck brace on him and put him on a stretcher. They kept asking me if he was on any medication or a recreational drug user... cause that's what he was acting like! Leeann was fine until she saw him strapped down on a stretcher. Luckily, some friends from church were there and they kept kiddos so I could go with Rob. Dave swept Leeann up and let her kiss daddy as he was wheeled away. Titus fell asleep in a life guard's arms as soon as it all started happening.

So, Rob and I took off in an ambulance and by the time I was done checking him in they had wheeled him back to get a CT scan. I was grateful, yet scared that they were processing him so quickly (nothing's ever quick at the E.R.)! They let me go back into the room with him after his scan was done while we waited for the results.

While we were in the E.R. room Rob kept asking me the same questions over and over, but I was encouraged by the fact that his questions were getting more specific. For about 30 minutes he kept asking, "Did I call my brother yesterday? (It was his birthday). Did I hit my head? What time is it? What time did we go to the pool? What time did we leave the pool? How long was I out? Where did I hit my head? What happened? Were you scared? Did I hit my head on the slide? On the top or the bottom? Did I walk out of the water myself? Did we go with the Lessers, or meet them there? Were Julie's grandparents there? (They were actually her parents). But, they didn't go in right? Were the Bradley's supposed to be there? But they called and said they couldn't right? What about the Bierly's, were they supposed to be there? But Kamden got sick right? I just kept answering his questions as if it were the first time he was asking.

Eventually he started to make enough sense that I asked him if he knew where the keys were. At first he said he didn't know but then I asked him if they were in the locker room. I finally got it out of him that they were locked in a locker with a purple lock and he even gave me the combination! I was grateful because I wasn't sure how we were going to get our car, or back into our house without the keys, and the pool would be closing soon.

The doctor came in and told me they didn't see any swelling or bleeding, nor did they see a fracture, so he should be fine. He just has a concussion and will probably be loopy and tired for most of the day, so we should take it easy. And, he's not supposed to do anything for the next week that might end up in another concussion, so no rough housing or sky diving, etc.

We stopped by Starbucks and got some drinks then headed up to the Lesser's house to get the kids. He asked me if he got mouth to mouth by a hot young life guard :0) I assured him that he did and the guy was really hot! He didn't think that was so funny! We picked them up and headed home and watched Meet the Robinson's for the 447th time. (We're borrowing it from Aunt Suzy!) After a while I fell asleep and when I woke up I could tell that Rob had his color back and just plain looked more 'normal'. He was making better sense, though throughout the whole day he kept asking questions and trying to piece together what happened. As of late last night he remembers getting on the slide, then he remembers being in the ambulance just a little bit.

He doesn't remember anything else until waking up just before they were about to put him in the CT scanner. He started to freak out and try to take his braces off. They got him calmed down and he asked the doc if he closed his eyes if he'd tell him when he could open them again. Doc said that was a good idea and assured him that he would let him know when he could open his eyes. He must have blanked out again because he doesn't remember anything until the doc came in after we were in the room 'talking' for those 20 minutes. His memory picked up from there and he seems to remember the rest of the details of the day.

We opted not to watch fireworks last night, instead we just cuddled and watched a movie. I was thankful to have my husband back... he was freaking me out with all of his craziness! It was a scary day, but it ended well. It's another good reminder not to take life and health for granted, you just never know what a day will bring.

This is Rob putting the kids to bed. Needless to say, we had a long scary day. Rob let them snuggle with him and Titus was out in about 10 seconds. Leeann followed shortly thereafter!
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Tuesday, July 01, 2008


I burnt the chili.


In the skebable (see last post) I forgot to mention that Titus managed to wreak havoc on my desktop when I went down to the living room. That contributed significantly to approaching boiling point!

I finally got my whits together, snuggled with the kids and apologized, brushed my teeth for the day and went downstairs to work on dinner.

THERE ARE ANTS EVERYWHERE!!! (Oh, and, my oven is smoking). They're happily carrying away some macaroni and cheese from lunch that Titus conveniently left on the floor. There are enough of them that I'm worried they're gonna take Titus away soon. I HATE ANTS! EWWW! The good news? Rob should be home anytime! I'm gonna go keep an eye on my ants and my oven :0)

Delta Sky Miles

I've got my angry eyes on again. Yes folks, the representatives at Delta Sky Miles speak worse English than those at Dell... and they are equally unhelpful!

I set out more than an hour and a half ago to figure out how many sky miles I have because I want to go to New York to visit my friend Sara Jane. Easy enough? HA! I was sent from Delta Sky Miles, to American Express to locate an account #. I called Sky Miles back who still couldn't find the right information in their system. I call American Express back who sent me to their website which directed me back to Sky Miles, who wanted a pin. I don't have a pin. I tried to re-set my pin online and got locked out of my account because the address they have on file is the address we had when started the account 5 years ago. I called Sky Miles back who told me to do what I just did (and got locked out for), who transferred me to tech support... who told me he couldn't give me a new pin because I'm not the primary card holder.

Wait a second. Our accounts are linked, our address is the same, we're married, I can log into the account on-line and wipe his account clean without question, but I can't have his pin?

All the while my kids are getting into things they aren't supposed to (like Leeann getting out all 3 of our toothbrushes and 3 different tubes of toothpaste... as if I'm going to brush all of our teeth while I'm visible frustrated with these 'representatives'?

I tell her to put it back... which she doesn't. Before I know it Titus is painting the chair with his toothbrush, then putting it back in his mouth for more 'paint' to paint the chair again. Leeann quickly sees my frustration and tries to take the toothbrush from him which of course makes him freak out.

I set Leeann in time out for disobeying and tell Titus to stop whining... that I'll brush his teeth when I'm done. They start fighting over sitting in a particular chair.

I get Leeann out of time out and go downstairs to get away from their constant squabbling. They quickly follow and fight over a hat. A HAT! We have several hats UPSTAIRS... WHERE THEY BELONG... and they have to bring it downstairs to fight over it while I'm about to chuck my phone out the window!

All the while I'm repeatedly shooting evil eyes at them. The problem is, anytime I shoot evil eyes at Leeann she falls apart emotionally which just makes the situation worse.

I don't remember how the rest of the scenario played out, though it had something to do with my leaving the play room to try to hear the guy on the phone that I couldn't understand... only to have them follow... to have me tell them to get off of my bed and go into a different room, which makes them both falling apart. I soon re-enter the playroom because they're fighting over some other really stupid toy (as if we don't have hundreds of other toys to play with too). I yanked the toy out of their hands (they were literally pulling on it), stomped down the hall and threw it on my bed. My blood is past boiling point at this time. When I threw the toy (on the soft bed mind you) they both started freaking out. Right about this time the guy is telling me he can't give me any more information. I gave him a small piece of my mind, hung up the phone and told both of the kids to lay down on their beds until mommy could cool down.

This is me... cooling down... can you tell? Rob called them and got the pin within minutes. And here I am, afraid to try to use the pin to access the account while my angry eyes are still on. Because, if it doesn't work my poor kids are going to bed at 5:00 tonight. Oh, and Rob's working late tonight :0)... he usually would have been home right about the time by blood started boiling which would have undoubtedly defused the situation in a more appropriate manner.

Now my kids are laying in their beds and I need to apologize to them for losing it while still somehow helping them learn from their bad behavior. This mom thing is tricky! As a side note, they both got a good talking to prior to my phone call telling them that they are not to fight over anything, ask mommy for anything, or whine about anything while I'm on the phone. They were undoubtedly testing the boundaries... it wasn't as if they were innocent in the matter. Still, I shouldn't have gotten so frustrated with them. Ah, welcome to my life!

This is me... applying once again for the "Mother of the Year Award". Let's be honest, this year isn't my year. Perhaps next year?

Put Him In A Bottle

I decided that if I could bottle Titus at any age, 2.5 would be it. I love this age! He's so full of life and energy and fun... and he's still so innocent. He's got a super-huge grin and he spends his days laughing, playing and having a blast. He's learning new things everyday. He's to the point where he's got enough words to communicate just about anything he needs to, yet not enough words to be sassy yet! In my opinion, I think we should all live with the optimism and curiosity of a 2.5 year-old... life would just be more fun that way!