Thursday, December 23, 2010

Big Hair

Is it 1985? Blanket came up and asked me the other day for "big hair." I obliged.
Well, I obliged as far as I could with his buzz-in-need-of-rebuzzing. The next day he asked for it again and Tiger chimed in for a similar 'do. I took photos. It should be noted that I do not like this style, but I let them make some of their own decisions. At least they haven't asked for it since.

As an added bonus: Mac still doesn't have enough hair to do anything with: no big hair for him.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Things I didn't know I didn't know.

The stomach flu having come, and mostly gone is giving me a great chance to reflect on things I don't normally notice:

1. Cleaning jobs have a pecking order around here: Hazmat and biohazard, other wet cleanup, dishes, laundry, toys and general cleanup, vacuuming, kitchen cleaning, bathroom cleaning.
On biohazard: I didn't know that I could wake from a deep sleep at 11:30pm to clean an entire bathroom, bathe a vomiting Tiger, prep his bed for reentry, dress and readmit him to bed in less than an hour. Thanks also to Tiger, the downstairs bathroom also got a good cleaning.
On dishes: I don't like doing dishes. I don't. I tend to avoid it until necessary (I tend to unload, load, and run in one shot.) Yet I find myself willingly doing them before most other things which I enjoy doing significantly more. I have found that I dislike "shopping" for a clean dish in the dishwasher more than I dislike "shopping" for clean clothes in a laundry basket (folded or unfolded). I dislike dishes that have sat in the dishwasher more than a day. Laundry, on the other hand, waits patiently in the basket to be hidden away in its designated recesses. Staleness, here, is not a problem (though wrinkles tend to be). Though, the thing that makes me do dishes the most is not being able to use (and being forced to clean, or substitute another for) the one I want because it is waiting to be washed.
On Laundry: I don't mind (and sometimes enjoy) the rhythm brought to a day by the regular loading and unloading of mechanized textile cleaning apparatuses. I like the sound of my top-load washer doing all the hard scrubbing (and I know, 'cause I did it by hand at one point in my life). I don't love folding, nor do I even like it, but I choose it. Rather, I choose something I want to watch while I fold the mountain I made during my weekly laundry dance. I like having folded/sorted clothes to choose from even if they hide in their basket for a few days (or until the next laundry day-but I try to avoid that).
On toys and general cleanup: I try to pick up the toys once a day or less, and let my kids do it (with much provocation) to do it the rest of the time. I keep my house moving, without keeping it super clean. As long as ALL the toys aren't out, I can deal with a fleet of 20 or 30 cars lined up nicely. Likewise all the blocks are fine if it doesn't also include all the trains and all the balls.
On vacuuming: I like to vacuum. Mostly I like to use my vacuum. But I hate picking up all the toys and clutter just to have the kids go behind me while I am vacuuming and make a mess either before or after I have vacuumed. Sometimes I make a game of it pretending the vacuum is going to suck up all the toys left on the floor, but then I am focused on the game and not on adequately vacuuming. Finding things I missed after I put the vacuum away is almost as annoying as messes being made while I am cleaning up. I vacuum regularly, though not as often as I would like because it is not as rewarding when the kids aren't keeping things orderly for me.
On kitchens and baths: Cleaning my kitchen and my bath aren't on my list of things I ever want to do. I do get to them when the level of uncleanliness bothers me. That is the motivating factor, period. If you would like me to do something for you, just come clean my bathroom for me. The kitchen gets cleaned more frequently because of simple math: guests are more likely to see my kitchen sink than see the inside of my shower.

2. I have always suspected that if I had not been raised to shun addictive substances I would be dead or chronically addicted to everything bad for me. Normally, I have fewer than 4 cokes/caffeinated beverages a year. After this stomach bug I just wasn't recovering enough to be a functional parent for my kids, until I had some coke. It made it all better. All better except for the staying up all night-needing caffeine to compensate for the lack of sleep-needing more to make me feel normal-needing more to make me feel almost as good as the last can cycle. I can see I need to stay away from addictive substances, and why coffee drinkers aren't functioning well until they have had their java. Please be kind while I go through withdrawl.

3. Mac can be happy all day if fed and napped at appropriate times and placed in a room with lots of his toys and his brothers. Not having him constantly crying for attention when I was feeling dead was great.

4. Losing 5 pounds overnight is possible, while remaining somewhat hydrated. Though I wouldn't recommended it. And it's not pleasant at all. It also makes my skinny pants fall off. It will probably make me go down a dress size or two.

and finally:
5. The NRA sells Christmas cards. I bet you didn't know that.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Instead of flowers

I don't like getting flowers. I think they are a waste: they stink, they die, they are very immediate. I would rather the money was spent on a more practical gift. I even keep a list on the computer so that B.A.R can know what I want in advance. It works great for us.

I mentioned to him the other day that I liked something that I saw advertised in one of his magazines. Then he went out of town on business and came back with the item that I had mentioned. He even drove an extra 130 miles (65 each way) to go get it.

What is the most interesting gift you have received instead of flowers?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Tiger's Conversation: Dogs

I was reading with Tiger the other day and we discussed getting a pet. He said he wanted a dog. I don't want a pet while I still have little kids that need to be cared for as much as a pet does.

Sox: You can have a dog when you get bigger and you can take care of it.

--Much moving around, wiggling, standing, stretching--

Sox: Do you need to go potty?
Tiger: No, I am getting bigger so that I can have a dog.
Sox: But you need to get a lot bigger.
Tiger: (stretching) I am getting a lot bigger.
Sox: You need to get big enough to take care of a dog.
Tiger: No I don't need to take care of the dog.
Sox: Why not?
Tiger: The dog will take care of me. Can I have a dog now?
Sox: Um, No.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Tiger Emergency.

"A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part." Well, maybe it does if you are my son. Tiger had been reading Chicka, Chicka, 1, 2, 3 and loving it. He saw on
the back of the book a picture of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and he wanted to read that. One day he demanded that I get it for him. I dutifully went to the library's website and put it on hold for him. About an hour later he asked me when we were going to go get it. I told him it would be ready in a couple of days. That was just not going to do. He needed Chicka Chicka Boom Boom today. It was an emergency!
Finally, at 4 o'clock, I'd had it with the daylong requests/demands to go to the library to get the book. I checked to make sure the library had one in stock and then I loaded the whole tribe into the car for a trip to the library when I should have been making dinner. I did manage to negotiate a return of Chicka Chicka 1, 2, 3 in exchange for the emergency check-out of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. When we arrived one of our favorite librarians asked why we were there (usually we go in the morning) and I explained our "emergency." Liz quickly filled our request and I picked up a few more books for Tiger. We arrived home about 4:40 and started making dinner late. At least I didn't have a dinner emergency where I was out of a necessary ingredient and had to run out for that too.
I hate 4 pm emergencies, even when they don't involve a hospital.

And for the record: Tiger reads Chicka Chicka Boom Boom 4+ times every day in the week that we have had it.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

9 years of bliss

'cause I love him. That's just how it is. I'm not perfect. He's not perfect, but we keep choosing
to be perfect together.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Phobia update

Tiger's phobia's are changing. His fear of the dark is minimal (he will walk into a darkened room to turn on the light). His claustrophobia is MUCH better (he will shut himself in the pantry and use a small public restroom stall). But with progress on existing phobias we seem to develop new phobias. His newest--Ancraophobia- Fear of wind. (Anemophobia).

This may seem odd, but around here this:
is commonly the icon for the weather from During the spring and fall people fly kites for fun, because you can't play catch (it's too windy). I know, I live at 5900 feet, but this is the prairie and the wind blows and blows and blows.
When we lived in Hesperia, California the weather was "too hot, too cold, or too windy." Here the weather is rarely too hot, it is often too cold, and during the spring/fall it is often windy.
Tiger had an encounter with the wind about a month ago. We went to the park about a block from our house on a low wind day. A strong (40 mph) gust (singular) came up and blew Tiger's hat off, and pushed the stroller (with Mac in it) and dumped trash cans and threw trash all over the park. Ever since, if there is a slight breeze, Tiger cannot be out in it. Tiger is afraid that everything smaller than Blanket will blow away (including, but not limited to: library books in a bag, Mac in a stroller, hats, my hair, etc.) If I have more than one door open on the truck (and there is a draft) or any other encounter with major air movement Tiger has a FIT, meltdown, screaming, flailing, cannot focus or reason or follow directions tantrum. This is the same fit we have had with other phobias. I hope I can be as patient with this newest phobia as I have with the others. But if you see me walking outdoors with an uncontrollable Tiger check the weather, because it is probably windy (or just gusting above 10 mph).

In other phobia news: Blanket has Acrophobia-fear of heights (his only phobia). He won't go down slides. He freaks out being up on Daddy's shoulders. He is very happy being very low down. At least Tiger hasn't acquired this phobia, yet.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Because some things are more important than food.

Taming Tiger

Ever since Tiger could crawl sacrament meeting has been a challenge for me. I like my kids to be quiet enough so that I (and those around me) can listen to the speakers. I'd love for my kids to want to sit and listen too. But those aren't my kids. The toys that keep them the quietest are cars (still too noisy for me, but they are the best that I can do). Tiger has never really enjoyed coloring/scribbling. His newly discovered reading/writing/spelling skills have suddenly helped him be more quiet during sacrament meeting (he still talks incessantly during Primary).

This past Sunday (Mother's Day) He spent reading the hymnal. He liked that he could read the words to some of the songs, and he worked on number theory (the hymnal has hymns numbered past 300 with BIG numbers on the pages). Blanket LOVES to color (everything, but that is another post for another time) and so we have paper and crayons for him to scribble his way through the meeting. Tiger now likes to use the crayons too, in his own way:
some, some, more, word, word, word I, word, some
Tiger wrote his name and Mac's name and mom, be, one
like, and some faces
Tiger practicing his name.

Oh, and when he went up to sing for mother's day, he said lots of funny things like, "I can see dad!" that many people heard. And he didn't sing. Not one single word.

Check your calendar

'cause it's supposed to say May!
But, as you can see, the weather around here is failing to cooperate.
I took these this morning.
An inch of snow in the middle of May. Welcome to Colorado.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Rain Rocks

The other day I was feeling totally bummed because the weather was cold and windy.
We could not play outside.
I was letting the kids watch Thomas movies (thanks DVR)
and the sky got dark.
Really, really dark.
Instead of looking at it to see if it was GREEN, or checking for tornado warnings,
I let my kids look out the windows.

Tiger asked me what that noise was. I told him it was hail.
He told me it was rain rocks.
Marble sized hail and tornado warnings (that I missed) make for an interesting afternoon.
20-30 minutes of hail and it looked like winter again.
Though I think it snows here more in the fall/spring than it does in the winter.
On a happy note, the sun came out later and made it feel all springy again.
Today even promises to approach 70.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Turn about is fair play

If you don't know, my kids LOVE adult cereal. Grape Nuts, raisin bran, frosted mini-wheats, and granola. Seriously, I am the one who eats Cheerios, and B.A.R. eats Froot Loops and Lucky Charms. This is necessary information for the following story (which just happened).

Tiger and Blanket like to eat granola without milk for snacks/meals. Earlier today Tiger poached the unfinished granola out of Blanket's bowl while Blanket was napping (saving his own unfinished for later). I refilled the bowls after Blanket woke up. The fresh fillings went 80% consumed (normal). A couple of hours later (just a few minutes ago), Tiger was playing somewhere else and Blanket took Tiger's unfinished granola and poured it into his own bowl. Tiger returned and complained to me (in his whiny way) that Blanket had stolen his cereal. I explained to him that I had no compassion for his situation as he had done the same thing to his brother only 4 hours before.

Now I'm off to make Mac 'n' Cheese for them for dinner.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Spelling Bee

Did you like the spelling bee? Did you hate it? Remember all your feelings about the spelling bee and then wonder what it would be like if it lasted all day, every day, forever. Well, maybe not forever, just for the next few months.

Welcome to my life. Tiger is officially reading books. He has been reading 3 and 4 letter words for about a year, but he really likes Dr. Seuss and other books on that level. He will read almost any book that we get at the library or have at home (even if they are for reading to him). He has some difficulty in sounding out words, but if he spells them instead of sounding them he has much more success in getting the word right. Spelling is his obsession.

He is always using the different alphabet sets (from puzzles, leap frog, fridge magnets, etc.) to make words he thinks are real. Where does he get all this spelling knowledge. Me, all day everyday. My life is a spelling bee. "How do you spell. . .? is the most common thing he says. Especially in the car. He usually spells the 2 and 3 letter words himself after he asks me. But I have been asked to spell dinosaur, stegosaurus, and other such words (not limited to junk science). It's difficult for me to spell "extraordinary" when I am trying to cook dinner and not slice off my fingers. I mentioned this phenomenon to a friend in church and then proceeded to spend the meeting trying to head off such requests quickly so that he didn't get loudly insistent "Mom, spell. . ."

I love that spelling is his favorite subject (it certainly wasn't mine) but it feels like I am in 1st grade spelling all day long. Just imagine if your kid asked you to spell every difficult word that came up in conversation with him. How much fun would that be for you.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Lots to Love

There's lots to love about Blanket. He's really cute. He loves trains. He loves his brothers. He has his Nursery leaders wrapped around his finger. He is very obedient for them. He is cheerful. He smiles all the time. He loves music, coloring, singing. He is resourceful and solves many of his own "problems." He uses please and thank you. He is much better behaved (in general) at church than Tiger.

But it's possible my favorite thing about him is naptime.

My Pearl of Great Price. . .

. . .and cute too.

The Terrible Twos

Blanket is 2. And right now he is VERY 2. Somedays I wish he wouldn't act is age. But he is sooo cute I have a hard time not wanting to let him get away with being 2.
He colored on the walls when he was one. Lately, though he has only been coloring on the floor, and the furniture, and the library books. Each time I vow to make all marking utensils disappear and he finds another one somewhere.

He loves exploring and touching everything. He loves computers, but has no concept of how to interact with them. He makes messes if we leave doors unlocked. He has to be super supervised to keep things like this:
from happening.
Thanks to the great people at the Apple store in Park Meadows and the one in Littleton I got this fixed in one long afternoon. I managed to find about a third of the missing keys near the computer, another third Blanket handed to me in a different room, the last third have been lost in the great abyss of lost objects. I needed 6 or so keys, 3 scissors (the white things) and hope that all the keys worked again.
On a positive note, after going to time-out (and self-imposing a very long punishment time) for this little event Blanket has not touched the computer on his own since.

More Curtains

I made curtains for Tiger's room when he was 3 months old.
I made a matching set about 2 years ago for the other window in his room.
A couple of weeks ago I made these:

They are on my french doors to my back yard.
I like the doors (more than a sliding door) but have always wanted these window covered.
See, from March until about November they let in the late afternoon sun. In June and July it is really hot and really bright.
And now, the sun hits the hardwood and makes a nasty reflection on my TV.
B.A.R. had finally had enough of the sun/reflection/brightness issue.
For a mere $60 (heavy-duty thread, heavy needles, fabric, blackout fabric, and 4 curtain rods) we got the window coverage we wanted.
Only one problem: it's so dark in the kitchen during the day that I have to turn the light on.

For the first time

B.A.R. and I have been married for almost 9 years. We have lived in 4 states, in 3 time zones. We have had 6 addresses and have owned 3 homes. We have done dozens of different things living in all of those places. It's hard to imagine that there was anything we wanted to do together that we had never done before.
Then, on April 3, we did something we had never done in almost 9 years. We watched LDS General Conference in our own home. We purchased a TV, and satellite TV service just for the occasion.
B.A.R. really wanted to buy us a new TV for Christmas, but thought they were a little overpriced. Then Samsung came out with a newer model and this one was really inexpensive (as far as plasmas go). We both wanted a plasma (instead of LED) and wanted it big enough to truly enjoy. So for my birthday/late Christmas we got a new TV:

A new 58" plasma with HD capability is just no good without HD programming, and so we got DISH network to go with it. The day after it was installed (the transition took most of the day) we got to sit in our house and enjoy Conference.
That little shelf (on the side) love it too.
Firsts: Buy TV, Buy TV Programming, Watch Conference from home.

To see what we got rid of see this post, and this post to understand us and our purchasing choices better.

Meet my newest sewing friend.

His name is Bodkin.

He makes projects like this:
and this:
much easier.

I bought vinyl tablecloth fabric for my table and chairs. I had just added a leaf to my table and it was nearly impossible to find a tablecloth in the right size. I made a pattern for the seat covers out of the seat. I just traced it and added about 4 or 5 inches. For the top, I cut out a rectangle the length of the table +10 inches (5 for each end). I made casings and put elastic in so that the tablecloth can't be pulled off the table and the covers fit the seats nicely. Additionally, it is inexpensive (less than $12 for all the fabric, thread, and elastic) and is easy to clean: kid-proof.

Catching up

There are lots and LOTS of reasons why I haven't blogged in a while. I do not need to bore you with even the least of these. Instead I intend to blog as much as I can in the next few days and get somewhat caught up. I have been busy and taking some pictures along the way. Those I will share with my devoted (and undevoted) readers.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Happy Due Date Mac!

You weigh more than 7 lbs.
You consume 3 oz per feeding.
You wake up to eat.
You can nurse.
You wear Newborn clothes.
You are awake 3 or so hours a day after feedings.
Good growing.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Tiger's birthday party

Traditionally, I make a train cake for birthdays around here. Well, for everyone's birthday but my own. See this post. But with all the craziness around here, coupled with my exhaustion and lack of 3 hours in a row to do anything, I decided to get a store-bought cake for Tiger this year. B.A.R. (of his own initiative) selected and purchased one while at the store picking up something else.
Tiger was absolutely thrilled with his Thomas & Friends cake! Thanks B.A.R. for making my life less stressful and making Tiger's birthday enjoyable.

Well, at least Blanket had a good time.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Happy Birthday to Whom?

Why to Tiger, of course. Happy Fourth!
1 week
1 year
2 years
3 years

Friday, February 5, 2010

Mac at 5 weeks

No, I didn't fall off the face of the earth. Mac did come home from the hospital on 2/2/10.
He came complete with oxygen tank,
and pulse oxymeter that is inaccurate, excessively sensitive, not sensitive enough, or just bent on waking us up every 20 minutes all night long.
He weighed about 5 lbs 13 oz when he came home from the hospital. He needs to go see the doc every week for weight checks for a while. He consumes 2-2.5 oz of fortified breast milk every 3-4 hours. He is beginning to wake up for feedings, though it isn't consistent and he must be woken and encouraged to eat most of the time.
I used to spend 3-5 hours a day at the hospital with him and pumped every 3 hours for 20 min or so. Since I turned in my superhero cape I actually spend more time in my new role as chambermaid now. I spend 30-45 minutes every 3 hours feeding him with a bottle/changing his diaper, then I pump for 15-20 minutes. I am locked in his room during this time so that Blanket and Tiger don't share their colds with him. Also, his need for oxygen limits his movements around the house somewhat. I sleep in the same room with him because it is the only way I am assured of waking to attend to his nighttime needs. The bed in my room is so comfortable (its a Tempur-Pedic) that I sleep through his nocturnal demands for food even with a baby monitor strapped to my ear.
Additonally, I have measure and mix fortifier into his food. I have to wash all the feeding supplies, and play mom when I am not busy with Mac. Oh, and I have to try and nap some too due to the 3-4 hours of sleep each night I am not getting, due to the aforementioned hour-long feeding ritual established.

Milestones we're looking forward to:
  • getting rid of the oxygen tank and meter.
  • RSV season to be over so that we can go anywhere.
  • to not have to fortify milk, so that feedings can be simple 20 minute affairs.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mac at 4 weeks

Weighs 5 lbs 13 oz.
Has been circumcised.
Has had 1 vaccination.
Takes almost 2 oz from a bottle.
Is no longer officially a premie.

Will likely be home in a week--just in time for Tiger's birthday.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Where do I turn in my cape?

'Cause I'm all done. Well, mentally all done. I'm all done being a superhero. I'm ready to have one identity. I'm ready to not have to go sneaking off for covert operations (at NICU). I'm ready to be with all my kids simultaneously. I'm ready to put away my alter-ego and put on the same face for everyone.

Each day I go to the NICU it becomes harder to leave. I think it was easy in the beginning because he was fragile and needed lots of things that I couldn't give him. As he gets closer and closer to coming home, and I can care for him mostly, I just want him home. I know he will come home when he is ready. But I am ready now. Doesn't that count for something?

Maybe this is my final month of pregnancy. You know, where you are sooooo ready to be done that you will do anything to have the baby. This is the month where the anticipation is starting to get to you, and you are ready to have your "normal" life back. That's how I feel. I can see my due date (coming home) approaching, but I don't know exactly when it will be. I look forward to it with fear, joy, excitement and relief. I just want it to get here. I'm mentally all done waiting.

Where do I turn in my cape?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

He belongs

in the family. Do you see the resemblance? Here are 2 pictures each of Blanket and Tiger when they were very young. Which one do you think looks most like Mac? Vote in the poll.
Tiger 1 month
Blanket 1 month
Blanket 2 months
Tiger 1 week