Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Mariners Game

Although the Mariners lost we had a fun time at the game on Monday night. Here are some pictures of our outing.

Caleb, Alyssa and Natalie visiting the Mariners Moose.

The kids had fun making signs before the game. They hoped to get on TV.

Even though we all cried a bit as the Mariners lost, we all had a good time.

Now time for some football!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

My Big Break

I used to say I wanted seven kids. That was long before I knew just how challenging parenthood would be.

One summer, between my Junior and Senior year of high school, I was a nanny for a family of five kids. I fed them their meals and did an occasional load of laundry but the majority of my days were spent sitting by the pool at their tennis club while making sure that each of the five children got to their tennis lessons on time. It was the easiest job I ever had. I handled the brood with ease and we shared a mutual adoration for one another.

The kids all came to my graduation the following summer and presented me with a "#1 Mom" charm for my charm bracelet. My naivity led me to believe that motherhood would be just as grand as those summer days by the pool. Five was a piece of cake, seven would be even better! It's important to note, however, that the youngest of "my" five was six, quite independent and most certainly potty trained. Parenthood has brought me many challenges but that one single responsibility of weaning my children of diapers has caused me more fits of anger and frustration than almost, I say almost, anything else.

A few months ago Alyssa suggested that Natalie become potty trained. The scars from my previous two endeavors are deep so I abruptly told her that the time was not right. She's not even two and a half and while she was showing interest, I simply did not have the energy to face the dreadful task. Alyssa continued to propose the idea and finally decided to take it upon herself to dress her sister in panties.

I truly didn't believe it would ever happen to me. Did children that potty train themselves really exist? She actually takes herself when she needs to go. My older two kids took months, or should I say years, to fully grasp the concept. We've dealt with all kinds of accidents, bed wetting and other more serious potty issues but this, this is my big break. And darn it, I think I've earned it!

They are both equally proud of the new "Hello Kitty" and "Curious George" undies!

I still can't believe how easy this has been. In fact, I've hestitated to write about it for fear of a regression. It's just too good to be true! I'll just enjoy this break while it lasts.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Miss Lys

Alyssa wanted her turn in the blog spotlight so this post is for her. She had a performance with her gymnastics team this morning at an event called Bonney Lake Days.

Alyssa and some of her teammates showed the crowd many different skills. We are amazed at how quickly she is learning and she just looks so darn cute out there! The owner of the gym narrated the demonstration and frequently reminded the on-lookers of her tender age of six! Her size made her a crowd favorite. She wowed them with her back handsprings. We really were proud of her!

Just look at those nice straight legs and pointed toes!

After the performance, the owner of the gym called for volunteers for a handstand contest. Now that's an offer I can't refuse! It was Alyssa's turn to be proud as I, her not-so-toned mom, beat everybody, including all of the gymnasts!

Following my victory, they brought out some equipment for any children who wanted to join in the fun. Natalie had a great time exploring her monkey side.

Alyssa's first meet is coming up at the end of September. She stills has a lot of work to do to get her routines ready for competition but she sure looked good today!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Mr. Clean

It was a poopy day, literally, but after 9 1/2 hours, Caleb was given a clean bill of health.

The day started with an x-ray at 8:30 a.m. It confirmed that the GoLytely cleanout procdeure was definitely needed. Caleb dressed in the nifty hospital jammies, his nervousness evident in his somber mood, and we settled in for a long day.

Caleb proved to be a patient extraordinaire! First, his nose was numbed to make the insertion of the nasogasteric tube more bearable, but we were warned that it would still be uncomfortable. It was obviously difficult for him as he coughed and whinced but the only tears came from my eyes. I hated to see him struggle. Once the tube was in place and securely taped, Caleb tolerated it quite well. The IV was next, which was done by a nurse who specializes in IVs, and she marveled at his bravery. His eyes widen with an intense stare, but he didn't even flinch! Finally, the bags were connected to the pump and it was time to get the juices flowing.

We were instructed to walk up and down the hall every half-hour to encourage movement. Caleb was self-conscience about the way he looked and didn't want anyone to see him so he walked really fast. So fast that we could barely keep up.

As the day progressed, he started to perk up. He was in good spirits as he contentedly watched far more TV than he is ever allowed in one day at home. There were, of course, lots of interruptions for hallway walks and bathroom visits.

He hadn't been allowed to eat or drink but when lunch time approached it was determined that things were progressing well enough for a popscicle. He savored every icy bit and was thrilled that he even got his favorite color, red!

The highlight of his day was when Grandma brought the girls to see him. It gave him a nice boost. He was really taken by Alyssa's thoughtful gift, a Ratatouille balloon!

A rough afternoon followed the girls' departure. Caleb became very lethargic, hardly spoke, and intense nausea caused some vomiting. He desperately wanted to sleep and I did let him rest for a short while before the nurse instructed me otherwise. She said that I should not let him sleep and forced the poor boy to sit up by raising the head of his bed.

The afternoon also brought IV troubles. Because it was placed in the crook of his arm, it got kinked when he tried to play his Leapster and they needed to call the specialist back in to look at it. She was able to salvage it but its alarm sounded regularly for the remainder of the day.

An X-ray at 4:45 showed that he was almost entirely clear. The day was coming to an end and the clinic personell were heading home. No one wanted to stay longer on a Friday afternoon so we were feeling their urgency to get us gone. Caleb's dosage was upped significantly for the next 45 minutes to expel the last small amount of you-know-what that appeared on the x-ray. It made him quite sick but at the end of it all it was determined that he was clean and ready to go home. The rest of the clinic was dark and quiet and it was clear that except for Robin, our nurse, we were the only people remaining.

I got my parking ticket validated right at 6:00 p.m., just seconds before the main floor receptionist went home for the day. Caleb, dressed in his street clothes, was looking better already! We had promised Caleb that when he was finally cleared to eat he could choose the location and eat whatever he wanted. Initially he wasn't feeling well enough for a restaurant but after being home for an hour or so, he decided on McDonalds. Of all places, that was his first choice? He filled his tummy and though he is still making frequent bathroom visits, (twice at McDonalds alone) he is back to his normal spunky little self.

We're sure glad it's over. He is clean. Now the trick is to keep him that way.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Tooth Hurty

I had an appointment today for my regular cleaning, check-up and two fillings. Yesterday I called our favorite babysitter and after some chit-chat with her mom, told her I needed her daughter to babysit for my dentist appointment at 2:30. She snickered as she asked, "2:30? You have a dentist appointment at 2:30?"

I didn't get it. And the longer she held out, the more confused I became as to why 2:30 was not a good time to visit the dentist. She finally had to spell it out for me.

"Don't you get it? T-o-o-t-h h-u-r-t-y, you're seeing the dentist at 2:30!"

Evidently this is a common joke. I'm not sure why I hadn't heard it. But then again, I'm also the girl who spent years thinking Humpty Dumpty was just a round, porcelain man. After all, nursery rhymes are rarely logical (black birds baked in a pie) so how was I to know he was an egg!

I don't like going to the dentist. It's not so much "hurty", but the x-rays are so uncomfortable and the feeling of those metal tools scraping against my teeth gives me the willies. I am so much more careful with my teeth than Jon but he always walks away with a glowing report while I get the lecture on excess build-up and proper brushing techniques.

After the check-up I moved to a different chair for the fillings. I was bummed to find out that I had not two, but four cavities--two on each side, and they would only do one side at a time. I'd rather just get it over with. The dentist, who is a very nice man, was concerned about my comfort. That's nice and all but when I'm paying a babysitter and I'm going to be all numb anyway, let's just throw comfort right out the window and do all the drilling now! Oh well, there is less drool escaping the side of my mouth now as I regain feeling in my lips and there are certainly worse things than having make an extra trip to the dentist.

Right when I got home, Alyssa ran to me to show me her tooth. She's been so anxious to lose a tooth and it appears her wish is about to come true. After days of finding bloody tissue left all over the house, I'm ready for that tooth to come out, too! Let's just hope the Tooth Fairy can be a little more on the ball than she was with Caleb and not forget to stop at our house.

I guess it's a good thing I went today. I haven't had a filling in years and now that I've been reminded of the procedure I can better prepare Caleb for his first fillings tomorrow. On my way out of the dentist's office, I double checked on the number and placement of his cavities. He really is getting two, but not at 2:30.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Q and A

My sister-in-law, Lucy, who is very hip in the blogging world, tagged me to answer five questions. Some are really tough but I don't like to be a party pooper, so I'll do my best to answer them.

1. If you could change one part of your body, what would it be?
One morning, just a few days ago, I reached up to give Jon a hug. I had just woken up and was wearing my favorite lounging clothes. As I raised my arms to Jon's neck, my t-shirt parted from my low-slung sweats, exposing my belly. Caleb exclaimed with great enthusiasm, "We're having another baby? Yea!!!" NO! We are not having a baby, it's all flab! If I could change one part of my body I would love a nice flat tummy. And maybe a less rotund bum, too. So could I say my mid-section and get a two-for-one deal?

2. How much money do you think you need to make to be "really comfortable?" (Think annual salary).
I can't put a number on this one. "Really comfortable" is all relative. It depends on where you live and what you consider comfortable. I come from a family that had to struggle financially. We lived in a tiny little house on the other side of town and had to work very hard for opportunities and things that so many others had. By comparision, I'm really comfortable right now. We have a modest home, but it is nice. I have a great car that I love and we can afford vacations every now and then. We don't have any fancy "toys" like boats or campers but we are debt free, have a savings account and a plan for our retirement. I certainly have my moments of wanting a bigger house with a bigger yard but would I be any more comfortable? I don't know.
3. What is your greatest God-given talent?
Another really tough question. At one point in my life I may have said gymnastics. I was naturally very strong but fairly mediocre in the scheme of competitive gymnastics. I was realistic enough not to dream of the Olympics but I did dream of being on the BYU team and had I stuck it out, I think I was good enough for that level. All those years in the gym did, however, prove valuable since those skills earned me scholarship in the sport of cheerleading. Though I can still beat just about anybody at a handstand contest, I can no longer claim gymnastics as a talent. I've lost nearly all the skill I once had. At this stage in life, I'd have to go with teaching. Though it is also a has-been talent, I still get opportunities to teach in church every now and then and I savor any chance to work in the kids' classes at school.

4. Winter Olympics or Summer Olympics?
Finally an easy question. Definitely Summer Olympics! I do watch in the winter, love the ice skating, but I've never skied so probably don't appreciate it as much as I should. Few things get me as excited as Olympic gymnastics. I still remember the good ol' Mary Lou Retton days and will never forget the day I met her famous coach, Bela Karoyli. Were it not for the Olympic Games she would've never ended up on that Wheaties box!

5. If you could have any career, and you were GUARANTEED success (no tests to get in, no auditions, no worrying about daycare, or money or time) what would you do?
I realize this is an extremely boring answer but I don't dream big. I never dreamed of being anything other than a teacher. I can't think of any career I'd rather have. Oh, wait! I do have that dream of being a dial-a-down girl. If I was guaranteed success, meaning I'd be the best dial-a-down girl ever, I'd be able to go to any and all football games of my choosing. Yeah, that sounds like fun!

I would love to pass the fun along, I ask a lot of questions, but my last attempt at tagging wasn't very successful. I think my blogging circle is just a little too small. I suppose that makes me a party pooper after all.

Girl's Camp Getaway

We'll take a getaway any which way we can. Jon's new calling has proved to be every bit as busy as we suspected, so we were really looking forward to going to Girl's Camp together. With our own little cabin to stay in, no kids to worry about, and lots of together time, it was a nice retreat.

Jon had committed to be the priesthood rep at Girl's Camp as part of his previous High Councilor calling and then we were asked to teach a class on prayer, so I went along. I designed a class called, "Prayer is the Passport to Spiritual Power" based on a quote by Pres. Kimball. We taught four sessions of the hour-long class and it went well. It was fun to team teach, an opportunity that doesn't come around too often. I was told today that as the Young Women shared their highlights of camp at church on Sunday, one of the girls said her highlight was our class. After hours of preparation, it's a relief to hear that they enjoyed it.

Jon also had the responsibility of overseeing the archery and BB guns. We both have bruises on our arms, Jon's are much worse than mine, from the bows but shooting the arrows was really fun. I'm a terrible shot, which is no surprise, but Jon was a virtual Robin Hood!

We served strawberry shortcake and played Bishop's bingo with the girls for Bishop's night. Jon used his 100's list (who knew that would come in handy?) to share some interesting facts about himself. The girl's took notes while he shared these funny facts and then used them to fill in a bingo card. They now know lots of useless information about Jon and earned chocolate prizes in the process!

Jon was the resident "techie" and got the movie up and running for movie night and also put together a fun slide show for the girls to view during their last dinner. I helped one night in the kitchen but overall, our responsibilities were minimal. We just enjoyed being together with a small amount of service mixed in.

The kids did so well at Grandma and Grandpa's house while we were away. Grandma had a great schedule set for them which included a daily outing!

The kids didn't miss us for a minute and if I'm being honest, the feeling was mutual. We were, of course, glad to see them again, but we were grateful for a few kid-free days. And with Grandma being hands-down more fun than Mom, it was a win, win situation!