Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Name Your Neurosis

Here is just a little insight to what is me. I like evens. I like even numbers. I like even numbers of things.

I don't really have anything to post. However, my total of posts for the year 2009 was sitting at 147. That was unacceptable. So, now we have hit 148. Good enough.

Happy New Year!

Which, by the way, is an even number.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Elfin Around

There are some seriously creative people out in the world. I sure do appreciate all of the hard work that so many people put into being so smart and talented. I appreciate, even more, that I can glean from this hard work, making my cuteness and abilities seem so effortless. Sigh. Thank you. Seriously.

One of those amazingly talented people that I "borrow" from quite frequently, is my friend Melanie. A while back, she posted about a friend who had given her the idea of an elf coming to visit them in their home. It is there, of course, to spy on the children...to make sure that they are being good, in hopes that he can make a positive report back to the big guy in red. The elf is tricky, though. It doesn't want to be seen. So, if you stare at it, it turns to stone. Clever.



The idea of a small inanimate object in my home having the power to cause near perfect behavior, sounded a little fun to me. And, for the most part, simple enough.

Some of the fun stuff caused by this Christmas visitor?

1. Chase was sooooo stinkin' cute about being so lucky as to be receiving a visit from such a distinguished guest.

2. He really turned on the charm. He was as good as gold.

3. Chase helped me feel like a kid again, seeing the magic of Christmas as a child, through his eyes.

4. He received a little, itty-bitty note of farewell and warm wishes from the elf with the overactive schnoz, when his tour of duty came to an end.

5. From what I hear, Chase was quite the celebrity at school, having "seen" an elf.


Some of the less-than-positives?

1. I was running out of creative places for our elf-on-stakeout to go.

2. Chase was a little rattled when the elf dared make a hiding spot on the shelf in his bedroom. A little too spooky for my Christmas kid, I guess. Luckily, the elf was a quick study and never entered the "inner sanctum" again.

3. I was constantly improvising with the rules of engagement, especially after I got caught reaching to grab the sensitive sprite (after Chase recovered from his shock, the fun resumed and all was well. Silly, Mom).

4. My nerves were shot having to endure the pressure of not getting caught.

So, I am not sure how long the little guy was able to reside in Melanie's house. He only lasted 5 hours in ours. I quickly came to realize, however, that the short visit from this little squirt had had a big impact on MY little squirt when,

1. Chase's friend came upstairs to report that Chase really missed the elf and was downstairs crying.

2. In his letter to Santa, Chase asked if the elf could come back and visit next year.

Ah, such good intentions. I think for next year, to take the pressure off of everyone, I am going to borrow yet another friend's creativity. At her house, elves are invisible to children.

Hope you all had a fabulously Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Every Party Needs a Pooper

Warning:

This post may, or may not contain some material suited, or not suited for all ears. It's content may, or may not be appropriate for public viewing. I may, or may not...completely care.

hehehehehe

At the end of the day, on Chase's birthday, he and I were in his room admiring all of his fun birthday gifts from his friends. We settled on a race track that needed some assembly and sticker adornment. In the midst of our accessorizing the race track, Chase announced that he needed to take a visit to the powder room, and Mom, why don't you finish putting the stickers on that one part while I am gone.

To my joy, Chase left the door open while on the pot, enabling us to have quite the conversation while he took care of things. We chatted about his day, how it was the best birthday party ever. We shared excitement over his new toys and what wonderful friends he had who had gifted them to him. Oh, we had a lovely conversation. We have such a wonderfully open and communicative relationship, lofting the ability to share everything with each other. And I do mean, EVERYTHING.

As he was "wrapping" things up, it was very happily noted, to me, that this was the second time that day that he had gone "number two".

"Oh, yeah?" I answered back, with enthusiastic supportive tones, not wanting to underestimate the joy with which this news had been delivered.

"Yeah! It's 'cause today is my birthday! It's my lucky day!"

It warms my heart that such blessed things are not wasted on this kid. His silver lining is never really far from his grasp.

Is it your lucky day today?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

One Year Older and Wiser, Too

Wow. Have I taken a long enough vacation from the blogging world? I humbly apologize to my adoring followers (choke, choke, sputter, sputter) for my oh-so-long absence. It's December, you know. Lots 'o stuff happens in December. Just in case you didn't know. ;)

It's several days late now, but here goes anyway.

Happy Birthday, Jeffy!



I am not sure who looks the happiest about the birthday bash. Maybe cute baby Wade, I am thinking. Or, maybe it's that handsome boy that has leaped onto the counter, ready to pounce on the cinnamon rolls with the two meager candles stuck in them.

Anywhoo, happy birthday, Jeffy-poo. We sure think you are great. Thank you for everything you do for us. Here's to fortpphmphmmphhpmmhpmph more birthdays!

And, thanks for not wanting a realistic Harley Davidson cake for your birthday. I am not THAT talented!

Monday, December 14, 2009

If I Knew Then What I Know Now...

...I probably wouldn't do anything different. Would you?

I still can't believe that I have fallen victim to being the owner of a puppy. I have frequent reality checks. So it begs the question, would I take it all back? Good question. I really do quite like her. I can't admit that without taking some serious flack. But, I do.

Here are some interesting things that I have learned about our puppy:

When I start hollering at Chase, Pepper takes it, too. She slinks off to a kitchen mat and puts her head down. Pretty efficient use of my time, I think. Two birds with one stone.

She gets to stay up super late with me, 'cause she doesn't talk...or ask for things.

Collars make good handle bars.

She is very loyal and loves you, no matter what. That's a pretty good deal. We often have to dish her a whole lot of "what".

When she wants in, she sings a staccato S.O.S at the back door. She is a little bit of a sissified tweety bird.

She has the same hearing as a six-year old. She feigns challenged hearing, when in her favor. When I rustle plastic, it wakes the "dead".

The term "puppy dog eyes" is not a misnomer.

The phrase "a boy and his dog", has new meaning for me.

At the end of the day, when all is said and done, and she snuggles on you and falls asleep, all of the "are you kidding me" moments fade away and you are pretty happy.

So, I guess this officially makes me one of "those". What can I say. If you really knew Pepper, I think you'd even like her, too. You might even forgive her for eating your garden shoe. She might even have you doing things that you swore you would never do. No, I am not talking about letting your dog lick off your ice cream cone. I will sell the dog and wash my mouth out with soap if I ever stoop to that. No, I am not one of "those". I am taking about posting pictures of her on my blog. I figure I have already incriminated myself by dedicating a whole post on her, I might as well post the evidence. At least I am not carrying any pictures of her in my purse. Heaven help me if I become one of "those".
Chase really loves his puppy. He is very protective of her. He has even forgiven her for accidently scratching his nostil when she accidently got her claw stuck up it. Chase gave her a little Rudolph toy. She has fallen in love with it.
Well, we sure like you, Pepper. At least for now, you are in good standing with your people.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Can't Buy Me Love

Here is how much Chase doesn't like a home hair cut performed by Mom; he was willing to shell out the money from his own wallet.

When I dropped the bombshell on my poor son that the taming of his quaff would have to be performed by Edwina Scissorhand and her trusty weed whacker, he asked the inevitable question,

"Why?!?"

I politely had to remind him that money doesn't grow on trees...just cuz there's checks doesn't mean there's money...and all of the other great cliches we had drilled in our heads and promised we would never drill in our own children's heads.

Chase was so intent on not having to have his mom butcher his lovely hair, that he decided to make the ultimate sacrifice and pay for a professional do with his own carefully saved money. I smiled at his generosity and assured him that that wasn't necessary.

With one final attempt to grasp one final straw to be able to save himself 10 unnecessary minutes in the torture chamber, he asked,

"When is Dad going to pay you anyway, Mom?"

Friday, December 11, 2009

Out of This World, Out of My Mind, Out of Control, With a Whole Lot of Love

The theme that we chose for Chase's b-day this year was Outer Space. I only tell you that in case you missed the not-so-subtle hint from my last post. Chase has always had a passion for the planets and all things stellar. It seemed such a perfect way to celebrate his special day.



So, the "out of my mind" bit? We invited 16 guests. I was not the least bit worried about it. We have had some not-so-hot luck with his parties in years past. Less than 50% of those invited are able to come. Wouldn't you know it. Not this year. Yikes! It was a little crazy, to say the least. Fitting, though. My house was filled with all sorts of aliens for the better part of two hours.




The aliens lined up in the hallway, waiting to have a whack at the rocket filled with goodies.




Opening the loot. At first, I didn't even give this aspect a second thought. A lot of guests equals a lot of gifts. Gulp. That was a lot of toys.




Chase and I decorated the "space station" with Styrofoam ball planets, painted by Chase, and Cheerio moons, painted by Mom. We spare no expense here.




Dad made "Bob" for Chase's newly made-over room. "Bob" looked way different in my mind when Jeff said he was making Chase a "homemade" birthday gift this year. I should have remembered that while my medium is toilet paper rolls and Elmer's glue, Jeff's might be a little more upscale. All he got from me was a pillow and pillow case. Nice, Mom.

So what is so out of control? Six years, people. How is my baby six years old? It both thrills me, and breaks my heart. I want time to slow down. I want my baby to stay my baby forever. I want him to stay in my safe bubble forever. But, in the same token, it is so amazing to watch him grow. He is such spectacular boy. I just want to eat him. He is funny, sweet, smart, kind, and full of surprises. I am soooooo glad that I get to be his mom. Every day is an adventure with this sweet pea.

He lives life with gusto. All day on his b-day, he would snap back into reality and say, "I'm a birthday boy today! I can't believe today is my birthday!"

Funny side note. After Chase opened his first gift from one of his best buddies of 5 and a half years, I quietly prompted Chase by asking, "What do you say, Chase?" Chase stood frozen while staring at his newly opened treasure. He was finally able to eek out a,

"Oh, Tayden, I LOVE you!"

I was actually thinking a simple thank you would have been sufficient. Whatever works for you, buddy.

It is with a whole lot of love, that I say, "Well, done, Chase!" We sure love you, Son, and are so proud of you. We are in awe of the amazing person that you are. We can't wait to see what the next 6 years will bring!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Preview of Greatness

Well, I did it again. I took another stab at another birthday cake. I am getting braver in my old age.

But this time? This time...I out did myself. There will be no modest humility here. Nope. I am quite proud of this cake. This is some serious birthday cake. I used fondant, for crying out loud. It takes some seriously dedicated nerves of steel to make and use fondant. Yup, that's me. Nerves of steel. giggle giggle giggle

So, go ahead and tell me how wonderful it is. I can take it.

And, go ahead and be extra impressed that the "planets" are in the right order. That is, if you could tell what planets they are. Okay, I take that back. Don't scrutenize. Just be impressed!



Note the purplish-grey nebulas. They are appropriately
placed to hide the tears in the fondant.



Note the adorable mop-top birthday boy. He was pretty excited about his day. That is, until SuperMom demoted herself to JustPlainMom by announcing that Mom was going to be giving him a haircut before school. She is not nearly as talented as the girls that spoil him at Great Clips. Just a lot cheaper.

Birthday post still to come. I have decided to do Chase's birthday bash in segments. I have been told that my posts are painfully long. Ouch.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

"I Lived in Heaven a Long Time Ago...

...where I drove a car and swam in a pool". At least according to Chase.

I was imparting my pearls of wisdom upon my child, in the form of a story from my past. Chase asked a question that I have been hearing from him a lot lately.

"Was I there when that happened?"

I mentioned to him that this story took place way before he was ready to be born. He said,

"Oh, yeah! That's right. That's when I was in heaven driving my car and swimming in the pool."

"Really?" I asked. "Was that fun or what!?

"Yeah, it was really fun. I would drive my car around for a while. Then I would be ready to swim, so I would jump in the deep end."

"Really? And you weren't scared without an adult being there with you?"

"No, Jesus was there with us. We weren't scared at all".

Monday, December 7, 2009

Gotta Be Prepared

Last week, before the snow had fallen, Chase was inside being the best helper ever. He was taking my long list of chores and jobs like a champ. Imagine his excitement when I told him that the next and last job I needed him to do was to go outside and play with Pepper. He readily agreed. I then heard a lot of shuffling in the laundry room. I finally decided to investigate why it's necessary to rearrange a coat locker on the way out the door to play with a puppy.







"Well, Mom, you have to be prepared."

Prepared for what, I am not sure. I guess, then, that I am feeling quite relieved that a baby rhino didn't make it onto our list of pet choices. I am also quite satisfied knowing that when the excited puppy runs up and down Chase's cute face, dirt won't get in his eyes.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Baggage

The week before Thanksgiving, Jeff and I cleaned out our closet. We took 8 bags of clothes and one bag of toys to DI. I have one more bag that has been filled since. Now that is some serious baggage.





Included in the goodies headed to DI, were all of my not-so-skinny pants. Here is what those pants look like held up to me now:





Now, before I show you the picture of me being brave enough to drop the pants, please remember a few things. Firstly, my photographer. He may be the cutest 5 year old with a camera, but he has a ticklish funny bone. This whole thing was cracking him up, making his attention to detail a little hazy. So, not the best pictures ever. Lastly, I am hestitant in doing this now because I am only half way through the race. I have lost 58 pounds, but still have 55 more to go. I feel fabulous. I am THRILLED with how I look and feel. BUT, I do have a journey left to travel.







So,















Here,















Goes,















Nothing!










These pictures crack me up. I was trying to do the "Ta da! Look at me now!" pose. But our timing was so off. I would stand there posed and posed and posed. Chase would giggle and giggle and squirm. By the time the picture would snap, I was exiting pose and beginning a lecture. So, you get what you pay for, I guess!





We'll see what we have learned by the end of the race, in another 6 months!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

No Silly-Yak, Just a Silly Boy

We are having a Gluten Celebration at our house tonight!


Long story short, Chase is officially not a celiac (someone who cannot eat gluten, in any shape or form). He has been through three blood draws over the last 5 weeks to figure out what anomalies have been happening in Chase's poor body. All sorts of scary possibilities have been thrown out at us one at a time, then alleviated one at a time. We have had a couple of hold-your-breath moments. The last hurdle was a one final blood draw to retest a previous test that had come out positive for celiac. The pediatric gastrointerologist in S.L. just called this morning to say that she is not sure why, but his levels are normal this time. I feel a little bad in saying this, but



I AM QUITE HAPPY!



I am not a big fan of cooking. I use my crock pot for a reason. I don't do well stressing over dinner from 4:30 to 6 pm. I am not good at it. Then, make me have to be extra creative? I was really holding my breath about this whole thing. Oh, and, uh, I was feeling bad for Chase, too. He has been in an early stage of mourning for each of his favorite foods that were discovered to have gluten.

Since he was supposed to have gluten in his system for all of the tests, we have maintained our gluten-full diet. On the way home from SL after our visit to the pediatric GI, we stopped at the Chuck E. Cheese. None of us had ever frequented this childhood dream spot before. We were literally trying to get the best of gluten while we still had the chance. When we walked in, Chase threw out both arms and exclaimed,

"I am going to eat EVERYTHING GLUTEN!"





I was thinking more along the lines of "clog your arteries and drain your pocketbooks." We each have our own agenda, right?


Anyway, another sigh is being heaved by our little fam tonight. We are done. Now, we just get to sit back and enjoy watching the cold and flu season roll on in and wreak some havoc.

Oh, joy.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sweet Sweets and a Sweetie

This is Noah. He is my cute little nephew. We wanted him to participate with us in our sugar cookie activity for the kids. But, what started out as a simple cookie frosting event, turned into...






...this. He ended up in the bathtub.




Watching this innocent turn into an icing-clad gremlin was quite funny. You may have to be a Noah-eating relative to fully enjoy the large amount of pictures and videos I am about to thrust upon you. You may even have to have Grandma or Grandpa attached somewhere to your name. But nonetheless, here is the amazing transformation;



Purple dot; Noah's 1.5 year old coordination. Green dot; Aunt Danielle's obsessive need for symmetry.


video

Every time I asked him to smile, he gave me lots of cheese. It was actually a job getting him to take his intense focus off of his cookie.


At one point, I egged Noah on and told him to take a taste. That's all it took. The sweet innocent got a taste, and the sugar-crazed gremlin took over. This gremlin then infected the other gremlins. It was sugar-fest all around.




One knife becomes two.




Knives abandoned. Hand plunges in.




In the end, it was two hands accompanied by lip-smacking slurps. Where are the responsible adults when all of this is happening? Behind the camera, shaking with giggles. This was really too good to miss.


video

Our BIG Day of Thanks

Thank you, Jeremy and Birgitta, Zach, Alaina, Celeste, and Noah, for making our day of Thanks one to be truly thankful for. We had a GREAT time. For those of you not privy to our ruckus-a-plenty, here's the BIG low-down;

Lots of playing, lazing in p-jays, lots of gabbing, lots of baking and cooking and preparing. We watched a movie in the theater room, had treats, had sickies and itchies, late nights and early mornings, and lots of laughs. We enjoyed the smell of smoking turkey, smoking ham, and smoking pork. We had a great "boot camp" workout leaving us with not so great sore muscles for the Big day. Not convinced it was the greatest Thanksgiving ever? Well, there's more. We had,

Big helpers,



Little helpers,



Big helpers wearing Big, cheesy grins and Big colors,



Big turkeys making little turkeys with lots of Big colors,



Big sillies who took off with the camera, logging 48 fabulous photos to document our Big holiday, which sadly enough,



include this one. Happily, and equally luckily, it's clean. Phew.



Funny side bar here; when Chase proudly handed me the camera with his devilish grin, he said,

"Mom, when you see pictures that you don't reneckonize, those ones are for me, k?"

Yeah, I reneckonize this one. Little bum being a Big stinker! Carrying on...



Little helpers being a Big help setting our Big table for our Big feast,



Big platters for Big appetites (whose face didn't make the cut 'cause of the Big hair he was sporting. The camera-woman was sporting some pretty Big hair, as well. That's why she was the camera-woman),



Big mouths getting stuffed with stuffing (BIG HIT Melanie, with your stuffing and apple pie recipes!),



Big sugar cookies with large amounts of frosting and toppings to end our Big carb fest. Thank goodness for Big stretchy pants.





Big smiles from satisfied customers.



If I haven't completely convinced you that we had a BIG ol' fun time, let me just say; my nephew with the Big eyes said this was the best time he's ever had at our house. Another phew.

Look, I even had the gold medal to prove it.



So, thanks again, Fam. We seriously had a BIG, GRAND time! Wanna know what really tickled me? Alaina taking such pride in setting a beautiful table for our dinner, Birgitta being such a talented, willing chef who makes 6 hours of slavery in the kitchen so fun, and Jeremy, who went the extra mile to sit at the table for an extra 10 minutes to make the 6 hours worth it.

Wow. This was a BIG post. Huh. I started typing on Sunday night. It's now Monday morning. I think I will end here.

Tomorrow, I will post on what happens when you give a little cutie a big cup of frosting.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Language Barrier

What are we taught is the fastest way to get from point A to point B? A straight line. A direct approach. This is obviously something that we are taught when we get a little older. This principal is completely wasted on children of the younger persuasion.

At a Dr. visit yesterday, the specialist was running down a list of fun little things that she had noticed about Chase; size of an average 7 year old, well-exercised, full of energy, bright, teeth coming and going, well-spoken....

When she mentioned well-spoken, I about detached and swallowed the dangly thing in the back of my throat, trying to stifle a giggle. While Chase is well-spoken most of the time, we do have a few communication glitches arise now and then. The speed bump, for now, is trying to decipher what he is saying when he chooses to speak in an alternative form. For example;

When asked a question, Chase will often respond by writing his answer in the air, with his finger. Not an easy thing to translate when his spelling of a word might not coincide with my spelling of that same word.

There is always the classic "made up" language. Yeah, that is a fun one. They look at you as if YOU are the one that just arrived from another planet when YOU have the nerve to not understand a single thing that is coming out of their mouth.

I must say that we have dabbled in our own version of sign language, as well. Chase must catch the puzzled look on my face since he volunteers translation. "Mom, that means 'yes'." Oh, thanks buddy. I was a little lost there for a second.

My personal favorite? Musical answers. He is quite a fan of writing words and letters. When showing me his school work after school, he points to his best letters of all, and breaks out into a stirring rendition of the Hallelujah chorus.

The other day, I was introduced to yet another hurdle set in my path in an attempt to derail and mystify me. I asked him a question and got nothing but whistling back as a response. Thinking he was ignoring me, I repeated the question with a little more vigor. Chase, in turn, repeated the same whistle pattern back to me. Then he said,

"You couldn't understand what I said, Mom? I said, 'Sure, I would love to, Mom.' Wow, you don't speak "whistle" very well, do you?"

Nope, kiddo. I am pretty sure my instruction manual got lost in the mail.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

What if...?

I have figured out that one of my roles as a parent, is to educate. One of my best resources for parenting tips has come from my own experiences.

I have flattened my share of unsuspecting children waiting innocently on the other side of a closed door. Not wanting my poor boy to suffer the same painful and startling end as these other unfortunate little ones, I gave Chase a good warning. He was in the laundry room changing his jeans, right next to the door leading to the garage. Jeff had been going in and out while working on a project. I could see it was an accident waiting to happen. I quickly told Chase that he might want to move over to do his wardrobe switcheroo.

Now, a little incite to Chase. He is constantly throwing out "What if..." questions. For example, if we are a few minutes late for school, I get "What if we were a few HOURS late for school?" If I thank him for eating all of his vegetables, I get "What if I ate ALL of the vegetables in ALL of the world?" If I compliment him on how quickly he tied his shoe, I get "What if I was the fastest shoe-tier ever?" You get the idea. Frankly, I do tire a bit of this game. I have to be pretty spunky to think of a clever enough response to this constant barrage of "what if's".

When I told Chase to slide over to change his pants, he replied with the only response that most 5-year old children tend to generate,

"Why?" he asked.

I quickly told him that his dad would be opening the door any second and it would be very unfortunate if he was standing behind said door.

"Well, it's a good thing that Pepper doesn't know how to open doors."

wait for it....wait for it...and...here it comes:

"What if Pepper knew how to open doors?"

I was on my "A" game. I took the bait.

I wanted to say that wouldn't it be cool if she was like Underdog, 'cause Underdog could open a door. However, as soon as I started to speak, my brain cloud took over and I could not remember the superhero dog's name, to save my life.

"Well, she could only open a door if she was...uh...what is he called...um..."

"A human?"




After I wiped up the water that came spraying out of my mouth, and shooting out of my nose, I came to a good conclusion. It is waaaaay more fun to take the bait. You never know where their responses will take you.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Gone. All Gone

I have lost Chase.

Gone. Lost. Forever.

At the risk of sounding overly dramatic, I will explain. Wait a sec...who am I trying to kid here?! OF COURSE I am TRYING to sound overly DRAMATIC! Pfft.

Nonetheless, I will still e'splain.

Chase weighs 57 pounds. I have lost 55 pounds (go Shredded Wheat!). I "tried" Chase "on" the other day, to see how he fit. Chase wrapped his legs around my middle and his arms around my neck. I let go with my hands, to make it feel more realistic, and I walked and walked; up and down the hall, up and down the stairs. Uh, it's no wonder I used to hurt from head to toe. 57 pounds is a lot of junk to be hauling around in one's trunk! Kinda helped me put things into perspective. Kinda explained why I am feeling like this is such an accomplishment. Kinda makes me want to

SHOUT FROM THE ROOFTOPS!!

K. All better.

I really was trying to wait until I was the at the exact weight loss of Chase's weight, but, he seems to be thinking we are having some sort of competition. He is gaining weight almost as fast as I am losing it. He is going through a growth spurt right now, so we are having polar opposite results. We have taken out a bin full of clothes from Chase's room that he has outgrown...two garbage sacks from mine that are ginormous now. THANK GOODNESS it's not the other WAY AROUND.

I am sorry that this has become Blah Blah Blog of Danielle's weight loss blah blah blah. I just have decided that I couldn't really keep this in anymore. And, Melanie...don't get your pantyhose in a bunch. ;) I WILL post a photo; just as soon as either of my boys can learn how to take a picture that passes.

Monday, November 16, 2009

What The......?

I haven't decided what I like better; same old, same old, or feeling like the title of the old movie "The God's Must Be Crazy" has become your daily mantra. Seems like around our house these days, everything is topsy turvey. Everything is changing. Whether the change be for the better or for the worse, there is always someone that is left there thinking, "What the...?"

What the...is going on at our house?

There are bees in our basement. Really. We don't know where the source is. We find the whole thing rather odd. Chase's friend got stung, on the bum, in our house, playing with toys. They were all thinking "What the...?!"

It's only the 16th, and my visiting teaching has been done for a whole week. What the...!?

My dad has nearly finished six long weeks of chemo and radiation for stomach cancer. Cancer? Seriously? A BIG WHAT THE...!

I have lost 52 pounds since July. WHAT THE...!! Along with all of those poundages, I have lost inches off of many body parts, some mentionables, some not so mentionable. I am soooo close to leading our choir with only one part of my arm. So close. I am down almost 4 jean sizes. And, I like my bum. Whoa! What the...?

We have had Chase at the hospital or doctor's SIX times in FOUR weeks. I am sure the docs are thinking, "What the...?"

I bribed my entire ward choir, and their entire families, with a smoked pork bar-b-que, ala Jeff. I am shameless. When I broke the news to Jeff, he said, "What the...?"

I went 6 weeks, getting up at 5:30 AM, to attend a boot camp; one hour of non-stop, hurt-yourself cardio and resistant exercises. I went up and down Old Main stairs COUNTLESS times. WHOOT WHOO! I still get winded going down, then up my 13 stairs, to get a can of soup. What the...?

Chase learned how to tie his shoes after showing him only TWICE. That's it. I give credit to his kindergarten teacher, who put it as a requirement on their homework. She was so excited and proud of Chase, she literally said, "What the...?!"

I took almost 4 minutes off of my timed mile while doing boot camp. I won't tell you what my first time was. I will just let you be impressed with the near-4 minute deficit. I don't want anyone giving me crap, with a big, "What the...?!"

On Halloween, our neighbor walked right on by without even recognizing me. He said, "What the...?!"

I said, "Sweeeet!"

Are You Smarter Than A Kindergartener?

Chase has fallen in love with writing, followed closely by reading. He is constantly looking for the second mile to go when doing his homework...for now...at least.

For one assignment, Chase wrote the word "pig", complete with the little smiley-thingy above the "i", indicating the "i" makes a short sound. Chase was sure proud of himself when he showed me. He announced,

"Look, Mom! I even drew my breev!"

Chase often misplaces the "th" sound with a "v" sound, so I thought he was telling me that he wrote the verb breathe.

"How do you draw a "breathe", Chase?"

"No, BREEV."

"Yeah, how do you draw a "breathe?"

"No. B-R-E-V-E (pointing to the smile over the "i"). This is a breve, Mom. This. A breve. This is a breve."

Oh. Well, how was I supposed to know that, Mr. Smarty-Pants? I'm not the one in school.


On another page of his homework, he was to write words that he could find around the house that started with the letter "M". To make it more fun, I followed him around the house with a pencil and paper, scribing the words for him first. With all ten words found, he sat down and began to write the words on his homework, using my words for spelling. He came to a word that he couldn't read.

"Mom, what does this say?"

"Monster".

"THAT is an 'r'? You know better than to make an 'r' like that! I can't even read that!"

Uh, excuse me?

We are just at the beginning here. It's not looking good for me for here on out.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Counting Down to Fun-ness

In all of my blog-hopping travels (yup, I am one of those), I have come across a lot of clever people doing a lot of clever things. One that really lit my fire was a candy counter.

Every year, Chase's Halloween candy sits around, being moved from one location to another, never depleting. After I get tired of looking at it, I put it in the abyss called the candy drawer. It never sees the light of day again. Around the time of Halloween, a year later, I clean out the drawer and throw it away. Along with the Halloween candy, I throw out Valentine's, Easter and parade candy. Obviously, candy is not Chase's nemesis. Donuts, cookies, cupcakes? Yeah, there it is.

The candy counter idea puts his candy to good use and helps us look forward to and count down to some major events coming (i.e. birthdays, end of cancer treatments, holidays up to Christmas). We had a lot of fun working on this project together. Chase punched out all of the stars and wrote the dates on them. Well, looky there. Educational quality time with benefit of candy. Winner, winner, chicken dinner!





We ended up with 47 days, 47 treats, 6 special days to look forward to, improved number counting and writing, and some fabulous mom-son time. We are also breaking a new record. For the first time, in the history of Chase, he will actually finish his Halloween candy.

What a weird goal.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Baby, It's Cold Outside

When I dropped Chase off for school today, it was cold, but not quite wet. As I picked him up later, it was slushing...sideways. Being cold is one thing. Being wet and cold is another.

As we darted into the van for cover, Chase exclaimed,

"I am going to need a good cup of Joe when I get home."

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I Am Fi-hive, Going On Five-teen

People watching. Have you ever done it? I love to people watch. Something else I really like doing? Eavesdropping on conversations between little kids. That's good stuff.

I gave Chase and his buddy staplers, papers, tape, writing implements, and a folder. The folders were a slight after-thought. I thought they might enjoy using the folders to store all of their soon-to-be-born masterpieces.

After a few minutes, I heard Chase showing off a new word. He was trying to explain to his friend that their folders could be their "portfolio", and could house all their creations. When I heard this conversation beginning, I knew it was in my best interest to start writing. I knew it was going to be good. This is the conversation I scribed:


c "Portfolio."

a "mumble mumble."

c "No, port-folio."

a "mumble mumble?"

c "No. Port...like airport...port-folio."

a "Port?"

c "Port."

a "Folio?"

c "Folio. Portfolio. Now let me hear you say it."

a "Por-folio."

c "No. Por-T-folio. T -t -t -t. Let me hear you say it again."

a "Port-folio."

c "There you go! Good job!"



a few minutes later...



a "What was that word again?"

c "Portfolio."

a "Fort-folio?"

c "P-ortfolio. P -p -p -p. Portfolio.

a "Port-folio."

c "Yes. You got it."

a "YESSSSS! I am going to do some work in my...my...whatever."

c "Yup. You know what? You CAN call it whatever you want."

a "Okay. I am going to do some work in my notebook."



I honestly thought I was going to pee my pants. Man, this kid is seriously killing me.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Mother's Dictionary

Have you ever found yourself translating the words of your children for others? After all, you live with these tykes 24/7. You come to find that you can speak Kidese almost fluently.

Oddly enough, I have found myself translating my son's speak to my husband. I guess being home all day gives me an advantage.

But, who gets to translate for me? I am NEARLY fluent in Kidese, but have to admit there are times when I draw a blank. There are times when I have no idea what my son is saying. He is almost 6, so it's not goo-goo and gaa-gaa that get me flummoxed. It's the pronunciation of every day words that gets me tied up.

Last night's car ride home was really one for my journal. My cute little jabber box was in high gear last night. It would have suited me well to have sat there with a pencil and paper, jotting down his every word, recognizable or not.

It all started with him trying to remember where he got a particular Halloween candy from. He has the memory of an elephant, so I knew it would only be a matter of time before it would come to him;

"Oh, yeah! Now I remember where I got my box of Milk Buds! From that house where the guy was making stones!"

Brian Larsen was passing out Milk Duds, and scones.

Other translatables:


rock-a-mole - guacamole

reneckenize - recognize

brawn medal - bronze medal, more specifically, what he calls a penny

amonia - pneumonia

bad nuts - coffee beans


Is it wrong of me to hope that he never figures out how to say these words correctly? I like them just the way they are.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Say What?!?

Seriously, I think they are putting something in our water.

After our FHE activities tonight, we headed through town on the way back home. Chase is absolutely loving reading right now and reads, or tries to read, everything he sees from point A to point B. As we passed a particular department store, I took great pleasure in pointing out to my son that the store was sporting an illuminated tribute to him on it's front exterior. When Chase began wondering why he was so awesome as to be lucky enough to have his name in lights, I felt obligated to divulge to him that is was the name of the bank that resided inside said store.

After a brief and thoughtful pause, my son broke the silence;

"Chase. That is such an awesome name. I wish that was MY name."

Huh?

Anyone know where I can score me some Ginkgo Biloba? We're having a rough time over here. My "duh" moments seems to be catchy.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Gas Pains

I have started a notoriously bad habit of letting my van run out of gas. I have tried to think of a good reason why I feel it necessary to run my van to fumes. It would be a lot easier on me, and the unfortunate souls who have come to rescue me, if I would get to a gas station at least 2 days faster. There is one silver lining, however, in testing the capacity of my gas tank. Chase has demonstrated an early ability to be able to recognize when he needs to turn to prayer. He has also demonstrated that he is developing an immense amount of faith.

On Wednesday, I was at it again. As we were heading down 800 West, on our way to Logan, I noticed that the little red line was dying an unfortunate death again. I swear that line is falling past "E" faster and faster. I chuckled that familiar chuckle and stated nervously to Chase that we had better be getting to a gas station.

As if on demand, Chase replied, "Should I hurry and say a prayer again?"

I smiled and said to go ahead. As Chase prayed a prayer that he has become all too familiar with, I drove to the end of the road. Chase finished his plea for another miracle on behalf of his neglectful mother while we sat at the intersection, waiting to turn. As the car idled there at a slight angle, the gas gauge readjusted and rose to the "E". Chase sucked in his breath. He burst out,

"Did you see that?! Oh, I am going to say a prayer right now, and thank Heavenly Father for giving us extra gas to make it to the gas station!"

There was nothing in this world that was going to get me to explain the scientific nature of gas tanks and gas gauges. I just drove into town, very grateful for little opportunities to teach a righteous little boy about prayer, and to watch him develop the faith to move mountains...and gas gauges.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Happiness Is...

On Thursday night, Jeff and I were discussing the ward choir bar-b-que that we will be having at our house today. Chase was buzzing around us, noisely saving the world with his Lego creation.

Jeff asked me how many people we were to be expecting for the shindig. I replied,

"We are looking at x-amount of adults, and x-amount of kids."

Chase stopped mid flight,

"Kids". sigh "I love kids", he said dreamily.

Then, he went right back to fighting the bad guys.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Is Today My Lucky Day?

No. Apparently not. It just seems that you are one sandwich shy of a full picnic. Not quite running on all cylinders today.


I went to the grocery store today. At check out, the amount came to $98 and something. I handed the young man-boy checker a crisp one hundred dollar bill. We exchanged the customary niceties as I haplessly watched my backyard bar-b-bque ingredients filling plastic grocery bags. The cashier asked me if I was collecting Turkey Vouchers ($1.00 coupons that you can either use towards purchasing your holiday Tom, or donate to the food bank). I happily replied that I was and thanks for reminding me that the holiday season now officially feels like it can begin. Seriously. I love Turkey Vouchers!

When all necessary business had been taken care of, the young man handed me a small stack of stuff, consisting of 4 Turkey Vouchers (yay whooo!), a crisp dollar bill, and a long and winding receipt, in that order. I looked at my treasures, elated at what I held in my hand. No longer able to keep my joy to myself, I said,

"Ah, sweet! And what's the dollar bill for? Is this a new holiday thing you guys have started? Did I spend enough money to get a gift, or something?"

"Um, no. Not so much. That's just part of your change, ma'am" he said, as he dumped some coins in my hand, while wearing a very unimpressed and weary expression on his face.

Uh, right. I knew that. I just wanted to make your day, young man. I thought I would give you a little respite from the same old boring, smart people, that would never be brave enough to show their blond moments in public. Today is YOUR lucky day, dude.

I really left my mark on this poor grocery store today. I am sure they were extra impressed with me when, after returning $40 worth of charcoal a few hours later, I walked right back out of the store, taking the cart of charcoal with me. The customer service rep said,

"Um, ma'am, you can go ahead and leave the cart right there. We will take care of that for you."

"Oh, yeah, um, I was just, well, I mean, I thought, duh, I just wanted to move it, er, out of the way, buh, over here. Right. Sigh. I am going home to take a nap."

Gird your loins, people. Tomorrow is Saturday...and I need milk for the Sabbath.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I'm FREEEEEE!

One can only imagine the frustration of an energized little boy who is forced to have his hands bound. Still, I have not heard one word of complaint from little Job in the 2 weeks he has had to endure this torture.


One night, I unwrapped them for the twice daily ritual of unwrapping, cleaning, inspecting, salving and re wrapping. I felt pleased enough with what I saw, so I told Chase I thought I would leave them off for the night.


Chase stared in amazement at the new gift that had just been handed to him. His eyes grew large as he turned his hands over and over, flexing and unflexing his fledgling appendages. He raised both hands over his head and shouted triumphantly,


"I feel like I have my hands back! My hands feel like...FREEDOM!!"

Tomorrow, we wrap his hands for the last time. We are going naked! Whoot whoot! Chase is both excited and a little apprehensive. Last night, we gave his nude hands a trial run out in public...where the germs are...with new, pink skin. Shudder, shudder. We were halfway across town before I realized that this bub was still not buckled in his seat belt. He had been silently stuggling with the latch for at least 5 minutes. When I asked him what the deal was and would he please get buckled, he said,

"I am too used to my wraps. I can't buckle my seat belt without my hands wrapped. (big sigh) I miss my wraps."

You will soon get over it, my dramatic one! And by the way, you have endured this well, Chase. We are proud of you!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Are You Wearing Egg Today?

We have all had moments where we end up eating our words. It is usually not a pleasant experience, seeing that it generally hits you square in your pride...which happens to be a highly sensitive area.


If you're lucky, your infraction goes unnoticed. For example, I was painfully awakened, the other morning, from a fabulous sleep, by the obnoxious barking of the neighbor's dog. As I grumpily staggered into the bathroom, I threw a glance out the window, only to see that it was MY dog that was yapping. I didn't even know she could bark. After a quick reprimand, she whimpered away and I triumphantly plopped back on my bed. No hurt pride there.


Most of the time, however, we are not that lucky.


With way too much time being home bound during the last few weeks, Chase and I had a lot of extended time together. Sometimes that's good. Sometimes, it does not bode well for either of us. After an abnormally bad day last week, seemingly full of spills and plops and falls and drops, I had had enough. When I plunked Chase's juice in front of him, I left it with a loving threat of hard labor, dismemberment, and long-term imprisonment, if a spill should happen to occur.


A few hours later, I was privileged to find out what a mature fellow my soon-to-be 6 year old son has become. He said not ONE triumphant word while on his hands and knees, helping me mop up the near 2 liter bottle of sticky Sprite I spilled all over my kitchen.


His eyes, on the other hand, burned VOLUMES in my general direction. The phrase that seemed to come in crystal clear to me was,

"Huh. Mom, you got a little egg on your face. I think the yolk sets off your eyes."

Me? No, I am not that mature. After the sugary lacquer was sopped into the towels, I huffed with a dramatic self-pitied flare while standing at the sink. Mr. I'm-Just-So-Glad-It-Wasn't-Me finally found the right words of encouragement for his poor mom;

"Mom, you said that bad word ag......"

"I don't care!" I firmly interrupted. "I meant it!"

Nice one, Mom. Really mature.

Here's to meltdowns!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Tough Cookies





Congratulations, Grandpa! You're half way there! We are so proud of you and Grandma. We are thankful for your examples of faith and strength. We love you both so much and feel it such a great privilege to be able to pray for you both during this trial of a lifetime. You're almost there!






This amazing man, hanging in the air, is my Dad. He's undergoing chemo and radiation for stomach cancer, and still has the energy and good spirits to do this. He has good days, and bad; strong days and sick days; and all sorts of others in between. He's one tough cookie. Behind this tough cookie, happens to be another tough cookie.



She made of some pretty strong stuff.

There is another fabulous Glenn in my life. The little one who lives here with me happens to be one tough cookie, as well. Behind this tough little cookie, happens to be a...cream puff full of marshmallow fluff.

But, she's learning to be a tough cookie. Luckily, she has good examples!
We love you Grandma and Grandpa!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Sky's the Limit

Chase: When I grow up, I am TOTALLY going to be a Superhero.



Mom: Oh, yeah? Why is that? Is it because you are trying to eat your fruits and vegetables?



Chase: Yup, and 'cause I always have TONS of energy.







Well, if that's what it takes, Captain Chaser-Beans, you are already my Hero! I sure love you, Kick-a-poo-kid.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloweenies

Another Halloween come, and gone. I just threw out the remainder of last year's Halloween candy to make room for this year's "score". Here's to another year's worth of candy!

This is the first year Chase has used a store bought character for his costume. I have to admit, I was a little disappointed when Chase announced in August that he wanted to be Scooby for Halloween. I thought for sure I had plenty of time to change his creative mind. I even tried shameless tactics. One afternoon, I sat him in front of the computer and showed him the coolest costume ever, that I just "happened to stumble upon". He was in complete awe. He whooped and hollered. He burst out, "Oh, man, that is the coolest costume EVER! I TOTALLY want to be that for Halloween...NEXT year...AFTER Scooby!" Dang it. Almost had him.




Chase and I made a quick appearance at school for his Halloween party. I was able to stay and read a Halloween story to his class. My favorite part of the party, however, was when one of Chase's classmates started squealing and jumping up and down while donning a genuine "I can't believe I won!" expression on her face...when her number was called during their Cupcake Walk. So stinkin' cute.





In preparation for this evening's free candy drive, I put clean wrap on Chase's hands. As I wrapped his left hand (which is his dominate hand), he showed his true champion spirit. He said proudly,


"Well, it's a good thing that I am left handed AND right handed for picking up candy."


My multi-talented trick-or-treater and I had a good time tonight. I was, however, getting a little tired and crabby when the end was nearing. Chase caught up to me at one point tonight and slipped his hand in mine and stated,


"Man! I can't BELIEVE I still have THIS much energy! I could trick or treat ALL night!"


Mom petered out waaaaaaay too early to find out if he could actually make good on that threat. I am taking the fact that he was asleep before I left the room at betime as a big "nope".


And, to our neighbor's and friends...if your children have horrible nightmares of big scary pumpkin heads tonight...I truly am sorry. I seriously can't leave Jeff unattended for even one second.

Generation Gap, or Synaptic Gap

While passing some time during the many days Chase and I were holed up in the house together, we decided to play a game on the computer. The game was found on the Lego's web site for kids. So, keep in mind, it wasn't rocket science.



Chase was growing increasingly frustrated with my inability to pass a certain obstacle. His angst was thrust into hyper-drive since I was supposed to be helping him advance to another level. At one point, he lost complete control of his faculties and snipped at me. I threw "the look" at him, aiming for a beaning square between the eyes.



I realized that I had hit my target dead on when, a few seconds later, I conquered the aforementioned obstacle. Chase's tone was completely sincere, and a tad bit incredulous, when he said,



"Well, looky there!"

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Busy, The Wounded, The Pansy

When one gets caught up in fevers, medications, naps, nose blowing, coughs, burn wrapping and other fun pooh, one tends to forget the fun stuff. Here it is, almost Halloween, and we have to start celebrating in hyper drive!

On Sunday, I mapped out a fun week of all things Autumn and all things Halloween that are fun must-do's for kiddles. We had some serious ground to make up since we were waylayed with burned hands last week. Then, BLAM. Chase gets a viral throat infection. Seriously? Who were we even around, anyway?! I am prone to think that sickness for this squirt was eminent since we weren't able to wash his hands for a week. But, let's be honest here. It's because he's a boy. And, let's face it. Most boys, if they could, would have their fingers permanently attached...up their noses. After almost two weeks of missed school, the comforting Mom is quickly slipping away. Fever-schmever. You're going to school! Kidding. Kinda.

So, anyway, for FHE on Monday, the one day of freedom we were allowed from the infirmary, we managed to get in a round of mini golf while the place was still decked out in Halloween garb. That was only the first thing on our list. I am thinking we will visit the corn maze next year. Sigh.



We had to adapt our list to accommodate Halloweenie activites that could be accomplished at home, since this has become our lot. Another sigh. With Jeff having scouts coming here last night, Chase wrapped in gauze, and Mom not being a big pumpkin gut toucher or smeller (hence the post title), the chances of us getting a Jack-O-Lantern to adorn our doorstep were slowly fading away. For Chase's sake, I sucked it up. He and I went for it, by ourselves, sans power tools.

I do have to say, that the thought crossed my mind that if we ended up in the ER with wounds caused by this ritual, I was checking myself into the nearest institution. Jeff completely agreed to be the one to drive me there.





Luckily, Jack was completed without incident. Editor's note. Chase DID start out standing on a stool.



My favorite part of this Contemporary work of art? Chase designed the face. I gave him a sharpie and this is what he created. I am pretty sure this is my favorite Jack-O-Lantern ever.

Just so you know, I did have Jeff take pictures of Chase and I together. Wanna venture a guess as to what happens when you add one part man-has-never-used-a-camera with the fact that it was dark so you couldn't see where you were aiming, mixed in with him holding the leash of a frozen hyper puppy who is wrapping herself insanely around the wanna-be photographer's legs?
Maybe next time. Maybe next time.