Wednesday, September 30, 2009

All I Want For Christmas...

"It's raining, it's pouring, the old man is snoring..."

Okay, that's not nice of me to call him old. But Jeff is snoring. And, it is quite literally pouring outside.

The other day, we received a random toy catalogue in the mail from an unscrupulous company trying to solicit early Christmas sales. The first one was sent back in July. Come on! Is that really necessary? According to my 5 year old, it is. These catalogues have got him all in a festive lather. His wheels are a-spinnin'.

While not happy about the commercialistic aspect of this paper dream-starter, I was happy for the down time it has afforded my sick squirt. He sat down and perused the pages carefully, being even more careful to not drool on it's precious pages. After some time, I walked in to see the once pristine catalogue, torn, into many pieces. Chase had carefully ripped out the items of interest and put them in a rather large and crumply pile. The rest of the catalogue sat off to the side, looking like a mangled carcass after feeding time, left with only the entrails of toys catering to girls, babies, and children with longer attention spans.

"Look at all of the toys I am getting for Christmas, Mom!", Chase shouted with glee. "I had better get praying so I can get all of these toys!"

Wow. Time does a number on our memories, Mr. Beans. So much time has gone by since last Christmas that we have completely forgotten how this whole Santa thing works.

"Uh, you don't pray to Santa, Chase", I carefully reminded my sweet pea; both happy that he remembers that we can pray for things that we need, and disturbed that this accidentally has grown to include the big man in red.

"Oh, yeah, I, um...I remember now! I better get started writing then!"

One issue down, one to go. I next had to remind him that in no way, does making a pile of wishes mean that you are getting all of them, if ANY of them. We still have a few months for this to sink in.

I heart Christmas. I do not heart commercialism. Thank goodness the next magazine to come in the mail was the October issue of the "Friend". That oughta help us put things back into perspective.

Hmmm. I smell a scaled back Christmas this year. Sorry, Wal-mart.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Truth Serum

Note the time of this post. Yikes. I want you all to be impressed...nay...very impressed that I am coherent at this hour.

A few days ago, my mom made a post about my dad being so amorous and sweet as he was coming out of anesthesia, spilling niceties for her, and all of the employees within a mile radius of the hospital. While it tugged at our heart strings, it also warmed our heart's cockles.

I have been up with Chase most of the night helping him fight a vigorous fever. When not having vile tasting liquids forced down his throat, this kid is such a sweet sickie. I have been recalling some of his niceties he has tossed out for me when in the depths of his despair...

"Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you, Mom! Thank you, thank you, thank you!"

...rattled on and on and on as I both held the bowl, and cheered him on during a barf fest in the middle of the night some time ago.

"Going up?" "Nope, going down." "Yessssss!!" reference to his temperature as the thermometer beeps from his armpit.

"Are the good guys winning?"

...again in reference to the turkey timer signaling the end of another round in his scorching hot underarm.

"Eeehhh...Ahhhhh...Eeehhh...Ahhhhh...", etc.

...the sounds of both protest (emitted every time I removed the warmed-over cold compress from his forehead) and welcomed relief (when put back, after a dip in ice water).

When finishing this morning's early AM shift as Florence Nightingale, Chase was getting a little over amorous with me. As I bent down to kiss his piping hot cheek, he, in his delirium, kept trying for more kisses. My little sweet pea was getting a little sweet on me.

I am not a big fan of my child suffering from any illness. In the same token, it is always nice to get extended snuggle time with a child who is usually too on the go to slow down to cuddle with his mama. And, I have become a big fan of him oozing his "sickeningly sweet" sweetness. Pun totally intended.

It is a good thing I took a second to hurry and toss out this post. In a while, I am not going to find any of this, or anything else, very funny. I have a feeling that when sleep deprivation hits later on today, I will both loose inability to complete a sentence, and give a crap.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

We Are Resilliant?!?

It's amazing what we can handle. Things that once felt scary, enormous and impossible, all of a sudden become normal, every day, and old hat. For example...

I was sooooo freaked out about sending Chase to kindergarten. That seems like a long time ago. It's all routine now. We have even begun pushing the limits with our promptness. At this rate, we will be coming in an hour late by Christmas time.

I was extremely anxious about getting our puppy. Pfftt. Old hat. I am an old pro at this puppy-ownership thing. Well, except for the fact that she peed on my living room carpet. My L-I-V-I-N-G R-O-O-M. We are not even allowed in that room. Pepper comfortably wandered in there and let loose the other day. I let out a choice expression, screamed at the top of my lungs (yep, so loud it hurt my throat), grabbed her...still screaming...and literally "threw" her out the back door. Nope. I will NEVER get used to that.

Ward splits. Nah. I will never get used to those either. We have just experienced our 6th split in 5 and a half years. Not any easier now. We had some incredible people taken out of our ward tonight. Yeah, I will NEVER like those.

All through my life, I have come upon experiences and trials that seemed so ominous and impassable at the beginning. With time, faith, and a lot of prayer, I am able to soon look back and say, "Hey, look at that. I did it! I am an old pro!"

My dad has cancer. How do you get used to that? How do you get to the point where you can say, "Yup, we can handle that. We'll soon be old pros."? Well, hopefully with the same time, faith and amount of prayer. A few weeks ago, I could never imagine being able to be at this spot. Calm. Full of hope. Full of peace. I guess it has helped to have the incredible parents that I have. My first priority was to just get where they are. STRONG, calm, with faith in the forefront.

My dad will soon start the fight of a lifetime. My parents have a long and painful road ahead of them. I still ache that they have to go through this. But I am calm. All is going to be well! I don't think you can expect that they will be "used" to this any time soon. I don't know that I will get to the point when this will feel like old hat. BUT. I know that when my dad has beaten this, we will look back and think, "Wow. We did it!"

A little time, and a LOT of FAITH, can go a long way.

I am sorry about another serious post! I really do have a serious side, even though it is hard to take me seriously. I have just been in awe of such strong people around me. If I could handle things with half of the amount of grace that these strong people do, I would be well off!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ode to Bob and Larry

How sad is it that when you are sharing a story from the Bible with your child, and he busts out with, "Oh, yeah! That's like the one Veggie Tales where...blah blah blah."?

How much more sad is it, when trying to make a point...using a Bible story...when met with confusion, that YOU interject a, "You remember that story from Veggie Tales don't you? It's the one where...blah blah blah."?

How sad is it that you can attribute any biblical facts and information retention to Bob, Larry, the French Peas, Junior, Madame Blueberry, Mr. Lunt, and all of the rest of the Veggie Tales crew?

Well, I guess it could be worse. Sponge Bob, Spiderman, and many other fictional characters make far less impressive role models than those adorable fruits and veggies, sans hands and feet. But, I do feel a twinge of guilt when I find myself explaining that in the REAL version, Mr. Nezzbet, the owner of the chocolate factory, is really Nebuchadnezzer, and he wants all of his people to worship a golden image...not eat chocolate. AND, Abed-nego completes the trio with Shadrach and Meshach...not Bennie...with Rack and Shack.

At any rate, I guess I am grateful that there are still SOME good shows for our children to watch. Bob the Tomato ends every show with a moral and encouragement to do good. And, they are quite funny...even if you do get your facts a little mixed up in the end...and get the theme song stuck in your head.

"Veggie Tay-hay-hales, Veggie Tay-hay-hales, Veggie Tay-hay-hales, Veggie Tay-hay-hales..." Argh!!

Come on, people. Please tell me you can relate to this post. I will be a little more than mortified if I come to the realization that no one else has let their homes be infiltrated by singing produce with good values!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Anyway, Back to Me

At Enrichment the other night, a friend asked me how kindergarten was going. I answered,

"Well, pretty good. I think I am finally getting used to the routine and all."

I paused sheepishly, taking note of my friend's quizzical which I then replied,

"Oh, heh heh, I uh... Chase is doing well, too."

Seriously. It doesn't all get to be about me...does it?!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Age is Relative

Ah, to be a kid again. At this age, you can get away with stuff like this. With every digit that is added to your age, this becomes more inappropriate. You just look weird...and get weird looks. But at this age, it's cute. It's imaginative. They get photo shoots.

Well, I'm gonna do it. The next time Chase plays dress up, I am inviting myself. I am going to town. We are both gonna get dolled up. We are getting in front of the camera, and making it good. I may even venture out outside. I am not going to care one whit what people think of me. Okay, I might care a little...but I'm not going to do anything about it! I am letting loose!

I think I am hitting a midlife crisis. I don't want to be the age that I am supposed to be. I will not go down without a fight! I will live vicariously through my imaginative young son. I will run as fast and as long as he does, even if it kills me. Which it will. So could you just please make sure that I am dressed somewhat respectably when they load my carcass in the ambulance? I do have a reputation to uphold.

Friday, September 18, 2009


Irony is funny when you are on the "ha, ha" side of it. Irony is hilarious when it helps you to prove a point, helps you win an argument, and just plain old makes you right.

Irony never really is very funny when you are on the receiving end.

What I find ironic is that we opted out of morning kindergarten because Chase is not a morning kid. We were dragging him out of bed at 9:45 AM to get him to swimming lessons at 10 AM. He would sleep from 8 PM to 9-10 AM. This kid could sleep.

We decided we would like him to be alert, and pleasant, for his first year of school. Therefore, afternoon kindergarten. We could wake up at our leisure, have a pleasant morning, walk to school in decent weather...all that good stuff.

So, here's the irony. Chase has not slept in once since school has started. He has been up between 7 and 8 AM every morning. He has been falling asleep around 9:30-10 PM every night.

Oh, I know. There is not one tear falling for me. I know. I can hear all of the laughter from my well-meaning friends and family who have long been jealous of my good sleeper, and all of the free time for the good sleeper's mom.

Just don't laugh so hard you hurt yourself, 'cause then I will laugh at you for laughing at me. Then, the irony is on my side again...and I win. Hehehehehehe

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


One of my favorite kinds of balm, is Bag Balm. It is my favorite beauty secret. You rub it on your feet, then cover them with socks. Oohh. It is fabulous. I have baby soft feet, even in the summer. Funny thing though, you generally find it in the pet section.

Lip balm. I don't like lip balm. It leaves a yucky taste in my mouth.

But my most favorite balm of all: The Mormon Tabernacle Choir's CD, Consider the Lillies. It is the most amazing balm for the soul. If you have never listened to it, I highly suggest you do. The music itself can take your breath away. But the words. Oh, the words. They are like bandaids for your sadness, trials and tribulations. I have had my ward choir sing 6 of the tracks, with two more in the wings. I love, love, love it.

Music is powerful. Good music is healing. It is no wonder the Lord has said, "My soul delighteth in the song of the heart, yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me." (Doctrine and Covenants 25:12)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Inflation Hits the Tooth Fairy

This is supposed to be a before and after set of pictures. Chase's tooth was so loose that it was "leaning" over into his other tooth. It left a gap big enough that they both look like after pictures. Bleck!!
I have been bracing for this since he popped his first tooth at 6.5 months. I can do blood, poop, guts and bones, spit up and barf (from my own son, of course...if it was your child, you would get a more adverse reaction). But for some reason, wiggly-waggly teeth turns my knees to jello. As a teacher, I had many a kindergartener, 1st grader and 2nd grader come excitedly up to me, shout a "guess what", then proceed to move around a dangling tooth with their tongue. Shudder. Shudder. It would seriously cause a ripple of the willies up and down my spine. Eeeewwweeuuu.

Chase's first loose tooth first came loose way back in May. Fate has been kind. I have had all of these months to gird my loins and buck up. Last Friday, neither one of us could take it any more. I convinced myself that if there was a thick layer of something between myself and the tooth, it would be less painful...for both of us. So, I grabbed a huge wad of toilet paper, reached in and made a half-hearted attempt. Take two went better...and out it came. Not one tear fell! Chase handled it really well also.

The obvious reward is a visit from the Tooth Fairy. I have always wanted to be a totally grounded mother who believed that since I got a quarter as a child, my child should get a quarter. Didn't happen. The T.F ended up being pretty generous. After all, she is helping to "pay" for his mission. All increase of any kind has a percentage that goes in the mission jar. Loot from this little pixie is no exception.

My little jack-o-lantern starter came in the next morning, grinning like a Cheshire cat, quietly holding 2 one dollar bills. After he could wrap his sleepy brain around his treasure, he humbly said,

"I can't believe the Tooth Fairy gave me TWO DOLLARS! I was only expecting a quarter or something! She must really like me, cause I got TWO DOLLARS!!"

Dang. The Tooth Fairy overpaid. But you got that right, Chase. The Tooth Fairy likes you a whole bunch.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Puppy Pepper Pics

I am finally getting around to getting the pictures off of my camera. We have had a big week and are finally starting to get to the things on our lists!

We think Pepper is a pretty cute puppy, most of the time. The honeymoon is ending, sadly. Chase has already begun to think of her as the obnoxious little sister that knocks over your sand castle and messes with your toys. I have had to remind him that the discipline sounds and words that we use for her are for things like digging under the fence and eating the phone...things like that...NOT for being the unwanted playmate in the backyard.

Jeff has decided to nip some of her bad behaviors. He has turned the hose on her when she digs under the fence and eats my daylillies. She is a quick study. She has completely stopped both behaviors. I am asking Jeff to install an extension on my kitchen sink hose. There are a few behaviors that I would like to take care of...inside...with the puppy's boy.

This picture is through the screen. I wanted to capture this moment without being detected. We have been out in our PJ's this whole week to play with her. Our morning routine has really suffered.

This one...well...what do you say. My mom likes to frequently remind me of a bad habit from us kids when we were growing up. She says that the second she got on the phone, we were in the chocolate chips. Pavlov had something there. This is what my little boy did when I got on the phone one day. And, to put all of you germ-a-phobes at ease, the bed was still unused.
A little update on the nerve front. No progress made as of yet. I took Pepper out in the front yard today. She walked off while I was busy talking and ended up in the yard of another neighbor. Their dogs got out and came bearing down on us with all sirens wailing. It scared Pepper so bad, she peed. I can neither confirm, nor deny, that maybe I did, too.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


I have pictures to post, but my camera is out in the car, in the garage, with a sleeping puppy. No thanks!

Well, we named the puppy Pepper. Her mom's name is Sage. So, it only made sense that we wanted her name to be a spice name as well. Pepper is a mainly black German short-hair, with gray and white and black smears...that look like pepper. Oh, we are a clever bunch.

Pepper is seriously the cutest and sweetest puppy. She would have to be for me to be this insane. This is a pretty BIG adjustment for me to alter my entire lifestyle and nature! Her breed, by nature, is very smart and easily trainable. Leave it to me to fall in love with the type of dog that can easily be bossed around. I wasn't born yesterday.

We spent our first day with her literally every second, finding out what destruction she would ensue on our virgin back yard. Within an hour, we had her trained to not eat my flowers and leave the shoes alone. Now, if we could only train her to pooh in the dirt. We are getting pretty good with a shovel.

I (and this shouldn't surprise any of you) mother a puppy, much the same as I mother Chase; over protective, dramatically, and with plenty of guilt. Friday, our first day with her, she was hit by a bicycle. Sunday, she got her head royally wedged under the fence, while trying to get into her old yard. Monday, Jeff stepped on her pretty good. We thought her leg was actually broken. Neighbors, I am so sorry for all of the yelping you have had to endure these past couple of days. I will try to suffer more silently in the future.

Chase has really enjoyed Pepper. He still wakes up and wanders outside first thing. I keep catching him muttering, "I can't believe we have a puppy!" The feeling is mutual, kid.

I am by nature, pretty scared of dogs. Even poodles and little yappers full of fur can get a rise out of me. I had enough bad experiences in the mission field to seal the deal. This is a huge step for me to enter this world. I still have a lot to learn...and a few nerves to grow. Sunday, Chase and I took Pepper for a walk. Well, a "drag", maybe. She is still getting used to a leash. Our neighbor's dogs started charging us. Sadly, my first thought was literally,

"Here!! Eat the puppy...but LET ME LIVE!!"

Like I said, I am a work in progress. At least she knows I think she is pretty cute. I am the only one she wants when she gets hurt. We have had a lot of practice with this in 4 short days. I instinctively rock her back and forth. She nestles her head under my chin, or on my shoulder, and lets her yelping turn to a whimper. Then her whimper turns to a low murmur, which then turns into a sigh. It is seriously heart melting. I have been whooped by these puppies since they were born. Pepper is the runt of the bunch. It would be nice if she would stay this small and cuddly forever. My wish didn't work on Chase. I don't think it will work on her either.

The only reasons that we have been able to survive our transition into puppy-dog-dom, are the facts that she is so stinkin' cute...and she is kennel trained. Our neighbors did a great job with this. Pepper instinctively wants her kennel at about 9 pm. She nestles in there and stays there, clean and dry, and without a peep (or a poop), until 7 am. Her kennel is in the garage, which also helps my insanity level.

Well, that is Pepper. Does that help answer all of your questions? Does it raise any? Like, seriously, why doesn't someone rescue that poor thing? Don't worry, I will be okay in a few weeks.

Pictures to come. I hope. The first time I turned a camera on her, she tried it out as a chew toy and ripped a hole in my pajamas. Chase asked if we should take her back and buy a different one. I had to explain to him that we have to be patient with her and help her learn. She is only a puppy and doesn't know better yet. I further explained that if we wanted to exchange something just because it made a mistake, he wouldn't be here right now. I just let him chew on that one for a while.

Friday, September 4, 2009


Pigs will fly out the window. An unidentified someone will trapse over my dead body. A thin layer of ice soon to form in Pergatory. "No Way" Jose, will become a "Yes Man". A million years will fly by in the blink of an eye.

Any other phrases, blanket statements or idioms that mean NEVER, NEVER, NEVER??!!

We got a puppy today.

Forcast for tomorrow...

we eat crow.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Reality Check

Just so you don't think my son a perfect angel, spilling niceties, with loves and kisses at me all the time, let me tell you what he said the other day. Oh, don't get me wrong. He is pretty sweet. He makes his adoration for his mom known frequently. Children are prone to innocent honesty. This comment, however, stopped me dead in my tracks;

"Mom, do you think your tummy is so fat that you probably can't even see your toes? Can you see your toes, Mom?"

Can you see your next birthday coming up, bub? Did you see it vanish right before your eyes? Gone, I tell ya. No birthday for you this year.

And for your information, Mr. Missing-His-6th-Birthday-This-Year, not only can I see my toes, but I can touch them. I removed my toe nail polish, then clipped and filed them. Oh, it wasn't pretty, mind you. I pulled muscles found only by body builders, and gave myself a charlie horse that hurt something fierce. I am pretty sure I was close to passing out due to oxygen deprivation, since I was finding it hard to breath and bend at the same time. And, I am sure the noises coming out of my bathroom window rivaled all sounds that have led to a phone call to 9-1-1. But, I did it. I pedicured my supposedly out-of-sight, and nearly out-of-reach toenails. It wasn't all to prove to my innocently precocious 5 year old that I could. But just a bit.

It all ended alright, however. Today, Chase wrote my fresh toenails and I, a very cute "I Love You", complete with a heart that he drew. I am even thinking of reinstating his birthday. We will have to wait and see if he decides to get "honest" with me again.