The Trials of a Busy Mom

Month: October 2005 (Page 1 of 2)

Thank you, and goodbye

So, the Primary Program went really well. Jenna and her friend sang their little hearts out, Cole did well with his flute number, and my solo wasn’t bad, either. The kids all sang well, stood relatively still, did their parts with style, and it only went over 10 minutes. And to thank me for a job well done, I’ve been released.

I’m very sad about leaving Primary. Really, the junior Primary chorister is the most fun job ever, and I was just looking forward to doing all the fun and relaxing “post program” stuff. But I guess it was time to share the fun and let someone else do that job (even though secretly I feel they won’t do as good of a job as me).

I’ve been called to be an instructor in Relief Society. Which is a fine calling. Really. It could be much worse. *sigh* I’m really trying to have a good attitude about the whole change, but since this is MY blog, I’m allowed to put down my true feelings, so deal with it.

Apparantly, they’ve been “clammoring for me” in Relief Society for a long time (and why wouldn’t they? I’m awesome!). Maybe I’ll just get up and teach them a song using puppets and my stop sign and visuals from Primary and see how much they want me then!

Ok. Enough about that. I’ll get over it and move on.

In an unrelated train of thought, I turned on the radio this morning to….Jingle Bell Rock. What the…? Today is Halloween, people, not Thanksgiving. I’m all for rushing the season and playing a tiny bit of Christmas music early, but on HALLOWEEN? NO. I’m changing the station right now. Well, right after this song, because it’s one of my favorites.

‘Tis the Season


Our practice was today, and it kind of bugs me (ok Really bugs me) that they say we will start at 9:00, and the Primary Presidency doesn’t get there until 9:00. So then the kids are all running around while they set up the microphones and the extra chairs and all that. Shouldn’t they get there before and set up so that we can really start at 9 and be done by 10? Just a thought.

Anyway, the practice went pretty well. They (the presidency) wanted Jenna to sing the first verse of “teach me to walk” by herself, and then I sing the second verse by myself. Not a great idea, but I’ll go along with it. I just had to recruit one of Jenna’s friends to sing with her, and they sounded great. I didn’t sound too bad myself, but tomorrow I’ll probably have a huge vibrado because I’ll be nervous and shaking. It’s only one verse, but solo? UGH. Cole and his friend are playing a flute/cello duet. They are playing “I will follow God’s plan for me” and they actually sounded better than I thought they would. Way to go Cole! It’s really not an Erickson family program, there are lots of other people involved, too.

Wish us luck!

The great thing is, that after tomorrow, it’ll be over and then we can do fun stuff in singing time (not that we don’t do fun stuff anyway, it’s just now we can do fun stuff and sing whatever songs we want!)


Please, could we just have one morning when we aren’t looking for shoes, backpacks, last minute homework, coats, etc? Then Mommy ends up yelling, the kids end up running to the bus stop, and everyone’s grumpy. There has to be a better way than the way we are doing it (preferrably one that doesn’t involve Mom getting up a the crack of dawn to set everyone’s stuff out).

Things I learned

Some things I learned on this vacation….

1-If you go to Disneyland’s City Hall and tell them it’s your birthday (or close to your birthday, or that you are celebrating your birthday–they don’t ask for ID), they will give you a sticker that says Happy Birthday and they write in your name. Then, when you go around the park, all the Disney people tell you happy Birthday, and call you by name, or call you princess. We learned this from our friends Kristi and Kelly, who live in California and go to Disneyland for EVERYONE’s birthdays. If you go into the Tortilla factory in California Adventure, they will give you a dozen fresh tortillas if you have your birthday sticker. Who knew? Since Natalie and Ryan’s birthdays are both in October, they both got stickers. Not so many people told Ryan happy Birthday, but lots of them mentioned Natalie. The most fun was the green army guy who was hosting the block party bash at California Adventure, who said “Happy Birthday, Natalie” or “It’s your birthday, Natalie, get up and dance!” or things like that 9 or 10 times during the parade. FUN!
green guy

2-If you go to Disneyland over UEA, expect it to be crowded, and expect to see friends and neighbors from Utah.
group shot

3-When you are going down the escalators, make sure you pick up your feet. We learned this when we saw Natalie’s friend sobbing at the bottom of the parking garage escalator, with her little styrafoam shoes shredded and her toe munched and bleeding. We saw her later in the day in her wheelchair and she seemed to be in good spirits, though, so I guess her injuries weren’t too bad.

4-If you dress your kids up like Disney characters, expect strangers to want to take their picture with you.

5-It is well worth the $$ to get a suite, even if it just has a little glass door separating the “kid room” from the “parent room”. the kids need their own space, their own tv, and the parents need to be able to shut the door to the noise every once in a while.

6-The Gentoo penguin is the world’s 3rd largest penguin. And since Ryan knew this, and told Cole, and Cole answered the guy’s question correctly at the Penguin Encounter at Sea World, we got to go behind the scenes, meet the penguin feeder, and actually touch an emperor penguin and meet the feeder/trainer guy. WOW! That was really exciting and fun.

7-Free Continental Breakfast rocks (of course, we all knew that already).

8-Just because the sign says “puppet show today” doesn’t mean you have to go to the puppet show at Balboa Park. Sorry, Big Joe, but your so called puppet show was about 25 minutes of torture. It now tops my list of the dumbest plays I have seen (and that one in Vernal was really bad–it’s now moved to number 2). Somehow, though, the kids thought the “Polka Dot Ghost” with it’s whiny star Tommy the Ghost was so much fun. It’s obviously geared for the younger viewer.

9-Sand and Water–always a big hit, no matter how young or old you are.

10-Always look for the barf bag when you first sit down on the plane. Don’t wait until you think you might need it on the bumpy rough landing, because then it’s too late.


Let me start by saying–I love my family. I really do! But I’ve spent every hour of the last 6 days with them, and I’m glad to be home. Home where some of them can go to school or to work, or sleep in different rooms. That said, let me tell you about our vacation!!!

We got up VERY early on Thursday to be at the airport for a 6:20 flight. If that’s not hard, I don’t know what is. But everyone was very well behaved on the flight and it was pretty uneventful. John even slept a little bit, so it wasn’t so hard keeping him in his seat for an hour and a half.


The kids were excited with each new form of transportation we took (airplane, bus, then a “new van!”) and were excited to go to Disneyland. When we walked down the portable hallway thing from the airplane (forgive me, I can’t think of the word right now), Jenna said, “Are we in Disneyland?” I must say, that would be nice. Maybe we should talk to the Disney guys and see if they can build an airport right into Disneyland. You could wave as you get off the “ride” and Alice in Wonderland or maybe Buzz Lightyear could greet you at security. I think it’s a fabulous idea! We got to Disneyland by around 10:00, and had a Long, fun filled day.

haunted mansion

We stayed until about 7 and we were exhausted and grumpy.
The kids were excited to go “home” to a hotel, and we were pretty exhausted when we finally got everyone tucked in. I’ll tell you more later. For now, I’ve got to go and start working on reclaiming my laundry room.

I miss my Amazing Race

Ok, I don’t know if you are Amazing Race fans, but we sure are. Except this new family edition just isn’t the same. Where are the taxi drivers who don’t speak English promising that they know where the ‘King’s Cigar’ shop is. Where is the ‘bunching at the airport’, where are the ‘hours of operation’? Where is the gross food eating, the crowded busses, the exotic animals, the elephants? I’m sorry, but this Amazing Race just isn’t quite as…well..Amazing. The most exciting thing these teams have done is pick up fake dead people on stretchers.

Oh well. We will continue to watch, as we are addicted. I especially liked the commercial for 2 News with Phil and Mormon Missionary (why was there just one?) welcoming in the 2 news team. That leads me to believe that they are indeed going to come to Salt Lake City, and that would be cool. So, I’ll just keep watching, hope the Paulo Family gets eliminated soon and that when they leave the country next week it will bring some excitement.

Stupid, Stupid!

Ok, I know you are not supposed to say the “S” word (stupid) around here, especially when the two year old is present (because he will go around the house for the next 3 months repeating “supid, supid, supid”), but there is no other word to discribe my encounter with United Airlines’ phone dummy!

Let me explain. We booked some flights on a discount flight website, and in the confirmation email they strongly suggest that you confirm your flight at least 72 hours before your flight. So, armed with my confirmation numbers and flight information, I call United Airlines and listen for the options. Of course there is no option to speak with a real person, only numbers (press 3 if you have a domestic flight, etc.). So, I’m supposed to SAY my confirmation number, and use common first names (N as in Nancy, B as in Bob, etc. ). So, I clearly state my confirmation number, having a little bit of panic (what’s a common name that starts with Z? Z as in….Zeke–I didn’t think of Zachary until just now).

So, idiot phone computer guy says “Got it. Your confirmation number is..” and he says letters and numbers that are NOT ANYWHERE CLOSE to my numbers.

“No,” I say, trying to keep the irritation from my voice (Like idiot phone computer guy is going to care if I’m irritated), and I repeat very slowly the numbers and letters using different common names.

“Got it. You said BLAH BLAH BLAH”–nothing like I said.

“NO!!!!!” I’m practically screaming. Then I chose the other option and say “I don’t know.”

“That’s ok,” he says, “Let me ask you a few questions about your flight. What is the date you are flying?”

So, I tell him the date, and he miraculously gets that, and then asks, “What is the city you are flying out of?”

“Salt Lake City” I say. Simple enough, wouldn’t you say?

“I’m sorry, I didn’t get that? Could you repeat the city name?”


Again with the same nonsense, only my phone is beginning to beep at me that the battery is low and the phone will die at any minute. So, I go dashing across the house to find the other cordless phone while saying in the least irritated voice that I can “Salt Lake City.” Oh, there goes the phone.

So, stupid me, I call him back using the other phone. I try a different confirmation number from one of the other tickets, no such luck. After trying this until tears fill my eyes and my fingers are gripping the phone so tightly that my hands are turning white, stupid phone computer guy says, “No problem, I’ll transfer you to an operator who can help you.” Why didn’t you do that 10 minutes ago, when my phone battery still had some juice in it? The phone is beeping at me (I’m back to the first phone by now, after having let it charge for a few minutes–not enough, obviously). I dash to get the phone from the other office, but when I click it on, all I hear is static. ARGH!!!!!!!!!

So, a small tantrum later, and my dear husband is off to Walmart to buy new batteries for both of our stupid weak batteried phones. Perhaps tomorrow when I can think straight I will call back and appologize to idiot phone computer for my impolite behaviour. Or maybe I’ll just yell obscenities to him and see what kind of confirmation number that is.

Movie Night

Since Ryan and Cole went on a boy’s adventure with our friend Chet and his boys, the girls and I (and John) decided to go and do something fun. I looked in the paper and saw that Madagascar was playing at a dollar theater, so I went there. Turns out the Madagascar was playing there, but not anymore. So, we opted for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory instead. I wasn’t sure how John would behave, especially when there were no lions (Megan had told him in the car that we were going to see Lions. He kept asking during the show where the Lions were). But John sat on my lap the whole time and was GREAT. He talked about cars when he saw them, asked for popcorn (which I didn’t buy), laughed at the silly Oompah Loompah guy (one guy playing all those oompah loompahs is pretty funny) and only asked to go home during the last 15 minutes. Jenna sat on my lap, too, for about 1/2 an hour in the middle–boy was I warm and cozy with two kids on my lap! I guess we CAN go to movies again. And Johnny Depp is not quite as cute as in Neverland, but still cute, although a little freaky. I give the movie a Thumbs up!

Donuts, donuts for sale!

Is it better to get too much or too little?

This is the question that plagues me each month when I order the donuts for our school’s Dads and Donuts. Well, this time I obviously ordered TOO MUCH. I think there were about 24 people at the early session, and I had ordered

    21 dozen

donuts for both sessions. So, unless there are 18 dozen–no 19 dozen dads and kids at the second session (ha!), we have way too many. So, I ended up bringing about 9 dozen donuts home this morning. Ugh. I sent some with my kids to feed the bus stop kids (sticky, sticky hands), and we’re taking a dozen to Jenna’s preschool for snack today, and then what? Oh yeah, I sent about 3 dozen with Ryan to work. Just what I want hanging around the house. Donuts.

I will dump them on my neighbors and let them deal with the temptation. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m off to deliver some donuts.

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