The Trials of a Busy Mom

Month: June 2007 (Page 2 of 3)

I think I’m going to like having you here, IKEA

We were driving home from Salt Lake yesterday after doing some errands, and I thought, “We could stop in quickly at IKEA and get some wedding gifts, right?” Well, I don’t think there is any such thing as stopping quickly at IKEA, but we tried it. First we went up to the restaurant to see if Michelle was working, which she was. So, we said hi, asked how she was, (fine, thank you, she said, but without internet for another week, and she has moved into her new house–just in case you were wondering how she’s doing) and then let her enjoy her break while we went shopping. When I say we, I mean me and 4 kids. One of them was at a friend’s house, but really, 4 kids, 5 kids…what’s the difference. I picked up one of these, one of these, few more of these (since I gave all of the ones I bought away for teacher gifts. When wandering by the as is department, I found a couple of these rugs for $1.00 each. A DOLLAR! No way could I pass that one by. So, I brought the rugs home, and put them in my bathroom. One by the sink, and the other by the shower. How cool is that?

And something totally unrelated…I went to yoga yesterday and somehow managed to injure something in the region of my right shoulder blade. So now everything I do that required me to move my arm, back or shoulder (which is a LOT) is accompanied by a small amount of pain. And little “Ow”s and “ouch”s can be frequently heard from my general direction. I’m hoping that it gets better soon.

And…My little guy is running around with a small Paco (the bird from Maya and Miguell on PBS) toy “shooting” everything. When I pointed out that Paco is a bird, not a fighter jet, he said, “No, Paco Shoots! He has a big tummy with lots of shooter stuff in it!” And then runs off to make more shooting and explosion noises. Um, ok.

The passing of the torch

Ryan finally consented to let Cole start mowing the lawn.  He is 13, after all, and should have the opportunity (and responsibility) of mowing the lawn.  So Ryan taught him how to use the riding lawn mower last week, and Cole’s thrilled to do the lawn mowing job.  Because we pay him.  It’s not hard, really.  You just ride around the yard for a couple of hours and try to keep within the lines.  Cole’s done a pretty good job, and it saves Ryan a couple of hours a week that he doesn’t have to mow the lawn.

I think it’s a win-win situation, myself.

Not the way I wouldn’t have liked to be woken up

6:00 am


What IS that?

Ryan also gets out of bed and says it must be the smoke alarm. We go to Natalie and John’s room, and Megan is already in there. I was just going to wake Natalie up, she says. What? I’ll think about that later. The smoke alarm in their room is not going off, but it’s still making quite a racket in the rest of the house. John is still asleep. Should I pick him up? Should we go outside? Is there a fire? I don’t see or smell anything weird. We go through the rest of the house.


Once we determine that there is no fire anywhere, we stop the panic, but we still have the problem of HOW DO WE STOP this noise!? Ryan gets the ladder and starts unhooking the smoke alarms (handy, that one, I tell you) while I sat on the couch with a pillow over my ears trying to block out the sound. He determined that the one in his office was the one causing all he problems. When he unplugged that one, the racket stopped. And isn’t it funny that Jenna and John slept through the whole thing? If this had been a real fire, we would have had to wake and/or carry them out.

I went back to bed, hoping to get another hour of sleep. John, true to form, came in a short hour later and wanted his breakfast.

Then, at 8:30, we received a call from a friend, who’s also a member of the primary presidency. She informs us that there’s been a change in the planned stake activity days outing for our girls. They won’t be going up to Mutual Dell in American Fork Canyon today because there was a bear attack there last night, and they haven’t yet found the bear. I’m shocked and saddened for an unknown family who lost a son while camping last night. And, NO, I don’t mind the change of plans.

A Father’s day tribute

It’s Father’s Day, Ya’ll! And in honor of that, I’d like to just tell you a little bit about why I love my husband.

1-He loved me first. Yes, he might tell you stories of how he knew I was the one for him way before I left on my mission. I wasn’t so sure, and it took some convincing that he was the one for me. But, he did it. And I’m very glad he did. But he always reminds me that he loved me first, as if that somehow makes his love better than my love. But I still love him for it.

2-He can fix about anything. If he wants to. There is a certain scooter that’s been sitting in the garage for a long time that he hasn’t even tried to fix, but we’ll not talk any more about that. He’s fixed countless VCRs, a few tv’s (the one in our bedroom was his parents tv, and we’ve had it for roughly 14 years ourselves), computers, toasters, toys, vacuums, and many other things. He just has the “I can take that thing apart and probably fix it” mentality. Which is a good thing.

3-He’s a GREAT FATHER. Ryan loves playing with the kids, he changes diapers, he puts kids to bed, he can get them dressed, etc. I’m glad that he’s a capable father and could take care of the kids in my absence if he had to. Not that I’m planning on going anywhere, mind you, but I do enjoy the occasional night out.

4-He’s pretty willing to go to almost whatever strange concert/movie premier/try to win a car/event that I may win tickets to. Since you never really know what kind of stuff you will win when you call in for radio contests, I’ve won a lot of crazy crap. We’ve gone to a demolition derby, some VERY dumb movies that I’m really glad we didn’t pay for, I even entered him in a father’s day lawn mower contest once, where he had to run around a little course with his bubble mower and compete for a new lawn mower. No, we didn’t win, he came in a very close second. He competed with me and two kids in the “Amazing Shopping Race“, and although we didn’t win the trip to SanDiego, it’s been a fun memory for Cole and Megan, who ran that race with us. He even snarfed up a whole pizza! He did draw the line at Barney live and the Doodlebops. No way was I getting him to go to those, but that’s ok.

5-He grills up some pretty awesome meat! I have to thank our neighbors for giving us the amazing marinade recipe, but he does a great job with the grill (which I can’t even get lighted, by the way).

6-He loves our kids.

7-He has a job, and keeps a job and supports our family financially. I’m so thankful that I am able to stay at home with the kids. I can’t imagine trying to be the mom and work full time outside the home. I think that would be so much harder, and I would hate to miss out on so much of the excitement that is raising children.

8-He hardly ever complains about what I fix for dinner.

9-He’s helpful. He’s fixed countless computers, helped others with their wiring, and recently made a whole bunch of water bottle launchers for people just to be nice. He’s just an all around great guy.

10-He’s a faithful father, doing his best to honor his priesthood and be a righteous member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints.

“A father’s calling is eternal, and its importance transcends time. It is a calling for both time and eternity. Harold B. Lee truly stated that, ‘the most important of the Lord’s work that you [fathers] will ever do will be the work you do within the walls of your own home.’ …

“Your homes should be a haven of peace and joy for your family. Surely no child should fear his own father. A father’s duty is to make his home a place of happiness and joy. He cannot do this when there is bickering quarreling, contention, or unrighteous behavior. The powerful effect of righteous fathers in setting an example, disciplining and training, nurturing and loving is vital to the spiritual welfare of his children.” ~ Ezra Taft Benson

Tag me if you can

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Next, select five people to tag:


What were you doing 10 years ago?
Let’s see.  10 years ago I had two kids.  Cole was 3 and Megan was 1.  We lived in Lehi.  I was young.

What were you doing 1 year ago?
One year ago we were enjoying Father’s day!  I had won a father’s day prize of Lagoon passes for the whole family, and we were getting ready to go to New York, to visit my parents.  Wow, was that a whole year ago?  Time sure does fly, doesn’t it?

Five Snacks You Enjoy:

Kashi Granola bars
Snickers Bars (they really satisfy, you know)
Chocolate chip cookies

Five Songs That You Know All The Lyrics To:
Dancing Queen (ABBA)

Defy Gravity (from Wicked–well, the whole soundtrack to Wicked, in fact)
This is the Moment (Donny Osmond’s version)
Love shack (b52’s)
Groovy Kind of Love (Phil Collins)
(and I could go on and on with this one, too)

Five Things You Would Do If You Were a Millionaire:
Buy some land in Highland

Buy my husband an new truck
Take my entire family on a vacation
Hire a personal trainer who would make me work out every day
Hire a cleaning lady

Five Bad Habits:

Saying negative or critical things when I should just hold my tongue
Not putting things away right away
Starting a project and then moving on to the next project without finishing
Not flossing
Five Things You Like To Do:
win things
bargain shop
go to fun places with the kids

Five Things You Would Never Wear Again:
two piece swim suits (not that I really wore them in the past, but I definitely won’t be wearing anything that reveals my stomache)

maternity clothes
baggy sweaters that go all the way down to cover your behind
tapered leg jeans or pleated front pants (Thanks, what not to wear!)

Five Favorite Toys:
The computer

my Bosch
Sewing machine
Roomba (although he’s sick and not working right now, so I’ve had to do my own vacuuming, and I don’t like it.  But we should be getting a new battery for him soon, and then he can play again.)
Cars (to play with John)

Your turn now!

My shopping buddy

John and I did a little shopping, then went to Farm Country at Thanksgiving point.  It was a fun little day.  While shopping, I took a few things in to the dressing room to try on, and of course, John went with me.  “Oh, that looks boo-tiful, Mommy,”  he would say (weather the item fit well or not).  Then he would pick something else out of the pile and say, “Here’s another pretty outfit for you.  Try it on,” and would then hand me a t-shirt.  That boy is a good little shopping buddy when he wants to be.

It’s so quiet here this morning

My kids (well, the potty trained ones at least) slept over at my parent’s house last night.  Just for fun.  And what did I do with my kid-free evening, you ask?  I went to the cannery and worked.  Yes, that is the excitement of my life.  I dropped John off at my sister, Amy’s, and went to the cannery.  It was kind of fun, loading all those cans.  I made up cases and cases of cans, lifting and hefting.  When I left I was sweaty and very tired.  But it was a good tired.  Now there are 6 cases of wheat, potato pearls, onions, hot chocolate mix, pudding mix and powdered milk in the back of my vehicle to be unloaded.  More work!
After I came home and put John to bed, Ryan and I watched the Prestige.  Interesting but odd movie.  If you’d like to borrow it, I have the DVD in my permanent collection, thanks to the generosity of radio contests.

So, today we have no swimming lessons, no theater class, and only one child for the majority of the day!  How fun!  It’s like they are all at school again!

Stories of my Grandpa

Yesterday we went to my cousin Sarah’s wedding. It was a simple and beautiful ceremony, then later we met for lunch at the Lion house. Ryan and I sat at a table with my parents and my dad’s sister and brother and their spouses. I felt kind of like the kid at the grown-up table, but got over that quickly, as I love my aunts and uncles. They ended up talking about their dad, and how things were growing up, and I heard lots of stories that I had never heard before. I wish I had had a tape recorder and gotten everything down, because these stories need to be written down!

Now my dad’s father was a gruff man. I remember him as kind of grouchy, but by the time I knew him he had mellowed. A whole bunch. I have heard the stories that he kicked all of the kids out of the house at least once, and knew he had a temper, but some of the things I heard yesterday were shocking. I guess everyone realizes now, in looking back, that he must have struggled with depression. But back then, who knew what that even was? His mother killed herself when he was just a boy of 15 or 16. She shot herself with his gun, after she asked him how to work it. From then on, he was on his own. He worked at carnivals, in the mines or at construction jobs. I don’t know if he ever had steady work, or if it was always seasonal or just when work was available.

I learned that my dad and his brothers and sisters (and my grandma) would often come home and find belongings thrown out of the house. If the ironing didn’t get finished, he would throw the iron, ironing board and the clothes out on the lawn.  That was accompanied by yelling of some sort, like, “If you aren’t going to get it done, why even have an iron?!” My uncle Keith said that he told his parents he wanted to go on a mission (which was not enthusiastically received) and then went to Lagoon with his girlfriend. When he came home, all of his belongings were on the grass. He went to live with a friend until it was time to go on his mission. My aunt JoAnne, when I asked why she got kicked out, told this story: She had worked late one night, and asked her friend who she usually rode home with to call her home and tell them that she would be home late. When she got home that night at about 6:30, her dad was very angry that she didn’t have dinner on the table. She asked if he hadn’t received a phone call that she would be late, and he just ranted on. He threatened to kick her out, but she said he couldn’t do that, she was leaving. So, she packed up her stuff and went to live with friends, I guess. Later, when she was getting married, she came to ask Grandpa if he wouldn’t come to her wedding. She had asked my dad, her oldest brother, to give her away because she didn’t think her own father would come to her wedding. When she came to ask him, he was dressed in dirty clothes, and he told her that no, she didn’t live in his house, and No, he wasn’t coming to the wedding. She cried and cried, but then when she came out of the dressing room after getting ready, there was her dad, all cleaned up and ready to give her away. Her mom told her later that as soon as she had left, he had jumped up and gotten in the shower to clean up so he could go to her wedding. Why would he do that?

So that you don’t think my grandpa was a complete tyrant, let me tell you the funny stories I heard yesterday, too. Always unpredictable and spontaneous, I guess Grandpa was good for a few fun times, too. He would always get hungry at night, and he didn’t like to eat alone. My Grandma worked nights at the state hospital, so she wasn’t around, and she told my aunt that “if Daddy wants to go and get a malt, you make sure he doesn’t crash!”. I guess Grandpa would take a sleeping pill, but then would get the munchies and feel like driving down to the drugstore. So, whoever he took with him had to make sure he didn’t fall asleep at the wheel or be ready to grab it and drive if needed. Or he would make breakfast of eggs and toast and bacon at midnight, and wake all the kids up to eat with him. “Don’t you be waking those kids up,” Grandma would say, but he would get them up anyway. I guess he really didn’t like to eat alone.

Outings were unplanned, too. “Let’s all get in the car,” he would bellow. If Grandma (or anyone else) said something like, “just a minute, I have to finish up these dishes”, he would say, “Then you aren’t going!” It was go now or don’t go. And they would go on drives or bottle hunting or some other adventure. Once they pulled up next to a truck full of pea vines. They rolled down the windows and grabbed pea vines and pulled them into the car, until they were all covered with peas. Then they went home that night and shelled peas and put them up. (I was actually reminded of the book The Glass Castle, hearing some of these things).
After hearing all these stories of how unpredictable and how harsh their father was, I said it’s a wonder that they all returned to speak to their parents after they were thrown out of the house. “Yes, it is.” they said. And it’s a wonder that my dad and his siblings turned out as well as they did. My mom said that it’s comforting to know that no matter how much you screw up as a parent, it looks like your kids can still turn out ok. That makes me feel better when I have those days when I yell at my kids over silly things (like today, actually).

My Grandparents did not have an easy life. Neither did their kids, actually. It’s too bad that Grandpa couldn’t get help for his depression, and that nobody even understood that disease back then. I know I loved him, even though he was grouchy and didn’t want to do much other than sit in his chair. Grandpa died about 13 years ago. I hope I can learn more about him (the good stories as well as the bad ones) and that we can get these things written down so he won’t be forgotten.

It’s not Disneyland, but…

Ways that Lagoon and Disneyland are similar:

1-They both cost too much money. And the food costs too much money, too.

2-Both have rides.

3-There are lots of people dressed in totally inappropriate clothing.  ‘Nough said about that.

That’s about it.

Ways that Lagoon and Disneyland are NOT similar

1-Disneyland has “themes” and “characters” and there is a story to each ride. The rides also have theme music. Lagoon has none of that.

2-Disneyland has rides that parents and kids can ride together. And there are rides that I can ride without losing my lunch. At Lagoon, I stand around waiting for my little people to go on the kiddie rides again and again, while Ryan aka the fun parent, takes the big kids around and rides all the rides which would make mom sick. This year I didn’t take any chances. I seriously only rode on rides that would NOT make me ill, as it’s just no fun sitting around waiting to not feel sick after riding a ride with too much circular motion (last year it was the flying aces. Yes, I’m a total wimp, I know.). So, my ride choices were limited to: Dracula’s Castle (what a sad, sad excuse for a haunted house ride. Remember when it used to be kind of scary? Now, they don’t even care. As we were going through, a Lagoon employee was just sitting there at the side of the ride.), the Merry-go-round (but only once, please), Rattlesnake rapids (the best ride in the park), the skyride about 5 times, the train, and….is that all I rode? Wow. After a show when we all met up together, Jenna decided she wanted to go with dad so she could ride the bat. Then it was just me and John. Riding the kiddie rides. Soon there will be no one left to hang with mom. I guess that will be the day I bring a book and sit by the pool all day while the kids go off with their dad. That might be nice, actually!

3-Disneyland employees act like they are happy to be there. At Lagoon, quite a few of the employees have names like Vladamir and Stroika, and NOBODY looks really happy to be there.  We discussed this, and Ryan is of the opinion that they import cheap labor from Russia, but I don’t think so.  There was one lady (Linda), who was running the little kid bumper cars.  She checked each child for a seat belt, then turned or pulled each car so it wasn’t pointed directly at another car.  Then she turned the steering wheel so that it would start out straight.  Then she yelled “turn your wheel, Turn your wheel!” at the little kids who were getting stuck.  Isn’t running into other cars the whole point of the ride?  I think she was taking her job a little too seriously.  But at least she was doing her job.  Remember the days when there were actually cute guys who worked at Lagoon?  And we would go on the terrorride about 6 times in a row just to see “cute Lagoon guy”? Well, he doesn’t work there anymore.
4-at Disneyland, one day is never enough. One day at Lagoon is plenty for me, thanks.

5-Disneyland has parade, fireworks and other street side entertainment.  Lagoon used to have a band.  I wonder why they don’t do that anymore.

6-People come from all over the country to experience Disneyland.  People come from all over Northern Utah to go to Lagoon.

We did have a great time. Aside from a couple of “misunderstandings”. Like when I told Ryan I’d meet him at Rattlesnake Rapids, and then he got there first because we stopped to look in the little pioneer cabins and the church and schoolhouse. I didn’t even know those were there! I thought he would walk right by us, see the stroller parked out in the sidewalk and know we were in those little cabins. But he went the other way, got there way before us, and wondered why we weren’t anywhere in line. Another time Ryan made fun of me because I wanted to go and see the Broadway review, and I fired off some comment like, “I can only ride 5 flippin rides in this park, and i will go and see the Broadway show if I WANT to!” Megan had to tell me to use nice words. Ugh.

I did have a brilliant thought when I included flip flops for everyone, though. Before we rode the Rattlesnake Rapids (a ride which gets everyone very wet), we all changed to flip flops, then when we were done, we changed back to our tennis shoes. Ryan didn’t want to bring his sandals, so we brought a nice dry pair of socks for him. It’s not so bad walking about in sopping wet clothes if your feet at least are not making that squish sound with every step.

So, it was a fun day. The kids had a blast, and we all enjoyed our day.

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