The Trials of a Busy Mom

Month: September 2007 (Page 1 of 3)


I’ve been thinking about how lovely the change of seasons is. I love it when the air starts to cool down and we can enjoy being outside again. I don’t like it if we skip directly from summer to winter! Let’s have some nice days in the 70’s, with nights in the 40’s for a while. I’m excited to turn the page of the calendar. Somehow my September calendar ended up looking like this.

Is that crazy, or what? Hopefully your calendar doesn’t look like that, too. I guess by the time we get to October, I’m used to the weekly schedule, and I don’t feel the need to write every little thing down. I also make up a schedule and put all the weekly things on it so I can remember that on Tuesdays, for example, we have 3 piano lessons, dance lessons, volleyball practice and scouts.

I also enjoy putting out my fall decorations.

So my front door looks like this, now.

Fall also brings football games. Our neighborhood seems to be full of BYU fans, so every Saturday the neighborhood seems to empty out as everyone is either in Provo at the game or inside watching it on tv. Me, I don’t really care, and I can’t really see myself sitting and watching a football game for four hours, but I’ll let those die hard fans enjoy it. I do enjoy a nice fall soccer game, and luckily for me, we have a lot of them. I don’t really care for games in the rain or snow, so let’s hope it doesn’t rain on us today at Megan’s game. This fall we’ve begun a new sport, and that’s volleyball. Natalie had her first game last Saturday and did quite well for an 8 year old. Those girls really know how to stay in their spots!

I love getting out the sweaters and jeans again. Although jeans are a little bit less forgiving of the occasional diet splurge as the summer capris are, it’s still nice to get them out again (if they still fit) and put on some nice comfy jeans and a sweater. I don’t love switching from sandals to shoes.  Sandals are so easy, and you don’t have to worry about socks.  Now I have to find socks, find shoes that match, and I really don’t love my shoes like to do my sandals.  I’ll hold on to the sandal wearing as long as I can.

I love seeing the reds and oranges in the mountains, and we even have snow up in the mountains above our house at the very top (when I first typed that sentance, it came out as “snot” and that looked a bit odd. Snot in the mountains? Well, maybe, but that wasn’t my point).

I love figuring out the halloween costumes. Although my kids can’t seem to want to wear one of the 38 costumes we have down in the costume boxes, they want me to make them something new. We’ll see about that.

And birthday parties, of course. Tonight is Natalie’s birthday party (her birthday is next week), and Ryan’s bday is the week after that. So, we’ll enjoy the fall birthdays.

What are the things you love most about fall?

What? That’s kind of weird, don’t you think?

As I was going to pick up Megan for her Orthodontist’s appointment (can you say ‘Orthodontics=goodbye to your disposable income’?), I saw something odd. There were a couple of policemen parked in the road on the road I wanted to turn left onto (bad sentence structure, I know!). One of them was stopping all the traffic coming from Alpine to let this company cross the road and head into a field: A guy on horseback, a guy leading a dog, a guy holding one of those long poles with a hoop on the end of it, and two guys with lassos. What could they be looking for? A bear? A mountain lion? An escaped prisoner? A werewolf? (just kidding on that last one) I don’t know, but I’m curious.

Later, after the ortho appointment, I let Megan choose where we would eat. She picked der Weinerschnitzel. Ok. We’ve never ever taken her there before, but it was right there, so we walked over. The kids were happily eating their hotdogs, and the woman who was sitting directly behind me was saying something like: “Yeah, he said to keep her in her pajamas all day.” One of the guys with her said something I didn’t pay attention to, and then she said, “No, you can’t catch it! Adults can’t get it for some reason.” Ok, I don’t really want to know what they are talking about and whether or not I can get it from her kid that is sitting directly behind me, but I’m not taking chances. “Ok, kids, pack it up!” I said, and got them out of there as quickly as possible. Now I ask you, If your child is not supposed to go anywhere, not supposed to get out of their pajamas, wouldn’t it be more prudent to get your food through the DRIVE THROUGH then come in and sit right next to the only kids in the whole place? I’m just sayin.

Oh, Hi. I didn’t notice you sitting there. Have you been here long?

I’ve found myself engrossed in a book, and it’s hard to put it down and do any of the other millions of things that need to get done. I’m 3/4 of the way through New Moon, which is the second in a series of three books by Stephanie Meyer. Twilight was the first one, and yes, it’s about a girl who falls in love with a vampire. It sounds hokey, I know, and it kind of is. At times I get annoyed with the story, that it goes on and on and they don’t get to the action, even though I KNOW what’s going to happen a lot of the time. But it’s captivating and I WANT to read it. What’s your take on this? I think it’s too mature for the targeted teenage audience, and I even wish the main character, Bella, were not a high school student, as I feel that no girl that young could really fall in love that hard, nor should she be in a serious relationship (with vampire, werewolf or human). But it’s sweeping the neighborhood here, and even some of Megan’s 11 year old friends have read all three books. I’m glad that a BYU graduate has written these successful books, and I’m happy for her and her millions, and I think it’s a fun, entertaining read, but maybe not the best literature out there. What’s your opinion?

On the other hand, even though I’m not getting squat done here at the homestead, I like that feeling of being wrapped up in a book.  I like thinking about the characters and wondering what they will do next.  But I don’t like that disappointed let down feeling when it’s over.

Random, disjointed thoughts. But at least I have thoughts.

Any of you who know my friend Robin know that she’s got a little obsession with Vanagons. Well, I must have been channeling Robin in my dream last night. I dreamed that I was garage sale shopping (also something the Robin is a pro at), and I was buying some things from one family. I noticed they had a white vanagon sitting there, and I asked how much they were asking for it.

“Oh,” said the guy, thinking, “if you really want it, you can just have it.” Well, I couldn’t pass that one up, even if it didn’t run very well. He gave me the keys, and I drove it away. At home, I looked it over, and it was spotless! There was a cool kitchen in the back, and places to store everything. I couldn’t believe my luck. I called Robin immediately to tell her what I had found. (Of course, my dear husband was NOT pleased that I would bring ‘that junky thing’ home, and asked what we were going to do with it, where we were going to store it, who was going to insure it, etc.) I think the cold medicine might be affecting my dreams, y’all.

So, Robin, if you’d like to take a look at my dream vanagon, it’ll be parked at the end of the driveway in my dream last night.


My friend Lisa mentioned that she’s going to have to start potty training her twins. I do not envy her that job, because as you may know, I’m a failure in that department. How’s that going? you may ask. Well, let me tell you. The other day, I sent John in to use the potty before preschool. I had helped him take his shorts off and he was pulling down his pull-up, when I walked away and gave him some privacy (sometimes he wants me to stay there, sometimes he wants me to go–I never know). Soon I heard the little splashy sound that could only mean he was using the potty. So I walked back in there, but noticed the wood floor was wet. I was looking down at the floor, wondering if something was dripping or we had spilled something on the floor in the hall (I know, I know–how dumb am I?). When I looked up, I saw John on the floor trying to wipe up his little “accident” with Kleenex. The whole floor was wet, and there was nary a drop in the potty. “What happened?” I asked him in an unexpectly calm voice. He looked up at me with confusion on his face, and said, “I was just standing there, and stuff came out on the floor!” He honestly had no idea what was happening. So, no. We’re not really all the way there on the potty training front. Although this morning he did say to me ‘I want to use the potty’ instead of ‘I want breakfast’. So baby steps, people. Baby steps. Maybe by the time he’s a senior in high school he’ll have both number one and number two down.  We hope.


Heros?  Did you watch it?  I was kind of confused, with all this time between episodes (and I missed the first few minutes.  Do you think that might have helped?  I’m excited for all the new shows that are starting, and all of our old favorites that are coming back on.  Our tivo runneth over.


We have a little concert-ette tonight for the bell choir.  It’s a benefit dinner for the Cathedral of the Madeleine held at the Grand America Hotel.  We’re only playing four songs, so it should be fun.  Not the pressure of a full out concert, although we won’t have any time to rehearse or warm up before, so we’ll be starting cold.  I guess I’ll have to run through the music in my head today.  I’d invite you, but I believe it’s about $150 a plate.


I saw both Becoming Jane and Hairspray this weekend.  While I enjoyed Becoming Jane, and thought it was visually beautiful, I can’t say I loved it like I did Hairspray.  I wanted to get up and dance with that cutie Zac Efron, and sing along.  When each song was done, I felt like clapping and cheering as if it were live theater.  I think I’ll have to be getting that soundtrack!


Ryan had to take the amplifier in to work today.  I’m not sure why.  He probably told me, but in my cold medicine induced state, I don’t really remember.  But that means I have to listen to radio through a crappy little boom box thing.  I have to tune with this silly little round thing and try to figure out what station I’m listening to.  No nice button on the keypad that instantly brings me to the station. And when I go upstairs, it’s even worse.  All I have is my 20 year old clock radio in my bedroom that only tunes into about two stations.   Man, do I feel sorry for those of you who don’t have a whole house audio system.  And I feel sorry for me, that I don’t have one today.  If I didn’t have two or three contests I’m listening for, I wouldn’t worry about it.  I know, you really feel sorry for me, don’t you.

I’ll stop talking now.

Plants on the cheap

Today I went to lunch with a few girlfriends from my neighborhood at Rumbi Island Grill (give me a YUM!  “yum.”  Thank you.)  It was just a little get together to kind of celebrate the September Birthdays, but more than that, it was an excuse to get together for lunch.  Why, yes, I did organize it, thank you very much.  But it wasn’t much to organize, just a few phone calls and a couple of emails and we’re all set.  It was fun, and delicious.

After our lunch, my friend Lisa, who had driven me down there, asked if I minded if we stopped in at Lowes to look at some plants.  Ok, I said, I’m game.  John’s at preschool and I don’t have big plans other than lunch, so I don’t mind at all.  She had said that they had some of their plants on clearance.  Well, that would stand to reason, since nobody is planting any annuals right now.

What we found were some lovely goodies.  I bought an entire basket full of annuals (I couldn’t tell you what they are, but they are still pretty) for $1.  Yes, I know they are annuals and they are going to dies soon, but for a dollar, I couldn’t resist.  The basket alone is worth more than that.  I also bought a sad looking, small chocolate calla lily plant. No, it’s not blooming like that, but it was marked down to 49 cents or some obscene amount like that.  Original price?  $16.00.  I’m not sure if I should plant it in the ground and leave it there for next year or if it’s a picky plant that needs to be dug up in the fall and wintered in the garage.  Anyone know?  Zone 5, I think we are?  I also bought a pretty flowering kale plant.  I think it was about a dollar.  My three plants came to less than $2.50.

When we asked if they were going to discount the perennials and bushes further, the sales girl didn’t know.  I commented that it must be pretty boring to be out in the garden center this time of year, and she heartily agreed with me.  “They are supposed to close this area down soon.  Probably in October,” she said.  “What do they do with the plants that they don’t sell?” we asked.  “Oh, they just throw them all into a compactor and get rid of whatever doesn’t sell,” she said.

That seems like a TERRIBLE waste, doesn’t it?  Perfectly good bushes, vines, and plants that will just get tossed out?!  Well, I’m going to have to check back there in the next week or two and see if they do indeed clearance out the rest of their stuff.  I’m sure they’d rather sell it at a discount than just trash it, don’t you think?

So, if you are in the neighborhood of a Lowe’s or Home Depot (or even Wal Mart), I would check out the garden section.  You might find some forgotten treasures on the cheap.

(By the way, thanks for the well wishes.  I still am kind of sneezy today, but it’s not near the severity of yesterday.  I’ll just keep taking the Claratin and Sudafed for a while until we get through this.)

What is this weird stuffed up thing on my neck and what happened to my head?

It’s either a major allergy season thing I’ve woken up with, or someone has given me their cold.  SNURRRF.  Excuse me while I blow my nose, yet again.  BLEART.  Ok.  I feel slightly better.  Is anyone else suffering with a stuffy nose, watery eyes, sneezing, coughing, sore throat and just wants to go back to bed? Or is it just me?  I think I’ll go dig through the medicines and see if there’s something that can make me feel better, since I have to teach primary today and can’t just go back to bed and sleep it off.  Cold-eez, here I come.

Adventures in Shopping

I went to Albertsons today to get in on their 10 for $10 sale. It was not all that well stocked, since it’s already the second day of the sale. There was cereal, but hardly any.  I missed out on a great deal by about 10 minutes, too. They had some handisnacks on sale for $1 (when you buy 10 products), but the delivery guy also brought a bunch of $1 off coupons for them, and was sticking them on the snacks. So, $1 with a dollar off coupon makes them……Free. My friend, who was just finishing her shopping when I got there, managed to grab 10 of them. By the time I was there, they were all gone, thanks to ladies who bought 400. You read that right. Some woman in line in front of my friend had her entire cart loaded with those happy little snacks. She said she was going to give them out for Halloween. Well, that’s nice, but does that really justify that behavior? Shouldn’t she have left some of those for others, and limited her snatching to, say, 50? I’m surprised that the checker let her “steal” all of those. What are your thoughts on this one?

Do you say…”More power to the grabby lady. She saw an opportunity for savings and hopped on it,” or are you more of the…”That’s a little bit overboard. Maybe leave some bargains for the rest of us,” opinion?

I’m not saying the shopping trip was a complete failure. Looking at my receipt, I spent $116, and I “saved $178.49.” Or they didn’t overcharge me by 178 dollars today.

While shopping, there was a code Adam in the store. Someone had lost their little boy (probably that lady who had her cart so loaded up with handisnacks she lost her child–ok, I’ll stop with the snide comments), and all the employees went through the store looking for him. While I was feeling panic for the unfortunate mother, I was impressed to see how quickly the employees moved. There were two people at each exit, and they were walking quickly up and down every isle. It was less than 2 minutes until they announced that the child had been found, and we could all exhale. I was very relieved that it was a good outcome, and I could actually see the nearly hysterical mom run to where they had her child in the courtesy booth. I’m very glad that they found the little wanderer safe and sound.

PTA Reflections Skit

I’ve had some people ask about my reflections skit (well, Two people, to be exact), so I thought I would just post it here. Now bear in mind that this skit came about because we already had a very large NEMO costume, and everyone has witch costumes. So, I wrote the skit around the costumes. We also have a candy bar costume, but at skit time couldn’t find it, so we eliminated the candy bar part at the end. If you are in charge of reflections for your school, maybe you could use this as an idea. For a small fee. Just kidding about the fee.

Reflections Skit 2007

Witches standing in a circle chanting: Bubble Bubble, toil and trouble, make this fish big on the double! *boom!* (Fish appears from behind the curtain.

Witch 3—Wow! That’s one big fish.

Witch 1—I have a question. Why must we always make trouble and bad with our spells?

Witch 2—Well, that’s just how it’s always been. We are witches! We make mischief and trouble.

Witch 3—Well, couldn’t we change that? Couldn’t we do good things instead?

Witch 4—Maybe we could make a difference in a good way!

Witch 2—Oh, we’re just little witches. We can’t make a real difference in the world.

Witch 3—Hey! That reminds me of something I was just reading about! When I flew over the school the other day, I saw a sign that said the PTA was having a contest called Reflections, and the theme was “I can make a difference by…”

Witch 2—By what?

Witch 1—What’s reflections?

Witch 4—What’s PTA?

Witch 3—Well, I don’t really know.

The witches stand and scratch their heads.

Fish (standing up)—Excuse me. I know I’m just a fish, and that you just put a spell on me to make me huge, but I noticed that you had some questions about Reflections. (all the witches stare at the fish with their mouths open) Since I’ve been in the PTA in my local school of fish, I know all about reflections.

Witch 1—Hey, that fish can talk! Did we do that?

Witch 2—Just be quiet and listen.

Witch 4–Go on, fish. You were saying?

Fish—Well, Reflections is a National Contest Sponsored by the PTA to encourage creativity in children.

Witch 3—What are you talking about?

Fish—Let me explain. Reflections is a contest. There are 8 categories—Would you witches mind holding up those signs for me? (Witches shake their heads and say “no, of course not”) Photography, Visual Arts, Literature, 3-d art, dance, music, theater, film and video. (Witches hold up signs)

Witch 1—So, we could draw a picture

Witch 2 –And I could write a song?

Fish—Yes, you could enter in each of the 8 categories if you wanted.

Witch 4—What should we write about?

Fish—It’s just like you were talking about. “I can make a difference by….” and then you tell what you would do to make a difference or make the world a better place.

Witch 3—So we CAN change the world! And then we can enter this contest! Can everybody enter?

Witch 1—Even witches?

Fish—Anybody who goes to Highland Elementary.

Witch 2—Let’s ALL enter!

Witch 1—If it’s a contest, does that mean there are prizes?

Fish–Yes, that’s the best part! There are prizes for the winners, and not only that, every student who enters the Reflections contest will get a candy bar!

Witch 3—Every single one? Wow!

Fish—And that’s not all, I heard that the class with the most entries will get a pizza party!

Witch 4—Wow!! That’s fantastic! I want to go home and work on my reflections right now! Are there rules and stuff, or can you just do whatever you want?

Fish—There are always rules, even for witches. Look for a note to be coming home soon.

Witch 1—I can’t wait! I think I’ll get started right away!

Fish—Now, do you think you could turn me back to my regular size?

Witch 3—Oh, sure! We could start making a difference right now.

All witches– Fins and Flippers and yellow eyes, Turn this fish back to the right size!

(Fish disappears back under the curtain.)

Witch 2—That was one smart Fish!

Witch 1–He sure knew a lot about Reflections. I’m glad we met him!

Witch 3—Yeah, what a cool contest! We can enter and win prizes.

Witch 4 —And don’t forget about the pizza party, and the candy bar for every one who enters.

Candy bar—Oh no, not a candy bar! (Runs across the stage)

Take a Walk

Today I put on my new shoes (did I tell you I won free shoes from RYKA? Go to to enter to win your own!) and put John in the jogger stroller and said we were going to for a walk. I was actually prepared with a book and a toy for him, MP3 player and sunglasses for me, along with the cell phone, kleenexes, and a bottle of water. I had a few books to return to a friend, and I figured that would be a good, although long walk.

We made it. It took me over an hour, what with stopping there for a minute to see if she was home and getting a drink. There’s one big hill that we had to go up and down, but the rest was quite level. By the time we got to her house, I thought “What was I thinking?! Why on earth would I think I could walk this far AND BACK!” I wanted to quit, but since I was 2.1 miles from my house (I looked it up when I got home), we had to turn around and come back home. When we passed our church, which is still about 3/4 a mile from home, I rejoiced. I’m almost home!!!

John was such a good boy in the stroller the whole time I told him we could stop at his friend’s house when we were done and see if he could play. When I got there, I’m sure I looked a sight.  Red face, sweaty clothes, and just about ready to pass out.   “Oh, you’ve been out walking,” she said when she saw my sweaty red face and jogger stroller. When I told her where I had walked, she said, “That’s a 5K!” Wow, I hadn’t thought of that. She tried to convince me that it would be really fun for a bunch of us to run/walk a 5k together. Ha! She’s a runner. She runs 3 miles at a time while this is the very first time I’ve walked 4 miles. But, yes, I told her I would think about it.  It’s a Halloween 5k in American Fork at the end of October in the evening.

No promises made here, but I’ll think about it.

The joy of boxes

I ordered some snacks from Amazon the other day when they were on a major sale (some of these and some of these). Cases of those, actually.  And for a screaming deal, of course.  With free shipping.  So, today there were two Large boxes from Amazon on the porch for me.  Don’t you just love getting packages in the mail?  It’s so exciting!  There’s a knock on the door, and the kids RUSH feverishly to see who it is that would want to come and visit us at OUR house, and then when there’s nobody there and you think perhaps some little kid is just out doorbell ditching; you look down and see a box there.  Oh the Joy of the brown box!

And the fun doesn’t end there.  You then get to Open the box, and see what wonderful thing you have ordered.  Or maybe, just maybe, someone has sent you something.  A surprise from a loved one far away.  Oh, the anticipation!

After you open the box to find your purchase, or your present or what have you, there’s still more fun to be had with the box it’s-self.  There may be packaging material to rifle through.  Sometimes there’s even bubble wrap, which is actually a gift by within a gift.  Hours of fun and enjoyment can come from stomping on the bubble wrap.

And the BOX!  What can you do with the box?  It could be an airplane, a car, a bus, or any number of transportation themed ideas for a little boy.  You could use it for magic tricks, disappearing acts,  or a much loved game of “what’s in the box?”.  Tonight I think John may have played all those games with those two boxes.  He was in the box, under the box, on top of the box, he put things in the box, around the box, etc.  Oh the joy of boxes.  And if mommy doesn’t get sick of them and throw them out, we’ll get to do it all again tomorrow.  And when we get hungry, don’t forget–
we have those tasty snacks.

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