The Trials of a Busy Mom

Month: January 2009 (Page 1 of 3)

Thanks to all who entered

Winners!!! I let pick the winners for the CD contests, and our winners are Becky,

#49–Becky Says:
January 27th, 2009 at 4:07 pm

I’d like to win either. Here’s my comment to enter the The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra CD. I love catching them on PBS.

and Mrs. Mommy.

#29–MRS.MOMMYY Says:
January 26th, 2009 at 10:36 pm

the wow looks great

Thanks to everyone who entered, and I hope to have another contest soon.

It’s Great to be Eight

Today is Jenna’s birthday.

When she was born, the other three kids were very excited to have a new sister.

And what cutie she was!

She really is a joy. She tries to make others happy, and she wants to do what’s right.

She has big goals in life. She wants to be an actress or a singer, or a veterinarian, or a doctor, or a teacher, or a mom.

She’s a good sport.

Jenna is the only one in our family to break a bone, and she had a good attitude about that, too. She loved that wheelchair.

And she loves her animals. I’m proud of Jenna. She is a special little person and I can’t wait to see what kinds of things she accomplishes in her life.

Happy Birthday, Jenna-boo.

The morning breaks, the shadows flee

Oh, it’s a rough morning here at the Erickson house.

Wednesday nights are rehearsal, which is great. But it’s exhausting, and I came home with an aching back, partly from ringing bells all night, and partly because I used 8 pound weights in my workout class on Tuesday instead of my normal 5 pounds weights. When I came in the house, I started the dishwasher, and then went to say hi to Ryan in his office. Only he wasn’t in his office. He was in bed.

Seems he’d had a violent reaction to something he ate for lunch at Apolo Burger (let’s hope it wasn’t peanut butter), and he’d been in and out of the bathroom all evening. Enough said? So, he was in bed not feeling happy. Well, I got ready for bed, too, and came to bed to try to sleep.

Here’s the thing. Ryan doesn’t usually go to bed at the same time as me. He is a night owl and I’m usually crashing into bed at the earliest possible moment. Seriously. If we don’t have anything going on that night, as soon as I get the kids in their pajamas, I get in my pajamas, too. Then once they are in bed, I’ll crawl in bed to read or watch tv and go to sleep. I’m not one of those people who say, “I get SO much done after the kids are in bed!”. Nope. After the kids go to bed, I breathe a sigh of relief and say I’m done for the day, and enjoy the quiet. But Ryan is one of those putterers, who works on projects at midnight or 1 am. I’ve tried to convince him that it’s not healthy to stay up so late, and he gives me the story that he’s not sleepy, and why go to bed when you’re not sleepy? Whatever.

At any rate, we’ve gotten into this routine that I usually go to sleep alone. In the quiet. With no one breathing or coughing or changing position to try to get comfortable. Get my drift? I like to sleep in the quiet. And when it’s not quiet, or someone happens to be there sleeping at the same time as me, I can’t go to sleep. I can try. I can pretend I’m asleep and hope that it happens. I can lie there thinking of all the things I need to change or work on in my life while silently hoping I’ll get so bored that I’ll eventually fall asleep. So, that’s what I did. For an hour or so. Until Ryan got up and visited the bathroom.

“Great!”, I thought, “now I’ll fall asleep while he’s in there, and then I’ll be asleep, hooray!” But, no. Sleep didn’t happen. I just lay there listening, wishing I knew where my earplugs were, and wondering how long he was going to be in there.

Eventually I gave up. I said goodbye, that I was going to sleep downstairs, but I would reheat my wheat bag so he could have warm toasty feet. Wasn’t that nice of me? I was sacrificing my own warm and toasty feet so he could have warm and toasty feet. Really, my feet were already warm, and he had cranked the heat up to -like-69, so it was plenty warm. I grabbed some blankets and went to go sleep on the couch. Nice plan that it was, I couldn’t really sleep on the couch, either. I must be getting old and stuffy because I want to sleep in my own bed. Sigh.

I did eventually sleep, but when one of the kids woke up to use the bathroom at 5:30, I decided I might as well haul myself back up to bed, so that when they all get up they won’t come and poke at me. I think I also must have turned my alarm off, so that it wouldn’t wake Ryan up when it went off. Oops.

I woke up at 7:26 with an “Oh, crap.” I hobbled down the stairs hoping that my kids had been responsible without me there telling them what to do. Sure enough, they were all gathered around the counter in various stages of getting ready for school. I told them I was so sorry I had slept in and wasn’t up helping this this morning. “That’s ok, Mom,” Megan said, “you were up late last night.” Wow. I had time to brush some girls’ hair, sign some homework, write a check for lunch money and have a prayer before the first group left for the bus at 7:30. I was impressed that they got up, got dressed and got breakfast without me. At least I think they got breakfast. I hope they got breakfast. The Jr High kids left a few minutes later and I breathed another sigh of relief. They did it without me.

That makes me wonder, what am I getting up for? They could just get ready and go to school on their own while I languish in my nice warm bed, right? Ha, ha, ha, ha! Things do not always go so smoothly.

But today I’m thankful that my kids can be responsible enough to get ready (at least today) without any prodding from mom. And I’m hoping that my sweet husband gets feeling better soon. So that I can sleep.

Mail woes

Our little family video/LDS bookstore/post office is a thing of the past. Now we have no post office in our city. Again. And I have a package to mail to my friend in Arizona that may NEVER get to her, now.

I don’t know what it is about that little strip mall. You’d think that a business could stay there for more than a few years. Last spring I went to the dance store to buy tights, and found that the dance store had been replace with a tanning salon. Oh! I’ll admit I had never been to that dance store before, but I knew it was there.

I’ve been to this family video store many times. I have even bought things other than just rented a movie. I have used the post office many times, also, and I am confused and sad that it’s not there.

What do we have to do to get a post office in our city, I ask you?

Free CDs!

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

Oh, it’s giveaway time, it’s giveaway time. I love giveaway time. Sing it with me, folks….

That’s ok, you don’t need to sing it.
I love it when there’s a giveaway carnival at Bloggy Giveaways. You can enter lots and lots of contests all week. It’s too many contests, actually. If a person weren’t careful, they could waste a WHOLE lot of time entering contests. Or so I’ve heard. (ahem)

In the spirit of giving, I looked around my office to see what I could give away.

I always have a few Mormon Tabernacle Choir CD’s to give away, and this month is no exception. I have a brand new sealed copy of the CD Praise to the Man.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square are pleased to announce their latest recording entitled Praise to the Man: Songs Honoring the Prophet Joseph. This recording is perhaps the most uniquely “Mormon” recording released by the Choir and Orchestra as well as a testament to the faith and legacy of Joseph Smith and the early Latter-day Saints. Filled with new arrangements of beloved LDS hymns, this recording evokes the feelings of those early saints—feelings of hope, faith and joy.

Now I understand that this CD is not for everyone. But you never know, you just might love it. It’s a beautiful CD, and Mack Wilberg’s arrangements are, as usual, astounding.

So, in the non religious music category, I also have the Best of Now, now that’s what I call Music 10th Anniversary CD to give away.

This CD has songs from P!nk, Katie Perry, Alicia Keys, Justin Timberlake, U2, Coldplay, and many others. in fact, if you’d like a whole list of the artists and songs on this CD, you can check it out on Amazon. I think this would be a great listen to in the car CD.

So, there you have it, folks. Two CD’s for you to win!

How to enter-
-Just leave a comment, and let me know which CD you would like to win. If you would like to enter for both, please leave two separate comments. And if you could say hi or tell me something about yourself or why you like this blog, that would ALSO be nice. I will draw two winners on Friday, and this contest is open to US visitors only, please.

And have fun entering contests. You can check out all the contests over at Bloggy Giveaways. Just don’t let it take over your life.

I can’t believe I forgot to give this post a title! Sorry!

I want to tell you about my latest home decorating project. mirror I had mentioned before how my sister the artist drew some portraits of my kids for my Christmas gift. Well, after I got them all framed up, they just looked too washed out against our off white walls, so I decided I needed to paint. I had also bought myself this mirror for my birthday, and realized it would rather sit on a wall that wasn’t white, too.

Since Ryan had Friday off, he said he would help me paint if I would buy the paint. You don’t have to tell me more than once. I immediately went to Wal Mart to buy paint. I wasn’t exactly sure what color I wanted, but I knew it would be in the brown or gold family. I picked up about three different swatch colors and in five minutes had decided on a color. It’s called February Gold.

I actually liked the darkest color on the card, but I heard somewhere that you are supposed to go one shade darker than you actually want. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I did that, and ended up with this gold color.

With a little help from my number one helper, I got to work painting. Lucky for me, he had school that day, so I did the bulk of the paint job after he left for school, and by the time he got back, it was done. Ryan did the top edges with the cool edger thing, and I did the walls with the cool roller thing that sucks the paint into the handle.

It really makes painting go a lot faster, and there’s less drips and spills than using a roller and a tray (and no, they didn’t send me one to use and try out and review here, I just like it). I does, however, use a lot of paint. I used a whole gallon of paint on just two walls of that room.

Anyway, By the time the kids got home from school, I was pretty much done with the painting for the day, and the room looked kind of like this.

I was feeling pretty good about the paint job and the color until the kids came home.
“WoW! Yellow walls!” they said.
“That’s gold,” I told them.
“Huh. It looks kind of like yellow to me.”
“Gold. See the sample? February Gold.” I said.
I guess they knew enough not to mess with me, because they called it gold from then on. Good children.

Saturday I did some touch ups, then called on some friends to help me figure out how to arrange my pictures. The sad thing was, that with the new mirror, none of my old “country” decor worked anymore. We stole a few things from another room, and decided that if I painted them all black they could work. But nothing got hung up quite yet.

Monday a friend happened to be coming over. A friend with a background in design. What’s the point of having a designer friend if you can’t ask them design questions? My point exactly. He gave me some different ideas that I really liked.

Tuesday found me spray painting a frame, a shelf and a chair black. I like spray paint! Tuesday Ryan also hung the pictures of the kids. I love them! Unfortunately, with the glass over them and the light from the windows and flash, I haven’t been able to get a good picture. I should have scanned them before I framed them (and actually, I tried to, but for some reason it only gave me 1/2 a picture. Hmmm). So, here’s how they look on the wall, but you can’t really see how wonderful they are from these pictures. You’ll just have to come over and see them in person.

Aren’t they great? This is actually the fourth set of drawings my sister has done for me. She give to me for Christmas every three years, and this is always what I want. If you are interested in having her draw pictures of YOUR kids, you could always contact her through me. She’s quite talented.

Here’s that wall finished.

Then I had to get busy on hanging the mirror and everything on the other wall. I had measured things out on the floor and got impatient and didn’t want to wait for when Ryan could help me, so on Friday I just did it. First I got the mirror up on the wall in the general place I wanted it.
Then I put the frame below it, the family picture to the side, and the shelf below that. It looked like this.

I looked around the house for things to put on that little black shelf, and found the ‘imagine’ sign in my kitchen and tried it out. It looked great, in my opinion.

So, there’s that wall of the room. It turned out quite nice, don’t you think? Last night, after I got it all arranged and took all the stray toys out of there, I just sat in there and read my book. Alone. Each time a child would come in, I would say, “Hey, don’t bring your stuff in here!” and they would slink out. I guess that’s what I’ve got to do to keep a room clean around here.

Adventures in Shopping!

Wow. I think this was my best shopping day yet. I planned everything out, searched the sale flyer and my coupons to find coupon matches for all the best deals. I wrote everything out so I knew how many of each item I needed to buy for the specific specials. I played the game.

John was with me, but we were prepared with a game boy and a snack. He was good the whole time. I searched the store for the EXACT items to meet the sale requirements. I had to refer back to my ad several times to make sure the size was correct, as a 16 ounce box of cereal will not be on sale like the 14 ounce box of the same cereal will be. When they were out of an item on the shelf, I asked if they had any more. Yes, it’s stressful and mentally exhausting, but it can be done.

While my cart full of groceries was by no means free, it does my heart good to read my savings at the end of the receipt.

Total spent (with tax) $94.55
Preferred Savings $104.41
Mfg coupons $41.55
Store coupons $21.01

Today’s total savings $166.97 Awesome!

After the groceries were loaded into the car, John and I went to Old Navy, where I did indeed buy that red coat I’ve been coveting. My sister-in-law sent me a coupon for $10 off a $50 purchase, making the coat only $39.50 instead of nearly $50. While not a screaming deal, it was enough of a discount to justify the purchase in my mind. That and the fact that Ryan told me he would be getting 40 cents a mile from his trip down to Vegas and back. Usually they will only reimburse up to the amount of a plane ticket, but since he HAULED an entire Suburban full of equipment for the company down and back, they are cutting him a little bit of a bonus. That money goes directly into the “red coat for Paige fund, since she had to suffer without her car for a week so we could haul equipment to Vegas and back” fund.

Our third stop was to Walgreens. I asked John if he was up to one more shopping stop, and he said he was. We were organized and didn’t have much to buy, so it was a short trip. I spent $20 on soda and chips and got $10 back, and used that $10 register reward to pay for nearly all of the rest of my items. Not bad, I must say.

I tried to push it just a tiny bit further and asked John if he’d like to go with me to the paint store, since it’s RIGHT there, and we could buy paint for HIS room, but he was hungry and tired of shopping and said he wanted to go home. I can respect that decision, because I wanted to go home, too.

What is this ick that I’m breathing?

We’re thick in the middle of an inversion here, and it makes the fog/smog thick, and the air heavy with pollution. And it’s dang cold. I’m freezing all the time! Hopefully there’s a storm coming through in the next few days to blow all this ick out of the valley, and then we can see our beautiful mountains again.

I heard on the radio that we are NOT supposed to exercise today because of the poor air quality. Ok. I won’t.

What? That only applies to outside exercise? Well, they didn’t SAY that. I heard NO exercise, so that’s what I’m going by.

This Historic Day

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America – they will be met.

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.”–Barack Obama

What an amazing day today has been. As I was watching the inaugural address on tv, my daughter was practicing the piano in the other room, playing “My Country ‘Tis of Thee”. It brought a tear to my eye. And although I might not have voted for President Obama, and I may not agree with all of his politics, he is now my president, and I have high hopes for the future. I believe he can be a great president.

As the kids came home and I was watching the whole thing on tv, they said, “Oh, we watched this all day at school.” I’m glad they watched it at school. I don’t know about the ‘all day’ part, but I hope that they remember this day. The day that a black man became the president of the United States of America. A day that they should remember.

“For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter’s courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent’s willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.”

Dreaming again

I had the weirdest dream last night! I dreamed we moved to…well, I don’t want to offend anyone, so I’ll just say we were moving to “Somewhere else”. I hated it. I had a friend there, (Joan Cusack, actually) and she had told everyone at church about her wonderful friend, Paige, who was moving there and how much they would all love me. When we got there, we went to church, and everyone was wearing their red team sweatshirts and sweaters and jeans. At church. Hmmm. We Mormons usually dress up for church, but I guess things are different there. My friend kept introducing us to people, but with their thick accents I had to keep asking them what they had just said, and still wasn’t understanding. I did a lot of smiling and nodding, but I wasn’t fooling anyone. They would look at Joan, and say, “Well, I don’t like her.”

Our house was small, and had about 6 feet of yard on all sides of the house. I tried to meet neighbors and they all turned away from me and wouldn’t talk or get to know me at all. I was so sad.

This morning Ryan put his arm around me in bed, and all I could say was, “Please don’t make me move to “Somewhere else”. They don’t like me there.” He reassured me that there’s not much chance of us moving to that particular place in the near future. Good. I like it here.

But I’ve still been thinking about that dream today. Wondering why those people didn’t like me, and wondering how long it would take until I got used to things and the new neighborhood and all that. As if we really were moving! How silly is that?

Don’t you hate it when you dream something that’s so real, and then you think about it during the day and wonder about things in your dream? Or am I the only one that does that?

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