Thursday, February 28, 2008
I'm sitting here at my desk trying to concentrate, but there is so much racket going on in the office upstairs - the sound of file drawers being slammed shut and stuff being slid across the floor. It sounds like someone is rearranging furniture. I suppose it would't be too strange, except for the fact that the office upstairs is vacant. The tenants moved out last summer. I even went up to check, just in case I missed that someone had moved in. But there's absolutely no furniture there.
I probably sound crazy - but I swear that I'm not. In fact, most of my coworkers have had more than one "strange" occurance in this building. And when the building flooded a few months ago, the renovation crew got so spooked one night that they high-tailed it outta here, and refused to work after dark. So, if I'm crazy then they are all too.
I know this is a totally random blog post. I've been pretty much MIA in the blog-o-sphere this week. I was really sick last weekend - fever of 104.8 and pretty much confined to my bed. I'm feeling better, but I just don't have my energy back yet. And work has been kicking my butt - all this warm weather has developers chomping at the bit to get their projects going.
The funny thing is, I've got about 3 or 4 things swimming around in my head that I'd love to post, but I don't have the time (or energy) to form a coherent thought. So I suppose y'all will have to settle for this random post until I can put together something descent to say. But before I go, I do want to brag that I ran my fastest mile ever last night - somewhere in the neighborhood of an 8 minute mile (which is completely contrary to my lack of energy). Not super speedy by any stretch, but for me its great. Smokin' fast. Think I can run my 1/2 marathon in under 2 next month?
Friday, February 22, 2008
You can read her story here
You can vote here
You can see what she will win here
Thanks so much!
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Thus began the entrance, 2 weeks early, of my amazing Brynlee Mae. I called my mom to come and watch Grace, took a shower and headed to the hospital. After an uneventful 12 hours, and a lot of pitocin, Brynlee was born in one small push (I only counted to 4) - weighing in at 9 pounds 2 ounces (yes, she was 2 weeks early). I remember how heavy she felt as they laid her on my stomach. She was so cuddly and chubby - and she immediately latched-on and nursed for 45 minutes (and thus began her love-affair with food).
Today, my "baby" is 2 years old, and I can't figure out how she grew up so quickly. She is talking so much, is witty and bright, strong-willed, yet loving and compassionate. She is such a joy.
Here are a few videos:
Taking care of baby
Not cooperating with mommy
Monday, February 18, 2008
I also need some advice from my readers. I need a new pair of jeans - one that doesn't show my butt-crack when I bend over. I used to love American Eagle and Abercrombie jeans, but they don't fit my body well anymore. Maybe I just need a idifferent cut or something. I've got fairly long legs (need a 32-34 inch inseam), and I have fairly thin hips. So anyway - what type of jeans do y'all love? Help me find a new style!
Oh - and while you're in the advice-giving mood, give me some ebay selling tips. I know that Carrie and Janae are gurus, and I'd love some advice. What is the best way to list stuff? And how do you know how much to charge for shipping? I've bought a lot, but never been successful at selling stuff. HELP please!
Friday, February 15, 2008
About 2pm, I was at a mountain development taking some pictures for the public hearing the following night (yes, on Valentine's day). I was sitting about 1/2 up the mountain at the mouth of a canyon. All of a sudden, a huge gust of wind hit. The outside temperature dropped about 10 degrees, and the car was rocking back and forth. It seemed like I was in some type of snow tornado, and I was seriously worried I'd blow off of the mountain. I finished taking my (snowy) pictures, and headed back to work. By the time I got there, the snow was coming in horizontally. But I still wasn't concerned: it has snowed 100 times this winter, and I"ve always been fine. My car is great in the snow. An hour later though, Ben called, and told me the snow was terrible by his office. He convinced me to leave work early. So, I finished up what I was working on, and left to get the girls. It was about 4:15 when I got them.
I work in a different valley than where I live, and there are only 3 ways to get home: Redwood Road, I-15, and the frontage road. I had heard on the radio that I-15 was closed because 2 semi trucks had jack-knived, so I opted to take Redwood. But getting there proved to be a challenge. There are only 2 roads to get to Redwood. One was closed due to a 16 car pile-up, so we tried the other road. After waiting 20 minutes, we turned around (I found out later that it was closed because a fire truck had gotten stuck in the snow). I decided to get the girls some McD's, and wait the storm out at my office. According to the radio, the storm was supposed to taper down. I still thought I could get the girtls home in time for bed.
We hung out at my office until about 6:00, and then we decided to try again. The snow appeared to have taped off. But we soon realized it hadn't. The winds were blowing from the north, gusting up to 70 miles per hour, and visibility was zero. We sat in traffic for about 2 1/2 hours before I decided it wasn't going to work. I'd had several offers from friends and family who lived in town to let us spend the night, so we decided to take my sister-in-law up on her offer. But I could tell it was going to take us at least an hour to get to her house - and it was only a mile away.
About this time, G informed me that she needed to pee. I asked her to hold it, but she was pretty desperate. There was no way to get anywhere, so I just pulled down her pants and held her while she peed into the wind. I don't think any of it even hit the ground. I finally decided to be a jerk driver: I put the car into 4-wheel drive, and took off down the shoulder. My vast knowledge of side-roads came in handy, as I was able to pass about 400 cars. It was still slow-going, but we were at least moving. It took over an hour, but we made it to sister-in-law's just before 11pm - almost 7 hours after we started home. We could have driven to Vegas in that time.
Thursday morning was Valentine's Day. My sweet SIL treated us to pink french toast with powdered sugar hearts, fresh fruit, and OJ. I dropped the girls off at daycare, and went into work. We were all wearing the same clothes from the day before. Not fun! And work was horribly busy. I did go on my lunch break to buy a new shirt, because I had to work that night too and I didn't want to have to be wearing the same thing I'd worn to bed. That night, I had a public hearing on Valentine's Day - of all the nights. I finally made it home around 10:15 pm. Almost 40 hours later.
Since I was Valentine's Day, I was expecting something special from my hubby. But, there were 6 inches of unshoveled snow on the driveway. The house was trashed. The sink was full of dishes. I was frustrated. He said something to me about not getting me flowers because he knows I think they're a waste of money - which is true. I do think flowers are a waste of money. But that doesn't mean I wouldn't like something else - something that isn't going to be dead in less than a week. Maybe some new jeans perhaps - a pair that actually covers my butt-crack? Instead, he said something about wanting to have sex - the absolute last thing I wanted at that moment. I just wanted to go to sleep and forget about the past 2 days.
I wanted to sleep in this moring too - but instead, the stupid dog woke me up at 6:15 by jumping on me and licking my face. I'm so ready for him to be gone, but I'm afraid he's here until the spring. I am grumpy, and I cannot wait for this week to be over.
Sorry for the rant.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
A few weeks ago I was reading and cuddling with G before bed, when I kissed her and called her my special little girl. She looked up at me, seemingly offended, and stated, “Mom, I’m not special. Special is just another word for mean.” She told me that Audrey was so mean to the other kids, and that no one wanted to play with her. It made me sad to think my daughter was being mean to a “special” child, so we spent the next few minutes talking about how Audrey couldn’t help herself and that G should be her friend. Being the naïve mommy that I am, I thought that our discussions of Audrey were over – that G was suddenly going to be friends with this poor disadvantaged girl and everything was going to be ok. But then, a few days later, as I was dropping the girls off for the day, Audrey attacked.
Every daycare morning, I take the girls in, sit them down at a chair, and give them something to eat for breakfast. I had just sat Brynlee down and gone to hang up their coats, when out of no where Audrey attacked poor Brynlee. She came at her from behind, and pulled her right off of the chair. Poor Bryn flew off backwards, hitting her head. Of course she screamed, and I felt awful, but I comforted her and explained that Audrey didn’t know what she was doing. Still being naïve, I assumed it was an isolated incident – that maybe Audrey just wanted to eat some of Bryn’s food.
Over the course of the next few days though, I casually observed other issues with this girl. I saw that she seemed to pick on the toddler-aged kids when they were all together in the morning. I would also hear stories from G about how mean Audrey is, and what she has done to the other children. Each time I explained to G that she needs to be patient with Audrey. I still wasn’t overly concerned because the classes are only combined a few minutes in the morning and at night – the girls aren’t around Audrey for most of the day.
Yesterday when I showed up at the end of the day, the classes were combined. As I came up the stairs I could hear Bryn crying. I saw Audrey attacking Bryn. She was pulling on her clothing and her hair – and poor Bryn was terrified. All this was going on while a man, who I assumed to be Audrey's father was watching. I broke up the fight, and decided that it was time to talk to someone. I was starting to worry that my sweet, not-quite-two-year-old was the target of attack on a regular basis.
So, I pulled aside the afternoon teacher. She’s a lady I know fairly well, as she has a child in both Bryn and G’s classes and we’ve gone her daughter’s birthday party a few months ago. I felt like I could be frank with her, and get an honest response. I expressed to her my concern, that Audrey was too rough to be combined with the little kids. She agreed with me, and then confided in me that she can’t handle Audrey, who suffers from both Down’s syndrome and severe autism. Audrey picks on the toddlers, and is pretty much out of control. She also went on to tell me the sad story of how Audrey has no parents. Her dad has never been around, and recently her mom left her with a mentally-challenged uncle as her guardian.
And now my heart is breaking. On one hand, I feel so sorry for this little girl who obviously has no chance in life. On the other hand, I’m worried about the safety of my own, sweet girl who is the target of Audrey’s rage. I just don’t know what to do. The obvious answer is that Audrey needs to be in a special facility that can care for someone with her disabilities. But I’m pretty sure the best her uncle can do is the daycare center. So, I need to propose something to the center so that my little girl is protected. It would just kill me if she did something bad to Bryn.
Since yesterday, I've racked my brain for a solution. I barely slept last night, because I couldn't shut my mind off. I just don't know how to handle this. I really don't want to move my kids - this is the only daycare in town, and its only 6 blocks from work. My kids love their teachers and have lots of friends there. It would be devistating to them if they had to move. I also don't think the center is equipped or staffed to handle a child with Audrey's needs, and I'm sure her uncle cannot afford somewhere that is. So, what do I do?
*Names have been changed
Monday, February 11, 2008
1. Hey Ya! - OutKast
2. This Love - Maroon 5
3. Legend - Nelly Furtado
4. Here it Goes Again - Ok Go
5. One Headlight - The Wallflowers
6. Walk on the Ocean - Toad the Wet Sprocket
7. Break Anotha - Blake Lewis
8. Walk - Blind Melon (one of my ALL time favs)
9. The Inside - Moses Mayfield
10. 100 Years - 5 For Fighting
Friday, February 08, 2008
Now, why people think that prefacing a statement with, "I'm not trying to scare you, but . . ." is going to calm you down, because in saying it, all they manage to do is scare you. It defeats the purpose. The moment I heard it, my heart started racing and my blood pressure rose to within dangerous levels. I was envisioning that my sweet little girl had been in some disfiguring accident, and would never be the same.
She did continue with the story, that Bryn and a little boy had bumped heads, and that her lip is split and may need a stitch to close it. It didn't sound too life-threatening - the visions of her with a limb dangling off subsided. Still, I decided to drive over and take a look. And I was grateful to only be 6 blocks away.
When I got there, Bryn wasn't even crying and the bleeding had already stopped. Clearly she was going to be just fine. She did have blood all over her shirt and pants - a fact she was very proud of. She showed me the "owie" on her lip, which was hugely swollen and purple. Then she proudly showed me the blood all over her clothes. She was proud of her ordeal - my girls are nothing if not tough.
I did a quick assessment, and determined that she was going to ok. I helped her change out of her bloody clothes, and held some ice on her face for a few minutes. She wanted to get up and play, so I left and went back to work, grateful that she had nothing more than a fat lip.
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
G: When we get home, I'm going to have a party in my room
me: Who's coming to your party
G: Just me and my pretend husband
me: You have a husband?
G: Yes, but he's just pretend
me: Oh, what is his name?
G: Its a really handsome name - see if you can guess. His name starts with an "S"
(she'd told me earlier that she thought Steve was a handsome name)
me: Is it Steve?
G: Yes! How did you guess?
me: I'm just smart like that. I have a cousin named Steve, and he has a mullet.
G: You're so funny mommy!
Monday, February 04, 2008
1. I bite my fingernails - nasty habit.
2. I love to eat
3. I don't love to cook
4. I hate doing laundry
5. I love cleaning the kitchen and washing dishes
6. I have a degree in planning and resource management. I went into that field because of the resource management and I work as a planner
7. My favorite season is autumn
8. I like cold weather better than warm weather
9. I want to live in a small town
10. I was a member of Greenpeace and had aspirations of saving the world
11. I was a vegetarian throughout most of high school and college
12. I now drive an SUV.
13. I believe in ghosts
14. I like to eat sugar way more than I should
15. I'm terrified of spiders. Really scared. My fear is somewhat unnatural.
16. I'm also afraid of heights
17. I have been to 37 states
18. I've wanted to be skinner than I am for my entire life
19. I have a bad temper, and sometimes feel like I yell at my kids too much
20. I am a good swimmer, but I'm scared of deep water
21. My favorite food really is salad
22. I'm left handed
23. I have one brother and one sister
24. I can't whistle
25. I don't like perfume or anything that is supposed to smell good
26. My knees are double jointed and can bend waaaay backwards
27. I never remember my dreams
28. I'm not outgoing, and it takes me a long time to make a good friend (except Lynita, Alison, Gareth, and Sean - and somehow we became the "Fab 5" almost immediately)
29. The first boy that I kissed was Joe. We were 14, and it was on the stage after a church activity. I thought I was in love. Joe is now a meth addict, and in prison for murder.
30. I've never smoked or done illegal drugs
31. I have drunk a lot of alcohol
32. I have a tatoo
33. I love to read, but I don't read very often because once I start a good book I cannot stop. I just don't have the lifestyle right now where I can stay up until 4am reading a book
34. I have aspirations of writing a novel. In fact, I've started many times, but always lose interest.
35. I am a convert to the LDS church. Some days I think that I only keep going to church because it is a habit.
36. I was born in Gary, Indiana
37. I grew up mostly in Kentucky. I love it there, and would move back if given the chance
38. My ultimate goal in life is to one day run an ultra-marathon (100 mile race)
39. I would really like to have one more baby, but I worry I'm getting too old
40. I want plastic surgery - I want a tummy tuck and a bigger chin
41. I am not a republican. I'm not sure that I'm a democrat either, but I'm sure I'm not republican
42. I'm not a big TV watcher, but I love American Idol
43. I also rarely miss a Jazz game on TV
44. I have asthma
45. I am allergic to peanuts, but I craved peanut butter while pregnant with G. So I would take Benedryl so I could eat it
46. I am a hard worker - which is actually an understatement. When we were doing the sprinklers in our last house, we had to dig a huge trench to reach the water connection. I was in the bottom digging, while Ben stood at the top b.s.-ing with some neighbors. My dad drove up, and wasn't even suprised to see his daughter digging a hole while the men watched.
47. I love true crime and horror movies and books
48. I don't wear much make-up, although I wear moisturizer and mascara every day
49. I'm not a "pretty" girl. I don't know how to fix my hair and make-up cute, and I'm not very fashionable
50. I love playing Barbies with my kids
51. I play the piano and guitar (sort of)
52. I am really good at leading music - somehow my body just "feels" it
53. I love maps, and sometimes I get to make them at work
54. I love road trips
55. I love to travel. My favorite place I've ever visited is Denali National Park. So amazing!
56. It only takes me about 10 minutes to get ready in the morning (I shower at night)
57. I eat granola for breakfast every single day
58. Although I love to ski, I'm not really very good at it
59. Although I love to run, I'm not very fast
60. I often say that my best talent is making others look good (in comparison to me)
61. I think that I have pretty skin and teeth
62. I hate my ugly, droopy eyes
63. If I could do it all again, I'd go back to school in either the medical field or forensic anthropology
64. I used to be an EMT, but I let my certifications lapse
65. I am a grammar natzi
66. I cannot spell to save my life (thank heavens for spell checker!!)
67. I love hiking, backpacking, camping, etc - pretty much anything associated with the out-of-doors
68. I am embarassed when people can hear me pee. On my wedding night, we stayed in a very quaint B&B, but there was only a curtain to the bathroom. I made Ben go into the hall so I could pee.
69. I was not a virgin on my wedding night (I did not plan for this to be item #69 - I promise)
70. I'm anal retentive.
71. I have endometriosis
72. I used to do Passion Parties
73. I like to make my own jewelry
74. I am in my 30s, and my dad still scares me
75. I have family memebers who are mentally ill, and others who suffer from drug and/or alcohol dependence. It scares the crap out of me that my kids my inherit those tendencies.
76. My eyes are green
77. My wedding ring is only a size 4 1/2 - how my fingers are so much skinnier than the rest of me I will never know.
78. I hate fishing
79. I am a low-maintenance girl, and pride myself in that fact. But some days, I wish I could be a bit more polished and made-up
80. I'm terrible at team sports
81. My most embarassing moment was in college, when I was sitting with some friends at a basketball game. Its was half-time, and they were having a contest in the middle of the floor where some guys were competing for prizes by trying to shoot baskets. I made a comment to the girl sitting next to me about how much the guys sucked (really, none of them could make anything). She answered back that one was her brother. Oops.
82. I should have more embarassing moments, but I'm such a spaz that everything blurrs together.
83. I hate Valentine's Day
84. I am a good mother
85. I'm not a very good friend. If it wasn't for the internet, I'd have lost touch with 90% of my friends
86. I love shopping - its my therapy
87. I recycle
88. I feel pretty passionate about prescription drug abuse. I think that doctors WAAAAY overprescribe medications in a lot of cases (I'm not saying that there aren't some people out there who legitimately need it), but it causes so many problems. I know so many people who's lives have been ruined because of careless doctors
89. I love sleep
90. I love rain - most especially when accompanied by thunder and lightening
91. Gloomy weather makes me cheery - I hate hot and sunny days
92. I clean my kitchen every day
93. I have green eyes
94. I loathe Disneyland, Disney World, Disney movies, Disney character clothing, etc. Basicly I hate Disney! Unfortunately, my girls LOVE Disney (and so does their father). I think I'm out-voted on this one.
95. I hate being pregnant, but I love my kids
96. I like to think that I'm frugal, but in all honesty, I think I'm probably just cheap
97. I am a "glass is 1/2 full" kind of person
98. I don't like talking on the phone
99. I am not a homebody - I love to be out and about
100. My mom and sister are my best friends
101. My children are my greatest accomplishment
**I've been working on this since the night of the PW potluck. It took forever!
Sunday, February 03, 2008
A major winter storm is moving through Utah. Snow will accumulate along the Northern and Southern Wasatch Front, but because of the Oquirrh Mountain snow shadow, the Salt Lake Valley will not see heavy snow until around midday, when the cold front moves through Salt Lake City. Accumulations will be heaviest in the Ogden and Provo East Bench areas with 5 to 9 inches, while the valleys along the Wasatch Front will accumulate between 2 and 5 inches. Much heavier snow will fall in the Wasatch Mountain Valleys with 8 to 16 inches around Park City and Liberty. The mountains will accumulate from 18 to 36 inches. Even the central and southern valleys will see significant accumulations from this storm. Those planning to travel on Sunday should be very careful, and should have a winter travel survival kit with them; and they should advise someone of their plans in case there are problems while traveling throughout the state.
That forecast may sound scary to some, but it didn't even faze me. After all the snow we've seen this season, I didn't give it a second thought. Especially since we live in the aforementioned "snow shadow" of the Oquirrh Mountains. I was expecting an inch or two - nothing more. So, imagine my suprise when I opened the door for Burton and a wall of snow fell into the house. It appeared that about 18 inches of snow had drifted up to the doors. I told Ben to take my car, since I have 4 wheel drive. It would leave me stranded all day, but I figured we'd be ok. (instead of regular church, today is a conference - aka bye week) He left, and I snuggled myself back into bed, hoping for a couple more hours of sleep. I had just about drifted off when I realized in horror that I had let Ben take the car with the only diapers and wipes inside. And he wouldn't be back until mid afternoon. That is a long time to go without diapers and wipes. Bryn had Mexican food for dinner - lots and lots of taco salad. We're gonna need diapers.
Then I remembered that I had some old swim diapers from the summer. I found 3 of them, along with a few wipes, under the bathroom vanity. Baring any major catastrophe, we should be ok. I snuggled back into bed.
When the girls woke 2 hours later, we got up and made some breakfast. I tried to let Burton outside again, only he wouldn't go out. The snow was deeper than he is tall. So much snow had fallen. I watched as my neighbor across the street tried to take his super-sized truck out in the snow - but the snow was too deep. It was about as tall as the big tires on his truck, and he got stuck in the middle of the cul-de-sac.
I decided that I needed to go out and shovel, as it was still coming down. I didn't want it to get too deep to ever be able to shovel. We may be snowed in until March. And I'm not kidding. I set the girls up with some food and a movie, and stepped into my snow boots while still in my PJs. As I opened the garage, this was the scene that greated me:
It may be difficult to see, because its so dark. The snow in the foreground was about as deep as the snow shovel blade - roughly 12 inches. But it had drifted away from the house. You can see a ridge of snow in the background that is a full foot deeper. 2 feet of snow, and it was still coming down in snowball sized flakes.
I decided to shovel the porch first. It may not seem so deep - but look closely. There are 3 steps up to my porch and only one is visible.
After shoveling the front walk, it quickly became aparent that I would not be able to shovel the enitre driveway in a reasonable amount of time. The girls were inside alone, and I could only trust them for so long. So I decided to at least shovel the side Ben would need to get up, assuming he actually was able to make it home. The snow on the driveway was at least 2 feet deep. I had to shovel a path first - look how deep! It took me 45 minutes to shovel just enough of the driveway for Ben to hopefully get the car inside the driveway. I was actually having fun, and would have finished the job if the girls hadn't been inside alone. And all I could think was: when can I go skiing?
The girls are stir-crazy today. We're not homebodies. I'd love to go outside and play in the snow mounts, but the girls snow pants, gloves and coats are . . . guess where? . . . in my car. So, its 10am, and I'm letting the girls eat Hot Pockets and Mountain Dew for an early lunch because I just can't handle their whining.
Oh - and the satellite is out - full of snow I'm sure. We've got a fridge full of food and a Super Bowl party planned - assuming anyone can get here. And we can get the satellite going again (someone needs to climb on the roof and clean it up). Should be an interesting day . . . I'll have to update tomorrow.
Thanks too for the great cleaning tips. I've merged Anne Marie and Carrie's bathroom cleaning tip: this morning while the girls bathed, I wiped down the bathroom. Only took 5 minutes, and it looks one million times better. Great tips! Anyone wanna tell me how to keep on my laundry too?
Friday, February 01, 2008
This is the Scrubbing Bubbles shower cleaner. It hangs in the shower. After a person is finished with their shower, they push the blue button, and cleaner gets sprayed all over the walls and floor. I don't think it would work well for the shower/tub combinations, but for the shower its great. I'll admit I was a bit skeptical when my mother-in-law gave me this for my birthday last year. But it does work really well! I haven't had to scrub my shower since. I do still give it a quick wipe-down when I clean my shower. But no more scrubbing. My only complaint is that the refills only last about 2 weeks.
This is the Swiffer floor duster, and I love it. The duster isn't the best for tile, but on the wood floor that covers at least 1/2 my house, it works great! The cloth is disposable, so when it gets dirty it just goes straight to the trash. Oh - and my kids love to use it
A great companion to the floor duster is the Swiffer Wet Jet Mop. It has a handy button on the handle, when pushed, sprays the cleaner out. You mop it up with disposable pad - so no yucky water to deal wtih. I don't use this for the "deep cleaning" my floors get about once a month. But it works wonders for the in between cleans - or when my kids spill something sticky all over the floor. And my kids can use it too - there's nothing better than having your 3 year old attempt to clean the floor. The cleaner and batteries last for a long time too. I hightly recommend this product!