Friday, September 30, 2011

I wish we had a video camera

Or that VOD hadn't taken my camera on her field trip.  (I know.  I'm just hoping they both come back intact -- the girl and the camera.)

Baby girl was having a nap earlier and I sat down with Little Mister at the table to work on my chores list (updates coming soon).  He was doing "homework" -- coloring pictures and bossing me around.  He asked me to draw a letter though I can't remember which one ... and I drew a different one that I didn't know he knew.  He said, "No, that's a B!"  So I started asking him what all the letters are.

I went completely out of alphabet order, writing them down (sideways so they were right side up to him, but that's why they were a little wonky).  He got confused on J and E, calling E a phone (hence the picture of a phone in pink), but then he got them.  He knew ALL the letters.

I was so proud, I let him boss me around drawing other pictures too.  

I never claimed to be an artist.

I can't tell you the last time we worked on letters.  It's been months.  But he was paying a LOT of attention to Super Why this week when he saw that it was on Netflix.  Maybe TV isn't all evil after all.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

An Overnight Field Trip

VOD is going on an overnight field trip tomorrow.  It's actually for two nights.  We went through the packing list last night and I went to the store today to get what we didn't have. 

I didn't buy sunscreen or bug spray when they were on sale over the summer.  Things were so tight and we had decided not to go camping and we still had some sunscreen, so I just didn't.  I had to buy both today.  In addition to a couple of new bras.  Ha.  (That might embarrass her.  I wonder if I should edit...)  And some makeup remover cloths.  Because I need the Cetaphil and she can't just take the whole bottle but she would if I didn't stop her.  Ahem.  Oh, and I had to get some lunch stuff for her to take.

With couponing and signing up for free samples, we already had shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrush, extra deodorant, feminine hygiene products, snacks, paper, pencils, etc.  So we had almost everything. 

She is very excited and I'm just glad I still had a valid coupon for the sunscreen and lunch meat, etc.  Still debating on loaning her my camera ...

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Friday!

We have been super busy all week:  Two volleyball games (different days), VOD's dentist appointment for fillings, and yesterday we went to Hyz's house to say goodbye.  VOD was supposed to go to school but she called me saying she had a headache.  I didn't take her home because I was already on the road.  I "made" her go say goodbye too.

I first met Hyz online 9 years ago (I think).  We were both single moms of one and had an instant bond.  She was my first friend when I moved to Utah.  Our kids became friends too.  We decided to be roommates and, even though things were rough at times, we managed to stay friends through it.  We are still good friends and see each other a couple of times a year because we live an hour away from each other.  She got remarried to a good guy a couple years ago and has a cute little baby and ...

I'm going to miss her.  Them.  VOD is going to, too, and she was sad she didn't get to see Hyz's son yesterday.  *sigh*

After 4 days in a row of being gone for several hours every day, the littles were just ready for a down day.  Neither of them would go to bed on time last night, lots of terrorizing, and both of them looked at me with tired eyes this morning and I decided today is a down day.  We are staying home and chilling, and I am getting caught up on homework and housework.  We've been gone so much, home just long enough to make messes but not long enough to really get cleaned up.  The house has definitely taken a hit.

So while the littles were eating breakfast and watching a movie, I did the dishes once, wiped off the part of the counter that we can see, swept, mopped, took the trash out of every room, tidied up my room, and cleared off more of the kitchen counter.  I scrubbed the toilet, cleaned the mirror and sink and counter, and cleaned the floor around and behind the toilet.  I've started two loads of laundry and folded and put away two others.  Dug through the freezer and pulled something out to make dinner for The Rock because the kids and I are going to some school thing this evening (though thankfully it should only be an hour or so and not 5 or 6!).  There is more to do, and I know that doesn't sound like a "down" day, but it's 10:15 and the house looks much better.  I won't feel guilt about doing my homework later, and can handle that during naps.

And now I get to cuddle and nurse my sweet and sassy baby girl.  Have a great Friday!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

It's not a happy thing

To be forced to see yourself in someone else's eyes.

I'm talking literal here, not figurative.

At WGU, you take tests at home with online proctoring via a webcam, OR you can go to one of their approved testing sites and take it there.

I did mine last night via webcam.  (that sounds slightly dirty.)

As I was setting up the camera, I kept thinking, "Do I really have that many chins?  That many rolls?  When did my belly get THAT big?  Who is that fat woman sitting in my chair?"  I mean, I know it's me, it's my face, but I had somehow managed to convince myself that it wasn't that bad.  That I wasn't that big.  That I'm not the fat woman sitting in my chair.  Living my life.

I guess the good news is that I'm more aware of myself now.  I'd started to track my calories and have been trying to exercise and cutting out junk.  I didn't manage to exercise yesterday, but I'm not beating myself up for that.  Just moving on today.

When I went back to livestrong on Sunday, they redid my estimated caloric intake and it's  no surprise why I wasn't losing before -- the calories I was supposed to be consuming were 550 over what livestrong says now.

As of this morning, I've lost 5 pounds since Monday.

5 of the 8 I put on since last December.

That gain is not really surprising either.

What IS surprising is that I'm still going over those calories and still losing weight.  I've been working on it more every day and yesterday I was close.  And I wasn't super hungry at all.  Which also surprises me.

I do deserve to feel better about myself and be the woman I know is hiding under all this flab.  I now have a buddy to report to (though I've slacked on that too, grrr).  I'm taking this a day at a time and being patient with myself.  And by next term's first final, I won't have quite so many rolls or chins when I go to plug in that camera.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I'm an idiot.

Saturday night, I was feeling under the weather.  The littles have a cold that has been going on for a while and they were miserable and kindly shared it with me.  So, I went to the store to get some OJ, Sprite (because they weren't keeping anything else down), and some OTC feel better drugs.  And we were out of printer ink and both of us needed it for school, so I picked that up too.

When we got home, The Rock was leaving for work, the littles were ready for bed, and I just sort of ... forgot.  VOD put all the fridge stuff into the fridge (good girl) but that's as far as my mind went.

Until Monday.

I'm obviously feeling better and didn't end up taking any drugs, because it took until about 11 a.m. Monday for me to realize I had no idea where the drugs or ink were.  Since VOD was at school, I checked the car again, tore apart the house, and came to the conclusion that either it got thrown away (and the garbage truck just left), OR I'd left it at the store.

It was $85 total.

I almost threw up.

I called the store and got disconnected, so I went in and talked to the gal at the customer service desk.  She said usually they will just give you whatever you've left behind, but since it was high ticket items, she had to get management involved.  Awesome.

Manager disappeared with my receipt, which I was glad was handed to me and not put in the missing bag of stuff.  She reviewed the security tape and guess what?

Little Mister turned the bag holder around after the cashier had turned it to me, and we all missed the fact that I left that very expensive bag of stuff sitting there.

So I was able to run through the store and get all my missing things, but wow ... for about 5 minutes there, I felt like a criminal.  or like they were judging me to be very dishonest.  Ugh.

p.s.  Little Mister is SO grounded.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Oh goodness

I pulled out an (old) VHS of Denise Austin's abs workout this morning, after running the carpool and vacuuming crackers up off the living room floor.  I really wanted to do a little workout and see if I could start off my week right.  Little Man asked me what I was doing and I told him I was going to work on my tummy, then asked him if he wanted to help me with my tummy.  He pulled up my shirt and said he was helping.

So we put the video in and Baby Girl decided she HAD TO NURSE right that second.  Off to nurse.

Of course, this time she had to nurse a LONG time instead of just a quick drink, so 30 minutes later, I put the video back on.

Grabbed the towel, laid down, and started the workout with Little Man on my left and Baby Girl running around the house.  She hid in a corner the first two minutes (of the 10 minute video) and then ran over and patted my face, blowing snot bubbles out one nostril and suddenly, I could smell her.  I knew why she hid in the corner.

Little Miss Stinky Poopy Pants ran off, so I did more of the video.  Little Man jumped up and ran away yelling, "I hafta go potty!"  "Hey!  Shut the door so the baby doesn't get in the potty too!"  He did.  Then he came back but left the door open.  "Run run run and shut the door!"  He ran back and shut it, then laid down on the floor  So close that when I rolled back after doing a crunch, he was under me.

I think I was halfway through the video at this point.

Little Miss Stinky Poopy Pants came back and patted my face a bit more, then grabbed my boob while I was trying to do a crunch.  After I laid back down, she climbed on my tummy and sat there while I was supposed to be doing lower body crunches.

Did I mention she was really REALLY stinky?

Little Man decided to sit on me too, and about this time Denise said it was time to stretch.  So we did.  Sort of.  And then I changed the stinky bottom.  But Little Helpful Dude decided he needed to wipe her butt too.  I managed to convince him that handing me the wipes one at a time was helpful instead, and then after we finished, he put the ones we didn't use away while I was washing my hands.

And that, my friends, is why I had tried to work out at the gym.  But they melt down when I'm gone for an hour every day and VOD and The Rock both can't cope with the hysteria and all hell breaks loose when I get home, so I shall persevere and continue to try to work out with little ones sitting on me, grabbing my boobs, and sticking their stinky butts in my face.

I hope tomorrow's planned cardio sculpting workout doesn't end up with all of us in tears.  Or worse.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


My first final is coming up on Tuesday.  It's for a health class, which I scored 86% on the pre-assessment, so I've just been reviewing stuff since Friday night and will get it knocked out Tuesday night.  The Rock rearranged his work schedule so he can take care of the kids if they wake up while I'm testing.

I had intended to study yesterday while Little Mister was getting his cavities filled, but uh, VOD "accidentally" left my homework home.  I got very frustrated.  I yelled.  But she watched the kids in the afternoon so I could work a bit.  Love her.

So, since Friday night, there has been a lot of fitness stuff going through my mind.  I've been in denial so long about how much I eat and what I'm eating and it has to stop.  I have to fix this.  So I started tracking my caloric intake again today, on, and am getting the videos and DVDs back out of the closet so they are in my face more ... so hopefully I'll get cracking on that, too.

VOD has her second volleyball game tomorrow after school.  I'm driving.  They actually do 3 games, which are about an hour each, so with travel time, we'll be gone about 4 hours.  She will be gone about 12, from the time we leave in the morning.  I'd better get my homework done before the games because I think it'll be too noisy to focus, even if we remember to take it with us, and I'll probably fall asleep with the baby after we get home.  Wish us luck!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Science may kill me

At WGU, you pace yourself in your classes and always have a mentor or two (or three) available to help if needed.  This science class is supposedly "basic" but I haven't been in school since 1997 or thereabouts, and it is kicking my butt.

I have until 10/31 to get through it.  At least, that's the deadline my mentor and I agreed on.  Actually, scratch that.  After taking the preassessment, he thinks I should be able to finish and pass the final by the end of the month.  But I'm taking notes and studying and reading and looking through my notes and doing the chapter reviews and ... oh my stars I'm still on the first module (group of assignments).

There are things I wish I'd done differently as far as school goes -- back when learning was easy for me and I could ace classes without a second thought, I wish I hadn't taken that for granted and had still worked and learned and gotten through college.  On the other hand, my life might not be the same it is today and I really do love The Rock and the kids and now that I know I need to work in school, I'm not taking anything for granted anymore.  Doing school around a husband, kids, housework, etc., is definitely not easy, but I really am grateful for the opportunity.

The Rock's bipolar is a bit unstable at the moment, so he's been needing more time and attention, which makes less time for my homework.  He's doing really well in his math and English classes, but the Portuguese is a struggle for him.  That's the one I can't help with.  I pointed out that being married to me is sort of like living with an English tutor, so he can get help whenever he needs it.  So he's meeting with a Portuguese tutor at school and will be scheduling regular appointments with him.  Baby Girl is teething and/or sick and pretty miserable so she's been up and crying a lot, but I still managed to get through a chapter last night.  Little Mister is busy busy busy and likes playing Angry Birds on my computer, so sometimes I let him play while I read my notes or do the housework.  VOD ... is gone a lot.  Volleyball is taking up a LOT of time and we decided she can't really do drama and volleyball because she would never sleep or do her own homework, so this year is just volleyball and next year is just drama.

OHHHH!  Gosh!  I got the BEST compliment yesterday! Actually, two of them.  Captain (an online friend) came over for a visit and lunch.  She lives about an hour away and had never been to my house.  She came in and sat down, looking around and smiled.  I asked what she was thinking.  She said, "I like your house.  I'm comfortable here."  SCORE!  That means the cleaning is doing something and the rearranging is making the house comfortable, too.  AND!  My 6yo niece came to play and she has previously told me just how messy my house is.  Yesterday, she said, "Wow!  It's really clean in here!"  Warm fuzzies all over.  I'm feeling much better about my role as a wife and mother and how I'm fulfilling it these days.  Guess the system I'm working with is helping.

Now, if only I could get the "exercise" box on my list checked off every day ... Baby steps, right?

Monday, September 12, 2011


When I was pregnant with VOD, I craved bacon.  I ate like a pound in one day.  And have never loved it since.  Oh sure, I've eaten it a time or two, but didn't LOVE it.

And when I was pregnant with baby girl, The Rock made krab "legs" wrapped in bacon.

And they made me sicker than sick.

Like I haven't wanted bacon at all since then.  Two years ago.

My folks brought us some a while ago and it was the first time I'd enjoyed it.  It was pretty good stuff.  Then, Friday, I went to this local butcher to get some ground beef (which is super lean and tastes like steak) and a couple of roasts, and when we got out of the car ... I could smell the bacon curing.  And I had to buy some.

I cooked about half of it for the family for breakfast yesterday morning.


The Rock loved it too -- it is actually MEAT and not just grease and gross.

And then?  I decided to spread the delicious bacon love in the dinner I made for the in-laws last night. This is obviously a splurge dish, but wow ...

You're welcome.

Creamy Bacon Chicken and Rice

6 c rice
2 slices good bacon (seriously, get the good stuff)
1 onion, diced
2 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 c cauliflower, finely chopped (so your kids and menfolk won't know it's there, but you can add more or use larger pieces if desired)
3 cooked and shredded chicken breasts
1-1/2 c chicken stock
1-1/2 packages cream cheese

Cook the rice your preferred method.  Fry the bacon and remove from pan.  Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook in the drippings until onion is translucent.  Add the cauliflower and cook about 5 minutes.  Dice the bacon and put back in the pan, along with the chicken stock.  Simmer until cauliflower is soft, then add chicken and cream cheese and heat thoroughly.  Serve over the cooked rice and moan with delight.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

It's been a long week

Last weekend, DisGrace told me that her mother-in-law had stopped eating.  She's 85 and has dementia and we all kind of figured she was saying it's time.

She passed on Monday.

She was such a sweet lady.  I first met Vera when I was 16.  DisGrace and Dunka Darren (LM's name for him) were newly engagged and there was a family reunion in Hairyzona over Thanksgiving break that year.  I had a school dance I insisted on attending, so DisGrace and Dunka Darren said they'd take me down with them the next day.  We stopped in St. George and had dinner with Vera and Theron, Dunka Darren's dad.  I remember just visiting with them and being completely disgusted by the starburst-swapping going on while Dunka Darren was driving down the freeway.  Ew.  Gag.

Thankfully, Dunka Darren has been in our lives ever since. 
 So has Vera.

Even more thankfully, I haven't been forced to witness any more starburst swapping.

VOD has called her Gramma Vera for her whole life.  We visited her with and without DisGrace and the kids.  We took dinner to her on several occasions.  Saw her at the care center where she's been living the last few years.  And she and Theron stayed with my folks for a while when they moved up here years ago.  Theron died in 1999.  We're all happy for them that they are reunited.

Tuesday, Hyzenth told me she's moving to Montana.  She is one of the few local friends I get to hang out with on occasion, and now she's going away.  What the what?  *cry* 

Late Wednesday night, a gay man was beaten up by at least 3 attackers in the tri-town area we grew up in.  Oh yeah.  I know him.  He is one of the kindest people you could ever meet.  I'm pretty sure most people know that beating up anyone for being different is just plain wrong.  There were no witnesses.  Three men ganged up on him around 12:45 a.m. as he took the trash out at his place of work.  One of his co-workers found him a few hours later.  These attackers may think they have gotten away with something, but God knows who they are and what they did.  They will pay eventually.

The Rock has been having a bipolar episode all week related to school and me starting school and being stressed out.  And the baby isn't sleeping so well with all the bedroom rearranging we've been doing and it's still not done and we had to tackle the living room instead of finishing because she kept turning off the surge protector to the Xbox ... VOD woke up yelling at everyone and put me in a tizzy, too.  And then Bitty got her car seat all sticky this morning so I had to change them all around and the new one my mom gave us is different and harder to install and by the time I got it in, I was a sweaty mess and my eye makeup was smeared down to my chin.

So I was worn out and emotional and completely bonkers by the time we got out the door to get to Vera's funeral.  I didn't have time to shower and change and get fresh makeup on, just had to wipe off the smears and go.  Good thing I'd showered earlier.  While I was wrestling the car seats, Little Mister dumped bubbles all over his corduroy pants and I asked VOD to get him a clean pair of pants, and I didn't notice until we were on our way to the church that she put sweat pants on him.


So not appropriate for a funeral.  GRRRR.

We finally made it and sat down, but Little Mister was running circles around me and asked to go see DisGrace.  When she reached out for a hug, he screamed, "NO!" and ran away.  I hauled him out to the foyer and stayed out there with him. VOD and KC kept Bitty for a while.

He was being SO frustrating.  SO three.  SO boy.  Running around, full of energy, being disobedient, when I just wanted him to sit still and STOP for 5 minutes so I could cope.  I finally just sat on the floor, cleaned up the markers he'd uncapped and thrown everywhere, and stayed where I was, trying not to be hysterical or mean or cry. 

He looked at my face and this, "Oh, Mommy," look came over his.  He very calmly turned around and sat his little self down on my crossed legs.  And we snuggled for about 3 minutes.  I breathed in his little boy scent, and that made him laugh.  I ran my fingers through his hair (which is finally growing back after we buzzed him early in the summer), and that made him laugh more.  I squeezed him with my arms and kissed his cheek and breathed him in again, and we both laughed. 

The rest of the day wasn't super easy, but I wasn't as bad off as I'd started.  As hard as those days can be and as rough as this week has been, times like that really do make it all worth it. 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

I love that kid!

Little Mister makes me laugh every day.  Yesterday's awesomeness was at dinner at DisGrace's.  He said the blessing and said, "Please bless the food. I don't like it. Amen."

She said he's never allowed to say the blessing at her house again.

As hard as some days are with him, he is a good kid and fun to be around most of the time. 

Tonight we went to the Brazilian Festival at The Gateway Center in Salt Lake City, UT.  He was so cute and we all had fun.  I just love him.  And the rest of my family, but today was a Little Mister love day.

And here are the rest of us.

Have a great Labor Day weekend!

Friday, September 2, 2011


Oh the horror!  The guy showed up an hour early yesterday, right at noon.  I'm just glad I was dressed and had a bra on.

He couldn't figure out the mess of cables back there.  Alyssa, my landlady, said it's been a mess since before they bought the place and she tried to help him figure it out too, but he accidentally cut their internet and cable when he turned off ours.  We had to call her ISP and they came over and all worked together and got us both up and running. 

He was here for FOUR HOURS.

One of the issues we are facing is that we are outgrowing this little apartment faster than we can even comprehend.  Little Mister is a terror trying to get to sleep, so co-sleeping with him isn't working, and Bitty, well, she's not sleeping because he's not.  So I told The Rock if we were changing internet, we were going to change rooms around this weekend because it isn't working and he's not home at bedtime to deal with it all.  

So the internet went in the master bedroom, where the kids sleep with me.  They didn't get their naps and they were mean and cranky and I had a horrible headache.  After the guy left, Little Mister had a little nap.  Bitty had one as he was leaving, but Little Mister woke her up and the rest of the day she was a grouch.

I had a little nap, thanks to VOD taking Bitty and Little Mister.  My headache lessened, so I tried to connect the router to the modem through my laptop and it disabled my wireless internet.  And didn't fix it.  And I couldn't get it to recognize the wireless key was ON.  So I gave up for a while.

I put Bitty to bed and she zonked out by 7:30.  When The Rock left for work, stressing because he didn't have internet and has homework due today, I figured I'd better set up the router through The Rock's computer so he could do his homework.  His computer was in another room (the one he's been sleeping in for the last year), which meant I needed to move two dressers, a TV, a set of wooden portable stairs, a chair, and a desk to get it set up in the correct place so we could get the modem and router hooked up right.  It was 8:30 by the time I started this little project.  And the kids kept screaming at me that the XBOX wasn't hooking up to the internet so they couldn't watch Netflix. 

Dude.  I know.

I disassembled the computer and moved it, the TV, stairs, chair, and the dressers without incident.

The Rock's desk got stuck in the doorway. 

VOD and I couldn't figure out how to get it out of there.  We knew The Rock had just maneuvered it through the door, but we couldn't do it.  She was stuck in the room and started having a panic attack.

I had to take the top off the desk, so I had to find the tools to do so, but managed it and the panic attack stopped.  We carried the pieces to the other room separately, then reattached the top to the legs.

By this time, Little Mister had woken up Bitty and she would not go back to sleep.  So I put LM to bed in the bedroom and took her into the living room, where VOD had opened the hide-a-bed (hoping LM would have fallen asleep but no such luck).  Bitty finally fell asleep on the hide-a-bed and LM was asleep in the bed, so I finished the router mess.  Except my computer still wasn't recognizing that the wireless connection was even on. 

At 10:49 last night, I finally got both computers connected to the internet and logged in to my first class.  I did two sections of it before my eyes started blurring and burning and I started dozing in the chair.  I shut everything down, scooted Little Mister back to his side of the bed, grabbed Bitty out of the hide-a-bed, and we all fell asleep.

The Rock came home early from work an hour later.  Fortunately?  He didn't wake me up.  He was stressed a bit because he couldn't find his medication, but he took it this morning.  Thankfully.

He told me that he was sad I had to handle all of this last night on my own, but I am GLAD I did it when he was gone.  He can be just as distracting as the kids when I'm trying to do something, asking questions and telling me I'm doing it wrong.  <gr> 

At least the HARD part is done now.  All we have to do is clean up the messes in the other two rooms and move belongings around. 

OH, and the financial aid came through finally, so we're both less stressed.  He is buying the rest of his books today and I've paid almost all the bills that are due.  Still have to pay the rent and get a few groceries, but I'm not too worried about that.  There's plenty for it (thank God!). 

Nap time!  Off to feed the boy and hopefully get them both down for a nap before 2, which is when I have a conference call for school.  YAY!