Tuesday, December 18, 2007

An imaginary friend, I was prepared for...

When I was little, like preschool age, I remember having an imaginary friend I named John Keller. John lived in the house up the street (at least in my mind) which I later learned was a preschool. I guess "he" was male because I had plenty of sisters to play with, who needed another girl, right? My sister Beth also had an imaginary friend namedToddy Faego(sp?), who lived in a nearby tree.

I think my friend sounds MUCH more realistic, don't you?

So, I kind of expected my own kids to make up imaginary friends of their own. My oldest, Zachary, never did. I think he always had enough real friends of his own to play with. But my younger son, Noah, he's home alone with me a lot of the time.

After our trip up North for Thanksgiving, Noah suddenly started talking about his "new family". He must have really enjoyed his time up there, because he started talking about living with his cousin, Scott, or moving in with his grandmother. But now, weeks later, his little fantasy has expanded to include an entirely brand new "other family". He's constantly telling me about his "new mom". When I won't let him do something, he tells me that his "New Mom" would.

This New Mom him do all kinds of fun things. She says he can get a dog. She lives in a house with stairs and has daughters he can play with, his "new sisters", not like his real brother who just beats on him all day.

When I complained the other day how bumpy the road was we were driving on, he told me his "new mom" drives a van with wings, and she could just fly over the bumpy road.

Wow. Lucky!

In fact, he talks about his new mom so much lately, I actually find myself getting a little jealous of her. I mean, does he have to like her so much? How does she do it all? She sounds like Superwoman, or something. In fact, if she's so perfect, why doesn't she come deal with him when he's having a meltdown at the grocery store?!

And then I have to remind myself that she's just a figment of his imagination.


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Bwah ha ha ha!!

Thanks for passing it on, Jill!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Still another carpool quote...

Zachary was telling me how yesterday the power went off "again" at his school. I asked him if the power went out often and he told me the power was on more than it was off. (That's good to know, right?) But then he said they read a book instead of using "the thing that shows stuff on the the wall".

Me: You mean the filmstrip projector?
Zachary: What's a "film"?

I explained the concept of a filmstrip, then realized I'm just too old. No kid in this century has been forced to sit through a filmstrip, have they?

Do you remember hoping to be the kid picked to run the filmstrip machine? You got to turn the little knob to advance the frame when you heard the recording chime. Usually only the well-behaved, responsible kids got to do it, because it was easy to mess up, and then the narration didn't match the photo on the filmstrip.

Man, I'm old.

It dawned on me that not only do today's kids not know what a filmstrip is, they also have never watched an actual "film" during an assembly. They've never seen anyone load the film reels into the giant projector, or had an assembly end early because the film broke halfway through.

It finally came out that they use an overhead projector in his class. (Ah! Finally, something that doesn't make me feel ancient!) Zachary wanted to know if those were expensive, "like $60 or $70?" I assured him that, yes, they were expensive. He then announced his teacher must be very rich.

She'd probably get a laugh out of that one, don't you think?

Monday, December 3, 2007

Today's carpool quote...

Me: Zachary, I saw you didn't eat the pumpkin muffin I gave you. Didn't you like it?

Um, yeah, I just didn't have time to eat it.

I don't want to make them again if you didn't like them. What kind of muffins will you eat? Do you like blueberry?

Noah (Zachary's little brother):
I like muffins with frosting and sprinkles!

Yeah, of course you do. Those are called CUPCAKES.

Friday, November 30, 2007

We need a little Christmas right this very minute...

Check us out! We're cute little elves! Click on this link:


Aren't we cute? I uploaded the photo from us at Disneyland. It's super fun and easy to upload your pictures and make your own little elves. Try it!

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Have you heard of this yet? Freerice.com is a website that donates rice to the United Nations World Food Program every time a person answers a correct vocabulary question. there is no cost to you to donate. It sounds too good to be true, but here's a link to Snopes.com (a website you can check for information about hoaxes, urban legends, etc.) showing it's indeed a legitimate thing. It's pretty fun to play too!


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A visit to Dr. Dork...

I'm just back from a visit with Dr. Dork. Of course, his real name isn't Dr. Dork, I just don't want him to ever sue me for slander, because I'm pretty sure he has a decent lawyer and a lot more money than I do.

So I went to Dr. Dork, my endocrinologist. I started going to him a couple of years ago after going to see a family practitioner about being sooooo tired. Yes, I was the mother of 2 little boys, and therefore, very tired anyhow, but I was so tired I was falling asleep on the couch during the middle of the day while my kids jumped on me and dared each other to pick my nose. By 8:00 pm every night I was ready for bed, and each morning I was glad my son attended afternoon kindergarten so I could sleep on the couch a little longer.

My family practitioner ran a bunch of tests to determine the cause of my exhaustion and came up with nothing, but upon feeling my neck she discovered a decent sized lump on my thyroid and referred me to Dr. Dork to have it looked at. It usually takes months to get an appointment with a well-known endocrinologist, but I managed to get in to see Dr. Dork within the week. (The panic in the nurse's voice while she spoke to me to schedule the appointment clued me in that this might be kind of a big deal.)

Dr. Dork felt the lump himself and commented that yes, it was quite large, but it was okay because thyroid problems run in families and he was sure this was something prevalent in my family.

It wasn't. Really.

Almost everyone I know has thyroid "issues", I just am not directly related to any of them. Seriously. There's my mother-in-law, my husband's grandmother, my husband's stepmother, my own stepmother at the time, and several (if not the majority of) my friends and neighbors who either take medication or have had their thyroids removed. (A little odd, don't you think?)

Anyhow, Dr. Dork comments that there's no need to worry, he's sure I'll find someone in my family who has problems, besides, cancer usually seems to occur in people who don't have genetic thyroid issues.

Hello?! Was the man not listening? Thyroid stuff doesn't run in my family! I even called my dad to ask if he knew of anyone with thyroid issues in our family that I might be unaware of. Not a one.

So a biopsy is ordered and Dr. Dork gives me a run down of the possible outcomes. Basically, such and such percentage is the likelihood of it being cancer. Of that percentage, such and such is the percentage of this certain type of cancer, and there's another percentage of that kind of cancer. If it's this type of cancer, it's treatable, if it's that type, I'll have however many years to live, if it's the other kind, it'll only be a few months...

Yep. An amazing bedside manner, this doctor has. Kinda makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, huh?

Luckily, it wasn't cancer. Instead it's just a whacked out thyroid that's just enough over- or under- active to make me feel tired. And I only have to go back to see Dr. Dork every 6 months to a year to have him read my blood tests and tell me that nothing new is going on.

So today was my appointment with Dr. Dork. I left the house around 10:30 am to make sure I'd be on time to my 11:45 am appointment because we live so far out in the sticks. My husband meets me at the doctor's office and we do a kid-transfer. Noah, who stayed home from preschool due to coughing up phlegm and sneezing up a storm is deemed well enough by my husband to take to McDonald's to play in the play zone. (And people wonder why their kids always get sick after playing in those things!)

I pay my $35 co-pay and read several magazines while waiting, then I'm taken back to the examining room to wait some more. (What's up with that, anyway?) I pick up a fall-themed issue of Good Housekeeping and notice the date on it is October 2004. Nice.

Dr. Dork finally comes in, looks quickly at the results of my blood tests, feels my thyroid, and says while it's slightly overactive there is no need to do anything. I ask him if this was the cause of my anxiety and panic attacks over the past few months.

His response,

Dr. Dork: "Well, your thyroid can easily be affected by iodine scans and eating large amounts of sushi and shellfish."

Me: "Um...okay. No iodine scans recently. Or ever...

So, yes? It was my overactive thyroid that caused the anxiety? Is it possible that it
fluctuates between overactive and under active?"

Dr. Dork: "Well, yes. And iodine scans and shellfish can affect it."

Me: "Alrighty, then. Good to know."

So, Dr. Dork is not only chock full of useful information, he's also an excellent listener. It's quite obvious now that my panic attacks and sense of impending doom were caused by a recent trip to Red Lobster, and possibly an "iodine scan" that may or may not have been performed on me without my knowledge.

The ride home was delightful. My four year old son who has spent a wonderful hour at McDonald's having one-on-one time with his father in the middle of the day is now distraught that his dad must now return to work. He starts sobbing and calling out hoarsely, "I want my daaaaaaaddy." The ride lasted about 30 minutes and he cries and sobs the whole way home.

The time is now 1:15 pm.

Sheesh. What a waste of time. I think I could learn more about my thyroid in a half hour on WebMD than I could learn from Dr. Dork any day.

I swear, I should have gone to medical school.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Noah had a birthday!

For Noah's 4th birthday we invited his friends from church and preschool to a party at the park. They had pizza, Popsicles, and cup cakes and Nate led them in Duck Duck Goose, Red Rover, and freeze tag.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Why kids and cell phones don't mix...

A few months ago my good friend Jill called me and asked me what was up with the picture of myself I'd sent her. I had no idea what she was talking about, but together we figured out that Noah had managed to take a picture of me with my cell phone and send it to Jill. If you've ever taken a picture with a cell phone and then sent it to someone, you realize this is no small task. It takes several steps and some effort on your part, unless, of course, you're under the age of 25, in which case this special talent is somehow already embedded in your DNA, probably due to the exposure of microwave ovens, video games, and cordless phones you've experienced your entire life. (Heck, you can probably simultaneously program your Tivo, download mp3's, and update your blog all while ordering Chinese food, can't you?!)

But, back to my point. Noah had already sent a picture of me to someone I know without my knowledge, so, when I jumped in the shower the other morning and turned just in time to see a flash, you'd better believe I jumped out of the shower quick as a bunny. While frantically chasing the child clutching my cell phone I could actually see him repeatedly pushing the "Send" button. No fear I've ever felt before compared to the panic at the idea of a naked picture of me being sent to...well, ANY of the 23 or so people whose numbers are stored in my cell phone.

As far as I can tell, no actual pornographic images were transferred, but if you happened to receive an objectionable picture of me - my sincerest apologies.

And, um...since you've seen me naked, give me your honest opinion, do YOU think I should consider a tummy tuck?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Our First Disneyland trip

It's hard to believe we've been back from Disneyland for a whole week now. I think we're all still in recovery.

We drove to California on Monday, and visited Disneyland on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. We had fun, but we were beyond ready to drive home on Friday. Here are a few of the things we learned from our trip:

Lessons From Disneyland

If your child is barely under the height requirement for a ride, do not run to Target and purchase taller shoes, thicker socks, 2 packs of insoles, and a pair of scissors to trim the insoles to fit inside the new shoes, because this system simply will not work. It wasn't until Day 3 that we finally learned that some folded paper towels in said child's shoes will remedy the situation and save about $25.

2. If your children are anything like mine, you'll want to request a room on the ground floor at the hotel. Why you ask? Were the poor children afraid of the elevator?

If only.

In fact, they fought constantly over who got to push the buttons, knocking each other down running to get to it first, and freaking out other hotel guests.

The real reason it's imperative to stay on the ground floor is that after a day of Disneyland, the kids are WAAAAY too excited to be quiet. They will jump around using their newly purchased light sabers to whack each other and random objects, mimicking the moves they picked up attending the Jedi academy. In their excitement, they will be completely unable to walk in any fashion. Running will be necessary to convey their joy and excitement. Come on, they're at DISNEYLAND people! That's the child's equivalent to winning the lottery!

We received two calls from the front desk and a personal visit from the man in the room below asking us to be quiet because apparently, as he put it, "the floors are paper thin" and he had little girls down there. This was at 7:00 in the evening, mind you.

I personally believe if your children aren't boisterous after a day at Disneyland, you must not have done it correctly...

3. Tylenol is essential. We're talking large amounts of it. I single-handedly downed at least 11 of them on the trip. This is not one of those situations when "less is more". More is definitely more. Bring along your own jumbo bottle to dispense freely among the adults in your group. Maybe someday Disneyland will issue tickets with little bubble packs of headache pills built right into the tickets themselves. Wouldn't that be an awesome idea?  (Okay, don't steal the idea.  It's mine.  I'm currently applying for the patent.)

4. (Pay attention - this one's important!) Bring your own waterproof mattress pad, or as these are called in our home, a "pee pad" if you have small children. Why? Because oddly enough, hotels near Disneyland do not have waterproof pads on the beds, AND, a kid who is completely potty trained but thoroughly exhausted after a day at Disneyland may be unable to wake up enough to use the bathroom on his own and will consequently lie in a large puddle of his own urine until you find him. Also, he may do this multiple times in one night, so you may want to bring a spare. (We unfortunately only brought one, which meant my husband was up at 2:00 am blow drying a pee pad, only to find it wet again a few hours later...)

5. Plan fun activities for the ride home. What seemed like a quick jaunt in the car to Disneyland will feel like an absolute eternity on the way home. The thrill will be gone. Everyone will be sore from walking, exhausted from the lack of sleep, and crabby from the sugar crash that comes after three days of eating cotton candy, ice cream, and frozen lemonades. You will be driving back to your boring home in your boring car, to your boring Mickey-free lives. The books, movies, and toys that entertained your children on the way there will suddenly pale in comparison to the thrills experienced during the former days at "the Happiest Place on Earth", and when your children whine and complain about how bored they are and how it's taking forever to get home, you, in your weakened state may completely snap, telling them you will never return to Disneyland ever again and you regret making the trip there in the first place.

But hey, we had fun.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Do you ever have to stop and remind yourself that you actually chose to become a parent? I mean, at some point in your life, you decided that you were responsible enough to not only take care of yourself, but another human being. And not just for a little while. Forget that idea that once your kids hit 18, they're outta there. More and more kids are living at home with their parents well into their 20's - and beyond.

Like most good little girls raised in the 1970's, I grew up thinking that someday I'd be a mother to a charming little brood of my own. We'd bake cookies, play with Barbies, and paint our toenails together. Someday I'd help my daughter buy the perfect prom dress. It was going to be so fun!

Okay, so looking back, it's obvious I thought I'd be the mother to angelic little girls. I guess that thinking comes from growing up as one of 4 girls. Oddly, NONE of my sisters and I have had a girl. It's boys all around. 7 boys between us, in fact.

So, fast forward to the present day. There are no Barbies at my house, and if I want my toenails painted, I have to do that locked in my bathroom so nobody drives a toy car over them while they're drying. The last batch of cookies I made were coughed into by a snotty-nosed 3 year old who was "helping". (Usually, he sneezes into whatever we're baking. It's kind of his thing.)

And I carpool kids to school. A looooooog way. Because, I chose to send my child to a charter school that's 15 miles from my house instead of the regular old public school that's just around the corner. This is another thing I remind myself of quite frequently.

But it's a good thing. Really. When else would I get to hear all these choice little nuggets of wisdom emanating from the backseat of my Honda?

Our carpool is comprised of Zachary, my 6 year old first grader, Wesley, the well-behaved quiet kid, who's in 2nd grade, and from his description, obviously is not my child, and my 3 year old, Noah who's just along for the ride.

Last year, instead of Wesley, we had Dallin in our carpool. Dallin and Zachary were in the same kindergarten class, so every day at 11:35 we'd leave for school and I'd spend the next 30 minutes or so listening to Dallin and Zachary's incessant arguing about whose homework was neater, whose shoes were cooler, and whose mother was "bigger". I came to find out that "bigger" meant "older".

I won. Yay for me.

There were 'Who can scream the loudest?' contests and lots of pulling over for lectures.

I also learned a new little game boys play with which I, as a girl with sisters only, was unfamiliar. It's entitled "Does this hurt?" and goes a little something like this:

1st boy: Does this hurt? (punching other little boy in the arm).
2nd boy: No, but does this hurt? (returning the punch, only a little harder).
1st boy: Nope. How about this? (followed by an even harder punch).

The game escalates with progressively painful blows until it peaks with a final:

"Okay, does THIS (between clenched teeth) hurt?"

Then, the sobbing begins, along with a whiny sing-songed, "Mo-om, he HIT me!"

So, by the end of last school year, I was counting down the days until summer vacation like a school aged child myself. Not because I could hardly wait to spend the entire day with my child, but because driving the carpool was slowly driving me insane. By the time I reached the school each day, I practically slammed on the breaks throwing both kids from the car and yelling "Get out NOW!"

But this year, because I drive a Honda and have a limited supply of seat belts, our carpool has changed. Dallin can now ride to school in the morning with his brothers and sisters, and Wesley comes with us each morning so his mother doesn't have to take so many trips to the school each day. In addition to Wesley, she has a son who's in afternoon kindergarten and already has to drive to the school then.

It's a very welcome change.

Wesley, the new kid, really is quiet. And polite. And really, really tall - for a second grader. In fact, because Zachary no longer has Dallin to argue with, there are days when we drive to school in complete silence. I don't know if Zachary is intimidated by Wesley's height or if they just don't have anything in common.

Here's a sampling of today's witty conversation:

Me: So, Wesley, do you play soccer?
Wesley: Um, yeah. Well, I used to play soccer. Then I played baseball. Now I'm going to play football.
Zachary: Tackle football?
Wesley: No, flag football. You have to use both hands to touch...

(Blah, blah, blah. Because it's sports related, this is where I tuned out.)

Zachary: So there's not actually a flag?
Wesley: Nope.

Then Wesley went on to describe some sports he's participated in. My son, Zachary, who so far isn't very athletic and seems to be feeling a little left out decides to chime in with a little description of his own skills.

Zachary: Well, um, I have some cool dance moves I can do. I'm not allowed to do them at school, and I can't show you them now because I'm sitting down.
Me: What? Really? Cool dance moves?
Zachary: Yeah. I can kick really high and stuff. My teacher says I'm only allowed to do it at home.
Me: Oh...nice.

At this point I'm trying to suppress my giggling while imagining my son showing off his "moves" in front of his class and brand new teacher. I'm sure they're impressive if she suggests he save them for home. Hopefully he'll be willing to show them to me this afternoon.

Another conversation had to do with college, only my kids don't quite understand the concept yet. My husband has told them that someday they can be Cougars (the mascot of the university he wants them to attend), so sometimes they talk about what they want to do when they are Cougars. Zachary has decided he wants to be a fireman, so he mentioned that he hopes they'll teach him to slide down the pole when he's a Cougar. Wesley says he wants to be a scientist. (Of course he does.) Zachary thinks about this for a moment and says, "Like that guy on the blender website?"

(If you've never seen it, you MUST check out willitblend.com There's a man who's created some super sonic blender and has videotaped himself putting random objects in it to see if they will blend. It's totally entertaining and I highly recommend it! However, it's probably in your best interest not to show it to your children, not because there's anything objectionable on the website, but because they will get ideas of things to test in your blender.)

Finally, from the backseat my 3 year old son Noah announces that he wants to be a "Mommy who drives a car."

Yes, we're a little worried about him.