Sunday, November 29, 2015



Missed one day because I was too busy enjoying my family! And making sushi!



Missed another day because I got Ebola! Happy winter season!

Thursday, November 26, 2015





It was Thanksgiving! I didn't cook anything! I'm thankful for all these people! And you! And exclamation points!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

No one threw up today! We went out for lunch with the girls to celebrate my mom's birthday! Our waiter Gilbert photobombed us!

And now there is a picture of him on the Internet!

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

We're in Colorado! Yesterday the hubs got sick and today WonderGirl and Thing 3 spent the entire day throwing up! So I'm going to bed now, totally wiped out! Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, November 22, 2015



We just played a party for some friends and now we have to get the kids to bed so we can be up at 4am for a 6am flight. So pray for us...

Friday, November 20, 2015





Enjoy these random phone pictures.

I'm going to be bold. At some point - possibly in 2015 - I'm going to be able to touch my toes while standing with my knees straight and all that. I've been googling it and it seems mixed - some places say you can loosen up tight hamstrings, and some say WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?? ABORT ABORT!!
But since Monday, I'm pretty sure I've gotten a millimeter closer.

Oh, and on a totally unrelated note - the whole family is flying to Colorado for Thanksgiving next week. For a week. It is so surreal to be packing sweaters while wearing shorts. Have I mentioned how much I am digging living here??

Thursday, November 19, 2015

I didn't post yesterday. It wasn't that I forgot - it was just that I.. well, I'm a little weirded out. Yesterday I did something completely out of character.

I was awaken (awoke? awoken?) rudely at 4 am with the information that the Dude had thrown up several times during the night, in various locations of his room and the hallway.

Isn't that the perfect start to a day with the perfect excuse to be a total grump?

But after I cleaned things up and went to go back to bed, something really strange happened. I kept going. I didn't want to get back in bed, so I got in the floor and yoga'd. At that unholy hour.

Then I went back to survey the damage upstairs, and ended up vacuuming his room, then the hallway. Then WonderGirl's room. And then I even tackled and tamed the playroom down the hall. I cleaned the bathrooms. I cleaned the kitchen.

That is NOT normal.

Today, I washed all the tile floors and vacuumed the test of the main floor, and cleaned my room. I washed my sheets. I washed the bathmats. I don't even remember what else, I'm tired now, but I haven't been. Whenever I've felt tired, I've day back down in my yoga mat, stretched, breathed, twisted, and then gotten back up and kept going.

Doesn't that sound like normal stuff? But it isn't for me. I'm always exhausted. I usually commit to one thing and then that's it for a while. I can't explain it, living with the physical issues from depression, but that's what it is.

And suddenly this week, with this yoga thing - every time I do one thing, my body goes almost automatically to the next thing. I keep doing things. My body keeps going. That's not normal.

Although right now, I'm finally exhausted. That's normal. So I'm going to bed.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015



Snapped this at church Friday. It took everything I had to keep from tracking down a sharpie...

Monday, November 16, 2015

stuff

A year and some change ago, I went to my knees seeking an answer to our evening family scripture "study." I use the quotation marks because of the hearing cats issue that flows into every activity this family takes on.

The answer that came was pretty cool - no more attempting the impossible. One scripture a week that we memorize, discuss every night and I tape on the wall for some visual reinforcement.



The Mormon hipster in me was actually a little irked at the whole "ponderize" craze. Like, that was soooo 2014.

But, it was one of those few moments where I was given inspiration so clearly because there no way I'd figure this out for myself (unless I waited a year for General Conference.)

So that's what I got this morning. The inspiration, not General Conference. I was praying last night - not for anything in particular, just for some help with the feeling cruddy all the time. Always tired, always hazy. As I laid in bed this morning, there was a clear, loud, audible answer - "YOGA."

I obeyed. I tried, but the kids woke up and climbed on top of me. Solution: Cosmic Kids Yoga. Google it - I'm on my phone. But it still worked.



We did the Star Wars one.

Well, that and the extra 17 minutes I snuck in my closet after I dropped the kids off at school.

But seriously, I can breathe today.

Oh, and check this shirt that I snagged in Aliexpress for 4 bucks shipped:

Sunday, November 15, 2015

I love church. I especially love attending church on Sunday. I love having my bucket filled and having the chance to serve others. Having a toddler tempers that joy since my main job is focused on him not ruining it for anyone else, but I still manage to get my recharge on most Sundays.

But stake conference... yes,  I know I sang it's praises yesterday and I meant it. Saturday adult session ROCKS.  And last night it was super good. But Sunday... Two hours of trying to keep your kids from Armageddon - level meltdowns is... Even the 9 year old was a bear by the end. That second hour is killer. Especially with a toddler who woke up mad at 5 am and you were the one trying to keep him from waking up the rest of the house... My brain hurts too much to keep tapping this out.

But when future me looks back and sees this,  I want them to remember I was there. I was in the trenches. I'm not a quitter. A grouchy,  dangerous mess,  but I'd be waaaaay more dangerous without it.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

STAKE CONFERENCE - ADULT EDITION.

I love stake conference!! Actually, entertaining/muzzling the kids for two hours of church is a beast. The first hour you're doing okay, then that second hour is a gasping, clawing to the finish line. BUT - Saturday night adult session! Church sans kids! I can hear the speakers! Regularly scheduled dinner date with the husband, guaranteed twice a year. GOLDEN.

My Facebook feed has been interesting today, vacilating between the usual benign day to day gripes and horn tooting, and reactions of disbelief and horror, regarding the attacks in Paris, Beruit and elsewhere.

How can anyone have that much hate? How can someone live and breathe with the ability in them to murder the person next to them? I just can't. I can't begin to fathom it, so I don't. I try to put a small piece of light back into the world to neutralize any darkness in my way. I post things like this to Facebook :



And I attempt to appreciate this life I am blessed to live. It could change in an instant, and I want to be able to say I didn't squander this piece on heaven I've been given while I have it.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Dudeisms

This was what we were going for for Halloween this year:

    
No, that's not the best shot of him but it was on my phone and I didn't have to get up to find it so there you go.

Yesterday as we passed each other in the hall, he stopped and said (in the most thoughtful-sounding voice):

"You know mom, giving gifts is just as fun as receiving them."

And for a second I was AWWWWWW, he understands the joy of giving!  And then I realized it was probably just a veiled suggestion...

Thursday, November 12, 2015

warning - vent ahead

You know what droves me bonkers about moving?  Being a new patient.  The Dude needs a checkup in August?  They'll see him in November.  I have to find a whole new psychiatrist?  See you in 3 months!  I know, I get it.  They're only human and there are only so many spaces that can be filled to keep the regulars in too.  But it's always gotten me how hard it is to find care for mental health issues.  Like it's not hard enough living with a body and brain that are always teetering and tottering around sanity, let's make finding someone to help you feel like climbing a mountain!  Without shoes!

I know, I'm blessed with a diagnosis and an established care plan, but I haven't always.  And my needs aren't that severe - I can't even imagine if I had something really serious.  It's hard enough for me to pick up the phone - if I was any worse, I know I wouldn't try at all.  I can't explain why it's so hard - it just is.  Calling unknown names off a list from your insurance and not knowing if they'll reject you or not... it's physically sickening.  I actually got proactive and made an appointment today.  For FEBRUARY.  My current medications won't run out for a while, but it's better to get something established when it's calm.

I'd called the only two names I had recommendations for, and both had moved on to other offices.  So this February appointment was going to have to be it.  I immediately felt sick - something wasn't right.  I was looking at other names to see if they were available, when the doctor's office called and said they actually didn't take my insurance, despite me getting their contact info from my insurance company - but I felt relieved.  Something about that office made my stomach knot a wee bit.  Of course now I still don't have one, so I still have to climb Everest (that's what it feels like - or at least a small mountain.  I'm really out of shape so it doesn't take much to wind me, but you know what I mean.) BUT - a bad doctor/therapist can be worse than no doctor at all.

My to-do list has only gotten scratched today, so that job is going to have to roll over until I swear, they'll be making appointments for Neptune.  So far in the future that we won't be using the old days of the week - just planets and bra sizes.

If none of that made sense, then congrats!  You aren't crazy!  But if it did.... you may want to clear your schedule for 12-18 months from now... (no joke, that was the wait we had for a doc for Forster in WI)

WOULD ANY OF YOU PLEASE GO BACK TO MED SCHOOL SO WE CAN HAVE LOTSA DOCTORS AND MOVE WAITING TIMES DOWN BY AT LEAST A WEEK?

Seriously, I will buy you cookies if you do.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

2 random things to kill time


We have a new holiday to celebrate.  Every year on Nan's birthday, we are going to celebrate her by creating something.  Nana was an amazing artist, so we got out some paint and then put it on flat surfaces.  Thing 3 mostly painted himself and then my picture.  Motherhood.  I should probably frame it.


Also, WonderGirl got glasses.  The glasses we got her last year were for reading, but apparently she is really good at fulfilling her mini-me status by heading into nearsightedness with gusto.  My sunshine is - I mean - was - blind, but now she is really, really excited about reading the fine print of every poster she sees.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

best laid plans

For every list you show me with fun outings for toddlers, I can give you actual examples of why that is a perfectly fine outing for most toddlers, but mine are a wild exception to the rule. They are such amazing humans, but traits that make you an amazing humans are not the traits that make you a toddler that can be trusted in public.

Today we went to a new park. It was new because I drove 20 miles to check out a satellite site of the museum of natural science that we now have annual passes to - and though I got the opening hour right, I didn't notice the note that is is closed Tuesdays. So.... Google a nearby Park FAST. Even though I know perfectly well that this will end poorly.

So I documented it.



Oooo, a park with slides and bridges and this cool climbing thing!

A total of 5 minutes is spent in the area that was designed for children.



Is that a parking lot?? I love those!!



Water... I wonder how close I can get before mom pulls me away and then I howl in complete surprise even though this happens Every. Single. Time. we are near a lake or river.



Okay, I'll settle with throwing rocks.



I think I'll throw actual dirt now.

At this point, I had to follow him around, keeping him from tripping joggers, stepping on poop, and then he rolled in the grass right next to the lake and I don't even want to know what ended up on his shorts....



Then ten more minutes of hearding him to the car while he alternates between limp, rigamortis, and running in whatever direction I'm not.



I've seen kids who are afraid of venturing away from their parent. Kids who sit nicely on their parent's laps at the library. Kids who don't scream because they are reading a book where the character is screaming therefore they should be screaming. The Dude's doctor mentioned last week that not all children are like this. There is something known as an "easy going" child, and I will be grateful that my kids aren't easily swayed by peer pressure.

I could really go for some of that around now though...

Monday, November 9, 2015

monday monday

HAAAAPPY MONDAY!!!!

I actually don't despise Mondays. After weekends of breaking up wrestling matches and having whatever food I place in front of people rejected 3 times a day instead of the usual 2, I don't mind taking a breath.  Also - I'll let you in on a little secret:  I engineered a weekly activity for Mondays so I won't dread them - you know, all that awkward angry time with a toddler who misses the other people he can wail at so he focuses all his energy at you?

So you know how in a previous life, I got a masters in teaching the violin?  And how I used to do that?  But when we lived in Georgia and I had a WonderBaby, I tried it and I found that my skill set of teaching was incompatible with my skill set of mothering.  I had to find sitters for her constantly, and when I taught in the evening, I'd lose track of time and have a frustrated husband.  And then when we moved to Wisconsin and WonderGirl started going to school, I realized a private music teacher's hours coincided with the only time I could teach my own child.  After school time is precious.

Buuut, I met a homeschool family who didn't mind lessons during the day, and had several sibs who could play with the Dude, and then later with Thing 3.  It was kind of a winwin, but a tricky situation to find.  I had already fielded multiple requests to teach here - including a private music school - I have no idea how they got my number.  But with teaching violin to WG and piano her and the Dude, my afternoons are booked.

By a miracle or two, I made a friend here with a adorable little girl who home schools, and has a little brother around Thing 3's age.  I agreed to teach her - as long as she let me go over to her place to do it, and give Thing 3 a playdate while I taught.  WIN.  There's no WHADDOIDO Monday slump, and since she's a mom and a friend, we can be flexible, say when Thing 3 vomits all over me Sunday night and I have to reschedule.  No problemo.

So that's my Monday.  Tuesday is another matter altogether...

Sunday, November 8, 2015

sunday.

It's Sunday. So that means hours of church, dinner guests and exhausted children. And mommies. So I'll leave you with this image :



I actually made it my FB profile picture, and I haven't changed that in years. Worth it.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

kids, man

I took the two older kids to the Houston Science Museum because Saturdays are hard.  The poor Dude is usually bored out of his mind bad things happen when he is bored.  Not too dangerous, although he has recently started drawing on the furniture in Solei's room and the kitchen table - but dangerous enough that his complaining puts him in danger.  You parents know what I mean.. you teachers, too... also, any adult.  Kids, man.

Anywho, it was our first time and we made a beeline for the dinosaurs, obviously.  Remember how insane the Dude was about geography?  Dinos are the thing now.  As we walked through the hall, he loudly announced which part of the Cretaceous "area" (he can't say era) we were in and freaked me out with his knowledge of dinosaurs - actually, I forgot to share this with y'all, but this was a recent true transcript of a convo I recently had with the him:

Forster: I had a really bad day today. 
Me: Why? 
Forster: I found out everyone in my class is jealous of me. 
Me: Jealous? Of what? 
Forster: My superior knowledge of dinosaurs.

Yeah, so as we were meandering around, he caught some lovely father pointing out a saber-toothed tiger to his kid, so he stepped in and loudly corrected him that the proper term is smilodon.

I can't even... I just can't take these kids anywhere.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

The husband has returned! He was working in Wisconsin this week but it was totally fine because then he came home with fresh squeaky cheese curds! And I only ate half a pound and saved some for the rest of the family. (Okay,  that's a low estimate - but for me,  it is some impressive and not typical self control.)

And now,  because it is late,  I'm going to waste some space and do an entire paragraph using the prediction words from my phone - starting with the word "bacon."  Let's see what happens!

Bacon and eggs and I will be able to get a chance to win the game. I am a beautiful person who is the best of luck to you. By the way to get a chance to win the game is a good time to time and money to buy a new phone.

DUDE. That was... Eery. Also,  I don't know if that's how you sleek eery but my omniscient phone okayed it so I'm running with it.

I am starting to understand why people have nannies. People who aren't rich and busy - just regular folks. I can manage the child-rearing,  mostly,  and even though the house is a disaster,  you can still make it through the house without twisting your ankle (a low bar,  but still.)  No,  I mean,  just staying with the kids if I have appointments or meetings or errands. I love them,  but they are just so not portable right now,  and all 3 of them are a menace in any checkout line. The boys want to touch All The Things and the girl wants to deep philosophical questions that I can't even begin to process because I'm wrestling the toddler back into the cart back while wrestling All The Things from his hands. And let's not even get started on the scene we make in the Library.  Terrifying stuff.

I just need someone there to fill the legal requirement of adulting.   Just a warm body that would make flying to the moon in the future more convenient. A warm body who would make it possible to go on a date more than once in the months...

Annnndddd.. I'm falling asleep. Fgkmgfssxcccc

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

quality is overrated

We all know I am an obsessed mamarazzi, yes?  I decided long ago that when it came to photographing my family, it was quantity over quality.  I decided that after we scheduled and paid for a photo session where our darling daughter went psychotic for the next 4 hours.  I still genuinely don't know why, but I knew then that if I wanted to get any decent shot of my family, it would not be a scripted moment.  They just don't play thataway.

So hence, my 365 project - now in my 3rd year of a picture that involves at least one member of my family every day.  They are definitely not all winners - but it's consistent, which is pretty huge for me.  Consistent is NOT one of my deals.  Consider a few of the At Least There Is A Picture For Today shots from just this year so far -

I was seconds from falling asleep when I remembered I hadn't taken a picture for this day - grabbed my  phone and came in juuust under the wire.  Inspiring, no?

I really did forget this day - I was in an absolute panic when I realized that, and then I found that the Dude had taken a silly video with my phone while waiting in a doctor's waiting room.  Screen cap!

I don't even remember what this was of, but it got taken and therefore it counts.

And then there are a few winners...






If you take a bazillion pictures I think I'm close to that) then it stands to reason that there would have to be at least a few that speak to your memories.

And ge this - just a few weeks ago - this child - this human who was nowhere even a twinkle in my eye or ear or anything when I started blogging - turned 9.



I KNOW.  AK.

But the point is - you should totally try it.  There's a TON of quantity, but there's a little quality in there too.  Just a thought.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

shameful self promotion

I was trying to come up with something to blog about that wouldn't put both me and you, dear reader, to sleep - and then I remembered - there is something kind of big that has happened and since I've been a cruddy blogger, you have not been made aware of it.

So we know I have this alter ego - by day and most of the year - the proverbial Mormon woman.  Mom, wife, and.... that covers it.  But a few days a year - I'm the violinist in a Celtic band.  The BlarneyGirls.




And a few weeks ago, we officially released our third CD - Play Nice (love the title?  I totally made that up!), but this time, all proper-like.  We produced it a few years back and have been selling it at shows, but Michael went ahead and got it printed and bar coded and all that jazz.  Which means....

You can download it on iTunes! Listen to us on Spotify!  And buy the digital or physical album at CDBaby!

You can also listen and check out videos and pictures are ReverbNation.  So hardcore.


And that's not so boring.  It's actually kind of awesome.

And now, a few pictures from the release/Stone Mountain Highland Games weekend..


 Stage selfies with our friend Colin and a sound dude...


 Liz doing yoga before our show at the Red Clay theater for the official release.


My fiddle and Liz's bodhran just chllin'.


This is on MARTA in Atlanta.  I ARRIVED.

Monday, November 2, 2015

not as gross

24 hours without being covered in puke really lifts a person's spirits, you know?  So now, in no particular order, are things that don't stink about living in Houston:

Not having to fit Halloween costumes over snowsuits.

No snow.

I can't remember the last time I wore a jacket.

I can't remember the last time I wrestled Thing 3 into a jacket.

I'm not cold.

Okay, okay, there are more positives than weather.  But after 6 Wisconsin winters... it's hard to think of anything else.  Although a close second besides the weather is FRESH. HOT.  TORTILLAS.  Oh sweet carbs.  I can't believe I've eaten any other kind of tortilla... I will never ever ever again.  Seriously - it's manna.  I don't make it home without eating at least two.  They are at the grocery store - the same place I get my toothpaste at!  I don't even have to make up reasons to justify going out of my way.  It's kind of dangerous actually....

ANywho, I'm out of blogging shape because it's after 10pm and here I am, griping about weather and tortillas, but it's only the 2nd!  It'll just getter better from here :)

Now heeeeere's Halloween without snowboots! (yes, it snowed on Halloween last year)

We've got a Luna Lovegood - a fireman - Calvin's (of Hobbes fame) alterego Stupendous Man - and two adults who were like hey, Halloween is as good a time as any to wear footie pajamas in public and pretend that we're well rested!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

an abridged running narrative of my inner dialog today

8ish am - Oh wow, it's November!  NaBloPoMo!  I'm going to write a post today dagnabit.

10ish am - I wonder what I'll write about.  Maybe how yesterday there was flooding NOT in our neighborhood but our phones didn't care and kept sending us flood alerts starting at 4am?  And even though we'd had the kids stay up over an hour after bedtime so they'd sleep in and be ready for daylight savings - the power went out at some unholy hour and woke up the kids, but the hubs tricked the baby back to sleep so we thought we'd survive?  And then the smoke detector low battery bleep blasted all over the house and woke up the baby at 6am?  Ugh, totally not blogging about that.  Just saying that makes me relive it and nooooo thankee.

1ish pm - Maybe I'll blog about how the Dude made it to church with his suit pants backwards and when I just noticed, he started yanking down his pants right here in our pew in sacrament meeting at church?  Stopped him just in time.

5ish pm - Husband is dropped off at the airport .... now all I have to do is make it to 7:30.  MEEEHHHH.

6ish pm - Thing 3 is so adorable... all I want to do is lay in bed and let scripture videos entertain the kids so I'll have enough energy to get through bedtime.... and all he wants to do is sit on my head and giggle.  Yay?  Maybe I'll blog about that.

7:30ish pm - I MADE IT.  Bring on the rituals!  Brush all the teeths!

7:50pm - snuggles in Thing 3's bed and reading books!  I'm just minutes from laying in my bed, blogging it up, allll alone!!  I think I'll post about -

*pause in the narrative, as I get distracted by the amount of vomit I find myself covered in, as well as the adorable 2 year old next to me*

......

9:43pm - this'll have to do.  I can't even string together any blurgs.

What's the opposite of pride AND humility? Self flagellation?

This weekend at our stake conference , our leaders spoke a few times about pride and the importance of humility.  So I did a good ol' s...