Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Why Do I Torture Myself?

I hiked The Incline again.  It's not long, into the climb, that the excitement disappears and you begin to say "Why am I doing this again?"  It is such a hard workout.  (By the way, for those who are new, that is NOT the top! There's another 1/3 of a mile after that!)

The middle third is what kills you.  The steps are completely dangerous to climb. Broken pipes and  sandy ledges make it hard, especially because you are so tired.  The grade is so steep it smacks you in the face.  It's not friendly-spaced steps anymore.  It's at that point, that I finally found some shade to rest for two minutes.  I looked down, and took this picture.

Unless you've hiked it, it's hard to grasp the reality of it.  You want to stop.  You want to give up.  You don't think you'll ever get to the top.  Then, suddenly, you are there.  Hallelujah!!!

I had hardly any energy this time around. I was disappointed with my endurance.  I was feeling faint and dizzy and sluggish, and I realized that the next time I do this, I have to have higher calorie intake.  My body needed fuel, and unfortunately, I didn't have it.  Next time, I'll be smarter.

However, it's always with a sense of pride and happiness, that carries you back down the mountain, for it's a great accomplishment, no matter how long it takes you to get to the top.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Last Week

Last week, Kimble had his first donut.  It was big and sugary and all over the place by the time he was done eating it.  He left half of it in crumbles, around him in the grass.  I'm sure it made for some yummy ant food!

Last week, I hosted my first Girl's Night at my house, since moving to our new area.  I had about 35 ladies come, and we laughed the hours away until 3am, when the last of the gals left.  I think that meant it was a success! I can't believe I didn't take any pictures the entire evening. Guess I was just having too much fun!  By the way, I made my Chicken Enchilada Dip, and once again, it was a party favorite. If you have something coming up, where you have to contribute some yummy food, this dip will never disappoint!

Last week, I made tons of Chenille Burp Cloths and Krinkle Toys for baby shower gifts.   I had about seven girlfriends to make gifts for, so it amounted to a lot of sewing, but they all turned out so cute. I really love making things for babies!

Last week, my kids played outside everyday. We've been able to enjoy weather in the 90's and although hot, it's been a lovely summer so far!

Last week, I waited until Friday, to fold all the laundry I had done everyday throughout the week. Big mistake.  It just takes too long and I end up dreading it.  This week, I'm folding as I go.  It's always the better option, even if it's the road less traveled.

Last week,  I painted my toenails red, instead of the usual rosy brown.  I feel sassy.

Last week, I went to the Library five separate times, to drop off due books, and pick up books that we had on our hold queue.  I even checked out the Lego Harry Potter wii game, and my kids couldn't stop saying "I love you" to me.

Last week, I made a tarp/tent for The Husband to take on his bikepacking adventure that he's doing next week.  He is so excited about it.

Last week, I had all the kids organize all of our dvd's. They spent a few hours doing it, and actually enjoyed it!

Well, I guess that's all I wanted to bring up.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Squirrel Hazzards

A few months ago, we had a squirrel who wanted to live in our attic.  He made himself cozy, munched on the insides of our house, and caused a nusance.  He cleverly avoided our live traps.  He always seemed to find access to the attic, even when we thought we had blocked all openings, and he would hang out on the exterier wall of our house, right in my doorway, and freak me out  when I left the house.  He was a bold one, that's for sure.

One day, we stopped seeing him.  We stopped hearing him have parties in our attic. We figured he had either died, or had found a better place to live.

On a different subject (or so I thought), I had misplaced Kimble's binkie clip a few weeks ago.  I couldn't find it anywhere, even though I had looked and looked. Very frustrating.  I don't like brinking out Kimble's binkie in public, unless he he has a clip, so it won't fall on the ground.  For this  reason, I started limiting how much Kimble had his binkie, and pretty much only gave it to him when he sleeps.  It worked out fine, but I still wondered where that clip went!

Fast forward to this week.  Kamy came in, from playing outside, and said "I found Kimble's binkie clip! It's in the top of the tree, hanging off some branches, and a squirrel is guarding it!"  Well, after convincing Kamy to climb the tree and get the clip (the squirrel ran off), we got the clip back.

It was dirty and full of germs, and the nipple of the binkie had been chewed away.

The clip got sanitized in the dishwasher. The binkie got thrown away. The squirrel lost his toy.  Don't feel sorry for the squirrel, though.  I'm sure it's only a matter of time before he steals something else to play with.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Not Just Yet

Ah.  If there is any one of my kids who desires to be grown up with all her heart, it's my little Georgie.  She gazes longingly at all the lovely ladies wearing heels, jewelry, and makeup.   She asks how long it will be until she can drive.  She wants to be a mommy and still thinks she has a baby in her tummy.  She no longer wants to be called by her childhood nickname of Georgie.  Kennedy is her name, and shame on me if I forget to call her that.  She likes to eat all the spicy food that her daddy eats.  She also wants to have a big bike, like all of her other siblings.

Georgie Kennedy has been asking us for a while now, to take off her training wheels.  She has declared herself done with all things deemed to be for little girls.  We have continually told her that she's not ready yet.  However, she would not be swayed.  She was so dramatic, in her desire to have them off, that we finally relented, with a warning that she still wasn't ready.  She'd look at us like "what do you know?" and when she finally got her way, she was thrilled.

Keaton took the time to take off her training wheels, and when Kennedy was prepared with a helmet and tennis shoes (not to mention a sweater, in 90 degree heat) she was ready to go.

She struggled to get on, and couldn't balance herself even with us holding it.  Keaton tried to push her and get her steady with a little speed, but Kennedy still fell to the side.  That, and she wouldn't pedal, because she was so unsteady.

I tried helping her, but I knew she wasn't quite ready yet. She still relied completely on her training wheels.  When I told her she still needed more time, she was beside herself with grief.

We made a compromise, and only put one training wheel back on.  In a week, we'll switch sides.  Hopefully this will help her with her goal, of riding a two-wheeler!


It seems like Mr. Kimble is growing up a little more everyday.  He decided he won't eat anything, unless he has a fork.  He wants his own sippy cup at dinner.  He climbs up our tall kitchen  chairs, so that he can sit at the table like everyone else.  Then he climbs onto the table, and throws off everything he can.  Kimble vocalizes his displeasures by repeatedly screaming with a high-pitch squeal.  When Kimble wakes up in the morning, he yells and yells to let it be known that he's awake, and then starts chucking everything out of his bed and onto the floor.  Kimble will take off his diaper, if it's the only thing he has on.   He hasn't learned how to take  off his clothes yet, thank goodness.  Kimble no longer requires warm milk in his bottle.  Cold will do just fine, but if we are late getting it, he'll yell.  His binkies are few and far between (somewhere in this house are 13 binkies) and we only use them at bedtime, but he likes to push his finger through the part he's supposed to suck on, and slightly chews on it instead.  It's just about time to say goodbye to the binkies, and the bottles...but I really like the ease of which he goes to sleep at night, due to those two things.

Instead of coming when you call him, he runs the other way in glee.  He likes to hit Georgie on the head.  He likes to play with the panic button on my car key.  He doesn't want to lie down in the bath, and hates getting his hair washed and rinsed.  He tries to go down the stairs by stepping down them, insead of sliding down on his belly.  He likes to play with the dirt in my potted plants.  He pulls out everything he can, in my kitchen cupboards.  He thinks toilet water is fun to play in.

In essence, he is a normal baby, growing into a toddler.  He is a lot of work, but he is also so much fun.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Kennedy's Drawings

Kennedy spends all day "writing in her journal".  It's filled with drawings on every page.  Her pictures have transformed from heads with lines coming out of them, to ladies that have dresses, shoes, and accessories.  She loves to write her name atop every page.  Some pages have lots of random letters across the top, like "LBGEXIOOS" and then she'll come to me and say "I'm gonna read you what I wrote Momma.  It says 'I love you so much. You make pretty things and wear pretty lipstick. I am happy when you wake me up in the morning.' and then she'll give me a kiss on the cheek, hold out her cheek to be kissed, and then go back to drawing more pictures.  Such a sweet girl I have...when she's not being feisty!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Blanket Drive (AGAIN!)

We are doing it again!!  Operation Blanket Drive (Year 2) is now a GO!  Last weekend, when discussing with Julie and Teresa over whether we wanted to organize a blanket drive again, we all agreed that it would be a good thing to continue.  I think that in future years, we will have big celebrations (like when the boys start school, turn 10, etc) where we will go full force with the solicitation of blankets, as well as publicity, but for the next few years, we'll take what blankets we gather and quietly give them to the volunteer office.

Some of you are new to my blog.  If you'd like to read about last year's successful blanket drive, you can see The News Story here, read about the behind the scenes happenings here, and see how we organized the blankets here.  If you want to read about why we started the blanket drive in the first place, read about it here.  We donated 1064 blankets!!

This is a good thing.  For those who have been in the hospital, either for yourself, a spouse, or your child, a gift of a soft, cuddly blanket means more than words can describe. The idea that someone took the time to either make, or buy, a blanket, and then selflessly give it to someone in need, is so very touching.

This blanket drive will benefit all patients at The Children's Hospital in Denver.  Their patients range from preemie to adult, and they are there for every imaginable minor or major illness, disease, sickness, genetic malformations,  for the long term or short term, as well as those who come in for testing, or just for the day.  Although we are coming at this from a heart defect perspective, we are donating the blankets to the entire hospital, to be used as needed.

The blankets can be handmade, or store bought, but they must be new.  They can be fleece, cotton, minky, flannel, crochet, knit, quilted, or any other kind of blanket you can think of.  They can range in size from preemie to crib size, to kid size, to twin size.

For information on our Blanket Drive, as well as info on Chance and Adam's families, you can go to My Grateful Heart, which is our website about our blanket drive benefiting Colorado Denver Children's Hospital.  If you want to spread the word, please take this blog button. 

We will collect blankets until the beginning of November, and then we will donate them with full and thankful hearts.  It's an amazing project to be a part of.  I hope you can join us.  I've said this before, but it's the ONE blanket that makes the difference, to the ONE patient that receives it. 

You can contact me kamyrensmiles(at)hotmail(dot)com to get more information, as well as an address to mail your blankets.  Thank you so much.

Neighborhood Rules

There are dangers all around.  Even in places that we think are safe, there could be predators.  Friendly faces that hide all sorts of evil in disguise. Older kids who think it's fun to introduce inappropriate things to younger kids.  I could go on and on.

So for that reason, the biggest rule our kids have, is that they have to stay in our yard, when playing outside.  By keeping them in our environment, there is no opportunity for secrets.  No opportunities for them to be hurt, or exposed to things, without our knowing about it.

We don't mind other kids playing in our front yard, but then comes rule number two:  All kids must stay in the front yard. There is no playing in our garage, sideyard, or backyard.  They cannot come inside our house.  Even  though our kids play with each other, I don't know the parents that well, and frankly, they don't know us.  Once again, a friendly face doesn't always mean innocent actions.

In order to keep safety and accountability, all the kids stay out in the open. This has worked well for us in the past, and continues to be a good rule of thumb. I've discussed our rules with other neighborhood parents, and they agree with it.  When they send their kids out to play with my kids, they know that they only have to look out their window, and they will know exactly what the kids are doing.

Why take a chance with your kids protection?  Evil comes in all forms, even from people that you think are safe.  Sometimes my kids gripe at these rules, but it takes a lot of effort to keep out of harm's way.

Day Camp

Last week Keaton participated in a three day Day Camp for cubscouts, in our old stake.  The days were filled with amazing adventures for them, like rock climbing, archery, faith-building exercises, hiking, making knots, canoeing, sports, fishing, bb gun shooting, outdoor survival, fire making, and lessons about being strong warriors in our day.  It was such an amazing experience for Keaton, and all the other boys.  I'm so glad he could participate in it, and give huge thanks to my friends who took him overnight so that I wouldn't have to drive back and forth so much.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Heart Baby Reunion

It was time once again to have a heart baby reunion with the two other families that were in the CICU at the same time we were.  Kimble, Chance and Adam all had heart surgeries and other procedures done during their first few weeks of life.  The last time we all got together, was when we donated the blankets to The Children's Hospital on their first birthday.  Now our boys are 19 months old and they are all doing so great!  (Little Chance broke his leg about a month ago, going down a slide. These boys of ours are becoming fearless!)

Kimble didn't want to stay seated for the pictures, and the last time we plopped him back down, after trying to get up and run around, he started crying.

After we visited at my house for a few hours, where we ate a delicious BBQ lunch, we drove up into the canyon to play around outside.  Here is a group picture of all three families.

These steps provided another opportunity to get a picture of the three boys.

We let everyone play in the stream for a while. All the kids loved the freedom of doing whatever they wanted to.

For a while, I sat with Kimble on this bridge, as we watched everyone play.

Georgie must have climbed these steps three or four times, to go up to the bathrooms.  Don't know what was up with her bladder that day, but all the lemonade she drank at lunch probably contributed.

Much to Kimble's delight, I let him loose.  He was enthralled with the bridge, and just wanted to run back and forth across it.  Only problem was that his speed was dangerous, and could have fallen over at any moment. Even worse, he could have nose-planted off the edge and landed in the rocky stream. So, I was kept on my toes, running behind him, back and forth, in effort to be his safety net, should he need it.  Finally the stress was too much, and I scooped him up and we played somewhere far away from the bridge.

Then we started our hike up Helen Hunt Falls (not named after the actress) and it was pretty much the most perfect day to hike.

All the dads held their baby boys. I loved it!

After the hike, and more playing in the stream, and just a bit more visiting, we said goodbye to the two families.  We'll see each other again, when the boys turn two!


Long ago, I grew up on a ranch with more cousins than livestock running around.  Lucky for us, there was always a cousin our own age to play with.  The cousin that was my age was named  Allen.  When I was twelve, my family moved away from the ranch. For years, we wrote to each other.  I wrote all about how I was a cheerleader during 7th grade, played volleyball my 8th grade year, and how we now went to school in Washington, but went to church in Idaho.  Interesting stuff, when your town is right on the border of two states.

Allen wrote to me about all the youth group hikes and campouts that he participated in, as well as the weight group he was in every year, in wrestling.  Although the move was good for our family, I sure missed life on the ranch, swimming with my cousins in a dead-cow-infested pond.

Years passed, and we saw each other again when we were about 20 years old.  Unfortunately, the circumstances surrounding that visit were very sad, since we were at his dad's funeral.

A year or two later, during my last summer at BYU, Allen came up to start school.  We hung out with each other that summer, and it was fabulous.  It was so nice to have my childhood best friend back!

After I graduated, I didn't see Allen for years and years.  I got married.  He got married.  We both had kids, and yet, we had lost track of one another.  We became friends on facebook, so we had some communication, but we still hadn't managed to get together again.  Then, right after Kimble was born, when we were still in the hospital undergoing heart surgeries, I got a message from Allen and his wife Monique, saying that they were in town (her family is from here) and they wanted to stop by.  They were able to come to the hospital for about an hour, where we visited with one another.  Because circumstances of hospital life were hard, it was an amazing boost to my spirit, to see them.

Now I bring you to this point.  We were finally able to get all of his family, and all of my family, together.  Yay for generations of cousins!

It was so great to have them stop over for the night, on the way to visit Monique's family.  It's fun to see The Husband and Allen get acquainted and to hear Heath say "He's such a great guy!"  It's amazing to get to know Monique and find out that we have so much in common.  As much as I love having people visit, it's ten times better when it's family!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Spicy Jack

A few months ago, in preparation for Spring Break, I sat down with the kids and together we came up with our menu for the week.  Since we weren't traveling anywhere, and nobody was visiting, I wanted them to have something to look forward to.  Besides the fun things we did at home that week, each kid had a day that they got to be in charge of our food choices.

Kamy chose sausage penne (surprise surprise) and Kolby chose hamburgers.  Keaton said he wanted mac and cheese, but "not the normal kind".  So with that, I set out to find a more interesting recipe to accomplish Keaton's request.

I came across this recipe for Spicy Mac & Cheese, and decided that's what we should make.  I saw that the recipe already had broccoli in it (which I would have added anyway) and then I thought I should add ham to it  as well, to make it more of a complete meal.  What resulted was perfection.  It's a sassy version of Mac & Cheese, and everyone loves it.

Spicy Mac & Cheese

8 oz elbow noodles
2 cups (8oz) cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups (8 oz) pepperjack cheese, shredded
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
2 cups chopped broccoli (fresh or frozen)
1 cup diced ham
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp pepper

Boil your noodles al dente.  The last three minutes, add your broccoli to the pot of boiling macaroni.  Drain noodles and broccoli.  In a large bowl, combine the noodles, broccoli, cheddar cheese, pepperjack cheese, evaporated milk, ham and pepper.  Stir to combine.  Pour mixture into a greased casserole dish.

In a small bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese.  Sprinkle over the top of your mac & cheese mixture.  Bake (covered with aluminum foil) for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes.  Serve!

As a side note: When I make this for my family, as a meal, I double the recipe. When it is a side dish, I keep it as it is.

As another note:  Bacon could be substituted for ham.  I've used bacon and it tastes great.  However, I normally use turkey ham. This recipe could also be made without the ham (or the broccoli), if you so desire.

The Kind of Guy...

Happy Father's Day to the kind of guy who will keep a baby strapped to his back as he does his business in the port-a-potty.

Happy Father's Day to the kind of guy that prevents his kids from getting their chores done, because he is wrestling on the floor with them amidst their giggles.

Happy Father's Day to the kind of guy that spends hours teaching his boys how to maintain their bicycles, and then races them around the neighborhood.

Happy Father's Day to the kind of guy that loves to cook spaghetti for the family, and who always makes a special sauce for Kolby, since he doesn't like marinara.

Happy Father's Day to the kind of guy who dances the tango with his baby in his arms.

Happy Father's Day to the kind of guy who swims around the pool with kids hanging on to his back.

Happy Father's Day to the kind of guy who eats a late-night snack in the kitchen with kids who have already been sent to bed, as they grin mischievously together in their "Don't tell mom" kind of secret.

Happy Father's Day to the kind of guy who takes a screaming baby into the hallway at church, so that his wife can stay and listen to the lesson.

Happy Father's Day to the kind of guy who cuts his boys' hair every month.

Happy Father's Day to my husband.  I love you babe!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Yesterday, In A Nutshell

Almost exactly one year ago, I wrote a play by play of my entire day. What I did and what the kids did, throughout the day.  Ready for round 2?

5:30am: Wake up to The Husband's alarm, after having spent most of the night tossing and turning, and struggling to sleep well (which I normally do, but not this night!) and I got up twice with Kimble, who normally sleeps through the night as well.  I try to go back to sleep.

5:37am:  Darn cats like to claw at something in my room, and they do this every morning.  It's loud and annoying and I throw them out of my room and close the door before they can come back inside.  I try, again, to go back to sleep.

6:00am:  My alarm goes off.  The Husband is still sleeping.  I get up and make my way blindly to the bathroom, because my eyes won't open yet.  Then, I shower.

6:11am: Done with shower. Mousse, heat protectant, and glossy drops are massaged into my wet hair.  Lotion is on my face, arms, and legs.  Teeth are brushed. 

6:12am: I go downstairs to wake up my kids. We have to leave by 7am today, and I need them up.  I wake up the boys first, but there is nobody in their  beds.  I check the floors and closet, but no sleeping bodies are found.  I go in the girls' room, and find four lumpy blankety bodies all sleeping together.  I wake them all up and send them to the bathroom to start getting ready.  They knew we'd be up early today, but they were not happy about waking up.

6:14am:  I check my email, blog, and facebook.

6:18am: I get Kimble up.  Change his diaper and get clothes on him.  I put him in his high chair and give him his two medicines that we've been giving him since birth, and then put some dry cereal on his tray for breakfast.

6:20am:  I go back in the bathroom to get ready, and purposefully wake The Husband, seeing as it's been almost an hour since his alarm went  off.  He gets up and starts getting dressed to bike to work, and since he took a shower the night before, the  bathroom is all mine for a few minutes, until The Husband comes in, and as he moves beside me to get to the closet, he grazes my waist, squeezes my bum, and says "You are looking thinner, babes."

6:40am:  I am ready and dressed. I see that Kolby has a dirty shirt on and  tell him to change.  I also send Kennedy to change clothes, since she is completely unacceptable for public appearance.  I tell Kamy to feed and water the cats, and start Keaton on making sandwiches for our picnic lunch today (two turkey with mayo and mustard, and two peanut butter and honey).  I get Kimble down and wipe him up.  I put pinto beans and seasonings (and water) into the crockpot, in anticipation of having tacos for dinner.

6:45am:  I gather up items necessary for our long day away from the house, like diapers, wipes, sippy cups, bottle of  milk, Kimble's shoes and socks, as well as Keaton's scout camp things.  It's the first day of a three day scout camp for our old ward/stake, so he needs lunches, supplies, and clothing. Most of this we prepared the night before, but there is still a bit of organizing to do.  I remind Keaton to bring up his toothbrush to add to his bag.  I put together a quick salad, for my lunch.

6:52am:  I see that Kennedy is not ready yet, and have Kamy help to get her ready, while I start bringing things out to the car.  I put my standard mix of oatmeal, flax seed, cinnamon, protein powder, blueberries and slivered almonds in  the microwave for one minute.

7:00am:  I yell to everyone that it's time to go.  Kolby is in the car with another dirty shirt on.  I tell him to go back inside and change.  The  girls don't have their hair done, so I have Kamy grab a brush and rubber bands so I can do it later.  I grab Kimble to buckle him in, and discover that he has a poopy diaper.   I go inside to change him, grab the rest of our snacks, picnic food, supplies, diaper bag, my purse, as well as my oatmeal, and ...

7:09am: We are out the door, 9 minutes late.

7:09-7:41am: We drive north, to our old neighborhood, as I grab bites of my oatmeal periodically.  Along the  way, Keaton practices his line for  his scout camp skit, which is: "Hey Guys!  We just earned our Citizenship of the Nation Badge!"  By the time we get there, we all have it memorized and buzzing around in our heads.

7:41am:  Arrive at our friend's house, where I drop off three kids, then pick up three boys, and we head to the church.

7:48am:  Meet other excited boy scouts at the church, along with other friends who are dropping off their scouts, and we watch as they get instructions, scout daycamp shirts, and practice going through their lines for their skits.  Kimble walks around the grass and sidewalk in his barefeet.  His shoes are in the van, even if they didn't make it on his feet yet.

8:03am: We load up the van with scouts, and head off towards Black Forest Park, where they will spend the day doing amazingly fun "boy" things.  I miss the turnoff, and drive an extra mile before I turn around.

8:20am:  The boys all depart my van and go running off to join the other scouts. I call Keaton back, give him a few instructions and motherly advice since I won't see him for three days (It's three days of day-camp, but he'll be going home with two of his friends, the next two nights, so I don't have to journey up so far, every night and morning, thank goodness) and give him a hug and a kiss. I take a picture of him and Ethan, who's house he's going to stay at tonight, and then he's off to join the others.

8:25am:  The van feels lonely with just Kimble and I.  We drive back to my friend's house where the other kids are already scattered through the house, playing with their friends.

8:40am: I bring  Kimble in, as well as Keaton's bag of clothing changes, and his lunches for the next two days, give Kimble a bottle, change his diaper, and make sure the other kids are doing fine.

9:00am:  We all go outside in the backyard, to play.  I write down the events of the morning, to keep track of things for this post, as I watch Kolby and Kennedy jump on the  trampoline with two of Lydia's kids.

9:20am:  I have to remove Kimble's pants because the wet grass has soaked the bottoms of them.  Kimble doesn't care. He's thrilled to have some independence to go and do whatever he wants.  He carries two cars in his hands, which he occasionally "vrooms" across the ground.

9:21am: My friend Lydia comes out and visits with me for a bit. We talk about Kimble's progress and health, her upcoming foot surgery, my struggles with weight-loss, as we watch our kids play outside (except for Kamy and Brittany, who are downstairs in her room singing Disney songs from The Lion King and The Little Mermaid).  The girl's have been excited to have a playdate, and have really missed each other since we moved 30 minutes away.

9:30am: Sudden raindrops appear, which causes us to shepherd the kids back inside for a bit, despite complaints.

9:32am:  I start cleaning the kitchen, as Lydia and I are talking about random things. Kitchens, afterall, are my favorite "satisfying" household chore.

9:45am: Lydia sits down to feed her baby. I give Kimble his forgotten bottle of milk, which he takes a bit of and then starts climbing the stairs and yelling, because he likes the echo that he hears.  It's fun for him, but hard to carry on a conversation over the noise.

10:00am: The kids are hungry, but I tell them we'll eat soon.They go back to playing.  I still haven't seen Kamy (or Brittany) but can still hear them singing from the room  below.

10:30am:  Head to the park. Teralyn came along with us, but Kamy stayed at the  house with Brittany.

10:35am: Bring out picnic lunch.  Nobody seems thrilled about it, even though they all complain of starvation.  Sandwiches have to be eaten before fruit and crackers.  Kimble shakes his head "no" repeatedly, at my attempts to feed him a sandwich.

10:45am:  Kids play at the park.  Kimble climbs up onto playground equipment repeatedly, and I'm not quite ready for that.  Kolby helps keep him safe while I eat my salad.

10:50am:  I push Kimble in the swing, and thrill over how much he loves it.  Georgie takes over pushing him for a while.  Kolby plops himself  next to me and says "Nobody wants to play with me." but is only grumpy for a minute before he returns to the monkey bars.

 11:00am: The sun is beating down on us. I wish I had worn  capris instead of pants, but it's such a beautiful day.

11:10am: The kids are playing great, and there is no one else at the park, which is nice. I overheard Teralyn asking Kolby how old he is, and he replies "The month I was born in is classified."  Kolby is still grumpy.

11:45am:  We pack up to go to the library.

11:55am:  We are at the library.  It's not too crowded.  I instruct the kids to find books.  No computer.

11:56am: Kolby announced that he's done reading an  entire book, and had earned computer time.  I disagree.  I tell him we are only reading.  He spends the next 30 minutes "wrestling" with all the big stuffed animals they have around the library, and then standing in front of an unoccupied computer, staring at it longingly.

12:11pm: Kimble stands on a chair and then steps off it backwards and falls.  His scream and cries silences the library, as everyone looks at me and wonders why I wasn't watching my kid.

12:25pm:  Everyone has picked out a few books (except Kolby) and I got a few for Kamy and Keaton.

12:35pm: We check out our books and head back to the van.

12:37pm:  In the car, Kolby looks at the sky and says "I wonder which one of those clouds is Jesus's cloud.  Probably the biggest one!"

12:40pm:  We arrive back at Lydia's house.  Kimble fell asleep in the three minute drive there, and I leave him in the van (with the AC on) and help Kolby and Kennedy brush their teeth because we have to goto their dentist appointments next (which is the whole reason we stuck around up north all morning).  Teralyn stays at her house.  Kamy and Brittany take off down the street to walk to Brittany's piano lesson.  I load Kolby and Kennedy in the van (with sleeping Kimble) and we drive to the dentist.

12:52pm:  Arrive at dentist.  Kennedy and Kolby run inside.  I take a sleeping Kimble in my arms and walk inside, sign in, and sit down to wait.

1:05pm:  The kids are taken back (they both have fillings to get done) and the waiting room is so quiet I want to go to sleep.  Instead, I just hold Kimble and play carcasonne on my itouch.

1:30am:  Kimble wakes up and is grumpy from such a short nap.  Unfortunately, I don't have a bottle for him, but two packages of fruit snacks, stored away in my purse, save the day.  When he's done eating, and he took a drink from the water fountain, I turned on Toy Story 2 on my itouch and he watched it, contentedly, in my lap  for 15 minutes.

2:00pm: Dentist visit is done!  I love to see my kids' crooked numbed smiles.

 2:05pm:  After paying for the visit and making Kennedy's final appointment, we get in the van and head to the Pediatrician office to pick up a prescription that is waiting for us, from Kolby's previous appointment last week.

2:09pm:  Park.  Unload kids, walk into building.  Get prescription slip from the front desk, walk back out, load up everyone again.

2:11pm:  Head to Sonic, where I order two vanilla cones, which comes to $2.15.  I hand  them back to Kolby and Kennedy, as a reward for being so good at the dentist.  Kolby gives licks to Kimble, but only when he says "peese" and not when he screams.  It's trial and error.

2:20pm:  We are  back at Lydia's house, to pick up Kamy.  It takes a few minutes to get her to realize that they are done with their playdate, and we have to go.  At this point, they were playing the wii.

2:25pm:  Say goodbye to Lydia and kids.  We are in the van heading south.  Not going home yet.  One more stop to go.

2:40pm:  We arrive at the DMV where we have to register The Husband's car.  I park next to a parking meter and put in enough change to add up to 1 hr and 18 minutes.  I'm hoping that will do it.  I put Kimble in the stroller, give a library book to Kamy, and grab a bag of animal crackers.  I stop Kolby from drinking a can of Mountain Dew, that was left on the sidewalk, next to our parking space.  Gross.

 2:43pm:  Get number to wait in line.  We are in one of four groups.  In our group, number 411 is being served, and we are number 415. I have high hopes.

3:00pm:  Still waiting.  Number hasn't changed in our group,but at least a dozen have been called in other groups.  The kids are taking turns on the itouch, which has brought a curious neighbor boy over and he practically takes it out of the kids' hands, in order to see it.  His dad calls him back over to him, but  the kid doesn't listen.  I remove it from his hands and place it back in Kennedy's hands.  He is practically sitting on her lap, trying to see the screen.

3:11pm:  The number changes!  Now serving 412.  I continue to hand out animal crackers to Kimble. Kamy reads her book and Kolby watches the screen for the number changes.

3:13pm:  Now sering 413!  Kennedy starts pushing Kimble around in circles, in his stroller.

3:17pm:  Serving 414!

3:20pm:  Kennedy has to go potty.  So does Kolby.  He decides to wait.  Kamy takes Kennedy potty.

3:21pm:  Someone sits down behind us, and Kimble says "Hi!". She replies back, and they have a few moments of conversation.

3:22pm:  Now serving number 415.  We walk up to the desk and I hand him our expired registration card.  We get our new address imputed (which is why we couldn't do it online) and in a few minutes, we are done, and handed over a check for $164 dollars.

3:25pm:  Kamy and Kennedy come back from the bathroom. We start to leave, then Kolby decides he has to go.  We wait for him outside the Men's room.

3:28pm:  I take a picture outside City Hall, with the girls by the "big horsie".

3:29pm:  Back to the car.  The can  of Dew is still there, and I make sure Kolby doesn't swipe it.  There are 37 minutes left on our meter.  We start to drive home.

3:55pm:  We arrive home.  Kids get unloaded and most of them stay outside to play with all the neighbors, who were gathered in front of our house, waiting for us to be home.  I bring Kimble inside, turn on  the AC, and talk on the phone  to my dear friend Gladys, who was my boss at the movie theater, my very first job in the small town I grew up in. I called her to chat, and to wish her a happy birthday.

4:20pm:  I'm off the phone, and Kimble and I share a cup of ice.  He loves crushed ice almost as much as I do.  We veg for a while, enjoying the relaxation and quiet.  I check email, blog, and facebook again, after taking Kimble off my computer, where he likes to sit.

5:00pm:  The Husband comes home.  He's been biking to and from work (as long as the weather is good) and he heads to the shower to get cleaned up.

5:20pm:  I can neither confirm  or deny the possibility of some  hanky panky happenings, when The Husband came out of the bathroom after his shower.

5:40pm:  Kimble sits between us as we watch a random show on tv, hungry...but not too eager to start dinner.

6:00pm:  Kids are hungry.   I ask The Husband to do the chicken for our tacos, as I turn my crockpot of pinto beans into the most amazing refried beans in the world!  I also feed Kimble some pretzels, a cheese stick, and a bannana. He goes for the bananna first.

6:30pm:  Dinner is prepared and we begin eating.  The kids all have three or four tacos each.  It seems strange without Keaton at home.  Kimble is getting fussy, because of his early wake-up and his short nap.  I forsee an early bedtime for him.

6:47pm:  I instruct the girls to shower first while Kolby cleans the kitchen (his chore for this week) and then they'll swap, with the girl's doing their chores.

7:03pm:  Kolby still hasn't done anything in the kitchen.  Girls are done with the showers. I  help Kolby get going in the kitchen.  Kamy is reading a library book to Kennedy.

7:17pm: I check facebook and see that someone has mentioned a new MTV series called Teen Wolf, and I automatically think about Michael J. Fox and Thriller.  I watch the promo for the show, and tell myself that if I'm bored, I will check it out at another time.  Then I watch the promo for Breaking Dawn.  After that, I log in to to chart what I've eaten this day...which wasn't much.  I needed an afternoon snack, but didn't pack one with me on our adventures.

7:30pm: Kimble gets changed, bottled and binkied, and put to bed.  His eyes are already closed when I cover him up.  Then I go into the kitchen, which I find deserted, and call for Kolby.

7:31pm: Kolby comes up wrapped in a blanket, naked underneath, and says he can't possibly do the kitchen without clothes on, and is going to take a shower.

7:34pm:  Kolby comes upstairs and says he took a shower and is all clean.  I question his speed, but don't make him go back to do it right.  He helps finish the kitchen by wiping down all the counters and sweeping (kind of). I already had the dishwasher loaded and the food put away.

7:45pm:  Done with kitchen.  Lights out; everyone out.  I tell the kids that if they are quiet, they can stay up for an hour, and to go downstairs.

8:00pm:  I lie down on the bed.  I'm tired from being on the go all day, and from not getting very much sleep the night before.  The Husband and I watch Masterchef, which I love.

9:00pm: I go to sleep.  Good night all!

Monday, June 13, 2011

MathBlaster Winner

Congrats to Jen, who said:

Jen said...
Hannah will love this. I usually do a schedule of reading time and have writing and math workbooks to do. Hannah loves math and I bet she would just explode doing it as a computer game. Be great for when my little boys are napping and I need quiet time.

Jen, I don't think I have your email addresss, so send it to me, and I'll forward the information on to Mathblaster!  Thank you!

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Last week I brought Kolby to his Pediatrician to discuss whether he had an attention disorder.  Before the end of the school year, I had two of his teachers fill out a questionnaire, regarding Kolby.  The Husband and I also filled out these questionnaires, independently of each other.  The answers were really consistent.

Kolby's doctor seems to think that he does have an Attention Deficit Disorder.  He told us that to some degree, we all have problems focusing on different things, throughout our life.  If it interests us, we can focus a great deal, but for the most part, we tend to daydream a bit, or go through schedules in our heads of what needs to be done, or we think about something that happened get the idea.  Anyway, this is not something that we MUST treat, like an illness.  Kolby could grow out of it.  Most kids do.  However, because this has been a constant struggle for years and years, we are going to try to  help Kolby become more focused.

For the next few months, his doctor and I are going to work on getting the least invasive medicine to help Kolby.  We want him to stay his same sweet lovable self, but hopefully make it easier to focus in class, follow directions, and enjoy learning.  We don't want his appetite or his sleeping schedule to change.  We also got better medication for his allergies and his wheezing, so overall, we are hoping that he won't carry around all of these burdens anymore.

It's been interesting, doing ADD research.  So many things seem to apply to Kolby.  I really want him to not struggle so much, with school. He is a very smart boy.  Hopefully everyone else will be able to see that too.

Bed Head

Bedhead:  The condition of having unkempt hair, generally as a result of having just woken up from sleep

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Avocado Ranch Dip

I made this Avocado Ranch Dip a few weeks ago, and was surprised at how tasty it was.  I thought that I'd have to adjust the recipe (like adding Ranch powder) or something, to get it to taste like the "ranch" part of the recipe, but I didn't have to tweak it at all!  The flavors that the herbs bring to the dish are absolutely perfect.  I hope you give it a try.  It's so easy to make, and it will last in the fridge (covered, in a jar) for a week!

Avocado Ranch Dip
2 avocados
1 cup Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh chives, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley, minced
1 teaspoon fresh dill
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

chips and vegetables for dipping


Mash up avocados.  Chop up your fresh herbs.  (Fresh herbs add such an impacting flavor.  If you don't have fresh, you can use dried herbs, and only use 1/2 tsp of each dried herb, to adjust for the difference.)

Add yogurt, herbs, and spices.   Have your helper stir to combine.

My kids loved this dip.  So did The Husband.  I made the homemade potato chips, that are linked along with this recipe.  It was a great afternoon snack for the kids. 

As for me, I ate it with my turkey burger, and it was fantastic.  Such a great dip, and healthy for you too!  Avocados are a great "good fat" to eat, and since it's saturated with greek yogurt, it's a powerful protein.  Hope you try it.  If you like avocados, you'll love this twist on an old favorite.