Friday, December 11, 2009

Catch up.

Okay, first off, SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO sorry about the never ending rotation of the Culture Club. I shall never torture you that way again.
Second, I am a horrible mother and completely spaced posting about number fours third birthday (it was over a month ago). In a nutshell, it was a birthday fit for a three year old. It consisted of balloons, birthday hats and a Star Wars cake (sorry Bud, I'll do better next year, promise).
And now a list of things I've been doing to justify my being such a horrible mother.
Sewing.
Finishing the kitchen cabinets and the backsplash.
Thanksgiving. It was at my house. I made pumpkin soup, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes with brown sugar and pecans and sweet potatoes with pineapple and marshies, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce(Heck No! Not from a can)and herbed infused turkey(which results in the worlds best turkey gravy). It was a pretty great spread with pretty great company. The holiday ended with a quick jaunt to S.G. to visit my side of the fam.
Decorating the tree and the house for the Chrismas festivities.
And finally, crocheting...more to come later.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Curse you, Zhu Zhu.

Okay, I'm sure most you are aware (at least those of you with small children)of the phenomenon that is Zhu Zhu pets; a darling litte mechanized hamster so real you will hardly know they're fake (except for that they don't poop all over the place, get out of their cage and gnaw through your dad's bowling bag, or make your house smell like the bottom of a garbage can).
They are every parents dream pet. And apparantly every childs too, as they are virtually nowhere to be found, except on ebay and other various auction websites where they are selling for hellishly inflated prices (curse you dirty, little sellers for taking advantage of the general public...and during a recession no less).
And of course, Zhu Zhu's had to find a spot on The Christmas List. Normally I would just pick another item from said list and hope that it's desirability is as great as the next, but in this instance there was a problem; the ONLY other item on said list was a GUINEA PIG...a REAL LIVE one. So, Zhu Zhu pets it was.
And for the last month or so I've been on a quest to find the enigma that is a Zhu Zhu hamster(hear all about them, but never actually seen one). I found Zhu Zhu beds, carrying cases, cities and even a Zhu Zhu car...but no Zhu Zhu hamster.
I was beginning to wonder what I might do with all of the various Zhu Zhu accessories I had purchased in hopes of someday finding the elusive rodent, but was quickly losing faith as the Thanksgiving holiday loomed (I try to have all my Christmas shopping done by Thanksgiving day. Mainly because I have a fear of crowds and belive whole heartedly that the number of holiday shoppers quadruples after Thanksgiving, not to mention the constant threat of the swines. But, enough about my neurocies).
Well today, my search for the "holy hamster" came to a glorious end. This very morning I was tipped off by an awesome friend, who's also on the quest, that Target had recieved a shipment of hamsters and that I needed to drop what I was doing and drive right over.
Immediately my endorphins kicked in and I was overcome with adrenaline. I was zooming around the house gathering the kids backpacks and coats so I could drop them off at school on the way. Fearing that I might not get there in time, I begged Chad to head down ahead of me so that we wouldn't miss out on this possibly once in a lifetime opportunity. He agreed and left me to finish getting the kids into the car. The big kids were a little confused by my sudden frantic behavior but did what they were asked...probably out of fear. I'm imagining they saw me similar to The Hulk, only not green, not muscular and not shirtless.
I grabbed Beckham and threw him in his carseat and hopped into the drivers seat ready to channel my inner Dale Earnhardt.
I dropped the kiddies off and burned rubber out of the the school parking lot.
Hoping that Chad had already arrived at the store I called him for the play by play. I wanted to hear him tell me his every move..."okay I'm entering the store, now I'm turning right, now I'm running down the isle towards the toys, okay I see them...I SEE THEM"...and then loud, victorious screaming. Yeah, only it didn't happen that way. When I called he was still passing Asian Star (a lovely restaurant about a mile away from Target) and I was a little deflated. In an effort to distract myself while at the same time emphasize to Chad the importance of this shopping trip, I explained how difficult these little buggers were to find and that unless he wanted to spend three times what they were actually worth he better hurry up...only I said it super nice.
He finally arrived at Target and went inside. When he got to the toy isle he informed me that there were a bazillion people in line and that he needed to hang up. This triggered an involuntary reflux issue I never realized I had. I "swallowed" my anxiety and continued to drive to Target to serve as Chad's backup.
That's when I heard a faint little voice from behind me asking "where we going mom, where we going mom"? Honestly, I don't know how long that little voice had been questioning me. I had been so preoccupied with loftier issues. I realized then that in addition to not telling Beckham where we were headed in such a hurry I hadn't bothered to say hello either. I removed myself from the craziness for a moment and turned around to see his big blue eyes staring at me...such a little cutie. I told him good morning and asked him how he was doing? He just smiled. Then I turned my attention to the baby...THE BABY!!!
The last I remember of her she was sleeping peacefully in her crib. I reached my arm behind me and felt in her seat...EMPTY. HOLY !#@%, in my haste I totally forgot to get the baby out of her crib. Immediately my excited, adrenaline-infused, nervousness turned to the sick, reluxy/vomity kind. I was ready to reach for my cell to call Chad and tell him that I was turning around to go home...for no reason in particular...that I just didn't think we both needed to be there anymore, when he called me. He told me the he had been able to secure four (and no more) of the little rodents and that he was heading home.
"Great", I replied. "I guess I'll just turn around and head home too" I said as nonchalantly as possible, then I put the petal to the metal and headed for home going mach ten. (Sadly this little lapse in judgement was a total buzz kill for my newfound triumph).
The drive home was the longest five minutes of my life, but thankfully all was well when I got there. Thankfully the house was still standing and Rowan was lying peacefully in her crib...just waiting...like she knew what I'd done.
But because of her it will now surely be a very Merry Christmas. Too bad she cannot understand the magnitude of her sacrifice, but it's probably for the best. Given her genetic heritage (refer to previous post titled Avery Chronicles) it's best not to add abandoment issues to the mix.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Just in case you were wondering...


the wicked witch of the east is not dead. As a matter of fact she works at Gardner Village, more specifically the Village Christmas Shoppe and in the form of a dark haired waif, sportin' skinny jeans and boots. I think she hid her green skin under lots of foundation.
Anyway, I won't go into gory details, but I was just there and did not have a happy experience. She was rude to me and rude to Beckham. Naturally, I did not defend myself, but instead...in true Ashman form, let the incident fester inside all the way home. By the time I got home I was ready to explode...and did so in the form of an email, which I sent to the shop and Gardner Village management. I may be blacklisted from the establishement for it, but oh, it felt so good. Wanna read it?

I am a huge fan of your shop and make a point of stopping by whenever I can, especially during the holidays. However, my most recent visit left me feeling frustrated and irritated. An employee, or perhaps even manager/owner was flat out unhelpful and even rude to me. Frankly I was shocked by this behavior as I have never been treated this way on any of my prior visits. Perhaps she was just having a bad day. This particular woman seemed too busy to care about helping me find what I was looking for and at one point even took it upon herself to verbally discipline my child; even telling him he'd have to leave if he didn't listen. I found this particularly inappropriate as I was standing right next to him, supervising his every move. I realize that my contacting you will most likely result in nothing, but it was important for me to remind you that anyone who chooses to work in sales/service positions be tactful and friendly and above all should never treat patrons disrespectfully; even if they are having a crappy day. On a happier note, I was able to find the item I was told you did not carry. Sadly, this is most likely my final purchase, at least for now. But, I may still stop by on occasion, just to see if the accused is still mistreating customers.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Mental Update

Just want everyone to know that I'm okay (and so is Avery). A few of you seemed a little concerned about my mental status and after reading my last post I can see why. How long does the postpartum hormonal rollercoaster last?
Anywho, since my last post I've taken a nice hot bath, drank a 20 ouncer of my favorite diet, caffenated beverage(which shall remain nameless)and and watched So You Think You Can Dance and I.am.feeling.good.
After I had time to gather my wits, I decided to get the little Diva a gift. I found her a necklace with a silver heart and pink rhinestone charm on it for when I picked her up from school. Consider it a peace offering. I thought she might have been in a mood after what I did to her. Again, however I was pleasantly surprised by her chipper demeanor. I presented her the necklace and told her it was for when she got sad or missed me and home. She could look at it and know that I was thinking about her and waiting for her. It seemed to work. She wore the necklace all afternoon until she broke it. Thankfully I was able to fix it...I dare not think what would have happened if I couldn't have.
Now, the million dollar question...will or will not Avery go to school tomorrow? Stay tuned for the dramatic conclusion?!?

Avery chronicles.

Well, I just got home from dropping the kids off to school and I am a wreck...naturally Chad skipped town just in time to avoid all the drama.
It all began this morning when I had to wake Avery from what appeared to be a very deep slumber. I knew the day was getting off to a rocky start and said a silent little prayer that it wouldn't continue throughout the rest of the day.
(Those of you who have spent any length of time with Avery know that she is, well, a DIVA. She is the moodiest child I've ever had the privelidge of knowing (see I'm so spent, I can't even remember how to spell the word priviledge). There are times I just stare at her and wonder if she is bipolar. One minute she will be telling me I'm the worst and meanest mom on the entire earth and the next she'll she putting her arms around my neck giving me a hug...and that's on a good day).
Don't get me wrong I love the kid, I just know how...unstable she can be at times.
Anyway, I tried rousing her with no success. It took me about five minutes to get her conscious and surprisingly she seemed in a rather pleasant mood...perhaps because I came bearing chocolate milk as a gift. She drank her milk and watched a little T.V. and when I felt the timing was just right I suggested she go and get dressed for school. That's when the SHEESH hit the fan. I swear I saw her eyes turn red and horns sprout out of her cute little skull...the wrath of Avery was upon me. Immediately I went into "hostage negotiator" mode; strategically choosing the things I said so as to diffuse the situation..."what do you FEEL like wearing today?", "tell me what you WANT to wear and I'll go get it for you...your majesty"(I didn't really say that last part, but I thought it).
Listen, I know what you are all thinking...get a backbone lady. How can I, the parent, allow my six year old to have such control over me?
So, I'll try to explain my side as best I can. It isn't that I'm scared of Avery or that she has control of me even...it's not like that. But, almost every morning since school started I have had to listen to Avery tell me that she doesn't have anything to wear, that she never looks as "fancy" (her words) as her friends, that she isn't pretty, that she doesn't like her mouth.
Really, it isn't about clothes at all, that's just how it manifests itself. What it really is, or what I think it is is insecurity; insecurity due to a new situation, a new teacher, and new friends...
So, bearing that in mind, when she melts down at the proposition of getting dressed I know it's just those doubts and anxieties coming out. I have only just put all of this together as recent events have enlightened me. Twice this year already Avery has missed school because she refused to go...to get in the car even. She would just stand the hall and sob. The first time it happened I let her stay home because I didn't know what else to do and I just assumed that it was her trying to adjust to being in school a full day. That was a couple of weeks ago. This week she missed her second day. Again, I let her stay home because she'd been sick over the weekend and I assumed she was still feeling a little "under the weather". That day started out much like today, with her crying about not having anything to wear. That's why, today, I pushed aside everything I'd ever been told about children and not letting them call the shots, and just followed Avery's lead. I wanted to be as supportive as I could be even if meant I become a pushover.
Finally, after twenty minutes of negotiating and suggesting she got dressed...not happily, but she got dressed. She continued to cry that she didn't like what she was wearing while I brushed her hair...and while we gathered backpacks and got into the car...and the entire time we drove to the school.
At this point I began worrying that perhaps she doesn't think I think she's pretty. Maybe I haven't told her often enough how cute and delightful she is. So I made a point of telling her how beautiful I think she is and that it didn't matter what she wore because she would be pretty regardless.
We finally got to the school and I thought that all was well. Carter hopped out of the car and went on his merry way, but Avery just sat there. Then she informed me that she wasn't getting out.
I had tried so hard to avoid this situation and yet there we were anyway. I pulled the car into a parking spot and turned off the engine. I sat there contemplating my next move. I told Avery that we would spend the entire school day in the parking lot if she didn't let me take her into the school. She just sat there. At that point it was ten minutes after the late bell rang and I knew that the office would be calling to find out why she wasn't in class. So, I called them instead and proceeded to tell the secretary that I was sitting in the parking lot and not sure what I should to do. She put me on hold for a minute and came back on to tell me that they were sending out a guidance counselor. When Avery realized what was happening she burried her little face in her arms and cried.
I tried to pull myself together and greeted the TWO STRANGERS as pleasantly as I could. One of them leaned inside the car and asked Avery a series of questions..."what's your name?", "what grade are you in?", "who is your teacher?", all of which I had to answer for her. Somehow, miraculously, she was able to coax Avery out of the car. I gave her a big hug as she cried on my shoulder and reassured her that I would be at home if she needed anything at all. Then they took her hand and left...and I just stood there.
I was immediately overcome with guilt as I watched my little baby leave me, crying, with no one but strangers to console her.
They went into the school and I climbed into the car and lost it.
Now, here I sit, confused and frustrated and wondering what is going on. Why is Avery struggling so much? Have I raised her to be so incapable of handling new situations? Perhaps. Have I neglected to give her the attention she needs and this is her way of demanding it? Likely. Does she have some genetic mental illness? Possibly. Has a teacher or classmate at school said or done something? I hope not. I have asked her if anything has happened at school to cause her to not want to go but she hasn't been able to give me a "valid" reason.
On a happier note, since I've been sitting at the computer spilling my guts, the school has called to tell me that she went to class. And for that I am glad. I just hope that it doesn't happen again...and if it does that I won't have to enlist the services of my front office cronies.
Now, I am off to do some soul searching, some deep contemplation and to take a hot bath...cause I NEED it. Plus, it might come in handy later for when the wrath of Avery is upon me once again this afternoon. Wish me luck.
P.S. I would love an outsiders advice on this matter. My judgement is obviously clouded by a little thing I like to call...emotions. Hmmm, I wonder where Avery gets it from?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

My little pumpkin.

It is no secret that I love Fall and Halloween. And, now that it is officially October I can allow my love for the season to run free and unhindered. So, last night while Chad was at the Priesthood Session of Conference I decided to play dress up with my little doll..er, I mean daughter.
I found the little onesie during the summer sometime...see, Halloween is always on my mind...and the hat I already had. I made the baby legs because, well because there really wasn't anything else she could have worn with the outfit that would have been as cute. Put it all together and whadaya get...

my little pumpkin princess




Yum. I just love fat, little baby legs.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sew much fun...pun intended.

Sew (he he) I know that you all must be tiring of my chit chat about sewing and whatnot but you'll just have to bare with me until the phase passes. It is my current fave thing...next to the impending Halloween holiday. Those of you who know me well know how much I love, love, love Halloween. And what could be better than a mash-up of the two things I love most right now...sewing and Halloween. Introducing my newest creations...Halloween inspired dresses for the girlies. They are SEW cute (okay I'll stop with puns now). I heart them so much. And the little "ghouls" are pretty cute too, if I may be so bold. Enjoy.

Quinn


Rowan. I love that she is totally getting into character. "Give me your scariest Halloween face". May I just add that since taking these pics I've added three little black buttons on Rowan's dress and it's like...totally way cuter now.


Okay. Now a cute picture of Rowan.


Avery


And a random picture of a skirt I made.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What I've Been Up To

Words cannot explain...literally...why I have been unable to post. The fact that my day is mostly consumed by chaffeuring kids to and from all manner of extracurricular activities as well as nursing a ravenous three month old is only part of it.
The bigger issue (and I've complained about this before) is my inability to think straight, or put words/sentences together as it were. The wives tale, or scientific fact that women loose brain cells during pregnancy is true. I am walking proof. What the old wives and scientitst don't say is that once gone, the brain cells do not return...at least not until all the children have up and moved out the house, completed missions/college and started their own families. Even then I cannot say for sure that a post pregnant mind will ever be as sharp as it was pre pregnancy.
That said, I will do my best to write in sentences as complete and grammatically correct as possible. It will be a chore, but I will give'er the old pre-parenthood/pregnancy try.
A few months before Rowan was born...when I was a little bit smarter and saner...I starting sewing. Sidenote: I have been sewing since I was probably ten or eleven when I was in 4H...shut up, cool kids did 4H too. And, I've been sewing off and on since then as the urge arose. However, I started sewing pretty consistently just prior to Rowan's birth...baby gowns, burp cloths, blankets, a diaper bag. I chocked my providence and productivity up to "nesting", but found myself sewing even after the baby was born. I've learned that sewing, among other things, relaxes me while providing me with a creative outlet all at the same time. I haven't been sewing quite as steadfastly as I was pre-Rowan, but I have found time to do a little sewing...which brings me to the point of this post...what I've been up to.
Here are a few pictures of some of the projects I've been working on. Thankfully I am at least able to remember how to thread a needle and push a peddle. I am not totally a lost cause...yet.


These are just a few dresses I've made in the last week. I am going to be selling these at a friends boutique on Saturday.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

"Glee"fully happy.

Okay, this is my new favorite show. Even though I can't sing worth poo, this show makes want to get off the couch and sing at the top of my lungs and dance like there's no tomorrow. To quote the ever wise and omnicient Buddy the Elf "I'm in love and I don't care who knows it". A little sumthin' sumthin' for your viewing pleasure. See if it doesn't make you want to get outch'er seat and jump around.

Ode to a solicitor.



Dear Solicitor,

I do not like you very much right now. I know, it isn't fair to make that assumption as I do not know you from Adam, but you woke me from my afternoon slumber and that really ticked me off.
I heard you pounding on my door and ringing my bell nonstop, but when I peaked out the window and saw it was you I refused to answer. That is my right. Again, nothing personal, I just didn't want to talk to you. Why? Firstly, because you very rudely roused me from my delicious snooze and secondly, because I did not want to waste five minutes of my time explaining to you why I do not want your services. One word: RECESSION.
Mr. Solicitor, no offense, but I don't want to see you anymore. Call it what you will just don't call on me. Because of you I've had to take matters into my own hands. Do not feel bad when you come back to my house and read the sign I have pasted on my door that reads..."NO SOLICITORS...AT ALL...EVER". You asked for it. You should know better than to mess with a sleep deprived woman.

Sincerely,

Sleepless in Salt Lake City

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ode to a barstool.



Dear barstool,

Oh how I love thee. I saw you the other day in my Pottery Barn magazine and it was love at first sight. It was an unlikely match as I despise all things bananas, but when I found out you were made from banana leaves it did not matter. Love knows no bounds, no color, no race nor fruit.
But sadly our union cannot be, at least for now. You see, dear stool, you cost a pretty penny and I have none. But fear not, friend with clean lines and meager lumbar support, true love cannot be hindered.
Until then, my love, you shall occupy my thoughts constantly. I shall imagine the way your buttery yellow hue will contrast nicely with the gingery hard wood floors upon which you'll sit; the way your simple and uncomplicated lines will accentuate the island around which you'll float.
My love, though it may not be right now, I WILL find a way for us to be together...and it WILL be beautiful.

Yours truly and forever (or until I find a barstool I like better),
Erika
xoxoxo

Friday, September 4, 2009

Look who joined the family.

...little alien dude



...and little clown



...don't they look happy in their new home?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Guilty Pleasures

So, this morning after dropping the kiddies off to school, I sped over to Wally's to return a some items and pick up a few things. As I proceeded to the check out and started unloading my "few necessities" I found myself a little embarrased...might have been the Miley Cyrus CD, uh-hum, I picked up for the children, might have been the two packs of diet Docksta Peppa and diet Docksta Peppa with cherry...none of which were on my list of "things to buy".
Consequently, I forgot the Minute Rice which was on the list.
Anywho, as I stood there waiting, praying the bagger would hurry up so that, heaven forbid, no one I knew got in line behind me, I realized that I have quite a few skeletons in the closet...guilty pleasures as it were.
I have decided to come clean, to lift the burdens that weigh me down and share those things I find blissfully and utterly joyful, that may otherwise be repulsive and/or shameful by others standards. Contain your scoffs and scorns...you know you have 'em too. Here goes.


1- Miley Cyrus (while I may criticize her for dating an underwear model four years her senior...I do enjoy a little GNO and Rockstar here and there. My new fave song...Party in the USA...just try not to dance when you hear it. Which brings me to number two).


2- Dancing around the house. (Though I once considered myself an enigma on the dance floor, I am no longer comfortable sharing my moves with the general public. But that doesn't stop me from dancin' it up in the privacy of my home).


3- Zak Efron ('scuse me whilst I mop up the drool. Oh come on, you know you all have wondered if his dad is as hot as he is).


4- ICarly (This show has made me cry from laughing so hard. It is better than any "grown-up" show on the air currently, methinks. I have even caught Chad watching and laughing).


5- Peter Cetera (That mans voice can stop me dead in my tracks. He is so buttery..."I am a man who will fight for your hona'...I'll be the hero that you're dreamin' off...that's what I'm talkin' about).


6- Popping things (like pimples, boils, clogged tear ducts...my current fave. Hey, don't hate).


7- Soda (and not just the "grown up" kind. I loooooooooves me some root beer and orange and grape flavored carbonation...proabably more than any other drinkable liquid known to mankind).


8- Ramen noodles (proudly I have passed this love on to my children. I know, not very appetizing to those with a refined palate, but as we all know that is not me...refer to number 7. BTW, oriental flavor...it's the only way to go).


9- Chocolate and peanut butter melt (this concoction began as a childhood delicacy which I still love. Recipe: First, melt a boat load of chocolate chips...preferably of the milk chocolate variety in the microwave. Once smooth and liquidy add in a ton of peanut butter. Mix and enjoy by the spoonfuls. Might I add that I have also passed this love on to my kiddies).


10- Backyardigans (Yes, I own the CD and listen to it even if the kids are not in the car. My personal faves: Boinga and Eureka. Again, might I add, that these fictional characters have some of the kick-i-nest dance moves ever. I could add in an eleventh guilty pleasure of "staying up after everyone's in bed so I can learn the Backyardigans moves" but might be a little redundant...refer to number two).


11- People magazine (it is the most reliable source for all things celebrity gossip I'll have you know. Plus, they always throw in a few "legitimate" stories from real life to make you feel like less of a worldly schmuck. Besides, it also serves as a good cover..."I was reading in People the other day...ya, I bought it because it had this amazing story about a child who can't grow... Oh, and it also has a celebrity crossword puzzle at the end...BONUS!).

There are plenty more to go round, but I'll just leave it at that for now. I should probably ease ya'll into the world of Erika.
I would be curious to hear about YOUR guilty pleasures. NO, I am not trying to make myself feel better...okay, maybe I am just a little.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

a few IMPORTANT things i forgot

So, I'm actually hiding out in the toilet as I write this post. As a sidenote, I am not currently in the process of using the toilet, just posing to...it's the only way I can get the kids to leave me be for more than thirty seconds.
That in mind, I best be brief, the kids will surely catch on to my scheme.
The past few weeks have been busy and as such, I have forgotten to pay tribute to some important goings on.
Let me remind you that generally this time of year is where I start having my annual melt down/freak out. Why? Because July just so happens to be the birth month of my eldest two children as well as my anniversary. Essentially a constant reminder of how old I am getting. Surprisingly, there have been no psychotic/neurotic breaks...thus far (must be the meds, or possibly that I've been so busy with a newborn that I haven't had time to think about how old I am getting...but rather how fat I am).
Anywho, back to point of the post. This summer has been a little hectic and I failed to acknowledge a few special events that occured.
First, my darling daughter, Quinn, turned nine on July 25th. We just so happened to be in St. George for the occasion and were able to celebrate with cousins galore. It was a very pleasant treat. We decided to go to the park where there was plenty of space for the plethora of children to run amuck...a great idea until a rare and unexpected Southern Utah thunderstorm decided to pay visit. Sadly, or happily, depending on who you ask, we had to hurry the festivites along, but not before Quinn opened her many wonderful presents and an impromptu two liter soda guzzling race took place. I forget who won, but man was it fun to watch a bunch of big boys chug ridiculous amounts of pop, only to pay the price afterwords...thankfully, no vomitation occured...cause then we would have had an impromptu up-chuck contest. I have a hard watching others heave. The festivites concluded with the mack-daddy of all water fights...thanks Tayona and Max. Guess the water falling from the heavens was not enought. Thankfully, I had a nowborn to shield me from any surprise attacks. No matter, again, it sure was fun watching everyone elses surprised faces as they were struck with water bombs from every direction. All in all, the day was a success.
July 27th was my anniversary...thirteen years of wedded bliss, or blur rather. Chad and I spent the special day getting all hot and sweaty...painting the basement apartment (get your heads outta the gutter). Chad surprised me with dinner and with my most favoritest snack in the world...herbed brie and baugette. My mouth waters just thinking about it.
Finally a list of other noteworthy events that occured, but that I don't want to write about right now: Avery's dance recital(FYI, it was the day after Rowan was born and I checked myself out of the hospital early so I could attend...crazy, I know. Unfortunately, the hospital wouldn't let me check myself back in after the recital was over). Carter's belt promotion (sadly my karate knowledge is still meager and all I know is that his belt is purple). Our family's first trip to Lagoon (Carter hated it, Quinn was indifferent, Avery loved it, Beckham was happy just to pick gum off the sidewalk. Best $150 dollars I ever spent...not).
Here's to a great and fun-filled summer. Though I look forward to the structure and free babysitting the school year offers, I am a little sad to see my kiddies go. It was fun staying up late and getting up even later.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Families are Forever...deep breaths.

This past Saturday the kiddies had the priviledge of walking in the Days of 47 Children's Parade. From what I understand this is a unique opportunity and the dearies will most likely never walk it again, at least not as a primary child.
Being the "awesome" parents we are, Chad and I decided to make a big deal of it and get a hotel downtown (really we just knew we would never make on time, and figured our odds were better if we were only two blocks away...but we don't need to tell the kids that).
We spent the eve of the parade swimming in the hotel pool and taking the kids to Trolley Square for dinner. It was good times. There were no near deaths or mishaps at the swimming pool and the kids actually sat(I use the term loosely) and ate at dinner. It almost felt like we were on vacation.
After dinner we did a little window shopping, while Beckham tried to steal something from every store we visited. In an attempt to avoid being arrested for shoplifting we decided to leave Trolley and go back to the hotel to let the kids swim a little longer before bed. We also hoped this little plan might wear the children out.
This ploy worked for the older three, but immediately backfired. In the process of wearing out the children, Chad and I had also worn ourselves out. Consequently, physical exertion seemed to have the opposing affect on number four. As a weary Chad and I lay in bed a newly invigorated number four came charging into our room. Chad and I are still baffled by what may have caused Beckham's spastic surge of energy...it is the eighth world wonder to me.
Eventually the kid fell asleep, but 7:30 came quickly and we were all quite groggy and grumpy...not the way I wanted to start our "special" day.
We made it to our wards gathering spot LATE of course, despite our best efforts, and proceeded to wait another forty-five minutes until it was our turn.
Some things I learned about the children in that time: One, the kids are not unlike gremlins in that they do not like sunlight...at least not when they have to sit in it for forty-five minutes with nothing to do. Two, the kids, unlike gremlins, SHOULD be fed after midnight and in our attempt to make it "on time" completely forgot to feed everyone breakfast. Three, I am glad that water does not multiply children as it does gremlins...refer to number two.
Finally it was our turn to strut our stuff. One thing Chad and I did remember to do was bring the wagon and a ginormous cooler full of water...both of which saved our bacon.
As a sidenote, our float was an amazing replica of the new Draper temple which was floating in the clouds. The temple was hooked up to hydraulics which allowed it to rise above the clouds and lower back down again. On top of the temple was attached a bunch of balloons, two hundred to be exact, which went along with the floats theme that "Temples will take you UP where you belong".
As I said, it was finally our turn to take to the parade route. The kids' dispositions seemed to improve slightly at this notion, but were still in need of improvement. The six blocks we walked seemed like six hundred in the blazing heat and I couldn't help note the irony of the situation. Here I was with Chad and all of the dearies, marching to the tune of Families can be Together Forever, with the temple right in front of me...sort of. Meanwhile Quinn is throwing a major tantrum in the wagon, the baby is screaming in the stroller and Beckham is throwing his balloon, for the hundredth time, on the hellishly hot street in attempt to pop it. I am sorry to admit it(but you know I will anyway), but at that particularly sweltering moment in time the notion of "forever" made me...umm...a little anxious, to put it nicely.
Thankfully by the time the cameras were on us the kids were so stroked out by the heat that they were over their gremlin phase and happy to smile for the TV.
The children were happy to find at the end of the route and after much effort of being pulled in the wagon, all of the festivities awaiting them: bouncy slides, a firetruck spraying refreshingly cool water, popcicles, FOOD...
It was a wonderful end to the day, except for the part where we lost Quinn. And after receiving some sustenance and hydration the kids seemed happy and grateful for all that had happened. I think Chad and I were too, but we are not in any hurry to do it again anytime soon.
And just for the record, I do "want to be with my whole family" forever, even if they do drive me nuts sometimes.


Hmmm. We actually look fairly pleasant in this picture.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Happy Birthday...First Fruit of My Loins.


Then: 6 lbs. 15 oz., 19 1/2 in.


Now: 65 lbs., 4 1/2 ft.

Well, in approximately one hour and twelve minutes my first born will be eleven years old.
I can still remember the day Carter was born. It was a Sunday. Chad and I were living in student housing at the U. That morning we went downtown to attend a session of Music and the Spoken Word. Then we went to church and spent the remainder of the afternoon just hanging out. I had been having contractions for most of the weekend, but because it was my first, I guess I didn't realize what was really happening. By that evening I was ready to head off to the hospital. I was at a five when I got there at 7:30 and had the little darling at 11:02. I remeber thinking that Carter looked liked a miniature version of Chad. He was such cute little peanut...bald as cue ball, naturally.
Now here I sit, nearly eleven years later, wondering where all the time went. Sure, I have hundreds of memories from the past eleven years with Carter...his first tooth, potty training, his super hero phase, shoving a rubber ball up his nose, cracking his sister's head open (it was on accident...sort-of), first day of Kindi-garten, his baptism etc. But still, where did the time go.
I've said it before and I'll say again...I wish I could have savored the time a little more...enjoyed the ride. I wish I would have spent more time watching and listening rather than speaking. I wish I would have spent more time cuddling rather than cleaning. I wish...
I realize that life must go on and my babies can't stay babies forever, but that doesn't make watching them grow older any easier.
All I can do is enjoy life in the moment and when I do feel the urge to speak, or clean, maybe I'll just cuddle my big, eleven year old boy instead.
Carter boy, I love you so mucho. Thank you for being such a good son and brother. And Happy Birthday.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Update

So, it's been two weeks since the little peanut arrived...an interesting two weeks. I know that in ten or twenty years I'll look back on this time with fondness, but seriously, if I have to remind one more child to "sit down" or "be gentle" or "stop poking the babies eyes" I might have to check myself into the looney bin.
The following conversation/dialogue took place last night. Mind you the following conversation takes place every time Beckham holds the little dear.

Beckham: I wanna hold the baby. I wanna hold the baby. I wanna hold the baby...
Mom: OKAY BECKHAM! Can you be gentle?
Beckham: I gentle.
Mom: Beckham, BECKHAM! No touching the babies eyes.
Mom: Beckham, BECKHAM! Stop pinching the babies ears.
Mom: Beckham, BECKHAM! No hitting the baby on the head.
Mom: Beckham, BECKHAM! No clawing the baby's face.
Mom: Beckham, BECKHAM, BECKHAM! STOP SHAKING THE BABY. YOU'RE GONNA GIVE HER BRAIN DAMAGE. Okay, buster, you're done.
Beckham: I gentle, sob sob, I gentle, sob sob, I gentle, sob sob...

And just FYI, while I have been sitting here posting I have had to remind mother's two and three to, "stop fighting when you're holding the baby", "sit down", "two hands", "support her back", "do not try and color while holding the baby"...

In closing, I feel it necessary to assure all my family, especially Chad, that my mental state although noticeably irritable, is in fact stable.
But, if you happen to catch a white mini-van on the news pulling an O.J. you'll know who it is and what exactly she's running from.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Name of the Day.

So, I think we may have a winner. I would like to officially introduce Rowan Noreen Brendle. Rowan which means little red one (fitting because of her "bounteous" strawberry blonde hair) and Noreen (after my grandma Ashman who turned one hundred on the tenth of this month).
Try not to get too attached, it could be something different tomorrow.




Grandma Noreen with several of her great grandkids.

Father's Day.

Here's to a very happy Father's Day to the two most important father's in my life.
My Dad.


Lover of all things golf and music; connisseur of olives, bologna and other questionable lunchmeats; documentary watcher, dictionary reader, master joke teller.

And my Hubby.


Lover of all things golf and Halo; connisseur of Barbacoa, ice cream and other unhealthy delicacies; hater of Home Depot, Lowe's and all things home improvement.

Dad and Chad. Happy Father's Day. I love you both.

Friday, June 19, 2009

...and we're done?

I am happy and relieved to report that baby number five has made her grand debut. I know you are all just dying to hear the gory details so I will oblige.
Seriously, if you are not into birth stories you can bypass this post. Mind you, my blog oft times serves as my journal and this is one of those times. Bare with me.
So, Tuesday morning I had my thirty-nine week doctors appointment. I talked Chad into going with me so that we could discuss the option of induction (my doctor had proposed this if I got to thirty-nine weeks and there was still no baby).
The doctor did all the regular things checked the heartbeat and checked for progress. I was three centimeters dilated and eighty percent effaced. She asked us if we were interested in being induced which at the time I was unsure of...having never been induced before. She sensed my hesitation and pointed out that my uterus had not grown the previous two weeks and that if we decided against the induction she would send me in for an ultrasound within the next few days just to make sure things were okay. Chad and decided to go ahead and shedule the induction (for June 18). We figured if the baby was in fact not growing it would be best to just get her born. Our doctor agreed.
Just before we got up to leave the doctor asked how the baby had been moving. This was the turning point of the day.
I mentioned that I couldn't recall any movement yet that morning, but figured it was because I had been racing around nonstop so I could make it to my 9:30 appointment on time. She suggested that I go have a stress test done just to be safe.
I dragged Chad and Beckham (who had somehow weaseled his way along) downstairs for the stress test and during that time learned that my amniotic fluid (normally between 8 and 22 centimeters) was low...between 3-4 centimeters. The nurse finished the test and suggested I head down to labor and delivery. I got myself registered and settled in a room and waited to hear back from my OB as to whether or not she wanted to just go ahead and induce right then..which she did.
By this time it was around 11 or 11:30. The nurse gave me my IV and Chad ran home to drop Beckham off and grab the suitcase and camera(s). At this point of my long-winded story I must give props to my shiz-a-listic sister and her shiz-a-listic family who took all four dears without any advanced warning. Kay, back to my rivoting narration.
Chad got back to the hospital around 12:30 and the nurse was just hooking me up to my pitocin drip. I started having regular contractions almost immediately and by 3:00ish was already five centimeters dilated and ready for my epidural...the most blessed juice on earth I might add. The OB came in around 4:00 to break my water at which time I found out that I was complete and ready to push. I had one contraction and out baby came. Honestly, after having a nearly nine pound baby she probably coulda just walked out on her own, but...
She looked like such a little peanut, but was 7 lbs. and 14 oz.; 19 inches long and sporting a little bit of strawberry blonde hair...which I eagerly welcomed. Granted it's all in the back...a newborn mullet if you will, but I'll take whatever I can get. We Brendle/Ashman's come from a very long line of baldies. Besides, it's nothing a massive flower headband can't cover up.
The peanut stuggled a little in the beginning to breathe, but everything turned out just fine. She was so quiet and beautiful and Chad and I are completely in love. The kids are too though they have a very "rough" way of showing it. Things will be interesting with "three" moms in the house.
The dear has yet to be named, but to have named her before leaving the hospital would just not be the Brendle way. Hopefully she'll have a proper name by Tuesday...that's when the paperwork is due.
I'd like to conclude by saying thank you to everyone who called, texted, emailed, facebooked, and/or left messages. We are lucky and blessed to have family and friends like you. Too bad I'll be hittin' you all up for babysitting soon.

See a little bit of hair. I wasn't lying.






Chad swears Mick Jagger's the dad.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Out of the mouth of ...Beckham.

Well, once again my little guy has demonstrated his infatuation with "nipples". Last night whilst sitting on the couch with the entire family, the little guy burst out into a rousing rendition of "bi-nipples, bi-nipples, I like to ride my bi-nipples", sung to the tune of Queens, Bicycle. (Sounds like he's following in the footsteps of a certain older brother who at one time took the artistic liberty of changing the lyrics to another well-known song). Heaven help me.
On the bright side, it was said in the privacy of the home and not during the reverence of the sacrament or around any prominent religious figure.
On the not so bright side, his unhealty preoccupation with nip-lage will most likely be exacerbated by the fact that in a few days I will be nursing a newborn nonstop(hopefully).
Thank goodness for the "nippy hider" or breast feeding cover up I purchased. Methinks it a very good purchase...considering.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

T.M.I.?!?

Against my husbands wishes, I am about to share some information...perhaps a little too much, but we're all adults here.
One centimeter and twenty percent. I'll leave it at that.
Now hear my plea. I am a fat, hot(and not in the sassy sense) pregnant lady and I'm in need of your suggestions. However, don't share unless it has actually worked...I can't handle the disappointment.
As I said, I am fat...no really, not just pregnant...I'm fat. My doctor assured me that I was not carrying a ten pound baby as I thought, but that, in fact, I was measuring on the smaller side if anything. Great!!! So the five pounds I put on in the last two weeks is not baby growth, but more likely buttock cellulite.
Due to my girthy state, I am finding myself all sorts of hot. It doesn't help that it's getting warmer everyday and we don't have A/C.
Anywho, back to my plea. What can I do to get this baby out of my bellee? I need your tried and true suggestions. I will forever be grateful to you...and so will my family.

Yours truly,

The fat lady (who is too freakin' hot to sing right now)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mouscapades: Update

Our demon cat caught another mouse last night and brought it home. Actually, I'm not sure where she caught the mouse this time...she could have brought it home from the field, worse yet, she could have caught it in the garage, or heaved forbid the house. Either way, looks like I have two carcasses to look forward to finding now.
'Scuse me whilst I have a panic attack.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Inturder Alert: Mousecapades Part Deux

My sancturary has been infiltrated yet again. This time however, it was an act of treason. Yes, one of our own has betrayed us. I knew that cat was pure evil from the moment I laid eyes on her.
During the night our kitty went off galavanting around the fields and came home with a VERY UNWANTED visitor.
Chad and I were resting in our room with the balcony door open...something that goes against all my principles for the exact reason of which I am about to share.
Sometime during the evenig the traitor came in through the open door, though I don't recall when as both Chad and I had dozed off.
Later that night Chad woke up to shut the door at which time both he and I were startled by the sound of our normally lazy cat, scurrying about the house like a kitty on crack.
Chad offered to go see what she was up to and I happily accepted his offer. What ensued was the sound of hissing, not by the cat but rather by Chad, and some stomping and jumping about, again not by the cat.
Eventually, I heard the garage door open and slam shut and Chad climb back into bed. When I inquired about the raucous I'd heard he ignored me and feigned sleep. That's how I knew something was up. I asked again and he delicately broke the news that our devil cat had brought a mouse into the house...but it was dead...he added, as if that might make me feel any better.
I dry heaved, then rolled over and tried to go back to sleep.
In my drousy condition I forgot to ask Chad how he had disposed of the wretched pest. But this morning when I remembered he said he put it out in the garage with the cat...okay wait, hold the freakin' phone. Did he just tell me that he didn't get rid of the mouse.
Needless to say, I was not happy about this news. And before leaving for work I made the buster do a thorough sweep of the garage, and emore importantly of my car.
There was no mouse to be found.
Now, I am forced to wonder...did my traitor cat eat Mickey, or did she hide it somewhere out in the mounds and masses of boxes that clutter my garage? I guess we'll never know...at least not until Chad or I goes to move/open one of our boxes and finds the decayed carcus staring right back at us. Or perhaps, the potent, stench of death might be the clue we need to determine the fate of our mousy friend.
What if I'm driving and take a sharp turn only to spot the dead mouse torpedoing towards my head. Worse yet, what if Satan, I mean Salem, did in fact hide the mouse in the car and we don't realize it until the dead of summer and I go to get in and am overcome with the stanky, rancid stench of post-mordem rodent...a new car is what that means...looking at the bright side of things.
Regardless, my mind will continue to play out all the scenarios until some sort of remains are found...not that I am looking forward to it...but for my mental well-being.
And I can assure you, when...if, the time does come you know you'll all be the first to hear about it.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Deflated.

So, I got a new mixer for Mother's Day and in my efforts to be more provident and frugal I thought I should start making homemeade bread.
It was pretty much a disaster.
My first batch of dough turned out dry so I chucked it in the garbage...which I was promptly scolded for by my daughter-mother (not very provident of me I guess).
So, I gave'er another go and the dough appeared significantly moister (ugh, I hate that word)...not as dry as the first batch.
I followed all the directions...put it in a warm place to rise, check; punch it down and split the dough into two loaves and let rise again, check; bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes, check.
Here's the part where I should be posting pictures of the perfectly formed, golden loaves...problem is, my loaves turned out neither perfectly formed or golden brown...more like shriveled, white mounds of...poo.
Frankly, I am too embarrassed to post pics of the catastrophe, so I'll just let you all imagine the sorry excuse for bread in your own minds.
Now, because I like to think that I am a fairly competent person...capapble of following directions...I will chock this little incident up to, uh-hum, a faulty recipe.
My plea now, bloggy peeps, is for a good, tried and true, super yeasty (sometimes this word grosses me out, but not when referring to bread) bread recipe.
So please, if you have a recipe you don't mind sharing, I will be forever grateful...and so will my family.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

To worship or not to worship: that is the question. Otherwise called Sunday Shenanigans: Part ?.

So, today was a particularly trying day at church. In between quiet scoldings and "try that again, and I'll..." glances I found myself questioning the importance of church attendance. And, like any logical person trying to answer a difficult query I made a pros and cons list. Here it is:

Pros of attending church:

1- Spiritual upliftment and edification (okay, not always, but I'll take whatever bits and pieces I can get).

2- Getting to meet and know members of the still new ward.

3- Listening to my sweeties sing (applies to Mother's Day, Father's Day and program day only).

4- Having the sweeties teachers come up to me and tell me how smart they are.

5- Teaching the dearies that going to church is just what we do on Sunday.


Cons of attending church:

1- Having to listen to my two year old yell "nipples, nipples" during the passing of the sacrament. (Don't ask me where he learned this...cause I don't know).

2- Trying to get my two year old to stop crooning the Imperial March at the top of his lungs during the sacrament.

3- Trying to explain to a two year that I am, in fact, his brother and sister's mother as well as his (today this was a particularly touchy subject...again, I have know idea where this came from).

4- Trying to coax at least three of the four children to please go to class.

5- Sitting out in the hall with at least one or two children who ignored their mother's plea to please go to class.

6- Sitting in the hallway with an over-tired two year old who keeps screaming "I don't want to go to stupid nursery".

7- Reminding every. one. of. my. children. to. please. be. reverant.

8- Realizing that in a month and a half I will have another child to attend to at church...anyone have a valium?

Normally, when the cons far outweigh the pros a decision would be easy. But this situation is obviously different, as I can't just stop going to church because my list tells me to. Therefore, I will heed the counsel I've been taught, ironically from attending church, that is "a person will not be tried more than they can handle". And I will remember this counsel next week when I am tempted to walk out during the sacrament with a "nipple screaming", "Imperial March singing" two year old in tow. Wish me luck.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Sanctuary

So, I know it's been awhile, but I haven't had a lot to report...I still don't, but for the sake of posterity I thought I should record my first ever facial experience.
Even though it isn't technically Mother's Day yet, my dear hubb-a-lub surprised me with a facial today (how to take that gesture?...what are you saying dear hubby? That my face looks less than glowing in my current state? Nah, you you were just being thoughtful, though I do look less than glowing...a more appropriate adjective might be blimpy, chunky and/or FAT).
No matter, I was more than happy to accept the gift, for I knew that it meant at least an hours worth of peace and quiet and pampering.
I was a little leary, as I wasn't sure what to expect, but again it was an hour of time to myself, so I set aside my concerns and embraced the new frontier that was the facial.
I got to the spa and was led to a changing room where I was asked to don a robe and orthapedic slippers. I was then led to a dimly lit room with big, over stuffed couches where I waited (frankly, the experience could have stopped there and I would have been happy...non restrictive attire, self-massaging footwear and silence).
Anywho, I sat there enjoying the soothing atomosphere and was promptly greeted by "my lady". She proceeded to place my feet in a bucket full of hot water where she scrubbed...and scrubbed and massaged and rubbed and...oops sorry, lost my train of thought for a moment...she attended to my neglected (and unreachable) tootsies.
I was then led to yet another, even more, dimly lit room where upon I was asked to disrobe (PARDON? the room was dark but not THAT dark). I was then told that after disrobing I could climb upon the "throne of utter delight" and get all cozy underneath the covers. "My lady" then excused herself so that I might enjoy some privacy (THANK GOODNESS!...I did not want to be responsible for traumatizing my cute, young "lady" with my beached whale look). I must say, initially the notion of lying partially nude whilst a complete stranged rubbed my face and upper body was a little uncomfortable...I quickly got over it.
I heaved my over-sized body onto the "throne" (not an easy task I might add) and quickly covered myself so as not to get caught in any compromising positions. My "lady" shortly returned and began my pampering by breaking out scented oils which she massaged all over my face, neck and upper body. Sadly, I could not enjoy the aromatherapy as my sense of smell disappears the moment I lie down on my back...so instead I just imagined it smelled like my current favorite scent...kung pau chicken.
By this time, my mind had gone completely blank...well almost, the only thought I had at that point was whether or not I was sportin' unsightly nose boogies...thankfully, the room was very dimly lit thus making the sight of any stragglers quite unnoticeable...at least I hoped anyway.
I turned my attention to the sound of twanging Chinese folk music softly playing in the background and imagined myself eating a delicious, crispy spring roll (with a side of sweet and sour sauce, of course)and quickly found myself dozing.
What seemed like only moments later I heard the dreaded words, "okay, you're all done" and knew my retreat had met it's end.
My "lady" left so that I could re-robe and waited for me outside the door. Hesitantly, I heaved my ginormous self off the hallowed throne and dressed. I took a moment to savour the sight...and finally the smell (cause I was now upright) of the room which had temporarily served as my personal sanctuary and readied myself for real life.
I returned to the dressing room and exchanged the comfy, roomy robe for my restrictive, street clothes and headed towards the light...don't worry, I wasn't dying, although I could have and been very happy. I headed towards the light...of the outside world, feeling relaxed, refreshed, and re-energized.
Even though my dear hubby doesn't read my blog I feel it necessary to publicly thank him for a wonderful day. He could tell that I needed a moment of peace and pampering...it was apparently written all over my dry and neglected face.
So, dear hubby, thank you, thank you, thank you for recognizing a weary and withered woman when you see one. I had a wonderfully blissful day.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Please Don't Report Me

Okay, so this is my attempt to persuade you all to forget about turning me in for mental/emotional abuse.
I know that some of the things I say sound harsh...and at times, downright appalling. But allow me to explain myself. Surely you will see my point.
My kids know me well enough to know that I would never drop them off at a gas station in a strage, unfamiliar, podunk town and just leave them there. I might drop them off and drive a few hundred feet, but I would eventually stop and let the hysterical child back in the vehicle. They know this...I've done it before.
And the whole adoption thing...come on, I wouldn't really ever adopt them out. Certainly they know this...I haven't done it yet. Besides they are all finally getting old enough to work...and let's face it, I need all the manual help I can get.
As for the whole peeing thing. You gotta understand, it was said out of safety really...for the whole family. As the only adult on this particular trip, I was not comfortable pulling the car off to the side of the freeway and accompanying a bladder saturated child outside whilst he/she relieved him/herself. Surely one of the unattended dears would hop out the opposite door and try to run across the freeway, only to end up like the mangled skunk we'd passed five miles previous. And how would I explain that one to the old man? So, "just pee your pants", you see, is not me being mean or irritated...rather, it is me being a good mom.
So there you have it. Now, I'm sure you totally understand. My kids are fine...they will be fine. They totally get me. So, will you please, please, please forget about reporting me. It's all good.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

More Things I Never Thought I'd say As A Parent.

Okay, just a few more things I heard come out of my mouth in recent days. Mind you, most of these things came out whilst driving with the kiddies to and from St. George...ALONE! That should be justification enough, right?


1- Are you familiar with the term adoption?

2- The next kid to make a peep gets dropped off in Scipio. (FYI, my father's family hails from this sleepy town. I'm sure the little dear(s) would have run into a relative sooner or later).

3- We are never taking another trip...EVER!

4- Just pee your pants.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Baby Update

About a month ago at my 20 week ultrasound the doctor saw something that he deemed slightly abnormal. He said that he thought that the babe's cardiac arteries appeared enlarged. Not much more was said as Chad and I weren't prepared for those results and didn't really have any questions.
We scheduled an appointment with a pediatric cardiologist at PCMC and spent the next four weeks wondering whether or not to be worried. I must admit that deep down both Chad and I felt like everything was okay, but still there was always a little bit of doubt and concern in the back of our minds.
Today was our appointment...our fetal echocardiogram. The ultrasound tech spent a good hour or so scanning the heart and taking billions of pictures...all of which looked like black and white blobs to me. After she finished we waited for the doctor to come in and give us the results. Another tense five minutes.
Finally, the doctor knocked on the door, and at first glance appeared happy and relaxed...a good sign. Turns out my intuition was right. He informed us that the ultrasound did not show anything abnormal and that everything looked just fine.
Funny how you don't know how worried you are until you find out that you have nothing to be worried about.
Chad and I were relieved.
Turns out that the pictures were so good that the doctor asked if he could use them for a reasearch project he was working on. So...my babies heart is, like, totally gonna be famous. In my proud state, I forgot to ask if using pics of my beautiful fetus meant our appointment was free.
The research project is for the development of software that will allow OB's to enter information collected from an ultrasound into a computer, which would then be able to evaluate it to decide whether or not the findings are, in fact, abnomal.
Pretty cool if you ask me.
I am so relieved that we were blessed with happy news. For a few weeks there, I did find myself wondering what life would be like with a sick baby. I realize that there are people out there who, sadly, aren't as lucky as we are to get such news. This thought was reinforced by the sight of all the little babies and children I saw wearing masks and being pulled around in wagons while waiting to see the doctor.
Not to be pushy, but be thankful for your health and your children's. Life and health are so fragile.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Things I never thought I'd say as a parent.

I think we have all had those moments where we've stopped dead in our tracks and thought...did I just say that?
Funny, how as parents, we find oursevles saying things our parents used to say to us, that we swore we'd never say.
Funny, how we say things we should probably never ever say...or maybe that's just me.

Here's a top ten list of things I've said (quietly or aloud) that I never thought I'd say.

1- Do you need medication (something I recall my mom asking me)?

2- Keep it up and your sleeping in the garage (something I recall my dad saying).

3- If you want anymore brothers and sisters you better shape up (kinda mean, but it really gets 'em thinking, ya know).

4- Try that again and my hands gonna be talking to your heinie.

5- WE DO NOT PLAY IN OUR POO!

6- Your breath smells like poo...no really, poo.

7- Where were you raised...a freakin' barn?

8- Quit brushing your privates with that.

9- Quit playing with your privates...you're gonna break it.

10- Do that again and I'll staple your buns shut.

Nuturally there are plenty more to share, but that's for another post. Just curious, what are some crazy things you've said to your kids?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Blessed Sabbath

Today is a blessed day; not only because it is the sabbath, but because I found my camera cord...HALLELULAH.
I knew if I held out long enough it would turn up eventually.
It is a sabbath day miracle.
And for those of you who keep asking, yes, I will get pictures of the house up ASAP.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Top 25 Reasons Why You Are My Valentine.



1- You bring me cupcakes...just because.
2- You love Norman Gentle too.
3- You agree that Jude Law and Dave Beckham are two of the most beautiful men to ever walk the earth.
4- You bring me home Barbacoa when you stop for lunch.
5- You bring me home cream soda when you run out to the store.
6- You like spending time with me and the kids.
7- I can't sleep when you are out of town.
8- You support my preoccupation with food...in my current condition.
9- You take me out for steak and loaded sweet potatoes.
10- You thank me for making dinner...most of the time.
11- You rub my belly and talk to our fetus.
12- You play light sabres with the boys.
13- You tell our daughters they are beautiful.
14- You tell me I'm beautiful.
15- You eat my food even when it's not the most appetizing.
16- You help the kids with their homework.
17- You let me blog...even though it bugs you...a lot.
18- You are friendly to everyone.
19- You make the kids burritos when I don't feel like cooking.
20- You tell me when my hair looks terrible in the back.
21- You read stories to Avery.
22- You take Carter to karate and guitar.
23- You pick up Quinn's medicine
24- You sit with Beckham when he won't go to nursery.
25- You are my best friend.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Passing Gas.

Before you read what I have to say, allow me to explain where it all stemmed from. Today I observed the following situation take place.
Quinn and Avery were about to get into the tub, but prior to doing so Quinn "passed" a little somethin' somethin'. What followed was the scene of the two of them laughing hysterically about the whole thing.
That gots me to thinking...

What I have to say is of no great importance, in fact, if I had any class I wouldn't even be bringing up the topic. But, inquiring minds want to know.
What makes passing gas so funny?
Not so much funny to me (although I have been caught off guard by the occasional squeaker and broken a smile, I must admit) but rather to my little dears (even my innocent two year gets in on "the act". In fact I have witnessed the little dear entertain himself by "forcing" a toot, then laugh about it, only to reapeat the processs over and over again).
Seriously, what is it? Is it the honking sound that's produced? Could it have something to do with the body part from whence the honk originated? Surely it is not the odor.
Nevertheless, nothing seems to trigger a bigger smile or deeper laugh out of my little ones than production of an air biscuit.
What's more, it doesn't necessarily have to be the actutal creation of a ripper-rooni. For example songs about the deed..."beans beans the magical fruit"...and the ever popualar arm fart get almost as big a reaction as the real deal.
I cannot understand it. Truly it really is not that funny and yet we have all found ourselves giggling about it at one time or another.
Apparently my small mind will never be able to explain this phenomenon. IT IS the eighth world wonder to me.

Friday, February 6, 2009

House Update.

Don't get too excited...I still haven't found my cord. Sorry, Britt...please be my friend still.
Nevertheless, I do have house news. Where do I begin?
As spring and warmer weather approach, I am in full panic mode. Why, you may wonder? I'll tell you.
In recent weeks it has been brought to my attention that living on a big empty field oft times results in unwanted visitors...by visitors I mean rodents and creepy crawlies. To my disappointment this fact came to fruition sooner than I'd hoped...actually, I was hoping in would never happen, but...
A few weeks ago whilst giving some friends the very grand tour of our unfinished basement, one of these said rodents made a very shocking and surprising appearance. Naturally, I hi-tailed my heinie upstairs and swore never to go down again. I called the pest people and they were nice to come out right away to set traps. The kiddies were enlisted as the resident trap checkers. And to their morbid delight were pleased to find a very dead mouse in one of the traps the following day.
None of the other traps were ever set off, and I thought I we had nipped the pesty issue in the bud...not so.
Two days ago as I was following my morning routine of making the dears a very filling, and balanced meal of Carnation Instant Breakfast, I noticed a small black speck in the bottom of the drawer. I shewed it off initially...chocking it up to a stray peppercorn or oreo crumb.
But as I watched the dearies slurp down their breakfast, I began to worry that with every gulp they were filling their little bodies with liquid Hanta. I immediately ripped the sippies from their hands and threw them in the sink.
Upon closer investigation, I realized that what I had seen was not an awol peppercorn or runaway Oreo crumb, but was in fact a bonified mouse turd. I realized too, that it was not only the sippy drawer that had been tainted but also the drawers that housed all of my cooking utensils, knives, baggies, plastic wrap and pot holders. I was thoroughly disgusted and frankly, felt quite violated. How long had we been using these tainted items?
I cleaned out all of the drawers; sterilized them and all their contents and then called the pest people again.
They came out and upon some investigation, found some surprising things. They discovered a hole in the foundation, which served as a throughfare from the outside into my sanctuary. They also found several openings in the back of the cabinetry which served as the entrance to the our virtual rodent buffet.
They set more traps and advised that we "fill those holes"...thanks.
Chad went to the hardward store and purchased some steel wool and the other necessities he needed to do the job.
The following day, Chad left for Palm Springs. He informed me on the way out the door that he had left one hole open so as to lure the offending critter(s) into our strategically placed "death traps". His reasoning: that he didn't want any of them running off dying in the walls...gross. Thanks a million honey.
Needless to say, I was not happy with this charge he'd left me.
It's been two days and I am happy to report that no traps have been set off...at least that I have heard anyway. And no, I haven't bothered checking the traps. I plan on re-assigning this charge to Chad when he gets home.
While part of me hopes that this will be the last of our mousy problem, I know that it most likely isn't...the breaks of living by a field.
And as if this perpetual pest problem isn't enough, I have been told that come spring and summer we will most likely find ourselves foot to face with all manner of snakes.
I cannot begin to tell you the spectacle that will take place if I run into one of these creepies out int the yard, let alone find one slithering about in the garage, or heaven forbid, inside the house. Just thinking about it gives me the heebies.
Anywho, I'm sure there will be further posts documenting my first encounter. I can hardly wait.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Fight FOCA

Hello friends and bloggy peeps,

I am not usually one to force my ideals and/or opinions, but when it comes to children, or in this case an unborn child, I have a hard time sitting back and letting the chips fall where they may (especially when I am currently serving as host to a fetus).

Also, this is my blog and I am free to say whatever I want, right? So here goes the spiel.

Stepping on soapbox now (if you are not fond of political discussion, you may leave).

Currently, the government is in the process of trying to pass a horrible piece of legislation called FOCA, otherwise known as The Freedom of Choice Act. This Act seeks to make abortion a fundamental right. It seeks to eradicate any and every restriction on abortion nationwide, both on a state and federal level.

I don't know about you, but the thought of abortion becoming an unregulated right scares the living crap out of me. I know that in my current position I am not able to do much, but I can at least make my voice heard by signing a petition against FOCA, which I have done already.

I just want to encourage any of you visiting to do the same. And spread the word amongst your family and friends. It is so simple and takes literally seconds to complete. Just go to www.fightFOCA.com and sign the petition (I have provided the link in the upper left hand corner of my bloggy...for your convenience). Even if we are unsuccessful, which I don't think we will be, at least we can say we tried.

Kay, stepping of soapbox now. Good night.

P.S. I know the song says "I fought the law and the law won", but I really don't think this will be case in our situation...I am confident of success. Nevertheless, I kept the song, regardless of it's message, because I don't know of any song with the catchphrase "I fought the law and totally kicked it's can"...maybe I'll write something myself. Anywho, just pretend that's what my boys from The Clash really are singing, um-kay. Thanks, kindly.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Random Question.

Dear Bloggy Peeps,

I have a random, yet important question for you. I only ask because I respect your opinion.
As you may know, I am trying to name my fetus. In the past I have not bothered picking a name in advance...mostly due to the fact that Chad and I cannot ever agree. Consequently, putting off naming the baby til the last minute has always resulted in stress, frustration and ironically, name-calling.
In order to bypass this unnecessary situation, I have taken it upon myself to name this baby well in advance. Please note that Chad is not aware of my scheme. But I figure that I choose a name quick enough, he'll have plenty of time to warm up to it over the next few months.
Anyway, back to the issue at hand...the middle name. My random question is this: is it weird to give a child the name of Noelle even if she isn't born on or around Christmas? Before you answer, let me explain my reason behind choosing the name. My grandma's middle names are Norene and Belle...combined they make No-elle. I just like the idea of this baby having the name of two of my most favorite people in the world. The other option is Ashman (my middle name), or Erika.
So, there it is. Please weigh in. I wouldn't ask if I didn't have to.
You guys are true friends.

Sincerely,
Frustrated Fetus-carrying Friend

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Happy 6th Birthday, Avery.


Six years ago today number three was born. Her birth was long awaited. Though she arrived almost a week early, it was not early enough for me (number's one and two had both come three weeks early). Finally, around midnight on the 26th I felt like something might be happening. I laid in bed for a few hours, just biding my time as I didn't want to leave for the hospital in the middle of the night (note: We were living in Sacramento at the time and had no family nearby. I did not want to have to call up our friends in the wee hours of the morning to babysit, so I just waited it out at home for a reasonable hour to come...I will not make that mistake again Finally at six, I decided it was time to wake Chad and call our friends to babysit. I remember vividly stopping by the video store to return a DVD on the way to hospital so we wouldn't be charged a late fee...another mistake I will not make.
We finally made it to the hospital and I was dilated to a six. After monitering my contractions for a half an hour, they transferred me to a delivery room. By then I was at an eight. The bright doctor broke my water and said he needed to perform a quick C-section then would be right back. Three contractions later I was in full blown labor, ready to push, with no doctor to deliver me (Please also note that this was not my regular doctor...just the guy who was on call from the practice).
For a moment things were frantic as nurses and residents tried to prepare themselves for the hasty delivery (Consequently, Avery has struggled with patience ever since. When she's ready and wants something, she wants it now).
Three pushes later, my baby "boy" was born. I say boy becuase I was certain that Avery was going to be a boy. So certain, that I didn't even bother packing a cute, pink, girly outfit.
She weighed a mere eight pounds and six ounces. Ouch! She caused substantial damage...I won't go into detail, but was so stinkin' cute that I didn't care if I would ever walk normally again. She looked like a little asian baby; granted a pale, pasty asian baby, with her full, chubby face and almondy eyes (Just FYI, my dad reminds many of Mr. Miyagi, again a pale, fair-skinned Mr. Miyagi).
We had a hard time picking a name for Avery, shocker! Mainly because we hadn't bothered picking out any girl names. One of my sister's suggested the name Avery and we were set. Her middle name was much easier to choose...Belle, after my grandma. Avery Belle; it has a nice ring to it.
The past six years with Avery has been anything but dull. She is the feisiest and spunkiest kid of the bunch...a true redhead...except that she's blonde. She is funny, smart and charming and I love the kid...attitude and all.
Avery you are my sunshine. My life without you would be bleak and dark. I love you so much. I hope you have a wonderful birthday...my little Aver-cakes.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Precious Pettiskirts.


My most recent obsession: chiffon pettiskirts. I first came across one of these fluffy delights at Gardner Village(they kinda remind me of cupcakes, hmmm). It was like star crossed lovers seeing each other for the first time. I couldn't stop thinking about them (I would have bought one, except for that I am a cheapskate and would never think of spending the hellish amount they were asking for them).
Anyway, I am on a quest to figure out how to make one of these lovely skirts. Wish me luck, as I am a not a very good seamstress. I will show the finished product...if it turns out.

Monday, January 12, 2009

How did I get here?

Last night was one of those rare occurences where I found myself questioning my commitment to parenting. I know that sounds rash, but mind you, this was my thought process at three in the morning.
It all began with the dreaded sound of bare feet padding down the hallway towards my room. Number two (child number two, not potty number two) had decided to grace me with her presence. Fifteen minutes later the even more horrific sound of another set of feet (this time little, footed sleeper clad feet) could be heard padding down the hallway...again, in my general direction. Number four, somehow subconciously honed in on the "party" going on in mama's room and roused himself from slumber so as not to miss it.
For the next twenty minutes I was forced to listen to the cheerful chatter and giggling of two of my little dearies...a sound that would typically warm my heart, but not at three thirty in the morning.
Now, you may be wondering where Chad was in the middle of all this commotion. I found myself asking that same question, whilst cursing the man in my mind for leaving me all alone to deal with this dilemma. Chad was in Seattle for the whole debaucle. Hmmm, a well planned trip. It's as if he knew something was a-brewing.
To make matters worse the raquet (not sure if it was the kids joyful noises or my yelling) woke number three who then also decided to join us.
At that point I felt it a good time, since I had everyone on my bed, to explain that during the nighttime we sleep. When it is dark outside we should be sleeping...like the rest of the world...not keeping mama up.
Number three quickly called me out and responded "Not in China. People in China are not asleep right now".
Touche, my little lady, but now is not the time to get smart with mama.
I immediatly responded by telling the children there would be no more talking or I would set them out on the balcony in near freezing temperatures to sleep...without a blaket.
My empty threats did not work. The kids know me too well.
Finally I left the room, peacefully and calmly mind you. I would hate for you to think that I have a complete lack of self control. I retreated to the girls' room in hopes of finding some peace and quiet. As I lay there, I could hear the parade of little feet padding against the floor towards me. I tried my best to act like I was asleep, and discreetly opened one eye just to see if they were buying it. There they were, all three of them, standing over me...just peering...waiting.
Frankly, this little episode freaked the crap out of me. It reminded me of something out of Children of the Corn, or some other horror flick, where the devil children stand peacefully and serenely surveying their prey, and then suddenly and ferociously pounce.
I did not give my little ones the chance, I immediately summoned them all back to my bed...where they could be on eye level...and ordered them to lay down and be quiet. Initially, they weren't, but after an hour and a half of ridiculousness their eyes became weary and droopy, and finally...sleep.
I checked the clock and saw that I had exactly two hours before I'd have to get up to get kids off to school.
Fast forward to 6:56am...four minutes before I had to wake. BRRRRING, BRRRRING, the phone ringing startled me awake. I checked the clock and saw it was not yet seven and immediatly became panicked. I rarely ever get phone calls before seven.
I scraped myself off the bed and ran to the phone, preparing myself for tragic news. Ironically, on the other end was the sweet little voice of a little girl from Quinn's class at school asking if Quinn could play. Honestly, I was so dazed I can't remember what I told her. I vaguely remember something about karate and after school, but that's about it.
Only now is it occuring to me that it was freaking 6:56 in the morning and she was asking to play. One question, girlfriend: where are your parents?!?!?
Just FYI, she called back two more times.
I went back to the bedroom; not to sleep, but to rouse my little brood for school. Thankfully I was able to drive to the school and back without breaking any traffic laws or causing any accidents in my drousy condition.
Now, here I sit, trying to muster up the energy to get dressed and showered. If I could I would just sit at home in my PJ's all day long, but I can't. I've got a date with the dentist...mostly likely for a root canal. Just the cherry on top of what could be my longest night ever.