Sunday, September 23, 2007

Please Pass the Pickles

So, life is like.... a jar of pickles? Or more the becoming a jar of pickles. This was the message from church today. That we start as a cucumber and have to be submerged in brine in order to transform ourselves into pickles. The problem I have is that I really like cucumbers. It is pickles I don't like.... AT ALL. Now, I am smart enough to know that it is only an analogy but for me, to think of life's trials as a process to become my inner pickle, or the best pickle I can be, just isn't going to work. So, I am creating my own pickle analogy.

How NOT to become a pickle:

In order for a cucumber to become a pickle, it has to be submerged in brine for however long in order to transform. Pickles are yucky and sour and I don't want to be a pickle. So in my analogy, brine is anything that would make me yucky and sour and which I should avoid in order to maintain my yummy cucumberness. The moral of the story: Avoid the brine of life and stay a yummy cucumber.

The kids sang at church today and had little speaking parts. We realized when we got home that Mason, who is 6 and who hasn't figured out how to button his own pants, must have used the bathroom before the program. Yep, he stood up there singing for an hour with his pants undone. It is these moments that mothers are most proud of their children. But, I have to give the kid credit. He did his part, pants undone and all!

Zander has really adjusted to going into the nursery and loves it now. He loves his teacher and loves to sing songs. It is sad to see him growing up so fast. Alyssa is just my sweet Alyssa. She really just does what she is told. I don't know how I got so lucky. I will have to save this so that when she is 15 and making me crazy I can come back and see that she started out as a good little girl!

49 days until we leave for Disneyland. Alyssa and Mason want to make a chain. Zand just wants to go NOW. I can accommodate the older two. Poor Zander will just have to wait. I am getting excited though. We really need a vacation!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Lifetime and Laundry - A Perfect Combination

It is raining outside today which makes any day a good day. Add to that the fact that it is a Saturday and Lifetime plays movies all day for me to watch while I catch up on laundry and you have a real winner! Mason is upstairs playing Star Wars and Zand is playing dinosaurs in the room with me. Jack is, sadly, at work. Alyssa is off with her friend Kenadee. They went to a family reunion for dinner. I really do miss her when she is gone. But it is raining and I am smiling. And she will be home in about 30 minutes. =0)

My house is a wreck. I clean it all day and it is still a wreck. I have even taken to paying the kids to clean it and it is still a wreck. I am convinced that there are little creatures that I can't see that make messes in whatever room I am not in. They are especially good at their job. Much better than I am at mine. If I can ever figure out to communicate with them, I may just pay them to clean my house. After all, they have talent. And everyone knows that you pay imaginary creatures with imaginary money and that I have a lot of! Yipee!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Death of Expensive Appliances

Our washing machine finally bit the dust today. Of course, it couldn't wait until tomorrow since I had planned to catch up on laundry today. I feel quite fortunate though. I have a great friend who was kind enough to do a load of laundry at her house so I would have some clothes to wear! (Thank you!)

Another friend of mine luckily had an extra washing machine that she was willing to just give to us. She said that it would bring her good karma and she was happy to know she was helping us out. I really am lucky to have good friends. =0)

Sunday, Sept. 16

I took Alyssa and Mason to the After Hours Clinic today. Going anywhere with kids is always an adventure. We walked in and Alyssa and Mason proceeded to the fish tank while I waited to sign her in. Mason yells at me from across the room, "Mom, what does it mean if a rock is walking?" I reassure him that it must be a crab if it is walking. He insists it is a rock because it looks just like the other rocks. I get Alyssa signed in and head over the fish tank. I pointed out for mason the legs on the "rock" and tell him that the crab looks like a rock so it will blend in with the rest of the tank and so big fish won't try to eat it. For the next 45 minutes, while we wait to go back, I have to try to identify every part of the tank that is a crab instead of a rock. Then he gets the crazy idea that one of the crabs could break the glass and get out and get him. So, he is studying them from a distance to see if they really will be strong enough to break through. Once he gets bored of the "rocks" he asks if fish have ears. I told him to look and see. So he decides that fish don't have ears. Then he wants to know why fish can't breathe out of water. This goes on the entire time while Alyssa sits quietly looking at a Sports Illustrated magazine. It is amazing to me that the two of them came from the same gene pool and are being raised in the same home.

Finally, we get to go back to see the doctor. The nurse does the initial tests on Alyssa and then leaves. Mason, in his loud voice, says, "I hope the doctor isn't old!" right as the doctor opens the door. I just shook my head because after 6 yrs of living with this kid, I know that he will just say what he is thinking no matter what I tell him. Turns out that Alyssa didn't have strep throat but some viral tonsillitis which should just go away on it's own. Good news!

Later, we went to my parents house for my Sister In Laws birthday. My mom was funny. We did cake but forgot to sing or do candles. So after my parents got home from a viewing they had to attend, my mom made us all gather back in the kitchen and put candles in the half of the cake that was left so we could sing. We got home much later than I would have liked especially for a school night. But that is what happens when mom gets overly involved in solving a cross word puzzle with her brother!

Tuesday, Sept. 18

Alyssa woke up today complaining that her hands felt funny. Upon investigating, I found that her hands were puffy and a little pink. Otherwise, she was fine. So, I took her to school and called her doctor who made an appt for her in the afternoon. After dropping Mason off at Kindergarten, I checked Alyssa out of school and took her in. Alyssa has also been complaining of pains in her feet for well over a year and recently of pain in her hip joints, shoulders, and neck. Her doctor seems concerned because she also has had a significant (for an 8 yr old) weight gain since she saw her last. I just kept thinking that she was getting ready to grow and so she was growing out before she grew up. The growing up part just hasn't happened yet. So, I guess Thursday or Friday we need to take her in and have a bunch of blood work done. They will be testing her thyroid and also running tests for auto-immune disorders. It breaks my heart to think of having to deal with this. I have watched my good friend with her son who has juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. It is terribly sad to see a young child have to deal with lifelong problems. And I am scared. I don't know what this might mean for her. Hopefully it will be nothing. But if it is nothing, what is causing the pains and the weight gain?

Once that shocking experience was over, we took her back to school to finish out the day. My kids were excited to have my friend's kids come over and play for a little while after school. Poor Zander cried when they left though. He really loves those kids. I then took Alyssa to dance. I wrote the wrong time down and got her there 15 minutes late. Luckily her teacher was understanding and it didn't end up being a big deal.

We also had a big event today. Alyssa made her first batch of cookies all by herself. They were good too. She got a cookbook from a school fieldtrip and so they were healthy cookies but really yummy! She was really proud of herself! And I was proud of her.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Reading, Writing, and Germs... School must be in session!

Well, we are 2 wks into school and I think we have our first sickness. Alyssa started complaining tonight that her throat hurt. Of course, she doesn't say anything about it until we had company at about 8 pm.

Jack's brother and his wife had come for a visit. It is always nice having them come over or vice versa. They have two great little boys, Josh and Ty. Josh and Mason are about a month apart and Ty and Zander are about the same. We didn't plan either of them being so close together but it just worked out that way. They stayed for a while and we visited. Shortly afterward, Alyssa asked Jack to look at her throat. Jack is certain that she probably has strep throat. Of course, by this time, the after hours urgent care places are all closed so we will have to wait until morning.

Also, my father in law called tonight. Jack's sister's poor little guy has had more problems in the first year of his life than anyone I know. He has had open heart surgery, been on oxygen and had to have surgery to divide his two middle fingers on both hands. Turns out that one of them is badly infected. Jack went with his dad to the hospital to help give the little guy a blessing. I feel so bad for Jack's sister, Chrisy. They have been through so much this year. We love them and hope things get better.

Week of Sept. 9

Sunday Sept. 9

We had a great day on Sunday. We took the afternoon to do a nature hike up Lambs Canyon. When I was a child, some family friends had a cabin up that canyon and it has been one of my favorites ever since. We put the kids in the tie dyed shirts they made at the Labor Day BBQ and they looked great! It was a really nice day and some of the most beautiful scenery I think there is on this planet.

Here are some pictures from our hike:

You can see Zander in this picture if you look close enough:

Alyssa and Mason striking a pose:

Monday Sept. 10

Monday morning I had to go down town for a meeting. Upon leaving, I went to start my car and there was a problem. Car started and ran until I let go of the key and then it shut off. I called Jack and he informed me that it sounded like the ignition switch. Like anyone who knows anything about cars, he had a most profound set of instructions for me. "Just jiggle it a little and try it again." I rolled my eyes. That is like smacking an appliance because it won't work. Convinced that it wasn't going to work, I jiggled the dumb thing just to humor him. Lo and behold, the car kept running after I let go of the key. I will have to remember that for future car trouble. The rest of the day, I just jiggled the key and it started right up. The marvels of modern automotive technology!

Tuesday Sept. 11

Today, I made sure to take some time to reflect upon the freedoms that living in this country afford me. I thought about what this day, 6 yrs ago meant to me, how I felt on that day and how I feel today. Sept. 11, 2001 was a life changing day for me. It was the day that I learned to cherish the days I have with my children, the day I first felt fear about what the world would look like when my children were my age. And it was the day that I had hope that Americans could find it in their hearts to become a kinder group of people.

I was relieved when I was able to climb into bed that night and the world, although not really a safe place, wasn't any different than it had been when I woke up in the morning. Now I have no doubt that there are those out there who are plotting against us, who are hoping to harm us but for today, they did nothing on American soil.

Wednesday, Sept. 12
Granite School district has started a new "thing." From what I understand, they are encouraging teachers to collaborate. I am not exactly sure what the purpose is but what it means to students and parents is that one Wednesday a month, we have an extra early day. The first one was today. I feel like we are never going to have a normal school week. So far, we had our first week of school. The next week, we were off for Labor Day and then the next day too in order to make up for SEP (Student Education Plan) conferences. So that week we only had three days of school. This week, five days but two of them are early days. Anyway, extra early days... they have shortened the kids' lunches by 5 minutes a day to make up for it. I am yet to figure out how they are making up for the extra hour Kindergarteners miss since they don't have lunch at school.

This is also the day that my ignition switch decided to totally die. In order to drive anywhere, I had to hold the key turned not too far but far enough to keep the car running. The AC wouldn't work and neither would the radio, unless of course, I accidentally let off the pressure on the key and the car lost it's power. Then the radio turned on, the AC turned on but the car wouldn't go. I had to pull over, completely stop, put the car in park, and then restart the car. I had to pull over 4 times between my house and Smiths, which is about half a block away. Jack tried to get the part the night before but it is a special order part now because Honda's very rarely have that part go bad. Go figure huh?

Thursday, Sept. 13

Today was a long crazy day! Jack got the car fixed late last night so at least I could drive without holding the key. I guess the switch had gotten so hot yesterday that it actually melted the solder in the part and it dripped on my shoe. I wondered what that silver stuff on my sandal was. I had tons of errands to run while the kids were at school. But it was nice to have my car actually turn on and stay on!

Thursday nights I have an adult Hip Hop class. We have a new teacher and she kicked our butts tonight. We worked much harder than we usually do. When I got home, we quickly got ready to go and headed to a wedding reception with my mom. The kids had a great time running around. It was held outside at the home of the parents of the groom. I grew up with him and was really happy that he found someone to make him happy. We were getting ready to leave and poor Zand face planted on the asphalt. He was bleeding all over the place and wouldn't let me look at it. He sucked in his upper lip and then wouldn't talk or open his mouth for anything. It wasn't until he fell asleep that I was able to really take a look at what he did. His front teeth went through his upper lip and he skidded his lips on the ground. He looks pretty rough. But I think he will survive to see another day!

Saturday, Sept. 15

Today was great. I woke up and went jogging this morning. While I was out and about, I started smelling smoke. Something was definitely on fire. I eventually discovered the source. Someone had started a dumpster on fire. The fire department put it out and apparently there was nothing more to it.

We also watched my nephew today. His name is Xavier. He is a cutie. He is almost 14 months old and one of the most determined kids I have ever seen. He is super happy and seems to just take everything in. We played toys, went for a ride in the car to pick up Alyssa from an activity she had and then we came back and played outside. He loved driving around in Zanders little car. And my kids had a great time playing with him.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Hopefully next week I will be better about updating on a daily basis but this week has been so crazy that I just haven't had time! So, here is a recap!

Monday - Labor Day

I ever so kindly persuaded Jack to go with me and the kids to a bbq and tie dye party with a bunch of people he had never met. Anyone who knows Jack knows that he would rather walk a mile with a rusty nail through each of his feet than have to "socialize" with strangers. But he was a good sport and did it for me. The kids got to tie dye t-shirts. We had never really done official tie dying and it is quite an art form. Who knew? I guess I should say that I tie dyed the boys shirts and they told me what colors they wanted. Alyssa did hers almost entirely by herself. When we get them back, I will have to post pictures of how they turned out!

Tuesday 9/04/07

Tuesday evening the storm clouds started to roll in. I had been on the phone with a friend of mine who lives in Tooele. Her husband saw a funnel cloud coming out of the sky. It didn't touch down but was a good indication of what was to come our way. Me, being a storm loving person, was beyond excited. When the wind started to blow, I knew that we were in for a good one. When the kids toys outside started flying through the air, I knew it was time to go out and weight everything down. Before I could do so, our inflatable swimming pool flew up over our shed and then over the neighbors house, into the school yard behind them and kept on going. We went looking for them but trees were falling and we figured it was just a pool. (It actually showed up back at our doorstep a couple of days later...). One of our neighbors said she saw a play pen fly by her second story window. These are not the kind of storms we usually see. Aside from the fact that my kids were terrified that we were going to see our house sucked up into the sky (too much tv), I was in storm bliss. The wind continued to blow. Our neighbors who live across the street and who's house our pool flew over, lost a section of their fence. They took it well though.

After the wind came the rain and the lightning. It was amazing and I wish I had a picture of it. It struck a transformer nearby and left some of our neighbors powerless for at least 24 hours or more. Usually, if anyone in the valley has a power outage, our power decides it sounds like fun and follows along. So much for free thinking power lines huh? But, amazingly enough, we didn't even get a blip!

I borrowed some reader submitted photos from KSL's website:

As far as storms go, it was amazing. And I am so glad that we didn't suffer any real damage to our home or our things.

Wednesday 9/05/07

Today was Mason's first day of school! He started Kindergarten. He is an older kindergartener because last year at this time, he lived in a land of make believe and I was really concerned that the teachers wouldn't be able to teach him reality based concepts such as letters and numbers.

Preschool was great for him though. He learned a ton and had an excellent teacher!

If you can't tell in the background of this picture, it was pouring rain. It had been beautiful all morning long and well, up to about 5 minutes before we were supposed to take him. Now, I love a good storm but I wanted to walk him to school on his first day. Anyone who knows me though knows that I handle not getting my own way just fine.

As soon as we got to the school, Mason made a friend. His name was Joseph. Mason's comment to him? "Wow, Joseph is a funny name. Don't you think my name is funny too?" Not sure if the look from his mother to me was one of contemplation as to whether or not Mason is a funny name too or whether she was displeased that the first thing said to her son on the first day of Kindergarten was another kid telling him that his name was funny. And since when is Joseph a funny name? But that is my kid!

He had a great day at school.

We also went that day and took some other photos of damage from the storm the night before.

They are here:

Friday 9/07/07

Alyssa had a great opportunity tonight. We signed her up for Taylorsville High Schools Mini Drill clinic. She had two nights of practice and then tonight they danced at the halftime of the football game. She did great! I was so proud of her and of course I think she was the best. What else is a mother supposed to think right? This other photo is of her on the field. It was too dark for a good photo and the flash made it darker because of the distance... but she is just so dang cute!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Me and Mine

Well, this is it! My first attempt at blogging. Truthfully, I have posted a few things on my MySpace page but they are so random that it hardly qualifies as a 'blog.'

Let me tell you a little bit about myself. My name is Heather. I don't know what to say about myself. I am a mere 5'2" and full of opinions and aspirations. There are just so many things I would like to do and I am quickly learning that I just don't have enough time on this earth to do them all. I would really like to someday find a way to better the world. But where do you start?

I am married to a wonderful hardworking man named Jack. He is trying to hurry up and wait to get into the Nursing program. Actually, he has only been waiting for 2. 5 yrs and is finally going to be starting in January. He works really hard to take care of us. I couldn't ask for a more dedicated and giving husband. We have been married for just over 10 yrs. It has been a tumultuous ten years which has also been very blessed.

Three of those wonderful blessings have names: Alyssa, Mason, and Zander.

Alyssa is 8 yrs old and in 3rd grade this year. She is so beautiful! She is quiet and shy and yet precocious as well. She is smart and talented. She is on a competing dance team. This is her third year and she is getting so good. I am so proud of her. She loves animals of all kinds and wants to be a veternarian when she grows up. Either that, or sing 'Up on the Housetop' (yes, the Christmas song) on American Idol.

Mason is 6. He is the family comedian. He is always finding things to make people laugh. He is starting Kindergarten on Wednesday and is so excited. His teacher was very impressed with all the things he already knew! I can't wait to see what he will accomplish this year. He loves superheros and is a little overobssessed with television. One of his favorite pasttimes is driving him mom crazy talking about Zelda and begging mom to play Zelda. He does everything in life with enthusiasm.

Zander is 3. He is my little sweetheart. He loves his mommy and is attached with super glue. I wouldn't have it any other way. He loves trains and cars and airplanes. He walks around pretending to be a robot and he loves to give hugs and kisses. He is silly and has developed quite the propensity for teasing his brother and sister lately.

We always planned on having 3 or 4 kids. After Zand, we knew we wanted one more. That has proven to be more difficult than we ever imagined. I have been pregnant twice this year, both resulting in a loss. The first was the result of a chemical pregnancy ( The second was a little more complicated. We had an ultrasound at 7 wks that showed that the baby was measuring behind and had a slightly slow heartbeat. I also had a subchorionic hemorrhage ( and an enlarged yolk sac. Long story short, the baby's heart stopped beating about 3 wks later. So, here we are...

Happily married, 3 beautiful children, and a crazy life!