Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Song About Nothing

I am a regular reader of the Dilbert Blog, which is titled only to attract readers. It is only marginally about the cartoon. Scott Adams recently opined that a hit song needs not make sense but only nearly make sense. He solicited ideas from commentators and put together lyrics for a song. Soon after, a German band put the song to music and someone made a video of stills to the music. The link to the Dilbert Blog is and there is a link to YouTube with the video. The song is actually good. Hope it makes the charts.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Official Working Mom

I did it! I made it through my first day of work! Actually, I made it through my first two days, but who is counting (except me to payday). I really like it. I am looking forward to going again tomorrow! I think that says something. As a family service worker, I am responsible for Ms. Woodland's AM and PM students and their families. I make sure that we have all their information and that the families needs are met. We do a lot of paper work and print lots of reports. We work with excel, which I know very well, so I feel like a genius when Mary is showing us (myself and the other two ladies that started with me) how to do something and I am already four steps ahead.

We also get to go help out at the school when they need us. I really like that. We help get the AM kids on the bus, while the PM kids are getting off and going to their classrooms. Afterwards we go to lunch, so I get to stick my head into Caleb and Nora's classes and give them kisses and see their happy little faces. I love it!

Mom came over yesterday to help out. Sean worked all weekend and was dead, so he slept and Mom took care of everything. The kids loved it. I had left her a note with instructions so that all the kids could get to where they needed to go. Caleb's teacher, Mrs. Merris, told me that the first thing that Caleb told her when he got to school was that Mommy and written a note to Grammy saying that they could watch cartoons after school. I guess he was waiting at the door for Nora to get home so that they could watch the cartoons as soon as she was home.

Of course my children couldn't be forgotten. They wouldn't have that. I got a call yesterday, my first day, and when I picked up the phone, it was John's Hill Magnet School calling to say that Isabelle came to the nurses office complaining of a sore throat and had a slight fever and I needed to come pick her up. I called Mom and had her wake up Sean to go get her. Minutes later, Ms. Stephanie calls from Head Start Site 2 to inform me that Caleb had a rash and needed to be picked up. Sean had already left the house and didn't have his cell phone, so I called John's Hill and left a message with them to have him go pick up Caleb. As it all turns out, they were just fine.

People at work keep acting surprised that we like it. They make it seem like it's going to be just horrible - just wait, but I do really like it. I have my own desk with a computer. I have my John Deere mug and cup on my desk with chocolate in them, and I have a big picture frame with a lot of pictures of the kids in it up on the wall. I am getting settled already. I also get to go home for lunch, which is great.

One of the best things for me is that when I get home, I am excited to see my kids! I am happier and more playful. That is what I love the most. Although, I do miss Sean. He comes home at 6:30 when he is working and I leave at 7:30. I come home at 4:30 and he leaves at 5:30. It's not a lot of time together. He didn't work last night or tonight, but last night I went with Mom to Springfield to see my dear friend Melody. She had her Jack Jack yesterday (9 lb 7 oz and 22 1/2 in) and we went to visit. Tonight, despite the bad weather, we had our pack meeting, which was the pinewood derby, and I couldn't miss that. And then he works the next two nights. Sigh...

We will get this. But here's to working and surviving how ever you can :)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sad News

If you have not yet heard the sad news, President Hinckley passed away this evening.

At 97, it doesn't come as a surprise, but it is still very sad. My kids asked who killed him and I had to explain that he was old and ready to be with his beloved wife again.

He was a great man with a powerful testimony. He will be greatly missed.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

You want to see unfit?

A friend of mine posted a blog about being an unfit mother (I recommend it - it was very amusing -so check out the aberchronicles), and it reminded me so much of what I went through with Caleb. I have always meant to write down my experiences with him, but I have never gotten around to it, so here it goes:

Isabelle was a perfect child. We found so much joy in parenthood and were anxious for our second. It took a while, but we finally got Caleb. To start off with, he was huge (for me). At 8lb 14oz, the doctor told me that I would not be able to have any children bigger then that naturally (that was after 2 1/2 hours of pushing). So point being, he came into this world with a bang!

Even at a very young age, he was good at getting into things. In the first picture, he did have help with the baby powder and, to be honest, it might have been Belle's idea, but he doesn't look too upset. He did have a tendency towards liquids - soaps, cleaners, foods, etc...which made it that much harder to clean up.
I remember one time in OH when I had purchased a large bottle of shampoo. After getting it home, he managed to open it and dump it all over the living room carpet. My mother-in-law had a carpet cleaner and came over and helped me get it cleaned up. She had a lot of laughs over that one. Another time it was motor oil. Sean had changed the oil and Caleb found the old stuff and decided to play in it. The outfit got thrown away.

We moved to IL and it continued. A large jug of laundry detergent all over the laundry room floor, potato flakes all over the kitchen floor, cereal all over the kitchen, milk, water, or juice all over everything and anything. On his second birthday, Belle and I went to see a play with some friends. I had made his cake and set it out to cool and told Sean to keep an eye on it. He did, after Caleb got into. So I had to learn how to be creative with him...I iced the cake that way on purpose. He had already eaten the cake before I even iced it.

But what I remember the most was when I was 36 weeks along with Olivia. Nora was only about a year old and I was so tired and frustrated with him. Rooms and closets had to have hook and eyes and had to be sure to be locked at all times. He sensed when the lock wasn't on. This particular Tuesday morning, he had dumped the cereal everywhere. I sent him out of the kitchen and started cleaning up. I next found him with the toothpaste in my room on the floor. I was down on my hands and knees (very pregnant) cleaning it up and I turn around and he has poured the expensive and stinky T-gel shampoo all over the bathroom and hall. I take him downstairs and sit him at the table for lunch and go clean up the mess, again. I come back down and he has dumped the doritoes all over the recently swept floor! I couldn't handle it any more!! I decided then and there that it was time to go back on my depression medicine. If I wanted to keep an ounce of sanity, I needed help.

So, on Thursday I had a doctor appointment in the afternoon. That morning I was sitting in a chair in my room facing the hall and stairs and talking to my sister, Jodi on the phone. Caleb had dumped all his books off of his shelf, so I sent him in there to clean up, knowing that he wouldn't clean, but maybe it would give me a little break. I had my eye on the stairs, making sure that he didn't go down, but I guess Jodi distracted me. The next thing I know, our cat, Bullseye comes walking in covered in brown stuff. I thought "What in the heck?!" As he came over, I realized he was covered in Hersey's Syrup! I mean covered! I had the phone in one hand, talking to my sister, and the cat in the other and had no clue what to do. I was dumbfounded.

I carried the cat down the stairs and opened the front door and just threw him out. He could clean himself. I knew I was going to have bigger problems. As I surveyed the living room, my heart just dropped. I started getting a little hysterical and told Jodi I had to go. There was syrup by the diaper closet, on the floor and the walls, and as I turned the corner, I saw that it was along the piano bench, in a puddle on the rocking chair, along the floor to a puddle on the couch. Basically, it was all over. I hung up with Jodi just as Sean pulled up and I meet him in the kitchen just bawling. He holds me as I am crying and tells me not to worry, he would take care of it. He sends me off to get ready for my doctor appointment and in walks Mom and my sister, Sara. Jodi had called and begged Mom to come over and help. Jodi had felt completely helpless, so she called someone who could help. Mom and Sara watched the kids, Sean washed the carpet and cleaned the chairs, couch and walls, and I went to the doctor and begged for my Wellbutrin. Dr. Byrkit didn't hesitate.

That is my biggest Caleb story. He continued after that with the Hershey Syrup, but mostly he would pull it out and give it to Nora. One night, after chugging down a bunch, she threw up in bed. I didn't find out till morning. It was almost all syrup and it was on the sheets, down the wall and on the floor. After that, the syrup went to the basement fridge.

He has taught Nora well and she has done plenty of things herself, but thankfully, it's not been as much. You would think at four, that he is doing better, but just the other day, he took an orange paint stick and wrote all over one of his bedroom walls. Then he scratched his name on the kitchen table and tried to blame it on Belle. When that didn't work, he tried Nora. Nora can't even write her name yet, let alone Caleb's. But with tears in his eyes and his lip curled just so, he did eventually confess.

Friday, January 25, 2008

A Day in the Life...

Yesterday, Mom had a beading party and I went and made some bracelets for my girls and I. It was a lot of fun! I am not much for creating the bracelets, but I am super at putting them together. Tori was kind enough to sleep through the whole thing and woke up after everyone had gone. So she ate and played while I vacuumed for Mom. Are there people in your life that do so much for you, and it's hard to find things to do for them? I have several people like that in my life and Mom is one. I love to be able to help her. She is amazing! I don't know anyone else who doesn't have a full time job or kids at home that keeps as busy as she does. To the point of being stressed all the time. It's usually stuff that I can't help making a blanket for Project Linus. But once in awhile, there is something I can do, like vacuuming. It's not much, but she acts like I just ran a marathon for her. She is amazing! Did I say that already?

In the evening, I got to go see a movie with my friend, Melody. She is having a baby on Monday, and we decided we had better hurry and get one more movie in before baby Jack comes. I wasn't a big fan of 27 Dresses, but others said they thought it was hilarious. It was just nice to go out. We also stopped at Steak and Shake for a burger and a shake. I got home after 11 and Sean and Tori were asleep (waking up) on the couch. Cute :)

Tonight is a girls night I guess. Our friends, the Lauper-Cooks have three girls and a baby boy. David works some weekends, so Julie and I decided that we should share the load. I have her three girls tonight, and she gets my three oldest tomorrow. It is so great! Here it is, 10:30 at night and I hear giggling up in the living room, but mostly it is quiet. Cassandra is a year older than Isabelle, Sage is the same age as Caleb, and Azzy is the same age as Olivia. They are so cute. Azzy reminds me of Caleb when he was that age - in to everything! It actually makes me laugh. I told the older girls that they could watch a movie and have popcorn if they could help clean the playroom and they agreed, so after dinner, we all went down to the playroom and the two oldest and I cleaned, while the rest played (it is a playroom after all). Anyway, while I was putting things away, Azzy would be right behind me pulling things out. She is a doll, and as her mom says "She's lucky she's cute" :) Actually, Caleb got to spend the night at Spencer's, so there really was no boys here - Sean is working this weekend.

I guess it's time to go quiet the masses.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Here We Go....

This is it. I am attempting this blogging thing. Time sure does fly when you are having fun?! Sean and I have been married for 8 1/2 years and what do we have to show for it? 5 kids, a dog, a house, 2 guinea pigs, 3 snails, 2 frogs, and 7 fish. If only we could get rid of the dog...:)

Isabelle will be turning 8 in August, which she is very excited about! She can't wait to be baptized and she thinks she wants an American Girl doll for her birthday. She is in 2nd grade and I guess she is in the gifted program. They don't tell me anything about it and the report card doesn't say much. I was getting letter grades when I was in second grade. Her report cards are simply "Doesn't meet state standards", "Meets state standards", and "Exceeds state standards". Not to put down the education system, but what in the heck does that mean? Those standards aren't that high... She continues to be my big helper and is always asking what she can do. Got to love that!

Caleb will be 5 in just two months! He is in preschool but is very ready for kindergarten. He's got his name down, numbers 1 - 20, colors, shapes, and some other letters. When I visit his class, they go on and on about how wonderful he is. Well, they should see him at home ;) He loves spending time with his cousin, Spencer. They are in the same primary class and can be seen running down the halls holding hands. I need to put a stop to that I think.

Eleanor turns 4 in July and loves attention. And she gets it. I think it's the eyes. And the constant, huge, smile. She is also in preschool and is coming along nicely. I have to admit, I love sending them off to school Monday - Thursday. They are gone for about 5 hours and it gives Olivia and Tori time to get some much needed Mommy Attention. Nora just started primary this year and it is fun to watch her in there. She is quite the drama queen, but she is generally happy.

Olivia will be 3 in August. She had a hard time talking at first, but now she just goes and goes and goes and goes and goes (you get the idea). We still don't understand her a good bit of the time, but that doesn't stop her. No matter what I do, she always looks like a rag-a-muffin. I think she looks forward to going to preschool in the fall. She watches Caleb and Nora get on the bus and wants to be on there too. She is starting to show a little interest in potty training, but not enough to be serious. I look forward to just one diapered bottom for awhile. Livy still has a pacifier, but we have gotten it down to sleeping time only. The goal is: No pacifier by age 3. Hopefully sooner.

Victoria will be 1 in May. My baby is getting so big! She is crawling all over (actually she lunges forward, but it's the same results). I always get comments on her hair. She has a ton. I think she has more than her cousin, Saucy, who just turned 2 in November. People say she looks like Nora. I guess I see it :) She is so smiley these days. And it shows off her vampire teeth. She has two middle teeth on bottom and her two canine teeth on top. weird! She rolls all over in her walker and loves her johnny jump up. She also loves food. I have yet to find something that she won't eat, and she gets what ever we are eating, so she has had a large variety. She loves her naps and loves her sisters and brother. They adore her. She spent a couple of days in the hospital at the beginning of the month with RSV, but she did great and was all smiles (unless they were suctioning her nose).

Sean just started working at Caterpillar as a crane inspector. He works 12 hour nights and about 3 1/2 nights a week, so every other weekend we mess up his schedule so that he can spend time with us. He still works on getting books onto our online bookstores, and has people calling him to come fix this or that. Basically, I feel like I hardly see him. But we will adjust. He has started working with the scouts again. But now he is working at the district level. He is the activities chairman. He is also very creative and built our guinea pigs' cage out of material we had out in the garage. The pigs love it and so do I. He is so cleaver! This picture is of him wearing his present from Caleb (the 6xl shirt :) ), and the gift from the Sterlings (John Deere suspenders that he has labeled his Sunday Suspenders and has worn them every Sunday since he got them).

I just got a job with Head Start as a family service worker. I don't start until Monday, and I am excited and scared at the same time. I haven't had a job outside the home since before I was pregnant with Isabelle! So Sean will watch the kids during the day, while he sleeps, and I have them after 4 o'clock. I guess we will see how it will work out. I am the music leader in primary and just love it! I also am the cub committee chairman and am surprised by how much I enjoy that! Sean and I just became the unit commissioners for our wards troop, team and pack, so we are attempting to help them get on track, since we just split the scouts from the 2nd ward and we got a new bishopric. It's a bit crazy to say the least. I still enjoy making blankets and have made a couple for new babies and project linus. I have 3 that I need to get done by the 8th of Feb. so wish me luck. I alway did do best under pressure :)

Well, I guess that's enough information for now. I hope all is well with all of you!