Thursday, February 28, 2008


I'm not talking about the TV mystery thriller of which I am now two full episodes behind.  (I think we are the only family without Tivo or DVR.  I just watch them online.) And I'm not talking about needing a map.  I'm talking about being the loser who LOST something. Something precious; something you were supposed to guard with your life. Something like YOUR CHILD.  

One moment he was playing on the library computer. I looked down at the bookshelf, looked back and he was gone.  It took at least 1-2 minutes before I began to feel panic.  #2 is an active boy, he is always wandering off.  But after I checked the predictable places and then checked them again the thought crossed my mind that I had actually lost my child.  Now I'm running.  Running between the stacks, to the far corners of the library.  Running out the front doors, eyes scanning the parking  lot and then up the hill which leads to the public park and a lake....... A LAKE!!  The image of him falling in propels me up the hill and frantically scanning the shorelines knowing that there would be no way to know where he fell in.  Feeling torn between diving in and groping around in the murky waters or returning to search inside, I decide to bet on the side of hope and run back to the library.  

Now as I enter the library every face I see is one of a child molester, or kidnapper. Every corner or door handle I see is a possible hiding place to hurt my son. I'm crying now, totally out of control. Other people are looking for him too.  It's been 7-8 minutes.  Long enough for him to be long gone in a pedofile's car; long enough for a crime to have been committed; long enough for him to be scared and wanting me.  I've been praying, but now I'm just screaming things in my head; demanding, begging, negotiating with the Lord.  

A hundred yards away out of the back window my eyes spot the top of a blond head but I'm not relieved yet.  It's him.  I race to the back wall, find the emergency door and burst outside in one breath.  He's safe! I'm hugging him but also feeling for broken bones, looking for signs of distress, checking to see if his pull-up has been tampered with.  Everything checks out.  

As we reentered the library I could see the alarm that I had spread lift at the sight of #2.  I thanked the Lord for my safe son and also for the people who instinctively wanted to help find a lost child.  

We checked out our books and I tried to calm down. (Suddenly dripping in sweat.) I just kept thinking, "Why would he wander off like that?"  It was about this time that I smelled something wafting from his direction and the answer hit me.  He was just trying to find a private place to take care of his business.

I admit that I'm a sub-par mom, but lest you judge me too harshly I really was paying attention to him in the library.  For those of you who know #2, you will understand just how easily he can escape anywhere, anyplace.  In all the years I've been a parent (Ok, 5 years isn't THAT long, but still plenty of time to totally screw up) this is the only time I've really lost any of my kids. And I hope it never happens again, I don't think my heart can take it.

Have you ever lost someone like that?

Friday, February 22, 2008

Adventures in Preschool

"Bye, Mom. I don't need you anymore."

Last week, on Valentines Day #2 started preschool. This is the free preschool offered by our school district which #2 qualified for because of his speech delay.

It was torturous to hear him crying as a I left him on the playground. He is so little! Ok, he's pretty huge, but he IS very young. I felt like I had just turned him over to the wolves. His teacher is not in fact a wolf, but a very compassionate woman. I hid in some bushes across from the play ground to watch him. Pretty soon he picked himself up from the sidewalk (where he was tantruming), got on a tricycle and started to ride around. I watched until they had gone inside the classroom and #2 seemed happy.

Later when I picked him up, he wasn't so happy. He had had a terrible time. Uncooperative, crying; he had refused snack and recess. He ran to me and collapsed on my shoulder. Great! Now I really felt like I had made a mistake in sending him to preschool! However, I knew we had to give it another chance.

The next day when I dropped him off, we said a prayer in the car, and when it came time for me to leave, he was so busy playing he didn't even notice. And when I came to pick him up, a happy boy met me with a big hug. My heart swelled with relief and pride for him.

I received more good reports from his teacher this week and I'm feeling confident that this will be a good thing for #2.

So cute in his uniform

It's Always Fun When Nana Comes (& Papa Too)

I've heard many Arizona Transplants casually bemoan the frequent visits they are always receiving from their families. We do not complain in this house because our visitors are few and far between. So when visitors do come it's a big deal. Last week we were pleased to welcome my parents for five days.

My poor Dad, just recovering from surgery for a ruptured disk in his neck, was in no shape for rough-housing with kids or tromping all over the valley for shopping or other fun. But he was a good sport and probably did much more than he should have.

I love having my mom here. Spouse put it this way, "When your mom is here, it's like having two of you around." Meaning that she somehow instinctively knows what needs to be done next; starting dinner, getting kids dressed, folding laundry....whatever. Besides the practical help, she is a great walking partner in the mornings.

For some reason my parents have allowed themselves to think that I'm a good parent and a good person, much better than I really am. This makes me want to be better, try harder and be the good woman they've mistaken that I am. This is probably what I value most about their visits: wanting to be better.

Not wasting any precious time with her Nana, #1 sat in the bathroom while Nana got ready (and begged to put on her make up)

Here is my mom trying to play a game on the Wii. Notice #1's face, "You are so bad at this Nana."

Friday, February 15, 2008

Someone loves me!

After a few rough days you can imagine the pleasantness of my surprise to find an anonymous package addressed to myself sitting in my mailbox.  For I moment I considered that it could be a bomb.  But the handwriting looked much too humane so I took a chance and tore it open.  There was a small white box and in that box was....... A NEW PEDOMETER!!!!!! 

If you happened to read THIS post and THIS post you will understand the fullness of my joy. Sometimes it's the littlest things that make you feel loved. Thank you - pedometer giver.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Tagged; all you never wanted to know

Here's a tag I'm going to do because I'm still feeling sorry for myself (washed dishes AGAIN today) and not feeling very creative.  

1. What time did you get up this morning?  At 2:00 am (#2), at 2:55 (#2), at 3:30 (#3), 6:10 (#1)
2. What was the last movie you saw?  Rear Window with Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly
3. Where is the most beautiful place you've ever been? Cascade mountains in Northwestern Idaho
4. What do you usually have for breakfast?  Oatmeal
5. What is your favorite food? Bread. Balsamic Vinegar. Dark Chocolate
6. What food do you dislike? Cooked fruit. Red meat. Stinky cheese.
7. What is your favorite CD lately?  CD? Are those still around?
8. Favorite Sandwich? Tomato, basil and mozzarella - grilled
9. What characteristics do you despise? Disrespect. Elitism.
10. Favorite item of clothing? Stretchy yoga pants that are so old I've had to cut the bottoms off, twice.
11. If you could go anywhere in the world for a vacation, where would you go? Japan
12. What color is your bathroom? Builder painted primer white. The chances of me ever getting it painted are slowing diminishing.
13. Favorite brand of clothing?  If I were ever to buy myself clothes that I really liked and felt confident in (instead of not buying clothes and when I do, getting whatever is cheapest) I would buy them from J. Crew.
14. What was your most memorable birthday? When I turned 12 my parents took me (just me, not one of my other 6 siblings) to Disney World. I felt so special and grown up.
15. Favorite sport to watch?  BYU football. Ice skating.
16. Favorite saying? Shut yer freakin' gob!
17. Shoe size? 9 1/2 They've grown 1/2 size with every kid.  When I got married they were size 8.
18. Pets?  Yuk! No!
19. What did you want to be when you were little?  A mother.
20. What are you today? A cook, a butt wiper, a maid, a laundress, a story-teller, a mind reader, an interpreter, a teacher, an audience, a mediator, a lover.
21. What is your favorite candy? Dark chocolate, perhaps with almond or hazelnut.
22. What is your favorite flower? Lilies. Tulips. Lavender. Lilac.
23. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? May 1st. I'm flying to Utah to meet my mom and sisters and go to Women's Conference.
24. What are you listening to right now? National Geographic Channel.
25. What was the last thing you ate? Peppermint tea.  
26. Do you believe in Angels? Yes. 
27. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Probably something dull, like brown or grey. Boring but necessary.
28. Pet Peeves? People combing hair in public places, or any place other than their bathroom. Or filing their nails. So disgusting. I also HATE hot tubs; just cesspools of hairspray, deodorant, dead skin, sweat, and all other unmentionable bodily product. One more pet peeve: Petting zoos - yuk.
29. Favorite TV show? The Office, The Glen Beck Show, Keeping Up Appearances.
30. Last person you spoke to on the phone? My mom.
31. Do you like the person who sent you this? Ummmm. I guess :)
32. Favorite soft drink?  Diet Coke!
33. Hair Color?  Blonde, but I aren't dum. See?
34. Favorite restaurant? Le Nonne or Flo's
35. Siblings? 4 sisters, 2 brothers
36. What was your favorite toy as a child? Grover
37. Summer or Winter? In AZ definitely winter. In UT definitely summer.
38. Hugs or Kisses?  Kiss me please.
39. Chocolate or vanilla?  I think we've covered this. CHOCOLATE.
40. What is under your bed? Monsters, dust bunnies, food storage
41. When was the last time you cried? Sunday. 10 minutes before my dinner guests arrived I forgot about my rice pilaf and it burnt to the pan.  I was so mad at myself and felt so panicked about having to re-chop the vegetables. I also realized I didn't have any more rice in the house. I was close to tears at this point but what put me over the edge was when spouse, thinking he was taking control of the situation, instructed me to pick out all the burnt pieces.  Post script, I soon realized that of course I had rice in the house, lots of it. Under my bed.
42. Who is the friend you've had the longest? My sisters and brothers.
43. What did you do last night for dinner?  DO? Is there something to "DO" for dinner?  
44. Favorite smell? The natural smell of baby skin
45. What are you most afraid of? Someone hurting my kids.
46. Favorite day of the week? Fridays. Spouse comes home early and it is always a joyous occasion.
47. How many towns have you lived in? 7
48. Do you make friend easily?  I guess. I mean, sure! I'm the best person in the whole world! I have so many friends and everything is perfect!
49. Are you happy? see above answer.  

Whew. Made it.  

I tag: Jessica, Jane, Debbie, Megan Tew, and Brad Pitt (my most avid reader).

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Can I complain?

I don't mean that rhetorically.  I really want to complain.  I feel like whining and whimpering until everyone agrees that I've got it bad.  Pooh-hooo.

1. MY DISHWASHER IS BROKEN!  Yes, broken. I've been washing dishes by hand for two full days now.  Soooo many dishes.  Tonight as I made dinner I tried to economize, using the same bowl over and over so I didn't have to wash more.  Spouse and I have been too busy to even think about a plan of action. (I know. I obviously have enough time to write this post.)

2. #2! If you've been reading this blog for more than two weeks, you'll know that #2 is a challenge. I love that Buster more than anything, but some days are harder than others.  Today he was a fierce wild animal at his well-child visit.  With sweat dripping off my forehead, I wrestled him to the table so he could be examined.  There were immunization shots too. And then we went to this awesome park with a huge lake so the kids could blow off some steam and #2 managed to nearly drown himself, falling over the edge into the 5 foot deep water.  My heart is still recovering.  (Amazingly, as I was running in what seemed like slow motion, I watched him bob up and down a few times then grab onto the concrete ledge. He held his head out of the water until I got there) 

3.  MY FOCACCIA BREAD SUNK! Easiest bread on earth to make and somehow mine turned out like a thick cracker.  

4. MIKE HUCKABEE. Although, I feel a bit of satisfaction knowing he lost three states tonight.

5.  I'M PETERING OUT. Ok, when I started this email I felt like this list could go on and on. I guess getting it out has helped me feel less whiney.  

Thanks for the free therapy.  

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Estrella Ranch 5K

Today is a quintessential Arizona February day. 72 degrees, sunny and clear. Perfect for a 5k.

We (me and two friends) entered Estrella Ranch with our jaws hanging open. The sun was just rising and casting long shadows upon the saguaros and mesquite trees. We crossed the Salt River. It was full of water and life on its shores, including a tall white crane. The hills were green after all the rain we had last week. Arizona never seemed beautiful until that moment.

The race started at 9:15. We followed a path around a small lake, and then up a trail to the base of a small foothill. We crossed a few dry wash beds, with deep soft sand. Then back down the hill and around the lake to the finish line. It was a small race, so each person's name was called out as they crossed the line. I could hear my family cheering. It was over and I met my goal time.

Unlimited bananas, apples, pears and navel oranges were offered as well as balloons, face painting, and 3 huge inflatable obstacle courses for the kids. We stayed for an hour post race, making our cheeks pink from the sun.

Now our house is full of exhaustion, the good kind.

Park Day

This is what we do every Wednesday.

Dig in the sand. Come home filthy.

Get along with others. Learn to share and take turns.


Sunday, February 3, 2008

Puppy Party

#2 had a puppy party to celebrate his 3rd birthday (its actually tomorrow).

wii boxing