Thursday, December 24, 2009


I have a headcold. Bleah!

I had no intention of posting, but then as I was taking a break from cleaning and preparation for the Christmas Eve gathering we are having tonite, I read this post that a friend of mine wrote.

I had to go and Google the term "Festivus." I was never a Seinfeld fan. I think that I didn't have a TV or watch much TV during it's heyday in general.... but I have seen re-runs; and as I mentioned, not a fan. Just doesn't make me laugh much. Smirk occasionally, but not laugh.

All of that aside, in trying to explain some of her beliefs, my friend had used the term "Sacred" and did not seem to be getting any comprehension from the folks she was speaking to. So she asked them what they thought the word meant.

In thinking about the word "sacred" and what it means to modern society overall, I think that my friend really summed it up here:

"Perhaps nothing is sacred anymore, since the very concept of sacredness is becoming foreign. In some circles the idea of sacredness is distasteful–everything should be “equal” and therefore nothing should be ”special”, let alone special to the degree of “sanctity”."

What do you think Sacred means? Does it have any use in your everyday vocab, or is it defunct?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Henry Turns One

Wait... did we have a birthday around here?
Yep, Henry turned one on the 2nd. I threw together a cake, and it's an OK cake, it's just not the one I'd had in mind. I cannot remember for the life of me the reasons why I didn't do the cool blue and red polkadot fondant bit that I had planned on, but the fact that the kid is one and doesn't really care, and hadn't requested anything in particular eased the decision along, I am quite sure of it.

To be sure... he enjoyed the prep of the cake immensely.

He is such a big boy.

Overheard from Pearl: (breathing out vapors on a frosty morning in the front yard) "Look mama! It's my BRAIN SMOKE!"

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pearl: Age Four

Ahh! The dangers of FarceBook! I post pictures of Pearls birthday cake and then promptly crossed it off of my list.

Poor, poor neglected bloggy.

Sooooo.... the cake!

Behold my first attempt at covering a cake with fondant!

I learned from my small foray into store bought fondant with Birdie and Lilac's cakes in February; the stuff is only technically edible. As in, you can eat it, it won't hurt you, but it is naaasty! My SIL Gingerbird suggested that I try a homemade recipe for fondant that uses marshmallows and powdered sugar, and the Internets are rife with how-to videos on making it, so I gave it a whirl.

Highly recommend it. The texture and the flavor are more in the realm of "I could eat that" even if it is not quite "I'd like to eat that." Not even the kids could manage much more than a few bites, but then that may be because I went a little too thick with the white cover.

Ya'll, one recipe has a whole bag of powdered sugar, a whole bag of marshmallows and a half cup of shortening. Whuff, that's some challenging eatin' even for the younger set!

So yeah... too thick. Since this was my first ever try at covering a cake, and I was doing it with a bare hour to go before time to leave for Pirate Island for the party, I went thicker since I was afraid if the fondant cracked or tore, I would never get the job done in time. The result was a layer that was soo thick and heavy, it smooshed the whole cake down into a squashy couch cushion sort of a look. Not what I had intended, but it didn't look terrible either. I will do it different next time!

Behold! My four year old! Another area of excessive pride, but for vastly different reasons than the cake.

Thursday, November 05, 2009


It has seemed that my world has been washed out and tired the past week and a half; today I am seeing in color again.

I can also eat food with only a minimal assist from a glass of ice water.

To celebrate my new found freedom, I share with y'all the fun activity we are doing here in Chaos this month. We made a tree out of black butcher paper (cuz they didn't have any brown), and we write a thing we are grateful for on each leaf. We kicked it off on Monday evening as a part of Family Home Evening, and we add a leaf per person each evening. I hope that by Thanksgiving the kiddos will have an inkling of why we celebrate it., and I hope that the holiday will be a little more meaningful for them than, "whee! Punkin PIEEEE!"

That remains to be seen.

There is also an empty bird nest and a hole in the tree trunk where a family of owls live. It doesn't correspond with any cool moral lesson or anything, the girls insisted is all.

I have just decided to go and get a new leaf and write "Pirate Island" on it with glitter. Pearl has agreed that going to Pirate Island (the new Chuck E. Cheeze, only with better food) for her birthday will be just the thing. I hope that it will make the day special for her, as I will be hard pressed to do more than make a cake for the kid, and getting the house ready for a party is out of the question for me right now. Zero reserves.

Also there is the awkwardness that she thinks all of Birdies and Lilacs friends are her friends, and should come to her party. She is only just now starting to branch out and make friends of her own age in the hood, and I am not able to get it together enough to find out who she pals around with at pre-school. So yeah... a little "family party" that is extra special yet low-effort, is just the ticket.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Sunday Pic: I Will Survive

Strep throat? As it turns out,
maybe I had strep throat. Sure, I tested positive for strep, but as it turns out a person can be what is called a "carrier" for the strep, without actually having it.

So maybe I am a carrier and didn't have strep throat, instead I had a rather horrific mutant virus that swells a girl's entire soft tissues in the old throat-n-neck-y-o region and puts open ulcers all over her pharyngeal, tonsils, and uvula while also causing huge fevers and general misery.

Or maybe I had the strep and the virus together. Cuz I is spay-shull an' I gits to. No joke! So special, in fact, that I would like to point out, that while I am grateful that no one in this house came down with either said virus nor strep.... I find it highly suspect that no one else in this house came down with said virus nor strep.

The upshot of all of this is that I am still sick, and very likely have three days more to look forward to this; and by "this" I mean the open sores in the back of my mouth and down my throat. The self pity is of a wallowing depth, and I plan on taking a loooooong bath in it.

This also means that I missed Halloween. I missed it, and I have about as much grace about the fact that I had to miss it as any six year old might. For those of you who don't have kids, allow me to translate: tantrum. Good thing for everyone I am the mama... so I kept it a quiet one, but were tears shed? Yes. But it may be because I got mad enough to try to eat a piece of Halloween candy, and the sugar burned the crap out of my ulcers on the way down. The pink polyjuice potion looking crap the doc prescribed for me to gargle with thrice daily so that I can eat something, is really only up for the job of helping me choke down unseasoned soft scrambled eggs, or plain mashed potato and the like. Fun sized Butterfingers bar? Not so very much.

Here is a pic of Lilac and Pearl before they went to school for their parties and parades. I didn't even manage to get one of Birdie's re-vamped costume... I have nothing of Henry's super cute pirate costume and nothing of Dadguys poacher outfit that still makes me snort with laughter. Obviously I skipped a costume of my own, and went straight to for unkempt deathbed sort of a look.

... and I am remembering now that a few years ago when I had the "almost pneumonia" that I now realize was "actual pneumonia," I went through this whole thing of feeling rundown and I kept catching everything that came down the road and made you fell like ya wanted to die. I remember because this new doctor (one at the clinic that I had not ever been to see) wants to start trying to figure out if there is an underlying cause to all the creeping crud, or if maybe I am just lucky. He's starting with Diabetes. Pretty sure I don't have Diabetes, but this is where my last doctor started in the trying to figure what is my malfunction.

Anyway... all I am saying is now I remember: I have been here before, and yet I was able to get to a place where I was running and strong and feeling very, very good. I did it before, I will do it again. It's very possible that there is nothing wrong with me past the damage done from having my Henry boy-o. I know that pregnancy is a big strain on my body, and four pregnancies spaced fairly close together in my mid to late thirties? Perhaps I got off lucky with a little round of the "I-feel-sickies." So yeah, I am gonna wallow for a while, then go back and take a sugar test and then see where to go from there.

Cuz i am sick, but i am not beaten.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I have been nearly forty eight hours on a Z-pack, and I am still in a hell of having to screw up the courage to swallow water.

Strep throat, baby.... and I have no clue how people with a painful, terminal illness do it. I want to die, but the only thing that keeps me going is the knowledge that if this round of antibiotic doesn't work (as it appears to not be working) despite the repeated assurances from my doctors office that sometimes it just takes a little while to kick in, then I will go back to my @#$% doctor and demand something with a little kick... and some morphine.

It looks a lot more like mumps than it does strep. My neck and throat and, well, all soft tissues therein have gone hard. And rotted. And twice their original size.

I almost didn't write this post because I am so angry that I am so sick. Y'all, Dadguy took Monday and Tuesday off from work to play single-dad-nursie-maid for this family. I have not changed a diaper nor fixed a meal nor wiped a nose other than my own. I KNOW how lucky and blessed I am to have this man and this opportunity to be sick. Just sick. Sick the way that moms never get to be sick, and I am still flailing about and whining, shaking my spoiled fists.

This is why I cannot make more babies. My poor body is wide open to any bacteria or virus that mosey's down the pike, I have no immune system left. I am old.

Holycrap and I'm hungry. I am gonna go try to choke down some soup. Literally.

Friday, October 23, 2009

there is no title for this

My heart is tender, and although I know that it is not broken, right this minute it almost feels so. All for a thing that I had never thought to mourn, a thing about myself and my life that I have felt joyful, even gleeful about for well over a year.

I am done having babies. I have known well and solidly that I am done, and i won't bore anyone with the various and obvious reasons
(and a few personal reasons too) why I am done; because I just felt done. Done and done, and relieved to be so. Able to set about the rest of my mortality with all of that, fertility and timing and fretting about am or am not gone by the wayside, a dance for younger or more energetic women. I have indulged in this running countdown of lasts in my mind, gleefully treasuring up Henry's baby accomplishments. His unhurried pace through his life, the happy and almost senseless whanging around of his little fists all about his little boy person. So very done even before his arrival on earth, that I agreed to a c-section a bit easier than I think I normally might, just so I could have the tubal and have done with all of it, have that door shut for good.

Only earlier this week I realised I was late after a weekend of exhaustion and queasiness, and a suspiciously familiar itchy rash that had started again on my lower stomach two weeks earlier got me feeling a little uneasy. Then a friend from the neighborhood announced she was pregnant and had gotten so on the very same IUD that one of the OB's from the doctors office had tried to talk me into, proclaiming it had the same rate of efficacy as the more final surgical procedure I was asking for. And then somehow the tales of women started in a torrent, women who are right this minute pregnant in impossible circumstance. So I checked with Dr. Google, and sure enough, tubals done in conjunction with a c-section have a higher fail rate than the usual 1%. And then there is that 1% in normal circumstances.

And I have been waiting. On the one hand quite sure that I have just been put off schedule by the past month of pneumonia and colds, and on the other hand discovering...

...discovering to my shock and dismay, that there was a familiar flutter of hope.


As it turns out, I do have to mourn the passing of this time in my life; regret, after all, that there will be no more. I know, I know... I honestly suspect that my body might break irreparably if called on to create another life. I would be forty one. I know.

There are reasons and logic and knowledge... and then there is my heart, and of course I am not pregnant. This afternoon saw the start of the end of that brief hope.
There is my astonishingly fickle heart, and there, this little crack in it.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Who's Geekin' NOW, Baby!

We have been getting ready for Halloween; decorating and such. I thought I was going the extra mile for Birdie's costume, you know... the Jedi thing. But then I realized that I had stepped over the line when I started calling the brown criss-crossed thingies of her costume, the "tabards." And then I had to un-criss-cross them. With a seam ripper. Because they were not authentic.

The kid was pleased as punch with 'em, and yet I HAD to fix 'em anyway. And an "obi", I had to make her an "obi," otherwise known as a fabric under-the-belt thingummy, not because she wanted them, but because I had to. Oh yeah... and I got a "gi" or Tae Kwando tunic (five bucks at the secondhand shop) , and then I had to dye it so it was not so very stark white, so it matched the tabards and obi better. But because I am a Mormon housewife, I had no tea or coffee to dye it off-white. So yeah.... I don't know for sure if it was the baking cocoa powder or the Pero or the Orange Zest Herbal tea or the vanilla extract that did the job, but I suspect it was the cocoa. Don't try this at home y'all... it smelled like someone vomited in a large dish of potpourri and then cooked it. Dadguy still shudders.

The deed is done, but there will be no costume preview this time. I may have sucked the fun out of the Jedi. All Birdie cares about is the robe, the lightsaber and a hook to hang it on. She will wear the whole she-bang for the festivities, and I'll get pictures then, but I am not gonna chivvy the poor girl back into the whole get-up one more extra time... not even for posterity. Unless she wants to! And then WHEEEEE! I am so proud and yet so ashamed all at the same time.

As a consolation prize to the two younger girls I made them each a new skirt from the fabric of their choosing. This is Lilac's. Those are little kittens wearing scarves on her skirt. Unfortunately I didn't catch Pearl's skirt as it went through the wash though.... the fabric had millions of little sequin sparkly things all over that apparently were stuck on with some sort of adhesive that lets go in the heat of the dryer cycle. I will be both picking wee magenta sparkles out of the laundry from here to eternity and making a new skirt for the kid. Sorry Pearl.

What do ya think? Shall I whip together an "Uncle Fester" robe for the guy?

Interior Design: Three Year Old Version

Saaaaay, thanks Pearl, I needed a Q-Tip right there. Brilliant move sticking it on with BubbleMint Toothpaste!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


So the kid is hitting his milestones more or less. Not exactly winning the old "developmental derby" I guess you could say, but he's been crawling and pincer grasping and all that sort of stuff.

Except for eating. He's really good at eating.

Advanced even!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday Pic: Halloween Preview

I finished Birdie's costume this weekend. I must admit to being excessively proud of that which I have wrought. Bird is pretty thrilled too, although you'd have a bit of a time telling from her expression on most of the shots I took to document the final product.

She already had the pants, shoes, and the brown t-shirt, so I used an old bedsheet to make up the criss-crossed portions. Technically this whole thing would be much more accurate if we had a karate gi (the shirt part of the uniform) to go over the t-shirt but under the criss-crossed parts. If I happen to find a used gi at a second hand shop, then "yay!" but I am not holding my breath, and I am not putting much more $$ toward this outfit than the thirty odd bucks that we already have. In any case, she is in love with it already.

I made the boot toppers and the belt out of some pleather sort of stuff that I got at Wallyworld for about five bucks. The robe fabric was the big score though; I got three yards for a grand total of seven dollars. The fabric is very thick and soft.
A couple of bucks for some hooks that I used for the robe clasp, and on the belt to hold the saber, little bit of velcro for the backs of the boot toppers and "cha-CHING!" there ya go. It is amazing what can be done via the awesome advice and how-to Youtube videos that are available on the Internets.

...and yes, yes I am aware that her light saber is the wrong color for a Jedi. Just ask yourself how big of a geek you must be to point that detail out to a happy little seven year old girl.


Friday, October 02, 2009


1. I am changing LaLa's blog name at her request. She will further more, and henceforth be known as Lilac.

2. Lilac, Pearl and the next-door-neighbor-girl made some glittery dance-contest award ribbons for the All-Girl-Super-Fun-Dance-Party and there seems to be no end to the stray flecks of glitter. Henry seems to always be sporting at least on bit of glitter on his head at any given time. The girl's refer to it as his "Pet Sparkle." I have know idea why.

3. I no-longer feel like hot buckets of raw sewage. I merely feel like poo. YAY!

4. We had a bumper crop of grapes this year, and since my mama moved into a town just a 45 minute drive away, I thought I'd con her into teaching me how to can grape juice. She came and we put away approximately two dozen quarts of grayish greenish juice. I am veeeery proud and pleased, and very put-out with the dough-heads that I live with who have declared they don't like it.

5. Am up for suggestions and recipes to slide this stuff past the picky palettes of my kids.

6. My chest no longer sounds wheezy and gurgly. The sound that is makes is now describable only when I liken it to the sound of Pop Rocks. Dadguy does not find this sound to be a turn on. Whatever.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Satisfaction. Sort Of.

Obviously I am not happy to be sick. Obviously. It sucks, and it takes a while to be clear of this kind of yuck.

But I cannot deny a certain satisfaction with the diagnosis. It's good to put a name on feeling like hot buckets of raw sewage. It was also particularly satisfying at the doctors office, in a third grade mocking "faaaace!' sort of a way. Too bad I have to have pneumonia to have that sort of "satisfaction."

And I hate to play the weight card, but I have to wonder as I look back on my experience, if I had not had one of those "fat hating" health care providers that I have heard about but never encountered. Really though, there is no telling. I have heard on the occasion that I rub folks wrong, and my daddy says that I do not suffer fools well. Perhaps she was just a lousy nurse, or a nurse having a lousy day. Who knows, but here is what happened:

Nurse calls my name and I walk back to the exam rooms with her. She indicates that I should get on the scales and then ushers me back to the room. Looking back on it now, I realize she has skipped the part where she is supposed to take my temperature. But if I noticed at the time I wouldn't have cared much. I never run a fever... as a matter of fact, my regular temp is exactly 97.5 and has been since my early twenties, so I never worry about it. I get strep and don't burn y'all... I just don't.

She takes my blood pressure and it's a little high. Then she sits down with the lap top to start taking notes.

"So, how long have you had this cold?"

"Oh, it's not a cold. I just started with a wheezing and a gurgling sound in my chest last Saturday, then I started feeling achy, supersensitive skin, and fatigued and sore joints yesterday."

"Ok... so you've had symptoms for five days?" She begins typing in.

"Nooooo.... it's been longer than five days."

She looks up and narrows her eyes, "you started with this cold last Saturday?"

"Yes, that's when it started, but it's not a cold. A cold comes with feeling like I have a cold."

"So five days." Resumes typing.

"Um, isn't today Friday?"


"So how is that five days?"

She holds up her hand like she is explaining math to a four year old.... yet again. "Well, you came down with symptoms on Saturday, so that's Sunday," holds up a finger, "Monday," another finger goes up. She continues counting till she get to six and then grudgingly says, "OK. Six then."

I really should let this drop, but I feel like crap and want to be taken seriously. Besides, why the heck is she trying to minimize my symptoms? Why won't she just listen to what I am saying? "So, if I started with symptoms on Saturday, don't you count Saturday?"

"Yes. I counted Saturday."

"Then that's seven days isn't it?" I watched her count again in her head. Her fingers twitch as she goes.

"Fine. Seven." She isn't even pretending to be nice nursie now.

"Yeah. Seven days. But I felt fine until yesterday."

She tippity taps for a few minutes, and then announces that the Doctor will be in in a minute, and leaves.

Y'all, I felt really sick and a little scared. I wasn't watching closely, so I am not sure what was going on with this woman... it could be that I pissed her off in a personal way. Who knows. But the nurse comes in with the doctor ten minutes later and the doc sits down with the lap top and asks the room in general "OK! What is going on with Mrs Chaos here?"

Nurse pipes up from the corner "she has had a cold for seven days."

I know myself well enough to guess that any "polite face" I may have had until that point is gone. I think she is an idiot and I am pretty sure it shows. "This is NOT a cold. I know what a cold is, this is something different."

More discussion and I am getting frustrated. I start to suspect that the doctor believes his nurse over his patient as he asks yet again if I am having any nasal congestion.

Finally he looks in my ears and down my throat and sees nothing. Listens to my lungs and now he starts to engage a little. "OK, well I am definitely hearing somemedicalterm in your left lung. What was her temperature nurse?"

"Um. I didn't take her temp."

"Please do that now," he snaps.

She jumps and the better part of 102 degrees later the doc is ordering influenza tests and a lung xray. This is the last I see of this nurse, and that's GOOD thing, because her replacement is the one who puts the shot in my caboose, and I am betting that could have gone worse than it did.

And now that I have written this whole post, I see how laughable I am. I am an easy target, and my daddy is sooooo right about me! MWahahahahahahaaaaaaa!

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Saturday I got a funny gurgle in my chest, but other than that I felt fine.

Sunday I got a wild hair and decided it would be fun to throw a dance party for the girls, so I took aim at Thursday and we got to planning. We hand made some invitations, got some prizes at the dollar store, some treats, a couple packages of balloons and broke out the Christmas lights. Planning and preparing for the party was really fun, but I always forget how much work goes into the simplest of gigs. So Thursday found LaLa, Pearl, the next door neighbor girl and I blowing up balloons downstairs after morning Kindergarten. We put the final touches on the party but I was starting to feel just a little funky.

I had had a hard time blowing up balloons, and actually had to put the smaller ones aside because I couldn't even get them started. During the party I started to sweat profusely, but I chalked that up to dancing around in the basement with a bunch of sweaty little girls. They tended to dance a little crazy and smack each other around like a good old fashioned mosh pit if not given a little direction.

"NOW let's dance the pogo!" demonstrate.
"NOW let's do the twist!" demonstrate.
"NOW a Congo line!" You get the picture.

Then they took turns picking the style of dance as I jiggled Henry on my hip, and then everyone got a turn doing a solo dance for the admiring crowd. A half an hour after the last girlee left I was barely able to stand. I washed the dishes, and tried to think up a dinner but when Dadguy got home he took one look at the mess that was me, and sent me to bed.

Two x-rays and a couple of shots in the caboose later, turns out I have pneumonia. Dang guys, I HATE pneumonia.

At least it isn't H1N1. I woulda felt all kinds of lousy about throwing an inadvertent Swine Flu party.


Friday, September 11, 2009

And Yet Some More Pictures

It appears that all I am good for these days are pictures.

But what lovely pictures they are!

On Labor Day we went with Grandpa and a cousin to a little carnival that was a couple of towns away, and we dropped a small fortune on some rickety looking rides. After wandering through the various stalls of other ways to spend $$ we decided to just go home and make some popcorn and snow cones and get some homemade face painting done. Between the four girls getting butterflies on their faces and treats for their tummies, I am betting we saved more than forty bucks. It was do that or hit the ATM, and I feel comfortable with our choice.

Oh... and treats for the adults! Make that around $50 to $60!

She looks pretty comfortable with our choice too.

To say nothing of being downright, stinkin' CUTE!

The cousin looked great too.... but I don't know how her mama feels about her pic being on the internets... so ya get the Bird! Ta DA!

Last but not least, Tuesday was Pearls first day of her first year of Preschool. She picked this outfit at the store herself, and I think she did great. I think this is the first year I have taken pictures of the kids "first day of school" outfits... what a great way to mark the passage of time. Don't know why it took me so long to start doing it too. Am shmoe.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Redneck Too-tor-yul

Now, I b'lieve I promised y'all some foe-toe-bloggery. Guess now's a good-a time uz inny to give y'all a too-tor-yul on th'care an' maintenance of a ring stacker whatsit.

First off... y'all gotta take iss business perty serious-like, no jackin' round. You screw the pooch on iss baby, ain't NO stackin' goan be happenin', and that jiss ain't FUN.

Getcher self a grip on th' whatsit. Now some folks think y'all kin be jiss grabbin' atcher toys all willy-nilly in a one hander grip. M'self I don't recommend it. Naw. Y'all gonna wanna give this step some real consideration.

Jiss one thangs fer sure... Not. Like. Iss.
Take a good look y'all, this is what's known in th' business as "bass-ack-ward." Ain't nuthin' goan stack on a tumped over bit o' crazy like iss bad-boy here, and on top uh that? The yaller stick part come half unscrewed from the base of the whatsit, ever time ya grip it like iss.

Don't do it.

Now, if ya'll have loosened up yer yaller stick part from the base, jiss grab that sucker like iss and give 'er a righty-tighty. Don't be stingy with the torque now. I'll wait while ya git 'er done.

Once ya git that yaller stick all snug as a bug, ya shift yer grip and shaZAM! Y'all are good to go!

An at's whatcha call ring stack ready! This yere's my fav-rit grip, the two handed straight-up-n-down! And yer ready to stack.

An' that's what ya call a redneck too-tor-yul.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

LaLa Goes To Kindy-garten

So wow, yeah... LaLa is at her first day (half day?) of Kindergarten right now. I dropped her off at school and then took Henry and Pearl in the double stroller for a walk. Finally.

It is so liberating to just have the two. I can just walk. And here I am, posting on the old bloggy; Pearl is downstairs getting reacquainted with Diego, and Henry is visiting the Sandman. And I am glad for these small mercies, but today they just underscore how low my standards have sunk. How little I expect from myself or for myself outside of the realm of motherhood and wifery.

A few of my favorite bloggers have posted recently and I find that I cannot even comment on their posts because everything I have to say is self-pity slop. And envy; envy when I know better than to compare my reality with the teeny slice of reality that I see of another's life.

I also recently read this really stupid feminist rant about an equally stupid anti-feminist article and the parts of it that stuck out to me (other than the fact that both sets of folks were giving us all a good view of their posteriors) was a bit about how babies give their mommies a sort of narcotic high. Oxytocin I believe was what the more scientific-minded called it. While I am as google-headed as the next mommy over my fat friar of a Henry-boy... I think I am getting gypped in the contact high department.

Have you seen Phoebe in Wonderland? It's a beautiful movie, thoughtful and well done, and well acted... there is a part though, that resonated in me so much that it hurt. The mom and the father are talking while raking leaves, and the mom character is explaining that she is angry that she isn't writing, and how she is afraid that when she is 70 that she will be going on endlessly about her children because she won't
have anything else, because she won't have done anything important. And then she is mad because sometimes she isn't scared of that at all, because her children make her live.

Only my children don't make me live. I don't think so anyway.

I find myself with this carrot of "in six years" dangling in front of my mental nose... like some holy grail of motherhood. This "when they are all in school" fantasy that I will be able to do creative things again. That I will be able to write then. I tell myself that I cannot write now because I am so tired and distracted... that perhaps if I had the energy of a younger mother I could do it.

Sorry LaLa... don't mean to steal your thunder. I am so very proud of you, and you are so ready for this time in your life.

Just that some days I wish that I was ready for this time in my life.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Naw... this jist filler til the REAL photobloggin' starts. Purely infer-mational.

First off... TLC 9:00 PM on Sunday August 30th, for the "Your Kid Ate What?" thingy. Again, while I must be fair in stating that the story of what happened with the Pearl-girl really was pretty convoluted... what you will see has couple of facts glaringly wrong, so wrong in fact, that they (the production company) cannot even change them KNOWING that they are wrong. As in the footage is shot and cobbled together and they can't really tweak anything they have to fit the truth. Apparently they make heavy use of actors doing dramatizations of what happened. I can only surmise that the people who wrote the script, never got within five feet of my blog, any of the endless footage that I sent, OR the hours of taped interview of both Dadguy and myself re-hashing the details ad nauseum.


We never had an ambulance come to our house.

And not that it matters (though obviously it matters to me)... you will never hear the phrase "Thank God" out of my mouth. As in, "everything turned out OK, thank God!" I am not saying there is anything wrong with saying it, only I am super, super careful about how I use the name of Deity. Is a personal choice that I have made, fueled by the many years that I was very care-LESS about what I said or how, and I just want to make that clear. Kinda like in the Book of Mormon how there was that batch of Lamanites who, when they were converted to Christianity and realized that murder was so wrong they buried their weapons of war and vowed never to take them up again... and then they didn't. Not even to defend their own lives, to the point of kneeling before those who would slay them and offering their lives, and then being slaughtered until not even their enemies could stomach it any longer. Like they went super extreme the other way. So yeah, it's kind of like that only not as dedicated, or meaningful or cool or anything.

Anyway, it's just this thing I have... and they have the gal who plays me say it at one point, and I would never say that.

I know, I know... get over it already woman!

Look at my beautiful Bird on her first day of second grade!

She is LOVING the Potter.
(I edited out her RL name that she had originally put into this drawing)

Grandpa sent the girls a book on How To Draw Baby Animals... this is LaLa's baby bunny. These kids! They KILL me!

This is pure Pearl... and if I know her, this bug is named either "Twilight" or "Sara-tee."

*Edited to add: I just asked Pearl what the human bugs name was, she floored me by replying "Eee-ook." There is a new name in town.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Bag

Walking home from the school playground this evening, Birdie and LaLa have ridden their two-wheelers on ahead and are waiting for us on the front lawn. I am pushing Henry and Pearl in the double stroller as Pearl and I chat companionably about the things we see. Pearl does a sharp intake of breath and turns around in the stroller to look me in the eye and says, "Mama! Today is the day that the earth worms DIE!"

"They die?"
"Yes, they die and then they go up to worm heaven!"
"Worm heaven, huh? Is that a beautiful place for worms to go?"
"Yes. But the bad-guy worms... they go in the bag."

Seriously though, check this out

and then look over here.

Friday, August 07, 2009


With four kids, one of them a baby, ya own a lot of stuff.

Correction: We own a lot of stuff.

There are clothes, and toys, sparkly stickers, and dishes, and food of all the various sorts that all the various and bizarre eaters eat in this house. And then since we are LDS, there is also the food storage and 72 hour emergency kits. There are DVD's, bandaids, computers, tools, magazines and books. Artwork, pencils, rubber bands, papers, mail, bills, ribbons, documents, bedding, toiletries, cleaners, laundry, boxes, furniture...


And the incomprehensible little people of this house moving these things, all of these things all of the time, around in inexplicable patterns and for no knowable reasons. Things that it would never occur to my adult brain to do or to move or to use to play a rousing game of Power Puff Petshop Potter Menace.

It is this aspect, the stuff-management part of my job description; this aspect of being a mother of four children that is sitting on my brain and making my chutzpah scream "uncle!" Today I took LaLa and Pearl to the local department store sale to choose a new backpack each. Later this evening after enjoying being in the audience of our own "pajama/backpack fashion show," complete with catwalk soundtrack and much swishing and posing by three little girls, I gathered together the three backpacks in one place and looked around my front room for a good place to put them. These packs will, after all, be in play nearly every day this up coming school year. But they are pretty darn big, the backpacks... and I already have valuable space taken up by the coat rack and the shoe basket that will also be getting lots of action come cold weather and (gulp) the snow. Plus the paperwork; the blizzards of papers and art projects and flashcards and memos that I can count on from a second grader, a kindergartner and a pre-schooler, these storms of paperstuffs
that are soon to grace this home.

Then it dawned on me... in three short years (and the years are getting shorter and shorter lemme TELL you!) I will have four backpacks to shuffle. Holy permission slips Batman, I am feeling dizzy.

S'cuze me a minute...

Thursday, July 30, 2009


For some reason I am lacking in gumption these days. Perhaps all of it has evaporated in the summer heat, I dunno... but by golly I am gonna fake it for a while. I would tell you that in the interest of faking it, I am writing this post. Only that would be a big, fat lie. In the interest of avoiding a bunch of smelly, dirty dishes I am writing this post.

What? YOU can't smell them from that side of the computer screen. So hush.

So... we've done a few things this summer, and this is show and tell day. First off, LaLa has this thing for instructive video clips on the D!sney version of y0utube. She gets ideas for cake decorating and crafts, and then she wants to do them. I have caved on a few projects and treats. The flipflops were one of them. I thought to myself... "some cheep flip flops and a little frippary, how much can that cost?"

I'll tell ya. Plenty.

The flip flops set me back a total of four fifty total, for the three of them. The frippary, on the other hand, cost a titch over twenty five bucks. Geesh!

Birdie's flops

Pearl's flops.

LaLa's flops.

There has also been some artwork happening... and sadly, LaLa is gonna get short shrift here. Most of her stuff has actual Chaos Names embedded IN the pictures themselves, and I forgot where my image editor has gone. Is probly on Dadguy's laptop, but if I try and get all particular right now, this post will never get writ. Besides... Henry's gonna get slid on by in the artwork department altogether, as his creations are of a "treasure rock" variety, and nobody wants to see THAT!

Birdie kinda knocked my socks off with this one.

This one too! We are on a Star Wars kick lately. She wants to be Qui Gon Jinn for Halloween. I am delighted with her costume choice once again.

This is LaLa's rendition of Aipom, a Pokemon... would be a little more impressive if I could find the picture she referenced when she painted it. Still, I love that she is another artist!

Here... found this at least.

Pearl expresses herself with a paint brush, and honestly, I cannot fathom how she manages to get such lovely and vivid colors out of her scabby and muddy box of overmixed pans of watercolors.

And she expresses herself with some of my lip gloss... most of my lip gloss.

I draw some too, mostly for the amusement and instruction of the kids, but still...

Henry mostly just works on being dang cute.

...and we all of us just sing our way through the days. Some of us louder than others. Poor Henry. Welcome to your childhood with three older sisters.

And lastly, Dadguy has been working on another iPhone app... this time a little game that is already a huge hit in the Chaos household. Is called Meeps... check it!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Oh-Kaaaaay Maaamaaaaaaah

It's a fact... Dadguy has written five posts to his iPhone developer blog since my last post. And five to his new "Meeps" blog. This is wrong on soooo many levels. Not that he is posting to his blogs... but that I am not.

School starts in three weeks, and I am very excited for this, but I think that I have begun to put everything off till that time.

Sighhhh. This is not working so well for me. I feel out of control.

Because. Oh yeah. I AM out of control.

Still, there is fun stuff happening and the kids are growing and going and doing. The Art work, for instance. It's a little unnerving the quality of the creations around here. Like I'll be fixing dinner and the kids will be drawing at the table and I take a glance over a shoulder and I'll have to stop and pick my jaw up off the floor. That good! Sadly I have lost track of the example of the "Power Pup Girls" that LaLa drew... but I will be posting a gallery of various masterpieces. Soon.

At this rate? Expect it next year.

And reading. Birdie is off and reading the first Harry Potter book. I started reading it with her, but I guess I am just not fast enough.

LaLa is so ready for school. She will be reading pretty fluently by the end of Kindygarten... I can tell. In most ways she is farther along than Birdie was.

Pearl. She reads too. But to her, everything reads as follows: "Dear, dear, dear Pearl!" Ask her. She'll tell you!

Thursday, June 25, 2009


So about that last post? It's hormonal. I remember now that I get super-freaky-hormonal when I quit nursing and start mensing. This time I was caught off guard by the "panic" aspect that my personal brand of freak-out took, but in the end, it's just more of the same. Perhaps because I am mensing and nursing? Nevertheless...

It's hormonal, and progesterone cream takes care of it.

So yesterday was pretty landmarkish for me. Only the signposts I was passing were subtle, and I am not sure if I understood what they said. Or where I am.

Perhaps I am in Belgium. But no... the chocolate would be better in Belgium, don't you think?

Yesterday Dadguy and I went in to Orem to sign the papers for our refinance. We are moving from a 30 year FHA to a 15 year conventional loan. I find this strangely titillating. That too must be my currently unbalanced hormones.


Anyways, the gal who was doling out papers to sign pointed out that my driver's license had expired on my birthday, a week or so back. Did I tell mention that I turned forty on the twelfth? No joke! I did! Forty! Perhaps THAT'S why everything seems so strangish and new. Maybe I am now dwelling in FORTYLAND; home of the mid-life crisis and shifting hormonal balances!

But I digress... since all the kiddos were at home with a babysitter, I took the opportunity to run by the DL Renewal office on my way home to get a new one. Thankfully, I had actually put on make-up that morning; I don't always. But I had not wanted to go into some posh financial institution with the normal glob of spit-up-on-the-shoulder and snot-wiped-on-the-pants-leg look that I usually sport nowadays. The picture of the lady on the new card was a lovely representation of forty years old. With make-up.

That was when I noticed that the address on my old license is my current address. Another landmark right there. Since the day that I started driving and toting around a card with my picture on it that says I get to... this was the first time that had ever happened to me. Heck... I have now lived at my current home for longer than I have ever lived anywhere, either before or after the advent of my license to scare the crap out of my parents and send their insurance premiums soaring.

All four of my children have come home from the hospital to this house.

This is the little house, that when Dadguy and I discovered we were pregnant with Birdie... we chose the lot and picked the floor plan, colors and carpets for this house. We caused this house to be built, and then we put in landscaping, fencing and finished the basement over the past eight-years-this-Thanksgiving.

And now, we have just refinanced, digging in for the next umpteen years. I spent the better part of my thirties living in this house, I could conceivably spend the entirety of my forties here. It feels like this means something... but I have no idea what.

There is some sort of meaning at a tectonic level here; that I have surpassed even my childhood in terms of stability, and I had a stable and good childhood. Not that simply not moving from apartment, to house, to house means "stability," only in this case, to my heart, it sort of does. It is some sort of metaphor for my life as a wife to Dadguy and a mother to his children.

Like it is a physical manifestation of the haven that we are building for the Chaos family. How interesting. I think it is no coincidence that this Sunday I teach a lesson based on the talk "Sacred Homes, Sacred Temples" in Relief Society.

And isn't it great, this "blogging" thing. After having written this post I think I can now start to decipher the signs and markers of yesterday that stirred me so. Home. Progression. Thriving. Growing. Nurturing.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Panic In The Streets


Something has happened to me. Is happening to me?

I am afraid that if I write about it... what? It will be real, finally? I will have to do something about it? Somehow, that writing about it will make it into a big fat fuss when it's really nothing? Will it offend people who suffer from panic attacks to read my recounting of a couple of episodes of I-don't-know-what-but-it-might-be-panic-attacks, because really, I am just being a schmo?

I have probably not been having panic attacks. But I have been having... something. I have had a bit of tightly wound something that has been noticeable since I went into the mission field (I served a stateside LDS mission in my late 20's). Tightly wound. And that's the nice way of putting it.

The summer after Pearl got out of the hospital I got a little taste of an all new something though; a something that has hit me rather hard the past few weeks. I remember that Pearl still had her g-tube in, so it was probably in June, and we were at an amusement park just North of Salt Lake City, they have this big Ferris wheel that had extra-large, round baskets that easily held our whole family. A person would have to try really hard to get hurt on this thing, and we were there to have fun, and while I don't love heights, Ferris wheels seem pretty tame to me. But I fully freaked out on the ride.

I had my kids there, so I didn't get all screamy and outwardly freaked, but my heart was pounding, I was sweating, gallons of adrenaline were being dumped into my system and I cried steadily and quietly for most of the ride.

I'll buy that it was just some PTSD from the whole experience of the close call with Pearl, followed by her grueling recovery, and I hadn't much worried about it; till now.

This past spring we took the whole family plus my eighteen year old niece to Denver to visit my sister and her family. It was around the middle of April, so when my sister called the morning were we leaving to make the drive, to express her concerns about us making it through Vail Pass safely, I took it seriously, only sort of not. How bad can it get in April?

I'll tell you.... bad. Really, really, really bad.

And we were in our brand new
(to us... it's a 2008) van. A Kia Sedona, that for as nice as it is, has this feature called ESC... a sort of equalizing traction thingy that is it's default mode. A default mode that, while I am sure it is great for keeping you from hydroplaning or slipping in a patch of sand on the highway, has the unfortunate side effect of undermining the power the van needed to make it up an icy, snow covered mountain road. We know that this feature is called ESC now, because after 20 minutes of slipping about and physically pushing the van up the mountain a few inches at a time in the dark, with other vehicles slewing about past us... we pushed the button that said "ESC off" out of desperation (inspiration?).

It must be stated here that, as we were driving off the lot with our new van, we spent over 15 minutes pouring over the owner's manual and pushing that button trying to figure out what it did to no avail.

Now we know.

Once we were finally to a safer place, my hands started to shake and I started to cry. I don't mean a tremble in my hands, I mean I would not have been able to hold a glass with a half inch of water in the bottom of it without giving myself a shower. Which, you might just think that this was perhaps a warranted reaction to what we had just been through... I would like to point out that no one else was having this kind of reaction. Just me, and it took every last bit of my will and determination to not make a big scene out of it. I think that I should also say, I am not having visions of disasters replaying in my head while this is happening. I am not obsessing myself into freak-out. This is a physical thing and it's pissing me off.

Most recently, Dadguy and I have been looking at some mountain lots for possible purchase. We want to eventually have a cabin, and Dadguy has stumbled onto this area that has what we want... and we can actually afford some of it.

Only it's been really rainy lately. And apparently I have developed a "thing" about muddy dirt roads as well as icy roads. Because really... y'all... I have been stuck in the mud before and it is not the end of the flippin' WORLD!

And I mean really stuck, in some world-class, mud-season mud in Vermont's puckerbrush back of nowhere, in what the truly erudite would call "bee-eff-ee." Solidly stuck in the snow in New Hampshire in a whole bunch of places.
I have been spectacularly high-centered in a sandy wash in the tooley-bops outside of Farmpit, New Mexico in the middle of the night, and I, those who were with me, and the vehicles involved in each case, survived. This is not a Zombie Apocalypse we are talking about here.

But lately the adrenaline starts coursing, my hands start shaking and I get this note in my voice that I cannot stop.

I cannot stop.

And I hate this. I cannot stop it from happening, and it sucks down vast portions of my energy and personal reserves. Leaves me feeling wrung out and weepy.

I am not excited about being this way. I am not this way. Dadguy says that this is uncharacteristic of me, and frankly, he's only seeing the bit that is slipping through the cracks. The rest is a slavering, rabid dog tearing huge chunks of my insides out. But I am not really sure what to do. These episodes are so spread out, I'd hate to spend all of my regular non-panicking life being medicated for these relatively isolated instances. And really, I am still moving and sort of functioning while it's happening.

Only I have had two in the past two weeks, and this scares me.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

...And By "We," I Mean "Me"

So here are some pictures of the tile in the kitchen/entryway. The tiles are 16"x16" Montagne Belluno tiles from Home Depot. The grout is Mapei brand in "Chamois."

Do I love it? Why, yes... yes, I do.

When we put tile in the bathrooms- more Belluno in the main bath, and slate in the master bath- we discovered that the sink vanities no longer fit. The things were not high-quality, and I have never loved them, so when it came time to decide if we were gonna pay to have them fitted in, leave them skee-whompus-but-functional or replace; we decided to replace, especially since the one in the main bathroom had water damage, both at the base and in the counter top. We are trying to manage our pennies, so I hit the local Craigslist type website and found a gorgeous hardwood and granite, vessel style sink/vanity that I loved. I talked the lady down $200... and went and picked it up for a measly $450 (kof kof!).

And then I realised that I needed to cut down the top to make it fit, my pretty counter top that I had measured over, and over, and over again. It wouldn't fit because where the hot water came out of the wall. So another $75 to get it cut and the edges refinished... and here I will put in an unsolicited plug for a great company in Orem called "Marble and
Granite Solutions." They rock, har har har! Seriously though... they took the time for a teensy job like mine without once rolling their eyes or making me feel dumb. Kudos, guys! You will get my business if I can ever afford the lovely counter tops you make!

Then the drainpipe wouldn't fit... so some pretty chrome plumbing... $30. My next door neighbor, the guy we hired to do the tile work got it installed snugly and pretty (involved saws, chisels, drills and the like to make it tight): $100.

And then it became apparent that we needed to paint before all this went in. Can of paint, Ralph Lauren in a pretty grey called "Polaris." Approximately $30.

Yeah... I managed our pennies right into brokesville, thank-you-very-much. But it looks really pretty.

Still needs some shelving above the toilet, and something like this for the bottom shelf (as Dadguy will point out, the only shelf )of the vanity. But I think we will just love what we have for a while.

This next week I hope to get around to painting the main bath and taking pictures of my farrrrr more reasonably priced solution in there. Stay tuned.