Monday, December 6, 2010

WikiLeaks = stupidity!

I have stated before that I am all about our rights. Free speech is a big one and one I support. I will never be able to state enough that personal responsibility and accountability has got to come in to play. Just because we can say or do something due to these rights we have been given does not mean that it is the right thing to do. Having rights and being right can be very different things.

Many are saying that this WikiLeaks thing is a free speech/free press thing. They have the right to say what they want. While I know other countries have many freedoms we enjoy I find it interesting that a group that is largely made up of non-Americans is hiding behind the First Amendment. The way I understand it is we have the right to say what we feel, follow the religion we choose, and the press has the right to report on what it chooses even if the government thinks national security may be threatened and does not have to reveal it's sources. Actually sharing stolen secret information in it's entirety doesn't seem to really fall into that category. I may be wrong. I don't know everything and with 2 sick kids have no time to actually research a ton though firstamendmentcenter.org and this page specifically on freedom of press was helpful and informative. I did look on wikipedia and found the last paragraph on international significance to be very interesting. I have been pretty impressed with the newspapers involved, at least the New York Times, because they have made sure to edit out info that puts lives at risk. They have shared info that has been embarrassing absolutely but they have made the effort to protect our interests and deserve commending for that.

Today on CNN I saw this article. Each day I have felt what I am sure millions have felt. A growing anger and even a dash of fear at the impact these "whistle blowers" could have on our security. Then today's article. To sum it up our State Department asked our diplomats from around the globe to identify key locations around the world that impact U.S. security. We are talking things like communications pipelines, chemical and mineral areas critical to our industry, dams, mines. The list goes on. CNN did not publish the list in an effort to maintain some semblance of security and I salute them for it.

As this has progressed over the last months I have wholeheartedly supported the espionage label. Sharing stolen documents, many labeled as secret and classified for a reason, with the public just reeks of at the very least a heavy disdain for the U.S. and at most a desire to see us destroyed. WikiLeaks and their lovely leader may not be pulling the trigger but they are handing the gun to someone who is more than happy to do so and in my book that is just as bad. This newest release seems to be sliding over that line from espionage into terrorism IMHO. Assange was already inching that way by distributing a large compressed encrypted "insurance policy" file. He said that he distributed the file with even more damaging info and that if the attacks on him and the website persisted he would release the key and unlock the information. What kind of whistle blower tries to blackmail people? I am beyond disgusted with this man and his organization. He is putting more lives than he can count at risk and he refuses to take any form of responsibility. All he is doing is being a good Samaritan and sharing with the public what they have the right to know. Please...... He is a bottom feeder who wanted to find a way to make a name for himself and this was the way he was going to do it. Hurt as many people as possible. How's that working out so far? It only gets better. Trust me.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pedophile's Guide is fine because it is free speech?

I am all about our rights. I think free speech is great. I do think just because we can doesn't always mean we should but then I have the tendency to actually listen to the voice in my head that is my moral compass. Today on Facebook a number of friends posted a link about a book Amazon was selling that needed to be reported as inappropriate. It is a self-published book called "The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child Lover's Code of Conduct". You read that right. A guide. For pedophiles. On how to behave with their "child lover". I'll give you a moment to go wash your mouth out and clean up the puke from where ever it landed. . . . . . . . . . . Back? Clean? Need a mint? I am disgusted. What is also disgusting to me is that Amazon is selling this trash. One blog has a response from Amazon basically saying that while they may not always agree with the material they are not in the business of judging but of selling to a massive audience whatever they want to buy. Like pedophiles who want a guide. The little blurb for this book reads:

This is my attempt to make pedophile situations safer for those juveniles that find themselves involved in them, by establishing certian rules for these adults to follow. I hope to achieve this by appealing to the better nature of pedosexuals, with hope that their doing so will result in less hatred and perhaps liter sentences should they ever be caught.


Really. An attempt to help pedophile situations safer and sentences lighter when caught by creating a code of conduct. AND Amazon is selling it. To people. For profit. All I envision, and with my imagination the picture is on an IMAX screen in 3D with major surround sound, are the creepy kiddy porn nasties who have not actually gone through with hurting someone buying this book. They get their little "guide" and then they put it to use and so another pedophile enters the world and another helpless child is victimized because this piece of lovely literature was available on Amazon. The writer disgusts me and Amazon disgusts me and I am no longer going to be shopping with them. I may HATE crowds but I will do my Christmas shopping in person rather than on this site. Despicable to support the sale of this filth. I went to the books page on Amazon a reported it as inappropriate with a wonderful email. I hope they get enough hate emails to remove it.


Update: Looks like Amazon heard all of the comments (there were thousands) it was getting and took it down. Or it realized how truly liable it could be in helping get a "tool" into the hand of pedophiles. They removed the book. Good for them.

Friday, October 15, 2010

A loss is never the end.

Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. After I worked my way through those first months of grief and anger and fear I have not been shy about talking about my losses. I think the more society is aware of how truly prevalent this horrible tragic experience is the less it will be a hidden and taboo subject. I heard someone say recently when being asked when they would "Get over" the loss of their child "You never get over anything. That was my child and I lost her BUT I can move forward and I am. She would have wanted me to continue to live my life." For me that is such a truth. I still have moments where I ache. I have moments where I wonder what our lives would be like. I have even blogged on those feelings before. I think every parent that has lost their baby has rough moments no matter what comes after in their lives. It doesn't matter to us if we were pregnant for a week or we carried to term and suffered our loss later. Those little innocent beings were our babies. They were a piece of us. Sometimes we NEED to talk about them and all we need is for others to listen and to let us talk. Our grief is valid, our heartache is real. Those of us who are lucky enough to have validation move forward in a more healthy way but we shouldn't be the only ones. Every single parent who looses a baby should be able to get the love, support, and validation that they need. They should be able to talk openly about their experience without fear of others judgment, comment, or heaven forbid ridicule. Every other baby-loss parent I have talked to has said the same thing to me. They want to be able to have a weak moment without feeling like it's wrong to feel that way. If we start to talk to you about it out of the blue then it is probably a weak moment. Our breath has rushed from our bodies, our hearts of cracked a little and in that moment we have to talk about our loss. Listen. Don't turn away, don't pat us on the hand and say quiet platitudes. We know we will get through it because we work on it every day. Just let us feel what we feel and once the moment has passed and we have expressed what we needed to and feel like you understand and care we will probably get back to the joys and turmoil of life. When you are a parent and you suffer this loss you are forever changed and you need to be able to be changed and not hide it away and pretend it never happened. It doesn't just go away. A loss really is never the end of anything especially when it is a loss like this.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Amazing Rescue and Mining In My Life.

Who is not is awe by the rescue of the miners in Chile? 28 men are out as of now with 5 to go. These men are miracles. 2,000 feet down, buried under 700,000 tons of rock for 69 days. They have broken every mine disaster survival record by a landslide. Heck they have broken most disaster records. To be so far down with so few rations and to survive for so long is beyond miraculous. No one in recorded history has survived being trapped this deep for this long. They made 48 hours worth of food last well over 2 weeks. As they are emerging from the depths they are looking to be in better health than anyone could have ever imagined. Some are showing mental issues once they reach the hospital but that is to be expected. I know I would be a basket case if I had endured this.

This is by far not the worlds worst mining disaster. In fact it won't even rate if measured by casualties because lives have not been lost. The survival is what makes this story unique, the amazing rescue is what makes this story unique. Mining in general ranks as one of the deadliest professions in the world. Luckily the US isn't the worst place to be with 69 deaths in 2006-2007 according to MSHA and 11800 injuries reported. Other countries are not so lucky. China reports thousands of deaths each year.

Despite living in a country that tries to protect its miners we all know that does not always happen. We lost 29 coal miners in April of this year. It was one of the deadliest losses in decades for the US. If you also add the deaths related to mining the count jumps. Mining is a hard life. It is a back breaking life. Some of the men (and women but for this purpose I am going to not be politically correct.) choose this life for the money or the job security, some feel they have no other choice as it is the only real job source for miles, others follow behind fathers and uncles, and some just love digging in the earth. Still others do it not for what they pull from the ground but what is formed once the pulling is done. Tunnel builders are miners too, they just don't do it for what is in the ground but what they build beneath it. Hubby has done both. He worked in coal when we were first married as a subcontractor. He did the weld work on the support system. Every day he went 14 miles below ground and welded in a sometimes combustible atmosphere that was always dangerous. He was always in an unstable zone and there to make it more stable. Now he builds tunnels. The jobs he has been on so far have been under the water table so if a cave in occurs there is no chance of a void to keep him safe. Mud and water will fill each and every crevice. If he wasn't crushed he would drown. This newest job seems to be pretty unstable as well. You can never know exactly what every inch of ground is going to be made up of until you are in it despite all the geologic checking in the world. He will still go every day though because he loves it and because his job improves life. In this particular job it ensures a water supply for the area when they are at risk of loosing it.

The family of a miner also has to step up. We have to send our men off every day with a smile knowing they are at risk. We need to be supportive. We need to always understand that they are in a high stress situation for hours every work day and with that comes a need to let off steam. I am blessed that Hubby's release is watching movies and hunting. I also have to hide my fear. Hearing my worry does nothing but take his mind off of his job and that can cause more harm than good. I live knowing that in my husband's case rescue is a slim shot. Recovery is probably even a slim shot. I also will not ever ask him to stop doing what he loves despite the physical and mental toll. I am so proud of him and of the work he does. I will always be proud to be a miner's wife!!

I know there are many other dangerous jobs. There are many men and women who risk their lives every day to do what they do to make the world a better place and many families who love and support them as they do it. I respect each and every one of them immeasurably and am not writing this to take away from them. I am writing this because I want the world to be aware of the amazing job that miners do every day and the stress they face to do it. They deserve more miracles such as the one we are watching today.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bountiful Basket!!

If you are committed to eating healthy then you probably buy a lot of produce. I know I do. My kids love it, my husband loves it, and I..... well I force myself because it is better for my FMS. I am amazed at how much it can cost to buy our fruit and veggies for the week. Recently I found an amazing solution courtesy of a friend even more dedicated to the healthy living mentality. Bountiful Baskets!! For $15 for a normal basket and $25 for Organic I get multiple fruits and vegetables!! Easily lasts for the week. Last week I did the organic basket (they do them every other week.) I got 4lbs of apples, 3 mango, about 8 nectarine, 2 big melons, 2 heads lettuce, tomato, 3 little tomato looking things of different colors, and broccoli. I love it. It forces me to eat even better because I don't want it to spoil and it makes everyone else happy because they get a better variety than picky Mom usually brings home. The only addition I made from the store was green grapes because Monkey is addicted!! I also spent an extra $10 and got 7 dozen tortillas in varying sizes and types. I just placed my order for this week and I got a basket and my add on is 2lbs of Apple Cranberry Raisin granola. I am saving money and eating better and am so thrilled with this discovery. Now I am sure you are wondering what on earth it is. Well a couple of women were tired of the expense of produce and were determined for their families to eat better. So they started Bountiful Baskets. It is a co-op. Every one puts in their money and in return these wonderful women arrange to buy as locally as possible saving on the cost of transportation and making it more affordable to buy. For example instead of getting their bananas from South America which is the usual place the big stores use BB ships from Mexico. Apples from WA, Oranges from Arizona or Cali. Another cool thing is this is year round when the farmers markets are seasonal. I am so impressed and thrilled with this find! It is available in almost all of the western states so look them up and see if there is a location near you!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!?!?

It's snowing here already. Not in the valley, thank goodness. But the top of the mountains is covered in snow and it is COLD!! I guess it's time to pull the winter clothes down out of the attic.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Lame

I didn't do anything I had planned this summer. I wanted to plant a garden..it snowed untill mid June. It is already freezing in August. That is a SHORT growing season. A garden wasn't going to happen.
I wanted to really get out there with my books of edible and medicinal plants that grow naturally in my area. Again, with the weather, most of them never really came up this year. Plus it was too cold to do much.
We went on a diet and most of the stuff in our food storage were things we were not alowed to eat. Food storage got ignored and never expanded on.
This summer has just flat out been lame.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Chicken issues

Well, our rooster has been having a few problems.
The first one is his early morning crowing. I think I have this one solved though. He was crowing every morning at 4 AM!! One morning I had enough, I slipped on my robe and slippers and went stoping out to the chicken yard. Slash was half way through the cat door we installed for them and was crowing at the top of his lungs. Right in the middle of his Cock-a-doodle-doo, I swatted him on the rear. He let out a screech and landed about 10 ft away. The next morning he got it again. Now he doesn't crow before six. I am pretty satisfied with the results.
The second issue is a little harder to solve. The hens have been picking the top of his head bald. He was like that when I got him but my hens are just making the problem worse. I have tried putting hit pepper mixed with neosporin on him but that seemed to make it worse. Last night I used black salve and sat down to watch him to make sure they werent going to hurt him more. I watched three seperate hens come up to him and attempt to pluck a feather. They got close enough to strike and caught a whiff of that nasty stuff and walked away. Hopefully this is our cure! I also put vinegar in their water as I have heard this could be caused by a mineral deficency that vinegar will take care of. If anyone has any other suggestions, I would love to hear them!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Quote of the day

Phone conversation between Maggy and I:

Maggy: I have to call you back, I am at the boys soccer practice.
Me: Ohhhh, thats right! You are a soccer mom now!
Maggy: Shut up.
click.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

My guru rocks!!

Okay so most who know me know I am super out-spoken about children and protecting them. I am a firm believer that we as parents need to do everything we possibly can to support, love, and nurture our children. I think that when you can having a single income household so that a parent is with the children at all times is a huge benefit. I know that it is not always an option and am in no way coming down on the families where both adults need to work or the single parent. (Our Maggy is a working Mom and does an amazing job!) I think children benefit the most from being raised by their own parents. So today I was checking up on my favorite blogs and went to the guru! My guru is Dr. Laura. Honestly her book "The proper care and feeding of husbands" saved my marriage and I still apply the things I learned to my interactions with my husband. She is very no-nonsense and I love her. So when I saw this entry I wanted to stand up and cheer. For those who don't want to go look it is about an article that was passed to her about child deaths from being left in a car in the heat. She comments that the majority of these deaths are because a parent forgets to drop the child off at day care. I also loved the paragraph where she deals with the articles reasoning that the mother forgot her child and her response to those reasons.

Let’s look at her stressful month of September: business trips, day care, work, visits with relatives and anxiety. How many of those factors would have been eliminated if she was a stay-at-home mom? Answer: ALL OF THEM, and the child would likely be alive.



Sadly she is spot on. She then lists the suggestions made by the article on how to prevent this from happening and he comments on those are also very right.

The article ends up giving suggestions so you won’t forget your kid to die in your back seat while you are busy with what is more important.

1. Put something that really matters to you - like your cell phone - in the back seat with the child. Do you realize that means that your cell phone is more important than your child?

2. Keep a teddy bear in the baby car seat. When you put your kid in the seat, put the teddy in front, so you’ll see it and remember you have a child. After all, you’re a “busy employee.”

3. Ask your child’s child-care provider to call you on your cell phone if your kid doesn’t get there. Oh, so now the day care, minimum-wage worker is more responsible for your kid than you are?

4. Put visual cues in your office and home reminding you to check the car seat. Gee, I thought parental love and bonding did that. Guess not.


I agree with every single comment she made after these atrocious suggestions. Really? Step up and make parenting the priority. If it is you won't forget your kids in the car. I am sure many will find this insensitive and unfeeling and I am sorry you feel that way but when did children stop being a the focus and purpose of a parents life?


Thursday, July 22, 2010

The new hen house

The coop is complete! It has six nest boxes that I can access from the outside, a roost near the roof for safe sleeping and a slatted floor for easy cleaning. We plan on putting skirting around the bottom in the winter to help keep them warm. In all it cost around $600 to build. I was hoping we could do it cheaper but even a building this small is expensive to build. We figure it will take about two years of 5 eggs a day to pay for the coop. Wondering if it was really worth it?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Quote of the day

While building the new chicken coop:
Hubby: do you think this nest box is strong enough?
Me: Honey, it's a chicken coop, they aren't going to be playing racket ball in here.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Kidney infections, black labs, and exhaustion.

Oh my!! Sunday afternoon I started feeling weird. Frequent potty breaks and fatigue. Then pain every time I went to the bathroom. Finally by 1 am I was passing clots the size of dimes. Yeah TMI I am sure but this is a tale of woe, I am allowed to over share. So I took myself to the wonderful ER (read the sarcasm.) and left Hubby home to keep an ear out for the girls. I have to say that both times I have gone to this hospital in the dead of night we have been seen quickly. They run some tests. Sure enough I have a kidney infection. The nice Dr. said if I had waited until morning then he would have admitted me and I would have had to quit nursing. Not something I am prepared to do. Luckily that was avoided and I was sent home with some prescriptions. Of course at 2:30 in the morning not every pharmacy is open and I needed a CVS because our health plan doesn't work with Walgreen's. That was an adventure all on it's own. I drove all over thinking I knew where one was and then finally gave in and called directory assistance. They passed me to a CVS that was not open but had a number to find one that was. 4 calls later and I have one tracked down. Bleck. I came home and except for waking to nurse I slept over 24 hours. My amazing guy stayed home from work to take care of our angels. Feeling much better now.

Recovery was punctuated by issues. We have a sweet black lab named Jasper. Yes after the vampire. Jasper likes to eat things and as he is still young at 5 months it is hard to keep him from doing it. He ate the safety net of the trampoline and the plugged in cord of an air purifier. He finally responds to "No Jasper" and will drop what he has. Unless it is my eldest saying the words because he would rather play with her and usually they end up in a game of tackle the dog. Jasper is an indoor dog. It is much to hot in the desert for a black lab to be anything else really. He is house trained finally but he will pee everywhere if he thinks my husband is mad at him. He is amazing with the girls. Our little one is 18 months now and she can be laying on him, one hand pulling his tail while the other holds his ear still for her to bite him and he lays there and takes it. He loves to cuddle and chase a squeaky toy. I am pretty proud of him despite the fact that he made recovery a bit harder.

Now I am just exhausted. The baby isn't napping well so i can't get anything done. I am not sleeping well. I still feel all sorts of achy. Remember people to drink cranberry juice. It is a wonderful preventative for infections like this.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Chickens



So my little springtime chickens are rapidly outgrowing their pen. Ok, I lied, they outgrew it a long time ago. But the point is, I need to build a decent coop. One that is roomy enough for them and safe as well. The safety issue was brought home yesterday morning when I was awakened by screeching chickens. I jumped out of bed in time to see my neighbors dog drop one dead chicken and grab another as he ran by me. I chased him into the back yard where he dropped the second chicken (now dead) and grabbed my duck. I rescued the duck and captured the dog. The neighbor was horrified and after locking the dog up, helped us clean up the mess. He spent the whole day trying to find the boys new chickens. He gave us the number of a friend who had too many birds and would let the boys pick any they wanted and even as many as they wanted. The youngest chose a nice little laying hen. My oldest son however chose the one bird we have absolutly no use for.
This is a black polish crested, or something like that. The poor bird can't even see past his feathers. I woke up this morning and wondered what ungodly creature was dying in my back yard. Then I remembered that I had an adolescent rooster, he thinks he is tough stuff now that he is the only male in a yard full of hens. Lucky guy thinks he just hit the jackpot.
But I started this post to talk about coops, not freak roosters. We need something that we can move someday if we sell this house, we really don't want to build another one. I think we could figure out a way to build just about any design so it could be taken apart and moved in peices. We both liked the looks of this pen and it would be fairly easy because we have a spare dog kennel to use as the outdoor part of the coop.

What do you think? Does anyone have any good ideas for a chicken coop? I would love to hear them. Oh and the adolescent freak rooster needs a name. We were thinking some heavy metal rock band name because he looks like a head banger to me.

Monday, June 28, 2010

I am a horrible blogger!!!

Hey all! I am a horrible blogger. There has been so much going on in recent weeks that I have slacked. I am sorry!! So much that I am not sure where to start, lol. We had drama, we had laughter, we had sadness, we had silly days. What a roller coaster!

I was recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) and told to change my diet fairly radically. I have a minimum of sugar (as in a sprnkle if a regular recipe calls for it) so have been sweets free for over a month. Low dairy, low red meat, high raw foods. It has been rough but I have lost 15 lbs at last check and while I still have most of my symptoms it is not nearly as often!!

I have been working to repair one damaged relationship with someone I love a lot and allowing myself to let go of one that can't be saved. That has been amazingly hard. I am such a quiet person and I do not do well with confrontation. Stress make my FMS issues worse. So I had to really take a minute and see that if something is so toxic as to cause me physical pain it needs to not be in my life. It has broken my heart but it also has needed to happen.

My Big Hunter Man (hehehe I love you babe!) went on a 10 day bear hunt to the deeper parts of Canada with his Dad and some of the men from work. He even got a bear but it wasn't much of a bleeder and the wilds so thick that they guides weren't able to track it. He plans to go back next year with his Dad and brothers!

I had some wonderful time with a SIL and her family!!! They have always brought such joy to my life. (See epic weekend post!)

Anyway...... I was catching up on my blog reading when I saw a wonderful piece on our Brother Blog about single income families. We are a single income family. (Since I tend to give my web designing away, haven't sold a book and only make a little with my shop. Oops.) We are very blessed that we are able to do this. We are lucky that Hubby makes enough for us to not need to watch every penny but we weren't always here. When we moved to the PNW we had the crib, our kitchen table, clothes, dishes and a prayer. Hubby and I slept on the floor for a while as we slowly bought furniture. Even then it was important to both of us that I be home with our children. I think the best gift you can give your child is the relationship with yourself. My girls know that Mama is always here for them. I get to see the first steps of the first book read all alone. I can make sure they eat good things and are always safe. That is so important to a child. I had a lot of nanny's as i grew up and it was rough when one left and another came. I fell in love with them. I needed them. BUT when the job was done i had no place in their lives so i always had a feeling of abandonment. My Dad and my grandparents were the only constants through those years and while they were amazing I still was tough. I love knowing my children don't have to worry about any of that!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Squash A Plenty

We got a very late start on our garden this year, because the PNW decided it wasn't going to be spring until mid-June. Which can be especially annoying when you decide to take the proverbial bull by the horns, and get over your gardening fears by planting a HUGE garden. Huge. Like 35x60 feet.

Okay so maybe that's not huge. But it is considering last year my 'garden' was two small planters. Sometimes things are all about prospective.

The issue is, since we didn't really have time to seed in the ground this year, we just went ahead and bought starts. I took my list, Monster in tow, and drove to a smaller organic nursery nearby. Now, I'm not insane about organic food. I think it tastes better, but I'm not going to go pyscho about it. One thing I have found though, is that organic vegetable plants tend to have better tasting fruits, on top of being tougher and more hearty in general.

I also found out that this particular nursery has much better prices then I had planned after looking at several other nurseries. So I went a little crazy. Okay, a lot crazy. Like a lot, a lot.

I bought 8 different kinds of squash, not counting cucumbers (pickling and slicers). And in multiples.

I think I'm going to be buried in it.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Epic Weekend Of Awesomness!!

For the first time in a long time my guy had a 3-day weekend. This is magically rare. Even most holiday weekends he has work because if they are tunneling the machine has to be monitored 24/7 and by someone who knows the machine well enough to fix any issues. Anyway, we decided to go to Apple Valley and see my awesome sister-in-law and her hubby and kids. Hubs really hadn't had much time there since their newest addition came along. They are pretty much our favorite couple. She and Hubs are 13 months apart and have always been incredibly close. They married about 2 1/2 years before us. They were our couple friends. The ones we would hang out with or double date with (even with a tag along baby, lol.) One of the hardest things for us over the past like 7 years was not living close enough to see them regularly so we knew once we moved here there would be plenty of back and forth trips. This weekend was just another display of the awesomeness that is being together. We packed the kids and the pup up and left Friday as soon as Hubs was off work. (We pulled Bug from school an hour early.) On the drive we had some drama as Monkey (formeerly known as Squeak, lol.) decided to choke on a pretzel. Really choke. SO with me diving to the back seat and Hubs crossing 4 lanes of traffic to pull off we had our adrenalin rush. Luckily she has a good gag reflex and puked up the pretzel. She also puked up everything else she had eaten in the previous 3 hours but oh well. At least she was okay. Then we had to stop for a potty break for Bug. Then we stopped to get last-minute supplies at the store. Then we stopped to pick up pizza. So our normal 1 hr 40 min drive took more like 3, lol.


So we got there and put pizza in the oven and just visited and spent time together. It was just a wonderful peaceful evening. Then it was time for bed. Monkey refuses to sleep in her travel crib for long so she slept on the air mattress with us. I curled up with her to nurse and get her to sleep and realized I had made 2 mistakes. 1- I forgot one of her blankets. She has to be with a blanket to go to sleep these days and 2- I forgot a fan to mute the noise. So every time someone would laugh or walk by the room she would jerk awake and cry. It took hours to get her to sleep and even then it was rough because Jasper was not pleased about being tied up outside to sleep.


Saturday morning dawns with my SIL needing to go to the dentist. We convince (read BRIBE) the guys to help get the kids ready and we all went to town. After dropping her and my MIL off the guys and I took our baseball team shopping. We went to walmart to rectify the whole blanket/fan thing and then we got down to paying the bribe. We went to Sportsman's Warehouse. My BIL bought a .22 rifle so that he could shoot with Hubs who had brought our new .22 with him to sight in. (They live in the country so we shoot in the back yard.) Hubs bought this crazed rabbit on a stick thing. It is a coyote lure. The stick plugs into a little box and then the rabbit dances around and chirps. The men were in heaven!! We went back to pick up our missing compadres and then went to lunch at my favorite place of all time, Winger's. Seriously they make the most amazing chicken wings/fingers/nuggets coated in this sticky, spicy, yummy sauce. After some sly check grabbing by my BIL (Thanks!!) we loaded up and went back to the house. The boys loaded their guns and spent some time sighting them in while I chilled on a 4-wheeler and watched. All the kids watched too. Then Hubs let me shoot. OMG!! I love this gun. No kick so I don't bruise. (I bruise easily which is a whole other blog.) I shot the bejeepers out of a paper plate tacked to a pallet. So fun. Then I took a nap. It was so decadent and I obviously needed it as my guy woke me up 2 hours later to tell me the lasagna I had made and froze was refusing to cook. Sucker ended up taking like 4 hours so we had steak and hot dogs instead. We all relaxed together and went to bed. Jasper was super noisy, whining, barking and growling all night long. I think some night life came a bit to close for his liking.


Sunday dawned as another beautiful day. We spent the morning just being together with them getting ready for church. Once they left we decided to take a 4-wheeler ride so we got on a big Polaris and left on an adventure. I think we rode for easily 2 hours. It put Monkey to sleep, lol. We went through some rocky formations, through a gully and back up to the ridge. It was beautiful and so much fun that we are going to buy a 4-wheeler of our own so we can play more!! Then we met the family in town. As it was memorial day we wanted to all go and visit the grave of a very special baby. It was the first visit for me and I have to say it brought so many emotions to be there. I loved seeing the tribute to such a precious life and in a way it brought me peace about my own losses. It was a beautiful moment. We then went back up to the house and played games. I always love playing games and this evening was no exception as I rocked!! (I am so modest huh?) We played Phase 10 Twisted, Imaginiif, and Apples to Apples. Such a blast!! We were all shot by 10:30, lol. So much for being hip young adults!


Monday we got up and cleaned up and then went on a 4-wheeler ride. My guy, Monkey, and I were on one machine. SIL, BIL and Baby B were on the other and were pulling a trailer holding the other 6 rugrats! BIL led us all over in places we hadn't seen on our previous ride and it was a blast. I especially loved this little wooden shack that was so old it was tipping a bit. It was huddled next to a huge boulder and had a clearing surrounded by beautiful trees. Just absolutely amazing to see and so much fun. I think we would have played all day had we not needed to get home.


So all in all it was an absolutely amazing weekend. We had so much fun being together as a couple, as a family, and as a brood of awesomeness, lol.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Hello, Springtime! Love, Maggie

Spring seems to have finally clicked here in the NW, and this weekend I got an itch to start working outside and logging some really good yard work time. Since my gardening resources at home are limited, and last years 'crop' was a bit of a bust I decided to go with another route this year. I am planning to do a larger garden with some friends on their small family farm (which luckily is nearby) so I didn't need to really have veggies outside my door. Herbs, however, I use constantly. So having a small herb garden, and even a few tomatoes, made sense.

I (with quite a bit of help) threw together some wood boxes, and planted basil, mint, thyme, rosemary and parsley. I still have a bit of room in my planter boxes, and I'm hoping to find some good cilantro plants soon.

I'll post some pictures tomorrow!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Spring time

We finally seem to be getting some spring weather and so I thought some cute pics of baby animals are in order. I have decided to raise a few chickens for eggs this year. We got two Buff Orphingtons, two Rhode Island Reds, and two Barred Rocks.






Monday, May 10, 2010

Heck yeah!! Finally some truth!

I like to read the news. I have a compulsion to read about crime. Yes it is a filthy addiction but one I can't seem to curb. For some reason reading/watching about the way human beings can torture each other is riveting. Not in a "Yay, that's awesome." way but more of a "I can not believe people can be so low." I tend to follow crimes against children the most as I want to see if justice prevails or once again the system fails and more children are at risk. Something about these crimes tears at me and breaks my heart so I try to keep tabs to make sure those precious ones get what small peace they can. I habitually check CNN and their justice page as well as Nancy Grace. I ran across this story today. I know she pled guilty to avoid the death penalty and that's fine. I am just glad she admitted to what she did to that sweet girl. When a child is harmed that is the age of one of my children it really just makes me so sad. I am glad that there can be some closure in this case for the Cantu family and that the responsible party will have to pay for the crime for the rest of her life.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday funny

This just really seems appropriate today since we are still getting snow storms here.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Quote of the day

My children were watching Mythbusters. My youngest (7) asked if Mythbusters was real. His brother said, "Heck yeah, they are real!" Spike replies, "Well then, I want to join their little club!"

You and every other male in the country little man.

Friday, April 16, 2010

10 year reunion.

Recently a friend from high school has been posting about our 10 year reunion which is in June. My husband asked me if I wanted to go and I had to think about it for a second. My first thought was no because when you envision your reunion you envision being able to share accomplishments. To show the friends who stood by you that they were right and the people who doubted you that you did better than they expected. I haven't done anything special, no world changing, no college. Then I thought some more. And realized that was crap. That was me allowing my low self-esteem to rule my thinking and allowing those who doubted I would do anything with my life to win. I have done amazing things. I married the man I adore when I was 18 and despite it all, including some 'friends' expectations, we are happier than ever. I gave birth to our first child when I was 19. Bug is 8 now and amazes me every day. She can be very grown up and helpful one minute and the next she is on her trampoline, soaking wet, and laughing like a loon. She loves to cuddle still. She has a ton of fun playing games with me. She thinks Russell on survivor is a jerk and that JT is dumb. She tells me how the girls on 16 and pregnant really should have waited until marriage. She has a giving soul and a heart to match. I helped to do that. I've taught myself HTML by the time I was 22 and have quite a few websites under my belt and being visited regularly. I have completed 2 books of at least 60,000 words each before my 25th birthday. At 26 I gave birth to my second child. Squeak is curiosity personified. She has to look at everything, to touch it, hear it, and even, to my dismay, taste it. She can climb like a monkey and nothing soothes her more than a Mommy hug. She loves to cuddle her Daddy and give her big sister kisses. She refuses to use a spoon because then she couldn't smear her food all over. She knows who she likes and who she doesn't and has no qualms letting the world know. She loves to be outside. She thinks sharing candy with me is super fun and refuses to sleep through the night. I helped create her too. I have a 9 year marriage under my belt. We have a home and a life and are secure in each other and our marriage. My girls are happy. I have friends who love me, who share my worries and make me laugh when I need to. I have family that never fails to surprise me. So in actuality I have accomplished and accumulated much in these 10 years post graduation. I have conquered and enjoyed life even in the rough spots. I have absolutely no regrets because every decision, good or bad, every person, either helpful or hindrance, has led me to this moment. This glorious, serene, beautiful, whirl that is my life. So eat that all you doubters, and friends.... thank you for always knowing that the girl I hid would one day make me into the wife and mother I have become!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Seriously?

Found this article. I am speechless. Really. Very rare thing, that.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Bullying, an epidemic.

I am a huge reader of crime news and I watch Nancy Grace a lot more than I should. Part of it is really for research. I see a situation and I use it in a book. The biggest reason is just morbid curiosity. I read these stories and hope for better endings even when I know how bad they are. Our news is covered in violence. Violence for stupid reasons usually. The stories that hit me the hardest are the ones about violence against kids. Those of you who know me or who read my blogs know how passionate I am about children's rights and safety. All of you who read or listen or watch the news have heard the name Phoebe Prince. If not I'll fill you in. Phoebe was 15 years old and after repeated and horrible bullying she chose to take her own life in the stairwell outside of her apartment. Her suicide brought to light just how many kids took part in the systematic torture of this girl. Having been a very geeky and awkward teen I know how bad it can be. In junior high in Utah I can remember two girls in particular who loved to torment me. I was shoved down stairs. My house was egged. I had my locker torn apart and nasty things left in it. I had lovely notes about me scribbled in bathroom stalls. Even younger in Texas I was teased. I was the chunky girl who didn't shave her legs or wear a bra. (I was raised by a guy who was a bit behind on a girls needs.) I was teased relentlessly. Friends turned on me. I tried to cover by making myself more interesting. (Yes LYING) I still shudder at some of the things I would make up to try to not be that nerdy girl. Of course my "stories" always made things worse and when true tragedy was in my life no one believed me. It just seemed like another made up story. I lied about boys, I made up a mother who was missing from my life for all sorts of cool reasons, I created "cool" friends just to try to seem less stupid. Those early teen years flew until one day, like poor Phoebe, I tried to take my life. I didn't try hard that first time. I think I wanted someone to take me seriously. I wanted someone to see me. Really look at me and get me and love me despite the fact that at my core I was a book loving dreamer with the imagination to match wrapped in a plump body and without any girly knowledge. I tried a couple of times to kill myself, each time getting a little more daring then the last as things got worse and worse. Thankfully I met someone who did see me. He saw the stupidity and the beauty that was me and he loved me anyway. I wish Phoebe had found that someone. As a teen parents really don't count. We crave the love and closeness of a peer. We want that girlfriend we could talk to about anything and still be friends the next day or that guy who saw us and thought the sun rose and set with us. Phoebe did not find that and she took her life. Now the kids who bullied her are all up on charges and frankly I think that it is too little to late in so many ways. Yes the school responded to the acts that staff knew of with a firm hand. Good for them. BUT so many who are bullied tend to take it or try to fix it themselves. So many never tell and witnesses rarely say a word. Can you imagine if someone had said something; if students had reported the threats and degradation, if bystanders and made themselves heard on Phoebe's behalf? I wish more people would comment when they see someone being harassed and demeaned. The only way this epidemic will ever be dealt with is if we as communities stand up and refuse to take it. If you see someone being pushed around don't be afraid to call the police or whomever can fix it. Give these kids the voice they rarely have.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

NO child is disposable.

In the news every day we here of a missing child, or a dead child, or an abandoned child. Our society is flooded with foster kids. It is common place for a grandparent, an uncle, a friend, or even a co-worker to be raising a child not their own. My question is when did children become so disposable? Oh, your child was born with a handicap? Pass him off to someone else. Your teenager 'to much to handle'? Foster care will take her. It makes my blood boil. When you CHOOSE to raise a child you make that child a promise by that very act. You promise unconditional love. You promise to be a support and a comfort NO MATTER WHAT. I don't care if money is tight because of your child's needs. I don't care if she needs more medical assistance than you like. I don't care if he is skipping school and fighting. I DON'T CARE!! Suck it up and take care of your child. Children are rarely easy. They have ups and downs, they have needs and wants and dreams that we as parents are obligated to fill because we promised. I know that there are problems and hardships in raising a child. I know that as individuals one child's struggle can be much harder than another. That's humanity people. Fight for your children, not with them. Give reasonable boundaries. Stop what you are doing for one moment and hold your child close no matter how old they are. Tell them you love them and show them. Make each moment be a chance to let them know that no matter what they can count on you.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Moral quandary..... or is it?

A while back I faced a moral dilemma. A loved one called from 800 miles away to tell me that they felt their child was being abused. He claimed to have seen bruises and that she had a 104 temp but was being untreated. At the time the child was 8 months old. He told me he was scared and upset and that neither he or his estranged wife could take care of a child and could we help him by making sure his baby was safe and then adopting her. We wanted more children and we have always been open for adoption since I have such a hard time carrying to term so we said yes. But how to handle it? He said the mother would agree to adoption if we made sure it was a very open adoption. DO I say yes to that and agree knowing he also thinks she is abusing the baby? What do I do about the abuse? Some would say to stay out of it all. It was bound to be a drama filled situation. Some would say to report the abuse and then stay out of it. Some would say jump in and do all that can be done. Even without the legal obligation to report the abuse and insist on a well child check I would have done the last. This was a child in need. Frankly if ANYONE had called me with this story I would have leapt at helping. NO child deserves to be in danger. I would hope that if someone thought I was abusive they would report it as well because abuse is not a case of "Let's wait for more evidence." So many abusers are good at hiding the signs. Why chance it? So I called the mother who was far from receptive and refused to speak to me. I also called the local police and insisted on a well child check. In the end it came out that the person who had called me was heavily into drugs, was a natural liar, and was pretty much hoping I would "buy" his child. Do I feel sorrow for upsetting the mother? Absolutely. Would I do the same thing today? YES. We as human beings and especially those of us that are parents have not only a legal obligation but a moral one to report any suspected child abuse no matter what we might think about the situation. Because what if you failed to call and you were wrong and a child was hospitalized or, Heaven forbid, died because you failed to act.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The practical and the impractical.

It is tax season. For most families this means prayers of a return and fear that you will owe the IRS. We have been fairly blessed to not have had an owing year since our marriage. (knock on wood!) This year was no exception however we approached things differently this year. We mad a vow before we even saw the amount that at least 50% was going into the retirement fund. With how things have gone we knew that this was the best thing we could do to plan for the future. Granted if Hubs has his way he will never retire BUT we still need to plan. A lot of couples our age tend to write off retirement. It is so far off and there will be time to save. WRONG. There is no time like right now. Saving is not only for your benefit but for the benefit of your family. We have a relative who has no savings at all and we have seen first hand how putting it off has harmed this person but also every one else in the family. So save save SAVE!!


Of course you also need to let yourself splurge some times as long as it does not negatively impact your financial health. We decided that each of us also deserved something fun after the money went into savings. Every year our returns have gone to pay bills and while we could have put this towards a bill as well we decided to splurge and buy a want rather than a need. Hubs gets his bear hunting trip to Canada. I got my computer that I have always wanted, and the girls got a 14" trampoline. It was wonderful to buy toys for once. I have a hard time spending money, especially on something decadent and unnecessary. Hubs had to push a little, haha, but I am glad he did. It felt good to fill a desire for each of us.


The moral here is that you need to find a balance with the practical and the impractical. You have to plan for your future first and foremost but once you do it is okay to treat yourself a little!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Butterflies and Rainbows.

I was at dinner with my awesome Mom and her guy and my sweet family and I realized something. The fact that I am an eternal optimist is pretty interesting because I am surrounded by pessimists. The revelation came after my Mom checked the BYU/K State score and saw BYU was down 10 at the half time mark and she said, "Man this sucks, I was looking forward to seeing them play in SLC." Her guy and I both spoke up and said "It's not over yet." but it made me realize how strange I am. I am surrounded by doom and gloom seers. Hubs and a couple others see their glasses as half full but the core of my growing up years was all pessimists. My Grandma was always for the doom and gloom. It could be sunny with a 10% chance of rain and she would say, "Better cover the plants for the storm." That spread to so many of the people in my life. People who saw me fail the 7th grade and said, "This girl will never graduate." (I then skipped a grade and graduated in 2000 like I was supposed to.) Or those who said, "She is 18 and marrying a bad boy, this will never work." (9 years and counting!) I've even had the, "She is going to be just like her biological mother. A drug addict and a leech." (I have 2 pretty amazing girls and nary a drug in sight!) I've spent so much time listening to others low expectations and thoughts that there are moments even my happy self just gets buried. I learned that I have to be happy, I have to find the joy, I have to push past the failures. I am better than those low expectations and those low thoughts and that is why I am always finding the rainbows and flowers even in the stormiest moments of my life. That optimism has gotten us through some trials that no one should live through. So bring on the butterflies life. I'll always see you!

Friday, March 19, 2010

People are cheering this little **** on?!

Last time I was cruising online, and figured I'd hit up CNN.com before heading to bed. One article that immediately caught my eye was about a small island not too far away. They have had a rash of problems due to a kid whose apparently made it his life goal to drive everyone in the small community to the point of a lynching.

This little idiot was first arrested at the age of 12 for burglary and was given the nickname "barefoot burglar" because he'd leave barefoot tracks in the business and vacation homes he terrorized. He's now graduated onto stealing and wrecking planes, including one that buzzed the Olympic No-Fly Zone before crash landing back on Orcas Island.

All of this seems odd to me, seeing as the kid grew up in the area, but well, it still isn't a large area. How hard could it be? Police put out a huge manhunt after his latest stunt (including helicopters, dogs and heat-signature equipment) but eventually scaled back and never caught a clue.

But the oddest part is, this kid has fans. No more than fans, he has a stinking cult following. He even has a fan club. Why would people want to encourage and support this guy?! He's not some freedom fighter, he's a punk ass kid full of teen-angst who apparently has a knack at getting out of sticky situations.

Today I looked around and read several articles, including his fan club site. I'm reading a lot of things about how he's ADHD, and very smart, but was raised by a single mom who is inattentive and blah blah blah. This in now way makes what he's doing okay. According to CNN, he is suspected of recently breaking into a grocery store for food and supplies. People were cheering the act on Facebook, saying to stick it to the man. The only man he's "sticking it to" is the owner of the small shop whose slept there every night since the intrusion.

Shame on you, Kid. And even more so, shame on your supporters.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Irish Soda Bread

Before yesterday, I'd never had Irish Soda Bread. This wouldn't such a problem if I wasn't trying to bake it, with no idea what it's supposed to look like, or even taste like. Frankly, I was clueless.

Another random fact about me; when I'm clueless, I get antsy. It isn't pleasant for anyone. And the Boy sat and stared at me while I went through my entire cookbook collection looking for recipes. And trust me, this is quite a feat all on its own. Then I check every recipe site on the internet , you know, just to be sure.

I settled on a recipe from allrecipes.com called Amazingly Easy Irish Soda Bread. Firstly, because it was submit by someone named Megan. Secondly, because it's title reads 'Amazingly Easy'. Third, in one of the comments a woman mentioned she used her kitchenaid mixer. And once in a while, I'm allowed to be lazy.

The recipe seemed fairly easy, and I even happened to have some buttermilk (if you don't, it's very simple to make your own so don't panic). I knew I was going to make one change to the recipe, but that was simply using real butter instead of margarine.

Using my Kitchenaid mixer with the paddle attachment, I worked the room temperature butter into flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder until the butter had broken down to pea-size, give the flour mix a grainy texture. To this I added the buttermilk and an egg, all at once, and mixed on a low setting until everything was just combined. It seemed a little dry to me, so I added some additional buttermilk to get a good texture to the dough.

I turned it out onto a lightly floured cutting board and kneaded it for just a minute. I shaped the dough into a dome, and placed it on a baking sheet. Then using melted butter mixed with more buttermilk, I let the boy brush the outside of the bread, then using a sharp knife I cut an X into the top of the dome. I baked the bread at 350* for an hour, until the outside was crispy and golden brown.

When I cut into it for the first time, the warm smell of the bread about knocked me over. My goodness, it was basically a ginormous buttermilk biscuit! Slightly sweet and flaky, but just sturdy enough to be wonderful dipped in soup or stew. I even slathered a piece with jam and whipped cream and had it for dessert! This was so quick and simple, I will definitely be making this again in the near future!

Amazingly Easy Irish Soda Bread adapted from allrecipes.com

4 cups of All-Purpose Flour
4 tbsp white sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 butter, softened
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1/4 butter, melted
1/4 buttermilk

Pre-heat oven to 350*. Lightly grease a large baking sheet.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and margarine. Stir in 1 cup of buttermilk and egg. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly. Form dough into a round and place on prepared baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine melted butter with 1/4 cup buttermilk; brush loaf with this mixture. Use a sharp knife to cut an 'X' into the top of the loaf. Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. You may continue to brush the loaf with the butter mixture while it bakes.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

indoor gardening


I got impatient and started my garden at the first hint of spring. Never mind that it has snowed three times since. So I have had these peat pots in my laundry room window for almost three weeks now. I only planted my tomatoes and peppers so far. (Any guesses what I plan on using tomatoes and peppers for? lol)

Friday, March 12, 2010

A mother's love.

For Valentine's Day my guy got me a Mother's Ring. We sat and designed it together. It has both girl's names inscribed on either side. The middle is made of two intertwined hearts and each heart has one of the girls birthstones in it. It came yesterday after weeks of waiting and it is beautiful. I find a part of me feeling sad too. It almost feels as if it is missing something. When we designed it we talked about adding our lost babies to the ring. I would add the stones of their due date month. I decided not to for a couple reasons. 1- Naming our angels now or just labeling them as angels seemed off. 2- I've always believed and found comfort in the thought that the little spirits meant for me kept trying until they received a body that was exactly perfect for what they needed to fulfill their purpose on Earth. So for me the losses were really Bug and Squeak working to prepare their earthly bodies. This thought has brought much comfort in those moments where I wonder if I am supposed to be a mother to more children or if I am dishonoring children given to me just because they did not have a chance to be born.


Seeing my ring made my heart stutter for a moment as not only was the joy and wondrous gift of my girl's brought close to my heart but the losses also surfaced. I know that while I go through my journey on earth the answers are not always easily found. I have my moments where I wonder why me? Why did I have to suffer loss? Why was I granted such a miracle in carrying Bug without help when my body should not have been able too. Why did I have to find out that I most likely suffered more losses than I knew of? Why was I given the gift of the proper medicine to allow me to carry Squeak to term? I know that one day I will have these answers. I know that I have been given amazing blessings. I have these two perfect girls. They love to cuddle and play together. They give me the most amazing hugs and kisses. Each one has such beauty and grace even in such a tiny person as Squeak still is. Each has beautiful potential and such sweet little personalities. I know I am blessed beyond imagining. Still I can't help but wonder. If my belief is wrong and each loss was it's own soul, its own unique person then what would they look like now? Would they be boys or girls? Would they have the same sweet giving heart as their sisters? I hope one day I can find out!


Until then I will look at my ring and be reminded not only of the treasures I have in the form of my daughters but also of the treasures I have lost and I will feel the love I have for all of them. My grief is a pale shadow when compared to my love!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I've happily joined the canning ranks!

Last night I completed my second batch of canning goodness. I've had my pressure cooker/canner since Christmas but had not cracked it open until a couple weeks ago. I am going to go and help my SIL when she goes into the hospital to have her 7th baby. The rest of the kids need watching so I'll go up to help with that and to be there for the first few days after she comes home. SO I got to thinking about meals. I am picky. I mean if you looked up the definition of picky eater my picture would glare at you in technicolor glory. Anyway I figured if I made some things and took them with me then I would know I have food I like. Yes I am that picky.




So before the sick invaded our lives I made a huge batch of Spaghetti sauce. I used a couple scoops and made us some stuffed pasta shells and the rest went into 6 quart jars. I called one of my besties, Maggy, to walk me through it as she and my other best gal pal, Gracie, have walked this mine riddled path before. So she walks me through it and a couple hours later I have 6 beautifully sealed jars of spaghetti sauce heaven.




Last night I once again made a giant batch of food in my 8 quart pot. I decided to do tortilla soup this time. It turned out genius. 6 jars of this and it is just awesome. I didn't even call for help this time though as I was getting the child in bed and heard the occasional click I was petrified I would go down stairs and find broken bottles. My food luck held however and pretty jars doth a canner make!




Next I plan to try Chili. I've cleared a whole cupboard of my kitchen and plan too fill it with all sorts of yummy goodies.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Update on the girls!

After multiple days of the girls going from one illness to another I took them both to see our pediatrician this morning. I love this woman. I was worried that after the amazing Dr. the girls had in the PNW we would get stuck with a cruddy one here but that is not the case. She looked at both girls. Bug has pink eye. She gets eye drops 3 times a day and benadryl to help with the itchy eyes part. Squeak has pink eye, an ear infection, and a sinus infection. She gets eye drops twice a day, antibiotics twice a day, and a decongestant type med every 6 hours as needed. Poor baby. Both girls are closer to their usual happy selves and I am better able to deal with them since Hubs let me have yesterday to rest and recover while he helped with the girls. Add that after tilting Squeak's crib mattress and fixing her humidifier meant better sleep for me last night and a happy mom doth make. Bug gets to stay home one more day for the eye junk and then things will get a bit more back to normal.




On an annoying note the Dr. said that Squeak's ear infection looks pretty bad and she has probably had it well over a week so the ER should have caught it but of course they didn't. When I said that they did not check her ears, eyes, nose, or throat I thought the Dr. was going to go murder someone. I don't regret going but I do realize now that I need to insist on certain things here if we are seen outside of our PCP's offices.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Hair-pulling Mommy moments

Bug is sick. She has this virus thing. Hubs is sick with it again. I have it too but I rarely throw up so mine is just terrible tummy pain. Sooo I kept Bug home from school today and told her she needed to rest as much as she could. She hates that. All day she threw fits about where to lay, what to watch, what to eat. She is very like her father in that she gets horribly grouchy when she is sick. Then poor little Squeak is teething. She has always been a very miserable teether . Tears, whiny, and miserable no matter what. First she wants to be held then she wants down then she wants food then she throws it at me. Between the two girls I was about to rip out my hair. Add that I feel pretty miserable myself and it made for a very long very moody day. Luckily Squeak is in her crib sound asleep and Bug is in her room watching her Friday Disney shows. I am going to take this much-needed opportunity and curl up with a glass of juice and my book.





What do you do on those days you feel like you are going crazy and all you want to do is scream and hide from the world?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

So now that I've gushed ....

let me tell you about the day. I woke up at 12:30 AM because Squeak was crying. I go in and rock her and she throws up her dinner. She has been dry heaving off and on for 24 hours by this time and managed to throw up a little during her lunch the previous day. I clean her up and nurse her a little to hydrate and calm her and she seems okay but still gaggy. She has a fever and she is fussing. At 1:30 she is in a fitful sleep and still gags sporadically. I wake Hubs to see what he thinks. (He gets up at 2 for work.) He says that if she is keeping liquids down she should be okay. I go back to cuddling her on the couch when she literally gushes all over me. I swear it was at least a 1/2 cup of liquid. I am in panic mode now. This is the first time she has been really sick and it has been a long time since I had a sick baby. I call our pediatrician who has a service and just hang up. I need answers now, not when she can return a page. I scour the phone book hoping for a hot line and find nothing. Totally sucks. Our peds clinic in the PNW had a nurse on 24/7 to help in situations just like this. Finally I am so panicked that she could have something lodged in her intestines or H1N1 or some other very bad thing that I wake Hubs and Bug and we go to the ER. We were in and out in half an hour. The verdict - Stomach virus. The Dr. said if it was flu she would be coughing and if it was something lodged she would not have any of the diarrhea she was producing. She still had tears and her mouth was moist so he sent us home to watch her. So I spent a long night on the couch with her.

I put her to bed about an hour ago. She has not thrown up since that last gush before the ER and no runny diapers since 3 PM so I am pretty hopeful we are done with that though I'll keep her home and watched closely the next couple of days. Her appetite is back and she seems to want to nurse a lot. PHEW.

It is actually kind of ironic that we ended up in the ER when we did the same 9 years ago after our wedding. Then it was because I had a major infection in my throat. I could not swallow or talk or even speak. I did not eat any of the food at our reception and only ate enough cake for the pictures. Our honeymoon was going from the ER to my MIL's house to the dentist to remove my wisdom teeth. It seems the infection started there and spread down my throat. It sucked.

Anyway back to the present day. Hubs stayed home since I royally messed up his sleep and I was a wreck. On the plus side we exchanged our gifts. (I got him a ceramic folding knife with leather pouch and he got me a gorgeous ring and a huge mug. The 9th anni gifts are leather and pottery. My leather was on the ring box!) We also watched our favorite shows and he went out and grabbed our favorite Mexican food. So despite the worry over Squeak it was a pretty good day.

Anniversary #9

So today marks the 9th anniversary of the day I made the best decision of my life. I married my husband. I always get excited for this day even when all we do some years is hang out at home and just be together. This day marks another year passing in the arms of a pretty incredible man. He really saved my life.

I am a very emotional person, made more so by my bi-polar. When he entered my life I was in a very bad place. I was suicidal and pretty despondent. The relationship I was in had turned toxic, the friendships surrounding me had wonderful moments and moments of extreme sorrow and I felt very alone and unloved. Multiple friends had died that year in heart breaking ways. I felt too different from my happy confident family members to really even consider confiding in them and I was just a mess.

Then came my 17th birthday. My boyfriend at the time had completely blown me off and so my friends decided I needed to go "cruising" which is a pretty big deal in our little town. So there we were when I should run into an old friend and two of his friends. I jumped into their truck and the first words Hubs said to me were "Buckle up, we would hate for something to happen to you." He claims he knew right in that moment that we were meant to be together. My guy is a huge believer in destiny. I was not so sure though. Then came October. Another friend passed away in a very bad car accident. I was feeling absolutely done. I was on the brink when Hubs calls me up and asks me to come by. He took me to my favorite place in the mountains and under the trees, in the moonlight, he let me cry and then he kissed me. I swear if fireworks could have gone off they would have despite how sad I was. Thus began our relationship as a couple. We had ups and downs as I fought through loss, and grief, and depression and he battled similar things. We broke up, often badly, and were drawn together again like a moth to a flame. Finally we got through the immature phase and really committed to each other.

He asked me to marry him on the lid of a delivered pizza box. I said yes. Like all couples we have had good times and bad. We have had moments where both of us considered walking. We fought threw them and now each day is better than the last. He makes me smile when I want to cry and laugh when I want to scream. He is one of the only people who gets me and loves me despite my mood swings, my low self esteem, my fears and hangups. He is okay no matter where I am emotionally on any given day. When I feel close to that dark brink he pulls me back again without even batting an eye. So really, he saves me every day of our lives together.

He is the other half of my soul. Where I am shy he is out going, where he is nervous I thrive. When one of us is feeling weak the other carries the strength for us both. He can complete my sentences. He knows my likes and dislikes. He takes my sarcasm and dishes it right back. He is my partner, my lover, my friend, my rock, my reason. He never pushes me to be something I'm not but always pushes me to fulfill the potential of who I could be. He takes each moment and makes it amazing, even if it is only to watch our favorite shows, or take a drive, or to hold me while I sleep. He provides for us amazingly so I can be what I have always wanted to be. A mother. He treasures me even when I am so frustrated and frumpy I want to hide.

Thank you for 9 amazing years my love!

Monday, March 1, 2010

What really is a family?

We took a recent trip to visit my SIL and her family and as we were sitting and talking as per our usual I had an epiphany. She is very much what family should be. This led to the wondering of what family really is and means. Family is supposed to love despite our faults. Family is supposed to be our biggest cheerleader and our strongest critic. When we are at the cliffs edge family stands beside us to pull us back and at the bottom of the cliff to catch us. Luckily Hubs and I are blessed with more family than we sometimes know what to do with. Sometimes though family becomes a crutch, a way to get ahead in life with little actual effort, a parachute that becomes a safety blanket that never goes away, cushioning us from dealing with life. Those instances turn the very definition of family from "love" to "toxic". How do we deal with that? When does love and support turn into something decidedly more harmful and what steps need to be taken to save not only the relationship but the giver's sanity? I began to ponder this and really try to think of solutions. I see many toxic relationships throughout life and knowing how to find the balance is so important. I came to realize that some relationships have no safe way to remove the harmful parts. If one person tries then the very essence of family requires another to step into that void and become the one being hurt. Maybe another solution is not to end the harmful aspects of a relationship but to accept them in a bid to protect others from feeling more pain the you do. I do know that sometimes we have to sacrifice much to receive the blessings.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Time to upgrade!

I am a multi-tasker. I use my comp for website design, graphic design, book writing, and internet surfing. Hubs is being a doll and letting me upgrade my system with a chunk of the tax return. I am not spending a ton and I can't go Mac because all my software would have to be replaced as well. I want at least 8GB Memory, 1 TB hard drive, a good processor, and probably 2 monitors. I think running dual monitors will help in the designing since right now it can be a pain to flip between my Adobe, HTML, FTP, and E-mail when I am updating one of the sites I handle. So what is your opinion on a good system? HP, Gateway, Asus, Dell......... The list goes on!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

illness and antibiotics

I have a sinus infection. A bad one. I don't want to go to a dr and get antibiotics. We are not always going to have those around and I feel that I need to learn to deal with being sick and find way to get over illness without medications. I am going to do some research but I wanted to throw this out there and see what everyone else thought. What are some of the ways you keep healthy? What do you do when you get sick? What are some natural remedies you rely on?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Add project update


Another project done. This one was for a benefit auction and took me 5 months to complete. I got involved in the story of a young mother in liver failure. I do not know the details of her condition but from what I understand, she has already had one transplant and will most likely need another. She will get out of the hospital and be doing well for a week or so and then something happens to put her back in ICU for some complication or another. I put two afghans in the auction, one for the winner of the auction and one for the young woman the auction was for. The winner got to choose the pattern and colors. Here is the winners afghan. The young lady's afghan is coming along much more quickly and I will post pics when I am done.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Inspiring strength.

I am a reader. I read pretty much every day and in many forms. I was led to a blog that took my breath away. Reading the journey this couple took through an incredibly devestating blow touched me profoundly. I like to think I am a strong woman but the strngth displayed here was awe inspiring. It reminded me of how blessed I am despite the losses and the fight it took to carry to term and have my babies. Their story showed me that no matter the obstacle faith can and does see us through. So tonight as you look to your life please remember that blessings abound even in the darkest of moments. Miracles are there though it may be in the least expected form. Strength is inside you though you fear.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Tax season!

It is that time of year. The time when every adult in the US feels anxious and excited all at once. Do you get a return? Do you owe money? When do you get your refund? The list of questions floating around in our brains can go on forever. I do our taxes myself with the use of H&R Block at Home (Formerly Tax Cut). Soooo easy. I was worried this year because we bought the house so there was a lot more to go in to. I had to discuss moving expenses and interest paid and points paid and blah blah blah. Our forms were much more detailed this year that's for sure. Still was pretty easy. I recommend the software to anyone who wants to do it themselves.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mystery package revealed!


Theotherryan guessed it correctly. It is an AR kit. I was hoping to have hubby help me put it together but I turned around to stir dinner and he had already put everything together that we could. We are going to go next week to get the lower reciever and then I will post pics of the finished product. (sorry about the pic, the one that I took of the barrel unwrapped didn't work on the com)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mystery package part 3


This is a pretty good hint. Someone should be able to figure this one out.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

mystery package part 2

Here is what the contents of the box look like when unpacked. Any guesses yet?

Monday, January 25, 2010

mystery package


So guys, as promised, a post more to your liking. I got a package in the mail a few days ago. Can you guess what's in it? I will post a clue a day untill someone guesses right. For a reference, those tiles are 15"x15".

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The act of charity.

So recently I was able to witness a wonderful act of charity. Through the facebook grapevine I heard of a man who was diagnosed with a form of male breast cancer. He had spent many years of his life as a bishop in the LDS church and was always one to give to someone else. He was never to busy to help out. I saw letters from people whose life he had touched. His daughter-in-law took to her blog to talk about how this reputedly awesome man did not have insurance or the finances needed to procure life saving treatment. Below is an excerpt of her initial blog.
Asking for help is never an easy thing. I'm not good at it, but some things are worth leaving my comfort zone for, and this is one of them.

My father-in-law, Garth Abbott, was recently diagnosed with a very aggressive form of breast cancer called IBC (inflammatory breast cancer). This is a time sensitive matter, and he needs chemotherapy asap. He is uninsured and does not have the necessary money to pay for his treatment. In my ignorance I never realized that someone in his situation would be refused life saving treatment because he could not pay, but that is how the system works, no payment, no treatment.

Garth Abbott is no ordinary man. He has spent his life serving other people. I have watched time after time, knock on the door after knock on the door, phone call after phone call, as this man leaves what he is doing to render help. Sometimes as simple as listening to some one's problems and offering advice, picking up a stranded motorist, offering a night's stay to someone in need (often turning into multiple nights). Countless hours have been spent in service with his church and community as he has worked with the youth loving, teaching, and helping them. He and his wife are the parents of five children, and 18 grandchildren. They are also the caretakers of his 95 year old mother and his down syndrome sister. In my husband's words, "He's the best man I know, and I know a lot of great men!"
I took this story to heart after loosing so many loved ones to cancer, watching other loved ones battle it and survive, and having my own recent scare. The daughter-in-law decided to hold an auction. People donated everything from home cooked meals, legal services, pest control and baby hair bows to jewelry, pest control services, and baby quilts. I donated an item and bid on another to offer my support. There were almost 200 items up for bid and it made my heart swell. The outpouring of support was amazing. The bidding ended last night and the total raised hit almost $20,000. AMAZING. It really renewed my confidence and faith in humanity. Even in these hard times people can still join together to help someone else.

Another post about female stuff

Sorry guys, if you don't feel comfortable reading about those certain female Dr visits skip this one. (I have another post coming up that will be more to your preferences, I promise)



So I had to go to the Dr to have an IUD removed. It was supposed to be removed 2 years ago and I was really worried about it. I fretted and stewed and finally made the appointment. Three weeks I watched the calender and tried not to think about it. The day before the appointment, 5 minutes before closing time, they called and left a garbled message on my machine about being canceled. They asked me to call them back with any questions. So first thing next morning, I called and asked them why my appointment had been cancelled. I was told it was because I had requested a transfer to another Dr. Ummmm, no I really didn't. What happened was, I needed an appointment last year and my Dr was on vacation, so I went to another Dr that one time. Apparently my Dr's office has a policy that if you ever go see another Dr for any reason, they refuse to ever see you as a patient again. PISSED ME OFF! I go to this Dr because she is the only female gyn in the area. I really, really, really don't feel comfortable going to a male gyn.

I picked up the phone book and called another gyn (the one I had gone to last year when I couldn't get in with the other one) I got an appointment for the next day. Now I am a bundle of nerves, pissed off nerves and scared to death nerves lol.

Anyway there really is a survivalist message here and I will get to that now. I don't want anything unnatural and foreign in me anymore. I have no choice about the hardware in my leg, but the only other way to make sure I don't have any more children is to have a small spring inserted into my fallopian tubes. It basically tears them up until they scar shut. Sounds pleasant, huh? So Hubby is going in to get snipped. He is giving me tons of grief and working every angle to get out of it. Trust me, if I could find a Dr who would do a tubal ligation, I would go in and have it done. None of them will do it right now, they are all using the spring. I would just worry about something happening with that spring if the world as we know it were to end. Where would I go, what would I do? I would be totally screwed if anything were to go wrong with it.

Just my 2 cents, it's something that has been on my mind for quite a while.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Goodbye 2009, Friday Funny














































pogonip


So we got some pogonip last night. I had to look it up though to see what exactly it was. Apparently it is when there is a heavy fog and the temp suddenly fall below 0 and it freezes in the air and settles onto every available surface.


Another name for it is white death because if you breath it, it can cause lung damage. Anyway, it is pretty and so I thought I would share some pics.


The first pic is obviously of a pine tree. I love how the frost is on every needle of the tree. It reminds me of the flocking everyone used to spray on their Christmas trees.

This second pic is of the dead stalks of a poppy plant I never cleaned out of my flower beds. It is probably the most extreme case of pogonip in the yard. I like how delicate and feathery it looks.


The last pic is of my windchimes. I don't know why, but I just really like this pic.


So I got to wondering what would happen in a survival situation if pogonip were to occur. Other than the obvious (stay indoors and warm), what would something like this mean for me and my family?
I don't have an answer yet, but it gives me something to think about.