Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Can you hear me now?

One night about 4- 6 months ago, right after family prayer, Matt complained that he couldn't hear the prayer. I had knelt at the love seat and he and was at the couch with Sam. Apparently I had my face too close to the cushions, something I try not to do for obvious reasons. (Have I mentioned I have a VERY sensitive nose?) And being across the room this made it hard for him to hear.

The next night Matt decides to say the pray, so we assume the position and he proceeds to shove his face into a pillow and he starts the prayer. Sam and I look up, surprised to see what's going on and we burst into laughter. Matt is obviously making fun of me for the night before. Sam totally gets this. We resumed control of ourselves and reverently had the prayer.

So tonight as we knelt for family prayer, Sam was in my face repeating over and over that I "play ball like a boy". Why? I don't know. Maybe he was mad at me because, thanks to the movie Sandlot, he thinks this is the worst insult ever. Matt couldn't hear him being a punk and asked him to say the prayer adding "Nice and Loud" to his request. So what does Sam do? He shoves his face into a pillow and yells the prayer. I couldn't hold it together. Matt was not happy.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

This is what I get.....

For being a good citizen. Last time I went to give blood I got denied because my iron levels were too low.... This time the iron was just fine. (I ate a lot of broccoli this week.) But the chick with the peircings in her face, (one in her upper lip-kinda like a shiny Cindy Crawford mole, and the other in her nostril) gave me a hematoma. Because of this, they only got 1 pint/liter/I don't know what the measurement is but they only got one. At first it didn't hurt, and she kept appologizing, and I kept telling her it was fine. She gave me an ice pack and even though I didn't think it was necessary, I held it on for 10 minutes like she told me to. About one hour later it started to hurt. It doesn't hurt now but here is how it looks today.

Yeah! Big fat bruise! But no, it's not swollen, my arm is just chubby.

he·ma·to·ma (hē'mə-tō'mə) Pronunciation Key n. pl. he·ma·to·mas or he·ma·to·ma·ta (-mə-tə) A localized swelling filled with blood resulting from a break in a blood vessel.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Wicked Mom

I was a wicked mom today.... But the story starts a few weeks back. And of course we are back to the ongoing saga of the messy room.
Sam has had a messy room for about a year. Not that it never gets cleaned, but it is always a disaster with in 24 hours of the cleaning. So I instituted "Friend Day", where Sam could have a friend over if he cleaned his room the day before. This worked for a total of two weeks and he forgot to ask his friends to help him clean up before they left, and so I think in his eyes Friend Day was more of a contributing problem than a reward.
About two or three weeks ago Friend Day came along and he hadn't cleaned his room. And it really wasn't that messy so I told him if he took a few minutes to clean it up he could still invite a friend over. Wasn't that nice of me?
The same old thing happened-he wanted help. I said no. Only this time, either because he was tired, sick of the same conversation, I don't know what, but this time he said he was going to run away. As soon as he said it he got a really sad face. I could tell it made him sad just to say it. Then the phone rang and it was Matt. I said, "Hi Matt, Sam is about to run away. Would you like to talk to him so you can say goodbye before he goes?" I know this was a mean thing to do, but I really thought he was bluffing. He wouldn't talk to Matt so we hung up. I had to drop something off on the next street over so I asked Sam if he wanted to come with me. He said no, so I locked the door on my way out and on my way to the car it opened and he stepped out clutching a bag of gold fish he had recieved from a classmate that day. I asked him if he changed his mind and he said no, he was running away. So I got into the car and drove away. He started making his way around the block.
When my business was done 2 minutes later, I went back the way I came and saw him walking and crying, down the street. He saw me. I kept driving. Well, I went down a ways and then flipped a Uy (sp?), and I started to follow him from a distance. What could I do? He wasn't breaking any rules. We never made a rule to Not run away. So I just followed, and I think he suspected that I was because when a car was coming up behind him he turned around really quick to see who it was. At the second car he spotted me at a distance but he wasn't sure it was me and he kept turning around to look. So I pulled up and followed about 10 feet behind him. He started walking faster.
I was wondering where he would go. He's not allowed to cross the street alone, so I pictured him walking around the block over and over. But no, that little stinker looked both ways, and crossed the street! After stopping at the stop sign I pulled up next to him and told him he broke a rule, that he wasn't allowed to cross the street alone and that he needed to get his booty in the car! He came to the window and said he didn't want to live with us any more. I offered to find him a new family, so he got in the car. As we drove home I asked him if he thought his new family would let him make big messes and not clean them up. He was sure they would. I reinformed him that they would want him to clean his room and probably do more chores than we make him do. He thought about it. And to my surprise came right into the house.

Fast forward to today-room still a mess. I told him that Dad and I were going to clean his room. He got so happy. I told him he might not have any toys left when we were done and that he had one more chance to go in and do it himself. Nope. He was fine with us cleaning up his toys. And the threat, though an empty one, didn't bother him in the least. (I swear he can see right through me) So we cleaned it up. And while we did we hear a call from the couch down stairs,"Thanks, Mom and Dad, for cleaning up my room!" That little stinker!
When we were done we called him up and told him he doesn't get to play with any toys until he can show us that he can take care of his stuff. We directed his attention to a list of rules. It said:
Get dressed.
Put dirty pajamas in the hamper.
Make your bed.
Go brush your teeth.
Put on pajamas.
Put dirty clothes in the hamper.
Brush your teeth.

We told him if he does all this for a week he can have one bucket of toys back. We will add to the bottom of the list: Put toys away.
If he can do this for a month he gets his toys back. I marked today as the starting day on his new transformers calendar, and a week from today and a month from today. But the list is staying up longer, and I am thinking about putting up some other lists around the house. Something to this effect:
Brush teeth.
Turn off the water.
Put lid back on paste.
Clean your spit and paste chunks off the counter and out of the sink.
Turn the water off again.

Even though I felt totally wicked all day, he seems so much happier. And this morning after he made his bed and got dressed he said,"Mom? Do you forgive me for running away?" I assured him that I already had, and he looked happy about this, but it just about broke my heart. Still I am sticking to what we said about the toys and the list. I have heard it takes three weeks to make a new habit, we are giving him a month to relearn this routine. We'll see how it goes.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentines Day!!

To be honest, I really don't consider Valentines Day a holiday. It's not that I don't like showing those I love how much I love them. And its not that I don't lilke them showing me. I feel like we are pretty good at doing this for each other through out the year. I also can't help feeling like it's a holiday contrived by greeting card companies and Candy companies. That being said, Sam loves it, so I play along.

We bought the valentine cards, and Sam spent some time a couple of evenings this week putting names on them and "signing" them. He was so excited. He took them and put them in their little mail boxes on Wednesday- a day early. Today (Valentines Day) after school he had his not so little shoe box, all decorated and jam packed full of cards and candy. On the drive home he said, "Where are we going tonight?" I told him we were going home and that is where we were going to stay all night. He said, "Oh, well then who is coming over?" I told him no one was. "But mom, it's Valentines Day." Then all of a sudden he came up with one of his brilliant ideas. "Let's invite everyone we know over for a party." I said, "Um, no."

But I had told Matt about two weeks ago that I would make a German chocolate cake and so I said he could invite Grandma and Grandpa A., Becky and Nathan, and Peter over for cake. That way there wouldn't be as much cake sitting around for me to want to eat tomorrow. So he promptly called them when we got home and then he stood less than a foot away from the TV for about an hour. While I was busy trying to make the cake and figure how many points I should count for my one piece and the frosting and stuff, I wasn't really paying attention to what he was doing. Then I saw him standing over by the coat closet looking at it with his hands in a praying stance up by his mouth and he was reading, "Watch TV." He looked at the TV, "Check. Play in Sam's room. Check. Play with Play dough. Not Check." Then he ran into the kitchen and pulled a stool over to the refridgerator and tried to get into the cupboard over it. I asked him what he was doing and he said he was getting ready for the party.
Here are the signs. He numbered them......

The TV Station was already set up, obviously, he said check. And I took care of the cake station, by making the cake.

This is the playdough station he set up. He rolled out the mat and displayed all his beautiful colors.

This is stations 2&4 there are a bunch of little video games in that bucket that he has collected from happy meals and then he pulled a few choice games out of the game closet. ( Risk - ewww, chess- yes he can play it, but he can only beat me, pictionary - we bought this but no one ever feels like playing it, and Leaping Lizards.) His board game sign origionally said Play in Sam's room, but since he hasn't cleaned it since he ran way I vetoed that idea. After he set up the playdough and the games (all the while talking about how this is the first party he has ever planned) he went back to the closet and started his evaluation over,"Playdough, Check. Board games, Check. TV, Check. Video games, check. Cake, Check. Everything is ready, now I can just relax until they get here." The whole time I was picturing him as a grown up and the picture was alot like Fraank (Martin Short) in Father of the Bride. The closer we got to 7 the more he talked- What time is it? How many more minutes? When will they be here? What do you think they will want to do first? etc.

They came and the first thing he did was direct their attention to his menu of activities. They were good sports and played along.

Here is Sam at the cake station.

Play dough station. He kept telling people they could switch any time. And he told Becky while she ate her cake to take her time.

Here we are at the TV station, competing at Jeopardy.

Becky, pleasing Sam by playing video games.

Becky and Sam playing Leaping Lizards.

Sam about to lose.

He had so much fun. While he played with playdough and tried to make sure everyone was having fun, I couldn't help thinking about how different life would be for him if he had some siblings. He would be such a good big brother, always entertaining and keeping them busy. But I am praying he doesn't grow up to be a wedding planner.

Update to our BIG FAT Storm

Well, I didn't get a day off , but we did have a late start. School started at 10 instead of 8. So that was kinda cool.
I did my first subbing job today. The teacher I work with had a doctors appointment so I took the last two classes of the day on my own. It went fairly smoothly, but both classes were 5th graders and pretty obedient, or maybe it's that they are easily intimidated.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Big Fat Storm

Let me start with yesterday. It was warm..... Well, warmer than usual, and the snow was melting. The sun was shining and the piles of snow were getting smaller. This morning - same thing. Sunny, warmer than usual, dry roads.
This afternoon: The sun disappeared and snow started falling. By 4 pm I'd say it was a full on blizzard with major wind. And as of now- 8pm- it is white out conditions according to our weatherman. The road to my in-laws in closed. They are holed up in a hotel for the night. Staying in a hotel is fun, but I don't envy the digging they will have to do tomorrow just to find their house.
I am so not looking forward to going out in it tomorrow. According to KSL their are teachers and students stuck at several elementary schools in Alpine, which is the town I work in, but not in my school. We have been assured by the anchor woman that they are warm and have been fed. Ok, so they are living one of my nightmares. I'm really hoping for a snow day tomorrow = school canceled.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Churros! Party of Two.

Becky received a churro mix from a friend at work. So we had a two person churro party. When she told me she had a churro mix I was thinking of the sugary stuff on the outside of a churro, you know, like a special blend of sweetness. No, no, no. This is somewhat like buisquick. All we did was add some boiling water and stir.

Then we put the dough into a frosting bag with an attachment that gives the churros that special texture. We just squeezed it into the hot oil and then turned them with chopsticks. Becky was worried the whole time that she would end up with a skin graft proceedure when it was all said and done. But we stayed safe and it was pretty yummy.


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Book Review - Conversations with the Fat Girl by Liza Palmer

This book would have been more appropriately titled, "Conversations with a Foul Mouth". I made it all the way to page 20, and while it felt like it could have been a promising story with good points and throught provoking content I just couldn't take the F bomb, which was dropped about 6 times in those twenty pages. Since I didn't feel invested in the book I decided not to read it. It's not often that I quit reading a book, and I encounter swears in my reading adventures often. But once I am emotionally invested in the story, I don't stop reading it unless it all of a sudden gets pornographic. So far I have only run in to one or two of those. And they are not hard to put down. With this one though I couldn't believe all the swears right from the start. The sad thing is that the author is so obviously an intelligent person who was trying to portray intelligent women in her book, but I'm sorry, even though I sometimes think swears can be comical, mostly I think it makes people sound dumb. I'm sure Liza Palmer is capable of writing a book using words to express ideas that are powerful without foul language, but she was not doing that in this book. So needless to say, I would not recommend this book.
*** Blogger note: I intentionally use the word "Swears" instead of "swear words" or "swearing" because I think it is funny. And it illustrates my point that people who use swears as part of their everyday vocabularly are showing their lack of ability to inteligently express themselves.***

Book Review - The Memory Keepers Daughter by Kim Edwards

The Memory Keepers Daughter is about a doctor who tells a whopping lie and then the aftermath of the lie, the effect it has on the rest of his life and the lives of those involved. It was interesting. I have had the opportunity in my life to reflect on certain choices I've made, big and small, and then wonder how my life and or personality could be different had another choice been made, as well as how my choices have effected the lives of others. Thank heaven for forgiveness and repentance! Which are two themes that do not come up in the book until the very, very end. It's a sad book. I would recommend it though.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Value Of A Dollar

Yesterday, while I was feeling overwhelmed by the pile of laundry stacked three feet high and six feet long "hiding " behind my couch, I got a brilliant idea. "Hey Sam!", I said in my most enthusiastic voice. "Do you want to earn some money? I'll pay you a dollar to fold all the towels, rags and washcloths in that pile." He is saving up for a Nintendo DS, so I thought this was a win/win situation. He looked at the pile and said,"Two dollars." I said ,"DEAL!" Then once he saw them all gathered into one heaping basket he tried to talk me into three dollars, but there was no way I was going up again. He still folded them and he did a good job. That boy knows the value of a dollar.

About a week and a half ago, during a conversation/Sunday School lesson/ Story time we had that was taught by and elderly gentleman in our ward, we were informed that we - Matt and I, work harder for our money but get less for it than "back in the day". Brother Stoyteller said that he and his wife could go out every Friday night on a date to the temple, pay the girl down the street 25 cents to watch their 8 children (this was before the last two came along) and after the temple they would go get a burger, fries and a drink for 15 cents each! A whole date for 55 cents! Then he told us minimum wage was less than $2/hour. Still! Holy Cow! 55 CENTS! WOW! And here my six year old is saving his money for a TOY that cost $200 once it's all said and done. (DS plus a game or two.)

Many of you know I work in a middle school. Those Tweenagers are full of shenanigans. Someone has super glued a quarter to the bathroom floor. The first time I saw it, I gently, so that no one could tell brushed my foot across the quarter to see if it had been adhered to the floor. When I found out it was I thought, HAHA (evil laugh) you can't fool me into bending over to pick that up. (Did I mention the ladies room was empty except for me?) Now, twice a day, when I'm on my usual visits to the bathroom - one to GO and the other to make sure I don't have any lunch in my teeth - I kick at the quarter with my foot. Because at this point, I am outraged that someone wasted 25 perfectly good cents. What is the point? It's not like they are hanging out in there watching to see who falls for it. If they were then hey, that's some cheap entertainment. But who wants to hang out in the bathroom. Not me. A much better place would have been in the hall or the lunch room where you can sit and watch unsuspiciously.

I have a brother, who shall not be named to protect his "innocence", who got together with a bunch of friends and found some fresh cow poop, rubbed it on a dollar bill, and then set it on the ground in an obvious spot right outside the doors of a grocery store. They then ran to the car, which was strategically parked in a space with a good view, and waited until someone came out and picked up said poo dollar. And then they had a good laugh when the "lucky person" realized there was a smell, or something sticky on it. The person inevitably dropped it and then it sat for it's next unsuspecting victim. Again, cheap entertainment, though this one I do not endorse. EWW!

I have long thought that Matt and I were born in the wrong era. Why weren't we born in the times when money stretched farther and things cost less, or how about the times when people wanted less? Was there ever a time? Then I think about the problems they had and the things they had to go through, and I'm back to being happy about where and when I am. After all, there was no blogging back then, and it's free!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

The Dangerous Bug Book

Sam checked out The Dangerous Bug Book from the library. Before we even left the library he was reading it. And as I perused the Young Adult section he said, "Mom, I know what bit you in the leg last summer. See! It was a Deer Tick." He then held up a picture identical to a huge bite I had last summer. Along with the picture is a description of how a deer tick will attach itself to a "host" and drink it's blood for up to four days. Freaky!!

So we have all taken our turns looking through this book which lists the top ten most dangerous bugs. We even spent like half an hour being grossed out as a family by this book. Then after, we had put the book away, Matt was still sitting at the table, looking nervous. And then he said, "Great! Now I have gas because I'm nervous about bugs!" And he was dead serious. So Funny!

For your viewing pleasure here is a picture of my bite.

Also for your viewing pleasure here is a picture that Matt emailed to me. I cried when I saw it.