Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Yesterday on the radio they said the most expensive gas in America was $3.37/gallon in Hawaii.  Liars - oh, wait, we do live in a different country (try ordering something on the internet!).

*We were still at $3.79, but, as I said, we don't count since we live in a foreign country.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Back by popular demand

Thursday last week we went to Brenden's parent/teacher conference.  She said that he has completed all assessments for the kindergarten year other than some science things they have not covered, so she did the 1st grade assessment.  In reading, he has far surpassed the first grade assessment, so she said before our next parent teacher conference she would assess him according to the second grade scale.

At the beginning of the year, she tested his reading.  She reported to us that at the end of first grade, a child should be reading 57 words per minute.  Brenden reads aloud 91 words per minute (or did 2 months ago).

The kid impresses me everyday and I hope he never loses his love of learning or his love of reading.

I will post about our fun fall carnival when the spare time presents itself.  I have some very cute pictures to share.  

Brenden says he is ready to move back to Idaho.  Sunday I had a cute quote to share, but have since forgotten it.  Ethan is working hard on walking - he may beat Nolan's record 17 months old!  

My bathroom is in the same state as it was during my last post, but now the kitchen and dining room match.  Nothing is quite functional at this point.

My momma comes Wednesday!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Things to do...

We have been on the look-out for things to do while my mom is here for Halloween and my sister and her family are here for Thanksgiving.  The Nikiski pool is supposed to be a really big deal and people travel from all over the state to come swim at this pool.  There are only 2 like it in the US.  So, after hearing the reviews, we went to check it out.
We were rather (okay, REALLY) disappointed.  After being to so many fun pools in Utah, this was like nothing.  It was supposed to be 85 degrees, but was far from it (on the freezing end).  The hot tub has a maximum capacity of 10 people and from the moment we walked in the door, there were always at least 15 people in it.  There is a small kiddie area.  This is IT - there is a little umbrella rain thing - and it wasn't even on. 
There, on the right side of the ball, is a blue wall.  No toys, balls, kickboards, or anything fun are allowed on the other side of the wall.  BUT, the part inside the wall is 4 feet deep at best and very small.  There were older kids on rafts who are only allowed in this tiny area and I think I got kicked in the head at least 4 times.  How can you teach a kid to swim if the kickboard is only allowed in the area where there are children beating each other with noodles?  The slide from the top picture is not included in the admission - it is extra.  For those of you who don't know us - we are cheap, okay, I am cheap.  The pool is free to Nikiski residents after we fill out the paperwork and they verify our tax status (good news since I am not sure I would pay to go back).  I thought that this pool would really be a highlight of living in a town with one restaurant, one gas station, and one grocery store (which does not even carry cilantro, by the way, and the milk is $5.50/gallon).  Yesterday I needed to get out of the house for a few minutes, so I jumped in my car and realized there is NOWHERE TO GO.  I drove around and found where my seminary students live - how sad.

We are all sick (good news to you mom, we should be better by the time you come).  Friday was teacher inservice, so no seminary and luckily, Doug had the day off.  I think I finally woke up around 11:00 and we went to Home Depot.  I was back in bed by 3:30 and then Doug woke me up as he headed out the door at 8:00 to the Young Men's activity.  He didn't even get home until 4:30 a.m. and then he was sick the next morning too.  The kids are all coughing and have runny noses and Doug and I have sore throats.  Mom, start your vitamin C now, just incase.

In happier news, my bathroom is torn apart - there is no longer a toilet, or sink, or cabinet.  Wait, is that happy news?  We discovered the toilet was never sealed and had been leaking into the floor.  All of the boards under the flooring are molded and squishy.  But, I do find this happy news because it means I get to renovate my terribly planned master bath.  Maybe now we can arrange it so the door will open without hitting the cabinet!

Brenden's room is finished for the most part.  I really wish I had a before picture.  The room was bright yellow with bright pink polka dots. They were more concentrated in the corners and toward the ceiling, which was also painted yellow with pink polka dots.  Even the light fixture and moulding were bright pink - and the bathroom matched.   As the last owners said, "No seasonal affective disorder going on down there!"  When Brenden first saw the room, he said, "I am NOT A GIRL!"  I had small-ish plans to paint and re-arrange the furniture (which was left for us by the previous owners), but no job can be made easy in a Boehme household.  Here is the result:
The quilt was a bridal shower gift from Doug's aunts (I had a camping bridal shower, which couldn't have been a more perfect fit for us).  I have always loved the quilt and it really fits into the room.  I wish you could see it better, but it has fish and canoes and evergreen trees and says "Welcome to the Lake."
Brenden insisted he needed a blue and green room.  Doug had to put in the tongue and groove to match the log bed and he made his own custom moulding for the doors and window.  There is even a computer in the corner next to the bed that the previous owners left and it is full of educational games.  It says the sound card is bad, so I might have to look into that.  I really feel like the room looks small in the pictures, but Doug and I actually considered making it our master bedroom at one point (but weren't sure how wise it would be to leave the boys alone in the upstairs with so many options out of the house).

I think next (after my bathroom) comes tiling the dining room.  The garage is still in progress, but until I have some shelves to put things on, the progress is at a stand-still.  Poor Doug, so much to do, so little time.  (We can't just BUY anything - it has to be custom made.)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


You know, for a girl who said she wasn't going to blog, here is post 3 in two days...  Call me a liar.

I don't have any girls, so this is the best we get at dress-up.  You can tell Ethan was THRILLED.  None of these are even his Halloween costume.  

"Beary unhappy"
"Mad Cow"

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Winter Recreation

I know I said I wasn't going to blog for a while, but I just had to share our OH SO FUN afternoon.  I decided at 1:00 that I wanted to surprise Brenden with picking him up at the bus stop on the snowmobile.  Doug warned me I would probably not be able to get it started after sitting all summer, but I thought I could.  Three very tiresome hours later (of pulling the start cord OVER AND OVER AND OVER), I had to pick up Brenden in the car.  Then, I came home and "voila" (sounds like wollah - it's French), it started on the first try.  Brenden and I rode around the lawn for a while and then a truck with a plow on front appeared in our driveway.  It was Fred (husband to one of Doug's co-workers) come to save the day.  Evidently, he had been in the pharmacy during part of my three frustrating hours of trying to get the snowmobile to start.  He had come to plow our driveway for us.  I enlisted him in more than he had bargained for.  Doug and I have been a little behind the times in our winter recreating, but we bought the boys a little tiny snowmobile at the beginning of the summer before we left Idaho.  We have been unsuccessful in getting it to start, but Fred played with it for a few minutes and "voila," it started.  So, while our spouses were off working, Fred, his kids, my kids and I had a great time in the snow.  While one kid played on the snowmobile, the others played on sleds.
Nolan on the big snowmobile

Still Alive...

I am still alive, but have put my computer in "time out" in the best interest of my home and children.  It takes a lot of self-discipline (I love my computer and the internet WAY too much), but it has paid off and hopefully I can get caught up and back to blogging.  Only two weeks until my mom comes, yeah!  And then a month and my sister and her family come!  Yeah again!  (Bring some heavy snow gear...)
I'm not so sure this picture really allows you to fully grasp the concept of just how much snow there is.  The logs aren't as thick as they look - the snow is simply sitting on the top of them.
I am a little concerned about what happens next.  I think this first winter will be full of surprises and quite a shock.

10 minutes later...
What's that?  You're wondering WHY my computer is in "time-out?"  Because THIS is what happens when I am on my computer.
Ethan ate, yes ate, a self-inking dinosaur stamp.  As a matter of fact, as I am posting this, he is climbing on a chair trying to retrieve the stamp - again.  Back to time-out for the computer!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I've been tagged

First of all, let me say that my side-bar kind of bothers me.  It tells me when people have a new post, but if you posted something in between the last time I looked and your new post, it only shows me the most recent.  I hate feeling like I am being left out of something!

Okay, I have been tagged.  If you can't tell, I can't simply write the short and concise answer.  I must tell an ENTIRE story.  Here it goes:

1. Where did you first meet your husband?
I had just moved into a new apartment in Provo.  I was grilling outside and 2 guys (the other was Dallin) came to visit the girls who lived in the apartment across from me.  Doug noticed that there was a girl grilling and thought that was pretty cool, so he made the apartment of girls come and meet their new neighbors and he tagged along.

2. What was the first thing you said to your husband?
Probably, "Do you want some chicken?"  I don't know.  Maybe, "Hi, nice to meet you."

3. Where was your first date?
I am not quite sure what qualifies as a date.  The night we met, our apartment and our new friends from across the way went to the drive-in movie with Doug and Dallin.  I doubt I would call that a date, but I did sit in the back seat of Doug's car.  My parents had just moved to Utah, so every weekend, I went to see them.  Evidently (I was unaware), but Doug called my apartment every weekend right after I left to ask me on a date (my roommates never told me that part).  After 4 weekends, he decided he would try ONE last time.  I had my bag on my shoulder and was headed out the door to see my parents and there was a knock on the door.  It was Doug and Dallin asking us to go camping with them.  So my roommates and I went.  I still don't think that's a date.  When we got back from camping, Doug and I went together to go get our cars washed and he asked me if I wanted to go spelunking (caving).  I didn't know it was going to be a date, or even what spelunking was.  The way he said it was, "Some of my friends and I are going spelunking tonight, do you want to come?"  So I invited my friend and roommate Vickie, who turned me down insisting this was a date.  After I finally convinced her, I discovered it was a date and told her she had to stay home.  We went to dinner and then spelunking.  Doug thought I was too independent for him though.  I wouldn't be helped through a cave my a bunch of boys - I used to rock climb for goodness sake!

4. Where was your first kiss?
We were camping again with my roommates and Doug and Dallin.  I have some great pictures from that trip.  Everyone was kind of up on this rock looking at the stars and one by one everyone started heading to bed.  It ended up being me and Doug.  He asked me something about my "personal bubble" and  then asked how my personal bubble would feel if he did "this" and he kissed me.  My personal bubble was okay with that.  We call it our kissing rock.  We went back to camp in the same spot once after we were married and they had turned it into a parking lot.  The rock was still there though, so we took a picture.

5. Did you have a long or short engagement/courtship?
We met in May and got unofficially engaged in August (Doug wanted me committed before he headed off the Disney World with his family while I stayed behind for my best friend's wedding).  We got officially engaged in September and were married in November.  So, if you are mormon, that is a normal engagement - others may not agree.

6. Where did you get engaged?
Unofficially in the spot where we very first camped with my roommates and Dallin.
Officially, well, I am a terrible person - let me start with that.  Doug was taking entirely too long asking me officially to marry him and I am not a very patient person.  So Doug was trying to plan this whole big thing and I was being a jerk.  We went to make-out point in Provo (keep reading, this has nothing to do with making out) and hiked a little ways until we could see the sunset.  There, during the sunset, Doug asked me to marry him.  Funny story though: Doug knew I wore my CTR ring on my left ring finger - that is the only way he knew which finger a wedding ring goes on.  Well, I saw a big bulging box in his pocket and moved the ring to make my finger available for the new and better ring.  He started to take my CTR ring off to put the engagement ring on and I said, "No, THIS finger!"

7. Where did you get married?
Bountiful, Utah temple - November 18, 2000.

8. How did the reception go?
The first one: Stressful.  I did my own flowers and we had homemade cake.  Doug insisted we hide the car and wanted me to follow him to bring him back to the reception.  I lost him and ended up going to the reception without him.  He showed up a while later, late for the reception and all sweaty.  My brother and cousin drove around until they found the car anyway and decorated it.  Our second reception was great.  Doug's mom worked so hard on it while we were off honeymooning and it was beautiful - except the part where Greg, Doug's brother, ate a goldfish for $5.  Oh, and I cut the cake with Doug's sister because Doug was nowhere to be found.

9. How was the honeymoon?
Relaxing.  We got married over Thanksgiving break and just went to Park City and stayed in a hotel.  At one point I did have cranberry juice go up my nose, but that was about the most exciting part of it.  We then went back to our little house and had Thanksgiving dinner all by ourselves.  Then school started again and ruined everything...

I tag Emily, Paulette, Amy - yes YOU, Amy (her story is great, it has to do with monkeys), Abby, Mel, Chelan, Naomi, and Mom. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Pictures from October 5

This is the main highway on the Kenai Peninsula.  High traffic, huh?
"Wishful Thinking"
"The Last Stand"
Fall came and went - blink and you missed it.
Getting ready for Halloween 
(the outfit was to "trick mom" - someone gave it to us and I am not a big fan).
Breakfast at the Boehmes

Winter Wonderland

In Brenden's weekly newsletter it said that if it is snowing, the kids are required to wear snow pants, snow boots, coats, gloves or mittens and a hat on at recess (they have to wear them to lunch because recess is after lunch - poor kids).  I was not expecting the snow to stay around so soon.  I thought maybe it would snow off an on for a little while like Idaho, but no, the snow seems to be here to stay - no online shopping this year.  So after I picked Brenden up at the bus stop yesterday, we made the trek in to town to search for boots and pants.  Keep in mind that we probably only have 2 stores as options.   We spent FIVE, yes five, count them one, two, three, four, FIVE hours looking for these items.  Our shopping spree was successful and overwhelming, but Brenden is nice and warm today in the snow.  

Along the way we also met a lady whose 2 year old son was named Nolan.

The following is my ranting and raving about shopping.  Feel free to pass it over, but I have considered my blog as somewhat of a public journal, so the record is a little more detailed than you might normally see in a blog or even enjoy. 

We have a few snow suits that Doug's mom gave us and I went through them.  They are 12 months (too small for Ethan), a 2 (too small for Nolan and too big for Ethan) and a 4 (too small for Brenden and too big for Nolan).  Maybe next year.

We stopped by Sweeny's, a little family owned store.  I found the perfect boots in the perfect size on clearance.  I was ready to go.  Brenden insisted that they, for some reason, had something wrong with them.  So, we found a salesperson who of course showed us the snow boots that were $60.  Brenden fell in love.  They are camouflage.  In the end, we tried on probably 20 pair of boots.  For some reason the lining in them was all bunched up or poorly made so it did not fit properly.  

The store has no shopping carts.  I was trying to hold Ethan while shuffling through a rack of snow pants and snow suits and he was also shuffling them - to the floor.  Nolan was running around like a maniac, no matter how many times I asked him to stay right by me.  I asked Brenden to hold Ethan for just a second and turned back to the rack.  When I turned back around I said, "Where's Ethan?"  Brenden shrugged.  Luckily the store is very small, so he wasn't far, but that store needs some shopping carts.  I guess I know better now and will take a stroller if we head in there again.  Brenden had to go to the bathroom, so I sent him while I stayed with Nolan and Ethan.  Of course then Nolan had to go because Brenden went.  Brenden came back and I asked him to take Nolan because I didn't know what I was supposed to do with Ethan while in the bathroom.

A man went to find me snow pants that would fit Brenden, Nolan, and Ethan.  I told him Nolan needed at 3T, Brenden needed a 5 or 6 and Ethan needed 18 months.  He returned with a snow bibs in 4T for Brenden, a 2 for Nolan, and nothing for Ethan.  Obviously he did not have children.    Besides that, the snow pants were $55!  

So, after two painful hours at Sweeny's, we went to Fred Meyer.  We always go in the door closest to the garden center and sporting goods because there are always parking spots there.  The boys' department is also nearest that door.  We found Brenden snow bibs (which is what he wanted instead of snow pants) and they were 50% off.  We went to the toddler section and they had a bunch of pink and blue, but I was looking for black to go with Nolan's red and black coat.  I final resigned myself to the only pair of 3T blue and threw them into the shopping cart.  As far as Ethan goes, the only options were like a snow "dress" looking thing or snow bibs that also came with a coat.  We decided against the dress.  We went on a search for boots.  

In the shoe department, they had some that looked much less quality, but they were buy one get one half off.  I didn't need two pair.  Nolan has Brenden's old ones and they don't come in Ethan size.  Now we were about 2 hours into being in Fred Meyer.  I was ready to go and Brenden suddenly needed to go to the bathroom.  It must have been very productive because I swear he was in there for 20 minutes.  By this time, it was 9:00 and the boys hadn't eaten dinner.  We went to the deli and found a sandwich for them to eat in the car and a bagel for Ethan.  I also bought milk and a sippy cup.  As we wandered, Ethan found the sippy cup, removed the cardboard around the top and started sucking the life out of it and screaming when the fruits of his labors were unproductive.  We went back to the sporting goods checkout stand.  The cashier rang up the cup and milk very first  

As the cashier was ringing up my last item, I ran into a woman in our ward.  In her shopping cart she had snow boots the same expensive brand as the ones at Sweeny's, but for a much better price.  She made me feel better about not buying the clearance ones at Sweeny's.  She says that kind gets soaked and the kids are miserable. I asked her where she found the boots in her cart.  By the main entrance, of course.  I never go in that door because the parking lot there is so full and I don't enjoy cramming my Suburban between 2 cars, but I always forget that is the door they always put the most important items by.  We finished paying and went to that door.  They had the boots just like the camo ones, but brown instead of camo.  I bought a pair for this year and one for next since they were buy one get one half off.  Then, right as I am paying, I look up and there are 3 racks of black snow bibs.  No wonder they only had pink in the toddler section!  I was not about to go get them after everything else we had just been through.  It was almost 10:00, I hadn't done my lesson, Brenden hadn't done his homework, and my kids were tired and grumpy.

I got home before Doug even left Safeway.  They close at 7:00.  Brenden did his homework and was sent off to brush his teeth and get in his PJ's.  I showed Doug my purchases only to discover the security tag still on Ethan's snow bibs/coat.  I guess Nolan may get black bibs after-all since I have to go back and have the security tag removed and return the boots.  Doug agreed that the camo boots were much cooler, so Brenden won and is wearing them today. I found Brenden on top of his covers, half undressed.  He was not fond of getting up and brushing his teeth and going to the bathroom, but he did it anyway.  

Monday, October 6, 2008

My brain told me

Brenden was moved from the kindergarten to the 1st grade math group today, but he told me several times that he is still in kindergarten.  He was doing his addition homework tonight and there were 5 pictures of hippos, a line, and then 3 pictures of hippos.  While glancing at the picture, without really "counting" them, Brenden told me there were 5 hippos.  He told me that his brain told him that.  He said he can hear it in his head.  Later, when I was trying to relate the story to Doug, Brenden informed me that he could hear his brain, but I could not.  BUT, if I wanted to, I would have to get closer to his brain to hear it.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who's the Sweetest of them all?

Nolan has a blanket and a puppy he sleeps with every night.  Saturday, Brenden stole the blanket and was teasing Nolan with it.  Nolan was rolling around on the floor in misery, so Ethan lovingly crawled over and gave him a hug.  When Nolan continued, Ethan crawled off and returned with Nolan's puppy in tow as an effort to make him feel better.  What a wonderful little brother!

Dear Mommy

Doug found Brenden in his room trying to sound out the words "sorry" and "yelling."  How sweet is he?  No parent prompting required.

Brenden Reading


I don't know how many of you read the comments on my blog, but I received the following comment in my "Law of the Garbage Truck" post.  I feel almost famous that people actually read my blog!

Thanks for posting this great story! My name is Chris, and I work with David J. Pollay, the author of The Law of the Garbage Truck™ - Beware of Garbage Trucks™! I just wanted to stop by and let you know that you can read the original story on David’s blog. I know he’d love to have you stop by!

Also check out the video of people in New York City taking the No Garbage Trucks!™ Pledge: bewareofgarbagetrucks.com. It’s pretty cool.

Thanks again!


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Unsuccessful missionary work

The other day at work a few of Doug's co-workers were asking some questions about Mormons.  The topic of swearing came up - they were asking what Doug's response was to filleting his hand with a chisel a few weekends ago (he put it right through that little fold of skin between the thumb and first finger).  Doug responded that Mormons generally do not swear, but an exception is made for mechanics and farmers.  One of the other pharmacists whirled around with an astounded look on her face until Doug could no longer keep a straight face.  They stopped asking questions after that.

Yesterday, I failed to include that I also had a love note prepared for my departure on my "hot date."  Brenden was hiding it until we were headed out the door.  This morning, I also had a note on my pillow when I woke up.  It said, "I (heart) you mom and dad.  I will give you a big hug and kiss.  I love to see you on the morning.  (heart), Bren"  I find it interesting that the notes always say "mom and dad," but are always given to me.

My 5 year old monster returned this morning, but not in the form of the thoughtful monster.  Doug sent Brenden down to get dressed and make his bed.  I went down a while later to check on him because I hadn't seen him in a long time.  When I opened his bedroom door, the dog he had trapped in there escaped and I was verbally punished.  Brenden was indeed getting dressed and I also noticed his entire floor was covered in love notes for me.  I did not scold him for not being dressed after all of that time, I simply apologized for letting the dog out of his room and left.  A little while later, he arrived upstairs all dressed and I praised him for that.  He was only missing his implant.  I asked him where it was and he responded that he didn't know.  I told him to go find it.  A little while later he returned screaming and yelling that he didn't know where it was and I told him to go back downstairs and look for it and that I did not lose it.

About the implant: Brenden loses it every day while getting dressed in the morning and putting on his pajamas at night.  Usually it is somewhere totally visible, but as I said before, his idea of looking for things involves sitting in one place and crying.  He has come to expect that no matter where he leaves it, mom or dad will find it.  He has been told numerous times to put it in a safe place and he even has a special green and blue striped box to store it in.  He is certainly old enough to keep track of it himself.  For some reason, every time it is lost it is MY fault.

He came back upstairs with the love note I had written to him and proceeded to make sure I was watching, tear it up and wad it in a ball and kick it around the living room while verbally abusing me.  At this point, I was in tears and retreated to my bedroom.  Doug took over and trekked downstairs to assist Brenden in finding his implant.  It was in the middle of his floor.  Yes, the MIDDLE of a perfectly clean floor, thus and therefore, there was NOTHING HIDING IT.  Amazing.

After a little "talk," we consented to be nice to each other and be respectful and responsible.  He then showed me my love notes from all over his floor.  My very favorite said, "To the bist mom and dad."  I'm glad he occasionally thinks so.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Drunk on Ambien

Doug and I hired our first non-related teenage babysitter tonight.  Well, I guess once we hired one, but we stayed home while she watched the kids in the basement.  Other than family members, we have only had our closest friends watch the kids - but I don't think we have even done that since we've had Ethan.  Mandi, you're the only one who would know that, I think.  Did you watch Ethan?  I think by that point, I had reached my grumpy, antisocial point during and just after my masters where I didn't see or talk to anyone for about a year and a half.  Tonight we actually left the house!  Unfortunately, there is nothing to do here and all we did was go to Home Depot (but without any screaming or whining from our children).  Hot Date, I know.

My front yard has it's first snow of the year.  I got a GINORMOUS griddle in the mail the other day.  Early Christmas!  Thanks, Jim and Linda!

Last night, Nolan informed me at dinner, "I'n tired mommy."  Yes, "I'n," I did not misspell that.  So, I jumped at the opportunity of a lifetime and put him and Ethan in bed at 5:30.  What kind of a mother am I?  I turned a movie on for Brenden, got him some popcorn, and told him I was going to bed.  I am pretty sure Nolan and Ethan were still awake when I fell asleep, but they were in the safety of their child proofed, toy free bedroom.

This is where the drunk part comes in.  As Doug and I were headed home tonight, we were following a drunk driver.  I have never been drunk nor has a taste of alcohol ever touched my lips, but if being drunk is like taking an ambien, no thank you.  When I take an ambien, it hits me quick and strong.  Within 15 minutes, I have blurred vision, slurred speech, and require assistance to walk.  

When I was pregnant with Ethan, I couldn't sleep and took an ambien.  I had to hold onto the wall in order to make it to my bedroom and then decided it would be a great idea to change the batteries in my bathroom scale.  I don't remember it, but somewhere along the line, Doug's dad called me.  All I know is that we had some sort of jibberish conversation and then he told me I sounded tired and to go to bed.  Sometime later, Doug came home to find me sitting on my bed pushing the buttons on my scale and saying over and over, "I can't read the numbers."  Next is the part I actually remember.  Doug took the scale away from me and told me he was staying there in the room with me until I fell asleep.  I told him I needed to take my prenatal and brush my teeth and he wouldn't let me.  I was so mad that he did not understand how important that was and that I was not allowed to get out of bed.  I felt like I was 5.

So last night, knowing I needed some sleep, I took an ambien at 6:00.  I then washed my face, brushed my teeth, and took my other pills.  I put a "do not disturb - ambien in progress" sign on my door.  By this time, the staggering and blurred vision hit.  I staggered into bed and then realized I needed a drink.  It was a miracle I made it to the kitchen and back without falling flat on my face - and my bedroom door is attached to my kitchen, there isn't even a hall I have to go down.  I laid down and I was OUT!  A while later, Doug called and Brenden answered the phone.  He answered, "Daddy?" and then had a little conversation where Brenden told Doug my door said "do not disturb."  I have no idea what else happened.  A while later, Brenden came in to ask me a question and I guess I responded that Dad would be home soon, ask him.  I must have sounded ridiculous because Brenden told Doug how hilarious I was talking in my sleep.  To me it sounded alright, but then again people who have their wisdom teeth out think they are making perfect sense as well (clearing throat and mumbling: Jeremy, Greg, and Marinda - okay, mostly just Jeremy).

Now the unfortunate part about the ambien hitting so hard and so fast is that it doesn't last the 8 hours it is intended to.  By 10:45, I was wide awake - perhaps it was the fact that I also took a laxative - a combination I do not highly recommend nor did I initially intend.  I wanted to leave out that little detail of the story, but Doug just thought it was too funny that I took the 2 drugs together, he insisted I add it.  Doug had removed them by this time, but informed me I had had love notes from Brenden draped across my whole body when he got home (pictures follow).  So, I took another ambien and went back to bed.

We missed most of the morning session of conference today because we weren't prepared by 8:00 A.M.  I caught up at about Brother Uchtdorf's talk.  It sounded similar to the RS one, but something I could probably apply in my life.  It seemed like many of them were.  I realized that quite a bit of what we heard were things I say over and over in seminary, but fail to implement in my own life.  I really liked the idea that prayers are not a single occurrence, but one long conversation with God.  It sounded a lot like a blog to me!  I guess that is how I related it my own life.  I think we might be re-watching the morning session later or reading it in the Ensign.  It is hard to hear on the computer while there are children running rampant.  

Tonight when Doug and I got home, I had another love note from Brenden on my pillow, along with a box of raisins.  Better than a mint on my pillow, in my opinion.  He is such a thoughtful little boy.  I can count on at least 5 love notes a day, usually in different shapes, sizes, and forms.  My children, although monsters, are sometimes very sweet monsters.
If you can't read it, it says, "I love you. We love you Mommy and Daddy. I will give you a big hug mom and dad. From Brenden. To Mom and Dad." Followed by, I think I counted 12, I love yous. 

As long as I am scanning pictures, I had to share this one.  It is called "Dog Show."
To the left is a dog swimming, then there is a dog jumping through the hoop, one standing, one sitting up, a dog sitting down, and then a dog laying on his bed.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Law of the Garbage Truck

So, after all of my whining, I open my email to find this email. I am sorry for dropping my garbage on all of you.

One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport. We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches! The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was really friendly. So I asked, 'Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!' This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, 'The Law of the Garbage Truck.'

He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they'll dump it on you. Don't take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don't take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets. The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day. Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so...Love the people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don't. Life is ten percent what you make it and ninety percent how you take it!

Have a blessed, garbage-free day!

More audiology woes, but this time, NOT the audiologist.

**Before you read this, please note I love my children and would not trade them for anything in the world, no matter how much grief they cause.  You will nearly never hear me discuss the challenges of having 2 deaf children AND being a sleep deprived seminary teacher, but every now and then, I just need to let it all out.  God only gives us the challenges we are fit to handle, right?  I think he got me confused with someone else.**

Monday Doug picked up Brenden's "fixed" hearing aid (I use the quotes because I'm not so sure I believe it is true).  So, Tuesday, I asked Brenden's teacher to send home his FM so I could make sure they were working together.  (An FM is a microphone device that transmits the sound straight from the teacher, or whatever is near the microphone, to his hearing aid and cochlear implant.)  She didn't get my email.  So, Wednesday, she emailed me and said she would send it home.  Near bedtime, I took the FM out of his backpack and asked Brenden for his hearing aid.  He said he didn't have it in and that he had left it in the living room.  So, I crawled around the living room acquiring piece after piece of the dismantled hearing aid (thank you, Ethan).  I found all of the pieces but the battery and the FM boot and shoe (ridiculous names, but that is how the FM is transmitted to the hearing aid - they are two very tiny pieces).  I was really freaking out about the battery because if Ethan swallowed it, he could, well, here this website says it better than me:
Swallowed batteries can tear or burn the throat (esophagus). If the battery has poisoned the child, there may be pain, vomiting, or bleeding. The airway can be obstructed, organs can be damaged by poisoning, and in rare cases, death can occur.
So, I crawled around for a while more and called Doug to see if he would be home shortly.  I continued to crawl around the living room, then proceeded to the dining room, kitchen, up and down the stairs, through the boys' room (with a flashlight), and throughout the whole house - now I know the downside to a 3300 sq. ft. home - I always thought it would be the cleaning.  

Finally, I was relieved to find the battery, but the FM pieces were still missing.  I was less concerned about those except they belong to the school district and cost around $2600.  By this time, Brenden had gone to bed, so I woke him up and asked him where the pieces were and he shrugged and went back to sleep.  I asked if he would rather we throw the hearing aid away and he said, "Yes, then do I get 2 implants?" (he hates his hearing aid, I think because he gets little to no benefit from it).  

Then Doug came home.  He helped me search for a little while and then woke up Brenden to come help us.  By this time, Nolan was also up and on the hunt with the flashlight.  I think Nolan was more help than Brenden.  Brenden's form of searching involves sitting in one place and crying - no matter what we are searching for.  Finally, after nearly 4 hours of searching, we went to bed.  (I was mostly mad because I missed 4 hours of the very little precious sleep I get - usually only about 5 hours.)

The next morning, I called Brenden's Deaf Educator and his teacher and told them the shoe and boot were lost and he would not be wearing them.  I was preparing Ethan to go get an x-ray, incase they were ingested.  I put away breakfast and opened my pantry.  My pantry has spice racks on the doors.  I glanced down and in the very bottom compartment, there were no spices, but 2 pieces to an FM.  Ethan's favorite spot to play is in the spices (as I mentioned in the post with the picture of the green face).  I had opened all of the other cupboards the night before, but not the pantry.

We headed out to the car and there was some sort of charger on my front lawn.  I thought maybe it belonged to one of Doug's power tools and put it in the garage.  We drove quickly to Brenden's school and got all of his gear up and running (funny quick side note: when we lived in Pocatello, one day at church a little boy in my Sunday school class asked me why my son got to wear spy gear to church every Sunday).  His teacher then mentioned that the charger for the microphone part of the implant was not in Brenden's backpack.  I had totally forgotten about the charger in the lawn at this point and told her sorry, I didn't have it.  Then it occurred to me.  So I packed the little boys back into the car, drove the 20 minutes home, got the charger and drove back.  The charger, by the way, was covered in frost, leaves and dirt - it too belongs to the school district.  It must have fallen out of Brenden's backpack the day before.  (Another side note: by this point, it was 10:30 and only 28 degrees!)

So, now Doug is in search of a high school student to hire to watch the children so I can actually get something done.  My elliptical and treadmill have been virtually untouched since we moved, the house is a mess, and I am a sleep deprived, moody mom.  Consider this a "Help Wanted" ad.  (Although I refuse to hire anyone because I feel like less of a person for not being able to handle it all myself - it is my full time job after all).

Help Wanted 
Job Requirements:  Must be able to cook 3 square and evenly balanced meals a day, clean, play monster trucks and dinosaurs.  Must be able to read aloud tongue twisting Dr. Seuss Books for several hours on end without any interruptions or pauses for water to quench the dry mouth caused by such task.  Must be an expert in hearing devices and education of children wearing such devices.  Must be able to balance checkbooks and pay bills on time.

Tasks: Potty train a stubborn 2 year old, keep a 1 year old from eating or throwing everything in sight, and make a 5 year old responsible enough to keep track of the small items that should be attached to his head.  Teach values and decipher lies from truths.  Homework help and additional meaningful educational experiences for the children are required on a daily basis.  Grocery shop in town with three children and leave the store with sanity still in tact.  Flawlessly coordinate the sleeping habits (naps and bedtime) of two children who share a room with meals and bus stop pick-up and drop off.  A parent led Friday preschool would be a desirable addition.  Some occasional "just for fun" activities desired, but not required.

Pay: Nothing, nada, zip, zilch.  
(I suppose except for the gratification of seeing your children grow and progress everyday from your efforts - oh, and watching them sleep - that is when it all seems worth it.  Can't forget the sweet, constant "I Love You.")

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Okay, so here is Brenden's school picture.  To retake or not to retake?  They are so darn cute I don't want to give them up, but at the same time, what in the world is he doing?  He got off the bus and said, "I have pictures, you are going to laugh so hard!"  I have added a poll to my sidebar.  Let me know what you think.