Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Brenden held up his end of our bargain and did not cry about missing the party on Friday. He was sad and continually told me he was fine and could go to school - and he was - but it hadn't been 24 hours yet. He slept part of the afternoon on Thursday and was up by 5:30 Friday morning, ready for the day. And - he can now beat me at Mario Kart.

I did take him to the pool Friday afternoon to get his ice cream, free t-shirt and prizes. He was "feeling shy" because he wasn't there with his friends, but was showing up late and feeling un-invited. He gets like that when things aren't as he had planned. He refused to eat his ice cream there with his other friends, so he took it in the car - where he allowed it to melt and then spilled it everywhere. "Mom, my ice cream spilled." "Did you pick it up?" "No, it's still spilling." "Then PICK IT UP!" Brenden is wearing his t-shirt today.

Brenden won the award for the most minutes read in the primary grades. He received $20 to a local bookstore, which we had to promptly leave the party to go spend. He found 5 chapter books rather quickly and it only cost me $.09! He is really into the Secrets of Droon books, which I had never heard of, but when I was reading one with him the other day I was rather entertained. I am going to see if I can find him the whole set because it is hard when you start at book 28.

I realized the other day as I re-read my blog that it is all about Brenden. Well, in my defense, he is the only one of us who leaves the house on a daily basis. Well, Doug does, but his life is less entertaining. Work, work, work, and occasionally fish. So, here are our updates:

Me: I am trying to find time to read. I clean - alot. And do laundry. I have come to realize my family has entirely too many clothes since I have several gigantic piles of laundry - probably 2 weeks worth - and all of the kids still have plenty of clothes to choose from. My garage is almost completely clean and organized. Then comes the storage room.

Nolan: What is there to say about Nolan? He kind of just follows me around talking constantly. When I was younger, my mom was babysitting a 3 year old who followed her around saying, "What are you doing? Why?" I used to wonder why this bothered parents. Why don't they just answer it? Well, it's because you can only answer it 4,324,672 times a day before you go completely insane. Nolan even talks constantly from the 3rd row in the car, where I can barely hear him, but strain to listen because he will just continue to repeat himself until I repeat exactly what he said back to him. At least he is fairly easy to understand. The other day it took me maybe 3 entire minutes to decipher the word lunch - it sounded like "funch" from the driver's seat. I said every combination of letters I could think of that ended in "unch" until he said, "When you eat food, like with dad at work..." Oh, LUNCH! Sometimes I tune him out and just say, "Uh, huh...uh, huh." until I realize that I just agreed to something I didn't really want to. Usually, people are genuinely surprised when my little boy opens his mouth and intelligent words begin to flow. He has picked up Brenden's use of big words and tries them out himself.

Ethan: His new hearing aids are AMAZING! His speech is improving by leaps and bounds. I guess they're not kidding when they tell you that 5 year old hearing aids are archaic. Ethan has begun to jump - and his feet are actually leaving the floor! It is an accomplishment for my balance-challenged little guy. He asks for his diaper to be changed right before he poops. Every time. He has quite the temper. He has taken Nolan and Brenden's bad-mood-habits and combined them to form his own display of anger. I told Doug yesterday that I think that all of my children need anger management. They don't hit much, which is nice, but they do yell and growl at each other quite a bit. I can watch Ethan and think, "Yep, that was Nolan (or Brenden) that just showed up in Ethan." Ethan's favorite book is "Go, Dog, GO!" and he wanders around the house yelling it. We read it at least 5 times a night before bed. His favorite toy right now is Geo Trax. He and Nolan build a new train everyday.

When Ethan got his new hearing aids, we also got him an FM system. It is wonderful. Well, I was also pleasantly surprised to discover it works with Brenden's implants. I was using the FM for Ethan one night and Brenden came from the basement and said, "I can hear you talking." It has come in handy. Brenden was in his room last night and I turned on the FM and said, "Attention Brenden Boehme. Please come clean out the dishwasher. Attention Brenden Boehme." He STILL, after years of FMs, hasn't figured out that although I can talk to him through walls, he CAN'T talk to me.

And that's it. That's us.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Heart Break

I have a sad, sad story to share. Here it is:

I had a Primary meeting this morning at 10:30. I had Brenden out the door by 8:15 and made Doug lunch. I made the rest of us lunch while I was at it because we were going to town and would be eating with Doug. Doug left for work at 8:30. I got the boys breakfast and dressed them. I went to shower. We were out the door at 10:00. 10:05, I remember that our lunches are still in the fridge. I go back home. 10:10 and we're going to be late for my meeting. 10:35, I show up (luckily, I was on time according to Mormon-standard-time). I sit down for the meeting and before the opening prayer, my phone rings. It is the school nurse. Brenden came in complaining of a headache, she took his temperature, and he was 100.8. "Please come pick him up." I explained that I just started a meeting and I would be there when I was finished. We finished around 11:30. Well, I was supposed to meet someone in the Safeway parking lot at noon to deliver an item she purchased from me on Craigslist. I called Doug to see if he could meet her if I dropped off the item with him. I went to get gas. $85 worth. By that time, it was time to meet the lady anyway AND Doug was out in the parking lot waiting to meet her without the item in his possession. I delivered the item. Nolan cried because we were supposed to eat lunch with Doug and he couldn't. Ethan cried. He loves his dad. 2 hours after the call, I finally showed up to pick Brenden up from school. (There is another long story that goes with this that involves showing up at the same time as his teacher for the deaf and non-working FM receivers and returning home with her to try to get them to work, but I won't tell that story. I kind of just did...)

Brenden is now home and comfortably watching Scooby Doo. What's sad about this you say?

Tomorrow is the big swimming/ice cream/free t-shirt party for the kids who read over the summer. He read EVERY DAY this summer - somedays for as long as 6 hours a day - to get this prize. School policy states that he has to be fever-free medicine-free for 24 hours before he can return to school. He can't go to the party he has worked for the last 3 months to get to. I can't bear to break it to him. It will really and truly break his heart. You don't think it's sad? You come watch his face fall, his lip begin to quiver, and the eventual flow of tears and know you are the one that did that - and not because of anything bad that he did.

The rest of the sad story is that my poor son misses all of the fun things at school. I mean, like, every last one of them. Last year he missed the big Halloween party. We were in Anchorage at the audiologist on the day of the Thanksgiving celebration. He cried at school telling his teacher that he was going to miss it and she said, "Well, at least you will be here for the Winter Celebration!" (aka. Christmas Party). We were on an airplane on the day of the "Winter Celebration." Now this is the party of all parties (exclusively for the devoted summer readers) and he can't go. I hate to break my son's heart. But it has to be done. Maybe I'll make Doug do it...

On a positive note, Brenden's name was announced in school this morning as the top runner in the school. They have a 1/4 mile square marked outside on the playground. Every time they go around it, their paper gets marked until they have gone 5 miles and then they start a new paper. He is on his third paper. Wow - the kid has some motivation!

We made a deal. In exchange for no crying, I gave Brenden the MarioKart game that was being saved for Christmas. Yes, it's worth that much to me. The boys have known it was in my closet since June and Brenden has asked for it "early" several times. That's just one less item for Christmas morning. I guess I'll just have to make sure they play the wii on Christmas Day. (It's a rare privilege that they can play anything other than wii fit or wii active.)

Brenden asked Nolan, "Do you want to play MarioKart?"
Nolan: What?
Me: The driving game for the wii.
Nolan (looking around): Are it Christmas?
Me: No, but you can play it early.
Nolan: And then we will put it back in the box and save it for Christmas?

Too cute, isn't he?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cub Scout

I took Brenden to sign up for Cub Scouts yesterday afternoon. It was $18.50 to sign him up. One mom was signing up two kids. She stood there with her checkbook in hand:

The Mom: So, how much do I write my check for? (Proceeds to attempt the calculation in her head - with slight hand movements to indicate carrying the ones.)
Scout Lady: I'm not sure. I was an English major in college. (Kneels down and pulls out scratch paper to work out the problem.)
Several moments pass.
Scout Lady: When all else fails, I pull out my handy, dandy calculator! (Has to cross the room and search though her bag for the calculator.)

All of this for $37! I was ready to scream it from across the room. I hope scouts doesn't require math.

It has been frigid here. I refuse to turn on my heat, so we have been using the fireplace. When we left the house at 9:00 this morning, it was 36. My house was 62.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Brenden has been using Ethan and Nolan's bathroom since Doug's parents were here. He got a new toothbrush and tooth paste from the dentist, so I asked him if he was going to put them in his bathroom or the other kids' bathroom. He said he'd put them in his original bathroom, only he said "orginal." I guess he missed an i when he read that word somewhere.

Friday, September 18, 2009


Brenden has recently discovered postscripts. There is now a P.S. to nearly everything he writes or says out loud.

"Brenden, put your shoes on."
"P.S. I need socks."

He has to write down one book he reads every day and Tuesday's block says Miss Nelson is Missing P.S. I'm having a bad day.

He also saw that we own the movie P.S. I Love You, so now he says that an awful lot. I love when he discovers new words, phrases, or concepts and tries them out to make sure he uses them in context. He never fails to shock me with his vocabulary. He is developing the vocabulary of a well educated college freshman attempting to impress his english teacher. He is constantly asking me what words mean. I'm going to have to start writing them down because they aren't words most six year olds spout in everyday conversation.

This morning Brenden announced, "A scientist who studies microbes is a microbiologist and a scientist who studies volcanoes is a vulcanologist." I had to look up the vulcanologist to verify and as always, he was right. When I told him his dad used to be a microbiologist, he was shocked that anyone would give up that profession! He thinks Uncle Jim is even more cool than he ever was before.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


I took the boys to the dentist yesterday and when asked if I had any concerns with their teeth, Brenden announced, "I haven't lost ANY teeth yet!" He is anxiously awaiting his first loose tooth, but the dentist said it isn't coming anytime soon. All three boys were the best dental patients ever.

Doug and I must have picked something up in Mexico and it hasn't been pleasant. But I can confirm that it makes a good diet plan!

Saturday, September 12, 2009


This is where we stayed:
We spent most of our time on the beach.
Below is the swim-up bar where I think we might have been the only people requesting non-alcoholic beverages. Everyone in every restaurant was in awe that we didn't drink. Not that they didn't try to bring us some anyway - and then offer to drink it all themselves when we turned it away.
The courtyard outside our room.
Our first full day, we relaxed on the beach. Okay, what am I saying? Everyday we relaxed on the beach.
and swam in the ocean.
The boardwalk to the beach is crawling with Katamundis.
Doug made a great deal for my new hat. The guy wanted $20, but went down to $15. Doug only had $7. They settled for $7 and 2 hamburgers (which were free to us!).
My dad played volleyball twice a day everyday. Doug joined in a few times.
Dustin and Paulette - ahem - "bonded."
Day two was more of the same:
Showing off my hat from our balcony.
This guy looked like a lobster, but still laid out everyday. Along with this picture come pictures of topless women, but I will spare you those.
We wandered down the beach to see the sandcastles and we found one that is not child appropriate, so I will not post it on my blog. It was masculine in nature.
My mom and me.
Swimming in the ocean.
Uh oh.
Red means: Don't swim.
Ready for our first fancy Cajun dinner.
It was a HUGE letdown. I wish I had a picture of our faces when they brought our "fancy" meals.

Paulette said, "With Doug, everything's like a constant photo shoot." Uh huh.
I tried out water aerobics.
Somewhere along the line, Doug and Dustin learned how to sail a katamaran. It has a slight learning curve. We went to rent it and the girl asked us if any of us knew how to sail. "No," Doug said, "But how hard can it be?" All the girl had to say was, "If they have to come rescue you, it's $50." When the little man pushed us away from shore, he looked terrified for us. The guys picked up on it very quickly and Dustin and I only had to jump off and push the katamaran once. The men did attempt to rescue us, but we sent them on their way and said we were fine. We were NOT about to pay $50.

Doug's Cancun tip #25: Always sunscreen your belly button.

Halle the fish.
Dustin, Paulette, Emily and Jared went parasailing.
Dustin and Paulette on the jet ski out to the boat.
Going up...
Two days before we left, Dustin, Paulette, Doug and I went to Playa del Carmen to shop for souvenieres for our kids. After 3 hours, we returned to the first store we had gone to and bought Nacho Libre masks for all of the boys. We also bought our boys musical instruments. Life has had a lovely soundtrack since then.

While on the beach, Emily and Jared got pictures with a monkey and an iguana.
Emily was buried in the sand.
We all tried to see how far we could swim on one breath.
As a side note: the pool was salt water. We discovered it didn't hurt to open our eyes under water. I suppose it is just like swimming through Visine.
On our last morning, we got up early to see the sunrise.
As did my mom and dad.
And I was eaten by an alligator.

We left Cancun at noon and were back in Anchorage by 11:00 p.m. We drove home, fighting to stay awake, and arrived home at 3:00 a.m. We had been up for 24 hours. Okay, Doug had. I just couldn't do it and dozed off in the car, but woke up every few minutes to make sure Doug was still awake. Doug was back at work by 8:45 that morning and has worked ever since.

Before Josh and Marinda left that night, we took a few pictures of all of the boys.
Nolan, Brenden, Ethan, and Josh
Thanks Brandon for letting us borrow your family for a while.

On our way!

On August 29, Doug's sister Marinda and her son Josh came to stay with the boys while Doug and I went to Cancun. We are forever in her debt. I can't believe I put anyone through watching 4 boys alone for over a week.
On September 1, Doug and I drove to Anchorage and began our long trek to Cancun. Our flight left at 8:20 p.m. and arrived in Houston, Texas at 6:00 a.m. We had a six hour layover so we could go see my brother's family for a little while and fly the rest of the way to Cancun with them.
My brother Dustin and his wife Paulette
Toothless Dylan
Also toothless Kolton
Kolton and Hayden
We hung out with the neighborhood crowd and watched Dylan get on the bus...
... were awed by the three year old bike riding wonder...
... and then flew to Cancun.
We checked into our resort - which was a LONG process of trying really hard to get rooms near each other.
We had this waiting on our bed.
We wandered the resort, checked out the beach, and waited for the rest of our family to arrive. While everyone went to the nightly show, Doug and I went to bed. We figure we were up for about 36 hours.