Thursday, March 30, 2006

Nobody in town likes pickles

Okay - I really have no idea what that means but I'm always searching for clever titles and that seemed like a good one. As usual, it was an unsolicited random comment from Bella. I really have no idea where she gets some of the things she says.

We just got home from Felisa's 2 year check up. Officially completely healthy. Always good to know. I thought Bella was completely healthy too but the doctor discovered her ASD at her 2 year check up. And now she is officially completely healthy as well. Bella was NOT happy about the shots that Felisa got (neither was Felisa, of course!) so I won't tell her now that she has to get shots before Kindergarten.

So I had a revelation earlier. At group on Monday I told C and S that I have been reading The Purpose Driven Life and that the last couple of chapters had seemed to me as though God was a puppeteer and we are all just his puppets. Which I know isn't true but I couldn't help feeling that way about what I was reading. Today I was thinking about my own kids. Why did I have kids? I'm really not sure exactly but the main reason is to love them. God is our father and he created us to love us, just as Ron and I created our 3 to love them. It's amazing to me sometimes how I can "get it" so much easier if I put it into terms of myself as a parent first then substitute God as the parent then next thing I know - Aha! Light bulb moments. So now maybe I'll go back and read those chapters with this new perspective and see if I can get a little more out of it.

And on that note, I need to tear the girls away from Dora so we can go get Ryan from school.

Monday, March 27, 2006

They're related...

Just opened the oven to put in the ham and what do I see??? A pizza stone left in there by none other than my darling husband. Same trick as his mom. I've learned though, to check the oven before I turn it on after her visits. She likes to put big pans in there to dry. Which is great except I've never done that so I don't always check before pre-heating! After 11 years I have learned and actually remember to check. Well, half the time anyway! :)

Muscle vs. Fat

Got this in an email article from our class trainer, Nathan...

"Personal fitness trainer Kelli Calabrese MS, CSCS, ACE, notes that every pound of muscle in our bodies burns 35 calories a day, while each pound of fat burns just 2 calories per day.
While 30 minutes of aerobic exercise may burn more calories than 30 minutes of weight training, Calabrese says, "in the hours following the cessation of exercise, the weight training has a longer-lasting effect on boosting metabolism."
Having extra muscle also means you can eat more and gain less. "

I thought the 35 calories vs. 2 calories was particularly interesting. I had never heard that before though I did know that in general having more muscle is good for the metabolism.

Just more random info in the never-ending battle of muscle vs. fat and will I EVER lose those 20 lbs again? At this point I would be ecstatic just to lose 5!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

She Works Hard For Her Money

So I went to Cpr for a crop yesterday. Up at 0400. Home at 11 pm. Sold $90 worth of LP products. Got about 15 pages done in my own book. The song "She Works Hard For Her Money" was on the radio on the way home. Made me reflect a little on my Scrapbook Job.

1. I enjoy making scrapbooks. Mine and other people's.
2. I love ALL the products LP comes out with. I could make lots of pages with LP product but I have alot of other stuff here already to use first.
3. I like vendoring. It's no pressure sales. I have a captive audience of dedicated scrappers. They come to me. BUT I would do better if I were pushing the home parties as a follow-up. Of course that would require more time out of the house. A hard sell for Ron.
4. I could make more money doing a weekend drill once a month for the Navy. BUT I like scrapbooking so much more.

Lots to think about...

Thursday, March 23, 2006


The Doctor of the Future will give NO Medicine, but will interest his patients in diet and nutrition, exercise and the care of the human frame. He will teach them about the cause of ALL disease.

-Thomas Edison

Another day wasted

Here it is, 3:30 on a Thursday. Last night before bed, as I surveyed the disaster otherwise known as my house, I thought - Okay. I have an entire day tomorrow without any plans. I will be able to clean this place up and make good progress on a few projects.

While the day is not over yet, I feel that I was overly optimistic last night. I feel as though I have done nothing today although if I review (brief pause while I investigate Ryan's report of a baby with no diaper and a bad smell... turns out to be a baby who shed her wet underwear in the hallway. When I asked her to take the wet undies to the diaper bucket she said "sgussing" That's Felisa-speak for disgusting. Makes me laugh everytime she says it!). Okay, back to the review of my day. I did the dishes. Washed 2 loads of laundry, dried one load, and folded and put away 3 loads. Got Ryan to the bus stop on time. Figured out what to make for dinner. Started my food journal again in hopes of actually losing weight sometime in the next months before I completely lose all hope (for those who don't know - when my eardrum ruptured 2 years ago I ended up with thrush. The nice side effect of all that was a weight loss of 40 lbs. I have since gained 20 lbs back. I started my exercise class in September (6 months ago) and have not gained or lost weight and my clothes still do not fit. I gave up sugar and Starbucks for lent (that's at least 500 calories a day right there). Still nothing. So I guess I need to look a little harder at how many calories are going in to my mouth. I hate counting calories - not something I've ever really done - but now I am. Counting calories and matching carbs/proteins in hopes of defeating the diabetes gene.) I skimmed through the South Beach Diet cookbook (nothing amazing there so back it goes to the library), and cleared out old emails from my inbox and caught up on downloading ecuts (scrapbook accents) for a grand total of over 1,000 emails down to just about 200. I decided what to offer as a door prize at Saturday's crop. I figured out which containers of LP supplies to bring.

So no amazing progress on any of the projects I had envisioned last night. But I guess not a complete waste of a day. I still have Ryan's swimming lessons this evening so that's another tally for the done column.

Monday, March 20, 2006

The Bird Stalker

There is a big fat robin that has been stalking us for a week now. I first saw him flying repeatedly into the garage window of my neighbor's house. He had to have flown into the window at least 20 times while I was outside. He finally flew away and I figured that was the last we'd see of that crazy bird. But no... later that day I heard him again. This time he was flying into the side window of our bedroom. Thump, thump, thump. What?!?! What is up with that bird?! Why does he keep flying into the window? Then he quit. So once again, I thought he was gone. But no... the next morning when the sun comes up... Thump, thump, thump. He's back. He's been here everyday for a week. A couple days ago, Ron and I saw him perched on the ledge at the top of our big bedroom window, looking in at us. Okay, now this is getting weird. He was on the ledge again this morning. I'm wondering who sent him and what he wants!

Thursday, March 16, 2006


Well, it was all to no avail... sometime last night while I was sleeping... POP! Good-bye eardrum. I called in already and get to go back to the doctor this morning. Any bets on how long it will take?

I haven't eaten breakfast yet - I'm afraid of the loud chewing noise. :) I'm sure others have experienced a similar sensation, when you are congested and your ears feel all plugged up and you can hear yourself chewing. This however is about 20 times louder than that! And the shower... oh my gosh that's loud!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Bum Eardrum

Some people have a bad knee, or perhaps tennis elbow. I have a bum eardrum. Two years ago, seemingly out of nowhere, my left ear started to hurt. I ignored it at first. Then laid down for a nap. It just kept getting worse. Finally I broke down and called the doctor. My choices - drive an hour to the ER on base or wait until the next day for a regular appointment. I made the appointment and debated whether or not it was worth it to drive all the way over to the base. Next comes excruciating pain and tears. Then... Pop... no more pain. Of course I can't hear either but at least it doesn't hurt any more. So I go to the regular clinic the next day where I am diagnosed with a ruptured eardrum. This incident was just the beginning of the thrush rollercoaster that followed for the next 6 months but I'll save that story for another post.

And by now you are all wondering why I am writing about a ruptured eardrum from 2 years ago. Well, at about 4 this afternoon, once again coming out of nowhere - ear ache. Ouch! I have learned from the first time though that it most likely won't just go away on its own. So I check my Green Pharmacy book. It recommends immune system boosting (so I down a couple Echineacea gummy bears) and ephedra (so I take the last 2 sudafeds we have in the house). Back upstairs to rest until time for my meeting. Pain gets worse so I call the doctor (this time within 2 hours of onset, not 5 hours like last time - I'm learning!). The best they can do is a 9:30 p.m. appointment at the after hours clinic. We are with Kaiser now, not the military, so I only have to drive about 15 minutes to the clinic this time. I arrive on time. I am taken immediately in to get my vital signs recorded. This is where I make a BIG mistake. The nurse asks me my level of pain on a scale of 1-10. Well, the Tylenol dropped it down to a 4. Then by the time I headed out to my appointment, it had stopped hurting and I once again couldn't hear anything out of my left ear. So I told her that. Which apparently put me at the bottom of the triage list. I should have stuck with the original 6 that it was several hours earlier. Instead I spent one and a half hours sitting in the waiting room. Yawn! This is way past my bedtime. I just want to go home. After all, I figure it had already ruptured (even though I didn't get the Pop this time). But, I was already there and if I left, I'd just have to spend an hour or so the next day at the regular clinic. So I stayed. Turns out it hasn't ruptured - yet. Which would explain the abscence of the Pop. A prescription for antibiotics and a box of sudafed and I'm home free... time - 11:36 p.m. - and I'm on the road. So over 2 hours for about 10 minutes with the doc and 10 minutes waiting at the pharmacy. And since the only sudafed they had at the pharmacy was non-drowsy (though I think all sudafed is non-drowsy, really), I'm not sure how well I will sleep tonight regardless of how tired I am. Oh well. Such is life. I don't really want another rupture so I'll take the meds.

And so ends another day in the saga of my life...

By the Grace of God and Angels

S and her family were in a serious car accident last Saturday afternoon. From all accounts, it is amazing, even miraculous, that they escaped with as little injury as they did. Fortunately, the friend they were going to visit was only a 3-4 hour drive away and he was able to go to N to help take care of them all. Meanwhile, the rest of us back home just prayed for their recovery. It was so hard to not be able to DO anything to help them. Now they are back home. Or so I have heard through the grapevine. So now I just have to exercise patience. I want to call and find out in person that they are here, to say Welcome Back, to find out what we can do now to help the recovery/healing efforts. But I don't want to disturb the much-needed rest time. I at least heard from another friend that they are indeed back, so I no longer have to wonder and worry. Of course, we heard about the accident almost right away on Saturday, so no news is good news, right? I just kept telling myself that last night and this morning. Heck, I even took the phone to the shower with me so I wouldn't miss her "We're back" call! S must have taken the good, STRONG meds finally and forgot all about the rest of the world while she got some well-deserved rest. :)

And so life goes on...

Good-bye Rat's Nest (I hope)

So today is a big day... Felisa had her first official haircut. I have trimmed her bangs several times but hadn't touched the back yet. I hate to see those baby curls disappear but her hair is just a big, tangled mess of a rat's nest every morning when she wakes up! Hopefully this will help the situation. Both girls had a haircut today and neither one cried or fussed or wiggled - yea! And a lollipop at the end... :) And fortunately I had my camera in my purse with an extra roll of film. I had planned for Bella's haircut but Felisa wanted one too. So now I just have to make the scrapbook page... Don't hold your breath, though. I still haven't scrapped Bella's first official haircut yet!

Saturday, March 11, 2006


"The only way to get along is to take the world as you find it and make the best of it."
-Julia Dent Grant, wife of Ulysses S. Grant

On deific inclination

If you feel so inclined as to consult your deity of choice on the topic of P's recovery,we'll all be quite grateful.

(And, if you have a few extra moments while deifically consulting--should you feel so inclined--I'm sure C's parents would also appreciate a good word.)

These two lines came in an email from one of my yahoo groups. I do not know the sender. The email was about a new baby and the heart murmur that was detected after birth and the ensuing time in ICU.

In this day and age, God is a hot topic. Whether or not people believe in him and whether or not it is appropriate to mention his existance in the presence of others. Political correctness and all that jazz. Don't forget - you might be infringing on others' rights to not hear about God. Which in turn infringes on your rights TO hear about God. Pretty much a never-ending no-win battle.

One weekend in college, we were able to attend an open house at the B'hai Temple near campus. Ever since then I have been a fan of the B'Hai beliefs. Hopefully saying that won't get me kicked out of the Catholic club. But really, their belief that all of the various key religious figures around the world (Jesus, Buddha, the Morman guy-can't remember his name, etc.) are all just prophets and messengers from the ONE GOD above. I guess it just resonates with my all-inclusive-why-can't-we-all-just-work-together-and-get-along personality.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Sleeping 5 across

Buying a king size bed when we first moved here almost 6 years ago (wow - has it really been that long? I think that is a lifetime record for living in one place) was one of the best investments ever. Last night we were once again sleeping 5 across. I think 5 might really be the max capacity however because that leaves me hanging on the edge. And then there is the 5 a.m. neck assault compliments of Felisa. For some reason she has adopted my neck as her security blanket. Every night when she is ready to fall asleep, she curls up next to me and raises one hand to rest against my neck. I have no idea where this came from but she will struggle to fall asleep any other way. Once she's asleep, I can take it off and scoot her over to her own pillow. But about 5 a.m. every morning she starts again. Making strange sucking noises with her mouth (I think this may be the beginnings of another tooth grinder) and caressing my neck. Which makes it very hard for me to sleep. I try to convince her that touching my hand is just as good - skin to skin contact - but she doesn't always go for it. Also makes it hard to sneak out of bed at 5:30 for class when she is actively grabbing my neck. Awake enough to know if I leave but yet still asleep.

Who knows why they do the things they do?!?

Thursday, March 09, 2006


"Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday." -Don Marquis

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Sage advice

A good friend of mine in the Navy, C, was from a family of 9 kids. Bella is named after C. I recently emailed C's mom for some advice on keeping a family going and happy. This is what she said. It seemed good enough to post here and share with others...

I can’t tell you much about raising large families except that you have to learn to “roll with the punches.” This means don’t get too hot and bothered about what is happening today; it will more than likely be all over by tomorrow. Sit calmly and let them grow up on their own as much as possible. Don’t expect their lives or yours to be perfect; it just ain’t going to be that way. Don’t be ashamed of a messy house; there will be time to keep it clean later. And most important, don’t try to do too much. The kids don’t need to be involved in a thousand things, are better off and learn more by playing with each other than in being a part of any organized sport or activity. Don’t feel they need everything they ask for; try to keep the number of things they have to a minimum. But every once in a while, splurge and buy them something very special that they can really treasure.

Grandma R said...

So Bella, Felisa, and K are playing outside in the backyard. S and I asked both big girls to go potty before they went out but they didn't want to. About 30 minutes later, here comes Bella. "Mommy, I hadded an accident." At which point I said, "That's why we wanted you to go potty before you went outside." The reply...

"Weeellllll.... Grandma R said that if you are outside, it's okay to go pee pee on the trees but I tried and the pee pee goes back and forth."

What can you say to that? I suggested that perhaps when she is in her own backyard and the bathroom is close by she should just use the bathroom. And now I know that we need to practice our peeing on bushes skills one of these days... :)

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Doodling through Dora

Dora is on so I'll take a few moments to blog about while Felisa watches. Bella is napping - good news for now, not so good news come 10:00 tonight! Ryan is playing games on the computer. Hopefully his brain won't rot out of his head. Ron isn't home yet but hopefully soon. Of course dinner is ready on time tonight when he's not here and was late last night when he was home early. Guess that's what chips and salsa are for... before dinner snacks!

I love the internet... I decided last night that I needed to do something with the chicken left over from dinner - a whole chicken so I could make stock (NOT!) or I could try soup, maybe having better luck than with straight up stock. I also had some spinach left so I went to google and looked for a creamy spinach chicken soup. Found 2 possibilities right away. I love that I can go online, type in a couple key ingredients, and come up with something new to try for dinner, in a matter of minutes. I decided to go with the Creamy Lemon Spinach Soup. Sounded easier and I had all the ingredients. I was missing one or two things from the other recipe though I could have faked it easily enough. I also chose this one because I thought Ron might like it better. The other one was very rich and cheesy - definitely the one I would like better! I haven't tasted the soup yet but I'm a little concerned about the raw egg that was whisked in at the end. Can egg be fully cooked without becoming solid? Oh well - didn't we all used to drink Orange Julius by the cupful without any problems?!

I had a "miss my Mom" moment this afternoon. Our neighbor across the street has just retired. Her daughter was home from school (spring break, perhaps?) and they were bringing a bunch of trash out to the curb for tomorrow's pick-up so it looks as though they have been clearing out/spring cleaning. I have enjoyed work time in the past with my mom, though certainly not with the appreciation it deserved in my teen years. It couldn't have been all bad though, because the memories that remain are good. I specifically remember driving up and down Ute Pass several times each Saturday for several Saturdays each fall, hauling firewood. My dad and brother stayed at the Forest Service site cutting trees while Mom and I loaded, drove, and unloaded. I also remember fondly the time spent in Salinas just before Ryan was born. I had finished work (was on Maternity/Terminal Leave) and Ron was traveling for school so Mom came out to stay with me. A couple weeks to just hang out, completing odd projects, watching movies, and even Thanksgiving Dinner for 2!

Sometimes I wish my parents lived closer. The kids would of course have more time with them but also I could do things like cook for them and go for walks. Of course, life being what it is, I probably wouldn't spend as much time as I think I would doing those things. Why is it that the closer we live to someone (family and family friends), the less often we see each other? We live so close that it would be easy to plan get togethers but then we just don't. We have never lived close to family though so I don't know if it would be different for me or not, different than what I have experienced by watching others.

Bella said the sweetest thing the other day. She told Grandma D that even when she grows up, she will still be hers. Completely unsolicited and I know it made E feel great.

And now that I have the time to write, I have completely forgotten everything I had to say. Oh well - maybe next time. Dora is almost over anyway...

The Response

Apparently Ron has been harboring a secret desire for more kids. I asked him about our pre-Felisa discussions when he was voting for 3. How come he said 3 then and now he says 4 or 5? His response... can't get to 4 unless you first get to 3. Good point.

Ron did add another wrinkle to ponder... adoption. Which we have discussed before from time to time. And so now I must spend another entire day fixated on the subject of To Baby or Not To Baby (and If So, Then How?).

Stand by for more episodes of To Baby or Not To Baby...

Monday, March 06, 2006

It's baaaaccckkkkk....

That nagging desire to have another baby. I have debated and wondered, wondered and debated, pondered, wondered and dreamed for almost a year now (perhaps even longer!)... should we or shouldn't we? How does one make such a huge decision? I learned with Felisa that I must be more certain in my intentions, or else God may decide for me! I just don't know. One day I feel like having another one and the next I think there is no way I could ever handle it. I have even asked friends how to decide (not to make the decision for me, of course) because I could use a little advice as to how to go about deciding. Kind of like learning a math equation... a squared + b squared - the square root of c = # of children. Someone just needs to share the magical equation with me so I can solve for X!

I read a few books lately - Girlfriend's Guide to Getting Your Groove Back by Vicky Iovine and Woman First, Family Always by Kathy Sansone. Searching for that elusive answer of what's next. Is this it? Basically what I came away with was, this is as good as it gets. Daily activities change as the children get older but there is no magical appearance of more time to myself and a cleaner house. It's all in the attitude. So I resolve to have a good attitude about my life, such that it is (most days anyway! :) ) and just do the best I can. It will be over before I know it and I'll be like all those other older mothers out there - wondering where the time went.

So here are some key questions...
**Knowing that I am a slob, can I live like this the rest of my life (or the next 18 years anyway...) - having another kid will make it worse not better.
**Knowing how poorly I deal with noise, can I handle that much more? I have been pondering the noise issue of late - I think it relates to my Wind Issue in that I don't deal well with the relentlessness of it and that I cannot control it to make it stop. So I don't like loud noises (no matter how short in duration) and I don't like continuous noises. Can I really survive in a house with 4 kids, a dog, and associated playmates?
**Knowing the constant neediness that already exists here, do I have it in me to be needed that much more? Someone always wants something, which is bad enough in and of itself. But when EVERYONE needs EVERYTHING at the exact same time, I tend to go off the deep end! How much more neediness would come with Baby #4? I know, A LOT, at the beginning but will it taper off to a manageable level by age 2? Or am I dooming myself to life in the deep end?

Someone once told me... there will always be a last child. Will your second be the last or the tenth? Either way there is always a last so you just have to decide how many kids you can handle then let the last be the last.

Somebody help me!!!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Another quote

"Always watch where you are going. Otherwise, you may step on a piece of the Forest that was left out by mistake."
-A.A. Milne, Pooh's Little Instruction Book


There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.
-Jane Austen

Thursday, March 02, 2006

The Mess Fairy

So I just read Fritz and the Mess Fairy by Rosemary Wells to the kids. I can so identify with Fritz! He leaves a mess everywhere he goes. One night the Mess Fairy comes and makes a BIG mess (science experiment gone bad) so he reverses the experiment and gets rid of her. He feels bad about the mess he made all over the house that day so he stays up the rest of the night cleaning. In celebration of his accomplishment he decides to make breakfast in bed for his family that he loves. And in the process, creates another big mess.

Just like me - good intentions mixed with a slobbish tendency and the mess wins out!


Fasting stinks... and I stink at fasting! After a couple years in the "club" I have come to know this well so now I have a back-up plan. I still fast from food as best I can. My food intake yesterday (Ash Wednesday) was definitely less than on a regular day, but certainly more than could qualify as true fasting. Hence the backup plan! I also fast from TV/Radio/Internet. I did watch one program last night (well half of it anyway, before I fell asleep - probably weak from imagined hunger!) and about 3-4 times scanned my email inbox(but didn't open any messages!)to see if there was anything immediately important (and of course there wasn't!). But I figure these small lapses could count as the two snacks and one small meal allowed in the latest fasting rules.

Ryan is old enough now to know a little more about what is going on and act as a watchdog... I was making scrambled eggs for breakfast (no sugar for me!). Ryan asks, I thought no food during the day?! I told him that was yesterday. Oh, he says. Well, then, since it is only one day you can have starbucks now! Ahhh... but that part of the sacrifice lasts all the way until Easter, I tell him. So confusing, I know. But eventually he'll have it all figured out and in the meantime he is helping me stay true to my promises, whether I like it or not! And he figured out the starbucks thing just from listening in on my conversations - I hadn't told him directly. Why is it that they only listen when they're not supposed to?!?!

Cookie Crisp... I LOVE Cookie Crisp cereal. Growing up, our family could devour an entire box in one day (or less!). I bought a box a couple weeks ago and we opened it this morning. Oh how I wanted to eat some - just one little cookie - just a taste. But no - I must stay strong. It is only the second day after all. Of course having Felisa sitting on my lap at this exact moment, eating Cookie Crisp isn't helping! I can smell it... I want it!