Thursday, April 30, 2009
It cracks me up how much you people worry for me. I guess someone ought to, because it doesn't really concern me too much. I guess I've just been light headed way too long for it to be a big deal anymore. In any cases here's the update: 2007 hemoglobin 8.?? - target is 12 iron 30s - target is 50 2008 hemoglobin 9.?? iron 30s again 2009 TBD test results will be back on Monday and I'll have to call in to the doc. On the up side, I had a baby a few months ago and am having the customary repreve from monthly blood loss if you ladies know what I mean, so my numbers should be higher than before. Cross your fingers. :) And, my blood pressure has gone up a bit. 110/80 this time. The doc was totally on board with my theory and felt the fainting was strictly situational. I would have been fine if I had sat on the bed long enough to get my bearings. He's not any more worried than I am, but still decided to stick me with a huge needle and extract some red juice to send off the the magic all knowing lab techs. I was instructed to not stand outside in hot weather or long lines and to always drink lots of water. I may have to pull out that hot weather and long lines when my kids want to go to Six Flags or somewhere like that in the future.
I found something I haven't seen since I left Texas. It's been four years and I finally found some at Wal-Mart today. I bought out the store. Okay, so they only had one, but I bought it. I love large curd cottage cheese. Nothing goes better on homemade chilled applesauce than LARGE curd cottage cheese. Yummy.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
I taught my last preschool lesson today. The year was fun filled with five great kids. I loved having a chance to teach them and am really surprised at how much progress they made this year in their abilities. Still though, right now I'm reveling in it all ending. I water colored my last painting. Printed my last alphabet tracing page. Changed the helper chart the last time. Thought about my last snack time. I am so relieved. I never have to do this again. Or maybe not never. Just not again until September with Maddie Mae. I'm going to enjoy the moment today though and tell myself NEVER again. :)
Monday, April 27, 2009
Last Saturday was jam packed with things all day long from early to late. Brian was up by 6am to get himself and Ben up and off to a stake service project. They cleaned a ton of cabins for the National Park Service and helped get the campground ready for the season. It was a great success and the park service couldn't believe anyone would volunteer to do something like that and bring 50 people or so to help. I laughed when they got home with t-shirts the park service had printed especially for them. They even had our name printed on them! Seriously, they must have be ecstatic to save weeks of grunt work.
My job while they were gone was to wear Maddie out and get her to take a super early nap so she would be happy for the family pictures late that afternoon. I was successful and when the boys got home at 1pm Maddie and Jacob were both sleeping. We cooked the rolls Brian and I had been making and then scooted out the door for a company party/picnic. Much care was taken to make sure we had party clothes and picture clothes for everyone, plus change of shoes, socks, hair fixing stuff for Maddie and extra diapers for Maddie and Ben. You know, the works.
The party was fun. Brian entertained with magic tricks and had his co-workers mesmerized. Most of them appeared not to know he was a magician. It was fun to watch the entire party stop and watch him. Jacob demanded a snack as it was time to leave, so between him and the magic, we were late to our photography appointment. Ben and I were able to change top shirts on the drive and we got Maddie as soon as our buckles were off and Jacob's shirt was in hand. Brian grabbed his shirt from on top of our bag of stuff and we rushed in with the stroller to meet Stephanie. When we found her and a great spot to start shooting (a very long walk from the car) we realized neither one of us had brought the bag with hair stuff or clean diapers or Maddie's nice shoes.
All mothers of girls know there is no point in doing a little girls hair before pictures if she is just going to mess it up while sitting in her car seat. So, we hadn't done a thing to Maddie's hair and it was pretty messy. We ended up trying to calm it a bit with our fingers and had no real choice but to call it good and leave her in the stinky diaper she had produced on the car ride. Ugh. I have been nervous all week that the pictures would turn out terrible. I was wrong. While Maddie could have looked a bit more tidy, the pictures are great. I can't wait to print the big family one and put it in the living room. The picture hanging there now was taken when Maddie was four weeks old. Way past time for an update. Thanks Stephanie for your great camera work! I know my kids weren't exactly over joyed to be having a photo session. You did great with them and keeping them moving!
Then we rushed back to Fairfax for my youth committee meetings and a rockin' dance with the kiddos while Brian got the kids dinner and to bed. I got to bed just before 2am after finishing putting final details together for a stake fireside the next night and pumping (joys of motherhood). I didn't even realize until the next day at church why I was so hungry. I had skipped dinner and breakfast because I was so busy. At least I had a lot of M&Ms at the dance! I think I had three sandwiches for lunch an apple, an orange, chips, two cookies and probably a few other things. Then I finally felt better.
I just happened upon Maddie playing with Jacob. She was helping him punch himself in the face with his own fist. I told her to stop hurting him. She replied, "But I'm not hitting him, he's just hitting his own self!"
Sunday, April 26, 2009
One of my other recent craft flops was making easter eggs from yarn dipped in glue and wrapped around a balloon. I said "craft" and "balloon" and they couldn't have been more on board with the idea. I set up everything, plastic covering the floor, diluted glue in plastic bowls, lots of precut Easter colored yarn, hand selected balloons in their favorite colors for covering. We were set. I showed them what to do with the first piece of yarn and we were off. Or not. They both dipped one yarn piece in the glue and didn't like how it felt. Too cold and sticky and gross. Ben got one yarn on the balloon and Maddie none. She just kept going to wash her hands the second they got a little anything on them. She soon gave up and Ben, after observing me for a while, asked if he could just not do it. He said, and I quote, "This craft is NASTY, Mom!" Maddie caught on and I as I sat on the kitchen floor, ALONE, for the next 30 minutes putting stupid Easter yarn on a pink balloon, they kept repeating to each other in another room how nasty my craft was today. Oh well. I finally finished, popped the balloon and was pleased with my work. It looks cool. Now I guess I get to put all my hard work in the trash.
I've been trying really hard to do fun things to interest my kids lately and spend time with them. Making pin wheels was a HUGE success. They loved putting glue all over the place and cutting and choosing colorful paper they liked. When they were dry and finished, I realized how bad they really were. They just wouldn't stay together no matter what I did. The push pin would come out of the pencil eraser the second they picked them up. After much frusteration on my part for endlessly having to fix them and frusteration on their parts that they kept breaking, I was ready to throw them out.
Mommy logic: Those things suck. They always break when they get picked up and they don't even turn in the wind. They are worthless pieces of junk on my kitchen counter.
Kid logic: That is the coolest, prettiest, funest thing I've ever made. I cut it out with my own scissors and glued it all by myself. I am amazing and this pinwheel proves it to the world. I'm keeping this forever. I wonder if my husband/wife will want it in the living room for everyone to see, 'cause I'm definately keeping it that long!
In the end, I struck a compromise with them... I bought $0.99 pin wheels at Wal-Mart that are shiny and nice. We stuck them in their flower pots on the patio. They spin like mad all day long and reflect cool light patterns on our ceiling inside. Everyone is happy.
Friday, April 24, 2009
On our kitchen wall I have a framed map of the United States of America. Okay, a huge map of the United States of America. We track our travels there and pinpoint where all our close family members live. The kids know their cousins names from the wall map and I love to look at all the highlighted roads. We've driven all of them, Brian and I at least. We started the map on our honeymoon, then driving to and from internships during college and from there, have visited 46 of the 50 states together. We love to see new things and places but we're in a slump. We haven't been anywhere new in a year and a half. Actually, we haven't been much of anywhere but home to Utah for a wedding and a funeral in the last year and a half. Plus several trips to Buffalo. This summer we've got another wedding (the last one I might add) in San Diego/LA area we're excited about. We've got a "beachhouse" that is a mile from the beach. Huh? How is that a beach house again. Whatever. Then there is Disneyland. These kids are really slowing us down though. We still need to visit Hawaii, Alaska, Washington and Oregon (we have an invite to Oregon!). If we just didn't have a nursing baby, maybe we'd try a getaway for our tenth anniversary this summer. I'm just getting antsy to go do something fun (without kids, naps or chicken nuggets on the menu).
P.S. To Family on the Map - Send me updated family pictures if you have any!
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
About 18 months ago I passed out. Brian wasn't home. I was alone with the kids at 6am. I hit my head really hard on the metal clasp of a baby gate and cut it open. I still have a large raised bump where I hit. I woke up in excruciating pain, laying on the floor and saw blood on my hand when I touched my head. Two months later I was at the doctor with Brian for a shot and mentioned it. They ran tests and saw I was anemic and have extremely low blood pressure. A bad combination, but not a whole lot to be done about it. Just take iron pills and be careful when I stand up from a sitting or laying position. This last December I went to get a referral to get a mole looked at. They wanted to do a follow up for my iron, but I had just had a baby two weeks before. The told me to call for a follow up after my body had evened out from post pregnancy, first of March. I put it off. And put it off. And put it off again. Finally, I just decided not to go at all. What is the point? They'll say the same thing again this year with no great answers. This morning I passed out again. I remember my alarm going off and sitting up in bed. I SWEAR I sat my obligitory time frame to let my body adjust, but Brian says I didn't. I remember standing to walk to the alarm across the room. Then I was waking up on the ground. Brian's hand was across my back and he was asking if I was okay. I sat for what seemed like a long time on the floor before I crawled, then wobbly walked back to bed. I definately hit hard. My neck and upper back are screaming at me like I was in a car accident or something. My lower back has piercing pain and my elbow is bruised. Brian says I fought it. I stumbled and tried to recover, but still went down. After I processed the situation for a minute laying in bed again. I got kind of excited and asked what it looked like. I've never seen someone pass out that I can remember. I bet it looks kind of funny. In any case, I called the doctor and made an appointment to get checked again. On the up side, because I didn't trust myself to walk to the basement, Brian changed the laundry for me at 6 am. There is a silver lining to every cloud, right?
I don't recall how the conversation began, but probably over Ben building a auto repair shop for his fire engine out of blocks. He was having trouble getting the ramps to stay still, so he proudly declared, "I know, I just have to find a big heavy block to keep it from scooting away when the fire engine is on top." He retreived the prefect block, finished his repair shop (sign included) and I complimented him on his ability to solve a problem all by himself. The following conversation ensued: Mom: "I'm proud of you for thinking about a problem you were having and thinking of a creative way you could solve it all by yourself." Ben: "Yeah, I'm good at problems. Kind of like Dad is good at problems." Mom: "Yep." Ben: "Dad can just fix all the stuff for us." Mom: "Is Dad the only one that can fix stuff?" Ben: "Well, pretty much, yes. Except I can fix some stuff too, like ramps with blocks." Mom: "Can I fix anything?" Ben: Thinking really, really, REALLY hard to come up with something, "Well, I know! You can fix the exersaucer to put the fabric in it. But that is about all. The rest is dad." Mom: "You don't think I can fix other stuff?" Ben: "Not really. You could just fix the exersaucer because it is really super easy. That's why you can do it."
Monday, April 20, 2009
I heard a news report that makes me smirk a little bit, maybe more because I'm from the area and actually paid to visit the site. Apparently, the federal government has declared that they were wrong when they marked the spot of Four Corners, where Utah, New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado touch. When we moved from Utah to Clute, Texas, we drove through that part of the country and paid the $3 entrance fee to say we were in four states at once. We had the best Navajo taco in the world, sold to us out of a trailer. Turns out the four corners marker is about 2.5 miles west of the actual spot. I wonder if they will move the marker now.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
Yesterday at church, I felt sort of on top of things. I had showered, curled my hair, wore a new dress AND had a bit of makeup. Yeah for me. I was feeling good, especially since we were still early for 9am chuch! During the lovely Easter service, Ben leaned over to me and said, "Mom, see those dots right there?" as he pointed to the tan polka dots on my new dress. "Those dots sort of look like you threw up all over yourself." Then he added with a questioning tone, "But I know you didn't, right???"
"Mom, I think that when Jacob spits up it smells like cottage cheese," Ben said with a sour look on his face. "I think that when he was in your tummy you must have eaten cottage cheese and it didn't go to you, it went to him. Now he's spitting it up since he's out of you."
Sunday, April 12, 2009
I love to hear strong powerful messages of the atonement and resurection of Jesus Christ. Listen at the link above on YouTube. "One of the great consolations of this Easter season is that because Jesus walked such a long, lonely path utterly alone, we do not have to do so." Elder Holland. I listened to the video link to Elder Holland's message while looking at pictures of my family and it meant so much more to me as I thought of the sacrifice of our Savior. It was for me, of course, but it was for my family. Each individual member of my sweet, small family. The people I work so hard for, He also loves more than I can understand. It was a cool realization this morning. Happy Easter.
My kids spend a fair amount of time playing restaurant these days. It is such a fantastic imagination game. It can get very involved with the cooking procedures, making several courses to each meal, checking in with the customers to make sure it tastes “pretty good” and clearing the dishes away. Sometimes Ben makes fake menus and asks me how to spell things, some days he doesn’t want to take the time for that. They usually get along very well and it makes for a pleasant afternoon at the house when the Zufelt Family Restaurant is open.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
We heard some strange noises downstairs overnight and were worried about a stranger in our house. When the kids woke up and came into our room, we told them about the weird noises and sent daddy down to investigate to make sure it was safe for us to come down. He searched all over the house to find someone while I fed Jacob in our room and the kids waited with me. When Jacob was ready and daddy had officially declared it to be safe downstairs, we all went down to search for Easter eggs.
This year, the Zufelt heritage Easter bunny came, since the Robinson heritage Easter bunny had visited us last year. Ben was a little surprised that there wasn't candy all over the floor and he noticed that his name wasn't spelled out in M&Ms on the couch like it was last year. He was very excited though, to find out that there were plastic Easter eggs hidden all over the main floor of the house. Then he found some Cadbury eggs and the real eggs we had colored the other day with egg dye were hidden too. The kids had a blast finding them. When we were finished, we put them all in a pile and took turns choosing eggs to fill our baskets. Maddie chose pink every time until there were only two pink left, then she got a few other colors. Ben was sweet and offered me an egg for my basket now and then. Claudia and Aimee gave all the kids new baskets this year. Maddie was most excited about hers because it was pink and purple. Jacob just wanted to eat his basket. Ben remembered having his name spelled out in M&Ms last year at Aunt Kristie's house and missed it. He decided to spell his name himself to reconcile the situation.
After all the candy was divided out, we broke some hard boiled eggs and had them for breakfast. It was nice to have some fun with the kids and enjoy a little time together. It was also nice to have the Easter bunny come on Saturday instead of Easter Sunday. That way, Easter is left for the kids to associate the real holiday with Christ.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Okay, just to make me laugh, if you are reading this, reach your hands up over your head and touch your fingers together. Can you do it? Good. Now, can your baby do it?
Not long after our first kid was born, my brother Shon pointed out something that totally cracks me up to this day. I've been doing it to Jacob all the time lately and snickering to myself. Anyway, Shon was holding Abby and I had Ben in my arms. He lifted up Abby's arms over her head and tried to touch her fingers together then started laughing. He pointed out to me that they couldn't reach. I was surprised, but he was right. Babies arms are too small to touch.
Now...relate that size head to your body and translate those proportions to adult size. Again, stretch your hands up over your head and touch your fingers. Can you imagine if your head was that big?!?! See, I'm laughing again. Such simple things amuse me some days.
Enjoy the picture of my clan trying to do it. Apparently, the problem disappears somewhere between 4 months (Jacob) and 2 1/2 years (Maddie Mae).
In anticipation of a family photo shoot on Saturday, our shaggy Ben got a haircut yesterday. I really do want to have a longer do for him, but this is the third time I have made a valiant attempt with no success. I get it cut pretty well, but it just won't lay right. I have heard kid hair is more prone to that. I don't know if that is right or not. In the end, we went back with the same old cut with the longest rake on the clippers and tapered sides. Oh well. Maybe it will work next time.
After Ben was done, Maddie, of course, wanted her turn. She always asks, but this time I decided it was time. I think it's hard for every mom to do the first haircut on their kids. This was Maddie's first trim at 2 1/2 years old. It was getting a bit shaggy in the back. I just wanted to clean it up a little, tiny bit. I only cut the back scraggly parts, but it bounced up and now feels way too short.
Over dinner last night we taught Ben about the symbolism of the Easter egg. Rebirth. Creation. New life. Resurrection. Purity. Christ. It was a fun conversation. I think he got it. Lots more than Maddie Mae at least. Then we cleaned up dinner and dyed eggs while we watched the Charlie Brown Easter Special on TV.
They have a bit of work to do on their skills at being gentle. We have numerous eggs that are totally cracked now. Maddie would hold the egg up high above the bowl of dye and basically throw them in, splashing all over the table and cracking the shells. Ben did better, but still broke a few. Glad they were hard boiled. Breakfast this morning was colorful to say the least because the dye had gotten to the edible part of the egg. They had so much fun though and Ben got creative about his attempts to make cool eggs.
I LOVE when people bring me hand me downs for my kids to wear. It is so fantastic that people are generous enough to help me keep the little people well dressed. It is fun to sort through bags or boxes to find surprises, treasures and cute things. But...my favorite part, now don't laugh...my very most favorite part is the smell. I am allergic to a zillion types of laundry detergent and dryer sheets. Anything that has scent is totally out for me. My laundry is blah. When a friend brings me a bag of hand me downs, unless they tell me to, I don't wash anything (my kids aren't allergic like me). I put my little people in the cute outfits and drink in the scent of each piece of clothing as I snuggle and cuddle them over the next week or so. Oh how I wish I could have yummy smelling clothes, but it will NEVER be worth breaking out in a nasty, red, itchy rash all over my body. So, if you have some clothes you want to give me...I will smell them...happily getting drunk on the clean laundry scents. Ahhhh...that's nice...
The picture above is one of my favorite hand me downs lately for Jacob. He's outgrown it and I'm sad to have to put it up, so I had to get a picture before it went away.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Brian was asking Ben about brushing his teeth. Maddie overheard and was questioning about why we brush. Maddie: "So Ben can't get another cavity?" Brian: "Yep." Maddie: "Ben's gonna get another cavity then he's gonna bring me a PINK BALLOON!!" I guess it's all in your prespective. Maddie has found the silver lining in a cavity.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Ben looking through a picture Bible this morning said,"Mom, I'm excited for Jesus to come back. That's when all the animals wil be nice. (Growing excitement in his voice as the volume rises) It's going to be a GREAT time to visit the zoo!! We'll be able to go in the lion cages and to pet the rattle snakes!" Driving yesterday as a family Ben told us his teeth still hurt and feel funny when he chews, so he always chews on the side opposite of where they fixed his cavities. Brian told him it was good that he told us about the problem and when we got home, he would look in his mouth to see if he could find anything. Maddie quickly (and loudly) piped in with, "I think you will find his TEETH!!!" Right-o, Miss Maddie Mae. Good call by you. Playing on the living room floor, Ben was so focused on his building he didn't noticed when he turned and hit his head really hard on the corner of the wall. He was screaming on the floor in pain. I asked if he wanted a hug or if he wanted to be alone. After a minute he responded with a sly grin through his tears. "I want you to put the wall in time out!" Then we both started laughing.
Monday, April 6, 2009
Sunday, April 5, 2009
We spent the day at home listening to General Conference on the internet. Between sessions we headed to the local baptist church for an Easter egg hunt. Apparently it had been rescheduled and we didn't know. Since the kids were counting on the egg hunt, we improvised one at home. We rounded up all the eggs from the play kitchen in the basement and put chocolate inside. Each kid got five eggs and were instructed to hide them for each other. I figured they would find each other's eggs. Ben's idea was that he would hide all his eggs and if he waited long enough, he would forget where he hid them, then he could search for them. He hid his all over the basement family room. Maddie also hid hers by herself. Can you tell? They were all in the shopping cart right in the middle of the room.
Brian's task for the day was putting primer on the walls in the basement. He had two anxious helpers. Ben was first, then Maddie. They LOVE helping Brian or I with our work projects.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
I joined a new discussion group with friends this month. We are discussing finances. Topics range from life insurance, allowance for kids, making sure your investments are diversified and most importantly how to make a budget work for you. I'm pretty excited about all we can learn together and from each other. The whole idea brought back some funny memories though. When Brian and I were dating and were at that point that we figured we should probably get married. Before Brian would propose to me, he wanted to have a finance date. We ran all the numbers, what we made at our little jobs, scholarship he had, summer job income vs. rent, groceries, my tuition, power, gas, books, etc. I am always concience about money too, so I wanted our finances to work out. I was, however, VERY nervous that we wouldn't be making enough. What would that mean? I was worried it would mean he wouldn't want to get married or something drastic like that. The end result of our finance date was that we were $82 short ever month. I did NOT like seeing a big bold red $82 dollar deficeit at the bottom. It was a bit unnerving. In the end, I guess my good looks won him over and I was worth going into debt. He did eventually propose and the rest is history. Now I'm wondering, has my value increased with inflation and as I have attained new skills or have I depreciated in value because I'm older now. I'll have to ask.
I'm missing Catherine today. She was my playground buddy. On a day like today, when the weather is warm and the sun is strong with a smothering warmth, we call each other. Usually during nap time, we have both found enough time to muster up the energy to drag ourselves outside. No one else around is as free as us. All our other friends have to deal with homework and buses or school pick up. Catherine and I, we have no strings. At a moments notice we can call, plan and go. And we do. Let's meet at the playground at the Community Center between our houses. It is all of a 2 minute drive for me, 3 for her. The kids can laugh and play. They run and breath the clean fresh air. They climb and slide. We always meet at about 4:00 after the little people awake, happy after much needed rest time. We play for 20 minutes or an hour and a half. We dine on gold fish crackers and granola bars that are bound to spoil dinner for the kids. It buys us more time to talk together and bask in the perfect friendship we both enjoy immensely. Life is perfect in our little mommy world at the park on Zion Drive. Then pull ourselves back to reality when someone scrapes their knee or bumps their head. We head home in time to make dinner. We've enjoyed our break. Out of the house that holds me hostage every day. Out to talk with another grown-up. Free to talk. Solving the world's problems, dream of upcoming fun or cry over heart aches and tough times. We did it together, smiling as our children explored the wonderland outside, searching for acorns, leaves and rocks. I missed you today, Catherine. There was no one to call that was free as a bird like we were. I hope you enjoy watching Conference at home, in your pjs.
Oh what beautiful weather today!! This morning there was thunder and lightening that made me think we would lose power. The lights flickered and the rain came down. Ben lamented the fact that it was too cold to go splash in the beautiful puddles. Playgroup at the park was cancelled, so we invited friends to our house. Erin came with Ella and Stephanie brought Margo and Penny. We enjoyed the morning holed up in the basement staying dry. By the time they left at about noon, the rain had stopped and the sun was beaming. Once again, Ben mentioned how sad he was to not get to splash in the puddles.
Why not? I thought. It's toasty warm now. The sun feels fantastic. Up to his room we went. We dug through all the boxes of old summer clothes to find dark colored shorts for both Ben and Maddie and then found some sandals and out we went. They had a ball!! It was fun to watch them get a running start and splash mud all over the place. Sitting on the front porch I got wet a time or two. They were so happy. Most the time they would start their approach back at the steps one house away. Maddie must have figured if a little bit is good, more is better. She went four houses down to get her running start. She ran for all she was worth until she got to the stairs. She stopped, climbed carefully down the stairs, then ran for all she was worth again. I couldn't stop laughing. Her little legs are so small that it took her three steps to run through the puddle, so she never missed. She is too cute.
Ben would go back to the steps to get his running start. He would run as fast as he could and jump into the puddle...or over it. He totally missed the puddle about a third of the time, landing on the grass on the other side. Then he would continue running until he got to the middle of the field, with is little shadow (Maddie) following close behind in fits of laughter. They had so much fun playing follow the leader and getting really, really dirty.