Zufelt Family Feb 2015

Zufelt Family Feb 2015

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Good Friends Rock

I don't know why. I can't remember earning it. All I know is that when Megan Fife came over for a playdate for the boys today, she brought the most scrumptious dinner. She says she promised me dinner months ago and she still owed me. Totally unexpected. Totally cool. It was soooo nice to not have to figure out what to eat and juggle Jacob with sharp knives, hot pans and raw meat. Brian came home at the normal time and I looked like a superhero. Dinner almost on the table. I rock (because Megan loves me). Thanks, girl!!

Places To Go and Things To Do

Maddie and Jacob are both crashed in the living room so I made lunch for Ben and I. While we ate, I searched with him for Thomas the Train buildings he wants for his birthday. He seemed to have fun telling me all the buildings that this friend and that friend has the other one. After he finished his sandwich, he told me, "Well, I guess I better get going now. I left the computer on in the living room. See ya." He's an important man with places to go and people to see and I couldn't take any more of his precious time. It was cute.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Lose to a Snowman

Here is a family favorite.

video

Maddie

Today while playing that she was falling off a waterfall, "Oh no!! I'm falling on the water-fart!! Help me!!" Anytime Maddie wants to tell you what someone says, she will say, "Says Dora, 'quotes person,' says Dora, Dora says." I know, confusing. Every day when I do Maddie's hair she wants to help pick the "pretties" we put in her hair that day. Once about a year ago, I used my teeth to open the container that holds the hair bands. Maddie is sure the only way to open the thing now is with her teeth. Then she picks out two to eight rubber bands and insists that I put them in her hair. We have some pretty fancy hairdos lately. On a daily basis, Maddie has begun to demand that she has all things pink. Today she wore a pink shirt, pink pants, three different pairs of pink shoes through the course of the day, a pink coat, had pink pretties in her hair and had to have the pink cup and plate at every meal. It's getting a bit ridiculous. I have been trying for two months to teach her the colors and she couldn't care less about them. If it isn't pink, she just couldn't care less.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bad Choice, Mommy

I knew as I pulled into the parking lot that it was a bad idea. I had just done my grocery shopping the day before and didn't really need anything. I wanted to buy a drink with a bottle shape that would be good for making a piggy bank craft I saw in a magazine. I justified my plan because the drink was a food item, thus qualifying as groceries. Before I left the store I had a box of day old donuts on clearance, a dollar toy from the clearance bin the kids will LOVE on our next long road trip and report folders for my next preschool lesson (which I would have had to buy anyway so I got them that day since they were on clearance). All those clearance items and I STILL spent about $12. I know better. I didn't need to buy anything that day. Shame on me. $12 here and $12 there adds up to lots of cash over a month and a year.

It's Gonna Be A Long Haul

Today Ben was sitting at the kitchen table eating lunch when out of the blue he said, "I'm tired of learning about forgiveness!" He had a rotten scowl on his face and laid his head down on the table as if in exhaustion. When I asked him what he meant, he told me, "That's all we ever learn about--at church, at preschool, even at MOPS today they talked about forgiveness." His lesson today at MOPS was about the Prodigal Son in the Bible and how the father forgave his son. I hate to tell him that for the rest of his life he will hear the same Bible stories over and over. The scriptures don't change.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Our Budding Musician

This is Maddie's big opening act. We got to watch this amazing performance while Kristie & Anthony were visiting us in December. video

Monday, February 23, 2009

TOTAL Let Down

I know. It's "No Buy Month". I guess I sinned again. We've been looking at carseats since the airlines started charging to check a car seat. If I check two car seats with my luggage for my departing and returning flight, I just wasted $100. We decided to take them to my parents house and leave them. In the long run, we'll save money. After all, you can buy lots of car seats in the neighborhood of $50 a piece. In one plane trip we might as well have just bought new chairs. Since we are spoiled and have always had the luxury of having car seats in both vehicles all the time we got accustomed to not having to switch around the chairs. What a pain it turned out to be to be constantly trading and securing THREE chairs. So we've been looking since June/July at replacing the ones we planned to take out to my parents place. While I was at Wal-Mart this week getting diapers (legitimate No Buy Month purchase) I saw that they had knocked the price down on two chairs we had considered. I called the boss at work and got approval to buy them right then. After all, we had waited for NINE months to make this purchase and there was a pink one on sale that Maddie could use until she is old enough to drive (at least that's when I figure my petite little lady will hit the 80 lb limit to get out of a booster). Ben was at preschool when we made the purchase so it was going to be the BEST surprise EVER!! He had been wanting a new chair for a long time. I was so excited to show him! I hid the chairs in the trunk and picked Ben up at preschool. We went home and had lunch. I told him that we had a super great surprise to show him when Dad got home. I showed him with my hands the approximate size of the fantastic surprise and he got really, really excited. He was having a real hard time making good choices, so I told him he needed to take a nap to earn his surprise. Mostly I needed a nap in a really bad way, but it worked and his attitude did improve with the nap. Soon Brian comes home and Ben wants to see the present he "earned" with his nap. I went to the car and Brian covered his eyes as I brought the two chairs into the living room. When we uncovered his eyes we had huge smiles of anticipation on our faces. Our happy smiles were met with a terrible, horrible, aweful scowl and arms being folded across his chest. We were shocked. He was mad. What did we do wrong? The kid was starting to cry. Dang it. He thought I got him a really, really big toy that he could play with. He pouted for a long time. Finally we just left him and told him we could return it if he didn't want a new chair. Eventually he came around and the next day he thought it was wonderful. Sometimes I think that little glass half empty boy will never be happy though.

Waiting

I'm becoming inclined to no longer tell my kids what we are going to do for the day. I've always believed that if the kids know the plan and hear it several times, it helps them set proper expectations for what will be happening in their lives and thus it reduces tantruming and other such bothersome problems. A new side effect I'm finding of informing Ben of our plans is that he has begun waiting for things. Ben has always been a glass half empty sort of a guy. Constant questions come from the poor guy asking, "What if...(worst case scenario occurs)? What will we do?" Ugh. It gets old. On the day we were to leave for Buffalo to visit cousin Parker, the kids were both up by 7 am. We planned to leave around 1 pm. They got breakfast, dressed and brushed teeth. Then they began to wait for us to leave about 8 am. I told them over and over and over that it was going to be a really long time, we weren't leaving until after lunch, daddy wasn't home yet so we couldn't go, etc. No big deal. Ben spent the better part of 5 hours sitting on the rocking chair in my room watching me pack suitcases and take care of Jacob. How boring is that? He could not be persuaded to go play and have fun. He's done this several other times the last two weeks. Friday morning we told the kids that at dinner time we were going to have Daniel and his baby sister come play for a while. From about 10 am the kids quit playing and began waiting. This time they wasted time waiting for about 7 hours. How un-fun can a day be? It kills me to see him just lay on the floor doing nothing for an hour. Weirdo.

Overlooking Miracles

Do you ever wonder how many miracles occur in your life everyday that you don't even notice? I've been thinking this through. I had the most terrible toothache for over a week. It was debilitating for day after day. I couldn't concentrate on anything that took real brain power. I was short with the kids. I had no patience for disobedience or sometimes even their innocent childlike silliness. Many times it had me in tears as waves of throbbing pain would emanate from my upper jaw. I prayed to make it through, hoping it was a sinus infection like the last time. Eventually it seemed less general and became centered in one single tooth. I finally decided to call the dentist because it wasn't getting better. Friday afternoon I called my brother-in-law who is in dental school. Our conversation lead me to believe there was nothing to do but call a dentist and go in. So I called my dentist. She had left just hours earlier for an over seas vacation. I could get an appointment for two weeks. That wasn't going to cut it. At least the office had just split in the last six months so I had another option. I called the other half of the practice for an appointment. He didn't work Fri, Sat or Sun. Okay, neither would I, but I really, really wanted to go in for an appointment and get some pain relief. I admitted defeat and knew the soonest I could reach anyone would be Monday morning. I told Brian I would need a blessing to make it through the weekend. I tried all day Saturday to concentrate and prepare my talk. I had to speak the next day to the congregation in sacrament meeting. How ironic that my topic was prayer. I prayed and prayed that I could bear the pain until I could see the dentist. Saturday at dinner I was still in tears still, despite taking pain meds and sudafed for sinus pressure intermittently. After dinner I had committments at a youth dance to lead a committee meeting beforehand then stay to chaperone. I went and dutifully did my jobs. At 10 pm it hit me like a ton of bricks. NO PAIN. Not even a little bit. I tried to think back to when it had left. I had no idea. I was so excited that I picked up my cell phone and dialed Brian so I could just tell someone my AMAZING news. Then I realized he would probably appreciate the time alone and chose not to call, but sat in my chair in amazement. Doesn't it make you wonder. How many miracles occur in my life everyday that I don't even notice? There seem to be constant annoyances we try to pray away from our everyday lives. I bet I have overlooked millions of answers to prayer simply because my life just returned to normal. The annoyance went away and I may have not even noticed. How ungrateful can I be? I think I need to try to be more attentive to the answers I get that I have been overlooking. I'm so grateful that God saw fit to take the pain away for me through that weekend. It hasn't been back since that evening. I was finally able to put my thoughts together about what I would speak about and it went well enough. I still think it is ironic that I received an answer to my prayers so that I could focus enough to speak on...prayer. How cool is that. God sure loves me. Even when I'm too self absorbed to notice all he does for me, he still showers me with his blessings and love.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Self Diagnosis

Last time I went to the dentist for a severe toothache, I knew I had a cavity that needed to be filled within the next couple months. All of a sudden my top tooth or teeth started hurting really bad. I figured I could put up with the pain for two days until they could get me in, I had already put up with it for a week. By the time I got to the dentist, the pain was completely gone. I had the cavity filled, which I found out was on the bottom, not the top after all. Oh well. The dentist said my pain was probably from sinus pressure and that is why it was so sudden and so painful. Sure enough, I had a cold at the same time as the pain. I have been in pretty serious pain for a week again. I bought some Sudafed Sinus and take it when it gets unbearable, but it just isn't letting up and I'm miserable. I finally did what no doctor wants you to do. I went to WebMD to diagnose my problem, you know, incase it is something more than sinus pressure this time since I don't have a cold. I used the Symptom Checker feature. Click on "Head." Click on "Mouth." A list of symptoms comes up for the mouth. There were many, many good ones, but my favorites? "Uncontrollable verbal outbursts" - learn to hold your tongue "Increased talkativeness" - you need to get out more, you've been spending too much time with computers and not enough with living human beings "Muffled voice" - remove pillow from over face Toothache wasn't even listed. Go figure.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I.O.U. from the Government??

Is anyone else scared about California deciding that yes, they owe people tax refunds, but they just aren't going to pay right now. What?!?!?! I see the problems California is having creeping to the federal government quickly. It has motivated us to change our election now so that we should not ever get a refund again. If we as private citizens made the same decision because we had overspent our income or had trouble and lost our job, we would still be thrown in jail for choosing not to pay our obligations. Do you think California will pay those people due a refund interest? Penalties? Anything? Of course not. I think with the way this terrible stimulus package was put into law, it is only a matter of time before the federal government begins holding our refunds. I'm outraged by all the trash and pork in that bill. Some govenors, to their credit, are talking about not accepting the money from the federal government. Guess what, the federal idiot wrote into the bill that if the governor doesn't accept the money, the state legistatures can take the money and spend it. Outrageous! Does no one see the MAJOR problems? I hope I owe taxes next year, just so that I can make sure I get my money, just in case the government decides not to pay me back for a year or two.

No More Mr. Nice Guy - Potty Training

I've had it. Maddie is totally capable and aware of when she is pooping in her pants. NO MORE. It ticks me off that she refuses to poop in the potty unless she is randomly in the mood. I'm the one who has to clean her up and she waits until it is squished all over everywhere and a total disaster before I figure out she needs a change. I'm afraid I'll snap sometime if this isn't fixed soon. From now on if she poops in her diaper, we head straight up the stairs to the bathtub. She'll get her little hiny washed with cold, COLD water. It is simply a natural consequence for her deliberate action. There is no mistake when you hide in a corner to poop. She knows exactly what she is doing and exactly what is expected of her. Starting today, if you make yourself dirty, you have to get cleaned up. If you choose to poop in your diaper, you're gonna get a cold mini-bath. I'm just no longer making it comfortable for her to make my life miserable. We'll see how this works to motivate her lazy butt. I've had friends that had success doing it before so I'm crossing my fingers.

Anniversary

Last night I hardly slept at all. I was in such terrible pain I woke every 15 minutes to glare at the clock that just wouldn't let time pass fast enough. My teeth have been hurting for days and yesterday was the worst yet. All through the night I was in misery. I realized that it was the 13th year anniversary of when I hit my face on the diving board, broke my face and my teeth fell out. I guess it is just my body reminding me of the anniversary of my accident. Happy Anniversary to me yesterday. It hurt almost as bad as the accident. Apparently it is just pressure in my sinuses though. I hope it goes away soon...I'm miserable.

Monday, February 16, 2009

I Wasn't Scared

When Ben first slept for six hours overnight I woke up panicked that something terrible had happened. I rushed in and checked him and I couldn't sleep again until he had woke to eat. I remember the same thing with Maddie. Last night Jacob slept from 9:30 pm until 4:30 am. That is seven hours. I woke up, rolled over and laid in bed until I heard him fuss a few minutes later. He must have been stirring to wake me in the first place. I feel guilty. It isn't a lack of love, just a comfort in motherhood. I feel guilty for not freaking out over my sweet baby. Weird, huh?

Cakes and Virtue

Today I had to speak to the young women in Annandale ward on the topic of "Virtue." I found a cool object lesson that I decided to try out on them to make a point. It involved making and decorating a fancy looking cake. It was my first cake that didn't involve cute little pretend characters like Elmo so it was a bit intimidating. I made all the pink flowers, added the yellow middles and dried them in the flower forms. When they had hardened enough to be handled, I put them on the cake and stored it in the Tupperware thing to protect it from little fingers that always seem to find every cake I ever make. When I took the top off the Tupperware at the church the next morning to put it up on the front table where I would be speaking, I was so sad. By closing up the container, the moisture stayed in and had essentially melted all the flowers. Instead of being nicely formed cherry blossoms, they had melted into slightly flower shaped pink lumps with yellow accent dots. Oh well. Another lesson learned. When using Royal Icing you must leave it open to the air. Back to the lesson. I told them I had brought a treat for them to eat while I was teaching and asked Taylor to pass out a piece to all the girls. She came up and asked if I had a knife. I told her to just grab it and give everyone some. She picked up the whole cake and headed to the kitchen to get a knife. I grabbed the cake back, set it on the table and said, "No, I mean just grab it and give everyone some." Then I stuck my fingers in the cake and grabbed a big messy chunk and handed it to her. She was surprised as were the other girls. Then Taylor decided this was really cool. She took the cake in her hand and handed it to Jaime, who didn't quite know what to do with a hand full of cake and frosting. Taylor was excited now and I had to put the breaks on the lesson to keep us from all getting messy. I handed out baby wipes and cleaned my hands off while we talked about the difference in the cake before I stuck my hand in it and after. The cake began pretty, delicate, fancy, good, clean and appealing. After it had been damaged, it was in a sense ruined, ugly, no longer desirable. We talked about how if we maintain a virtuous life it is beautiful, delicate, pretty and we are happy. Once we have allowed something or someone to strip us of our virtue we have become less desirable, damaged and will be unhappy. Just as only someone skilled at cake decorating can repair the cake and make it beautiful again, only Jesus can help us repair ourselves. Of course, the best way is to hold onto our virtue in the first place. We talked about places the world is stripping natural virtue from society and how it is happening "by degrees" so that people aren't even noticing the slippery slope (degrading media, language, immodest clothing, cheating, general lack of honesty, etc). Then how do we keep the virtue we have? The church published this week the new Personal Progress requirements on their website and they are perfect. If we can understand the things taught in each goal we will live with virtue. They are: maintain sexual purity, invite and be worthy for the holy spirit to be with you always, prepare for marriage in the temple and to be worthy to enter the temple, understand repentance, seek to know God by studying the scriptures. What awesome goals! I'm excited about the new value "virtue" being added to the Young Women Theme.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Pulled In Too Many Directions

I feel like my dad today. He always has list after list of things to do. When I was working full time at BP I always had a huge list of things to do. I had a large white board near the kitchen table that had a four column fine print list of my To Do list. It was simply overwhelming and I felt guilty about all the things I couldn't ever finish. After I had Ben I started working on my list and one by one started knocking things off the list. I never finished everything but at one point I rewrote the list and had two columns of regular sized print on the board. It felt amazing.
These days I feel like the list is once again long and overwhelming. I have a hard time focusing on any one project and usually have twenty projects in process with nothing ever getting totally completed. This is one of those instances that Brian is my perfect compliment. He has such focus and self discipline that he ends up coming along and tidying up all my unfinished projects and attending to the pesky little details.
Today I feel pulled in a million different directions and know that now until middle of July is our busy season at church with ward conferences, auxiliary trainings, presidency brunches, beehive conference, planning for summer events, dances, firesides, etc, etc, etc. It is going to be busy and I have so many other things looming.
My Projects:
  • convert Maddie's room to Jacob's room
  • prepare talk for ward conference (plus bake and decorate a cake for my object lesson)
  • clean house over and over
  • dejunk closets
  • clean up junk pile in corner by party table
  • list things on craigslist to sell
  • take yet another load to goodwill
  • get life insurance quotes, decide what we need then purchase this time instead of let quotes get old in my files again
  • review finances in general
  • invest in Roth IRA
  • establish and use a budget again
  • get a condo for our California trip over Memorial Day weekend
  • change cell phone plan
  • return newborn and size 1 diapers
  • buy size 2 diapers
  • organize bins in basement storage room
  • get info on self directed IRAs, review info and act
  • inventory food storage to see what we need to buy/order online
  • reorganize basement closet to fit kids toys
  • wipe down basement to get rid of dust left during sump pump installation
  • try new recipes to learn how to cook healthy foods we can store
  • keep up to date on my blog
  • search my sent mail from my email back to Jan 2008 and include stories I wrote down in my blog as back posts
  • print the blog to a book for "2008"
  • play around on ancestory.com and learn how to do family history research

And about a million other things. I feel pulled in a million directions. What is the most important thing to do?

Right now, it's write a talk about "Virtue" to give tomorrow at Annandale Ward Conference. After all my thinking it's time to pull my thoughts together in a cohesive grouping of words that others will understand.

Cheerleader

Isn't it nice to have little people in your life? I love that I know without a doubt they will always love me no matter what. They are my cheerleaders in the most odd moments. I was putting Maddie's shoes on the other day when she said, "Come on Mom! You can do it!!" with all the enthusiasm she could muster. When I accomplished this very difficult and highly skilled operation and had secured the velcro properly, she clapped her hands gave me a smile that stretched from ear to ear and proclaimed with gusto, "GOOD JOB MOMMY!!!" I love my own personal little pint sized cheerleader.

Hot Date

Since Brian and I were able to go to the temple for the first time in months last week in Buffalo I felt no guilt in going on a good old fashioned "dinner and a movie" date for Valentines Day. Of course, I hate the Valentines Day crowds so we had our Valentines date a day early. Our wonderful neighbor Claudia called and offered to watch the kids as a thank you for the random cable/electrical/wiring jobs Brian does for her. Ben had a rough day behaving that day and I had to pull him aside to chat about his behavior in the late afternoon. I told him he had been doing too much tantruming today and time out wasn't working today. He would have to now start losing a priviledge instead. I asked him what thing he liked and what privilidge he would need to lose. With a broken heart and tears streaming down his face he said, "To play with Miss Claudia when she comes to watch us and just go to bed." Boy did that work. He picked a major big ticket item to lose for tantrums and we didn't have a single outburst the rest of the day! Those kids love their Claudia! Brian and I searched our house for old gift cards to figure out what our Valentines Day date would be since we are still in "No Buy Month." The results weren't too shabby. $25 to Outback Steakhouse and two pre-paid movie tickets. Everyone knows you can't go to Outback on $25, so we spent $8.88. Oh well. At the movie, the show we had planned on watching was only playing in the "Directors Hall" which is fancy talk for leather seats and $3 extra per ticket. Whatever. So we got dinged another $6 for the movie. We had a nice evening just the two of us, oh yeah. We toted Jacob along all night because he's just not that hard to take yet. He cooed and laughed while we waited for dinner then slept most the rest of the night. After dinner we picked up Mali and Brent and saw the movie with them. It was a fun night.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Backyard Picnic

Today was B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L outside. We had a picnic in the backyard in February. What a nice surprise this week has been with May-like temperatures. They both love to run and be free in the nice weather.

Caller ID

Last night about 9:30 at night we got a phone call and Brian answered. "Hello" "Hola" came the reply, followed by silence. Since the ONLY person in the world that does that to us is my brother Jason, Brian got a smile on his face and started a typical banter and silly conversation we might have with Jason on any given day. "Que pasa, calabaza?" said Brian. (Translated this means "What's up pumpkin?") The expected reply was SUPPOSED to be, "Nada, nada, limonada." Instead Brian just got silence and the poor guys on the other end of the line continues in spanish, "Why did you call me?" Total shock and confusion on Brian's face. "You called me," he says. Then the guy on the phone says he saw our number on his caller ID and wanted to know why we had called. We can't figure out who the guy is and he finally hangs up. We about died laughing. First that Brian had asked the poor guy, "What's up pumpkin?" Then we laughed about how stupid it is that someone would call us and without identifying themselves start asking what we wanted. How the heck would I know what I wanted. Who are you? I DON'T have caller ID. I'm too cheap. We have no idea who the heck it was and both agree that they dialed in the wrong number when they returned the call. Then the conversation changed to how old we were getting. Seems that in the current generation of people that if you call someone these days, you don't have to leave a message. They will see your name pop up on the caller ID and return your call. I don't operate that way. I have SERIOUSLY offended two people in the past because I don't ever "call them back." Sorry. I didn't know you called. Seriously. I didn't know. How was I supposed to know? I have an answering machine and if you EXPECT a return call, you darn well better leave a message. I guess that makes me old, but hey, it saves me $5 every month.

No Buy Month Sins

Brian always says he has to read my blog to see what is going on in our lives since he has to miss so much of it while he's at work. This one is to give him the 4-1-1 on my No Buy Month Sins.
  • Trip to Buffalo: ate at McDonalds three times, sort of planned on this mishap anyway so lets call it groceries since we didn't have a kitchen to cook with, okay? ($?)
  • Date with Ben to Niagra Falls: three bouncy balls for the kids and one shot glass to mail to a friend who really, really needs it ($11)
  • Michaels Craft Store: the "A" for Jacobs name and scrapbook paper to decorate it (for the record I tried to buy the "A" in January but they were out of stock and it was killing me to wait a month to finish my project and the scrapbook paper to decorate it was inspiration from seeing how Kristie did McKenzie's name in Buffalo) ($6)

I will borrow the mod podge from Mali to finish the "Jacob" name project so I can't see any other "needs" popping up this month. Only 15 more days to go. Plus, we figured out a way to have a cool Valentines date for free. Claudia, our super neighbor, offered to watch the kids for us. Then we'll use gift cards sitting around the house for both dinner and a movie. No cash out of pocket. Perfect!!

Playdate Fun

We love playdates. Today we had the non-school aged Hyatt clan come over. I got a mommy playdate with Jana and the kids had a blast using their imaginations. The Hyatt kids all seem to have above average imagination skills which make them some of our funnest friends. Today they played house in their bedroom in "the cave" under the loft bed and went fishing in the living room.

How to Waste Eighty Bucks - One Co-Pay at a Time

  • First have a baby. The nurse may notice an odd raised mole on your back and recommend you have it checked out.
  • Second call your primary care physician for an appointment. Arrange for babysitting by husband while he's off work to help you after new baby was delivered. Sit in waiting room and then in exam room for approximately one hour total. Nurse will take a look at your back and make a note about why you came to the doctor. Doctor will finally come in, tell you that you should come back again in two months to get your iron levels checked. Then he'll ask what you came in for today. When you tell him for a referal for odd colored moles he'll just write a referral without checking and send you on your way. Pay $20.
  • Next call all around to find a doctor that takes new patients for conditions such as yours. Make an appointment and arrange babysitting again. See the physican's assistant who does a full body check to find a random mole on your thigh that isn't raised and has never bothered you. In fact you didn't notice it there amongst all the other freckles. She tells you that she would like to remove the odd colored one on your back and the black one on your thigh. The other raised mole that has bothered you for years as it is rubbed daily isn't covered by insurance so she won't help you with that one. Make another appointment to come back again to have two offensive moles removed. Pay $30.
  • Make next appointment and arrange for babysitting again (Brian is a wonderful man). Arrive at appointment and get injection to numb the thigh. I can still feel it after 5 shots. Physician's assistant gets julienne tool and cuts out the mole. Little ouch. Then she coterizes the wound and puts on a bandaid. She won't do the other one today because they won't do two in one day. Infection risk is too high. Seriously?? A papercut is bigger than this wound...whatever. I ask if I need to make another appointment. She tells me no. The fancy colored mole isn't too bad so she won't take it off. Wait. Wasn't that the whole point of my visit. What the heck? I'm done and ready to go. Call again in one year for another full body check. Pay $30.

Net result: spent $80, all moles that bothered me are still firmly attached to my body, one I had never even noticed before is being sent to the lab for testing, I had to arrange babysitting three times, I'm pretty much bugged. Sorry. I won't be calling back next year to spend another $80 to get nothing done.

P.S. - Remember how you said it wouldn't even hurt the next day? Wrong. It aches. How do you figure it won't hurt when you removed a chunk of skin from my leg? Duh. My two year old could have told you that.

J-A-C-O-B

Here is my project of the day. It's time to take down Maddie's decor and put up Jacob's name in the nursery. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. Now I just need to Mod Podge the top to make it stick down.

Just Picking Our Noses

Maddie has taken to picking her nose almost all day long. If she doesn't have her fingers up her nose then they are in her mouth and she is biting or sucking on them. Today I asked her for the thousandth time to take her finger out of her nose because it was dirty. Her response was, "It's okay if it's dirty, Mommy. I just put it in my mouth to clean it up from my dirty nose. Then I can just eat it. See? Look!" as she ate another finger full. Gross.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Baby Books

When I took Jacob for his regular 2 month check up I was so proud that I had finally remembered to bring his baby book for them to write his stats in. Every visit at this pediatricians office since we moved to Virginia they have asked if I brought the kids "baby book" to write in. I always figured it was just another thing to lug around so I didn't bring it. As I rushed out the door for this appointment, Jacob's baby book caught my eye so I grabbed a hold of it and went on my way. After the doctor finished with him, she asked, "Did you bring the baby book to write in?" I was quite pleased with myself as I said yes and pulled out my cute little baby book from Babies-R-Us. She looked at me like I was nuts. Then she said, "I guess I can write in this. Where is the other one?" What other one, I thought? I wasn't getting it at all. We were not speaking the same language. I questioned what she meant and she explained that they give everyone a new baby book to keep a copy of the baby's medical record. I told her we hadn't ever gotten one. She took my cute baby book and left. When she returned, she handed me two baby books. I felt pretty stupid, but at least now, after three years of taking my kids to their office, I know what they are talking about. Oh well.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Dr. Craig's Diagnosis Confirmed

The "real" doctor confirmed Dr. Craig's diagnosis of an umbilical hernia. Two thumbs up to you.

The Miracle of Infant Gas Drops

Jacob was having a really rough time with gas one night. He was screaming and crying for a few hours. Finally Brian diagnosed the problem as gas and we got the infant gas drops. I kid you not, the dropper literally touched his lips and he stopped crying for the rest of the night. We laughed that he hadn't even eaten them yet and they had "worked." Now those are some good drops!! Today Jacob got his immunization shots. He was cranky and uncomfortable and screaming. I was dreaming that the Tylenol would be as magical as the gas drops had been but no luck. It was a very long day and I thought my ear drum may rupture a few times from the screaming in my ear. I has planned to take Jacob with me to Enrichment Night at the church that night, but decided to leave him since I wouldn't have been able to stay in the room anyway if I'd had him. Brian said the night wasn't necessarily any better, but by the time I got home around 10pm he had finally settled down. Thank goodness for that.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Chubba Chubba

I know this is soooo no big deal to the rest of the world, but we have a chubby baby boy! Jacob weighed in at 13 lb 3 oz and 24 1/2" at his two month check up. A solid 75th percentile in weight. I think the little fat rolls are kind of cute.
Ben and Maddie were both born near the 50th percentile and within 6 months had dropped to somewhere around 5th percentile. With Ben they ran every test in the books to see why he wasn't growing. Finally my pediatrician had me call my parents and Brians parents. Turns out my mom was accused of not feeding me because I was so small and Brian was called "the runt." We quit with the test and concluded that I just have small kids.
When we got to Virginia and had Maddie they wanted to start running tests all over again since it was a new set of doctors. I just told them no thanks and explained what we had done the last time in Texas and they were okay with it. I checked the other kids baby books and found Ben hit 13 lbs at four months and Maddie didn't get there until six months.
Lets just say I got my moneys worth out of their clothes and Jacob needs to move into size two diapers and is growing out of his clothes quickly. Now I have to find time to return the two boxes of size one diapers I bought when I thought I was having another little baby and trade them in for size two.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Thanks Sister Gillespie!

On the drive home from Buffalo, I finally got out of Ben who told him that Parker’s house was close to the Sacred Grove. His fantastic primary teacher, Sister Gillespie. Thanks, Heather! Your lesson couldn’t have been better timed for our trip this week. We totally enjoyed walking through the grove with him and talking about God and Joseph Smith.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Emerging Giggles

We've recieved a beautiful ray of sunshine this week. Baby coos and giggles can melt anyones heart but especially the mother. Jacob has started laughing and cooing at us. I love to hold him and gaze into his eyes as I tickle and coax a little giggle out of his happy spirit. It is magic to me.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Wii Havin' Fun

The kids have had so much fun with the Wii game system since we got here to Kristie's house. Ben has had a blast playing the train game and doing things with the grown ups.
Now the children are nestled snug in their beds and the big people are getting serious now. Brian and Jason are getting really, really competitive at these games and it is hilarious to watch. My favorite is to see Jason's backside wiggle all around. Brian has broken a sweat for the first time in the eleven years we've known each other in the name of moving in an athletic manner. Anthony, Kristie, Alex and I (and Jacob) are all enjoying and laughing and having so much fun.

Happy Birthday Alex

Rough Times

Ben is crying about Parker moving his pile of blankets and pillows where they are jumping. He keeps getting really upset at them. He came over to Brian and told him he keeps getting his ankles broken. Gosh, that must hurt.

Chubby

This is a Robinson Family Classic. No one tells it better than Aunt Kristie. Now that it is on my blog, my kids can watch it over and over and over and over. Thanks, K. video

Niagara Falls Date with Ben

Ben and I went on a double date with Alex and Jason. We had lots of fun. My date, Ben, fell asleep on the drive up, but I didn’t let it offend me too much. He’d had a late night the day before playing with his cousins. When we arrived at the American Falls we parked and walked over to the falls. The whole state park area is sort of like an ice city. The falls kick up so much fine watery mist that blows around, falls and freezes everywhere. Lots of places are closed entirely to walking traffic but seeing the falls in the winter is a totally different and beautiful sight than the falls in the summer. Ben enjoyed picking up ice chunks and smashing them in a million pieces and throwing them over the edge of the cliff into the river hundreds of feet below.
We crossed the border into Canada without much trouble this time and went to see the other side of the falls. We found some prime parking about as close as you can get to the falls and walked across the street to see the sights from the other side of the river again. I’ve been there lots of times now and I’m still blown away by the sheer volume of water going over the falls every second of every day. Seems like it should run out sometime. It’s just hard to fathom that much water could be anywhere.
We took some good pictures of the falls and each other before we stepped inside the tourist trap shops. J and Alex found some sweet t-shirts as souvenirs. I decided that since I was on a date, I could get Ben something small too. He selected a tiny teddy bear that cost $25. I steered him to another section of the store where he picked out a more attractively priced large bouncy ball with a boat in the middle for $2. He was happy and so was I. I found a shot glass for my friend Angie that collects them (or at least used to) and am totally excited to mail it to her. Then we chose one for Maddie and one for Parker before we headed back into the cold.
Ben tried his hand at photography and tried to capture the rainbow in the mist above the falls. Then we headed back to the car and tried to get back to the USA. I was pretty sure I knew where I was going, but then we saw a sign directing us “TO USA” and an arrow pointing the opposite way as I had expected. We figured we’d follow the sign. Probably a routing thing the city did to control traffic. No problem. We followed farther and farther away from the bridge. After about 10 minutes the signs just disappeared. Eventually we turned around and headed back the way I knew we needed to go. We tried to short cut through the tourist area with all the hotels and restaurants and hit a dead end almost every turn we made. Eventually, we found our way back to where I recognized the buildings again and I took us directly to the border crossing. Jason is going to write a letter to Canada and tell them they need better signs and that he would also like a suggestion box at the border crossing.
All in all, a pretty good date and a fun time with special Ben time. He is such a great guy. I love spending time with him alone where I can focus on what he has to tell me and wants to do. I love the smile on his face when he knows he is the center of my attention.

Buffalo Wings in Buffalo

Friday was a pretty relaxed day. We lounged around the house all morning while the little people played together. When Anthony got home from school, we headed out for lunch. We had a lovely time at one of Buffalo’s original wings establishments, Duffs. It is always appropriate to eat Buffalo wings when you are in Buffalo, right? True to his word, Jason was able to eat the most by far. Apparently, Kristie’s pregnant belly isn’t a fan of Duffs. She started feeling sick so she couldn’t compete with him. After lunch we took most everyone home. Anthony studied and Kristie, Parker, McKenzie, Brian, Maddie and Jacob all napped. Ben, Alex, Jason and I took off to see Niagara Falls together.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Simple Testimony

“Hey mom, did you know the place I found out God was real was in Daniel and the Lions Den? God didn’t want him to get gone in the lion’s tummy so he saved him.”
I asked him if he knew that what he had was a testimony and explained a testimony is when we know something in our heart is true. He started wobbling his head up and down without saying a word. After a minute he said, “I’m shaking my head up and down like in the Wii game to say yes. The one with the train game.”

What's His Name Future Wedding Cake

I found this blog today and read on and off all day. It is all about cake decorating mistakes (and some amazing ones too). The messups are soooo funny! Since I posted the other day about not being able to remember Jacob's name, this cake was one that hit home. If I dont' get this thing straightened out soon, he may end up with a wedding cake like this one. I'll try harder.

Tired Hands

Ben came to me today, apparently still suffering withdrawals from his overload on Tom and Jerry. I let him watch his favorite morning show after he had breakfast and did all his morning chores. Then we turned off the tv and I told him we needed to use our imaginations for a long time. He played like normal as instructed "for a long time," but eventually started hovering over me. Finally he got up the guts to ask me. "Mom, I have been using my imagination all day and now my hands are SOOOO tired. I think the only thing my hands can do now is something that just takes a little work. Kind of like when you watch a Tom and Jerry on the computer. You just have to click a little bit, then you can rest your hands for a long time." The request was nicely phrased but the answer was still no. Poor kid.

Easily Pleased

We lost one of Ben's favorite Dr. Seuss books about dinosaurs and had to reorder it. It arrived in the mail today and Ben was extatic to have received some mail for him. He opened the package and was delighted with the book. Maddie wanted to know where her thing was and was whining about it when she spotted the packing slip, which was pink. Problem solved. Maddie said, "Here it is!" and was totally happy with her pink packing slip.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Dr. Craig

Jacob has some nasty weird thing behind his belly button. Brian saw it a few weeks ago and it squishes back and forth and makes a really yucky sound. I didn't know what it was and don't like to touch it. It grosses me out and makes my stomach churn when I hear the fluid move around. Brian thinks it's really funny to make the squishy noise. I never seems to bother Jacob at all though. We mentioned it to Brian's dad, Craig today when we were on the phone. Right away he said it might be an umbilical hernia. Of course I googled it right off and looks like he is right. We'll have the doc check it next week for our regular 2 month check, but Dr. Craig has likely solved the problem. He says I can just mail the co-pay straight to the house.

Silent Laugh

Jacob's latest development is silent laughter. You've all seen it before, I know. It is when someone smiles and laughs so hard that no sound comes out of their mouth. Jacob hasn't figured out how to laugh audibly yet, but his face is completely lit up. His smile is so big that his lips look stretched tight across his cute toothless grin. I love it and can't wait until he figures out how to make the giggle noise. Maddie and Ben are going to really enjoy him when he can laugh at them.

No Buy Month

In March 2007 I participated in an interesting financial experiment, "No Buy Month." I undertook the challenge for two basic personal reasons, one to help me determine my "wants" from my "needs" and the other was to pinpoint just how much money I might be wasting each month. I put a large poster on the inside of my front door so I would be reminded of the challenge each time I left the house and had an opportunity to spend. The poster inadvertently generated a lot of questions and interest from friends. Several people wanted to try it and suggested we extend the challenge to anyone else that might be interested in participating together in May. I sent an email to a bunch of friends and we all set out to save a ton of money.
The general idea:
  • Buy only necessities like groceries, gas, doctor co-pays, emergency car repair, etc, but no extra shopping at Home Depot for tools, the craft store for fabric, Wal-Mart do-dads or the mall for new clothes
  • Pay your regular bills but don't sign up for new things
  • Dining out is under debate, but I chose not to go out for our family
May 1 - May 31, 2007 was our group's No Buy Month and we had a bunch of people do it. Of the group were lots of reasons for joining, one couple made it a competition between them to see who caves first, one couple wanted to find out what rock bottom would be if they were to loose a job and had no income, one person just wanted to save some money to jump start a savings account.
We had a BBQ at the end of our group experiment and talked about what we had learned. Even though I messed up a time or two I learned a lot still. The very first time I did this, it was extremely difficult to go into a store and not get extra stuff. I found myself having to put things back on the shelf before I checked out and hating it. I wrote down everything I "needed" and couldn't buy so I could buy it on the first day of the next month. I totally lusted after the things on my list, knowing that I really, really needed them. Then sometime during the fourth week of the experiment, I lost the list. I searched and searched and searched. It made me sick inside to know I lost the list. After all, I NEEDED that stuff. I tried to remember all the stuff I had written down to recreate the list without much success. After a couple days, I had an epiphany that may be completely obvious to everyone else in the world...if I couldn't remember it all...maybe...just maybe...I didn't really need the stuff.
This month is my fourth time doing the "No Buy Month" experiment. I did it alone in March 2007, with a group in May 2007. I chose to do it in February in the future since it's the shortest month, so I did it in February 2008 and here we are in February doing it again in 2009 and plan to do it annually.
In the end, here is what I figure I gain out of doing this every year:
  • save money during February
  • learn/relearn to recognize impulse buys
  • distinguish wants from needs
  • gives me time to plan my purchases
  • saves me money in March, April, May and beyond or until I lapse back into my old buying habits
  • keeps me out of the stores so I am not tempted to spend money as often
We all spend too much money every year on junk. My annual experiment helps me get grounded again once a year, which is great because I have yet to find the money tree.

"Secret" Grove

After primary Ben came directly to me, tapped on my shoulder and said, “Mom, when we go to Buffalo to visit Parker can we go to the Secret Grove where God did a visit to Joseph Smith?” I immediately smiled noticing he called it the Secret Grove, not the Sacred Grove. I don’t know who put that together for him, but I’m really glad that they did. He is so excited about visiting Palmyra and being where Jesus was in the Sacred Grove.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

What's His Name?

Lauren keeps BEGGING me to post this. I've put it off because it's just too embarrassing. But, since i happened again today, I give in. I can't help it. I can't ever seem to remember Jacob's name in the midst of general everyday conversation. I'll be talking and I get totally stumped. I have called him Joshua most the time I mess up, once I called him Jeff (we never even considered this one seriously) but mostly I call him...okay...I'm not exaggerating...I really just forgot his name again. What is wrong with me??? Jacob. His name is Jacob. So anyway, mostly I call him Jacob and then instantly say, "I mean...(pause)...um...yeah, Jacob." Poor guy. When Ben was born I called him Jason (my younger brother). In fact sometimes I still do. Maddie was always Ben. That makes sense and I think is pretty normal to get your kids names mixed up but forgetting it altogether is just shameful. There you go Lauren. Laugh at me. I posted it just for you!

Sacrament Request

During Sacrament Meeting at church today Ben said this, "I wish they would pass out the water first at the sacrament so that it doesn’t wash out the yummy taste of the white bread from my mouth and I could hold it in there for a long time." He also wanted to be the first to get the sacrament the other day. We told him the Bishop will always be first then everyone else, he was sad. He came up with a plan though. When we arrived at church, he had a particular bench in mind to sit in. He headed straight to the front most bench behind the boys who pass out the sacrament and had us sit there. He explained that he would be the "next first" to get the sacrament after the Bishop if he sat there. Good plan, but it was upset when one of the sons of a guy let his son sit next to him on the bench. Then when they left to pass, it put his son "next first" to get the sacrament. It was funny to see him think all that through though to make such a good plan.