Zufelt Family Feb 2015

Zufelt Family Feb 2015

Friday, February 26, 2010

Jacob Today

I'm online taking care of bills. We borrowed some money from our kids and now that we have our year end bills taken care of and taxes in process, it's time to pay them for their loans to us. Jacob is standing on the chair to my right with crusted yogurt all over his pants where the bib just didn't quite cover. He's got his tongue stuck, curled to his left with out with drool coming down as he says bah-bah-bah-uhh-uhh-uhh through a happy glowing smile with that wiggly tongue going full speed. How weird it is to be paying this little munchkin his $30 for the year. Yeah. He's loaded and doesn't even know it. He could take a date to dinner or something extravagant with all his money. But he's still drooling. It's just so hard to imagine him ever old enough to use the money. He's so care free today. His biggest concern is if mommy will read him the latest book-book-book that he drags to my lap. What a happy, simple life today. Does he really have to grow up and have real problems?

Two Comments on the Olympics - Sort Of

#1 With the change from analog to digital broadcast signals for the television we got a few new "bonus" channels. One of them is all Olympics all the time. Sort of a waste of airwave space if you ask me, but you didn't ask, so oh well. Sometime back months and months ago while flipping channels I found the sport for me. Skeleton. You know. Where you run for all you are worth in a skin tight outfit and a monster sized helmet then jump on a tiny little sled with razor sharp blades to plummet yourself down an icy shoot of death. I don't sound excited you say? Okay. Maybe not but still, it just might be my sport anyway. If you get a chance, watch the skeleton this year at the winter olympics broadcasts. Those people have some wobbly, jiggly butts. Yep. They fly down those icy tracks with their backsides wiggling all over the place and the camera crew catching it on tape, broadcasting the live image all over the world. I think I could fit in with this crowd. I have just the right kind of back side for it. As do 98% of all Americans, so I may have some stiff competition when you people catch on like I have. #2 The Luge. I lived in Salt Lake City before the Winter Olympics there in 2002. In fact, Brian and I could have graduated college and left two months before the games, but strategically took a longer path to graduation so as to allow ourselves to be present during the games. We both volunteered and had an amazing experience, but I digress from the point of this post. In the pre-Olympic times, there was lots of road construction. I mean LOTS. The entire state of Utah was redone I'm pretty sure. They turned the freeways which now in some places are six lanes wide into two lanes just barely wide enough for a Ford Focus to drive safely and then told diesel trucks to go right ahead and use the roads. They lined the two lanes with concrete barricades for ten mile stretches with no emergency lane or anything. It was T-I-G-H-T. I lovingly referred to I-15 and I-80 as the Luge. I felt it took the white knuckle skills of an Olympic athlete to drive every day. I hated it. This lasted for, what, about five years? It was terrible. I actually remember seeing on the nightly news the announcement that overnight this massive project would begin. The next morning drive was bad. And it kept right on being bad for five years. With all the wild snow storms and deep piles on the sides of the roads here in February that brought the Nations' Capitol to a screeching hault I have to say I felt like I was right back into the Salt Lake Luge event right here in Virginia. The snow piles were in some places over ten feet tall by the time the plows had moved all the snow to the side of the road. When you came to a stop light you had darn well better stop and wait for the green light because there was NO WAY you knew what was coming up the street. The roads were super tight and in places cars had to wait to drive past each other on the roads. Both sides of the road were lined with a vertical wall taller than the roof of my car. Did I mention I LOVE my 4 wheel drive truck? It felt like the luge in the little car. That's all I have to say about the Olympics. Haven't watched a single event. I used to care. Not sure what happened. Anyway, I'm off to find a local skeleton team to join? Anyone in?


Today has been intense to say the least. It all began early enough. I cleaned the house for preschool, put everything in order so my lesson would flow smoothly from one activity to the next, taught preschool (that is another post all together - made TWO kids cry), kept one cute kid a while later to help a good friend, managed lunch, juggled Jacob missing BOTH nap times (not because I didn't put him down, but because he screamed for an hour each attempt), afternoon play date here, proded Ben back to his friend instead of neglecting his play date because the brand new Lego set was just too enticing to resist, a mad dash to the eye doctor to get Ben's lenses changed and Maddie's fixed before he left for the day, lugging a finally sleeping baby into the house for a much needed nap and reading a monstrous pile of library books to Maddie (and Ben in the vicinity listening as he built his Lego creations), I just want to be alone and crash. I snuck to the kitchen for a teensy little second to check my email and got sucked into blog reading or at least an attempt at it. The barrage of Maddie questions never slowed. I had all of sixty seconds "alone" if you can even call it that before she was on the kitchen chair next to me leaning ever closer to me and finally on my right arm so I couldn't properly manipulate the computer keys anymore. I asked kindly that she please move to her space and let me have mine back. Not fully understanding what I meant, I gently explain what I was asking and show her a magic area that she should fit into quite well. (I have MAJOR space issues and she was greatly testing my limits today.) Still she is shooting questions non-stop. I am doing my best to ignore her and pretend to escape into a warm sunny place while I have a mental break from her/them/it/all of it. Questions. Questions. Questions. Seriously, it takes all I have inside me to not just tell her to "Shut Up!" I'm nodding and saying "yep" to random stuff she asks and tells me in a blind attempt to appease her and not have to really hear her words. Can she not just go away for two minutes? Come on. I need a break. I chuckle at some of the cakewrecks I see and she asks why I'm laughing. "Because I saw something funny." "Where are your glasses mom?" "In my eyes." "What do you mean?" "I stick them to my eyeballs. They are called contacts." "Oh. Why do you do that?" and on and on and on. Finally it's onto another subject of which I can't recall nor do I care to know what we "talked" about. I just throw out more Yes and Uh-huh's as seem appropriate by the lulls of silence in her speech. Somehow I snap back for just a moment with her and she asks why I'm saying such-and-such. I give her the honest truth. "Mostly to appease you." "Oh. I don't want to be peased." She knows I am ignoring her. She doesn't want to be "peased" and I know it. I tell her mommy can't talk for five minutes (hoping to type this blog post of my current mental state as an outlet and let it vent). She seems okay with that and leaves the room. Returns one minute later with questions. I remind her mommy can't talk for a few minutes. She tells me "Okay. I'll do my ABCs then. Mommy, how do we.....??" Remember the part where I don't talk? And now, after Jacob has slept for a precious 45 minutes (most of which I spent reading to Maddie) instead of the needed 3 hours today, he is wailing at the top of his lungs to be saved from his prison crib. Alas, I realize I am a mother. My time is not my own unless it is after midnight. I love my angels. Maddie is the sweetest thing and only wants to be near me. I feel bad for putting her off, but after 4-5 hours of undivided attention to her today, I'm needing a mommy break. Still, her innocent love for me melts my heart. Her love is just too pure for words. She will be an amazing mother someday. And then, maybe she'll understand this post as I know my mother friends of today do like no one else can. Now to go set a good example for her and love her right this minute.... Sigh.... I guess I can be alone after midnight, right? Here I come little people.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Good Grades Reward

Do tell. What did you get as a kid when you brought home a good report card? Ben brought home his very first report card this Friday. He got all good "grades". Of course, this means we are crossing yet another milestone in our marriage. A time of discussion and BIG decisions. The question of the day: What kind of reward does he get for good grades? Realize of course, that Ben has no idea what a report card is yet or the impending doom that it can potentially be for high school kids. He also has no concept of the fact that it could be a cash cow he could milk for the next 13 years to bleed us dry. I know people that got over $250 each quarter - that's a $1,000 a year for doing what you're supposed to do anyway. If you're a student you job is to study. Anyway, it's all up to us and it's time to start setting a precedence for this brood we call the Zufelt Zoo. Here's generally how I remember the conversation with Brian going... B: "So do we give him anything for doing a good job?" A: "I guess we could. He did a good job. But I don't want it to be something HUGE. I mean, really, on a basic level, good grades are more of an expectation than a magical surprise to which we must heap mountains of praise and reward upon the child." B: "What kind of thing were you thinking?" A: "I don't know. What were you thinking?" Neither one of us wants to break first. You know how that goes. Isn't a rule of negotiation that the first person to put forth a proposal is the automatic looser of the negotiation? B: "What did you get as a kid for good grades?" A: "I know we had a couple choices, but I remember we pretty much always chose to have a week of hot lunch at school." B: Bursts into open, wild laughter!! Smile from ear to ear. "You got what?" A: "Hot lunch for a week. It was AWESOME!!" Now he's laughing so hard he is almost crying. B: "You got PUNISHED for good grades?" Shaking his head, he wipes the tears of laughter from his eyes. "That really sucks! Wow. I would have hated that. We always had to have hot lunch at school. A real treat would have been COLD lunch. That was cool." A: "Whatever. I had cold lunch every day of my life. I think sometimes we got to choose a box of cold cereal if we wanted." B: (still laughing) "Seriously?" A: "Yeah. We never got sugar cereal for breakfast. Ever. Why are you laughing?" B: "I guess I'm laughing because I know your family and that is just exactly, well, your family." A: "So what did you get for good grades?" B: "Nothing." A: "Nothing? No way. Nothing at all?" B: "Nope." A: "I don't believe it." I don't think we ever concluded our conversation about what to do for poor Ben. We got all excited and I called my sister and brother in law to see what they got growing up (hot lunch for my sister, cash for the bro-in-law). Then we called Brian's brother and had him call his wife to report back. I had to make sure Brian wasn't lying. Sure enough. They didn't get a darn thing. They think maybe that they might have gotten to go to dinner as a family once in a while for good grades, but couldn't be sure.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Heard Around the House

Mom at the table helping Jacob eat his lunch in the high chair. Maddie calls out from the bathroom, "Mom! I got a poo-poo!" Ben working on legos at the party table (that's what we call the dining room table) hollers a loud, "YES! Now we all get Hershey Kisses because Maddie pooped! Can you get them now mom?" Jacob, "Ahhh!!" (translated to say "I want pears, not chicken nuggets!") Mom enters the bathroom and Maddie is standing naked pointing at the toilet, "I got two. Aren't they pretty good ones?" What an exciting life I lead.

Working in the kitchen cleaning up some random unnecessary mess on the table, I commented, "This is just so irritating." Ben's eyes about popped out of his head. "You mean an ear is going to grow out of it?" "What are you talking about?" "You said and ear was growing out of it." "Huh?" "Well, you said it was ear-itating."

Friday, February 12, 2010

Ben's Best Estimation

Jacob clawing at the kitchen table to get at Ben's breakfast plate.
Ben - "Mom! I just saw in Jacob's mouth and he has FIVE teeth on the bottom!"
Mom - "Really?  I only saw four last time."
Ben - "Oh. Maybe it's just four."
Mom - "Maybe he got another one.  You could totally be right."
Ben - "Well actually it was just my estimation."
Mom (smirking) - "It was a what?"
Ben - "Estimation.  Mrs. Baitinger said that is when you take a close guess.  Like if it is actually seven you shouldn't guess one hundred. (Chuckles to self)  That would be a BAD estimation 'cause you can really see that a hundred isn't even close to the right number. Of course."

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

No One To Tell

It's 1:00 am. I have no one to tell at this hour of day, but I finally went through our pictures and cleaned them out. It feels great! I'm down to about 1.75 GB. That sounds like a lot, but I take a lot of pictures. We got a mid-range fancy pants camera when Maddie was about one year old because I had approximately zero pictures of that child with eyes opened or heck, even looking in the general direction of the camera. Never have I regretted that purchase. I love it. I do take too many pictures now though. Most of them are bad and should be thrown out. I set it to take multiple pictures per second and often do. Now we're down to 1.76 GB and we started at 5 GB. That's some major progress! If only I could get rid of 65% of the junk in the basement in three hours. Now that would be the definition of heaven, wouldn't it?

You Know You Have A Problem When...

your kitchen sink looks like this...
I've been going through pictures on the camera memory sticks and found some fun stuff. In November Brian was out of town when we had a serious problem with the kitchen sink. Like the bottom ring that screws tight to hold the ring you see in the sink seals to the pipes below. I found a massive puddle of water in the cabinet and just touching it, the ring fell down the pipe.
Usually in this situation I call up Brian at work. Home Depot is just a block or two away from the office. He picks up the part and brings it home. Then he ends up installing/fixing/gluing/cutting/sanding/replacing whatever needs attention. Of course, he had just left town. Not wanting to go a week without a kitchen sink I hauled my own darn self to the store and pick up the parts, upgrading so I could actually plug the sink and fill it with water which I haven't been able to do since we remodeled and got a cheap one two years ago. I got it all installed with no trouble, but not before Ben had his fun looking through the hole and pretending to be a sink monster.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Blizzard of 2010

This snow is unreal. Can you help the kids? They made you a video.

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Monday, February 1, 2010

Stephanie's House - A Little Piece of Heaven

If you don't know Stephanie, you are really missing out. She was the last one of my old crew of friends to leave me. At least she didn't leave the state or the country. The Pillings only moved a few miles away, but it's just over that natural hump of magic distance that makes it just enough of an inconvenience we don't get together often. Luckily, we still like each other so we are doing a date night babysitting swap. And we're trying to be regular about it. Time will tell. Friday night I watched their kids so they could catch a movie. Brian brought our kids. They played for an hour, then we cleaned the toys up. We sent the Zufelts home to bed with Dad. Mom stayed. We got Penny brushed, changed and snuggled in her bed, then into Margot's room. Books littered the floor. I suggested we could clean them up. Margot, the most precocious child I believe I have EVER met, said she prefers to clean books in the morning. I urged that it would be a great and happy surprise for her mom and dad if they were magically away when they came home. She plead her case like a seventeen year old rather than a four year old. After a bit of a sales pitch, she was finally presuaded. I got down on my knees, grabbed a load of books and crawled toward the bookcase. I stopped dead in my tracks. What was that AMAZING warmth I felt? Oh my. This is wonderful. I was paralyzed. Memories flooded into my mind. Heaven. This is what heaven feels like. I'm positive this is heaven. Turns out the Pillings have natural gas. This means they have a REAL heater. It blows out WARM air. It is AMAZING. I'm not going to lie. I considered asking Margot if I could sleep on her floor on the heater vent. I decided against it. Now as I think it over two days later, I should have snuck into Stephanie's room and slept on her heater vent. See, our house has electric heat. The body temperature is 98.6 degrees F. We all set our heaters at 68 or 72 or whatever. Warm air, but cooler than our bodies. Our electric heat pump blows out air warmer than the 68 degrees we set our heater at, but much, much cooler than my body temperature. The net result is that the room warms up. It just isn't warm and cozy to have blowing on you. In fact my assigned chair at the kitchen table gets direct blowing from the heater and sometimes I have to move seats at dinner because it's too cold with the "heater" blowing directly on me. It's miserable. Gas heaters, on the other hand, blow out some serious hot air. It's divine. Like I said, a piece of heaven. I have many memories a little girl of sitting directly on the heater vent. Sunday was the best day to do it. You come home from church in your dress and crouch down on the vent. Your dress puffs up huge with warm, delightful air. Pure bliss. My sister and I would fight over who got to sit by the vent in the bathroom. The vent was right above the scale. You would shut the door to trap all the warm air and sit on the scale. During my late elementary school years through high school I would get a book to read with a pillow and blanket. Lay with your feet on the vent, tightly wrap the blanket around your body to capture all that warm air and enjoy the afternoon with a good book. It's been years since I could enjoy the heater bliss. We get coldish-warm air here in our Virginia home. In Texas we had good heat but it came through the ceiling. Just a little hard to sit on the ceiling. In college we had steam radiators that could burn you if you touched them. Oh the longing. I may just have to see if I can move in to Stephanie's house for the rest of the winter. Or maybe she can rent me some time to toast my toes on her warm, warm air. Sometimes in the midst of a new adventure in your life, you forget things you love. It's the simple things in life that make it good, isn't it?