Zufelt Family Feb 2015

Zufelt Family Feb 2015

Saturday, July 31, 2010

What's in a Name?

Brian is upstairs changing Jakey's diaper and I can hear them on the baby monitor down in the kitchen.

"I'm the daddy today."
"Nope.  I'm the daddy today."
"Mama! Mama!!"
Over and over and over.
And a whole lot of giggling over some friendly tickles.  He's such a good Mama #2.  Poor Brian.  He just doesn't get the respect he deserves.  He just came home from a two week work trip to Phoenix.  He would talk on the video camera with the kids most mornings while he was gone.  After a few days Jakey caught onto the routine and would randomly throughout the day grab my hand and drag me by the finger to the computer, pointing and saying "Dada! Dada?"
Brian was quite happy to see that upon his return to Virginia Jakey had seemed to learn that he was not Mama #2.  He called him Dada for a good 24 hours before he reverted to Mama for Brian again.  The kicker?  The computer screen in the living room and the handset of the phone are now named Dada in his mind.

Friday, July 30, 2010


I had another surgery yesterday to put a metal screw in my head.  Just one more surgery left in Oct/Nov to put the tooth on the screw.  Yesterday I sent Brian a text from the pharmacy afterwards telling him to come home early and get the kids because I wasn't feeling well and with my mouth all sore and bloody didn't want to talk.  What does he do?  Call me to talk about how I'm feeling.  Ugh.  I do give him points for caring and calling back in 0.2 milliseconds.   I know he was worried, especially because I was driving myself home (which is allowed).
Anyway, I'm doing lots better pain wise than last time.  Not as much bleeding which is making eating and brushing easier.  And I was prepared for for the physical exhaustion this time so my attitude has be lots better too. Brian did pick up the kids from Lucinda's for me.  I heard the wild uproar coming toward the front door from the back bedroom where I was laying down.  They were wild, yelling, fighting and rowdy.  He did the best thing he could have done at that point.  He took them swimming and I got a real nap in.  Then he made dinner for him and the kids, changed dirty diapers and cleaned the dishes.  He warmed up some delicious and very soft chicken vegetable soup my good friend Mindy made for our family.  I ate more than half of what she brought for the entire family.  I was starving and it was so easy to eat.  I have good friends and the best husband in the world.
Because I napped in the afternoon I wasn't sleepy despite how tired my body was.  So I watched some super boring television and fell asleep before 10pm.  Today I woke at 6:30 am to the familiar 'click' of Jakey's door popping open.  I shook Brian and asked him to stop Jakey before he jumped on Maddie's bed again to wake her up (it's a daily battle).  He nabbed him just in time, shut the door to the kids room and to ours.  I don't think I fell back asleep again, but I laid and rested until 8 am.
I took care of the kids and their normal schoolwork routines until about 10 while Brian worked in the basement then I showered and laid down for a rest while netflix movies played on the outside of my eyelids and I snoozed a bit.  Brian kept all three kids busy doing "house helper" chores fixing the bunkbed in their bedroom.  I made lunch, cleaned the dishes, put Jakey down to nap and...you guessed it...laid down for a nap while more netflix movies played in the background.
When I woke up Brian was dumping laundry on the bed so I helped him fold three loads and sorted the literal mountain of clothes the kids have outgrown.  Now I just have to sort and decide what clothes come to Singapore and what should be given away.  I'm thinking all of Maddies go, Ben's stuff can go to Jacob but not sure what to do about Jakey's stuff.  I wish I could tell the future.  Anyway, Brian heated leftovers for dinner tonight, I did lots of the dishes and am relaxing on the couch while they finish up. 
I'm grateful for a good husband to help me out.  I'm grateful that within six months my tooth troubles will be behind me (at least on tooth #9).  I'm grateful the kids have been tailing dad and been mostly good.  I say mostly good because there has been some whining today, he's gotten frusterated a time or two with them for good cause.  It makes him human.  He didn't used to be human you know.  Three kids and the never ending "me", "I", and "give me" has finally broken us.  I'm grateful for all the help the kids have been today and how they typically do their morning schoolwork happily.  I'm thankful for friends to watch my kids and bring dinner to my family.  I'm grateful that my body can take this kind of abuse and recover.  I'm glad for a high pain tolerance.
If you need me I'll be home.  On the couch or in bed.  Zoned.  I'm feeling okay with an ache in my face but totally and completely lethargic.  My body is screaming to sit, to lay, to relax, to do nothing, to zone out.  I guess I'll oblige for a few more days.  Maybe Brian will post some pics of the damage this time.  I was a bit disappointed that you can't see the screw.  It had been an option if my healing had gone super fast.  Guess I'm just a regular healer.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My stomach is churning as

I sit in the waiting room. I feel sick. Someone is about to drill a hole into my face. I seriously think I made the wrong choice to be awake for this. Want to go all the way under. Right NOW.

Smiles Today Over Prayers

Maddie prayed to thank God for the fridge and for the floor today.  She is thankful for the floor "so we don't have to live outside".
Ben prayed for the doctors to do a good job on my surgery tomorrow and for me to do a good job too.  I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do well, but I'll try my best just for him.
Jakey has been folding his arms for prayer for about a month now and does it with such a cute smile.  He also figured out to bow his head in the last week.  In addition he has discovered how to do evil faces and do weird things with his eyes.  Now when he does bow his head he may have a happy smile on his face but his eyes tell a different story.  Of course at the end of each and every prayer when he hears "Amen" he does his own version.  He shoots his left arm up in the air as fast as he can manage with a tight fist sort of like a show of power.

Throwing My Hands in the Air

Ben's sponsered swim fund raiser was last Friday.  His goal was to swim 12 laps.  We aren't ever organized enough to actually ask for sponsors so I end up fudging stuff.  Like last year I sponsered him for $20.  Then both sets of grandparents sponsered him for $10 each.  Of couse they didn't know they had committed to it the morning of because, well, we didn't call them.  I just made it up and told Ben they did and paid it "for them" to the swim team.
Figuring I'd be subsidizing all his so called "sponsors" again this year, I decided to contribute about $10 myself and back calculated that if he hit his goal of 12 laps I should pay $1.50 per lap which would come to $9 for me.  Of course the grandparents and some other random imaginary person would follow suit and also sponser at $1.50 per lap.  $9 times 4 "sponsors" should have been $36 again.
Now realize this kid after two years still had not swam in a meet because crossing the pool without the aid of a noodle, kickboard or his fins was simply impossible in his head.  He set his swim goal.  He chose to swim 6 laps/12 lengths WITHOUT any floating helps.  This was a big, BIG goal for the little guy.  Guess what?  I knew he could do it if he rested and hung on the lane lines to catch his breath, but by no stretch of the imagination would it be easy.  He was up for the challenge though and I was supportive, hoping he could do it.
At the end of the day he swam 22 laps/44 lengths.  That is almost four times as far as he thought he could do.  They had the kids swim for an hour straight.  And because the other kids kept going, he just kept going again and again and again.  It was AMAZING!!  I am so proud of him.  In the end, I sucked it up and paid the kid the full amount for my sponsorship.  The grandparents however weren't so kind.  Those stingy buggers.
While I was telling him how much the check was for and how proud I was of him and gushing about his hard work and his earning the money for the swim team he got this horrified look on his face.  Then he started crying and yelling "That's not fair!!"  "What's not fair?"  "I did all that work and I don't get the money?"  Suck.  Mom messed up again?
Somewhere it got losted in translation.  No.  The money wasn't for him.  Poor kid.  He's pretty ticked off to tell the truth.  He wants his cash.  By golly, he worked his tail off for it.  My heart breaks for him, but the check still said, "Pay to the Order of Glen Cove Pirates Swim Club".  He did get to eat on the Special Plate for dinner though.  Isn't that almost as good?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Vacation bible school

Ben at vacation bible school. He wanted everyone to see his pic with the pyramid from egypt!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Never Let a Blind Person Give a Haircut

Ben needed a haircut in a bad way. We've been on vacation for two weeks, then I went backpacking and life has been such a whirlwind of busy. Sunday morning Jacob was actually taking a nap before church and I saw my chance. I bargained with him and he agreed to do it if he could watch a movie in the kitchen while I worked. Four or five months ago he let me know in no uncertain terms that he wanted a new look. He wanted a bowl cut. I had to do a bit of research on youtube to figure out the technique. Turned out pretty darn cute. Now I set to work to trim his bowl cut. After about five minutes it occurred to me that I should ask him what type of cut he wanted before I wasted my time. Darn it all if he didn't want "short hair again." Yippee!! Looked like the clippers already had the number 8 rake on it so I went for it. Fast and quick loads and loads of luscious locks of brown hair fell off his head. Swap the rake for a shorter one, taper the bottom to top to make a nice even transition, trim the ears and we're done!! Clean the kitchen and send him off to play. Not too long later we were sitting in the pew at church. All I could do was shake my head in shame. Good thing he can't see his own head. It is arguable the worst cut he's ever had. Nothing is even. All of it is, well, weird. Why is it so bad you may ask? It might be that I have pink eye. Okay. I don't think I really have pink eye. I'm just feeling a bit of hypochondriac syndrome. Jakey got it two days before we went out of town. Goopey, gross, green stuff oozing from his eye. After he finished seven days of medicine we looked like we were in the clear for two days. Then I had trouble with my eyes. Weeping yuck for a day and a half. I had to take out the contacts and go with glasses for a few days because the goop made it impossible to see. Saturday I abandoned the contacts again because the goop made seeing impossible. Sunday morning I decided to try contacts, but obviously it was the wrong choice. I was blinking and fidgiting the whole time I was cutting. If there is any doubt, just look at Ben's head. I spent the duration of church blinking and trying to clear my vision anc couldn't read the verses in Sunday School or the hymns. Don't worry, Brian drove to and from church. Upon our return home I ditched the contacts again. I'm thinking of taking a week off to see if I can get things cleared up and get the sticky stuff out of my eyes. If it wasn't almost midnight, I'd get a picture up. Maybe in the morning.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Family Pictures

Do you have trouble getting everyone in your family to look at the camera at the same time? Sometimes they just won't cooperate and you have to improvise. This is what happens when you have a kid that just wants a nap and won't look at the camera.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Around the House - Jakey

Jakey kept us all laughing until the last day.  Then the grumpy monster broke out.  No telling what turned the little man but he wasn't nice anymore.  He hit me all day long and got a bunch of timeouts.  He would shreek at the top of his lungs when something, anything wasn't exactly right. But the first three days he was delightful and a real charmer.  Our room was in the basement and Utah basements are cold, even in the middle of the summer. He would don his sleep apparel for each nap and again every night.  He quite liked the routine.  It worked as a pretty good signal that it was sleeping time.  He wore Ben's oversized sweat pants and his own fleece jacket.  He loved getting dressed and didn't want to take it off when he woke up.
Jakey's first nap was interesting.  He wasn't familiar with the place and he's quite the climber.  Being the smart mom that I am, I knew I should stick around and see how it went before I abandoned him to sleep in the crib solo.  See, the crib is the same one Brian and his siblings slept in more than 30 years ago.  It sits directly on the floor, has cool spinning beads on the rails, a horizontal rail about 18 inches from the bottom (translate to mean step/launch pad) and the sides are noticably shorter than those of the cribs made today.  I got his sleeping gear on, handed him the binkie and his two woobies (blankets).  Then I laid him down and told him to sleep and I laid on the big bed.
He was watching my every move, so I couldn't look at him or he would talk to me and giggle and laugh instead of sleep.  I stared the other way.  All was quiet.  Then a little tiny rustle.  Another quiet rustle and WHACK!!!  What the heck was that?  Something hit my bed.  I jumped up and saw him flat on his back outside the crib laying on the floor between the bed and the crib.  His smile was ear to ear and irresistably delightful.  I scooped him up and put him back in the crib and told him to go to sleep.
All I can figure out by his landing position was that in two quick and extremely quiet moves he launched himself from the top of the crib railing in an attempt to jump onto the bed and it bounced him right back off smack onto his back on the carpet.  It makes perfect sense to me.  That's him M.O.  The kid catapolts himself from one piece of furniture to another all day long at our house.  From the coffee table to the couch, from the formal dining chair to the back of the couch, from a stool to the bunk bed and the changing table onto the futon bed (I had to remove the changing table).
Jakey loved swinging outside like the big kids, climbing onto the swivel chairs in the kitchen and getting into trouble.  He loved the fireworks. We bought the cheap $10 pack of little on the ground fireworks and a pack of sparklers.  He thought it was awesome!  Check out the pic of him with a sparkler.  Brian was bent down right next to him keeping him safe, but without an adult in the picture, doesn't it look like a poster for the negligent parenting club?


Ben keeps seeing spots on the mountains (Point of the Mountain, North Salt Lake/Bountiful area) where there are gravel pits and things like that.  He asks us, "Is that another mine-ery?"  Is that like a bakery for mining?  I'm not quite sure.

Around the House - Maddie Mae

Ben, Maddie and Jacob were spoiled rotten by Grandma and Grandpa Zufelt.  The kids had so much fun just hanging around the house.  Maddie Mae developed a bit of an entitlement complex.  They doted upon her so much that she would walk into a room and announce as a statement of fact, "Grandma/Grandpa, it's your turn to push me in the swing now.  Let's go."  Whenever possible they obliged her in her requests.
She colored a million special pictures for Grandma who kept all of them in a special pile.  I forgot to snap a picture of Grandma and Maddie Mae with the Mother's Day card/puzzle that I blogged about back in May.  While I wasn't looking, Maddie took the card she was making for Grandma and chopped it into a zillion little pieces.  Grandma is such a good sport, she took all those teeny tiny pieces of paper and put the puzzle together as instructed by Maddie.  It was only missing two very small pieces that I was apparently unable to locate on the kitchen floor before I mailed it.  Maddie was super proud of Grandma and glad she had provided a fun "craft" to keep Grandma busy.
She also loved the sleepovers with Grandma and Grandpa in the basement and picking peas in the garden out back.

Around the House - Benjamin

Ben, Maddie and Jacob were spoiled rotten by Grandma and Grandpa Zufelt even though Grandma is really, really busy taking care of her dad who lives with them.  She is an amazing example of kindness, courage and a bit of grin-and-bear-it if you ask me.  I know her days are long and monotinous with no thanks.  They are both great examples of love to me as they help Great Grandpa.
Ben spent most of his time building and playing Legos both alone and with Brian.  He also played a bunch in the sand pile with the toy trucks, played ball with Brian and went on motorcycle rides and four wheeler rides with Grandpa. He was just relaxed and easy going the entire trip.  He loved that Grandma and Grandpa both slept in the living room all four nights we were there.  He and Maddie Mae would swap off who slept with which grandparent in the basement on the sofa bed one night and blow up bed the next night.

Green Show

I've gone to the Green Show at the Shakespearan Festival three times before.  We've always gone on days that were misearbly hot, rained out (moved into a building where your kids must be quiet) or so crowded we can't see anything at all.  I've been totally unimpressed.  This year on our visit to Cedar City the cousins were ready to go and I was ready to stay home with Jakey.  Grandma said she'd watch Jakey, but I still didn't want to go. Brian talked me into it and I'm glad he did.  It was really fun.
Matt's family, Tyler, Brett, Missy and Grandpa Z came with us then the kids played on the lawn until the staff kicked us out so they could start one of the real Shakespear plays with paid admission.  The weather was perfect and company fantastic.  I'm glad I finally went.  The show was fun.

Abusing the System in Scipio

Dear Scipio,
Just wanted to apologize to you for our abusive relationship.  I've now been traveling the I-15 corridor for more than 11 years with my husband and he has logged many, many more miles on the highway.  You just happen to be the exact middle of the trip between my parents and my in-laws home.  That makes you the perfect place for a potty stop.  Unfortunately for you, my gas tank isn't empty.  That means you don't fuel my gas tank and I don't fuel your economy.  We often stop for a quick visit but rarely buy anything.  I hope you can understand.  We do try to always quick, neat and tidy.  Maybe after all these years I should mail you a check to cover all the soap, water and toilet paper.  Something to think about at least.  Anyway, thanks for everything.
The Zufelts

Airplanes and Highways

Brian took the whole day off work on Monday even though we had a 6pm flight.  It made for a great morning.  We had a bit to do to be prepared for our trip, but it all went smoothly. We bought Maddie a roller backpack (pink with princesses of course).  Ben had his purple one.  I made them dump everything they had packed (tons of toys they don't even like) and bring me the backpacks.  Then I sent them on a treasure hunt.  Bring me one swim suit!  Bring me three pairs of underwear!  Now I need four shirts for playing in!  Etc. When all the required things were in, they got to finish filling their bags with toys, books, crayons and paper.  It was the perfect mix.
We flew out of Baltimore, so we knew we had to leave plenty early.  Departure time from the house was 1:30 pm for a 6:00 pm flight.  Glad we did.  Traffic was almost stopped on the beltway.  Then we hit a rainstorm.  Not a little drizzle.  It was like buckets and buckets of water.  Water raining down on...our luggage in the truck bed.  It got soaked.  When we got to Brett's place that night my pajama shirt was so wet I could have squoze water out of it.  I slept in my clothes that night and started my entire suitcase of clothes in the dryer at 5:30 in the morning. Jakey and Brian's suitcase contents joined mine.  Lucky for Ben and Maddie we had put their things beneath their feet in the cab of the truck.
The kids did okay on the flight out to Salt Lake. Especially if you know Jakey.  When put in proper frame of reference, it was a fantastic flight for him.  The last plane trip we took to LA for Jasons wedding I banned him from a plane until he was 25 years old and was in tears by the end of the flight.  Mostly due to the idiots on the flight that were so incredibly rude, kept glaring at me and asking me, "Can't you make that kid shut up?"  I wanted to scream at them, "Does this LOOK fun??  Are you STUPID??  If I could make him shut up, don't you think I might have done that an hour ago?!?!?!"  Idiots.  So, compared to the last trip this one was amazing. 
They were pretty much happy the entire trip.  The last hour of our four hour direct flight Jakey got a bit restless and Brian had to walk the aisles or stand with him.  Maddie made great friends with the guy sitting next to Brian.  Eventually he switched her seats so she was solo with him and they talked and talked and talked.  He was a big burly man twenty times her size.  She drew him pictures for him to take home.  He took her picture with his camera to show his kids and tell them all about the precocious little girl he ran into on the plane.  He got such a kick out of all the wild things she would tell him.  Ben read a few books and colored a bit.  Our big achievement was that we didn't get the DVD player out for the kids at all until Jakey needed distraction for the last few minutes before we prepared for landing.
Brett and Missy picked us up at the airport right on time with the carseats we left with Grandma and Grandpa two years ago.  Just a short drive out to their place and the kiddos were free to run like wild people and get the wiggles out despite that it was nearing midnight on their body clocks.  They had a little mac 'n' cheese and it was off to bed.  I couldn't get Jakey settled laying with me since we didn't have a crib for him.  Finally I hollared out to Brian asking for help.  I really, really had to pee so he stepped in to monitor the situation for two minutes.  I grabbed a toothbrush, ran to the bathroom and was back in about three minutes.  Brian was sitting in the living room, shirking his duties.  Except that in the time it takes me to pee, he got all three kids to sleep.  Miracle worker I tell you.  When I asked how he did it, he said, "I just told them to lay down and go to sleep."  Huh.  It doesn't work for me like that.
On Tuesday morning, Ben started vomiting at Brett & Missy's house.  We had to pull over on our drive to empty his throw up cup.  Then he had a bunch more at Grandma's house.  His comment on the situation was, "I did all that boringness yesterday for THIS as a reward?!?!"  More than being upset that he felt so crummy, he was mad that after enduring the boring airplane his "reward" was no fun at all. There is a big parenting clue here though - he is old enough to wait and realize a future reward.  Great news.  I think the allowance lessons are kicking in as he grows up.


Jakey is finding all sorts of new ways to get into trouble around the house and other problems.  Here is a small sampling of what we had over a random three day period when I had the camera handy.
Day 1 - The big kids leave the pantry door open.  Jakey sees the gummy bear vitamins up high.  He uses the recycling bin as a super sturdy step and climbs up.  He successfully grabs one jar of vitamins in the right hand and snugs the other jar into the crook of his arm. Then he screams for help because he realizes he can't get back down without either falling or heaven forbid drop the loot.
Day 2 - I'm folding laundry upstairs while Jakey plays on the main floor.  I hear him yell.  Then start to cry.  I wait.  It doesn't resolve itself.  The screaming escalates quickly now and I run down to see what is wrong.  He's got his head stuck in the stair railing while he reached to get something on top of the piano.
Day 3 - Pink eye.  His eyes are oozing nasty eye gunk.  Daddy takes him to the doctor and he gets a sticker for his good behavior but he's still just angry, tired and sad.  Then he has to be quarantined for a few days so we won't spread the love.  He sees Maddie Mae and I go on a swimming date to the pool and wants desperately to join us.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

City boy

Gone shooting with the boys. Hit the dirt road and GPS didn't show it. Ben says the road is too dusty so the satellite can't see it. His suggestion? Get a water truck like at the construction sites and wet down the entire desert. Good suggestion, city slicker.