Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Comparative Costs of Carelessness

A few weeks ago, I noticed a small corner of my big toenail breaking off. But I was too busy to clip the nail right then. Then I noticed a mega-huge-uber-sick-disgusting number of little bugs in the kitchen. I sprayed and squashed, and finally emptied the cupboards and called the exterminator. So I was a little bit busy with taking the kitchen apart and putting it back together. And figuring out how to feed the family without having a useable kitchen. Oh, throw in a baby shower that I was in charge of, and a daughter's 12th birthday on the same day, just for kicks! Oh yeah, I was also in the process of taking our dryer apart and fixing it and putting it back together (make that learning how to put it back together) . . .
So the dumb toenail became ingrown, and I bought Dr. Scholl's ingrown toenail pain relief treatment or something like that for around $10 at Wal-Mart. Sounds smart, no? Just say no! I spent 10 days in pain, and finally went to the urgent care clinic. The doc there could not remove the nail because I had a big bleeding growth of infected tissue covering a shockingly large portion of the toenail. So he burned some of that lovely tissue off, and his nurse dressed my wound. I was instructed to soak the toe in epsom salt solution 3x a day, and to take antibiotics prescribed for me. So I've shelled out a $50 co-pay at the clinic, and a $27 for prescription co-pays and first-aid items at the pharmacy, when I make an appointment with the podiatrist, who says that I have to come back when I've been on the antibiotic for several days. I go back and pay $45 co-pay to be told that the infection is not gone, and so he still can't remove the nail, and so I get to take a stronger medication and come back in another week. So I spend $14.20 on more first-aid-type items, and the pharmacist says he does not have my medicine in stock. So I am going to get to spend another $45 at least twice to get my foot treated and for the follow-up visit. And I'll probably have to spend $20 on the antibiotic co-pay.
So what are we up to now? $10+$50+$27+$45+14+$90+$20=$256 plus all the opportunities I missed out on while hobbling around . . . not to mention the price of yeast medications to combat the least fun of the side effects of antibiotics . . . So what's the take-home lesson? Wear shoes that fit you right, clip your toenails straight across, and if you notice a corner breaking off the nail, STOP everything and trim the darn thing.
Oh, and in the interest of full disclosure, I should update this post here. I went to the podiatrist for the removal of the nail, and the strangest thing happened. It was all going rather smoothly, until the nurse could not open a bottle of some chemical that the doctor needed. It's the stuff they use to deaden the nail-growth area below the cuticle. At this point, I've already had the offending toe deadened and tourniqueted (is that a word?) for a few minutes. The nurse could not get the lid off, and then the doctor couldn't either. So chances are, I'll end up with another ingrown nail. But the pre-existing dagger is now happily gone. And I can dance!

Kitty-Cat Comedienne

Louella (3) said she wanted our neighborhood-prowling kitty-cat Chester to come home. Knowing that this fat old cat prefers to hang out on the other side of the street, where the older folks feed him and tend not to pull his tail, or chase him screaming down the street, I said, Oh, when do you think that Chester will come home? She said, "Fursday".

Friday, November 21, 2008

How Do I Help You Help Me?

Recently I had a lot of frustration around getting medical treatment. Hubby has a new job, and new health insurance, but the insurance cards had not yet arrived by mail. So even though I had an appointment to see my doctor, and the pertinent insurance information written down, I was told that I would have to pay for the visit. They had a policy, the staff member said. She had asked three people. She had tried. Having suffered foot pain for 10 days, I could not wait another week 'til my cards would probably arrive. I could not justify writing a check for $95.00 for an office visit, and so I walked out of that office, determined never to return there, not for myself, or for any family member.

I drove down the street and parked in front of an urgent care clinic. I hobbled in painfully, slowly, and approached the counter. A lady in maroon scrubs asked me something nicely enough. I said, "I hope you can help me. " I proceeded to explain about my failed visit with my doctor, and I showed her the written insurance information that I had in my hand. She looked at me with her chin down, and she POINTED TO A SIGN ON HER OFFICE WINDOW. No smile, nod, or repeating what she'd heard. She merely POINTED TO THE BLASTED SIGN! It said, in a nutshell, YOU WILL PAY BY LIMBS IF YOU DON'T SHOW US THE MAGIC CARD. I said, "There must be somewhere I can go."

A lady in the back office had overheard, I guess, and started prompting the one at the window. The window witch explained to the hidden one (Glenda the good witch, perhaps?) that I didn't have my card, and that I ONLY had the group number. (This by the way, was a LIE. I had other pertinent information, but she obviously did NOT care.)

Window witch wrote down three items of information that I needed to acquire before being seen, on a pretty purple sticky note. She shoved a slip of white paper toward me with a pen and a great deal of purposeful force. The form I was looking at asked the reason for my visit. I shakily wrote down my symptoms, then reviewed the sticky note. Window witch suggested that I call my insurance company or my husband and get the numbers. Perhaps because my mind was befuddled with pain and frustration, I did not think to say, "Oh, OK, thanks! May I please use your phone, since you've been so very kind already?"

I left, came home, called my dad the babysitter, and called my insurance company, but not without great frustration just getting the Internet connection here at the house to work. Without that connection, I cannot even use the phone. My prayers must have been answered, because I got through to a very helpful person at the insurance company, who gave me all the information I needed, and who even had a sense of humor, bless her! Further blessings to this point include my parents taking care of my 3-y-o while I hobbled around town trying to get some help, and the kind police officer who had pulled me over before this whole ordeal began, having mercy on me and issuing me only a warning for speeding. (See, bending my foot to press the gas pedal down while my heel rested on the floorboard aggravated my painful toe, so I had changed my foot position so that my whole foot was resting firmly on the pedal.)

So I ate lunch and returned to the clinic, where Window Witch had evidently been lulled into a spell of civility (perhaps she'd had time to lunch?), or who was possibly magically entranced by my newfound numbers! In any case, she gave me the traditional tome to complete, and I was so ridiculously grateful!

Soon, I was seen by a nurse briefly, who took my vitals, and led me to a small exam room. She then instructed me to remove my shoe, and as soon as I had done so, she said, Actually, let's go to another room.

. . .and then I was finally seen by a doctor, who burned some kind of infected-tissue-growth on my big toe, and pulled some of it off. Thank goodness the nurse had put some kind of numbing agent on my toe first! I only wish she had used about 10 times as much. I had to use my breathing techniques from childbirth. That was alarming to the doctor and nurse, who kept asking me if I were OK. I kept telling them I was fine, alternating crying and laughing. And breathing deep and hard.

They gave me lots of instructions, and then I was discharged with lots of papers, including two prescriptions. As I was leaving, the nurse directed me to exit through a different door than the one with which I was familiar. I walked out and saw the longest hall I've ever seen in my life.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Grateful and Glad

I'm so loving the sound of my efficiently-running dryer, freshly cleaned and repaired :)
It's been so long! It made this awful sound for a while, and then the rear drum seal came out, and it had been taking like 3 cycles to dry a load of clothes. Now I'm here to tell you the truth about dryers. They DO EAT SOCKS! I know, because I took mine apart, and found the eaten but not digested evidence. We had about a dozen little socks in there, covered with lint and marked with black grease.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bookworm Award Meme

I found this meme on a cool blog called
book:thirty Time to Read
which I found thru Dallas' whose I found thru Naomi's, and anyway, I chose to join in the fun.

This is how it goes. Pick up the book closest to you, and turn to page 56. Then copy the 5th sentence, and the following 2-5 sentences. (Poetic license says I can count any way I choose ;)) Then post those lines, and tag 5 blogfriends. Feel free to post in the comments here below, and/or in your own blog, and let me know if, and where, you do.

My closest couple of books were too short, so I pulled Milton Lomask's The Spirit of 1787 The Making of our Constitution down and found a page 56!

This has been a fun excuse to pick a book off the shelf that I would probably never have read otherwise :)

"Our sufferings," a 1787 Fourth of July orator told his Massachusetts audience, "have arisen from a deeper foundation than the deficiency of a single constitution. Even if Massachusetts had a perfect government, he said, its citizens would still be plagued by troubles "should our National Independence remain deprived of its proper federal authority."
Here was the voice of Federalism rising in a land that ony a year before had been almost entirely Antifederalist.
So swift was the change in public opinion during 1786 that historians tend to disagree as to which of the three larger developments of that year brought it about.
Was it the ferocious battle of words on the floor of the Congress over the Jay-Gardoqui treaty negotiations?
Was it the action-the daring action-of a few nation-minded men in the closing hours of the Annapolis Convention?
Was it the armed outbreak in rural New England known to us as Shay's Rebellion?
Or was it-as logic suggests-all three?

This selection seems appropos at this time of political activity and interest and unrest. So now I tag my blogfriends:

Libby at Homemaker to the Rescue!
Sonny at firstsons
Sue at borrowedlight

Have fun y'all!

Friday, November 14, 2008

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

This is not a short list. But it is definitely limited. The more things I think of, the more things I think of.

1. white beads, cold and smooth, printed in blue with Asian design
2. Aaron Neville songs, especially I Hold You Up
3. Josh Groban music, especially Petit Papa Noel
4. Mormon Tabernacle Choir's Sunday morning broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word
5.Writer's Almanac and Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor
6. Bugs:Poems by Mary Ann Hoberman
7. Rick Walton's children's poetry
8. Poetry Speaks to Children book and CD
9. folk music and folk dance
10. warm fuzzy socks
11. warm fuzzy newborns and their wonderful smell
12. daffodils
13. avocados
14. knee socks that stay up
15. three-quarter-length sleeves
16. the color teal
17. pockets
18. backpacks
19. Og Mandino
20. C.S. Lewis
21. Carol Lynn Pearson
22. zippers
23. Lloyd C. Douglas' Magnificent Obsession
24. journals
25. pens, especially fine-point pens with purple ink
26. the French language

Now I dare you, my reader, to make your own favorites list. What makes you smile?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Just Shoot Me!

So I'm realizing how blind I have been. I'm seeing pictures of myself taken earlier this year. I have a hard time accepting that this fat woman in the picture is me, and yet it looks suspiciously like a ripe pregnant me of years ago. Yikes, and ouch. So I look away from the picture, look back, and think, "Why didn't someone just shoot me?! Oh yeah, they did. Just with a slightly more compassionate weapon, the camera." So I'm going for a walk today.

When I was in elementary school P.E., I had this awesome coach. He taught us about all kinds of health and nutrition and exercise and everything. He told us a story one day that I have never forgotten. It was about a man who was so depressed that he had decided to end his life. Not being interested much in pain, he chose to kill himself by wearing himself out. So he ran. He was in very bad shape, so expected to run until he collapsed, and that would be the end of him. So he ran, and collapsed, and woke up. Every day for a while, he tried again to wear himself out by running to exhaustion, but every time that he did, he just ran a little bit farther, and he actually started feeling better. So he became healthier and happier. Now that I think about it, I wonder if that story was true, and if so, if it was about someone my coach knew personally . . .

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Know any good Lawyer Jokes?

I've been blessed with opportunities to see humorous things. I'm grateful my eyes were open.

The other day, I was driving down the street in my hometown and I saw a police officer who had pulled over a driver. The flashing lights got my attention. I figured the driver must have been speeding, but as I got closer, I realized it wasn't just any old car this citizen was driving. It was a larger, commercial-type vehicle, so I did a double-take and saw this printed on the window in huge white letters:


No kidding. I bet the officer had a good time with that one.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Birthday, Sis!

Dear Libby,

You were born the day after Halloween. I had been so looking forward to witnessing your birth, that I left a slumber party early so I could go to the hospital. I was so disappointed when I learned that I couldn't watch you make your grand entrance after all! But I'm so glad you made it out alive :)

I was 12 years old, and I so enjoyed holding you and singing to you. We had to wash up with special Phisoderm soap before we could hold you in our laps while sitting on the couch. Did we actually wear shower caps?!

We used to sing, "When it's Libby Libby Libby on your lap lap lap, you won't want to put her down for her nap nap nap!" Do you remember the jingle from the canned food commercial? ("When it's Libby's Libby's Libby's on the label label label you will love it love it love it on the table table table!").

I used to love dancing around the room with you in my arms when you were a little bit bigger, but still a baby. I think the music and motion calmed you down better than anything (when Mom wasn't home, that is).

You used to love to hold Mom's soft knit t-shirts, and you had a special place in all our hearts, because you were the soft little baby with the big blue eyes and dark brown hair.

I remember once I arrived at the church after a week of being away at Young Women's camp, to find that Mom and Dad were not there to pick me up. They had made arrangements for the Bennett family to take me home with them instead, because you were in the hospital. I think that was when you had swallowed a dime, and had to have it removed. What a miracle that the little coin, just the right size to choke you, hung vertically in your esophagus for weeks, even while you coughed every night!

Or was that the time that you had pneumonia? You had your scares and trials in those early months, and we are so grateful that you pulled through so healthy and strong.

Then before you know it, I was away at BYU, and would write you letters, and you wrote me back. You were starting elementary when I was starting college. I think I still have some of those pictures and notes. You were so loved by Grannie.

I remember when you and D were engaged, and then your wedding. Mom came from the bride's room in the temple and told us (me and L, I think) that you looked just like a queen. We have lots of good pictures of you and D outside the temple, and of the whole party.

You and I only attended two of the same schools, and years apart. It's been so good to be back home, closer to you, to be a little part of your life. You've been a wonderful aunt to our children, who adore you and now your family, too. I'm so happy for you, that you have such a beautiful son and loving husband.

I admire your honesty and strength. You're generous and talented! I love hearing you and D sing together . . . we should have another sing-along. Remember staying up late when we all still lived in Utah? Playing games, pigging out, and singing songs . . . those were the days!


Tick, Tock, Ticker

I found this cute thang on the net today. Check it out at http://bf.lilypie.com/qaCZm5.png
or just click on today's post title (I hope that works).

I've been thinking a lot lately about when my child will wean, and whether I have to do much more than distract her in order to accomplish weaning, and whether I really want to. I was talking to a friend yesterday who had experienced something similar. Her last child was a little older than mine is now when she was wondering what had to happen in order for him to wean . . . did it have to be pregnancy, as had been the case with her older children?

That opens another whole can of worms. I've been meaning to lose 50 lbs for some time now. This fifty is not taking off on its own. Evidently I'm making it feel right at home, too darn comfy, right where it is, which by the way, is mostly very inconvenient and unsightly!

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Driving home through my neighborhood the other day, I noticed Halloween decorations. I don't get into this kind of decorating. I'm doing good if I get the Christmas decorations up by December something, and back in the attic by the time school gets out in the spring. So I was thinking that some of my neighbors decorate in October for Halloween, then in November for Thanksgiving, and finally in late November or early December for Christmas. That's three holidays in three months. And I'd rather focus on Christmas that whole time. But then I thought of another future three-way breakdown. Christmas could be the Celestial Kingdom of holidays, with the lesser kingdoms or holidays preceding, just preparing us for the later greater glory.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Dance: I Know

Blog-hopping tonight, I came across the most awesome video clip. You will love this. Several of my favorite people ever appear in this short piece. Jesus is my most favorite. President Gordon B. Hinckley and Elder Jeffrey Holland are up way high on the list, too.

Click on this link, right after you make sure your speakers are on. Enjoy!

The Dance: I Know

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Two-and-a-half-year-old Louella found Big Sis' umbrella, and brought it into the kitchen. She was describing the beautiful designs on the umbrella. First she said that Sleeping Beauty was a princess. Then she pointed to the Disney castle picture and said, "That's the temple you buried Daddy to!"
I can hear his commentary now . . .

an invisible connection

I was reading blogs and emails this morning, while my darling Sleeping Beauty (Louella) napped in my lap. I smiled at a funny line in a message, and my Louella simultaneously laughed outloud. Still asleep! She's turning 3 years old in 1 month. I'm glad she's still nursing :)

Earlier, at the kitchen table, aforementioned Louella observed me as I chopped celery. She had previously asked me what I was doing. But now I was having deep thoughts of concern about her big sis, and we were fairly quiet. Louella suddenly said, "What are you thinking about?" Just like an adult!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A Contest and a Cause

Please take a moment to visit the site (click on the title of this post).
I was blog-hopping the other day, and I learned of the heart-wrenching story of a beautiful family who is going through a very difficult recovery period right now. Please continue to pray for them, and maybe contribute to the fundraising efforts. There are many. One that caught my attention is the blogger book.
To be part of a fun and funny project, go to:

Please Pray for this Family

Friday, September 5, 2008

Blazy* Lately, But Repentant Now

It's September!!!
I'm forty years old now.

I celebrated with my family (way too much ice cream! and some fun, cutting the rug in our living room), and I had fun the next day, discovering Bed Bath and Beyond with my mom. Ever the thoughtful gift-giver, she gave us a whole new set of my favorite flatware (Thanks, MOM!), and took me out to lunch for my favorite fajitas, and to BBAB.

Kids are back in school, and work has been ebbing.

Two of our kiddos were assigned to do an "All About Me"-type of project.

Here's my version.


eagle-eyed editor who loves to dance

Will proofread and procrastinate if given the chance

Loves letters, lingo, language, and to sing and prance

Blessed beyond belief, but seeking better balance

* See Naomi's blog @ durrantramblings.blogspot.com

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Daddy Blogger is Born

They say that when a child is born, so is a grandma. Well, when a blog is born, so is a blogger.
Ever since I started blogging, my hubby has been saying stuff like, "Why DO you blog?" and more recently, "I wish I could stay home and blog!" So yesterday he finally did it. Check him out!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My Magnificent Obsession

Written by Lloyd C. Douglas, my favorite book of fiction is called Magnificent Obsession. I have now read it at least 2 times through completely, but I think three times, actually. Anyway. I can't leave it alone. Now I have to talk about why I love it.

Themes: Work makes me happy. People need each other. Loneliness brings sadness. Service makes me feel great, and anonymous service is far better; in fact, anonymous service makes me a far better person. Science and religion are not as far apart on the belief spectrum as you might suspect. In romantic love, anonymity may have its place, but must give way to openness, in order to allow for unity.

There. I've said it. I LOVE Magnificent Obsession, even though it's a pretty impossible fairy tale, and has all these themes that might put some readers off. In fact, I'm pretty sure the outdatedness of the writing is a pretty big deterrent.

So here's my challenge for you, my dear reader. Yes, you. The few (only), the proud, the labonnedanse reader!

I DARE YOU TO READ Magnificent Obsession by Lloyd Douglas.

Please let me know if you are up to the challenge. Just leave me a comment. You can find M.O. at your local library, I'm betting, or buy it online on eBay. But don't bother with the movie. It's just not worth your time. That is, until I remake it. ;)

Still Clueless But Trying

So I tried again to post my Mosaic Meme here. Not sure this is the best way, but at least now there are pictures :)

Image hosted @ bighugelabs.com

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Mosaic Meme

OK, I am clueless when it comes to adding pictures here. So you'll just have to click on the title please to see these gorgeous pictures :)

I just found a fun meme at Chocolate on My Cranium.
Aren't these pictures DELICIOUS!?!

I hereby tag Naomi, and everyone else who reads this ;)

Here's what you do:

1. Type your answer to each question below into Flickr Search.
2. Using only the first page, pick an image.
3. Copy and paste each URL for the images into Mosaic Maker. Choose 3 columns with 4 rows.

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name (kid version: favorite animal?).

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What Did You Just Say?

You know how sometimes, when you hear somebody say something, you just have to say, "WHAT?!?!"

Even though you're sure you heard what you heard, you just have to ask.

Sometimes it's funny, sometimes it's shocking, and sometimes it's just plain original.

I don't usually read my horoscope, but if I did, I'm pretty sure this week or last, it would say something like:

Hold on, buckle up tight, and open your ears. You will get lots of bad news and strange surprises! If you tell the truth, and just try to show love to those around you, you just might find yourself showered with more loving kindness than you know what to do with.

First thing this morning, my 2-y-o said, "Please get the booger outta my nose."

And if that weren't cute enough, later, when I held her on my lap and asked if she was hungry, she answered, "I'm hungry for your milk," all while doing this darling move where she tilts her head to the side, shrugging her shoulders, and slid her hands up to my shoulders.

At church on Sunday, I was nursing this darling in the mother's lounge/ladies' room, when a probably 5-y-o cutie pie I used to teach in Primary (kinda like a junior Sunday school) came in to use the bathroom. She asked what my daughter was doing.

I said, "She's nursing. I'm feeding her." Since Cutie Pie is the youngest in her family, I wasn't sure she knew about nursing babies.

Cutie Pie said, "She's old to be doing that."

I loved hearing her say just exactly what she thought. Notice she did not say "TOO old", just "old". And she's right.

Last night at the dinner table, my 6-y-o special daughter said, "Thank you Mommy" and "Thank you Daddy" several times. Every time she said it, I was like, "Awwww!"

How sweet it is to hear these precious darlings' sweet signs of gratitude!

Just now, she woke up and started humming. The first thing she said was, "Mommy, I love you."

Sometimes I wonder if my sweet little girls are whispered to by the angels, to know just what to say, and just when to say it.

Lately, I've heard a lot of bad news, and I've been so tired of the excessive drama going on around me.

Just yesterday, I barely made it home in my vintage station wagon, with 3 overheated daughters (2 of whom were excessively whiny, by the way), after having traveled the wrong way, on the wrong road, for way too long, and the poor car was overheating for about an hour before we got home. We were sad, hot, tired, and hungry, and we had to use the bathroom!

We had been inside for maybe 10 minutes when my hubby came home with the news that his car was dying, and he'd had to use some gutsy daredevil driving tricks to get himself and his car home, too.

So the rest of the day was spent indoors, where we enjoyed our air conditioning, being together, and the tender, spontaneous offerings of love and affection from our little darlings. 

Yeah, I'm choosing to focus on the positive. I thought that was a better direction than gritching about the obnoxiousness of teens and ancient vehicles.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

How to Answer "How do you do it?"

I get this question a lot. If you have a big family, you know what I'm talking about.

There are lots of questions, actually. Everything from "How do you do it, seriously? I had 2 and went crazy!" to "Why? Really, why?"

People sometimes ask me when they see my toddler and me alone together if she's my first. Or sometimes when I've been pregnant, they just start talking to me about what to expect about parenthood, and it quickly becomes obvious that they've assumed this is my first. ("It changes EVERYTHING!" they gush.)

One friend's mom (who had 6 kids, as I recall) told me that someone had once asked her whether she was crazy or stupid. I think she claimed stupid. It's funny the way she tells it.

But that's not the answer I'm looking for.

Do I claim to be such a good mom that I just can't say 'no' to a child who would otherwise be condemned to a life with some less-worthy parent? Or joke that I am still figuring out how to be a good mom, and this is just Rough Draft #7?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Mommy Mercy Missions

Some days are SO perfect. Not what just anybody would call perfect, though. 

It's Tuesday, and I have three youngsters at home, although two of them are normally at school. There have been headaches, stomach aches, sore throats, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Louella and Mozelle normally get along great, but not today. And Mozy keeps trying to run away. I'm sure I saw, heard, and smelled her vomit. How can she feel up to scheming and escaping?

When the phone rings for the fiftieth time, I'm sure it's just another bill collector, but the caller ID says otherwise. It's Jolie, who IS at school, and she is calling to ask me a favor. Seems her permission slip is inside a pants pocket at home, and she needs it turned in NOW. 

Me:I don't know how I could do that, because I have three little girls here with the flu, and even if I did try, I'd probably run out of gas on my way up to the school. 

Jolie: Will you please try to find a way to get it up here?

I sigh a pathetic, "I'll try" before hanging up and shaking my head.

A dear friend calls within the hour. She has heard that my kids are sick again. Says she has a little chicken we could maybe make a nice chicken soup out of. I say I'm thrilled to have it, as my oldest son had just told me that he needs chicken soup and nothing else.

She seems happy I said yes, but Kirsty doesn't stop there. She asks if there's anything else she can bring us. 

I ask her if she would take Jolie's permission slip over to the school for me. Kirsty assures me that taking the note would be no problem, and that if I hadn't asked, she'd be offended! I hang up with a smile on my face. 

I should kneel down right now and thank God for such a good sister-friend, but I have to determine my daughter's whereabouts.

A little while later, I am bringing Mozy home from one of her sneaky expeditions. I'd had to run out through the garage 'cause Mozy had locked the front door from the outside! I'm in my PJs, barefoot, and getting HOT. Holding Mozy by the arm, I meet Kirsty in my driveway. 

Kirsty: I didn't see y'all come out--

Me: I'm just bringing Mozy home from across the street . . .

I take Mozy inside, and we start putting the bags of food on the kitchen table, but before we can put it into the fridge, Noelle alerts me to the fact that Mozelle is ON THE GATE!

So I guess my visit with Kirsty is cut short (AGAIN). . . I use my garden hose trick (see "Walk Swiftly" post) and ask Kirsty to lock us in . . . Later I finally get around to taking the little chickadee out of the bag, and find some yummy side dishes, and a BIG surprise. 

A folded twenty-dollar bill with a note attached peeks out of the chicken bag. "Wouldn't want you to run out of gas on your Mommy mercy missions!"

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Walk Swiftly, and Carry a Fire Hose

When dealing with a special child, you might find yourself using unique techniques.  I have a 6-year-old daughter, for example, who will do anything to run away. She has attempted to climb out of 2nd-story windows, and she has unlocked locks, locked us in, and climbed the fence. We propped heavy objects against the gate, and she climbed over that. Tired of running down the street, chasing a sometimes naked, sometimes cat-strangling, but always faster-than-me, 6-year-old, I finally got smart. When I knew she was attempting to climb the gate again, I stood in the front yard, holding my very powerful sprayer hose, pointed at the gate. I gave her one warning before blasting her. Every time her little hands re-appeared, I sent another blast. Sometimes she yelled, sometimes she squealed . . . but she always got wet . . . and she was soooo persistent! I almost ruined my strategy by telling her that I was getting tired of standing there . . . but I held my tongue, and held the sprayer. Viva la garden tools!

The Mother of all Mother's Day Gifts

Mother's Day was awesome. My hubby gave me the best gift he has ever given me for Mother's Day in our 19 years of marriage. He could not wait 'til Mother's Day, though. So I got it a few days earlier, and I love it!

It's a digital picture display frame that also plays music. As cool as that is, that was not the real gift. 

On Thursday evening prior to Mother's Day, my husband took me to our room, where the lights were turned off, and led me to stand at the foot of the bed, facing our captain's bed headboard, which is almost a bookcase with a lighted mirror above a shelf, and cubbies.

I heard music (that's OUR song!) and saw pictures of our family appearing on what I thought was my husband's work computer. First there was my baby picture, then my husband's baby picture, then one of us on our wedding day, one of me on the day after our wedding (which hubby says is his favorite picture ever), and then there came a baby picture of each one of our children as babies, followed by a current picture of them . . . so the oldest is shown first as a chubby 2-month-old, and immediately after as a nearly-18-year-old in his tuxedo with his prom date! Talk about a tear-jerker . . . 

Our song is Forever Young by Alphaville, and it's playing repeatedly while I watch pictures of my babies growing up . . . mixing the exciting memory of our first slow dance together nearly 20 years ago with the sweet memories of meeting our newborns at each of their births. I'm crying and loving it. Near the end, there's a portrait of a younger me holding my infant daughter who is now a preteen blue-eyed bombshell, and finally a picture of the Houston Texas temple with an image of an oak tree superimposed on the background . . .  the tree part is just an image of transparent light, and of course it's symbolic of our family tree. 

My oldest daughter turned on the light, and I saw that the pictures were not in fact being shown on my hubby's computer, but on my very own musical digital picture player (reminds me of Picture Picture on Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood)!

Now I just have to figure out how to upload the whole video on to this blog, or convince hubby to do that for me ;)

Oh, and how do I follow this example of thoughtful gift-giving for Father's Day???

Friday, May 2, 2008

ABCs about Me

I got this from Naomi's blog. Check her out at durrantramblings.blogspot.com

A - Attached or Single? Attached
B - Best Friend? my DH and my parents
C - Cake or Pie? CHEESECAKE baby! Some call it cherry cheese pie . . . what's in a name?
D - Day of Choice? Thursday
E - Essential Item? glasses, pen and computer . . . hard to pick just one . . . I like Naomi's answer.
F - Favorite Color? PURPLE and green and red and royal blue and pink and navy . . . BROWN
G - Gummy Bears or Worms? bears! like the real ones from Germany YUM!
H - Hometown? Katy, Texas
I - Favorite Indulgence? AVOCADOES . . . on potatoes, salads, eggs, and Mexican food
J - January or July? I love January and July both, 'cause I have loved ones with birthdays then. I love January for the newness, and coolness; I love July for the PATRIOTISM.
K - Kids? YES, and a whole slew of 'em. One little angel in Heaven, our running total is seven.
L - Life isn't complete without? DANCE! with DH, with babies, with Aaron Neville! Let's dance :)
M - Marriage Date? 28 April 1989
N - Number of brothers and sisters? 3 sisters and 2 brothers . . . I am the oldest and shortest!
O - Oranges or Apples? the best fruit in the world is GUAVA . . . I'll eat any fruit but a mango. and I LOVE LOVE LOVE oranges :) if it's an apple, it's got to be a jazz apple :)
P - Phobia or Fears? claustrophobia, but I'm starting to wonder if that's what it really is . . .
Q - Quote? Matthew 7:7 Ask and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you. There's a story to this . . . . I'll have to blog about that . . . remind me! I also have a favorite non-scriptural quote by Twain I think. "Worrying doesn't empty tomorrow of its struggles. It only empties today of its strength."
R - Reason to smile? KISSES, whether human, or doggie, or chocolate (the Cheesecake ones)
S - Season of choice? summer in the west, or fall anywhere else . . .
T - Tag ten people? I tag whoever is reading this ;)
U - Unknown fact about me? I'm a poet and editor and dancer. People who know me well do know those things already . . . .OK, when I was about 5, I was selling candy for Bluebirds (campfire girls, kinda like girl scouts), and an older girl stole all my candy. I do NOT like selling.
V - Vegetable? Potatoes, broccoli, carrots, beets, celery sticks with cream cheese . . . but the all-time best vegetable dish ever is my sister's recipe for (drum roll please) Sweet Potatoes!
W - Worst habit? Perfectionism . . . hopefully as I edit more, I'll stop picking on the rest of the world ;)
X - Xenophobic? No I am too often guilty of the opposite, gravitating to those who seem new and different . . . I am a certified tutor of English as a Second Language.
Y - Your favorite food? brown rice w/ veggies, granola with raisins, garlicky pasta & pesto, mostly anything that someone else cooks . . . my mom made a great steak dinner the other night
Z - Zodiac Sign? Virgo

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Go Check out a great site for Moms called 5 Minutes for Mom

Click on the title above to go to "5 Minutes for Mom". This is where you can enjoy a chuckle, enter a contest, and network like nuts! Enjoy :)

Amazing Trailer Bike! I hope I win it :) Click here to check it out

Check it out! There's a great web site for all of us moms called 5 Minutes For Mom, and they have great contests that you can easily enter to win fabulous prizes. Click the title above to check out the amazing trailer that I hope to win for my special-needs 6-y-o. She is gonna love going for a bike ride with Mom and Dad!

If you want to win the trailer for someone you know, just go to www.5minutesformom.com and follow the directions then click on *contests*  Have fun y'all!

Now I know you're gonna get hooked if you click on over to 5MinutesforMom.com, what with all their contests and all, but don't forget to come back here and read my latest every once in a while!
This picture gives a good idea of what my daughters are like. My oldest is uber-diligent; my second, animated and dramatic; my third, in her own world; and my youngest, connecting all the rest of us and commanding all attention. Not sure when this one was taken, but it may have been Mother's Day 2007. Notice my oldest is NOT wearing her Easter dress!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Polishing the Silver

Some people just have to do things the hard way.

Bob, my son with the lip ring, has swallowed his sharpest jewelry.

Three times.

X-rays showed nothing.

Then just the other night, when we were eating veggie pizza for dinner, yet ANOTHER lip ornament disappeared.

This time, it wasn't Bob who swallowed his own jewelry. See, he doesn't care for vegetables much, and so he generously gave all his pizza toppings to his older brother, who gladly scraped Bob's plate clean.

Jack didn't notice any difficulty swallowing or any pain or anything. Don't forget the cheese!

Prophets and Kumquats

So I was driving my oldest son to seminary the other day (that's Bible study class for high-school students, who meet at the church at 6 a.m. weekdays) when he announced that he wished he were just an inch or two taller. He said that would be the perfect height for him.

Now I am not a tall person. OK, I'm not even average. But this has never bothered me, probably because I'm a woman who loves to dance. (OK, that's "a whole 'nother post for a whole 'nother day. . .)

Me: How tall are you?
Jack: 5'4"
Me: Are you as tall as my mom?
Jack: How tall is she?
Me: I don't know how tall she is, but I do know she has shrunk.
Jack: Great! I'm gonna be a freakin' kumquat by the time I'm old. They'll have to put a primary children's step-stool in front of the pulpit in the Conference Center! People will be like, "Look at the cute little prophet!" I'll drive a little black Geo Metro and be like, "Wow! This car is huge!"

I laughed throughout the day over the thought of a little wrinkled orange kumquat in a big black Metro. Surely he must know that the Prophet rides in the back of a limo?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Beans, beans, the magical fuel . . .

Last night we were reading scriptures as a family. Afterward, we got to talking about what we had read. This doesn't happen every night, but we were enjoying the conversation and togetherness. I knelt down in the middle of the room to give the cue that I was ready for family prayer. I was hoping that the rest of the family would quickly get quiet and kneel down with me.

But things don't go as smoothly as I imagine.

So everyone is talking at once, and I'm tempted to say, "Take a number". I'm trying to listen to my Mozelle(6) who has been repeating some unintelligible question for just about long enough to signal an impending tantrum. I ask the others to let me listen to her, in the hope that they can help me figure out what she's asking me. She says it 2 or 3 more times before I come up with the answer.

She had very plainly asked if we were going to Burrito, Utah. Now, we used to live in Utah, and we have gone there since our move, for a family reunion. But never to a town named Burrito. I repeated what I had heard, and she seemed very pleased that I had finally gotten her message. Then Jolie (11) said, "The gas will be cheap there!"

Monday, March 3, 2008

You Know it's Time to Wean When . . .

I've heard other moms say that they knew it was time to wean when their child lifted up their shirt at church and said something embarassing like "Booboo juice, Mom!"

I probably shouldn't wait 'til something quite that memorable happens, but as you know if you've read my previous posts, I'm just not a weaner . . .

My little Louella is over 2 years old now, and she's still nursing plenty. She'll ask to nurse by saying "I wanna nuhs" or "I wanna nuhs you."

The funny thing is what she says when she wants to switch sides, mid-feeding. She'll let go and say, "Udder side".

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

You da Best!

I once heard a mom say that she would tell her children something like, "You're my favorite 5-year-old in the whole wide world!"

It seemed such a sweet thing to say. Now I find myself saying things like, "You're my favorite Mozelle Marie in the whole wide world!"

This morning as I took Louella out of her high chair, I told her, "I love you. You're the best!" She said, "No, Daddy da best!"

Wow. I can hardly wait to tell him, to make his day :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

What's in a Name? Fun Recipes

Breakfast or brunch at our house is often decadent. I promise we're not really cannibals though.

Dutch Baby comes from my husband's family traditions, and breakfast pudding comes from mine.

Dutch Baby is pretty simple.

Preheat oven to 425. Melt 1/2 stick of butter in a cast-iron skillet.
Beat 8 eggs in a blender. Add 1 c flour, a dash of salt, and 1 c milk.
Pour all into the melted butter and bake for 20 minutes.

Breakfast pudding can be made while the Baby bakes.

Heat 6 c milk over medium heat in a nice big pasta pot with a dash of salt.
Add 1 c hot cereal (dry) of your choice ( I like malt-o-meal, cream of wheat).
Add 2/3 c sugar or a bunch of honey or whatever sweetener you like. A great holiday alternative is hot cocoa mix!
Blend up 5 eggs in blender or with a whisk.
When the cereal mixture is warm but not boiling, pour about 1/4 c into the beaten eggs and continue to beat them up. Then pour them into the pot and stir constantly 'til you get a beautiful pudding.
Turn off heat. Add vanilla.
If you like, add cinnamon, nutmeg, raisins . . .
Some pour cold milk over the top, or put a dab of butter on each serving.

Bon Appetit!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Monday, Bloody Monday

So I'm taking this Love & Logic Parenting class, and trying to become a better mom.

My 6-y-o darling Mozelle gave me lots of practice today. The kids had a school holiday, and so I got to cook a whole lot more than usual. While I was in the kitchen cooking some vegetables, Mozy got out of control, so I took her to her bedroom for a little time out. She kept coming out of her room, and I kept trying to reassure her that she could come out after cooling down and getting back to her sweet self.

She even had lots of choices, like whether the light was on, and whether the door was open or closed. I kept taking her back up those stairs and depositing her in her room. She threw a fan and a bookcase, but I kept my cool. Her 15-y-o brother Bob cheered her up while I was sitting in her room with her, just trying to keep her from banging her head on the wall.

So 2-y-o darling Louella suddenly appeared in the room, with one red hand. I asked her what made her hand red, and what she had been playing with. She was very quiet, and very determined not to let me touch her hand. We went downstairs and found the culprit. My cutting board cupboard door was open, and the stupidest invention known to man was lying on the floor: a tiny plastic cutting board with a two-edged blade attached. There's a cover for the cutting blade, but it only covers one edge. Eventually Louella let me put bandaids on her finger, but that was all she let anyone do. Her favorite activity, washing hands, was absolutely off limits.

I asked Bob to throw away that stupid thing that I never should have kept in the easily-accessed cutting board cupboard. He removed the blade first. I asked him later to be sure and throw it away. He was bummed, but he did wrap it up and throw it away.

Noelle (big sis, age 8.5) got nauseated at the sight of Louella's blood, so I brewed some peppermint tea at her request.

Now I'd been a terrible no good very bad mom, and let the girls all have chocolate cake with chocolate frosting for breakfast, so I was determined to make them some good hot lunch. I got some added incentive when Bob came into the kitchen complaining of dizziness, and with a gauze-and-duct-tape-bandaged thumb. Seems he'd been trying to reshape an old blade from his Swiss Army knife . . . and who does he ask to help him stop the bleeding, but poor lil' queasy Noelle! Bob was having visual difficulties, probably due to his recent migraine.

So I cooked our family favorites, Dutch Baby and Breakfast Pudding (a double batch). Everyone got a piece of Dutch Baby, a bowl of the pudding, and even a glass of orange punch if they wanted it. I refereed the squabbles over the last piece of Dutch Baby, and made sure people did their own dishes, and finally ate some food myself. Man, it was good to sit down and eat!

Then the girls and I went for a walk, but not until after Mozelle had scraped her arm open on a neighbor's climbing tree. Louella and Mozelle and I had a glorious walk in the windy sun, and we ended up at the park. We had it all to ourselves. I lay my old bones down on the park bench and watched the girls dare gravity to slow them down. Mozelle helped Louella climb up the twisty slide, and even taught her to swing from the bar above the highest slide before pushing her down it. They were a delight to listen to and to watch, except when they scared me to death (Mozelle once pushed Louella while she was still swinging on that bar above the highest slide).

Another walk and a nursing and a nap later, I was cooking again. We get groceries tomorrow, so today is creative cooking 101. I made a casserole which included lasagna noodles, some ground beef and sausage, and a whole lot of other stuff you'd never guess, even if you ate it yourself. It seemed good enough while I was assembling the mess, alongside another pan of vegetarian lasagna for my 17-y-o Jack. But when I took it out of the oven, all I could think was, "What have I done?"

Well, all I could do was to have a sense of humor, especially while being repeatedly interrogated by my brood. What IS this? You LIED! Why are these noodles PINK?

We ate, we laughed, we ate some more. Bob dubbed it "Heart in a Blender". (You've heard that song, right? "Wanna put my tender heart in a blender/Watch it spin round to a beautiful oblivion . . . ") Everybody ate it, even though Bob made several gross remarks . . . at one point, Noelle put her fork down and excused herself for a while.

When she asked for a cookie, I asked her to finish her lasagna, and she did.

With an introduction like that, I'm sure you're dying for the recipe.

1 box lasagna noodles
1 acorn squash cooked with garlic and onion
1/4 c leftover spaghetti sauce
about a pound of mixed ground beef and sausage
2 or 3 T sour cream
3 cans tomato soup
2 cans cream of chicken soup
lots of cooked barley, millet, and wheat
less than 1/2 of a fresh cooked beet

Cook noodles . . . lay some in each of 2 pans (smaller one for the vegetarian).
Mix in blender the tomato soup, spaghetti sauce, acorn squash, and beet.
In one pan, top the noodles with meats. In the other, add 3-grain mixture.
Now pour blood-red sauce over both.
Add more noodles.
In vegetarian dish, add sour cream. In meaty dish, spread cream of chicken soup (undiluted).
Add grains to both pans.
Add more noodles.
I forget how long this went on . . . but I would strongly advise you to mix the grains up into the cream of chicken soup if you do get crazy daring some time . . .
the top layer of the vegetarian dish is blood-red-saucy grains, but the top layer of the meaty dish is cream of chicken soup.
Pretty good and hearty fare, especially when you're out of mozarella and eggs and ricotta!

I cooked both of them at 350 for half an hour, which is just enough time to get your skirt caught in the wheel of a tricycle while teaching a 2-y-o to ride, after rescuing a 6-year-old from suicide triking in the street.

Our family home evening started off with my bragging to my dh Sonny at the dinner table about all the great things I had seen and heard the kids do to help each other all day. Then we played games, everything from computer games to chess to a tickle fight on Mom and Dad's bed. We were having lots of fun, but I got my head crawled on, so I got off the bed just in time to avoid an injury that Noelle unfortunately got instead--Mozy's foot met with Nolle's nose, and you guessed it--we had a full-blown nosebleed!

So at least half of us bled today--Louella, Mozelle, Noelle and Bob. Seems it's dangerous to let the kids have a day off from school . . .

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Are You my Mother?

I have a special daughter named Mozelle who wraps strangers around her pinky for amusement. She's six and a half years old. Mozy really loves people, and I do mean really LOVES them. She's not afraid to touch them, talk to them, ask them to take her home . . .

Sometimes she even puts her hands on the chest of any adult human female on the elevator and asks, "Are you my mom?"

Last December, I had her in the opthamalogist's office. There were elderly people everywhere. She put her hand on this man's neck and started interrogating.

Where do you live? Can I go to your house? Why do you have glasses? Is that your mom? Did she bring you here? Can I go to your house?

I'm simultaneously trying to fill out new-patient forms and read microscopic data from insurance cards, monitor Mozelle's antics, and keep my toddler happy and still.

Periodically I say things like, "Honey, please don't bend the blinds", and "Please don't turn off the lights", and "It's not polite to touch strangers without their permission".

She asked the man if it was OK for her to touch him. He said "No" and she let go. That didn't discourage her, though. She went and found someone else to hug and hold on to.

We found out that day that Mozelle's vision was 20/80. She got glasses to help correct her farsightedness, astigmatism, and outward-drifting left eye.

Not long ago, we found ourselves at Gram's house, where Mozy gave an impromptu chest massage to my surprised mom.

Mozelle: Why do you have big nipples?
Gram: So I could feed your mommy.
Mozelle: You nursed her because you're her mom!
Gram: That's right.
Mozelle: And her nursed you?
Gram: No, Grannie Rozella nursed me.

Between me, my older daughter Noelle and my mom and Mozelle, we had a thorough review of the breastfeeding legacy. Angela decided that Grannie Rozella, in effect, had nursed all of my daughters . . .

Not long after all this, I was lamenting the fact that I just seem so uneducated when it comes to weaning my nurslings. I finally said, "I guess I'm just not a weaner." Gram said, "No, you're not!" She must have been thinking, "You're a BOOB!"