Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sometimes We All Just Need A Pep Talk

I saw this on Facebook. (Thanks Andrew Heiss...always showing me things that will keep me from my laundry).  Can I just say I really needed this pep talk, "And I love Space Jam."  Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

My Baby Brother

My family is full of music lovers.  I've been at home when everyone has just broken into popped up versions of Phantom of the Opera or operatic versions of the newest Maroon Five.  Mostly we're just goofy about it and while it is a true a few of us have done some choir or dance here or there and my brother David was in one musical, for the most part we just keep it to our little family unit (The one exception is mom who has sung in Choirs our whole lives).  Untrained, informal  and much more fun are we.  A couple of years ago my brother started playing the guitar.  When I came home for Christmas my mother insisted he play for me the new song he'd written.  So he just started in on it while we were finishing up the last of Christmas Eve dinner.  Typical older sister style I wasn't prepared for the fact that I was going to like it.  In fact that I'd like it a lot.  So after he'd sung about thirty seconds I started frantically looking for my phone, because I wanted to capture the moment when I realized I'd totally underestimated him.  Then half way through I realized I'd left my dumb headphones in, so at second 49 you hear when I pull them and the sound gets a little more clear and you can get a an idea of just how nice his voice is.  Some of my favorite bits of this video, captain E photo bombing at 1:10, my mom's random dancing while eating dinner, she was trying to get Cheetah to dance while I was actually film on her.  My brother Danny acting goofy but then getting embarrassed.  My sister Fleebles acting like a drunk chick and my brother-in-law Johnny licking that spoon.  The photo quality is horrible, and he's probably going to kill me when he finds out I posted this but I just loved it so much.  David I'm so impressed with where your life is going right now.  You are having fun and living the dream out in San Francisco and I'm so proud of you.  And to all the rest of my family, I love you so much.  When I saw Dan in Real Life I thought, man I want to have a family like that, but the funny thing is I do have one.  That's probably why I loved it so much because we are the type of people that would sing a song about a girl with a pig nose.  You guys are the best!

15 Months, Tiny Tornado is in the House

 My baby is a nutter!  I mean she just is.  She climbs.  She hits.  She yells.  She runs circles in my house.  She screams for fun.  She pulls everything off of shelves.  She runs to the fridge when it is open and starts pulling food from the shelves.  We have to keep all the bathroom doors closed because she plays in the toilet.  She'll pull all the paper off the rolls.  She pulls my pots and pans out daily, my popcorn maker.  She unloads the dishwasher.  She pulls garbage out of the bins.  She won't leave hair things in.  She hurls herself into the tub.  She spits milk out from her sippy.  She hangs on the handle of the oven trying to get it to open.  She is my fourth child and there is not a mellow one in the bunch but I think it is quite possible this one might take the cake.  She has an impish look and the personality to match.  If I had to do it again I'd name her Faye because she is a little Fairy, but like her Irish ancestors of old would tell you, a fairy from the old country, one that was full of mischief rather than one you'd see in a Barbie Dream Special.

She is so proud of herself for learning how to sit on chairs, especially since her legs are so small she has to climb.  Unfortunately she doesn't just sit but then climbs up on the chair and then up on the table.  

 She has to catch that one little mid afternoon snooze so she'll have the energy to scratch and kick me at three in the morning.  The child is a beast in the night when she doesn't get what she wants.

Turns Out I Was Cleaning My Tub Wrong

We recently had to redo our bathtub.  It started with a little tiny spot on the side.  I was cleaning the tub and thought, good grief I missed something, but when ran the brush over it the spot didn't move.  Flash forward a few months later and that little chip was slightly bigger and now leaked if you took a bath.  So we didn't.  For months only showed in our bathroom.  It was driving Dr. J crazy. The man just likes to soak in the tub.  He wanted to just put epoxy over it but I was worried it would exasperate the problem or really, just look worse.  We'd gotten a number from our plumber on some people who could patch it, but the little spot was going to cost 200.  Then we started to notice more cracks, all over the tub in fact.  We looked up putting a new tub in, but that would be a huge hassle and paying someone to do it could cost thousands.  We looked at rebath but everywhere I looked people were complaining about water leaking, the grossness of the plastic, and the smell.  Finally we decided to have our tub refinished.  It took an afternoon and our house smelled horrible.  It was so bad in fact that we left all the windows upstairs open on a cold December night and slept downstairs in our family room on a blow up mattress.  In the end it was totally worth it though because we have a brand spanking new tub and were able to use it the next day.  When the technician was working he gave me a little talking to about tub cleaning, and I found out I've been cleaning my tub all wrong for years.

The main thing is not to use anything that is going to scratch the tub.  THAT MEANS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WITH GRAINS IN IT!  Ajax...NO!  Soft scrub...NO!  Nothing that is going to scratch.  I also had gotten the "brilliant" idea of pintrest to clean the tub with a dish scrubber filled with dawn and vinegar.  This is unfortunately a NO, NO!.  What the tech told me is this.  Every time you put something grainy or scratchy on your tub you tear little tiny scratches into the surface of your fiberglass tub.  Those little tiny scratches are the perfect place for soap scum to hang out and once it is in there the only way to get it out is more scratchy grainy stuff and it just keeps going on and on.  His suggestion, spray the thing down with Scrubbing Bubbles once a week and then just wipe it down with a wash cloth.  If the stuff doesn't come off, spray it again and let it sit longer.  So there you have it, permission for the guy who has to fix tubs that idiots like me messed up, to just let it all go.  So why yes I will take that.   

Dehydration - A Cautionary Tale About How My 3 Year Old Ended Up In The Hospital

We got that stomach virus again.  This will be the third time this season we've gotten it.  The first was when my mother was in town.  Then our Christmas vacation was disrupted by the whole family, and I mean the whole family, constantly running to the bathroom.  I've tried to avoid it.  For months we did a pretty good job.  Most of our friends had it twice.  It went through our ward.  My visiting teachers son actually threw up during Sacrament meeting.  It went through school.  We avoided it.  I was feeling pretty good about myself and then it hit.  And then it hit again.  And then again.  Twice it started with Cheetah making me think it probably originated at the gym.  Just recently it hit our house again.  It started with Captain E last weekend.  He told me on Saturday he wasn't feeling very good, right before the babysitter was suppose to show up and then started puking.  He puked all night and spent the next two days in bed recovering before the fourth day we he just jumped out of bed and went back to school good as rain.  I spent the weekend in a battle to constantly disinfect everything.  Christmas had been horrible and I didn't want a repeat.

Photo: She's eating chips and keeping them down!  Hoping to get her home in the morning!
Facetiming with Peach
By Friday it was looking like we had dodged a bullet, but then Saturday morning again I had to message the babysitter.  "Sorry Sky, looks like Peach is throwing up.  We'll have to reschedule...eventually."  It was a bitter blow.  We had a babysitter, a day off, and there were tickets to the symphony available.  I was really looking forward to it.  Instead I was on day two of Peach throwing up, and nothing would stay down.  Even small sips of 7 up were evacuated plus more within seconds of being ingested.  We kept forcing her to sip sprite and Pedialyte but as the day wore on Dr. J and I started talking about taking her to doctor to have her checked out.  Her vomiting was so violent and her total fluid intake was in the negative.  We decided to settle her down for the night and hoped that in the morning she would be feeling better so that we could get some liquid to stay in her.  At five in the morning, Dr. J ran to her room to help her to the bathroom.  "That's it."  I said, "Take her to the emergency room."  And so Dr J. got to spend his second day off of the weekend at another hospitals ER.  When they got there quick lab work showed her to be exceptionally dehydrated.  She was immediately hooked up to IV fluids and they decided to admit her overnight.  Dr. J texted me to say she was crying but was so dehydrated she had no tears.  By mid-day she was finally able to keep Popsicles down.  By evening she was drinking fluids.  We missed her dearly and because of hospital policy disallowing anyone under the age of 18 to go past the hospital lobby were only were able to see her via facetime.  It helped a little with the bitter pill, but when she was crying for momma it was heartbreaking.  I was so grateful when the next morning she was back in my arms again.  I was so thankful to live in a time and place where modern medicine is available.  I am very aware of problems with the current health care system and I recognize that medicine isn't always the answer but I personal keep a running list of times medicine has been literally a life saver for our family, when my appendix burst, when Cheetah was born 11 weeks early, when Dr. J couldn't pass his kidney stone, and now when a simple stomach bug got Peach so dehydrated her bicard was at 13 and I'm certain we were not going to get things to turn around here.
Photo: Sadie is HOME!!!!
The once again hydrated Peach

Diarrhoreal diseases are still the second leading cause of death in children under five throughout the developing world and are estimated to be responsible for a yearly 1.5 million deaths of children (  Even with this nasty virus going around we in this country are for the most part buffered from the unclean water, food, and diseases that are responsible for the main causes of death.  We are lucky to be able to avoid some of the main causes, we are also lucky to have medical personal available when things aren't getting better on their own which is why in our own country they result in very few deaths a year.  Here are a few things to keep in mind if your kids should end up throwing up this year.

1) We often call it the stomach flu, but viruses that make people throw up really aren't the flu at all.  The "flu" or influenza is that nasty bug that seems like a cold, only twenty times worse.  It is the fever, body aches, tiredness, coughing/sore throat, runny nose, and very occasionally in kids it is accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.  It is the virus that they make a immunization for each year.  The "stomach flu" is really no flu at all, but instead is gastroenteritis, inflammation of the GI tract that causes vomiting and diarrhea.  it is most commonly caused by rota-virus (there is an oral immunization for this).  The nasty strain going around this year is caused by a norovirus.  "It can be transmitted three ways, fecally contaminated food or water (yum), person-to-person contact, or aerosolization and contamination on surfaces."  It is super contagious, most common in the winter when people are stuck in doors together and "often occurs in closed or semiclosed communities" ie playgroup and my family :( (

2) If your kids are throwing up do not just give them water.  They need to be constantly sipping or being spoon feed an oral rehydration solution.  You can use Pedialyte or Gatorade.  Even sprite or juice is better than just plain water.  You can also make your own rehydration solution in a pinch by mixing 1/2 teaspon salt, 6 level teaspoons sugar and 1 liter of safe drinking water.  Measurements need to be accurate because dehydration is made worse by electrolyte imbalance.  ( Babies should continue to be breastfeed.

3) It is super easy for kids to get dehydrated.  It happens super fast and dehydration will make dealing with the virus even harder.  Kids under six should be taken to see a doctor if they have been vomiting longer than 24 hours. Adults if more than 2 days.  I wish we would have taken Peach in the day before.  You should go to the emergency room immediately if you have a severe headache, can't drink for more than 12 hours (8 for kids), excessive thirst, stop peeing (Peach didn't even have the liquid for tears anymore), get dizzy, or if you have blood in your vomit (it sort of looks like coffee grounds...poor Peach had this).(  In this case an IV will be needed to get you quickly hydrated and back on the road to health.  Don't mess around with this.  Severe dehydration is easy to treat, but can cause death if not taken care of!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Game of Hide and Seek

I sort of hate technology right now.  Well I love it and I hate it.  We don't have regular TV here but we have Neflix on our Wii and Hulu+ and let me tell you, I use it.  If I need a shower or to clean up the floor, if I need to clean the bathrooms, or a little mom and dad time, or if I get sick of the kids fighting, well I put a show on.  Sometimes I'm good and I force PBS.  Sometimes I'm sick of listening to the whine, and it's usually from a certain three year old who shall remain nameless, and so I cave.  Carebears?  Sure child.  Final Dreamers?  Yes.  The problem is once I turn it on, it's so hard to turn it off, and before you know it I have grouchy kids who have wasted half the day, who haven't done a single imaginative thing or learned anything new, and haven't gotten a lick of physical activity.  But who can blame them?  I'm the same.  I used to be an avid reader but since Cheetah was born I've had zero energy, and the truth is watching a TV program is a heck of a lot easier to do when you're exhausted.  It's easier than reading, than cleaning, it's easier than having a conversation even.  It helps mind the numbness of having to deal with homework and laundry.  So more often then I care to admit I plug into technology.  I watch TV, I check facebook, I check my e-mail, and I'm losing something.  I can feel it.  I'm losing my connection to the rest of the world.  I'm losing the connection to my family.  I'm losing opportunities to have fun with my kids that will actually enrich their lives.  I'm losing my connection to my husband.  I can't remember the last time we actually did something, I mean really did something.  I can't remember the last time we didn't watch a movie or have a conversation that wasn't half  disconnected while each of us were plugged in separately online.  The truth is, it is kind of depressing, the new modern life.  I was raised in a home where there was no dad around, but I was also raised in a home where there was no TV or video games.  I had five other siblings to play with, to argue with, to keep me company.  I don't know what my mom did when we were fighting, maybe she just let us fight.  I don't know what she did when she needed to clean, did she not do it?  Did she have us do it?  What I do remember is that I read all the time, and I do mean ALL the time, all the Babysitters Club in 2nd grade, the Nancy Drew books in third grade, every John Grisham in fifth.  I read Dickens, Jane Austin, Elizabeth George, Amy Tan, Maya Angelo, laughed my way through Carl Hiaasen, pretty much anything I could get my hands on. We played for hours.  We ran the neighborhood.  We rode bikes everywhere.  We swam all summer.  I miss those days.  I want them for my kids.  So today when the kids got home after we did homework, after dinner was eaten and Gigi had helped load the dishwasher, and Captain E had cleaned the table, while dad was at work and I just wanted to drop, I heard the words leave my mouth, "Who is up for a game of Hide and Seek?"  And that is what we did .  We played a good old fashion game of hide and seek.  We did several rounds and Cheetah did a great job of equally uncovering everyone's hiding places.  The best was when Gigi was discovered under the trampoline because Cheetah had tried to climb under with her and her bum and legs were sticking out.  It was a blast, doesn't mean I ready to cut off completely, but I could definitely see the possibilities, and could definitely want them.

Friday, January 18, 2013

"They're Real" Mascara Review

Before I get into this post I want to say I am by far no makeup expert.  I'm not trying to turn this blog into a fashion/makeup blog, because honestly there are a million great ones already out there and frankly I totally stink at picking out outfits and rarely wear makeup.  I promise you, you probably won't have to see another one of these for a long time.  Disclaimer out of the way I am a girl who it would not be much of an exaggeration to say, doesn't have any lashes..  It is a family thing.  My sister Ang is also eye naked as is our mom, the one we curse for this blasted condition :)  It drives me bonkers.  I don't know why I want eyelashes, but I do.  My husband has a forest of them, my kids are all blessed with beautiful, dark, lush lashes that curl.  My BFF Heather had lashes so long and thick it would be safe to say I had a crush on her lashes.  A few years ago my mother-in-law started having fake lashes put on.  She has pretty long lashes, but they are blond and I guess she just wanted a pick me up.  I told my husband I wanted to do it and he told me I was nuts.  The thing you have to understand about Dr. J is that bangles and sparkles do nothing for him.  The man loves me the way my mother brought me into the world, naked, and just doesn't see the point in spending money and time on looking like something other than yourself.  Plus lets face it, those fake lashes are not cheap.  I think my mother-in-law said that she spends $80 to have them put on and $40 every four weeks to have new ones added.  So yeah, not really in my price range, and really, for the most part there would be no point.  I only wear makeup on Sunday or when I'm going out with friends and I don't want people to say, "Wow, you look tired."  

On those few days a month I wear makeup I want lashes.  God didn't give them to me though, and I'm not going to buy them, so what is a girl to do.  A few weeks ago I was at Saphora picking up some concealer and I asked the girl, "What can I do about having no lashes?"  She suggested this product They're Real.  So I brought it home and tried it and let's just say I love it!  I mean really.  So I don't have Heather lashes, but I have some lashes, and for a girl like me, that is quite a big deal.  

 They're Real on the Left - Plain on the Right

So then I thought, maybe I need to show regular mascara as well so that's what you have below.
They're Real on the Left - Great Lash BIG on the Right

So there you have it.  While both mascaras give my tiny little lashes a boost, the They're Real side definitely has more curl and length.  FAB!!  Definitely plan to keep buying this stuff, at least until God sees fit to bless me with good lashes of my own :)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Photo Books

...the reason I haven't been blogging the last week. After we got those beautiful pictures done by Jessica I decided I wanted to put together a photo book of my favorites.  Then I decided to do the ones from when Cheetah first came home.  While I was working on that Gigi came by and asked me if I was ever planning on putting a book together of her baby pictures.  That's right folks, the girl is six year old and I never did a scrapbook for her.  I have baby books where you write stuff down that I've done for all the kids and I have the blog, but only Captain E was lucky enough to get the first year of his life documented via a photo scrapbook.  I guess I've just been busy...maybe raising kids or something :)  But it does make a little sad because I've taken thousands of pictures of the kids and our adventures and while I love having them on the blog my kids can't just pull them off the shelf and flip through them every once in awhile.  They read the blog sometimes but it really isn't the same as bringing a photo book to your mom and saying, "tell me about this," or "look at me doing this."  I really believe that a large part of my memories as a child were looking at pictures and having my mom tell me the stories over and over again.  I want that for my kids, so after I did the family books with Jessica's pictures I started one for Gigi, which today I FINISHED!  Hurrah!!!  So I have 1 year of her life documented, only five more to go, or five more to infinity, or who knows, but at least I have that one year!  Now I'm uploading the first years pictures of Peach.  I'm hoping to get her first year done as well.  And then if I'm feeling super ambitious, maybe I can get to Cheetahs pictures.  Wouldn't that be amazing!  I do have a deadline here though folks.  Until January 22nd I can get the photo books 50% off at Snapfish using the code BOOKSJAN.  So that's my goal, two more books in nine more days.  Wish me luck!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Christmas 2012 Photo Shoot

Before we left for Utah this Christmas we were able to sneak in a mini session photo shoot with my neighbor/photographer/friend Jessica (who is totally amazing).  I was able to get my hands on four of the shots and put together a Christmas card for the family in one hour at the  Okay technically the card took me about four minutes to do.  I just looked for a card that had four picture slots, pulled my four pictures in and then added the names.  I then spent the next 43 minutes entering address (which are now all saved on their account).  I used a 70% off code and had them sent directly to my friends/families address and in an hour I had family Christmas cards sent to 40 people for 25 bucks!  Amazing.  Then while we were on vacation Jessica sent me the rest of the shots from the photo shoot.  I LOVED THEM SO MUCH!  Here are a few of my favorites so you can see why I'm so excited about them!


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