Tuesday, May 26, 2009

"They" Cause a Lot of Conflict

One blog mom that I follow was talking this week about how she feeds her family. Her goal is to only feed foods that have one ingredient. One. That's it. Of course she can then combine them into a meal but her children think that cherry tomatoes, and humus are a snack. She also eats organic and washes all fruits and vegetables with soap and water. Then there is the issue with High Fructose Corn Syrup. It's bad for our kids. And it is in everything they eat. Oh and don't forget about artificial colors or all the bugs, unnatural bacteria and waste they throw into stuff without our knowledge. Someone once told me they add puss to milk. Now I don't want to know if this is true or not (really I don't) because it already took me a couple of years to move past it. Our water has been found to have medications and drugs in it (along with all those dangerous metals too). Should I be worried about my kids getting high if they drink too much H2O? Oh, but we are supposed drink up to 8 glasses a day. Or was it three? Does milk count? I guess not since we shouldn't be drinking it. The bread we all grew up on is apparently nothing but sugar. But dang it tastes a lot better than this new whole wheat crap! I'll take my Franz any day over Triple Nut barley bread. You shouldn't eat too much or restrict yourself too much. Moderation. When having a desert take only one bite and enjoy it. What? Are you kidding me? Watch the fat in foods and lower your sodium intake. High calories are killers too. Fake sugar isn't, well, natural and 'natural' on a label doesn't mean what you think it means.

So what's my point? I don't really think I have one. Except to say that I am sick of hearing all this garbage that 'they' are feeding us. Don't 'they' know that there is so much conflicting information that many of us just plain don't care any more? I'd rather have a Twinkie a day and die two years earlier than eat only single ingredient foods and live an extra couple of years. The healthiest person you know could get cancer tomorrow. So could you. So could I. But I'll die happier!

Am I feeding my kids crap all the time as a result? No. I really do insist on relatively healthy stuff. But what I consider a healthy snack is something someone else would consider poison. The extra weight I'm carrying might be considered 'fat' but I prefer to think of it as making myself more cuddly. What kid wants to snuggle with hard bones?

That's just a few of the thoughts buzzing through my head today. You probably don't want to know the others! Now, I think I'll go have a Ho Ho and dump some frozen food on a cookie sheet, throw it in the oven and call it dinner!

Not Me Monday on Tuesday

In the last week I did not read an article about not using shampoo then decide to try it out myself. I certainly would not have skipped washing for a full 24 hours only to decide that theory is full of bunk! I never would have let my children pick whatever they wanted for dinner then proceeded to watch them choose yogurt, dry cereal, English muffin and fruit leather. And that dry cereal could not be Cinnamon Toast Crunch - because we do not allow sugar cereals in our house. I never would have thought that doubling the amount of cookie dough in a certain recipe was a good idea. I would not have put said cookie dough on my baking stone only to have it flow over the sides like lava flows from a volcano taking over everything in it's path. Nor could I have then spent the next 5 minutes attempting to stop the flow of goodness only to make a larger mess and have the house fill with a haze of thick smoke! Nope, not me. Just couldn't happen around here.

Randomness again...

Well, having no camera is not much fun. There have been so many times in the past two weeks when I'd have taken pictures! I finally got out the old Kodak and took a couple just for you, my faithful blog reader. Unfortunately Rick had reformatted the card for the new camera so now we can't get to them! Then I decided to take a couple with the new camera even though it is broken and just see what happened. That would be the picture above. So the good thing is, it still takes pictures. The bad part though is that there is no screen to see what exactly you are taking a picture of!

So what else is happening in our house? Not much. Trace finally earned the money to buy a unicycle of his own. So we took him downtown to a juggling store -did you even know such a thing existed? They had the exact one that he had been wanting and he was so excited! He has been riding it every day and even took it on a 1.3 mile ride! I'm impressed.

We got a letter in the mail this past weekend from the IRS. It can never be a good thing to get something from the IRS. Apparently they decided they didn't like something we had on our taxes so they took the liberty of changing it and therefore we now owed them x amount + interest! They were kind enough to include an envelope to return our payment to them in. This morning I got to take them downtown and get it all straightened out - fun. For now they say it has been changed, I'll believe it when I have the check in my hand.

On our way home we kept getting stuck at red lights. Paige has now learned what they mean and was getting frustrated that it wouldn't turn green. Then I hear from the back (big sigh) "we're just gonna have to live our whole life at these lights!" I agree kiddo.

My house is slowly rapidly falling apart around me. I've gotten some little things done but overall the place is a wreck. I am not motivated to do much about it either. Today I wandered WalMart trying to find something to buy that might motivate me to come home and clean. Guess what I found?! Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Good thing though, we are too tight on money right now for me to be spending frivolously. What happened? I was doing so well at following my cleaning schedule and really enjoying the benefits of doing it too. Then somewhere it fell apart and now I don't feel like doing anything about it! Uggg. Well, I do know part of what happened. There is NO storage in this house. We have our own closets, a small linen, a small coat and some space under the stairs (enough for the file cabinets and the kids art stuff mostly.). That leaves Paige's closet overflowing with hand-me-downs (I'm NOT complaining) and Caden's closet - well Caden's whole room could be a post of it's own. What I'd love more than anything right now would be some white storage cupboards! Just the little half size so then the top could be put to use as well. Unfortunately nothing is cheap - even the cheap stuff! So, maybe I should plan a large family event. That might get it done. Then again that might just force me to shove it all into hiding.

Monday, May 18, 2009


When I tell people my husband works for the airlines the first thing they usually ask is if we get to fly for free. The answer to that isn't as straight forward as you might think. Yes, if we fly on his airline's planes then we are totally free. From there it depends on the airline and the deal they have with his company. Compared to everyone else though, we pay pennies. The real question is, what do we get for those pennies? Well let me tell you...

I first started flying "standby" when Trace was a baby. The first flight I made on my own was suppposed to be a simple trip to Kansas to visit a friend. When Trace was younger he was severly allergic to milk, eggs and peanuts which meant considerably more planning. He was also still on a bottle at nine months. Both required me to carry a small cooler on top of all our other luggage! The first problem came at the check-in counter where the employee came all the way around the counter to see if we were dressed appropriately. Trace was even required to have a collared shirt (according to her). Well, she didn't like the length of my skirt so I had to drag a pair of (approved) pants our of my bag and go change! At the gate we had to wait until everyone else was on before they would give us seats. So, once everyone was seated and ready to go I get to start down the aisle with a stuffed backpack and Trace in his car seat with a small cooler in his lap. You know that everyone is wondering why I didn't get there a little early to at least board on time. They have no idea I've been at the airport longer than they have! Finally get to the back of the plane to find she has assigned us seats in different rows! How exactly is that going to work. I stood there a minute trying to decide what to do while the oh-so-helpful stewardess just stood there. I guess I stood there long enough that she fianlly asked if there was a problem and begrudgingly helped - well, a friendly passenger actually was more help than she was. We had a scheduled flight change in Salt Lake. Upon landing I was informed that the connecting flight had been cancelled. The next flight home was at 8:05, the next flight to Kansas was at 8:15 and there was no guarantee I'd get a seat because there were now all these other paying passengers who'd get seats first! I spent five hours in the airport with a WALKING nine month old and barely enough food. We finally arrived in Kansas after midnight!

So, that was just my first experience. It doesn't get much better! I did get smarter though. By the time I had three kids by myself I had it down to a system. No checked baggage - since there is no guarantee if you'll get on it is pretty dumb to send your luggage on. Each boy had their own backpack full of food and entertainment and their own small, rolling suitcase. I had the baby backpack on with Paige in it and the diaper backpack zipped to it (they were compatible with each other) and was pulling the larger suitcase. We all wore slip-on shoes and our travel uniforms airline appropriate clothes. When I got to the gate I swung the backpack off, pulled Paige out and unzipped the diaper bag. Next I lined everyone according to seat assignment. We trucked down the walkway, left the backpack for a gate check and proceeded onto the plane. As we got to each seat I settled the child in (usually between two unsuspecting strangers) and moved to the next spot. Ending up at the back where I boldly ask a stewardesss to help me find a place for the suitcase. Then Paige and I slide in between two more unsuspecting strangers and smile - quite proud of my accomplishment! My new feelings are; 1. People can either wait for me to get three kids through all of this alone or they can help. 2. If someone doesn't want to sit next to one of my small children then they could be nice and offer to trade seats - only happend once or twice. 3. I don't care what anyone thinks as I walk down that aisle - I know what I've gone through to get there and they have no idea. Just let them judge me!

Over the years I've had one problem or another with every flight I've ever flown alone. I use to look forward to flying with excitement and butterflies. Now, I find that as we approach the airport (whether I'm actually planning to fly or not) my stomach starts to churn, I feel physically sick and there is actual fear of what might go wrong. I've been known to hold up security for various reasons like bringing contraband playdough along. Apparently they think my children are scientific geniuses who might blow up the airplane with playdough. I've been told two of us can have seats but there isn't room for all of us -um that won't exactly work. I actually had to ask another passenger if I could borrow the shirt off her back just to be allowed to board! She had a tank top on and was happy to do it while I was mortified and mad as a hornet at the gate agent with a authority complex. We've been last to board, we've been first to board (thanks to a few lovely gate agents!). We've been told there are no seats despite the computer saying otherwise only a couple of hours earlier. When that happens we have to scramble and usually end up running from one end of the airport to another in hopes of catching a flight. One trip was, Chicago to Salt Lake, Salt Lake to Eugene where we decided it was faster to rent a car and drive four hours to Portland rather than wait for the next flight. We literally dropped Rick off at work for his night shift as we passed the airport! We've sat around the airport all morning with three kids in tears being told no on flight after flight. Twice we rented cars and drove to our destination - resulting in driving across the entire country in one summer.

There is no one who settles into their set with a bigger sense of relief than me. Usually sweaty, nauseaus and near tears I sit down and say a prayer of thanks every time. Now, tell me is that honestly how you'd like to fly? Is it really worth it? I decided a long time ago it wasn't which is partly why we haven't flown anywhere for over a year. As flights are increasingly oversold our chances of getting on are slim. It is impossible to plan anything in advance or to travel during any type of peak. Flying standby has taken all the fun out of flying for me don't you wish you could try it? I almost forgot! Add to all of this the fact that you are usually doing it after getting up at 4 am in order to get everybody to the airport by 5 in hopes of getting on the first flight of the day at 6!

Free - yeah right!

How time flies!

Two years of differences. Wow. Those long legs are probably the biggest change of all! There is also considerably more hair! I sure miss that sweet little baby sometimes but the big girl she is becoming just amazes me. It was so much fun to go to the water park this time and be able to stay all day, go in the lazy river with her and not have to worry about nap time! Watching them grow is truly bittersweet isn't it?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Can you guess where we've been?

Somewhere nice and warm? Yep! Somewhere bright and sunny? Yep! Somewhere relaxing and far from home (bills, laundry, cooking)? Yep!
We went on vacation! The first one in two years and ironically the same place we were two years ago. We took a spur of the moment trip to Arizona to visit Rick's sister. Because we fly standby (not anywhere near the joy you might think), we are usually only able to make last minute plans. So last week we decided to pull the kids out of school for a few days and go. We all had a wonderful time! The sun was warm and the boys lived in the water! By eight o'clock every night the kids were exhausted. But were up and ready to go again by 6 am! Rick joined us on Sunday night and Rick's mom arrived for a pre-scheduled visit on Monday afternoon. The original plan was to leave on Tuesday but we added an extra day and left on Wednesday instead. I would have been perfectly happy to stay until Sunday, but I felt it was really important Rick felt it was really important to get the boys back to school. So we arrived home to pouring rain and a couple of needy cats and first thing this morning the boys were off to school! It was fun while it lasted and hopefully will satiate us for a little while!
Waiting at the airport for Aunt Kim to pick us up. The boys coldn't believe how warm it was!
Into the pool first thing. I think they were in the pool within an hour of arriving in the state!

Paige preferred to test the waters a little first.

Paige and Carson enjoying the new sprinkler.
The boys were thrilled when Dad arrived to relax play in the pool with them!

It was all a bit exhausting at times!

Two happy boys at the end of a great vacation and moments before Mom dropped the brand new camera and broke it!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Not Me!

Since I had so much fun last week with my "not me" post, I thought we all might enjoy the therapy again. So here goes. Don't judge me too much!

This past week I did not melt marshmellows and pour them over the leftover popcorn for a bedtime snack. I certainly wouldn't have spent Mother's Day at a water park and dining at In and Out burger (I'm not complaining though). I did not go on a field trip to the fairgrounds to learn about dairy cows (like that would have ever happened in Illinois!) I couldn't have thrown out my children's mini flower pots because the cats ate the plants down to almost nothing and I was too lazy to nurture them back - again! Of course we all know that I'm not capable of forgetting my own age and address (on different days) - there's just no way I could be loosing it that much!

So, there you have it. I hope you had a good week!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

More pictures...

Blogger was taking too long to upload the pictures yesterday so here are a few more. There were several good ones I think! The boys really had a good time and I'm so glad we took the time to do it.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Aye' Matey!

We pulled the boys out of school early today and totally surprised them. The Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chiefton were docked here in our downtown area! Since no one probably knows why that is so exciting - let me tell you... The Lady Washington is one of the ships used in filming the Pirates of the Caribbean movies! Trace and Caden are SOOO into the online Disney Pirates game that we knew they would be in total awe getting to see the real ship! Well, they were so excited once they saw the ships. Unfortunately the Lady Washington was removing one of their masts so that they can make it further up river in a few days. Since it is a pretty dangerous thing to do we wern't allowed on the ship. But we did spend close to an hour on the HC and covered nearly every inch! All in all it was well worth it. Even the rain let up after about 15 minutes!

Now, if my children turn out to be the village idiots my mother in law says it will be all because we took them out of school for the afternoon! :)

Monday, May 04, 2009

Not Me. Nope.

This past week I did not sit around in my pajamas until noon more days than not. I did not allow Paige to watch t.v. all morning so that I could work on digital scrapbooking. There is no chance I went to a funeral and called it boring! I certainly did not skip changing my kids beds for the second week in a row. I did not give Paige ice cream before lunch. And I most definately did not tell a Washington State Health Department surveyor that I only eat veggies once a week and salad once a month. I was not lying when I told him I have at least one fruit a day either! I absolutely, positively did not alter the above picture in any way to make myself look skinnier!

Friday, May 01, 2009

One of those weeks!

Don't ya just feel like that sometimes? I think his face says it all. Well we've been on the go all week long and all I want to do is collapse somewhere and not do anything. Of course being gone all week also means that nothing got done around the house so if I choose not to do anything then that will only leave more for tomorrow. Isn't life fun? Why is it that when Rick is home everything seems to fall behind? The laundry piles up, clutter accumulates and nothing gets actually cleaned. It has to be because if he is here he doesn't want to be at the house so we tend to be out. Well, nothing gets done when you are out! I'm not sure he understands that concept. So, I guess the next two days will be spent getting caught back up in time for Rick to return home. Good thing the rain is supposed to return. Bummer the kids will be home trying to undo my efforts even as they are completed! Gotta love life...
Oh, yeah! Rick doesn't have the piggy flu. At least not yet. He walked in the door the other night (after being all over California for four days) and announced his throat hurt, he had a massive headache, was congested and just felt generally yucky. Great. Just what we needed was to be front page of the newspaper declaring our family to be the first ones in our state! Fortunately the test was negative so say a prayer he stays healthy this trip too! I guess that's all the exciting news from our neck of the woods. Now I'm going to go lay on the couch and enjoy the last thirty minutes of semi-quiet before the boys get home!