December 28, 2010

Not Exactly What I Meant

We've had a long night. I woke up to Jocelyn making a liquid burping sound and then throwing up on me. I'm not upset about it. Jocelyn and I got in the shower while Tymon started a load of wash. And I thought of my little boy who won't be sick again and how much I'd love to be having an experience like this with him. Tymon was thinking about how things were in the 1800s before electricity, indoor plumbing (can you imagine needing to start a fire to heat the water for the clean up?), washing machines, and large homes with extra sleeping spaces. This situation would've woken up the entire household. Well, we're pretty lucky to be living in this time and with all of our amenities.

I won't lie. Half an hour later I wasn't as thankful when she hurled again. Nor an hour later. Or an hour after that. Now she sleeps and when she wakes I'll give her some pedialyte.

Last Tuesday, Elliott threw up. In response to the clean up effort, my stomach lurched and I hurled, too. I got a nice dose of sympathy from my Facebook friends.

A bit later that afternoon, Graeden stood in our family room and threw up on the carpet . It was totally disgusting and we had a little chat about running to the toilet. At least Elliott had done it on the hardwood floor. At the toilet, the clean up is easy. All you have to do is flush. 

This morning, Graeden woke me up on the couch telling me that he'd thrown up last night and it needed cleaning up. Ugh. Jocelyn still isn't awake and her barf was all I could handle. So I snuggled him and asked some pertinent questions. Is it on the carpet? No. Fabulous. Go clean it up. I can't. Why not? It's on the picture. Huh? It's in the bathroom? No. Where is it? "I could feel myself throwing up when I was upstairs on the bean bag, so I got to the railing and did it on the floor." I can't bring myself to clean it up yet. I knew a photo would be fabulous. Here you see a pile on top of the picture, a pile on the wainscoting railing, and a nice splatter on the floor. Yes, Graeden, this is better than cleaning up the carpet. But it's not exactly what I meant. Here's to another great Tuesday. 


December 27, 2010

Bum City

Jett was our official photographer for Christmas. And we now have plenty of bum shots. Ah, to be 4 again. If I had pulled this same stunt no one would be laughing.

We had both Tymon's and my side of the family over....30 of us. The weird thing was how quiet the house was. I mean not totally quiet by any means...just not wild like it usually is with so many people. And unlike Thanksgiving, by the time I got to eat there was still quite a bit of food left. The greatest was that I actually got to eat as much Caprese salad as I wanted...last time I got the last bit and Tymon missed out entirely.


I thought I knew what all of my Christmas presents were...so opening them wasn't really that exciting. Until I found Tymon gave me an Eclipse calender. Ha ha ha. That was cool. And sweet little Elliott (5 years old) only wanted an elf costume and 200 hugs and kisses for his gifts. This boy warms my heart. Until he wails and wails and wails about his brother whacking him. Then not so much. But he's mostly all love.

December 7, 2010

Serious FOD

Have you ever been to a Boeing plant and seen where they make their jets? I live near one and took a tour a few years ago. I was a bit surprised with a couple things after going inside the massive building in Everett (the largest building in the world by volume). First was it's size. It is huge. Like really and truly. But it didn't seem so big driving by on the freeway. The second surprise was seeing FOD signs all over the place. I'd never heard of FOD, which our guide explained means: foreign object debris. Some FOD happens when making a plane and some comes after the plane is in use. Boeing goes to great lengths to minimize or eliminate FOD and FOD damage while making planes. Wikipedia states that FOD damage costs the worldwide aviation industry $13 billion every year (that's billion with a B). So, it's very serious.

 

Another serious issue is the special sauce on McDonald's Big Mac. No matter where you go in the world you can get the same sauce on your Big Mac. It's a wonderful thing. No other burger compesl me to eat it like this one. And it meets my expectations with every bite.

Except not last night. While eating my Big Mac I happened upon FOD. Disgusting! In my burger! It gagged me. Literally. I spit out my entire bite and couldn't eat the rest of my burger lest I hurl. I looked at the offender and found it to be about the size of a plastic toothpick but no pointy end. Nope, that was pinched off and the end was a red/brown color. Like as in this was meat packing plant FOD. Seriously find the barf bag because I'm going to need it. Even writing about it has started the gag reflex again.

There's no way I can throw up the half burger I already ate. That's no longer in my stomach. But my mind has such control over me that I still want to gag every time I think about it. The crazy thing is that my mind is drawn to thinking about it...like an annoying song that won't leave my head.  I gagged when telling Tymon about it when I got home.  Why is it that my mind can be so disgusted as to produce a physical reaction to a thought?  What an amazing brain we have. I gotta go make dinner now. Not that I want to eat. I'm feeling sick just from this post.

December 3, 2010

Winning

I like to be a winner. And not just the time when my mom told me I was a winner for trying out for the jazz choir my senior year of high school. I think she wanted me to feel good about my audition. And it would have been cool if I'd made it into this bestest of all choirs in the school...especially since ALL of my siblings were in it. But it was not meant to be. And I'm over it. I think.

Actually, I find that I win things frequently. Not all the time. And definitely never something as big as a car or a bicycle for that matter. But enough little stuff to keep my hopes high. What I don't like though is when I win something on a blog giveaway and I never actually receive the prize. I'm pretty sure I've won about 6 or 7 giveaways in the last 6 months...never to hear from half of them ever again.

But there is hope. Not everyone is a loser. Or a neglected winner/loser like me sometimes :o). I won the following three giveaways this past month and I want to publicly thank these blogs/sponsors for excellent follow through and actually sending the prizes. Hurray for them. You should check out their sites.

1. Blu Moon Design for the $10 gift certificate. I used it toward this cute pink messenger bag pictured. 
2. Hollilocks for these fabulous clips for Jocelyn's hair (shhh...don't tell her that she'll also find these under the tree). They are very affordable and well-made.
3. And last but not least the Casual Blogger Community for a $10 Target gift card.
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November 27, 2010

My Little Charactatures

We had a church talent show tonight and the kids loved it, especially that my uncle was doing charactatures the entire evening to display his art talents. Here's the line up. Thank you Uncle Larry!

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November 26, 2010

Not In The Mood

I haven't been in the mood for much lately.
Except for guilt.
Guilt that I'm not in the mood.
And disinterested.
In my blog.
In literature.
In work.
And definitely not dishes or sweeping.
And that I don't want to get out of bed...
Even when Black Friday beckons me.
Or when my kids beckon me.
Like this morning my kids are decorating the house for Christmas.
And I'm in bed.
Bleh.
I did get up yesterday.
We had Thanksgiving with family and friends.
29 of us.
The new brie en croute recipe was a hit.
And the Caprese salad.
Cousin Roger's smoked turkey was so tender.
And delicious.
My mom gave us her left over rolls.
Love it.
And there were so many other fabulous dishes.
And great people.
And the kids were rambunctious.
I think I like summer parties with kids better.
Being outside mutes them some.
Talk of food lifts my spirits.
I think I'll get up now.
Plus Wham's "Last Christmas" is on the radio.
And that reminds me of when it was a new album.
And how much I loved those guys.
Then George Michael went off on his own.
Then he was bisexual and into self-destructive behavior.
But I like to think of him before all that.
Rolling out now to help my kids.
And make some cider.
And build memories.
Soon I'll be in the mood...

November 9, 2010

The Thumb

Welcome to my first guest blogger and firstborn
Graeden Johns

Graeden and his brothers frequently ask Tymon to tell them stories. The stories are always true and the boys are fascinated with them. As Graeden and Tymon were talking tonight Tymon told him that one good thing about this happening was that Graeden now has a story of his own to tell. He liked that. And wanted to write it down.

Graeden: When I was stapling a paper, my friend Jadyn came and offered to help. Then she accidentally stapled my thumb. And then I went to the clinic. And they were not allowed to pull it out. And it hurt a lot. I was crying a little bit. And then mom came. And mom took pliers and pulled it out. It was bleeding a bit. And then I hugged her. For a long time. 


Bridget here: check out the dot on the thumb nail in this photo. That's the puncture site. I tried to pull the staple out with my fingers. It wouldn't budge. I couldn't believe it. It was seriously wedged in there. The school isn't allowed to remove anything puncture-wise from injured students, but they had the pliers cleaned up and ready for me to do it when I arrived. It wasn't bleeding until I pulled the staple out. Then this bubble of blood oozed up. Fascinating. And I'm glad I didn't have to take him to the walk-in clinic. Graeden wanted to stay at school and was quickly surrounded by his classmates when he entered the lunch room.

November 7, 2010

Best Wishes Danica

I took Danica with me to Austin, Texas for the anual Driving School Association of the Americas conference this past week. It was a great trip and I learned many things about how to improve our business and industry. It's awesome to hear about what other states and countries are doing to improve traffic safety. Danica was able to explore the city with the daughter of my instructor trainer who also attended the conference with me. The girls had a great time and even checked out the local university. I don't think either one wants to go to school there, though.


Sadly, having Danica in our home was not a good fit and after 10 weeks of hosting it was time to make other arrangements. This afternoon, I took her to live with a new family. Interestingly enough, when I met the family the new host mom and I realized that we knew each other. We were both involved in city politics and served on the same community advisory committee in 2006. I sincerely hope that Danica will form a strong bond with her new family.

November 2, 2010

No Tricks, Lots of Treats

My beauties.

A little pumpkin for our little Pumpkin.


Getting ready to go.


Graeden wanted to be Luigi because his neighbor buddy was Mario. They are cute together.


I loved seeing Jocelyn going around and getting treats. She had a great time.
The kids loved having a four day candy weekend (starting with Graeden's birthday and ending with Halloween). Sometimes, it gets hard for them to decline candy, but as they follow through with the no sweets challenge, I can see them developing self control, an internal junk-food-meter and knowing when eating enough is truly enough. After eating his fill of Halloween junk, Elliott declared that he was hungry for something healthier. Melt my heart. He gets it.



Last week was parent/teacher conferences. We talked about the no sweets challenge and I found out that every time there is a birthday in class or a treat of any sort that the boys are declining them. On their own. Without me or Tymon ever knowing. I love this character development.

October 28, 2010

No Toys = Not So Bad

Happy Birthday to my firstborn Graeden! 

Seven years ago today I was still on my baby birthing high even though I birthed you au natural. This high was all about I am woman hear me roar and what I am capable of accomplishing. What a rush! I have never felt anything like it since that day. Not even with the births of your siblings. 
I love that you chose Red Robin for your birthday dinner. You've got class. Your uncles always chose McDonald's when they were young. Of course they don't have corn dogs at McDonald's, so would never have been a valid choice anyway.
Making taffy with you this afternoon was fun. And sticky. Really sticky. Does anybody want any? We have plenty and will definitely share. Come knock on my door on Sunday evening and I'll give you some.

I'm happy that it wasn't so bad for you not having a friend party with lots of presents this year. I truly hope that you and your brothers will learn to appreciate your toys and take good care of them instead of breaking them within 24 hours of receiving them. Maybe then we can have parties again. Although 3 of the 4 punching balloons that Jett gave you are popped...so I'm not sure you're learning all the lessons I'm trying to teach you. I'm pleased that your Nana took you and your brothers to Suessical Musical for your birthday and that you love the theatre. I do, too.

And I really love that you love your new microscope. It made me smile to see you running to get the fingernail clippers to get a clipping to look at close up. Now you can see how gross and dirty your nails truly are. What was really cool was to see one of your hairs up close. It was like a sliver of silver. And Danica's brown hair looked golden. Seriously awesome. I love you Buddy.

October 21, 2010

Fuzzy Jack-O-Lanterns

A couple of weeks ago we carved pumpkins. Don't say anything about it being too early. The timing was just right...meaning Tymon had a short break from school and was able to spearhead the project.

Carving the pumpkins is not super exciting for me...but eating the seeds are. So while they carve, I separate seeds from pulp and roast them up.



Graeden's smiley guy seems to be the best one in terms of no fuzz...Elliott and the neighbor decided to kick his apart (since it was soft and moldy anyway). Luckily tomorrow is trash day and these will definitely be in it.



October 17, 2010

New Neighbor

When Becky's husband Mike told me that Becky was going to be Evan's neighbor, I didn't realize he meant next door neighbors. What an honor.

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October 9, 2010

Rest In Peace Dear Becky

Somehow my clever post about spilling gas in my car and Tymon covering up the smell with a suffocatingly stinky and moldy carpet for me to dump seems absolutely insignificant when the world has stopped for Becky's family. She past away yesterday. 


And for the record, I do believe that she beat cancer. Cancer could not rob her of her eternal optimism, endless faith and love of life. And let's not forget her smile. When her world came crashing down on her she kept on laughing and pushing forward. What an amazing example for all of us.

 

October 7, 2010

Sleeping Like a Baby

Sleep hasn't been that great for me lately. Kids sneak into my bed in the middle of the night and need to snuggle. And by snuggle, I mean sticking their feet into my back or their head into my side. I'm a little bit bitter that they get to take naps everyday and I don't.


The odd part about Jocelyn naked on the couch is that there is a clean diaper next to her...like she tried to change herself. But where's the old diaper?


Do you laugh or cry when your husband walks over to the diaper changing station and says, "well, there's one here that's full of poop"?

September 29, 2010

Sunshine

It hardly seems real that Little Miss Sunshine is two. Her golden rays of goodness are priceless. Of course some of the storm clouds in a two year old seem better left in another climate. I am so happy she joined our family.

September 22, 2010

Delayed But Not Forgotten

Our first day of school was just 2 weeks ago. Graeden is in second grade and Elliott is in first.


They love school and their teachers.


We live in a nearly all-boys neighborhood. You will see out of ten kids at the bus stop only one is a girl. There are a few more...like four if we include Jocelyn and Danica. But I believe there are about 8 more boys who don't ride this bus, too.


We waited for Danica's bus to come home. It was 30 minutes late. I wasn't able to get her photo right as she got off due to the little pink dot (Jocelyn) running away in the lower shot. I did get the bus, though and an olive and black dot (Danica).


September 21, 2010

Verge

I don't know what day it is. But I do know what day quickly approaches. My brain is in denial and several times in the past few days I have been on the verge of tears. I watched the video of Evan packing for a trip he wasn't going on and remembered how good it felt to hold him. And I want to wrap my arms around him. Today.


I believe in miracles. Two years ago I was clueless as to the miracle I would be praying for. And there I was a few days later trying to make a deal with God. I was seeing Evan and not understanding what unconsciousness meant. Telling my parents to come and watch our big boys. Getting to the hospital through rush hour traffic. The vivid memory of the emergency room. The crowd of 27 doctors, nurses and helpers hovering over my little boy. Trying to help. Breathing for him. Tag-team CPR. Shots of adrenaline. Someone saying it didn't look good. Me not understanding

Someone asking if we wanted to call anyone. Me not understanding.

Asking to have some privacy where we could pray. Feeling peace. Thinking this was the trial of our faith and Evan would now respond. Me not understanding. 

That day, the miracle I sought more than any other was not granted. And on that day I changed. Forever.

On Saturday night, Tymon and I went to the theatre in Seattle and saw the dance production Burn The Floor. What was more fantastic than the amazing talent of the dancers was the easy friendship we formed with two of the patrons who came nearly 45 minutes before the start of the show. We left the theatre feeling like we've known them for years. The couple is from Utah and they told us their daughter was in the show. I didn't recognize the girl's name. The mom forgave me. We talked for a while. It turns out the daughter has always loved to dance but was sick for several years growing up. The doctors told them at one point that they just needed to take her home to die. An incredible amount of faith and hard work met a beautiful miracle. And the girl recovered. She and her husband now dance together. And they are truly incredible to watch. Meet Ashleigh and Ryan Di Lello. Some of you who are in the know watched them in the 6th season of So You Think You Can Dance.


Meet Becky. I've known her for several years.


She discovered what she thought was a clogged milk duct a few months ago. It wasn't. Within days she'd had a mastectomy. At this point, I believe she made a conscious decision to keep her happy attitude and positive outlook, despite her precarious circumstances. On the inside, I'm sure there are a roller coaster of emotions but on the outside, she is all smiles. Not long ago, the cancer spread to her lungs and she's gone through rounds of chemotherapy. Last week we went to a benefit and blood drive for her. Her spirits were high. I am sad to say that just a few days ago they discovered the cancer has spread once again. This time to her brain.

I believe in miracles. It is possible for God to heal her. To stop the spreading of this terrible cancer. When I think of Becky, I get choked up. My thoughts turn to the conversations that she and her family are probably having in their home. Talks that are hard. On so many levels. The decisions that must be made. And my tears flow. Believing in miracles. And knowing that the miracles we seek are not necessarily the miracles we need.

Faith: taking a step into the dark in order to see the light. Or, in the words of the prophet Moroni: ...faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faithThe greatest of all miracles was Jesus's resurrection. There's a bitter sweetness to that one, really. Sweet that it happened and this earthly taste of death bites.

September 20, 2010

Ah, Sleep

On Friday afternoon, I hadn't seen or heard Jocelyn for a little while and went to investigate. I found her like this leaning against the couch fast asleep. I laughed and got the camera.

So this evening after putting Jocelyn to bed a couple of times and her getting out of bed and coming into the office to be with me, she did the same lean against the chair trick and fell asleep.

What if we did stuff like this? Imagine being in an airplane and standing up next to your seat and just resting your head on the seat in front of you. Ha ha ha. Maybe I'll try that next time.

September 15, 2010

Cleanliness

When I went to check off Jett's room after he so diligently cleaned it, I found all of his clothes in one heap in the corner of his closet. He got upset when that wasn't good enough. We discussed how the job was to be done and I left to do something else. He was so happy when he came to me and told me that he had completed the job.

The pile of clothes you see here are "Graeden's clothes" and Jett doesn't need them anymore. Ha ha ha. That only leaves him with the clothes on his back to last him the next several months.
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September 12, 2010

Tooth Fairy Wings

Graeden wiggled his first tooth loose yesterday and out today. He's pretty pleased about it. Like really pleased. Luckily, he let us know about how the Tooth Fairy operates.


The Old Way: The child leaves his tooth under his pillow. Sometime during the night, the Tooth Fairy comes, takes the tooth and leaves a quarter in its place.

The New Way: The Tooth Fairy leaves a dollar (which is just what happened a year ago when Graeden had a tooth pulled by the dentist...and Tymon thought that was awfully generous for a rotten tooth).

The New and Improved New Way: The child leaves his tooth in a container of water. The Tooth Fairy comes and takes the tooth, leaving money next to the container. The child KNOWS what color the wings of the fairy are by the color of the water. Apparently, when the wing touches the water it turns the water that color.

I wonder if the fairy that comes tonight will be the same color red as the fruit punch in the fridge.

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Addiction

I don't drink alcohol and never have. I don't gamble and don't do porn. Ever. And let's add smoking, drinking coffee (and its Italian friends: Latte, Espresso and Mocha) or black/green tea to the Never Done Mix.

Addiction is a funny thing. Something I like to pretend I know nothing about. I see my friends who need a drink of X to get them through the morning/day/evening. And I am grateful that I am not plagued with such addictions. I see how addictions tear up families and want no part of them. The best way to never become an alcoholic is to never drink. For me, it's like a 100% chance I'll never inflict alcoholism on the people who matter most. And if you drink or do any of the above list, don't take this as a judgment on you. It's not. Many people are able to control themselves just fine. They choose when to drink instead of the drink choosing them.

So, what do I know of addiction? My first experience with it was in the 7th grade. My friends and I all used Carmex to smooth out our chapped lips. One day I ran out and my lips chapped up something terrible almost immediately. I bought some more and all was well. Until the next time that happened. At a certain point that year, I decided that I didn't want to be addicted to anything.

I'd like to say that ended my addictions. But it didn't. I found that any time I played a computer game, I played late into the night. I'm pretty sure Solitaire was invented by Satan.  I believe he co-authored FrontierVille with Zynga games and that this Facebook game is the newest of the Deadly Sins. I don't even care that I started playing because my six year old begged me to be his neighbor. I've played games in the past. I know what happens to me when I do. When I get involved with one, I find myself making lots of time throughout the day to play. Time that would be better spent doing a multitude of productive activities.


I was happy to find that when taking an online quiz the results show I am only 45% addicted to Facebook. Ha ha. I'm sure it'd be much higher if it was only asking about FrontierVille. 

How Addicted to Facebook Are You?

There are other things, too. Like reading books. I get lost in them. I like to start and finish them in a day or two. It doesnt matter if they have 250 pages or 850. A couple of years ago, I remember reading a book and "needing" to finish it. It was the final book in a four part series. I read until the wee hours of the morning and fell asleep with the book on my face. In the morning, all four boys were climbing on me. I didn't know what to do with them because I needed to read. I'm unclear as to whether or not they ate anything besides cereal or crackers that day. What I do know is that I set up my reading space right outside of the bathroom door and let them take baths all day. Like maybe four baths. Seriously. I pulled them out every so often so their raisin fingers turned back to grapes and they could eat. And then they went back in. Because that's what they wanted and for the first time ever, they could get it.


Fast forward several months. I wanted to reread the series. I thought I could do it slowly this time. A chapter or two a night. It would be relaxing. I'd be able to put it down. Ha ha. I was so naive. I didn't understand my addiction. It didn't matter that I knew what was going to happen next. Over the next five days, I read the entire series. That's over 3000 pages. Is now a good time to mention that I'd like to read it again? It's been about a year and a half since the last time. I'm nervous about picking it up when I don't have a week of my life to devote to it. So still it sits. Patiently waiting for me.


When I was at Disneyland/California Adventure last month, riding roller coasters and rides all day long, I discovered that the rides which were initially very exciting to me mellowed out the more I went on them. I needed a bigger thrill in order to duplicate the same feeling.


It was easy to cut my addiction to rides. I had to go home. And the rides at the State Fair we went to a couple of weeks ago didn't even tempt me. They are nothing compared to Disney's magic. I hope to find the strength one of these days to cut off my current addiction. Yes, that would be nice and I'm sure my entire family would love it. You might, too. Certainly I'd pick up my blogging addiction again if I could put down my Frontier town.
 
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