Bucket of Rocks

Yup, that’s about it right now. Things are a bucket of rocks. Prepare yourselves- I’m going to do a lot of YELLING in this post.  I’m so tired of keeping a good attitude, of trying to look on the bright side, of being patient and long suffering. I’ve had it up to HERE with being frugal and using WIC coupons and having my kids weighed and taking nutrition advice from people not their doctor, from eating food that I wouldn’t choose and from…from…from EVERYTHING.

Yes, I get it already! I have SO much to be grateful for- we have food, we have a home, we have family that loves us, we have a church that helps us and I AM GRATEFUL- so much so it hurts. I just want to lie down, kick and scream and whine and have a good, ol screamin’ fit. I don’t want to hurt any freaking more! I WANT LIFE TO BE NORMAL- and if that’s too much to ask, I would settle for some income and- NO, I want NORMAL! I don’t want to settle. I’ve been settling and piecing things together for this whole entire year, and I WANT NORMAL again. Since I am throwing a fit, I may as well be unreasonable.

I want a job for my husband. I WANT MEDICAL insurance again. I want to be able to pay our bills, and still be able to have a little extra. I want to be able to go to the market and not have to shop from an approved list, and be able to throw the fancy cheese in my cart, and the carton of ice cream and not feel GUILTY or judged. I want to not worry how much gas my car is using and if I can really afford to fill up again this month. I want to keep my house, and retire here. I want my husband to get back his SELF ESTEEM and feel good about providing for his FAMILY again.

I want to go in the store and buy the kids back to school stuff- and be able to actually DO IT. I don’t want to worry about calling my mom and asking for help with things like jeans and shoes. I DON”T WANT TO ASK FOR HELP. I want my kid to have nice packed lunches with juice bags and food I know he likes, instead of the free lunches (yes, I AM GRATEFUL) he qualifies for right now.

I want to be able to get Beanie to the doctor and NOT WORRY about the co-pays and the bills. I want to keep the house cool and NOT WORRY about the bill. I want to have a nice green yard, and NOT WORRY about the RASSIN’ FRASSIN” bill. I want a turn to help other people NOW. I’ve been taking for too long, by my book, and WANT TO GIVE BACK. I WANT MY LIFE BACK!!!

I want to to go on a date with my husband and eat at a nice restaurant. I want to go out with my husband and NOT WORRY about paying a babysitter or if it’s irresponsible to eat out. I want to see his eyes bright and happy again, and for the stressed pinched look of pain to be GONE FOREVER.

Cut us a break? Please? Please please please… I have no pride left.

Potty Time

It’s that time. After seven solid years of changing diapers, the end is in sight. Oh, sweet potty chair, how I do love you. Yes, today I got out the chair, picked up some big-girl undies at Target, and I am making the leap.

Abs is totally into it. The chair has been drug upstairs, downstairs, in the play room, in the bedroom, the kitchen, and even, gasp!~ the bathroom. She hasn’t peed yet, but she sure does like hauling the thing around. “Potty!” “POTTY!!” POTTY!!!” she screams over and over, swatting at her brothers should they dare come near her throne.

She has changed her undies seven time already, and hasn’t deposited a drop of pee anywhere. I did put a diaper on her for bedtime- because I just can’t stomach the idea of changing sheets every single morning. Let’s get the daytime thing down. I haven’t done this whole rigmarole in a while… I mean, Bean trained himself, and Jeffrey was pretty easy going about the whole deal, if I recall correctly. Which I may not- that was two horrid pregnancies and a lot of dead braincells ago. Who knows. Either way, we in the thick of it now. Oh, we may not have a job, but the idea of no diapers makes me want to dance a jig- just think what I can do with all that money!

Random Crap, Edge-of-Reason Version

Turns out the stomach flu ravaged girls-camp this week, and church has been called off tomorrow for the whole stake! Whoo-hoo! Oh, um, I mean, I feel so bad for the girls. Really, I do- poor girls. *snerkle* no church…. yay. I’m bad.

So I really liked Utah. It was so much prettier than I imagined. The mountains are spectacular, the canyons are fabulous, downtown is so clean and incredibly family friendly (which really shouldn’t be a surprise, eh?) and the food (big surprise to me!) was awesome. Every restaurant I ate at was beyond great- it was top notch. I got to spend some time in the library and the art museum at BYU, and their collections were also top-notch.

The garage sales have been pretty poopy lately. This morning all I found was an old science beaker and a vintage dress pattern. Oh, and some old tin cookie cutters. But I use those- I much prefer the way they cut to the plastic-y new ones. So I spent a grand total of $2. Woot.

Auntie Brooke sent Beanie a pink t-shirt that says “Tough Guys Wear Pink”. He has it paired today with some leopard print orange leggings and a pair of silver glitter mary-janes. A woman at a garage sale referred to him as a “she” and he was quite indignant- “I’m not a SHE, silly!” Poor lady. Us modern mothers, making it hard for little old ladies to be nice. Sorry…

Ever look a recent pictures of yourself and think “Holy crap, who IS that?” Yeah, I have. In my mind I’m still young and supple and have a nice Romanesque figure. I’m afraid I’ve morphed from cute and curvy into just plain plump and the fact that I usually don’t have time to slap on make up and do my hair doesn’t help the cute cause. I don’t want to be That Mom. I want to still be cute. Looks like I’ve got my work cut out. I’ll be 36 in three months… the slope is getting slipperier.

Jeffrey will be seven in three weeks. Somehow, seven sounds so much older than six. And Beanie will be five. With Abby at two and a half, I should have another baby, at least one, by now. I think I’m done. At first, that made me sad, but I think I’m getting used to it. Three is a good number.

Stella has become David’s bird. He’s trying to teach her to say naughty words and to sit on his finger. It’s fine with me- he takes care of her, feeds her and talks to her. She gets called Stella, Stallone, and Sylvester. Usually I settle on Sweetie Bird. Isn’t that what all parakeets end up getting called?

My neck hurts. This morning, I had David nip of a skin tag that had sprouted- usually I go the doctor for them (hereditary little buggers), but since we have no (yay!) medical insurance, I bit on a hunk of leather, held a silver bullet in my hand, and told him to nip away. (Come on! I used lidocaine from last time I had one removed, and he used a pair of sewing scissors. I’m insane, but only so much.) It didn’t hurt; some neosporin and a band-aid later, all’s good. Except now, when the lidocaine is worn off. Maybe next we’ll try an appendectomy. That shouldn’t be too hard, eh? Experiments in living on the edge!

I can’t believe my yard is full of yellow leaves. I’m going to cry.

I would be really ready for school to start if it came paired with a job. I’m getting so very weary; it’s harder and harder to keep the ol’ chin up. I know it’ll be okay, I just want Okay to happen sooner rather than later. Please? A job. Oh please, can’t we please have a job? It’s getting so hard. Please…?

The Short Season

The leaves are falling in my backyard already. How is this possible? They didn’t even green out until the end of April- my lilacs were a month behind, the bulbs sprung way after Easter, summer was mild- we haven’t hit 100 this year (not that I’m complaining, but usually we have a few scorchers…). Summer is on the way down, and while I adore fall, I’m just not quite ready for the onset of chilly weather and raking leaves.

When we moved to the northwest six years ago, I hear about “green tomato summers”- and I didn’t believe it. Yet here we are. There was hardly enough summer to turn the tomatoes rosy, let alone rich red. Nothing I can do about it.

So, with great reluctance, I head off to the mega-store, school list in hand, to buy all random crap the schools used to supply, but for some reason they now need us parents to fork over. Oh, I don’t mind so much- but there is no way I’m contributing a pack of color printer cartridges to his class. Glue sticks and paper? Sure. Outrageous ink so the teacher can have fun? Nuh-uh. I don’t even buy that for us these days.

A job sure would be nice…

Writing Contest at Scribbit

Each month, Michelle at Scribbit, and blog about mothering in Alaska, hosts a writing contest. I’ve entered a few times, and even taken second place, but this month, she has asked me to be the judge (bwa-hahaha!). So far, I have twenty essays sitting on my desk waiting to be read. The theme this month is “First Kiss”– and if that inspires you, in any creative manner, jump on over to Scribbit and drop your essay in the contest. She usually has some cool prizes for the winner. Good luck!

Wrapping the Trip

We arrived in Salt Lake late in the afternoon, and holy cats, it was HOT. My Washington self was totally unprepared for 102 degrees- good greif! You all who told me to carry a water bottle were NOT kidding. My mouth felt like the Gobi desert; there wasn’t enough water in the world to quench my thirst. But how is it when I am so dry, the sweat was pouring down the small of my back? TMI? Oh well- if we can talk about poop explosions, we can speculate on the amount of perspiration one emits when walking around downtown Salt Lake. Any guesses?More...

Our hotel was right next to the Trax thing, and Jeffrey was enchanted by what he kept calling the Road Train. We were so close, as a matter of fact, that we skipped riding the Road Train and just walked. First stop, Blue Iguana for dinner- and that decision was entirely based on the coupon I tore from the newspaper in our room. But, um, what the heck with the crazy address? What does 178 East 100 South mean? It may make sense to y’all, but had to stop and ask a nice man if I was anywhere close.

After a hot, crowded, but surprisingly yummy dinner, we hit up the Conference Center to catch the orchestra and Tab Choir practice. In the summer, they practice in the CC instead of the Tabernacle, which was awesome. Really- amazing. I mean, there were only a handful of folks in there watching, and we sat right now front for part of it. It was there that I decided I’m really, truly Mormon and this thing is actually going to stick. Well, I decided that after I stopped crying. But that’s another post for another day.

In the morning, we packed up and headed off to Temple Square. We hit both visitors centers, took the tour from pair of lovely, helpful and attentive Sisters from Korea and Tonga, then headed off to the Joseph Smith Jr, Building. We caught the new movie on Joseph, and it was wonderful. I enjoyed it much more than some previous church movies I’ve seen; I’m glad I grabbed a few kleenex when we entered the theater, because I ended up needing them for my suddenly, er, watering eyes.

Lunch at The Garden room on the 10th floor of the JSJ Building was a treat, and the view was awesome. The hostess put us right next to a window, and Jeffrey used half his memory card taking snaps of the Temple, the birds, the Road Train, me, and a fly on the glass. The Cobb Salad was excellent, and Jeffrey claimed the french fries as good as McDonalds. High praise from six year old.

The art museum on West Temple was fabulous. Minerva Teichert is my new favorite LDS artist, and I’m stymied as to why we don’t see more of her work in church publications. The display on the Presidents of the Church was interesting, as was seeing the inner-structure of the Tabernacle and the original drafted plans. Very nice.

That evening we headed up to a lodge in Huntsville, meeting up with the group who had organized this retreat. Several other people had brought some of their children, so there was much joy and rioting among the offspring.

Saturday was spent at the retreat.

Sunday, I found myself driving up a lovely canyon, on the way to meet Heather O. and her family, for the first time in the almost three years we’ve been writing together. The coolest thing about meeting the people you blog with is that you already know each other so well- not only do we write together, but we talk on the phone often; without ever meeting, she is an old friend. Her family was lovely- especially one of her aunt’s, who so resembled my departed grandma that I burst into tears just looking at her, and had to keep apologizing for crying.

There were so many of you I wanted to see and meet, but time was just not on my side. My appreciation goes out to each of you who offered hospitality, a place to stay, gave pointers, and encouraged me to see the sights. Hopefully I will have another chance to head down to the lovely Salt Lake valley, and we can actually plan a MMW get-together.

That’s a wrap.

Home, Home Again

Tired. Road. Road. Road. Sleepy boy. Road some more. White lines getting longer, no ace left in the hole… blurry eyes… Excedrin and Dr. Pepper cocktail. Road road road. Home. Sleeping.

Wha..? Huh? I don’t have any girls going to camp… leave me ‘lone… sleepy. Wha..? Tomorrow morning? I said I would? By seven..? Seven?! tomorrow? HOW BIG? Oh &*%$. Girl’s camp. Banner. Where’s the Excedrin and another Dr Pepper… I’m going to cry.

Utah Update

AWOL mama checking in. Again,  on a borrowed laptop and a pirated wi-fi Painting a picture with words is not always easy- and it would take more reserves that I possess at this hour of the morning to adequately discribe my last few days- it’s been absolutley wonderful. Hellishly hot, and dry- holy crap, it is so freaking dry here- I’m mainlining gallons of water, and I’m still thirsty. Utah is beautiful- really, beautiful. Jeffrey is having a blast, he’s made several new best friends, went swimming tomorrow, and partook of the plentiful Mormon-y Goodness to be found downtown. Toured Temple square, toured the JSJ Building, saw the choir practice, hung out in the tabernacle, at lunch at the Garden… and more to come…