Sunday, April 27, 2008

The advantages to cold weather camping

For some demented reason, we decided to go camping this weekend. We went to the Camperworld resort that is just outside of Kamas, UT. We left friday afternoon. I was a little bit concerned because Z had thrown up that morning, but I was hoping it was a last hurrah, and that we'd be healthy all weekend. S was so excited to go that she couldn't see straight. She kept talking about how she wanted to gather sticks, make a fire, and roast "smashmallows". She almost couldn't sleep Thursday night.

The campground could hold 75 RVs. We were the only ones there. You'd think this would be a hint. Nope. There was also snow on the ground in places. You'd think this would be another hint. Nope. The entire weekend, the warmest I saw the temperature was 46. In general, it hovered between 35-40. At night though, the temperature got down to about 14 f. M started throwing up Friday night, but he managed to get to the garbage can every time, and woke up feeling fine Saturday morning. Z started throwing up this morning, but is acting fine now.

Our trailer manufacturer boasted that they had all kinds of great insulation to make it ok to camp with in extreme temperatures. In general, I'd say they had grounds for the boasting. The first night, we had our water hose hooked up to the RV hookups, and it froze SOLID overnight. The second night, we just filled up the water tank in our trailer, and then put away the water hose. So, our hose didn't freeze up but some pipes under the toilet did freeze, and the toilet didn't flush for a while this morning. Once things warmed up a little bit, it worked fine.

We were going to do tinfoil dinners last night, but the wood we brought wasn't burning very well, so we ended up going to a fast food/shake place for dinner last night. The kids were disappointed (crazy, eh?), so I'm making them in the oven tonight.

I know this probably sounds like a fairly wretched trip, but I have to admit I had a really nice time. It was fun to get out and spend time with the family with no real distractions. The Camperworld park had a pool table, air hockey, ping pong, and toy room, and we spent a lot of time in there playing games together.

I will put some pictures in my photo blog if you are interested in seeing them. The link to that is

Friday, April 25, 2008

Figured it out

I've long been convinced that my kids don't sleep. I think they lay in their beds til we fall asleep and then do.... something. None of them have ever been GREAT sleepers, but K and M were the worst.

This morning, I think I discovered what they're doing with all that time, besides hiding my stuff and making messes. I think they plot ways to drive me crazy. The worst part is that it's working. Here's how my morning went:

6:30am: dh's alarm goes off. I bury my head under the pillow, hoping to get some more sleep.
6:40: Z wakes up, calling me. I get him and bring him back to bed and nurse him. As I do, I hear S come running upstairs. She bursts into the room, so excited because we're going camping today. I nurse as she chatters about camping.
7:00am: Z proceeds to throw up. Again. I thought we were done with this?! We had been a vomit-free household for 24 hours until this. Being a good cub scout, I'd had a towel handy, so the mess was minimal. S, unperturbed, continues talking about roasting marshmallows for dinner.
7:03: K comes in and asks if I'll make french toast for breakfast. No.
7:05: Give S yogurt for breakfast

The next 30 minutes are a blur of kids talking to me, fits thrown by S, breakfasts getting made (Z ravenously eats a banana as though nothing is wrong), and the kids trying to make lunches.

7:45: M announces that he needs to do his homework. The homework he received a week ago. Usually this isn't a problem, as he can do it in about 10 minutes. But this week's activities are more time consuming: plant a seed, put an ice cube in a plastic cup, styrofoam cup, and can. Watch melt, which one lasted longest? Have a partner measure a kajillion different parts of your body and you write them down. I finally throw up my hands and announce he simply won't be able to finish his homework this morning, and in the future, he should plan better.

7:46: S announces she wants MORE breakfast, so I make her cereal.

8:00: As I'm getting food to put into the trailer for the camping trip (which may not happen due to Z's encore performance of "The Exorcist"), K announces that she has to do her out-loud reading. They are supposed to read 5 books a week from her teacher's program. Each book is about 5-8 minutes long, and they're supposed to read one a day. She loves to put them off to the last minute, and then read all morning friday. I throw my hands up, and tell her to start reading, but as of next friday, I will not let her read more than one book on friday morning.

In the meantime, today is backwards day at school, so both kids are dressing backwards, and K wants a sideways ponytail, ala 80s. I point out this is not backwards, but she doesn't care. both of the little kids poop their fresh diapers.

I get a phone call from a neighbor, wondering if I'd watch her two kids this afternoon. I politely decline.

8:35: Load all the kids into the car and take the big kids to school.

8:45: Load the toiletries into the trailer

8:50: fix some toast for myself for breakfast while holding Z, the amazing velcro baby. Come downstairs and put on "Finding Nemo" for S and Z to watch while I eat.

8:52: Fend off the suddenly starving S and Z, who have decided my toast looks delicious.

9:15: Rescue Z, who has managed to wedge himself between the chair and the wall

9:20: S decides she's rather watch Cinderella. NOW NOW NOW

I give up.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Comforter vs. The Toy

Unfortunately, we've had a bit of a flu bug around here. M started throwing up Monday evening. In the car. Lovely. But, he announced that he caught the vomit in his hands. We were about 2 minutes from home, so I hurried. We get home, and discover that not only did he catch most of it, but he still had it in hand! So, I got him and the car all cleaned up, and put everyone to bed.

I woke up in the middle of the night to discover I had the same thing. I sat around Tuesday feeling very sorry for myself. M and I began to feel better Tuesday afternoon, so we went to pack meeting and dh stayed home with the littles. They began throwing up while I was gone.

Z spent Tuesday night and Wednesday sick. Last night, he woke up about 4am, starving. I put him in bed and nursed him. He soon threw it all back up again. Ugh. However, he hasn't thrown up since, so I'm thinking he's starting to get better. I sure hope so.

Last night though, I was starting to lose my patience. I just wanted a few minutes of not touching anyone. Not talking to anyone. Well, Z would have nothing to do with that. DH tried to keep him happy, but he just kept crying and wanting his mommy. Dh said that I was the comforter, and dh is the toy. If our kids are sick or hurt, they always, always want me. If they're looking for fun, they usually go to dh.

I guess parents really do have roles in the family. I don't know that it's a gender based thing. But I do know that our kids definitely know who they want for different things.

Been Tagged!

My sister in law has tagged me, so I guess I better answer some questions.
Four Jobs I have held
1- Taco folder at Taco Bell
2- Gymnastics Coach
3- Realtor
4- Art Model (I know, hard to believe!)
Four movies I could watch over and over again
1 - The Princess Bride
2- Drop Dead Gorgeous
3- Idiocracy
4- Animal Alphabet (well, I wouldn't CHOOSE to, but I have been, thanks to S, and it hasn't killed me yet)
Four places I have lived.
1- West Jordan, UT
2- Ephraim, UT
3- Tsukuba City, Japan
4- Tooele, UT
Four TV show I like
1- Desperate Housewives
2- Lost
3- Biggest Loser
4- Ace of Cakes (or any of the food network challenge shows)
Four people that e-mail me regulary
1. Alison
2. Jim
3. My July1998 friends
4. Chad the stalker
Four favorite foods
1. chocolate
2. cheese
3. fruit
4. dessert
Four places that I'd rather be
1. in a huge, clean, beautiful home
2. hiking in Hawaii
3. in my bed, asleep
4. with friends
Four people I'm tagging
1. Chardell
2. Katie
3. Kirsten
4. Tammy

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Zoo

Yesterday I took S & Z to the zoo with one of my very best friends. We have a family membership to the zoo, so I can take my whole family plus one guest. Kids under 3 are free, so she was my guest, and her two kids were free.

The big kids were really annoyed that I was going without them, so I told them I'd take them today if they wanted. Well, of course they wanted! I put split pea soup in the crock pot to cook while we were gone. K asked if she could invite her friend along, and I was fine with that.

We got there about 3:30 in the afternoon. All of the school groups were gone by then, and many other people had left. So, we got a great parking spot, and it wasn't crowded at all. At times, I'd take a step back from myself and think I was nuts to take 5 kids to the zoo alone, but honestly, I had a blast. It was a fun, relaxing afternoon.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Update on Harvey

We still have no word on Harvey. No evidence of her around the house.

I've laid with my ear to the vent and tried to listen to hear if I hear the scratching of little feet in the vent, and I just don't. All I hear is silence.

I hate to say it, but I think she's gone.

Spectrum Program

Our school district has a full time spectrum program for gifted students, grades 3-6. It is in a regular school, but the class itself is made up of these "gifted" students.

In general, to get in, students are invited to test based on past standardized test scores. If you aren't invited, you can fill out an application. The parents and the child's teacher fills out an assessment sheet that asks about a child's insight, motivation to finish work, persistence, and learning. Then, they give the kids some standardized tests.

They create a new class in 3rd grade, and then fill vacancies for grades 4-6.

K & M were both invited to test this year to get in. I filled out the paperwork, and took them for the standardized test. K was really excited because her best friend, M, was also invited to test. They currently don't go to the same school, so they were so excited about the idea of being in the same class again.

I will admit to being a little worried though, because that put so much pressure on K to do well.

Then, things started getting nail bitingly stressful. The scores started appearing on the secure student page for the school. K's math score appeared to be quite low. Yikes. Then, she found out her best friend at her current school won't be attending there next year. Double yikes. Put that on top of the fact that for 5th grade, she is just filling an opening, and not filling an entire class. There was a good dozen kids testing that day, and I doubt there was very many openings in the class. I've been trying to prepare K for the worst.

Today, I got the official letters from the district. Drumroll please! They BOTH got in!!!! I knew they were both exceptionally brilliant, but I was really excited to have it confirmed.

Unfortunately, M did not get in. I am heartbroken that they won't be going to the same school, and I'm sad that she is in that position.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Harvey the Wonder Hamster

Teeth Grinding

Z now has 6 teeth- four on top, two on bottom. He has recently discovered these teeth, and considers them the best thing to happen to him since breast milk. He is so excited about being able to take bites out of things and chew them up.

His most recent discovery? If he grinds them together, it makes a cool noise. This is now his favorite past time. Nails on the chalk board don't bother me. That mosquito buzz that they're using to drive teenagers away from the malls and convenience stores doesn't bother me. This teeth grinding is driving me right up the wall.

I try to tickle him to do anything to distract him from making the noise, but he's amazingly single minded once he starts.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Unfortunately, this will change.

I was talking with K and M the other day. Somehow, the conversation turned to teenagers sneaking out. I made them both promise that they never would. M readily agreed, but I had to put a "no crossies count" clause in for K. I'll admit I was a little concerned at her reluctance to promise. I gave her the following scenario: Say that you have a boyfriend that I don't like, and tell you not to see. You think I'm crazy for not liking him, and decide to see him anyway. He suggests you sneak out to see him, so you leave the house at 11pm, after we go to sleep. Turns out he's a bad person, just like I said, and he kidnaps you. If I don't wake up til 7:30, he'll have a huge lead in running away away. How likely is it that I'll find you with that kind of lead?

She agreed that it would be a bad situation, and then promised. But here's the great part. She said, "But mom, why would I want to have a boyfriend you didn't like? If you didn't like him, and told me to break up, I would." I've have enough of the inner teenager left in me that I was cracking up at that. I assured her that she would most likely have friends that I didn't like, and I could almost guarantee that she would want to still be friends even though I didn't approve. I told her it was part of being a teenager.

I then said for her to imagine that I suddenly decided I didn't like H anymore. He is one of her very best friends (and I boy who I do truly adore!). If I told her she couldn't be friends with him anymore, would she stop talking to him, or just visit with him at school so I didn't know. She said that if I said that, I must have a good reason for it and she would do as I said because she trusted me.

I love it! Unfortunately, I'm enough of a realist to know that will not happen. Oh well.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I have become one of "those" mothers

There are many categories of "those mothers". I realize that. I also accept that I am one of those mothers in other categories. But I realized today that I am in a new section.

I have been so good about going to the gym every morning after I drop the big kids off at school. On Wednesdays, I volunteer in the daycare so that my daycare is free. When I volunteer, I see a few kids with slightly boogery noses, but haven't really worried about it. I just wipe their noses and move on.

Z has had a cold for the last couple weeks, but seemed to be on the mend this week. This morning, he got up at 6:30am. I watched him carefully to see if he still had any remnants of the cold because he got kicked out of daycare on Mon or Tuesday because he was deemed "too sick" to be there. I felt like they were awfully picky, but whatever. So I wanted to be extra careful this morning. I did not have to wipe his nose from 6:30 am until we got to the gym at 9. When I went to get him out of his car seat, it was runny, so I wiped it and mentally groaned. I decided to hope it was a fluke, and took them in anyway. Sure enough, within a half hour of getting there, they brought him out and said he was too sick.

It is just so frustrating because he really doesn't seem sick to me, other than wiping his nose once an hour or so. Since I've wiped lots of noses when I volunteer, I figured that was in the realm of acceptable. Guess not. So, I only got to work my right side in the kickboxing class. I came home and worked on the elliptical for 20 minutes.

So, it seems he hides his runny nose until I get him there. It has made me doubt my ability to know when he is "too sick" because I honestly felt he was fine this morning.

I feel equal parts embarrassed, defensive, and ashamed. I really don't want to risk the health of others. But most websites I've read about guidelines for "too sick for daycare" say:

Keep your child home if he or she has the following symptoms:

  • Fever greater than or equal to 100.5 degrees F.
  • Moderate drainage (clear or discolored) from the mouth, nose, eyes, or ears.
  • Red discoloration to the whites of the eye(s).
  • Skin rashes as they are difficult to diagnose unless since by a physician.
  • Severe abdominal pain, vomiting or diarrhea.
I wouldn't consider Z to have "moderate" drainage. I'd say that it was mild.
I guess I'll skip going tomorrow and just do something at home, and then do home workouts this weekend. He's got to be completely better by Monday, right?!

I think in the future, if either of the kids have any symptoms of illness whatsoever, I just won't go. I hate to skip, but I hate even more having my kid kicked out. Luckily Z isn't old enough to get what's going on, but as they become more aware, it could be very embarrassing for them.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

april fools jokes

Yesterday morning, Z woke up at 7:30, his usual time. I tried putting him down for several naps, but he'd have nothing to do with it. I tried letting him cry in the crib, tried holding him, tried laying down with him. I even tried driving him in the car. No way!

He finally fell asleep at 9pm last night. An almost one year old should NOT do that!!!

Yesterday, I also baked a chocolate cake, and made chocolate frosting for it. Decorated it with colored sprinkles. When my bear cub scouts arrived, I told them I had made a "special" chocolate cake for them, and they could all have some after we finished our activities. Then, when it came time, I gave them each a big piece. I let them eat about 3/4 of their piece, and then asked if they wanted to know WHY it was special. Of course they did. So I told them I put meal worms in the cake, and then pulled our gecko's meal worms out of the fridge for them to see. They all were yelling ewww (as they continued eating, interestingly enough). A couple minutes later, they asked if I really had. I told them it was an april fools' joke, and put the worms back in the fridge. S started howling and insisted she wanted some on her cake. I wouldn't let her.

Even with the meal worm joke, one of the boys told me I was a much better scout leader than the wolf leaders. I said, "Why, because I give you guys treats?" He replied, "Yes. Except there was that time they had the pool party. That was really neat." I told him I could never compete with a pool party. LOL