Friday, June 27, 2008

All together again

Sure enough, about 3 hours after I spoke with K, her counselor called me and said that K really wanted to go home. I told her that we would arrive to pick K up by 1:30 or so. The counselor was very sweet, and seemed genuinely concerned and disappointed that K didn't want to stick it out. She seemed like a sweet girl, and I was really impressed by how the staff had bent over backwards to make K feel comfortable and at home.

K insists that nothing happened to make her want to come home. She has said that if she had had a friend up there with her, she probably wouldn't have gotten as homesick.

J has every other friday off of work, so he came along to pick K up. The snow has melted significantly since Monday. The photo that has the cloud rim logo had snow that was nearly 3 feet deep. When we were there this afternoon, it was maybe 18" deep.

We decided to play in Park City while we were all up there. Everyone except for Z rode the Alpine Slide. I stayed down at the bottom with him and let him ride a little plane carnival-type ride while we waited. He then played in the rocks and had a good time. S rode with her daddy, and is apparently quite a speed demon. When J and the kids were done, I took my turn riding down alone. I haven't ridden the alpine slide since I was 16 or so. It was even funner than I remember. They also have a huge zip line, and a mountain roller coaster. Both looked like they would be even more fun, but you have to be 54" tall to ride, and poor M is only 49" tall (there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth at Lagoon last week because many of the rides have a 50" height requirement). We decided to go with the Alpine Slide since both S and M would be able to go.

Afterwards, we walked around for a bit, and ended up at a chocolate store. K and I got caramel apples, S and Z got marshmallows that had been dipped in caramel, then chocolate. M and J got these HUGE peanut butter cups.

We drove home using I-84 because traffic going down Parley's canyon was wretched, and I-80 west bound through SLC is under construction. We missed all of the awful afternoon traffic and had a lovely drive home.

All in all, it was a very pleasant day to spend with the whole family together.

It is really good to have all of my chicks back in the nest. I knew that K was safe and well cared for, but I just feel better when all of my babies are at home.


Last night, around dinner time, I got another phone call from one of K's counselors. Apparently, she "lost" her rescue inhaler, and they were concerned about her well being without it, especially since they were going on an overnight campout/hike. I assured them that she almost never needs it, and when she does, it is usually after exposure to animals. This just reinforced to me that she is probably desperate to come home.

This morning, a little before 7am, Kysa called me. Apparently she snuck and called me. She was very concerned about calling without permission, but just had to talk to me, and was begging to come home. She insists that nothing has happened, she simply misses me. I'm touched, but I am so sad that she's so upset.

I told her that I would come get her today. She was then worried that she'd be caught for using the phone (even though they'll notice when the phone bill comes, but I didn't mention that to her). I told her that when the counselor gets up, tell her that she really, really wants to come home, and they will probably call me. I will act like I didn't get the early morning call, and say that I'll come get her.

I sure hope they do call back, because if I just show up there, Kysa will be totally busted.

Poor kid. I really am disappointed that she didn't have a blast. I think she must be a little too young to be away from home, with strangers, for this long. Every once in a while, she does something that reminds me that she really is still a little girl, and not a 45 year old woman trapped in a child's body.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


This morning I got a phone call from the counselor at Camp Cloud Rim. Apparently, K has been very homesick since day 1. She has asked to come home early. SERIOUSLY?! Are you sure you have the right child? K seems like such an island, and is so stoic most of the time. This is the kid who talked about living with my parents when we were going to move to Japan. I'm not entirely surprised she's missing home, but I am surprised that she actually expressed these feelings to someone. She's not really one to talk about feelings much, particularly to people she doesn't know well.

I feel so bad because I know she's got to be really hurting to tell the counselors this. She's made a couple of pots, but they haven't been glazed yet. She's taken some pictures, but hasn't developed them herself yet. If she leaves early, she won't get to see those pictures, and she won't get to ever finish those pots. I can't help but think she would really, really regret it if she left early. The counselor suggested telling K that she simply can't leave. That didn't sit well with me because I feel strongly that K should feel like she ultimately controls her destiny. I told counselor that. But I did say to tell K that because of stuff going on, I can't come get K until tomorrow afternoon, and by then, it will only be about 18 hours til I come get her. And would it really be worth it at that point? As an aside, I did tell the counselor that I could drop everything and come immediately, but I was really hoping that K could work through it. I also suggested that she emphasize the things K will not be able to do if she leaves early. I think I arranged things so that K would get two letters today, so hopefully that will help. I wrote a letter for her to read each day. I then had M write her a letter, and J, and then my mom. I can't remember which extra letter I had in which day though. I didn't want to trust the postal system, so I wrote all letters ahead of time, and left them at the camp to be distributed daily.

My heart is hurting. She is such a tough, independent kid, and this is really out of character. I hope that she can work through this and enjoy the little time she has left. Truthfully, I really miss her too. I have to admit I'm really touched that she misses me this much. She is just so stoic and unemotional most of the time, so a display like this is rare. She is a lot like her daddy when it comes to emotions and feelings.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Off to Girl Scout Camp!

K was supposed to go last week, but there was too much snow (!!) to access the camp.

She left this morning, and will be back Saturday. She's doing "Art Spree" at camp Cloud Rim, which is just outside of Park City, UT. Elevation 9200.

Although there was still a ton of snow on the ground, the temperatures were in the mid 60s at 10am this morning when we dropped her off.

I already miss her, but I think she'll do fine and have a good time.This picture was taken from the deck of the lodge. Isn't it beautiful?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

State Fair

West Jordan City is performing Rodgers and Hammerstein's "State Fair" from June 19-30. Click HERE for an article with more details if you want to attend. We attended last night because my dad was in it, and my kids love going to see him perform. S was deeply concerned because "grandpa was really mad at his friend". After the play was over, and she kept talking about that, my dad took her over to the actor my dad's character yelled at, and they hugged and visited to show S that they weren't REALLY mad at each other. I took a whole bunch of pictures (of the first half anyway) and posted some of them on my photo blog.

S was surprisingly good through the play, especially with the occasional bribe of an M&M. She loved the song "Iowa" from the musical, and was singing, dancing and clapping through it. I tried to take a picture of her during that song, but I refused to use a flash, and lots of movement+low lighting+no flash= a very blurry picture. But, it shows just how enthusiastically she was dancing.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

You know you have a lot of kids when....

K has been complaining that her swimming suit is "too low cut". Ever since she started 'blossoming', she's been very self conscious about her body, and has been trying to cover it up as much as possible. I think her suit looks fine, but I want her to feel comfortable. I bought S a swimming suit for her birthday, and although she's on the small size for 3, and I bought a 3T, this "swimming soup" is too small for her. Poor Wal-Mart sizing?

So today I took all four kids to TJ Maxx because SIL told me she got some really cute suits for her kids there at a good price.

When I walked back to the kids' swimming suit section, I came across a group of about 8 people in suits with "regional manager" name badges on. I over heard the one worrying about making his flight out, so they were definitely NOT local. The one guy's eyes kind of bugged out of his head as we walked by, and he said, "Wow, you've got your own school there, don't you?"

I have to admit I found it to be really funny. While four kids is a pretty impressive number in many parts of the country, it seems to be barely in the "acceptable" range here in Utah. Though I will say that I do get the occasional comment when I take all four of them out by myself.

Oh, and get this!!! I WON SOMETHING! I never win anything! Except that time I won a coloring contest that I thought was hosted by Arctic Circle, but I had to go pick up my prize at the funeral home. But I digress. I've been so pleased that I have real live business cards that I've been dropping them off at every business I buy food at (most local businesses have some kind of drawing with business cards every month).

I won free breakfast smoothies for the staff at my office! I was able to pick up several coupons that entitle the holder to pick up a free smoothie. The only catch is that they are only valid tomorrow. So hopefully I will be able to get them to a couple ladies at my office that I really like.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

So I'm a marshmallow

Inside and out. I'm fluffy like a marshmallow, and apparently have the restraint of a marshmallow.

The last two mornings, Z has woken up at 6:30am. I know he wants to just nurse and go back to sleep. I've tried the sippy cup, but no. That's not given up.

So, I've nursed him back to sleep, and gotten an extra half hour of sleep. I'd get more, but a half hour later, S is up and running around, waking everyone up.


Friday, June 6, 2008

Decided to wean

Almost three months ago, I decided to get serious about weight loss. My sister's wedding cruise is in August, and I wanted to be skinny and fit for it. I started watching my calories, fat, and carbs. I started working out 5-6 days a week. After a month with almost no results, I even gave up my beloved Mountain Dew. I figure the calorie reduction from that alone would make me lose a pound every 10 days. However, I have lost a total of TWO pounds since starting all this. In moments of self preservation, J has told me I look skinnier, and that he does think I'm losing.

At this point, the only thing I can imagine is holding me back is some hormonal thing to keep weight on. I am still breastfeeding Z, and I've always had trouble losing the last bit of weight while I'm nursing. I'm wondering if my metabolism is out of whack from the nursing so that I have those oh-so-important fat stores in place.

Yesterday I decided to wean him. He's only nursing 2-3 times a day (wakeup time, going down for nap, and bedtime), and doesn't seem to be that attached to any session except for wakeup. I feel quite selfish in a way, since he does enjoy it, and I do think it makes a difference and is good for him. On the other hand, he's been nursed longer than probably 95% of the American population, so he had a real good run.

It's also incredibly bittersweet because with any luck at all, this will be the last baby I ever nurse. I really thought that because of this, I would be really hesitant to wean, and that I'd nurse him longer than any of my other kids. As it is, he will have been nursed the shortest amount of time, with the exception of K.

I am ready to get my body back. In the last 10 years, I have been pregnant for almost 39 months. I have breastfed for almost 5 of those years.

This morning was the first morning he didn't get to nurse when he woke up. Z was initially furious, but J made him a sippy cup of milk that he drank while cuddling with me, and he immediately calmed down. So, I think he'll wean pretty easily. Truth be told, if he has any difficulty at all, I will fold like wet cardboard.

But, if all goes well, I'll wait for my breasts to deflate into something pathetic, and then go buy some cute Victoria's Secret bras to hoist them back up again. I haven't worn a cute bra since 2004 sometime, so the prospect does sound kind of fun.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


DH went into the shed this afternoon and discovered both baby birds were gone. We keep the shed locked, and the only access points are 9 or so feet off the ground, up a straight wall. I figure it must have been another bird. I don't think any other predator had access. I've looked around the floor, and there's no evidence of anything.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Both have hatched!

Awww, aren't they sweet? I'll admit that newborn baby birds aren't the most attractive thing ever, but they're kind of sweet.

They're hatching!

The first egg has hatched!!

You can see that the shell looks like it's starting to crack in this picture.

These were taken last night, so I'll go out in a few and check again. I'll bet I find two babies when I check again. I have high hopes for these babies surviving ok. They're in a locked shed with relatively small openings ( we were surprised this bird was able to get into the shed in the first place), so they're safe from the vast majority of predators out there.

Monday, June 2, 2008


We have some new tenants. I am calling them squatters because I haven't seen a penny in rent, and they refuse to sign a lease. Granted, signing a lease is probably difficult without opposable thumbs, but still!

J was in the shed and discovered a dove has come up with a new use for K's old booster seat.

She has become somewhat accustomed to his comings and goings, and stuck around long enough for me to get a picture of her.

Now that I know she's there, I have been checking back frequently to see how she and her eggs are doing.