Friday, February 27, 2009

Bakugan Cake

Tomorrow is M's 9th birthday, and to celebrate, we are currently having a birthday party for him. I have to admit I'm being a slacker hostess. We are ordering pizza, and instead of doing games, they are playing video games. I didn't even do streamers.

I *DID* make him a cake. A Bakugan cake. I used the marshmallow fondant recipe that I am so fond of using. It's a chocolate cake.

Here's the inspiration bakugan (yes, part of it is broken).

Here is the cake I made.

The flap things are actually painted cardboard (the ends have plastic wrap on them so the boys don't eat the non-toxic paint). The base is a tie dyed shirt wrapped around a cookie sheet. The whole thing is then wrapped in plastic wrap.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Update on Melissa

I wanted to update on Melissa's condition.

Yesterday she was taken out of ICU and moved to a regular room. She reported to me that she likes the ICU a lot better, but recognizes that it's good to be upgraded in condition.

This afternoon, she had her arms and leg set, and they put on the hard cast. Nobody has said anything about her liver, so I'm assuming it's healing well.

She will make a full recovery, and is already antsy to be released from the hospital.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Car Accident

This morning, I got a phone call from my dad around 8:30am. Considering he's not much of a morning person, I knew this was not going to be a chatty phone call. I was right. My youngest sister, Melissa, had been involved in a serious car crash. She hit a parked semi trailer at an estimated 45 mph this morning around 6am. Melissa used to work for 911, and her boyfriend, Jared, still does. The 911 operators follow the calls they get a little, and so when they heard who it was in the crash, they called Jared, who then called my parents. At that time, nobody knew if she was even alive or not.

As my parents drove to the hospital, they got a phone call from a caseworker. Melissa was lucid enough to give her my dad's cell phone number.

She is in critical condition with two broken arms, a broken ankle, stitches on her knee and a lacerated liver. The internal bleeding from the liver seemed to be improving when I left the hospital at 6:30 pm, so that's an encouraging sign. Once she stabilizes, they will probably need to do surgery on her ankle, but they're not sure yet.

I know she doesn't feel like it now, but I think Melissa is extremely lucky. So many things could've been a lot worse. No other people were involved. If someone had been in the passenger seat, there is no way they could've survived the accident. None. She wasn't wearing her seat belt, and was ejected from the car. The police found her laying on the hood of her car. But aside from a tiny scrape on her cheek, and a small scrape on her eye, her face is perfect.

My other sister, Jillian, and I stopped by to look at the car. Looking at the car, it really was a miracle she's doing as well as she is.

Interestingly enough, it made the Deseret News. Link to article

Any prayers or positive thoughts you have to offer would be appreciated.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Birthday Parties

Seems to be the season for birthday parties. M had one a couple weeks ago, and S had one yesterday, with another one coming up Monday. We also were going to have a family party this weekend for two of my nieces, a nephew, my son, and my husband, but one of the other nieces is so sick that we decided to put it off until she was feeling better.

Yesterday's party was for a little girl in our playgroup. Her mom and her friend made a Dora cake, and the cake looked absolutely gorgeous. The colors were exactly right. S was terribly impressed and spent a lot of time staring at it.

My SIL taught me a super easy technique to make really cute flower barrettes, so I made a set for S's friend. Basically, you need some alligator clips (or those bendy barrettes if Walmart is out of the alligator clips), a couple of scrapbooking brads, and some silk flowers. If you push the brad through the center of the flower, and then anchor it in the alligator clip, you don't have to use hot glue, which can often come off. I thought it turned out really cute.

Yesterday I called to RSVP for the party Monday. It's going to be at Chuck E Cheese. I was talking to the mom, and she told me she'd invited their entire preschool class of 12 kids. So far, I was the first to RSVP, and today is supposed to be the deadline to RSVP. I was a bit horrified when I found out.

I'll admit that birthday parties are a touchy subject for me. We've had some bad experiences in the past with poor turnout, and I'm still a little resentful about it. For M's 6th birthday, we invited his three best friends from school for a birthday party. Not a single one showed up. To make matters worse, my grandfather in CO died, so I had to miss his birthday for the funeral. My wonderful, amazing husband managed to make a fantastic party for M at the last minute, so it wasn't a total loss, but I was really angry with those moms for that.

After that, I decided to not put a lot of effort into planning parties. M's party wasn't the only incident, but it was the final straw.

My friend Heidi is completely dependable, and has 5 awesome kids, so just inviting her family is enough to make a decent party, and she and her kids have done so more than once.

After a couple years of nagging, my kids wore me down, and K got a big birthday party last summer that was a smashing success. M wants a birthday party this year. I was all set to do it, but he's got some school issues, so it's still up in the air. However, he's shown a dramatic enough improvement that I think his party will happen. I think his party will be a video game party with his 5 closest friends.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

SO glad I'm not a teenager

Last night I was reading my diary from high school. It was so teen angsty and full of dramah! that I had trouble reading it, and I was the author!

Everything was such a big deal, and so dramatic and life and death. Plus, there's the whole insecurities of being a teen, all the dating and friendship stuff. UGH!

Sometimes, when I'm up to my eyeballs in crying, poopy, fighting kids, I fantasize about "the good old days" of high school. Reading back made me remember that it wasn't so great after all. I remember getting so angry at people who talked about their teen years being the best of their life. I felt so miserable I thought they were out of their mind. And yet, I sometimes find myself fantasizing for the simplicity of it. But reading, it wasn't simple.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Clash of the Toddlers (or their moms)

When K was born, a cousin of mine gave birth to a baby girl within a few days of me. We rarely saw this cousin, so the first glimpse I had of her baby was when our girls were 10 months old. Her daughter had just started walking a day or two earlier, and everyone in her family was extremely thrilled and excited. I was happy for her, but I have to admit, part of me was extremely jealous. I tried to "teach" K to walk, but it made no difference. She started walking on her own the week of her first birthday. I quickly discovered that a walking baby is much, much harder to take care of than a nonwalking baby. Therefore, I was not in a big hurry for my next baby to walk.

M was cut from a totally different cloth. He was dying to explore from the day he was born. Not surprisingly, he started walking at 9 months.

It's hard to not get caught up in the baby competition. Who is walking first? Who rolled over first? It can get especially frustrating when you are in an expecting group, because that place is the one place where you can shamelessly brag over your child's accomplishments without peoples' eyes glazing over. However, every baby develops at their own pace, and it can be tough to hear about other kids reciting the alphabet when your child has barely managed "dada". That jealousy, combined with the fact that there are some big liars online can create a unique environment. When S was a baby, a woman in my group claimed her baby was walking at 6 months. I think I actually said BS out loud to my computer, but said nothing online. A couple days later, she posted a video clip. She was telling the truth. You could've knocked me over with a feather!

Z is getting to an age where the leaders are starting to potty train. Z knows the word for potty, and says fart. He has asked to sit on the potty, and I have helped him (though fully clothed). I am sure he is probably a good year away from training, so I'm not even thinking about it, and continue to buy stock in the diaper company.

I hate potty training with a white hot passion. It probably rivals running in my list of things I hate. I probably encouraged my oldest child to train a little before she was truly ready, so it was a long, messy, stinky, drawn out battle. Now, I make real sure they are dying to train, and voila'! It happens in a week or so, with no tears.

Some of the babies on his message board are starting to express interest in the potty. I suspect a couple of them are being nudged along a little. More power to them. I'm too lazy to do that. Maybe it's because he's my last baby. I don't think so though. Diapering is not one of the aspects of babyhood that I cherish (though I do get a little nostalgic for the buttermilk smelling breastfed baby poops that are gone forever). He is my last baby though, and I'm not going to hurry the growing up process; it happens too fast anyway.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentines Day!

I know it's not actually til tomorrow, but since the kids celebrated it at school, J got his present last Saturday (shoes), and I got mine yesterday (35 roses. Why 35? Not clear on this), I will blog about it today.

A good 6 weeks ago, the room mom for M's class asked if I would help with the valentines' day party. I said I would be happy to help, and I was volunteered to do the craft, as my Halloween Craft was a big success.

I decided to have the kids make "love bugs". To do this, I mixed up a batch of plaster of paris (2 c. plaster, 1 c. water), and made little spoonfuls using
plastic spoons. I let them dry, and they popped right out of the plastic spoons. Then, I let them dry for a couple hours (in hindsight, I wished I'd made the bug bodies the day before so they were totally dry). Brought them into school, and had the kids paint them with watercolors. Once that was dry, they glued googly eyes on with school glue. Those who wanted (and that was every single girl, and most of the boys) put glitter on them as well, with more school glue. I thought they turned out really cute.

Something happened with K's class this morning that was really touching to me. K has been having trouble with a boy in her class named J. There is some weird arranged marriage situation in class (don't ask, it's incomprehensible to anyone outside of 5th grade), and J is her arranged husband. Because of said arrangement, he goes out of his way to harass her so that nobody thinks he *really* likes her. Yesterday, she brought her class list home so she could make valentines for the party today. She immediately noticed that J's name was missing from the list. After cackling evilly for a few minutes, her kinder nature prevailed, and she made him a valentine.

This morning, we got 6 phone calls from kids in the class, telling her that J's name was left off the list, and to make sure she brought a valentine for him. She also got in on the action, and called three or four girls in the class. I was really touched that all these kids were that concerned about making sure this boy got valentines today, even though he is a typical 5th grade boy, and therefore, the bane of the typical 5th grade girl's existance. K reported after school that everyone did remember to bring J a valentine, so trouble was averted.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


We had a nice snowstorm yesterday.

As I was filling my car with gas, I was watching the flakes come down and land on my jacket. I do this a lot, and it never fails to amaze me how beautiful the individual snowflakes are. They truly are unique, and gorgeous. Perfect little crystals.

When I got home, I attempted to take some pictures of them. Unfortunately, my lens wasn't able to truly capture their beauty. Next time it snows, try to look at the flakes and admire their beauty.

Monday, February 9, 2009

That boy is TROUBLE!

As Z approaches his second birthday, he is becoming more, um, adventurous. I am going to predict that he is as much trouble as M was as a toddler. Help.

Here Z is, attempting to climb my chair.

Z has noticed that there's food in this cupboard, some of it really good. He'll move chairs over so that he can climb on the counter to get to said food.

He got this toy ATV for his birthday last year. LOVES LOVES LOVES it. However, for inexplicable reasons, he insists on putting it on our love sack. As I was taking pictures to show this, he accidentally rolled it. He thinks this is hysterical, and as I type this, he is purposely rolling the atv on the bean bag. This kid is dying for an ER trip.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Last night, as we were going to sleep, it occurred to J and I that our kids are going to be teenagers before we know it. Our kids were all snuggled in their beds, fast asleep. Nobody was contemplating sneaking out, dating, driving, or anything else scary and teenagerish.

I started to worry a bit, because even good teenagers are a bit rebellious, so while our children are exceptionally brilliant and perfect, I'm sure there will be some cosmic justice for the heartburn J and I gave our parents when we were teenagers.

J came up with an excellent solution, and I am on board. We shall be reinstituting the family bed. We will have a one bedroom home, but a huge bedroom. We'll have all the beds, and the kids will be chained with leg irons to our legs.

Ok, so it isn't really feasible, but a girl can dream, can't she? I am not looking forward to the teenage years.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


We turned in our girl scout cookie orders on Sunday. K's grand total for cookie sales was 407 boxes! Woot! That is a new record for her.

We will be signing up for cookie booths (yay us). That will bump our total up a bit. With any luck, it'll bump her up to 500 boxes, which will earn her a cool patch to put on her sash.

Jazz Game

Last night, J and I were able to go to a Jazz game together. My Grandma J has season tickets, and she gives J a pair of them every year for his birthday present. My SIL, Jody, babysat the kids for me because my usual sitter had to cancel (her mother has decided that she can't be out past 9pm on school nights, which is understandable. Inconvenient, but understandable).

We got down there, and decided to eat at the Chemical Waste Arena errr, I mean Energy Solutions Arena. We then settled into our seats and enjoyed the game.

We had an absolute blast, and enjoyed having an evening to ourselves. For one of the time out activities, they ended up throwing out really neat blue and purple Jazz balls into the audience. By some miracle, one found it's way up to us (we're in the upper bowl, so it's a bit amazing). A guy behind us tried to catch it, but it bounced off his fingers, and into J's arms. That guy had a kid with him. I'd guess he was 7 or 8. I felt really bad that we got it, and thought the boy seemed really disappointed that they hadn't gotten it. I talked J into giving the ball to them. He didn't want to, but he is such a sweetheart that he tries to make me happy. So he gives the ball to the kid, and the kid was so indifferent that he ended up giving it to the surly teenager sitting next to them, who took it in stride. WHAT?! If I'd had any idea that was going to happen, I would've taken it home to my four kids who would've been thrilled to see it. They were selling the same ball for $21. If the kid had been thrilled to get it, I would've felt really warm and fuzzy about the whole thing. But since they acted like it was no big deal, I was left brooding the rest of the game, and really angry with myself for talking J into giving it up. I will just have to hope that karma exists, and someday someone will do the same for my kids, and that if that does happen, my kids react in such a way that the giver will not regret doing it.

We did have an absolutely wonderful time. It's made J start pricing out tickets, thinking we should go to more games, and try to take the kids with us as well. We had a wonderful date; it was so great to have couple time again. The whole time, though, we were talking about how much the kids would've loved being there.