Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hmm, maybe I am one of those people?!

So, in my last post, I talked about people who can't say no. After today, I'm wondering if I'm one of them.

I showed up at the school today with my crockpot of soup. There was a bunch of moms busily setting up the teacher luncheon. I quickly notice that it's not set up for people with crockpots. I also notice immediately that there's no bowls, no spoons. Hmmm. That's odd.

I talk to the lady in charge, who looked completely confused. She said that she'd planned a meal with just salads and bread (i.e green salad, fruit salad, chicken salad). She'd also never heard of someone by the name that my caller on Monday told me. This soup thing was news to her.


I immediately start wondering how I could've possibly messed up this badly. I can be scatterbrained, but not THAT crazy. I distinctly remember it being Wednesday, because I figured it'd be no big deal since I was already planning on being there to volunteer. I also distinctly remember talking to her about her 7th and 9th grade sons. I was also 100% certain that neither of the elementary schools my kids attend were having parent teacher conferences today.

If it WAS Thursday, wouldn't the PTA lady in charge have said, "oooooh, no, you were supposed to bring the soup tomorrow. THURSDAY is soup day, not Wednesday."

Someone, somewhere is going to be angry that they're down one big vat of soup. Or, someone, somewhere is laughing their guts out.

Or, I have completely cracked. If I was going to go crazy, why couldn't I be deluded into thinking that I'm in the Caribbean somewhere, or that I live in a massive house with a huge kitchen, and a garage. Or that I was skinny? I could quite happily live with that kind of delusion or misunderstanding. But no. Instead, I'm bringing soup to a bunch of (pleasantly surprised) people.

The teachers who had started arriving were not going to let me take the soup home. They managed to scare up bowls and spoons eerily fast. That was flattering, anyway.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Some people just CAN'T say no!

K's school's parent teacher conferences are Wednesday. The PTA tries to provide dinner for the teachers on those nights.

So today, I get a phone call from the PTA, asking if I'd be willing to bring in a crockpot of soup Wednesday afternoon. I said that would be fine, and volunteered to bring in a tortilla soup.

About 10 minutes later, the lady calls me back.

Her: "Um, you DO have a student who attends XX Jr High, right?"

Me (sounding very confused): "Yes"

Her: "Oh, good. See, I'm also in the PTA for YYY Elementary, and somehow I got my volunteer lists mixed up. I was most of the way through the list making food assignments. One lady was really nice and said she'd bring an item, and then said it was really weird she was being called because she didn't even have a kid attending XX Jr High."


Her: "So, I wanted to call all the volunteers and make sure they're all parents of students at XX Jr High"

Me: (still not able to talk I'm laughing so hard)

Some people really are incapable of saying no, aren't they?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dog Bite

A few months ago, my inlaws lost their beloved dog, Buddy. He was poisoned, and it was absolutely awful for all involved. He was a good, sweet dog, and we were all so upset. My inlaws feel strongly that when they get a dog, they adopt from a shelter. Since they have 14 (at last count) grandchildren, it's also important that they have a dog that's good with children.

A couple months ago, my MIL (mother in law) called me on a Saturday afternoon. She and my FIL (father in law) were at the shelter, trying to pick out a new dog. They'd brought Hershey, their chocolate lab, and the two seemed to get along ok. They'd pretty much decided on a miniature pinscher and wanted to give him the final test. They wanted to see how he did with children. I brought my kids, and we met the dog. He seemed cautious about kids, but somewhat tolerant. We spent a good 30 minutes at the shelter playing with the dog. While he didn't want to actually interact with the kids, he tolerated them ok, and was not at all aggressive. They decided to bring him home.

They quickly discovered that he had kennel cough, and he wasn't able to be around other dogs much. As he started to recover, they were taking him on walks around the neighborhood. They realized that Snickers had what I like to call "Little Dog Syndrome". He was completely unaware that he was much smaller than the other dogs, and some of them could eat him for lunch. He would bark and try to start fights. He established dominance over Hershey, his roommate, but was constantly trying to fight with the other dogs in the family.

As time has gone on, he's gotten aggressive with the kids too. I know he's bitten K and M, both unprovoked. I have to admit I've gotten a bit nervous to have him around the kids as he's gotten more and more aggressive and less tolerant of kids.

On Saturday, my ILs had nicely volunteered to babysit our kids while we attended a wedding. When we arrived, Snickers was barking and barking and freaking out. My MIL picked him up to make sure everything stayed safe. J went to pet the dog. After a couple seconds, he turned and bit J's arm as hard as he could. It was a pretty nasty dog bite, and broke the skin and bled quite a bit.

My MIL was horrified over how bad the bite was.

At this point, she is contemplating getting rid of the dog. I feel really awful about the situation because it sounds like when it's just my MIL and FIL around, he's not a bad dog. He's crazy about them. They also are animal lovers, and not people to take getting rid of a dog lightly. In fact, I'm not sure they've ever gotten rid of a dog while it was still alive. I think it's awfully risky to keep him around if he's a biter.

I have to admit that I don't feel comfortable having the dog around my kids anymore. If that bite had been to one of my kids, particularly their face, it could've done some really serious damage. I support my inlaws in whatever choice they make. I will say that when we come over from now on, I'll want the dog to be kept locked in another room.

My brother in law's niece had her face practically destroyed by a dog bite, and I just don't want to take that risk with my babies.

POSTSCRIPT: The day after J was bitten, my BIL and SIL went to the inlaws' house for dinner. Snickers attempted to bite BIL, even though he wasn't even interacting with the dog. Snickers got put in time out for the rest of the visit. MIL and FIL consulted their vet a few days later. They asked about behavioral therapy and doggie prozac. The vet actually recommended that they rehome the dog, that he was just too big of a risk to have. They ended up taking him back to the Humane Society a couple days ago. I know they are really sad about it, and I am sorry for their loss. I think that they are averting a much bigger tragedy by doing this though.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Wrist Injury (?)

Last Thursday, my 12 year old fell playing soccer in gym class. She came home after school that day, complaining her wrist hurt. In fact, she said, "I think I broke my arm again." Considering this is the same kid who hid a broken arm from me for 5 days, I sat up and took notice. In fact, I'd been writing the blog post about kids growing up, which is why that particular post ended rather abruptly and without a nice poignant closing. It had nothing to do with the fact that eloquence had failed me. Nope.

I took her to the doctor, that evening (LOVE that Layton IHC kids care!) and they did xrays. Said everything looked fine. They gave her a soft brace to wear and sent us on our way.

It's been 5 days now, and she's complaining that it still hurts a lot, and is having to take motrin around the clock. Her arm is still quite swollen, with visible bruising. She has such a high pain tolerance, that I was worried. In addition, her gym teacher was insisting on a doctor's note to excuse her any more from arm-related exercises from here on out.

This evening, I gathered up all four kids and took her back in. The doctor we saw decided we should get some more xrays. The nurse walked her over to radiology, and the tech immediately recognized K. She said, "The xrays aren't going to show anything different, it's been less than 7 days. I'm not going to xray her again."

The nurse took her back anyway. The tech stayed out front and got on the phone. The tech then got K and walked her back to the doctor's side, and told me xrays weren't taken because they wouldn't show anything different, and they were worried about radiation.

We waited in the exam room for a good 20-25 minutes, and the doctor came back and essentially told us the same thing, and that the radiologist suggested we not do more xrays.

She gave us a better, more supportive brace for dd's wrist (at my request), and an Rx to come back in a week from today for xrays if her arm still really hurts. I also had her write a note excusing her from any arm related exercise in gym class for a couple weeks. The receptionist wrote the note. Did you know crab walks/pushups ect (sic) can axacerbate (sic) her arm?

I shouldn't be mean though, the receptionist was really nice, and admitted she'd been there almost twelve hours and was dead on her feet.

I'm frustrated that I spent another copay and an entire evening there, and weren't able to check her arm again. Hopefully, this new brace will make her wrist feel better. The nice thing about that Rx we got is that we can go get an xray in a week if it's still feeling awful and NOT pay (yet another) copay.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Clover's First Egg!

Here's my girls out free ranging.

I am so excited! I sent M out to check for eggs today, and he found one! And, even more exciting, it's a white egg, so it's not Lucy's. I am 99.9% sure that it's Clover's, since she's supposed to lay white eggs. I guess it's theoretically possible it's one of the easter eggers, but since they're barely 20 weeks and Clover is 24, I think it's unlikely.

This photo shows the egg along with store bought "large" eggs. It's the slightly smaller one in the middle. It's actually quite big, especially for a first egg.
Close up of the egg.I wish I could show you a picture of it next to Lucy's egg, but Lucy went on strike, and hasn't laid an egg in 8 days. She was laying every other day like clockwork, and now, NOTHING.

Our chicken coop has 6 nesting spots. Lucy always used the same spot. M found Clover's egg in the same nesting box. I thought that was kind of funny.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A visit to jail

No, no no! I have managed to keep myself on the right side of the law.

On Saturday, I went to visit someone in jail. It was a very interesting experience for me.

The jail is a very dismal and depressing place, but oh my, the people watching is PRIME!

We made the appointment to visit our prisoner at 5:30 pm. We were expected to be to the jail and checked in by 4:45. To check in, I had to show picture ID, and they took down my address and phone number. I guess they also do a mini background check on you, and later on, if they find a warrant, they'll arrest you. Our check in guard was nice. She kind of rolled her eyes at a couple kids doing a shrieking banshee act.

Next to the check in desk, there's a cashier's station. That's where you go to post bail, or deposit money into your prisoner's account for commissary. Almost nothing comes free in jail, but you can put in orders for things like top ramen, stamps, soap, shampoo, conditioner, colored pencils, etc. If you don't know anyone on the outside to put money into that account, I think you're out of luck. Maybe you could manage to have an attorney do that for you?

After you check in, you sit down in the main waiting area and people watch for about 30 minutes. I was highly entertained by this, so the time flew by. They then call everyone up, and you exchange your photo ID for a key to a locker. You put all belongings in the locker. No keys (other than the locker key), papers, coins, phones, gang attire, or anything else is allowed back in the visiting area.

After putting our stuff in the lockers, we were herded to waiting room #2. We had to go through a metal detector that was super, super sensitive. The locker key and the button on my jeans set it off, so I had to have the wand swiped. They were extremely suspicious that I'd taken off my watch and set it on a table. The metal detector guards were the same ones who did the keys. A new guard came in, who initially came off as very, very dry, but she redeemed herself totally in my eyes. She spoke to us like we were three (and as I soon learned, this was necessary, given some of the people in the room). She insisted that we all be silent while she gave instructions, and that kids (yep, there were quite a few there to see mommy or daddy) not play with the noisy toys while they talked. Screaming banshee children ran around yelling and playing with toys while grandma looked on obliviously. Guard was really irritated (as was I), but surprisingly enough, screaming banshees weren't escorted out.

We were given rules, which included such gems as "no talking to any prisoner but your own", "No gang signs", and "no flashing". A couple people looked baffled at that last one. She asked if everyone understood, and a couple people expressed confusion on the last one. So, she pantomimed lifting up her shirt and actually said, "Wheeeeeee!!!". I had a great laugh and decided I really liked that guard.

She then read off the name of each prisoner. The visitors were supposed to raise their hands and say "here" when they heard their prisoner, and she would announce the visitation room. One guy obviously had a HUGE chip on his shoulder, and gave her this weird look and said, "Present". Whatever. However, he did capture Screaming Banshee Child #1, so I can't totally hate him.

We were then let go to walk down to the visiting areas. The hallway was painted very drab, no windows, all concrete. It was very depressing and somewhat claustrophobic. As we were walking down, my companions were muttering, "Please don't let us be in the same room as the kids, please please please please..." Well, the gods have a sense of humor, because guess who was in our room?

The visiting rooms are small, concrete rooms. There's a stool in the middle of each cubicle, and glass in the concrete so you can see your prisoner. There's metal mesh on the sides so you can theoretically hear them. Sound quality isn't that great under the best of circumstances, and you have to be within about 8" of the grates to hear anything. Add in banshees #1 and #2, and it was tough to hear much of anything. I tried to be patient, since they were there to see Mommy, but ARGH!!!!!

We actually got to the room right about 5:30 on the nose, and we got to visit til 6. At 6, a voice on the loudspeaker announced that visitation was over. On the prisoner side of the room, a metal door slid open, and they were expected to get up and leave.

It was very interesting, but I can imagine how horrific it is to be on the other side. It reaffirmed my decision to obey the laws, or at least make sure that if I ever do decide to do anything to put me in jail, to never get caught.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Brushing a horse's teeth?!

We had a really great day today. K heard that Ogden had a new orchestra (currently just a strings section), and that they would be performing for free at the Ogden Farmer's Market. She was dying to go listen to them, and I thought it sounded like a lot of fun.

Imagine my delight when I realized that the orchestra was performing right next to the playground! K sat on the grass and listened/watched the orchestra, and I watched the younger three play on the playground while enjoying the music. It sounded absolutely amazing.

My attention was soon drawn to a man and his horse. The horse was decked out in beautiful hand tooled saddle and bags, etc. His handler was wearing an old west sheriff's outfit, and having him dance to the music- stomping his feet, turning in circles, etc. Sundance was also kicking balls around to the delight of the children around him. Ron Gardiner also had trading cards that he gave out to the children that featured a photo of him and his horse.
S wanted to come meet the horse, and Mr Gardiner wiggled Sundance's lips so that he seemed to be "speaking" to her. He asked if S wanted to brush the horse's teeth. Well, of COURSE she did!
I don't think I've seen her smile that big in a long time, and S is a very smilie child.

I have to admit I was really intrigued by the duo, and decided to look them up when I got home. I have to admit I was somewhat horrified by the article I found (linked HERE). To sum up, Mr. Gardiner retired just over a year ago after 37 years of service to the Ogden Police Department (seriously? He doesn't look old enough, does he?). He almost died from carbon monoxide poisoning from a call he went on in 2006. In 2007, he suffered a head injury in a training exercise. He's since had three brain surgeries. Going through all that has left him unable to work, and so he had a medical retirement last year.

Ogden city has offered him $90,000 as a settlement, which equals out to about 15k a year, assuming he lives another 20 years. They figure since they see him at the farmer's market, he should be plenty capable of working full time.

I really hope that Mr. Gardiner can get the settlement he's asking for. It seems to me that his injuries are from trying to protect and serve the people. I think it's the people's turn to protect and serve him!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The kids are growing up

Lately, I've been more and more aware of just how quickly my kids are growing up. Some things are obvious and noticeable (like K not being able to wear my shoes, or passing me in height). Others are smaller.

I recently took the child safety lock off of our kitchen sink because I had to get to something in the back. I simply didn't bother reattaching it because I wasn't concerned that the kids would get into the chemicals there.

Today Z noticed the lock was off when I had him put away the bottle of window cleaner. (I've been letting him spray it on the walls and wiping it off with a rag, much to his joy). He was very concerned that the lock wasn't on there, and got it put back on there himself. I guess this is why I never bothered childproofing with him much- he always figured out how the locks worked almost immediately, thereby rendering them useless.I had another moment of realization this morning. I still tend to follow automotive trends and new cars that are coming out. This morning, I read an article about the 2011 Honda Odyssey, which will hit showroom floors at the end of the month. They had two new features that interested me: First, they have redesigned their minivan so that three carseats can be in the middle row, and all three can be attached with LATCH and a tether strap. Two more carseats can be latched in the back row. Now, I'm still way too vain to drive a minivan, but I was really impressed for a minute.

Then it hit me:

My time to worry about tethering multiple carseats is almost behind me (no pun intended).

Z is still in a five point harness. S was until about a month ago, when we cleaned out the car and never reinstalled her carseat, and just tossed a booster seat in when we realized we'd forgotten. Her seat will go back into our car. Z's carseat will expire in December, and I think at that point, I'll have S's bigger seat go to him, and let her use a belt positioning booster seat.

I gleefully donated my maternity clothes and threw away the nursing bras.

I find myself getting worked up about junior high school policies, not the latest and greatest in baby gear.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The amazing harvest of oddly colored vegetables continues...

We harvested our carrots this week! We bought Burpee's Organic Kaleidoscope Carrot seeds. I did not follow many of the directions. I made two rows about 3 feet long each, and then divided and dumped the seeds in each row. I've never been able to thin plants like the instructions say, so I didn't thin them at all.
Here's our harvest after pulling them out of the ground:

And, after cutting the tops off and scrubbing them a bit:
Isn't that just amazing? They taste just like the regular carrots. A couple of interesting notes: The purple on the carrots is just on the surface. Once you take the skin off, they just look like a slightly darker orange color.
The white carrots have a stronger flavor than average carrots, but still are very tasty.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Went Shooting

This was a very unusual Labor Day Weekend for us. It's the first time since we've been married (that I can remember, anyway) where we did NOT go camping. We didn't even have a particular reason. We moved our big family trip back a couple weeks so it wouldn't be so crowded like labor day usually is. I figured our small family would end up going camping, but it just never panned out.

J's younger brother has expressed an interest in joining "the boys" for their favorite pastime- going out on the ATVs to the wilderness, and then shooting stuff. They don't hunt, they just set up targets or annihilate dead trees and rocks. J, our BIL, J's brother, and his dad all made arrangements to go on a ride and go shooting today. J really, really wanted me to go, and was trying to talk me into it all weekend. I fell prey to the typical "mommy guilt" and felt bad about leaving the kids so long. Finally, we decided that I'd go, and then we'd go do something fun after J and I got back.

We had a nice ride, and then went shooting. The boys were were sweet and anxious to have me try out each gun that they had. I tell you what, between the bunch of them, I think we could've had a pretty good chance of taking over Idaho, militias and all! I don't remember all that I shot, though I know I shot a 22 pistol, as well as a 22 rifle. I shot a Mouser, and I also shot an AK 74 (? I KNOW it wasn't a 47, and I'm pretty sure they said it was a 74). I thought I did rather well, if I do say so myself. I managed to not get a black eye or bruised shoulder from the kickbacks, and had pretty good aim. I even managed to blow the top off of a flower. Before I could get too cocky (ha ha), I had to remind myself that the AK (my favorite gun, and the one I shot the most rounds on), had both a scope and a rifle rest. And we weren't that far from the targets. But, considering I've only shot guns once or twice in my life, and both times were BEFORE I got married, I'll say that I wasn't too bad.

We got home, and J brought his gun (in its' case) into the house. Z saw the case and asked what it was. J told him it was a gun.

"Ohhhhhhh. For shooting bears?"

"Um, sure. I guess."

That was the end of it for a while. We aren't a hunting family. J has never gone hunting to my knowledge, and he's never got the gun out in front of the kids. We don't shoot animals.

We got everything safely put away and cleaned up, then took the kids to the Iceburg and to see Despicable Me. As we were getting into the car to go home, Z pipes up from the back seat, "So we can go shoot bears now?"

I have no idea where the kid gets it, but he sure cracks me up.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

May as well paint the car yellow

I may as well paint my car yellow and write "bus" on the side. Seems like all I do is drive kids to and from schools.

I'll write out a typical day on Friday (my busiest day) and Tuesday (my least busy day).


7:20 AM: Leave the house to drive middle school carpool. Pick up 5 kids. Drop one off about halfway (he goes to a different junior high), and then continue on to the junior high where the other kids go.
8:10: Arrive back home, hoping that the younger kids are ready to go. Rush around helping with final day preparatons.
8:20: Drive spectrum school carpool, which involves picking up two kids. Take them to their spectrum school.
8:35: Drive back towards home so that I can drop S off at the neighborhood school.
8:45: Drop S off, have a minor scuffle over whether or not she needs me to walk her to her class or not (she will be winning this battle starting next week, and I'll stay in the car).
9-10am: Go to the gym
10:50: Pick S up from school
12:15: Take Z to school
1:25: pick up the boys from the spectrum school
3:15: Pick Z up from school

The nice thing is that with the junior high carpool, I don't have to pick up after school.

Tuesday Schedule:

8:20- Leave to drive spectrum carpool
8:45- Drop S at school
9:00- Drop Z off at neighborhood preschool
9:00- go to the gym
11:00- Pick up Z from neighborhood preschool
11:30- pick up S

And then I'm done for the day. I am in a carpool for spectrum school, but the other mother told me yesterday that they're moving to california in October, so I'll have to start picking the boys up after school starting then. I'm disappointed because it's been really nice. In addition, her son seems to be getting along really well with M, so I'm sad he'll be losing a friend.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

a flaw in the plan

So, when I bought chickens, I decided to start saving my egg cartons so I could use them to store my eggs. I also figured we'd probably get more eggs than we needed, and I could use these extra cartons to sell the extras.

I normally buy the "large" size eggs at the grocery store.

Here's a picture of 11 "large" eggs, along with one of Lucy's eggs.
I'm not sure if the angle is right, but try and compare Lucy's egg with the one next to it. Yep. There's a size difference.
The carton won't even CLOSE with one of Lucy's eggs in it. Not sure how much of a bigger wreck it would be if the entire dozen was that big.

I have to admit I hadn't even thought about that when I started hoarding egg cartons. Oops.