Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Slightly Blasphemous again!

Ok, if you missed the original "slightly blasphemous" post, you need to read it.

Back already? Tonight I REALLY wanted an indicator light!!!!!!!!

Toph is having asthma issues. We've beefed up the meds. He's taking "rescue inhaler" hits as directed. He's taking treatments on the "hooka" (that's our term for a treatment on the nebulizer). He's still coughing his guts out!

My experience with KID asthma is almost entirely my own. Toph's usually responds to home treatments, so I don't have to worry much..... "Back in the day," they treated kid asthma attacks with adrenaline shots, then a breathing treatment or two, and another, long-acting adrenaline shot. Back in the stone age. This was before most asthmatics had nebulizers at home. This is not the way they treat asthma in kids now.

I don't have a pulse-ox machine. Trust me, if cost weren't an issue, I think I'd invest. That would certainly take the guess work out of it! Kid coughing--takes meds--still coughing (his sign of asthma doom)--hooka treatment--still coughing--water and water and wondering if we'll have to visit the ER--blessed silence of coughing. He's still breathing; I checked a few times.

THIS SUCKS!!!! At one point, he asked me to call the doctor--yeah, they don't really answer the phone at 10:30 pm. I believe we've avoided an ER visit tonight. We WON'T be missing a trip in to see the doctor tomorrow. He's been religiously taking the meds, so I think it's time to kick it up a notch--yuck, that means Prednisone! It sucks, but what keeps you alive is what you do.

I still wish I had those stupid indicator lights, so I'd know if it was "just" coughing, or if we needed to seek medical attention NOW. My internet medical degree is being challenged too much! I am but a mere mortal Mom--I guess we'll have to go with our beloved Dr. Jone's motto: Always trust the Mama Instinct. It hasn't failed me yet.

Surfer Boys

(To properly view this post, you need to sing some Beach Boys songs in your mind. I don't know how to do that on the blog for you.)

Robert has been taking some surfing lessons from a couple of guys at work. He's enjoying this new form of exercise a LOT--even though he has only been working on sitting on the board. The standing will come with practice; I have no doubt.

This past weekend, Robert took the kids to a surf shop and purchased some "spring suits" for them--wet suits that are short sleeved and short legged and maybe not as thick. And since we haven't been together as a family to the beach in a YEAR, we remedied that situation. Sad, I know. We live here and even the kids and I have only been ONCE the whole summer. What is wrong with us?! (Part of it is that I am unenthusiastic to find a parking spot in the summer.)

Look at his face! He's having FUN!

Well, we all had a good time. Toph and Robert got to boogie board. Hannah did what she loves to do best at the beach--collect shells. She's decided to be afraid of the ocean, so she's not really "into" swimming or even jumping over the waves. I think that will come with a bit of practice. I got to do one of my favorite things too--listen to the waves (small as they were) crash AND take pictures and video of my favorite people. (I don't know how to get the video onto the blog, so that will wait for another day.)

What I didn't count on was the MUCH cooler weather at the beach. Inland, where we live, it was blue skies and sunny and fairly warm. At the beach, it was hazy/foggy and not very warm. The water was 66 so it had a bit of "bite" until you got in all the way or got used to it (not very long, really). But sitting on the beach, I was wanting a blanket to wrap myself up in--I ended up stealing the blanket we had on the sand.

Boys boogie boarded and Hannah collected shells and was working on a sand castle. At one point, she introduced herself to a little girl next to us, and they worked on the sand together. We were at the beach about 2 1/2 hours, and I'm sure we'll be doing it again soon. Afterward we were all hammered tired (see previous post about the weird virus), but it was SURE NICE to see the ocean again. That's my happy place.

Weird Virus

Ok, so my internet medical degree (from WebMd--it's a JOKE!) did not prepare me for the weird virus we seem to have caught. I understand that the first 2 years of school your kid will bring home every germ known to man and get sick more often. We experienced the truth of that with Toph starting school. We lived through is first 2 years, and now we're getting to do it with Hannah.

What I've not experienced before is the apparent virus we've all been suffering from. It has seemingly random symptoms: FATIGUE, headache (migraine?), stomach issues--usually involving the lower part of the digestive process and/or nausea, "junky" cough/asthma. All of us have had it--at least 2 of the symptoms. I didn't really catch onto this until the weekend. Because we seem to get sick in time for the weekend--it's really NOT a plot to skip Church. I guess the good thing is that the kids don't have to miss school and we are all able to just REST and try to get better. But I'm really ready to have another weekend of PLAY time! We did manage to sneak in some play time last weekend--but I hadn't figured out the virus thing yet.

By Saturday afternoon, I finally clued in that this was more than an isolated "thing." Hannah had had a "junky" cough, stomach complaints, and a headache for 2 days. Since she is prone to complaining about ALL physical ailments, real or imagined, I didn't give her much sympathy. Toph had the cough and stomach problems and he seemed less energetic than usual AND he's had bad asthma. I have suffered from fatigue and headache, but I don't sleep, so those aren't too unusual--but the fatigue was more than normal. I also have had breathing problems. Robert got struck with the fatigue--he slept most of Sunday, after sleeping Saturday night, AND he slept all of Sunday night. He also had stomach issues and had a raging headache (which sounded like a migraine).

The thing is, we haven't felt "sick," so it took some time to catch onto the fact that this is "something" we've caught. Now I'm ready to have a break and get back to normal. Anyone for some NON-ill weekend time?

Another Bookshelf.....

So I'm checking my Google Reader, (which has more than 40 new posts!) and I see another really cool bookshelf.

Isn't that a cool idea? I think it would be GREAT for Toph's bedroom (he has a loft bed), since he loves to read in bed and have a water bottle. We could hook up his new "inverted" shelf, and his water bottle could go on top. No more squished books with messed up pages, and no hunting for the water bottle.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Last weekend, my cousin, Daniel, and his wife Kham came to stay with us--they were having a late celebration of their 2nd anniversary. We LOVED having them stay with us and getting to spend time with them. (Although, Daniel may not have enjoyed it as much--Hannah was on him like white on rice. I think she's "got a love attack" on her cousin.)

On Saturday we all went to the Zoo. We saw lots of animals--the Koala Bear were even moving (some of them). We only saw the Panda Bears from the bus--the line to look at them was WAY too long. We trekked up to the Polar Bears. We looked at the Elephants and Giraffes and Meerkats.

As a special shout-out to my niece, Maddy, we briefly saw an Anaconda snake on our way through the Reptile House. We were kind of hurrying at the end, so we only saw it for a second.

On our way down from the Polar Bears, we saw the Zebras. They were being VERY friendly. So friendly, in fact, that it was impossible to tell if they were participating in animal foreplay or just horsing around. We adults seem to think that it would have been quite EDUCATIONAL to hang around.... As we were QUICKLY passing through, Topher piped up with: "Oh look, the Zebras are doing a TRICK!" I didn't know that Zebras turned tricks.....

Thursday, September 18, 2008

More Recipes!

When I'm not reading books, I might be reading recipes. I DO love to cook, although I haven't done much with my culinary skills as of late. I love to read recipes though. I've got a TON of cookbooks, and I subscribe to Saving Dinner. I also keep track of tipnut.com and today there were crock pot recipes on Tip Nut. YIPPEE!!

Now we just need weather conducive to crock pot recipes. I've been in a real cooking rut lately, so this was just what I needed!

Happy cooking!

Read-A-Holic Heaven

Anyone who KNOWS me knows that I'm a Read-A-Holic. Walking into a bookstore and just SMELLING all of the books brings me such great joy--sick, I know.

Occasionally through my stalking or internet musings I see something REALLY cool. Today I just have to share them--both are bookcases. Because if you're a Read-A-Holic, there's a good chance you have more books than you have space for.

First bookcase came from Lifehacker:

This next one is SO cool--built into the apartment. It has some drawbacks, but the concept is COOL! You need to link over and read the article--there's more pictures--because this one picture doesn't do it justice!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I realize as I look back upon my blog that I don't talk about my Toph very often. He's simply not as entertaining as Hannah--in the sense that he does not provide us with FUNNY stories to tell.

Toph has always been a pretty easy kid. He slept through the night at 2 weeks--I'm NOT lying! (He'd give me 5-6 hours at that age.) He's been fairly calm and centered. He LOVES to cuddle. He LOVES me, and Robert, and Hannah (most of the time). And, of course, he LOVES video games!

When I think of Toph, the adjectives that come to mind are compassionate, caring, loving, sweet, innocent, curious, funny, and squeezable.

True, we are not without our moments! I couldn't have said all of that as easily between his 2-4-year-old years. He gave me more throw down tantrums than I could count--and I wondered if I'd live through it. Sometimes I wondered if HE'D live through it. But he came through on the other side even better than before!

I can't say enough about my boy. He's a great addition to our family. We had to fight and pray and work hard to get him--that process was grueling--and worth every second!

So, when I don't blog interesting tidbits about Toph, it's not for lack of love--JUST lack of good material! Toph is fairly quiet. He loves nothing better than to play Warhawk on the PS3 or Super Mario Smash Party 8 (or something) on the Wii or play on the computer on Webkinz--and try to get his friends to meet him. He loves to snuggle and KISS me! He's the calm in our storm--usually. I cannot say enough good about my favorite boy--I just LOVE LOVE LOVE him, and I can't imagine life without him. Toph, you're AMAZING! Even if you don't provide as many funny stories as your sister....

Cheers to Chipotle!

Our hats off to you, Chipotle! Today Chipotle celebrated readers by giving a free burrito, salad, bowl, order of tacos, or quesadilla to anyone who had a library card (SD area). Robert came home from work a little early and we got there at 5:13. Quite a healthy line and people just kept coming and coming and coming and coming.

The worker bees were FANTASTIC! They weren't short with anyone, they were hustling, and just because we basically got dinner for FREE, they didn't cook like they were just giving it away.

We had to go to the library last night to get Robert and Hannah library cards for today. I'm glad we're readers here, and I'm glad that someone decided to celebrate reading! Hats off for Chipotle!

Who said that there's no such thing as a free lunch (in this case dinner)?

Slightly Blasphemous.....

This weekend, as Hannah was not feeling well, I was thinking again that if I was in charge of all creations (that's the blasphemous part), I'd make humans with some kind of indicator light. I haven't decided if it would be a dot behind the ear or if it would be on the toenails, or where it would be--somewhere kind of hidden, but easy to get to.

This indicator light would help us parents know things: if the person is contagious, if it's throat, ears, or something else, what we should do (doctor?). It would benefit us as adults too--should I go to the doctor or just suffer a couple more days?

Wouldn't that be SO COOL???!!!! Not that I don't love my Heavenly Father, but if the kid can't come with an owner's manual, an indicator light would REALLY be nice! Even after the kid speaks, it would be nice--no more "I've got a tummy ache" days home from school!

As you can tell, the idea hasn't reached maturity yet, but I think about it all the time.....

Monday, September 15, 2008

We are Swimming!

We had swimming lessons this summer, for the 2 weeks immediately AFTER school got out. Swim lessons started at 9, so I wasn't sure how getting my "night owl" up and about was going to work. Some days, it wasn't easy. I guess the 9 am time was a great one, because many people didn't sign up for the really early session. We opted to do swim lessons at the local high school, taught by high school students (under the supervision of a teacher, of course). I wasn't expecting GRAND things, and I was mainly doing it for exposure--this being the first-ever lessons we'd had.

Toph has been terrified of the water, FREAKING if he got water on his face in the shower. Last year he'd probably gotten over it enough to do lessons, but we were so new to SD that I couldn't deal with it. This year was THE YEAR! We've enjoyed going to the beach so much that I wanted my kids to be safe in the water. Hannah was born part-fish, so I didn't think it would be hard for her. I was pleasantly surprised with both kids.....

Hannah had Miss Rebecca for a teacher. She and another girl from our ward at Church were in the same class--just the two of them! LOVED it! Hannah was more adventurous than her brother, and I felt like she was more progressed by the end of the lessons--because she's not afraid of the water.

Topher had Mr. Brandon for his teacher. He and another boy from our ward at Church were in the same class--just the two of them! Toph needed to be pushed more than his friend (or sister). My happiest times were watching him jump into the pool (without holding onto Mr. Brandon's hands) and seeing him swim back to the steps by himself on the last day! WAY TO GO, Toph! He has come SO far this year!

After spending time in Fresno shortly after swim lessons were over, Uncle Matt (a former swim instructor) said that both kids should swim WITHOUT floaties any more! When we were in Fresno, we abided by that, and the kids really improved! When we were back in SD, we'd go without floaties at the pool parties whenever Mom was close by (for Toph). Hannah did her own thing, and she ended up swimming without floaties most of the time, regardless of where Mom was.

Hard to believe these are the same 2 kids who were "non-swimmers" at the beginning of the summer, isn't it? Now we just need to get back to the beach!

Time for some PHOTOS!

Remember my post about Princess Camp back in, say, JULY?

Here's a few photos:

Hannah Before the second day--dressed to impress for "High School Musical" day.

Hannah with her teachers on the last day.

This is what Toph did lots of while Hannah was gone being a Princess..... Surprising? NOT!

Mini Monk

It's no secret that I enjoy the TV show Monk. I'm LOVING it, and I'm HATING that USA is one of the channels we don't get with our downsized Dish. I'm LOVING that I can watch it from the net--not as good quality, but I can watch almost every episode. Cool.

It's also no secret that Hannah has recently started school. Did you know that they teach the even/odd number concept IN KINDERGARTEN?! There's a bunch of stuff they teach in Kindergarten that they used to teach in 1st or 2nd grade--basically today's Kindergarten is the "stone age's" 1st grade. Except I don't remember learning about even/odd numbers that early, but it's been a long time.....

Hannah is OBSESSED with even numbers: when she puts out her hopscotch squares, she won't put out the #9, because then she'd have an odd number. When she gives "hot 5's" every night before bed ("HIGH 5's for everyone else), she MUST give an even number. When she takes crackers, pieces of candy, or cookies, she'd prefer an even number--of course, that's also a ploy to get MORE (I'm OLD, but not DUMB!). She's just obsessed! Thank goodness she has an even number of arms and legs--when will she realize that she has an ODD number of fingers on each hand? When that happens, I'll just point out that if you add up all the fingers on both hands, it's an even number.....

I love my Mini-Monk!

Monday Musing......

2 years ago.....

I was freaking out! Our house was on the market and we were down to 1/2 of the time allotted to our packing-getting out of town wrap-up. Robert had accepted the job here in SD, and he needed to wrap up his stuff with his old job. We needed to get our house ready to sell (like a full-time job), and we needed to pack the stuff we NEEDED to pack. (If you missed it before, you can read more about this in "Fresno Factoids.")

Our adventure would be 2-part: "homeless shelter" (aka: corporate housing) followed by the "real" move. Although we'd be in a fully-furnished apartment, there were some things I needed to pack myself. I devised a system for packing that allowed the movers to know what was what. Of course, we wrote on the outside of the boxes, but we also used colored tape. Yellow tape was something that had to go in the car with us; orange tape meant it was fragile; blue tape meant that it was going to the "homeless shelter" with us; and absence of yellow or blue meant that it would go into storage for 3 months. It was quite an adventure!

Needless to say, when one is moving 10 years of life in under 30 days, it's a bit chaotic! I NEVER would have made it through that freaking out time in my life without the kind help of many people. But 3 folks who need a special mention are: Kristi--she came over with a piece of paper and gave me perspective. She also told me to pile up stuff on the front porch and SHE ran things all over the place when I was giving things away. She saved me HOURS of time and probably saved my mind at the same time. I love her. Junell--she likes to yard sale. Junell sold ANYTHING I sent to her for me and then gave me the money. I did NO work for this! She also came to collect things that I was leaving behind on more than one occasion. She also loaned me money "just in case" I had a month of double rent/mortgage--a BIG secret fear that I had. I didn't even ask for it! I love her too. Wendy--is a surrogate mother to my children, but at this point, she lived an hour away. She took the kids for an entire weekend toward the end of our Fresno adventure, so that Robert and I could WORK non-stop, without having to worry about who was underfoot. SHE is AMAZING!!! I can not say enough about Wendy, and I love her like a sister from another mother. Now she lives too far away to visit often, and I really miss her. Thanks ladies for enriching my life and making my last days of Fresno adventure lots less stressful!

I have a habit of stressing out in advance of things. Moving was a stress of another level. I'd never lived ANYWHERE else. ALL of my family (except my sister, Laura) live in Fresno, and I'd never lived away from them, so that stressed me out too. My biggest "after we move" stresses were that I'd never be able to find my way around. I'm directionally impaired, and I don't read maps very easily. I envisioned myself in a BIG new place, totally unable to find my way back home. This terrified me. Google maps literally SAVED my sanity! For weeks, I'd plot out all of the places I needed to go with Google maps, and that's how I found my way around. I was fortunate enough to never run into major construction during the times I was totally dependant on the maps. And I discovered that HERE I can do N, S, E, and W a LOT easier than in Fresno. Who knew? Left and Right are still a mystery most of the time, but that's a brain problem.....

I was also stressing about being away from family and friends. I knew I'd make new friends, but to not have a support base already was scary. I have the Church, and that is a kind of "instant family." That hit me really hard the first time we went to Church in SD. I was a blubbering idiot, because it HIT that I wasn't ALONE and that there were people here who could really help me.

My other stress was having to find new doctors. I had the best of the best in Fresno, and we USE doctors frequently, so someone sub-par was NOT something I was interested in. I found a good doctor for myself, on the recommendation of friends. Robert found a much better doctor (than in Fresno) for himself. And after 3 tries, we have a pediatrician for the kids who I like a lot. He's not Dr. Jones because Dr. Jones is one of a kind, but I think he's close. And we've had health issues since moving, but nothing as frequent as in Fresno. Thank goodness for clean air!

My last stress was of a more selfish origin. I knew I'd have to find a new hair lady! Yes, hair grows back. But I wanted to find someone who could understand ME and cut my hair accordingly. And I wanted someone who would understand that I'm hair-retarded and need an easy to pull off style--and someone who would be HONEST with me when I brought a picture in of a hair style I liked. I found Renee the first time I went for a hair cut, and she's been like an angel from heaven. She totally "gets" me and she's not afraid to say things like, "but that person doesn't have even HALF your hair" or "that's going to require a LOT of maintenance each day." My entire family goes to Renee now, so when we walk in, this already popular stylist gets REAL busy!

So 2 years ago, I was in SUPER-FREAKOUT mode. My life as I knew it was changing dramatically, and I don't do change easily. Now I look at the calendar and wonder, "has it REALLY been 2 years?" It seems like we got here last week, and it also seems like we've been here forever--weird. HERE seems like HOME now, and Fresno feels like a place we visit, and when I reach the place in my trip where I see the ocean for the first time, I know that HOME is just around the corner. Was it hard? YES! Were we blessed? YES! Beyond anything we could have dreamed. Was it worth it? YES! (other helpers mentioned in "comments.")

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Chicken Salad Recipe

Ok, first of all, I only use a recipe when I HAVE to--when being accurate matters. Having said that, I'll be happy to share my recipe for Sweet Chicken Salad. I MUST give credit to my sister, Aimee though. She gave me the recipe.

Sweet Chicken Salad

Cooked chicken breasts (sometimes I use canned)
Salt, pepper, garlic powder (I use Nature's Seasons)
Granny Smith apples
Crushed pineapple
Slivered almonds (from the salad area of the grocery--Garlic Caesar was the flavor)

Cook your chicken. I've used grilled, crock pot, boiled, and canned. Doesn't matter. Chunk or shred it in a bowl. Add enough mayonnaise to make it moist. Then add a squirt or two of mustard (I don't like enough to really TASTE it). Then sprinkle your seasoning over the whole mess. I tend to go heavy on the garlic. I smash/crush most of the almonds up, because I serve this to people who think they don't like nuts. Cut up the celery and apples (I like small pieces). Toss some in--to your taste. I drain the crushed pineapple and throw some in too--I like enough to get it sweet and moist, but I don't want a big mouthful. THAT'S IT!!!

For a batch as big as I made tonight, I used 4 cans of chicken, 4-5 stalks of celery, 1 1/2 apples, and 2/3 of a big can of pineapple. Obviously, you can adjust to make a bigger or smaller batch.

Happy Cooking!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Abducted by ALIENS

Dear Aliens,

The child you left to replace Hannah LOOKS like her and even SOUNDS like her, but you gave her an extra dose of DRAMA that we really didn't need to begin with. Could you PLEASE come back and switch us?! Pretty please? If you can't switch her back, would you please come get ME? I can't take much more of this!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Different Kind of Pee Dream......

So, if you're a frequent blog stalker (that's NOT a bad thing, by the way), you know that sleep and I have a love/hate relationship. I love to sleep and my body hates to, or so it seems......

I was in bed before midnight last night (gasp!). I was still awake at 1:10 (rats!). This with the help of sleep aids and NO caffeine after 12 (Noon). Doesn't seem to matter anyway.

Robert was supposed to be going into work before 5 (yes, AM) so when I woke up right before 6 and he wasn't in bed, I didn't panic.

I thought I wasn't going to get back to sleep. I heard some noise and was trying to figure out what it was (without opening my eyes or getting out of the bed). Apparently I fell back to sleep!

I dreamed we were late to school, because I forgot to turn on the alarm clock (and my human alarm (aka: Toph) didn't do his job). Then I looked at the clock........7:50!!! Uh Oh! It was just like a pee dream, only I didn't wake up about to, WE WERE LATE!!!

On a good note, I FELL BACK TO SLEEP!!! And during the times I was sleeping last night, I slept GOOD! YIPPEE!!!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Engagement and Marriage

Diane commented on my "Tagged" post, so I figured this story bears some telling.

Robert and I are not "the norm" in any respect. We like being unique. Our courtship and marriage is part of that unique story.......

Rewind to 1997. That's when Robert moved to Fresno and began attending the University Ward, where I attended Church. His roommate was a friend of my sister, so they attended the Sunday School class I helped teach. I thought that Robert was nice, and I loved to hear him read, so I always called upon him to read things when I was teaching. We were both actively pursuing other people, so I didn't have designs on him. I didn't know him.

My friend, Alicia, and I put together several "girls ask the guys out" dates and other parties during the course of a year. In November we were having a murder mystery party, and we decided to ask Robert to come, so we could get to know him better (still not "interested" in each other though). We had a good time, and that night Robert learned that I was not the "boring Molly Mormon" he'd thought. I met him at the door with purple, spiked hair; nose ring (fake), spider tattoo (also fake), leather dog collar and leather coat, and IBC cream soda (no label). He didn't recognize me right away. I'd post a picture, but I haven't found that box since the move. My character was "Sunny Bodine" and she was a BAD Biker Babe--she was the leader of a ladie's biker gang. Anyway, that kind of began a more social contact for the two of us, but we were still actively pursuing others.

In December, I got really sick (I know, SO weird!). I knew that Robert had to drive right past my house to go to Church, and I asked him to come pick up my lesson materials for my partner teacher--it was my turn to teach that week, and I was NOT up to it! I left the front door unlocked and told him that what he needed was on the dining room table. He called down the hall and asked if there was anything I needed. And that was the beginning...... still not interested in each other though........

Every day that week (and I was really sick--some respiratory thing that knocked me on my butt!), Robert would call or come by. He brought me Sprite when I was feeling nauseated. He called to make sure I didn't need anything. Robert was being Robert. He genuinely cares about other people and he takes his committments seriously. He actively tries to help others. This was during the time of finals for him though, so his time was limited. Some days he and Rick (his roommate) came by to check on me; other days he just called. Then, when I was feeling better, Robert and Rick would come by to watch movies or hang out. I started to realize that I was looking forward to these times.

But I WASN'T interested in Robert. After all, he's younger than me, was still in school, has facial hair, and his name is ROBERT. There are plenty of Robert's in my life: my grandpa, my dad, my brother, and now my husband..... I voiced this to my friend, Alicia, once, and she called me on it! Alicia told me that those were some pretty ridiculous reasons to NOT give someone a chance--what if I blew off a chance for something really GOOD for THOSE reasons. It was at that point that I started to think, "maybe....."

Toward the end of December, we were pretty much hanging out all the time. Robert went grocery shopping with me for school (I taught cooking), we washed our cars, we cooked together, we watched lots of movies, and we talked a LOT (I know, it's a stretch of the imagination to think of either of us talking). Right after Christmas, I considered that we were "dating" but we'd never been on a traditional date. We'd logged HOURS together, but not the formal, "dinner and a movie" kind of hours.

The first week in January, I went to lunch with my sister, Laura, and I told her that I was going to marry Robert. She almost passed out in shock as she asked, "You're not TALKING about that yet, are you?!" No, but I KNEW that I'd marry him. January 23rd, he kind of asked. I didn't say yes, I said something like, "duh."

We'd NEVER discussed marriage--NEVER! I was scared to death to bring it up. But apparently, Robert had been thinking about it too, because when I got to school on the morning of the 23rd, the Principal caught me and said that he needed to talk to me, and he asked me to wait on the "naughty bench." I was wondering if I was going to get chewed out because I was getting to school about 5-10 minutes later than I should have. The bell rang and Jack still hadn't talked to me. I waited another minute and decided that I had to GO--I had kids waiting for me. I opened the door and on my chalk board were the words:
How do you feel about
Maree Elizabeth Nickel
for eternity?

To say that I was shocked or speechless was an understatement. I was also very happy. But the first words out of my mouth (he was hiding in my room) were not, "YES" but "can I erase the board?" I'm sure that made Robert nervous--and he doesn't really get nervous. But I didn't want to share that wonderful moment with my room full of 7th graders. I wanted to savor it for a moment myself. He says he had to ASK me and that I said, "DUH!" I only have a vague recollection of this.

The rest of that day was SHOT! My thanks to my many friends who covered my class while I wandered around the school spreading my good news with my friends at work. I left early that day and we went to see my parents and some of my other relatives. That night we had our first "official" date (previously scheduled), so we were engaged before we ever went on a formal date.

If my daughter did that, I think I'd croak! But I was OLD. I wasn't an 18-year-old girl. I'd dated enough to know what I was looking for, and I recognized that in Robert (once I got over the whole younger, facial hair, name thing).

So it wasn't a stretch to have a short engagement. We knew we wanted to get married. Why waste time waiting?! We were married 74 days later in the San Diego Temple. It was the BEST decision either of us has ever made, and I haven't regretted a minute of it. I'd do it all again. But I'd warn Robert that my eyes leak when I'm happy--when he saw me that morning at the Temple, he wondered if I'd changed my mind. I wouldn't want him to re-live that panic! Now it has been more than 10 years. I love him even more now than I did then.

Pictures for this post must be scanned first--check back next week if you want to see photos. Uh, I guess I really DO have CRS, because I kind of blogged about this already.....See THIS post for the photos. I was wrong when I wrote that post--it really is 74 days engaged, not 71. Math genius, I am not.

Wicked Workout!

This week has been......interesting.

I need to backtrack to Tuesday for this post. I'm enjoying my new "freedom" while the kids are in school. I can do WHATEVER I choose! It's almost too much!

I love working in their classrooms, and those times are absolutely my happiest times during the week. I also love being able to work around my home, undisturbed.

I didn't intend to work in the garage THIS week. But I got sidetracked when I went to put some laundry in the washer and ended up working in the garage for 2 1/2 hours. It was AMAZING! And it was HOT! I was sweating like a pig--probably worse than a pig. I kept getting a big drink every time I'd bring something inside to put away. I finally stopped when I realized that not only was I sweating, I was also shaking and I had a ROARING headache. It was lunch time anyway. So I went upstairs to take my second shower of the day (Mother Nature still hasn't answered that letter I sent), and I decided to weigh again. I weighed before the first shower, so I had a reference point. I'd lost FOUR pounds! That's a LOT of sweat! And I was drinking water the whole time I was working in the garage.

I took the rest of the day off! I had a long, COLD shower. Then I lay on my bed under the ceiling fan until I'd cooled off. Then I drank some more water. I think I need to learn how to pace myself better. I'm thinking I had a mild case of heat exhaustion, and I'm not anxious to do that again. But what a wicked workout! FOUR pounds in 2 1/2 hours! And I was lifting stuff too, so I was working a few muscles. I think I'll prop the door open next time though.

Uh, COMMENTS Please!

I have a request for my readers......

If you stalk my blog, I'm happy!

But it's nice to know that people are reading. I'd LOVE an occasional comment--of the nice variety. If you stalk me and have NEVER left a comment--do it! If you don't know how, try to and follow the prompts to set up a Google account. It takes like 32 seconds and it's FREE. What have you got to lose?!

Boyfriends and Girlfriends

When Toph started Kindergarten he came home and talked about the GIRLS in his class. So and so is so pretty. So and so has such pretty hair. So and so has cute shoes. I never knew that a 5-year-old BOY noticed such things. He usually went for the girls with long, blond hair.

Fast forward to last year. Soon after school started, Toph announced that he had a girlfriend. I asked what that meant, and he told me that you talk to each other. Sometimes they talked on the phone. It was cute, and he chose a smart girl from his class. There aren't many girls at his school with long, blond hair though, so he chose a very nice Asian girl. The first time she called us was to do homework over the phone. She won my heart with that one.

Last week, Hannah announced that she had a boyfriend. His name is "N." (I'm not allowed to say, for privacy reasons.) Topher then chimed in that he had a girlfriend--FINALLY! (The "FINALLY" kind of worries me!) Her name is "Y." I've become a BIT wiser, and I asked Hannah if "N" KNOWS that he's her boyfriend.....NO, it's a secret! Then I asked Toph if "Y" knew that she was his girlfriend......NO. Hmmmm........ Did last year's girlfriend know that she was a girlfriend? She kind of guessed by the end of the year! Oh yeah, he's faithful, that boy of mine.

Hannah has more than one object of her affection. She has several boys that she has "a love attack" on. She's ONLY 5! I'm in trouble! At least at this age it only means that you talk to one another...... I'm starting to dread the teen years even more. And Hannah is going to need careful watching. Although she won't come out and TELL the boy she loves him, her actions speak louder than a shout sometimes. It's frightening!

TODAY was not the day I ordered either!

(Trying NOT to sound like a total spoiled BRAT) "When can I have a day that I want?"

It started at 2 am this time. Toph came in and gently woke me up (and scared the crap out of me in the process, as I thought some bug was crawling on my arm). He was itchy. He had boogers. His ipod wouldn't stay on. And something else was in there too. I tried to sic Daddy on those problems, but Daddy doesn't wake up as well.

We blew boogers. We got nose spray and saline. We took more Benedryl for the itching. We played with the ipod and tried several things to fix it (to no avail). And Mom decided that Toph was missing his first day of school today. The rash that itches has been there off and on for more than a week. NOTHING I try gets it to go away and stay that way--medications, OTC, lotion, baths, NOTHING! Benedryl makes Toph tired enough to eventually fall asleep, but that's about it. And the nightly waking is killing ME! He's been having nasal allergies lately that haven't responded to our OTC stuff, so it was time to ask for better stuff anyway. Oh, the sore throat. He mentioned that about 3 am.

Because I normally work in the kids' rooms on Friday, Hannah decided to have a total FREAK OUT because I wasn't able to go to school with her. "But I won't be able to see you at Friday Flag! I won't be able to spend time with you at school. " This complete with weeping and wailing and tears and everything. I took some time to cuddle her and took her to school late. She's never cried about school before.

Toph and I hung out at the Doctor's office today. Diagnosis: He has STREP! So if your kids played with him last night at Back to School (sorry, Jen!), beware! You've been exposed! He has no fever. He can still swallow. So I was unprepared for the strep diagnosis! I'm glad we went to the doctor. Now Toph will get better. We have a better antihistimine now too, so Toph won't look like a kid on drugs (RED eyes) and maybe he'll even itch less. I'm dreading next week though, because when 1 person in a family gets strep, there are bound to be others........

On a good note though, the refrigerator didn't lose any more water! And parts of the kitchen floor are positively CLEAN! If only I could spill water all over the sink of dishes and pronounce them clean as easily.....

Thursday, September 4, 2008

NOT the day I'd ordered.....

Well, in keeping with the theme of "not the month I ordered," today I'm having "NOT the day I ordered..." August was brutal for us, and since we're now in September, I was hopeful that the challenges we had last month were behind us. School has started, we're in our routines, I'm enjoying my new "freedom" and am excited about implementing my plans.

So rewind to 4 am. I was coughing my GUTS out! I'm sure I was affecting Robert's sleep too. But since I hadn't been a "coughing asthmatic," I didn't figure it out. Just kept trying to hack up a lung. Toph got up at 4:45, and that woke me all the way up. So I realized that, not only was I trying to cough up my lungs, but I was also having a very hard time breathing.....an asthma attack? It's been so long I'd forgotten what that was like, but that's exactly what was happening. So I took 2 puffs, helped Toph get settled again, and took 2 more puffs. Whew! AND I fell back to sleep (no minor deal for me).

I got up at regular time, showered, got the kids up, and realized that I hadn't made the lunches last night. So I ran downstairs in my sock feet to take care of that, and VOILA--my socks are wet! HUH? Puddles of water on the kitchen floor surrounding my refrigerator. Wet carpet in the dining room. Wet floor in my pantry. Wet everywhere! Something is WRONG! The food in the freezer is still frozen, but the ice cube tray is full of water with a crust of ice on top. GREAT! The refrigerator is possessed.

Because I didn't have ENOUGH laundry to do, now all of my towels will need to be washed because we've used them to sop up all of the water. I am VERY thankful that I have a carpet shampooer, because I used it to get the water out of the carpet. Now a fan is finishing off the rest of the damp. I'm also thankful that I didn't lose the food in the freezer. And I'm even more thankful that I still have extended warranty coverage and that a guy is coming (not until next Thursday) to look at my refrigerator. Let's cross our fingers and hope that it's something minor.

After I'd sopped up all the water I could and put the towels through the spin cycle so I could put them in the dryer, I got to go to the dentist for my fillings. I haven't had a filling in 15 years, or more. I am still REALLY nervous about going in the first place, but this visit involves a needle and the noise of a drill--NOT something I look forward to. Since I was busy dealing with Amana Lake, I hadn't taken time for breakfast, so the grumbling of my stomach just increased my discomfort.

I have to say that I like my dentist. He's very good, he explains everything very well, and he was in tune with my nervousness. It didn't help that part way through the drilling I started to feel things again......more shot (but I didn't feel that one). And I think the anesthesia is different now. After the first shot, my heart rate increased SO much, I was worried that I was going to have a panic attack. I concentrated on taking some deep, calming breaths and telling myself that the hard part was over, but I felt my heart just racing. It happened after the second shot too, so I need to remember to ask the denist if that was the anesthesia. I don't think it was just me being nervous. At any rate, my little filling is done, and now I have 1 less silver filling. Since I was going to be numb anyway, the dentist drilled out the old silver filling and replaced it with one that would last forever.

So this day is gradually getting better.....no more water on the floor when I came home from the dentist, the dread of fillings is over, my refrigerator has an appointment for a repair, and I can move on and DO something that was actually ON my list. I'm even breathing somewhat better.

Hey, let's try having a GREAT day tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Diane tagged me over a week ago. I'm finally catching up!

How to play this game of tag: List: 3 goals, 3 current obsessions/collections, 3 fears, and 3 random surprising facts about yourself. Tag 3 people at the end of your post.

3 Goals: WALK the kids to school at least once/day, Cook something nutritious for dinner at least 3 times a week, Read my scriptures daily.

3 Current Obsessions/Collections: watching the TV series 24 on DVD, READING, preparing everything possible the night before for school the next day (lunches, clothes out, etc.).

3 Fears: speaking into a microphone, earthquakes, something bad happening to Robert or the kids.

3 Random Facts: As a High School senior, I got a bad case of Mono and slept 20 hours/day for more than 3 months; I originally said I'd NEVER teach Middle School or High School (and then I taught Middle School for 8 years); Robert and I were engaged before we went out on our first "official" date.

3 People to Tag: Aimee, Heidi, Laura, and Cody. I'm not retarded. I know that's FOUR people, but I couldn't play favorites with my sisters and leave one out! :-)