Thursday, May 29, 2008

love the one your with

Love the One You're With Love the One You're With by Emily Giffin

My review

rating: 2 of 5 stars
Well it's a stretch to say I read it. I started it and barely got a 100 pages in and couldn't stand it. I don't know if it was just too slow or the characters were too irritating. I can even admit that the story had some premise in reality but something about it just rubbed me the wrong way. So I read the end then skipped around and basically got the gist of what happened. I think maybe it was just too boring for a story with an all too predictable ending.

View all my reviews.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Weekend


All day I didn't feel like doing much of anything so I didn't go garage saling which is our new Friday activity. We just stayed home and goofed around and cleaned a little. I painted the girls toe nails.

In the evening DH went to his softball game and afterwards we went out to look at laptops. After chasing the kids around the store for about a half hour DH showed me the two laptops he had narrowed it down to. I told him he should go ahead and get the more expensive one with all the extras he wanted. He doesn't really have many hobbies except playing on the computer and technology type stuff so I figured what the heck. He is in love with his new laptop. We'll call that blessing #1. And it came in handy this weekend which I will explain later. I told him as long as he loaded my Bejeweled game on it I would love it too. He will need the laptop when he starts his Administrative program this fall. Ballerina took many trips to the bathroom at the store which really tries my patience. I HATE public restrooms. No matter how clean or the false pleasant scent they sometimes add I know they are disgusting. This one was not even falsely scented or clean. Other than that the kids had fun checking out all the DVD's and watching the big screen TV's. The most exciting part was watching themselves in on the security camera TV next to the restrooms.


In the morning we babysat our two nephews; one is about 7 months old and the other is almost 2 years old. They did alright at first while DH was watching them and I was weeding the vegetable garden to get it ready for planting. Then I watched them while DH took a turn hoeing the weeds on the other side of the fence from the garden. That's when things fell apart. Luckily the 2 year old pooped during DH's shift. But they both cried quite a bit during my shift. Baby was just hungry and tired. I fed him then he fell asleep. I didn't want to put him down so I just held him while he slept. 2 year old nephew threw a fit for almost 30 minutes for no reason what so ever other than I think he was just mad that his mom wasn't here. He eventually fell asleep. So about the time they both fell asleep Ballerina pooped in her panties. The diarrhea kind. So Mya had to run out and get DH to change her. He was irritated that it wasn't his shift. Too bad I was holding the baby. We'll call that blessing #2.

After that Anth called and said she was ready to go. Several days earlier we informed our husbands we were definitely going shopping on Saturday to check out clearance items at Target. One of our favorite past times. It was fun. I think we each only found one item but it was fun to just wander. We did take her one month old son, Ace. He slept most of the time. I realized later that I kept pushing the cart and later the stroller out of unconscious habit. Anth may have thought I was weird for randomly wandering off with her baby. But she is too nice to say anything. And she might be used to me pretty much monopolizing the baby whenever I am around him. I love new born babies! But after taking care of 2 nephews I couldn't be more happy I am done having my own babies. We"ll call that blessing #3.

We also wandered around Borders and got a deep condition on our hair at my sister Seldie's salon. By the time we got done my muscles were starting to tighten up really bad. I got home and played badminton with DH and Cor for a few minutes. We went to Panda Express for dinner, we'll call that blessing #4 because I love when I don't have to fix dinner. After that we went to Freddy's to get our veggie plants. We got tomatoes, jalapeƱos, zucchini, cucumbers, and red peppers. About mid way through we realized Ballerina had pooped, diarrhea kind, in her panties. I cleaned it up this time, what a GIGANTIC MESS, poop was everywhere. Right about the time we were ready to go my back and neck muscles were so tight I almost started crying and I was losing my sense of balance. I had already tried taking my strong pain meds and those had not worked. We got home and got the kids to bed. We watched Disc 4 or 5 of 24 while I used the heat pad and my back. DH then informed me that he felt a cold coming on. I didn't think I would be able to sleep but the heat pad must have worked a little because I did get to sleep eventually. We'll call that blessing #5. I work out everyday but it must have been the hoeing that did it this time. I normally get this type of headache and back ache about once a month but this one was the worst I've had in a while. It makes me feel like an old woman.


I woke up feeling much better even though my back was still pretty sore. So it must have been the hoeing. Our Church services were so nice. I really enjoyed them. We had 2 musical numbers that were fabulous. The lesson in Relief Society from Sister M was inspiring and funny. I love her personality. She is an older lady with grandkids but she doesn't seem bitter about life. She seems like a young person with more perspective and in an older persons body. It sounds like she was a really fun mom when her kids were young. We'll call a perfect Sabbath service blessing #6.

I tried to take a nap after church for a few minutes but Ballerina kept waking me up every few minutes. My dedicated sick DH stayed and did all his church work till almost five. He came home and rested till 8:30 then went back to another church building to help someone else. We'll call faithful DH blessing #7. Oh ya DH had to clean up another diarrhea mess on Sunday morning that's blessing #8.

Ballerina did not feel well all day Sunday. When we got home from church she said, "Mommy I am sick, I need to watch a movie." She cried a lot that day.

Somewhere during Sunday night or early Monday morning. Ballerina started crying. I went in and put her in bed the right way and put her blankets back on. She always ends up sleeping upside down. Sunday morning she ended up in our bed for the last few hours of sleep and she kept moving till she got in a comfortable spot, upside down, with her feet in my face.

Back to early Monday morning, she cried again a few minutes later so I went to check on her. She started to throw up but she didn't have anything in her stomach so it was clear. We'll call that blessing #9. She went right back to sleep after that. About 15 minutes later Em came into our room and reached out for me and luckily I smelled it before I reached for her. We'll call that blessing #10. She had vomit all over her arms and clothes. I took her to the shower and got her cleaned up. She had to sit on the floor in the bathroom wrapped in a towel while I cleaned up the messes that she tracked down the hall on the way to our room. The bulk of the mess was on her bed. We'll call blessing #11 was that she didn't puke on the wall and down the side of the bed where it's impossible to get to. My kids always seem to do this. The smell was awful and I almost didn't make it through. Blessing #12 goes to DH who right before going to bed said he felt nauseous so he got out of helping clean up. It took me a long time to fall asleep again.


Monday morning I tried to sleep in and I was in bed until almost 10:30 but probably starting around 8:00 the kids got up and found some reason to come talk to me every five minutes. Eventually DH got sick of it and got up. If if I tell the kids I am busy or sleeping and their Dad is in charge they still come ask me for everything first. When I got in the shower this morning Ballerina came in and asked me to open a sucker and I know DH was somewhere in the house. Silly kids. Ballerina and Em already seemed much better by lunch time.

After my shower I took Mya and Cor to see Chronicles of Narnia Prince Caspian. We were so excited because we reread the book just a couple months ago so we would be ready for the movie. It was a great movie but so very different from the book. I, of course, like the book much better. There was a lot more fighting then in the book and didn't care for the kids to see so much violence even though it was minus the blood. I am very disappointed that it is so different from the book. I did not like the way it portrayed Peter as being so proud. I hope they make the next movie from the book Voyage of the Dawn Treader. That's the next one with Prince Caspian, Edmund, Lucy, and their cousin Eustace. I am purposely trying to make my kids obsessed with Chronicles of Narnia. The way my husband has brainwashed them into loving Star Wars.

The movie theater was packed. With the dismal weather and so many good movies out right now it was the place to be. After the movie we went inside the mall to get lunch. In all we saw 4 families we knew while we were there including my Sister Seldie. We'll call going out to a movie blessing #13.

We got home and Ballerina and Em had fallen asleep on the floor but woke up soon after we arrived. Grumpy and crying. Eventually they calmed down and I took Cor and Mya outside to help me plant the vegetables. Growing our own garden is blessing #14.

For our FHE activity we did yoga and it was hilarious to watch the kids try to do all the stretches. Ballerina had spent most the day with a naked bum but we made sure she had panties on before we started yoga. Everyone is getting annoyed by her naked bum but it helps her to remember to go potty.

DH has this silly habit of getting sick during holidays. It's about the time he finally relaxes he gets sick. He gets better right about the time he goes back to work. Even if he doesn't get all better he goes to work anyway. Then he sleeps when he gets home. I told him tonight he just does it to avoid spending time with me. He said I figured him out. At least he had his laptop to keep him entertained, now he doesn't need me anymore. I am trying very hard not to lecture him about going to work when he is still sick. It's taking all my will power.

So the only ones who haven't gotten the pukey sickness is Mya and I. We'll call it blessing #15 if it just passes us by.

DH is sending me IM's from his laptop and he is sitting right next to me. He even turned on the webcam so I can see what he looks like.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Good Soup

A few years ago a friend got us the Bear Creek Chicken and Rice soup. It was so yummy but then I forgot about it for a while. So the other day I decided to grab a couple and try them. We had the Cheddar Potato for lunch one day and really loved it. Tonight we tried this one. The kids kept making yucky faces at it but most of them ate it. My pickiest eater Mya even liked it. Em wouldn't admit to liking it even if she did because this how she maintain her position of power being the 3rd child of four. She is not one of the older kids and she is not the baby. So you see she must exert her independence whenever she can. Plus she knew I had made Tomato soup as a backup and she knows she loves Tomato soup.
I noticed online they have many varieties so I am anxious to try Tortilla and Split Pea. I had the most delicious split pea soup when I was a kid and since I haven't had split pea that was ever as good as I remember it. That goes the same for lentil. I can make a decent soup and most canned soups just have a funny taste to me but Bear Creek seems to have it figured out so far.

Tonight I also made chocolate chip mini muffins with mini chocolate chips (CUTE!). I finally broke down and got a mini muffin pan. Yes Deena, I did it! And they are the cutest little muffins ever. I am feeling inspired to bake so I'll be posting more foods soon.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Review on Arrested Development

DH and I have been watching Arrested Development, Season 1, and are now on disc 3. My brother Kirk convinced me it was so funny. It does have some swear words because I think it's from HBO. They give the idea that people are having sex but they don't ever show anything. Jason Bateman is the main character. He reminds me of my older Brother Brady so it makes it even funnier for me. It's perfect for those who love sarcastic humor and if you think your family is crazy then you will definitely enjoy it. DH loves it as much as I do.

We don't have regular TV, not even local channels so we just order what we want to watch from Blockbuster. It's not even that I hate TV it's just that I never turned the cable on when we moved into this house over 3 years ago and the longer we didn't have it the less we missed it. I used to think the people that were TV haters and didn't have TV in their house were a little over the top but I can see the advantages. I do feel like I have control over what my family is exposed to and my kids feel like it's a privilege to watch it. And it's sweet not to have to watch the commercials.


DH offered me $10,000 to take the trash cans out to the curb last night. I told him that he couldn't offer me money that I already have. zing!


I think maybe I shouldn't go out any more so that only I know what a bad mother I am. At playgroup my girls spend 3/4 of the time hanging on me and driving me crazy. So other Moms look at me strange when I take my girls and set them off to the side of me and ask them not to touch me anymore. Ballerina cried and threw fits like she has been a neglected child, like I hadn't spent the whole morning with her, talking, drawing, and sitting on the potty. So that by the time I got to play group I just really wanted her to play and stop wrapping her little body around me, kicking me, knocking me in the chin with her head and other such touching and mauling.

I do love hugging my girls and giving them love but this is something way beyond that. One woman suggested I hug her and tell her I love her then let her sit next to me. I said I have tried that but the mauling is something that isn't about showing affection. It's about venting their aggression on me. I am looking for a better way to deal with this syndrome. I keep taking them out in the hopes that they will get it out of their system and just play and have fun. I'll just have to endure the looks other better Moms give me.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Updates from my In-Laws in China

Hello family and friends,

We have heard that many are asking questions about how we are faring as a result of the recent earthquake. Actually I was flying home to Beijing from Oregon at the time the earthquake hit. My mother passed away so I made a quick trip home for her services. Barry was in class teaching but didn't feel anything. Our office mate, Professor Yang Fang, was in our office and said she felt dizzy and had an upset stomach instantly. I remember similar effects from an earthquake we felt in Oregon a few years ago. The devastation is beyond belief and the death toll rises. The huge difference for China is that they are allowing the news and details to go out instead of hiding them. Never before has the public, both in country and around the world, been told this much about anything happening in China. As a result, the outpouring of aid has been incredible. Our students are suffering, some have lost family members, most have never lived through this kind of ordeal. Yesterday was the one week mark since the quake and the entire country had a period of mourning at 2:28 pm. I was teaching and my students told me what would occur. Over the loudspeaker came radio voices mourning the great calamity. Then, instead of silence, there were incredible noises played for several minutes. Sirens blared and students closed their eyes, pondering, praying, grieving, tears rolled down many cheeks. It was a very sobering experience. At the end the radio voices spoke again, apparently praising the relief efforts and worldwide donations of assistance, supplies, and money. (My students told me later what had been said since it was all in Chinese). It was hard to continue with class after all of that. Barry was in our office and went out to the street. He said all traffic stopped and all was quiet - except for the sirens. Distinctly unusual for China. We mourn with China. Our students are quite confused by all that is happening this year 2008, a year during which China was to shine for all the world to see as it hosts the Olympics. So far there has been a devasting earthquake, massive train wreck, winter storm - worst in 50 years, problems with the Olympic torch around the world, Tibet crisis, and a disease that spread through several provinces taking the lives of many children. We certainly don't have answers other than some good will come - China is a very united country and these events have increased their love and commitment to country.
We are ending up our assignment here in China. Only three more weeks of classes and then we will spend two weeks traveling in China with our daughter Kim and husband Dave and our son Tony and wife Mari. We are greatly looking forward to their visit. Barry is quite busy as he has picked up classes for a professor who quit in the middle of the semester. He also taught my classes during my absence. He also is busy with table tennis lessons twice a week. He plays with other local folks without a word being spoken. They laugh and have a good time. Just wish I knew if they are laughing with him or at him!
We have enjoyed seeing the Olympic venues and have tickets for this coming Saturday for the new national stadium, or Bird's Nest, to see a track and field event. We continue to visit all parts of China possible. Two weeks ago we went to Inner Mongolia for a short vacation. By the time we finish we will have been to northwest China, Inner Mongolia, Hong Kong, southern China, Shanghai, Xi'an, as well as Cambodia and Vietnam. We feel we have a greater understanding of this land and these people. We are so grateful to have this opportunity and will dearly miss our friends here. But it is time to return and renew our friendships in America. We plan to spoil our grandchildren, travel, do volunteer work, remodel our home, and enjoy retirement in Oregon. No doubt our next adventure will be around the corner. Thank you all for your thoughts, prayers, emails and love and friendship. You mean the world to us.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Words my kids have learned from hanging around with Anth

Mya just started saying "Pish Posh."

Cor is always saying "Sucka."

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Chocolate and Nudity

Yummy! I made these for a baby shower I co-hosted for a friend from church last night. I learned how to dip strawberries and make them look fancy about 5 years ago and now I always keep melting chocolate on hand so in case I have a need to dip something in chocolate. Actually these turned out kind of messy but still pretty. The middle one is dipped completely in white chocolate. I like using the melting chocolate you find in the bulk section of the grocery store rather than using chocolate chips. It sets up faster. One of my dreams is to become an expert on all things chocolate. Or just do a lot of experiments dipping things in chocolate.

We've had this pond for 3 years. No one has ever fallen in until today. It was one of those Mother's intuition things. I had just asked the kids where Ballerina was. They told me she was in the back yard. I decided I better go check on her. Just then I heard her whimper and then she said, "Mommy I need you." I found her soaked from head to toe. She had been dressed so I took her back outside and took off all her clothes. I gave her a bath and she didn't want to get dressed. Only a few minutes later she is playing around the pond in the nude. I had some better close ups but this one I think is the most appropriate for the public. I think this will be her last summer where it is socially acceptable for her to run around our back yard in the buff. She tries to get out the front door nakedy but I don't let her.

Luckily she was able to get herself out of the pond and only got a few scratches on her back. I am grateful she is alright. I didn't get a picture of her all soaked because I felt bad for her, she was kind of mad about about falling in.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

There's Good News and Bad News

Good News

I had a fabulous Mother's Day. DH got me a new black dress from Down East Basics. I love it! Mya wrote me a sweet poem.

helpful, nice, lovely
Mother of Mya, Cor, Em, Ballerina.
Who loves her husband, kids and friends.
Who feels happy about having kids.
Who needs faith, me, and family.
Who gives kindness, hugs and love.
Who fears losing her kids.
Who'd like to see everyone together.
Who dreams of having a family forever.
Mother of Mya, Cor, Em and Ballerina.

That made me feel like the best Mom ever!

So Here is the Bad News

Ballerina is regressing in her potty training. It's been about three weeks and I think she's realized this is something we are doing permanently. This morning she started peeing in the kitchen then ran down the hall to me my bedroom to tell me she was peeing. She left a trail the whole way. When we first started potty training she might start peeing in her panties then she stop herself and go to the bathroom or come get me. So now she has to have a naked bum the whole time we are home. That is getting old. When we are out she is more aware and doesn't have so many accidents. Yesterday she got to the bathroom to go poop but the poop ended up on the floor and several other places.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Random Relay

Married Girl Friend: I can't talk to any guys without flirting so I just don't talk to them at all.

Me: laughing

Married Girl Friend: You'll need to make me a list of questions to ask so that I can talk to them.

Me: Wondering if many women have that problem.


Ballerina comes home from an outing with Grandma with pooped filled panties and pants. I pull the panties off and throw them in the toilet. Ballerina is screaming because she wants to see what has happened to the poopy panties. Later I get the rubber gloves on and clean them out then put them in the wash. I know I could not handle cloth diapers. What a wimpy mother I am.

I told my sister Jenna about it and she said I should write an ode to poop.


DH's grandma has passed away. Her funeral arrangements are the opposite schedule of every funeral I've been to. And I have been to a lot of funerals in the last few years. They are doing the viewing first (normal), then the interment (putting her in the ground), then the lunch, and finally the memorial service. She wanted it that way. She really wanted it to be a celebration of her life so maybe that's why she changed things up a bit. DH no longer has any living grandparents. I am sad for him even though he didn't have a super strong emotional bond with his grandparents. It's just brings us one step closer to being expected to be grown ups in our lives. How scary.


I have been wearing a skirt every day this week just to feel pretty. And it worked. Even DH noticed. The first day he told me I looked cute. He knows I hate being called cute but I think he was sincere in his compliment. And it didn't make me want to puke coming from him.


All these Mom's at play group looked at me weird when I told my girls "NO" today. I did say it firmly and with elevated volume. I wasn't yelling but I wanted them to know in no uncertain terms I meant no. Em and Ballerina had been clawing an whining at me for about 5 minutes. I had tried reasoning with them and that had no affect. I let them know their behavior was not alright with me. So finally I decided enough was enough. Em got the message but Ballerina kept on going, un-phased. Later one of the other mom's who had repeatedly asked her son to put his shoes back on said to him, "please, please, pretty please put your shoes back on." He completely ignored her the whole time. And I was just wondering who is the adult and who is the child. And this boy was definitely old enough to understand what was being asked and what he was doing by disobeying. I know I sound horribly mean, but I am a mean mom. I love my kids but I think they need to learn their limits. And maybe a little respect too. I don't expect as much response from Ballerina because she is 2 years old. But I expect a lot more from Em because she is 4 1/2. Em fights me because she wants to fight me but Ballerina fights me because she still believes the whole world revolves around her. I better stop now.

Monday, May 5, 2008

It's great to be a kid...

All of these pictures were taken by my Mya and Cor.

Here is Ballerina drinking the pond water AGAIN. We have told her not to drink the water a gazillion times, we are just waiting for her to grow a 3rd arm. In the background you can see my DH's project for the fire pit.

Mud Brownies baking in the sun.
All my tupperware ends up outside.

I think this picture of Cor speaks for itself.


This is part of the life cycle of a pretzel.

This is one of my all time favorite pictures.

All kinds of things are happening in the waterfall.



I took this picture this morning. You might be like me and find this rubber chicken a little creepy but thanks to Anth giving it to my girls they have developed an unusual affection for it. We took him on our walk this morning and he must have been tuckered out because he has been put down for a nap.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Journal Jar Question: Did you belong to Scouting or 4-H? Tell about your experience.

I didn't do either of those but every summer our church has a week long girls camp. We had a camp manual and we had to complete and pass-off outdoor, emergency, and spiritual goals. First year is 12 year olds and the 4th year is called Pack-in. It's called Pack-in because we would be required to complete a long hike wearing a heavy back-pack. I had to miss one year because of my surgery for scoliosis. But I think my first year was the funnest because I had waited to be old enough to go because I had envied watching my sister's go. I always made new friends each year that I would later see at other church activities. There was always a good spirit and even though most the time was spent learning outdoor skills. I think it helped me to develop a strong testimony of Jesus Christ. An added bonus was being taught and surrounded by adult women who also had high standards.

I fortunately have had a lot of experiences going camping with my family but so many of the girls that went then and it seems like even more now never went camping before or after their girls camp experience. We who had camping experience liked to secretly make fun of these girls who did not. Some of the girls hated camping and sometimes they had to go home early because they couldn't stand it. Other girls thought it was the funnest thing they had ever done and were determined to make their family go camping afterwards. For pack-in we camped in tents away from the main camp. My parent's and my aunt and uncle were the pack-in leaders. For the hike my Dad would load each girls pack and unpack any unnecessary items, such as makeup. Girls would see if somehow they could sneak it past him which they later figured out only made their packs heavier. And most, except for the truly vain girls gave up on makeup by the 2nd day.

It's hard to camp with little children because of the whole running off thing. But I still enjoy it. We hope to someday go more often when Ballerina is past the wondering off stage. Actually right now she is in the running off on purpose and no sense of danger stage.

My husband gets irritated that I bring makeup when we camp but I am not a fifteen year old girl and I guess I am vain, even when camping.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Movie Reviews


Cute movie full of one liners. DH says it reminds him of Napoleon Dynamite. The main character is pretty believable as a pregnant girl. Especially when she describes herself as a "planet." It also shows how rude people are to pregnant teenagers. I could relate to that because I've had people say rude things to me because they thought I was a pregnant teenager or just ignore me. Even people at church. I like how Juno realizes there are things just outside her maturity level and she looks for help making those decisions. It makes me sad how teenagers talk about sex, abortion, and broken families so casually. We would most likely watch it again someday. The part that bothered me the most was all the men are portrayed as having a low commitment level. Juno's Dad comes the closest to having a moral compass. But I can see that showing the extreme is the more entertaining.

Lars and the Real Girl

Weird! I can't say I hated it but it made me think. Lars has a mental disorder and he decides to deal with it but ordering a life size doll girlfriend. To help him all his friends accept her as a real person. The creepy part is the website he orders the doll from is a real website. It makes you think but it's not as humorous as the previews make it looks. All the actors did a really good at playing their parts.