Archive for May 2010

Hum Dinger

May 26, 2010

The last week has sort of been a whirlwind of good times, paint fumes, and adventure.

Last Wednesday I got to get together with a group of “new” girlfriends, and we all brought our kids! It’s not often that you can throw 10+ kids together and not have any fighting or excluding. But they did great! It was so fun to visit with friends all while watching our kids play together and so what kids do. Thanks girls… can’t wait to do it again :). OH,Β  I also loved the handmade (I think) b-day cards I received from two of them this week. SO CUTE!

I kicked it into high gear this weekend and by Monday (after school), Ian came home from school to a new room. New paint, new pictures (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off… still a classic), ALL new furniture, and new bedding (although I’m still waiting for his “ROCK” guitar comforter and sham). He loved the room and I loved getting it ready for him. Greg was sweet enough to take Monday off, which also happened to be my B-Day, to help me out and also spoil me for the day. He worked really hard getting everything out of the old office/new Ian’s room. And it was really cute when I’d start to wipe down a counter or clean up something and he’d say, “STOP! I’ll do that… it’s you’re birthday!”. Thanks muffin :).

Ian has had the same bedding and furniture since he was 2 years old. Cute and all, but not quite the style of a suave and maturing tween of 10. This project was actually a lot of fun. Partly because it went so smoothly and fast, and also because I was so excited to see his reaction. I am happy with the way it turned out and am thrilled that he loves his new digs. I’ll add some pictures when I get the comforter (and am not feeling so lazy πŸ™‚ ).

As stated, Monday was my birthday. Since I’m old and stuff, b-days aren’t really a big deal for me, but Mr. N made it special, even though I didn’t care much about the day. He took me out for lunch, gave me lots of great presents, and my parents treated the whole family to a delightful dinner at good ole’ Olive Garden. Say what you will about the O.G. and its less-than-authentic Italian-ness, but I happen to really like it. And I’ve eaten authentic. Fight me at the flagpole at 3 if you gotta problem with it ;). PLUS, it was a place that I felt OK taking all 5 kids. They behaved well and EVERYONE loved their meals. It was yummy… thanks Mom & Dad.

Yesterday a group of my wonderful, beautiful, and amazing friends took me to lunch, where they spoiled me not only with a lovely meal, but also with multiple gift certificates for spa treatments, a book (one that I really really wanted), and a shirt. I feel a facial and pedi coming on.

It’s been a busy week, and will continue to be for the next couple of weeks (is it really ever not busy?), but I’m feeling pretty lucky to have such awesome kids, friends, hubby, and family. I appreciate you all!

Don’t Be A Playa Hata

May 22, 2010

May 19, 2010

When Cooper’s dad brought him home this morning after spending the night, I learned that poor Coop had been throwing up all night and morning. Yep, the thermometer confirms (at 101.5) that he’s sick. Dang it! That means that I can’t go to (one of the many) the required license renewal classes that I was supposed to attend from 11-2 this afternoon ;).

No one likes having sick kids for the obvious reasons. It can mean dealing with serious grumpiness, late nights with little sleep (for the sicko AND mom), cleaning up messes, etc. All kids handle being sick differently, and from a mom perspective, I couldn’t ask for a better sick kiddo. Cooper is the most mellow, complaisant and pleasant sick child I’ve ever known. He doesn’t complain, cry, or act difficult in ANY WAY. That’s why it’s so sad to see him not feeling well. He just sort of lies there, looking adorable and pathetic at the same time. And when the flash woke him up when I took his picture, instead of acting annoyed or bothered, he simply said “I love you Mom”. I love this kid!

Monday, a dear family friend, Helen West Driggs, passed away after battling cancer and a brain tumor. Now, my perspective on death is what I like to think of as naturalistic. It happens to everyone at some point, and when people get old, I don’t really feel that sad. Even when my grandparents died, I was more relieved and happy for them then sad. The only grief I felt was when I thought about the great memories of and with them. I guess more than grief and sadness was the realization that I would not create any new memories with them and that THAT part of my life with them was over. I have no doubt that when my parents go (which will hopefully not be for a LONGGGGG time), that it will be a different story. I’m sure I will be a total freak of nature. And I can’t even fathom what it would be like to lose my hubby OR a child (even writing it gives me chills). But death does happen, and the whole “circle of life” thing is just my general attitude about death.

So when my mom called me yesterday with the news about Helen, I was a little upset for a moment, but that feeling quickly evolved into remembering all of the great experiences that I’ve had with her. I know that her death was a blessing not only for her but also her family. And I feel so incredibly grateful for the opportunity I had to know, love, and to be loved by her.

I was born into a world and family that Helen was already a big part of. She was one of my mother’s closest friends. She watched (and helped) me grow up. She was a teacher (in church), friend and confidant to me. She was there the day I was baptised. She was there to comfort and love us the day my brother died. She helped throw a bridal shower for me. She was there when I was married (the first time πŸ™‚ ). She also helped give my baby showers. Helen was as close to a second mother to me as anyone. When I think of her, “pure goodness” are the words that come to my mind. She was an amazing woman, mother, wife, teacher, and friend. Those whose lives she touched have no doubt that they are better for it and lucky to have known such a truly wonderful person. Love you Helen!

(from the Salt Lake Tribune)

HELEN WEST DRIGGS

Helen West Driggs 1934 ~ 2010 Helen Driggs passed away peacefully on May 17 surrounded by her family. Helen was born May 30, 1934, to David West and Ruthella Eardley. She married Leonard Driggs, and together they raised 10 children. Helen devoted her life to her family and friends. She had a gift of empathy for the private sorrows and hopes others carry and an ability to validate those feelings, which made her a trusted confidant and friend to many. We are grateful her spirit is free after physical limitations due to childhood polio and months of declining health due to a brain tumor. She had a testimony of Jesus Christ and looked forward to reuniting with her husband and parents. Helen is survived by her siblings, Betty, Wanda, Eloise, David; her 10 children, Julie (Todd) Kiser, Dan (Dana), Warren (Cindy), Jane (Paul) Taggart, Paul (Lori), David (Mary), Ben (Tiffany), Matt (Allison), Steve (Amy), Andy (Natalie); her 53 grandchildren; and her 26 great-grandchildren. Funeral services will be held Friday, May 21, at 12:00 at the Spring Lane Chapel (1750 E. Spring Lane – about 5100 S). A friend and family gathering will be held Thursday from 6 – 8 p.m. at the same chapel and from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. before the funeral. In lieu of flowers a donation to the LDS Church Perpetual Education Fund would be appreciated.

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Binge and Purge

May 18, 2010

The last 30+ years has obviously (basd on our collection of “stuff”) been the binge, and the last 2 days, the purge. And it has been messy, but luckily not the type of purge that required a toilet :).

As seen in my previous installment, Friday and Saturday were days of construction, and Sunday was spent organizing the new shed as well as the garage. Yesterday, I brought the action indoors. A mad search for some documents lead me to look through every freaking piece of paper in all of our files. By “all” I mean everything from 1999 taxes to ear thermometer manuals. Between Greg and I, we have 3 2-drawer filing cabinets. One of them is Greg’s, and over the past year, I’ve sort of just ignored it. It’s hard enough going through your own papers, but filtering through someone elses… oh vey!

I did find the stupid piece of paper that I needed (go me!), and since I was already knee-deep in papers, I figured I’d just purge and properly organize everything. Older docs got boxed and are in storage. Paperwork of Greg and mine were merged and now live happily together in the appropriate folders and cabinets.

The office has now been moved into the laundry/storage room, and I’m actually really liking the way it’s turned out (I’m not sure Greg is as excited about it, but I’m sure he’ll come around). I was doing a bunch of work last night at his desk, and I thought the new setup was actually very comfortable. I think I actually prefer it to the old office. I put up shelf for our monster new professional photo printer, and set up the other new printer at Mr. N’s work station.

Also moved to its new spot are all of our weights. Yippy! The only thing left to do is move the treadmill (ugh) and the bike, and then I’ve got an empty slate in which to create Ian’s room.

Unfortunately (or is it fortunately?), I woke up this morning without a voice and my throat feels like I did about 12 shots of battery acid. It’s forced me to take it easy today, although I’ve done a butt load of laundry (that means a lot). I’m also doing some online searching/shopping for Ian’s room. I definitely think taking a little bit of a day off is what I need.

I am NOT a pack rat or collector of things, and I love when things are organized. It’s a wonderful feeling to have this part of our ongoing projects taken care of, as well as knowing that the amount of our collective (mostly Greg’s πŸ˜‰ ) crap is being lessened. A weight off of our house and my chest.

Putting the Me In Awesome

May 16, 2010

Whoa… what a weekend.

Just over a week ago, after many different factors and numerous considerations, Greg and I decided to take our home off of the market. What this means for our family is that we’re here for AT LEAST another year, and probably more. So now we’ve switched gears into figuring out how to arrange things so that we’ll be most comfortable and in a way that will suit our needs.

It’s kind of a weird feeling, because for the last year we’ve been in this “sell sell sell” mindset. We’ve done TONS to prepare to list the house. But it’s also kind of a relief to not have the pressure of always having the house ready to show. Or to move. Or to get the kids settled into a new house and most likely school.

Now that we’re staying, we’ve decided to do a little shifting of children. Alex and Riley have been sharing a room, as well as Cooper and Ian. Emma has been the only child to have her own room. Now we’re going to move Ian into the office, Riley into Emma’s current room, and Emma in with Cooper in the biggest room. The twins are pretty excited to share a room together (I think Cooper is just sick of sharing with a bossy older brother πŸ™‚ ), and we now have the fun saying, “they shared a womb, they can share a room”. Yep, I came up with that all on my own.

In combining two households, you realize how much crap you actually have! We rented a storage unit when we first got married, with the idea that we would move in a year or so and would only need to pay storage fees for a short time. A year and a half later (and more storage fees paid than I’d like to think about), somethings gotta change. After lots of walking around the yard, online shopping and research, and tons of measuring, I purchased a storage shed from Costco (yeah, membership just paid for πŸ™‚ ). Because we have such a large car port, we decided to put the shed under it.

The shed was delivered last week, and I began “construction” on Friday. I had to level and prepare a foundation (which actually took probably 1/4 of the total build time), figure out how to remove a support pole for the car port roof, which ended up being a ROYAL pain in the butt, but figuring it out made me super excited. Then Friday and Saturday was spent building.

Don’t I look lovely? Yeah, it’s been two tough days.

Part of the bedroom switch situation (and another big reason for getting our own storage shed) is clearing out the office/workout room so that it can become Ian’s bedroom. Currently it has a computer desk, t.v., LARGE treadmill, weights, and a stationary bike. The plan is: we’ll get most of the stuff stored in the laundry room/storage room out and into the new storage unit, and move the office/workout room in to the laundry /storage room. My office is already there… yes, I was banished to the dungeon … and I know that with some good planning and creative organizing, it’ll work out well.

At the beginning shed building stages, Greg had concerns about being able to fit everything into the shed that we needed, but I was confident we would have plenty of room. After spending a good part of the morning and early afternoon filling the storage shed…ROOM TO SPARE. (That’ll teach you to ever question me! πŸ˜‰ ). It’s so nice to have everything out of our storage unit AND most of the stuff out of the laundry room. The next few days will be filled with moving and organizing things in the new “office”. I hope to be ready to start planning out Ian’s new room (paint, bedding, needed furniture) by mid-week and begin painting and furnishing the next. He’s had the same sheets/comforter since he was 2 (he’s now 10), and I’m excited for him to have his own space as well as a more mature bedroom. And then we’ll move onto getting the other kids rooms ready and them settled.

It will also be nice to HOPEFULLY have some more calm and quiet bedtimes (since the girls will be separated). And now neither of them will be able to blame the other for the messy room :). I’m a little concerned about the Emma & Cooper room sharing, but they are both pretty laid back, so I think it should work out. I hope to have some pictures to share of the kids rooms within a month. More immediatley, I just want a massage!

Lovely!

May 10, 2010

Yesterday was nothing short of awesome!

I got to sleep inΒ  (which for me was 8:00 a.m.), and was welcomed into the day with a kiss, a “Happy Mother’s Day”, my first 2 gifts, andΒ  breakfast in bed. We were inspired by the beautiful morning and decided to head to Home Depot to pick up the plants for our garden as well as another part of my Mother’s Day gift… a water fountain or feature for outside.

We grabbed the garden loot and headed over to where the water features are. I found something I absolutely love (I have a thing for pondless water features) and was pleasantly surprised to find it 50% off! Happy Mother’s Day indeed! We came home and Greg worked on organizing and cleaning out the shed while I planted the garden. For some reason having a garden is a lot of fun for me, and I want to be there for it’s “birth” and to watch it grow and develop. After the garden was all planted, I started on the water feature. SO EASY! It took us less than 30 minutes, and I love how it looks and sounds. I am already envisioning the summer days and evenings enjoying this little piece of art while reading, relaxing, and having fun with family and friends.

It was my kids weekend with their dad, but because it was M.D., I was able to spend most of the day with them. They (with some serious help from Mr. N) picked out wonderful gifts for me. It was a perfect mix of the sweet handmade gifts that make Mother’s Day complete,Β  fun and function! Ian made me a really cute booklet that have “free job” tickets inside, plus a few notes and pictures of him. And the twins made these cute paper plate flower things with chores they will do on each flower. CUTE!

I also got handmade cards from all of the kids, a bike helmet, volleyball, iTunes gift card, cookbook from Alex & Riley, mini food processor, and an ice cream maker attachment to my Kitchenaid. Woo hoo!

My parents came for an early dinner, and it was nice to be able to sit outside and enjoy the beautiful weather while eating and visiting. Our friends Sarah and Dave stopped by to pick up their car (which was parked at our house for the weekend) and ended up staying a while to chat and eat. The more the merrier!

After everyone left, the kiddos bathed and we all watched a movie together. Then off to bed!

This day was pretty much ideal in every way. Thanks to Greg (thank you Sweetie!), the kids, and my parents who made my Mother’s Day a wonderful one :).

Mom’s The Word

May 9, 2010

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always thought my mom was amazing, wonderful, and pretty much angelic, but I have a new appreciate for her these days.

Now that I’m almost 1 1/2 years into mothering FIVE children, I’m so impressed with how well my mother did (and still does) it. Even though I wouldn’t trade being a mom for anything, it’s exhausting! My mom managed to get us everywhere we needed to be, make it to all of our games or performances, be a mom, wife, chef, housekeeper, seamstress, counselor, etc., and do it without complaint and with grace. Finding myself in a very similar position and feeling the pressure of it all makes me grateful that I had a mom who put her kids first.

She is a woman who gave up MONTHS of her normal life to help me out 3 days per week while I was pregnant with my twins and was on bed rest for 10 weeks. After the babies were born (which she and my dad were present for), she lived with us for 5 weeks to help care for the newborns and my 2-year-old. My mom was also there for me when I delivered my first baby (and was kind enough to do some really great camera work πŸ™‚ ).Β  I’ve had a number of surgeries the past 5 years, and she’s been there to take care of me each time. She fed me delicious meals (brought to me on a tray in bed, of course), washed my hair, changed my bandages, cleaned up after me and my bloody wound messes, set her alarm to go off every 3 hours throughout the night to make sure I got my pain killers on time. She is better than any nurse!

She’s a fun grandma! She’s not watching the kids swim in the pool, she’s in there with them playing games or squirting them with water guns when they try to dunk her. She’ll play endless card or board games with her grandchildren, and when there is a craft or project, she doesn’t just direct the activity, she’s right there beside the kids, getting messing. My mom is the grandma who isn’t just taking pictures, she dresses up and trick-or-treats WITH the grandkids on Halloween.

The love, support, and generosity that my mother has shown me has also been shown to my children. My mom makes it to almost all of the grandchildren’s performances at school or church, and makes it to as many of their sporting events as she can. She doesn’t miss a birthday (she flies out-of-state for the out-of-town grandkids b-days). She is amazingly thoughtful during other holidays like Valentines Day, when she always delivers a goodie bag and a sweet card to each child (including me and Mr. N). She puts a lot of thought into gifts for Christmas and Birthdays and makes sure to find out what things each child wants and always delivers. And while she DOES spoil her grandchildren, she isn’t one of those grandparents who tries to compensate their absence by sending gifts. She is the most genuinely giving and selfless person that I know, not only with material things, but also with her time and love. My dad has said more than once that she lives for her children and grandchildren, and it is evident.

When Emma was in the E.R. during her lymph node/MRSA infection, it wasn’t Emma’s dad who was there for support at midnight… it was my mom. She also came every day to visit and bring me food, since I didn’t dare leave Emma’s side to go to the cafeteria. When Ian was in the hospital with the flu AND pneumonia, it was my mom who rushed to be by our sides.

She is the kind of woman who plans a girls trip for her and her daughters, pays for everything, and then brings US gifts. As I’ve gotten older and have seen more relationships of friends with their mothers, I have become more and more thankful for my mother.Β  If something is wrong or I have amazing news, my mom is one of the first people I call.

My parents have done things for other people that go so above-and-beyond that it blows my mind. And they have made sacrifices for me and my children as well as blessed us with incredibly generous gifts that I will never be able to repay (and they do not want, ask, or expect that) that have litereally changed my life and the lives of my chidren. They kind of saved our lives (at least the lives as we know them). They are my personal saviors. I will probably never discuss the details of what they’ve done for me in this forum, but I can’t thank them enough and I will never forget all that they’ve done for me. It is truly humbling.

What I’m saying, in case you missed something, is that my mom is absolutely the most amazing woman I know. I definitely have a lot to learn and a long way to go before I even resemble the person that she is, but I couldn’t ask for a better example or person to aspire to be like. I am incredibly blessed to have her as my mother and my friend.

Thanks for everything that you do mom… You’re the best and I love you!

xoxo