Friday, July 30, 2010

Road Trip - Day One

So we have embarked on a cross country road trip.  I think about 2 hours into the drive, we realized that taking one day to fly would likely have been easier, but definitely not as fun.

Highlight of the day?
Emily - Getting to the hotel. (She loves hotels.)
Bradley - The McDonald's milkshake stop.
Sarah -  (She's sleeping and I forgot what she told me)
Wendy - (She's also sleeping.)
Daddy - Milkshakes.
Mommy - Eating KFC in Kentucky.

I took on the painstaking task of color-coordinating our traveling outfits.  Why?  For no good reason.  But I do have to say, it was easy to count the children and keep tabs on them.  Today we had a brown day.  All but, Wendy wore a brown shirt.  She wore brown capris.  Mommy and Daddy also wore brown shorts.  I thought my kids looked like little UPS employees.

You want to hear something weird?  A lady came and talked to us at the Wendy's we stopped at for lunch in North Carolina.  She made a nice comment about our family.  My husband talked to her more than I did because I was busy wiping ketchup off faces.  When I was checking into our hotel in Kentucky, she was there!  It is about 300 miles and 5 hours away.  What are the chances?  Weird.  I wished I talked to her more at the hotel, but I was busy taking care of our reservation because they booked us for a king bed instead of two queens.  The employee worked it out for us, but these are not queen beds, they are clearly doubles.  It always helps to have queens when you are trying to squeeze 9 people into a hotel room.  Shhh!  Don't tell.  My reservation said 1 adult, 3 children.

That's all for today.  I need to get some sleep for the drive tomorrow.  We are on our way to Nauvoo, Illinois.  Actually we will be about an hour from Nauvoo, because the hotels were booked, but close enough. We are going to church in Nauvoo and seeing the sites on Sunday.

It's too bad George isn't in the picture, but his bottle leaked all over his brown onesie and he was naked.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I'm a little bit stressed right now.  We are going on vacation and I'm trying to pack.  I'm trying to pack with seven kids running around.  It's causing the blood pressure to rise.  I took my blood pressure at Walmart and it was higher than normal.  Now I'm trying not to stress about my higher blood pressure.

Anyway, this isn't just a vacation.  It's a cross country road trip.  Yes, a cross country road trip with seven children including an almost 3 month old.  I need to take a deep breath.

[Taking a deep breath]

I've been on mental overload the past couple of weeks in preparation.  I've been mapping the route, booking hotels, trying to figure out how to jam pack several activities into each day of travel, packing clothes, writing lists, paying bills, getting the camera and GPS ready, etc.  I look forward to just sitting in the van and watching the scenery as we drive.

Today I was trying to figure out my medical bills and insurance from giving birth to George because I wanted to get them paid and not have to worry about it while traveling.  I noticed that the charges were not applied toward my separate maternity deductible.  To make a long story short, my doctor and hospital charges were not covered by my maternity policy because there were "complications" during delivery.  Now when I think of childbirth complications, I think breech, emergency c-section, forceps, etc.  Of course, almost bleeding to death would probably count too, but I thought my bleeding wasn't that severe.  I didn't need a blood transfusion or anything.  So I accept the fact that I had a complication.  However, when I asked the lady on the phone at the insurance company what else is classified as a complication, she mentioned stitches from tearing/episiotome. I said, "WHAT?!

So basically you have to have an absolute perfect pregnancy and delivery, which includes a stretched out vagina or baby with a small head to be covered by this policy's maternity coverage.  It's insane.  I honestly don't think I have met anyone that hasn't had tearing or stitches, extra bleeding, or some other complication.  The fact that I'm Strep B positive is probably a complication since I need an IV of antibiotics during labor and delivery.  I think it's a total scam.  Fortunately things worked out ok for me because I had a secondary policy through my husband's group policy which paid some too.  I ended up spending about $2700 more than I thought I would though.  I guess it's a lesson learned.  Don't buy Assurant Health Maternity coverage!  Total ripoff.

There.  I got that off my chest.  I'm moving on and I'm going to stop being angry about it.  But seriously, I think it's so ridiculous.  The lady on the phone expressed absolutely no shame about the ridiculous restrictions on the benefits.

That was my day.  I'm sure my blood pressure shot up about 30 points during that phone call.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Happy Half Birthday!

Yes, it's true, I am blogging two days in a row!

Rachel turned 2 1/2 today.  Sadly, I did not take a picture of her.

I found $40 in an old purse of mine today.  I went to Kohl's to spend it this evening. I spent $200. Whoops!  I can't even put an "only" in front of that number to justify it.  Looks like I will be doing some returns tomorrow when I pick out what I like best.  I don't go shopping all that often for myself and try on clothes.  When I was in the fitting room, it brought back memories of doing back to school shopping with my mom.  She would usually sit in the fitting room with me and express her opinion of the clothes I was trying.  When I got older and was responsible for purchasing my own clothes, she would still come along.  Often I would have several items that I liked, but I knew I couldn't afford.  She would somehow always successfully convince me that I should get all of them.  Often she would get out her credit card and help pay for them.

I tried on bathing suits tonight.  That was depressing.  My current bathing suit is about 5 years old and it looks as if the chlorine is taking a toll on it.  It is starting to wear away in the back.  I was hoping to quickly find a cute suit tonight.  Didn't quite happen.  First of all, I prefer a one-piece because let's face it, I have born seven children and it would be a frightening sight if I wore a bikini. Second of all, one piece bathing suits are designed for my grandmother. So I opted for a two-piece that looks like a one-piece when you wear it.  (Are they still called tankinis?)  I like tankinis because they are good for when I nurse and go pee (not at the same time).  The good news is that they sell the pieces separately, which means I can buy my bottom 2 sizes larger than my top.  Yay!  But it is difficult to even find two pieces that match!  Anyway, I finally found some matching pieces.  One set was cute.  It had a cute little skirt bottom to help cover my butt cheeks that are decorated with stretch marks and cellulite. However, the top seems a little too revealing.  I just don't care for anyone to see the skin between my boobs.  I bought it anyway to try at home and ask my husband's opinion. I also bought a one-piece plain black one.  It's nice, but eh, nothing special for a whopping $44.  But, like I said, it was depressing looking at my body under those fluorescent lights.  I'm sure if my mom were there, she would have had some encouraging and flattering words to boost my butt and belly esteem.

Also, I came home and checked the mail and there was a coupon for  Kohl's for 15% off.  Dang. Why didn't I check the mail before I went?  I hope I can take it to the store and get an adjustment when I return the stuff I'm not keeping.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

July 21

It's been two months since my mom died.  I didn't quite know how I would feel at this point two months ago.   I'm not one to be dramatically sad.  I enjoy life.  I enjoy laughing and being happy.  I enjoy feeling joy, or should I say I enjoy enjoying?  Anyway, I miss my mom a whole lot, but I have been enjoying life in the meantime.  She lived nearly 3000 miles away so I am accustomed to having her not physically around all the time.  However, when there are things I want to tell her, I get so frustrated that I can't pick up the phone and tell her.  I think it hit me most when I received and tried out my new vacuum.  I wanted to tell her that I loved it and that I am going to vacuum every day with it.  Mr. Dyson is instilling a love of vacuuming in my children, especially Sarah.  She wanted to vacuum the family room two times today.

[I would totally post a picture of my new vacuum here, but my camera is downstairs and I don't have the pic on my computer yet.  But trust me, it's beautiful.  I was wrong.  Not all vacuums are ugly.]

At the time of her death, I was aware of the five stages of grief and was prepared to experience denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. I thought I would gradually go through these stages as time progressed, however, I find myself going through each stage every day.  I wake up thinking she's not really gone, she's still there.  I get angry when I realize that she's not and sometimes mad because I feel ditched.  (Which reminds me that I had a dream last night that I had abs of steel.  When I looked at my abs this morning in the mirror and realized it was just a dream, I entered the angry stage.  Why did my mind have to tease me like that?)  I'm not not a very good bargainer, so I kind of skip that step.  I get sad and cry every now and then.  But I have to say, most of the time I just accept it and live my life how I think my mom would want me to live it.  Happy.

The other day during Sacrament meeting at church, Wendy whispered to me, "Mommy when we die, we don't really die, we really live?"  I nodded my head and smiled.  I was pleased that she was expressing her understanding of life after death.  She knows Nana is not gone forever.  It is such a comfort to know we will see her again.  I am confident of that.  It's a comfort to me to know that my mom was reunited with her dad and her brother and is most likely hanging out with them right now, as well as her other ancestors, as they wait for the rest of us.  Sometimes I get a little jealous that she has moved on to bigger and better things.  But patience is a virtue that I continue to work on and I will have my turn at death someday, hopefully in the far future.  I have kids to raise, blog posts to write, and vacuuming to do while I endure to the end!

Miss you, mom!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Post Beach Rinse

I'm really really mad at myself for not blogging more regularly.  But, that is how it goes sometimes, right?  I've been very busy swimming, watching the Bachelorette, getting ready for a vacation, etc.

Yesterday evening we took the kids to the beach.  You would think since we live fairly close, we would go more often, but we don't.  The beach is so messy.  We like to go at 6PM when parking is free and we don't have to lather on the suntan lotion.  The kids had a blast.  Even little George got his feet sandy.

When we returned home, the kids took showers and I sprayed down George in the bathtub.  I've been meaning to take a video of him when I bathe him because it always makes me laugh.  I promise the water is neither hot nor cold, but a comfortable lukewarm  He just gets a little startled by the spray, however, he loves it on his head.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


As you can see, I am experimenting with the design of my blog.  I was checking out Blogger's new template designer.  Don't be surprised if my blog changes colors over the next couple of weeks.  Today I like blue.  It feels tranquil after a day with my kids.

I took the kids to the pool this morning.  I'm really wanting them to learn how to swim better.  I am hoping that they will get better if I take them more often.  I have friends whose 3 year olds are jumping in the pool and swimming several feet.  My three year old puts on his arm floaties and sits on the steps of the pool.  He doesn't have a clue how to paddle his arms, only his feet.  Barely.  He chokes on the water if it gets in his mouth.  It's a little bit embarrassing.  My six year old takes about 5 minutes to gain the courage to jump into the pool each time. However, she doesn't jump, she just kind of steps in without her head going under.  My 5 year old gets out of the pool and runs away anytime I get near her because I challenged her to swim to me without her arm floaties last week.  She agreed to the challenge, but she sank when she failed to move her arms or legs in the process.  Now she doesn't trust me.  Emily and Bradley can swim, but not long distances.  They would be in trouble if they had to swim to save their lives.  So we are working on it.  Thankfully our pool doesn't go any deeper than 4 1/2 feet.  It's also been helping to get a little bit of tan.  I love when my feet are tan.  I feel like I live on an island or something.

We also went to the museum today and learned about Madame Alexander dolls.  They showed us six of them from the First Lady collection.  The kids then did a craft with some foam dolls that the museum ordered from Oriental Trading Company.  That was fun.

For dinner I made some mini corn dogs. Well, I didn't actually make them, I just took them out of the freezer and baked them.  When they were done, they smelled so good.  The smell was reminiscent of an amusement park or carnival.  Unfortunately/fortunately most of my kids didn't like them, so I ate most of them.  They were as delicious as they smelled.  After dinner we watched Brain Surge on Nickelodeon and they have slime on that show.  Bradley accurately made the conclusion tonight that, "Nickelodeon is all about slime."  It brought back memories of when I used to watch You Can't Do That on Television at my friends' houses that had cable because we didn't have cable.  Then we watched two episodes of iCarly.  I love that show.  Bradley was hoping that Spongebob would come on because that's what Rachel wanted to watch.  But Rachel will pretty much watch anything.  She just says, "Spongebob" because that is sadly one of the only words she speaks.

Now I'm exhausted.  I think I'm going to watch some So You Think You Can Dance and call it a night.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Blogger's Block

It may appear that I have Blogger's Block.  I don't really.  I just have lack of motivation to get my thoughts onto media.  My husband's parents were in town most of the week and I have noted a correlation to having company and lack of blogging.  I'm not sure why.  It's just the way it is.  It's a blogging phenomenon.

Today was rather uneventful.  I tried to vacuum the kids' room and my vacuum cleaner finally broke the camel's back.  It's basically come to where vacuuming is pretty much me running the cleaner over the floor and spending 5 minutes picking up everything by hand that the cleaner didn't suck up.  That's just not going to work.  So I got on my computer and spent probably about 3 hours researching and trying to decide which new one to get. I know Dysons are all the craze, but I have a hard time spending that much money on a cleaning appliance.  So I debated what to buy.

In my opinion vacuum cleaners are just ugly and I have a difficult time getting excited about any of them.  I believe there is a market for vacuum cleaners with bling.  I think I might have to create a prototype with my old vacuum.  That will be fun.

Finally I made the executive decision to get a Dyson DC14.  We don't have pets so we don't need a fancy pet friendly vacuum, although I'm sure seven kids might equal the mess of one pet.  However, my kids don't shed much.  They mostly bleed, bruise, spit up, and spill popcorn.  I flipped from website to website.  I checked Overstock, Best Buy, Amazon, Walmart, Target, and Kohl's.  I ended up going with a refurbished model at Overstock and got a white Dyson (versus the typical yellow) for $259.99 with $13 cash back from Ebates and only $2.95 shipping.   My budget was originally $100, so I only spent about $160 more than I planned.  (One thing I learned from my mom is that if you put the word "only" in front of any dollar amount, it has this magical way of not seeming to be that much.)

I am SO excited to receive it and vacuum my whole house!  I just hope the "refurbished" thing doesn't bite me in the butt.  According to the reviews, refurbished models were just fine, the warranty is just shorter.  I decided to take a gamble and go for the shorter warranty because in my experience warranties always have loopholes.  I'm so excited I spent only $250!  Next on my list is to return my purple iPod that my husband gave me for my birthday.  I think now that means I just got a vacuum cleaner for my birthday.  Hmmm.  I remember when I was little my mom never liked receiving appliances for her birthday or Christmas.  I think I am understanding why now.  I'm still excited though!!  I'm sure my mom would've even loved to have received a Dyson for only $250!!!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

George was blessed today at church in his red, white and blue.

I think I've seen this cake on the cover of every women's magazine for the past twenty years.  I finally made one.  Those white things on top of the blueberries are star shaped marshmallows.

We enjoyed the neighborhood fireworks show and some of our own sparklers.  I had promised the kids we would do them.  At about 10:30 PM on Saturday night I realized I forgot to buy them at Walmart earlier that day, so I made a special trip to go them.  I was a hero on Sunday morning when my husband told the kids.

Even Rachel enjoyed the sparklers.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Happy 3rd of July

Today we went shopping at Walmart to get some goods for the 4th of July.  We also went to Kohl's to buy my husband some new shirts for his new job.  Yes, my husband has a new job, but that's a topic for another post.

While we were shopping at Kohl's I told Wendy to stay close.  She asked why and I explained that there are bad people that take little kids.  I told her that if that happened we would never see her again.  Then she said to me, "And I would have to wear these clothes forever?" So now every time we go out shopping she will be sure to wear her favorite clothes.

While at Walmart I was pushing the cart with Jason sitting it.  I pointed to a pineapple and asked Jason, "What's that called?" He said, "I don't know."  Then he paused for a moment in deep toddler thought and then he said, "Spongebob lives in one of those.  Spongebob house is a pineapple.  It's a pineapple!"  I was so happy that my theory of Spongebob being educational programming was supported by my toddler's logic.

We didn't buy a pineapple, but we bought a watermelon.  Do you know anybody that lives in a watermelon under the sea? No, me either.  That's why Jason called this "a big hebby ball."

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Happy Birthday, Wendy!

Wendy turned 5.  We took the family to see Toy Story 3.  Good day!