Friday, November 11, 2011

Rachel-isms of the day

Today we went shopping. On the way out I gave Rachel a box of animal crackers, and as she ate them she kept saying "yummy yummy". So I said "Rachel, is that yummy yummy in your tummy?" and she said "No, yummy yummy in my mouth."

Later, I turned on one of my mix CDs from college, one which included Rammstein's "Du Hast". Rachel has started picking up lyrics on a few songs, and this is my favorite. During the chorus as the singer yells "Nein!" Rachel yells right along with him "Be Nice!"

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Rachel Speaks

I just wanted to jot down a couple funny things Rachel has said lately before I forget.

Yesterday: She was having macaroni and cheese for lunch. My mom asked "Rachel, are you have macaroni and cheese?" She responded "Yep!" My mom: "Is your brother having macaroni and cheese?" Rachel, running over to talk to Reuben: "Brother, you having makeeroni and cheese?"

Today: We were driving around before play group and Rachel said her bum hurt. I asked if she was poopy. "No mom, me just wet." I said "You are?" and she came back with "Yeah, me are."

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Reuben has conked out in his carseat for what looks to be a semi-successful nap, so I'm going to take that opportunity to blog a bit.

My kids are both sick. This sucks. Rachel is a little better today, but Reuben is having a really hard time. To top it off, the night before this all went down I couldn't get to sleep for some reason so I only got about 4 broken hours of sleep. Babies getting sick basically just means they don't do anything like they normally do. So on Sunday at 11, when Reuben would usually take a nap, I went to nurse him down and he wouldn't go. Or, he did, but only for 9 minutes. It was like that all day. I would either nurse him or rock him to sleep but he would wake up 9 minutes later. I finally got him down around 2 and decided just to hold him as long as I could, so he slept really well for about an hour. It's amazing what that hour did. He was actually in almost a good mood for the rest of the day. But I was fretting the night...I nursed him down at 8:30, which is normal, and he woke up 9 minutes later. So I just stayed up with him for an hour and a half talking to Richard and trying to keep my little guy happy. At 10 we gave him some Tylenol and I nursed him again, but he didn't go to sleep. I rocked him for about half an hour and he was finally out for a while. If my groggy mind remembers correctly, he woke up just about every hour in the night. He would eat, then wake up an hour later just wanting to be held a little, then wake up an hour after that to eat again. I was worried I'd have to rock him back to sleep every time he woke up, but luckily that wasn't the case. So he slept all right, and I guess I did too, but man morning came way too quickly with Rachel wandering in looking for breakfast. Richard basically told her to go back to bed and instantly fell back asleep. When we finally got up we had no idea where she was lol. She had just been playing with her toys like the wonderful baby she is :)

So this morning went kind of similar to yesterday. I kept trying to get Reuben to nurse to sleep and he just wouldn't. He finally did, but woke up the second I set him down. I had no idea where Rachel was at that point, but luckily she hadn't gotten into any trouble while I was dealing with Reuben for like an hour. She really is a great girl who isn't too terribly naughty most of the time, so I wasn't too worried. Reuben finally fell asleep for about half an hour, so I was able to get some stuff done. It's funny how stressful a day can be when you have to get work done but you just can't do it. Yesterday I gave up before it even started and just planned to hold Reuben all day, and that's what I did. But when I woke up today and saw dead tissues and clean socks strewn all over the living room, I just couldn't handle it. So first chance I got I started picking stuff up. Now I'm on my second load of laundry, but there's still crap all over the living room.

I was feeling pretty good about this afternoon's prospects at lunchtime, until my dad called and asked if I could take Beau to the foot doctor. No problem there, except it took twice as long as I expected. Seriously, when you're appointment is at 1:20 why does it take until 1:45 for the doctor to show up? What is he doing that whole time? Anyway we got back from that and Rachel was actually ASKING for a nap! She's been kind of feisty about that lately, so I was rejoicing. Maybe I'll get a nap after all. Maybe I should be taking one now...

I wanted to share some cute stories about my kids or just some fun facts about where they're at right now, so here goes.

2 1/2
Spending time with my daughter makes me realize why people have kids. She cracks me up all day long. The littlest things she does are not only amazing but tender to me. Right now she's coming up with a million different ways to ride her rocking dog, including putting my flip flops on the handles and watching them fall off as she rocks.

The other day I took her to Reams to return a movie to Redbox. On the way she said she wanted to sing, so we went through all the songs she knows. Let me restate that: My 2 year old KNOWS over 5 songs! Most of the words, even! I love it :) After we sang all our songs she wanted to say prayers. That's when I realized she was doing her bedtime routine in the car. Makes sense, she hadn't slept much so she was probably tired. So she said a little prayer (again, she's 2) and then said "Mom, I go sleep now." On the way home from the movie dropping off she pointed out the moon. It always amazes me what she's able to see. She'll spot an airplane before I'll even hear it. Her game lately has been to ask what everything is and then what it says. So when she pointed out the moon she then wanted to know what the moon says. I've been trying to be as creative as she is when coming up with what inanimate objects say, so when she asked that I responded by howling at the moon. So now I guess that's what the moon says :)

Most recently Rachel has been learning to say "please" when asking for something. This is great, except when the answer is no. Then she'll try to convince me to give her whatever she wants by saying "pweeeze??" over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. This is annoying.

Today was fun...I was trying to keep Reuben happy until naptime (I'm trying to regulate his naps so that he'll sleep through most of my work shift) and Rachel pulled out an empty diaper box. She sat in it and asked me to push her to her room. So I stuck Reuben in there with her and pushed them both around the living room. I love these kids :)

Anyway Rachel is awesome. She now picks out her own clothes and can put some of them on by herself. Sometimes they even look okay :) She loves to wear skirts, but not socks. I think she got Richard's circulation, because whenever I'm freezing she is happiest in a skirt, t-shirt, and no socks. But she loves to try on her coats and have me zip them up and put the hood on. She has always loved doing this. She's getting so smart. She can recognize a few letters, even pointing them out in the credits of movies we're watching. She's learning to "read" one of her books, and we'll see if that ends up helping her learn to read for reals. The book only has about 4 words repeated over and over, and she's almost memorized them and the order. One of her favorite things to do is sit by the bookshelf and look through ALL of the books, one at a time, very slowly and carefully. When she sees something she recognizes, she runs over to show it to me (and to ask what it says). She is also big enough now that we've moved her to a booster seat at the table rather than her high chair. She eats with a big person fork, and today Richard taught her to eat over her bowl instead of spilling cereal all over the floor, so we'll see how that goes. Lately I've been trying to get her to eat more fruits and veggies, and she loves peas. Not as big a fan of butternut squash, though :) Rachel sleeps in a regular twin bid (she actually has two beds right next to each other, so each night she picks her favorite) and puts herself to bed. We read scriptures, sing, say prayers and give hugs, then she walks herself into her room, shuts the door, turns off the light, and goes to sleep. She's started to do the same thing at naptime, which is phenomenal. Sometimes she doesn't take a nap, but she still goes in her room for at least 3 hours so I can work. I'd love to let her run around while I'm working, but she's just so loud. Rachel also climbs into her carseat by herself, and does really well at walking with me so I can carry Reuben when we go places. All in all, my daughter is amazing :)

5 months
Super cute
I love this boy. He is such a happy baby! He wakes up smiling and stays that way for a while, until he gets tired or hungry. I was watching videos of Rachel when she was this age, and she liked being on her tummy more than he does, but I'm ok just holding him so that's no big deal. I wonder when he'll start crawling, though. Right now we're working on sitting, and he's doing pretty well at that. He likes the new perspective it gives of the world. He loves toys, but gets bored with them pretty quickly. One of his favorite things is to sit on my lap and smack the desk while I'm working, or to bang on the piano. He also likes to look over my shoulder while we're sitting on the couch and look at the bright colors of my afghan. He hates the stroller. He does pretty well in the car, especially with Rachel right there to keep him entertained. We're still figuring out the whole eating thing. I think he has a sensitive tummy. When I put him down for the night he always wakes up about an hour later just screaming. When I pick him up and rock him he lets out a good huge burp or three and maybe a fart, and then falls instantly back to sleep. He's been having a hard time at naptime lately for the same reason, and I think it's because I've been giving him solids at lunch instead of dinner. So I'm going to stop doing that. It's more important for him to sleep well at naptime when I work than it is at night, because I'm happy to rock him all night but it's kind of impossible to do when I'm working. But he does like those solids...last night he ate a ton of applesauce even though he was in a bad mood. He also loves taking baths and splashing around A TON. He wiggles all the time, and his new thing is to kick me rhythmically while I'm feeding him. I anticipate music to be part of his life :) Reuben loves it when I hum to him, and being wrapped up tight and rocked is his favorite thing in the world.

I love my kids :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Day in the Life

I have a lot to do every day. Who doesn't? But I've been using that as an excuse to not document a lot of really special moments with my kids. Today has been especially nice, so I wanted to record it. This is how our days usually go, and whether I get something good accomplished or not, I have a good time doing it. I've been doing a lot of realizing lately that being a mom is really about BEING, not about doing. Enjoying each moment with your child and indulging in THEIR desires quite often is where you find the most peace and happiness in this calling. It's true, it's kind of thankless and you spend most of your life changing diapers, being a cow, and doing laundry during not only your kids' naptime but yours as well, and by the time your kids are old enough to appreciate everything you do for them they're not really kids anymore, but come on. It's totally worth it, and you know it.

I've been super tired lately. Probably because Reuben has never been the best sleeper and has been waking up every 2 hours at night after taking 3 hours to go to sleep for the past couple weeks. But we're going on day 2 of him only waking up once before I do, and I'm getting as much enjoyment out of that sleep as possible. So today when my alarm went off, I let it. I don't know where my subconscious was, but it was not registering the idea that the alarm might wake up the baby. At least, not until that awesome Boston song was almost over. I don't know what happened nine minutes later, but we listened to most of that song too. I didn't even notice it was going off until Richard walked in to shut off the alarm so I'd just go to sleep and stay that way. That was at about 6:45. I figured I'd enjoy a little nap while he showered and then get up before the kids. My goal lately has been to get up earlier, but I think it's been later every day. Oh well :)

I woke up to my silly baby talking in his crib. He wakes up so peacefully and happy that sometimes it takes a while for me to register it. It took long enough that Richard heard him upstairs and was running down the stairs to hand him to me in bed by the time I got up to get him. I situated him to nurse him back to sleep in bed, and Richard came behind me and cuddled us both for a while before he had to go to school. Once Reuben was finally asleep I got that nice warm shower I dream about every night. It's always a mystery as to how long Reuben will sleep after that 7 am feeding, but today he slept very well. I was able to shower and get breakfast for Rachel and myself and then enjoy an extra hour of whatever before he woke up for the day.

Rachel is so funny. When I go to get her in the morning she either YELLS "Mom! All done sleeping! Me want breakfast!" or pulls me into whatever she's been doing in her room for the past half hour or so while I've been showering. Today was the latter. She was blowing spit all over a foam football trying to inflate it, and when I walked in the room she handed me an inflatable basketball and asked me to help her blow it up. Which was gross, because she'd been blowing spit all over that one as well. Once business was taken care of and the ball was inflated, we went up to get breakfast. Rachel always says "Good morning!!!" to whoever we see. Usually it's Aja or one of my parents, and I just never get over hearing her very loud exclamation of "Good morning, Grandma!!" Then she digs through the drawer where her dishes are kept and chooses a bowl and a cup (or water bottle). She hands me what she finds and I hand her "Charlotte's spoon". She has this weird fixation on her cousin Charlotte, who left a couple spoons here when she moved out. Anyway then I pour cereal and milk and stick her in her high chair, where she makes a huge mess. I eat my breakfast while catching up on Facebook, and then we both go downstairs to get her dressed and brush our teeth and all that fun stuff. Then it's play time until Reuben wakes up.

I'm never sure if Reuben sleeps as long as he wants or if Rachel's LOUD voice ends up waking him up before he's ready. Either way, he's always super happy when he wakes up. I usually send Rachel in to "get" him, which usually involves her coming up with some game on my bed with Reuben and the blankets. He's a good sport. Then we get him dressed and fed, and then it's off to run errands, go to the park, visit friends, or just hang out around the house. On the way out the door today, Rachel had to make sure she had her beanie and her purse. I wish I could remember what she was calling her purse, it was so funny. Anyway, today was park day, and the kids loved it. We go to a park in Springville with tons of toys where Rachel never gets bored. Today there was another mom there with her 3 yr old son and beautiful boxer. I commented on how pretty her dog was, and she commented on how nice it was that we didn't leave when we saw him, as some people do who have a prejudice against boxers and pitt bulls and the like. But that's another can of worms...

Rachel always has fun at the park. Today she went down the slide that I've always thought looked a little too scary for her, and she loved it. Then she climbed back up to go down the twisty slide, but first she had to throw her purse down. Then she decided she needed to throw her hat down as well, and waited for both to go to the bottom of the slide and for me to pick them up. That's about when I got tired of holding my 16 lb tub of a Reuben and decided to try him out in the swing. He loved it. Sat in it talking for about 20 minutes while I helped Rachel go down whichever slide she felt like. Then she wanted to get in the swing. They were way too cute in their matching hats, so I ran off to find my camera (phone) to get some pictures. When I came back, Rachel had once again tossed her purse and hat to the ground and was working on taking off her shoes. Whatever, child. You can be barefoot I guess. And she was, for the rest of the day.

Driving in the car is always fun with Rachel. She likes to point out everything she sees and either ask what it is or let you know what it is. She's constantly going "Mom! Moon!" or "Mom! Tree!" Every now and then she'll ask for tunes, so we'll pull out a CD of children's songs or one of my mixes from college. Sometimes she just wants me to sing, so she'll ask for songs by name. "Mom, sing spider one." "Mom, sing Jesus one." "Mom. Child of God." Yesterday she sat on my lap after lunch asking me to sing "star one" (twinkle twinkle) over and over and over again, until she could join in with me. I'm amazed at how quickly she picks these up. I think I've only sung Give Said the Little Stream three or four times, and she already knows the gist of the words. I love to sing, so this is a trend I'm ok with developing in my 2 yr old :)

When we got home it was time for Reuben to take a nap. I'm trying to train Rachel to be a good, quiet child during this time and to stay in our apartment rather than escape to the upstairs world. So I tell her "Rachel, I have to put Reuben to sleep. Can you be my good, quiet girl and stay down here? Play with your toys, okay?" which she interprets as "Mommy will be gone for a looooong time. That means I can get into stuff I'm not supposed to and she can't stop me!" I was almost finished with Reuben and debating joining him for a little nap when I heard a bell ding out in the living room. I had to think for a few minutes what would be making that sound that Rachel could get to. And then it dawned on me: Pit. She had gotten into the game closet, had probably spread the Pit cards all over the place, and was playing with the bell. That means the dominoes are next, and I HATE cleaning those up. So I decided Reuben was done. Luckily he actually was. Her damage was a bit more extensive than I anticipated. She had not only found the games, but had started digging through my random box of crap that's in there, which really isn't full of crap it's full of old art supplies. She found my baggie of charcoal sticks and had spread those around, and she had spilled all the Pit carts INTO the box. They fell down underneath a bunch of blankets and stuffed animals to land near my clay sculptures from high school. Kind of an adventure digging those out, let me tell you.

So then it was lunch time. "Lunch" and "Burrito" are synonymous to Rachel, but I was determined to get something good into her today. I sliced up an apple, and she ate almost the whole thing! That's along with the entire burrito! I was so proud. If only I could get her to eat some veggies, though. Lately we've been working on putting our dishes in the sink after lunch. Usually what happens is I set Rachel up to eat at the big person table rather than in her high chair, and then I head over to the computer with my lunch. She tells me she's done, and I ask her to put her dishes in the sink. The other day I didn't even ask her, she just said "Mom, me done" and then I heard her dishes fall into the sink! What a sweetie :) Then she sits on my lap while I finish on the computer and then we go downstairs to play a bit more. Usually Reuben wakes up from his morning nap right about then, and so we all play for a while until Rachel's naptime.

Today's play was kind of an adventure. Reuben likes to sit on my lap while I play primary songs on the piano, but today I thought I'd try him out in the spaceship walker, which he sometimes likes. So Rachel sat on my lap while I played the piano. This doesn't work as well, because she likes to bang on the keys. That's kind of why I got her her own keyboard. So I pointed her in that direction. Unfortunately, that meant listening to the demo song REALLY LOUD while I'm trying to continue my repertoire. Oh well, Reuben got upset about then anyway. I picked him up and continued through the Christmas section in the primary song book and figured Rachel was doing her thing and would be fine for a while. But then I heard "Mom, me wanna get out" and knew it was bad news bears. She had climbed into the spaceship. I HATE it when she does that. She's adventurous enough to climb in by herself, but too big to be able to climb out on her own. I'm trying to get her to stop climbing in just because I can't always get her out when she wants me to and I really hate games that involve me doing all the work (especially now that I have a newborn). Anyway, I had told her a billion times today not to climb into the spaceship and since she had clearly ignored those instructions I felt slightly justified in ignoring her pleas for help. I just let her sit in the spaceship for a while. She cried, she moped, she tried to get out, but I didn't get her out until I was good and ready to, and I told her so. We'll see if it worked the next time play time comes around.

And then it's naptime for Rachel! It's funny how I look forward to this time, because Rachel is the easy baby. Plus she doesn't usually sleep so it's more stress than it's worth, but it's a necessity right now. I work from 2-6 EVERY DAY this week, which is insane, but it's also $300. That means I NEED Rachel to sleep from 2-5 at least. Which she did NOT do yesterday, but I'm not really here to complain about how much yesterday sucked. Rachel actually did pretty well at naptime today. I think she may have slept, even.

I'm trying to get Reuben into a good nap schedule, which really means that I'm trying to figure out what HE wants his nap schedule to be. I've been trying to mold him into my schedule and it just hasn't worked, so I'm going with what he wants to do from here on out. Or, I'm trying to. Despite popular belief, moms really have no clue what they're doing most of the time. Anyway I figured he would get hungry around 3:30 but would probably get tired closer to 2. I wanted to see if he could make it to 3. I had my arsenal ready by my computer. A swing, the spaceship, his gym, two rattle toys, a binky, and a determination to keep the kid happy and get my work done at the same time. It worked pretty well, once I realized that I really don't need to be sitting to do my work. He lasted until about 2:45, which was great, and then he went straight to sleep. Work is SO much easier when both kids are asleep. I really need it to be pretty quiet, and Rachel is super loud. So is Reuben, actually. It's just better when they sleep. Which they both did, until Reuben woke up at 3:30. Seriously? I brought him back out and fed him and he went back to sleep until 5. Hallelujah!

Rachel also woke up at 5, which is fantastic. I can put on a movie for her and she stays very occupied until I get done with work. Today she wanted to watch "flying one" (Fern Gully). This was great until about 5:30 when the bad guy showed up. Apparently he's really scary, and she kept freaking out every time he came on the screen. It took me a while to figure out why she was crying, because she wouldn't say anything. Clearly very little sleep actually happened in that room of hers. Once I figured out the problem I asked what movie she wanted to watch instead, and she held up the Muppets. I asked her to hand it to me, and she threw it instead. She REFUSED to pick it up, and I refused to indulge my spoiled child. Sorry. She kept crying and wouldn't get the movie, so I gave up and went back to work. She kept crying and eventually I got "flying one" out of what she was crying about, so I turned Fern Gully back on. Which was fine, until Hexxus showed up again. At that point I just turned it off. And Rachel flipped out. You know when kids get to that point where they can't even breathe because they're crying so loud and so frantically? Yeah, that's what she was doing. She only does this when she doesn't get a nap. After warning her, I set Reuben down and walked her to her room, where I explained that she was out of control and needed to calm down. She let me sit her on her bed and I told her she could come out once she was calmed down. I still had a few minutes left to work, but I left the door open for her. Once I was done, I changed Reuben then went in to talk to Rachel. I went to change her and discovered she was poopy. Also that she had pulled out ALL of her wipes. I felt bad that she was poopy, which was probably a big factor in why she was so upset. I always hate it when she's poopy and I don't know it. Anyway once she got cleaned up and ointmented and re-dressed, she felt a lot better. She just takes a while to wake up all the way and feel ready to face the world again after naptime. Especially when she didn't sleep long enough.

Then it's time to make dinner. Reuben was so funny today. I set him in his little chair facing me but across the room while I cut up fruit for a salad. He would squawk really loud and I'd look up at him, and he'd stop. Then I'd look back down at the kiwi I was cutting and he'd immediately start squawking again until I would look at him. That kept him pretty entertained most of the dinner-prep time. Meanwhile my amazing siblings run through and help with one or the other of my kids while I cook. Today Camary took Rachel outside to play with her new camera for a while, and they came back right when Reuben was DONE sitting in he chair, so she held him while I finished up with dinner. Meanwhile Rachel was playing hide and seek, sitting somewhere and counting to 6 while Cam would hide and then switching roles. She's such a nut.

Reuben is currently experimenting with pears. Sometimes he likes them, and sometimes he doesn't. Today he didn't. But Rachel ate all of her fruit! She also said "Good morning" to my brothers as they emerged for dinner, which got everyone laughing. After dinner we play some more before bedtime. Richard reads to us from the Bible while Rachel finds a book to look at and I keep Reuben happy. Then we sing, say prayers, and go to bed. Rachel is the easiest baby to put to bed. We do our routine then tuck her in and say good night and she's gone. I hope and pray that Reuben will be the same, but he's definitely not yet. He goes to bed sometime between 8:30 and 10 pm. I try to wait until he's ultra tired and then nurse him to sleep. Inevitably he's up an hour later to burp. Last night he got back to sleep on his own, but not tonight. I ended up feeding him again, which I hate doing because now he'll be up in another hour to burp again. Maybe. I never know with this kid. Is it bad that I'm eagerly anticipating weaning him? Nursing has never been easy, and I just want him to learn to sleep.

All in all it's been a pretty fun day, one filled with really great moments with my babies. I just wish I could capture each moment on film to save for later. I'm going to try to write in here more often to preserve these precious memories, but no promises :)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My kids are cute

I'm trying to get better at writing down these super cute stories right when they happen so I don't forget.

Today Richard stayed home all morning, so he was around for lunch. Afterwards he and Rachel played the "I'm gonna get you/You're gonna get me" game. It's so fun to watch. Rachel will stand there and say "Dad. Run." and then chase him around the couch screaming. After that he put her on his feet and walked around with her, and she loved it.

At one point I was holding Reuben and asked "Hey, do you know what your sister loved when she was your age?" and stared eating his tummy. He didn't think it was THAT funny, but he liked it. Then Richard chimed in with "You know what else she liked?" and had me sit down so he could zoom Reuben into my face like he used to do with Rachel. Well then she wanted a turn, so he grabbed her to do the same. She had a LOT more fun with it than Reuben did, which meant her mouth was open the whole time, and at one point a glob of spit flew from her mouth and landed in mine! Yuck! hehe :) After that bit of awesomeness Richard felt she deserved not only a high five, but bones and elbows as well. Then he threw in knees for good measure, and Rachel's next move was to stick out her foot. For "toes" I guess?

After Richard left I pulled out the applesauce to get Reuben some lunch, and got some grapes out for Rachel so she'd stop asking for the applesauce. She was carefully pulling the grapes off the stems, then picking off the last bit of stem before putting them in her mouth. I guess I looked hungry, because she started putting them in my mouth too. So I fed Reuben while Rachel fed me. I love my kids :D

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Poor baby :(

I wrote this out a few months ago and never published it for some reason. So here is a story from early September.

My sweet Rachel is a fragile girl.

Most toddlers and little kids tend to become toys for older kids and parents. I remember watching our friend up in Canada throwing his 1 yr old around like he was a doll, and the kid loved it. Laughed the whole time. I know Richard was watching wondering when Rachel would get big enough to horse around with like that. You see kids swinging babies by their arms and tossing them in the air, to the sheer delight of the little one.

My Rachel is not like that. Never has been, probably never will be. It took her a good two months after she learned how to crawl and go up the stairs before she dared to go down just because she's so careful and timid. To this day she hates being thrown in the air and has to re-learn how fun it is to go down a slide every summer.

All that aside, she was having a blast yesterday. Eli was playing with her before dinner, and they were doing some mini roughhousing. Eli grabbed her arms and started swinging her around in a circle, like he used to do with Riley when he was 2. Riley, as it turns out, has stronger joints than Rachel. She started screaming bloody murder and was fairly inconsolable. I picked her up and was trying to calm her down and she just kept screaming.

Now, for all her fragility Rachel is a pretty tough kid. Usually when she gets bumped she picks herself up and just says "ow" before moving on. I'll ask if she wants a hug or a kiss to feel better and she'll usually say "no". When she's crying for no reason I can usually get her to stop by just asking her to. Then she'll look at me and say "All done crying," take a deep breath, and smile at me. So to hear her continue to scream like she was led us to further investigate her boo boo. It took a while to work it out, because with all the noise we couldn't hear if Eli was saying "she hurt her HEAD" or "she hurt her HAND". But once he told us what he had been doing we both went "ah ha". See, this has happened before.

About a year ago, as we were getting Rachel ready for bed, Richard changed her diaper and then pulled her up to sitting by her hands. We've been doing that since she was 5 months old. But this time she started wailing. We figured she was just tired and had gotten scared or something, so we continued to put her in bed like normal. In the morning she stood up funny, only using one hand, and she left the other hanging limp at her side for the rest of the morning. So I took her to the doctor. He told me her elbow had become dislocated and popped it back in nice and easy. Then Rachel started playing like normal and seemed to be feeling 100% better. No big deal :D

It happened again a few months later, but not as bad. I watched her for an hour or so afterwards, and she just started playing with her hurt arm like normal after about 20 minutes. I talked to my dad last night and he was saying sometimes the joint can pop out and back in at once, and then you're just left with the ligament pain. I'm assuming that's what happened in this situation, because everything was fine without any medical attention.

So when Eli told us he was swinging her by her arms, we knew what had happened. Her poor little elbow. Richard sat with her on the couch for about an hour with a little ice pack, trying to get her to forget that it hurt and keep her distracted. She would do fine, until she tried to move her arm and would stretch that tendon just a little. Then the screaming would return. Since things didn't improve after 20 minutes like they did last time, we decided to take her in to the clinic.

The worst thing for her was changing positions or locations, so when I picked her up from Richard's lap she started crying again. I tried to put her in her carseat but she was not going for it, so I did a bad thing and just held her on my lap (in the backseat) all the way to the clinic. When we got there the TV was on, and that kept her pretty distracted, plus we gave her a cup of water that had an octopus on it and she thought that was pretty cool. Sweet little girl.

The doctor was great. A fantastic pediatrician. He got her very interested in some of his tools and a box of crayons and tried to get her to hold them in her left hand, which she wouldn't. He held his little light way over past her left hand, and she reached across her body with her right to grab it. Then he held out a box of crayons, and she tried to put down the light so she could pick up the crayons with her right hand again. He put away all the toys and started wiggling her right hand and fingers, which she was fine with. Then he started doing the same to her left, working his way up her arm, and she started squirming and whining a little bit. When he got to her elbow he carefully and quickly rotated her arm and bent it, then let it go. He sat back, handed her his iPhone, then handed her the crayons. She reached for the crayons with her left hand!! Success!

Seriously, the doctor was super nice and knew just what to do to keep her calm, happy, and distracted. Plus he showed Richard how to fix the dislocation so we don't have to go to a clinic the next time this happens, which he said is likely to be in the next six months or so.

So it all ends well. Rachel rode home in her carseat, had yummy corn on the cob for dinner (her favorite), took a bubble bath, and slept very well all night. I'm just glad she's feeling better and that it won't hurt as long the next time. I love my sweet girl :D

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Moby Wrap + Blowout = FAIL

Yesterday was a day.

I decided to trek out to Summerhays to look for music teaching supplies. I was anticipating that my old violin teacher who works there would be working there at that exact moment, which was kind of far-fetched to begin with and didn't end up happening. Anyway I knew I would have a time of trying to explain to the sales person what I was looking for, and sure enough he had no idea what I was talking about. But that wasn't the only problem that presented itself during our conversation.

Before beginning my quest, I had a half hour drive during which to think about how I was going to maneuver two kids in a music store. Grocery stores are easy, because they have carts. I can leave Reuben in his car seat and stick Rachel in the cart. No problem. But no music store I've ever seen has carts. I worked out that the best thing to do would be to put Reuben in my Moby wrap and hold Rachel's hand. That way I'd have at least one free hand, instead of zero. I got to the store early and got all wrapped up, then stuck the baby in. He seemed happy, which is always a good sign, so we made our way into the store at Rachel speed.

We got to Summerhays right as it opened, so no one was there. That's what I get for getting used to leaving the house as soon as my kids are ready to go, which is usually 9 am. I didn't even remember that they don't open until 10 until I drove past it at 9:45. Being the only one in the store, I was immediately approached upon my entrance by a young music loving Summerhays employee. As I began to describe what I wanted, the poor kid (probably like 16) started looking down at my feet. Huh? Then I felt something land on my foot. I figured it was Reuben spitting up, as he is wont to do, but it had been a good hour since he'd eaten so that didn't seem likely. Unfortunately, there is only one alternative in a situation such as this. Sure enough, I looked down to see a HUGE pile of poop on the floor, and more dripping from my well-wrapped infant. DISGUSTING!! In a MUSIC STORE? Really, Reuben? I've never been so embarrassed in my life. To add to that, I had no idea what to do to fix the problem.

I undid my wrap and set Reuben on the floor near the poop, then pulled out my nearly-empty wipe box from the diaper bag. Igck...eeew. I began to wipe up the poop (scoop it up, really) and produced a pretty good wad of wipes. At this point the sales kid (who had left to assist another customer...I don't blame him) mentioned that he had cleaning supplies that he could use on it. I just kept apologizing, then asked where the bathroom was.

As I grow and experience things, I try to learn. Before leaving that morning I had had the forethought to pack an extra outfit for both of my kids, just in case. Well, this is the "case" I was preparing for. Luckily my 2 year old is an angel and didn't get into any trouble while I worked on fixing Reuben's disgustingness. He got a new diaper and a new onesie, and we were all set. I stood up to gather my thoughts, then looked down at my shirt. It was covered in poop. In my brilliant planning this morning, I had not packed an extra outfit for myself (weird, who doesn't carry around a change of clothes in their purse?). I began to scrub my shirt in the sink, but it soon became clear that this would end up leaving a big wet spot on my stomach. Ick. So I pulled of my shirt and soaked it completely. There, now it's all the same color. And...wet. Oh well, that's probably the least of my worries right now. I put it back on and went to finish my shopping.

Upon leaving the restroom, I decided to bag my initial quest and made a beeline for the downstairs sheet music section, avoiding all future contact with the nice 16 year old. Poor kid.

I figured I'd get a chance to change my shirt once I got home. Not so. Sometimes I forget that being a mom is quite literally a 24 hour job, with very few breaks. After we got done at the music store it was lunch time for Reuben, so we went to a park in Provo so Rachel could run around while I fed the baby. After the park we had to go grocery shopping, and then it was lunch time, during which time both kids needed SOO MUCH attention. Sheesh. We finally got Rachel down for a nap close to 1:30 (by now Richard was there to help me) and luckily Reuben went down at about the same time. Free time? Not quite.

We all have chores around the house, and mine are a bit bigger than most because that's how we're paying rent. So in addition to doing all the grocery shopping, I also make dinner 6 nights a week. This gets complicated when I'm working two jobs a day, as I'll start doing in a few weeks. This week and next I'm trying to get used to having dinner ready at 6 even though I work until 6, which means employing a helper and getting a lot of it ready before I work at 2. After the kids were both asleep I started chopping veggies. I cut up broccoli to steam and chopped peppers for tomorrow. Then while I was at it I made the gravy and stuck it in the fridge. By then it was 1:58 and I had to go to work. So no shirt change for me.

I had planned that Aja would be home to get dinner going by 5:30, but she didn't show up until 6, so we ended up eating later than expected. That means that by the time we were done eating it was time for one more quick run to Walmart before bedtime. Once Rachel was in bed it was "play with Reuben" time, until he got sleepy about 30 mins later. So finally, at 9:15 pm, I had a moment to myself. I sat down to veg with a computer game and got half a game in before Eli showed up, asking if I'd gotten the electrical tape I needed to mark his violin (which is why I ran to Walmart). Break postponed, but not for long.

It was only as I got ready for bed that I finally realized I was still wearing my wet, poopy shirt. All in a day's work for mommy, right?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Today's Shopping Adventures

Oh goodness.

I was going to go coupon shopping yesterday, but Richard ended up taking my car because he hadn't had time yet to empty the firewood out of the truck. It was okay though, we went to the park instead :D But today was to be the make up day for missing yesterday. I even made a big deal about Richard getting the wood out so I could go shopping today because if I didn't go today it wasn't going to happen.

I forced myself out of bed at a somewhat decent our so we could get going before 10. As Murphy would have it, Reuben woke up right after I got out of the shower and right before Rachel was done with breakfast, so I wasn't able to run around and make preparations like I was going to. Instead he had breakfast right then. And directly afterwards it was time to go, so I'd have enough time to shop before he got hungry again. The bad news here is that I'm not really the most level-headed under pressure like that, and I had a lot of things that I could possibly forget to grab on my way out the door. At least Rachel was dressed and had shoes on :D I even brushed her teeth.

In a last ditch effort to zoom out the door, I put Reuben in his carseat so I could go do my hair and get Rachel's shoes on. Then I grabbed my diaper bag and the dutch oven I was planning to take back to Walmart and ran outside to start the car (so the A/C would cool it down before the babies went in). Unfortunately Rachel has not yet gotten used to this process and she thought I was leaving her, so she started screaming. I ran back down and assured her all was well, then grabbed my coupon binder and Reuben and led Rachel outside. I usually let her walk up the stairs while I put Reuben in the car, so by the time I'm done she's made it to the top. I counted on her being slow today, because I had to run in and get my shoes. So after I put Reuben in I ran around to a different door where my shoes were and put them on. This was when I realized I didn't have the receipt for the dutch oven, so I zoomed downstairs to grab it and came out the door where Rachel was. She had made it to the top of the stairs by then and was crying again because she couldn't find me. I'm such a mean mom :(

So I got Rachel into the car and set my binder on top so I could put on my moby wrap in preparation for the shopping trip. I'm sure I looked goofy to the neighbors, standing there with my car running wrapping this huge green turban around myself, but oh well. I got it on and got in and off we went.

We made it to Smith's in record time, and I thought it would be smart to look at my list so I could navigate the store as efficiently as possible. I turned to grab my list, and lo and behold it was not there. My binder was not on the front seat like I thought it was. I looked in the backseat, under the dutch oven, under my diaper bag, everywhere, and then realized I had left it on top of the car when I was putting on my wrap!! Oh well, I guess we're not going to Smith's today. I figured it probably just fell off in the driveway, and made a new plan for the day.

Since I was already in Provo we went to IFA to get the replacement dutch oven. This was to be a quick in-and-out trip, which is never going to be quick with two babies. I think we were there for half an hour. But I got the dutch oven! Then it was off to Walmart. That trip was fairly uneventful. I returned the dutch oven, bought inner tubes for my stroller, and then spent the remainder of the trip buying bear food. I got to the checkout and realized all I was buying was nuts and berries. Whatever, my breakfast beats your breakfast any day :D

On the way home from Walmart I was scanning the road looking for my binder the whole way. I didn't think it would be hard to spot, as it is bright orange, but I didn't see it anywhere. Then I thought it would be a good idea to go home a different way than the way I left town. This might sound weird, but I always come home a different way than I leave home. I just shouldn't have today since I was looking for something that fell off my car. But I never claimed to be a genius. When I pulled into the driveway expecting to see it on the ground, possibly slightly flattened by my running it over, and DIDN'T, I started getting scared. I figured if I lost my coupon binder I'd just give up couponing because of how many coupons were in there. I pulled back out of the driveway and drove back toward the highway the way I had gone the first time, scouring ditches and sidewalks the whole way thinking maybe someone had pulled it out of the road or something.

I got all the way to the highway before getting REALLY nervous. I had turned about 6 times by now, and figured the turning would have knocked it off the car, but I guess not. Right after turning onto the highway, though, I saw it. It was leaning up against a pole. This was fortuitous either because it had magically landed that way, making it easy for me to find, or because someone had found it, pulled it out of the road, and set it up that way so it would be easy for me to find. Either way, I'm very grateful :D

I got it home and looked through it to see what kind of damage had been done. It doesn't look like anyone ran it over, but it does look like someone must have gone through it, at least to figure out what it was. My shopping list had moved, and my envelope of today's coupons was tucked away in a pocket which I KNOW I didn't have time to do before I left. Also several of the pages had come off the three rings, which I assume happened as it flew through the air and landed on the highway. I am very grateful to whoever found it and left it for me to find :D I'm sure they looked inside and said "Oh man, someone is having a bad day" and did their best to fix it. So thanks, whoever you are :D Now I can go coupon shopping tomorrow :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Rachel's Recent Cuteness

It's been so long since I've written anything, let alone about how cute my daughter is, that I felt it was time for a post.

On Sunday we went to a different ward to attend a homecoming of a friend. Directly after Sacrament meeting Rachel started going "Ushrey?" She sure knows the drill. We told her she could go to nursery after we went for a drive. I'm sort of supposed to be a nursery leader, so I decided to stay in with her this day to get to know the drill. Apparently all I had to do was ask my child. Turns out they did things a little out of order this week. Usually they do snacks then puzzles then toys then lesson etc etc, but today they did toys then snacks then lesson etc. Rachel sat down and ate her snack like a good girl, but once she was done she walked over to the teacher and asked for a puzzle. Nonstop. For 5 minutes. hehehe :D She sure knows her routines and likes to stick to them.

The other day Rachel was tooting rather loudly. Richard said "Rachel, can you say 'excuse me'?" and she just stared at him. Then I asked "Rachel, can you say 'Entschuldigung'?" and she said in this cute high pitched voice "No!"

Rachel is also learning a lot lately. I think she's nailed down what a green crayon looks like, and yesterday she learned what a brown one looks like. I have a set of flash cards with letters, animals, and words on them and I've been trying to teach her the animals. We went through about 10 of them a week ago and she could kind of say all the names of the animals. I pulled them out yesterday and she still remembered them! My smart girl :D

Ok I think that's all I've got for now, but I'll try to do better about posting more often. Cuz I love my kids :D

Friday, June 10, 2011

Baby Reuben

I hope I wrote Rachel's birth story somewhere. I'll have to look for it and write a new one if I can't find it. Anyway here is Reuben's :D

When I was pregnant with Rachel I had no idea what to expect as far as going into labor. So I didn't expect anything. I anticipated that she would be at least a week late, but she ended up coming almost a week early. The experience gave me some inconvenient expectations for Reuben's birth.

I started having contractions on Friday the 13th of May, which was almost 2 weeks before his due date. Rachel was born about 30 hours after I first started feeling these contractions, so I immediately made preparations for my baby to come much sooner than expected. I took work off for the entire next week and began nesting like crazy. Not to mention I downloaded a contraction counter app for my iPod and started counting. I couldn't sleep that night not because the contractions hurt, but because I was very excited.

So then nothing happened. I kept having contractions and didn't know what to expect the next day, so I kept my work schedule open just in case. I get penalized if I don't make it to work or if I don't cancel my shifts 24 hours in advance, so that was a major concern for me. I was sick in December and ended up getting 9 penalties, then 8 more in January due to power outages and more sickness, and it put me way down in the queue for calls. The last thing I wanted to do was get a penalty now after 3 months of good work and slowly climbing back up the queue, so I just didn't work. It was probably better for me, because I got a lot more sleep and better sleep than I had been getting my whole pregnancy.

There I was, a week later and a week closer to the due date. I kept telling myself he'd be late, but the whole time I was expecting him to be early. I did all the nesting I possibly could, which was mostly sorting a TON of clothes given to me by friends. On Saturday, the 21st, I gave up. I was then planning to have a baby on Wednesday. I told everyone I was going into labor that night at 6 because that would be most convenient for me. 6 came and went and no labor. Still contractions, but not any worse than they had been for the past week. We attended a birthday party for a friend, and anticipated going to a second one the next day up in Salt Lake. This could be terribly inconvenient, because I was delivering in Payson. So if I went into labor in Salt Lake it would be almost an hour and a half just to get to the hospital. Luckily that didn't happen.

I of course had contractions throughout the evening, but nothing bothersome. Towards the end of the night as we were leaving they actually starting being more regular, about 20 minutes apart. I didn't mean to, but I timed them all the way home and they stayed consistently 20 minutes apart. We got home really late, so I figured I could fall asleep between contractions and get some good rest before whatever tomorrow would bring. This was Sunday the 22nd, btw. So we got into bed and Richard was out immediately. My first two contractions in bed were 20 mins apart. The next one came after 15 minutes. The next after 10. The next after 5. They were then consistently 3 minutes apart, and starting to be uncomfortable. So...maybe he would be early after all :D

Clearly I wasn't going to be able to sleep, but I tried. I was really tired. But then they really started getting painful and I felt like I'd need to distract myself. I decided to take a shower, and that was probably the best choice I've ever made. As I was getting undressed the pain intensified, but the pounding of the water on my lower back along with the heat seemed to help a lot. Well, at least for a while. I was probably in there a good 20-30 minutes before it stopped working and they started hurting more.

I tried to distract myself by getting back to sorting clothes. I had left a huge pile on the couch and figured if I would be having a baby soon it needed to be gone. I put on a movie and started sorting, but every time I had a contraction I had to stand up through it or it killed. By now it was 3 am and Richard had woken up, wondering where I was. I had told him before we went to bed that they were getting more regular, so he was kind of expecting this. I told him I wanted to go to the hospital, but with it being 20 mins from home I really didn't want to go too soon and risk getting sent home, so I was trying to wait as long as I could.

We slowly made preparations to go, with me pausing every 3 minutes to walk around in a circle breathing really slowly. Luckily my mom was still awake so we could try to figure something out for Rachel. The plan was that my mom would watch her whenever the time came, but if it came on a Sunday or Monday we'd be in a bind because she had to work those days. Well, it was Monday by now. We planned to call the house early in the morning and get one of the kids to stay home from school for a day.

We finally got into the car about 3:30 and arrived at the hospital at 4. I actually fell asleep between contractions in the car, which was lovely. And Richard drove pretty slowly and carefully so as to avoid any uncomfortable bumps, which I really appreciated. I have such a good husband, and one of my most favoritest things about him is how well he drives.

After being checked in they started getting me set up in a room. I was so nervous that I wouldn't be progressing. I told the nurse that when she checked me the correct answer would be "5" and that I would then be needing an epidural. She said "Well let's check and make sure it's not too late ;)" then she assured me it probably wouldn't be too late. She checked, and I was at a 6!! Wahoo!! This thrilled me for two reasons. 1) I didn't have to go home! and 2) I felt like a real wuss with Rachel. The contractions were so painful, but I really had no tools for dealing with them so they were a lot worse than they should have been. I am very impressed by women who give birth without an epidural, but I am not one of them. Maybe someday I will be, and I want to try to get as close to that point as timing and life permit. So with this pregnancy I got just a few tools for dealing with the pain, and what I learned and practiced actually helped. I had a goal to make it farther with Reuben without an epidural than I did with Rachel (even though it was much cheaper this time), and that I did :D I got Rachel's when I was just past a 4, and I didn't get Reuben's until I was closer to a 7. I had Rachel's for 5 hours, and Reuben's only for 3. So I was pleased with my accomplishment :D Also I felt like I handled the contractions better overall. I was pretty much screaming with Rachel, but I just breathed through each one calmly with Reuben.

Ok enough of my triumphant pain story. So the nurse admitted me and they called the anesthesiologist. He didn't show up for what seemed like forever but was probably only 20 minutes or so. He gave me the epidural along with another drug whose name I can never remember. It's the same stuff they gave Richard when he got his appendix out, and it makes you feel like you're floating. I didn't like it. Yes, I was tired and wanted to sleep, but with the birth progressing as it was I kind of wanted to be aware of everything and be able to communicate with people better than I was able to.

Ok so then my doctor showed up. He checked the monitor and charts and whatnot and told me he'd be back later. He had another patient delivering in Provo at the same time and she was winning, so he went out there to catch her baby. Funny, because the exact same thing happened with Rachel, but backwards. I was in Provo and he was delivering a girl in Payson at the same time. He actually barely made it in time to catch Rachel. I had already started pushing. But I was only at a 7 and not really progressing very quickly this time, so he took off.

The nurse came in an hour later and I hadn't progressed much. My doctor is an amazing scheduler and somehow makes it to all his births without missing an appointment, and he had a plan today. He called and told them he was on his way back and to give me pitocin (sp?) to have me ready by the time he arrived, at which point he would break my water and I'd have a baby. That's exactly how they worded it. Anyway I really didn't want the pitocin. Everything I've heard and read has steered me away from it. The birth is better the more natural it is, pitocin make harder contractions but not necessarily more effective contractions, etc etc. Anyway I was already almost at a 9 and had an epidural, so I figured why not.

They gave me the pitocin and I didn't feel a change in the contractions. Oh by the way, my epidural mostly went down my right leg and it turned out I could still feel part of my left side. This was super cool because I could still feel the contractions, although they weren't painful, I felt it when my water broke, and I could feel to push the baby out. I wasn't able to feel any of that (except the water part, because that happened before) with Rachel, and it made me feel that I really might be able to do this without drugs someday.

So yeah, my water broke before the doctor got back. It was cool, we heard the pop on the monitor :D So here came the doctor and my new nurse, and I started pushing. You can guess what happened next. When they weighed him and told me how big he was, I was shocked. I really didn't think he was THAT big :D I know 8 pounds isn't that big for a baby, it's quite average really, but remember that Rachel was only 6 1/2. That's a big difference. He was born right before 8 am, and my doctor was able to get to his office for his first appointment of the day. Crazy guy.

Oh how I loved my sweet new baby. They did his tests and he passed them all, so I was able to hold him right away, and he was able to latch on and nurse for almost an hour. It was marvelous :D He did spend a lot of time in the nursery while we were in the hospital with all the tests they had to do, but for the most part we got to have our little guy in our room and everything was great. He had pretty high bilirubin levels, so we had to bring him back to get checked twice and he's still a little yellow, but no lights and he's eating really well.

On Monday Reuben will be 3 weeks old. He sleeps 5-7 hours at night and is awake for 1-2 hours during the day. He has beautiful blue eyes and the sweetest face, and he holds his head up very well. He is now nursing very well without the help of that stupid shield my defective body has to use at first. It took me 2 months to get Rachel off of that thing, so this is a big deal :D Best of all, my son loves to snuggle with me and gets grumpy if other people hold him. The best part of being a mom is seeing your kids show you that they love you. My little guy loves to be held against my chest and loves to be swaddled and rocked.

So that's the story of Reuben's birth. The pregnancy was slightly more difficult than Rachel's, the birth was much easier, and I love having them both in my life each day. Being a mom is the best thing I've ever done, hands down :D

Monday, January 24, 2011

Cub Scouts Bear Trail Tracking Chart

Attention Bear Scout Leaders:

You don't have to spend hours making this chart, because I have done it for you :D

Among the things my preceding scout leader left me was a packet of charts titled "Wolf Trail". These have been super handy in keeping track of the boys' achievements, especially for boys who don't have a book or are borrowing an older brother's. Also, when we pass off achievements during scouts on a day when a boy just forgot his book, I can mark the chart and then sign it off next time. Super handy. Plus it's all on one page, so it's really easy to see who needs to do which achievements to earn their Wolf Badge.

I thought this was brilliant, and just now did a search on Google for a similar document to use now that some of our Wolves are turning into Bears. Unfortunately, I did not find one. So. Using the Wolf Trail hard copy as a guide, I made one on Word. I've saved it as an image, and I hope this works. I also hope that posting it here will make it SO EASY for other Bear leaders to use this tracking chart. The more we work together, the smoother Cub Scouts becomes for all of us, right?

So here it is:

Things to notice:

There's no way to fit 24 achievements onto one page, and once I was able to get it onto 2 I stopped formatting, so that's why there's so much white space. Do with it what you will.
I've added a line where you can write down pieces of each achievement that the boy does that are electives rather than on the Bear Trail. I found that to be lacking with my prior recording method.
You can do whatever you want in the boxes. Where there's only one option, I just write an X, but where there are several you could write the letter they ended up doing. Or just circle the letter, then write an X if you are attached to X's as I am :D

So anyway, I hope this is SUPER helpful. Our den is really starting to get organized, and it's a HUGE help, so I'm happy to share.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Chapter 11 1/2: The Beginning of The End (With a Surprise!)

You know how when you want to write a scathing email because you're mad at someone it's a good idea to write it, then sit on it for 24 hours before sending it? There's some virtue in that idea.

I wrote a very long post yesterday about recent events, but didn't feel it was best to post it. After sitting on it for 24 hours I've decided not to. So here's what I really wanted to say.

I have decided this blog's life blood, the Graham story, has fizzled. Not only because I've sucked at keeping up with writing it (it's been a year and a half and I'm not done!) but because the story itself kind of fizzles at this point. I will be writing one more chapter to show the map of the big loop we made around Alberta, because that is quite entertaining. But first I need to find the notebook that I found then misplaced the other day containing our timeline. Once that happens I will finish this story and move on to better writing projects.

And HERE'S the reason why!

On Tuesday I was dropping off scouts with my partner. She had just dropped off her son, who was STARVING, and was headed to my house when my phone rang. I didn't recognize the number, but even that wasn't as great as my surprise at who it ended up being. Graham Wood, the one and only, was calling me! Weird.

Graham called simply to apologize for everything my family went through during the summer of 2009. He said that although it was his job to produce, and he did that at all costs, he did feel bad for the things we suffered for his job. I really appreciated this apology. Granted, I had forgiven him long ago, and although the summer sucked in a lot of ways it was a great adventure and there were good times along the way. Graham may not be one of my favorite people, but he's just trying, just like the rest of us. So good luck, Graham Wood, and thank you for your apology.

This call made me realize that while it's been fun to write this story, its time is done. So like I said: One more chapter, which will probably just be a map, and then it will be finished.

I've decided this blog will now be used for various writing projects that I've either started or meant to. I'm also going to post some poetry, so brace yourselves. And stay tuned for such exciting pieces as: The Evolution/De-Evolution of the English Language, What You Should Know Before Applying to Medicaid, English Translations of Goethe's Poetry (by Jill), and I'll be taking requests for further topics.