Saturday, November 22, 2008

Halloween 2008

I was getting out all of my Christmas decos and realized I should probably post about Halloween before Christmas actually comes and more importantly the New Year. Is is really almost New years? YIKES! It was a typical Halloween at our house. Carson was Batman and Haley was a storybook witch. Brad and I took turns taking them trick-or treating. Carson ate about 5 bags of chips while switching to lollipops in between while we were trick-or treating(giving out chips for Halloween is really big up here), and Haley didn't like half of the candy she got. They had a great time-of course.

Painting their ghost squash

Haley showing off her finished ghost squash


Batman flexing his HUGE muscles!

The witch on her flying broomstick

Blogged Down

My sister Melanie recently said to me on a phonecall "I am sick of looking at you and Haley hugging a horse. Would you please update your blog?" She was joking with me(kind of), so I am actually going to honor her request(and the requests of a couple of other friends) and actually post on my blog for the first time since June. PATHETIC!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Fieldtrip Funnies

Last week I chaperoned for Haley's first fieldtrip. It was to a great little place in the country called Puck's Farm.

All the kids got a pony rideHaley petting one of the horses that pulled us on a hayride around the property
Here is the group of kids I was in charge of. As we were standing waiting with some of the other kids in the class for the next activity to start I was talking with some of my kids. I said to the little girl second from the right wearing a sweatshirt that is a size 2T:

me: Jhanki(yes that is her name) Did you get you hair cut?(it used to be long and now she looks like a boy)
Jhanki: yea I did
**enters another student named Dev**
Dev: Well I am getting my penis cut.
Me:(suprised) oh you are?
Dev: yea I am getting my penis cut(he repeats--so now I know I heard him correctly)
Me: why are you doing that?
Dev: because it is too small.
Call me crazy, but I don't think cutting it is going to help if the problem is that it is too small.
Conversation redirection.......

Haley milking a cow with "Farmer Vivian"

This is a picture of "Farmer Mark" preparing the kids for a barnyard tour. As you can see he is a dwarf. When you go to a farm you expect to have lots of teaching moments with your kids, but not one like this. So after we had seen, heard from and talked to Farmer Mark many times throughout the day, Haley was sitting on my lap watching him make butter and she says "Mom, he sure is little isn't he?" I said "yes he is". Then she says "is he a puppet?" So not only did Haley learn about milking cows and making butter at the farm she also learned a valuable lesson on dwarfism. Who knew?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Beware of Barney!

Today the kids and I went on an spontaneous trip to a little town north of our house to see Barney live at a small mall performance. A friend of mine, Michelle, from the gym who has 4 young girls invited us to go with her and another friend. Carson was anxious the whole time-he's not that into real life characters of any kind or groups of a lot of people-but Haley had a blast.

Haley and her friend Jasmine

Carson, Layla, Haley, Jasmine, and Alexa eating ice cream cones

The kids playing in a play area at the mall

On the way out of the mall the kids wanted a slushee, so I got each of them one. After Haley took a few sips she decided she didn't want hers anymore and asked me to carry it. I explained that I had stuff in my hands and we were almost to the car. She got mad and said she didn't want to carry it. I once again explained that she asked for the slushee and she had to carry it because I couldn't and we were almost to the car. She then got louder and said well my hands are too cold. I suggested that she wrap her shirt around the cup to carry it and she once again refused and said I don't want to. And then decided she was going to show me who was boss by puposely dropping the slushee on the ground and the lid flew off and it splattered everywhere. UUUMMM..Where is the child abuse hotline when you need it?
Well we were in the mall, so I kept my composure and luckily it happened right in front of a hair salon, so after counting backward from 10, breathing in and out, and putting myself at a 20 foot distance from her, I just asked them for some hair towels and proceeded to make Haley clean up her mess. Which she surprisingly did without a fight. I think she already knew she was in enough trouble. She has really been testing me lately in a lot of ways.

So later we were talking about what happened and why she made the choice to drop her slushee on the ground and this is how it went:

Me: Haley why do think you have been having such a hard time making good choices lately?
Haley: Mom, I just can't handle being good anymore.
Me: you can't handle being good?
Haley: yeah. I just can't handle being good. I used to be able to handle being good. I would wake up in the morning and I could handle it and then later I just lost the handle.
Me: You just lost the handle?
Haley: Yeah, it's just Barney makes me make bad choices.
Me: How does Barney make you make bad choices?
Haley: I was just up there dancing and singing, that's why I went up to the front, and Barney just makes me feel so free. That's why I make bad choices.

I started to laugh at this point which ruined any further explanation from her on why Barney is a bad influence on her. Needless to say we made up and all is well until tomorrow when Barney's evil spell overcomes Haley once again and she makes more bad choices. And to think this whole time I thought the choices she made were voluntary.

Don't let that face fool you!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Accident Forgiveness

Today, June 6, 2008 marks ten years since I was in a horrible car accident. I was hit in the driver's side(where I was sitting) by a large pick up truck whose driver ran a red light. Both of my wrists were fractured, all of my ribs were cracked on the left side of my body which in turn punctured my left lung and it collapsed. I had numerous cuts and bruises all over me. I also sustained a head injury known as an acute subdural hematoma. I was in the hospital for 11 days and 3 of those days I spent in the ICU(intensive care unit). So, long after my bones and lung healed and my cuts turned to faint scars, I was still left with the damage that had been done to my brain as a result of the subdural hematoma. When I say a long time, I mean even to this very day I still struggle with the effects of that head injury. As most of you know, I am referring to the depression and anxiety that I have had ever since the accident.
In the days leading up to the ten year anniversary of the accident and in the days since, I have thought so much about the accident. Well, not necessarily the accident itself, as much as how the effects of that accident have changed, affected and influenced my life since. For a great deal of this time I have hated who and what the depression has made me. I have lost contact with friends sooner than I would have liked because I isolated myself. I lost(or felt like I lost) so much of my outgoing personality, my ability to think positive, and simply to be happy. I have made life very difficult for Brad and sometimes my children. I have many times been almost paralyzed with sadness. And though I know that there will still inevitably be many days, even weeks at a time, that I will feel those things, I have recently had a few personal "AHA moments" that have changed my somewhat persistent negative attitude. A few weekends ago I attended a women's conference called "Time Out For Women" which was organized by an affiliate of my church and one of the speakers said "it is only in the darkness that we truly see the light". And it hit me..there is actually some good that came from that accident that day...some of it was immediate and some of it has come over time.

I realized how much my friends and family loved me and would do anything for me. My sister,Amy, came immediately to the hospital (camera in tow-to capture every moment of my ordeal on film cause she knew I would want pictures of everything). She stayed with me for hours in and out of the hospital caring for me in every way. She even took over my job as a nanny while I couldn't work. My dad flew in that night to sit by my bed and my mom followed week later. She bathed me, changed my bandages, fed me, and did everything she could to make me comfortable. Brad was with me as much as he could. He would even brush my teeth for me when I couldn't because my wrists were broken. My brother, Bryan, who was serving a mission in Salt Lake at the time(where the accident occured) was able to come to hospital and see me and give me a blessing. Brad's parents drove down 9 hours from Montana to care for me. My other brother Robert drove 2 hours to visit me more than once. My roomate Jodi massaged my feet. Numerous friends vistited, sent flowers and made phonecalls. And the list goes on......
Just a few short weeks after the accident, Brad and I got engaged. He wasn't quite ready to "pop the question" before the accident, but I guess it was the boost he needed to realize that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. As Martha Stewart would say that was definately "a good thing".
So what good has come of this over the long term is that I have become a more compassionate person. All of the struggles have softened me and made me more in tune with other people's pain. I am more empathetic and less judgemental. Do I still have so far to go? Yes. But I want to do better...and so each day I am becoming better, or at least trying. For a long time I did not see things this way. This was, and is, my trial, but I am grateful for the first time for some of the ways this has changed me. I still miss the old me, but I do not mourne for that person the way I used to. I am sad it has taken me so long to see that some good actually came from such a horrible experience.
Thank you to every one who has listened to me cry and complain and stood by me over the last ten years. Especially Brad who has really been so amazing through it all. Very few men could have loved me, supported me, and put up with me the way he has. I love you all.

My totaled Honda Civic . My brother, Bryan, illegally jumped the junkyard fence to take these pics of the car for me.

Amy visiting me in the hospital

I am holding a container to throw up in. I would usually vomit every time I would sit up. And Brad stayed by me the whole time.
I was in and out of consciousness for the first few days. I don't think I was just sleeping in this picture.

I saved the best for last. Here I am in the ever so sexy hospital issued gown and mesh underwear. This photo is showing the tube that was inserted into the side of my chest to drain the fluid(which looked like kool-aid) from my lung.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Daughter's of God

I wanted to share a few thoughts and quotations from one of my favorite talks from the most recent general conference that is held by our church every six months. Although it was a few weeks ago, this talk is still on my mind. Elder M. Russell Ballard gave an extremely touching and inspirational talk on mothers, which he titled Daughter's of God. I, like many mothers, often wonder and worry if I am doing the best I can for my children. I am constantly comparing myself to other mothers and what they do better than me. I am always amazed at how well our Father in Heaven knows us and exactly what we need to hear. Here are a couple of excerpts from that talk that have given me a new peace and comfort about motherhood, just when I needed it most.

Elder Ballard said:
"There is no one perfect way to be a good mother. Each situation is unique. Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children. The choice is different and unique for each mother and each family. ....... What matters is that a mother loves her children deeply and, in keeping with the devotion she has for God and her husband, prioritizes them above all else."

"First, recognize that the joy of motherhood comes in moments. There will be hard times and frustrating times. But amid the challenges, there are shining moments of joy and satisfaction."

" Author Anna Quindlen reminds us not to rush past the fleeting moments. She said: “The biggest mistake I made [as a parent] is the one that most of us make. . . . I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of [my three children] sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages six, four, and one. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less”(Loud and Clear [2004], 10–11).

"I hope all of you dear sisters, married or single, never wonder if you have worth in the sight of the Lord and to the leaders of the Church. We love you. We respect you and appreciate your influence in preserving the family and assisting with the growth and the spiritual vitality of the Church. Let us remember that “the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children” (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World”). The scriptures and the teachings of the prophets and apostles help all family members to prepare together now to be together through all eternity. I pray that God will continually bless the women of the Church to find joy and happiness in their sacred roles as daughters of God."

So this last week I have tried play a little more, listen a little more intently, hug a little more tightly and take in all of the good, and bad, that motherhood has to offer and I, and my children, are better for it. I know this gospel is true and am so grateful for living prophets and apostles who are inspired by the Lord to lead and guide us.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Girl's night out

Last month Haley and I went to see Disney on Ice: Princess classics. I asked a few of my friends and their kids if they wanted to come with us, and for one reason or another none of them were able to go, so it was just Haley and I. I was really disappointed at first, but it turned out just perfect. Tickets to the show.........$50.00.
Snow cone in cinderlla cup......$10.00.

Light up Cinderella spinner........$20.00
NIght out with my favorite girl in the whole world....PRICELESS!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Why you should get a flu shot..........

We did not get a flu shot this year. After a long sleepless night or two, 10 + loads of towels, sheets, pillows, blankets, and clothes, a trip to the dry cleaners, dehydrated ,starving kids, and lots of vomit and diarrhea, I am now rethinking that decision. This is how Haley spent the better part of 3 days last week in our bed. She could actually make it to the bathroom or in the bowl next to her..... Carson on the other hand, not quite so quick or accurate.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Get you flu shot and if you don't then you will need to stock up on thefollowing items..... Lysol(wipes and disinfectant spray), Tide, Febreze(air and fabric freshener) , and carpet cleaner.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Where's me Lucky Charms?

The elusive Leprechaun has again evaded capture. After seeking the expertise and advice of my sister Amy(who has been making Leprechaun traps with her elementary students for years), Haley and I created an elaborate trap designed to catch a Leprechaun once and for all. Or so we thought. We were successful in catching one, but he somehow managed to escape.

We lured him to the trap with what else but.........Lucky Charms! He only ate the marshmellows, though. Turns out he stole our whole box of Lucky Charms after ransacking our kitchen looking for them. Who ever said Leprechauns are only after gold? In his hurry to escape, though, he actually left behind some of his gold and some green Leprechaun candy much to Haley's delight.

Before leaving a trail of footprints out our back door, he left us another present in our potty. Leprechaun pee! Nice.

Maybe next year he won't be so "lucky"!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

March Break Madness

Last week was March Break(A.K.A. Spring Break) here in Toronto. They don't call it Spring Break here for obvious reasons(see photos to follow). Nevertheless, the kids had a great time getting together with friends we don't get to see that often because of their work and school schedules. We had a busy, but great, week!

The week started with more snow play and there was tons of it due to a major storm that hit over the weekend. We got about about a foot and a half of snow(or something crazy like that) on top of a mountains of snow we already had. And I do mean mountains.

(L to R)Luke Blumell(Haley's boyfriend), Haley, Carson, and Grace Blumell. They had a playdate at our house on Tuesday which included a picnic on our living room floor as you can see by the blanket. We love them soooooo much! We also had a playdate with Haley's friends William and Lydia Closson on Wednesday. No pictures of that day though. Honestly we didn't see the kids that much, they played in the basement while their mom, Taunia, and I had our own fun catching up on each other's lives.

On Thursday we went ice skating with our good friend and one of the Young Women from the ward who lived with us for a couple of months at the end of last year named Kelly Lee. What can I say? Carson started to cry as soon as he saw the rink and kept saying "I scared. I wan go home." I should have listened to him. It was a lot like when I get them ready to go play in the snow...There was lost of crying, complaining, falling, and outfit adjusting. It took forever to get us all ready to get on the ice and then after about 2 minutes Carson was done and Haley soon followed(Although, after all of that I did not let her give up that easy.) Haley said "Maybe next year mom, I will want to try that again." I don't know if I want to, though. AARRGGHH! They had more fun watching the Zamboni! We hung out in the player's box and watched Kelly skate a few laps. At least she had fun.

The only picture I think we got of Haley actually standing up on the ice.

The only picture we got of her smiling.

Kelly imitating Carson's signature pout.

On Friday one of my good friends from church,Karen Laidlaw, came over with her daughter, Emily, so she and I could practice dcorating sugar cookies with Royal icing. As it turns out we definately needed the practice and one night was not enough. We laughed a lot at our own expense(and each other's) and were too tired to do much decorating by the time we actually got all of the cookies made.

There is a cookie under there somewhere.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Birthday Girl

Last Tuesday I went to Haley's school to take treats for her class and spend a few minutes with her at her school. I don't get to go to her school that much, so it is always nice to see what she does while she is there. She really is loving it now and was thrilled to show me around and I was thrilled to oblige. No cute pics of any treats, they are very strict about anything homemade coming into the school. She has two kids in her class that have food allergies. So we just did prepackaged snack mix, cookies, and juice.

Her teacher Mrs. Walker is so great with the kids in so many ways! Instead of making everyone sit at the tahle with their snacks they got to have a picnic for the party. After we got to talking one day half way through the year, I figured out that she was LDS too. She is in a different stake, though. Small world! It's so nice to have that connection.

Although me coming to her class was a big deal, the highlight of her day was finally getting stand in front of the class for morning exercises to hold "Bertha" the Birthday bear while it sings "Happy Birthday to You" .

After school when while we were getting ready to go to the party, Brad had tulips delivered to Haley for her birthday. I love this little tradition he has started with her. She was ecstatic and it of course made her feel so special on her special day!