Welcome to my little ol' blog. I'll be upfront about it: I don't blog very often any more. If you found your way here because you read my book "Trailer Life," have a gander! But it's easier to keep up with me on Instagram or on my Facebook page. I have this long, drawn out theory on why I'm a terrible blogger, but that is a story for another day. Enjoy the ramblings of my life from the last 8 years or so.

Monday, October 29, 2007

archeological dig or house?

I've gotten some "What are you doing digging footings?" comments from several people, and let me reassure all of you that those who really and truly know me know that I like to exercise. So, I look at digging like a workout. Maybe I shouldn't mention that on the days I don't dig, I load all three kids into a landscaping wagon and pull them up this slight incline for a mile and then walk them back down same path for another mile. That's pulling 100 pounds, and it's great! I do get in the wagon on this one short hill and ride down with the kids- they think it's really funny to go down the hill that way. I'll admit it's really fun- and I found a longer hill to ride down with them on the way to the mailbox. Four wheeling in a wagon with gravity as your engine... (Anyone seen the show "Jackass" on MTV? I hate that show, but this would fit right in, only a toddler/mommy version. I can't wait to have a sand rail (dune buggy)- I want a back seat of course, so the kids can go with me, and Ryan already has a motor for me out of an old Kawasaki police motorcycle. I love go-karts and I'm going to have an awesome one. But I digress.

Our house is a rectangle with a bump-out in the back. This angle is from the side of the house where the kids rooms will be. Most of the footings where dug with a small back hoe. I personally dug the shorter footings by hand (so proud-that will be one of my last contributions for awhile) and Ryan dug out the big square footings. Two of them looked like small Jacuzzis when he was done. We both had to clean out the ditches- our soil is very sandy. He compacted the whole things before we dug and that has helped tremendously. (Didn't you know one of my hubby's many talents include the operation of heavy machinery?) Today he got our back hoe running and dug out the final bit. Next is digging the septic system. Or the forms. Whatever we want because we are building it.

Friday, October 26, 2007

A digging we will go

Our footings for our house are almost finished. Ryan and I dug yesterday, a lot (him lots more than me) and I have to say that today I can hardly move. I am SO tired. Exhausted. Today we dug again, (him more than me!) and I quit him early without really doing much because I just could hardly lift the shovel. I am so out of shape. I have sore muscles! That is kind of exciting, actually, to think I have some muscles.

I ordered maternity pants online from JC Penny's for pretty cheap,(they were on sale for less than $20) and they arrived today. A word about maternity pants- they are ugly. Unless you pay $$$ for them, they are just pathetically hopeless, especially when it comes to the "rear view"- these pants are a little baggy in the WRONG places and have NO pockets. Even when I'm thin I don't have a flat butt, so these help nothing. I am going to keep them though, because I need pants badly, and they are a nice wash and look okay otherwise.

I just checked my stock portfolio and it has bounced a little for the last two weeks, as the DJIA hit 14000 and then went down again. My stocks closed at 47%. Too bad I didn't put MORE money in- you know, like a million dollars. Then I'd have 1.47 million. Oh well- my goal is still to keep it above 10%, and I'll be happy. This is still my furniture fund for when our house is finished. I want those front loading washer and dryers. And a dining room table (Ryan will probably build that) with chairs. And closet systems for all the closets.

Good- no GREAT news on the credentialing front- I was stressing about renewing my credential before I was ready to go back to work, and found out that all I have to do to renew it in 5 years is send in my money. None of the old "strings" are required! That means I can truly wait until all my kids are in school and not have to do daycare at all. I spent too much time getting the darn thing to just let it go- besides, my hubby has a somewhat dangerous job, and he has some somewhat dangerous hobbies, and if is ever maimed/killed it would be nice to support the family and not worry about what would happen. It's a great back-up plan that I need. If I didn't have that back-up I think I would worry about Ryan more. But I don't at all. Besides, he's a great shot.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

It's a...

Girl! I was shocked, and that now puts me at 0-4 in the guessing what my babies are department. Kacy went with me and she is so excited... all the way back to my mom's house she talked about shopping and what we need to get and how everything needs to be pink or purple. Ryan got his wish- he wanted a girl, and it seems like he was right every time. And the people on the poll were right... it's just like the audience life line on "Who wants to be a millionaire." The audience is always right. Now, My SIL Jocelyn is due about a month after me, so we'll find out what she's having next month. Fun! Oh- all the parts are where they are supposed to be, and according to the ultrasound, the baby is measuring 21 weeks and 3 days, and my calendar dates are 21 weeks and 1 day, so it looks like the beginning of March it is! I want February 29. Just for fun.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Barney is 20

I just saw that Barney the dinosaur is 20 years old. I had no idea. My kids don't watch it, but really, it's kinda shocking to think it's been out that long.

I am going to be busy the next couple of days- tomorrow we are going pumpkin picking. Wednesday I have my fetal survey (ultrasound!). According to the poll on this blog, I'm having a girl! Which is totally funny to me because I am expecting to hear "It's a boy!" Seriously. However, I have been wrong the last three kids, so maybe it is a girl. But I doubt it. We will see Wednesday and I will post Wednesday night or Thursday. Hope everything is formed up okay. Jocelyn and I agree that the more kids you have, the more you realize just how much can go wrong and how lucky you are when everything is fine. Not pessimistic about it or anything, but with Kacy all I thought about was the heartbeat and her gender. With ever kid you realize more and more what they check for during that ultrasound and it is amazing when out of 142 things (I think that's what I heard with Ed's ultrasound) all 142 are great.

Quote of the day provided by Will. The kids were talking about my "belly" and Kacy said "Wow, mom! Your belly is getting SO big. Maybe that means the baby will come put soon!"
"It's not THAT big Kacy. The baby won't be here for awhile. My belly has to get even bigger."
"BIGGER? Like dad's?" asks Will, eyes wide.

Friday, October 19, 2007

A new game in town

Anyone want to play NUT WINNER with me? According to Kacy and Will, in order to play NUT WINNER you have to throw rotten walnuts into a trailer, and then you win! Sounds like fun- maybe we can have a NUT WINNER tournament.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Another day, another dollar?

Another dollar gone from my wallet, that is. I went grocery shopping, and Ryan stayed with the kids, and IT WAS NICE! I didn't have to tell anyone to not lay on the floor, or to stop "ribbiting" at the top of their lungs while hopping down the aisles... me not close to tears because I want to scream at my kids, but don't, but feel like a bad citizen for letting my kids get all "Lord of the Flies" on me in the store... AH! Today was different and so happy. I even had time to CHECK prices on the things I was getting and I left the store with no donuts and no Little Debbie snacks! I did have that horrible feeling like something was missing and "Oh no! Where are they?" and then I remembered: at home with Dad. Go dad! I perused the online grocery store market, and it looks like I am out of luck- except maybe Albertson's, who didn't kick me off their site right away. Every other place said "sorry, we don't deliver to your zip code." You want to know what I did find out? If you live in Manhattan or most other NYC areas, everything comes to your door. Although I love my acreage and clean air and no noise pollution (oh wait- I can still hear my kids)- I was slightly jealous for just a second. Especially when the testimonial lady for one site said "I use it because it is just such a hassle to take my 10 month old to the store. Even though my grocer is on the bottom floor of my building, it just saves me time." Tears, sniffles for her. Must be rough. I know, I know, I CHOOSE this lifestyle. I DO. And I enjoy it. Except when I have to go into a public place. A place that puts candy at little people level. A place that says "grocery store" but sells SpongeBob stickers and bouncy balls.
I looked at the poll results today, and we find out for sure next week. I'll post it for sure, possibly with the unabashed genital pictures for proof. We only care about modesty after they are born!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

fire station, kindergarten, and online groceries

Today for playgroup we visited county fire station 76 in Kernville. We got to see where they slept, ate, and of course we saw the truck and the kids got to use the fire hose. Both Kacy and Will did it- I was surprised Will did it. He got in line, and went when it was his turn. I also noticed that he was interacting with the boys in the group. Most of the boys are 5 years old, and Will (in my opinion) is a bit delayed in his social development. Very shy, still doing the 2 year old play (I forget what that's called at the moment. There is an official fancy word for when toddlers and two's play "together" side by side, but don't play "TOGETHER". You've seen it- kids might play with trains near each other, but they are not interacting.) ANYWAY- Will is a pro at this kind of play, and he never joins in when it's story time. Today he was running around with the boys and talking to them. He squirted the hose with the fireman. It was encouraging for me- I've often worried about him in nursery and for Kindergarten. He's very sensitive and stubborn. Poor Kacy has only one girl to play with- most of the playgroup is boys. Both kids are very into gender identity right now.

Will is upset that he can't go to Kindergarten next year with Kacy because he wants to go to Aunt Kendra's house and play too! (Get it? Kacy says "Kendra-garden". "No Will, you can't go to Kendra-garden until you are 5!" Will: "Yes, me too mom! I want to go to Aunt Kendra's house and play with Benjamin and Jack!" (crying, of course)

Amazon sells groceries online. This I found out after spending time in the car thinking "I HATE grocery shopping. I NEED to go today. The kids are tired and hungry and they will be a big PAIN right now. I HOPE we have food at home." Then, while warming up soup for lunch, I saw a commercial of a loaded shopping cart driving itself to a house. I stop and stare, mouth agape. I look up amazon groceries right away. (As fast as I can with dial-up in the boonies, which is slower than dial-up in the city.) What a great idea, free shipping options... fairly reasonable prices, especially if you consider the mental toll of taking kids shopping. TOO BAD they sell some weird stuff and all of it is in large quantities. I simply do not have the space for 6 boxes of Lucky Charms. I looked up angel hair pasta just for fun, and they don't sell regular ol' white flour pasta. It's all organic or egg free or whole wheat. I don't do organic because it is more expensive and I love to eat pesticides (so tasty... LOL) and egg free might be okay, except expense, and whole wheat is so healthy, I'm sure, but not for our family. I may continue looking into online grocery shopping. I live far enough away from any store a little shipping or not getting the best price would be a great trade for getting all my non-perishables without the kids.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Me either! I am missing both their parties today down in Bakersfield- had to make two phone calls to the mom and the mom-in-law saying "I'm not going to make it down today..." something that doesn't happen very often. I get to disappoint around 40 family members today! Both grandparents haven't seen the kids for a week now, but after sleeping around 5 hours last night and feeling pukey all day, a trip up and down the canyon just didn't seem possible. (5 hours is a generous estimate.) So, happy birthdays to my favorite father-in-law and littlest sister!

Friday, October 12, 2007

candy detox

Candy detox is hard! I think I OD'd on Reece's Pieces and those yummy Halloween pumpkins (you know- the ones that are like candy corn) earlier this week. Winco had both in the bulk food section, and it was the first time I bought any junk food in the bulk section. It will also be the last time. I had to have some Coco Puffs the first day to tide me over, but other than that, I've been candy free for almost three days. It's killing me. I want Reece's Pieces!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Two cop stories, long and maybe gross

Here are a couple of fun stories, compliments of Ryan. Anyone who knows Ryan knows he has the gift of story telling, and these happened to him, but I am going to share without trying to botch it all up.

Last week, Ryan came home from work late two nights in a row. One night, at 2am, I hear him call dispatch and say "Put me 10-10, I'm out of the mountains now. Search and rescue are there." I THINK that's what I heard, it is 2 am after all. The next morning I ask what the phone call was all about and this is it in a nutshell: A motorcyclist crashed in the mountains. He has cell reception somehow, and called 911. Ryan has the 4x4 patrol car, so he and some Sheriffs go looking for this guy. They called about 10 search and rescue guys who were on quads and dirt bikes to help. There were helicopters involved. It gets really cold up here at night, it was really important to find the guy. The whole idea to find this guy is to have everyone drive to different points in the area and flash their sirens/lights, and he is supposed to call 911 back and tell them he saw something, and they would figure it out from there. Ryan went down a path that was very much an off road path. Steep. Rocks. Down a mountain. Turned on lights, no report back. So he turns around (he has no radio reception at this point with anyone, he's all alone, just him and his Durango)- he starts up the mountain, things are going well, if not slowly. All of a sudden, his transmission goes out. So, the next two hours of Ryan's life from this point consist of winching himself up a mountain. Pull out winch cable, climb mountain, tie around tree, go back to car, winch, and repeat. Winch and repeat. For TWO hours. Needless to say, he hates his Durango and swears we will never own a Dodge. (In his defense, his Durango has been in the "shop" for tranny problems, brake problems, and an airbag thing for four or five months of the 13-14 months he's driven it.) Warn winch company, on the other hand, is his new favorite.

Next night, Ryan comes home at 2am. I am a little more awake this time, and ask if Ryan has been partying. He relates the fact that he has been on the scene on a bloody, bloody homicide/suicide (it was TBD by the detectives) and related his theory to me about what happened. For the best story, ask Ryan. From my point of view, it went something like this: Ryan telling me about the copious amounts of blood. Me feeling a little ill. Ryan saying that the guy shot himself in the head, there was one casing in the revolver, and the shell was in a puddle of blood on the porch, the guy was in the house. A leatherman tool was nearby the shell, maybe the guy pulled the shell out of his head. Me feeling like I'm going to puke. I try not to remember the rest, because it makes me sick- I'm a blood wimp. Anyway, Ryan tells the story, falls asleep snoring loudly, and I lay there picturing this scene, feeling like I might puke. NICE! Oh- as for Ryan's theory about it being a suicide and not a homicide- the guy was found in his living room, the gun was on the front porch with the one casing, and the one shell was on the porch also. Remember in psychology class the story of the guy who had a railroad spike go through his frontal lobe and he still lived? Ryan said this guy probably did the same with a bullet, lost all reasoning, and then wandered around all bloody, doing weird things (pulling the bullet out of your head anyone?) and then bled to death. Ryan has a job I absolutely could not do.

Monday, October 8, 2007

My inner Pollyanna is missing!

This is me, except I'm not as tan.

Funny, the difference between Ryan and I. This was us this morning. We were digging footings.

Me:"Ryan, do you think there is 'men's work' and 'Women's work?' "

Ryan: "You think too much. You know what I think about? Shear walls."

Maybe I needed this reality check. I'm hoping it's the pregnancy hormones (can only use that excuse for a good 4 months or so more...) but sometimes I feel sorry for myself and get a martyr attitude. Last week I had a bad attitude week. Poor me, I do EVERYTHING, blah blah blah. Now, not to discount myself, I do A LOT. Jack of all trades, master on none- that is me. And I think living with four other people in 320 square feet of living space, with another on the way, only makes the tedious chores I do repeatedly throughout the day, well, more tedious. When space is short, there is no "getting away" even for a minute. After two years of this, sometimes I think I've reached my point. You know, THE POINT. The point when you think you'll be in the loony bin any second. Take all this, ask your husband when he thinks the house might be done (grasping for hope, that's me) and discover/reaffirm you and your spouse have opposite views on how to get things done. (I'm a stress case, he's not. Lucky guy.) Think our discussion in the car last week that ended with a "Let's not talk about this anymore." couldn't have gone any worse and fell on deaf ears, mumbling in my head all week long about living in a trailer for the next ten years, thinking at least it will be paid for when we move out... negative thoughts. This weekend I decided to change my attitude, slipped miserably on Sunday (I don't know WHY I get so bad around Ryan's family, maybe deep down I'm hoping they know something about him I don't and can give me a hint. Maybe because they lived in a tiny trailer while building a house...) anyway, while digging footings today, I told Ryan I put all my sewing stuff in storage. He said "That's good, after talking last Sunday I decided to pawn off the living nativity to so and so, he'll do a good job, and finish this trailer and that's it. Nothing else but house." That was followed by "Kacy, Will, get OUT of the mud!" and we went back to our normal stuff. I leaned on my shovel while watching our kids make hideous messes of themselves. Ed came crying over to me and I checked his diaper- it was full of dirt. Dirt and a rash make a sad, sad baby. I took off his diaper while outside and he just smiled and laughed- ah relief. Anyway, I love Ryan, even when he threatens that the house will take five years to get done. (He was joking, I think...). I do take myself way too seriously way too often and forget to be fun a lot of the time. He reminds me relax. I need that. He once teased me when we were dating that I was Pollyanna because I USED to be positive. Not so much anymore, but I know my inner Pollyanna is somewhere, probably lurking in my pinkie toe. I'm going to dig her up.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

What I learned today

One should strongly consider wearing pants when grinding on metal. (Not skateboard grinding- fabrication grinding.)