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.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Last Day of the Month

Yea- we made it through January. The last week has been filled with weather that doesn't cooperate with the kids going outside. So they stay inside, where I can hear and see every naughty thing they do. The cute things too, but the naughty things seem to be more than the cute right now. Tuesday I took Will to get him screened for his speech, and the speech lady said he was fine. So, that is a relief, and now my suspicions are confirmed- his personality, coupled with Kacy's penchant for talking for and over him, has delayed him a little. When Kacy isn't around (THAT is rarely- like when she's in the bathroom...) Will actually talks a lot more and more clearly. He fights her in the car saying "Kacy, it's my turn to talk!" Some funny things Will told the speech lady while looking at picture cards:
Her: Do you like apples? Will: Yea, but they have seeds in them.
Her: Does your house look like this? Will: No, we live in a trailer.
Her:Do you know what bees make? Will: They make honey for themselves.

Me listening: WHO is this kid, and I'm glad he knows something! You see, when your kid doesn't talk a lot, and tends to play by himself a lot, you start to wonder if he's paying attention to the world at all. Now that he is talking more, it can be funny to have that insight into his mind. Anyone who has spent 15 minutes with us knows that Kacy talks a lot. I think Ed might be the same way- last night he was playing with George, and he said a complete sentence- "Peek-a-boo! I see you George!" So poor Will, number 2, gets overlooked maybe.

President Hinckley died on Sunday, and it doesn't upset me at all. Old people dying just doesn't bother me. Seeing people sick and in pain bothers me more- like when my grandpa M. was home with his oxygen, he was in bed saying "this thing is plugged up, it's just not working!" and then stuck the nose piece in his glass of water to check it- there were lots of bubbles coming up. It was working great- it was his body that wasn't working so well. That bothered me a lot more than his actual passing away. I was a lot younger when my grandpa S. passed away from cancer. Sometimes dying is a relief for all involved- just think! They get to go see their family and freinds who have already passed away. And no more pain. I look forward to see who our next prophet will be. I always enjoyed listening to Gordan B. Hinckley. I'll remember him for being the temple bulding prophet- we have so many more temples now!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sunday, Ed, and the Economy

Today has been somewhat interesting for me. We went to church, where the kids were unusually well behaved. The two older ones are mostly behaved now, but today they had that little extra "something" that made me appreciate life. Ed slept on Ryan (go RYAN!) We came home and when Ryan opened the door he said "It smells like Sunday!" which is a lot better than the many smells my pregnant nose picks up on any given day. As is our new tradition, if we stay home on Sundays, I put a roast in the crock pot and bread in the bread machine and it smells and tastes great. We eat right when we come home. Now everyone is napping, even the dog. Some other things:
I am trying to "sleep train" Ed. He is not allowed near his crib anymore, so this new world of freedom at bed time is driving me nuts! He gets up and up and up and up. I forgot what it was like- Kacy was easy. She has always been the BEST sleeper. Will was a little harder, and he was about the same age as Ed. He was ready for it though. Ed? Ed is the devil and when he wakes up five times a night he comes to our room and stands there. Five times last night- three within an hour. Ed is physically unable to sleep in a crib, but mentally unready for a bed. What to do? Kacy and Will are good sports about it, since they are sharing their space with him. Ryan is supposed to put up the bunk beds this week. I don't think it'll help, but maybe them being off of the floor will help ME. Bending over and lifting Ed makes my belly hurt.
After the awful week in the stock market. I am testing my patience... my once rockin' portfolio has taken a beating. It is down to 9% interest. It went from 49% to 9%... Yikes! Stupid people- if everyone would just say "Recession? Phooey!" and keep their money where it is, there wouldn't be so much volatility. But instead, it is like an open air market where ONE guy says "Hey! I heard those bananas over there aren't any good!" and so everyone thinking of buying those bananas moves quickly away, and those who already bought the bananas panics and gets rid of them for a lower price. My least favorite thing about this whole "economy" thing? Lots of people blame the president. Like it is his fault that people bought houses they couldn't afford. His fault that lenders were giving away their money to people who didn't deserve it. His fault that people use credit cards like cash. Last time I checked, he is 1/3 of the main part of our government, and the American people themselves have more influence on the economy. But wait, I am remembering that I didn't pay much attention in gov't/econ and the only reason I got an A is because I did extra credit work being a docent at the local museum. DURING CLASS TIME. How awesome is that? So I could be completely wrong about the economy, but I can tell you that the city of Shafter produced more potatoes than Idaho during the 1950's, and that General Shafter was a big fat man who had to have his chairs special made. I've seen one, and it's huge.

Friday, January 25, 2008

It will be a miracle...

It will be a miracle if Ed makes it to his second birthday. Tuesday night was his chipped teeth. Yesterday at my mom's house I put him in the crib because he had fallen asleep on the way there. I closed the door and went downstairs. I got myself a glass of water and told my mom that she might want to check on him in a few minutes. As I said that, I see Ed coming down the stairs head first. He only missed the last step, but that last step leads to ceramic tile. So, he climbed out of the crib he couldn't climb out of two weeks ago, opened the door, and came down an entire flight of stairs where he promptly smacked his head on the floor. It sounded AWFUL and it freaked me out. He got two bumps on the side of hos head, and I checked his pupils to see if they were both dilated the same. He was fine. Meanwhile, I am starting to run late for my Dr. appointment. (By the way, I get to the Dr. in the nick of time, and I get right in. The nurse took my blood pressure and it was 116/70. She said, "Oh, that's higher than usual." I said "Yea, I was rushing to get here and my youngest kid tried to give himself a concussion just before I left." My blood pressure is usually 100/68... kids and stress. What it'll do to you...) Today the kids were playing in their "room", jumping around like monkeys, and Ed fell over and smacked his forehead on the back of the TV stand. That would be the slightly bloody and very bumpy forehead injury in the picture. The boy is tough. He barely cries- I wonder if he is low on pain receptors.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Popcorn day and chipped teeth

Yesterday was playgroup, and we take turns hosting each week. I volunteered and did "popcorn day" in honor of National Popcorn Day on January 19. I guess I should have done a MLK day, but it never crossed my mind. Popcorn is much more fun and easy to understand when you are one to five years old than a civil rights activist. It was fun, I think... it always stresses me a little because since I've had kids I am lucky to get my act together. I did get the best compliment though- one of the moms who is a teacher and runs the after school program in Kernville asked if I was going to teach again someday because she would like to have her kids in my class. That made my day, really. That was the highlight though, because after that, my day got much crazier. We came home, and Ed was full of fire. Was there crack in the popcorn I made? He couldn't settle down for nap. He climbed out of his crib at least 15 times. I took him outside to Ryan twice, and he ended up thinking that was really great, even though Ryan made it boring for him. Ryan was organizing his patrol car, and Ed thought that was neat. After going back and forth with Ed for 45 minutes, he climbed out of his crib the last time and fell and hit his mouth on the bars. He cried, and I could tell it hurt him, but since there was no blood, I just laid him down and told him to go to sleep. When he woke up two and half hours later he kept crying and chewing on his finger. His sippy cup hurt his mouth, and he couldn't eat. I looked in his mouth, and his two front teeth are chipped, and one was bloody in the gums. I freaked out a little because he couldn't eat, and I've never dealt with teeth injuries. Ryan wasn't home and didn't answer his cell. I called my visiting teacher/friend who is a dental hygienist. I asked Jenny if she would look at them, just because she knows way more about teeth than I do. She and her dad (the dentist) looked at his teeth for me at 6:30 at night. I felt bad asking them to do that, but I did feel much better when her dad said it didn't crack to the nerve. He said what it was (twice) but I forget. Something about a level 2 fracture... So now Ed's front teeth are a little sore and very much chipped. I am going to make some bread and drop it off to them tomorrow as a small thank-you. The demon child woke up at 4:30 this morning and come into our room with us for a while before Ryan kicked him out (thank-you Ryan!) and put him back to bed. He is no longer allowed to sleep in his crib. He is sleeping in between Kacy and Will right now, and I'm sorry for them. He sleeps ON them more than anything-feet in the face and everything.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

This Sunday

Today started out in what I consider to be a bad way. We woke up with our pipes frozen. Not a horrific plight, but very inconveinent as I like to shower and make my hair look decent for church on Sundays. We had our reserve tank with the pump, so we were able to flush the toilet and wash our hands and dishes. But no showers. So for me that meant nasty hair. Of course the pipes thawed at 9:00am, and we leave at 9:15. Not my favorite, but it could've been worse. (I remember using milk to flush the toilet last year when we had a really bad freeze for two weeks... ah, the memories...)
Ed is the devil. That's what I call him when he is having his 5% of badness show up- he is so good and fun for 95% of the time. Cute, funny, inquisitive, smart... and then there is the 5%. He pinches you if you make him mad. Or hits you. He yells. He has a temper. That is 2%, and the other 3% devil is when he is naughty and smiling the whole time. Like when he escaped our bench in church today and ran up to the choir loft/pulpit. This was way before church started, but still, he was smiling the whole time, looking at us like "Well, here I am! Woohoo!" Then he threw a fit after the meeting started because I wouldn't let him have a Jolly Rancher. There is a man in our ward who goes around shaking every one's hand, and in his hand he has a Jolly Rancher. (His name is Rooster.) Kacy and Will look forward to Rooster's handshake, and Ed is now old enough that he knows he's not getting one. I took him out for a minute, brought him back in, and everything is great until we start the sacrament portion of our meeting. He starts saying "BREAD! BREAD!" really loudly, and making monkey sounds. I cover his mouth to keep him quiet, but Kacy and Will are giggling at him. The bread comes and goes, and then it's "MORE BREAD! MORE BREAD!" Awhile later he is playing on the floor with some paper, stickers, and a pencil when he reaches under the bench to get something, but KEEPS ON GOING. He is so fast that by the time I turn around to see him he isn't there, and the skirt of the lady behind me is blowing in the breeze left by lightening fast Ed and she said "He's gone!" He crawled under three pews and was up and running out of the chapel before I could tell Ryan what had happened. Smiling a huge smile, giggling the whole time.
On a much better note, Will went to his Sunbeam class (after a little persuasion), Kacy went to her class (of course...I'm surprised she hasn't asked for homework yet) and Ed went to his nursery class. We came home to a loaf of fresh bread (yea bread machine!) and a roast, some carrots and some onions. I made cheesy mashed potatoes and everyone was happy. Ryan likes to make a roast beef sandwich and I have to admit that it is very good. He went to work and the rest of them went down for a nap. Yea!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Lumber bid

Today we got an estimate for the lumber for our house. Drum roll please... it came to $49700.00, including taxes and delivery fees. Ryan is going over the list today, and already found two typos that cost a lot of money- one mistake was in the number of Simpson ties we need. It says we need 1100 ties, but that is crazy! Even if you put them every 12 inches wour house is not 1100 feet around. We only need 110, (or is it 100???) so that adds up to a savings of around $5000. Also, Ryan found a 6x8 lumber column that says we need 680 board feet of it- but a 6x8 piece of wood is a hefty piece of wood and he has no idea where they would go, and 680 feet of anything on a house our size needs to be questioned. With that mistake (we think they meant 68 feet, makes much more sense) that saves us another $4000 or so. So our lumber estimate could be closer to $40,000. Not too bad. I know how much we want to spend total on our house, and how much we can actually afford. They are two different numbers, because we both agree that less is always better. I thought that anything under $50,000 for all the framing materials would be great. I don't know how I arrived at that figure, but I'm happy with it. Now we can better estimate and spend the rest of our budget on insulation, windows, flooring, cabinets, and sheet rock. We are going to be spending around $4500.00 on cement for the foundation, which includes a concrete pumping service, and around $1800.00 on cement block for the foundation. It pays to shop around and it is strange how one place will be cheap for some things but not others. Oh well, happy building! (Building your own house is just the way to go- both our dad's did it, and you get so much more house for a lot less money than hiring a contractor. Sure it takes FOREVER and sure you live in a TRAILER for years and sure when you are all done you say NEVER AGAIN! But your finished house is great! And you are GRATEFUL.)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

one of those days

Today has been one of those days. A constant shortage of quality sleep, coupled with errands to run with the kids equaled a not pretty day. I was in a bad mood from the start (why do I get up three or four times at night?) and then the kids and I went to Vons to get milk and dog food. We came back with a lot more than milk and dog food... ice cream, cookies, chips... kids and a cranky pregnant lady who is hungry led to a bunch of junk food. I think I'll finish the cookies today and then do a few days "sugar free". I took a two hour nap with the phone off the hook, and now I wish I was still sleeping. It also doesn't help that my sweatshirt is too small. Clothes that are too small just remind you how big you are.... time to watch Project Runway and maybe eat some ice cream. Tomorrow will be fantastic, I know it! (That's my positive thinking.)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

kids and dogs

What I hear as I am coming out of our storage room: "Let us out, Will!"
Will: "No!"
Me: "Will, let your brother and sister out of that cage!"
Will: "No. They bad. They in jail. I'm a policeman!"
I took this picture while in the car...It was just too funny to me. They are all on the same bench in our 12 passenger van... the other two benches have been out since before Thanksgiving, and I'm ready to have at least one bench back. The reason? We bought bunk beds and they have been in the car for that long. We also bought house stuff that I picked up in Inyokern ages ago (the Infiltrators for our septic system...) Anyway, it's been way too long with my car being used as storage and I'm ready to have it back! And, the kids fight more when they are so close to each other. They need some room!

A collage of our dogs- Lucy the Lab, and George the Great Pyrenees. I got two shots of them wrestling, which they like to do. I have a list of what I like about each dog:
Lucy: Doesn't chew on everything, doesn't dig, is good on a leash, is almost trained completely (sometimes she doesn't come when I call her if she doesn't think it's in her best interest... like when it's time to go in her kennel.) She's not going to get any bigger, and she likes to chase sticks and toys. She's learning to drop what she retrieves, and she has just enough energy to be fun for awhile, and then she likes to rest.
George: Likes to take naps, likes to watch people, is very furry but doesn't shed much (yet), follows the kids around, especially Ed. He's a pretty mellow dog, considering his age. (He's still a puppy, and you know how puppyhood is: chewing, potty issues... just like a toddler. I'll be glad when that part is over! Just like with my kids!)

Friday, January 11, 2008

Train trip and more

I have talked about doing a train trip with the kids since November, and On Wed. January 09, we finally did it. We went to the Bakersfield Amtrak station and boarded a train for lovely Wasco. The ride took 25 minutes or so, and we got to board the train 30 minutes early. I didn't get a great shot of the kids on the train because they were too excited looking out of the windows, and I figured that was more important than a picture of them smiling at the camera. I was amazed at how quiet they were- they took in every detail. I had a great time, too. It was an easy field trip. My mom aided us greatly by dropping us off in Bakersfield and meeting us out in Wasco. The Wasco train station can best be described as "seedy". It was a small building with bathrooms that we deemed too scary to go into, and I'm not exactly sure if the people there called it home. They didn't board the train, and we were the only ones to get off. All in all, for $9.00, the four of us had a great trip.
Yesterday I took Kacy and Will to the dentist for the first time. Kacy did great; she let them do whatever they wanted. She had x-rays and her teeth cleaned. Will wouldn't do x-rays, but he let them do a visual and then as he sat on my lap he let them do a cleaning, too. He did really good! (He doesn't like change, new situations, unknown things.) They both got a toothbrush and stickers and talk about going again in July.
Yesterday I also had a Dr. appointment. I am 32 weeks and some days. It was a quick belly check and heartbeat, and my belly is getting bigger, and the heartbeat is still there.
We had a busy 24 hours and I'm glad it's all over and we are back in our trailer. I do have a funky smell coming from the fridge. It smells like hard boiled eggs, even though I don't have any of those. I did a smell check on everything (except the two cartons of eggs I just bought) and can't find it, even with my pregnant nose. That is one of my chores for today: find the mystery smell and banish it! ***Edit*** I found the smell. It was a package of chicken legs that I had planned on eating today. They went bad WAY too fast- I just bought them on Monday! I guess I should check the dates better on the food I buy.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Funniest thing I heard today

Me: Will, is George chewing on one of your toys?
Will: No.
Me: What is he chewing on?
Will: He's just chewing on Ed.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Meet George

This is our newest member of the family. George is an 8 week old Great Pyrenees. We got him from some family friends of Ryan's family. They had two litters, and this is one of the males. He will get BIG. Great Pyrenees are sheep dogs. They are bred and work as guard dogs for sheep. They don't herd them. They sit and watch. This is what I love most- he should watch the kids and chase anything away that's bad. He's not a jumper (NICE!) and he takes lots of naps. He weighs 23 pounds today. He and Lucy (our yellow lab) met today and they seem to like each other. Lucy likes to bat him with her huge feet, and since she herself is a big dog (80 pounds at least...) we put her on a leash when he is outside. I'm going to be in charge of training George. We will see how THAT goes. I am counting on his breed instincts to help me watch the kids and keep the critters away from them. I am hoping for a really intimidating watch dog that loves my kids. From everything I've read and heard from others who have this breed, I'll get it.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

My trailer life

I think every now and then I will post a picture of my trailer and explain. A lot of people ask me "How do you do it?" and I have to say honestly that "I don't know." I do know it's harder when I'm pregnant, because my nerves aren't as good as they usually are, but that's mostly the mental part of it. Physically, we have 5 people living in a generous estimate of 320 square feet. (I think it's 300sq ft). Our kitchen is tiny. Once the black cover on the stove is up, I have a square foot of counter space that is flat, and a cutting board that covers one of the sinks. You can't press too hard on the cutting board or else it slips into the sink. I've gotten the cooking part down pretty well, but serving the food is still a challenge, as we have no dining table. I serve food on the plates (or bowls) and have to serve it right away because there is NO place to set the dishes. The kids eat first, followed by the adults. Time-wise it's not that big of a difference, but I'm usually serving seconds for the kids before I eat. The oven in the kitchen is used for storage of my pans. We don't use it because it is so tricky to light. I bought an electric toaster oven that I keep out in our laundry room. I occasionally bake a meal, like enchiladas, but mostly I plan skillet/microwave/crockpot meals. I have a bread machine that stores under the kids eating table, and when in use it goes where the banana is. For those few hours there is NO cooking done. I have to do the dishes whenever they get dirty, and I don't mind it too much. Of course I would love to have a dishwasher, but I try to use paper plates whenever possible and wash the rest. My junk drawer (every kitchen has one!) is the basket behind the sink. With the phone plugged in where it is (Ryan and his creative wiring...our trailer didn't come ready for phones) I have on electrical plug.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

under construction

For the next few days my blog is going to be funky- and not in a good way. Like "stinky cheese left in the trunk of your car for a week when it's been 100 degrees" funky. You will see it in various stages of development- it will start to come together soon. If you know how to change fonts to cool ones for the headings of each little thingie, or you know the html code so my words don't start right next to the edge, please let me know.