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.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

CALM and co-sleeper, trailer style

The two bears at the California Living Museum (CALM). Our playgroup went there today, and it was fun. My kids were incredibly well behaved- so much so that I wondered what was wrong with them. I talked to Will (the wanderer) before we got out of the car and explained very calmly that if he did not stay with our group, then we would go back to the car and leave. There were 300 first graders roaming around, and the parking lot was pretty full when we got there. My talk must've worked, or more likely, he just didn't have the spunk in him today. Ed was given the choice by another mom (thanks Mitzi) of either riding in her stroller or holding my hand, and after he realized what was going on, he opted to hold my hand. He didn't even fight me much. We saw bears (above) and all other local animals- racoons, hawks, crows, ducks, turtles, a road runner, coyotes, lizards, snakes, and foxes. Aside from the bears, we have all those animals on/near our property, but it was still neat to see them. The park itself was really nice. Great trees, and everything was clean. I was impressed, and will take the kids again.
I don't do "co-sleeping". I have never slept with my babies in my bed because I am mental about it. #1- Deep seated fear of rolling over on them, even though I hardly move at night. #2- Their little noises wake me up unnecessarily. #3- I believe having your kids in your bed trains them to be dependent on you helping them to sleep, and because I am lazy, I want my kids to sleep on their own, by themselves, with as little help from me as possible. That's also why after a month or so of life , I try to put the babies in their beds while they are still awake so they don't rely on nursing/bottles to fall asleep. Again, laziness on my part. But I digress. This is Jessie in her bed. It is a shelf next to my bed. Yes, that is technology by her head- our internet modem thingie. Kacy and Will slept in a laundry basket by my bed for about two weeks until they were moved into their own beds (we had a house), and Ed and Jessie get the shelf (in the trailer). This shelf works perfectly because I don't have to go far to get her when she wakes up at night. There is a light right above it, if I need to change her diaper. She is almost too long for it. I think my sleeping theories work pretty well (that, or I just got extremely lucky to have four kids who sleep- very possible). I keep the room dark at night and I don't talk to her. I save the stimulation for day time when she can be awake. I keep a routine at bedtime- bath, lotion, pj's, bed. She is almost two months old an consistently sleeps 8 hours at night. They don't match my 8 hours, but I don't care. All my kids have done this, with the exception of Will, who was three months old before he had an 8 hour stretch. He was also the one who had days and nights mixed up for a solid week or more- nearly killed me.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

bats, stairs, and another goal

A photo of the unfortunate bat who ran into my car last Friday night. I thought they had echo location or something fancy that made them excellent fliers. Maybe this one had an inner ear problem because it didn't locate my car coming until it was too late. The sad part is that I think this was the second one I hit withing a 1/4 mile. The other one hit my window and bounced off.
Ryan had his dad come up today to help lift a VERY heavy beam on the upper landing, and the landing itself, of the stairs. Ryan put everything else up himself- I still don't know how he did it. For scale, Ryan is 6'5". After the welding is finished, he is going to do the rough plumbing. I think he said that tomorrow we are going to bury the water, phone, and electricity ditch. I'm not sure what my job will be exactly. Seems like a tractor job to me.

My other goal that I want to do when I'm 50 and have my Barrett-Jackson auction car is to be able to drive it to my non-profit after school center. I think it would be fun and a worthwhile project to be able to give these valley kids a safe place to hang out after school. I would have a tutoring center, a full sized basketball court, a kitchen/dining area where kids can learn to cook, a computer lab, two separate playgrounds for the younger/older kids. So many possibilities that I can't even think of them all. And, I will try to fund it somehow so that the obnoxious kids can be kicked out without me being sued by their parents.I want it to be a free program. I would have vocational classes for the older kids, since they don't get that in school anymore. Lots of possibilities.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Barrett-Jackson Auction

After watching this auction on TV, I have decided that for my 50th birthday, I am going to go and buy myself a car. This car will be something I buy completely for fun, Frivolous. Absurd. Non-necessity. The reasoning behind my scheme is this: By the time I'm 50, I want to be in a financial place where I can go throw down up to $100,000 cash for a car. And not think twice about it. I am not a car person. I currently drive a 12 passenger Ford van. (That I happen to love. It's very off-roady looking.) I don't dream of having a linoleum floored garage filled with cars I don't drive. But I do want to be so financially stable and secure that I have a sporty little car that goes fast and handles well around curves. By that time in my life, Kacy will be 24, Will-23, Ed-21, and Jessie 19. And I will be 50. And maybe a grandma. A grandma with a frivolous hot rod. Right now I'm thinking a 1950's model corvette. In 20 years I might be able to afford a 2008 Porche Turbo Carrera. I'll park it next to my van. Oh,the possibilities.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

That's just the way we roll

Coming home from Bakersfield on Friday night, I heard this song on Radio Disney (for the hundredth time, at least) and thought "This describes my life and family right now perfectly!"
The song is by the Jonas Brothers, and it's aptly titled "That Just the Way We Roll". The chorus goes like this:
And I know
We get a little crazy

And I know

We get a little loud

And I know

We're never gonna fake it

We are wild

We are free

We are more than you think

So call us freaks

But that's just the way we roll

No one has to tell me how crazy and loud my kids are. I KNOW. They probably get it from me. My kids never fake anything. They are wild, they are free, and I KNOW that most people think we are FREAKS (sort of a strong word, maybe just ODD) for living in a trailer with four kids under the age of five while trying to build a house without a contractor. Or many subcontractors for that matter. It's been two and a half years. Lots of folks think we're nuts for moving to the middle of nowhere. Even the people in town up here think we live far away. But you know what? That's just the way we roll.
And we are happy about it.
(If you want to see me unhappy, you know, genuinely stressed, there are two situations to consider: One- a trip to Bakersfield. Two- the 10 minutes after church is over and I don't know where half of my kids are. Running around all wild and free I suppose. As long as they aren't in the parking lot...)

Song: That's just the way we roll

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ryan's Redneck Ride

Medusa. Lovely, eh?
Check out the rattlesnake kick stand.
Ryan bought himself a Harley last week. 1976 something. This is how it looks now, but he has some plans for it. Different handle bars, flat black paint (bye-bye scary Medusa head...) and different exhaust. Oh- and a different seat.

Friday, April 11, 2008

A long day, but not as long as Jocelyn's

An explanation of the title: Jocelyn had baby boy number four today, at the hideous hour of 4:45am! She didn't get any sleep at night, but when I saw her she looked pretty good and was even able to complete her sentences. We'll see how she is on Sunday- I need to see another newborn mommy unable to think clearly so I feel better about myself. Here is a picture of Levi Henry, born @ 4:43am, 9 pounds 10 ounces, 22 inches long, with loads of hair. Compare to our Jessie, with little to no hair (love the newborn mullet!) and I think he just might be bigger. Okay, so I tried to take a picture of their feet next to each other, and none of them turned out, but I did notice his legs are at least twice as thick as hers. He's going to be a big boy!

My long day consisted of much traffic. I went to Bakersfield today for a doctor's appointment. We stopped on the way in at our friend Jenny F.'s house because we hadn't seen them forever. We didn't see the boys- Clay was working and Caleb was in school. Kacy and Abby played together, and even included the boys. It was a good visit, and I am going to make more of an effort to stop by. Then, it was off to "the other side of town" where I wanted to beat my head against the steering wheel because of the traffic. I hate it. So many people- that's why we moved out of there! I dropped the kids off at my mom's and went to my Dr. appt. with Jessie in tow. After that, I went to our storage unit and found my "in between" clothes and my "skinny" clothes. I found some maternity shirts I had been looking for (too late now) and threw those in my Goodwill pile. I then went to the bank to deposit a check in the ATM only to find I didn't have a pen. I wasn't getting out of the car, so I left the bank with the uncashed check. I went to El Pollo Loco and got some chicken and fed Jessie (and myself) in the car for the second time. I spent most of my afternoon feeding that girl in my car! Got my car washed, where the employees sent me through twice because of the bee and butterfly guts plastered to the front of my car. Gross! I went and picked up the kids and headed to the hospital to see Levi, and get the scoop on Jocelyn's birth story. Then the kids and I headed for my Grandma M's house. They were hungry for dinner, so we went to Taco Bell (at 6:00pm...). There were no less than 15 cars in the drive-thru, so we went to another Taco Bell, where there were only 12 cars. We finally landed at Jack in the Box. Yummy! Then on to a nice visit with my grandma, aunt, and my sister Kendra. Oh- and Will got a gash in his head that could probably use a stitch or two, but being the awesome mom that I am, I put a butterfly band aid on it. I could think of NOTHING worse than taking him to the urgent care on a Friday evening, with Jessie, so that he could scream and kick the nurses/Dr. when they tried to put one or two stitches in his head. Besides, it is on his hair line and any scarring won't really show. (In case you work for CPS, I did have my aunt, who is a nurse, look at it. She said he'll be fine.)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

My Hero (sigh)

Title of news article "Valley's best honored by American Legion Post"
I'm not going to tell you what the caption in the paper said, I think it's way funnier to make up your own.
The last part of the article that talks about Ryan says: "Bunting transferred to the Kern River Valley in July, 2005. 'Ryan did not just arbitrarily choose to live in the Kern River Valley,' noted Romine. 'He researched and visited all the mountain communities in Kern County and found the Kern Valley to be the best place to raise his family.' Bunting and his wife, Karrie [THAT'S ME!!!] live in the valley with their four children.
Props to the newpaper for spelling my name right, and for the awsomely funny picture of Ryan. He said that in the office at work, someone cut out the picture and taped it to the whiteboard where all the officers and Sheriff officers have added their own captions.

Fish Hatchery

Yesterday we went to the fish hatchery for playgroup. I think the kids had fun. It's one of those things were it is a huge ordeal to take them, but they get a lot our of it, and they enjoy themselves. They get to play with other kids. I get a chance (sometimes) to talk to other adults. We rarely leave our house. I do that on purpose to keep my sanity. I am not one those people that has to go somewhere everyday to be happy. I hate shopping. I double hate browsing. We are happy at home! Besides, look at my kids. As adorable as they are, the oldest one isn't quite five years old. Makes outings a challenge.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Happy Anniversary to Us

Today is our anniversary. We've been married eight years. I looked for a picture of us together, but the most recent one was taken in April of 2005. Sad and pathetic, I know. Last year our anniversary fell on Easter Sunday, so we didn't do anything. (By the way, last year I have a picture of me and my sister together to compare our "not pregnant" bodies to the "pregnant bellies" of the year before, but no Ryan and Karrie pictures...) This year, Ryan is working and I am at home with the kiddos. Oh well- we are both of the opinion that everyday matters, not just "important" ones like anniversaries or Valentine's day. He would much rather I kept the fridge stocked with cold drinks, have stuff to make a quick lunch with, and act like I'm interested in his latest scheme/fascination than do something fancy or silly because of the calendar date. I'd much rather be married to a man that puts the toilet seat down, puts his dirty clothes in the hamper, and cleans the toothpaste out of the sink than someone who buys me stuff because he's obligated to. On that note, he bought me a new mattress, that I ordered today. Did you know RV mattresses are atrocious? Hideously uncomfortable. I've complained long enough, and we've used the excuse of having an anniversary to finally just buy a new one. Ah, the little things.

Monday, April 7, 2008

My week in pictures and a request

Ed eating ANOTHER dog bone. I try, I honestly do.
Jessie is one month old!
Kid picnic. Will you believe they already gobbled up lots of broccoli before they ate their PB/honey sandwiches and Doritos? Me either.
Will getting into the picture...

And now for my request- I would like to know which song/songs get your bootie shaking. I have discovered something fabulous, but yet so simple. I listen to my mp3 player while cleaning and dance at the same time. It is a small form of exercise (I'm a terrible dancer), and it is AMAZING how well behaved the kids are when you can't hear them! Anyway, I would love to add to my playlist and was wondering if anyone had a favorite bootie shaking song. Please share!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I-beams and metal

Our house as it is today- the I-beams, rim joists, and the four metal posts that go between our kitchen windows. The post are 16 feet tall right now- they will be trimmed down a little. For scale, the little door in the cinder block is about four feet tall. The long side of the house (the front) is 70 feet long. Under the I-beams in the crawl space will be the plumbing, and the plywood sheeting goes on top. Before the sheeting goes on Ryan has to do the rough plumbing and the metal infrastructure (is that the right word???) for our staircase. Good thing he is an expert welder- besides the normal wood building/electrical/plumbing skills he has- the boy has mad welding skills. Our house has a "fancy" staircase. By "fancy", I mean to say that our staircase hung up our draftsman/engineer for months trying to figure out how to design it so that it meets CA building code and be the design feature we wanted it to be. It will wrap around our fireplace and appear to come out of the wall (nothing under the treads/risers).

I have not been on the Internet much lately because I just don't seem to have lots of time. On the kid front, Kacy is a sponge who absorbs everything she hears. She is continually asking for the definitions of words she hears. She also knows how to tie her shoes, as of yesterday. Who taught her this? It wasn't Mom, Dad, or any other relative. It was Bill Cosby. Actually, it was Little Bill on Noggin. There is a poem: "Make a little loop, what do you do? Wrap the lace around it, and pull it through." There you go. Will is talking like a normal three year old now. He cracks me up when he isn't making me mad. He definitely has great interpersonal skills. Ed is interested in using the potty. He has only an inkling of what to do, but he is showing the signs of being ready to try. For example, he sometimes tells me when he needs a new diaper, and he sometimes tells me he has to go. He doesn't always go, but he wants to try. Jessie gave me my first bad night last night, and even then, it wasn't terrible. She will be a month old tomorrow, and last night she wanted to party, and she invited me! She woke up at 3:57am (yes, I know exactly when I opened my eyes...) and she stayed up until 5:58am. She would fuss every time I turned out the light. As long as the light was on, she was okay. I can't complain too much- she slept 8 hours before that. We just need to shift those hours to when I'm sleeping. George (the dog) is learning how to sit this week. He is a stubborn little thing. I have to bribe him with treats. I did that for 10 minutes yesterday, and tested him today, sans treats. He sat right down on command. I don't like doing treats, but the boy needs it. Ryan is back to work and is continually doing house stuff. I am busy with the kids and my own house stuff- laundry, cooking, etc. I am getting the sewing bug, but I don't really have the time right now.