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.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

The hula girls and the Army guys. Yes, this is the BEST group picture I have. And, YES, Ed is trying to ride his pumpkin like a horse. And YES, Ed laughed the evil belly laugh (think, "HAA HAA HAA HAA HAA") for the entire first 10 minutes of the Trunk or Treat.
Eating hot dogs and chips.
I think Ed skipped the hot dogs and just had some cupcakes.
Jessie in her hula skirt- so cute! She loves to do everything Kacy does. She wants to be a part of everything. She didn't get much candy because she was a little scared of the costumes. But she loved picking out a laie (spelling!) to wear, and loved her grass skirt.

After 20 minutes, Ed, who is still not sick (not), claimed "Hey Mom! I have lots of candy. We can go now!"

I love the trunk or treat because I can let my kids "go" without me, and not worry too much about where they are. We have a small group that does it, so it's very manageable for the age of my kids. I don't like the trunk or treat because I'm a total dud when it comes to decorating my car. I keep thinking, "When we have a house and I have a place to store things, I'll start collecting holiday stuff." Because I am going to have an awesome attic walk-in storage place. But part of me says I'm a lazy fuddy-duddy. This year I set up a ball toss- the kids had to throw a ball into one of the glowing pumpkins before they got candy. They seemed to enjoy it.

Now, it's time to sugar detox and get ready for Christmas! (Really? Am I ever ready for Christmas? Do I ever really sugar detox? I must ponder my life's purpose in these areas. That may just be the sugar talking. Yup. I'm delirious. Tomorrow's gonna be rough.)

Photo Shoot- Unedited Pics-There's Lots!

My composition is just a teeny bit off. A little cropping might do the trick.
The kids were given feelings to show. Kacy shouted out "Scared!" and this is what we got.

I think Kacy said "Chicken!" I had to explain to her that was not an emotion, but rather, an animal. She said, "I know. I just wanted to see what he'd do."

This reminds me of a teen magazine or something. Her idea.

Itchy nose. She was not exactly keen on having her picture taken.

See? Will took her sippy cup away for about 2 seconds.

Cheese! And, "I'm not sick Mom!"
Cropping is in order.
Blurry. Too bad- this could've been a keeper.

"Ed! Where are you going?"

It was fun to play with my kids and camera. When someone gets me an X-Large Diet Pepsi and a bag full of Milky Way bars, I'll attempt a group shot. This week I'll play with editing some of them to see if I can crop my way to the perfect picture, or fix the exposure a little. (Don't worry Grandmas, now that I have a good one of all four, I'll be ordering some. The ones on here are low resolution, which means they'll most likely be blurry if you order prints.)

A quick story about Kacy and being scared.

I was reading on Facebook about a friend who is having a Harry Potter marathon with her kids today because it's Halloween. I can't wait to do that, but I'll have to wait a long time. My kids get scared really easily, especially Kacy. It reminded me of an incident...

Last month, the younger kids got to watch "Finding Nemo" at school if they were "Zero Heroes" (a non-detention earner). Kacy ended up crying and being stressed out and scared at the beginning and was sent to the office so she didn't have to watch it. She said she was hanging out with the office ladies, and then noticed that some books were messy, so she cleaned up. Apparently, she organized all their books in the front area, and they gave her a new pencil and eraser. (This, from the girl who is saving money for a three ring binder with sheet protectors and tab dividers. Between her and Jessie, my home should be running smoothly in no time! Jessie likes to clean, Kacy likes organized paperwork... the boys may need a tent outside.)

Will watched the same movie and he said it was cool. Go figure.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Preschool News

Last Thursday I received a phone call (on my cell phone while driving home from Bakersfield!) from the principal at the kids' school. She received a letter stating that we made the cut for a grant for the preschool! It's unofficially official- the grant committee recommended the project and 99% of the time those are the projects awarded. This is so great, and exciting, and "wow, there is a lot of work to be done." Now our little community will have a full day (if needed) preschool/daycare, with bus transportation available (on a regular school schedule). It is not district specific (the bus rides would be). AND, it won't be limited to low income families. There will be a sliding scale fee for those who don't qualify for state assistance. Without getting too technical about the financials, it'll be great! I'm going to start plugging away at the licensing requirements now so we aren't rushed later. When she called me, I was SO happy because I had just picked Ed up from PreK, and everytime I do that, I think about how much the kids in our area could use something like this. I'm not an advocate of taking kids away from their parents for a full day (for whatever reason), but having the option of sending your 4 (and maybe 3) year olds to school for mornings, or a school day, or a full day for working parents. And, it'll be high quality- because... well because it will be.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sick Kids!

Will was officially sick from Thursday night until present. Well, he feels better, and is medicated, has no fever, but still sounds like he might hack up a lung. We'll see how that goes.

Kacy has had a cough for over a week. She doesn't have a fever, and the doctor said her cough is triggered by post nasal drip. Gross.

Jessie got sick Sunday night. She's on antibiotics. Her fever is now mild- she and Will have bronchitis.

Ed is so ornery, I didn't think he'd get anything. He spent the better part of yesterday jumping (literally) all over the furniture. Today he woke up with a fever and nasty lungs. I can hear him when he breathes, and I wish he'd just clear his throat. Except that he can't. For today, I'm looking forward to a quiet Ed.

Ryan is sick. I wonder if he'll go to the doctor- men in general tend not to take care of themselves that way. They don't want to take the time, they don't like to admit they are sick, or they hate the doctor. Pick a reason, any reason. The question is, how to get him to go so he doesn't drag it out (especially if it's what the kids have). No reason to give it to me...

Me- I'm relatively healthy! Crossing fingers and hoping for the best- bronchitis is my arch nemesis as it activates my mostly dormant asthma and almost always requires a trip to the doctor and a breathing treatment, which makes me high. I hate breathing treatments.

I have a great Urgent Care Center I love in Bakersfield. It's called Sendas NW Urgent Care. I have emailed them asking them to consider opening a facility up here where I live. Our health care options up here are ridiculous. Two Clinica Sierra Vistas (with a "we can see you in two weeks" when you are sick today...) and an ER that if it doesn't kill you will charge you a fortune before sending you to Bakersfield. And really, it's an ER, and I hate it when people with the flu go to an ER. Up here it's our only option... but generally, ER's should be reserved for emergencies. Not that I'd take my emergencies up here. I'd drive like a mad woman to Bakersfield or Ridgecrest first.

So, my next project is to talk to the owners of the Urgent Care and convince them there is a market up here. It sure would be nice...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ed, a Finger Trap, + more

We like to eat at Taco Bell. We like to get drinks with our meal. We almost always eat in the car. Without fail, Ed drinks his drink, takes out his straw, and then yells, "Ow, ow, ow, Mom! I'm stuck! It hurts!" The problem is that he sticks his finger in the straw hole. Once it's in, it's difficult to take out without getting little cuts. Try it. It hurts.
On Sunday we all took naps, and he was the first one awake. He came into our room, and Ryan mumbled to him, "Go back to bed." I got up anyway and came downstairs. Ed came up to me and says, "Mom? I have a wittle, wittle, small pwobwem."
"What is it?" (I was cracking up!)
"Well, I have to go potty, but Dad said to go to bed!"

He also does this weird thing where he sniffs a couple of times and says, "Hey, Mom! I smell something! I smell...*sniff*... HOT DOGS!" Regardless of where we are or what it really smells like, he smells hot dogs.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

So you had a bad day...

Jessie had a short nap yesterday, and therefore had a rough afternoon.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Parent-Teacher Conferences

We had parent-teacher conferences this Wednesday. I had to take all the kids with me, as Ryan was working. Last year, that was a disaster. This year went much better, in part because I went in the middle of the session, and in part because the principal sat with the kids for a little while. Ed was very active, but at least he stayed in the cafeteria. Afterwards I let them play on the play ground. You have not lived until you have seen Ed play tether ball by himself. I'm still laughing. Here are the results of the conference:
Kacy's teachers started the conversation by saying that the only reason they come to work is so there is an adult in the classroom. They said she is very helpful, knows what she needs to know, and says interesting things. (This could go two ways...) Like, "My Dad used to be a cowboy. But he had to quit when he married Mom." Both Ms. O and Mrs. C (from Kindergarten) wanted to know why he had to quit. (For the record, he quit before we got married and was getting out of it when we were dating because being a cowboy doesn't exactly pay well. Unless you happen to own a ranch. Which he didn't.) Her progress report had the following comments: "Kacy is making excellent progress in all academic areas. She is like a sponge...absorbing everything we talk about. Kacy likes to help other and likes to be a leader. She is well behaved and is excited about learning something new everyday. Keep up the good work!"
Today Will is sick, and I think it kind of shows in this picture. His eyes look tired. Anyway, Will's teacher was very thorough and went through all his tests with me. He missed one on his math test, and exceeded expectations for the reading/writing test. I told her I was thrilled (yes, THRILLED!) that he comes home and asks for a pencil and paper to write with because he has never been interested. His comments on his progress report says, "Will is a joy to have in class. He is very sensitive and I have to make sure that he always gets his chance to voice his answer or he gets his feelings hurt. he is very patient waiting for me to call on him and always lets me know with his eyes when i have forgotten to offer him a turn. I can really appreciate this about him because he keeps me on my toes to make sure that everyone is recognized and that their opinion and input is important. Thank you, Will!" In other words, his eyes fill with tears. And doesn't she sound like THE Kindergarten teacher? She's good. She's the picture of Kindergarten, except she doesn't wear wooden holiday earrings or jumpers.
The report from preschool and myself concerning Ed is the following: Improvement at preschool! Three weeks in a row of him going without a fit. He LIKES it now. Two weeks of him falling asleep on his cot during nap time. This is great news! He kind of has had attachment issues with me- for as tough as he is, he loves his mom and wants to be with her always! So this experience has been great so far. Too bad it's in Bako and 70+miles away. He was horrible on Sunday at church, but has been pretty good. When he's not a butthead, he's SO FUNNY! Yesterday morning he was taking off his pajama shirt and got it stuck around his head. He says, "Uh, Mom? A little help here." In the car he asked me if we could do a "power."
"A power?"
"Ya! Like dad does!"
He was talking about a power slide. That a fun thing that Ryan knows how to do involving the parking brake and throwing the back end of the car all willy-nilly. The kids LOVE it.
Jessie is just a good kid. She gave me a hard time in church on Sunday, too. I will never bring mini marshmallows to church again. She has a new found love of cheese. Almost an obsession. She likes to go grocery shopping, and loves to give the kids hugs when they get off the bus. Yesterday she scolded Ed, pointing her finger and saying, " N0-no, Eh." She also does this this lip thing looks like her aunt Kendra. She likes to cuddle with me, and is her dad's biggest fan.

As for the parents- we are hanging in there, doing the best we know how. Ryan is busy with too many projects. A few of those should pass soon, though. We are now giving no date to have the house done. It'll be done when it gets done... we go between two train of thoughts, and variants on those trains. One, is to get the house done fast and move in. The other, is get the house done right, even if it takes a few more months. You can get right and fast together, but it costs more money than we have. Because we'd have to hire people. People are expensive. So, we plug along. And we try to enjoy the process. Some days are definitely more enjoyable than others. But the overall feeling is good, and that's what important. Life is good, and when the house is done, it'll be worth the wait. (Because we are NOT moving into it until it is all the way finished. It's too hard to work on a house when you live in it.)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Camera Stuff

Ryan looks like a mad scientist! Today he got a call from cousin David about a "good deal on Craigslist" for some camera stuff. It mentioned a medium format camera. Ryan and Jimmy are interested in these types of cameras, so Ryan goes and checks it out. He offers the guy $200 dollars for a Mamiya medium format camera, an enlarger, some cases, a tripod dolly and what looks to be this camera. He gets it home, looks it all over, and then does some research on the Internet. The tripod dolly alone is worth $250.00. This large format camera (hey non-camera people- it doesn't take any batteries, and the film is like 4inches by 5inches. Crazy! And you basically have to know how to develop it yourself... good thing Ryan knows!) came with the lens... the lens is worth $3500.00. Not that we'll part with it... Ryan has always mentioned he'd like to have this style of camera. He's using a towel for the hood- he needs a sweet velvet cape thing to make it all cool. It also needs a tripod designed for some weight.

In other camera news, I finally bought myself some lenses. Two- a 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 with a macro feature, and a 50mm f/1.8. I am happy with the purchase and can't wait to practice taking (and printing!) some pictures. It's a hobby I'd like to get better at. I'm no pro, by any means, and the lenses I bought are not pro level. They were fairly inexpensive as far as lenses go, which is good! We'll see what I can do. So, watch out- if I am around you, I will be wearing my camera and practicing on you. Brush your teeth, get the eye crusties out, and smile!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

If you want to ruin my day...

Make me go jeans shopping.

I think I'd rather have a fingernail pulled off.

Six more pairs tried on.

Zero bought.

It would help if there was some standard sizing going on. I have a 4 size range. That's not right.

And, to make it worse, I can't decide if I should go run 10 miles or have ice-cream. And lots of it.

Monday, October 12, 2009


  • is a Phineas and Ferb marathon on Disney XD leading up to the Phineas and Ferb Music Countdown... Ed and I are enjoying it! As I took out the trash, Ed informed me that he was going to build a time machine.
  • I went on iTunes to listen to some music. For movie night we watched "Meet the Robinsons" and I like the song that Frankie the frog sings. I was listening to some Jamie Cullum, and then discovered Michael Buble (because of the Chris Isaak hour on TV), and then rekindled my love of Barenaked Ladies and Bowling For Soup. I didn't download anything new because I'm undecided... except for George Strait's new album Twang.
  • I went through some hand-me-down clothes for Kacy from my friend Michelle- Kacy is going to be so excited to see the girl clothes. I'm excited because she is totally set for winter and spring... and there were enough shirts to save until summer, too!
  • I watched Jessie chew up a banana and spit it on the ground. I was not amused, but she was.
  • The kids are getting out of school early because the water well exploded or something this weekend. All the kids are on the middle school campus with a minimum day. I'm excited because they can come home and take a nap with everyone else. They are always so tired on Mondays. I wonder how the day went for the teachers. Out of their classrooms, none of their usual supplies... I'm sure the kids had a blast. Good thing the school is so small... with one Kindergarten class, I'm not too worried about Will getting lost. Just a little worried.
  • The day is only half over! I wonder what the rest of the day will be like. I do know it will include naps for everyone. If it was ten degrees cooler, it would include soup! (It's 72 right now.)

Friday, October 9, 2009


I am feeling the blahs. I have a plan to fix it, but it involves a tractor, and since I don't have the guts to just go out and fire up our John Deere all by myself, I will have to convince Ryan that he absolutely NEEDS to fix my track.

Jessie has been equal parts wonderful and awful. She has been screaming at me and wanting me to hold her. I'm sure it's because of her nasty nose. But when she's not yelling at me, she is happy! She looks gross right now. Still in her jammies, hair sticking up (and to her face), and snot running out of her nose. But, it's lazy Friday! She may stay that way. I could wipe her nose, but she prefers I leave her alone. It'll stop running once it all congeals inside her nostril.

We had another earthquake last night. It was mild, but still shook the trailer. The good thing about the trailer is that it is made to go down the road- but still. I worry that if we had a big one, we might be injured by all the crap in the cupboards flying out. It is safe to say we are outgrowing this humble abode... we have lots more in the trailer now than when we first started. (Two additional children not counted!) There have been two that I have felt in less than a week. Last night's was funny- I was so tired, and was in bed, and I'm pretty sure I was almost asleep. The trailer was shaking in a direction it never does- almost diagonally. I thought, "That's weird. Another earthquake." And then I fell asleep.

Yesterday Ed and I fought over whether he could take a water gun to preschool. You can guess who had which position. Then, when we get there, he insists that I stay in the car and he takes himself in. On a positive note, Ed went in without any problems, and Jessie left without any problems. Yay! Improvement! So glad... maybe by January he'll be even better- like sitting down for his crafts and group work!

After we dropped him off, Jessie and I went shopping. I tried on 9 pairs of jeans. I bought zero pairs. They were all a disaster, except for one pair. But that one pair wasn't the style I was looking for. I currently own one pair of jeans, having finally wore my others out. I own jeans for at least five years, and I wear them all for seasons, at least three to four times a week. I get my money's worth, especially when they are free!!!! (I love hand-me-downs!) I'm not sure if it was the naivete on my part concerning my size, or if I just chose the wrong style for my body. For example, I pick up a pair of "misses" jeans that had a waist. Not high-waisted, just not "low-rise." Mid rise? Guess what? I was reminded once again that I DO NOT HAVE A WAIST. And, not only do I not have a waist, I now have hips! Blaming that one on my kids. A pair of Jr. Levi's fit alright... but they were a little tight on my knees. I don't have fat knees. But, I have claustrophobic knees. I'm a weirdo.

I hate shopping.

Except at the Goodwill, where they organize their shirts BY COLOR! That is so awesome! I wish every store did that.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Let's Add Sleep Deprivation to the Mix, Just for Kicks

Saturday night we had horrible wind. It rocked the trailer all night long. That started my lack of sleep... the kids didn't help either. Kacy has wet the bed twice in less than a week (she also came home Friday with different clothes on because she waited too long to use the bathroom...). On Friday night, Ed wet the bed, and then Jessie's diaper leaked all over the top bunk. I washed all the sheets and blankets on Saturday, and then Kacy pees on the bed that night. Ed wakes up to use the bathroom. He still needs help with the process, so that means I get up, too. Sunday night was no better, as I suffered from crazy sugar induced dreams (and a headache), as did my children. Well, not Will. He sleeps through everything. But everyone else had problems. Last night was no different- Kacy had a bad dream, Ed had to use the bathroom, then Kacy had to use the bathroom.

ANYWAY, the last three nights have been ridiculous, and I'm blaming THAT as the reason I salted dinner twice by mistake. Yuck. I salted plain white rice because I thought I forgot to salt the poached chicken that went into the enchiladas. I didn't. One or the other needs a little salt. But both? I think I dehydrated the whole family with tonight's dinner. Very disappointing.

Here's hoping for a solid 7 or 8 hours. Every woman with a kid knows that short naps strung through the night do not constitute a full night's rest.

In other news, I struck up a deal with my friend Dani. She's going to watch my kids for two and a half-ish hours while I volunteer at the kids' school. In return, I'm going to bring her family dinner for that day. I got to go today and it was great! I love to see the kids in their rooms with their friends. Most of Kacy's class remembered me and came to talk to me. Will's teacher is giving me an assignment to make a digital book. Fun! I like to help because I like to spy on my kids and see how they interact with their peers, and because I figure that an hour of me doing the mundane chores is an hour the teacher can be doing some planning. Or relaxing. A relaxed teacher is a nice teacher.

PS- Jessie started saying "Yeths" today. That's awesome, and so cute! She sometimes says it very clearly, like "yes", and sometimes she sounds like Cindy Brady with "yeth."

Monday, October 5, 2009

Simply Healthier, Revsited

So, my long neglected "Simply Healthier" blog is going to start back up again. It's mostly for selfish reasons- like it's Candy Corn season and a weather change, which for me means overindulgence and processed foods. I'm not sure why. But I don't want to gain five pounds over the next three months (or more...) so I'm going back to the blog. And, because I've heard several of my homies (Homies... is that a real word anymore?) say they'd like to lose five pounds, or fifty... maybe we could be in a group. If anything, it could be the "I don't need to lose weight but I refuse to gain weight" group.
I will be high lighting my FAVORITE podcast (you don't need an iPod to listen) and then a change a week, as in "change one habit a week and pretty soon you'll be living a healthy lifestlye." I'm anti-diet. Which might be why I've been in reasonable shape most of my life. but as I get older... it gets harder. And after having four kids in five years... it's gotten tough! But I'm not giving up.
Simply Healthier

Friday, October 2, 2009

What the Roof Looks Like

I'm SURE I could have taken a better picture. You know, like one that had better lighting, or at least didn't showcase our ugly trailer. But hey! That ugly trailer has a very cool history and only needs to be sandblasted and painted. Then, it would look like a million bucks. Or ten thousand, at least. Ryan took this trailer from a pental hitch monster and redesigned and welded it into the best goose neck trailer EVER. For us, at least.

Anyhow, our metal roof. Out metal roof is Energy Star rated. We didn't know that. It makes a huge difference in the temperature of our house, even as it is with no insulation. You can go into the attic and touch the underside of the roof, and where there is no metal roofing on the backside, it's hot to the touch. Where there is roofing, it is just warm. The back isn't all the way finished yet because the roof jacks (venting system) needs to be put in, and before that goes in, the water heaters need to put in. And before those go in, the mechanical rooms need working on... so many details.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Another Ed quote (He's full of it!)

As we are driving home from Bakersfield today, I say to Ed, " I'm so happy with you, Ed! You went to preschool without crying or throwing a fit! That's so good!"
He replies, "Don't be happy, Mom. Preschool is just stupid."
"What? It's stupid?" I had that "What the heck?!?" look on my face. Especially since he appeared to have had a great time.
"Ya, and you know the kids? They are stupid, too. The whole thing is stupid."

Being the best mom in the whole wide world (NOT!) I laughed, but so he couldn't hear me. Then I proceeded to lecture about how it's okay not to like something, but you shouldn't use the word "stupid." Even if it is.