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, February 24, 2011

One hundred million dollars, and President Lincoln

Tonight was open house at the school.

You can learn a lot about your kids by their school work.

Kacy? Remembers everything and spits it right back at you.

Will? He's a little different than his sister. For example:

A fill in the blank counting story that probably should have read "One cold snowy morning, while on my way to school, I saw ________ beautiful snowflakes fall." There were 7 snowflakes on the page. The next page had _______icicles, and so on. Will fills in the blanks. "100,0001,50001 beautiful snowflakes fall. 50001 pretty icicles hanging, 10000 gray clouds drifting, 100 busy birds flying, 100 squirrels running, 1000000000000 happy children playing,(there were 5 on the page), 100 tall trees bending (with the 100 written really tall), 10000 snow shovels shoveling, 2 big plows plowing (there were actually 2 on the page- maybe he lost his "oomph"), and 1 snowman smiling." I was cracking up. Pinkies up, all- like on Austin Powers, "one hundred million dollars!"

Will also had a paper that said, "I hait girls! I lik grand hogs day!"

On Martin Luther King: "Dr. Martin Black people sat moov out ov white peoples way." His teacher wrote a comment: "Hmmm... not sure he understands."

And my favorite: a letter to Mr. Lincoln, 16th president of the United States.

Dear Mr. Lincoln,
 I'm sorry you got cild. (killed) and I heart you. (actual heart shape). and I want you to cume uliv (come alive) and I want you to be my srvint. (servant).
Yours truly,
Will B.

Oh boy. He has some focusing problems, and his teacher is pretty good about it. When I asked him what he was doing when he wasn't paying attention, he just said he was "thinking."  Oh boy.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Busy as a...

Okay, so I haven't really been that busy. I kind of wish I was though. We've had sick kids this week. Will stayed home Monday, Tuesday, and Friday. Kacy stayed home Thursday. Ed has had a fever since Thursday. I have been developing a "thing." I can deal with my "thing" so long as I don't have to do much: it's not like I'm in bed miserable... I'm just really tired, starting to cough, and have to use my inhaler to breathe. On the plus side, I got to take a nap yesterday! And, nothing "hurts." I hate illnesses like sinus infections, or an ear/tooth/back ache. And puking.

Nothing at all has happened on the house this week. Between our super fun day Tuesday, and the snowy weather, which has caused Ryan to get home at 5am (a snow rescue on a mountain), and 2-3am the other nights, nothing is getting done. It's sort of okay though, because the house is ready for an inspection, and there are still little things that can be done that Ryan has worked ahead on. He has this Monday and Tuesday off, and will call this week. He really needs to be there in case something is wrong. It's freezing cold outside, or else I'd force myself out there to tidy up a bit. 36 degrees with cold wind isn't great.

In other news: I have watched "Alvin and the Chipmunks: the Squeakquel" six times in the last 10 days. **Jessie likes to play "toesies." She asked me to play once, and I asked her what the heck "toesies" was... she said that you take off your socks and her toes are the baby toes and my toes are the momma toes. She and Kacy made up the game, and Jessie tries to get her to play every time they are in the shower. **The girls have appointments to get their hair trimed on Monday.**Jessie's birthday is coming up: she's going to be the big 3. She wants to get her ears pierced. I need to find some hair accessories for her hair, and she wants an "Ee-haw" cake. The girls loves donkeys.**I'm going a little stir crazy this week, and although I don't feel up to driving all the way to Bakersfield to hang out and shop and socialize, part of me really wants to! Can you tell? Because I'm rambling now...and I need new sweatpants. Mine are too big/fit funny.

I better stop. This idleness is making me loopy. Back to watching Phineas and Ferb on this snowy/rainy weekend.

**Jessie has a fever today. 102 degrees. Whoop it up!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Heck of a Day

I posted about this on my Facebook, because most of the people in my life already knew about it first hand. This retelling is for my kids, who might be a little traumatized with this memory, and years from now, when we are sitting around and they bring it up, we can have some FACTS, fresh from my memory! Here goes:

So, yesterday I had an asthma attack and a panic attack and took a ride in the ambulance while my kids stayed with the firemen on the side of the road. 

That's the condensed version.

Here's the story:

I have a history of bronchial asthma, and then after a viral infection my senior year in high school, exercised induced asthma as well. On my to-do list was to call my DR. and get a different inhaler, because my new one wasn't working when I ran. (Xopenex, an inhaler that doesn't give you the shakes.) Monday night I was feeling like I couldn't breathe, and I had a slight fever. Took my inhaler, two advil, and went to bed. Got up the next day and went to the laundromat with Will, Ed, and Jessie. Will still had a bit of a fever, so he was home again. Used my inhaler again in the morning, and after the laundry was done we loaded up and started driving home. Left my favorite desert town, and about 10 miles from city life, I started feeling weird. I was hoping to just make it home. I called Ryan several times on different phones, but couldn't get a hold of him. Still not catching a full breath... I pulled over 5 miles later, and got a hold of friend Marcie. By then I was fairly incoherent because I was feeling like passing out (why I pulled over... better to faint on the side of the road parked, right?) Marcie said she was coming. I called Ryan one more time, got a hold of him, and he very firmly told me to call 911 if I couldn't breathe. So I did. Why hesitate, you ask? I'm in the desert, with my three kids. Who would take care of them? My car is a mess. (Lame, I know.) Ambulance rides are EXPENSIVE and NOT COOL. I told the dispatch what was going on, and by this time I couldn't keep my eyes open, and my arms were numb. Turns out in my efforts to catch my breath, I started hyperventilating. This, coupled with my neurotic fear of smothering AND then not knowing what was going to happen with my kids, induced a panic attack. I had no idea that could happen! I later looked it up on the internet while trying to decide if I was indeed mental... and it seems I was a little mental, with a for reals physiological response to a carbon dioxide issue. GOOD TO KNOW.

While we were waiting for the ambulance, Ryan was racing over the mountain to me, driving approximately 120 mph (that's an estimate. It could've been 70mph... I'll let you decide.) On the way up the hill, his truck blew up something, and he was spewing smoke. He said like a smoke screen- it was bad. He made it up and over the mountain, to the kids.

And actually, Marcie called our old Bishop, who lives closest to us, so he could maybe go get Ryan at the house... and he called 911 for me, I think. When I was one the phone with dispatch, they said my husband called it in.

And when help finally came, and pretty fast, too, one of the firemen was a friend's husband from church. He's one of our primary teachers. I was so glad to see him, and he told me he would stay with the kids until Ryan came. Thanks a heap, Nick! Grateful! I'm a little embarrassed, because by this time I was also crying, shivering, numb arms, and incoherent. A SPAS-MATIC. Get it? It's funny today. Not so much yesterday.

So, the ambulance guys gave me oxygen and an IV. Took me to the ER where my numb arms got really, really bad, especially when the blood pressure cuff was on, and my hand seized up. Such a weird feeling. The nurse looked at me and said, "Karrie, I think you are having a panic attack." Really? So now I'm mental, too? Fabulous!

Got all taken care of in the ER- chest x-rays, breathing treatment, and some steroids. After they wheeled me out of x-ray, I came around the corner and saw the family: Ryan, Ed, Will, and Jessie. Ryan said he had never seen the kids so obedient and timely when he got to the car and told them to buckle up so we could go get mom. Ed was the most concerned, asking me if I felt okay, touching my arm. Will and Jessie were just smiling huge smiles, not really sure what to do. Not too much later, Marcie, Jayda, and Krissy came in. They came and took the kids out to lunch and then home. They also picked up Kacy from school. What lifesavers! I owe them big time! (Even though I thought I called Marcie back after I got a hold of Ryan and told he was coming, and to never mind... I think I did that. I'm not sure, and if I did, she came anyway!)

After a relatively short four hour stay in the ER, I was discharged and feeling great! Tired, but great! We got prescriptions filled, grabbed some lunch, and then met Ryan's parents where he left his truck. They came with a trailer, and Cherie and I watched as the wonder-fixers managed to get Ryan's dually on the trailer. The process involved a bit of trial and error, and finally ended with using rock and spare tires and four wheel drive. Amazing. We made it home, Marcie brought the kids home, and things are back to normal.

I went to the DR today, he gave me an Advair inhaler to try, told me to finish the low dose prednisone steroid from the hospital, and to use my Proventil inhaler as needed. I used it once today, and IT WORKS! He wants to do a test in two weeks to measure my breathing.

All in all, the kids had a great day at Marcie's house, and Ryan's and my day went nothing according to plan. (Plan: Clean up house for inspector so he doesn't break his neck on anything.) I teased Ryan while we were eating lunch (waiting for prescriptions), "Is this what I have to do to get you to take me out on a date?"

Lessons learned: people will take care of your kids on the side of the road in an emergency. I have great friends, and a wide circle of help. Wear clean clothes, do your hair, and wear some make-up even if you think the laundromat and Walmart don't deserve it. They do. Because you never know. I got to keep my clothes on, but the old adage of your mother telling you to wear clean underwear came to mind.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

It'll Be the Death of Me

These kids are trying to kill me. They use equal doses of hilarity and close calls.
I am fully aware that I might be melodramatic when it comes to danger and my kids. All I know is that I don't handle it well, and I'm to the point now that the next "close call" will either leave me passed out, or completely apathetic.

Case in point: Saturday Kacy "almost" got ran over by a reversing truck in the parking lot at In-N-Out (because she was skipping ahead in the parking lot, not paying attention, and not with her MOTHER...) Thankfully the truck stopped in time. It hurt my heart, and I had to force myself not to think of the "what if's." By the way, all of the what if's included some form of medication for me to calm my nerves.

Today, while sitting in the car at the laundromat after our "best Valentine's Day party ever" (Ed), Jessie "almost" choked on a jaw breaker. I had no idea she had one, and while I'm in the front seat reading, I hear this weird noise which then turns into a weirder noise. I turn around to see Jessie struggling, mouth open, eyes watering, white thing lodged in her throat. I whipped around and pushed her head down and her gag reflex kicked in and it flew out. Again with the hurt heart on my part, and this time without a friend to calm me down. (Marcie, where were you? Oh ya, cleaning up the Valentine's party mess we left at your house.)

I seriously don't think I could handle a real emergency with my kids. I'm pretty sure I'd just not make it. 

On the bright side, I might also just die from laughter. A few things I've remembered this week:

*Ed told me I was the best doctor (and he said thank-you) after I patched up a skinned knuckle of his. It made my day.

*I posted this on my facebook, but today Kacy say that I had checked out the book "The Minds of Boys: Saving Our Sons from Falling Behind in School and Life." She picked it up and just starts giggling hysterically. "Oh my gosh, Mom. This is so funny. "The Minds of Boys." Did you get this because of Ed? Hey, Ed! Will! Mom got a book so she can figure out your brain! That's so funny!"  I then kicked her out of my "room" and she was still laughing to herself as she left. I forget that she can read.

*Jessie has started using sassiness with the kids, and once in a while, me. She will follow some sayings with "you know," in a very teenager-y, sassy tone. For example, when Ed asked where we were going (for the third time), Jessie replied, "We are going over to the gas station, you know." I'm waiting to see if she rolls her eyes next. 

I don't know where she gets this from.

*Today Will's teacher caught me after school to give me a reward paper for Will, and she told me he tried to change his name to Matt today. She couldn't find his phonics paper, and after a few minutes of looking and questioning Will, she found that he written "Matt" on his paper. Last year he asked me if he could change his name to Matthew, like another boy in his class. He already kind of gets to pick between two names at school, his legal first name, and the abbreviated middle name he goes by. How many names does one person need?

*Tonight I had a school board meeting, and while at the sitter's house, Ed asked Emily if he could play fetch. He brought her a cat toy and proceeded to play fetch, where Emily would throw it and he brought it back.

That's my boy.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

All is Not Lost

I should update: the world did not end when my door broke and we had to reach through the window to open it.

It just so happens that we have another RV on our property right now. Why? Because we have a friend who has some property up in the mountains behind our house, and a bear attacked his trailer, totally destroying most of it. It's still got good bones, but doors are smashed, cupboards torn apart, and generally just unusable. He towed it down the mountain and was going to scrap it, but I think we have another use for it. (Rumor has it that Ryan's dad is taking it...) Anyhow, the kids got into it, we had to go lecture them about not playing in it, and we saw that the door handles were similar. Ryan rigged it up, and it works good enough for now, but we will be ordering a proper door soon.

In other news: I have found a drawback to picking the kids up from school everyday: I have to look presentable. I have no problems wearing the same clothes for several days in a row (I am camping, you know.) but I started wondering if the teachers and other parents are wondering why I always show up in the same clothes. Now, in my defense, I only own navy blue sweatshirts and two kinds of jeans. Which I don't wear because I prefer my cargo pants in this state of "unfitness" that I'm in. It's like my uniform. Which brings me to this story:

I have struggled with fashion all my life. Part of me loves it. Maybe not loves it, but is rather fascinated by it. I found that the few times I was fashionable, I got lots of compliments, and that makes me uncomfortable. I strive to blend in. So, I don't do fashion. Last week at the Walmart, we saw a girl wearing 6 inch stilettos with skinny jeans and a fancy purse, hair all colored nicely, getting into a sporty car. I looked down at myself, in my "uniform" of cargo pants, running shoes, and long sleeved tee, while I was stuffing my phone and ATM card in my pocket (so I didn't have to carry a purse) and asked Ryan, "Hey, you think I should dress like that?"
He just rolled his eyes a little and said "No."
I said, "Doesn't she look like the total package? Hair, nails, shoes, clothes, car? I'm not like that. Am I too practical?" In my head I was analyzing even worse: Maybe I'm not girlie enough. I can't wear heels in the dirt. I don't like heels anyway. But her hair is combed. Wait, I can't comb curly hair. But she looks all clean and put together, like she did not spray her shirt with Febreeze after picking it up off the ground. I should try harder.
I can't remember what he said exactly, but something to the effect that if girls were cars, I'm an SUV: practical, not overdressed, and ready to go just about anywhere. I think I'm okay with that. It gets me off the hook from feeling like I have to own lipstick.

If anyone has seen my Mazda lately, you will know it was DIRTY. So dirty that strangers were asking me why my car was so dirty. Couldn't read the license plate, mud that looked like stucco on the side of my car, and a head light that barely shined through the caked on goodness. At first I was embarrassed, and got it washed in Bakersfield. That same day, on the way home, I had to drive through the creek to get home. After that, I refused to wash it until the creek dried up. Today was the day... my car is now white-ish again!

I need a truck.

I also need a laundry room. I know, big ol' whiner baby here again complaining about using the laundromat with all the tweakers after driving for 30 minutes... or use the really nice one in my favorite desert town that's 50 minutes away... boo hoo, cry me a river. On the positive side, the one in my favorite desert town has attendants, and I can run to Walmart or wash my car while the clothes wash, without fear of people taking my clothes. (There was a streak of that at the tweaker wash.) And, I'm whining about it again because I was there again today. Lots of miles, lots of money... for fun I look at washers and dryers anytime we are at Home Depot or Lowe's. So, at least weekly. Don't be surprised if you come over to our "big house" that in the hallway you see pics of my kids... and my washer and dryer. They will be like family, and I'll love them.

Got a phone call from a homeschooling mom today, after she saw my blog and my state of mind concerning education. I'm excited because she had some excellent curriculum suggestions, and she uses/has used a few of the things I was leaning towards, and gave me some names for new stuff, too. My kids have "mom homework" right now, and they are okay with that. I told them they were going to summer school, and Kacy got all excited. Our school doesn't offer summer school (which I don't mind), but I have plans, summer plans. They are not going to brain-drain this summer.

Last two things: I have realized my writing, grammar, and punctuation, has significantly declined on my blog. Part of it is my blog style of writing: random thoughts and anecdotes from my life (but mostly random thoughts).The other part is sheer "I"ve got to get this done RIGHT NOW or it will never get done and I don't have time to edit!" Yes, I taught Language Arts once upon a time, and yes, I used to be able to proofread like a son-of-a-gun. I also used to be smart, but I've had children.

And finally, it is AMAZING how much better I feel without soda. I had some this last weekend, and again on Monday (a habit of ordering when at a restaurant), and it just made me feel crappy.

Also AMAZING, is how much better I feel after I have my eyebrows waxed. I look like a girl again!