Saturday, January 31, 2009

Targeted Advertising

I was looking around this morning when I saw this ad...

What the heck? Did the computer decide to keep track of my New Year's Resolution and plant a weight sensor in my chair while I was asleep? How in the name of Pedro do "they" know who to show that ad to? I'm going to start scanning my game room for bugs. There's probably one in that Elmo that says "Elmo wants to play" whenever I step on it. I'm on to you Elmo.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

How to feed 6 people for under $6

My kids never go without. They have 3 square meals a day, an endless supply of snacks, toys galore, satellite TV-complete with several cartoon channels, including the Disney Channel. In return, they do NOTHING. I remember growing up, and by the time I was 9, I was doing every shred of laundry in the house for my family consisting of 7 members. I remember I had the job of dusting a long time before that, so I'm sure I had chores before the age of 6, which is how old Andi is. I didn't have a "boom box" until I was probably 10-12 years old, and Andi has one of those already. The one thing we ask is that every few days (when it becomes absolutely impossible to walk through the destruction) they clean up their bedrooms and the gameroom. After all, if they got the toys out, it is obvious that they know where they go, or at least where they came from. Tuesday night, we had one of these battles. You know how it goes...first a promise of a reward, intermittantly followed by more serious and severe promises of punishment. I was exasperated with Andi and Dylan for not cleaning. After all, Peyton was busily scrubbing his artwork off the wall with a magic eraser, and if a 2 year old can clean, why not a 4 and 6 year old? I finally told them that if I did not see an improvement, and caught them playing instead of cleaning, that they would go to bed WITHOUT dinner. That's right, it was nearly 6:00 at the time, and I was serious. They failed to heed my warning, so they went to bed...without dinner. Peyton and Soni got to eat with us, but the other 2 wer banished to their rooms. Andi also lost her stereo privileges until further notice, but that's a result of the fit that ensued.
Fast forward to last night...
Again, the mess had not been cleaned up, and Cameron had had enough this time. First, he helped them clean up until they stopped cleaning, and he was doing it all alone. The whole time he just kept telling them that they would determine when we would have dinner. The faster they cleaned, the sooner dinner would come. He said that bedtime would still be at regular time (8:00) so if the mess wasn't cleaned up by then, too bad. Well, 8:00 came and went, and Cameron announced that "dinnertime" had passed. The very thought of another night without dinner made Andi collapse into a puddle of tears, and made my mind flash to the inevitable chat I would have with CPS. I played good cop, and told them that I would make them "dinner" really quick. Being so close to grocery shopping day, our resources were slightly limited, but they did get dinner. It consisted of 2 slices of toast each, a banana or some other form of fruit, and juice. A meal fit for any convict. Top that off with the fact that Cameron and I each ate Ramen noodles, and you have what has to be the most inexpensive meal EVER!

Loaf of bread- $1.09
Butter- 50 cents (at least for the amount of butter we used)
Ramen noodles- $2.00
Juice boxes- $1.97

Teaching your children that your threats aren't so idle- PRICELESS!

A Not So Familiar Sound

When 75% of your children have asthma, you become very accustomed to the sounds of wheezing and "seal barking"-especially during cold and flu season. The symptoms of my children's respiratory distress usually present in the same way. First comes the runny nose. This sends up a signal that a cold is on the horizon. Next comes the cough. Usually this cough sounds "wet" and while wheezing may exist, there's not much cause for concern because we usually have a day or two of warning to start the inhaled steroids. Last night, however, we were NOT prepared for what we heard. Cameron and I had spent so much time during the evening doing necessary things around the house, that we hadn't even settled in to watch "Lost" yet, and it was quarter to 11. I heard crying coming from one of the bedrooms, and since Soni has been desperately trying to get several new teeth, I assumed that she was the source of the noise, and went to pick her up. However, as I walked past the boy's room, I realized that the source was, on the contrary, in there. Crying is a familiar sound, and I can differentiate my children's cries from any other child's crying, even in a crowded room...usually. But this sound was completely unfamiliar. I couldn't tell whether it was Dylan or Peyton. It was Dylan, and he sounded HORRIBLE! He was obviously struggling to breathe, and sounded like a seal barking (a clear indicator that he had croupe). He was crying, and the only complaint he vocalized was that he "couldn't sleep". I was taken completely off guard. This was not the way things were supposed to happen! Hadn't he received the memo? Where was the runny nose? Where was the fever? He is totally FIRED! Luckily, (and I never would have thought that having asthmatic kids was "lucky") we know how to handle respiratory issues, and have everything on hand that we need. Albuterol and Pulmicort are our best friends in the winter time. So, we put regular procedure into action. Gave the poor kid two back to back treatments of Albuterol to stop the wheezing, and called Pediatric after hours care to await further instructions. Around midnight we gave him a Pulmicort treatment, and he significantly improved. Just to be safe, he slept in our room last night and, much to our relief, sounds MUCH better this morning. He is a real trooper when it comes to taking his treatments, which makes my job a whole lot easier too. I'm just relieved we didn't have to make a middle of the night trip to the Emergency Room, have to pay $150 dollars for the doctors to give him treatments of all the stuff we already have at home. Thanks to the inventor of the portable nebulizer! I owe you BIG TIME!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

School's Out For . . . Wednesday

Mother Nature blessed us with a 1/4 inch of ice covering everything this morning. The school district in turn blessed all the children with a day off.

A day off for this? In Wyoming we had a name for this sort of thing when everything was covered in ice. We called it Monday.

When I was a kid in Star Valley (yes, I'm a crotchety old man), my school district never canceled school. I remember listening to the radio on the bus in the middle of white-out blizzards and hearing all the schools in Idaho that were canceled for the day because of the one inch of snow they got overnight. Idaho pansies. We had to go to school once when the electricity was out all day. Their reasoning: the power might come back on. How was I supposed to learn if I couldn't watch "Conjunction Junction" in Mr. Whoseit's english class? There was even an earthquake in the valley one night that woke everyone up and freaked people out. We still went to school the next day. (Granted it was only a 4.5 and it didn't do any damage, but still, it's the principle.)

I guess it's good though that they do cancel school, because too many people just don't get that you shouldn't drive 70 mph, make sharp turns, or brake suddenly on the highway when it's covered in a fresh sheet of ice.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Have You Seen This Person?

ALIASES: I Don't Know, I Didn't Do It, It Wasn't Me, Huh?, and [scapegoat of the day] Did It

WANTED FOR numerous violations including:

Spilling milk on the floor and leaving it there to dry

Waking the baby up from her nap

Drawing pictures on the wall

Pulling all the toilet paper off the roll and leaving it on the bathroom floor

Not flushing the toilet

Helping themselves to Capri Suns and taunting the authorities by leaving the evidence of this transgression in plain sight

Touching DVDs and leaving child-sized fingerprints all over them

Leaving all the pointy toys in the hallway for dad to step on in the middle of the night

Eating Pop Tarts outside the kitchen

Setting the DVR to record ALL episodes of Dan Zane's House Party and Paid Programming on channel 52.




The FBI is offering a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading directly to the arrest of Not Me. Parents are offering bribes of an extra cup of juice or a selection of any piece of Halloween candy (it's still good) for information leading to the cessation of Not Me's reign of terror.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Sneak peek.

As promised...I just saw these on Kevin's photography blog, so here is a sampling of the pictures from our session yesterday. I am definitely impressed, and can't wait to see the rest. Here you go...

And to think this isn't the only picture we have of everyone looking at the camera! Marnie and her monkey dance saves the day!

I love how fun and almost candid this shot looks. I do, however, wonder what Peyton was thinking about...

This is definitely a keeper! I love Dylan's face. It's almost like he's taken on the personality of "Alexander" -"There was kissing on TV, and I HATE kissing". Couple that with Peyton and his "Ponyboy" (from the "Outsiders") stance, and you've got yourself a Kodak moment!
So there you have it folks. This is just a small sampling, there are more individual shots on Kevin's blog: Check it out, and we will post more of our faves once we have the CD. Thanks again, Parkers, YOU ROCK!!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Gimping around.

Here it is, quarter to midnight on a Friday night, all my family is a snooze in their beds, and I for the life of me couldn't fall asleep. I layed there for nearly 2 hours listening to Cameron's gentle breathing (aka: snoring) to no avail. I guess the reason for that is probably the fact that I have been nothing but lazy for the past 4 days. Granted, I should give myself some credit. I had a "procedure" done on Tuesday-just one step closer to the inevitable surgery, and it went well. Cameron was able to work enough last week to take Tuesday off, and planned to work from home on Wednesday, giving me time to recooperate. However, when I was being discharged from the hospital on Tuesday evening, I was informed I couldn't lift anything heavier than 10 pounds for the next 5 days. Say what?! I guess I had ignored this little detail the other 6 times I've had this same procedure done, seeing as how the last time I was 17, with ne'er a care in the world. Somehow this news came as more of a shock since my "baby" does nothing but eat all day, and has the physique to prove it...weighing little less than her siblings. No problem...Cameron was able to arrange to work from home Thursday and Friday as well, leaving me to feel completely useless. Not only does he get to work from home for at least 8 hours a day, but he has to take care of every need the kids have. I can't squat down on the floor, so I can't change diapers, I can't walk up and down stairs easily, so it's easier to send him to get things, I can't even pick the baby up from her nap. Come to think of it...this is starting so sound very much like how our Christmas break went for me as well, so I really shouldn't blame my laziness on being a gimp for the week. I'm just glad that Cameron CAN help, and more importantly DOESN'T MIND helping out at times like these. I'm also thankful for good friends that we can rely on when we are so far away from family that will do ANYTHING for us. Whether it be watching our kids, calling to check how we are, or feeding us dinner, I don't know how we could make it without them sometimes!
Now, just so ya'll know, everything went well, my doctors saw everything they needed to see, and hopefully by this time next week I'll have a surgery date set. YAY???
Anyway, there is other news around here. WE GOT NEW FAMILY PICTURES DONE!!! YAY!!!
Cameron and I had decided that before the "big day" we had to get new family pictures done, because:
1-the last "family" pictures we had done were at Bear Lake, and if you recall, Cameron wasn't in them...

and 2: The time before that we got them done at JCPenney, did not have the best experience, and left with this lovely souvenier that totally shows Soni's personality...

I hope you caught my sarcasm there...

Anyway, this time we decided to ask someone we trusted, and had seen his work before. Kevin Parker (an awsome Jack of all trades in our ward) and his amazing wife Marnie took us out this afternoon to the park where we had the most AWESOME photo shoot ever! The weather cooperated, the kids behaved, and while I don't have a picture to post right now, I am confident that the results will be amazing. I was amazed at how down and dirty Kevin was willing to get to get good shots. It was definitely money well spent, and we are just sad they will be moving in the next year, and won't be around to do this for us in the future. I promise I will post pictures as soon as I have them.

Well, since I have been writing this for an hour now, I suppose I better go back and try to sleep. After all...I've got a big day of DOING NOTHING ahead of me...I need my rest.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Flattery will get you everywhere...

The last few days have been, well for lack of a better word, tiresome. I'm sure you've all had those days where it seems that your children will NOT STOP. Stop anything. Stop talking, fighting, just generally being name it. I have been near the brink of insanity for just about 72 hours. By dinner every day, I have made that lovely face that I'm sure every mother makes on a semi-regular basis. You know the one, where you pull the bottoms of your eyelids down with your hands, as you try to rid yourself of your frustration by pealing your face off your skull? That has been me the last 3 days. Tonight, we needed to go grocery shopping, so we made a list, and agreed that we would eat out tonight, because it was already dinner time, and since we have no food...seemed like a good option.
When you have 4 kids, you have to narrow down your choices based on who either has the cheapest kid food, or which places the kids eat free on any given night. Tonight, it was Steak n Shake. Turns out the kids don't exactly eat FREE all weekend as the big billboard outside claims, but that's a whole different post. Usually if we eat at Steak n Shake, we allow the kids to get jr. shakes at the end of the meal granted they finished their very nutritious meals of Mac and Cheese (why do kids ALWAYS choose something like this, even if they had just had it for lunch?) or cheeseburgers. Not tonight though. Since I was near the point of stabbing a straw into my own ear so I wouldn' t have to hear the word "mom" one more time, we opted to not treat the kids to milkshakes. Cameron and I, however, did order shakes. By the end of dinner, I was really full, with half of my shake left. So, the kids started asking for "sips" (which we all know is really just their way of asking if they can drink as much as possible before you say "okay, that's enough already") so I decided to reward the ones that had finished their food. Peyton got a drink first, then Dylan. When Dylan asked for more, I told him he could have more given that he would sing me "my" song (he loves to sing a certain song to me by James Blunt...I'm sure you've heard it.). So, as loud as he could, he belts out... "YOU'RE BEAUTIFUL! YOU'RE BEAUTIFUL! YOU'RE BEAUTIFUL, IT'S TRUE!" Our waiter happened to be standing behind him when he started singing, eliciting a smile and a chuckle. Once the other kids caught on that this technique worked on dear ol' mom, they broke into several renditions, from Andi's "You're pitiful", to Peyton's "You're beautiful boo boo" all drawing attention to our table. All in all it was a successful outing, except for the fact that we never made it to the grocery store...I knew we forgot something!

Dinnertime Serenade

The kids were watching TV the other day and the Wal-Mart commercial with the family singing "We Will Rock You" came on. Andi got excited because apparently she had heard it in gym class. She asked me how the song goes, and for some reason I taught her the words that I know (we will rock you, that's it). Little did I know that she would not stop singing the song for the rest of the night. At dinner she got her brothers in on the fun, and even started making the Boom Boom Clap noises with it. Cool, stadium rock at dinner time! Woo hoo!

I tried teaching them "Bohemian Rhapsody", which I know all of the words to thanks to Weird Al's "Bohemian Polka". They kids weren't really into that song though because it had more than four words to it, and Sam has something against letting them watch Wayne's World, so they'll never really know just how cool it is. What? It's not cool anyway, and I'm a big dork? Ah, man.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

My Wife the Comedian

I like Nerds (the candy). They are quite tasty with all their tiny, tangy, crunchiness. They have Nerds jelly beans, and those are simply the best jelly beans ever made. Sam found a couple bags of Christmas jelly beans on sale at Wal-Mart, for which I will love her forever. (For that, and some other things).

This afternoon, Sam told Dylan to hand me the bag and say "You are what you eat." Har har har. She's lucky our marriage isn't based solely on her finding bags of Nerds jelly beans.

How's the "Losing weight" thing going? Nerds are a fat free treat. There you go. :P

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

I wasn't going to make a list of resolutions this year. Why wait until New Year's Day to resolve to do something you could do any time of the year? But then I decided that it's a tradition like fireworks on the fourth of July, pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, or receiving an atomic wedgie on the first day of school. (Glad that's over with, though it still happens at work and at home from time to time.) So, here goes my list of things I should do this year.

Lose Weight This is another tradition, the old lose weight resolution. This is the ninth year in a row for this one. You have to admire that consistency. I can pin down three main reasons why this never ends up happening.
I like food. I don't want to start eating rice cakes and oatmeal. Besides, I made oatmeal for my kids once and they said it was disgusting, so I'm going to take their word for it.
2. I like Mountain Dew and Coke when Mountain Dew is not available. I've tried the diet versions of the two, and they just aren't as good. The Diet ones just taste like they left the sugar out or something, and sugar makes stuff taste good. Unless it's my oatmeal, then apparently no amount of sugar can mask the nastiness and taste bud burning putridity.
3. To lose weight I would probably need to exercise, and exercise makes me tired. I don't really like being tired. I haven't slept in like six years, so I'm always tired already. If I exercised I would probably be falling asleep at work starting at 10:00 in the morning, where as right now I'm making it until 1:30 before I start snoozing. I did pretty good at exercising back in May when we first got the Wii Fit, but at the end of June the TV we had in our room went out, and after that I just figured, eh.
So, there you go. I really should lose weight (that sounds familiar) due to stuff like being tired all the time and something called "blood pressure" and it being "too high". This year it will happen! Yeah, that's it.

Write more stuff on the blog Well, that is like a kiss of death to the blog right there. Sorry blog, I'll miss you. I want to do this more so that I can remember what happened during the year. I was going to do one of those lame "year in review" posts, but I realized I wrote like 2 things a month so my review would have ended up saying "Gas prices sucked then were awesome, and I like Mountain Dew." If I keep it up enough, the kids could have some good documentation if they ever end up needing therapy.

Finish things I start I have a short attention span due to my lack of sleep for the past six years, so I'll think something is a good idea and get started on it and then lose interest half way through. Hmmm, that could explain my failure in the weight loss and blogging departments . . .

Well, that's all I have. Now that I've written down my goals, I am certain that I will achieve them. Oh hey, Imagination Movers is on, gotta go!