Friday, February 26, 2010

Disneyland- Days 6 and 7

I'm sure i'm not the only one wanting to be done with me blogging about our drawn-out Disney trip. If I were a scrapbooker, there's no way I'd have had a 135 page album dedicated to one I'm not sure why I've done the equivalent on my blog...but this is the last Disney post...I promise.

On Monday we drove back up to Disneyland for one last day of fun. And it DID start out fun. Abby and I went on our favorite little Toon Town roller coaster (the only one she was tall enough for), Grace and Eliza went on Small World--were all happy as could be.

And then, while Reid took Abby back to go on that roller coaster again, I took Grace and Eliza to the bathroom that was just twenty feet away. And the worst experience of the whole trip happened, almost literally in the blink of an eye. That whole experience with the sketchy dr. was a little crazy, but it wasn't upsetting, it didn't ruin the day or cause me to lose sleep. It didn't play back in my mind's eye over and over like this did.

And I don't want to forget the details. I want Eliza to know that I truly believe that her ability to walk is a miracle. So I made Reid be my puppeteer and used our most flexible doll so that you can see what I saw and why it affected me so much. So, just use your imagination, and bear with me here :)

The whole crowd around me gasped. It was a really disturbing sight to see. I picked her right up. I probably shouldn't have, but i wasn't thinking. I was most definitely in shock. People around me could sense my panic and were trying to comfort me and make sure Eliza was okay. One lady called the nurse's station. Another lady just kept telling me to comfort her. A little girl came up to me and was worried about the bump on Eliza's head and her bleeding pinky finger. I don't know what i said, but in my head it was something like "hey, kid, i'm not too worried about a goose egg and a scratch--it's her NECK that has me concerned!"
Finally I set her down on the ground (remember, i was in shock), cause she was so limp in my arms (which is kinda how she is when she's upset) so i really couldn't tell if she could move or not. Once on the ground, she moved her legs and arms enough that I felt reassured that hadn't broken her neck. People just kept telling me that "babies are made out of rubber," which I now know and believe.
Even so, I took her into the nurses station. They checked her out and agreed that she was fine. She got this cute little Minnie Mouse First Aid sticker that is one of the only mementos we've kept from the trip, since it kinda sums up her experience--Minnie and medics.

She was pretty exhausted to start with, so the rest of the day she kinda looked like this:

you can see the bruise on her forehead and the scratch on her cheek

And when she was in the stroller she buried her face like this (i'm guessing the light was bugging her?):

I wish I could have just let this go and enjoyed the rest of the day, but I couldn't. I cried, on and off, for the rest of our day at Disneyland. But I just kept playing it over and over, and literally thanking God that she was okay. And then crying some more.

So, after a few more ride, one last visit with the princesses, and the obligatory photo by the flowers, we took off.

Reid had the brilliant idea of eating at In 'n Out Burger. I'm not a fast-food person, by any means, but even I can appreciate the experience that this place is--especially when in So. Cal. (Apparently they just built a couple locations in UT, but it's just not the same, right? unless you really do just love their food?)

So, we took our burgers, fries and shakes and went to watch the sunset at this beautiful little beach. This was exactly what I needed--to meditate a bit, relax, and be with the people who mean the most to me. The girls loved playing "chicken" with the waves. I loved watching them feel the sand on their feet. And we all watched the sun fall below the horizon--it was beautiful.

We packed up the next morning, said goodbye to our dears friends, and made one last little stop in Rancho Cucamonga, to see a mentor and good friend of mine, Lexine Hadfield. She and her husband were assigned to oversee all the missionaries in the area of Chile that I was in--10 years ago!! I was so homesick during my time there, way more so than I'd ever anticipated. But whenever Lexine would see me she'd give me a HUGE hug that would just take away all the sadness I was feeling. She is such a warm and loving person.

Her husband unexpectedly passed away almost two years ago. In fact, we flew down there to see her soon after, but she was called away last minute. So, I was really, really glad that it worked out to see her this time. We visited her during her lunch break, and sure enough, as soon as she saw me, she gave me the huge bear-hug that I remember so well. And she was so sweet with the girls. It took no time for them to warm up to her. As she showed us her little shop, she had Grace in one hand, and Abby in the other, and I had this moment where I realized that even they could feel how much love this woman has in her. Through tears I told her this, and we hugged and cried.

I love you, hermana!!

We rushed from her place to the airport, and there, as we were about to board the plane, my sweet Abby decided to empty her bowels into her diaper. I rushed her to the changing table in the bathroom, and, while changing her diaper, was thinking "my word, child, you are too old for this." Just then, another mom with a 3 year old daughter brought her in to change her diaper and said, out loud, "honey, you are too old for this."

I'd been putting potty-training off for months, but I knew, in that moment, that with Disneyland behind us, it was time for our next family adventure...which will just have to wait for another post :)

And, may i just say that in spite of the crazy moments of this trip, that this was one of my favorite vacations ever.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Disneyland-Day 4 and 5

As much as I hate to admit it, my favorite part about Disneyland was probably not Disneyland. I think that if I'd been there as a kid it might have more of that nostalgic tinge that others feel. But, for me, it was only as awesome as my kids thought it was. Which happened to be pretty awesome. But I can't really imagine myself ever going there without kids. And as far as amusement parks go, it's just so-so. But California Adventure, on the other hand, was ahhhhhhhhhhhh-some. And that is where we spent 100% of Day 4. There was rain in the forecast, so we were all geared up for it--but it was dry the whole day!! (until about 4:30, it rained for 8 minutes)

Highlights of the day include Monsters, Inc (4x, the girls loved it, loved it, loved it), all the rides at Bug's Life (including the little 3D show--awesome!), the Ferris wheel, Soarin' California, and my personal favorite--the Screamer. There is nothing in the world quite like going from zero to 60 in less than one second (i'm making up those numbers, but they can't be far off!)--i wish i'd had the stomach to go on that ride over and over--it's my favorite roller coaster ever!

We also saw the Aladdin show. The girls loved it. And the guy who played "Genie" was hilarious. I'm really glad people recommended this show--we probably wouldn't have gone otherwise

And, lucky for the little ladies, Cinderella was just hanging around for pictures right outside.
My kids LOVED having little playmates to be with the whole time. Grace and Kaitlyn hit it off right from the start. I'm guessing that they heard "did you guys know that when you were just little you used to play together all the time?" about a million times.

It was such fun day. It was so nice to be dry. And I just kept being amazed at how NOT tired we were. The girls walked almost the whole day, every day. I'd given them each three little "passes" to ride in the stroller because i was sure they were going to fight over it...but they actually didn't! They didn't even use all their passes :) But by 5pm that day the kids were hungry again, our snack lunches/apples/snacks were we headed to the Mission Tortilla Factory that's right there by Bug's Life. They give out the most delicious, fresh corn tortillas--about a billion times better than the ones you get in the store! And then we walked over to the Boudin Sourdough factory where the lady saw our famished children and gave them two MickyMouse sourdough loaves. Who knew there was free food to be had there?? leave it to me to find it...
And although Eliza didn't really care much about what we were doing most of the time, she did get REALLY excited every time we passed by the Ferris Wheel (in the background of this picture). She's also, apparently, obsessed with Mickey Mouse.

That evening my brother, Kevin, came over for a visit. He lives in L.A. now. Reid and I were spoiled for 3 years having him live near us in Boston. Grace knew him really well the first 14 months of her life. It was sad for me when, by her 2nd birthday, she'd already forgotten him. But she's finally to the point again where she completely knows him and took no time warming up to him. Both of the big girls were soooo excited to see him, it was very sweet. I think they just thought it was the awesomest thing to see an uncle right there at their hotel!

Our friends came over again (this night included the Gardners) and we all stayed up way too late, laughing, telling stories, having push-up contests and generally enjoying our time together. Our time with them went by too fast. These are people that I wish lived closer to us. (lucky for us, the Gardners actually go!!) I tried to convince them of all the reasons why Denver is the best place to live in all of the U.S. of A. Only time shall tell how good of a sales woman I am!!
Day 5 was the day we checked out of our hotel, picked up our rental car, attempted to go to church, and then drove down to San Diego to spend 2 nights with Anne and Rob-- good friends from our first year in Boston. Anne and Rob are two people that we could talk to for 2 weeks straight and never run out of good conversation. They've got something to say about every topic. And they've got stories. And it was so good to spend time with them! Back in November, when we bought our plane tickets, we debated whether or not we should come home on Sunday or stay through Tues. I'm soooooooooo so so glad we stayed longer--we needed some good game-playin', story-tellin', Rob and Anne time!!
Of course, we have no pictures with them. In fact, we were talking about photos with them, and Anne confessed that she has taken very few pictures of her kids in the past 2 years. She told us that her dad, who used to take tons of pictures of all his kids, decided one day he was done. He said "i'm tired of looking at my children through a lens."
Can I just say "amen" to that? I bet that the best moments of this vacation were not captured on film....because i was busy enjoying the moment...but now i can't remember the moment...because it wasn't captured on film. But there's still something to be said for enjoying the moment, even if it's forgotten years down the road, right?
Thank you, Anne and Rob, for putting up with us for 2 days!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Disneyland-Day 3

Day 3 it rained. All. Day. Long. It wasn't too bad at first, since we started out dry. In fact, it was awesome cause there were no lines and no people. I don't really mind crowds at zoos and museums...but i have a thing with waiting in line.... So, it worked out really well that we went in February. (my word, it sounds like Ariel wasn't the only princess my girls were with!!)

We started out the day in Tomorrowland, since the Alexanders had joined us and it's a great place for their boys. After going on the Snow White ride and the Toon Town roller coaster, etc, i'd pretty much just figured that all rides at Disneyland were "experiences" rather than rides. So i thought nothing of it when everyone suggested we go on Space Mountain.

Reid took Abby, I took Grace. Since Abby is 39" tall (btw, 40 inches is the cut off for lots of rides...just an FYI when planning your next Disney trip...i'd have packed a different pair of shoes for her had i known:) Reid had to exit with her. So it was just me and Grace.

Have I mentioned that Grace hated the Toon Town roller coaster? Have I mentioned that she isn't exactly, um, how do you say....a risk-taker? yeah, i obviously had no idea what we were in for, or i never would have taken her. She hated every single second of the ride. She just kept saying that she wanted off and that she wished she was with Abby. If there was ever any chance of getting her to go on ANY other roller coaster-esque rides at Disneyland, it was ruined right then. I felt awful. She didn't trust us the rest of the day. To this day, she wants to write a letter to "the man that built that ride and tell him that he shouldn't have built it."

Sooooooo, we stuck with pretty basic rides the rest of the day---Nemo's submarine, the race cars, Pirates of the Caribbean (which actually freaked Grace and Abby out, too...), the Haunted House (which the girls actually loved!), Swiss Family Robinson/Tarzan, and others i forgot...oh, and the lamest show in the world--The Tiki Room. My guess is that on sunny days that show is all but unattended. But on this wet day, it was the most popular show ever. Lame puppet birds singing weird songs and dancing on their perches?? what is the story behind this?? it was bizarre. But it was warm and dry and a perfect resting place for our wet selves.

I went on Splash Mountain with the two other guys in our group. I guess i figured the difference between wet and soaking wet wouldn't be that great--true for my clothes, not for my shoes. My feet hated me after that. But i couldn't complain--Ryan, who was in the front, was literally soaked through. The poor guy was wringing out his coat when he got off.

Eliza spent most of the day in the stroller. She was just starting to feel better, which worked out well, since i didn't love the idea of her getting out and getting wet. (BTW--Our stroller's rain cover was amazing, and I'm just puttin' it out there right now for anyone in the Denver area--if you EVER need a double stroller and THINK you might face rain ANYWHERE, please feel free to borrow ours. It was the only dry thing in the whole park!)

The girls wanted to see the Princesses again. Reid and I were sure they'd be totally disappointed that it was the exact same three they'd seen the day before. But honestly? they couldn't have cared less. The girls had a great time.

We headed home around 5, ordered pizza, dried off and put the girls to bed by 7 and had our friends over for some serious catching up.

There are few things in the world I enjoy as much as visiting with people I know and love.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Disneyland-Day 2 (the longest day, by far, with the best story, by far)

Our first day at Disneyland was as everyone had said it would be--magical. We got there an hour early for our "Magic morning"--which was a total joke. For whatever reason, that hour was the only time that we saw massive crowds and long lines.

But we still made it on the Peter Pan ride that everyone said was a must-do. And it was great. The girls loved it, and Abby literally talked about it the rest of the day...after every ride we went on she'd refer back to the crocodile and captain hook.

The most popular ride of the whole trip was Dumbo. The girls could not get enough of it. Those kinds of rides make me puke, so Reid and our friends got to take the kids while I stayed with babies in strollers. BTW, having our friends there was awesome for about a billion reasons, one of which was that the adults could take turns staying with the babies/shorties. It worked out really, really well!!

Meeting the princesses was the favorite experience of the whole trip. We saw them three different times. The girls LOVED having them autograph their little books, and just stared at them in awe. They loved talking to them, answering their questions--like telling them where we were from, and for Abby showing them 3 fingers (i think she realized early on that that was the only thing they understood :) It was pretty cute.

Me, Candace and Laura waiting in line to see the princesses--lame photo, and sadly one of the only ones we got with grown-ups!

The girls also loved meeting Tinkerbell and her friends.

Grace was completely petrified of all characters in "costumes" (i.e. anyone whose face you couldn't see) --this included Minnie Mouse. She really wanted to not be afraid of her...she even waited in line to see her. But when it came our turn, she split. Abby, however, braved it out, and even asked Minnie to sign Grace's book. She thought that Minnie was pretty much awesome.

But no one loved Minnie quite as much as Eliza did. Dunno why, but Eliza is now currently obsessed with Minnie. If I pull up any pictures of Minnie Mouse on my computer Eliza squeals and dances and can hardly contain herself. Random, i know, but cute nonetheless.

Then around 3pm, the drama of the trip began. Eliza, who'd been getting snottier and warmer and just overall miserable looking throughout the day woke up from her nap with a definite fever, goopy eyes and just looked awful. So, I sent Grace on this ride with our friends (again, thank heavens we were there with other people!!)

while Reid took Abby to the teacups (i think?), and I got on the phone and spent almost an hour trying to get in touch with our doctor. I was about as sure as can be that she had an infection--sinus or ear--and was in need of some antibiotics. i was really hoping the nurse i talked to would just take my uneducated diagnosis and prescribe some antibiotics over the phone. but no such luck. They recommended i get to an Urgent Care so that someone could listen to her lungs, to make sure she didn't have pneumonia. Well, we didn't have a car. I was starting to stress big time. and THEN I called the hotel. They told me that they had a "hotel Dr." who could make a house-call. I felt a massive relief at the thought of not having to wait in a nasty E.R. or get a cab to take us to an urgent care. Little did i know...

But, we had about an hour before our shuttle was going to arrive, so we went on a few more rides, met a few more characters...

and then headed back to the hotel. Reid took the big girls swimming. And i waited for the "doctor" (note the quotations)

Have you ever had an experience that makes such a good story when told out loud but is a flop when written? I fear that this might just be one of those stories. So just imagine you're here with me, and my Indian accent is top notch, and i'm animated as ever--and even still, you won't get the full effect of the awesomeness of this dude. He really did have the thickest accent in the world. It's only worth noting because it makes the story-telling that much better.

So, he arrives, complaining a bit about the traffic he had to fight to get there (which i'd assumed was rolled into his over-inflated price of $ But no biggie.

Then he attempted to exam Eliza. I've never seen anything like this. Now, granted, she's the most difficult child in the world with doctors (a nurse told me that, so it's a fact). But still, he shoved, and i mean shoved the otoscope in her ears. She was screaming, and I mean screaming bloody murder. But, at least he saw something, because, as he put it (with way too much enthusiasm, might i add) "she definitely has an ear infection!!"

I asked what he thought about her lungs and he said "oh, well, i can't really hear them because, you know, she is crying." So, in desperation I gave her a cookie to get her to pipe down, and after 15+ seconds of listening to her lungs with no screaming or crying, he said "well, i can't really say. I hear some wheezing, some crackling, but i can't say for sure. I don't think we need to worry about it."


and THEN, he busts out his traveling pharmacy.

First he starts with the antibiotic. I'd assumed it'd be amoxicillin, but it wasn't. Which was fine. I know little about antibiotics, as this is only the third or fourth time i've needed them in the past 5 years. The kind he prescribed didn't have to be refrigerated and was only given once a day--both pluses for when you're on vacation. awesome. that's all i wanted.

Next he busted out another antibiotic--an injectable antibiotic. He spent 3 minutes telling me why Eliza needed that one, too. I kindly declined, as antibiotics are something I try to avoid pumping into my children in massive doses.

NEXT he busted out the "adult strength" nasal decongestant, and spent another 3 minutes telling me why she needed that. I kindly declined, again because of the whole no-pumping-unnecessary-drugs-into-my-children policy that i kinda have.

And then I asked how much that one cost.--it was $55.
The injectable one was $50
The one I got was $70.
His amoxicillin was $30 (anyone who's bought this knows that, WITHOUT insurance, this stuff costs $4)
and NEXT, he pulled out analgesic ear drops--$40

again, i declined. And honestly, it wasn't until about this point that I really realized what was going on. (Sure, it's easy for you, now that you're reading this to see that this dude was sketchy. But I had to figure it out as it was happening!! And it took me until this point!) Which is when i said "could i just get the names of those other prescriptions, just to run them by my Dr. tonight and see if she thinks I should get them?" In my mind i'm obviously thinking that I want my Dr. to confirm that this was total madness. But didn't matter, since he declined saying "well, since you're not going to buy them, let's just not worry about that."

and THEN i said, "you know, i think i could maybe get this azythromiacin for a little less at Walgreens, could I just get you to write a prescription for this?" To which he replied, "well, since I carry it with me, i cannot write a prescription."

He then proceeded to direct me on how to use the antibiotic. "You'll give her 2.5 ml the first day, and then half of that, 1.75 ml the next 4 days."


How do you tell someone who went through that much school that his math is off? i wouldn't have bothered if I wasn't worried that a mis-dosage of his illegally imported, over-priced hokey drugs were going to extinguish my sweet daughter. So I picked up the syringe and said "oh, okay. so 2.5 the first day and then, wait, i think it'd be 1.25 the next, no?" He shamefully agreed and made the change on the paperwork. I felt kind of bad. but not really. more shocked. and scared.

And THEN he proceeded to give me all the info on how to make sure that my insurance company reimburses me for this visit. (Keep in mind, i'd discussed none of this with him, so this was just his normal schpeil), "In the letter be sure to say, 'there was no urgent care nearby, the ER had a wait of 6+ hours, I did not have a car" which is when I softly butted in and said, "Yeah, we actually don't have a car, which is why this house-call was so appealing." To which he replied, "Oh, well then that one is true! Be sure to emphasize that!"


So, after paying the guy, signing some form that probably discloses that he's not actually a Dr. and thanking him for his time, he went on his way. And I immediately called my pediatrician. There was no way in H-E- double hell that I was going to give that stuff to Eliza before getting a second opinion. Since Kaiser sucks and it takes 10 hours for them to get back to me, I called one of my life-long bf's who happens to be married to a pediatrician--and he okayed the dosage, assured me that that Dr. was sketchy as all get out, and told me that even so, Eliza's not going to implode if I give her this stuff. Zak, if you're reading this--THANK YOU!!!

So, long story short, the antibiotics did their job, her fever was gone less than 24 hours later, she slept much better the rest of the trip, and I learned a priceless lesson: even probable ex-cons with stolen 'scripts from Walmart and Mexico can buy a stethoscope from Goodwill and sell you drugs that will ultimately clear up your child's infection making the rest of your vacation oh-so-much more pleasant....oh, and that I should have married a pediatrician.

And that was day 2 at Disneyland.
Days 3 and 4 are going to be seem very boring when compared to this....

Monday, February 15, 2010

Disneyland Vacation--Day 1

Have you ever logged on to your google reader and seen this exact title and thought "Day one?!?! How far can she drag this out???"

Yeah, me too.

The answer is six. Yes, six. There's just too much information for one post--and this is coming from someone who happens to be really good at really long posts...

We had such a great time and there are so many memories I never want to forget--and a few i'd like to forget, but must blog about anyway. We've been home for about 9 days now, but Valentine's Day, potty training, play dates, and three kids have kinda taken the front burner. But now, as the snow boarding chicas are rocking the half-pipe, I'm making time for this!

The girls were great travelers. We flew in the middle of the day, which was great! Eliza napped on the plane, the girls ears were fine (although mine wouldn't pop and i wanted to puncture a hole in the side of my head and scream at the top of my lungs!! ouch!!) and we had a whole row (six seats) to our family, which was so nice!!

Waiting in line for the skycap

We arrived to our hotel in time to order some food, go swimming...

jump on the hotel beds. The girls found out the hard way that these were sleep number beds, defaulted to the firmest setting. But that didn't keep them from jumping back and forth, running around the whole suite, and just loving being there. Why is it that kids love hotels??

I'll tell you why we loved this hotel--the food at the on-site restaurant was delicous and affordable, their breakfast was enormous and yum, the suites had a door that CLOSED between the bedrooms and the living area, the living area was big enough to have 9 adults over for late night catching-ups, the shuttle to and from disneyland was free, the pool was awesome, and our bedroom had a view of the Midieval Times restaurant next door.

Our friends, the Hulls, got in just a few hours after us. Once they got settled in Candace and I went to the grocery store and got sandwich makings, fruit, veggies, and snack foods. We came back and gabbed until the wee hours, just like we used to back in our Boston days. (The Gardeners decided to stay at the disney hotel, and the Alexanders didn't get there until the next night.)
As great as the sleeping situation was, I still didn't sleep well that night(or any other, for that matter). I was too excited! Remember, this wasn't just the girls' first time, it was mine, too! And, it didn't help that I was in the bed with Abby, who happens to be the worst sleeping partner in the world (noted by the fact that at 1am Grace kicked her out and said "someone else sleep with Abby, she keeps kicking me.") Eliza didn't sleep well either. I'd suspected that maybe her cold was turning into something worse...but that's a story for day number two!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Things you might (or might not) like to no particular order

I've gotten two tickets in the last month...from the same officer. Not kidding. One was for running a stop sign. I've run that stop sign about 100 times. But not since the ticket. The other was for speeding. I speed all the time. But not since that ticket. I guess that means those tickets are doing their job.

I've never been to Disneyworld or Disneyland! (about to change, very soon)

We've only had one real cold/runny nose go thru our house this season…and it’s currently on it’s way out. And it hasn’t even been that bad--one of many reasons this winter has been so much more enjoyable.

Time is actually flying...for the first time, in a LONG time. I find myself saying “I don’t want my kids to grow up” and "where did this month go??" more and more. Last year that seemed like an impossibility.

I am enjoying my children more and more and more every day.

I'm actually NOT looking forward to sending my oldest off to Kindergarten next year!! Why couldn't they have taken her from about 1.5-4 years old??? Now that she and I are getting along so well, they’re gonna take my baby from me!! cute. real cute. Obviously the only solution is to homeschool. Anyone interested in homeschooling my kids?

I haven't sewn anything for a long, long time. That’s gonna change soon. I can feel it.

I feel like the post-Eliza "I-can't-do-anything-with-my-life-cause-i'm-always-overwhelmed" funk that i was in for a long, long time is officially on its way out the door.

Three is the perfect amount of kids...for a long, long time

My kids are now the ages of families that i looked at 3 years ago and thought "my kids will NEVER be that old."

Reid is the best husband and dad in the world. This is evidenced by the squeals and screams of delight heard in our house every evening at 6pm. myself included.

Eliza reminds me so much of Grace as a 17 month old...stubborn, mean to other kids, proud, feisty and just overall difficult—but times 100. The difference is that I’m not blaming myself for everything that she is. And THAT makes me a happier mom. I'm tyring to take the "that's just eliza" approach. And, whether it's right or not, it's so much more easy to deal with. What would I give to go back and re-do so much of Grace's 2nd year in life…and her 3rd…and part of her 4th with this attitude, rather than being overwhelmed with guilt and analyzing every misbehavior, trying to tie it back to some incorrect parenting tactic!! Thanks heavens for a merciful Father who can make up for my weakness in parenting!!! And thank heavens that Grace is turning into the most enjoyable and kind little girl in the world--in spite of me!!

Oprah aired an episode the other day that was right up my alley, featuring this movie that i HIGHLY recommend to anyone who eats regularly.

My girls decided to sell a bunch of their toys and books to raise funds for families in Haiti. They’re awesome, and again, their generosity amazed me.

As of Friday evening, every sock, ever wash cloth, every last bit of laundry in this house was cleaned AND put away. This truly never happens. And might not ever again.

Doing crafts, and artsy things, and projects with my kids is actually fun now. I’ve been dreaming of a day when Grace and I could open our FamilyFun magazine and pick out a project and do it together without any coercing, swear words or tears. that day is upon us.

Abby's still only going peepy on the potty 1-2 times a day...i really thought she'd make a little more progress on her own...apparently i need to actually DO something about this...

Although Abby's cute little way of saying just about everything has warmed the cockles of many hearts over the past couple of years...i've been told, by a very educated speech pathologist, that it's probably time to get her in for some speech-therapy. I guess other people need to understand her, too.

This winter has been, in every single way, so much better than last winter. So. Much. Better. Night-and-Day better. I really don’t know how we’re all alive after last winter.

I've been told, seriously over 100 times, by moms with kids anywhere from 4-25 years older than mine, "oh, I remember when my kids were that age. The days passed by so slowly. My husband couldn't arrive early enough from work. I'd go to the store, just to get out of the house. It still feels like just yesterday. It was hard, but I'd give anything to go back to the time when i had my kids around, i knew what they were doing, and I knew who was teaching them what."

And now I find myself looking at moms whose oldest is 2, maybe 3 years old, and thinking to myself "I remember when my kids were that age..the days passed by slowly...etc" I really do think that! Yes, i know my oldest is 4, so it's ridonculous, but I feel such a difference in our home today compared to this time last year or two years ago. The change has been in ME!! I'm so much more intact emotionally. Granted, i'm being quite optimistic right now, and we've had a good month, so this is a bit skewed. But even so, there's no denying that things are a little better here in our home. (my word, I make it sound like last year was the worst thing in the world!! it wasn't, it was just harder than i'd imagined, and not something i want to repeat. ever. that's all :)

Our little car that drove us from Provo, UT, to Boston, MA, to NYC many times, to Vermont, NH, and to Denver, CO is dying. She hasn't been well cared for, at all. She's only driven on Sundays and once or twice during the week. She's been good to us. But today Reid finally admitted that she's on her way out. And we have NO idea what to replace her with. We'd like something eco-friendly. We'd also like something that handled our snowy roads better than our mini-van. Is there something out there that gets 35mpg and has 4-wheel drive?? do i ask too much1?!?!

Although i really like not having cable t.v., I'd really, really like a DVR.

I have, in every place that i've lived, found the best friends in the world. This is one of God's greatest gifts to me. i need good friends.

Abby, every morning, holds her shoes up to the bottom of her feet (like the way you would check to see if they're gonna fit or not) and says "mom, is this the right foot?" It makes me smile every morning.

I don't like to use. Punctuation correctly. Or cApitalIzation

Grace puts "-able" at the end of just about any word she wants to be an adjective. For example, "this truck isn't for girls, it's too boyable." or "Abby, don't touch that, it's glassable." Sometimes she even puts it at the end of existing adjectives, like "this movie is boringable" and "I love this shirt, it’s so blueable!"

I am not a cleaner. I never have been. I don't think i ever will be. Cleaning makes me grumpy. The end result gives me little-to-no satisfaction. Messes don’t bother me. I only clean when I know someone’s coming over. I see no reason to clean otherwise.

Grace still only wears dresses or skirts. If she gets in trouble, she "loses the privilege of wearing a dress" and it's the only thing i've ever found that she cares enough about to use as behaviour leverage. She chooses her outfits. and let me just tell you--they are awesome. I've learned to "let go of the control" with this issue. She feels so cute every day, and loves her clothes. That's something i never felt.

I sometimes think that with enough practice I could replace Kristen Wig on SNL.

Grace and Abby spend large percentages of the day pretending to be someone else. This became quite regular a few months ago. Ninety percent of the time, Grace is "Piggytale," Abby is "Mana," and Eliza is "Lily." Every now and then some new names get tossed in the bunch, like Alice, Liana, Molly and Sally. If ever Grace and Abby are having a small tiff, i can start calling them Piggytale and Mana and they usually slip right into character and forget what they were fighting about. When Eliza wakes up, and I need a minute before i can get to her, sometimes I ask the girls to go play with her up in her crib. If ever they're not interested I try again by enthusiastically saying "Oh, Lily's awake"--at which point they decide that she's interesting enough to go play with. It's awesome. I cannot write well enough to do this justice.

In the past few years I've become very emotional during movies. Some examples of movies/shows that have had me all teary this month include The Office montage they did a couple weeks ago, Avatar, a documentary about marathon runners, and Barbie and the Three Musketeers. It's embarrassing, and beyond my control. It’s incontinence of the eyeballs. Am I alone in this? I'd feel better if i knew that someone else out there teared up regularly at American Idol auditions.