Category Archives: Family

Eleven Years Ago Today

My life changed forever. Eleven years ago today Larry and I welcomed our first child into the world. It is hard to remember what life was like before children. To be able to stay out late and get up later. To hop in the car and not have to wait for 3 other seatbelt buckles to click. To sit in silence. And maybe I miss a few of those things, but I would not trade being able to watch a favorite TV show straight through without interruptions for all the great times we have had with Emma. 

On October 21, 1997 Larry was still working at Franklin Covey. He had to work late that night so my Mom came over and we decided to go out to dinner. At that point I was one week over due and miserable. Every day I would get phone calls from people asking if I had the baby yet. Note: Do NOT call pregnant ladies unless you are offering to bring them dinner. They will call you. So I waddled out to dinner at Big Boy. My belly was so big I could hardly fit in the booth. I had a Slim Jim. Let the irony of that set in . The Big girl at Big Boy eating a Slim Jim. 

After dinner we decided to get some ice cream. I got a double dip. Pregnancy to me was a license to eat. Pralines and Cream. Mmmm. After all that eating I was bushed to we headed back to my house. I was not feeling well. I thought it was just from indigestion. My back hurt and my stomach was as hard as a rock. I had already been to the hospital twice for fake-you-out labor so I did not want to get my hopes up. 

Larry got home around 9 and I told him I thought I may be in labor. He did what any good husband would do and ran to the video store to get a movie to watch while we waited and timed contractions. It’s a good thing he did because we were in it for the long haul. And we named Emma after one of the characters in the movie. Good thing he did not rent the Titantic. 

Around Midnight the movie finished and right on cue my water broke. Talk about perfect timing. After showering and shaving and having Larry give me a pedicure. (Kidding about that last part) we went to hospital. It was the longest 5 mile drive of my life. I remember telling Larry to stop hitting all the bumps in the road. We were newbies at all this birthing stuff and I had never been in a hospital before so he just dropped me off at the front door. At 2 am the front door is locked. Thankfully, after driving off a bit, he looked back to make sure I was in the door. Or it might of been me screaming Larry!!!! I’m not sure. 

We quickly figured out that in the middle of the night you need to go to the ER to get in a hospital. The wheeled me up to triage and gave me a gigantic gown to change into and told me to pee in a cup. Yeah right. 

That’s when the puking began. The first of seven or eight times that night that I would lose my ice cream and Slim Jim. I had a terrible doctor in the triage. He had a puffy blue hat on and spoke with a Bahamian accent. I was in such pain and I kept getting sick.  I do have a flair for the dramatic but when a pregnant first time mother is in pain and crying hysterically while she is puking up pralines and cream you do NOT ask the husband, “Is she always like this?” 

Thankfully before I injured that doctor they moved me to a delivery room where I could get the blessed epidural. It only took the doctor 45 minutes to get to the room. After that I dilated from 4 to 10 in one hour. Why they made me suffer for 3 hours dilating from 3 to 4 I have no idea. Around 6 am the nurse told me to push. I did and about 6 doctors rushed into the room playing “Let’s freak out the pregnant girl.” They decided to put an internal monitor on the baby and try the pushing thing again. So I pushed again and they all ran in again. This time whispering and discussing urgently. Apparently the baby’s heartbeat kept dropping dangerously low which was causing all the running. After the entire night of labor it was to be a c-section for me. Larry and my mom put on some blue suits and off the surgery room we went. I just wanted to see the baby born so bad but that wasn’t to be. I was to be strapped down on a table when the doctor told me I had someone to go shopping with. We did not know if the baby would be a girl or a boy. I assumed he meant it was a girl and after taking one look at her from across the surgery room while strapped on a table we decided to name her Emma. 

And so it began. Life as I now know it. And I would not change it for all the uninterrupted conversations in the world.

Dead Ants and Science fun

While working on two science fair projects last night the girls discovered some ants that gotten in near the sliding glass door. We are clear out of ant spray here in the middle of the winter so I told Larry to grab some cleaner and spray them. In our family killing bugs is the dad’s job.

We were out of the Lysol spray we usually have in the cupboard so I told him to grab that new green spray I bought.

He reads the label. It is an organic spray that is safe to use around kids and pets. He keeps reading. Do not spray into eyes as it may cause irritation. He says this won’t kill the ants.

Emma, our comedian in training, pipes up, “Well, spray them in the eyes then.”

Emma and Claire both had science fair projects due today. We had the projects finished, but just had to make the display boards. Our plan was to do them this week. But then Tuesday the Plague hit our house. Claire came down with a fever Tuesday and Emma got it Thursday. Neither of them felt like making science fair boards. I was dreading it all week. I was wishing my Dad was in town so he could do my kids’ science fair projects for me. He’s laughing in Hawaii right now. So it came down to Saturday. Then I got a fever.

So Sunday night it was! We cranked out two displays in three hours. I won’t tell which three hours of the day it was, but just know that they were done by Midnight.

One Large Cheese Please

I love trying new recipes. So yesterday I was daring and decided to try chicken curry with sweet potatoes and coconut rice. It was a crock pot recipe. Super easy. The pictures at Work it Mom! looked delicious.

One out of five liked it.

One out of five spit it out on their plate.

One out of five was sick with a stuffy nose and couldn’t smell the curry. Good thing.

One out of five does not like coconut.

One out of five was very disappointed.

Four out of five are thankful for Little Caesars.

The Middle Child

While I was getting ready for work this morning I heard someone crying. Wimpering. It was my middle child. She woke up this morning because she had a bad dream. She dreamt that her sister had died and she was so upset. I felt so bad for her. Even though I was already late for work I stayed with her and comforted her and told her it was just a dream.

“Think of something happy,” I told her. “It’s your birthday today.”

Her response was, “Some way to start a birthday.”

Claire turns nine today. Only one more year until she hits double digits. And if she is anything like her older sister only one more year before the hormones kick in.

But she is not like her sisters. She is the middle child. The Creative one. The one that likes to be by herself and read books and play with Legos. She loves video games and Star Wars. Yet she is the peacemaker. The middle one that keeps the baby and the oldest from fighting.

When you ask her what she wants to be when she grows up she will tell you a doctor, a scientist or musician. Yesterday while watching me make her birthday cake she said she wanted to be like me when she grew up. A multi-tasker. Yes, those are her words. “Mom, how do you do it all? You are frosting a cake, watching a cooking show and making us dinner all at the same time. When I grow up I want to be like you. A mutli-tasker.”

Brought a little tear to my eye.

They say middle children act out and misbehave to try to get attention. They have to do something to stand out from the domineering older sibling and the cute baby.

Claire has her own way of standing out. She quietly does what is right, throwing in her witty humor at the most unexpected times, encouraging those around her with her actions.

She is my middle child.



Wake up late and relax.
Eat a late breakfast.
Feed the Kids Lunch. Leftover Pizza.
Realize I have no jeans clean for the ice skating activity at 2:30.
Start laundry at 1:00.
Kids have volunteered me to make cookies for their Valentine’s party. All three of them.
Make 100 cookies.
Get to the activity late because of having to wait for jeans to dry.
Skate for 1/2 hour.
Invite friends over for Chinese food. Have fun.
Get kids ready for bed. Goal accomplished at 10:30.
Watch Survivor on OnDemand.
Crawl into bed at 12:30.
Wake up to the sound of child puking Chinese food at 1:20 a.m.
Almost puke Chinese food myself while cleaning up the living room, hallway, walls, and bathroom.
Crawl into bed with sick child. Fall asleep.
Wake up much later in child’s bed with kink in my neck.
Thankful it is Sunday.

Diet News and Everything Else

Week one of the “Lean Cuisine/George Foreman Grill Diet” went very well. I found it easy to stay with it. It makes lunch time easy. I think just planning my meals out and knowing ahead of time what I am going to eat is the real ticket to staying on the diet.

Wait. We don’t call it a diet at our house anymore. It is a Corporately Sponsored Lifestyle change.

I have also been a better mom this week. Maybe not better, but at least more organized(dinners planned) and active with the girls.

We have gone swimming three times, went on a walk once and did Tae Bo for kids together on another day. We have watched very little television. The seat mark on my couch is starting to lessen.

Speaking of television… We finally had to lock out the Disney Channel from the girls. They were not picking up bad words or behaviors. It was the bad acting that was killing me. One of my children tends to be a drama queen as it is. She does not need Miley Cyrus giving her pointers. I almost called her Hannah Montana a couple of times over Christmas Vacation. Oh, the drama!

Speaking of drama… Just before the Christmas break Emma and Claire were in a talent show at their school. I now know why people think they can sing on those first few American Idol shows. Because when they are little their parents encourage them to sing in these talent shows and tell them how great they are. Most the the kids sang along (in a monotone voice) with a song that was playing. Most of the girls sang a Hannah Montana song. Except for the one little girl that sang “One Night Only.” Now that’s appropriate for a fourth grader to sing.

I went to the talent show practice for four weeks straight. I thought my head was going to explode! Closer to the performance I would beg Larry to go to the practice so I wouldn’t have to take Excederin for the splitting headache I would get.

Emma and Claire ending up playing “Heart and Soul” on the piano. Claire played her guitar while 5 girls sang “Feliz Navidad.” They both did a great job.

Speaking of guitars (I could do this all day)… Claire got a new one for Christmas. It is a lovely teal blue. Yes, we are bringing the Eighties back. I don’t know who was more excited, her or me. I was just happy to have a nice sounding guitar to hear instead of the cheap little toy one that she learned how to play on. She was happy that is was acoustic and electric. Rock On! The other girls received American Girls dolls (Emily and Nicki) from their Grandmas. Much screaming and drama ensued.




Speaking of the Eighties… We got a new game for Christmas, Trivial Pursuit Eighties Edition. We had some friends over for New Years and played a rousing game. I realized that I had no idea what was going on in the world while I was in high school. The only thing I remembered about world events from the 80’s was that Reagan was shot. But I did know that Tiffany was a rival to Debbie Gibson.


We had a fun night eating and laughing.

Speaking of eating…so, about that diet. I lost 6 pounds this week.

Sunday Snowday

It was a true snow day today. Most times it snows I still have to go to work. I leave while it is still dark and everyone is snug in their beds while I face the treacherous roads. But not today. Today church was canceled which means everyone got to stay home. The girls were still up early and the first one was out the door with all her snow gear on by 9:30. By 10:30 we were all out in the snow. Some of us shoveling some of us rolling around in the snow. Crazy kids. Our neighbor came over and used his snow blower on our side walks and eventually part of our driveway. We love our neighbors.

Then Larry reminded me of why we had children before the age of 30. So we could go sledding with them. When we were first married and I was a teacher we went sledding on a snow day. I was only 24 at the time and that hill kicked my hiney. So I made good on my promise and went sledding today. Okay, I didn’t actually go down the hill but I walked up it and took lots of pictures. Larry was a sport and went down.

And even though we missed meeting with our brothers and sisters at church, we needed a day together as a family. We have been so busy lately. Larry has been working every day since Thanksgiving and it was starting to wear on me. So an unplanned “free” day was a gift.

Some pictures from sledding.

I thinkI will wait in the van. It’s too cold!


Larry, Claire, Susy and their friend Maddy.


Are we going all the way up there?


I should put up the video of him rolling down the hill on this sled.


Brrr. We only stayed out for about 30 minutes. The wind was crazy!


Snow and boot cut jeans do not mix.


Time for some hot cocoa!