Thursday, April 30, 2009

Can I borrow a suitcase?

It would appear that I have suitcases enough for a year-long trek around the world... We have an entire closet dedicated to the packable, and travel-ready. And yet, why is it that I'm always in need of another piece of luggage? I thought I had the perfect carry on bag. Turns out, it's not so perfect after all. You see, it's too big to shove under the seat, and if you have to stow it in the overhead bin, you may as well just send it to the belly of the plane... It's just about as hard to get to it...

Besides a better carry on bag, I need BIG pieces of luggage that don't weigh triple digit numbers when filled. Because, I'm not sure if you've heard, but they charge a lot for those heavy bags! And even more embarrassing, they tag them with a bright, orange sticker announcing their HEAVYness. Somehow seeing that HEAVY sticker on my baggage feels like a proclamation... I feel a need to protest:

It's not about my size--it's about the bag!

See, here's the problem. I have these ancient suitcases made of rigid, green plastic (I know, they already sound incredibly attractive, don't they?)... If I so much as pack a toothbrush and a t-shirt, I'm bound to go over the weight restriction. Don't believe me? I dare you, just ask how I know! And then just trust me when I tell you how un-cool it is to unpack and repack your undies in the check-in line... yeah... awesome...

So, I found these super-cool new Zuca bags. I'd love to order them--except for the price. OK, that and the fact that they'd never get here in time for my trip. But they're awesome! You can totally customize them for the cuteness (always important). But they are customizable for function, too! And the best part (IMHO) is that I've never seen anyone else schlepping them--which means they will be easy to identify! Yay! No more searching the tags of innumerable (and very similarly generic) black bags in a futile effort to identify my stuff. I sooo want this bag!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Too Much to Do

You know those days when you sit around watching the soaps because you can't find anything else to do?... Yeah. Me neither!

I'm in stress mode trying to get everything ready for a trip to Greece and then Italy. I'm feeling the pressure of packing for events for which I'm not in charge. Have I ever mentioned that I like being in charge? I hate not knowing what to expect and what is expected of me. It causes me an unmeasurable amount of anxiety. I know, it's a control issue--don't judge me, I'm working on it...

And if that wasn't bad enough... I also have to coordinate, arrange, plan, and prepare for all the eventualities that will occur to/for my children while I am gone. Hopefully those unscheduled activities (that inevitably pop up) will not include any more trips to the ER.

Additionally, I am feeling guilty that I'm leaving my kids to my mom and dad for two weeks... Not that they can't handle it--they will handle it better than I could. But still, I won't be in charge. And I hope they survive it (my parents, that is... not at all worried about the kids!).

So--if you have any packing suggestions, de-stressifying suggestions, or other random suggestions, submit them now. And if you know of anything in particular that I should or should not pack, do, prepare, please let me know that as well. Although, if your suggestion includes learn to speak Italian--please keep it to yourself. I tried that and it was an epic failure.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Where did those stitches go?

I have five kids. Five kids equals many trips to the ER. We've called 911 more than our fair share of times. I'm not sure if the worst part of these emergency visits is the wait time, or the culminating medical bill.

My new pet peeve is this: Waiting forever for treatment and/or waiting hours before figuring out that the medical attention provided was non-helpful.

A couple of years ago, I took JJ to a local ER when I was sure he had appendicitis. We waited for HOURS before even being shown to a gurney. After waiting for yet several more hours, we were told that they weren't sure what was wrong with JJ. They proceeded to tell me that if I was correct, and it was in fact appendicitis, there was nothing they could do for him. They told me that I should take him to Primary Children's Hospital where they were better equipped to deal with pediatric cases. Why on earth would they let me waste an entire night waiting for help before sending me out the door to another hospital? We arrived at Primary's at 4:30 am where JJ was whisked into surgery for an emergency appendectomy. His abdomen was full of infection.

JJ spent a few days in the hospital, but now he's fine... No thanks to the efforts (or lack thereof) of the staff at hospital Numero Uno.

Last night we had another trying experience. Max fell and cut his face open. It was immediately apparent that he needed stitches. The Mister took him to Primary Children's Hospital (per my request) where they arrived around 8pm. They waited until after 2 am before being seen by a physician. I understand that the ER was busy, and I have no argument there. The problem is this... After waiting for 6 hours with a gaping wound, he got stitches, but the doctor decided to use dissolvable stitches. The stitches were supposed to take 5 days to dissolve, and if they hadn't completely dissolved by then, we were to take Max in to have them removed. Here's the problem... The stitches dissolved completely by dinnertime tonight. They didn't even make it 18 hours! Now what am I supposed to do? I know they won't restitch him at this point. But now I'm concerned it's going to pull open again. What good are dissolving stitches if they dissolve before the wound is healed? Seriously!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Proof of Spring

I've been holding out on you. I've been showing photos of my wintry home to elicit sympathy. But the truth is, I have proof of spring.

Does anything say spring quite like a squirmy bundle of fluff? No, I didn't think so...

This is one of the four little cuties who arrived (without fanfare) on Easter evening. While I wasn't looking forward to adding to our collection of pets, even I have to admit that these are four, very cute little additions.

Let me know if you are in need of a fluffy companion in your home. We'll be looking for four very good homes in the near future.

I wanna be Chubby Biker...

Rain, snow, sleet, or sunshine... Gentle breezes, gale force winds... It doesn't matter, Chubby Biker is out there.

I don't know who Chubby Biker really is. I'm sure her actual moniker is a bit more mundane... But whoever she is, she's a regular fixture on the hill. And she's earned my respect. I have to think hard to remember a day when I haven't passed Chubby Biker in her effort-filled peddling to the top of the mountain. Sometimes she bikes in the morning, sometimes it's in the afternoon, but she's certainly dedicated to her daily challenge.

Biking to the top of our hill is a popular challenge for the bike set. In fact, passing bikers on the hill is not an unexpected event. I've become accustomed to fudging left of center (of my lane) to leave a safety buffer for the bikers. (And dare I mention that some of those bikers wobble across the line like drunks? Some of them need that safety buffer that I so generously provide!) Most of the bikers wear their fancy bike pants, with matching jerseys, toe-clipped shoes, and customized helmets. Not Chubby Biker, she wears sweat pants, sneakers, a basic helmet, and a puffy, down parka. She is obviously not an athlete. She probably started this exercise (no pun intended) in uphill peddling in an effort to lose a couple pounds. But her dedication and stick-to-it-iveness impress me.

I considered becoming one of those bikers, ok--maybe not seriously, because I can't seem to find a comfortable bike seat... I considered taking up jogging, but I just don't like to run... Walking works, but around here, it seems to require snowshoes. I want to be like Chubby Biker and get myself moving... Maybe I just haven't found my sport.

Those other bikers is their fancy pants just don't inspire me. I don't feel an unrepressed desire to cheer them on. They get their glory when they cross the finish line in record time. But not Chubby Biker--she's in no danger of winning a race anytime soon. But regardless, she's the one who gets my vote!

So, three cheers for Chubby Biker! Chubby Biker, I salute you! I am inspired by your willpower and dedication. And just think--a few more pounds and you can wear those silly (tight!) bike shorts, too! And then, of course, we'll rename you Hot Bike Chick! How's that?!

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Hey Handsome! We hope you have a great birthday today!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Spring Pictorial

This was our view 10 days ago.  Brrr.  

This was our view 8 days ago.  A little sunshine.

This is our tender aspen tree.  Fingers crossed that the deer leave it alone.

This is our view today...  Or maybe lack of a view--we're fogged in...

Spring in Utah.  You just never know...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ahhhh Spring...

Each morning I see the sun crest over the mountains.  The jagged peaks are still snow covered, but the snow is no longer light and fluffy.  Instead, it looks smooth and shiny from being melted and refrozen.  

No longer am I greeted by the soulful gray skies of winter.  Now, the sky warms under the golden sun to a beautiful, rich blue...   Even the clouds are more buoyant--plump and soft, no longer heavy and damp-looking...

The foothills are morphing from muddy, brown splotches into gently rolling mounds comprised of increasing amounts of green.  Their inviting appearance compelling explorers of both the human and animal kind...

The trees outside my window are still sadly naked.  But the little buds are swelling...  Soon they will be bursting to unfurl their tender leaves.  Before long, there will be dappled light streaming through the window instead of unbroken shafts of sunlight.

The forsythia is exclaiming it's happiness with a show of flashy yellow blooms.  The bees and butterflies are proclaiming their joy as well.  The birds chirp cheerfully as they greet their little friends.  It's a happy and friendly time of year...

It's a truly beautiful time.  Days full of growth and rebirth and hopeful promises.   Springtime!  Ahhhhh, spring...


Oh, yes... and let's not forget the pollen...  the swirling, infiltrating, scourge of spring...  Isn't it tragic that the beginning of allergy season coincides with this beautiful time of year...  yippee, spring...  I can hardly wait...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

They call it Pewter...

I made an important discovery today.  It would seem that although I'm a reasonably savvy shopper, I'm not so well informed about fashion...  I know...  Shocking, isn't it?

Let me introduce you to my favorite color...  I like to call it gray.  It has also been called grey, charcoal, heather gray/grey, slate, graphite, silver, gunmetal, smoke, and other assorted names.

One of the things that I probably like most about fall and winter is that gray is the perfect color.  It's a classic neutral.  It matches the mood of the weather.  It seems solid and reliable.  It may be dull, but it goes with a punch of any color without complaint.

For years I have worn my many-acquired shades of gray during the cooler months.  And I quietly dreaded the warm days when I felt compelled to transition to a brighter, less ambiguous color...

But today I made a discovery.  In my new enlightened consciousness, I have become aware of a new title for my beloved drabness.  Today I learned that if you entitle my favorite color (yes, I know it's not really a color--it's a shade) with the descriptive name of pewter, it is immediately acceptable as a summer appropriate color...  Oh, the happiness I felt when this awareness dawned upon me! 

Pewter!  How I love Thee! Let me count the ways...  Can we start with some cute, new shoes?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

April Showers?

Some people just can't believe how much snow we're getting in mid-April...  
This picture of The Mister was taken early this morning...

View from My Window

Caught this little doe outside my window this morning.  

I think she was surprised by the thick blanket of snow.  

Do you think she's enjoying the beautiful spring weather?

Hope she can find something to eat out there!

Do you think she likes waffles?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Zip Code for Perpetual Winter

Does anyone know the zip code for Perpetual Winter?  I need to update my address because somehow, without my knowledge (and also without my consent), I've been relocated there...  

I was pretty sure that winter was over...  The daffodils and tulips were blooming--pretty pastels and sunny yellows--what's not to like?  And yesterday, I saw the most glorious forsythia bush--it was literally bursting with cheerfully exploding blossoms.  
But today, the landscape is a little different...  Or maybe it's just back to more of the same...  There were still pale purple blooms on the trees, but today they weren't the stars in the exhibition.  Instead, they played a supporting role as they timidly peeked through a blanket of freshly fallen snow.  

Now that I'm no longer living in a land with more than one season, I'm considering changing my blog.  I know--Breaking News, huh?  I've just been thinking that it should better reflect my life...  So I'm looking for the perfect snow themed background...  Because, obviously, I'm destined to live in a never-ending winter of doom...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Chaos Rules

I'm pretty sure there is an unwritten set of rules that orchestrate the happenings of my life.

For instance, I think one of the important rules must address the necessity of a certain level of chaos at all times.  Example:  When I am too busy to cope with anything else, the children will get sick.  This rule is quickly followed by the rule that says:  When the children recover from illness, they will injure themselves requiring a trip to the ER.

The list of rules goes on to include things like:  When you splurge on cute new shoes for a pair of adorable little feet, those feet will miraculously grow an inch longer, necessitating yet another pair of new shoes.

One of my favorite rules is this:  The more you need to accomplish something in a timely manner, the more obstinately your teen will dig in his/her heels.

Then there's always this:  That toy that nobody wants will suddenly become the favored toy by all, as soon as anyone shows the slightest amount of interest in it.  This will lead to fighting, crying, and complaining.

Or how about this:  The car will be knocked out of alignment just after you've purchased a set of new tires, thus ruining the tires and requiring you to buy a complete new set of four tires (because you drive an AWD vehicle)...

Oh--this is a good one:  When the house is a disaster and you're gone all day (making it impossible to do anything about it), your friends from out of town call to say they want to drop in for a visit.

What I'm wondering is this...  Does everyone have the same set of Chaos Rules?  Or do I have my own personal set?  And does anyone have a written set of these rules?  If so, does it help to know the rules so you can study them and prepare for the eventualities?  Or is there an additional rule that states that any level of understanding of the rules creates a new set of more obscure and infinitely more irritating rules?

Just wondering...

Sunday, April 5, 2009

There's Nothing in My Head...

The past month my head has been awhirl with thoughts of meeting my sister. Now that we've met, my head just seems empty. I feel calm again... My thoughts aren't racing and scattering in all directions... But I can't seem to find any focus. This whole thing has taken up so much of my concentration, that now I am at a loss.

The weather is beautiful... The school year is moving along... Dance rehearsals are on track... There's nothing exciting or even intriguing with which to concern myself. I guess I no longer have any excuse for putting off my Italian studies.

So--Arrivederci--I'm off to study!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Remember the Sunshine?

I just found this photo on my computer...

Now I'm daydreaming about hot summer days.

I'm wondering if we'll ever see the sunshine again...

Friday, April 3, 2009

I Met My Sister...

For many of my friends, meeting with a sister isn't a big event. Things are a little different for me. When I say I met my sister, I don't mean,

Let's meet in Vegas. I'll book the room...

What I actually mean is something more along the lines of,
Hello. Glad to meet you...

I know some of you were confused by this post, and then this and this did nothing to enlighten anybody. And then there was this (notably, numbers 15 & 25). And even this from yesterday left some people wondering... And now that you know I've just met my sister for the first time, maybe it all makes a little more sense.

The background of my story isn't really so unusual. I was adopted as a baby. I always knew about my adoption, and it never bothered me. I grew up in a happy and healthy family. I never felt disconnected, nor did I feel like I was missing something.

At one point, I needed some family medical history. I contacted some of the names from my legal file, but I never really got anywhere. I posted to a reunion website--I didn't want a reunion, I just wanted the info... Anyway, I forgot about that web posting and 13 years went by...

Two years ago, a brother googled himself and my web posting came up. Talk about a shocking revelation--he'd never heard anything about me. We made contact, but his sister didn't believe his story. A few months ago, this brother put my photo on his Facebook page. That was the beginning of a lot of chaos. I would seem that my looks were startling, to say the least... After considering the situation, this sister decided to contact me.

Anyway, after many long phone conversations, along with prolific emailings and copious text messages, we decided to meet. And the past three days have been exciting and fun and amusing and enlightening and... I've struggled to put a title on our budding relationship. I know what it's like to have a friend. I even know what it's like to have a brother. But I've never had a sister... until now... because that's how I feel about her.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Sometimes Life is Crazy

Sometimes life gets crazy. Other times, life gets really crazy.

There are varying types of craziness in life, just as there are varying degrees of crazy. I've experienced crazy in the forms of hectic schedules, demanding responsibilities, stressful situations, and eventful happenings. And that was just this week! The sad part is, I'm sure my life is going to continue down this winding path of weird and wild events.

The one type of crazy that is always most unsettling to me is the crazy resulting from an unanticipated event. That type of crazy is challenging because I always dread the thought of being caught completely unprepared.

I've just experienced three days of crazy--no matter how you define it... At times like these, I would typically long for the return of normalcy. Today, however, I sit here in a state of exhaustion--both physical and mental, but I am satisfied. Despite this sense of being completely spent, I know I have no desire to have things fully return to their previous state.

I encountered a moment of truth (or rather, many moments of truth) in the past few days. I discovered secrets and stories. I uncovered questions without answers. But more importantly, I've found friendship and connections where I never dreamed I would. The conversations of the past few days have been enlightening and emotional, but fulfilling in many ways. And at the end of the day, I'm thrilled to have had this unanticipated crazy fall into my life. And weirdly enough, I find that I am more prepared than I thought I would be.

I think I might be one of those people for whom Life is destined to be a crazy ride. I guess I'll just have to learn to enjoy the scenery.

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