Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Rant

I love my sister.  Dearly.  She is wonderful, creative, thoughtful and fun.  She has a knack for making things beautiful.  She also has a weakness for Webkinz.

For any of you who might not know what a "Webkinz" is... a Webkinz is simply a stuffed animal.  Upon purchasing said animal you open a little thing attached to their ear, neck, leg, waist... (I don't really know what part it's attached to because, unlike my sister, I avoid Webkinz at all costs)... that has a code on it.  This code gets you into a "virtual world" for your new pet.  My sister's darling children have owned a Webkinz, or perhaps several Webkinz pets for a few years now.  My sister thinks it's great fun and loves to help her children take care of their "pet" in the "virtual world". 

For several years (probably since she bought her first "pets") my sister has told me that I should get these for my kids and I've resisted in every manner possible.  I have even told her that I don't need any other reason for my children to want to get onto some think-for-you, creativity-sapping electronic device (in this case, the computer) and exisit, even for a little bit, in some non-physical plane that is NOT reality (ie., the Webkinz world).  They get enough of that with our Wii that I don't let them play very often.

So, mid-December, my sister called me several times while I was in a movie theater.  I had my phone on vibrate, so I didn't hear the calls and my phone was in my purse so I didn't see the calls either.  When I got out of the theater, I noticed her missed calls and called her back.  She told me that she had been in a store and they had Webkinz for only $5 and she was wondering if she could get one for a gift for each my children.  She remembered that I didn't really want them for my kids, hence the calling, but since she couldn't get a hold of me, she made an executive decision and bought them anyway.  I'm not gonna lie, this announcement made my blood boil a little bit.  I suppose I could've told her she needed to take them back to the store, but that's not my style.  It's a gift, after all, and she loves them but doesn't understand why I don't want them in my life.  So, I conceded.  The gifts were given this last weekend. 

My children flipped out.  They were so excited.  I was not.

Their cousins helped them log on and set up their world.  They played on it some while they were at my mom's house over the weekend.  Whatever. 

This year I have suffered a severe post-Christmas crash.  I pushed myself beyond my limits for several weeks, trying to do too much and not getting enough sleep in the process, not to mention the fact that I'm growing another human being in my body, which tends to sap energy.  I have felt groggy every morning (including Christmas morning) and felt as though I could sleep until noon each day.  (I haven't, but waking daily has been a serious challenge) 

With that preface: Ella, upon waking this morning, came and climbed in my bed.  This is normally a sweet thing.  I love to converse with her in the mornings.  But I was downright grumpy today as she tried to talk to me.  And one of the first thing out of her mouth was something about how she needed to get online and feed "Marci" (her Webkinz) or Marci would die.  Seriously?  Your stuffed animal's electronic persona will die?  I had no tolerance for it.  I told her she better wait until I was a little more awake (like in a non-horizontal position) to talk to me about that. 


Grrrr....

I guess this is where I get to assert my position as "Mother" and just tell them too bad.  Your little pet will have to live on whatever they get with a "once every couple weeks" visit online. 

And, just for the record, I'm not mad at my sister.  She made her choice to give them to my kids and I made my choice to NOT tell her to take them back.  I now get to choose to be a "mean mom" who let's virtual pets go skeletal with malnutrition and neglect. 

I just feel better for the telling of the story, so thanks for listening, Blog. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

And One More Time

Mormonwoman.org has been kind enough to publish this post that I did last year about my church Christmas program. 

Rereading that post makes my eyes smart with tears with the remembrance of that overwhelming day.  I am grateful for my calling in my church as choir director.  I've been known to whine a bit because I've been doing the same thing for close to five years, but I really love it.  I should just keep my mouth shut about it because it fulfills me in ways I forget to remember until I'm actually doing the job of leading those willing and stalwart members of the choir. 

We had our Christmas program just two days ago and, while it was not as thought-out as last year's program, I was very pleased with the way it turned out.  Last year I arranged to have choir pieces, a vocal soloist with a violin, an INCREDIBLE piano solo, organ/piano duets with choir and congregation singing, a vocal trio and some children singing.  It was quite the array and quite the program.  This year I have just been too busy with homeschooling, pretzel-dipping, pregnancy-exhaustion and general Christmas mania and I didn't get the chance to find performers for some of the music that I wanted performed in smaller groups or solos.  Nonetheless, the songs that were performed were BEAUTIFUL and my stress level was much lower this year, an element for which I am grateful.  That may have something to do with the fact that I did last year's program as well as our Stake Fine Arts Night in May... I'm getting some experience under my belt, which allows for lower stress during such an event.

To any who participated in the program who might be reading this, THANK YOU!  Emily, thank you for augmenting Away in a Manger with your violin and thank your husband for playing the piano.  Diane... I don't think you read this blog, but I'll say it on here anyway... my gratitude for you knows no bounds.  You did the very most in the whole program, as you played in every song and with nary a word of complaint!  I realized the other day, that you've been playing for the choir far longer than I've been choir director!  I have no room for complaint!  THANK YOU!!!

The end. 

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Where Did We Go Wrong?

Dear Peanut Butter-

It's not you, it's me.

I'm not sure what happened to us.  We used to enjoy eachother's company.  I've never been a "I can't get enough peanut butter" kind of person, but we've always gotten along just fine. 

Something happened.  Over the years, you've just lost something.  Slowly, you and I have just drifted apart.  Remember when I used to put a normal amount of you on my PBJ's?  And then that amount got thinner and thinner as the years passed, when finally the bread would just show right through you as I spread you on with my favorite freezer jam.  I would almost gag if I watched my husband make a PBJ.  He lays you on so thick, I'm amazed he coul speak the rest of the day after he ate those sandwiches.  

At first it was just the thinning of the "PB" in my PBJ.  Next was the Reese's Peanut Butter cups.  And somewhere between the Reese's and last night's Peanut Butter Bar order that I had to fill, we've become nothing short of enemies.  You assault all my senses... smell, sight, taste... even touch.  So far, you've stayed away from hearing, but I know you'll find a way to ruin that too. 

I want to be friends with you!  Can't we still be friends?  It would be so much easier to be around you! 

Can't you just make yourself smell good to me again?  Or, make it so that when I find little remnants of you in the jelly or the butter (because my kids don't understand the strength of my aversion toward you!) I don't go ballistic? 


I'm so sorry that it's come to this.  Perhaps, when my hormones level off in a few months, we can find some sort of happy medium.  Perhaps. 

No longer yours,
Clancy

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Check It Out

I got published again!  Some of you have already read this, but check it out if you wish... it was supposed to have a blurb about the poem that went something like this:


There are times in life where I've felt like I'm floundering... bobbing along with no direction and accomplishing very little. It was during one of those times, a January in my life, that I realized, as I walked past my flower garden wherein lay the frozen roots of perennial flowers and shrubs, that something happens to those roots in those cold, dark times that cycle through every year. I don't understand the physics or biological processes that occur, but the results, when the weather warms, is the beautiful conclusion of that process that I don't fully understand. From that life-metaphor came this poem which helped me have the faith to get through my own dark, cold cycle in life.

Somehow that got left out, but that's ok... you get the idea, I think, through the poem.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Listy List

Do you ever just have a need to make a list?  Today's the day for me!

1- I'm so grateful for cars and how they, once warmed up, can be a little bubble of warmth against the bitter Idaho weather. (or your state of residence... but only if it's a cold state.  I don't want to hear about anything above 32 degrees.  This morning, where I live it was -12 degrees.  That sucks.) 

2- I'm so grateful that my husband goes out and starts my car every morning as he's leaving for work. 

3- I love the hood of my coat.  It's so lovely and snuggly.  A coat without a hood is not a coat worth having.  That's simply my opinion and if you have a coat with no hood, no disrespect is intended.  But you really should think about getting a coat with a hood.  I'm just sayin'...

4- The "helm" where I sit and do all my computery things gives me a limited view of my driveway.  I can see part of my husband's beat up, old truck and a little bit of the nose of my van from my not-so-lofty perch.  The relevance of that random comment is this:  I was just sitting here thinking how interesting the human mind is.  The front bumper of my van is parked about 8 inches from the front bumper of Dustin's truck.  I don't really even remember parking my van after I dropped Ella off at school, but I, obviously... in my miraculous and amazing brain... calculated the distance from the nose of my van to Dustin's truck very well because I am close to it, but didn't hit it.  That got me thinking how a car can become almost an extension of our bodies.  We are mostly aware of them as we are aware of our own arm or foot and we do things while driving with an awareness of the limits of the car.  But this all happens without alot of concious thought on our part.  

I've had a similar train of thought about when I'm in a room and I need to turn off the light and then navigate in the dark.  If I take a quick scan of the room, I can turn off the light and negotiate the room blindly and yet fairly quickly with almost no mishaps because I've already "mapped out" in my mind, the distances my feet need to walk or where they need to skirt an obstacle.

Or, when I'm running, I look far ahead of where my feet are actually hitting the ground.  I know where my feet are going to land because I already mapped it out as I took in the terrain as a whole.  (I'm thinking, particularly, of trail-running which has many rocks, roots and various obstacles...)  It's simply amazing to me how our brain will just take care of these little details without a lot of conscious awareness on our analytical brain's part. 

We are some cool creatures, human beings!

5- I think something got stolen out of our garage.  This, alone, sucks alot.  But it extra-sucks because said item was not ours, but my dad's and Dustin had borrowed it.  Our lock on our garage is missing.  I don't know when, why or how that happened, but I went out there on Sunday night and the garage door was wide open (this is an old, detached garage with double swinging doors) and had been for who knows how long.  My dad is awesome though and was so understanding and nice about the whole thing.

6- Did you know Laundry has a butt?  I found that out yesterday when I kicked some Laundry-BUTT!!


7- I've been so busy this week... had so many little things to do.  I've actually been doing them, but I should probably make a list because I keep forgetting all the little things that need doing.  But, mostly I've remembered and I've gotten much accomplished.  Good feelings abound.


That feels better.  List made.

Nerd Alert

I've spent the last two hours of my evening studying HTML code.  I'm obsessed!  I can't tell you how insane I get looking at those codes and not knowing what they mean!!!  I'm taking an HTML "class" that I found on the internet.  I basically have to read through it and figure it out, and I love it.  

LOVE IT, I tell you.

I wish I could stay up all night and study.  But, understanding all those tags does take some brain power and my brain, apparently, shuts down at midnight because at 12:02 I realized I could no longer focus on what I was reading. :-(  

As my brother, Zandy, used to always say to me when we were young, "Nerds die twice."

I guess I'm gonna die twice then, because I am a nerd for sure.

Friday, December 4, 2009

New Life

This morning, as sleep was walking that precarious line of hanging on and sloughing off of my shrouded mind, I realized I had hands on my belly. I was laying on my back and must have been for some time because, as I was slowly waking up, I realized that my back was hurting me and I needed to move. I didn't want to though. While I was sleeping, my husband was laying there, hands on my tummy, feeling our baby move under my skin. I didn't want to disturb the moment.

Realizing after a few minutes that there seemed to be no movement in utero to disturb, I rolled onto my side. Dustin's hands remained on my belly waiting for more fetal acrobatics. I continued drifting in and out of sleep and, after an unknown quantity of time, Dustin got up to get ready for work. After he showered, he came back in our room and found me a little more coherent.

"I was playing with the baby while you were asleep," he informed me.

I responded, "I noticed your hands on my belly as I was waking up, but I didn't feel the baby moving at all. Was it actually moving?"

"Oh yeah! Totally!" he replied enthusiastically. "It would kick and I'd give a little push back. I'd feel a little limb and bounce it off my hand. It moved a lot and for a long time. The baby and I were having fun!"

Weird how I could be so asleep to not even notice any of that going on. But as I lay there thinking after he walked away, I was very grateful that I stayed asleep through it all. He got his own time "with the baby" as I was lost to the waking world.

A few minutes later, Ella walked in the room. She had a bad dream for the second morning in a row. Comforting words were said and she climbed in bed next to me filling Dustin's vacated spot. We lay there a few minutes and suddenly the baby got very tiny hiccups. I took Ella's hands and, placing them over the rhythmic hiccup-zone, told her of the baby's condition.

She got very excited as she felt the little repetitive jolts. "I can FEEL it, Mom!" she whispered enthusiastically. Suddenly, the baby decided it was awake and ready to roll around. The big sister thrilled at the various kicks and motions she felt. Swells of miniature body parts protruded and she informed me of every action. She laughed out loud several times. She asked what she was feeling... "Was that it's head? Is that it's leg? How does it make that bump stick out? What was that little bump?"

"I don't know Ella," I replied. "I wonder the same things all the time and I can never quite imagine the little person that can make all that movement simultaneously!"

As we lay there, I told her that her daddy was "playing" with the baby this morning while I was sleeping. She laughed. I suddenly realized that she, being my only daughter thus far, (March will tell if she is my only daughter ever) would one day, in all probability, get to experience this very thing, but from her own body, not just feeling it through her mother. I told her this, that one day she could feel this too but feel it all the time, every day as a new life develops into a whole, and very tiny human being.

I marveled, as I have time and time before, at the wonder of being a woman. This is a precious time, a wonderful gift that my body can give. I love feeling those jolts of a new life inside of me. Dustin can feel it from the outside as he lays there in dark, but OH!, the joy I experience with each little tap or roll from within! It is a wonder, a marvel and a miracle.

And with that thought, I say again... I love being a woman.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Let Your Fingers Do the Walking?

Not this time.


Just now Rohan came downstairs and asked in a very loud voice, "Mom, do you know Santa's phone number? Cuz I've been waiting a WEALLY LONG TIME!"

We only put our tree up last night.

It's going to be a long month for that four year-old boy....

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thoughts and Events

So, my blogging career, which once served me such delicious bites of verbal release, has taken a nose-dive. And I'm fine with that, mostly.

I was reading through some old posts a few weeks ago and I got all teary-eyed remembering how much I always gained from my verbose self-expression on these empty white boxes we call, "New Posts". I loved to conjure a story from nothing. I loved to express my feelings. I loved to tell some event in some creative or whimsical way. I loved to make myself laugh. (I always hoped I was making other people laugh too, but I was always laughing enough at myself to be satisfied... regardless of the state of other people's chuckle-meter) I loved COMMENTS!!! (I still love comments, but let's be honest here, Clancy... you have to POST to have COMMENTS.) I loved to see another follower show up on my sidebar. I loved to see that people wanted to read what I was saying, as shocking as that was sometimes.

And now... I draw blank after blank. And I'm ok with that... mostly. I keep saying mostly because I feel like I'm missing something. I feel like I've lost a friend. But, I also have realized that there are times and places for everything in life and my blog has taken a back burner to several things in my life.

I spend much of my daily life homeschooling my son. It is going well, I think, and I think it has been so good for him. I think he is retaining some of the innocence of youth that might otherwise be taken preemptively in this fast-paced world. He is such a sweet kid, despite how some days I feel like he might be the death of me. Although, as he is maturing those days are becoming more and more rare. He is growing up and I couldn't be more proud of the young man he is turning into. His latest thing is to sit with the "grownups" while we are talking. He is happy to just listen to adults talk. I must admit that I was the same when I was a child. Sometimes it is aggravating, but how can I get frustrated with him when he is simply being me? (sometimes that's why I get frustrated with him, I think...) He says big things that often take me by surprise.

In science we have been talking about solutions: solutes and solvents. It has been fun for me to go through all this with him as I often learn something new or simply relearn a forgotten thing. In today's lesson we learned about saturation of a solvent and how temperature of the solvent can affect the solubility and therefore the saturation point.

On his lesson assessment there was a question that had a graph to the side showing solubility and temperature of the solvent. The question asked, "What can we conclude from this graph?" We read the choices together... "A." I said, "Decreasing temperature increased the solubility for all three substances."

"No," he said. "Not that one."

"B." I read. "Increasing volume increases solubility for all three substances."

In all seriousness and without missing a beat, he said, "Pantene will increase your volume!" He was so proud of himself that he knew that! I was so taken off guard by his use of the term 'volume', especially because it was verbatum from a TV ad, or more likely, straight off the Pantene bottle in our shower that I burst out laughing! Looking slightly abashed, he asked what was so funny. I schooled my face back into seriousness and told him that clever advertisers say that Pantene will make your hair look more full, or have "volume". I then explained what they meant by the term 'volume' on his science assessment. He laughed a little and I told him how smart he was and what a good memory he has and we moved on.

I had to record that one. Rohan still says adorable things all the time because he's only four. Ella still says cute things too off and on... or simply funny things that she thinks is fact. Mac now says smart things all the time (sometimes that would be brainy-smart, other times that would be sassy-smart...) and is getting old enough that he doesn't say very many "cute" things anymore. But today, he was cute, precocious and without guile. I love that child of mine and I had to record some cuteness while I still can.

So... that is one thing that my blog has taken a back burner to. Homeschooling. A very large chunk of my time each day is devoted to that awesome, frustrating, incredible, wonderful and cumbersome tservice that I am blessed to be able to offer to my son. I think some people don't approve of my choice to homeschool. I have discovered this disapproval comes across in many interesting and subtle varieties. Little looks people give me, little things they say. I honestly don't care who approves and who doesn't, but it's interesting to observe people. What they think they are keeping to themselves is really glaringly obvious to me. I just laugh to myself and think of the subtle differences I can see in my son and I know I'm doing the right thing.

Pregnancy must be another thing that blogging sits behind. Seems like it should be no big thing. Lots of people blog just fine while pregnant. But not me, apparently.

I'm 24 weeks now. I realized that my last post about being irritated by questions about my baby bump was a little harsh. I went to New Moon with some girlfriends and one of them that I didn't know super well said, "I read your blog and so I know I shouldn't ask you about your belly."

Crap!

Not true. If you see me, feel free to ask, folks. I was particularly irriatated that day and the people I spoke of just didn't seem to really care... it just seemed like they were making idle conversation. (Which may be untrue. That conclusion may simply have been the filter of my crabby, bugged mood.) Anyway, if you see me, don't be afraid of me scratching your eyes out if you ask me about my baby! I will be nice. I promise. If you see me glaze over and step out of my body, know that I'm having an wool-blanket-itchy-I-can't-stand-to-be-in-my-skin day. It's not you. It's me.

So... I had more thoughts, but they have recently checked out and this brain is now vacant. Just thought I'd update a little with a few thoughts and happenings. I am still alive and breathing... just doing so while almost completely ignoring my blog.

And now, this sleepy, blog-ignoring girl is going to bed. Goodnight.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

iTchY

Do you ever have one of those days where you're all agitated for no particular reason? Or there may be a reason, but you're not sure how that reason could make you agitated like you are?

Today is a day like that.

Today itches me. Today feels like my clothes feel lately... bunchy, tight and uncomfortable. Today I've ventured out to run a few errands. I talked to people. I saw some people I know. They asked me about my baby... "Are you having a boy or a girl? When are you due?"... those kinds of questions. I felt like I was standing outside myself and watching myself answer in a nice cheerful-bordering-on-sugary tone, "Oh... we didn't find out the sex of the baby. We are going to let it be a surprise." and "I'm due in March..." They then responded in equally near-sugar tones about how fun that will be. All of this occurred without incident, but in my mind all I wanted to do was scratch at the discomforts of my day... walk away from those questions and those people... tell them they were irritants and to not ask those "conversational" questions that they didn't seem genuinely interested in, just asked them because my baby bump was the most obvious thing to talk about. Clearly, I had no tolerance for them today. Or, I did, as long as I could exit my body while I answered them.

I can't name why, but I am looking forward to this day being over so I can get out of my irritating clothes, put my PJs on and go to sleep.

And hopefully wake to a non-itchy state of mind.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Looky! Looky!!

Today, I got my humble little blog post published on someone ELSE'S website!! (meaning, not on my own humble little blog!)

Check it out!

I'm fairly honored that they would want to publish something of mine. I was bold enough to send them two more things I wrote and they are going to publish them in the coming two or so months. WOW!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Miracles Do Happen

I was showered AND dressed AND had my hair done before 9am for TWO days in a row this week.

I believe in miracles.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ella

I've been having a wardrobe problem, as, I'm sure, anyone who has ever been pregnant can relate to. It's been getting better as I continue to grow abdominally. I can now hold up a few pairs of maternity pants without them falling off. But I have whined a little bit to my friend Rebby about this problem. It would appear that I only want to wear pajamas because they are comfy.

The other night, after a bit of whining about my clothes and my dreams of being in my pajamas, Rebby sent me home with a very comfy pair of yoga-ish pants and a shirt that matches. Today, I was still wearing my PJs when someone came to the door. This was not the hour one should still be in PJs so I quickly ran and threw on the borrowed comfy clothes from Rebby. I visited with my visitor for a while and then went to get Ella from school.

Ella climbed in the car and, as she sat down, I heard her little nose sniffing. She sat there testing the air for a few seconds as I was backing out of my parking spot. After a those few sniffs she asked me, "Did Grace and Olivia come over today?"

"No," I replied. "Why do you ask?"

"Because it smells like their house in our car," she replied.

I laughed out loud and told her to smell my clothes. Grace and Olivia are Rebby's two younger daughters.

"Why do you smell like Rebby's house, Mom?" she asked. "Did you go over there today?"

"No, these are Rebby's clothes," I replied. "She let me borrow them."

Rebby's clothes, by the way, smell like fresh laundry... this is a good smell.

Her little sniffer was satiated and she let the conversation drop. Maybe I could hire her out as a hound dog part-time?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Hi There

'Tis I.

My whole household is feeling much better. I still stay in my PJs until 1, 2 or 3 o'clock, but that has been a home-school induced phenomenon, not a sickness induced one. Being sick just helped me feel better about the whole thing.

I have some cutie-patootie Halloween pics that I might someday add to this blog. But first, I'd need to remove them from my camera, which is proving to be easier said than done.

Guess what?

I'm going to be published on a website! I'm rather excited. Mormonwoman.org contacted me and asked if they could publish my "To Be A Woman" post. I was honored! I said yes. It should come out next week sometime... Tuesday, I think!

Cool beans. Thanks, Ginny, for telling them about my post.

Last night I made Yaki-Soba for dinner. (I guess that's spelled right? I don't really know...) It's a Japanese dish that my friend, Rebby, taught me how to make. It's incredibly yummy and I have some leftovers calling my name from the fridge right now....

Can you hear them?

Claaaancy...... Claaaaancy!!!! Come and eat us! Feed your baby some Japanese deliciousness for lunch!!!

You know what the best part about making dinner is? Clarification: when I actually MAKE dinner, do you know what's the best part? When there is leftovers and I can eat them for lunch.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sick

It's hit our household.

We've all been sick.

It started on Saturday with Ella. She had a fever. Not too high, but a fever that made her somewhat lethargic. She had nothing, aside from that fever, Saturday, Sunday and all day Monday. Then, Monday night she threw up. Tuesday she was mostly better.

Monday night, Dustin and Mac started feeling crummy and slightly feverish. Tuesday Dustin felt awful and Mac, to compliment his fever, threw up. Just before he threw up, Dustin and I heard Mac yell out, "HERE IT COMES!!" (He despises throwing up.) Dustin and I laughed at his announcement.

Rohan was showing no signs, except some chest congestion, which has been my story since about Friday.

Wednesday, Mac continued with his fever. Dustin stayed home again, still feverish. Rohan started showing fever signs, while I simply continued to have a lot of chest congestion. Ella returned to school.

Today, Dustin is feeling better and back at work. Mac and Rohan are feverishly languishing in the living room, and I STILL have chest congestion but only that. (for which I am grateful)

For as much as I dislike sickness in my house, this has been a relatively fun one. Dustin was home with ALL of us on Tuesday, albeit sick, but he was home. Ella went to school Wednesday, so with the exception of her we were all home together yesterday too. That is a treat for me, even if we are sick.

We all have been laying around like slugs the whole week. I've only been dressed for a couple of hours at a time when I was forced to go out and buy things like Saltine crackers, Sprite and children's Ibuprofen. It's been an adventure in hibernation and healing, watching non-stop movies and reading books.

I hate being sick, but I love my little family's togetherness.



P.S. I keep having people ask me if it's Swine Flu (insert bloodcurdling scream and scary music) and I'll just say for the record... I don't know and I don't care. I think Swine Flu (insert bloodcurdling scream and scary music) is purely propaganda. I think it's a scare tactic. For heaven sake's people... it's just the flu!

I just heard on the radio the other day that our Nobel-Peace-Prize-winning president has declared a National Emergency because the Swine Flu (insert bloodcurdling scream and scary music) deaths have now totaled 1000.

1000? Are you kidding? I've been researching a little and everything I've read states that the flu kills about 36,000 people per year. EVERY YEAR! And now our president has declared a National Emergency because 1000 people have died?

Healthcare propaganda, is what I think it is. A bunch of B.S. with a creepy name...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tuesday Special

Here I sit, fresh out of the shower at 3:06 on a Tuesday afternoon. This particular Tuesday is a special Tuesday, though. Why is it special? No, not because I finally showered at 2:40 pm. No, not because I am dressed in real clothes for the first time since Sunday...

It's my honey-pie's birthday!

Happy Birthday, Dustin, my love!!!

This man 'o' mine rocks my world. His ever-present, but varied in formation, facial hair is scruffy and rough, and I love it. He knows I love his ruggedness. And ruggedness is not just limited to his ruggedly-handsome looks.

He dresses rugged... no matter how I try to sharpen his style, he is who he is. I've stopped trying and just dress him as ruggedly-sharp as I can! (I do all his clothes shopping, so I can do this, you know.)

His walk is rugged. He tromps through this world with his heavy boots. Many who know him can identify him simply by hearing his footsteps.

His attitude is rugged. He bucks authority like a bull in a rodeo. He says what he thinks, often with a consequences-be-damned attitude.

And speaking of being damned... his language is often rugged.

But... like a rugged mountain peak, he too is not immune to the powers of erosion. The passing of time, and being wedded to someone not quite so rugged, has softened some of his rougher points. His language is softer, his impatience less sharp.

And, like any rugged mountain, he has his spots of softness as well... his moss-covered north side, if you will. He has always been, since I met him, tender and gentle with me, his wife. He adores me, and I him. He is as sweet a dad as I've ever seen with his beautiful children. Sometimes that rugged, rough side comes out in his father-role, but when it's tucked away, he's soft and tender with his little ones. He is friendly to others and makes people feel good being around him. He loves to serve and help people. (but not if his wife volunteers him for it without prior consultation!) Soft as a tree's mossy north face.

Happy Birthday to my mate, my partner in life, my love, my husband.

I love you, my rugged and soft man!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Dinner Is Not Cooked

It's 5:34 pm right now. Dustin is working late tonight... late-ish. I haven't cooked dinner and I'm blogging instead!

The truth of the matter is that I'm in pain right now and I can't easily stand up from this chair I sat in a few minutes ago. I have been having issues with the ligaments in my abdomen... I've read that it's the ones that hold up my uterus. Anyway, whatever they are, they have a tendency to get irritated and it feels like a severe side-ache... you know when you're running and you get a side-ache? It feels like that. And when it is bad, like it is at this moment, I have to sit still 'til it goes away because moving doubles me over.

Soo... that's my really good excuse for not having dinner cooked or even started at 5:34pm.

We went for a lovely visit over the weekend to Logan, UT... our former place of residence. We visited with our friends Jennie and Jared and Justin and Amy. We had a Halloween party of sorts, but mostly just visited and played.

Then the next day we went and visited with my lifelong friend, Beth and her family. Our kids got along swimmingly and were very sad to leave their friends that they see far too little of. They are still talking about "Eric" and how cute and funny he is. It was a good day and we were all sad to leave. Hopefully it won't be so long before we see all the friends we saw this weekend again.

I've been in sewing mode. Halloween is my favorite time of year to sew. I love to make my children costumes and watch them light up as they come to fruition.

Rohan is going to be a "mommy" this year. (Mummy, but he always says it like mommy, which confuses all the people who ask him what he's going to be for Halloween!) I am having so much fun making up his costume. It's rather tedious the way I'm doing it, but it's turning out great! I'm excited and so is he!

Mac will be a Grim Reaper and Ella, a little devil. They are all loving it and can't wait for the real deal.

I love Halloween and have so many fond memories of my mom helping us get all dressed up. She loved it too and always went "all out".

So, it's now 5:50 and my ligaments or whatever hurts is not hurting so much now, so I think I'll go make dinner!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pontifications on Cereal

This is the 401st post on this little blog. Can you believe I had 401 things to say! Wow.
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I am a cereal junkie. I love cereal. Yesterday I ate it for breakfast AND lunch. Very healthy choice, I must say.

I, unfortunately have also passed this love on to my children. I say unfortunately, but it's not entirely unfortunate. Just think if they didn't like cereal! I'd have to make them a real breakfast every morning. *gasp!* I struggle with making a real dinner at night. That would be problematic.

I will tell you what is unfortunate about this situation. Cereal is not the cheapest thing to eat for breakfast. Eggs would likely be cheaper. Oatmeal, definitely cheaper. I've thought I should define things a little bit regarding the cereal. I've thought I should tell the kids I will buy ___________ number of boxes per week and if they eat it all, then they don't get more until the next week. Good idea, huh? But the flaw in that plan is this: when the cereal runs out, there's one grown-up cereal junkie who has the power to run her little butt to the store and buy some more. And that is exactly what she does.

Post Cranberry Almond Crunch is my favorite, usually. I'm a big fan of Bran Flakes and Frosted Mini Wheats as well. Rice Chex, and Kix hit the spot. And with all of my pregnancies, Cheerios were my lifeline in the first trimester when sickness reigned and nothing sounded good.

Rohan lives for Life. Mac loves Special K. Ella will eat whatever suits her fancy that day, but she seems to ask for Frosted Mini Wheats the most.

I think we're winning Dustin over to the dark side. Together he and I will rule the cereal universe with our children. Although... Dustin loves Grape Nuts and they make his breath smell like dog food. If he eats them too much, I might have to destroy him. But, lucky for me (and him!), bwwaahahahaha, I'm the one who does the shopping!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Saturday Morning Miracle

Just thought I'd share the coolest sound in the whole world with you. Well, the coolest sound in my whole world, anyway.

It happened last Saturday morning. I had stayed up too late the night before. You see, Dustin usually goes to karate on Saturday mornings from 7:00am to 9:00am. Last Saturday was no exception. He went. I vaguely remember kissing him goodbye, as I was still sleeping at 6:45.

Around our house, the typical Saturday morning goes something like this: D goes to karate and about 20 minutes later my kids wake up. Rohan wakes up first... or Ella, but mostly Rohan... and he wants me to get him a bowl of cereal. The little stinker! Doesn't he know that I want to sleep in on a Saturday!! At least a tiny bit! Please!!!? Anyway, then follows the rest of the kids and I try to pretend I'm still sleeping until I hear them fighting or something and I have to yell at them to be nice or get their little fannies spanked or go to time-out or some other really mean threat. Did you know that pretending to be sleeping and yelling at your kids are not congruent? They don't fit very well. It's usually around that time that I get up out of bed and act like a human being for the day.

So, that's the norm. But last Saturday, as I told you, Dustin left for karate and I went back to sleep. The next thing I heard was Rohan saying he wanted cereal. Groaning, I started to try to put him off, but realized he was not in my room, nor was he talking to his mother. It was then that I heard the most beautiful thing an up-to-late-wanting-to-sleep-in mommy could hear; my ears were caressed by the melodious sound of Dustin's deep voice telling Rohan to go pee while he got him some cereal. Dustin was, in fact, not at karate but was home and getting Rohan his beloved bowl of Life cereal while I lay in my bed.


HEAVEN!


I drifted in and out of sleep for the next hour or so. Those few times I woke, I heard something even more wonderful... Dustin telling the kids to "leave Mom alone... she's sleeping!"


RAPTURE!


I thought that life could not be sweeter, but let me tell you about my husband... He is sweetness with a thick coating of muscle and grit. As I came more fully awake, my senses keyed into the noises around the house... the activity that was occurring. I still heard my dashing husband asking my darling children to leave me alone and let me sleep (I let him continue with that for a while, event though I was fully awake by then), but I heard something even better. As I listened, I realized that Dustin was ordering the kids around telling them, "We are cleaning this house and we are cleaning it well!"...with nary a whine from the children!


ECSTASY!!!


Shortly after, I revealed myself to be amongst the living. I cleaned my room while Dustin continued to boss the kids. They worked from 7:30am until almost noon. No fights were had, minimal whining was heard... it was one of those little miracles on a Saturday morning that ended with a sparkly clean house.


And there was much rejoicing.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I'm Having a Problem with Titles

So, I have some things to say, but I am suddenly at a loss how to title my posts. In the past, my titles would come out before I even started the post. They were self-titled-posts. They knew their names.

Now I stare at the title box like I used to stare at my empty blog post box. I can't name them all "__________Fill in the Blank", now can I?

Maybe my blogging is healing. First I forgot what to say in the big white box. Now I just can't think of what to say in the little white box. Progress is good.

But that's not really why I came here to this computer chair today.

I have some things to say.

Since my last post I've been feeling much better. I think I did just need a good cleansing cry, as many of you suggested. The catalyst was vague. I can't even remember it now, if I ever could. But now, it's just gone. I felt better the next day. And the next, and so on.

Just thought I'd share that since I keep leaving my blog on such a sour note.



Second thing on the random list.

Columbus Day. What the heck? I was thinking, yesterday, as Ella brought her ultra-cute Columbusy art project home, 'Why the heck do we celebrate this day? Why do banks and post-offices close for this day?'

I don't know. But I do know that I had all these thoughts and then read my friend Larrie's post and almost fell out of my chair laughing. Maybe the funnyness was so great because of my mood and my previous thoughts. And maybe your position in your computer chair won't be compromised like mine nearly was as I read her post, but I think you should read it all the same... because Larrie is awesome.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

________________ (fill in the blank...)

Two weeks.

Two weeks since my last blog post.


Today I've been crying. Deep, bottom-of-my-toes kind of crying. Maybe it's the hormones raging through my body. Maybe it's the seasons changing. Maybe it's the crushing weight of being a responsible adult. The reason behind the tears is vague. Unclear. Hard to define.

As I cried I thought of four-thousand and twenty-two things I wanted to express all over my blog. Philosophical questions to be asked, cryptic poems to write, anguish to smash all over my computer screen. But once I sat down at my computer, the finger-brain connection would not allow me to type anything. All the deep-seeded emotional trash that went flying through the motion-picture projector of my mind scurried away and re-buried itself in the recesses. Well, likely some of it was actually expunged from my body with all that crying. Maybe it just left in such a hurry that I can't even remember it now. I don't know. Maybe this baby in my body sucks ALL the memory from me. All of it. Could be.

Well, whatever.

Screw you, Emotional Trash! If you don't want to work things out via a blogging-release, you can just stay there in time-out until you're ready to be nice.

On a completely unrelated and random note, I have been reading a series of fantasy books lately. When the main character triggers his gift (he's a wizard and didn't know it) he suddenly has a few peculiar eating habits, including a sudden aversion to meat.

In the last couple weeks, I have had a fairly strong aversion to meat. Maybe I'm a wizard and didn't realize it. But I suppose in my case I would be a sorceress, seeing how I'm female and all...

Or, maybe I'm just pregnant.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Lucky the Squirrel Lives and Other Happenings

So today we were leaving our house and I was a little slower than the kids to get out the door. As I walked out to the car I hear Mac yelling, "Mom! Mom!!! Come over here! I think it's Lucky!"

I walk around the car into our neighbor's yard and there sits a squirrel on the ground. Now, if you haven't noticed, squirrels don't exactly have a lot of identifying characteristics. In other words... all squirrels look pretty much the same. This could be Lucky the Squirrel whom we lovingly raised from squirrel infanthood, or it could just be a squirrel, right? If you ask Rohan, all squirrels are Lucky. He always tells me so.

I've gotten a little off track here.

So, I see the squirrel and Mac tells me again that he thinks it's Lucky. "Could be," I tell him. I start talking to the squirrel, saying things in a dorky, former-mother-of-a-squirrel type voice. The squirrel sits there some more. This squirrel is not sitting up on it's haunches like you see squirrels do. It's on all fours like it's ready to bolt and I'm thinking to myself, 'No way this is Lucky. He's totally going to run away like all the squirrels do.'

Not the case.

I walk closer talking in my dorky, mama-squirrel voice. He sits there, totally still.

I get closer. He moves a little, but it's toward me, not away from me. 'Maybe so...' I think to myself.

Soon I am standing close enough that I could bend down and touch him. My foot is, perhaps, ten inches from his nose. I can see that he has an old wound on his head. (probably some mean squirrel teased him about his big, fat, peach-skinned mama and Lucky reacted. What would you do if you were in his shoes?)

I am so close to him, I could reach down and pick him up if I wanted. I am quite certain now that he is, indeed, Lucky the Squirrel, former squirrel baby of Clancy and family. Here's my fear. I have flip-flops and a short-sleeve shirt on. I remember those claws. I remember how my arms, neck and collar-bones were a mass of scratches last November. And, he's bigger now. Stronger. Not only that, but this is no longer the squirrel I fed puppy formula to. No longer is he the squirrel I kept in clean bedding and who's little poohs and pees I kept all cleaned up. He is now a squirrel of the wild. He could have diseases. Not rabies, mind. Squirrels don't really get rabies. (another fact I picked up in my squirrel-mommy weeks.) But he could have other things. And he liked to bite.

So... I tell my kids that I think it is, indeed, Lucky and that we really need to get in the car now and leave him alone. Mac was disappointed, but I reminded him of those claws and he, remembering all the screams of fear when Lucky would leap from my shoulders onto any child passing too close to me, saw the wisdom of a visual reunion rather than a physical one.

We got in the car and backed out of the driveway. In my excitement, I couldn't help but call Dustin to tell him what just transpired. And as we started to drive away, I looked back and saw Lucky, still in the same position on my neighbors grass. I think he was as shocked to see his former family as we were to see him.

But, he lives. We raised a squirrel successfully and released him back into the "wilds" of our neighborhood to be a pest. But a pest that lived because of our love.

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So, that was Part A. Here follows Part B; Other Happenings.

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There seems to be some confusion for some of my blog readers. I am pregnant. Yes, it's true. I did "announce it", sort of. I did a blog post back on September 2 and mostly I talked about trivial nothings, but I threw it in there at the end. I'm not a big "ANNOUNCE" kind of girl. I didn't want a whole post devoted to my announcement, so I acted rather nonchalant about it and I guess some people missed it. So, just for the record...

I'M PREGNANT!!!!

Was that rude? I hope not. I just want to make things clear.

So, that being said... I finally went to my first doctor appointment today. Well, technically I went to a "midwife appointment" but that's so much more weird to say. It just doesn't flow like "Doctor Appointment", does it? Here's the lowdown because I don't plan on talking about this alot. Don't ask me why. It's just one of those things I'm going to keep to myself, mostly.

I was sick. Some. Not bad. Only threw up once, but I felt yucky from about 6 weeks until about 12 weeks. Now I feel fantastic. Except I get very, very tired a lot, but that's easy to fix. I just go to sleep! It's amazing. Last night I went to bed at 8:40 p.m!! Did you know sleep is amazing?

I am 16 weeks this Friday. I am due mid-March. My next appointment will be at 20 weeks meaning I'll have an ultra-sound, but don't get your hopes up because we don't find out the sex of the baby until the baby is born. Sorry. It's really funny how angry people get when you tell them this. My sister-in-law is one of them. My friend, Rebby, is another. My children aren't very happy about this choice either.

Two months after this baby is born, Rohan will turn five and Ella will turn eight. Four months after it's born, Mac will turn ten. Yeah... kinda like starting over. I know. I'm nervous, but it was the right time now. Not two years ago. Not one year ago. Not even at the beginning of this year. Now. (well, 16 weeks ago, really)

I don't do epidurals when I give birth. It's a personal choice and I like it that way. Please don't call me crazy for doing so like most people in the world like to do. If you think I'm crazy, that's fine. Just don't tell me so. I don't tell people they're crazy for getting epidurals. Let's all be respectful of people's choices. Birth is amazing no matter the circumstances surrounding it.

So... there's the 4-1-1. Did I answer all questions?

I went to see my midwife today for the first time. I heard the heartbeat and it was music to my ears.

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That's about all there is to report. Dipping continues. Landlording sucks rocks. My dad is doing great. Dustin is awesome. Mac is getting better and better with school. He ROCKED the home-schooling HOUSE today! Done before noon and smiling the whole time (almost!). Thanks to Maria for talking about some incentives for good behavior. He's doing great! I'm doing great!

It's 10:11 p.m. and I have a splitting headache and my neck is pinched and my shoulders are burning, not to mention the burning-computer-screen eyes. I'm thinking that how I'm feeling right now was the filter for my writing up above... that semi-grouchy tone that was coming through. Sorry about that.

Love to you all.

Nighty-night!

Friday, September 18, 2009

First Week

This is completely a "for my own records" post, just so I can have it recorded. Therefore, it is, potentially, rather boring. Sorry.


I mentioned that we are keeping Mac at home this year for school. The Idaho Virtual Academy "powered by K12" is our method of choice. In my ideal world, I would be choosing all his curriculum and planning it all myself. But, alas, I know my own limits and that is way more than I feel capable of at this point in my life. And that's o.k. K-12 it is!

We got all our "materials" a week ago today. (At the end of the day, so we didn't use them, we just got them out and looked at them.) We officially "started" on Monday. Monday didn't go so well. If you don't recall, look at my post that day and it will give you an idea of my Monday. That post wasn't entirely about my son or homeschooling, but those two things were the catalyst for a lot of dormant emotions and, to put it nicely, I lost it.

Tuesday wasn't easy, but I was in a better place.

Wednesday was quite good with a few, minor rough spots.

Thursday was good too... I think. I'm starting to blur a little on the details...

Today was long, but should have been short. We didn't have that much to do, but Mac likes to drag his feet and dilly-dally. It makes me crazy-insane, but somehow I've managed (aside from Monday) to keep my head and stay cool. (Go me!) This day had a lot of potential for being totally awful... maybe like Monday... but I chose to be chill and not react (...much. Does slamming my fist on the table and raising my voice count as a reaction? Probably, but I apologized right after and we carried on.)

Thus far he hates Math the most (not so shocking) and he likes Art the best. (not so shocking)

So far, I am pleased with the program. I am pleased that I can just go online and see what we're doing for the day and I don't have to plan. If you recall, planning is not one of my greatest strengths. I think it's good for Mac to be home. Truly. I am happy to see him interact with his little brother.

At this point, I'm happy that Ella has chosen to go to school as well. She loves school (although she loves it a little less since she's the only one who has to get up in the mornings at 7:00 a.m.) and I love watching her do her cute homework. I think I would be totally overwhelmed if they were both home this year. Mac and Ella are often the best of friends, but more often it seems, they antagonize each other and therefore harry their mother endlessly. This transition, I believe, has been infinitely smoother because Mac and Ella are not battling each other or vying for my attention all day. Rohan, in his easy-going manner, is happy to play Legos or sit on my lap while I do things with Mac. Bless that child. And bless Ella for choosing to go to school this year. And bless Mac for his strong will and his consistent, if begrudged efforts. And, if I may be so bold... bless me, too. For something.

So, there's the log for my first week in our new adventure. Pretzel dipping continues as does apartment management (or not... PLEASE let us get a new renter!!!). Also continues the mantaining of a household (to some degree anyway), and continues what would seem the easiest part of my life right now despite the limits it's putting on my wardrobe: baby-growing.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Then and Now

I used to want to write all the time.
Now I all I seem to want to do is sleep.

I used to spend a lot of time on the computer blogging.
Now I spend a lot of time on the computer looking at lesson plans for my son.

I used to feel like I had a fair amount of free time.
Now I feel like there's not enough time in the day to do it all.

I used to get sick of dipping pretzels before I even started.
Now I get sick of pretzels before I'm even started. Umm... wait a second...

I used to not mind dipping so much once I got started.
I guess two things haven't changed.

9:50 p.m. used to feel like the night was just beginning.
Now I can't wait to go to bed 50 minutes ago.



I'm just going to package some pretzels and then I'm going to get my Zzzz's. Night night.

Monday, September 14, 2009

That Kind

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One of those times when you can't make sense of it.

One of those spots on your heart that's all worn and threadbare.

One of those songs that feels all the feelings for you so you don't have to.

One of those prayers where you scream at God.

One of those afternoons when your shoulder aches because you're carrying the mad world across it like a purse full of all the garbage you've forgotten why you even put in there in the first place.

One of those moments where you explode all over the place and wonder at the people who've told you they can't imagine you losing it.

One of those trips you take down the guilty road of Lost Self Control.

One of those looks that blows right through the threadbare spot like tissue paper.

One of those carefully composed posts that stitches up your heart a little bit.

One of those days....

Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday's Fabulous Five

It's been a while since I've done a FFF post. Life is so fabulous, I better do ten.

1- My dad is pink-skinned and breathing on a daily basis. I pray I never take that for granted again.

2- My mom is a total rock. I've known it all along, but she kept things so calm the night that my dad was in peril. I've since realized how freaked out she really was that night, but she kept it together so well for her children. She's amazing. She wrote a note to many friends and family explaining what happened to my dad. Here's the tail end of that note and I want to preserve it in my someday-blog-book:

We are both extremely grateful for the gift of his health & "new lease on life". There's nothing quite like an extreme wake up call to sharpen the senses & bring perspective to things.

To those of you who knew about this already; thank you for your love, support, kind words & prayers. To all; including those who are just finding out in this message, it's been a wild ride, one that I don't wish on anyone. My children have noticed that they want to be sure to speak the words of love that they may not utter often enough. I feel the same way. It's so easy in our workaday lives to lose the focus of the importance of speaking words of love, support & caring. To add a touch, a pat on the back, a caress or a hug and to look someone in the eye & commune soul to soul and convey all the feeling in our heart, soul & mind that is the love we feel. It needs to happen every day. Whether big or small, everyday. (If we focus on the love & sharing it it's easier to avoid the other stuff too) That's what's been going on in my mind a lot the last 1 1/2 days.

Love to you all AND go hug your loved ones & tell them how you feel. Right Now!!

Like I said... my mom is a rock.

3- We haven't gotten much school done at home because we still don't have Mac's books, computer, etc, but having my two little sons home with me has been more of a joy than I would've ever imagined. Mac has been nicer, more helpful, more cooperative and just generally more light and easy than he has in... well, years. This alone is making this endeavor worthwhile. I hope it continues until he's in, at least, his twenties. ;-)

4- My brother, who lives in Salt Lake, came up the day following my dad's heart attack. (He and his wife Nicky) Nicky stayed until Wednesday and then went back to Salt Lake. Zandy stayed to be my dad's muscles for a few days. You see... my dad's heart is fantastic. He looks and feels great, but he can't lift anything over five pounds for about a week while his femoral artery incision heals from his surgery. My dad does construction for a living. Bless my brother for lifting 200 lb doors and swinging sledge hammers for a few days so my dad can still earn a living and keep his commitments to the job he's on. I love my family.

5- I love a freshly vaccumed floor.

6- You know the miracle of the loaves and the fishes? I've had a miracle of the caramel.

7- Marci's Napolean Dynamite dance on her blog. Awesome. (sorry, ya'll... she's got herself a private blog so I have to enjoy that one alone... or with a few people whom I know who read her blog.)

8- I don't feel sick from being pregnant anymore. Not that I ever felt super sick, but even feeling a little sick sucks, don't you think? But now it's all gone.

9- For these few days, I get to watch my brother enjoy my children. Rohan especially. Rohan has a way of worming himself into people's hearts. Zandy is loving it and I am loving it too.

10- Dustin.


Happy Friday!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Bless-ed

The week since I last posted has been one of those weeks that make you say, "Holy Crap-a-Moly!"
(That would be a young Macism phrase...)

We went camping for Labor Day weekend and I spent several days running around, preparing food, making lists and generally freaking out trying to prepare for our excursion. On Thursday, I drove up to where we planned on camping and reserved our spot early thinking it would be packed for the holiday weekend. (which, to my great surprise, it wasn't) That took the majority of the day. My in-laws came into town and we went to dinner with them on Thursday night.

Friday I ran around like a maniac trying to prepare food ahead of time and gather the multitude of things required to camp. We still left later than we hoped... as usual.

In the midst of all of this, I was trying to figure stuff out for Mac's schooling. You see, we've decided to keep Mac home this year and we are using the K-12 program for his school. We still don't have his books and so I've been trying to figure out what we can do and trying to learn all about the program. Holy-crap-a-moly, I'm nuts.

And speaking of nuts... it's pretzel-dipping season again. The seasonal shop where I sell my stuff opened today and I wanted to be all prepared way ahead of time, but somehow that doesn't seem to be how I roll.

Back to camping... we had a great time, leaving Friday night and returning Monday around noon. Upon our return, we unpacked everything, cleaned up, showered and got "the dipping room" ready for chocolate and messes. Then, we went out to eat again with Dustin's parents who were coming back through town from their own camping trip. After we ate, I went home with the intention of dipping the night away, but I was so exhausted that I fell asleep on the couch at about 8:30 and ended up just going to bed about 9:00.

As if that weren't enough to make me say, 'Holy-Crap-a-Moly!'...

After my 9:00 crash, I woke up to the tail end of the phone ringing. I missed the call. It was just after midnight. I looked at the caller ID and saw that it was my mom calling from her cell phone. When I called her back she let me know that my dad had just been taken to the hospital in an ambulance. She was on her way over behind him and could Dustin come over to the hospital and give him a priesthood blessing. Something was wrong with his heart, she thought, but she kept saying "I think he's going to be ok."

"Of course Dustin would come over", I assured her.

I got off the phone and relayed her message to Dustin who had also been asleep. He got up out of bed and came straight over and hugged me. Hard. At the time I just wondered why he was wasting time hugging me when he needed to be getting to the hospital. He threw clothes on and left.

After he left, I knew why he was hugging me so hard. I was alone in the dark of my room. I didn't know what was going on and I started imagining all the worst things. What would I do without my dad? He is such a rock, such a foundation for our family. He is so knowledgeable and wise and he is such a comfort to me personally. Those thoughts went on and on and in short order I was an emotional wreck. I wanted to be at the hospital with my mom. I prayed. Hard.

After 45 minutes, Dustin called and asked if I would like his parents to come over and sleep at my house so I could go to the hospital. Yes, I wanted that. More than anything. So, they came over and I left.

By the time I got there (about 1:30 am) my dad was already out of surgery. He had a heart attack and the surgeon had put two stints in his artery. He will have to have one more within the next month or so. We listened to the doctor tell us things and we hugged and cried. My dad was ok.

In just a few minutes we got to go in and see him. He had been awake through the surgery so he was bright-eyed and alert when we walked in. We talked to the doctor some more and he showed us a video of the surgery. Modern medicine can be truly amazing.

I left the hospital at about 4:00 am with a profound sense of relief and gratitude. I cried as I hugged him, feeling so grateful that all my imaginations were unfounded. He is still here. I have an amazing father whom I love more than I can express.

The next day I had to dip pretzels, but all I really wanted to do was go to the hospital and watch my dad breathe.

I am so blessed.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Shove Over, Brain

Sometimes my brain just gets in the way. Sometimes I think to much and it's usually about the most trivial things. Here's one. Showers. I play the silliest head games about showering. This is something I don't understand because I love showers once I'm in there. I feel just like my children because they never want to do things and then, once doing them, never want to stop.

We have a window in our shower. It's on the east side of my house and it's on the opposing wall from the shower head. Here's the problem. Correction: Here's where my brain creates a problem. Said window is one of those bathroomy windows. You know, it's all textured so you can't see through it? (that's not the problem since seeing INTO the window that is IN my shower would be a problem!) Before 8 a.m., my neighbor's house hides the rising sun. After 8:00, the sun shines through that textured window, creating a shower full of sparkling, brilliant light. 'So what', you say? Remember how I said the window is on the opposite wall of the shower head? Well, to stand in the shower and rinse your hair, it works best to have your back to the shower head causing your tired morning eyeballs to face the brilliant, sparkling, blinding, sunny-like-a-laser-beam-of-death window. I don't like that. I'm a I-hate-sun-in-my-eyes kind of girl. So, I dink around in my PJ's before 8:00 am and then I think, 'Oh, the sun is shining in the shower now! Blast! I guess I can't shower until after about 10 or 10:30!' (because that's about when the sun gets out of range) Then, by 10 or 10:30, I'm in the middle of something else and I don't want to stop and shower, so it turns into me not showering until afternoon. Silly, silly head games! Just bite the bullet and shower, Clancy!

Here's another game I like to play. Getting up in the morning. I lay in bed and I run circles in my brain about how I should get up, but my body answers my brain and says, "Do you know how comfy I am right now? I'm way too tired!" And then I lay there wasting away the precious minutes of non-blinding shower time. Sometimes I wish I could just turn off my brain so I could get things done!

As a side note, in the last few months I've become an early-to-bed girl. I know, I know... I was a dyed-in-the-wool, self-proclaimed night owl, but I really knew for my own health and sanity this must change. So, I've been going to bed for the last couple months between 9:00 and 10:30! Can you say "Wow!" (wow!) Here's the less-than-remarkable conclusion to my side note: Monday night I stayed up until almost 1:30am. For the old me, that time was average, but for the new me, that was very late indeed and the next morning KILLED me. I forgot that I used to be that tired all the time! So, today I will say that I am profoundly grateful for the many factors in my life that brought about this, the more rested version of Clancy!

One of those factors that brought about this early-to-bedness might be of some interest to you... this Friday I'll be thirteen weeks pregnant with the fourth and final installment of Clancy/Dustin procreation. This factor alone makes me very ready to be in bed as early as 6:00 pm some nights and that is a blessed reason, indeed, to get more sleep!

Friday, August 28, 2009

To Be A Woman

I realize it's Friday and, historically speaking, I should be doing a Fabulous Five post, but I've had a thought rolling around in my quiet brain for a few weeks and I didn't even realize it until today. It's remained an unconscious thought until this morning when it suddenly forced it's way through to the forefront of my mind and conjured itself into a blog essay before my eyes. (well, my mind's eye)

(To preface my thoughts I'll say that I've never really considered myself much of a feminist, but I do believe that women are absolutely capable of doing anything they decide to. This post is not intended as an argument for the role of a woman, it is simply my thoughts on my own role as a woman. I'll just leave it at that.)



One morning, a few months ago, I stood next to Dustin in front of the mirror in the bathroom. I think we were both brushing our teeth. My thoughts for the previous several days had dwelt on men and women, their roles, their differences. You see, I had just read a book that was set in a different time when men had to be warriors. A time when they had to protect and defend their wives, families and country. Dustin and I were both bare shouldered because it was morning and we weren't dressed yet. As we were standing next to each other in front of the mirror, I couldn't help but observe the differences between he and I, a man and a woman. His shoulders are broad, well-muscled and strong. While I am a fairly strong woman, I relished the study of his shoulder versus mine. I looked so small next to him. So delicate. So... feminine.

As I marveled at these differences, I made him turn sideways next to me and I said to him, "Look at that! Look how small my shoulder is compared to yours. I bet you could fit three of my little shoulders into one of yours!" He laughed, his mouth full of toothpaste, but didn't say anything.

Did this difference bother me? No! Did I wish for his shoulders, his musculature, in myself? Of course not! To wish such a thing would, in my opinion, be a physical obscurity. I like my small frame and the role that it plays in my life. His broad shoulders could be a warrior's shoulders, if the need arose. They could defend his wife and his children. These thoughts stirred up feelings of security and safety in my heart.

I have mentioned on this blog that a friend of ours recently passed away, leaving behind a wife and two small children. As we went to the viewing and hugged each of his family members who attended his body, his newly-widowed wife hugged me fiercely and, through her sobs, conveyed to me that this just isn't fair! She didn't want this. This wasn't supposed to happen. They were supposed to grow old together! She isn't supposed to be a widow at 28 years old! Her feelings of confusion, anger, heartache and sorrow washed over me. All I could do was sob and tell her I'm sorry.

I'm sure anyone in my situation would've done just as I did, hug her back and cry with her, but as I did, I couldn't stop the images of myself, just three years older than she, mourning the loss of my own husband. What would that be like? I pray I will never know.

The weeks have passed since that day but the memory of it has not left me, nor have the feelings and questions evoked by the event. As time moves on and these thoughts hover just outside my awareness, I have been filled with gratitude for the roles we play, gratitude for my husband and his willingness to provide for his family, his willingness to love and cherish me, his willingness to be a man. Not only willingness, but fervor. Ferocity. Total dedication and devotion. I know that as long as he is here on earth, by my side, I will never have to worry about our bills being paid. He is our provider and my husband and he feels validated by these roles.

If tragedy were to strike my family, I know I could take care of myself and that I could provide for my family if the need arose. I've always known that and I have confidence in myself and my capabilities. That being said, the events of the last few weeks made me realize that I cherish being taken care of. It is a privilege and a blessing. I treasure that my husband's main desire is to provide for his wife and his children. I honor the fact that he is a man who wants to be the breadwinner. I relish my role of being a feminine woman who knows she can take care of herself, but allows her husband the honor of doing it for her.

And, for me in my life, knowing my capabilities and allowing myself to be dependent on my husband despite what I can do is my definition of being a woman.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Important Medical Info...


I just got an email that had some very important medical information on it.


Since I try to be a conscientious friend, I thought I should pass it along to all of you....




The correct way to weigh yourself:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I Really Don't Know

It's been so weird for me lately. I look at the "New Post" button on my blog and I just stare at it. I don't understand why I have so little to say.

Now I just typed that sentence and I sat there and stared at it wondering, what do I say next? I used to have blog-post ideas pop into my head forty-three-thousand times per day. I had to keep a notebook with me and jot them down so I wouldn't forget. Now, I got nothin'. I don't know what I think of all day everyday, but whatever it is goes in and out of my head like water on sand.

Why am I so quiet? I don't understand it, but it is what it is. Cycles. Time and season and all that stuff...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my birthday, for another hour and18 minutes. I am now 31 years old.

This morning, my sweet husband cuddled with my while I was very sleepy and wished me a Happy Birthday. Then he went and got in the shower and I continued to sleep. Off to work he went. Don't I have a great husband? He goes to work every day for our family. He doesn't love what he does, but he loves us and because of him, I stay home everyday with my children. I'm so blessed.

I woke up to Ella chattering next to me. I was still so sleepy. I would fall asleep while answering her chatters and she loved me anyway. What a sweet girl.

Later I woke up for real due to more Ella-chatter. It was a good way to wake up. Then the phone rang. It was my friend and her cute kids singing me a halting Happy Birthday. They even stopped mid-song to say that they were "so off!" It was adorable. I felt so loved.

My phone rang and rang. I think I got 5 or 6 birthday wishes before 9am! It was a good morning. Except when my kids found out I was going to play laser-tag without them for my birthday date. They were mad about that and I told them they had to be nice to me because it is my birthday. Eventually they concurred.

My mom called and she and my dad sang me a lovely birthday song, complete with harmony. Then she offered to take me to lunch. I chose a charming local restaurant with awesome fish tacos and incredible house salads. My taste buds were so lucky this day!

Then I wandered some local shops with my mom, smelling lots of lotions and soaps. My olfactory sense was overloaded and assaulted and a little angry at me. But I'm still so blessed, olfactory glands and all!

I went and picked up my children from my friend, Devon. She is an earth-angel and I love her. Dearly.

My chore today was the living room and dining room and I failed to do them this morning. Shame on me. But I redeemed myself and did them when I got home. Then I made frosting for the cupcakes that were previously prepared on my behalf. I frosted the cupcakes and headed out to play for my birthday party.

I planned my party all by myself. I rented a local laser-tag place for a whole hour! Did you know that that's a really long time to play laser-tag? It makes one's quads really tired. REALLY tired. And it makes one sweat. A LOT. Many family members and a few friends joined in our fun and I came home completely pleased with myself for planning my own party. I said over and over to Dustin, "That was really fun, huh?" After the third or fourth time he laughed out loud and said, "Yes honey. It was very fun." His tone was a little bit patronizing, but I didn't mind. I planned exactly what I wanted and I was completely thrilled with the result.

I like me. I'm so blessed. Happy Birthday, Me!

This picture was taken in 2007 in a Cadillac Escalade. That was a fun car, indeed, to drive! Aren't we all so blessed to get to drive cars and get everywhere so quickly? Life is grand, is it not?

Love, C

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Week Plus

So, it's been a week and two days since my last posting. It was a weird week (and two days). Good, but weird. Here follows a long and semi-boring update of what I've been up to:

Monday night, as I mentioned, we drove to Bear Lake area for the funeral of our friend, Phillip. Monday night was the viewing. So tragic. So much loss. After the viewing, Dustin took me out to the lake were he grew up and we watched the sunset on the beach. It helped both of us feel better.

Tuesday was the funeral. It was an amazing service. Our friend Phillip was a police officer and was honored with a full color guard from many departments from all over Idaho. Very impressive. Any of you prayer-saying folks, please continue to think of his family, his wife, Michelle, in particular. She needs prayers very much right now. Please and thank you.

Wednesday morning I woke up with no children at home. My mom and dad had kept our kids Monday night while we traveled and we got home so late on Tuesday that she just let them sleep over again. I was doing some stuff on the computer and heard a very weird noise, like a pressure washer or something. Then suddenly I smelled sewer gas. VERY strong sewer gas. Turns out they were doing some spray-out-the-sewer-lines thing and we don't have a trap in our floor drain or something (which will be remedied when we finish the family room in our basement because we moved the floor drain and will plug the trapless one). So, we get all the lovely smells from the sewer pressure wash. Let me tell you, it's awesome. But not really. Dustin happened to call me during this lovely experience. I told him of the pleasant aroma permeating our house and he told me to "get out of the house and get out now!" Apparently sewer gas is bad to breathe and it burns your lungs without you even knowing it's doing it. (He has the pleasure of working around sewer gas here and there for his engineering firm, so he's knowledgeable about such things. Lucky guy.) So, I threw on some clothes and went to my mom's house to get my kids. I stayed there for a while.

Then my friend called with an emergency shopping request. She had her 20 year high school reunion to go to that weekend and wanted me to help her find something to wear. I was supposed to be painting at my duplex, but I opted for shopping instead. I haven't been shopping in... I don't know how long, but a long time. It was super fun and I was told I was "the ultimate shopping friend". What a compliment! But we didn't find any swanky shoes for her to wear so, we planned to go shopping the next day too.

On our Thursday shopping trip we found the swanky shoes within the first hour and decided it was too early to just go home. We ate lunch and then, I had been wanting some new shirts so we looked for those for a while. I don't know why but it was really hard for me to shop for myself with other people. I didn't like being the center of attention. And what's with all the puffy sleeves out there? I have VERY square shoulders and the puff doesn't work very well for me. Go away puffy sleeves. Come back another decade. (or don't)

Thursday night we had a cute couple over for dinner, Jenn and Richard. Jenn is pregnant and due very soon and she wanted me to teach her the breathing techniques I used during unmedicated labor. It was interesting. I felt a little dumb, but I can only hope that it helps them during the birth of their daughter.

Friday I went to my mom's and picked zillions of green beans. My mom has a HUGE garden. Huge. We picked the beans and then we canned the beans. Dustin came home from work and took the kids camping overnight. I canned more beans and left my mom's house just after midnight.

Saturday I slept in until 10:00!!! I was shocked. I did some chores and then the fam came home from camping. They all reeked of campfire (one of my least favorite smells on the earth) and I threw them all in the shower. Later that evening we attended a lovely barbecue at a friend's house.

Sunday I went to church and came home and read a book all afternoon. Then went to my parents to celebrate my mom's birthday. We had the best dinner.... my mouth is watering just remembering. YUM.

Oh, I forgot to mention, on Wednesday Rohan asked me if I would buy him a four-wheeler. I told him maybe when he's grown up and maybe if we don't live in the city because they're illegal to drive in the city. He got mad and said, "Well MacdenElla drive them on our street!" (Rohan always says "MacdenElla" like one word, meaning Mac and Ella.) I finally figured out that he meant a two-wheeler... a bicycle. I then informed him that he has a bicycle, it just has training wheels on it. If we took them off then it would be a two-wheeler. He then asked if we could take off his training wheels. I told him that his dad would do that and to ask him when he came home from work.

To make a long story short, Dustin took off the training wheels before he went to work on Friday morning. Rohan asked me several times to help him ride his bike and I wasn't dressed yet and, honestly, didn't feel like chasing behind a bike, bent over to prevent falling, so I put him off a few times. I was doing something on the computer later and Mac came up and informed me that he had helped Rohan get his bike out and Rohan just took off and rode it with no training wheels at all! Turns out I didn't even need to help him. What a kid!

This little clip is his 2nd try at riding sans training wheels. (his first time, I missed because I was being a lazy mom...)




And here is the third try. Look at him get it going all by himself. He's so cute! And yes, he just turned four in May... way to young to be so big! (Don't mind my neighbor's yucky lawn... I mind it enough for all of us!)




So there's my week in a nutshell. The most exciting thing was, by far, Rohan's bicycle feats. It made my day on Friday.

The end.

Except I forgot one thing... after a whole two days of being a training-wheel-free rider, Rohan rode all the way to my parents' house on Sunday afternoon with Dustin, Mac and Ella. My parents house is almost 4 miles away from my house! Dustin brought the stroller just in case Roh got tired but he never did. Dustin did force him ride in it for the last quarter mile because the road is very busy with no sidewalk. Rohan was angry at Dustin for making him ride in the "baby stroller!"

I say again, what a kid!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Today

Today... and tomorrow, I should say, will be rough.

Today we will go to a viewing. A good friend of ours was killed in a car accident last week. My thoughts have been with his family since Thursday when I heard the news. My tears have not stayed put whenever I think about his sweet sister (one of my dear friends), his dear mother and his young and precious wife and children.

Tomorrow we will attend his funeral.

Life is not fair sometimes. He was too young, too much life left to live. Healthy. Happy.

Questions are asked that have no answers. At least none that we can see right now. Sometimes these things make sense far into the future when we can look back with that 20/20 hindsight.

I pray for peace in the hearts of those he left behind. I pray for strength for them. For courage. For time to pass quickly and heal their wounds the way only time can.

I love you Jennie and Jared. Michelle, Andy, Hailey. Barb. Peace be with you.

We'll miss you, Phillip.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Friday's Fabulous Five

1- Ella asked today, "Where is that rug we have that has roads on it?" I told her. This is one of those rugs that has a whole little town on it complete with a church, hospital, school, police station, etc. It's been put up for about a year since we started remodeling their rooms last August. Frankly I had quite forgotten about it. Ella got it out and, after doing chores, all three kids got all the cars we have, divvied them up and have been playing for a good long while now. I love hearing and observing them using their little imaginations and playing. It is my very very favorite part of being a mother and I wish I still thought playing like that myself was fun.

2- Dustin and I officially scrubbed the last wall yesterday in our duplex. There's still some things to do, but they don't involve cleaning anymore. Well, not really. We had a bit of water damage last winter in a closet from some ice dams on the roof so my dad (bless him a thousand times for his skills) is going to come patch the ceiling and then I have to paint some Kilz on the mold that grew here and there. Then, I will have to repaint the whole closet, which of course is a walk-in closet that is a putrid gray color. But... I don't have to clean anything else. No more gum, no more stuck-on food, no more grease, no more pee in bathrooms! It took seven days of cleaning, but we are done. YAY!

3- I had a really weird dream last night. I had to climb on this mountain to get into this cave and I had to hang on to these staple-ish things that were put into the mountain. The problem was I had to hang upside down and backwards and all sorts of awful contourtions and the staples kept sliding out. I was terrified. I was so glad to wake up in my bed. Beds are so nice to be in when you thought you were on a giant mountain with a 100+ foot drop below you and the staples you were holding keep falling out.

4- Frosted Mini Wheats. Yum.

5- I am looking forward to wearing clothes that are NOT my paint/work clothes. I've worn the same pair of pants since last Wednesday... my cleaning pants. They are not cute and I don't like them. But I don't care if they get dirty so that's why I keep wearing them. But, I'll be glad to wear something else.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Zippity Doo Dah

Good morning! I'm feeling much more cheerful today than I did yesterday. Perhaps that's because after we ate fast food (again) last night I went BACK over to the duplex and cleaned one of the very nastified bathrooms 'til it sparkled! I had been putting off the bathrooms and I dug in and did it last night! I cleaned one bathroom for three hours and it's DONE!!! I'm feeling a light at the end of the other-people's-dirt tunnel and it's made a more chipper girl out of me!

Many thanks to you all for your encouragement yesterday! And many, many, many thanks to Rachel for helping me clean in the kitchen last week and then bringing me cookies and visiting me yesterday! Rachel, my dear, you are such a bright spot in that dirty-but-getting-cleaner-by-the-hour apartment! THANK YOU for bringing sunshine, cookies and conversation! Love ya!!!

Soon I will get to have the arduous task of finding new renters! New, CLEAN renters!

Post-Edit...
I just noticed that there's only one sentence in this whole post that does not end in an exclamation point. Do you think I'm excited?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Lacking Cleverness

No clever post today. No well-thought-out stories. Just checking in to say hi. I've been very busy cleaning at my duplex since Wednesday. Not my favorite thing to do, but something that has to be done.

I've been farming my kids out to various friends and family. I've been completely exhausted each night when I come home. I should be over there right now, but instead I find myself sitting here, still in my pajamas, typing this lackluster post.

I am slightly discouraged, if you cannot tell. I used to be so angry at my ex-tenants, but now I'm more resigned and dutiful. Just do it, Clancy. Get off the computer, drag your kids over there and start scrubbing walls. Again.

See ya later, alligator.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Logic...

My kids and I were eating lunch around our table yesterday and we were talking about a guy named Cliff that we know. Ella said, "Who's Cliff?"

Mac replied, "You know Uncle Dave? Cliff is Uncle Dave's brother." (Uncle Dave is, in fact, my uncle, married to my mom's sister)

Ella's face was still blank. "Who's Uncle Dave again?" and even as she said that, you could see the wheels turning and see her remember who Uncle Dave was (because we see him a lot and she definitely knows who he is...). It all clicked for her just as Mac said, rather incredulously, "YOU KNOW who Uncle Dave is!! He's our uncle, silly!"

They got it all sorted out and, because they are now old enough to grasp such concepts, I added that Uncle Dave is actually not their uncle, but my uncle making him their GREAT Uncle. At this revelation, Ella, who had just figured it all out, looked at me like I pulled the rug out from under her. "He's our Great Uncle?" she replied and with her cutest little shocked, dramatic, Ella-voice she said, "Then why isn't he dead!!!??"

I totally busted up laughing. The logic of my seven-year old Ella... all the "Greats" are dead in her mind!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Random Thoughts on a Tuesday Morning

It is Tuesday, isn't it? I'm losing track...

- Yesterday I fell asleep at about 5:00 and slept for about an hour and a half. It was blissful, and that's coming from a girl who normally abhors taking naps, but it did make it very hard to fall asleep at bedtime so I watched a movie.

- Don't watch the moving "Knowing" if you want to fall asleep peacefully. Especially if your husband is working out of town. I missed his reassuring presence in my freaked out state.

- I am so glad Dustin doesn't work out of town all the time anymore. I feel incomplete when he is not home. I am such a lucky girl to love my husband so much. (and to have him love me as much in return and miss me too.)

- I suck at watering the lawn. Dustin is good at it. Another reason he's awesome to have around.

- My [clean] laundry pile is rather large again. I do great, and then I don't. I still like me, even when I don't do great at keeping up on laundry. Isn't that awesome?

- Getting dressed everyday can be frustrating when you're feeling vain and you are sick of your clothes.

- My favorite pants, the Big Star jeans, are nearing the end of their life. They are the comfiest, cutest jeans and their old-age/near-deathness makes me sad.

- I love Cheerios.

- I love cheese.

- I love nectarines.

- I love it when I make dinner.

- I don't like it when I don't make dinner. Last night we had cereal for dinner. That's a sure sign that Dustin is out of town.

- I don't want to be a landlord anymore.

- I didn't make my bed this morning, and that just makes me laugh.

- My dryer just shut off and I sat down here at the computer when I started the dryer. That means I've been sitting here WAY too long.

- My dryer is quiet and I STILL appreciate that. Never take your quiet dryer for granted.

- I need new sheets. My favorite super-soft cotton ones now have a hole in them because they were so threadbare that I put my little toes right through them in the night. That makes me sad.

- But new sheets will make me happy.

- Air conditioning is really really spectacular. Really.

The end.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Ole!!

Elizabeth Gilbert wrote one of my favorite books ever... Eat, Pray, Love. If you have time, watch this astounding talk she gave. Inspiring, insightful and motivating, her words yank me out of my fear-place and into a place of love regarding what I want to do with my life. Ole'!