Tag Archives: family life

The Realistic Mommy Blog

So far in the New Year…. (to be read with much humor – this is not a whiny post, I promise)

Dog ran off and taken by the pound
Crock pot broke
Car battery died
Watches broke
Glasses broke
Picture broke
Poor cat carted around in a pillow case
Cat food dumped everywhere
Snow day after snow day after snow day after snow day after… (is
the month of January included in winter vacations out here?)
Regular sugar spilled
Power breakers shut off
Laundry soap spilled (while being played in with match box cars)
Heater turned off
Refrigerator and Freezer shut off
5 lbs of powder sugar dumped ALL over my kitchen and spread through
the entire main floor of my house
The other car battery died
Husband working late more nights than I can count
World wars 3,4,5,and 6 have all started and ended in our house –
actually some of them are ongoing
Temper tantrums galore
Sleds shattered
Dog destroyed the cover to the grill (why did we pay to get him back?)
Poo spots, pee spots (ah the joy of potty training)
Food on the floor, on the walls, and yes, even on the ceiling
Upstairs Bathroom flooded (we were catching water below in the garage)


to top it off

NO INTERNET OR PHONE (our phone is through our internet) FOR OVER 5 DAYS!!! And when they did fix it it’s been either stinkin’ slow or disconnects every few minutes.

I wonder if I read this post backwards if it will all come back or fix itself. In the meantime, enjoy this wonderful new theme song I have come up with for my boys…

Just two good old boys, never meanin’ no harm….
Beats all you never saw, been in trouble with their ma
Since the day they was born.

Straightenin’ the curves, flattenin’ the hills….
Someday the mountain might get ’em but their ma never will.

Makin’ their way, the only way they know how…
That’s just a little bit more than their ma will allow.

Just two good ol’ boys, wouldn’t change if they could,
Fightin’ the system like a two-year-old Robin Hood…

*inspired by a wonderful article about mormon mommy bloggers and their shiny picture perfect lives oh, and of course the ever so fabulous Dukes of Hazzard


Filed under Every Day Life, Family, Humor, Jacob, James, Music

Has it really been over a month? (a random post)

Wow. I’ve been writing so much, I haven’t realized I have neglected my blog so terribly. Another NaNoWriMo has come and gone and I while I have completed the goal of 50,000 words in a month the first draft of this book still isn’t completed. I have come to the conclusion that it is really hard to keep up the blog while I am writing a book – I feel guilty if I have time to write and I don’t spend it on the big project. 🙂

At the same time – I miss all of my blog friends 🙂 So, with November being done with I am hoping to be around more.


About a week after Jacob was kind enough to bring the police over to the house James got a hold of the phone and dialed 911 – seriously – 3 visits from the police in just over a month is NOT my idea of fun. Thankfully we haven’t had any more visits since then.


I had the most awesome piano recital! I only have a few students and while I am a firm believer in piano recitals and such, it seems silly to have a recital with only one or two students playing (my adult students don’t have to play, and about half of my students right now are adults). So, this time I contacted a local rest home and held the recital there. It was a hit! The residents loved it as well as the piano students, in fact, the students asked if we could do that for the piano Christmas party this year. 😀


I get to be in a bell choir! It is so much fun 😀 I have always wanted to be in a bell choir and it is just a hoot and a half.


Surprisingly enough, we have been able to dodge all the sick stuff – well until last Friday anyway. Jacob and James had their H1N1 shots on Friday morning and then out of the blue that night James was sick with the croup – bad enough we wound up in the ER in the morning because, though we had managed to get his breathing better, it was still very labored. He’s doing a lot better now with the meds he’s on, but he had us quite worried there for a while.


I am revelling in the freedom and novelty of having a child old enough to babysit her siblings. The idea of being able to run an errand without five children attached is mind blowing. The idea of being old enough for that to happen is even more mind blowing.


The best and final randomness – Paul will be done with school tomorrow! Like graduated done! This last term has been the hardest ever. Partly because he’s been taking two classes, and partly because we are so close to being done I can taste it. It will be wonderful to have him around again in the evenings and such. Not to mention, having the stress of grades and all that done with. Now we just need to figure out a job to allow us to buy this house or any house anywhere. So, while we’ve been job hunting all along, it is going to begin in earnest and where the wind blows us is where we will land.


Filed under Every Day Life, Jacob, James, Music, Writing


Traduccion al Espanol

We were finally able to turn off the sump pump Saturday evening.

The kids are back in school after a three week long Christmas break.

Dinner is made and cooking in the crock pot.

The little boys are taking a nap.

Life is GOOD.










…and now I need to go clean.


Filed under Every Day Life

Little Things Between the Busy

I had my eye exam last week and thankfully my eyes haven’t changed much. Because of our awesome insurance plan from Paul’s work we have great vision benefits, so I get contacts! 🙂 Woohoo! Today I had my fitting (it has been three years since I last wore contacts, and I am at a new vision clinic, so I couldn’t dodge the fitting bit) and got to order my new contacts – and wear my first pair home. Yay!


Last week when I had my vision exam, as the assistant and I visited, we tried to figure out how long it had been since my last exam. I finally figured out that it was the year before Jacob was born, and then I didn’t have another exam because of his heart surgery. She mentioned that she had open heart surgery when she was two years old due to Aortic Valve Stenosis. The doctors had told her parents that in seven to ten years she would need another surgery. She is now 28 and going strong – not yet having that second surgery. It was awesome to visit with her. It is always neat to meet adults with CHD and see that a normal wonderful life really is in store for our heart kids. 🙂


I am in the process of getting the first three chapters of my manuscript perfected to the point of being submitted to some different publishers – its rather exciting, but way, way, way more scary. Way more scary. I must say though, that I am so grateful for my awesome writing group for their support and encouragement – not to mention helping clean my manuscript up so it isn’t aweful.


Our trip to Utah is off – I’m dissapointed and relieved. I am bummed that I won’t get to see my brother from Vermont, as it has been nine years since I have seen him. There is a silver lining though, and that is that they are moving out to the Seattle area and we will see a lot more of him very soon. I am relieved because after all the business and nearly constant family (not that I am complaining – it has been so FUN!) I don’t know that I could handle a huge reunion with 26 kids – not to mention driving there with my five packed in our little van.

So, that leaves us with a week and a half of unexpected free time – maybe we’ll go camping, or maybe we’ll bash around locally. All I know is that we will have a week and a half of FUN! 🙂


We have been enjoying having my parents here sooo much – I really wish they didn’t have to go so soon – they will be taking off in a week. The time has flown by so fast. We are so thrilled to though that they are going on a third mission. We miss them, but are so proud of and excited for what they are doing. We have enjoyed listening to the mission stories and seeing all their photos. I feel like I have the most awesome parents in the world!


One last observation – it sure is hard to find time to clean the house when you are constantly on the go. 🙂


Filed under CHD, Family, health, Heart, Writing

Pennsylvania Summers

In the dead of summer when the heat crackled around you and the hummidity made your clothes cling to you like limp rags, those were the days when we would beg our parents to take us to the local sportsmanship pond and go swimming. Playing chicken, and squelching the soft mud at the bottem of the pond between our toes. We would beg dad to take us on the froggy swim across the pond. We would lie on his back as he did the breast stroke, going up and down, in and out of the water.

When we were finally feeling waterlogged we would lie out on our beach towels on the grass in the hot sun and dry ourselves beneath it rays. Often our trips to the pond would include a picnic lunch – or even a birthday celebration for me if it was near my birthday.

In the evenings the heat would cool as the sun dipped low in the sky, but the humidity continued to drape itself across our skin. Fireflies would begin to wink across the night sky and we gathered on the porch to catch the slight breeze. I am sure there were evenings when Mom played her accordian on the porch and we all sang along.

Rarely a night was spent inside – we made pup-tents, or slept in our kid made teepee, sometimes we would just sleep out under the stars, rising early to help with the chores.

Summers were full of fun and hard work as we spent hours sitting on the porch husking corn, or in the kitchen listening to General Conference tapes as we canned peaches, tomatoes, and a bazillion other things harvested from our huge garden. I’m surprised that the fruit and vegetables we canned didn’t have an extra salty taste from the sweat that poured down our forheads and dimpled on our skin in the heat of that kitchen on humid Pennsylvania summer day.

Some of my most vivid memories take place in those hot humid summers – playing Annie Annie I Over until twilight set in, talent shows on the front lawn as we danced and acted out crazy skits. I hope my children will be able to share in some of the same summer memories…


Filed under Memory, Personal History


He’s not a relative type of uncle, he is Paul’s best friend since highschool and has been officially and affectionately dubbed: GuMike – the Greatest Uncle Mike.  The kids absolutely adore him.  GuMike is an airline pilot and happened to be flying into Portland last week – much to the delight of all of us.  Paul was able to get the day off and hang out with his best bud most of the day – from what I hear they went to OMSI and had more fun than most of the kids there! 🙂  Of course they are just a couple of kids themselves which is what makes it so much fun – and which allows them to have so much fun with kids. 

GuMike and Paul wrestling with Kids

They got back to the house around the time Elizabeth and Dorothy were getting out of school and the house was full of giggles and squeals as everyone wrestled with and attacked GuMike. 

GuMike reading with Dorothy

They had him very skillfully wrapped around their little fingers and I think he loved it just as much as they did.  And, in case Mike is reading this, the kids have requested that I send this very special message:


 GuMike with fam reading

(Jacob somehow kept disappearing everytime I went to take a photo – he was just as much enthralled with GuMike as the girls were.)


Filed under Family

Random Friday Post

Memorial Day (Monday) found us gathered with a few of my old friends from highschool days.  We didn’t all go to the same highschool, we knew each other through church and youth activities.  Three of my best friends back in the day were able to bring their families over and we had a fun BBQ.  It is rather nice to keep in touch with friends from so long ago.  We all live in the greater Portland area, so hopefully we can do this again some time.


Tuesday morning we got word that Paul’s grandfather passed away, which spun us into some hectic planning sessions.  We decided that for such a short speedy trip to Boise it would be hard on the baby and Dorothy would have to miss her school field trip to the Zoo that I would stay with James, Jacob, Lizard, and Dot and Paul would go with Emily.  She has never had the oportunity to have a special outing like this before.  All the family is gathering and I am excited that Paul will be able to attend.  I wish I could attend as well, but I feel this is the right decision.


James officially hit 5 months old on Tuesday – he is growing up way to fast!


I held a piano recital last night for my students – all three of them.  Things have been so chaotic so far this year that I didn’t have my kids ready and tears were shed.  Hopefully I can get my act together for the next one in the fall.  The recital went really well – with only three students I have them all learn 2 songs a piece.  They are all in highschool and two of the three are in sports which can take a lot away from practice time.  They all did so well – I was really pleased.  It was rather nice to have a recital where all three students were at least intermediate (to some degree) – it was a nice change from twinkle little star and chopsticks. 🙂

With only three students I have the recital here in my home. I even managed to get the house ready in time – with help of course. Paul even made a make shift cover for the piano bench as the origianal cover was getting to be an eyesore.


My brother-in-law was also in town and stopped by last night just before the recital.  It was a lot of fun for us all to see him – though we wished we had had more visit time, as the majority of it was taken up with recital.  We love you Uncle David! He even got to meet baby James before my sister – I think he was enjoying having bragging rights. 🙂


Also last night was the school’s writing celebration, which I didn’t find out about until two days before.  Of course there was the conflict of the recital – Paul is my behind the scenes man – I don’t think I would ever have a recital run smoothely without him.  Luckily for us the writing celebration started at 6:30 so Paul was able to take the girls over and see their writing and meet the guest author.  They even made it back  five minutes before the recital began.  Lizard’s story was even chosen to be critiqued by the district – it will be interesting to see what they say. Her teacher has always mentioned what a talented writer she is.


Along with Paul’s sudden trip to Boise comes sudden fixes on the car he will be driving – new tires, new breaks, allignment, tune up, and injection flush.  Wowee! Thank goodness we had some tucked away in savings – though if something else like this hits soon we could be in trouble. 🙂


Too top off Monday’s BBQ I ran into one of my best friends from highschool whose parents now live next door to us.  She was visiting before taking off to Maryland – she has an internship at John Hopkins.  Running into old friends can be really fun.


Paul also started biking this week.  He is hoping to gradually work up to biking to work – mainly to save money on gas because of the crazy prices.  He even got biking shorts…mmmmm…..


Well I think that pretty much covers it.  I need to go help get things ready – Paul leaves after Emily gets home from kindergarten.


Filed under Children, Family, Lizy

Home Made Wet Wipes (and other Random Stuff)

I got to thinking this morning as I was up early with some of my kiddos that I should share a very cool recipe I have for making wet wipes. One of the gifts I recieved when I was pregnant with Elizabeth was a roll of Bounty paper towells, a bottle Baby Magic baby bath, a bottle of baby oil, and a round plastic tupperware. I remember thinking, “Cool, is there a secret here to how these go together?” Then I saw the recipe on a card in the bottom of the bag.

“Home made wet wipes?”

I was then told that they were not only cheaper, but gentler on baby’s skin because they don’t have the alcohol that regular wetwipes do. I have been making and using them ever since and we LOVE them I can really tel the difference between the store bought ones and the home made ones, and so can my kids. When someone has a rashy bum they scream bloody murder over the store bought wipes. They still cry when I use the home made wipes, but not as bad. So, anyway, in case you want to try out the coolest thing ever, here is the recipe:

Baby Wipes

2 Cups Water
2 Table Spoons Baby Magic baby bath (must be Baby Magic)
1 Table Spoons Baby Oil (any kind will do)
1/2 roll of Bounty paper towells (must be Bounty-we like the super big rolls – we have tried others, but none have worked any where as well)
1 tupperware container (with lid) that will snuggly fit the 1/2 roll of paper towells (with a little space because they will expand as they get wet)

The hardest part is cutting the roll of paper towells in half – a serrated knife works best and it is worth it, trust me. Though Paul cut them with his chop saw and that worked like a dream! We cut a whole bunch at a time

Put the Water Baby Magic and Bay oil in the tupperware and mix together. Put in the 1/2 roll of Bounty paper towells and put the lid on. Let sit for 10-15 minutes and then flip and let them sit for another 10-15 minutes. Then open them up, pull out the center tube, and you are ready to go. Take wet wipes from the middles where the tube was and they work like a dream!


I was in desperate need for jeans – the one pair that fit me right now had numerous holes and were quickly becoming indecent to wear. I was in a store running some errands and I thought, “No kids equals good time to try on some jeans. So I grabbed my usual size and then thought, “I had better get one size bigger, after all I did just have a baby.” So into the dressing room I went and tried the smaller size on first. I could get them on and buttoned ok, but I decided that breathing might be an issue and being comfortable is key. I thought one size bigger would be perfect.

Umm, no. They were smaller than the first pair. I kid you not. Same brand, same style, same everything. I even double checked to make sure the tag inside said the same size as the tag on the outside, and yup they were supposed to be bigger than the first pair. And I am talking I couldn’t even button this pair that is how much small they were! Sheesh people if you are going to make jeans, lets at least make the bigger size bigger than the smaller sizes. Though I must admit I found the whole thing rather funny when I was done being annoyed – but it would have been a tad bit depressing if I had tried the supposedly bigger jeans on first and they hadn’t even buttoned.


So, the jean incident had its benefits in that because I had searched high and low for a pair of decent jeans none had been found – they all had super low waists – which should seriously be illegal on plus size clothes. Ewww *shudder*

Anyway, I had to make a trip to the mall and go to Lane Bryant to find something that would fit and not embarrass me. I had a babysitter for the four older kids and baby and I went to the mall – with a friend! Girl time! 🙂 I don’t think I had hung out with one of my girl friends in ages. It was so so very fun, and I found an incredibly comfortable pair of jeans that are flattering and don’t expose more than they should. 🙂


Ever notice that if the toilet is going to flood it will be when the baby sitter is there? Jacob apparantly had too much fun with the toilet paper and our baby sitter had to deal with a mini flood. She had to call me for advice, poor girl. I told her to throw down a batch of towells and declare the bathroom a National Disaster area until I got home and to use the master bath instead. So, after kids were in bed I did a bit of cleaning.


Filed under Every Day Life

Sick, Sick, Sick

Which is the reason the posts have been few and far between – well some of the reasons anyway.

Jacob started us off – he’s had a nasty cough for about 5 weeks now – we talking cough until you gag. One morning a week or two ago he was coughing so hard he was throwing up the poor little kid.  While his cough seems to finally be improving, it still drives me nuts to hear him.  I guess I still get a bit anxious where he is concerned. The good point to all this is that he has had no fever or wheezing – thank goodness for that.

Jacob was kind enough to share with me, and now I know how miserable he has been.  I’ve been coughing so hard and much my ribs hurt. Paul was so sweet last week and took a day off work so he could be around to take care of the kids and let me sleep – I was so drained of energy.  Being pregnant and sick just isn’t a good combination.  I’m feeling better now, though the cough is still plaguing me.

Dorothy picked up the cough and cold next, Dad souns like he is getting it, and Emily woke up coughing this morning.  Elizabeth has been spared so far from the cold, but not other things.

 Tuesday she had a huge dental appointment that involved sedation – her back teeth formed poorly,leaving deep crevices where cavities developped no matter how much she brushed. She did great and we got all the major cavities taken care of.  She didn’t get to eat all day though. Finally around 3:00 we got home and she was able to eat some lunch, and then some dinner. Wednesday morning she woke up, sick with a tummy bug.  We confirmed the tummy bug when later in the day she threw-up again, at least she had the presence of mind to run into the kitchen and grab a bowl. Sweet girl.  I felt so bad for her, not being able to eat a majority of Wednesday as well. She toughed it out and is back to normal now.  I just hope the rest of us don’t get it…  The saddest part for her aside from starving was missing school, she was absolutely distrought that she had missed 3 days this week.

So, that is what has been going on around here that has me preoccupied.  It’s been quite the week.  Hopefully the weekend will be a nice dull and boring one. But somehow, with my crazy and fun family doubt it. 🙂  Oh, and that is the reason I mentioned a couple posts back as to why there was a day or two where I didn’t write anything. I was either at the dentist all day, or taking care of a batch of sickos (including myself).  😉


Filed under Dot, Em, Every Day Life, Jacob, Lizy

Just a little bit has been going on…

I honestly didn’t mean not to write for the past week and a half, but we did have a bit going on – just a bit mind you, not too much.  Friday the 1st my sister and her family – they have 6 kids, so a total of 8 people, arrived for a week of fun.  My brother-in-law and teenage nephew took off with my hubby and toddler son to the father and son’s campout.  I forgot to send the camera and was kicking myself for it the whole weekend as it was Jacob’s first fathers and sons campout. The girls – a grand total of 10 of us hung out, ate pizza, made jewelery, and watched movies.  It was a lot of fun.

Saturday we went hiking at Silver Creek Falls (pictures to come at some point, we have cut DSL – budget and stuff, so I need to go to my friend’s house to upload them to flickr now, it takes too long on our high speed dial up and keeps timing out) and the adults went out that night, joined by my brother and sister-in-law.

Sunday we had a surprise visit from my same brother and his family after church and had a crazy day of music and fun.  And Elizabeth whacked her head on the bed that night and I had to take her to the ER and she got 3 stitches.  Not many, but it was to wide to butterfly shut.  What can I say, I missed our local ER and needed my ER fix, heh. 🙂

Monday we had my first prenatal – my sis came with me and hubby met us there.  Didn’t hear baby’s heart beat, baby was feeling shy apparantly, but we did get the blood work and stuff done.  Then we ran errands and Paul and I, and my bro-in-law took my two teenage cousins out to see Spidey Man, wich was a lot of fun – even if it was a bit cheesey, I still liked it. 🙂

Tuesday we spent the ENTIRE day at the coast, saw a bunch of squirrels, 2 whales, and strange see creatures playing in the ocean – oh wait that was our kids!

Wednesday we were too tired to do much of anything but drool, so we ran a couple of errands, and went to Elizabeth’s softball game.  It was supposed to be her last one, but they decided that since there had been two or three rainouts at the beginning of the season, to tack one more game on for this week. Oh, and my hubby left for a business trip to Ohio

Thursday the left and I slept.  The rest of the weekend I think I was unconcious for, trying to recuperate from all the fun and stress ( family is awesome, but you can’t do all that with all those people and not have any stress at all), and Paul got home Saturday night. 

Today Elizabeth is feeling better from the cold she had, my opinion is this: she feels better because it left her and came to me, heh so she is happy to go to school and not miss more of the year end festivities.  She also gets her stitches out later this morning.  Dorothy still has a cast on her arm, which she has discovered makes a fabulous club – not to her parents’ delight. Emily, surprisingly hasn’t felt a need to compete with her sisters for ER visits, thankfully, and I figure Jacob has had enough of the ER and wants to stay away from there for the rest of his life is possible (good boy). 

So that sums up why I have not written, and pictures and longer posts shall come soon.  In the meantime you just get to read this rambling mess and try to make sense of it.  🙂


Filed under Every Day Life, Lizy