Sunday, December 25, 2011


The only thing I've wanted for Christmas for 4 or 5 years in a row was to hear Tim sing "O Holy Night". And this year he got to!

But Elijah was fussing because he wanted to go up and be with Daddy, and Benji was seriously on one--as hyperactive as I've ever seen him, all over the stand, sticking his head into the piano, running, throwing fits....Out Of Control.  So half way through the first verse, it became imperative I take them both out (since this was all happening during sacrament meeting).

So I stood in the lobby sobbing while one sister took Elijah, another took Benji (who ran across the chapel one way, and then across the stage the other a minute later). He escaped from both of us, so she took the other kids and I had Benji, and then his teacher had him (Tim said it was like watching the Keystone Cops routine).

And I just cried and cried and missed it.

Even after the song, the bishop's talk, the end of the meeting, Benji was running off, caught, running off, caught. It got so that every time I passed someone in the ward (afterward, when they were all socializing), they would just point and say, "He went that way" so I managed to navigate the maze of humans along the path Benji squirmed and ran over and over. And then we were getting everyone else's coats on and someone came in and said, "He's out playing in the snow" and by the time we got out there, he was down the block to the corner, half-way home.

And by the time I got home, he was in the back yard playing on the swings, and Tim was exhausted, and I was a wreck.

Merry Christmas to us. Some day no doubt I'll laugh (no doubt the rest of the ward was laughing), but for now, I'm discovering that it's possible to be so disappointed that you feel it in your gut, and it makes me sick with sorrow.

Maybe next year....

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Did I just read that?

"Depression and Sleep: Getting the Right Amount"

Because there is a right amount of depression you need to have...

Did I just read that?

from ABC news: " "His recovery was really remarkable considering the extent of his lethal injuries.""

Recovering from anything lethal is remarkable, indeed.

Also, sometimes doctors say stupid things.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Descent into sleep madness

Last Wednesday, we slept from about 6:00 am until about 3:00 pm.  That was our normal last week--and I was trying to figure out what to do to fix it because it's just the wrongest hours I can think of.

Wednesday night, I got the kids into bed by 4:00 am, and the little kids at 6:00 am. Big kids were supposed to sleep a few hours before they had to get up for their one-day-a-week adventure with school. When I came to wake them at 7:30 am, I hadn't gone to sleep at all yet, and it turned out neither had Caleb or Anda, and Dan had only slept an hour or 90 minutes.

But they got up and I got them to school. Daniel, overtired, had a hard time letting me leave, so I was there until nearly 9:00 am. I came home and went to bed for my Wednesday night but it was clearly Thursday daytime. I couldn't fall asleep until 11:00 am. Then I had to get up and get everyone else up at 1:00 so I could take the little kids to see the big kids' Christmas concert (which was great--the kids performed a bunch of times and did well).

When we got home, Caleb and Anda went to bed by 4:00 pm, and so did the rest of us. Except, amazingly, Nathanael, who stayed awake playing computer games. Elijah woke up at 7:30 pm, and an hour later Nathanael crashed to sleep, and Benji and Dan woke up an hour later. And then Nathanael woke up at 11:00 pm. That's Thursday night.

So then Anda and Caleb woke up at 3:30 am for Friday morning, and Tim went to sleep for Thursday night at 4:40 am, and then the little boys and I didn't get into bed for Thursday night until 6:00 am, but then Elijah couldn't sleep because people were awake--until he crashed out at 8:00 am. Or was it 10:00 am?

Friday we were supposed to go to a homeschoolers party, but Tim had to call an emergency rehearsal, so we just slept right through the party--couldn't get there anyway, with no car and all.

So we woke up around 4:00 pm, and Anda and Caleb had been awake and on their own all day. Anda went back to bed at 8:00 pm, and Caleb drifted around until I forced him into bed at 1:00 am, many many many hours after he woke up the previous morning at 3:30 am.

With the big kids sleeping, I was delighted I could get the little kids into bed by 3:15 am. Everyone was asleep--success! So I made the cheesecakes for the ward party on Saturday and rejoiced.

I was ready for bed by 6:00 am, and then Anda woke up. And so did Nathanael, Benji, and Daniel. And then Caleb. And they woke Elijah. At 8:00 or 10:00 (sometime in there), Tim took the wide awake baby and let me sleep some.  Eventually he came back to bed, too.

So baby and I slept until about 4:30 pm. And then we had a crazy time getting ready for the ward party and going. The kids all sat at the table picking at their dinner and begging to be allowed to go home and to bed.

So we eventually came home and by now it was 9:00 on a Saturday night, and everyone went to bed. Everyone. Even me and Tim. I rejoiced in our miracle--our sleep schedule was fixed!

I rejoiced too soon.

Elijah woke up from what he considered at afternoon nap at 11:00 pm.  Nathanael, Benji, and Dan followed at 4:00 am (and Elijah hadn't gone back to sleep at that point). With everyone else up, Elijah was delighted--and he wouldn't go back to sleep.

At 7:30 am, I went to bed anyway, and Tim woke up from Elijah crawling all over him and Tim, who had been asleep the whole night, got up. Unfortunately, Tim hadn't slept at the right hours for his internal clock, so he was deeply exhausted still. I tried to sleep, but, being a mommy, I don't sleep well when kids are awake.

Elijah finally FINALLY came back to bed and fell asleep. 4 minutes later, my alarm rang to get people to church.  Dan apparently went back to bed at some point, too, because he was sleeping in the crib in my room.

I went back to bed, hoping to sleep some, and Tim took all the kids to church, where Nathanael promptly fell asleep and, while Tim was dealing with him, Benji slipped away and was caught by our home teacher--walking home by himself!

So Nathanael was carried home and put to bed (and didn't wake up until we woke him at 8:00 pm--he fell asleep around noon). Benji went back to church, finished church, but went back to sleep before I got up for the day at 5:00 pm--and he was also wakened at 8:00 pm but refused to stay awake.

Caleb wanted to go to bed at 6:00 pm, but gamely stayed awake until 8:00. Anda went to bed at 9:00 pm. Elijah had a short nap at 9:00 pm.

And we got to Sunday night with no resolution in sight--big kids are in bed on the right schedule. Nathanael thinks he's on Monday morning, but sleeping noon to 8:00 pm is totally unacceptable, even for us. I doubt Elijah will go to bed again until dawn because he woke up at 5:00 pm. By then, the big kids will be awake, and neither he nor I will be able to sleep....

This is more of a nightmare than before! At least in the past we were all sleeping at the same wrong time....

Did I just read that?

" Adults with ADHD scored less well on seven EF assessments compaired to adults with ADHD."

Compaired? Adults with ADHD score less well than adults with ADHD. That's tricky.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Did I just read that?

 From Boulder Craigslist gig ad today: "I want to illiterate that is film is NON pornographic"

Illiterate indeed.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Did I just read that?

From the LL Bean Holiday Catalog that came in the mail: "Premium suede make these classic gloves more durable than similar styles you'll find--and at this price you can buy more than one!"

Good thing because I have more than one hand!

(Oh, and PS: suede makes, suedes make. Just an fyi.)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Nathanael says,

"I'm not firsty. I'm firsty for the frosting on top of my cookie!"

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Did I just read that?

""I've never had any discussion that resembled that with Speaker Gingrich," Linda Upmeyer said of Bergman's remarks. "I have no doubt there are people that reject Mormonism but I've never engaged in a conservation regarding that, ever."

Never engaged in a conservation? What?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Did I just read that?

"24-year-old woman breaks both legs after UTA bus hits her"

She was so mad  at that bus that she went and broke both her legs. I wonder how she managed it?

The first line of the story gives a little hint: "WEST VALLEY CITY — A 24-year-old woman had both her legs broken after being hit by a UTA bus Monday."  So she got someone to help her--maybe a mobster. They have experience.

Hint for the journalist: adverbs are not interchangeable.  "When" is the one you wanted, not "after."

Google is obeying the law--and making kids cry

Federal law makes it hard for kids under 13 to have accounts on the internet except through their schools. Homeschooled kids are out of luck--we can't get Google Education products because you have to be an accredited school to get them.

I needed my kids to be online. I wanted them to write blogs. I wanted them to be able to make and post videos. I wanted them to email assignments to me, and to be tech literate. I assign them to make websites for school. They share google docs with friends and cousins in other states so they can work on collaborative projects. They turn in assignments via google docs.

But I couldn't legally get them their own accounts. So I set up accounts under my name and let them use them. At least, I was pretty sure that's how I arranged it.

Yesterday, news started leaking out that Google was cracking down on kids using the service, deleting the accounts without warning--not even enough time to back up your work, download letters from Grandma or Dad, copy your blog posts to a word document. All to follow Federal law (which once again takes control from the parents, since obviously we can't keep our own kids safe).

So today I set out to figure out if I set up the accounts right--as my own accounts, which I was letting the kids use--since I know at least two of those accounts were set up before that law went into effect.  Turns out it is nearly impossible to find out what information you gave google when you signed up. It isn't in your profile anywhere. We did find one hint--you can set your YouTube account (which is a google account) to tell your gender and age, and you can't modify those two pieces of data on your YouTube profile. So presumably that information comes from your original login information. For both Caleb and Anda, those were listed as Female, 35. That would be me--so I set them up right. I think. But I can't be sure Google will honor that, given that I allow my children to use the accounts. I don't see that as any different than if they were sending emails from the account I use most, or not. I also have a google account that is used exclusively by my phone.  Large companies can be both arbitrary and capricious, and once the info is gone, there is no guarantee I'd ever get it back.

But I couldn't be absolutely sure, so I spent a big chunk of the day backing up and downloading copies of everyone's accounts onto my computer. Every blog post, every google doc, every email. We used and some of the tools they have there to even download backup copies of the kids' google sites (and I backed up my sites at the same time). I also set up a new hotmail account and have the kid's email accounts forwarding to that (via POP mail) into their own back up folders on hotmail (since you can't just download backups of your email--you have to use a POPmail service).

So now I'm confident we won't lose everything if Google decides me letting the kids use my accounts is a TOS violation.

I'd still be pretty devastated if they did that, though. Too bad they discriminate against homeschoolers!

Baked Alaska

I realized the other day that the kids always eat the ice cream and the frosting when we have birthday cake, but never the cake. So I thought it might be fun to have an ice cream cake.

While I was researching how to make one, I came across several recipes for baked alaska.

I've always wanted to try that. So for Elijah's first birthday party tonight, we had baked alaska.

It was fairly dramatic to pull an ice cream cake out of the oven. It tasted great, too. But as soon as we broke the meringue shell, the meringue all slid off onto the baking sheet. I think we had too much meringue on it (the recipe called for 8 egg whites, and I'm pretty sure we only needed 3), so when the top browned and set, it became too heavy for the underneath layer, which didn't cook. That's my guess anyway.

That was a fun adventure. This time I used vanilla ice cream and strawberry ice cream, with a layer of frozen berries and mangoes in between. Next time, I think I'd like chocolate chocolate chunk ice cream with raspberry ice cream, with a layer of fresh raspberries frozen between.

Turns out ice cream cakes can be more work than a regular cake--especially if you turn them into a large baked alaska.

Fun adventure, though! Worth trying, for sure. Tim said, "Next time, we should do it for an adult party. They'd appreciate it more".  Next time I'm using a smaller bowl to mold the ice cream "bombe," too.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

I don't want to miss it.

Robert Downey, Jr., said, "“It’s so easy in life to get caught up with the ‘now I am in a good spot, now I am in a bad spot’ but the thing is to turn it up to 110 degrees and stir slowly. I don’t want to miss what is actually happening.”

I need to remember that. I don't want to miss what is actually happening.

A few weeks ago, Nathanael insisted he wanted to come to the store with me. So I put him in the car and while we drove, I tried to have a conversation with my 2 year old.  "What's your favorite thing to do, Nathie?" I asked him.

"Come to the store with you," he replied. And that was that. No matter how much I asked him other things, reworded my thoughts, tried to figure out his favorite things to do, he insisted his favorite thing was to sit in his car seat and drive to the store--which is exactly what we were doing.

It hit me that a 2 year old lives in the moment. What we're doing right now is either the best, most desirable thing, or it's not and we throw a fit until it changes. 

Later, when we were coming home, he was tired and told me his favorite thing would be to get out of the car and never go shopping again.

I thought about that for a long time--what he was doing right now is his favorite thing.

I decided I could learn a lot from that--like RD,jr. said, "I don't want to miss what is actually happening." On the other hand, it's a good thing to live outside the moment, too. Someone has to plan ahead, make decisions based on the greatest possible good, and respond in a thoughtful way. Living in the moment has its advantages, but avoiding knee-jerk reactions and always responding instead of acting are two of the not among them.  Maybe that's why 2 year olds throw fits--side effect of being stuck in the moment, either loving it or hating it but nothing in between. 

But living so that you don't miss what is actually happening, here and now, well that sounds like a good idea.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Did I just read that?

"Police suspect foul play in LDS church parking lot shooting"

They suspect foul play? I would assume foul play was involved. Is there a kind of shooting (of a human, I mean) that isn't foul?

Did I just read that?

"DOJ awarded to prosecution team of Elizabeth Smart case"

They totally scored on that one. Not only did they win their case, they got the whole Department of Justice as their reward!

The joys of having kids

Tonight I was looking at pictures of my nephew's wedding, and I thought, "Oh, how pretty! Her dress has a blue ribbon across it!"

Then I scrolled down.


Crayon on the screen of my laptop.


Friday, December 09, 2011

Did I just read that?

In case you think I only target Fox News, here's one from CNN: "Own a piece of Liz Taylor"


Thursday, December 08, 2011

Did I just read that?

"Currently, two women are pregnant with his child."

Now that's just tricky, getting one baby into two wombs at once. Like twins, only in reverse.

Did I just read that?

"The Misplaced Stuff: NASA loses moon, space rocks" (

Doggone it! They're supposed to know where the moon is. My 2 year old could probably help them out. 

Friday, December 02, 2011

Regrets of the Dying

This is really fascinating. Since I know a lot of you don't click links, here is a recap. The dying regret:

Working so hard at jobs, living as someone else expected them to be instead of as themselves, not expressing their feelings, not staying in touch with friends, and not allowing themselves to be happier.

In other words, they regret buying into those goals we learn as teenagers and invest our lives in as 20-somethings: conforming socially (being socially "in", or not being seen as "weird") and being rich (which makes us work too much and not connect with people as a result)

What a shame.

Good thing we have time to do it the way God recommends, where families and friends and using our talents are important, where the purpose of existence is Joy, and where work is to enrich our lives and provide for our needs, not to be all-consuming or make us rich. In fact, those things are the focus of commandments from God. Obviously, he knows what it's all about.