My 3 Monsters: July 2009

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My Vacay So Far

Toyota Sienna: $262.00 per month
Tank full of gas: $45.00
Crock pot full of pinto beans, spilled in the trunk Friday night: $4.00
Various chemicals for attempted removal of pinto beans: $11.00
5 hours in a car after pinto beans have begun to ferment: painful
Sitting behind Marie Osmond at church Sunday morning: priceless

Good times had by all so far!! More to come!


A Funny for While I'm Gone

I'm leaving for Las Vegas any minute now, but I couldn't go without blogging one last time. My youngest is turning 8 in January. Sure, it's a ways off, but in the Mormon church 8 is a pretty significant birthday. It's when we get baptized and become "real" members of the church. We (as in the 5 of us here) like to celebrate with a little shindig after. (You may recall Riley's cupcake buffet last summer). A few years back our friend, Marla, threw the coolest candy party after her son's baptism. My little D has never forgotten it. I thought we would would do something similar. But Baby D has more grandiose plans. We were discussing his baptism the other day and he says, " I was thinking maybe we could have the U2 band come and sing some songs." Hmmmm. Cool, but maybe out of my budget. By just a smidge. I reminded him of how cool a candy party would be. He says, "Yeah. That's cool, but I think I still want the U2 band." Sooooo . . . anyone got any ins with Bono?! A little help here . . .

Back next week!


It's Not Every Day . . .

. . . you buy a flute on ebay. At least not around these parts. Sis is thrilled to death!!! We were just going to rent for her for a while to see if this passion du jour sticks -- in a way that cheer leading, dance, and singing have not. We're nothing if not wiser with age. Anyhoo . . . rental was $26.00. PER MONTH!! Guess how much this little beauty was! Just guess!!

Yep. Pays for itself in three months! It's brand new even!! In the same ebay store they were selling pink powder-coated flutes with silver keys. Very cute NOW. In high school and beyond not so much. I talked her into this lovely rose brass plated number. It's really very pretty. And certainly good enough for junior high band. (Junior High! Yikes!) Even if we have to buy her a nicer one in a couple of years, I still feel like I got a killer deal today. And that bargain-elation I'm feeling is almost enough to anesthetize the painful apron string severing I'm currently undergoing. This daughter growing up thing is a brutal operation.


Bugs and Braids and Hiking and Loving and Sweating and Sharing and . . .

I survived another year (uh, that's four if you're keeping track) of Girl's Camp.
I haven't showered since noon.
On Saturday.
I made nine beautiful new friends.
Ages 12-15.
I did maybe 100 french braids.
Not a one on my own head.
I am truly blessed to have participated in this 5 day drama-fest that is "Camp".
I am a changed person.
A better person.
And, now that I've hugged and kissed my family, I can't wait to sleep in my own bug-free bed tonight.


A Glimmer of Hope

My baby girl wants a dog. It's not a secret. Years ago she and her brothers came to me and her father, poised for hard-core negotiation, saying, "We either want a dog or a baby sister. You decide." Done. Neither. But she is relentless. And crafty. A week ago negotiations began again in earnest. This time she was a little more clever, realizing that blatant demands would be poorly received. Buoyed by her recent success raising funds for her iTouch, she laid her deal on the table. "If I can save up $2000 do I have your permission to buy a dog?" Hmmmmm. Of course, tender heart that she is, she wants a shelter dog that she can "save" and the rest of the money would go toward food, etc. She even researched dogs that shed the least and did the best in small spaces. How could I say no to a well conceived plan like that?! It's responsible. It's not immediate. It's almost perfect. The only part I don't like is the part about the dog someday sharing our humble abode. But a family is all about give and take. Who am I to deny my daughter her fondest desire?! I just hope she doesn't save too fast. I need a little time to really get my brain around this promise I have made. In the mean time, she is just enjoying dog sitting. And pictures of dogs on google images. And shows about dog training on Animal Planet. Heaven help me.


The Life o' Riley

I had plans to follow him around all day, secretly taking pictures to document his 9th birthday, but these 4 photos really sum it all up. He's a great, easy-going kid. Always has been. Since the day he was born. He's also tender-hearted and kind. He puts up with a lot and forgives easily. He's both patient and courageous beyond his years. It's not the in-your-face bravado of his little brother. Rather, the quiet, long-suffering courage of a little man who already knows life has its trials and disappointments. He shouldn't already know that at 9.

I love that sweet face with the little upturned nose and the ginormous cowlick.
Rarely will you see this guy without his game in hand. That one's new today. . . his third Nintendo DS in as many years. They just aren't made to withstand a love like his.
Even on his birthday, ESPECIALLY on his birthday with all the cake and goodies, the blood sugar checks and insulin are unavoidable.
Every one of those teeny tiny white and/or pink dots on his tan belly is a reminder of how long the past three years have been. That's 1095 days. 547+ infusion sets. 5,470 seconds spent "getting in the zone" for one more poke. And an unquantifiable amount of character being built in this sweet, unassuming little boy.
Here's to 99 more wonderful years, big guy! Being a character, however tangential I may become, in the long, long Life o' Riley is one of the crowning achievements of my own life.


Digital Dump

I've been very busy this week. You may have guessed by my lack of blogging. Or you may not have noticed. I've been painting my friend's house while her family was away at scout camp (surprises are THE BEST) and crafting baby gifts for my friend who had triplets and fashioning cool 50's get-ups for my lil' campers and visiting with my baby sister (now 23) and her friend who came down from Vegas for a concert. It has been a fabulous week, but now I'm exhausted and my camera memory card is full. So, in lieu of a clever and/or witty blog post tonight, you get to share the fruits of my digital bounty. Yeah, I know. I AM too kind, really.

For the triplets . . . a girl and two boys. Cutie Patooties.

Another friend's new baby. A variation on a theme. You can't even tell in the pictures, but those pink poodles are sparkly as is the Eiffel tower on the yellow onesie. Washable glitter is 'da bomb!

Leslie (my little sis), Sydney (my Sis), and Kristen (my new wannabe sis)

Sydney loved being with the big girls. They're so cute and fun. And Kristen has an iPhone so they could sit and compare aps. We also shopped at IKEA and made cake balls. Good times.

That's MY get-up for camp. Get it? Cabin Mamas instead of Pink Ladies! Those are just for me and Dee Ann, the other cabin mom. I even put monograms on the front a la Laverne and Shirley. The girls get bright blue t-shirts with the camp theme on them. Cute, but not quite AS cute. As it should be. The girls also get the poodle pants (more of that fun glitter!!) and "saddle" shoes. I love the way it all turned out. I found those sweet vintage bedazzled cat eye glasses on etsy for a steal. Love it!

We melted some records into bowls to hold thank you treats for the kitchen staff and to hold our own treats on the picnic tables outside our cabin.

And kept a few in tact to decorate our bunks.

And, thanks to my friend, Tammy, who finds all the coolest stuff online, I was able to make these sweet little lotto-type scratcher cards for when it's my turn to do devotional.

Did I mention that I LOVE CAMP?! Sure, I stress about it for the last two weeks before we go. (Brent told me the other night that I was being really "fun". I've been around the block enough to know what that really means . . . ) Sure, I want to poke my eyes out when it's fundraiser time. Sure, I lose sleep the night before we go EVERY YEAR with a sick sense of dread and impending doom. But I LOVE it, even still. I truly do. And if I get released before next year when Sis is finally old enough to go, so help me . . .


Hey, Guess What!

A 96-load bottle of Summer Meadow scented Sun liquid laundry detergent with color safe bleach alternative is $6.00 at Wal-Mart. Just thought you'd all like to know. Because that's cheaper than making your own. In case you were wondering. Also, for the record, I'm stupid.


Ahhhh, It's Going To Be a Beautiful Day!

Sitting at my kitchen table this morning, blurry-eyed, still exhausted, eating yogurt I hear the toilet flush. No big. Out struts my youngest who says,"Mission accomplished," as he points to me, winks and nods. Uhhhhhhmmmmmm. OK. Good morning to you, too, my love. And so my day begins. . .



DO NOT, under any circumstances, make your own laundry detergent. Artificial fragrance and chemicals are your friends. I am now having to re-wash each of the 5+ loads of laundry that were done last week because they STINK. The clothes are clean (as far as I can tell) but musty, yucky smelling. Really, it's probably fine. People use unscented detergent all the time. But I was raised on that fresh, deliciously clean Tide aroma. I expect my clothes to smell . . . good . . . when I put them on. And these clothes don't smell good. At all. So much for being bored. I've got plenty to do now . . .


The 4th . . . and Onward

After reading everyone else's posts about their (insert superlative here) 4th of July celebrations, I'm feeling a little bummed. We spent our 4th cleaning the garage and looking for old record albums at Good Will, and filling my newly remodelled pantry (another post for another day). Farting noise, thumbs down. We did have a wonderful time swimming in our friend, Tammy's, pool and grilling hamburgers, but I couldn't help feeling like we were taking advantage of her kindness. See, her husband and sons were at scout camp. And her back is killing her. And still she baked for us the most delicious graham cracker cupcakes with lemon filling and cream cheese frosting with lime zest. She's fancy. That's just how she rolls. Oh, did I forget to mention she also made rice krispie treats with red, white and blue sprinkles? AND Ro-tel dip and chips. AND sliced up a watermelon. Oh, and yeah, she just whipped up a batch of fruity, slushy punch, too. Just for the six of us. No big. She's ridiculously good at entertaining. I brought the hamburger patties and buns. Yeah, I know, advantage was taken. I'll make it up to her somehow . . .

Brent took Sis and D to see fireworks while I stayed home with Riley, who had really high blood sugar and didn't feel well. I guess he enjoyed Tammy's treats every bit as much as Brent and I enjoyed her company. Bad, irresponsible combination. So, for me, the day ended much as it began . . . . Farting noise, thumbs down. Eh. Nothing to lose sleep over.

And now . . . "GREASE is the word" around these parts. I am deeply in the throes of Girl's Camp preparation. Broadway Musicals are the theme, ours is Grease. This is when all the magic happens: making poodle pajama pants instead of skirts (well, ordering plain pants on line and cute-ifying them a bit), tote bags out of t-shirts, saddle shoes out of Keds, bunk decorations out of old records (hence the trip to Good Will). . . The things we do for these girls at camp time. It is truly a pleasure. And a sight to behold when we all get up there. If I can just survive the last minute monkey wrenches that ALWAYS seem to get thrown into my well-oiled plan, we'll be good to go. I can't hardly wait . . . for this to be over. . .


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