Thursday, April 29, 2010

In Honor of National Infertility Awareness Week

Kate over at Busted Plumbing has been talking a lot about National Infertility Awareness Week. It has been a good read for me, with lots of tears. Last night I dreamed about Kate (if you're reading this, you were a cartoon); probably because I have been praying for her a LOT. I don't even know her. In my reality, she's literally a cartoon; a funny, sarcastic, witty cartoon. Yesterday she posted that she's pregnant, but after 5 years trying to conceive and four miscarriages she is naturally apprehensive. I've been praying for her ever since.

Her struggle is personal for me as conceiving of our first two children didn't come easy. All said and done it was only 17 months between the two of them, but those 17 months were filled with a lot of disappointments, questions and tears.
I watched my sister and her husband struggle with infertility for three years - before my sister finally conceived their daughter she was no longer eating wheat, dairy, sugar or red meats; all in an effort to get her body to do what it was supposed to do.
Currently I am watching one of my dearest friends struggle with secondary infertility. Her son just turned two and he is a joy. He was conceived immediately with only the fun kind of effort put into it. For over a year they have been waiting for the magic to happen again, but it has eluded them. Every milestone they celebrate with their son is shadowed with the knowledge that his "firsts" may be their "lasts".
Another dear friend and her husband adopted four children and suffered multiple miscarriages before she conceived and delivered her first biological child.
These stories are not unique. Unfortunately we all know someone who is currently infertile or who has struggled with infertility. Take a moment and head over to Busted Plumbing to see what Kate has to say on the issue. Then stop by to see how you can get involved in helping to find a cure for infertility and how you can support those you love who are living through this struggle.

Busted Plumbing

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What gets me through.

Today I weighed myself and was a little disheartened. I am proud to say that I am at my goal weight (woot!) but there's something about working so hard to lose weight and then not losing weight that just weirds me out. So my day just started in a funk and continued that way.

So, for dinner, I did what any good "wanna lose more weight" woman would do.

I took these very healthy four ounce chicken breasts

and dressed them up a bit.

Work it girls. Work it.

And then I gave them a nice hot bath.

Sizzle sizzle pop. Sounds of beauty and comfort.

Gotta get both sides. An even tan is a must, after all.

Oh, hello Pepper. Hello Thyme. I didn't see you there.

I didn't want them to be lonely, so I put them together with these.

My day started looking better.

So did his, apparently.

And then I went to my parent's house.
My mom had these ...

(Those are chocolate covered marshmallows, in case you couldn't tell. Milk AND white chocolate.)

So we did this.

And then magic happened.

And now, all is right with the world. And I'm throwing my scale away.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Learning some lessons

For our son J's fifth birthday we decided to surpirse our three oldest kids with a trip to the Great Wolf Lodge. We had never been and thought it would be a nice little getaway - plus they offer a law enforcement discount so we couldn't say no! If you have one in your area and you haven't gone yet, GO! We all really enjoyed ourselves and will most certainly be going back.
While there I learned quite a few life lessons; such as 24 oz. of canned beer is 24 oz. too many; pay the extra 28 cents for the bottle. Or never buy food from a restaraunt at a resort unless I like the feeling of being totally taken advantage of. Or puppets that pop out of stumps are as creepy to adults as they are to children. I kept making a mental list of each lesson I was taught and really couldn't wait to get home and jot them all down. You, of course, will get to be the beneficiary's of my great wisdom, although I only am sharing a few, which is probably a greater benefit to you than if I shared them all.

Please to enjoy ...

Secrets of Life
as taught to me by my stay at the Great Wolf Lodge
by Mama Hen

Secret: My middle children are cautious.
Life Lesson Learned: Spend a little bit of money on a small trip before spending a lot of money on a larger trip. Thankfully we were able to take our children to this fabulous resort for not so much money. We learned that our middle two children are weenies fearful cautious and are perfectly content spending hour upon hour in six inches of water and avoiding any form of slide, even if it is only 18 inches off the ground. I'm glad we didn't spring for the $3000 Disneyland trip quite yet.

Secret: Not all tattoos are created equal.
Life Lesson Learned: Maybe tattos aren't as cool as I always thought they were.

Secret: White bathing suits are a not a good idea. Ever. The End.
Life Lesson Learned: I like when there's a little left to the imagination.

Secret: Apparently not everyone agrees with my definition of "bikini ready body".
Life Lesson: I guess not everyone feels the need to have a flat stomach when they put on a bikini. Or that they should shave their upper thighs ... or, um, other areas that are generally considered "bikini ready". But they should ... they really really should. Not everyone should wear a bikini. They really really shouldn't. And hey, I've had four kids. I don't live under any illusion that I should be excluded from this category.

Secret: Some women have beards. And moustaches.
Life Lesson: I will age gracefully. If that means electrolosis, waxing and shaving ... even my face ... then so be it. And if for some crazy reason I forget that women shouldn't have facial hair, I hope my friends (and husband) will remind me.

Secret: Teenagers are the same now as they were 10 (ok ... 15) years ago when I was one.
Life Lesson: Teenage lifeguards are really good at checking out other teenagers in bathing suits, checking the pool for dead bodies and saying 'go' when it is safe to take your turn down a waterslide. Teenage lifeguards are not so good at watching for children who are drowning but not quite dead yet, hiding their disgust over hairy chests and making sure children don't pummel each other in the kiddie pool. Therefore, I will play the over protective Mother part well and keep an eye on my own kids, thank you very much. Besides, it feels good to be the first face your daughter sees when you save her from certain drowning in a wave pool. (...and back to the kiddie pool we go...)

Secret: White wife beater tank tops don't cover very much. Ew.
Life Lesson: Ok, no life lesson here. Just a basic truth. Don't wear wife beaters. Especially if you plan on getting them wet. The end.

Not So Secret: My husband values his family.
Life Lesson: Don't take him for granted. My husband is proud of his children ... and he's proud of me. He's willing to sit on a stationary jet ski for six hours just so his little girl will be happy and his middle son can have someone to shoot water at. He's willing to let a bucket holding 1000 gallons water dump over his head so that his oldest son can see it really isn't "that bad". He's willing to drive to Dairy Queen and get his wife a peanut buster parfait because "it's needed." He gives me all sorts of warm fuzzies and it is so important that I let him know how much that means to me.

Normal kids. Right?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Remember When Wednesdays

(I fully realize it is not Wednesday yet. However, I'm taking a blogging break for a few days to celebrate our son's fifth birthday so I felt the need to write this early.)

7:00 a.m. I looked at the clock. Huh.
I laid there for a second wondering what had woken me up when I felt it. A contraction. A real live oh-right-this-is-what-labor-feels-like contraction.
Dang. I better call Officer Hottie. I'll wait for another just to make sure.
I got up to use the bathroom. Another hit. Time to call the hubby and tell him to come home from work.
"Honey, I'm in labor."
"You sure?"
"Yup. I've only had two contractions, but this is it." I heard him begin to run.
"I've got to get back to the shop then I'll be on my way."
7:08 a.m. Traffic is not going to be fun.
"Mom? I think I'm having this baby. Can you come over and watch L?"
"You sure?"
"Be right over."
L woke up. I got him out of his crib and sat down on the exercise ball as I snuggled him during my next contraction.
Wow. Where is my mom?
As I popped a waffle in the toaster, got a sippy cup full of milk, and put L in the high chair I began to think about what the day would bring. Soon I would be holding another baby. I sat back down on the ball when another contraction began.
This is different than last time. Where is everyone?
When Mom arrived I was mid-contraction. I couldn't talk to her.
"Honey, how long have you been having contractions?"
"What time is it?"
Where is Hottie??
"Um ... for 18 minutes."
She gave me a look - I can't describe it but I think it was a mixture of excitement and total terror. 18 minutes is a fairly short time to be laboring - and to be sure the labor is going somewhere.
Another contraction hit and I rocked back and forth on the ball. I tried having conversation with my mom, telling her where all of L's things were, who he was supposed to stay with, when to bring him to see us. I was pausing every few minutes to rock my hips back and forth on the exercise ball. A wave of relief washed over me as I heard OH pull into the driveway. The moment he walked in I stood up to go. My mom and he got the car loaded up with our overnight bag. I kissed L good-bye.
"We're going to have the baby!" I said. I wondered if he even knew what I was talking about, or how much his little life was going to change.
Why is Hottie talking to my mom so long? SHUT UP!
I started to walk to the car. I had to lean against the house since I couldn't walk through my next contraction. Thoughts of getting to the hospital and only being 3 centimeters dilated were running through my mind.
Like last time. But it feels so different this time.
"I think you should get in the car," I heard my mom say to my husband.
Ya think?
Officer Hottie lifted me into our car and hopped into the driver's seat.
7:45 a.m.
"Did you call the doctor yet?"
He dialed the phone. I was having another contraction and only heard him say, "Yeah, this is it. We'll see you at the hospital." Followed by, "Honey, traffic is bad."
Of course it is.  
"Can you also call Summer? I want to make sure she meets us there." I was determined to have a natural childbirth with my second baby and my friend had offered to be our doula. I knew I was going to need her encouragment if I was going to make it.
But this hurts. More than I remember. I wonder if Summer will be mad if I get drugs. Maybe she won't care.
Contraction after contraction. OH decided SR-9 would be faster than I-5 and I hoped he was right. He was making phone calls while I labored. Melissa first. My cousin and best friend. I wanted her there. He told her he'd call back once we'd checked in. Then his sister-in-law who heard me moaning and started to cry. And finally my sister. He put her off until the end knowing she had made me promise to not go into labor on Wednesday. Any day but Wednesday. She answered the phone with, "You have to be kidding me. If you are in labor I'm going to cry." She started to cry. So did I. She missed L's birth because of work ... and now this one too. I really wanted her there. I cried until the next contraction hit and I had to concentrate.
"We don't have a name if it's a boy," I said when the contraction was over.
Maybe we should have found out what we were having. Maybe we'd have settled on a name by now.
"I know. I still like J."
"Me too. What if it doesn't fit?"
"We'll see when he gets here I guess." Good enough for now.
I turned sideways to see if that would be more comfortable. I gripped the seat and the center console. I leaned forward and lay my head on the dashboard. I considered turning around and hugging the back of my seat. The only thing that seemed to help was making noise.
Why does this hurt so bad?
I glared at the cars around us.
They really should get out of our way. Don't they know what I'm going through? Why did we choose to deliver so far from home? Seriously.
8:05 ... 8:25 ... 8:37 ... 8: 50 ...
"Honey, close your eyes."
My eyes had been shut tight until he said that.
"Why?" I looked around and realized traffic was at a stand still but we were racing along in the carpool lane at 40 miles per hour, passing car after car. Our exit was less than 1/2 mile away.
We're going to miss the exit. WE'RE GOING TO MISS THE EXIT!
"OH MY GOD WE'RE GOING TO MISS THE EXIT!" I screamed as another contraction hit.
"I told you to close your eyes!"
I watched him yank the steering wheel off to the right and somehow, miraculously, we missed every car while crossing four lanes of traffic to make our exit.
I could hear him muttering under his breath, "Thank you Lord. Thank you Lord."
The light at the exit was red. 8:54.
The next two lights were red. The people in the car next to us were laughing.
Stupid idiots. Stupid stupid idiots. They are so stupid. Stup--- it's too hard to hate and have contractions at the same time.
"Honey, just think, you're probably at 5 centimeters by now! Halfway there!"
I hope you're right.
We arrived. They saw OH helping me out of the car and brought a wheelchair.
"Your doctor called and your room is ready."
"Good, because I think this baby might fall out."
"Honey, that's a good sign!"
Stupid nurse. Nothing is good.
They handed me a robe to change into as soon as I was wheeled into my room. I had four contractions while changing. They put a blood pressure cuff on me. I was hot. Really really hot. I took the blood pressure cuff off. And then my robe. I didn't care. I was hot.
"You're at 7."
Further along than I had hoped! That's good! No one is here yet ... where is my mom? Where is Summer? Where is Melissa? Where is our camera?
They put the cuff back on me. I took it off. It went back on. I ripped it off. They demanded I keep it on. I refused.
Officer Hottie was trying to talk me through contractions. I just made noise.
A nurse said, "Stop pushing." When I told her I wasn't she said, "Every time you scream you push. You need to stop screaming." She blew on my face to help me calm down. I think she had just had her coffee and cigarette break. I screamed in her face then told Hottie to go brush his teeth.
"Your dad is here." I was so glad to hear it but I couldn't open my eyes. "Can you at least put a sheet on me?" I managed to squeek out. The nurse took advantage of the moment and put the blood pressure cuff back on.
That nurse should be happy I don't have enough energy to kick her.
I felt someone grab my toe.
"Hi honey." Daddy. I could only moan. "I'm in the hallway," he said. I moaned some more and ripped the sheet and cuff off as soon as my dad cleared the room.
I can't do this. I want an epidural.
"I want an epidural."
"You can do this! You're at a seven, probaby an 8 by now." I said a few things. I screamed a little bit more. Poor OH. "She wants an epidural."
They paged the anesthesiolgist. The nursed checked me again. I saw my savior, the anesthiologist, walk into the room as the nurse said, "You're at a 9." My hope faded as the doctor shrugged his shoulders, turned and walked back out the door. I realized I was getting what I wanted. And it sucked. Yet somehow, amidst the pain I felt excitement and a new determination. I was really going to do this - even if only because I didn't have a choice. I was so exhausted between contractions I almost fell asleep. More and more contractions with hardly a rest in between. Until all of a sudden I felt like I had to use the bathroom. I knew what that meant.
"I think I need to push."
"You can try."
The urge completely took over. Officer Hottie stroked my arm, counting quietly to ten as I pushed. A nurse came over to check. "Where is your doctor?" she asked no one in particular, sounding a little worried. She walked over to the intercom and I heard over the speakers, "We need any OB to room 203. ANY available OB."
Oh boy.
"Can you hold your legs while you're pushing?"
Lady, I can't even open my eyes. If you want my legs somewhere ... "Move them yourself."
Officer Hottie grabbed a leg, kissed me, and glared at the nurse. He's always been on my side. I love that man.
At that moment my doctor walked into the room. He greeted Officer Hottie, he smiled at me, he walked over and said, "How are we do - oh boy! We're having a baby!"
"I told you to hurry," retorted the nurse. She canceled the call for any OB and quickly helped the doctor put his scrubs on. I kept pushing. "Can you stop?" the doctor asked. I responded with another push.
"I'm going to break your water," he said. "The baby is crowning and I don't want it to break while you're pushing." 
I don't really care if the water breaks on the you. Just get my baby out.
I felt the warm fluid pooling around my waist and then a feeling like I was going to explode; like I was going to be torn arpart right down the middle, but I couldn't stop pushing.
Then relief as the baby's head came out. And a cry. My baby. Another push and I heard my husband say, "It's a boy!" A boy. I knew it. Even though I didn't know, I knew. I was too exhausted to cry and so relieved he was there.
What just happened? Did that just happen?
"Look at this umbilical cord!" the doctor exclaimed. I opened my eyes to see him holding up the cord and giving me a thumbs up. It's funny the moments of clarity one can have when there is such choas and craziness going on.
I so wish I had a camera. You have got to be kidding me; that is one of the funniest most dorky things I have ever seen. Is he really giving my son's umbilical cord a thumb's up?
It is forever engraved in my mind.
"HE'S ALREADY HERE?" I heard from the hall. Summer. The doula. "I missed it? I had to stop for coffee! I left as soon as you called!"
I heard my dad talking on the phone with my mom. I could tell he was trying to calm her down. She wasn't happy to have missed the birth.
"Why didn't you call me? I was sitting in the parking garage waiting for you to call!" Melissa. She had been there! And still she missed it.
"That was fast!" Over and over I kept hearing how fast everything was; how fast they had driven, how fast they had gotten dressed, how fast, fast, fast. It wasn't registering.
I just wanted to hold my baby. The cigarette nurse refused to let me hold him until she swaddled and weighed him. 8 pounds 12 ounces. She finally gave him to me and I unswaddled him quickly to check his entire body. He was perfect. His cheeks were chubby. He looked just like his brother. And Daddy. He had red hair. The nurses told me I had to try using the bathroom. I reluctanly handed the baby to my husband so I could use the restroom. It had only been twenty minutes since I'd delivered but it felt so good to get up and move. Then I emptied my bladder; fully and completely for the first time in months. The only thing that felt better was not having nearly nine pounds of baby kicking my ribs.
I hobbled back to the bed where my son was once again placed in my arms. Everyone wanted to come in and see the him. My mom and dad, my mother and father-in-law, my brothers, my cousin, my friends. Our oldest son. That felt weird to say. We had an oldest.
"What time was he born?" I heard someone ask. I realized I was dying to know the answer.
"9:22" was the response. Officer Hottie and I looked at each other and began to laugh. Our little rocket. Two hours and twenty-two minutes of labor. Not too shabby. Officer Hottie still says the baby used my ribs as his launching pad.
No wonder it felt so different this time around.
Summer kept calling me a rock star. I didn't feel like one; I tried to get drugs and it was too late. She encouraged me, "No matter! You didn't get the drugs - regardless of the reason you did it! In less than two and a half hours! Rock star!" I still embarrassed me, but if I was being honest I had to admit I felt like a badass. Summer was my only friend who had delivered drug-free at that point in my life.
I want to nurse my baby.
Almost as if on cue our loved ones started to filter out of the room. My mom, mother in law and L stayed behind. L didn't want OH to put him down. He clung to his dad for dear life.
I bet he's starting to get that his life is changing. Does he know how much I still love him? I didn't know I could love two children with such intensity. Does he know that hasn't changed?
I unwrapped my newborn son and put him to my breast. He looked at me with gorgeous dark eyes and began to suckle immediately.
Baby, I love you. I waited for you. I prayed for you. I begged God to give you to me. He made us wait seven months to conceive you and another nine months to hold you. Here you are. Completely worth the wait. Praise the Lord.
My very pregnant cousin, Melissa, asked, "Would you do it again? Should I go for natural?"
Hell no. "It sucks ... but it feels good too. Don't really know how to explain it."
"Do you have a name yet?" our mothers asked.
"No. We're thinking J but aren't totally sure yet."
We decided Officer Hottie should call his cousin to look up the meaning of the name J.
"Let God Be Praised."
J was the perfect name for our new addition. Looking into his face I could feel praises welling up inside of me. Looking at a perfect miracle, touching his tiny fingers, hearing his quiet breathing, watching him nurse, I was overwhelmed with thanks and gratitude to God for giving me such a blessing.

My praises haven't stopped even though he is five now. I love him. I praise God for him. He has changed my life and brought our family so much joy. He was worth every month of heartache trying to conceive and every month of anticipation while he was growing in my womb. He was, and still is, the perfect son for us.

Let God be praised.

April 20, 2005
8 lb 12 oz; 21.5 in
9:22 a.m.
April 20, 2010

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Welcome Spring!

Anyone see the resemblance to Benjamin Franklin??
**Hint: It's in the hair**

Seriously. No wonder this girl gets away with so much. 

He wants to be Indiana Jones when he grows up. I just want to kiss him right now.

This boy ...
Once he didn't want me to kiss him at school. It broke my heart. Moments like this more than make up for moments like that.

It's so nice when they play together so well! And no, this didn't end too badly. Just a few tears after the tumble...and then he was right back on! 
What the sunshine is really all about.

I cannot come up with a good enough caption. This captures all the fun and misery of being 20 months old, don't you think?

I love me so dirty summertime (er...springtime) feet.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Remember When Wednesdays

Remember when the mullet was the "it" haircut?

Yeah. My family totally embraced that.

If you'd like to share something for Remember When Wednesday make sure and leave a note in comments so I can check it out!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


This is my sister. R1. Or Rebekah to the rest of the world. Or Boo to me. She's teeny; about five feet tall on a tall day.
I love her. Growing up we fought all the time. We are really alike. Except I'm tall. A whopping five feet four inches. In my family, that's practically gigantic. We're both bossy. Really really bossy. So we used to butt heads. A lot. Nobody likes to get bossed around; especially the boss. Now we get along really well because we have our own families to boss around. We can just call each other and complain about how everyone should pay better attention to the boss. In December she gave birth to this little chunk.
EV. One of the cutest little girls I know. You can be jealous.

This is my other sister, R2. Or Rachel to the rest of the world. Or Rachie Babe to me. She and I are less alike, but she and R1 are basically samesies. See the resemblance?

No? Here, try these.

Back to R2. She used to have a mole on her chin and she called it a Cheerio. How cute is that? She lives far away in a place I affectionately refer to as Hell. Or Phoenix. She seems to like it. She smiles. I hate it there. It's too hot. Kind of like ... hell. I digress. She and I didn't fight a lot growing up. She's easy going and pretty much did whatever I told her to do. She calls me Hen hen. I miss her and want her to move home. And when she comes home I want her to bring this little girl with her.
Lil. Love her. Her voice sounds like she's been sucking in helium all day. So when she's mad, it's really cute. Plus, her middle name is Darling. Seriously. You can't be mad at her.

This lovely lady
is Tara. She married my brother, Spud. Or Isaac to the rest of the world. Or Spud to me and my sisters. He lucked out. Tara is taller than all of us. She is also gorgeous, makes a killer loaf of bread, is fluent in French and has managed to put up with our family for nearly 7 years. When Spud farts, she laughs. They never fight. At least, to my knowledge. Spud and Tara are basically the nicest most easy going people this world has to offer. I think they really like each other. I know we really like her. She is pregnant with their fourth baby. I kind of hope she has a girl, because they have three boys, but they really make cute boys so I'll be happy if they have another. I don't feel too bad saying I hope they have a girl, though. Because we all need more drama, right?

Speaking of drama

This is LadyBug. My daughter, my daily dose of drama. She's enough girl for all of us.

This is my soon to be sister in law Sarah Jane.
She lives far far away in a place known as the Mother Country. Or England. She is originally from South Africa. Her parents have an amazing love story. They fell in love during apartheid, which wouldn't matter to anyone except that Sarah's dad is white and her mother is Indian. Falling in love was illegal. They are still married. And they are fabulous.
Sarah is hilarious and everything she says sounds super cute because she has an accent. She says "lovely" all the time and "done and dusted". She could probably say "poop" and we would still think it's cute.

These are the women in my family; my sisters and our daughters. I love them and I am blessed to have them.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Up on the Soap Box

Excuse me today as I step up onto my soapbox.


For the past few days I have seen a few things on Facebook that have made me burn with rage.
It all started because of this:

Families of slain Lakewood officers to sue for $182 million KOMO News - Breaking News, Sports, Traffic and Weather - Seattle, Washington Local & Regional

But what really got me fired up and not able to sleep well was this follow-up article. I should clarify by saying it wasn't the article itself that made me mad, although the overall tone of it did upset me somewhat. It was the comments that readers left that got me so hopping mad. In fairness, I could only read two or three before I had to close the webpage so maybe there were some nice ones on there, but I doubt it. Maybe it's petty and I'm being emotional but it ticked me off. The gyst of the article is that the four families of the fallen Lakewood Officers are suing the county for policy change. I would too, if I were in there shoes. Honestly, a third time felon was let out on bail and then he massacred their spouses. It was preventable and yet "the system" failed. Then the community is outraged. How dare these families sue for money! They are so selfish! Their spouses would be embarrassed! I went to two fund-raisers, don't they have enough money?! Are you KIDDING me Seattle? Seriously?

It makes me crazy when we judge each other. Not the kind of judging where "this is right and this is wrong" but the "you let your son have a pacifier?" kind. The kind of judging that doesn't do any good. The kind that only makes people feel horrible and belittled. The kind of judging where you really have no idea what someone is going through but feel the need to tell them they are wrong in what their decisions are. You know the kind of judgement. Unfortunately, we're all guilty of it . Passing that kind of judgement onto four families who are in a whirlwind of loss and tragedy is subhuman behavior. To tell a widow, who's husband was murdered while having coffee, simply because he wore a badge, that community support should be enough, to question her motives when you haven't talked to her, to say that her husband would be ashamed of her, to question her character and integrity and her support of the law enforcement community is completely out of line. And what good does it accomplish? Not one thing. Except that these poor widows, the victims, have been so bullied by the community that they decided to drop their lawsuit. This is what it's boiled down to Seattle? Bullying a grieving widow? Really? Are we happy  now?

As a woman who sends her husband off to work everyday and prays prays prays that he will come home and kiss me and read our kids a chapter from The Magic Treehouse series, I cannot even begin to fathom what the families of these officers must be experiencing. To lose a spouse in such a horrific manner is unspeakable. Even if I didn't agree with what the families decided to to, who am I to judge them so harshly? I haven't gone through what they've gone through. My kids want their dad to come home every night ... to have to tell them again, every single day, that he won't be coming home? I can't even go there.

I'm just so ashamed of the backlash these poor families have had to endure. I wish I did know them so I could take over a coffee cake and let them know we don't all feel that way. That they have my support, whether they sue or not. I did find it interesting that three of the families dropped the suit while the fourth chose to wait and think about the options. That fourth spouse? A man. God love men. They aren't swayed by emotions or worrying about hurting someones feelings. Good for him.

I'm getting down now. And if by some crazy chance any one of the Lakewood families reads this, you have support. A lot of it. We need policy change. We need to know our husbands are protected. If the only way to get the attention of our law makers is by making them pay out some money, so be it.

Ok, I'm really getting down now. I'm off.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Since it's Debt Free Friday ...

Next month I will be doing a workshop at a women's retreat on how we became debt free. I am super excited as I am passionate (to a fault) about getting out of, and remaining out of, debt. I have had a few friends ask me to sit down with them and iron out their spending plans, figure out how to pay all their bills and to start becoming debt free. I have loved that. There is something so fun in the challenge of trying to make someone else's finances work for them! This will be my first opportunity to speak to a group of people and I'm unsure how to approach it.

My question for you is ...

If you were going to go to a 40 minute workshop on becoming debt free, what sort of information would you want to hear? Would you want someone to show you how to make a budget?
Would you want to hear why you even should get out of debt?
Would you want to hear how other people got out of debt?
Would you want to hear about how to deal with credit companies? Or how to save money? Or how to remain out of debt?

Is there any information you wouldn't want to hear?

(Oh, and Debt Free Fridays are a Dave Ramsey thing. Listen to his radio program today to hear callers call in with their debt free stories. It will inspire you!)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Remember When Wednesday

Figuring out how to make a button is 100% beyond my skill level. I am trying though. If Officer Hottie weren't so irritated with me for having him reinstall Microsoft Money on the computer after I promised I'd try something else, and for spending a little bit too much money, and for letting him believe we had the money to spend, I'd ask for his help. But, for now, I'm ashamed and on my own, which means ... no button. I'm sure I'll get it eventually.

Anyway, that was a way too long way for me to say that I've decided on Remember When Wednesdays. I really have been having a great time writing about stuff from my childhood; my memories of Grandma, Mom, Dad, my brothers and sisters, and even the geese. It just gets me excited and gets my creative juices moving so I'm setting Wednesdays aside as an official day for me to reminisce. It won't all be old memories either; I may not dig very far back. I'm just going to write about whatever suits my fancy that day. It's my blog and I can do what I want. Right??

Dear Spud, remember when I told you I was going to run away? And you snitched. I was lying anyway.

In third grade we read the book, The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

I loved that book. It was full of adventure and naughtiness. If you haven't read it, it's about a brother and sister who run away from home (a perfectly functional home if I remember correctly) and go to New York city and live in a museum. They get money out of a fountain and live in the displays and try to find out if a statue the museum purchased is real or a fake. It was thrilling for me. I should read it again.

The part that really stuck out to me was not the fact that they ran away from home, but how they did it. They were super sneaky and that appealed to me so so much. They sat in the back seat of the school bus and when the bus parked in the bus barn, got off and headed out to New York. For days I pondered if I'd be able to do it. Not get off the bus, not get caught ... go live somewhere fancy. I knew there were plenty of fountains out there with enough cash to supply all my needs.

I decided I didn't have enough guts to actually run away from home. My parent's still ate pasta at the time and I wasn't willing to give that up. Still, I liked the idea of running away. So, I wrote my brother, Spud, a sweet little note and left it on his bed. It said something like,

"Dear Spud,
Tomorrow I am running away from home. I will get on the school bus and hide and not get off. Don't tell Mom and Dad. And if I die, tell Kory Hanson how much I liked him."

Or something like that.

Then I snickered and went into my room to listen to Milli Vanilli on the tape player.

And then my dad came in and asked me if I had something to tell him.

"Yes. You."
"Are you unhappy here? Is everything OK at school? Has someone hurt you?"
"Did Kory Hanson hurt your feelings?"
"Why are you running away from home?"
"G Ann (only giving you first initial and middle name. Sorry. Gotta protect the guilty and all) ... you wrote your brother a note telling him you were running away from home. WHY are you running away from home?"
"That? That's a joke."
"No, it isn't."
"Yeah, it is. I was reading this book, The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, and that's part of the book. I thought it was funny. So I wanted to trick Spud."
Sigh. "That's not a nice trick. Your brother is very worried about you."

I'm pretty sure my parent's thought I needed therapy at that point. I can only imagine the conversation they had while psycho-analyzing the world in bed that night. Crazy daughter and her crazy ideas. That book learnin' ain't no good for her. Or something like that.
Thus ended my escapade as an elementary school escape artist. I don't know if Spud has forgiven me though. Actually, I'm sure if Spud remembered this incident, he would forgive me. He is a man now, after all. With three young boys and one child on the way. He has more important things to remember. Like keeping his own children from escaping his own home. I like to think that I just helped to prepare him for fatherhood. Right?

Anyone else have any running away/escape stories they feel like sharing??

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Life of a Police Wife

Last night I discovered that my new washer has a cool little "Delay Start" button. I was very excited. It's the little things, you know? So I set the washer to start around 6 a.m. I figured I would be awake and that it would give me a jump start on my chores for the day.

I woke up before 6 a.m. (Unhappy sigh) Having children has ruined my sleep habits forever. So I got up and started a pot of coffee. And my washer clicked on. And then I sighed a happy sigh. Because it's the little things, remember? But then I heard a racket in the washer. Clink clink CLANK. Ugh. My first thought was that Officer Hottie hadn't removed his belt buckle, or belt for that matter, from his jeans. I paused the cycle (another feature I love) opened the door and began sorting the sopping wet mess of clothing. I realized I was washing a shirt that had a little metal clasp thing-y. It was, of course, my shirt. Oh well. I shoved everything back into the washer, unpaused it, and settled back into bed with my coffee and Bible.

That shirt is so loud. It's going to wake the kids up. Ugh. I wish it were a belt buckle. Then it wouldn't be my own danged fault. Double ugh.

The racket woke the kids up. To their credit they stayed in bed until the first number on the clock was a seven. So it was quiet-ish for me, minus the noisy clothing in the washer, so I decided it was a good start to the morning after all. We had leftover waffles (thanks Baby!) so I started popping them in the toaster.

"MOM!" screams Snuggles. "LOOK!"

Oh. Well. Ok, then. That explains it. At least my guilt over wearing shirts with metal clasp thing-y's was erased.

The life of a police wife. Bet you didn't expect this much excitement, did ya?

Monday, April 5, 2010

I can scribble

Momma Fargo gave me this award today. Which made my day. Because honestly, Momma Fargo is awesome. Her blog has made me cry and pee my pants from laughing, all in the same minute. Sometimes it makes me cringe and sometimes I put her posts on my Facebook page. She's a police officer and I guess I just get her humor, you know, seeing how I live with the popo myself and all. If you haven't, or don't on a regular basis, you must, must read what she has to say. You will cry and pee your pants and cringe too.

These awards come with rules; rules that I don't follow very well. But I guess I'll do my version if you don't mind.

A few things about me that you probably don't know yet:

* Peppermint tea is my nightcap of choice. It calms my nerves, helps me to relax, and doesn't leave me with a headache in the morning.

* Officer Hottie and I paid off $27,000 in 14 months following Dave Ramsey's plan for getting out of debt. I am really proud of that; it just seemed that it wouldn't be possible living on one income. Being so in debt seemed more impossible though. We were drowning and barely making ends meet. But it was possible ... we did it. I will blog the details later. I hate debt. I am glad to be rid of it. Also, when we say "Dave Ramsey" people roll their eyes and leave the room. They hate him because of us. Whatever. We're debt freeeeeeee!

* I had an affair with Lindt Dark Chocoloate with Chili. I was never satisfied with Dove Dark Chocolate again. Don't judge me until you've walked in my shoes.

* My house is 1300 square feet. We have three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Our family has four boys and two girls. Our house is too small. And much too messy. Instead of making it larger we're going to Hawaii (in awhile). Instead of cleaning it I am blogging. (I said, don't judge me.)

* I have one single (as in, not a twin) brother, two twin brothers and two twin sisters. Yes, I can tell them all apart. No, I don't know how. I just do. I was supposed to be a triplet. My mom had an ultrasound that said there were three babies. When she went in the next time there was only me. My dad told everyone I ate them. He thought he was hilarious. My dad still thinks he's hilarious. So does the rest of my family. I'm feeling the need to call my therapist right about now ... and send the bill to Dad.

I would like to pass the Superior Scribbler Award along to OllieMom at I am Mama; Hear Me Roar. I went to high school with OllieMom so when she started her blog I thought I'd read it to be polite. Except now I check every day to see if there is a new post. If there is a new one,  I grab some kleenex because I know I'm in for it. Her writing skills are beyond and her content ... well, you just have to read it to understand.

Thanks for the award Momma Fargo!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Joy ... pure joy

This morning while checking my email I stopped by The Pioneer Woman's page. Then I screamed, wet myself, and did a happy dance while my children sat huddled in the corner terrified of the crazy woman they once called Mother.

This is what I saw ...


Saturday, April 17, 2010
5:00 pm
17171 Bothell Way N.E.
Lake Forest Park, WA 98155

Oh happy life. She'll be here the same day as Cop's Wives Club. Two wonderful things in one day. Not only that, but I know where that book store is. I could probably even know enough back roads to be able to avoid traffic. Maybe. But I'm making Officer Hottie drive just in case. I'm most excited by the fact that she won't be in actual downtown Seattle. Because I NEVER ever drive in Seattle. Not even near Seattle. It's busy. The roads are confusing. The hills are steep. It smells a little like salt, fish and urine. I can't even think about driving down there unless I have a passenger who can tell me when and where to turn. I prefer having a driver who will just do all the work for me. Thank you PW. I'm sure you had me in mind when you planned this.

Alison, please don't go into labor this day. Please don't make me choose. Did you hear me Baby K9? Come before or after. But not during.

I think it's settled. Now I'm off to daydream about my new BFF.