Thursday, May 28, 2009

Has it really been 5 years already??

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(Ryker ----just moments old)

So, today is Ryker's 5th birthday. That completely boggles my mind. I swear I just had him last week. In the past five years his growth on all levels has astounded me. Every day becomes an adventure in, “who are you?” Just when I *think* I’ve got this mothering thing figured out, when I’ve come to a better understanding of who he is… he changes again! Oh, but these are always good changes. He finds new ways to express himself. His speech becomes more sophisticated; his ability to understand nuances more keen. I feel truly lucky to be witness to his growth.

Ryker is the most cuddly and compassionate child I have ever met. He is sweet and affectionate, as well as smart and observant. He always is quick with a smile, and gives the best hugs in the world. All you have to do is ask....and really, half the time you don't even need to ask. He just gives them. And they are real and deep and sincere, and sometimes go on for hours.

My dear, sweet Ryker -- You have inspired me by just being you. The relentless effort you put into discovering the world and developing your skills in all its tiny variations have astounded me more than once. It makes me wonder why and when we lose the ambition and energy to be so vigorous in developing ourselves.

You, my third child, my baby forever, melt my heart. I could end this blog post right here. Wipe my hands clean of what I want to say and call it a day, "Happy 5th birthday." You. My love. Are the one that came to us at such a difficult time in our family's life and helped us realize that life is so precious. I can never thank you enough and for that I am forever thankful. You are so special.

Keep on filling the pages of your book in your unique way. I’ll be reading along and helping you along the way.
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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Survivor Diet

I miss having perky boobs. I miss having a waistline.

Since I miss my perky boobs and my waistline so much I am thinking of going on the Survivor Diet. This involves travelling to an island with minimal supplies.

A deserted island with bathroom facilities is a must. Running water is also a must. And electricity. (I did not say I was going to rough it, I just said I was going on the diet.)

I will be on a tropical island with lots of fruit trees and edible berry bushes. There will be copious amounts of clean water to drink. There will be no chocolate. Or cookies. (*gasp* Take a deep breath) Yes, it will be difficult, but I feel that it is what I have to do to get my body back.

I cannot live anywhere close to sugar.....bad sugar. I cannot have access to stores or restaurants. I will swim in the ocean that is blocked off from all sea mammals. No big fish, snakes, sharks, crocs or eels can come within a mile of my swimming area please and thank you. Because if they do come near me I may just have a heart attack...or get eaten and the entire experience will be pointless.

I will jog on the beach. Ok, who am I kidding...... I will walk. Alot.

I will spend my days in the water and in the sand getting all pretty and healthy. I will read gossip magazines and maybe even a novel or two. I will listen to my music. Bluegrass music will not exist on this island.

I will not eat chocolate. Or cookies. Or anything that is remotely unhealthy. I will be the picture of optimal health.

I will drink water because it is the only beverage available. No soda. No Kool Aid. No juice.

Borrring.

I will lose weight. I will get in shape.

I will come home, look at chocolate and have no desire to eat it.

I will only eat salads and fish, and all the good stuff that people are supposed to eat.

And then I will get a boob job.

The End.

Yes, these thoughts actually do run through my mind. Now if only I can find someone who will let me stay on their well equipped island for free.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

You learned about WHAT in church today?!?!?

Today we were sitting in sacrament meeting at church. It was ward conference, so the Stake President was speaking (really cool guy, by the way). But he seemed to have a bit of a sinus cold, and sounded somewhat stuffed up.

Anyhow, he was talking about the young men and the Aaronic priesthood. Drew leans over to me, and asks, "Mom, what's the erotic priesthood"? I had to bite my tongue off to stop myself from laughing out loud and disrupting the meeting. (We are not a house full of heathens, I promise).

Anyway, after explaining that he heard wrong, everything was fine. (Hee hee hee......) Dang TV. What the heck are they teaching our kids anyway.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Momologue

Momologue - When a mother goes on and on about her kid like no one else has children, and monopolizes the entire conversation even though no one cares.

We've all been there, right? If a group of women get together, there's always one woman who momologues.

"Preston is just so advanced! Preston is off the growth charts! Preston crapped his diaper and it leaked all over me and stunk like death...but oh-my-gosh, I felt so honored to be in the presence of Preston's poop!" (apologies to anyone with a son named Preston. It's just the first one I pulled out of my head)

First you're polite...then you're bored...then you're freaking annoyed and want to scream, "SHUT UP, RALPHIE!"





(If I were an old man, I'd totally be that guy. But we all knew that, right?)

Why can't we all have basic social skills? Can't we preface our bragging with a simple, "I know everyone thinks their baby is wonderful, but..."? Don't the momologuers have enough common sense to realize that their friend is not making eye contact anymore and if they listened hard enough they could hear her mental mantra of "Shut it. Shuuuttt. It. Oh, I freaking hate you. Someone save me."


How about the mom who always finds a way to jam one her kid's "hilarious" anecdotes into the conversation? "Madison said the cutest thing yesterday! We were out at blah, blah, blah,......blah.....blah.....blah, blah...and she called him a poopy-head! Har-har-har! And then a few weeks ago she said..."

And what is up with the women who are dying to share their Birth Story over chips and salsa at a party? Ummm...I'm not TLC, and frankly, I don't care. I went through labor, too, remember? That kid running around didn't spring from my forehead--my vajayjay is just as beat to crap as yours, Wonder Woman.

I know new moms deserve some extra special attention, and they have to talk about it. Labor post-traumatic stress is only cured by spilling all the gory details to your friends. I get that. I listen. I care. I encourage the new mom to bore (and horrify) me. But if the kid is tottering around the room, it's time to move on. Find a new topic of conversation. Get a hobby. Or at least squeeze out another one and get a new birth story to share.

The moral of the story is: YOU are the only person who is absolutely fascinated by your kid. (Remember that. Repeat it to yourself like a mantra next time you're out in public.) One or two funny/scary/weird/stupid stories starring Precious and that's it. You max out everyone's annoyance limit, and someone will punch you in the face.

Eventually.

And it might just be me.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

10 Years without Granny

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10 years ago today, my family lost it's heart and soul. My grandma passed away quietly in her sleep, which is quite a feat if you knew granny. She never did anything too quietly. She was large, loud and full of life. She was the perfect matriarch for our large, loud, full of life family.

I always felt throughout my life that her and I had a certain special "connection"; a bond that surpassed anything in this life. I often wondered if I was supposed to be her daughter.....but for some reason that didn't happen, and the Lord, in His divine wisdom, found a way for us to be connected in this life anyway.

The day she passed away, I wrote a letter to her in my journal.....and although that was 10 yrs ago, it still rings true to this day. So I thought I would share that journal entry with you.

~*~*~

Dear Grandma;

My dad phoned me this morning to tell me that you had passed away last night. I have to tell you that this completely shocked Ross and I. We never thought that you would be going this quick. There were so many things I should've said to you that I never did.

You were my most favorite woman on earth. I know that I have told you I love you a million times, but I really don't think either of us knew how much. There are so many things that I learned from you. You taught me that no matter how tough you life seems, you always have something to live for. Watching you and grandpa showed me how to be a devoted and loyal wife. (please don't take this to mean I value my own mother any less....because it isn't like that) Your love for your grandchildren and great grandchildren is unsurpassable.

I wish you would have stayed around long enough to give me your potato salad recipe. I don't think I will be able to ever eat potato salad again. And now when I come to Mayberry, (not really the name of my home town) who am I going to go for a Coke and chocolate bar with. And I'm not even sure I'll come to Mayberry for Canada Day or Christmas anymore. I just don't things will be the same, and I'm not sure I'll like that too much.

And my poor little Andrew...what is he going to do without his "Neff"? He always points you out in his scrapbook. I'm scared about taking him to your house tomorrow, for fear that he'll go looking for you. And grandpa.....I really don't think he'll survive well without you. He actually broke down on the phone this morning.

I hope that you are happy where you are now. I know that you are safe and at peace; no more broken bones. And I'm sure that you are as beautiful now as you were on your wedding day. I'm glad to hear that your mother was there to take you home. And I'm hoping you can do me a favor, granny. Do you remember the baby that I lost in October? If his or her little spirit is up there, could you please look after them for me? I think they would appreciate having and "grandma".

Thanks for all the nights you let me sleep over. Thank you for always letting me know to come to you if I needed a place to "run away to".....even if I never took you up on it. I just hope that whatever Heavenly father took you home to do, that it was important. I'm sure that it is, but somehow that doesn't help me feel any better right now.

I love you grandma. Please stay the wonderful, beautiful woman that I have always known you to be. And check in on me once in a while. You're forever in my heart.

Love Forever,

Erin

~*~*~

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Salad Addiction

I haven't met very many 4 year old kids who love salad as much as Ryker. If he happens to come in the kitchen while we are eating and there is salad or lettuce on a sandwich he proceeds to help himself

Ryker: Ummm whacha got

Me: Salad

Ryker: Oh, I love salad...can I have some?

And then that's it...it's now his salad.

If you have a sandwich or salad garnish on your plate, he takes it...washing lettuce...he takes it and eats it plain...any type of lettuce, covered in any type of dressing with any type of toppings he will devour it.

Crazy kid.....now if only some of that would rub off on his brothers.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Happy Birthday, Momma!!



There once was a young and beautiful momma.




*Cough* No, not me. I'm talking about MY momma.




Now that I am a momma myself, I realize more and more the hard work and long hours she put in to raising us, usually without much praise or gratitude. The endless days and nights, always with a smile on her face.......well, most of the time. I realize now the love she really had for us, and the sacrifices she made in her own life for our happiness. I really appreciate everything she did for us growing up -- and for everything she is still doing.




I am so grateful that she is the mother I ended up with. I have learned so much from her. She has a strength and tenacity that admire so much. I'm not sure what else I can say about her that has not already been said.




Mom, as a girl, you were an amazing mother.....and now as a woman, you are truly my best friend. You've been a friend to laugh with, a shoulder to cry on, a sounding board and comfort. I feel very inept in expressing my love, admiration and respect for you, because my words just can't convey exactly how I feel. While most kids get told, "I hope you have one just like you"....well, I hope I can BE a mother just like you.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY BEAUTIFUL, AWESOME MOTHER!!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Idol Results and stress over cold and flu season

So, the Idol results were somewhat shocking for me last night. I really thought Danny would have stayed over Kris....but I guess, what is Idol without a couple of twists and shocks. I did say from week one (when it was the top 24 that either Danny or Adam should win -- guess I still have a shot at being right). I tell you though, it brought a tear to my eye when they were doing the videos from back home and Kris and his dad were hugging in the driveway. It was really emotional.

OK, now who do I lodge a complaint about this freaking weather to? I am so tired of the warm, rainy, snow, warm, snow, rain.....and it is playing havok on my sinuses and my kids' immune systems. Poor Rand had to stay home from school today because he woke up just hacking his lungs out. He says his head, throat and stomache hurt. He has a fever, and has thrown up a couple of times. Ross called me at work to make sure there was no reason for him to HAVE to go to school today and explained to me what was going on. It was not the best news I could have recieved after just finding out from my supervisor at the hospital that we now have two patients who are confirmed to have the H1N1 Virus (swine flu). And poor Rand......I really want to let him stay home tomorrow too since it is only a half day, but he has a Provincial exam that he can't miss.....so he's going to have to suffer through it. I feel so bad for him. So aside from soup, lots of fluids and freezies, he's just getting lots of hugs and free reign of the television.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Idol Chatter -- The Final Three

OK, so here we go. The final three. Not suprising that there are three men left. I said it from day one....a man was going to win this year. So, let's get on with it. The judges all picked the first song of the night for the contestants to sing.....and it's not suprising that Simon was the one that picked Adam's song. They've had it in the bag for him to win this thing for weeks. But I digress.....

First songs

1) Danny -- "Dance Little Sister": First of all, Paula, what an obscurely rediculous song choice. It's like she wants him to lose. I thought we already had disco week. She's a moron. Danny sang it REALLY well, but the song choice was horrid.

2) Kris -- "Apologize": I love that song, but he struggled when he tried to hit the high note. I liked him doing it from behind the piano, and the ending was really nice. It was pretty good overall, but the miss on the high notes kind of wrecked it for me.....Ha ha ha. I lived Simon's slam on Kara. If they wanted him out front with a guitar, they should have picked a song. "Apologize" is a piano ballad, not a guitar melody type song.

3) Adam -- "One": I thought the beginning where it was soft and haunting was beautiful. I was really enjoying it until he went all theatrical and Adam-esque during the bridge. It kind of killed the mood for me, but the end again was fantastic. So this is now two weeks in a row where I haven't really cared for his performances.

Second Songs:

1) Danny -- "You are so Beautiful": I thought the arrangement was fantastic, but it started out a little slow. It reminded me completely of R Kelly's "I believe I can fly" during the middle and ending part. But it was gorgeous. I loved it. Sadly, it's probably not going to be enough.

2) Kris -- "Heartless": So, yeah.....I really didn't care for this at all. I think it was way better than the robotic, synthesized version that Kanye does....but I still think it was terrible. Which is sad, because Kris is really starting to grow on me.

3) Adam -- "Cryin": Sigh, I think he was kind of flat, except when he was wailing. Which was really disappointing. He really needs to tone things down sometimes. Every song is the same with him.

OK, so.......this is really tough. I literally could be anyone's game. I know Emily will be shocked to hear this, but I kind of hope Adam goes home tonight. But, I'm worried for Danny. Neither of his songs was overly memorable. (Way to sabatoge him, Paula). What did you all think??

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day




See that picture of me and my momma? It's a couple of years old....taken a few Christmases ago, but it is one of my favorites of the two of us.


For those of you fortunate enough to know or have met my mom, you will know what an amazingly awesome woman she is.....and why I smile everytime someone tells me I remind them of her (more in attitude than looks, I'm sure). And for those of you that don't know her; well trust me, you're missing out.


You may also remember that I have written about the awesomeness that is my mother on other occassions.....namely here. But I truely do think she's the most wonderful person.....so I am going to write about her again (being as it's Mother's Day and all).


My mother is beautiful inside and out and there is a lot I admire about her. She has acquired the strength that my grandmother possessed and I believe that has allowed her to make it to where she is today. And my grandmother left pretty big shoes to fill. But mom has embodied every great quality that I admired in her mother, and for that I am happy.

She is an amazing athelete and coach, a leader in her community, church and family. She has a fun sense of style in her home and takes after her dad in the pride she has in her yard. She works tirelessly and selflessly in everything she is called or asked to do. I have learned to be giving and compassionate because of her, and I attribute my work ethic to her example.


I love how she is a great listener -- that is such a good quality to have because most times we all just want to be heard and understood when we have struggles or good news to share. Her love for her family is overwhelming, and her strenght is an inspiration.

She is an amazingly patient, tolerant and loving grandmother to 5 extremely rowdy and rambunctions boys. Her love for them and pride in them is undeniable. And just like her mother before her, she has this uncanny knack for making each one of them feel like her favorite.
I consider myself lucky and very blessed to be born to such an amazingly wonderful mother.


(Mom and me as a baby)












(My high school grad)













(Lucky grandma and her brood of boys)











(Holding her first grandchild -- and my dad too ha ha ha)


(With Ryker at Six Flags)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

May Day!! May Day!!

(First of all here are my thoughts on last nights American Idol results show. Paula Abdul.....please stop singing.....stop singing now. You are an embarrassment. Geez!! Even with a synthesized microphone you sounded like crap. However, I totally fell in love with Chris Daughtery all over again. That man is awesome. Stunned to see Allison get the boot before Kris, but I did say at the beginning of the season that the men were stronger and it was going to be a guy to win it all.....so I guess I was right)


Where is the time going?

It's MAY already??

It's May seventh for pete's sake!

By the way, who is this Pete guy?

Didn't I just say Happy New Year and propose my list of inaccomplishable (new word, look it up) resolutions!?

We're really almost half way through '09.

Holy smokes.

Randall just mentioned there were only 34 school days left.WHAT!? Summer vacation already!*Whine*Cry*Sob*

This all means that...

-end of the school year gifts

-band concert

-yearbooks

-Open House

-report cards

-summer clothes shopping

-end of the year party

-summer camps sign ups

-me in a bathing suit *hold on while I get a paper bag to breathe into*

It also means my oldest will be heading to SEVENTH grade.

My youngest will be going in to Kindergarten

HOLY CRAP!!

Time, could ya slow down, just a tad?!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Idol Chatter -- The Final Four

So, I have high hopes tonight where Adam and Allison are concerned. But before I get to the contestants, I have two things to say. Does Seacrest look a little too tanned to anyone else? I think he does the fake and bake thing. And why is Kara dressed like an 80's reject? She looks kind of rediculous.

Anyway, I digress.

1) Adam -- "Whole Lotta Love": Holy fan-freakin-tastic. I loved it. You could totally tell that adam was comfortable and completely in his element. He killed it tonight -- absolutely amazing.

2) Allison -- "Crybaby": I totally disagree with the judges. I think this was an amazing performance. Not many people can pull of Joplin, but I think she nailed it.

First Duet -- "Renegade": I loved the harmonies in this one. It was fabulous; but I do agree with Simon that Danny was the stronger vocalist.

3) Kris -- "Come Together": I thought it was a fantastic "Kris" number, but not sure if it was enough to keep him in it. I really enjoyed it, but compared to the others tonight, I think it may end up being forgettable.

4) Danny -- "Dream On": I was really impressed considering he's not a rocker. I didn't fall out of my chair in amazement, but I really enjoyed it, and the end note was phenomenal.

Second Duet -- "Slow Ride": That was a lot of fun to watch. I liked the other number better overall, but still really enjoyed this.

So at the end of it all, I think it should be Kris going home. But you have to remember that it is usally the "Final Four" night that has a big twist or shocking vote off.....so be prepared for Allison to go too. (But it will make me sad if she does)

Happy Birthday, Randall


So today is my Randall's birthday. My sweet, stubborn, passionate, infuriating, lovable, challenging blessing of a son. The child is a paradox, but I love him madly. He's my environmentalist, my animal lover, my daredevil, and always his momma's boy. Happy 9th birthday, sweet boy.


Friday, May 1, 2009

Just a little rant

I just finished watching an OLD rerun of this show on E! called Filthy Rich: Cattle Drive about a bunch of offspring of rich people learning how to drive cattle 100 miles. Most of these people were complaining off the bat. This one girl was upset because she couldn't get on her horse so the rancher told her not to wear Gucci jeans. She looked insulted and went, "No one wears Gucci jeans anymore."

I don't get Hollywood. I don't get name brand clothing. Sure it's nice, don't get me wrong. But the price is ridiculous. I don't understand those big ugly glasses that are in style either--you know the kind that covers up most of your face. They look like old lady glasses but some Hollywood schmuck started it and everyone else scrambled to get a pair. Because it's in style.

I just wear what I want. I wear clothes that I like. I could give a rat's ass if it were in style. If it's comfortable to me, then I like it. Sure I've had some people say, "Um those jeans are so not in right now," but for the love of muffins, who cares? And I don't get this ripped up jean/skirt fad either. Why would I buy a pair of jeans that are ripped? Seriously. Who decided THAT was in style?

I swear, if I ever make it to Hollywood I'm showing up in a dress bought at Dillards. Seriously. The press always asks what you're wearing right? And most movie stars will say,"I'm wearing Vera Wang," or "I'm wearing Christian Dior." Just once I want someone to say, "I'm wearing a dress I bought at Dillards." Mark my words, I will do it.