Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Phone call

I got a phone call from Emma this evening and she says, "Hi Mom, my friend Emily pinched my ear and told me that's how it hurt when she got her ear pierced and it didn't hurt me, so can I get my ears pierced?" NOT! She didn't like the fact that I said no. She continued to beg and beg and I told her that she would not be getting her ears pierced, ESPECIALLY when I'm not there! She didn't let up until Scott finally took the phone away from her. I'm sure bedtime was quite pleasant tonight!

Not much going on here in Iowa. Dad and I took Mom to Mt. Ayr today to have some blood drawn. They are going to go over the results with us when we go to her appointment in Des Moines tomorrow morning at 9:45. We will know then, as to whether or not her kidneys are functioning like they should be and if she can go ahead with the carotid endaterectomy. She is recovering quite well from the stents being placed last Thursday and Dad says it was a complete success since he doesn't have ice cold feet on his back in bed at night. I'm hoping the carotid surgery will be just as successful.

The weather here is just a bit chilly and windy, although it's nothing like back home in Bismarck. I'm hoping all of that snow will be gone by the time I get home this weekend! Wishful thinking, I know.

Scott and the kids seem to be doing great. I have never been away from the kids for this long and it feels a bit weird. I am missing them and wondering what they are doing, but I will admit it has been a nice little break. I always think it's a good thing for Dad to be full-time every once in awhile so he is reminded about how tough the job can be.

I suppose I should get to bed. Dad's 6:30am wake up call is going to come way too soon! Good night all!

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Well, I made it to Iowa on Thursday morning safe and sound. The taxi came to pick me up at 3:15 so I could be sure to get on my 4:45am flight. Other than having to de-ice in Bismarck and again in Mpls/St.Paul, it was an uneventful trip. I was glad to see my sister, Kysa, waiting for me in the airport.
Mom was hooked up to her IV when I arrived at the hospital, getting hydrated before the surgery. She made it through the surgery very well. It was; however, a complicated procedure. The doctor had to call in reinforcements as he discovered that she was 100% blocked in both of her femoral arteries. She is now sporting 3 new iliac stents and they weren't even able to do what they were set out to do in the first place, however, they are thinking that with these blockages cleared, the other won't be necessary. She recovered very well from the surgery and we were able to go home Thursday afternoon, as planned. Due to the excessive amount of contrast that they had to use during the complicated procedure, they are concerned about renal function, so her next surgery on her carotid arteries is pending. She will have bloodwork on Tuesday and then we will go to Des Moines on Wednesday to see the surgeon and will then find out for sure if her kidneys are doing well enough for the surgery on Thursday. I am supposed to fly back to Bismarck on Saturday, so I'm hoping that everything goes as planned.
It snowed here on Friday (I think that's what day it was?) so I wasn't able to escape the snowy weather. However, I learned that Bismarck is expecting another blizzard and saw on Scott's Facebook page that he has already cleared 5 inches of wet snow from the driveway with plans to clear at least that much, or more, again tomorrow morning. I don't think spring is ever going to arrive.
My sister, Kim, and her husband, J.L., were here for the weekend so it was nice seeing them. I hadn't seen her since a year ago this past Christmas, so I was glad that I was able to see her this weekend. Everyone was here except for Scott and the kids, and I certainly did (and do) miss them. I know Gage and Emma would have had lots of fun playing with Colton.
Speaking of Scott, Gage and Emma............they seem to be doing great. I don't think they are going to want me to come back home with as much fun as they have been having with Dad. Emma even got to have her friend, IsaBelle, spend the night last night. They have had quite a busy weekend and will probably need to rest at school this week. I mentioned to Emma on the phone that she probably wouldn't want me to come home and she said, "WHY?" in quite a shocked voice. When I told her why I thought that, she reassured me that she DID want me to come back home.
I just wanted to be sure and let everyone know what was going on as most of you may not have Facebook, where a lot of the dialogue has been happening lately.
I'm hoping you all have a great week and praying that everything goes well here with Mom.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sleep fast

I need to get to bed so I can sleep fast. I have a taxi coming to get me at 3:15 to take me to the airport for my 4:45am flight. They wanted to make sure they could get me there on time with all of the water and closed roads in south Bismarck, so they said they would pick me up at 3:15 instead of the 3:45 we requested. Oh well. I'm glad they are planning ahead.

I'm thinking of you Mom and remember I love you with all my heart and soul! I'll see ya in the morning!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Blizzard #3

We had some major winter weather here today! We woke up this morning and couldn't even see out our front windows because of all the snow stuck to them and that side of the house. We had quite a bit of drifting out front which was a great way to start our walk to school! The kids were definitely in gripe mode. They are going to have some great stories to tell their kids and grandkids some day!

I had to run down to the Girl Scout office today to turn in a paper and get some more cookies. It's amazing to me how nice those ladies are to me now. Last week I filled out a "confidential" survey via email and ever since then, they have been so nice to me it's almost pathetic! I have a really hard time believing that email was confidential. I was blatantly honest and gave them poor reviews and commented that they are always rude. Someone must have said something. I am not complaining, and if I had known this would change things so dramatically, I would have done something long ago!

Thankfully Scott was able to run the errands with me over lunch in his 4x4. I'm quite sure I would have gotten stuck somewhere in all this snow. After we got home, I had about an hour before my appointment to get my hair cut and there was no way I was going to miss that! Amazingly enough I got the car out of the driveway without getting stuck and made it to get my hair cut. The lady cutting my hair was the only one in the place and she wondered if I was going to make it. I told her the only people out in this weather were either stupid, or desperate for a hair cut! :-) She was going to shut the shop down after I left and go home. When I got back home, that's when I ended up getting the car stuck in the driveway. I didn't care because I didn't need to get anywhere except to pick up the kids and I could walk for that. I just left it there, blocking the sidewalk, for Scott to dig out. I thought it must be his turn, since I had to the last time!

There is major flooding going on in south Bismarck, along the river. I feel bad for those people, but it makes me wonder why in the heck they would build a big fancy house along the flood plain? That's not the smartest thing to do. Thankfully we are okay right now and don't have any water in the basement (I'm knocking on wood). I did get some of my scrapbook stuff up off the floor in case we do happen to get some. We should be okay for a few more days anyway because we're going to have some cold weather that will stop the melting for a bit. Hopefully I can keep Scott on the lookout after I leave Thursday morning for Iowa. What kind of weather are you guys having back home, so I know what kind of clothes to pack?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Last game

Tonight was our last volleyball game of the season. We won 2 out of 3 matches, but the referee made the other team forfeit the second game because one of their players got hurt and took up too much time laying out on the floor. She rolled her ankle and it did look quite painful, but I think there was a little more drama there than necessary. Although, maybe that's how a normal person acts? Usually when something like that happens to me, I hop up and pretend I am okay and then when I am in the privacy of my own home, I cry. They wheeled a cafeteria table into the gym to haul her out to the door so they could get her to her car. I know one thing for sure, I would have felt really bad if they had wheeled a big cafeteria table in to haul my ass out! I'm quite sure I would have hopped out before that happened. I hope the gal is okay though. She was outside when I got to the school and she couldn't find the door to get into the gym. She said she was a sub and this must have been her first night to play? I'm sure she's wishing I had never shown her where to get into the school right now.

We are getting tons of rain. We certainly don't need it right now either. It was starting to turn into ice on our way home from Gage's basketball practice around 5p. That kind of let up and now it's back to just cold rain. There was a big ice jam in the river that is causing some flooding. I just pray we don't get any water in our basement. This nasty weather is supposed to turn into a blizzard tonight, and I'm hoping the weatherman is wrong. We certainly don't need any more moisture right now.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

To-do list

My to-do list is getting longer and longer. I have a busy week ahead getting ready for my trip to Iowa to be there when Mom has her surgeries.

I think if Scott had to make to-do lists like this when he went out of town, he wouldn't go very often.

Scott's parents left today. They are calling for a blizzard here, so they were anxious to get the heck out of Dodge. North Dakota weather is very unpredictable no matter what time of year it is.

I'm not quite sure what is wrong with me lately, as to why I can't come up with anything to blog about? I'll try real hard tomorrow to come up with something. Maybe it has something to do with everyone being on Facebook and I get caught up in that?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

It's been awhile

It's been awhile since I've missed posting on my blog. Sorry about that. Mom is probably the only one who noticed anyway! :-) The kids got to bed super late last night. Gage had 2 birthday parties to attend, one was right after school until 5:30 and the next one started at 5:30 and went until 8:30. He got home late and then he wanted to stay up to play a game of chess with Scott's Dad, since they are here this weekend.

Emma was very excited about attending her Daisy Tea Party today for Girl Scouts. All but one of the girls in our troop was there and they were all grouped together to go around to the different stations, so I think they all had a pretty good time since they knew everyone in their group. Their last station was cookie decorating and that's always a big hit with Emma. She had so many sprinkles on her cookie it wasn't even funny. She certainly could have had a sugar overdose with just one cookie!

Scott and his Dad have been working on projects most of the day. They did a few repairs on our garage door, but I think it's on its last leg and this will just buy us a little more time before we have to install a new one. We've been having troubles with it all winter and if it's really cold out the stupid thing won't close unless you go inside the garage and hold that button down until it gets all the way down to the floor. They shortened the cupboard above our refrigerator because some friends of ours are getting rid of their old one (which is better than our current one) and getting new, so we are going to buy it and put it in our kitchen and take our current one to Tuttle. Their fridge is bigger than ours so we needed to shorten the cupboard above it to make it fit. Usually a visit here isn't much of a vacation for Scott's Dad because we always put him to work.

Not much else going on here.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Not much going on here

I was glad to find out this morning when I got out of bed that all of my limbs are working like they are supposed to! Apparently I didn't break anything, so that is good.

Our days have been so boring I don't know what to write about. All we did after school today was deliver a few GS cookies. I'm down to 100 boxes on my living room floor! WOO HOO! :-)

We're supposed to have some warmer weather tomorrow. In the 50's. Gage's class is taking a Field Trip tomorrow to an Ice Show and I volunteered to be a driver, so I am excited to get to go as well. I love watching people ice skate. I wish I could. I'm quite sure I WOULD break something if I were to attempt that!

I learned today that my Mom is going to have 2 surgeries now instead of the 1 carotid endarterectomy. She has a very faint pulse in one of her feet and they want to place a stent in her femoral artery before they do the surgery on her carotid artery. The first surgery is next Thursday and the other one will be on the following Tuesday. When Scott gets home tomorrow we will be booking a flight to Iowa as I will be using one of Scott's free frequent flyer tickets. I guess that's one advantage to his frequent business trips! I'll let you know when I get my itinerary figured out Mom and Dad.

I worked in the library this afternoon. I was at Corpus Christi with the Kindergarteners today. It went quite well and I was happy about that. We are now splitting each class into 2 groups, 1 group listens to a story while the other checks out books, then after 15 minutes we switch. That way we only have half the kids in the library at once and with it being so small, that is a great way to cut down on the number of kids in the library. I noticed it also doesn't get quite as hot in there without all those bodies in there at once too and I like that!

Emma's hair fixing session went okay this morning. The curls were cute but they were gone when I saw her at library time. I knew they would be. I'm not very good at fixing hair with a curling iron. I suppose because I never curl mine. I told her this morning when she was starting to get tired of standing, "It's hard work being beautiful isn't it?" She replies, "Yes, it is!" :-) She's so funny sometimes.

That's about all I can think of. Pretty boring around here lately.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Nursing Home bait

I think I'm close to being nursing home bait. I fell again today. It was very graceful, let me tell you. I went out back to empty my scrub bucket (believe it or not I actually got into a cleaning mood today) and as I was attempting to see if I could stand on the ice that is 2 inches thick (at least) that is on the patio, my foot went through and I slipped and fell right on my hip (a.k.a. ass) Of course my first instinct is to look around and see if anyone was watching. I'm not sure why I did that because the only person that could have seen it was my neighbor, Dave, and he was at work. Although I'm sure he would have gotten quite a good laugh out of that. Mostly I was not very happy because not only did my foot break through the ice, but both of my feet (and my slippers) were completely submerged in ICE WATER! Not to mention the cuffs of my sweatpants that were sopping wet. AARGH! I guess I'm glad it happened out back, rather than out front, as I'm sure several neighbors would have witnessed the event then. I'm starting to think I need to drink more milk, so I don't fracture my hip! Thankfully I have enough padding there that I'm probably pretty safe.

Emma asked me if I could set her alarm clock so she could get up early tomorrow morning. She asked me if I could curl her hair before school. I told her I probably could, but that she would have to get up and get ready much earlier and quicker than usual. She decided against me setting the alarm clock and she just wants me to get her up myself. I'm guessing I should probably get to bed before it gets too late so we don't end up in a big fight about her hair again! (Oh, by the way, she decided and admitted that it probably would have been a better idea to wear her hair the way I first had it for her school pictures after we got the proofs back today.) When is she going to learn that Mom is always right? LOL! I'm not sure I have learned that yet!

Speaking of Mom.......................I'm thinking about you and will be anxious to hear how your appointment goes tomorrow. I will be working at school from 12-3p so I will call when I get home if I don't hear from you before I go. I gave Kerri Gray your email and phone number because she said Patti would love to get in touch with you again. Love ya!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Girl Scout cookies are here!

I volunteered in the library for a couple of hours this morning and when I got home I noticed Kara mentioned on Facebook that she was sorting Girl Scout cookies, so called to see if she needed help. I ran out and helped (although she pretty much had it all done!) and drove back home with a van packed full of Girl Scout cookies! Thankfully we had our meeting tonight and was able to get rid of all the boxes that weren't ours. We have sampled the Caramel DeLites and the Lemonades and they are pretty darned good. We got some of each kind so Emma can really give her opinion next year as to which ones are the best. :-)

After supper we went out to a few neighbors houses to deliver their cookies and it is just TOO TEMPTING for Emma with all of the water puddles around, not to jump in them! I finally convinced her to wade through them without sloshing water all over since she had already had her bath for the night! I'm sure she'll be out there sloshing in them tomorrow though. I'm not sure where all of this melting snow and water are going to go, and I'm praying it isn't into our basement. There are already some basements in Bismarck with water in them and we have only just begun the melting stage. Of course I did just move all of my scrapbook stuff down to the basement a couple of months ago, so I'm going to have to take time out to make sure I have it all out of harms way if we do get some water in the basement.

Other than having 200 boxes of GS cookies in our living room, not much else is happening in the Stephens' house. I did have a little bit of crankiness going on this evening since the kids got to bed late last night. They watched part of American Idol with me tonight so hopefully they weren't up too late to continue with the crankies tomorrow!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Spring Break is O-V-E-R!

We actually had a nice, quiet spring break. The weather was 50 here today, so it was feeling much more like spring than last week! The big worry now is all the snow melting causing the Red River valley to flood. I heard them mention on the news last night about hauling snow to Canada!?!! Scott and I looked at each other and said, "WHAT?" How stupid is that? I've never heard of such a thing. It will melt there too! LOL!

We had a busy afternoon. Gage had basketball practice, then we had a pack meeting and after that I had a volleyball game. I was feeling very guilty about going to the volleyball game since it started around 8pm! I felt like I had to go because we were tied for 3rd place in the standings and the team we were playing was in last place and I just didn't want to not be there if we lost and feel like it was my fault. It didn't matter though, because I was there and we still lost 2 out of 3 matches. Darn! I think I bruised both heels of my hands when I dove for a ball because my hands hurt. Hopefully next week will be a better week! Oh, tonight after we got home from volleyball Gage was asking me if we won or not and I told him we lost 2 of 3 matches. Then he says, "Mom, I think you were the oldest one out there playing. Or at least you looked like the oldest." THANKS GAGE! I know there were at least 2 gals older than me out there! It's hard for me to believe that I'm one of the older ones. I certainly don't feel like one of the older ones, and that's what counts, right?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Check this out

My sisters, Jari Jo and Kysa, have been Facebook junkies the past few days. They are finding people from our past and somehow came across this picture on someone's Facebook page.

I am the first person in the second row. Yes, the tall one in the dorky hat! LOL! I'm not sure how old I was when this Pee Wee Softball picture was taken, but I'm guessing around 2nd or 3rd grade. We moved from Moorhead, Iowa to Clearfield (where my parents live now) at the end of my 5th grade year, so I know this had to be a couple years earlier than that. Who would have known, from looking back that that photo, that I would turn out halfway normal! LOL!

I remember these good 'ol days. Softball was about the only sport available for us to play at this age, that I remember anyway. If there were others, I probably didn't care about them because I enjoyed softball the most. I still enjoy it, along with volleyball.

Gage had a birthday party to go to this afternoon and Emma was fit to be tied about it. She wanted to go so bad it hurt me to see her so sad. Scott ended up just taking Gage by himself so we didn't have a huge scene at the hotel swimming pool. The pool was the big reason she was upset. She didn't care that she went to 3 birthday parties last weekend, one being a sleepover, she said this one was the bestest because it was a swimming party. We had a rough morning getting ready for church. She said the outfit she had to wear made her look like a jerk. I guess I don't know what a jerk looks like? I thought she looked very cute. I should have taken her picture in it, because I'm sure I'll probably never get it on her again!

Scott leaves tomorrow for a business trip to D.C. He will be gone all week, until around noon on Friday, so it is going to be a LONG one! The kids have their last day of spring break tomorrow, so at least they will be in school the rest of the week to give me a little break. We are supposed to have some warmer weather all week, with a few possible days of rain or snow, so maybe we can get outside and burn off some of this energy that has been building up all winter long.

Thursday is the day my Mom and Dad meet with the vascular surgeon to see when her surgery, carotid endarterectomy, will be scheduled since she passed the cardiac stress test this past Tuesday. Keep me posted Mom and Dad, about what's going on.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Up too late

We were up too late last night and the kids were definitely showing it today. Emma wants a hamster and Gage wants a rat terrier dog, like Friday in the movie Hotel for Dogs. I told them both they are sure welcome to have them as soon as they have their own homes! I'm so tired of taking care of animals and amphibians that there is no way in the world I will buy any more! They just don't get it.

Gage's basketball team did pretty good this morning. They made quite a few baskets, but because they don't keep score, I don't know how many points they had.

We finally got my car cleaned out. It was so terrible that I couldn't even stand being in it! It was almost as bad as the "Mom my Ride" van!

It's been pretty boring around here because I can't think of anything else to blog about.

Friday, March 13, 2009

First day of spring break

We had a pretty low-key sort of day today. We did take a little trip to Barnes & Noble and had some fun looking at books and buying too many of them! I have a weakness for books as many of you know and when Gage or Emma comes asking if they can have a book, it's hard to say no. I also found a new book out by John Grisham. He's one of my favorite authors and it seems like it has been a long time since he's had a new book out. It's called The Associate.

We got to eat supper at my favorite place, China Garden. I always order the same thing and so do the kids. I love having leftovers for lunch the next day. I'll have to make some macaroni and cheese so the kids won't want their leftover Chinese food! :-)

It was a nice day here today. Nice days = melting snow. I can't imagine how long it is going to take to melt all of this snow. I'll bet we still have some of these big drifts around in May.

Gage has been wanting to learn how to play chess. I have never learned how and have never really cared to. I guess it has always intimidated me. I didn't even know that Scott knows how to play chess until not too long ago. Gage has a DS game that has chess on it and he has been learning how to play. Today while we were at B & N they had a No Stress Chess game that Gage was wanting. You can play it 2 ways, like real chess and the no stress way. The no stress version has cards that you draw that tell you which chess piece to move and it shows you how those pieces move. After you play it awhile, you begin to memorize the moves each piece can make and eventually will get to where you can play the real game. I was amazed at how much of it Gage already understands! Of course when we were playing he didn't tell me of some of the rules until after I either lost a piece or he won. LOL! He was teaching Emma how to play and it was funny listening to them. He was quite astonished when Emma took his queen!

Gage has a basketball game in the morning at the YMCA. All of his games start at 8:30 so there will be no sleeping in on Saturdays for a few weeks. I did get to sleep in until 9 this morning though, so that was nice.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Spring break

Tomorrow starts our spring break with our first day off of school. There will be no school on Monday either, so we're hoping for a nice, long, 4-day weekend. It's looking like the weather is going to warm up a bit, so that will be nice. I am ready for some nice weather; however, I hate the mess that comes with it. It will be a prolonged mess this year since it will take forever for all of this snow to melt.

Apparently I didn't do so well in the American Idol contest that Warford Orthodontics is putting on. They posted the results for week 1 on their website. There are 3 people tied for 1st place and 5 people tied for 2nd place. I'm in the 2nd place bunch. However, there are only 13 people that voted this week. I may need to consult with some of you American Idol fans! First place wins an Apple iPod Touch and 2nd place wins an Apple iPod Shuffle. I already have an iPod Shuffle, so I would like to get the iPod Touch! :-)

We don't have any big Spring Break weekend plans. I'm so tired today that all I want to do is nothing. Maybe I'll have a little more energy in tomorrow. A girl can always dream, can't she?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

In case you didn't know..........

This is a note to my dear, loving husband.

Dearest Scott,

Perhaps you didn't know, despite being printed on our monthly water bill AND being talked about on the local news, that it is actually illegal to shovel your snow into the street. I understand that you aren't the one who takes care of paying the bills each month, so I will let the fact that you probably haven't read that slide. It is also possible that you were traveling the nights that they have mentioned this on the local news each winter for the past 6 years. I suppose it is also possible that you weren't listening the past 6 winters when I have possibly mentioned this little piece of information.

Don't get me wrong, I am quite grateful that you attempted to remove the snow from our driveway in the 45 minutes you had after getting home from work, eating supper and getting to the airport to catch your delayed flight to Minneapolis last night. While you were out there working up a sweat in the below-zero wind chills, I felt quite loved.

There is actually one more reason, that I am now aware of, why you shouldn't shovel your snow into the street at the end of your driveway, other than the fact that it is illegal. If you happen to be driving an FUV (family utility vehicle) instead of an SUV (sport utility vehicle), it is quite possible you might get stuck! I'm not sure what would have been easier. Shoveling the driveway myself, trying to heave the snow over the 5 foot (or perhaps even taller) snow drifts on either side of the driveway or shoveling the snow from beneath our FUV that is buried, in snow, at the end of the driveway? I wasn't feeling quite as loved this morning as I was yesterday evening. You might not have been feeling the love this morning either.

However, I don't want to worry you, because I actually was able to get our FUV removed from the pile of snow it was stuck in. Thankfully, on the one day (out of maybe a handful of days) that I decided to drive the kids to school, we were out the door early enough to have time for a little "fun in the snow". We were also early enough that we were able to flag down the neighbors so Gage could catch a ride to school with them in case our "frolic in the snow" might take too long. Unfortunately we broke the law a second time as there was only enough room for Gage to sit on the lap of his 9 year old buddy. I'm sure that was a fun, and memorable, ride to school. I do believe that Gage probably enjoyed that, perhaps even more than Erik did.

So, in case you didn't know that pushing the snow to the end of the driveway (a.k.a. in the street) was illegal, and bothersome to those who drive FUV's, now you do!

With much love,


Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I need to go to bed. Since the time change I have not been wanting to get out of bed in the morning. It's still fairly dark and it's great sleeping weather! So, I'm going to blog quickly.

First of all I LOVE MELATONIN! Man, it's like a miracle drug. Although it's not actually a "drug". I gave Emma her 1/4 tablet tonight and she was asleep 30 minutes later. She actually took the pill willingly tonight too. We talked about it this morning when we were eating breakfast. I wanted to know how she felt. She said she felt awake and not tired feeling. It seriously is a miracle that Emma is going to sleep so easily. Unfortunately we still had a little battle this morning over her hair because she had pictures at school today. She won. I did it like she wanted and told her if they turned out bad I just wouldn't buy them. After talking with Emily on the phone this morning, I decided that I would buy them and I will be sure to tell the story in her scrapbook! Hopefully it didn't look as bad during the pictures as it did when she got home after school. Her hair is just so slow growing and her bangs are not long enough yet to stay in her ponytail. That's how she always wants to wear it now, then we use barrettes to keep the sides up. The barrettes slide out of place and are often just hanging by a few hairs when she gets home and I just didn't think that would be the best hairdo for pictures. However, I just thought about it being the class photo day as well, so if she has bad hair, all of her classmates will enjoy the picture as well! :-)

When it comes to contests, I am in! I don't know why, but a contest can motivate me like nothing else. I needed to get into the Biggest Loser weight loss challenge at school but I didn't rank high enough on the totem pole to get asked to enter. Warford Orthodontics is having an American Idol contest. I enjoy watching American Idol, but sometimes I forget it's on because we don't watch too many things on Fox. I didn't forget it was on tonight though because I am all over the contest. :-) The winner gets an iPod touch. Tonight we had to vote on 1) who we think is going to win the contest 2) the 4 idols we think will be in the top 4 3) the 6 idols we think will be in the Top 6 4) the idol(s) we think will get voted off and 5) the 3 idols we think will be in the bottom 3. They will be doing this every week until the show is over and whoever has the most points at the end wins. I just emailed my choices and I hope I earn a lot of points tonight. As I said, it only takes a little competition to get me motivated. Thanks for your help Kysa! I'll share the iPod touch with you when we visit! :-)

We got 3.75 inches of snow. Thankfully I got Scott to shovel it before he left on his overnight trip to Minneapolis. His flight was delayed quite a bit and he didn't get there until just a little while ago. The interstate has been closed from Jamestown to Fargo and there have been many other roads closed within that area. We didn't get hit quite as bad as they did. Gage was THRILLED to death when we were on our way out of the school and it just dawned on me that I had driven to school this morning. We all enjoyed our ride home in the blowing snow with negative temps!

I haven't heard from Mom, Dad or Jari Jo yet as to whether her test went okay or not. Jari Jo forgot her cell phone and I don't think Mom's was on? I called tonight to see if they were home, but I'm guessing they stopped off for more pie at Perkins and a pit stop at the casino. At least that's what I'm praying they did!! If they did that, it means Mom must not have been feeling too bad. Give me the update Jari or Mom, whoever reads this first! Love you all!

Sorry. The post wasn't as quick as I thought it would be!

Monday, March 9, 2009


Today has not been one of my most graceful days. This morning after the kids were at school and before I had to go to work, I was going down to the basement to put a load of clothes in the dryer. On my way down, I took a tumble. It was dark and I thought I was at the bottom, but I had one more step to go. Oh man did that hurt! Thankfully I landed on my knees instead of my face, but it was close. I totally jarred my neck and my back and have been quite sore this evening. I was most upset about burning the knee of my pants. Apparently there was quite a bit of friction between my knee and the concrete floor! Thankfully there is no hole because it's one of my favorite pair of pants. Maybe I can take a black sharpie marker and color it back to black instead of the brownish-gray color it is. I have certainly not been known for my grace! It carried on through until tonight while we were playing volleyball. Thankfully we won 2 out of 3 matches, but it wasn't because of anything I did, that's for sure!

Gage had basketball practice after school and then we had our last gymnastics class of the session. I decided not to sign neither Gage or Emma up for the next session of gymnastics. I have Emma signed up for spring soccer and I'm sure the 2 would end up overlapping, like basketball and gymnastics have for the last 3 weeks. She isn't very happy with me because she really likes it. She said to me, "But Mom, I want to get good at it like those big girls!" I did feel bad, but I think we'll be okay waiting until the fall sessions to start back up.

Tonight after supper, I could tell it was going to be "one of those nights". Emma was being a little obstinate and I just knew she was never going to go to sleep. I have been asking Scott to read about melatonin use in children for a couple of days without much luck. I decided that I would split the 3mg tablet into fourths. Scott was confident that wouldn't do anything and she was being a booger about taking the medicine. She said she would take it if I took some. Well, knowing I had volleyball tonight, I knew I better not. Since Scott was so confident that a fourth of a pill wasn't going to do anything, he took one so she would. We put the kids in bed and I read to Gage while Scott read to Emma. When I came out of Gage's room and peeked into Emma's, it looked to me like she was having a hard time keeping her eyes open while Scott was reading. She was out like a light within about 20 minutes after taking the quarter of a pill. Okay, I've been worried about it and wondering if I should. However, it worked so well that I want to give this stuff a try. I'm going to link a few of the sites I've read for you to look at so you can give me your opinion. Click here and here and here and here and here. I'm sure you won't have enough time to read all of those, or maybe you could do your own seach about melatonin use in children and let me know what you find. I don't know why I feel like I'm doing something illegal because Emma's pediatrician suggested we try this and I trust her whole-heartedly. I'd just like someone to do a little reading and give me your opinion. Scott read a little this evening after Emma went to sleep so easily, but he didn't specifically read about it's use in children. Maybe he did while I was at volleyball? Or, maybe the quarter of a pill he took to get Emma to take hers had him out like a light as well? Maybe I'll start slipping a little melatonin into everyone's supper? :-)

Tomorrow morning my Mom is scheduled for her cardiac stress test. Please know, Mom, that I am thinking about you and praying everything goes well. I know it will. I wish I could be there. Let me know how it goes. We'll be home after school and have no activities planned for the evening. We love you!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Spring forward

I have not been too springy today, that's for sure. That one hour of lost sleep feels like 8! I think I am going to make this short and see if I can make up for that lost hour tonight.

They are calling for 6-12 inches of snow here in the next 24-48 hours! As if we don't already have enough. I get to work in the library all this week, so am excited about that. Juanita is back but Jan is in Mexico with her hubby this week so I get to fill in! It's a short week with our spring break starting on Friday. We'll also have Monday off. What a spring break! They should postpone it until it actually feels like spring!

I did not give Emma the melatonin tonight. I was reading about it on several different web-sites and it appears to be controversial when given to kids who don't have neurological impairment, such as autism, or even ADHD. Has anyone ever heard about this controversial subject? If you have, I'd like to hear what you know about it. Apparently there haven't been any long term studies melatonin and normal kids. As I understand it, it shouldn't be given for long periods of time, just a few weeks to get them into a normal sleep/wake schedule. She was having problems getting to sleep tonight which makes me want to give it to her to see if it will help, but I don't want to give it to her if it's going to have any harmful effects. What's your opinion?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Winter Fun Day 2009

Gage had his basketball game this morning. His team won; however, they don't keep score. He has alot to learn about basketball. It just doesn't come natural for him. I enjoyed watching them all play though, it's pretty cute when they dribble a few times and then run with the ball.

After Gage's game we drove to Mandan to pick Emma up from her sleepover. Jen was pretty excited that she got Emma to sleep at 10:15p! LOL! That's still later than I would like, however it was WAY BETTER than 1:30a! She wasn't too terribly cranky today, so that was good.

After lunch we headed over to Hillside Park for the Cub Scout Winter Fun Day. It was pretty darned cold out. It was definitely too long to stand outside for 3 hours when it's 20 degrees. If I am going to participate in these type of events, I'm going to have to get some snowpants AND some warmer boots. The kids seemed to do well. They both have been outfitted in new winter gear within the past couple of weeks. We've been finding stuff on sale for the end of the season and thought we should buy them now instead of waiting until next fall when they are full price again. I had been searching the internet to find some snowpants to match Emma's coat and there are absolutely no brown or blue Columbia snowpants ANYWHERE! I ordered some snowpants from LLBean thinking they were close to the same color and it was totally off. I sent those back and found a couple of pair on LandsEnd.com. They will send you fabric swatches so that is a great way to check out the color without having to order something and then send it back if it doesn't match. Once I got the fabric swatch, they were no longer available on the web-site so I called them and they said it was very low availability, but I did get them in the size and color I wanted. They aren't an exact match, but they are closer than I am going to find anywhere else. After today, I see that the blue probably wasn't the best route to go colorwise. They are going to be hard to keep clean. Anyway, both kids stayed warm AND dry. Because their new snowpants fit right and could be tucked into their boots, their feet even stayed dry. Emma had to get some new boots too because she said that her old ones (Gage's hand-me-downs) were too tight on her feet when she wore thicker socks.

Gage and Emma showing some good teamwork! I couldn't believe how well they were getting along. I thought Gage was going to get pretty tired of her because she was sticking to him like glue. However, that wasn't the smartest thing to do because when they were numbering off the kids in a 1-2, 1-2 fashion, she always got a different number than Gage. She was a pretty good sport about it though and would go onto the other team.

Gage and Emma hopped on this sled to take a ride instead of pulling the other sled with all of the Scouts. It was supposed to be Scouts against parents. I can't blame them for wanting to ride instead of pull!

Hot chocolate is always a welcomed beverage when the temps are in the 20's!

Emma testing out the snowshoes. She did pretty well with them. I could have benefitted from a pair of snowshoes myself. The snow was knee-deep thoughout the entire park and everytime I tried walking I would break through the snow up to my knees! That's quite a workout!

Gage takes his turn with the snowshoes.

Emma taking a little break. You can already see those dirty knees! Oh well!

Snowshoeing is a little more difficult when you're trying to roll a tire in front of you! :-)

Our last event of the day was sledding. The kids just couldn't wait to do this and they were upset that they couldn't do it until last. I think part of the reason they wanted to do it so bad is because Gage's school teacher was running that station. Her older son is big in Scouts and I think she is a den leader? The older Boy Scouts were manning most of the stations along with their den leaders.

Walking back up is never as fun as sliding down! It was really getting cold at this point and I was begging the kids each time time to make that their last!

Gage is sliding along at a pretty fast pace! He nearly knocked the guy over at the bottom of the hill. They had spotters catching everyone before they came to the end of the hill so they wouldn't faceplant on the concrete path.

We had to stop at Starbucks on the way home to get warmed up with some coffee and hot cider. The kids were thrilled that they got to get something too!

I decided I didn't want to give Emma her melatonin tablet tonight until I have a chance to read more about it. I read to her, then read to Gage and when I went back into her room after reading to Gage, she was hiding a pen and her journal she had in bed with her. I took them away and she told me she can't sleep if she doesn't write. I told her I was going to lay with her until she fell asleep and she replied, "Well, I guess you're going to be in here a long time then!" Boy was she WRONG! She was out in 15 minutes after I said that. I'm sure she was exhausted from being up so late and then being outside all afternoon being active. I nearly fell asleep in bed with her. I suppose I should get myself to bed since we lose an hour of sleep tonight. I'm not going to want to get up for church tomorrow!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Is no news good news?

Emma had her 6-year-old well check at the doctor's office this afternoon, right after school. She was so excited about the 2 birthday parties she was going to this evening that she spoke right up to the receptionist and was telling her all about them. It was pretty funny. She doesn't usually do that with complete strangers.

The only thing I had listed as a concern with Emma is getting her to sleep. As I figured, the doctor thought that was quite ironic since she's always quoting me and my sleep book to other parents with kids and sleep problems. She asked if either Scott or I was a night owl and I had to confess that yes, I am. Apparently it's genetic and I get it from my Mom, who I can always count on being the first person to read my blog post since I typically do it before bed and she's still awake playing on her computer til weeeee hours of the morning. Anyway, the doctor recommended drugging Emma up. Yep, you heard right. However, she wasn't talking about your typical sleep aid medication. She suggested we try giving Emma some Melatonin, which is a hormone your body naturally produces to aid in sleep. Melatonin is a "darkness signaler" that tells the brain it needs to prepare for sleep. I'm guessing Emma has no melatonin in her body. LOL! I bought some at the store, and am going to read a little more about it before I start giving it to her. I didn't want to start tonight because she is at a sleepover and if she reacted badly to it, I didn't want her to be away from home. Speaking of sleepover, I'm hoping that no news is good news. I haven't heard a thing from Jen, the birthday girl's Mom, so I'm hoping that means Emma is asleep! I told her to call me if she needed anything and warned her of Emma's sleep issues. I'm hoping all is well! It will be a bit of a pain if I get a call to come get her in the middle of the night. Since Scott is out of town, that means I would have to wake Gage up to drive to Mandan to pick her up. Hopefully that won't happen. Let's keep our fingers crossed!

Emma had 2 parties to go to this evening. The first one was at Claire's Boutique. Thankfully she didn't come out with a pierced tongue or ears. However, she did come out with dark blue eye shadow and Gage said, "it's freaking me out!" It looked awful and if she were 13 or older, I would have made her wash it off before we left the store! She had orange streaks in her hair, (which she had to point out to me since I didn't even notice with her red hair) glitter in her hair and all over her face and she also had her fingernails painted. Emma had alot of fun at the party and it was funny when we walked up to the store front. She was standing in the windows blinking her eyes very dramatically showing us her eye shadow. All of the girls even got gift cards as part of the party and got to go shopping. You'll never guess what Emma bought! MORE MAKEUP! UGH! She has 3 new containers of glitter eye shadow and lip gloss. Just what we needed! It was easy to get her out of the store because she was anxious to get on to her next party. There are 7 girls spending the night and the only girl Emma knows is the birthday girl. I thought that might be an interesting mix. I'll be interested to hear how it went. Sometimes it's hard for girls to play with more than one friend at a time, and I'm guessing the birthday girl won't be giving Emma her full and undivided attention. Maybe Emma will come out with 6 new friends? Who knows? We'll be picking her up after Gage's basketball game which starts at 8:30am and we'll know whether our day is going to be painfully cranky or not.

I suppose I should get my butt to bed so I can deal with her crankiness a little better by not being cranky and tired myself!

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Today, on my day off, I tried to remove some clutter. Specifically Emma's clutter. Her room was a mess and I have been ignoring it too long. I think that may be part of the reason she has been wanting to sleep in the guest room for the past week, because her room is (was) so messy she can't (couldn't) even stand it. It took me 2 solid hours to declutter and reorganize her room. I had a grocery sack full of paper and candy wrappers and all sorts of garbage that she just leaves lying around her room or tucks into her purses and bags. I can't really blame her for not wanting to be in there, because I didn't either! What I don't understand is why she doesn't try a little harder to keep it picked up? Emma is the packrat queen and it's almost like a treasure hunt when I dig into her room because I never know what I'll find. Apparently all that work paid off because when she came home from school today she went down to her room with our neighbor-girl and she came back up and thanked me for cleaning her room. AND, she even wanted to sleep in there tonight! I am now convinced that it's the clutter that Emma dislikes, not her room. I wish I could get those organizer people off the HGTV channel to come to my house and help me get organized. I really am anal about that kind of thing, but I've been slacking in that department for quite some time. I guess I'm alot like Emma, in that I get overwhelmed and don't even know where to start. I suppose it's that time of year when the spring cleaning bug is going to hit and I want to be ready when it does!

Another thing I would like to gripe and complain about is this stupid digital t.v. stuff. UGH! It makes me so mad. We have this nice big television and half the time I choose to watch the fuzzy channels because it is always messing up and getting pixelated or whatever you call it. We have a new digital antenna that is this flat unit that can hang on the wall or sit on the television stand. Every channel we watch it has to be in a different place or it won't come in. Sometimes it is hanging on the hinge of the closet door, sometimes it is hanging on the door knob and sometimes it's sitting on the television stand. There really is no benefit to having a remote control because we have to get up to move the stupid antenna to a different spot each time we change the channel anyway. If anyone knows what we need to do to fix this problem, I would be happy to hear what you suggest. We won't be getting cable, but is there some sort of antenna we need to put on top of our house to get better reception?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


I got a call from my sister, Kysa, this evening with information about my Mom's doctor's appointment today. Kysa had received text messages from my other sister, Jari Jo, who went with Mom and Dad, about the appt. but all she could decipher is that they were at Perkins eating pie and were on their way to the casino. She also said there has to be a cardiac stress test done before the surgery. Hmmm. There was some missing information there that apparently you can't fit into a text message! LOL! I called Jari's cell phone and as I listened to the slot machines dinging in the background, she explained a little more about the appointment. Oh, and Mom and Dad had coconut cream pie while Jari had a Reese's smooth silk chocolate pie. My mouth is watering just thinking of it.

There isn't really too much to tell at this point. They want to perform a carotid endarterectomy to remove the blockage, which is around 80%. However, to do the surgery, Mom must pass a cardiac stress test which they want to do Tuesday. Did I get all of the information right guys? That's what I understand anyway. I tried calling tonight, but apparently the casino hadn't yet taken all of their money, because I had to talk to the answering machine.

The weather here was beautiful today. I hate beautiful days this time of year. It means yucky, mucky, slushy slop all over the place. It means wet, muddy, dog paws coming in from the outdoors. It means wet socks inside of wet boots. It means wet snow pants. It means MESS and I hate it. I would rather have it frozen for the entire season then one day it magically disappears. I don't know what Fairy Tale that would be in, but it sounds like one that I would like to come true!

I have Thursday and Friday off from the library. I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet, but I should clean the house. Friday after school is going to be a zoo as I have Emma's 6-year-old well check at the doctor's office, then Emma has a birthday party to go to from 4p-5:30p at Claire's Boutique. If that girl comes out of there with pierced ears, there will be TROUBLE! :-) Then she has another birthday party/sleep over that starts at 6p. I haven't yet talked to the mother about that, but before I commit to the sleepover part, I want to know what kind of effort will be made to get Emma to sleep. I can't have her up until 1:30 in the morning again, especially with the busy Saturday we have while Scott is out of town for the weekend. She has another birthday party to go to on Sunday evening. This little girl's social calendar is FULL! It wears me out just thinking about it.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


I'm on day 2 of a headache. It was in full swing at 3am but it's not terribly bad right at this minute, thankfully. Even the skin on my forehead is tender to touch. UGH!

I wanted to get on here to be sure and let you know, Mom, that I am thinking about you and my heart and prayers will be with you tomorrow at your doctor's appointment. Please know that I wish I could be there with you to act as the interpreter between you and the doctor. Thankfully Jari Jo will be there with you and will be able to help you understand what they are talking about. Please call me when you get home tomorrow evening to let me know what you found out. I will be thinking about you. Please remember that we all love you with all of our hearts and souls.

Monday, March 2, 2009


Emma received an invitation in the mail today for a birthday party/sleepover. UGH! Why do these people keep torturing me like this? Gage gets ticked off because no one has ever invited him over for a sleepover birthday party. This sleepover is Friday night and then she has another birthday party for Sunday evening. The only thing that may save me this time is that Emma is coming down with a cold. She started getting it a few days ago, but it's coming on pretty slow. She now has a nasty cough with it, so maybe she'll feel too terrible to go Friday night? I hate to wish an illness on her, but I also hate to send her on another sleepover where she won't actually "sleep"! The last one she went to she was up until 1am. These mothers are crazy for wanting to put up with so many 6 year olds overnight! Maybe I'm the only one who has problems getting my 6 year old to sleep?

I don't have much else to write about and I've had a bit of a headache all day today, so I think I'm going to call it a night.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Cross-Training Basketball Camp

As I mentioned yesterday, Gage attended a free Cross-training basketball camp at the YMCA yesterday morning.

Gage has never been interested in basketball and wasn't sure he wanted to play when some classmates of him asked if he would play on their team. He has never really cared for it because when he goes outside to shoot baskets he can never make any because our hoop is at regulation height and we can't adjust it because it is attached to our roof. I can't really blame him much, as it isn't any fun if you can NEVER make baskets.

Last Monday was his first basketball practice and he said he really liked it. The hoops are lower and he was able to make a few baskets. That, apparently, was quite encouraging. However, because he hasn't ever really been interested, it shows in his dribbling ability. YIKES! He was almost like the Bad News Bears of Basketball! Actually, he WAS the Bad News Bears of Basketball! However, I see him improving each time he tries and that is what is important, as well as having fun.

This is a Christian-based basketball camp put on by Bob Upgren. I didn't realize that was the same guy we had as a guest speaker at church a year or so ago, who did a chalk art drawing that was quite amazing.

All of the kids were divided into groups and went to the different stations to learn defensive moves and ball handling skills.

Gage must think he's playing baseball where we are always telling him "keep your eye on the ball!" I'll have to let him know that statement doesn't apply to basketball when you're dribbling down the court! :-)

Nice! I just noticed as I was trying to think of something to write with this picture that the kid closest to the camera has some issues with his butt! Too bad I don't know who it is, otherwise I would print out an extra copy of this photo for his parents. I'm sure they would be quite proud! LOL!