Friday, December 18, 2009

Forgot Vann"s

I am grateful for Vann's Thriftway for making really good food I can buy, put in my tupperware, and be complimented on for days.

Season for gratitude
What I am grateful for
by Marianne Hansen Rencher

I am grateful George Lucas made 6 Star Wars movies because that is all Seth will watch right now. He asks for "Bad Guys" and then shoots the tv screen when Darth Vadar comes on. He also shoots the screen when Dora and Elmo come on as well. It may be a theme.

I am thankful that we have a relationship with Santa who comes to our ice skating party, our trolley pary, and to our elementary school. Seth runs up to him and immediately sits on his lap. I am not grateful for the fact that Katherine asks for something different every time she sees him.

I am grateful for cheetos because my kids are quiet when they have them.

I am grateful for wet wipes for after the cheetos and for everything else that happens...

I am grateful for Lunchables that now come with water, a snack, a dessert and a main meal. I am especially grateful on Mon, Wed, and Fri when Katherine goes to school and must change a few times before her outfit is just right.

I am grateful that we are on first name basis with the owners of the new bakery. (Their kids see Kevin)

I am grateful we have enough money I can keep the car running when I run to get Kath from school or I run into the gas station when it is negative 22. I am also grateful that all the exhaust I am causing seems to be settling down in Utah and not in Montana.

I am grateful that it is above zero and my nose hairs are no longer frozen.

Finally, I am grateful for the Christmas season because I don't have to get 3 kids ready in the morning and I can ignore my children and read a book because we are ALL on vacation!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Doctor, doctor give me the news...

Ok. Summary. Drove to Missoula to see endocronologist. She took my blood to see if my prolactin level is getting higher, because the last time I took my meds was Thanksgiving. I guess the meds have a short shelf life so my itty bitty growth on my pituitary gland may have started growing back since Thanksgiving. If it has, there will be a high level of prolactin in my blood. If it comes back normal, I will not go back on the meds, but will "wait and see what happens" for the next three months or so. If no symptoms appear again then I just sort of hang out. She said that these tumors have been known to completely disappear or can come back after "awhile."

So what it comes down to is that if my blood levels are normal, I won't go back on the meds and then I will spend the rest of my life "waiting and seeing what happens." It may never grow back or it might grow back. There are no tests or MRI's to take unless I start to spontaneously lactate. That is the major symptom, people. I know, too much information. Just imagine how I feel. So if any of you reading this have not had any kids or it has been years since having kids and you just start lactating while, say, watching New Moon, you should go see your doctor. It isn't normal

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Firetower

Sunday, December 7
We get to church late and then spend an hour and a half trying to keep our kids quiet. James was amazing, but we were still handling two others. It didn't help that sacrament meeting - our first hour of church- went over by 20 minutes. Then Katherine went to class. Every LDS church in the United States used folding chairs, the same folding chairs. The adult chairs are a metal brown and the children's chairs are metal with a faux wood seat. We fold up the chairs after church. Katherine's teacher was teaching how to work together as a group. The teacher tried picking up the chair with one hand by the leg and couldn't and asked the class how she could pick up the chair with one hand. The answer was that everyone helps and they can together. Katherine said, "I'll show you how." She proceeded to fold the chair up and pick it up with one hand.
Then during the children's group meeting, she was asked what gift she could give to Jesus. She paused, thought for a minute, and said, "Well, I already do everything my mom asks me to, so I think I'll give him a kitten."

We get home from church and I have a message from the Festival of Trees that I have "won" something... I like how they tell you you won although you have to pay for whatever you bid on. Kevin and I have gone to the Festival every year for five years. If we bid on Saturday, we never win. People come on Sunday and always outbid. That is how it has worked for FIVE years. Some background info:

I wanted to give Katherine an American doll for Christmas this year. I have planned on it for a while and so I had the money for it. I know she is young for it but this isn't about her. It is about me wanting her to have it. Kevin was less than thrilled with the idea, but I had planned it and I bought it.

Every year at the Festival, a woman buys an American doll and then sews and knits five or six outfits for it. She quilts a baby blanket and a pillow. She puts it in a sleigh and it is gorgeous. This doll goes for $250-300 every year. It has never gone for under $250 for FIVE YEARS. I decided to bid on it. I thought how much it was all worth and I bid $150, knowing I would never get it because it has NEVER gone for under $250 in FIVE YEARS. I won. So now we have two dolls when Kevin wanted zero. I would have been in trouble except for what Kevin had done.

Kevin likes to bid on trees that have only one bid on them or trees our friends have made. He has done this every year and the only way we have ever gotten a tree is going back on Sunday right before the end of bidding. So Kevin bid on two Twilight trees as a joke, a flamingo tree because James liked it and then on a tree that had a model of the firetower built over it.

The firetower is a town landmark that was built after Helena burned down. They built this bell tower on a hill and people would watch for fires and ring the bell. I'm not sure why someone would build a miniature firetower over a tree and then they put a plastic train track and train around the whole thing. There is a lot of styrofoam and the tree is three feet tall and four feet wide and fits nowhere. Kevin won it. I apologize for anyone who made it but it is one of the ugliest trees ever. It isn't pretty or cute with little ornaments. It is really just a big wooden tower that takes up my whole kitchen table. I want to take the train off of it but then it would just be a tree under a firetower. He didn't bid much for it but he bid way more than it is worth. He should not have been shocked he won.

So I may have bid more on the doll, but it is a doll with clothes and shoes and a brush and ribbons and a necklace. It is usable. It is fun. Our daughter will love it. Kevin bought a model of a bell tower to warn us when there is a fire. Until we decide what to do with it, we cannot eat dinner at our table.

That was Sunday. How am I supposed to face Monday when that was our Sunday?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bad Idea

I may have done something stupid. Boggles the mind, doesn't it? A Kirby vacuum person called and said I could get a "free room shampooed" if I listened to how great a Kirby is. I own a Kirby. The vacuum repair place here sells them, but he takes old parts and builds new ones so instead of costing $2000, they cost $200. That 0 changes things.

So the representative called and I paused. I had to think things through. I had to weigh getting my carpet cleaned to listening to the spiel. Last time a Kirby person came by, she had a sweatshirt on and torn jeans and dirty nails and there was no way I was buying a cleaning product from her. What can I say? I'm a judgmental person who believes if you are selling a cleaning product, your person should be clean. We will see what happens and if they really shampoo it, or just vacuum it. I think the Kirby now has a shampoo attachment which would be nice but I'm planning on getting hardwood floors. I am entered into a drawing to win $1000 off a Kirby, but I think I will be telling them that until I get new floors, I see no reason to buy a new vacuum.

I think this may be a bad idea. If I have to figure out how to get the guy out of my house two days before he actually shows up, it may be worth paying for it next time. Maybe I can fake labor.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Stupid Toy

Here is a warning for those of you who are thinking about getting let's go Thomas! for your kids: The sound sensor does not turn off. I thought it was a really cool toy. It looks like Thomas is talking and it will follow you around. When you see it in the store, it will talk to you and the lips move and the cheeks light up. It occupied Seth around the store and I thought it would be a great Christmas present. I stuck it into the back of the van in a bag, under some stuff so Katherine wouldn't see and then headed to Home Depot. When we opened the door, I heard, "Let's go Thomas." When we shut the door, I heard, "Let's go Thomas." When we picked up katherine and she entered the car, I heard, "Let's go to Sodor." Whenever we went over a bump, we were either "going" with Thomas to Sodor or he was saying hello. No way to surprise anyone and katherine started to ask to play with Thomas although she couldn't see him. Then when we got home, she found him. I figured if I tried to hide him, every time we opened the closet, we would be invited to Sodor.
So we now have a Thomas toy 4 weeks before christmas. I found the off switch, by the way. You need to unscrew the train from the box first and then it is right there, next to the Try Me option. Sodor owes me $40.

BEST PURCHASE: wooden eggs. Seth is having a blast and we can actually eat eggs for breakfast now without tears.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Being Myself

Normally, I write about my deficiencies in the arts of homemaking and child rearing, but today I a going to praise myself. It was parent/teacher conferences last night and James wrote that he is good at being himself. How awesome is that? A lot of that is just him, but I am giving myself kudos for allowing it... I try to let him be who he is even though I am so scared for JR. High that I have thought of moving to get into a different school (k-8) to skip the whole jr. high thing. So while I have been sitting in a corner, rocking back and forth completely neurotic, it has not affected him.

I am not the mom who makes perfect cupcakes with sprinkles, but when I try, then end up looking like someone has taken a dump on a plate... I am not the type of mom to come up with fun activities and to play with my kids or teach them to read before they are in school. I am just an average person whose main goal is that her kids are fed, dressed (clean clothes are a plus), and who occasionally bathe. I haven't gotten the H1N1 vaccine not because of political, ethical reasons but because I don't want to have three screaming kids all at once. I just try to make it to bedtime without yelling too much or saying something that will come out as changing their lives for the worse in counseling or drug rehab.

My kids learned the ABC's from Elmo and now Seth knows Spanish from Dora; I think he also believes everyone who speaks Spanish has triangular hair, but we will work on that later.

So I am average. I am also really tired and usually guilt myself into everything else I am not doing for my kids. But last night, I realized I am actually a great mom because my son "is good at being myself!"

Now if I could just find the eggs.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

I quit

Let's face it: I am not cut out to be a mom. My son's lizard just died - 2nd one in 2 weeks - and I freaked out. He was blaming his little brother, when his little brother couldn't get in the cage and then I found out that he had left the lid off and so I told him to not blame his brother for something that was his fault. To make matters worse, I went even more ballistic when I realized there were live crickets in the cage that hadn't had a lid on for an hour. I then told my heart broken son to go get the vacuum and clean up the broken crackers on the floor that the crickets could be attracted to and then I took the cricket cage and threw it outside. I then made everyone wash their hands and I vacuumed the floor and the upstairs because it had egg shells all over it. Then I gave my son a cookie and told him I was sorry that his lizard died as he cried that he would never be a good animal protector - his dream in life. Never mind that he hates going to the science class on animals he is in... I wasn't really sorry, though. I was glad that stupid disgusting thing is dead. I don't want a lizard in my house with the required crickets. And my two year old was crying the whole time because he couldn't hold the lizard and I just didn't care he was crying because the thing was dead and disgusting... Instead of comforting anyone in their time of need, I freaked out due to dead lizards and live crickets. My kids deserve an understanding and loving mom who doesn't care about dead lizards and live crickets, but whose only concern is the feelings of her children.
Then I sit on my bed and I moved a pillow and found...

an egg.

I quit.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


On Wednesday, Kevin said, "Let's go to Disneyland because hunting is cancelled." I made the plans. On Wednesday afternoon, hunting was back on and I was going to Disneyland with the kids still. My friend Annie came with us and Seth had one on one with Grandma Rencher and here we are. We drove to Billings Thursday and came back on Tuesday. Katherine met Snow White and was so much better behaved after. James fought Darth Vadar and is now a Jedi. We went on a treasure hunt and met Mickey Mouse. We spent three days with Mickey and by the end the kids were exhausted and so was I. Instead of spending Tuesday night in Billings, we drove the whole way home and the kids were at school on Wednesday. I really get tired of being patient and helping children be patient. I think I am now coming down with the swine flu. I think the new tag line should be: Disneyland: The Happiest Place on Earth (once the kids are asleep)

What do you do with a girl like Maria?

We are having some issues with Katherine. We are open to suggestions.
At the airport on the way to Disneyland:
Mom: Katherine, you need to be good this weekend.
Kath: but I can't mom; It's just too hard for me.
Mom: Katherine, you need to be good.
Kath: but it hurts my head.

At the office yesterday:
Mom: You can have 2 pieces of candy.
Kath: I want 3.
Mom: You can have 3 pieces if you will be good the rest of the day.
Kath: But I want 3.
Mom: Then be good.
She took 2.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Eggs part 2: Finding them

Where we have found eggs:
My tennis shoe
In the laundry
In Katherine's pj top
In Kevin's coat pocket
Under the sofa
In the garbage
In the bathroom
Under wet wipes around the house

Where we have not found eggs:
The refrigerator

Monday, October 26, 2009

My son loves eggs. He doesn't love to eat them; he loves to carry them around. He doesn't carry one; he carries the whole carton. He carries it like one would carry a baby. Occasionally he opens up the carton and takes one out and walks around with it and then puts it back in. We often try to hard boil the eggs we give him, but I took him to the grocery store today and he has been carrying a carton of eggs since then. I'm not sure what this means. I don't remember covering this in any child development classes I took. I'm pretty sure I did not learn about this while learning about children acquiring language. So now I need to go back to the store and buy some more eggs because I don't think I will get these back. Right now they are all in baby wipes to keep them clean.
If anyone knows what egg obsession means, please let me know... (And for all of you Freudians out there, he is only 2 so don't even think it deals with sex.) (And I already know it is his parents' fault so you don't have to give me that reason either...)

Sunday, October 25, 2009


I feel bad about my last post. I think it may have been whiney. I don't like to whine. I'm just really tired lately. I can sleep and sleep and sleep and it can get frustrating for a while but I am going to give myself kudos here... I still have the goal of getting up tomorrow and getting my kids to school and exercising and getting the laundry done.
I don't get much other housework done, but I figure this too will pass... and if it doesn't then I will deal with it. I'm just not sure how. How does one deal with life not turning out how you thought it would? I'm not talking about not being a millionaire novelist on the NY Times bestsellers while traveling the world to write my latest, but instead it is simply not having the energy to wake up in the morning and get things done. I never thought I would regret having children with energy. They just keep going and I can't. I thought I would be the woman who did everything with their kids and could homeschool and take them to the park every day and teach them to read and write and multiply... Ok. Perhaps my goals were a bit out of control. But I barely get them to school in the morning. I barely get them home. When they are home, I have to concentrate on what to cook. I do everything I can to shop with only seth so I don't have to fight anyone and then I take a nap with Seth and Katherine has to play alone. I never thought I would have exhaustion to the bone so that I take 10 vitamins a day, switched my deoderant, bought a water system to clean out the alkaline in me... I have gone to a chinese medicine guru... And I think I have to give up sugar. I crash when I come down. Will life be worth living? I don't understand why things like this happen to people. I have a friend who became chronically ill right after giving birth. She is not living the life she thought either.
What do you do when things didn't turn out the way you thought? When your body turns on you? How do you fight back? What do you do when you feel as though you are there for no one, not even yourself?
I just really wish House was a real person who I could go to and be saved. Lately I have been watching that show with envy. It simply isn't fair that House isn't a reality show. I would try hard to get on that one. Maybe even pretend my kid is in a balloon floating in the sky... Wait someone already did that.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Cuz I'm a woman

Lately I have had a song in my head and it is making me angry. It is the song, "I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in the pan, And make never forget you're a man, Cuz I'm a woman..." I think that is a load of crap.

I don't want to bring home bacon and fry it because I'm too busy. I'm busy making breakfast while making lunch while finding one shoe while packing a backpack. I'm trying to figure out what a two year old is saying over and over and then screaming. I'm trying to figure out when my husband comes home and says, "hey baby..." if what turns him on is the urine, feces or disinfectant smells I have accumulated during the day because it is not the orange lotion I put on this morning because citrus smells are supposed to help make you happy and light hearted. The scent left the minute I came out of the bathroom and found my children outside with three empty egg cartons, having taken 15 eggs and 6 hardboiled eggs, with some hair gel, and made soup in the plastic slide that is lying on the side. And then my two year old decides he wants eggs for dinner and starts screaming because he cannot understand that he has destroyed all of the eggs and I'm not cooking what he made in the slide. And I'm busy making dinner while emptying the dishwasher so I can refill it after dinner as I quiz my oldest on this week's spelling while having to go the bathroom the whole time. Cuz I'm a woman...
(And I choose to be a stay at home mom)

Monday, October 12, 2009

My husband

Many blogs tell about how much they love their family. So I thought I would write how much I love my husband. He is a great provider and he takes the kids when I need to crash. He bbq's and he cleans up after big parties. He is a wonderful man...

I continue to love him more and more each day. But I can't help to think I would love him more if he would certify in massage therapy. I can't help but wonder how much more amazing he would be if he took cooking lessons. I can't help to wonder how much more incredible it would be if he were handy.

Wait. I think I did this type of blog wrong.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


OK. So the best thing I did was tell everyone I have ever met that I am running a half marathon. It gets me to the gym when I would rather sleep. It gets me to the gym when I would rather eat. It gets me to the gym when I would rather read, watch television, or even, heaven help us all, cook. I really hate going to the gym and I really hate running. I now run 5 minutes, walk 2 and repeat 4 times. Next week I run 7 walk 2 and repeat 3 times. And then in 2 more weeks, I will be running 30 minutes at a time and then I work on distance. I am not often in pain, surprisingly. I have actually started this goal realistically and slowly instead of trying to run 30 minutes after sitting for 15 years.

But the thought that people will be asking me how I am doing has got me to do things I normally would not. So I have decided to tell all my goals so I could stay motivated. Here goes:
1. I have a goal to cook. (Not regularly exactly, more just in general) (perhaps this could just apply to my appearance instead of actual preparation of food.)
2. I have a goal to be more patient with my children. (I was sick last week at the same time my children were... so I think I will also count if I AM A patient with my children.)
3. I have a goal to shower every day. (If I go out in the rain or snow, it counts.)
4. I have a goal to bathe my children regularly. (See previous goal)
5. I have a goal to read the Ensign monthly. (Or to at least have it out of the plastic.)
6. I have a goal to make a vision board that my friend Kelly told me about. (I think I may actually do this one as stated...)
7. I have a goal to sleep at night. (without getting addicted to Tylenol PM which is often how I get to sleep right now. I have put a pen and paper next to my bed to write down thoughts... I have used sleep machines... I have gone to bed earlier... I have tried to read to sleep... I have tried to meditate to sleep... I have tried exercising before bed to sleep... shall I go on?)
8. I have a goal to make less lists in my blogging.
9. I have a goal to scrapbook my children's books before I die. (Can't really narrow the time down more than that.)
10. I have a goal to go to book group and knitting every wednesday. until I can't.

So there they are. My goals are out in the universe and I must be accountable for them. Unless I decided I have accomplished them and can now move on. Like organizing. We are going to do some remodeling and I will have to pack up my kitchen and living room so I see no reason to organize right now when in May I will be going through everything. I am really good at making goals and then making new goals that make previous goals a waste of time. If you need this ability, I am available at $35/hr. And I am available at all hours now because I can't sleep...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

So four years ago I taught a class at Carroll College. I made very little money after paying for the babysitter and I thought, what would I like to do with the extra money? So I hired a house cleaner. I only taught for one semester and yet, the housekeeper stayed. Odd.

I felt guilty and then I got a tumor and now I can get away with quite a lot without feeling guilty. Plus side to growths in the brain... I have tried many different companies and finally a friend recommended two women who we will call Cagney and Lacey. They are wonderful women who do a great job. But they are older women who are constantly going to the doctor to find out what ails them and today I noticed the handicapped sign in their car window. So they can't walk across a parking lot, but they can clean my house? I can't get a handicapped sign, but people who can are doing work for me? Should I feel bad about this? At least I'm helping the economy, right?

I do pick up 80% before they come so they only have to do the heavy scrubbing. I put the clean sheets out for them to make it easier to change the sheets. I bought a new vaccuum to make it glide easier. I bought some nice cleaner. I clean my house throughout the week so it isn't too disgusting... Although I have no recollection of sweeping the kitchen at all this week. That is just not good housekeeping. Which is why I need someone to come in and do it. Right?

Maybe to make me feel better, for Christmas I'll get them each walkers.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


This was the picture of the summer and the event of the summer:
I went to NYC with two friends. They left two hours before me and I thought: "I'll get a pedicure because it was in NYC that I fell in love with pedicures." It was a lovely experience and very relaxing before I got back to reality. A week later, I noticed my toe nails getting thick and pulling away from the cuticle and I was diagnosed with a fungus. I am not taking 2 pills every day for one week for every month for 6 months. I am no longer relaxed. I remember when we lived in NYC, there was a huge news piece about nail salons giving people fungi, but I never had had a problem. Maybe I had developed immunity that I lost in Montana. All I know is that I have not had such ugly toenails in a LONG time. Stupid New York.

Cindy Lauper Hair

I left for an evening. I woke up the next day and noticed something different about Katherine's hair.
"What happened to your hair?"
"Seth cut it."
"I wanted to look more like a puppy."
I then spent $20 getting it fixed. I know that is a lot for a little girl's hair cut, but her hair is "her one true beauty..."

Friday, September 18, 2009

Princess in training

OK. This is a call to all. Now I haven't spoken to Kevin yet, but that is the last step in my decision making process. I want to start training for Disney's Princess Half Marathon
It is the middle of March in Florida. I'm not sure how it will work and disneyland has a marathon which would be more convenient, but it isn't a Princess marathon. the weekend is dedicated to princesses and I could order a tshirt for running that says, "Princess in training." so if people would do this with me, I would be more able to convince Kevin.


Monday, September 14, 2009

Professional Organizer

If you want to feel like a complete idiot, hire a professional organizer.
You will say, "Nobody puts anything back."
She will say, "Why not label where it goes?"
You will say, "It is hard to find my clothes with Kevin's."
She will say,"Why not segregate the closet so you never mix again?"
You will say, "I don't have enough room for my kid's clothes."
She will say, "Then your kids have too much clothing."
You will say, "My laundry is never done."
She will say, "Then your kids have too much clothing."
You will say, "My kids don't put their clothes away."
She will say, "Then put them out in ways they can see where they go. Lower shelves or rods so they can reach them."
(You thought it was going to be about having too much clothing, didn't you?)
You will say, "My husband has no idea where the clothes hamper is."
She will say, "Watch where your husband throws his clothes. Put a hamper there. Move it a foot a week until it is where you want him to throw his clothes. They usually don't realize it is happening."

Most of the things she has told me are obvious. "If there are 10 throw blankets out, there will be 10 throw blankets out. If there are 4 out, you will only be folding 4." "If you own less, you put less away." "If you know where your finances are, you will never be audited."
Ok, the last one was mine. The hardest part is upkeep and staying ahead of it all. I am also minimizing meals.
I have chosen 28 meals and I am sticking to 28 meals. I buy the food for those meals and nothing else. That way I can rotate food storage and never have to think about what I am cooking again. This idea came from Marie Ricks and House of Order. She has a good website...
Now please excuse me. I have to go grocery shopping and buy only what I plan on eating. Novel, novel idea.

Food Storage

I just cleaned out my pantry.
I found 7 bags of powdered sugar.
I found 12 random fruit snacks bags.
I found hot sauce from New Orleans.
I found 3 bags of split peas my husband bought 18 months ago because he wanted split pea soup.
I found 11 cans of kidney beans because my husband found them on sale.
I found that I need a recipe for 24 cans of diced tomatoes before they all go bad Dec '09.
I found where the smell might be coming from... a potato was growing up the wall of the pantry.

I found that if I were to invite myself over for dinner, I don't think I would come. Because although one smell is gone... I can still smell another. I'm not sure what I can clean next.

And this is a good week for me to go on my detox plan. Kevin hates it if I throw out canned food. He calls it food storage. I try and convince him that we have monthly lessons in relief society about ROTATING food storage, but he doesn't get it. I think he believes if it is bottled or canned, it will last for eternity. I blame his father. SO the compromise has been that everything I am throwing away or giving to food share goes into a bin. Whatever is not gone by the end of the week, is thrown or given away. (Except the can of fiber I don't remember purchasing. He has a whole month to go through that - plus with the 12 cans of beans, I doubt he will need it for a while.)

So far... 1 can of 2 yrs expired pears have been eaten by my 2 year old. It's been 10 minutes and he is still alive.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cutting Boards

So a month ago I bought colored cutting boards, but didn't assign the colors to anything. In my mind I thought blue for fish, green for veggies, red for beef and yellow for chicken. I just used the red for chicken and the blue for veggies and I realized I used the red for fruit on Friday. So I have changed my mind. I have decided that I need enough cutting boards to cut different things per evening and then put the cutting boards in the dishwasher and deal with it. I have more important things to do, like organize.

I wonder if in a month, I will be saying the same things about my medicine bins, laundry bins, and the loonie bin.

Tomorrow I meet the professional organizer... I will let you know how it goes. (She asked me who I have on my 'team'. I said a 6 yr old, 4 yr old, 2 yr old and a husband. So I am virtually alone.)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

deja vu

So I was organizing my kitchen today and throwing away everything and donating a couple things when I realized I had just recently done all of this. I remember writing about organizing my house so that the closets looked amazing but the floors were out of control. Why am I organizing again when I already did? Why am I not still organized?

This time I am doing more. I bought bins for my laundry room so that my sheets are in bins instead of trying to stack them better. I threw away the nasty towels we got as wedding gifts that I never threw out because our names are on them. I filled our garbage bin full of crap. I bought drawer organizers so now I know what is in my "kitchen" drawer. I threw spices away that I couldn't think of a recipe for off the top of my head. I put all my medicine I use in a tiny bin that fits in the cupboard and I threw out the baggy that was full of white pills. I think they were tylenol and I might find out next time Kevin takes the kids to his parents and I am not responsible for 3 other lives or required to pick someone up from school. Wanna come?

I have decided that less is more and instead of just putting stuff away, I am getting rid of stuff. Whenever I say to myself, "but I might need them if it rains on the second Tuesday of the fourth month of the year of the rooster," I donate it. I have decided to give away every wedding gift I have that I have not yet used.

Then I am remodeling. I believe construction will begin next spring. I think it will take me that long to figure out how to remodel. Do I need an architect? Do I just hire a builder? Then what? What color walls do I want? What floors? Can I make my laundry room bigger? Can I put a bed in there for my house elf whose job it is to do laundry all day and put it away? How big must a house elf bed be? Can't he just use a cupboard?

And then I will put everything back into my kitchen that I have just organized and organize it again.

But after I do this organizing, I will not organize again. I refuse. That is why I have contacted a professional organizer so that someone else can do it for me.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Living Next to the Joneses

(Grace Jones pictured is not my neighbor.)
(The title should be read phonetically, I believe.) Our next door neighbors at the condo are "perfect." The mom is my age, has had four kids and is skinny. All of the kids tan. The son can do any sport he wants and the four year old girl just road a two-wheeler for the first time today. The 12 yr old girl is getting into competitive cheer. They have a suburban, not a mini-van.

My kids burn. James hates sports. We were trying to ride a two-wheeler today and he got very discouraged. We are trying to tie shoes as well, and it is taking a few tries. Katherine doesn't care if she rides a bike or cheers as long as people are paying attention to her, and if Seth is bad at a sport, he just head butts or bites the kid with the ball.

I feel like Steve Martin in "Parenthood" where his kid likes to put a bucket on his head and run into walls. Rick Moranus says, "you must be so proud."

This is the part of parenthood I don't like. I don't like sounding things out phonetically, running along side a bike and trying to explain how to balance, talking about bunny ears going around a tree and going through the hole to tie a shoe, or feeling inadequate in any way. Why is it baby animals are born with innate abilities and human kids aren't? If a duck can swim and fly without being taught, why can't my kid be born riding a bike? Doing cartwheels? Eating vegetables and liking it?

I miss law school where I would write a crappy brief and my professor would say, "This is a piece of crap," and I would nod and leave cussing her out. It would be over and done with. Parenthood is a process. I really hate processes. I was never meant to be a factory worker.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


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Kevin and I joke about the type of people you see at Wal-mart. Somehow Target, K-mart, and Shopko don't seem to have to have the same type of people that Wal-mart seems to attract. I truly do not understand this phenomenon.

Case in point: I just went there to buy some rope to use as a decoration for a cowboy themed party I am throwing tomorrow because Kevin thought it would be a good idea to invite 25 dentists to the condo. (You know your husband invites too many people over when you start saying "only 25 people" are coming.)

As I was walking out, I saw a man with ropes tied around each knee. I looked more closely and I noticed bags under the ropes with clear tubes running up to his waist. I looked even more closely and noticed yellow liquid in the bag tied to his left knee. He had a catheter bag tied to his left knee. I can only imagine what the right knee bag was for because it was empty.

I understand that people have health problems. I understand that wearing a catheter must be a nuisance. But how do you become so fed up with wearing one, that you decide it is ok to wear it OUTSIDE your clothes tied to your knees?

Next time, I'm buying rope at Target.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

In all seriousness...

I'm warning you that this is a serious blog. At least, that is my intention writing it. We shall see what develops. I have a hard time sustaining seriousness.

I recently "facebooked" an old friend. I think I knew him 4 years of my college 'experience.' He is finishing his PHD and working in DC to save the world. Ok. I realized I always thought I would do similar things. I would teach English in Yemen or help immigrants become naturalized in Chicago or California. In other words, I would be working for the 'greater good.'

Instead, I am a stay at home mom. This transition has been more difficult than I care to imagine. I am not a mom with a career; I am a stay at home mom. Occasionally I write, but mostly I clean up urine. I am not helping 100's of people; I am helping 4. It took this last week at education week at BYU to realize I need to focus on this.

The whole time I have been a mom, I have wanted a career. I think I finally learned I have to figure out how to be a mom before I can do both. This is what my organizational goal is about. I will know where the paper is. I will know my kids are fed and healthy. I will have things as much under control is possible with humans in perpetual motion.

Then I am hoping I will learn the lessons I need so I can have more. I need to learn how to use a zipper before I purchase the leather jacket with the 35 zippers. (the analogy is there, I swear) I am really, really hoping that once I learn this, my reward will be to have the time to have the career I have always wanted: Sports agent.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

House of Order

Ok. 2 major things have inspired this blog.
1. I saw Julie and Julia and thought of something I needed to be accountable for through my blog.
2. I went to education week and took classes from Marie Ricks, professional organizer.

So here is my goal. I will spend form today to January 1st becoming organized. I will do daily cleaning jobs. I will create a master menu of 28 meals and rotate them and only them. I will create a master grocery list and stick to it. I will get control of my paper. I will calendar and get ahead instead of behind. I will add more time to my day by being organized and stop stressing about the household stuff not getting done because it will be done. I will be proactive and take this whole "in charge of the household" thing seriously. I will therefore be able to finish my book because I will open up time.

I will find a new husband who is not a worse procrastinator than I am.

I figure I will give it until January. I may not be completely organized by then, but I should be converted. If I am not converted, I figure my new year's resolution will be to deal with the fact I am unorganized.

And you dear readers will go along with me. You will hear of my wonderful times being organized and figuring out how to do this. I am still confused how I will do it with 2 homes, but I will. I will just have to alter a few things. Who knows, perhaps I will be a writer/professional organizer soon. Or I will take valium and achieve inner peace with how life is.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Estate Jewelry

I was just at my parents' house and I realized they have a lot of stuff. They have a lot of useless stuff. It made me ponder as I thought about a friend who just helped her mom sell her house and go through all her useless stuff. It inevitably comes down to the children to go through all of this stuff. Now I'm not saying that my parents are close to kicking the bucket (unless you ask them and then they may tell you the bucket is already tipping and doesn't need to be kicked, a good nudge should get them to the other side just fine) but watching my brother help my mom put full-size Louis L'Amour books back on the shelf made me ponder. Who is going to want any of this? My husband loves L'Amour but only in paperback. My parents have their VHS library still. Even though they no longer have video players. It is a confusing situation.

I just think my parents should stop buying things. They are spending my inheritance on things I don't want. I think they should ask me from now on what they should buy. I think that would be nice.

This is why I buy lots of expensive jewelry. I figure Katherine will like to wear it when she is older or she can hawk it and can get money for it. I guess I could ebay L'Amour, but it isn't as easy as jewelry. I think instead of buying leather books, my dad should start buying L'Amour inspired jewelry - takes up less room and easier to get money back. Cuz there is no way I would wear it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

New House

I am in love with a house. It is gorgeous. It is open and bright and the basement is bright and has a fridge and it is beautiful.


The basement and the kitchen have wine racks. What do I do with these?

It is in Montana City and that is 15 minutes away. I would be 20 minutes late to everything instead of 5. I couldn't dash home during dance, either. I would be staying.

Montana City is known for trees and views and it doesn't have much of either. I can see the intersection and the refinery among trees.

I am not sure I want to go to the Montana City LDS congregation. I get the feeling they take themselves more seriously than is prudent.

I would be changing counties and the post office is really far away... which isn't a big deal unless most of your shopping comes from the internet.

James would change schools and I would have to kiss up to a new administration.

We would live too far away for our kids to every walk to school. And I would have to petition to get them into a Helena high school instead of the Boulder scary high school.

There are even more problems.

So why am I seriously considering this?

$876.43 + $50= kitchen faucet

So our condo was built in the '80's and everything in the kitchen is from that time. My faucet was falling apart. The handle on the faucet would just spin and spin around and you would have to figure out where the hot water might be. The sprayer was in need of severe help and would come out of the sink in an unhelpful way. So while at Costco, I saw a kitchen faucet for $50. It said, "EASY to install." I bought it. It stayed in my kitchen for two months.

I had a week of visitors to look forward to so I thought it would be a perfect time to fix my sink. Now, I have replaced bathroom fixtures this year and only one toilet paper holder doesn't work. I replaced a closet door, but stained it a totally different color than the other closet door and I hated staining... Two hours after I stained the door, a bird left a deposit on it and it took Kevin a week to help me put it in and now it looks horrible...

So I have had a few warnings to not do things myself. But the faucet was supposed to be easy. As I took the old faucet off, I threw away the pieces so there would be no turning back. When I went to take the main part of the faucet off, I tried to unscrew it under the sink. I tried three different tools. I finally called our all knowing friend Alan and he came over. He took the sink out of the cabinet to get a better view. It was rusted solidly on. And the sink was rusted. And the metal fasteners holding the sink in were rusted and many were broken. So now I needed a new sink.

But we had to take the garbage disposal off the sink and it's fasteners fell apart. And when unhooked, it just stunk.

I went to Home Depot. I decided to get a beautiful deep sink and a really nice disposal and a new faucet... the $50 one didn't seem nice enough now. Well the plumbing for the sink was too high for a deep sink so I had to go back and buy a different sink and then the plumbing expert looked at the pipes I was buying on my third trip and told me my garbage disposal would hook to my dishwasher and I could get rid of one of the pipes so I could use my original deep sink so now I had two sinks and new pipes and a garbage disposal and two faucets. It had been 12 hours and 5 Home Depot trips later. I had Alan come back over. He was figuring out the pipes while I put the sink and faucet in. So I did that part all by myself and you can tell. There is caulk all over the place and the faucet isn't centered. Alan did the pipes and I had to get an electrician over to hook up the garbage disposal.

So I bought a $50 faucet that was to be put in within an hour. $876.43 and 48 hours later, I had a new sink, faucet, and disposal. Of course the disposal makes a funny sound, but I'll worry about that next summer.
(I was able to return one of the sinks so I kept the bill under $1000. I win)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Watching Television With Seth

Say Map!
Seth: No
Dora: Will you help Boots go up the mountain?
Seth: No
Dora: Are you strong?
Seth: No

Mickey Mouse Club
Mickey: Can you help Minnie find the yellow daisies?
Seth: No
Mickey: Can you clap your hands?
Seth: No

Yo Gabba Gabba:
Do you love your family too?
Seth: No
Can you get up and dance?
Seth: No

I'm sensing a theme...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Katherine's 4th Birthday

There once was a girl
With a girl
In the middle of her forehead
When she was good
She was very very good
But when she was Bad
She was horrid.

When people arrived, she was sitting in her pink chair watching the people walk past with her gifts. She spent 1/2 of the party in the neighbors house watching tv. She spent 1/4 crying because we were singing happy birthday, because people wanted to watch her open her gifts, and because she picked the pinata Dora the Explorer and didn't want to beat her open because she had been talking to her for 2 days. The last 1/4 she had "changed her attitude." The guests had fun. Happy Birthday.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


So the previous blank entry was me trying to get a picture of Katherine as a mouse on this site and I couldn't do it, so I read the instructions. I think I could be a stage mom. I loved taking Katherine to the ten hours of rehearsals so that she could be on stage for her performance for one minute. I think it is one minute exactly. I loved putting her in a head lock to do her makeup and buying new tights and shoes that she couldn't wear until dress rehearsal for fear of ripping, dirtying, or losing them. She ate it up. She played with other girls during the ballet and had snacks and watched a movie. When she came on stage, she smiled the whole time. She didn't remember most of the moves, but she smiled at the audience the WHOLE time. Including during the bows and when the mice brought flowers out to their teacher's helper who is graduating. Her teacher gave her a rose before the performance and Kath felt so great!

Then on Father's Day, she got up on the podium to sing the Primary song and just stood there smiling at EVERYONE. She waved at mom and dad but then slowly turned her head so that the whole congregation could see her and smile back at her. She didn't sing much, but she has the parade slow turn and smile down pat.

I have her and James in theature camp in a week. James doesn't care at all about the stage unless it is blowing up, but I figure it will be easier to get Kath there if James is in it as well. And he does like attention as well, but more for his actions or making people laugh rather than just the presence of his being making people happy - which I believe is what Kath believes.

Kath's birthday party is this Thursday. We are having a Littlest Pet Shop theme. I actually ordered everything I need from Party in a Box online, forgot and went to the local party store and bought it all over again. Imagine my surprise when the box arrived. I do try to save money by buying half themed paper products and half in a matching color scheme for a buck a package. So now I will use only theme products for this party and save the purple and pink paper products for a tea party.

I am excited and regretting this party already. She has been discussing her birthday for 11 months and I know she will love the attention and be really ticked once it is over. I am going to have to sit down with her and talk to her about the schedule so that she feels as though she is choosing how the party is organized. Last year I told her what was happening and she screamed at me that it was not the order she wanted... This year, we will right it all down before hand and have her sign it.

I may get it notarized. With Ballina as the witness.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Here's for hopin'

OK, so I just had one of the more embarrassing moments of my life. The place we live on the lake is a semi-circle of small homes and we share a common area. Our places are pretty close together and I just lost it loud enough for EVERYONE to hear it. Let us explain:

This morning, Seth got the lotion and put a nice thick layer of it in his hair. I ran water into the bath tub and he and Katherine got cheetos all over the living room. The boys got in the bath while I got in the shower. When I got out, there were three sopping wet towels. The water had gotten cold and instead of getting out of the water, they wrapped up in towels and got back in. I tried to hang up a towel and the towel bar fell off the wall.

I drove into town to drop my kids off and Seth fell asleep. He had awoken at 4:30 am this morning. I got to the Wilkersons and Seth decided to start to scream. I got him quiet and then I got my hair cut. Side note: It is really cute and I am closer to having a modern hair style.

Kevin forgot something so I had to go back to the condo and get it and then drive to the house. James cried the whole way because our house is boring. He would like to burn it down. Then my babysitter showed up so I could run a couple of errands and I guess Kevin arrived at the house with the kids screaming and the babysitter checking email.

I worked out and then headed back out to the lake. I tried to make some taco meat for taco salad when Seth ran out the door. I asked James to go outside to let me know if he escaped, which he did. I ran after him, but he got into the next yard where a mean old man yelled at me to get him out of there. I wasn't even on his property; just next to it.

Oh, and we got a letter from the condo board - which is one family- which are just obnoxious reminders to watch our kids or to fix our decks - ours is the only one older than 3 years- and it just gets tiring.

So after being yelled at and having the towel bar fall and a stupid letter, I lost it. I walked to the parking lot, saw Kevin talking to a neighbor and started to cry. Then yell. Then Kevin started walking towards the condo to make sure things were ok and I yelled, "Why are you walking away from me?" Then I yelled, "I hate it here" and preceded to let everyone know why.

I was fine 1/2 hour later but then my neighbor says all happy: How are ya, Kevin? Then to me, she says in a quiet and soft voice: You ok Marianne?

I believe I am now the raving lunatic of the neighborhood. And what do I want to do now besides eat the bag of chocolate purchased at Costco? I want to make cookies and send them to the mean old man with a note that says:
"Dear mean old man,
I hear stories all the time about doing something nice for someone really mean and angry and it changes their life and they are nice from then on. Here's for hopin'."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I don't believe myself to be philosophical in nature. I more take things as they are, although my English background allows me to create a metaphor out of anything.

But after cleaning the house yesterday, I waxed thoughtful.
How, pray tell, after 5 days, do I wash 5 pairs of my underwear, 3 pairs of Kevin's, 9 pairs of Katherine's and 20 pairs of James?
How come children learn how to take their diapers off before learning how to put them on? And why must they do this at 3am and then pee in bed and then scream until I get him out of bed and then when I place him in our bed, Kevin says, "I would have left him in the pee."
How do I gather a bag of garbage every day?
How can all the dishes be clean and the sink filled within an hour? and my kids are complaining of hunger.
Why does my house look as though I did nothing all day yesteday by 10 am today?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


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School is over. We are staying on a lake and the kids have a great time. I had a great time last year. This year I have a two year old. Seth can sometimes open the screen door. When he does, he takes off running after birds, screaming. We have a fence around the common area and beach, but you can go around it and keep walking. This is done often in search of birds. I have offered otter pops, cupcakes, dinosaur chicken, a car...

He is now walking into the water as he watches me. He is fully dressed. He even has a sweatshirt on. He has really cute leather sandals that I found on massive clearance and they are cute and European. they are now ruined. He is knee high in the water and I ask, why put a bathing suit on now?

We have debated shock collars. Maybe a dog collar so as he wanders after birds, people will know where he goes back to. Or a cowbell. I am hiring a girl to babysit while I do indoor things like laundry.

I know... life is hard; I'm spending my summer on a lake. It may be nice; but so is liposuction. It doesn't mean it isn't painful.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Bus Stops

I miss all of my friends. I want someone to move here that will call me up and ask me to lunch. That is all I really want. I can go to lunch alone, but I need someone to suggest it to me. And I think it is unfair that you meet friends throughout your life and you can't take them with you as you go on in life. Everyone really should move to Montana. The economy is nice and steady. We have really fresh meat. We even have fresh veggies and there are Flathead cherries which are supposed to be the best, but I'm not good at telling cherries apart. They all make things run smoothly for me...

I would like adult conversations that don't revolve around children. But I have nothing adult to say. I try as hard as I can to ignore politics and news because it isn't happy. I don't have many hobbies except knitting and I'm trying to get into photography. I do write, but I get embarrassed talking about writing because I am very good at doing EVERYTHING besides write. My goal is a book proposal this summer because I need a deadline to finish. But that isn't necessarily a conversation I want either.

When single, I think I mostly talked about school and boys. No, wait. I was also slightly politically active so I had some political discussions. Seeing as I did nothing with my views, however, that may have just been feeling self-important. So maybe I've never been much of a conversationalist. Maybe that is my problem. Maybe my friends really do want to move to Montana and freeze, but my lack in conversational skills is keeping them away.

Huh. I think I'm going to start talking to myself to practice conversations. I think that will help me. I'm sure it will help me make more friends. People always want to make friends with someone who is always talking to themselves. Especially at bus stops.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I was so upset yesterday. I put fake nails on my toes and within 20 minutes, two were broken. They were so long, that my middle toe on the left foot snapped in half when I snagged my toenail on a chair. I rammed my big toe into the refrigerator and that nail split. I was really upset. Then I realized I bought these nails for $3.50 at Sally's. Real fake nails at a salon cost around $40 or $50. I'm not sure why I was expecting $3.50 nails would be better. Especially when I did them myself. I think I thought because Sally's says they also sell to professionals, that everything in there would be of professional quality. Of course, then I wouldn't be able to do it myself. And I guess the nails had protected my toes from being slammed into the fridge.

I clipped all of the toenails down so none would snag anymore. I superglued them onto my feet, so I couldn't really take them off. The funny thing is that they actually look pretty good now. If I paint them, I could pass them off as being real. I'm not sure when I will have 30 minutes alone, though to do that.

Katherine's preschool ended last week and it has made it harder to find time to get things done. I thought having more kids was supposed to give them people to play with so I wouldn't have to. I mean, what other reason could there be? It's not working out, that way, though. Katherine wants Dora stuff and James and Seth want guns so they can kill Dora. James and Seth will play until James feels like controlling Seth and Seth says no way and bites James and then they are both crying.

So they often don't play well and it has been FREEZING here. It was 50 yesterday and today it should be 65. I refuse to give money to any group supporting the Greenhouse effect theory. I'm going back to using Aquanet to see if I can get a hole in the Ozone directly over my house. I could really go for weather in the 70's. It is JUNE.

I think I will paint my toenails blue again, but this time it won't be for craziness. It is to enhance the color they are right now anyhow.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


If you had asked me 10 years ago where I would be, I'm not sure what I would have said, but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be here. This morning I called my husband to find out where my keys were. They were in my purse. He drove the car last night, but I guess I put the keys in my purse. I have no recollection of that. When I said to him, "I guess I'm losing it," he said, "you have been for about 3 months." I thanked him for his support.

At the same time, I remember to put the car keys in the carry-on bag instead of the suitcase so that we have keys if they lose our luggage. I remember diapers, pull-ups, clothes for 3, toys, bottles, sippy cups, and medicine. So my memory must be ok still. I did forget my parent teacher conference for Kath's preschool but I remembered cupcakes for her graduation. I was the only one who brought sugar to the montessori graduation, by the way. The closest other sugar was mango bars. The cupcakes were gone in 2 seconds and some kids cried I hadn't made enough.

We went on vacation with James and left Kath and Seth and it has taken 2 weeks of work for one week of "vacation." I took a week to do laundry and get everything ready for my friend to watch the youngest two. I grocery shopped; I even got new windshield wipers. I tried very hard to do everything I could to make it easier for her. Now I am home and I am unpacking and doing laundry and packing and sorting so we can move out to the lake. I hate it. I hate housework. I don't understand how I ended up here. I never thought about marriage and children because I was never sure it would happen. (And those of you who knew me in college and hung out with the guys I dated understand this comment. Although they were all lovely people.) I have three degrees. I'm not sure that is the background of someone planning on having their day taken up so much by toilets - cleaning them, making sure boys aim for them, wiping bums over them, closing them so no one plays in them... I used to be careful how I flushed them in public (do not touch the handle) and now I just want them flushed. I used to go camping and hiking and visit in the sierra's of Mexico and could squat pee on demand. Now after 3 pregnancies, I only pee when I don't want to.

So now what? I am a stay at home mom whose kids don't listen to her and yet they still talk to each other like she talks to them which makes her cringe at times and reminds her to lower voice and use please and thank you and be more patient.

Perhaps this is why I like to read so much. I get to escape into another world... Possibly a world I thought I would be living in. Like the Sookie Stackhouse novels. Possibly I would be living with vampires, were-things, fairies, and other "supers". I'm sure I would be a waitress in a bar in Louisiana if I had never met Kevin. Yeah, THAT is the life my background prepared me for.