Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The kids table

Ah, Thanksgiving.

I am one of those people who views it as a holiday event, not just a big meal.
Come on people, it's Thanksgiving!!
It's a holiday built around blessings, food, family, food, fun, food, and did I mention food?
What's not to love?!

We're hosting this year and went from hosting one guest (I know, sad) to 11 a few days ago.  Woo-hoo!
Now it's a party.
Not that it wouldn't have been with just one extra, that's still twice as many people as most families have over.  We're always a party anyway.

It will be great.
Even though I didn't bake pies tonight.  Pies are a fabulous way to start the day so it's all good.  I'll just get up a little earlier.

I've had too much fun with the kids' stuff today to get to pies.  I'm kind of jealous that I don't get to sit at the kids' table.  But hey, my 13yr old keeps asking if she really has to sit there, so maybe she'll swap me?

Who wouldn't want to sit here?

 (really?  I didn't think ahead enough to move the tape before I took a picture?  doh.)

And none of the fun stuff is out yet.
The coloring pages, and fresh new crayons (be still my heart)....
The games...
The acorns...

The pilgrim hats....
-pretend there is a picture because I'm not putting one up....the kitchen was warm, buckle frosting totally melted off and looks all deformed now.  dangit.  but they will still taste good.  Oh yes, they will.-

The jell-o cup turkeys....

The other turkeys.....

And there's still more to come.

Not to mention some incredible food.
I'm already hungry!


One Small Step...

Four actually.

Sunday didn't only bring Aaron's fabulous story, but a fabulous accomplishment as well.

Sam took his first steps!!
He'd been teetering one step between things for a bit, but never dared try a second.
On Sunday evening he took three steps from Aaron to me, and then four from me back to Aaron.

I was so hoping to catch it on camera to share this awesome milestone, but every time that thing comes out he drops to his bum and just sits there.  Darn stubborn children.....where on earth do they get it?

Little miracles every day.

So crazy to look back a year and a half at the prognosis we were dealt concerning Sam and to see where he is now.  Absolutely amazing.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Embarrassing Moments

Not mine, so of course I'm going to share!

There was more to Friday afternoon/evening, and Saturday was.....well, we'll just leave that one alone.

But this my friends is the story of Sunday afternoon.

Our church meetings go from 1pm-4pm.  That afternoon block where you kind of start to feel how tired you are.
Our main worship meeting (Sacrament Meeting) is the first hour and change of the meeting block.
As the meeting got underway with the first speaker, Aaron was feeling the tired creeping in.  He's tired, that's no secret.  The stress of life just seems to wear him out even more.  So as the first talk was ending he leaned forward a bit and put his head on the back of the bench in front of us.  I started tickling his back and felt him doing that relaxed slumping in to sleep.  It happens.  Well, at least to most men it happens.  I have rarely met a woman who fell asleep in church.  Why is that?

Aaron is out cold when the second speaker stands up. (for the LDS readers, it was a High Council speaker)  This is a guy we actually really enjoy listening too.  Brother J. has great stories.  Last time he spoke in our ward (congregation) it included a story of shooting a shark.  Really.  (don't worry, he tied it in)  Like I said, good stories.   He started his talk, it was going well.  Even my kids were listening-including 5yr old Lincoln, which is not the norm!  He starts talking about direction, guides, compasses.....and then looks into the congregation for our Scout Master.  Jay is no where to be seen.  So he turns to another guy he knows is experienced in scouts and wilderness and all that good husband.
"I was going to ask Brother M., but I don't see him anywhere, so I'm going to ask Steve Ball.  Steve, if you're out hiking with a group of scouts and they decided to just stop paying attention to the compass, what's going to happen?"

Now I haven't been to church for a few weeks because I have been home with sick kids.  There have been a number of new families move in to our neighborhood recently and I first thought to myself "Is there another Ball family now?  How did I not hear about that?"
And then it clicked....nope, no new Ball family, just a name mixup.
I see a few heads turning, you see people mouthing "Aaron??" to their spouse, and people looking our direction.
Including the speaker.
Aaron is out cold.
I squoze his arm and start frantically whispering in his ear "Aaron!!  Aaron wake up!  He is talking to you!  He said Steve but he means you!!  Wake up!!!"
Aaron is in a complete daze, totally confused, looking at me trying to process what is happening.
You know when a minute feels like an eternity?
Aaron finally looks toward the stand to see everyone up there staring directly at him.
Oh, and everyone on the stand can see the big red mark across his forehead from where he was leaning on the bench in front of us.
Speaker repeats the question, Aaron answers "they get lost" and then turns to me and asks "What just happened?"

I sit next to him randomly breaking into fits of giggles for the remainder of the meeting and try to contain my need to now be like the monkey in Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and randomly yell "STEVE!" at him.

Brother J. grabs Aaron after the meeting and says "I'm really sorry I called you Steve!  I'm not sorry I woke you up though."
Another leader who had been sitting on the stand grabbed Aaron after the meeting and asked "Did anyone ever teach you to roll up your tie and put it between your head and the bench if you are going to fall asleep like that?  Then you don't get the big red mark."
Information that would have been useful yesterday!

So, we learned two things yesterday.
1-Don't fall asleep in church
2-If you do, at least roll up your tie and avoid the red mark.



Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Morning

Yay Friday!
There's just something about it.  Something that says no matter how frustrating today is, it can only get better because it's Friday.  Sure the weekend might be jam packed with all sorts of stuff, but still-it's the weekend!

Which I'm hoping is the case from here on out....

I had grand plans today.
Get up early, with all traces of this cold/sore throat long gone.  Get a killer workout in.  Get the kids merrily off to school with no arguing or fighting and without destroying the house which they somehow do in the process of eating breakfast, getting dressed, and getting out the door each morning.  Put Sam down for a nap once kids are off, then hit the treadmill while Charlotte and Lincoln sing my praises because I let them watch a movie.

It is now 9:49am.  I am focusing on being Thankful despite the fact that the above scenario was a pipe dream.

I turned off my 5:45 alarm.  And my 6:00 alarm.  And my 6:15 alarm.  The cold is still here.  Throat feels much better though which is awesome.  Finally roll out of bed at 6:30, realizing that I need to get myself in gear because no one's going to a: come and motivate me to get up, b: coddle me and gently help me wake up peacefully, or c: let me roll over and go back to sleep and just take over the morning for me.
Put on my fluffy robe to at least pretend I'm still tucked in my fluffy bed.
Schlump down the stairs to wake children 1, 2 and 4.  1 leaves for school first, 2 has to leave early today for a field trip, and 4 has homework to finish.
Schlump back upstairs and change into workout clothes since that might be slightly more motivating than my fluffy robe.
Check email.
Back downstairs to get child 1 up.  Again.
And child 4 up.  Again.
Back upstairs to get Sam who is now awake.  Bathe baby whose diaper leaked.  Awesome.
Clean up baby, and diaper leak, get baby situated in high chair for breakfast.
Get child 4 up.  AGAIN.
Spend the next hour and a half getting the rest of the crew up, fed, showered, dressed and ready for the day and the oldest two out the door.
Somehow sneak in a fabulous core workout without anyone killing themselves or blowing up the house.
Finish said workout just in time for morning devotional with the kids left at home.  Ten minutes till school time.
Find out that child 4 still hasn't started the load of laundry he needed to start an hour ago.  And that his homework isn't signed off.
Oh, and that one page isn't done still.
Blow through homework with child 4 while signing all of child 5's school things that need to be turned in today.  All while child 3 jumps up and down telling me we need to hurry up because her friends are waiting for her outside.  She is wearing a tshirt and gloves.  It is in the low 30s (if that), but feels colder with the breeze.  At least her coat is in her backpack.  Let it go....
Finally get everyone out the door.  If 4 runs he will make it before the bell rings.
Turn around to find that while I was helping with the last minute homework, someone has opened the sugar bucket.
Sam has found the sugar bucket.
Sam is happy.  (I swear he is happy despite the weird face)

And covered in sugar.  Someone realized it was open and replaced the lid but neglected to tell me anything.

Start cleaning up Sam, only to realize there is a very strong smell of freshness wafting through the house.  And it's not the Scentsy.
Oh look, it's coming from the laundry room.

Where I then commenced cleaning up roughly 200oz of laundry detergent.  Because that 200oz jug was almost completely full.  And now it is almost completely empty.  Apparently it was set too close to the edge and it leapt to it's death convinced that a quick death would be more tolerable than being pulled out and used 5-6 times a day for the next two months.

While cleaning up I asked Lincoln for a wet rag.  He proceeded to soak 4 dishtowels and bring them to me.  Soaked.  And dripping very large amounts of water all across the floor from the kitchen to the laundry room.
Start mopping up the water with Lincoln's help.
Remember that Sam never really got cleaned up and is still covered in sugar.  Get my sugar baby to the bath, whereupon unsnapping his onesie, sugar pours out.

So now, I am Thankful.
I am thankful, I am thankful, I am thankful.  (really I am.  but I'm also still working on it.)

I am thankful we got everyone out the door on time.
I am thankful for a warm house on a cold morning.
I am thankful my kids have friends that show up before school.
I am thankful all the homework got done.  finally.
I am thankful I have a big sugar bucket.  Yes, I really am.  I bake people.  Well, I don't bake people, but I bake, people.
I am thankful that Sam is functional enough to get into the sugar.  
I am thankful the sugar bucket didn't spill.
I am thankful it was the sugar and not the flour.  That would have been a bigger mess.
I am thankful we have a rug in the laundry room that soaked up so much of the detergent.
I am thankful that we have a laundry room.
I am thankful that we have a washer and dryer that work fabulously.
I am thankful that child 4 actually did start the laundry.
I am thankful it happened today when I came upon the problem within minutes, instead of yesterday when I left the house right after the school kids did and the mess would have sat for 7 hours before I found it.
I am thankful the floor vent was closed and no detergent got in there.
I am thankful that Lincoln tried to help me, even if he did flood the kitchen counter and part of the floor.
I am thankful that Charlotte played with Sam while I cleaned up the detergent so I didn't have to worry about him getting in it.
I am thankful that Sam likes baths so that clean up from the sugar incident was fun and not a fight.
I am thankful I have a camera so that I can capture moments like this.  And people can see that I'm not actually exaggerating.  It really is this crazy here.  All. the. time.
I am thankful that I get to stay home, that my husband has been willing to sacrifice so many things to allow our family this privilege, so that I can deal with this crazy every day.

And now I am thankful that Sam went down happily for his nap.
And I am thankful for my treadmill so I can go run.  And for a tv so Lincoln and Charlotte can watch a movie.  And maybe I'll teach them a song about how mom is so great so they can literally sing my praises....

Have a fabulously eventful Friday.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Well hi!

Maybe I should change the name of my blog to Random Thoughts from the Absentee Blogger.

I didn't want to get out of bed this morning.  So tired I feel like the life has been sucked out of me.
I was extremely grateful for a beautiful sunrise today that made it a little easier to get up.

Same old story, so much going on, so little time to stay connected in the bloggy world.  I miss perusing my favorite blogs every day.  I finally had to just mark all of my google reader as "read" both last week and the week before when it was over 300 each time.  As much as I would love to catch up on that, it just ain't happening!

After the luxury of having him home for the summer, Aaron is back in school.  This quarter started a month ago and man, it's a big one.  Though he only has two classes this quarter they are heavy hitters.  Class Monday and Tuesday, studying and homework Wednesday and Thursday.  Right now he has a mental health clinical at a youth facility every Thursday and regular hospital clinicals on Saturday.  Yep, that leaves a couple of hours on Friday night after work (if he's caught up on homework and studying) and then Sunday evening.  The rest of the time I'm pulling the single parent duty.  It's hard.
I have no idea how single parents survive.
I mean, I know you do what you have to do, but wow.
The only thing keeping me going through this is knowing that this quarter ends in December.  That will be the best Christmas present this year-a week or two off school!  Graduation comes in June.  Right now I'm choosing to ignore the fact that after that the plan is to immediately jump back in to an NP program. I'll tackle the thought of two more years when I need to.

I don't know how Aaron's doing it either.  Sure I'm running the house and doing all the kids, but between his normal full time job and school and clinicals, he's not only burning the candle at both ends, it's on fire in the middle too.

We're definitely in survival mode here!

I still have all the October birthdays to share.
I did another spot with Hapari for a morning show (that involved being outside at 7am and less than 30 degrees.  awesome.), and head to Florida for the big shoot in less than four weeks!
I never even blogged the rest of our California trip!
But hey, my five year blogiversary is coming up in a little over a month.  So we'll have to go back to the good old days and cook up some fun giveaway for that.
Fun projects going being that I finally tackled our worst hot spot-the office.  If I feel like I need to punish myself with total humiliation, I may post a before picture.  It's not completely finished yet but I'll for sure post the getting closer to finished pictures.....looks like a totally new room.  And it doesn't stress me out to walk in here anymore.  yay!

But for now I have to be responsible.  And do another load of laundry.  Because one of my bedwetters wet the bed again.  Even though he is supposed to wear a pull up to bed.  Today I found out he chose to go commando last night instead.  Nice.

But hey, tomorrow is Friday!