Thursday, March 31, 2011

March, where did you go?

I can't believe that today is the end of March. Where did the first of this year disappear to?

Today is my little cousin's birthday; Happy Birthday Jack!!!!!

This month has been a little crazy and busy. Some of this was recorded here already and you already know that our cat (Bella) Toni had decided to become nocturnal and need all of his attention between 1 am and 5 am. Other than that I never saw that cat, he would hide and sleep. Kenny was home sick yesterday and we had to make the decision to find Toni a new home. We are officially a pet free home now. It is kind of sad and we all still miss Charlie tons, but it is also a relief to know that our four legged boys will be taken care of by someone who has the patience and time to give them what they need and want.

A couple weeks ago Kenny was asked to be a part of Young Mens, he is now the Deacon advisor and assistant scout master. So far he is loving it and has enjoyed having this time with Kelton while he was still a Deacon. In 2 months Taylor will turn 12, receive the Priesthood and be a Deacon. I think he is excited to have his dad be his leader and be in his class teaching him. I know Kenny is excited and has already gotten the time off work approved so he can go to scout camp with them this summer. Kenny remembers his amazing scout leaders and all that they did to make scouts fun and to be there for him during his teen years. Kenny wants to be the same kind of leader that he had.

This month for book club we were supposed to read Cannery Row by John Steinbeck. This is such a small book, not even 200 pages, and I'm sorry to admit that I couldn't finish this book. It took me 2 weeks to struggle through the first 100 pages and then I just couldn't finish. I'm so embarrassed to admit this. I can fly through a 500 page book in a couple of days, but not Cannery Row. I kept pushing myself for book club and then finally decided that it wasn't worth being miserable. My Uncle Ron watched the movie back in the day and just raved about it but I can guarantee you that nothing he described is what I read. I also really doubt that the details that he told me about the story wouldn't have fit into the last 60 or so pages that I didn't read. I may have to watch the movie, but I don't plan on trying to re-read the book. If I truly want to torture myself I will try to figure out Isaiah!

After talking things over with Kenny we decided that we should buy a summer pass. It's called the pass of all passes and gives you so much for not much money. We got a season pass to seven peaks water park, season home tickets to all Blaze games, tickets to four Grizzlies hockey games, tickets to four Real Salt Lake games, and tickets to six races out at Rocky Mountain Raceway. Since Kenny was home sick, we went last night to get our passes and have our picture taken (to put on the pass). We should be busy this summer and having tons of fun. This will pretty much cover our vacation for this summer and Kenny is going to take some days off so we can go to the water park together.

I saved this part for the last because every time I bring up home schooling my children, someone out there has to disagree with it and tell me how wrong it is to home school children. I have finally decided to home school my children and am going through the admission process to admit them to the Utah Virtual Academy. Kenny completely surprised me this last weekend and approached me about having the boys home schooled, he is totally on board with this and has been helping me to get things ready. Both of the boys are so excited and most of the friends Kelton has made are home schooled. We'll be able to plan some things with them to help enrich their on line lessons. I'm crossing my fingers that they will be accepted so we can start their classes the middle of August.

March has been so busy and full of so many big decisions that I'm scared a little to see what April brings. Usually March is our quiet month before the insaneness of April hits. I hope you all have had a good month and that your families are doing well.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Chris!!

Chris celebrated her birthday this week and this is a picture of her at work. Now you have to know that Chris is anything but a pink foo foo girly girl. However, her coworkers decorated her desk in all pink and even got her to wear a tiara. I love that they got her a princess piƱata. They even took the time at work to pull all the strings and empty the candy. I wasn't there, but I can just imagine all these adults diving for the candy. Since I know a few of her coworkers, I really can imagine them having fun and really diving for the candy like kids.

I met Chris when I was in labor with Kelton and I didn't know it then when she was putting my IV in, but she was soon to be a wonderful addition to our family. She has been my mom's partner for 14 years and she has brought much love and fun to my mom and our family as a whole. I'm very thankful that she put up with me in the beginning, I was a little tough to get to know and had my walls up (Donna years, need I say more).

Chris is an amazing Grandma to my boys. She has been there for every event in their lives and continues to spoil them every chance she gets. I am so thankful for her influence in their lives and the lessons that she has taught them. They love to spend time with her and my mom and are so excited to go fishing this summer with her. It's all Kelton has talked about for over a week.

Over the years I have seen what a wonderful Nurse she is and how she cares for her kids. I have been blessed to have her teach me and Taylor some of her sacred family recipes, she is a wonderful cook! I learned that she was a semi-pro baseball player, she played for the Budweiser Belle's before she moved out here to Utah. She was so brave to drive from New Jersey to Utah alone in her little VW bug. There is no way I could do that and admire her strength more than she knows. I know that there is so much there to learn about you, you always surprise me with the things that you have done in your life.

Thank you for being a part of our family and celebrating yet another birthday with us. Thank you for letting us be a part of your life.

Good luck in Wendover!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

My Friend Fibro

Ever since I found out last Fall that I have Fibromyalgia I have contemplated writing about my experience. I have been torn between the thought that no one wants to hear me whine when I don't feel good to maybe this will help someone else out there that is going through the same thing. I think at this point I'm going to use you all for my therapy and just allow, what is now a huge part of my life, to be a part of our adventures. I hope that if someone out there stumbles across this and is feeling this way or is newly diagnosed like I am that you might not feel like you're alone.

I'm giving in and finally calling it my friend. This is something that will be with me forever and learning to manage it and come to peace with it is the only way for me to move forward in this new chapter of my life. I have to come to terms with the fact that I need help now to do some normal everyday things that I never thought about before. I have always been the strong one, both physically and mentally, and now I can hardly get out of bed some days. I do force myself out of bed everyday and take my son to school and unless there is something major going on with me, I don't allow myself to go back to bed. Even on my bad days I will find something positive and I am not giving up or letting Fibro take away my life.

I guess I should correct myself on the last line, I do have to give in sometimes to my body and listen to the pain. In a way Fibro does take away little bits of my life, but not the whole thing. This weekend is a good example of when it takes away a part of my life. I spent the entire weekend in bed with a migraine. I also had pain from head to foot that came with stabbing pain because I needed to switch to a new pain medicine for my deep nerve pain. I was taking Lyrica and it was wonderful, however, it was super expensive and it has gotten to a point where I just can't justify the cost anymore. I met with my doctor to see if we could switch that and to let him know that I now have a drug allergy. I have never been allergic to anything and now I am allergic to Ultram. It was lovely, my entire neck was red with hives going up the side of my neck and almost onto my face.

While trying to switch from one medicine to the other I let my pain get out of control and when I realized what was happening it was to late. I have to add at this point that it wasn't all bad and that I had an amazing hair day on Friday, I wish I had a picture of it. I also felt really good (I did have some pain) and was able to run a bunch of errands and even took Kenny a Mt. Dew so he could see me looking nice. Sometimes I have to remind both of us that I do know how to do my hair and get dressed for the day in something other than jeans and a t-shirt. It was a really good morning until the pain took over and then I spent the rest of the weekend with an ice pack on the back of my neck and on my forehead and slept. I knew that I needed to move and sometimes a shower will help so I took a shower, I wanted to cry when the water first touched my back. I spent the entire time in the shower trying not to throw up from the pain. I think every nerve in my body was exposed. It felt like I was scrubbing exposed nerves while I tried to wash my body.

I don't know if any of you know what I'm trying to explain. I'll keep working on my descriptions until I can get them to where you can understand the pain a little. I did get up a few times to move around a little and even went to my mom's house on Saturday for dinner. I couldn't make it to church on Sunday though, I can't sit up without feeling nauseated. Even while writing this I am having a hard time. I feel nauseated, my back and arms are throbbing with pain from sitting here and holding my arms up to type. I'm also having little hints of my migraine pain coming back.

As I'm reading over this before I post it, it feels a little doom and gloom. I feel like Eeyore as I read this. Yes, there is pain and there are things that I struggle with doing, but there is also so much good that has come with having this disease. I am learning to have so much more compassion for other people who are suffering with their afflictions. I get to stay home with my boys and have the time to spend with them. Instead of focusing on a career, I get to focus on my family. When I say family, I mean my entire family (parents, siblings, cousins, ward family, etc).

I love being able to serve and help. I'm learning so much about my boys now that I'm home. I get to spend time with my mom when we go visit or when I can help and take her to her doctor appointments. I also want to be able to share if I'm having a bad day or if I'm having a good day. It really is the only way to understand me and my corky sense of humor. Hopefully, I haven't scared any of you away now. But, I also figure that if that was going to happen it would have happened with my drugging our cat story.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Memory of Grandma McCleery

I loved my Grandma McCleery, she could be stern and I really spent much of my life scared of her (I really think it was the eyebrows) but now that I am older I am beginning to understand her much better. Some of that understanding has come from being so much like her, I'm not sure what happened but some of her genetics skipped my mom and came to me. So, I get to blame her (and my other Grandma) for being the odd duck and having o- blood (I'm the only one in my family), I think she shared her anxiety with me and she shared her anemia with me. The older I get the more I find out she has shared with me. I'm pretty sure she shared some of these things with some of my cousins because we have so many traits in common. This memory is more than genetics and the things we can't control, this memory is about learned behavior.

Grandma used to always give her cat, Sam, Valium. I remember hearing stories about how she would share her Valium with her cat. Now, I will give her the benefit of the doubt, I was young and could have misunderstood. But I really think I heard that story right, especially when I heard it over and over. Grandma always had a Siamese cat named Sam and her last Sam was so roundy that her tummy drug on the ground. I remember my mom joking about Grandma giving a happy pill to Sam and one to herself. We all have that moment when we realize that we are turning into our parents, I am now having moments when I'm realizing that I'm turning into my Grandma!

Our cat, Tony, has been acting weird ever since we dog sat for my mom over the weekend about 2 weeks ago. Ever since then he thinks it's his time to play with us from about 1:00 am to right before Kenny has to wake up for work (around 5 am). This has been going on for 2 weeks and we are both about ready to kill this cat. I love him, but I love my sleep so much more. At the same time my doctor prescribed me a pain pill to help with my pain at night so I can sleep, I have been using it a little here and a little there and have now used it enough that I was able to figure out that I'm allergic to it. I decided that instead of throwing the cat out the door or taking it to the human society that we should maybe try sleeping pills. Before I go any further, Kenny thought this was a good idea as well.

One of my boys asked me last night if I had any of those pills that Grandma used to have and shared with her cat. Unfortunately, when they switched my med's I flushed my Valium down the toilette. So, sleeping pills it is. I also read over the package and thought that I might try one as well and hope that it would help me sleep through the night until I can see my doctor. And this is when the moment of realization came to me; I am just like my Grandma! We gave me a full pill and the cat 1/2 a pill. In theory this should have gone perfect and Tony would have taken his pill as well as I did, but nothing is ever easy.

Kenny held the cat (I did offer to do the holding, but he could do it himself) and tried to shove the pill down the cats throat. Poor Tony freaked, Kenny held him tighter, Tony bit and scratched Kenny, Kenny freaked and tried to take the pill back out, Tony really bit Kenny hard. I'm not sure where the pill ended up but Tony started foaming at the mouth and kept foaming at the mouth. We kept trying to hold him and wipe his mouth for him but at that point he was so pissed at us he didn't want anything to do with us. I bet that if I was in Tony's head he was thinking things that go way beyond pissed, he does have us for parents and so I bet he was thinking something harsh and that if we knew what those meow's were they weren't nice. We did try hard to comfort him and went through several paper towels trying to keep his little mouth clean and our floor wiped up. I felt really bad, Kenny felt horrible and kept apologizing to Tony and now I wish I could have gotten a picture of Tony's foam goatee.

Now really, can you just imagine Kenny chasing the cat around with a wad of paper towels, hand and arm bleeding and alternating between cussing at the cat and apologizing. I finally got Tony and was trying to help keep his mouth wiped and was petting him, trying to calm him down, but gave up he was just to freaked out at that point. Tony eventually made his way to the boys desk and sat underneath it and glared down the hall at Kenny.

I am happy to announce that we all got to sleep through the entire night!! I also want to make sure that you all know that Tony is doing just fine. I'm not sure when he finally stopped foaming at the mouth but he did sleep through the night as well and has been awake all morning and even playing. Usually he is asleep right now. I feel as though I should add a disclaimer here that I had no idea that he would foam at the mouth from giving him a sleeping pill and in no way did we want to intentionally want to hurt him. I think he's fine though.

I'm counting this as a dry run and now we will know what to do better tonight. I'm envisioning "getting my plumbers helper and a shovel, I'll open his mouth and shooove it in." (Christmas Story, I hope I got that quote right, it's close anyway)

In honor of Grandma who liked to share her happy pills, I will share sleeping pills. I am way to selfish to give up my sleep or share my happy pills. Grandma, you were actually so much nicer than me.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Fever Series

I recently finished reading the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning. I have to say that I was instantly hooked with the first book, Dark Fever. It kept flowing and moving quickly as the story progressed. It was like that all the way through to the 5th book. The story takes place in Dublin and starts out with our main character finding out that her sister has been murdered. The Dublin police can't find any clues as to who could have killed her and close the case quickly. This is when our main character defies her parents and takes off to Dublin to solve the case of her sisters murder. She isn't in Dublin for more than a day or so when she quickly gets involved with the whole other side of life that is going on around her and starts learning that she is a part of that other world and has her own special power. She also soon learns that everyone wants to use her for that power.

I am just going to get this out of the way first, if there was one thing that I could complain about with these books it would be the use of the "F" word. Amazingly there really isn't much swearing in these books other than that one word, or I kept trying so hard to skip that word that I didn't notice anything else. Either way, that is one of the words that I really have a hard time with. I have a friend that gave me some really good advice when we were younger and I was testing my limits and was thinking I sounded so grown up when I swore; she said that it made me sound stupid and that anyone who has to constantly resort to that kind of language is stupid because they can't come up with any other words to use out of all the words that we have in our language to describe their feelings or tell a story. Just sayin'....

I loved all the characters in this series. I love how they describe the main character, MacKayla Lane, she starts out so innocent and naive and then as she understands her role and begins to accept and grow into her new life she just blossoms into this amazing woman. The only things that bugged me about her was that she spent so much time in the beginning trying to learn everything and trying to be tough and saying that she didn't need help. However, by the end of the third book, Faefever, she gets raped by the fae and is completely changed by it (leaving it vague so that I don't give to much away). Once she recovers with the help of Barons (I'll explain him later) she is mad at him for not being there to rescue her. It's hard to see the heroin try so hard to be independent when you know she can't be and then get mad when someone isn't there to rescue her. I wish her character would have been willing to open up more and accept help.

Barrons, who if he was real I would seriously have a crush on, is the strong protector that takes Mac in (or Ms. Lane as Barrons calls her). He owns a bookstore and allows Mac to live there so that she is protected and is also trying to teach her and help her to learn her new talents. At times he can be very gruff and frustrating, even abusive. But somehow with Barrons it is okay for him to be that way. He keeps many secrets (as all the characters do), however, as I read I couldn't help but think that if he would have just opened up a little bit it would have helped his relationship with Ms. Lane so much. She would have needed to open up a bit also as well. I understand why they didn't and it did make it fun to read as they have these conversations and try to figure each other out and end up fighting. Their fights are always emotional and have a strong sexual undertone to them, so when Barrons does slam Ms. Lane up against the wall and hold her there, it's okay and you just hold your breath wishing he would just kiss her.

V'Lane is the other main character who is Fae (or is a fairy) and has his own special power that left Mac in a few compromising situations. I can't tell you his power, you will have to read the books, but whenever he enters the story I end up blushing and hoping that nobody has noticed. He is very good looking and has also taken an interest in Mac. He spends time with her and is trying to help her understand the history of all that is going on as well as teach her about her power. For me, I wanted to like V'Lane but had a hard time really liking him as much as Barrons. It could be that Barrons carries more masculine power with him, the whole big and strong thing that would make me like him more. But I also think that as I read there were just little things here and there that bugged me about V'Lane, something was just off.

I absolutely loved these books and would suggest them to anyone who likes to read really good adventures with lots of sexual undertones and a little bit of a love story in there as well. Ms. Moning does an amazing job describing Dublin and developing her characters. She does an incredible job making you continue to guess the entire time who is the good guy and who is the bad guy. She literally does this through the entire series and almost right up to the last page. I can't wait until I have some time to be able to read more of her books.

I hope that I didn't give to much away, I wanted to offer just enough that it would bait you and want you to get sucked away to Dublin for several days. I need to thank my cousin Jessie for suggesting that I read this series and for lending me the books. Thank you, Thank you, I loved every minute I got to read them.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Rube Goldberg Project

Kelton had a project that he needed to do for his science class called the Rube Goldberg project. I had never heard of this before and had no clue what Kelton was talking about when he first brought up the whole project idea. I may have had no idea because I might not have been listening in class when I was younger, but maybe I did learn and had successfully forgotten it. Either way, I know that I never had to do a project like this for school.

His project is due today and yes we spent last night doing his project, but in Kelton's defense he did have a partner he was working with that flaked out on him at the last minute and left Kelton to come up with a new project idea and do it on his own. Kenny really stepped up and helped a ton with the idea. He also helped a ton when it came to using up all of my scotch tape and then moving onto Duct tape and it he could use my stapler for something, he ran around stapling things together. We had string stapled to the ceiling and string stapled to tennis balls. You'll see a picture of the duct tape soon.

In order for Kelton's project to work and follow the guidelines set by his teacher, Kelton had to have 8 things happen before the final object of the whole project was finished. I'm not sure if that really made sense. Let me try again, 8 things had to happen all together. Kelton needed there to be 7 things happening before the 8th thing happened; in this case it was to pop a balloon.

After 22 tries, and yes I had to try to film each one, Kelton finally got his project to work. The first video is I think try #20 or something, but it was so funny that I had to add it. It could have just been funny at the time, so sorry if it really was one of those things that you had to be there for.

Here is the actual project. I tried to film it the best I could, please be patient with me as I am still quit inexperienced. What I can say is that I am thankful for digital cameras, it was so easy to just go in and delete all the times that the car flew off in the wrong direction or the dominoes didn't all fall. After 22 tries, here is how everything came together.

At the end of it all Kelton announced that the car had gone straight through the balloon and was stuck in the floor. I'm not sure if you can really tell in the picture but the needle is pushed pretty far into the kitchen floor.

We actually had so much fun doing this project. I truly enjoyed watching Kenny and Kelton work together to make his project work. Taylor was also helping and was sneaking off with the unused dominoes and building his own towers on the couch. He kept knocking them down before I could get a picture, but they were impressive.

I also feel as though I need to thank our silent helpers who didn't even know they helped with this because they were out of town. Thank you to Grandma Shauna and Grandma Chris for providing the balloons and the dominoes. I'll bring the dominoes back this week :)