Monday, July 23, 2007

What's the Deal: Discovery Gateway Children's Museum, SLC, Utah

Pin It A few weeks back, my sister Diana and her girls, Alyson and Chloe, came to visit. I love it when she visits and so do my kids, because Aunt Diana, frankly, is a lot more fun than Mom, and they know that when Aunt Diana comes to visit, they will get to do a bunch of stuff that Mom is normally too tired (lazy) to let them do, like go swimming and stay up past 6:30 and leave the house and other crazy stuff like that. Accordingly, one hot afternoon, Diana, Wendy and I packed up all of our kids and headed for the children's museum.

When we arrived at the museum, Diana spotted this sign, and stole my camera to take a picture. It says, "Strollers: To make more room for play please park your stroller around the corner by the elevators." Of course, the sign was SURROUNDED by strollers.

There were a lot of cool exhibits that I didn't take pictures of, because I was too busy running around yelling, "Sarah? Sarah, where's Carter? Oh, there you are, o.k. Oh - Abby? ABBY! Carter, where's ABBY? Oh, Abby, I see you. Wait, where's Sarah again?" And so on. (You know how they have those barbaric leashes for kids? I totally want one. Or three.)

There was a child size working grocery store where they check their groceries out, use the cash register, talk over the loudspeaker, etc. See how Sarah is just patiently waiting for them to check her out, not getting bossy or demanding or anything? (So obviously her father's kid!) Another little girl kept hogging the cash register and I was about to ask her to let Sarah have a turn and Sarah gave me this withering look like, "Do NOT embarrass me, mother." Uh huh. Yeah. She's FIVE.

Did Abby want to play in the grocery store? No, Abby did not. Abby wanted to play in this - old fake metal car. It didn't do anything. It wasn't even a REAL fake car. It was just - a fake pretend car with no pedals or gears or anything. All you could do was steer it. But - hey - that car had some other kids in it, and you could boss them around and tell them you were the mom and they were the children and then make them listen to you sing a song. An audience, trapped in a car with you. That seemed to be the primary draw of the exhibit.

There was a puppet show. See that person hiding back there behind the puppet show? That's my sister Wendy. She put on the puppet show. See all those empty seats? Yeah. The kids all left. Abby stayed for a while, out of pity, I think.

Here is another puppet show. That chicken puppet? I believe that's Wendy again. Notice that the children have all wandered away.

After Wendy was finished putting on puppet shows for imaginary audiences, the kids took turns being on the news, watching themselves on camera...

Next they went outside to examine the (real) flight for life helicopter. Carter was worried, because every few minutes the helicopter would start making helicopter sound effects and vibrating and he was quite convinced it was going to take off into the sky at any moment.

Back inside, they played some games. Abby picked her nose a little. (Here is a tip for first time parents: Don't ever say, "No child of mine will ever ______." Because then karma will bite you in the buttocks and YES THEY WILL.)

We did a bunch of other stuff - dressing up...

...and farming activities and playing games and building buildings and other things like that, then ate dinner and headed over to the fountains to cool off. Wendy and Diana did not want to get wet, the big wussies. But the kids and I had no such compunctions - it was hot, and the water was cold. A little bit later, drenched and tired, we all headed home.

P.S. Wendy - don't hurt me. XOXOXOXO

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Goodbye, Cruel World

Pin It A few months ago I convinced myself that I had a blood clot in my leg. I had a little pain in my leg and I read on the internet that if a person sits a great deal and doesn't get up to move or stretch, it might be indicative of a blood clot, which might then break loose and travel up to their lungs and give them a pulmonary embolism. I sit a LOT - working at the computer during the day and for a long time every night, and this worried me. I consulted my husband, who thought I was insane. I consulted my sister Diana, who advised me that I should be careful and get up to stretch every couple of hours.

I worried about the blood clot for weeks. I started having dreams about it, dreams where I could see a big purple spot moving up my legs and I only had a few seconds left to live. A few nights a week I would get into bed with my husband and burst into tears and tell him how much I loved him, and after I died, would he please not marry someone younger than 25 and would he please make sure the children knew how much I loved them and show them a video of me now and then so that they would remember (unless it made them sad and then, never mind) and would he please also make sure the woman he married was no smaller than a size 8? And he would just hug me and tell me I was crazy, but that if I was worried, I should go to the doctor, and I would sigh that I was probably going to die that night in my sleep, but yes, I would probably go the next day. And then in the morning I would forget about it, or be busy, and wouldn't go.

One night I was working at my computer and I suddenly felt light headed, and I thought, this is it, somehow it has skipped through my lungs and it's gone to my brain and I'm having a stroke. I knew my husband would just laugh and shake his head so instead I typed up one letter to my children telling them how much I loved them, and another letter for my husband, telling him not to blame himself for not taking me seriously, because I loved him very much and I didn't want him to mourn me for long, and I left it up on the computer while I finished my work, just in case I really did die. Which I didn't. (Obviously.)

Then one night I could just feel the blood clot, pulsing in my leg and I started to think - this is it. You are going to die. Right now. And I could totally picture that scene on ER when Lucy Knight died of a pulmonary embolism and she died really quickly, so I very quickly told my husband that I loved him, again, and quickly went and kissed the children, and came back into bed crying, and my husband said, "That's it, go to the hospital if you think you are dying." And at first I protested, but then I thought, well, what if I'm right? But what if I'm wrong? I weighed my options for a while, trying to decide if it would be worse to be a) dead or b) embarrassed, and then decided I should go, but then - what if the blood clot hits my lungs when I'm driving down the street? So we called my sister Wendy and her husband Damien and Damien came over immediately and watched the kids while my husband drove me to the ER. (Did I mention this was at 11:00 on a Sunday night? Thanks Damien!)

So we get to the hospital, and I tell the triage nurse about my problem and she puts the little wristband on me and lets me into the actual ER. It's quite a sleepy little hospital and I've been there twice for kidney stones, so I felt right at home. The ER doctor came back to see me, and when I told him what I thought was wrong, he LAUGHED at me. He told me it was possible but not very likely, and I indignantly explained all of my symptoms and he listened and told me that, yes, it was possible, but again, not very likely. Quite frankly, he was more concerned about the rash on my leg than about any possible blood clot. And he said, probably to prevent himself from being sued in the event that I actually DID have a blood clot, that they could do an ultrasound so that we would know for sure.

My husband was like, "Yes, please, for the love of pete, DO THE ULTRASOUND," because it was the only way to conclusively rule it out so that I would stop planning my funeral. (Although, I must say, it would have been an absolutely lovely service - Mark would give the eulogy, there would be a group musical number, and, er, nevermind...) The doctor tried not to laugh, and I gave him what I hoped was a very dirty look and they sent me for the ultrasound.

OK, so I will preface this next part by saying that I am VERY TICKLISH. And really, the ultrasound girl was putting the ultrasound wand thing right in my leg pit, and you know - TICKLISH, right? I was laughing like a freaking hyena, and she was laughing, and I just could not stop laughing. I can't remember the last time I laughed that hard. It was so tickly. My husband was laughing and telling me that I was a freak. And the tech was like, "WHY are you here again?" I told her blood clot, and I know what she was thinking - I was drunk or possibly a psych patient - but really, if she knew all of my symptoms, she wouldn't have smirked like that.

So anyway, they came back a little bit later with the results - no blood clot. I was very relieved. VERY RELIEVED. My husband teased me for days, and I was appropriately sheepish. And everytime he opened a bill from the hospital he gave me a dirty look, but then he usually hugged me afterward too, so it was o.k.

So, that drama was overwith, the end. And then, a few days ago, I read about our governor's daughter. She is younger than me, was in perfect health, and she was flying back and forth from SLC to New York, and she collapsed and it turns out that she had a BLOOD CLOT. BROUGHT ON BY TOO MUCH SITTING!! THAT BROKE LOOSE!! AND TRAVELED TO HER LUNGS!! AND SHE BARELY SURVIVED. !!! !! And so I had to think about that for a few days.

And then tonight, my mother-in-law told me that her mother had several blood clots IN HER LEG and that they all broke loose and that she could ACTUALLY SEE THEM traveling up her leg and that she would try to "squoosh them" before they reached her heart (holy crap, and for the love of all that is holy, she had to try to sqoosh them) and that the only reason she survived was that she was on blood thinners already and she had to put a nitro tablet under her tongue when they hit her heart. And I sat and listened, horrified and transfixed. And my husband told his mom to STOP! STOP RIGHT NOW! Because he saw the look on my face.

And so I've been thinking and what I want to know basically is - where can I get some blood thinners and/or nitro, and also, Damien, can you come over? Right now possibly? Because I think I need another ultrasound.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Pin It My husband dropped a half gallon of milk on the floor today. Sarah and Abby helpfully threw a few towels into the middle of the milk mess while DH ran for the carpet cleaner, to suck up the milk, forgetting that he last used it to suck up the chocolate milk that Carter upchucked all over the car. When he was done, the kitchen smelled like milk puke.

My husband's (visiting from Las Vegas) mother and I managed to mop up the rest of the milk and wipe it off of the table, island and chairs. The dog and Carter ran amuck, prancing around in the milk until  hubs caught them and put one in a crate and the other in his room.

I went into the laundry room to grab the wood cleaner and a mop, and in the process, knocked a can of black paint over. Paint splattered and spilled EVERYWHERE - all over the hickory floors, the dryer, the walls and, oh yes, the dog, who was in his crate, in the laundry room. Paint as far as the eye could see. On me. On my feet. On my pants. Cue Abby throwing another batch of towels onto the paint mess. Helping me, you know.

I managed to get it cleaned up, with no permanent harm done, other than to my pants, which I tossed into the trash. DH thought this was all hilarious, until I accidentally (I swear, it really was purely an accident) brushed up against him on my way to the shower, ruining his shirt. I scrubbed and scrubbed at the paint on my feet, but my feet are horribly dry right now and the paint would not come off, so I now look like I have some kind of exotic foot fungus and my french pedicure is looking very gothic.

Carter and I put together the caesar salad for dinner, from one of those salad mixes, and he squirted the caesar dressing out of the packet - and all over the front of my shirt. My somewhat new shirt, which (because of the grease in the dressing) now looks like I had some kind of really unpleasant nursing accident.

We (probably foolishly considering our string of accidents) made S'mores after dinner, roasting marshmallows around the backyard firepit, and it went off quite uneventfully. Of course later that night I found a candybar wrapper stuck to my bum. I found it after I'd been parading around the backyard talking to various friends and neighbors for a few hours, like, "hey look everyone, in case you were wondering why I'm not having more success in my weight loss efforts, I've just decided to helpfully glue the freaking candybar wrapper right to my butt."

"Exciting afternoon," my father-in-law said.

Yeah. Something like that, anyway.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Pin It Number of stressful business phone calls and emails I received over the weekend: 6
Number of times I said "that sucks" last night: approximately 24
Number of times I said mildly inappropriate words: 12
Number of times I said REALLY REALLY inappropriate words: 7
Number of fudgemallows eaten: 9
Bowls of ice cream my husband brought me: 1
Pounds lost: hmmm, let's see, big surprise.... can you say ZERO?!!

Universe: 1
Me: 0

Grrrr..... I'll get you yet, Universe. I'll get you yet.

Also, if you want to feel inadequate about your parenting skills, go here to read a lovely story. I cried. While eating fudgemallows of course.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Why My Husband is Awesome - Reason #146

Pin It Once before my husband and I ever dated, when we were just flirting friends, I told him a story about this guy I briefly dated who sort of stalked me afterwards, who used to come to my work and leave really odd things on the windshield of my car, like St. Patricks Day pencils.

The day after we went out for the first time, I went out to my car on my lunch break and found that he’d left me a single long stem rose with a little card that said, “I know it’s not a pencil, but it’s the thought that counts.”

He's a keeper, that one.

Happy Fourth!

Pin It On the fourth, we drove up to my mother’s house. She lives in Oakley, a little town near Park City. We started the day with an old fashioned, small-town parade, joined by my sister Diana and her children. We walked “downtown” and found a spot on the parade route.

The kids were ready for action. My mom and sister made patriotic felt bags for each of the kids so that they could collect the candy that would be thrown from the parade floats.

There were many small timey, fun floats. Some were very creative, some were a bit more puzzling. This float, for example, consisted of kids on four wheelers. I'm not sure what the patriotic tie-in was, other than the red, white and blue decor. My brother assured me that four wheelers, in and of themselves, are patriotic.

To the delight of the melting crowd, a firetruck came by and squirted us all...

After the parade, we went to an adjacent town auditorium to watch a charming patriotic program put on by some very talented "townies" (including my mom and brother). My favorite part was when the emcee referred to the Parade Grand Marshalls, who had moved to the town 50 years prior from a town up the road, as "move-ins."

After lunch at the town barbecue, we headed back to Highland for some downtime, followed by sparklers and fireworks.

Monday, July 02, 2007


Pin It
New pics of the kids - serious cuteness follows...

Crime and Punishment

Pin It After two hours of trying to get the girls in bed, I lost my patience last night. I told them to pick a punishment, or I would. This is something we do occasionally that usually works pretty well - then it's less of an "I'm mad at you thing," and more of a "You broke our rule, you have to have a punishment" thing.

Last night they came up with a number of suggestions for punishments they thought would fit the bill. A few were a little harsh, I thought, including this one:


There were a few others we rejected, for a variety of reasons...

Abby: "No more doughnuts, EVER"
Sarah: "Send Abby to live next door"
Abby: "No wearing skirts ever, ever, EVER"
Sarah: "Sleep in the basement alone"
Abby: "No more fruity pebbles, EVER"

I knew we had a winner after Abby suggested that I put their "special blankies" away for the night, and they made these faces: