Sunday, May 31, 2009

Cry Baby

I am a big fat cry baby. I am. I know I am. I cry for all kinds of reasons.

As you can see from my last post, sometimes I get frustrated and I hold it in, hold it in, then when it finally comes out, it's got some pretty good pressure behind it. And I cry. It lets off the steam and helps me feel better. I have had a couple of those moments in the last month as I have been frustrated with my health. That reminds me-I told my friend Lanae that we can no longer be friends since I could no longer face her. She happened to come over one Sunday night after a very busy weekend while I was sick in bed. I was super scary looking and all clammy from having a really high fever. I was telling John about the upcoming week and all the things I had to do and I cried. I didn't cry too hard because I couldn't get the air to make it super sobby, what with the pneumonia and all, but I had some good tears coming out of my make-up-lacking eyes. In walked Lanae. Ah crud. I am a cry baby, but I am also fairly prideful and private about it. Lanae sat down on my bed and gave me a big hug. Did I mention I was really, REALLY scary looking? And shoot, how does she know if I am contagious or not?! She didn't listen when I told her I couldn't be her friend anymore-she came right back another day cleaning my house and bringing pizza.

Saturday night I finally took off for Salt Lake. As I was cruising down Dreamy Draw, I felt that burning in my eyes. Like I was gonna cry.

I have been hoping to leave town all week, but I honestly just never got to packing-too tired. My sisters both kept close tabs on me as they knew John was out of town. Nicole called to tell me she was coming over from Page to take care of me. I reassured her that I was doing all right, but inside I felt really good knowing she meant it when she said she would come over if I wanted her to. My other sister Kim called to make sure I could drive that far and assured me they could come meet me to help anywhere along the road.

Obviously on Friday night I was quite frustrated. Much of the frustration came from the fact that I just have been spinning my wheels all week. I wasn't a moment closer to being prepared to go out of town. Saturday morning I was determined to make it happen. The kids packed themselves (quite interesting by the way). Because I have packed to leave town innumerable times, I started feeling discouraged as I realized we were never going to make it today. Then I got a phone call. It was from my friend Lucy. She is a treat. See her blog here. I have somewhat jokingly told her that if I didn't like her so much, I would not even consider being her friend as she lives outside of my mental geographic boundaries on friendship (translation: she lives on the other side of town). I know, how lame am I? Anyway-Lucy called and offered to take my kids for the afternoon. Hallelujah!! Of course, prideful brat that I am, I couldn't immediately say how terrific that would be, I hemmed and hawed and felt lame for needing help. In the end (OK, it didn't take much) though, I relented and she drove the 20 minutes she lives away so she could pick up my kids and drive them 20 min. back to her far away home.

About this time, Greg (Lanae's man) came by so I could show him our sprinklers. He was going to make sure that our stuff all got watered while I was gone. He had to see what to reset on the timers (No, I don't know how to do this myself) With the kiddos gone, I was able to continue packing and prepping for our drive. Evening was rapidly approaching and Lucy called to see if I was ready for her to return my offspring. But she didn't stop there. She enlisted the help of her busy husband and they both drove (in separate cars) the 20 min. back to my house...oh, wait-2 cars @ 20 min each = 40 minutes driving time... to help me load the truck with suitcases and bikes. It was obvious her husband had been an Elder's Quorum President before as it was all packed neatly and space efficiently in no time. Let me add that all up...20+20+40+40=120 minutes or 2 hours in driving time alone!!!

As we drove out of the house, it started pouring rain and Daisy kept following us. I called our neighbors the Blakes and they happily put her in their garage until we were off. This is the point where I got that burny feeling in my eyes. I thought of all the people that were willing to help me and my family out-at great inconvenience to themselves. I thought of how healthy me and my family have typically been. I thought of my husband who was cutting his trip short to meet me in SLC. I thought of my extended family. I thought of my friends. I thought of how nice it was to have rain for my flowers. I thought of many other little blessings in my life. And I cried-not too much as this would be unsafe while driving-and my heart felt really full. It made the drive to Moab go a lot easier.

Thank you to everyone who has helped me and wished me well! I am grateful!!! I am sick of being sick, and sometimes I am frustrated-- but when weighed against all that I am blessed with, it's nothing to cry about.

Friday, May 29, 2009

I'm Sick of It!

I'm having a little mini meltdown. I am frustrated with this whole pneumonia thing. I went for my follow-up X-ray today and it appears I still have the P word-the silent P word. What kind of dumb sickness starts with a silent P by the way?! My Doctor's Associate's Nurse (get that? I haven't been able to see my own Dr, just his associate, and it was Her Nurse that called me...) called to let me know the news. She said I am to take ANOTHER round of antibiotics (my 4th).

I was told originally that I had bacterial and viral P. When I took my last round of antibiotics, my fever went away and I was able to function (though at a largely diminished capacity). I assume this is because the antibiotics took care of whatever bacterial infection I had. So when I asked the nurse if I had viral P still, she said she didn't know. I asked if I did have viral P, would antibiotics even matter? She didn't know. Ugg. I am just frustrated that the solution to everything is antibiotics even if the logic isn't there. I am sure I am missing something and this is going to make a difference, but I wish someone could tell me what that missing knowledge is. I have written about my hesitance to take drugs as even antibiotics do not set well with me.

And I am learning first hand how important active parenting is to the peace in the home. When kids are left to their own devices they tend to be really messy and fight a lot. But I am still so tired-I just let them have free reign. I miss my hubby. I miss Gabe (as the oldest, he is a lot of help). I am flippin' GRUMPY and I am sick of hanging out with my unfun self. I am sick of being exhausted after a simple task like watering my flowers. It's so dumb! I want to drive to Utah, but have Sunday stuff-not to mention the fact that I haven't summoned up the energy to pack.

So ya-there's my rant. I think I am just going to turn on the TV and let everyone chill for a while. I'll get it together...just had to vent!

How Can Anyone Wonder?

"...and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it..."   
 Alma 30:44

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Getting Planted

Tonight Hank came over and helped us get our Square Foot Garden planted for the year. We put in some peas, cucumbers, cantelope, watermelon, carrots, lettuce, and corn. I will add tomatos and peppers that I get from the nursery. Outside of the garden we planted several mounds of pumpkins just for fun. All of the kids planted a little, but jumping on the trampoline and playing with Daisy were a lot more fun.
Hank helps Jackson plant some cantelope while Jebb hams it up
Hank models our trusty SFG manual (notice our snowball bush is lookin' pretty snowbally this year!)
Seth found a grody piece of rabbit/deer/who-knows fur in the yard that Daisy had brought home.  He decided to make it into a faux-hawk for her.  Poor dog!
Daisy and Seth the hairdresser

After we planted all of our stuff, we went inside and decided to make some CChip cookies. The new AD leader, Sis. Ash had emailed us a recipe we thought we would try out.
Hank mixes up the dough
Seth and Elise retrieve the recipe and copy it down for us to use
Jebb (the little turkey) flipped over the sugar and brown sugar canisters and was using them as drums.  Luckily I had already put the lids on tight-can you imagine if I hadn't?!  
Hank taste tests the dough before baking

The cookies turned out pretty darn good. We enjoyed them with milk. John called as we were snacking to let us know they had made it to Jackson, WY. I actually worked for a summer there in college and it is SO beautiful! I am a little jealous! :) I am glad they are safe. We are really missing them, but I am so glad they are taking the trip. I'll have to write more about it later-I have to get some cookies out of the oven.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Tonight as I was trying to scrape up the enthusiasm to prepare a nutritious, balanced, and delicious dinner, I got a phone call. Susan Gohn and her 3 beautiful kids Hanna (one of my AD girls), Zach, and Adam called to let me know they were bringing me dinner. They gave me a heads up to fire up my oven! Hooray for the kindness of others!!! And Susan's chicken enchiladas are yum-a-roo! Thank you Gohn family! You rescued the night!! I will put the can of mini raviolis back in the cupboard for another meal occasion.

Happy Birthday Nicole

Today is my sister Nicole's birthday. She is still much younger than me. I am #3 and she is #4 in the Ross Clan. We are 4 years apart, but have been quite close (maybe because I am immature?). Nicole married her high school sweetheart and they have settled back in Page, AZ with their 4 boys and as you can see, they all adore her.

Nicole is a lot of fun. This is a picture of her from college. She is very funny and we are always telling one another how our husbands don't realize how hilarious we are!!

But Nic isn't just cute and funny, she is also brilliant. She is a High School English teacher and is currently teaching for an online High School-very techie! While being a mom, a YW pres, and a full-time teacher, she has also been able to work on her Master's Degree. She is getting close to finishing even with all the other craziness in her life!

Nicole can do pretty much anything and never ceases to amaze me with her home improvement prowess. She is truly multi-talented. But my favorite thing about Nicole is that she is my friend. She always listens to me rant and complain before having me laugh my can off in the same conversation. I know she's always got my back and I am grateful the Lord sent me such a cool little sister. I hope I can grow up to be more like her. Happy Birthday Sissy!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Oh Crap

Today John left with Gabe for a 10 day motorcycle trip.

No problem.

I've got it all under control.

Elise went to play with a friend and Seth had a friend come over. Summer in full swing. Bring it on baby.

Having 4 boys, I have noticed a few things about them. They enjoy different things than I, as a female, find appealing. They like to do thing like burping, or like riding around and around on dirtbikes, they seem to like remote control vehicles, and they seem to like to dig. Burping aside, when you consider all of the other things boys like to do, you have a good idea of what Seth and his friend spent the afternoon doing. They wanted to see Hank's RC truck, so they rode dirtbikes over to Grandma's house. They wanted to dig some pits and jumps for the RC. So they got shovels and hoes.

The dirt here in Colorado is not good for digging. It is really, really hard clay. But in Grandma's back yard there is a place that is good for digging. It is a large area of sandy soil. It is several feet deep and it is easy, almost fun, to dig. Unlike these boys, you may wonder what a large area of sandy soil is doing in the back yard.

Well, this is what is known as the 'septic field.' This is where the large tank is buried that catches all of the water that comes from the house-water from the sinks, the shower, and yes, even the toilet. This tank catches any, uh hum, 'solids' and the water flows out of the tank into pipes buried in the before mentioned sandy soil septic field. The water from the underground pipes flows through the sandy material and is purified before returning to the aquifer deep below our feet. So there is your Septic System 101 class.

Back to the boys.

Digging in the nice sandy soil.

They decided to build a pit for the RC car to jump. They decided to make it really deep and challenging. Dig Dig Diggity Doo. While digging, they hit something hard, and water seemed to be coming out. Seth decided to just cover it back up (not a very sound solution). Interestingly, in true boy like fashion, Seth's friend thought they had discovered an 'underground river' and he decided to dig a little deeper. When he called Seth and Hank back over, they all decided it was unusually smelly as far as underground rivers go. That is when Hank deduced that they had dug down to, and through, the septic tank (or pipes, or something septic-y). Ironically, the, uh hum, 'contents' of the tank were beginning to actually look like an underground river as they quickly filled in the large 'pit' they had previously dug.


John is out of town for only a few hours and I've got more crap than I know what to do with. It also happens to be a holiday. No luck finding a plumber.

So we are going to make the best of this crappy situation until tomorrow comes. For today, we are going to have a little sleep over, with Grandma and Hank coming to spend some quality time with us. Maybe we'll all watch a movie or something. Jackson and Jebb are thrilled. Elise is sleeping over with her friend. Seth is unusually quiet. John and Gabe are somewhere between here and Gunnison. As for me, well, I'm beginning to think I just might be up for a roadtrip myself.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Letting a Few Things Slide

Today was my first time back to church. I have missed the last 3 weeks. I basically just got myself ready and let everyone else fend for themselves. I am in Primary now and as we were doing singing time, I learned a few things about this method. Jackson looked back at me (I was sitting in the back) and unzipped his sweater, revealing Spider Man pajamas being used as an undershirt. The other boys in his class really thought that was outstanding. Jebb (the wild Sunbeam) came running back to give me a hug in the middle of Sharing Time. I quietly hopped him up on my lap and whispered a quiet 'Shhhh' in his ear. He folded his arms and snuggled up with me. Wow-that was nice! As I broke into a giddy smile, I wrapped my arms around him. I stopped watching the teacher and looked down at my little sweet pea. It was then (and not during the 2 1/2 hours of church we had already attended before then) that I looked at his little feet. Crocs. Well, he did dress himself, I thought. Ah SNAP! Are you kidding me?! Not only was he wearing crocs, but take a look at the picture I took when we got home. To my horror I realized that these crocs are not only super old and shabby, they didn't even match!! That's right! Jebb wore a black and a blue croc to church today...with argyle socks. I know when you are sick, some things have to slide, but I think I have fallen off the cliff.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Getting Dirty

I am ready to get some stuff in the ground.  My square foot garden needs to be planted, and my soil needs tilled and amended.   I made John take me to the store to get lots of stinky compost and I was eager to get it mixed into our terrible dirt.    But it was kinda chilly.  And rainy.   After getting pretty mad at me for being outside, John and the kids did the dirty work for me.   I resisted and complained (using colorful language) about being useless before submitting and going inside.   It is hard for me to let everyone around me do my work.   I decided I am not good at being sickly.   It is really cramping my style.   Thank you John, Gabe, Seth, and Elise for getting my dirt ready. I sure love you guys.
This is near my raspberries and my blackberry plant.  I think I am going to grow pumpkins here and hope the raspberries keep spreading.

This is between the SFG and the strawberry patch (which is going crazy! Yeah!) and I would like to plant potatoes here. I tried to find seed potatoes but haven't had any luck-any ideas?

Friday, May 22, 2009

My Happy Place

Being sick is a drag. It bums me out to not be able to do what I want to do because my body is too tired. Today I decided get back to what makes me SO happy this time of year. When I see the flower beds coming to life, opening up to color the season, I just feel good. I feel excited and full of anticipation as spring unfolds. Everything in my front beds are just stuff coming up from summers past. I have some kicking delphiniums, glads, lilies, dianthus, and GOBS of snapdragons. I have a few mystery plants as well-I can't wait to see what they will be. :)

I made my day laborers (Gabe and Seth) hop in the car so I could put them to work for a little bit. It is the first official day of summer vacation and I have to set the precedent early. So we cruised out to Bayfield Gardens to see if we could add some annual flower color to our perrennial garden. What a treat it was for me! I am walking the aisles of a giant green house with two of my favorite guys and they are taking a real interest in picking out flowers! I had to pinch myself a few times and my cheeks were getting sore from smiling like a goof. We picked out many of the old standards (pink petunias and yellow marigolds) and the boys picked out a few new ones like giant lilies and a dahlia they thought was cool.

Unloading the spoils of our outing
The boys did NOT want to pose for me-I am such a blog pest
This is one of my mystery plants.  What the heck is this giganto-leafed thing?  Time will tell...
And here is my most favoritest (ya, I know that's poor grammar) plant in my garden.  The Peony-the awesome peony!  This is actually a peony my sister Kim gave me years ago and I have transplanted it to our home.  It starts out in early spring as little red sprouts that grow into this great shrub.  The blooms grow for weeks before bursting into huge flowers.  Last year they got just can't wait! I love it!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Kindergarten Grad?

Tonight we went to Jackson's Kindergarten Graduation. OK, all that we really did was pick up his portfolio and eat a piece of cake. He showed us quickly through the portfolio so he could move on to the cake-definately the highlight for him.

I am struggling. I am thinking of having him repeat kindergarten, but I don't know if it is the right thing to do. His teacher thinks he is ready to move on, but I worry that he is still so young for his grade (July B-day). I've gotta give this one some serious thought. Jackson is such a great kid and has been such a treat this year! He marches to his own drum and does things on his own schedule. I don't want him to be struggling to keep up, but I don't want to scar him by 'holding him back.'

Maybe I am overthinking it. It would be nice to have his driving himself to early morning seminary as a Sophomore instead of as a Junior...but it would be nice for him to get a year of college in before his mission. AH! It's a lot of pressure making these decisions! I don't want to mess up the rest of his life at such a young age!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

While I Was Sleeping

I am on the mend. I have been sick. Really, really sick. Two weeks ago Monday, in the afternoon, I started runnning a very high fever with a cough. I wasn't too worried because it was a flu that has made the rounds among friends and family. I thought I'd get some rest and wait for it to pass. It was a typical flu, high fever, aches, coughs, chills-not pleasant, but not too crazy.

Tuesday and Wednesday were more of the same. I literally did nothing but lay in bed. Jebb had just come through two days of fever, so he stayed home with me and just watched TV all day. He got himself gogurts, crackers, apples, and string cheese. He found ways to entertain himself. I just kept feeling worse and worse. I would lay as still as possible so I wouldn't start myself coughing. I decided I'd better go to the doctor if I wasn't feeling better Thurs. morning. So ya, Thursday morning was not better and I got an appointment for the afternoon.

After a once over, the doctor listened to my lungs. She said I had Pneumonia. Crap. She wrote me several perscriptions. I got a strong antibiotic, daytime cough 'pearls', and a night time cough medicine with codine so I could sleep. So I took my pills. And fevered. And coughed. And slept, some. By this time John has shifted into SuperDad mode. I tell ya, the guy puts me to shame! He gets the house whipped into shape and is doing laundry like a madman. I love that man.

I have this weird thing about medicine. I hate taking it. I resist. I am obnoxious about it. But there is a reason. Medicine never affects me the right way. If there is an obscure side effect, I generally get it. The night time cough medicine for example-it did not ease my cough or make me sleepy. Instead, I continued to cough and was WIDE awake, even jittery, for many hours after taking it. And the antibiotics never really did anything but upset my stomach. The Nyquil John made me take Friday night just made my belly burn. Sleep for a long stretch still eluded me but the high fever had me dozing in and out. Ya, I am a weirdo. I finally went back into the doctor and got a new antibiotic which seems to be doing the trick. Thank heaven!

It's been a strange couple of weeks. Life goes on-whether I am asleep or awake. I missed lots of field trips and even some concerts. I usually didn't send cameras to the events, but we did get a few shots of random life. So I wanted to remark on a few things that have happened while I slept.

Last weekend was Hank's graduation from Bayfield HS. We has some family come into town for it. Kristine's sister Johnnie and 3 of her kids Jolyn, David, and Susan (Hank's mom) came with some of their families. I was in charge of the food for Sat/Sun. Luckily I had already done some of it, but on Sat. afternoon, I laid on the dining room table telling John how to make the 2 lasagnas for dinner that night. At least he still needs me around to cook. :) Everything was apparently very good and after moving the dinner to Kristine's, it went well.
Our great friends all pitched in with side dishes for the big dinner after graduation on Mother's Day and John picked up a big order of Serious Texas BBQ meat. Again, I heard it went well. I was relieved when it was all over. I wanted Hank to have a good time and feel important. I think he did.

The daughter of John's first cousin came through on her drive home from BYU to Georgia for the summer. She is a terrific musician and gave us an impromptu concert. Jenna is amazing! Thanks for singing for us!

Gabe certainly used this time for personal enrichment. He rode his dirtbike every stinking day. I usually try to pace him a little and get maximum yard work for his riding pleasure. He had more than one crash, but John took pictures of this one. Sometimes it is better for me to NOT know what this kid does.

Of course there was Mother's Day-I just have to say that I LOVE the gifts my kids make me! They all were incredibly sweet to me. I haven't been eating so I didn't have my traditional breakfast in bed, but I got my usual slew of amazing handmade gifts. I am so grateful to be a Mom to all of these beautiful, talented kids! the first pot was made by Elise.
Jackson made me this little red pinch pot. Seth made 2 things for me. He made the ceramic turtles (I have quite a collection of ceramic kid-crafted turtles) as well as this glass necklace. He said the dark part was supposed to look like a heart. :)

I hate missing out on life! This time is going so fast! My trees have all blossomed, my perenials are coming up, everything has awoken from Spring. I am so glad I am awake now too. Although I am still lacking stamina, I am relieved that the worst is over. Two weeks is a long time!