Monday, May 31, 2010


Some may detect a touch of irony between this post and the previous post about my driving. I was in a car accident today. After an amazing day of white water rafting, I hydroplaned Brian's truck on the drive back. We rafted in Montana and it was a 2.5 hour drive home. Driving in horrible rain at that. For those who knew me when I started driving, within one month of turning 16, I hydroplaned less than 2 miles from my high school and went of the road into a ditch. I have not had an accident since that day, well one in a work car 10 years ago, but a lady slammed into me out of nowhere, so it does not count. So this was my first accident, caused by me, since that day. Same conditions, pouring rain, but this time I was going 55-60mph on an interstate.

I must preface this, as the accident was inevitable. The morning began with Brian driving us to Montana and he is a fast but good driver. We were caravaning with the Prizemans, Kipps with us. Brian had gotten a good way ahead of Todd - we love Todd, but he is not known for fast driving. Brian was not even really speeding and Todd had fallen way back. Well 90 minutes into the drive, Todd caught us and we were shocked. Shocked to the point that we assumed Todd's brother had to be driving, no way Todd would speed like that. Upon arriving at the rafting place, we were giving him a hard time and Todd said he decided to throw caution to the wind. More jokes followed. Hours later, time to leave, the rain starts and I am driving since Brian had a post raft beer. I was driving quite slow, like 55 or 60 in Montana known for fast driving, speed limit is 75. Sometimes I was driving below 50 mph because I do not like driving Brian's truck period, but particularly not in the rain and so I go slow. Well I was getting ridiculed for my slow driving and flashing back to our picking on Todd, so I sped up, not a lot but a little. An hour into the drive, there was an 18 wheeler that would not leave me alone. I despise driving next to one and this guy kept ending up next to me. SO I decided to finally pass him for good, we were still only going 55-60, but as I got next to him, I felt the draft of riding next to him and I was not driving in the lane like I should since I wanted to be away from him. Well before I knew it, we started to hydroplane, being not comfortable in Brian's truck I was afraid to overcorrect and flip us, so I just went with the slide and we ended up going into the grassy median/ditch and came out at the emergency vehicle crossing. Brian said I was saying sorry the whole time. All I could think was I hope we don't hit another car or go off the side. I felt horrible that I had two set of parents in the car and I did not want 4 kids to be orphans. I am pretty sure I also said a quick prayer and it worked. We did not flip and drove away from the accident after Chris worked wonders with the demolished tire and wheel well. The car is going to need some serious work, but not a scratch on any of us. Thank you God!!!!

I will NEVER drive Brian's truck in the rain again. I may not drive his truck for a few months period. I keep second guessing myself and thinking I could have avoided the accident or pulled us out of the skid, but at the end of the day, no one was hurt and that is a success in my book. Now to call insurance - uhhhh.

You can see where we went off the road and all the grass we took out.

Thanks to Chris's handy work, we drove out of there.

Whitewater Rafting

I really love Whitewater Rafting, and after today, I love it even more. Talk about adrenaline rush and pure fun. I just love it, and thankfully, so does Brian. We went today with several of our friends and I will let the pictures speak for themselves.
The company is Pangaea River Rafting and they are excellent.
We rafted boys vs. girls

Brian would want me to point out that their paddles were always in sink. As Sandra said, "In sink when they were paddling." Every time we looked up the boys had their paddles in their lap, while we were paddling constantly.

The following pictures are meant for your enjoyment at my expense. I was laughing the whole time, so please do not feel sorry for me. Our guide too was laughing the whole time, not sure what that was about. I appreciate the look of concern on my friends' faces, they did the best they could to help me but still keep our boat afloat.

Girls high-fiving before the last major rapids. Cockiness will get you nowhere, or rather the bottom of the river.

We are all smiles. Little did we know that Killer Fang Death Falls would be our undoing.

Jen is spearing the white whale.

I am pretty sure Jen is saying, "Oh Sh$t!"

The beginning of the end

The weight is shifting



Not letting go

Holding on

Note Sandra's death grip on her sister-in-law Krista

I came up smiling because 1) it was pretty funny and 2) the wetsuit made the water pretty comfortable

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Things We Teach Our Kids

Apparently Brian and I are verbal drivers, egomaniac drivers at that. Again this morning, because almost every morning Myann says this, "Mom, those crazy drivers. Mom, only you and Daddy can drive, everyone else is a bad driver." This morning was unprovoked and I told Myann it was a good driving morning. But other days, I am known to make statements like, "You idiot, what was that, uuuhhhh stupid driver." So Myann deduced that only Daddy and I know how to drive. Oops. I guess Brian must do the same thing when he drives with them. Thankfully, I no longer use my more colorful statements and I am even trying to not say idiot anymore.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Favorite books

Not mine, but the kids. Anders is loving Moo, Baa, La La La. Thankfully, that is one of my favorites and I have it memorized from Shane's days since it was his favorite book for a while too. Myann is loving Dinosaurs Wear Underpants. She just likes to laugh at the one caveman wearing underpants with flowers on them. Shane is the one I can count on to pick out different books every night. Thank you God, it saves me because I do not do well reading the same exact books every night. It makes me insane and a disinterested reader. So at least I can enjoy the variety of Shane's book choice. Anders makes me read the same 8 books every night, but he also likes to flip the pages really fast, so I only "read" a couple pages from every book.

Shane's funny quote from last week: He was having a really good day, I mean listening to every thing I said, doing as he was told the first time and even doing before he was told. He was helping and all with a great attitude. I told him that I was so impressed and thankful for his behavior and it was really helping me out. He told me, "I would like to be good every day, but it is hard, some days I just can't control my body. I have urges and I can't stop them."
I found this funny at first and then thought, wow, that was insightful. It really reminded me that as much as he is my oldest and I count on him to be the obedient and helpful one, some days he is still just a five year old who is not always in control of his "urges".

Sunday, May 16, 2010

New Perspective

Daddy finally got home yesterday. It had been 2 weeks, he came home for 36 hours last week, but we only saw him a few of those with work. The kids were actually pretty good, minus the colds, stomach bug and daily life with kids. But, oh it is good to have him home. Like last night, I went to bed at 9:30 even though Shane and Myann were still up fighting sleep in their room. I could go to bed, because I knew there was another adult to make sure they did not roam the house like wild animals on the loose. So when I woke up this morning, I was so excited to see the kids and I truly enjoyed the time with them. Of course, it was limited time. I took today as my Mother's Day. I went to work out, and then had a day out with my friend Sandra. We had brunch, yummy - ate too much, then saw the movie Babies, so cute and gave me major baby fever, and off to do some shopping at the mall. Most importantly, I enjoyed time with a good friend and a break from the kiddos. When I got home, super excited to be with the kids again and I enjoyed them all evening, even when they were fighting. Now I am getting a little annoyed because they have been fighting sleep again. I am not a fan of repeatedly chasing them back to their room. I do not know if this sharing room thing will ever work out for us. But it is amazing how your attitude changes after a good night's sleep and a little time away. And props to wives whose husbands are gone for long periods of time, being sole caretaker is exhausting emotionally more so than physically.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Baseball and a Goodbye

We enjoyed the nice weather today, since most t-ball days have been cold and windy.

My handsome baseball player

Myann hurt herself no less than 4 times in the course of 30 minutes on the playground. In her defense, she is determined to do it all, but sometimes gets hurt in the process.

After T-ball, we came home for lunch and I put the kiddos to bed. Brian was inflight home to us. I loaded up the car and got ready to go to a going away party for the Butterfields. Anders was taking a long nap, so I thought, so I had everything in the car and planned to just grab Anders from his nap and put him in the car. Well, as soon as I opened the door, the noxious odor blew me away. The odor was the best of it. As I turned on the light, I saw that Anders had painted his hands, face, hair, crib and walls with poop. Yep, you heard me right. I grabbed him, carefully, as poop was falling off of him. I placed him in the bath and stripped him down. In this moment, Brian came home and I asked him to tend to the other two while I dealt with this. Well I dealt with it, sanitized, scrubbed, and finally got us loaded in the car, 30 minutes later.

I tell ya, only love can get you through that. We did have a funny going away party, but said to say good bye to more friends.

What is the best way to eat a cupcake?
Study it and find the best route of attack

Then just dig in, no hands required.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

In the spirit of Mother's Day, I thought I would discuss the kids who made me a mother.

Shane, the one who taught me what motherhood is/was. He continues to teach me because each stage is new with him. I experience all the stages of mothering a child through him first and for that he is special. Everything is a learning experience and he is kind to me through the process. Except for tonight when he told me I was the stupidest mother ever after he lost the privilege of picking out a bedtime book because he was not listening before bedtime. So I got to practice my unconditional love by telling him that I love him even when he is mad at me, but those words hurt my feelings and I am obligated to discipline him for bad behavior.

This picture is of Shane with his breakfast concoction - bagel with yogurt and strawberries.

Myann, the one who makes me a better mother. She challenges me many of her waking hours. She is so different than the boys, but in many ways she touches my heart. With her, the affection does not always pour freely, but when she gives the love, it feels all the more special, as if I have earned it. With Myann I have to be creative, on my toes, and always thinking. She is so different than me and the boys, so I am learning how different is good and that we have to find ways to encourage our individual skills. I think Myann might have a future with the CIA, except her clumsiness may hold her back in the career field. I do not think our relationship will ever come easy, but I know it will be strong. After Shane, like most moms, I never thought I could love another child like him, but then Myann was born and she showed me that your heart makes equal room. I loved her before she was born, and when I met her, it was as if she had always been in our lives.

Anders, the one who makes motherhood easy. Seriously, Anders is so easy, so easy to love, so easy to get love, so easy to be with. Brian and I fight over who gets him because he is so easy, except for on airplanes, then he is not so easy. He is joyful, happy, loving, and kindhearted. More times than not, he may hit if provoked, but he will instantly follow it up with a kiss. He gets his feelings hurt and pouts, but immediately seeks affection for comfort. He makes me want 10 more babies. Hence the making motherhood easy part. Anders has taught me that affection is one of the most empowering actions, his hugs make a bad day good.

To the man who made me a mother, Brian, I love you. Thank you for our family.

To our mothers, stepmothers, and grandmas - thank you, everything I know about motherhood I learned from one of you.

And today's funnies:

Shane's quote of the day, "I am peeful. That means I am full of pee today." And he was, emergency pee run at Albertsons and as soon as we got home. Albertsons, a whole other story. I got lots of pity looks shopping with 3 kids going in different directions and we came home with lots of ice cream.

Myann's question of the day and when I heard it I knew I had arrived into motherhood. "Why is the sky blue? Did water splash into the sky?" Maybe tomorrow I will have to explain to her the wonders of light absorption and reflection.

Anders, "Doggie, doggie, dooogggieeeeeee." The whole drive today, but most of the time he was looking at horses and not dogs. So then Myann said, "Ahh, he thinks everything is a dog. Anders, they are horses, noooooot doggies." Poor guy can't get a break.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

God never denies us our hearts desire except to give us something better

I read this quote today on another blog I read and it spoke to my heart. Not because I have many unfulfilled desires. Seriously we are blessed, except for the obvious, my brother's health. I would trade anything for his health. Outside of that, I have really been in a place of contentment lately. I remember a friend in college saying the same thing to me when we were lamenting about wanting children one day and how it would be if we never had children. Silly now to think that at 21 years of age I was concerned about whether I would ever have children and here I am with 3. But I think it is only silly now, because I am on the other side. I can not imagine what it is like to be my brother right now. If his heart's desire is health, what could be better? How many different definitions of better are there? So that I struggle with, but at the end of the day it is his struggle. But I can hold tight to what I know to be true and that is that God never denies us our hearts desire except to give us something better. Even if we don't realize it is better at the time.