A Moment...

Isaac translation: "choo, choo". {not "poo, poo" :) }


So You Had a {BAD} Day....

Yeah, we're all entitled to have a bad day once in a while. It wasn't just the ultrasound appointment - it was that the appointment sort of represented everything that's wrong with living here for me. And it was the final straw. So... I spent the day yesterday as a metophorical "vacuum of gloom" sucking my family into my despair. After the kids went to bed I went through my "checklist" of things that *stink* about living here. While I was rambling on and on I realized that I sounded a little, you know, coo-coo. I ended the conversation with Cameron like this, "I'm obviously not adjusting as well as I want to. But I do have perspective. I know that things are really not that bad. I know I have blessings, maybe more than I really deserve. I know how lucky I am to have everything I have. But I am sad. I'm working through it. I'm getting used to things. Things will be fine. I just need to keep my perspective."

So, that's what I'm doing. It's obvious Mountain Home isn't where I want to live for the rest of my life. But it's where I am now. And I still feel strongly about socialized medicine and the rest of yesterday's rampage. And my pregnancy and the hormones and other symptoms (migraines, backaches, and fatigue) that come along with it don't make things easier on me.

But everyday I try a little harder to be more of the person I want to be. I try to be more organized. I try to be more cheerful. I try to block out the things that I hate about being here and focus on the good (I'm sure soon I'll find more good, right?!) Here's what I'm thankful for and the things that give me my perspective in life:

my "Rachel" from Friends haircut finally grew out enough I could cut off the fringe that made my mushroom top layers so full. Although, I'm trying to grow my hair out again, I was SO happy to see that inch of pointless fringe fall to the ground. And, (surprise!) I got my hair cut here. The girl did a pretty good job, I think.

These kids are the BEST EVER~

Cameron~ very grateful for this guy. great dad. great husband.


No News...

*Disclaimer* if you want something to read that's bright & positive - Stop Reading NOW!!

I'm sure no one's been anticipating this day as much as me but just in case you're curious I DID NOT get my ultrasound today. Even though I scheduled it a month ago, my appointment in Radiology was bumped. The radiology tech had an appointment {for himself} for physical therapy that he couldn't rearrange. Apparently, they thought it would be easier for me to rearrange babysitting, Cameron's work schedule, and my own schedule so that a single guy, who doesn't have to worry about anyone's schedule but his own, can have an appointment for himself. Whatever I get it. That's the way life is, but it's just one more thing that isn't quite working out for me lately.

Not in the mood to be all happy and cheery. Sorry - I know lots of you in blog-world like to show your best self but today I can't. I'm mad, angry, and all the other words. So I might as well put it out there: I'm not usually one to get on my political soap box but it must be said. IF it comes down to a vote, if we have any say at all besides electing a different President next time, please don't vote socialized medicine. I'm telling you military medicine is as socialized as it gets, and I see the purpose for it - health care for all - but I can not tell you how hard it has been to see a doctor, for me and my kids, since we've been in the military. Those of you who can call your insurance, choose a Doc., make an appointment, and be seen please know how lucky you are, blessed even. My kids have had to wait DAYS to be seen for accute symptoms (ear infections, etc.) and months to be seen for other appointments. Plus the trouble I had getting to a doctor when I thought I was misscarying, that's a page-long story by itself. Basically, if there isn't threat to life or limb you have to wait until they can squeeze you in (sometime within the next month). And trying to get into a specialist - that's a different story all together. One problem is doctors will only stay in the military long enough to pay off their commitment because of...well of course the money first of all... but more than that the beuracracy is incredible. From the kinds of drugs they are allowed to prescribe, to the extra programs they're required to participate in that take time away from patients, plus the budget restraints they're under for supplies. I've heard all sorts of stories. Doctor's can't do their jobs effectively or see as many patients because of all the restraints. Restraints that will be put on ALL doctors should our country go to socialized medicine.
okay, done - end of soap box.

So there you have it. Despite my happy "home sweet home" post (believe me I AM trying to like it here and be happy about being here...) Mountain Home is a hard place for me to be. Example: Even if we did pay for our own insurance or just paid out of pocket for health care the hospital here doesn't even deliver babies - there isn't even an OB in town besides the ones on base. I'd have to go to Boise for appointments and delivery. Finding a babysitter for an hour is hard enough, let alone three. And, just for fun, I'll tell ya the icing on the cake. On the way to my last appointment I got a speeding ticket. I was heading out of town towards base. The speedlimit changes from 25 to 35 to 45 to 55 in, maybe, few block increments. I was going 45 but I hadn't passed the sign yet. The cop informed me that yes, in fact, you MUST pass the sign before you can increase your speed. "Just trying to prevent an accident, ma'am."

Lightning McQueen said it best, "I'm in Hillbillie Hell!"


small Town Fun

First things first.... It HAD to be done.... It did... It really did.... Didn't it? Remember in my last post I said I did "four boys' haircuts"? Well, three of the four look pretty much the same but I shed tears on this hair cut. I really did. {Don't get mad, ok Mom?!}
I didn't want to do it, but I finally gave in. Most mornings for the past couple months Austin's been in tears when we do his hair because he "want[s] to look like Landon and Daddy." I started pointing out how cool it is to have long hair. When we watched TV I pointed out Zach Efron, Zach and Cody, and geesh even Phineas and Ferb and Shaggy from Scooby Doo have long hair. That worked for a while but then he thought of another argument: they all have long hair but none of them have long curly hair. So when it was haircut time, I surrendered. And litterally I cried. I almost stopped after the first line the buzzer made. I had to finish, though, because that would have just been mean. So... the big unveiling...

He still looks pretty dang cute. A little older too. And I love this picture because it just shows how "all boy" he really is. From the glimpse of the "tat" on his arm to his bike to the shirt he's worn for two days to the cocky smile. That is pure Austin.
And... on to Corn "Shuckeling" as the kids called it. This weekend was Air Force Appreciation Day in Mountain Home and the city pulled out all the stops a tiny town has to offer. This place reminds me a lot of Iowa City sometimes, but on a much smaller scale.
This picture shows just how different each of my kids is. Zac: annoyed that the corn isn't doing what he wants it too. Austin: having fun doing anything. Landon: takes every task SO seriously and wants to be the best at everything.

After the corn "shuckeling" we watched Cameron take off for the five mile race. He came in second in his age group.

The next day was the BIG parade. And really it was big. 2 and 1/2 hours long to be exact. Luckily, we went with friends so chatting helped pass the time. Isaac was only interested in one thing: "andy!!!" Each time a "float" {can you count a car with a sign on it as a float?} went by and threw out any candy Isaac grabbed one piece and savored every lick of it. The other two kiddos loved the candy too, of course, but they also ran around with their friends and chased each other and occasionly watched the parade for a while.

Apparently, all that corn we husked the night before was part of a big BBQ after the parade but we didn't stay. We went to another friend's house for our own BBQ and some good ol' BYU football. That's as good as it gets in our Home Sweet Mountain Home! {it is slowly growing on me... if I could just get used to a few certain things it wouldn't be bad at all}


**Face Book**

I've been against facebook. Gotta draw the line somewhere and I have too much to do already so I drew it there. But I got sucked in. It seems that anyone who's anyone is "ON" facebook. I missed my high school reunion and got an email about our school's face book page. It was the last straw. "What the heck?" I thought, why not do it? Catch up with people I used to know and the one's I still do.

So I did it, I gave in. And I still DO NOT GET IT!! Am I too uncool? Are the 25 mile an hour speed limits {seriously - even the main street through town is 25 mph} here in Mountain Home turning me into a grandma that just doesn't get the "new fangled technology"? What's a "wall"? and did I add friends? I know people added me but do I need to add them? And do people just talk about random stuff? Am I just a really big dweeb stuck in my own little world; too big a dweeb to understand? I know I must be missing something. What is it?


Isaac's Turn to Parrr-tay...

He's two. Nothing terrible about it.
After this cute picture we decided it was about time for Isaac's first hair cut. So we set up the "salon" and spent a couple hours cutting four boys' hair.

After all the fanfare about how fun it is to get a hair cut, Isaac discovered the wicked truth. Sitting still while sharp instruments are aimed at your head is not really that fun. Thanks to Cameron, Zac's very first hair cut was a success. {Don't worry, I cut Cameron's hair next. His to-the-skin marines haircut finally grew out so we cleaned it all up.}

We went to church and then came home for naps. Ahhh.... Sunday naps - a MUST at this house. After nap time we spent some time in the backyard. The older boys made up a game they called "net ball". Zac just puttered around with the frisbee and football, two of his favorite outside toys.

After one of his favorite dinners: "oodles" (spaghetti), it was time for CAKE!

{excuse the yellow cast - I forgot to set my white balance. If anyone wants to email me directions to correct white balance on photoshop that would be awesome. I have to remember to check that when I'm in my kitchen}
Isaac didn't get quite as excited this year as he did last year {remember the video of him SHAKING with excitement while we sang Happy Birthday}. But he still loved hearing his birthday song. He especially loved blowing out his candles.
Time for presents. We went to Toys R Us the day before and Landon and Austin helped picked out Zac's presents {and they especially had fun being sneaky so Isaac didn't see what we were buying}. He got a shape sorter gas pump that has all the extras a two-year old could want. Isaac loved it.

He also got a shopping cart full of plastic food. Cameron was a little nervous about getting him a "girl toy". I said, "YOU push a cart in the grocery store, don't you?" Isaac loves pushing toys around and putting toys in different places so I knew he would love it. Besides, the box showed a blue cart with a boy pushing it. Cameron about died when we pulled it out of the box and found a PURPLE cart! But I won when we saw how much Isaac loved it.

Here he is "kissing" one of his new plastic dinosaurs the big boys picked out for him.

And proof. He LOVES the grocery cart. Happy Happy Birthday (and a point for me!)
At 2:
Isaac Loves:
*Nanun (Landon) and Aunin (Austin)
*his beebee (blanket)
*to wave "hi" and "bye, byeeee" to strangers we see, especially while shopping. He waves and screams until they acknowledge him or I get him away from them.
*almost any food
*to race: as in, "race me to your room." or "race me to your shoes."
*to do things by himself
*to hide things we need in random, unlikely places - keys, cell phone, TV remote - his favorite hiding places are the pantry, his toy box, and a shelf in the kitchen he's decided is "his".
*following the big boys around
*going to "Nanun's scoo" to pick up or drop off Landon
*riding his bike - he learned how to pedal about a month ago
*closing and opening our van doors - "push it? dat door" - He could push the buttons all day long
*when "Daddeee" comes home
*to go anywhere, especially if he can ride in "daddee's car"
*to dance
*McDonald's cheeseburgers, without pickles: when we pass a McDonalds I hear "hambager and cheeze? pleeese??" from the back seat.
*juice - he asks for it all day long, Dad the dentist says 4 oz a day only with a meal, so Isaac and I tend to have a daily juice battle
*going to bed, especially at nap time, unless he thinks he's missing out on something fun
*Barney and Mickey Mouse
*singing songs: he sings, "I wuv ooo. I wuv ooo. hapy fammee." (over and over to the Barney song tune) and "star, star, star, star." (over and over again to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
*snuggling when he's tired or sad. He says, "hold ooo? get cozy?" meaning hold him and wrap his blanket around him so he's "cozy".

Isaac catch phrases:
*"I do it!"
*"dum on, Duys." (Come on, guys)
*"no" meaning no and YES. We have to decipher what he means by the tone he says it in.
*"nother one" meaning either another of something he's finished or he wants a different one. He usually wants a different cup (he's realizing that he's the only one with a "sippy" and wants a regular cup but...I'm not ready to completely give up the sippy.)
*"need dink....baaad" this one he learned from Austin. Any time he wants a drink it's such an emergency!
*"baaaa" as in the sound the sheep makes. He loves to say it. Every time he sees an animal, real or in a book, he says the animal's name, and sound, and then starts in on the "baaa-ing". ("a hoise (horse)! Niegh Nigh. Baaa!!!! ha ha ha") He "baaaa"s in the car too and then laughs at himself.
*"wuv oo mommee" this one is my favorite and he says it a lot. He also says it to Cameron and all his stuffed animals.


Austin is 5

August 24 Austin had his 5th birthday

Austin spent the summer planning his birthday party in Utah. He wanted to spend the day with all his grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, the people he cares most about in the world. The Saturday before his birthday we decided,"what the heck, lets do it." After all Austin's never had a birthday any of our extended family could participate in. So we left late Saturday afternoon, wondering if we were crazy because Landon's first day of school was Monday and we'd have to leave Ogden around 5:00 to get Landon to bed at a semi-decent hour. It was worth the drive and worth the rush to get ready. We all had a great time but Austin, especially was the "happiest boy in the world".
My cousin Kelcee turned 13 on the 25th so her and Austin shared the party at Grandma Meier's house. All the people Austin wanted were there except Cameron's siblings and their kids. Austin missed them but because our party was last minute and we totally overcrowded Grandma's house we had to carry on without them (luckily we had just seen them at Lava the weekend before).
Austin asked for a pizza cake. I'm pretty sure now that he wanted an actual pizza, but I got creative and made this sugar cookie and fruit pizza. It was okay, but I agree with Austin; real pizza is better.

Austin was so so happy. He LOVED all his presents. And he loved playing in Grandma's back yard with his cousins and Alina (on my side they're really his 2nd cousins and aunt but they're so close in age and they all get along so well that we don't worry about the "details").

And this is how he spent a lot of the drive home. Having fun is exhausting! (for the parents too - believe me!)

Monday night (his actual birthday) we finally got Austin his "real" pizza. Him and Landon loved making their own pizzas. Landon said that they tasted as good as California Kitchen Pizza. Umm... mine didn't, dang it!

Aust loved his presents from us too. He got a Monster Building machine that he's been begging for. We also got him his own CD player and some KIDZ Bop CD's and books on CD. At first he wasn't too sure about the CD player. He looked at it and said, "that's not that cool." But after we turned on the CD's he said, "I love this and it's mine so I can turn it up as loud as I want!" (I'm a little nervous for the teenage years after that comment.)

I love Austin-Boy so much. He is just a great kid, all around. Here's some of my favorite things about his personality:
His determination. When this kid declares he's going to do something there is just no stopping him. A skill that will suit him well throughout his life. Even if now it can be a little frustrating for Cameron and I. Austin's been wanting to get up these bike ramps forever and finally the last time we were there he made it.

Austin gets so excited about the most simple things. Here he is laughing that the soap at the car wash is yellow. How can you not get excited about yellow soap when you see this face?

He is a very caring, loving, good brother. One of his favorite things to do every morning is get Isaac out of bed. In fact, Isaac won't get out of his crib sometimes unless Austin helps him. Austin loves to play with Landon. He gets heartbroken when Landon wants "alone time". He waits for Landon all day long during school and can't wait to play with him. A conversation:
Landon: Austin, come on Bro lets wash our hands
Austin: Okay, I'm gonna do it like you
Landon: You don't have to do it like me, Austin
Austin: Landon, I want to. I'm trying to be just like you but it's hard because when we go to McDonalds you get mustard and I don't like it.
His enthusiam is contagious. Austin has the ability to make everyone around him happy and excited. You just can't be in a bad mood when Austin's around (unless he's screaming but we're working on that one). He also has a strong ability to show you how much he cares about you. An example: My mom came last weekend and could only stay one night. Austin knew she didn't sleep well so in an attempt to get her to stay he said, "Grandma if you sleep here again you can have my pillow. I'll just sleep on my bed because it's okay for me. My pillow's really comfortable. You can stay for only one more night. Okay?"
Austin is just an easy going, fun-loving kid. I sometimes get a glimpse of what he'll be like when he's older. I can imagine him having lots of friends and shaking me and laughing when he comes home from college, not being able to wait to tell me about whatever's going on. I can imagine him with all sorts of broken bones from doing who knows what extreme sports. I can't wait to watch him grow up but I hope he never does. I am the luckiest mom in the world to have this kid!


Birthday {busy} Season is Under Way....

Birthday Season marks the begining of the busiest time of year for us. It begins with August 24 on Austin's birthday. This year it actually started on the 23rd because we celebrated a day early in Utah with all the Grandmas and Grandpas (but that is for a soon-to-come post). My birthday is the 31st and Isaac's birthday marks the begining of fall on September 6. With fall comes school and sports. This year it will be soccer, wrestling, swim team, and basketball. The end of soccer means Halloween and you all know what that means, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Throw in another birthday - Cameron's on December 17 - and WoWza! It's non-stop fun! Then a deep breath and sigh of relief with the New Year.

I just got put in Young Women's at church as the Mia Maid Advisor and updated my calander for the next two months. Between young women's activities (including weekend firesides and youth dances that I'm "supposed" to go to) and soccer practices and games our family only has an average of ONE night a week with no commitments. CA-RAZY.... please wish me luck!

If you feel like celebrating too, try these. I really don't like cake mixes. They all have the same unmistakable flavor but in these recipes they're great and you really can't tell they're made with cake mixes. (FYI: Isaac's cake will not from a mix - carrot cake - and I, personally, can't wait!)

Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Cake:
1 box white cake mix (I use the butter recipe cake mix by Pillsberry - can't beat imitation butter flavoring!)
1 small box instant cheese cake flavor pudding (you can use vanilla)
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
1/2 C oil
1/2 C warm water
4 eggs
1 (12 oz) package chocolate chips (I only use half the bag)
Chocolate frosting, if desired
Mix cream cheese until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients except chocolate chips and frosting. Mix 2 to 3 minutes. Add chocolate chips. Pour into greased Bundt or 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 for 50 min (Bundt pan) or 35-40 min (9x13 pan). Frost cool cake if desired.

"Soda Method" Cake
(dense, chewy, and really really easy)
1 box any flavor cake mix (I used Funfetti for Austin's cup cakes)
12 oz any flavor soda (I used ginger ale)
Frosting or Whip Cream for topping
Preheat oven to 350. Mix cake mix and soda until very few lumps are left in the batter. Don't overmix. Pour into greased cake pan or lined muffin tin. Bake immediately according to package directions. Cake may need up to five minutes longer but check for doneness when the package says. Frost cool cake. For easy removal of cupcake liners refrigerate cupcakes overnight before serving (I think it tastes better refrigerated too).
Hints: You can use any flavor combo - the ones I've tried: Diet cherry coke with chocolate cake mix, Sprite with white cake mix. Ginger Ale might be good with Spice cake mix too, I really liked it with the Funfetti mix.