Monday, June 26, 2017

twitter miracle

The day Twitter (the bird Steven got for his birthday [month]) flew out our front door. 

A week ago, before Steven left for work, he warned the kids to be extra careful with Twitter because he knew we would have a lot of kids there that day. Twitter, formerly known as Little Donald Trump, had landed in our neighbor's yard a week or two before and after they tried to find the owners, we became its parents and Steven got him a cage etc. Because of how we acquired him, we know he is a flight risk, that's how he escaped before! Scroll through the stack of photos to see we had 9 kids over playing mostly in the front yard. When I was opening a baptism thank you card from my niece, somebody yelled "the BIRD!!" He had flown the coop. Gone. Over the house and near trees and out of sight. The mail dropped to the driveway. Dylan climbed on top of our fence and tried following him with his eyes. I climbed the back fence. Is "Prerty bird" he bird call for a house bird?? Dylan was whistling like for a lost dog. Gone. So many birds were chasing around. Gone. I had the kids except for Dylan go in to put swimsuits on. I cleaned bikes up a little. Devastated. Then the Holy Ghost who never fails me, made the impression on me to kneel and pray to find the lost bird. I knelt down at the dryer in the garage. Prayed, walked out and looked around. The look out, Dylan, spotted him! I took a photo. I had the prayer in my heart reaching out to Twitter. I had faith he would know it was home and he came to me! He landed on my head!! A miracle! Yes I said a thank you prayer. 

Saturday, March 18, 2017

I love to see my kids see the temple

Julia's first trip to the Temple since she was in my big belly. #springbreak
She got dressed in a fancy purple dress from. @Corrie Crew so she could be like Sophia the First at the princess castle and even had me make her a crown. But when we were boarding the minivan, she had switched into another of Ivy's old dresses and insisted on a white one so she could go IN the temple. So we took both. She went in in her white one and went potty and saw the pretty paintings. We all did. (Not in white.) Then shThis is a "skate park" according to Yelp. Um, it's a sidewalk. We chose it because it is outside, had a playground, and was free. The Orlando Skate Park was not outside too, but the kids chose this one. Oops! Yes I updated yelp with photos.e changed so she could be a princess. She was sad she missed seeing Princess Sophia even though I told her that she was prettier and was the princess is this pretty castle. Oh. And she did NOT want to leave the temple. She wanted to hang out inside. Thinking back, maybe she wanted to wait for a princess. Oh well, she will have to keep going back to check!

I took the kids to a skate park afterwards there in Orlando. This is a "skate park" according to Yelp. Um, it's a sidewalk. We chose it because it is outside, had a playground, and was free. The Orlando Skate Park was outside too, but had paid admission and strict rules. The kids chose this one. Oops! Yes I updated yelp with photos. Julia had fun.

coming of age. maybe in my fourties?

coming of age
I feel like I am still figuring myself out. I don't like that I'm not who I want to be. I feel like I'm old. I'm a mom of 4 and have been married a really long time and have been at the same job for over 11 years. I have had my own business for a long time too. I don't have motivation or energy for it and remember when I was so excited about it! Heck, even last spring I did a really good job at promoting myself and doing those adorable Easter photos. I didn't make that much money doing it, mainly b/c I partnered with somebody who spent zero on overhead and didn't bring any clients and got new clients and for some reason I paid her too. Lesson learned. And because of that burn, I fizzled out on that. I have my regulars that I love, but there's not too much creativity in doing the same things. And when I do creative, I sometimes do more than needed. Why's it still hard to find balance? I have the formulas.
Lately I've been annoyed by things and let them get to me. Like things at work. My boss wasn't listening to a problem and potential solution I had. I felt rushed doing a patient and felt like there was no percieved value in the cleaning I had done since I crammed so much into so little of a time slot. I still got everything done and took the post-op x-rays and was awesome, but I felt like the patient wondered why he had paid so much for that little time. It's not enough time for me to do all I want to do. I did everything I needed to do, but when I mentioned my solution, Dr. Brayer said "I guess it depends on how experienced you are." What? I've been with her for years! If she doesn't think I'm good enough, then that's a fine way to tell me. I just told her I WAS good enough and did get all of the tarter off. I was the one who was able to do it all in that time! Why was she telling me that I think I need more time b/c I'm not experienced enough?!?! That's not what I was saying! I want more time b/c we're a good quality office and should not be money hungry. She has mentioned before how good of a clinician Daymar is and Daymar has been doing this for twice as long as I have if not more and is great at self-promotion and rushes through cleanings and I'm sure she has patients who love her. So anyway, I'm still offended by it b/c instead of Dr. Brayer talking to me about how I can improve, she finds the negative and I feel hurt.
Another issue was her letting me know that we would be doing office head shots the next day and we should tell people in case they want to do their hair or something. THAT'S how she asked me to do an office session!! She sort of said "I could use my camera if you think...." She paused and kind of slowly said the words waiting for me to jump in. I finally did say "I'll bring my camera" after a stare between the both of us. I should be a non-profit by this point! I did it b/c in reality, I know what she wants and don't want to have to redo it. I'd MUCH rather her pay somebody and not do it myself. But we tried. A pro came in w/ lots of lighting and a backdrop and we took time off during the day for it and had lots of notice. Dr. Brayer didn't like them. Because I enhance the photos!!! I edit them! I find the lighting and puff her hair and fill in her eyebrows and contour her face and add some make up and lighten the image more than necessary because I know that's what she likes! She likes her head to be upright, full hair, real smile, symetry, and where possible, a pop of red. She also said "I can't wait to see them" and "We need to get these to Big Sea so they can add them to our website ASAP." So I bumped my sister's photos and stayed up late and did like a 2 day turn over. I emailed her the link and sent the link in the messenger on Facebook as well. When I didn't hear from her for a day, I texted. She said she was sorry and didn't have a chance to look at them b/c she was busy. So.... That made me feel unappreciated. Oh, And the kicker, when I said in the office in our morning meeting about how I had cropped the photos to the same size in the main folder then added the others in another to make it easy for her to choose what I choose or she could choose others, she was super annoyed. She didn't want to have to do anything and said she didn't have time to look through them and didn't know how to send them over (although she could just send the easy-to-send link I had sent 3 ways!!!!) Oh. My. Goodness. I was so upset on the inside! Why was she mad at me for doing a ton of work?! I realize she's busy. So am I! And her business is her life. She's the boss. It's her thing. I was doing that on my own time! Luckily a miracle happened and patients kept cancelling that day. So I was able to rename and send photos in the way the Big Sea company likes them. I also did a bunch of things for our oral cancer race and other busy work things that should be done but nobody has time to do them nor do they care. Well, Dr. Brayer cares if it doesn't get done. The next week, they mentioned how she doesn't want hygienists to be doing things on the clock except for maybe an hour of calling patients to come in to fill our schedules. Another way of her not appreciating me doing things for her. I'm not doing personal things when I'm on the clock. I only work 2 days so when I'm there, I'm working like crazy! She is seriously only happy if I'm making her money, and even when I do, she looks for the negative in it. She's "weatherproofing" as her little book calls it. She is always expecting the worst. I realize I used the word "always." It's true. Any new hire, she looks for the negative before noticing the positive. Any thing that we do like when I told her that I had sold the last Sonicare, she was upset that we were out. (We had already known we were down to one and had asked her to order more so that shouldn't be bad news.) Somebody told her that she searched for "St. Pete Dentist" and we were at the top of the page. She had a worried look and I had to tell her to smile! HOW is there negative in that?! Those are the exact key words we are going for! I don't even know what her negative was going to be b/c I cut her off when I saw her scowel and start saying something she was worried about or in fear of.
So today, I offered to take lunch to the fort and Steven said they'd just come back on their bikes. I decided to get lunch all ready for them b/c last lunch, they were eating sandwiches faster than I could make them and were off running away before I could eat myself. I called Steven back to ask where the green table cloth was and he was annoyed b/c he wanted it for dinner. I found it right away and it was a 3 pack. Perfect! one for lunch and the other 2 for the 2 dinner picnic tables. He was really not happy with me for calling him back, then about bothering him for the table cloths that he wanted for his special dinner. I explained that I thought it would be nice and he consented. I set 6 place settings for our family with paper towels, grapes already washed and de-stemmed, Slim Jims, a clementine, a "little Hugs" juice drink and a straw that I had already half-way unwrapped for easy insertion, and a bag of chips at each place setting. I figured the boys would like Doritos and Steven would like the jalapeno kettle chips and Tyler would like funions. I made the PB&Honey sandwiches but kept them stacked in the back of the van so they wouldn't get dried out. It didn't work as well as I had planned though. Steven said "the bread is stale already." I told him I had tried to keep them good but maybe b/c it's so windy it didn't work. He was disgusted and lectured me on how I should've known that. Noah came over and I let him have Tyler's place setting. Why not. I had one for myself w/ no chips b/c I had eaten some. Tyler came over to Steven's place setting. Steven told me that Tyler won't like the jalapeno chips. I told him that I had gotten those for him but Noah was in his place setting but I can easiliy get other chips for Tyler. In my head, I was thinking that it would've been nice for Steven to be surprised or happy about having lunch and cold water ready for him. (He didn't touch his water or orange that I noticed.) I know he was tired. I offered to let him sleep with Julia. He acted like that was a stupid idea b/c there's no way he would lay down in there with her. He said that he would SIT outside. I didn't need that and should've communicated that to him but didn't. I figured I would lay down with her myself to get her settled. Don came. Which was my high of the trip. He happily brought his bike and asked where to park- across the street. He went on bike rides with the kids, took Julia out on the kayak when she awoke, and babysat her while she slept so Steven and I could go on a kayak ride ourselves. I felt bad b/c when he came, he sat down by Steven and they talked right outside our tent. I'm sort of sick and am on my period so don't feel that well. And I had stayed up the night before doing green nails and drying my hair. I did want to take a nap. But the snot in my head woke me up after just barely nodding off.
I did like our kayak trip.
My other highlight of the day was when Steven poured a bunch of compliments on me after Andre had brought him a drink. It was so sweet! He told me I looked pretty, was festive, thanked me for helping him with dinner, and something else I think. He kissed me. He finished with how awesome he is and I spanked his butt only to land on his hard phone case. ouch!
After the kids and Crews came back from their kayak trip to #2 island, Tyler went in the tent to change. He didn't see Julia and started closing all the windows all the way. I ran over in time to tell him to stop being loud and I watched him step on Julia a couple of times. She sat up. I was furious b/c I don't like how clingy she is to me especially when she wakes up early from a nap and is still tired. I knew he didn't see her, but he knew that she wasn't out there and that she was going to take a nap b/c I had wanted HIM to nap with her! Steven came and I walked away to cool down. Why is my temper so bad? Why do things get to me? Is it hormones? I know I'm boarderline depressed. I'm not sure who to talk to. I bet Steven would listen, but there's rarely a good moment. When we're happy together, I don't want to bring it up and ruin the mood. When we're not happy, that's not the time either of course. When we're just hanging out, he will be really upset if I bring up anything where he has to use his brain (even if it's to plan something fun or about school or friends or anything.) I realize that's probably not entirely the case, and it's I who have the problem, but that's a part that depresses me further.
The other night, Steven was upset about something, probably in part that the house is messy. We put the kids in bed and I want to lay on my bed for a second to worry and feel bad. My shoulders were tense, Steven had gone to the store and had wonderfully got camping things or something we had needed I know, and I was feeling sorry for myself that he's doing things for what he needs and not for me. I wish that he could be thinking of me in a positive way and not about how I fall short and can do nothing right. It was feeling like "why bother" and I had things I should do and wasn't sleepy tired, but my body was tired. Guess what. He came in and said "what are you doing?" It was a natural normal voice. I replied, "nothing." He said as he turned away, well I got you a treat if you want." Although it wasn't scoop-me-up-and-take-my-breath-away literally, it was exactly what was missing in my sad little uncontrolled life at that moment. It was filling my void. He had gotten napoleons! We ate them in the living room, him on the floor, myself up on the couch. He finished his quickly and asked if I wanted to sit in front of him so he could rub my shoulders. Wow! I couldn't believe it! He was just what I needed right then. Sadly I didn't tell him how much that meant to me.
So that thing with Dr. Brayer bothered me so much. I told too many people. I realize that I need to journal and not tell current personal stories that are fresh/raw. I also need to forget photography and focus on temple work. I want to take my older boys to the family history center on mommy dates. We went to the temple last Wednesday. It wasn't practical, but that's how it's supposed to be, right? Opposition?
I'm supposed to be sleeping in a tent right now. My throat hurt and I'm snotty and have a sinus infection and didn't want to be in that cold. Or in the tent with all those boys. So I brought home stuff and am doing laundry and dishes. I'm going to be sicker tomorrow. Maybe I'll make this a private blog b/c this is personal. Hopefully only Kat and Elisabeth read this. I think that's all who read it. I'd tell them anything they asked so I'm okay with them knowing that I'm a wreck. I realize it's just me and in comparrison, I'm the one making big deals about nothings. My problem is that why do these things bother me so much and why do I get so angry? I shattered a mirror the other night. One kid didn't help another kid while I was helping a 3rd kid with homework. I was reeeeeally tired and annoyed just doing the homework. (#1 thing that was wrong with me that night.) I lost my temper and slammed a door. Who does that? Bad people who don't see the big picture! People who need a mommy. I know better though! I need to get my act together. Oh, I wanted to say this: I just finished the Book of Mormon. (pause) ...So now I need to read Eather and Moroni to finish the Book of Mormon! (That's why I didn't say that on social media - not funny. I'm speed reading so should be able to bust it out. Priorities again. I'm lacking.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Dear Isaac, You're almost 9!

Dear Isaac,
     You're almost 9 years old! You're an awesome little kid. Well you're not that little. You're about the same height as your big brother Dylan. People ask me if you two are twins sometimes. You two do a lot of things together like go to the same school, both play soccer (but on different teams finally,) both have soccer practice 2 nights/week at the same fields, both have viola lessons at the same time, have piano lessons along with Tyler, and share a room with Dylan. You also share some clothes. You both like the soccer jerseys including the Rowdies jerseys Aunt Hollie made you boys.
You got baptized a year ago and continue to go to church. Last Sunday your Sunday School teacher told me that you have thoughtful answers and didn't participate in the disruptive behaviors of a couple of others. You know when to be crazy silly fun and when to be calm and respectful. You also gave a talk in primary last Sunday and I didn't help you at all except to hold your visual aids. You delivered it from memory!

     When my friend Shalynna asked Julia who her best friend was, she said you! I think you might be her favorite brother. You read to her, play with her, let her climb in your bed and play with stuffed animals with her.

     You like to eat and are okay with being a messy eater. I don't like to sit across from you unless I'm in the mood to laugh at your silly faces and messy hands. You are independent so you make your own lunch. You like healthy foods, but enjoy getting to eat snacks and treats when you get the chance. One day, I had to take you in to my work and there was a bag of assorted Hershey's miniature candy bars from a patient. Dr. Phane had told you and Dylan that you could have some. Dylan's pile of wrappers was small, yours was quite large! You're a growing boy. The other day, you were blowing your nose going through boxes and boxes of Kleenex at Grandma's house. She reported that you might have a cold, but still have your appetite. When we got home after Church, you ate like 3 lunches all at once! You're still growing!
on a mommy date, grilled cheese donut sandwich

after a viola performance


     You like Cub Scouts. You started about a year ago when you turned 8. You had been going as a tag-along since Dad is the cub master, so it was an easy transition.

 You like animals and are good at finding them and bringing them to me. Sometimes I'm grossed out and make you leave, but other times I take a photo. You're good at letting others see what you have.

 You are good at skim boarding and boogie boarding, and you sometimes skim on a boogie board or boogie on a skim board. You sometimes pull Julia on your boogie board too. You love the beach and could stay there all day with your friends.
 Your best friend is Noah. He's been your bud since before you two were born. Everything's better when he's involved. You did Vacation Bible School together and are on the same soccer team too. I think you and he have always been on the same soccer and football teams.
 You love to have fun and I absolutely love your laughing smile. You don't like me to get it on camera much though, so that's annoying for me. You do silly faces instead usually. But that real smile - it's the BEST! I love how you can hang out with people of all ages. You really do have fun with uncles, grandparents, little kids, kids in other grades etc. I think that's important to be able to be friends with lots of people.
 You're brave. You have tried roller coasters and surprisingly don't like them. But you're up for almost any other adventure and dive right in! You're not afraid to bite off more than you can chew. (Literally with food AND figuratively with things like starting a huge puzzle.)


Running the Oral Cancer 5K

1st time riding the go carts at the Grand Prix 

Hatching a baby Alligator

JustServe.org clean up

finished puzzle
 You like school and have great friends there. It is wonderful that you can have some of the same friends you've had since Kindergarten, both boys and girls. You're good at helping teach them the many skills you have such as working the rainbow loom, computer/ipad games, finger tricks, climbing skills, soccer fun, etc. You play hard and work hard. You have a ton of homework and it's hard to fit it in when you have so many other activities and want to be able to find time to go outside when it's day light then read when you come in. You do well in school and like your wonderful teacher, Ms. Perdisatt. She and your other teachers and coaches help you thrive by understanding how you think and work. I told you that your report card said you're excellent in everything except for handwriting, because I think you need to care about that!

 We had passes to Busch Gardens this year and you got to go with just Daddy once and with the family more. You like the climbing areas the best - and not just the designated climbing areas either!


     You're a climber. Anyone who knows you probably knows that. You climb the walls, the trees, poles, barricaides, the house, whatever. You're a little monkey!

This year you boys decided to transform our tree into a colorful climbing swinging base. You borrowed tools and old Tae Kwon Do belts and have the time of your lives out there.



 We went to Washington D.C. and you climbed so many stairs and trees and scurried up so many walls and structures and we walked for days. You didn't complain once. At the end of the day you mentioned that the escalators were your favorite parts because your feet were tired. Ha! We would've never known. You had a good attitude and it really helped our whole family.
You're really into scooters now. You and Dylan have been playing in our driveway with the other Dylan who lives across the street. I have taken you to two skate parks and you now would like to go every Friday after school. You watch YouTube videos on how to do tricks on the scooters then go outside and try them. You want a new scooter and a ramp for your birthday. We'll see...


 I love you my silly sweet smart soccer-loving Isaac! You're a leader who plays by the rules while thinking outside the box. You're creative and successful already and I'm happy to be in your family.
love, Mom

Friday, November 25, 2016

D. C. Day 3

Sunday's happenings: Bagels from the Einstein Bagels in the lobby at our lobby level dining room table, Metro pull ups (I can only do 2), cold and windy weather as Steven predicted and planned for our Smithsonian day, no nativities at the visitors center or other gift shops, Air and Space, McDonalds and a Julia nap while my phone recharged, National Archives, Natural History, Metro, Dinner in the underground at our place, pack and showers. 
Gloves from Doe and Michael in front of the visitors center. 
Windy walks. 
Kid par core. 
Real live portraits. 
"A spider" -Julia
Highs and Lows 

Lows: 
Steven- Dinner at King Street Blues. He had a quesadilla Thursday and it was delicious but tonight's Nachos were gross and he only picked at them. Potato chips for the chips and fake cheese. 
Tiffany- the stress of waiting to see the Declaration of Independence and Constitution and leaving the National Archives right afterwards. And Julia stressing me out with her whining. I took her out of the DNA lab and wanted to cry. I told her. She hugged me and said sorry and we had a fresh start. I was going to take her to the little kid Q area. We found it but it is closed on Sundays. We looked in the windows then went back to the boys. And that we didn't get a family picture with anything cool except this flag as we waited for the Smithsonian to open. 
Dylan- (None)
Isaac- leaving the Insect Zoo before he could see everything. (We were leaving and Isaac was looking at stuff still and it was so crowded and we didn't know if he was ahead of or behind us. I found him still in there. I told him to come because we were looking for him and Dad was waiting.
He wanted to look at something else on the way out and I said no because Dad was standing ahead of us. I said sorry. Just now, when saying highs and lows, he told us this and Steven said he could have just told us. Well he did. I guess I could have said yes and answered to Steven myself or told him he could ask Dad. 
Tyler- looking at the cockroach in the bug exhibit. Dylan pet it! Tyler held a caterpillar. 
Julia- She said "the kid place was closed." 

Highs: 
Steven- the gem exhibit
Tiffany- listening to the tour guide talk about the Wright Brothers and getting to hear about their real flight where they did a coin toss to see who got to go first and they aternated and each went further than the last one. Their actual plane is there too! 
Dylan- Natural History Museum 
Isaac- Air and Space Museum
Tyler- Mummys in the Natural History Museum 
Julia- Seeing a scary bear