Monday, September 20, 2010

A few of my favorite {cleaning} things

My house is in shambles. Does your house ever get that way? It just seems like no matter how much I clean and clean, I am never done. I feel like I am in a rut here. So I'm going to post a few of my favorite {cleaning} things to remind myself how easy I really have it. And how nice my contraptions are. So I should use them and get to work!
Squeegee. I have HUGE windows and I cannot reach them to wash the outsides, so I got this squeegee and put it on my broomstick and now I can wash my outside windows. It's really nice.

Scentsy. I have a really cute warmer, but I want this cherry blossom one, isn't it cute! I love turning on my scentsy after I clean. It makes the house seem {and smell} cleaner. I also love the pumpkin roll scent. It is my favorite of all times!

Lint roller. We have microfiber couches and sometimes it's hard to get all of the little crumbs and little threads and stuff off. The lint roller is perfect to make my couches look WAY better.

Kaboom. Casey used this on his mission and made me buy this when we were first married to clean our tub and shower. I used it until it was gone and then I tried using something else to clean my shower and turns out Kaboom is the best. It seriously MELTS away soap scum. Perfect!

Clorox wipes. I have been out of these for a while and I haven't been able to clean my toilet because there's no way I'm using a washcloth, I'd have to throw it away after. I love that I can wipe the toilet down with these and it disinfects and then I can throw them away.

Pledge Muli-surface. I came across this by accident because I had a coupon for it. But I really do love it because I can use it on my wood, glass, electronics, etc. It is nice to be able to wipe everything down without having to switch rags and spray bottles. So convenient.

My dishwasher is not this nice, but I still love it! I never knew how much a dishwasher could improve my life until I got one, and I could never go back. If I don't have time {or energy} to do anything else, doing the dishes makes all the difference in the world. Our kitchen seems a lot cleaner when the sink isn't overflowing.
Roomba. Oh how I love my roomba. It is a robot vacuum. I push the button and it wanders around my house to vacuum for me. It goes from my carpet to my hardwood to my tile without any problem and it doesn't just flip stuff around, it actually works! And we got it for way cheap, brand new, on

Shark steam mop. I just got this {brand new, and cheap on, of course} and I have only used it once, but I love it. It is so nice to use on the stuck on stuff on my hardwood and tile. I love that it doesn't use any chemicals so I am not putting my children in danger when they crawl all over my clean floors. I've also used it to steam clean my messy, fingerprinted, walls.

Ok, I better get using all of these things that make my life a lot easier. Now if they would just invent a contraption that went around and picked up toys and socks and put them where they go!

What are your favorite cleaning products or devices?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

We would be sleeping...

It is 2:35 a.m. As I write this. I am up feeding Molly because despite popular belief that my children do not wake up in the night, here we are. I think she is teething and needs some special love in the middle of the night. As I sit here feeding her and typing on my iPhone, I cannot help but think about the millions of moms (or dads) that will be up tonight with their babies. Rocking them to sleep, soothing their hurt tummies, or trying some strange bouncing and walking acts to get the kiddo back to sleep (Krystal).

When I think of it like that, I don't feel that bad to be up right now. I am part of an elite team of "special forces" like many others across the world. We are called in when the going gets tough. Because we are the only ones skillful enough to be so effective on so little sleep.

Yeah, I'll think of it that way. That will help. Nope. It won't. I'm still really tired, special forces or not.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

About to Lose it!

I lost it tonight. I Yelled. I did not talk forcefully, I yelled. At Benson. Then at Casey. I think I scared them both. I probably scared the neighbors, who most likely heard every word. There really wasn't good cause for yelling, besides that I lost it. I lost control. Control of my temper, control of the situation, control of this household, control of me. Sometimes I lose it, and I don't like it when I'm like that. In the moment, I knew that I was out of control, but for some reason, I could not figure out how to regain control once I had lost it. I hated myself for losing it. I hated that I was yelling and I hated the way Benson and Casey both looked at me while I was losing it.

I took a time out and I gathered myself together. I sat at the end of Benson's bed and I talked to him. Nicely. I explained to him that I feel really bad that he couldn't have a good mom. I told him that I wish he could have a nicer mom than me; who knew endless bedtime stories, could control everything going on, could think up fun activities and would never feel tired or angry, who would be a friend for her children and not some sort of monster. I told him how sorry I felt for losing it. And then he said "You are a naughty mommy."

And I am.

There is no taking back tonight. I wish I could. What even happened? How did I let myself get to the point where I think that it's OK to yell at my sweet little boy and my oh-so wonderful husband? I'm not sure where my breaking point is anymore, but it is far too soon than it aught to be. Sitting there, on the end of his bed, singing primary songs to him and rocking Molly to sleep, I kept thinking that I wondered what could make me better. How could I never get to this point again. I don't want to ever feel like I felt tonight when I looked into those huge, sad, blue eyes of my little boy. This isn't how I am supposed to be. I need to do better and the only way I can do better is by changing myself.

I thought about this video I had seen last week and how it made me feel so good then, but how I really needed it now. I know what I need to do. I need to be a better mom (and wife), and the only way I can do that is with the help of my Heavenly Father. I keep feeling like I should be able to do everything by myself, and then I feel disappointed when I can't. But it shouldn't be that way. I should rely whole-heartedly on the Lord. Along with Casey, He should be my partner in this. There is no reason to feel like I'm losing it. The Lord will help me. I know he will. I just need to let him. In this video, Elder Holland says "The very fact that you've been given such a responsibility is everlasting evidence of the trust your Father in Heaven has in you."

So I guess I can't lose it anymore. I've got a big responsibility here, I've got two little spirits relying on me and a Heavenly Father that trusts me. I can't blow it. I've got to do better. No, I've got to BE better. I can't be a naughty mommy anymore.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Head Wound

Here's another story...

Our Tahoe has been in repair since our last post here. Nothing Casey can't fix (with the help of his dad), so we are happy. Casey took the car yesterday and left me home with no way of transportation besides my bike. Since I've had kids, I've never been without a car and it's never really mattered before, so we figured it would be fine.

I decided I was going to take the kids for a ride in the trailer on my bike. I let them play on the grass while I got it all hooked up. While I was doing that, I saw Benson pick Molly up. I guess she had started to crawl on the cement, so he picked her up so she wouldn't get hurt (and carried her across the cement). I told him to put her down on the grass so she wouldn't fall on the cement and get hurt. I started walking over to them when he put her down. On the grass, but also right on the corner of the wooden ladder to the slide. Head first.

I got to her before she started crying and she didn't cry too bad until I started freaking out because of the gash on her head and the blood spewing from it. I took her in and got her cleaned up. Benson followed me WAILING!!! I thought he was upset because he had just hurt his sister so badly, but no... he was going nuts because he had gotten some of her blood on his leg. Oh, what a poor child.

I called Casey. Oh yeah, his phone is broken. So I called his work phone, no answer. Texted, no answer. Emailed, no answer. Called again, no answer. I took inventory of my neighbors that I trust and neither of them were home. Took inventory of our family close by... then Casey called. He didn't have service, so he couldn't get my calls, but he got my email. He was having a bit of a work emergency because some printers weren't working, so he couldn't come to attend to OUR emergency at the moment.

I wasn't sure if she needed stitches or not. I called my pediatrician and he said to bring her in and they would look at her. If she needed medical attention, they would check her in to his office, if not, they would send us home with no cost or anything. So when Casey got home, we took her in and they said it needed to be glued. So she got her head glued shut.

Besides the initial crying for about 3 minutes, Molly hasn't seemed to upset about the whole thing. And besides the initial crying for about 3 minutes about blood on his leg, Benson hasn't seemed upset either.

Hopefully nothing happens today because once again, I am home without a car. It is raining, though, and I need to take Benson to Joy School in 2 hours. I guess we will ride my bike, rain or shine.

Please excuse the cell phone picture. It's hard to see. Right on her hair line above her forehead.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Count Your Blessings!

So here's a long story for your pleasure:

Saturday night, Casey and I left the kids at his parents' house so we could go to Idaho Falls to do our photobooth at a wedding there. We charged our "clients" an arm and a leg to travel there, and we were going to stay the night since we wouldn't be done until about 11:00 p.m. We planned on leaving pretty early so we could check into the hotel before the wedding. We got ready way early, so we dropped the kids off at Casey's parents house much earlier than we had planned.

We've been doing this photobooth thing now for almost a year, so we think we have it figured out by now, which is wrong. It seems like every time we do a photobooth, we have some problem and we barely get it set up by the time the wedding starts. We always joke that if we leave an hour early, we'll have a problem that takes an hour to fix; if we leave 2 hours early, we'll have a 2 hour problem. (Makes you want to hire us, huh?) But, it hasn't failed yet that we have been able to fix every problem we have had and are able to provide wonderful service to our photobooth customers.

So... we were drivin' along, listening to the 3rd book of the Hunger Games, when I saw smoke coming out of the engine of our Tahoe. Crap. Casey pulled over and we were litterally in the middle of nowhere. A highway patrol car pulled up behind us and asked if we needed help. Since our plates were expired by 4 days, we told him no, but asked if there was somewhere closeby. Nope. Great.

So I called some tow trucks and it was going to be at least an hour and a couple hundred bucks to get us off the freeway and into a town. We were two hours away from Idaho Falls and had to be there in no later than 3 1/2 hours, not to mention checking into the hotel. Since it was Saturday and Labor Day weekend, the chances of getting towed to a town and getting fixed were slim.

So back up to Thursday night... Our registration on the Tahoe was due. Our side mirror was broken (thanks to Benson and a golf ball). I took it in and got the mirror replaced and was literally on my way to the inspection place when our check engine light went on. So I took it in and they told me that it wouldn't pass because of the check engine light, which said that either the coolant temperature censor wasn't working properly, we were low on coolant, or the code was faulty. Also, our back brakes were bad and we needed a new light bulb somewhere. I promise, we try to take care of our cars.... So Casey decided he would take care of the problems on Friday after work. After a trip to Auto Zone, Casey came home with this information: We were low on coolant, and so he filled it up and they told him that he had to drive it for a while to get it to register, then if it didn't, we needed a new censor. He also tried to get brakes, but they weren't sure which ones he needed, and since the whole censor thing was going to take a while, the brakes weren't a priority. We decided that since we were pulling a trailer and there was no way we were going to get the Tahoe registered prior to leaving on Saturday, that we would just drive it and hope we didn't get a ticket.

So the smoke coming from the engine was the coolant thing. It broke off and sprayed antifreeze everywhere. Casey googled it while we were sitting on the freeway, and to replace the censor would have been $30. But no, instead of paying $30 and taking 15 minutes to replace it, we were sitting on the side of the freeway with our photobooth on a trailer, in a panic. My parents were out of town and so Casey called his parents. His dad was at their cabin, but should be on his way home soon, and had his truck. Crap. We sat there for a minute saying silent prayers. Casey told me to call the bride and tell her that we would not be there. I refused. If it cost all of the money we were going to make, we would figure out a way to be there with our photobooth.

And then Casey's dad called. This is where our blessings start pouring in. He had made it home from the cabin and was getting his flatbed trailer hooked up to come and rescue us. Casey's grandpa Lloyd was already on his way in his truck and would give us his truck to pull the trailer with the photobooth to Idaho Falls. Then he would sit with our Tahoe until Casey's dad got there with his truck and get our Tahoe on the flatbed and towed home.

The plan worked flawlessly. Grandpa Lloyd arrived much faster than we had anticipated. He pulled up and got the photobooth trailer hooked to his truck and then we left him sitting on the side of the freeway with our Tahoe. Casey's dad got there and got the Tahoe on his trailer and pulled home. We got to the wedding and set up with about 15 minutes to spare. The photobooth ran flawlessly the entire night, and they paid us a bundle of money for it. We had a wonderful stay at the Marriott and drove home without any problems (except for Casey's phone has bit the dust, but that's a whole other post).

During the whole trip, we kept saying "Wow, that was lucky!", but after about 30 times of being lucky, I decided that we are blessed!!! Let me count our blessings:

  • We just happened to leave 3 hours earlier than we actually needed to leave, which NEVER happens. We are never early to anything.
  • We didn't have the kids with us sitting on the side of the freeway. They were in the very loving and capable hands of Casey's mom, whom we LOVE!
  • The Highway Patrol man didn't give us a ticket. Even after we saw him look directly at our licence plate, he didn't give us a ticket. Amazing.
  • The problem with our Tahoe really is a small one. We made more than enough doing that wedding to pay for it.
  • I forgot to mention this, but after we got on our way in Grandpa's truck, one of our straps on the trailer broke on the way, and so Casey pulled off the freeway and guess what we saw RIGHT THERE.... Harbor Freight. So we got new straps. Perfect.
  • Casey's dad got home from the cabin just in time to rescue us. Had he been at the cabin, there would be no way to reach him. And he just happened to have a trailer that he could pull our Tahoe home on.
  • Casey's grandpa was able and willing to let us borrow his truck for a while.
  • And the biggest blessing of all is that we have wonderful families who are willing to help us. No offense Emily, but we are really blessed to have so many family members close by that we can trust. We kept thinking that if we were living somewhere else, we wouldn't have had all that help.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

About Benson.

I was just going to do a post about Molly because I feel like she gets left out sometimes, but then I felt like I was leaving Benson out, so here you go...

Benson is a little stubborn. He likes to do things by himself. If I carry him up the stairs and he wanted to do it himself, he will go back downstairs just so he can come up on his own.
Benson really, truly is a good kid. Sometimes he has a moment or two, but usually, if he's not provoked, he is a good kid with good intentions. He is really good about helping me or getting me things I need.
Benson is a spaz. Actually, it's really weird because for us, he's a spaz, but for people he doesn't know, he is completely quiet and reserved. We just started "joy school" with our neighborhood, and I am so surprised because Benson is the quietest kid. That's probably because we don't know any of the other kids. I bet when he gets to know them, our problem won't be quiet anymore. (Did that sound like I was referring to Benson as "our problem"? hah, that's funny. I'm leaving it.)
Benson is SUPER smart. Probably every mom thinks that about her kids, and I think Benson is too. After I tell him things once, he usually remembers them FOREVER. He talks so well and most of the time says words right and uses them correctly too. We have been working on teaching him to say things the right way and so now if he says something wrong, he'll stop and correct himself, and go on. He also knows how to use every gadget we have, which is many. When I got my iPhone, he showed me a few neat features that I didn't know about. It's hard to trick a kid so smart, though, cause he remembers what I say and then uses it against me.
Benson is not the world's nicest brother. Although, most of the time his intentions are good, he usually ends up hurting Molly whenever he touches her. If it weren't for Molly, he'd probably never get in trouble. If Molly ever gets into something she shouldn't, he is more than happy to rip it out of her clutches, usually pretty forcefully, but with good intentions. He watches out for her, which is nice. Sometimes he's watching out for a moment to kick her in the ribs when we're not watching, though. Also, he doesn't like when she gets attention. It's been hard for him that she's crawling and standing up and doing more things now, because she gets a lot of praise. Usually when we praise Molly for doing something, Benson knocks her down or sits on top of her until we stop praising Molly and start yelling at Benson.
Benson doesn't like to be alone. He is always within 5 feet of where I am in the house. If I send him outside to play, he comes in 20 times to ask me to come out and play with him. It's strange, though, because he just likes to play with adults. If other kids are around, he usually doesn't play with them at all, but loves when he gets to play with an aunt or uncle or grandparent.
He never stops talking. (other than at preschool, apparently). This is probably because we have just sat around talking to each other for almost 3 years. Driving is the worst because I can never listen to a book on tape or focus on anything besides the jabberbox in the back seat. I love this, though, because he usually says really funny things. He is also a bit of a commentator. He gives us the play-by-play for everything. Here is a simulation:

"Now I'm putting on my shoes. Oops wrong foot. Better switch. That's better. Hey, these match. Blue shorts, blue shoes. That's silly. I love my running shoes, they make me run so FAST. Faster than Lyking Ukeen. I mean Light-ning Muh-queen. That's better. Mater is the best backwards driver. I can't drive cause I don't have a driver's licence. I can ride my mo-cycle, I mean motorcycle, though. I am the fastest motorcycle pedaler. I bet I could beat dad in a race. He rides wheelies on his bike. But I can't ride wheelies cause I might tip over. I better where a helmet cause if I tip over then it could keep my head safe...." and on and on.