Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I have officially been accepted to the Art Institute's Interior Design Bachelor's program. Now we wait to see if I can actually afford it! 

Thursday, February 19, 2009

What do you do to discipline your child?

I've been curious about this for some time. Brian and I always seem at a loss for whether or not we are disciplining our children properly or whether we are being effective in what we do with them. We don't want to be overly harsh for things that should be left alone. As I mentioned earlier we have Naomi's eating situation, but there are behavioral things that just come along with being 4 years old. So I'm curious - what do you do with your children if you have them? Any reading material that would assist us in this situation?

Guess what I did?

I just filled out my FAFSA forms. And I'm about to fill out the Art Institute application for interior decorating...

Our Pottery

From 2009
Brian's mug is the "watermelon" on the left. He says 
this wasn't what he intended it to look like. We'll 
have to go back and try again! Yay! The entire 
inside of his is the bright orange-y color. Mine is 
the grey and green with red vines. I did all of the 
vining in a matter of minutes! We realized it was 
time to leave, but I hadn't even started on the vines. 
Next time they can be more thought out.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

So I just read this for fun to see what maids do skimp on when you stay in a hotel. Little did I know I would discover the bold red type. Even if you only read the red type you'll see my point. 

Confessions of a Hotel Housekeeper

"Instead of Vacuuming, I Picked Up Some Crumbs"

Budget Travel, February 2009

Allison Rupp worked at Yellowstone National Park's historic Old Faithful Inn in 2004.

The best guests sleep in

Three simple letters could inspire the "Hallelujah" chorus: DND, or do not disturb. One sign hanging on a doorknob, and the day's work was shortened by half an hour. Two signs? Pure heaven, but only if they remained there until my eight-hour shift ended—otherwise I'd have to circle back and clean the rooms. My daily list of 15 rooms (out of 325 in the hotel) consisted of DOs (due out) and Os (occupied), which in housekeeping lingo meant the guests were scheduled to check out or were staying another night. An occupied room was less labor-intensive (making the beds rather than changing the sheets saved me 20 minutes), but there was always the possibility the guest would stay in the room while you worked. One man watched me clean his entire room, from scrubbing the toilet to emptying the trash—and told me at the end that I was "building character." Condescension is not nearly as encouraging to a maid as a couple of dollars.

As long as it looked clean

I cut corners everywhere I could. Instead of vacuuming, I found that just picking up the larger crumbs from the carpet would do. Rather than scrub the tub with hot water, sometimes it was just a spray-and-wipe kind of day. After several weeks on the job, I discovered that the staff leader who inspected the rooms couldn't tell the difference between a clean sink and one that was simply dry, so I would often just run a rag over the wet spots. But I never skipped changing the sheets. I wouldn't sink that low, no matter how lazy I was feeling.

A bacterial wonderland

I was disgusted by the many guests I came in contact with through the things they left behind: the hairs on the pillow, the urine on the toilet seat, the half-eaten cookie, the stained sheets. One woman had soiled her sheets so thoroughly that we had to toss them in a biohazard bag—they could never be used again. Rooms where young kids stayed were the worst, with food ground into the carpet and piles of used diapers in the trash. That kind of demoralizing mess could take 45 minutes to clean up. Most maids wore rubber gloves when they worked, but mine were too big, so I discarded them. Unsurprisingly, I got the flu twice.

Not for love — or money

I didn't know maids received tips, so it took me weeks to realize that the coins left in rooms were an intentional gift. My tips were paltry: I almost never received more than $1, and at times guests left religious pamphlets. One day, however, I was shocked to find a crisp $100 bill lying on a table. Although the generous tip put a little spring in my step and compelled me to do a better job that day, it didn't change my work ethic for long. I apologize to you now if you ever stayed in one of my rooms. You deserved better. But if housekeepers were paid more than minimum wage—and the tips were a bit better—I might have cleaned your toilet rather than just flushed it.

Isn't it lovely to know that the work I do every day is demoralizing?? Nice lady, thanks a lot! 

Its quite a shame isn't it? I haven't the slightest clue why people all over the world dislike children so much. It really is beyond me! I like kids and even though it is tough, I am more than willing to put in the extra effort for such a "demoralizing" life!

Monday, February 16, 2009

I've got the blues...

No, not the craft macaroni and cheese kind  - the kinda down and depressed blues. I've been worse before - a lot of times actually, but I've just got the don't wanna do anything, feel kinda sad blues. I don't even know where they come from and I think that is what frustrates me. Often I feel like it comes from being overwhelmed with my small apartment. I like things in order and somewhat cleanly. But as I look around right now I see piles and messes. There is just too much to fit into these tiny apartments! I don't feel like I even have a lot of stuff, but everywhere I turn there it is! Stuff, stuff everywhere! So next Saturday Brian and I are going to go through the toys and get rid of the extras, stuff that has never been played with or just doesn't go with anything anymore. So there will be a trip to D.I. Gwen is at that destructo stage where everything that is in a drawer needs to be out of it. So that always puts a lot of work on the table - like when every single measuring cup and spoon is strewn about the house they all need to be cleaned. Maybe I wore myself out with all the V-day treats. There was a lot of dishes after that. That would have been a good picture to include after the treats display. huh? 

And then there is little Naomi. She is just the most stubborn kid I've ever known. She isn't bad by any means, but when she get something in her head someone is gonna go down. Its never pleasant. We struggle so much with her eating. Her repertoire is definitely going down. She eats next to nothing! We try the whole take one bite and taste it at least. Doesn't work. We try the eat 5 bites and then you can be done technique. Doesn't work. We just tonight tried the eat that much before this time idea. Did not work! Any suggestions? I feel like we've tried it all, but we may not know. 

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day was an up/ down day for us. Brian and I celebrated on Friday night by going to a pottery painting store called Color Me Mine. It was quite fun! In my naivety I thought we would maybe spend 20 minutes painting our mugs that we picked out. WRONG! 2 hours later I could have kept going, but it was time to get back to pick up the girls. We get the mugs back on Tuesday so I will post pictures then. I planned the date so I had thought we would have time for a dessert, but we just painted instead. I would really like to go back. For those in the area its really fun and easy! 

Saturday morning I took Brian to school with the plan from him that he would be working ALL day. So I had planned to make tons of fun V-day treats with the girls. However, I did not go shopping prior to that day. So we went over and purchased as many V-day treat ideas as we could. There were no pink and red sprinkles anywhere! 

We headed home and here are the results:
From 2009
From 2009
Naomi helped make everything! She did mixing and pouring! Its rare for me to have that much patience, but it was enjoyable!
Gwen enjoying the cupcakes!
From 2009
Gwen has become quite sneaky recently. She kept 
climbing up on the chairs when I wasn't looking 
and grabbing cupcakes and rice krispy treats. 
Naomi didn't like any of the treats and only ate some 
cool-whip with sprinkles.

Brian took Naomi and Gwen with Uncle Tim over to do some 
sledding as it had snowed the ENTIRE day!

Tim and Gwen
From 2009
Check out Naomi in the background. Her hat 
refuses to stay on straight!

Pretty in pink!
From 2009
From 2009
From 2009
From 2009
Snow Angels!
From 2009
From 2009
From 2009
After the sledding and snow angels, we ordered 
some Cafe Rio (my order was wrong, of course).
It was still good though. Then Tim and Brian went 
out to rent a movie and we all watched Henry Poole 
is here. Artistic movie, but a pretty good one. Then 
Tim went home and we went to bed. Not much 
V-day for the couple. Shame!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Preschool Valentine's Day Party

From 2009
Naomi helped me make these Valentine's this 
morning. She signed her name on each one. (Traced it)
From 2009
From 2009
Naomi and her gang of girls, Aurora on her right 
and Emily on the left, decorating cookies. It's sad, 
but sweet to me that Aurora was pouting because 
she wanted to sit next to Naomi. I like that she is 
From 2009
The boys, Israel and Travis, and Mila. 
Both boys immediately ate their cookies 
while the girls looked at them for a bit. 
Naomi wouldn't even eat hers.
From 2009
From 2009
What a beautiful cookie!
From 2009
This is how both my girls and Brian 
concentrate, same face on all of them! 
She is making a pocket for her valentine's.
From 2009
She just looks pretty here.
From 2009
I had no idea she knew how to sew. 
She did the entire thing by herself. 
I didn't even have to show her how!
From 2009
Pin the heart on the cupid. I think she could 
From 2009
This was Gwen the ENTIRE time! She 
just sat and ate Naomi's cookie. When 
she was done she grabbed a wipe and 
cleaned off her hands, but not her face.

We somehow survived!

We have returned to Utah after our week and a half long trip to NJ. I am not sure how much I'm prepared to blog today, but I figured I would at least start and see where it takes me. 

The plane rides really were not that bad. If I talk about them I tend to complain, but it wasn't the worst experience ever. It had an end in sight at least. I can safely say I will not be traveling by myself with the two girls anytime soon. I think it would be really fun if Naomi and I could go on  a trip by ourselves. She is a great traveler! That extra 20 lbs of Gwen made for the hectic spots and walking was just SLOW! We made it safely, we were doing well. We got to go to church the first Sunday. It was nice to briefly see a few people. 

Sunday evening I got sick! A stomach flu has been going around the area. My dad and Ian watched the girls while I laid down. I was hoping it might be brief or at least get better with a little rest. Well, I was wrong! At around 7 or 8pm Naomi started vomiting. The next 2 days was all of the household lounging around with the flu! Even Gwen got it. We were finally feeling better and got out of the house. I at least was able to purchase some new clothes. (The joke on me was that my pants ripped open while on the plane - I didnt' know it until I got to NJ)

I spent one day out of the house with my friend Nikki and her son Benson. I have yet to hear if he actually got the stomach flu or not....Hopefully not!! My grandmother was visiting when I got sick - she got it, and it spread to my aunt's house from her. And just yesterday my other grandmom got it. 

Then it was Friday. We went out shopping, hoping to buy my mom some curtains for her bedroom. Naomi had occasionally complained of stomach pain which was actually weird because she never complains that her stomach hurts. I assumed it was just leftover from the flu. She started crying and saying it really hurt so we headed back home. After crying for 2 hours straight she requested that we take her to the doctor. Of course, the NJ doctor would not see her because we have out of state medicaid. So to the ER we went! 

Naomi had not started eating again properly since being sick. She would nibble, but she would either pretend like she was going to throw up or actually make herself throw up after every meal. They did an X-ray on her stomach to check for kidney stones or anything else like that. They eventually took her blood and had to do a catheter to get urine to test. It took forever. I spoke to 4 people the entire time we were there and not a single one of them seemed to be listening to what I was telling them. They assumed she was there because of the flu. No one would hear me say that she was over the flu for a few days now. Finally they understood she was there for PAIN. I HATE that doctors always complain that WE (the people) need to tell them everything so that they can make a proper diagnosis. Well what is the point of that? Why did I have to repeat everything 4-5 times to the same people when I can clearly see that they are not listening to me. I might as well have just let them look at her without telling them anything. It would have taken just as long for them to get to the point they finally got to. I make a point to try and give them as much information as possible because I know that everything can be affected by something else or some symptom. 

So the doctor wanted to admit her overnight because the fear was appendicitis. Her bloodwork came back that there was some sort of infection, too. Unfortunately, the hospital we were at did not admit children under 10 years of age. So we had to be transfered to the Regional hospital to the pediatric unit. Naomi got to ride in an ambulance! I think she liked it because she wanted to go home in it. We went to the ER at 4pm and were not admitted to the Regional hospital until midnight. They are only about 20 minutes apart. Naomi actually slept ok. She was on fluids all night long and throughout the next day. 

I stayed with her at the hospital while Gwen went home with my mom for her first sleep over ever! She actually slept for her! The entire week was a struggle with sleep because of all the being sick. But she only woke up once for my mom! 

The funny part about the hospital visit was that our daytime nurse was my best friend from K-2 grade! She came in to check on Naomi at about 8am. We were still sleeping. She introduced herself and started explaining what we would be doing. I did a double take when I recognized her! How funny is that? Naomi was fine to go home after dinner. I think she was just severely dehydrated and hungry! 

We spent Sunday resting up from the experience. So then it was Monday and time to go home. The entire trip the girls were so whiny and out of their element. Gwen wanted to be held every waking and sleeping minute! Naomi would wake up in the morning and cry because she wanted to go home. They both really missed Daddy! 

The ride home was a little better than the ride out. I had a few nice people offer help. Gwen was the first person to see Brian. She got excited and ran right over to him. They were happy with him until it was time to go home. He got each girl a pair of sunglasses. 

My luggage did not come off of the plane. I thought it was lost, and I was poised to be so upset! You have to pay for every suitcase now, and I was not prepared to not have everything I owned after such an awful, sick week. We, luckily, were able to just look through the excess luggage that was not collected without filing a claim. And there were our suitcases! They had come in on a plane 2 hours before ours! Weird huh? We got home, put the girls down, and I fell asleep! 

So, once again, I will not be traveling without Brian anytime soon! It definitely too much work for me!