Saturday, May 28, 2016

Carpet and Currently {May 2016 Edition}

It's 6:00 on Saturday morning, and I've been awake since about 5:00. I tried to go back to sleep, but I haven't been able to sleep in this week. Something in me is wide awake, but not in the "motivated" sort of way that results in me getting out of bed and being productive. It's more in the "I'm awake early, so I have an extra hour to be lazy before my kids wake up" sort of way.

Eventually, I came to terms with not being able to go back to sleep, so I rolled out of bed and started wandering the house in the dark. That's when I realized that I have nowhere to go. My kids are sleeping in the living room since their bedrooms are torn apart. There's a kid and a sleeping husband in my room, and the baby is right next door. I can't lollygag around the kitchen or sit on the couch, or I'll wake up the living room kids. I can't go upstairs or I'll wake up the baby kids... or the husband.

Normally I wouldn't be so considerate of my husband, but he worked from 4:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. all week and then came home and worked on the kids' bedrooms until 9:00 p.m. so the guy is pretty tired. Plus he's sick with some sore throat/possible ear infection deal, and he should really go to the doctor, but he won't (don't get me started...) So my whole point is, I'm sitting on bare cement in a freshly painted room because I have nowhere better to go whilst the people sleep. Hopefully the exposed tack strips don't poke me in the bum!

Our new carpet is coming today, and the bedrooms are ready for it. This is so exciting! I've never purchased carpet before, so this is an entirely new experience for me. It makes me feel so adult, especially since I went to the carpet store all by myself (+ 4 kids) and made lots of big decisions by myself and booked the carpet installer by myself and made a down payment all by myself. Scotty wasn't involved at all (which he is fine with). This feels like a huge triumph for me because I don't do "new things" well, particularly new things that involve a salesman.

I'm not sure that I intended for this post to be about the carpet, but it is sure turning into that. Quick! I must change topics before I write ten more paragraphs about carpet (which I could totally do because I love to overprocess life events - like buying carpet).

Here's what I'm currently up to (in addition to carpet stuff):

Reading: nothing for fun, but tons for school.

Watching: Endeavour at the rate of approximately 1/4 episode per day (I've watched it before and decided to watch it again. I had dreams of staying up late and binge watching, but then my kids took over the living room, so the TV is a little off limits for now).

Painting: a bed, a dresser, and book shelves for the kids' rooms.

Wearing: exercise clothes because, believe it or not, I intend to exercise at 6:45.

Learning: how to stop complaining. I have a relapse yesterday, but I'm back on the horse today (it helps that it's only 6:20 a.m. and I've yet to make contact with another human being).

Looking forward to: the dozen donuts I intend to buy for game night tonight. One of these days, I'll figure out how to eat healthy and exercise consistently, but until then, I'll just keep up with my sporadic efforts and gluttony. Did I mention there will also be pizza?

Dreading: temperatures over 75 degrees.

Procrastinating: all things homework-related. I skipped an assignment this week because I just couldn't bring myself to do it. The assignments in that class are ridiculous. They go a little bit like this:

1. Answer this question that doesn't make sense.

2. Answer this question that is a re-phrasing of question #1.

3. Define this term that is not in your text book. Try Googling - I dare you! You will find that this term does not exist in the internet world, and you will highly suspect that the course designer made it up. Nay, you will know that the course designer made it up because, if Google can't find it, it isn't a "thing."

Happy about: returning to healthy hair. After I had Eva, I lost quite a bit of hair, and about two months ago, my hair still looked so frail and unhealthy. I decided that if I couldn't get it looking better within three months, I would chop it off (which I really didn't want to do because I don't like short hair on me, but I didn't see any point in continuing to have long hair if it looked so awful). I bought some hair vitamins and a hair product that claimed to help with breakage and restoration. I'm surprised, but it actually looks a lot better! It's on the mend! I can keep my hair!

And thus ends my random morning post for the day. It's time to go pretend to exercise!

Friday, May 27, 2016

When I Should be Painting

This week, Scotty and I have been trying to get Daisy and Nicky's new bedrooms ready for carpet. We procrastinated Nicky's room. Carpet is scheduled for tomorrow (Saturday), and we didn't start his room until Monday. We had to build a closet (his room didn't have one), tear out the existing carpet, and paint. That sounds like a small list, but if you've ever built a closet, you know how much work that is. Plus, his room has a chair rail, so it wasn't just simply slapping paint on the walls. We had to do the top color and the bottom color and then tape everything off to paint the chair rail and the baseboards. Plus, we had to remove the chair rail where we built the closet and add chair rail around the outside of the closet.

(The funny thing is that I'm speaking in past tense as if it's already done, but some of this stuff we haven't even started yet!)

It has been a lot of work, but I'm glad we scheduled the carpet and put the pressure on because it made us spring into action.

I guess what I'm getting at here is that I should be painting right now, but I needed a little break, so I'm sitting on my stairs typing a quick post while my three-year-old sprays the back of my head with a squirt bottle.

That means that this post will have no structure and will address anything that randomly pops into my head (you should be used to that by now).

Another thing that has been going on this week is that it is the last week of school. Nicky's last day is today (I just sent him out the door), Daisy's last day was yesterday, and I decided that since preschool for Zoe has been a thorn in my side, I didn't even take her this week. Instead, I kept her home and attempted potty training, which was met with a big, fat FAIL.

So the potty training thing... I'm at a complete loss for working with Zoe on potty training. Two years ago (as of June), she started sitting on the potty by herself several times a day. I thought this was amazing, and I anticipated that she would quickly potty train herself. Well, she sat and sat and sat, but never "went." She did this for about 18 months, and only had one pee and one poop in the potty during that time. Then six months ago, she stopped sitting on the potty. Now, if I even suggest that she sits on the potty, she has this weird, panicky, freakout.

I was able to get her to pee in the potty one time this week, but it was traumatic and probably set her up for more potty anxiety. Since I have had three very negative potty training experiences thus far, I'm a mess over it. I don't know what to do, and in all honesty, I don't fell very willing to deal with this problem.

Zoe is different, and I haven't quite figured her out yet. I contemplate daily whether there is something bigger going on with her that might need some additional study and education. I keep hoping that she will make a huge leap in her speech or social skills - something that will help me feel like everything is going to be okay. I got her test results back from special education this week, and her social/emotional skills have decreased by half in the past three months. It was sad for me to see that, but at the same time, it helped me realize that I'm not out of line when I consider that something about her is a bit off track.

With school being out, I need to figure out how to keep some structure in our days. Hopefully having two new bedrooms for Nicky and Daisy will help a bit with their incessant fighting. Our house hasn't had a lot of "personal space" available while we've been under construction. We are all up in each other's grills all day long, and it has made for a very chaotic household. Especially with how difficult this semester of school has been for me. Also, with having most of our house torn apart, I've lost any motivation to clean. I've never been a tidy person to begin with, but now, things are in complete disarray, and I have no interest in trying to organize it.

Which leads me to this realization I recently made about myself. People have always told me that I'm "organized." In my jobs and in my church callings, I've been given that compliment (at least I think it has been meant as a compliment... you never know). I was thinking about this the other day while cleaning out my very-not-organized van. I wondered how anyone could mistake me for "organized" when, really, I'm a complete slob. I thought, "Maybe I'm only organized in some areas of life." But what does that make me? Part-organized? I dunno. Then it dawned on me that "organized" is just the wrong word. I'm not organized. I'm something else. I haven't decided which word to use for it, but I'm leaning toward conscientious, but I don't know if that's quite right, either.

Even though I can't decide which word properly describes my false organization, I can say one thing with finality: I am a complainer. I faced this fact yesterday while listening to a podcast on the Mormon Channel about complaining. I always knew I dabbled in murmuring, but I didn't realize just how bad it is until I resolved to go a day without complaining, and I ended up not being able to talk about anything because, as I now know, complaining is my main source of conversation.

Yesterday I had to go to Daisy's kindergarten graduation, and when I got to the school, there was nowhere to park, so I had to go pretty far into the neighborhood. I had Zoe and Eva with me, of course, and when I got out of the van and opened the trunk to get the stroller out, it wasn't there. So I had to carry Eva, which isn't a big deal, except that Zoe often halts on the sidewalk and has breakdowns, so I often find myself in situations where I have to carry both girls, so in those moments, it's nice to have Eva in a stroller. We got into the school well enough, but there was nowhere to sit, so I stood at the back of the gym holding Eva and Zoe up so they could see.

Then after the graduation, while walking back to the van, Zoe had tantrums, and I ended up having to carry her (while flailing, of course) and Eva plus two plates of refreshments and Daisy's "diploma." It's moments like that where I just want to curl up on the sidewalk and cry. And the whole while I was thinking, "I'm not allowed to complain. I'm not allowed to complain." Which meant, essentially, that I would never be able to tell another human about this event because I don't know how to talk about "things gone wrong" in a non-complaining way.

(So, what is your take on that? I'm just testing the waters here... would you perceive that story as complaining? I need to know these things so I can create boundaries).

Well, off to paint!

Monday, May 16, 2016

The Dirty Little Mistubishi

This year has brought a lot of unexpected change for us. One plot twist that we stumbled upon recently is Scotty getting a new job. With that new job, Scotty gets to use a company vehicle, so we've decided to sell his car.

Here's the thing, though: Scotty's car is disgusting. He pretty much lived out of it while he was finishing his degree, and I thought he'd be better about keeping it tidy after he graduated, but it turns out, being gone for 16 hours a day had nothing to do with it. Scotty is just a messy fella. I would never even dare show you what the inside of his car looks like because it's too embarrassing. But I can give you some insight into the sort of things I found while cleaning it out.

Let's start with the golf balls.


Scotty has always had a massive stash of golf balls in his car (even his previous cars). I guess that's something you do when you go golfing once a year. Heaven forbid you be without your balls! I found at least fifty in his car. I am not exaggerating!

There were also divot replacers, tees, and score sheets. Oh, and an entire set of golf clubs.

After I got the golf balls rounded up, I got this strange phone call. It was 1995. They wanted their hacky sack back. Fortunately, I found that, too!


It was right next to the large googley eye.


I came across some markers Scotty "found" at the church. I recall the conversation we had about them over a year ago:

Me: Did you steal those from the church?

Him: I found them in my classroom.

Me: So you just kept them?

Him: I found them in my classroom.


We can return them now.

I found a lot of miscellaneous things like zip ties, the pistachios I gave Scotty for his birthday last year, a Barbie DVD, and fireworks. 


I found a lot of race memorabilia - a Redrock Relay tattoo, a Saloman window sticker, a piece of a Ragnar medal, and a few race bibs including this one:


Scotty has this thing where he refuses to clean any Spartan dirt out of his car. There are mud smears on the arm rests from three years ago. I'm not sure this will be a selling point.

I was pretty excited about the full stick of women's deodorant.

For a minute, I thought I'd discovered Iron Man's missing knee cap, but then I realized it was just a bunch of tangled fishing reels. 


Fishing poles in car: 6.  

Nicky had a false alarm where he thought he'd found some money:


I found four socks, 36 pens, 12 pencils, and 8 partially used packs of gum. He had two coats, a pair of shorts, and two backpacks in the trunk. There were at least 18 bottles of water and Gatorade, and about five days' worth of diapers (unsued - just to be clear).

It was brutal, and everything in this post only scratches the surface. 

You may have guessed that Scotty's car hasn't ever been suitable for passengers. Whenever we've taken it anywhere, we've had to spend hours cleaning it out. 

It will be wonderful for Scotty to drive a company owned vehicle for a while. He has to keep it clean. My only worry is where he'll stash the stuff he would normally leave in his car. 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Everything Random I Can Throw Into A Post Before Monday Steals Me Away

This semester of school is very stressful. I have always been an 'A' student (or at least a 'Near A' student). I've gotten a few non-'A's in my life, mostly in classes that I hate, so in a way, it's always been my choice to not do as well as I could in those classes.

For the first time in my life, I am putting in countless hours, and I am getting lower grades. I took a test last night and got 25 out of 35, which is a D. I was allowed two tries on the test, so I went over all of the questions after my first attempt, and studied up on the answers as well as I could. Then I took the test again, had a different selection of questions (but some were still the same), and I got 23 out of 35, which is a lower D.

This particular class is Adolescent Development. I signed up for this class because I thought it would help me relate more to teenagers, but really, my negative testing experiences are adding to my already negative emotions about teenagers.

Let me give you a little sample of the test questions in this class:

1. Amelia wants to be a clown when she grows up. Amelia is:

a) Highly likely to start her period early

b) Slightly likely to start her period early

c) Highly likely to start her period late

d) Slightly likely to start her period late

(I have to throw in here that that is not an exact question from the test - lest I be accused of some twisted attempt at cheating -  but it is only a slight exaggeration of the real test questions. Plus, in education, we don't say "start periods," we say "reach menarche." Because we're intelligent and stuff).

And then, just to make things even better, the test had duplicate questions, so I had the special privilege of getting the Amelia question wrong twice in the same attempt.

[insert excessive grumbling about poorly written tests]

[end scene]

Moving on...

Did you notice I have a new header? Why, yes, I am an overachiever. I changed my Christmas header before June!

Thanks to my awesome friend Lynsie for designing it for me.

Moving on...

Look what I did last night:


(I'm the one on the ground, naturally)

I overcame my claustrophobic tendencies by constantly doing this:

{Britt seeks the sky}

This is something everyone should do at least once (play bubble sports, not seek the sky).

Moving on...

Note my sandals in the photo above. They were my Mothers' Day gift that I bought for Scotty to give to me. I also bought new glasses (as in cups) because I realized that, even though we owned 100 cups, there were not three alike in any form. I also switched out all of my bulky bowls and plates for plain white Correlle. I've wanted to do this for years, so I finally went wild, bought what I wanted, and texted Scotty, "Thanks for the Anniversary gift." He texted back, without knowing what I'd bought, "You're welcome. I did good this year, didn't I?" My stack of plates went from 18" tall to 3" tall. It's a beautiful thing. I'm quite fond of buying my own Mothers' Day and anniversary gifts.

Moving back to my first topic...

As you now know, I am taking Adolescent Development. For the past two (maybe three?) weeks, I have been studying puberty to the point where my head will explode if I hear the word hormone ever again (see how I had to whisper it just now?)

Let me just go on record to say that I am sick of hormones. I'm tired of testosterone and adrenal androgens. I'm annoyed by GH, and to be honest, I don't even know what that is, as indicated by my test scores, but by darn, don't you dare say GH in front of me, or I'll lose it. I'm telling you, I will!

Moving on...

I guess I better go because someone is calling me.

Saint George 

"Oh, hey, Zack!"

Monday, May 9, 2016


Guess what I was doing 13 years ago today?

I'll give you a hint:

Scanned Pics 017

To celebrate thirteen years of marriage, I wanted to do a fun blog post. A list. A series of photos. Something that requires an ounce of creativity.

I started said post last night, and then this morning, I realized that I have a test coming up in one week, so I devoted most of my day to reading for school. Fifty pages later, I thought I was done. Then I looked at what the test is on and discovered that I need to read 72 more pages. That's just the reading, and not the studying and memorizing of terms and theories.


So creativity? I have none.

But I'll tell you what I do have: an amazing husband.

And not just in the "gotta look good on the internet" way. I am truly spoiled by having such a good husband. He makes marriage easy. I take no credit for that, it's all him.

I love that we are at the point where we have been together for more than half our lives. I love that we have a family of our own with goals, traditions, and values.

So on this day of no creativity, I declare that I LOVE THIS MAN, and I love what we have created together.

After thirteen years, that is enough.