Friday, May 30, 2008

The Secret List

For some reason today I kept coming up with more additions to Mcmommy's Secret List.

Here's the list as of now (click on the picture)

A few of the things I thought of today were:

*You will always be the last one to start eating, and the last one finished. And if you're lucky you'll get to eat without getting up 15 times.

*You'll never shop alone again, and this is not a good thing.

*When you do go out it will take you no less than 20 minutes to get out of the house, after you're actually ready to leave. Getting ready will take at least an hour.

*Your newly potty trained child will always tell you he/she has to pee while in the car with no bathrooms, and no time to get to a bathroom, and nowhere to pull over anyway.

I really had more than this, but my time is up.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

We officially have the smelliest house on the block!

It was trash day on my mail route today.

I usually hate trash day.

Today, I was (dare I say) jealous.

All of those people getting rid of all that smelly trash (and believe me, it's smelly, and they insist on putting their cans right by their boxes)

I'm sure all of this has got you wondering.

This is my problem......

That's our trashcan by the curb.

It's there right now.

I put it there yesterday morning.

It's really heavy, and I'm not moving it again until it gets dumped.

The next trash day is next Wednesday!

We didn't put the trash out before we left for vacation, because we left really early Tuesday morning, and there wasn't that much trash, and we figured that since we'd be getting home on Tuesday night we'd be able to put it out for the next day's pick up. If you've been reading, you'll know that we missed our flight, and didn't get home till Wed. night (and of course the trash was the last thing on our minds). If you do the math (which I've already done, so you won't have to) it's already now been 22 days since we last had our trash picked up. We only have 1 trash day a week.

Tuesday night Seth asked if it was trash day the next day and I said yes. I thought that meant he was going to put it out. Yesterday morning I must have been in the shower when the truck went up our side of the street, because I never heard it. I did hear it coming later though, just as Seth said, oh yeah, it's trash day(meaning, oh cr@p, I forgot to put out the trash). I ran out and around the house to get it to the street. I'm not sure why I bothered, because the truck was on the other side of the street, and they do our side first. But I struggled with the massively heavy thing, through the rock and down the driveway. If you notice the picture, it has no lid. Which means that there is nothing to keep the smell of what's in there from overwhelming you. And remember, it's been 3 weeks, we've had 110 degree temps, and rain (some of which I'm sure has collected in there) and we usually have pretty smelly trash anyway, with having a baby in diapers.

So, we now officially have the stinkiest house on the block with our month's worth of trash sitting out on the curb. If you happen to drive by here, plug your nose.

If you read this today leave a comment......

even if it just says hi.

Try it. I dare you!

(for the computer challenged out there, there's a commment button at the bottom of this post, click on that.)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Out of the mouth of Hunter

I was sorting laundry (yes, I was really sorting it, I'm trying to change my ways) and the little lovebugs found me. Here is the actual conversation.


Me: "yes, Hunter?"

Hunter:"I lud you"

Me:"I love you too"

Hunter:"Do you lud Rylie?"

Me:"Yes, I love Rylie, do you love Rylie?"

Hunter:"Yes, I lud Rylie too"

Doesn't that just melt your heart?

I love his words. Other things he says:

Drapboom- Bathroom

Taptoo- tatoo


Hopicle- Popsicle

Bish- Fish

Can't want to...- Don't want to

I too hungry/thirsty

I too hiccups

By-saur- Dinosaur

Some things he really can say the right way, he is just in too much of a habit of saying it the wrong way.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Oops, I got sidetracked.

May 2008

Here's a few of the pictures from our trip (again, click on the picture). I have been having too much fun on my computer tonight. I totally ignored my kids this afternoon (of course not, what kind of mother do you think I am?). They were happy though, they got to play in the backyard. Unfortunately, Hunter lost control of his gator and ran over Rylie. I was outside with them and he had been doing a good job of avoiding her, but I guess she must have dove in front of him at the last second (you can picture that right?) He jumped off his gator, I know he felt really bad. He was crying, she was crying, but as soon as Hunter gave her a kiss she was giggling again. No scratches, bumps, or bruises, just a little grass in her hair. And of course she went right back out and climbed up on the stupid thing. Anyway, I managed to add some nifty new features to my blog. Now you can subscribe and get a daily e-mail whenever I write something new, all in the name of simplicity, for those of you computer challenged.

Hunter- Future pilot?

Hunter got to go in the cockpit on the plane after we landed in Des Moines. He was too shy to actually get too far in, so I barely got a chance to get this picture. When we were waiting in Denver for our connecting flight to Des Moines, the pilot came by to board the plane and saw Hunter and asked if he'd like to go up there. I was shocked that it was even a possibility. I didn't know they even did that anymore. On our flight back home, from Denver to Phoenix, I wondered if they had let some other 3-year-old kid take a look, and even fly the plane, it was the bumpiest flight I've ever been on. I think Seth was white knuckled from hanging on to the armrests! (Note the newspapers right next to where Hunter is, I guess you can fly a plane and read the paper at the same time!)
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Brooke's Wedding

Our recent trip to IA was for Seth's sister's wedding.

Here are the pictures (click on the picture to see the full album)
Brooke's Wedding

Here are the pictures from the Bachelorette party (plus that special little video that I just know you want everyone to see ;) .

Brooke's Bachelorette party

Monday, May 26, 2008

Nursemaid's Elbow

I'm a reader by nature. If I'm going to do anything, I'm going to read about it first. When I was visiting my sister after she had my neice, I thought, "Oh how cute, maybe someday I'll have a baby too." So I brought home with me her copy of What to Expect When You're Expecting. You know, just in case. Well, just in case, or not, I wanted to really know what to expect, before I got myself into that situation.

The thought of being pregnant had always given me the creeps. Maybe it's because I was the youngest child, and no one close to us had been pregnant. Who knows. Anyway, I read it. I can't imagine how anyone can get through being pregnant and having kids without reading at least one book. Oh wait, let me um, rephrase. I'm a control freak. So I can't imagine going through pregnancy and childbirth without reading everything there is out there about what could possibly happen, so I know what the "range" of normal is. That being said, I'm also a closet hypochondriac. You know, the "get a headache and it's got to be a brain tumor", kind of hypochondriac, not the "go to the dr. every week with a new symptom" kind.

Anyway, I'm tired so I'm rambling a little bit. I'm a reader, it's what I do. Of course I had read the book What to Expect the First Year, and yes, the Toddler Years too, all before I had Hunter. (Now, I'm not that crazy, I read them while I was pregnant). I've still got them and I will refer to them on occasion when a situation comes up and I really don't know what to do. If I still don't know what to do after I consult the book, I call my sister.

Yeah, it may sound weird, I call my sister before I call my mom. Two reasons-

1) My sister has a 7 year old, and a 2 1/2 year old, she's fresh. My mom on the other hand has a 33, 31, and 29 year old, so it's been a while (not that she doesn't remember, but things change), plus half the time she tells me to call Erin anyway.

2) My sister works in a pediatrics office with about 10 pediatricians, plus nurse practitioners, and assistants, so if she doesn't know the answer, I bet she knows someone who does.

I read all about nursemaid's elbow. It was in at least 2 of the books I've read.

We were on vacation. I didn't have my books handy.

I was giving the kids a bath one night, I got Rylie out, wrapped her in a towel, and set her down on the rug so I could get Hunter out. She leaned forward a little and fell over, I assumed because she was wrapped in the towel. I thought she bumped her head on the floor, she was crying, but not more than usual. I went to put her pajamas on and she was really fussing when I went to put her shirt on. Like all out pain crying. The only thing I could think of was that she had fallen when she got out of the tub, and maybe she had hit her shoulder and dislocated it. I didn't think she hit it that hard, but you never know. Since I was at my parent's house I took her to my mom. Neither of us could tell anything, except she only seemed bothered when she had to move her left arm. She wouldn't even bend her arm to hold her cup. Maybe that should have told me something. We called Dr. Erin (yeah, my mom even said it that way).

She said we should watch her, and since it wasn't like unbearable pain, let her sleep and see how she acts in the morning. She slept good. In the morning it was the same thing, fine except holding her cup. So I made a few phone calls, there was an appt. available at the dr's office. My insurance would cover it even. So we took her in. We got there and went in to Erin's "office" (more like closet) and waited. I'll have to admit, closet or no, I felt important. I didn't even have to wait in the waiting room like the commoners. "Dr" Erin said she was diagnosing her as having nursemaid's elbow. I knew I'd heard of that before. Then we got to the exam room, and the dr came in. He asked a couple of questions, looked at Rylie, turned her hand palm up, put his thumb and finger around her elbow, and bent her arm (like he was trying to make her touch her shoulder). She cried so hard. Poor girl, I felt really bad for her, but he said he heard it pop back in when he bent it, and lo and behold, two minutes later she was just fine, grabbing her cup, and everything. Then he told me how to pop it back in, just in case. I hope I never have to do it, I get the creeps just thinking about it.

She either hurt her elbow when she fell after the bath, before that, when Seth picked her up wrong, or even before that when she took a tumble down 2 steps. We don't really know, but the most common way it happens is if you pick them up by their arms.

8 Years

Eight years ago today, on a Friday, Seth and I got married. Some days it feels like 80 years.

We had been in AZ for 3 years then. Seth had "proposed" in August of '99. We didn't really have a plan, but after being Maid of Honor for my sister, who had 6 attendents, I decided I didn't want a wedding. The added stressing thoughts of where to get married when you're families are 1,5oo miles apart was more than I wanted to deal with.

I don't even remember why we picked the day we did. There is nothing significant about the day. We both managed to get the day off, along with Seth's mom, who was our witness. We were going to go to the Mesa Wedding Chapel, no appointment necessary. It sounded easy enough. When we got there a sign on the door said they were closed. There was a couple looking at the sign, they had made an appointment, but apparently it was closed for good. Most people would think this was a bad omen. Not me.

We went home and started looking in the yellow pages for a Justice of the Peace. Finally we found a place, it was the Justice Court. The lady on the phone said come at 4:45, the judge will marry you after 5:00 bring $50 cash. We got there and waited. There were a few other couples there too. We only had one witness, we needed 2, so a lady who had gotten married before us signed as our 2nd witness.

After that we went out for dinner with a few people from Seth's family.

Flash forward eight years. Two houses, two kids, one dog and two cats later. I'm still glad we eloped. I don't regret it at all.

Friday, May 23, 2008


While we were in IA my sister had a friend of hers from high school come and take pictures of the kids, and us. If you'd like to see them here is the link

There are a ton of pictures, all alre labeled with the Houk family

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Another "Meme"

The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

1) What was I doing 10 years ago? I was at the end of my one and only year of community college in IA, getting ready to move to AZ to start my job at the post office. My goal was to work for 6 months and save up some money while I became a resident of the state so I could go to school here for Landscape Architecture. I guess real life got in the way of my school plans, and I liked the money too much to quit.

2) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order): Nothing, cook dinner, bathe my kids, post this on my blog, post about my nightmare return home from vacation on my blog.

3) Snacks I enjoy: Chocolate ice cream with cornflakes (yum), homemade chocolate chip cookies, most sweet things, definately nothing healthy.

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire: Live close to my family, Hire a maid, give a lot of money away to charities.

5) Places I have lived: Iowa and Arizona

6) 6 peeps I wanna know more about: Erin, Damian, Megan, Chuck, Melissa

What not to do while traveling with kids

Don't miss your flight.

Yeah, it sounds simple enough. Apparently I was too sure of our ability to get to the airport in time, I let time get away from me. It is all Seth's fault of course, since he wouldn't get out of bed, and then we had to go see his family before we left town. It didn't have anything to do with me not knowing exactly what time our flight left, and that there was a shuttle involved in returning the rental car.

In 10 years of flying back and forth (at least once a year), this was probably only the 3rd time we've flown to Des Moines instead of Kansas City. Usually we fly in/out of KC because it's much cheaper. This time DM was cheaper, and the 100 miles less to drive was a big plus. We had rented a car, and when we picked it up it was in a little lot just outside the airport, very convenient. Of course we had as much luggage as we were allowed to in this day and age, meaning 3 checked bags and 3 carry on bags, plus an umbrella stroller and 2 car seats. Since Rylie was just a lap child she didn't get her own bag (as if we could have handled one more bag anyway).

Usually we are at least an hour and a half early, so I couldn't believe it when we were getting to the airport just 30 mins before the plane was supposed to take off. I had even read that you have to be there at least 45 mins prior to takeoff to be able to check in. I still thought we'd be OK, that is, until the little kiosk thingy said we were unable to check in. The nice guy at the counter explained how we would be put on the standby list, and helped us take our bags over to the Xray machines. Of course we thought we were going to get right on the next flight since he checked our bags for us, and you know, the bags should stay with the travellers, right? Nope.

As we were trying to check in, I noticed a girl standing beside a camera, like from a tv station or something, it was pointed right at us. As we were leaving, to go take the rental car keys back, she asked if we could spare a few mins. I bet she was secretly laughing when I told her we really didn't have time because we were about to miss our flight, which by that time was probably out on the runway. I still wonder what she was going to ask us about.

We, get ourselves through security and decide to stop and eat, since we have plenty of time before the next plane boards. Both kids were still being pretty good at this point. Then after wasting a good bit of time and money at the restaurant, we headed up to the gate. It looked pretty empty so I figured it would be no problem for them to get us on. Unfortunately, everyone else must have been thinking about the same thing as me, except they still made it. About 10 minutes before the flight started boarding the people in the gate started multiplying. Seriously, there had to be about 60 people show up in that amount of time.

Standby was a joke, they had oversold the flight, and started asking for people to give up their seats. After the flight boarded I finally got up to ask the lady how many other flights there were. She looked at everything available, even the ones that went through Chicago, and all of them were overbooked. After 4 hours at the airport with 2 rambunctious kids I was ready to scream. I managed to keep my cool, and ask about getting confirmed on a flight the next day.

4 hours later- $ 330+ spent, no luggage, 2 really cranky tired and hungry kids, and 2 exhausted adults. We, at the very least, had a free place to stay, and someone picking up our luggage for us in Phoenix so the $100 worth of frozen meat in our suitcases didn't spoil before we would get there. (Yes, we buy meat when we come home, it just tastes better)

We got up extra early and to the airport, and let me tell you how much easier and quicker it is when you just did it all the day before and you have no luggage to check. We got right on our flight to Denver, and then we had to wait. The only flight out of Denver that had seats available the day before was the 3:45 flight. The nice lady that helped us put us on standby for the 11:42 flight so we could possibly get on that one. We waited at the gate, and of course found out that they had overbooked that flight as well. So we headed on down to the gate for the next flight, since the standby list is transferred automatically. (They are so helpful, why do they overbook anyway? Somehow it just doesn't make sense to me)

When we sat down at the next gate it was pretty full, and there was a girl sitting right next to us. She asked if we were going to Phoenix, and I said yes, and explained what happened and that we were on standby. She was too. She also said she had overheard the lady at the last gate say that there were about 20 people on the list. This was about the time when I decided it had been worth it to pay the extra money, because I sure didn't want to be stuck in Denver overnight.

We finally made it through the 4 hours in the airport, and made it home at long last. We ran into the girl as we were waiting for our ride to pick us up, she had paid to buy a ticket on another airline, and probably made it before us, but had to pick up her luggage that had come in on the airline we had flown.

I have definitely learned my lesson, and I will get to the airport at least 2 hours before the flight in the future (even if I have to leave the sleeping husband behind ;) ).

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Hunter and Jake reunited

Our wonderful friends Lauren, Jake, and Andie drove the 3 hours from their new home in IA to my parents house in south central IA. The boys were excited to see each other. They played pretty good for the most part, only fighting on the toys that were identical to each other, instead of fighiting over a one of a kind item. We'll miss them until next time. We hope to see them in AZ soon (after the end of the long hot summer, of course.)

below: my nephew Drew, Hunter, and Jake

Hunter and Jake playing in the field behind Grandma Hunter's house.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Family time

A picture of us at the hospital visiting Grandma Helen. Amazing that we were all looking at the camera on the 2nd shot.

Right to left: Hunter, Andrew, Erin, Rylie, Grandma, Me, and Avery.

We will have to go back I think on Friday when Damian gets down, and Alexis is not in school.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Don't judge me, but.....

Ok, I realize that there's a right and wrong way to do laundry. I choose to do it the wrong way.


is one load of laundry. Yes, I know it's all kinds of different types and colors, but that's my way. Also this is a very large load. Thanks to my outstandingly large washer and dryer, I can do loads this big, and I usually do. I know it's wrong, but I don't care.
Seth's aunt would pass out if she saw this. She is great at laundry. Our old washer broke one time and I took some clothes over to use theirs. I was just going to throw them all in, and I swear, she wouldn't allow me to do it. She actually sorted all of my laundry for me. I think if I could hire someone to just do my laundry, and fold it all and put it away, I would most definately do it.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Why I love blogging

I love having a blog because I have at least 2 hours a day where I'm all by myself (no, it still doesn't count as alone time) with no option for music, and only my random thoughts to entertain myself, all whilst delivering the mail and making no mistakes(ha, ha).

So today my random thought was, how wonderful it is that someone invented blogging for those of us who could otherwise write books full of ramdomness that would never sell because they just wouldn't make any sense. Someone give that person an award.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

You know you're a mother when....

It takes you 3 hours to make it through a 2 hour movie.

It takes you at least 20 more minutes to get out of the house after you're ready to go (what am I saying, you're the last one ready)

Your car has more clothes in it than your closet.

The first section in the department store you visit is the kid's section, (and then of course you don't make it to the adult section).

You never make it to work on time, and the shirt that was clean when you put it on winds up with booger nose wiped all over it (and that was the second clean shirt, after breakfast was smeared on the 1st one.)

Your dress shoes (yeah, those ones you never wear) always find their way onto the hard floor, because they sound so cool.

Your idea of a great evening consists of watching Grey's Anatomy and LOST back to back.

You can't remember when the last time you had 3 hours to yourself was (outside of work and sleeping).

You can't remember the last time you left the house completely put together, hair and makeup done, and spot-free clothes.

You have $100 of blow money just for you, and $60 of the $100 (or more) winds up being spent on something for the kids.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I was feeling guilty....

The key word there is was.

Now, let me tell you why. I've had all these things running through my head the last couple of days.

Yesterday I started making my mental list of things I wanted to get done this week.

Today's chore was to get out the suitcases and actually start laying out things to pack. Yes, I know, we don't leave for another week. I was simply thinking that there are things we'll be taking with us that we won't be using before then.

What happened to my plan? you ask.

Well, here's what happened, get ready, it's a big one........

I came home from work.

There it is. It's the same thing that happens every time I have a big vision of actually getting something done. I know, it sounds like a really bad excuse, right?

Ok, I'll elaborate if I must.

Seth got of work earlier than me today so he decided to pick up the kids from daycare and let me find a ride home. That was the easy part for me. He called me when I was almost done with the route to tell me that Rylie had been asleep, but was in a good mood. They were both fine at that point, no big deal.

Something happened to the angel children between the 1:45 phone call, and the 2:30 arrival at home. When I walked in the door, Rylie was whining. Hunter looked like he was being good, watching tv. I swear the minute we are all at home is when the whining starts. It's a sort of "I'm hungrythirstytiredandgrouchy" sort of whine. The kind that no matter what you try, the only thing that stops it is the inevitable - pick up. Once you pick up the whiny child, everything is hunky dory. Except for the fact that I had plans, big ones.

I had chicken in the crockpot for dinner, and I was going to fold Mt. Saint laundry, and put it all away. I was going to go in and clean Hunter's room so the toys would be put away for a few hours (ok, who am I kidding, a few minutes). I was going to start packing little things in my laptop bag so I wouldn't have to do it later.

I think there may have been a few other things on my list. I have abandoned all hope of getting any of it done. It will have to wait.

"Where are the little darlings now?", you ask.

Let me tell you. They are both asleep. Yep, it's 6:38 pm, and I have been on my laptop since around 5:00 ish. Dinner was ready super early this afternoon, around 4:30. Neither kid ate anything (not for lack of it being put in front of them). Rylie threw most of hers on the floor and whined, so I took her in and rocked her to sleep. Hunter was watching his beloved Spiderman, and just couldn't resist the forces of sleepyness that invaded his eyes. I got Rylie down, and I think Hunter was asleep not 15 mins after that. Thank goodness for the anywhere chair.

This brings me back to my title. I was feeling guilty for not doing anything while the kids were both sleeping, but I don't anymore. It will all get done...later.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Random thought #1

Yeah, I sometimes get these random thoughts. They don't all make sense, but sometimes they have the potential for greatness.

I was taking Rylie to change her diaper when this thought occured to me. I guess it was because in the last couple of months she has gotten to the stage where it's almost impossible (unless she's mostly asleep) to have her lay still when I'm changing her. So I'm thinking to myself, "I wonder if you could hypnotize a baby to be potty trained?"

Yeah, I know, people say it's possible to potty train an infant, but who are they kidding, they've just trained themselves to read their baby's cues that he/she has to go. But really, think about it. They can hypnotize people to stop smoking, stop drinking, and stop eating too much right? And those people are all people with habits so bad that they resort to letting someone invade their unconsiousness in order to get the help they need.

Aside from the obvious morality issues of hypnotizing someone who coudn't consent, wouldn't it be great if it could be done. Even if it was just to tell you (with sign language of course) that they needed to go. How great would that be?

Disclaimer: I'm not suggesting that anyone do this, and I would never do something like this to my own child, it's just sort of an Ally McBeal moment (not that I ever watched that show, I don't even know if it would qualify as that.)

English Class

Ok, really. I knew that our kids learn from observation, but you don't really get it until your child says to you "Mommy, stop talking, I was talking to daddy!" I wonder where he got that?

Lately, whenever Seth and I are having a conversation, Hunter will come in and just start talking to whichever one of us he needs at the moment. I started telling him he needs to wait, because daddy and I are talking.

He's also started telling Rylie "Don't do that Rylie" and "Come here Rylie" just like he hears us say. One of his other recent sayings sounds a lot like "Oh damnit!" he uses that one a lot. I like to think he's really saying "Oh, darnit!" It sounds close, really.

And, another thing. Thank you so much to the person who gave us the very cute seasonal hooded santa clause towel. One night we were getting ready for bath and he said "I want my Ho!" I'm like, "Excuse me mister?!" He said "my Ho". For a second I thought he had seen something he shouldn't have on tv. I was really relieved to find out he was referring to his towel, he just thought that was what Santa was, I guess all the Ho, Ho, Ho, and stuff is pretty confusing for a 3 year old.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Another Ear Infection

I guess the title says it all. I took Rylie to Urgent Care this morning because she started havng a fever yesterday. She was still really warm this morning, and had a couple of pretty nasty diapers, so I figured I should get her checked. She had been pulling on her right ear, and sure enough it's infected. I will be taking her to our regular dr. this week. I think this is the 4th one in the last 3 months.