NOTES FROM THE BURROW

NOTES FROM THE BURROW

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Rhapsody has two mommies


Lucy got a Little People house for Christmas complete with Mom, Dad and Baby. Or is it? Dad is interestingly androgynous. I don't know if they are playing to the same-sex marriage crowd or what but this definitely isn't the Little People I played with in the 70s. Back then you knew which ones were dudes by the cowboy hat or comb-over.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

America is great indeed. Imagine a country so free, one can throw glass on the streets!

Last weekend our Home Teacher offered to have our kids over to spend the night and give Chris and I a break.

I would like to repeat that in case you missed it.

He took all five of our children (and I think he would have taken the 6th if I would have let him) and they slept over and we had a break.

All night.

He is a great guy, Christopher's 11 year old Scout Leader, and a RM from Taiwan so Chris is constantly practicing his Chinese on him. His wife and daughter are great too. They were in Utah visiting family so he was lonely for some company. Lucky us.

They had a great time. He cooked for them, took them for a long walk to a park with a lake, let them watch movies and made them smoothies.

Chris and I had a great time too. Chris' parents took us to a restaurant in Mexicantown called el Zocalo. I have been to several other restaurants in Mexicantown including Xoci's which is usually considered the gold standard. I really love Mexican food and have been to alot of Mexican restaurants. el Zocalo is THE BEST! I had the fajitas. Best fajitas ever. Whole breasts of chicken, not just the little strips, marinated and cut up. OH YUMMY. I'm drooling on my keyboard. The owner loved Lizzie and gave her a little bowl of orange slices and marachino cherries. He wanted to give her jalapenos! She loved the oranges. It was a great meal.
The Slums of Detroit


Mexicantown is in a really crappy part of Detroit. Granted, most of Detroit is crappy parts. Driving around down there and looking at what was once abundance and wealth but has deteriorated to slums and abandonment was pretty dismal. We drove up Vernor and Michigan and looked at the abandoned and sad buildings. I don't spend any time in the city of Detroit other than to go to Mexicantown or the occasional trip to Cobo or Comerica Park. I really have no idea what is must be like to actually live in this forsaken place. I don't know how the people there actually have any hope or dreams. It looked so gloomy and also dangerous. I was anxious to head back home. Then we turned on 14th Street and found a peaceful oasis in the middle of what looked like a war zone. The Detroit River Branch surrounded by a tall fence and electronic gate. The building looked like a typical LDS chapel except for brick where windows would normally be and a big metal door instead of the usual glass entry doors. Seeing the chapel there was pretty amazing for me. All I could think of was part of this paragraph from Joseph Smith: "Our missionaries are going forth to different nations, and in Germany, Palestine, New Holland, Australia, the East Indies, and other places, the Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done."


The usual Church sign behind the fence.

The tall fence and gate around the building. Parking lot lit up like a Christmas tree.


Notice the bricks on the windows and the big metal door.

I have always been fascinated by the architecture and the decline of the great city of Detroit. One of my favorite sites is here.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Weekly Top Five 4/27/2009

Top Five Things I Wish I Had

1. A USB Port behind my ear so that I could plug in every night and download all my thoughts to my computer.

2. A calendar in my head with an alarm so that I would never forget appointments or tasks.

3. A retractable pencil in one of my fingers.

4. Some kind of filter on my mouth so that things I say without thinking won't be heard by the rest of the world.

5. Most of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's cures.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Happy Birthday!!

I love you, Anna!!!

Happy Birthday!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Weekly Top Five 4/20/2009

Top Five Things Organizations I'd Donate to If I Won the Lottery...besides the Church

1. St. Ursula Academy

2. Plymouth Public Library

3. Plymouth Canton Steelers

4. Plymouth Canton Cruisers

5. MS Society

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thankful Thursday 4/16/2009

1. Plymouth Ward RS Sisters. Truly the best ever. Love them so much!

2. Tax Refunds

3. Irrer Family

4. Catching up on Facebook. Get on it!!

5. Spring Break

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Then chew it.

I wish I could go somewhere sunny and warm.

We can't afford cereal. With that statement, I'm not looking for sympathy or solutions or coupons. It's just a fact of life. We have 7 cereal eaters in our home and that means we can easily go through a box and a half a day. Even at Aldi prices, that is around $4 a day. It's just too much. So I am feeding them toast, cream of wheat or oatmeal. There is a lot of protesting. The protesting makes me want to pull my hair out. YOU KNOW WHAT...STARVING CHILDREN WOULD KILL FOR A BOWL OF CREAM OF WHEAT!! JUST EAT IT. OTHERWISE GO HUNGRY UNTIL LUNCH. I am becoming one of those moms. One of those really mean moms. "You kids, you just take your legs for granted, you know, like nothing could ever happen to them. Well, let me tell you something: that is just wishful thinking. There's meningitis, there are car accidents, I could be giving you a spanking and accidentally snap your spinal cord. Every day is a lottery, and first prize is that you don't have to scoot yourselves around town on a skateboard with your hands. You think about that." Ten points if you know what that quote is from.

I headed down to the basement to get away from the whining to throw a load of laundry in. I had to traverse my laundry mountain. Yes, it is back. You may remember that I conquered the laundry mountain back in December or January...one of those months. The mountain was gone and I was all caught up on laundry doing 2-3 loads per day. It was wonderful. Well, I got behind again. So I have a mountain to traverse to get to the washer. You might ask why I don't put it in manageable baskets. I don't have enough baskets to hold all the laundry in the mountain. And I am not making a mountain out of a molehill here. It's really a mountain.

Anyway, traversed the mountain to find water leaking from an unknown source on the basement floor. I sopped up the water that was standing, so that I could figure out where it was coming from...washer, crack in floor or wall. It seems that it is seeping in from where the wall meets the floor. It is seeping so slowly that I can't see it move really. It just seems to appear. That's a good thing, right? It's not gushing or running. Luckily(!) my laundry mountain was there to sop up most of it too.

So I have the kids come down and help me basket up as much of the laundry mountain as we can and put the baskets into my office. There are 11 baskets of dirty laundry piled behind me at this very moment and what looks like a laundry plateau left in the laundry room. But at least its away from the leaking water and the sump pump.

Now, I'm not really familiar with what a sump pump does or how it works. I think it is supposed to pump water before it reaches a level that would go into your basement out to somewhere else. Is this accurate? Our sump pump has been plugged into the wall since May 25, 2001 when we moved into this house. I have never once, since that date to today, heard the pump go on or do anything that resembles pumping. Does that mean it's broken? I don't know. I would assume since there is water in my basement that it is not doing it's job. So my MIL tells me to take off the lid and get a flashlight and look down in the hole. It takes about 5 minutes for someone to find me a flashlight, even though I bribe them by telling them that whoever finds me the flashlight will be my favorite, and when they return, they bring me one of those emergency wind-up flashlights. So I wind up the flashlight and look down the hole while holding a stick to poke the pump and also hold my cell phone. I poked the pump and all that happened was it dislodged a lot of rust that had built up. I think the pump is out of commission.

By this time, a little more water has pooled up along the wall again. All at once five children are in my face demanding lunch, diaper changes, a bike ride, me to find a lost DS and to go to their friends house. Then my phone rings and it is Chris wanting me to run to the accountant's office and pick up some form we need for our taxes. I hastily yell out some instructions regarding diaper changes and lunch and go to the accountant's office. As I pull up to the office building, I look in the mirror and notice that my hair (which I haven't washed yet today) is held back by a headband that I found in the laundry pile. An ugly headband. Then I look down at my shirt. There is some remnants of cream of wheat on my shoulder. Also some snot from Lizzie's nose. And a large spot of water from I don't know what. I am about to walk into the office looking like I just got off the boat. That was one of my dad's favorite sayings for when someone looked like crap.

I head up to the accountant and get whatever it was that was so urgent that I had to leave my house at that second and drop everything and go. As I am walking down the stairs in the office building, I feel like I have two gigantic weights on shoulders. I start walking really, really s l o w l y. I think about my options for the rest of the day. I could go home and tackle the mountain and find a solution to the water and clean up all the messes and kiss the boo boos and endure today. Or I could take the $50 in my checking account and get gas and head for somewhere warmer. But that $50 would only get me to probably around Columbus and is Columbus really that much warmer than Detroit? It's not. I checked. Today Detroit is 54 and Columbus is 49. That cheered me up a little. Detroit is 54. It's capri weather! And it is sunny out. I got my wish: it's sunny and warm right where I am.

So, I'm here with my mountain and my standing water and some whiny kids, but come what may, and love it!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Weekly Top Five 4/13/2009

Top Five Characters Beloved by Most Everyone That Really Annoy Me

1. Bob from What About Bob

2. Kenneth from 30 Rock

3. Barbara Walters

4. Neo

5. I know this one makes me a traitor to my generation...Andie Walsh

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Don't Worry...There's A Bunny

Lizzie, Emily and Morgan



We had a busy weekend! Friday was Calvin's birthday and we had a party with Grammy, Grandpa, Jamie, Tyler and Morgan. They had a lot of fun playing and celebrating.

I saw a cute idea on this blog for turning Peeps into Pikachu. Since Calvin is a HUGE Pokemon fan, I thought I would try it out for him. I waited until Friday to get the Peeps. They didn't have the yellow bunny ones at Kroger, CVS or Rite Aid. We finally tried Kmart. They had the yellow bunnies! I was so excited I clapped and yelled out. I think I scared the other shoppers half to death. The cake turned out just ok. I really wanted to make the cake from scratch and decorate it differently but I ran out of time. The Pikachu were cute anyway.



Morgan and Tyler

Aunt Jamie holding Lizzie

Calvin got a gift card to Target, the new Pokemon Platinum game for his DS, Flight Simulator and a joystick and two tickets to the Red Wings game. Chris was able to get the tickets from one of his radio reps and they were great tickets including passes to a suite.


The game was on Saturday, so Chris and Calvin went together. They were lucky to have a parking pass so they didn't have to walk really far. Calvin had so much fun in the suite. All he could talk about was how great the food was. He loved it! He was disappointed that the Wings lost due to a really bad call. He still had a ton of fun.


We decorated eggs after the game. I didn't buy a egg color kit and tried my hand at using food coloring. It worked great except for purple. I tried mixing blue and red and got black. That egg looked kind of scary.
Not sure what was up with Calvin in this picture


Church comes at 8:30 AM so the Easter Bunny left the baskets in my bedroom til we got home from church. The kids were excited about their candy and little gifts. We watched the talk by Elder Holland from General Conference this past weekend because it was such a good Easter message. I just love that talk! The kids didn't all match but they really looked great. I especially loved Lizzie's dress. It had beautiful detail of violets on it. The violets made me think of my mom. She really loved violets.



Grammy, Grandpa and Pa came over for good food and fun. Chris and the kids had fun playing Flight Simulator. We had a little egg hunt outside. It was a great Easter.
Hunting for eggs in the front yard.


Violets on Lizzie's dress.

Pa and Cam blowing bubbles


And I'm so glad that Anna and Lucy will be home tomorrow.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Number Nine...Number Nine...Number Nine

Happy Birthday, Calvin!

Here's NINE great photos of my new nine-year-old!




Love you, Cal! Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Oh, I could write a sonnet about your easter bonnet

I love Easter outfits. I love girls in beautiful new dresses with bows and gloves and hats and white patent leather shoes. I love boys in pastel vests or ties with shiny penny loafers. I love it when they all match. So adorable!! Here's my dream outfits for Easter:

Alas, my budget is non-existent for Easter outfits. Lizzie has the most gorgeous dress that someone handed down to her. It is white with lavender and mint flowers and very beautiful sequins. It couldn't be prettier. Emily refuses to wear anything frilly or flowery or "Primary." So all that's left is the boys. I thought about buying them matching lavender or mint colored ties to match Lizzie's dress. I thought about trying to find matching vests. I didn't know how I was going to pay for said items but I really wanted them. Then I listened to Elder Hales talk during General Conference this Saturday and as he talked about the coat for his wife, I connected it with my Easter outfits and knew that "I can't afford it."

I was sad for a minute but then remembered that Easter isn't really about matching outfits. It's about the Savior. He won't care if my kids come to church in matching ties or vests or their usual Sunday best. I shouldn't care either. I still care a tiny bit. Like this much [-----]. And I can't wait to enjoy the other families on Sunday with their oh-so-adorable matching outfits.

I am going to take Elder Hales talk and read it whenever I feel tempted to purchase that which "I can't afford." His was my most favorite talk from conference this weekend because I learned the most from it's lessons. I'm so thankful for General Conference and the direction we receive from our living Prophet and Apostles.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

LIfe moves pretty fast...



Today is Lizzie's 6th month birthday! I can't hardly believe it. Time is flying by. In another six months, she'll be turning 1 and then six months after that she'll be in Nursery.

Lizzie is the most wonderful, darling baby. This is the face that greets me each morning. I am still committing the cardinal sin of baby sleep habits by letting her sleep with us. I am working on a solution and I see her out of our room within the next month or so.

Yesterday, Anna was commenting that she thought Lizzie seemed much more babyish than Lucy did at six months. I didn't understand what she meant at first but now I think she is right. I haven't been worried too much about "What to expect this month..." I was so much more worried about all that with the other children. Not with Lizzie. We spend a lot of time cuddling, napping, kissing, laughing and snuggling. She is rolling over with gusto and loves to wave toys around and eat them. She says "meh" to eating solid foods. She loves to nurse and MIRACLE OF MIRACLES, I do too!! She still is very baby and I love it.

Crazy Hair Day!


This week is Spirit Week at the boys' school. Yesterday they wore pj's for Pajama Day. Today is Crazy Hair Day. They all look crazy! I'm glad my boys aren't too cool to participate like some of the kids.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Weekly Top Five 4/6/2009

Top Five things I Like to Order at Taco Bell

1. Triple Layer Nachos

2. Beef Chalupa Supreme

3. Beef Meximelt + Sour Cream

4. Strawberry Lemonade Frutista

5. Caramel Apple Empanada

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Well, this will really free up my time so I can focus on more important things, like my bladder system.

Looking for Intern to Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Vos Inc. Duties include but not limited to:

Reading all notes from each child's backpack and preparing items they will need for the next day at school.

Gathering all items needed for all craft projects and school projects, making them ready for use and then cleaning them up as they are used by COO and children.

Taking notes, letters and dictation by COO and sending out communications from her as directed.

Gathering all items needed for meals and having them ready on the counter so COO can fix meals. Should look like Rachel Ray's counter as she's cooking. Clean up after meal is cooked.

Organize and rotate the children's clothing according to season and size.

Remind COO of all appointments, parties, and events, for every individual under COO's purview. Prepare any and all information and supplies COO will need for above mentioned events.

Gather all items COO needs for her Sunday Lessons.

Update the TIVO according to the desire of members of Vos Inc. and make sure that no shows conflict and everything is recorded.

Take care of all canine responsibilities.

Let COO know when CEO is out of deodorant, razors and shaving cream.

Organize files and photos on COO's computer.

Check corporate headquarters for routine maintenance and report it to COO.


You will not be responsible for interacting with children, cleaning up after children, housework or any childrearing. You will just be the behind the scenes assistant making the life of the COO easier and run more smoothly.

Interested? Contact jvos@youwish.com.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

What are psychosomatic illnesses?

I read on Mark Brown's blog that he took a personality test at work to find out what personality type he is. The description of his personality was eerily like him. I hunted on the web and found that test here. After answering all the questions, I found out I am an ISFJ. Reading the description, I found out it was exactly me. Here's what it said about me:

ISFJs are characterized above all by their desire to serve others, their "need to be needed." In extreme cases, this need is so strong that standard give-and-take relationships are deeply unsatisfying to them; however, most ISFJs find more than enough with which to occupy themselves within the framework of a normal life.

ISFJs are often unappreciated, at work, home, and play. Ironically, because they prove over and over that they can be relied on for their loyalty and unstinting, high-quality work, those around them often take them for granted--even take advantage of them. Admittedly, the problem is sometimes aggravated by the ISFJs themselves; for instance, they are notoriously bad at delegating ("If you want it done right, do it yourself"). And although they're hurt by being treated like doormats, they are often unwilling to toot their own horns about their accomplishments because they feel that although they deserve more credit than they're getting, it's somehow wrong to want any sort of reward for doing work (which is supposed to be a virtue in itself). Because of all of this, ISFJs are often overworked, and as a result may suffer from psychosomatic illnesses.

In the workplace, ISFJs are methodical and accurate workers, often with very good memories and unexpected analytic abilities; they are also good with people in small-group or one-on-one situations because of their patient and genuinely sympathetic approach to dealing with others. ISFJs make pleasant and reliable co-workers and exemplary employees, but tend to be harried and uncomfortable in supervisory roles. They are capable of forming strong loyalties, but these are personal rather than institutional loyalties; if someone they've bonded with in this way leaves the company, the ISFJ will leave with them, if given the option. Traditional careers for an ISFJ include: teaching, social work, most religious work, nursing, medicine (general practice only), clerical and and secretarial work of any kind, and some kinds of administrative careers.

While their work ethic is high on the ISFJ priority list, their families are the centers of their lives. ISFJs are extremely warm and demonstrative within the family circle--and often possessive of their loved ones, as well. When these include Es who want to socialize with the rest of the world, or self-contained ITs, the ISFJ must learn to adjust to these behaviors and not interpret them as rejection. Being SJs, they place a strong emphasis on conventional behavior; if any of their nearest and dearest depart from the straight-and-narrow, it causes the ISFJ major embarrassment: the closer the relationship and the more public the act, the more intense the embarrassment (a fact which many of their teenage children take gleeful advantage of). Over time, however, ISFJs usually mellow, and learn to regard the culprits as harmless eccentrics :-). Needless to say, ISFJs take infinite trouble over meals, gifts, celebrations, etc., for their loved ones--although strong Js may tend to focus more on what the recipient should want rather than what they do want.

Like most Is, ISFJs have a few, close friends. They are extremely loyal to these, and are ready to provide emotional and practical support at a moment's notice. (However, like most Fs they hate confrontation; if you get into a fight, don't expect them to jump in after you. You can count on them, however, run and get the nearest authority figure.) Unlike with EPs, the older the friendship is, the more an ISFJ will value it. One ISFJ trait that is easily misunderstood by those who haven't known them long is that they are often unable to either hide or articulate any distress they may be feeling. For instance, an ISFJ child may be reproved for "sulking," the actual cause of which is a combination of physical illness plus misguided "good manners." An adult ISFJ may drive a (later ashamed) friend or SO into a fit of temper over the ISFJ's unexplained moodiness, only afterwards to explain about a death in the family they "didn't want to burden anyone with." Those close to ISFJs should learn to watch for the warning signs in these situations and take the initiative themselves to uncover the problem.

Holy Freak! Is that me or what???

Take the test and find out about you!!

Thankful Thursday 4/2/2008

1. All the Plymouth and Canton businesses that donated to the Boy Scout auction

2. Anna for hanging with me and making my life a little easier.

3. A blog to vent my feelings and work out my frustrations.

4. Reese's

5. Two Seinfeld reruns a day.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

No Foolin'


6:45 AM: Woke Up, Got out of Bed, Dragged a comb across my head

7:25 AM: Drove Emily to School

7:45 AM: Got boys ready for school

8:15 AM: Dropped Chase off for school. He's an extra kid we are watching for a few days.

8:30 AM: Dropped boys off for school

8:45 AM: Changed my sheets because Lizzie puked all over my bed. Bathed Lizzie. Got Spencer ready for the day.

9:15 AM: Took Chris to work

9:45 AM: Picked up Anna

10:00 AM: Found good pair of Church pants for Calvin at Salvation Army for $1.99. Helped Anna pick out some good pants and some funky ties to make Easter eggs. Found a cool plate that I wanted for my MIL but didn't buy.

10:49 AM: Threw Anna's pants into the washer so they'd be ready for her tonight and printed out a letter that I needed.

11:00 AM: Picked up auction items(Somehow I got roped into finding auction items for the Boy Scout auction this Friday. It has something to do with that whole for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, for I need your help really badly thing. I have spend the last few days not doing my laundry, not washing my dishes and soliciting all of Plymouth and Canton for donations.) from Burger Spot and Joseph's Hair Designers.

11:25 AM: Stopped at Library for Anna

11:35 AM: Went to Tim Horton's to get free Chicken Wraps on Free Chicken Wrap day. They had BBQ and Ranch. You can get one for yourself and one for your sister.

11:50 AM: Went to a different Tim Horton's to get more free Chicken Wraps on Free Chicken Wrap Day. They were really good Chicken Wraps.

12:17 PM: Picked up an auction item from IRIE Restaurant in Canton.

12:45 PM: Took Spencer and Lizzie to their Doctor Appointment.

12:50PM: Waited for the receptionist to figure out my insurance. While holding Lizzie. While taking Spencer potty and wiping him because he went "poo." While getting Spencer a drink. She never figured it out.

1:05 PM: Met with the doctor about Spencer's coughing fit and Lizzie's vomiting and fever. Waited. Waited. Waited. Nurses put a little pee bag on Lizzie to catch her urine that they called a "puck" and it really looked like it hurt when they peeled it off.

1:15 PM: Phone rings. The nurse at Calvin's school wants me to pick him up because he is vomiting and feverish.

1:17 PM: Got MIL to pick up Calvin.

1:45 PM: Doctor feeds Lizzie a Pedialyte Popsicle. Tells me that we all have something called the "Cruise Ship Virus." Without the cruise. That's his little joke.

2:00 PM: Return to the car where Anna is with Cameron and Lucy. She tells me Cameron has pooped his diaper. Seriously the poopiest, diarrheaest diaper I've ever changed. He was sitting in his carseat and it looked like he was sitting in poop soup. Changed the diaper. Took off his clothes and put them in bag. Sat him in the seat covered with Lizzie's blanket.

2:20 PM: Picked up Calvin from MIL's.

2:30 PM: Got a few things from Kroger that I needed including free milk that shouldn't have been free but some unlucky Kroger worker forgot to take the sign down and they had to honor the sign.

3:00 PM: Picked up Emily from school

3:22 PM: Dropped off Emily at swimming practice

3:39 PM: Picked up Chase from school

4:00 PM: Took Anna's pants out of the washer and hung them up.

4:03 PM: Picked up Christopher from the bus stop.

4:25 PM: Went back to Salvation Army to get that plate for my MIL.

4:50 PM: Dropped off dinner to Chris at his work.

5:15 PM: Picked up Emily from MIL's.

5:25 PM: Nursed Lizzie while the kids hurried to clean out the van

5:49 PM: Picked up the Nelson's from the Airport and took them home

6:41 PM: Picked up Chris from work.

7:05 PM: Picked up auction items from the Kimbler's.

7:24 PM: Returned home. Home smells like poop and vomit. Search for source of smell. Find Cameron sitting in our nice recliner swimming in another diaper of poop soup. Clean up Cameron with bath and lots of soap. Throw clothes in washer. Clean up recliner.

8:39 PM: Nursed Lizzie

9:00 PM: Put boys to bed. Dosed all the medicines.

10:09 PM: Finally Relaxing.

GOOD NIGHT!!
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