Friday, August 31, 2007

I Love Sally

I went to Safeway tonight, and took notice of the large flat screen tv showing an "I Love Lucy" rerun. My mom is a huge Lucy fan, or at least she was when we were growing up. Before daytime talk shows ruled the airwaves, I Love Lucy and other same-era shows were on Fox during the day. My younger brother used to say "Not 'I Love Sally.' I hate grey." He was so funny. He did like "Shirley, Shirley," which was "Laverne and Shirley."

Flower lately has been asking us to tell her funny stories from when she was "a kid." In my expert mom opinion, the funny stuff usually happens in the first few years. Since I missed the first 2.5 years of her short life, I'm missing some prime comedy. I can remember a few cute things, like when she was stuck in traffic with Curly and she got on her toy cell phone to make a few calls to tell people she was "stuff in trassiss." When she was 3, she would go potty with an inner tube around her waist, and goggles over her eyes. We have pictures to prove it. She and Curly would set up the playroom with elaborate scenes, involving Barbie, the green Power Ranger, army guys, Little People, and stuffed animals. I walked in on one battle one evening to find Flower in a faint on the floor. Curly was preparing to life flight her (using a clever combination of a toy helicopter and jump rope) to the hospital (which was located on the top of a chest of drawers). She came to when the doctor (also Curly) gave her chocolate.

Mini-me also does some funny things. She used to say "La Loo" for "love you" and called all her uncles "muncle." She runs around the house singing in a strange language that sounds like "dtha dtah dtha dtha doo do dododododododo doooooOoooo!OOOOO!O!" Sometimes she puts on a rainboot on one foot and a slipper on the other and walks around the house. She tries to leave the house wearing this, but I still exercise some control over her wardrobe. She calls sprinkles "sparkles."

Patch doesn't do much yet, but he thinks he's hilarious. His best joke is climbing the stairs as fast as possible and throwing something down from the top. Yes, he's done it while I'm in the bathroom and yes, it scares me half to death. He mainly just looks at his sisters like they're crazy. He's right.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Saturday afternoon, Dora the Explorer came to the Francis Scott Key mall here in Frederick. It's a small mall, you can stand at one end and see the other. Dora came to the center, where Santa and the Easter Bunny visit. When we arrived, there was a long line of people. We got to the end, and several others filed in behind us. Mini-me then announced she had to go potty. We ran to the McDonald's, went potty, and got back in line, this time with Curly and Patch who had been parking the car. Dora had arrived while we were powdering our noses. While I turned to Curly and told him where we were, Mini-me took off at a sprint, ducked under the ropes and gave Dora a big hug. Dora, who was what Aunt Mooney would call a "depiction," didn't talk, she just gestured with her oversized mitt of a hand an "oops!" I caught up to Mini-me, explained to her that we had to wait our turn, and walked her back to the caboose of line. She looked at me and said "Mommy, I love Dora so much! And I know Dora loves me so much, too." She fully accepted that Dora could only talk as a cartoon, and not as a person. Ah, the faith of a little child.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Flower Update

Flower is back at her mom's house tonight, after a l-o-n-g day at the ER. After running a CT Scan, and several blood tests, it was determined that she might have a mild concussion, but otherwise is fine. Curly was able to give her a blessing with Muncle Ryan. Flower will be home from school tomorrow, but hopefully will go back on Wednesday. I hope she is able to rest a little, and I hope her mom is able to feel okay about the day. I'm sure it was scary for her.

Sooner or Later

The odds were bound to catch up with us. Patch was in the ER in January, Mini-me followed in February, Curly in March, and I had surgery in June. Today, Flower fainted in school and hit her head on her desk. She is sporting a couple of bruises and was sent home from the ER after a 5 hour visit, saying the doctors didn't know what caused her to faint, but she seemed to be doing okay. They did a strep test and a UTI test, but didn't take blood sugar levels or draw blood or check her head. After being home for about an hour, Ex called that Flower's eyes were dilating and she was taking her back. I don't think we need to worry to excess here; I think Flower is okay. I do understand being cautious, and I agree that other testing needs to be done. I'll post an update as soon as I know anything more.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Photo Friday

We sure do miss Sun Valley ice cream, and our cousins.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


I just love this fabric. It is so fun and modern and not at all like I pictured quilting fabric when I was younger. Couldn't you just imagine this as a baby quilt? I can see it in my mind, and it's breathtaking.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Patch Overboard

As I was getting the kids ready for bath #1 this morning, I left them in the bathroom while the tub was filling so I could get towels out of their bedrooms. Mini-me came running out, yelling "He fell in! He fell in!" I ran back into the bathroom to find sweet Patch sitting beneath the stream of water in his clothes. He was laughing and having the time of his life.

Today I worked on a bag that I have had for a couple of months. I started cutting out the pieces before we went on vacation. The pattern calls for lots of pockets, but I only put in one sectioned pocket in the interior. If I made it again, I would probably do a couple of other pockets. It was fairly simple, and turned out so cute. Look for pictures soon.

Flower's first day of school was a success. She thinks her teacher is so funny. When I asked her what she wanted to learn more about, she said art. And maybe science. But mostly art. Hello, Art Institute of Washington...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


I am taking advantage of the cool weather and making a huge pot of chili for dinner tonight. We have back to school night at Flower's school tonight; her first day is tomorrow. She'll be a 3rd grader.

Patch has slept most of today. He got up before 8, took his nap at about 10, woke up from that at about 1:30, and is down again at 3:30. When I checked his teeth this afternoon, it looks like one has finally broken through. He's still coughing from the cold he got in Sun Valley. Hopefully all the sleep today will help him kick it.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Rainy Day

Today is a rainy day. I love rainy days. The world looks green again, instead of drought brown. It's also nice and cool -- under 80. It feels like fall is here.

Patch had his one-year doctors check up today. He passed with flying colors, but not without 3 shots and some blood work. In our state and county, "they" mandate a lead test. It's not such a bad idea, since we live in a nearly 100-year-old house and have traces of lead here and there. I don't let Patch chew on the windowsills, but you never know. He was very brave and is up and around now. His height and head are in the 75 percentile, but his weight is now in about the 10th. For as loud as he is, he's not verbal, but since he's a boy (and slower than his sisters with that), the doctor was not concerned.

I'm having some pain in my heel today, which is a really weird place to have pain. It really hurts to walk on it, and it aches when I rest. I've let Mini-me watch some shows as a result. A commercial for Bratz came on. I don't like Bratz. I think they are worse than Barbies as far as self-image is concerned. I said "I don't like Bratz."
Mini-me countered with "I do. I like Bratz."
I looked at her and said "Bratz are trashy."
Quick as a wink, Mini-me answered "I like trash." There you have it.

It's now thunder storming, and Mini-me is mad. She's yelling "Bad rain! Bad!" I guess it's time to log off...

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Dinner Party

Tonight we were invited to a dinner party. A friend of ours recently bought an inn in Pennsylvania, called The Lodge at Blue Ridge Summit. ML is a caterer, and we thought she would be cooking for us. We were pleasantly surprised when handed a menu and told the chef would be cooking dinner, and ML could sit and chat. They were doing a new menu, and wanted opinions. My opinion was that my filet was delicious and my apple cobbler was to die for. There were 5 couples total. We all new Randy and ML from different areas -- Curly met Randy at a Chamber of Commerce event, and then we met ML when she catered the FtP event in June. Another couple knew them from cycling. One woman was ML's former neighbor. Dan is the chairman of the board for Goodwill in Federick. I love dinner parties, especially ones where everyone there is so different. The one unifying hobby was golf. I heard more about the links than I really cared to. When asked if I played, I said "No, but I'm really good at driving the cart and having lunch at the clubhouse."

4 months

We are a mere 4 months away from Christmas. That's not much time. I should have stared my projects months ago, but I didn't. Whoops. My bad. I like to make the presents we give to the kids. They care more about the toys Santa brings than the toys we may give them. I don't mind giving Santa the glory. It gives me chance to do something special and unique for each of the kids.

For Patch, I am knitting him a sweater. I got the yarn while I was in Sun Valley. It will be orange with green stripes.

For Mini-me and Flower, I am going to make them mini-quilts for the baby dolls and pillows for their beds. In my blog cruising, I stumbled upon Thimble Blossoms. When I saw her picture, I thought she looked LDS. Then I scrolled all the way to the bottom of the page, and saw her Primary quilt. Definitely LDS. My idea for pillows is to take one of the squares for each girl and make it into a pillow.

With all the Christmas projects I have to start, how am I going to finish my Halloween and Thanksgiving projects??? Would anyone be interested in a nanny position? Housekeeping maybe?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Spam Schmam

I get a lot of spam. I'm not quite sure who sold out my email address, but I sure hope it wasn't In these spam messages, I am asked if I want to see pictures of hot singles over 30. Do I use yahoo or google? Would I like to refinance? Sell my house? View more hot pictures of hot singles? Meet my soulmate on eharmony? The one that caught my eye was the subject that claimed my son had sent me some music online. As I looked at Patch with his runny nose, I wondered how he found time to send me an email, what with his busy toy playing and diaper pooping. Spam senders must be lonely, and they must think everyone else is just as lonely. How sad.

I'm having a hard time getting the vampires out of my head. It will be another year before the next installment comes out. I don't think I can wait that long! I was worried after Harry Potter that I wouldn't find another book that would excite me as much. I was wrong. Curly is on the second book now. He gets a little tired of the face caressing and hand holding, but it's a vampire love saga. The PG romance needs to be in there. The author is coming to VA near my parents house in about a month. I think I'll go meet her.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

An Inconvenient Truth

My drivers license expired while we were on our 18 state tour. I went to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) this morning to remedy the situation. I received my line number at 10:58 this morning. I was seen at 1:22 this afternoon. It is my professional assessment that the MVA is none other than a social experiment, similar to the Darwin Initiative, that is designed to test a persons limits. Mine were stretched as far as they would go. After waiting 2.5 hours, a woman asked me to verify my information, pointedly asking about my weight. Yes, in Maryland, your weight is printed in bold on your license. Someone once told me that this was for the rescue workers who may need to help you. I highly doubt that in a life or death situation, the EMT would take time to rustle through my bag to find my license in order to know if he had to lift with his legs and get the jumbo stretcher. I laughed at the woman and confessed that I have never weighed the number on record. I guess I was a liar 5 years ago.

And did I tell the truth today? No way!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


We are home.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


I don't want to go home. I'm not ready.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Last Full Day

Curly is playing his last round of golf right now. The last day is always so sad. I hate to leave. I was thinking of all the things I love about this place, and I thought I would list them for you. Mostly, I want to make everyone jealous they are not here.

1. Books. Nearly everyone in my family is a reader. There is always a new suggestion, a new find. This trip I have discovered The Goose Girl (thanks Karen) and the vampire series (thanks Jessica).

2. Bikes. I don't own a bike at home, but coming here and biking to Ketchum, biking to the village, or just biking the trails makes me want one. Think of the fun I could have!

3. Skating. I learned to ice skate here at the tender age of 3. Mini-me loves it, Flower loves it. I have such a great time trying to remember how to spin and jump, and I also have a great time teaching the younger kids. My back aches after a session, but it's worth it for a really great time. We skate every night after dinner, and then get ice cream afterwards. I have been really good this trip and have abstained from the nightly dessert.

4. Family. Everywhere we go, we run into someone. This morning, we went to have breakfast at the inn buffet, and ran into my parents. Then, walking around the shops, we ran into Mike, Jean, and PT. We got to our house, and Jake and Zach were hanging around our front door.

I am going to be so sad to leave tomorrow. I wish we could stay 2 weeks...

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Another Happy Birthday

This one is to me! I can't even tell you how many Sun Valley birthdays I have had. This one ranks right up there. Thanks for the messages and good wishes and presents! I'm Jana O'Kigin and I'm 30! I can kick, stretch, and kick.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Happy Birthday to Curly

Today, Curly is 35. I am going to relish this last day where he is old, and I am still in my 20s. By tomorrow, that will no longer be the case. To celebrate, he is golfing. Show of hands for who is surprised by that. Anyone? Anyone? Didn't think so. When he comes back, we are hopping on the rented bikes and heading to Desperados for lunch. I feel kind of bad that I didn't bring any presents for him with me, but not too bad because I know he didn't bring any presents for me.

I am growing a list of Sun Valley injuries. The other day I was leaving Mini-me and Flower's room, turned too quickly, and ran face first into the door jam. My eyebrow is still tender. Last night while ice skating, I was helping some of the little cousins around the rink. One of them fell, and as a result, I pulled a muscle in my right shoulder. Then, as I was going to take laundry out of the dryer (without shoes on), I stubbed my big toe and now have a blood blister. I am falling apart.

Ice skating has been a big hit for our girls. The rink is outdoors year-round. It never gets really hot here, but that's still quite a feat in the summer. Mini-me can get around the rink without holding on, although last night she wanted to hold on, which had to do more with fatigue than anything else. Flower was really nervous and first, but now that she has the hang of it, she does great. Our tradition is to go every night after dinner and then get ice cream afterwards. Last night at ice cream, the kids were telling knock-knock jokes that were so funny, because they were wrong.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Sun Valley Monday

Today is another beautiful day here. Curly went to the in-law grandchildren breakfast with my grandparents this morning. I stayed home with kids (Flower had her cousin Jane sleep over), and we dressed and breakfasted until he came home. We then went out to race our ducks in the stream. Mini-me freaked out when her duck went in the water. She was afraid she wouldn't get it back. After a few rounds of watching Jane and Flower, she bravely put her duck in for a race and yelled encouraging phrases like "You can do it, baby!" It was very funny.

Curly and Flower are now horseback riding for their daddy-daughter date. Mini-me has chosen a trip to the candy store and feeding the ducks (real ones) as hers. When they get home, we're going to go swimming. It's a little chilly, but the round pool is heated. Tonight, we'll skate.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Day What?

Since we have been gone a week, I think I will stop counting the days.

Yellowstone was, again, beautiful. Our first stop out of the car (to change a diaper), resulted in wolf sighting. Back in the car, we drove for less than 5 minutes when we noticed a buffalo on the side of the road. It was huge. We pulled over, took a picture (I wouldn't let anyone get out because they hand you a drawing of a man getting gored by a buffalo when you enter the park), and then watched the buffalo merge in front of us and lead traffic for awhile. The rest of the trip was spent trying to find a bear (never did) and looking at the "thermal features." At one area, Mini-me kept plugging her nose and saying "Pee-yoush!" One hot spot was called "Dragons Breath," and on the way to the car, Mini-me said "I don't like dragon toots." We all giggled about that. To cap off our perfect trip, we made it to Old Faithful a mere 15 minutes before it erupted. Perfect timing.

We our now in beautiful Sun Valley. We miss the family members who aren't here, but are having a great time catching up with those who are. Last night's ice show was one to remember, complete with a hula hoop of fire. Today at church we took up 6 rows. The weather is lovely, the newly remodelled apartments are luxurious, and I am with my family. What a perfect way to unwind for a week.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Photo Friday

Here are some photos of our vacation so far.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Day 5

This may have been the busiest yet. We had read that the Badlands look best in early morning or early evening light. As early evening wasn't an option, we decided to get an early start. Not too hard to do with Patch, whose internal clock knows no time zones. As we drove west on I-90, we got a few glimpses of what was to come. Nothing, however, quite compared with the first actual viewing from the top of a rock formation. The Badlands defy all description. They are craggy and smooth. They are blandly yellow and vibrantly striped with orange and pink. They go on forever. Just when you think you are out of them, you go around another corner and more pop up. And by more, I mean formations as far as the eye can see. We did a lot of hiking around. Mini-me was so tired by about an hour and a half into our journey and wanted to be carried. That just wasn't an option, so we told her she was the "line leader" of the hikers. She felt so important.

The Badlands loop ends in Wall, SD, home of Wall Drug. I had heard tell of Wall Drug, and wanted to check it out. It was not on our itinerary, but neither was the Corn Palace, with its Corn-ceptual art. Wall Drug, as it turns out, was an even better stop. They had a great little restaurant, full of old people, families, and bikers on their way to Sturgis. We celebrated Patch's first birthday with a fresh, homemade donut and a scoop of homemade ice cream. Aunie Ree and Sara got him a cake and a present when we were at the lake, so he has been very celebrated. The store is ginormous (which is now a word in the dictionary), and has several departments. They also have a backyard with a water play area, where the water shoots up out of the ground. Patch wanted to wander in there, and as it was 90* and his birthday, I let him. The girls thought the giant T-Rex that growled at you was pretty cool. We got some great pictures.

After Wall Drug, it was off to Mount Rushmore. I have always wanted to see it. The idea of carving into a giant mountain is somewhat intruiging. When we arrived, the first thing we noticed is that Mount Rushmore is a popular stop for those on their way to Sturgis. It was a relatively short stop, only about an hour, but I loved it. The monument is awe-inspiring and is a great tribute to those who shaped our nation.

Our next stop was Sturgis. After seeing all the bikers, we wanted to know what all the hub-bub was about. Granted, we were still a few days before the actual biker rally, but we knew people were already there. It was pretty cool. There were a couple of bikes that made me want to ride and that I would consider letting Curly ride. I wanted to stop for a t-shirt, but there was no time.

Our next stop was in Powell, WY. We made pretty great time through Wyoming. I love 75 mph speed limits. We stopped for dinner, got directions to the hotel, and realized that we would have to go over a huge mountain in the dark. I do not like heights, and I do not like mountain roads. We were also told they were free-ranging cattle up there, and to be on the lookout for them. It was a white-knuckle adventure. I made Curly very nervous. I was a little glad it was dark, however, because we found out the drop-offs were pretty steep up there. Yikes.

Day 6 is Yellowstone. Does the fun never stop???

Day 4

A few years ago, while watching The Today Show at the gym, I saw Al Roker do a story on the Corn Palace. They are the world's only corn palace. What is a corn palace, you may ask? Well, it's a building decorated entirely with corn. You really can't make stuff like this up. As we drove through South Dakota this afternoon, I spotted several signs advertising this wonder with great slogans like "It's A-MAIZE-ING." I convinced Curly to take a slight detour from our planned route and check out this modern marvel. Every year they decorate with a new theme. I have no idea who "they" is. They just do it. This year was a tribute to the rodeo. Flower and Mini-me thought it was the coolest thing they had ever seen. Admission is free, and you can even take a tour, meeting at the "corn-cession" stand. On the inside is a small arena, complete with a stage and basketball court. It was originally built for livestock auctions. I was not disappointed, but I think Curly was a little underwhelmed. He's a good sport.

The drive through South Dakota has been spectacular. As we neared sunset (which was pretty here, too), we came over the crest of a hill to look down on the Missouri River and a mountain rising behind it. While I don't want to live here, I kind of like South Dakota. I've been singing the song from The One and Only Genuine Original Family Band: "Dakota, Dakota! Where a man stands tall. Dakota, oh Dakota! Where there's land for all!" There is a lot of land. There is a lot of corn. We've gotten into some serious ethanol discussions. Personally, I am all for it. There's a lot of corn out there. A. Lot.

Today has not been without its mishaps. We were trying to stretch out time between stops earlier today had resorted to snacks in the car (gasp!). I had been giving some chips and crackers to Patch as we drove along. I reached back, gave Patch a wheat thin, which he proceeded to choke on, followed by him throwing up that and all the rest of his snacks. It was gross. Then, driving along I-90, minding our own business, a road runner, probably trying to outrun a wily coyote, ran right in front of our car. All that's left of him is a feather. I didn't see him after impact, but Curly assured me he was not stuck under the car, but had rolled away (forcefully) from the car.

Until tomorrow.