N’sync and the Pizza PJs

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Last weekend I decided I wanted to go to Target. For those of you who don’t know me or anything about my hometown. Target is a 45 minute drive. BUT….I clearly lost all common sense and took my husband and 3 children with me so it was about an hour and 10 minutes  ride. When will I ever learn?! You have to drive through a canyon, hop on the freeway on the other side of it, and then keep going for a while longer. Its not a quick trip! But every once in a while I make the voyage. I was in the market for some things to help us with some long needed home improvement jobs we’ve been working on……for years! I found a few good items, but it was the unexpected treasures I was most excited about.

First, I found a pair of PJs covered in pizza! They reminded me of the pizza jumpsuits that were part of Katy Perry’s last tour but nobody could afford to actually buy for themselves. I pretty much wore them nonstop the rest of the weekend. I truly considered wearing them to church!

2nd, I found an N’sync’s greatest hits CD! My high school years consisted of 2 things. The Rosie O’Donnell Show and N’sync! Imagine my excitement levels when N’sync was on The Rosie O’Donnell Show. It was euphoric! So I forced the entire family to listen to the CD in it’s entirely on the drive home. I hadn’t heard some of those songs in 14 or 15 years, but I could still sing ever word for every song! And with every song that started playing a flood of memories came flying back in my head at a speed I haven’t seen in years. Remember, a husband and 3 kids never equals speed! I started thinking about when I bought my first car and would blare the music as I drove through our neighborhood just to make our crazy next door neighbor a little more crazy! I remembered going to their concert and sitting all the way in the back. Not like nose bleed section. But more the nose bleed, sitting with all the old people, could have fallen down the 1000 cement steps to get there section! They looked like little ants down there, but I was SO excited because it was them! Then we waited by their hotel with a hundred other lovestruck teenage girls hoping to catch a glimpse of them coming back and got chased down an ally by a homeless person! Incidently I wore my Rosie O’Donnell Show shirt that the show sent to me when I made my dolls they showed on the show (Another story, another day) to the hotel just so I could impress them if I saw them.  And FYI: neither their giant body guards or the homeless man were anywhere near impressed! I remember blaring Bye Bye Bye when I was pissed off at my boyfriend. Yeah, I married him! I remember drooling over my poster of Lance Bass and swearing someday I would meet him and he would ask me to marry him on the spot! Oh and I remember years later getting an upset 7 am text from my little sister saying he had just come out! And I remember watching them sing “This I promise you” when I got the phone call that my sweet friend and secret crush Jeremy had died in a car accident. Its funny how so much time in your life can pass you by and one little song (or a CD of greatest hits in my case) and suddenly feel like you’re 17 again! In fact, today when I went to get my 5 year old from school I was blasting “Tearin’ up my Heart” with my mini van windows down (it was a beautiful 43 degrees here today!) when I was spotted by a pack of iPhone toting with the ear pods in middle schoolers who gave me the weirdest look! Yup, I’ve become that person! The middle aged not cool mom who listens to her oldies with the windows down thinking that her generation had the best music ever! Pretty soon my kids are going to start asking me to drop them off around the corner from the school! I think next time I blast the CD I’ll be wearing those pizza PJs!

Oh my Kaleb!

I’ve received a few requests to retell a few stories I shared on Facebook about things Kaleb (age5) has said in public. Kaleb has always been our outspoken quirky little boy. He has a mind of his own and absolutely no filter between his brain and his mouth! In ways he reminds me of Todd. In other ways he reminds me of my brother. Either way he’s never had a problem providing adventures for his poor exhausted Mommy!

Story 1: While I was pregnant with Micah I put my gym membership on a maternity hold. After I delivered him and had an unexpected gall bladder removal, I finally decided to take my hold off and return to the gym. But I had to take all the kids with me in order to do it. So one sunny day we set out to they gym. As soon as we got there Kaleb announced he needed to go to the bathroom. So I dragged them all into the Women’s locker room. I knew the ladies were allowed to walk around there in anything….or nothing, so I told the boys to put the heads down and don’t look at anything. As we were washing Kaleb’s hands a woman on the larger side walked past us completely naked. I tried to cover his eyes but it was just too late. He saw her and started yelling loudly “Mom, look at the naked lady! She’s all naked! I can see her butt!” I can honestly say I have never seen a woman, clothed or naked, run so fast! I grabbed him as fast as I could and ran out of the locker room and out of the gym! When I complained to my husband about it later he couldn’t stop laughing. I still haven’t received any sympathy for that one!

Story 2: Just a week or so after the locker room incident I made the mistake of taking my dear Kaleb in public once again. We ran to the dollar store to pick something up and I didn’t think a quick trip would make much of a difference. We were in there for 5 minutes tops when he grabbed a toy sword, stabbed me in the butt with it, and screamed “Mama, I just stabbed you in the penis!” I immediately heard laughter coming from the next isle. Needless to say, whatever we needed that day was not bought. We ran from the store too quick! And again, that evening when my husband came home, my complaints were not met with any sort of sympathy!

There are many stories where those came from. And I’m sure many more coming in our future. Bless that child, sometimes I think he’s my karma baby. The child your parents hope you will have someday to show you what you put them through! He’s keeps me on my toes, but I’m thankful everyday for him. Especially when he’s asleep!

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The John days

Today is February 26th. I’ve been waiting for this day for months. Today Fuller House will officially be on Netflix! Haha! But for years I always anticipated February 26th as John McDaniel’s birthday. Anyone who knew me in high school knew I loved The Rosie O’Donnell Show! And anyone who knew me in college knew I loved John McDaniel! John was the piano player on The Rosie O’Donnell Show. My father passed away when I was just 7. I looked up to John as a father figure. And even after the show ended he kept in contact with his biggest fans through his website. We could post on it and connect with other fans. I can still remember the excitement of when you saw purple under your post. Purple meant John had commented! During the earlier times of The John years I was newly married. I was so young. I was learning how to be a wife while feeling the pressure of what the little bubble of a world called Utah State University expected of me. It was confusing time for me. But through the website I saw the world differently. I learned a lot from the other members. I remember one time me complaining that a movie made a Mormon joke and another member told me very bluntly “Don’t be weak”. I don’t know who said that too me, but its something I still tell myself today. After the show ended John toured the country doing concerts and conducting symphonies, among other things. One time he was going to be doing a concert in south Florida. Another member had an extra ticket and offered it to me. I’ll never be able to thank her enough! I swallowed all my fear and attended that concert! I was terrified but it was a life changing trip. Over the next several years I would go on a “John trip” once or twice a year. I went to New York, LA, St. Louis, etc. I saw broadway shows and walked on the beach during winter. And I tried beer for the first time…..and last! So gross! FYI:My husband was so patient. He knew I needed to find myself and supported me through it. I met so many incredible people. I made amazing friends. We’ve been through births and deaths and everything in between. They’ve been so supportive and I consider some of them my best friends. In fact, I’m preparing to take a trip to see one of them preform in a play.
Then, in 2008, my world changed when I found out after years of fertility problems I was expecting Ben. Obviously all my traveling stopped but I loved being able to share all my progress through it with my “John friends”! I was so involved in this little soon to arrive Miracle that I didn’t notice anything going around me. So when Prop 8 happened I was blind sighted. I didn’t even know what it was, let alone that the Mormon church had anything to do with it. Prop 8 hurt so many people. My heart broke for them. Of course they were angry and John was one of them. Words were exchanged out of frustration and anger and I was sick over it. It destroyed me to think he would think I could ever do anything to hurt him like that. And as much as I tried to stop it from happening, the damage was done and I knew he didn’t want to know me anymore. I was heartbroken and ashamed.  I felt terrible and cried for a week! Keep in mind I was pregnant! When all this happened it was the first time I ever really questioned religion or beliefs. I was perfectly happy following what other people told me and not worrying about it. This was the first time I had to decide what I personally believed. And that was when I decided I believed in equal rights for ALL. It was a painful road. I lost friends, went back and forth being active at all in the church, did a lot of tough soul searching.
The “John years” taught me so much. Not every moment was pleasant, but I’m grateful for all of them. I wouldn’t change a thing! So today on the February 26th I say Thank You John and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

 

“Uh” to the rescue!

When Kaleb was born Ben was 22 months old. He was talking but not well yet. The week before Kaleb was born we all got terrible colds. I was so concerned about bringing a new baby home to a bunch of sickies. I even made everyone, including Todd , wear masks at the hospital and during the first few days home. Obviously Ben would not wear one, so we tried desperately to keep the kids apart for the first week. Our solution was to entertain Ben as much as possible with our portable DVD player. For some reason he started calling the DVD player “Da Da”. I can only think it was because he was trying to say DVD. Who really knows though! I thought it was pretty funny until he started calling Todd “Uh”! I’m serious, Daddy is Uh! I would point at Todd and ask him who that was. He would always say Daddy, but when he was speaking directly to Todd he would only call him Uh! So when little Kaleb grew older and begun to speak guess what he started calling Todd?! You got it, Uh! As the boys have grown older they’ve of course learned to talk completely normal. Well, with the exception of the cute little lisp Kaleb has. But still haven’t figured out if its really a lisp or just a very think Utah accent! Anyway, now at 5 and almost 7 they refer to him as Uh. Every once in a while I can’t help but crack up a bit. It’s such a silly name! I’ve heard kids call their dads Dad, Daddy, Father, Papa, Pa (courtesy of growing up watching Little House on the Prairie), etc. But never in my life have I heard any other child refer to their father as Uh!  And the best part of all? Todd responds to it! I’m excited to see if its still something they call him in college!

Ben@Kaleb