Life as Lou

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Good Dog

  • April 9, 2012 9:20 pm

Today, I have been focusing on Watson.  He hasn’t gotten nearly enough attention, training and lovin’ over the past few weeks, and tomorrow is going to be a very rough day for him.  The time has come for my guy to get neutered.  That’s right- no more balls.

I went to the pet store and bought him a new toy, a schmancy, red Kong Wubba (which I threw for him approximately four times before I overshot my mark and got it stuck in our gutter- now I need a ladder or someone over six feet to help me out).  I also bought treats and some new chewy stuff that I promise not to toss onto the roof.

I groomed Watson today, a major bath, ear cleaning and combing- all of which he loved.  This boy likes to be groomed so after a gratifying scrub down, he was a big baby lolling on my lap, stretching into new positions so the comb could scratch him everywhere.  We even put a little pomade on his curly ears just to give them some gloss.  He is one hunka-hunka-burnin’-puppy love now! And he knows it.

We then worked on sit and stay, which is how I got these crummy camera phone photos for you- the grainy blurriness adds a certain charm, so we’re just going to say we were being all artistic.  The real accomplishment here is that he sat still enough to be photographed in a fairly low light living room- and THAT, my friends, is some good obedience work!  I am hoping my doctor clears me for walking all 45lbs of his pulling, straining, goofy self at my six week check up this week.  If not, I have to wait another two weeks.  Watson is a crazy boy on the least, walking on his hind legs in anticipation of what could possibly be half a foot in his future.  We tried a choke collar at one point, and he still walked on his hind legs, only with gasping, snorting and choking until I finally asked Chris if we gauged when the walk was over based on him finally passing out.  So. . .cute?

As challenging as this guy has been over the past four months, I sat down and really looked at the progress we have made in the past few months.  We rarely have happy pee when he is in his kennel (a lot less laundry for me) and the submissive pee is dramatically reduced.  He can both sit and stay, is a decent fetcher, has very few potty accidents, and he has met our neighbors and behaved decently.  He is also pretty good with the kids.  We have a long, long ways to go, but just stopping at looking at what has been accomplished is encouraging.  Lately, being as incapacitated as I have been, everything feels very unproductive and like I’m getting no where, but that really isn’t true.  We have progress here.

A Very Happy 34th To My Honey

  • April 5, 2012 12:00 am

It is Chris’ birthday today, 34 years!  We had cake and ice cream and presents and now he is off to a church meeting.  I’m hoping this next year is great for him.

The One Where I Officially Cry Uncle.

  • March 25, 2012 3:30 am

It's me with a new haircut- the cute doesn't make up for the uselessness, unfortunately.

My children returned home yesterday at about eight o’clock, courtesy of my friend Lisa who was brave enough to drive all the way from Utah with double her usual amount of kids in the car. Impressive, no?

Gabe threw up all over his car seat when he was less than a mile from home, but seemed ok, albeit a bit smelly.  Within minutes of their arrival, I had taken Jonas’ temperature (101.6), heard him cough and sent him out the door to the ER where he was diagnosed with double pneumonia. At 11:40, about the time Chris left the hospital with Jonas, Gabe started throwing up again and spiked a fever just shy of 104 degrees. I am not supposed to be lifting 35lbs of listless toddler, per hysterectomy recovery rules, but when he throws up all over himself and is too weak to voluntarily get out of his puddle of vomit- what do you do? I gently lifted him out of the mess to a clean swath of floor, and visualized positive outcomes where no internal stitches came undone. I did this three times before Chris got home.

Chris got home about thirty minutes later, after I had tried to get Gabe to keep down Gatorade and Motrin (not happening), and after a prayer, Chris put Gabe in the car and went back to the ER.  Gabe has a bad ear infection and some viral thing that causes vomit.  They got home sometime around three am.  Chris was supposed to work all weekend; his shift started in a mere three hours from then, so I was about having a panic attack.  Luckily, he managed to get out of it so he could stay home and deal with his health-challenged family.

Between the sleepy, feverish crying and the soul shaking hacking, I woke up quite a few times last night. The finale to that endless chorus of needs was definitely Miss Margaret at 6:30 am.  Maggie is known in our family as being the last person to voluntarily get out of bed in the morning. She is an early to bed, late to rise kind of person.  Today, however, she was the very first person awake and she was so excited about waking up before everyone else that she came and woke me up so she could share her joy. I. Kid. You. Not. Chica has clearly missed the entire point of being the early bird, which is that you have the whole, quiet house to yourself. She could have raided the Easter candy and stuffed herself silly while playing video games, but nooo, she has to wake me up. To brag.

Over the past few days of alternatively being excited to see my children and freaked out having to try to care for them again, I kept going over this ridiculous scenario in which I just didn’t call any of the kind individuals who had volunteered to help out.  I would soldier on, the very model of self sufficiency, making due and being JUST. FINE. OKAY?   I would do this because I don’t like to ask for help, and I don’t like feeling needy and even though I am well aware that we all have times when we need to be the helpee and not the helper and people who give help get blessings and blah-blah-feel good-blah. . . (go ahead and roll your eyes at me, I know you want to).

Kind of funny that within just a few hours of getting my kids back that I get a harsh reminder that I am healed enough to take care of approximately just me and absolutely no one else, isn’t it?  Running on about five hours of heavily interrupted sleep makes things hurt more and makes me more impatient and snappish in general, and so I have been sore, cranky and emotionally volatile all day.  One day of in your face, real life motherhood, and people, I’m toast.  I’m dead on my feet. I’m completely wiped out and worthless.

And humbled enough to ask for the help I now fully realize I will need if I expect to survive the next month. Ugh.

If you would like to help me by praying that these kids get hurry up and get healthy, and that Gabe will continue to sleep in his own bed (Gabe has put himself to bed in his own bed two nights in a row people- HOLY COW- this is a certifiable miracle), that would be just great.

My Baby Is Three!

  • February 19, 2012 8:15 pm

I love this kid.

He is funny and grouchy and passionate and tenderhearted.  He has to crawl on my lap and give me nose kisses every day, sometimes several times a day.  He adores trains and cars and shares that enthusiasm with me.  He can make me laugh my head off, and make me go crazy trying to deal with his toddler meltdowns and grouchy attitude that drive his day.  But, if he sees me cry, he softly strokes my hair and makes sure I’m alright. He really is a wonderful boy, and sometimes I stare at his big blue eyes, blonde hair and impish smile and find it hard to believe that this kid was manufactured right here in Leah’s womb.

That was three years ago.

He was the most beautiful baby boy, and I cherished every minute of his infancy.  Having him has made everything in my life better.

So that is definitely worth celebrating!

He adores Lightening McQueen and all things Cars, so that was our theme.

There were gifts galore. A Transformer, disc shooting guns, Cars Memory game, a Woody Shake ‘n Go car and a new Chuggington movie and wooden train set and engines.

He is kind of silly when it comes to opening gifts and can’t be persuaded to rip the paper off by himself.  He had lots of help from friends, or we would have never gotten them all open.  I think he actually prefers to have someone else open his gifts!

We feasted on fajitas, grapes, cupcakes and juice.

We had four families over to help us celebrate.  This picture made me so happy when I saw it- not because it is the best photo of anyone in the shot, just because so many people I dearly love got into this one.  This is my family and my closest friends.  There isn’t a person in this shot who I don’t love to bits, and that made me tear up a bit. Beautiful people all.

All in all, it was a really great birthday.  I didn’t get pictures of everything. We had a Lightening McQueen pinata and many more friends than got into the shots, most of whom had really great, photo worthy cake faces at some point or another.  The little kids were very enthusiastic about the cupcake trees!

Happy Birthday, Gabriel!



February Life

  • February 10, 2012 8:58 pm

I got to go on a fun trip to Bismarck, ND to visit the LDS Temple there last weekend.  My parents live 3 hours in the opposite direction, so they met us there.  It is so fun to live close enough to meet up on occasion!  Chris and I had a wonderful time, attended three temple sessions, and had lunch with my parents at Cracker Barrel.

Both kids had parent teacher conferences this week, and I am pleased to report that they are both brilliant and doing well.  In fact, they are so brilliant that both teachers think they can do better, so we will be pushing once again for excellence.  It is funny how quickly kids realize there is a bare minimum and that is really all they have to meet.  Yes, sweetheart, you are an all A student- but Mommy expects even more.  I am trying hard to balance that out.  I think, in this circumstance, it is better that my children learn to work hard and push themselves, rather than just get the A.  Eventually they will hit harder stuff, and it is the work ethic that will save them, not their inherent intelligence.  So, yes.  I am that mom.  Someday they’ll thank me.  Or put me in a really cheap nursing home.  I’m crossing my fingers for the first. At any rate, I tempered the ‘do better’ lecture with a generous trip to the school book fair so they can’t resent me too much.

I am eagerly awaiting a doctor appointment on Monday.  In the wake of the pregnancy and miscarriage I realized we have another problem with the girly bits that need a specialist’s attention. I know, OH JOY.  Something has most definitely prolapsed and will almost undoubtedly require surgical attention.  I’m just waiting for the appointment to map out a plan of attack.  That and anxiously trying to figure out how to deal with surgery and a busy household. Also- do NOT, if you value your eyesight and happy view of the world google pelvic prolapse images.  Just don’t.  No amount of brain bleach, puppy photos and rainbows will ever erase the pictures from your mind.  OK- well, more on that later when I know exactly what is going on and what we’re doing about it.

Now that that is out of the way, have you entered to win the Augason Farms emergency food storage in the post below?  I hope so!  I draw the winner on Tuesday, so get on it!

Week In Photos

  • January 16, 2012 3:22 pm

african violet

schmancy hair

Watson's Bobo


bad dog

my brother's legos

thank you for finally watering me. i'm a cactus, not a rock, ma'am.

Christmas Vacation! No School! Panic! Mayhem! Depression! Tears!

  • December 19, 2011 5:42 pm

Jonas' Christmas Piano Recital


Actually, total stress and unhappiness is what I am trying to avoid over the next two weeks.  Sixteen days, to be precise. So I have made a list of things to do.  In case you need ideas, I’m sharing them with you.

1- Bake.  Then bake some more.  We will be making lots of Christmas goodies.

2- Deliver said baked goods to friends.

3- Visit the Jolly Lane Greenhouse and use their free Christmas photo backdrop and snap some shots of the kids.

4- Waste all the copy paper in the house making snowflakes- then hang them all over.

5- Watch “It’s a Wonderful Life”.  And “White Christmas”.  And “Rudolph”. And “Charlie Brown”.

6- Take the dog for walks.

7- Bundle up and go to the park.

8- Teach the kids how to make Magic Boxes.

9- Design Thank You cards for after gifts are opened.

10- Shop for Angel tree kids.

11- Pray for snow.

12- Read the Christmas Story.  Act it out with the Nativity Sets.

13- Watch the Living Scriptures Christmas Story (they are giving away free copies on their Facebook page).

14- Think of something nice we can do for someone else.

15- Wrap the Sibling Gifts.

16- Clean and de-junk bedrooms.

17- Open the gifts and play with them!

18- Play games.

19- Read all the books in our Christmas book collection (all 47).

20- Finish reading the Book of Mormon as a family so we can start fresh in 2012!

That’s all I have on the list so far.

Puppy Puddles And The Hot, Hot Dryer

  • December 16, 2011 4:03 pm

(Is that not the cutest little dog toy ever?  Christmas bulbs on a rope!)

We have a new puppy.  We also have three feisty children. It adds up to a ridiculous amount of chaos and I am clearly beginning to lose. my. mind.

You see, the puppy is not housebroken, and I am having to beg, plead and whine to get a little help in this area.  To top it off, every time I do get help, or opt to just take him out myself, little Watson gets so excited at the prospect that he piddles (usually just a teensy bit, but sometimes it’s a full blown flood).  This all ends up in the bottom of his kennel, messes his snuggly blankie and his squishy-squashy bed, and everything stinks.

It should be noted here that I HATE the smell of urine.  Icky, cloying, gag-worthy pee is not something I want my house to smell like anytime, let alone Christmas time when a constant stream of visitors are arriving.  Because of this, I have been diligently scrubbing out every single puddle, every single time it happens which is at least six times a day.

Knowing the intense level of repetition and sheer exhaustion involved here, it is no wonder that this afternoon, shortly before company arrived, I made a fool of myself.

I took the kennel apart and threw it in the bathtub for deep cleaning with lots of bleach spray and hot water.  The bedding that Watson had so graciously christened a few minutes earlier had been moved to the laundry room.  Now, when I came back to deal with the laundry, I found the bed half-dry in the dryer and the blanket all spun out and ready to take out of the washer.  Awesome, I thought.  I might actually have this handled BEFORE company arrives!  I put them both together into the dryer and set it on high.

I went around the house getting my clean on.  Occasionally I would come into the laundry room with something that needed putting away, and every time I did, I was met with the most rank urine odor ever!  I searched the room.  Had I missed something?  Was there a puddle I was unaware of?  A towel a kid had used to sop up pee and then crammed into a corner?

I walked in and out of this room for a good thirty minutes, stopping each time to sniff the rug, the random pieces of laundry- perplexed and thoroughly grossed out.  To top it off, the smell was getting worse!  This was no longer at diaper level- this was steaming hot urine, and the smell was beginning to travel OUT of the laundry room and I had COMPANY COMING!  ACK!

Suddenly I was struck with a possibility.  That blanket that I thought had been so amazingly well wrung out when I added it to the dryer. . . could that have been only slightly damp because I never actually RAN the washer, but in fact threw about a cup of feces into my dryer and proceeded to fluff, tumble and heat it up for the past thirty minutes? OH GAG!

Yes, there has been bleach in my life today.  Lots of it.





I Love Everything About This Card

  • November 29, 2011 9:19 am




Thank you to whoever it was who put empty milk containers back in my fridge the day before Thanksgiving. I intentionally didn’t buy any milk while at the commissary because I had two gallons. . .apparently. . .not. Ugh- back to the shop the day before a holiday, that was fun.


Maggie rolled up in a blanket and told me she was a pupa. Her feet were sticking out because that’s what she was going to attach herself to the branch with. Uh-huh. Girlfriend is reading a lot of non-fiction lately. She says she loves REAL books. All books should be REAL. Why read the made up stuff when the real world is so full of wonder? I can see her point. I hope she never loses that sense of wonder and thirst for knowledge. It’s beautiful.


We got one! You will meet him soon!


Was leading the music in seminary this morning- so brain dead I started singing the second verse of the hymn over again! Note to self: wake up BEFORE class starts. Yikes!


Holy Hannah, yes. Many. Info coming soon.

Want To Send Some Christmas Cheer?

  • November 17, 2011 1:50 pm


I have 16 of these ready to go to new homes and make merry! I have had a few card requests lately, and although it has been a few years since I’ve done Christmas cards to sell, I was in the mood and I whipped these up. If you want something extra special to send to your favorite people- shoot me an e-mail at everydaylou (at) yahoo (dot) com. Each card is $5.50.


While these are all the same over all design, they are each unique and have differently designed poinsettias, colorful and patterned brads and mats. I do not include envelopes. Shipping within the US and Canada is $1 for the first card and twenty-five cents for each additional card, or you may pick them up in person. Contact me for international shipping rates.


Thanks for looking!