November 12, 2011


I was just thinking that I hadn't even been on Blogger in months and so I decided to update my background when my sweet little cherub did the nastiest thing. Jacob, Ethan and Noah were sitting on the couch watching Gnomeo and Julilet when Mason climbed up on the couch in front of Jacob and while standing bent forward and farted in his face. Did this seriously just happen?

August 2, 2011

Keeping up with....Noah

Since I've taken almost the entire summer off of blogging I thought it would be go to summarize what is going on/what is new with each of the boys. I thought I would start with my oldest darling first.

Noah had a great end of wrestling season. I was fearful the first few matches but he doesn't like to lose so he worked hard and did amazing! At the state tournament he ended up taking 5th place after working his way back up the loser bracket. He also got rookie of the year for his age group. He hurt his knee during the match for 3rd/4th place but even with an injury he pinned the boy for 5th/6th place.

His knee was quickly mended after a day or so of RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) and Motrin. Or so we thought. He has intermittently complained of this "popping" sensation with his knee. He occasionally has some swelling as well. Since it was still bothering him and it was time to sign him up for tackle football we decided it should be checked out. We took him to the injury center where he was examined by a doctor. Noah denied any pain with the exam but the doctor was still able to feel swelling and a cyst. Due to Noah's age he wanted to do a few x-rays of his knee and hip. The x-rays were normal but didn't really answer the question of what was going on. So the next step was an MRI. He had this done last Monday and we finally got the results. The only thing it showed was a popiteal cyst or a "baker's cyst". It is 2cm by 3cm by 2 cm. Which may not seem small but on a 10 year old knee (no matter how tall) it is quite large.

Popiteal cysts are usually not treated. This may be the cause of the "popping" sensation he is feeling. The doctor at the injury center is going to discuss Noah's case with an orthopedic surgeon just to make sure he isn't missing anything. At this time Noah can still do all of his usual activities. The surgeon that did all of the work on Clint's knee is on vacation until sometime this week so hopefully we will hear final word on the plan at the end of this week or the beginning of next week.

When Noah was really little he loved water then all of the sudden not so much. This summer he spent a ton of time in swim lessons and is doing awesome. Quickly moving from level 2, to 3 to finally 4. He can swim the length of the pool and back with multiple different strokes. He also went down the Geronimo at the water slide with Clint...twice! Geronimo is the big slide that goes straight down. I almost vomited watching!

He has become a decent lawn mower and has been trying to get clients so he can make some extra money. Noah told me the other day that if he can get x number of clients and x number of employees he can have his own business and make a lot more money!

I can't believe he is going to be 11 this fall. Well most of the time I can't believe it, sometimes when he is sighing and rolling his eyes I'm sure he is well into his teens. Most of the time he doesn't think I'm funny anymore. I crack my cheesy jokes and he cuts his eyes at me like "I'm sorry you are such a loser mom".

We went on a date night in July. It is something I have to keep going as most of the time he would rather hang out with his Daddy since I am such a dork.

I am sad that he will be in 5th grade.....but a little bit thrilled that school is almost ready to start!

My fun little project

Last week Clint had sinus surgery. They (the VA) did a cleaning out of his sinuses and fixed his very deviated septum. The surgery went well or so I'm told. Care at a military hospital is nothing like care at a civilian hospital. At a civilian hospital the patient (and his family) are a consumer. They have the ability to seek treatment where they choose. Not so much with a VA or military hospital. I wasn't allowed to wait with Clint prior to surgery. I got to walk him to the check in desk and then the nurse asked for my cell phone number and told me they would call when he was ready for me to pick him up.....uh no. I tried to patiently wait in the waiting room until I assumed the surgeon would let me know how the surgery went. Wrong again. The OR tech wheeled Clint by the waiting room then he hollered in the door "anyone waiting for Clint?" I hurried up and walked to the door looked into my husband's still very out-of-it eyes and the tech said "he did good, you can come back and get him in about an hour". I still wasn't leaving, partly out of concern for my husband and partly because I was driving the beast and I wasn't sure I could find my way back to the VA and park it without running someone over. So I waited and waited.

During my wait I was hit on by a man in his 80's. You may be thinking he was probably just being friendly, no I felt dirty after he left. The recovery nurse finally came to my rescue and told me Clint was ready. She read both of us the discharge instructions but did not love all the crazy questions like "did he get any zofran?" "when was his last pain pill?" "how did the surgery go?". Once he was discharged I walked him to the elevator, down to the first floor where he had to stand in line for his prescriptions. Fast forward 24 hours it was time to remove the packing and talk to the surgeon and the doctor told me to wait in the waiting room. Seriously? I told Clint that I want to get a copy of his medical records so I can read what they have written about me.

Now that I have gotten that out this blog is really suppose to be about my "fun little project". A while back I got this grand idea that I should move Clint and my room down to where Noah's room is and use Jake and Ethan's room for a craft/office. Mason and Ethan could share and Noah and Jake could have bunk beds in my old room. Really great idea. Right now if I want to do any craft I have my kitchen table. I haul all of my junk upstairs, set it on the kitchen table and it is time to eat so I have to clean my mess up. No matter when I try to do a project it is always time to eat at my house! I was really excited about being able to have a small place of my own.

Saturday at a garage sale I found a metal bunk bed that just needed a little spray paint so it was not so obnoxious. I tried my hand at spray painting and quickly learned I could never be an artist with a spray can. Jenny was kind enough to volunteer Jude so I would stop freaking out. So what better way to spend the rest of Saturday when it is 90 plus degrees out and we don't have central air? Move rooms. I had to take apart and move 2 lodge pole beds. Move 2 twin and 1 full mattress from downstairs to upstairs and our queen bed downstairs. As well as move the belongings of 5 people. I was smart enough to not move my dressers downstairs so we have "traded" dressers. My house is currently a mess, not everything has found a home, my arms are like noodles and I would probably cry if you squeezed them but I learned a few valuable lessons.
1. Although I could never be a carpenter, or a professional bed putter together or taker aparter once I find the correct tools I'm good.
2. It is really hard to find the right tools when you don't know the official names (i.e. easier to call something a wratchet instead of the tool that goes "kweee koooo" when you use it).
3. If I have to be I am pretty strong.
4. I will no longer complain when Clint moves my furniture and bumps it into the wall.
5. I would rather be in charge of the cleaning and organizing of these projects and leave the "muscle" jobs to Clint.

I just keep telling myself "It will be worth it when it's done.......I swear"

April 3, 2011

“Me do it”

These are three dreaded words around here. It is a difficult time of toddlers asserting their independence and parents practicing patience. Once the task is mastered and we are one step closer to self-sufficiency that is awesome but in the heat of the battle I wonder if it is really worth it. Maybe I will dress this child into adolescence; maybe I will put them in a headlock and brush his teeth until college. Mason has jumped into the need to do everything himself feet first. He not only wants to do it all himself he wants everything else done the exact way he wants It done.

This is a "me do it" outfit. The only thing going for him with this outfit is the color scheme was perfect. The sweet little fish is technically supposed to be on his backside. Not in front on his business. Nobody should have fishy business. Some of things Mason "thinks" he can do on his own:

  • Pour his own milk

  • Load/unload the dishwasher

  • Dress/undress himself

  • Pick out his own clothes

  • Wipe up his own messes

  • Make his own snack

  • Open the refrigerator and pick his own snack anytime he may possibly be hungry

  • Brush his own teeth (for an adult to brush them it is when he's in headlock)

  • Change his own diaper

  • Wash his own body

  • Open his own yogurt

  • Put his own lid on his sippy cup

  • Carry in groceries

This is only a small list of the things he likes to do on his own. All of them have made or are a potential for making a huge mess. Today he took off a poopy diaper twice. I was cooking dinner and he had been playing downstairs with his brothers when up runs a naked Mason with a nap (napkin) that had a piece of poop in it. It took a moment for me to realize what was going on and before I knew it he was racing downstairs to pick up another piece.

The other fun thing he has been working on is potty training. He really likes to wear big boy pants. He wears them when I am home and has an equal number of accidents vs. getting his pants off and peeing on the floor. The great part about when he pees on the floor is he grabs the underwear and pants he was just wearing and starts to clean up his mess.

If I leave Mason alone for a minute there is a good chance he is either making a mess, getting into something, or getting a snack from the fridge. Sometimes if I am really lucky he has done all 3 at once.

Although there are times the "me do it" phase drives me crazy it is amazing to see what a big boy he is. He is growing each day and is always trying to be a big helper even if sometimes his help makes more work for me. Before I know it we will be past this phase as well. He will no longer be my baby. Today I told him "thanks babe" he replied "no, I'm 4". Thank goodness he is not 4, and thank goodness he is not a twin!

March 29, 2011

Wrestling weekend.....Cannon style

This last weekend there was a very large wrestling tournament in Butte that we decided to brave. Noah and Jacob had an early out so we left town early. It was a wonderful drive. We didn't lay Mason down so he actually slept most of the way to Butte. Mason travels one of two ways. He either sleeps or screams. I was pretty certain that since our ride was soooo wonderful getting there the rest of the weekend would be a success! We checked into our hotel and found a bag of candy wishing us luck in the tournament from the hotel. Jacob was impressed by the nice job the hotel did with making the beds. After this we went to weigh in. This is the first tournament we had to weigh in for ("we" meaning the boys. there is no weight class for the parents) usually our coach just submits the weights they have on the boys. I went with Jacob and Ethan to their weigh in area, Clint was entertaining Mason in the car and Noah ran upstairs to weigh in by himself. As we were getting finished weighing in J and E, Noah comes back downstairs and is a little upset. He weighs 89.5 lbs. Which is absolutely a wonderful weight for him but the weight classes are set up so there is a 81, 85, 89 then 100 lb 10yr old weight class. 11 lbs is a huge difference! Especially with the how talented a lot of the wrestlers are at this tournament. So the official weigh-er-in-ers upstairs suggested Noah run for about half an hour. Thank goodness Tony was behind us in line and was able to help Noah figure out what to do. Noah ran some laps, went to the bathroom (twice), then wrestled Tony for a few minutes and success! He was able to weigh in he weighed 88.9 lbs. Woohoo (I wish I could lose 1/2 lb that way!). Thank you Tony!!! We then met our good friends the Yates family at the restaurant for a great dinner and drinks. Their son Zay was wrestling as well. We wanted a table all together. It had to be a large table to fit my family of 6, her family of 5, and her aunt. There was a lot of testosterone in that room since 0f the 12 there were only 3 women. Back to the hotel for a long night of Mason miserable because it wasn't his normal routine. Mason loves routine. Especially his "nigh nee" routine. After a quick breakfast at the hotel we were off to the tournament. The brackets they had printed did not have the correct bout number on them, and then some were printed incorrectly multiple times. Because of this Ethan almost missed his first match. When we finally realized what was going on Noah ran him over to wrestle. They went so quickly that Ethan wasn't sure how to get back to where we were sitting (the tournament is at the civic center). Ethan quickly was pinned (so was Jacob and Noah this round). When Ethan wasn't back a few minutes after his match I was worried, but hopeful that he would be there any second. Then I hear the announcer say "Will the parents of Ethan James from Great Falls please come to the announce stand. Your son is lost". Love that he knows his middle name, but important that we work on telling people your first and last name if ever lost! After watching lots of wrestling there was a break. Sarah and I brought the "babies" out to the entryway to run around. The other boys were hanging in our seats. Moments later Steve comes running out and tells me "your kid just puked on your chair and I don't do puke". I ask which one and he says "the little one Ethan". I leave Mason with Sarah and hurry to the bathroom to get some cleaning supplies. The paper towel dispenser I'm sure saves the Civic center a ton of money since it will only dispense one towel at a time, but for a mama needing a large amount of paper towels to clean up puke in a public area I wanted to find the override button. Back in the stands poor little Ethan is white as a ghost and there indeed is plenty of puke on the chair I had been sitting in and on the floor. He also had a few other gastrointestinal issues but we won't discuss those here. I was able to successfully clean up the puke and sanitize the chair between my limited supply of stolen towels from the bathroom, the napkins/trash on the ground, wet wipes from my bag, and sanitizer wipes from Sarah's. Clint then took poor Ethan and Mason back to the hotel for some rest. Ethan had to forfeit his second match. Jacob lost his second match although it lasted much longer! Good job Jacob! Noah lost by points on his second match. He went all 3 rounds with a boy that had some serious muscle definition and had some pretty amazing moves. It was a close match for the first 2 rounds Noah even giving the poor boy a bloody nose but this must have made him see red so the 3rd round his opponent pulled out all his tricks and won. This was a hard lose for Noah because he tried so hard but I was very proud of him. Thanks to Zay I feel like we still were victorious since he brought home 3rd for us! No matter what we do there are always some bumps in our adventures (see the postings about our summer vacation). Although it wasn't a "perfect" weekend it was definitely a Cannon style adventure and we had a great time!

March 20, 2011

Keeping the Frat party at bay

I usually work 1 of 2 shifts. Either 7 to 3:30 or 7 to 7:30. Either of these shift can be much longer depending on the day but there is always hope that I will be home shortly after. The days that I get off at 3:30 are great I have the whole evening to help with homework, cook dinner, do dishes and hang with my boys. Often when I come home after my 7:30 shift I feel like I came home to the wrong house. Maybe I accidentally set foot into the frat house.

What could have possibly happened in the 4 extra hours I worked? Where did my sweet little boys with good manners go? I can't help but smile when I open my house and hear all the giggling going on. Even if it is over someones bodily function. There are wrestling tournaments, and Mario tournaments, push up tournaments and eating spicy sauces on pizza tournaments. These are only some of the tournaments that I am privy to knowing about. Some days when I ask them what they've been up to I only get giggling in response. These days it is probably best I didn't know.

Thank goodness there is a little estrogen in this house. My new motto should be "Motherhood keeping the frat parties at bay".

February 12, 2011

Wrestling for dummies

Today was absolute insanity! Today was our first wrestling tournament. I am a planner and like to be as prepared as possible for things. I am ok if it changes along the way I just like to start things off by at least thinking I am prepared. I arrived at the gym 30 minutes before the tournament started (when the coach said we needed to be there). The gym is already packed. I am actually concerned if the fire marshall were to come they would have to shut the place down. The boys quickly change from their shoes and wedge their feet into their wrestling shoes (seriously why are they so tight?). They run off to join their team to do strange warms ups wrestlers do.

I found the sign that was put up on the wall so our team would all sit together and headed up. I carried my camera bag, the bag I brought of things to do in "free time", the bag that held the boy's tennis shoes and 4 winter coats. I shoved through the stairs hopeful I would find a place to sit down. There were a few areas that appeared to be open but after wedging myself right up to multiple options and being told "sorry these seats are taken" I went and stood at the top of the stairs.

Finally a mother (from our team) offered to move a few of her things that were holding a seat in case her kids wanted to sit there later. I am so thankful for her! She then helped explain what was going on and what to expect. Later when I was watching Noah wrestle and Ethan had to go to the bathroom she took him. She helped keep an eye out when Ethan and Jacob would wrestle since they seemed to start at the same time. I wanted to hug this woman!

Ethan wrestled first and won. He was very excited! He later wrestled 2 more times and lost both of them. He put a lot into each match and wasn't always convinced he should stop when the ref told him to. He would shake his opponents hand vigorously. If he was an old lady his arms may still be shaking from these hand shakes! It warmed my heart the entire time he wrestled it was so stinkin cute!

Jacob lost 1, won 1 then lost his final match. He did a great job listening to his coaches and doing what he was suppose to. His final match he got hurt. His shoulder got pinned behind him and he started crying. I teared up as well. I was proud of him because he finished the match. Sometimes when things get tough Jacob will just give up and I was sooooo proud that he pushed through! He did great!

This is the first year of wrestling for Ethan's age group so today was all of their first tournament. For Jacob some have wrestled for a year or two but there are plenty that are new to the sport. This isn't the case for Noah. All of the kids he wrestled today have been wrestling since they were 4 or 5. For at least half of their life they have been on the mats. They have lots of experience. Watching him sitting on the mat before his first match I felt a little nauseous. I think he did too.

His nervousness was very apparent because his coach was shaking his arms before he went out there to loosen him up. He lost all 3 of his matches today but he gave it his all. He has scrapes and bruises all over his body to prove it. Those older boys tough!

Today was very difficult for me. It was hard to watch my boys in hand to hand combat. At the same time I was so proud of them! They all worked so hard. I can't wait to watch them grow throughout the season.

I too am excited to grow this season. I have a lot to learn about wrestling. This is the first sport that they've played that I have no clue what is going on. I am going to be doing some online searching of "wrestling for dummies" tomorrow. I already know I am smarter than I was this morning. Next week I'm going to get there 1 hr early so I can have a seat, we are leaving winter coats in the car, the cooler is coming in with me so I don't have to run out to the car a dozen times. Ethan is going to go pee when the 8 year old kids are wrestling.

It really was a great day and I can't wait until the next one!

January 26, 2011

It's the right thing to do

So I need to rant and I thought this would be the perfect place to do it! I have good kids (I'm not ranting about this part). We set rules and are consistent and we think it is our job to parent. It is our job to lay the foundation of what is right and wrong. What is expected of our children. Yes it is hard work and yes sometimes it sucks. It's the right thing to do.

At wrestling practice the other day I was busy helping wedge E.T.'s foot into his shoe (why are wrestling shoes so small?) and I overheard a mother telling her son that he can't go to practice until the coach comes up to talk to her (her son is 4ish). My incredible hearing skills could not help but overhear the conversation that took place with this mom and the coach. HER son was wrestling a small, younger child and had pinned this child and wouldn't get up. This happened at home not at wrestling practice. She wanted the coach to punish the child today by having him only watch practice and have a talk to him. This mother told the coach that her son needed to learn when it was appropriate to wrestle etc.

(My heart is pounding through my chest right now just remember the conversation. It actually went on for quite a bit longer with the mom telling the coach what he should tell her son but I had to stop for fear of stroking out right here at the computer and I haven't set my kids clothes out for school yet.)

At the end of practice this mom was talking to another mom about the "incident" and how the coach needed to "step in". She also talked about how he didn't have a father figure so no one was there to tell him what was appropriate.

I wanted to jump up and down raising my hand. Oooohhhh pick me, pick me, I know the answer to your problem - "Parent your kid!!!".

It doesn't matter if there are 1, 2 or 12 parents in your home. It is your responsiblity to parent your kids "it is the right thing to do".

January 24, 2011

My own little "Duggars"

Immediately after my last blog post little E.T. and I went to Target in search of a potty chair. They had 2 choices. One was a $20 princess chair and the other a $30 chair that has a "flusher" a toilet paper holder and if a person were to actually own AA batteries it talks, sings and when the sensor gets wet (hopefully from pee) it says "good job" (this is what the box tells us). I was willing to wait a few more days until I ran to Walmart but my little dugger really wanted a potty chair for his brother. He batted those sweet little eyes at me and I said "fine". So E.T. carried the box through Target, to the car and had his little arms wrapped around the box the whole way home. He ran it into the house and began using his scissors to cut into the box before I got my shoes off.
He has since brought Mason a variety of books to look at hoping that he will be there when his brother pees in the new potty for the first time. They just got done playing hide and seek and I heard E.T. say to Mason "I know you have to pee by now let's go try". He brought Mason in and sat him on the toilet and when Mason didn't immediately go he got mason a drink of water. When Mason didn't have his gun behind the backstop they have nicely installed for the boy pee-pots he started giggling and said "he doesn't have his privates put in there". I reassured him that Mason would figure it out.
So this is one of my little Duggars. Although I don't have 19 (and counting) and the oldest kids don't do all my cooking and cleaning and child rearing (Noah did cook dinner tonight) I will take my Cannon's any day!

Damn diaper

"Damn diaper" this is the phrase that I mutter over and over in my head right now. Mason is not yet 2 but he is already showing signs of wanting to potty train. Just like his big brothers did. All the boys were early potty trainers like their mother. Not to toot my own horn or anything but I was potty trained before my 1st birthday. I felt like this was a remarkable feat and was supremely disappointed when I found out that there was no box to check on my college application about how young (or old) potty training commenced. Bummer.

Taking this new-found knowledge into parenthood I didn't push potty training. I knew that the boys would do it when they were ready. One great thing about saying that I will wait until they are ready is that not a single one chose to be ready when it was convenient for me. After realizing with Noah that no time really is a good time and it really is great to get them to pee/poop in the pot!

The first 3 boys were potty trained between 22-26 mos. They all needed pull-ups for different lengths of time at night. Sweet little Mason is very.......determined. I didn't know how this "determination" would affect my potty training track record. He has actually been interested in "peeing in the pot" since he was about 18 mos. He hasn't ever been very successful but he has been very interested. The past week he has decided the minute he pees (or poops) in his diaper it needs to come off. He also just likes to walk around naked and once I see that he has started peeing I run him to the toilet. This has been very difficult this week because I've been so sick that walking and breathing has been difficult for me let alone running a little boy down the hall with a loaded weapon.

This is were the thoughts "damn diaper" have come in. I want to scream "keep your damn diaper on", but he wants to potty train. No this isn't the best week for me to potty train, but next week we have 2 birthdays and taxes and the week after wrestling tournaments start so if it was up to when it was convenient for me who knows when that would be.

I am not going to be angry or upset that Mason wants to be potty trained right now. I am going to enjoy the potty training memories of my last boy. From here on out I will just be offering potty training support for my friends and family who want to pull their hair out because their child has pooped/peed on the floor for the 32nd time that day. It really is worth it. My only regret from today is I didn't get a picture of him earlier but since it is an image I hope to never forget I will describe it here: Mason had on a grey long sleeved t-shirt, diaper and jeans. He decided to remove his diaper and jeans. He found a pair of Ethan's cloth shorts (dark blue) which he wanted to wear as undies (I asked him if he wanted undies he said "uhhh uhhh" nodding and points at the shorts). he put both legs in one leg hole and had the shorts around his waist. All of his business flapping in the wind when he was running around. He then found his jeans and put them back on....backwards. So he was laying on the floor, playing with his zipper down, jeans unbuttoned, cute little butt-cracked buns hanging out. I wish I had taken a picture!

So I'm off to Target. I am going to get a new potty chair and potty seat (and probably a few more containers of Clorox wipes for the floor!)

January 17, 2011


Wrestling season has officially started. We have 3 little rugrats (well 4 but Mason is too young to be an official wrestler). This is the first year for all of them and they are very excited. Although I am not usually a fan of the singlet I can't wait to see little Ethan in one! Their first tournament is in Feburary. Until then it is a lots of running, lots of crab walking, bear crawling......I know nothing about wrestling except the tournaments are long, there are tons of people and crazy mothers will be yelling at their kids to pin my boys. I will be channeling my happy place when this happens. I promised Noah I wouldn't come running onto the mat to make sure he is ok if he gets pinned.

I am hoping to learn quickly about the whole scoring. I can't complain that they are not scoring fairly if I have no idea what is going on. I wonder if they have the rules of wrestling for dummies.

January 4, 2011

Preserverence vs. Failure

The new year is always very exciting! I am always anxious to see what it may bring! Each year I make a few of the same resolutions. First to lose my "baby fat" as I like to think of it (well I actually didn't like to think of it). Second was to be better about sending cards, gifts etc. I am great about buying them and I buy them early. So early if fact that I had to wait to mail them so it didn't seem weird to be getting a birthday card 5 or 6 weeks early. I have found that I am really good at the waiting part. So good in fact that I wait until after the the holiday to send them if I even remember to send them at all.

This year I am excited to say that I get to change my resolutions a little! I was able to lose all of my baby weight! It was worth all of the sacrifice to see the extra pounds kindly given to me by each boy. First it was Mason, then I lost Ethan, then Jacob and finally Noah. I officially weigh less than I did when I got pregnant with Noah. I weigh less than the weight on my drivers license. 30 lbs. The weight of Mason is gone! Maybe it took so long because I felt bad about losing the gifts that each boy lovingly gave me. Thank goodness I can't lose the stretch marks from each of them!

So this year I will keep working on sending holiday cards in a timely fashion but I get to change the other one. I am also going to add a few more!

They are in no particular order:
  1. work on sending cards (thank you, birthday, holiday, just because)
  2. have a date with my honey every month
  3. work on my "remembering me" list
  4. organize my recipes
  5. finish the projects I start
  6. look at this list at least monthly

There are a few more things but they fall into the remembering me list that I haven't looked at in months (probably since the day after I posted the list).

Admitting that I have to add the same resolutions every year feels like failure. I do no like failing. So instead of looking at it as a failure I will think of these resolutions as on-going. I looked up the definition of resolution and at the end it listed the synonyms - resolve, determination, perseverance, tenacity, strength and fortitude.

These are the characteristics I am going to have to focus on. I am not going to focus on my failure of not completing one resolution. I am going to focus on the perseverance it took to finally lose the my baby fat!

2011 is going to be a great year!