Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Apparently I have embarrassed my husband with my misuse of a semicolon in the title of my last blog. I am not ashamed, I did not change the title. I'll gladly admit - - I don't even know what semicolons are for. I thought they were kind of like a pause, but a little longer than say a comma. My AP English teacher, affectionately referred to as "Woody", would surely fall to her knees, cast her eyes heavenward and weep if she knew how little I remember about proper punctuation, diagramming sentences and writing essays. That's Blaine's department. I am just impressed that I can speak intelligibly after three years of communicating with mostly toddlers and infants. I think there is something to be said that I haven't resorted to "No way jose!" and "neener neener neener" and those kinds of things.

I feel like I am still a smart person, in most areas of life. I feel I am borderline genius with some aspects-- like getting the best deal on priceline, finding the best flight on Orbitz, and finding the best bargains at grocery stores (alright so my excellence revolves around frugality, that's something to be proud of, it's not like punctuation ever saved anyone money!). But there are other areas that I feel like most of my brain cells have shriveled up and poofed away. Like punctuation (And sentence structure since that last sentence started with "But"). That and apparently everyone knows that you are supposed to open scissors when you put them in the dishwasher to get washed; it made sense as soon as Blaine made fun of me for having washed two pairs of scissors with both of them coming out of the dishwasher grosser than ever because all the gross crusties were stuck between the blades.

So, yeah, sorry if my punctuation offends you. And let it be known that Blaine walked around with green finger paint on his nose for several hours today because he examined Gwen's artwork a little too closely-- now that is something that, even in my punctuationless existence, I could have avoided :).

Monday, July 30, 2007

Things could be worse

I have to apologize for all of my constant complaining about being so big and pregnant, etc. Blaine forwarded me an e-mail from a co-worker at NI whose wife is going in tomorrow to deliver their QUINTUPLETS. Definitely not complaining about feeling big anymore (well, at least I will try to refrain a little), she is carrying 24 lbs just in fetuses and her goal was to gain 100lbs during the pregnancy. . .


A day in my life - or; Why one should never wash their car, dogs or children

When I woke up this morning the week was stretched out before me. A blank slate destined to be filled with things like cleaning, yick. That's not okay. So in an attempt to avoid any real work I was in a frenzy to fill my calendar with more fun and fulfilling things. So I called Ralphie to see what she had going on and we scheduled lunch at a nearby park, perfect!

Since I had two hours until the lunch I decided it wouldn't kill me to run at least one errand before hand. Why I choose the errand of taking the dogs to the vet for their 12 week shots, I will never know (it probably has something to do with the fact that they are really like 20 weeks but it has been so rainy that I haven't dared make the trip to the vet).

So I rounded up the posse and got them all in the car. Boots and Swiper, in their limited experience on this earth, found the car a most horrifying place to be (little did they know what they had coming). They decided to howl-- not bark or whine-- but howl, coyote style, all the way to the vet. Not a big deal if your vet is nearby, ours is in the podunk town of Taylor, a good 20 minute drive.

Once we got into the vet they went crazy. They were barking and yelping and being exceptionally crazy. After a little wait (which seemed like a long wait with the constant barking going on) it was our turn. The shots and everything went fine. The vet even clipped their nails and they acted like it was no big deal (to realize the miracle of this please see the first post of my blog).

The drive home was filled with more howling, accompanied by Gwen's crying because the dogs chewed up her juice box. I noticed the time-- I was supposed to meet Ralphie in 20 minutes, which is exactly how long it would take me to get there, assuming I didn't stop to drop of the dogs and make lunch. We decided it might be worth a try to take the dogs to the park, so we stopped at Sonic, got our lunch, and we were only 15 minutes late.

The playdate was fun, particularly after the dogs stopped barking at every person, other dog, and blade of grass that they saw. It was sweltering hot but the park was shady, so if you avoided sunshine things were okay. We went for a fun little walk and it seemed as though the chaotic part of my day was over. . . not so. It was getting to be time to go and we sent Ralphie and company off with a friendly wave and smile. It took me about seven more minutes to get the gumption to get off my duff and walk to the car (it was a good fifty feet away and sitting in direct sunlight, ouch!).

Gwen all the sudden ran away from me. I called for her to stop, I begged her to stop, I screamed like a maniac for her to please stop. She just giggled and ran faster. This, of course, prompted the dogs into chase mode, and I was tied to them, so the three of us went flying after her. She was headed towards the lake. "Surely she has enough brains to not jump into the lake" I assure myself. Just then as we were getting closer to her she slides on the mud and face plants it into the muddy embankment of the lake. Before my body can stop the momentum of me and two dogs, the dogs were sloshing around in the mud and lake. Gwenie tried to stand up, only to fall and slip on her back side. Seriously covered head to toe, front and back in mud. Not only her, but eight little paws and two furry tummies were also coated in mud. I lost it.

I remember being a young mom with a happy little baby and seeing other moms at the park who seemed so stressed out. I would think, lady cool it! You are at the park to have fun, why yell at your children and lose your temper? Just chill. Have fun. Relax. I apologize to all of those women. The second time that Gwen fell in the mud I couldn't help but exclaim, "Why! Why don't you listen? Why do you run and fall in mud. Why can't you just STAY BY ME!!!". Ahhhhhhh.

My car, which is always messy on the inside, was actually clean on the inside (thanks Jiffy Lube). How was I supposed to get three muddy creatures home without destroying the interior of the car. Gross. I stripped Gwen down to her diaper and did my best with a cheap baby wipe. Swiper and Boots were hopeless.

I guess I learned a lot of lessons today.

Lesson #1: There is no point in bathing children or puppies, and definitely no point in cleaning your car (or yourself) if you have children or puppies. Just go swimming every couple of days.

Lesson #2: Don't judge other mothers, you don't know what is going on. Instead you should give them gifts like money or flowers or a certificate to go and get a back massage. Yes, that is a better idea.

Lesson #3: Always have a friend with you at the park which will help you refrain from yelling at your child, if your friend leaves you must also leave, immediately.

Lesson #4: I need to work on being more patient!

Don't worry, now that the heat of the moment is past I can see the humor of it all. Of course it would have been more fun to stand by and watch the pregnant woman, two puppies and toddler romp around in the mud pit from a distance, but being involved in the action wasn't so bad.

Are you flushing now?

A few weeks ago there was a girls night out in our ward. One of my friends mentioned that her most embarrassing moment involved her son announcing as they walked through the waiting room at her OBGYN, "I am so proud of you that you peed in that cup mommy." It sounded eerily familiar to me as she was telling me about it, but I just figured we had talked about it before or something.

I had her little story on the brain when I went to my last OB appt. I wasn't really feeling my personal best as I headed off to the appointment. I had been sporting a large zit on my nose for several days, that combined with the fact that I bust buttons on maternity clothes and have chosen a maintenance free lifestyle (I do not fix my hair or wear makeup) made for a killer combination. I looked more like Beetle Juice than Geena Davis, we'll put it that way. So I swallowed my pride and tried to at least cover the monster zit in makeup, which just made it look weirder, oh well, I am sure Dakota Fanning has her zit days too (and since I look like her I am justified, right?).

When it was my turn to pee in the cup I realized why my friends story had sounded so familiar. We get into the bathroom and Gwen starts with-- and this is not in her inside voice-- "Okay, you put your bum right there, and I will get you a cup". "Are you putting your name on the cup mommy?" "Okay mommy, you sit there and do your wets and I will wait and then I could flush for you". "Are you doing your wets in the cup mommy?". "Oh GOOD GIRL mommy, I can hear your wets" "Now are you wiping your wets mommy?" "Good job mommy! Good job doing your wets in the cup. YOU DID IT!". "Wash your hands mommy!" I am completely confident that anyone within a thirty foot radius of the bathroom (this includes two nurses stations and several patient rooms) has heard it all. It was then that I realized that I just don't embarrass about stuff like that easily.

Now junior high school and using self tanning lotion to write "Bryce" on my leg, which leg was fully viewable during the gym class that I shared with Bryce, now that kind of thing is embarrassing to me. Thanks heavens for being married. I bet Blaine would think it was sweet if I emblazoned his name on my leg in self-tanning lotion :).

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Who knew you could look like Geena Davis and Dakota Fanning, all at the same time. I'm so flattered that I look like I am 60 and 12 :)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Say "ahhhh"

Not only is it fun that Blaine now has a job (or should I say "gets a paycheck") but the added perks of things like insurance have really made life fun lately. Poor Blaine hasn't had new glasses in several years, and even then when we got his glasses we used a prescription that he got from before his mission, so we would only have to pay for the frames and lenses and not the exam. None of us have been to the dentist in our whole married life. Well, correction, Blaine went to some dental college where he swears they did more damage than good. I went once while on Medicaid to the only dental office that accepted Medicaid (in the mall), and the dentist reminded me of the torture master on "Alias". Then since January my teeth have been hurting so I went to a community dental clinic, which was surprisingly nice, but I only actually got an exam, the work they needed to do required me to schedule out a ways, so I couldn't fit it in before we moved. So, as you can see, our family is in major need of some luxuries, like getting cavities filled and getting glasses. We are excited about insurance.

I called and got my dentist appointment. I was amazed how far out these people are scheduling, had I known I would have called to set my appointment in January back when my tooth hurt and then maybe they could have gotten me in sometime this year. Luckily though the pediatric dentist was not as booked out, so Gwen was able to go to the dentist a couple of days ago.

We rehearsed with her what it would be like, so she wouldn't freak out when the dentist tried to pry her mouth open. Though I have to admit, if anyone is used to having their mouth pryed open and someone sticking their hands in there (usually me to retrieve mysterious items Gwen identified as food) it would be Gwen. Anyway, the dental appointment was cute. She sat on my lap, said "ahhh" while the assistant brushed her teeth. The actual dentist peered in and declared her cavity free, and then they painted on a little fluoride mixture. The whole process took all of ten minutes, maybe eleven because we had to switch rooms one time.

We got the claim from the insurance today. Okay, I wasn't kidding when I said the hygienist "brushed" her teeth. No metal scrapey thingy, no whirring mechanical brushes. A plain old tooth brush with plain old toothpaste, just the same as we do every night (er. . . and morning, most of the time, or at least some of the time. . . .occasionally). The charge for this dental "cleaning" -- $65. $65! No wonder we didn't visit the dentist in our college days! The fluoride ($32), and the exam ($80) were also ridiculous, but I assumed they would be.

The best I can figure is that Colgate must now have a new flavor of toothpaste that they use at that office, laced with liquid gold for a real "million dollar smile" look.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Can opener-- $1.49, eating canned food-- priceless

Think about your most useful kitchen gadget. What are you thinking about? Your George Foreman? Perhaps your Bosch, or blender, or pots and pans, maybe even your rice cooker? (Have you heard how a rice cooker almost made Blaine and I break off our engagement-- that's another story for another blog entry). I bet you are thinking of some fancy appliance like you feel like you simply could not live without.

I am here to tell you that you need to rethink your priorities. I could live for years without my george foreman. If my favorite frying pan were missing I would be able to make-do with another type of pan. After yesterday I realized that a small gadget that is tucked away in a drawer is far more necessary than most of my other appliances combined.

Over the past few months I have noticed that I have been having a harder time opening cans. I thought maybe since my hands are swollen from pregnancy (good thing I took off my wedding ring months ago!) it was making my can opener harder to use. We are simple people, with a lack of counter space, so we only have a cheap-o hand can opener. Not the electric kind, or that weird new one you see on TV that is hands free. Anyway, the cans got increasingly harder to open and I swore the next time I remembered I was going to buy an electric can opener. Then yesterday as I was preparing a crock-pot meal that needed to cook for a long time. . . .my whole can opener just broke. It literally fell apart in my hands. Now what? My can of corn was only 1/20th of the way open, there was no way I could pry it the rest of the way! I fiddled with the can opener and tried to repair it. Much to my dismay it was irreparable, and I still had two cans to open.

Gwen was taking her nap and I didn't have time to wait. I debated on just letting the dogs have at the cans for a few minutes, because if anyone could open a can with brute force it would be them. Once I remembered how much I hate smelling the dogs breath, I dropped that option. It didn't seem too sanitary anyways (I have taken the Food Handlers Permit course after all). Finally I got my sharpest knife and a hammer and went away at the cans until I had them halfway open, and then pried them the rest of the way. This was a process, not to mention it turned the can lids into deadly serrated weapons!

Later that night as our family was huddled in our closet because there was a tornado warning for our county (warning means a tornado had actually been spotted or indicated on radar, so I was not being paranoid) I couldn't help but think about how useless our food storage was if we didn't have a can opener. What are the odds that our house was more likely to be destroyed by a tornado on the day that we wouldn't even be able to dig through the rubble to get our food storage and can opener. Sheesh.

So of all the tools in my kitchen, I would have to say that I value my can opener the most. And I would encourage everyone who has food storage that is all in cans to add an extra can opener to your food storage, because unless you have Swiper and Boots handy, you are never going to get those cans open!

P.S. As I just re-read this blog entry it made me think about some other important gadgets that broke yesterday--- mostly my cell phone and my plunger (the plunger is another under appreciated tool that you may want to have a spare of!). I guess there was just a malfunctioning vibe in our house yesterday.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Love Can Make the World (or at least the neighbors) Go 'Round

There is something about Gwenie. She draws people to her. Somehow after we came home from our walk the other day, she managed to get several of our neighbors involved in a rousing game of "Ring Around the Rosies". Look at the group we have here. The age ranges from 2 1/2 to 50+. Sandy (the woman in the green shirt) recently had surgery on her foot, but she joined in the fun (including falling down with the group, which is more than I could bring myself to do).
I am so glad that I have the chance to be Gwenie's mom, and to see first hand what a powerful quality meekness is. If we could all be just a little bit more like children, think of the gaps that could be bridged in the world. Just like Gwenie is bridging those gaps in our neighborhood.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Just another day in paradise. . . .

Making Messes

Sharing Smiles

Sleeping on the kitchen tiles

Playing Favorites?

Parents claim to not have favorite children, but we all know they do. In my family it is my older sister Jen, in Blaine's it is his younger sister Janey. It's okay, just admit it! It doesn't mean you love the others less. In my family Jen is the obvious choice because she is a lot like me, minus the sass. My brothers are all out of the running due to various offenses committed in their youth. Janey is the favorite in Blaine's family, well, because she's Janey. She's my favorite too. You could never meet a nicer, sweeter, kinder and lovable person. So really I think both of our parents made great choices for favorites. And now that I have ruffled their feathers a bit by this little joke, I will apologize and say--- I know, I know, you don't really have favorites.

I can tell you right now, I have a favorite dog. It's Swiper. Swiper (the black one) will wait patiently at the door until he is invited inside. Once inside he will come when I call him, not jump on my legs (if I ask him politely). Swiper is soft. Swiper gives kisses. He doesn't pee on the floor.

And then there is Boots. Boots will find a way to get in to the house no matter how careful you are when you open the door. Somehow he gets his chubby little body through a one inch opening in the door when I peek to see if they need more water. Once inside he will find something of value; Gwen's favorite toy, Blaine's shoe, etc. and run around and hide from me so I can't retrieve it until it has been torn to smithereens. Boots is all wirey and is usually covered in mud and dirt and smells gross. He constantly pees on the floor.

There is no doubt in my mind that Boots was the brains behind digging the hole under our fence (strategically in the corner, allowing access into three neighboring yards), chewing our hose in half, eating sidewalk chalk, dumping over the garbages, et cetera.

Blaine gets upset that I make it known that Swiper is my favorite. Honestly though, which would your favorite be?

Yet somehow when Boots runs up to me and jumps in my arms and I realize that he still loves me even though I spend most of the day frustrated at him I have to admit, I love him just the same as Swiper.

This whole thing with the dogs may be in preparation for the impending birth of our son. I am scared to death that our son will follow more of the Boots mindset as opposed to that of Swiper. After all; Gwen was a great sleeper, great eater, fast learner, cute as a button, agreeable child. What are the odds that two in a row will come out like that? I have a feeling this kid is going to give me a run for my money. Gwen came to Earth looking and acting like Blaine, so I figure that our boys will look and act like me. Which, looks wise I have to admit the Genessy genes make for a cute little boy (scrawny, but cute), but I don't know if I can handle the Genessy boy genes as far as behavior is concerned. James traced all the bricks on my parents home with black magic marker; Todd was so bad at scout camp that he had to be hung upside down from a tree; and Shawn well-- don't get me started-- throwing horse chestnuts, throwing hammers, he was crazy. ALL three of them went on rampages knocking holes in our walls whenever a girl would break their heart. (Note: all of my brothers have recovered, at least mostly, from their crazy childhood/teenage/early adulthood antics and I love them all a ton!). I just don't know if I am ready to deal with this kind of chaos, especially after nearly three years of Janey-like sweetness. Now if somehow our boys come out like Blaine too, then we will be set for life and our parents can count on having at least a couple more grandchildren!

Scared as I may be to have a baby boy I feel like it is safe to say that I will love him just as much as I love Gwen. I just may have to invest in a punching bag just in case someone ever breaks his heart.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

I fought the law, and the law won

I've never been robbed. Actually that is debatable. Growing up my brother had robber-like tendencies that led me to believe that my wallet was missing money on several occasions because of him. Now that he is a much more trustworthy person that doesn't scare the bejeebies out of me anymore I should ask him about my childhood money that has gone missing. Anyway, regardless, no more than $30 has been taken from me without my consent, sometimes my reluctant consent, but consent nonetheless.

I worked for H&R Block earlier this year, providing technicals support for users of TaxCut (their online software for figuring out taxes). Anyway, having this position provided me extra confidence when I did my own taxes this year. I have done them every year but have usually doubted myself and figured I had done them wrong. This year was different, I was certain everything was fine.

A couple of weeks ago I got a letter in the mail from the Utah department of Revenue saying they had never received my signature on my return. So I signed the paper, mailed it in and anxiously awaited the arrival of my hundred something dollar check. Not much, but 100 bucks is 100 bucks!

I kind of forgot about that until today when I opened the mailbox and found another letter from the Utah Department of Revenue. Ah, my check had arrived and not a moment too soon because we have just spent a lot on baby stuff, etc. I open the "check" and to my dismay find that it is a bill for over $230 including $20 of late fees. Late fees? I should charge them late fees because they are the ones who owe me money, TaxCut says so! Now I am in distress because I guess they are probably right, but $230 that's like a car payment, or like 10 dinners at Olive Garden, or two months of electricity bills. Oh man. Really it was like losing $380 because I had been assuming they owed me money. Those scoundrels.

I can't complain too much because those scoundrels are paying for my milk, eggs, cheese and juice (WIC), paid for Gwenie's birth ($5,000?), and gave us money every semester we were in school (probably $10,000 between the two of us over four years). So I still like the government, and I would have gladly paid the $200 back in February when it was supposedly due if TaxCut would have told me to.

Next year I will hire a professional (or my Dad).

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Blaine said it would be okay, since I am just starting this blog, to add more than one entry a day, so I hope you are not offended. Well I don't think anyone besides myself has actually looked at this blog, and I am certainly not offended, so I guess I'm good.

I wanted to write about an experience I had two days ago.

Gwen normally wakes us up at about 7:00AM. As I have told most of you, her new method of waking us up is to sneak into our room, get about two inches away from my face and yell, "Mommy, GOOD MORNING!" It scares the daylights out of me and gets my heart rate pumping (heaven knows I need it since there isn't any exercise in my life to get my heart pumping!). Anyway, so this particular morning I heard Blaine get up and out of bed, I heard him have breakfast, get ready for work, and felt him give me a kiss as he headed out the door. I was starting to get excited because Gwen wasn't awake yet. How much more glorious sleep could I eek out of this morning, five minutes? Ten? I was excited to find out.

I closed my eyes and drifted quickly back to sleep. A little while later I heard Gwen's sweet little voice in her room playing. I opened my eyes and noticed that my back didn't ache (it usually does in the morning), my feet weren't swollen (like usual), my eyes weren't stuck shut, I felt happy and very refreshed. After a few more minutes of playing Gwen came into our room. She was probably amazed to find me happy to see her, I picked her up and put her on my bed. We had a tickle fight, we played hide and seek, we laughed and had the best time for 15 minutes. . . as opposed to me suggesting repeatedly that she go get her own breakfast, start a movie, play by herself, or anything but wake me up! As I hopped out of bed (haven't hopped out of bed in a good long time, I usually kind of groggily roll/slide/fall off in a daze) I wondered why I felt so different than any other morning. Was it all a dream? I was curious what time it was, it had to at least be 8:00 or 8:30 for me to feel this good. My eyes about popped out of their sockets when I saw the time. . . 10:45AM!

I can't even remember the last time I woke up in the ten o' clock hour, let alone the latter half of the ten o'clock hour. I was so giddy! The hardest part of my day was over, I simply slept through it. Not only that but now it didn't matter that I didn't have any milk in the fridge. . .we could eat lunch food!

So we ate our breakfast at 11:00AM. I felt like a teenager again (well, like a teenager plus 50 lbs). Could this day get any better?

The only thing I didn't think about with this whole gift of being able to sleep in until 10:45AM was how it would affect the rest of my day. If I were flying solo it would be no problem, improvisation is key. How would Gwen handle this schedule upset? She's not even on that particular of a schedule, but we usually do have lunch and a nap at some point in the day. So if you wake up at 11, what time do you eat lunch? If you normally nap at 1, what do you do if that is only a few hours after you woke up the first time?

I just decided to ignore those technicalities and went on about my day. Everything was fine and good until about 3:45PM. We were at a friends house playing and Gwen just started wigging out! She doesn't usually have meltdowns, but I think this must have been one. I didn't know what to do? Was she tired? Hungry? Both? Eeek. We made the mistake of walking to our friends house, it is only a block or two, but how on Earth was I supposed to get her back home. Not to mention she brought her ball along. Finally she was freaking out to the point that we just had to leave. I threw her over my shoulder and proceeded to walk home Santa Claus style (even the belly like a bowl full of jelly!).

It must have been a site, the large pregnant woman, carrying a toddler who was kicking and screaming all the while. Even though the rest of the day was a total disaster, I would gladly redo it if I could have that wonderful morning all over again. I guess the universe will always find a balance, so if things are going to all equal out in the end, you might as well get to sleep in once in a while!

Mrs. Clean

I am not a good housekeeper. Well, I guess I am as good as the next guy when I actually do it, but for some reason I would rather play and make a good mess than clean one up (call me crazy). That being said, I like people to have the impression that I am a good housekeeper. It has been a lot easier to make that impression now that we live in a 1900sqft two story house as opposed to our 650 sqft apartment. I realized once we moved into the house that it is not that I was such a horrible housekeeper before, it was simply that there was not enough space for all of our stuff. Now that the stuff has ample room to hang around in, even when our house is messy it really isn't that messy.

I found myself this morning in a frenzy of cleaning. I even vacuumed the stairs and baseboards. After about two hours of cleaning, focused mainly in Gwenie's room, I realized that I was being ridiculous. Do you know why I was cleaning? It was because Gwen's four-year-old friend was coming over to play. She's four. As I was placing Gwen's toys neatly away in their bins I knew quite well that the bins would be promptly emptied and that chaos would ensue. So why didn't I leave the heaps of toys just laying on the floor for easier access? Was I afraid that Gwen's friends mom would walk into the room and be horrified at the mess? As if she doesn't have two children of her own and know what it is like to try to keep their rooms clean. Neverless, every time I have been to her house the kids rooms are clean. I wonder if she cleans them frantically like I do right before company arrives, or if they are always tidy, it probably will remain a mystery. Which really isn't that fair considering she is one of the three people who have this blog address and now knows my "dirty" secret.

Now that the secret is out though and you all know that Gwen's room is usually messy, I think I will save myself the trouble next time and clean a room that really needs it and that may actually stay clean for more than a nano second, even if she is going to have friends over.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Six Legged Terrors

There I sat. I was proud of myself for getting outside. Blaine was gone at scouts, but I had the guts to take Gwen and the puppies out around the neighborhood for some serious Big-Wheeling. After lots of fun I let Gwen continue riding her big wheel while I attempted to groom the puppies. Every morning when we let the dogs out they jump up on our legs and use their dagger-like claws to terrorize us. So I tried to cut their nails. In the process I ended up getting bitten repeatedly, nearly to the point of drawing blood. It kind of caused a ruckus in the neighborhood as people began opening their doors to see what all the commotion was about. Finally I gave up, and in desperation to let Gwen keep having fun I decided to leash the dogs up to our mailbox. My arms were throbbing in pain, having recently been bitten repeatedly by both dogs. As I was tying them up I felt sharp pains on all of my little toes. I look down to find that while I was tying up the little monster dogs, smaller (yet more determined) monsters were attacking my legs! I had stepped, repeatedly, on a fire ant mound. All the neighbors who were previously concerned about my sanity because of the dog scene earlier were no longer in question as I jumped up and down kicking my leg to and fro, doing some Polynesian fly swatting dance to try to get the hoards of ants off of my feet. I was left defeated, hopping on one foot, the dogs leash wrapped around the other foot, and carrying a screaming Gwen (she wanted to keep riding her big wheel after all) in one hand and her Dora bike in the other. As soon as I was recovered enough to get my wits about me I drowned that fire ant mound in raid. Don't mess.