Saturday, September 22, 2007


What the Fetus? Yeah, I signed up for and now I am getting weekly emails on the development of our fetus. Cuz I haven't been through this before?! Anyhow, here's peanut at 6 weeks, which is what I am guessing I am at:

And here's what else I learned:
The nose, mouth, and ears that you'll spend so much time kissing in eight months are beginning to take shape. If you could see into your uterus, you'd find an oversize head and dark spots where your baby's eyes and nostrils are starting to form. His emerging ears are marked by small depressions on the sides of the head, and his arms and legs by protruding buds. His heart is beating about 100 to 160 times a minute — almost twice as fast as yours — and blood is beginning to course through his body. His intestines are developing, and the bud of tissue that will give rise to his lungs has appeared. His pituitary gland is forming, as are the rest of his brain, muscles, and bones. Right now, your baby is a quarter of an inch long, about the size of a lentil bean.

So, for now I guess we are having a boy named "Lenny." This is still weird to wrap my brain around, but I find myself resigned to the truth of the matter. Is that progress? The picture creeps me out a bit.

I took all four of my kids to Red Robin at the mall tonight . . . by myself. I made them all tell me that I was the best mom EVER before we even attempted the feat. I was impressed and proud with how well we handled the situation. The kids were really good, and as we were walking to the car we all held hands. How Hallmark card are we? Caylee said, "Imgaine how big our chain would be if Dad were holding my hand right here" (she was on the end), and I said, "Imagine if Dad were on the end and I was holding the baby in my arms." The kids' mouths dropped opened at the imagined image, and I kinda had a visual of what life will be like in the spring. However, I probably won't be going out in public with a 5:1 ratio for a while; I'll have to work up to that. Anyway, I'm off to bed; starting to feel gross is becoming standard as I stay up too late. Have a happy Sunday :)

Naughty Neighbor

One of the blessings, I think, of living in Las Vegas is we don't have neighborhood children knocking on our door 24/7 to see if my kids can play. When we were gone to France the babysitter asked about our policy as to our kids at others' houses or vice versa. "Uh," I explained, "this isn't Utah. Kids don't just come a knockin' to play. We arrange playdates. My kids don't run our neighborhood." I am sure, when I was a little girl in Burley, Idaho, it was cool and nice to have people knock on our door seeking for some sort of playdate. I wonder how it was for the parents, though. But, now, as an adult and one having gotten used to that being practically a Vegas-faux-pas I am kinda bugged that our neighbor boy, Jason, has turned a little stalker-ish. And he doesn't mind very well. And he has a loud voice. And, well, basically I wouldn't arrange a playdate with him, but seeings as we're neighbors and should be neighborly he hung out today.

It started innocently enough with us outside cleaning out our trailer, changing a tire, sweeping spider webs, etc. while the kids rode their bikes and played around outside (the weather's been wonderful!) when I hear Jason start to play with Brevin. He's 5 and we rarely see these neighbors as they're less social than we are in the cul-de-sac. They have a son who's 10 and this Jason and he and Brevin hit it off with Star Wars talk, which evolved to the trailer, and pretty soon Jason is telling his mom he can come in our trailer and play. (I'm inside thinking, uh, no, no you can't because I don't even want to be in here and there's no way we're gonna be that fun and play in the trailer [unlike cool Aunt Erin and Uncle Kevin]) But when he and his mom show up at the door I offer a look inside WHICH opens the door for my kids to pile in there and so they sat around for a few minutes before I kicked em all out, finished sweeping, and locked the door. By then the bonds of friendship have been forged and Brevin's inviting Jason inside the house to which I warned, "Don't get anything out; we're leaving shortly" because we were going to grab some lunch and get the tire fixed. Well, convincing Jason to get out of my house was awful. His mom came to help, but wasn't so much. Had she been outside I could have been a little more firm when he ran into the opposite room EVERY TIME I or his mom walked in to where he was. Instead she's saying things like, "Jason, remember how we talked about listening to adults?" I'm thinking something like, "Knock it off and get outside" would have been appropriate at that time. We finally got him out of the garage once he had driven the battery-powered super wheel into the ladder and through the garage and once Tyler almost closed the garage door on him as we were leaving and he wouldn't get out of the way.

So, when we were done with lunch and the tire Tyler dropped me and Brock off for a nap. (7am dance practice and a crappy night's sleep - thank you Brock) necessitated it and Tyler took the other kids to help his mom and dad move some stuff. It took forever to Brock to go to sleep, so right as he's dozed off I hear JASON in our house with Brevin (I guess they had just gotten home) and his mom is right in the middle of my living room, too. Apparantly Jason had just bolted inside, so I explained I had just gotten Brock to sleep and if the boys wanted to play they had to do so outside where Tyler was. And the mom is literally pulling the 5 year old out of the house. Next think I know, I am waking up and Tyler tells me the girls just walked Jason home. I guess he ended up back over and inside and played for a bit. I hear the girls come in and a few minutes later I hear somebody else's voice I don't recognize. Yeah, it's Jason, the mom, and the brother walking out from down the hall. I had just re-awoken from the last time she was pulling him out, so she apologizes again about how they are trying to explain to Jason that it's not okay to walk into the neighbor's house unless he's invited. I'm thinking, "uh, yeah, okay, but if you really want to make that impression on him perhaps you could sound a little more serious and less sweet about it."

Whatever. I am sure he's nice and all. It's probably more my ickiness and tiredness today. I'm headed to use a JoAnn's coupon before it expires and to see if I can eat up some time before bed time since Tyler's at the UNLV game. Hasta - la grumpy neighbor!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I am such a failure

So, I was just sitting down on this fine Thursday eve to peruse my "favorite blogs folder" to see what new posts have showed up since I last checked today at 2pm. AND I am making my way through the A's (Annilee-nothing), my C girls (Candice - still funny Dancing with the Stars post, Chris - cute pics of Madison [I can't believe she's 12!], and Chanel - seriously stressing ME out with an official ulcer and TMJ!?), D-men (Daniel - nadda, Dylan - never disappoints with a link to his wife's blog and a funny comment about her man boob sweat chocolate bar), Erin (still can't devote enough time to study out the Bachelor-ettes), my money J collection (Jamie - no new post, Jana - Miss we need a birthday, major vacation, or mission call to get a post, Jen - anxiously waiting for post 100, Jenn - no new update on the costume sitch, Jerolyn - funny Lost in Translation post [thanks, thanks, enjoyed it, very funny, nice treat in the J section], and Julina - Erin pretty much read me this one and I can SO relate to the Cocoa Puffs thing). I admit I glossed over my K and L cuz Kourtney and Leanne don't post regularly, M couple (Mom - zilch, Molly - been there, felt that), N was the jackpot (Nate, Stacy, and Zoee blog had like three posts I hadn't seen and I enjoyed each of them, especially the M&M story), and then on down to R for my newest "favorite" save, cousin Rick's blog. So I'm reading and reading and thinking, "Oh yeah, Survivor . . . [still reading] . . . crap, what day is it . . . [keep reading his big-boob truck driver reference; get totally sucked in] . . . it's Thursday . . . SHUT UP! I totally forgot to set my DVR and I was at a church thing tonight AND I MISSED THE PREMIER." I'm so bummed for myself!

And, yes, that's the extent of my pathetic life. Just a glimpse of 9:30pm, me on the couch, being oh-so-productive reading blogs and being bummed I forgot to record one of the ba-dillions of reality TV. I am SO not healthy, mentally . . . or is it emotionally?

WHICH, ironically, is what I was doing at church tonight. My friend Julie asked if I'd teach a class at their "Back to School" enrichment activity. So I thought, oh, she'll ask me to talk about high school English or something. Uh, no. She wanted me to talk about being physically, mentally/emotionally, and spiritually healthy. Uh, what?! I seriously laughed and asked her to reassure me that I was her LAST choice; that she'd called, like, at least five other people because SURELY she could NOT have thought, "Hmmm, who do I know that's physically, mentally, and spiritually healthy? Well, Sarah Barlow that's who!" No. Let's be real people; I have issues in ALL those departments. So once we established I wasn't THE first pick (she was real sweet and said the nice-friend things that you have to say when you're in a bind and need help at your enrichment meeting in two days - {Love ya, Julie!}) I said, sure. But, of course, it was good and I learned a lot of useful information for my own life. One of my favorite quotes I used, by Neal A. Maxwell, "This feeling we know all to well of inadequacy is normal." Yeah, cuz I don't like have shortcomings with company :) It was a cute enrichment, though, good ambiance. I do love the presentation of an event.

And, before I give Tyler the computer so he can download his GPS system, I want to also let the latter part of the alphabet know that I did check out thier blogs, too. (Sarah - cute bows, Stephanie - c'mon the first day of school was WEEKS ago, Taralee - cute scrap page, The Kochs - just lurking, Tiffany - pick it up, girl, Tristen - are you slowing your blog pace?, Troy and Nancee - I think Erica looks a lot like Grandpa Phillips, and Tyler D - been there, read that, amen-ed ya this afternoon.)

**Those blogs not linked are set to private (neener, neener) and my Mom did post something by the time I finished typing this.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Things I have learned this week

As I have caught up on some of my blog reading today, I thought I would share with you some of the things I have gleened from this week. I won't list all the fabulous information I learn and grow from whilst visiting y'alls blogs, but I've taken some good notes on that stuff too.

1. I am still capable of sleeping for 10.5 hours. This happened last night and I am not sharing it to rub it in to any of my sleeping-less friends, but I was trying to hide from Brock (who found me and played in my bed as a divertion to his own bedtime until Tyler rescued me and put Brock in his own bed) and I ended up falling asleep at 8:30pm. I awoke to brush my teeth and potty at 11:30pm and again at 4:00am to potty again (LOVE that pregnancy thing) and finally got out of bed at 7am this morning. Nice. I know.

I am not a dessert maker. Well, a successful dessert maker, anyhow. I've dedicated myself to only store-bought treats from now on. It just makes me appreciate others' talents all the more.

3. I am a cleaning maniac. For nothing. I spent ALL afternoon Saturday REALLY cleaning my house so it'd be clean when Tyler came home . . . . aaaaannnnnddddd it's pretty messy again. My ultimate goal was to get our bedroom clean, but I have learned it will never be cleaned because EVERYWHERE else is a priority. Sigh.

4. I should not go to dance festival meetings when I have a headache. I get onry and opinionated and it has a negative effect on everybody.

OJ Simpson is quite the piece of work! I mean, really??? After watching the Oprah show about his book "IF I did it" and then him being arrested in our fine home town for burglery, I am pretty sure he is MESSED UP!!! I do want to know if my cousin, Tyler, has squeezed any Juice at work lately?

Even when Tyler is fishing on his Oregon trip with 8 of his best buddies, he still thinks of me and has flowers delivered in his absence. The card told me how much he loved me and was glad I was the mother of his kids, including the new addition. Everyone together now, "ahhhhh!" He's a keeper, trouser trout and all :)

Perez Hilton, Big Brother, reality TV (in general) all make me happy for no obvious reason. Erin and I stayed up til 1am one night this past week reading old Perez posts and the latest episode of Big Brother. Not only do we watch the show, but then we rewind parts to really "study" it. I think i should be embarrassed by how excited I am for the other trash shows I get hooked in to. Uh, yeah, like The Bachelor (trash above all other trash) starts in a couple weeks. Candace listed a few shows she was loyal to, including "Dancing with the Stars" (only this season because of Marie Osmond, right?!), and I thought, "I couldn't even remember all the shows my DVR is set for." And I do get attached in ways I don't realize. Like when I read that Wade Robson AND Mia Michaels from 'So You think You can Dance' both got emmys, I was happy for them. Really, truly happy. Or when Dr. Rey from 'Dr. 90210' reconciles with his father, uh, hello, totally touched! But I don't know ANY of them, so GET A LIFE SARAH!

8. When somebody has really good taste in clothes (like my friend Debi), it's worth wearing her hand-me-down shoes, even if they're a size larger than I normally wear. Cuz then she brings over the matching dresses and hand-me-downs them too. Love it.

9. It's hard to be the mom sometimes. Well, all the time. Spending time playing the referee is a lot of pressure when the penalty and/or rewards doled out shapes these little peoples' characters. It's also hard when your sister is taking pictures of you being the mom :) (Love ya, Sis!)

Sometimes my brother likes to pull an attitude and be all pissy. At first it catches me off guard, but then the whole family likes to give him a hard time. Cuz he's full of it. He's not really a grumpy old man, he's a smushy pushover who'll do whatever his women need him to do. Don't get me wrong, he plays stubborn pretty well, but he has to work at being cranky - it's not his natural disposition. Love you, too, Boogie Boy!

Celebrating the September birthdays

I have noticed a profound difference between boys and girls (well, another one.) I asked Brevin a couple weeks ago what he wanted to do for his birthday party (since, yeah, there's a schedule going on in the family) and he said, "Nuffing, I will do a party for my 5th birfday." My girls have their next five birthdays planned in advance. SO, I asked him (in a very generous mom moment) if he wanted to choose a few of his friends and we'd go to McDonald's for dinner on Friday night and they could play and we'd get ice cream cones. That was a party he could get on board with, and I thought it through and asked my SIL and MIL and FIL for back-up to handle the kids. Well, it ended up really nice when my sister let my girls stay at her house when I picked up Austin {Side note: you know your kids are spoiled when they turn down McDonalds. I would've cut off my left arm when I was their age to get to eat there.} and one of Brev's friends couldn't made it. The adult to kid ratio was pretty good, and once we relocated to a McDonalds with an open play thing, the party was ON!
I have THE BEST in-laws. On a Friday night, for date night, how exciting is it to go to McDonalds with your daughter-in-law and a bunch of kids? Not very. But they were great and SO helpful. I think it's one of the greatest blessings in our life to live so close to family so my kids can forge close bonds with their grandparents and cousins, etc. Anyway, another thanks to Bruce and Dodie for their help, the generous birthday gifts, and just being SO willing to help, especially when Tyler is gone (or I'm gone - they're great fill-er-in parents when Tyler and I are off galavanting.) They're not going thru the easiest time right now, so I appreciate more their willingness to put their needs aside for ours.

Then on Sunday night, the Garrard side of the family met at Erin and Kevin's for another par-tay. We celebrated 4 birthdays this month and Erin made yummy pork quesadillas and nachos, Dad made potato salad, Stac brought delish guac and orange fluff, and I was in charge of dessert. I should not be in charge of desserts. For all my bragging since I actually made something, it turned out a totally mush and soupy brownie/pudding/cool whip mess. The kids enjoyed it, but it confirmed the "buying is best" theory I have. Yeah, you should have heard my kids give me grief since I was actually baking brownies. Whatever. They eat the store bought ones just fine, too.
Here's the group of birthday celebrants:
Brevin (4), Dad (59- which is ten years away from 69 right Stac?), Brock (2), and Brooklyn (1)

New sheets (and blankets) were a huge hit, Mom!
with Zoee
Stacy found this and bought it for Dad at Swiss Days and it could NOT be closer than the truth. Dad is a good grandpa, as long as the grandkids don't make too much racket and mess with his stuff. He cherishes his crazy trio of dogs, who can ALWAYS make a lot of noise AND mess on his stuff. Stac also took pictures of the dogs and had them framed, but I thought it was funny Dad commented on how it was too bad they weren't groomed before the photos. It's like when a parent sees the pictures of his/her kids and thinks, "Oh, I should've washed his fave/wiped the nose/combed the hair, etc."
Seth was way excited!
THIS is how my dad really likes to celebrate :) Love you, Dad.

Oh yeah! She was workin' that cake. Too cute :)

Saturday, September 15, 2007


Alright, I posted this morning, but it showed up after (or before) with a different date. So, I'm sure you're not gonna want to scroll down and read the new/old post. Whatever. It's beyond me.

Happy Birthday Boys!

We celebrate birthdays twice a year in our family (for all our kids). In May we celebrate Mackenzie (13th) and Caylee (10th) [and next year baby no. 5, I think] and in September we have Brock (15th) and Brevin (12th). Yes, girls in one month and boys in another [maybe that's why I'm having 'female' vibes for this baby?!] and each of the birthdays are only three days apart. So far we have not had any issues with sharing the birthday parties, especially with all the family we have nearby. The kids get little friend parties 3 times before they're 8 with activities and such and then we'll take a trip when they're 8, have a party when they're 12 and 16 or SOMETHING organized like that. Yes, I have counted the years ahead to figure everyone's ages the year someone else has a big party or milestone. I do that in my spare time.

Anyway, here's some review of how my little men have grown up so fast. Hopefully I won't screw any of this up too badly. Like . . . I KNOW Mackenzie is in 3rd grade, even though I blogged the first day of school post that she started 2nd grade. I was in a hurry trying to appease the blog police since I hadn't put the pictures up yet. SHEESH. I should've proofread, oh well.

Brock Garrard Barlow
born September 15, 2005

1 year old; Sept. 2006

2 yrs. old; Sept. 2007
Brevin Tyler Barlow
born September 12, 2003

1 year; Sept. 2004

2 years; Sept. 2005 (this was taken right after Brock was born.)

3 years; Sept. 2006

4 years; Sept. 2007
I love my boys. They drive me nutso with all their climbing and running and jumping and hi-yahing, but (as my friend Patty once told me) they are my bestest little boyfriends EVER.) There's nothing that makes me feel better than when Brevin says, "You da best Mom, Mom" or when Brock holds my face in his little hands so I will look him in the eye while he repeats, "Mom, Mom, Mom" like he has something urgent to say, but it's really that he wants my undivided attention. They smell weird after they play (especially outside), they can't EVER go five minutes without touching or whacking or poking each other, and they are a lot messier than my girls. BUT, they also say really funny things that make me laugh, are creative in different ways than girls (like Brock picking up a fake, plastic, toy bug with a wad of tissue and carrying it around the house to show his "big bug" find OR Brevin pushing up pillows to make a garage for his cars), and they keep up with all the going and doing I like to do. Anyway, time passes quickly and I am sure the moody days or puberty will creep up on me quickly. I'm sure I'll be driving them crazy trying to get them to talk to me or to tell me their crazy stories instead of wishing they'd just quit making any noise for two minutes, like I sometimes wish now. They're keepers, and I love 'em to pieces.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Saturday morning musings

Oh, heavens to betsy, I should be cleaning my house right now and checking things off my to-do list. Tyler comes home tonight, hal-le-feaking-lu-jah. I miss having him home for many reasons, but a big one is I haven't been able to check out of mom-hood at all for a week. I think, when Tyler is at home, there are periods where I can know he's the go-to parent, even if it's the middle of the night and I have warned him at bedtime, with a kick to the leg, "It's you're turn for the kids tonight." Which means he gets to put Brock, Caylee, or Brevin back to bed when they wander in, have to go potty, have a bad dream, or are sick. Or, like today, if Tyler were home this morning I could barricade myself in my room to clean and dust and scrub my bathroom. Oh well. Tomorrow, just in time for church he'll be on duty. That'll do.

I was talking with my friend, ElRae, the other day and she told me of the 2/3 theory for moms. She said she and Donna talk about how the day is a success if they can get two out of three things accomplished in a day: take a shower, do your hair, and your make-up. I thought, tru dat. I'm a firm believer in a shower every day, but REALLY?! I am SO impressed with the moms who get their daily shower in the morning. Sometimes it happens at the end of the day BUT if I have my hair done and (new) make-up, according to the 2/3 rule, it's a success. The mornings I do get to shower, I usually end up running around getting the kids ready and by the time it's time for carpool I have to make a choice of make-up or hair. Nowadays the make-up wins out since, if I don't, people are giving me their condolences because I look so haggard, tired, sick, whatever. A couple years ago, when people kept asking me if I was tired, I decided make-up was becoming more of a neccessity, SOOO my hair ends up in some pony/bun concoction.

So on my to-do list will be 3 for 3 (by the end of the day), to really get my house clean, to clear off the Swiss Days stuff from my dining table (yeah, I know it's been weeks), reorganize my closet, get some baby gifts and packaging stuff to send to Branneke (my cousin and his wife, cute moniker, huh?! Thank, Julie) and Nancee [both having their first babies last week, how fun?!], have Kenzie practice her violin song with Erin and Syd for church tomorrow, eat lunch (probably gonna get that checked off FOR SURE!), and run back to JoAnne's Fabrics for more dance festival stuff before my coupons expire.

Before I get busy, I thought I'd share these photos I took last week:
Dirty Laundry - 4 kids, 2 adults, 10 days since the last laundry was done (dishtowels, sheets, pool towels, and another load of whites already in the washer not shown), a high capacity washer (thankfully) = 10 loads total

Clean Laundry - 4 kids, 2 adults, 1 entire day of trading in and out the loads, about 8:30pm (4 loads not shown in this pile, NOR any baby burpies, blankets, or clothes. I kept thinking on Monday how it will be way worse when there's a baby making all sorts of extra laundry - Woo hoo!)

Folded laundry - 4 kids, 2 adults, all but 2 loads folded (some already put away), 2 1/2 hours of me folding clothes and Tyler folding towels, socks, and underwear (I'm too anal to let him fold the clothes), and 25 hangars later it is all done. Well, actually, two days later, by Wednesday, I finally had it all put away. Have I mentioned how much I love my life? Have a great productive day!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Boys will be Boys

Tyler and his buddy Jake reviewing their flys for the annual Oregon fly-fishing, river-rafting, camping, man trip. I think Jake has stopped by three times this week, which is about what we see him per year, if you don't count the Oregon trip. Jake and Tyler are tenting together. They are in cahoots with each other BIG TIME! The other guys should be nervous. Very nervous.
There is something funny that happens to my husband a few weeks before a fishing trip. It begins to consume his thoughts, actions, and conversations. His cell phone rings more with calls from his buddies who are also focused on the upcoming fishing trip. He send emails with weather, water, and topigraphical information and receives emails with headlines like, "We're gonna slay us some hogs." (Really, I saw this one on his desk at work last week.) Last week I saw another fisherman who was headed on the Oregon trip and asked him if he was ready. He said, "No. I am physically ready; I have all my stuff. Mentally, though, I haven't gone back to be 12. You have to be a 12 year old to really enjoy this trip." So profound. I knew, when Tyler told me he bought a gorilla suit and was downloading BigFoot stories, that this trip was taking a turn for the juvenile. He swore me to secrecy, to not post any of the preperations on my blog (because other wives sometimes check in and these matters were of the upmost importance.) What was he keeping from the other guys? The element of surprise. I guess the gorilla costume is for nighttime dress up to spook the other guys. The BigFoot stories are a tradition, I'm told, and heavens knows we've watched enough documentaries this past year to build up Tyler's stock of "sightings." So while Tyler is telling the other guys about his research around the campfire one of the other guys (Jake or James, I guess) will be dressing up and running through the trees, rustling the bushes. Doesn't that sound fun?
When Tyler told me about buying an adult size, full blown gorilla costume, I told him to wear it home and see what the kids said. Brock was so torn as he was ready to freak out, but Brevin was on to us from the get go and kept saying, "Dad? Dad? What are you doing? Dad? Why are you dressed up like that?" so Brevin was a voice of reason in such a confusing situation. Caylee came out when she heard Brevin calling Dad and kind of laughed. Mackenzie, on the other hand, was walking out of the bathroom when Tyler "roared" at her and she screamed/jumped 4 feet in the air/hollared at us/and slammed the bathroom door. It was hilarious. (Who's 12 now? Ugh, that would be me.)
The piece de resistance, however, in Tyler's fishing trip planning was a little dress up outfit. I can't make sense of WHY he and Jake wanted to do this. I am not sure why it's so funny; other than it's pretty disturbing, but mostly because they are also tenting together. I knew they were serious when, while on a double date with Robin and Jake a few weeks ago, we shopped for itty bitty compression shirts for the boys. Those tight work-out shirts. And I am serious, they are like young men, not young men leaders when it comes to some of this stuff. Monday night before they left, Jake finished the ensemble by dropping off "drag shorts" (for swimming) off to Tyler. Yeah, Jake's outfit matches. When Tyler modeled his outfit Monday before bedtime I couldn't resist taking this picture. Again, only after I promised to post it once they were on the water, did he pose for me.
Sexy, huh? I'm sure this beaut will fetch me 38 comments, at least. Right?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

6 years ago today

6 years ago today at 5:30am I got up to get ready for work. I showered and dressed and headed into the family room to put on my shoes and eat some breakfast right before the 6am news with the headlines. I remember being a little caught off guard that Matt Lauer and Katie Couric were already on air since the Today Show wasn't supposed to start broadcasting for a couple of minutes. As I ate my raisin bran, with the TV turned low so as not to wake Tyler or Kenzie, I picked up the story of some sort of "explotion that had taken place at the world trade center." Shocked, I watched the billowing smoke and listened to the conjecture as the reporters were seeking some actual information from the center of the action.
Riveted to the TV, I remember watching to the live feed while conjecture of possible bomb plots, accidental plane crashes, and/or gas explosions were given as to the cause of the thick plumes of smoke. I remember Matt Lauer stopped talking, even for just a moment, as the second plane crossed across the scene and dove into the South Tower. 17 minutes after the first explosions, there was momentary panic and pandemoneum as the playback showed that it was indeed a plane that had purposefully flown right into the side of a building filled with people. Survivors? Maybe on their way out? Rescue crews? Already working to save and organize those who were trying to move away from the carnage. Who could do such a thing? And then that's when it was pointed out, the obvious, this was terrorism. I couldn't believe what I was watching. It felt like that part of the world quit moving while all the focus was what was going to happen to those towers, but the world was still moving in Nevada; in my little house on Jazzy June, at Silverado High School in Las Vegas and I had to get to work.
I remember, six years ago, getting in my car and trying to tune into an AM station that would have the news. 94.1 FM was all pop and talk, so surely the more conscientious AM stations would be having some reports. Nadda. I got to the school and headed to the teachers' mailroom and asked some of my coworkers if they had heard anything. None of the five or six I talked to had even heard anything about it. Semi-disgusted with their ignorance I headed to my classroom to turn on the TV for some updated news. When my 1st period of seniors came into my room, it was hard to turn the TV off . . . so I didn't. In fact, I asked some of the boys to help me rig a better antanae out of paper clips so we could listen to the news unfold. I think Tom Brokaw had taken over the broadcasting and I was half-heartedly trying to work through our daily agenda. That's when the towers began to collapse. I still remember standing at my desk looking to the front of the room, with my mouth open, and thinking, "Oh no, no, no."
I kept thinking, "Dialogue about this with the kids." But who had any kind of answers? The media was making all kinds of guesses and were reporting other plane crashes around the country. By the time my 2nd period class came in, there was a somber ambiance as the kids were finally understanding the magnitude of what they had been watching. I guess word had spread and I wasn' the only one showing the news in my classroom. There was a gal, Jessica, in the 2nd period class that had just moved from back east at the beginning of the year. She was a wreck as soon as they announced the Pentagon had been attacked because that's where he worked and she couldn't get a hold of him on his phone. (He was fine, luckily.) Really? This was going to touch clear across the country? By the time the second tower fell, I knew the reports were going to turn morbid, so I made the kids write down their impressions, right there, that minute, right in the thick of that turn in our existence.
But I haven't written about it. When the final numbers were reported, 2974 killed, I immediately empathized with those wives, husbands, children, parents, siblings, etc. who had lost their loved ones. The rescue workers who sacrificed their well-being for others particularly touched me . . . still do.
I think about the catastrophe of 9/11 and it still makes me sad. I remember the ensuing politcal debates, the investigations, and the anti-terrorism fervor. It makes me sad to think there could be a mom or a dad that would teach children to hate other people, so that when those children grow up they'd be willing to kill so many guiltless people. Six years later, when volunteers are fighting for medical care to deal with the aftermath of days and nights spent in the muck of the twin towers, it doesn't feel like we're any safer, any wiser, or any more focused. Fighting a war spurned by the events of 9/11? It doesn't make sense to me. None. Killing for killing? It doesn't make me feel any more settled than I did that morning six years ago.
Have we relegated 9/11 to an Oprah special and small memorials? It doesn't make sense how so many of us, myself included, "remember" but stay out of affecting change. Sigh. So, where were you six years ago? Are you still affected? Do you remember? I want to be a better person and nation to really honor the memory of those who were lost. Can we do it?

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Pachelbel Bedtime

Okay this cracked me up! Thanks, Nancee, for sending me the link :) Enjoy.

Sinking In

Alright, first off, let me say THANK YOU for all the sweet comments, phone calls, and emails. I think Tyler is a little astonished at the response, but let me tell you, one day into "the news" and I am really appreciative of all the support and/or sympathy. I am not real sure what the due date is (calling the OB/GYN is now on the to do list), but my sister (a birthing expert) says I should be due on/about May 15th. I am a huge fan of being induced early, so I'm not above planning on a May day baby. Who knows. I imagine my OB will tsk tsk us for not doing anything permanent, but that will probably be mild compared to strangers reactions at Sam's Club.
I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out what kind of a change this will bring into our family, and I still can't really wrap my brain around it. I do think I should probably stop talking about it before people get tired of hearing about it. The only area of our life that probably won't need some adjusting is our car situation. My brother-in-law did point out that we've already outgrown Tyler's truck, a year into it, so I wouldn't be surprised to catch Tyler perusing the truck section of ebay again. WAIT, we'll have 7 people now, so any way we slice it we're probably not going to fit in a truck. Oh my heck :) Until we know the gender I have no idea if the rooming situation, but I do feel like it will mean we have to get rid of some of our stuff to make more room for other stuff. I'm starting to formulate a "wish list" of things to borrow/buy to get us through the baby stages. Like, a baby bjorn for Swiss Days next year. Oh, and so much more.
A couple of people have asked how long we have known, and I am not fibbin' when I say we literally found out yesterday when the magic stick showed us a double line. I think I knew in the back of my mind that the combination of sore ta-ta's, an increase in my bathroom visits to piddle, and the overcoming tiredness could not all be PMS. I was still trying to figure out an alternative rationale, though, when we took the test. So, again, lots of prayers and crossed fingers that this pregnancy remains healthy and we'll be happy . . . for all 40 weeks (38 if I'm lucky and we're really healthy). All last week I felt totally wiped, and with school and carpool, etc. I was on the go every morning. Because we have drastically limited the kids TV time during the week (we'll see how long that lasts when I need more naps and the Disney channel is available to babysit) I suggested that Caylee, Brevin, and I read books one afternoon for something to do. Grandpa Garrard had sent home a bag full of new books, so we all laid down pillows on the floor and started to read. By book four I was having a hard time keeping my eyes open, and since Brock was asleep and I knew I was almost a gonner, I suggested to Caylee and Brevin that we just close our eyes for fifteen minutes to rest. Well, Brevin ended up with a penalty for trying to sneak off and Caylee can't tell time, so about 20 minutes of silent, still, laying on the floor with pillows and blankets, we all fell asleep. Thankfully I didn't have to drive pick-up carpool that day, so when Kenzie got home she found us asleep on the floor. Naturally (have I raised her well or what?) she grabbed the camera and took this picture of us:

(Brevin's on the far right)

Of course, the flash woke us up, so the next couple are after our refreshing "mandatory quiet time"naps: Doesn't Brevin look like he woke up on the right side of the nappy-time folded over blanket? Oh well, I figure we may be having a lot of afternoon snoozes on the family room floor the next few weeks.

Thanks again for all the good wishes :) I'm sure I won't be able to contain myself much (about this pregnancy) on my blog, but I'll try and tame it in person. Have a great week, everyone!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

High Five me, please!

I think it's interesting how interested people are in other people's families. And by people, I mean me. I am interested in how others manage their kids (whether it be one kid or four kids), the pets or no pets thing, how people grocery shop for bigger families and what they make for dinner. I find the daily mundane tasks of family life interesting (which probably explains my affinity for blogs). A long time ago I learned (not through my own unfortunate circumstances, but from some of my friends) that it's a risky conversation to engage in the "are you gonna have any more kids" discussion. You just never know someone else's situation. However, I usually engage in those kinds of conversations out of simple curiosity, when the opportunity arises (more with my family and close friends), and I also hope for some perspective into my own life's mission of motherhood. I have also found that the more kids you have, the conversations change from, "Are you going to have any more kids" to "Are you done?" When I had Brock a couple years ago, I was loud and proud about sounding that final note in the Barlow family. Of course, many of my nearest and dearest had their own opinions about my choice, and didn't use restraint in engaging in the "having kids" convo by freely sharing with me, "I don't think you're done," "I'll bet you have more," or "You'll be sad when your kids grow up." Well, folks, I have been pretty adamant that four kids have filled my plate-a-plenty. I have felt so strained and strapped and stressed some times over the past couple years, that I would just pretend I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. And then, I could ACTUALLY see the light at the end of the tunnel as Brock hit his milestones. I started getting rid of the baby stuff. For good. Not the here-you-can-borrow-this-stuff-until-my-next-baby give-away, but the use-it-or-toss-it-I-won't-need-it-again-so-I-don't-care-what-you-do-with-it-as-long-as-I-don't-have-to-store-it-in-my-garage give-away. We dismantled the crib for good instead of just raising the mattress for the next baby. It's now fun to hold other people's babies since I don't have my own, but I haven't felt a yearning desire for one to take home. And, yes, I have had more nights where I slept through the night vs. being woken up by one of the kids. I have Brock on the agenda to potty train this winter, too. SO, yes, the light has gotten brighter. Woo-hoo! NO MORE DIAPERS!

Now, as for the permenance of my decision. I have prayed. I have sought the confirmation that our family is complete and I won't be facing unborn children in the afterlife. (I don't even know if that will really happen or not anyway!) I can't make heads or tails of the feelings; here's a sampling of thoughts constantly swirling: [A.) We are always blessed when we have had our kids, especially with happiness and laughter, so we should have more. B.) More than four kids is too many to give the attention to each of them as they (will and do) need. C.) Would I be trying to be prove something other than my insanity, like the peer-pressure to have a big family proves anything more than a bigger grocery bill . D.) Sure we could have more, but if that's the rationale, why stop at all? ETC.] Basically, I had to turn it over to Tyler to ultimately decide because I have pretty much decided that my pre-birthing (a.k.a. pregnancy) days are over; that Tyler will have to find another young thang to in-utero/birth the rest of his children. But with that, let me share that I do not have bad pregnancies, I am fairly normal physically, but MENTALLY I about went over the edge with Brock and handling the rest of life at the same time, so . . . I haven't gotten real jazzed since about being pregnant again. And I know that probably sounds ungrateful, so let me also say that I know it is an amazing blessing to be able to have healthy kids. But in all honesty, Tyler says I am about the only pre-partum depressed person he has known as opposed to the post-partum that has received so much coverage the past couple years. I have kinda come to the conclusion that adoption and/or fostering in a couple years would be a win-win solution for everyone. Lots of love and blessings - NO pregnancy psycosis. So, I have made appointments for Tyler to be vasectom-ized (which he backed out of twice), have positive-thought that maybe my one ovary would stop working, and had NUMEROUS conversations about the pros and cons of long-term birth control with all my girlfriends. All of that effort has produced no further definite decisions, and so. . .


Yes, Yes, Yes friends and family, the Barlows are expecting Baby #5 sometime next year. I have no idea when next year because we are still trying to wrap our brains around how this happened. YES, I know HOW it happened, but not when or, well, how we ended up in that small percentage of failure rate OR how our methods of ten years failed us. But, either way, IT IS WHAT IT IS, and we're happy about it . . . we think. I AM KIDDING, of course we are thrilled. We told the grandparents tonight and they seemed amused. Really, they laughed and smiled, etc. Kenzie came out of her bed for the millionth time while I was working on this post and I showed her the picture. Once she figured it wasn't Tyler who was pregnant (still haven't had that in-depth birds and bees talk yet), she asked all sorts of questions and was happy enough to get a little teary about it (in a good way.) On her way to her room, she stopped and pumped her fist, "YES! A sleepover at the grandmas pretty soon." Me and Kenz are hoping girl and Tyler's vote is boy; it'll be interesting to find out from the other kids in the morning what they think. I suspect they'll all be a little bummed, like Tyler was tonight, when they realize a dog won't be in our future until Barlow #5 is potty-trained. But what's a dog when you get a new baby brother or sister, right?
Agh! Yeah, my head is spinning. I know I am just barely pregnant, so I hope your prayers will be with us as we start on this nine month journey again. I am always nervous about sharing so early with the risk of miscarriages, handicaps, or multiples, but know at the same time that the Lord won't give us anything we can't handle. OBVIOUSLY!, right?! It will be my mantre for the next three trimesters. Yup, big 'ol HIGH FIVE for the Barlows :) Who'd a thunk it?

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Pics of the 1st Day of School

Kenzie 2nd grade; Caylee Kindergarten

Me and my girls on the first day of school;
I was kind of jealous they were going back and I wasn't.

Caylee and her teacher, Ms. Morrissette.
We love her already because she wears high heels and cute headbands.
I figure she can teach, too.
It started to pour on the little kindergarteners as they were walking in to class.
It ended up being a, "Hurry, let's run inside" instead of an orderly entrance.
So far, one week down, so good.