Monday, June 7, 2010

V-I-O-L-A-T-E-D for 15 points

So, LAAAATE last night I was having trouble sleeping, so I busted out my itouch and downloaded "Words with Friends." Ya know, it's like Scrabble online. And at 1:30am after a rousing family game of Settlers of Catan and then my sister and I sit in the car working out all life's issues, that's what I do to put myself to sleep. Since I didn't know my mother-in-law's or brother-in-law's screen names (Oh! and since it was the middle of the night), I went ahead and clicked the button to create a new game with someone random.

I get all these tiles on my screen and the scrabble board when I realize I am not sure how to really play this game. I was swapping tiles and trying to figure out a word, but none of my tiles would drag onto the board when I see the little chat bubble in the top. "Oh, bonus," I think, "conversation with the stranger. I can ask him how to play." So, this was my next 3-ish minutes:

DylanThomas123456: "Hey"
me (Momma Barlow): "Hi. I'm still trying to figure this out, so be patient with me." LEAPT shows up on the board.
DylanThomas123456: "Where you from"
me: I post something. Can't remember what. "Las Vegas," I answered. "You?" I swapped tiles again because really? 2 Y's and 2 C's!?
DylanThomas123456: posts LOOSER
me: "So, if I swap tiles is that a turn?" "How do I get the tiles on the board"
Dylan Thomas123456: "Click and drag the tiles. Do you have MSN?"
me: Put some word down (can't remember now what it was), answer, "No."


DylanThomas123456: "I want to see your vagina."

I felt SO disgusted and violated and I am sure I gasped out loud.

Quickly I went back to try and resign from the game, but I couldn't because it was the perv's turn to play. And the game continues, even if I logged off the stupid game. So, I wrote back, "Does that mean you can't make up a word?" and then added, "and no."

oh, and I was so grossed out. I mean WHO DOES THAT? Why? Oh, man. Maybe I am just too naive to think there's some decency in the world. And who's the nast who tries to pick up on people playing SCRABBLE?!!! LAME. Grody. {{shiver}}

So, since I wasn't playing his dirty game, DylanThomas123456 posts "POX"and I immediately resigned.

But here's what else bugs me, I get a notification that HE WON because I resigned the game. Dumb game will be deleted and I'll be writing a R-E-V-I-E-W.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Calling out

Just another quick post.

The other day I posted on facebook that Lori Day was in great need of prayers. And several people commented that they would pray for her. That was really wonderful.

And, I kid you not, Lori is making a miraculous recovery.

Despite having had a brain aneurysm burst at the end of one of her dance classes, she never lost consciousness, survived a harrowing surgery, and is literally marching and tap dancing down the hallways with the physical therapist. Lori has taught my daughters dance for the past 9 years(and upteen thousands of other girls for 31 years.) She is a wonderful example of strength and love and patience (have YOU ever tried to teach 20 3 year olds a dance routine?!). I have admired her for as long as I know her; Kenz inadvertantly calls her "Grandma" all the time; and I have no doubt that all the prayers uttered for her benefit last week have helped her make this miraculous recovery.

SO, since that worked out so well, I hope those of you that read this will keep sweet Kolby Crampton in your prayers. Her mom, Dana, has really taken to the blogosphere like a champ and is chronicling their story on their blog, . Please go to their blog and read about their fight and send them some support by a comment. Even if you don't know them, I know they appreciate the motions of love. And pray for them. I cannot comprehend a fraction of what they're going through, but man, if my prayers are being heard, it's for more good days and less bad ones for all of them. Thanks y'all.

That Age of Accountability

Later today, Caylee will be baptized. She's 8 and thus deemed "accountable" in the the eyes of the Lord. And I am sitting here at 2am wondering if she's really ready for the whole process of making real choices. Real choices means asking for forgiveness when she makes the wrong ones. Wrong choices means heartache or pain or [ew!] consequences, and it's been much easier on me to think of her as my baby girl and absolve her from all that reality. I guess, up until today, that it. Real choices also mean she'll learn from her choices and start to walk her own path. As a her mom, it pretty much scares the bejeebies out of me. While I was all gung-ho for Kenzie to grow up, I think I may want to keep my Caylee Bug little for a bit longer. Like this:

Caylee announced to us tonight that she had a "most awesome, wonderful day." To end on that note is quite a feat with Caylee since she goes up and down the scale throughout, and most times ends in a tired slumped state. For weeks she's been looking forward to lunch with sweet Natalie Roach in our ward. She and Caylee have a birthday just a day apart and when Caylee pointed that out to Natalie, Natalie offered a lunch date to celebrate the occasion. It. Made. Caylee's. Month. To even steep the deal, Natalie took Caylee out to get a bona fide pedicure. At lunch Natalie spoke of a kindred spirit with Caylee [and others] who are 2nd borns. It was like she just "got" Caylee and all her passion and sensitivity. I'm really grateful to her for taking the time to make Caylee feel loved and special. Natalie will have a special place in my little girl's heart forever. And boy oh boy are her toes darling.
Caylee has always been full of fire and spit. She's a lover and a fighter, a leader AND a follower. As a baby, Caylee was hard. [Honestly, her being a baby and Brevin being a baby are all kind of a blur and I don't remember it being THAT bad, but others (like Tyler) assure me she was a toughie.] Even now I have a hard time with her stubborn streak and the range of emotions. While I joke about her being bipolar, I am proud of the way she has learned to identify what the real issue is. She can tell us if her incoherent ranting and raving is because she's tired, or because she needs some attention, or because she's frustrated. Of all my kids, I'd say Caylee's emotions are right on her sleeve. Because of that, she's also my most generous of spirit. When Caylee greets you with happiness, it's genuine. When she loves, she gives it all to you. I'm blessed to see her in action with other people.

As I think about how quickly the time has passed since she was born, I really marvel at the way she has grown into a little lady. She loves all things girl, but doesn't fuss about it as much as her older sister. Before I know it she'll be going into Young Women, starting high school, dating and graduating. All Caylee has really ever wanted was to grow up to be a mom. I NEVER realized that could be an be-all-end-all ambition as a little girl, and I thank Tyler for instilling that honor in my girls. I push my girls to dream up a college degree they want and Tyler reminds them there'd be nothing to make him prouder than if one day (when they're in their 30s) they were good moms. Who knows where her life will take her, but I have NO DOUBT she'll keep us holding our breath and crossing our fingers as we follow her. And I am sure she'll be dancing a long the way, because as she told Natalie today at lunch, "I think Kenzie is a better singer, but I got the moves."

I just love this little girl. She gets the idea of family and solidarity and commitment to each other like none of my other kids. She'd just assume play with her cousins and siblings than any of her friends from church or school. I already appreciate Caylee's loyalty and passion. I think that will bring her so many blessings in her life.

So, yeah. In a few hours I'll be all a hoot and a fluff trying to make sure I've got the house all cleaned and everyone will enjoy the dinner after her baptism. We'll talk about what it means to be accountable and then she'll take her dad's hand and be taken into the waters of baptism. I feel a great happiness that she'd want to eximplify the Savior in this way and that she is ready to commit to being a member of our church. I feel the responsibility on my shoulders. It's time for me to be accountable too. I sure hope I've taught her enough so far.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


The story for today is about how I had Caylee's thermos of 4 week old mashed potatoes literally explode all over me and my kitchen when I pried it open to clean it. I couldn't, for the life of me, figure why the thermos wasn't opening that easily, but a few short seconds later and covered with vomit-smelling curds, I realized there was probably some serious gas built into that small thermos to have it explode all over the room. As I stood there totally stunned, I thought how if I were a stellar mom I could swiftly convert that into a science lesson for my stay at home boys, or I should grab my camera to document the nastiness, er, I mean beauty of being a SAHM, BUT instead I totally made gagging noises while my boys whined about the stench. Have I explained enough that it EXPLODED? Like, BAM? or BOOM? It was crazy. I'd call it the highlight, but that wouldn't be fair to my girls' dance recitals that came AFTER I washed the putrid sludge off my clothes, face, walls, cupboards, furniture, counters . . . seriously it sprayed everywhere. UGH. It was nast. Trust me. {{shiver.}}

So, since I have been all up in my blog-ness the past few days, I figured I should continue to dump my swirling thoughts here and there. Otherwise they swirl out of my mind and I have NO clue what to write when I sit down and look at my computer. And when I don't have anything to write about I then end up on facebook or watching a Netflix documentary (it's kinda my new addiction). Neither of those options are interesting to my posterity or the world wide internet (and by that I mean the very few of you who actually still read this blog. Oh, as an extra bonus for those of you that do read this and want to read something more interesting AND bizarro, click on this link -->This is a crazy story)

But since I mentioned you who do read my blog. I like knowing someone out there is reading, however, I don't really mind if you don't make comments. Don't get me wrong, I like comments and it's nice to know something struck your fancy enough that you'd want to give me a LOL or even a FLOL (fake LOL), or comment your thoughts on my thoughts. It's kinda like we're having a passerby conversation, and you know me. I just love any kind of a conversation. BUT, I am also a really poor commentor. I read several blogs and have far too many to confess linked to my google reader, but rarely do I actually branch to their real site to leave a comment. So, I am not throwing any lack-o-comment stones or anything. In fact, I don't really know where I am going with all this, but basically, my lack of commenting on others' blogs does not mean I am giving their blogs the 'ol high school hallway cold shoulder or anything, it's just that I am really focused on zoning out and being lazy. Oh bother. Why am I blogging this?

BUT since I mentioned blogs, let me share a little somethin' somethin' with y'all. There is a wonderful family in our Las Vegas Warm Springs LDS stake named the Cramptons. I first came to love them when I was serving in the stake young women presidency and their cute daughter, Kylie, was one of the young women that we got to work with (for youth conferences, camp, dances, etc.) and Dana (Kylie's mom) was serving as one of the ward's young women presidents within the stake. Any conversation with Kylie and/or Dana was a great one in my book and they oozed love and fun and goodness. Dana is married to John and when I say he's a super-star seminary teacher I am not just trying to make them sound even more wonderful than they really are (they just really are THAT wonderful.) John has taught for several years and I personally know of kids who would refuse to register for seminary unless they could be in Bro. Crampton's class. Now, for as long as I have known the Cramptons, Kylie and I have been close, [She's a doll and totally married now and having a baby boy in 9 short weeks and has even started a blog that you need to go read because now the secret's out about how much I love her!] but Kylie is just the innards of a delish Crampton girl sandwich. Her older sister Kristie and little sister Kolby have always felt, to me, completely familiar and comfortable from the first day I met them. Example: I happen to stop by the stake center to drop something off the day Kristie was being released at the stake center from her mission, and I was totally gushing about how excited I was for her. We'd never met and she was super sweet and kind and probably totally overwhelmed at the spaz who was all up in her business. And Kolby, well, I've always known Kolby's every young woman move since she turned 12 and was the new Beehive on the block. ANYWAY. I love their guts. The whole lot of them and they are super cool. If this paragraph hasn't convinced you, you'll have to just take my word for it.

So, a couple Saturdays ago I found out some very sad news. Sweet Kolby had been officially diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma. I knew she'd been sick and had fb chatted with Kylie earlier in the week about what tests were being run, etc., but the news of Kolby's cancer left me feeling very sad and humbled and emotional and helpless. Pretty deep for just an outside friend, huh?! I can't even imagine the depths of emotions the entire Crampton family and their close friends were experiencing. Anyhow, I just prayed and thought all day long about the family and Kolby and what, if anything, I could do to help. I chatted with her YW president and asked her to just let me know if anything came up that I could help with, etc. Later that Saturday afternoon I went to the temple. Of course, the family was on my mind a lot and I was very overcome with emotions throughout the whole session [just a whole bunch of stuff going on, not just them.] I was praying very intently for the inspiration to come about what I could do for a family who has had such a positive influence in my own life and clear as a bell, I thought, "I should start Kolby a blog. She can tell her stories and they can write it all down for posterity and then people will know how's she's doing without completely invading their lives..." and then I began to think about how ABSURD that line of thought was, "Really Lord? THAT's what I get? A blog is my answer?!" 1) I wasn't THAT close with the family. 2) Sure, I love the blogosphere, but I'm not sure everyone else has my same testimony of it all 3) How in the world would THAT come up in conversation. It was just a wacko thought and I hestitated to share it with Tyler on the way home. However, when I did, he didn't poo poo it or anything. I figured then that I'd just have to see if it ever came up with the Cramptons; then I'd offer.

The next day, Sunday, I knew I wanted to visit Kolby. She was still in the hospital finishing up some tests in preparation for her chemo, and so I snagged my bestie Barb and we met Kylie and the other Cramptons up at Sunrise hospital for a liesurely visit. Now. It's pretty much without hesitancy that I tell y'all what a rockstar Kolby is. Beyond her physical darling-ness and serious cute-batooty-ness, she has a steely resolve and strength I have hardly ever seen in someone so young. It was wonderful (for me) to see two girls (Danielle Richards and Becca Mohler) there chatting with Kolby, Kristie, and her folks. On our way up we passed the Dows and Natalie Roach, friends from the stake and it made me realize even more the love that we are all blessed to share with one another. Kolby was wearing a cute "Slam Dunk Cancer" shirt that she had from a school charity event and I was not surprised she had that in her cache of stylish clothes. I told her she ALWAYS knew how to dress for the occasion. And then we all visited. I talked mostly with Dana (and man, what an inspiration are the parents of a daugher THAT wonderful, right) and they were all laughing and in great spirits. And of course, they're going to fight that cancer. Pretty much the plan is to kick it's butt. As I was talking with Dana, the conversation came so easily to me talking to her about a blog. It was easier than buttering a warm muffin. I thought it would be so awkward and weird, but Dana was interested and easy about it. So, I offered to set one up for Kolby. And I did. Last night I went to their house and we visited. I showed Kolby and Dana the ins and outs of the basic blog and I am sure before I know it, Dana will be the blog extordinaire. They were excited. I felt grateful. I think they could use all the love and support they can get, whether they know who's supporting them or not. So, I hope you all will click HERE and check out their blog. (P.S. I know MANY of you have way cuter blogs. Pa-lease offer to help Dana be more savvy. My knowledge is small in that arena, but she's super anxious to learn more and make it super cool.)

Furthermore, this week, we found out that my girls' dance teacher, Lori Day had a brain aneurysm. In dance class last Thursday. But a SERIOUS miracle and tons of prayer, I believe, she survived surgery and is recovering beyond expectations. Lori's daughter, Natalie, took over tonight for the girls' dance show and it was MARVELOUS. Tomorrow will be another recital, and Lori will continue to heal. It just really puts my whole life into perspective when I think about Lori shuffle stepping one minute and being life flighted to second hospital the next. Or thinking about Kolby cheering at football games in the fall and now self-talking herself into taking all her meds every day. I am blessed. I am grateful for those blessings. And to witness tender mercies on a regular basis makes me know how loved I am by God.