Thursday, May 29, 2008

Isn't it romatic?

A quiz from my Cynthia's blog ... and since she and I are fans of the romance genre (and, truth be told, Regency romances are just about my favorite genre [they're usually cleaner than others] ... but I also like historicals and time-travels ... and some of the supernaturals ... Well, okay, I'm eclectic. Get over it. I refuse to be pigeon-holed!!!!)

But here, my results:
Lucky you - you are the Belle of the Ball. Looks, wit, charm, accomplishments and money - you have them all. You are the toast of Society, and have received offers from no fewer than three Dukes. There is no-one who does not love you on sight. Sound good? It isn't, because to compensate for these riches, the author has something very nasty indeed in store for you. I mean, she does have to write a novel here, and you can't expect to be happy all the time. So, you have a Dark Secret. Or perhaps a Secret Love for the only man who does not appear to desire you. Or maybe you will be kidnapped, or become embroiled in a scandal, or be wagered and lost by your brother in a card game. The possibilities are endless, but you may be certain of two things. 1) You will not get through this book without some kind of scandal being attached to your name. I'm sorry, but that's just how it is. 2) Whatever it is, he (the man of your dreams, that is) will fall in love with you, rescue you, slay your opponents, defy your detractors, marry you and live happily ever after. This is a romance novel, after all.


You want to take it? Let me know your results ... because I'm all nosy like that. ^_^










(Seriously, I was trying to post my results all nice and all ... Technology is just kicking my buns today. *ugh!* Maybe I should, like, DO THE DISHES or, I don't know, FOLD THE LAUNDRY or VACUUM or something. Maybe GET A SHOWER. Gosh, I'm a big pile o' lazybones. *sigh*)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Another reason I love my daughter ...

Scene: Michael and the kidlets are watching some nature documentary on PBS. There are seals. And penguins.

Bucket: Penguin!!

*documentary narration says something about the circle of life, blah, blah, blah.*
*Seal chases penguin. It's obvious that it's not going to end happily for the penguin.*

Michael: *trying to break it gently for Bucket* The seal's going to eat the penguin. Oh well.

Bucket: *rather cheerfully* Oh well. ... Bye-bye Penguin!!

Yeah, she's got quite the character and sense of humor. We started doing the "got your nose," including the eating and spitting out of said nose. She never fell for it. In fact, she'll steal my nose, gulp "it" down, and replace it. REPEATEDLY.

She and Michael are still watching the show. They've moved from Antarctica to ... um ... elsewhere.

Bucket: Mouse.
Michael: Beaver, Bucket.
Bucket: MOUSE.
Michael: It's a beaver. See the flat tail? It's really a beaver.
Bucket: MOUSE!
Michael: ... Do you want to go to bed?
Bucket: *not missing a beat* Beaver.

Never a dull moment around here. ... But I'll say that I'm SO flippin' GLAD that they took a FRACKIN' NAP today. It's about time!

Maybe they'll stop waking up about an hour earlier than usual. I really am getting tired of my babies being awake at six-thirty ... Especially when they're usually up around 7 or 7:30.

At least they're cute.
(And Bruise is talking more. Woot!!)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

This weekend



So, we went to OMSI for Memorial Day. Really, it was about the cheapest option we had. And we were a little worried about taking the kiddos there ... but it went so very well.

There have been some changes that I wasn't aware of. OMSI now has a "Science Playground" for ages 0-6 ... Bruise and Bucket had a great time in there. They each painted with puff-paint (made from paint, glue, and shaving cream -- With all the mashing of the brush they did, their paintings aren't very 3-D, but they are cute. I should frame them. ^_^), enjoyed the water-tables (even though Bucket's sleeve got SOAKED and she did NOT appreciate that one IOTA.), crawled through the little forest tunnels like wee woodland creatures, watched the baby-eye-view tank of goldfish ... There's lots to do. They even have a nursing room, family bathrooms, and an area just for kiddos 0-24 months. (I didn't check out the nursing room. But when we have any babies with us, I'm totally going to. ^_^)

There was a dinosaur exhibit ... of the dinosaurs that were found in China. Bruise and Bucket liked the skeletons fine ... Bucket didn't really care for the animatronic ones, though. She clung to Michael like a little spider monkey for a bit there.

Bruise LOVED being in a place where he could touch buttons, buttons, and more buttons. He was happy as a pig in the mud. ... Although, he did not believe me at all that he or Bucket were ever as small as any of the embryos on display.

(Okay, total aside. Bucket just brought Bruise his toothbrush. I had called out, "Bruise! Bucket's bring you your toothbrush!" He turns around and seeing Bucket arriving with his toothbrush. "Bucket! Gank-koo!!" I mean, how sweet is he?)

They also had some good fun in the Turbine room. Bruise made a beeline to sit in the little space shuttle. Bucket was very impressed by the bottle rockets. Bruise loved the room ... with the balls ... and lots of air tunnels ... hard to explain and I'm FAR too lazy to look it up. Especially since I SHOULD be 1) on the way to storytime (which we're skipping because Bruise FREAKED THE CHICKEN OUT and I am NOT dealing with a freakout like that for up to two hours until the playdate that I'm very much looking forward to ... and 2) making up our little picnic lunch for aforementioned playdate.
Bruise also very mch enjoyed knocking down the arch that Michael and I were TRYING to build. We got really close, then he pushed on my side of blocks (don't worry too much, they're large and VERY soft. I know, because they came raining down on my HEAD.), which I then TRIPPED over. So I spoke to him very sternly and demanded a kiss.

After we were through there, it was definitely time to go. (Michael and I had stayed up LATE watching Veronica Mars episodes and had woken up a little early to get up to OMSI when it opened. We were just about dead on our feet.) We loaded the kids into the van (We had to take off Bucket's shirt and jacket since she was SO UPSET at having a soaking wet sleeve ... brought upon only by herself, of course, but still...). We stopped by McDonald's for food. Bruise and Bucket had both fallen asleep. But as soon as we had ordered, Bruise started waking up.

Bruise: *mumbles a little to himself as he stares at us from his carseat*
Michael: Hey Bruise!
Me: Bruise, you want some fries?
Bruise: *completely perks up* FRY?? YEAH!!

Bucket woke up less than ten minutes later. She ate her fries and most of her burger. Bruise ate his fries. And they liked their "juice" (Sprite. Hey, it was a special occasion, okay? They're usually deprived little children because I usually only give them water. Or sometimes milk.)

When we got home, we set them up with a movie (they had asked, okay? And we had a couple of DVDs left to get through before today. I have to turn them in to the library.), which they happily watched, as we finished season two of Veronica Mars and then watched August Rush. (August Rush? It's decent. I'm glad we checked it out of the library. But it was cute. A little too contrived to be based in reality. But it was okay.)

There was an encore episode of So You Think You Can Dance, which we planned to watch without knowing it was an encore performance.
Because, after my plea the other day? I searched for a couple hours for it online ... and finally tried my trusty YouTube ... Ah, how I love YouTube. I could write Shakespearian sonnets in iambic pentameter to YouTube. Ah, YouTube, thou art fair and comely. Thou pleases me time and again. Thou art my mana, my ambrosia ...

So Michael and I have now seen the premiere twice. It was nice to see it on a bigger screen and less pixelated ... well, except for the one guy who danced in his skivvies ... and flashed Mia, Mary, and Nigel.

Next episode is Wednesday. I'm ready for it. SO ready for it.

Also, I forgot to mention that we had a ward carnival/cook-off. The cook-off was for chili (I did one) and pies (Michael made one). The carnival was really a bunch of little races and things. Bucket would have taken first in the sprints for the Nursery-aged kiddos ... except she looked behind her to see Michael, tripped, and started crying. Bruise stopped to see if she was okay ... Michael picked her up, told Bruise to keep running. Bruise took third place.

Bruise was in the tug-of-war ... but he didn't really participate in that one so much. He really wanted to keep running around the grounds at the new church building (We were at the pavilion at the back of it.) Michael had also signed Bucket up for the hula-hoop ... um ... spin-off? She doesn't know how to hula-hoop, so I knelt with her and tried to help.
Bucket: Mommy dood it.
Me: No, baby, you need to do it. Can you hop through it? Do you want to spin it around your waist? C'mon, Bucket, can you shake your booty??

Well, Bucket didn't place there, either. But her old Nursery leader came up to me later and said, "Bucket may not have hula-hooped the best, but she definitely hula-hooped the cutest."
(Maybe because Bruise ran over to "help." ha ha.

So, for the cook-off, there were lots of titles given. I won a ladle for(not sure of the exact title, I was trying to keep Bruise from running off. AGAIN.) best texture.
(I had made a chili with chocolate in it. It was thick and had corn and chopped carrots in it. It's pretty tasty. Intriguing, but not too sweet. I like it.

Michael won the title of "Thou Shalt Not Kill ... But for a slice of this pie, I'd do it" for his creation -- A graham cracker and Nilla wafer-crumb crust, a layer of semi-sweet chocolate, a layer of banana slices, banana cream pudding, topped with homemade whipped cream. We were only able to get a slice ... and that puppy was GOOD.
We heard later that it almost won for best overall. (That title was snatched by a mint-oreo ice cream pie.) But he is the proud owner of a new cake server.

Well, to close, since I've been so bad about posting pictures, I'll put up one of the hula-hooping contest. Why this one? Well, because it has BOTH kidlets. AND me. And it doesn't feature my slouching-caused muffin-top/fat rolls.

Here you go!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Arrgh!!!!!

Do I have someone out there who loves me enough to have recorded the season premiere of So You Think You Can Dance? ... and is willing to let us come over to watch it? (Or make a DVD or tape of it for us to borrow?

Yes, we did totally space it. We're just not used to watching shows most days. We know that Bones and House are on Monday nights ... the rest of the week (since we started using the digital converters ... and lost one channel ... so we can't watch Supernatural. I know! It DOES suck!!) is just movie night for us. (Almost through with Season 2 of Veronica Mars. Don't spoil it for me, okay??)

But, yeah, if you have recorded that first episode of SYTYCD last Thursday, hook me up, okay??

kthxbai!

In which I confess my laziness ... and I might bore you with regalings of my children's exploits. Again.

So, first, to get it out of the way -- I'm kinda lazy.

I mean, SURE, I did fold a metric crapload of laundry and put most of it away yesterday. And I vacuumed the day before that. And I keep getting THISCLOSE to being caught up with the dishes.

Still, I'm about 11 days behind my daily scripture reading via ReadtheScriptures.com. And that's AFTER listening to, like, three chapters (since I do a chapter a day) this morning.

I'm still unshowered, have not done my daily brain training (Praise the Heavens above for Brain Age and Brain Age 2 ... How else might I be aware of hoe my poor brain has atrophied since I graduated college ... Though, it probably went through the wringer with that last term of student teaching. *Grr.* <-- Oh, look! I'm still uncharitable! Shun me. SHUUUUUUUUN MEEEEEEEEEEE!), still need to unload, reload the dishwasher, fold some more laundry ... I might need to wash it first, though. I'm a little behind.

BUT!! I DID finally hang up the pictures/collages that the kidlets made in Nursery at church for Mothers' Day. (CUTE: Hand print, poem, floral stickers, "Happy Mother's Day 2008, and a picture of my soulful looking children -- What, have they forgotten how to smile?? But they're still darling. I mean, at least, Bucket has that Mona Lisa-type smile-thing going on. Bruise, though? He looks like he's ready to impersonate Oliver Twist's "Please, Suh, may I have some mo'?")

Bruise has been on FIRE with the whole potty-training. I finally got tired of rinsing out his potty and used the option to use it as a potty seat on the toilet.
His bucket is getting covered with stickers. And he's recognizing when he needs to go. And he may have gone more-than-potty (If you know what I mean. And I think you do.) once. Woot for him!!

Bucket makes me laugh. When you ask her how her belly or lip feels (and if you've been following this blog, you'll know why it's common to ask her -- sweet projectile-vomiting, mouth-busting girl), she'll tell you, "No, it all better. It no hurt."
She was doing really well with praying last night. I am still coaching her, but she filled in some things to thank the Lord for ... and some things that she was praying for. She was a bit concerned to hear about Grandma L's (my pretty-much-stepmom) earache. (If it doesn't get better, L's going to be going on for a CAT scan. Kinda scary. And expensive. Eeps!) But it's adorable to hear my girl's little voice say "We. Say. Things. In. Jesus. Name. AMEN!!!!!"

Also, yesterday, as I was putting in a show for them to watch, I asked her if she wanted to watch Toy Story with JUST Buzz and Woody ("I LOVE Wooody-Bus!") or if she wanted to watch the one with the girl.

"Her name JESSIE, Mommy." (<-- this in the almost insulted tones one uses when dealing with someone incredibly dim. From my daughter! It makes me laugh. I, obviously, have no pride. :P)
"Oh, yes. You're right!. Her name IS Jessie. Very good. ... Do you want to watch Jessie?"
"Yeah!"
"Okay then!"

Next thing you know, she'll be quoting Proust or something. (Though where she'd find his works ... well, I do leave the internet up just about 24/7. Hey! You never know when you're going to wake up at 2 A.M. and NEED to know the latitude of Samoa. Not that this has happened. BUT there have been nights that I can't fall asleep and it's nice to check up on my village on Travian ... go through some emails ... play a game, maybe ... until my eyelids are not able to stay open of their own accord. Then I can blearily navigate amid myriad, painful-to-step-on toys scattered about on the floor) and gently collapse in bed, so as not to awaken my hard-working man who needs his sleep.)

Yet another facet of my life. Fun!

and, maybe TMI, there are places that one should NOT get a heat rash.
My heat rash is almost gone. Praise the Lord and all His holy angels for that. Ugh!
(And, yes, Latter-Day Saints DO believe in angels. Come on, Gabriel? The archangel Michael? Yeah, we're not all that different. Just so you know. And so I CAN use the phrase I did above. Yup. Check out my theology. Word. ... Oh, gosh, you can tell I'm tired. I need a shower to wake up. ... Some people drink caffeine, some go for a run, some do a crossword. Me? I shower.)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I have a meme ...

Truly, two of them.

First -- From Melissa (who obviously lives a MUCH more exciting life than yours truly) has tagged me to write FIVE unusual things about myself.

1. I have "Goddess toes" ... where the second toe is longer than the "big toe."
This lead my Jessima, upon reading somewhere that people with these kinds of toes tend to be very smart, to exclaim "Then Allanna must be a GENIUS!" (There's a VERY visible difference in length).

2. I like okra. And I never had it before I got married ... I still haven't managed to work up my Yankee gumption to try boiled peanuts, though Ty-ty assures me that they are teh awesome.

3. I have a scar on my bum. This is because, in first grade, I was sitting my my friend who told me to stand up. I did. Then he told me to sit down. Which I did.
What I didn't know was that he was holding his NOT-safety scissors pointy-side up.
And there was blood and crying and I have a scar! And there was a HOLE in my pink corduroy Osh Kosh B'Gosh overalls (Oh, the humanity!!!!!).
It was very traumatic.
Once I was back at my seat (after my mom rushed down the hall from her classroom in the other wing to patch up my bum), he told me never to follow anything he said ever again.

4. I also have a scar on my forehead ... it's kind of a crescent shape ... but tilted. Still, it kinda makes me feel like Sailor Moon. I got it when I was ... three? And I pulled my dad's bicycle down on myself (trying to climb on it to sit in the child seat on the back) and there was some glass bottle that I knocked down that hit my head. Got to go to the ER in town for that one. They had to secure my arms AND put me under.
From what I remember, I was very upset. I screamed for my mom. And when that didn't work (logical as I am under these circumstances), I screamed for my blankie.

5. At times, I may be a little TOO pragmatic -- Like when I was in my last (hopefully FINAL) car accident. My first thought was, "Oh no. This is going to be expensive." Closely followed by, "People are going to WORRY." and "I'm going to miss school!! Oh no!! What will my professors think?!? CRAPPIT!!!!"

If you read Melissa's (foldmylaundry), you will see that I'm really a very boring person.


SECOND MEME:

The A-Z list: come up with an alphabetical list of favorite authors and books

Off the top of my head (and a few runs to my bookshelves)(And, finally, raiding my Goodreads list):

A- Lloyd Alexander, Douglas Adams, Louisa May Alcott
B- Charlotte Brontë, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, T.A. Barron, Patricia Briggs
C- Ellen Conford, Eoin Colfer, Lewis Carroll, Karen Cushman
D- Kate DiCamillo, Roald Dahl, Carole Nelson Douglas
E- Edward Eager
F- Susan Fletcher, Monica Furlong, Jasper Fforde
G- Neil Gaiman, Edward Gorey, John Green
H- Shannon Hale, Gordon B. Hinkley, Marjorie Pay Hinckley
I- Kim Izzo, Conn Iggulden
J- Maureen Johnson, Diana Wynne Jones, Joshilyn Jackson
K- Lynn Kurland, Stephen King (Mostly for his short stories), Annette Curtis Klause
L- Gail Carson Levine, C.S. Lewis, Madeline L'Engle, Hugh Laurie (Is there ANYTHINg this talented boy can't do? Act, sing, write, have a delectable accent ...)
M- Alexander McCall-Smith, Robin McKinley, Juliette Marillier, Kristen Miller
N- Garth Nix
O- Scott O'Dell
P- Tamora Pierce, Richard Peck, Gary Paulsen, Nancy Pearl
Q-
R- Phillip Reeve, Louise Renninson, Bill Richardson, Rick Riordan, J.K. Rowling
S- L.J. Smith, Louis Sachar, Oliver Sacks, Kieran Scott, Shel Silverstein, Lemony Snicket, Shanna Swendson
T- Will Thomas, Lynn Truss
U-
V- Vivian Vande Velde, Chris Van Allsburg
W- Patricia Wrede, Scott Westerfield, Frank Warren
X- Qui Xiaolong
Y- Jane Yolen, Richard Yancey
Z- Markus Zusak

Yeah, I've read a couple authors that would be U's ... but they weren't quite in my reread pile. I can't think of any Q's at all. Sorry!

A million little links ...

Well, slightly less than a million ... but you get the idea.

And where to start??

Well, anywhere, I guess.

Well, to commemorate the pretegious even of a fourth Indiana Jones movie, let's start with those. (And, no I haven't seen it. But I'd like to. ^_^)

Mental Floss' 10 Awesome Indiana Jones Facts (plus some more in the comments. Bonus!)

And possibly the best reenactment of the classic IJ scene ... made possible by Legos. ^_^

Also humorous is Eric D. Snider's exclusive "interview" with Indiana Jones.
(Done in the same style as his Harry Potter "interview."

Random trivia about me: My dad's got a genetic disorder so he's hard of hearing and now blind. So I try and keep tabs on the news on how to treat things like that. (And also on the genetic disorder. No, I don't have it. No, my kids really don't have any chance of getting it. Nice and recessive. And the whole gene-mapping thing? Amazing.)

SO, as I was saying (well, I was GETTING to the point. Hold your horses!), I found this article referenced in Musicophilia.
It's about Michael Chorost's search for a cochlear implant that allowed him to enjoy music as he had before he lost his remaining hearing.

And with speaking of technological innovations, check out CAMiLEON Heels ... (Kari, you might like this, you shoe aficionado, you. ^_^) They're a little too righ for my blood at present, but I love the idea.

Another great retail idea: SnapTotes
-- bags with your photos on them. They have quite a variety of sizes and options available. If I were a little more flush, the moms in my life would have been getting some of these. ^_^

To shake things up, HERE's a mindless (for me. Maybe it has a purpose that you know of!) little computer game. It's called Spider ... and it's pretty cute.

If you're curious what people are doing with the economic stimulus check, go check out How I Spent My Stimulus -- We're going to save part of it (Hello college education for our children!!) ... but I haven't decided what little fun thing to do. I do want to do my part for the economy. Oh, yes, it's all about the economy ... and not at all about my materialism and the fact that Bruise and Bucket would love a trip to the zoo or the aquarium or to the Science and Industry museum (Hey, don't knock it. I LOVED the trips Mom and I took. And maybe soon, the kids'll be ready to sit through the planetarium bit. Or we can take them to the laser show ... if they still do that. It was pretty big when I was a kid. [Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth.]) And someday soon, I'd like to take them to a movie. If I was sure that they were ready to sit through a feature-length film, I'd totally take them to see Wall-E. It looks super cute and they LOVE Pixar shows.

Speaking of "when I was a kid," You have to see Young Me/Now Me over at Colorwars. Seriously, it's such a great idea! You take a picture from your childhood/past and reenact the picture ... It's great to see grown siblings sitting on each other's laps ... or grown children sitting on their folks' knees ... It's just fun. I really should do it. ^_^ It also makes me want to take a family portrait and reenact that one every few years. Just for kicks and giggles.

Now for some bits of brilliance --

From mental_floss - They did a write-up on the LifeStraw. This product is, well, AMAZING. It makes me wish I had invented it, it's that awesome. It's a straw made for an individual with a water filter built right in. And the filter is pretty nifty -- removes particles and animalcules up to 5 microns (So right now, Giardia slips through, but you're avoiding some major germs like typhoid, dysentry, E. coli, etc.).
Seriously, this is a huge development. It's brilliant!

From Neatorama (2 things) -
-- The Golden Rule: Usually when people refer to the golden rule, they're just using the Christian motto of "Do unto others as you would have others do to you."
However, in seven other major world religions, there is a direct corollary.
I like that. It makes me happy. It's nice that truth is universal. And it helps me remember that as different as we can be, we're all very much the same.
And it's nice that everyone's encouraged to play nice.

Which brings us to the other article from Neatorama.
Now, anyone who knows me knows that I am SO not a sports person.
This, however, got me teary-eyed.
The Ultimate Act of Sportsmanship - Now, if this isn't applying the Golden Rule, I don't know what is. It's stories like these that give me just a little more hope that the world isn't such a terrible place (as opposed to how the news would have me see the world -- full of greed, rage, child abusers and puppy-kickers. And you wonder why I don't leave the house so much. *joking. kinda.*).
But stories like this ... they make me feel good. They make me know that, as Anne Frank said, that people really are good at heart.

Now, just in case you're getting all weepy-eyed at that, here are a couple things to help make you laugh.

From cracked.com - The 5 most unintentionally hilarious comic strips --Seriously, this is a great article.

And, after that Discovery Channel commercial, I think this one is my new favorite.
Seriously, a car wash, people in skimpy clothing, water fights?
Sounds like a 14-year-old boy's fantasy ...
This is the way to make it Llanna-palatable.



Now, THEY're bring sexy back. Oh, yeah.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

"Dooooo Yoooooooooou Speeeeeeeeeeeeek Whaaaaaaaaale?"

Three guesses what we're watching right now ... and I'm only giving credit if you guess right on the first try.

Okay, okay. It's PARTIAL credit if you get it right the second time.

SO, where were we? Yesterday I changed a fouler-than-foul diaper. The usual stuff was going on. Kids wanted crackers, so I put some on the table for them. (Note to self: Wash off table today. You know it's gotta be bad when a two-year-old tells you that it's "too dirty." Feel shame, Llanna. LOTS of shame.)

ANNNNNND, as my dear little girl is running to the table she either smacks into something or trips (Note to self: Why does this always happen when you're not looking RIGHT. AT. HER?? Discuss.) ... I come (read: RUN) to see why she's screaming.

Well, her mouth is full of blood. (Which, as an aside, I accidentally typed "boof." Whatever "boof" is, I wish it had been in her mouth instead.)

I say a word (mostly under my breath) that I should not have said.
(Hey, what's the motto around here? Well, at the moment it appears to be "keepin' it real." I mean we've just discussed my tendency to revert to a bit of a potty-mouth when I'm under stress ... and the fact that I should call in a Hazmat team to tidy up my dining room table.)
(The other motto around here is probably my favorite quote from "Nacho Libre": "They don't think I know a buttload of crap about the gospel, but I do." ... Not that it has much of ANYTHING to do with ... well ... anything.)

I rush her over to the bathroom, sit her on the toilet seat, give her a cold, wet washcloth and assess the damage.

She's got a nice big split on the INSIDE of her lip. Near where her little back teeth are. Well, hey ... this is an improvement from last time when there was a big split THROUGH her lip, near the corner.

I give her some ibuprofen (since (1) it looks painful, (2) she's CRYING, for heaven's sake!; and (3) I'm not about to withhold the drugs. ... Especially because she's my PWESHUS BAYBEE ... and also, hey, children's ibuprofen is in a yummy liquid form ... and since it's going straight IN. HER. MOUTH., it might start numbing the pain SUPERFAST.) ... (And it appears that I'm totally right. Since she stopped crying right after she got her drugs and I picked her up and cuddled her for a sec.

Then I call Michael and cry to him ... and notice that there's a little blood on the OUTSIDE of her mouth ... where the split's gone through. BUT it's just a wee, little spot.

I wipe the blood away, put some antibiotic ointment on it, with a band-aid ... which starts her off crying again (but later? She doesn't want me to take the band-aid off. What's up with this? Discuss).

I do call the doctor's office, just in case. I stress that this time it's not near as bad as last time. I just want to know if I'm doing the right thing.

About an hour later (I guess. I wasn't paying attention to the clock. So sue me!), I get a call back. Yup, I don't have to bring her in (SCORE!!!!) ... and yes, the antibiotic ointment on the outside of the mouth is good. Just try to keep the mouth clean-ish (Which I was planning. I've been pushing the water.) ...

SO, in short, my mommy-instincts are correct. It's only taken a couple years, but I think I'm starting to get the hang of this.

As it's all starting to change. Like my kiddos? They're getting ready for potty-training. We're working at it ... but ... I mean, I won't miss changing smelly diapers ... but now I'll be at the mercy of these tiny little bladders.

But, yeah ... there was my big excitement for the day. That and the fact that my lady-parts ... not being so kind. So we went to Target to get some medicine to help my lady-parts feel not like they're in Hades. BUT, that's probably too much information.

BACK to pertinent info, Bucket and Bruise got their own buckets. And my Bucket told me she was going to build a castle with hers. She also really, really wanted the Hello Kitty sunglasses that I think are TOTALLY adorable. (If you see them, you'll recognize them.) But how does it happen that my tastes and hers are so close?? It's not like I've shown them to her and said, "THESE, my dear, are the cutest sunglasses EVER. You WILL like them." ... I don't really know how she started liking Hello Kitty that much in the first place. I mean, yeah, I have a few things. A fleece blanket from my in-laws, a Nana (HK dressed in rocker-chic fashion) keychain, a "How to Draw Hello Kitty and Her Friends" book ... And Bucket has a quillow from Mom C with HK dressed as a bunny. ... But she has lots of character-stuff that she's not all that into.

I mean, I like the Disney Princesses ... but Bucket doesn't show ALL that much interest in them. She likes her Princess light-up tennis shoes ... But ... maybe it's because she doesn't have a TON of Princess stuff. Who knows?

Am I at all sad that she loves Hello Kitty?
NO.
Especially when she sees HK and then, excitedly, turns to me and says, "Hello Kitty LOVE ME!"

I'm glad that she knows that she's loved. Even by Hello Kitty.

And, yesterday, while Bruise and Bucket were trying to use the potty chairs, we were talking. I was telling her (because her "owie" hurt) that no matter how bad we're feeling, that Jesus knows EXACTLY how we feel, because He's experienced all of our pain, sorrows, and afflictions. And that He suffered all these things because He loves us.

And Bucket lights up and says, "Jesus loves ME!!! ... I love Jesus!!"

Phew. I must be doing SOMETHING right.

The one person we don't love? Barney. That purple dinosaur is persona non grata in this crazy house.

Yet another thing I feel I've done right. ^_^

Bruise is starting to listen more. When I count (when he's doing something that he should. not. be. doing), he'll snap to attention when I get to "two." He knows that if I get past two, he's got something coming to him (and I'm not talking about Belgium truffles sent overnight, if you know what I mean. And I think you do).
(Like a stern look and a heaping plateful of disappointment. SO not that same thing as delicious, heavenly chocolate.)

So far, though, today has been good. My lady bits are not itching like hellfire(TMI, sorry. I'll try to warn you next time), the kiddos haven't drank poison or pulled bookshelves down upon themselves (not that they've ever done those things. Pulled a changing table down on themselves? Yes.) ... Life is going well.

I need to turn in Michael's and my ballots. And pick up a hold at the local library (not my FAVORITE one ... the one I have to drive to the next town over to go to).

And, yesterday was my sister-in-law (T2)'s birthday. Michael and I called her and ... well, we hadn't talked about what we were going to do. So he looked at me and I looked at him and he goes "Happy ..."
And I join in with the most terrible, off-key, horrendous version of "Happy Birthday," as he joins in .... I didn't know that he WASN'T planning to sing ... he didn't know what I was doing at first.

I think it's best summed up in my quip right before he ended the call:
"Well, THAT's not going to be on American Idol."
(TRUST ME. It was bad. But I think T2 will like it. ... Especially since her proposed ring tone for her mom's cell phone was the most purposefully off-key version of "Angels We Have Heard on High.")

(As opposed to the ring tone I did for Mom C: "MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! It's Allanna!! Please pick up the phone!!!!!" <-- a="" about="" all="" amount="" an="" and="" as="" ause="" be="" br="" breath="" extreme="" face="" have="" i="" in="" it.="" it="" made="" my="" nice="" not="" of="" on="" one="" pleasant="" please="" recorded="" rude.="" s="" said="" say="" smile="" sure="" to="" urgency.="" with="">(Or, then, there's the ring tone that Michael recorded for him mom: "Mom, it's me. Your number one son. Answer your phone." It's all very nicely done. And he is the number one son. He's the oldest. Which is yet another reason we get along so well. ^_^)(I'm not lying. It really is a factor.)

Okay, I'm shutting up.

Expect one of those posts sometime this week where I pull out a whole crapload of other cute/funny/interesting/whatever links and videos. Because I was going through my bookmarks and I do have a ton of stuff to share.
And I want my bookmarks to be more manageable again.

Hey, I'm just keeping it real, okay? ^_^ You know I love you all.

And, Annette? I'm so flattered that you think I'm hilarious.
I knew I loved stalking you!! ^_^

And Melissa? You do SO love me. I'm not worthy!
And I adore you right back. Because you send me links like this:
Joss Whedon's Musical Supervillan Ready to Hit the Web!

I mean, how can anyone NOT love this???
(Cynthia, are you as excited about this as Melissa and I are?? Had you already heard about this?)

Monday, May 19, 2008

It's been nearly a week!!

Dude, seriously ... what kind of crappy blogger am I?

(Answer: One that's a crappy blogger at present. But also one that's an AMAZING procrastinator.)

I've been SO, so, so busy lately. Playing Brain Age and Brain Age 2, mostly. (Yes. I know how that sounds. But, in real life? It's exactly how it sounds. Pitiful, huh?)
(BUT I have gotten the rocket speed on a couple things. Woot for me!)

I also have been trying to read books. Because, you know, I like books. And I have some that are coming due at the library. Books that *gasp* OTHER people want to read. Crazy, huh? I mean, who do they think they are?!? (Answer: People who want to read books that CERTAIN PEOPLE *shifty and pointed looks in my general direction* have checked out and should be reading.)

Also, Friday was the Father-Son campout for the Stake (group of wards [congregations] in a geographical area). So Bruise and Michael went. And they had a good time. It's amazing that Bruise, as he's trekking all over the campground, didn't manage to come back with poison oak. Thank goodness, though. Since *I* don't want to be all itchy. And Michael has scars on his legs from the last time we gallivanted around in poison oak. And that was when we were fresh-faced little newlyweds, too!! (As opposed to the jaded and cantankerous couple that we are now. Waldorf and Statler? You've got nothing on us! ... Well, we're not quite that bad. :P We have fun. And we rather look forward to being more and more like that duo. Except my hair will be better and I will still have my breastables. I'm just sayin'.)

But, yeah, with my menfolk out of the house, it was just Bucket and me ... hanging around. By our lonesome. So we made dinner for the missionaries ... and the poor elders had to take it home to eat it. Then Bucket and I watched The Princess Bride. Then she refused to take a bath even though it was hella-hot. I mean, it's 90-flippin' degrees!!! And she's got this mass of sweat-curls going on ... so I just nurse her and get her to bed. And she slept wonderfully.
Leaving me all by my lonesome.
So, what do I do? I alternately read, throw a load of dishes in the dishwasher, fold and put away laundry, play Brain Age, and read some more ... finally falling asleep about 1 A.M. ... and waking up around 7 to play more Brain Age, get Bucket up, and do some weeding in the yard (which is a veritable jungle. No, really.)
Then, after that, she and I are watching me prepare dinner (crock-pot, since it's hella-hot. Did I mention that it's hella-hot??) ... and I'm peeling sweet potatoes. And I peel a chunk off my knuckle on my thumb. Now that didn't feel pleasant. And, oh, it was bleeding a bit. So she follows me as I (CALMLY) jet to the bathroom, apply some ointment, a band-aid, and some tape on top of that to help apply pressure to stop the bleeding.

Oh, and also, after Michael and Bruise returned home safely (and EARLY. they were home around 9 in the morning. I was thinking that they'd be getting home around 11 -11:30), the kiddos played with the cats. And Ginger got all mad ... so we had them leave her alone.
BUT, when Michael and I had put the kids down to take a nap (which they did NOT do. *sigh*), I discovered that right next to my pillow was a HUGE puddle of cat urine.
SO, we had to strip the bed, throw pillowcases and sheets and some blankets into the washer. (At least she missed my pillows and some of the blankets. But STILL.
And Ginger had a few hours' timeout in the shower. Where she did get hosed down a couple times. I think that she got the point, though.
Especially since, when I talked to her last night ... well, here's what went down after we had turned out the lights last night:

Me: Ginger, no peeing on the bed. You know that I love you. Because if I didn't love you, I would strangle you.
*thump*
Michael: Did Ginger just jump off the bed?
Me: Yup. She's not trying her luck, now, is she?

Oh! At Target we found a set of sheets (KING-SIZED, even!) for $20. They're jersey and are nice and cool. Sweet!! Especially since we only have two other sets of sheets. One cotton and one flannel. And with it being warm, we are SO not putting flannel sheets on the bed. Nope, not gonna happen.

In OTHER news, here are some things I've meant to share before now. Hey, at least I've gotten around to it now!! ^_^

The next new movie based on a game or book?
(Warning: a f-bomb is dropped. But just the one.)

(Sorry about that f-bomb. You okay?? I did warn you!)

THIS is a great article by Steve Almond (author of Candyfreak, which was a most excellent book. Don't read it unless you've got some sugar around. I was seriously jonesing for some BottleCaps and stuff as I read it a couple years ago.)
Seriously, though, this is a great article for parents. I think he's gotten the idea ... He's going to be a good daddy. ^_^

And THIS could encourage people to go to the Symphony a little more often, right?


And let's not forget that this blog IS all about me, right?
Here's my latest quiz results (stolen from my friend Brooke):




You Are A Pine Tree



You love agreeable company, peace, and harmony.

Compassionate and friendly, you love to help others.

A natural poet, you have a very active imagination.

You are very soft on the inside - needing affection and reassurance.

You can fall in love deeply, but you will leave if you feel betrayed.



So, yeah. That's most of what's going on in my crazy life. ^_^

And Bruise is starting to use some sentences. Mostly stuff like, "Mommy. Crackers please." But that TOTALLY counts. ^_^ AND, AND!!! He's said "Thank you" a few times.

Wow ... one of my kids is RIPE. I've got to do some Detective Llanna work and apprehend and change that little punk. Woosh! That was PUNGENT!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

As the World Falls Down

... Is the song stuck in my head the most.

Because I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Labyrinth. Finally got the Bowie songs from it on my computer. Yay!

I also replaced the shower caddy in our bathroom. (The old one's in the kids' bathroom. Makes the place a little cleaner. ^_^) I'm ALMOST caught up on laundry. I had almost caught up on the dishes ... then I made dinner last night.

Friday, Michael and I went to the temple. AGAIN, I am told (by two gals) that my taste in music is ... surprising. What should I make of this?
Yes, I have AC/DC on my iPod. I also have a couple Ozzy Osbourne songs. What of it? I try not to have too many songs with profanity. I'm eclectic, though. I like lots of stuff.


Saturday, I had my sister-in-law's baby shower. It was good. There were meatballs. (YUM!!) I didn't win any of the games. Not that I usually do. Oh well. But I did get to write down the list of who all gave what. ^_^ It's nice to be useful. And I got to talk books with Jenny. Not that she and I don't have each other as friends on Goodreads.com already. ^_^

Mother's Day was nice. I got to sleep in a little (ALWAYS a plus). And the kiddos weren't too badly behaved. I think they really tried. Which was awesome. We got to church pretty much on time. (It's the last time that I won't have to drive myself and the kids to church. But, hey! Next week we'll be in the new building. That should be cool.)
I got a chocolate-covered strawberry at church. And Dianne game me a CD (for a birthday/Mother's Day present). (I feel bad because I need to take it out of my purse and listen to it. I'm sure it's excellent, since she's got great taste. ^_^)
Michael and the kids gave me my own copy of Brain Age (now I can return Jenny and Joseph's!) AND Brain Age 2 (I really like the little piano-game in there. All my years of lessons, which i repeatedly quit, finally pay off! Yay for getting the "jet speed" score!).

I also got an ice cream cake. Yay! The kidlets picked out which flavor. they chose chocolate peanut butter. And, dang, it's good!! (I knew I liked those kiddos. ^_^ Score for me shaping their taste buds! -- If only they ate the REST of their okra last night. They said the one piece they each ate was good, though.)

And, my dear friends, happy belated Mothers' Day to you (or your wives and your moms and friends). You can be wished a happy Mothers' Day even if you're not a mom. It's like the Fourth of July. I'm neither a fourth nor a July. :P

(I think I need more sleep.)
(No, I KNOW I need more sleep. I haven't been able to fall asleep easily the last few nights. *sigh* Wish me luck at getting better at that, okay? ^_^)

I made the kidlets watch Labyrinth with me yesterday. Bucket liked it fine. she thought it was HILARIOUS when Toby (the baby) gets taken by the goblins. Bruise? He was more interested with playing with his cars. But that's okay.
And, hey! I'm expanding their horizons. Maybe we'll watch The Dark Crystal sometime this week. And maybe Legend.
And it wouldn't be bad for us to watch Star Wars ... I know Michael'd approve of that. And this way, the kidlets would be totally ready for Star Wars Trivial Pursuit when they can read. ^_^ (I need a regular edition of Trivial Pursuit. We have SW and the Book Lover's edition. And the Book Lover's is HARD. I mean, you all probably have an inkling of how much I read ... and I really suck at it. I do okay in only two categories: Classics and Potpourri. *sigh* How galling is THAT?!?)

I finished the ninth in the Ladies' Detective Agency series (by Alexander McCall-Smith). It was just as good as I expected. If you haven't read the series, you should. They're mysteries ... but, as Michael says, they're not that mysterious. I think they're a bit more cultural-heavy than mystery ... but I like them. And now I want to go to Botswana. (At least, I want to hear how one should pronounce names and stuff in the language.)

Okay, I'm closing up. Bruise is sitting on my lap, playing with his car and saying, "Beep beep!/Mee(p) mee(p)!!" ... So my back's getting tired from balancing him (as he nearly pokes. me. in. my . EYE.) and trying to type decently. (Yeah, let's see Bill Gates program and stuff with a wiggling toddler on his lap, trying to play with three toy cars and draw and grabbing stuff off the desk ... with a running, lisping commentary. ... But it's cute. Still, let's see Bill Gates bring it.)

So, later gators!

Friday, May 09, 2008

I am ashamed ...

Why am I ashamed?

It's been over a week since I've blogged! You probably were feeling like I didn't love you all anymore. Well, be assured that THAT is not the reason.

The real reasons?
1) Brain Age for the Nintendo DS - Curse 'Seph and Jenny, they're the ones that lent me their addicting little game cartridge. (On the plus side? I'm using my brain. AND I now know how to do a sudoku puzzle. Score!! I feel way cooler ... in a very geeky kind of way.)
2) I've been lazy -- reading blogs, cleaning house ... but not blogging myself. (If it makes you feel at ALL better, I FINALLY got caught up on reading my comics. It appears that May 2 was the last day I had done that.)
3) Getting over my plague. I LOVE antibiotics. Tuesday morning, I realized I had forgotten to take one dose. Oh, my dears, let me tell you ... I NOTICED IT. Ugh.

I might have blogged yesterday. But I was a little preoccupied.

Bucket came up to me and said, "Mommy. My tummy hurts." I gave her a snack and some water.
Later, "Mommy, my tummy hurts." "Oh, sweetie. What should we do about it? *lift Bucket onto my lap.* Are you hungry? *Bucket nods* Should we get you a snack? *Nods. I put her down.*"

Then ... Blaaaaaargh. Squish. Squish. Waaaaaaaaah!!!!! <-- Those are the sounds of a puke and a cry. I head over to to kitchen while talking to soothe my poor sicky. And, again, Blaaaaaaargh. Squish. Squish. Squish. On the carpet.

As I get a towel and try not to gag myself, I ask her, "Does your tummy feel better?"
"Yeah."

(Now if I could say that her diapers were at all pleasant. You know that it's bad when you're nursing a child, you hear "Fluurp. Squish, squish." ... And you start to gag at the stench emanating from your dear, sweet princess' posterior. Oh ... it cannot be described. It is the stench of evil. And it should not be present in your daughter's waste products. (And let's not mention that her diaper was so full of this evil this morning that it had come out the FRONT of her diaper. Poor princess. The piteous tone she employed when saying, "Mommy, I POOPY!!" ... Ah, it cannot be borne.

Now, Bruise? How is he doing in all this, you ask. He's fine ... He's using more words. He even wanted to do his own prayer last night (Since his sister is now praying, he didn't want to be left out. However, between you and me? It's much easier to pray if you TALK. :P). He's getting into a little bit of trouble here and there ... ripping a book (capital offense to this mommy. But you shouldn't be surprised at that.), closing doors, climbing over the gate into Mommy and Daddy's room ... Throwing a few tantrums ... just the normal two-year-old-type stuff.

He's absolutely enthralled with all things cars and trucks and trains. Just don't make him SAY the word truck. It sounds remarkably like he's dropping f-bombs. Hopefully, this will change. SOON.

The kids are back to taking naps. Thank goodness! Since Friday-Sunday they didn't get much of any naptime at all. And, you know, I NEEEEEEEEEED them to take naps. When else can I fold laundry or play Brain Age?!?!??

Monday, T and her son came over to play. Her new haircut is wicked-cute.
We took the kiddos to a park to see the ducks and to play on the slides and whatnot there. Bruise was ALL OVER climbing up to the BIG slide, whereas Bucket was more than content with the smaller, wide slide. And T got a cute picture of Bucket and her son hugging. (I think there may be a half-planned betrothal going on here. We'll see. It makes me laugh, though ... Bucket will NOT let him kiss her. Ha!!)
(After T and her son left, it was naptime. The kidlets were still cranky as we went grocery shopping later. So Bucket went to the car with Michael and Bruise helped me shop. ... It's so strange shopping with one child. It's easier ... and just strange.)

Tuesday, my nieces came over so their mom could go on a lunch date ... Still no name picked out for our nephew. But she and my brother-in-law have time at least a month. (I wasn't feeling it, having a nephew named Nicodemus? Just ... yeah. My mom says that her prayers are answered. Funny, since that's MY mom, not one of the future boy's grandmas talking. ^_^) Bucket greeted her cousins with a hug and a kiss at the door. Bucket and Bruise were SO, SO, SO(!!!!) excited to have their cousins over to play. They had a good time. And were plenty tuckered out to get a good nap. Yessssss!

I don't remember Wednesday. Except that Michael and I finished watching season one of Veronica Mars. (Do you think I'd look good with that haircut?) We liked it a lot ... except for the glamorized, prevelant teen drinking. There were some plot points that are a little contrived ... but I enjoyed it enough that I am eagerly awaiting my hold at the library (for season 2). (Yes, Cynthia. You were right. It IS a very awesome show. I never doubted you. ... And bad news? Since we switched to our digital receiver? We no longer get the CW ... so that means we don't get to watch Supernatural. So we'll have to catch it online. *glower* Stupid digital receiver.)

Yesterday, we watched "The Dance" ... one of those Mormon-cinema-genre movies we've been meaning to watch for, oh, like a YEAR. It was cute. (Thanks again, Jenny!) Then I played more sudoku as we watched an episode of Firefly.
Oh, and I had made chicken in a peanut sauce for dinner. It was pretty tasty! Yay!! (Yet another reason to make coconut milk a staple in one's pantry. Yeah. I'm special like that. I find ONE recipe that I like with it in it ... so I try and pick up a few cans every so often. Because that's how I roll. :P)

Okay, I need to go so I can stop yelling at my kiddos. As Bruise asks for about the fourth snack today. And it's not even 10 A.M. *sigh* I should feed them, huh?

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Picture time!!

My handsome little man:


Lately Bruise is ALL ABOUT cars and trains and trucks. He also has figured out ways to open their bedroom door. And he can scale the gate into our bedroom. He prefers to have Ernie on his diaper. He likes to snack and doesn't care so much for eating meals.
He's talking more and more. We're still working on his pronunciation of certain consonant blends, if you know what I mean (since he really shouldn't go around apparently dropping enthusiastic f-bombs as he's really pointing out vehicles).

And what about my Bucket?


Mostly (I say mostly, because she IS two-years old), she is a sunny and sweet-tempered little miss. She also loves to watch "Cars." She adores Sesame Street, Hello Kitty, and Thomas the Train.
She's our good eater. She actually eats just about everything. One of her favorite things is broccoli. And chicken. (She doesn't care for those small tomatoes. She thinks they're grapes every time. And is sorely disappointed again and again when they are not.)
(Also, she's our resident drama queen. Not that Bruise is far behind her.)


Here's the dynamic duo "helping" Grandma L water her plants

But, overall, they can be a ton of fun. (When they're not whining and fighting ... as is happening RIGHT NOW. I mean, really? Do they just WAIT for me to write something nice so they can IMMEDIATELY refute it? ... Sometimes I wonder. I really do.)

Fun things:
Bruise BUSTS UP when I tell him "No." It's like a game we play.
They DEMAND to be tickled.
They sometimes play until they drop. (Not so often with Bruise. He's like the flippin' Energizer Bunny, I tell you!)
Bucket wants to pray at night. So I feed her some lines ... which she tries to anticipate.
Me: We thank You for ...
Bucket: We. Thank. For. ...
Me: Grandma and Grandpa.
Bucket: GrammaGrampaBruiseBukkitCousinCousinMuttiPoppiMommyDaddy LOVE ME!!!!!
Me: ... Good job. ... "Help us have a good"
Bucket: Help. Good. BED!"
Me: ... Well, I was going to say "day," but I guess that works.


Life certainly isn't dull.

(As I have Bucket on my right asking for me to read her "Mousey Book" (Baby Mickey's shapes) and Bruise hopping on my left, begging for snacks. *sigh*

My Two Cents

As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS), I should (finally) weigh in with what my feelings are about the situation regarding the Fundementalist (FLDS) Church and the raids going on in Texas.

My first thought is that ... I don't know much about the situation. However, being a slave to the internet (the first step in overcoming an addiction is to admit you have a problem. ^_^), it's not a truly valid excuse.

The LDS church does not practice polygamy. Doing so would get one excommunicated. Even if one were in a culture where having more than one spouse is not illegal (like in the Middle East or something).

Yes, our church did practice polygamy ... over 150 years ago. As did many of the prophets and leaders in the Bible.

BUT, the main point is that we (the LDS church) do NOT practice polygamy. And have not done so for generations.

My second thought is (because I am a bit of a lactivist) that the foster care system has screwed up in the case of separating nursing children from their mothers. For a country that prides itself on tolerance ... Well ... Let's just put it this way: We (as a nation) don't mind showing sex and violence. We tolerate prostitution and pornography. But don't ask us, as a nation, to allow mistreated adults and children to remain together. Because to allow this would be going too far. We can't show compassion and sympathy towards people. Oh, no.

Another thought I have is that the original call made to report the going-ons in Texas was made falsely. I do agree that if there's child molestation going on that, yes, this should be checked out. BUT if a neighbor called the cops on you for something they made up ... and that ended up in your family being split up for months and nurslings taken from their mother ... well, I don't think that you (nor the court system) would be too happy about it.

...

Well, I suppose that to sum up my opinion, it'd be something like this:

The LDS church and the FLDS church are VERY different (Try comparing Baptists and Methodists ... I mean, hey! On the one hand, they're BOTH Protestant Christian religions, right? They should be JUST THE SAME!!! But they're NOT. Same thing for us and the Fundamentalists. There are some total and complete differences.

At the same time, we are all children of God. I think that we should all treat each other with a little more kindness.

Also, I do NOT support a foster care system that takes nurslings from mothers who are not mistreating them. I think this is a total overreaction ... and I also think that it would not be going above and beyond for these social workers to provide a living area for these women and their children to heal and remain together.

...

Do I agree with the beliefs of the FLDS church? No. That's why I'm not a member of their faith.

Do I think that they are a terrible bunch of people? No. I think that many of them may be in a bad situation. It's not outside the realm of possibility that there is abuse and mistreatment in their community.
I say that because, at this point, there appears to be that evil in every community.
Which often makes it hard to trust people (as a whole).

Do I think this situation could be handled more effectively? Hell, YES.
One - don't split up families without good reason.
Two - It would help if the families cooperated with the authorities. (Yes, the fathers and husbands are in a slew of trouble. But there's nothing that I can see to be gained by wasting everyone's time during the investigation.)
Three - I haven't come up with a third. Maybe you all can help me with this.

So, yeah. That's what's going through my mind.

Counting ...

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