Monthly Archives: August 2011

Back to work

Today I officially re-enter the employed workers of America! I’m so excited! After being a stay at home mom for nearly 12 years, I’m definitely ready and willing to work outside of my home. Granted I had jobs here and there, none of which lasted too long. I found it difficult to work outside of my home when my kiddos needs were so strong. But now, I’m ready!

A look inside the new Disney Store.

My new “job” won’t really feel like work to me, though. I’m going back to my Disney roots and working as a Cast Member at the brand new store here in the Seattle area. For those of you that don’t know, I met my husband while working at the Disney Store 15 years ago. We got married in Disneyland. We vacation there about once a year. To me, Disney is fun, not work. I’m just lucky enough to get paid to have fun!

After being at home with 6 kids all summer, I definitely feel the desire to temporarily leave Mommy duties behind. Now, here I go!


The SAHM’s eternal question: Now what?

Maybe I should rephrase this into, my eternal question.  But from what I’ve learned from friends and social media, most moms feel this way.

This was my favorite book as a little girl and what helped me know that I wanted to be a mommy.

When I was a little girl, I vividly remember day dreaming about being a mommy.  Doing laundry and hanging it to dry on the clothes line outside.  Walking to the grocery store with my baby in a buggy, the sun beating down on us.  Quietly knitting in my rocking chair while my little ones played together in the living room.  Even as I got older and held a full-time job, I dreamed about what my kids would look like, what their names would be, how many would I have, and how far apart would they be in age.  If life was really like this, who wouldn’t want to be a stay-at-home-mom?

And then I had a baby!  Life was pure bliss!  We did take long walks in the sun.  I became crafty.  I was mommy machine.  Yes, this is what I always dreamed of!  But life wasn’t quite complete.  Duane and I decided to build our family.  Just a little.  19 moths after Audrey, we had baby #2.  My long relaxing visits with the sun and stroller became fewer and far between.  My craft skills got packed away in my craft trunk.  The mommy machine became tired.  What happened to the memories and dreams of my childhood?

Slowly but surely, I came out of my mommy-coma and started taking care of myself again.  It seemed like a long process.  In the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t, but at the time, it felt like a forever.  Our little family of 4 bought a house, added two more kids plus a dog and a cat.  We were big and busy.  I learned how to grow a garden, can my goods and cook like a gourmet.  Yes, life was good again!  But still something felt like it was missing.  Just a little piece of myself.  Even though I had what I had ALWAYS dreamed of,  I felt deprived.  I couldn’t figure out why.

Thank God for God!  I put all of my hopes, dreams, and desires into what HE wanted for me.  I learned to be happy.  Take pride in everything I did.  After all, He created me.  I needed to be the best me I could be.  Even though I couldn’t quite understand why I felt like something was missing.  I had it all.

After I learned to actually trust God the way that I knew I should, He began to fill me up with what I needed to feel complete.  He revealed to me what was missing.  It felt so good to trust God and to know that I was doing what he wanted me to do.

I still feel a little envious of the “do-it-all-mommy’s.”  You know the kind that get up at the crack of dawn to make eggs and pancakes for breakfast, iron everyone’s clothes before school, have a spot-less house, car, and yard, plus crafts for the kids after school activities, 4 course dinner, and games before bed. That was the mom I thought I was supposed to be.

But I’m glad that’s not me.  Because just the thought of all of that sounds exhausting.  Yes, I still love to garden and can and craft and cook.  But my life doesn’t revolve around my kids.  It revolves with them. And everyone seems to like things this way!

Now, pass me my gym membership and glass of wine and I’m a happy mommy!

A Popcorn Kernel, A Little Girl, and a Crazy Father.

This was a blog entry written by my husband a couple of years ago.  It’s one of my favorite stories so I thought I’d post it myself.  Autumn continues to keep us on our toes!

A Popcorn Kernel, A Little Girl, and a Crazy Father

Autumn didn't seem too worried while waiting in the pediatric emergency room for the doctor.

She still doesn't seem super nervous even with the doctor about to yank the little bugger from her nose.

By Duane Montague

I was watching a movie with the kids last night.  We do it most Monday nights while Robyn is at her meeting.

Last night I made popcorn for each of them and we all sat back to enjoy the exploits of Indiana Jones.  I had a fedora on–I’d worn it all day because of my lack of a hair cut and desire to look better than a trucker, which is what I look like when it gets too long, kind of sticking out like wings under a baseball cap–and Autumn kept coming by and saying, “Be Indiana Jones,” so I would talk in a funny voice.   She wandered around–after all, the exploits of Indiana Jones aren’t exactly three-year old material–and while I was feeding August, she came by with something in her hand.

“I’m going to put this in his nose,” she said.

“Uhm, no you are not,” I said.

“Okay, I’m gonna put it in my nose,” she said.

“Uhm, no you are NOT,” I repeated.  “Do not put that in your nose.”

Clearly disappointed, she said, “Okay,” and put the kernel in her bowl.  We continued the adventure, she continued to call me Indy and things went along quite well.  Until she walked over to me and said, rather cutely, with an absolutely adorable smile on her face, “I put it in my nose!”

“What?”  I couldn’t believe she said what she had just said.  “You didn’t.  Autumn.  You didn’t put that in your nose.  Did you?”  I looked at Audrey, Autumn looked at Audrey.  “Do you think she did?”

“I did!” said Autumn.  “I did put it in my nose.”

Audrey frowned at me.  “I think she did, Daddy.”

“You did not.  Autumn.  You did not do that.  You did not put that in your nose.  Did you?  You did?  No, you didn’t.”  Was I trying to convince her or myself?  But by the look on her face I could tell she was telling the truth.  And suddenly, the adventures of Indiana Jones were nothing compared to the adventures of Kernel in the Nose.  I handed the baby to Austen and picked up Autumn as quick as I could, carrying her to the couch and holding her head back.  “Do. Not. Move,” I said, holding her as tightly as possible.

There it was–stuffed way up beyond the nostril, all the way into her right sinus cavity.

My mind was racing.  I wondered if I could just pick it out–like I do when she gets those nasty boogers little kids seem to get–but there was no way my fat fingers were going to fit.  I left her on the couch, ran upstairs and grabbed some tweezers.  In the next twenty minutes I proceeded to try everything I could think of to get that popcorn kernel out of her little nose.  I blew into her mouth, blew into her nose, used tweezers and am sad to say a few other absolutely ridiculous things that I’m sure will wake her in a cold sweat when she hits college.  Nothing doing, that thing was not going to come out.

I knew I was going to have to take her to the emergency room.  I really didn’t want to, not so much from the cost factor, but because she had two lovely bruises on her face, and having experienced the questions of hospitals when Austen had broken his leg–and I really didn’t want to go through that again.  (For the record, she is extremely fair-skinned so any slight bruise looks pretty nasty.  She had fallen out of her bed while reaching for a book one night and banged her face on the bookshelf–giving her a lovely green “Joker-esque” mark on her left cheek.  Then she fell out of our bed two nights later and got a huge goose egg from banging her head on my bedside table.  So she looked like she had been through the wars already.)   I had no choice–I could not get that kernel out, and there was no way, in spite of her reassuring me with “The popcorn doesn’t bother me at all now, Daddy!” that I was going to leave it in there.

Texted Robyn to tell her I was on my way to the ER, called my mom to come over and watch the other three, and hurried down the road to Valley General.  Luckily, Autumn was pretty calm by this point–all the torture she’d gone through as I desperately tried to pull a popcorn kernel from her sinus cavity had been forgotten because of the promise of ice cream after the doctor visit.  We did rehearse several times as to how she had acquired the bruises, in case anyone asked.

When it was finally our turn to see the doctor, she had charmed her way through the entire ER.  Her long blonde hair, cute smile, and the fact she was singing a made-up song to the Raiders of the Lost Ark theme, probably helped.  Doctor Rob came in with a crazy syringe contraption, and although I was going to film the whole thing for later posting on my Facebook page, by the time they got to almost pulling it out, she was crying too hard–mostly from the fact that they had restrained her arms–and the father side of me gave in and I just held her and told her she was going to be fine.

Through the syringe, eventual tweezers, and the amazing work of Dr. Rob, the kernel was eventually out.  I was going to bring it home for posterity, but I dropped it somewhere in the ER.  Every doctor and nurse made Autumn promise to never do it again.  Of course, I think she heard me tell the nurses that at least it wasn’t as bad as when her brother broke his femur.  Now I’m just a little nervous that her competitive nature might get the best of her.  Maybe I’ll make her spend the next month living downstairs…just to be safe.  And, of course, without any popcorn.

Summer cookin’!

Even though here in the Seattle area we’ve only had about 2 1/2 weeks of summer, I am aware that the end is drawing near.  School shopping is in full force.  Fresh canned goods are being stock piled in pantries.  Even days are beginning to feel a bit shorter.  But in the midst of autumn on the horizon,  I feel the need to keep summer close to me for a bit longer.  The following recipe is by far one of my favorites for summer and something that I make a few times each season.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Caprese Pasta Salad

  • 1 pound of pasta (any small shape works fine)
  • 5 cups diced beefsteak tomatoes, (2 pounds)
  • 2 cups diced fresh mozzarella, (3/4 pound)
  • 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and Pepper
  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente, according to package instructions; drain.
  2. In a large bowl, toss warm pasta with tomatoes, mozzarella, onion, olive oil, basil, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or chilled with some nice ciabatta bread.

Cheering for the underdog.

I’ve always kind of felt sorry for the underdog.  The loser.  The one who you know won’t come out on top.  I find myself cheering for them.  Routing them on.  “Come on, you can do it!”  I don’t know why, maybe it’s because I’m sensitive or because I can easily put myself in other people’s shoes.  Yesterday I was wholeheartedly cheering for the underdog – just in a different way.

I came upon this video of a couple of college students putting on a sports cast.  Yes, I was cheering for them.  Cheering for them to keep messing up!  Yes, I know it sounds really bad.  But this video is so over-the-top funny that I couldn’t help but find happiness in their misery.  I’m sure that neither of them will ever read this.  And I’m sure that this isn’t the first or the last time this will ever be said about them.  But this video is so bad that I just kept wanting to see more. More stutters.  More stumbles.  More confusion.

Well, you’ll see what I mean when you watch it.  And just a fyi to future sports casters:  Do NOT do any of this!  Click the link, then enjoy!

Amazingly Awkward Sportscaster – CollegeHumor – – Get Wired!.