Sunday, March 30, 2008

Bloggin' the Swing Shift

WARNING: This is actual live blogging of my Sunday Night shift. It is boring and rambling. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Hola, dear readers.

I am working at the hotel again tonight, covering for Wendy whose husband only comes home once in a while from working in the middle east and is home this weekend. Or something like that.

Last night by the time I went home at 11pm, my back was killing me and it only got worse when I got in bed. So I got up and found an ice pack for my obviously-swollen sacro-iiliac area and lay down on the floor with my legs at a 45-degree andle on the couch, trying to think my way into feeling better, trying to relax each muscle in my back and stop the pinch, ache , and tingles. The ibuprofen finally kicked in around 1:00am, but I still didn't sleep well.

This morning mid-way through dressing the munchkins, I realized that going to church wasn't the best idea. I found a substitute for Primary music and stayed home with James. I did a little Denise Austin yoga and took some more meds and felt a little better but SO TIRED. James didn't want me to nap, though, so I am still draggin' bootay. To do my penance I have read the Ensign and Friend almost cover-to-cover and got all the April music stuff ready, incuding visual aids. Luckily it's slower than heck here and there is very little laundry to break my back.

I am watching the sun go down as the mountains get covered in some serious snow. It looks like January out there with the wind and the strung out, frothy clouds hanging over Livingston Peak.

I just had a couple of trippy time warps listening to our local AM Radio station. Whoa--I went to the Stake Dance for a few minutes there! First there was "She's Always A Woman to Me" by Billy Joel, which provided another memory besides a quad-stake dance in Tucson. I just now remembered (probably for the first time) this one night when I was dating a once-and-future boyfriend's little brother, lounging on a loveseat in his parents' living room while he serenaded me at the baby grand. He eventually broke out in this song, throwing my name into the lyrics and being pathetically, irresistibly (and eventually, annoyingly) charming (he also did a mean "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" which made me swoon, although I hated Poison with a passion). He fed me ice cream after that. What a weird memory of a weird time.

THEN..."When I'm With You" by Sherriff came on! Holy Cow! I'd forgotten all about that song, but it was a classic slow dance at the stake dance (just like Scorpions' "Still Loving You" and The Cars' "Who's Gonna Drive You Home", which still tend to give me the adolescent butterflies). I'm not a hairband fan, but that is a GREAT power ballad. It made for some dangerously romantic moments, if I recall correctly, and not just for me and whomever I was with, but for lots of folks. Frankly, I think this song was way more provocative than, say, "Devil Inside" or "Let's Go All the Way," which were, of course, banned from church dances.

8:11 pm-I just made a new key for a guy who also locked himself out last night. He kind of reminds me of Dennis Quaid and he's kinda flirty, but he's here on railroad business and squawking on the cell phone a lot. [9:53pm: he just walked thru the lobby in a hoody and gave me The Dude wink & nod]

Oh, dude! Hello, eighth grade! It's "Straight From the Heart" by Bryan Adams. Get out your lighters! Everybody sing along! "...tell me we can make another start/ you know I'll never go/ as long as I know/ it's comin' straight from the heart..." you go with your synthesizer! "...I'll see you on the street some other time/ and all our words would just fall out of line/ while we're dreamin'..." Now it's "Carribean Queen." I love being old enough to have my own oldies station. I used to think it was so lame when my mom would go off about certain songs on the 60's & 70's station ("Oh my gosh!...'Jeremiah was a bullfrog/ was a good friend of mine!' This totally reminds me of driving around with my seminary friends and blasting this song! It's so great to sing along to...!") I totally get it now. It's like you're still "wet cement" during adolescence and music, especially, makes deep impressions that are still very tangible decades later--part of who you are, interwoven with all your formative experiences.

9:32pm-can you say CRAZY!? The OWNER of this property (Larry, whom I have never met) just came in with his family to swim around 8:20, then I went and changed loads in the wash, and as I began to fold towels a NUTTY-as-a-fruitcake lady came in whining about the roads in Yellowstone being closed and needing a family discount without a discount card. She had such a fit that Larry made arrangements for her to stay and have her discount card faxed over and now she is gettin on my last nerve! She begged for a suite and now she wants me to go get her some milk! WTF? No good deed goes unpunished!

10:01pm: "Girl, I want to be with you all of the time/ All day and all of the night"...this makes me happy after the past stressful 90 minutes. That snow in the mountains came down to town and made lots of people pull off I-90 and check in here for the night. I've got 13 rooms filled tonight--that's a lot for the winter (usually 4-8 rooms). [10:41pm--three more families coming out of the snow--that's 16 rooms!]

I am brainstorming another treasure hunt based on President Monson's Ensign message for April. I'll post what I come up with. I am so excited for conference--new prophet and new apostle and lots of guidance and edification--yum, yum!

10:14pm: Just checked in a weary traveler from Renton, Washington. She's nice. Stevie Wonder "Superstitious" makes me want to boogie. My throat hurts, but my back seems better. Of course I took more ibuprofen at 7:30. I'll have to get adjusted tomorrow! Drinking Montana Treasure Peach flavored water. It's pretty good. Crazy Lady just asked for directions to Utah--she's taking an elderly care job in Centerville. I told her I was headed down to Utah on Thursday to visit family and she asked me for my sister's phone number so she'd know someone in Utah. I told her that she woudl meet lots of nice people there. She said people keep telling her that Utahns are nice and that they will make her a Mormon. I told her that would be a great thing for her, and that her new neighbors will take good care of her whether she's Mormon or not. I hope that's true! ;)

Oh heck to the no! "Voices Carry" by til tuesday featuring one of my fave musicians, Aimee Mann on vocals circa 1985. Must. Resist. Singing. Along..."he wants me/ but only part of the time/ he wants me/ if he can keep me in line/ hush, hush/ keep it down now..." do you have any idea how many til tuesday songs I figured out on the piano? LOVED THEM. Aimee Mannis Sean Penn's sister in law.

10:24pm: I am going to go clean up around here and count out my money while "Roxanne" plays (and I will try really hard not to sing along to this song, too!). I believe this concludes my live blogging of the swing shift. Hope you loved it. Have a Happy Monday!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

On This Date in History... Grandpa Elrey (that's him on the right with his mama, circa 1927) was born! Happy Birthday, Grampy!Read more here.
Papa Bill shares his birthday with Elle MacPherson, Cy Young, Pearl Bailey, & Amy Sedaris. March 29, 1973, US Troops left South Vietnam, and in 1848 for the first time in recorded history, Niagra Falls stopped flowing. An ice jam in the Niagara River above the rim of the falls caused the water to stop.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Today and Yesterday

Yesterday my kids were surprised by a fun package of animals (I told you they were spoiled!). Here they are rejoicing over their new toys (Addie is especially thrilled about her new soft whale, which she just calls a dolphin because she collects dolphins now). They had fun playing outside in the nearly-fifty-degree spring weather while I made dinner (taco salad). Later we had a "working-together" Family Night to get the upstairs clean (Ad is becoming a great bathroom-cleaner, and Heidi did a great job helping Bub clean up his room). Daddy mopped the wood floors while I cleaned up the kitchen and baked some brownies. Later we took them to the Young Family because they have two birthdays this week, and we came home and hit the hay ourselves. Happy Melin Kids!
Today was the last day of Addie's spring break, so we tried to live it up. After a silly morning of playing we all got dressed and went to the store where we bought tons of yummy produce and other groceries and filled my prescriptions (I signed up for the monthly refills/ reminder call because I keep forgetting to get my meds before I run out--I've been out of tapazole since my Saturday night dose--DUH!!!). When we got home the kids played outside while I made lunch and did some dinner prep for the next few nights. While they were outside, James got genuinely dirty for the first time! Rich put him in the tub while I fed the girls some lunch.

My filthy toddler--pre-bath, lunch, and nap today.


For dinner, the girls wanted lettuce wraps so I made TONS. They had their friends Kelli and Gracie over today so I made stuff while they played. After we took Kelli and Gracie home, we raced Daddy home and the girls set the table in about 2 minutes flat! It was so great! Here they are, ready to eat dinner at about 5:20 tonight.

Here's our colorful, yummy spread! I highly recommend lettuce wraps--they make a great meal, and James just eats the meat filling with rice since he is too little for lettuce. You should google "PF CHANG'S LETTUCE WRAPS" and do your own version of their recipe (I throw is all the veggies I can find and use ground turkey instead of chicken as per my amiga Debbie's version).
"It's [been] a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor...would you be mine? Could you be mine?..."
(Mr. Rogers would have turned 80 last Thursday! Next year I'll remember THIS to celebrate) (CLICK HERE FOR A SMILE )

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Meaning

Before all the Easter Morning Hullabaloo, we had our own little family "Sunset Service" at home. After the kids got into their pajamas at about 6:30 Saturday night, we all snuggle up to watch "Lamb of God", which I had tivo'ed last year off BYUTV. We were able to watch it together, to pause and answer their questions, explain what was happening to Jesus and why (in pre-school terms, of course--try breaking the whole Gethsemane/ blood-from-every-pore part down--we did our best), and skip some of the more graphic scenes when Addie began to cry (she cried when the sadducees spit on Him--"that's too mean," she said as a tear fell down her face--broke my heart!) We talked about how the resurrection is for everyone, and they went down the list of people who have died that they would like to see again--Addie is always excited to meet Grandma Adeline and for me to "get my Grandma back" (my Grandma Layton died last winter and I think that's the first time she saw someone get sad about death). We also talked about how Jesus got to keep His scars so people would know who He is, but that all of us would be well and whole again, grown up but young and healthy--Addie's eyes got wide and she exclaimed, "I'm so excited about that!"
That exclamation made my heart smile because it's our natural reaction to the "good news" of the gospel of Christ, isn't it? I'm excited about that, too, Addie. I am so thankful for Jesus and I am so thankful that Heavenly Father let me play a part in giving you that beautiful, perfect body of yours--that vehicle that will, after a glorious resurrection, take you closer to Our Father. I am so thankful for ALL the things that Jesus did for us during that Holy week that make it possible for us to be a forever family and be with Heavenly Father again. I'm so excited about that, too.

To celebrate my half-birthday...

Back in the Day

On Saturday while we worked on the yard we blasted The Best of INXS. How can I keep forgetting what an excellent band they were? and oh, mercy, the crush I had on Michael heart races just THINKING about it! Have a gander at two of my very favorite videos EVER:

Easter Fun, Melin Style

H E L L O !
It has been a l--o--n--g week--2 holidays and a temple trip--but we're back to blog it all!

I still don't have pictures from our FHE treasure hunt (3/17), but I wanted to tell ZUZANA thank you for the easter package! The girls love their hair bows and we used all the yummy candies as the treasure last Monday night (the leprachaun's "pot of gold"--the gold chocolate coins were perfect!) . I am sorry I didn't take pictures of us opening the package. It came during our sick week and cheered us up! We had a wonderful Easter and we hope you did, too!

Another thing I don't have pictures of is the snowy weather on Thursday and Friday--way to ring in spring! We tried to make it a fun spring break for the girls by doing some Easter crafts inside, but we missed going to the park in the sunshine!

Easter Preparation: Addie kicked off her spring break by coloring eggs on Thursday afternoon...

James and Heidi helped, too, and we put up some of our decorations (late, I know--I couldn't get into all the advance-celebrating this year--still worn out from the sickies, I guess!)

Sunday (easter morning), the kids discovering thier booty! (Candy, books, kindereggs, wooly willies, and Smarties Connect Three games)


After snarfing candy & boiled eggs & toast for breakfast, we went to church adn then to Grandma Melin's for a yummy dinner and egg hunt.

Heidi, James & Addie in all their Easter glory...

Ready for Grandma's egg hunt!

Cutie Pies!

Ad and Me being silly

Heidi styled me and took this photo...
Grandma making a yummy green salad to go with the ham, funeral potatoes, rolls, green beans, etc...)
The girls were so excited to see Uncle Mike!

Grandma giving the kids instructions for the Easter Egg hunt
James stopped in the middle of the hunt (yelloe eggs) to start eating his candy!
Heidi hunted orange eggs
Addie hunted pink eggs
Daddy, Uncle Davy, Uncle Mike, and Grandpa helped ths kids find thier eggs
This is what we got when we tried to take a picture of all the kids together...Addie and Danny with their full baskets.
I followed all of this fun with a NAP--Addie came and woke me up at 6:30! We web-cam-chatted with Uncle Jess in Florida for a bit. We came home and put the kids to bed, enjoyed the tivo'ed abc shows and a chat with Sam & Jill. It was a very nice day & we felt very grateful for Christ and his resurrection, and for the beauty and hope of spring time. We hope each of you had a great Easter, too!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


two items of business...
We did get to go on a date Saturday night (thanks for babysitting, Brandi) and everyone is pretty much well at our house now! Yay! Let's keep it that way!

We are going to the Billings Temple on Saturday and we are going to Utah to meet up with family over conference weekend (4/3-4/6--we will be staying at the Comfort Inn in Draper)-- if anybody wants to meet up with us on either of those trips.

Wednesday Morning Break

This morning we took the kids down to the elementary school to get their pictures taken and afterward I took them to "the secret park"--a previously undiscovered park in the heart of a neighborhood northeast of ours. It was not the best day to go to the park because it was a really cold morning and some sleet from last night had frozen to all the rides. But I had promised Heidi she could go today (her day off) so we did some fun swinging...
James thinks swinging is hilarious...
...and Heidi likes to "kick the tree" up high! We played on the swings until their hands were practically frozen, then we came home to snuggle!

Top O' The Mornin'!

Monday Morning we put on our favorite green clothes and Daddy made us green eggs for breakfast! The girls had fun activities at school, mommy took James to the doctor for his checkup, and we had Grandpa & Grandma Melin and the Gray Cousins over for a corned-beef-and-cabbage dinner followed by a Family Night Treasure Hunt! It was a really fun day!Addie wore her Shamrock shades, her St. Pat's button and hairbow, and her Flogging Molly shirt.
Heidi had a button and a hairbow, too!
Cute little leprachauns!

While we waited for the doctor, James saw somebody he recognized on the bulletin board! (3/17/08)

Saturday at DB7 Ranch

Grandpa, Dad, and Uncle Mike had lots of underbrush and tree trimmings to burn on Saturday. We joined them at 10:30am to check on the progress...
James loved playing with Madison, the ranch neighbors' dog!
Here's James in the back of the ranch truck...
Uncle Mike workin' hard

James, Grandpa, and Mommy watch the burn
James got to drive the ranch truck for the first time... to work with Papa Tom!!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Mommy's Hospital

This is what my family room looked like on Monday morning. It has pretty much been this way all week. Apples, juice, graham crackers, blankies, and Wonder Pets.
James has either bronchiolitis or RSV, but they said the treatment is the same so they didn't test him. We just came home Tuesday with a bunch of meds for the nebulizer, adn I think all the kids have taken some hits of it this week. He seemed better and had no fever today (Thursday).
Addie just had a case of the feeling-left-outs, I think, so I let her stay home and rest. She had to stay in the family room and lay on the couch, read, or color.

Look at my little drama queen, Poor Heidi (the one that's sickest today--third day in a row of 101-104 temps, barfy-cough, and today we learned she has an ear infection). She is now on antibiotics for the second time in her life. She seems better today adn is sleeping in her own bed for the first tiem since Monday.
Ask me how TOTALLY NUTS I feel right now after being on duty about 21/6 (since last Friday--that's 21 hours, six days a week). THIS IS WHY MOMS AGE, folks! I probably just tacked on a couple of real-age years and some wrinkles working doubles at our home-hospital this week. Thankfully, Richard takes the 1-7am shift, and then goes to his office job. We are both pooped and ready for the kids to wait on us now! ;) KIDDING! I love them and I am glad they are on the mend, and I am especially grateful that my husband works so hard so I can be home with my little ones, especially at times like this when they just want to lay on me all day. It would just kill me to have to leave them like this!
I have to work at the hotel tomorrow (they are trying to hire a full-time person, so they keep having me cover til they get someone--it's ok with me if it's ok with Rich), and then I am planning a relaxing evening Saturday--date night--I hoep it all works out, cuz we need it!
And now, for some IDOL THOUGHTS...
FINALLY, this week I think the contestants really brought it. It helps that they got to sing Lennon/McCartney songs, although it obviously hurt some of them when they massacred the songs. I thought that Kristi Lee Cook would go home for what she did to Eight Days A Week, which was, I will have you know, my very favorite Beatles tune well into high school. I also thought David Hernandez was lame, but that Kristi should have definitely gone home first. My Jason, Michael, and Brooke SLAYED, but David A. had a bad night. I am hating David Cook less, and I loved his Lionel Richie cover last week! Chikezie was awesome this week, and I got officially tired of Amanda's screaming. She is going to have an aneurism on stage! Carly and Ramiele were great as is to be expected, but I kinda hope Syesha and Kristi go home soon cuz they bore me.
(PS: Isn't Kristi such a Shania wannabe? She totally does that weird straddle-squat dance move that Shania does that made it totally impossible for me to watch her perform live--I like both ladies, and heaven knows I love real, old cowgirl music, I just don't think Kristi is rockin' the show and I hate that move!)

Retro: Saturday, March 8

After our morning chores, our girls wanted to play "kitchen" with the fun little things their Papa Tom and Papa Layton got them for Christmas...That brown box is the oven; Heidi's apron was made by Grandma Rosalie; Addie's came with the kitchenware from G&G Layton. I believe they are making banana bread in this picture.
Later, Heidi brougt me a blueberry tart, made with real blue marbles! I thought that was pretty clever!
Chef Addie
Chef Heidi
...and just so he's not left out, this is James at lunch on Friday 3/7. Heidi took this picture and he was saying "cheese!"


Dear Loved Ones,                                                                                                                         1...