t h e m a y f i l e s is foremost a family blog, chronicling everyday life. Life including natural, healthy eating (with recipes thrown in at random), home educating (with ideas popping up sporadically), an attempt to homestead on .2 acres (with very meager yields), raising 3 of 4 children with a rare genetic disorder, and lots of highly personal family triumphs and failures. You may also find an eclectic array of musings on politics, exercise, sewing, emergency preparedness, backyard chickens, and religion. This blog isn't a campaign to glorify anyone or anything. Just simply a record.


Another Great Review of Cap Trappers

Check out the following link at Lyric and Arias Mom for a great review and a give-away of Cap Trappers. It's great to see the response.

California Dreaming!

After a day of recovery we headed to California to visit with my in-laws. We tried so hard to be on the ball and bought our tickets way ahead of time. Lucky for us our flight was canceled. We were re-booked with a layover! A layover! I have 3 small children. Are you kidding me!

Thankfully I have angelic children. Here are a few shots of our adventure.

Self-portrait of the family. Emmett's head is cut off but boy do I love my new camera!

Yes, her teeth are blue. I admit to resorting to blue "cotton-candy" suckers as bribery. What else is a mother to do when faced with 8 hours of traveling?

Ellery being my oh-so big helper. I had to love her comment as the flight attendant offered us beverages. When soda was offered her, she responded. "Mom we don't drink that. Only old men do." I have to attribute that to my fathers insatiable thirst for diet coke! Ellery has been on a few too many diet coke runs with him.

The "should-have-been" 2 hour layover in Long-Beach which turned into a 4 hour ordeal. Of course 1 1/2 of those were sitting on the plane while it was "jumped." Yes, a bit creepy. The children have Cap Trappers, naturally, to keep them occupied.

Ellery was quite captivated by watching herself on the camera. I love this little clip because it is so true to her character. She smiles and averts her eyes!

This clip is just as telling with Callista. Here we were playing "Mother May I" and of course the only sort of movement acceptable was "bunny hops."

We finally made it to Oakland. And I am again asking myself, "Why don't I live here. Why do I live in Utah?"

Happy Birthday Hubby

Happy Birthday to my fabulous husband. I don't know what I would do without him. The events of the last few days have gotten to me a bit emotionally. Last night I dreamed my he died. It was a horrible nightmare.

He is the most amazing man in the world. I love him so much. He is an incredible, caring, attentive, playful, helpful father. He is a loving, kind, respectful, perfect husband. Sometimes I don't know why he puts up with me. He is always so thoughtful and I can be so thoughtless. I am so grateful he forgives me for my constant flubs.

I feel bad for all the other women out there, because I have the perfect husband and the best marriage. I don't ever want to take a moment for granted with my sweet husband.


Headed off to for the 10K run.

Back from the spudman, and now in California! Results: I definitely didn't win but I did end up with a PR (2:21)! I beat my time by over 5 minutes. I have to feel good about that. I still have a lot of room for improvement. I ended up in sixth place in my division and top 20 overall for the women.

Me with my littlest fan in the wee hours of the morning before the race.

A couple things to think about:

Panic Attack--The very first leg is a swim. I was extra cold for some reason. I am about 1 of 10 people out of 2,500 who don't wear a wetsuit The race started in the river, and I had panic attack. It has never happened to me before. My heart started racing, a felt like I couldn't get a breath. I thought I was going to have to quit, and swim to the shore. I don't scare easily. I was afraid. I did the breast-stroke with my head above water for probably 5 minutes. After that time period I felt like I had some control. I swam a couple strokes and then breast-stroke. I just kept thinking...make it to the end of the swim....it's just 1 mile...I got out of the water and I actually felt okay. So I went for it.

Drowning--At the end of the race, I was made aware of a tragedy just minutes after my swim. In the following heat a man drowned. The race had to be stopped as they searched for the body. He was swimming; called for help; raised his hand, and went under. The women beside him could not get to him fast enough. Neither could the safety boats. A 50-something man...in great condition. Life is so tenuous. At any moment we could lose it. Or someone we love.

This is the "tri-kids on the block" crew. My neighbors and I.

(On the right and left, their heat the swim was canceled after the drowning. My neighbor was in a panic because her husband was in the heat following mine where the drowning occurred. She ran to the transition and found some peace to see his bike gone.)

A big thanks to my husband for his support. And to my mom and dad. They took the girls camping. I can't believe how brave they are. Brent and I haven't even attempted that. They were extremely dirty and tired but had a blast.


Off ot the Spudman

I'm off to the Potato State for my tri! You will hear back from me 1.5K swim, 40K bike, and 10K run, later! I keep telling myself I am not going for the win, but who am I kidding? I always go for the win. My realistic goal is a top 10 finish. We'll see. Again...I am exposing myself to failure here. It's exhilarating!

Oh Pioneers

It is Pioneer Day in Utah. A significant holiday in these parts. Even though I've now lived in Utah for 12 years, I am still adjusting to all the festivities, and the fact that everything shuts down! Growing up in the mid-West, I remember in Sunday School in July we would sing pioneer songs. That was the celebration. In Utah it is another story. And rightly so. This state has a rich pioneer heritage. The examples of pioneer sacrifice are inspiring. They followed God despite the emotional and physical consequences. I can only strive to have the same dedication to God in my own life. The treks that I face are different. The blizzards and disease and burials I must protect my own children from are violence, pornography, addiction, greed, and myriad more evils of our society. My butterbean, my pip, and my el. I would sacrifice everything to protect them.

My Sweet "ButterBean"

My Little Pip

My Beautiful El

My sister, who lives 2 hours North of here, is facing the same battles to protect her own children. A four-year-old girl was lured into a home (in a "kid-friendly" neighborhood) by a 20 year old man. The enticement: candy and movies for her. He raped her and sent her back outside. Sick. She ran home and told her parents. Thankfully, thy arrested the disgusting fiend. I tell my children not to be coaxed by candy. But I had no idea how enticing candy was to children until I had them. It almost makes me want to stock my shelves with candy. Almost. I did tell my girls if anyone offers them candy and movies: yell no; run away, and tell mom. I will give them as much candy and whatever movies they want.

Best-of-luck to all the mother pioneers trekking with their own little families in this wilderness. God will be with us all, if we let him.


Mother of Invention

Today I entered the Whirlpool Mother of Invention competition. It for moms with ideas. The grand prize is $20,000, a bunch of appliances and a new home office. I could use all of those! Thank goodness for StartUp Princess alerting me to the contest. It ends on July 31st. Winners are notified mid-September. I found another great use for my months of writing the business plan. I get bonus points for submitting it, and patent and trademark documentation. It is a shot in the dark, but I am confident and excited about Cap Trappers. I think I will try some mom celebrities with shows. If they love them, who knows...all those celeb loving moms will too!

I am going to get Brent sleuthing out some addresses for me. Celebrity moms this time. As far as the follow-up on all those packages we sent to CEOs...so far we just got a reject letter from Crayola. They said they don't accept outside ideas...they even mailed them back!!! Humphh! I do think Office Depot was intrigued. I have reason to believe they spent some time on my site. Maybe they are still contemplating. It is a roller-coaster for sure. And I am exposing my efforts, so everyone will see success or failure. I am so brave :)!

Office Max...if you are reading this, Cap Trappers are a perfect fit for your stores. Check out the video on the website, it is full of testimonials from your target customers on why they want and need Cap Trappers.


Just Keep Running

The past few weeks I started running with my friend Marie. She is this lightning fast maniac runner. If you want to improve at something...find someone who is a whole lot better and spend as much time as possible with them! Marie was a college runner and has coached High School for lots of years. She just quit coaching a couple months ago. So she has been a lonely runner. I finally got up the guts to give it a go with her, and boy does she work me hard. I am a serious amateur in comparison. She ran a 3:05 marathon. That is 7:03 min/mile averages (and she hit the wall the last 4 miles of that race). 3:05 is just incomprehensible to me. Running with Marie is forcing me to step up my game.

Today she took me on hills. Not little hills, but steep, unrelenting hills. Already tonight I am paying for it. My quads are going to kill me tomorrow and my knee is screaming in protest, after icing it 2x today even. But if I have learned anything about running, it is that I just better keep running. My body always fights me when I go to the next level. My knees hurt, my joints ache, my muscles are sore... However, if I just keep running, within a couple weeks, that same hill, or increased distance doesn't bother me anymore.

Anyone can be a runner. I have a hard time believing someone can't run because their knees hurt. Mine are so painful. When I started running after pregnancy, I wasn't sure if I could ever do it again. Two miles felt so hard, and I had to limp on my knee. I didn't stop, just iced, and over a couple weeks, the knees got stronger and the distances and times got longer and faster. Just keep running. With anything...it may hurt, be uncomfortable...but just keep runnning.


Deceptively Delicious: A Lesson for Life

Emmett: Deceptively Darling...Enjoying his first solids, a little carrot puree!

I gave in and bought the Deceptively Delicious cookbook by Jessica Seinfeld yesterday. I haven't bought it because it seemed so trendy, and I am definitely not a celebrity follower. But as I was making up one of the daily smoothies I feed my family (today's included: 2 handfuls spinach, 1 handful parsley, 2/3 cup flaxseed meal, 2 handfuls broccoli florrets, 2 nectarines, 1/2 banana, 2/3 cup frozen berries, 1 cup orange juice, and 2 handfuls carrots) I thought, you know I already hide all sorts of things, I might as well see what else I can hide.

So I bought the book at Costco ($13.95, not too bad). So far so good. Last night I made the chicken nuggets with sweet potato batter. My sisters's comment: "I have never seen your kids eat so much! Wow." I think Ellery and Callisa each had about 8 of them.

Tonight I made the tortilla "cigars." We called them "baby tacquitos." Ellery loved them. Her comment: "This cheese is funny." Probably because it had carrot and squash purees mixed in. But she gobbled 2 of them.

Callista dismembered hers to pick out her little treasures (the steak chunks inside). Ellery was pretending to be a pirate piggy and snitch Callista's "treasures." Callista wasn't as into this meal. However, I didn't feel too bad because she had just eaten an entire piece of corn and earlier in the day a huge cucumber. I don't battle veggies with her too much.

Tonight, Ellery and I made the carrot cake muffins. Not bad. They aren't too sweet, and I like the apricot and prune chunks, couldn't even taste the cauliflower.

I would say so far so good with this cookbook. I do have to make some subsitutions. I only like to use things in their most natural states. No way on the margarine or low fat cheeses, canola oil, cooking spray, refined sugar etc. But all the substitutions are easy. I really gave my blender a workout today making all those purees though.

Emmett had a little treat, his first little taste of solids, some yummy carrot puree. But he wasn't too sure about it. I know he looks super happy, but he was very confused...I missed that shot (but these are cuter anyways!)

It is all about appearance. With my smoothies, I keep them green and thick for myself, but my family won't have anything to do with them when they are green. I add berries and walah! it is purple and yummy!

Lesson for the day: So many times if we just pretend we totally know what we are doing, people believe us, and we either learn it by pretending, or buy ourselves some time to figure it out! I have been grateful for this in my little business hobby, parenting, teaching...in all sorts of situations.


The Beauty of Baby Fat

You might notice a few things from the picture above. First of all I have a new camera. Hooray!! I am very proud to say I did my part today to help stimulate the economy.

Secondly, Emmett is still in love with his sling! This little butterbean (as we have taken to calling him) absolutely loves to be squished and cuddled in his carrier.

Thirdly of note is the growing number of rolls on his body. These rolls are quite foreign to Callista, as she has never had any in her life. The little wiry thing has always burned way too many calories to get a lick of fat (even the adorable baby fat) on her body. While changing Emmetts diaper, Callista pinched the little roll you see pointed out by the red arrow in the picture. The following conversation ensued:

Callista: Mommy what is this for? (holding the roll inbetween her fingers)

Me: What do you mean? It is just a little fat roll.

Callista: But Mom, what does it do? (Imagine arms raised, shoulders shrugged, and head cocked)

Me: It doesn't do anything.

Callista: Why does he have it?

Me: It just keeps him warm and looking cute.

Callista: Oh. (Finally releases the roll and runs off with a giant smile on her face.)

Thankfully her little fingers didn't wander elsewhere in the vicinity of these rolls! Except I think she has that all figured out by now. Baths with Emmett and diaper changes are always eventful, and have us girls ducking for cover!

Why are rolls cute on babies legs and not Moms? Maybe if we found a purpose for them, they would be more accepted? Hmmm.....


Protect Yourself with a Strong Patent

The morning I woke up after my little revelation of Cap Trappers, I got online and wrote and submitted a provisional patent. I was quite proud of my handiwork...and thought it was all very official. My husband assured me it wasn't....but at least it gave us the confidence to begin to search for manufacturers and enter the business plan competition.

Thankfully we met a fantastic patent attorney, Sara Jones, with the Workman Nydeggar Firm in Salt Lake City. She is just as excited as we are about Cap Trappers. She is also one of those amazing connectors. If you have ever read The Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell, you know what I'm talking about. Anyways this is one of the best IP firms in the state. Sara quickly made it clear our patent needed some serious professional help. The resulting creations is a 50+ page document with about as many supporting figures (I know...who would have thought with such a simple idea...but it is chock full of application and ideas all stewing around in my head).

After that was all said and done and filed in March, we slept a bit easier at night. We will not go down without a fight if someone tries to steal our idea. We have finally begun to talk to retailers, and you never know who might try to be sneaky!

More Moms and Teachers are Discovering Cap Trappers!

It is so fun to see the reaction of people as they discover Cap Trappers. With no marketing at all we seem to be discovered daily by moms on the internet and the excitement grows. A mom today was so excited about them, not only did she buy them but she also reviewed them. Check out her blog to see her take on Cap Trappers. LaurinandKellytalk.com

....I especially like the part about how they eliminate the need to use your body as a swiffer as you search for caps :) Been there.

MomsFavoriteStuff also has a great review on Cap Trappers today. The blog writer, Chris, is a former teacher like myself. With pip squeaks, and dry erase, she hasn't found a marker they don't fit. Head over to her site and see what she has to say!

We can just add these to the growing list of moms who love cap trappers enough to try and spread the word everywhere! Here are a couple old reviews too from Make and Takes and Cool Mom Picks...if you missed them.


Technical Difficulties

Go to www.TheMayFiles.com for the blog, if you are having some problems getting the updated posts. We are still having some issues. Sorry about that!

The Emotional Roller Coaster of Entrepreneurship

I had no idea the emotional roller coaster you ride as an entrepreneur. Savvy May Creations and the Cap Trappers are definitely throwing me for some loops! The ups and downs are just amazing. I have an entirely new appreciation for my husband the last 8 years. He started a business from scratch. I often would pry to have him tell me all the details of everything that was going on. He was always hesitant. Usually he spoke in vague generalities. I have to admit sometimes I was a little bit hurt by this. However, now I totally understand.

It seems like everyday or (few days) there is something amazingly exciting that happens...and then just as fast things don't happen...or fall apart...or move in a completely different direction. It has my emotions going haywire. And this is just a hobby for me. It is not like I am trying to support and provide for my family like Brent. He has all that added pressure.

So after all these years I find out just another way my husband is so perfect, and how well he knows me and how much he loves me. When it comes to the company that pays for our family...I am glad I don't have a huge emotional involvement. I like to know the generalities and be informed, but I would be a nervous wreck with the day to day theme park ride of running your own business.

A side effect of a blog, and spilling all the beans to your family, is that little lurking fear of failure. I have never been one who likes to fail or give up. I am also not afraid of anything hard. Even today...I found myself on the Spudman website analyzing all my past splits, and the splits in my age division...wondering if I could get a PR or place...not willing to accept that I might be slower with a 5 month old nursing baby...it is so ridiculous. Oh well. There is a thrill that comes with it.

When I got off my bike this morning after riding 25 miles into a grueling headwind, and started running (they call this a brick in tri training, for a good reason too...your legs literally feel like bricks) there was nothing that felt good about it. However I wouldn't trade the feeling of accomplishment that I will keep with me this entire day.

This blog went from roller coaster to serious rambling!


Not so Technically Savvy May

So Savvy May (my middle name is "May" btw) is definitely not-so technically savvy. I tried to get all fancy and change the name of my blog so you can go to www.themayfiles.com and find it. Well I did that, but I messed up all the links from my website in the process. So all these posts from the last 5 days are just wandering around in cyberspace on The May Files with no one to visit them. Thankfully my fabulous web designer Rachelle from iSpectrum Marketing has come to my rescue to fix the problem. She is very patient. Thank you Rachelle. I highly recommend her!

Oh Where is my Stimulus Check?

Tomorrow is the last day to receive your economic stimulus check. Tomorrow I will actually love George Bush because you guessed it, tomorrow is the day we get our check. . I think I would give him a big hug. Do think Obama would give us a stimulus check? Finally is all I have to say. I am ready to start stimulating the economy! First on my list...a new camera! Hooray. Then I can actually post some recent pictures again. Thankfully the check comes within days of my camera coupon at Costco. I am very excited for my new camera...10 MP as compared to 5 MP. But most importantly, it is really skinny. Much more portable. And I am all about portability...think Cap Trappers!


Get Back Up and Try Again!

Check out this video....

Is it any surprise our backyard is the neighborhood favorite? Beyond the plethora of childhood dreams including tree houses with troll bridges, zip lines, firepits, gardens, woodpiles full of snakes, strawberry and raspberry patches, we happen to have the "Coolest Dad" that makes it all happen.

I better confess. Although it doesn't look like it in the video, it took us about 15 minutes of coaxing to get Ellery to go down the zip line for this video. She used to do "superwoman" jumps off the platform, but thanks to some sweaty palms this Spring she ended up sprawled on the ground. She lost all her guts! This is torcher for me as a mother to have gutless children. I always prided myself on being the bravest girl around. I was always the first one off our "tarzan swing." I guess they are still pretty little, there is hope for them yet.

We keep trying to encourage them. The whole "get back up and do it again concept...just keep trying...." It hasn't sunk in. (Callista of course is much braver, but insists on being just like Ellery. So if Ellery won't do it--neither will she.) It is an important concept in life. I still struggle sometimes with it. There are so many opportunities for failure, but just as many opportunities for success if we keep trying.

Emmett: My Angel Child

Who would of thought I would get a perfect angel for a baby. (Check out that skull, a perfect round halo!) Emmett has been smiling at me since 10 days old. Real smiles. My sister didn't believe me, she claimed "gas" smiles. But my teeny 6 lb baby would gaze up at me with his big blue eyes and smile directly into my eyes. He hasn't stopped since.

Proofs of his Angelic demeanor...

....Smiling at his mother at the smallest hint of a glance
.....Grabs mommy's face, pulls it close and kisses, kisses, kisses!! (he does get a big fistful of hair every so often as well)
.....Cooing at his mom
.....Laughing and squealing at his big sisters, (even after surviving a full day of mauling, I mean playing, from pip)
.....Sleeping nuzzled against his mom, waking ever so often to gaze up at her
.....His propensity towards nakedness. He loves to "Go free" with no diap, and kick his legs as hard as he can

Maybe it is just because I am getting older, but I lam enjoying this baby so much. I love every moment with him. Ellery was the first baby and all the stress that comes along with that, plus she had all the health problems. Callista--she has gone a mile a minute since she was born. And she has no quiet voice. She basically screamed her lungs out in protest (which was the vast majority of the time) or squealed in delight (which was a lot too!). Emmett is by far, my most joyful, loving baby.


"The Big Idea" Lives On!

Yes, The Big Idea with ******* on the ***** network lives on. Not physically, It appears the NYC portion of the show will not be filmed, and the whole segment will not broadcast, but in spirit it lives on. And this is the most important! I figured from the first phone call the day before I was supposed to leave it wasn't going to happen. So it has been quite a while since I was worried about it. Really it took about a day to get over...even though I still think it was lame. However...the good news is, yesterday the big Exec from the major retailer I was supposed to pitch my idea to emailed me!

Yep. He contacted the producers on his own to get my info. It appears he did not want to wait around for the silly show. He wants Cap Trappers on his shelves! (So you see these reality shows aren't exactly what they seem. The retailer knew exactly who the companies were that would be pitching to them. ) I don't know if he did this with all 4of the companies who were supposed to appear on the segment, but who cares. It is definitely a good thing for us! We still get our big shot and a huge break!

On a side note...remember that sleuthing post from Monday? Well, this retailer, and specifically this individual was one targeted retailer. So coincidentally enough, he will receive his samples a lot sooner than he is anticipating! It is funny how things work out, is it not? There is definitely someone watching out for us.


A Shot in the Leg (Four to be Exact)

It is amazing how much trust I put in my doctor today. I think moms usually just breeze through and don't really think about it. The doctor injecting something foreign into our own little, helpless lifebloods laying there on the table. Emmett, my purest little angel, laid there smiling and kicking his feet, like the happiest thing alive. I cringed inside thinking about it. Torn. I allow the vaccinations because I have to trust it is the best thing. For my children. For the greater society. But there is a piece of me that is uncomfortable with this. I think of autism. The pain it would cause me for the smiling responsive face of my son to be locked away inside of him... There are so many unknowns.

On so many levels it is hard to know who and what to trust. I guess I try to hold on to my optimism that the government and drug companies are altruistic at heart. I hope I am right. But I won't be caught dead ever taking meds for high cholesterol etc. But I just gave my child vaccines. Thankfully, Brent has been off of him reflux medicine for a year now without incident. It turns out our naturopath doctor discovered he hadn't had reflux all those years (nearly 4 of them, consisting of 2 pills a day, antacids and mucas thinners galore) of taking medication. He had an usual bacteria called H. pylori. A 10 day dose of antibiotics and he was cured from years of suffering. All of the traditional doctors would have had him on aciphex his entire life. There is a place for alternative medicine in my families lives. A place for traditional medicine as well. Finding the balance between who to trust and when is the trick.


Free Cap Trappers for Utah Valley Residents

Hey Utah Valley Moms and teachers. I am giving away free cap trappers if you email me me with your name and address by Thursday at midnight. Tell me why you would love and use them. This is in honor of the article that just came out in the Utah Valley Magazine. Drop me an email. I look forward to hearing from you!



Slueth Your Way to the Top!

Brent and I had quite the entertaining evening tonight. He has amazing information finding skills. This includes some serious internet savvy. With a first and last name he finds addresses, phone numbers and a slue of other information of key people we want to show Cap Trappers.

For a small company there is so much red tape when trying to get through and get to a person who actually has some say. I believe so much in these Cap Trappers. I think it really could revolutionize marker use! So our sole purpose is simply to get some Cap Trappers into the hands of someone who actually has some pull, or can connect us to the right person!

It was quite intriguing to watch him work. Thankfully, we don't try to abuse the information in anyway. We are completely harmless information gatherers, and I won't teach you how either (I couldn't anyways because I have no idea, my husband did it?). We just send some Cap Trappers!

So here is the lesson, with a little of your own legwork at home, you can find the contact information of just about anyone you need. Don't pay someone or some site thousands of dollars to do it for you.


Watch the Curb!

I seem to be developing a bad habit. Hitting curbs at just the wrong angle and sending myself and my bike skidding across the road in tandem. It is not pretty. Neither is my raspberried, swollen chin. Thankfully my helmet protected the rest of my head. Now if I could only just learn to use my head. You would think I would have learned my lesson from the garden hose last spring (same principle as a small curb) but I didn't.

I blame this on my birth to the biking world on a mountain bike. No matter what angle I hit anything, I could usually recover. (Although that does not explain all the battle wounds on my legs from my mountain biking years. We won't go into it.) Now , on a road bike, even after 3 years, I still seem to think those skinny little tires will take a curb the same way as my mountain bike.

I better learn a lesson from this. Learn from my mistakes yes. But more than that, just because to activities appear to be similar, it doesn't mean the same rules apply.

If I had a camera I would post some pictures of my road rash. But I don't. You will just have to imagine the beauty of my chin, elbow, knee, and hip!



We made the long trek home yesterday from Canada. My children were angels despite the 12 hours straight in the car. Which was actually 2 hours faster than we did going there!

Monday evening the aunts, uncles, and cousins congregated at the remains of my uncles home to dig through the ashes. Our search was for treasures that cannot be replaced. Amazingly, there were so many that we found! Albums from which we peeled baby pictures, journals, just barely legible...It is one of those miracles you pray for. A column in the middle of the home where the albums were, somehow they survived. The oven and microwave, melted and gone...but the pictures survive.

I really need to get a new camera so I can add pictures. When I get copies from my cousins I will post them.

It is time to rebuild.