Wednesday, November 26, 2008

picking up where we left off

I just got back from my sister Johannah's house, where we spent the morning making various confectionary delights for tomorrow's overwhelmingly large Thanksgiving celebration (Something like twenty people at Thanksgiving equals craziness in my book).

Jo made a pumpkin pie (yawn!), an apple cranberry tart (double yawn, people) and a completely ridiculous butterscotch brownie cake with gooey ganachey goodness (I'll totally give her credit for that one). I flexed my impressive culinary skills and made a pumpkin streusel-topped pie and a roasted sweet potato cheesecake with sour cream and maple syrup and all sorts of deliciousness inside.

Some of you may remember that Johannah is a bit of a domestic overachiever...and I think she was obviously threatened by my fabulous dessert-making skills, because she actually made a joke about how I was the slowest pie maker ever... oh, pshaw.

Dear sister of mine... you see this? This is homemade pecan crust... and these sweet potatoes? Oh yes, I roasted them myself. And nobody cuts corners when assembling a good streusel topping -- the repercussions would be disastrous. You don't rush GENIUS! I think she could tell that while I might have lost a few tenths in execution... I more than made up for it in degree of difficulty.

The only way I could lose the gold medal -- err, the... Thanksgiving pie bakeoff competition I'm holding in my own mind -- is if the judges find out that I forgot to put ANY spices into the cheesecake until it had already been in the oven for 5 minutes... at which point I had to pull it out and stir them in. I'll pull a Tonya Harding though and blame my toddler's tanrum for distracting me. I'll insist on a do-over. I'll bash Johannah's knee in with a spatula!

Umm... scratch that last one. I think I'm getting a little caught up in the holiday spirit.

you know you're young...

Last night Aidan, Mike and I snuggled on the couch and watched the fire together. While we sat, I started talking to Aidan about Thanksgiving and what it meant. I told him how I was thankful to have my wonderful family around me, in a warm house with plenty of food on the table, etc. Then we asked him what he was thankful for...

Me: So what are you thankful for, Aidan?

Aidan: Umm... I am thankful for you guys, I guess. And for my birthday it is coming up!

I remember when I was thankful for birthdays. It was definitely before my cake required more than one box of candles. Le sigh.

Friday, October 31, 2008

new merit badge

My June Cleaver merit badge may have gone out the window with my faulty canning skills, but I have just earned my Martha Stewart "outrageously magnificent costume" badge, which means I am SO over June Cleaver. I've decided that aside from her seemingly never-ending pursuit of perfection, Martha Stewart is my kind of lady -- there's no way June Cleaver ever made a grown man cry, so really we don't have a lot in common.

Behold, my kids' Halloween costumes in all their felt-covered, crafty glory!





Take special note of Aidan's lace-up shirt (did I painstakingly pound those eyelets into his shirt myself for the lace-up effect? you bet your sweet ass I did!) Those boots? ENTIRELY MADE OF FELT, people. I know, I know -- you're all wondering how I could possibly make boots from felt. I'll tell you this: the process involved a sewing machine, great tubes of felt, and a can of Pam stuffed into a pair of shoes.


And here's Wesley, the fabulous parrot sidekick to Aidan's pirate. Look at those colorful wings! His saucy little birdy tailfeathers! See his beak which (sort of) resembles a parrot beak... it's apparent that he's having a fabulous time in these pictures, and I am positive that it's entirely because of the level of craftsmanship his costume represents.

I know that these costumes fill me with a joy that simply can't be contained... that and the 10 fun-sized candy bars I just ate.

Happy Halloween! Making your own costumes? As my old pal Martha would say, "it's a good thing!"

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

next time let's leave the kids with jo


We went to Salt Lake over the weekend for my work, and I always seem to forget how ridiculously difficult it is to stay in hotels with young kids. You either let the kids stay up and tell them to be quiet every 10 minutes for the sake of the other hotel guests OR everybody climbs into bed at 8 o'clock. Or you can do what Mike did -- turn off the lights and lock yourself in the bathroom for 2 hours, just hoping the kids will fall asleep. That sounds fun, doesn't it?

3 going on 13

Me: Please Aidan, get your socks and pants so we can go see Aunt Jo.

Five minutes later...

Me: Aidan. Go get your socks and pants from your bedroom and I'll help you into them.

2 minutes later...

Me: Aidan, listen to me. Go get your pants so we can go. Do it now, please.

1 minute later...

Me: Okay, Aidan. I'm putting Wesley in the car and if you don't have your pants and socks ready for me when I come back, I'm going to do it for you and put you in the car.

Aidan: FINE, mom!

(I put Wesley in the car, turn around to see Aidan holding his pants and socks. Hallelujah.)

Aidan: I am so embarrassed!

Me: Huh?

Aidan: This is embarrassing, mom! I am freaking out!

Monday, October 20, 2008

will pay for hair

Um... so I'm getting hair extensions, I guess. I was more excited about it until I just googled it and started reading all these freaky horror stories about going bald or looking stupid. So I'm just going to cross my fingers and trust that neither of those things will happen to me, and that I will end up looking much more like a Victoria's Secret model than the first cast-off from "Making the Band 11: ABBA covers"

Of course, I will keep you updated as I make this journey into exciting and new hair arenas -- in fact, blogging about it somehow justifies the experience in my mind. I'm working the hair beat, just doing a bit of investigative reporting for the betterment of ALL mankind. All of them. Even the ones who already have lots of hair.

aidan hearts gourds

I bought Aidan a mini pumpkin today. To the uninitiated, this may not seem like an important or blog-worthy happening, but that's because you are blissfully unaware of my three year old's special brand of what I affectionately like to refer to as "the crazies." I wasn't even sure I was going to get him one after last year's pumpkin worshipry (is it a word? it sure is now!)

Last year before Wesley was born, we went to the pumpkin patch as a family. I was feeling 14 months pregnant, swollen, tired, and about 60 pounds heavier than a bull moose. This was actually the day that I had 8 hours of "false labor" contractions that sent me to the hospital after midnight only to be sent back with a percocet and the addition of a L&D nurse to my shit-list: "Sorry hon -- those are definitely registering as very strong contractions, but they're just not doing anything to your cervix. Your baby has a HUGE head though!" (Gee, thanks! Can't wait to push it out! I hope you have a nice night, too!)

ANYWAY. We were at this pumpkin patch, it was cold, slightly soggy, and Aidan kept tripping and falling all over himself... and he's not a fan of getting dirty.

"Oh! OH! I am so dirty!"

I kept picking him up, dusting him off, and following him around while he went from pumpkin to pumpkin. And then, after Mike and I had finally grown weary of the pumpkin patch and had "helped" Aidan make a decision, it happened. Aidan fell in love... with his very own mini pumpkin.

The pumpkin took baths with Aidan. It ate dinner with Aidan. It slept next to Aidan at night... and one night in December when it finally began to get a bit soggy around its edges, it myseriously disappeared. We were all quite torn up about it.

Flash back to today's trip to the grocery store where I grew so desperate for Aidan to behave that I bribed him with another pumpkin. Will we have a repeat of last year's pumpkin love? Only time will tell. But if it makes him behave when we're out running errands, I will buy him a whole pumpkin patch. I'll knit outfits for his pumpkins. I'll sing them songs and kiss them goodnight. Whatever it takes, right? That's the kind of grade A, June Cleaver-esque mom I am.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

antonio, my spanish lover

Is there any better way to end a crazy day than a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon? I'll tell you, TWO glasses. And a heaping dose of honesty: I actually had four glasses.

Speaking of heaping doses of honesty, here's one: I am not superwoman. (Gasp!) Ever since moving to Idaho, my business has exploded to the point that I'm waving the white flag. For sure I'm excited that people are treating me and the jewelry like the best thing since potato rolls (hardy har, did you get that? Idaho joke, people -- get with the times) but I am seriously to the point that I am going to have to hire someone to help me with some boring office busy work. Like mailing my show invitations. And filing. And... cleaning my house. And watching my kids. And putting on an "Anna" suit to fill in for my life while I slink off to some sexy white sands beach to drink fabulous drinks with half-naked male models. Screw that -- fully naked male models. This is my fantasy, after all.

ANYWAY, sorry for my negligence in the blogging arena. If you want the assistant job, feel free to give me a jingle. I'm sure that with some help I'll have plenty of time to blog while I'm on the beach with Antonio and Paolo, my spanish lovers. PLENTY of time...

(Hello? Hello? Are you there readers? It's me, Margaret.)

Saturday, October 04, 2008

discussing Aidan's underpants

Mike: I think I should start wearing underwear with little dinosaurs on them, too.

Anna: Umm.. why?

Mike: Because it tells the viewer that there's a giant volatile lizard inside.

Anna: WHAT? That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard... volatile how??

Mike: You never know when it's going to strike.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

homemade, shmo-made.

Last night we went to my sister's house for dinner -- she had a frozen turkey that had defrosted in her fridge and needed to be cooked, and so she called in the reserves since her three boys were with their dad for the weekend. Mike really likes turkey -- and he can eat a lot (though not as much as Joe, my sister Jo's fiance... but that man can eat more than is realistically possible or healthy...).

Anyway, the invitation was very nice and totally appreciated since we were fresh out of groceries last night. ("What do you want for a snack, Aidan? How about some dry spaghetii? No? Hmm... do you want a tortilla with ketchup on it?") We drank some wine, the boys played Wii Mario Kart, and everybody ate too much.

It was like Thanksgiving in September -- really quite delicious but totally overwhelming. Remember my pickles that didn't seal and how I lost my June Cleaver merit badge? Well, Johannah has like a bajillion merit badges for various homey domestic crap -- she probably knits the damn things in her spare time.

Picture it, Johannah's kitchen, last night:

Mike: Wow, look at all this food... you really went all out, Jo. Thanks again for having us over.

Jo: Oh, it's nothing -- I had to cook this turkey, and I didn't even make all the other stuff today. Some of it I made yesterday. So we have the turkey, and homemade gravy, the mashed potatoes Anna made, then homemade rolls, the stuffing I made with wild rice and currants, broccoli salad, frog eye salad, and don't forget this wine I pressed myself that's been aging in oak barrels in the basement.

(Okay, so maybe I exaggerated and Jo didn't really make her own wine -- the point is she probably could have if she wanted (and now I'm sure I've planted a seed and next year it will be on the menu for sure). And the best part? Those mashed potatoes that I made? FROM A BOX, people. Anyway, it gets better...)

Mike: After this, we should run out and buy some dessert or something.

Jo: Oh no need, I made these pies (she literally lifted a towel off the pies to unveil them at that point) -- homemade pumpkin and blueberry pie. So dessert is covered.

Mike: Wow!

Anna: Yeah, Jo... wow. (glares)

Monday, September 15, 2008

food for thought

what is it about putting a piece of food (hot dog, candy bar, apple...) on a stick that makes it so much better... and so much more expensive?

discuss.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

happy birthday mr. silver

It's Mike's birthday, and it's a big one... he turns 30 today. He's handling it pretty well (better than he handled turning 25 -- explain that one to me, please?) and most definitely better than I will handle joining the ranks of the 30-somethings; I break out in a cold sweat just thinking about it.

Anyway, in honor of my dear one's special day, I thought I would take a short walk down memory lane and reminisce about some of our special moments together, like...

...when we were decorating your family's Christmas tree together that first year and I kept unpacking "Mike and Mindy" ornaments. Imagine my confusion, since MY name is not, nor has it ever been Mindy! :)

...when we were on a date at the mini-golf course (did I ever tell you how much I hate miniature golf?) and I accidentally spilled your obscenely giant Dr. Pepper all over the "course" much to the chagrin of everyone behind us, and you so suavely saved the day by passing it off as a water hazard feature.

...when I stepped out of bed the first morning we spent together and slipped on the sheet that had fallen off the bed and onto the floor, flying 4 feet in the air and landing ungracefully on my behind.

...when I was pregnant with Wesley and got stuck on the floor, wedged between the couch and the end table for over 20 minutes until you came home and rescued me while keeping the laughter at a respectable level.

...when my midwife Julie informed us that they were going to induce me with Aidan, and you immediately started hyperventilating and pacing back and forth before leaving to get my hospital bag from home, getting pulled over a block away from the hospital for turning left out of a straight lane (you were still hyperventilating, I'm guessing) and then calling me from the road to see if I wanted McDonald's.

...when we had our first conversation like this:

Me: Let's snuggle some more, honey.

Mike: No, I want to go [insert something totally dumb and not as fun as snuggling]

Me: But wait, wait! I need to talk to you about something important....

Mike: What? Is this going to be something dumb just to keep me here?

Me: No! This is serious, I promise...

Mike: Well?

Me: ...umm...

Mike: What is it, Anna?

Me: ...

Mike: I'm getting out of bed.

Me: No!! Wait, wait... umm... do you love me??

Mike: (laughs) You are so annoying.


All I gotta say is... works every time.

I love you Mike! Happy birthday honey :)

all downhill from here

I've had such a fabulous response (fabulous for my readership numbers, at least!) to my misadventures in sausage making post, that I really just need to get something off my chest so I can stop crying myself to sleep at night.

I peaked already. Oh god, it was a horrible mistake -- how could I be so stupid??

Phew. That feels so much better. Now we can all stop feeling the pressure to match the funny factor of ground meat gone awry while we lay awake at night sweating and panicking while our eyes dart around the room and our blood pressure soars, just trying to think of how we could possibly top our last post, and we can get back to enjoying the inevitable downhill slide of this blog together.

Monday, September 08, 2008

developmental milestones


Wesley is learning how to do so many more things! Yeah, yeah, yeah he can do all that boring stuff that other babies his age can do like pull himself up to standing or say dada and mama (mama not nearly enough, dada ad nausem). Those are boring, normal baby things though; Wesley is way ahead of the curve with his new tricks.

First, he can take off his own pants. I have no idea how he accomplishes this feat, because it's usually done in his crib. (Although he apparently did it on Mike's lap once without Mike even noticing, which suggests some Houdini-esque talent) This is remarkable to me mostly because his three year old brother can't even take off his own pants -- or rather, he refuses. I wonder how I could train him to change the rest of his clothes... Gerber puff treats and a whistle, maybe?

Secondly, Wesley has learned the oh-so-important skill of craftiness -- call it being sneaky, crafty, wily, mischievious... the answer is always yes. He has always had a habit of putting everything (yes, everything) in his mouth, and I have stopped him many times from tasting all manner of fun things like beetles, cat hair and other assorted grossness. The difference is that now Wesley doesn't just try to put stuff into his mouth; he turns his head away from me before slowly and skillfully placing it in his mouth. Then he proceeds to crawl like hell away from me while I chase him down and try to extract said object.

Why, just this afternoon in one 30-second span (with me standing right next to him, mind you) I pulled a rock, pinecone, and crabapple out of his mouth -- yes, he is that quick. My little rock-eating trouser-droppin' magic man... makes a mom so proud. Sniff.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

hear ye, hear ye

Aidan has started using a new phrase: "I cried!"

As in: "NO, not pears! Peaches, I cried!" or "It's seven o'clock! Get up, I cried!"

I have no idea where my little town crier picked this up but it sure does make for good television.

Friday, September 05, 2008

yes

I never really intended to post about politics, but I didn't write this so no worries, right?

yes, yes, yes. what she said.

yes.

I paid for that?

I don't even want to go into the drama that we've been dealing with over the past couple days with Aidan and his digestive system -- suffice it to say that he's got poop issues now that he's finally recovering from last weekend's ordeal (of course he does). I wrote a long detailed purge of a post and then promptly deleted it after I re-read it and simultaneously thought "ew" and "huh?"

I will say that I'm beyond irritated that I will be paying for a trip to the ER and an x-ray to check for a serious bowel obstruction or problem (which, thank goodness, there isn't) with an ER doctor who seemed totally unconcerned and just sent us home with an enema... which is terrifying for a 3 year old if it even works (which it didn't).

I was totally unimpressed with this doctor, completely nauseated at the thought of the bill I'm going to get for his lackluster work, and (on a somewhat related note) totally sick about the cost of health insurance.

I'm also grateful for doctors like our pediatrician in Salt Lake, who took the time to talk to me this afternoon even though we're no longer his patients, and work out a plan to take care of this long-term.

So that's all I really need to say about that.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

just making sure

(Picture it: a car, mid-afternoon. A mom is driving her two young children around, probably running errands.)

Anna: How are you feeling, hon?

Aidan: Oh, Good!

Anna: Really? You're feeling good, that's great!

Aidan: Plo-bably yes, I guess.

Anna: Can you breathe okay?

Aidan: Yes, I just said.

Anna: So it's not hard to breathe?

Aidan: Nope.

Anna: So you can breathe easier?

Aidan: I am tine, I just said!

Anna: Fine, fine. I was just making sure. Sorry.

hamster pox

I have always wanted to call in sick with Hamster Pox, and now that I stay at home I encourage all my friends and family to do the same... no one has taken me up on it yet, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time. It sounds so dangerous, so nasty & contagious... so jet-setter's exotic vacation parasite-like.

But really, I'm sick. Everyone's sick, OH how we're sick. *cough cough*

Besides my four weeks of unrelenting congestion (but who's counting? Thank you allergies... and thank YOU Claritin, the drug that doesn't work) we have had a stomach bug and now a cold make the rounds at our household. Kids are so germy, blech.

And to top it all off, this Sunday after Aidan had a night with allergies (oh yeah, he's got them too) or a cold, he woke up wheezing -- not a good thing, people. Something similar happened last November when Wesley was 2 weeks old, and Aidan woke up with a fever and wheezing after 2 nights of Croup and ended up with an oxygen saturation somewhere in the 70%-range. After two hideous nebulizer treatments where I had to hold my screaming 2 year old for half-an-hour-plus, we were sent home with an inhaler, steroids, and an antibiotic, just in case it was pneumonia or something.

Long story short, it happened again on Sunday. This time, though, he hid it better, so I felt awful when we got to the doctor's and his oxygen saturation was at 77% -- he was talking in sentences, and didn't seem to be working very hard to breathe at all. Same in-office treatment with the nebulizer, same set of prescriptions, and here we are 2 days later. His saturation is still only about 91-92% though, so we've been going in every day while we finish the course of meds he got so we can make sure he doesn't get any worse.

He's doing a ton better than he was Sunday, I just wish he was getting better, faster. It's hard to watch and I can't help but worry that I might miss the signs if it happened again because I still have mommy-guilt over Sunday.

The doctors aren't going to say asthma right now, since it's only happened twice -- obviously if this becomes a recurring thing in our house we'll have to start doing some tests. I've spoken with several people who have said their young kids had wheezing episodes with some viruses and outgrew it as they got older... so I'm crossing my fingers.

So anyway, that's why I haven't been around. Nothing as exciting or exotic as hampster pox, I'm afraid. Unfortunately it's not as fictitious, either.

Now will someone come take my sick kids tonight so I can get some sleep????

(I'm serious by the way)

Friday, August 29, 2008

say it loud

I love Pull-Ups!

Not for me though... for Aidan. Sorry if that was confusing.

Phew. I have wanted to say that for a couple days now, but there is such a fierce anti-trainining pants movement out there I didn't know if I'd get yelled at or stoned. Well, I'm over that -- Aidan's recent success on the potty has induced such a sense of euphoria in me that I could listen to 150 diatribes on how I'm "confusing my child" and respond with just sunshiney smiles (and probably a few muttered insults, too -- nobody's perfect) while I continue to buy the most fabulous inventions known to potty training.

Apparently my three year old was just too stressed out in his cotton, soggy-when-wet underpants. He already appears to be a bit of a perfectionist. (gee, I wonder where he got that?) In the four days he's been wearing pull-ups we haven't had a single tantrum over the potty and he's only had an accident once or twice. My verdict? MIRACLE. Glorious, glorious miracle from above -- I can hear the angelic choirs now, singing the praises of dispoable Lightning McQueen pants and their Piston Cup crotch graphics that disappear when wet.

Sniff. It's glorious, isn't it?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

first day

Behold, a preschooler in his natural habitat.


I had no problems dropping him off at school this morning - no tears or sniffly moments. (I was too excited for that!) I did, however, get a little verklempt when he walked to me after school with his little backpack full of papers and a big grin on his face. He looked like a KID -- I experienced an odd mixture of pride and freaked out-edness. (is a word, no?)

Monday, August 25, 2008

'twas the night before preschool

'Twas the night before preschool, and all through the house
pure excitement was flooding from Mom and her spouse.
The backpack was hung by the front door with care,
in hopes that the morning soon would be there.
Young Aidan was nestled all snug in his bed
while visions of preschool danced in Mom's head...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

misadventures in sausage making

I have a book of recipes for babies and kids called "First Meals" by Annabel Karmel that I bought when Aidan was a baby. I like to cook, and I wanted to make healthy meals for my child. Simple enough, right?

Wrong.

This book has lots of great features like sample menus (helpful when you're a first time mom and have no idea how much food to give to your kid at any given time) and some fun recipes. It also has a lot of very involved recipes with several ingredients, plus enough parsnips, leeks and unfamiliar entrees to give away the fact that the author is most definitely British.

I also have this ridiculous habit of deciding to cook from this book without taking a moment and actually thinking to myself, "is this a reasonably simple recipe?" before jumping right in. This has led to giant messes and some hilarity -- but mostly messes. I remember making Aidan the "baby bolognese" and thinking to myself while I chopped garlic, measured spices, and peeled and seeded tomatoes (I figured diced tomatoes from a can weren't good enough for MY baby!) that I had never even put this much effort into making my OWN meals. This was, of course, several years ago before I became the accomplished chef and diced tomato buyer that I am today, right?

Well, today I decided to make Aidan some chicken sausages from this cookbook which were "dressed up" as snails with a little mashed potato "shell" to up the kid-friendly factor. I put bread crumbs, raw chicken, grated apple, onions, and a little sage (my own special touch, master chef that I am) into the food processor and mixed it all up. At this point, I'm feeling pretty hot. The recipe then tells me to shape the chicken mess into sausages, roll in flour and saute until cooked through.

It sounded easy enough, but then I learned several things:

  • Raw sausage is really gooey and sticky. Perhaps this is why professional sausage makers use casings.
  • Babies who have been happy all morning invariably decide to start screaming at the top of their lungs when their mom's hands are coated in gooey, sticky, raw chicken.
  • Toddlers who have been playing in the backyard are compelled for cosmic reasons to sneakily open the garage door and wander into the front yard to play with a next door neighbor boy so mom can have a heart attack and run through the backyard, garage, and into plain view of all neighbors looking for said toddler, covered in gooey, sticky, raw chicken.
  • Babies continue crying when you most need them to stop.
  • Flour is very messy and can travel great distances through the air. Just remember that -- it's applicable to many real world situations.
  • Presentation suffers when babies are screaming, crawling around after you through the kitchen and pulling themselves up on your pantlegs while you prepare culinary masterpieces.
So, finally, here is what Annabel Karmel's chicken sausage snails look like:



And here are mine:


Humph.

Friday, August 22, 2008

living in the moment

Time -- 1:43:15 PM



Time -- 1:43:25 PM


Yeah, that's how we roll.

countdown

As I write this, I'm looking at the clock and a blissful sense of peace and excitement (yes, both!) is washing over me... and coincidentally, Aidan starts preschool in 3 days, 22 hours.

But who is counting, really?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

10 things about me you may not have known

(aren’t you excited to know now??)

1. Green is my most favorite color

2. I’ve always been melodramatic – my 3rd grade teacher nicknamed me “Sarah Bernhardt”.

3. I’m admittedly high maintenance (everything worth having is worth working for, right?)

4. I like to write, and I like to take everyday things in my life and spin them in a fun and irreverent way for this blog.

5. I’m legally blind (thank God for corrective lenses) – can’t even see the keyboard without my contacts.

6. Family means more to me than most things in this world.

7. My boys have special middle names – Aidan Michael was named for my husband, and Wesley Patrick was named for my older brother who I have always loved and looked up to (even when he was zipping me into sleeping bags under the guise of games of “Rocket Ship” or “Hatching Egg” when we were younger).

8. My pickles didn’t seal. (THERE, I said it. Sniff. Take away my June Cleaver badge of honor)

9. My lucky number is 1,672 – it popped into my head when I was around eight years old, and it’s shown up several times in random places (i.e. the first digits on my driver’s license) throughout my life.

10. I am fluent in Russian.

Okay, #10 isn’t exactly true but I got stuck after nine and “9 Things About Me” just didn’t sound as grand… as I do like things to be grand. It’s that dramatic streak in me.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

letter to my house #2

Dear House,

It seems I owe you an apology -- I don't hate you, house. You have a lot of fabulous qualities and it's been brought to my attention that I've been a little harsh when writing about you. For that, I am truly very sorry; so please don't slam a window on my fingertips or lock me outside in my underwear as revenge for my mean-spirited words... you're such a good little house.

You're in a nice, quiet neighborhood with big old trees (never you mind about the Russian Olive next door -- that's not your fault at all, hon). You've had some fabulous work done upstairs, too -- you've been nipped and tucked into a fabulous new version of yourself (don't get me wrong -- I'm sure you were always fabulous... but a little lift here and there never hurt a girl, right?)

So please accept my sincerest apologies if I hurt you in the slightest. I think the heat and allergies just overwhelmed me a bit, but I'm in a much better place now with allergy meds in my system. In the future, I will definitely work to keep your feelings in mind.

Yours in lease,
Anna

P.S. Thanks for keeping it cooler while my in-laws were visiting -- you deserve something cute as a reward... we'll go shopping later, okay?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

that's ms. cleaver to you

I can't get over how domestic I am. Look, I made pickles!

Me! Pickles! In a jar with a seal!! I thought about documenting the process photographically but then I just decided I would end up embarrassing myself.

I made my first batch of jam earlier this week, too. (Jo and I made a couple batches together but I got saddled with all the crappy jobs for the novice, like constantly stirring the molten apricot-y goodness while everyone else in the house did things that ended up looking more fun than they probably were, simply because I was stuck at the stove without options)

I am so June Cleaver.

meow


Fig is such a fierce piece of shelf decor. She's exhausted from being so fabulous.

it can always get worse

I hate laundry in general, so when your house is old and quirky and for some reason your dryer vents into your basement instead of outside, and you have no AC... well, is it any wonder that I secretly want to wrap my kids in a plastic wrap to keep them clean?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

addendum

I forgot to add this to my to-do list for our SLC trip:

12. Get sick in the middle of the night at the hotel and pretty much ruin the rest of the trip. Sniff.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

handy factor

I'm a handy badass, and I needed to share the photos of the roman shades that I hung in the boy's rooms (YES, I mounted them. I am that cool.) Disregard the mess; I was too busy being handy to tidy up.


Wesley's room:




Aidan's room:



Also, Jo came and rescued me from myself and put cute things in my built-in shelves... I kept looking at them with all the crap from boxes thrown in them waiting to be cuted up, feeling overwhelmed and going downstairs to continue unpacking (yes, I'm still unpacking. What of it?)

This was apparently completely and totally unacceptable in my sister's eyes. So she came and sorted it out for me while I offered my expertise in the form of helpful tips: "No, I don't like that there. Move that. No, not cute. Can you flip that? It's ugly that way. Hmm... okay."

What are sisters for, right? Thanks Jo :)

letter to my house

Dear house,

I'm not going to beat around the bush -- 85 degrees? Inside? I'm at a loss, house. I close the windows, it's hot. I open the windows for a stale breeze, it's hot -- and I sneeze. No matter what I do, it doesn't seem to be good enough for you. How am I supposed to bring guests into this situation?

To top off my misery, I seem to have some little bug and I'm completely achey and a tad miserable -- I caught myself eyeing your tacky cream carpet in the basement today while my boys played, wanting to curl up on its cool(ish) surface and close my eyes. I think I'm a bit crazy from the heat...

Really. This is ridiculous and it just has to stop. I might just have to go get a portable air conditioner. And if I am forced to do that, guess what? No fancy decorations or new objet d'artes for you.

Think about that -- do you really want to go down that road? Once we start, there's no turning back.

Yours in lease,
Anna

countdown to craziness

I'm trying to get ready for my in-laws to arrive this weekend for a visit. We haven't seen them since Wesley was born, so it will be nice to have them here for a bit. However, I am totally embarrassed at the state of my house and so I'm halfway dreading their arrival and my subsequent lame-ass explanations.

"Oh, (nervous giggle) sorry about those boxes."

"Oops! Watch your step, sorry!"

"Um... I know your sheets are here somewhere... maybe I packed them with the cleaners?"

Don't worry your pretty little heads about just how much I'm exaggerating... rest assured that I'm not stretching the truth enough to have a normal blood pressure as our guest's arrival looms ever closer.

Crap!

To top it all off, tomorrow morning my sister and I leave for Salt Lake for a day chock full of fun and assorted activities:

1. Drop off Aidan with Grammy Nan and Grandpa Bryan for his first overnight stay away from
either Mike or me (please, dear Lord, let my parents speak to me after this is over)
2. Pick up Johannah's wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses & my sassy dog-walking dress (did I
mention that I'm walking her dog down the aisle?)
3. Return Comcast's modem to them, since someone (not going to name anyone, but rhymes
with SHMIKE) just barely remembered to cancel our internet service yesterday after packing
and moving the modem that we don't use anymore to Idaho.
4. Check into our totally normal, un-fabulous non-downtown hotel since someone (yeah, it was
me) forgot to make a reservation in time to get a fun hotel for less than $300.
5. Go to salon for fabulous haircuts and free Diet Cokes
6. Go to our old house and pick up a couple chairs that Mike couldn't jam into the moving van
and make sure that these people are taking care of my little home. (sniff)
7. Do a lia sophia show Saturday morning (look at little business-minded moi!)
8. Pick up apricots on Brigham City's fruit way for jam (the Williams girls are nothing if not
domestic, right?)
9. Swing by Grammy Nan and Grandpa Bryan's to beg forgiveness and catch Aidan while they
toss him from their front porch.
10. Drive back to Idaho and a few days with Grandma Nancy and Grandpa Paul.
(11. Have a drink)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

friends and family

What kind of a mom does it make me when I get a 25% off coupon for Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic for the express purpose of buying Fall clothes for my boys, which I then go shopping with -- forgetting my children all together but coming home with some very cute jeans?

a.) A horribly selfish, denim-driven shop-aholic.
b.) A woman whose shopping priorities are safely in order (kids can wear hand-me-downs and things from the sale rack; they look cute in whatever. Moms, however, do NOT look cute in whatever.)
c.) Where can I get this coupon??

allergies

Stop the presses -- Anna is allergic to Idaho!

I may be jumping the gun a bit, but I can't even describe how miserable I've been since moving here. And it's ALL the fault of all the stupid Russian Olive trees around here -- they're everywhere, I can't escape them!

Are they pretty? Sure, I grew up with one in my backyard and I always liked it a lot. I also had seasonal allergies growing up that mysteriously disappeared as I got older. Well, they're back now and the only thing I can see to point my finger at is my neighbor's tree (it's hard to see much farther than that with these itchy red eyes of mine).

In fact, I did some serious allergenicity research into the local pollen counts (read: I went to weather.com) and found out that the only thing even showing right now is a low level russian olive pollen. CASE CLOSED, says me.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

wow

I can't believe it's over -- I'm finished reading the "Twilight" series.. I'm feeling a bit sad, it's awfully weird to be done. I really have enjoyed the books way more than I thought I would.

I don't even know what to say, and I probably shouldn't say anything anyway... but damn, I love that Edward Cullen. Be still my geeky heart, for sure! Now hurry up and read it so we can talk all about it. Go! Turn the computer off, already!

An aside: It definitely hasn't been as surreal as finishing the Harry Potter series, so don't get your panties in a bundle, mom! But really, I can't understand how you didn't enjoy these books -- but in the meantime, if you're not going to read them, perhaps you should peruse "Memoirs of a Geisha", no?

Thursday, July 31, 2008

(hyperventilating)

I'm so excited for "Breaking Dawn" that it completely overwhelms my embarrassment about being this worked up about a piece of juvenile vampire fiction.



So ignore the "on my nightstand" part of this blog because it's being postponed indefinitely until I finish this book. I didn't pre-order it because I didn't know where I would be living at that point... so right now I'm deciding if I should run to a 24-hour Walmart at midnight and grab one or just wait until tomorrow. This town is small enough that I should be able to grab one, right?? Right???

potty talk

I am beginning to regret my decision to push forward with potty training with no looking back. We've taken two steps forward and one step back several times (or two steps back... see? I'm honest!) and it's usually us (okay, ME -- I am the primary potty trainer, people! It's hard work!) caving when Aidan pulls his stubborn manipulative crap. Where he got that, I have no idea.(Hahaha, okay even I laughed then. Of course I know where he got it, people! It was Mike. ALL Mike -- nice genes, honey.)

Well he's done it again -- we are in round 147 of our proverbial pissing contest (how apropos, teehee). This time, he has to be potty trained in order to attend school at the end of August -- and he knows what to do, and does it when the spirit moves him (except #2 -- I'll call it #2 for my more sensitive readers). It really comes down to him not wanting to interrupt what he's doing to go sit on the potty, and then when he REALLY has to go he has tantrums because he's uncomfortable and instead of just sitting on the potty he works himself up into a fit -- it's pretty ugly.

Enough backstory -- like I was saying, he has to be trained to go to school. Aidan loves school, he talks about it a lot, is excited to go back... in theory. He also hates being left places, and usually has a fit then too. So we go back and forth. When I told him we were going to use the potty all the time so we could go to school, he was excited, went pee, and then promptly wanted to climb into the car and drive off to school.

Today, however, was a different story. He got hung up on me leaving him at school, and decided he didn't want to go anymore. So after accident #3 today, we were having a chat about where the poop -- er I mean #2, goes, and he answered correctly that it belonged in the potty. I asked him why he hadn't told me it was time to sit on the potty (because believe me, he knows when it's time! It's like a monumental event around here) and he answered, "I'm not going to school," as he grinned and climbed back into bed.

That little pill knows exactly what he is doing. I'm shocked, frustrated, and a little bit awed by his smarts and skills. Those, by the way, came from my genes.

i'm melting...

Oh, how I miss my central air and its sweet whispers of coolness. Blowing on my toes while I stand at my sink, rushing over my hot skin while I walk in and out my front door repeatedly, sweeping across my forehead as I lay on the floor in order to get closer to the vent... you know, all the normal activities people do to enjoy their AC. Theoretically, that is -- I would never actually do those weirder things.

...really.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

chub factor

Let me just say that pregnancy weight gain SUCKS.
Especially when you did nothing to deserve the sheer amount that was put on during baby-baking.
Especially when it's baby #2 fat and it does not magically disappear from your body within a couple months... in fact, it acts like it's superglued on.
Especially when you gained 20 pounds before you got pregnant anyway so you're fighting an uphill battle (but that's just between us, right? At least uphill is good for the butt)

This weekend I think I'm going to a lake or reservoir or some other unchlorinated body of fishy water with my sister Jo and all the kids (between us that's 9 young boys). But that's not the part I'm scared about -- I'm scared about the whole tanning thing. See, I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place -- in order to improve my blinding white legs, I have to subject them to UV rays of some sort... and at this point, with my post-baby chub, I'd much prefer to keep the sight of my untanned thighs between me, God, and a tanning bed.

What to do, what to do?

Monday, July 28, 2008

spinning class #2

Pros
  • My butt doesn't hurt like it did Friday. Is it the fact that I have quickly developed bike-seat-butt-callus, took ibuprofen before leaving my home this morning, or did I finally figure out how to sit on the seat correctly? I'm betting it's some combination of the three.
  • Did you see that?? My butt doesn't hurt! I thought it was worthy of an extra pro -- one for each ischial tuberosity ;)

Cons
  • This class was HARD. Not to whine or anything... (whine) but this instructor was tougher than Friday's instructor. I was feeling both tough and slightly grossed out as I sweated buckets into my little white towel.
  • The whiteness factor of my legs nauseates me a bit when I look in the mirror. I really need to get on that one.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

perhaps you missed this...

I know it's late, and I've already done a couple posts today... but really, my posts are the highlight of your blog reading schedule, right?? I thought so -- I won't let myself feel bad for bringing sunshine into your life.
While I do feel sort of dumb re-posting this picture, I am convinced that no one truly looked closely at it like I suggested... this is truly my favorite picture from Aidan's entire birthday party.

Here's the original that I posted:

And here's a close-up so you can see just why I love this photo so much:


That's my boy. Finger up his nose, big ole grin on his face while people sing "Happy Birthday" to him. He certainly looks like he's having a happy birthday -- I didn't notice it until after the party, so I hope he didn't touch any of the cupcakes I ate. (YES I had two.)

open letter to my closet

Dear Closet,

I just don't know if it's going to work out between you and me. I can't help but compare you to my last closet -- I know that's not a healthy thing to do, but I find myself replaying all my last closet's wonderful qualities over and over in my head.

I am having a hard time moving on and letting go of my last relationship. Floor-to-ceiling shoe shelves... that's not something a girl can just forget. I am sure you're a wonderful closet, and I feel awful about it but I just don't think it's the right time for me to get involved with someone new... I'm no good for you, baby.

It's not you, it's me.

Anna


culture shock

I am liking Idaho Falls so far, I really am. It's pretty different than Salt Lake, and I'm still adjusting to all these differences.

For example, the alcohol laws here are a bit more lax which is a plus to me -- I'm not a heavy drinker or anything, but it's nice to be able to get a bottle of wine at the grocery store, and not have to drive 20 minutes to a liquor store. I enjoy that.

Also, the high temperature may be 95 degrees, but it only seems to be that miserable for a few hours in the afternoon -- in Utah, it would have been 90 degrees by 11 AM... at 11 AM here it's still something normal like 75 degrees. I also enjoy that.

Now to things that I don't enjoy, or that I'm going to have to learn to get used to...

People in Salt Lake are very image conscious -- I knew some women who had moved from places like Southern California and they were pretty surprised by the parallels between those two spots. Everyone has designer jeans, designer homes, designer teeth and bodies, you know... the works. It's very important to LOOK good in Salt Lake -- it's a bit extreme, really.

I find myself having to remind myself here that "just because it's not fancy doesn't mean it's not quality." Not to say Idaho Falls is a dump because it's NOT -- don't get me wrong. It's just a bit more normal than Salt Lake, probably... I'm actually a bit embarrassed to find myself hesitating when I find out that Aidan's preschool classroom is in a modular building outside the church the rest of the school is in (it's supposed to be a fabulous program so I just made myself get over it -- seriously, what does it matter?) or that the credit union we signed up at isn't all glossy, huge, and expensive-looking. (apparently credit unions are "the thing" in Utah and so they are everywhere and they are huge since most of them don't even seem to enforce membership guidelines, and they are probably oozing money. That's right, oozing. Aren't they supposed to be not-for-profit?? How does that work, seriously?) I feel bad for being so hung up on appearances, I feel almost shallow. So that's something that I'm definitely needing to work on.

This last thing I really don't love... again, I was probably sheltered in Utah. I was returning something at a store and I overheard a cashier having a conversation with some other people -- a girl and a guy (kind of trashy looking). It went something like this:

Cashier: You pregnant?

Girl: Yeah.

Cashier (to the guy): Is it yours?

Guy: No...

Cashier: Who's baby is it then?

Girl: His friend Bobby's... we got drunk at a party. (laughs)

I tuned them out at that point because my mouth was probably wide open and I was no doubt giving myself away as a sheltered Utahn who has only ever actually heard a conversation like this on a show like "Cops" -- hello, people?? How trashy is that? Think of the poor baby!

Ugh.

SO anyway, in a roundabout way I guess all I'm saying is that I'm adjusting. I still miss my Costco though.

Friday, July 25, 2008

sure, i'll play.

1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!

2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you.

I've never done anything like this on here... so make your memories good and funny so I won't regret my decision :)

anatomy lesson

As soon as I typed tailbone, I knew it wasn't right. Not even close, I'm embarrassed to say. Being the geek that I am, I consulted my old anatomy workbook and what I meant to say was: "this ridiculous ischial tuberosity pain better go away"

We here at Moments on the Silver's Screen always strive to be factual -- and educational! Now you know that those little knobbly sitting bones are technically called ischial tuberosities and that they are the little bones screaming at you for mercy while you perch yourself wobbily on a bike seat for an hour.

Class dismissed!

first day of spinning

Ow.

It better help me get skinnier for Johannah's wedding, and this ridiculous tailbone pain better go away, and I better run out and get a tan on my legs so while I am staring at myself in the mirror during class I don't want to cry from the whiteness of it all.

I'd type more but it hurts to sit. Perhaps I should mosey over to a medical supply store and pick up a donut for my chair.

Monday, July 21, 2008

bad times at Target

I had an embarrassing nightmare-type experience in Target today. Ever had a dream where you are out and about and suddenly realize you're NAKED???

No, I wasn't naked (thank God -- for me and the innocent Target guests)... but as I walked into Target for the umpteenth time to get more felt stickery things for the bottom of our furniture (gotta love the wood floors) and more fans for my 120-degree house (did I mention that this house has no air conditioning and half the windows are painted shut??) a man stared at me with a quizzical expression...

and I suddenly realized that I had TOTALLY forgotten to get ready this morning -- it was a no shower morning while I unpacked hundreds of boxes, and my hair was this crazy woman bird-nest mess, I have a couple ugly red spots on my face (going on 3 weeks of post IUD-insertion PERIOD with all the hormonal symptoms like breakouts. Spotting my ass!!) and I have raccoon eyes from mascara... Seriously. BAD time for me to go to the store. I was mortified but just did my shopping anyway...

I got enough odd glances though, that I bet I have a reputation in this town already.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Garage sale craziness

Today we had a garage sale at the new house to get rid of all the crap we don't need (and there was a lot of that...) Remember, I've learned to have the garage sale BEFORE the move, not after -- so please, don't try this at home.

Johannah and Joe were selling a lot more than we were, since they're combining households and all. But we did make enough to make a hefty dent in the cost of a new crib, since someone *ahemahemMikeahem* broke ours in the move.


William in Jo's 1990 prom dress looking sassy. He went out to the street and waved down cars.



Aidan covered in price tag stickers. He's yours for $10.... okay, $8. But that's as low as I can go.

Wesley looking cute, per usual -- finally cut one of his first teeth and is a much happier boy.(didn't I mention that he was sloooowly cutting teeth this week? Of course he was, why wouldn't he be up all night crying the week we were moving? It makes perfect sense.)

Aidan turns 3

Amid all the craziness of the last week, Aidan had a birthday. I can't believe my baby is three years old. I know everyone feels this way, so it's a bit cliche, but it really does happen in the blink of an eye. Here's to 3 being a better year for us than 2!! (Seriously, Aidan almost got sold to the gypsies several times last year...)

We had a little party at the park for him on Monday so he could play with his friends before we left. Here he is in some sweet new sunglasses:

Blowing out the candle on his cupcakes (with a little help from Taylor!)

And finally, my personal favorite. Check out where the birthday boy's finger is. I think I'll frame this one...



Friday, July 18, 2008

jeff update

From Mike's comment on an earlier post:

Cat found! Poor Jeff has been wedged between Aidan's headboard and the wall for at least 3 weeks. Despite the lack of food, water, or meowing, Jeff was extracted and is completely unscathed! Upon his rescue, he was immediately snuggled by Aidan. Onlookers said the reunion was nothing short of a miracle. Mike Silver, Channel 9 news. Back to you in the studio, Stan.


This was very good news.

made it to idaho

We got here yesterday afternoon after a week that can only be described as hellish! I hate moving!!!! Are there enough exclamation marks to get my point across?? (!!!!!)

So many things have happened, including Aidan's 3rd birthday yesterday and Mike's dry socket (blech) after his tooth extraction. Pretty exciting life we lead, wouldn't you agree?

I wish everyone could see the state of our house... no, never mind, I take that back. Did I mention that I hate moving? I will make sure to update the blog sooner rather than later with photos of Aidan's birthday party and some pictures of this place covered in mess and boxes. But I really do have to go back to unpacking. Or showering. I stink!!! Moving sucks.

A few things I've learned in the last week:

1. Take a break from lia sophia BEFORE major events, not just after. It's just a couple days and it saves a whole lot of trouble. What was I thinking doing a show on Tuesday and closing a show on Wednesday afternoon amid boxes being carted out to the moving van? Picture me and my little computer in a corner of the empty office, desperately trying to find order forms that had probably been packed.

2. Hire movers next time.

3. Piano movers are one of God's greatest gifts to mankind.

4. 16-yr old moving assistants are not very good at NOT messing up your furniture, no matter how good their intentions.

5. Garage sale BEFORE the move, not after.

6. Unloading moving vans by yourself in 86 degree weather is ridiculously grueling.

7. $4.15/gallon at 6-8 miles/gallon times 235 miles ... equals expensive.

8. Hire movers next time. Seriously.

Friday, July 11, 2008

5 days left...

...and the situation over here is pretty much the same. SIGH. I've been packing things here and there, but I want to move packed boxes and furniture out to the garage and the garage isn't packed yet. Don't blame me, that wasn't my job!! ;)

On a positive note (sort of), Mike got his wisdom teeth pulled yesterday. Why is that positive? Well in our original plan his appointment was the day before we needed to be out of here... and more than likely it would have gotten real ugly, real fast. The dentist had a cancellation though, so voila! Here we are, 2 teeth extractions later. Even though we accomplished nothing yesterday I'm glad to be on the other side of dentist visit. One less thing to worry about. (I'm trying to stay positive here)

On an incredibly negative note, Jeff (Aidan's stuffed cat) is absolutely nowhere to be found. I'm really, truly starting to panic. He hadn't asked about him for the last few days, but it started tonight. I asked Aidan if he knew where Jeff was and he said that he was "plob-ably in my closet? Or in your room?" But alas, he is neither of those two places. Or any of the other 247 places I have checked in the last 20 minutes.

Have you seen this cat???
(I'm totally not kidding -- did we leave it at your house, anyone?)

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Beer, Anyone?

I'm feeling a little overwhelmed -- my (lovely) sister Johannah told me everything I need to do in a week's time as far as packing is concerned, since she's an expert and has moved her family several times (without any help from her ex-husband who would coincidentally disappear every time moving was required).

Needless to say I have finally realized that ignoring this issue probably isn't the right way to go about trying to get everyone moved up to Idaho by next Thursday -- oh well, it was worth a shot!

Pray for me... I guess I have to go start packing. Have I mentioned how much I hate to move? Does anyone want to do it for me? Free beer!!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Way Cooler Than Cosmo

So... you should all subscribe to my fabulous blog. See the handy little sign up button over there on the right side of the screen? Yep, you should do it. Everyone else is, and you don't want to be the only one NOT doing it, right?

I'm just thinking of you and your status as one of the cool kids... because just between you and me, I think you are definitely one of the cool kids.



Pssssssssst......... do it.

are we there yet?

07/08 - 07/14 Pack all our stuff (seriously, who needs all this stuff??) while concurrently searching the house for Aidan's stuffed cat "Jeff" who has been missing for the last few days -- try not to act panicked, kids can sense fear. I'm sure the cat is somewhere around here... right???

07/08 lia sophia show

07/09 Finish shopping for Aidan's 3rd birthday, finding fun things for him that have nothing to do with sports since his sports toys are tied up in a potty reward that we created MONTHS ago (literally) and that I was positive would be achieved by now. Any suggestions?

07/10 lia sophia show

07/12 lia sophia Region Rally up in Layton... so not looking forward to driving to this.

07/14 Aidan's birthday party/going away party at a local park

07/15 lia sophia show (yes, I'll be doing it)

07/16 Mike's wisdom teeth removal (we are apparently insane)

07/17 Happy Birthday Aidan! Hopefully driving to Idaho (which should be fun -- see previous day's activities!)

07/18 Renters move-in date / Anna's collapse date :)

Monday, July 07, 2008

crap

Apparently my whining did the trick (natch) because it seems that we have found some normal people (at least in appearances!) to rent our home. The guy dropped off their deposit this morning, and Mike says they're coming over to sign the lease tonight.

So how do I celebrate? By getting queasy of course! Crap, crap, crap. TONIGHT?

I am freaking out now that it's actually happening -- but I have no time to freak out. I have to go pack. Crap.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

renter blues

Why is it so hard to find normal people to rent our house? I wish I could change the listing to just head off all these weirdos at the pass.

--Your aunt's fiance's cousin may not live here with you.

--No, we will not rent to you if you lie to us about your reason for moving, especially when we discover through your background check that you're going through a bankruptcy you failed to alert us about. (Especially when the rent payment is $50 MORE than your current house payment. Even if you tell us you're selling your cars and getting rid of your pets. No. No. No.)

--No, you may not re-tile, paint, or build on if the spirit moves you and then deduct the work from your rent.

--I beg you, stop saying "get 'er done." Especially while my husband shows you the dimmer switch in the master bedroom.

-- Why does everyone seem to have two massive outdoor dogs? Mike is sure they are all probably named Marmaduke or Clifford, and while I do like our furry friends, the idea of having big dogs tearing up my backyard and barking all day long is frightening to me.

-- Yes, the rent is firm.

-- No shoes, no shirt, no tour of the house.

Any other questions?

feathers


I can hear the jealous cries of teenage boys everywhere, who fight with their hair to defy gravity in such a messy, Big Bird feathery way.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

secret joy

Um. How did I not know they were making a bigscreen version of "Mamma Mia"? HOW? I love campy crazy things like this. Hell, I even love ABBA. They're like Ace of Base, but so much more more... classic. I secretly love the movie "Muriel's Wedding" (okay maybe not-so-secretly...) and I was literally shocked today when I saw pictures for some premiere of this movie I wasn't even AWARE of. Perhaps I've had my "Twilight" movie (in theatres 12.12.08!) blinders on.

Who is as excited for this as me?? It's okay to admit. It's got Meryl Streep in it -- she has an Oscar so it has to be good, right? ;) Pierce Brosnan! Colin Firth! Both fabulous -- and fabulous looking! It even has that HI-larious girl from "Mean Girls". I have no idea what her name is, but I loved her then so I'm sure I'll love her now.

I just had to share the joy. This is a good thing, people.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

my book report

Should I make a note of it when I finish a book on my list? Feel free to share your opinion of the possibility of me doing book reports here. I'm so embarrassed -- I am no literary critic. They might end up sounding a bit like this:

"The Pillars of the Earth" Book Report, by Anna

I read "The Pillars of the Earth" (deluxe edition - Oprah's Book Club!) by Ken Follet. It was a good book. I didn't know if I would like it, but I did. It was about some people building a cathedral a long, long time ago in England. And they went to France and Spain for a while in the book too. It was really hard to build churches back then without forklifts and cranes and all the other cool things that we have now. There was other stuff going on in the book, too. It took me a little while to get into it but I really did enjoy reading it. I would recommend this book to a friend.

The End.

Sooo... maybe I won't write reviews of the books that I finish. I just broke out in a cold sweat remembering middle school assignments and I think I need to go finish my panic attack now. (breathe, Anna, breathe!)

delicious delicious bellinis


Last night I went out with some of the girls on my lia sophia team for a going away dinner. I'm sad to be leaving, because I love these girls! (I must -- I look way better in another shot, but no one else did -- so I posted my semi-cute photo. That's love.) We're a barrel of laughs, I tell you.

Yes, those are empty drink glasses scattered on the table. How had I gone this long without sampling the deliciousness that is a bellini?? I LOVE peachy-things. And I love champagne. And wine. And rum. It had a refreshness factor of 12 -- 12, people. I don't kid around with my made-up scales of greatness.

Friday, June 27, 2008

uh oh



As excited as I am about this milestone in Wesley's young little life, I am also pretty nervous for what it means. Aidan was always a pretty laidback, easy baby -- Wesley has been a busy boy since day one. At four months old he was picking bowls up off the counter while in my arms and dropping them on the floor.

Ready or not here he comes, right?? Ohhh, I long for the days when children would stay where you put them.

Monday, June 23, 2008

goodbyes

Today we said goodbye to Cuddles, one of our two kitties. She's been with Mike for a very, very long time -- I think she was around 21 years old. She was just so old, sick and weak that it was the kindest thing to do. But it really does feel like we're missing someone important in our house tonight. She was a sweet cat and we'll miss her terribly.




Saturday, June 21, 2008

family pictures

Wesley doesn't like cheerios... who ever heard of a baby who doesn't like cheerios?? If he puts one in his mouth he starts gagging and spits it out...quite hilarious.

If, however, he's eating something more agreeable to his delicate palate, he insists on doing it all by himself or he dissolves into a mess of tears. If he could talk, he would surely say "I want to do it by my own!" (a la Aidan)

Here's Doctor Aidan checking on his patient, Mike, who is apparently terribly sick (read: he fell asleep on the floor while playing with his children.)

happy birthday

Me: How old are you Aidan?
Aidan: I am two.
Me: And how old will you be on your birthday?
Aidan: Six.
Me: Well, not quite. You'll be three! That's so big! What do you want for your birthday?
Aidan: A swimming pool!
Me: Anything else?
Aidan: I want to be six.
Me: I'll see what I can do.

le freak out

Does that make me look like I speak French? Cause I don't.

Anyway, I'm a tad freaked out because we're MOVING as most of you know, and I loathe moving and I double-loathe the feeling of trying to juggle a hundred things while tap dancing which is pretty much how this move is making me feel. We're going to Idaho Falls for a business opportunity for Mike so I'm excited for him, plus my sister Jo lives up there which means fun, wine-drinking shoe-shopping adventures for moi. (there's that French again)

I am, however, sad about some things that are making me drag my feet a little. I don't want to move again, we haven't been in our house for very long and I'm happy here. I will miss the mountains, and all the friends I've made through lia sophia and mom's groups over the last couple years. I love my midwife, our pediatrician, and the school I found for Aidan. I like my neighbors, and my super fabulous grocery store Harmon's. (Is it way dumb to be sad over a grocery store??) Lastly, there is no Costco in Idaho Falls... and that saddens me a great deal.

We have people coming to look through our house (we're renting it out) starting on Tuesday evening, and I believe we're shooting for a mid-July exit. I will do my best to keep you updated on our progress (or lack thereof) as we move along.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

notes to self

1. learn how to make mango margaritas
2. drink a pitcher of them
3. ... hmm.

yeah, that's pretty much it.

Friday, June 13, 2008

if you need me, dear, i've run off to mexico.

Have you ever had one of those days where you just wanted to crawl back into bed and lock your kids out of your room while you drank an entire bottle of Shiraz and pretended that you didn't have dishes to do, hot pink wax to scrub off the wall (thank you Aidan with the scentsy warmer), or laundry to do? (I think you all know how I feel about laundry at this point)

Yeah...that was my week. I've been in survival mode, so I'm sorry that I wasn't around much. Wesley's teething and going through some wake-10-times-a-night phase, and Aidan's on night #2 without a binky (YES, I know he's almost 3, so sue me). It's ugly, people. I mean... wow.

Thank God for friends, right? I love my girls, the ones I see frequently and the ones spread all over. I don't think I could make it through weeks like this without them. Hugs, love, posies, sunshine, lace, kittens, and all that sugar-coated vomity stuff to all of you.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

scary times at wal-mart

That title leaves so much room to play with -- let's be honest, how many of us have had a scary and/or skeevy experience at a Wal-Mart? I choose not to shop there most of the time for that very reason. However, today I ran out because it's really close and I needed some baby food for Wesley and I had a truly scary experience.

I was going down the frozen food aisle where I had grabbed a bag of rolls when I passed a mom with 2 daughters -- one was young, in the front of the cart covered with a blanket and the older one was walking around looking at the food with her mom. I stopped to look at something in the freezer case and thought that the little one couldn't be very comfortable, it looked like she was sleeping slumped over in the front of the cart. Just then, the little one threw up and the mom didn't notice, so I mentioned that her little girl had just gotten sick. She went to pick her up and she lolled over and I saw that her little lips were blue. She was limp and her eyes were half closed, she wasn't responsive. I have never actually seen a child go blue before, it was truly terrifying.

The mom started crying of course and started trying to get her little one to breathe, and I grabbed my phone and called 911. Over the next minute the little girl (who wasn't quite 2, the mom told me as I relayed questions and answers between her and the 911 dispatcher) started breathing again, and eventually became more responsive. She was still totally out of it. I was so frightened for this little girl I was almost in tears.

I went to the front of the store, showed the paramedics where to find her, and got my phone back from her. It sounded like she had had a seizure, maybe? I don't know -- there was no reason for me to stick around after that, so I hope the little girl is doing okay tonight. I am definitely thinking about her...

As a mom, when scary or horrible things happen involving children you can't help but imagining yourself in a similar situation, no matter how awful. I can only imagine how terrified that woman was, holding her blue baby and trying to get through to her.

I started shaking after it was over, so glad that I had noticed this little girl under her blanket.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

i need a maid

I hate hate hate doing laundry. I don't even have a really good reason as to why -- it just makes me completely insane. As soon as you fold the damn pants and put them away, somebody WEARS them again. (the sheer audacity!) It's a maddening, pointless cycle! (except for how it keeps us from smelling like medieval bar wenches... which I guess is important in its own right. But really not important enough to keep me from complaining)

What bugs me even more is when my husband puts some loads through and then either folds them and leaves the piles all over the TV room floor, or leaves the crumpled heap of clothing in a basket in our room.... for over a week. It inevitably turns into a battle of wills -- who will cave and put the laundry away first. That is, until he starts putting dirty clothes on top of the clean ones in the laundry basket, and the vicious cycle is perpetuated.

Is it just me?? I am not in college anymore and there is no good reason for going through every single article of clothing I own before doing 127 loads of clothes in one miserable weekend... but I can't help it. The washing machine sucks my will to live a little bit at a time, with each sock that goes missing.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

little lump of gavin-flavored sugar

My oldest friend Emily just had her first baby on the 29th! (oldest as in she's in MY baby book, not oldest as in...well, old.) Oh my gosh he's so cute. His name is Gavin, and he was almost exactly the same size as my son Wesley when he was born! 7 lbs 3 ounces and 20.5 inches long. I seriously want to snuggle him and smell his little newborn skin and steal him from his mom and love him, and squeeze him and hold him... pretty much pull an Elmyra.

Here I am with Em and her mom Hilary a few days before she went into labor... why are my hands in my crotch? Choice photo, I know... it was bit windy, okay??


Em with baby Gavin at the hospital


Closeup of Wesley's adorable new best friend. I didn't have one of these on my camera so I stole the one the Hilary uploaded to facebook. Thanks Hilary!

I just love new babies, and I love Emily too... so I double-love Gavin.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

conversation


Aidan: Oh my gosh! It's a roly-poly.
Me: It is! Where do you think he's going?
Aidan: He's going to Target.

Here comes trouble

Here's the update on Wesley's crawling progress: he's repeatedly getting one leg underneath his body, pushing up, flopping down onto his belly and then flailing his limbs about him in a desperate attempt to take flight, doggie paddle or do something that gets him moving, since the legs are still failing him.

I have a feeling that this one is going to be the kind of kid that originally inspired childproofing. I can already see the gleam in his eye...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

woe was me, cried the mommy

Potty training sucks. I'm sorry in advance if the word "poop" offends your sensitive ears... but we've been stalled at this no-poop place for weeks now, and I had a realization today that our potty episodes remind me of a labor & delivery room. I'm literally holding my son's hands and coaching him while he grunts and cries. (he's scared, not in pain -- don't worry!)

I've even bribed him! When Aidan goes poop in the potty, he gets to go to Target and pick a baseball bat, a brown football, or a basketball hoop. This morning, I actually told him to keep his "eyes on the prize." I'm a bit amused in my embarrassment. We're getting closer, I can sense this... eyes on the prize, baby. Eyes on the prize.

Snopes.com - learn it, live it, love it. Please??

My friends are incredibly important to me and I love to talk to them about all manner of things. BUT!!! If you are forwarding politically charged emails, especially if they're ridiculous in nature (i.e. conservative propaganda) please, please, pretty pretty please take a moment to remove me from the "To" box. It will make me so very happy.

Politics is a pretty tough topic to bridge among friends, even good ones. So if you're not 100% sure that (1.) the information you're sending is factual, and (2.) I won't get my panties in a twist in a fit of righteous indignation, please refrain from passing along that "ah-ha!" email. You won't change my mind, so let's just agree to disagree for the sake of our relationship. (But really, if you're gullible enough to believe all the rubbish that ends up in your email inbox, maybe you should work on that.)

Thanks, friends.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

I Kissed A Girl

Okay not really... but I heart Katy Perry's new single, and since I loved her last one too I think I will be purchasing this album when it goes on sale on June 17!

I am S-M-R-T

Since my blog is so widely read (rolls eyes) I decided to add a list of the books that I'm reading or am working toward reading. I'm a book geek, I admit. Mostly I did it because I had to get creative with blogger and I wanted to see if I could do it. There was more than just pointing-and-clicking involved this time, people. I am pretty proud of myself! It took a while of me throwing extra " and = and 10px's and four-letter words into the html code in hopes that SOMETHING would work... and something finally did. I think it was that last f-bomb that I typed in there at the end. HTML is hard, y'all.

Friday, May 23, 2008

aww, it's baby beer

Mike stopped at the grocery store on his way home today to get a few things for dinner. Beer is on sale for Memorial Day weekend, so he grabbed a six-pack of Corona while he was there.

We sit down for dinner, and I think to myself that the beer looks so dainty in Mike's masculine hands. No, I realize... the beer just looks dainty. It's a 7-ounce beer bottle -- it's even called "Coronita" to celebrate its petite cuteness.

Needless to say, Mike feels sheepish. "Maybe this is why they were so cheap," he explains. "I think I need another beer to wash down this beer."


It's one beer for the price of two!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

near death experience

Everything's okay, no need to worry any longer... but stuff got pretty hairy for a while yesterday. Luckily I managed to subdue the massive snake that crawled into my house and reeked havoc. It almost ate me, I swear.




Okay, maybe I elaborated a bit to make myself feel better.

So it was a baby gartner snake that was probably just as scared as I was when my damn cat brought it inside to play with it. YES, it was rolled in a ball, not moving, and I covered it in a giant tupperware and stuck a piece of cardboard under it, carried it outside, and sprinted back inside.

Just because I started crying when Fig first brought it inside and called my husband in a dead panic doesn't make me a wuss. I did not sign up to live in the country, people. And I have issues with snakes.

Monday, May 19, 2008

end of school year blues

Aidan's last day of school was today. I doubt he grasps it, really, but I sure do. I liked his teachers a lot and was sad to say goodbye to them, but I am more choked up about bidding adieu to my free Monday mornings. Goodbye to my brief but uninterrupted stretches of productivity. Goodbye nail appointments that don't result in me apologizing to everyone around as my toddler runs amok. Goodbye quiet mornings snuggled on the bed with Wesley reading a book.

Hello, summer. We rang in the change by having lunch with one of his classmates Taylor and her cute mom Leslie. (says Aidan: "Taylor loves me. Addison loves me.") Then we came home and celebrated in style with a toddler meltdown that evolved into a dual toddler-infant meltdown resulting in a major mommy timeout and finally sweet, sweet naptime. Afterward, we had some much needed bubble time and Aidan ingested a little bit of bubble solution while he rubbed the bubble wand all over his lips. (technique maybe?)



Oh and by the way, I had enough of the imaginary spider itchies and had Mike put some anti-bug juice on the lawn. Don't hate me. I don't want them gone entirely, but it would be delightful to somewhat reduce their population so I'm not having arachnaphobia-themed dreams at night.

Friday, May 16, 2008

I'm not going to neglect all you who really only care about seeing pictures of my children!!

Since I know I'll irritate family members if I don't post plenty of pictures of my kids, here are some new ones:

Wesley taking a sink bath!

Aidan trying his hardest to make play-doh "noodles"

Finished product