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?


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:


Friday, August 22, 2008

living in the moment

Time -- 1:43:15 PM

Time -- 1:43:25 PM

Yeah, that's how we roll.


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,

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.


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


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,

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.


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??


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 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


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?