Tuesday, November 10, 2009

sales tip

Dear Bath & Body Works rep,

In the future when you walk around the store and see a pair of customers considering a purchase, please take a moment to make sure the product we are holding in our hands and discussing is being considered in a negative light before jumping in helpfully with, "oh I know -- that one always smells so masculine to me!"

I'm sure your sales will improve for it.



P.S. It does not.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

new "ugliest cake ever" champion

After I wrote the last post, I began searching our photo archives for examples of my fine cake craftsmanship. Unfortunately, I didn't take a photo of Aidan's 2nd birthday cake, which featured a pastel pink car (this was before I knew that for vibrant colors you should use the powdered dye. Do not use 147 drops of the liquid stuff, because you'll end up with watery pink goo.)

On the bright side, I did find a lovely picture of my first cake attempt, the cake that still haunts me at night. Even as I type this, I can't believe I'm actually sharing this with you. Looking at this photo makes me want to cry:

Yep, that's an ocean scene for Aidan's ocean-themed first birthday party! I think this was the day my husband first realized the kind of woman he had married... shortly thereafter, I had a microchip implanted in case he ever decides to bolt. (I'm like a crabby, poorly decorated roach motel... check out time? never! mwahahaha)

You think I'm kidding? I'm watching you, Mike!

i probably shouldn't open a bakery

We had a busy weekend. Friday was Wesley's second birthday & the dreaded Halloween carnival where Aidan won that worst-prize-of-all, a fish (which, by the way, is now officially called Nemo). Saturday was Halloween which was spent putting together lame last-minute costumes (I was a dorky tourist, don't be jealous!), carving pumpkins, drinking hot cider with whiskey, burning cranberry upside-down cakes (totally not my fault that time) and passing out candy. All in all, a first rate holiday experience. Except for the burnt cake.

On Sunday, we were finally able to celebrate Wesley's birthday with a cake, which ended up being the ugliest cake in the world. Behold:

Allow me to defend myself. I am no cake decorator -- the idea of decorating cakes makes me want to either fall asleep or hit something. I don't even like to eat cake! However, each time a birthday rolls around I give it the old college-try for my kiddos (which really should be my first clue that it won't go well, seeing as I didn't even finish college).

This cake disaster wasn't entirely my fault -- the universe was out to get me. First off, I couldn't find my 9x13 cake pan, and I own only one muffin pan, so I had to use 9-inch round baking pans. Problem was, one of those round pans was still at my sister's house from the unfortunate cranberry upside-down cake incident of Hallowen '09. So I whipped out 8-inch and 10-inch springform pans, and decided to make the best of it. I even had visions of a silly tiered birthday cake.

Unfortunately, the difference between those two sizes of cakes isn't large enough to make a tiered cake work (just in case you ever wanted to try it). I ended up cutting the big cake to match the small cake, and started to frost them both. And when the whole tub of frosting was empty, I was left with that monstrosity of a half-completed cake. Is it just me or did a tub of frosting used to cover an ENTIRE cake?? I was embarrassed -- but not embarrassed enough to go buy another tub of frosting. I tried to cover it up with sprinkles, but to no avail. Crap.

That evening the boys' cousins came over for the cake celebration, and the universe was still working to convince me that birthday cakes were not my specialty. It turned out that we were completely out of matches and all our lighters were empty (of course, right?). We tried to light a rolled up napkin on the stovetop.... and the toaster... (seriously kids, don't try this at home. I was the only girl in the entire house since my sister Johannah didn't feel well, and I was overruled.)

Note: Please ignore the fingerprints all over my toaster. And my ugly countertops with the built-in cutting board (ew? Definitely not my doing, will be a distant "before" memory one day).

Maybe we were doing it wrong, maybe I accidentally bought flame-resistant paper napkins... either way, my sister's boyfriend Joe had to run home and get a box of matches so we could light the candle and sing to make Wesley cry so Mike would have to blow the candle out for him, so we could finally eat the ugliest cake in the world.

At least Wesley didn't seem to mind the cake wreck... so happy birthday my sweet boy! And, um... sorry about your cake.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

baby fish mouth

"Draw something resembling anything!"

Hehe... oh, I love me some "When Harry Met Sally."

(On a side note, did you know that when you include a movie title like that, a question mark would go AFTER the quotation mark since the '?' wasn't part of the movie title... but periods and commas always go inside, no matter what? And by "no matter what" I mean unless it's one of the few exceptions that are always present in our fabulous language. Pfft. English. Go figure.)

No need to thank me for the mini-lesson; I'm just graciously using my mediocre grammatical skills to educate the masses... unless I'm wrong, then I'm foolishly using those same skills to confuse my millions of readers. Either way, I'm going to direct you here, so you can fight with them instead of me.

Anyway, this post isn't about movies or grammar... it's about something much more sinister: Halloween carnivals and the prizes that you don't REALLY want to win.

Allow me to introduce you to the newest member of our little family...

Last night we went to the carnival at Aidan's school, and there was a game where the kids could win a goldfish as a prize. I figured, what are the chances? What are the ODDS? (Mike later informed me that they were 1 out of 5, so I'm choosing to blame him for having that knowledge and choosing to withhold it from me, the slightly irrational yet always hopeful, non-statistician carnival-decision-maker.)

Long story short, we now have a fish. I know that if I get a real tank, a filter or anything fancy, the fish will die in 3 weeks. And if I leave it in this dinky dollar store bowl it will probably live to be 100 years old and grow to the size of a football. I'm not sure which scenario is less appealing to me, since I really don't want to have a football-sized fish OR the death talk with Aidan right now.

Anyway, meet Nemo. Or Dory. I'm not sure which one is going to stick, but I'll keep you posted. (Is it just me, or does he look less-than-thrilled with his name options?)

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Yes, I realize I haven't posted the (halfway) after photo of my (not quite complete) living room... but really? We have important things to discuss right now.


Why? Really, is there a good answer to that besides "my lack of impulse control"?

Last fall I found this totally darling hat on etsy and it came in all these fabulous colors (so of course, I wanted several of them) but they were about $30 each. Last month, I went to the shop to swoon and consider making a purchase for the 50,000th time, when I discovered the seller now offered PATTERNS for the low, low price of $5.

The bargain hunter in me said, "sweet! I'll just make my own!" Before I knew it, I had the pattern in my inbox and I was making a list of all the supplies I needed so that I could learn to crochet. A hat. (I don't believe in starting with simple things like scarves -- dive right into crocheting in the round, that's my philosophy! Well, about crochet anyway.)

I really don't want to say anything more on the subject because I have a headache, my fingers are cramping and I want to gouge somebody's eyes out with my Susan Bates Crystalites Crochet Hook (available at a Michael's near you!)... so I'll just leave you with this:

Friends don't let friends who really aren't crafty at all, make impulse decisions when it comes to dumb domestic stuff. They'll just end up with an old tupperware full of half used stickers, googly eyes, unopened bags of batting, half empty boxes of glycerine soap, shell-shaped soap molds, and untouched styofoam wreath foms. (This is all purely hypothetical, by the way. All those were totally random examples my incredibly creative brain came up with.... really.)

Just SAY NO.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Don't be jealous

Behold, the living room of our new house:

Don't be jealous, y'all. I am sure you are all thinking how great it would be to have this room -- complete with the giant wood stove that takes up most of the usable floor space (hope you don't have a lot of furniture!) and real knotty pine paneling. Classy, no? You can even see the lovely yellow ceilings and broken lamp; it was a free gift with purchase when we bought the house.

Well, I hate to disappoint all of you, but that's the 'before'. On to the 'after'.................!!

Oh wait. I never took an 'after' photo. Maybe I should go do that.

But not right now... I'm a big fan of suspense.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

ham hell

Today I had two people (count 'em, TWO!) tell me that they think I should be blogging here more often.

Yeah. Well. You and me both, sisters. Problem is, I am having a really hard time... finding... time. So many important things fill my days... like stepping around whining and/or crying children while cleaning up puppy messes (oh didn't I mention? We got a puppy. She's sweet, adorable, and the biggest pain in the butt ever. What was I thinking, getting a puppy with two small children? OY!)

I also have a hole in my front door. I've had it for a couple weeks now... it needs to be patched, but I haven't gotten around to doing it yet. The hole is from the old doorknob. There were separate holes for the deadbolt and the knob, like normal, but there was also an extra hole where they put another deadbolt-esque contraption... that turned the lock for the regular doorknob. So apparently we should all count our blessings that we live in a more civilized time now, where the locks are part of the doorknob.

And today? Was dumb. I tried to make a ham, and it was one of the ones that you need to cook before serving because up here in Idaho people don't buy meat at the grocery store -- they go to the state fair and buy animals. Everyone has a side of beef in their (extra) freezer. My sister was kind enough to give me this ham that was part of a giant meat explosion her animal-buying boss gave her.

Anyway... I needed to actually cook it. Which means I needed to weigh it, because when I tried to insert our probe thermometer into the cold straight-from-the-fridge ham it read 211 degrees which I gathered to mean that meat thermometer #3 was now broken (Mike had learned the hard way not to wash the probe in the dishwasher or use it on a flaming hot grill). This bummed me out, because I'm a big fan of being lazy when I cook meat and just setting the thermometer to beep at a certain temperature and then going to drink mojitos while playing croquet or whatever it is that we do around here.

So I carried the cold, damp hunk of meat to the basement where we keep the scale -- I was not about to estimate the weight of a piece of raw pig and give everyone in my family trichnosis. Then I carried it back upstairs, placed it in the roasting pan, yanked the nasty raw-ham plastic wrap out of the puppy's mouth, (seriously? Dogs and garbage cans? I don't get it.) changed my now ham-juice speckled t-shirt, washed my hands and went downstairs to weigh MYSELF so I could do the necessary math. Then I cried. OHHH, how I cried. I was really starting to resent this ham.

Then I popped it into the preheated oven, set the timer for 3 hours, and walked away. One hour and forty minutes later, I checked on it and realized I had somehow turned the oven OFF when setting its timer. So I turned the oven back on, set the timer on the microwave for 3 more hours, and said a few choice words to myself.

Two hours later, I prepared a glaze. I used the veeeeery last of our sugar, some orange juice, dry mustard, and cornstarch. Only it wasn't cornstarch. It was baking powder that I had grabbed. Oops. So I set the foaming science experiment into the sink and called my mother, at this point totally and completely defeated by a stupid ham.

Long story short (hahaha!) I whipped a new glaze up on the advice of my mom, who graciously hadn't laughed too hard at me, finished cooking the ham, sliced it up, and served it to my two darling boys. Who didn't eat a single bite of it!

This ham and I... we have a problem.

Did I mention I've had a hole in my door for two weeks? Can someone bring me some wine?

Monday, August 17, 2009

hidely hodely neighbors

Soo.... we bought another house. That's why I've been away -- it's not that I don't love and adore each and every one of you. It's that I've been up to my armpits in wood paneling, spruce tree sap and primer sand. Yee-uck.

Owning two homes in two states is pretty time consuming -- especially when you're working out your repressed inner-designer and knocker-downer of all things ugly that's been squelched for the last year of renting.

I've been busy, mmkay? Busy doing things when my husband would prefer them not to be done. Busy getting 700 paint swatches and taping them around rooms before finally picking one only to decide that I don't like it after all. Busy waging a one woman war on 1960's era orange and yellow plaid wallpaper that desperately wants to remain a part of my house. Busy ripping out moldy decks and ginormous spruce trees and then staring at the mess for a few weeks, trying to get up the courage to start cleaning it up. Busy, y'all. Busy.

You want to see pictures, don't you?

......well, not tonight. Because I can't find them on my computer. Sometimes having all your icons on your desktop is NOT a good thing -- and this would be one of those times.

I'll get around to it though, I promise. And I'm (reasonably) sure it will be soon. So stay tuned!

Monday, May 25, 2009

allergic to my living room

Just a little while ago I tucked Wesley into his bed and gave him a goodnight kiss. I walked into the kitchen where my sweet husband was cleaning up while talking to our 10-year old nephew who spent hours at our house this weekend on approximately 8 separate trips (he made the short journey by bike to talk about fishing, or fly tying, or fish, or how cool he is, or fishing, or how he gave himself bruises while trying to perfect a triple gainer with a twist off my swingset, or to eat a dozen of my Snickerdoodles...).


I love this part of the night -- when the kids have just gone to bed and the rest of the evening is ahead of us. This part of the night is much better than say, the part of the night where you finish playing Mah Jongg and look at the clock, only to realize it's 10:47 and you just wasted your entire evening and didn't even win a single game. Oops.

I took a deep breath to relax, and walked into the living room to tidy the pillows and sit down for a bit. The setting sun poured through our front window, making everything glow. Then I noticed...

Ahhhh!!! I'm totally freaking out right now. My skin is crawling. My insides are spasming. I'm throwing up a little bit in my mouth. Pollen completely covering my adorable coffee table/ottoman/bench. Whatever the heck it is -- it's not really vital to this story.

Apparently, if you're wondering, pollen is much smaller than the holes in screen doors -- which is not very good news if you live in a hotbed of plant reproduction. A tree lovefest. Fruit trees, and crazy aspen or birches that have dangly pods and fluffity bits of cotton that sail through the air a la mid-May snowstorm.

Also, in case you're wondering, pollen doesn't adhere to rags. Even if you spray it with furniture spray first. The towel just pushes it around, and it all just falls onto the floor to be kicked up again the next time someone walks through. I was disgusted, I was angry, I was sneezing.

I stood up and looked around, trying to brainstorm a better way to take care of this mess. And I saw pollen coating the mantle, the end tables, the rocking chair...

I blacked out at that point. Anyone have ideas to help me clean up this mess?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

photo confessions & love connections

I'm no photographer; it's definitely not one of my countless talents, teehee. I've thought about taking a class or reading a book or engaging a talented loved one in discussion and attempting to learn by osmosis -- like my sister Buffy who struggles with the whole "updating" concept but takes very cool pictures nonetheless. Buffy's husband is a fancy trained photojournalist who is very talented as well, and both my parents know their way around a camera. I don't know what happened with me -- apparently this is a recessive gene and I got the genetic shaft.

One of my favorite blogs, The Pioneer Woman, has a photography section with plenty of seemingly user-friendly tutorials for people like me who struggle. I don't know though, everytime I go to that area of her site I just look at the pretty pictures. When my eyes happen upon a word like "aperture" they glaze over and I start to hyperventilate. So maybe I'm not ready to take the big leap.

The whole point I'm driving at is that I always want to post photos, and I know people want to see photos, but most of my photos.... are bad photos! Oh well. I did take a couple while my boys were doing their favorite thing (or maybe it's just MY favorite thing for them to do)... playing outside!

This is what most playtime looks like -- except most of the time one of them is on the ground complaining about how the other pushed them, or hit their elbow, or took their hat off, or stole their spot on the slide. (In Wesley's case, it mostly just sounds like whines... but I'm sure he's thinking the same things)

This? Has never happened before. Will probably never happen again. It was sheer dumb luck that I was holding the camera at this brief moment in time where my two boys walked hand-in-hand, with nary a whine or a cry. It was beautiful. I shed a tear.

You've probably gathered this already, but this is not one of my boys. It's our backyard squirrel, who was recently widowed and who has looked so lonely lately. I can't help but feel bad for him and his lost squirrel love -- so I thought I'd work on making a love connection on his behalf.

WMS (widowed male squirrel) looking 4 love. Do u like birdseed thievery, running thru trees, & burying shiny things? This could be your lucky day! No kids.

Friday, May 01, 2009

pretty flowers

Aidan just ran into the kitchen, decked out in sunglasses (mine) and shoes without socks (socks can be hard for a 3 year old, okay?)

He said: "I am ready to go outside and pick you a pretty flower!"

lesson learned

Okay. I totally jinxed myself, spoke to soon, forgot to knock on wood, whatever. This week was great until this morning. Today has been a little bit hairy, but we are hanging in there (barely) and neither of the kids have been given to the circus so that's something, right? And Mike comes home tonight. Phew. We're in the homestretch!

I would be so bad at being a real single parent. I'm too much of a wuss. Next time Mike goes out of town (June) I will be posting a sign-up sheet for volunteer parenting shifts / lucky visitors to our home. I expect all of you to do your part for the greater good -- so please, go ahead and mark that 4th week of June off your calendar right now. I'll wait.

...seriously. Have you done it?

Thursday, April 30, 2009

talk amongst yourselves

Why is it that we (meaning I) are able to get more done when we have more responsibility? Discuss. No, really. The commenting on this blog (or lack thereof, people) has been pretty depressing lately, and my self worth is directly proportional to the number of comments I get on each post. So do us all a favor and please help keep me happy and relatively well-adjusted.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand.

When Mike's at home, I feel like half the time I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off. But when he's out of town for work, a sense of calm comes over me and I am able to clean my home, prepare meals without crazy mini-stress meltdowns, run extra errands, do parties, and stay pretty patient with my kids. It's a miracle!

Is it a bad thing, though, to realize that I keep making the kids the same meals twice a day? I made a menu on Sunday, and I keep realizing (as I set their chicken nuggets or tortilla pizza in front of them at lunchtime) that the reason these lunch ideas probably popped so quickly and easily into my head... was that I had just recently glanced at the menu on the fridge. Chicken nuggets and pizza twice in one day never HURT anyone... right? Way to go me!

(Seriously, I'm pretty impressed that I've kept it together so well this week. Gold start sticker for Anna.)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

how i spent my tuesday night workout

In a perfect world, I would get up early in the morning and run before the boys woke up. Unfortunately, the only way that's going to happen is if I sleepwalk to the treadmill -- so I'll go out on a limb and say that it's probably never going to happen. (And thank God, too; how traumatizing would it be to wake up going 5 mph in bunny slippers and without a sports bra?)

Tonight the boys were pretty irritable, and neither one of them touched their homemade chicken nuggets and sweet potato fries. I couldn't believe it! I literally stood frozen in the kitchen with my mouth agape, arms hanging uselessly at my sides as Wesley chucked fries on the floor and both boys asked for more mandarin oranges. (HA! Keep dreamin', dudes) I was over it as soon as it happened, and so I informed them no dinner equalled an early bedtime. Still no progress on the chicken nugget-front. It boggled my mind.

So off to bed we went at 5:30, and as soon as I was free (note to self: consider making liver and onions a weekly menu item simply for the extra hours of freedom it would provide) I decided to jump on the treadmill before I got sidetracked or it got too late. Everybody knows that there comes a certain point in the evening when you would rather alphabetize your bookshelves than change clothes and exert any effort running in place. And now... for your enjoyment, I present:

How I Spent My Tuesday Night Workout
"read this when I start contemplating waking up at 6:30 am to run"

6:00-6:03 pm Look for sports bra... ANY sports bra. Where the heck are they all?

6:04 pm Give up & wear an exercise top with built-in bra.... that I wore yesterday. (hey, don't judge.)

6:05 pm Put on one running shoe.

6:06-6:13 pm Search through EVERY SINGLE ROOM in the whole house for the other shoe. Look in the same places three, four times - just in case I didn't notice a big ole shoe sitting there the first couple times.

6:14 pm Find other shoe in Wesley's room by his bookshelf. Apparently forgot to look in there.

6:15 pm Unfold and plug in the treadmill.

6:16-6:17 pm Consider wheeling treadmill around to a better angle in case I wanted to watch TV while running without getting a serious cramp in my neck or seriously injuring myself when I fall off the belt.

6:18 pm Decide against moving it since I am entirely too wimpy to handle such an undertaking myself. Open music player on computer since mp3 player decided not to work anymore.

6:19-6:20 pm Manually add songs to media player since I keep forgetting to create a playlist.

6:21-6:30 pm Run.

6:31 pm Pause the treadmill, run over to the steps before realizing that it wasn't Aidan making weird noises at the top of the stairs, it was Lady Gaga. (Not on my stairs, coming from my speakers. Sorry to confuse.)

6:32-6:55 pm Run.

6:56-7:03 pm Cool down, stretch.

I ask you this: how does it take me 1 hour to run for 30 minutes?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

born to boss boys

Well. I had a birthday the other day, and let's just say that birthdays are not as fun when you're not turning 10 and going to see "The Sandlot" with your best girlfriends who gifted you Polly Pocket or some of her her fabulous and tiny accessories. Or being surprised by a hot pink bicycle with gloriously bestreamered handlebars. Or blowing out your candles on a birthday cake shaped like a fancy little pink carousel. Or playing an elaborate scavenger hunt party game and then having a (not so) little tantrum when you don't win because it's your BIRTHDAY and hello? Don't the other 8 year olds involved have any birthday-related common courtesy? Seriously.

But I digress. I had a birthday the other day and it was nice, but mostly I sat around thinking about how I was on the downward slippery slope of cuteness and how people really do reach the peak of physical perfection when they're 17 and they don't even appreciate it and how I'm pretty sure way too many of my hairs have gone grey since having kids and how my skin is obviously changed since my college days and how I'm sure it's just a matter of time before I'm wearing high-waisted mom jeans with a v-shaped yoke in the back (my apologies if you're reading this and you own a pair like that... but maybe you shouldn't. okay?) that make my butt look ginormous. And my "diet" birthday cake wasn't bad, but it was no pink carousel cake. So maybe birthdays aren't quite as nice as they used to be.

No matter though, because I did get a pretty perfect card from my husband. The front has a photo of a little girl, complete with cute little pigtails (which I'm sure I would have had as a little girl, had my mom not heartlessly chopped all my hair off after 1st grade) and hands perched sassily on her hips. The inside reads: "Born to boss boys. Happy Birthday!" All three of my boys "signed" it. It made me smile to know that no matter how tapered the legs of my jeans (please God no), no matter the number of anti-aging potions in my cabinets, and no matter the number of candles on my cake, I'll be surrounded by my wonderful boys who love and understand me.

Oh, and I prefer "natural born leader."

Monday, April 20, 2009


Mike really wants to go camping this year.

What am I supposed to do about this? He keeps describing an idyllic scene: after we hike the "easy 4 miles" (on mostly flat ground, he assures me) to this dream location he has in mind, we'll pitch a tent and roast hot dogs or trout that he's caught in the nearby river (maybe both? in his fantasy this is a multiple-day adventure), eat smores and laugh together like a happy little family out of a JCPenney catalog photoshoot.

He seems so sure of himself, but I can't quite get there in my mind. Four miles on foot sounds like torture to me when I think of doing it with Aidan & Wesley, and when I picture our little camping trip, I see Mike in a river fly fishing for 8 hour stretches while I switch off between chasing the boys away from poison ivy and rattlesnake nests, and pulling rocks and dirt out of Wesley's mouth. And I'm sure there will be bears. If we survive the night, we'll return home smelly, covered in mud, with 471 mosquito bites (each!), and with hair reminiscent of Bellatrix Lestrange. Really, no good can come from my version of the camping fantasy.

Mike decided to take things into his own hands yesterday, and in an incredibly sneaky and underhanded move, he pitched the tent in our backyard while the boys napped. Of course, when they woke up, they were enthralled with this "clubhouse" in our yard and Aidan wanted to know all about camping, and tents, and smores. And even though Wesley can't really ask questions yet, he hopped around and squealed a whole bunch so I could see that Mike's plan of attack was working.

What should I do? What about the bears? Did you see Bellatrix's hair? Am I just being a wuss? I really hate snakes.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

why we don't take pictures together

Anna: Let's take a picture!

Mike: Ugghhh... fine.

Anna: Mike! Let's try again, okay? Seriously this time.

Anna: Just pretend like you want to do this. Smile?

Anna: Oh. My. Hell. You are such a dork. Let's try this one more time. Please? PLEASE??

Mike: Ha ha ha! Okay fine, I'll be good this time.

Hahaha. I think there's something wrong with us.

baby weight shmaby weight

If you're a devoted reader (AKA my loving and/or guilt-tripped friends and family) you might remember the short posts I wrote about spinning classes last year. Or maybe you don't, because like me you've blocked the painful memories from your mind. Maybe you thought I was just doing you a favor by keeping my sore-butt updates to myself since then... well, to tell you the truth my butt is neither sore NOR made of steel at this point. I am a total quitter. I am hiding my head in shame right now. Really. I would have kept going if it hadn't been such a challenge to get Aidan to the daycare there -- he's not a big fan of unfamiliar situations and I felt like I was trying to wrestle an angry octopus into submission every morning.

Let me be perfectly clear that I'm not trying to make excuses for myself, since I am the one who decided to stop trying to wrestle the angry octopus into daycare. I'm just explaining the circumstances surrounding my decision to be a pansy-assed shame-faced buns-of-steel-creating-spinning-class quitter. Just in case you were wondering. 'Cause maybe you were, right?

Anyway. So flash forward to April 16 (woohoo for me getting my taxes submitted yesterday, by the way) -- is anyone surprised that I still haven't lost my baby weight? I've compiled a list of reasons why this may be so:
  1. It's supposed to be much harder to lose the weight after your second pregnancy.
  2. 17 months isn't THAT long... right? I'm totally chipping away the stone, I swear.
  3. It gets really cold here in the winter. Like I'm going to go running in this.
  4. There were some really cold mornings last Fall too, if I remember correctly. And I'm sure I do.
  5. Oh yeah, and I'm kind of lazy when it comes to that kind of stuff.
I do have a plan, since divine inspiration didn't really work and giving up sweets and other assorted yummy things for Lent did nothing but free me from sugar cravings and make me feel healthier. (ew?) Every day I alternate between running and doing my handy dandy "30 Day Shred" exercise video. And I'm eating healthy, blah blah blah. I'll keep you updated, since I know you're all dying to see how well this works.

Take that, ass. (my ass.... wasn't calling you one.)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

the truth about nosepons

When I was sick with a cold a while ago, I blogged about it and Mike felt the need to comment on said post and share with the world the concept of nosepons. He wasn't brave enough to explain it himself, he just had to open up that can of worms and then toss it unceremoniously in my AILING lap. Nice, dude... real nice.

So it's my job to explain. First of all, let me go over some things:
  1. I did not come up with the name "nosepon" -- that credit rests entirely on my dear husband's shoulders.
  2. I feel totally claustrophobic when I can't breathe out of my nose, and this alleviates the sinus pressure and helps me sleep.
  3. I am NOT the first person to do this! I googled it and felt much better about myself. Even on an episode of "Friends" Rachel uses nosepons (she has a bloody nose, yes, but it's the same theory.)
Here is a nosepon modeled by an anonymous assistant. We'll just pretend we don't know it's Mike (hey, he started this whole thing, he gets to help me finish it.)

Kind of gross? Oh, for sure.
Worth it within the comfort of your own home surrounded only by your kids and your spouse of several years? A thousand times yes. It's not like I'm rushing into the bathroom to put on makeup at 6:00 every morning people. When you're sick, comfort trumps vanity. (Unless you're in a newer relationship and then you have my blessings to pretend that you would never even DREAM of using such a resourceful invention)

Case closed.

On a side note, why do I still feel the need to defend myself? A character on a wildly popular sitcom stuck kleenex up her nose for goodness sake... no one can touch me now!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

trips to the library

I love the library, and I think it's great when the kids go and pick out books -- as long as Mike takes them. They behave like angels for him. I'm jealous. When I take them, they start out pretty good, but within 5 minutes the whole situation deteriorates and I end up chasing them, apologizing to other library patrons, threatening consequences and promising myself "never again!!"

On Saturday I took the kids there to meet Mike, who has been studying for a licensing exam for his job that happens Monday. I ran upstairs to look at the fiction while Mike took the boys to the children's section after reviewing library etiquette (umm... what? Aidan understands inside voice for you? Ew.) He took a picture with his camera phone to illustrate:

Then I came back downstairs and Mike ran back to his study room. Unfortunately I wasn't able to take a picture for contrast. Between my attempts to keep both kids from having a squealing contest next to the check-out counter, stuffing books into my bag with one hand and restraining Wesley from jumping into the koi pond with the other, and then picking up Wesley (who had decided to plant his feet in protest of our departure like a stubborn little mule) and counting to 3 (complete with hand motions as per Aidan's request) in order to get us out of the building.... well, taking a picture just slipped my mind!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Madeline Alice Spohr

Sometimes even I can be rendered speechless, and while I know that this post is something I want to, maybe even need to write, I don't know what to say or how to say it.

Madeline Alice Spohr was only 17 months old when she passed away on April 7, 2009. Just a baby. The same age as my Wesley. I've never seen her sweet angel face in person, and never visited her mother's blog until today until I saw a link to it on another page. But when I clicked through, I couldn't stop reading, reading, reading, until the tears were literally pouring down my face.

I haven't lost a child, and I thank God for that. Still, reading some of the posts that have been written about little Maddie absolutely broke my heart. I sat in front of my computer sobbing, literally gasping for air, stunned and heartsick for her family and friends. And for any other parent who has ever had to go through such a horribly life-altering event.

All of us have bad days when it comes to our kids. Today has been one of those for me -- I've been a little short with them, and I've been focusing on all the other things I need to get done today and how much tougher it is to get those things done when I've got two monkeys crawling on me, fighting over toys and getting upset over the color of their plate.

But I am so grateful to have my two toy-fighting, plate-whining monkeys who like to stand on me to get a better view or to reach something they probably shouldn't be reaching for. And I know even though I don't like to think about how it could be taken away from me in an instant, it could be. So I'm going to put my to-do list in a drawer and go take them out of "quiet rest" time. And then I'm going to let them know just how much I love and adore them. I hope you do the same with your family.

I urge you to read about sweet Maddie and consider donating to help her parents with their upcoming expenses. Clicking on the link below will take you to a Paypal account which was set up for just that reason. You can also make a donation in Maddie's memory to the March of Dimes.

God bless you Maddie

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

3 reasons today sucks

In one ridiculous 10-minute timeframe:

1. I was informed that I received a jury summons for Idaho. I go my entire adult life in Utah without one, I move up here and get one within the first year? Thanks, Idaho. What did I do to deserve this? (No, seriously, how did they find me?) I don't even have an Idaho driver's license yet (yeah, yeah, yeah, I know I need to go get one) -- is this because I lawfully registered my vehicle or because I registered to vote like any good American? This is the thanks I get for exercising my civic duty and being a law-abiding citizen? Pfft. I think I've learned MY lesson.

2. Aidan peed all over the bathroom floor. I mean ALL over the bathroom floor. Yay for being a mommy to little boys!! In his defense it was an accident, it's not like he's a cat making a "political statement" but still... ugh.

3. I was visited by Jehovah's Witnesses and invited to some important event related to the happenings of Easter but apparently not Easter... and I totally respect everybody's personal beliefs, but at that point I had little patience (read: none) for people who lacked that same respect for mine (or even just wanted to save me from mine). So... sorry about that, Jehovah's Witnesses. You were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Monday, April 06, 2009

rockabye aidan

Picture it, 12:30 am, Mike and I had just finished watching a movie in bed on our little portable DVD player and were laying quietly, half asleep. Then the unintelliglbe mumblings our 3 1/2 year old in the next room cut through the silence of our so-very-close-to-sleep reverie:

Aidan: Umgabbible..shhhwerk...rabbits!

(On a side note, I think Aidan got the sleep talking thing from me? Apparently whenever Mike nudges me I tend to bark out commands in my sleep like "wash the porcupines!" or "put the car down!" He's a lucky man, isn't he?)

Anyway, we hear a thud, which can mean one thing and one thing only: the preschooler is OUT of his bed. This is a serious thing in my house, and it happens much more often that we would like, so we always respond swiftly and preemptively (...at least, when we're awake). Mike hops out of bed (umm... of course it's Mike who gets out of bed -- I've got a good thing going here, people) and walks into Aidan's room to head him off at the pass, because if Aidan makes it into our room, Aidan wants to stay in our room. And both Mike and I are tired of waking up with his feet in our face.

This is what I hear from the other room:

Mike: Hey buddy, are you okay?

Aidan: Yeah.

Mike: Let's get you back into bed...

Aidan: Yeah. I want a song. I want "Rockabye Aidan".

Mike: Okay... (sings) Rockabye baby--

Aidan (interrupts): Aidan.

Mike: Rockabye Aidan, in the treetops--

Aidan: bedroom.

Mike: bedroom...when the wind blows, the cradle--

Aidan: bed!

Mike: ...the bed will rock... when the bough breaks, the bedroom will fall, and down will come Aidan, bed and all....

Friday, April 03, 2009

a lesson in karma

  1. Hinduism & Buddhism The total effect of a person's actions and conduct during the successive phases of the person's existence, regarded as determining the person's destiny.

I guess this will teach me NOT to cackle gleefully when my family and friends in Northern Utah tell me all about the snowstorms they keep getting. Karma catches up quick around these parts, I guess.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

i swear it's for medicinal purposes only

I think the pharmacist at Albertson's thought I was a meth head when I asked her advice about decongestants last night. They've been given the job of weeding out the undesirables who want a box of original Sudafed for nefarious purposes, right? She kept looking at me suspiciously like she didn't entirely buy my story.

I admit, I went to the counter looking a little dishevelled... it was late, and I've been sick for a few days now -- the trip to the store was really a last minute decision after I had a little "episode" (read: micro-tantrum) about how sick and tired I was of not being able to breathe out of my nose. It makes me feel claustrophobic -- is that normal or yet another neurotic behavior I can add to my ever growing list? Anyway, I am pretty sure my clothes didn't match and my hairdo had probably seen better days... but I was sick!

I explained that I had been pregnant or nursing for the past 4 years or so and consequently hadn't been keeping tabs on all the changes that had been made with decongestants... you know, how the "real" Sudafed is locked away now and the stuff we can get in the regular medicine aisle is totally different. I just wanted to know if it still worked or if she recommended anything different... and she kept giving me the stink-eye and asking me to describe my symptoms.

MAYBE the fact that I was complaining about being seriously stuffed up while my nasal passages were miraculously (and temporarily) clear was the reason behind her extended line of questioning.
Maybe it's her job to question people and help them find the best OTC drug for their ailment?
Maybe I just have a guilty personality and I was afraid she would think I was an addict who was trying to get the "real" stuff with a carefully concocted yet delightfully endearing story full of recent motherhood slash drug abstaining naiveté.... and that came through and she really did think that. (Seriously, nothing good ever happens when I start feeling guilty. In 2002 I was getting on a plane and right after I went through security I realized that I had packed my disposable Bic razor in my carry-on... and I started sweating buckets while I imagined being strip searched and thrown into airport jail, and I couldn't make eye contact with any airport employees until I was safely out of the airport at my destination)
Maybe I just have a tendency to overthink things.

Whatever the reason, I got sent home with the new Sudafed formulation. And I'm here to tell you that it sucks. A whole bunch. It seemed to work for Mike (who has a punier version of my cold from the pits of hell) but I didn't notice any change in my congestion levels (we were pretty much at the Homeland Security threat level of "severe" in my nose last night). Is there something wrong with this new Sudafed? Or me???

Friday, March 27, 2009

calm before the storm

I'm hosting an event at my house tomorrow for my business... and let's just say there are several things I should be doing right now instead of posting about how I am a slacking procrastinator who dreads the idea of stuffing things into balloons and trying to step outside of my limited "making-things-cutesy" box in order to, well... make things cutesy.

What do you do though, right? I blame it on genetics. To get things done, I need a big, ugly, black stormcloud of a deadline looming on the horizon, growing ever closer while my blood pressure increases, my palms start getting sweaty and my husband starts getting irritable. Thanks, mom!

My best guess is that at about 8:15 tonight, I'll fly into a panic and make Mike bake something while I run to the store and throw things into my cart indiscriminately before rushing home, where I'll realize that I forgot the most vitally important things on my list (which I neglected to create until 8:16 pm when I was already in a dither). At that point I'll send Mike back out for those things while I stuff balloons, make signs, curse under my breath, give myself papercuts and watch "Twilight" twice (a seriously flawed decision on my part, as I will give neither the movie nor my projects the attention they deserve).

Around two in the morning I'll fall into a restless sleep, until about an hour before I need to wake up when I'll slip into an exhaustion-induced coma. I will almost certainly sleep in, and when I send Mike out for helium-filled balloons for the front yard I will busy myself by drinking too much coffee, cursing under my breath and taking a hurried shower.

At this point I will undoubtedly be very short on time, so I'll (sort of) do my hair and makeup while I wonder aloud at my sheer idiocy for (a.) putting things off and (b.) choosing a start time of 11:00 instead of 1:00. Mike and I will probably get into a little argument when he returns with the wrong color of balloons because I will be seriously irritable and slightly unstable. He will take the kids to the park, and I will plaster on a smile while greeting my first guests and hope that I didn't forget something major like paper plates (which I probably did indeed forget.)

Until then, though? It's smooth sailing, people. I'm gonna go paint my toenails.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

nothing to see here, folks!

The pressure is mounting for me to post now that I've officially announcemed my un-retirement. I can feel it in air. I'm worried that my life has really gone downhill, excitement factor-wise. Let's see... what has happened (somewhat) recently?

  • I lost some baby weight!! Please, no comments about how baby #2 is 17 months old.

  • oohhh... yeah. I gained some weight back. (Moving a bajillion times is stressful, okay?? Yes, we moved again. Maybe we're turning into nomads.)

  • But I lost some of the weight again!! Just a bit though. A fit of religiousness inspired a new diet and exercise plan... divine intervention, perhaps? We just might have to investigate that one of these days!

  • Mike has a new job -- he likes it, and aside from the 50+ hour work weeks right now (ew?) I am much relieved to see my cute man in business casual dress again. He is so much better at being a good boy than a bad boy... even with his trendy long sideburns. (long as in present on his face, not long as in mutton chops, ok? I'm placing my vote for "ick" in the "non-existant sideburns" ballot box.)

  • Aidan is still a delightful(ly exhausting) preschooler who keeps me on my toes. He loves to make up gibberish and random words, like "To-maitch-ee-da," a character he made on the Wii who likes to go like this:

  • Wesley is growing up much faster than Aidan did, it seems. He likes to play with the "big boy" toys, and has mastered the art of walking around the house while woefully crying "ow ow ow ow" to get attention. He's into everything. Just this morning he found a small foil-covered chocolate santa I had used last year at my shows while he was going through my office and bit it in half, sucking the chocolate out before I noticed what he was doing and pulled the foil from his mouth. Here's a photo of my grumpy boy after naptime:

(yes, I know it's not new -- so you may have seen it on Facebook... but Aidan stole away with our digital camera and managed to erase the entire memory card. So it'll have to do for now!)

  • Oh yes, and much craftiness has been had by all -- or at least by me. Out of character? Most definitely. Truly exciting? You betcha! Oh and by craftiness I mean "using the sewing machine after wiping off the layer of dust" not things like tole painting, decoupage, making wreaths or pressing flowers. Perish the thought!

So there you have it. You have officially been caught up and now we are BFF's once again.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

big news people!

It's been a super long time since I posted last, hasn't it? Well I'm sure there's a pretty awesome reason to call me back here, since my ever-increasing shame has a way of keeping me at bay (my shame is directly proportional to the amount of time since my last post)...

...I have blog-home-sickness. I don't know if I write to amuse myself or others (probably myself, and if so I'm a smashing success) but last week a friend told me my old sausage post was one of the funniest things she's ever read, and this morning I was reading some of my favorite posts and feeling quite weepy and nostalgic.

Maybe it's that all I do is clean my house and work on my business... maybe it's that all my recent Facebook friends have been customers and hostesses FROM my business... maybe it's that at my shows I can't act like the complete dork that I really am on the inside, or that I have to drive 3 1/2 hours to hang out with my girlfriends. Whatever the reason, I miss blogging -- for me AND my 3 readers!

I'm making no promises for daily posts or anything, since writing posts that don't make my stomach curl inward with their lame-ness takes both time and effort. Also it's pretty challenging to type on my keyboard which has recently decided it doesn't LIKE spaces between words so much... dumb spacebar. But I'll try.

Isn't that exciting?? Nod your heads, please.