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 ( 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???