Saturday, December 31, 2011

Best of Linz

At the end of August, PST was thrilled to welcome Linz to the family. I really didn't know how having two writers with the same name (Lindsay) was going to work out at first, but I think using her nickname has worked well because no one (not even my husband or family) has ever called me Linds (or Linz). I'm Lin to them. Weird.

Like usual, I digress.

Let's talk about what Linz has brought to the table in 2011; she boldly talked about boobs and criminals, and made us all cringe a little with her post about the serenade. Truly, I think she is our most talented story-teller. But my personal favorite post of hers has got to be this one where she brilliantly combines humor with sentiment and reminds us all of how wonderful it is to be barfed on every now and then.

Enjoy!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Best of Lindsay

Today, I’m excited to share one of Lindsay’s posts with you.

Being a foreign dweller, I’ve not actually met her in person, but I can tell you that I love her sarcastic wit and amusing observations. How these girls keep up with it after just having babies is beyond me! I love how Lindsay reports on television shows, real life, parenting and babies, and random things she sees. So, for me, it was hard to choose just one post. I was tempted to link to a few. But in the end I managed to decide on just one.

It was laugh out loud funny. I didn't know these things existed.. but then, I don't live in Utah. Without further adieu, here you have it. Remind yourself about weird pregnancy momentos as you read The Best of Lindsay – 2011.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Best of Katrina

I get the pleasure of choosing my favorite 2011 post by author Katrina. Katrina joined Pear Shaped Thoughts back in October of this year. Incidentally, one of my favorite posts by her was written on her first day. This post goes to show that whether you live in Australia or America husbands can be equally unhelpful when it comes to taking care of the wee ones. Go here to read her amusing and accurate account.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Best of Kasey

It's hard to narrow my favorite of Kasey down to just one post.  I mean it was seriously hard.  I finally managed though, with this beauty.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Best of Jami

Today I am pleased to feature this oldie but goodie (referring to the post and not the poster).

We often talk about day to day life here on PST and Jami really took it up a notch with her real-life murder mystery, the real mystery of course, being her husband whose behavior seems so.... unlady like (i.e. lacking in hysteria, paranoia, and incessant wringing of hands).

A little something we can all relate to.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Best of 2011

We hope that you all had a very wonderful Christmas yesterday! We certainly did and that is why we are giving ourselves a little break this week. We are proud to introduce Pear Shaped Thoughts Best of 2011! Please join us this week while we each pick our favorite post by one of our fellow writers!

My pick for today was written by Erica. Sadly, I have never met her in person but I think we would get along great. She has a great sense of humor and great insight into the Utah world. Which is why I chose this post. You are in for a great laugh!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Decor: From Love to Loathe

It's Christmas Eve, and if you are reading this right now, I am super jealous of your Christmas-organization skills. The fact that you even have time to fire up your computer or do some leisure reading on your phone is a real accomplishment in my book. I am sure that right about now, I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off because big events do that to me.

At any rate, let's get on with the original topic of this post:

CHRISTMAS DECOR

I don't have a lot to say about what kind of decor you choose; whether you prefer colorful lights or classic white lights is a moot point for my post today.

Some people go big:



While others, like myself, opt for a wreath on the door (lay off me, I just had a baby):


I think going big and going small both have their place. Either way, Christmas decorations are beautiful, festive, and fun from Thanksgiving through December 26.

After that point, they are just about the ugliest thing on earth.

I don't know why this change occurs so quickly, but it does. Some people like to keep their decorations up until New Year's Day. That's fine. I'm a December 26th kind of gal just because there really isn't a better time for me to clean it all up than the days just after Christmas when not a whole lot is going on.

When I was a kid our neighbors kept their tree up (probably just out of sheer laziness) and decorated it for Valentine's Day, and called it a Valentine's Tree. Yeah, there's a reason this idea didn't become a trend.

So after all of your celebrating today, tomorrow and through this week, if your house still looks holly jolly, I want you to take a good hard look at your decor and ask yourself, "Do I really like the way that looks?"

My guess is you'll answer "no."

Oh, and Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Ho Ho Ho… I’m gonna get you!

Being my son’s first Christmas, I decided to take him for a picture with Santa. I'm such a good mummy. I was not at all worried, just stood in the line oblivious to the fact that lots of kids are scared of him. I just thought my easy going boy who is happy to be held by anyone, and generally a cheerful kid would love meeting the jolly old fella. Turns out he would have preferred being thrown in a tank full of sharks.

As I approached Santa, I felt the grip tighten. I felt his entire little body tense, and then he begun to let loose. Loud, fear filled screeching that you’d think only a banshee could muster. He took one look at that big, fat, hairy man and decided that there was no place like home.

I ended up paying $10 for the most hilarious Santa photo I have ever seen. In it, I am looking at my son attempting to persuade him that Santa is simply delightful (I think he thought delightful meant ‘axe murderer’), and Santa looking lovingly at him. But you don’t really notice any of these details because all you see is the screaming 11 month old, holding onto his mother for dear life (like a baby koala… claws and all) looking at Santa with what can only be described as morbid fear.

Thus, an internet search ensued to find pictures just as hilarious as mine.







Ahh...the ‘joy’ that Santa brings to children.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

What I Love About Winter


I may be alone in my affection for the cold, snowy weather that is winter but, really, there are a lot of perks to this often disliked season:

1) Since you have to wear pants and socks for months on end there is no pressure to shave your legs or paint your toe nails.
2) You have a good excuse to stay at home, indoors all day long. If you do that during the summer you come across as boring. Which I am, but I don't like everyone to know it.
3) No need to feel bad about your sickly looking, pasty white skin since no one is tan. Well, that's not true, some people are tan, but then you know it's fake and you don't feel quite so bad.
4) Since you are most likely dressing in layers you can let yourself go a little bit.
5) No yard maintenance because, happily, not even weeds grow in the winter. And thank goodness to that, because so far that's all I have growing in my flower beds.
6) You can run other errands after you go grocery shopping since your milk isn't likely to go bad in the 25 degree weather.
7) Suddenly watching movies isn't something you do because you can't think of anything better to do, it's just simply something to do.
8) All of the great winter activities: skiing, sledding, snowshoeing, snowman building, etc.
9) The amount of flies you have to kill goes down drastically (okay I'm stretching a bit here, but I wanted 10 items in my list so I had to come up with something).
And finally,
10) Dogs start wearing sweaters. That's always funny.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Thing About The Lockout


I like the Utah Jazz.  I really do. I like going to their games.  I like looking at Jazz paraphernalia. I will even occasionally watch a game on TV with the ol’ ball and chain.  Thing is, I swear the NBA season seem to last all. year. long. Which is entirely too long for any sport season to last.  Because when the season lasts all year long, that means I have to listen to Jazz talk all. year. long.  And I just can’t maintain my interest in one sport for 12 months.  I get bored.

So, when my husband told me there was a lockout, I smiled a little.  Not because our beloved players would be jobless for a while or because the big dogs were fighting about money.  Those things only make evil people smile.  I was smiling because I knew, that for at least a couple months, the men in my life (cough…husband…cough) would have to come up with something else to talk about besides the Jazz. 

But the Lockout is over now and the Jazz talk is creeping up again.  Which I can now be happy about because of the late start and a few months of art, literature and celebrity talk instead.  You see how good the lockout was for half hearted female fans around the nation?  So, on behalf of all the aforementioned women:

“Thank you NBA Lockout.  Thank you.”

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

You Better Watch Out

I ventured out of my house this last weekend to pick up a few things around town.

BIG mistake.

No store was safe from the mass hysteria of last minute Christmas shoppers. I'm always amazed at not only the numbers of procrastinators out and about, but also the panic they cannot hide, especially in the face of a half off sale.

It's no wonder some people ended up on the giving end of this list in year's past.

Here's to hoping your holiday shopping is done so you can avoid giving the "worst gift ever." Used spatula anyone?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Never Say Never


One morning, many years ago, I was in the car with my mom, on my way to preschool. I brought up a few concerns I had about Santa Claus. Just regular kid questions like, "How can he fit down our chimney?", "What if our fire is going, will he burn up?", "How do the reindeer fly?". Well, my mom must have decided that I was old enough to know the truth...or she was just done trying to think up answers to all of my questions. She said, "Lindsay, Santa is not real. Dad and I buy the presents and put them under the tree. Santa is just for fun. But, please don't tell the other children at school today because their parents will be furious with me."

I was traumatized.

My world was over.

The sugar plum dreams that danced in my head were obliterated.

After a good long cry, I promised that I would NEVER do that to my own child. I would NEVER take his childhood dreams away by telling him that Santa was not real.

....Until last year. I felt about 27 months pregnant, I was swollen, I was irritable, and I was on bed rest. I was trying to get my then 2 and a half year old to give away some of his old toys. I told him that there were orphans all over the world that didn't have any toys and Jesus would want us to share our old toys. Well, that was not ok with him. He yelled, "I hate all of the orphans! I don't want to give my toys away! I don't like baby Jesus, I only like SANTA!".

So, that was enough of that. I told him that Santa wasn't real and that we have Christmas to celebrate the birth of Jesus. He looked at me...then he glared at me....and then I knew I had done exactly what I said I would never do.

Luckily, he was only 2 and a half and doesn't remember a thing I said about Santa.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The End of Ali and Roberto: WTC? Does Engagement Mean Nothing?


Sorry, long title.

This might come as a shock to all the faithful of you out there, but it is sometimes hard to come up with something to write each week. This was one of those weeks. I'm rather busy (as are you, I am sure) hauling out my holly.

So there I was checking out at my local grocery store this week, when the posting gods smiled upon me. I looked up to see none other than Bachelorette Ali Fedotowsky on the cover of People magazine telling of her break-up with Roberto Martinez, our favorite contestant of that season.

Surprised? Not really. The Bachelor franchise isn't for love as much as it is for humorous T.V. and uncomfortable moments. Hardly any of these couples make it.

I was intrigued by the story being the (closeted...well, I was before this blog) Bachelor fan that I am, so I looked up the story online later that evening.

I'm going to go back to Jami's recent Kathie Lee Gifford post on this one. Only, I sort of believe that engagement is making a commitment to commit, so while it wasn't marriage in this case, they still promised each other something.

According to the People article, here's what Ali has to say about their break-up and what I have to say to her about what she says:

"Ali admit[ted] she wasn't thrilled with their tight quarters in an 'industrial' area of San Diego."

Me: Ali, I don't feel bad for you at all. Well, maybe I do, because you didn't get the 'don't expect to have everything your parents have right away' talk from your Stake President that I got. Consequently, you should see some of the places I've lived in my married life. I'm pretty sure you could fit a queen-sized bed in your bedroom. That's more than I can say about several of my tight quarters.
"A lot of times what I wanted to do and what he wanted to do didn't match up."


Me: Wow, really, a man and a woman not wanting to do the same thing?! I'm intrigued by this...please tell me more. I just don't know how you dealt with that for as long as you did!! This is so immature. I think I solve this same argument between my 5 year-old and 3 year-old daily.

"He would rather be alone on weekends...He's more introverted. I love being around people and sharing stories and going out to dinner."

Me: Well Ali, according to me and my sisters, whom I've discussed your season of the Bachelorette with several times, you could use a little "introversion" in your life. You laugh too much and are always hugging and wrapping your legs around men you go out with and then send home later that night. And again, I am astonished that you even FOUND a man who doesn't love sitting around chatting with your friends. He probably only wants to watch sports...the nerve!
"Roberto seemed bothered that Ali was career-minded and had a social life. He is very old-fashioned when it comes to a woman's place."

Me: This one is to Roberto...so you wanted a conservative girl who was going to stay home, cook meals, and raise babies, and you went on the Bachelorette to find one?! I am really surprised that reality T.V. didn't give you what you were looking for. We need to get you to a singles' ward full of 18 year-olds dying to meet a handsome fella, have triplets, and try every recipe their YW leaders gave them since they were 12.

"I went back to our apartment and cooked this Spanish dish that his mom makes to do something special for him, so we could have dinner and talk'... Instead the tension-filled meal only served as confirmation that they were over."


Me: Too little, too late sweetheart. We all know that you aren't the "domestic-type." What you really should have done is laughed really hard at everything he said, wrapped your legs around him, and called Chris Harrison for a helicopter to take you on a tour of the "non-industrial" parts of San Diego. That is after all, what landed you a man in the first place.You know, sometimes I look at my wedding pictures and think, "You babies! What were your parents thinking allowing you to marry so young? You didn't have anything." But then I look at the problems the rest of the world has making and keeping commitments, and I know that I wouldn't do it any other way if given the chance. I recognize that there are many people who have real problems in relationships that are sometimes not salvageable.

Sorry Ali and Roberto, I don't see any REAL problems here.


Except one...you met on The Bachelorette.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The 'Gross' Category

It’s not because I’m special. We all have them. We don’t enjoy having them for the most part. They hurt us, make us laugh, cry, and hide ourselves in closets semi permanently. Sometimes we wish we could go back in time and change just one tiny thing so that we didn’t have to have them. But sadly we don’t have that luxury.

What am I talking about?

Unpleasant mothering moments.

I had one of these special moments today. I almost don’t want to tell you about it because it’s so gross. But that’s what seems to make a good story. Humans are weird. We believe a good story consists of someone embarrassing or hurting themselves or doing something gross. This one fits the ‘gross’ category.

It was bath time. Every good story starts like that. I undressed my ten month old and walked behind him as he crawled up the stairs toward the bathroom. I closed the baby gate at the top of the stairs, walked into the bathroom, and began to fill up the bath. When I returned five seconds later, I found him and… well... let’s just call it a large, chocolate colored present dotted down the hall toward the bathroom and the child’s hand reaching toward it.

How did I react? Within three seconds, my thoughts went from ‘GROSSSSS!!’ to ‘Don’t touch it!’ to ‘HAHAHAHA’ to ‘TAKE A PICTURE.’ It’s funny how your thoughts can go so fast in these moments. So naturally, I took a picture :)

Don’t worry. I’m not going to show you. Instead, here is a happy collage of pictures that will not violate your eyes. And hopefully distract you from that horrible mental image.

You’re welcome.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The End is Near

Don't worry, I'm not talking about the end of the world, because in all truthfulness I don't know when that will be. Rather, I'm talking about the end of my pregnancy...just a few more weeks to go. And it's getting obvious, not just by my wide girth, but other things as well.
1) My toes feel like sausages. How do I know how it would feel to have sausages on the ends of my feet instead of actual toes? Well, I guess I don't, but when my toes start retaining water, widen to an unearthly size, and refuse to fit into anything besides slippers, I like to compare them to ground up meat stuffed into a casing.
2) I am physically very unfit. I was bringing up some baby items from our basement and I had to stop halfway up the staircase to rest. In my defense it was my 3rd time up the stairs. Of course, that still sounds pathetic.
3) I'm a slob. My typical day includes changing out of oversized t-shirts and pajama bottoms into oversized t-shirts and sweat pants. Gotta look good for the hubby.
4) I have no second thoughts about what I eat. I've reached the point in my weight gaining that I think "eh, what's another 10 pounds?" before I eat a second piece of cake. I actually quite enjoy this stage.
5) I've lost perception of how big I actually am. I was in the kitchen the other day preparing something to put in the oven. Unbeknownst to me, my big belly turned one of our gas burners on leaking gas into the kitchen. Luckily my husband came into the house shortly after and noticed it or I would have been an accomplice to my own death.
6) I cry at the drop of a hat. Seriously, I dropped my hat the other day and burst into tears. Okay, not really, but I felt like crying while watching the new Footloose movie. If you've seen it you're probably racking your brain trying to figure out which scene made me almost cry. Even I don't really know.
7) The list goes on and on, I'm sure but that's another sign of the impending end. I can't remember a thing.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The True Gym

You know when people are trying to decide on an organized religion and they go to several churches to decide which one is best? Then there are others who don’t want to shop around because they already know the church they go to is true. Well, I feel like the latter when it comes to choosing a gym. I have a rock solid testimony of the YMCA. It is the truest gyms of all the gyms. And I ought not to be trying out other gyms when I already know the YMCA is the best.

Thing is, I am in Utah for two months where there is no YMCA. I suppose I could have just opted out of exercise for two months, but exercise makes me happy. Not exercising makes me grumpy. It’s really in everyone’s best interest for me to work out. (Unless you like being yelled at, in public, by a grumpy mother of three.)

So, I headed over to what I thought was a close 2nd in the trueness of gyms. Gold’s Gym. They have childcare, fitness classes, weights, a pool, and cardio equipment. Seems nice right? Well, it ain’t as nice as it sounds. And after my experience there, I would like to help you understand why the YMCA is true and Gold’s Gym is not.


Truths about the YMCA


1.) Truth: Childcare at the Y is AWESOME.


2.) Truth: My children and I are greeted with a smile almost every day. (and sometimes a hug.)


3.) Truth: The employees know me and not just my barcode.


4.) Truth: I don’t have to make a reservation for childcare.


5.) Truth: I’m not charged $2 if I break a reservation because they don’t require you to make a reservation.


6.) Truth: They don’t play movies during childcare hours.


7.) Truth: The cardio equipment is cleaned and repaired regularly.





The list goes on but I’m already getting mad just writing about it and I have to face Gold’s gym tomorrow to work out so I better just suck it up. But let it be known, today and likely forever, that the YMCA is the true gym and Gold’s Gym is not.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Vanity Plates

When I was old enough to read but young enough to not legally be allowed behind a steering wheel, I thought vanity plates were the icing on an adult's freedom cake.

I was sure that all the really cool adults had vanity plates and assumed I would grow up and get one too. One that said, "2COOL4U" or "SUPRHOT" ...and it would look awesome on my hot pink Jeep.

Yesterday I pulled up behind a flashy convertible with a vanity plate that said "JUSTWAXD." My first thought was, "wow that's gutsy" and then I remembered the ambitions of my youth. What has happened to me? Am I a boring stuffy curmedgeon? I need to loosen up people.

So I changed my tune to: "Good for you sir. We could all use a little spice and variety in our daily commute, thanks for spreading the cheer." (Yes, I do talk to other vehicles while driving...)

When I eventually get around to buying that new car, maybe I'll consider a vanity plate of my own. This one post-pregnancy should do the trick:


I'm open to suggestions. Remember, vanity plates can be a slippery slope to creepiness, so lets keep things family friendly.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Back to the Mother Ship


We are moving back to the Promised Land this week. Utah Valley, to be exact. I have mixed feelings about the move. I didn't grow up in Utah so a lot of things still puzzle me. Like college students doing a scavenger hunt in Wal-Mart at 11pm, wearing their pajamas....sober. Or the girls that are my age with 6 kids. Or meeting someone 5 houses down that isn't even in your ward boundary. However, there are a few things that I love about Utah that I am really looking forward to. Plus, this time I have kids so it will be a completely different experience.

1. Church will most likely be under 3 minutes away. Maybe we will even be able to walk.

2. The hairstylists. There is something great about a Utah trained stylist. Even if you are especially broke, there are like 13 different hair schools within a 5 mile radius where you can get your hair done for next to nothing.

3. Lots of cheap date places. And if you need cheap date ideas, just hang around the BYU campus for a few minutes.

4. Kneaders/Maglebys french toast.

5. Stephen's hot chocolate in every grocery store.

6. The mountains, the sky...a quick drive to the middle of nowhere.

7. Is it just me, or is it WAY easier to find good clothes in Utah?

8. Sidewalks. If you have ever lived in VA you will understand how wonderful sidewalks are.

9. The people out West are just prettier than the East. (East coasters, don't get your panties in a bunch. This was a generalization statement. I have met very pretty people in the East)

10. No one in Utah is going to ask me if I am my kids' nanny/ babysitter/big sister.


However, there are many things I will really miss about Virginia.

1. Kids are a novelty. I haven't had to take my grocery cart to the cart return in months. Someone always comes to take it from me. They also let me cut in line....and they buy my kids treats while we wait. Whereas in Utah, they would look at me and think, "Puhlease. Only 2? I just pushed out #7 on Thursday and I have already taken her newborn pictures myself, made her blessing dress and 11 different headband/hair poofs to match and I can manage to take my cart to the cart return."

2. Real Christmas trees...big ones...are only $20.

3. I only have to use chapstick once a day.

4. Going to the park in Dec. because it hasn't dropped below 50 yet.

5. Trader Joe's.

6. Diversity. The people that speak foreign languages are actually foreigners, not returned missionaries.

So, there you have it. We will be Utahns again by next week. I can't tell you how grateful I am to be going in a car and not a covered wagon.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Why I Am Saying No To Lashes


Women nit pick everything about ourselves:

Our hair is the wrong color.
Our hair is the wrong length.
Our eyebrows are the wrong shape.
Our noses are too wide/big.
Our faces need make-up.
Our teeth need whitening.
Our skin isn't dark enough.
Our weight isn't where we want it to be.
Our arms aren't toned.
Our nails are too brittle and short.
Our chest is too small.
Our six pack can't be seen.
Our hips are too wide.
Our butts are either too big or too small.
Our thighs touch.
Our calf muscles aren't there.
Our ankles are wide.
Our toes need painting.

AND LATELY...our lashes are too short and thin.

I've decided I'm not giving in to the lashes trend. Mainly because I thought my lashes were fine until everyone around me started to have SUPER long lashes instead of regular lashes like me.

It's not so much that lash enhancement (extensions or medication) itself is wrong or bad or over the top. I actually don't think it is if it's something you EVER thought about before it was a trend. It's the fact that one person did it, and now we all think we have to.

We don't.

I encourage all of you to take a stand against one trend in 2012 too. If for nothing else so that in years to come you can say,

"Yeah, I never did that."

Friday, December 9, 2011

Truths for Mature Women

This week I came across ‘Truths for Mature Humans’ in my online travels. You can find the original link here, but this is my version entitled ‘Truths for Mature Women’ - some original, some copied, and some edited.

1.Nothing sucks more than that moment in an argument when you realize you’re wrong.
2.Part of a best friend’s job should be immediately clearing your underwear drawer after you die.
3.I totally take back all those times when I didn’t want to nap when I was younger.
4.Crazy toddlers are always so much cuter when they’re asleep.
5.Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty. You can wear them forever.
6.There is a great need for a sarcasm font.
7.It’s hard to not compete with the mother who seems to have everything. Oh your child walked at 10 months? I’m pretty sure mine walked at nine months and twenty- nine days.
8.It is impossible to fold a fitted sheet.
9.Just because your underwear is made of denim, doesn’t make them shorts.
10.It’s hard to remember a time when I wasn’t at least a bit tired.
11.Bad decisions, embarrassing moments, and children’s poop mishaps all make good stories.
12.You never know when it will strike, but there is the moment in your day when you realize you aren’t going to accomplish anything else productive for the rest of the day.
13.I wish we could wear signs to warn others. I'd wear 'PMS', 'So tired I could cry', 'Happy dance', 'Was just peed on', and 'If you ask me one more stupid question...' on appropriate occasions.
14.It’s terrifying when I exit out of word and it asks if I want to save changes to my ten page technical report that I swear I didn’t make changes to.
15.When I actually take the time to put on make up, do my hair, and remove all stray Cherios from my pant leg, I inevitably don’t see anyone important out that day. But don’t wash your hair, go make up free, and leave the Cherios…. You see the whole ward. Guaranteed.
16.I keep some people’s phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.
17.I wish Google Maps had an ‘avoid ghetto’ routing option.
18.I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.
19.Sometimes I look at my watch three consecutive times and still have no idea what time it is.
20.‘Do not machine wash or tumble dry’ means I will never wash this – ever.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Brotherly Love


In a few short weeks our happy home of three will become a happy (hopefully) home of four. However, this happiness is not to be ensured as the baby will be introducing a new role in our family: The Sibling (**dun dun dun**).

The reason for my concern is based loosely on myself. For the most part, I was a pretty awesome sibling, but I liked to tease. And this teasing led to mayhem. And this mayhem was not enjoyed by my parents. And now that I'm the parent I'm hoping my kids aren't like me (at least in the teasing department).

My younger brother and I fought the most. I quickly learned that he was claustrophobic, so my go to move was to throw a blanket over his head and sit on him. Mean. I like to think my maturity is the reason I outgrew that, and not the fact that he outgrew me by a foot. We fought so badly when we were younger that when we went on family vacations we had to take two cars so we could be separated. If that's not pathetic, I don't know what is.

When I was really young I used to bite my arm hard enough to put teeth marks on my skin, spray my face with water, and go "crying" to my dad that my older sister bit me. The few seconds that she was in trouble before my dad found out she was framed was worth it to me.

I tried to convince my youngest sister that she was adopted. The fact that I am 12 years older than her makes this downright shameful.

I could go on and on, but I won't. Instead I'll be proactive and start praying for a miracle.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Phrases That Should Be or Already Are on T-Shirts

A gentleman we dined with last week told us that his mother just had a double mastectomy. Although the news was sad, his mother seemed to keep her wits about her when she declared, “I’m going to make a t-shirt that says, ‘Yep, they’re fake…the real ones tried to kill me.’”

I thought the phrase to be incredibly clever and it got me thinking about other phrases people have said that really should be or already are on t-shirts. Here are some of my favorites.

For the pregnant woman: I may be huge, but at least I don’t say stupid things to pregnant women.

For the humble runner: .25 miles in 10 minutes flat.

For the to-shy-to-tell-their-cat-loving-friend-they-don’t-like-cats: I don't like cats.

For the man who can’t help women: I’m not great at advise. Can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?

For the toddler who gets excited about everything: I pooped today!

I think I’ll get one of each.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Better Left Unsaid

I read a very comical article (read it!) from a gigantic pregnant woman yesterday.That sounds mean of me to say, but I think she would agree.

Which brings me to the point of this article I read--some things you just shouldn't say to a pregnant woman.


And I think the reason why you have to be more careful during pregnancy is obvious..



Things like "whoa are you having twins?" and "how big are your stretch marks?" are probably not okay.

I'm all for saying nice things like the author of the article suggests, but...sometimes an obligatory compliment seems so misplaced. For instance, "you look great" doesn't really seem appropriate at this point of my life. I think I look great, but that is because I love having a baby belly, not because I think I'm skinny and don't need maternity clothes so who exactly are you trying to fool complimenter? Maybe I'll change my mind in 5 months and 35 pounds, but for now I just want people to give it to me straight--and maybe with a cookie.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Bubble Girl


I love Christmastime. More than any other time of the year. I love the smells, the food, the music. But, what is it about this time of year that makes personal space shrink? Maybe it's the cold that makes everyone want to snuggle together. Maybe it's too much eggnog. Who knows? All I do know is that all this touching is why everyone always gets sick in the winter. Ok, that isn't a scientific fact, but I think it sounds pretty good.

I don't come from a family of huggers. In fact, the only form of hugging happening between my siblings is usually a half nelson. We all love each other, but from an acceptable distance. My husband's family is a bunch of huggers. The first few times around them really threw me off. And let's not forget the first time my husband tried to hug my dad....awkward.

I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out why I am so protective of my personal space. It may be that I am too boney. If I were one of those ladies with the soft arms and bosoms, I may feel more inclined to hug everyone. Maybe it is just that my ancestors came from England. The Brits don't do hugs, right? Whatever it is, I have made a conscious effort to break down my personal bubble. I have even made the first move for a hug a few times! Although, I still get freaked out when someone stands too close to me in line at the post office.

So, for those of you that get a little squeamish with hugs, here is a great link for you to check out on the etiquette of a hug. I found it very useful!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The 9 Christmas Songs I Could Live Without


There are few things I'm totally weird about. (This is debatable...ask my husband/friends/family.) But I am weird about Christmas music.

I love it. I mean LOVE it.

If it were socially acceptable, I would start listening to it come the first crisp day of September.

So because I listen to so much of it, I'm calling myself an expert here and I ask you to believe me when I say that there are 8 (possibly 9 if I were a really mean-spirited kind of person) Christmas songs that I could live without. And since I'm the expert here, you could live without them too.

So without further ado:

1. Santa Baby: A song that promotes adultery, the seduction of an old man, materialism and is the ultimate in commercialization of Christmas. So help me, if a yacht ever makes it on my Christmas list, I'm asking, no begging, for an intervention.

2. Mary, Did You Know?: I've got news for you...she knew. Have you ever heard of a little angel named Gabriel?

3. Little Drummer Boy: I've read the scriptural account of the nativity numerous times and if anyone can show me where it mentions this so called drummer boy, I'll totally change my mind about this song. Otherwise, it's a pure fabrication that I'll have none of.

4. Last Christmas: I've tried not to let my bias against anything George Michael sings cloud my vision of Christmas songs, but I can't help it here. And it seems to me that this song isn't about Christmas at all. In fact you could replace the word "Christmas" with any holiday. Think about it..."Last Memorial Day I gave you my heart, but the very next day you gave it away..." It still works.

5. My Favorite Things: Talk about songs that aren't about Christmas. I have nothing against The Sound of Music. I quite like the film actually, but there is no reason why this song should be associated with Christmas. I'm pretty sure that my song about The Bachelor, Jane Austen, The Food Network, and walks on the beach shouldn't be associated with Christmas either.

6. Carol of the Bells: This one just doesn't do it for me. It sounds like the soundtrack to a horror film. A little too intense for my liking.

7. Do They Know It's Christmastime? It was the 80s, the celebrities were trying to feed Africans. That's totally cool. But here's what I think every time I hear this guilt-trippy song: "The Africans are most-likely not Christians. They don't care if it's Christmastime." I mean are we really supposed to care that "there won't be snow in Africa this Christmastime?" Like we can control the weather!

8. Anything by Kenny Rogers: On a road trip in 2004, I had a revelation. I leaned over to my new husband and said, "Is it just me, or can Kenny Rogers NOT sing?" So I just had to throw him in on this list.

9. If I were a mean-spirited kind of person... I would tell you what my ninth song is...but since I'm not that kind of person, I'll just let you guess what it is. Here's a hint: It involves a guilt trip and footwear. It's a real downer.

Happy Singing Everyone!

Friday, December 2, 2011

A tribute to the banana

I love these.

Bananas. They’re like gold. And finally I can enjoy them again. Here’s why.
At the start of this year, my state Queensland was hit by a series of natural disasters. On 11 January, Brisbane was hit by a terrible flood. About a quarter of the city was under water, with many peoples’ homes and businesses destroyed.



The flood waters took quite a few days to recede and the clean up was enormous. I was 40 weeks pregnant to the day when it flooded… and no one has ever been more grateful to be overdue. I would not have been able to get to my hospital had I gone into labour that day. So, at 40 and a half weeks pregnant, I went with my husband out to homes which had been affected by the floods to help with clean up. It was messy, stinky, sludgy work but we were grateful to be helpers and not needing help ourselves.
Then, a few weeks later, a series of cyclones attacked the state. The worst of these, Yasi, absolutely obliterated some small towns, caused lots of damage to many homes, and destroyed my friend – the banana. Poor banana crops.

People have been working year round to put their homes back in order and to grow us some new bananas. Right after the disaster, because of supply and demand issues, bananas were around $25 a kilogram. Yikes. Slowly, the price has come down: $23, 19, 15, 12, 9, 8. They sat at around $8 for months. I could feel my palms sweating. Finally, in the last few weeks, bananas have come down to a sensible price - $3 and even $2 a kilogram. I can now enjoy them again guilt free!! Banana smoothies, banana splits, banana muffins. You are all mine!

So, please! Be nice to us this year, weather! Try not to destroy so many homes and cause so much damage. And for goodness sake, don’t take bananas from me again. Take the zucchini. No one likes that stuff anyway.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pregnancy Brain

Image

My friend asked me the other day if I ever suffered from "pregnancy brain." I told her no. Then two weeks later I put my cell phone and my wallet on top of my car and drove off. So Friend, I rescind my previous answer and change it to yes. Yes, I suffer from pregnancy brain. And now, as a result, I am without a cell phone, credit cards, health insurance card, driver's license, gift certificates, cash, Costco card, library card (yes, I'm counting my library card as a loss), and anything else in my wallet that I have forgotten about (because, obviously, my memory can't be trusted anymore).

It's a good thing this isn't a busy time of year or replacing these things might be considered stressful.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Kathie Lee is Smarter Than I Thought


When I see Kathie Lee Gifford on TV I don’t think, “Wow, she must have been a valedictorian,”  or “Does she have a PhD?” And never, in my wildest imagination, have I ever thought “I would totally use her for my personal therapist”.   What I’m usually thinking is, “that is some seriously great hair.  Hair that cannot be bought for $10 at Great Clips.”

But I’m starting to reevaluate what I think about her character and intelligence and pure ability to “get it” after I heard her say this about marriage:

"The time for careful consideration is before you get married. Falling in love is the easiest thing in the world. ... Falling is a verb. You have no control, but staying in love takes work, takes commitment. Their ceremony (she’s speaking specifically about Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphreys here but it can really apply generally) was all about commitment and when the good times are over, you hang in there and something beautiful can come out when the marriage is tested in fire."

Wow, Kathie Lee.  I mean, seriously, WOW.  So happy to see someone really respect and appreciate marriage.

That being said, I do NOT think this statement applies to dog marriages.  I don’t know what kind of marriage standards dogs have nor do I care to, but if dogs can make it work surely humans can too.  

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Holiday Rules

I think the best part about holidays are the traditions. They are some of the secure things in life that you can count on being the same year after year--turkey, stuffing, stockings included. They can make your family feel special.

One funny aspect of traditions I've begun to question in my adult life is certain "holiday rules." There are a lot of them--we open ALWAYS one present on Christmas Eve, we don't open ANY presents until Christmas morning, we never spell Christmas "x-mas", and so on.

I grew up with a grandma who always "tsk, tsked" when we drove past a store window in November that had Christmas scenes painted on it. "What a shame" she'd say, "they don't even allow time to be thankful." I was sure that these stores and people who put up their trees before December were, well, evil.


I have put my Christmas tree up in November for the last three years. (Being an adult is so liberating, though I do feel like it's a guilty pleasure). And here is what I have to say to all those "tsk, tskers" (including my Grandma last week)...

"Why can't I be thankful for Christmas during Thanksgiving?"

What are your unbreakable holiday rules or rules that you love to break?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Embezzled by an 8 year old



What is it with all of the elementary school fundraisers? I remember doing a bake sale here and there as a kid, but now there are fundraisers for everything! Except they aren't fundraisers where the kids work for it, like a car wash, or a lemonade stand. They just bring a catalog by your house and stand there expecting you to pay $20 for a roll of wrapping paper.

Our little neighbor comes by each fall with his school catalog. I am always apprehensive to buy something. I never know if what I buy will actually appear. I wasn't always so skeptical. There is a reason for my paranoia.

My husband and I lived in Provo while he was at BYU the first two years of our marriage. We lived in a ghetto little apartment just barely able to afford rent and tuition. One day a sweet little girl knocked on our door. It was freezing out and she didn't have a coat on. I asked her where her coat was and she shrugged. I asked her where her mom was and she pointed down to the courtyard of the building. So, I invited her in while I looked at the catalog. She gave me the whole spiel about how she wanted to sell the most to win the big prize at the end. I felt so bad for her that I knew I had to buy something. So I wrote her PTA a check for $15 for a teeny tiny candle. I felt satisfied knowing I helped her toward her goal and I was excited for my new candle. Well, weeks went by and no sign of the little girl, or my candle.

Then, one day, I was pulling up to my apartment complex after work and there she was. Out by the street (with a coat on this time, mind you) with a little yard sale set up selling all of the things people bought from her catalog!! Candles, wrapping paper, kitchen goods, Christmas decorations...the works. I was ticked. I decided to be mature and not confront her. She put on a good show. A sad little girl with no coat. She played everyone. Sneaky little thing.

Now that I look back on it, I realize I am kind of proud of her for actually working for her money. Given, it was dirty money she earned, but nonetheless, she was putting in a good effort.

However, Starla (if that's even your real name), if you are reading this, you owe me $15.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Vans vs SUVs...My Decision (Or Was It?)

You all remember way back in April when I did this little comparison of Vans and SUVs. I said back then that I wasn't afraid of putting 3 car seats in the back of my small SUV. Well, I should have been afraid.

Very afraid.

Actually, it wasn't that big of a deal. But a little while back my husband and I decided that it was time to get a bigger vehicle for more space and more seating for visitors.

I really did go to the dealership with a van in mind. Really, I did. I was ready to raise the white flag, get my mom jeans, and rock it.

(Not me pictured)

But do you know who wasn't ready for all that?

That's right, my husband. Granted, he would only have to drive the vehicle on weekend excursions and to church, but even that was enough for him to declare at the dealership:

"I really don't want a mini-van. I'm still in my 20s for crying out loud."


(Have I mentioned that I am 5 months older than my husband? I've hit my 30s. He has not.)

So the SUV it is.

(Not my actual SUV)


But the mini-van dream lives on every time I'm opening doors to put my kids inside or every time I'm helping my 3 year-old get up inside, or even when I'm putting my groceries in the back and there's less space.

(Another thing to mention: we got a good deal on the SUV... one they couldn't match with the mini-van, so there you go.)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Gobble Gobble

Happy Thanksgiving!!

As a dweller on one of the continents that does not celebrate Thanksgiving, I’d like to share with you my few, but wonderful, Thanksgiving experiences.

I’ve celebrated Thanksgiving twice in America. One I spent at a friend’s house where we ate all kinds of foods I’d never eaten before. Like green bean casserole.

What in the world is that? And you can’t even imagine what I was thinking when I saw a huge bowl of stuffing on the table. What is that for? Taxidermy? Anyway, I recovered from these initial reactions and found it all quite delicious! Even the green bean casserole, which I still think is random. This was also the first time I tried pumpkin pie… but that my friends was pure blasphemy.

If there’s no pumpkin pie in heaven, I’ll be highly unimpressed.

The other time I celebrated Thanksgiving, my husband and I had just arrived in America a few days earlier for a 28 day must-visit-as-many-places-as-possible-while-spending-as-little-money-as-possible trip. During Thanksgiving, we stayed in my husband’s mission president’s son’s Brooklyn apartment. He was out of town so this allowed us free accommodation close to New York City. There, we visited a nearby grocery store and bought bread, sliced turkey, tomatoes, and lettuce. Voila, Thanksgiving sandwiches!

My other Thanksgiving experiences involve watching, at any time of the year, episodes of television shows airing their Thanksgiving episode. Friends, How I Met Your Mother, Mad About You, Everybody Loves Raymond, etc. They all have them. And we get to see them. But strangely enough, they usually don’t line up with the calendar on Thanksgiving.

And this year, seeing the ‘month of thanks’ or other Thanksgiving related facebook posts which made me appreciate life just a little more.

What are some of your favourite (yes, favourite has a U in this country) Thanksgiving experiences?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Feathers

Happy Thanksgiving!!! This post has nothing to do with the holiday...sorry.

Sometime in the 1970's a disturbing hairdo hit the masses. It was called "feathered hair" and well, see for yourself, it was weird.

Luckily the fad wore out as women moved on to the big bangs and perms of the 80's. Well, recently, as I'm sure many of you have noticed, a new version of "feathered hair" has emerged. Or more accurately "feather in your hair."
Now, usually when I'm trying to prove a point with a picture I like to get ugly models to make it easier to get people on my side, but even with this cute young lady sporting the feathers, I think the effect is still the same. She has feathers...in...her...hair? Why? When I first saw someone sporting this look I was confused. Now, a year later, I still am. I just don't get where people come up with these things. You'd think headbands, elastics, flowers, hair clips, braiding, twisting, curling, straightening, cutting, dying, etc. would be enough to keep the women of the world occupied with their hair, but someone always has to come up with something new and different. It's just another thing for the fashionable to participate in and the unfashionable (like me) to scratch their heads and wonder.

This of course, is no disrespect to the Indians who were the first (as far as I know) to sport the look. He pulls it off well, don't you think?
(And incidentally, with this picture I have now tied this post into Thanksgiving. Ta Da! Get it? Since Thanksgiving started with the Pilgrims and Indians...)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Spidey Senses Are Tingling


How hard is it to find a stinkin’ Superman toy?  My #1 is celebrating a birthday this week and I can’t find even one dinky Superman in this town.  (okay, I’ve only been to two major retailers.  But when you’ve got three kids to tow around, going to two stores is like going to 20 when you’re single.)

I mean, are Superman’s powers really that impressive?  Sure, he can fly, but if I had super powers I would do more than just fly.  As a matter of fact, I could list a whole shlew (if that’s a word?) of powers that would rock Superman’s world.  And these are what those powers would be.

1.)   Who needs to fly when you can disapparate?
2.)   My house could clean up itself after I gave the armpit-fart command. (the armpit-fart command would make me look oh-so-cool to my kids, after all.) 
3.)   My body could withstand the pressure of ocean water allowing me to swim to the bottom and collect gold.  Because I bet that’s where all the gold is.
4.)   The ability to make people do what I want whenever I want them to do it.  I would mostly use this when my child is about to scream something along the lines of “NO, I HATE GOING TO COSTCO!” or “I DON’T LIKE FOLDING LAUNDRY!”  That, and I could get free ice cream everywhere I went.)

What would your super powers be?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Gimme Gimme Gimme

Okay ladies, life is hard. Being a wife and mother is no exception and sometimes it's pretty thankless work. We all like a little recognition now and again (maybe a prized spot on that "10 things I'm thankful for list")....

So why in the world was I surprised speechless to learn of "push presents?"

Never heard of them? They are the gifts women get from their spouse upon delivering their bundle of joy--also called "baby bauble."According to one article push can have two connotations:
“Push” as in, “I the mother, having been through the wringer and pushed out this blessed event, hereby claim my reward.” Or “push” as in, “I’ve delivered something special and now I’m pushing you, my husband/boyfriend, to follow suit.”

It's not that I was surprised to hear that gifts were given (how nice and thoughtful), but surprised to hear the percentages of women who expect them (I'll spare you from my entitlement speech). One survey done by BabyCenter a few years ago found that 38% of women received pushed presents and 55% wanted one (again, who doesn't enjoy some recognition).

I can't help but think of what Eliza R. Snow said as quoted here by Julie B. Beck:

"Women should be women and not babies that need petting and correction all the time. I know we like to be appreciated but if we do not get all the appreciation which we think is our due, what matters?" 
The standard seems to be lavish jewelry (firmly supported by a quick Google images search), as promoted in this ad for diamond earrings “She delivered your first born; now give her twins.” However, I would much rather have a homemade coupon book of things like:
  • I will attempt to learn how to change diapers
  • I will not ask "what is for dinner" any night this week
  • I will wash all of the lasagna pans from thoughtful neighbors
I'm really interested in hearing your pear shaped thoughts on the subject. Should I be demanding a push present myself? (Even if I did I'm pretty sure my husband would laugh at me--there's nothing like a $2000 jewelry bill to tack on to the hospital charges).

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Twelve Thanks of Thanksgiving


I am so happy this week is Thanksgiving!! The food, the football, the family....I love every minute. However, because food distracts me, I often forget to focus on the things I am thankful for. I always say thank you for my family, our home, the church, etc. but today I would like to tell you the little things I am thankful for, because those are usually the ones that get forgotten.

1. Tampons. Have you ever thought of the pioneers and the rags they had to use? I can't tell you how thankful I am for the advancements in feminine hygiene products.

2. Washable markers. Enough said.

3. Lip gloss and mascara. Even on the worst days when I can't seem to find a minute to beautify...a little lip gloss and mascara does wonders.

4. Mariah Carey's Christmas album. It may be one of my favorites. And I am a little bit (ok, a lot) embarrassed to admit this.

5. Jessica Simpson's ability to design shoes. Fabulous.

6. Push-up bras. Heaven knows we could all use a little pick-me-up from time to time.

7. My cast iron pot. It is my favorite thing in my kitchen.

8. Epidurals.

9. Wikipedia. I'm not sure I even know how to use an actual encyclopedia anymore.

10. Zac Efron's hair. It is truly a beautiful thing.

11. The tanning bed. Even though I will probably have early skin cancer, the 10 minutes alone while I am warm and relaxed is blissful.

12. Toilet seat covers in public restrooms. I am too lazy for "the hover", so I appreciate not getting germs on my tush.

What little things are you thankful for?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

My New and Improved Weight Loss Plan

Like most postpartum people, I have baby weight I'd like to get off.

As I hit my 6 week post delivery point this last week, I got thinking, "Okay, enough slacking off. What's my plan going to be? I want to be back to pre pregnancy weight by this event. And I don't want the holidays to derail me. And I really want to wear those jeans again, etc. etc."

Almost the exact moment these thoughts came to my head, I heard the most fascinating (and probably exaggerated) fact on the radio. The DJ said:

"A new study says that the average woman spends a total of 50 years over her lifetime thinking and worrying about her weight."

WOW! Really? 50 years! And creepy that I heard this on a day when I was one of those women.

That's when it hit me. Life is too short to put too much time into worrying about this. Yes, it's important to be healthy, but you know, I'd be pretty ashamed if I let this one area of my life dominate my self-worth or heaven forbid, take time away from the time I have with my husband and kids.

Nonetheless, I do feel best when I'm exercising and taking some time for myself, so it's a tricky balance.

Where does wanting to be healthy cross the line into sheer vanity? How much time/effort into this is too much? That's a question that I believe everyone, no matter what weight you're at has to ask themselves and figure out on their own.

So with that in mind, please indulge me as I share the plan that I've come up with for me:

1. 30 minutes of exercise, 3 to 5 times per week. This exercise will be anything I feel like doing on any given day. And yes, sometimes it will be an easy walk with the kids. (Because if I'm being honest, I almost always can find a half hour somewhere in my day, but I can rarely find a complete hour).

2. Eat 3 moderate meals per day and one snack. There are some diets out there that say that you should eat small meals every two or three hours. For me, I've found that doing this just makes me think about food ALL DAY LONG. And when I start thinking about food all the time, I start thinking about all the food I'm missing out on by eating my meager meal.

3. Eat dessert or treats only at Sunday dinner or special occasions (parties, events, etc.), but if I NEED a mini snickers bar every now and then, don't deny myself. When I deny, I just binge later.

I have no deadline to be back to my pre-pregnancy weight. And maybe I never will be. But I do have confidence that if I do these things, I'll be at the weight I'm supposed to be. And besides, who REALLY wants to wear last year's jeans anyway?

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Language Lesson


It wasn't until I started contributing to this blog that I realised how many strange Australian slang words I use in my everyday speech. I really have to control myself as I write! When I proof reading (and trust me you’re glad I do!) I frequently go back and change words that I am certain no one (except the few Australian readers) will understand. Thus, today we have a language lesson. I'll start with words I've wanted to use, and have had to change, and continue with others that I will likely want to use in the future. Enjoy!

Nappy: This is the Australian word for diaper. No idea why, it’s just a nappy. “I’m going to go and change Tom’s nappy.”

Dummy: A binky (you know, the thing a baby sucks on). “Why does your three year old still suck a dummy?”

Uni: University/College. “I went to uni for 4 years and still know nothing!”

She’s apples: Not a problem. “Oh, you accidentally elbowed me in the head with your massive chicken wings? She’s apples.”

Dodgy: Something a little bit wrong. “That dress is a bit dodgy. Don’t wear it.”

Feral: Something gross. “Honey, brush your teeth! Your breath is feral!”

Give it a burl: Try something. “Belly dancing? Sure, I’ll give it a burl!”

Togs: Swimming costume. “I’ll get my togs on and go for a swim in the pool.”

Olds: Parents. “Let’s eat dinner with the olds tonight, honey.”

Up oneself: Conceited. “That model is really up himself.”

Yabber: Talk a lot – precisely what we do on this blog. “We all just yabber on about this and that!”

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Kids Say the Darndest Things

We have a picture of Jesus in our kitchen. This one, to be exact:

My son has correctly identified this picture several times, so one day when he asked me, "Mom, who's this?" I turned the question back to him and asked him who it was. His response?...






Mr. Noodle

The Mr. Noodle of Elmo's World fame, for those unfamiliar.

Let's review. Jesus:

Mr. Noodle:

Well, in his defense, they both have mustaches...
So, guess who spends more time watching Sesame Street than they do reading the Scriptures? My son, obviously. Apparently we need to make some changes around here...